Monday, November 26, 2007


after our thanksgiving debacle of getting to Best Buy @ 2am and walking away with nothing, made Kreg and I really try to focus on what we wanted to get the kids this Christmas. Hunter has asked every Santa that he has seen for a Wii. He tells everyone he's getting a Wii. Which leaves the decision to Kreg and I on what to do. At times I can't fathom getting a 5 year old a $300 or more gift. But then Kreg weighs in with that he wants it also. So, it could be our family gift.

This weekend as I pondered and picked up the paper to look at the ads, I was taken back by the Season of Caring that was in the Austin American Statesman. It actually brought tears to my eyes. While I'm having the hardest time debating a $300 purchase, there are families out there that are just wishing for blankets, food, any toys at all, things to make their daily lives better. And as I continued reading their stories, that much more quilt swept over me. Christmas isn't always easy for everyone. And I know I've said it more than once, but I don't want the focus of Christmas to be presents for my children. I've been reading and re-reading all the stories and I've been putting together a list of things that we have and can donate to these people. I want to teach my kids to give to the less fortunate this time of the year. I want them to experience the joy on people's faces as they receive a gift from the heart. To me, there is no better gift then making someone else happy.

I know I'm all weepy but it's just so sad to read the stories. It's so sad that most people read the stories and move on with their lives. But just think about the impact on these people's lives if you, just one person, took the time and effort to give them one thing, either large or small. Think of the joy you could bring to their lives. To a child's life.

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life.

Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.

And that's how I've decided to live out this holiday season. To make as many differences as I can.

wiping my tears.......

Oh the Best Buy debacle.......after spending Thanksgiving day stuffing ourselves mad and getting to watch our boys shoot their first guns, we decided to be nuts. Best Buy was having several good deals on several laptops. $229 for a laptop + an all-in-one printer. HOLY SMOKES! We knew the lines were going to be bad so we made the decision to leave La Grange around midnight and head up to Austin. Not only was it 40 degrees outside, but it was raining. Not a good combo. Thankfully by time we made it to Austin, the rain stopped but it was still butt a$$ cold. At about 2 am, we make our way to stand in line outside of Best Buy. They were to start handing out wrist bands for the items at 3. Well, 3 turned to 3:30 and 3:30 turned into 3:45 and they finally started. By then, most of our limbs were numb and we were cursing making it until 5am when the store opened. We figured we'd grab our wristbands and head for breakfast and be back when the store opened. Sounds like a GREAT plan except that they only had 20 of the computer we were after and there were about 125 people in line in front of us. Okay. We will take either of the 2 other laptop doorbusters or the desktop doorbuster. Well, it turns out the store only had 8 of the other laptop and 20 of the desktop. And they announced that at 4:30. Now, not only were most of our limbs numb, but we were pissed. We had just wasted a perfectly good night to get some great sleep to wait outside in the freezing cold to walk away empty handed. Best Buy is on our $hit list this Christmas. We turned around and came home and slept until noon. At least at work today I wasn't the only one with a crazy Black Friday story ;)

The boys got our tree decorated and it's just as beautiful as ever.
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I had to take Jayden to the doctor today. $90+ later, we are dealing with an upper-repository infection that had landed Jay on steroids. Oh.....'roid-rage. Hopefully the little bugger starts feeling better soon.

Here's a few pictures of our latest adventures:
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I know this one is blurry, but it's the only one I got of Rocky and Jezabel playing. Jezzie is rocking her sweater from the infamous Target Dollar Spot!
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and no......Rocky isn't ours. He's Uncle Justin's rottweiler. A gift from Kylie for Christmas.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


so we are thinking......we are on a little vacation for 5 days, let's hope the boys sleep in so we can. but atlas, our dreams were crushed as Jayden hopped into our room at 7:15 this morning, wheezing up a storm, completely convinced he didn't need a breathing treatment but sent Kreg and I scrambling into a game of who can find the nebulizer parts first.

oh well, we did have plans to go to Houston today, so I guess being up early is good.

you would think that with 2 Nintendo DS' and 2 Leapsters, we'd have a quiet trip to Houston. I guess one can hope.

they had to fight over games and everything else imaginable.

