Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grandmommy & Sharon Visit

On Sunday, Daddy Steve met Sheila in Hillsboro to pick up Grandmommy and my great-aunt Sharon to come visit for a few days!!  We all went over to Daddy Steve and Namaw's for dinner and to see them.  Even GG got to come over and visit with us!

This picture was too funny to leave out!  Brody wanted to hold a fussy Axton, so he sat in Caleb's lap to hold him.  When I went to take their picture...they both gave me the same silly face!
(click on the collage below to see full screen)
When the adults were tired of playing baseball, we convinced the boys to put the bat down by promising to stop at the playground.  We sat in the shade while they had us time them racing through an obstacle course they made up using all the playground equipment.  Where do they get all this energy (and how are they not sore the next day)?!?
On Monday night we went to the Ghost Runners softball game (the team Mike, Caleb, and Josh play on).  I'm not sure if Grandmommy and Sharon had more fun watching the game...or playing with Axton!
Yesterday I dropped the boys off at school and then picked up "the girls" to come to my house for a caramel macchiato.  We spent several hours drinking our coffee and talking about our faith.  It was such a sweet time together with two women that I really admire....a time that I'll cherish for the rest of my life!  I wish they lived close enough that we could get together for coffee and a talk every week!
After coffee we stopped by to visit Audria and Axton, went by the grocery store, and then headed back to Daddy Steve and Namaw's for a late lunch.  Namaw and Brody took the girls back to Hillsboro yesterday afternoon.  We miss them already and can't wait for the next visit!

Monday, September 26, 2011


We left Mark and Angela's house around bedtime on Saturday night.  It was dark outside and the sky was cloudless.  As we pulled out of Abilene, I could see stars twinkling in the sky and I was reminded of all the times in college that we'd drive somewhere just outside of the Abilene city lights to watch stars until the wee hours of the morning.  Mike and I decided to drive for a little bit (so we had less light pollution from Abilene) and then we pulled off the highway and drove down a dirt road.  Immediately the questions began from Brody, "Where are we going?  Is this the way home?  Why did you pull off the highway?  I don't think you're going the right way!"  He didn't really like the "just wait and see" answer that we gave him.

We found a good spot to pull over and turned off the car.  Brody was even more confused when we told him and Barrett to unbuckle.  We told him to just trust us and then we lifted them out of the car and carried them to the middle of the dirt road.

"Look up!" said Mike. 

"WOW!" The boys were in awe at the number of stars we could see.  I saw a shooting star blaze across the sky and Mike talked to them about how many millions more stars there were that we couldn't see.  We told them that God knows exactly how many stars there are in the heavens and the boys marveled.  It was so amazing to just stand there and gaze at the sky.  I've always loved looking at stars in the night sky and it's fun to share that with our boys.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Laney Longlashes

Click on the collages below to see them full screen. Once full screen, click again to zoom.

Laney was sporting her camo outfit for her Uncle Mike (or maybe Angela put it on her because it's just so cute!!)
Just look at these eyelashes!!!  When her eyes are open, she has to look through the eyelashes that hang down to her cheeks in order to see!  Mark is already threatening to sneak into her room when she's 16 to cut them off.  He knows how dangerous they'll be when she bats them at the boys!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Giraffe Tongues (aka Jayden's Birthday)

Click on the collages to see them full screen.  Click again (once full screen) to zoom. 
FYI:  This allows me to create my blog book faster at the end of the year :)


Friday, September 23, 2011

Axton's 3 month photo shoot

The other day I went over to Caleb and Audria's house to take a few pictures of precious Axton.  He has gorgeous dark eyes and cheeks that you can't help but kiss!  I also love his cute little nose :)  He has a cow lick that sticks up like Alfalfa from The Little Rascals...

and a chubby little double chin!


