Thursday, January 31, 2013

102+ years young

 Mr. House has been my parent's next door neighbor since I was 6 years old, 32 years.  Ryan and Bryan was HR's age when we met him.   Over the weekend, I made sure to take the kids to visit him.  He is now in an assisted living home.  He fell twice over the holidays due to him being so weak with complications of pneumonia.  When he got over the pneumonia they transferred him to the assisted living home to him get his strength back in his legs.
Mr. House is an absolute inspiration to me.  When I met him, he was in his 70's and still swam, ran and bicycled about town.  He had washboard abs and was more active than I am today in my 30's.  He was taking the youth from his church to camp each summer and participating and winning in the Seniors Olympics. If it weren't for the fall, he would have been walking and if it weren't for his hearing I would not have known I was speaking to someone over a century old.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the knife thrower

Reason #2  for heading to Mimi's for the weekend...I knew the weather was supposed to be beautiful and I wanted to see how serious Boo was about throwing tomahawks with PawPaw.  She was.
She stuck it 3 times over the course of the day and says she wants her own knife.  In a couple of weeks Mimi and PawPaw are supposed to come visit us and PawPaw is going to bring the supplies for us to create our own block and stand.  I am sure the neighbors are going to really think us the far-right survivalists after this new venture.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the knitter

A couple of weeks ago, Mimi surprised us all and showed up on our doorstep at 8:30 on a Thursday night.  She was a welcome sight after a very long week for each of us.  PawPaw had gone hunting and she didn't want to sit home alone.
We spent the weekend at used bookstores and playing games.  But the highlight of the weekend was her teaching LE how to knit.  After Mimi left, LE got stuck multiple times and I have no clue when it comes to this art.  I googled and pinned trying to find what she had done wrong.  My neighbor fixed her mistakes, but soon it was off-kilter again.  This past weekend was my turn to surprise Mimi.  We wrapped up some school work on Friday morning and after lunch we headed to Mimi's for a weekend getaway.  LE took her knitting and I purchased some things so I could learn too.

We found this knitting nursery rhyme and I catch myself chanting it when I get stuck.

In through the front door. 
(Put the needle through the first loop/slip knot).

Run around the back. 
(Place the thread of yarn between the two needles by running it around the back).

Down through the window.
(Gently pull the loop and right hand needle down through the loop on the left hand side).

(Stop here for "cast on" and continue until you have as many loops as desired)

And off jumps Jack. 
(Gently drop the loop as you transfer the "new stitch" on the right needle).

Monday, January 28, 2013

closed door, opened window

In October, I knew God was calling me to let go of my classes at the Y.  My favorite class was not at a practical time and the class that was a good fit for my schedule was one I did not enjoy teaching enough to leave my kids for nearly 2 hours each morning to teach.
Over Christmas holidays, a pastor friend asked me if I would be interested in leading fitness classes at his brand new full-sized gym at their church.  He was willing to hire a sitter for the kids and offered me a substantial raise to what my senior classes had been.  It would be one day a week, with the possibility of it becoming a 2x week class.  I accepted and we launched our first class on January 9th.  I had fifteen at the first two classes.  I get to teach the format I enjoy, work with an amazing group of people, pray before class starts, and we will have fellowships once a month much like what we did at the Y.  I am so glad to have trusted God and to let go of the other classes.  It was not an easy choice, but I know God honored my obedience and he is filling the void I had for some of my favorite friends.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Ok, last C-mas post, I promise.
And the real reason our family celebrates Christmas to honor our Savior's birthday!  And the chocolate cake makes it exciting too.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keeper's Pottery Class

This month at Keepers the girls learned about pottery for their monthly project.  LE made several small pinch pots and tea cups.  Boo created a collection of items including Pooh Bear (top left pic).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

joy unspeakable

My friend, Kirsty had 3/4 of the kids the other day while I ran an errand and this is what she gave me when I got home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

C-mas at Gigi and PopPop's

Phew, when I realized C-mas was already almost a month ago I decided I should get blogging and finish up the C-mas festivities.
We celebrated C-mas with Gigi and PopPop and our cousin Adom on C-mas Eve evening before we headed back to Austin.  Gigi blessed the girls with homemade clothes for their AG dolls and a wardrobe to keep them in along with bunk beds for Kirsten and Molly.  R2 got a picnic basket with pretend fruits and some Thomas the Tank track pieces.  HR got a bulk size package of diapers.  Adom seemed to enjoy his shooter and the weather was perfect for the kids to go in the backyard for shooting practice, "big" kids and the real kiddos.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Harrison's first Christmas

