Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Thirty Sucks"

The kids now refer to lollipops as "30 sucks". Paul came home the other day with decorations for someone's special 30th birthday and a large lollipop with those words largely displayed on it and now that's what the kids think we're supposed to call them. Love it! The kids have no idea that what they say is really not something we would want them to say...unless of course, if you're me today, and it's your 30th birthday! So why not let them run around the house saying "30 sucks!"

So far so good, I don't feel too much different, but do look forward to the surprise Paul has put together for me. Today was also Stake Conference for our church and afterward we were invited to Catherine and Zach's (Paul's sister and her husband) home for a fun lunch. They had pizza dough from Double Dave's so that we could make our own pizzas. The kids got to put on their own sauce and toppings, plus they served me with a wonderful cake to celebrate the special day.
It was a beautiful 30th birthday for me and I feel so very blessed to be where I am today. I still wonder how I could already be 30 because I still feel 18 and some days I wake up and wonder where these 4 kids came from. It's so surreal! Being 30 may "suck" at times, but most of the time it sure is sweet!

Belated Easter

On my birthday morning, the Easter Bunny decided to come visit us, since he couldn't come when we all had the flu. Such a great surprise for me! He left some bunny droppings leading from the hallway door to the dining room table where all the baskets were filled with Easter goodies. The kids were so excited that Easter morning could still come to us, even when it was after Easter. Paul and I told them the Easter Bunny knows his stuff and would probably surprise us soon. Boy were we right. Afterwards, the kids dressed in their Easter dress clothes for Stake Conference which made me feel better about missing all of Easter. What a beautiful day to again reflect on the most precious gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bleeding Maroon

Yes, we do bleed maroon in our family! We like to indoctrinate our children early. We took the kids to the Maroon and White Texas A&M football game with my parents and sister. It was a lot of fun to see the Aggies play against each other and wonder at what may happen in the next season. After a while, though, all we were waiting for was the promised fireworks at the end. If you have never been to a Texas A&M football game, I guarantee you will never forget the experience. Gig 'Em!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bee Good!

It's not every day you look out your window and see a ton of bees flying around in the air in your front yard. I couldn't tell what I was seeing. Then we looked closer and found what looked to be a possible beehive. It turned out to be a bee swarm. The bees were moving homes and were surrounding the queen by hanging onto each other. It was amazing to see! We had a friend from our old ward at church to come over since he is a beekeeper/farmer. He was really excited to possibly be able to get the bees and add them to his collection. When he came he brought us his all natural honey from his own hives. Soo yummy! We woke up the next day and the bees were gone, so our friend did not get them, and we wonder where they went. What an amazing sight to see in real life!

In the picture to the right, can you find the bee swarm?>>>>
Hint: Look up!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Texas Bluebonnets

Being full-fledged Texans all our lives, Paul and I wanted to get some family pictures in the bluebonnets, I think for the very first time. Crazy, huh? I know we've taken some individual pictures of the kids in the bluebonnets every once in a while near Easter time, but never have we had pictures all together. Logan is also 3 months old and we wanted to preserve this wonderful moment in time. On April 8, our little family traveled to Navasota, a short drive away, and had heard about Washington on the Brazos (where Texas' constitution was signed) having good bluebonnets every year. I think we got there after they had a good mowing because their normal bluebonnets weren't there, plus we didn't have time to hike to an open field where they might have been since we were losing daylight. Bummer! We did, however, find a little patch near a ditch and they ended up being just right. I got a good workout running back and forth from the camera to the family to take our group picture. It was hilarious and the kids got a kick out of it! Afterwards, as we watched the sun set, we had a little picnic and let the kids play on the little playground there. We also walked over to the edge of the park where there is a drop-off to take a peek at the Brazos River. It was a wonderful and beautiful night to be together as a family. I'm so thankful for our great state of Texas, the Lone Star State. I love that we can take such beautiful pictures because of our state flower, the bluebonnet!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Friend Day

Alexa was able to take a friend with her to dance class today. We had been talking about this class for a little bit with her friend, Gwendolyn, so Alexa thought it would be fun to have her come with her and try it out. Annie is also in her class so Gwendolyn would have another friend in there, as well. At first Gwendolyn was a little apprehensive to go in...I would be, too, with a whole room of new people and loud music on...but she soon warmed up and I know Alexa sure loved having her there. They got to do some fun dancing around to music, play dress-up, use pom-poms, play games, and just feel like a princess.

