Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish all of my blog followers a Merry Christmas before I sign off for a couple of days. Princess TD and Little TD are anxiously waiting for Santa's arrival. Here's a photo of their visit with him.

The top things on their list are:

Princess TD - a Princess kitchen, a recorder, a toy sewing machine, a "real" camera, and a "real" phone.

Little TD - Mack with 2 cars, a recorder, a plane, and a remote control Jeep.

We'll see what Santa has in his bag for them tomorrow morning. I hope they aren't too disappointed. They probably won't be!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Guess What Princess TD Got for Christmas..

..strep throat! She woke up yesterday from her nap feeling sluggish, complaining of a sore throat and really just not herself. She ended up playing for a bit, but then when I went to kiss her goodnight, she felt hot. I took her temp and it was 100F. I gave her medicine for the fever and checked her again this morning. I got her in to see the pediatrician and he confirmed strep. He did say that is good news because with antibiotics she will not be contagious in 24 hours. Let's just hope that none of the rest of us get sick before it's all said and done!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've Been Tagged...Twice!

I can hardly believe my sweet friends have time to tag anyone with Christmas being next week! Really people, aren't you busy getting things finalized?!?

Ok, I do have to admit, I have been working very hard to get everything done and wrapped so that we can enjoy our holiday without any last minute stressing. I have a few last minute Christmas cards to send out...I lost part of my list, so sorry if you're getting yours late. I have a couple of things yet to make, but I will have one done tomorrow, and the other done by Monday, so then I will be all finished! So exciting.

On to the tags...

My first tag was from ErinKH. The original tag was for a picture of your front door with holiday decorations. Our door looks pretty pathetic on it's own, even with the wreath, so here's our outdoor holiday decorations.

And, for just for ErinKH, here's my mantel:

You can get 4 stockings up there. We use the 3M Command hooks to hold ours, and it comes right off with no damage to the finish. Just an idea for next year.

And for good measure, our Christmas tree, which up until tonight did not have presents under it. We were not going to have a repeat of last year's unwrapping fiasco. Mr. TD is home now until Christmas, so Princess TD and Little TD will not be left alone with the gifts!

I am supposed to tag 3 others, so I choose Shellie (whom I am sure is dying to show off her decorations), Kimberly and MamaT. I can't wait to see what you've done!

For the second tag, my sweet friend JSue tagged me with the "Crazy Eight" meme. I will do my best. Here goes:

Eight Shows I watch:
1. Survivor
2. Life
4. Eli Stone
5. Private Practice
6. Lipstick Jungle
7. Numbers
8. The Mentalist

Eight Favorite Resturants:
1. Willie's
2. BW3's
3. Chick-Fil-A
4. Outback
5. Saltgrass
6. BJ's
7. Spring Creek Barbeque
8. Jason's Deli

Eight Things that Happened to Me Today:
1. I got to sleep until 8 AM! I love having Mr. TD home again!
2. We made candy as a family.
3. I finished buying stocking stuffers.
4. I used the leftover turkey to make a soup that actually tasted pretty good.
5. I did laundry.
6. I took a catnap. (Only because I sat down long enough to fall asleep)
7. We skipped school.
8. I finished wrapping all but 3 gifts.

Eight Things I Look Forward to:
1. Mr. TD being home and travelling less.
2. School time with my kids.
3. Ladies Bible Study with my friends.
4. Cuddle time with one kid at a time.
5. Time with Mr. TD.
6. Going out in our boat.
7. Camping as a family or with friends (you ready to go yet JSue?).
8. Family game time.

Eight Things I Wish:
1. That my kids weren't growing up so fast.
2. That we had enough money that we could travel with Mr. TD on all his trips.
3. That I could let my kids run around the neighborhood like we did as kids.
4. That the housework would magically do itself.
5. That I was better at keeping in touch with family and friends who are far away.
6. That we could have land on a lake where we could store our boat and camp and boat at the same time.
7. That I could spend all of my time watching my kids learn, teaching them to love others and God.
8. That we can take a trip to Disney before Princess TD stops liking princesses.

Eight People I Tag:
Really, do you think there are eight left??? Between D'Lyn and JSue, everyone I know has been tagged! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Run, Run as Fast as You Can... can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

I just love that story! One of my fondest memories from my year in Kindergarten was reading this book, and decorating a cookie sheet sized gingerbread man! Just like the story, our man disappeared. Our whole class went on a tour of the school looking for the gingerbread man. He was found in the Principal's office. It was great and Mrs. Shue was the best teacher ever! Both of my brother's had her too, and they did the same activity. My sister wasn't so lucky, she got a different teacher, but she had her for both Kindergarten and 1st grade!

Anyway, did you know that there are many versions of this story? I didn't. We checked out 3 books from the library, The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Boy, and the Gingerbread Baby. We read all three stories and then discussed the similarities and differences in them. It was really a lot of fun.

I planned to make some gingerbread men and have them disappear like my Kindergarten memory, but the timing was bad. It was Little TD's birthday and I made cupcakes (with the left over batter from the cake) and a HUGE cake, so the last thing we needed was gingerbread cookies. So, this week, we made the cookies. I baked them one night, and let them cool, and then decorated them the next day. They didn't disappear until after they had their eyes, after all they couldn't see without them. This morning when Princess TD and Little TD got up, the men had disappeared.

(You knew I had to make a girl and a boy, right?)

I had such high hopes for this activity, after all, I have such great memories from this story. Well, guess what...they didn't even notice! They didn't know they weren't where they were supposed to be. The men were "hiding" under the dining room table which doubles as our school work table. When we started doing school today, they were so surprised to see them there, and then it clicked with them that the men had run away.

So we started our school day eating a gingerbread cookie! They both said that they needed to eat their feet first so he wouldn't/couldn't run away again. What a fun day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am Smarter than a 1st Grader

I know, amazing, right?!? Princess TD and Little TD are outside playing with the other kids on the street. One little boy, who had a crush on her last year, asked Princess TD about her school. She told him that she doesn't have a school, that her school is here. He was completely astounded. He told her she couldn't do that. Her home can't be a school. She told him that her mommy taught her and that she had school here. He then turned to me and said, "You can't do that! There is something you don't know. (I am all preparing myself for the adult response of socialization, CPS, truancy, etc. , and he comes up with this..) There is a leaf bug!" I did my best to hold back a chuckle, and told him I was aware of the leaf bug. I then asked what he knew about the bug, and he said that it looked like a leaf. I then gave him the very few facts I know about the leaf bug. His response was, "Woooww." He then walked away. I guess I passed his "teacher" test.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bah Humbug!

I love this time of year. I love shopping for my kids expecting the happy faces on Christmas morning. We don't go overboard, just a couple of gifts each. This year though, I have lost track of what I have purchased. It seems I have gone crazy for Mr. TD and his gifts. I picked up one tonight for him, that brought me to my Bah Humbug mood.

We were shopping at un-named store (in case he's reading this) and my kids were doing great. It was late, past their normal bedtime, but they weren't whining, complaining or asking for anything. We had just completed our purchase when a lady came up to the person checking me out and asked if they had an ATM. I heard the question, but I was getting my kids ready and seated in the stroller to leave the store. I turned around backwards to go through the door. She huffed and acted exasperated that she had to wait for me to get my double stroller through the door. As I swung the stroller around, she stepped through the door, all the while I was holding the door with my foot. She couldn't walk around us, because there were others hanging out in the entry way. Just then another family of 6 or so, stepped out behind her, none of them grabbing the door so that I could move. So here I am, holding the door with my left foot, trying to swing my 125 lb stroller (that's the combined weight of both kids, the stroller and our packages...I am just guessing's probably heavier) around out of the way so "Miss Huffy" can get around and get out the main door. Well, I lost my balance and let the door go. It almost hit one of the kids in the family, so I apologized. Isn't that the right thing to do? Well, the dad didn't think so. He said, "Yeah, right." Miss Huffy was getting huffier. She apparently needed that ATM badly! She was carrying a shopping bag in each hand and rather than step around me when the entry cleared, she waited for me to back up through the next door and hold the door for her! Then, the family stopped for some reason, and I stood there holding the next door, assuming they would be coming right after Miss Huffy. Well, they didn't. The older lady with them, asked if I wanted her to get the door. I replied that I was fine, but I didn't want to be rude and close the door in her face. She just looked at me as if I spoke to her in gibberish. So, I let the door go, and went on my way.

