Monday, December 31, 2007

The Chocolate Milk Jug

This is not something that just happened but I don't want to forget about it. Before we moved here, we were visiting for a few days. Gran would always buy chocolate milk for the kids to have while they were here. One day, John David came in the kitchen as Uncle Maka (Matt) was drinking some. John David said, "Hey, that's my chocolate milk!" Matt answered, "I don't see your name on it."

You could see the wheels start turning in John David's head. He went off and found a pencil. He got out the jug and went to town writing his name on it. We were really laughing but told him he needed to use a marker, not a pencil. While he was gone finding a marker, Matt got his own marker and wrote "Uncle Maka" on it and crossed off John David's name. The expression on John David's face when he returned was so priceless. I wish I had a picture of that too.....

Christmas Program

The church here had their kids' program in early December. The pictures aren't too great since we weren't on the front row. The musical was called "A Country Christmas" so the manger scene was country themed.

John David was a wise man dressed in a plaid shirt with a cowboy hat. When he came to see Baby Jesus he tipped his hat to him. It was so cute.

My three babies!

Julia was excited and ready to do her "thang"!

All of the babies and preschoolers took part in a song about Christmas in the city and they were going around the stage like busy shoppers. I was surprised at the end of the program when Julia's class came back out and did the song with the older kids. She knew the dance and everything. It was unbelievably cute!

I Think Aulora Loves Her Daddy!

John David's 7th Birthday

John David with his friends at the mall. We ate at Chickfila, played games in the arcade, and went to Neon Jungle Mini Golf.

He wanted to go to Red Lobster for lunch on his actual birthday. He got to pet the lobster.

The servers sang and brought him ice cream. He was in heaven!

Finally, he's 7!

Sweet Surrender

Unfortunately, my legs have not seen a razor too much the last couple of months. First of all, we were so busy moving and second, it's been getting harder and harder to reach down there. On our Christmas vacation, I decided to give it a try and so, for the first time in quite a while, my legs were baby smooth. Very nice.

Later that morning, I went in the bathroom and found my razor on the counter as you see it the picture. I'm married to quite the comedian. =)

Fall Festival

Obviously, these pictures are VERY late, but I think I have a pretty decent excuse. This will be my first blog post on my own computer since we've moved. I finally took some time to get pictures off of my camera and do some mild editing. I'll have many posts coming soon, hopefully.
The kids had a lot of fun at the fall festival here in WF. They still called it RTP, even though that wasn't its name. To them, that's all it could be. It was on the 31st - I drove in with the kids from SA just in time to go to the festival. I left the next day to go back and pack. You should have seen us changing into costumes in the van, which was crowded with stuff we were moving to WF. I would not want to do that again!

In case you can't figure it out, John David is Edmund from Narnia, Julia is Strawberry Shortcake, and Aulora is Custard, Strawberry Shortcake's cat. The girl in the first picture with them is Kara, my sister-in-law. She helped me out that night, thank goodness! =)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Almost There!

Our little "apartment home" is so close to being done. It feels wonderful! I'm missing one of the kids' quilts for their bed (it's hiding in storage somewhere apparently padding some furniture - grrrrr) and I'm waiting for the baby bedding to come in the mail. The main other thing is the big chest we will use in our room for the tv and all the baby clothes. For some reason it ended up too far back in the storage room so John gets to pull out lots of stuff to get to it. That storage room is a wreck! It's not a pleasant site to look in a big room filled with all of the things you've spent the last 8 years of your life acquiring only to see them in a great big jumbled mess. Heaven help us when it's moving time again. Our carefully plotted out moving and storage plans have gone very much awry, to say the least. =)

This is the bedding set I finally decided on for baby Joshua. Probably not quite what I would have chosen if he had his own room, but since he'll be in our room I went with what would match our stuff. I can't wait for it to come in the mail so I can put it on the bed.

Today I started looking through the tub of baby clothes I've been buying throughout this pregnancy. My child will not be naked, of that I'm sure. As soon as that chest is in our room I'll wash everything with sweet smelling stuff and put it all in the drawers. That's going to be one happy day! =)


Our Christmas was great and, as always, too fast. We went to Dallas with my family first and then came back home for Christmas day here. While in Dallas, we went to the Gaylord "Ice" exhibit. WOW! I'll post pictures when I get some from my dad. We put on great big coats and went into the exhibit where it was only 9 degrees. There were HUGE ice sculptures everywhere. You could get on some of them too. The manger scene was incredible and then there were big ice slides at the end.

The kids went inside a life-size gingerbread house and we saw live reindeer and a toy soldier man on stilts. It was a really cool place to visit.

