Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rodeo, Texas style!

The next couple of posts are catch-up pictures from our Spring Break trip to Houston.


You just don't know rodeo until you have been to the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo! They know how to throw-down a ho-down!

I remember growing up going to the HLSR and loved it as a kid, so was quite excited to have the chance to take the kids. It lived up to all my memories and didn't disappoint!

I was trying to get Ella to pet the Llama, but that absolutely wasn't happening! A few minutes after this picture was taken a deer came up to Ella and I and started trying to eat our clothes!! Ella was doing her baby sign for "All Done". I was in total agreement!

Luke with his "joey". I asked him what kind of animal a joey was and he looked pensive for a moment and then replied, "a joey!"

Lily is definitely becoming the braver of our two Beauties!

The rodeo had this really cool Market where the kids milked cows, picked apples, grew corn, ect. and then took their loot to the market where they traded in their basket of goodies for cash. At the last station they could trade their money for a bag of chips, juice box or box of raisins. It was pretty cool!

My sister Sarah and her fiance Drew.

Boys and big toys!

Of all the rides at the carnival, Luke only wanted to ride on this tiger on the carousel.

I wish I would have taken a full picture of this ride. I was super surprised and impressed that Caleb got on by himself! It was fast and went high.

Daddy and Caleb riding the Farris wheel. It went really high.

The pig races were really cool and super cute. All the kids loved watching the pigs and the twins really got into clapping for the pigs!

(soon to be) Uncle Drew and Ella at the pig races.

The little piggy that we took home!


My mom has the best "grandma" house for us to stay at when we come and visit. We all have our own rooms, the kids have closets full of toys, her neighborhood pool is 5 houses down and it has a great baby pool, there is so much to do in her town and she has this amazing park in her backyard. The park has a trail with turtles and a stream, fields, a bike ramp and playground - pure joy for my children!

Here are some pictures of the days we spent at the park:

I love this picture because it is so true to the twins nature - Lily Kate is so willing to have Caleb hold her hand, carry her and take care of her. Ella, not so much. She is independent! And a mama's girl.

This girl LOVES her big brothers. She especially has a close bond with Caleb.

And here is Ella, always on the move!

A typical moment with the Twinkies - one wanting what the other has!

So we distract her while she waits for her turn. She really liked this!

And then, of course, Lily Kate wants her turn!

Ella has always been a little more adventurous than Lily Kate, but the roles have switched as of late.

Looking for 4 leaf clovers and making crowns with flowers.
I love these little people!

Visit with Gigi

I love that my whole family lives in the same city, I just wish that they lives a little bit closer to one another. It takes about 45 min to get to my stepmoms house, but is so worth the drive. The kids love their Gigi, aunts and uncle. Here are some pictures of our time with them. We were at my sisters lacrosse game and I'm so bummed I didn't get any pictures of her playing!

Lily Kate being adventurous. She climbed through this huge maze (by herself & without Ella!) and then was a little hesitant to go down the slide until Aunt Carami came to give her some enouragement.

When with my stepmom and the kids, Joseph and I get lots of time together. I like this picture. While it isn't the best of me, it is one of me really laughing, not some fake smile. Joseph makes me laugh. I heart my man!
Silly Lily Kate. She is so pretty!
Ella and Uncle Mark. She only wanted him to hold her which is unusual because she usually only wants me.
Caleb and Aunt Carami
Ella and her pigtails.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life is good, but blog posts are sparse

Life sure is exhausting right now. Seriously, I am worn out. I miss Joseph, the kids miss him and it has been really hard having him gone. Really hard. It's always hard with 4 little kids, but this time seems especially hard. I'm not sure if it is the twins being SO active, having had another sweet child around, that the boys are older and need a firm hand and more "Daddy time" or that my plate is full with extra activities outside my home. It just seems harder this time than in the past.

But through all of the hard, God is sure good. He has surrounded me with amazing women who are stepping up to help shoulder some of my burdens. God has placed these women in my life that are authentic and Godly and living life in His presence and helping me to do the same. It's funny because I have always had good friends, but in this season I have rockstar friends. And, boy, is this the season that I need them the most.

