Monday, November 30, 2009

Leftovers






I almost forgot to post a few pics from Thanksgiving. The kids really enjoyed the rope swing near the lake at Aunt Kaye's and Uncle Darrell's house. This is the kids before we left. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now it's time to prepare out hearts for the birth of our Savior.

Sneak Peak



I had a little photo session with the kids to try to get something for Christmas cards. I am such a wanna-be photographer, with no talent! These won't be gracing the front of our cards this year, but it's a sneak peak of what's to come. The first one is so cute of Will. He put his hands in his pocket like his brother.

LOVE

I love, love, love baby eyelashes! So sweet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Too Much Fun!

We woke up Saturday morning and surprised the kids with a little day trip to San Antonio and took them to Fiesta Texas. We took this motor home to drive down there and it was so much fun! This is the way to travel. We went with some friends of ours and there were 11 of us in there and we fit perfect.

Here is Will at the table watching a movie.
Lauren and Kaitlyn on the top bed checking it all out.
Jacob in the back bedroom getting settled in to watch another movie.
He is way too cool to look directly at the camera!
Lauren posing!
Will in his regular picture pose. ( I realized this is how most of his pictures are!)
Most of the clan.
Will on his first ride.
A rare picture of Preston.
Lauren, Will, and Kaitlyn. They're teaching Will to raise his arms on the rides. :)
And here is Will on a roller coaster. (Note to self: You get very sick if you're riding a roller coaster and looking through a camera lens, no matter how babyish the ride!)
He said it was the "rules" to put your hands in the air.
I love this picture. Pure joy.
We're on the big swing here. (Another bad idea to go round and round looking through the camera!) I can remember going on this as a little girl and I think I screamed so bad I made them stop the ride and get me off. ha!
This ride was awful! My legs were shaking so bad I could barely get off. I did the only thing a good mom would do and encouraged my son to go on it after me.
Not sure about this look. They were a little tired of the camera by now.
Hilarious!!!! Preston made himself so sick on this ride he got it spinning so fast.
I think he's a perfect fit in that bumper car. What do you think?
And finally after the last ride of the evening.
We had so much fun. We bought season passes and cannot wait to go back. The park was practically empty and we were able to walk up to every ride and have literally no wait. We will never do another park in the summer again. Perfect weather only added to the fantastic day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Genesis 1:31

video


Will has been working so hard in his new Sunday School class. This is what he has been saying all day so I had to post it to share.

We've had a fantastic weekend that I'm working on sharing, but it is taking much longer than expected to upload all of the pictures so maybe that will be tomorrow's goal. Plus I have 5 thankful posts to catch up on!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little Elves




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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look at my #17!



Lauren

Today I am thankful for my daughter Lauren. She is an amazing child. She is smart, compassionate, loving, respectful, responsible, and a long list of more. She is everything I could have hoped for in a daughter. God has given me an amazing blessing with her. Today she did a pretty surprising thing. Lauren has never really had a haircut. She's had maybe two trims done by me and maybe 2 trims elsewhere. Other than that, she's always had really long hair. She had started asking a while back if she could cut it much shorter. I don't think we were ready for that! Her daddy loves her long hair and pretty much refused any conversation about it. But...I worked on him a little bit the last few weeks. We had to realize her hair wasn't what defined her, it was just that, hair! It would definitely grow back if she wants it to and really it's no big deal. So today when I got my hair done, so did she. And she cut it off! But there's a bit of a silver lining. Not only does she look so precious with her new style, she is donating her hair to an organization called Locks of Love. We did a little bit of research and this organization provides hair pieces for financially disadvantaged children with hair loss from any medical diagnosis. Tomorrow I will mail off her 10"+ braid so it can be made into a hair piece for another child. She was so excited to be able to do this. I chronicled the whole process in the pics above. It was a big moment, but she just loves her new haircut. She can't wait to wake up in the morning so she can fix it.
So during this Thanksgiving season, I am so thankful for Lauren. She has a heart bigger than Texas and she glows everywhere she goes. She is such a huge blessing to our family. She is the perfect match for her brothers and is a wonderful member of this family.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

I've Got Some Catching Up to Do!

#13 Family Nights

I am so thankful for the nights when we can just stay home and be a family together without rushing around all over the place, always in a hurry, and always apart. Friday night was the perfect night. We were all home together and even played Wahoo together! It was so fun, except the fact that the boys won. :) I know the days of the kids all being home and actually wanting to be there are going to be few in few between in a few years so I am so very thankful that we can make these memories now.

#14 Football

Crazy I know. But I am so thankful for football for Jacob. When you have children and you get to see their passion, it is so much fun. Right now that passion is football. Saturday Jacob had his end of season Super Bowl game and his team was the #1 seed. They actually lost 12-14, but it was a great game. We all had so much fun cheering Jacob on this season. I am actually thankful that we started him last year because he loves it so much.

