Thursday, December 31, 2009

When the circle is broken

This week has been an interesting one. Some good news arrived and some bad. Some lucky things happened and some unlucky. (If there is such a thing as luck!)

We hear alot about the circle of life. And it's true that people are born and die every day and that is life, but what happens, when that circle seems broken. When things seem to happen at the "wrong time"?

This week.... Lacey had her first baby. A sweet little boy who decided to arrive 7 weeks early!

A sweet friend from my Bunco group in College Station lost her husband in a car accident. 34 years old and gone in an instant. No time for goodbyes. Her toddler daughter lost a father she probably won't remember.

In things that now seem much less important, Lance's car was hit twice by a hit and run driver. The guy hit it and then backed up and hit it again! Fortunately for us, there was a witness and so we have the license plate number. Hopefully, this person has auto insurance and this will be nothing more than an inconvenience to fix!

Lance's parents were here with the kiddos while we worked this week. They took the kids to a movie yesterday afternoon and the fire alarm went off! So, the movie theater comp'd 4 tickets to use on a future visit. So, our family will be able to go to the movies sometime soon! This is exciting for us because movies are one of the items cut from our budget this year!

2009 has been a great year! We've had some super great times and moments this year and we've had some sad and hard times too --- just like all of you. We've said goodbye to great friends in College Station and hello to new ones here in San Antonio. God has blessed us greatly thru all of the transition.

In 2010, I don't have real "resolutions" although I do have a few things that are on my heart.

I'd like to:

do better on my eating and exercise
keep developing friendships here in SA
plan a "date" night with each member of my family separately --- one for Lance, N, and L --- a time to have one-on-one conversation with each

I pray that you and your family have a safe and happy new year!

See you in 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Do you think he ought to purge?

If you click here you will see a house here in San Antonio that is decorated for Christmas all year long. If the link doesn't work, just google "Ed Clark's Christmas lights". It is quite a sight.

The legend is that his wife's favorite holiday was Christmas and when she died, he decided to keep the decor up all year long. He adds things to it each year.


I think this is one house we will miss on our driving tour of lights. Riverwalk and Alamo Heights, here we come!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The happiest Christmas ever

Lance and I were at a Christmas party last night and the hosts were generating some fun holiday discussions around the dinner tables.

One topic....what are some of your favorite "toasts"? After our group mentioned melba and cinnamon, we realized what they meant. Our table of 8 decided we were "too Baptist" to have any favorite cheers! :)

Another topic, that got me to thinking, was "What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?" As each person shared theirs, it made me think of lots of Christmas memories from my childhood. (I couldn't really think of a gift that was a standout)

Some of my top childhood Christmas memories:

Spending Christmas at my grandma's house with a fireplace (we didn't have one when I was growing up) - my brother and I LOVED to throw paper in it and see it spark. I can still smell those fires and unique smells to my grandma.

Going to church on Christmas Eve --- to me, it's still the most magical night of the year!

The year Paul (my brother) got a dog for Christmas. The doorbell rang and there she was in a box on the front porch.

Having "snacky" food after church on Christmas Eve and getting to open presents that night!

Some of my favorite adult Christmases:

N's first Christmas, when the little girl behind us in church saw the baby Jesus printed on the bulletin and showed her mom that I was holding baby Jesus --- sweet, sweet.

N's first Christmas, when it was just the 3 of us at our house. We put N to bed and the silence and quiet of those moments. This was also N's first night to sleep the entire night --- Merry Christmas to us!

L's first Christmas, when we knew that our family was complete and we were all together.

This year when we are all together and we are healthy and happy.

I'm hoping these are things I'll realize for my kiddos each year. It's a season for making memories and while I love to hear their squeals of delight at their gifts, I know what they'll really remember is going on a hayride thru the Christmas lights at Santa's Wonderland; making cookies with Nana; playing with the train with grandpa; going to see the trains at NorthPark mall with grandad and grandmommy; acting crazy with their cousins (both the teenagers and the little cousins)reading fun Christmas stories with Lance and I and watching Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and Frosty.

As they grow older, I'm sure some other traditions will begin and we'll embrace those as well.

Gifts don't matter much, but The Gift does.

If anyone still reads my blog, I pray you have a blessed time with your family and friends and that you remember the Baby who came long ago for all of us.

Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Happy!

In our new neighborhood, we have a very diverse group of people. But one of the largest groups are our Jewish friends. Our area of San Antonio has a very heavy Jewish population. I had a few classmates in school who were Jewish, but definitely not a majority and really Plano is the last community I lived in where there many at all.

So, N's school party was highly varied complete with Jewish and Christian traditions. I was glad he was learning about their faith and he has definitely educated us. We've learned to play dreidel and it's a great game with an 8 and 4 y.o. No skill required! He's told us about the 8 days of celebration, of the gifts, and the candles.

So, Sunday morning, during the Children's Sermon at church, our children's minister asked all the kids what that day was the last of. (Correct answer: last Sunday of advent) But, L's answer was: Hanakkuh. It was funny! Everyone in the congregation laughed. But see, L doesn't like it when she says something cute and everyone laughs. So, I play a little game with her....I tell her that it's me they are laughing at. And so, she is always saying, "momma, you are so funny". Well, Sunday, I was a riot!

