Monday, December 22, 2008

E.L.F. Makeup

If you want to stock up on some makeup go to E.L.F. I tried to send an email to everyone I know, but I missed you, I wanted to pass this on to the ladies. A Nordstrom brand of makeup is re-branding itself and is selling all of its old branded makeup for a $1. Just go to: http://www.eyeslipsface.com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When you see your children at Christmas

When you see your children at Christmas whether it is making cookies, singing in a Christmas recital, opening a gift or just participating in the holiday spirit; it is so touching and so special. Just in this past weekend, Kaitlyn had a school recital, we had a fun Christmas book exchange and Jackson and Kaitlyn went to see Santa.

In this season of many holiday gatherings and present-giving, the readings at church today hit home for me because so much of the planning that I do focuses on our family and our kids, like this weekend. The readings from the Old Testament, Romans and Luke spoke about David and Mary's faith. They followed God's plan for their lives. During this time, it is so easy to fall out of following His will and instead follow what we want. So that is my pre-New Year's Resolution - Follow Him. As mothers, we take on so much and it is time to just take a breath and Follow Him.

Merry Christmas! God Bless and keep you safe during this special holiday season!

Here are some photos from Kaitlyn's recital and seeing Santa. Kaitlyn sang beautifully - We Wish You a Merry Christmas and A Snowman - tune to a little teapot. Jackson wasn't too happy to sit on Santa's lap. Of course, he was really upset with his parents to passing him off to some stranger with a white beard. LOL.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Precarious Situation

So Jackson has been exhibiting some new and exciting tricks and behaviors this week. He really wants to try and feed himself with a spoon. He is pretty good at keeping it on his spoon if it is big enough, like cut up pears. Kaitlyn always uses her utensils so I am guessing he has watched long enough so now he wants to join in the action. Oh and did you notice he is using his left hand. He goes back and forth, but he is starting to show a little bit of a preference for his left hand.In addition, to feeding himself, he doesn't seem to get enough on his plate. He acts like he is full so we wash up and get him out of his high chair. Then if Brandon, or Kaitlyn (typically, it is them, because I have learned to eat very quickly or in small chuncks throughout the evening) are still eating or have left anything on their plate, he will grab it. He has a pretty long reach too. He will even want to sit with you to finish what is on your plate. It is great that he likes to eat. He is not as picky as Kaitlyn. We are extremely careful with food around hour kitchen now. What can we do? He has to eat a ton to stay in that 97th percentile for height and weight. I don't think he has ever been below that. Sometimes I wonder if his growth will ever slow down or that I might have a 3rd grader talker than me.

It was very cold this week and we got a dusting of ice and snow. We went in back for a minute just to see how cold it was. We checked out the ice on the chairs and quickly went back in. I am ready to get back in our pool already.
Well, we had some friends over yesterday. Actually, a funny story. A couple of months ago we went to the mall to play and ran into a sorority sister from college, Julie Larson McCartney. We haven't seen each other since college and she actually lives a couple of miles north of us in McKinney. She has a girl and a boy the same ages as Kaitlyn and Jackson. Kaitlyn and Emily hit is off right from the start. Of course, Josh and Jackson are just busy hanging out. Yesterday, Kaitlyn and Emily had fun playing playdough and dressing up as little princesses.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Project at 7-Eleven

Well, it has been a long three and a half months, but finally my first website project at 7-Eleven is complete. (I have been working about 10 to 12 hours a week on this.) You can see what I have been working on at www.7-Eleven.com and go to the products and services section. I helped to create the product descriptions and pulled together all the artwork for this section.

Now we are working on the never-ending process of updating the website as 7-Eleven has so many new products and promotions out every month. I bet you never knew all the little things 7-Eleven has to offer now. They are selling video games, GPS systems, digital frames and even freshly-made pizza in some of the stores.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where in the World are the Meches?

So where have the meches been? If you have been wondering, we have traveled to St. Maarten, an island just south of Puerto Rico, completed our Santa shopping, made Christmas yard decorations, created our Christmas cards and managed to put up home decorations.

Here are photos: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=hhuz2tp.5qvkckpl&x=0&y=-y3zprf&localeid=en_US

Wow, it makes my head spin thinking about the last two weeks, but let's get started. Brandon has had a great four months in sales at ADP. And every year, if you reach a certain goal during the first four months of ADP's fiscal year, you get to go on a "SuperStarts" trip. This year it was to St. Maarten. Brandon's parents came up to watch the kids and we were off for a 3 day trip. We were so mellow and chill the whole trip, and if you know us, we usually try to see as much as we can. I think we really focused on sleep this trip because we were just plain worn out. The first night I slept 12 beautiful, wonderful, uninterupted hours. Brandon 11 hours. The next night was 10 and so forth. It was terrific! Brandon had a horrible stomach bug, but he was a real trooper and didn't stop him from enjoying the beach or getting in the steam room. The water is super pretty, but sadly the interior of the island is dotted with shacks and even a house with more than 50 washing machines sitting out front.

