Monday, April 11, 2016

My baby and her babies





There is nothing that makes my heart smile more than my baby tending to her babies!  Its another one of the long list of things that made me HAVE to have a girl!  I loved playing with babies and can still remember it fondly.  She loves to read books about babies too and I can remember reading those very same books!   She's a great little mommy.  She's into baby wearing and has several different strollers for different types of walks.  She never leaves their blanket or paci at home and if they have a hat, it needs to be on their head!  


Our babies love to swing High!


And sometimes the only way to get dinner cooked is to put them on your back and get to it!


Sometimes we walk our babies to the store...


And we end up with quite a load on the way home.  We live close to the store but not that close.  Little legs have a hard time keeping up!  This pic takes the "mommy hook" to a whole new level!


I love to see her be inventive with the beds and wraps she chooses.  Most moms are quite resourceful and she is no exception!



She also lets them eat Cake!  All good moms let their kids eat cake for breakfast!  Just ask her!


She's even willing to be mom to the ones without a mother.  She saw the pile at the Disney store and she wanted to take them all home!  No one can say she doesn't have a big heart!


She takes her baby down the slide safely in her lap.  She counts 2-2-free!


And she never leaves them without a big hug!


But there are still times when she proves to be MY baby. And I love ever single second of it!   Little does she know, she will ALWAYS be my baby!


Sometimes she has a whole bunch of babies that need tending to...


And sometimes those babies get the boot.  They were probably throwing a 2 year old tantrum but you see where that gets you with this strict mama! (Promise, i've never tossed her onto the floor!)



She gives some of her babies a bath.  And she double checks to make sure all their ewww's are clean!


Sometimes you take your babies on a walk...

And you end up injured and riding back in their stroller while your brother rushes you home for a band-aid.  

Lucky for me, my baby still  needs me to tend to her sometimes too!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

10 on Tuesday

1.  Three times today I've been texting about LIMES.  You know, the round green citrus fruits that are quite abundant here in Texas.  They are good for everything from fish to margaritas.  Anyway, each time it's turned into "do you have any LINES?"  and "Could you pick up a LINE or two on your way home today?" 
What's up with that?
Does Siri think I have some kind of coke problem?  

2.  We are at the public library and a bald guy in full ACUs walks in.  Lillian shouts, "It's DADDY!".  Now, keep in mind, we have been civilians Lillian's whole life plus some.  When the boys were little, this happened all the time.  Luckily it happened to most of my friends too because when Daddy is gone, you start to see "Daddy" everywhere.  
The only place Lillian has even seen Jason is a pair of ACUs is the boys "daddy doll" that I got them during deployment.  
Just when you think you're free of your children calling strange men "Daddy!", they go and prove you wrong.


3.  There is a marketing genius at HEB.  Finally they found the perfect spot to store the wine.  This is one stop shopping at it's finest.  Managers take note, the wine should be located closest to the diapers for those folks buying diapers need it the most!



4.  I decided to do a little touch up painting on the downstairs last week.  It went kinda like giving a mouse a muffin,  I painted every spot I saw excited that my flat paint walls would look as good as new soon!  Well, to my surprise, 3 hours later, the paint that I had purchased from the home builder was clearly NOT the correct color.  It was close, but that doesn't count when you've gone toddler crazy on wall stains FROM your toddler.  I was in a little bit of a panic but in an odd twist of fate, the people that own the house on the other side of the cul-de-sac used the same builder and were nice enough to let the crazy lady borrow their paint to ensure she didn't go crazy  had the correct color paint to fix her mess.


5.  Lincoln is selling paper airplanes.  I told the boys they had to earn part of their money to go to summer camp this year.  Lincoln got right to work making TONS of paper airplanes to sell to neighbors and family that we had in town visiting.  I love his marketing urgency, "get one today!"  And the price point isn't half bad!


6.  A few weeks back we went to Louisiana for the weekend.   While we were there we planned to go see Ronnie Milsap at the local casino.  I' have loved Ronnie Milsap most of my life.  I was in Kinder and First grade when we moved to Atlanta for a short time for my dad's work.   It was not the most fun place for us and we made the 4 hour drive to Alabama quite often.  I remember listening to my dad's Ronnie Milsap TAPE over and over again while making that drive.  I think you call that nostalgia.  I was so excited to see him in person, and considering he's a blind 73 year old, my time was running out.  Jason was almost as excited as I was because he and his dad have a running joke that Jason was unaware until recent years that Ronnie Milsap was indeed blind.
We get to the concert hall and go to pick up our tickets at will call.  The lady asked us if our tickets were VIP or regular admission.  Jason joked, they were VIP then he confessed he was kidding, saying "unless you want to upgrade us!"  That is just what she did.  She handed us tickets saying she gave us a little upgrade and when we walked to find our seats we found ourselves FRONT and CENTER.  As in front row tickets.  There is no telling what the people around us paid for their tickets and all it cost us was a little sweet talk from Jason.


