Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun at the Circus!





I saw lions and tigers and elephants. There even seemed to be some clown hats or were they birthday hats? The cake was amazing, but more on it in a bit.



We had a couple friends from town come out to have a small gathering for Kendrick's birthday. The Alexanders and Falcone's showed up along with their little ones. We played in the pool a while and then had show inside.





If you can't tell, this is Stephen writing this as Jennifer is away with Pure Sound/New Sound this weekend. It's boys time at the Hill home.








So after some libations and food from the grill it was time to bring out the cake. This is the cake you've all been hearing from and my wife really out did herself.
And to top it off, it tasted FANTASTIC!!! I'll let the pictures speak for how much fun we had.
It is really hard to think of all the "stuff" that has gone on this past year. Thank you Jennifer for being my solid ground!

Coast Guard Jesus

I know, I know you are wanting to see cake pictures. That is Stephen's job this weekend, as I had to leave yesterday at 7 AM to go to Pure Sound Youth Choir Camp in the Hill country of Texas. So, be patient you will see them soon.

For your enjoyment while you wait....

Last night the kids had a talent show. Some good, some bad, some wow, some funny. Here's one that was reprised from several years past. Use your imagination. Picture this. Two chairs. A blue towel drapped over them. Two kids behind flailing like they are drownding. "Jesus" comes to rescue the guys, pulling them out of the "water". Jesus says, "I always was a fisher of men." Maybe you have to be there, but these kids are funny. There are other takes on the theme, like Weatherman Jesus, Apperntice Jesus, Carpenter Jesus...etc.

Hopefully, New Orleans won't physically need a Coast Guard Jesus in the next few days.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Evening in Pictures

After Cavett's nap, we wrapped a couple of presents and Cavett decorated them by coloring orange and blue balloons on them.
He even signed his name.

We waited for Dad to come home by riding in the wagon to the mailboxes and back.

Dad came home, we ate dinner and unwrapped presents.

My first present!

Kendrick enjoyed the bow on this one, hanging it over one shoulder and walking around with it.

Cavett helped unwrap.

I love it--a toolbox shape sorter! Thanks Cavett!

What fun! If only Cavett would let me play with it!



PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


Let the Festivus Begin!


A year ago to this hour I was holding my dear, sweet Kendrick for the first time. Time has flown by.

This morning I woke Cavett up so that we could walk in Kendrick's room singing Happy Birthday. Kendrick didn't know quite what to make of it. We cooked the traditional birthday pancakes and even had the letters "C" and "K." The Hill Family birthday plate was used and we lit a candle. He's still not quite sure what is going on yet. Maybe once we have cake and gifts.



Today was spent taking Cavett to his Open House at school and then we went by Dad's office to let the girls give him a birthday hug. Next we stopped by Toys 'R Us on the way home for a toy that Cavett could give Kendrick. Everybody is now napping. Tonight, we will celebrate as a family-low key, maybe open one gift. Tomorrow the Alexanders and Falcones will join us for cake and the paper ripping.


I can't believe that it's already been a year. It went by so fast! He's walking/running, starting to communicate with a couple of words and signs, and now smiles for the camera with his chin pointed high toward the sky. He's started liking books and he loves his brothers toys, especially the cars. He's climbing the stairs and playing in the potty when someone forgets to shut the lid or door. He's keeping me on my toes, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


We love you so much, Kendrick! You are a precious child of God and we look forward to watching you grow up to be a strong, God fearing man. Happy Birthday!

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Rivenside


I got an email the other day about a couple of my former students, Jordan Dunn and Brandon Rich, at Deer Park Junior High. I clicked on the link and my mouth just about dropped to the floor. They sound incredible! And, they have a great message on top of that. Ok, and they are so grown up from the last time I saw them.

I could go on and on about these two. While they were in my classes, they were so well mannered, polite, and kind. I had very little to do with their talent--I didn't teach them that much about singing (that was Debbie Talley, my fantastic assistant!). I was just blessed to have them in my classroom keeping me sane. Thanks guys and best wishes in all your future endeavors. I'm proud of you!
Click on their names to hear their music!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Finished






This afternoon I finished the decoration on the cake and this evening I finished the cookies. They really came out cute. My only disappointment is that the cake's icing is not pure white. It's off white due to the vanilla. Oh well. I don't think he'll care.


