Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Day!

Today is a BIG day in our family! We are celebrating several occasions:

#1 - My niece Hope Catherine turns 1 today! She is the baby of the family. Hope is a little sweetheart with a very even personality. She is always smiling and taking in the world around her. She has recently started walking and is trying to keep up with her big brother and 2 big sisters. Happy Birthday Hope!

#2 - N's last day of kindergarten is today!! He has a little program at school this morning and then is done until 1st grade! He has learned so much this year and had such a great time. He will miss Mrs. Marshall and his friends! He and a few of his buddies have a group called "The Lightning Gang" and today he asked us to take a picture of them and put it in a frame for him! We will arrange some playdates over the summer with the "gang" and look forward to the new friends we'll make next year!

#3 - L's last day in her class at preschool. She will be moving up to the next class on Monday and as she keeps telling us...."It's a big boy class" We asked her if it's a big girl's class as well and she said, "no". Silly L!

Tonight is graduation for our seniors - a big moment in their lives!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A disclaimer to earlier post

Okay, Okay, I know what you are all thinking, the Mayes family can afford a pool?!? Lance is a youth minister for heaven's sake!!!

This is the pool, I'd love to have.....

We do have a pool, but it's about 30" deep x 60"wide and although it does have a pump and we do put chemicals in it, it cost us all of $50 at Target! You too can have a pool in your backyard!!! Ours looks more like this....

See today's earlier post to see why I was discussing swimming pools!!!

It was THIS big!

Yes, this (minus the actual snake) is what greeted us at our swimming pool yesterday afternoon. I had the kiddos dressed in their swimsuits and out the back door when I catch sight of a snake skin on the ground next to our pool. After I wrangled the kids back inside, I peered out the window to see if I could spot him! I wasn't going to take any chances - this momma doesn't do snakes - no matter the size, kind, etc. Swimming was off the table for the day. N called Lance at the office to tell him that "momma is freaking out!" Now, I wasn't really freaking out, but I have to say, I was very aware when in the garage or front yard. I wasn't about to let one sneak up on me!!! By the time Lance arrived home, the winds were blowing and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees, so the swimming was not to be. We were all very disappointed. Perhaps we'll try again today....if momma can get up her courage!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Holiday Weekend

We had a great weekend! What a great kick-off to summer!

Saturday, we were able to enjoy free tickets to High School Musical 2 on Ice! We were given 200 free tickets to share with our church, friends, and neighbors! It was fun and N invited 3 friends to go with us. It was fun to listen to them talk, sing, and laugh in the car. L got a big kick out of them as well - she loves to watch her brother and his friends!

Sunday was a day of celebration with our graduating seniors. It's very emotional each year to see them and their parents celebrating the end of their childhood. We've know these students since they were in 5th grade - they've changed ALOT!

Sunday evening we fellowshipped with our church family over homemade ice cream and pie - that was a fun time as well.

Yesterday, my family took me to The Woodlands for an early birthday treat at The Cheesecake Factory. It was delicious and we had a relaxing day shopping and playing. We came home and went swimming before settling in for the evening. Great times, great memories, very relaxing!

Now, we are in the last week of school - it's hard to believe N has almost finished kindergarten and he is even a little sad about it. He has LOVED his teacher this year.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Last night, our youth ministry hosted an event at our church. This was not a "normal" youth event. This was a beautiful picture of how things should be in the community of faith. We hosted a time of worship, study, and fellowship with several area Missionary Baptist Churches. It was a great time! In the Missionary Baptist Church, the youth ministry is different than ours. They not only include 7-12 grades, they include children 3 y.o. and up. And so, my kiddos got to participate as well. N, was very excited (as always!) and very into it. I wasn't sure how little L would do. At first she was shy and didn't even want me to participate, but about halfway thru, she warmed up and even began clapping to the music. It was sweet. I loved being with a community of all ages and all colors and cultures. I wish our churches could be a better picture of this on Sunday mornings. Maybe with time we will be.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gone, Gone, Almost Gone!

My baby is now fully potty-trained during the day. We are still wearing our pull-ups at night, but that's it! She is doing very well with it and is so proud! I've got to run to Target and get more princess underwear - yippee! This achievement was one of the last 2 "baby" things left for her! The other is.......

Her "Cassie". "Cassie" is what others call a pacifier. Cassie got her name from big brother who was 3 when L was born and he couldn't say pacifier, so Cassie was christened. We still call "her" that! Cassie has helped us thru many hard times, but quite frankly Lance and I are ready for her to go. There is really no more room in our lives for this "third" child. But, alas, L is not there yet. We've tried the bribery of "you can get any toy in the store you want, just give up Cassie". We've tried, "there's a new baby that really needs a new Cassie"; we've tried hiding Cassie, and yet at the end of the day....there is no sleep without her. We went thru a similiar obsession with N at this age only his was his "lovey" - a blue bear that was "real" and went everywhere with us. Lovey has had many a surgery to repair all the love he received from N. Lovey occasionally had to go spend a week with other people because he couldn't behave, but somehow it was easier to get rid of Lovey than Cassie.

