Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tour of Home...mine to be exact!

I just wanted to share the fruits of our Christmas decorating labor...and, of course, some commentary! (Click on the pics to see them larger...or not...whatever.)

This cute little tree is a new addition this year...kind of. We had the tree last year but the ornaments are as I am, new to me.


My grandmother made all of these ornaments for me when I was born and my mom doesn't use them on any of her trees anymore, so she gave them to me! Yahoo! I LOVE this tree!

This tree is full of ornaments made by three of the most precious people in my kiddos. I picked a few of my faves.

Here is our "big" tree with all the ornaments from the last 9 1/2 years of our marriage. On the left are two ornaments that I made for mine and Paul's very first Christmas fact the first year...I made every.single.ornament. on the tree and I still have them ALL. On the right are two ornaments that I bought this year...and on this tree are the other 9 years in between.

*Here are just a few random items I love around my house right now. I have a cool jar thingy with some Christmas ornaments all around it...and that's all I have to say about that.
*I love my mantle and I made that wreath...and that's all I have to say about that.
*The Nativity scene was the first one my mom got when she and my dad got married. It is one of the few sacred items in my home.
*The "plastic-looking" one of our most favorite items at Christmas time. It's a type of advent calendar that takes you through the Christmas story and straight to Salvation story. So far one of our children has been saved through the use of this "plastic box" and we are praying that it will continue for years to come.

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And are the trees that are in our rooms...and don't ask me why Abby's lights aren't on...we have no idea!

Well that's it. A Christmas tour through my house! Hope you enjoyed it...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Special Thing

Just before the Thanksgiving holidays, I took Abby shopping and we found this super cute outfit with a "coffee" cup on it. Well, Abby HAD TO HAVE IT!!! I didn't even try to explain to her that the cup on the shirt was really hot chocolate...I just resolved that it was, indeed, a coffee cup.

Abby then told me right away that since she had a coffee shirt, Dado (my dad) could take her to get coffee at Starbucks. So when we got to Dado's house for the Thanksgiving holidays...Dado took Abby (in her "coffee" shirt) to Starbucks for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. I got to go along...but I did NOT have a coffee shirt...

Here's the way we started our Thanksgiving Day...awesome.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Twas the Two Weeks before Christmas...

Twas the two weeks before Christmas and all through the house
Every creature was stirring...including the mouse!

My husband and I sat down at lunch today and we were talking across the table, over the voices of our 3 little people, and I had my calendar out and we began to lose time quickly.

I was spouting off dates of Christmas parties and class projects and he was spouting off more dates of parties and youth activities. Abby and I are traveling next weekend and then the following weekend Paul is traveling and so on and so on!

We finally just closed the calendar and ate our was getting all to crazy...

I was so spoiled this last week! We had nothing to do...
On Saturday we L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y. had nothing to do...what??? That is simply un-heard of! Our family always has I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the madness was stirring in the VERY near tomorrow!

Don't get me wrong...I'm excited about a little hustle and bustle...and MANY of the things we have planned I am VERY excited about.


1.Our staff Christmas Party tomorrow night...this is ALWAYS a super fun time.


2.This weekend, Abby and I are flying to Dallas to see The Night Before Christmas Ballet with my mom, aunt and nieces...very fun!

Right now, I am trying to get my people ready to go to AWANA's and it would probably be easier if I wasn't

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday decor, travels and such...

This week is, I know that is a blinding glimpse of the obvious...anyway.

This week is Thanksgiving and we always have lots of things to do. Our schools are not out yet so we will hang out here until Wednesday morning. We have all kinds of Thanksgiving festivities with the kids classes that happen to ALL be TOMORROW! So I will figure that out with my cloning machine later tonight. My house also needs to be cleaned before we leave because...well just because. So I am hoping to make an appointment with the Free House Cleaning Fairy. Hopefully she will be able to work us in!

I have already decorated my house for Christmas. Ok, Ok! For all of you who are cussing me right now because I jumped the gun on the decorating, please stop and hear me out! Because we travel, this is a necessary step in making the holidays "Merry and Bright". Waiting until we get home is NOT merry and bright! It makes for ugly and dull around my house. This weeked I spent a wonderful time with my family decorating. It was stress-free and happy. I was not trying to get 3 kids to come down from the Nana-izing that will occur this coming weekend. I was not sick of being in the car for-e.v.e.r. because all 5 million college students are on the road with us. We drank hot chocolate, we decorated and it was pleasant. And here are the pics to prove it.

So when we leave on Wednesday, we will be headed North along with, as I said earlier, 5 million college students! This is a phenomenon that we were not aware of when we moved here! Then the first time we went back north for the holidays it took us 9 (NINE!) hours to get back! For those of you who don't know, that is about 4 (FOUR!) hours TOO LONG! We then started thinking it through and figured out that many, MANY colleges are between here and there and everyone travels on the same days! Not so much fun. So, here's hoping that we miss the college rush! Maybe they will sleep in on Wednesday while we get up early and go!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The has escaped me!

Oh my stars! It has been three (3, I tell you!) weeks since I have blogged. I am sure all BOTH of my readers have been wondering where, oh where, have I been.

Well I'm a-gonna tell ya!

Three weeks ago, my bestie had a baby! Ms. Hailey Rae joined us in this crazy world and I have been loving on her.

Then there was Halloween. I had three super heroes for Halloween and we had a great time at our church Fall Festival...but that took up some of the blogging time.

Then there was my birth-week...because people, I do not have a birthDAY, that's just to short. I much prefer a birth-week...and it was a GREAT one. 31 is not, ahem, too bad. I'm not dead yet! Actually with me participating in the Boot Camp that I go to, it has made 31 pretty great. I'm stronger and faster than I have been since high school and it makes me feel good.

Then there was last week.
*Saturday, started the madness. Jacob played his last football game, we went across San Antonio to watch my brother-in-law coach his college team and that took ALL day. I know you are probably reading this and thinking..."really, Tanya, ALL day? How could that possibly been the least bit crazy of a day?" Well, it was, trust me.

*Sunday, was, well Sunday...and Sundays are always crazy.

*Monday, was fun, I did a photo shoot with a good friend of mine and, the afore mentioned besties baby. We had great fun taking P.R.E.C.I.O.U.S. pictures of this blessed miracle that God gave to my dear friends!

*Tuesday, was so long ago I have no idea what I did...oh yeah, I did play Bunco on Tues. night...but that's pretty much all I can recall.

*Wednesday, I STAYED HOME! Woohoo! I have'nt said that in a sweet forever! When the kids got out of school though it was back to business as usual though...gymnastics and Wednesday night church festivities.

*Thursday I hosted a baby shower.

*Friday I helped at the boys school, helped run the Shopping Extravaganza PTA event, went to Jacob's end of the season football party, cried when the coach gave Jacob his trophy and said some great things about my kid, got a call from another pregnant friend who said she was in labor, met such friend at my house to watch her two kids, had a "sleepover" with the extra kids and then went to bed.

*Saturday (today) Paul went hunting, shot a buck, started this blog post, Paul cleaned the buck, I took Abby shopping with two other friends (mine, not hers...remember, I'm crazy - not stupid!), saw friend with new baby, stayed at the hospital for 2 hours!


Came home to 25ish teenage boys watching UFC fight night in my house and a bonfire in the backyard and I am now finishing this post. now. all done.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Character Day at RBES

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Well, now that you have looked at my precious boys in their fantastic costumes, let me tell you a little story.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I got the paper home in the boys backpacks explaining the Red Ribbon Week spirit days. Friday was book character day. So I started talking to my boys about what book character they wanted to be. They both immediately said they wanted to be Clone Troopers. I then had to go into this enormous monologue explaining to them why they could NOT go to school as Clone Troopers or Spiderman or Anakin Skywalker...I know you want to wear that, but you cannot carry a light saber into the school, they'll turn momma in.

So Caleb finally decided on being a dinosaur. I don't know what book it was from, but I'm sure there is a dinosaur in some book, somewhere in the I told Caleb he could be a dinosaur.

Yessss! One down.

Jacob was still struggling with his decision and we were still struggling with the understanding that superheroes, no matter how good, were not acceptable "book characters"!

He finally shows me a website that they use at school with some audio books on it and he tells me he LOVES the Ace Lacewing Bug Dectective books. Awesome. Soooo, what exactly does Ace Lacewing look like? Well basically...he's a bug...detective...
I know...I know...

