Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It was great to have a long weekend together as a family!  This morning (after getting donuts!) we went to Putt Putt for a round of mini golf. 

Barrett actually attempted to play each hole this time!  In prior visits he'd give up by the 7th or 8th hole.  There were a few times that after the 300th try at a hole he'd just pick up the ball and drop it in...but most times he kept putting until he made it in the hole!

This evening we went over to Daddy Steve and Namaw's for our annual Memorial Day get together with the Rhodes.  I was too busy talking with Paula about photography and I didn't take very many pictures at all!  Everyone was there except Ann (who's still on bed rest and not allowed to leave the house except to go to the dr).  Here's Barrett, Kent, and Brody at the kids' table enjoying the delicious pulled pork that Mike spent all day smoking (along with other food).

Kent (like most little boys) LOVED being outside.  We spent most of the evening outside watching the guys play badminton (or "Bad Men" as Brody insisted it's called). 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dinner with Jamie

Yesterday Daddy Steve and Namaw invited us over for dinner with Jamie and her family.  Daddy Steve and I have gotten to know Jamie at the gym and she is super sweet!  Brody loves getting to play with her daughter, Kori (sp?), at the gym and was excited to get to play with her all evening.  To Kori's disappointment, he wasn't quite as excited to play with her when he met her brother, Austin.  Instead, Brody spent the evening playing baseball and tag with Austin and Barrett while the rest of us watched.  Baby Lola was too cute not to take pictures of!

I finally walked over and gathered some of the neighborhood girls to come play with Kori.  She was happy to finally have someone to swing with her!

Baby Lola...

Barrett, Austin, and Brody playing baseball...

Brody finally sat down and talked with Kori when I brought out drinks and a snack.

Again...the irresistible Lola! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ann's Work Shower

On Monday Namaw and I drove to Grapevine for Ann's work shower.  I think they were originally just going to invite Ann's mom & MIL, but I told her I wanted to go too so that I could meet all the people that I hear about every day!  The shower was at Ferrari's Italian Villa.  Can you say YUMMMMM!!!!  There was a buffet of food set out just for Ann's shower and it was all delicious!
It was fun to finally be able to put a face with the names of people that Ann tells me about from work.  They were all so sweet!  We played several games and had lots of laughs.  There was so much food there that they called in the cavalry...aka Tyler! 
After a weekend of showers, Tyler and Ann have a bunch of organizing to do!  Not much longer and we'll get to see Luke using all of the cute things they got at their showers!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stormy Game

Tuesday night it was Barrett's turn to go to the Ranger's game...just him and Daddy!  He was sooooo excited for alone time with Daddy!  When I asked if I could take a picture of them he ran and clung to Daddy's leg for the picture.  It's so fun to watch our boys show their admiration Mike!
Brody didn't get to go to the game with Mike, but he did get to go to the game!  Billy Rhodes had a few extra tickets and invited Daddy Steve and Brody to join him at the game.  I had a list a mile long to work on...and I did get some of it accomplished while they were gone...but my main job became weather girl!

When they left for the game, we knew that there were storms in the area, however, most of the storms had been staying north of us.  Mike texted at one point asking about the weather and said that his phone was almost dead.  At that point I told him it looked like they might get rain...but that the serious stuff (hail and tornadoes) would stay north of them.  Well....the storm grew!  Before long I'm looking at the TV watching a big storm with a large hook echo headed straight for the Ballpark at Arlington!  I texted and tried to call Mike...but his phone had already died.  Daddy Steve texted and told me that they were being herded into the tunnels underneath the stadium (Brody was super excited to tell me about this when they got home because they go to go on the FIELD! and through the dugout to get to the tunnels!!!!  He also got to see where the Rangers park their personal vehicles.)  We heard reports of golf ball to baseball size hail at the stadium and I was praying that a tornado wouldn't wipe out the stadium and take my whole family with it! 

Just as Daddy Steve texted to see if I'd heard from Mike the door walked Mike and Barrett!!!  He said that he'd been watching the sky and saw clouds starting to swirl in different directions.  He was thinking, "Should we go...or should we stay...I don't know?!??"  Just then Barrett looked up at him and said, "I'm ready to go home now!"  Mike took that as his sign to hurry home.  He ran to the car with Barrett on his shoulders and made it just before the downpour.  Thankfully he made it out of there just before he hail and strong winds...and they made it home safe and sound.

