Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

From our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Papa

Just wanted to send a quick happy birthday to Papa!
Your grandsons love you bunches!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Max rolled over!

Max rolled over this morning.  I have not actually seen him do it previously, but know he has done it in his bed a time or two.  I put him on his tummy for tummy-time this morning, stepped into our bedroom and right back and he was off his blanket and on his back.  Put him back on his tummy and over he went.  Ran to get the camera and told the big boys about it accomplishment.  They came to cheer him on and roll with him.  Camera battery - dead!!
Will try again later today.....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random pics

This is the crane with a wrecking ball that Mason bought with his own money.  $10.81 in change.  Mostly quarters.  The cashier at Tar-jay was not excited.

Max sitting in the bumb0 seat.
 Max's finished room.  The last piece to go up was the framed animal prints spelling out his name.  LOVE the way they turned out.  Thanks Irini! :)

This is how he greets me after each and every nap.  All smiles!

 Happily watching his mobile.  Sweet sweet boy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Since I need a little humor in my life today......

This morning when Mason was in the shower:
M: Daddy, I don't like soap.
E: You don't like the taste?
M: No, I just don't like soap.


So, I realized that I have not posted any pics of Mason playing soccer this fall.

Thanks to Coach Travis for a great season!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


In Loving Memory
Irene Johnson -- "Mema"
October 21, 1923 - December 15, 2009

This picture hung in my grandparents den until just a few months ago.  Yes, that is me at just a few months old.  :)

Originally posted on January 2, 2008

Christmas 2005 - Mema in her apron.  She had probably been cooking and preparing for days!

I have had two amazing women that have been a huge influence in my life. They are my two grandmothers. Nennie (my mom's mother) is 86 and Mema (my dad's mother) is 84. I have been thinking about both of them so much lately. Maybe that is a product of their age, and maybe it is a product of mine. Today, I have had my thoughts on Mema. She is an amazing woman. She was able to spend Christmas day with our family - her 2 children, 3 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, she had absolutely no idea who we all were. She has advanced alzheimers and is in her own world. But, that is not what I want to dwell on today. I refuse to remember her as the shell of a person that the terrible disease has made her. I remember her strong. She was a devoted wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. She taught me how to bake -- her homemade rolls and pecan pies (with the most perfect, flaky crusts that you can imagine) were out of this world. She was a lady through and through. Until very recently, she wore dresses every single day and only put on pants to work in the garden or in the yard.

Colorado .... mid 1990s.  Mema is on the left
Her faith in God carried her through many tragedies -- the death of her husband, mother, son and sister. She cared for each one of them through long illnesses and I never once heard her complain or ask why her. She had an amazing spirit, a fire in her. The family house had a large back yard and they had chickens in the yard. Apparently, one pecked at my oldest brother when he was a young boy and she went out and immediately wrung its neck (literally). She didn't wait on the men, she didn't blame my brother for doing something to the chicken, she defended her grandson and took care of the situation. It really makes me laugh to picture the situation. Chicken Little was dinner that night. I loved spending time at their house growing up. There was always plenty of family there. I learned so much from her. I learned the importance of family and God. I learned how to cook (or at least I tried!!!).

I watched her live out Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

She is all these things and then some. She is to be praised for the life she lived and the witness she provided. My prayer is that she does receive the reward she has earned and that she meet my Grandaddy, Uncle Rickey, Mama (her mother) and Aunt Pat at the heavenly gates very quickly.

She is celebrating in Heaven tonight with all those family members and more.  When I originally wrote that post, I had no idea that it would be almost 2 more years before she would leave us.  It has been 2 very long years for her.  I am so sad tonight that she is gone.  But, I am so happy for her that she is well, whole, happy and in the presence of God.

Did you notice?

On this post, did you notice this picture?

Does anything seem different?

Look closely.....

Yep, that is a cloth diaper. :)  Isn't it CUTE????

I have one friend that is cloth diapering.  From talking to her, I decided that my biggest objection to it was the laundry.  But let's face it.  I do tons of laundry.  Just ask my Nennie.  She agrees.  So, I decided to try this thing called cloth diapering.
I gave myself until Max was 6 weeks old to ease into having another child without having to worry about diapers.  But, at 6 weeks I started. Very slowly.  Now, Max is 12 weeks old and I am really starting to love it.  The laundry is not a big deal.  I love not having to run to the store for diapers all the time.  (Plus, it is way cheaper in the long run!)  And, isn't that little bum the cutest????  Baby girls can wear cute bloomers over their diapers.  Boys - not so much.  This gives me a little taste of that!

