Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Row, Row , Row Your Boat

Leave it to a five year old to have me ponder a nursery rhyme in depth. You know how I said Bronwyn is a realist? Well, my mom got Holland this decorative wall art for Christmas. I hadn't had time to put it up yet so it was just hanging on the closet door knob in the baby's room. B realized pretty quickly that if you push a button on the side it plays "Row, row, row your boat." Much to my disgrace, Bronwyn does not know all the words to that song. She was singing something like "like is color green", and then she saw that I was singing something else. I told her it says "life is but a dream", words to which I have never even given a second thought. But Bronwyn has to analyze it to death!

"Life is butt a dream? Butt's a bad word." "No honey, but like I want ice cream BUT I don't want sprinkles." "Ohhh, but. Life is but a dream?" "Or you could say, life is just a dream." "But life's not just a dream. Life is really real. That's a dumb song."

Oh, but "life is color green" makes so much more sense.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Read

Marley & Me: Love and Life with the World's Worst Dog Marley & Me: Love and Life with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
As the proud owner of 2 of the best labs ever I could really relate to this book as far as the process of getting them to be great dogs goes. We got bone 9 years ago and Barkley shortly after. When we first got Bone, who is a yellow lab like Marley, he was about as wild as a dog can get! In fact, he was 9 months old when he came to live with us after first being owned be my sister. She had 2 babies at the time and he would run them over in excitement any time they attempted to enter the back yard. So, we inherited him. This was before we had kids, so we had the patience to deal with his exuberance. I could completely remember all the walks, trips to ponds for swim time, and endless ball throwing, In fact, we had a path of bare grass in our yard that stretch into the neighbor's from all the games of fetch. He was never really a chewer, but he LOVED to dig. Dig under the fences or just dig for the pleasure of it he didn't care. He is also extremely neurotic. When we first got him he was terrified of our wood floors. We had to put down towels for him to walk on just to get him to his food. He is also very claustrophobic. We invested in an igloo shaped dog house that he never entered even when bribed with steak scraps. To this day he wont even walk between the vacuum cleaner and say a chair for instance. Of the 3 times he has ever ridden in the back of my husband's truck he jumped out all 3 times. He also has seizures when he gets scared. And Marley's thunderstorm phobia is also familiar territory for us. One year we went to a Labor Day fireworks show and as we were looking for a spot to spread out our blanket the first ones popped off. Bone literally dragged me into a crowd of seated onlookers!

Contrast all that with Barkley who is the mellowist dog ever made. I don't even remember having to house break her, she just knew not to go inside. She has never torn anything up, and the only holes she has ever dug were to stay cool in the summer. By the time she was just a few months old we didn't even have to put a leash on her. Bone's "choker" had dull spikes all the way around it that would press into his flesh when he strained the leash. Did that stop him? No way! Now, I will say Barkley's one flaw is her incredible stench. That dog can clear a room with one fart!

So, I am grateful to this book for reminding me of how much I love my dogs. We are now busy with 3 kids(who the dogs are beyond gentle and forgiving with), and since the dogs are old and content now it's easy to just leave them hanging out in the back yard during the day. I am now determined to show them how much I love them. Thank you Mr. Grogan! Can't wait to see the movie!

View all my reviews.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


So, like I said before, I'm getting a van. I found it online, but it's in Dallas. My dad, who is a car guy type, went and checked it out for me and said it was great and all that so we bought it sight unseen (by us anyway). Well, one of the deal breakers we had was that the guy absolutely HAD to put leather in. Which he did. A week and a half later. So, my dad was all set to drive up here the day after Christmas anyway, so we decided he would just drive our van up and his wife would follow him in their car. Well, like I said, the leather took forever to get installed, what with Christmas and all. So, the guy told me he would try to get it ready by Friday at noon. Well, Kev and I were supposed to be in Dalhart Friday by 11. With rushing around getting everybody ready and out the dor by 9:30, I sort of forgot to call my dad or the dealer. No prob, I'll just call from my cell on the way. Wouldn't you know it, my cell was dead. And wouldn't you know it, the dealers number was in my phone and I tried every combination imaginable to remember it to no avail. I finally got a hold of my dad at 10:45 and they were already heading out of town. Then I finally got the dealers number at 2. Guess what he told me. The van was ready at 10:15! Bummer. Now I have to fly down to Dallas on Tuesday and drive it back up. Only there is a 3 month old baby still attached at the, well you know (not hip!) and so Kev has to take off work to go down with me. Oh well, we'll make it into a date. We already have yard work dates, laundry folding dates, and fall-into-the-couch-exhausted-after-the-kids-are- asleep-to-watch-The-Office-dates. Why not a-fly-to-Dallas-and-drive-our-new-van- back-to-Amarillo-in-6-hours-date. Sounds like a party.

