Monday, September 22, 2008

Ian's Birthday Pictures

Just too cute not to share :)

How to Ruin a Small Sauce Pan

1) Place 4 eggs into the pan and cover with water.
2) Place onto stove, turn to high and set timer for 15 minutes.
3) Walk away, head upstairs to your computer and take a business call.
4) Complete call, hang up, surf the web, check email, and visit with the kids.
5) Notice a funny smell, but don't think much else about it.
6) Wait for another 20 minutes before finally going to investigate aforementioned smell.
7) Head downstairs and hear the faint beeping of the timer you set 45 minutes ago.
8) Run like the wind to the kitchen and find small sauce pan completely dry with 3 burning eggs inside. The 4th couldn't take the heat and exploded all over the kitchen counter & floor.
9) Throw burning sauce pan into the sink and fill with cold water.
10) Finish coughing fit, turn on fans, open windows and throw away burned eggs.

1 hour later: cough a little more since the smell of burned sauce pan still permeates every inch of your house - even with the windows opened!!!

*3 hours later: the house still wreaks of stink! I've lit candles and opened windows, but letting the A/C out and the hot air in isn't working very well, so had to close them again. But still, can't figure out how to get rid of the smell!!! Blech....

Is it Friday yet???

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prayers for You!

When I think back to 4 years ago, I remember laying in a hospital bed, holding you in my arms. You were my sweet little boy, brought into the world with love (and pitocin and an epidural)...and my last! As you slept that first night, I couldn't help but cry, just a little, thinking about how special you were. You were a surprise, to say the least, but no-less loved or wanted.

Your will is strong, and while I grapple with ways to make you obey, I also wrestle with teaching you what obedience truly is, while doing my best to not break your spirit. For it is this sweet spirit and strong will that will make you into the man that God wants you to be. It is my job to mold and shape these character traits, to train you to use your will for Godly reasons, not selfish. And while I am not always the best example for you to follow, I pray every night that you only see the good, and not the flaws that I so often show.

You are amazingly creative! You can play for hours with a stick or a single car, making up games that involve your ever-faithful dinosaur growl and 4-legged run from room to room. Whether alone or with your brother & sister, you play like there is no tomorrow; you hang in with the big boys when they get rough, and sometimes take them down. Other times you aren't so lucky, but you are quick to shake off the misplaced punch and to jump back in with both feet. You like to win and are relentless when it comes to never giving up!

Your eyes always express your joy, sorrow, and yes, even your mischievous streak. Regardless of my question and the subsequent answer, I can always tell whether your are being playfully vague or honestly bad. When you are angry or upset, it is your eyes that give me a glimpse into your soul, showing me what I need to know about what has caused your sudden change of attitude. It is those eyes that watch me so intently when I have a bad day; it is those same eyes that I hope also see me repent. Your eyes are ever watchful of those around you, deciding when you will befriend someone new, or to hide your face from a complete stranger.

So, my little man, it is with both a happy and sad heart that I tell you Happy 4th Birthday! For you are finally 4 years old and leaving your baby-hood behind, but it also means that you are growing up and will no longer be my baby! My prayer for you this year is this: As you grow and learn more about the world around you, as you investigate and watch and observe those you come into contact with, may God protect your little eyes from seeing what you should not see, and may He show you His love through your family & friends. May your will be molded by His hands, and may your spirit be taught by His spirit. May you grow to know that you are loved and treasured! You are a precious gem, and we love you!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Before & After-Math

Really, I don't think words will be necessary, but I wanted to let you all know that we are fine! Its been a rough ride, but I cannot complain. Our house came out unscathed by Ike - a sheer miracle considering the large tree in our backyard has been up-rooted and is leaning!!! I live in an older subdivision with huge, old trees, so many people did not come out of this as well as we did. Estimates have Ike's winds blowing at a steady 90-95 mph, with gusts well over 100 mph for hours & hours. We didn't lose power until 3:40AM on Saturday, during the storm, and didn't get our power back until Tuesday evening sometime. I know the exact time the power went out because there were 2 huge explosions that woke Michael & I (and Alex) up. We later found out those were the 2 transformers behind our house! Anyway, we left on Saturday evening (after the storm had come & gone) to stay with our friends in College Station for a few nights, then came back home on Monday afternoon, only to leave and stay with a local family who had power (and hot showers!!!) for another night. We made a stop in College Station for gas & groceries, since both of those items are almost non-existent in the area. Thousands & thousands of homes IN OUR AREA (and 1/2 of our subdivision) are still without power, so please keep these families in your prayers! Its been a very long week, and looks to be even tougher as estimates have power restoration for this part of Houston at Tuesday of NEXT WEEK.

All Glory goes to God for sending His angels and provision for my family!!!

The kiddos went "camping" in our formal living room.
Having them downstairs was important to them (and to me!!!).

These blurry images were taken around 8AM on Saturday morning, while Ike still rained his wrath on Houston! The branch that went through the fence came off our OUR tree located right next to Ian's room, but fell straight down across the neighbor's driveway and onto his roof. Thankfully there was no damage, other than to his gutters!

This would be one of the few "pros" of being without power for days & days - a cleaned out fridge & freezer! Notice the Chick-Fil-A bag and the stiro foam container on the shelf? That would be yesterday's lunch & dinner! Another positive of having no food is that you HAVE to go eat :)

And, by no food in the house to eat, I simply mean that there really isn't anything we would want to eat for dinner! But, should another hurricane care to grace us with his or her presence, we will probably still be prepared as I think we have more than our fair share of canned goods and bread products!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Will Never Forget!

May God Bless America!
May America Bless God!

