Friday, January 29, 2010

The Lessons

Over the Christmas holiday I got to talking to one of Stephen's employees who on her days off works at a gymnastics gym. She told me about their program and that our boys would love it. I decided that would be a good idea and a focus, channel for his energy. Kendrick's age group is a "Mom and Me" class and we are going every Friday while Cavett's in school. I think I love it just as much as him, because it bring s back memories of taking gymnastics at my elementary school, Trinity Heighs Christian Academy.
He is jumping on the trampoline in different ways--one foot, in circles, patting knees, doing pull ups on the bars, flipping on the rings, balancing on the beams and his soumersault is perfected. It is just what we needed. Thanks Mary!

Also, we have been talking about putting Cavett in piano lessons for a while now and debating on how soon to start him. My college roommate, Renee, convinced me to do it on my own. And, she's right, I can do it. I just needed the right books and time alone. So, we have set it up like a real lesson. Cavett and I will do book work on Thursday afternoons while Kendrick is sleeping and the Dad will play with Kendrick while we work on the piano.

Yesterday was our first lesson and he loved it! This week he is working on the black keys, learning finger numbers, bar lines, measures, and quarter notes. Maybe we can convince Grandmama to give him his next lesson in Grand Saline tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kendrick--What's next?

This child...really? I love him to death! He is so much fun, makes me laugh, has the cutest smile, but really????? He's a bull in a china shop; he's a daredevil; he's not afraid of a thing. Oh, and did I mention his love of art?

Today he created a lovely masterpiece in blue permanent marker about 2 feet off the ground running the length of the rotunda, through the kitchen, by the laundry room to the dining room. I can't get it off. He sat in time out and I think after talking about drawing on paper all day, he might have gotten the idea. We will re-paint this weekend.

Then, as I was cooking dinner I turned around to this! I had put the firetruck on the counter to vaccum and mop earlier, but never put it back on the ground. Didn't bother him! Up he goes! Luckily, I caught him before he busted his head.

He is a precious child and I love him dearly, but I am scared for his LIFE!!!! I need to knock some fear into this one. My laid back parenting has back-fired on me! HELP!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Big 5!

I can't believe it! Where has the past 5 years gone? Instead of a tiny baby, I have a growing boy who can read, write, play all sorts of games, dress and feed himself, and multiple other things. We celebrated Cavett's birth yesterday all day, literally. We woke up with requested blueberry pancakes and then opened a few presents--a watch and some birthday clothes.

The actual party was at the Heard Museum. We invited a small number of people. No one from his class, just family friends and actual family. Rain was a concern, so we headed out on the Dinosaur trail first. It was so much fun to see all the rain boots and the kids roaring back at the dinosaurs. They also got to pet Rosie the Rabbit and Kilo the Bearded Dragon. The dinosaur cake was a hit and wrapped it up with a visit to the kangaroo cage.

But the celebration didn't end there. Chipolte was for lunch with Memaw, DD, Mike, the Chaneys and Amber and Jonny. As the afternoon went on at home it was come and go with Grandmama, KK and Austin, Cousin Beth and Lyle and Cousin Elaine joining as well as some friends from our Sunday School class in Houston.

I'm pretty sure that Cavett had a great day and it was good to have a reason to have a mini-family reunion to see so many loved ones in one day.

From here, life changes for my baby. Kindergarden is next year. Loose teeth are just around the corner. But if you ask him, what he is looking forward to is 6 when he can chew gum and climb up Grandmama's laundry chute. I'm not really dreading it completely. He's ready and I know that I need to let him grow up, but I will still cherish each and every hug and kiss.

Happy Birthday Cavett!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Cake

Tonight I finished Cavett's birthday cake. He picked out a triple chocolate and the icing colors and we baked it up Tuesday afternoon. I assembled it Tuesday night and added the crumb layer. Tonight it is complete. I may have smurf colored hands from tinting the fondant, but I feel good about this one. Each time I bake one, it is like climbing a mountain, and a different one each time. It's a challenge, but one I thouroughly enjoy. Maybe my kids will never notice that we always baked the cake together and I iced it. Maybe they won't notice that it isn't store- bought-perfect. But, they will always know that I wanted to spend time with them sharing one of the things that I love to do with them.

To see past cakes click here.

P.S.- Marion, if you are reading this, I think of you every time I ice a cake now (for many more reasons than "Batter, batter")! Love you and can't wait to talk to you soon!

The Rearview

It's back--the Rearview. I haven't blogged this week, here it is in hind sight.

