Thursday, September 20, 2012


I need to put more pictures on this computer since it is the only one I use lately. This is a really old picture but captures my sweet boy pretty well! It's so late and I really should be sleeping, but I had to jot down a few things about my second-born and my one and only BOY! He is now 6 1/2. He LOVES transformers. (understatement) He has lost 2 bottom teeth and one on top (but it was pulled out by the dentist over a year ago). He was MADE for sisters. He loves them. He is a HOMEBODY. It takes a lot to get him excited to go anywhere...he's so content and happy just to be at home. He is in 1st grade this year and homeschooling and doing so well. I'm so very proud of him. His best friend is his cousin Scout and 2nd best is is cousin Ryder. It makes my heart happy to see those boys adore each other like they do. He has always been my laid-back, chilled out kid. Still is---although he can be a drama king every now and then. He is fiercely competitive to a fault. It's hilarious and frightening all at the same time. He loves the Lord with his whole heart. He is a worshipper. He is an evangelist. I have heard him more than once ask kids in chick-fil-a or McDonald's play areas if they know God. He hates wet and throw up. In that order. Don't dare touch him with a semi-wet hand from washing dishes or you'll get some of that "drama" I mentioned earlier. He's an entertainer. He LOVES to be crazy and crack us up. And I love to be crazy and crack HIM up. : )

One of my favorite Jack stories is this past April he was climbing a tree in our front yard and got his leg stuck--and I mean it was STUCK--between the two trunks that made up the tree. I was BIG pregnant and Tra was not home. I could NOT get his leg out. I started to panic. I said in a not so nice voice, "Don't EVER climb a tree in this yard again!!" And he responds as he bursts into tears, "Well WHY DID GOD MAKE THEM THEN????" (We got his leg unstuck after several minutes and I took back my comment.)

He is so sweet, but he is also, ummmm, needing some training on how to express himself more gracefully when it comes to talking to women. For example, since I had Sydney (baby #6) in July, he says several times a week, "There's that BIG OLE TUMMY again."
And I'll close with tonight's comments at bedtime in order:
While reading a book to him before bed, "Ewww. I do NOT like the smell of your breath. What did you EAT??"  (garlic bread at dinner)
After kissing him goodnight, "Hey mom---I think you need to go to that class again that helps you learn how to be a better mommy. (referring to the Sally Clarkson conference I attended last Feb--which I LOVED and it changed my life for real) Because remember this morning when you were like, "YOU PUT TOO MUCH WATER IN YOUR OATMEAL!!!!!" (after having Sydney we have taken some short-cuts with breakfast and I taught them how to make their own instant oatmeal in the microwave) I believe it is now time to go back to oatmeal on the stove that I make so there are no more explosions. : )

I WILL be signing up for the Sally Clarkson conference again this year. And I just signed up for Weight Watchers tonight. : )  So so thankful for my precious, fun, tenderhearted, imperfect, yet perfect JACK.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hayley Brooke

I want to have a record of these things for myself and this is really the quickest outlet for me to put it all down.

