Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pre- Halloween with Emma Bean...

Today we enjoyed the beautiful day and made all of our Halloween preparations. 
This morning Emma, Eli, and I went garage saling while Daddy took a test.  We grabbed lunch on the way home and sat on our porch to eat.  Emma loves eating outside.  After lunch while Eli hit the hay Emma and I started work on the pumpkins.  She had 4 this year.  HaHa!  Emma painted two while I carved the big one from a stencil she picked out. 


She said she wanted a scary face and picked this one.  When it was all said and done we took it in the garage and lit the candle so we could all see this beautiful masterpiece.  I guess the scary face was too much because she got scared and said she didn't like it!

I decided it was time for baking Halloween cookies. Emma only wanted to do the sprinkles so lost interest in the cookie cutting cutting quickly.  She decided to head out back with Daddy.  A few min late she came in carrying something to really be scared of... she was not.

It's a snake in case you couldn't tell from all the swinging around.
Finally, it was time for sprinkles on the cookies (after some thorough hand washing.) I bought the only can with orange in it at the store so they could be festive.  Emma was more into making sure there was one of every color.

Oh yeah and I hope you like sprinkles because she wasn't skimping. 
Finally we toasted some pumpkin seeds and popped some popcorn then threw on How to Train Your Dragon and now Emma is passed out on the couch. And that's one fun pre-Halloween with Emma Bean!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God's work...

I've been meaning to write a blog about my friend Blair and all the support and generosity people showed toward her.  And what I witnessed today reminded me I need to get on it. 
I will start with a little back history but, I'm going to try to keep it short.  I know most of you kept up with the saga on Facebook.  Well, Blair was hospitalized with a sudden sickness that left her in ICU on life support nearly a month and physical therapy for a month after that.  I've known Blair for about 8 years and she has been one of my closest friends for the last 5.  I was in total shock to find out she was so sick.  Having the little one, I wasn't able to go up there to Dallas to help out.  On top of it all I was worried about the bills that were going to pour in after she finally got home.  What an awful thing to come home to, I remember the fears I had about Eli's NICU bills just 3 months earlier. 
Blair's mother informed me that her coworkers had donated 4 months worth of their own sick days to Blair and they were putting together a fundraiser that would donate a % of sales from work to Blair.  I wanted to help but I couldn't really buy the product.  So, I decided I would run my own fundraiser.  After doing some research I found a website called that lets you set a fundraising site for free.  After debating on where to set the goal we decided on $500.  I thought that seemed like a lot of money and I really didn't think I would meet this goal.  To my astonishment, I asked and you guys delivered!!  The $500 goal was met in 24 hours.  People who didn't even know Blair were contacting me, donating, and praising the efforts.  In the end we raised $900.  To this day I cannot believe how much money came in and how many people did not actually know Blair.  I've always thought to know her is to love her, and these people didn't even know that about her.  I just do not have the words to describe how it made/ makes me feel that you all wanted to help.
Today, I was reminded of these earlier blessings by another group of amazing people helping somebody they don't know and will probably not ever know.  A friend of mine has a 4 year old daughter that was just diagnosed with cancer.  Her first day of chemo was today and I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what I can do to help this family.  Her mother, actually, made a speech to my MOPS group right after I started visiting them.  I felt like her words were directed at me, like God was trying to get my attention. Like it was all the sudden OK to not be a perfect mother, like I was in the same boat as everyone else, like I need not to forget to trust God, to pray to Him, to turn to Him. Some awakening in your soul like that is a big, big gift.  That being said, I knew I could not just do nothing.  SO, after a couple of other not so bright ideas, I decided I would try to get some hats together for this little girl.  She could possibly start losing her hair 10 days from now.  How traumatic for a little one, for any girl really.
I started by contacting the San Diego Hat Co. asking for discounts, coupons, or even a hat donation if possible.  This just didn't seem enough.  I don't know how I got the idea (Im willing to bet God put it there) but I got on Etsy and contacted several (like 40 or 50) people selling and making hats.  Much to my surprise, I AGAIN, came across people who were willing and anxious to help.  Just today I have had about 15 people commit to donating one, if not more hats or scarves for sweet Sophia.  Its just overwhelming to me that people I have never met, will never meet, are so willing to help.  They just want to do anything.  One lady even said she was sending a few but, it just didn't seem like she is doing enough.  I just can't explain how it touches my heart that people are so amazing when called upon.  God's work truly is unbelievable and I cannot wait to see the look on Sophia's face when she receives the beautiful hats and scarves.  You can bet I'll be there snapping pictures that day.  I also plan on posting a list of all the Etsy vendors so if you ever need hat, look them up! Or if you just feel like thanking them and letting them know the impact they had on me and Sophia's family!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The ham-burglar, a short story