Have we lost all manners and courtesy in this world? Patience people!

I guess that's what I get for shopping at night. I have to be out with all the other folks who don't have time to shop at any other time. I think I will be retreating back to my humble abode to finish ordering any other gifts I need on-line! Thank goodness for!

Maybe if I wrap some presents to put under the tree, I will get back into the festive spirit. Maybe this year Princess TD won't talk Little TD into unwrapping them all before Christmas morning! Then again...maybe I should just wait!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Snow!

We went to church tonight and when we came out our car was covered in snow! Yes we really are getting some accumulation. I am sure it will melt off pretty quick in the morning, so I let the kids play outside in the snow when we got home. Here's a few more pics.

We even made a little snowman. He was too small to do the "usual" snowman decorations, so we used pine straw for arms and mulch for a nose. He was melting too fast on the ground to do much else. At least they got the idea of what to do.

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I am slightly concerned about my new Knock-out Roses. I didn't realize we would actually have snow, so I didn't cover them. It's probably too late now. I just hope they survive!

We have enjoyed our snow day today! I hope you have had as much fun!

It's Snowing!

Ok, well, really it's just flurrying, but for those of us in southern Texas, it's snowing! This is the second time in Princess TD's lifetime that it has snowed at our house! The first time was very late at night on Christmas Eve, so she didn't see it. Here's their first look at snow.

Of course it's melting as soon as it hits the ground, but the flurries are pretty cool. Here's our "accumulation."

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Shortly after we took these pictures the precipitation changed to snain (a mixture of snow and rain), almost sleet. It reminds me of the days living in St. Louis and the ice storms we had before I moved here. Hey, at least I am one driver who knows how to drive in this stuff, now what do we do about all of the other folks on the road?!?

Little TD and Princess TD are so excited to see snow. Princess TD said, "I didn't know that Texas was that close to the North Pole." Apparently it only snows at the North Pole, at least in her mind!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Little TD!

I can hardly believe it! My little baby boy is now 3 years old! How time flies when you're having fun!

We had his party last Saturday. He had a couple of friends over and we had a Thomas the Train party for him. It was a blast. We all had so much fun and ate lots of cake! I think his favorite toys so far are Elizabeth the bus (from Thomas & Friends), his Thomas play tent and his Thomas rolling backpack!

Mr. TD talked me into making him a cake shaped like Thomas! I searched the internet and found a tutorial created by one of the homeschool bloggers I like to read. She walked me through step by step how to create it. Here's the creation process:

He loved it. This picture made all of the work worth it!

Oh, and for those of you interested in numbers, he is 39-1/2" tall and weighs 38 lbs. He is 3/4" shorter than Princess TD at the same age, but his feet are 2 sizes bigger! I think he'll be taller than she is soon!

Happy Birthday Little Man! We love you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'd Like Peanut Butter on the Side with Crackers on the Side

This is a common request around our house at lunchtime. Both Princess TD and Little TD love to spread the peanut butter on crackers, or not. Sometimes they eat the peanut butter with a spoon and then the crackers for dessert. Any way they eat it, they usually eat it without delay. This has become one of their favorite meals.

So today, when they asked for this for lunch, it was not a problem. We didn't expect it to come with a twist. They wanted pickles to go along with their peanut butter. They love dill pickles and eat them whenever we get them out. OK, not terribly crazy for a kid to like pickles, but to me, the thought of pickles with peanut butter no matter how it is eaten just doesn't sound palatable to the taste buds!

Mr. TD came up with the bright idea to get Princess TD to put a pickle on her cracker and peanut butter sandwich. She did. She even said YUM! All I could think was BLECHHH! This was coming from the girl who pretty much hates anything we give her to eat. Oh, she may eventually try it, and maybe learn to like it, but her first response is always that she doesn't like it.

So me, being the quick thinker I am, convinced Princess TD to make one for Daddy. Mr. TD shot me a few quick, ever so telling, glances across the table as she was preparing his "sandwich." I convinced her to make it with promises of more peanut butter, crackers and pickles if she found she was running low. Just as she was about finished with the peanut butter portion, she licked the side of the cracker all the way around. You see, she had over spread the peanut butter and I guess was going for the "presentation" of her delicacy. Mr. TD and I started laughing hysterically! No really, this was the kind of laugh that liquids would come from your nose, should there be any in your mouth!

Mr. TD graciously took the "sandwich" dipped it in honey mustard and ate it. Still my stomach was turning and we were both still laughing, even as he said "Mmmm."

Then he did the unthinkable. He had her make one for me! He even gave her a large pickle slice just for Mommy. But she left out an "ingredient." You see, she was a little more controlled in her spreading this time and didn't need any clean-up around the edges. She even told Mr. TD that she didn't mess up so she didn't need to do it to mine!

So, I took a bite and the look on my face must have said it all. Mr. TD said, "That's why you don't take a bite, you just eat it whole." All the while continuing to laugh hysterically. I couldn't finish it. Just one bite. I tried her food she prepared and I just couldn't finish it. That's all we ask of her when she's resistant to try something new, so that is all I did. Mr. TD thinks I cheated, but no, I just used my brain to come up with a way that I didn't have to eat it. (Do you think that's where Princess TD gets it, from me?)

Needless to say, we will not be serving peanut butter and pickle sandwiches here in this house again, at least not on purpose.

Later this afternoon, we had Food Network on in the background as we were preparing to get our Christmas decorations out. They began talking about sandwiches around the country, and believe it or not, there is a restaurant somewhere in the United States, that actually serves a peanut butter and pickle sandwich! I wish I knew where it was so that I could be sure NOT to stop there when I was hungry!

We really had a good laugh today! Sometimes that's what you need!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that we set aside to ponder our thankfulness. I am thankful for many things, more things than I can name here. Growing up our family had a tradition of naming one thing that each of us at the table were thankful for in our lives. Today, we carried on that tradition in our home. It is always so sweet to hear the what is on the hearts of little children. Princess TD said she was thankful for Sprite. Little TD said he was thankful for remote control Jeeps. I am most thankful today that Mr. TD was able to come home to spend the day with us. Mr. TD was thankful to be home as well. We enjoyed the traditional feast: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and rolls. It was a great day for our family. It was a short holiday, Mr. TD leaves again early in the morning to go back out of town. We will miss him, but are so thankful that we were able to spend today together.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Have "Sucker" Stamped on My Forehead

Really, I do. Just check the next time you see me!

We went to see Bryan today. You know the Bryan I am talking about. He's the one at Portrait Innovations who loves to take 120 or so pictures of my kids. He's the one (maybe the only one) who can capture their true personalities on film, or at least digitally. See?!?

So, you see where this is leading right? Yes, we went in to have Christmas pictures done. Did it! Could I decide on one? NO, absolutely not! We also had the 3 year old pictures and the 5 year old pictures taken. You have probably already guessed that I couldn't decide on one there either. See, I am a sucker and Bryan knows it. He does such a great job photographing my kiddos and getting them to relax and have fun that I just can't leave without a ton of pictures.

Here are a few more:

I really do adore Bryan and the way he interacts with my kids.

Oh, and I got my Christmas cards too (no, this is not a preview). I will try to wait until December to send them out this year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Me Time

"You need some time to yourself."

"Take some "me time" you need it."

I hear this a lot. I hear it most when Mr. TD is traveling for work and I am home with the kids. It bothers me for many reasons. I have had these things mulling in my mind for quite a while now.

