Monday, September 28, 2009


This past weekend, after all the deck laying we took some R & R and headed to McKinney for their Oktoberfest. We met Joe and Kelli and a few other friends there. We had a great time, but we got there a little late for some of the more kid friendly activities. There was barrel racing, but they had already shut it down. There was face painting, but an hour and a half wait. Cavett opted for a tattoo instead. Options to choose from: skull and crossbones, heart with a dagger, or a cross and flame. He chose wisely and was very proud of it. The oompa bands were good for dancing and getting rid of some energy, but they were most enthralled with the German dancing group and even got to do a group dance. Kendrick definitely made a new friend while Cavett was getting the tattoo. He had to wait to be alone make his move on Gabby, Shanna's daughter. All in all I'd say it is a must next year. Just earlier in the day. Oh, and the beer and bratwurst was good too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finishing Up

The plaster was finished on Monday. Hot tub filled by that evening. Pool finished filling Tuesday evening. We were a bit nervous with the water color, because as it filled it was looking a little green due to the residual stuff left by tile, grout, plaster, etc. But, chemicals were added and by today, it is gorgeous, especially in the sunlight! Stephen also hired an extra hand and began laying the deck pavers. Joe even came over to help for a while this afternoon. After 9 hours, the majority of it is laid. Tomorrow he will finish up with the pieces that need to be cut.

I'm so proud of my husband. I really had my doubts and reservations about the project, but he really pulled it off and well! It is truly going to become an "outdoor room." I look forward to many, many days and nights of fun with friends and family making memories for years to come. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Finally, the First Soccer Game

Cavett's first soccer game was supposed to be the 12th. It rained. Then it was to be the 19th, but so much rain closed the fields. Finally, last night at 7:15, he had his game and he did me proud! (He's number 8.) He made the first goal, but the most important thing to me was that he had fun without any temper tantums, crying or loosing his cool. Mission accomplished! He even earned two smiley faces for his Cheerful Chart (after 15 smiles he gets to go to the movies and have popcorn.) Hopefully, this patttern will continue--the smiles, not the rain...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Rainy Tuesday

After 11 days of rain with one day of reprieve stuck in, we needed an outing. We headed to Fair Park this morning to blow off some energy and to explore a new place--destination--the Dallas Children's Museum. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold a candle to the newly improved Houston version, but we still had fun. Both the boys loved the dinosaur dig. Kendrick's favorite was the water room and Cavett's was pretending like he was an ant in the ant mound. Good times.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hot Air Balloons

Today wrapped up the Plano Balloon Festival and even though we didn't go to the actual festival, it turns out that we had a spectacular view anyway. The wind was blowing just right to bring them all straight to our house. We had waves and greetings as well as a landing in our neighborhood, just up our street! It was breath taking listening to the whoosh of the fire and to see them so gracefully gliding through the air.
It was way better than football. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Death Overcome

My kids are no strangers to death. We haven't kept it a secret and Cavett knows all about Dadoo and heaven , Jesus and resurrection. But, today it hit a little closer home. We have know that Grampaw has been struggling for a while now. Actually, for 6 years now there have been severe ups and downs, but Cavett has gotten to have some special time with him and got to know him. This past month the doctors found a rapidly growing tumor in his frontal lobe. He was put in hospice about a week or so ago and passed away this afternoon.

I discussed the possibility of this with Cavett yesterday and he seemed to understand. "Just like Dadoo," he said. This morning our travels took us to the library. The second book that Cavett pulls out is titled, The Red Shoes by Sun Young Yoo and Gloria Fowler. I am a bit weary as I think it could be too girly, but the illustrations intrigued me. We read on. By page 3, the author uses these words--"Karen's mother fell gravely ill and soon after passed away. A brokenhearted Karen wore the red shoes for the first time to her mother's funeral." Ok, stop. These are big words we haven't talked about--gravely ill, passed away and funeral. Words were translated, meanings were given and parallels drawn. It was a good book and in the end the daughter has taken up her mother's craft at making shoes and carried on the traditions. The ending was ok, but I could have had more meaning.

However, during story time this evening, it just so happened that the story we were to read was of Good Friday. Mind you, we have been reading this Bible Story book in order for a couple of months and not changing any order or skipping around. Again, nothing was glossed over, except maybe the nails. But the discussion questions again centered around the words "grieving and mourning." So, this was my reminder and my ending I needed earlier.

We have hope because Jesus died on the cross for us, taking away our sins. We have hope because he will come again and God will wipe away all tears and there will be no more pain or death. Hope is the name of the game, people. Without it we are lost...forever. So have faith in that hope of Jesus Christ and his renewal of all creation.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you" I Peter 1:2-4

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21:4

"The last enemy to be destroyed is death." I Cor. 15:26

Birthday Weekend

This past Friday was my 35 birthday. I feel it. I'm no spring chicken anymore. Oh well, there is worse, I suppose. Friday evening both my sisters, my brother, my sister-in-law and my Mom came in town. I'd like to say that it was for my birthday that day, but it was a coincidence. It was actually for my cousin, Katie's wedding on Saturday. But, it was still a good time.

