Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Re-Cap


Here's a re-cap of what I accomplished this Christmas:

I decorated the house, the trees, and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care. All the gifts were even wrapped before Christmas Eve!

We took a family photo under the decorated tree. Surprisingly, we all managed to look in the direction of the camera at the same time.

I dressed the kiddos up in their cute Christmas jammies for a Christmas Eve photo. Kellie-Laine hated hers and wants me to take them back. But the girls look cute. Right? I have the photo...that's all that matters.

We shopped early and bought the girls appropriate, practical, useful Christmas gifts. Okay, well maybe Cody went overboard with the Barbie Jeep, but he's such an easy target at Christmas. He's sappy, and sentimental, and nostalgic. And he's a pushover.

I made four baking sheet advent calendars as gifts. It took approximately 3 days and lots of ignoring the children and husband. They turned out pretty darn cute. But Cody has forbidden me to make another one. Ever again.

I read and posted each one of the Christmas cards we received. The card collage has grown considerably since this photo. I feel so loved...and guilty that I only hang the cards with photos. Sorry, folks. There's not that much wall space in my house for each and every card!

I bought my husband the coolest, most perfect gift. A Keurig single-brew coffee maker! It is so cool!! I think he loves it more than he loves me. Okay, well maybe I'm exaggerating. But he definitely loves it more than the children.

I also hosted guests for 5 days straight. All the cooking...the cleaning...and more ignoring of the children and husband...

The house is now quiet. The gifts are put away. My cleaning ladies are coming tomorrow to restore order once again to my domain. The girls are back to whining and arguing. My husband is avoiding the final Christmas $$$ total. And me?

I hit the after-Christmas sales., it felt good!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Caroling We Will Go....

How many of you have ever gone Christmas caroling? I'm talking the real deal....acapella Christmas tunes, flashlights or candles, knocking on the doors of people you may or may not know, etc. Ever done it? Not many have. It is, in my opinion, a tradition that has landed on the "possible extinction list" and this year I set out to SAVE THE CAROLERS.
A few of my fellow-Beth-Moore-Bible-Studiers and I gathered tonight for a Cookies-N-Caroling party. Inspired by Beth's statement that "we are but a vapor here on earth (compared to eternity)" and we need to "make it count." Make it count...make it count...make it count...that phrase has resonated in my mind and heart ever since I heard it. But how? Then the cookies-n-caroling idea hit me. This idea, coupled with some amazing and unconditionally-supportive Christian girlfriends, took on a life of it's own. Tonight we were able to see how God plants a seed and with just enough watering, attention, and grows beautifully.
The houses we chose were both random and pre-selected. Our criteria was that we wanted to bless those who were not churched or simply needed encouragement. We didn't want the "easy" road. We wanted to share the love of Christ with people who didn't know us...people who were randomly selected (but divinely purposed). And God provided. No doors were slammed in our faces...all received our angelic voice with smiles...and we, in turn, were on a spiritual high for the joy we were spreading to others. It really was amazing...and fun. And something I hope we'll do again. (SAVE THE CAROLERS)
We sang for a widowed woman with a pistol; we sang for a lady who thought we were seeking donations; we sang for moms and dads and their kids; we sang for grandmas; and the highlight of the night: we sang for a middle-age man in satin boxers. Nothing else...just the boxers.
The true purpose of tonight will probably not be seen with our own human eyes. Only God knows what will happen when the door shuts and the grandmas, moms, dads, and kids look in their goodie bags and discover sweet eats, an encouraging card, and a book explaining Christ to Calvary. Only God sees the outcome of the plan He so carefully knit together.
But we planted seeds.
We may not always be able to watch it grow beautifully. But we have faith that it will.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Point of Grace and Spanks

What do these two things have in common? They are the answers to the following questions:

1. What was the highlight of my week?

2. How come I look so amazingly skinny lately?

Perhaps I have a little explaining to do...let's start with #1...our church hosted Point of Grace's "Winter Wonderland" tour this past Sunday evening at Baylor's Ferrell Center. Since our church was the host, our choir had the opportunity to sing on stage with Point of Grace.

