Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WFMW- Great Website for Kids

My sister-in-law found this awesome website for helping kids learn their ABC's and when they get older it helps with reading, plus it has some fun activities they can do and print out. Little One loves this site. At 16 months she was totally enthralled with the letters. Now she'll say apple, apple and take off towards the computer. This is her way of telling me it's time to sit down and do some computer time together. The letter A shows apples, in fact that is how she learned the word. Now she even makes some of the letter sounds and has learned many words, all at seventeen months!! My older girls like some of the activities and the reading section. It's a site that will grow with your children and if you home school it is a great reinforcement tool.

Okay, enough...the site is Check it out if you have young children or even those that are older. I think you'll like it! And then head over to Shannon's for more Works For Me Wednesday tips:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our First Fair Ribbons

Every year we have gone to the fair and I have thought, "Next year we will enter something." WB's grandmother used to enter her wares in this same fair for years when they lived up here. I loved going to the fair and seeing what ribbons she won. I have a feeling WB's mom has entered some of her artwork as well! My mother was in 4H and my grandmother always worked the 4H booth at their county fair. My mom has many memories of all the time spent at county, as well as state fairs. In fact she promised to share her Blue Ribbon Lemon Pound Cake recipe with us so the girls could enter it next year!

Anyway, the years passed and we never did get anything entered until this year. I started months ago, talking it up, trying to get my husband to pick out some of his photographs to get printed etc. In the end we picked some tomatoes and peppers from the girls garden, retrieved some gourds from the storm cellar that had grown earlier in the season, and took a framed photograph of Soph that WB had taken and given me for Christmas.

WB won an Honorable Mention for his picture of Soph.

Em got 5th place for this. We entered it as a gourd, but at the fair one lady said it looked like a Pikes Peak Pumpkin her mother used to grow. We got these at a pumpkin stand last year and WB saved and dried the seeds and we planted them this year. The girls call them Froggy Pumpkins because of their bumpy, green skin!

Here's Little One with her Fourth Place ribbon for a Froggy Pumpkin. She checked on this little guy every day and helped WB water each evening.

And here is Soph with her Blue Ribbon for her peppers. She was so excited and even got 3 dollars in prize money:)

Now we're already making plans for next year. Em wants to enter a drawing in the art contest and Soph is planning her garden. WB might even enter his pecan pie and well, I just might get around to entering something myself. But if I don't I know my family will keep me busy running to the fairgrounds entering their items, which I don't mind one bit. I feel like I'm keeping some family traditions alive and I love it!

*WB looked up the Froggy Pumpkin and we think it is a Warted Green Hubbard Squash, which is an heirloom variety that has been around since the 1700's...I feel a history lesson coming on:)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Rant on Politicians, Celebrities and the Likes!

I interrupt this normally family fun blog to give a little rant on some things going on in this world. I've tried not to comment here, but feel that a lot of what is happening does affect my family or will in the future.

Number 1: I really don't give a flip what some actor or actress on the big screen has to say about who is running for president or vice-president. I'll value your opinion on the best gaffer on set or the best camera angle for a certain shot, but not on who would be the best President. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, but don't abuse your power over your starry eyed fans by making outrageous and erroneous remarks about the candidates.

Number 2: Don't insult me by telling me that journalists are not tied to a particular political party. I'm a stay at home momma that can detect lip service and sarcasm a mile away. Do me a favor, all the journalists of the world, write and report the facts and leave the other stuff to the fiction writers of the world.

Number 3: Both sides of any political race have an uncanny ability to stretch and exaggerate the facts. My job as a voter is to sort through it all and vote for the candidate that best represents my beliefs. Not some perfect, walk on water character, but a person who exemplifies what I believe America is about. So everyone within shouting distance that has the power to report the facts, give me every word the candidates have said without pulling it out of context, and again give me just the facts, you need to do your job so I can do mine.

Number 4: I'm just a college educated, stay at home mom of three children. I actually married the father of my children and have managed to stay married to him for eleven and a half years. I take pride in the fact we own our house, our cars, and do our best to live within our means. I take my children to school each day, enjoy volunteer work, and give my husband a kiss each night when he comes home from a hard day of work. I actually enjoy being a mom, cooking for my family, going to church, and watching my garden grow. I value all life, from conception to the last breaths we take on this earth. I see the world as a place of beautiful colors that blend and meld into one. No one color dominating over another. I'm proud to be an American, always have been, even when times were tough. I know that no matter what, there are men and women willing to lose their lives for this country and my freedom and the very least I can do is support them. I also know that my opinion on who can run this country is just that, my opinion. But I'm going to take my educated opinion to the voters booth in November and I hope you will too.

That's my rant for today, I feel so much better. Thank you!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's missing?