I feel I need to defend my choice NOT to have me time when Mr. TD is traveling. I feel like I have to explain that my kids wouldn't do well with a babysitter at night while he's gone and I am out with the girls. I feel like I have to explain that they are both missing their Daddy, and that I need to be there with them to comfort them.

What is fun for you might not be fun for me. I may not enjoy getting together with the girls, especially since I am not overly girly or concerned about girly things. (OK, I do admit having a girly daughter has moved me in that direction, but I am still a geeky, gadget loving engineer at heart).

It's not that I don't enjoy time away from my children. Sometimes it is nice to go to the store without having to pack an extra bag to carry the snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes and various toys to keep them entertained and without having to say "no" at least a 1000 times to each of them. That's awesome! It's not that I don't enjoy a massage, pedicure or even dessert with the girls. I do, and I get an hour or two here and there. I just don't live for these moments. I have really been struggling with how to address these things - about how to clearly communicate that I have chosen this life - my life.

Last week I recieved my latest copy of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. This is a magazine for homeschoolers. In the magazine there was an article titled "The 'Me-Time' Myth," by Amy Roberts. In this article, she discusses that although time away from her family helped to refresh her, she was always wanting more when she came home to the reality of a sink full of dirty dishes and baths for the kids. When she came home to reality, she would want to head right back out the door. She went on to describe the many ways she searched for her own alone time and the conclusion she would reach every time was the same. She would become resentful of her husband's time off work, and she would take weekends off and then her weekends would spill over into the week. She commented she was left feeling overwhelmed and had more of a desire to escape. The following paragraph spoke to my heart:
"Me Time is a myth. It is an unattainable, always interruptible, never satisfying piece of junk psychology. Me Time, by its very name, suggests that who we are during the daily grind is not who we truly are. It begs us to search for fulfillment outside the titles of "wife" and "mother." It accuses precious little ones and God-given spouses for suppressing us. It reduces motherehood to a disease in which little dirty faces and endless monotonous tasks slowly suck the life out of us. It
says that we can never be refreshed by spending time in the presence of those we care for day in and day out. It points out a perceived hole in our world that needs to be filled, a tank that must be refuled, a monster that will swallow us if we neglect to feed it Me Time."
She went on to conlcude that unless her time alone, away from the family, was in fact, time seeking God, she never felt fulfilled.
This article was perfect for me right now. Mr. TD has always traveled with his job, and it is usually at the most inconvenient times. But I chose this life. I chose to marry him knowing that his job required travel. I chose to quit my job as the inside sales manager/design engineer of a small company to stay home and raise my children. I chose not to send Princess TD to school, but rather to homeschool. I love that I have these opportunities and choices.

Oh, I do have THOSE days, when everything that could go wrong does. It is on those days that I remind myself that the last five years have gone by in a flash. Although I have a few more to go before they leave home, it will happen before I want them to leave, and I have so much to teach them and so much to learn from them in that time. I don't want to miss a thing!

So, no. I don't need me time, I already have it. My life and my time is defined by me being a good wife to my husband and a good mother to my children.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Big Thank You

I want to be sure to express my huge appreciation for the youth group at our church. This past Saturday, they hosted a Drop and Shop for parents of children 2yrs - 5th grade. This meant that we could drop off our kids and spend the day shopping for Christmas gifts. Since Little TD was born in December, we also had birthday shopping to do for him too. We were able to get most of our shopping done for the kids, both from us and from Santa. We lack one or two items for them, but I think we will be able to get that completed.

We were also able to take in a movie in the amount of time allotted us for "shopping." We don't get to the movies much for a couple of reasons, one being the cost. It just seems silly to spend that much money when we can usually buy the movie cheaper than seeing it in the theater. Anyway, I digress. We went to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. I have to say, Mr. TD is a HUGE James Bond fan. We own all of the movies on VHS and DVD, we have several of the books and the James Bond version of Scene It (the movie game). I have to confess, I am not as big of a fan. In fact, I don't think I watched a movie in its entirety until I met Mr. TD. However, being the nerdy engineer type that I am, I did kind of get hooked on all the gadgets and the cool cars. But really...this is not Bond!!! I don't even think he introduced himself in the famous way - Bond, James Bond! Can this really be a Bond movie without that??? OK, maybe. Mr. TD says that one of Pierce Brosnan's films lacked this too. But the Bond character played by Daniel Craig is lacking, even to this minimal bond fan. I would say he is missing some of the finesse that other Bond characters have and I'll leave it at that. If you can go into the movie just thinking of it as an action film, it's pretty good. But if you are a die-hard Bond fan, wait for the DVD...oh wait, you probably have already seen it!

Anyway, thank you again to the youth group. Because of you, we were able to break our record for movies seen in the theater in one year since having children. Would you be willing to plan another one about the time that Angels and Demons comes out?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Angel

Today was one of those days that every mother has and every mother dreads. I was running errands, nothing special, just your run of the mill household stuff. I was prepared. I had drinks. I had snacks. I had stickers, paper and pen and of course, my trusty PDA that the kids love to use as a doodle pad. Things were going great. I was at the second stop. It was a short one. I was stopping at Michaels to pick up the icing colors and a larger cake pan to make Little TD's birthday cake. We were doing great until we went to the checkout. Princess TD put something in the cart for me, and Little TD had a total meltdown. He thought that she was getting something and he wasn't. No matter what I said, what I did, he wouldn't stop screaming. I mean SCREAMING!!! Really, what did he want there? All he could see from his vantage point were the rows and rows of silk flowers. Did he really want a flower? No, he just thought that his sister was getting something and he wasn't. Princess TD was great. She stood right by him and tried to sing the song she made up for him when he was a baby that would calm him down. Not working. She tried to hug him, stroked his hands, talked softly, gave him kisses, made silly faces. Nothing worked. Now while she was doing all of this, I was just watching, very proud of my little girl and her compassion for her brother.

That's when we met Terry. She was in front of us in line. She talked to me and said, "I remember those days. Don't worry Mom, we all have days like this. It will pass. " I smiled, thanked her and told her that I do realize that one day I will miss them being this little. It was then that she began talking to Little TD. She asked him how old he was going to be on his birthday, what kind of cake he wanted and a couple of other innocent questions that made him stop screaming immediately. He answered his questions and that was that. He was done. The rest of the stops went smoothly. I don't know who she was, but Terry was an angel sent to help us out today. Thank you, Terry!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's your name?

Mr. TD was in the living room tonight playing with Little TD laughing and having a good time. Little TD asked Mr. TD what his name was. Mr. TD answered and Little TD asked, "Why "Wayne?" Mr. TD said, "I don't know that's just what Grandma and Grandpa named me." Little TD promptly said, "My name is Little TD (first and middle) Come Back!" Do you think I say that a little to often????

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Conversation in the van today:

Princess TD: There went a police car like Pat's.

Me: Princess TD, we call him Mr. Pat.

Princess TD: Why?

Me: Because he is older than you and that's how we show our elders respect.

Princess TD: I guess I need to call Maddie "Miss Maddie" then, because she's 5-1/2.

Little TD: I'm 2.

Me: Yes, you are and in a few weeks you'll be 3. Your birthday is right after your friend Hailey's birthday.

Little TD: I don't want to be 3!!! I like being 2!

Princess TD: Why don't you want your birthday? It's fun, you'll be 3 and then I'll be'll be 4 and I'll be 7...and on and on she went.

Little TD: I don't want to be 3, because then I can't play with you anymore.

Princess TD: Oh, Little Man, we can still play. I love you.

Little TD: I love you too Sissy.

All of this after literally screaming at each other the whole time we were running errands and especially in the grocery store. Maybe they'll remember that the next time they both want the same toy. Or maybe they won't!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Trick or Treaters

We had fun trick or treating on Friday night. The weather was beautiful. There were tons of kids out and we met a new neighbor. It was at the very end of the night as we ran out of candy. They are very sweet people and Princess TD and their youngest daughter hit it off...they both LOVE princesses. Go figure.
We had Alice, of Alice in Wonderland fame.