Monday was MLK, so the kids were home. As a result we got to have a much needed playdate with the Davis'. Adrianne suggested Going Bonkers. I asked Cavett and his response an emphatic, definitely. I asked it timidly, since he was just there with Amber on Saturday, but that didn't matter. He loves the place! It was a bit crazy with tons of kids there--much different from the other times we have played.

That evening as I was beginning to get dinner ready, I reached under the stove for a pan. Kendrick started screaming and pulling on the cabinet doors as I was shutting them. I couldn't figure out his deal or what he was saying, but I decided to just let him play in the pots and pans. he chose one pot, pulled up a stool and wanted to help me cook! He wanted a knife and wanted to chop and put the peppers in his pot. And of course if one son does something, the other son does too. We found two dull chees knives and they got busy. I can't wait for us to really cook as a family one day. Right now, I would be happy if only everyone would eat the same thing at one meal.

Tuesday was our regular gym/grocery shopping day. The kids were very well behaved in the store and received a treat--Icees! That afternoon we hit a new park in McKinney. It is similar to a favorite in Allen, but it didn't matter. Cavett made friends with every kid there and played pretend "Star Wars." Of course, Kendrick followed him every step of the way.

Wednesday--was a school day. I got BSF and a girl's lunch in before picking the kids up. That evening we headed to Creekwood UMC for our first class in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Class. It seems we have completed "Baby Step 3," but we haven't been able to puch beyond. Hopefully, this class will jump start us in going beyond and analyzing our budget better.

This afternoon was spectacular! From the weather to the time spent together, it was perfect. While Kendrick slept, the three of us worked in the yard pulling weeds and tidying up. Afterwards, Stephen and Cavett plopped down on the chaise lounge by the pool and took a breather. Oh, it made me anticpate the summer. It's going to be fantastic! In fact, as a lover of travel, I think I may even be able to stomach a complete summer with no major travel, if we can get the rest of the backyard finished. We turned on the hot tub and headed to our next destination after Kendrick woke up.

The past weekend in New Mexico really re-ignited the desire to get out in nature again. Stephen and I use to camp alot 10 years ago, but after moving to Houston, it was just too far to get to somewhere really beautiful. Our resolution for the spring is to take the kids camping and hiking. So, we began with going to our favorite, the Heard museum for a 1 1/2 mile hike on the Sycamore trail. As we hiked, we sang the "Zacheus" song and looked for sycamore trees. not too far into the trail there it was--the most beautiful sycamore I had ever seen. It was about 150 and had the most graceful, glowing white branches reaching up to heaven. Breath-taking. Unfortunately, the trail got flooded a little less than halfway. We still got in almost an hour of "exercise."

The hot tub was good and warm on return and the kids played while we took turns getting dinner ready. Speaking of, it was gobbled up as fast as possible and sleep was almost just as fast. I guess we wore them out.
I am really trying to cherish each of these long weekends this Spring, as Cavett will be starting Kindergarden in the fall and Stephen may expand his working hours. Sitting at the dinner table tonight was a perfect family moment. My boys are growing up and becoming more independent.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Parent's Get Away

This past week, our friend Kelli was working in El Paso. She suggested that we just all join her for the weekend and we would drive to Las Cruces, NM to celebrate the husbands birthdays. It was a great idea! We flew out on Thursday and rented a house with a beautiful view of the Organ Mountains. The rest of the weekend included a 4 1/2 mile hike in the snow up the Organ mountains, acting like little kids sliding down the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument, some great dinners and lots of time chil-laxing on the sofa watching movies. Trust me this is not something I can do at home. There is always something or someone calling my name. It was a great time with great friends and we can't wait to do it again and maybe with the kids next time!

There is just something strange about seeing cactus in the snow.

While we were gone we left the kids in wonderful hands--Aunt Amber and Uncle Jonny to the rescue! They got to go to the Wiggles Play Room, a puppet show of Peter and the Wolf, Chick-Fil-A, Going Bonkers and finished the weekend with the boys taking them to the church we have been frequenting. I think all survived quite well and had a perfect time together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just for my siblings

Bubba with the blue hair!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

New Found Friendship

It seems my two boys have decided that they are best of friends and like to play with each other. We are now on day two of spending up to an hour together playing sweetly without input from me. When I went into Cavett's room before school yesterday they were both sitting in his chair and Cavett was reading a book to him. This afternoon when I went in with a camera they were "fighting," but not hurting one another. It's great! Though, I have gone in a couple of times, only to be kicked out for "privacy." Hmmm....not sure about that one though.

I've been telling Cavett for the past year that Kendrick would be his best friend for life and I think he is starting to believe me.


