December 24, 2011

Prince of Peace

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

December 19, 2011

Christmas 2011

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

2 Corinthians 9:15

December 06, 2011

Lately . . .

After school, we play and eat organic oreos.  It's hard to beat! 

November 28, 2011

It's nearly December.  There is an ornament on the kid's tree that happily ticks away the days until Christmas.  It's reading something insane like twenty-seven days. 

November was good.  There were, as usual, some blips on the radar.  But it was still good.  And I am so thankful. 

I successfully hosted thanksgiving.  As a first timer, I rather despised the frequent {eleven total} trips to the grocery store.  The food was wonderful {Mom gets credit for the dressing . . . to die}.  My dining room was so pretty, sporting it's Blue Aves china and my great-grandmother's white linens.  I completely cheated on the turkey--bought rotisserie and put it in the crock-pot.  It was amazing.  Coco & Dustin & Paigers came, too, so it was a full house.  Ben couldn't believe I didn't make corn.  He insisted corn was an integral part of any Thanksgiving feast.  Next year, Ben, I promise you corn.  I just could not go to HEB again. 

One of the aforementioned blips is that my parents have decided to move back to Midland, their former stomping ground of nearly forty years.  The two years with them here have been nothing short of magical.  As their child, I would like very much to throw myself at their feet and scream and cry until they give in and decide to stay.  As Ben & Cameron's mother, however, I must put on my brave face and set a good example and remind them that we'll visit.  Lots. 
Currently four little monkeys are scampering about the second floor of this happy house.  Two sweeties from next door frequent us, begging only for company & cookies.  We happily oblige. 
I am sitting in my office, the Christmas tree is completely lit up next to me, and dinner is already made.  For this, I am thankful.  For the record, we've assembled the tree this early one other time in our nearly eleven year marriage. 

There remains much to be done, from laundry to life-lessons.  Blogging is somewhere on the list.  Just quite a bit lower than laundry. 

Back soon . . .  After all, it's my list-making season, and it's cold outside.  Generates lots of hot-coffee drinking, blogging and pinning time in the study with the sparkly tree. 

Thankful, grateful, happy & blessed

November 01, 2011

Ben in 10

One.  Ben lost his first tooth {naturally, the real first tooth loss was trauma-induced} with the help of his teacher, Mrs. Davis!  Classic teacher moment . . . at lunch she explained perfectly how one might loosen their own tooth.  She asked Ben if he could do it, he nodded, and politely pulled out his tooth and handed it to her! 

Two.  The other day I explained some mundane fact to him.  His eyes lit up and he said, "Mom, do you know all the things?!!!!?"

Three.  This child of mine LOVES babies.  LOVES, LOVES, LOVES babies!  We went to a birthday party the other day and there was a little fifteen month old baby girl.  Ben got the biggest smiles from her--by speaking Spanish to her--which she understood perfectly!

Four.  First shiner.  Had a serious run-in with a bookcase in the classroom.  The bookcase won by a landslide.  These pictures are eight days post-injury. 

Five.  Halloween was kind of a bummer for my Benjamin.  A yucky cold {mine}, a crummy cough {Cam's} and a cold/cough combo {his} put a serious damper on Halloween festivities.  He was so happy to dress up, have his picture taken, and pass out candy to the neighborhood kids.  He answered the door like a pro, and told the sweet trick-or-treaters that he was giving them candy with red dye in it, because if he ate it it made him act crazy!  

Knight in Shining Armor {Halloween 2011}

Six.  I'm thinking about investing in a mouth-guard.  He knocked the enamel off the front of his lateral incisor by leaping from the top of a ladder when he heard the bell signalling the end of playground time.  He came home and rather proudly showed me the "new hole" in his tooth.  The nerve had already begun to die, thankfully.  No pain, no treatment needed.  The first week of school he knocked two bottom teeth lose {also on the playground}.  I'm really counting on Ben's second set of pearly whites to last. 

Seven.  Soccer.  He loves it.  Upon scoring a goal, he runs like a wild man, high-fiving anyone and everyone.  I just want him to have a mouth-guard when he plays!

Eight.  We practice some letter sounds during dinner sometimes.  One night we were working on “P”, and trying to get Ben to figure out what letter “potato” began with . . . It took him awhile, but eventually he got the hang of the game . . .  He came up with “A Princess ate sweet Potatoes that were Puffy and Pink and she Played with her Puppy until she had to go Poo-Poo and Pee-Pee on the Potty.” Then, naturally, as only a little boy could do, he literally laughed so hard he fell out of his chair.