Do you ever wonder what little kids dream about?  I know several times Chris and I have talked about babies having bad dreams or nightmares and wondered if it was even possible if they haven't ever been exposed to anything scary or even know that they should be scared. In this case I am referring to Emma.
Today I got a glimpse of what she dreams about. 
I had just finished changing Eli  about 7 this morning. Like usual Emma was still asleep.  She had come into our room about 5 so from Eli's room I was within hearing distance to ours. As I snapped Eli's last of the 500 snaps they put on baby PJ's I heard Emma.  This was unusual because she usually sleeps til about 8 or 9.  She was fussing so I headed in there to see what was wrong.  As I came in the room, it was still pretty dark but I could see her moving around and I could hear her  saying "no, nooo!"  in a whining almost shout.  I crawled in bed with her and handed her, her cure all snuggly bear and she rolled over and pulled the covers over her head.  I asked her what was wrong and, all pouty like, she said "Georgie took my hamburger."  I died laughing.
Georgie the ham-burglar was all stretched out next to her.  I guess my baby doesn't dream about scary things after all, just hamburgers and her thieving dog.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Fall Yall...

Well its time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, cool mornings, and warm colored leaves.  Yep its Fall and nothing says Fall like a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Our church has a cute little pumpkin patch right in our neighborhood, today, we made two trips there. The first was this morning and I had the kids dressed in their cute fall attire.

Eli was as cute as could be looking like an old man in his collared shirt (my mom commented that she doesn't understand why they make collared shirts for baby boys because they have no neck)

and Emma sported a navy Polo dress with bright blue band aid

I didn't get much cooperation from either of them especially when I was trying to get them together but, there were a couple of kind of cute pictures. However, I went back for round two later this evening.  The was the costume round!  It was the first time I had both them in full costume and they were just too cute!          

Emma is a pumpkin

And Eli, an alligator

I had so much fun just admiring how cute and sweet my babies are while we were out there among all things fall. What a beautiful day and a beautiful season!  Here are a few more of my favorites.
Look at that sweet boy lookin' at his big sister

Just haigin' out

My sweet babies

I got to spend this beautiful day with my family but, I couldn't help but think to myself that there are two families we know going through a bit of a rough patch.  This evening, as I soaked up the golden sunlight, I was reminded to be grateful for the we have. Our family, our health, and everything down to the few moments we spent such a pretty afternoon in the pumpkin patch with the kids. I was also reminded of the real struggle two other mothers, wives, and friends are facing.  I prayed hard for both families. To protect their privacy, I do not want to go into specifics but, your prayers would be appreciated too.  Don't worry, God will know the details.
Well that's all I have for now.  Happy Fall and I hope you too, get to relish these beautiful days to come (before we start complaining of the cold.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Don't-berry" Farm - our trip to Dewberry Farm

Let me just start with a little back story.  We went to Dewberry Farm last year about this time to pick out our pumpkin and see what its all about.  We arrived early, the weather was beautiful and cool, and we just had a ball.  There were no lines and even though Emma was only 20mo she had free run of the place and really got to try everything age appropriate.  We've talked about going back a lot since then with the grandparents but between the expense and actually driving out there is just hasn't happened.
We decided this year to do it again, this time with Chris' parents "Mimi and Big" in tow.  What a fun tradition, going to the farm and picking out a pumpkin.  Well, in theory anyway. Here is what we learned after our second trip to this little farm with such great ideas.
Don't dilly dally, get there early or the lines will be long for everything and the place will be crowded.
Don't want to wait in line for tickets? Good call, check HEB but, don't get there late or you'll be stuck in that line behind 15 money order purchasers.
Don't even think about bringing a cooler, but don't under estimate your Mommy-ness and learn from your sneaky, like the movies. Your kiddos are going to need drinks.
Don't forget sunscreen, when the sun comes out fierce and there is no place to hide.
Don't leave home without your camera.

Don't waste your time on your stroller, load up the wagon! Its pretty authentic when it comes to the ruggedness of the paths and road.
Don't miss the pig races, its too cute! But get over there a few min before to secure your spot.
Don't forget to keep an eye on your kiddos. Theres a lot to do and the later it gets the more kids start showing up.  They're all excited and forget to take turns and other manners.
Don't let the heat beat you down, the sno-cones are worth the line, just watch for bees.
Don't think you're fooling them, your aren't leaving without waiting in line for a pony ride. Head there first and you might just beat the crowd.