True to our Toy Story fan, Little TD was Buzz Lightyear. It was an awesome costume. He wears the wings almost daily.

We had an awesome time with our friends. We had the DeCarlo family join us and we took one of our neighbors, Kenny, with us as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Photographer...

These pictures were taken by Princess TD while I was carving the pumpkin this afternoon.

There were several more of the neighbor's little girl I left out, but they were really good. (I just didn't want to post her face all over without her parents permission.) We only deleted 2 pictures because they were so blurry you couldn't determine what they were. Pretty good for a 5 year old I'd say, but maybe it's just because I am her Mom!

Oh, and in the first of the self portraits she looks so much like my neice it's frightening!

So, do you think Santa should bring her a kid's camera or a "real" digital camera? (Really, I'd like your thoughts. Would she be frustrated with the quality of the kids digital camera? She really did use the zoom. Is this a talent we should develop? AAAGGGHHHH! She's only 5!)

Pumpkin Picking and Carving

We went earlier this week to pick out our pumpkin to carve for Halloween tomorrow. This is the first year we have purchased a real pumpkin to carve. We tried to grow our own pumpkins earlier in the year, but we were not so successful. Every time we had a bud, Princess TD would think it was a flower and pick it for me. Oh well, maybe next year!

We picked the coldest day so far to go pick our pumpkin. We walked outside to check the temperature and it seemed fine, but when we got to the Farmer's Market, it was much colder than we thought it was.

This afternoon, we went out to carve our pumpkin. We had fun cleaning it out and then drawing the face.

In true Texas style, earlier in the week, we were freezing outside in long pants and long sleeves, and today we were in shorts and sleeveless shirts! You gotta love Texas!!

Our fall photo!

Can you tell they are both saying "cheese"? It's the only picture where they are both looking at the camera!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She Did It!!

Ok, this is just a proud mamma-teacher moment...Princess TD read her first book all by herself! The book was Pal and Sal.

She was able to sound out the words she didn't know and make a pretty accurate guess before I helped out. I find this amazing since we are only about a third of the way through our 108 phonics lessons. She still thinks she can't read, but I am sure when she reads her first princess book, she'll think she's made it!

Oh, and a big "Thank you" to Great-Aunt Linda for all of the early reader books. It seems our library only has princess books. Oh wait, maybe that's all she'll check out from there without much prodding and arguing!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Too Sweet!

We had lunch after church today with some friends at Olive Garden. It was the first time we have eaten there as a family. For the longest time, our kids wouldn't even touch pasta type meals so we avoided eating there. Before eating, there was an offer to the kiddos there to say prayer. My two jumped at the opportunity.

Princess TD: Dear God, thank you for Mommy and Daddy. Thank you for eating at Olive Oil and thank you for all the things you made. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Little TD: Thank you for our blessings. Thank you for Daddy and changing oil. (next came a long list of undeciferable mumbling). Thank you for Jesus. AMEN!

I just love the prayers of the little ones! Princess TD thought the resturant was Olive Oil, and after hearing "oil" Little TD thought of changing oil with Daddy!

All of the adults there had a good laugh over the Olive Oil and changing oil prayers!

Friday, October 24, 2008

What to do, what to do?

Help! I am paper that is. I am totally at a loss about what to do with the huge amount of paper that is created by my two children! Let me explain:

We have our papers from Sunday school...

We have our papers from Tuesday Ladies class...

We have our papers from Wednesday night church...

We have our papers from school (currently I am keeping these in a 3-ring binder to record the work for the grade level)...

We have at least 5 pages per day created by Princess TD and several from Little TD with random writing, pictures and notes to friends...

One or two pages per day are created with stickers on them, maybe a picture, but mostly stickers...

Needless to say, I cannot keep every single piece of paper they create. We had thought about scanning them in and saving them on a thumb drive for each kid...but that requires we have a scanner - we don't. (BTW, we are currently in a research phase to determine what would be best for us. I want an all-in-one since it would help me in school, but they are large!)

So, my question to all of you is what do you do with all of your children's papers?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fun Filled Weekend

The weather was beautiful this weekend and we took the opportunity to get outside and have some family time. Mr. TD has been out of town and we have all missed him, so this was wonderful for our family! Here are some pics of our fun at the park and playing b-ball after our picnic dinner:

Sunday after church, the preschool children went to Fuddruckers for lunch and then to one of the local fire stations to take some of the stuffed animals that were collected during VBS to the firemen to distribute to children after a trauma. We were given a short tour of the fire engines and were allowed to turn on and off the fire hose. It was a beautiful day and the firemen were so very nice to all of the little ones. They even helped us to pose a few of the pictures of the kids.

We had a great weekend and loved the beautiful Texas fall weather!


Every month on the fourth Saturday, our family works at the food pantry at our church called Manna. There we hand out donated food to local families in need. We purchase enough food to feed several families before we go since it's the end of the month and the shelves are usually bare. Ever since Princess TD was little, I have had her help pick out some of the food we take based on the list that we provide each family. Her favorite thing has always been the Campbell's character soups, usually Dora. I have continued that tradition with Little TD and he has been picking the Campbell's "Cars" soup to donate. There are many great lessons they learn in the store, how to count the number of each item, finding the items and best of all, giving to others who are not as blessed as we are.

This past week, Princess TD was studying about the Israelites leaving Egypt through the Red Sea and their wandering in the wilderness. We read about Moses and how he asked God to provide food for the Israelites and how the prayer was answered with manna and quail. We studied some about quail and made a paper airplane quail. At the end of the lesson, I asked the following question:

Me: What did God provide to the Israelites to eat?

Little TD: Cars soup!


Monday, October 6, 2008

School Update: Things God Made

I realized that I haven't given a school update in a while. School is going well and both kids are having a blast!

Princess TD is grasping all of the concepts we are learning. She has memorized 5 verses from the bible, and is practicing reading them as she recites them. She is doing awesome with phonics and is trying to sound out complex words. She's reading simple sentences and knows some sight words. We have just started talking about punctuation and capitalization. Her writing is improving every day. She loves writing notes to anyone who will take one! She even wrote a note to give to the marina worker at the lake that said "Hey Mr. Boat Man." The teenage kid behind the counter just chuckled when she gave it to him! He was great though, and said thanks and put it in the drawer with the money!

Last week in science, we talked about the things God made in combination with a discussion of the seasons, specifically fall. One of the suggested activities (which we didn't do, because I wanted to go to the park to find more leaves), was to go outside and collect some of the things God made and put them into a scrapbook. So last night, the kids were outside with Mr. TD while I was finishing dinner. Princess TD came running through the house to get to the back yard to get their buckets. I reminded her not to dig in the flower beds as she ran back out. She went through our yard and the yard of our neighbor across the street and filled her bucket. She dumped it out on our walk, and said, "Look Mommy, these are things God made!" I didn't tell her about the activity, so I guess this means she's understanding what I am teaching! It was great encouragement for me. Here's what she collected:

In math, we decided to do Kindergarten math, but to work through it quickly since most of it is review. Well, she's finished the first semester of math, and we'll be beginning the second semester this week. She's really loving that and is quick to grasp the concepts. She is really doing great and loves telling people she meets that she's homeschooled!
Little TD loves working with us. He will sit and color in his preschool book I made him. He listens intently to the stories and lessons I read. He loves to take his crayons and trace the letters and numbers. He loves playing with and stacking the Cuisenaire rods we have. He is starting to make drawings of people. They are really cute! They have big heads and little bodies. He appears to be developing along the same path that Princess TD did. I can tell his brain is working faster than the rest of him, and he gets frustrated sometimes that his body can't do what his brain says it can. He will catch up soon enough.
So, our update is that school is going well and I love that I get to be with them and see the light bulb come on when they figure something out! I feel so blessed that I have this opportunity to teach them, even on the crazy days!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What a Boat-iful Day

We spent yesterday out on Lake Conroe. It was a beautiful boating day! We had ton of fun running around in the boat and seeing the sights. It was the first time since Ike we were out on the lake. We launched at a new marina this time. It was very nice and easy to load and unload. This is the marina where we usually launch. It was hit by a tornado during Ike.

