Thursday, November 24, 2011


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we hope yours was wonderful as well. We have so many things to be thankful for, we couldn't even begin to list them all. One of the things we are very thankful for is our amazing extended family, and we were so blessed to get to spend the day with many of them today, and even to get to talk to a couple of them who are currently living overseas. The Lord has blessed us abundantly, in so many ways, and our hearts just overflow with thanksgiving, much like our Thanksgiving table overflowed with food. We always have a themed Thanksgiving, and this year's theme was Southern comfort food. So, our spread included lots of traditional Thanksgiving favorites: fried turkey, two kinds of dressing, sweet potato casserole, cheese grits, green bean casserole, potato casserole, mac and cheese, congealed salad, fruit salad, rolls, and several yummy desserts. I think the rolls and sweet potato casserole are my favorites, but everything was delicious. I'd love to know what your favorite Thanksgiving food is and if you have any special traditions. I'll leave you with a few pictures from our special day.

Our Little Bitty was smaller (in weight) than one of the turkeys
and not much bigger than the other one.
You know it's going to be a good day when
you start with a big pot and a fire extinguisher
The Spread--not even including the desserts!
Clay got to enjoy some yummy rice crackers for his Thanksgiving meal
There was lots of lap-sitting...
...And some serious nap-taking

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hunting Party

We had a very fun birthday party for Weston today. Lots of friends and family helped us celebrate his six years. He had a hunting theme, so everyone wore camo, including me, which was a first. 

The Cake

Birthday boy

Camo watch

Head to toe camo

Camo baby

"Target Practice"--bean bag toss

Pin the antlers on the deer

Antler covered deer

A new gun

All the boys loved the live trap gift


Hiding out in the new camo blind

Even my nephew had his camo

Camo ninja

Monday, November 14, 2011

Doing Hard Things

Jeff and I have been having a perpetual conversation with our kids about doing things that aren't easy, things that don't come naturally and things that may be outside their comfort zones. Do HARD things, we tell them. As a homeschooling mom, I know exactly when my kids are being lazy during the school day. I know when they aren't trying. I know when they are taking the easy way out. So, I push them a little: Do HARD things, I remind them. Because it's when we do hard things that we grow and learn. And it's in those things that we feel the most pride and sense of accomplishment. And when we have those feelings, we want to do harder things.

It's interesting how I can never lecture my kids without feeling the sting of the lecture as well. And, I have to admit that in the past few years, I have not really gravitated toward doing hard things. In college, I majored in the hardest thing I could think of, and I kind of burned out a little. I'm not saying I haven't pushed myself beyond my known limits since that time, but I have not actively and intentionally pursued things that are hard on a regular basis. Oh, I took on the two most daunting rooms in the house today--Max's bedroom and the boys' bathroom--and I went to Walmart with the kids, at 5:00 pm. But, that's not really the kind of hard I'm talking about. And, so, in a never-ending effort to model for my kids the behavior I wish to see in their lives, I have made a conscious decision in the last few months to DO HARD THINGS. I am trying to choose to do things that are outside my comfort zone from time to time. And, I'm trying to do things that don't necessarily come easily or naturally. That's part of what tutoring a CC class was about for me. And I'm so glad I took that on. It has been such an amazing experience. And I already see several more opportunities to take on a few new hard things. My hard things may not be your hard things, because we've all got different hurdles and different thresholds and different mental blocks. But, I think we all need to be doing hard things, whatever those things may be. (That said, I do think a person can take on too many hard things at once, which certainly isn't advisable). It's easy to do what's easy, but it's sometimes challenging to motivate ourselves to do what is hard. I read a quote the other day that inspired me to just go ahead and take up some new challenge: Don't wait to feel motivated; just get started, as though you are motivated, and the motivation will come. That thought carried me through some of the less desirable tasks I had on my to-do list today, but it also pushes me to go ahead and pursue some hard things in my life. What hard thing will you do?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We spent most of the day in Fredricksburg. First, we enjoyed the lovely drive between here and there, part of which was on a rustic, unpaved county road, which completely thrilled the boys. Then, we spent some time on the grounds of the National Museum of the Pacific War. The kids enjoyed looking at the model aircraft carrier and climbing up on some of the big guns, while also taking in the gorgeous weather. We had lunch at a fun cafe, which is famous for it's pie, in general, and it's pie-on-a-stick, in particular. Unfortunately, after our delicious sandwiches, we were too full to try the pie, but we have that on our list of things to try another time. After lunch, we made our way to "The Combat Zone," for a thorough run-down and demonstration of most of the U.S. and Japanese weaponry used during WWII, as well as a reenactment of one of the battles of the Pacific. We were all issued ear plugs on the way in. It was a fascinating (and LOUD) show, and Weston was particularly enamored with the program. The biggest explosions and the automatic weapons were his favorites. It was especially moving to see this on Veteran's Day weekend, when many vets were in the audience, including one WWII vet they honored at the end of the show. We are so very thankful for those soldiers, past and present, who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.