Don't forget your pumpkin!

Don't worry, they'll get a nice nap on the way home.
 and finally, Don't you wish you would have thought of this place!! They've got to be making a fortune with all these clever ideas and so little overhead.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

Well, I have been trying to think about what I should blog about next.  I haven't finished the built - ins, all though they are a work in progress, so I just didn't know what I should talk about.
For this one, I was inspired by a friend's facebook post about her daughter.  In prayer, she told God he could be a mermaid when he grew up.  It reminded me that Yes kids say the darndest things.  Earlier this week I was trying to explain the concept of God and prayer to Emma Bean.  Usually when we pray together at dinner she does a lot of her own mumbling and gibberish through the prayer and proudly says "Amen" at the end.  I decided to try to practice praying with her to encourage that she actually use words, if nothing else.  First, we prayed that Eli get better (he had been congested for a couple days.)  After the first prayer she asked to it again.  So we prayed again that Eli would get better.  I wanted her to understand your prayer wasn't necessarily  the same every time so I asked her what else she wanted to pray for. Herself this time.  First, we prayed that she would be able to start staying in her bed at night.  She wanted to pray "on more time" so we decided to pray that God help her learn to use the potty like a big girl. After we said Amen, she looked at me, very matter of fact, and said it would be better if God helped her use the big girl potty so she could have a prize bag. 
Another day we were in the car and right now we are in  "why" phase of terrible two-dom.  You know, where "why" follows everything you say?  I get "whats dis" and "whats dat" a lot too which is exceptionally frustrating when you know that she knows what it is.  But this time it was "why."  I gave her an instruction in the car, I think it may have been to use her inside voice, and then she asked why.  Usually, by the end of the day  I have had more then enough "why" so I just told her because I am the mommy and I said so.  She looked at me and informed me "You are not the mommy, you're the grandma." Although, I was irritated that she was testing me, it was pretty funny and I burst out laughing and so did she.

Got anything that your kids said recently you just have to share?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Its a garage sale weekend in Bear Creek...

Well I was a bit disappointed this time at the lack of participants in the Bear Creek garage sale.  However, that does not go to say I did not find some wonderful things to spend my on; and by my I mean the money Chris got from mowing lawns all month.  Ha Ha, yes he has a side job too. 
So the first sale we went to I got a great lamp for only $2.  It was ugly as sin but I knew I could spray paint it so I did as soon as I got home.  Now its perfect for our future "formal" living room that we are currently working on.
I also snagged a couple VHS movies for Emma @ only $.25 each.  I love VHS for kids.  She can do it herself and they don't get all scratched up.  Not to mention, these days they are dirt cheap.  PERFECT for the playroom TV!
Next we came across an edger for the yard and this little bucket I thought I could use.  Yes, definitely somebody Else's junk but for 25 cents, I thought it would be a great planter or pencil holder. Chris was looking for a gas powered edger for his new lawn mowing "business." So I couldn't walk away from a $15 Briggs and Straton one in excellent shape. 

Then we were cruising around and I saw Eli's exact nursery set in this yard.  It had tons of pieces and I convinced the lady to sell me the art for only $10.  There were seven canvas pictures and they were so cute.  She said they did them themselves.  An excellent job and they are just adorable in his room.  I took pics of some of the things I already had too so you can see how well they match. What are the odds!?

Finally, our BIG score!  We came across a table saw and the guy was only asking $75.  He had all the parts and even his purchase receipt.  With the built in project lurking in the back of my mind, I just couldn't walk away.  I think this is going to change the way we project, ha ha.  Now, I just have to figure out how to use it.  Chris knows but, I am always a little chicken to use the saw.  I think its time I step up to the plate.

Well that sums up the bargain hunting.  I'm a little disappointed we didn't get going on the built ins as promised, but here is a preview of the fabric and the wall paint from the room

I think you will like the finished project!  Off to make some cuts and get this ball rolling.  I wish I could say I would have pics later but I forgot to buy nails and screws so I don't see that happening.

Friday, October 1, 2010

You might be a Mommy if...

