Monday, February 25, 2008

Sock Hop with Pop

Friday evening we were hopping it up 50's style. The girls had so much fun doing arts and crafts. Julia made beaded bracelets for everyone she knew and a thank you card for Andrew. Very cute!

Alyssa made "chains" for everyone she knew. Chains are beaded strings that you carry in your purse to remember the person that made them for you forever, according to Alyssa. Her card was for Hunter, so he wouldn't feel sad that he missed out on "ice cream, music, dancing, crafts and bubble gum" to quote the card!

The church looked awesome thanks to Lisa Sledge, our resident Sandra Dee and the 50's rock. If you aren't sure, just go watch Hairspray or Grease. Anybody know any others?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Family Night

It all began with an educational dinner. The unit was measuring. Julia got to measure all the ingredients in homemade lasagna...Yummy!

Then a lesson in manners took place as we all participated in a game of Sorry!

We learned how to politely win...and lose! Then the life lesson about how it can all change in an instant took place.

What an evening of fun! We are surely blessed. "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127:4-5

Random Thoughts on Straight Hair

This is what a super nice, super encouraging, super sensitive husband buys his wife. A flat iron...For your frizzy hair and stubborn cowlicks.

I asked for a Chi.

A nifty, awesome, expensive little thing.

They cost over $100, sometimes way over.

No, I didn't beg for it. I didn't even ask for it for Christmas. I asked him to put it on a list and buy it for me after I'd had a bunch of closings this summer, when I was tired and needed encouragement. When it was humid and I needed de-frizzed, soft, luxurious, silky, shiny, straight hair.

He went to Ulta the next day.

He went fully prepared to fork over $100, to shell out the big bucks for his silly wife's crazy morning hair.

The sales girl told him it was his lucky day.

This new company, Wigo, was selling their product for a discount price of $29.99. After all, it was not an inferior product, it was on sale to promote the brand and generate interest. It was a comparable flat iron. She went so far to say that in fact, it was no different.

It's a cute, sassy, pink, little thing.

It works awesomely.

Is it as good as a Chi?

I don't know. I've never really used a Chi! But it is better than my $7.99 job from Target. That makes me happy.

Have any of you used both? Is it really the same? Did he get a good deal? Ladies, I'm not talking money here. Obviously, he got a financial deal unless I end up buying a Chi in addition to the Wigo and then I got a $30 rip off. I mean you can't put a price on beauty right? I'm talking famous Chi-like movie star hair. I'm just curious to see what you think. Do I need to post a picture of my straightened hair? And, about how long does it take you to straighten your hair with a Chi? It takes me about seven minutes because that's my limit on time I spend on my hair. No, I am not thorough but I am happy with the results...those little horn things by my temples don't frizz up any more and the cowlicks by my ear don't flip nearly as much. But, I heard a Chi would keep those areas perfect for days. Is that true?
Long live the Wigo!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quirky, Quirky Me

I am supposed to be writing about six of my quirks because Amy tagged me with some MEME thingie. Does it bother anyone else that I just put that in this post and I have no idea what it means? I am saying up front that if you are one of the six people who read this blog, consider yourself tagged. (I will link you ,call you by name and comment on your blogs later. So surprise me and post your quirks before I get there. Go ahead, take the challenge!)

Here are the rules:
(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (I tag Lisa, Amy #2, Beth, Kerri, & Brian.)
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. First quirky that has dogged me and bugged me for two weeks is that I can't write a single thing on this blog that hasn't been written, rewritten and polished in my head at least fifty times. I wish I talked and re-talked in my head before I spoke!

2. Second quirk is that I am constantly rearranging and fixing things. These things include accessories to an outfit, like changing a necklace or my shoes four times a day, knick knacks on my shelves and pillows or throws on my sofa and clothes in my closet.

3. I pick my fingernails whenever I am sitting down with nothing for my hands to do. Andrew is always stopping me in church and in meetings.

4. I wish I could have a nursing newborn forever. Half of you just gagged and half of you just shed a tear because you understand.

5. I can't learn the rules to football no matter how hard I try. If I happen to learn anything beyond touchdown, field goal and sacking the quarterback, I will instantaneously combust, forget it and then begin asking Andrew the same questions all over again.

6. I always throw up. See post from two weeks ago for proof. Ask ten girls in the back of a limousine coming home from the Hannah Montana 3D movie (which really made you feel like you were there but with crazy nausea-inducing depth perception). Those are only this month's examples that continue to reinforce to Andrew why I am not excited about the prospect of a dream cruise...even to Disney!

