29 July 2009


Reagan/Libby/Busy/Lu/Elizabeth (the last is what she prefers these days!) is all about accessories. Addi went through a similar stage, but she wasn't as faithful about it.

Every morning I have to put the same two necklaces on her while she puts on sticker earrings, a headband, various bracelets, perhaps a ring, and always her purse. One of those necklaces is a James Avery cross.

Not too long ago, while I was fastening her cross necklace, she began to tell me that it was a cross and it was the cross Jesus died on for our sins. I nodded or mmm-hmmm-ed or smiled or something of that sort. She walked off to busy herself with something else and Addi tip-toed over to me. Under her breath, and with a look of pity on her face, Addi said, "You know, it might not be the cross Jesus died on. It might be one of the criminals' crosses!" I just nodded or mmm-hmmm-ed or smiled or something of the sort.



Levi loves being outside, so I let him out after Bryan finished mowing the other day. He was really interested in the blower, humming a deep wuuuuuuuu sound the whole time Bryan was using it. *just a sidenote - Our girls could care less about the blower and they certainly don't want to spend all their time outside. His "boy-ness" is really showing these days!


28 July 2009

Creative Expression

While drawing, the girls had this conversation.

A - This looks hideous! Just hideous!

R - Oh, Addi, look at mine! It looks hideous, too! Look! It's hideous!

A - Do you even know what hideous means?

R - No.


24 July 2009

Favorites Week: Bryan, age 33 (with a twist!)

Bryan and I didn't get a chance to go over his favorites, so we'll see how well 12 years of knowing him serves me. Babe, it's about honesty, so don't get upset with me for revealing all your secrets!

favorite foods - Mexican, sushi, steaks, chips and salsa, sugary cereal, salads*
*Many times a waiter will confuse our orders when he brings the food, handing Bryan the "manly" meat plate and passing me the dainty salad. :)

favorite sweet treats - Blue Bell, Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie from Chili's (do they make these anymore?)

favorite things to do - fish, golf, REK concerts, flip channels

favorite tv shows - Band of Brothers, Man Vs. Wild, The Haney Project

favorite clothes - Marine Corps running shorts*, worn-out t-shirts
*Think :: Ed from The Bachelorette in his tiny green shorts. Only shiny!

favorite shoes - flip flops, boots

favorite memory verse - John 15:13, Exodus 15:2, Psalm 138:1, James 5:15-17, Isaiah 40:31


23 July 2009

Favorites Week: Ginny, age 32

favorite foods - Mexican, Blue Bell ice cream, guacamole, a good hamburger with good fries, local peaches, cantaloupe, tomatoes, eggplant, roasted potatoes

favorite sweet treat - caramel popcorn mixed with cheese

favorite places to go - anywhere with just Bryan and me, visiting family, visiting friends, the pool (if my kids have a day when they don't want to hang all over me), the beach, back home

favorite things to do - spend time with my family, read, hang out with friends, snuggle with my kids, time with Bryan after the kids go to bed (even if we're watching this or this)

favorite clothes - comfortable ones

favorite shoes - slippers, flip flops

favorite things about my people - Addi: she is super-protective of her siblings and is the most tender-hearted person I know. Plus, she makes me laugh. Libby: she is a mystery. Just when you think you've got her pegged, she goes and does something you'd never expect. She is fiercely loyal, especially to her siblings. She also makes me laugh. Levi: he has a smile that, I believe, is only for me. He loves everyone and is okay with just about anything. In one instant, he can melt my heart. Bryan: he is my best friend who can always make me feel better. He makes me laugh, but also makes my knees go weak. He loves me, our children, and our Lord. He works hard everyday so I can stay home, play with our children and mooch off of him. :)

favorite memory verses - Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Proverbs 15:4, Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16


22 July 2009

Favorites Week: Levi, age 16 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days

favorite foods - bananas, blackberries, oatmeal, YoBaby yogurt, peanut butter, tomatoes, cheese, grapes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, macaroni and cheese

favorite sweet treat - Kashi cereal bars

favorite toys - balls, sticks/bats/anything that can be used to bang, cars

favorite animal - dogs, specifically our dog, Zoe

favorite place to be - outside

favorite (?only) words - MaMa, DaDa, Ba (ball), Yah (yes), Na (no), Meh (amen), Ni-Ni (goodnight)

favorite things to do - moving, imitating sounds, clapping for himself

favorite song - If You're Happy and You Know It

favorite dance moves - turn in circles, stomp feet

favorite books - Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? (Dr. Seuss), baby faces books

favorite clothes - none! (diaper-less is even better)

favorite way to pray - bows head, pats (?slaps) mommy on the face, says "meh" at the end