We were so happy to get home to Kaitlyn and Jackson. Jackson is in the stage where he is picking up everything you teach him. He is really picking up words, body parts and loves music. Kaitlyn is helping me cook more and is the best helper. She has her side of the kitchen to mop and loves to work that mop. They were doing new tricks for us when we got home. Gigi and Big Daddy had a full weekend with the kiddos - seeing St. Nick, Chuck E Cheese requests from Kaitlyn and lots of playtime.

Before the trip, Brandon decided to make a whole army of yard decorations - everyone from Mickey Mouse to Captain Hook. It took him about 3 days to cut wood, trace and paint these things. Kaitlyn and I helped too. He was so excited. I can't believe how well they turned out! He made it look pretty easy, but I know it was a lot of hard work!

Before that, we ventured out to a couple of the Black Friday sales. It was crazy, but we saved a little bit on gifts from Santa Claus! Yeah.

There are so many little traditions we want to keep and get started. We can't wait. We are starting a few every year as the kiddos get older like celebrating advent with a prayer and advent candles to prepare for baby Jesus. Or like making it an event to go to the Angel tree to shop for another child for Christmas with Kaitlyn and Jackson. And of course, we can't miss driving around and looking at lights! That is the best. But most of all, we hope to be able to see all of our family and friends every holiday season and make the most of this special time.

What traditions do you love and have with your family? Can't wait to read on your blog or email!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for the many blessings we have had this year and for all of our family and friends. Here are Jackson and Kaitlyn wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Short and Sweet - Pictures!

Kaitlyn has now mastered making funny faces. She can even put her legs next to her head while she is making a funny face. Talk about America's Most Talented!


Well, Kaitlyn can now take a shower, in fact, she prefers them. She can almost do this all by herself. Where has our little baby girl gone?

Jackson is going to be rooting for A&M this Thanksgiving. Of course, we had to give daddy a little cheering up, especially after Baylor just killed A&M! Yahooooooooo! (The little scratch on his nose is from falling while trying to walk over his play lawn mower. He fell on his little nose. These little guys sure fall a lot learning to go faster and faster.)

Jackson was smiling up a storm after his first haircut. He can really be a ham! Lately, he has been enjoying turning himself around in a circle, just twisting around and around. Like I have said before, we are really trying to train our kids to be our entertainers, especially since we don't get as much anymore.

Friday, November 14, 2008

5 Cheap Ways to Entertain our Kids

Here are our Top 10 Cheap Ways to Entertain Our Kids:

5. Library Books and Library Times

4. The famous Couch Tent with flashlights

3. Clipping coupons. Kaitlyn loves helping to cut things now.

2. Rake leaves and jump in the piles.

1. Stay up a little later and have fun outside in the dark looking at the moon and stars. Because they hardly ever do this, it is a fun and exciting treat to play in the dark with a few lights on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Conversation with Kaitlyn

Besides being the 200th post to this blog, my impromptu conversation tonight with Kaitlyn was deep and so sweet. I was putting her to bed tonight and had told her a Captain Hook story as she requests every night before bed. I could tell she still wasn't ready to be left alone.

I told her that I had to go do some work and that I couldn't stay in her room or she wouldn't be able to go to sleep. She kept saying not to leave her and Jackson and that they needed someone to take care of them. I forgot, she associates "work" with me leaving for 7-Eleven. I reassured her and then she wanted me to ring the wind chime hanging in her room. It gives her some comfort sometimes. This little wind chime is a pretty decoration that my grandmother (Gran) bought for me as a wedding present. I told the history and that I had given it to her to keep. Then she inquired about Gran. She had visited Gran several times before Gran past away in late 2006.

Kaitlyn asked where she was and acted like she remembered her. I said that she was in heaven. I could tell Kaitlyn was thinking really hard and wanted to know more. I told her she was with Jesus and that if you looked up in the sky that this is where heaven was. When I was little, this is where I thought heaven was. And she asked if she could see it. I said it was very far away. She put her arms out wide and said, "This far?" I said yes and some more.

It was so cute to have this little conversation. I had to write this down to not forget it. It is amazing how the powers of conversation just open up and spill over.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Handing Us Books and Growing UP

As much as we all wonder where the time goes, I really wonder how kids change overnight. Jackson is 14 months! He has started dropping things and saying Uh-Oh right after. It is so cute because he says it very softly. He is also loving talking with p sounds and dada, bath and ball. His new favorite thing to do is to hand us a book and climb up on our lap to have us read to him. What Brandon and I really like about this new trick is that he hands us everything. He helped me with laundry just the other day and handed me all the dirty clothes on the ground to put in the washer. He thought it was very fun game.

