Monday, December 22, 2008

Little Lumberjacks

I LOVE our fireplace! But it sure is a lot of work. My wonderful dad (with some encouragement by my mom) brought us a load of wood a few weeks ago, but with as cold as it has been, it's disappearing fast. So, last weekend we headed to the woods to cut some more. The kids did pretty well, considering it was WORK. A little bribery goes a long way sometimes (a Coke from Mamaw's house).

Chad's "determined" face
Everyone thought they could split the wood like Daddy

Love the expression

Landon trying to carry as much as he could so it would be fewer trips

It was a long walk back to the trailer to load

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Snow!

Well we didn't get any snow, much to the displeasure of the kids, but we sure did get plenty of sleet. Yeah, that is 3 1/2 inches of sleet. It is beginning to melt off some today, but the kids have been out of school for the past 2 1/2 days. Maybe they will be able to get back to school tomorrow. Not looking forward to making those days up next June!
Front yard
Driveway and backyard

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I have to say that I am one of the lucky ones. I was blessed with a wonderful, Christian mother that would do anything for anyone. She is THE most hard working woman I have ever known. She gives 110% in everything she does. She loves her family with a passion and has been a wonderful example of what a Christian wife and mother is supposed to be. Thank you, Mom for all you do and for loving us so much! Happy Birthday!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Visitors

We love our family! It has been so nice over the past few weeks to be able to visit with family and see some loved ones we don't see very often. It's always great to spend time with all of them. There are so many different personalities, backgrounds, and traditions, it makes the holidays so much fun!
My nephew, Ben and niece, Grace
We have Christmas with them at Thanksgiving every other year.

Hugh (Chad's brother) and Chad watching TV

My brother, Rusty and sister in law, Tiffany
Easton calls Rusty "Uncle Soft Hair"!

Uncle Hubert and all the cousins, Alana, Houston, Britton, Victoria, Landon, Easton and Felicia
We missed you, Misty!

Britton, Landon and Easton with Uncle Elroy (Chad's brother)
We missed you, Terry!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Don't you love this time of year?

A pic of the front yard from last winter. It just seems to sum up my feelings today.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love decorating for Christmas and putting up lights and searching for just the right gift for everyone. I love searching all the Black Friday ads and planning out each stop I will make and at what time according to the priorites of the gifts and prices. I love the kids excitement trying to figure out what are in all those wrapped gifts and making their lists for Santa. I love that they believe in Santa and the "magic" of this time of year. I love sitting in front of the fire listening to the wood crackle and the smell of the wood burning. I even love going to church smelling like smoke from the fire. I love the cold weather and putting the electric blanket on the bed and crawling into bed on a cold night. I love seeing family and friends that I don't get to see very often and spending time with the ones I see all the time. I love when people are nice for no apparent reason and they want to help others who are less fortunate. It's just a great time of year. Why can't it be this way all year long? I guess it would take some of the "specialness" out of it if it were always like this. There are things about the holiday season that I don't care for, but I don't want to think about those things today. I just want to LOVE this time of year, if only for today!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My husband is a Hall of Famer!

O.k., maybe not NFL Hall of Fame, but a very distinguished honor. Last weekend Chad was inducted into Arkansas Tech University's Hall of Distinction. That is the highest honor anyone can receive from that college. Arkansas Tech is where he played college football and was drafted from by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This weekend they inducted all athletes that had, in any sport, been All-Americans. There were 35. We had a nice luncheon and great video of each athlete and then awards. The stories of each athlete were amazing and to be included in such a talented group of people was really something special for Chad. I always knew he was a great athlete, but his football years were before I met him, so I never actually realized how talented he really was. It was really a special time and I am really proud of him!

Receiving his award
The kids were so proud of their Daddy
Maxie Mathis, just one of the many talented athletes
that Chad had great memories of.

Back in the day (as Chad would say)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Witch, a Mummy and a Zookeeper

These posted backward, but I'm not going to go back and upload them. Poor Landon threw up the entire night before and missed school on Halloween. He was miserable, but still wanted to go trick or treating. He only made it to a few houses and decided to sack out in the car while Britton and Easton continued their candy hunt. Thankfully, the next day he was better and was able to make his last soccer game. Here are my little trick or treaters.

Easton after trick or treating
My sick little Mummy, Landon

Halloween 2008

Don't they look excited?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Run, Baby, Run!

