Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I love the idea of a new start, improving, changing, beginning. 2008 has been very good to us. I am sure 2009 will be great too. We will definitely do our part to ensure that it is good. Here are some photos from our trip to FL. No snow and hardly even jacket weather.

The oysters were my husbands. I like them, but not nearly as much as he does. This plate lasted about two minutes.

The beaches were overcast and windy, but the kids did not seem to care. Toes were buried and dipped in the cold Gulf waters. Waves were chased, as well as birds.

Things here are continuing at a lazy, vacation pace. It really couldn't be better other than being around family this week too. I guess I'll talk to you all next year. Have a safe and happy new year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Free week

This photo is NOT an indication of our Christmas holiday. It is funny and very uncharacteristic of Aidan. Erika and Ainslee were all smiles the twenty minutes we waited in line and then once they sat in Santa's lap they wouldn't smile. Not a grin. Ugh. The best part was caught on video after the photo was taken. I had Aidan (she was then happy and smiling and pointing at Santa) and E & A were still on his lap chatting away. He was good at asking questions and listening and not rushing onto the next kiddo. So, we had a great visit in Florida, Christmas and the surrounding days were a whirl and a blur in the best way, and now we are back in TX. We have one more week until pre-k starts back up. I have some time (a whole free week's worth) with the girls and no place I/ we need to be. It will be nice. My husband and I are also on a cleaning rampage. All of sudden he has gotten the urge to purge and is going through closets & drawers. It is so unlike him, but I LOVE it. He can be a pack rat for sure, so I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Christmas is being packed up, the Goodwill stack is waiting to be delivered, and I am feeling good about all the tidy closets & drawers. What a way to say "bye, bye '08".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lazy Christmas

Things are slowing down here. Friday is the last day of pre-K and their class holiday party. Saturday we load up and leave. With the exception of two gifts (to be bought once we are in FL) and some wrapping (also happening in FL) I am done. Tree, baking, cards - all finished. I can get wrapped up in the excitement (stress) of holidays with the best of them. This is much better, although I do have a little voice "Am I forgetting something?". The downside to having time on my hands? Too many bad Lifetime Movie Network movies. Why isn't there anything good on during the day? It is nice having some quiet time mid-day. I have been knitting a little and catching up on magazines too. Such lazy decadence.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seriously? It is snowing!

Many of you won't blink twice when reading this, but I was surprised when I pulled the blinds this morning. Our front yard was covered in snow! So was the back yard, the car, and all of our neighbor's yards! I dismissed weather reports that snow was a possibility. Flakes maybe. Snow no. I am eating my words. One of the girls was awake when I realized the whiteness. My reaction was more astonished and surprised than hers. Me: "Ainslee, come look. What is all that?" Her: "Um, snow." spoken in a very monotone and still-sleepy voice. Too bad my husband in is Louisiana (which is also getting snow by the way). If he were here we would have a snowman in the front yard. He is the fun one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Counting the days

November and December are travel months for us. I feel like I am constantly counting days till our Thanksgiving trip, returning, unpacking and starting to count all over again for the Christmas trip. So, with the Thanksgiving trip behind us we are at home for another two weeks enjoying our decorations and the cold weather in between all the warm weather that we still get in spells. These photos were from our trip to Colorado. We wanted snow and did we get it! All seven kiddos had a great time in the white stuff. The adults managed to get in almost as much sledding as the tots.

