Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The discussion continues

Elizabeth: Mommy, I can feel Jesus... Mommy, where is my heart? I can talk to Jesus in my heart... Can I talk to him in your heart?... Sometimes I'm shy of God when I'm three year old. Sometimes I'm not.

More, more, I want more. It's too precious!

Umm . . . Umm . . . Good question

Jonathan: If Jesus is all around us and always with us, then how come we can't see him or feel him or hug him?

That's a tough one to try to explain to a five year old. I don't know where the question came from since just before that he was talking about race cars. I think I said something about heaven, bodies, praying, love and souls, but I'm not sure exactly what. It seems to have satisfied him, at least for now.

But, it shows that at times he does actually listen to me. :)

How many times today...

. . . will I have to remove a dog toy from the mouth of my newly mobile 6 month old?


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bless my husband

This simple project took him only an hour or two, but it has changed my life! He put dividers in the cabinet that holds all my baking pans/cookie sheets, etc. so now they can be stored upright.

No more grunting, straining and sweating while I struggle to get the pan I need, which was inevitably on the bottom of the massive stack. Sometimes it amazes me what gives me the most joy. But, every time I go to that cabinet and easily slide out a pan, I smile and say a little prayer of thanks. Happy, happy me!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gustin's Baptism

I love baptisms. It doesn't matter who is getting baptized, young or old, related to me or not. They are amazing. It's like I can feel God's graces flowing through the air and around all those who are present. Saturday was an amazing day baptizing Gustin and celebrating with family. I will cherish all the memories we made.

Here's my little boy being baptized. He did not cry at all, but as soon as the water hit his scalp, his eyes got really big. He quietly fell asleep before being anointed with the spicy smelling chrism. The rich scent stayed on him all day long.
Here he is cuddling his godmother, my sister.
And, here's the entire crew, my Dad, my Mom, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Gustin, my sister Kelly and my brother Dan. Well, almost the entire crew. Dan's wife Rachel is taking the picture.
And, here's the very blessed Mommy and Daddy.

New family picture

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Among all the festivities and visiting family we managed to pose for a family picture that will most likely be on our Christmas card this year. After snapping about 27 gazillion shots, this is the best one. I'm happy!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The Aggies won! The Aggies won! 38-30!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Busy, busy, thankful and busy

Thanks to Jill for giving me this great idea for a Thanksgiving Tree (that she got from Karen). The kids loved doing it because they were allowed to make a big mess with scissors and glue!

Today we are off to my in law's house for the Thanksgiving holiday. We already have big plans for fishing, making smores over an open fire and maybe even going horseback riding. And, most importantly we are going to watch Texas A&M whip up on UT! Whoop!

We'll be back on Friday so we can prepare for Augustine's baptism on Saturday. My little boy will shortly be welcomed into the family of God! I'll be hosting lunch after the baptism where I will be serving these absolutely fabulous shredded pork tacos. It's a very un-Thanksgiving like meal (which we will be ready for by then!) and an absolute crowd pleaser.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy this time with friends and family and don't forget to stop the festivities for a few minutes and give thanks!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Look Mommy!

Only one hand!
Now the other one!
One leg...
Now the big finish . . . one hand and one leg!
I'm so big! I know what you're thinking, Mommy. I'm growing up way too fast!
Yes, you are my little boy. Yes, you are.

Fun fall day

It's not the typical pile of freshly raked leaves, but I guess a pile of freshly raked pine needles will work just as well.
I'll just try not to think about all the bugs and spiders . . . OK, I'll stop now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm growing!

Figuratively, of course, not literally. Nope, I did all my literal growing a long time ago but it has taken a while for my figurative growth to catch up. However, the other day Gustin's pediatrician asked me how tall I was and I said:

"Six foot."

I didn't think much about it at the time, but since then I've been thinking about it a lot. You see, that is not my normal answer. Normally I say I'm 5'11" (I'm actually like 5'11-7/8" or something like that. Just a smidgen under six foot). I guess it's because I've always tried to minimize my height.

I've been tall from the get-go. I was 22" long at birth and never looked back. Being a tall child has it's advantages and disadvantages.

  • Can always reach the top shelf in the kitchen
  • Can help little old ladies get things off the top shelf at the grocery store
  • Never need assistance getting things off the high racks in department stores
  • Playing basketball
  • Taller than all my friends (by a least a head)
  • Started being taller than my teachers in 4th grade
  • Looked older so I was expected to act older
  • Clothes shopping was difficult to say the least and at times would end with me in tears
  • Taller than all the boys when that started to matter
  • Gangly and awkward
  • Stuck out in a crowd
As I've gotten older I have been slowly (very slowly!) learning to accept my height. A big step was marrying a man who is shorter than me. I've got Eric beat by like 3 or 4 inches. Two years ago I finally bought my first pair of heals. I've avoided them like the plague most of my life and I guarantee you that on my wedding day I was wearing the flattest of flats. But, now I own a few pair and I wear them without being self-conscious and without slouching in an attempt to minimize my height (or the height difference between my husband and I).

