Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Uncle John

My Aunt Debbie, Uncle John and Aunt Kim

I cannot believe you are gone.  This afternoon, you were working in your yard and now you are gone.  Happy, rejoicing for you, you are with my Granny and my Great Granny.  You didn't keep your momma waiting long did you?  Terribly sad for me, my family, your wife and your son.  Life without you will be hard for them, for us.  You were such a kind, loving and sweet man.  When you were around, it was like I was breathing the same air as my Granny again.  As the years have gone by you look more and more like her and so it felt as though a piece of her was still here with me.   

I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with you.

You thought of me when James and I were getting our house and called me up because there was someone you knew giving away things from an estate sale; you thought I might need some furniture for my house.  When Channing was a little girl, she walked right up to you and sat in your lap because you looked so much like my dad that she thought you were her Pops.  We laughed for hours about that because Channing didn't just go up to anyone.

Thank you for inviting my Dad to go with you on your church retreat a while back, you showed him a wonderful time and gave him some special memories to carry with him.  I was so proud of how you stood up and played the guitar and sang at your own mother's funeral.  You and my Dad looked just like brothers standing up there playing together.  You were a wonderful uncle and I will miss you and your hugs so very much.  Heaven gained a giant of a man today.

I will see you again soon.  I love you.         

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A good week and an even better weekend

This is what your tub looks like with a little boy living in your house.

This is what a freezing cold outside, lazy day looks like.

This is what homemade enchiladas look like.

I had my mom take a pic of us before we went out

My love (aka Muff) and I got to have a kid-free date night this past Saturday.  I mean a REAL date...we got all dressed up for each other, went to dinner ALONE, and had a couple of adult beverages.  My mom kept the little ones overnight and Chayce went to her dad's for the weekend.  (THANKS A BUNCH MOM!!!!) 

It was so much fun, so much fun that I was giddy!!!  The first restaurant we were heading to ended up having an hour long wait so we decided to opt for another place since we were starving.  We made a pact that next year for our Valentine's day date we will most definitely head out for an EARLY dinner so we can eat where we plan to eat and not have to go somewhere else.  After dinner we came home to watch a movie on Netflix.  We ended up agreeing on Brothers with Jake Gyllenhall, Toby McGuire and Natalie Portman.  It was a good movie but we both were really disappointed with the ending, it was very abrupt.  I actually made it through the whole movie without falling asleep.  This rarely happens, it's a running joke every time we start to watch a movie.  Truthfully, I rarely can stay awake.

Today, we had a small family party with our Chan who turned 8 last week.  She got gift cards, money and a new baby doll.  That little girl LOVES to play with babies!!  We had a great time hanging out with our family.  We ordered pizza and I made a chocolate cake from scratch with a chocolate ganache frosting.  I have been wanting to make a ganache frosting or filling for quite some time and I thought it was the perfect time to test it out.  It turned out DE-LISH!!!  Everyone loved it and I was happy with it as well.  Chan loves all things chocolate so she was thrilled.  Chayce was at dance during the party so she didn't get to visit with everyone...it makes me sad when I don't have all three of my kiddos at family functions but life gets pretty busy with three kids so you just have to go with the flow sometimes.            

James' parents and sisters came, my parents came and all the cousins came as well.  It ended up being such a beautiful day here in Texas that the kids actually got to hang out outside some, riding scooters, playing soccer and playing on the swingset.  I even opened some windows in the house!  Can you believe it was below freezing the last two weeks and I had my windows open today?  That is Texas weather for you!

Just about ready to blow out her candles
Chan and Grandma
Vince, Amy, Chan and Pawpaw

Mimi and Chan

Mommy, Daddy and the birthday girl

Pops and Chan

For you Chan:

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple

I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart

And no one will desert you

Just try to never grow up, never grow up

-Lyrics from Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Camden, precious Camden, you crack me up.  I mean, you are totally hilarious but in a very serious way.  You never laugh when these things float out of your sweet mouth but I do and I love every minute that you make me smile.

Camden: "Mom, will you come wipe my butt?"

Me: "Sure."

Camden: "When I get big like Channing I can wipe my own butt...I mean when I'm big like you I will wipe it."

So does that mean I have to wipe his hiney for another 30 years????


Camden:  "Mom, I feel sick, we need to pray for me."

Camden:  "Mom, can you take me over to Mimi's?"

Me:  "No, you are going over there in three days."

Camden:  "But I can't wait that long!"

Daddy:  "Camden, can you just chill for a little bit?"

Camden:  "But Daddy, I hate to chill!"

Camden:  "Today was the worst day EVER at school!"

Me:  "Why?  What happened?"

Camden:  "I didn't get to play with Anna." 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

See this girl here?

SHE IS 8!  Eight means no longer seven, eight means two years away from double digits.  Eight means 3rd grade is sneaking up on us.  I cannot believe our 2nd born is eight years old. 