Favorite toys right now: Balls, Remotes, Phones and Books

He is teething and this time a couple of molars are trying to come through. He has been a little fussy, and he has slowed down on eating. On Thursday, he hardly ate anything. That was huge!! This guy can eat a lot or wants to eat what we have usually.

He is our little copycat too. He loves to copy Kaitlyn when she gives us a strawberry on the cheek. He tries too, but usually not on the cheek.

This week has been crazy with the time change. I asked in Jackson's Kindermusik class if anyone else had this issue and they all said their kids get up at 10 am. Oh man, I was like what time do these kiddos go to sleep. Right now, I just wish mine would stop waking up at 6 am and sleep until 7 or 8 am.

This is the calm before the storm of the holidays. I am definitely trying to take advantage of getting some stuff done early. Maybe it will work. Who knows.

Kaitlyn is about to be 4. Wow! And she is really turning into a little girl. I ask her about what she does at school and she talks about the other kids in the class. She raves about playing tag all of the time. She is even saying things like magic and Presto!

Favorite Things to Do: Color and play games, go to the park

Here are some photos from a little playdate with friends, Ian and Emily. It was tough to get photos of Emily and Jackson as they were running around. Ian and Kaitlyn have been friends since they were babies and definitely miss being in Mother's Day Out together. Emily is four months older than Jackson. Jackson went straight for the pots as he loves to play in dirt.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Well, we are off to Ville Platte, Louisiana for the weekend, but before we go for a family visit... We stopped in at the Pumpkin patch and are going to a little Halloween party tomorrow.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween! Here are pictures from playing with pumpkins.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A day in the life of a mom...

From time to time, I have the chance to page through a Dallas Child Magazine. Usually, I can find it at the doctor's office or perhaps a kids' play center and read a few pages when the kids are busy. I like to read the regular feature, "A Day in the Life of an Everyday Mom." It reads like a schedule, except the mom writes in all the activities of the day. I always wonder what other moms do in a day in the life and if it is anything like ours. So here it goes... (And if you feel so inclined to share a typical day in the life, let us know.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

7 AM: This is an unusual morning. I woke up on my own and not with Kaitlyn standing at my side of the bed whispering in my ear.

7:15 AM: Kaitlyn walks in our room and climbs in bed. She wants to watch a little show. So I turn on Einsteins, and I take a quick shower and get dressed.

7:30 AM: Kaitlyn goes to the bathroom and I help her get dressed. Jackson wakes up (finally hear him rustling around) and I get him ready and dressed.

7:45 AM: Get both kiddos in the kitchen and breakfast started. Jackson has some bagel and oatmeal. Kaitlyn has a waffle and milk. Jackson tries Orange Juice for the first time and loves it. He wants more.

8 AM: I run around to dry my hair and get shoes on. I ask Kaitlyn to put on her shoes. We run to the bathroom and get her hair done. Pick up jackets and are out the door at 8:15 am.

8:15 AM: Take Kaitlyn to school and we drop her off. Jackson and I then go to get gas and a carwash.

8:45AM: Arrive home with a cranky baby. He is ready for a morning nap. We read a couple of books and then at 9:15 he finally puts himself to sleep in his crib.

9:30 AM: I fix myself breakfast and sit for a moment to eat. I wasn't really hungry until this moment.

9:45 AM: I get on the computer and check email for work. Sent Margaret at 7-Eleven my updated product descriptions for review. I called the car company about the van. I called the doctor for Jackson and schedule a physical for me. Emailed about a playdate.

10:30 AM: Call mom to talk about van stuff. Started to put photos online. Cleaned up kitchen a bit.

11 AM: Jackson is up and ready to go. I am ready to go again. I get him in the high chair and we have a snack. Normally, we start to fix lunch, but he has Kindermusik class.

11:20 AM: Left for Kindermusik.

11:30 AM: Arrive at Kindermusik class at Ms. Jeanie's home. We start to walk up her steps and I held Jackson. I tripped on a little step and caught myself. I am beginning to wonder if I am losing it or just not paying enough attention. Jackson had fun banging on drums and listening to music.

12:30 AM: Arrive home and fixed lunch. We ate together.

12:50 PM: Jackson and I played a little bit.

1:10 PM: Put Jackson to sleep and read a couple of books. Tried to get him to sleep a little early because we had to pick up Kaitlyn. He is easy when it comes to sleeping.

1:15 PM: Stayed in the kitchen making meals for the week. I made a new dish - Chicken Tetrazzini.

2:30 PM: Woke Jackson up and got in the van to go pick up Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn finished her work, got her jacket and then we were ready to go home.

2:45 PM: Came home and gave the kiddos a snack.

3 PM: Quiet time-K/Playtime - J

3:30 PM: Got ready to go. I forgot that we need to get Jackson his second flu shot so we went to the doctor.