It was also the first time in a very long time that I did not have to hold a child in my lap as we were cruising! It's amazing, both kids are old enough and feel safe enough to be riding in the boat without me holding them! Here are our little captains!

For some reason, Little TD only rides on his knees, holding on to the side and most of the time with his face against the side of the boat. Usually he's yelling to go faster! We aren't sure if he's trying to sheild his face from the wind, or praying for it to be over. Princess TD has really found her sea legs, and loves to stand next to Mr. TD as he's piloting the boat. They loved "fishing" (really just casting) and were begging to get started as soon as we launched the boat. They want to be sure to tell Great-grandpa about their catches the next time they see him!

It was a day full of family fun on the lake! We love the time we get to spend together on the boat.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall is Coming

The weather is cooling. The pumpkins are everywhere. The kids are shopping for costumes and eyeing their favorite candy. The Air Show is coming to town. Fall is officially on it's way. Oh, and I am ready for camping! I just love this time of year in Texas!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Little Miss Hollywood

That's what my Grandma used to call me when I wore sunglasses when I was a child. I remember thinking I was so cool! I always thought that phrase was silly, but I say that to Princess TD all the time!

Mr. TD and I just had to save this look for the future. These pictures say it all. All pink, "sparkly" flip-flops, sunglasses and the matching purse!

We also had to share this with Aunt I hope you're checking in on us! She's the one who passed the purse down to our Little Miss Hollywood. Oh, and in case you are wondering, her bag is stocked! She carries a small mirror, 2 mini-Polly Pocket cars (sparkly ones, of course), a baby Cinderella doll and a baby Sleeping Beauty doll. If she remembers, she also carries her Franklin planner (a gift from the local Franklin Covey Manager) with her pink pen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rambling Thoughts on Recovery

There is so much going on around us. So many of our friends are still without power, without any good indication of when it may come back on. Here are some of the crazy thoughts going on in my head.

1. We are offering our home to any of our friends or our church family without power. We are willing to share a hot meal, our air conditioning, our internet, our showers, our washer and dryer. So obviously if you don't have power, you aren't reading this, but if you are reading this, please pass the word to those who might need the assistance.

2. It's been hard on Princess TD and Little TD this week. They are just going crazy. They are definately children who like routine. Our routine has been out of whack for a couple of weeks, and it is proving hard to recover from the disruption. We are slowly getting back into our routine.

3. We began our "official" school again on Monday. The learning is great, but we are all having trouble focusing on one thing at a time. We have been taking a lot longer to complete our school day. Princess TD said yesterday that she was very happy that she was doing schoolwork again. She really loves the seat work!

4. We are planners. We like to have a plan in place for everything. We like to think of all possible scenarios and plan for everything we can think of. For those who know us well, this is pretty obvious. We had a hurricane plan that we began to develop in the weeks after Katrina hit Mississippi. Mr. TD's sister and her husband rode out Katrina in Biloxi. They were blessed to not have much damage, but we learned a lot from their experience. A couple of weeks later, we put our initial plan into effect when Rita came through and hit Sabine Pass. For the last couple of years, we've been in the clear. Until this year. When Gustav was heading this way, we began to implement our plan, but realized too late, that we wouldn't have been prepared for that storm. We didn't begin our checklist early enough to have our emergency precations taken. Just after Gustav, we had a busy week, but began some of our initial preparations for the next storm. We began our preparations. We boarded up our windows, filled our water containers and our bathtubs. We froze large containers filled with water so that we had ice for our freezer. We froze our milk to help keep our refridgerator cold. We did everything we could think of to prepare for our time after the storm. I think we did pretty well. I think we were able to care for our family and our friends family who was with us and make it through our days without power. We did learn some lessons, and will be revising our plan for future seasons.

5. I loved the sense of community we had right after the storm. I loved the neighbors helping each other. I loved the kids playing nicely with one another, without fighting or calling each other names. I reminded me of the small neighborhood where I grew up. It makes me sad that the neighbors scattered back to their own homes when the power came back on.

6. It is going to take our community a long time to recover from this storm. Slowly, we are getting restored back to the way things were before the storm. The stores are being restocked, gas stations don't have lines. There are many schools that have damage, or don't have power. Many families have some kids in school and others not, because not all schools in a district are open.

We are so blessed to have our family, our friends and our power!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Getting back to normal

Well, things are starting to get back to normal around here. The lines at the gas stations are getting shorter. The grocery stores still aren't fully stocked, but it's getting closer day by day. It is amazing how spoiled we all are. We take so much for granted living here. We are all so wealthy, have an abundance of food, water and electricity (even for those here who are still without power). I am reminded how truly blessed we are to have our home, food, water, power, cars, and on and on. We have wonderful family and friends and are blessed to have them in our lives.

For those of you wondering, we haven't officially done school for 2 weeks now. Everyday is a learning experience here. We have been working on writing, spelling and reading almost daily. We have found a couple of intact dead bugs, a cicada, a butterfly, and of course the zillions of love bugs flying around. So there's our science. Math just seems to always make it's way into our daily lives. I guess it's just the engineers in us! Even though we had only had school for 5 weeks before this break, I can tell that we both miss that time. Even Little TD is asking for school again. I suppose it had become more of our life than I had realized. So, I will be spending some time this weekend preparing to begin again on Monday.

Please pray for all of our friends who are still displaced by the storm, without power, or who have lost their roofs. Any of our friends who might be reading this who are without power, you are welcome to come to our house for a warm meal, or to do laundry. We would love to share our electricity with you! (Oh, and we do have detergent now!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've cleaned up our act

or at least our house and yard. We spent our day today cleaning up the debris in our yard and getting things back to somewhat normal. I did a few loads of laundry to clean up our smelly towels and clothes and changed all of our sheets. I know, it's really just your everyday mundane things, but it feels more normal.

What doesn't feel normal is the long lines to get into stores, get gas or any other supplies. We are well stocked for food and water, but at some point we will need milk and diapers. I am just not up to fighting for these things with a couple of million other folks who are out of these things too. I am so blessed to have my family safe and comfortable, my home intact and electricity! I don't want to leave my little place of peace to enter into the madness.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Houston we have...


We did a huge block party happy dance in the streets when the power came on. Our next door neighbors had a huge 150 kW generator at their house since his company didn't need it for their systems (they didn't lose power) so he allowed us to plug in our fridge to his generator. I think this saved our food, since the other generator we got from Mr. TD's parents sucked gas, and we were limited in our supply, we had to regulate how much we ran it during the day. Our neighbors also cooked a whole lot of chicken for the neighbors who didn't have the means to cook. Since we could cook, we cooked for us and another of our neighbors who is by himself. It has been almost 2 hours and we are still powered up. We are really hoping it sticks.

We are just so blessed to have been spared the worst of the storm. Seeing pictures for the first time makes us appreciate what we have. It was so wonderful this evening sitting outside with all of the neighbors, seriously at least eight of the houses on our street were all outside, enjoying the beautiful weather, helping each other assess damages, repair minor damages and all the kids playing together. It was so wonderful to see. The storm came through and tore up the landscape, knocked out the power and forced neighbors to become a community again. You could hear shouts from many streets when the power came on.

We Weathered Ike

Well, we made it through Ike. I am updating as quickly as I can while on generator power. Our friend JSue will update any additional info through the comments section, so check there too for updates.

We really didn't have any damage to our house. We had a small leak in the bathroom over the exhaust fan, but nothing serious. Our neighbor at the end of the cul-de-sac lost the back part of the roof and their 2-story ceiling in their living room, and their pool overflowed with all of the rain we had. There were several downed trees in the neighborhood, but for the most part, our street fared pretty well. We have been without power since 2:30 am on Sat morning. Yesterday, Mr. TD met his parents halfway and picked up their generator, so we have power to cool our refrigerator. I am posting a few pictures of what our street looked like right after the storm, and then some of the kids playing after the storm.