Okay, like, how COOL is that?! I've been singing with our choir for a little over two years, and this was one of the neatest "perks" I've had yet! The other cool thing was that the children's choir was also able to sing a few numbers on stage, and Kellie-Laine was part of that. Can you spot us in the above photos? No? Me either. I guess my quest for being "discovered" while on stage is but a fleeting memory. It was totally worth it, though. And if you haven't heard their new song, "How You Live"'ve got to check it out. It's one of those "stop and smell the roses and don't get consumed with dishes or laundry" kind of songs. I need to listen to that song, like, every four minutes. Maybe then I'll be a good mom who does nothing but play, play, play with my kids all day long and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy every minute of it! Oh wait, I forgot -- I'm SuperMom and, of course, I play with my children everyday and love every stinkin' moment of it. I do. Really. Savoring every moment of play. Yep, that's me. Now, moving on...

#2 ...Why do I look so amazingly skinny lately you ask? Because I've just discovered "spanks." Have you heard of them? Basically, it is a panty hose-like thing that is about 12 sizes too small. You can get all sorts of coverage depending on your "problem areas"---leg to rear, rear to chest, thigh to tummy, rear only, etc.

Unfortunately, they do not have full head-to-toe coverage, which was what I was originally looking for. I'm sure it's because most women are not into the "bank robber" look, but I was hoping for a miraculous re-shaping of my entire body; face included. Oprah swears by these things, so you know they've got to be good.! Anyway, I tried the thigh-to-tummy style. I was so impressed by what I saw that I immediately slipped on a pair of pants and turtleneck that hadn't seen the light of day since pre-baby #2 and baby #3. I looked goooood. And skinny. And uncomfortable since the circulation in my thigh-to-tummy area was cut off. But I looked goooood, so I chose to suffer through the lack of circulation.

Let's be real here, having a baby changes the shape of your body. Many changes occur--some good; some bad. After baby #1, the changes are pleasantly minimal. Fast forward to baby #3 and you'll find that the extra skin left behind from baby #3 will entertain your kiddos for hours since fatty extra skin doesn't seem to dry up and turn hard like play-dough does when you leave the cap off the container. (How's that for a word picture??!!)
But back to the main point...I have a few extra pounds to get rid of. Nothing major, just the tummy area. While 3 pregnancies definitely changed my body, it's really not that bad. Nothing a few months in the gym wouldn't take care of, but who has time for that???!! I'm playing with my kids and loving every minute of it, remember?
My solution: SPANKS...
And a vasectomy for Cody.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Conversations with a Four Year Old

(aka: "why I so desperately need more adult interaction")
(aka "why I need a nanny")

Landrie: "Mommy, watch this!" (she hops on one foot)

Me: "OOoh, that's good, Landrie!" ( with full enthusiasm)

Landrie: "Watch this!" (she hops on other foot)

Me: "Wow! Cool!" (still enthusiastic)

Landrie: "Now watch this!" (she bends over backwards across the chair)

Me: "Good, Landrie." ( a little less enthusiastic)

Landrie: "Hey, watch this!" (more bending over the chair)

Me: "Uh huh, good job."

Landrie: "Look at this!" (she makes a fish face)

Me: "Ummmm...." (completely distracted)

Landrie: "Hey, look at this!" (she makes a circle with her fingers)

Me: "Okay, Landrie...." (approaching annoyance)

Landrie: "See this, Mommy?" (she draws the letter "L" in the air)

Me: (Silence.)

Landrie: "Did you see that, Mom? Did you?"

Me: "Yes, Landrie."

Landrie: "Watch me spell my whole name now."

Me: (with irritation) "Lan, Mommy's busy working on the computer."

Landrie: "Why?"

Me: "Because I've got to send some email to people."

Landrie: "What people?"

Me: (with more irritation) "Just some people, Landrie."

Landrie: "Where do they live?"

Me: "All over."

Landrie: "All over the whole world?"

Me: "Yes...Lan, no more questions okay?"

Landrie: "Okay, mommy."

(Pause. Silence. Pause.)

(More pause. More silence. More pause.)

Landrie: "Um, Mommy?"

Me: "Yes, Landrie."

Landrie: "Watch this, Mommy!"

I'm sure I'll look back and appreciate this one day. But not today.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I am Alive!

Hello, bloggerville.

I am alive. I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but my face has fallen off. Or maybe my brain has fallen out. Or maybe both....