we got the candle supplies and then headed over to the Galleria to wow the boys with the Christmas tree and ice skating rink.

of course, they awed at the tree, begged to go ice skating in shorts, rocked the Apple store, threw money into the water fountain, and wished for BIG presents with Santa. All in all, it was fun. And the great way to start our 5 day vacation.
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granted, Jayden was a maniac running up and down the escalators in Nieman Marcus and we had to beg the kids not to touch a darn thing. and as I went to show Kreg this $800 dress, Jayden yelled, "DON'T TOUCH THAT!" nice to see things don't actually go in one ear and out the other.

but as we settled down to lunch at Gringo's, and Jayden started running amuck in the restaurant, we finally realized that it was the Albuterol nebs we gave him this morning that was making him bounce. thank god the booth seats where high, but I think the whole restaurant heard every word out of Jay's mouth. I think out waitress was taken back by a 3-year old being so demanding.

on the way home we found a christmas cd and tried to serenade the boys with Santa Claus is Coming to Town, but it didn't faze them a bit.

but we are now home, raking about 15 bags of leaves and taking down our fall decorations. Jayden is still bouncing...........I think there has to be a point when he crashes. let's pray it's soon.
except that I hear Jay chasing Hunter with a stick outside and Hunter's screaming bloody murder and Kreg's chasing both with the leaf blower............and it's just dropped 10 degrees.........guess I'd better go.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ho hum.

so we haven't been having as much fun as amy, but I guess that's what happens when mom goes back to work.

or she gets this wild itch to bake....and bake and bake some more. it doesn't help that we have pecans coming out of our rears. and I've been sending boxes and boxes to friends to help lesson our piles. but in the past week I've made Pecan Pie Bars, Pecan Tassies, Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies, Pecan Cheesecake Pie, Pumpkin Bread, Eggnog Bread....

the lovely recipients of most of these wonderful homemade items have been my work and the boys teachers. oh......and Popo.

and for Thanksgiving I'm making a German Chocolate Pecan Pie. Thank goodness most of this stuff I don't eat ;)

in other news........

we received around 7 inches of rain Saturday night/Sunday morning.

and it's raining now again.

Jayden has been running fever all afternoon. And has had a horrible cough. Always in time for the holiday's. In which everyone feels compelled into trying to guilt us into doing what they want. Hello??? can Kreg and I not make the decision about what WE want to do?

moving on........

Hunter is reading like a champ at school and I couldn't be prouder. he's on to his 3rd reading folder and has been the 1st one to complete the other 2 folders. He is trying so hard and doing such a great job. It's so precious to see him sit down and read to my dad. Of course, as soon as he finishes the 1st page, my dad starts at him with questions. My mom and I told him to stop but he made a valid point. Hunter just can't read, he has to understand what he's reading. Go Popo!

I took the boys up to the hospital to see Santa this weekend at the craft fair. My normally rambunctious boys turned completely smitten upon sitting on Santa's lap. It was quite shocking.
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Of course, I've saved the best snapshot for the Christmas card coming to your mailbox soon.

Today starts a 5 day holiday for the whole family. Pending everyone feeling well, we are looking forward to decorating for Christmas on Friday.

And to all the yummy food on Thanksgiving because..............Thanksgiving is all about food! Before you say that I'm being too cynical about the holiday, think about the origins of this holiday - it was a feast. Yes - Thanksgiving is a feast, and food is an integral part of that feast.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the good, the bad and the what do I do now?

so after feeling like I was shot in the stomach yesterday morning, I had to take off to Austin. the lovely thing about being in La Grange and driving a Toyota is.......there's no Toyota dealership. And since, for some reason, we bought an extended warranty, we prayed....that this lovely malfunction with the drivers seat would be covered.

so the good news was that the 1100 dollars of work would be covered under the warranty but the bad news was that my car wouldn't be ready until Wednesday. thankfully Kreg was able to get a rental.

since I was in Austin, Justin was able to pick up Hunter and take him to my dad who was off due to Veteran's Day. Hunter and Popo had a really good time together. And the good news is that Popo taught him how to ride his bike! Woo-Hoo! FINALLY!

