Wednesday, August 29, 2012

88 Cents of Pure fun

It's incredible what an 88 cent roll of alunimum foil will do. After dinner last night I made us crowns (yes including me) and magic wands and we chased each other around the house looking for crocodiles and zapping them with our all powerful wands.

Good thing for Carso the paper towel roll was done. That stroke of luck earned him a huge magic wand. :)

Tiger Girl

By way I haven't been to Jamaica...ever. This shirt must be a hand me down:)

Weird Day

Ok so today was weird, even by my standards. Kate woke up with stomach issues which prevented her from going to school. It's weird because Carson is always the sick one and Kate? Well I can't remember the last time she was sick. I think she was thrown off to. She came into where Carson was getting ready for school and said, "Carso, guess what? I threw up just like you!" She was.............proud?? And Carso was perplexed as if to say, "Uh no Kate that's my gig." So I took Carso to school by himself and he really seemed ok with it. When I got back I wasn't sure Kate was done with her tummy issues (although she was bouncing off the walls by this time. Wha??) so I gave her the obligatory "throw up bowl" and explained to her what it was for. She exclaimed, "Oh Mommy I love it! A throw up bowl for me! It's so cute!" I just love having a girl. She didn't end up needing it and was her usual cheerful self all day. I even took advantage of having 1 kid and did my grocery shopping. Kate has been on an all day Diego marathon and has been singing the theme song all the live long day. I started singing it with her and replaced Diego's name with hers. As in "Go Katiego go.." this immediately stopped her short and she informed me "Mommy I am NOT an animal rescuer!" Good to know. So I have exactly one sick day to burn between now and the end of the year and we haven't even hit the flu season yet. Can you say unpaid day? Yikes!

We should all have sick days like this.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge


This week end the kids and I met up with my family and went to the Great Wolf Lodge. It was a nice little vacation and the kids had fun. Well Kate had fun and Carson tried to have fun. Kate loved all of the water slides and wanted to ride the big ones. My little girl, the daredevil. Who would have thought? And Carson, well he wanted to ride the big slides to. Unfortunately both times that he rode the slides he flipped over and ended up going down head first on his back which is not a good way to go down a slide and would freak anybody out but I was so proud of him for trying. I was even more proud of him for trying the 2nd time when his first experience was scary. So I left Kate with Honey to ride the big slides over and over and over......and Carson and I went back to the kiddie slides which was ok except for the fact that my once confident boy who only yesterday was telling me "Mommy don't catch me I want to go down all by myself!" was now saying Mommy catch me! So the big slides may have scared him away from water slides for this trip but we will try it again. Kate loved every minute. The slides, the lazy river, the spray guns, etc. I'm thinking Six Flags will be the same experience and I am going to have to buck up and ride all of those scary rides with her. As she was telling me yesterday at the big slide, "It's ok mommy. There's nothing to be afraid of. You can do it! I'm so proud of you!" Sound familar? And of course I made a big parenting mistake this week end. All week end Carson was in a pouty funk and I was scolding him for being in a bad mood and for generally being a little brat. Long story short I stop by at good ole Carenow on our way home from the water park where the check in lady said "Have you been here before?" and i said "yes" and she said "I knew you looked familiar." Which is SO not what you want to hear at a Dr's office. Ok Long story short? He has strep throat. All week end he had strep throat. Cool. Alright now on to the pictures

Kate and my brother Brig.

The only thing that really cheered Carson up was the purchase of this Dino back pack

It opened up into a play mat.

Kate chose a bear with flowers on it which she promptly named Flower.

Carson's new T- Rex!

She did not want me to catch her at the bottom and kept reminding me "Don't catch me Mom ok?"

The only thing she wanted was a pretzel. And she ate every last bite.

This is right after she got off of the big slide. She thought she was big stuff!

I love how she's coming down on this one. She loved it!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


If you have been thinking to yourself "Man, I sure have not seen enough pictures of Kate and Carson lately" then this post is definitely for you. And now in no particular order.....

Here's my girl getting her summer 'do redone. The lady was quite miffed by the end of it because Kate kept scrunching up her shoulders, moving her head suddenly, and Jumping up and down. BUT it was free so I wasn't complaining. The lady did a great job even though she should probably not work on too many 4 year olds in the future if she values her sanity. Judging by Kate's antics her hair should have come out all wonky but it didn't. Another cut that turns under perfectly, which when you have a Daddy with board straight hair and a mommy with cowlicks a plenty is not easy to come by.

She was so proud. I painted her nails Red Carpet red one night because I didn't have any girly soft pink. She loved it and couldn't be convinced that they were ever dry as she held up her hands like a surgeon  going into surgery for the next 2 hours.

