Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am writing this post on my new iPad! A super surprise from my sweet hubby!

Friday, December 23, 2011

All Aboard the Polar Express!!

Every year we have a little Christmas celebration with our friends the Andersons! Sometimes we just get together, other times the kids make and decorate cookies. This year our plan all along was for the kids to decorate cookies, watch Polar Express and have hot chocolate. Because of family obligations on both sides we opted to have snacks, hot chocolate and watch Polar Express and for the children to have a gift exchange. Wednesday we all gathered at our house to the festivities!

Sydney playing Santa. She has had that Santa hat since she was 2 and in daycare at the YMCA. They had a precious performance and Sydney played and sang Jingle Bells. All of the 2 year old babies had little instruments and they were so cute and amazingly cooperative. Sydney has been in love with being on stage since then:)

 A Narnia movie and stuffed zebra as well as a Bambi necklace and ring...Sydney loves all of her gifts

 Preston, relaxing and watching the movie...he's always the only boy but he handles it well.

Except when he gets the was so funny to watch him cracking up...don't remember why now.

Shelby watching the movie very quietly and got up to sit by mom during the parts she didn't like.

 We did get our hot chocolate, homemade fudge, chocolate chip cookies and other goodies.  Robin and I have had so much fun over the years watching our kids grow and their friendships blossom and change over the years.This has been a wonderful tradition.

My shopping is all finished and I have a ton of things to to work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

So much for my posting every day in November! It has been busy around here. We finished up with school Friday and Saturday was Sydney's Christmas dance recital. Anyway, the tree is up and decorated but the middle section of lights went out and I am not taking it apart. My tree is 26 years worth of decorations and it is quite the collection...very eclectic...see what I mean..

A Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that my daughter made.

 I found out I was pregnant in December 1999 and a dear friend gave me this Old World ornament to commemorate a special time in my life and of course Y2K..

 This is one of a set of 2 ornaments my paternal grandparents gave me many years ago. The mate was broken several years ago.

 I bought these plastic crystal ornaments in 1985 on a shopping trip with my new step-daughter Courtnay who was 6 at the time. She picked these out and every year I remember the fun time we had. She and I took to each other immediately.

I just had to include Jack! I have a couple of these but this one is my favorite...makes me smile. I'm sure that my mother is proud!

 These are the Justin ropers my husband bought when we first married...Sydney loves these boots.

 Red berries hanging from the copper on my pot rack...

My Southern living tree on top of a little quilt my grandmother made when she was in her mid-eighties. It is also covering up the table that I have half way started to refinish.Both of my grandmothers were excellent seamstresses but my mother's mom, had arthritis in her hands and she had to give it up but she was very talented. I will share my baby dress someday but I'm not sure if the detail will show up.

That's about  it. We have plans to get together with our friends "The Andersons" tomorrow for a little gift exchange and to watch polar express and drink hot chocolate...should be fun. Thursday is Chuck E. Cheese with Taryn, her sister Holyn and her sweet mama Jessica.

Linking with Wow Us Wednesdays

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Brother John and Thankful #6

I am so thankful for this man! He is my brother John. Today is the day he came into this world. It was going to be different having a boy in the house after 6 years of only girls! He was the sweetest little boy and the sweetest man I know! Love you John!

I know I am still about 6 behind on my 30 Days of Thanks list but I will catch up soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful #5

Today is a re-post of a post from last year...but something I am thankful for each and every day.

Thanks Dr. Nguyen. If anyone can take the pain out of a ruptured colon this dr. can. He was the on call general surgeon who performed 3 surgeries on me beginning 3 years ago.  He is the most family friendly, loving, caring doctor in the world! He was supportive before, during and after my colostomy surgeries.  My sweet daughter was very tramatized by the whole incident.  When I told him at my first follow up appointment he told his nurse/assistant that he wanted my daughter included in all of my treatment, surgery planning etc.  Yes, he knew she was only 7 and it broke his heart that she was so traumatized.  So, he took her under his wing and brought her in like I never imagined! Some of her duties included removal of my intubation tube (after 7 days) YUCK! She did say it was gross and removal of 80 something staples between 2 surgeries! He would get her started and then let her do her handy work!  He will always hold a special place in my heart for all of the extra time he took with her and joking around he did with her. He will always have a special place in our hearts as will the dozens of health care workers and friends who helped us through this time. He told me what happened is just a matter of luck and I was unlucky to have my colon rupture, but I have to say I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be in his care. God always goes ahead and prepares the way for us doesn't He?

