Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Fun, cont'd

I forgot to mention the Rhema lights on my list of Christmas cheer. I took the boys for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing! Definitely a must see at Christmas every year.

And this book. It belongs on the list, too. I checked out the audio version from the public library. Funny!! The characters made me laugh out loud, but the mystery plot was intriguing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

No one is going to confuse me with Martha Stewart anytime soon, but I'm happy with my Christmas decorating attempts this year. Okay, so I still have two wreaths and a roll of ribbon sitting on the floor, silently waiting for some attention. And there aren't actually any presents under the tree yet. But we have enough garland, lights, and ornaments to give the place a holiday feel.

Other holiday elements that have fueled my Christmas spirit:
  • Operation Shoe Box and Angel Tree shopping
  • Studying the book of Luke to remember the real reason we celebrate this season
  • Ornament exchange and fellowship with the girls from church (It's actually called the Women's Ministry, but that sounds like a bunch of ladies with orthopedic shoes and shawls.)
  • Christmas radio on
  • The Nutcracker movie - pretty cheesy, but it held the boys' attention for at least 15 minutes
  • Other Christmas kids movies - Netflix has TONS of them
  •  Peppermint hot chocolate at Panera or Starbucks - not a bad way to drop five bucks
  • Christmas cards in the mailbox. I debated about sending any this year and finally settled on boxed cards from Walmart with a picture of the boys placed inside. I took hundreds (okay, maybe tens) of pics of the boys in front of the mantle before I got a decent one. I had to bribe them with candy to get them to quit tickling each other. Here's the one I finally chose. It's a little blurry, but I think it's a pretty cute shot of my two favorite boys.

Fun Day...Before the Bicycle Wreck

We had such a fun day with the Drake family at their new house a couple of weeks ago (yes, this is a very belated post). Mason was in outdoorsman heaven with his outdoorsey friend, Kaelan - wading in creeks, "hunting" squirrels, "trapping" raccoons. Carter wasn't allowed on the Survivorman expeditions, but he had Kolson and Kendall to play video games and tire swing games with.

The day would've been perfect if everyone had decided to stay on the tire swing, but they decided to ride their bikes instead. Carter thought it would be a good idea to pedal as fast as possible down the steepest hill he could find...with obvious results.

Five stitches. Very traumatic experience with a very large needle. But two weeks later, it's all better. Lesson learned.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our First Earthquake

We've had two earthquakes in Oklahoma in the past few days. Everyone in our family slept through the first one, which was at about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. But Jas and I felt the second one last night at about 11:00 p.m. I don't think I would've known what was going on if there hadn't been a quake earlier that day. The walls swayed, there were rattling noises, and I felt a little motion sick. It was very weird!!

For the first time in my life, I have some decisions to make. I have to decide what our family earthquake emergency plan is (after I figure out what the heck you're supposed to do during an earthquake). I have to decide how much earthquake insurance to add to our homeowners policy. And should I add "first earthquake" to the boys' baby books?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cheapo Depot Costume Queen

Now that it's November, I can admit that I'm not a big fan of Halloween. I feel obligated to find something resembling a costume for my kids every year, but I really hate spending any money at all on it. Thankfully, Mason has never cared about dressing up. He actually prefers to wear the same costume multiple years in a row. I think he was Thomas the Train for three years. Unfortunately, Carter loves dressing up. And he has expensive taste in costumes!
Mason wearing the consignment store leopard costume

Carter wearing the hand-me-down, consignment store leopard costume. At least I added face paint this to make it a little different. (I think it was actually eye liner from my makeup bag.)

Trick-or-treating in the consignment store (WAY too big) Incredibles costume

Incredibles costume (for the second year) and a fireman outfit borrowed from FBC preschool

The borrowed sheep costume only lasted 30 seconds. (Notice Jas's hand in the background telling me to get the sheep head off the baby so he'll stop crying)

Somewhere I have pictures of Mason's two years as Superman and three years of Thomas. I'll add them when (if) I ever find them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, and More Pumpkins

A totally staged shot of the boys picking pumpkins. We didn't buy any of those.

Entering the hay maze. I got claustrophobic and backed out, but the boys LOVED it.

Smiling just long enough to snap a picture.

The hay ride (Really just a tractor ride in a circle for 2 minutes, but you know what I mean.)

Pumpkins in the sun...pretty!

Gourds in a basket. I have big plans of printing and framing 8x10 seasonal pics that I can switch out each season. Probably won't happen.

I always dread this part, but it's really not that bad.

