Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Train 2008

We had a great time at Dry Gulch USA.  It is simply a magical place.  It was very cold and the hot chocolate was very welcome!  The kids loved the train ride and seeing Santa. 
Before we got in to see Santa, Chandler asked me if this was going to be the real Santa or one of his helpers.  I said "I dont know.  I will have to wait until we see him."  
Chandler said that he will be able to spot the Fakes.  So in we go and had a few minutes in a private room chatting with Santa about the Laundry List of items to bring this year.  Then afterwards, Ben asked Chandler "So could you tell if that was the real one or not?  Because I couldnt be sure."  Chandler said "Oh yea, I could tell. Yes, he was the Real Santa."  Very matter of fact.  No hint of uncertainty in his voice.  
Ben said "How could you tell?"  
Chandler said " Because of his breath.  You can always tell the real ones in their breath.  Santa always has minty breath.  If its not minty, he's a fake."

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We had a great time at the TobyMac concert tonight!  That was probably the best concert I have ever seen.  I am sure it helped that I was taking two enthusiastic boys, and we were VERY close.  It was very high energy, as you can imagine.  He (TobyMac) was walking right down our isle on top of the chairs and then about 8 seats over decided to body surf back to the stage!  The boys were disappointed, but loved that he was that close.  If you are not that familiar with who he is I included a video at the bottom so you can see and hear them.

Whoopsi-daisy, call me crazy, whoopsi-daisy, ....cmon gonna catch that fire, catcha fire for God!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Taekwondo Belt Ceremony

Chandler increased in rank last night at Taekwondo. He is now a Level 2 Camouflage Belt! He did a great job and still enjoys doing his Taekwondo. He doesnt practice like he should, but he has a great memory and does his Forms and Self Defense moves wonderfully!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm. Wow, is the only word I have.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Have your cake and eat it too, girl!

This last one is kinda blurry in places and not a "great" picture, but it is great in sooo many other ways. It just fits Kaylee to a T! Brings back memories I tell ya. Kaylee went BONKERS over her first birthday cake, almost ate the whole thing in like 7 seconds! And here she is lapping up Chayse's cake 5 years later! Too funny!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My BABY turns 1

Well, today my baby, literally, MY BABY turns one year old. Wow, how fast this time has gone. What a hard couple of months, as far as birthdays go. First my oldest baby turns 9 and then my youngest baby has her very first birthday. I have truly have tried to cherish each moment with her, because I KNOW how time slips away, but that is really easier said than done, when there are 3 other kids to care for. I try to relish each milestone with her. Her first smiles and giggles and watching her now exploring her independence and strength in trying to walk. She almost has enough confidence to let go and take off.

But do I have enough in me to let go?

Luckily, I dont have to...yet. I know that as my kids grow it is my job to raise them and slowly, ever so slowly, release them. It is a process that I know is inevitable and I want them to go out on their own and lead amazing and fulfilled lives, but... it is so hard for me to imagine my life... my existence without them in the forefront of my everyday duties. I know that this is a ways away and my kids will need, truly need me for a long time yet. But, as I see how fast the time has already slipped away from me, I know that it will be upon me in no time flat.

Now please indulge me and enjoy a few memories with me of the past year.

2 days old
4 months old
6 months old
9 months old
11 months old

Chayse Avery, I love you with all my heart. I pray that you know your place in this family and how important you are to each of us. I know you will make your voice heard and we will listen intently. I look forward to seeing your personality emerge and loving you every step of the way on your journey through life.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Christmas Train

I copied this info from the website and would love for you to go there and check it out yourself. There is tons more info and I PROMISE you will really enjoy your trip this year to The Christmas Train. If you have never been, it is a wonderful time! And if you have been in years past, the whole experience is greatly improved, if you can imagine that!

The Story of the Train

How It Began

Since its conception over 20 years ago, Dry Gulch, U.S.A. has become one of Oklahoma's premier retreat centers and summer camps. The property was purchased in 1985 and originally constructed to be an Old West movie set for feature family films. In 1996, Dry Gulch added a narrow-gauge steam locomotive to its list of attractions. The Christmas Train was launched later that year, and the attraction now welcomes an average attendance of 50,000 guests over the course of select nights of operation in November and December.

The Train Today

Over the last three years, major renovations have taken place at the Dry Gulch facility, and several attractions have been added, including a new and improved train experience, a spectacular new depot and theater, extra restaurants and shops, and much more. As part of an evening at The Christmas Train, you will experience the true meaning of Christmas amidst the sights and sounds of the season. The train ride itself features breathtaking artwork, several live reenactments, a multimedia presentation, and an original music score.

Let your imagination come alive at The Christmas Train!