Hayley is 7 1/2. She is turning into such a beautiful inside and out young lady. She is a HUGE help to me especially with Avery. She loves getting her out of bed in the mornings. (and so does everyone else---the rest of them just get in her bed with her and play for a bit and then Hayley comes in to take her out) She is very concerned about everyone's safety at all times. It's quite humorous. For example, when I push the button on my keys to close the trunk of our car, she pretty much panics every time and says, "GUYS! MOVE!! WATCH YOUR HEADS!!!" And then she'll say, "Mom, next time maybe you should let us know when you're closing it. Someone could really get hurt!" She is NOT shy at all around family or close friends, but she is VERY shy in situations with adults or kids she does not know very well...until she warms up a little. She gets nervous about funny things. Like today I turned on a video of one of the new Gateway Kids cd songs and it started playing and she looked at Jack and said with a giggle, "Are you nervous? I'm so nervous! Why am I so nervous??" She's a crack up. She says out loud whatever is going on in her mind---all the time. Which I love, really. I can get tired head from it occasionally but I love hearing what is going on in that precious head of hers. She went on a trip with Tra by herself to Georgia to this Daddy/Daughter conference last weekend. They had a ball and she was pretty depressed when she got home because she wasn't ready to be home yet. She LOVES her daddy. They were gone Friday morning-Sunday night. She shocks me with her healthy food choices. She is SO responsible. On school mornings at home, she gets upstairs right after breakfast and plows through her workbooks and gets her stuff done most of the time before I even get upstairs with everyone else. She gets up on Wednesday mornings on her "school" days (she does a supplemental school in Fort Worth those days), takes a shower, gets dressed, fixes her hair, makes her lunch, gets all of her school stuff together and is ready to go on time every week. She is really one amazing kid. She loves American Girl dolls and she has developed a love for reading this year. She is very afraid of tornadoes. Like a bizarre unhealthy fear. She dreads the spring because it's tornado season. : ) She gets books on tornadoes and reads them because she feels like it will help her not be afraid of them if she can learn as much as she can about them. I love that still has such a child-like innocence about her. I love that she chooses to watch Curious George or Wild Kratts when she wants to watch a show. She puts her whole heart in everything she does. She has become a really good little dancer. This is her second year doing tap/ballet/jazz and I love watching her practice and perfect her dances. She LOVES performing on stage and she can't wait for her recital in just a couple more months.

Jack is next...

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I ran into a friend at Chick Fil A the other day who said she kept checking in to see if I posted a new blog and that I haven't in FOREVER. I really would love to do better and keep some kind of a "normal" blogging schedule. But the words "normal" and "schedule" totally do not describe my life in this season. At all. : )

So just a quick little update for anyone else who is coming by to check on us every now and then..

Life is fast, full, crazy at times (ok--most of the time), and never ever dull. We are all very excited about little #6 who will be joining us in July and adding to our "organized chaos" as one of my friends calls it. We can't WAIT to find out if it's a brother or a sister in just a little over a week!! Jack especially can't wait. : ) We are enjoying another year of homeschooling. Pretty sure we'll be doing it next year too. I LOVE it. And that's an understatement.

I'll throw some pictures in soon---hopefully that doesn't mean a year from now. : )
Thanks, Alexis for the encouragement to get off my rear end and BLOG! : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Big Night...

It is almost 1am on February 13 and I have been having contractions 5 minutes apart for 2 hours now. My due date with our sweet Avery Jayne is not until March 3. I feel like this most likely will not be it...that the contractions will subside and we'll have another couple of weeks with her in tact...or will we? I'm sad that I haven't blogged this entire pregnancy. I am in shock that it is almost over tonight! We are all so so excited to meet this new little sister. The kids are getting so anxious to meet her and I love seeing their excitement and hearing their questions. I was gone most of the day today, and when I walked in this evening, Riley asked, "Is Avery still in there?" I am overwhelmed as I think about the Lord choosing to bless us with another little girl. Overwhelmed with joy and such love. It is so exciting to think about another little person running around and interacting with the other 4. And I am ready to spend the next several months holding this baby girl as much as I can, because I will blink and she will be 6. Hayley said to me tonight, "It feels like just yesterday that I was a little baby!" You have NO idea how true that is, sweet Hayley!

Just in case this IS it, and since I can't sleep, here is a little note to my newest daughter:

Precious Avery (supernaturally wise) Jayne (God is gracious),
We have been anticipating your arrival now for 9 months! I want you to know how over the top excited we are to have you join our family!! Every single one of us! You are baby #5--and that is SO special. Not every family gets to have a #5. After we had Mallory in the hospital just 2 years ago, daddy and I sat in that hospital room holding your sister and we both said, "I feel like God has another one for us!" Ohhh how we looked forward to you even then! We have known God had you just for us. And He saved you for this time on purpose. He has great and wonderful plans for you. And as much as we already love you, HE loves you sooooo much more. Your sisters and brother are all so excited to meet you and hold you and play with you! Tonight they were all gathered around my tummy saying hi to you and "patting" you and talking to you. They will walk up to me and give you hugs and say they can't wait to see you! We are going to have LOTS of fun. You are going to be so LOVED you will not believe it! Not only do you have the 6 of us who are so ready for you to be here, you have great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and a TON of friends who are just as excited to get to meet you and love on you. You are blessed, sweet one. While I am content with you "cooking" a little longer if I do not get to see you later today, a bigger part of me REALLY hopes that this time tomorrow night I am snuggling with you in my arms! You are already such a source of joy in our family. We all love you so very much...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