Mission completion!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Flowers...Finally

After the crazy hot summer killed most of our landscaping, our house had a sort of "desert chic" curb appeal...or lack thereof...for a couple of months. Not anymore! We have baby bushes growing in the garden, a new tree that should live longer than the little spruce we lost, and gorgeous mums on the porch. My favorite is the pumpkin spider, though. How adorable is that?!? (Pretend Carter does have shoes on and isn't doing the peepee dance, and this is a perfect picture.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thoughts on Soccer

DSC01474 DSC01455
I've decided that little kids' soccer is much more interesting to watch than real soccer. There are no goalies, and none of the kids know how to stop the ball from getting in the goal. So somebody scores every few minutes.

Most of the kids don't have a clue about how to play the game. They just know that you're supposed to kick the ball away from everyone else and into the goal. Carter and his friend Cole (pictured above) are on the same team, but they spend most of their time kicking the ball away from each other.

Of course, there's the kindergarten drama to add even more chuckles. Crying is pretty common. Pushing, grabbing, and kicking each other. All a part of the game. I think I'll be a little sad when they get better and figure out how to be real soccer players. The games won't be nearly as much fun to watch.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Fun

We went to Norman for the first OU game and then followed Mimi to Guthrie for some fun on the farm. Thanks to Uncle Rocky, Aunt Laurie and Hunter, the boys had a great time playing with Bubbles the pig and “riding” Elmo the horse. Mason found a new best friend – Lucy the golden retriever, who was completely worn out after playing fetch for hours. Jas got to show off his shooting skills – he killed a lot of poor, innocent clay pigeons. Even Mason got some gun safety instruction and practice. He managed to hit his target a time or two. Carter was happy to spend his time boxing with his cousin Asher. The inflatable boxing gloves were a big hit…no pun intended.

Chef Mason

022 by macyjayne24
022, a photo by macyjayne24 on Flickr.

I've been meaning to post this for a few days now, but I haven't had as much time to blog since I've started a long term substituting position at the middle school. Mason makes eggs every morning before school. Now he's advanced to omelettes with ham and cheese.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Wonderful World of Sports

I vaguely remember saying, when the boys were babies, that I would NEVER let my schedule be dominated by kids' sports. Add that to the list of nevers that have been unceremoniously thrown out the window (right along with never letting them wear character clothing and never letting them eat junk food). We have, at least for now, kept their sports schedules to one practice and one game a week...multiplied times two kids, of course. I've discovered that, at least for now, the practices and games are actually kind of fun. There are usually other moms to chat with, and the boys love getting out on the field.

Mason has a knack for throwing the football. He's enjoying being one of the quarterbacks this year. He says he's "the boss," which is right up his alley. Carter has only had one soccer practice, but he super serious about that soccer ball when he's on the field. Don't tell him it's little league soccer - he thinks he's working for the World Cup.

masonfootball2   soccer3

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day and Night

As my kids were telling me about their school day yesterday, I was reminded how incredibly different they are. I picked up Carter first, and he wouldn’t say anything for a few minutes. When he finally talked, he said, “Noah made me hit him.” I asked if he got in trouble, and he said no. He eventually admitted that he had. His chin quivered the whole time, and I thought he was going to cry. It wasn’t until bedtime that I finally dragged enough details out of him to put together what might have happened. He would answer every question with silence, followed by a few mumbled words. Bottom line, he was playing too rough and got in trouble.

I went to the other end of the school to pick up Mason, and he ran to meet me as soon as he saw me. He started his story before he even reached me. He gave me every detail about the lockdown they had that day…how he knew it was bad when the teachers were screaming in the hall…how everyone in his class was terrified, except him…and so on. Of course, the ‘screaming teachers’ detail was later retracted when I questioned him about it. But he quickly moved from that topic to the drama of third grade recess. Play-by-play descriptions of who said what and how he reacted to every word.

It’s so funny to watch them grow into the personalities that they’ll have as adults. I’ve already told Mason he should be a trial lawyer. His opening statements are very convincing…and he can argue like nobody’s business. Carter, on the other hand, may have a career in espionage. He practices by hiding in the pantry to eat forbidden snacks. Only time will tell!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School

I’m a few days late blogging about the first day of school…it’s actually the 6th day. Mason started 3rd grade, and Carter is a big kindergarten boy this year. This school year is a whole new world for me. I’m not teaching…and the boys are at school. I’d like to say I’m sitting on the couch, missing them terribly, crying, and looking at their photo albums. Umm…no. Although I love them dearly, I have to admit that I’m enjoying my freedom! I actually went to the store without children yesterday. It’s amazing how fast you can zip through the aisles when nobody is hanging from the basket or begging to push it.