All I know is that December has just began and already I'm tired. I walked into December with a full calendar, and I'm not sure I can make it through!

Since I'm in a tired, scrooge-like mood, I think I'll list five things that really annoy me. (Fellow bloggers, you can create your own list, too!)


1. Hearing people eat their food --especially cereal. (Which my husband likes to do right beside me on the couch!)
2. Clutter of any form....laundry, junk in the car, etc. The funny thing is that clutter follows me EVERYWHERE!
3. Being interrupted when I'm trying to tell a story. Mainly, it's my kids who interrupt. I won't tell you which one is the worst....nope, I will not divulge her name. It wouldn't be fair to suggest that one child is consistently doing this over the other kids. She can't help it. She's the middle child and needs her attention. But I won't give you her name.
4. Trying to create the perfect Christmas card with perfect pictures of my kids, showing how perfect my life is. Don't you guys already know how perfect I am? I'm SuperMom, remember?
5. Going to the grocery store....because I do this, like, every three days, and no matter how much planning ahead or stocking up I do, I still ALWAYS NEED SOMETHING ELSE FROM THE STORE.

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

3rd Annual Highland Hayride!

My apologies in advance for my lack of knowledge in how to properly align text and photos. Blogger gives me indigestion in this way. I cannot figure it out. If any of you can help, I'd greatly appreciate it. The mis-alignment makes me cranky....

If you live in Waco and you haven't heard of Highland Baptist Church, you're obviously living under a rock. Not only is Highland known for it's amazing worship music, missions emphasis, and uncomplicated desire to glorify's also known for it's annual Highland Harvest Hayride. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little about the hayride part. I'm not even sure we've given the event an official name, but it's my opinion...and my show, right? Highland Harvest Hayride it is....

Our lifegroup started this tradition three years ago, and each year it seems to grow bigger and bigger. This year we topped out at about 75 people, and we actually had to have TWO trucks and trailers to fit everyone in! The favorite pit stop during the hayride is the dairy farm....ooooh, that smell! We let the kids get up close and personal with the cows for a small taste of farm life, and several of us cinged our nose hairs by getting a little too close to the stench, er, I mean smell.

Following the hayride, we let kids roast hot dogs and smores while the adults feasted on homemade chili and cornbread. The whole event is a "back to basics" approach to fellowship and family....God's picturesque countryside, friends and family we dearly love, and most importantly NO TV, COMPUTER, IPOD, etc. (Kenny S., I forgive you for using your Blackberry...I know the "new" hasn't worn off just yet.) We all leave with dirty, exhausted kids, full bellies and desires to own a little piece of land in the country. (Thankfully, our gracious hosts, Bruce and Nellie, will open their barn to us next year--so we'll get our "country fix" once more.)

Just a few random thoughts from tonight's event:
1. Kesleigh, I always enjoy looking for your "runaway" children at these events.
2. Kim, please know that one batch of those brownies will never be enough. Not even if you've made them just for me....
3. Parents: if we find ourselves asking "Who does this child belong to?" every 5 minutes, we probably need to institute some sort of number system. I like how the farmers numbered the cows by tagging their ears. Maybe we could do that....
4. Kelly T.--did you nurse Patriot on the hayride? If so, you've got me beat. I've nursed my kids in every public bathroom and parking lot in the city of Waco. But I've not had the opportunity to nurse on a hayride. You should get an award.
5. Melinda, I enjoyed playing "woof-woof" with Sage. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one succumbing to my child's rather odd sense of imagination.
6. Bruce and Nellie: I'm a city-girl, but your place is way cool!

Here are a few pictures from today's event....enjoy!

Remember the gracious hosts I talked about? Here they are! Two of the most loving people I know. Thanks, Bruce and Nellie! We love you!

With 30+ children present, it takes every man and woman to help us wrangle them all. You know what they say: It takes a village.....

My precious children....sorry for the blatant display of favoritism. Remember, my show.

The Selkes...(sorry for getting you lost. How'd you like the cemetery???) and the Konzelmans. (Amanda is the "butter voice" I described in an earlier post.) BUY THEIR CD!

My Asian-sister-in-Christ, Julie and my side-conversationalist friend, Theresa.

Loadin' up.....and random kids......