Enter a world of wonder and delight this holiday season, dine and shop in a place untouched by time, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride through a winter wonderland. Amidst the Old West setting at The Christmas Train, you will find lots to see and do, and Old Claus himself will be on hand to greet you. Board an old-fashioned steam train, and you and yours will witness an unforgettable retelling of the true story of Christmas.


  • Featured ride aboard an old-fashioned steam train
  • Multimedia presentation of the Christmas story
  • Specialty gift shops & restaurants
  • Live western music show
  • Horse-drawn wagon rides
  • Photos with Old Saint Nick and family photos at White Chapel*
  • Game rooms with video and arcade games*
  • Carousel rides, pony rides, and bumper cars*

*Additional cost and age restrictions apply

Mark Your Calendar!

Tickets for the 2008 season go on sale November 10.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes, I too have been bitten!

So I kept seeing this stuff everywhere about Twilight. Thinking what? What is this? I had no idea, until I finally clicked on the countdown thingy on Dawns Diversions and then I saw that it was a book, but it was about vampires. Ok, not interested. But then it kept cropping up everywhere, people I knew had read it, supposed to be really good...blah, blah, blah. Well, then Wal-mart had it for $8 in paperback. I read the cover and said, what the heck. I havent read a fiction book in forever. Seriously. I cant remember when. Or what.

Yea, so I started reading it.....

and then I finished the book...

the next day.

Amazing. Not scary at all, but a love story, and its not demonic or satanic or anything. I love her writing and that she is so descriptive. I am the kind of reader that if the author is good, (like Stephenie Meyer is) I actually go all day thinking things about that person like they are my friends or something. Am I the only one who does that? I put the book down for a short moment to care for my starving and neglected children today and wondered what Edward was doing while I couldnt be there.

I think I may be in love with a vampire.

So I get on the computer to tell my blog readers about this amazing book and my dear friend had the exact post today!!! She is reading the book as we speak and will surely be up all night finishing it. (She just started today.) Yes, its that good.

So have you been bitten?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Chandler!

Nine years ago I was holding my first born son for the very first time. Checking him out. Is he really ok? All his toes and fingers and his little privates, too? Is he really a boy? Yep. The sweet smell of his baby head, and the feel of his velvety skin and the closeness we shared the first time I nursed him. Sometimes I feel like it was yesterday, and other times it seems like an eternity ago. Big boy, tipping the scales at 8lb 11oz, delivered via emergency c-section on October 28, 1999 at 10:48pm. It was several hours before I got to hold him in my arms because my blood pressure fell drastically. But oh, I couldnt keep my hands off him. I could hardly let anyone else hold him. I wanted him back!

He is growing into such a great young man. He is compassionate, loving and thoughtful. He is athletic, outgoing and funny! He is a great big brother (most of the time!) and truly loves his sisters, no matter how much he will tell you the contrary. I think this birthday really bothers me because he is halfway to being out of the house and no longer "mine". I pray that I am able to enjoy these next 9 years and treasure the time my little boy is still My Little Boy.

We love you, bubba!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is what happens

When you let your child play with markers. Black ones. That are scented. Like Witch's Brew. Which actually smells like sugar cookies. While you are on the computer. Thats what I call great mothering, wouldnt you say?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Internet privacy

I have been contemplating this ever since I decided to embark on the blog world. I really want all of your opinions on this. I wonder why people dont use their real names. What can someone do with our names? I am genuinely asking. I got a ton of hits on my blog a couple weeks ago sunday and monday due to linking with the Not Me! Monday and am wondering if I need to be concerned. What is your reason for using fake names or for those of you using your real names? I originally felt that someone knowing my kids names is not a big deal. Lots of people I dont know know my kids names. There are a ton of Chandler's friends at school (and their parents) that know his name and I dont know theirs or their parents names. He may, but I dont. But that was when I started this blog solely for my family and friends. Now that I have perfect "strangers" lurking, I wonder. Anyway, any input is appreciated on this matter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008


****update!! I totally forgot to tell you something! The entire reason I told you that I was in Bunk 28 and what my horses name was!
So I come home and tell Chandler all about my trip. Dont get me wrong, I tell everyone, but this is about Chandler, so hang with me. I said "It was just like when you are at summer camp, but with a bunch of moms everywhere instead of kids." I asked him "So where did you stay last summer, what bunk were you in?" I am really feeling "in the know" at this point. And guess what he said (before I said anything!) BUNK 28! No lie. Seriously. I said ME TOO! We were both really excited about that. He is all "Which bed did you pick? I was in the corner by the door and under the big deer head on the wall. Were you?" I said I was actually in the other corner, but it was very cool that we shared that. Then more talking and I said that I went horseback riding too. And he said "Oh, well, my favorite horse is the one I ride every time and his name is HAPPY!" Seriously, how cool is that. I have always really wondered about his time in Dry Gulch and dont seem to get enough info to satisfy me. I always want more details. Boys dont give details. So I really feel great having experience that "with" him! ****

This weekend was such a blessing to me! I was able to enjoy a wonderful weekend with my very dear friend Ashley at a women's retreat! The most wonderful church in the world, COTM (I am not bias or anything) offered a retreat for us with the theme "Friend to Friend". The speaker was Beth Jones, who is also wonderful. Apparently, that is the word of the day... Wonderful! It was totally amazing and God Filled!