So I make some wings with some pantyhose and hangers...a wonderful trick my grandmother taught me...I get a hat from the dress-up clothes and attach some pipe cleaner antenae...and ta! da! Ace Lacewing Bug Dectective.

Meanwhile, Caleb is searching and searching for the Dinosaur costume that I KNOW we have SOMEWHERE! and he can't find it. So we go into a major meltdown because it's Thursday night and we can't find the dinosaur.


So I start going through all the books we have on the shelf that I have corresponding costumes for in the playroom...of course I'm thinking to myself, "Dang it! Why can't he just be Spiderman or Anakin Skywalker, or a Clone Trooper!" I did NOT, however, voice that opinion out loud. I am beginning to get really frustrated because Caleb cannot make up his mind and he keeps whining about wanting to be a dinosaur..."SON...I don't know where it is!!!" ...then...more calmly..."you have to pick something else."

I finally narrowed his choices for him to 3 books that I knew I could make costumes for in record was afterall almost 8pm the NIGHT BEFORE IT WAS DUE! Nothing like waiting til the last minute....don't worry, my Mom already spoke to me about keep your comments to yourself. Thank you.

FINALLY...he picked the mouse and I was secretly, EXTREMELY happy, because I knew I could whip out some mouse ears and a tail.

And I did.

The next morning the kids put their costumes on, I took the pics up above, Paul took them to school, I went to get coffee, I got to the school, saw the boys...NO COSTUMES. Yep they basically wore them to school and took them off as soon as they got to their classrooms.

Not. Awesome.

None the less...they WERE cute.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Day According to Facebook

So I had this idea for a blog this morning. I thought I would blog my day today the same way I would update my Facebook if I updated all day long. So here goes.

Tanya Brand got to sleep in today because my husband woke up and got the kids dressed and then took them to school...AND brought me my favorite kolache Honey Creek Bakery.

Tanya Brand got up and got dressed and got to school a little early because I had lots to do before the kiddos came.

Tanya Brand stapled fire hats together for my preschoolers to wear.

Tanya Brand dressed up like a complete prove to the preschoolers that it was not a scary alien in the suit, it's a regular person who wants to help you...and by the way, that gear is HEAVY...good thing I work out.

Tanya Brand sweat ALOT in the firefighter "gross" alot.

Tanya Brand was excited when my husband took all three kids to Wal-Mart so I could be alone for a few short minutes...and instead I filed paperwork at

Tanya Brand came home and sat on my boo-tay for one hour and 13 minutes before my hair appointment.

Tanya Brand went to Sonic to get a burger before my hair appt. and got a coupon for a free Rt.44 drink for tomorrow! Yay!

Tanya Brand got my hair did! It's been way to long...I was starting to look skunk-esque...and that's not hot.

Tanya Brand is going home with wet hair because it's cheaper than going home with dry hair.

Tanya Brand came home to my daughter playing outside and when I got out of the car I hear this..."Oh no I pooped in my pants!"

Tanya Brand found out from my husband that Abby was having a little poop situation this afternoon...good to know.

Tanya Brand cleaned up Abby's poop situation.

Tanya Brand told the boys to clean their room.

Tanya Brand is getting angry at the amount of crap-ola that can be stored underneath a 5 year old boy's bed.

Tanya Brand is cleaning up old, moldy cat throw up that has just been discovered because it was under the afore mentioned 5 year old boy's bed.

Tanya Brand has also discovered that the boys carpet is wet and is looking for the hubs to diagnose the problem...quickly.

Tanya Brand's hubs discovers that the water situation is from the AC condensation thingy that was clogged...but is now unclogged...because I have a regular "Handy Manny."

Tanya Brand is ready to sit down but I am vaccuming up roly poly's from the boys room.

Tanya Brand is now sitting down watching Survivor and eating popcorn and drinking a tasty blended smoothie that the hubs has made.

Tanya Brand is blogging about her day according to facebook.

The End.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things that only happen when Paul is gone...

Every time Paul goes out of town, the world spins in a different direction, all you-know-what breaks loose and I have never understood it, but have slowly come to accept it. "Whatever do you mean, Tanya?"

I'm glad you asked.

*On a NUMBER of occasions Paul has left to go to youth camp and I was VERY sick. I'm not just talking about a little head cold or a sore throat. I'm talking about full on throwing up, bed ridden...sick. On one particular occasion I vaguely remember telling Jacob, who was 4 yrs old at the time, to just bring me the milk and a cup and I would pour it for him...from the couch! I also remember on that particular occasion telling Jacob to watch his brother(2 1/2yrs) and his sister (18mos)and just make sure they didn't hurt themselves. That was also the time they ate four bags of fruit snacks for dinner, because that's what Jacob could reach.

*The behavior of my children also changes when Paul is gone...and NOT for the better. Apparently when Paul leaves out of children lose all ability to hear me. I have to continually raise my voice until I break through the "daddy's not here so I don't have to listen to mommy" barrier. It drives me insane.

*I also lose my God-given ability to fall asleep instantly. That's right, you can ask anyone who has ever seen me go to sleep. I have an uncanny ability to literally fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow....except...when Paul's gone. I am also a rock-solid sleeper...not even throwing up children wakes me up! When he's not home...I cannot sleep! It takes hours for me to fall asleep and the slightest thing wakes me up. This also drives me insane.

*When Paul is gone things like this happen: the cat pooped in the bathtub and I scared it when I walked in to the bathroom and it jumped straight up into the air and then landed right back into the poop that just came out of it's butt and then ran all over my house. Yep. That only happens when Paul is not home.

*When Paul is not home the trash is always full...even if he took it out just before he left...the next thing I's full. And I HATE taking out the trash. Same thing goes for the litter box.

*When Paul is not home, I clean. That's right people. I can do it. I just choose not to when Paul is home and does it so much better. However, I don't clean exactly like Paul does. I skip the normal sweeping, vaccuuming, dishes business and go straight to cleaning the tile grout with a toothbrush and some vinegar and water. No, I'm not kidding. The dishes are in the sink...he's coming home tomorrow!

I am sure there are hundreds of other things that happen when Paul is not here. If I come up with a good one I'll update, but for now. I'll NOT be going to sleep, no matter how hard I try...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monkey See. Monkey Do.


she watches....

what we do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The first of "hundreds" of REAL grades

Jacob, as you well know, is in second grade. There are many new things about second grade and one of the most interesting things is REAL grades. Our school district only gives E's,S's and U's through first grade so you can imagine my surprise when I opened Jacob's folder the other day and pulled out all of the graded papers you see above.

Some are awesome, some are fine, and then there is one 70. Not really something I was expecting! Of course the 100 was in math. Praise the Lord he loves math and he "gets it!"

The 70 was on a Language Arts paper...because it was incomplete! Not something that set well with me. When I asked him why he didn't finish it...He said, "I just didn't want to."


That's what I need.

A SECOND grader that is bored of work already.

Well, here's to "hundreds" of more REAL grades and hopefully hundreds more "100's!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Special Talking Spot

School started this year, somewhat uneventfully. Everyone went into their classroom on their respective first days of school excited about the future school year.

...Until the second day...

We have now been in school for two weeks and I am just now getting to blog about this for various sundry reasons that would take the entire blog-o-sphere to explain, so I will save your eyes the trouble.

Jacob and Abby are having no problems going to school each day. They are excited and have no separation anxiety what-so-ever. And then there's Caleb.

Caleb is my tender hearted child. The one who is always concerned with other people's feelings. He is also the eternal peacemaker.

He cried going to school on the second day, and the third day, and the fourth day, and so on and so on. So on the second day of school I took him over to a corner of the hallway just down from his classroom and there was started the "special talk spot." This particular part of the hallway has a clock in it and every day we talk about how long it will be until I come to pick him up. He asks me if I am going to be ok without him. I tell him how excited I am that he gets to go to Kindergarten. etc...etc...

The whole time we talk his little lips quiver and his eyes water and he tries to hold it all back, but the tears slowly creep down his cheeks. It has gotten a little better with each passing day and he does eventually...and reluctantly go into his classroom for the day and I walk away praying that God will comfort him and that he will have the best day.

We have done this every day since the beginning of school...You see, Caleb is also a creature of routine. Paul even offered to take the boys to school one day and Caleb overheard him. Immediately Caleb ran to me crying saying, "Please Mommy, don't let Daddy take us to school, he doesn't even know where our special talk spot is!" (I, of course, took them to school.)