We left there and headed over to a more mom-friendly activity, which was the antique show at the fairgrounds. I found many things that charmed me but, alas, came home with no treasures. Fredrisckburg is such an enchanting little town, and I hope we are able to visit again soon.

The big guns

Gunner Max

It could be a wild ride

Plugged up

Ear plugs in and ready for the battle

Amphibious tank


The Combat Zone

Sunday, November 06, 2011


Clay had his half-birthday yesterday. Can you believe it?! In the past month, he has started munching on his toes...and just about anything else he can get in his mouth. He is also mashing his gums together to produce some really great faces. As with the other kids, there is much outward appearance of teething, but nothing to show for it yet. He is still wearing size 2 diapers and 3-6 month onesies, but with the cooler weather, we have found out that he still needs a 0-3 month size in pants. He's just such a little bitty guy. He is sitting up better and can even get into a sort of sitting position on his own from his belly. As you know, he has become mobile. He is still more comfortable with the army crawl than with regular crawling, but he can flat get around. He will get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth for quite a while before giving in to the easier method of mobility. He LOVES to jump and bounce and be held high in the air and jiggled around. And, his belly-laugh is getting more and more hearty and contagious. He has moved out of the pack-n-play in our room and into his crib in his own room. Unfortunately, his sleeping through the night has become less consistent. He has just started going to the nursery and Sunday school at church. And everyone who is around this kid--whether at church, CC or just the grocery store--adores him. He is so genuinely happy and easy-going, and such a charmer! I couldn't decide on just one picture, so you are getting several. Happy half-birthday to my sweet Little Bitty Baby!

munching on the tootsies

sitting like a big boy
playing in the crib

silly face

happy guy

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Saturday in the big city

We went in to Austin this morning for a crazy, hilarious, and slightly frustrating family photo shoot, a birthday/half-birthday feeding frenzy at one of the Brazilian steak houses, and some interesting, but unproductive furniture shopping. Now, having had all the fun we can stand for one day, we're all exhausted and headed for bed.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Some questions about the library

  • Why is the library's website set up to be more secure than my bank's?
  • Why does the librarian hoover over me asking if she can help, and then when I actually need some help, she sends me to the front desk to get my question answered?
  • Why is there a limit on how many books I can check out at one time--especially since I have to pay a fee if they are late or lost?
  • Why will they not allow my husband to check out books using my card? Even if he offers to call me so they can verify that I gave him permission?
  • Why all the hubbub to get a video out from under lock and key, if it is damaged in critical plot areas that force me to have to skip ahead or turn it off completely?
  • Why have they stopped being open on Saturdays, when people have more time to actually go there?
Don't get me wrong, I love the library, and will most definitely continue to be a regular there. But I just don't understand why it has to be so hard to use in some ways.