Soph is so excited to lose her first tooth. This one has been wiggling and jiggling for quite a while now. Yesterday when I picked her up from school she was holding a Kleenex to her mouth because the tooth was bleeding. As we stood there and visited with friends she suddenly jumped up and yelled, "It's out!" Whoooo, it was great. Her teacher took her back inside to get the tooth fairy books to take home and we wrapped her tooth up for safe keeping. Last night the tooth fairy visited her and left her some money and her tooth. She had written a note asking if she could keep it:)

Now my baby has a tiny gap when she smiles and I realize she too is growing up on me. Little One is getting teeth and my two older girls are losing them! Always some excitement going on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Well, I almost got a post done on Friday to tell about my family that was going to brave out the storm in Houston, but before I could post it everybody started to question their decision and the calls started coming in fast and furious. First my sister rethought her decision to hunker down with friends and she started to pack and call friends to see who wanted to leave with her Friday morning. Then before I knew it my Mom decided that it was crazy for them to stay since she wasn't needed at the hospital until after the storm passed. So she and my Dad hurried and packed and headed north. After much texting back and forth to my sister she got on the road with a friend. Thankfully, with the help of my father-in-law and brother-in-law in Austin, we got her on the road with the quickest route to the San Antonio area. She actually had to head south for a little bit, but it worked because there was no traffic and they didn't encounter any problems. My parents had to go a little bit out of their way to avoid traffic, but they made it up here to our house by midnight Friday.
We stayed up watching the weather channel and the path of Ike. My parents have a condo on Galveston Island and we watched as familiar sights were flooded and battered with wind and rain. We still don't know how their condo braved the storm, but it was behind the seawall. Their house in Houston sustained no damage, just a big mess of tree branches and debris in their yard. A block from their house huge pine trees crashed to the ground and littered the roadways and greenbelt areas.
Since my mom was needed at the hospital they had to leave Monday. They are still without power, maybe for two weeks and gas is scarce. My Dad said today that it takes 3 hours to get gas in their area. The devastation is wide spread and funny enough in some parts of Houston they have power, gas, and no damage, just depending on the path Ike took.
Please keep all the people affected by this storm in your prayers. It will be a long road for some before any sort of routine is restored.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Little One

Last week Little One upgraded to a forward-facing car seat. She is growing so fast! It is hard to believe that she is now 17 months old and no longer the newborn baby I held in my arms at the hospital. She is into everything and her vocabulary is expanding by the day. She follows most directions very well, we'll see how long that lasts:) This last week she has been sick and I think we are finally getting better. Now I must get back to my housework and errands that were neglected while she was ill. But I just had to show you how happy she is in her new car seat.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Triathlete

Here he is yesterday, my triathlete WB. The morning began foggy, wet and cool and when I awoke I worried he would drown in the lake during his swim or lose his way and be lost. I should not have worried though because the fog lifted before the race began. For those of you who don't know a sprint triathlon consists of a 1500 meter swim, 10 mile bike ride and a 3.2 mile run.

Before I tell you about the race let me tell you the events that led up to it. Way back in high school, yes I have to start there, he ran cross country and track. I've seen pictures he looks like stick with a head. You know what I mean, he was lean without an ounce of fat on his body. Then he worked on his Master's thesis for several months, cooped up inside of the Chemical Engineering building sometimes for days on end without seeing the light of day (I'm not exaggerating). Exercise was scarce, food was fattening, and his metabolism was slowing.

I'm telling you this because over the next several years he would stop running, stop eating well, and you guessed it he gained about 30 + pounds. But before the birth of our third child he'd had enough and set a goal to lose some weight and begin eating right. Slowly, he became a health and exercise nut. Where most people would have given up he persevered. Even when the weight wasn't coming off and he couldn't see much change he stuck with it. He started running again, waking up at 4:30 every morning to work out before going to work. Then a year ago his knee went out and he had to have a portion of dead bone and cartilage removed. He was on crutches for a couple of weeks, then a cane. But he didn't give up. He's taken up biking again and swimming and for this triathlon he started to run. Even though all the doctors said no, he said yes (it's that stubborn streak).

So yesterday he competed in his first Triathlon. And it just so happened it was to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, more specifically for our hospitals NICU. A place we had found ourselves in with our first child, making it even more of a special event.
So here they are in the first leg of the race, the swimming. The lake had been turning over, I have no idea what that means except it stunk to high heaven and there were dead fish everywhere. It was yuck!! He got in the water last, veered quite a bit off course, got kicked in the face several times, but made it out alive.

There he is in the red jersey. He's out of the water and getting ready to jump on his bike for the next leg. Oh and speaking of legs I find these incredibly sexy.