We got to see Alvin and the Chipmunks but we were disappointed in it. It was still neat to see though and I'm glad we went.

We had our family Christmas on the 24th in our hotel. The day before we decorated a tree for the room and instead of our traditional orange cinnamon rolls for breakfast, we ate Krispy Kreme Donuts. Not a bad trade. =) It was a little crowded in our room but we made do and still had a great time.

The kids got so many nice things (we did too!). They each got digital cameras which has been lots of fun. John David got a basket ball goal for outside and a real basketball. Julia got a Barbie Jeep to ride outside. Now we just need some warmer weather! Aulora got lots of fun things too, but it seems like she mostly just wants whatever Julia has. =) She does really like her dolly though.

My parents bought us a new mattress, down comforter, sheets, and feather pillows. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Heaven has come to WF, let me tell you. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Need I say more?

Anyway, this post is endlessly long so I'll stop here. I have lots more to say but I'll save some for later. =) I miss all my SA friends........Hope you're all doing great!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today, while John David and Julia were both at school, Aulora and I headed out to try and finish Christmas shopping. We were so VERY successful! Aulora was a perfect angel and even fell asleep in the stroller while I shopped. Incredible. Woohoo!

I also found the crib! It's actually one of the first ones I found on Saturday and didn't get because of the price. It was at a second hand store and I just didn't want to spend that much money on a baby bed. BUT, after looking at all my options, and after having a beautiful bed for both of my girls, I just can't do the inexpensive Walmart beds. Don't get me wrong - they have some nice ones. But, in order to get the nice ones I have to spend the same amount as the used one cost so I might as well get it. It's a super nice brand (the same that we got for the girls and spent a small fortune on) and is a great deal. I didn't actually buy it yet since I figured I would be smart to measure the little alcove the bed will go in just to make sure. We measured tonight and yea! it will fit. Woohoo!

So now that I decided on a bed, I changed my mind about the bedding that I already bought. Oops. I got it on Ebay and it has a money back guarantee but I think I might be past the 10 day mark. Even so, I got it super cheap so it's not too big of a deal. Isn't it ok to change your mind lots when you're a woman, especially a pregnant woman???

**Sidenote - Christmas shopping is great when you're pregnant because you get to park in all of the special "expectant mother" parking places up front. Woohoo!

Julia got to feel Baby Joshua's hiccups tonight. She was smiling so big everytime she felt it. Very sweet moment.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law finally started their move today to their new house that was supposed to be ready for them long ago. They have more patience than me, because I would have told those builders off by now, I'm pretty sure. =) Anyway, that means that it won't be long before we can get things more settled here with our own things. I can't wait to get the kids' bunk beds up so I can move around better in their room. Right now it's pretty crowded with the extra furniture that will be going away and with 2 twin beds on the ground. Woohoo again!

John David is doing great in school. His teacher is wonderful, he's learning a lot, bringing home awesome grades, and lots of happy face days. Woohoo yet again!

We made Christmas cookies today and decorated them. It was perfect until Aulora found a case of Sprite cans and dropped one on the tile floor which immediately caused the can to explode, sending Sprite everywhere. I do mean everywhere. John David was on the other side of the kitchen and even he had to change clothes. It went all in the pantry and all over the floor. What a no fun mess to clean up. I'm pretty certain that the floor is still sticky now, even after I mopped it twice. Sorry, no woohoo on this paragraph.

My blogging will most likely be pretty sparse until after Christmas since we'll be going to Dallas. Merry Christmas! Ok, I guess I'll go ahead and throw in one more for the road.....Woohoo!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday, Monday......So Good To Me.........

I went to the doctor today for regular appointment. There's nothing to tell. I guess it's a good thing to have a boring pregnancy. I didn't carry pee in a cup today at least. They forgot to send me home with a cup last time and I sure didn't bother to remind them. They didn't forget though. Guess what I'll be doing in 2 weeks? =)

My clothes are all starting to fit badly. My under the belly pants are sitting too low since my belly is getting bigger and my shirts are all getting shorter. This is a bad combination. I did breakdown and buy a couple of new sweater kind of tops because it's just too cold for short sleeves. I just really don't want to buy lots more stuff. I can look cute later.

I found a gorgeous place for some outdoor pictures here. I wish we had time to do them and send them out as Christmas cards, but it's just not happening this year. Hopefully we can get out there soon though - it's soooo pretty! I found it because John was showing me the house he's been going to for tutoring. These people must be so stinkin' rich because this house is amazing. We'll have one like it one day, he assures me. =) Don't worry - I'll invite everyone over for tea.

