Sunday, November 27, 2011

Steak and Games

Patrick & Noel flew in from California to spend Thanksgiving with Patrick's family.  While they were here, Noel and Ann thought it would be fun to get all of us together for dinner.  They were right!  Derek & Megan, Mike & I, Caleb & Audria, Tyler & Ann, and Patrick & Noel met at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house (so they could watch the grandkids) and then went to dinner at The Keg.  After a delicious dinner, they asked if Mike's Coffee Shop was open for we headed back to our house for coffee, pie, and games.  We had so much fun talking and laughing that we were surprised when we looked at the clock to see it was almost midnight!  A HUGE thanks to Daddy Steve and Namaw for watching Brody, Barrett, Luke, & Axton so that we could have so much fun catching up with friends!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Yes...Angela and I are certifiably crazy!  Seeing as we haven't been within 3 hours of a store on Black Friday in over a decade, we felt like we had to join the madness this year.  We arrived at Kohl's at midnight (opting to stay up late rather than get up early) along with thousands of other people!  The line to get inside was wrapped around the outside of the store!  We were herded in like cattle and then we casually browsed the store (unlike others who were knocking things over to get some item they really wanted).  We laughed as we watched a teenager run up to a mom with a vacuum cleaner and (out of breath) exclaim, "I go the last one!!!"  We found a few deals and headed towards the line which was winding around the store like a snake.  We bypassed the long line for the "short" line at customer service and still waited over an hour to check out. 

I crawled into bed at 3:30 am and thought about all the crazy people who were still out there shopping.  I think I'm good for another decade.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Texas....first in 13 years!

That's right.  Mike and I have spent our marriage having Thanksgiving in KS and Christmas in TX.  This year Mike's Uncle LH wasn't going to be in town for Thanksgiving....meaning our KS family didn't have a place to gather together for Thanksgiving.  Grammy went up to KS to see Grandma & Grandpa Brown and Grandma K...but there wasn't enough room for all of us to stay with her.  So, Mark and Angela came to our house for Thanskgiving.  This was our first time to cook Thanksgiving and I'm sure it doesn't surprise you that Mike went all out!  Daddy Steve, Namaw, and GG came over to help us eat the enormous feast that Mike created (turkey and ham...and all the fixin's).  We also had 4 pies (Angela made a pumpkin and I made a caramel apple crunch, a pecan, and a blackberry cream), cookies (by Namaw), and pecan pralines.  Needless to say, we had a fridge FULL of leftovers...but boy were they yummy!!

Again, I was too busy in the kitchen and socializing to take many pictures....but here are a few I took...

Mark, Angela, Jayden, and Laney

The kid table...

Namaw was super excited to have a little girl to play with! 

Angela and I got a good laugh when we walked out of our rooms Thanksgiving morning wearing almost the exact same shirt and jeans!!!  Nope...wasn't planned...but it was fun :) 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Boys

Here are more of the pictures I took of the boys the other night. I'm using a few of them to make a collage for our Christmas cards this year. I know I'm their mama...but I think they're the most handsome boys ever!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Haker's

This morning I got up early to finish making pies for our Thanksgiving dinner at the Haker's house.  All of our side of the family was there, but we were missing Jon, Cindy, Bella, and Josh.  Hopefully we'll get to see them at Christmas.  Won't be too much longer until Jon & Cindy's new little girl arrives!  Suddenly babies Luke & Axton will see like giants!  I didn't take lots of pictures today (I was too busy talking with everyone!), but here are a few of the ones I took.

Well...I guess I didn't really take this one (I think Tyler did).  Me and my beautiful sister, Ann...

Lauren has grown more every time I see her.  She is so sweet with the babies!  She hurried to finish her lunch first so that she could have Luke and Axton to herself while everyone else was eating.  You can see from Luke's grin below that the babies love her too!

You can see some of the scabs on Barrett's head from his collision with the baseball field last night in this picture.  These boys love playing together.  They thought they were being tortured when we told them they had to sit down and eat food before they could go back outside and play!

Katelyn thought it would be fun to weigh people before and after Thanksgiving dinner.  There were only a few good sports who went along with her idea.  Here they are showing us how much their weight increased after eating the big meal.  Caleb - 5 lbs, Daddy Steve - 2 lbs, Tyler - 4 lbs, and Katelyn - 1 lb.  CRAZY!  It sure didn't look like Caleb had 5 lbs of food on his plate!  I'm glad I didn't join in this challenge.
(click on the collage below to see it full screen.  once full screen, click again to zoom.)
Since our family was all here, we couldn't resist getting a group picture!  It's amazing how much bigger the family looks just by adding 2 more babies!!!  (Namaw is holding Axton and Daddy Steve is holding Luke).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Softball Champs!