God has been revealing strong truth to me. He has been using me, teaching me and growing me. It really has been amazing. I love it! I'm going to share some point.

A really hard, but really incredible time.

I have much to blog about, but not much time (shocking!) so I hope to catch up this weekend. Until then I just wanted you to know that I'm still here. The kids didn't tie me up and take over the house. It wasn't for lack of trying though!

Monday, March 23, 2009

And then there were FIVE!

I have had the privilege (and I'm serious when I say it's a privilege) to watch my amazing friend Emily's little girl, Margaret-Jane, for the past couple of days and it has been so fun!

When I told people that I was watching her they thought I was crazy.

Let me revise that last statement - they thought I was crazier than my normal crazy. Husband gone. Four kids of my own. Yada, yada, yada...

But when Em asked me to pray about doing this, I was so excited. I love Emily and Margaret-Jane. Love them! Margaret-Jane is this delicious, smart, funny, thoughtful, kind, compassionate, and oh-so-stinkin'-adorable little four year old! I love her.

And her mama Emily is a kindred spirit. I only have a few of them in my life and I cherish them with every ounce of my being. Emily is gorgeous, thoughtful, wise and funny. She stretches my understand of God, life and others. God is using her in mighty ways in my life. And I am so thankful to her.

So when the opportunity came to help her out, I was all in! And what fun it has been. The boys love her (Caleb said many times yesterday, "Isn't she so cute?") and the girls always want to hold her hand. Today, while the boys were at school and the girls in nap, MJ and I had a tea party. I had to call Emily ahead of time to ask her what I do to 'have a tea party'? My girlies aren't there yet and heaven knows my boys have NEVER asked to have a tea party! And then I heard Caleb ask her what a "braid" is and why do you need one! That boy is all boy. Yep, it has been a blast having her around!

Thanks, E, for trusting me with your baby!

Look at those dimples!

I see you
The "Guest Sister" - Isn't that a cute name she came up with for herself?!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another milestone has been reached!

Oh my, we had a big day today!

My firstborn lost his first tooth!! And to say he was excited is the understatement of the year! Here is a picture of him when he came home from school today:

Can you see the missing tooth? I can't either. How 'bout this one:
Weird smile, but a better view!

I interviewed my missing-tooth-child, so if you want to read it you can head on over to his blog (link is on the side). And, just like most bloggers, he loves comments so please leave him some love. It will make his day!

While you are there, please note the background and header that I made for his blog!! If I would have known how much fun it was to design blogs, I would have jumped on that train long ago. I got Photoshop and had a blast playing with it. As soon as I have some time I am looking forward to creating something new for my little 'ole blog! It's time for a makeover!!! This really could get addicting...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just so you can get a full picture of how crazy my life is...

...I'm going to give you a play-by-play.

6:48am - wake up, look at time and think, "Lord, I woke up too late for a long chat with you, but I have a feeling we'll be talking lots today!"

7 - update my facebook status

7:08 - do my hair, get dressed, slap my face on, make Luke breakfast, tell Luke to get dressed & answer 100 questions from my little kindergartner who is SO excited his mama is coming on his field trip!

7:28 - tell Luke to get dressed

7:32 - make Luke's lunch, remind Luke to get dressed

7:38 - tell Luke if he doesn't get dressed I'm going to lose my mind!

7:42 - start making or putting dry cereal in baggies the girls breakfast and milk

7:45 - look for Luke and (lucky for him) find him dressed, tell Luke to go brush his teeth

7:48 - start dressing the girlies

7:50 - remind Luke to brush his teeth

7:54 - put one very cute baby in the car and tell Caleb to buckle her in, take light sabers away from Luke and threaten him if he doesn't brush his teeth

7:55 - dress the other baby, Luke comes running in with the sweetest face and shiniest teeth

8:00 - put baby in car and ask Caleb to buckle her in

8:05 - back the van out of the driveway while Luke tells me I'm the meanest mom ever (I forgot whay he said that?)