The hook echo did not produce a funnel cloud (praise the Lord!) and Daddy Steve and Brody finally made it home a little before 11 pm.  Brody's disappointment about the game being postponed was put aside because of the excitement of getting to go on the field and through the dugout.  Barrett....well...he'd had enough of sitting at the game by the 3rd he was perfectly happy to have come home when they did and extremely proud that he got to go to a Rangers game with Daddy!

Ann's Baby Shower

Last Saturday was Ann's baby shower.  It was fun to get together with friends and family to celebrate the new little baby that's about to join our family!  It's a good thing it was last weekend...because this week Ann was put on bedrest because of high blood pressure.  If you know know that it won't be easy for her to be on bedrest.  She's not the type to just sit around the house all day doing nothing!  She tried to convince the doctor to let her stop by Babies R Us on her way home to pick up a few last minute things...but the doctor said, "No!  Get home and lay down!"  I'm glad Tyler's there to take care of her.

Here are a few pictures from the beautiful shower last Saturday...(click on the collages to see them larger)
Top left:  Lou Ann (Ann's mom), Grandma Nix (Lou Ann's mom), Ann, GG, and Namaw
Bottom Left:  All the preggos at the shower...Audria, Kristan, Ann, Lauren, and Cassie

Tyler made a surprise appearance at the shower via video!  It was a super cute video that Caleb did per the request of the shower hostesses.  He asked Tyler questions like, "When will Luke be born?", "When will Luke first start organizing?", and "What traits from you and Ann do you hope to see in your son?"  It was both funny and tear jerking!  Great idea!!!
Top Left:  Staci & Ann
Middle Left:  Namaw, Cindy, and Jan (can you tell Namaw and Jan are sisters?  Even after more than half a century of sisterhood...they still dress alike! lol)
Middle Right:  Susie and Amanda
Bottom Left:  (Shower Hostesses) Kady, Lauren, Kristan, (Ann), Ashley, Jamie
Bottom Right:  Lauren, Ann, & Katelyn

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today's Big Day #1

We're about to have baby overload in our family!!!!!  It all begins today with the impending birth of Laney.  Please join me in prayer for a safe delivery.  Angela is schedule for a c-section at noon.  I'll update when I know more!

Lots of Showers!

I got to go to 2 shower for Ann in the past few days...but my pics are stuck on my camera.  I took them in RAW format and my Lightroom 3 trial has expired.  I'm waiting for the full version to arrive so I can get the pics off my camera and into a format I can post on here.  Until'll have to wait!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spontaneous Maternity Pictures

Tyler and Ann came over to Daddy Steve and Namaw's house on Saturday for the meeting with Arnold.  While they were there I convinced them to let me take a few pictures of them so that we'd have some pictures of a pregnant Ann to show their son, Luke, some day!  I'm not sure she was too excited about having her picture taken wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops...but I think she looked gorgeous!  She has the glow of a new mommy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lunch and a Tornado

Daddy Steve was out of town today (Namaw's birthday), so we wanted to make sure she had special treatment!  Caleb, Audria, Brody, Barrett, and I (Mike got stuck in meetings) met for lunch with Namaw at Railhead BBQ in Ft. Worth.  We enjoyed some yummy BBQ on their patio and then we sang "Happy Birthday" and had Almond Joy's (Namaw's favorite) for dessert.
After lunch, Caleb went back to work and the rest of us headed to the Omni Theater.  We saw the Imax presentation of Tornado Alley.  It was interesting to see the tornadoes so close!  When we left Namaw said she learned one thing, "If you ever see those storm chaser in the opposite direction!"  It was past nap time by the time we left the we headed for home.