The brothers got to come and watch, too, of course!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Braden is 3!!!

Braden turned 3 on Saturday, the 12th of April! It just doesn't seem real that he is now 3. What a precious 2-year-old he was. We have a little jokester on our hands for sure. He was definitely sent to Earth with a sense of humor. Our family has been non-stop cracking up at Braden over the last year. I'm going to miss his 2-year-old years and hope for the best in the 3's. My kids (and their parents) usually have a harder time in this year. Ahhh! Wish us luck!

Paul was at Youth Conference for church on Braden's birthday, so Mommy tried to make a wonderful day for her precious son. When Braden woke up, the table was set up especially for him as a surprise. The birthday ring was set up in the middle with his crown and cape nearby that he could wear the whole day, plus a package that had come from Grammy and Poppy. (Our presents are to come later so it was nice to have something there for him to open.) Later that day we went to the library since Braden had read about it in one of Curious George's books and asked to go there again. We got to check out some books and have some fun reading time. Then after naps, we went to Chuck E. Cheese's for some dinner and fun times. Braden loves this place and after putting coins into some of the games, he would come back and tell me they weren't working. How funny that ALL the games he put money into "didn't work"! He also was surprised when some mail came for him from GG and GPa and 3 dollar bills all his own to put in his new piggy bank! Both sets of his great-grandparents are pretty special! There were also numerous phone calls and people singing to the birthday boy. Sunday, when Daddy was home, we made some cupcakes together, and then on Monday, we actually went through his birthday story and he finally got to blow out his candles after the "Happy Birthday" song. For those of you who are interested in the birthday story, I tell of Braden being an angel in Heaven before he came to Earth and his guardian angel who was always with him by his side. Then the little angel comes down to Earth, by way of the Rainbow Bridge, when he is ready, and meets his parents and receives a name, I light a "life" candle, and from there I go through the consecutive years until his current birthday year telling of the things and accomplishments he has gone through as I light a candle for each one. Then on the current year, Braden's 3rd, I light the 3rd candle and then we sing "Happy Birthday" and he gets to blow the candles out. It's really a neat little story and really makes the kids feel special.

His birthday celebration will actually continue as Memaw, Papa, and Aunt Kimmie come into town this weekend. We are looking forward to that, as I'm sure Braden really is. Braden is so very special to us and we love him very much. Happy 3rd Birthday, Braden!! XOXOXO

You choose!

Wow, these posts are getting long! Here's a fun one. Since I'm talking about Paul, thought I would let our audience choose. He is not liking his picture on the blog so much, so I went to look for some more and realized I need to take more of him. Well, here are some of the choices. Please choose wisely to help Paul feel good about his picture that is out there for the world to see! LOL!! (This means Laugh Out Loud, for those that are still learning web lingo...Mom!) Love you, honey! Tee hee!

#1 Original








And to be fair, here's a crazy bad one of me! Enjoy!

My hubby, my best friend

I want to clarify about my post about being a mom, that I did not want to come off as being negative or that I didn't like being a mom. I LOVE being Mommy! It's the one thing I dreamed about as I grew up. I wanted to do the same things my mom did. I'll never forget the memories I have with my mom as she lovingly did the best for my sister and me, as she wanted to spend every minute with us. In fact, I was such a joy that another baby didn't come along for 5 more years. LOL! She said I was like her little best friend, going everywhere with her. Well, now I have 4 little best friends tagging along with me. After 3 miscarriages, I was certainly worried about not having children as I had dreamed. So when Kannon came, and then Alexa, and then Braden, and now Logan, you can see that I am overjoyed with thankfulness to have these precious children. I never thought I would be able to have 4, and that is also a reason that they are so close to each other, because we want to have them now rather than wait until later when it may be too late. I have chosen to be home with my children because I adore them so much and we are in a situation that helps me stay home.

So that's where it comes to my husband. Because of Paul, I get to live out the dream that I stay home with my kids. He is the hardest worker and provides for our family so very much. I love him with all my heart and am glad to say that he is my best friend. Our children are a part of him, so I love my kids that very much more. Many may not know that Paul has a fantastic voice. His singing is so good that he could probably have earned a mighty good living with it, but he chose to do the normal route of family life and career. Before we dated, he was working on a CD project, and then we started dating, and well, now you know where that led. His voice is partly why I fell in love with him! I am now trying my darndest just to get him to sing for other people more often, like at church. He really only wants to sing to our family and write lullabies for our children. How wonderful for us!

