Thursday, July 31, 2008


We love our cousins around here. My kids have four cousins that live out of town that they adore, and they have my sister’s kids who live here.

During the summer, my kids and my sister’s kids are practically inseparable. They make up for the too-busy-school-year separation. Everywhere we go, my kids ask “Are Tristan and Taryn going to be there?” That helps them assess how much they are going to enjoy the day.

.“What? We’re going to get root canals and our wisdom teeth cut out without Novocain? Well, will Tristan and Taryn be there? Yes? Wooo hooo!!!”

They see each other several times a week, but every time they do you would think they were being reunited for the first time in months. It is extremely rare for there to ever be any conflict among them. Together, they just kind of click.

And now I shall segue to the visual portion of this post and subject you to more of my new camera experimentation, which captures some of the cousin luv.

Tristan is often sporting red scratches from Cole climbing all over him. He wears them with pride.


Can your kid do this in 3 foot deep water? Didn't think so. That's right, he can walk on water. We suspect his magical powers might have something to do with that giant tatoo on his rock hard six pack.

Have a fun summer weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A getaway and my new camera

Last weekend went on a little local getaway. We went to the Oklahoma Science Museum, which has lots of new stuff since we were last there. We ate out, watched movies in our hotel, swam and went to see Wall-E. We ended with meeting some friends at Laser Quest to celebrate Tyler's birthday.

It was a really fun weekend. Except for that part when someone's adorable kid threw up in the pool.

Literally seconds after we had gotten in.

And our whole plan for the night was to swim until after dark because, clearly, we get crazy when we are out. But David went to the front desk and asked them to call around to the other Marriots and find some place for us to swim and they did, so no harm, I suppose. At least not to us. There may have been some harm done to the other hotel pool patrons who decided to dive in after the puke incident that didn’t get cleaned up…

Right before we left for our weekend, the FedEx man brought my new camera I had been waiting for. I love him. He always brings a touch of happiness in his truck. He and the UPS guy. God bless them. So here are my first shots with my camera. I’m still trying to figure it out, but it’s fun! I always used an SLR before digital and now I’m joining the digital SLR world. These are pictures of the bed-jumping ritual our kids have when we get to a hotel. It’s like a big ol' party because I am a mean mommy and don’t allow those sort of distructive, evil shenanigans on our beds at home.

I kinda like the still shots, but I'm still trying to figure out the action stuff and obviously I don't have it down. Any tips? Besides reading the manual? Does anyone know of a good digital SLR photography class I could take somewhere?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Decade of Tyler

Today is Tyler’s 10th birthday. There are so many reasons I love having this kid in my life. He is such a blessing.

He has the most hilarious sense of humor. He keeps us all laughing. You never know for sure what you are going to get from him, but he always has something to crack us up.

Several weeks ago we were shopping, looking at beautiful hanging plants and there was one that was so dead. It was just a couple of brown sticks in some dirt hanging on a hook right in the middle of all of the flowing hanging pots. We all looked at it funny, kinda laughed, and moved on. The next thing I knew I heard Tyler’s voice over by the checkout. He was talking to an employee. He was holding the hanging stick-in-dirt. “Excuse me, sir? Could I get a discount on this plant?” The employee looked at me nervously and asked me if he was serious. Um, no.

I love what a leader he is. You can often find him with a trail of kids behind him, hanging on his every word and instruction. He sometimes organizes fun activities at home for Riley and Cole, just to make them have a good time. He is also a leader when he is in a group of peers. I know that his future will involve leading people.

I love that Tyler is filled with passion and experiences everything, good and bad, to the fullest. I love to watch him play goalie in soccer and sacrifice his body, even when he doesn’t have to. I love to watch his blond hair flying as he plays his drums with everything he has. I love to look through his bible and see all of the places he has marked with verses that speak to him. I love that he seeks to hear God. And I know God loves that, too.

Thanks for the wonderful decade, Tyler. You have taught me so much and you bring me so much joy. I love you so much and I can’t wait to see what your next decade holds! Happy birthday, babe.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am starting a new Bible study with some friends called Be Transformed. It is all about living your life in God’s grace and freedom. I am very excited. I lu-HUV grace and freedom. In the first chapter, one sentence stopped me in my tracks.