Its Friday night and after bathing your children and sending them off to bed you plop on your couch and settle in for a nice long blogging session!  Yes, a lame way to be spending a Friday, but in a sense, its kind of relaxing.  All is quiet and with a two year old in the question phase, you learn to treasure the silence.
Last night was MOPS (Moms of pre-schoolers, for those of you who don't know) night out.  I haven't been a part of the group very long and really, I only knew one lady well enough to remember the name of both her and her kids.
One of the best parts of mom's night out was the hour and a half window I got to get myself, and only myself ready.  I closed the door and went through motions of showering, shaving, and blow drying and straightening my hair.  All of this with out little miss in the background "Mommy, whats dat?  What are you doing Mommy?  Where we going mommy?"  and the 200 other questions she has ( not including the repeats.) When I emerged from our tiny master bath I felt like a fresh woman.  Its been so long since I took the time to straighten my hair and not throw it up, it think its grown 2 inches.
So I came out sportin' my pre Eli jeans and even traded my diaper bag in for my purse.  I loaded the baby in the car and off we went.  I pulled up to this place I had never been and was pretty excited to try.  Its set up that you have to walk past the patio, where we were meeting, to get to the front door.  I looked around and didn't see any one I recognized.  I kind of stood there stupidly for a min and a young guy waiter approached me to ask if I needed help.  This wasn't a place with a hostess or that you wait to be seated.  So I imagine I looked kind of dumb standing there looking around.  I asked the waiter if the MOPS women where here.     
     "The who?"
     At first I thought he didn't hear me or maybe that he was dumb because now that I think about, I talked slowly the second time.  Like that was going to help. "The MOPS, its a moms group - nothing registering with him- We were meeting here tonight, about 10 of us.?"
     "Ma'am I don't know anything about them but I can get my manager."
I don't know Kristey very well, but I assumed she would have called ahead for a pretty big group.  It occurred to me that I had been mistaken, I was either at the wrong place or the wrong time.  Or worse, I had gotten all that free time to get ready and it was the wrong day all together. By this time Eli started fussing and snapped me out of my moment of panic so I took him back to the car and decided I would find an empty corner of the parking lot and nurse him.  Of course as I backed out a person came flying around the corner and laid on the horn because obviously I was the idiot backing out of my space, not the person speeding through the parking lot.  Either that, or they were just that important.
Finally, I get to a spot with Eli and decided to call Amy, the one person I even had a phone number for.  The one person who I could see her kids and know who they belonged to.  She confirmed that I was at the wrong place, right day and time.  She also told me she was bailing on us last min. At this point I had half a mind to go home.  I had been gone 30 min and still not met up with these ladies, had an encounter with an idiot driver, gone to the wrong place, and had to pull over to fix baby melt down.  Now, the one person I knew, was not going to be there.  - It would have been a mistake to give up then.
With the baby fed, I headed to the other restaurant.  It was just across the parking lot and had the same name.  One was an ice house and the other a fajita joint.  As soon as I got out a heard a familiar voice, Sharon, and knew I had come to the right place at last.  I felt a bit awkward at first, toting my baby along to moms night out.  I just knew they were all thinking "thanks for bringing your crying kid, kinda ruins the point don't you think?"  But this was not the case at all.  I settled right in and one of the Mommys even asked to hold him right away.  As it turns out, mommies all love babies.  Especially, when they can give them back.  I ended up having a really great time and some great conversation.
After dinner we were supposed to go bowling but most of us were going to go hang out and not actually bowl.  I decided to offer up our house instead.  At least the drinks would be cheaper.  Plus, the weather was nice and I thought what a great time to use the new porch. Everyone agreed that this was a good idea and to pass on the bowling.
"Wow, I'm one of the cool kids" everyone was going to come hang out at my house! So I got in the car and called Chris and headed home. The girls showed up shortly and we all hung out a while.  To be fair to all that were involved, further details of the evening will not be shared.  But, all and all I had a good time and it turned out I made some friends too!

I ran tons of errands which involved making returns to 3 stores, I hate returns.
I checked out the new resale shop by 24 hour fitness...lame!
I hunted fro play room inspiration fabric and tulle at Joanns.
I went to Lowes and purchased all the lumber to start our built in project tomorrow.
I made a tutus for a birthday party we are going to tomorrow. One for the birthday girl and one for the cutest little jelly cat stuffed animal we got her.

OH YEAH... the best part.  I was nursing the baby on the couch and Emma was playing on the back porch.  While I was sitting there things got quiet so when Eli finished I knew I needed to check on her.  I found her naked over on the side of the house covered in mosquito bites (the reason she isn't supposed to leave the porch.  Its like there is a colony back there)  and playing with a paint pen she found somewhere. I asked her where her diaper was, she already stripped off her other clothes right when we came home, I guess she is kind of a heathen.  An she said "in there, pointing at the porch, it had poo poo in it. Georgie ate poo poo."  Sure enough when I went to go pick up the diaper there was no longer any poo poo. I wasn't sure whether to vomit or laugh but one thing for sure, I had to share!
Georgie "poop mouth" Rhodes

Bloggin' on the built ins project tomorrow.