Last night we picked Mike up from the airport  (I can't even tell you how precious it was to watch Brody and Barrett run and jump into Mike's arms as he walked through the doors by baggage claim!), dropped off Wade (one of his contractors), and then came home.  As soon as we got home Brody was begging Mike to play catch.  He played for 1/2 hour and then we ran to grab a bite to eat on the way to our softball game. 

It was the last night of game for the fall season for our co-ed softball team, Snap Fitness.  We knew it was a playoff game, but didn't realize we'd be playing 2 games.  We won our first game and then waited around an hour or so before we played the 2nd game.  We won!  This meant we got a huge team trophy and championship t-shirts!  Pretty great ending to my first ever softball season. 

There was only 1 injury in tonight's game....Barrett's face!  When he ran up to me after our last game, I couldn't help but say, "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?!?!?!"  I shouldn't have said it like that because it wasn't until then that he started to tear up.  Apparently the kids had been throwing the ball by one of the empty ball diamonds.  When the ball went over the fence, they decided to climb the fence to get it rather than going around.  Brody's pretty good at climbing fences....Barrett obviously isn't (yet)!  He fell as he was trying to get down on the other side and landed on the gravel warning track (face first).  There were gravel size gouges in his forehead and a road burn on his upper lip!  I sure am glad I took Christmas pictures already!

Daddy's Coming Home!!!!!!!!!

It's been really hard not to post about the fact that Mike's been out of town for almost TWO WEEKS...but I didn't want any of the boogie men that read my blog to know that my hubby was out of town.  Well, today he comes home!  We couldn't be more excited!  It's been hard on me having him gone for so long...but it's been really hard on the boys. 

I had no clue how heart breaking it would be to leave him at the airport on November 6th.  As he climbed out of the Jeep, both boys realized the time had come to say goodbye and the tears began to flow freely.  Barrett cried softly and said over and over, "Please get back in the Jeep Daddy!  Please!"  Then both boys just clung to him crying...which made both Mike and I cry!  I distracted Barrett not long after leaving the airport, but Brody was much harder to distract.  He cried the 1/2 hour home and then laid on the couch for another 1/2 hour crying "Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!" over and over.  It was so sad!  I finally distracted them and thought they'd be so excited to talk to Mike before bed on the phone....but hearing his voice just started their waterworks all over again! 

In order to get them through the first night, I gave them each a picture of Daddy to sleep with.  After crying/sniffling for about an hour, Barrett came out of his room.  He was biting his bottom lip (holding back tears) as he gripped his picture and said, "Mommy?  Can you write something on the back of my picture?"  I said, "Sure!  What do you want me to write?"  The tears began to flow down his face as he replied, "I love you Daddy!"  Then he started sobbing all over again!  I wrote on the back of his picture and he turned around and walked back to bed.  "Gonna be a long 2 weeks!" I thought to myself as I turned out the hall light! we are.  We made it!  There were many tear filled nights and many phone conversations with Daddy, but we survived!  The boys have been counting down the days and can hardly wait to go pick up Daddy at the airport.  Every time they talk about Daddy coming home it takes me back to an old home video.  It's funny because it's testament to the fact that I am my mother's daughter.  This is totally something I do with my boys all the time (make life into an opera).  It always gets them laughing...just the way this video still gets me laughing!

I present...."Daddy's Coming Home!" - written and performed by Namaw (just Mom at the time)

Oh...and if the boys and I missing Mike weren't enough reason for him to come's another...

Yes...Brody decided to use the scissors at school to cut his hair!  One of the first orders of business when Mike gets home....cut Brody's hair!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is this the one?

Yesterday I took some pictures of the boys.  My goal was to get a picture for our Christmas card.  Wow.  It wore me out!  It's much harder taking pictures of your own kids!  One time I told them, "Give me your best Christmas smile!" and this is what I got.....
Cracks me up!  Since it automatically brings a smile to my kinda makes me want to use this one! lol 
Stay tuned...more to come.  I'm posting this one to make sure you smile today ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

He always makes me smile!

Yesterday we drove down to Grandmommy's house so that we could leave this morning to go visit Uncle Guy and Aunt Charlotte.  Uncle Guy is actually my great-uncle (he's one of Daddy Ken's brothers) and I really love that man!  I don't get to see him very often, but every time I see him I think, "I've got to make time to see him more!"  Like Daddy Ken, he is full of good stories and words of wisdom.  He has such a positive outlook on life and is such a joy to be around that his name makes me smile!  Aunt Charlotte said she was going to make lunch (rather than us going out to eat) and we couldn't wait to see what she'd made.  Her reputation as an amazing cook is legendary!