Caleb and Audria were trying to think of something to take Axton's picture with in order to show how much he's growing each month (and year).  Caleb thought that taking his picture with an Xbox controller would not only show how Axton changes...but also the evolution of gaming over the course of the next few decades! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stuck in a Gutter

Brody and Trey were playing with a frisbee tonight over in the cul-de-sac by Daddy Steve and Namaw's house.  A good throw across the street landed the frisbee in the gutter.  They tried to reach it with a pole and with Daddy Steve's "old person sock grabber", but it was too far back in there.  What to do?!?  Ask the teenage boys who live next door (and whose frontal lobes have yet to finish developing on their brains) to open the man hole cover and crawl down into the abyss to retrieve a $1 frisbee! 
(I didn't think of snapping a picture on my phone until they were done getting the frisbee.  I wish I'd thought of it sooner...when there were 7 little kids and 5 adults standing around watching the 3 teenage boys!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Picture Night

Last night was picture night for Brody's t-ball team.  I took a few pics of my own since we'd just paid for team pictures a few months ago (and not much has changed in a few months!)  I didn't get a team picture (the paid photographer was in my way and I didn't think he'd like me asking him to move so I could take my own, aka free, picture!), but I did take an individual picture of Brody in his uniform.

Kade is on the Muckdogs with Brody and lives just down the street from us.  They'll go to school together next year.  It'll be fun watching them grow up together (and play ball together)!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hole in One x 2!

Today Grammy and I went to the Just Between Friends sale.  We might have used a little bribe to get the boys to be good for our 2 hour shopping spree...Putt Putt!  We told them we'd go to lunch at Chick-fil-a and then to Putt Putt if they were good at the consignment sale.  That was enough motivation for them!  It was nice outside, so we sat on the patio at Chick-fil-a.  Then it was to Putt Putt for a round of mini golf.  Kids 6 and under are free...and you don't have to have a paying adult for them to play!  Grammy and I just watched the boys play (meaning it didn't cost us a dime!!) and it was so much fun.

Brody hit a hole in one on hole 5 or 6 (?) and believe it or not the very next hole Barrett hit a hole in one too!!!!  They were super excited about their hole in ones!  I took these pics of them on my phone and they had me text them to Daddy.  What a fun afternoon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mothers are Wise

The boys have a few squishy balls that we allow them to throw in the house.  There are certain rooms (that don't contain breakable objects) that they use to practice fielding the ball.  Namaw thinks we're crazy for letting them throw any ball in the house (hard or squishy)!  While they were on vacation this week, there was an incident at work (aka Daddy Steve and Namaw's house) that gave her more ammunition in the "mother knows best" arena.

On Thursday, I left my office to go downstairs to make lunch for the boys.  I could hear them diving for balls in the game room (aka my office) and assumed they were playing the usual (throw the squishy ball against the wall above the doors and race to catch it).  All of the sudden I heard a CRASH.  My first thought was, "Did Brody really throw that squishy ball hard enough to break a lamp?!?"  I hollered up the stairs, "What was that?" and Brody yelled down at me, "A WINDOW!"

WHAT?!?!?  How in the world does a squishy ball break a window?!?  I ran up the stairs to investigate.  I found this...

It didn't take long for the boys to start laying blame. Come to find out, Brody brought his real baseball (the souvenir one from the Rangers game) to work with us that day.  He and Barrett decided it would be fun to roll grounders to each other with a real baseball rather than the squishy one (which they both know is against the rules inside).  Well...after Barrett fielded a grounder, he decided to throw the ball back to Brody.  The only problem was that he threw it so high Brody couldn't reach it to catch it and CRASH...broken window. 

The boys have since learned to appreciate the worth of a dollar.  A $204 window is almost more money than they can wrap their minds around.  They're learning to understand it's chore at a time.

Oh...I got in a little trouble too.  Yes, it may be ok to throw squishy balls in our house...but my parents don't really care for it at their home.  Mike reminded me that we want people to obey the rules at our house (even if they don't agree with them) we need to obey the rules at other people's homes.  I told Namaw that I was sorry for letting the boys play ball inside and that they would not be allowed to again at their house. 

The boys now understand why Mike and I tell them they can only throw squishy balls in our house!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

$1 Hot Dogs!

Tonight we went to the Rangers game as a family.  It was an awesome game!  Josh Hamilton hit a Grand Slam Home Run (which meant a local flooring/counter top company had to make good on their promise of refunding customers who purchased products in September before the Grand Slam)!  To make things even better, it was $1 hot dog night!  Normally hot dogs are $4 each (so we just take our own food!), but tonight we splurged on the $1 hot dogs.  They were pretty good!