Let me just give you a run-down on the activities that we got to partake in. We left at about 4:30pm Friday evening and drove the 45 min drive to Dry Gulch, USA. We got checked in a went to our bunk to drop off our stuff. We were assigned to Bunk 28. Well, let me just tell you that so were 25 other women! That was the only thing that was slightly less than desirable. But Ashley and I decided that since we never did the camp-thing when we were kids, it was high time that we experienced it in true fashion! Boy did we ever! Complete with twin bunk beds with waterproof mattresses and a shared bathroom for about 75 women! Dont even think for a minute that these circumstances put a damper on any of those womens experiences! There were extreme happy faces and wonderful camaraderie between all of us! (There were smaller bunk houses with only about 10 women in each one, but we got the MEGA one!)

Then we went to the Dining Hall for dinner. It was delicious with Chicken Cordon Bleu and scalloped potatoes, salad, fresh tri-colored green beans and peach or blackberry cobbler. Yum-o!

Then we had an evening session with Beth Jones, wonderful worship music with Andy Chrisman and the COTM band. Beth is an amazing speaker, so incredibly funny and shared with us some very useful stuff about God-knit friends. (More on this later!)

The fun was only beginning. They had tons of activities planned for well into the night! Smores roast on the patio near the lake, at an outdoor fireplace (beautiful and perfect), tons of board games in one room, a chick-flick (No Reservations), Syncing with the Stars competition, (completely over the top and hilarious!) and just good ol' fashioned talking and laughing. Ashley was feeling a bit under the weather so we kept it low key. We turned in about midnight and were the first ones to bed! But, alas we were not to sleep that night. No. The other 25 or 50 women had other plans. Did you know women snore? Hello? I did not know that. I thought that was something reserved for overweight men who are grandpa's. Nope. We had a 4 piece chorus going on all night. A low snorer, a whistler and a couple of accompaniments. Plus those plastic mattresses on the squeaky springed bunk beds! Wow. Noisy night!

But it was really ok the next day. I wasnt really that tired. (God given strength, I tell ya.) We went to breakfast, which was knock-your-socks-off good! Then over to the morning session with Beth. After that was free time. They had tons more activities for us. Ashley and I felt like we were on a cruise. We check out our itinerary and decided which of the fun things we wanted to participate in! We opted for Horseback riding! It was great! My horse was named Happy and was white with gray spots. We went on a trail thru the woods. The weather was perfect. The leaves were falling and thank God my horse knew exactly how to go! I just sat there. My kind of Horseback ride! Then we played some Bingo. We had fun but didnt win any of the great prizes they had. I must have needed my sister Lisa to sit with me to re-call the numbers! Then it was lunch time and another trip to the chapel. They had a Grand Giveaway and tons of BFF Moments that were shared. And then sadly, time to go home.

I really feel like I learned alot about friendships. Most I already knew, but it is great to be reminded. I will share a couple things I learned.

To be a friend one needs only to listen and show interest in others.

If you want to make friends, you dont need to come up with something clever to say as a "pick up line", you just need to ask questions. Where did you get those shoes? What grade is your daughter in? And then, back to number one. Show interest in their answers.

God wants you to have friends. He knows you need other women around you so that we dont weigh our hubbies down with our "stuff"! But I believe my friends help recharge me. They are such a blessing in my life!

And lastly, show up. Show up at dinner with a group like 6 Happy Hearts did! Show up at some MOM's Club events. Heck, just simply show up at the park on a sunny afternoon to get yourself out there. Then once you have friends, show up when they have turmoil to be with them, and show up when they have victories to celebrate with them. Beth Jones said that 85% of friendship is Showing Up. How true.

I think as moms we all go thru a friend famon. When we are concentrating on our babies and husbands and not sowing any friend seeds. During that season of my life, I turned to the MOMS Club and what a blessing that was. I still have many wonderful friends that I made simply by showing up at some functions.

I just know personally that I have cemented in a way that can never be broken a true God-Knit friend in Ashley and made some new friends along the way.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Walk-a-thon 2008

Their Walk-a-thon was last friday, but I am just getting around to posting some pics. I have been CrAzY busy, and will post more on that later! This is all I have time for right now!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

My computer works again!