I also know that he has awesome days at school. I hear from his teacher, he is happy when he gets in the car at the end of the day...etc. It's just the initial separation in the morning. He told me one day after school that he had a "legendary" day at school. The next day he told me his day was "heroic, and that was one step down from legendary, but it was still good." Another day his teacher told me that Caleb was smiling at the end of the day and she asked Caleb if she could see him smile in the morning. He replied with, "Nope. I can't smile in the mornings because my mommy needs to see me cry."

On Friday I got to be in Caleb's class with him and help with a project and he is super happy and extremely polite and helpful to the teacher. I guess if I have to keep going to the special talk spot for the rest of the year, I will. The truth is, I secretly cherish this extremely special one-on-one time with my middle child...and at the same time I would love for him to learn to jump out of the car say "bye mom" and be off in a flash. Basically I want my cake and to eat it too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Great People...Great Music

I wanted to share these two people with all ten of my followers! These people are personal friends of Paul and I and we are so glad to know them!

He's the real deal.

...and so is She!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

School Starts Tomorrow...

That's right. Starting tomorrow I will have a Kindergartener and a 2nd Grader. I am so excited about school starting...not for the ususal "I'm so tired of my kids" reason, but because I love to watch my kids learn and grow...and there is no better place to start than Kindergarten.

Caleb is a little bit nervous and a LOT excited about school. Tonight before we prayed I asked him what he was nervous about. And in classic Caleb style, he said he was nervous about how to buy chocolate milk. (I told him earlier that he would learn a number to push in to buy milk from his account.) He won't know is number until the first day of school and he is very concerned that he won't learn it in time to buy chocolate milk. It is a very serious matter, I assure you. So nevertheless I prayed that he would get his number in time to buy chocolate milk. (I, of course, know that he will.)

Jacob on the other hand is the "big man on campus". You know...2nd grade. He is very excited that he gets to move to the front playground. He has been on the back playground the last two years and now he gets to move to the front playground. This will exponentially increase his fun-having abilities at recess. This, of course, is a very important matter. He also is ready to show Caleb how to use the pencil machine. It gives out "cool" pencils for a mere quarter...and from now 'til the end of time my son will ask me for quarters to buy pencils out of the pencil machine.

All in all I am ready for the year. We are going to do Kindergarten with all our might and we are also going to grab 2nd grade by the horns and hold on for the ride.

I think Abby and I will celebrate our first day together with a manicure...sounds good huh?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Some pics from our Beach Vacation!

I know...It's time for me to blog again...but these pics are going to have to do for now!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mission Trip San Antonio

This week we are finally getting to take the mission trip that was scheduled for Spring Break. Originally we were supposed to go to Mexico and build some houses for people who didn't have one...and by "house"...I mean 4 walls and a floor. So yes, we are qualified...


This week we are on the South side of San Antonio in partnership with Christian Hope Resource Center...hereafter CHRC. This place is a well oiled machine of food and clothes distribution as well as Bible classes and counseling for anyone who needs it. It's a neat place to serve locally and we enjoy working there.

This week is their Vacation Bible School. We, of course, are staffing a large portion of their VBS staff. So far so good. The administraion there is impressed with our group and we, of course, are impressed with God and the things He is accomplishing this week.

After the VBS time...of course we could not just be done for the day...that would be too easy! So we also partnered with a local church who has a skateboarding ministry. It is appropriately called Skate Church. Anyway, they wanted the outside of their building to be painted Army we are painting.

This mission trip is also different for Paul and I because we have all three of our kids with us. This is a first for us. Paul and I have a huge spot in our heart for missions and we try to make it a large part of our lives. We want that for our kids to. We understand that we live in a modern day Babylon and the quickest way to be sucked into the Babylonian Empire is to lose sight of the NEED around us. It's in our backyard and we are almost numb to it. So this week, as a family, we are ripping the blinders off our eyes and staring the NEED in the face. We are dealing with it as a family. The kids are not participating in VBS this week they are working...hard. Today was the first day of VBS and they all did a great job. Yesterday as we were setting up they moved chairs, stacked boxes, swept floors and prepared food boxes. They. worked. hard.

We also painted today. I don't have any pics of that...well...because...I was too busy telling my kids to stop STEPPING in the paint. Stop putting your HANDS IN THE BUCKET! Stop painting OTHER PEOPLE! Wipe up all your DRIPS! Yes...I was to busy for the picture taking, you see...

I did get these yesterday though...when they were the hard-working people!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I vacuumed up crayons and Lego's today.

That's right people. I did it. It all started yesterday when I looked at the playroom and my blood IMMEDIATELY began to boil. I got cold sweats. My hair started to stand on edge. I started saying things my mother used to say. It was a bad feeling.

So I walked away from the playroom and decided I needed to do some serious prayer and meditation before I was going to clean the playroom. I was going to need the Holy Spirit to physically guide me in wading through the mounds and MOUNDS of toys, broken crayons, play clothes and baby dolls. Not to mention the other foot-penetrating items such as GI Joes, Army guys...and their minuscule guns, LEGOS (are the worst, by the way...they have SHARP corners!) matchbox cars, play rings and other jewelry and...the...list...could...go...on...f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

So I closed the door...Out of sight...out of mind right?

Then this morning I walked past the playroom and again all the emotions and feelings previously mentioned came barrelling back in a blaze of glory. Something must be done. So...I went to Curves. I decided a good workout would gear me up for some playroom de-cluttering/throwing mean "CLEANING".

As I pull into the driveway...I know it's coming. Oh the dread...Oh the horror. I walk in the door and Paul greets me to tell me that Jacob (my 7 year old) has cleaned the playroom.

***enter Champagne falling from the Heavens, confetti streaming through the air and a chorus of angels singing HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!***

My son, my blessed son has cleaned the playroom! Oh how the love is springing forth from my heart!

I go check it out and he has done a FANTASTIC job...Like a mom-type clean, not a kid-type clean...and if you have totally get this right now.

The only thing left is to vacuum. He really is to small to maneuver it so I tell him, as the BEST MOM E.V.E.R. that I would vacuum for him. (He actually jumped in my arms and squeezed my neck saying thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou....iloveyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyou. It was precious.

Of course I notice a few straggling crayons, legos, teeny tiny guns...and such. Jacob asked me if I wanted him to finish picking those up and I looked at him with a smile and said, "No son, I'll take it from here."

So Paul brought me the vacuum and I commenced with the vacuuming. And up goes the remaining crayons, legos, super small guns and an undisclosed amount of roly poly's. We sort of have an epidemic around here of dead roly poly's. Any way.

After all is done Jacob comes to me and says, "Mom, where's my money?"
"What son?"
"My money? Daddy said I could have $6.00 to clean the playroom, but since you vacuumed I'll just take $5.00"


Again, the Mom-Of-The-Year Award goes to......................


Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Mommy, My favorite part was when the clown dropped the phone in his pants!"

A couple of weeks ago we started the summer reading program at our public library. The kids read so many books...they get prizes. So this week their prize was a free circus ticket....the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus! So we figured out we could go on opening night...(last night, Wednesday, July 1). After all, every kid should go to the circus, right?

Well since the kids' tickets were "free" there was a catch. We had to physically exchange them at the box office. So early Wednesday morning Paul and Jacob took our "free" tickets down to the Alamodome to exchange them for real tickets. He also, of course, had to purchase him and I tickets. Paul got there just before the box office opened and was second in no problem getting tickets. Promptly at 10:00am one box office window opened and the person in front of Paul stepped up to the window. Just as the person in front of Paul was finishing, the box office opened up 5 more windows simultaneously. Paul was stepping up to the first window and from behind him was a horrible noise. He turned around to see "middle-aged" and "older" women hurdling the barricades to get to the windows. He said that he had to grab Jacob and jerk him out of the way of the stampede of women before he was trampled. He stepped up to the window just before a "lady" cut him off and exchanged our tickets. Good news! On the opening day of the circus the tickets are discounted! Yay! So mine and Paul's tickets cost us $22.00. Not to bad.

***Circus Expense Count - $22.00 + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 1.***

So later that evening we go to Chik-fil-A for a pre-circus meal and we have a conversation with the kiddos about the expense and "quality" of the items sold at the circus. We explained that we were going just to watch the circus and we were not going to buy any of the "crap"...ahem..."junk"...ahem...TOYS from the circus. We then enjoy our pre-circus meal.