After dinner we headed outside to pass out the extra Republican cookies to our neighbors as they watched the DNC. Much fun. Maybe we'll have an Election Day get together with them.


Tomorrow is all Kendrick all day, except for the fact that Cavett has Open House at his school for an hour tomorrow morning.

Komodo Dragon


We headed to the zoo today with our friends, Jennifer and Campbell Cox. I met her at the gym and realized we go to the same church and then realized live within 1/2 mile from each other. Cavett hadn't seen Campbell all summer and as soon as he saw her, he gave her a big hug and said, "I missed you!" without prompt. It was good to catch up with Jennifer too. We had a great time even though it was blazing hot.



Kendrick got his first ride on the carousel and he loved it. He also had his first picture taken with Hans, the plastic elephant that Cavett takes his picture with every time we got to the zoo.






The best part of the day was the Komodo Dragon. In fact for some reason, all the reptiles were really into moving today. The kids even pet a beared dragon and a skink. I digress, back to the Komodo Dragon. When we got to his display, he was asleep. Cavett told him to "WAKE UP!" and he did. He opened his eyes. Then we were talking about him opening his mouth and out came his forked tongue! EEEWWWW!!! Then he opened his mouth as wide as he could twice. That is one bizarre animal.



In fact, I think that is why the zoo is so intriguing. There are so many creatures that are so different from us in various shapes and sizes. It's just amazing how God thought up and created them all, each for a purpose--just like us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some Sadness with Hope and a Promise


Today, Stephen decided to buy a car. This is not something he does lightly. Anytime he decides to make a major purchase there is much number crunching, analyzing, and weighing of pros and cons. I guess you could say he's been doing that for almost 2 years now, but after looking at 2 cars this weekend, and playing one dealrship against 3 others, he made up his mind. We bought the 2009 Jetta TDI Deisel. We are way excited. Now to get to the heart of the story.


It is with sadness to that I buy this car. It means that I turn in my first car that I paid for all by myself--a 1997 black Saturn SL1. I loved my little car. It saw trips to Auburn, New Orleans, and Dallas from Shreveport. From Houston it made countless trips to Shreveport and Grand Saline, not to mention back and forth to Huntsville while I got my masters. To top it off, this car withstood Hurricane Allison. I had 1 more year to pay it off and she was flooded up to the door handles that early June morning. To hear car alarms go off still sends shutters up my back. (That's what happens when a car is flooded. The car alarm continually goes off.) With a new set of electrical wiring, she worked great for 7 more years. Yes, the headliner had rotted and was falling down and it smelled of mold and the transmission grinded, but she still ran. She was never in a wreck, ok, except that brother Jonny backed into her when he was parked in front of me in the driveway. Just a little "dent"--ha, ha, no pun intended! So, we parted ways tonight. (P.S.--Not my car pictured. Now that I look through my pictures, I can't find a picture her! She was pre-digital when brand new. I wish I would have taken one tonight. )


As we were driving home from the dealership, there was the most magnificent rainbow in the sky. (This picture doesn't do it justice.) It looked as if it were right over our house from where we were on the interstate. It was so vivid, not one of those pale ones. After pointing it out to Cavett and talking about God's promise, it was as if God was speaking to me. "I won't flood the earth again." Jennifer answers, "How bout this car, God?" I didn't get an answer, but I felt as if he was reassuring me that we had bought the right car. Even if it wasn't THE best deal to be had on just any car, we made a promise to God by buying this car that we are taking better care of his world and using the resourses he gave us more wisely. Maybe I'm stretching it, maybe not. Anyway, the rainbow was breath-taking.

You'll see pictures tomorrow, as Stephen is back at the dealership trading in the Saturn, since we didn't drive it there. On a side note, as we were cleaning out the car, I let Cavett look for coins. Any that he found were his to keep in his piggy bank. He found about 75 cents in random assortments. We took them upstairs and put them in his piggy bank which sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" when money is dropped in. The only problem tonight was that it hasn't quit singing yet! It's been an hour and I've stuffed it in the cushions in the couch with a pillow and blanket over it until Stephen gets home.