I probably have more quirky quirks like the fact that I had to wean myself from an addiction to People magazine or the fact that I genuinely care about what happens to Britney's babies even though it bugs me when other people act like TV celebrities are their friends. One topic of discussion today over coffee with my Korean friends was the Korean couple on Lost, Jin and Sun. Did you know that "Sun" is a famous and popular movie star in Korea and "Jin" is disliked by Koreans because he does not speak authentic Korean and is handsome by American standards but not Korean?

I probably have more annoying quirks like how I always want a bite of Andrew's food or a drink of his drink when he fixed himself the "perfect" Andrew-sized portion. Except for when he orders extra. Then I politely decline stating that I'm on a diet and he overeats because he can't stand to leave it on his plate or in his cup. Or the fact that I hate to leave one or two cookies in the box or a handful of chips in the bag. I like my pantry neat. Don't look at the pictures in the Lost post. They do not support this fact. The neat fact not the mostly empty container fact. If you have a toddler or two, just one cookie is a highly coveted snack. There was one time not too long ago my whole pantry and refrigerator contained baggies of small amounts of food. Annoying, but true.

I know I have weirder quirks like the fact that I have worn the same robe for nine years despite the fact that I have a drawer full of newer ones. This robe is special. My mom bought it for me to wear in the hospital when I was pregnant with Julia. I started wearing the day I got it during my pregnancy and have worn through four pregnancies. I am still wearing it. I am always upset when it is in the wash and hasn't made it through the dryer in the same day. I love this robe. I love the length, the weight (that is fading rather quickly these days), the pockets (that have both torn off from four children pulling on them) and the color (pink but is now faded to almost white). If I could find another perfect robe I would retire this one but some things are rather hard to find. I could totally retire it for the right chenille leopard robe though.

I probably have funnier quirks. If you think of them, feel free to comment. I know Amy is already thinking about how I don't know how to open a box of cereal without exploding it all over random stranger's houses on a high school choir tour. Please don't mention any other quirks online that might embarrass me in front of my husband and kids, thank you. But, if they edify and encourage...comment away!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Call Me

For those of you who have kept up with me at all, you know I go through cell phones like, well, packs of gum or boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

In the past year alone, I have had five phones.

Before you gasp, know that God was telling me to talk less.

I dropped one and the screen broke, not cracked, broke. A big, black hole on the front of my phone made it difficult to see who was calling or who I was calling for that matter.

I got another. A cheapie. After a couple of months, the baby tore it in half. A cheapie.

I got a Cricket. Cheap service on a not so cheap phone. Again, you get what you pay for. Cheap.

I finally bit the bullet. I bought a Blackberry. I could email, organize contacts, take pictures, read blogs. It took me almost six months to get it organized but I almost had it down. I almost had a decent phone book. I almost had a decent address book. Almost.

Then it got run over by a car after the Hannah Montana 3-D concert movie. That sentence in and of itself is stuff for another post. One with Hannah Montana, throw up and my daughters all playing major parts. In all of the excitement, I lost my phone. I didn't even notice until Sunday afternoon. When I called my number, or rather had Julia do it, a strange man answered. We knew him but didn't know that at the time. Like I said, another post.

Bottom line, the phone was found and it was answerable but not usable. It died and couldn't be recharged because you couldn't figure out which button to push to answer the questions the unreadable screen was asking. I ruined another phone.

Luckily, we have learned through this year's experiences to buy the optional insurance. Insurance replaced my phone, for a (not so) small fee and I am up and (sort of) running again.

I have no address book. If you haven't heard from me for awhile, call my cell and leave your number and your name so I know who goes with what number.

If I need to talk to you and I can't find you, look for a message on my blog. Seriously, I just got Amy's numbers less than three weeks ago. Now, they're gone again.

Talk less? God can certainly make a point!

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 1 Timothy 3:11

A wise man's heart guides his mouth... Proverbs 16:23

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

And these are only some of the verses on "talk." This list doesn't contain any commands concerning the tongue or words.
Last year God told me in order to focus on the heart, I had to shut my mouth. The discipline that I began cultivating intentionally was solitude. The act of intentional silence. A quiet life.

It took several cell phones, switching servers so that email quit working and a complete change in all areas of my life but the rewards have been overwhelming. Simply focusing on what words come out of our mouths causes blessings to pour from our lips.

Everyday I have the power to change lives by the words I speak. May they always be words of life. May they bring true Life to all who hear.

Talk less.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Waking up in Shock

What would you do if you woke up and found your baby's bed empty?


I did.

My heart stopped beating!

I flipped on the light and this is what I found.

More evidence that The Jett is growing up.