HR had a great first Christmas time.  He got some keepsake books, several packages of diapers and baby toys.  He had a fun morning of cuddling with great-grandparents, aunts and being entertained by squealing cousins.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Landry's Christmas

LE's wish list was a little more difficult to tackle this year than in year's past.  She wanted her own phone, laptop, room and a overpriced doll she saw on Nickelodeon.  Instead, we took it upon ourselves for what she was getting.  She has started a new hobby with her PawPaw.  She has become very interested in the Native American culture, almost as fascinated as she is with the pioneer way of life.
Mimi found her a Kaya doll, the Native American American Girl doll she recently studied.  Paw Paw surprised her with the skins and ermines to make her own Indian dress.  
She also got her own sewing machine, and a big sister necklace.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Read's Christmas

R2 got the hang of the opening presents gig this year.    He was even chosen to be one of Santa's helpers and distribute presents.  Although we had to make sure we read nametags before we opened gifts, b/c he had a tendency of hoarding a few of them for himself.
He got lots of new "choos", trucks and a new vroom vroom just like PawPaw's.  He was so much fun to watch at Christmas, I'm so glad another little twaddler is coming up behind him b/c he was my favorite to watch this year.

Friday, January 18, 2013

proud PawPaw

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, LE took up a new hobby.  She decided she wanted to learn to throw tomahawks and knives with PawPaw.  After several tries with the hawk, she decided it was too heavy, but the knife was right up her ally (notice the family tongue).  She even stuck it multiple times.  Over the C-mas holidays, her and Paw Paw got some more practice time in, but Boo showed no interest.
Daddy went out to watch her and after he attempted multiple times to stick it, LE informed him he just needed to watch her and see how to do it.  We're working on humility.
So, now Boo has decided she wants to take it up.  "Hello PawPaw, I would love to throw tomahawks.  OK, great, thanks.  Love, Bella"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

hello pawpaw

found this note on the floor this morning, I will give you a day to decipher.

Christmas with Paw Paw Claus

Why is it after time goes by traditions seem harder to hang onto?  I am so grateful for my family and the new traditions that are we are trying to begin on our own. I am also so grateful for brothers and their wives who know how much Christmas means to my family, especially my mom.
We spent Christmas Eve's Eve at my parents this year.  Some things had to change as my mom had an unexpected surgery the week before Christmas.  She had already purchased a ham and my twin brothers each had their own visions for turkeys, so my sister-in-law, Marissa cooked like a Mimi and produced a great Christmas Eve dinner.    Granny and Grandma joined us, all of the kids got their traditional Christmas jammies, we had pictures with Paw Paw Claus, stockings filled to the brim and then off to bed while visions of sugar plums danced in our heads.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

new Christmas experience

A few months back, LE asked if we could spend Christmas morning at our house.  I thought as time got closer she would change her mind when she realized we would only be in Kerrville for a few days.
But, she didn't.
For the first time ever we spent Christmas together just us, in our home and I realized around Johnson City at 6 pm that would mean I would need to prepare a C-mas dinner.  We made a stop in Dripping Springs and I picked up some things to make a birthday cake for Jesus.  I also got some snack items, mainly the things to make our favorite Christmas cheese dip and of course the things to make cookies for Santa.
The kids bought gifts for each other (with their own money).  We did stockings and Santa made a pit stop at our house for the first time ever.  He delivered the girls new two-wheeled Razors.
I am not sure if I am quite ready to make it a tradition, but it was nice to be in our home, spend the day celebrating Jesus' birthday by playing games, staying in jammies all day and making some special memories.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bella's Christmas

Any time Boo was asked what she wanted for Christmas, she answered without fail, a doodle bunny.  I was so afraid, she was going to get multiple bunnies, as you know how they breed and that was all.  Her Granny surprised her with the exact one she wanted and Boo couldn't have been happier.  She also got a new American Girl Bitty Baby, complete with a diaper bag and diapers and bottles, her own sewing machine, a little sister necklace, and an assortment of books.