We had a little bit of a setback this morning when we woke up.  Barrett was sick.  It was the dreaded stomach bug.  This was NOT a good thing.  Mike wasn't with us and his is the parent that can handle throw up.  I'm the parent that joins whoever is sick by dry heaving (or throwing up) right along with them!  I was shocked when Namaw offered to stay at Grandmommy's with Barrett while the rest of us when to see Uncle Guy and Aunt Charlotte.  Daddy Steve is the throw up parent...not her!  My first thought was, "Who are you and what have you done with my mom?!?"  But she was insistant that I go and said she'd be fine.  I must didn't take too much pursuading ;) 

So we headed out by 9:30 am and (true to Daddy Steve form) took the scenic route to Kingsland.  We drove by some pretty countryside as we drove through the Hill Country.  We stopped at one scenic overlook to take a few pictures...

(I know this one is crooked...but it crops too much of us if I straighten it!  Sorry!)
(click on the collage below to see it full screen)

You know how I said Aunt Charlotte is artistic?  Well, this is one of the paintings she has done that is on display in their home.  They had a neat table underneath the painting with some model antique cars on it.  It looked so cool!  Click on the picture to see it bigger (and see the details).

Now do you understand why Uncle Guy always makes me smile?  I absolutely love this picture!  I took this picture after listening to Uncle Guy talk about Dr. Pepper for 10-15 minutes.  Dr. Pepper is his big indulgence.  He only drinks it out of the bottle (says it tastes better that way) and would prefer to have Dublin Dr. Pepper.  He spent some time telling Brody that Dr. Pepper is good for you and told him all about it's healing properties.  He told Brody, "it's bound to be good for you since it has Doctor in it's name!"  He even showed Brody exactly how they needed to hold their bottles to pose for a picture together.  It just makes me smile!
(click on the collage below to see it full screen)

Love in Abundance

I don't think my boys want me to forget how much they love me!  New roses appear every day!  As much as I love winter...I'm gonna be sad when the rose bushes go dormant until spring.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Someone's ready for winter...

We got out the hats and gloves for the boys to wear to our softball game last Friday night and Barrett hasn't wanted me to put them away.  He wore various stocking hats and this face mask around the house all weekend long!  It's been cooler here lately....but not anywhere near the snowy winter days that my boys are wishing for.  I keep reminding them that it doesn't snow in Texas every year...but I don't think they're believing me.  We've had good snows here the past few years (meaning...every winter they remember! lol)

While sitting outside watching Barrett golf in his winter wear, I looked up to see this gorgeous sunset.  I love sunsets!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Brotherly Love

It is so much fun having two little boys.  It has been such a joy to watch their love for each other and their friendship grow.  Barrett, like most little brothers, wants to do everything his big brother does.  If Brody's having a pop tart for breakfast...Barrett wants one too.  If Brody's taking a picture of Neftali Feliz for the letter F at school...Barrett wants to take a picture of Feliz too.  The examples are endless.  I've been surprised at how little the two of them fight.  I know there will be good years and bad years ahead of us in this area (remember...I have 2 brothers), but I have to contribute a lot of the lack in fighting right now to Brody being such an amazing big brother.  Not only does he ask Barrett to come play with him and Trey (his 2nd grader friend), he also takes care of his little brother.  Prime example...I walked around the corner the other morning before school to find this scene....
After getting himself dressed, Brody then proceeded to help Barrett get dressed!  It was so sweet that I snuck back around the corner, grabbed my camera, and snuck back for a picture!
Brody has also figured out how to play with Barrett to keep fights from breaking out.  The other day at the park we were playing baseball.  Whenever Brody would get Barrett out...the tears would start to flow.  Barrett does not like getting out!  Now there's a time to learn that you will get out in baseball....but when you're just playing at the park it's more about keeping the peace!  I was thinking this but hadn't talked to Brody yet when Barrett hit the ball again.  Brody took his time running after the ball (which allowed Barrett to run past 2nd base) as Brody was chasing him to 3rd, he dove and (obvious to me that it was on purpose) missed Barrett which allowed him to run home.  Brody yelled after him, "Oh man!  I missed you!  Good hit Barrett!  You made it all the way home!"  Such a little encourager!
Last weekend Brody was invited to a birthday party at Pump-it-up.  He was sad that Barrett wasn't getting to go and played along with me as we left the house to "run somewhere".  At the end of the party I noticed him standing really close to Ray (the birthday boy's dad) until all the other kids were gone.  Then I saw Ray bend over, Brody say something, and Ray hand him a 2nd party favor bag.  When he came over to me I asked him what he was doing with 2 party favors?  He said, "Well, I was thinking that I could share my favors with Barrett and that would make him happy, but then I saw there were going to be some extras left over so I asked Kade's dad if I could take one home for my brother and he said 'yes'!" 
Today after school I was putting Barrett down for a nap and Brody was just hovering by the door.  He finally came in the room and I said, "Brody, go back in the other room.  I'll be there in a minute."  Brody said, "Well...I was just wanting to give Barrett a hug and kiss before his nap."  Oh.  I said ok and then stepped back as he leaned over Barrett, gave him a hug and kiss, and said (in such a sweet voice), "Goodnight BearBear.  I love you!"
God knew what he was doing when he gave us Brody as the oldest child.  He is so loving and compassionate with Barrett and really thrives in his position as leader.  The neat thing is that he is setting an example for Barrett.  Since Barrett looks up to Brody and wants to imitate his every is such a blessing that Christ's love is already shining through our little 5 year old!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Lunch with Ann