Okay, I've vented. I feel better.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...well you know

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Here's some shots from around our house this season.

These are from us foolishly trying to capture the perfect Christmas card picture. Not gonna happen with 3 kids!

This is our first snow dusting of the season. Hey, pathetic is better than nothing!

Boaz is obsessed with trains so we got this "Christmas Train" this year. It's been super glued 3 times so far.

The kid tree. This is where we put all of their homemade ornaments to give them a special place. It's also a real tree we get every year so that we can still have that experience.

Stockings hung by the chimney with care.

One of my absolute favorite things about Christmas is the cards we get from all over the country. It's one of the few times a year that getting the mail is a treat!

The grown up tree ;)

The nativity.

This is the first year we have done a gingerbread house. Bronwyn is so proud!

This is also the first year we have done an advent calender. Our friends Aina and Caleb created some little cards with scriptures on them to place behind the little doors. I love that these are shaped like presents. A subtle reminder of what a gift the Word is.

The booty. This is hidden under lock and key in the basement. Since Boaz deposited a spoon and a half eaten graham cracker in a gift bag last year I'm not taking any chances!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Edamame is perhaps my family's absolute, hands, down, everyone loves it, favorite. The other night I was out doing some Christmas shopping (by myself!) and I picked up some to go from Pei Wei. I also got some fortune cookies and chocolate, but little green soy beans is what they were clamoring for more of!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Claus Conundrum

Christmas is, like most people, my favorite time of year. I love the cold, the anticipation of snow, the decorations, the music, the parties, the shopping, the wrapping, and of course being with my family and celebrating the birth of our Savior (even if He was probably born in April!). What does not thrill me about this season is Santa Claus. At least, this has been the case since I have had children.

Now, I know that most people immensely enjoy hiding presents under the tree Christmas morning, and look forward with great pleasure to the look on their kid's faces when they see all the gifts and the crumbs left behind by the elusive St. Nick. I too, LOVE giving my children their little hearts' desire Christmas mo
rning. But, I don't like lying to them. That's what it feels like to me, anyway. Especially when you have a kid like Bronwyn. She is extremely curious and imaginative, but she's also a realist. Ever since the Christmas she was two she has been asking if Santa is "really real". Up until now we had managed to be pretty evasive. We've never emphasized him or really said anything one way or the other. I guess we sort of left it up to the world to tell her about Santa. Last year I did end up saying that he is real in your heart. That generously giving is a very real and good thing. But what happens when she asks the same thing about Jesus? "Mom, is Jesus really real? Isn't He just in my heart?"

Plus, on a selfish note, it took a lot of time and energy to shop for and put together that kitchen, that wagon, that dollhouse, etc. I'd like some friggin credit! Or at least a thank you!

On the other hand, Santa is fun, relatively harmless, and nearly impossible to avoid.

So, this year, she pinned me down. "Is Santa real?" "No, sweetie. He
's not. He's just make believe." But then the kicker: "Please don't tell any of your friends at school. If they still believe in Santa then let them."

Well, yesterday in the car after I picked her up she started talking about how "every last one" of her friends all believe in Santa and one of the teachers at school said she even knows him personally and calls him on the phone. But like I said
, the kid's a realist. She said, "Mrs. Blalock must just be calling someone who says he's Santa." Then she turned to me and said, "I wish I was just like everybody else. I wish you hadn't told me the secret."

Of course that just about broke my heart! But then I thought of how many times I must have said that same thing to God. Why do a I have to be dif
ferent? I still don't really know the answer. I just know that we are "strangers in this land". That we who believe are "set apart". Now, I'm not saying that the kids who still believe in Santa aren't. It just hit me yesterday that this was of my firstborns first experiences in being not of this world. And it was hard. For both of us. Which will make the picture below extremely ironic, but darn cute! Can't I just learn from my mistakes??