Ahem, on a technical note the AG stands for Adult Group and the 39 is his age by the end of December. After I found this out I had a great time of checking out everyone's legs and finding out their age, is that shallow of me?
And he's off. Oh, and they also each had a number. They wrote it on their arms. I suppose this is a way to identify the bodies if they are found unconscious somewhere along the trail?!!Okay, where was I? I'm getting so distracted by these pictures. Anyway, even though he trained vigorously on some very steep hills around our place it was no match for "the hill". I wish I had a picture of it, but of 200+ racers last year only 15 made it to the top without getting off their bikes. WB said of the hill, "It kicked my hiney." No, he didn't say hiney. I don't think he's ever used that word, he said the "b" four letter word, but we try not to say that around here. I mean, I know it's better then the "a" word, but it's still not very ladylike for my girls to hear. And we know how they never utter any unladylike phrases.
Here he is finishing the bike leg. Notice little Soph taking a picture of her Dad in front of me. They were cheering him on like crazy!! I don't have a picture of him going off on the run because it was on the other side and we couldn't get to it. But he made a pretty smooth transition and he was off. I prayed like crazy during this leg, hoping he'd walk on his instead of blowing out his knee. I got more and more nervous as runners started coming in and finishing. But he made it, I saw his red jersey coming down the hill to the finish line and I raced to take a picture of it. Little One (who had strep and a double ear infection and was up with 104 fever most the night) clinging to me as I ran. Camera ready I paused to take the picture only to realize it was some other man in a red jersey, who looked remarkably like my husband from a distance. Bummed, I let go of my camera and started to walk away but turned and looked over my shoulder just in time to see WB cross the finish line. Darn, I missed the picture!!

Here he is with his very proud girls. And yes, Little One's fever had broken that morning and the only food she wanted was cheetos.

He finished the race in a little over an hour, which I think is awesome especially for his first time and bum knee. We are so proud of him. He sets a wonderful example for our family about setting goals, persevering and then the accomplishment you feel once it is done! We love you WB.

*I forgot to mention the race bike he was on was one he bought in high school. He spent a lot of money on it back then. It sat in our garage for ten years. I tried to sell it in a garage sale, but he put a price of 100.00 on it so of course it didn't sell. Thank goodness, because a new racing bike would cost thousands of dollars. Yes, honey I sure am glad we held on to it and apologize for any rude comments I may have made about it in the past:)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Herding Cattle

The other day I looked out our window and saw a bunch of cows coming over the canyon to the east pasture. They hadn't been around for a few weeks so Little One and I decided to go down and check things out. Little One gets so excited by the sight of the cows that she does a little jig every time she sees them and lets out a squeal. Anyway, as we walked closer I noticed something was out of place.

Yes, one cow had managed to find her way across the fence and into our yard. Geez, my work is never done around here! I tried shooing her back down to the creek where she crossed over, but I found myself feeling a little vulnerable staring down an animal that weighs over a thousand pounds while holding a 16 month old. So I decided to run to the barn and jump on my horse. Wait, I don't have a horse...okay I jumped on my four wheeler. Oh yeah, don't have that either...alright already I got on my riding lawn mower and headed out to the east pasture. Little One looked very adorable with her ear protection on, but I somehow missed taking a picture of that. Must of been too busy planning my herding techniques.

I approached on my rather loud steed, cautiously edging up on her to get her pointed in the right direction. Just as I backed her into a corner and was about to turn her down the fence line the garbage truck showed up. With the loud crash of the dumpster being dropped back to the road the cow and I both realized at the same time that I was standing in her way of getting away from the noise. I threw my trusty lawnmower into reverse, while Little One clung to me for dear life and the cow bolted ten feet in the wrong direction. And suddenly as I stared at the whites of the cows bulging eyes I realized something, we don't own any cows. So why the heck do they keep showing up in my yard?

We went back to the house and I contemplated my next move. I discussed all my strategies with Little One and I asked her what she thought of my ideas...
Yes, it seems she has inherited WB's ability to make me feel like a crazy, raving woman with just one look.

I then decided to discuss my plans with the cow.

She didn't seem to excited about them either.

To make a long story short she spent half the day under a mesquite tree. When she decided to wonder too close to the garden I got in the suburban and drove her to the other side of the road. She bellowed and mooed the whole way. At this point I decided to call my sister in the big city and tell her of my plight.

Me: What ya doing?

Her: Driving to the gym. What are you doing?

Me: Driving cattle.

Her: Whaaaat?

Me: Dumb cow in my yard. (at this point the cow starts making all sorts of noise).

Her: That's a loud cow. Maybe you could spray it with water or something...

In the meantime Little One could barely contain her excitement and laughed gleefully from her car seat. Finally, the cow found her way back so I could get on with my day without worrying about my precious cantaloupes and tomatoes being stomped on.

By the way have you ever heard a cow growl, just asking?