We put the kids to bed Friday and had a very nice sit down, lounge around the table kind of meal. (Sorry, Candace). Saturday the sisters went for a run and I did circles around them on my bike. Unfortunately, it was fairly misty, so it was pretty icky. Brunch followed at Cafe Brazil--must be the best breakfast and coffee in Dallas! We dressed and headed to Fort Worth for the wedding at TCU leaving Stephen at home with two little boys-one of whom (Kendrick)threw up all over me before I jumped in the shower. At least it was before the shower.

It was a beautiful wedding-short and sweet. Katie was stunning and we were so glad that we could all be there to support her. The most fun part of it was that Cavett got to meet another relative that shares his name! They were both named for my great-grandmother's side of the family. Cavett was the surname. Mom, Candace and I ended up coordinating with black and white again. Funny thing is that the wedding was black and white too! The ride back home provided less than desirable--my attitude, driving in the rain, and a sick little one at home that I was wanting to get back to. The evening was all football and a train birthday cake which Kendrick shared with his 3 other boy cousins his age-Zeke and William. Even though he was sick, I couldn't spare him, his cake, singing, and candles! Unfortunately, we never got a picture of all the cousins together that I am aware of. Maybe that will happen when they are 9 or 10. Ha!

All in all it was a good visit with family and much needed. On the opposite side of the spectrum though, keep my grandfather in your prayers. (My sister wrote a great blog about him and Jesus. CHeck it out!) He has been in hospice for a week now and is having trouble breathing. They found a rapidly growing tumor in his frontal lobe. It may be soon. Have I mentioned before, I hate cancer?

Addendum: Granpaw went to be with Jesus at 1:30 today.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Kendrick's First Day of School

Kendrick's first day of school was Wednesday. He was the first one to arrive at the room and he was a bit apprehensive at first. But, then again, I would have been to the way they quickly opened and shut the door with the teacher down on the floor. It didn't seem very welcoming, but I understand the idea behind it (keep crying to a minimum). Anyway, he barely fussed as he was wisked away, and got over it quickly.

I received a very good report when I went to pick him up. They celebrated his birthday today with a special snack. He loved the playground time, listened well during story time and they also reported that at naptime, he "went right to sleep!" I knew it would wear him out and he would be ready for a nap, but I didn't think it would be so easy in a room full of kiddos.

As for me, it was great. I felt like a human again. I worked out, cleaned all the bathrooms in the house, took a shower and met Stephen for a sushi lunch. All without having to park anyone in front of the TV or worry that they might be escaping the house.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pics from the Long Weekend

Here are the pictures that go with the following blog. I don't know why Blogger wouldn't let me put them in that post. Strange....

At Going Bonkers with Walker and the Davis'.

My big brother is awesome and I can't wait to go to school just like him!

Grand Saline fish feeding.

After the picnic and park and tired.

A Looooonnnngg Weekend

This past Labor Day weekend began on Thursday now that Stephen "works" only Monday through Wednesday. That day we woke up later and had breakfast together and then went about the normal day business, but that afternoon we had a family playdate with the Davis'. We met at Going Bonkers and watched the kids and Daddies have fun climbing through the mazes. We topped of the night at a local Mexican restaurant. Couldn't ask for much more fun!

Friday was Cavett's first day of school. He was very excited and was raring to go. We dropped him off, ran errands associated with the pool and then picked him up without a hitch. He said he liked his teachers and friends and that playing outside on the playground was the best. For what child is it not? When I did pick him up the teacher kinda leaned in and said, "He's really smart..." in that not really excited way. It could have either been construde as in awe or "he's gonna keep me on my toes" kind of way. I'll chose the first, but I know what they mean. He is smart, what can I say.

Saturday after settling all the workers in the back yard, we headed to Grand Saline as you can see from the previous posts.

Monday we took a family bike ride on the City of Allen trails that run through Twin Creeks. I am just loving these! It was beautiful and a good ride. If only they could finish these trails up and interconnect them all. We had great fun at a park with a picnic at the end of the ride. But, it was finally too hot to keep it up and naps followed. That afternoon we were invited to a pool party in Lewisville by some new friends. We wore the kids out completely and so can't wait till ours is finished.

Speaking of....the deck concrete was poured today and we should have plaster by the end of the week. I'll spend my "ME" time tomorrow while the kids are at school going to get the last of the pavers for the coping and choosing the plaster color. Trying to decide between a white plaster with blue flecks, a blue plaster with flecks of brown, black and blue or one called grenedine grey--blueish grey plaster with blue, grey and black flecks. With all the light coping and sides, we are thinking that darker may be better and keep it warmer longer. Opinions? Click here for pics...

To come tomorrow.....Kendrick's first day of school!!!!!!

P.S.--Having trouble posting pics, so most likely you will get them in a separate post. Sorry.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Indian paint rocks

-- Post From My iPhone

The Latest and Greatest from Grand Saline

Our adventure in Grand Saline today led us to "Indian Paint Rocks.". As we were riding on the land in the pug, Stephen abruptly stopped and started shaking rocks and cracking them with bigger rocks. Turns out we found at least 3 different colors! What fun!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pool Update

We are in the slow phase now. The gunite has cured and the tile and coping guys have been working for a week. The tile line and the backsplash is on and half of the coping is on and we really like the way it looks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Beginnings

Monday's post was a bit of a downer. Sorry for that. I just needed to vent and I also came to realize it was really our last day of summer, because yesterday our scheudules began.

