Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mixed Tapes

When is the last time you received a mixed tape as a gift? The last one that stands out in my mind is one Mike made for me just after we got married… so over 13 years ago. I remember that it had the song "If tomorrow never comes" on it...but I have no idea where it is now.

The other day, Mike got a package in the mail from Mark & Angela for his birthday. Angela included a mixed CD that she made for him entitled "Jeep Drivin' Music". I think I was just as excited as he was about it! I love mixed tapes! It may be a gift that doesn't cost much…but it's a gift that took thought and time...and you think about he giver every time you listen to it!

One of the songs on the CD Angela sent is "Chicken Fried". It's a fun song to sing along with as you drive. Today the boys kept asking me to replay it while we drove around town running errands. Barrett is our music lover. He ALWAYS has a song in his head (and on his lips)! So, I wasn't surprised that he had Chicken Fried stuck in his head as we walked through Walmart. I was a little surprised though when he started singing the line "cold beer on a Friday night" over and over LOUD! Lol! I sent Angela a "thank you" text ;)

Since Mike was playing golf with some friends, I told the boys we could get dinner out. Any guesses what they wanted? Yep...fried chicken!

Saturday Morning

I love lazy Saturday mornings! We don't have any ball games today, so we get to sleep in and enjoy time at home together. Barrett was up in time to help Mike make pancakes for breakfast.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Seth - newborn portraits

On Friday I was privileged to take pictures of a precious 5 day old baby who is almost like family.  Seth's daddy, Kyle, and I spent many family vacations together while we were growing up.  Most of my camping memories involve our family and Billy, Paula, Kyle & Brett.  Now Kyle and Susie have two little boys to take camping!  Seth may not be ready for camping yet...but he's really good at cuddling!  He was such a good baby while we were taking pictures!  I hope he's just as easy for Kyle and Susie on a daily basis.  Here are a few of my favs from our session... 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

McKenna - newborn portraits

The other day I got to take pictures of sweet McKenna. She made us work for pictures of her....but that was okay with me.  That meant I got lots of cuddle time in with a newborn baby!  So much fun!  Along with enjoying the snuggles, we came away with some precious pictures of a beautiful little girl!  Here are just a few....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Angels in Brody's Room

The story I'm about to tell may be hard for some of you to believe. I think as we age we become skeptics and don't take events at face value like we did when we were innocent children. The story below came to me in bits and pieces as Brody brought it up at different times.  I didn't want to ask leading questions, so I just waited for him to talk about it.  I'm putting the whole story together for you at once...but it took a while for me to learn all the details of the event below.

The other day Brody told me that he prayed and asked God to send an angel to his room...because he wanted to see an angel. "And you know what Momma?  He did!"  I, naturally, was a little skeptical.  I believe in angels and I believe that God answers why was I skeptical?  Well...I guess because I've never seen an angel!  Brody assured me that "it wasn't a really happened.  They were in my room with me!"

He said that 2 angels appeared in his room and were sitting on his bed with him.  He remembers looking at the clock and it read 10:35 pm.  He described the angels as being "really bright white with rings around their waist".  "Rings?" I asked?  "Yes.  You know how a planet can have rings around it?  It was like that...only not as big as a planet!" he said laughing.  He emphasized over and over about how bright they were, "they were so bright that I had to squint...and I couldn't go to sleep while they were here because it was so bright...that's how I know it wasn't a dream!"

He said he asked them their names and they told him they were Joseph and Adam.  He said one of them laid beside him in bed and the other sat at the end of his bed.  At one point he sat Indian style (or criss-cross-applesauce as they call it nowadays) in front of the angel at the end of his bed (I didn't ask which one was which) and asked him for a hug.  He said the angel wrapped his arms around him and hugged him.

He told me that they left and came back and when they came back his clock said 11:16 pm.  He said that they told him a story when they got back about going to visit a little boy who was scared, but that he was asleep by the time they got there.  They told him that the boy's parents were in the other room watching TV. 