Okay, I had to show you this you see the man in the blue shirt? That's Mr. Potts, also affectionately known as the "baby stalker" because he loves babies so much! On the hayride, Emerie decided she would rather sit in his lap than mine. Several times I tried to get her back, and she would shake her arms at me telling me "no thanks." Can you believe it? Thank you, Mr.Potts, for being such a great hayride-babysitter!

I've got tons more photos, and I'll try to get them up in a later post! I'm behind in my bible study homework, so I better get to it! Blessings......

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat

Oh, the dilemma of having multiple age kiddos during Halloween! Here's the scenario....take one very self-focused 12-year-old (aren't we all at that age?!) who wants to hang out with her friends and trick-or-treat door to door. The next in line and highly opinionated middle child is excited about the concept, but in reality probably won't participate in anything. The third and final precious pumpkin doesn't really even know what's going on and would rather stay home and lay on her snuggle blankie. So what are we to do? How do we make all the kids happy? Why do we have to do anything? After all, I've got a ton of laundry to do, and I'm certain the kids will want to help me fold clothes. They looooooove to spend time with me like that...folding clothes, doing dishes, making beds....did you know that my children are perfect, too? They are.

What we finally decided to do was to drag all three children to our church's fall festival for the first half of the night. Kellie-Laine brought two friends and I let them run a muck at the church...independent of us. Landrie was the typical observer and refused to play any of the games, but did become quite skilled at cutting to the front of the line to simply ask for candy. Emerie was her usual self...pitter pattering around, pointing at things, and smiling for any male who looked her direction. Thirty minutes later....the kids were ready to go home.

This was probably the most low-keyed Halloween ever! KL put her costume together using a pair of ladybug wings, and Landrie chose a princess dress from her dress-up closet (but absolutely refused to have her hair done or make-up applied). Emerie wore a ballerina skirt I had ordered some time ago. It was a pretty unremarkable night, and I liked it that way.

There was a rather annoying thing that occurred that night. Cody and I thought the universal sign for "Do not knock on our door for candy, you greedy little goblins" was to have your porch lights turned OFF. Apparently, this is not the case here in Waco. We flipped off the lights around 8:45 thinking we wouldn't be bothered any more, but we were oh so wrong. Not only did little devils continue to knock on our darkened door, their PARENTS actually escorted them up the darkened driveway since they couldn't see in the dark conditions. I kid you not. Not only that, but they were loud, and some didn't even put forth the energy to wear a costume.

Can I get an "Amen" here? I know I sound like a Halloween grump, but come on people. At least put on a football jersey...a simple wig will do...a sheet over your head...glasses? It's easy and it shows respect. Next year, I plan on driving all over the city of Waco carrying a large trash bag and stocking up on candy for next costume. I don't need one. I'm going as a mom....a weary one, at that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Man Can...

Gotta little story for ya, Ags.....oops, sorry. I forgot I have a large Baylor Bear audience. Actually, I got a little story about an Ag--his name is Cody, and he's my wonderful husband.

I just wanted to brag on him for a moment because sometimes I'm all about my kids, my life, my stuff....and I forget to acknowledge that Cody is a large part of the reason why I have "my stuff" (kids included). So sit back, grab a cup of non-fat, half-the-caff latte and enjoy all the things My Man Can do.

My Man Can: (You must say the words, 'My Man Can' before each of these statements or it won't sound grammatically correct!)

1. Wear a rice krispy box on his head with no embarrassment (see above photo). Where the kids are concerned, nothing is above him or below him. If it's for their enjoyment, he'll do it.

2. Give a back rub like no body's business. It's pretty much what puts me to sleep each night.

3. Do any household chore that I can do. And the beauty of it is that he's willing to do it because he knows it helps me.

4. Be romantic and thoughtful. He sets up most of our dates, including arranging a babysitter. Our babysitters are a hot commodity these days!

5. Fix just about any problem I have. He's my sounding board. He's my rock. I am emotion-driven; he's logical. He gives good advice...even when I don't like to hear it. And he's very level-headed....something I'm definitely not.

6. Give you pretty much any fact, game score, current news tidbit, etc. relating to the sports world --especially where the Aggies are concerned. It's pretty cool and freaky at the same time. He lives and breathes Aggie football and can give you a play-by-play from games that occurred years ago.