***Circus Expense Count - $22.00 + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 1 + $25.00 at Chik-fil-A***

On to the circus. We have to pay $10.00 to park.

***Circus Expense Count - $22.00 + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 1 + $25.00 at Chik-fil-A + $10.00 for parking***

We get there a little early and wander through all of the to get to our seats and sit down. Just before the circus started the kids said they were thirsty, so Paul went to get a drink. He came back with a couple bags of peanuts a coke and a bottle of water. We had already said no to the $12.00 cotton candy and the $9.00 sno-cone or lemonade in the souvenir cup

***Circus Expense Count - $22.00 + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 1 + $25.00 at Chik-fil-A +$10.00 for parking + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 2 + $15.00 in Circus snacks***

After a trip to the bathroom the circus starts. It's mostly your run-of-the-mill circus but there were a few new things that were really cool. The tigers and elephants were all the same...the same since I saw them as a little girl. The clowns were funny, the Ringmaster was over the top, the acrobats twisted their bodies in wierd ways, and seven motorcycles rode around a cage.

At the end of the circus I asked my kids what their favorite part of the circus was. Surely it was the amazing tigers or the motorcycles in the cage or the trapeze artists or the enormous elephants or the music or the lights...

Nope. Their favorite part was when the clown put a ladies cell phone down his pants. Hilarious.

All in all we had a great time. So glad we got "free" tickets to go.

***Circus Expense Count - $22.00 + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 1 + $25.00 at Chik-fil-A +$10.00 for parking + Gas to and from the Alamodome part 2 + $15.00 in Circus snacks + 3 super happy kids = awesome.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crocodile Dock Pictures

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Crocodile Dock = Success.

Last week was VBS! We had an awesome time and God really showed up!

Here are a few of the highlights...

Two weeks prior to the start of VBS my friend Magan and I worked tirelessly on decorating the church, transforming it into a realistic yet "friendly" swamp. (We didn't want any of the kiddos to be afraid of the eerie swampiness and what not) So in the midst of the swamp transformation both Magan and I were out of town at different times. That put a whole new spin on getting things done. Needless to say we had several, SEVERAL nights in a row with minimal sleeping. Just chalk it up to VBS. We put the finishing touches on everything at about 4:00pm on Father's Day and were even able to make it to Joe's Crab Shack and enjoy some Father's day dinner.

On Monday morning we hit the ground running and 200 kiddos descended on our swamp. (Give or take a few kiddos, after like, 50, who's counting anyway?) We had a great time and our volunteer group was large and in charge! There were 90 total volunteers and they were fantastic! Our high day was on Wednesday when we topped the 300 mark. It was AWESOME!

On Thursday we had 15 children give their lives to Jesus as their personal Savior...again can I say A.W.E.S.O.M.E.! We finished off Friday and chalked VBS 2009 up as a victory.

Needless to say...I don't really want to spend my first night off in, like, for-e.v.e.r. on the computer! I have some scrapbooking to catch up on!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Murphy's Law Strikes Again!

As of 6:00pm on Saturday...WE STILL HAVE BROWN WATER! It is a teeny tiny bit better, but still not good enough to wash dishes or clothes. This is NOT a good way to begin the week of VBS. We need CLEAN water!

*original post follows*

VBS starts on Monday. So today (Friday) is a great day for Murphy's Law to strike. Actually it struck last night just after dinner. For the entire day yesterday we washed clothes, flushed potty's and I cooked dinner...water..ahhhh...running water. Then it happened. Just as we got up from dinner, Paul went to turn on the water to wash the dishes and...nothing.

Not even a trickle. Nothing.

So he and his friend go outside and start looking in the yard for water. For those of you who don't have experience living on a well, if your water isn't coming out of your faucet in your can bet it's coming out somewhere in your yard. How do I know this? It's happened 2, count them TWO other times to us. So they look all around and Nothing.

Not even a trickle. Nothing.

So Paul called a plumber and of course they can't come until tomorrow ( today...get it?) Anyway. This morning the plumber finally shows up around 9:30 (he was supposed to be there at 9:00) He takes a look at everything and lets us know that our well pump has gone out AND we have a hole in the pipe leading to the well pump. He says it can be fixed in two hours...I know better than that people!

The plumber gets a phone call and leaves in the middle of fixing our well! He said he had an emergency.

HELLO? Perhaps I need to restate...WE HAVE NO WATER! Is that not emergency enough? Apparently not. So he left and promised to return. Apparently some ladies house was flooding...that was the big emergency. Ok Ok Ok it WAS an emergency. Finally he comes back and fixed our well pump and pipe.

But wait.

We still have brown water. Again. If you don't have "well experience", this is what happens when you fix the pipes...dirt gets in your water. So we are going to have some toilet/sink cleaning ahead of us. yay.

I hope that things only get better throughout this week. And I hope our brown water goes away soon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

So I'm a great-grandmother...

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Here are the newest additions to our home! Our Caroline gave birth to 6 kittens early Thursday morning...the 11th of June. Here's how it all played out.

A few months ago when Caroline (the cat...just for clarification) was in heat, we found her in the garage. The garage door was closed so we were pretty confident that she wasn't outside with a special friend. That perspective changed in just a few short weeks as she became larger and larger, she was more lethargic and she wouldn't let Abby carry her around. So we talked to the resident vet in our church and without even looking at her said, "Yep, I'd put money on it that she's pregnant."

Great. So then Paul and I are trying to figure out when she got outside and we decided that the morning we found her in the garage must have been the "morning after." She must have been outside before we closed the garage for the night and she narrowly escaped being stuck outside of the garage for the whole night...and we found her the next morning. We completely made up this story in an effort to make sense of the whole situation. However, we have no factual basis for these claims what so ever and so we say, "We have no idea how she got into her `delicate` situation."

Skip forward to June 11, 2009, 4:18am.

Paul and I awake to an interesting sound in our room. I immediately know what it is and Paul is kind of in a daze repeating over and over, "What's that sound, what's that sound." I calmly reply in a half-sleep voice...Caroline just had her kittens under our bed...

About 3.7 seconds later we both realize what I have just said and we fly out of the bed. We have to move the end table that is at the end of the bed and...there she is.
She is licking to death 3 little kittens. So Paul and I watch for a few minutes and we kind of smile at each other and say, "oh, how cute..." etc. As we are climbing back into bed I say, "Well at least there are only 3." We got back into bed because I was certainly not taking care of this situation at freaking 4:23am.

Skip to 7:30am.

We wake the kids up to show them the `three` new kittens. The kids come into the room and got down on their bellies to look under the bed and Jacob started counting.
One. Two. Three. FOUR! What??? Ok so four. Now we have four. Whoa. We get on with our day and a few hours later we go back to check on the kittens and Caroline. Abby counts this time.

One. Two. Three. Four. FIVE! SIX! Holy smokes. Six. What are we going to do with six kittens. We'll figure that out later. We got a box and got the kittens and Caroline in a box and slid it under the bed because that is where Caroline was "comfty" (as my kids would say).

The boys have picked out which ones they are going to keep. Caleb is picking one of the "cow kitties"... (translation...white with black spots) He named it Soccer...of course he did. And Jacob picked one of the darker ones with the stripes. He named it Recon. So that rounds out our family. Mommy, Daddy, Jacob, Caleb, Abby Sue, Caroline, Recon and Soccer.

As the day goes on Abby begins to figure out that Caroline is the kitties' mommy, She is Caroline's mommmy so she is the kitties' "Nana" and I am her mommmy so I am Caroline's "Nana" and I am the kitties'....

That's right people I am a cats.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

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That's right people. I got in the dunk tank.

My day started very early...well for me anyway...not for people like my parents or my brother...but anyway...

I woke up at 6:15 and quickly got dressed and threw on a hat because I had to be at the school by 10 til 7:00am to start setting up for the Spring Party. I don't know why we call it a Spring Party, it's totally close enough to and hot enough for...Summer...anyway...