I’ve also transformed myself into a dedicated writer. Unfortunately, no one is paying me for the hours I’m slaving over the computer keyboard. But I have a writing schedule now, which includes daily blogging and a word quota for my novel. If I finish the first draft by the end of September, I may try e-publishing by December or so. I love a new challenge! (if I can just follow through this time…)

firstdayschoolNotice the forced “Hurry up, Mom!” smiles.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What a Week!

We started Jas's vacation week with a road trip to Gigi and Grandad's house in the Texas Panhandle. It was HOT and DRY, but we had a really good time. We celebrated Mason's ninth birthday with cake, ice cream, and a new Flip camera. Jas and I also celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. After all the trials we've been through with our marriage over the past couple of years, we no longer take anniversaries for granted. God is still in the miracle business, and He gets the glory for holding us together "in good times and bad." Our anniversary outing was at the Hudspeth House bed and breakfast in Canyon. I think I liked the Texas musical better than Jas did, but we both loved the breathtaking views of Palo Duro Canyon. After all of that, we came home to prepare for Mason's tonsillectomy. He did great, and is now on his third day of recovery. It's been a very full week! The only regret I have, now that I'm looking at the pictures, is that I neglected to put self-tanning lotion on my legs. Those are some seriously white legs! Oh well.

Monday, July 11, 2011

River Country Water Park

The boys and I had such a fun day at the water park in Muskogee. It's the perfect size for a five-year-old and an almost-9-year-old. There were just two pools and a lazy river. I stayed near the kiddie pool with the slides that were Carter's size, and Mason ventured off by himself to the slightly larger pool (3 feet deep) with two slightly larger slides and an obstacle course. We all took a few trips down the lazy river together - even though the first trip was a total disaster, with a screaming Carter clawing at my arms. Once he got his life jacket on, though, he was hunky dory. It's too bad the park is in Muskogee - an hour from here. Maybe they'll build one closer someday. Maybe...

Thank Goodness for Bunk Beds

This "fort" project has kept the boys busy all morning. They set up the portable DVD player in there, and I haven't heard from them since.

We had a great weekend with Gigi and Grandad. The highlight was a trip to the REAL movie theater (rather than the free summer movies we usually go to) to see Mr. Popper's Penguins. Great kids movie! The low point was the dead battery in Gigi and Grandad's car when we came out of the movie theater. Thank goodness Jas stayed home to rest instead of going with us to the movie! He came to rescue us...and to take us to eat at Abuelo's...yummm.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 5th of July

Carter has decided that every day in July deserves the same distinction as the 4th. He refers to the rest of the days as the 5th of July, the 6th of July, etc.

On this particular 5th of July, we're resting from a fun-filled Independence Weekend. We went to a good old-fashioned fireworks display in Kiefer on the 3rd. Our photographer friend Emily took some amazing pics. We spent the 4th with the Spangler family (great name for the 4th of July). We ate Jas's grilled delicious creations and shot off the fireworks that Mason has been begging to shoot off every five minutes since the day we bought them. Thank goodness they're gone! (The fireworks...not the Spanglers)

Today Mason went to his first day of baseball camp. He wasn't very happy that the coach told the older kids to shut up or that he called Mason "Manning" because of his Colts hat. But he did learn to spit on the ground and kick dirt over it. Tomorrow is batting practice...should be interesting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gomstomper Races

The boys wanted to make a marble racetrack out of a pool noodle - something they saw on Our version doesn't have the fancy "Start" and "Finish" signs because the boys were too excited about the races to stop and make signs. We didn't have marbles, so we bought a box of Gobstoppers to use instead. Carter tries really hard to say Gobstoppers, but it comes out Gomstompers every time. Of course, the fun only lasted so long - it eventually morphed into all kinds of fights over where to put the track, how high, whether or not to hit each other with it, etc. It was fun while it lasted!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Summer Routine

* Breakfast
* Keyboard lessons (Speed Boat and Hot Cross Buns so far)
* Educational computer games (No, Carter, is not educational)
* Fun math activities :)
* Even more fun reading activities :))
* Journal time (complaining time for Mason and scribble time for Carter)
* Healthy lunch (or chips and brownies - whichever sounds good at the time)
* Free time - pool, library, snow cones, dollar movies, etc.
* Dinner
* Water the lawn and the kids at the same time

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Big Move

Three moves in four years. I know it's not a record, but it's a lot of packing and moving for one family! We moved from the Tulsa area to Plano two years ago, and now we're back "home." We love our new house, and we're having the best time reconnecting with old friends. It's kind of like we never left...kind of.

The jet tub is the boys' favorite feature in the new house.