Getting home was a little harry. The roads were pretty bad and cars were slipping and sliding all over the place. I had white knuckles until we finally got back to Denver.
Blogging has definitely taken a back seat to everything, especially watching three little girls enjoy simple holiday treats (aka The Polar Express, hot chocolate, making sweet treats, decorating the tree, admiring the tree each morning). Hope your holidays are chugging along at an enjoyable pace!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Knitting mission complete

If you have read my blog then you have probably picked up on the hints I have dropping for months; I have been fiddling away at a knitting project and it is finally complete. Relief! The project and pattern were not terribly hard, but the lace portion was about to do me in. I will not be attempting another pattern that has lace for quite a while! The pattern is June is for Jag and I picked it up, along with the yarn, while in Florida this past summer. I saw a cute yarn shop while scouting out a book store with my sister one afternoon. Lorena Haldeman was very helpful and friendly. The pattern was probably a smidge beyond my knitting level (again, the lace - UGH!) but it was the bump I needed to move to the next level, so to speak. The true pattern is for a scarf, but I altered it a bit to make a wrap. I am hoping to get lots of wear out of it and the the TX winter weather is just right for a light, wool, wrap. Right now I am working on a hat for Aidan. A plain and simple hat. Knits and purls, easy and simple. I hope to have it finished in weeks, not months.

Monday, October 27, 2008

** Boo! **

This is our attempt at a scary pumpkin. He looks more silly than scary. The girls have been reciting funny little rhymes about Halloween and looking for spooky trees as the sun sets. They are hiding from one another and trying to scare the other. The kid-friendly sentiment of having a spooky Halloween is in the air! The only thing missing is lots of candy and Charlie Brown's "The Great Pumpkin" cartoon. Have a spooky, fun Halloween week!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday catch-up

Well, blogging is quickly getting pushed further down on the list of things to do. For any of you still checking in, thanks for hanging in there. Not much has been updated, as you know. Today was the pumpkin patch visit at the pre-school. Each child brought a pumpkin to school earlier in the week which were then grouped together to make the pumpkin patch. Today each child was able to pick out their own and this is what came home with E & A. Erika picked the tiniest one in the patch according to her teacher. I was expecting much larger pumpkins which we would carve for Halloween. Guess we will be heading out to buy a few more, larger, pumpkins this weekend. Ms. Aidan is the big 1 now. She started walking last Saturday and turned 1 on Wednesday. It was a big week for her!

I am making a concerted effort to take more individual photos of each child. I have too many of E & A together and not enough individuals. Here is Ainslee.
and Erika.
Have a great weekend!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday - enough said

Things that were a hit today:

*Blue balloons for E & A

*Listening to She's Electric by Oasis
* watching Aidan sway to the music in the rear view mirror

* finding a new favorite t-shirt
* getting in a great cardio workout

I hope your Friday was filled with lots of hits too!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

a few weeks in photos

Here is a look at what we've done since Ike:

This was the only damage we sustained. It was a large tree. There are so many trees that were lost and have since been cut for disposal. Our first couple of nights back in Beaumont we could smell oak in the air.

This was at our door during a very brief stay in New Orleans. We stayed there one night and got our post-hurricane game plan together.

The people we talked to at the hotel in New Orleans were very nice. This man in particular spent quite a bit of time entertaining the girls and talking with us. This was a Koi pond that all three of the girls were captivated by:
Cousin's house in Memphis. Five girls in one house - ages 10 mos to 6 years:
Sisters loving their cousins' dress up clothes:

At Grandma's house in FL. Aidan loved the beach and laughed at the waves when they ran up on her feet:

Erika & Ainslee thought the waves were fun too:
For an evacuation it wasn't bad. I was very ready to return home when the time came and I am glad to be here now, but I think we made the best of it while we were gone. A lot of people came out so much worse, in our town and nearby towns. My heart & prayers goes out to them.

Back to our regularly scheduled program . . .