4 PM: We came back home and played.

4:30 PM: Brandon came home early. I started to get dinner ready. Kaitlyn needed a nap and got pretty cranky. Since we went to the doc, she didn't have a chance for a big rest.

5 PM: Fed Jackson dinner as he was starving. Kaitlyn had a snack, not too hungry.

5:15 PM: Brandon took Kaitlyn to Kindermusik.

5:30 PM: Jackson was done with dinner and we went out back and played together.

6 PM: Jackson took a bath.

6:30 PM: Put Jackson to bed as his nap was cut short today. Kaitlyn and Brandon came home.

6:40 PM: We all ate dinner. Normally, we all eat together, but this was a Kindermusik night. Jackson is an early eater.

7 PM: Cleaned up and Brandon and Kaitlyn played a game and got ready for bedtime. I relaxed a little bit.

7:30 PM: Started bedtime with Kaitlyn and put to bed. She was asleep in two minutes.

8 PM: Kids asleep. Got a few things together for tomorrow; write this blog. Sat down with Brandon and watched Heroes and hung out.

9 PM: Read a little bit of The Shack. Great book!!!! I am supposed to be reading it with Rachel and we talk about it, but we both can't put it down now.

10 PM: Watch a little news and weather.

10:30 PM: Go to sleep so I can be ready again for 7 am.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sea World pics

Click on the Title below to see the photos from Sea World. Needless to say, we love our new camera!

The Sea World Trip Photos

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Sea World Express

(More pictures are coming)

So we hopped on the Sea World Express down to San Antonio this past week. We weren't sure what to expect. We headed down at different times, but met up with Oma/Papa and my brother and his girlfriend, Amy. It was a fun time.

Of course, I say this with a big asterick. Aside from the crazy car ride to San Antonio and the ride back, and the lack of sleep for the kids, we all did great.

I don't think we have ever done that much in so little time with both kiddos. The first night we went to Stephanie and Garfield Green's for dinner. Jackson They have Emma, 5, Garfield, 3, and Elizabeth, almost 2. Jackson is even bigger than Elizabeth. The kids had so much fun together on the swing set and playing on the botom bunk. Kaitlyn really had a fit when we left San Antonio and we didn't get to see Emma again.

We then went to the zoo and had so much fun. Jackson loved walking around and the zebra. Kaitlyn loved the monkeys and taking pictures herself. It was a little hot, but not too bad. We then met up with the whole family and went to the Riverwalk for a boat ride, dinner and ice cream. The night went by fast.

Both of these nights we didn't get the kiddos to bed before 9 pm. It was tough, but they managed. Brandon and I played Jackson duty because he didn't sleep well.

On Saturday, we managed a plan to let Jackson take naps and we all got in Sea World time. Shamu was awesome and so was the Baluga whale/dolphin show. We also loved feeding the dolphins. The kids were just mesmerized by all of the animals. I think the key for us was to do Sea World with small children in small chunks. We had our hotel by Sea World so we could go do some shows and then take a nap. Then we went back and did a little more and then back for another nap. It worked out well so we managed to avoid any meltdowns.

The kids' favorite was the kids play area. Kaitlyn loved the Shamu Express ride. She rode it about 10 times. She did as her daddy suggested - ride with her hands up and say woohoo.
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Jackson loved the soft, cushy area where he could just crawl and walk around in a safe area.
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We are so excited to go back to San Antonio and hopefully, next time we can see more friends next time while we are there.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Accept Diaper Derby Challenge

Recently, the Zafereos', really little Noah, at www.zafereo.com, sent out a Diaper Derby Challenge. He looked like he had so much fun that Jackson had to try it out too. He loved playing in the box. Kaitlyn, she enjoyed laughing with Jackson and they even jumped into Jackson's toybox.

So Noah, next time we get together, we are ready for a challenge side by side. Hheeeehheee!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Birthdays Side by Side

I haven't had the time, but have really wanted to put up a side-by-side of Kaitlyn and Jackson at the same ages. They are just so cute to look at the similarities and differences. Here are their first birthday pictures.

Kaitlyn on February 5, 2006 and Jackson on September 1, 2008


A&M Weekend

We went to A&M last weekend for the game and Brandon's reunion. It was a lot of fun to see old friends and hang out. We also stopped and saw the Bonfire memorial. It was really nice and peaceful. 

Brandon had a blast going back, especially since it has been a couple of years. I hope we can stop in and see Baylor this month. 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Get Your Popcorn, Come Jump and See Balloons

Can you guess what this title means? Yes, as Saturday turned out, we had a fun family day out at the Plano Balloon Festival and our church carnival at St. Jude. The hot air balloons launched around 7:30 am this morning and since the kids were up, we made our way out there to watch the balloons. I got to try out my new birthday present - a Nikon D60 digitial SLR. I have been waiting for five years to get one as my film SLR is from the stone age now.

