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Thursday, January 28, 2016

January happenings.

I love a new year and a new beginning. When we returned home from Colorado, this little baby was waiting for us. We had ordered it after Christmas. For some reason, Jeremy had thought a magical Santa was going to buy us a blender. That didn't happen. So we bought one ourselves and I love it. We have used this thing nearly every single day since getting it.
Abe has the largest veggie intake of the boys because he loves these green smoothies. He helped me fill this container with spinach, banana, frozen mango, a splash of orange juice and some water. He pushed the button to blend. And quickly slurped it down.
The schools in our area headed back and we took an extra week of play. Well, the boys played and I organized my house from top to bottom. Spring cleaning in January and it was fabulous. And it really involved no cleaning. Even better. :) But then we headed back to our books. It took us a good week to get back into that routine. And now we are rolling right along.
 Some school outside in the sunshine. Pax will read multiple chapter books in a day. I really can't even believe it. Is he going to be a writer or what? He has a great hunger for words and reading. I have just never seen anything like it. Except if I didn't have many responsibilities in this life I could sure plow through some books. But I was not this way at age 6.
 Some school inside at the desk. Writing can be painful. Physically painful to my boys. ;)
And this little guy. He would LOVE it if I set him in front of a TV the entire time we were doing school. I'm always saying "go play". And apparently that is hard for this one's personality or age. I'm not sure which. But so far the fire truck tent filled with a few toys and books keeps him occupied for a while.
 I've been showing some tough love to the 6 month old injury. At the end of December I saw my orthopedic and she said I was free to head back to Camp Gladiator. That the physical strain and activity on my arm would be good for it by extending the range of motion of my wrist and breaking up the scar tissue from surgery. Sounds pleasant, right? :) She said it would be sore and probably "flare up" with the increased movement. So I headed back this month. And it sure has "flared up". That picture is just a big swollen area around my incision. Going back to CG, I realized how very out of shape I am compared to last January when I had been running several miles a week. And I'm still somewhat limited with the injury. But I'm back it. It's fun and it's a special part of my day. A time just for me that I thoroughly enjoy.
 I've had a couple of one on one dates this month with my big boys.
 Both dates included fro-yo.
We met up with some church friends at the MLK parade in downtown Fort Worth. This was our first MLK parade. The boys loved it. Marching bands, music, cars, motorcycles and people throwing candy. What more could a little boy want? I'm so thankful and proud to be part of our church.
 It was so cold that morning.
 So they warmed up with hot coco on their way home. I bought one hot coco and Starbucks split it for me between 3 cups. :)
 We had a last minute dinner out with friends at Abuelo's. And this little pair are an affectionate couple of boys. Pretty sweet friends.
 Abe and Cruz. The fun of being 3. 
And little brother, Rico, looks like a sweet little baby doll. 
 We had a family movie night with popcorn. Mainly because Jeremy and I hadn't watched Aladdin in YEARS and we wanted to see it. :)
And this athletic little boy can now out run me. :( Holy moly what happened? I've always won in the past. He and I went on a bike ride one Friday when Jeremy was home. We played at the park and I decided we should race on foot. I picked a longer distance because Holden has always gone full steam and then puttered out. But this time...he won. Big time. He even ran backwards at one point and taunted me. I raced him a second time. And he won again. I don't claim to be fast. At all! But he's 7. And I'm taller. Not by a ton, but I'm still taller. I hope hope HOPE he'll be my running buddy in future years.
And this weekend we will close up January by celebrating Jeremy's birthday! He will turn 36 on Saturday. Some friends are watching the boys for 2 nights while we have a little getaway by ourselves. It's been over a year since we've done this and you don't even know how much I'm looking forward to this weekend. And that is a little of what we have been up to this month.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


We decided in early 2015 that we would close up that year and ring in 2016 in Colorado with my sister and her family. And that is what we did! It sure is long drive (10.5 hours without any stops), but the visit ALWAYS makes it worth the trek. We didn't do a ton during our stay. We mostly relaxed around their house. We let our brother-in-law feed us breakfast feasts each morning. And we got to see a little bit of what their morning routine looks like each day, which is so so neat, yet so different than our own. The boys had so much fun with their cousins. They jumped on the neighbor's trampoline in the frigid weather. (Their neighbors happen to be some of their closest friends, which makes me a little envious.) They sang hours of karaoke (all from a Disney CD - think Frozen and Arielle). They colored together. They just ran around and played and had a lot of fun. One of my only days to really take pictures was the day we followed my sister's family to a snowy area to sled. There was no snow in their area. So we took a drive (about an hour away) and found a really great sledding area. We couldn't come all the way to Colorado in December and not get to experience some snow fun!! Soon after arriving to our snowy destination, we got out of our vehicles and Pax was suddenly lethargic and sick to his stomach. My brother in law quickly realized he had altitude sickness. We had him guzzle a bottle of water, take a 15 minute nap in the van and then he was as good as new. It was the oddest thing. But we praised God for such a quick turn around and we went on playing. The kids had so much fun. After some time, 3 sat in a van freezing, while the other 3 continued to play. You'd never guess in a million years which ones traded in the cold.
 Bella and Pax and were glued to karaoke. I don't have a video for you to hear this duet. You're welcome. That's all you need to say for that. :) Don't get me wrong, Bella was pretty good. And Pax has now been singing the song Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. Yes, just imagine that one. 
 These two, in their comfies, singing some Frozen. 
Our snow day. Luckily the neighbors have 4 little boys. We were all set with snow gear!
 Ahhhh. The scenery.
 Six sweet cousins. One is crying. Not too bad.
 Abe loved the sledding. And he sure didn't mind the big girls pulling him around through the snow.
 Jeremy trying to snowboard on Holden's spooner board. It didn't work. At all. 
 Bella was all joy.
 My sister packed hot cocoa. We cooled it off with a bit of snow. Ha.
I'm so thankful for this guy. 
 The little of the bunch was the first to throw in the towel and give up on the snow. He was cold and he was DONE. 3 year old DONE! Hope, the oldest and then Holden soon followed into our van. Holden was also 3 year old done. :) Kidding. Sort of. 
As we drove back home, we stopped at this scenic overlook that looks out on their little town.
And then this was our drive home on January 2nd. They had worn themselves out and it took them at least two more days to recover on rest.
I'm thankful for the time away from home during Jeremy's break from work. The solid time we got to spend with this family that we don't see as often as the others. The mentors they are for us, even when they don't even realize it. Cousins and the sweet relationships they are forming! The snow that we have YET to experience in this part of Texas, this winter. We want snow...we want snow...we want snow...I'm thankful for the few moments that we did capture in photos. And how it was another fun trip and now a memory in the hearts of my boys. I'm so glad we made the drive and rang in 2016 with these people. My regret: I have no pictures of the adults!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas morning