Soccer practice was that evening at 5:30. It was a haphazard beginning without really any introduction to the parents, but then again I was only there for 30 minutes until Stephen arrived. I had to leave to get to Parent Orientation at the kids pre-school.

I was a bit aprehensive about this; it is kind of like going to lunch in the cafeteria at your new high school and you don't know anyone or where you should sit. But, I went ahead and sat in the 3rd row near the center. I located my sister's sister in law and waved. She came over and chatted and I felt a little better. Now, onto the presentation....

I was dumbfounded. Really? Seriously? It started out with a video of their goals. Fine, but don't you think I would have already researched that? My kids are enrolled. You don't need to convince me now. Then the director basically went over the school handbook with a power point. I can read and could have done this at home. I know, I know. I have been a teacher. Parents don't always read and they just sign away. But still, it was a waste of my time. After 45 minutes of that we were sent to break away groups according to our children's age.

There was one of me and two classes to go to. I began in Kendrick's class because I thought there might be more details that I needed. Cavett has been there, done that for 2 years now and surely we can wing it. I sat down at the very back in case I needed to slip out and move to the next class. I felt like I was in pre-k. They went over the same stuff we had just heard in the main room with a few more details. At one point, parents started asking questions about potty training and I though, "Am I in a parenting class?" This went on for over an hour. I am sure there are some parents in there that this is their first time to put their child in a class. That is fine and I let the "kiss and leave" lecture that went on and on go in one ear and out the other. I am positive that this teacher is very qualified and will be a great teacher for Kendrick, but as a parent I would have hoped to be treated a bit differently.

I ran into Cavett's room hoping to catch something, but they had already dismissed and were milling about meeting the teacher. I stood in line awhile waiting and finally talked to one of them. She was so wonderful and made me feel welcome. I ran back to Kendrick's class and waited a bit more and finally they passed out the packets of information I had come for. Next year I will be skipping this portion.

Now, here is the craziness! When people talk about the differences between these two Texas cities they say that "Dallas is more up-tight and Houston is more laid back." I completely get it. There are lots of rules and regulations here and you must do everything by the book. Here is the list of things I was told I had to have by Friday for Cavett and next week for Kendrick.

  • Blue and red vinyl rest mat
  • Nap mat to put over the rest mat for Kendrick
  • Towel to go over the rest mat for Cavett
  • Change of clothes
  • Tote bag (Highly recommended to buy the one they were selling, backpacks or anything with zippers-not allowed.)
  • 4 diapers for Kendrick with name (If pull-ups, must be velcro)
  • Lunch must be peanut free and if it is questionable, must have the nutritional label

All of this must be brought back and forth each day. Nothing is to be left at school. I commented to Stephen when I got home that I was surprised that they didn't make us have a certain lunch box. Well, I spoke to soon. At meet the teacher today, they gave us just that for Kendrick.

We will have a good year and I know for a fact that this school will be better than the last. I just need to get used to all the do's and don'ts of school life. It's always been me making the rules. Now it is time for me to be the parent.

Meeting the teachers with the kids went very well today. Cavett's was first at 9:00 and he loved playing with the magnetic trucks. (Mrs. Bartolone first, Mrs. Carnline second) By the end of the time he had used every piece and was very proud of himself pulling the teachers over to see. I mentioned to them that he would be their talker and make sure that he raises his hand. He piped in that he had lots of questions! I was surprised at how many kids were in the class-19! I am doing the Christmas party and bringing homemade play-dough in February. We met and talked with several--Phillip, Andrew, Sophia, Brandon, and Bela.

Kendrick's time was at 11:15 so we had time between to go to Target and get Cavett a special nap towel. Kendrick's was a bit more harried. I was trying to make sure he played nicely and didn't bite anyone. I signed up to bring homemade play-dough for October and do his Valentine's Day Party, as well as his first day they will be celebrating his birthday.
(Ms. Pam pictured, other teacher Ms. Carmela which is also Cavett's Spanish teacher on Fridays)

Another note-yes, you noticed correctly. I have to bring homemade play-dough. Nevermind that we can't bring anything homemade for snacks or treats for fear of cross-contamination in our own kitchens, but we can make play-dough. No cut out cookies, no special cakes, nothing. Store bought yuckiness. It kills the baker in me to spend money on something half as cute and that doesn't taste as good. Ugh. But, I'll suck it up. It's about the kids, not me. (I'm noticing a theme here...)

As I said, Cavett will begin on Friday and Kendrick the following Wednesday. I am so excited for them (and for me.) But at the same time, I can't believe that this is Cavett's last year in pre-school. It just can't be that he will be in Kindergarden next year. It goes slow, but so fast at the same time.

So, we are off now. We must head to the embroiderer to get the towel, the nap mat, the tote bags all labeled with names. Tomorrow's post--pool update!