7.  We took a little family outing to the Super H Mart!  We went Korea Houston, aka Longpoint Road, to get Korean BBQ.   Jason and I fell in LOVE with it in Nashville of all places and so we are willing to drive long distances to get it here.  After a fancy meal with Bulgogi, Bibimbap Dolsat and all the kimchi we could eat, we wanted to do something else while we were already out and down that way.  It was dusk and the parks are dicey in the area so we decided to check out the Super H Mart that we saw on the way in.  
It was as if we'd been teleported directly to Seoul, South Korea.  We walked around in wonder and likely the only white (non-asian) Americans in the store.  Jason and I were ecstatic to see so many of the foods that we love available to buy and take home.  There was a beauty department that intrigued me because no one has better skin than the Asian population.  There was a full food court that surprisingly had all of the foods we had just eaten and looked basically as good for half the price.  Mental note, eat at food court next time!  The fish selection was impressive even if I wouldn't consume most of it and it was SO clean!  I've been to Asian Markets that were a little smelly but this one had an aquarium feel with so many tanks of crabs, fish and lobsters!  We left with a couple exotic fruits, jelly candy and those panda cookies with chocolate centers.  We like to eat healthy, ya know?!

So, Super H Mart for next date night?



8.  
That's Lincoln.  He's mounted the back of out 10ft privacy fence in the back yard.  He claims he was practicing for the sheep riding at the rodeo.  How did he get up there you ask?  He stacked two rubbermaid boxes of course!  How we have made it this far without a broken limb is beyond me.




9.  

This is our current netflix lineup.  It couldn't be more conflicted.  Dexter is our guilty pleasure.  We are watching it after the kids go to bed.  It's our mindless "quality time" right now and we love sitting down on the couch to watch a few before bed. If you're not familiar, Dexter is a serial killer.  But, before you shun it, you should know he's a good guy.  No really.  He's a serial killer that kills other serial killers.  Yeah, that way he's ridding the world of bad people.  I know, I know, it's a real conundrum.
   Fuller house is our dinner tv entertainment.  The kids love it and it's all kinds of nostalgia for me.  Sure, it's a little cheesy.  I mean have you ever seen the old ones?  Well, I can assure you I didn't miss a one and that was well before the DVR days!  It's endearing and a throw back to when I was Jackson's exact age and spent every single Friday night with my grandmother and watched it in bed.  While eating cheetos.  





10.  


This was Lillian as I tried to put her to bed tonight.  Sure, she looks cute enough in her Olaf pajamas and her little fluffy sidekick next to her.  What you can't see is her running away from me up the stairs, grabbing the light saber like a tiny Darth Vader and backing me down them while swiping it back and forth saying, "KILL, KILL!"
Thanks brothers.  Nothing cuter than a killer 2 year old.  

Happy (barely) Tuesday!  




Thursday, March 24, 2016

DO something!




This year we made a family decision for Lent.  Instead of giving up something as people normally do during this time of year, we decided we would DO something.  We were challenged at church to use this to increase God's glory though doing things for others.  We brainstormed a few ideas and put them into action.  This was going to be such a good way for me to show the boys that the world is bigger than just them and teach them a few lessons in humility and generosity.  

Mmmmmhmmmm.  
Teach THEM a few things. 

 Isn't that always what you think right before God slaps you smack down with what YOU needed to learn also?! 

So we spent an afternoon stocking food at the local county food bank.  We were given the instructions on what to do with the goods and how to categorize them and put to work!  I mean we WORKED!  We had one 15 minute break and then were back at it!  It was a great afternoon working with the boys and letting them make decision based on expiration dates or packaging details, using a scale and just reading labels.  AND we were helping others.
The biggest lesson for Jackson was learned when we left and one couple volunteering with us drove away in a Maserati.  He's SUPER into cars and he knew just what that car was worth.  He was impressed that they were also donating their time to help others!

“The reality is that doing good unto others actually does more good for you.”