March/April Favorites

Thought I would do a little catching up with pictures from the last 2 months. They actually go backwards, from April to March.

Jack's new "look"
My baby is growing up!
All dressed up for a "black tie" wedding---fun!
Mallory Grace---always smilin'
Feeding the turtles--or--themselves : )
Jack got to "borrow" the fireman outfit from Mimi's Treasure Chest one day... the best day EVER.
Riding rides at a carnival at Northwood Church---so much fun!!
Braving the ferris wheel---
Watching Riley was worth the price of admission...
These 2 both won a game--the only game they were allowed to play. They were HAPPY campers.
I have pictures of my sister and me looking through fence holes at the puppy in my grandparents "alley" in Lamesa. This was an unstaged, sweet little moment for me...
Riley Kate LOVES her daddy. He is eating dinner here and she can't get close enough to him. : ) She kept saying, "My daddy, my daddy!"
This is Easter morning... I had our church service on the computer as we were about to leave for Tra's parents' house for the day. Love modern technology and love these 2 little hearts. This was unstaged too. I love how they love each other.
Hayley loves praising the Lord!
Easter Eggs!
The stickers were a hit this year.
The biggest strawberry ever...
Tra doing one of the things he does best...being DADDY!!!
I think one of my favorite things about these pictures is that he has Jack's Diego sunglasses on.
I looked out the back door one morning and saw this sweet little sight. Although they were probably scheming the next crazy mess Riley could make and making their plan on how Mallory would distract me from her...
Happy Birthday to Daddy!
This may have been the mess they were scheming... got into a trash bag full of ashes from our grill. Mmmmm, soooo fun.
Pulling a blanket off of heads really fast=static electricity=HILARIOUS.
Especially this one...doesn't she look like Alfalfa without the little curl? hahaha!
The moment I realized, "Maybe I should cut her hair.." A theme in our family..
Mallory helping out her sister...
She sat like this for about 5 minutes one night. Such a cutie!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bedtime Talks

I should start recording some of our bedtime conversations with Hayley. Tonight was something like this...

Hayley: Why do you have all those hairs in your nose?
Me: That's how God made me (sweet voice with a forced smile) It keeps out the dirt (my mom always gave me that answer)
Hayley: Ohh, so it's kind of like a GATE?
Me: Ummm, yes, kind of. Mommy's REALLY tired, so I'm going to go to bed---I love you!
Hayley: Can we go somewhere to eat tomorrow? Like Taco Bueno? I love Taco Bueno. They don't have a play place, just all those pictures. That way Riley and Mallory don't get lost and you won't be like, "Hayley, where is Riley? Where is Mallory?"
Me: (with a chuckle) Do I ask that question too often?
Hayley: YES. It drives me crazy. I'm like, "Ok mom, please stop asking that question..."
Me: I'm sorry---I'm not sure if we'll go out to eat tomorrow or not. I love you! (get up and walk to door)
Hayley: Ok. I just can't WAIT to see what God's skin looks like. If it will be dark brown, brown or white? I think it will be one of those?
Me: I know--I can't wait either! Maybe it will be rainbow?
Hayley: LOL. I don't think it would be pink or blue...
Me: Me either (closing door) Love you!
Hayley: I think Jesus is the best man I ever saw. Well, I didn't really SEE him, just in the movies.
Me: I know---he IS the best man. I'm so glad you love him so much. I love you! Goodnight! (try to close door again)
Hayley: I just cannot WAIT to ask God how in the world he got to heaven all by himself first?! I just don't know how that happened!
Me: I know--we have LOTS of questions for Him don't we? I love you! Mommy is VERY tired so I'm going to go to sleep now. I love you guys!
Hayley: (smile) Ok. Love you too..