Yes, he will TOTALLY hate these pictures when he is older.  But, I am the mommy.  I get to take embarrassing pictures.  That's my job, right? :)  Oh, and isn't his cloth diaper SO cute???

I have gotten all our diapers at  I love this site and right now:
Go check it out! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

You Know You're a Mother When ...

You Know You're a Mother When ...
(No, I didn't write this.  But I did find most of these true!  Found it here.)

-You count the sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they're equal.
-You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
-You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
-Your kid throws-up and you catch it.
-Someone else's kid throws up at a party. You keep eating.
-As you cling to the high moral ground on toy weapons; your child chews his toast into the shape of a gun.
-You hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it's the only one your child eats.
-You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into cute shapes.
-You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "NOT in your good clothes!"
-You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
-You donate to charities in the hope that your child won't get that disease.
-You hire a sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.
-You use your own saliva to clean your child's face.
-You say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job", but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.
It has been a week since I posted.  Things have been busy.  I know, everyone is busy.
Here's a quick recap......
Mason had several events at school last week and one was his second field trip. They visited the Dallas Children's Theater to see a Christmas puppet show.
This is the boys last week of school for the year.  So sad because I have so much to do still!  So, Thursday is Miles' last day and party.  Friday is Mason's last day and party.  Trying to enjoy the quiet in the house today.  It will not be this quiet again until Wednesday, January 6th.  Not that I am counting. Really.
We saw Santa this weekend.  The big boys smiled and no tears.  Max was not a fan of the big guy.  Really, it was just cold.  And he was tired.  And hungry.  I planned well, huh?  Mason asked for a boat and helicopter.  Miles asked for a motorcycle.  Seriously.  Don't we ALL think that would be a great idea???
Max will be 3 months old on Wednesday.  I can't believe how quickly time is going by.  In just one more month he can start eating cereal and other fun foods.  It felt like getting to that point with Mason took forever. (And truth be told, we didn't even wait until 4 months with him!)  Max seems too small to start eating solids.  Odd.
Wednesday is also our 9th wedding anniversary.  So, for all of you that were there 9 years ago, go ahead and think it .... "9 years??? already???? wow!!"  I know.  It does not feel like it has been 9 years.  It snowed/iced that week - remember?  Our wedding day was gorgeous but windy and so cold.

OK, that's all for now.  Have to find a few more gifts for the boys.  Not a motorcycle though.  He is only 2 for pete's sake!  I know, call me mean mommy...!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The good and the bad

The good:  The rain stopped and the sun is shining!
The bad:  The boys are outside playing in inches of mud!

The good:  At least they are occupied and out of my hair!
The bad: Did I mention the mud?  It attracts my boys!

The good:  The tree is up and the lights all work!
The bad:  The ornaments and other decorations?  Still in the boxes.

The good:  Max is eating and sleeping well.
The good:  We have about 5 different kinds of bottles in the pantry. 
The bad: Max STILL will not take a bottle.

The good:  Christmas shopping is over halfway done.
The bad:  17 days left.  Christmas cards are not out yet.  Or Max's birth announcements for that matter.  Look for them in the same envelope friends!

The good:  The laundry is all washed, dried and folded.
The bad: Notice that I said nothing about being put away.
On a side note, my 88-year old grandmother, who had three children herself and no high-capacity front-load washer, swears (she doesn't talk that way) says that she has never seen a family with  more laundry than us.  I blame this on the three boys in our house that go through multiple changes of clothes most days.  Why? you may ask..... refer to the first two good/bad scenarios up there. Yeah, those two about the rain and mud.  Good times.  My mom keeps telling me that I will miss these days.  I seriously doubt that I will ever miss the constant mounds of laundry!

The good:  Thankfully, they were not real scissors!
The bad:  I walked in to find Miles with a pair of scissors to his hair.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Polar Express - In pictures

Nana, Papa and Max on the train

Mason holding his train ticket
Mommy, Daddy and Miles
 Singing Christmas Carols
 Dancing in the aisles, literally!

Max was fascinated with Santa's beard and hat.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I haven't written about just Mason in a while...
He is 4 years, 10 months old.
He is still a picky eater and is happy eating the same few things daily.  He loves apple jacks, pop tarts, PBJs, nuggets, hot dogs (bun the bun and dog are only eaten separately), steak, fries and chetchup (ketchup), grapes, apples, cheese crackers and cheese chips (cheez its and doritos,  not cheetos), turkey-crackers (lunchables), corn and peas.  He hates pizza, not big on cheese, most veggies, corn dogs and mac and cheese. (Still not sure how he came out of me and doesn't like cheese!!!) Occasionally he will eat spaghetti & meatballs, but no other type of pasta.  Odd, I know.
He loves trains (still), cars, tractors of all kinds, tools, wearing my work gloves, riding bikes with daddy (he rides on a trail-a-bike), watching cartoons (especially tom and jerry, handy manny and dinosaur train).  He is an awesome big brother and I often have to remind him to be gentle with Max and only kiss his head!

this morning, while we were riding in the car:
M: My head hurts.
Me: I'm sorry.  Why does your head hurt?
M: It's full of air.