If truth is what sets us free, then it must be a lie that produces bondage in our lives.

Does that knock anyone else on their hiney? Isn’t that an amazing thought? Anyone? It’s so simple. It makes so much sense. Whatever has you in bondage is most likey rooted in a lie. Everyone has something that has a hold on them.

Discontentment (if I had _______ I would be happy),

or guilt (I will never be able to change),

or comparing yourself to others (My worth is determined by what I do),

or serving God to earn his acceptance (the more I do for God the more he will love me),

these are just a few that women struggle with. They are all based on lies!

Kim wrote a post last week that goes right along with this principle. I love this! I love finding truth. It always brings peace and freedom. I think I probably need to do a lot more seeking of truth. The lies are so easy to believe sometimes, aren’t they?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm kinda smart

The other day I was vacuuming the shedding fur from Cutie’s bed as she sat by and watched me. That is when it clicked. Cat. Hairy bed. Vacuum. Cat. Hairy bed. Vacuum.

It was time to cut out the middle man.

Cutie, meet vacuum.

And here is the surprising part. This cat who is afraid of everything except for those children who carry her around, loooooved her time with the vacuum. It was like getting a brush and massage at the same time. It’s a regular kitty spa treatment. By the end she was asking me to play some soothing music and put cucumbers on her eyes.

Oh, and it worked. It worked! She is definitely less sheddy. That's right, sheddy. Try it!
You’re very welcome.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh help me

Did you hear? Starbucks is closing down many a store.
And several of them are MY Starbucks!

Breathe…breathe….The one on Danforth... the one by Santa Fe on 15th... THE ONE ON PENN BY THE MALL!!!! Hello? That one is always packed! These places are more to me than just a delightful beverage, they hold the memories of many hours of coffee-bonding with my friends and kids!
What is going on here? The Apocalypse? Is this some kind of a joke? Will somebody. please. wake me up. from this nightmare.

I’m off to check my blood pressure and read Revelations.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bittersweet redecorating

I love to redecorate a room, but the idea that my kids are getting all grown up causes me to assume the fetal position and suck my thumb. It's hard to believe that just five years ago this playroom was perfect for everyone. We had an 8 year old, 5 year old, 2 year old, and a baby. At the time it seemed like it would last forever. And now...well, you do the math. Garrett and Tyler were wanting more of a hangout type space to, well, hang out in. I had to agree, the room wasn't fitting our needs like it once did. So the family project began.

And here it is now....

Riley's new gymnastics spot. My sister was getting rid of this big mirror so we got it for FREE! Free is good.

Testing it out with a few friends. I think they enjoyed it. The last time I heard them enjoying it was at 5 a.m. For real. Yes, A.M.

I would like to take a moment to tell you that I do, in fact, provide shirts for Tyler. He seems to have a bit of an aversion to upper body covering.

Also, I am thinking of putting a quote above the window because I love the quotes. Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yard work Tyler-style

A box fan,
booming music,
an occasional self-spray with the water hose...
Hey, did I just see a Sonic carhop back there?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Unofficial Guide to Cole's Shows

If you were ever to wander into my house, you might possibly be hit up to buy a ticket for a show. Because over the years I have attended many such shows, I feel that it is only right that I provide others with the knowledge I have gained, making possible the best experience for everyone.

Be prepared to pay. It can be as costly as 50 cents, but often he is running specials for 25 cents. For 10 cents more, you can be a helper in the show. Although initially this seems like a great deal, I do not recommend it. While I couldn’t afford the Helper upgrade this time, David is a spender and decided to pay the extra 10cents. I don’t want to make a big deal, but honestly I did not notice much difference in our show experiences.

Included in your ticket price is an exclusive flag, which all ticket holders are required to wave during the performance. Cheering is optional but encouraged. Frequently. Trust me, just go ahead and do it.