So I had to be at the school at 10 til 7 and I was most definately going by Starbucks for a Venti before going to the school. When I get there the PTA president and I start setting up for the school wide party and our helpers begin trickling in to help also. After all we had about 12 carnival games, 6 inflatables, cotton candy, snow cones and, of course, a dunk tank! The inflatable people were totally late...I wasn't happy because I could have slept for 15 more minutes if I had known they were going to be late. So we get everything set up and the party begins with Kinder, Pre-1st and 1st grade. They have a fantastic time, everything goes well, there were NO injuries! Yeah for us! There were also no shoes or socks left on the field after the young ones...which I'm considering a small miracle since there were 6 inflatables were they couldn't wear their shoes! Then comes 4th and
5th. Again no injuries, everyone had a fantastic time...however...FIVE pairs of shoes and one pair of socks were left in the field! WHAT?!?!? Fourth and fifth graders surely know that they don't have any shoes on when they walk from the party into the cafeteria for LUNCH! What was the first clue? The hot pavement of the sidewalk on the way in or the cold linoleum in the cafeteria! I had to take the bullhorn, go into the cafeteria and get their attention and then I said this, "Attention 4th and 5th graders. Everyone please stop where you are and look at your feet. Are any of you missing your shoes and/or socks?" No kidding, I said that. I had 3 takers...remember...5 pairs were left. One pair belonged to a kid who had a bloody nose and was in the nurse, so I gave him a free pass...but still we had one pair left. Finally I find the owner. One of the children of the ladies running the party!

Now we come to the "best" part...and I use that word loosely! My turn for the dunk tank was sort of a surprise...meaning I didn't know I was getting in until about 30 mins before...I was totally unprepared. No extra clothes. No floaties. Nothing. But alas, there was no one else willing or stupid. So I get in there and the first 4 people to throw are my husband and my 3 children. yep. Paul throws all three balls and misses completely! I was really glad! Then Abby steps up and hits throws the first ball and misses. She throws the second one and it hits the target but not hard enough so I don't fall. On the third one, Mommy is wet! She was so excited. Then comes Caleb. One ball. One throw. One wet Mommy. On Jacob's turn he was a little over anxious so he missed all three and promptly gets back in line. I continue to be dunked for the next 45 minutes including 2 times by Jacob and one more time by Abby...Paul never tried again...I'm sure he would have connected eventually.

All in all we had a great day. And by this time tomorrow I will have a Second Grader (Jacob), a Kindergartner (Caleb) and Abby Sue will be in PreK at our church! My how the precious time does fly!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Something to read....

Hello all seven of my blog readers! I am looking for something AMAZING to read this summer. We are going to be home quite a bit, which is new for us! So I'm calling on you to let me know what to read. I'm looking for something thought provoking, challenging, a learning experience. So let me know what you think! I'm excited to see who's reading what! Let me know!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Superfast Rundown of My Life.....

Last get out for Swine Flu...not because they personally have it, but because up to 148 students in our district were SUSPECTED of having it...Whatever. We had a great time on our FLU-cation.

I paid all my Sunday School teachers to clean their toys and rooms and disinfect them. It is a lot of work taking the toys home, getting them in the diswasher and bathtub, washing them AND drying them...ugh...I hope I don't have to do that again in the near future.

We stayed around the house for the first couple of days and then we got tired of that so we went to Fiesta Texas and a birthday party at Incredible Pizza.

We had church...not too many people came. God did though...just so you know. He's not fearful of contracting the swine flu.

Had to go to a funeral for a charter member of our church.

After hearing for a solid week that we would not return to school early...we returned to school (thursday) in fact. Paul drove by the school running various errands today and every time he went by there were 3-5 classes on the playground. Really. Did I have to get up at 7:00am for the kids to go play on the playground?


Tomorrow is Field Day. So tomorrow I will get up at 7:00am to go run games for 3 hours at Field Day. Why? Because i love my son.

My parents are coming tomorrow I'll pull Jacob out of school early tomorrow and we are going back to Fiesta Texas with my parents.

The boys do get to play their ball games on that's good. That was one of the reasons my parents were coming anyway. Also to celebrate Abby's birthday. She thinks she rules the world right now because she is about to be four.and then five.and then 20.

Then on Saturday mom and I are getting a massage for Mother's Day! Yahoo!

On Sunday mom and dad are going home, we are going to church and then we are going home to have a sandwich. All the other people in the entire western hemisphere will be at the restaurants so we will go home for lunch and we are going out to eat with our great friends for mother's day around 4:00...maybe we'll only have to wait an hour at that point.

Ok. So that's it for a while...hope to blog more often soon! Don't leave me! Hang in there. Keep caring about what kind of junk my family is doing!

Friday, April 24, 2009

"I am not peace."...UPDATE


Well, we have moved on from peace to self-control. Abby even told me very empatically this morning, "Mommy! I am being peace today!" We made a very big deal about this! The self-control post-it has a few marks of disobedience...even from mommy and daddy. Mommy ate 2...count them...2 cinnamon rolls the other day. While I was cutting the second one to eat I literally said to myself, "Self. You should have self-control and NOT eat the second cinnamon roll." About the time I got to the end of that sentence...I put the first bite into my mouth... no self-control. So I got a mark and Daddy got a mark for losing his temper while the kids were supposed to be cleaning the playroom...That in and of itself should not be reason for a mark. I'm pretty sure God himself would lose self-control while trying to get my children to clean the playroom. Seriously.

So last sunday night I was teaching my preschool AWANA group. We only had 2 weeks left so I decided to teach 2 weeks on the Fruits of the Spirit. We had a coloring page and some fun activities that were brilliant, I might add. So we started going through the Fruits of the Spirit. I started with Love, then joy, then peace....and I get all the way to self-control.

This is when the story gets...well...interesting.

I am teaching on self-control and all of the kids (except mine) are "practicing" self-control. We were wiggling our feet and then we would stop and "get control" of our feet. Then we would wiggle our hands and "get control" of our hands...and on and on. It was just a good physical excersize to try and teach self-control. Well while all of the other children were practicing self-control my children were...

doing hand stands.

yes. people. hand. stands.

Not exactly self-control.

So while this is going on, I look at my other teacher and say quietly through super-clenched teeth..."If someone doesn't remove my children from this room right now..."

I didn't even have to finish my sentence before the other teacher had scooped my two kids out of the room on the way to daddy...for, you know, encouragement.

Paul and I were so defeated that night after I had told him the story about self-control. So we came up with a plan. We would write on sticky notes each persons name and a couple of the Fruits of the Spirit. We stuck them to the oven (don't ask why...) as a reminder of the Fruits of the Spirit that we are supposed to be practicing.

For some reason...

I got patience. and Abby got peace.

Seriously, God and my husband have an amazing sense of humor.

So all day on Monday Abby and I are practicing patience and peace. We both did pretty good for the morning except one little time.

Abby and Caleb got into a little skirmish and Abby hauled off and hit Caleb. I calmly (really...I promise) walked over to Abby and said, " Ab's you are supposed to be practicing peace today and hitting Caleb is not a good way to practicce peace."

She looked at me with eyes only a mother could love and she started to stomp her way to her room for a good pout session and about half way across the living room she stopped, turned and looked at me and said, in a not so pleasant voice...

"I am not peace!"

And so we begin again, maybe we will have better luck tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The "Big Girl Section"

Not to far in the distant past I remember buying Jacob some clothes and when I got them home they fit and then two seconds later I found myself crossing the isle in Target from the "Toddler" clothes to the "Big Kid" clothes.

Several things struck me when I crossed over.
1. The clothes are at least $4-$6 more expensive over there.
2. This means my little boy is growing up...(insert all appropriate emotions here.)
3. Now he is officially a Big Boy.

After that incident I gradually became accustomed to purchasing clothes from all different departments at each store that I went to. Caleb's transfer to the Big Boy section went without real incident because, well he is the second boy. I love him no less and I did have a twinge of sadness when I realized he, too, had crossed over. The sadness did not linger as long as it did with Jacob.

And then...

The other day I was shopping for Easter clothes. I, of course, picked out matching shirts and shorts for the boys from the big boy section at a considerable price increase and as I was looking for something for Abby, I remembered. The clothes I had bought a few weeks ago were a tiny bit snug on Abby. Her midsection than it was not so long ago. Her legs are longer and her torso is growing longer too.

It took me a minute to come to the realization that all of you probably already have.
I should cross over to the Big Girl Section. After all...the smallest size in the "Big" section is not all that different from the biggest size in the "Toddler" section. The clothes, however, are cut differently and therefore fit the "big girls" better.