21 July 2009

Favorites Week: Reagan, age 3 years, 11 months and 3 days

favorite foods - grapes, blueberries, macaroni and cheese

favorite colors - all of them, except for yellow

favorite place to go - pool

favorite things to do - play, watch Hannah Montana, color, read books

favorite sweet treat - Kashi bars

favorite song - Little Caterpillar

favorite clothes - my pink dress

favorite shoes - flip flops

favorite accessories - ring, cross necklace ("'cause Jesus died on the cross")

favorite name - Elizabeth

favorite movie - Strawberry Shortcake movies

favorite book - Spot books

favorite animal - cat

favorite memory verse - Proverbs 15:1


20 July 2009

Favorites Week: Addison, age 6 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days

favorite foods - nectarines, macaroni and cheese

favorite colors - purple, blue, pink

favorite places to go - pool, Mexican food restaurants

favorite things to do - gymnastics, relax, play

favorite sweet treat - Kashi bar

favorite tv show - Hannah Montana

favorite movie - Barbie movies

favorite song - The Climb by Miley Cyrus

favorite restaurant - Chili's

favorite clothes - shirts and shorts

favorite shoes - flip flops

favorite hairstyle - pigtails

favorite books - Junie B. Jones books

favorite subject - art

favorite animal - dog

favorite memory verses - Ephesians 2:8-10 , Isaiah 61:3


17 July 2009

So, I'm Out of Cheese...

An alternate title for this post could be Totally Pointless and Uninteresting Facts about Our Week. If you choose to continue, don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm really making an effort to blog more regularly. I thought I could handle blogging every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Especially since most Wednesdays I only post a photo. I didn't get in a post yesterday, mainly because our week was very similar to last week with the exception of our anniversary. If only we'd been married on the 16th, I could've done my Sea World re-cap on Monday, WW on Wednesday, and our anniversary post on Thursday. Next year I'll be set!

Anyway, we had a week filled with swim lessons and practicing for swim lessons. They ended yesterday and the girls were sad today when they realized we wouldn't be going to swim lessons this afternoon. Besides our anniversary, we had two other exciting events happen. Today we met some friends at the splash ground by our house. And the other day, we ran into a lady who had 2 daughters and a newborn son. The exciting part of that story is I heard her calling her daughter Addison. When I told her my oldest daughter is named Addison, she asked what my middle daughter's name is. I, of course, said Reagan and she smiled and said her older daughter is named Reagan. Weird, huh?! It doesn't get any weirder 'cause her son's name is Jackson, not Levi. Although Jackson was a name I always had on my boys' names list.

Oh, and we discovered we really do have an incredible babysitter. She'll be leaving us for A&M this fall and couldn't babysit on Wednesday because she was headed to College Station for her orientation. Instead, we used one of her friends. The friend was fine, but we've been spoiled by M. When M. babysits, we come home to hand-washed dishes and the kids all as happy as clams. I'll just say that wasn't the case with the friend. Fortunately M. has a sister who wants to take over for her, so we won't have to use the friend again.

That was our terribly un-exciting week. This weekend will be fairly uneventful as well, but I'm looking forward to it. Libby's got a birthday party tomorrow afternoon and we'll take the kids swimming at the athletic center's pool before it. Bryan has some yard work to do and I have some cleaning to do. All in all though, a fairly calm weekend.

One last thing: is this blog loading absurdly slow for you? Each time I open it, it takes forever for everything to load. I'm wondering if this is happening to everyone else. Who wants to sit and wait for a blog to load? Especially to read something less than mediocre! Let me know and I'll see what I can do about it.

Have a good weekend.

My word, I totally forgot to let you know there is a meaning to the title! I was so excited about tonight's supper. I made homemade pizza dough and homemade marinara sauce. When I went to get the toppings out of the fridge, I realized I'd forgotten to buy some cheese. We had swiss, parmesan (okay, but not only parmesan), and cheddar. Argh! I called Bryan and asked him to stop at Kroger on the way home and buy some Mozzarella. Problem solved. Or so I thought. He came home with Imitation Mozzarella cheese! I'm not really a food snob. Okay, maybe I'm a bit of a food snob, but what's the point in making the rest of the pizza from scratch if you're not gonna use real cheese? In his defense, I have told him thousands of times I don't care about brands, to just buy what's cheapest. That's exactly what he did. :)


15 July 2009


Not the greatest picture. I could've taken it out of the "frame" and scanned it, but I love that Bryan still has it laying on his nightstand in that broken piece of plastic. The back was broken off a while ago by one of the kids, so it won't stand anymore. The photo was taken on the second day of our honeymoon in Jamaica.
Nine years and 3 kids later, I am such a different girl than the one in the picture. We've moved to different houses in different states, switched jobs and careers, updated furniture, adjusted to living together again after deployment, replaced vehicles, shifted priorities, added children, changed hairstyles and clothing, and learned from experiences. The Sovereign Lord blessed me with a constant through all of it: Bryan. How pitiful it sounds to say, "Thanks for 9 great years, B!" But I am truly thankful for all of it. I love that man more than words can express.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9,10


13 July 2009

weekend trip

Bright and early Friday morning, we hit the road.

