Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Early Bird Gets It, Alright

I am not a morning person, but I have resolved to try to get up earlier so I can have a little more "me" time and get some things done that just aren't that easy to do with the kids under my feet. It sounds like a pretty good plan, huh?! Well, apparently, my eldest child has some sort of timer built into her body which runs right along with whatever clock I choose to use. The earlier I get up, the earlier she gets up--leaving me not with more "me" time, but actually more "mommy" time. Maybe there's some reason I'm a night person to begin with!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Where Idea Meets Reality

Earlier this summer, I came up with a little business idea, which I've kind of been gnawing on. It's homemade, all-natural sugar scrubs, and the name I came up with is Body Dulce. Over the weekend, I gave out the first samples of the product to family members. I also got my first few orders (also from family members), and now I'm trying to kick this little business into high gear. I'm no where near official, but I'm having fun, and I'm definitley busy. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Filling Up Our Quiver

We have a big announcement to make: We're going to have a new baby!!! Sometime in mid-January we're going to be bringing home a new little bundle of joy. When we told the kids, Ruth's first response was, "Now I'm going to have two babies to take care of...and I'll be in school!" I told her I might be able to help out ever so slightly. Her next observation was, "Now we're going to have three kids and only two adults!" Oh boy. She's already realized how the scale will be tipping. We are so excited and we feel very blessed with this new addition to our family. Here's a preview of our new little one:

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them...(Psalm 127:3-5)

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I got in on a little spa treatment tonight at Curves. Everyone who participated got to enjoy a mini-facial and forearm massage, along with a few moments of relaxation, a lip mask and silky balm, refreshing eye pads and some nice foot lotion. Then, when I got home, Jeff and I experimented with some homemade brown sugar scrub on our hands. Jeff didn't particularly enjoy the kitchen spa treatment, but I loved it. My face and hands just feel so smooth and wonderful now. Makes me want to pamper myself a little more often.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Kayaking Trip That Wasn't Meant To Be

When we had our vacation in the hill country a few weeks ago, we had planned on doing a kayak trip with all of Jeff's family on the Guadelupe River. But becuause of all the rain, the river was flooded and we couldn't do the trip. We rescheduled for this coming weekend. Well, guess what?! It has been raining pretty much non-stop since then and the river is not safe for kayakers. Maybe next summer...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Growing Up

It seems everyday my little girl grows up a little more. Today was a big day. Everything clicked with tying her shoes! We aren' t even sure how she learned. We showed her a couple of times but we never really worked on it with her. She says she just figured out how to do it. Also, she had a dentist appointment today and went back with the hygenist all by herself, while Weston and I waited in the waiting room. And, we bought all her school supplies today, which was so fun! She was so completely excited, it was contagious! I can't believe how big she's getting to be!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jam-Packed Weekend

We maxed out our weekend with all kinds of fun. On Saturday, Ruth had invitations to two different birthday parties. The first was at a sprinkler park in Leander. Ruth and I attended this one solo, and had a really good time. That party finished up with just enough time for us to come home and get the boys before heading out to the next party at Capital Gymnastics. Ruth and Weston had a blast, along with all the other kids, while jumping on trampolines and sliding on slides and doing all kinds of other fun gymnasticy things. At the end of that party, we all jumped in the car and headed to Houston to spend the night with our friends and attend church services last night and this morning. We spent the afternoon helping out with a mailing project for the church and then headed back to Austin. We are all pleasantly exhausted now and are looking forward to another busy week.

Friday, July 20, 2007

And Still The Rain Came Down

This is the mantra of an adorable children's book, which I can really relate to. The constant raining makes everyone a little irritable and causes crazy things to happen. But when the sun comes out, everyone seems to forget their troubles and remember how much fun it is just to enjoy life. I love it! Don't get me wrong, I'm not really complaining about rain in JULY or the cooler temperatures that result. It's just hard for me to get motivated when the skies are gray--and are predicted to be that way for the next ten days--(and have been that way for more days than I can count this summer). It's not all bad, though, the yard looks better than it's ever looked and, like I said, the temperture is much more moderate. Plus, the napping is pretty good when you can get it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Childhood Favorites

I normally try to leave my emotions and appetite at home when I do the grocery shopping, but lately I have been unable to resist the lure of some of my childhood favorites:

  • Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • Ovaltine
  • Shells and Cheese
  • Cracklin' Oat Bran
  • Peanut Butter Capt'n Crunch
  • And even Spaghetti-O's
It's so fun to eat these newly discovered old treats. It's like reclaiming a few short minutes of childhood with each bite. The next time you are at the grocery store, I suggest you splurge on just one thing that takes you back to when you were a kid. The scientific world might argue that it will cut years off your life, but I would say that it actually gives back a little of the life that has already slipped by.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