8:17 - drop Caleb off at school

8:30 - get back home, unload kids out of car and sit girls in their highchairs for a "real" breakfast of more dried cereal and a banana

8:45 - clean the kitchen, start a load of laundry, sweep the floor, straighten up the house

9:18 - babysitters arrive!!!

9:26 - unload carseats out of car & Dustbuster the nastiness I found under the car seats (didn't I just clean the car out?!)

9:37 - drop Luke off at friends house

9:54 - arrive at Caleb's school

10:01 - can't find current proof of registration!

10:03 - call usaa and beg for them to fax proof of registration to school

10:12 - load 5 very excited, loud, noisy and very wound up kindergartners into the van

10:47 - arrive at the Magik Theatre after getting lost and being told how to drive by 3 very bossy kindergartners

11:30 - watch a performance of "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" - it was cute!

12:30pm - exit theatre with said 5 very excited, loud, noisy and very wound up kindergartners

1:07 - arrive at a very crowded Chick-fil-a where we wait with, 30 very excited, loud, noisy and very wound up kindergartners, for their food

1:20 - food arrives, kids eat, take over play land and make a mess with ice cream

2:14- leave Chick-fil-a and head back to school

2:30 - drop off 5 very excited, loud, noisy and very wound up kindergartners and pray to God that if I ever have to get a job, it won't be as a kindergarten teacher!!!!!

2:45 - come home and spend some time chatting with my favorite babysitters

3:05 - Caleb comes home from school (he wanted to ride the school bus home!)

3:17 - babysitters leave, girls cry over their departure, I load the carseats back in while my neighbors come over and tell me they have "no idea how you do it with all 4 kids by yourself"

4:01 - finally, have 4 kids and carseats in van

4:09 - arrive at gym

4:15 - boys go to yoga, girls to childwatch and I run/elliptical

5:28 - get the kids and take them to the treehouse to let them play

5:58 - load kids in van

6:12 - drive through Micky D's, listen to Luke complain/beg the whole way home to eat in the car and then tell me that if he doesn't eat, "right now, I'm gonna throw up!" reply, "that's fine, but please be aware that if you throw up you will have to clean up too!"

6:28 - arrive home and feed kids dinner

6:35 - talk to my sister-in-law

6:48 - chase the twins down to get them ready for bed

6:58 - put girls in bed, exhale and think I'm halfway there!!!

7:08 - start boys bath

7:28 - chastise boys for there being more water on the bathroom floor than there is in the tub! wash and shampoo them, while they complain about having to use soap

7:42 - have them call their Daddy to say goodnight

7:54 - say prayers and tuck boys in

7:58 - exhale long and hard

8:02 - get in the shower

8:28 - eat dinner - finally!!

And here I am! Blogging away.

My days are so full. But so is my heart.

I love my life and am so blessed!

And I'm also very tired.

I'm off to bed for another full day tomorrow!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Caleb, the author!

Caleb is really becoming quite the writer/illustrator! He has a binder of stories that he has written, then illustrated, and adds more on a daily basis. Below is a picture of one of his drawings - isn't his hand writing impressive for kindergarten? In addition to the stories he writes, he also leaves me love notes all over the house. That boy is so yummy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And now, here is what I think!

I was tagged in a "note" on Facebook and it was called, "What my kids think..." I had to ask my kids these questions and then write down exactly what they said. I realized after the first question that I was going to have to have Caleb whisper his answers in my ear or Luke was going to just repeat everything Caleb said. Below are their answers and then my thoughts on their answers.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Caleb - I think you say, um, to be quiet.
Luke - Be quiet & you can not play with colors.
MY THOUGHTS: So I was very surprised by this answer. I even said something like, "Mommy doesn't tell you to be quiet all the time." And the 3 minutes later the boys started getting loud and the diva's were sleeping so I said, "Boys be quiet. Sisters are sleeping." Then I caught myself saying it 15 more times in the course of doing this little questionnaire. Okay, I see their point. And the colors is because he had just gotten in trouble for coloring on things. The van, tables, walls, himself, his sisters...the list goes on. So he is sad he is currently grounded from crayons. I on the other hand am sad that he is 4 and still coloring on everything but paper! Good thing he is so stinkin' cute!

