Monday, June 30, 2008

First Steps

Kendrick took his first real steps todaywhile we were at the church library. There were about three in a row and then I caught the second set on camera. Very exciting!
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P.S.--All June Photos have been updated on our website!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Making the Map


Now that one vacation is over, I have begun planning for the next. I am really excited about this one even though it will be more work than relaxing. Stephen has a dental meeting at Disney World the last week of July, so we are taking Cavett and leaving Kendrick at Grandmama's. We are arriving 2 days early so that Dad can enjoy the parks too, but for the most part, it will be Cavett and me venturing into the creative genius of Walt Disney.


Tonight I wanted to involve Cavett and get him interested. He's really very good at directions, so I thought if we drew out a child friendly map he could look at it and maybe help me out when we get there, not to mention it's an educational tool. We drew out the map, he added the train and a boat for the Jungle Cruise, but for the most part he watched. He liked telling me what color to draw certain things. Afterwards, I told him where we would start, he mapped our route out with his finger as I called out each ride. It is now posted on the refridgerator.


Next, we took 27 pieces of notepad paper and wrote the numbers for our day count down. It's now posted next to his sink in his bathroom.


I guess we got him a little too excited. Just a few minutes ago he woke up and told Dad, "I'm all done sleeping and ready to go to DisneyWorld." Stephen said, "It's 27 days. It's a long time." Cavett replied, "I don't want to sleep for a long time."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My First Blog Award


I'm so excited! This morning I won my first blog award from Melissa at Motherhood for Dummies. It's a little silly, but fun to be noticed. So, thank you so much, Melissa! You are too kind.


Now, in Academy award fashion....I would like to thank my dear sons and husband without whom it would not have been possible. I would like to thank anyone I have ever blogged about. I would like to thank my sister Candace who introduced me to Blogger. I would like to thank Comcast and Dell for providing me with internet access...ok, I hear the music coming on I better wrap it up. Thanks Mom!!!!

In receiving this award there are some rules. You must.....

1. Chose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name of and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.

4. The award winner and one who has given the prize has to show the link of Arte Y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.

I'm passing this award to..................

1. Candace at This Little Light of Mine What can I say, she introduced me to the blogging world and has some of the most inspirational blogs ever. She should write a book instead. Not to mention, my niece and nephew are pretty cute to look at! :)

2. Brenda at The Silver Lining Brenda is a special, quality friend in my life and I love that she is blogging. I love her new design and the pictures are beautiful. I love getting a glimpse into what life is like with a high-school/college kid as well as getting a dose of girly-girly 3 year old too.

3. The Rupps at But a Breath The Rupps are actually my sister Candace's friends. But, they are great fun! Ok, hilarious and serious all together. Not to mention I admire them for picking up their lives and moving to a far off country to be missionaries. Here's one of my favorite posts. http://rupplife.blogspot.com/2008/04/snapshot-of-our-lives.html,

4. Kumar at Wondering About God This is one of my best friend's preacher friends. Humorous and insightful. It's always interesting to read from another religion's perspective. Here's a favorite post. http://wonderingaboutgod.blogspot.com/2008/04/revenge-is-sweet.html
5. It's a tie between Karen at The Degenhart Family and Jonny at Jonny on the Spot The problem is is that neither one have posted lately. Again Karen's posts run along the same lines as Candace and I get precious pics of nephew, William. With brother Jonny, I laugh my b*tt off! See post http://jonny-on-the-spot-blog.blogspot.com/2008/03/jonnys-ten-thoughts.html


Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Neighbors



This afternoon we had an impromtu (planned yesterday) swim party at our house. We had about 10 adults and a gaggle of kids. Cavett and I spent the early afternoon baking beach ball and flower sugar cookies and preparing the backyard. I had hoped for a little afternoon diversion and it turned out to be so much better! We ended up ordering pizza and saying good-bye at 9.


As a child, I didn't live in a neighborhood that had many kids and most of the adults were not very friendly, or just plain busy bodies or rude. So, moving into this neighborhood took a little getting used to. Stephen grew up in the middle of a field in the country. I had to explain what a neighbor was to him! Ok, just kidding, but really. We are so fortunate to have such fantastic friends and neighbors. Truly, I hope these bonds between us and our kids will grow for years to come.