5 And 8

Ruth completed her reading chart today!!! That's five books in ten days! It's amazing to see what a confident reader she has become in such a short time. We are so proud of her and she is definitely proud of herself! As a reward, we took her out for ice cream at Amy's this evening and then to the book store for a new book. Her new chart is already hung and ready to go. This time she has to read six books before she gets her special reward, which she told us she wants to be a trip to the bowling alley. And while I'm shamelessly bragging on my child--(it is my blog afterall, and that's kind fo what it's for!)--let me just say how impressed I was yesterday when she was counting how many lines she had to read on a particular page. She was adding them up by sentences. There were two sentences, each with four lines. So, Ruth counted up the lines in the first sentence and said "Four." Then she added up the lines in the other sentence and again came up with four. Then she announced--without using her fingers or any other adding device--"Well, it looks like I have eight lines to read." I hadn't seen her add in her head before so I was quite surprised and thrilled. Then, tonight at dinner she went on to tell us the sums for all the same number problems (1+1, 2+2, etc.) up to 5+5. She did them all in her head and got them all right. It's truly a wonderful thing to watch your child blossom in this way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Let The Dogs Out?!

The other day I was mowing the grass, and I came across a cute little frog. I caught it in a cup and brought it up to the deck so the kids could see it hop around. They were enjoying the little critter immensely, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, these two huge bulldog-looking dogs appeared in our yard. I told the dogs to "get," and instead of politely leaving my yard, they began to growl and bark. I quickly moved the kids inside, and I think Weston was just a bit traumatized. He began telling Jeff about the dogs quite animatedly, and the next day he didn't want to go outside, which is highly unusual for him. Then, when we saw Jeff's aunt and uncle and their two little dogs over the weekend, Weston didn't really want to have much to do with the dogs, which he normally loves. It absolutely infuriates me when pet owners let their animals run wild--especially dogs. We don't have pets, and there are many good reasons for that. I don't like to feel "threatened" when I'm in my own yard, minding my own business. I think if you are the pet owner it is your responsibility to have a fence or a leash and keep your animals under control. If you can't do that, then you shouldn't have the animals to begin with. I'm sure the owners of these dogs would probably say, "But they are quite harmless. They just wanted to play." That's all well and good, but we had no way of knowing that, and they certainly didn't seem friendly. If they want to play, they should be playing in their own yard with people who actually want them around. If you own a dog, I think you should go to the park with it and play frisbee. I think you should watch it chase squirrels. I think you should let it lick you all over the face, if you enjoy that sort of thing. But don't impose your lovable (in your eyes) little pooch on me and my family.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ruth's Dictionary

1. a person who has two things wrong with them at the same time.

Mommy was feeling carsick and had a cut inside her nose, therefore she is a hypochondriac.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Little Swimmer That Could

Ruth has always been a little nervous around water--and that's really putting it mildly. We started her in swim lessons in September just to try to get her more comfortable with the water. And when we went to that first class, I really had my doubts about whether she would even get in the water at all. Well, she did get in and she absolutely loved the class. So, we signed her up for the next class. She loved that as well, but wanted to take a break and do gymnastics for a while. Jeff and I still felt that she could be more confident in the water so we insisted that she take another class this summer. So, she has been going every day this week (and she will go every day next week as well). And since there weren't enough kids to make a class at her current level, they bumped her up to the next class. It's almost like I'm watching a totally different kid. She has really blossomed. She is going under and swimming the length of the pool pretty much all by herself and diving and floating on her back without help and, most amazing of all, jumping into deep water with no one there to catch her. I'm so proud of her, and I can tell she really feels good about herself. She's even talking about being on a swim team at some point in the future! She's definitely come a long way in just a year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eat A Rainbow

I think the geniuses that thought up this clever little saying were looking to inspire children (and people in general) to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. My son, however, decided to take that saying to a whole other level today. He managed to somehow find Ruth's secret stash of markers, pop the lids off, and eat--that's right, EAT--them. I found him--not once, but twice--today chowing down on Crayola's best. Thank goodness Crayola thought to make them washable and non-toxic! In the heat of the moment I failed to grab my camera, but maybe you can create a mental image with the help of this "Little Guy" I found on the internet. Only imagine that there isn't one single, solitary sliver of pinkish skin tone anywhere near the mouth, tounge or hands. He defintely ate his purple and teal today. And, as an aside, he did also manage to get some green at dinner time, when he went absolutely crazy over the spinach nuggets I served. (He ate 7 of them as quickly as he could get them into his hands and shove them in his mouth). If you decide to "eat a rainbow," may I suggest you stick to the spinach nuggets and avoid the markers. It's a lot less messy and it has to taste better!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Now We're Really Reading

Ruth has been reading individual words for quite a long time and short sentences for a while. But today was truly monumental, as Ruth finished her first real big-girl book (Eloise and the Big Parade) all by herself. She read it out loud to Jeff and I over the course of the last few days, and she sounded out every single word all by herself. She was even able to figure out the words that didn't come out perfectly according to the phonetics. She was soooo proud of herself, and Jeff and I were extremely proud of her as well. As a reward, we all went to the bookstore and she got to pick out any book she wanted. This will be her next conquest. We made a chart for her to hang on the fridge to help her monitor her progress. Every time she reads a book, she gets to pick out a new one to read, and after she reads five, we will take her out for a special treat--most likely ice cream. It's so exciting to see all this click for her, and to see her so excited about it! Feel free to to give her a (physical or verbal) pat on the back the next time you see her or talk to her.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Crowning Achievement

No, I'm not talking about getting the stench out of Weston's carseat.