Jackson and Kaitlyn loved watching the balloons. And there was a fun free kids tent with tons of activities for Kaitlyn. We got back home in time for Jackson to have a nap and we then went to our church's - St. Jude carnival in the afternoon. Here are pictures from the SLR (first time).









We volunteered to man the bounce house. I took tickets for an hour shift and it was fun to work it with other St. Jude volunteers. Kaitlyn and Jackson got a lot of bounce time. When we stuck Jackson in, there was only another little boy, two more gals came in, and they all jumped in a circle around him. He loved bouncing as Kaitlyn did. She watched out for him and went back to the bounce house two more times. Here is a video.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Recipes for Exchange

I receive a lot of emails for recipe exchanges. I know it is crazy trying to find something to cook for everyone while little kiddos are running around. I have done my share of looking and have tried several recipes this year that were huge flops!

So I totally get excited when something looks good, is easy to make and actually tastes good. Here are two recipes that I picked up at the Kroeger grocery store. We made them tonight. Brandon thought it was a hit, Jackson thought it was a hit, as well as Kaitlyn and me. I can't scan in the photos because my scanner is not hooked up to my laptop, but they are pretty easy to imagine.

Ravioli Lasagna

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz. ricotta cheese, divided (I didn't divide it and it was still good.)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 jar spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce
1 pkg. (23 oz.) frozen cheese ravioli (found at Kroeger)

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, egg and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Spread marinara sauce on bottom of 9-ince baking pan. Arrange frozen ravioli in single layer on top. Top with cheese mixture, then ravioli again. Finally top with additional marinara. Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand about 15 minutes to cool and set up. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 6. (I think the total of this meal for me was around $10-12, and there is plenty for leftovers.)

Spinach-Apple-Bacon Salad

4 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Royal Gala or Granny Smith apple, cut lengthwise into 15 slices
8 cups baby spinach
Sliced red onion
Sliced button mushrooms
2 slices crispy center cut bacon

Combine first 6 ingredients (water through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place the apple slices in a large bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons dressing over apples; toss to coat. Add spinach, onions, mushroom and remaining dressing; toss to coat/ Crumble the bacon and spring over the top of salad. Refrigerate any leftovers. (This was a yummy salad and the dressing was yummy too. Brandon even ate this! I think the total cost of making this salad for me was $8.)

Watch Out for Beaumont!

This week Ike hit southeast Texas and Brandon's parents decided to stay at their house. They got water, filled up their bathtubs and got their generator out to prepare.

The storm did some pretty crazy damage. There were a lot of trees down, fence/roof damage and flooding. Today the water flooded their street and they could not get out. They were able to make it out a little later for gas and there were fights at the gas station.

The power has been out for a couple of days now. Please pray that they are safe in this mess and that electricity comes on soon. Some reports say a couple of weeks.

Our Walking Boy

Oh man, I have been meaning to update this; however, Kaitlyn has given us a run for our money this week and Jackson is keeping us on our toes with all of his walking around.

I had to add this since we don't get to see Uncle Spencer, Aunt Christy and Cousin Maggie that often. We went to Rainforest cafe and saw the monkeys and elephants moving around in the restaurant.

Kaitlyn no longer needs medicine, but has caught Jackson's cold and is just not herself. This past week, she didn't go to school and we stayed home most of the time to keep her calm because of doctor's orders. She had so much energy she didn't know what to do with it. We went to Kohl's on Thursday to pick up some things for gifts and she was all over that store. She is usually good about staying close, but she wanted Halloween pillows, cups and shoes. None of which were on our list.

I hope this sleeping thing is going to get better soon too. She is still waking up a little bit and not wanting to go to bed, but I think it has been due to the cold more than anything else.

Meanwhile, little dude, little lumberjack, really our big man is taking steps to go everywhere. He had his doctor's appointment last week and he is a whopping 28 pounds and a tall 33 inches. He only gained two pounds since June, but it feels like more. At the doctor's office, he took steps toward the doctor and turned and went back to Brandon. And since Brandon just got Rock Band, we have been playing the guitars. Jackson loves to just dance in front and bounces. He and Kaitlyn start Kindermusik tomorrow and I am sure they will be loving that again.

Here is a video of him today trying to walk in the grass. He plops down twice. It is so funny. He got a little frustrated because he fell.
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We were spontaneous and went to the Dallas Zoo today. We didn't stay long, but we got a few photos. They give pony rides and Kaitlyn was dying to ride the horse. Maybe next time. They both liked the kids area and that is a great area for little kids.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Quick update

Kaitlyn is doing great. We are just having a hard time trying to keep her calm and low-key. We are so thankful that everything has gone as well as it has. Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. It is tough to be on the computer too long right now, but we will get back to you and post more soon.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

At home

Thanks daddy for the earlier post. We were able to take Kaitlyn home today around 2:30 pm. She was a great patient and a very brave little girl. It was hard for us to see her go into the OR without us. I took a minute to compose myself and Brandon felt sorry for me so he went and got me a taquito for breakfast. We waited about 45 minutes and then a volunteer from our church came to pray with us. At that moment, the doctor came in and said everything went well.