Update on the cake: Last night I put the crumb layer of frosting on to keep it from drying out and this afternoon I put on the final coat and smoothed it. Decorating starts tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aunt Amber


My sister beat me to it! She has already posted a blog about the happy news, so the word is already out! I will have a new sister-in-law and my sons will have an ultra-fun new aunt. I am way excited about this event! Besides being excited for Jonny and Amber, I get another female in my family! I need all I can get now that I have 3 boys in my house.


Amber, I look forward to many girly times with you and I hope you know that you will be like a "real" sister to me. Sister-in-law is not in my vocabulary except to describe to other people that my brother didn't marry his real sister! Ha! I pray many blessings upon this union and the many adventures you have ahead of you both. Love you guys!


This Week's Project








Kendrick's birthday is Thursday. We won't be having a huge blow-out. We'll save that for when he is a bit older. For us a one year old party is about the cake, wrapping paper, boxes and tons of pictures of the birthday boy. So, Friday we will have 2 families over for a swim, hamburgers and cake.


I made Cavett's first and second cakes. (I feel terrible about not making his 3rd, due to having a 5 month old). So, I am in the process of making Kendrick's first cake. To get the theme going, I began with invitations, granted, I figured they were pretty pointless, but I wanted one for his baby book. The ones I found were on VistaPrint--FOR FREE!!!! All I had to pay was the shipping and to upload a picture on to it. Anyway, it had a cute elephant. So, I decided to go with the circus/elephant theme. Then I found a picture of this cake. Loved it and decided I had to try it.




I went to the cake store this week and talked to the lady there about putting one of these together and she showed me a few items that would help keep it all together. I used 2 box mixes. (Sorry, I don't do most cakes from scratch) I put them in an 8X8 and a 9X13. After baking for almost an hour, testing every 5 minutes or so, I pulled them out. SUCCESS so far. The cake came out perfect on the bottom. The top three layers I had to cut and they all came out fairly well for the most part. None of it stuck to the pan. I now have it stacked with straws for support, cardboard in between each layer and a dowel rod through the middle of the whole thing. I've also made the cookies that go along the edges. Tonight the icing of the cake!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Cars


This afternoon we had a bit of time before Kendrick's friend, Teague's one year old birthday party. We decided to go look at cars. We just paid our last payment on our no intrest loan on the Expedition and with gas the way it is, we are looking for a car for me to drive that gets much better gas milage.



We started out at the Saturn dealership looking at the Aura. Both boys enjoyed playing around in the cars, but Cavett seemed to enjoy all the convertibles best.

Next we went to Volkswagon to see the 2009 Jetta TDI Diesel. This is the first car like it of its kind. I really liked this car alot and even got to test drive it alone-no kids, no husband, no salesman. How nice! The saleman claims this car can get upwards of 50 mpg. No kidding.

We aren't sold on buying a new car, but we can't get the Jetta used. Not sure if it's really worth it. Guess we have some number crunching to do and weigh the environmental aspects.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What do you do when it rains four days straight?






We played dress up. Cowboy was my favorite, but he insisted staying in the Pirate outfit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Muhdoody!

This past weekend Disney's Robin Hood was played countless times on Cavett's DVD player. I'd say at least 4. (It's a fairly short one.) He has quickly picked up on several of the lines. He kept saying one of them over and over again, but we couldn't make it out and we had no idea he was quoting the movie.

"Jus doin' muhdoody" -The Sheriff of Nottingham
"One o'clock and all is welluhl"-Trigger, a vulture guard
"Nutsy"-is the other one of the prince's vulture guards

Also heard, but not recorded..."Thank you Mr. Robin Hood and come back on my birthday!" "It's Maid Marion. Momma says she's awful nice." He even says Maid Marion the way the bunny on the movie does--Maid Maweeon. "Coming. Coming." "Ooduh Lally!" And, something about taxes.

It's a cute movie and it's one of my favorites. It's not too heavy on the princess theme and has a cool guy at the center as well as some pretty laughable characters. Dust your copy off the shelf and have a laugh.


video

Click here to see the actual "Muhdoody" clip. It's at about 5:45. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XabEhX78OGc

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Harmonica and Computers

I know, my titles are leaving much to be desired. At this point, I'm doing good to get anything posted right now. So, here goes.