#15 My Bible

I am so thankful today for my Bible. In church yesterday we had a missionary from Turkey preach and he told us about their life in the middle east. He is a convert from Muslim to Christianity. The absolute passion for the Lord was invigorating. He spoke of some of the things that happen to Christians over there. Especially those leaving the Muslim faith. He was brutally tortured and the things he went through was horrific. He loves the Lord and puts himself in dangerous situations just to spread the word. How convicting for me who lives in this free country and hardly speaks about him at work! How ashamed am I! Even finding a Bible over there is a somewhat underground process. And just to think I'm having a hard time deciding on the color of a new one I am wanting. I am so thankful I am able to walk into most bookstores and buy a Bible, even more I am so thankful I live in a country where I don't have to be afraid to read that Bible.

#16

Heat

Today I am thankful for my heaters. This is probably one of few mornings I had to use the heater this fall. But further, I had to use it all day. I am so thankful I have that option. I am becoming enlightened to some situations where that's not the case for some people. I can't imagine being a mother and not being able to provide heat and warmth for my children. I have so much to be thankful for and the things I should be the most thankful for are probably the things I take for granted the most!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

#12

Veterans

I know I am a day late for some reason, but none-the-less, I am very thankful for veterans. The incredible sacrifice these men and women make daily is monumental. I know I could never be that person. To know people give up their family for months at a time in order for us to have freedom is sometimes unimaginable. I am thankful for veterans past or present, young or old, serving or retired. Thank you to all the vets and their families for putting your life on the line so I may enjoy the freedoms of a free country.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#11

Work.

I know, I know...If you know me well you're probably thinking What?

The stress and pressure I feel teaching these little 8 and 9 year olds at times feels unbearable to me. But with that said, I am thankful for my job.
I realize in the economic times that our country is in, I am very lucky to have a stable job. There are thousands of people out there in dire straights who would do just about anything for a paycheck. It's hard to sit back and feel sorry for myself that I'm stressed about my job when others are stressed because they have no job. This holiday season, I am so very thankful that I have a job to be stressed about.

Monday, November 9, 2009

#10

Grants...or something like them.

I knew when I graduated I had heard something about once you have been teaching for 5 years at a Title 1 school then you could send in this document and it could help pay towards your student loans. I am one of many students who graduate from college with a substantial amount of debt. I realize now I might not have been real wise in some of my decisions, but in my defense I was recently married, new baby who had medical issues, had a full time job and went to school full time. The last thing I was worried about was how much money I was going to owe back after I graduated college. Anywho...I recently sent off this document and I got a letter the other day stating that they were going to pay $5000.00 off of my student loans! Can you believe it??? I was a bit skeptical before I did it, but it really happened. Amazing. I am so thankful for this program. What a tremendous relief it is to have that much money just disappear overnight. Now I might actually have them paid off before my first one goes to college! ha!

#9

Tonight I am thankful for clean sheets. I know, how moving right? Maybe not deep, but true. I love crawling into a bed at night with fresh, clean linens! It creates such a peaceful environment that helps me sleep so well. I cannot wait to go to bed tonight so I can experience just that!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

#7 and #8

Saturday we were just swamped with things to do and just enjoying spending time with Preston that I didn't have time to post what I was thankful for yesterday. So I will post both today.

#7
Date Nights.
I am so thankful for the few and far between date nights. Being able to spend alone time with my husband without the distraction of kids is priceless. I'd like to think that I am able to give him the attention he needs even when the kids are around, but it is next to impossible to really focus on what he is talking to me about when their is chaos going on all around us. Preston and I don't go out very often, so when we do it is so special. I'm sure there are many people who aren't in the position to go out without their kids because of sitter costs or maybe not knowing someone you really trust to watch you kids. That brings me to my next thankful post. I am so thankful for my sister.

#8
My sister (and her family)
One of the most important things that I am thankful for is my sister. Not only her, but the relationship I have with her. We are the best of friends. She is my closest confidant and biggest supporter. She would do anything for me. Growing up I couldn't have imagined being so close. It's funny how you can grow up together and spend those few years completely at odds with each other and then just one day it's like you wake up and truly see each other for who you are. I would not be who I am today if it weren't for her love and support. I look up to her and love the woman she has become. There are times when I am a little sad that Lauren won't have a sister to grow up and be best friends with the way Amy and I are. But, we have raised our kids together and they all act just like siblings so I can only hope that Lauren can have a similar relationship with her cousins. I am so thankful that we get to raise our kids together.