Sydney and Dr. Nguyen
Her first time to removed staples after my 2nd surgery...he offered the job to my mom after the original surgery but she declined! As you can also tell after this, my belly will never be the same.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 4 My daughter's friendships...

 I found this picture and I had to share! Do you think her bow is big enough? That is Griffin Lain, the oldest of Jill's son's. I think he was maybe 18 months and Sydney was around 3.  They may have been younger. I am thankful that Sydney has friends since babyhood and they still get along well and enjoy each other even though they are getting to the age where boys and girls don't really like each other. I hope their friendship is always solid.

Bow head! I am sure that is what he is looking at and thinking..."glad I'm a boy! I wonder if that thing hurts?"

Here she is a few years later with baby Carter...

She also loves Charlie who is now 2!  I have a more recent pictures of him but I do love this one!

This is late because for some reason  I couldn't download my photos last night. Number 5 will be coming later today!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanks!

Sydney dressed up as a zebra this year. We went to the Fall Festival at our church on Monday night and trick or treated at my mom's house and a few friends. There is way more candy than necessary in my house now!

I am going to post what I am thankful for each day this month! As usual, I am 3 days behind already so I will post the first three today. My hope is that this series will help me get back to blogging on a regular basis. The real problem is that I hate my desk. Someday I hope to have a new one built by Jason...someday!

1.  God...I have had a relationship with my creator since I was very young, for this I thank my parents, especially my mom for making this a priority in my early childhood. This relationship has changed through the years and I am especially thankful for a God who has never forsaken me even when I tried to ignore him

2. .I am thankful for my family...husband who takes care of us and works hard to keep my dreams a reality,a daughter who adores me...really...we'll see if I can still say that when she is 13; parents who love me, a mother-in-law and sister-in-law who I can call my friend. My sister who is my dearest friend and two of the sweetest brothers a girl could ask for. Two step-daughters who have taught me more lessons of unconditional love that I can count.

3. I am able to stay at home with my daughter and be at home with her all day while homeschooling her. This has been such an unexpected blessing because I worked outside the home until she was nearly 6 and never dreamed that would change.

There! That's my first three days! It's hard to stop but I will continue tomorrow.  I have been keeping a gratitude journal for a couple of months and I am amazed at how blessed I am. In good times and bad.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

October is finally here!  I don't know why but to me this is when fall really begins.  It is really nice and cool this morning...very appropriate.  Texas sometimes this season change has a really hard time taking hold so when it gets here it is truly cause for rejoice.   It is also the time for homeschool activities to really get going. For instance, our homeschool group has 3 field trips planned for us this month plus regular church activities and dance, we will be heading to Mainstay Farms to the pumpkin patch, Mrs. Baird's bakery for a tour and Casa Manana for a play Oliver!   In addition to these, I would also like to plan a trip to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History as well as the Fort Worth Zoo.  Then we all know what happens on the 31st!  This year we will be heading to church for our annual fall party which is "Trunk or Treat".   We also have shoe boxes to get ready to be sent with the Haiti missionaries.  We also have 3 birthdays this month beginning today with Shelby Anderson!  I should have plenty to blog about this month huh?  Well, we will see.

Here is a quick look at my own daughter's 11th birthday back in July...yes, really July!  Blogging just hasn't been a priority this year but I hope to do better because I am not a scrap booky type person and if I don't record it here it just may be forgotten!

This is how the princess looks first thing in the morning! 

Robin and Preston Anderson and the back of hubby Kevin's head!  Doesn't Robin have the most infectious smile?  Oh, you can see part of my remodeled laundry room in the background as well...
 Sydney celebrating with a few friends...She wanted a western theme this year to honor  her love of Bonanza!  That's an entire story in itself.
 Here is the whole gang Emma, Taryn, Griffin (holding Charlie) Sydney, Shelby, Brooke, Carter and Preston...all such a sweet blessing!
Rick, my hubby, his sister Donna and my soon to be brother in law Tommie.  Her husband died 3 years ago and Tommie was her high school cool is that?  Do you see Bonanza in the background?
 This is my laid back cat Noel stretched out in the floor with all of these people and loud kids running every where.  Here are my new hardwood floors, aren't they awesome!  We decided to put them in every room except bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  I am in love with them.
 Jason my is my best friend Jill's husband and our awesome contractor with baby Charlie!  Hmm, sadly I will probably have to quit calling him baby Charlie in the near future!