So I reluctantly walked over to the Big Girl Section. I was walking really slowly, not really wanting to find anything so I could go back over to where "I should be." After all I don't have a big I? Again I began to realize that in fact, I do, have a big girl. She has stopped wearing pull-ups at night, she talks like she's 25 and she has the attitude of a 15 year old.

The Big Girl Section was a different animal than the Big Boy Section. So many choices, so many options, SO MANY accessories! I slowly and somberly warmed to the idea of shopping in the Big Girl Section and found a cute dress that has the same colors as the boys shirts AND THEN...I went to the Big Big Girl Section and bought me a dress to match! I guess that is one perk.

Here's to me having three "Big" kids.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Not only do I have to deal with my own poop, but everyone else's too...

Ahhhh, the joys of motherhood.

I was watching Oprah today, not something extremely normal at my home, but on the occasion I watch Oprah. There my confession has been made...not the point of my story...

Anyway. I was watching and it was about motherhood today. Several women were confessing some h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s stuff that they had done as a result of being a mother. i.e. - not bathing in several days, using a diaper to pee on in the car because her kids were sleeping on a road trip and she didn't want to stop, creating an entire lunch from snacks inside the car on the way to school. You know REAL mom stuff...not TV mom stuff.

So I was thinking about some of the things that have occured around me and my family. Don't worry nothing as extreme as above. However I have, on the occasion, created toilets out of cups, bushes and cinder blocks. I have also made entire meals out of granola bars fruit snacks and gatorade at the ball park.

One other thing that my friend and I were talking about after seeing this episode, was poop. I know, I know, it's not the prettiest of subjects but seriously. All my children, for the most part, take care of their own poop. My husband takes care of his own poop...ALL the time...and I of course take care of mine...AND, on the occasion, my children's AND on the occasion the cat's, AND any other children that come over to play with my children...AND...the deer poop that comes in off my children's shoes...AND the bird poop on my car!

I mean seriously! Everyone else only has to deal with their own...but a mom, she deals with it all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Worth every minute...

If you have a few minutes or nine, I think you should spend it watching this. That's all I'm going to say about it. I don't want to give you any expectation. Just watch. I dpn't know how to link it to make it clickable so you'll have to exert a tiny bit of extra effort to copy and paste into your search bar.

Totally worth it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

For the love of my children...I went camping.

That's right people. I went camping. Can I just say there is a REASON my husband calls me "City". I'm not what you would call the outdoors-y type. Don't get me wrong. I like to be outside, play sports, swim, picnic and such...but sleeping outside, cooking outside etc...not exactly my idea of a good time. But my children were excited beyond belief. They had never been camping and that fact just increased the excitement level among them. They were ready. So I said ok and we made the plans and then we packed up and headed to Blanco State Park to enjoy the great out-of-doors.

We got there and Paul set up the tent, we fished (**notice** I did NOT say "catched"), we cooked hotdogs on the fire and of course marshmallows...half a bag, mind you! We didn't do smores...because after kids only cared about the "smarshmallows." Why waste valuable packing space with crazy things like chocolate or graham crackers. Then came the sleeping part.

Sleeping for the kids...easy. They actually elected on their own...all three of go to bed. You know...because sleeping in a tent is loads of fun. Paul and I on the other hand...

No real sleeping occurred. I was concerned about keeping the kids warm because it was cooler than we expected, we forgot our pillows so we had to use towels rolled up. Not the softest of the things to sleep on. Then there was the fact that we were sleeping straight on the ground. Of course Paul would tell you that there was a tarp and the bottom of the tent between us and the ground. I say we slept on the ground.

All in all we had a great time and I ***gulp***would do it again...but only for the love of my children.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Things Moms Do For Their Children...

More to come in a couple of days.

Let's just say this includes but is not limited to:

the out-of-doors...

Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My (surprise) trip to Nashville!

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So I know I haven't blogged in a while. If you only knew my schedule over the last two weeks...OMGoodness.

So I'll back up a little bit. A few weeks ago I was reading a blog I follow and they pointed me to another blog that was giving away tickets to a Beth Moore conference in Nashville, TN for minister wives only. When I put my name in the hat I secretly prayed that if I won the ticket God would allow me to go...somehow...someway.

Fast forward...I won the ticket! I found out that I won the Wednesday before the conference so I had to act fast. Long story short...Paul bought me a ticket! I called my mom and she bought a ticket! and we went to Nashville! We had a blast.

God really worked a lot of things out for me to go. 1. It was supposed to be opening weekend for my boys baseball...(it hasn't rained in over 18 months previous...)and opening day was cancelled because it rained for 4 days! I didn't miss any of the boys games! 2. My college roommate was going to come visit and for various reasons we rescheduled to another weekend in April! 3.We had money for me to go...can I just say that again a little louder...WE HAD MONEY FOR ME TO GO! Seriously people this is a miracle of God Himself. 4. My mom and I both got reasonable plane tickets. 5. When I was on my way home, they overbooked the plane and I volunteered to stay and the airline gave me HALF of my plane ticket back in a voucher!

All in all we had a most fantastic weekend!

When we got there we went straight to the hotel and then we immediately jumped on a tour bus and took a tour around Nashville. We went to Music Row where all the recording studios are, to Ryman Auditorium...most of you may know it as the Grand Ole Opry. We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Legends Corner Bar. After all that we made it to the Beth Moore conference and it was awesome. One of the best I've been to.

It was such a whirlwind of a trip, but, at the same time, restful for me. Refreshing. I am so blessed to have a husband who would basically drop everything and buy me a plane ticket to go to an amazing conference and have a little vacay on the side!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I just want more.

I want more...

of Jesus
compliant children
time to scrapbook
time to do my bible study
time to listen to my ipod
motivation to lose weight
motivation to be organized
of a restful spirit
of a quiet response to my kids
of a deep relationship with God
time with my husband
of a quiet response to my husband
realization of the love God has for me
awareness of the pain my sin causes God
of Jesus

I just want more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Surprises, Sinuses, Smashes

So yesterday I was at school, teaching my 10 three year olds, and in walks the secretary of our church with a vase full of flowers. And, totally naively, I say, "WOW! who are those for?!?!" And she says...YOU!

Now flowers are not a new thing for me. Paul gives me flowers at least twice a month. So the idea of flowers was not new, but getting them at work...that was new! Then I opened the card and this was what was on it...

"Be dressed up and ready to go at 5:30. The car will pick you up.
P.S. The kids are totally taken care of."

I was like, awesome. What car? So then Paul comes in and tells me that the kids are taken care of from the time school was out until we got home. So I got to go home after school and TAKE A NAP. Can I just say that again...TAKE A NAP! Yes people. That was PART OF THE DATE! He worked in a nap for our date. Can I just say...probably the most brilliant move he made! On top of that he picked me up in our car, he rang the doorbell and everything...I almost didn't know what to do with that. It's been a long time since I've been on that kind of a date. So anyway...we went to Landry's on the river and then walked around for a while and then had some Ben and Jerry's

So on to the sinuses...I cannot stand cedar. That's right. cedar. It comes in like a roaring lion, stops up your head and then you can't breathe or talk. All you do is cough and sneeze, but nothing comes out because it's all stopped up and it's just terrible.

NOW...the smashes part of my tale.

Tonight we came home from church and as we were getting out of the car and I looked through my driver's side window through the car out the passenger side window and I see a look of sheer pain on Jacob's face and he starts screaming...his pinky finger has just been slammed in the door. yep. So he gets the door open and his finger out and we get into the house and get an ice pack. Paul and I are looking at his finger and he is sobbing and sobbing. As we are trying to get a handle on the situation, Jacob looks up from his crying and in great anguish he yells at the top of his lungs...PRAY! I knew what he said, I mean I knew the word that came out of his mouth, but I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by it, so I asked him, "What did you say?" And again he yelled, "PRAY!" So immediately me, Paul, Caleb and Abby started praying for his finger. By this point I am now crying. This was big to him and he knew exactly where to turn. Each one of us prayed, but that was not enough for him. He then asked me to call Mrs. Phyllis (a lady from our church), Mrs. Magan (my best friend) and Nana (my mom). So I called/texted them and they are all praying for him. It was so refreshing for Paul and I.

God is not bothered or annoyed with smashed fingers because He has more "important things to do." He totally delights in His children calling on Him for ANYTHING.

Praise be to God for being totally approachable with the little things.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


And to add to the below post...