Nine.  He is like a cat with nine lives.  He continues to run everywhere.  He runs to brush his teeth.  He runs to get a sip of water.  He runs to the restroom {I'm okay with this}.  I think this is why he looks like a string-bean.  He has bruises and cuts and scrapes all over the place.  He is TOUGH.  It takes a serious injury to bring on tears, but kisses and Angry Bird bandaids get him back in the action.   

Ten.  He's so big.  But he's still little.  Can't pronounce "L".  He wuves me.  Wuves his family, wuves his blue blanket, wuves to snuggle on the couch, wuves his widdle sister. 

More soon on the boy who holds my heart captive.

Life with boys.

It ain’t for the faint of heart.

October 31, 2011


This Halloween is proving to be scary for this little momma.  I'm sick.  Ben is sick.  Cameron is sick.  SCARY!!!!  But, in keeping with the Halloween spirit, I photographed Jessie, the yodeling cowgirl, complete with lots of farm-fresh freckles.  And she did look mighty purdy.  Next up, gonna teach her "don't squat with your spurs on."  

Love those {faux} freckles.  She loves them, too.  As in bathtime will be tramautic tonight.

Looking to see if it's dark outside . . .  She's ready to hit the streets.

WHAT?  If I'm sick I can't go trick-or-treating?  HOW WILL I GET CANDY????

Wish me luck.  My little cowgirl holds a mean grudge.  I told her she could dress up and hand out candy to the neighbors {from the confines of the front door}.  That went over like a lead balloon. 

October 12, 2011

Mom Duties

It's been a month since I blogged. 

I can't keep up.

I'm the girl who's shaving her legs in the shower, dreaming up smart and catchy blog titles, while my daughter stalks me outside the shower door. 

I'm the girl who night after night falls asleep, once again, without getting it all done. 

I'm the girl who wastes precious time on Pinterest, because it's mindless and fun. 

I'm the girl who volunteered to be Room Mom.  And is completely overwhelmed, but is loving every minute of it. 

Same girl juggles wife, mother, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, laundress, gardener, book-keeper, hair-dresser.  These things are all do-able.  Some simultaneously.  But add in fingernail-trimmer, bed-maker, blankie-finder, kid-flosser, Barbie-dresser, book-reader, blogger and grocery-store shopper and things start to get fuzzy. 

I'm the girl who forgot to pack Ben's snack two days in a row {I paid dearly}. 

I'm the girl who hears her husband pull into the garage and panics over what to make for dinner. 

I'm the girl who forgets important dates, arrives late to pre-school, hasn't balanced the check book since June, and forgets to water her cherished flowers. 

I'm the girl who wants to blog, but is living life to the fullest.  I would promise to do better, but I would fail. 

And it's almost dinnertime, and I have no idea what we're having for dinner, so I've gotta run!


September 11, 2011

nine twelve

I'm wrapped up in the news today.  I've been watching every shred of coverage I can find.  I do this every September.  I think that we owe it to those who need to tell their story.  I think we owe it to our soldiers. 

To remember. 

But, also, to look ahead.  To hold in our hearts and prove with our actions that we are, indeed, a great nation.  To recall the events of nine twelve.  In the light of that day our great nation banded together. 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39

September 08, 2011

My roaring lion!

This little bit of a girl went to school for the first time yesterday.  She had the best time!  Cutting & pasting, napping & playing, reading & writing! 

She is a Lion, and already loves her sweet Ms. Audrey & Ms. Beth {we're smitten, actually, with her precious teachers}.   

She's growing up so quickly. 

Must run . . .  We're off to ballet, to learn first position and make some new friends! 

PS  Her new nickname courtesy of Coco--Cameron Scissorhands.  Tuesday we learned the valuable lesson of cutting paper, not one's own hair!

September 02, 2011

Love Bug & Linen

So, I'm just going to admit that I'm terrible at blogging these days.

Life took over.

Ben has adjusted beautifully to the new kindergarten routine. His teacher is a doll! We live right around the corner from his elementary school, and are eagerly awaiting some fall walking weather. Cameron & have big plans to pick him up via scooters as soon as the outdoor sauna-style temps let up.