#lovethatsticks
This was a campaign the local Christian radio station put on to do random acts of kindness by leaving these sticky notes everywhere and anywhere you go!  I know they reached people because I saw people talking about seeing #lovethatsticks notes at their local stores, coffee shops and other places. Lincoln and I made some and I put them in my purse and placed them in stores for other people to see.
Our favorite spots was on the produce, melons and oranges were a hit!









It was the week after Valentines day and we ran into Kroger to grab a few things.  Before we checked out, I grabbed a huge 2 dozen rose bouquet and told the boys we were going to do something awesome!   I stood right there at checkout and split the bouquet in two.  I told the boys were were going to give the roses to ladies that might need a beautiful flower that day!  They were a little hesitant but I encouraged them and they got to it!  Most of the flowers were VERY well received.
A few people thought they wanted to be payed for them and a very few turned them flat down.  Jackson started walking up to people and quickly saying "Would you like a rose, THEY ARE FREE!" so he wouldn't have to be turned down.  When asked WHY we were doing this, we simply answered because it was a beautiful day!  And so it was!  I hope they remember doing this and the look on peoples face to receive something they didn't expect.





We joined our church a few weeks ago in serving at Breakfast in the Park with compassion united.  Around 100 homeless/low income/needy people congregate at a park in Conroe for this breakfast every Saturday.  We were there, not only to serve breakfast but also to talk and visit with the people.  As we drove up, the people were all there waiting on the food.  I was surprised at the amount of NEED so close to us.  These people needed breakfast.  They were grateful and they show up week after week.  They were talkative if you engaged them and some of them had interesting stories.  One mid 30s guy hugged me the minute we walked up.  He was charismatic and drew in a crowd.  He looked just like "hangin' with Mr. Cooper"!  He talked to us, especially to Jackson.  Jackson was surprised that he would be homeless but I told him you never know someones story.  Jamison sat with, ate with and hung out just like all the others there for breakfast.  I had instructed the boys several times that the food was NOT for us, it was for the people we came to serve.  I also wanted them to stay busy serving since that's what we were there for.  They did pretty well with some prompting.  Jackson made a few new friends.   One in particular had A LOT of bible knowledge and liked to share it "preacher style"!  Jackson listened intently even if he didn't fully understand.  He later told me Daniel reminded him of PawPaw!  
So back to Jamison, before we left we were chatting with him and he said he'd been coming to fellowship with the people for about 3 years now.  There was our answer to our question.  No, he wasn't homeless but he fully immersed himself with his friends there and I learned a big lesson!  
I had come to serve them.  And I did and that was good but in serving them, I had inadvertently placed myself, and the boys above them.  I realized that in serving these people we should be more like Jamison.  It's OK for them to wonder if we are there to serve or there to eat.  It's OK to sit down and eat and fellowship with them.  Because we are all just people.  Children of a loving God!  So just when you think you're teaching a lesson on serving others, you find out that the lesson was yours to learn all along!  

This is a ministry that we enjoyed so much that we try to go any time we can.  The boys will give me $1 or 2 that they earn and tell me they want to buy donuts for their friends.  I've made a few friends of my own and people I pray for daily!  






Another ministry that is close to my heart is street church.  We first went to street church at Christmas time and I got to see what an operation it is to bring a meal and church to the alleyway in downtown Houston every week.  We got to serve a hot meal, clean up and bring smiles to the faces of lots of people in the area.  This time we did street church, it was a VERY rainy and stormy Wednesday.  They had to move up the time to get the meal served before the storms hit.  I had both boys this time and we were under tents to prevent the food from getting too wet.
Jackson and I served the girl scout cookies down the line while Lincoln stood half in the rain handing out soggy napkins.  We closed/cleaned up and bid our street church friends farewell.  We drove home on pretty treacherous roads but Jesus got us there safely.  The next day, someone thanked us for coming to street church and I realized that I was the one that should be thanking them.  I love going to street church, I love serving God's people in that way and street church is a privilege for ME.  It is a sheer blessing to me AND my boys to feel we are doing something worthy for God's creation.  Feeding people and making friends is also a great benefit!  There it goes again, thinking I was going downtown to help others and I'm the one receiving the blessing.  Funny how it works that way!


I hope that the boys learned a lesson or two also.  I hope that this Lent instilled some values in them as it did me.   I hope they will continue the desire to serve and love others as God commanded us.  And I also hope that it will inspire you to get involved, do something that's a little uncomfortable and just really LOVE people.  You just might be surprised that in addition to blessing others, you'll be the one who walks away with a huge blessing!