7. Exhibit the patience of Job (although I must say that as he gets older, I'm finding this to be less and less true....grumpy old man).

8. Put up with moods, my OCD, my fear of snakes, my aversion to taking out the trash, my shopping habits. Someone must be paying him to stay with me. Dad?

9. Make a ponytail....he can fix Landrie's hair in the mornings if I need him to, complete with hair bow and hairspray. You can't pay money for this skill, ladies and gentlemen. It's a God-given gift.

10. Show emotion. He doesn't do it often, but I have seen him tear up on more than one occasion. Sometimes it's over something big, like my mom's funeral three years ago. Sometimes it's something small, like experiencing an intimate moment with God during church. I don't think it makes him less of a man.....but more.

11. Attempt to put our family first. The reality is that with Cody's (sometimes) grueling surgery schedule, our family simply can't always be first. Especially when he's the bread winner. Sometimes we have to be second, but Cody always makes me/us feel first. I know we are his first priority. I know nothing comes before us. And when I do get pouty about his work schedule, he fixes it (see #4 and #5 above).

12. Still make my heart pitter patter. Enough said.

Okay, all you fellow-bloggers. Share with me....what can YOUR man do? Let's lift our sweet hubbies up with our words of encouragement!

PS....I'm sharing some pictures from this weekend. My sister came down to Waco with Grace, three nieces, and a cousin in tow!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A First Time for Everything

Ahhhh, firsts....can you remember some of your monumental "first-time" experiences? Are they a source of pain or joy? Pride or embarrassment? Laughter or tears?

One of the cool things about being a parent is watching your kids go through these firsts. Kellie-Laine was recently invited to a Disco birthday party complete with professional DJ. Sounds fun, right? Well, once she realized that BOYS were going to be there, too, her joy quickly turned to pain. "How am I supposed to dance? I don't know how to dance!" was her response. "What if a boy asks me to dance??" was another source of pain (as well as ours.)

Cody and I quickly came to her rescue and performed our best dance moves from college. "See, it's easy!" I said as I snapped my fingers and bounced in place. "Nothing too it," chimed in Cody as he demonstrated his famous bob-and-weave-white-boy-style maneuver. Kellie-Laine gave us one look and screamed at the top of her lungs. "I'm not going," she said. Apparently, we were not helping.

All week long we prepared and worried and fretted and deliberated over every scenario the dance might bring. Was she allowed to dance with boys, she asked? "NO" was the reply. Were Cody and I going to stay at the party? "Yes" was the reply. It is, after all, our goal to embarrass the child as much as possible. It was pure agony and high drama...very typical for a 6th grader.
Finally, the day of the dance arrived. KL and Phoebe spent an hour and a half getting ready (did you miss that? AN HOUR AND A HALF). The clothes Phoebe brought were just not going to do, so the girls raided my closet trying to find the perfect outfit. KL sought Phoebe's opinion on her attire, and hers was the only opinion that mattered. After both girls found acceptable clothing....we moved on to hair. I tried my hardest to give KL a style that was flattering and fun, but all she saw was "baby-ish." I moved on to Phoebe....she had no opinion. "Do whatever you want" she said. Then, both girls re-did my "do." (I guess hair stylist is not a career option in my future....)
With the perfect outfit and the perfect hair in place, Cody and I headed to the dance with two very giggly, very nervous girls in the back of the truck. When we pulled into the parking lot, they started chanting, "take us home, take us home!" We got out with the girls and walked to the front doors as Justin Timberlake's, "Sexy Back" was playing. "Take them home, take them home!" my brain was saying. No luck, the girls opened the doors and saw...........GIRLS on one side of the room in a huddle and BOYS on the other side of the room in a huddle. There was an invisible wall that kept the two species from interacting. The girls were shocked, and overdressed (or so they thought), and disappointed, and relieved. All the hype...all the preparation...was for naught.
Cody and I bobbed and weaved our way to the dance floor at the DJ's prompting. That was the only time during the course of the night that the kids actually danced. The rest of the night was spent playing with an oversized ball, running to the bathroom in groups, eating and making fun of the boys who were trying out dance moves they learned from their parents. It was exactly like Cody and I imagined it would be....and NOTHING like the girls imagined it would be.
It was the best of was the worst of times. Okay, so maybe I'm being a little dramatic. In the end, it was neat to experience this "first" with Kellie-Laine. There are many more to come, and I hope she finds security in the fact that Cody and I are here to help her bob-and-weave through each one of them.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