A couple of weeks ago Kate got Star Student for the day. She got to help out with extra special projects during the day. She thought she was pretty cool. Which she was:) Her teacher Ms. Holly is awesome and I would say I will miss her but tomorrow she will be Carson's teacher. One of the perks of having 2 kids a year a part, you get to enjoy the  good teachers for 2 years:)

Oh my goodness. I know you can barely see this one but it really is the sweetest. They are sleeping in my bed together with their heads touching:) I have also come in and seen Kate's hand on Carson's forehead. I really do think they are twins.

This picture may not seem like much but it means everything to me. I have been working mad hours lately. Lots of overtime which means Saturdays and Sundays which isn't really convenient when you are a single mom. But my friend Jodi has stepped up big time. And she loves my kids so much and they love their Jo Jo. Seriously I could not have survived the past year with out my Jodi. She doesn't just ask me what she can do she steps in and just does it. I wish I had thought to take the picture sooner before they were specks but her son Easton is on the left of her with Carso next to her and Kate on the outside. They are headed to her oldest son's Hudson's baseball game. I needed her last Saturday in the biggest way and as always she came through.

I mean seriously? What's not to love about this boy? He has been doing well with the potty training and I would say he is out of the training phase. Hallelujah! Even at night. And Boy is he proud! As I was helping him the other day I said "Man Carso that's a lot of pee ." And he said "Yep Mommy it SHORE is!" I haven't bought a diaper or pull up in a month. A moment of silence here. This is a momentous time in a Mommy's life. Right up there with washing that last bottle and putting it away, but WAY  better. My last child is potty trained!!!!! Yahoooooo!!! And no words of advice from me. I sucked it up big time with Carso, poor boy. It was a lot of stops and starts and bless his heart, one day it just  clicked. It's a good thing we don't have to go by the book with these kids because I would be sunk for sure. Not sure if God gives grace for potty training but I sure felt like He gave it to me.

Her new school outfit. I bought 5T! What in the world? Her 4T shirts were getting short on her. Oh bless me. Next stop will be the bigger girls department. Hold on!

Hello Kitty is "It" with Kate right now although I'm not really sure why. When I saw these at Target I knew that they  were right up her alley and I was right. This was the first day she wore them. She has changed outfits FOUR times today and is now in just a t-shirt BUT the whole time these shoes NEVER came off. Score!!!

The cookie ministry at church was needing cookies for the teachers at the school our church supports. I thought instead of the regular plastic bag I send them in I would dress them up a little and give the teach a storage container to use afterward. And Hobby Lobby helped me out by having all glass jars at 50% off:) This baby turned out to be a $1. And yep I used the Ranger Cookie recipe. It has become a Go To recipe for me.

These next pictures are called love in action. Even though I try to be handy around the house, I am a complete fool when it comes to my yard. I have NO idea and except for one half hearted attempt 10 years ago have never mowed a lawn. And I wouldn't know how to keep a lawn fertlized or green which is a Herculean effort in Tejas. My friends the Critz' have stepped in and taken care of everything for me. They have my lawn mowed every single week and have a lawn care company come to fertilize it  AND  last week they had someone come out and weed my front and back yard and clean it all up. It stopped me dead in my tracks on Saturday morning. And even though I had both kids pulling on me to get them breakfast I just stood there and stared at the beauty of it all. I was completely paralyzed with gratitude. Every Monday morning when I hear those lawn mowers start up it is a clear reminder that I am loved.

My drought resistant Crape Myrtle living up to it's promise. We have had some good rain here lately so it is thriving.

Another look at the love of friends. And while everyone elses yard looks like scorched earth, mine is lush and green.

My other crape myrtle got some TLC and looks amazing.

Today we made a Cream Cheese Pound Cake for Kate's teacher Ms. Holly's Birthday. Well Carso's soon to be teacher to. The kids wanted to help and were very excited as I let them do most things by themselves.

Carson's first priority was getting all of his "Big Guys" arranged on the chair.

And Kate's first priority was finishing her Grape Popsicle.

This recipe calls for 6 eggs so I gave the kids each a container and broke each egg individually so they could pour them in. I can usually whip this cake together by myself in 10 minutes but it was SO worth the extra time, effort and messiness to let the kids help.  

And in the end Kate enjoyed her favorite part which to both of our amazement Carso is never interested in. So we get all the licks to ourselves. It must be a girl thing:)

Yep it's August here and it's freakin' hot but I burned this candle today. Hobby Lobby is my inspiration as I chuckled at the sight of fall foilage and Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations prominently displayed in their store. Of course my mouth fell wide open when I saw the Christmas trees set up and all of the ornaments and wreaths in the back aisles. I salute you Hobby Lobby for being the first store to display Christmas. Gives us hope that these hot temps will cease in the distant future.

The infamous rock reward system. I admit I've been a bit more lenient for the first go around so that they can see a pay off but they have loved it and responded to it. I'm still getting a lot of whining and I still have 2 sleeping partners steps.

My little girl at play. I always say Kate would have made a fabulous only kid but Carson would have been lost. It's a good thing God knows what He is doing.

