Friday, February 18, 2011

Heads Up

I'm working on my next blog post, a recap of 2010. It is turning into quite the novel. When it's posted, I recommend that you pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea for you non-coffee drinkers and get ready to read for a bit. Or if you're suffering from insomnia, save it til bedtime and it'll have you snoring in a few paragraphs!

Letting Go and Diving In

My blogging attempts have always been scattered at best, but really to skip more than an entire year? Scattered doesn't even begin to cover that.

On a whim, I opened up my blog this morning and started reading, hanging on every word, all the while the memories flooding back to me like a tidal wave, overtaking my thoughts. I wondered why did I stop in the first place. A lot of it can be chalked up to my feelings of inadequacy. If I can't do it faithfully, regularly, perfectly, then why do it at all? Why even try? Perfectionism. That ugly monster that paralyzes us into indecision and inaction.

And then of course, finding the time to sit down and blog has always been another issue. I have so much to do, so much that I want to do that it is hard to do things that aren't essential, like blogging. But, after visiting here again today, I think perhaps I should move it a little closer to the top of my list of priorities.

I have journaled some this year and that is the main thing, getting it all down on paper, but I do like that I can share a small part of my life with my long distance family through blogging. The sweet compliments and encouragement from my niece who enjoys reading it doesn't hurt any either. Thank you, Natalie!

So, today I pick back up the blogging pen. Letting go of perfectionism, once again, and just doing the best I can. Months may go by without a single post, but I can't let that stop me TODAY. Today, that's all I have any way. No sense in worrying about tomorrow, something that may never even exist. Today. Today. God's gift. The present. I'll live my life with a "one day at a time" attitude, blogging included.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Trent

8 years ago today my life was made richer and fuller with the arrival of my third child. It's hard for me to really grasp just how quickly these last 8 years have passed. Time is really stealing my last baby from me.

Trent has always been so full of life, curiosity and wonder. He's a fun, fun-loving, little comedian. He literally fills our home with laughter! I can't imagine how empty our lives would be without him. Happy birthday, sweetie! You are adored and loved by all who know you!

A sweet baby photo

Friday, August 28, 2009

11 Years Old

11 years ago I was enjoying my first newborn baby. He was the most precious, perfect thing I had ever laid eyes on. He was such a beautiful baby and a good one too. He ate well, slept well, was always content. I was blessed and I knew it.
As much as things have changed these 11 years, they've stayed the same. Tyler is still a good natured, well behaved (most of the time) kid. He's tall, and stocky now, but just as good looking as ever. He's a blessing to our family. He's such a help to me. He does his chores without complaint and never seems to mind when I ask extra of him. He loves to laugh and his laugh is hearty and loud. Just hearing it brings a smile to my face. He's definitely still a good eater and showers me with compliments of how much he loves my cooking. I feel truly blessed to be his mama.
Happy birthday, Tyler! I love you, son, more than words can say.

Monday, July 20, 2009

No Greater Joy

I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

No truer words have ever been written. Though written by an apostle speaking of his followers, they are just as true from the traditional parental point of view. Nothing gives me more hope, more peace, more joy than to know that my children love God and want to live for him all the days of their lives. Nothing.

Kristen has always had a heart for God. She could outpray most saints by the age of 18 months. lol Her play church has taken a turn for the real thing in the last few weeks. It's been a beautiful transition to watch. I can't tell you how it blesses my heart to see my little girl singing, clapping and praying during church.

When Kristen received the Holy Ghost, we explained to her the importance of water baptism; how Jesus commanded that we must be born of the water and the spirit. I had many discussions with her about the meaning of baptism, the symbolism involved, what happens spiritually and physically when you are baptized, etc. We discussed biblical examples, as well as personal experiences. She also spoke with her daddy and Brother Little on more than one occasion. We wanted to be sure that she understood the importance and seriousness as well as she could.

I'm so happy to share with you that she was buried in baptism in Jesus name on July 19, 2009. Her name is written in the Lambs Book of Life. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kristen's Necessary Accessory

I decided that I would spend some time this summer determining why Kristen was having such a hard time learning to read. I really didn't think it was a vision problem, but I felt like that was the best place to start. Once, that was ruled out, we could get down to the business of figuring out what the real trouble was. When I woke up on Tuesday, June 30th, I thought that it would be a great day to concentrate on Kristen, since both of the boys were spending the day away from home. I called and made an appointment with an optometrist.