2. What makes mom happy?
Caleb - Me doin' chores with a joyful heart
Luke - When I clean up my room
MY THOUGHTS: Well now that I know they know how to make me happy, I am wondering why they don't want to make me happy more often!

3. What makes mom sad?
Caleb - When I hurt you
Luke - Not cleaning our rooms

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Caleb - When you say funny things
Luke - Uh, tickling me
MY THOUGHTS: I love that Caleb "gets" my humor. We really do find the same things funny!

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Caleb - Ice Skating
Luke - When you were seven...
MY THOUGHTS: I have no idea what either of these answers mean. No idea what-so-ever.

6. How old is your mom?
Caleb - 32
Luke - 32
MY THOUGHTS: I knew that both my boys would know the answer to this one. They are currently obsessed with age. And LOVE to tell everyone mine!

7. How tall is your mom?
Caleb - 5 '10
Luke - 6'
MY THOUGHTS: I thought this was a good guess on both their parts. They are some smart boys!

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Caleb - Do your email
Luke - Spank my bottom.
MY THOUGHTS: SPANK MY BOTTOM!!! This was disturbing on so many levels. I explained to Luke that I don't spank him because I like it, but because I have to when he disobeys. Nice to see that he's got the concept of consequences down! Apparently we are going to need to do some remedial training on cause and effect.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Caleb - Think about me
Luke - Go work out
MY THOUGHTS: Caleb really does think that the world revolves around him!

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Caleb - Being the world's bestest diaper changer
Luke - Your shirts
MY THOUGHTS: I do have quite a bit of practice changing diapers!

11. What is your mom really good at?
Caleb - Burping the A,b,c's. Just kidding. Drawing. Now I'm really kidding. Uh, I guess typing.
Luke - Putting your necklace on
MY THOUGHTS: My children have such high thoughts of me!

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Caleb - Burping the A,b,c's
Luke - Combing your hair
MY THOUGHTS: Oh, Luke, you sure know how to flatter a girl! If I knew how to burp the A,B,C's my kids would think I'm the coolest. I may just suprise them...

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Caleb - you watch us.
Luke - Comb your hair
MY THOUGHTS: I like how I just "watch" the kids. Oh, and that Luke thinks I am terrible at my job

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Caleb - Chinese food, I mean Mexican
Luke - Chicken
MY THOUGHTS: Good job boys!

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Caleb - That she takes good care of us.
Luke - For giving me presents.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Caleb - that rabbit on Trix cereal
Luke - A princess
MY THOUGHTS: I don't even know what to think about the fact that my oldest boy thinks I am most like the Trix rabbit. I wonder if that is just in the way I look or act? Perhaps both.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Caleb - Cuddle!
Luke - Give gifts
MY THOUGHTS: Luke's love language must be gifts and Calebs is definitely quality time!

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Caleb - We both do the same things
Luke - Color of our hair

19. How are you and your mom different?
Caleb - You're a girl and I'm a boy
Luke - You have earrings.
MY THOUGHTS: Very observant boys!

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Caleb - Because I was your first baby
Luke - Because you tell us you love us so much

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Caleb - To Nana's house
Luke - to the gym
MY THOUGHTS: Bingo to both!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Vacation Update

We are having a glorious vacation at my moms right now. It has really been the perfect mixture of time with time with extended family, time with our little family and alone time for Joseph and I.

Yesterday the boys spent the day with their Gigi (my step-mom) and she kept them overnight. Joseph and I were alone with just the girls and it was...different. The girls loved the attention and we were amazed at how much quieter and easier it is to have just two of our four Darlings. With that said, it didn't feel "right" until we picked up the boys this evening. There was a piece missing that was put back in place with the arrival of the boys.