Everyone was all smiles even though it was 6:30 and no one had been fed.

Our first stop was for donuts. We all enjoyed smelling the chocolate iced donuts we'd enjoy eating once we got to Nana and Poppa's house. Well, all except for the boys. They ate bananas instead. Levi would probably prefer a banana to anything else and Bryan was still attempting to eat healthy...he was successful through lunch, but those puffy tacos got to him at dinner.

We're still smiling even though mom and dad are making us wait to eat our breakfasts.

Levi received Nana's full attention while he ate. (I have a feeling he got that pretty much his entire stay!)

We said goodbye to Poppa and Nana, kissed Levi and loaded back into the van for a 4 hour drive to San Antonio.

Right around Austin, the girls started moaning because I cut off the snacks since we'd be eating lunch in about an hour. Amazingly we made it to the restaurant without anyone dying from starvation. We like to stop at EZ's anytime we're in SA because the one in Dallas disappeared. It was there before we moved to Raleigh, but gone when we returned. Or maybe it just moved locations? Anyone know??

We were a little bored while we waited for our food, so we broke out the camera.

Addi got to take a couple pictures, so, of course, little sister wanted to also. She dropped the camera before she got a chance. My last camera was dropped last summer on the tail-end of a trip to SA and that's when I got this camera. Fortunately, there was no need for a new camera this time, but boy did she pout when I took the camera away to make sure it was still working.

It didn't last long. As soon as I handed it back to her with the strap around her this time, she happily snapped this shot. I was impressed...Libs got us all in and we're even kind of centered.

After lunch, we headed to our friends' home to change into swimsuits and sunscreen up. Joel and Christian came with us to Sea World that afternoon. After a failed attempt to see Diamond (the Budweiser horse my girls have adopted) and a successful dolphin feeding, we spent the rest of the hot afternoon in the water. Joel became King of Entertainment when he invented a game involving knocking the kids off the floating lilypads while Bryan watched from the sidelines and I prayed neither of my girls would have to go to the bathroom again. Our reward was El Chapparal that night and it was worth the 45 minutes we had to wait to sit outside. Yum! Yum!
The next day, Julie was able to join us at Sea World. We left right after we ate Joel's breakfast tacos and watermelon. Bryan's plan to eat healthy while on our trip was completely sabotaged by then!
First stop, after the dolphins, of course, was the Viva show. The girls and I loved this show last time, but Bryan missed it since he was waiting on Levi to finish his nap at the hotel. It was still a great show the second time around.

And, I still got teary watching the baby Beluga whale swim alongside its momma. I think all that started last summer when I had my baby still so close to me with every move I made. The show was closed because the babies were still nursing, as was my baby, but they allowed you to watch the mommas and babies swimming around. A Sea World educator presented some facts about Beluga whales and the one I loved hearing most made me want to fall to my knees and praise God for His awesome creation. The babies are gray while the adults are white. This is so the babies can swim under and to the side of their mothers appearing as her shadow. Cool, huh?! This year the babies are actually involved in the show, but still always close to their mothers.

After the show we headed to cool off in the water. Being a Saturday, the water park was packed, so we only lasted a couple hours before we decided to ride some rides.

After a couple more hours, we left for a treat...fruit cups and corn cups. We'd never had them, but they were tasty! Then it was time to head home for showers and, you guessed it, more eating! We feasted on grilled chicken and steak, potatoes, guacamole and brownies. Basically my stomach hurt the entire weekend from being stuffed to its limits.

The girls enjoyed playing basketball, or football, or soccer, depending on who was talking, with Christian. It was fun for me to see what my kids might play like in the next couple years when Levi's a little older. Christian's a doll and was a good sport about having to watch Cinderella in our car.

The next morning we woke up and loaded the car bound for Austin. My aunt had a delicious brunch waiting on us that we got to enjoy with her, my grandmother, and my 2 cousins. And, because we hadn't had enough of the water already, we went swimming in a chilly spring-fed pool.