Wow. My computer died and I almost thought I was going to also! It really amazed me on how addicted I am to this thing! I was having Blog Withdrawal! And Email Withdrawal! And just plain ol' Internet Withdrawal!

Turns out there wasnt anything wrong with the computer, either. Just one of those problems that only happens to women. You know, where you take it in and it totally doesnt do what it has been doing, and works fine. Like your car. "Sir, my car has been making this grinding, squeaking sound when I stop and go, I think something is about to fall off." He rolls his eyes and takes your keys and takes it on a 2 hour test drive, doing 5 mph and 90 mph, stopping, going, turning... everything and never hears a sound. "Here you go, maam. I never heard anything. Bring it back when whatever it is actually falls off. That'll be $200, please." Am I the only one that happens to???

My computer monitor was not working. The little light was on, but no one was home. No flashes or response at all on the screen. Took it in and they plugged it in. Fine. So maam, bring in your computer, maybe it is your video card. OK. So I took both the monitor and the computer in and guess what? Worked. So it was $40, but better than buying a new monitor or computer, I guess.

I have tons to post about, but am EXHAUSTED due to the Walk-A-Thon today. Pics to come soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Me! Monday

I am going to do an new thing that is so cute! I read a blog pretty regularly that I love, it is . She is adorable and hilarious! She has a true heart for God and is very inspiring to me. Did I mention she is hilarious?!?Anyway, you will catch on quick and if you decide to participate, I KNOW my friends and family will have some great Not Me!'s to confess!

So I totally did NOT pretend to be too tired to help my husband put the girls to bed tonight just so I could get a few moments of peace in the living room.

I did not hear any tantrums from upstairs as he was putting them to bed.

I did not ignore them and keep on resting (after all he is working tomorrow night, and I am on my own, he can be on his own tonight!) because that would be wrong and selfish.

I did NOT forget to change Chayse's diaper after I got her up from nap. She was NOT soaking thru her clothes at my mother in laws house during dinner. What kind of mother would do that?

I am not secretly hoping Kaylee has a sinus infection. After all that would explain her horrendous behavior, and I would know its not just bad parenting on my part. Sinus infections are curable.

I did NOT cry in the van while the kids were watching Charlotte's Web (I am not watching, I am driving, I can only hear it) and Charlotte tells Wilbur that he is the miracle, not her, she was only writing what she saw in him. I have only see that movie 30+ times and it does NOT make me cry every time.

My husband is soooo sweet and sensitive that he did NOT laugh at me for the rest of the way home from church.

I did not whack said husband in the arm, in the van, while driving, in front of the kids, on the way home from church. THAT would be a sin.

I am NOT grouchy and emotional during PMS.

I am not posting this a day early because I am taking Kaylee to the doctor in the morning and yes... still taking her to dance in the evening.

I do NOT hope that you all play along and "confess" right along with me, so that I am not doing this by myself and being embarrassed!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday

April 2004
Chandler in the cockpit of the plane my dad flew while he worked in Louisiana. I would tell you the kind of plane it was... if I knew! Some sort of jet! Chandler LOVED (and still does) to get in and pretend to fly to unknown, never seen before lands, and apparently to do some construction while he was there! Hey, when you are 4 1/2 its all about Building Things for boys!
Ahhhh..... those were the days! My little boy is about to be 9. Crazy. No more construction hats. No more Bob the Builder. I am missing me some Bob the Builder, I tell ya. He is growing sooo fast. Dont tell him... but this year for his birthday, we got him tickets to see tobyMac. Three of them, one for him, one for me and one for his best friend Karson. The seats are on the 10th row on the floor. If you know tobyMac, that could be a dangerous place for a 30-something mom and two 8-9 year olds!!! I could be in the middle of a mosh pit!!! But they will LOVE, LOVE it! So I went from little boy toys to concert tickets. Wow, how time flies!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post from Chayse

See my new teeth? That is why mommy has not been able to blog lately. I have had a very snotty nose, and since I am a thumb-sucker, that makes me not sleep very well. I still sleep thru the night, but have a hard time falling asleep for my 2 naps. (That is during mommy's blogging time.) I may wait a while to cut any teeth, but when I do..... boy howdee.... watch out! I cut 6 at a time! Too bad you cant see the two on the top also!

Arent I cute?

Oh, and I am not the only one to blame for mommy not blogging... big sister Keira is partly at fault too! She has been trying to go potty on the big girl potty! She hasnt done it yet, but mommy knows she is close. And all you mommies out there know that potty training is a full time job! So, hang with us, mommy will be back to blogging soon!

Oh, and did I mention that I am sooo cute! And kissable! And sweet! And.... and.... and...