But the bad news is my other son.........and what to do with him, I'm not sure. so...over a month ago we had the whole episode of me losing my keys at my parents house. till this day, we've never found them and can't explain what happened. we've all been at a loss. then my dad goes to start his tractor yesterday and his key is gone. we all remember that Jayden was the last one on the tractor playing around. I also cleaned his room last week and found a secret stash of keys that were missing off of our "key hook." the kid has been obsessed with keys in the past couple of months. so dad wants me to talk to Jay about where the tractor key is. we pretty much now figure that he's got a secret stash at my parents house and for the life of all of us, we can't figure out where it is. so I spend the better part of last night trying to talk to Jay.........and I can't get anything out of him. I've tried explaining how bad everyone needs their keys back. I tell him we aren't going to be mad. I try to bribe him with a reward. And I just sit and talk to him about the keys. Let's face it folks, I'm up against a brick wall here and I'm at a huge loss. ADVICE? HELP? ANYONE?

After the pain I endured yesterday morning, and not wanting to feel like I've been shot again, my doc. and I have decided to hold off on the laparoscopy this Friday. I just hope that this pain goes away by then.

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. Kreg and I have been trying to put some serious thought into Christmas. We really want to consider going away again. I know lots of people ridicule us for that, but I think we both really enjoyed being away from Christmas and actually being able to enjoy Christmas. That totally makes no sense huh? The focus of Christmas these days seems to be nothing but presents, everyone having to out do the next person, who got what and so on. And that's SO NOT what I learned Christmas was about and what I really don't want my kids thinking Christmas is. Yes, last Christmas had it's ups and downs but what we remember the most about it, is that it was all about the kids and family. Christmas was about being away, and spending time with each other. We made the gift giving all about the kids and santa. On Christmas Eve, there was no "Let's open presents. PRESENTS, PRESENTS, PRESENTS." It was all about going to church as a family and coming home to spend time as a family playing monopoly all night long. We laughed and fought and cheated but enjoyed ourselves. Christmas morning was all about seeing the joy on the kids faces of Santa coming. Then the guys settled into the football game and the girls spent time preparing the Christmas meal. The boys got to enjoy time playing with their new toys. We all enjoyed time outside feeding the deer and then playing in the snow and snow tubing. It was nice and relaxing.....which is what Christmas should be. It's how I want my kids to treat Christmas. My memories of Christmas as a child were spending Christmas Eve at Meme's house. All 20 of us running around outside playing Ghost in the Graveyard and Hide & Seek. It would take forever to actually round all of us up for Santa. And once they did, we all sat around the Charlie Brown Christmas tree filled with ornaments with our names on them and sang Christmas carols. Santa would bring us a little gift and we each got a gift from Meme. The whole present fiasco was over in 2 minutes and we were all out the door again to play. Christmas was about ALL of us being together and having fun. The boys are growing up so fast. Memories are being made as we speak. I want the kids to think of Christmas as a celebration of being together and having fun....laughing, playing games, being outdoors, eating yummy food......not a celebration of presents.

so......I will get off my soapbox now........I need a pain killer.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

nothin' but good ole' fashion trouble

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what else could those boys spell? and they are all cousins. but they are all so cute together and really look forward to seeing each other. it's crazy that my meme had 7 girls and 2 boys. out of the grandchildren, there were 14 boys and 6 girls. out of the great-grandchildren, thus far, there are 7 boys and 3 girls and another boy on the way.

in other trouble, Kreg went to detail my car yesterday and moved the drivers seat up to clean under it. and then it decided not to move back. so it is pushed completely forward and I had to drive it to and from Yoakum a little old lady.....right on top of the wheel. I pray that one of the dealerships here can fix it and it's covered under the extended warranty we had purchased.

Friday, November 09, 2007

november, WHAT?

I just went to upload some pictures from the camera when I realized I needed to ad a November folder already. I can't believe it's almost the middle of November and 90 degrees here. And Christmas is in the air.