Meanwhile, Jack is facing the opposite direction almost completely out. I wonder how many words he hears from Hayley every day? The girl can TALK! And I LOVE it!! As exhausting as it is, I treasure these bedtime chats with my girl.

Here is Riley's evening routine:
Me: I love you, Riley! Night night!
Riley: I want my water!
Me: Ok--I'll get your water... (refill cup with water) Here ya go! Night night!
Riley: I want mommy's shadow!
Me: Ok... (stand over her night-light and look up and wave hands while shadow of mommy is on ceiling) Night night Riley! (waving on ceiling)
Riley: I want Jesus died on the cross...
Me: (Make a cross shadow with fingers on ceiling)
Riley: (Giggling) There it is! There's Jesus died on the cross!
Me: Thank you, Jesus...
Riley: ...died on the cross, take away sid (sin), together (so we can all live together), forever (in heaven forever).
Me: I love you---night night! (as I lean over her crib)
Riley: (with a giggle) That's like Em-ee (Emily---cousin/babysitter) That's like Bet-ee (Bethany--babysitter)
Me: Do they lean over your crib like this too? : )
Riley: Yea. (giggle)
Me: I love you---(walk to door) goodnight!
Riley: I love you too! I love you too! I love you too!
Me: I love you too--night night! (start closing door)
Riley: I love you too! I love you too...
Me: I love you too---go to sleep! : ) (close door)
Me: (open door) I love you too, baby! Night night. : ) (close door and hope for silence, all the while eating it up that she wants to keep the conversation going as long as possible. Some nights drag out longer than others with the I love you too's. So cute.)

I LOVE my kids. What a GIFT each one is to me... thank you LORD for the privilege of being mommy to these 4 treasures...Forgive me for EVER having anything but a grateful heart for them!! Thank you for the glimpse I have into how you LOVE YOUR CHILDREN!! To think that your love for me is greater than my love for my kids completely overwhelms me. I rest in that tonight...

ps. I get tickled thinking about my bedtime talks with Tra each night. And me asking after a long ramble about something most likely very important about my day like an update on a friend's blog or facebook status, "Are you awake?" Silence. Long pause. He groggily answers, "Barely." Ha ha! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.... : ) We girls just get chatty at bedtime! Those boys are OUT seconds after their head hits the pillow! So funny...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Catching up

We have had lots going on around here over the past few months. Here's an attempt to do a little catching up!

--Jack turned FOUR in January. We had fun celebrating with his Mimi and Poppy, cousins (Scout and Ryder) and sisters (minus Mallory who was much happier at home taking a nap) at Incredible Pizza. The highlight for me was watching Poppy and Scout race daddy and Jack in the race cars. Not sure which generation enjoyed it more! : ) They also had a lot of fun bowling and riding rides and shooting basketball hoops. I love that boy more than I can put into words.

--We took the older 3 to the Rodeo and had fun watching them at the petting zoo especially. My kids all LOVE animals. Tra took Hayley and Jack last year one night right after I had Mallory, so I had fun getting to go with them this year! Riley experienced cotton candy for the first time. That was worth the price of admission!

--Tra and I got to go to Washington DC for a couple of days in ourselves!! My mom braved it and watched all 4 of our kiddos for us. She's a superstar. Everything went great and everyone slept all night every night, thankfully! We got to attend the National Prayer Breakfast and it was a really neat experience. It was very strange to sit just a few rows back from the President and Michelle, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton (the main speaker). I felt like I was in an episode of 24 watching the secret service guys scanning the room. We spent the rest of the day sightseeing and I LOVED every second. It was my first trip to DC and I can't wait to go back! We spent a couple of hours at the Holocaust Museum and could have spent an entire day there. It was extremely impactful. We sat with a congressman from North Carolina at breakfast and he had us come to his office and one of his staff members gave us a tour of the Capitol. That is the way to do it, people. We went on the speed-walking tour and it was a perfect speed for us. (Anyone can call your congressman/woman and ask if you can have a tour if you ever want a "private tour" which I think a lot of people already know, but I had no idea.) Being there made me want to be more involved in my community and made me realize that I'm not as insignificant as I feel like I am when it comes to governmental decisions, etc. I have a voice and I can choose whether or not to use it. I came home wanting to read some American history books! I haven't... yet. : ) The day we left to come home was the day the huge blizzard hit the east coast. The airport shut down 3 hours after our plane took off. Can we say close call?