We found out tonight that our beloved cat Caroline has an abcess and now has to have some surgery tomorrow. Please pray for Abby. She is sad that Caroline is "sick" and she doesn't quite know what it all means. Caroline should be just fine. She just needs to have her abcess drained and then be on some antibiotics. Hopefully everything else will be fine. A vet at our church has set everything up for us so that is a blessing.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rolling with the Punches this week...

This week my punches include but are not limited too...

Last Thursday - My grandmother who lives with my parents falls and goes to the hospital for three days

Last Friday - My mom changes plans and does not come to help with the kids for Paul's surgery

Monday - Don't get to work out...Paul's surgery at 8 AM! Five hours in a waiting room. Yippee. Don't sleep because Paul doesn't sleep.

Tuesday - Don't get to work out...Teach school and deal with kiddos and Paul. Don't sleep because Paul doesn't sleep.

Wednesday - Don't get to work out...Go to Bible study and Paul calls me to come home right away and take him to the Urgent Care Center for severe side pain...spend 4 hours in the Urgent Care Center running tests...finally come up with kidney stones...get sent to Imaging center for a CT scan...confirms kidney stones...Sleep well...go figure.

Thursday - Don't get to work out...teach school that I am totally unprepared for because of said above items. Have a Valentine's party at school, Caleb has a fever and goes home to Paul who still has kidney stones. Abby goes to gymnastics, Caleb supposed to go to gymnastics but went home with a fever...that he doesn't have any more and is now bouncing off the walls...Jacob to basketball practice. Sleep good, not great...afraid I'm going to be awakened by screams of agonizing pain from Paul...nope.

Friday - Get Starbucks, go to Jacob's school to work in work room and host Valentine's party. Forget to finish First Grade project while I'm there, have to go back next week...dang it. Come home exhausted. Paul still has kidney stone. Surprises me and my friend with a crop night at new scrapbook store! Leave at 3:30 and get back home at midnight:30. Little sleep.

Saturday - Show Paul my pages, look at the clock for the last time at 1:11 am. Wake up at 7:40...Paul late for working concession stand at Upwards Basketball. Me typing right now. 9:41... Day 3 of Kidney Stone Watch '09...still nothing. 5pm today to midnight...Parent's Night Out Fundraiser. Little sleep again (I'm predicting the future).

Sunday - Going to be super tired...again I'm predicting the future. church...and all that comes with it. Awana's and all that comes with it.

Monday - PRESIDENT'S DAY! NO SCHOOL! HOPE TO WORK OUT! Paul's stitches out at 9am and then a day of family fun. Sleep. I'll let you know about Kidney Stone Watch '09!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

But mommy, I can still whistle.

So Saturday was kind of a relaxing day. Jacob had a basketball game early and then we were home for the rest of the day...a total rarity around here as you may know. Anyway.

I did some scrapbooking and quickly learned that I needed to go spend an hour or four at Hobby Lobby selecting the paper I needed. So I decided that I would just totally relax and watch some tv.

Paul ran over to the church to check on some things and Abby tagged along. The boys were very nicely playing a game of T-ball. This is a new thing that they are into. They have worked out the perfect balance of hitting, catching and scoring for two people playing.

I had just gotten really comfortable and then I heard it...

The scream...

The kind that says to a mom, "I need to hurry! This is for real!"

So I start walked, rather fast, to the back door and I was mentally preparing myself for any number of injuries. I knew the boys were playing t-ball so I was thinking, something involving the bat...hmmm. I knew the scream was from Caleb and I haven't heard him take a breath yet, so this is going to be bad. I was prepared for large amounts of blood, unusually large knots, and, of course...missing teeth.

I get outside and I see Jacob hugging Caleb and Jacob is crying too. He said, "Mommy I am so sorry, it was an accident, he just walked in my way!" I told Jacob he was not in trouble and that everything would be ok.

This is the point that I get my first glimpse of Caleb. He is bleeding from the mouth and has the BIGGEST, FATTEST lip I have ever seen! His top lip was busted and it was so swollen that it drooped down below his bottom lip. I couldn't even look at his teeth because his lip was so swollen. So we got an ice pack and held that on his lip for a while. After about 20 or 30 minutes the swelling was finally down enough for me to see his teeth and praise the Lord all his teeth were in the right place and not loose. How exactly...I'm not sure...literally a miracle.

So I loved on Caleb for a long time and I tried to make a fat lip as cool as possible. He was very concerned that people would laugh at him. So I made the fat lip cool and finally after a couple of hours of feeling sorry for himself he comes running into the living room and jumps in my lap and says,

"Mommy, listen, at least I can still whistle!"

His fat lip makes a perfect little aperture to whistle through! I said, " Well Hallelujah!"

And that was the end of feeling sorry for himself, because, after all, he can still whistle.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anatomy of a 7 Year Old Birthday Party

Last night was Jacob's 7th Birthday Party. It was really fun! He had a sleepover...for those of you who don't know...

Girls have "slumber parties"
Boys have "sleepovers" we had a sleepover!

Jacob invited 3 friends to his party and they had a great time.

***They played "Nerf Wars" - basically running around the yard shooting each other with Nerf darts. (or...shooting darts into oblivion and then taking a time out to pick them all up and reload their guns.)
***They played basketball. ( minutes)
***Paul took them to Blockbuster to pick a movie for later. (ever tried to get 4 boys to decide together on a single movie...yeah, not happening...we had to get two)
***They built a fire in our fire pit. (with teeny tiny sticks...Paul had to keep sending them out for more sticks just to get the flame big enough to roast the hot dogs!)
***They roasted their own hot dogs. (Actually they did pretty good...and they ate them!)
***They roasted their own marshmallows. (burnt them mostly and then threw them in the fire)
***They had a burping contest. (Some of them were too good...)
***They played Star Wars Legos on the XBOX 360. (4 boys + 2 controllers = not as much fun as they thought...and yet they played for hours anyway... left me referee-ing the rest of the night.)
***They sang Happy Birthday (Cha Cha Cha)
***They ate cake. (and made a huge mess)
***Jacob opened his presents (each one was the "awesome-est" and if I hear "open mine, now!" one more time...I might cry...and there were only 3 boys here...go figure.)
***They watched one movie. (Jacob got to pick because he's the birthday boy...of course)
***Then...they...slept. (After 11:30 and several stern warnings from Paul...they all finally slept.

***Then Paul and I slept..until...6:00am

That's right people, the four boys who I just KNEW would sleep until AT LEAST 7:00am were up playing games at SIX A-M! I was just lying in my bed...I wanted to sleep, but sleeping is just not possible when you have 4 boys playing a video game and you know 3 of them are not yours and you really should be up so that nothing happens. You know you should also be up because what if one of the boys goes home and his mom asks what they did and the boy tells her and then she says, "Well where was Miss Tanya?" and he has to say, "She was sleeping." That just wouldn't be good. So like any other Super Mom I got up and made pancakes. Got all 4 boys dressed, 3 for basketball games and one to go grocery shopping with his mom. Then gathered all their stuff, blankies, lovies (yes seven year olds have lovies...actually all of them did...including Jacob) underwear, shoes, jammies, party favors, balloons that they just had to have...the list goes on. It's ridiculous how much stuff four boys can accumulate in 2 seconds.

All in all we had a great time and I am now sitting in my sweats thinking I really should be napping...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is a reason "children" should not have children

Tonight I took my kids to Chik-fil-a. Not a monumental, blogworthy piece of info, I know. Anyway. I had to go to Wal-Mart to get some items for the church nursery so I went during Paul's small group (which is at my house) and then took the kids to eat. I also got to work on my Beth Moore Bible Study homework while they extra bonus for me!

When I got there I spied a table in prime "kid watching" real estate. So we snagged it and chowed down. Behind me was a little girl and what, I later found out, was her "mother" and "Aunt Sarah". I really thought this odd because when we first sat down the little girl was leaning over into our booth flinging her book and blanket around and the way the mother reacted was totally inappropriate. Not like "abuse" inappropriate, more like "little sister" inappropriate. I kept looking around for the girls mother. Then I finally heard enough of the conversation to figure out that the teenage "child" in the booth was the mother and her "BFF" was Aunt Sarah. I was so disturbed through most of the time we were eating, just listening to the dis-service those "children" were doing to that little girl. The immaturity with which they talked to her and "disciplined" her. They were loud and obnoxious and pre-occupied with their "BFF" conversation. They acted like teenagers...because they were. Every action they took and every word they said was loud for all to hear that "THEY WERE TAKING CARE OF HER CHILD". They made sure they were heard. They made sure it was obvious they were "in charge."