unintentional blog fast

I know in the past when there is a dry-spell on the blog, it usually turns out that I am expecting, NOT THE CASE, just in case you were going there.
We I have been so busy lately.  The kids are back in the swing of school, I'm back to they gym and I have also taken on another role over the past few weeks, children's personal event planner.  No, not really, but I have been trying to organize play dates 2x a week, for four of five children while Mommy T is at the hospital.  There were a few days there I thought I had taken on another full-time job, but things are beginning to settle   Papa J's Mom and sister are here and the children are with them at their own home, so I know I just plan play dates 2x a week and during the far too frequent surgeries.   It was finally discovered Papa J has 27 multiple broken bones throughout his body, not including multiple breaks in the same bone.  He is in need of reconstructive surgery, but Praise God he sat up on the side of the bed this morning.
This unfortunate event has made me realize how grateful I am for the support system I do have here within our home school community, my friends from church and the gym.  It has also caused me to realize how quickly your life can change.  I try to put off phone calls from when I am not driving, I hug my kids a little longer before I leave and bed time stories are more of a priority.
Please continue to pray for my friends, Papa J's fighting spirit, his amazing wife, confused children, his mom and sister and all of the volunteers who are giving so selflessly through this.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

out pouring of love

A very close friend of mine, mother to five, that I know from our homeschool group's husband was in a very serious car accident on New Year's Eve.  He had life-threatening injuries, with more than 20 broken bones throughout his body.  I cannot believe the outpouring of support I have seen over the past 72 hours.  I am the care calendar coordinator for our home school group.  RRHOME - Home-educators Offering Moms Encouragement.  I signed on b/c a couple of moms had babies last year and no one coordinated meals for them during post-partum.  Ok, I had ulterior motives, but I was not the only pregnant Mama; four of us were due during a 3 week period.
Because, of my role in RRHOME, when my friend, T's husband was involved in the wreck I offered to coordinate meals.  When, the seriousness of his injuries were brought to life and we realized Mama T was going to be needed at the hospital, we knew the kids were going to be farmed out to multiple homes, probably over the next two weeks at the least.  As that role diminished I took on the role of organizing the children's social schedules and care for Mama T as she did not want to be alone at the hospital.  Remember at any moment Papa J could, you know.   That first night I was awake all night trying to figure out how I was going coordinate everyone's schedule and keep Mama T in the loop of the whereabouts of her children and make sure her needs were met also.  Thankfully during my 3 hour "nap" that night, someone else realized that role was too big for one person and brought me to my senses.  I gladly handed off care for Mama T.  I then became the kids' social director, and locater of  missing underwear.
All that being said, b/c of my role I have been cc'ed on a good majority of the communication that has been shared over the past 72 hours.  In this time I have received over 30+ emails with offers to take the kids out for a playdate, I have seen a stack of diapers donated for a baby (oh yeah, she is one of the Mamas who had a baby the same week I had HR), I have seen a pantry stocked, I have seen 12 loads of laundry washed, folded and returned.  I have seen horses, chickens, dogs, and a bird fed by 2 teenagers, I have seen plants covered and uncovered b/c of freeze warnings (Papa T is a landscaper assistant).  I have seen the downstairs of a 3,000 sq ft home cleaned by volunteers, I have seen 2 additional offers for maid service, and a washer and dryer donated.  I have seen another nursing mom take in an infant who refuses to take a bottle and nurse him so Mama T could stay at the hospital when an emergency arose.  I have seen restaurant cards, snacks, and juice boxes arrive for the children's host families so they do not have to cook while the children are in their home.  I have seen a lawyer offer her free services to a wife lost and confused with the mounds of paperwork that is being dropped in her lap.  I have seen hundreds of offers to bring a meal when the family does return home.
I have also seen some things I wish I did not have to see as I was at the hospital tonight when Papa J began to come out of his medically induced coma and Mama T had to witness her husband in the worst condition I have ever laid witness to.
I am so honored to belong to a body of mothers who are so passionate about their families step up and  take care of one of their own.  I am so honored to say I belong to the body of Christ who poured out their love on a family who is in so much distress.  I am so honored to know there are people out there who will even take care of a total stranger by praying, believing and offering a hand to a family just because they recognized a need.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013's cold outside

but, thankfully I have a fireplace on R2's doodle maker to keep me warm.

I hope you are staying warm and having a great start to your 2013.  Have a blessed year.