My sweet L, I'm so thankful you are still little and say cute things. I know someday you won't anymore and I'm thankful for these days. Love, Momma

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taking bribery to a whole new level

Before becoming a parent, I was an expert on parenting. I believe LOTS of people are experts prior to actually parenting.

Now, not so much. In fact, I know I frequently break the "good parent" rules. Most of the time in the interest of my hearing or sanity. I've been known to offer up all kind of sweet treats, favorite cartoons, extra playtime outside, later bedtime, etc. all in the interest of getting thru the day.

But, today at Hobby Lobby, I heard a new one. One I've never tried before and can honestly say I never will.....

are you ready for this?

Are you sure you're ready?

This is what I witnessed a mom bribing her 3-4 year old son with:

That's right.....she said, "If you can't be good, I won't buy you a lottery ticket today."

Now, I'm sure the lottery ticket is really for her (after all don't you have to be 18 to win) but still....this would have never occured to me. ('Course I don't play the lottery, so that might be why)

I should have asked her if it was a successful means of bribery. I'm always up for parenting advice. :)

Is this one you've tried? Or have you heard other unusual parenting techniques?

Friday, December 11, 2009


Click here if you like those crazy beer commercials - "Real Men of Genius". This is a take off on those from a "Christian" perspective.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keep on dreaming

To my darling daughter,

I know you love convertibles. I too have had my romance with convertibles. In the 80s, it was the Volkswagon Cabriolet and Bug. Now, it would be a Mercedes in candy apple red.

But, my sweet darling, no matter how much you dream about convertibles, I have to tell you that my next car will not be a convertible. I will have at least one more "mom" car before I can even consider something as fun and impractical as a convertible.



Monday, December 7, 2009


For the first time in four months, I feel like I'm at home.

Now, I'm still not digging my rental house with pink/blue flowered wallpaper in the kitchen or my guest bathroom with shiny pink floral wallpaper, but where it really counts in my heart and spirit, I do feel "at home".

We had a wonderful weekend spending time with old and new friends. Friday night, we had dinner with Melissa and her family. Melissa and I were friends and roommates at Baylor and it's been fun to reconnect. The 4 kids wasted no time getting down to the business of playing and aggravating one another.

Saturday morning, the kiddos made gifts for family members while Lance and I started and finished our Christams shopping. Yep, that's right, going to only 2 stores we were able to complete our shopping. Of course, it helps that we are on a tight budget this year, but I think the kids will be excited with their gifts!

Saturday night, we had two parties to attend - a Christmas party and a Sweet 16 Birthday party. It was a late night, but made fun by our new friends here in San Antonio!

Sunday morning, we had the most glorious Christmas music at our church. We had 30 members of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra playing with our choir --- there were so many choir members participating that 3 of them had to sit in the baptistry - crazy!! I really thought I would miss the contemporary music from our church in College Station, but it's amazing because I don't. Our choir is so talented that it's truly a time of worship - I wish everyone could have been a part! Our family got to light the advent candle and that was special for us --- this is the first time L has been in "big church" for the Christmas season. She did really well.

Last night, we had the luxury of having Lance home with us on a Sunday night and so we took the kiddos down to the riverwalk to see the luminarias and Christmas lights -it was fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

70 percent

There is a 70% chance of snow tomorrow! Yippee! Who woulda thunk it when we moved here in August and it was 110 degrees. And I'm not exaggerating - it was 110!!!

And no matter whether we get snow or not, there is 100 percent chance of cold which puts me right in the mood for addressing Christmas Cards. I've got all 100 of my cards made, but haven't started addressing any of them. I'm thinking tonight, with a blanket on my lap. Now, if we only had a fireplace in our rent house, it would be perfect.

We've been invited to friends' house tomorrow for dinner and the kids are looking forward to their indoor climbing wall - it's awesome!

Saturday, the kids are going to a gift-making workshop to make gifts for their g-parents while Lance and I shop. And Saturday night, we have our first Christmas party of the season! Add the Christmas musical on Sunday at church and I think we'll be feeling very festive!

This post is oh, so random ---- kinda like life since we moved.

The kids are doing great - N had straight A's the first 9 weeks and has really blossomed with his reading and science this year. He has impressed his teacher with all his knowledge and I must say I'm impressed too. He can name all the planets, moons, and asteroid belts in the solar system. Plus a whole bunch of other stuff that I never really cared if I knew or not, but is now a whole lot more interesting to me because of the cute boy telling me about it.

Here is a link to one interesting story that my dad found for him and that N has now shared with everyone he meets. This is a true story of a lake in Louisiana that disappeared in moments. It really is pretty fascinating stuff.

L is continuing to amaze us with her awesome art skills. Her birthmom and her maternal birth grandfather are both very talented artists and it's very obvious she has been gifted in this area. Her art skills are far beyond the average 4 y.o. Not that I'm biased or anything. She is also already taller than N was at her age and he's no shorty. So, I think Lance and I will be little midget people compared to our children even before osteoporosis sets in.

And now, I must be off to find the one closed toe pair of shoes I own and my only full-length pants so that I won't freeze tomorrow, 'cause I do live in the tropics ya' know.