Between soccer, day school, three active children and one equally active husband I really haven't missed the Internet - too much. Ike knocked out our power and phone/ Internet. Power was restored weeks ago. Today AT&T restored our phone connection & Internet service this afternoon. Now that I have it back I have a lot of catching up to do. You would think I would have finished a knitting project (nope), caught up the baby books (nope) or at least cleaned out a closet or two (nope, nope). Well, it is good to be back and I can't wait to see what all of my fave bloggers have been up to.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sorry, no photos

No, I haven't been neglecting my little ol' blog in lieu of my facebook addiction. We have been displaced due to Ike and blogging has fallen to the wayside temporarily. I am in TN for a bit with the three girls, and my husband is in MS trying to set up a temporary office. Things could be worse, but today could have been better. Today consisted of: Aidan still trying to cut a tooth which is giving her all sorts of grief and completely disfiguring her lower back gum area, Erika deciding to walk to her cousin's bus stop all on her own after waking from her nap and realizing her sister & cousins were not in the house (there is a much longer version of this story, but I will spare you), and finally, hearing my SIL answer her front door this evening and being told that her husband's car had rolled down the garage & hit a light pole.

Crappy day. Bed time for all five kids: 8:00 pm. Cocktails for all adults: 8:01 pm. I am predicting some retail therapy tomorrow and praying for a smoother day!

p.s. - we had NO damage to our house and only minor damage to one car. That is the silver lining.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I have a new addiction

This photo is not very relevant, but it is humorous. This is Erika during her soccer game on Saturday. Only four players can plat at one time, so Erika is relaxing and snacking while she rests. Hmm. Pretty comfy.Now, to the addiction part. There was a time when I was addicted to reading blogs. I would spend hours or whatever time I had to browse. Now I have kind of settled into my favorites and I will read them every few days to see what great ideas or funny stories they are sharing. Leave it to me to find a new addiction, one that my husband got sucked into and I originally snubbed as a "waste of time". Well, it is and it isn't. It is FACEBOOK! AGH. I can't get enough. For those who may not know it is a website/ resource to find people you know/knew in high school and even college, from old jobs, whatever. I am finding all these old names & familiar faces from high school, chatting with them to see where they are and what is going on. Meanwhile my three children are doing ????? because I have my eyes glued to the computer screen. Seriously, I should know better. I didn't go to my 10 year reunion by choice, and I probably won't go to the 20 year, so why am I so captivated by this site? I don't have an answer other than plain curiosity. You may want to check it out - if you have an hour or two to spare!

Friday, September 5, 2008


We are home and unpacked, but not before we made a pit-stop in Oklahoma and stayed a night with my SIL and her family. I really wanted my three girls to see her two boys, and it was a nice break from all the driving. There are no frills, fluff or pink to be found in my SIL's house, but the girls didn't seem to notice. They had fun playing like the boys for our short visit.
School started this morning, so after getting home last night, unpacking and getting organized for this morning, I was prepared to help them get ready for their first day. Once again, they didn't blink back a tear or ask me to stay. They found their back pack cubby and waved me off. Enjoy the first September weekend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Magic marshmallow poofs

My husband has headed back home to return to work, but the three girls and I have stayed in AR for a bit longer on an extended evacuation vacation. Here is a baking project my MIL does with E & A during our stays here.

For the rolls: combine 1/8 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Use 8-oz package refrigerated crescent rolls and separate dough into 8 triangles. Dip 1 marshmallow into 1/8 cup melted butter and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Place the marshmallow in the middle of the crescent roll. Fold marshmallow into the dough by wrapping corners of crescent roll and pinching together. Try to get it tight and wrap marshmallow completely. Dip wrapped crescent roll in butter and then in the sugar/cinnamon mix. Placed the coated roll in a muffin time lined with a baking cup. Bake at 375 for 10-15 mins until rolls are done and no longer doughy.

It is a fun little project and goes quickly if everything is prepared assembly-line style. The finished product is a sweet, sticky poof. This is a grandma's-house-only treat for my girls, or has been, but it would make a fun anytime baking project for little hands. Enjoy and keep wipes handy!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

On the road again

Well, my plans to stay in Beaumont for the remainder of the summer have changed due to Gustav. We evacuated Saturday and spent a night in the hotel and then continued up to Arkansas today to visit my MIL again. I always enjoy my visits and leave feeling a little spoiled.
We all had a good time in the hotel room, a little mini-vaca. I don't have huge concerns regarding our things back home, but hurricanes are predictable so we are hoping for the best. With no return date back to Beaumont, I am sitting back and enjoying the company. With any luck I will get a big chunk of my current project completed. So far, so good, but boy is it time consuming. Hope all those LA, TX evacuees are finding a safe spot to stay for a few days.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer at home