Run From the Water, Hide From the Wind

This seems to be the mantra around these parts today - I've seen this everywhere, and heard this several times from various sources. So, as we brace ourselves for this storm, let me let you read what one of our news establishments has to say about Hurrican Ike:

The National Hurricane Center foresees a 20-foot surge for a large swath of Texas. Hurricane center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says Ike’s waves could be 50 feet tall, and some computer models have waves topping out at 70 feet.

So first, rest assured that we are far away from the coast - 80 miles or so. So even though this particular statement won't really affect us, you should still keep those that haven't evacuated in your prayers over the next few days!

Second, we are far outside of the evacuation zones, so we are staying put. Many gas stations are already out of gas (which is why I filled up 2 days ago and my tank still sits on full) and the grocery shelves are now emptying out (at 9AM, things were still good, except for the lanes that took more than 30 minutes to get through at check-out!). But we have lots of water, lots of food (including some chicken, steaks and sausage in the freezer should the need arise to "grill" - you know if we end up without power for a bit), lots of ice and a few coolers to use for keeping perishables cold/cool until the power returns, flashlights and candles, a radio, and lots & lots of batteries (which surprisingly I found today at Target!). I will be shutting my laptop off at some point tomorrow in an effort to conserve the battery, and will also be turning my mobile phone off for the same reason. We spent the evening clearing the backyard of bikes, toys, tables & chairs, and pretty much anything that could blow around/away with the 100mph gusts they have mentioned. And finally, we have renters insurance that would include flood damage, if things get that bad - which I am certainly not anticipating.

We are set, prepared and ready for Ike and all his glory!

But, we would still appreciate your prayers. Stay tuned for a recap of the events - both good & bad - that may transpire over the weekend!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This morning, while eating breakfast with Ian, we were snuggled up watching an old I Love Lucy episode - all of my kids think that Lucy is hilarious :) So anyway, there we are sitting and eating together when Ricky walks out on stage in a matador's costume. Ian starts laughing hysterically and says, "Hey mom, he looks like Mickey Mouse!". And he was right! The matador's cap/hat he was wearing had 2 black bulges on either side of his head, and when he tilted his head back slightly, they looked like ears!

I started laughing and commended him on his observation skills. I would never have thought that on my own, but leave it to a preschooler to compare a real-life person, in costume, to a cartoon character!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Day in Our Lives

I don't exactly know what I can say about homeschooling, other than it is like having school, at home! :) I know, its such an epiphany isn't it?? Alex & I are in the beginning stages of figuring this whole thing out - we're doing the trial-and-error method at the moment - but it seems to be working so far!

Our first week went fairly smoothly. I was determined to stay with my lesson plans so as not to throw a kink into our days, but was worried that I may have over-planned to some degree. But, I'm happy to say that I didn't, and things went rather swimmingly. Its taking us longer to get through the lessons then I had hoped, but I figure it will only be a matter of time until we fall into a routine - if there is such a thing with homeschooling?

After getting "little toot" out the door in the morning for her 8:20 bus, Alex & I either run a few errands (with Ian in-tow since his preschool has not yet begun) or get down to business. Either way, we usually have our noses in the books no later than 10AM, which is great. I have been allowing him to pick which subjects he wants to tackle first, and have quickly discovered that he doesn't like math. This particular thorn-in-his-side takes us all of an hour or so to complete, which is painstakingly too slow for me! I always loved math and am doing what I can to help him through each lesson, without doing them for him. I have discovered that if I sit there with him and talk him through each problem (start with the ones column, 4 plus 2 is?, 6 plus 5 is, carry, now add the hundreds - good job!) then he can get through them very quickly. BUT, if I leave him to work a few problems for 10 minutes while I attend to something else, I find he is still staring at the first or 2nd problem when I return - which drives me crazy! So we are alternately getting along very well and working through things, or I'm getting ready to pull his head off of his body because he won't focus or is procrastinating.

I did discover, quite by accident, that he loves to race the clock! I decided to put some of his math work on the grease board I hung on the wall, then instructed him to go to the other side of the room and wait. When I say "go", he runs across the room, answers the problems on the board, then races back to the desk. His best time is less than 1 minute (57 seconds) for 5 2-digit problems, which is great for my little day dreamer. He now asks every day if he can do some board work, and I am happy to oblige, as long as we don't get too hung up on math facts, ignoring some of the other new things he's learning.

But, thankfully these have been the only obstacles we have hit so far, but I feel certain that as we 'get through' each day, we'll figure out ways to conquer the beasts that lay in our path. Its just a matter of time until he figures out that homeschool isn't going to be all fun & games - but for now, I'm happy to let him think that it is :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Her First Day...a week later!

Ok, so I've been way too busy for my own good...after much nagging by my friends, here are a few pictures of Morgann's first day of school - from last week!!! Ian won't begin school until this coming Thursday, so I promise to be a better blogger and will do my best to post pictures sooner than 9 days after they are taken, ok?!?! Enjoy :)

This would be the girl of the sweet little baby and her Kindergarten backpack. She had to wear red on Monday to be "in theme" with Ready, Set, Go! Monday was "ready", and boy was she...

This would be a picture of Morgann & her 2 best friends Emma (on the left) and Kate (on the right). While Kate & Emma are old hats at this riding the school bus thing, since they are older by a few months and were starting the 1st grade this year, Morgann enlisted their help & advice in all things school bus.

This would be my baby, boarding the bus while I chased her down to get a hug - which I did not get, by the way! She barely turned her head to acknowledge me calling her name - I think she actually caught her dad's eye at this particular moment.

And this would be my baby, no worse for the wear, at the end of her first day of Kindergarten. A little whilty perhaps after riding a non-air conditioned school bus for about 30 minutes, but just as happy as when she left!

The End!!!