Both monkeys got flu vaccines on Monday. Both monkeys were sick by Tuesday afternoon. Today Ben is back in action {I seriously think I heard him screaming wildly on the playground this morning--we were gardening}. This Love Bug and her box of Kleenex are my constant companions. A box of twistable Crayons {thanks Coco--you were right} helped bring a smile to her face today.

A long hot shower helped her disposition a bit. Annie's bunny snacks helped her disposition a lot. If you see me at HEB with a very sick little girl, it's because we ran out of bunny snacks.

Subject change! My sweet chairs {found them on Woodlands Online in February} came back from the upholstery shoppe last week! I. COULD. NOT. LOVE. THEM. MORE!

Ready for a serious before & after?

These wingback chairs were a beautiful scale, and in perfect condition. I love wingback chairs. They have such pretty lines, and add height to a room. My living room is two-story, with clerestory windows. It's a small room, but feels large with all the light & volume.

AFTER! I am so pleased. I took tons of fabric and a little sketch to my upholsterer {Ken Arnold, Arnold Furniture Studios}. I wanted traditional-meets-updated. The waterfall skirt detail gives the chairs weight in the room, and the 1/2" welt is a detail I copy from Charles Faudree, a favorite designer of mine. I think they turned out beautifully!

Working on a tableskirt to go between the chairs. I want a gathered cream linen, something soft & plain. I found several yards of a hemp trim for the base of the skirt. I'm crossing my fingers that my mother and I can spend a morning at High Fashion soon.

There is still much to be done in this room this house. But I truly enjoy these projects . . . I'm blessed to have a husband who enjoys this home also, and appreciates the pieces that warm my heart! I know I'll greet many mornings in these chairs, hot cup of coffee in hand, while I prepare for another day with my little family.

August 17, 2011

Tessie {the Third}

Introducing the newest King Charles Spaniel, Tessie {yep, third one, my parents just can't let go}. She joined the clan about a week ago.

Benjamin & Cameron are in heaven, and beg daily to go visit the new puppy. She's all things puppy--wriggly and mischievous, topped with a curly tongue and the unmistakable smell of puppy breath. She's a little sweetheart, and already holds captive our hearts.

What a doll. She's kind of a bossy little thing. Growls at my mother during frequent moments of discipline. She has big paws to fill. I have faith in her ability to rule the roost and warm our laps, as these spaniels are known to do.

Cam's excited about the newest imp. Takes a bit of the pressure off her own tiny shoulders!

August 15, 2011


This is a post I've wanted {and needed, desperately} to write for months now. Life takes over, you know, and a blog can take backseat when you least expect it. Priorities shift.

Please know that even as I type, the words seem so inadequate. The story is so personal, and I am not a warm-fuzzy kind of girl.

I'll get right to it. Cancer a four-letter word in my book. My own mother is a survivor. Hearing the diagnosis, then journeying with a family member . . . well, it changes a person.

A little over two years ago my mother-in-love, Diane, was diagnosed with colon cancer. A new chapter began, in an old unwanted book. The fight was long and hard. And just when we thought {for sure, I might add} that she'd licked it, it was back. So, late this spring, she jumped in feet first to fight for her life. Literally. And I was reintroduced to strength.

Strength by definition:

"Strength, power, force, the capacity to do something. Strength is inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure, and to resist. Also potency, force, brightness, vividness."

Cancer draws out strength. Wild, untamed, unyielding strength. The strength of God, witnessed by our very eyes. And guess what else? His grace is sufficient. And His power is made perfect in weakness {2 Corinthians 12:9-10}.

Diane and Goofy {Spring 2010}

Would you all join us in praising God for Diane's most recent pet scan? It revealed to our human eyes that God is indeed healing Diane. She has under her belt five rounds of chemo, three more to go. Will you pray with us? That she would continue to have "good weeks", in between treatments? That the doctors and nurses would celebrate the miracle with us? That other patients would also be encouraged by her strength, by her faith. Specifically, would you pray for the remaining tumor in her lung to be nuked!! And also, for any side effects from the chemo to be resolved.

Diane with Jacob, Matthew & Caitlin--grandchildren {Summer 2011}

Greg & I thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your prayers. Our whole family thanks you!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. he will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding, no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

July 21, 2011

Summer Salad

Made this a few weeks back for Father's Day {maybe?}, and have been meaning to put it on the blog. The recipes on pinterest are amazing. If you haven't gotten into pinning, it's a fantastic way to spruce up your recipe file.