Our friends, the DeCarlo's are still in the hospital. They also did very well through the storm. They never lost power. Justin is doing well. He still has his chest tube and is still not eating well. And as anyone who has ever been in the hospital knows, they aren't getting much sleep because of all of the nightly interruptions. Their house did well to. No damage there either. Their neighborhood had a lot of trees down, about 3-5 trees per street we passed.

We have no idea when we may get power back, we have heard anything from a few days to a few weeks. Either way, I think we'll do fine with the generator, as long as we don't run out of fuel. We also had a cool front come through which is helping greatly too. It was down into the mid to upper 60s last night and our high today is supposed to be in the low 80s. This will keep us from having to run the window unit to stay cool, but we have it if we need it.

All in all we are doing well. We won't have internet for long, so I will check back as I can. If you want to check up on us, call our home phone. Our cells aren't getting much service, and it's not great when we do get it.

Here are the pictures I promised!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Winds are Picking Up

Well, we had a good pre-hurricane block party. All of the neighbors on the street were outside watching the cloud formations blow by and letting the kids run out all of their energy. We know who will be here, who has what, and what we can do to help each other. We really are blessed to live on a street where we can know our neighbors and support each other.

It is around 10 pm right now, and as it stands, Ike should be heading right up I-45, which will put the eye over us sometime tomorrow mid-morning or so. We have lots of water, lots of drinks, lots of snacks and non-perishable foods. The local news is saying that we should be clearing out somewhere between 12 Noon and 6 pm. They are estimating that close to 4 million customers will be out of power through the storm, so we are planning to be without power. We have our water saved, we've cooled down the house (and with the windows boarded up, we're hoping it stays cooler), and we are praying for the best.

Several of our good friends have told many stories about how prepared we are and how we think of everything. It is just our engineer minds at work, but no matter how much you follow your checklist, you never feel quite prepared enough for a situation like this.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We will weather this storm and will learn many things from the experience. I anticipate that I may be able to post one more time before we lose power, but since the lights have flickered a couple of times, it may be sooner than I think.

He's on the way

Well, Ike is definately going to be hitting the Houston area. We are doing well, we've all had naps and are well rested for the big event. The clouds are starting to come in, but we haven't had any rain as of yet. We have some of the windows boarded up, which makes the house VERY dark. Right now the kids are outside eating popsicles and enjoying the little bit of coolness in the air. Our houseguests should be here soon. We will keep you posted as we can.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're expecting company...

...and we didn't even invite him! It's hurricane Ike. Ike is expected to make landfall late Friday night just southwest of the Houston metro area. We are planning to "hunker down" and sit this one out. There are a few reasons for that, but mainly because we were just flat not prepared to leave early! Right now traffic

We have been warned by our Katrina survivor family that if Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel comes to town, get out! He is always where the hurricane hits! I am not sure if that is always true, but he is in Galveston and has been for a couple of days! I guess I should have been ready to go yesterday.

Because of Ike, we may have a few houseguests tomorrow night. Baby Justin's Nana is in town from Wisconsin/Arizona, and being that neither of those states experience hurricanes or tropical storms, she's not so sure she wants to stay at the DeCarlo's house with Travis without having been through this before. So, I think they are going to join us for the storm ride out at our house. I am sure we will all be fine, maybe a little hot with no AC, but we'll manage.

Baby Justin is going to leave ICU today. They are just waiting for the paperwork to transfer him to his new room. That is such awesome news! He is doing great and is just as cute as ever! His parents will be with him at the hospital, so they will need prayers for safety if and when Ike hits.

I am frantically trying to get the inside of the house prepared if we have to leave in a quick manner, so I will be away from the computer today. If you need to know our status you can contact Ken's parents. They will be our out of town contact for this storm. If you need to know how to get in touch with them, e-mail me privately, and I'll give you their info.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Justin is Doing Better

Earlier today there was a little bit of a rough patch for Justin as he was getting rid of his breathing tubes. But they were able to get a totally cute picture of him. It's posted on their blog, but I just had to share it with all of my blog friends. So, here he is!

He is doing better this evening. They are still keeping him asleep until morning although he does rouse a bit every now and then. He has knocked off his CPAP, and has had no problems breathing. He looks so awesome and is being such a trooper. Don't you just love the hat!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Justin's Surgery is Completed

Justin is out of surgery and in ICU. Right now Randy and Danielle are with him for the first time in almost 12 hours. I know they are enjoying their first looks at their sweet boy. The surgeon was able to make the necessary repairs, however, they will need to monitor him for any complications over the next few weeks. They feel completely covered in all the prayers of their friends and family. God is good all the time!

Surgery Update

Justin's surgery is going well. The nurse called it just as expected and routine. He is currently on bypass and they have repaired the valves and are working on repairing the holes in the walls of the heart. They will next do the saline test and work to take him off bypass. They are expecting to close around 5. Please keep praying, our prayers are being answered.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Surgery Rescheduled

Tomorrow Baby Justin is scheduled again for his heart surgery. Please pray for him and his family. This is the third time the surgery has been scheduled, so please pray for them not to get bumped again. The emotional toll of being all ready to go and then being bumped is so hard. So many complications come along with that.

He is scheduled to begin surgery at 8 AM. The surgery is expected to take 5-7 hours. Please pray for him, his parents, the doctors and nurses attending to him. I will be updating via e-mail throughout the day tomorrow and I will post here as I can, or you can check here for updates from the parents.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Growing Up

Yesterday I was talking with friends about how fast our kids grow up. When we met 10 years ago, their youngest was just a couple years older than my oldest. Now they are empty nesters! Ten years ago, they were a lot like us, now they are leaders in our church. How does this happen? We don't feel any older or different. Ten years ago I wasn't married, I was working as an engineer designing heat transfer equipment, and I didn't have children. Today, I have been married for 7 1/2 years, I no longer work as an engineer, I have 2 children, and I am homeschooling! My how quickly things change. (Oh, and in case you were wondering gas prices were around $0.80/gallon for unleaded 10 years ago. Mr. TD keeps great records!)

My little ones are growing so fast too. We had lunch at one of those places with a playplace yesterday. I happened to meet another mom there who is also homeschooling her almost 5 year old son. My Little TD was about the size of her almost 5 year old! (Ok, for those of you who know us personally, this is not much of a surprise.) Princess TD is a good head taller than her best friend who is almost 6. They are not only getting tall, but they are growing up in their attitudes, behavior and everything else! I know that ultimately I do want them to grow up, leave home and be successful adults...but does it have to happen so quickly?

I recently talked to a friend who is a first time mother. She was talking about her 5 month old baby and how close to crawling they are. I so remember those days of wishing them to hit the milestones and grow. Now, looking back, I miss those days when my kids were so little. I wish I could slow down time and keep them they way they are right now and enjoy this stage for a little while longer. Ok, maybe we'll wait until Little TD is potty trained and then we'll put it on hold!

See, no matter how much I want to keep them the way they are...I am still wanting them to grow! I love these precious children, on good days and bad, and I am going to cherish every second of this season of my life.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Bump on the Head

I guess it is just a rite of passage, but it breaks my heart! Today, we went to Lowe's to check out new water heaters. We are needing to replace ours, but that's a whole 'nother story! ( just for you JSue ;) ) As we were leaving, we ran into some friends of ours from church that we haven't seen in quite a while, so we stopped to visit. We talked about our improvement projects, and their kids in college, and our little ones. Princess TD and Little TD were playing nearby and really being pretty good, not fighting and playing well with each other. I had turned my back to where the kids were momentarily, and I saw (and heard) a collective gasp from the rest of the adults. I turned around to find Princess TD grabbing her head and as she turned around, I saw blood gushing and dripping off her face. I immediately dropped everything, and put pressure on her forehead. Pause here for a rabbit trail.