This is all good and fine except that we've been waking up every night multiple times to a crying, roaming baby since this morning on January 1.

What to do?

We finally resorted to a mosquito net over the crib. It sort of fits in with the safari theme and some people sleep with them over their beds for real. Well, only if you live in Africa or with Heather's roach, but, still.

So, the net is worked, for awhile. He climbs out of the trampoline net every day so it was only a matter of time before the bed net didn't slow him down any more than the trampoline net!

However, he now stays in bed until I wake him up in the morning. Yaay!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lost is Lost

***disclaimer...I have had this written for awhile but hated to show the sludge and grunge in my freezer and pantry. Please reserve judgment.***
This is where I found it when I went to thaw the chicken...
I found the lost remote control (which Palmer calls "daddy's") when I was seasoning and marinating said chicken.

The culprit...who do you think?

What does this tell you about our life?

I think several things...ummmm first thing is many things are "lost". Nothing is in its place for long. Secondly, this should explain why I haven't posted so frequently as of late. Thirdly, every room looks like this not just the kitchen. And, I am NOT crazy...yet.

almer is the most active two-year-old ever. He stands in the refrigerator, climbs on the bar, empties drawers and disrobes on a regular basis. If I turn my head, he finds a mess or creates one!

We have had an epidemic around here lately.

We're losing things.

Big things, little things, all sorts of things. They're just...lost. We saw them in their proper place yesterday but when we went to use them today, they just weren't there. Gone.

Andrew's Aggie ring, my zebra shoes, a silver earring and Julia's tank top.

These are things that have a special place. They've gone missing in action. Why?

One prankster...several hints.

He's two.

We're busy.

He's curious.

We're stressed.

He's busy.

We're tired.

When a family this large, filled with this many little people is governed by two adults that are trying to do lots of things, some very important, too quickly, with the help of a scavenger and six other small helping hands, and with too little sleep, things get "lost".

Like Lost.

Literally, Lost was lost.

Now, Lost is found.

Thankfully, things get found.

We are still searching for the ring...

We're afraid it may have been "accidentally" thrown in the trash...

Aren't our lives like this?

We were once so very lost. We didn't even know we were lost...until we went looking for that thing we thought we needed and it wasn't there. Then we found what, or rather Who, it was we really needed.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10

We have things in our lives that are broken, lost, set aside. Things we are not even missing at the moment. Just as Jesus came to seek, find and save, I will keep seeking, finding and letting Jesus save all that's lost around here! There are such good lessons in the day to day!

I know there are other things around here that are lost, things we are not looking for, things Palmer has plundered and set aside. When Julia was two, she put everything in her purse. When Hunter was two, he began putting everything in his pockets. Alyssa puts it all in her dresser drawer. We have yet to discover Palmer's secret hiding place, that treasure trove of hidden goodies we are learning to survive without...

It's not the kitchen. I found two pairs of my shoes in different grocery bags in different rooms of the house. Palmer brought one bag to me when I was throwing out the trash and I almost dumped it in the trash can. Thankfully I looked inside the bag first. I really like my shoes!

He's cute.

We're thankful!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Welcome Home

This is what was waiting for us when we returned to the College Station airport on Wednesday night.

What a sight for sore eyes!

I loved this. I was so surprised. I was so touched. I was moved to tears.

My wonderful caring children.

My very tired and thoughtful mother helped them make signs, loaded them up to go to the airport when it was almost bedtime, unloaded them, herded them inside, positioned them and let them put on this huge welcome home show.

Totally priceless!

Brought hot tears to this momma's homesick eyes!

The trip was phenomenal!

Here's the proof we were there.

This is from the Red Bash where everyone gets Keller Williams crazy. It's like a big Fish Camp for Keller Williams agents. Everyone wears red and crazy costumes. We were wearing our Texas best!

Isn't the hat awesome?

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Met Mo!

Mo Anderson.

Vice Chairman of the Board at Keller Williams International.

Keeper of the warm Keller Williams family.

Icon of the famous Keller Williams culture.

Founder of the nonprofit Keller Williams organization, KW Cares.

Mo is a truly inspiring person. She is a person of strength, faith and character.

Mo loves Jesus and has answered the remarkable calling on her life with a resounding, "Yes." She knows who she is, what she believes and where she walks. She quotes Scripture in every speech she gives.

She sets the tone for Keller Williams agents and demands that they be the best. She is known as the "Velvet Hammer" because she can be so tough and so gentle at the same time.

She uses her gifts on a daily basis to make life better for others.

It is because of this culture that I love this company so much.

We worked for other real estate companies before Keller Williams came to the Brazos Valley. We even had our own company and it was doing pretty good.