John is a sub today for an elementary music teacher. I had to laugh when I found out he would be teaching every grade starting with K-5. Hehehehe. I talked to him during his lunch break and he said it was going good. It is something I'd like to watch though. I have no doubt he can handle it fine - he's the best disciplinarian you've ever met. He knows how to lay the smackdown!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cribs, Parties, Christmas Stuff, and 4 is Better Than 8

Today I headed out to buy a crib. My first mistake was going on a Saturday so close to Christmas. It was so chaotic everywhere and very, very frustrating. Parking places were few and the wind was extremely cold. Baskets were hard to find, people were everywhere, and lines were long. Yuck. What was I thinking???

My other dilemma is that I do NOT know what color crib to get. Plus, my taste exceeds my budget. =) The baby will be in our room with us which means his furniture needs to match ours. But, we can go with oak (what was in the room already) or we can bring in some of our cherry bedroom furniture. My indecisiveness comes in to play because I don't know what our living situation will be next. Which kids will share what rooms? Or maybe we'll live with my in-laws the rest of my life and then it won't really matter, because then I'll be in an institution. Hahaha. Seriously, every woman does need her own house, doesn't she?

So tonight, my brain is overwhelmed by the seemingly simple and unimportant decision about a crib. Yet, to a mommy TRYING to nest, it's the decision of a lifetime.


Friday morning, Julia and I went to the Military Moms of Faith group. They were having their Christmas party at one of the girl's houses. No, John didn't join the military, but they invited me anyway which was so very sweet of them. I really had a good time and so did Julia. It feels good to at least be in the beginning stages of some friendships, although I really miss all the close relationships. Hopefully, some close ones will blossom here.


I wish I was done with Christmas shopping. But no, I'm not. I think I at least have the harder ones done. My parents are coming on Wednesday night - this Wednesday. We won't actually see them until Thursday, but the point is that everything needs to be finished by then. Breathe in. Breathe out.

I may go without ribbon on all our presents this year. It's killing me just to think about it, but 1) it will be soooo crowded under the tree anyway that they'll get smushed, 2) I don't have any of my ribbon because it's in storage, and 3) I don't think anyone else here cares about it as much as I do. So I'm going to give myself a break. I feel better already. I think.....


Does anyone else watch that show on TLC called "John and Kate plus 8"? I get stressed out just watching it. If they can do 8 though, surely we can do 4. Right? I hope? I pray..........Man, I better go start stocking up on sleep.......

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I kept the kids home from church tonight since they're still getting over whatever they've been sick with. Everyone else is gone and the relative quiet is so nice. Granted, my kids are often a lot of the noise, but everyone else adds to it, plus more people just make the kids louder. Their uncle tickles them, their grandparents play with them, and so on. So it's nice to have an empty house with the tv off and only the sound of them slurping up their dinner. Ahhhhh......

I finally bought a laundry basket today. Nothing fancy - just a round white basket so I don't have to carry our dirty clothes through the house dropping dirty underwear along the way. It was great to use it today. How is it that I'm thrilled with such small things?

Aulora is so addicted to "Lil' Crunchies" by Gerber. They're like cheese puffs for toddlers. They cost $1.68 for one can of them and let me tell you - the child can eat a whole can in one sitting. No joke. She LOVES them. I could go broke buying this snack. But it's kind of worth it if you need to get anything done. They're also a lifesaver at the grocery store for a restless little one. $1.68 well spent if you ask me. =)

I think I bonded with one of the dogs tonight. He jumped up in my lap (without invitation) and made himself comfortable. Normally I would have dumped him back to the ground, but I decided to give him a chance. It wasn't half bad. I miss the purring of a cat, but he was so content and cuddly that I didn't mind so much. His name is Phantom and he's an all black cocker spaniel. John's parents have had him since he was a puppy because his mother was one of their former dogs. They still have his father and one brother. Too much information? Yeah, probably. Sorry.

John David earned his first Book-It award for the month of November. That brought back some memories. I used to LOVE going to Pizza Hut for my own pizza from Book-It! The program really has helped him make a habit of reading and he's enjoying it too. Tonight he sat on the couch and read 3 books out loud to Julia. Mommy got a break. =)

For whatever reason, they are both sitting behind me now, biting my shirt and and occasionally my back. Gross. What's wrong with these kids???

John finished classes for this semester today. They didn't even have a Christmas party. What's up with college? I would have gladly made some cookies for him to take. =) We're so glad this semester is over for now!

Is anyone else super excited about the Chipmunk movie coming out? I think I'll cry when we see it because I loved the chipmunks so much growing up. And the Christmas song is on there! I really can't wait to see this movie! And the National Treasure movie too. The best part is that we finally have grandparents around to help with the kids so we can actually go to the theater. What a luxury!