My New Favorite Blogger


Randomly, I was given a comment by "Motherhood for Dummies". She is a first time Mom living in Alaska trying to make it through the day. I checked out her blog and fell in love! She is quite funny, but speaks with such truth to motherhood. She has great posts on Mondays where she talks about things to do with the family and also posts fun crafts to do with the kids every now and then. Also in scrolling through her posts I found that she knows how to make Congo Bars! I thought ours was the only family in the world. So, if you ever have a chance and are bored, check out Motherhood for Dummies.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Beloved Husband


Today marks the end of our 9th year of marriage. We tend to say that we are still newly weds and will even say that we are on our honeymoon while on a trip without kids. Why do people think that time has to end? Even though the wedding was years ago, I celebrate every day when I say "I love you." It's my daily "I do."


I couldn't imagine anyone else in the entire world I would rather spend my life with. I love him more today than I did when we started dating 12 years ago. His is my best friend, lover, partner, soul mate and the best father ever!



Thank you God for sending this man into my life and thank you Stephen for all the love you have given me. I love you!




P.S.--We had an exciting evening planned. We met at the gym to work out. Afterwards, a tasty meal at Chipotle accompanied by children with bean mash all over their faces and then proceeded to Benn and Jerry's in the Town Square. At least I didn't have to clean up or do dishes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Park Play

We braved the heat today as we headed out to the "yellow" park, as Cavett calls it. It is the biggest one with the closest walking distance and the most shade. I let Kendrick venture around by himself a bit, with me being inches away. He LOVED the tunnel and even went up the slide backwards. How do they learn that so early?



Cavett, on the other hand, found the balance beam. He's been practicing all year at school. But this is the first step he's taken without holding on to something. (Sorry about the yard crew in the background.)



Afterwards we headed back home for the pool and lunch. I guess I sufficiently wore them out, because both have been asleep for 2 1/2 hours now!

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Yesterday's Conversation



went something like this as he peered at my nose....


C: Do you have hair in your nose?


M: Yes, we all have tiny little hairs in our nose and ears.


C: Do you have boogers in your nose?


M: Yes, sometimes.


C: You look like a pig.


Gotta love 3 year olds!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Children's Museum





The Children's Museum of Houston set up shop again this summer in the Sugar Land Town Square. I'm not sure whether it is just better this year or Cavett is older and can appreciate it more, but I think the former is true. We had a great time today and they even had a great baby play place where I would have love to let Kendrick roam for an hour or so.

When you walked in there were several mathematical/geometrical experiments using shapes, fractions and probability. My favorite as well as Cavett's was a board numbered up and down 1-8 and then across 1-33. You placed little wooden balls in the different holes and cranks the wheel. As you turned the wheel the board moved and dropped the balls on xylophone bars at the end. WAY COOL!

It's not as big as the real thing downtown, but that also cuts down on the craziness! So if you get a chance to head there this summer, I highly recommend it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Shack


Just before we left on our vacation, I read my cousin Sarah's blog and decided that the book she recommended, The Shack by William Young, would be my vacation book. I quickly looked it up on Amazon and rush shipped it. It arrived just in time. I finished it up on the plane ride home--very satisfied, but a bit disappointed.

I wasn't disappointed in the content, but how it was written. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but the Forward should have been part of the story. I guess I was thinking it was background for the true author. Not so--it was part of the story. However.....as the rest of the story unfolds it was just moving. Brutal at times, heart-warming during others. In the end you just want all the conversations with Papa, Sarayu, and Jesus to be completely true.

About two-thirds of the way through, I began folding down pages where there were lines I wanted to read again. So many of them spoke to me about my own tragedies, love, forgiveness, relationships, faith and family.

"...just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."

It helped me understand how much God loves me by comparing his love to my love of my children. "I guess what I want to ask you is why do you love me when I have nothing to offer you?" ..."you can offer us nothing, at least not anything that can add or take away from who we are. That should take away any pressure to perform. Do you love your children more when they perform well?" "No, I see your point." The same goes for when your children disappoint. I don't love them any less and neither does God.