We were happy.I was really tired of giving our business away to others. We had given our profits to brokers for years and were now on our own. It's not that it was bad. I simply saw it as Andrew's career. Each job has good and bad.


Keller Williams came and presented some lucrative opportunities that could possibly propel us a little faster toward our goals. They have great education. They have profit sharing, which can become our retirement. They have culture.

I knew these things about the company so I ready to go if that's what he decided.

When he got ready to go to KW. I was fine with it. I supported him. Afterall, it was ultimately his decision, his career.

I hadn't been that involved in his career before but knew I would have to step up and help him if this move would ever work. I didn't really "get" the real estate industry or "get into it." I had always said that I would go back to teaching if something ever happened to him. I just didn't understand the business but I would do whatever he asked me to do this time.

I was even excited. I knew that KW was a company built on Christian principles, founded, owned and run by Christians. Each video I had seen shows people who are successful, happy, able to spend more time with their family and, most importantly, love the Lord and talk about it.

I knew people in the company. Their reputations preceed them.

I wasn't really skeptical. I believed all the great things I heard. I was committed to the company, to the decision. I knew what had to be done. Afterall, I've helped Andrew make moves before.

This move was very similar to others. There were sacrifices. It would be worth it...hopefully.

Then we went to Launch, a KW training. During the culture session, I saw people just like us who, in emergency situations had received aid from KW Cares. People just like us who were part of a family that came along beside those who needed help in rough times.

This tremendous organization allows families suffering from illness, disaster or any extreme hardship the opportunity to receive aid to overcome adversity and triumph over their situation.

God used this to give me tangible hope for the first time. If something were to happen to Andrew I finally believed we were members of a professional family that actually cared about us and would help me learn the business and make a living to support my family.

Because of the famous Keller Williams culture real estate has become our family's future and not just my husband's career.

For all these reasons and more I love Keller Williams and I love Mo.

Be Mine

Valentine's Day was good. We hope yours was too.

When asked what their favorite parts of the day were Hunter said, "Opening Valentines."

Alyssa said, "My Valentine's party and all the special things we did today including Palmer's birthday."

Julia said, "Giving away my Valentine's at school."

I think Palmer said, "Candy," but I'm not sure!

Valentine's Day is Special

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:16

Our littlest Valentine is two today!

Cute as he can be.

Full of love and mischief.

He's learned to babble in syllables and knows many words.

Bottle, basketball, baby and haircut (while pulling on his hair) are some favorites.

Naming people in our family is fun.

He's learned to hug and kiss and high five.

He runs and jumps and wrestles.

He cuddles like a baby.

He laughs from his belly.

He loves to eat and isn't picky.

He begs to drink my coffee every morning by pointing and asking for "co-ee, eez" and blowing twice because he knows it's "ot, ot". I even found him at the sink drinking from my morning coffee 6:00 PM!

He can slip his Crocs on by himself while he's standing up.

He wears any and every pair of shoes he can find. He loves shoes!

He plays with cars and trucks and Legos...Like the big kids. He jumps on the trampoline and off...Like the big kids.

He loves to be held and when you put him down he refuses to straighten out his legs or let go of my neck.

I love to feel his little hand in mine. I know it won't always be small.

Today he's two.

May it be engraved in my heart and mind forever.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Sick Sack

This is it. What I barfed in today on our flight to Atlanta.

The landing was a little bumpy. We circled the airport awhile waiting to land.

I lost it, my breakfast bagel and Starbuck's light mocha frap. Gone. Instantly. Inside a little blue sick sack.

My worst traveling fear was realized today. I threw up on the airplane. Everybody heard, turned around and had pity while they silently said a prayer thanking God it wasn't them.

On the bright side...

I was sitting beside Andrew, who lovingly held my hair back, gave me paper towels and told me to fasten the sack as soon as I could remove my head.

The stewardess was right there with ice water and Kleenex.

I actually felt better afterwards.

And, lastly, I DIDN'T MISS!

Thank God for the those little blue bags.

Friday, February 08, 2008

What to Pack?

What does one mostly stay at home mom take on a five day trip to Atlanta? Well, not just any trip, Keller Williams Family Reunion. This is a five day state-of-the-company, company bonding, who's at the top of the real estate market and how you can get there type shindig.

Can you trust internet weather forecasts? Afterall, I've only ventured outside this great state of Texas a handful of times. And, if it's cold how does one look businessy and casual while being comfortable and warm?

Does "dress up" mean after five or semiformal and how do I pack a cowboy hat that is supposed to make me look my "Texas best"?