This is the 30 Minute Pre-Game Show. The only misleading part of that name is that it only lasts two minutes and is not before a game of any type. This show is definitely worth the extra effort of arriving and finding your seat a little early. Lots of impressive dancing, jumps and dangerous dives into blanket piles.

Here is where the crowd goes nuts. At some point during the show, when the time is perfect, Cole throws candy into the audience. It is important to stay alert and dodge the hard ones. Candy varies from old Halloween treats, to Easter kisses, to gum. While it is easy to get distracted and disoriented when diving for the candy, it is important to focus on grabbing candy from the most recent holiday for optimal freshness.

I hope this guide enhances your experience, should you ever find yourself lucky enough to get a ticket. To put your name on the ticket waiting list please call 1-800-COL-ESHO.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blackberry time

Tonight we went blackberry pickin' at our favorite blackberry patch. It was the perfect evening, kinda cool and cloudy and it even sprinkled on us a little. We look forward to doing this every summer. It makes for fun memories and yummy pies. In the morning the kids and I are going to make our favorite blackberry recipe. Try it, it is so easy and I can not even tell you how delish!

Blackberries and Cream Pie

1 prepared 9" unbaked pie shell
4 cups fresh blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place berries in unbaked pie shell. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and the next 5 ingredients together. Pour over berries in pie. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes then turn down to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 25 more minutes till crust is nicely browned and filling is set. Best served slightly warm.

When we got home it started pouring. Perfect timing!
Here is the link to the berry farm

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Inside Cole's head

Cole is constantly thinking and planning. He talks almost nonstop about his ideas and how awesome it would be if_________ happened. Yesterday I decided to write down some of the things he said.

And now for your reading pleasure, I present to you one day's worth of

Cole thinks it would be so cool if…

He was the government

He could go see Kung Fu Panda today

He could go to the dump and play in the garbage

He could have an air soft gun

He could buy an RV

He was the police

He lived on a golf course because when golfers broke his window with a ball, he would keep it

He could roll the windows down during the carwash

He had 2 billion bottle caps

I’m starting to understand why he has no room left in his brain to remember where he put his shoes.

Friday, July 4, 2008


I wanted to give another update on Emery. She is doing well and will hopefully get to go home on Saturday or Sunday. God is doing a mighty work in her tiny body and in the faith of all of those who have prayed for her.

I love this picture of Lisa and Emery. Yes, Lisa gave birth only 8 days ago, has had no sleep or recovery time, has been under extreme stress, and still looks like a supermodel. We are going to cut her some slack in the name of compassion and not hate her for that, okay?

I wish I could convey the feeling of the room when this photo was taken. It was the first time Lisa got to hold her after her heart surgery. Right before this picture, Emery had been laying in her bed resting, but she was pretty fidgety and kinda grunty.

It had been 3 days since the surgery. When the nurse gave the news that she could be held, we were pumped. To watch those two melt into each other and be instantly enveloped in comfort and peace was a beautiful thing. Emery was calmed into a tranquil sleep and Lisa couldn’t get enough of sniffing her sweetness.

Well, until she was suddenly stinky. Still sweet, though.

Please keep praying for Emery’s speedy recovery!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The drive-in

What is it about the drive-in movie that makes the world seem right? Maybe it is the songs booming over the speakers, background music for all the dads and kids playing ball in front of the screen before the show starts.

Maybe it is that no matter how blistering the summer day was, it always seems to be a perfectly cool, breezy night.

Maybe it is the sight of children in their pjs with their blankets, ready to drift off during the late night show.

Maybe it is the peaceful feeling you get when your eyes wander above the screen onto the millions of stars and the shining moon gazing over you.

Maybe it is just looking down and seeing my family all together, snuggled up, engrossed in the show, even if the the show isn't that great.

Whatever it is, I love the drive-in. And it has nothing to do with the movies.

Everyone comes early to get a space and play before the movie starts.

I know! Ridiculous. And my junior mints didn't even make this photo.

I promise this picture was not posed. It is Cole enjoying the pre-show fireworks.

And Cole enjoying the movie. Looks like the aftermath of some kind of crazy diet coke-sprite-germX frat party.