Easton ran his first race! And Landon ran his 3rd! It was a fundraiser for a local youth ranch for kids ages 3-13. Britton signed up, reluctantly, but decided to go on a hayride instead. So the boys and I went to the Country Club for the run. Easton's age group (3-5) ran 1/4 mile and Landon's group (6-8) ran 1/2 mile. Poor Easton was a basket case with all the little kids running around. We had talked about it all week and he said he would do it even though I would be standing on the sidelines. Of course, as he was waiting for his group to go he got cold feet and said he wasn't going to do it. So, I, along with a few other parents, ran with him. Thank goodness I put my tennis shoes on before we went. I could have used a better bra though!! I must have been a sight with me going one way and "the girls" going the opposite way! (All you large chested women out there know what I'm talking about!) Anyway, we made it to the finish line and Easton got his medal. There weren't any "places" since it was just a fun run, but we didn't come in last. Landon did well. He tripped and fell after they took off, but made up a lot of ground. My camera battery went dead after Easton's race, so I didn't get any pics of Landon running. The boys before the race
Easton looking a little nervous
(Doesn't he look like Landon in this picture?)

Run, Easton.
I'm trying to take pictures as I'm running along behind since Chad was in Birmingham at a football game.

Telling Daddy he finished the race

Two proud boys!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Loosing the game and getting lose!

Another good weekend around here. We spent Friday afternoon at the park. The Arkansas River is only a mile from the house and there is a small park beside it that the kids enjoy going to. We can all swing for hours.

Saturday, Landon had a game and scored 6, but they still loosed. He gets so frustrated when the coach takes him out. He wants to be in the middle of the action all the time.

After the game, I took the kids to Woolly Hollow State Park and we went for a hike. It is really nice out there and we just hiked around the lake. Everyone did really well the first 2 1/2 miles, but that last mile was long. Easton was scared that it was going to get dark the whole time and Britton ran out of steam the last 45 min., but we made it and had fun. I'm hoping once football season is over, we can go back as a family and camp.

Yesterday was Easton's last soccer practice. Although they haven't really played any games, it has helped him tremendously to be around kids his own age and participate with a group. He is so shy around people he doesn't know very well. At church he sits in the same seat, will not talk, participate in activities, just sit and color. Preschool next year is going to be a rude awakening for him I'm afraid.

Here are some pictures of Easton last week at soccer practice. Chad was able to leave work early and come "play" with him.

Letting lose!
Poor Landon can't stand sitting on the sidelines watching Easton. He wants to be out there also. He finally found something to keep him occupied, shoe football. It's not very clear, but he is going in for a touchdown....with his shoe. Letting lose, with all that speed!
Don't loose that shoe, Landon!
Here are the kids at Woolly Hollow. I could barely get Easton to get on the bridge without holding my hand. That was as far out as he was going to go.

Please don't let lose of me.

Sorry, Magen! I just couldn't help myself. For those of you who don't read Magen's blog, disregard all the loose/lose mistakes. For those who have read Magen's "Pet Peeve", enjoy! By the way, it drives my crazy too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's been a while...

Is is just me or does Easton seem more excited to be there than the pony?
The boys were not going in the maze without their "I'm lost, rescue me" flags.
Britton was our fearless leader.
Headed to the pumpkin patch
Only one rule: You have to carry it.
I think they made good choices.

All of my fellow bloggers are busy, I'm busy, does it slow down? Probably not, and I don't know if I would want it to. What else would I do? Clean house? No way...put me on the sidelines of a soccer game or swim meet any day before housework.
Anyway, we've just been doing the typical fall activities around here. A couple of weeks ago we went to the pumpkin patch. We all had a great time. They had a corn maze that they said was in the shape of the Statue of Liberty. I guess if you had an aerial view you could see it, but as we wondered around in 8 ft. high corn stalks, you couldn't tell what the design was. There were some farm animals that you could pet (that was Easton's favorite part) and they had hay bales stacked so the kids could crawl through the tunnels. There were pumpkins already picked, but it just isn't fall if you don't pick your own pumpkin off the vine. So we took the hayride to the pumpkin patch and everyone picked out their own pumpkin. Shockingly, Easton did not pick a green pumpkin. I just knew he would, but he said they didn't look like pumpkins.
We brought them home and the kids drew faces on them for carving. We decided to wait on the carving until closer to Halloween, so they wouldn't rot. Sadly, just 2 1/2 weeks later, our pumpkins look like they have a bad case of moldy chicken pox and they still aren't carved. We might have to make another trip to the pumpkin patch for more pumpkins!
Last weekend, both of my brothers were able to come to my parents house and visit for the weekend. It was really great having both of them there. It is rare anymore to have them both here at the same time. None of our spouses were able to come (we missed you guys), but hopefully we can all get together again around the holidays.
My nephew, Ben, got a car while we were there. It's a fixer, upper, but knowing my brother and all his connections, they will have it up and running before you know it. Watch out on the roads, Northwest Arkansas! It was very exciting to see Dad and the boys get it loaded on the trailer. There is not a lot I miss about being a teenager, but all of those "firsts" really bring back memories. Congrats, Ben!
I haven't been working on the house too much lately. I really would like to get the kitchen done before Christmas. I think it can be done. The only "big" things we still need to do is get new countertops and backsplash, new light fixtures and fix the ceiling where we ripped out the old cabinets. I have a real problem trying to make a decision on the countertops. There are just too many choices! Not to mention the backsplash. It will get done eventually though.
My mind is on Christmas these days. I've started my shopping and am looking forward to putting up my Christmas decorations and lights. Last year we didn't put anything up since we were right in the middle of the move. It was the only year I've never put a tree up. This year I'm planning on getting it up early and enjoying it for a while.
Sorry to ramble on. It's been lonely around here lately with Chad working 18 hour days and gone on the weekends with football. I guess I needed to "talk" if only to myself.
Have a great second half of the week everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Easton at 3!