This is my dilemma.

I don't know how to pack. I don't travel all that well and I'm scared of planes. Well, not scared of planes, just scared of throwing my guts up while sitting next to a complete stranger a million miles up in the air who can't escape the nastiness of this cute mom's puke!

Pray I don't vomit. We're taking Lost!

I do know that if I feel comfortable and dressed appropriately that I will feel confident, have fun and be productive. Sad, but true.

Pray my confidence would be in the Lord. Afterall, He's sovereign over black heels and turtleneck sweaters too!

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

I still can't believe I'm going on a business trip...I always say, "Lord, I've already been there, done that." Our God is sovereign. He always knew I'd be here. He's promised to prosper me and make me successful.

"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." Jeremiah 29:11

I need ideas, people. Tell me how to pack that hat! I may be stuck wearing it on the plane. Did I mention it's a KW red, sequined kind of cowboy hat? One Julia would have no problem flaunting. Will I? I did just see and appreciate one Hannah Montana...Let my inner rockstar out!

Besides the packing dilemma, my day consists of shuffling kids, organizing for a week that includes George the Monkey, Valentine's parties and field trips. Once again, I am reminded that God is the best parent, a faithful father.

"He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young." Isaiah 40:11

Once the kids are squared away and the suitcase is shut...We're off.

That is me and dear husband. Off, alone (sort of) for five days, for the first time in five years...and so close to Valentine's Day...

I can hardly imagine...


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No More Stickers

No more mother-guilt.

If I can actually do this, I can quit feeling guilty that I cannot physically cut, paste, print, glue, decorate with stickers, every picture I take. Really, I can't. I'd like to but I can't.

I was just going to try to print my blog out for the last year and put it in a three-ring binder. I printed about four months and ran out of ink!

Then a friend discovered this...

Has anybody actually tried this? This could be my answer to least for the last year.

Click here to read about how to make a blog book. Is that a blook? or a scrapblook?


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Secret? Celebrity

I'm not quite sure there's anyone anywhere who doesn't know who Hannah Montana is after this weekend.
Julia loves Hannah Montana. Julia's second grade class even has a theme song and it's sung by none other than Hannah Montana. It's The Best of Both Worlds. They sing it because being bilingual is the best of both worlds!

Because Julia and her second grade friends love Hannah Montana...
Alyssa (and Hunter and Palmer) love Hannah Montana and introducing her to their friends!

Andrew heard that the Hannah Montana 3D concert was coming to Cinemark. He decided I should take the girls. Add three tickets.

He then decided they should take a friend, afterall, it's just like a concert...only cheaper. Add two more tickets.

He then decided we should all take the limo and go in celebrity style like pop stars. Add one driver.

He then proceeded to say we should fill up the limo. It's more fun that way. Add six more tickets.

It had to be stocked with their choice of beverages. Add Sprite and Mountain Dew.

While we were at WalMart buying said beverages, we saw that they had Hannah Montana t-shirts for a mere $6. Add ten t-shirts.

This is what you get...a crowded, loud, giggly and excited bunch
filling up on popcorn, soda and candy while waiting for Hannah's appearance on the big screen.
A great time was had by all. Alyssa loved dancing to The Best of Both Worlds, riding in the limo with her friends and when the Jonas brothers threw a drumstick into the crowd and it almost hit her in the head (3D remember?). All Julia could talk about were the snacks, food and movie previews...go figure...Even Hunter is still loud-singing all the songs. I think Julia had a fun time just getting all dressed up and acting like she owned the movie theatre. She thinks she's a teeager, I think. She was born that way! I still have the whole soundtrack playing on automatic repeat inside my head. Like I said, there's nothing secret about who Miley Cyrus really is...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Juggling Season

I am treading water.
Spinning plates.
Juggling balls.
That is, barely staying afloat, almost dropping each responsibility. Each thing I do is a trade-off. For example, if I post a blog, I don't fold a load of laundry. If I mop the kitchen floor, I don't play with legos. If I have a cup of coffee with a friend, I don't work-out. You get the idea.
Having an active, rambunctious, mess-making, non-sleeping two-year-old (almost) is putting me over the top (almost). Palmer's antics in addition to first and second grade homework and all kids growing (and me not wanting to miss it) is making me a really busy lady for this season.

I will get these posts up of what our family has going and what our family has gone already because this blog is my documentation of events, miracles and praises. I don't think I have so much time to post ponderings, deep thoughts and extra information for right now. I don't even have time to upload the pictures of Christmas...

I'll be back in full-force...someday. But, for now, I'm a part-time blogger!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...Ecclesiastes 3:1