I'm also finally recognizing some additional advantages to being tall:
  • Lots of room to carry babies. I'm always complimented on my cute, round, pregnant belly.
  • Putting on five (or ten) pounds isn't as obvious cause there's lots of room to spread it around.
  • I'm able to utilize my upper cabinets to the max (okay, that one is kind of a repeat).
  • Many clothes styles are most flattering on a tall figure.
  • I can always see over people and never miss out on any of the action at mass.
  • I'm the only one who can see how dirty the top of my refrigerator is.
It's kind of interesting to look back and see how much I have changed in the last ten years or so. Life is definitely more fun when you learn to accept the body that God has given you. I truly hope that I can teach that lesson to my children at a much younger age than I learned it. I think them seeing a confident mommy who is comfortable in her own skin is a good start.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You're probably not wondering...

. . . but I wanted to tell you all a little about Gustin's name, anyway.

I always have a hard time choosing boy names. I don't know why. I've got a long list of girls names that I love, but a proper boy name is just difficult. I don't want it to be too trendy or too common or too weird or too ordinary or you get the idea. It's also very important to me that my kids' names evoke some kind of feeling or remind me of a virtue or just generally are pleasant for me to reflect on.

For instance, for Jonathan we named him after the Biblical Jonathan who always makes me think of friendship and loyalty. Jonathan's middle name is Paul after St. Paul who makes me think of heroic courage and zeal for the Lord. Elizabeth is named after the Biblical Elizabeth and makes me think of motherhood, faith and patience. Her middle name is Bernadette and St. Bernadette was the ultimate model of humility.

Now, after the little aside, I need to get back to my main point. Gustin's name.

When we were discussing boy names, Eric and I started talking about historical men that we admire and of course St. Augustine's name came up. As soon as it was mentioned, Eric knew right away that it was the name. I was a little less certain. I liked that the name made me think of intelligence, rich theology and all of the other great qualities of this doctor of our church. But, Augustine just seemed like such a big name for a little person. And, I was afraid that it would be constantly mispronounced and misspelled. But, Eric talked me into it and I'm glad he did. It's a great name for my little boy.

But, it is constantly mispronounced and misspelled!

There are two correct ways to pronounce Augustine (I know, I did a bunch of research on it!). I've always heard it pronounced uh-gus-tin. But, many people pronounce it ah-gus-teen. Personally, I like uh-gus-tin but I don't particularly like ah-gus-teen. And, I never know if I should correct people when they say it wrong. I mean, they're not saying it wrong, they're just saying it the other way and I feel funny correcting people when they are actually correct. Know what I mean?

Anyway, when we told the kids the name of their new baby brother they immediately started calling him Gustin (like Justin but with a hard G). That name stuck and I thought it would solve the pronunciation and spelling issues. But, most people look at you funny when you tell them your child's name is Gustin because they have never heard it before and they think you are saying Justin or Austin instead.

Oh, well. Maybe one day we'll just give up and call him Gus. Surely there can be no confusion over that name!

P.S. Just in case you were wondering (or even if you weren't), Gustin's middle name is Luke, after the Gospel writer. St. Luke makes me think of fastidiousness, attention to detail and precision (he was a physician and historian).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

100% Texan

Okay, so I was going to do one of those quiz things that I saw at Minnesota Mom. It's supposed to tell you who your inner European is.

The first time I did the quiz the results were this:

Your Inner European is Spanish!

Energetic and lively.
You bring the party with you!

Um, no. That is definitely not me. I'm a wallflower.

So, I tried again. You know usually you can narrow down each question to two answers that both kind of fit. So, this time I picked all my second choices and I got:

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.

Again, no. Passionate and colorful? Didn't I just say I'm a wallflower? I know what culture really is? Ha!

One last try mixing answers from the first and second attempts:

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.

Weeelllll, at least I do have some Irish blood in me. But, drinking everyone under the table. Boisterous. You have got to be kidding.

So, I've decided that I have no European in me whatsoever. Nope, I'm 100% Texan from the US of A (just don't tell anyone that I was actually born in Nebraska). ;)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Half birthday

He's six months old, on the verge of crawling, and battling a case of RSV. Please keep my baby boy in your prayers.

Update: Gustin is doing a little bit better. His fever broke but now he is wheezing more. At his check up today the doctor said he doesn't expect him to get any worse (good) but it will probably take 5-7 days for him to get better (bad).

Prayers for all you blogging mommies with sick kiddos!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering our Veterans on Veteran's Day

Even with sick kiddos, I couldn't not honor our veterans today. My father is a vet. He served in the Marines during the Vietnam War and has a number of scars to show for it.

We love you, Dad. Thank you for your sacrifice. It will not be forgotten.

Dad in boot camp in 1965.

Dad in Vietnam.

Sick kiddos

We're just surviving around here right now.

But, in the meantime, go check out the fun that Blair is having with a little blue paint. And, she did all of it while being almost 8 months pregnant!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I finally did it.