Tyler and Ann have plans to come over tonight to take her out for dinner.  I hope that Namaw enjoyed today!  It's fun celebrating the birth of someone you love so much!!!


more to come later.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grammy Comes to Visit

The 24th is the big day for Laney will be born!  Grammy came to Texas to help Mark & Angela, however, she stopped by to see us for a few days first.  Brody was super excited that she was able to go to his t-ball game on Monday night.  With as much as Grammy likes watching sports...I know she was excited too!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meeting Arnold

My uncle and aunt (Ron & Jan) went to Africa a few years ago and came back with a burden for the people there.  When they began telling us stories about the people they met there, our entire family felt the call to help the few people who were there working to spread the Gospel of Christ.  For the past two years we have been prayerfully and financially (although we're only able to provide a fraction of what they need) supporting several missionaries in Dakar, Senegal.  Arnold, the head pastor, is currently in the USA!  He went to a conference at Pepperdine and then Ron & Jan flew him to DFW so that he could meet with our family!  It was wonderful to meet in person a man who's picture we've been looking at on our fridge and praying over for the last 2 years!  He has a great vision/plan for spreading the world of Christ in a country that is 95% Muslim.  We had so little time to talk with him...but it was wonderful to encourage him and pray with him. 
This picture of Collin and Brody at dinner was too cute to leave out.  These cousins love each other like brothers! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Senior Photo Shoot

I had so much fun going with Allison and her mom, Vanessa, to take pictures at the site of a soon to be historical landmark in Arlington, TX!  There were soooooo many places to take pictures...and with such a gorgeous subject, I got some great ones!!!  Here's just a sampling of some of the pictures I took yesterday.

Friday, May 13, 2011

End of Year Program

Just a few pictures from the boys' program.  Just one more year of pre-school for Brody!  Deep breath.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One of a Kind

Remington the Rock
9/2/00 - 5/7/11
It seems like it was only yesterday that Mike and I drove to McPherson to pick up a 20 lb 6 week old black lab.  He was the cutest thing I'd ever seen!  He was a fast learner and before we knew it he was a well trained hunting dog.  He had 5 generations of championship hunters in his pedigree, so we knew he would be a good hunter...but we had no idea that he would also be an amazing companion.  He was so gentle and loving and had the sweetest disposition of any dog I've ever met.  Kids could poke fingers in his ears or up his nose and he'd just lick their face (but only once...he knew he'd get in trouble for licking...his tongue was so big it was like getting a bath when he licked you!)  In the mornings he'd rest his chin on the side of our bed and let out big sighs (blowing air all over our face) until we opened our eyes.  As soon as one eye opened he'd start bounding around the room all excited that we were finally awake!  He knew he wasn't allowed to sleep in our bed (he was well over 100 pounds...that'd be like another person sleeping in our bed!), but every once in a while he'd try to sneak up there.  One morning Mike turned over to put his arm around me in bed (forgetting that I'd already left for work) and was startled when he opened his eyes and saw that Remington was laying in bed beside him...staring at him nose to nose! 

Remington went on many adventures with us.  He rode in the backseat on many trips to Texas, he climbed mountains with us in Colorado, he camped with us in various states, he hunted with Mike....and he hunted without Mike!  One opening day we were in St. John for the day and came home to find Remington limping.  We checked him out and couldn't find anything wrong, so we just made him a soft bed and let him rest.  The next day he didn't even want to get up and just stayed in bed all day.  Within a few days he was back to normal and we forgot about his soreness....until a local farmer stopped by for a talk.  Come to find out, Remington had heard gun shots on opening day and traveled 2 miles to find the source of the shots.  When he found a group of hunters...he decided to hunt with them!  He spent the entire day retrieving birds for the hunters.  They fed him lunch and he hunted all afternoon with them too!  He made it home (probably just before we did) and tried to act like he'd been there all day.  No wonder he was so sore!

One of the hardest things we've ever done is to leave him behind when we moved from Kansas.  We didn't know where we'd end up in Texas (an apartment? a house? would there be a yard?).  Remington was a hunting dog and a country dog.  He didn't belong couped up in a small city backyard where he'd get to hunt once or twice a year.  As much as it killed us to leave our baby behind, we loved him too much to take him with us.  We knew he was getting older and we wanted him to enjoy the last few years of his life.  Teri's brother, Bill, said he would adopt Remington.  They don't have any kids and we knew that Remington would be spoiled living with Bill and Paula. 

Ever since we brought Remington home to live with us, in the back of my mind I was worried about the day we'd have to say goodbye to him.  I honestly didn't know if Mike would survive that day.  Of course, back then I thought it would be us having to put him down or watch him die...I didn't know it would be us giving him to another family.  There is such a strong bond between a man and his hunting dog.  There's this unspoken relationship of shared passion that creates a loyalty like no other.  When we left Remington in Kansas, we left a piece of our heart there with him.  I can honestly say that there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him.  Even Brody still talks about him all the time (and has a picture of him with Remy taped to the top of his bed).  Every time we talk about getting another dog, we don't get very far in the planning.  I think a big part of the reason is because we had such a perfect dog.  I don't think any other dog will ever be able to compare! 