We had great seats on the 3rd base side and several foul balls came our way...just out of reach.  There was one that landed just down the aisle from us...on a little girl's forehead!  I don't think her parents were paying attention and the foul ball hit and then bounced off of the young girl's head!  She had a big bump on her head and lots of ballpark security/medical staff trying to ease her headache with ice.  Thankfully she was ok.  If the ball had only been a little more in our direction Mike and Brody would've had a chance to catch it!  I've always loved football...but I'm really starting to love baseball too!  It's so much fun to go to the Rangers games with my boys!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Barrett's Key Fab

The other day we went to the Just Between Friends sale.  We looked through the Halloween costumes (but didn't find anything) and I guess seeing them made Barrett start thinking about Halloween.  He decided that he wants to be an Army man that goes to work.  He wants to dress up in camo...but he wants to have a key fab (aka badge) like Daddy does when he goes to work!  So...I used Mike's extra clip and made Barrett his own badge.  He looks so cute wearing it around...and I think it makes him feel about 30 years older!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Staci playing softball?!?

Staci running, Staci doing aerobics, Staci swimming...all that sounds normal in the same sentence.  Staci playing softball....something just doesn't sound right about that.  I'm more of a fitness athlete.  Fitness activities don't require the hand-eye coordination that sports events require!  Mike is a natural athlete (that's where the boys get it) and when someone at his office asked if we'd play on their co-ed softball team...he started working on me to get me to say yes.  I decided that I need to learn since it looks like we'll spend quite a bit of time over the next 15 years at ball games. 

Our first game was Friday night, so in preparation I took some lessons from Brody.  He took me out in the backyard to teach me how to catch and hit.  Mike had already worked with me some on hitting (we went to the batting cages on Wednesday night and while I may not be hitting them hard...I made contact with 90% of the pitches) so Brody really wanted to work with me on catching the ball.  I was surprised at how hard our 5 year old can throw a ball!  He threw me pop ups, grounders, and just regular throws (not sure what else to call it when he just threw it straight to me?!?)  He gave me pointers on how to hold my glove for each kind of catch.  I also heard lots of comments like, "Keep your eye on the ball." and "Don't be scared of the ball!"  He got a big kick out of the way I was catching when he threw the ball where I had to reach across my body to catch it.  He said I was holding my glove in such an awkward position that I was making it harder rather than easier to catch the ball.  He took a picture of how I was catching it to show me what I looked like....

(Disclaimer: These pictures were taken with my iPhone)

and then had me take a picture of the proper way to catch a ball across your body...
He informed me that if the ball is just out of my reach...that I HAVE to dive for it!  I laughed that tip off (knowing that's probably not gonna happen).  I also got a really big laugh when he started coaching me on batting.  We were batting off the tee into a net.  He held his bat and showed me how to line up on the tee saying, "You should line your pee pee up with the point on home plate."  LOL!!!!  I couldn't help but laugh as I said, "Brody....I don't have a pee pee!"  He looked at me and said, "Well...just line your whatever up with the point then."  LOL!
The game on Friday night went ok.  Mike played awesome (of course, I didn't expect any different from him)!  I was happy that I made contact with the ball on both of my turns at bat (even if I did get thrown out at first).  They stuck me in right field which meant I didn't have any balls come my way.  In a way I was relieved...and in a way I wish that at least 1 ball had come in my direction so that I would feel more confident in my ability to field the ball.  Maybe next week.
I didn't escape the night injury free though.  I actually hurt myself before the game even started!  Mike and I got there early to play catch.  I've spent many more hours playing catch with a football in my life than with a softball.  You use 2 hands to catch a football...and you should only use 1 to catch a softball (the hand with a glove on it).  I learned this the hard way after a hard throw from Mike hit the end of my finger on my non-gloved hand (that I had reached out with my gloved hand in order to catch the ball).  OUCH!  I either fractured the tip of the bone or really bruised it.  The end of my finger is all purple now and is swollen.  Hopefully it'll be better by this week's game.  Sometimes learning a lesson hurts!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Game 2 = Lots of fans!!

Brody had a 9:00 game this morning.  Grammy came to town on Thursday so that she could see his first 3 games (Thursday night, this morning, and Monday night).  Tyler and Ann spent the night after the Rangers game last night, and Caleb and Audria met us out at the ball diamond.  Brody had a big cheering section during this morning's game!  (Not pictured below: Coach Mike)
So focused when it's time to bat...
Way to keep your eye on the ball!

Luke wore his baseball cap to his first baseball game (outside of Ann's belly).
Brody played 3rd base today.  He was disappointed that he didn't get to play 1st base...but it didn't seem to matter in area of outs.  He got quite a few kids out at 3rd...and then threw the ball to 1st to attempt a double (that doesn't happen in this league though...99% of the kids aren't able to catch a ball yet). 