Rabbit trail: When I was about 10 yrs old, I went with my step-father and one of my little brothers to McDonalds to get dinner. My brother and I stayed in the van, while my step-father went in to get the food (pre-drive through days). Just as he was getting back in the van with the food, my brother jumped from the back seat to the front and fell and hit the seat belt buckle and cut a gash in his head. My step-father asked me to put pressure on his head so that he could safely drive home, and I just couldn't do it. I was so freaked out about the blood and just really didn't know what to do. So, he put my brother on his lap and drove back to the house (about 1/2 mile). Ok, so maybe it's a 10 year old thing, or just a sister/brother thing, but I couldn't do anything to help my brother. But as soon as I saw my baby hurt, I immediately went into crisis mode and did what had to be done. I really do believe that God gives you what you need to be a parent, if you ask Him.

Back to the story: So, we all sat on the Lowe's sidewalk, trying to stop the bleeding. Our friends went to their car to get some wipes to clean up Princess TD's hands and knees. Mr. TD went to our car to get a couple of rags to help apply pressure. As we were all working to get her calm, a family of complete strangers brought us a bottle of water that they had in the back of their car that was frozen to put on her head. One of the women in the group asked Princess TD if she needed a drink, and then sent the man back to the car for a small bottle for her to drink. What a blessing they were! We didn't even get to thank them, they just helped out and went on their way. Once we had the bleeding stopped and were able to look and see what we were dealing with, we decided that it wasn't too bad, and were all getting up to go home. Just then, the Lowe's Manager came out to see if she was OK. Mr. TD explained that she tripped and fell and hit the wall, yes the "stone" wall that makes up the Lowe's building, with her head! We all parted ways, and got her to the car, and got her laughing once we got in.

So, we watched her this afternoon and she is her normal self. She is very expressive when she talks and uses her eyebrows frequently. I really hadn't noticed how much before, but everytime she did it today, her cut would start bleeding again. So tonight, we put on a pressure bandage and the bleeding stopped. We also decided that she probably needed a butterfly closure, so we did that as well. One of our neighbors is an ER nurse, and she didn't think we needed to take her for stitches, just to make sure she doesn't have a concussion. But, since Princess TD is a daredevil and took a nose dive from a shopping cart, I am very familiar with what I need to look for in a concussion, so tonight we are monitoring her for that and will take her in if things change. But for now, she's doing great!

Here's what she looked like when we got home from Lowe's.

It is a lot less red tonight and the ice took out most of the swelling. I think she's going to be just fine, and have a small reminder of the event just like her Uncle Brian. Ok, being honest...her Aunt Missy, her Uncle Jason, and her Mommy have one too! I guess it runs on Mommy's side of the family!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Surprise

Tonight while we were having dinner, we heard a thud and then laughter of children. We have a lot of kids on our street and after school they almost all play outside. We didn't think anything of it and went on with our meal. After dinner Mr. TD went outside to mow the lawn and discovered something dripping from our roof, and noticed the neighbors hose was drug toward our house. He looked up on the roof, and found an egg had been thrown at our house and that they had tried to use our neighbors hose to clean it up.

We have no idea who did this, although we have our suspicions. I just don't understand what would possess someone to do that to someone else, maybe it's because I am a female. Is this really funny??? I just don't get it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oops! I forgot one...

I forgot to add one more to yesterday's post. This is the one that started me on the thinking path I went on, but somehow in my congested head, I forgot it when I began typing. So, here it is:

Yesterday we had our library day for school. Two weeks ago we borrowed several books and one Leap Pad book. The Leap Pad book was a song book of Mother Goose Rhymes, I thought it would be a lot of fun and would help me remember all of the tunes that I have forgotten since I was in Kindergarten. Anyway, both Princess TD and Little TD use the Leap Pad and we have 2 of them so they each have their own. Little TD was playing with the Mother Goose book when he did something very trivial and made Princess TD angry. Not just cross...but extremely angry. She grabbed the book he had on the pad and tore a page from it, wadded it up and threw it across the room, just to make him mad! He brought me the torn out page, crying that sissy had torn his book. I took the page from him and called Princess TD. We discussed the whole situation, what she did, why she did it, a better way to react, the whole thing. However, at the end, I informed her that when we returned the book to the library, she had to take it to the librarian and tell her she tore a page out and use her birthday spending money to replace the book. I smoothed out the page and carefully put it back into the spirals to try to salvage as much as possible, but even with a gentle tug, the page came right back out. On our way to the library yesterday, I reminded her what she had to to when we got there and she was ready to go. (Proud Momma moment here) She patiently waited in line for the librarian and when it was her turn, she explained that she tore out a page and that she needed to pay for the book. She showed the librarian which page it was and apologized and said that she was going to pay for it with her spending money and her birthday money. I think she was proud that she was using her own money, but not about what she did. The librarian looked at it carefully and said, "I think it will be fine. We don't need to replace it." Then she looked directly at Princess TD and said, "Save your spending money for something special, and be sure to be more kind to your books." Grace.

You know I find it very encouraging to see that when we take responsibility for our actions others are more apt to forgive.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grace 'n Failure

This is the title of the last lesson in the Bible study I have been leading this summer. It has been an interesting couple of days here as I have been preparing for this last class. One of the days talked about letting your kids fall so that they can see their need for God's grace. It also talked about extending grace to each other. I don't think we extend each other enough grace. Here are a couple of examples of grace 'n failure I have seen since I completed that lesson.

Princess TD has learned to ride her bike sans training wheels. Last night we were out riding and she was getting dangerously close to parked cars. I stopped her and told her a story about when I was about 8 years old and I was riding my bike. We lived in a small neighborhood that had a block that was about 1/4 mi around, so all of us kids would just ride around and around and around all day long. I was on my 5th or 6th lap and I wasn't paying attention and as I came around a corner, I ran smack into the back of a parked car. I went over the handlebars and landed on the trunk! I told her about going to the door and telling the owner of the car that I had hit their car and how scary that was (in that day, we didn't need parents to go to our neighbors homes, so I did this alone). She was astounded that I had hit a car. I think she was trying to figure out how I could have made that mistake, but I explained that it was an accident. The owner of the truck that she came dangerously close to hitting was in his front yard and heard me tell this story. After I got her back on her way, he told me that he has had to buff out at least a dozen scratches from the boys in the neighborhood (who never told him, BTW) and that it was "ok" if she hit his truck. He said that he appreciated me trying to teach her not to hit it but if she did, he knew it was an accident! Grace.

Ok, here's what happened in the end of my story: The lady who owned the car actually saw me hit her car out the window. She was impressed that I came right away to tell her about it. She insisted that I sit in the shade and have some cookies and lemonade! Awesome Grace.

My dear friend, Erinlo, has a post regarding a similar situation to this on her blog. Go check it out and tell her what you think.

I have always been a perfectionist (I know, no surprise). I do not like failure and do not like to admit (or even acknowledge) when I have failed (or am wrong). When I was younger, I was very critical of others choices that didn't match my "correct" way of thinking. I was watching a DVR episode of Dr. Phil from yesterday and I saw myself in the overcritical, overachiever big sister. It made me think about the hurtful things I have said to several of my lifelong friends and family members. Even with all of the hurtful things I have said, they have forgiven me and still love me. Grace.

I also see some of these same critical, "always right" tendencies in Princess TD. I am praying for the right situation to come up and the right story to help her to see that it's not the way to go, that she needs to extend grace to others.

I pray that I can find a way to teach this to my children. We are all a failure. We all need Grace. Each of us in our own lives in our own way is rejoicing, hurting, serving, being served, playing, working, stressing, relaxing, holding on and letting go. Grace to us all.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pictures as Promised

Here's some video taken today of Princess TD riding her bike! She did awesome! She was even able to take off from the curb by herself! She has Daddy and Mommy beat as far as how quickly she learned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She did it!

Today Mr. TD worked from home so that I could be at the hospital for our friends. He took a break after nap time and took the kids outside to play for a little bit while waiting for me to arrive home. He had Princess TD trying again to ride her bike without the training wheels...and she did it!!! All by herself!! She rode from our house to the end of the cul-de-sac, Mr. TD helped her turn around, and then she rode back to our house! We don't have pictures this time, but I am sure now that she is confident she will be riding more, and I can get some pictures.