About 30 minutes outside of Austin I looked back and saw Addi asleep and Libby barely hanging on.

10 minutes later and both girls were out.

We had such a fun weekend, but it was so good to see Levi walk as fast as his little legs could carry him when he saw us standing at Nana and Poppa's door. He looked like he grew an inch and put on 6 pounds! That couldn't have been from all the homemade chocolate ice cream he ate, could it?!
We're back to swim lessons and organizing this week. Although, I must admit, I've lost some of my fire since I've still got laundry to catch up on and a refrigerator to stock. Am I really expected to wash the clothes, feed the children, and organize our house?


09 July 2009

weekly re-cap

I'm supposed to be packing right now. I'm about half-way finished, but can't seem to find the motivation to complete the task. Bryan, the girls and I are headed to Sea World San Antonio early tomorrow morning. Levi is spending the weekend with his Nana and Poppa. Leaving any of my children behind always makes me a little anxious. Oh, I have no doubts in the abilities of Bryan's parents. I do, however, know tomorrow is not promised to me or mine and the control freak in me doesn't want to leave him behind not knowing if I'll see him again. In that line of reasoning, I could just grab the kids and hide under my bed all day every day. :)

We will return on Sunday ready to start another week of swim lessons. We've had swim lessons every afternoon since Monday. Let me tell you, in case you've ever wondered, swim lessons at 2 pm are excrutiatingly HOT! It doesn't help that my time is spent chasing Levi. All he has on his mind the entire 1/2 hour we're there is taking a running leap into the pool. I've brought all manner of distractions only to have to pick them up with one hand while clutching him like a (sweaty, squirming, squealing) football with the other. I've only gotten in 1 workout this week, but I'm counting my time at swim lessons as workouts. I'd be surprised if I don't burn more calories there!

So, between swim lessons in the afternoons and practicing for swim lessons in the mornings, our hair feels like hay. But, our skin has never been more golden. :) The practicing has really reinforced the lessons. Libby, who last summer wouldn't step foot on the splash ground or be in the pool without being physically attached to me, is now swimming under water by herself. Monday she would not put her head under the water and I knew she wouldn't get far without doing that. Tuesday morning, at our practice, she wouldn't listen to me at all. She only wanted to play, but then at the lesson that afternoon, she jumped right in the water and stuck her head under. Yesterday afternoon she turned into a little fish and, at some point while wrestling Levi, I noticed she was swimming under water without help. Addi is working on different strokes (backstroke, breaststoke, freestyle) and diving. It's been fun to see them making improvements every day. I really can't say enough about this swimming program. If you live in or near Frisco, I would highly recommend them.

Some of you noticed Levi got a haircut. About a week ago, Bryan was home and I was talking to him with Levi on my hip. He looked at our little boy, wrinkled his nose in disgust, and said, "That boy needs a haircut. Let me get my clippers after him." I don't know what came over me. I would have been the first to admit he needed a trim. His hair is starting to get thick and his little head was always so sweaty. So, I held down my baby while Bryan buzzed his hair off. Well, not all of his hair. He still has enough to do this:

So, I've also been experimenting with hair products on my son this week! He thinks it is hilarious when he looks in the mirror and, surprisingly, he leaves it alone. I can't say that about Libby. She can't keep her hands off his hair which only irritates him.

I also decided this would be a good couple of weeks to organize each room of this house. I did so well on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday was a flop because I was supposed to get Levi's room done, but I scheduled way too much to get to it. My only opportunities were during naptime and bedtime and I'm not crazy! I gave myself today off so I could blog facebook pack and then, of course, I won't be working on it this weekend, but it's back to organizing after the weekend. I'll end up having another week because Libby has a dance camp the week after next, so we'll be sticking close to Frisco that week also. Maybe with that extra week, I can actually finish the dresser I started 57 weeks ago. Maybe that's too ambitious. I'll settle for a home full of organized rooms.

Hope you have a fun weekend. I'm sure I'll be back next week with some Sea World pictures.

the opposite of music to this momma's ears

"Mommy, I went poo-poo and I need help wiping, but first I fell in the potty and I need you to clean it up!"
-name withheld, age 3


07 July 2009

it's better than dirt

We celebrated the 4th with my parents. Their street was blocked off with almost all of their neighbors participating in a party. The girls rode their bikes and raced the other kids. We all got a great view of the fireworks. And, Levi discovered his love of watermelon. I lost count of how many slices he devoured. I do mean devoured! He at it all the way to green! I'm sure there's lots of fiber, or something beneficial, in the white part. :)


01 July 2009


When Sidewalk Painting Spins Out of Control