Mommy and Daddy

Last weekend was Father’s Day so here is our update for Mother’s Day as well for 2014. For Mother’s Day our church had the usual baby dedication and this year added a kindergarten graduation to encourage parents with school age children to have their kids participate in “big church” worship services.


Great Minds

Here is Jack with his best bud and the rest of the kindergarten class. They coincidentally were dressed alike. His mom has amazing taste.


We joke that anytime Jack is in front of a group of people, he turns on his game face. I mean, he gets really really serious.


Proof: here is four year old Jack in front of the church during a Christmas choir event. So serious.


yeah. keeping this FOREVER.

I love how our church encourages families to participate in worship together. Last month during the sermon, I thought Jack was drawing a picture until he handed me a note he had written for me.


Then it was time for the obligatory after-church-special-day-please-young-children-give-me-ONE-good-picture-I-can-use-on-social-media photos.


I’ll take it.


And because it was Mother’s Day I found old pictures of my children when they were tiny which made me sad then looked at pictures again from this year and imagined that years from now they will look tiny in them and made myself sadder because women are masochists sometimes.


Guess what Doug got for Father’s Day! An abscessed tooth! Saturday night found us in the ER managing his pain and he was in no shape to lead worship or even move Sunday morning.


Its OK. The Avengers will make it better.

It was a memorable day of expressing our gratitude to the wonderful father of our family while he was under the influence of some heavy painkillers. Poor daddy is having oral surgery later this month.


This picture kilts me.

I found this father/son gem.


I hadn’t posted these pictures yet from our last family photo session.







TYP_042-1 copy

The Girls



The Boys


The Family



So blessed to be their mommy.






Her 3rd Birthday Party

WARNING: If you are planning on throwing a Frozen themed birthday party in the near future: be ready to make a lot of stuff by hand. As of right now, all retail outlets and most online stores are sold out of almost every Frozen party item you can imagine. I couldn’t find banners, plates, favors, cake decor, etc., etc. And the items that were in stock were ridiculously priced. I sure am glad my own prince charming was the hero of the day by supplying his own originally created Frozen supplies. Please don’t sue us, Disney. Its not our fault you have an inventory problem.


I couldn’t find a birthday banner for the party, so Doug found some unused canvas and made a sign. You cannot have paint out around Lucy unless you are OK with her helping.


painting with Daddy


For the first time in forever…Lucy is 3!

We have a family tradition of having Doug make the kid’s birthday cakes. He does an awesome job and it gives him a creative outlet for that day. I think he gets better every year. My involvement in the cake process is the concept and the baking. The assembly and the decorating is all on him. 41bXxH2OvVL

I found this kit for half off and baked a couple of layer cakes…


… And Doug made Elsa’s ice palace.


Let it go!


I like warm hugs


Who knew we had 8,000 salad plates?


Do you want to build a snowman?


Melted Snow

Doug even designed labels for the water bottles. I think he should plan parties on the side.


getting a closer look at her cake


Believe it or not, this was the first time I have ever made Jello and I realized my deprived children had never tasted it before. Jack is not into weird textures, but he bravely took a big bite and declared it to be “soggy, but good.”


boys at the princess party


I was so happy the weather was nice enough to allow the kids to play outside. It has been a rough winter in Oklahoma, although not as bad as in other parts of the country. This was the forecast the week of her birthday, hence why we postponed having a party:




A friend made this awesome bow. Lucy is starting to poop out.


Singing “Happy Birthday.” Lucy sang the whole song too. To herself.


There is a reason we both look so tired: that morning we had a Valentine’s party with our homeschool group, then the kids had a short nap before Lucy’s party. Directly after the birthday party, our small group met that evening. And then the next day was Valentine’s Day and we spent a restful day at home until that evening when Lucy came down with the stomach bug all the kids have been sharing.  We are still recovering from it all.


the aftermath


Some company was overdue. Thank you for coming!


Christmas Part 2

On new year’s day, Doug’s family drove in from San Antonio to celebrate a late Christmas with us. We missed Uncle Ben, Aunt Rene, and the girls for sure. I was completely overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness of the gifts and the sacrifice of time put into some of them. It was a blessed visit.


A shirt to commemorate one of Lucy’s favorite jams.  What DOES the fox say?


Doug’s brother, Todd, made his nephew and nieces puppets for Christmas. Made them. As in designed, selected materials, and then pieced them together on a sewing machine.


Todd and my sweet mother-in-law, Zona. I didn’t get any pictures of Papa because he was too busy taking pictures for me. He’s creative too.


Pausing to enjoy a new toy


Still not too old to sit on Daddy’s lap


Yeah. So Zona MADE this. As in spent hours and hours just to make something beautiful for me. I wear it essentially every night when Doug and I watch our shows after the kids are asleep. WAY better than a Snuggie.

Apparently, Zona and Rene think I should make things too because they loaded me up with thread, sewing tools, material, and a pattern. I then stole borrowed my other sister-in-law’s sewing machine to practice with because she moved to the Middle East and there’s nothing she can do about it.


Doug really likes plaid shirts


“She’s got red hair! Just like me!”


The kids picked out their own gifts with a gift card from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Charlie.  Jack chose an Angry Birds game, and Lucy naturally chose the Frozen soundtrack like every other little girl in America.


Its not a party without Disney music, footie pajamas, and plastic microphones

Doug’s parents donated their hotel points and watched the kids on the 3rd so we could celebrate our anniversary. Appropriately, we attended a wedding that evening.



Me: should I chicken wing?
Doug: what’s a chicken wing?
Me: its a dumb pose that will make me look skinnier.
Doug: no. You can’t improve upon perfection.

True love right there.