Corn & Avacado Salad
-4 Ears Corn, husk removed, steamed, remove corn with sharp knife
-2 Avocados, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
-2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 zucchini, skin on, diced
-1 Small red onion, finely diced

In large bowl, mix above ingredients, refrigerate.

Cilantro Vinaigrette
-2 T Sherry vinegar {I used balsamic, it's all I had}
-3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-10 grinds of fresh ground pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients in small glass jar {with lid}. Shake really well. When ready to serve salad, add the dressing and gently toss. Serve cold.

Original recipe {and a gazillion other wonderful things} found here.

July 19, 2011

real life & an update

I noticed {yesterday} a sweet local store was putting out fall and holiday decor. That puts me like four to five months further behind than I realized!!

And lastnight {at nine o'clock} our new fridge was delivered. Still unsure as to why it wasn't delivered today, during it's scheduled window between ten and two. The delivery man was kind enough to get it to the front porch, and then he bailed! We broke brother-in-law's dolly attempting to get the fridge in the house. And, to make things a wee-bit sticky, it's about a half-inch too tall for it's custom niche. The carpenter should be here soon. Rats, rats, rats.

The service-engine light came on in the car. Yuck.

I let the kiddos eat pizza yesterday for lunch, and I'm paying dearly for it. Cameron never takes it as hard as Ben does, but both are in a dye/preservative food fog today. Brother's Pizza is now on the black list {and I should have known better}.

A snack we all love, love, love is this Darrell Lea liquorice:

We love it in mango and green apple, too. Sold at Cost Plus World Market. Or in bulk!

Back to real life . . . I'm going to need a triente {sp?} Starbucks today. Green tea and lemonade, here I come.

I am still addicted to pinning. Pretties, pretties everywhere, and happy beauty-seekers {like this cutie} meet me there regularly! I'm still working on this sweet house. I'm still busy, busy, busy chasing after Ben & Cam. I'm not in the garden, it's just too hot.

So this is our mantra, and I am really working on the "grace" part:

When the dust settles {it's flying now, the carpenters are here with about seventeen power tools}, and I've gone through a box of Swiffers, I'll post new pics.

Christmas will just have to get in line!!!


July 01, 2011

a full plate

look at that kid! he is so serious!!! my ben plays with conviction, and he's been getting some serious play-time in lately.

have i mentioned lately how busy he is? he runs everywhere. never stops moving. and, lately, has developed strong liking for hanging out in my pantry. he's eating me out of the house, although none of it sticks to him! i'm going to have to start making peanut-butter-banana milkshakes . . .

lately, too, he goes down to the kitchen in the early morning, and he pours his own milk. i love that!

his little sister is up to her own shenanigans. she's forever tying herself up, and then re-enacting a scene with rapunzel and moo-gene. a wee-bit cooky, but happy, and i wouldn't trade for the world!

this post is all over the place . . .

too much to do, too much to do . . . we leave tomorrow for a one-day jaunt to dallas, to celebrate my grandmother's 90th.

in preparation, i got a mani-pedi {second time ever}, and i feel pampered and pretty. also packed up a bunch of dye-free snacks for the little people to indulge in, and my sweetie picked up some new leapster games. the car ride should be a piece of cake. i'm already thinking about the giant starbucks and the easy conversation.

i'm hoping this studmuffin will let me drive some on the trip. his driving is a wee-bit scary to me. please, g, can i have a turn behind the wheel?

aforementioned hubs bought me a brand-new fridge on eBay!!! it's not here yet, but i won't have any problem committing to a wait-and-see-when-it-gets-delivered day next week. stay tuned for pics.

and . . . this post gets more jumbled by the second . . . here are some {not great} pics of my freshly painted {super great} doors.

did you spy it? my little bistro towel bar with french linens hanging from it? it's the newest addition to the island, and i still need to work on 'staging' it just so . . . maybe in september??? i always think i'll get around to everything in september . . . but back to the pretty doors!

i think there are twenty-eight doors to do {total}. downstairs i have two left. upstairs i have eighteen!!! yikes!! twenty more do go . . .

which means i need to stop blogging . . . bye for now, back with more soon!
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