Tomorrow, we are going here.  We're riding the Polar*Express train.  We'll be wearing our pjs, drinking hot chocolate and meeting Santa.  I CAN'T WAIT!!! :)  We have not told the boys yet so I have been sneaking around all afternoon packing our things for an overnight away.  Should be great fun and an awesome chance to get the perfect Christmas card pic.  So glad we paid the extra $4 per person for the "climate controlled" car.  Tomorrow's low temp? 27.  BRRRRR!!!!

Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why Jesus is better than Santa

Have you seen this? 

"Why JESUS is Better Than Santa Claus!"

Santa lives at the North Pole... JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh... JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year... JESUS is an ever-present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies... JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited... JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart.

You have to wait in line to see Santa... JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap... JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?"... JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly... JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO... JESUS offers health, help and hope.

While Santa says "You better not cry"... JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys... JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but...JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree... JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

Its obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in Christmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season. Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Laundry baskets and ministry

True confessions..... I sometimes think that I miss the old days.  I sometimes miss the days when Eric and I were free to pick up and go somewhere on a weekend.  I sometimes miss the days when the house was quiet.  At times it was too quiet, but I didn't think that often - I love a quiet house.  And a neat house.  I oftentimes miss how tidy our house was.  You know, before kids.

But, the thing that makes my heart hurt at times is when I miss doing ministry.  One of the most memorable and difficult trips we went on was to Tur*key.  We went with a team and ministered to special needs kids in an orphanage.  It was hard.  It was sickening at times.  I don't think that I will ever forget the smell when I walked in the first day.  I don't think I will ever forget holding the most precious, tiny, fragile little boy in my arms.  I held him for several hours and prayed for him, sang to him and just tried to give him the love of a momma that he would never get to experience.  Even now, my heart breaks for that little boy.  I was not a mother then.  It was 2002 and Eric and I had been married for less than 2 years.

I remember how exhausting that trip was.  Emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting.  I remember feeling used by God on that trip.  I remember feeling that I wanted to do more.  More ministry.  More trips.  More love.

I have struggled to feel used by God in the last 5 years.  It is so hard to minister to others when you have 3 little ones at home that need you.  I have been told many times that my ministry is in my home right now.  For this season of life, my kids and my home and my husband are my ministry.  I always agreed when I heard it said, but rolled my eyes on the inside.

On a blog I read regularly, the girl that writes it said it so elegantly today.  I finally got it today.  I needed this reminder, but I also think that it sunk in for the first time.
.............In fact, if you want to know the truth, I actually haven’t left ministry at all.
And neither have you.
That baby that will be waking up in a few short hours, hungry while there’s still hours left until daylight?  Your ministry.  That husband who will put on a perfectly ironed shirt tomorrow morning because you did hours of laundry this afternoon?  Your ministry.  That coworker who has it out for you and doesn’t mind if you know it?  Your ministry.  That teenage daughter who slammed her bedroom door shut earlier tonight when you told her she’s grounded for two weeks?  Your ministry.
Don’t you ever let someone tell you that ministry only happens on stages or in altars or in front of crowds.  Should it happen there, will it happen there?  Well, of course it should and will.  That’s a part of ministry, large audiences and big crowds.
But I’ve found that the funny thing about ministry is that it seems to happen just about anywhere and everywhere it can find a place to land, even if the only current availability happens to be in your laundry basket.

It was a wake-up call to me - a mommy of 3 boys age almost 5 years, 2.5 years and 2 months; a wife; a friend; a sister; a daughter.  I needed to be reminded that I am in ministry every day.  My attitude towards my boys and about my boys lately has been that each day is just a day to get through.  I am so sorry that has been true and am convicted to be better for them.  I need to minister to them.  I need to see them as the blessings that God has given me and the area of ministry he has me in for this season of my life.

I think that I get it.  For now at least.  I will have days that I forget that this is my ministry.  I will probably have to revist my own post again and again.  But for today, it is like water to my dry soul and provides that patience I need to deal with whiny, crying children with dirty hands and snotty noses and piles of laundry and a dirty, noisy house.  I wouldn't have it any other way.......