Christmas Part 1

My 30th Birthday was December 20th. The kids were both recovering from pneumonia and the husband was being treated for the flu, so we rested most of the day and then ventured out to finally see Frozen.  I made myself my favorite “cake.” The recipe calls for an entire bag of crushed Oreos and a half gallon of ice cream. Hello 30’s. We are off to a good start. Doug’s birthday soon followed on the 23rd, so we went to see the Festival of Lights in Chickasha, OK to celebrate.  On the 24th, my parents arrived to spend Christmas with us. I always feel like I owe our Texas relatives an apology when they visit us in Oklahoma. “I’m sorry about the ice storm/blizzard/snowpocalypse.” “I’m sorry we had to spend all day hiding from tornadoes in the church basement.” “I’m sorry about that earthquake. Yes, we get those too.”


grandparents are always welcome here


Lucy's no fool, she knows where the gifts come from.

especially when they bring luggage filled with presents


We decided to go with a more grown up tree this year. This replaced our original fiber optic rainbow tree from our tiny apartment days.


Santa came! Jack thought he looked a lot like Grandpa Ricky. Lucy was smitten. Santa pulled Jack aside and told him a secret. Later, I asked Jack to tell me again who Santa looked like and he said very seriously, “I’m not supposed to talk about that.”


charming her way into more presents


just a little bit excited



its hard to say “no” to this


Jack liked reading the book so he was excited to watch the movie. Note the Rudolph ornament over Jack’s right shoulder.


Daddy picked out the dress all by himself. It was a hit.


Mario Party 9! Yay!


Lego LOTR! Yay!


my boys


why I am still finding glitter


Running shoes! How did you know?


I don’t know


This caption could read, “Lucy’s fancy sparkle shoes,” or “how the Rudolph ornament broke.” I also have a joke about the Thomas Kinkade wrapping paper, but it is too easy.


Jack’s first photo bomb!


I have already tried two recipes in my Homesick Texan cookbook. I truly am homesick for Texas. And the FOOD.  And all that family down there of course. I’m just glad I got those running shoes.


Lets take a nice picture…


…or we can wing it


My parents gave us the gift of a date night. The kids got a night out too at the hotel with the grandparents.  In my children’s eyes, there’s nothing better than a hotel swimming pool.

Spending time with loved ones for the holidays always reminds me that although gifts are nice, its the people and the relationships that really matter. Especially the one I have with my savior. He is the reason we celebrate.

Reading is ENTertaining

I love reading to my kids. I really, really do. Although I must admit that my reasons tend to be more selfish than pedagogical. Last year, as I was organizing our books, I came across my copies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This particular set was my sweet sixteen birthday present from my parents.  Instead of the keys to a car, I got the keys to Middle Earth (not really a mystery why I didn’t have a boyfriend then). I was painfully reminded that the last time I read the books consecutively, a Savage Garden CD was in my stereo. Yeah. Its been THAT long.


We had just finished reading through The Chronicles of Narnia and I decided that the next book we should read together would be The Hobbit. Before I became a parent, I had dreams of introducing my children to the literature that I love and cherish. And I know it sounds weird, but the only thing that made me OK with having a girl was the thought that I would be able to introduce her to Lucy Pevensie, Laura Ingalls, Anne of Green Gables, Felicity Merriman, Jane Eyre, Hermione Granger, Scout Finch, Hester Prynne,  Elizabeth Bennet, and Sara Crewe (to name a few).

I don’t think I would’ve held Jack’s attention with conversations about little houses on the prairie or balls and petit fours, so for him,  it would be Tolkien. And lots of it (Lucy will get Tolkien too one day).  Little did I know how entertaining reading literature way too advanced for a five year old would be. His commentary was usually unexpected, surprisingly insightful at times, and almost always hilarious. And it helped me have a firmer grasp on the whole story as I had to take frequent breaks and paraphrase what I was reading or define words for him. Or look up words I couldn’t define. Here are my favorite Tolkien conversations between my little son and I:

Illustration by John HoweAfter reading that Gandalf and the Balrog fell:
Jack: NO! Where is Gandalf? is he OK?!
Me: Well, we have to keep reading to find out.
Jack: But he’s OK, right?
Me: I don’t know.
Jack: (after thinking for a moment) Well, God knows…And so does J.R.R. Tolkien.

This reasoning totally appeased his curiosity. And we learned the word, “omniscient” that day.


One day for our bible time, we read Jeremiah 33:15

“In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.”

Me: Jack, who is the branch sprouting from the line of David?
Me: I’ll give you a hint: Its a person.
Jack: Treebeard???


Out of the nowhere:

Jack: Aragorn is my favorite.
Me: He’s my favorite too!
Jack: The capital is Salem.

Aragorn. The 33rd state.

And my favorite comment came after I read how Gollum had seized the ring by biting Frodo’s finger off and then fell into the fires of Mount Doom. I really built the moment up and was expecting a big celebratory response to good triumphing over evil in an epic tale that took us about 9 months to read.

Me: Did you hear what happened?! The ring was destroyed in the fire. The bad guys lost! The good guys won!
Jack: They won? The ring was destroyed?
Me: Yes!
Jack: Then why are there so many pages left in the book?

Because he’s Tolkien. That’s why.

A Yuletide Apology

Dear Lucy,

I can tell you have an eye for detail and a penchant for frilly that was not passed down from me. I am sorry I am not the best example when it comes to decking the halls. Do you remember last year? I hope not. But since I have decided to accurately document your childhood, here is your stocking from 2012.

Second Christmas

I did a little bit better this year and bought four new stockings. But it wasn’t because I packed candles with my decor from last year and couldn’t chisel the old stockings out of the wax blob. I know better than that.


And just for fun, I created a meme. You’re too young to be embarrassed by me, right?

Lori Christmas Meme