And it's not that I sucessfully completed Portuguese I.

Good guesses, but my crowning achievement for today was parallel parking at UT--without hitting any other cars, or giving up or getting one tire up on the curb or getting so close to the curb that I couldn't get the sliding van door open or anything. Normally, the very thought of undertaking this task is enough to send me speeding to the parking garage. The only time I will even consider it is when I can ease into an "end" spot. But tonight, I decided to go for broke. And thankfully, I didn't actually break anything! I slid into a spot right between an SUV and a little compact, and it was awesome. I do have to give some props to my backseat driver. Ruth climbed into the very back seat and told me when I was getting close to the car behind me. I don't really have any idea how accurate her "help" was, but she felt important and it kept her from any other distracting remarks, for sure.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hill Country Holiday

We spent the last few days and nights in the adorable Bluebonnet Cabin at the Top of the Hill RV Resort in beautiful Boerne, TX. We had the most wonderful time, and here are some of the things we did:

  • attended a small-town 4th of July parade in Comfort, TX
  • did some grocery shopping in a small-town grocery store
  • cooked burgers in the rain
  • watched a spectacular fireworks show
  • enjoyed the cool breeze and rocking chairs on the front porch of our cabin
  • watched spiders build and re-build their webs
  • watched the sun set over the hills
  • laughed ourselves silly
  • read lots of books
  • went on scenic drives
  • saw Stonhenge and Easter Island-like structures in Hunt, TX
  • stopped at the "apple capital of Texas" for a picnic lunch and the most amazing apple ice cream
  • swam like fishes
  • saw and photographed a hilarious chicken car
  • visited The Cave Without A Name
  • went to my sister's wedding
  • enjoyed live music in a couple of different resturaunts
  • drank Yoo-Hoo
  • saw the Guadalupe River in a serious flood-state
  • spent quality time with our immediate family and some of our extended family
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Misadventures In Babysitting

When you have five kids at your house (and you haven't used the Force to put them all to sleep), you find yourself looking for fun, free activities. I actually had it all planned out before our friends arrived. Monday we would go to the sprinkler park, which we did. And when we got there, the whole operation was broken and we ended up back at home with the sprinklers on in the yard. As you may or may not know, it takes approximately 5 hours to get 5 children greased up with sunscreen and ready to go on an outing like that, so I was thrilled, of course. Today's plan was to go play at the Toys-R-Us playscape, since we needed a dry activity. And you'll never believe this, but when we got there it was broken. Determined to keep sanity in tact (both the kids and mine), I decided to drop into the storytime at the library. We barely squeaked in, and then the two youngest kids immediately went into melt-down mode. So, the three of us spent the entire storytime outside. At least the big girls got to do something fun this morning. Best laid plans, huh?! I feel like I've earned a vacation, and fortunately we just happened to have one planned. We're off to the Texas hill country for the next few days. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe July 4th.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Using The Force

The most amazing thing happened at my house today: I put 5 kids between the ages of 18 months and 7 years down for a "rest time," and they all fell asleep. That's five children sleeping in my house, in five different locations, all at the same time. And not only that, the shortest of all the naps was 2 hours--and that by Weston, if you can believe it! The only possible explanation for this is that the Force was with me-- because at least half of these kids are staunch non-sleepers. I don't think I can really take credit for this phenomenon, but it certainly felt like a triumph of some sort. The stars may never be aligned like this again.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


This is the nickname my husband came up with for our daughter, because frankly, she is a weinnie when it comes to almost everything. I normally tell people she's just very cautious, but if I'm honest, it's really just all-out cowardice. So, as you know, she spent the week with her grandparents at Lake Buchanan, and she had the chance to work on her water skills. When Jeff and I got there on Friday, she came up to me and said, "Mom, you guys aren't going to be able to call me 'Frank' anymore, because I'm really brave now." This was a reference to the fact that she had discovered during the week that not only could she jump off Grandpa's shoulders in the water, but that it was also quite fun. Then, yesterday she discovered the joy of jumping off the boat dock to Grandpa in the water...and then jumping off with no one in the water. We are very proud of her for overcoming her fears, and we are hoping to be able to drop the nickname completely someday soon.