Kendrick has discovered his brother's harmonica and has also figured out how to blow in and out. Cute.



Also, while we were gone this past week, our upstairs computer died.....again.....for the 4th, 5th, 6th, (I don't know how many!) time. We haven't had a new computer in 8 years. So, we gave in and headed to Fry's Electronics . That place is really amazing. There is so much gaditry there that it makes my head spin. I have no idea what the majority of their inventory is for, but they have a lot of it! Stephen was like a kid in a candy store and after about 20 minutes, he figured out what he needed. Once we got the kids to sleep, he began building. It blows my mind how he knows how to put it all together and make it work. This was the scene at about midnight last night. It will probably be finished tonight? Right now it's in pieces in our bedroom to keep the kids off of it. Again, I am so thankful that he is a computer nerd (his words) and knows how to do it and we don't have to pay for one put together or someone to do it for us.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Matters



This evening after we said the blessing I looked up to a sweet sounding voice saying "Ah-Ah." Kendrick's hands were folded and he was trying to sing the blessing with us. Precious.


Second picture is just after dinner. My boys watching the Olympics. Men and their TV.

Our Dallas Excursion



As you know we headed to Dallas this past weekend. Much fun was had and it was good to reconnect with many friends. We stayed at my sister's-in-law's condo in the heart of Dallas. Prime location and just what we needed. Thanks Su-Su and Al!




Thursday afternoon Stephen met with a broker that talked his ear off and didn't give him much information. So, I was left with the kids at the condo until 7 while waiting for him to get back for dinner. Luckily, we were right across the street from Cole Park, so that gave us a diversion until he arrived. Dinner was with my college roommate, Renee and her husband, Chuck at Dream Cafe. Cavett had a blast as he got to play on their "playground" and write with chalk while we caught up.



After breakfast with Aunt KK at Cafe Brazil, Friday was spent driving around Dallas. To spare you the boring details, Stephen met with 3 brokers, went in one practice and drove by a couple of others. For the most part I was in the car with the kids watching movies and napping. Basically, we decided that Dallas would stay in our decision making if the right practice were to come available, but at this time, there is nothing there. That evening Aunt KK got us out of a babysitting bind until my brother's "almost-a-fiancee" was able to get out of class. We headed to Deep Ellum for sushi with our vacation friends, Joe and Kelli.






For some reason, my camera never got pulled out until Saturday. Oh well. Saturday was all about the college friends. We drove out to Flowermound, via North Richland Hills (for another practice), to see Trumon and Adrianne Davis (more college friends) and their kids. Walker is just a few months younger than Cavett and Lauren is a precious little 1 month old. The boys talked shop and the girls listened in while refereeing kids. I think the little ones enjoyed themselves, playing swords, sighting-scope and such. But it had just been a tough couple of days not at home and on our regular schedule. As a result, Cavett was a little cranky. On our way home, we stopped in Coppell to see Trumon's office. If you live anywhere near, this is the dentist to go see. Great guy and very nice office! (Trumon-you need to get a website for your office! This was all I could find :))








That night all the college friends met at Renee's and then went out. We ended up in the Knox/Henderson area in Uptown for yes, more sushi! Sitting around the table drinking sake and eating raw fish, we realized how funny the situation was. You see we are all from po-dunk little towns: Trumon-Tatum, TX, Adrianne-Grapeland, TX, Stephen-Grand Saline, TX, Renee-Many, LA. To them it seemed that I was from the thriving metropolis of Shreveport, LA. I don't think if you would have told us in middle/high school that we would be where we are now, that we would believe it. We celebrated the fact that the three of us met that weekend 16 years ago and that Adrianne and Stephen joined us 3 years later. It was good to catch up and laugh remembering all the funny times at Centenary.


On the way back to Houston, we stopped by Aunt KK and Uncle Austin's house to jump on the trampoline. Much fun. It was a loooong weekend, but we are glad we explored and we will see what the Lord gives us for opportunities. Whether we stay in Houston or move to Dallas, I'm just ready to have some place to call home for the next 20 years or so.