Friday, November 6, 2009

#6

My Husband.
I don't even know where to begin...
I am so incredibly thankful for my husband. When I think back to how it all began, (during our 8th grade year) I am baffled to see how far we've come. I know when we got married pretty much fresh out of high school we had some pretty big skeptics. (Personally I don't think I would be so thrilled it it were one of my kids, ha!) Together we have been in the depths of despair and over the top in love. But through it all my husband loved me. During the times when I was probably pretty unlovable, he loved me. Even today, after nearly eleven years of marriage, I know he loves me more today than he did yesterday! How amazing is that. I am so thankful to be his wife.
He is the hardest worker I know. If there is something to be done, he does it. The man won't even take his shoes off in the house, because "what if I have to do something!". His work ethic floors me and his morals won't be compromised. I am exhausted just thinking about what he has done this past week. And even with his tired, exhausted body (he hasn't slept for 2 days!) he still wants to take me out tonight.
I know I don't deserve him, I can only hope that I show and tell him each day how much I love him. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for blessing me with him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

#5

Teachers.
Today I am thankful for my kid's awesome teachers. It is the best feeling as a mom to send your kids off to school and have them actually look forward to going. It is because of their teachers that care so much for them that makes this happen. There has been a year when this wasn't the case and it was so stressful on all of us. This school year has been the easiest yet for both of the big kids. We are truly blessed to have encountered such wonderful people to influence my children on a daily basis.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Speaking of Thanksgiving...

I just posted before about how crazy it is that it is already November. I like looking back at what we were doing this time last year. One of the main reasons I blog is because it's like a virtual scrapbook. Anyhow, I looked at November and saw where I (attempted to) posted each day about something that I am thankful for. There are so many blessings that have been bestowed upon my family. The least I could do is identify something each day. So, even though it is the fourth of the month, I'm going to start right now. And I'll list 4 things to make up for each day of the month I missed.

1. I am so very thankful for our neighborhood. Just coming off the heels of our block party, we are surrounded by so many wonderful people. Almost all have children around the same age as our kids and like things in common. It allows us to raise our kids in an environment that is safe and gives them some other freedoms they might not have in a conventional in-town neighborhood. For that I am very grateful.

2. Monday came time for me to say good-bye to Preston again, for another week long trip to San Antonio. It just killed me to have to say good-bye to him. I just cried and cried. No matter how difficult it is for me to say good-bye, I don't ever want that to overshadow the incredible blessing that God has given us. He has allowed my husband to pursue a career he's dreamt of his entire life growing up. He is living out his dream of owning his own company. I am so thankful for this. My husband is a different man that he was when he was working for an employer. The work ethic and morals he has wouldn't allow him to be happy with some of the past jobs he's had. Now it is his turn to use his talents to bring honor and glory to God, and I know he does this every single day!

3. Little arms=big hugs. I am so very thankful for 6 little arms. (some littler than others) I love it when my babies run up and put their little arms around me and hug me so tight. It's the best feeling. Even if no words were spoken, I would know just how much they love me, (and I them) just by that one act.

4. My friends. Today, I am so thankful for my friends. They (you) are my supporters and confidants. You lift me up when I'm down, and lasso me in when I need to be reminded of where I come from. On days like today, when work has hit a peek of stressness (is that even a word?), it's my friends who pulled me through and made it all okay. I don't even want to think of where I would be without each of these special relationships. I can only hope and pray that I can be a friend to everyone I encounter and form lasting relationships that are meaningful.

Nothing Into Something

So we hardly do anything for Halloween in our house. I've decided it's a total waste of money to buy costumes and such. (except for the endless bags of candy I bought!) So we had really decided we weren't going to do anything this year. Then at the last minute Preston accepted an invitation to take the kids on a hayride through one of the neighborhoods on town and trick-or-treat Friday evening. I quick thought and had the kids wear their dirt bike jerseys and go as riders. Clever I know. We wound up with so much candy I filled three bowls! And it was the good stuff too. No Child's Play mix in any bags. ha!ha! Then our street did have a little block party at our neighbor's barn and did a little trunk-or-treating. I ended up being great fun, and the best part was I didn't have to buy any candy because I just took the stuff we got the night before. Some people had little games to play and I think the kids had a good time. You can see it in their faces in the pics below.










Preston has been working out of town. This is his second week to be gone. It is so hard to do this stuff on my own. I don't know how military spouses and single parents do it. I'm exhausted. He only has two more weeks and the job will be over. I can't wait. We are incredibly grateful for the business and jobs that he has, but it is tough to take when we are apart for so long. Please pray he makes it home safely and is safe at work. He works at night and is supposed to sleep during the day, but he cannot get his schedule down. He is up all day too. It's tough enough but working electricity is very dangerous.
November has snuck up on us and now it's time to think Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite holidays. I think we are doing Thanksgiving a bit different this year so that is going to be a change, but it's a good thing. And I heard today there is something like 40 shopping days left til Christmas. How can that be?????