Yesterday the boys and I drove over to the Dallas area to pick up a rug that we'd ordered for the living room.  Since we were only 20 minutes from Ann, we called and asked if she could meet us for lunch.  She was excited to go eat with us and it was a special treat for us to get to see her during the middle of her work day!  The boys love their Aunt Ann (and I do too)!

Friday, November 04, 2011

How do you dust your banister?

I heard a noise while I was sitting at my desk the other day and came out of my office to find Namaw using a leaf blower to dust!  She said it worked great on the banister...not so great on the ceiling fans.  lol

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Last Game of the Season

Between rain days, hazardous air conditions (when there was a fire at a chemical plant), and the World Series (the league directors said games were rescheduled due to wet fields...but I think it was really so they could watch the World Series live) we're a few weeks late wrapping up the fall baseball season.  I was kinda glad it ran late so that it's not as long until spring season starts!  Brody had a great time on the Muckdogs this year!

It made games much more fun since Daddy was one of the coaches!  Next season some of the boys from our team are going to move up to coach pitch.  Brody is super excited about moving up leagues early! 
Don't may be over, but Brody's not taking a break from baseball.  He still practices daily and begs Mike every night to go outside to play catch.  Until next season.... 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Switch Hitter

Tonight's game was so fun to watch!  Brody played pitcher, first base, and left field.  He did an awesome job catching the ball at first base and getting runners out...

(a caught ball...see the base runner just off the left of the picture?  Yep...another out!)

stretching out to catch the ball (it's in his glove!  I love the excitement in the pitcher!)...
Several times Brody ran over to the fence (by the bleachers) and said, "Love you Mommy!" and then put his face up to the fence to give me a kiss through the fence.  I've gotta soak it up now because I have a feeling that a few years from now he won't stop by to kiss me on his way to the plate.

Mike didn't have time to watch Brody practice hitting left handed off the tee before the game, so he told him that if he hit good right handed the first two innings then he could switch and hit left in the 3rd inning.  Well...his hits went to the fence the first 2 innings, so he got to bat left the 3rd and 4th inning.  He missed the ball the first time he swung left handed, but then the second swing sent the ball all the way to the outfield fence!  His hit in the 4th inning (left handed) was even better than the one in the 3rd!  I'm so proud of our little baseball player....but I think Mike's buttons are about to pop off with as far as his chest is puffed out with pride!  He turned to me in the car on the way home and with a grin on his face said, "My son's a switch hitter!" 

The sun had gone down (so lighting wasn't great), but here's a picture of Brody hitting the ball left handed.

Space Bars are Important!

Brody has been trying to convince Mike to let him switch hit in a baseball game for a few months now.  One day Mike told him that if he hit 10 good balls in a row left handed (off the tee) that he'd let him hit left handed in a game.  He didn't ever hit more than 8 good ones in a row, so Mike stuck to his guns and told him he had to hit right handed. 

This afternoon Brody went outside to practice while Barrett took a nap.  I was inside getting dinner ready when Brody rushed in and said, "I hit 10 good ones in a row left handed!!!"  I told him that I didn't know if that would count or not since we weren't out there to see it.  He asked me when Daddy would be home (so he could watch Brody hit) and when I said that I had no clue he asked, "Can I text him to ask him?"  What?  Since when does Brody know how to text?  Rather than questioning his ability I responded, "Sure, but I can't help right now because my hands are all dirty from getting dinner ready."

He took my phone to the other room and sent this text to Mike, "Whattimwilubhom"

When I saw what he typed I was struck with a realization....he doesn't know about the space bar!  He did a great job sounding out "what time will you be home"...but without the spaces between the words it makes it just a little hard to read! 

Mike had no clue that Brody had sent that text and he was a little confused as to why I was sending him such a strange (in code) text! lol  Space bar or not, I'm proud of how Brody sounded out and wrote that message all by himself!


Today after Bible study the boys and I went to the park for lunch (as has become our routine).  Brody brought his baseball bag and after scarfing down our lunch we got out the bat and ball for a game of baseball.  I was pitcher and whoever wasn't batting played catcher.  This meant I got to chase down every hit ball...quite the workout!  Brody was serious about making every hit into a home run.  This meant that he wanted to practice sliding home (whether I was close to tagging him or not).  I had to laugh this time when he came up spitting out dirt!  This is a boy who really loves the game!