This is one of my favorites taken by Melissa last year!
He's going to hate me for this one day. Britton decided to "fix" his hair.
Don't tell Chad I posted this one!

Summer fun at the river
Easton's first soccer practice. Britton was the photographer.

My youngest child. What can I say? He is definitely the baby of the family. He knows how to work each and every member of this family. He can get Britton and Landon in trouble without any effort at all and still appear to be a perfectly sweet angel. His temper usually knocks that halo right off his head though and the punching match is soon to follow. He thinks his only revenge against a 7 year old brother is hitting. It's really hard to control that at 3. He loves his mom and dad and can be the sweetest little cuddler you've ever seen. He won't watch anything "babyish" or wear anything that has a "girl" color on it. He talks like a 14 year old, has the face of a 2 year old and the body of a 5 year old. I have a feeling he will take after his brother when it comes to sports, but he and Britton have a special bond. She reads books to him each night, which she uses as an excuse to not go to sleep, and she gets his usually not-so-funny 3 year old jokes. Landon on the other hand sees him as the annoying little brother, but I have a feeling that one day they will be best friends.

I got a few answers to some of my questions, so here goes:

How old are you? I'm 3, right?

How much do you weigh? 40 pounds (wow, I was suprised by that answer. He actually weighs 45)

How tall are you? 3 a hundred (I don't know what that means. He's actually 41")

What is your favorite color? Of course, GREEN. Anyone who has ever been around him for more than 2 minutes knows the answer to that one. He refuses to color with any color other than green.

What is your favorite animal? Elephant

Where is your favorite place to go? The zoo

What is your favorite thing to do at the park? Swing

What are you going to be when you grow up? Zoo keeper (funny, because that is what he is going to be for Halloween too)

What is your favorite book? The cats with gloves (3 Little Kittens)

What does Daddy do at work? Play football

What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? Zoboomafoo and Tom and Jerry

What is something you are good at doing? Playing baseball and soccer

How old is Britton? 6
................. Landon? 8
.................. Daddy? 52
.................. Mommy? 10 (I love you)

Where do you live? El Dorado (Stuck in the past I guess)

What is a secret you've never told anyone before? I said "Whatever" (That is a bad word in our house)

What is your favorite game? The duck game (Lucky Ducks)

What is your favorite thing to eat? Chips, Doritos and candy and a popsicle (He's a health food nut, can't you tell)

Anything you want me to tell the world about you? Actually (his new favorite word) room is green!

That's all he would answer seriously for now. He started getting really silly after that. He's a precious boy that God blessed us with. From the beginning he has kept us on our toes and continues to do so. I thank God for him, and all my kids, everyday. We are so wonderfully blessed!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy Week

Well, it is officially fall around our house. Football is in full swing, so Chad is gone every weekend. Landon has started soccer and had his first game last weekend. He did great. He scored 6 goals, but he was upset because they lost the game. I think having a soccer game at 8:30 on a Sat. morning must be some type of sin! They have Rush soccer here and it is very different than Boys and Girls club soccer. They have 1 practice a week and then a game on Sat. mornings. There aren't any goalies, which initially I thought would make it very simple, but there is a person that plays defense in front of the goal and can go anywhere on the field that they want, but they can't touch the ball with their hands. It's interesting.