After we moved to Texas, Bill and Paula let us know that the vet found cancer in Remy.  The next time we were up there for a visit we went to see him and we could feel the cancerous lumps all over his body.  He was still so happy to see us and was a loving as always and was still healthy enough to go hunting with Mike and Chris. He followed us everywhere we went while we were he was afraid to let us out of his sight.  Brody cried and cried when we left and didn't take Remington with us...but again we knew that he was getting to spend his remaining days in the countryside that he loved.

A few days ago we got an email from Teri with news that we'd been dreading....but knew was coming.  Our beloved friend had died.  The cancer mixed with the heat was just too much for him.  Even as I type this the tears stream down my face.  We will never forget the joy he brought to our life.  When we broke the news to Brody the main thing he wanted to know was where Remy is now.  "Do dogs go to Heaven?"  Mike told him that we don't know...that the Bible doesn't tell us.  His response was, "Well if they do...I KNOW that Remy is there."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Baseball Picture Overload

With 14 games in Brody's t-ball season, I haven't taken tons of pictures at every game.  Most of the time it's because it's getting dark outside and the pictures wouldn't turn out very well or because I was having to chase Barrett around while watching the game.  Today Daddy Steve, Namaw, and GG were at the game with us and I guess I was just in the mood to take pictures!  Our team was short a few players, which meant more turns at bat and more turns in the exciting defensive positions (pitcher, first base, second base...).  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking....

Brody looked very proud to be walking out to the pitcher's mound.  He loves it when he gets to play a position where he gets to field a lot of balls!

fielding a ball...
playing first baseman

catching a ball as first baseman
In the 3rd inning Brody was playing 2nd baseman and he got 2 guys out off of one hit!  He fielded the ball in between 2nd and 3rd base and tagged the guy out who was running to 3rd...then he ran to 2nd and got the guy out who was running to 2nd!  He was really hustling this game and had the sweat to show for it afterwards!  What a fun game to watch!!!

KS Easter Trip - Going Home

April 25, 2011
We left Grammy's house a little after 8 this morning so that we could get to Lyons in time to see some of my friends and co-workers at Iron Works.  The boys were in HEAVEN when Junior took them back to see the equipment storage room which houses all the baseball equipment for the summer leagues. 
Then he took them upstairs to the gym with a bat, ball, helmet, and tee.  They ended up using the batting cage and hitting balls off the tee for almost an hour while I talked with some of the ladies who were there for aerobics class.  It's always good to see Junior and visiting the rec commission is like going home. 
The boys weren't too excited about leaving a batting cage to get in the car to drive 8 hours to Texas...but I finally loaded them in the car and we got on the road.  We were really pushing it to get home in time for Brody's t-ball game...but we made it with 1/2 hour to spare! 

KS Easter Trip - EASTER!

April 24, 2011
We were all excited to wake up this morning and drive to Sterling to celebrate our risen Savior with our Kansas church family.  We've really missed everyone since we've moved to Texas and it was great to get to see them!  The boys were all smiles this morning.  I think Brody was just super excited to get to see Collin, Hans, & Alan again!
I think we were the last car to leave the church parking lot....which meant we had to book it to get back to St. John for lunch with Grandma K.  We had a yummy lunch and topped it off with strawberry shortcake...
Grandma K
The boys were tired after lunch...
so Barrett took a nap and Brody watched a baseball game on TV while we helped Grandma move more stuff into the garage for her sale.  After naps we headed back to Grammy's for an Easter egg hunt!  Barrett was a little discouraged when the eggs weren't in plain sight and he actually had to hunt for them!
We thought we were still missing one of the eggs and we searched all over the yard for about 15 minutes looking for it.  Grammy and I both counted the eggs in the boys baskets several times and finally just decided to give up and go inside.  We got a good laugh when we found it hidden under the grass in Brody's Easter basket!  I think Nancy was really glad we found it because she was starting to think she was crazy because she couldn't remember where she'd hidden an egg!

We stayed up a little late tonight since it was our last night at Grammy's.  Nancy and I stayed up waaaaay late talking...but we were enjoying it so much that it was hard to make ourselves go to bed!