Here is my BFF Jill and her boybarians plus Sydney!  The two big boys Carter and Griffin are having birthdays this month!  Baby Charlie is a July baby like Sydney.
The following week, we went to Fun Valley, Colorado for a week and next year Jill, Jason and the boys will be joining us...can't wait!

Also, last month I lost my Aunt Kay.  We all went to east Texas for her funeral and to celebrate her life! That meant that I was with all of my tons of cousins, aunts and uncles for the first time in many years.  Do you think I brought my camera? Nope! I will always regret that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5th Grade!

We started school on September 6th and we have been busy getting back into the routine.  Our late summer routine consisted of sleeping in and hanging out at home or with friends so the change of pace has been challenging but not too bad.

We are starting our 4th year homeschooling and it has gone by so fast. We start each year with pictures and of course a lot of posing!

5th grade attitude!

Time to start class. Each year our school room/playroom is looking less and less like the nursery it started out to be. I have managed to keep a few items like the pink plaid lamp and valance! It is also the original paint from her baby days. She can still fit her vintage desk painted by my friend Tracey and her mom Val when we first began home school.Tracey, Val and the desk are treasures!

Sydney is excited to begin 5th grade although she still reminds me that she should be in 6th because we held her back in pre-K due to her summer birthday. Will she ever get over it? Probably not!

 Handwriting is her least favorite subject but she is improving and some of her printing is better than mine. We touched on cursive a little last year and will resume later this year. I want her to have nice penmanship. That is a subject that many schools do not even teach now.

I love this lifestyle for our family and when I do get discouraged, I remember that God is restoring all of the time I missed with my daughter when I was working and she was in daycare.  That seems like a lifetime ago! I know we will have challenges this year...we always do but we always manage to work them out...sooner or later!

Friday, August 19, 2011

No more baby face!

I love to look back and compare how much my daughter has changed from year to year...look at this! Wearing the same leotard although it fits a little differently. This past year has been one of the easiest years of her life from a parenting perspective. I think it's been a good year for her too. I am beginning to see glimpses of what she will look like as a teenager. She still loves dance more than just about anything on earth!

First day of dance last year...

First day of dance this year (yesterday)...

Somebody's growing up!

This year her dance choices have become more mature too...she is only taking jazz and lyrical. I am looking forward to seeing what she can do with lyrical.  A couple of years ago she tried hip hop and hated it.  I hope she loves lyrical because her teacher is a beast (in a good way)!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recital 2011 or I really need to take a photography class!

Sydney's big dance recital was May 30th!  I took about 400 pictures and they mostly look like this:

This is ballet and it was last during dress rehearsal and apparently I bumped my camera and goofed up the settings. It was so dark I couldn't see the controls on my camera to fix it. I will bring a flashlight next year.  It was very disappointing. Hopefully the video will be here in a few weeks and we can find something a little better!

Here is a little better picture of her least you can see how beautiful her costume is!

Here a picture of her tap pose at the end of the dance.  These were a little better than ballet but still I was too far away during dress rehearsal and no pictures are allowed during the actual performance. We still have to have her professional photos taken...somewhere...they didn't do them at the studio so we are kind of on our this year. The picture packages have gotten very expensive last year and a lot of parents protested and just didn't show up. This is sad because we like the group pictures too but only 3 of the 15 in her jazz class showed up for photos last year.

 Jazz...there is so much movement in this dance to "Walking on Sunshine" Lots of running, jumping twirling etc. Right up my girls alley!
  • Off to the eye doctor today for both of us
  • By the way, Sydney injured her elbow Saturday we thought it was broken.  It isn't but she will be out of swim team this week for sure.  The Dr. said after that she can resume activities as tolerated. That means yesterday was her first swim meet of the season and we didn't get to go.  She was sad but hurting so much it wasn't a huge factor. I hope she can get back soon.
  • Sydney won a solo part for Jam Camp and has her first practice tonight. Gulp! I would have never tried out for a solo...ever! I am really excited for her.
  • We are still finishing up school this year but taking off a few days. This totally blows my schedule that I had planned out so I have to make some changes to my lesson plans

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Every year Sydney's dance studio performs at Mayfest. This performance and her recital are the highlight of her year. This year she performed a tap dance to "Naturally" performed by Selena Gomez and her Jazz dance to " Walking on Sunshine" and I have no idea who sing it.
She is also in ballet but they don't perform at Mayfest because pink tights and pink leather shoes don't work well with mud.