Then Brody told me that he laid there and the angels sang to him.  I asked what it sounded like and he said rather emphatically, "I can't describe that!"  I said, "Did they sound like me or Daddy singing?"  He said, "No...nothing like anything I've ever heard.  I'm sorry...but I can't describe it."  He said that they sang Jesus Loves Me and then they sang him songs that are onThe Village CD (a CD recorded by the worship team from Tyler and Ann's church).  Brody told me that when the angels left they told him goodbye and gave him a hug.

The one thing he keeps talking about over and over is how bright the angels were.  What I find interesting is that he describes the appearance of the angels in a way that I've never heard or seen in pictures.  That tells me he's not describing something he saw in a book or on TV.  At one point I said, "Now Brody, was this a dream or a story that your making up to tell me?  It's a pretty cool story and I just want to make sure you tell me if it's a story and not something that really happened."  Brody has a very honest heart and he looked me in the eyes and said, "I promise.  There were really angels in my room!"  I replied, "Brody...that is so awesome!  Not very many people see angels.  God answered your prayer and let you see something amazing all because you asked!"

With the first mention of the angel visit, Mike and I were skeptical.  The more Brody talked to us about it...the more we came to believe that it was truth.  Whether you believe it or doesn't matter.  What does matter is that a little boy dared to ask God for something amazing.  It was not self-seeking or greedy or prideful.  It was not out of line with the Word of God....and God granted the prayers of this little boy.  What a powerful lesson to learn at such an early age.  Not only does God hear your prayers...He answers them!

Why have I never seen an angel?  Well...maybe it's because I never asked God to show me one.  But if I asked....would I ask in total faith that God would answer?  I can guarantee you Brody did.  He asked God to show him an angel and had no doubt that God would say yes.  I want that kind of faith!  I want the kind of faith that trusts wholeheartedly in God without ever questioning whether He'll follow through and provide.  This is why Jesus told us to have the faith of a child.

Worst Mom of the Year Award

October 12, 2012
I have been waiting to go eat lunch with Brody until I thought he'd be able to handle me visiting and then leaving again in the middle of the day.  We're through the first 6 weeks of school now and Brody is finally at the point where he can give me a hug and walk into school without crying. 

This morning I told him that Barrett and I were going to come up to school and bring him Chick-fil-a for lunch.  He was super excited.  Monday was Parent Teacher Conference day and before I left I asked Brody's teacher what time they went to lunch.  She told me, "11:40, but you want to get here by 11:35 so you can sign in at the office and get back to the cafeteria in time." 

Barrett and I went to the gym this morning, then to the grocery store, then home to unload groceries, and then finally to Chick-fil-a.  We got to the school really early (11:15) so we just sat in the parking lot talking and waiting until 11:30.  Then we walked into the office and talked to the admin in the office for a few minutes.  Next we stopped at the fish tank to look at the fish.  We were trying to waste a little bit of time so that we weren't sitting back in the hall by the cafeteria waiting for a long time. 

When we got back to the cafeteria area we sat on the bench in the hall to wait.  I peaked into the cafeteria after a minute or so and thought, "Hmmm.  Those kids don't look like they're almost done eating.  I wonder if I have the time wrong?"  Then I noticed Kade (one of Brody's friends) waving frantically at me to come in.  I decided we could go in and sit at the parent table until Brody's class arrived.  When we walked in Kade pointed towards the front table and there I saw Brody.  He was sobbing and there was a teacher (a substitute teacher no less) hovering over him.  I walked over there confused and the sub said, "We had to buy him a school lunch since you didn't now your account is negative."  (Brody doesn't ever buy his lunch so we don't have any money in the account).  I was a little taken aback and said, "Did y'all get to lunch early today?  It's only 11:36!  I thought your lunch wasn't until 11:40!"  She curtly replied, "Nope.  Their lunch is at 11:20."