More Elves

Ok, I know the elf thing isn't new, but my kids thought it was so hilarious and they too wanted to be elves. So I made it for them and figured even though most people are probably tired of seeing elves, some of their grandparents would like to see it. It was a pain to do since it messed up the first round and I had to start totally over, but it was worth all the effort. They laughed and danced so much when they watched the completed version! Even Aulora was wiggling her little booty all around! So here it is:


I took Wendy's suggestion and found caffeine free Dr. Pepper at Walmart. I was so excited! The first can even tasted kind of good. And then I think the excitement must have worn off, because after that it was just horrible. Too bad, because I thought I had found heaven.

So, thanks Wendy - it seemed so great, but just didn't work out. And thanks to Kylah for the inspiration for the title of this post - not that she's yucko. It's just the opposite of yummo. =)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fajitas, Musical, No Good Mommy, Lefty, Sicko, and in Need of a Stick

I ate fajitas from Pappasitos for dinner tonight. They were leftovers brought back to me, yet they are still blogworthy. Still, my next meal from there better be in person. I think we are going there for the holidays. I'm finding it hard to contain myself already. =) If you have never eaten at Pappasitos, you need to drive to Arlington and do it. It's worth it - I promise.

On another note, the kids' Christmas musical was tonight. I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll try to post some soon. They were SO cute and we loved seeing them do there thing. The weather was kind of icy and rainy, but there was still a wonderful turn out. I just got them in bed less than 20 minutes ago - it's 10:10 now. They were just a little wound up =) I plan to let John David sleep until he wakes up in the morning anyway since he's sick. Even then I may or may not take him to school. We'll see.

I think perhaps my mommy senses are getting duller. Apparently, Julia fell out of bed last night and cried and cried for me (in the very next room) and I didn't even hear her. I also didn't hear when Stormy (an 18 year old girl who lives here too) came in to get me and called my name over and over. This next baby better have some good lungs or he won't get fed at night. =) Poor little guy.

Julia has learned to write her name. She's made J's for a long time now, but this week she began writing her whole name. She kept writing from right to left though and I was concerned about what that might mean. After talking to Kara (my sister-in-law who is a teacher) I realized that it was because she is left handed. So I followed some advice she gave me where I drew some animal on the left and its home on the right with an arrow pointing to the home (which Julia thought was soooo much fun) and voila! She can write her name! It won't be long before we're working on reading and I can't wait. John David has really begun to love reading (thank you Book It!) and I know Julia will too.

Aulora woke up sick today so we didn't go to church this morning. I will probably have to take her to the doctor tomorrow because I'm afraid she's getting strep throat. It's hard to keep everyone well when this many people are in one house. Stuff really gets passed around.

That's probably way too much for one post. I obviously have not had the chance to get all my words out today. =) I should go find a stick to talk to.......

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Little is Sick

My buddy has strep throat and bronchitis. =( He had been telling us for a couple of days now that he thought he was getting a cold and he didn't feel good. John took him to the doctor today and got him some antibiotics. He missed practice for the Christmas musical tonight, but hopefully he'll be good enough to go to the musical tomorrow night. He's a wiseman and so excited about it. He layed in my lap tonight and watched The Polar Express. I love that boy.....

It Pays to Be Fast

I told John the other day that it was a good thing I had lots of kids because I LOVE hugging and kissing them. I went on to explain that Aulora probably gets the most of it because she still has to be held and carried around so much.

John just smiled and said, "She gets most of it because she runs the slowest." Oh well, it's probably true......

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fresh Air

This morning was so great - I got to go on a long walk with two really great ladies and their kids. We walked all the way to a park in their neighborhood and let the kids play and then walked back. It was good to be outside, to get some exercise, and really nice to have some good company. I hope I didn't talk too much. =) It has been awhile since I've been able to hang out with other girls and talk.

I remember when I was about 11 years old and I felt so friendless because we had just moved - again. I sat in my mom's lap, even though I was almost as big as she was, and I cried and cried. We prayed together that God would send me a special friend. It wasn't too much longer before I met Jessamy, who was my best friend all through jr. high and high school. We are still "kindred spirits" even now. (If you don't know what a kindred spirit is then you REALLY need to watch Ann of Green Gables with some girlfriends!) I've always been so thankful for how God answered that simple prayer for a friend.

Even though I'm not surrounded by lots of friends right now, I know that God cares about even this and He will once again send me a special friend or even friends. (To add to the ones I already have, of course!)