It was really a joy gifting to our boys this year. We kept it on the small side, I think. But we really put thought into what each of the 3 little personalities would like. These 3 boys are all unique and different with different interests. We bought the big boys their first sleeping bags and I "made" Abe a fire truck fleece blanket. That word made...use it loosely in that sentence. I tied two pieces of fleece together. So we had the sleeping bags and blanket sitting out when they came downstairs. 
 Abe's main gift from us was a big firetruck. He's been begging for one. He likes to build. So I would have loved to have gotten him some Lincoln Logs. But I knew he would be most excited about a big noisy firetruck, with a ladder (that was part of his request), so that's the route we went.
 Pax got to hunt down a few riddles from around the house to find his big gift. In the end it was in the garage but the journey to find it was especially fun. On Christmas Eve I called on my dad for a riddle. I remember riddle gifts somewhat often growing up. That's how I found my Nintendo one year. :) And how my mom found a beautiful ring in his tool chest one year. So Papa J came through with some riddles for me. Pax thought this was really fun. 
 And the gift in the garage was pretty awesome. Jeremy stayed up until 6am Christmas morning working on it. That's right. He barely slept a wink the night before Christmas. But he built this awesome lego table. In the picture above it is still not quite finished. I need to get some better photos now that it is complete. But the top piece spins. And it's ginormous. Daddy did good!
 And for my super energetic active boy, he got a spooner board. When you google "gifts for active 7 year old boys", the spooner board comes up. Holden had no clue what it was. But it didn't take him long to figure it all out.
The boys each bought gifts for one another. Pax and Holden did the shopping for those. I want them to learn early about giving. I want them to be thoughtful in that process. We're not there yet. But I still feel like it's a good practice and hopefully one day they'll get it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Christmas fun.

December was another season of fun with my family. The big boys definitely have down our traditions by now. And there is often an eagerness over what each day will hold. I look forward to the day when there is that same eagerness for Jesus and the story we celebrate. But for now they are young, and though they really do get the meaning of Christmas, it hasn't pierced their hearts yet. So we have fun with our family traditions, while trying to continually remind them of the deep joy in our celebrations. We started by decking the halls and trimming the tree. One of the most fun nights of the year for our family!
 At least half our lights don't work on our 12 year old tree. Dang the pre-lit trees! And I had to rearrange some ornamanets since all my little helpers found one sweet spot to hang the majority of them. Not to mention our tree went topless this season because I'm not crazy about the star we've had for 12 years but I never went shopping to replace it. So it goes.
I love to see that mantel full of stockings. Just another sweet reminder to me of what God has done.
We had our annual picture made with this Santa character and spent some time playing at Bass Pro's Winter Wonderland. By far, this is a favorite tradition for my boys. And it's completely free.  
 We went caroling with friends at a nursing home where they don't get many visitors.
 I loved watching Holden walk into dark rooms of strangers lying in bed to hand out our handmade Christmas cards. It is such a sweet memory in my mind that I definitely will take with me from this year. He was so nervous with the first one. We had to really encourage him to do it. Then he was hooked and really enjoyed talking to the people and giving them each a card.
Later that same day we spent the afternoon/evening with the Myers. We decorated our first gingerbread houses together. And had a great time with these friends.
Some friends hosted a Christmas party. You could wear Christmas pajamas or ugly sweaters. Some of us wore both. :)
We made Christmas candy for neighbors and trash truck/recycle truck guys. Pax is the brave little hero of this house that will chase a trash truck down, even if it's cold and he's barefoot and still in his jammies. He never ceases to amaze me.
We painted new ornaments for the Christmas tree.
 We toured our church's Christmas festival. Jeremy was in the Life of Christ cast this year. He's in the picture below. He was the wedding host (with his glass in the air). Jesus had just the water into wine.
Of course, we decorated Christmas cookies.
It was a wonderful season. And it was full of memories and fun for our family.