They get to dance in a shaded area because it can be 100 degrees here in May. Luckily it was only in the 80s but windy. Parent sit in the sun and bake.
She looks like she's walking on sunshine doesn't she?

She has been working hard to perfect this jump!

 I think she loves the poses at the end of her dances as well as the dance. A love of hamming it up runs in the family. If you have read Coco's blog you know that! I was really happy she was smiling in the pic because she wasn't in the rest of the dance because a girl who wasn't in practice that week showed up for the performance.  The dance had been tweaked the day before and this little girl didn't know and it was total confusion. Miss Sydney was not too happy.

Don't you think their costumes are pretty? I think they changed suppliers from years past because they seem to be much higher quality than before. Also for this dance they will have black fishnet stocking rather than tan.

Again this year I will be a backstage mom which is really fun. Then I found out the order of the dances calls for 2 hair changes. Pony tail, bun, side pony tail!  I am mostly worried about getting 14 girls hair into buns with hairnets and get their costumes, tights, shoes and etc changed in time to go on stage! You would think 8-10 year old girls could handle the costume changes but they can't! They are sweaty and extremely wound up! It's fun and I wouldn't miss it. I know these days won't last long!  The teen girls don't really have backstage help... I keep telling me that dance has given them discipline to be independent. Either that or the moms are burned out by then!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nearing the finish line!

A quick update after nearly a year of non stop remodeling we are very close to the finish line. Yesterday Jason finished installing the last of the wood floor, baseboards and trim. Now it's just a few little things to complete. I still have a big mess to clean up before I can show photos but we are very happy with the final product. There is still a matter of a built in desk to be done and a few odds and ends. Today I have to complete my daughter's Easter dress so she doesn't have to wear the dress from last week! A confession, I started this dress last year and things just didn't come together so I think it will work this year.  I will post a picture of the finished project as well.

I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Sweet Baby! Also some random stuff.

Just for a minute imagine that you are having a baby at 40! That was me 11 years ago and these are the things I asked God to bless me with...

healthy baby
brunette with blue eyes (after a slew of blonds Granny was ready for a brunette)
loving spirit
who loves Jesus
independent (because I was older and her sisters were teenagers)
pretty (yes, I really did slip that one in)
good sense of humor
born on time (3 weeks early and small but just fine)
please let her have a pretty nose (her sister was obsessed with her nose and had it fixed at a very young age)

I have to say that God blessed me way beyond my wildest dreams or selfish prayers. All this has been on my mind lately and I just want to remember to be thankful for those blessings.

Please say a prayer for baby Robby and all of the other little ones who start out this life with a struggle. Also don't forget to pray for all of the parents who pray and wait.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kitchen Remodel

Here are the before and after photos of our kitchen remodel. I hated my old kitchen. It is still small but much more functional and way prettier than the old days. New appliances, sink, granite, tumbled marble back splash, black granite sink, new tile floor, removed part of a wall, added recessed lighting, new custom made (by Jason) cabinets except for pantry and top cabinets on one side, under cabinet lights. Jason just built new doors so you can't tell...oh and he removed the dreaded scallop detail at the bottom of the cabinets.  

 We had the wall area where the oven is removed and made into a breakfast bar.


 Much better? Under the bar area on this side of the stove, Jason added deep drawers...where I keep my utensils, pots, pans, baking pans and cookie sheets...all have their own drawer. You can see our hardwood stacked in the dining room ready to go in next week!
 New matching refrigerator...
 Gorgeous granite sink and check out that back splash!
The stove was a big splurge...GE Profile but our neighborhood appliance store blew every one's pricing out of the water! The microwave and dishwasher are not new but they match and work well (after a little tweaking from Jason).

 This is my coffee/hot chocolate bar...see, coffee, hot chocolate packets and marshmallows! I am about to change this out to tea bags and crystal light packages for warmer months...
 Pantry cabinet detail...
As you can imagine we are thrilled with the transformation. Next up the laundry room! It is finished and the new hot water tank went in yesterday!

Linking up to Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday and Remodelaholic