Britton started swim team. She is still a little unsure, but with that long, lean body, I think she will do very well. Her first practice was Tues. and there were at least 80 kids there, ages 5-12. I'm really hoping many drop out or they break them into smaller groups because that is just too many kids trying to swim together. She got sick Wed. with fever and a sore throat, but was well enough to make practice on Thurs.

Easton started soccer this week as well. It was so cute. About 10 three year olds running around trying to kick the ball. Of course there was a lot of crying, much of it by my child, when the ball was taken away, but with time I think he will understand that's how the game is played. The program is called Mighty Mites and a parent is out there with their child, helping with drills etc. Then at the end of the practice they have a short "scrimmage" which is really just a free for all and eventually several balls are on the field being played with. He is looking forward to next week, so hopefully no tears next time.

I'm working on an "All About Easton" blog for next time and I'll post some pics that Britt took of him at practice then. It's really difficult trying to get him to sit still long enough to ask him "serious" questions. Thanks, Cara for the great idea. I loved it when she did it for her boys.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memory of Chauncey

Today is a sad day at our house. The little dog that the Easter Bunny brought the kids this year got run over. It was on our way to school, but the kids didn't find out until after school. Needless to say, a long day for me trying to figure out how and what to tell them.
Chauncey was a spunky little dog, full of energy and life. And honestly one of the fastest dogs I've ever seen. He could outrun Landon before he was 2 months old. Weighing only about 8 pounds, he wasn't very big, but he always made his presence known. He loved to play ball, chase the kids and unfortunately chase cars.

Please pray a little prayer for my kids tonight. They've lost several pets since we have moved here. 3 hamsters and our cat, Bubba, who was 13. Don't worry too much though. We still have 2 cats, a dog and a hamster left. I'm sure before the week's over, they'll talk me into getting something else from all the guilt I feel.

We'll miss you, Chauncey!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A little bit of Disney

Waiting anxiously at the airport
Cinderella's Castle
This is one of Easton's favorite pics of Britton and Landon
Chad and Landon picking the monkey's nose at the Tree of Life
Always the charmer!

Everyone loves the teacups, especially at 1:00 in the morning!
Chip and Dale were lots of fun
The one ride I sat out on. I don't spin!
Landon and I on the bus on the way home.

It's good to be home. While we had a really good time, the crowds were terrible. My piece of advice for anyone planning a trip to Disney World...Don't go the week before and weekend of Labor Day. It was packed. Other than the crowds, we had a nice time. It only rained one day and that wasn't until the afternoon when we were at Hollywood Studios, so we had done everything we wanted to do there anyway.

The kids were shocked when we got to the airport. We pulled into our parking place and immediately a shuttle pulled up behind us. Chad explained to the driver that it was going to take a few minutes because our kids didn't know they were going to Disney. I told the kids to get out of the car and give Dadddy a hug because we wouldn't see him for a few days. While they were getting out, Chad got the shirts I had made and asked them to put them on so I could take a picture. They put them on and and didn't get it. Then I told them to stand next to each other and see if they could figure it out. After a couple of tries they got it and asked when they were going to go. We said, "Right NOW!". They started screaming and jumping up and down and couldn't believe they were going. Of course, planner Landon was concerned about school, getting tickets, having his clothes and on and on, but I told him we had taken care of everything. The only time they had questioned anything was when they got in the car from school and said that Daddy really had a lot of suitcases to take with him, which Chad and I couldn't help but laugh. I had told them on the way to the airport that we would try to do something fun before we came back home because they were wanting to stay in Memphis at a hotel for the night. They had talked themselves into thinking that we would stop by Jump Zone on the way back home. It was pretty funny.

They loved all the rides, and we rode everything. Their favorites were Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, Soarin' and Test Track at Epcot and Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Railroad at Magic Kingdom. We met several characters and got pics and autographs. It was 3 days before we ever saw Mickey Mouse and Landon was getting concerned. We finally found him though and he was really fun with the kids.

Animal Kingdom and Epcot were our favorites. I loved the shows, especially the Lion King Show. Don't miss it if you go. Nemo and Beauty and the Beast were really good also.

Easton did fantastic with Mom and Dad. He had a great time and only asked about us once. I talked to him on the phone a few times and he sounded so big. I think he put on 10 pounds while we were gone. Mamaw and Grandpa took him to his favorite restaurant (he calls it Mexico) a couple of times and I think he definitely ate well. My brother and his family came down for the weekend and really helped to keep him entertained. He loves Uncle Rusty tickling him. Thanks Mom, Dad, Rusty, Tiffany, Ben and Grace for watching over my baby while we were gone!