I have a new project for the year and it is a time sucker, but I love every minute of it. During my junior year of high school I had a team of two teachers, Webb and Pardue, who taught American History and Literature with a bit of Architecture and Art thrown it. It was really a great class and wish I had paid attention a bit more to get more out of it, but alas..... Anyway, our main project for the year was a genealogy project using primary resources--censuses, legal documents, interviews, etc. We could chose to go side ways and do cousins or go backwards in regular family tree fashion. I chose to go backwards. This project included biographies of all known relatives, pedigree charts, and any pertinent documentation.

For our wedding present to our parents, we presented them with a large fan shaped family tree each featuring their family. Then we had one with our families combined featured at our wedding reception and now hangs in our guest bedroom. Stephen drew out the diagram and I wrote in all the names and wedding dates.

I was extremely blessed in that both of my grandmothers were very interested in genealogy and had already done a ton of research and knew some lines back into the 1600's. Gran has almost got us related to Pocahontas. Since Gran, my maternal grandmother, has passed away, I was given the honor of keeping all her records and pictures. The first weekend, I took home a suitcase and two expandable files full. The following weekend back in Shreveport, I took home another suitcase and 3 large boxes full. It's a little overwhelming.

I have decided to start with pictures. They are easier and more fun to work with and it helps you put a name with a face once you begin writing about them. I began scanning all the pictures into the computer on Friday in every spare moment and finished last night about 11:00.

In looking at the material I have, it seems to break down easily into two parts. My great-grandfather and great-grand mother on my grandmother's side (Paul Marvin Brown, Jr. and Willie Eleanor Cavett Brown) both come from very strong families and there is much information and documentation on these relatives. So, I am setting out to at least do a picture Blurb book with pertinent dates for all the living relatives. The first half will be the past--from Paul and Willie backwards (their parents and more). The second half will be the future--from Paul and Willie forwards.

I'm really excited about the possibilities of this project and hope that in a few years I can follow up with a second volume with more written detail of each relative.
Colored pic. from 1976. Yep, that's me, the 2 year old. Black and white above is my great grandmother's siblings. That house still stands today in Shreveport on Olive street just off of Highland.

P.S.-- I thought I'd throw in another fun picture--Nixon with my great-grandparents. Funny thing is that Stephen has a pic with his grandmother shaking his hand too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Catch Up

It's already a week into 2010 and I am playing catch up. This is not a good sign. What is probably going to happen is that I will be bloggin on the go from my phone. It will be like a Facebook status update, just so that when I put my book together next year, I will remember what is going on. Don't get me wrong, I will write what is on my heart every now and again, but I just need a break from putting pressure on myself. With that will be a simpler design that will load up faster and easier.

In the meantime, here's what's been going on.....

Last Saturday we took Dad to experience the Heard Museum and to sign up for Cavett's birthday party which will be held there later this month. We enjoyed being with each other, the trails and the nature around us.

Sunday we celebrated Stephen's 33th birthday. His mom came over for a few hours and gave him an extremely precious gift--his Dad's watch from when he received his PhD. We ended the evening by playing Beatles Rockband as a family. Take a guess who was on vocals...

Wednesday was the kids first day back to school and my first day back to BSF. I was driving in the back way to the church through the windy driveway and looking at our neighborhood when I hit the curb and blew not one, but two tires. All I could do was look on the bright side--the kids weren't with me, I was in the parking lot, I had something to occupy my time until Stephen came and got me. It was inconveinent, but it was ok. It could have been worse. The best part was watching Stephen teach Cavett how to change a tire that evening.

Today, Cavett and I spent quality time learning how to tie his shoe. We made up a little story about 2 little boys.....

"There once were two little boys going opposite directions. One day their paths crossed and they began to talk back and forth. They became closer and tighter friends. Then one day, they decided to play a game. Kendrick said, 'Go around me and pinch me.' Then Cavett said, 'Now you go around me and I'll pull you through between my legs.' After that they became tight friends."

A little corny, but it seemed to work. He just needs to figure out which string to pull to make the other loop.

Ending the Year

2009. Well, I have been working on my Blurb Blog year book for the past month and in looking back on the year, it has been monumental. I had originally thought it was pretty crummy with all the death and change that took place. But, hindsight seems to be 20/20. God had a plan. It wasn't always what I had in mind or how I wanted things to pan out, but he works all things for the good of those who love Him. So, I have changed my mind. 2009 was a good year. It wasn't great. But, for now I will trust Him, because he cares for me.

Here are my top posts--good and bad, and things that happened in the year.

We ended the year with a great, relaxing visit from Nana complete with an all day snow. Too bad it didn't stick around and we capped off the New Year with a quite dinner/night at home with our good friends, Kelli and Joe.

May 2010 bring peace, health and prosperity. Thank you, God for all you have blessed us with.