We are back from our final summer trip. The suitcases have been emptied & retired for a few months. We (the three girls and I) drove to AR to visit my MIL. She is a great host and lives in a fun little spot. For such a small place, it is actually still classified as a village, there is lots to do. One of my favorite things was a walk along Tanyard Creek. It is a pretty spot and perfect for kids. Who doesn't love hopping along stones and walking on creaky, wooden bridges? My MIL broke into her perfect troll voice while walking on the bridge.
The weather was so mild and cool compared to our sweltering Texas summer weather. I could have stayed longer.
But we are back, and happy to be back. Sorry for all the grumpy talk previously. I do have a legitimate excuse: mono. Apparently we all have/ had it and no one realized it until about four weeks into the virus when some blood work was drawn. Hmm. I wasn't expecting that one. So, a few weeks remain for everyone to rest, relax and wind down the summer before preschool starts up. We also added soccer to E & A's schedules so that will help to keep us busy. Their little shin guards are pretty cute - can't wait to seem them in action.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The party is over, the weekend is winding down, I am tired and I am grumpy. My husband is tired of me being grumpy. I don't even know why I am so grumpy, but I am! I am hoping it is lack of sleep and tomorrow I will feel light and refreshed instead of overwhelmed. The three girls and myself are venturing to Arkansas on Wednesday (I really need a few nights good sleep to ready myself for this day o'driving). Our week in Arkansas will be spent with Grandma and should be restful. I am also hoping to complete a large chunk of my knitting project while I am there. I have not had much luck getting much of it completed here. This will be a wrap. My first. I intend on making one for a friend that is moving from FL to a much colder climate at the end of the summer. It would be nice to finish hers before her winter starts. We will see.

The birthday party was a hit. Erika and Ainlsee had fun and there was a good turnout of other children to make it a noisy affair. I feel like all we did all day was eat and open presents.
It was fun to help them celebrate and to share in their excitement.
Two four-year olds and a soon-to-be one year old. It makes my mind reel in a very full and appreciative way. So, the house is quiet for the next couple of hours and I have some knitting that needs attention and an attitude to adjust! Better get busy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rain day

We are having a rain day today (similar to my rainy day in Connecticut, above). I did leave the house once for a well baby visit, but if it hadn't been necessary I would have hunkered down for the day. I have thought about this blog a bunch in the past few weeks, but I haven't logged in to write or read much. I not sure if it is lack of motivation or just nothing to share. Either way, I decided today was a day to pop in and say HI. My girls weekend away was bittersweet, I loved the time away and enjoyed seeing some new places, but I missed the folks back home. I missed them a lot. This was my first time away that I felt such a strong pull to return home. I account it to Aidan being so young still. My husband handled it all beautifully and everyone had a great time. So, it was a success by all accounts.
Another success, I hope, will be E & A's 4th birthday party this Saturday. Four years old. Tears spring in my eyes when I say it out loud. Craziness. So, there will be a dozen or so kids and lots of tumbling, a foam pit and who-knows-what-else. We opted for a gymnastics party. They are excited and I am getting prepared. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sous la table

This is a new favorite spot. All three girls seem to feel on level playing ground and often congregate here. It is all fine with me other than the occasional hustle and bustle of two bigger girls rough housing around the littlest one.
This morning while drinking my coffee they all decided to meet up under the table. It seemed especially sweet for some reason. I am leaving on Friday, alone, and knowing the fun that awaits for me this weekend makes family life seem much sweeter at times and more frustrating at other times. I find myself irritated by tiny things much quicker and simultaneously counting down the days to lift off. I also know that I will miss the little hands and feet while I am off without the rest of my family. Sure the flight will be nice & quiet, but who is going to make funny comments about mundane things and how can I be the judge of ugly face contests hundreds of miles away?
My husband made the sincere comment a few weeks back that I was so lucky to stay at home with our children every day. He is right and I often think this while he is getting ready for work in the morning. Well, now it is his turn for five days. He will be the lucky one and get to be the recipient of the comments (funny and whiny), he can judge the contests of all varieties, and he can enjoy the noisy, messy bliss that is stay-at-home parenting. I am sure he will be happy to see me on Tuesday night and I know I will be happy to see all of my family when I return.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flour sack II