My friend, Adrielle, tagged me, and so now I'm required to share 8 unusual or unknown facts about myself. I'm certain you're all waiting on pins and needles for my answers, but first I must choose someone else to "tag"-- how about Jennifer Herrington, Jennifer Ross and Brother Boog! You're it! Now on to the rules:

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their 8 things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


1. I ALWAYS have gum. ALWAYS. On the rare occasion I don't have gum due to little children digging in my purse and stealing it, I have actually been known to leave the premises to go and get gum. (I left church one morning upon the realization I had no gum--kid you not!). I am very sensitive to other people's breath, including my own. I don't want to risk having that "not so fresh" feeling, and I certainly don't like that same "not so fresh" feeling thrust upon me! Me like gum.....
2. I absolutely must have a glass of milk in the mornings...or at least in my bowl of cereal. I'm a little bit hypoglycemic and starting my day without lots of protein is a prescription for the "shakes" ususally associated with hypoglycemia. I prefer whole milk, but my waistline likes to hold on to it, so I'm a 2 percenter now.
3. I love music and listen to it nearly every waking moment. I prefer Christan music, but I also love classical (mostly grand piano), Colbie Callait (spelling?), Jack Johnson--NOTHING pop-ish, rap-ish or even much country. I especially love anything our worship choir sings at church, in particular ANYTHING Amanda Konzleman lends her voice to. Her voice is like butter..... I try to have music playing in my home whenever my kids are around. I like the peacefulness it brings to the environment, and I'm so blessed when I see KL and Landrie singing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," "Give Me Jesus," or any other worship songs I have playing. What better way to surround your kids with the word of God than through music? (BTW: my current CD selection is Fernando Ortega, a Christian musician who mostly plays grand piano but will every now and then bless me with his vocals. Again, more butter....)
4. I am still very much in love with my husband. While this may not be a quirky or unknown fact, it is, in comparison with some, an unusual fact. Especially in today's world of "obligation marriages" and "dead relationships". I give most of the credit to my Lord and Savior, and a little credit goes to my husband's dimples...
5. My two main flaws (amongst many) are laziness and criticism. If I didn't fight to overcome these tendencies each day, I'd spend a lot of time on the couch watching TV, eating bon-bons, and scrutinizing the lives of others....Thankfully, a good way to get rid of laziness is to become a mother. Motherhood and laziness cannot co-exist.
6. My main inner struggle is VANITY vs. CHEAPNESS. I love to shop and dress nice, but I don't like to pay for nice things. AAAGH! And to make matters worse, I have VERY expensive taste! I don't care what the store is....clothes, furniture, jewelry (especially jewelry), I will fall in love with the most expensive item in the store. It will be exactly what I want, except for the price tag! This is where being a cheap-skate comes in. I love the item, I just don't want to pay for it. I'm sure my husband appreciates my frugality, though. It helps him sleep better at night....
7. Only in the summer, I have to sleep with my left foot outside the sheets. For some reason, (partly due to my OCD), my toes feel like they're stuck together when underneath the sheets. I keep myself up all night trying to "unstick" them, until I just flop my foot on top of the sheets and voila! All better....I'm sure there is some kind of medication for "sticky toe sensation" but it may require psychiatric evaluation, and I'm not going there.....
8. I've referenced my "need for clean" before, but I don't think y'all get it. I really need things around my house to be clean and orderly or I start getting a strange eye twitch thingy and my heart rate goes up. I truly get an anxious, panicky feeling when I start seeing clutter or lots of chore-type things piling up. Again, part of my OCD. And my two LEAST favorite chores are unloading the dishwasher and putting away laundry. Hate it....hate it....hate it.

Well, there you have it. Are you ready to release me from your list of friends? Will you avoid eye-contact the next time you see me? Is there a straight jacket with my name embroidered on it? It's okay. I understand. At least a padded room with white walls is clutter free......

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Beeler Update

Yes, I know....they should revoke my blogger license!
The start of school has brought many changes...the main change being that I have little free time! It's good to feel productive again but hard to stay organized.