--We had a surprise 60th birthday brunch for my mom the weekend we got home. She has several "friends for a lifetime" friends that live in the D/FW area, along with lots of family and it was so much fun celebrating HER!

--The day we got home was the day after Jenny Bizaillion went into the hospital. I spent the rest of the month, like many of you, praying more fervantly for her and her family and friends than I have ever prayed for any situation in my life. I knew Jenny in college but haven't talked to her since. I don't really even know how to put into words what that whole situation did to my spirit, but it changed me. My faith was strengthened---as we prayed for certain aspects of her health, they were answered. I know in my head that prayer is powerful, but this made it take more root in my heart. I think about Jenny's family and friends every day and continue praying for the Lord's peace to comfort them as they grieve her earthly loss for the rest of their lives. Especially her precious daughter.

--The day Jenny died was the day we buried Tra's sweet granddaddy. We all know our grandparents won't live forever, but man it is hard to let them go. It was a sweet day of remembering a wonderful, godly man who I had the privilege of calling "Granddaddy" for 9 short years. I will miss his dry wit and the way he always made me feel like I had always belonged to him, and just hearing his cheery voice. I don't know that I've had another day in my life that I was more aware of my own mortality. It made me think---really think. What am I DOING here? It's all going to be over one day. It made me want to re-think why I do what I do in every area of my life. More than ever, I want to live my life more purposefully and literally seek first the Kingdom of God. It is ALL that matters! Relationships with my family and friends----they are the only thing going with me! It also makes me long for Jesus to return---QUICKLY!!!

--Hayley has lost her 2 bottom teeth and learned to tie her shoes. She makes her own breakfast some mornings and makes her own bed. She has really taken off with reading. She told me last night that she loves Jesus and she is going to teach a lot of people about him. I told her I believe she will too!

--At night when I put Riley to bed, lately she points up to a corner in her room and says, "There's a angel!" Tra and I were in there last night and I asked her if she saw the angel and she said, "No, I find him.." and proceeded to look behind her curtains and said she couldn't find him. After prayers and reading her favorite Bible story about the shepherds (Jesus' birth)she looked up at the corner and said, "Oh! There's the angel! There he is!" Ohhh, to see what these little ones see.

--Hayley and Jack have totally gotten into Little House on the Prairie. I can't tell you what this does for my heart. : ) Angie and I watched this show every day for years and rarely missed an episode. To see them love it as much as we did is so much fun! The musical is coming to Bass Hall this summer---we can't WAIT!

--I'll end with my favorite event of 2010 so far. On Tra's birthday (Mar. 20) Hayley told us that night that she asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. She was at church listening to the Bible story that night of Jesus dying on the cross and she said she asked Him "quietly" during the Bible story. I asked her how she felt when she asked him and she said, "Ready." There is nothing sweeter than seeing the Holy Spirit getting a hold of my babies' hearts. In some ways 5 1/2 seems so early to really understand what she is doing, but I have to remind myself that we in no way pushed her to do this. HE, the Creator of the Universe, has been drawing her to Himself from the moment she was a little life in my womb. She is HIS! Just as they all are. As many crazy, hard days as there are with little ones it is moments like these that make every little (and big) mess and sleepless nights WORTH IT ALL!!

Pictures soon to follow..

**I just realized I started this entry on March 12, but finished it and finally published it today, April 6. Not that anyone but me would probably pay much attention to that. : )