I went to the allergist and got tested. I've suffered with allergies my entire life. But, growing up with limited financial resources meant that we didn't go to the doctor merely for running noses, sneezing, itchy eyes, and a stuffed up nose no matter how incessant they were. When I moved from my hometown in West Texas where it is arid to the humidity of East Texas for college, my allergies became much worse. The last twelve years have been tough, especially during pregnancy when my allergies just get ridiculous. So, since we had a baby this year and have already met our rather large deductible, I finally decided to go do something about it.

They tested me with 55 different allergens and it turns out that I am allergic to 27 of them. Is that a lot? It seems like a lot to me! One of the worst offenders was dust mites. Apparently, dust mites cannot survive in a climate with less than 40% humidity, which would explain why my allergies got so much worse when I moved from the almost desert of West Texas to the forests of East Texas.

So, in a couple of weeks I will begin taking allergy shots. It is a long 3 to 4 year process, but I am so thankful that it will finally begin. I know that my entire family will benefit from having a Mommy who is not constantly battling allergy symptoms and the fatigue and brain fog that they induce. There will soon be a new me! I truly feel that this opportunity is the answer to many, many prayers. God is so good!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Jonathan's New Word


Why isn't it a real word, anyway? It makes sense to me.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Elizabeth doesn't live here anymore

Instead we have a new puppy named Walnut that crawls all over the house in pink pajamas and says, "Ruff, ruff, ruffy", over and over again. Walnut has been here for over a week, constantly, 24-7. She went to church with us yesterday even though I begged Walnut to stay home and let Elizabeth come with us. I've never seen a game of pretend last so long!

Also, apparently when puppies speak, every consonant in a word is changed to an "f". So, when "Walnut" wants a glass of milk she says, "Foffy, I fant a fass of filk, fease." At least she said please (or fease)! But, most of the time I can't understand a word of what she is saying in this puppy language.

And, after a week, I have to admit that I'm ready for Elizabeth to come home to stay and for Walnut to trot off into imaginary puppy heaven.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We have seedlings!

Our little vegetable patch is sprouting!
I know it's hard to see the little green specks that are our seedlings, especially with all those little white specks on the ground. When I looked closer I thought the white specks looked curiously like oatmeal. (Huh? Oatmeal?) Yes, oatmeal. After asking my dear husband what oatmeal was doing in our garden, I learned that oatmeal kills ants. Apparently, after they eat it, it swells up inside them and kills them. Does it really work? I don't know, we'll see. The ants will either soon all be dead or very well fed (which kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?).

Eric is always keeping me on my toes. We think and do things very differently. For instance, Eric didn't plant all the carrots in one area and then all the cilantro in another, etc. Instead, he mixed the rows all up and then didn't label them. So, we have no idea what is growing where nor how many rows that we have of a particular vegetable. I think he is trying to infuse some excitement into my routine life.

So, below is a picture of some delicious . . . vegetables.
And, I'm really looking forward to harvesting some of this . . . vegetable.
And, I'm sure the kids can't wait to eat some of these carrots or spinach or lettuce or dill or cilantro or whatever it is.
Did you know that gardening could be so adventurous?

Friday, November 2, 2007

My evening

It's Friday night at 8:30. Eric is at some work function and won't be home until late. All three of the kids are asleep and the house is quiet (alleluia!). I've caught up on all my blogs that I like to read. This is the perfect time to write a meaningful and thoughtful post like I always wish I had time to do. But, I can't think of a thing to write about. Not one little spark of an idea. That mental list of blog post ideas that I keep in my head has gone AWOL. So, maybe I'll go read a book, or watch a movie. Or, maybe I'll go to bed early and get some much needed sleep.

Good night everyone. May the Lord bless you and keep you and fill your heads with meaningful and thoughtful posts for me to read tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I'm not the most observant person

How does this happen when you are standing two feet away the entire time?

Elizabeth colored the grout of the kitchen tile green with her colored pencils. Then she got bored with green and colored another big section purple. I was standing right next to her trying to make some All Saints Day cookies. I was so focused on getting them done quickly before the baby started fussing that I didn't notice. I just knew that she was keeping herself busy and was glad that I didn't have to make the cookies with her "help". Oh well, at least the cookies came out well.

How do you get colored pencil off of grout, you may ask? Elbow grease. Lots of it.


When I was growing up, we always had homemade costumes. Many times Mom sewed them, usually without even needing a pattern. I remember one year my sister and brother were Betty and Barney Rubble and I was Wilma Flintstone. I have to say that we were totally adorable. I've always wanted to follow the tradition of making homemade costumes. But, since I didn't even start thinking about costumes until a few days ago, we had to make due with a few things we had on hand and a quick trip to WalMart.

Jonathan wanted to be "an Aggie." No problem, pull his Aggie jersey out of the closet and add football player black stripes under his eyes with my eyeliner and he was done.
Elizabeth wanted to be a princess. I didn't have anything to try to pull that one off so we ran to WalMart and scrounged through the few costumes that were left and found a Snow White costume in her size. Whew!
We've always said that Gustin looks like Charlie Brown with his round head and lack of hair. So, we grabbed a yellow onesie (we've got plenty of yellow ones since we never find out the sex of our babies before they are born) and a marks-a-lot marker and, ta-dah...
We have Charlie Brown!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!