So here's the update: Kellie-Laine has a boy that has shown some interest in her, and she has returned that interest. I'm not calling him a "boyfriend" because she's not allowed to have one. The extent of their interaction is talking at school and note writing. This has been an interesting series of conversations I've been having with her because this is territory I've never ventured into! Things seem to move so fast these days, and I believe it's my job to slow them down. Even though I'm not entirely comfortable with this boy-girl thing, I realize it's part of growing up. I also appreciate that she still depends on me to help her understand this new venture. A week ago, she came home and asked if she was allowed to write notes to this young man. At first I said no, but then I reconsidered. I told her she was allowed to respond to his notes and that she needed to be aware that at any time I could ask for and read them. She was happy with that compromise, and I think the note writing has been humorous and sporadic at best!

Landrie has successfully completed about three weeks of pre-school, and I'm blown away at the things she's learning! She has found a few boys that she calls her "best friends" and that's pretty much "typical Landrie." She definitely beats to her own little tune.....even though she's as girly as they come, she prefers to have friends who are boys. She spends most of the day playing teacher and will line up all of her animals and babies and call roll. I was playing with school with her the other day and she told me, "When I say your name, you say 'present' or 'gift.'" Isn't that funny?

Emerie has developed quite an opinion, and it's usually different than mine! She prefers being outside and will stand at the front door and whine to go out. She loves holding my hand to walk (even though she can take 8-10 steps on her own!), but she is definitely doing the leading. She, too, started one day of Mother's Day Out, and I think she's giving the teachers a run for their money! She refuses to take a nap at school but will sleep for 10-15 minutes only if they rock her! She will help me sing "twinkle, twinkle little star" and will swipe at her head when I say, "brush your hair!" I had a "proud parent" moment the other day with her...I had given her a wet wipe to play with and when I turned around, she was wiping the cabinets with it to "clean" them. I am a constantly cleaning--it's kind of an obsession of mine. Children imitate what they see, and Emerie sees me wiping down the counter tops at least 5 times a day!
Cody and I are doing great....starting to enjoy the little bit of freedom now that our littlest one is getting older. We're getting more dates in and enjoying our evenings together on the couch! I'm about three weeks in to my Daniel Bible study and it's just what I've been needing! The Lord has really been speaking to me this past week about tactfulness, and I'm trying hard to listen and learn what He desires for me in this area.
Until next time.....

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Babies!

This past Saturday, we hosted a double birthday party for Landrie and Emerie. Being born 8 days apart seems to have it's advantages! We rented the WBA gym, a Dora bouncy house and added lots of scooters, dodge balls, plasma cars, etc. While we invited only close friends and family, we ended up with around 15 adults and 27 kids....can you believe it????

The party was a hit! At first, we tried to organize a few relay races, but we quickly realized the kids had more fun making horse and chariot contraptions out of jump ropes and scooters. Even the bouncy house was pushed aside for dodge ball and good ol' running around! I guess the lesson I've learned is that kids don't need such elaborate parties...just a big building or yard and a few friends!
I am the "queen" of elaborate parties, and I've done them all: baking party, ooey-gooey party, Survivor party, carnival party, pop star party, Six Flags party. I usually wear myself out with the details of the perfect invitation, the perfect party favors, and the perfect party games. But no more! The simpler, the better.
I'll post pics from the party once I load them on the computer and edit them a little. Hope you guys are all staying well...lots of little bugs and illnesses going around with the kiddos being back in school! Take care....

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of Pre-K and 6th grade

Whew! We made it through the summer! I can't believe it, but I'm glad it's over. The final few days left were really tough. If you think the age difference between Landrie and KL is enough to curb the fighting...think again. Sometimes it's worse! School has provided the much needed break for dueling sisters, an attention deprived baby, and a tired momma!

KL started this past Wednesday and there wasn't too much to report. There are 16 kids in her class...most of whom have been in her same class since kindergarten. Things are pretty much the same for her: she likes her teachers, is frustrated with math, and plays soccer with the boys at recess. Landrie is the one who I was concerned about. Everything was new for her this year. But who was I kidding?? This is Landrie I'm talking about, and she practically walked herself into the building and into the classroom! I was not needed one iota!

Landrie's teacher is great and reported that Landrie had a terriffic day. Landrie's been talking about her new best friends: Will and Cooper. I guess I'm a little confused by her preference of male friends, but I'm gonna roll with it....again, this is Landrie. She beats to a different tune!