Her first words to me after the examination were "I'm assuming since she's not wearing glasses that this is her first examination". She went on to tell me that Kristen is extremely farsighted and has been all of her life. She said she would need to wear glasses all day, every day. Wow! I wasn't expecting that. She never showed any of the typical symptons, no headaches, no squinting.

They told us to try on frames and let her pick which ones she wanted. That was fun. They had lots of stylish, girly ones to choose from. She ended up with these cute frames in a beautiful shade of purple, with sparkles on the sides.

She's always been about accessories: purses, shoes, necklaces, watches. Now she has one that she literally can't do without. They're essential for just basic, ordinary tasks, but she looks so adorable in them and thankfully she doesn't mind wearing them. Justin said she looks like a librarian and a good friend of mine said she could give Sarah Palin a run for her money. lol She got a good chuckle from both statements.

I hope they really make life easier for her. I don't see how they can't. I can't see a thing through them- Literally nothing but blurs of color, so they have to make a huge difference for her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Kid In Me-- Revived!

The Kid In Me-- Revived!

My three sisters have been taking their kids to 6 Flags every summer for a few years now. Until this year, I haven't taken my gang due to various and sundry reasons. This year, I just felt like it was time to go. I knew the kids would enjoy it and that would be enough to make the day for me. I never expected to have one of the best times of my life!

The kids and I got an early start so we could be sure to get there when the park opened. We left at 8:20, picked up Kyle, made a stop at the Donut Shop and were on our way. Traffic wasn't bad at all and we arrived at the park 45 minutes before they opened. We killed time in the picnic area waiting for my sisters and their troops to get there.

They got there right as the park was opening. After saying our hellos and introducing Kyle to my family We got our coupons, bought our tickets, took a potty break and were ready to start having some real fun!

Our first stop was the Sombrero. A great way to "break" us in: a fun ride that's not too scary and one that everyone was able to ride.

Next up was the Conquistador: a few steps up from the Sombrero on the scary meter. Based on their experience from last year, some of the kids opted not to ride that one. You can see the worry on Dylan's, Ethan's and Issac's faces as we waited in line. They even looked a little bit nervous as they watched us ride.

Barely 11:00 and we already need to cool off, so the Log Ride was next!

Three rides down and the regulars are already screaming for the Titan! It's the first ride that was mentioned every time I told someone that we were going to Six Flags. I could see the evil glint in their eyes as they told me to be sure and ride the Titan. I made up my mind before we left the house that the Titan wasn't for me. Call me chicken, but someone had to stay with the little kids anyhow. Always willing to do my part, I kept an eye on Dylan and Ethan who sat on a bench trying to cool off and Trent, Jarrod and Isaac rode the Side Winder.

I was more than a little impressed that Kyle, Tyler and Kristen decided to ride it. Kyle had never been on any kind of roller coaster before and to be initiated on one that is over 255 ft tall, reaching speeds of 85 mph, is perhaps not the best way. Kyle and Tyler were both pumped when they got off. I could see it in their eyes. I think it took a little while for the whole experience to settle in them.

Kristen, on the other hand was shaken up and without question said she didn't like it and didn't want to do it again. That didn't keep her off of the Texas Giant though, which she loved.

One of the things I really enjoyed was all of us, from the adults, to the kids rode exactly what we wanted and no more. We would encourage each other to try something, but never did we use any unethical forms of coercion. lol Although, some of Angie's tactics may have been questionable! JK But, really, even if the kids got all the way to the point of getting on a ride, if they backed out, that was fine. And everyone made time to do what everyone else wanted to do, without one single squabble. We are really a congenial bunch! Mom and Dad, you must have done something right. Either that, or it's just in the blood.

Trent almost backed out of riding the Superman, the one ride he insisted that he was definitely going to ride. I'm so proud of him for overcoming his fear and doing it. He was scared out of his wits up there...(so was I), but when the ride was over and his little feet were safe on solid ground, he said "that was sooo awesome"! Once was enough though. He said he didn't want to ride it again.