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Never thought I'd say this, but....

Yea, I'm getting a van!!!

Now I just have to come up with a name for her. Any suggestions??

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Boaz!

Well, my little man is 2! It's absolutely amazing how much a person changes in two short years. The whole first year of Boaz's life he was the most laid back , easy going baby. What a difference a year makes! This kid is non-stop action now. He goes from one destructive activity to the next. This morning I found him on top of Bronwyn's 4 foot tall dresser getting ready to throw down her musical carousels. It's not a matter of if he's going to break something today, it's a matter of what the unfortunate object will be! But he's also the CUTEST little boy ever with a big heart and a love of cuddling. I can't ever seem to get enough kisses planted on his bouncy little cheeks each day. Right now he's obsessed with all trains, and pretty much anything else with wheels. He also loves, loves, loves his big sis and follows her around like a little puppy when she gets home from school. At one time my place was secure as the love of his life, but now all day long its, "Whey daddy go." But he still needs his mama for all the bonks and bruises.

Here's some pics from his party the other night. Happy birthday buddy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Photo Shoot

Fab photographer Lezlie Andrew came to our house when Holland was about a month old and took some pics of the kiddos. I have to say, it is most impressive when you can actually take some great shots of 3 kids at the same time! Here are some of the results she was kind enough to let me post:

Check out more of her great work on her blog link at the left of my page. Thank you Lezlie!

The Nutcracker...Pun Intended

We have a traditional nutcracker sitting on the shelf of a curio cabinet in the corner of our dining room. The kids really like to play with it because it has a removable sword, so it was not unusual to see it sitting out on the table the other day. What I did not expect was this:

Kevin swears he didn't do it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blood of Jesus Force Field

I have no idea when this started...probably months ago. Kev playing the role of "tickle monster" or something and Bronwyn running through the house screaming "Blood of Jesus force field!!" at the top of her little lungs. Basically, that's the magic phrase to neutralize the Daddy monster. Now Boaz has jumped in on the action and trails, only slightly, behind his big sis saying something like "Buda Jisis fa fa".

Not too long after Bronwyn realized the Blood of Jesus takes away the power of funny monsters, she had the revelation that the scary monsters would have to obey her command as well. Now whenever we tuck her into bed and turn out the lights (well, not all the lights) and she asks one of us to stay because she's scared, a gentle reminder of the Power of the Blood removes all the fear that dimly lit room produces.

What a reminder for my own life, my own fears. Blood of Jesus force field over the health of my children, over their lives, over my marriage, over my finances, over my own vulnerable heart.

Thank you Father, for sending your Son to this world as a helpless baby. That He grew up a spotless Lamb. That He gave his Life and spilled His Blood so that we would have power over the Enemy. Thank You God, for the Blood of Jesus Force Field!

On another note, I walked into B's room as Kev was praying for her last night at bedtime. I overheard him praying for her husband, asking the Lord to make him a man after God's heart; a man that loves God and loves his bride. Then I heard Bronwyn say, "Yeah, cause if I married a devil-boy I'd break up with him for sure!" Funny B.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kindergarten Wisdom

Out of the blue yesterday Bronwyn said, "You know, the kids at school were saying, 'That grasshopper is the greatest thing ever!' And I told them, 'You think that grasshopper is the greatest thing ever! God is the greatest thing ever. That grasshopper is stupid.' Right mommy?"

Ummm, yes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's so funny?

I have begun to notice a very strange trend amongst some of my phone pals. When the conversation is coming to a close, we say our usual, "Okay, have a good rest of the day. I'll talk to you later", but the weird thing is that they begin to giggle. It's, as I said, weird. I didn't say anything witty or funny (trust me!) and yet three of the gals I talk to most on the phone (no Rach, not you) go, "Hhmm, hhmm, okay byyee."

What's going on here? Do they just feel like in order for it to have been a successful chat there has to be laughing involved? Is it just plain old fake-ness? Should I just say, "Um, why are you snickering? What's so funny?"