Channing is a bright and beautiful girl.  She is always eager to help around the house, almost always going above and beyond what is expected of her.  She enjoys helping me cook and bake.  She could play school for hours on end, alone.  She cherishes anything that is given to her, always very proud and thankful no matter what it is.  She just recently got a new (new to her) bedroom suit and was so proud that she brought all the neighborhood kids in the house to see it.  She has also consistantly been making her bed without being asked since receiving it as well.  Channing loves to learn new things and she often watches my odd and quirky movies that I am interested in.  She is always asking how she can help me and she can even be a little bossy at times; a quality that may just come in handy as an adult. (Wink)  

With each passing day all I can hear is Taylor Swift's song "Never Grow Up" ringing in my ears.  It reminds me that my kids are growing up and I am getting older as well.  All the things happening in my life right now won't ever happen again.  Channing is 8.  Seven is now yesterday.  The words of the song remind me to stop and listen to all the sounds around me, to focus my eyes on the little moments because we can't get them back.  As our children grow they become more and more vulnerable to the outside world.  With each year, they become a little wiser, a little more exposed, a little less innocent.  As childhood slips away our roles change, as parents and as kids.  I look back and think of how I couldn't wait until they stopped wearing diapers, I couldn't wait until they were walking and talking and now if only time could stand still. 

Let these moments last God, stop the clock for a bit.  Let me take a deep breath and inhale all the sweetness of my children's laughter, let my ears rest on silly words that come from their mouths, let me taste the tears that I wipe from their eyes so that I can remember sharing in their pain.  I want to vividly remember each and every color surrounding us when we have "Family Fun Day."  (A new family tradition we started this past year.)  With each passing day, I truly embrace motherhood even more...thinking of new ways to create memories.  Sharing my passions with my kids, showing them my softer side, wanting my kids to have more good memories of their life with me than not, wanting to leave them a legacy of love, kindness, patience and understanding and joy.      

I could never be thankful or greatful enough for being blessed with three amazing kids.  I have doubted myself so much as a mother but as the years pass by it seems I'm finally getting the hang of it.  Either that or God just has a fabulous sense of humor because there have been more days than not where I have questioned myself as a mom.  Thinking I'm not cut out for this, motherhood is to hard, too heartbreaking, too exhausting.  Then comes along one of these kids,  babies who once grew inside my body. Who caused my belly to swell and stretch.  Babies who completely depended on me, who grew to love me and gave me wet, messy kisses to show their love.  Babies who, too quickly grew to be five years old...two who watched me cry as I left them on the first day of school and one will soon follow.  Babies who depended on us to not let go of the bike when they were learing to ride without training wheels.  Baby girls who, all dressed up and were thrilled beyond words to escorted by their dad to the annual daddy-daughter dance.  Babies who come to me in tears hoping I will fix whatever is wrong. In those rare times I actually can fix the problem, peace sets in and pride washes over me in waves.  It is then I think "Ok God, you have me right where I am supposed to be."
 Make sure to pause my playlist at the bottom before watching this. 

Snow, "oprah" and other fun things

Well, we've been cooped inside the house for more hours than I would even like to count.  The good news: LOTS of quality family time, cooking, eating, hot baths and more eating.  Wait, is eating really good news when it's basically all you are doing?  I mean, we had big plans this week!  Celebrating a certain green-eyed girl's 8th birthday by having lunch with her at school and a certain 13 year old was supposed to have her first dance competition this very day!  We've been saved from boredom with Netflix...one of my clients gave us a gift certificate for three months of free Netflix and it is truly amazing!  No renting movies and we just figured out how to set it up through our Wii so we can instantly watch movies on the t.v. instead of waiting for them to come in the mail.

The kids only had one day of school this week due to the crazy arctic weather we've been having.  In all my 34 1/2 years, I've never seen anything like it.  So cold but so beautiful!  The kids and I went to lunch on Thursday for Channing's birthday, she chose Chili's and we WAY overstuffed ourselves.  Friday we went to Denny's to stuff ourselves then we headed over to the middle school with our laundry baskets to find a hill for sledding.

Lanie enjoys the snow just as much as the kids do!

James made a little slick slope so the baskets would slide easy and the kids had so much fun.  It was freezing cold but what great memories!  Especially when I slipped and fell when I was walking.  I landed flat on my back, even hit my head, which was something I had never experienced before.  I literally had to sit there for a few minutes because I felt dizzy and needed time to see if and what else I might have hurt.  Needless to say I'm a tad sore today, it seems as though the fall affected me more on my left side of my body...

On a happier note, I made snow ice cream!!!  People were exchanging the recipes on facebook so I checked my pantry and had all the ingredients I needed to whip some up.  It was a total hit, my kids were thrilled and LOVED the way it tasted.

Today I am cooking (again) a new recipe.  It's a spin on a chicken pot pie, but the topping is crescent  rolls instead of a pie crust.  It came out really well and oh-so delicious!  I LOVE TO COOK and I LOVE NEW RECIPES!!  Especially quick and easy ones.  I literally cook at least one new recipe a week, it's so much fun having new things eat and enjoy.  I think I might make bbq chicken quesadillas for dinner with the leftover chicken!       

Quote of the day:  (I may start posting these on a daily basis because Camden is turning into quite the comedian!)  For part of our lunch today we were having fried okra.  Camden was in the bath while James and I were eating and I hear him call my name.  I get up to see what he needed and he tells me "Mom, I would like to have 'oprah' for lunch."  THAT BOY CRACKS ME UP!!!!!!!!