Okay - I just looked at my post and upon closer inspection of my photos I realize my stitches are pretty crazy looking. I knew that, but now YOU do too! Oh well - I am still in practice mode!

Flour sack

This is my newest bag. My MIL sent me a flour sack from War Eagle Mill. She was up there a few weeks ago with my SIL and I had put in a request for a bag on her next visit. I had envisioned the bag below and thought it would be fun to make.
I had everything except for the overall buckle and set to putting it all together when I received the bag in the mail last week. I am happy with the results, but I am not sure how much use it will get. Right now it is hanging beside my aprons and I like all the various shades of reds together. The sewing practice was needed and I feel good that I did something somewhat creative.
This weekend also included a trip to the beach (why was I thinking it would be fun? Aidan ate sand the whole time!) and coming up with new combinations for salads. That is about all I can manage to prepare for dinner lately. Summer laziness has hit me hard! Hope you all had a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Returning home

We are home. It was a good time away, but I am glad to have everything and everyone under one roof again. With mid-summer here I am taking stock of what I have done and have not done. There are some things I had wanted to accomplish that I have not started so I guess it is now or never. I am really enjoying the summer days with all three girls and am surprised, pleasantly, at how smooth the days have been. There have been tantrums and tears, but it would be strange if those didn't work themselves into our daily happenings now and again - right?

So, with five weeks of summer remaining I am forging ahead. I hope to have some creative posts to share in the next few weeks as well. I am thoroughly enjoying some of my favorite blogger's projects. They are inspiring. I really wish there were more hours in the day. Catch up with you more later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crackin' up

A little of this: Prompted a little reading of this:
Warning - a hammer, a rolling object and two four year old children can be a little scary! No injuries were sustained, the coconut meat was not an instant favorite, but they loved the coconut milk. All in all a successful first for this gang.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nurse Mom

We have halted all fun summer activities to allow for some little ones to recover from summer time viruses. Ainslee was hit the hardest. For a week she had a fever, then didn't, then did and the the grand finale was a all-night-stomach-bug that kept her running from bed to bathroom crying "my tummy hurts". I felt awful for her. She is all better now and back to her silly ways.
Baby Aidan's just started. Right now it is a runny nose and the occasional sad face accompanied by tears. I hope this is the worse for her. We don't see many pouts or tears from this one, so we know she isn't feeling great.
Tomorrow starts a full and crazy three week stretch. I have been going over my schedule and making lists for this & that. It is all fun stuff (VBS, family trip) but all of it is time consuming on the planning side. I am ready to stop dosing out Tylenol and dive in to the fun stuff.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Fun

I realize I am walking a fine line in blog-land. I am not doing much to blog about but I continue to post entries on my blog. I am sorry for the lack of activity that is going on, but I can't seem to make myself do anything creative. In celebration of father's day we did spend a lot of time together and had a lot of fun, but still nothing crafty. We did go blueberry picking on Saturday morning and it got hot fast. We picked for a little under an hour and then played on the farm.

There was a stocked lake (catfish) so we saw a few people fishing, there was a playground and some shady spots to just sit and people watch or relax. We did a little bit of everything.

We also stayed the night in Houston to visit with a friend who happened to have a pool. It was perfect for the HOT weekend we had here in Texas. I think Ainslee would have grown a fish tail and gills if we had stayed one moment longer! I hope you all had a great weekend too.