Tyler and Kyle both ended up getting a little chicken. Kyle ended up with a headache too, so he decided not to ride any more of the big coasters. I did talk him into trying the Flashback and he really enjoyed it. I told him if he enjoyed that, he ought to love the Batman. He trusted me and gave it a try and he was so glad he did.

Tyler rode the Texas Giant and the Shockwave, but I couldn't get him on the Flashback for anything. He rode the Batman and loved it too.

Another ride that I couldn't get the boys on was Tony Hawk's Big Spin. Angie and I and the older girls (Emilee, Natalie and Kristen) rode it and we all loved it!

The kids loved the Aquaman. Honestly, we all loved the Aquaman. It's probably the shortest ride out there and not much thrilling about it, except for the wonderful, cool, wet water that drenches you as you splash down the hill. With the temperature at 100 degrees, water is a must, on the inside and outside. There were times I didn't think we were going to make it through the day, but after the Aquaman, we all found our second wind. The kids rode the AM several times and stood on the bridge to get soaked a few times.

I lost count of how many times the kids rode the Side Winder, the Bat Wing and Crazy Legs. They just rode and rode those rides and had a blast doing it.

The final hour before the park closed, we were able to fit in the Mini-Mine Train, the Runaway Mine Train, the Yosemite Sam, the Runaway Mountain and the Bobsled. We were absolutely beat, but Tammi was determined to look at the photos they took of us as we entered the park, so we waited until the end of the Glow in the Park Parade when they reopened the photo booth. The photo wasn't too bad, so we all bought one as a momento.

When the day started out, I planned on just enjoying the day for the kids and enjoy seeing my family. But as the day went on, I found myself enjoying the whole experience for myself! I found the kid in me again. It's still in there and doing quite well. At the end of the day, I realized that even if I was there alone, I'd enjoy riding those rides. It was fun! It was thrilling and almost empowering! I loved it. Every minute of it and I can't wait to do it again! Thank you, Tina, Tammi and Angie for everything! I wouldn't have done it without you guys!

This is 23 of the 113 photos I have of our day. I hope you enjoy them.

Angie and Ethan waiting to ride the Sombrero.

Isaac and Jarrod waiting for the Sombrero to start.

Morgan and Dylan also wait for the Sombrero to start.

They're not waiting any more!
If you click on this photo you can see all of my family that's riding. (I think)

Dylan, Ethan and Isaac ponder the conquistador.

Ethan, Jarrod and Isaac watch as we ride the Conquistador.

Tina, Tammi, Natalie and Kristen on the Log Ride.

Dylan cooling off while the big kids ride the Titan.

Ethan taking a break too, trying to find a little bit of shade.

I don't have actual pictures of the Titan. It was too far away to get good photos of.

The kids decompressing on the Side Winder after riding the Titan.

Kyle and Tyler on the Side Winder.

Jarrod and Isaac.

The kids standing on the bridge after riding the Aquaman.
They can't get enough of the water!

We all felt just like Morgan looks at some point during the day!
We all get our second wind about 3 or 4 o'clock though.

Kyle and Trent going up on the parachute.

Kyle and Trent up in the parachute!

A photo I took while Isaac and I were up in the parachute.

Natalie cooling off in the sprinkler.

Ethan has so much personality!
I wonder if it has anything to do with his namesake?

I love this picture of the kids walking.
This was a vision that we saw all day: kids running, laughing, talking, and playing!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

May 29th, Our Annual Zoo Trip

I love the zoo! I'm already ready to go back, although now that summer is here in all its glory, I don't think it would take much to talk me out of it. One step out the door will more than likely be enough to change my mind!

We had a really nice time this trip. The kids were all well behaved and their enthusiasm really made it all worth while. We always stop in the Texas section for a shower at the Oil Rig, and a Blue Bell ice cream cone!

Janie has been posing the kids on the alligator since my three were babies. This year's photo isn't great, but it's better than nothing!

I think the kids' absolute favorite part was feeding the parakeets and cockatiels. I had to practically drag them from the building so that we could see the rest of the zoo before it closed.

Here are some of my favorite photos-