I was not the only one who was noticing these goings on. There was a couple across from me, probably in their 60's, noticing and listening and shaking their heads, not in disgust but in sadness. They too could tell this was a sad situation. To make matters worse when they went out the doors the little girl took off running out the door and straight into the parking lot. Praise the Lord there were no cars coming. Then, perhaps THE most appaling thing of the whole ordeal was that the mother just stood there, yelled for the girl to come back and waited with the car door open, just pointing into the seat that the girl was supposed to be sitting in. The girl literally just stood in the middle of the parking lot. Me and the other couple just sat with our mouths open...literally...watching to see if this child was going to be safe. Finally the girl got into the car and they drove away. The couple and I...literally...breathed a sigh of relief when they drove away.

The couple said a few things to each other and then.....

Abby came bursting through the playroom door wailing and yelled at the top of her lungs, "THE BOYS ARE FIGHTING ME!"

And the couple died laughing. So did I. Leave it to Abby to provide a little comic relief!

Anyway, I just could not help but think how there is such purpose to God's timing and plan. I am, appropriately, studying Beth Moore's Jesus the One and Only, and the lesson tonight (that I was working on at Chik-fil-a...enter God's timing...) was about the impecable timing of God surrounding Jesus' birth. And although Mary was only about 13 or 14 when she had Jesus, it was so divine, so perfect, so timely that people were staring for other reasons and not the fact that she was a teenage mother.

For once, tonight I was actually happy to be...ahem...30...years...old...ahem. I was thankful that I was a more mature mother, that I followed God's plan for my life and my family. Thank you God for timing, thank you God for Your perfect plan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today I witnessed the hilarity of first grade sports...

That's right folks. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! Today was Jacob's first Upward Basketball game and it was so fun to watch. If you are not familiar Upward basketball, here is a little, very little, insight.

Several hundred children of varying ability playing the game of basketball.

This is Jacob's first year to play. Paul and Jacob's friends dad, Jeff are the coaches and so far they are having a great time. What I like about Upward is the effort to keep things fair. Every child plays the same amount of time. They wear colored wrist bands to match players for man to man defense. They quietly and discreetly have a system to match players on an ability basis too.

So anyway...

Jacob's team, the Puma's, had their first game today after only two practices. It started off pretty good and once the boys got the hang of the "real game" it started to get real funny. The boys ran half the court with the ball, not dribbling of course. As soon as they would come to an open area they would shoot the ball! It did not matter how far away or close they were to the basket. One time Jacob had a "fast break" much as you can have in a first grade game...and he dribbled about three steps past half court and pulled up for a jump shot...took the shot...and of course he fell WAY short! I could not help but die laughing! It was so funny because the look on his face was one of, "I can't believe I missed that!" He snapped is finger while swinging is arm in front of his body and saying "darn". Then took off down the court to see what he could do about defense.

All in all, we did pretty good, we only scored one goal for the other team. Not bad for a group of boys who have never played before. So I'll keep you posted on the evolution of the Puma's Upward Basketball team.

Oh and by the way...we don't keep score...officially anyway.

Jaguars 8 - Pumas 7...unofficially..

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today I was a mom.....

Ok I totally stole this idea from another blog, but this really is my day....

Today I was a mom

*I woke up at 7:00am, 15 minutes late, and somehow managed to get Jacob out the door on time to school with breakfast, a lunch and a backpack...victory.

*I worked out a Curves

*I came home, took a shower and got ready for the Bible Study at my house

*I facilitated a Bible Study in my house, while chasing my three and four year old to and from the playroom shhsh-ing them so the other ladies could hear the video

*I took my little ones to Chik-fil-a before trekking to Costco with Paul to buy concession stand stuff for the youth group

*I ran my daughter to the bathroom all the way across Costco, because "she had to go right now...."

*I come home to work a little on my preschool stuff while Paul takes the little ones to pick up Jacob from school

*I greet Jacob when he gets home only to find out that the backpack I gave him this morning as we ran out the door...WAS HIS BROTHERS, NOT HIS! Which in turn meant he did not have his agenda...which meant he couldn't turn in his homework...great.

*I chat with a friend who stops by after school for a bit

*I sit on the couch for a minute...

*Paul fixes PB&J's for dinner because we have youth small group at our house tonight

*I swallow my Lean Cuisine whole

*Then I grab the kids and head to Target to kill some time while small group is at my house

*I referee in the toy aisle's and "guide" my children in making a smart choice in another toy that we don't need, but I have no good excuse to say no...because...I actually have "dollars" in my purse.

*I take my kids to McDonald's for a sundae because by this time I seriously need a Diet Coke

*And now it's time to head home because bed time is approaching super fast

*As soon as we get home I start saying, "no more candy" "no more candy" "that is your last piece of candy"

*I brush 3 kids' teeth, wash 3 faces, clip some nasty fingernails, wipe a bottom, put lotion on a rash, find pj's, kiss 3 sets of lips, listen to 3 sweet little prayers, pray for 3 sweet little kids....

*and sit and type...

*I am a mom.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Can I just say...

Oh what a day...

Does it ever happen to anyone else?

I ask myself this question each time Paul goes out of town.

Paul left for a hunting trip last night and of course...this is when things start going badly. The kids "have trouble" falling asleep and so do I. The last time I look at the clock is 12:06 am...and then Abby and Caleb wake up at 5:00 am...this starts my day. I get everyone up, dressed and out the door in time to get Jacob to school and then I go to Starbucks and grab coffee and chocolate milk...twelve dollars later...anyway...and then I head back to school to complete my "Friday duties". The kids were mostly good for the day in the Rahe Bulverde Elementary School Workroom!

The whole day I was communicating with my friend Magan. Her son, Caleb's "best dude", has been sick all week and the doctors were sending him for chest x-rays and blood work. It's been a long week for her. His tests for pneumonia and bronchitis came back negative. Later in the day she had an appointment and I kept her son because her husband is with mine...

So I am now praying for God's mercy on me and my kids for helping my that super selfish or what? I just don't want my kiddos to be sick...but alas...I am a true friend and I kept the "best dude" who has some sort of serious upper respitory infection...she would do it for me!


I feed all 4 kiddos and head to church where I have about 24 birth to 3rd graders to take care of for a sunday school party. Needless to say, we had a major discipline issue that ended with me being kicked and head-butted. sweet.

I am now home, tired, remember I started way earlier than I usually do. My kids hae been good, not great...daddy's gone and they know it.

And on top of everything else, now my throat hurts and my nose is running and my head is stopped up and I am seriously praying I am not sick. For tomorrow I have another day and daddy is coming home...hallelujah and amen.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I have a great husband

So I'm sitting here trying to decide what to blog about. Paul says, "blog about me".
So here goes...

Paul Michael Brand
Born in a Hospital...
As a baby...

No seriously...

Quite possibly the most amazing man to walk the face of the earth...after Jesus ascended into heaven of course.

We have had almost 9 years of marriage and although I have been the cause of some of the not-so-fun times, all in all...9 years of bliss...whatever bliss is.

*folds and puts away laundry
*does dishes
*picks up the house
*runs a super successful ministry
*coaches t-ball and Upward Basketball
*buys me flowers every other week (no kidding)
*is super funny
*can run fast
*loves our children...big time
*takes care of me...big time
*let's me go shopping...when I want/need to
*looks at my scrapbooking when I come home at 1am
*tends to the kids in the middle of the night
*does anything I ask and some things I don't
*is an amazing drummer
*plays the guitar
*loves to worship
*is almost 30 years old...just had to throw that in
*is right almost all the time
*thinks before he speaks
*laughs alot
*wants the very best for me and the kids
*is a really good preacher
*has a big heart for missions
*wants to change the world one student at a time
*loves buck sticks/beef jerky
*sits with me
*rubs my feet
*washes my hair when I'm sick
*lets me control the remote
*covers me with a blanket so he can crank the AC at night
*takes me out to eat when I don't want to eat
*loves dodgeball
*loves hanging out with students
*would choose me over anything

...well I could go on and on, but I'm sure if you have read this far you could care less about reading more! So I'll end now.