After the game we went to Susie Q's for lunch.  The boys were super excited to get their kids meal in an old timey car!  Caleb was excited about the draft root beer, Ann was excited about the onion rings, and I was excited about the chocolate shake!  Mike was excited to hold the babies...but wasn't quite as excited about Axton spitting up all over him ;)  lol

Game with Tyler

Last night Tyler took Brody to the Rangers game.  Brody has spent the past month waiting for this birthday present!  He's been so excited about this game...and I think Tyler has been too!  They came home with lots of stories...and lots of memories.

Brody was so excited he could hardly contain himself when he told me about getting to sit on top of the Rangers dugout!  I said, "How did you get to do that?"  He replied, "Tyler knows how to get down to the dugout!!!"  (like it's some big secret that only Tyler knows! lol)
Not only did they get to sit on the dugout, they also stayed after the game for a fireworks show!  It was a late night (Brody didn't get to bed until 11:30)...but I know it's one Brody will never forget!  Thanks, Tyler & Ann, for making Brody's birthday so special!  (Oh...and did I mention that the Rangers won!?!)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fall Ball - Game 1

Last night was Brody's first t-ball game of the fall season.  Since I'm his mom, I can brag on him.  He did awesome!!!  When he went to the fence.  When he was fielding...nothing got past him!  It is so fun watching him play and watching the intensity on his face.  He's one dedicated (and competitive) little ball player! 


Thursday, September 08, 2011

First Day of School

Today was the first day of pre-school for the boys this year.  They were super excited about school (even woke up early without me having to wake them up!)  Brody got himself dressed and it wasn't until we went outside to take the obligatory FDOS pictures that I noticed his shirt.  This was the look on his face when I pointed it out to him.  LOL!!!
They were also excited about their new backpacks.  Brody has a Texas Rangers backpack and Barrett has a Dallas Cowboys backpack.  Barrett's is HUGE on him and it actually pulled him over backwards a few times!  Yikes! 

Don't forget to click on the collages to see them full screen.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Do you really know your barista?

If you are a true lover of coffee, you may know the name of a barista at Starbucks.  You may have shared a few stories and some laughs...but how well do you REALLY know the person that makes your non-fat with whip caramel macchiato?

I'll admit...I have spent way too much money at Starbucks since moving to Texas.  I even have a Starbucks gold card!  Our boys know my drink order...and like to inform Mike of my frequent Starbucks stops.  I try to tell them to plead the 5th when they're talking to Mike on the phone in the drive thru and he asks where we are...but he still knows! 

I'm not alone in my love of a good cup of coffee.  Mike is actually the one who introduced me to all the different handcrafted beverages you can buy at coffee houses.  In fact, our very first date was at Mezzamie's (a coffee house in Abilene).  We loved stopping at Metropolitan Coffee in Hutchinson, KS on our date nights and have always made time to stop at Bongo Billy's in Buena Vista, CO when we go visit the Littles.  When Mike went to California with Daddy Steve, Caleb, & Tyler, they visited Patrick Vincent (who now lives in CA).  Patrick introduced Mike to the art of making a handcrafted beverage at HOME!  Patrick owns an espresso machine and showed Mike how easy it was to make an Americana and a Latte at home.  When Mike got home from CA, the obsession began.

For the past year I've gotten to know Gail and Kat as Mike watched review after review on different espresso machines.  I'd walk in the room to find him watching youtube videos on how to make all different kinds of handcrafted beverages (mochas, macchiatos, lattes, cappuccinos, etc).  He's been saving and researching for the past year!  Our 12th anniversary was the big day...a Jura Impressa Z5 arrived on our front porch!  (Actually, the UPS guy delivered it inside our house...and then talked to me about how exciting this delivery must be for his wife would love to have one of these!) 

All this to say...I know my barista really well.  He's my handsome husband...and he makes the best handcrafted beverage I've ever had!!!  I haven't been to a Starbucks since our anniversary almost a month ago.  Instead, I just give my hubby a little smile and a wink and he knows that it's coffee time!  My current favorite is a non-fat caramel macchiato with whip (gotta love the whip!)  Here's a picture of the Jura in action...and the finished process. 

(Disclaimer: Rustic Roots is not responsible for ruined keyboards due to drooling.  Keep a kleenex nearby!)