Way to go Princess TD!! You did awesome! I am so proud of you!

Update on Baby Justin

Baby Justin did not have his heart surgery today. He was bumped again for another child who was more critical. His surgery date has been rescheduled for September 8. Please continue to keep Justin and his family in your prayers over the next 2 weeks. What an awesome blessing that he is doing so well that he can be bumped! God is answering prayers in this family's life. I feel so blessed to be able to witness first hand God working in their lives.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prayers for Baby Justin

Tomorrow our good friends, the DeCarlo's, will be taking their son, Justin, to the hospital in preparation for his heart surgery on Thursday. Please pray for this family and for baby Justin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

School Update

So, we are embarking on our 3rd week of official Kindergarten. I think we have found a good mix of reading, games, and activities. Today she told me that her favorite subjects were math and Reddy Fox (her read-a-loud).

Last week we did a mini-unit study on the Olympics. It was a lot of fun and a good friend of mine brought me her pictures of her trip to Greece. We are now extending the study to include a bit of world geography and Olympic history. Her favorite events have been women's gymnastics and springboard diving. Although she likes all of the diving, springboard is her favorite because they are "bouncy" when they jump. We are keeping track of the medal count for China and the USA and she is doing well with the complex math skill of figuring out how many to add to what we have to make the total!

For Little TD, I have organized my preschool stuff again and started working on the Prep curriculum for Letter of the Week. This is the program I used for Princess TD for preschool when she was 3.5 years old, except I started with Letter of the Week. He seems to be enjoying it. We are working on colors, shape recognition, letter recognition and sound, and numbers. He can count easily to 15 and knows the Alphabet Song. We are still not sure if he is playing with us on his colors or if he might be color blind. I think he's playing with us, but time will tell for sure.

Today I received a distinguished honor from my students. I got a sticker for being the best teacher and mommy ever! I feel so honored!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being 5!

Princess TD loves being 5, just ask her, she'll tell you! It has only been about a month, but it seems like a world of difference between 4 and 5. Mr. TD has been saying for a long time that she needed to learn to ride her bike without the training wheels. Well, she finally tried it! She tried it last weekend and did pretty well, but hasn't wanted to try again. This weekend, she did! Here some video of her giving it a try.

A couple of times she got ahead of Mr. TD. With practice she'll be riding on her own in no time!

We are watching the Olympics and having a blast. We are doing a unit study on the Olympics. We are making it pretty simple this time around, but she's loving watching the sports! So far she wants to do it all, but the one she was the most interested in trying is diving! was hard enough watching my little sister almost crack her head on the board...I am not so sure I can watch my child! But, it is in the sister was 3rd in the state on her first trip to the state competition!

For now, we will just continue to let her explore her interests on her own before we "dive" head first into a lifetime of lessons!

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Day of School

Today was "officially" the first day of Kindergarten for Princess TD. We began in the afternoon because we had her 5 year old well child check-up this morning. For those keeping track, she is 47 3/8" tall and weighs 58 lbs 6 oz. She is 6" taller than the average 5 year old girl, which is completely obvious if you see her with her friends! Dr. F was completely amazed at both kiddos. He went on and on about how well behaved they were and how intellegent they were (at least we have someone fooled :) ). He spent a good 20 minutes talking with both kids - very amazed that we are a "well" family (i.e. we don't go in often for sick visits). He was even very supportive of our decision to homeschool. He asked Princess TD if she was nervous about starting school, she very confidently said no and then stated that her Mommy was going to teach her at home. All in all, it was a great visit. She is perfectly healthy and growing as she should.

Ok, back from my "rabbit trail" to the first day of school. I started thinking this week about the pictures my Mom took of me on my first days of school, so I decided to take some of Princess TD so that she would have a remembrance of this special day. (Ok, it's really not much different from any other day since she was 2, other than the new curriculum, but it's Kindergarten!) So here's my princess on her first day of official school:

Overall the first day's lesson went well. It took about 2 hours with several interruptions from Little TD. I discovered that I need to spread out the read aloud parts, both for her listening and my voice. The math was the fastest subject, and she's just like me...if she doesn't do it right the first time, she doesn't want to try again. I will need to work on finding a way to encourage her to try again.

Little TD played with his trains and cars while we did school. For the most part, he did great. He needed a little attention for his needs and sat in on a couple of our read-alouds. Later in the evening, he brought me a coloring sheet from church with Princess TD's Memory Verse on it, and said, "Help Mommy. I can't read the words." He then pulled about a dozen books off the shelf and we had our own little "preschool" there. We'll see how the rest of the week goes, but I may need to work on his preschool curriculum. Oh, and I couldn't do a picture of Sissy without one of him, so here's Little TD on Princess TD's first day of school:

What a ham he is! You gotta love that grin!

We're Staying Put

For all of you not on the Texas coast, you may not be aware that there is a tropical storm headed for our area. We have decided that we will stay put this time. We have plenty of food, bottled water, batteries. It isn't expected to be a very big storm, although that could change at a moments notice, but we'll keep everyone updated!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy, Busy Bees

I have been absent from the blog scene for the last couple of weeks. We have been very busy with our life! It all started with a prayer dinner for our friends, the DeCarlos, for their youngest son, Justin. He was supposed to have had open heart surgery yesterday, but it has been postponed until August 21. Please keep them in your prayers over the next few weeks. I can't imagine being ready to go, and then having it postponed. They need to stay well, both the parents and the kids.

The next day began our VBS! It was so much fun for the adults and kids alike. I was in charge of running registration. The first night was absolutely crazy. Everyone showed up about the same time as my helpers, and I didn't get a chance to explain the system of getting the kids signed in, so the parents had to wait a little longer than I really wanted them to wait. All those kinks were worked out by the next night and all went well! Our VBS theme was God's Big Backyard. It was all about serving others. It has made a big impact on Princess TD, she is always talking about serving family, friends, neighbors and Jesus! This year, we took pictures of each of the kids on the stage, mounted them on a keepsake, and handed them out on the last night. Here are the kids pictures:

They love singing the songs and doing the hand motions. I really had a great time and the registration process is right up my organizing alley!

The day after VBS, we were supposed to go to an outdoor theater to see Peter Rabbit, but we decided not to make the trip since the rains from Hurricane Dolly were coming down strong! That turned out to be quite a blessing, because it allowed me to get everything packed for our trip to Abilene for one of Mr. TD's cousins wedding.

We left Friday morning to make the trek to Abilene. Remembering the trip to St. Louis, Princess TD kept asking what state we were in. We kept answering Texas, but it was so confusing for her. We were in the car the same amount of time it took us to get to our stopping point in Oklahoma on our Missouri trip, but on this trip we only stayed in Texas! We kept reminding her that Texas is BIG!!!

The wedding was very nice. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome. It was an evening wedding, so we didn't get to visit too long at the reception. The little ones were getting cranky, and after 2 weeks of staying up late, the sleep deprivation was adding up! We had a special birthday party for Mr. TD's uncle the next day. We were able to visit with family that we haven't seen in a very long time! There were a lot of pictures taken, but almost all of them were not by the TD family! I guess we were too busy chasing around Princess TD and Little TD. Princess TD has come home talking about how much she misses her cousin Hannah. It's really pretty sweet, since they have only met a few times and Hannah is starting college at ACU this fall! There is quite an age gap there, but that didn't seem to bother either one of them!

This week has been filled with catching up at home and getting ready for next week. We are officially beginning Kindergarten on Monday! I have my lesson plans ready, my books together and will be preparing the remaining items this weekend. One of the remaining items is something to entertain Little TD while Princess TD is in school. Since he keeps talking about "kool" I think I will start a 3 year old program with him. I'll keep you posted on how that goes! I may need to ask for ideas to keep busy little boys busy!