Of course, the boys have been avidly working on their Christmas list. They seem to have it in their head that they are getting everything on their list. Hunter is completely convinced Santa is bringing him not only an X-box but a Wii. I wish I knew who his Santa was. But we've had to go back and remove Batman, Aquadots, and who knows what else. I told Kreg maybe a basketball goal wasn't such a bad idea, especially since Hunter is now playing basketball. This is going to be a fun season.
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But I've told the kids, so much fighting has to stop. I can't handle how mean they are to each other. Take yesterday, for instance. We went to the library to deliver some fundraiser items. Hunter decides to shove Jayden in the elevator and start pushing buttons and the next thing that I know I hear Hunter laughing, the elevator door closed and Jayden screaming. In the library. Thankfully the staff knows me and the kids, thanks to my dad, and all had a good laugh. Me, not so much.

Hopefully with Jayden going to school 5 days a week now, things will improve. I had to really tell myself, how much was Jay learning from me on the 2 days he was at home. Not much. He adores school and his teacher, and the opportunity was there, so I seized it. Which means I will be working 5 morning a week now, but I'm looking forward to it!!

We have our last home football game tonight and the boys are looking foward to it. Let's see what La Grange can do ;)

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Monday, November 05, 2007

I've been blog tagged!

"Post 5 things that you don't think most of your blog readers know about you"
here goes:
1. I love to cook! LOVE LOVE LOVE.
I actually spent most of today cooking :) One of our members in my MOPS group had a pretty invasive back surgery. We banded together to make sure her family received meals and today was my day. I not only made her family, but ours, my version of King Ranch Casserole. I made her family a Caramel Pecan Cheesecake and I'm about to make Kreg Apple Crisp. How's that for a full day!
2. I collect snowmen.
During the holiday's, my house is filled with them! I pretty much don't have any other decorations. Snowmen are my Christmas passion.
3. I knit.
How's that for something bazaar ;) I can only knit scarves and this is the time of the year that I normally put them in stores to sell. This year I also donated several for the Fall Festival and loved seeing the young girls swoon over them.
4. Fall is my favorite time of the year.
Leaves falling and turning colors. Perfect weather to throw open the windows and be able to smell the fall air. Pumpkins....scarecrows....sweaters....turkey & just too perfect.
5. I have a shoe addiction.
'nuff said.

catch 22

so I go back to work and the blog goes to _____, well, you know.

this years Halloween came and went with about 1 million fights. you know......"He got a peanut butter cup and I didn't." He has 2 suckers and I only have 1." "His bucket has more candy than mine." "He ate a piece." "He has some Skittles." Oh the list could go on and on. We even had a few tumbles on the ground but nothing not everyone didn't live through.

I'm not sure who got the most compliments. My twin skeletons or Jezabell.
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Jezabell adored getting out and walking and all the attention she received. I feel bad that I can't take her on walks anymore. This was a pleaser.

And I'm just left with, what am I going to do with all this candy:
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Today is the first day in about 2 weeks I have to actually be at home and have nothing planned. No trips to Austin or Houston. It sure is nice. Too bad I have mountains of housework to do. Every weekend we seem to have a birthday party that keeps everyone gone most of the day. Kreg is enjoying getting out and meeting more parents. But almost nothing gets done. And I don't think we have another free weekend until close to Christmas. Besides birthday parties, we are also making the shower rounds. Both baby and wedding.

And of course, it's my extremely busy time of the year. Well.....that actually started in September this year, which is CRAZY! And one of the most exciting things about moving to La Grange, was that I could get candle supplies in Houston so NO more searching and paying HIGH shipping costs. Which is great and all, until for some reason there is now a manufacture problem with my jars. ACK! Come on, it's the Holiday season. And I've snagged a couple new accounts........oh the fun.

But the biggest challenge lately has been dealing with doctor's and tests. We seem to have finally nailed down why I keep having "ora migraines." If I stay on my medication, I'm put at a high risk for blood clots, heart attacks or strokes. But if I go off the meds, I'm put at a high risk for uterine cancer. What's a girl to do? Unfortunately, I am suppose to start with a minor surgery that requires a brief hospital stay on November 16. If all goes well, I should be home on the 17th. Let's pray.

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already so close. The boys are so ready! After Hunter's brief cooking class stint, I'm going to get him in the kitchen this year to help make all sorts of yummy goodies. Cornbread dressing, pecan pies, sweet potatoes. Here come an extra 10 pounds. But it is so worth it.

And this time change is killing us. The kids are up at 6:30! Granted, last night they were in bed at 7:30 but this morning was crazy. We've got to figure out something.