Along with the start of school comes the start of my own schedule and commitments. I officially rolled off the board at Waco Baptist this year, but was asked to stay on as advisory and continue to chair the Marketing Committee. Add to that my Monday Morning Bible study at the church (Beth Moore's Daniel....I'm soooo excited!!), co-chair of the WBA Variety Show, Wednesday night choir, fellowship committee at WBA, and a possible spot working with the high school youth at church. Oh, should I also forget to mention that my friend, Julie, and I have started working out again????!!! I am not busy AT ALL.

I have tried to be very deliberate and purposeful with my obligations....all of which take a backseat to my family. I don't know if I've done a good job of this. Please pray for me that I won't over-commit. My only desire is to be available to my family and not push them aside because of my busy-ness. I know God will direct me and give me the strength to be super mom, but I need to be able to hear him through all this.

On a side note: Emerie turned one last week. I am sad. She is our last....or so I think. But she has developed quite a temper....

I hope you all are enjoying these first few days of school...before you know it, we'll be dropping our kids off at college. Yikes!

Monday, August 20, 2007

High School Musical Back to School Party!

I thought I was being pretty creative by hosting a HSM2 back to school party....apparently there were about 10 million other creative moms who joined me in this endeavor! We hosted 10 girls at our house for pizza, sugary soda and plenty of giggles! We asked the girls to come dressed in their pjs and bring a favorite pillow. It was really an easy party...the girls snuggled together to watch the movie and when the show paused for a commercial break, we had locker mirrors for the girls to embellish with paint and jewels. (thanks, Julie!).

The funniest thing was that during the movie, the girls were completely quiet...even shushing one another if the talking got much above a whisper. UNTIL......the kiss (or should I say "kisses") between Troy and Gabriella!!!!! The girls let out an ear piercing scream and did lots of clapping. Cody and I looked at each other with an "uh-oh" expression on our faces! I'm not sure I like this kissing long as it involves people on the big screen and not my daughter!
The girls spent the remainder of the night outside playing "ghost in the graveyard" and begging their parents for 5 more minutes when they arrived.
Overall, it was a successful back to school party, and I even watched most of HSM2 myself! My review of the movie? Well, I'd have to watch it again and actually pay attention to the plot of the movie....I had a hard time focusing on anything but cutie-patootie, Zac Effron!! (It wasn't too long ago that I had New Kids on the Block magazine posters plastered on every wall of my room.....)
Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just a Swingin

Today was "hospitality Wednesday" at the Beeler household. One thing I love so much about our house is that it's central to everything (especially Target!!). Because of this, we get frequent visits from our friends and their kiddos. Today my friend, Ashley, and her 3 girls came over this morning followed by my friend, Faith, and her two boys this afternoon. Landrie had so much fun "entertaining" her friends and spent quite a bit of the day outside on the swing and in the pool. (Kellie-Laine, poor thing, felt a little too old to do much with us and Emerie was too young to enjoy the fun!) I took a few photos of Faith's boys on our swing...aren't they gorgeous (the boys, not the photos)??? Her kids are so photogenic and super handsome! These boys are on my "arranged marriage" list for Emerie and Landrie. My dad picked up a zoom lens for my camera at a really great price, and I'm enjoying using it...if you don't have a zoom lens, you should think about getting one. It allows you to take candid photos of your kids from a distance so you get a lot of natural smiles and not too many "posed" photos.

Our girls start school next week...I think I'm ready, but to be honest I'm not desperate for them to start. It's been a long summer and there have been very trying days, but time has flown by like crazy and I haven't really had a chance to enjoy it! Many of you know our dilemma with Landrie but for those of you who don't: she has an August 28th birthday, so we've been struggling with the decision of holding her back or starting her on time. The solution we came up with was allowing her to start Pre-K three days a week at Waco Baptist Academy with Kellie-Laine. If we feel she's ready to progress onward to Kindergarten next year, then we'll do that. If not, she'll repeat Pre-K again but move to the 5 day class. It's so hard to try and look into her future to know what's best, but for now we feel good about the direction we're heading.
My teacher friends: I'm wishing you the best of luck this year ahead---you are priceless!
Take care,