Oh. My. Goodness!  Here Barrett and I had been sitting in the parking lot since 11:15 just waiting for lunch time....and Brody had been in the cafeteria crying because his momma "forgot" about eating lunch with him!  By the time he sat down at the parent table with me and Barrett, he had about 5 minutes to eat before the teachers started telling the classes to clean up and line up.  Later I talked to Audria and she told me that I should've just checked Brody out, gone to the parking lot so he could eat, and then bring him back.  Seeing as this is our first time doing this...I didn't even know that was an option.  Not only did he only get a few bites of lunch (he tells me he never talks at lunch because he's so hungry and wants to eat all his this wasn't good for his day!), but he also started crying again when they said it was time to go back to class.  Here I'd been waiting until I thought I could come and go without him crying and I do something stupid like this!  I should've double checked the schedule on the school's website...but I didn't.  You can tell in the picture that he had been crying...and it's all my fault!  Seriously!  I know it's only October, but they might as well give out the Worst Mom of the Year award now.  I deserve it!
Mike suggested taking the boys for ice cream after school to make up for the mishap.  Brody also had his good friend and baseball teammate, Logan, over to play and spend the night.  I think Logan and chocolate chip cookie dough milkshakes from Braum's made everything ok ;)

Brody & Kade

October 7, 2012
Today I was working hard on finishing my project and essay exam for the management class I'm taking and Mike was working on the yard (mowing, trimming trees, ect). Katheryn (one of Brody's good friends from school) was having a birthday Brody went with Kade (a friend that lives around the corner from us). Brody and Kade have so much fun together. They're always asking for playdates after school and spend their playtime either shooting toy guns or throwing baseballs. Tosha (Kade's mom) took this picture of the boys at the birthday party. Can you tell they like each other?

Brody's World

The other day the boys were outside drawing with chalk on the driveway. Brody asked me to take a picture of the world he drew and text it to Daddy at work.

Barrett Makes Breakfast

Guess who I found making his own bowl of cereal?

Not when I grow!

The pictures below were colored by Barrett...and he was VERY proud of them.  He is working harder at staying in the lines and at using multiple colors for each picture.  He colored the picture of Goofy while at the gym the other day.  He was so proud of it that he told me, "I think I could be one of those people that colors the pictures that go in books for kids!"  I said, "You mean you want to be an illustrator when you grow up?"  He replied, "No!  Not when I grow up!  I think I could do it NOW!  Look how good I colored Goofy!" 

Monday, October 15, 2012

All for the kids

October 6, 2012
Tonight we were invited to a Boys & Girls Club charity event with our friends, Raymond & Denise. The theme of the event was "Western Bling".  I was thrilled to get to go on a date with a hot cowboy!  Raymond & Denise picked us up in style in a limousine.  What a way to go to dinner! 

**Please excuse the quality of these pictures.  It was dark...and they're all taken with my phone.**
We all placed some bids on the silent auctions (Mike & I didn't win).  Mike bid on a few of the live auction items (again not winning)...but Ray fared a little better on the live auction.  He went together with one of his neighbors to bid on a heard me right...a horse.  Some of you (non-Texans) may be thinking, "What's the big deal?  Doesn't everyone in Texas have a horse?"  Maybe if you're a rancher...but we live in the burbs.  We don't have yards for horses where we live!  Raymond was really trying to drive up the price of the know....for the kids....but it ended up that his bid was the high bid and he won a horse!  Let's just say that it became the joke of the night.  Everything from that point forward seemed to end with the punchline of "well at least I didn't buy a horse!"  lol
See...I told you my date was a hot cowboy!

View from the Back

October 4, 2012
Brody's school is close enough that we ride our bikes to and from school every day. I'm usually pulling Barrett out of bed to take Brody to school, so he gets to ride in the bike trailer behind my bike. I put my phone in one of the inside pockets of the trailer and sometimes Barrett will get it out and play games. I was surprised to get home today and see that Barrett took pictures on the way to school. Here are a few of them. It was kinda neat to see what his view of the ride to school is like!  (I also have to say that I think he's gonna be a good little photographer!  These are pretty good pictures that our 4 yr old took with my iPhone while riding down the street!)