Mercy, grace and forgiveness--"Why did you give us the 10 Commandments?" Actually we wanted you to give up trying to be righteous on your own. It was a mirror to reveal just how filthy your face gets when you live independently." ..."There is no mercy or grace in rules, not even for one mistake. That's why Jesus fulfilled all of it for you--so that it no longer has jurisdiction over you."

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and it has so much more to say in forming a true relationship with the Trinity and those around us. An ingenious book and one that I will probably re-read. Thanks Sarah. What's the next recommended read?

Thanks Katy!


On Wednesday Stephen and I headed out for a little alone time without children in Jamaica. Luckily, one of our dear friends, Katy, babysat our children until Sunday. I think we were all nervous--me wondering if I could be away from them for 5days and Katy wondering if she could really do it. She did a marvelous job and my children loved playing with her! They were well fed, slept fairly well and were very entertained. Special thanks also goes out to Brenda, Abigail and Julie for giving some aid and grown-up conversation. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

After 4 days I really started missing them--their smiles, their laughter, their energy and most of all the hugs. Now, I am ready to hit it hard again doing all the little things to make our little household run smoothly. I will be a better Mommy for getting away for a bit. I highly recommend to any Mommy to get away for a bit even if it is just one night. You will feel re-energized!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marion and Renee, this is for you!

Sorry for the inside joke. We were making a Blueberry Pound Cake today and I couldn't resist teaching Cavett a new way to use the word "Batter." He knew about the baseball version, but we had never discussed that it was for baking as well. This is a favorite phrase for several of my college buddies and me. Now, Cavett wants to type his name..... CAVETT!
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Not So Little Anymore

The other day we (the entire family) took a "special" trip to Toys 'R Us. I say special because I NEVER buy toys. So, when we do it is a very special occasion. The occasion is Mommy and Daddy are getting away for a few days. Cavett and Kendrick will be staying at our house with a dear friend of ours, Katy. So, we bought them each a "special" toy to play with while we are gone. Cavett chose a Hot Wheels Stunt Set and Kendrick got a walker. As you can see, he will probably walk alone while we are gone!
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day


I really didn't do a very good job today. Stephen went to get his own breakfast at Whataburger with Cavett while I showered and got ready for church with Kendrick. The afternoon was spent preparing for us to be away for the end of the week--getting groceries, dropping off a pack-n-play, gathering odds and ends and putting together new "special" toys to play with while we are away. Finally, we are sitting on the sofa watching whatever Stephen wants to watch.

My "deep" thoughts for today are summed up best by Candace's blog. Basically, all you have to do is change the name Jack to Stephen and it is exactly what I was thinking today. So, go check her out.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A New Blogger



One of my favorite people in the whole world has started a blog. It's my craZy cousin Sarah Dent. Love her. We have a lot in common. But, I only wish I was as funny as she is. When you are around her you can't help but laugh constantly. Can't wait to live vicariously through you, Sarah!

Friday, June 13, 2008

TGIF


We made it through a week of Vacation Bible School! It was a whole lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, just a little exhausted and miss my work-outs. I know Cavett had a good time as he has been singing and dancing all week. He loves the "Surfing" Beach Boy style songs. Today they had an assembly with all 470 kids together, singing and dancing. Cavett found me in the crowd and loved looking back to see if I was watching him sing. Absolutely precious. He also learned the "Be"-Attitudes for the week: Be Obedient, Kind, Forgiving, Bold and Believe. His favorite are obedient and kind (as they should be for a 3 year old.)

As for teachers, it's so nice to have such good people taking care of my kids as well. I am so thankful for the time and care they have given them. Both Cavett and Kendrick's teachers talked about how strong and smart they are.

After teaching for a week I am reminded that not all children are like mine. There are some that may have more energy, some that need 24/7 attention, and some that need more help. I think God gave me this week and several children in my class with needs to remind me to be thankful for my own children. We are so blessed to have such strong, independent, smart, healthy, stable kids. I love you, Cavett and Kendrick.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Walker Russell Alexander


We have a new one to add to our list of favorites! Anna and Mark had their baby last night. He was 7lbs. 7 oz. and 20 1/2". After VBS, I lugged the kids to the hospital to get a quick glimpse. He is just precious with gorgeous strawberry blond hair. We are so excited for the Alexander family and we pray blessings over you and your new little one that God will be with Walker as he grows and that He will guide you through the next decades of parenthood. We love you all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cavett's Prayer


Dear God,
Thank you for today and Vacation Bible School and singing and dancing. Bless my teachers and my class. Help me be strong like Daddy eating my popsicles and rice crispy treats. You are supercalifragilisticexpealidiocious. We love you, God. In your name we pray, Amen.