His job now has been a wonderful blessing...he works with some very close friends and many of them are members of our church. I have watched him grow in knowledge and understanding of the business world, even the medical world. Every time we have had a baby, he can name every piece of medical equipment in the room and then proceed to talk about it with the doctor or nurse while I am fun!! After an almost move to Nashville (after some last minute changes with his future employer, we chose not to go the day before he was supposed to be there), I watched him choose to honor his friends and co-workers instead of choosing a higher salary and move up in the medical field. Paul has also loved being an entrepreneur, becoming a mortgage loan officer and owning our own mortgage company, buying homes to rent, and now in the process of building a mini-storage, which the land purchase it is on is a story all its own. He has been building up our future so that he can spend more time with us now. I feel very comforted to know all of the hard work he has done, even when there were times that were very stressful for us as a young family.

Paul tries in every way just to make me happy. Even amongst the chaos he may come home to, he does his very best to bring things back together and help me with the dealings of our home. He is a fantastic Daddy and there is not a day that the kids will allow him to leave the house without a hug and a kiss and a wave at the front window. I feel blessed to have the power of the priesthood in our home so that when our baby is struggling to breathe because he is coughing so hard from having the flu, Paul can give him a blessing. So in spite of my prior post about how hard it was to be Mom, I want to say that my husband does everything he can to support me. He makes me a better person and I am so grateful for him and our almost 10 years of marriage! He is my very best friend and I love my Paul!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

True and Everlasting Happiness - Being MOM!

On Sunday, we were able to watch General Conference on the computer and I absolutely loved the last 2 talks of the 2nd session that day. Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk was a direct answer to prayers for me and I knew then that I am doing my very best for our family, even when times get tough. I felt so loved and honored to be a wife and mother. A lot of times our work goes without thanks or recognition and we feel so tired, ragged, like we can't catch up, or we have to compete with the other mom or wife, or have to put our kids in so many activities to make them who we want them to be. Elder Ballard helped me see that the chosen path we have decided for our family of having less to have more is the right thing to do. We're trying to limit the kids' activities so that our family can have time together. We have cut out TV all together, which I highly recommend, so that we can focus on each other and have less meltdowns from the kids. If we want to get the news or watch my favorite show, "Lost"!!!, we can still watch it on our computer when we want. It was wonderful to hear a general authority, one of our apostles, tell us that women are very special and have a very special purpose here and that we should be told more often. I complain sometimes. It IS hard! Elder Ballard said being a mom was hard and it made me feel all the much better because he was also telling all of the husbands and fathers this, too, that they would never understand how hard. I felt validated for all the times I've cried to Paul about my hard life at home. I love being able to stay at home with my kiddos, though, and am so thankful that I can. I wouldn't trade it for anything, well, ok, maybe for the occasional break to get a treat for me like a spa pedicure, or shopping trip, or time out with some friends...hint, hint, Paul!! I can't wait for the Ensign to come out so that I can go back and read through Elder Ballard's talk again. I'm sure I will be looking to it often for reassurance and help from our leaders.

I'm so thankful for a living prophet today that can guide the world and the church in the ways we should go. I miss President Gordon B. Hinckley terribly. He was a wonderful man and the day he died I cried a moment, and then smiled, thinking of his reuniting with his precious wife and how I'm sure the reunion in heaven with everyone was a joyous occasion. How wonderful, though, to know that I could sustain our new prophet, seer, and revelator, President Thomas S. Monson, this weekend. It was so great to hear the first conference with him as the prophet and to think of the years ahead. I know he feels such a heavy load on his shoulders, especially following in the footsteps of such a loved prophet, but I know he is called of God in this calling on Earth. I love how he asked us to pray for him as he will for us. Of course we will pray for him and believe that his words and teachings are direct counsel from the Lord to help us get back to him and be happy here. I'm so thankful for a religion that leads me to true and everlasting happiness.

Thanks to one of my friends for her quote on her blog (Heather), this sums up what I feel as I am thankful today to be MOM!!!

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived. " — Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Here's a link to Elder Ballard's talk...ENJOY!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I love them!

Just a little outing to a school playground and a few spur-of-the-moment pictures and I got these precious pictures of my little ones. I love these kids and wish I could describe the joy I feel when I look at them!