Guess who was Sheriff of the Day?

October 2, 2012

Celebrating Grandpa Brown

September 27, 2012
We were so sad when we got the call that Grandpa Brown passed away.  Last night we drove to Liberal where we stayed the night in a hotel and then drove into Plains today for the funeral.  I don't know if you've ever been to western Kansas...but it is flat out there.  I remember hearing the news report that some college had done a study that proved that it is actually flatter than a pancake!  So would it seem strange that this is what we saw out our window as we drove to the funeral?....
No, those weren't mountains on the horizon...those were actually really low clouds!  I love when clouds form in such a way along the horizon that it looks like mountains.  It made for such a beautiful drive across the plains that are typically void of any breathtaking views.
The funeral was hard.  It's never easy to say goodbye to someone you love.  Brody is the last person in our immediate family who got to spend some time with Grandpa Brown (this summer while he was on his vacation with Grammy).  Brody has such a tender heart for our grandparents and I was a little worried about when the reality would set in for him.  He was so fidgety during the much so that he was practically falling out of the pew.  So untypical of him!  Meanwhile Barrett sat there quietly listening.  Looking back on it, I think this was the first time Brody wasn't able to avoid the inevitable.  Any other time that we've brought up the topic of Grandpa Brown's passing, Brody would change the subject or leave the room.  Stuck in a pew at church...he was unable to escape. 
It wasn't until we reached the graveside that he gave in to grief.  Again, he was fidgety and was whining about being hungry.  Mike leaned down and said, "Brody, this day isn't all about you.  We are here celebrating Grandpa Brown's life."  At those words, Brody lost it.  He threw his arms around Mike and clung to him sobbing.  He held on for a long time just letting out all his tears. 

Picnic at Cowboys Stadium


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Barrett's 1st Game Ball

Saturday, September 15, 2012
After Brody's game we went home for lunch and then came back to the fields for Barrett's 2:00 game.  Barrett must have been taking inspiration from Brody because he played so well that he got the game ball today too!  (Barrett and Coach Dan)
T-ball isn't quite as serious as 7U AA and sometimes the kids seem really focused...on the wrong things!  Like when Barrett decided it would be fun to try to play 1st base with his glove on backwards.  Coach Mike (aka Daddy) helped him get it back on right before the next play ;)
It's funny how different Brody and Barrett throw naturally.  Brody has a severe sidearm throw...not Barrett!  It couldn't be more over the top than this!
Everyone cheered when Barrett got this boy out on his way to first.  I guess it's a good thing there isn't instant replay in t-ball.  Notice anything?  Yep...Barrett wasn't tagging Zach with the wasn't in his glove it was in his right hand! lol
At one point I looked out on the field to see this.  Mike was giving Emilio some pointers.  I'm not sure if Emilio was listening or just chillin'.  He stood with his arm around Mike's shoulders and legs crossed for several plays!
Barrett definitely likes to cheese it up for the camera.  He saw me while he was on third base and stopped watching the game to smile for my camera. 
I think the catchers gear is still a little big on the 4 year olds.  Barrett had to keep adjusting the face mask just so he could see where he was going! 
Coach Dan awarding Barrett with the game ball.

Brody's 1st Game Ball

Saturday, September 15, 2012
Mike and I love watching our boys play baseball...and the main reason is because THEY love playing!  Brody is just like his daddy...always willing to sacrifice his body for the game.  He made some great plays in today's game and he was awarded the game ball by Coach Dan (pictured below)!
Here are a few pictures of Brody in action.
This was a diving catch for the ball.  I snapped the picture as he was starting to get up.  It was an awesome catch!  It was funny because we heard a parent from the other stands says, "Well that was a lucky catch!" and then one of the other parents in our stands replied, "Nope!  Brody does that every game!"