So to the friend who reached out to me and invited me to go on a simple walk this morning - thank you. It was wonderful! And the nap it required afterwards was pretty great too. =) I look forward to getting to know you better........

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Julia and John's mom were in a car accident today because someone ran a red light. Thankfully, Sandy was able to react quickly enough to avoid a serious wreck, otherwise, it could have been so bad. It was just another reminder that we never know what our day will hold. Julia was reportedly so very cute the way she had the policeman wrapped around her little finger. (She was awfully cute this morning in some pink and white striped overalls and pink bows in her hair. A dolly indeed!) She was given an "accident bear" by Mr. Policeman that she has carried with her all day. So very sweet.

I'm sure I'll hold my baby girl a little longer the next time I tell her bye. I can't imagine losing one of my babies. =( Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of my family today.......

Finding My Place

Moving away from what was home for seven years and leaving all my friends behind was no easy thing. Normally, when someone moves, they leave one place but have another place to go to. But we are living with family. We're incredibly grateful for them letting us stay here and putting up with all of us, so I hope this doesn't sound like I'm ungrateful. That's not at all what this post is about.

It's just that it feels like my life is boxed away in a storage room down the street. My friends are living their lives in good old SA, my dog is happily sleeping on my brother's bed in Austin, my beloved trees are probably gloriously red and orange and now belong to some woman named Isabelle, and here I am living day to day just trying to not pass out before bedtime. And hey, have any of you ever tried getting ready for a new baby and nesting in this situation? Seriously - Aulora is still sleeping in a playpen, most of their toys are packed away, all of our furniture is stored, and the new baby's clothes are somewhere in storage along with anything else I could possible want or need. There is no possible way to follow my nesting instincts at this point.

The church here is great, but it doesn't feel like ours yet. Everyone knows who we are but I don't know many of them. I suppose most of them assume we already have friends and don't need any since our family already went there. (John's brother is the youth pastor and his mom is their children's director). Their youth group meets on Wednesday nights and serves to remind me that we no longer have "our teenagers". Our first Wednesday night here we went in the youth service - it was really hard to keep from crying. So I went to the nursery wing with Aulora. I felt quite out of place in there as well. At the risk of sounding childish, I'll just say what it feels like at church. I don't feel "important" anymore. I'm not in charge of anything, I have no authority, and if something needs attention, it's not my place to take care of it. It's not a control thing. It's just a matter of adjusting from what was life for so long.

I know I need to look forward and not behind me, but that's so hard when what's behind you was so great.

What's ahead is going to be even better, I'm sure, but I can't see it yet. And sometimes it's hard to imagine it. But I know that's where faith comes into the picture. Faith that God isn't leading us on some wild goose chase. That's kind of what it feels like right now if I'm not careful to remember that we are following His leading.

The verse at the top of my blog has been especially meaningful to me lately:

"God's love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children." Psalm 103:17

God's going to make everything right for us and for our kids. We will have a place, in every sense of the word. We will look back and see why we were taken on this paticular path, versus an easier or shorter one. We will see the great things God has in store for us.

John's website, Faith Conversations, is getting closer to being done. It looks great and I can't wait to be able to share it. With so many things unsettled, an up and running website will be a big comfort.

I miss you, friends. I can only hope to find some new friends as wonderful as all of you!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Met My Doctor

I finally met my new doctor for the first time even though I've already had 3 or 4 appointments here. She's really nice, although I liked my old doctor better for sure. A c-section is looking more and more likely =( but we'll have to wait and see how all the timing works out. I only gained 1 pound in the last 3 weeks so that was nice. I like that nurse who weighed me. =)

On another note, this doctor's office sends you home with the little urine sample container to bring back filled on your next appointment. So I got to do something I had never done before today. Carry pee around. How lovely.

A Side Note

I really can't complain about many things during pregnancy. I was apparently made to be pregnant and have babies - that's a good thing since this is my fourth go around. BUT, if I was going to complain (I'm not going to, I'm just saying), there would be two things:

1. No Dr. Pepper or other caffeinated things for that matter. I miss Dr. Pepper soooo bad. Yes, there's most definitely drool. Dr. Pepper on crushed ice from Sonic. Oh yea.....

2. Sleeping on my side. Ughhhhhh. I'm a back sleeper for sure and when you're pregnant this is a no-no once you hit that certain point. I constantly roll onto my back during the night in my sleep and John, being the good daddy he is, constantly rolls me back on my side. It makes my ribs hurt and I wake up achy. I would look greatly forward to sleeping on my back again once the baby's born except that then I'll be nursing all the time so I'll still be on my side.

I hope my children will one day appreciate these small, yet very huge to me, sacrifices I made for them. They're worth it. =)