I know she won't still have Cassie in kindergarten, but there is a part of me that feels like a failure as a mom that I have a 3 y.o. that still has her Cassie.

But, then I remember N and his Lovey and realize, it's a brief time in their lives and in a few short years, I'll be longing for the sweet innocence of this time.

So, for now, Cassie stays, but I'm hoping soon she will find her way elsewhere.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fabulous Falcon!

N was waiting at school Friday afternoon with a BIG smile on his face and ribbon and sticker on his shirt. He was awarded the "Fabulous Falcon of the Week" in his class last week. Lance and I are so proud!

We are especially proud of the turn-around he made from the week before! The week before we had actually received a phone call from the P.E. coach about N's poor behavior. This was a remarkable improvement for N in just one week! We are proud of him and he's proud of himself!

We are hopeful the last two weeks of school will be full of great behavior and great times! It's hard to believe he is almost finished with kindergarten. Oh, they grow up way too fast!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Money Money Money....Money!

So, what are you guys doing with your Economic Stimulus Payments? Don't be afraid to comment, I know you blog stalkers are out there not commenting!!!!

Lance and I were fortunate enough to receive a very large income tax refund this year and then the economic stimulus payment as well. This is only the second time in our marriage that we've even received a refund at all. We were thrilled, but I'm sure the Bush Administration is probably not thrilled with what we are using our money for. A small amount will go toward stimulating the economy, but the majority is going into the bank or toward our car loan.

What are we stimulating the economy with?

Lasik eye surgery for Lance.

He is very excited as he was worn classes for over 30 years! We knew this might very well be the last time we would have this much cash at our disposal for this purpose. The only other item is a new bed for L, she has been sleeping on the trundle from N's bed for 6 months now. It's time for her to have a "real" bed of her own.

I have a feeling that some of our money may go toward gas :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A new obsession!

We're all about the bike riding at our house these days. Yesterday, N and I went for a bike ride after school - just the two of us. He showed me some cool new 6 y.o. moves - the razor turn, the downhill speed turn, and the wiggly turn. It was fun - we got to ride fast - super fast! We enjoyed our conversation along the way too!

Last night, L and I went on a bike ride together - she's all about speed most of the time, except when she stops to ask, "is that a flower, momma?"; "is that a puppy, momma?" now these are all rhetorical questions as she already knows what these things are. It's more about the experience of sharing things together.

I love these times with my kiddos and I have enjoyed the individual time with each of them without any bickering, etc. Each got to set their own pace and agenda. It was nice. I love seeing the things that each of them is interested in. I love seeing the world thru their eyes.

Tonight, we'll all 4 ride together and that will be fun too - just different! The boys will probably race on ahead of L and I while we smell flowers and pet puppy dogs along the way!

I'm working on getting L signed up for dance classes with my friend Tracy's daughter, Emma. I hope she loves dancing as much as the bike riding!

I think L is our little athlete - she loves "playing" soccer and basketball and she is actually better at catching a ball than N - she loves getting dirty and living it up!

N is more of the social, creative, kind of guy - give him some one to talk to and play with and he'll make up a game or activity - like ant collecting or tying things to his scooter to make it into a train. Sports, not so much for him!

I'm so thankful that God makes us all different. For years, I would compare myself to others and only notice the things they could do that I couldn't. Being a mom, I'd like to think I'm better able to appreciate the differences and how they are all wonderful and how they make us just the way God designed us to be.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A very FULL weekend!

It seems the last few weekends have been incredibly busy around our place - we had lots of company and lots of end-of-school year activities.

This weekend started with a wonderful occasion at N's school - Mommy Makeover!

N was incredibly enthusiastic about this - he got to apply makeup, give me a massage, and brush my hair. He embraced this with his usual enthusiasm for life and I was one of the "most beautiful" moms there! As part of the occasion, the kids each wrote and illustrated a story for us to read while we were getting pampered. It was a great time with N.

Saturday, L and I had our first momma/daughter pedicures. L was great! I was a little concerned about her patience and ability to sit still at 3 y.o. but she did great and loved every minute of it! She is very proud of her sparkly toes and I think we will make this an "annual" event for us.

Lance's parents, sister, and niece, and nephew also came to spend the day with us on Saturday. They went to N's soccer game with us which was fun. We also had the company of our friend, Alex - she's a soccer guru! L's crazy bike riding ability wore Jordan (15 y.o. nephew) out. He's her favorite cousin because he plays with her and does crazy stuff with her! Jordan wants to come to school at TAMU and we hope he will be able to.

Today, I got to do some of my favorite things and my kiddos and hubby came along and enjoyed it with me! We went on a home tour (which I absolutely love to do!), went for a bike ride, and went to get ice cream.

It was a great weekend and a time to celebrate the gift of motherhood. I'm so thankful that God blessed me with a great mom that raised me well and continues to be my greatest support and friend.

I'm also grateful that God allowed me to be a mom to N and L. On this day of motherhood, I'm also reminded of N and L's birthmoms and the great and selfless gift they gave to Lance and I.

Today I also remember my friends who are waiting to be moms and are longing for the day they will get to experience this joy. I remember those hard, lonely days and I pray that the time will go quickly for those of you who are stuck in the "waiting".