I went to see her and she had already started to wake up and was calling for me. She was moaning a lot, but was able to relax a bit and I told her some stories and sang. In the recovery room, we watched Clifford and she slept. She threw up a little due to the medicine and was talking and very alert.

I really think the tour of the hospital the day before gave her some familiarity. Also, thanks to the book from her godmother, Good-bye Tonsils, she was able to understand what was happening a little bit better. Even her doctor wanted to go buy the book.

When we got home, the first thing she asked for was a sandwich and grapes, and she said she wanted a lot of grapes. Of course, Kaitlyn is very definitive in what she wants and when she is hungry. I made her a mushy jelly sandwich with really soft bread and there was no problem eating it. She drank some, but didn't want much. It was tough, but she did take her pain medication. She later this evening asked for another sandwich and at some strawberry ice cream and some marshmellows. And Brandon made some special Jello Jigglers for her.

She stayed in bed and watched movies until she fell asleep in my lap. I hope she is able to sleep through the night. Oma watched Jackson today and he has a little bit of a cold so we are watching that. I think he was sad that he didn't get to be with Kaitlyn. We definitely missed him since we were at the hospital most of the day.

I will be on my own with them tomorrow and hope to plant Kaitlyn on the couch and have Jackson play by her. Hopefully, it won't be too bad. The nurse said that the next day is usually harder because all the stuff from the hospital wears off.

Kaitlyn's surgery update

All is well with the tough little cookie Kaitlyn! This morning we took her to the hospital at 7:15 to get ready for her tonsils and adnoids to be removed. They gave her some "silly juice" before they took her in to calm her down. The doctor came back later to tell us that everything went great and that she did a very good job with the anesthesia. They found that there was a lot of scarring on her tonsils that made her very prone to infections, and her abnoids were very much blocking her nasal passage, so the decision to have the surgery turned out to be a very good one!

Now, Kaitlyn is just resting in her hospital bed with Sarah by her side while she watches cartoons. We're scheduled to be released at 1:30 today to go home for some good R&R.

Brandon

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happy First Birthday Jackson

It was a weekend of Happy First Birthday festivities for Jackson. We had a family birthday party on Saturday. Luckily, Brandon's parents from Beaumont, came just in time. There were mandatory evacuations on Saturday and they came up on Friday, before all of the miserable traffic. We were all thankful that they were able to be here with all of the crazy weather going on in southeast Texas and Louisiana. We hope all the family in Louisiana is okay from the wind and rain of the hurricane!

Back to Saturday, we had barb-b-que and ate cake. I found a great little blue punch recipe. I was excited about it because I had a pink punch for Kaitlyn's party. (I am going to post a pic of both Kaitlyn and Jackson on their first birthday. Remind me. I don't have my pictures right now because my PC is dead. A computer guy is taking all of my stuff off to put on an external hard drive. Yuck!)

Jackson dug into his cake and smashed it like crazy! You will see a photo on photobucket here. He loved the cake! He also loved his presents. His favorite were the rocking chair from Oma and Papa, the fun, squishy chair from Gigi and Big Daddy, and his choo-choo train toy chest from his godmother (nanny).

Here is video of him getting into his cake.


On Sunday, we met up with Gigi, Big Daddy and Maggie at the Rainforest Cafe for a little dinner. Jackson loved looking at all of the animals as well as cousin Maggie, who was taking notes for her upcoming birthday. Kaitlyn loved it too and got a big drink holder with a straw. The waiter brought Jackson a little ice cream and sang Happy Birthday. He wanted to dig into it just like the cake.

On Monday, his actual birthday, we had some friends over for a pool party and more cake. He loved smashing the cake. Kaitlyn helped get him started again. He didn't have a problem in front of everyone. Although, he was done in just a couple of minutes. I think all of the festivities have worn the kids out. Jackson has been in bed at 6:30 pm and Kaitlyn in bed asleep at 7:45 pm and waking up around 8 am.

Here are photos from all of the festivities.




One last video, I had to post. Uncle Stephen and his girlfriend Amy are always a ball of fun when they come over and play with us. Uncle Stephen likes to be our fun little goof ball. Here he is trying to jump through three floaties.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh the places Jackson will go

Hello there are double posts here. So first I have to tell you about the kiddos. Jackson is going everywhere. There is just so much going on with him. He now has some special tricks up his sleeves. He can raise his arms up high when we say up or put them down when we say down. He has been doing a little waving.