This vacation has been a little different this time. My mom and step-dad are out of town, so we have their house to ourselves. While we miss my mom and can't wait for her to come home tomorrow I am glad that we have had this time together, by ourselves, but away from home. For me vacations have to be away from my house. I'm too much of a "do'er" to sit and relax at my house.

Another really odd change is that Love didn't bring 1 single book to study!! This is most certainly a change. I don't remember the last time that we went on vacation and he wasn't studying every spare moment he had. That has been quite special! And that amazing man is doing all the work - changing diapers, cleaning dishes, giving baths, bedtime and even letting me sleep-in in the mornings! He really is giving me a much needed reprieve, which is probably a good thing considering what I will be shouldering for the next month.

Well, that's all I have for now. Joseph is off getting some Panera for dinner, the kids are all in bed and the house is quiet! All is glorious!!

(Silly Lily Kate with her eyes close. I was having a hard time getting one of just her where her eyes were open!)
(Luke is really a great big brother to his little sisters. He loves on them, kisses them, keeps them out of trouble and even gives them his "special toys" to play with.)
(Ella looking like a little puppy!)
Aren't these little twinkies getting big?!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Have y'all missed me? Or did you even notice I was missing? Well, I'm back - for now anyway - and here is an update on what has kept me away from my little 'ole blog.

I had my Mother's of Multiples sale over the weekend and it wore me out. Oh, mercy did it wear me out. I participate with their semi annual sale because it's really the only time that I do anything with the club and it's nice to make a little extra money while getting rid of things we don't need anymore. I tell you what though, after each sale I always think to myself - I'm not doing that madness again, that is until the check comes in the mail. For some reason that nice check is the only thing that I remember when it is time to sign up again!

Here is a picture of my fully loaded van before I left for the sale:

I got rid of almost all of it! Whooo-hoooo!

Speaking of the van, another semi-annual event happened when I cleaned it out. I had had it! The final straw was the milk cup that leaked out all over the floor. That, combined with the raw egg that had spilled all over the carpet, pushed me over the edge. Uh, yeah, it was gross! It's starting to get warm here, so the smell was really getting bad. Okay I'll stop, I'm sure you've got the picture.

Joseph just wanted to have it professionally detailed, but when am I going to have time to do that with the kids?! So we took the seats out and I pulled out my handy-dandy steam cleaner and did it myself. What we found when we took out the seats was ridiculous! Seriously we could have fed a small village in Africa. Embarrassing for someone who is obsessed with clean!



In other news, the twins are keeping me b-u-s-y!! Oh, they are a handful. But so stinkin' cute I can't even stand it!! And so much fun. Which is a very good thing for them because their naughtiness is reaching an all time high these days. Here is one of their favorite activities that makes me crazy:

Here they are sitting looking cute with food ALL OVER THE FLOOR!!

Then with no shame or remorse, they throw food on the floor right in front of me!

Absolutely no shame! And they know that this is not okay. It drives me crazy how easy I am on them. They are just so cute though. And perhaps if I would have gotten them out of their seats 15 min earlier when they told me they were "all done" they wouldn't have had to resort to this to get my attention. But I kid you not, when I have this duo confined I am on the move trying to get things done! And it usually involves cleaning up whatever they destructed when they were loose.

I have been sick since Monday, lost my voice on Tuesday and am still not feeling any better today. The big bummer in all of this is that I was supposed to run today for the first time in 6 weeks!! But I feel too crummy. You know I'm sick when I haven't been to the gym in 6 days. I tried to go yesterday and lifted a little before I just felt awful and came home.

What makes this even worse is that it is going to be a while before I will be back in the gym since we are going to my moms for Spring Break! The Spring Break part is exciting and much needed after a month like we just had and the month that we are getting ready to have. Joseph leaves next month and the kids and I are on our own. So, yeah, this break is going to be awesome and much needed!

Alrighty, that's enough from me. I'm off to feed my children!