This was basically Cavett's prayer tonight. We talked about the day first and both Dad and I said our prayers. Tonight was the first time he made it all the way through all by himself without any help and it nearly made me cry. I hope that we can do our best to lead him to a wonderful relationship with our Creator.

Slide Show that goes with Saturday's Post

Vacation Bible School



This week is Vacation Bible School. I am teaching a 2nd grade class. This involves getting the 3 of us out the door and on the road by 8:05 each morning this week, to arrive at church around 8:40 to get both kids to their rooms and me ready to teach until 12. When we arrive home it is a mad dash to get all of us fed. By the time that is over and we have had the napping ritual taken care of, I am beat! I don't know how full-time working Moms do it. Maybe I am just out of practice. I look at everything that needs doing around the house and I have no motivation. My house is a wreck. As a result, nothing has been posted and probably nothing else will be posted until the weekend sometime. So, I hope this finds everyone well and know that we are thinking of you this week even if you don't hear from us.
On another subject, the first day's lesson went very well. Candace helped me out in a big way and gave me a great way of teaching the story of Gideon. The senior minister even came in to help out! How often does that happen in a big church as ours! Let's hope my lesson tomorrow goes just as well.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Go 'Stros

We jsut had a fabulous weekend with our Chaney relatives. I don't think it could have been a better time--a relaxing Saturday with beautiful pool weather and an Astros game with 2 very cute 3 year olds. You may be thinking, Astros game with 3 year olds? Not so much fun, but don't knock it unless you've tried it. I don't think I have ever been more entertained. We watched them eat and feed popcorn to each other and then proceed to put the bucket on their head as well as have 2 very different experiences with cotton candy-one refused and the other was uncontrolably putting it away as her Aunt Jenny was feeding it too her.

If only we had more time to spend with each other. Love y'all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Saga Continues with More Success

After waking from his nap, I offered Kendrick the rest of his bottle. Uninterested. Around 6:00, we began dinner: Cheerios, Kraft Singles Cheese, Turkey, Asparagus, Grapes, Yogurt Melts. He ate the majority of everything given. He asked for milk once toward the end, by opening and closing his hand. After the grapes and yogurt, he stood up and I swear he said, "All done!" and began clapping his hands (a modified move of the sign language for finished.) Too precious and our first words along with, Mama, Dada, and bye-bye. I think I even heard him the other day say, "I Love you, " too!
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9 Month Check-up

Kendrick went for a check-up today and a follow up visit for his ear infection. We have the all clear and he is growing and developing perfectly. We are so blessed to have such happy, healthy children. Here are the stats:

Height: 28 3/4" (75%)
Weight: 19 lbs. 7 oz. (40%)
Head Circ.: 18" (50%)




We mainly discussed his eating habits. She encouraged me to not give as much milk and to push more self-fed food. So, for lunch he had macaroni and cheese, hot dog, grapes, and of course his favorite Cheerios. Lately, he's had to have Cheerios in front of him to even open his mouth for anything else. I've had to put Cheerios on his plate mixed in with other things just so that maybe he'll pick up a bite of something else on accident and like it. Hey, what ever works. He decided he really liked the grapes and finally tolerated the hot dog and mac and cheese. Afterwards, he got a sippy cup of half the amount of formula he normally gets. He wasn't terribly interested, but did have some of it.

Also, this afternoon has been one of the best naps ever. He went down at 1:00 and I haven't heard a peep from him yet! (It's 3:30.) Knock on wood.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our Independent Swimmer

This morning after Kendrick went down for a nap, Cavett and I got in the pool and had a great time. He wants to take his life jacket off all the time now and has become quite a swimmer. We just need to work on form a bit.
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Monday, June 2, 2008

Stair Master

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He has mastered going up, now we need to work on going down!