And our favorite trick is his eye for food or drink. Tonight when Brandon had a big cup in his hand Jackson turned and saw it. He crawled as fast as he could to him, climbed up his leg and had to have a sip. He then laughed hysterically because Brandon was laughing. He frequently does this whenever anyone has food or drink. You would think that we didn't feed him, but when you see him, you know that he eats well.

Here is a picture of him taking a step to Brandon. He took two really good steps to me the other day.



Kaitlyn is so cute. She loves arranging her animals around in her room. She calls her baby her little sister. Don't know if that is a hint. Haha. We are trying to work on counting to 20 and remembering all of the numbers. She is a little fuzzy on 14.

She is loving dance class and went to the dentist today. She was the perfect patient and sat in the chair and followed all of the instructions. We were in and out in 20 minutes.

I recently was called by 7-Eleven to work on a Web project. I am excited to do some work, and am trying to dust off the cobwebs. I am going to be pulling all of the information from 7-Eleven managers to write product descriptions of 7-Eleven's offerings for its website. I get to work with the webmaster and he is hilarious, very dry sense of humor. Not unusual for his department either, I met with him and the other guys that sit by him are pretty crazy too. One guy pulled out a little guitar in the middle of his cube.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kaitlyn's First Ballet/Tap Class!

Kaitlyn had a blast at her first ballet/tap class. I started to get a little nervous for her and of course, I was a little sad that I couldn't join her, but she really loved being in the class as a big girl. I could only take a few pictures outside of the class so us moms wouldn't disturb the class. Some kiddos still came out later to ask moms for stuff. Kaitlyn as usual stayed close to her teacher and tried her best to follow all of the steps. I have no doubt she will be a little dancing ballerina for her May recital.

(She is next to the boy in all pink with a little bun.)




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Joy of Being

I had to post this. This morning I went to put Jackson down for his morning nap. We sat in the rocking chair and I got Goodnight Moon out. He was laying on me so I could read to him, and I started having hiccups. Every time I had a hiccup, Jackson would just start giggling. I am guessing because I made a sound and my stomach moved at the same time. He just thought it was the funniest thing ever. How wonderful for just a little hiccup to make a baby so joyful. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

An adventure in Hawaii

Pictures below

For all of the pictures (And I forgot the battery charger so I only got about 200 pics), click here: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=hhuz2tp.8v5dvo2l&Uy=-ygvdhw&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0&UV=387926864993_383068608605&localeid=en_US

We just got back last night from Hawaii! What a fun trip. It was so nice to open the door to see Kaitlyn running to give us a big hug. Jackson was a little surprised and has been warming up this morning. I think he definitely wanted to know where we went and why we left him.

We really did have an adventure in Hawaii. We didn't do all of the touristy things. We hardly even saw our hotel because we took off in the rental car all over the island. Man, there is a lot of lava rock all over it.

On the first full day we were there, three other couples wanted to come check out the other side of the island and volcano with us. They saw that we had the "Blue Book" and had a feeling that we knew what we were doing.

When we went to Maui on our honeymoon, we used the "Blue Book" to do everything and it definitely did not disappoint. A couple of guys have written and rated everything in the book for each island. It tells you a lot of local stuff to do that the typical guide book does not.

So we followed this book's map around the other side of the island from we were staying which was a three hour drive. It would tell us at such and such mile marker where to stop to catch a great waterfall, etc.

So we stopped at several of those and made our way to check out the volcano. That was great. Then went on to another stop where the lava was flowing into the ocean. We drove through a ton of places where there had been eruptions and lava flowed all around homes, but the homes were there stuck in it. A lot of people still live in them without electricity or running water. Because the house was not destroyed, the insurance would not pay, so many people had to stay in those homes.

We then went on to a black sand beach covered with rocks and nude men. Had no idea about the men or even several locals who were handing out pot. The beach was awesome and just couldn't get over some of the locals we saw. One man had hair down to his waist at the beach and the locals call him the caretaker because he considers the black sand beach his home. The waves were so strong that they knocked all of us over in just knee-deep water. I almost lost my camera, and two guys in our group lost a watch and wedding ring; just to give you an idea of how strong it was.

We then hopped down a tree-canopy covered road to a little bay. The trail took us back to a secluded area with an 8 by 14 pool naturally built into the rocks. It was heated by the lava and volcano from underneath. It was a natural hot tub and was so beautiful and peaceful. We couldn't imagine anyone not believing in God with all of these natural wonders.

We then headed to a little local Thai restaurant and we all agreed that it was the best food of the trip. So on this day, we were gone from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm on just that little excursion with the blue book. It was crazy.

On the rest of the days, we rode horses, played on different beaches and went to Hilo to shop and check out the little town.

The horses were great because we went into the mountains and it was like we were in Colorado. Brandon rode Big Roy who definitely wanted to do his own thing. I rode Blaze who was the slowest horse around. Although, he was the first horse back at the stables to eat his lunch.