Don't let this scene of domestic tranquility fool you. I had just put them in separate time out corners. But they usually play well together these days. Especially when I'm not in the room. :) Kate is "reading" Carso a book. Side note: In 1 year Kate will be walking into her first Kindergarten class. Oh dear. My one prayer that I am praying very boldly is that I can be working from home by that time. I long to be present in my girl's class room and know her teacher. And my dream is to walk her to school everyday and pick her up everyday as the school is right in our neighborhood. I'm praying that boldly as I don't think I've ever wanted anything more.

And finally, my fave pic of the day. Carso's first Power Kids at church. And Kate true to her word walked him right in and he sat right by her, not with a "new friend" as she put it. And I so wish I would have snapped the pic when she had her hand on his back. Such an amazing big sister. The lady behind them  is Mrs. Julie she was Kate's and Carson's teacher in the 2 years we were blessed to go to the church preschool and now she has them in Children's church. I love our church. Our preacher talked about wanting our kids to feel like they belong at our church and that they are so wanted here. I KNOW that my kids feel welcomed and they definitely feel like they belong here. This is THEIR church family and I pray that they will be able to grow up in this church.

I thank  God so much for my two  amazing blessings. This picture is beautiful to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Tonight as the kids were taking a bath it got really quiet. Then Carson broke the silence. "Kate?....You're my best friend." I say that these years are going by in a blur but there are some memories that will definitely stand out. This was one of them.

It was a frigid 99 degrees today so Kate thought it would be wise to put her winter hat on.

Nighty night!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. Watching the Olympics with my kids. The kids and I loved watching the olympics together. It was especially fun with Carson because he really got into it. Many times we would be watching together and I would find him laying on the floor "swimming" or look over and find him on the arm of the couch on his "balance beam." And almost everytime when we would watch swimming Carso would say, "Mommy, I want to do that!" Maybe someday Carso........ oh and watching when there were Japanese athletes had me cracking up. I would say "Hey Carson look it Wen Fan Shu!" and he would look at me with a serious voice and say "Wen Fan Shu Mommy?"

2. Playing games with my kids. Like when the kids are having an argument and to decide it i say "Ok guys pick a number between 1 and 5 and Kate says loudly and confidently "Six!"

3. Grey's Anatomy. Thanks to the wonders of Netflix ( a bargain at $8.65/month) I have indulged myself in all 7 seasons that are available. It's my guilty pleasure. And now that I figured out that my TV actually does tune in local channels (a wonderful discovery due to my desire to watch the olympics) I will be watching season nine.

4. This is a whole web site full of wonderful dresses that are retro in nature. Shift dresses, A-line fifties style dresses. I love just browsing.

5. Rain in Texas during the summer. Nutrient rich water. Way better and way cheaper than the sprinkler system, which I still haven't learned how to control. It goes off at 3 PM which makes me look like a major water waster which is not a good thing in these parts.

6. This guy gets me through each work day (I listen to his radio show almost everyday)  and it keeps me on track towards my debt free goal. He's taught me how to budget and his envelope system is genius.

7. My new rock reward  system. I took simple mason jars and wrote Kate and Carson's name on them with a permanent marker. I wrote a bunch of things that I want to see my kids do or accomplish everyday AKA things that make my life easier. Everything from "I brushed my teeth today" "I woke up with a smile today" to "I did not whine today" and "I did not ask Mommy to hold me" to the big Daddy of all of them "I slept in my own bed all night." Still working towards the last one and the "no whining" which seem impossible right now. And for every task they accomplish they get to put in rocks. When their rocks reach the top they get a surprise. It's still in the beginning stages so we will see how it works out. Interestingly Carson seems to be more reward driven than Kate.
8. Kate and Carson move up to their next classes both at school and bible class next week. That means Power Kids for Kate AND Carson and Pre-K for Kate (GULP!) Kate's teacher (which will be Carson's new teacher) says that when Carson comes in for his trial periods during the day Kate stays close and protects him and makes sure that he's falling in line. :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Little Carso Cookin'

Tonight Carso made mini pizzas for us all by himself. As you can see it's all in the tongue:)

He had just finished saying "Mommy I did it!"

This picture is a little Forest Gump (eyes closed) but it shows the pizzas:)

Enjoying his creation

This picture makes me want to wrestle my camera to the ground. If I don't have enough light I get a picture like this. Not fair.

I am loving my plan. I made marinated lime steak tacos last night and used the left over steak to make this delicious salad. It had so much flavor it didn't even need dressing.

Carson always wants to take the butterfly jar we got at the Smithsonian everywhere. And we always get a lot of oohs and aahs and then I start getting sideways glances because people think I have trapped a butterfly in a jar. I quickly have to explain it's not real! But it is so life like. I carried it around in my car this week and it always scared me when it would start to flutter (it is sensitive to motion). I would think something was rustling around in the car and that's not a good feeling when you're going 65 MPH.

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6