Well, that's all. Hmm, hmm, okay! Byyee!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Date Day

Well, the baby turned 6 weeks old last week, so Kev and I decided to have a date. This is no small feat for a family of five. In case you didn't know, it's a lot harder to get someone to babysit 3 kids than one (or even two) little rugrats...for free that is. So, Darni to the rescue! That's my mom. She's brave, plus she recruited my almost 12 year old niece to help. And we made things even easier on her by deciding on a late afternoon/early evening dinner. We were supposed to drop the kids off at her house at 3, but that turned into 3:55 by the time we got everyone dressed, accounted for, and loaded...not to mention all our stuff. And I say all our stuff because we thought it would be fun to get a hotel room for the night here in town. We aren't brave enough yet to try a full on vacation with all of us, but a night away from home sounded like fun. So, in the back of the 4-runner went a suitcase, toiletry bag, swim bag, bouncy seat, 2 diaper bags, and a pack and play. All for one night.

So, we dropped the kids off at Darni's and gave her some instructions that went something like this: thaw out the baggies of milk for Holland and give her a bottle around 5:30, and make sure Boaz doesn't kill the kitten.

Yea! Finally we are alone! We realized at this point that this is the first time it has been just the two of us since the night we headed out for the hospital. We decided to go to our favorite little Asian fusion place downtown and I'm super excited to have some seared tuna. Uh doesn't open on Saturdays until 5. Oh well, there is our favorite little bistro around the corner that has the most wonderful elk tenderloin...crap! It doesn't open until 5:30. Okay...what now? I really don't want to have date day at Golden Corral or Chili's. Napolis! It is a really good Italian place. And yea! They are open. We sat down and were looking at the menu when we started to notice a trend in the sparsely populated restaurant: all the other couples were old people! We had wanted to go in the afternoon so that we didn't fall asleep in our plates, and at that moment we realized the over 60 crowd had the same idea!

Dinner was great. Afterwards we went and checked into the hotel and had a little more alone time. The Kev left to go pick up the kids and I got to read a whole chapter in my book!

Bronwyn and Boaz had a blast at the hotel. It could have been in New York City for all they cared, they had so much fun jumping on the beds and tearing down the halls. Everyone except me and Holland slept through the night, and we even all made it to church on time the next morning. So, all in all, date day was a great success!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Octopus In the Room

So, the other day I picked up Bronwyn from school and as we were headed home she asks this question: "Mom, what are tentacles?" My response: "The arms on an octopus." Bronwyn: "No, I meant, what are testicles?" My response: "Hehehehe!"

Now, this conversation is my fault. I know all the experts say that you are supposed to teach your kids the correct names for all their parts. But I have a bit of a hard time calling what she has a, you know, and the boy stuff just honestly hadn't come up yet (no pun intended). So, of course, my next response is: "Where did you hear that word?" Her response, of course, is: "At school. Carli says it means, uh uh no way. Is that what it means?"

What??? Carli clearly has some whacked out information, so now it's up to me to set the record straight. But how do you describe to a five year old what the heck testicles are? Fortunately, she does have a younger brother that takes baths with her. So, my wonderfully vivid description goes something like this: "You know how Boaz's private bottom had a little stick part and a round part? Well, the round part is the testicles."

Wow. I hope I don't get any hate mail from other kindergarten parents. It's times like these I wish we lived on a farm. I don't think farm parents have to have these types of conversations with farm kids.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Introduction: Ode to Thomas the Train

Well, I've jumped on the bandwagon and will now commence blogging! I can't promise my entries will be witty or interesting, but I will try my hardest to spell everything correctly. So, without further ado, let me introduce our crazy family:

Boaz: he's the cheeky one,

Bronwyn's great and lots of fun!

Mommy, pulls the mail on time

Daddy, thunders down the line!

Holland, really knows her stuff

Barkley, toots and huffs and puffs...

Bone, loves to help and share...

Lulu, well let's say she's square...

Okay, Lulu is the cat and I can't find a picture of her. Just know she's a cranky Siamese and that she and I don't get along. Anyway, that's us! If you've never heard the Thomas the Train theme, you might be a bit lost. That's okay. I'm sure you can download it on iTunes ;)