We found the best beach by the Four Seasons resort, and just wanted to stay here the rest of the time. We went back to this beach several times because it was our favorite. It was not crowded and it had a small golf grass area covered with trees to hang out on. There was plenty of snorkeling available right there with coral and sea turtles. The sea turtles were sunning themselves as long as we were and didn't even care about people being around.

The hotel was huge. It had a tram to take you to different towers and a huge pool and lagoon. It had plenty of activities and a huge area with dolphins to swim with, however, the explorers that we were, the hotel was child's play for us. The hotel had tons of birds in an area of trees right by our room and would start being really loud around 4 or 5 in the morning. We didn't get a ton of sleep while we were there like I had thought.

Everything was so nice and we weren't stressed at all about having to do anything. The most ironic thing was that between 4 couples, we hung out and did all of these activities together and didn't disagree on anything. We all liked doing the same thing and just went with the flow. It was really cool even when we were riding in a bright red HHR and drove around the circle drive in front of the hotel to rap music with the windows down.

As for getting home, that is a different story. Our plane got delayed for three hours. So we went to eat dinner and watch the sunset. That was great that we got to do that, but we ended up leaving Hawaii at 12:30 am and getting into LA at 9 am and then flying home at 12:30 pm LA time. With the time change, we finally arrived home at 6:30 pm Texas time for a total of 15 hours traveling. It felt like the longest day ever because we only got some brief shut eye on the Hawaii plane.

We definitely give the Big Island a four star rating for all of the activities and friendly beaches. We can see why a lot of families choose to come here. We could tell it is an international destination.



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Monday, August 11, 2008

Love this new background

This is a new, fun background. Thanks Schmidt family. So we are just trying to get a few things done before we leave tomorrow for Hawaii. We come back on Sunday and will share photos.

Please pray for a safe trip as we leave Kaitlyn and Jackson from Tuesday to Sunday. We are looking forward to a wonderful time and will miss them terribly.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Procrastinating

I should be cleaning up the kitchen. I should be doing a million things, but I went to check my email quickly while the kids were sleeping. In one of the emails was a link to a You Tube video of Christian the Lion. This video is so sweet that I had to post it. I love animals, and this just shows how much they love us too.  

Monday, August 04, 2008

Uh-Oh...

So I have recently found a new online love, facebook.com. As Shelley puts it, crack book. I have found so many friends from high school and college that I haven't talked to in forever. So cool.

That aside, what a nice weekend, besides the triple digit temps, we packed a lot into just three little days. On Friday, Brandon and I left the kiddos with Gigi and Big Daddy and went to check out a resort in Tyler, thought it would be fun and get a few rewards. Turned out not to be fun and went straight to the John Mayer concert. We have managed to go to one concert a year for the last three years. It has kind of turned into a little tradition.

Here are some photos.


On Saturday, Spencer, Christy and Maggie came and we all jumped in the pool with Gigi and Big Daddy. Man, what a relief, we had an umbrella up for some shade in the pool and the kids enjoyed that. It was so hot we didn't even leave the house to get dinner than night. We ordered takeout!

We had fun just hanging out, and Uncle Spinny gave all the kiddos a ride!

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On Sunday, I drove with Meredith and Tiffany to see Rebecca and her new baby boy - Brock - in Austin. He is so tiny around 6 pounds. Just adorable. All the family looks great for little sleep.



And lastly, I would like to send up a little prayer request. I hate to end this post on a sad note, but in the last week, I have heard of two events that made me so sad. A college sorority sister (April Durio Lieder) lost her new baby boy, Evan Andrew, last Tuesday. When he was born, his heart just gave out. Also, Patti Dallhoff, a gal whose husband works with Brandon, lost a dear friend. One of her good friends lost their little boy, Carston who was 4 years old, to drowning in the pool on Friday. Please pray for these families as they grieve for their little boys. I will post any updates if I hear of any.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a day...

What a day it has been. Kaitlyn's last day of camp and swim lessons. Man I am worn out, but... I had to write about one story and post some pics.



So last night I was putting Kaitlyn to bed and before I get to that... We are working hard for her to go to sleep on her own without crying out or needing several different things. Bedtime has always been a bit of a struggle, but her sleep habits have been changing a bit lately. So I left her to go to sleep on her own and she was upset, so I went in and said it is your job to go to sleep and mommy and daddy have their jobs too. And I repeated the rules - must be still, quiet and close your eyes.

Kaitlyn then said that I like to water the plants and asked if that was going to be what I was doing. Also, that I like to water the plants. And that the plants need water. Not that this is any big thing, but I thought it was neat how she had a logical sequence of events or stayed on one topic. Of course, I didn't linger and left. She went to bed and is continuing to improve.

So Jackson has been cracking himself up lately. He loves to climb into Kaitlyn's big chair and sit in it. It is like he is getting cozy in it. He loves to climb in and then climb out. It just makes him so happy and giggles too.