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Guest Blogger today

I asked MommaJen if I could have access to blog today.

I am thoroughly enjoying these blogs; it is part of my morning routine to check in on the happenings of the Mxxxx family on Cxxxxxx Street.

This weekend we celebrate mothers. All my life, I have been surrounded by only the best; grandmothers, mother, aunts, wife, sister-in-laws, daughter-in-law and daughter MommaJen. Saints, they're all saints or they've got me fooled!

"God couldn't be everywhere so he invented mothers." Not so theologically correct but then again...

Mothers: They can see into your future!
Mothers: They know everything you do!
Mothers: They know what you need before you ask!
Mothers: Nothing is too hard for them!
Mothers: They can do everything at once!
Mothers: They can dry any tear!
Mothers: They can find you lost in a crowd!
Mothers: Only you matter when you need that!
Mothers: They make you face the consequences!
Mothers: They make you safe!
Mothers: They know they're going to have to let you go!
Mothers: They let you go!!
Mothers: They wait for you to come back with a light in the window!

MommaJen is a mother. It is my delight to watch her in action. I marvel at what she does and how she learned all that. There must be a momma school somewhere that I don't know about. Or maybe there is a momma well deep inside every mother; a deep, deep well that will never run dry. It's a mystery how that well gets there; I've been watching MommaJen all her life and I don't remember seeing or hearing about the well being prepared; it's just there.

The momma well is like all the miracles of life; there are so many! It just is!

Happy Mother's Day, Jen

I will always love you, Dad

Thursday, May 8, 2008


We came home from soccer practice this evening to find a terrible scene in our neighborhood. Fire trucks, lots of people standing out in the street. As we turned the corner, we noticed the windows were busted out of our neighbor's house and the truck in their garage had obviously been on fire.

Lance went over to check on them and discovered they had literally bought the truck an hour before leaving to go to their own soccer practice and had parked it in the garage. Needless to say, they are going to ask for their money back on the truck. Ironically, the dad in this family is a firefighter.

This sweet family has three young children, including an infant, so they were busy comforting their children. I don't think it had all sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will later.

Thankfully, everyone is okay and the damage was somehow limited to their garage, but oh what a sight! It was a good teachable moment for N on how dangerous gasoline, matches, etc are and what can happen. Not a sight we want to see again! And this only a week after two police officers were at another neighbor's house. Our quiet little street has had quite the drama.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weekend Update!

We had a fantabulous weekend! It all started Thursday afternoon when my parents arrived for a visit! We decided to take them to the local hibachi grill for a fun family dinner! Little did we know, that little L would be terrified - she started crying and soon even N was fearful. I mistakenly thought they would love it! Maybe in a few years!

Friday, we had N's end of the year school music program. It was a 50's theme and super cute. N was dressed in his plain white T with his rolled up jeans. He did a good job singing and doing motions. The only problem - it was hard to see him - lots and lots of kids, teachers, and parents in the way!

Saturday was soccer day. It was extremely cold and windy and we had the 8:30 game, so we were all huddled together in our coats. Our friend, Miss Amy came and watched along with Nana and Grandpa.

Nana and Gpa headed back to the big D after lunch and later that afternoon, Miss Amy came over - we spent a wonderful weekend of going to the park, riding bikes, and just hanging out! After she left Sunday afternoon, it was time for the children's choir program at church. N did very well with his songs and even bowed after each one as the congregation clapped! It was cute.

I love weekends like this - it was so enjoyable with our company. N and L LOVE having people come stay with us and I'm so thankful that they do enjoy it! Guests are always welcome at the Mayes Hotel!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's like riding a bike!

My gal, L, is a 3 y.o. bicycling dynamo. At barely 3 years old, she can bike all the way to the park and back - approx 1 1/2 miles.

The last few months it has been slow going - lots of breaks, etc. But, this weekend, she rode it and rode it FAST! I discovered that I can no longer walk the route with her and keep up. So, it's back to cycling I go.

It has been 9 years since I've ridden a bicycle. This afternoon I got on Lance's bike since he has been riding recently and his is in good shape. Other than the high bar, it was GREAT! It's true what they say, you never forget how to ride! I'm ready to have my bike reconditioned so I can ride again! I'm very excited about all 4 of us being able to go on family rides!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Life in a Box

Lance bought a new grill over the weekend. It's great - he cooked shrimp and pork chops for us Saturday night - delicious!

The grill came in a box - a GREAT BIG box!

This box sat on our back patio until Monday afternoon. Then, genius struck! N and his friend Aaron transformed the box into....a PLAYHOUSE! It's awesome - complete with a cut-out window, front door and a sign...a flip-sign at that - one side says..."Grand Opening of the Play Hose" and the other says, "Play Hose Closed" - spelling courtesy of N. The flip-sign is creatively attached to the box using one of my dangle earrings. Fortunately, I'd lost the mate to this earring, so it's found it's new destiny as play house sign holder!

The fun continued when L and Madeline and Brookelyn decided to "paint" the playhouse. Our version of painting is sidewalk chalk mixed with water. The house is now "decorated". Hours of fun have been had by our kids and the neighbors - love it!