Friday, December 26, 2008

Granny & Matt at the Ranch

My Mom took Matt to Laredo not too long ago and spent the day at the ranch with Granny & Matt. Apparently from the looks of it they had an amazing time. Please take a peek at the slideshow. I normally melt when I see my kid's smile but my Granny's smile in some of these pictures is priceless. What I love about her is that even though she's over 90 years old she takes care of Matt as if she's my age. She picks him up and laughs with's so great!

It brings back memories of my childhood. We loved opening the gates at the ranch and rummaging around in the old ranch house. Granny would show us all of her old gadgets. And of course we'd go fishing at the tanks or just have fun throwing rocks in! Seems Matt enjoyed it all as well!

Here are a few of my favorite pics!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


My Mom was headed out of town for vacation so we celebrated Christmas a little early. After a wonderful meal (thank you Doug) and a birthday cake for Jesus we opened gifts. Matt couldn't wait but I think I was even more excited. Matt did pretty good giving gifts out. Of course he kept asking where his were but I tried my best to teach him it was about "giving". Marlie did pretty good too. She kept saying "open, open" and was SO excited about everything she got. Here's Marlie with her baby that she fed and put to sleep all night. How strange that a 1 1/2 year old girl is playing the "momma" role. I'm amazed. Also notice she's sporting her new Nikes that Daddy bought her. Dad is addicted to shoes and it's rubbing off on Matt. Now he's working on Marlie! Here's Matt opening a Texans helmet and uniform from Dad and I. He loved it! He's been wearing it all weekend. Notice the Tom Brady jersey he's wearing. That was his first gift that Daddy bought him. He wore it the next day and told the ladies at the store "but I'm not as handsome as Tom Brady". They all laughed and of course told him he was!

And here is Matt opening up his BIG TRUCK from Nene. He loved it!

We all had fun! Uncle Jay and Lynette were with us and bought the kids some wonderful presents! Thank you! Nene gave us some money so we can finally put gas logs in our fireplace and I got my new Jason Mraz CD so I'm happy as a lark. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and get to spend it with children!! The looks on their faces are as if God is smiling right at us!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life is so PRECIOUS!

We have a sad story to tell in our blog today. Our dog Precious is no longer with us. She was having trouble breathing last night so I stayed up with her until about 2am when I thought she had fallen asleep. Doug found her this morning. She was 15 so she lived a long and happy life.

We are all very sad but as we told Matt, she is in doggie heaven now and having all the treats she wants. When I told Matt that Precious left this morning to live in heaven with God he said, "but you and Dad bought Precious and Hannah to live here in our house". It was really cute. I told him we had to share with God too. So he said he would take good care of Hannah since she doesn't have her sister around. Please love your pets tonight!

Here is an old picture I found of Precious. It's from Christmas 2004! She is the one on the left. Hannah is one on the right.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

I packed the kids in the car to head to Nene's house for dinner and as I was backing out of the garage the darn trash can was in my way so I had to get out to get it (was hoping I could just wait for Doug to bring it in). I thought it was raining but as I looked up I realized it was snowing!! I jumped back in the car screaming "It's snowing!" and Matt didn't really understand at first but was just smiling because he could see the excitement on my face. To say it was beautiful is an understatement. It came down pretty hard for about 4 hours. Here's a picture of our house WITH SNOW and Matt playing outside in his PJs!!! Yes you'll also notice we are on our way to having a Griswald yard. To be honest I hate those blow up things. They are nice up but during the day the whole neighborhood has deflated Santas and Snowmen in the yards. The first day Marlie saw it down she said "uh-oh Santa". Our new neighbors have 2 year old twins and apparently one of them freaked out too when she saw Santa head down in the dirt. BUT Matt really wanted one so Santa will stay.

Matt had a Christmas program at school and it was fantastic. I'd pay more to see him on stage than I would a great Broadway show, no offense to all the amazing men and women who have those talents that I'd dream of having, but this is my baby on stage!!! The PreK-3 kids sang about 4 really short songs but it was really neat. And Matt did great. He was a ham and had the biggest smile on his face the entire time.

Speaking of singing...Marlie will be the smallest Christmas caroller I've ever seen. She sings "Jingle Bells, jingle all the way" and then joins in on the "Hey" part at the perfect time. We were singing "Santa Claus is coming" and she blurted out with "to town"! I didn't even know she knew that song. And she sings bit and pieces of Rudolph of course. We like to play Christmas music and drive around and look at Christmas lights so I guess she's caught on.

Marlie has continued to amaze us all with how fast she seems to be catching on to the world. I suppose she's trying to keep up with Matt. My friend bought the kids Advent calendars (thank you, thank you) and the other day Marlie had hers and was saying something. I was busy but after about the 5th time I turned to see she was pointing to the Baby Jesus saying "Jesus" but sounded more like "e-suh". It was great. We're trying real hard to make sure that the kids understand the true meaning of Christmas. It's so easy to get wrapped up with gift giving, parties, etc. So I will make a cake and we'll sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Matt is already excited about the party!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Uh-oh Santa

Well we had a great Thanksgiving in San Antonio with everyone! Of course we forgot the camera so we don't have any pictures. Matt went to Laredo and then to McAllen with Nene and had a wonderful time at the ranch and with all the family. Meantime, Marlie tried to keep up with her girl cousins and had a blast! Doug's Mom makes a fabulous Thanksgiving meal (although Doug and his sister will insist they made most of it).

Doug and I went with some friends to the Monday night football Texans game and had SUCH a good time. We don't get out much and this was just fabulous. They won and we ate before at the best tailgate ever. We had this bacon, jalapeno and cheese wrapped shrimp that was to die for. Thank you Larry and Heather for inviting us!!! I'm sure they realized how much fun we had considering Doug could barely stand upright by the end of the game...okay I'm exaggerating but as much fun as we had, I had to drive us home and was so tired that I almost fell asleep. Yes it was only about midnight but this Momma is tired!!!

Well along with the rest of the world we are getting ready for Christmas. Okay well I guess the Jewish people are getting ready for Hanukkah and others are getting ready for Kwanza but you know what I mean. We had snow day in the neighborhood and it was a blast. Matt and his friends threw snowballs at each other, I had hot chocolate and Marlie screamed at Santa! When I asked her afterwards about Santa she would say "uh-oh Santa". Not sure exactly what that means except that she doesn't like him one bit.

We took pictures this morning for our Christmas card and I won't ruin the surprise by posting the one we picked, but I have to post some others. And although I wasn't really up for being in the picture this year it was necessary to keep the kids in place. I was thinking...and then Doug said it...that we feel like we've aged 10 years in this last year. These were some of the better pictures we got of Matt and Marlie'll see why they didn't make the card.
This was our test picture. Maybe Mom and Dad should ask Santa for some gas logs!

Here's an "okay we have to smile but are tired of this...cheese".

Here are few with us and Matt. Marlie would not cooperate so we don't even have any blog-worthy pictures of her to post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Little Turkeys

We had a busy weekend! Friday Matt had his Thanksgiving Feast at school and Nene and Great Granny went to have lunch with him. The kids looked adorable and Matt was so proud of his costume that he wore it all day...even to eat dinner at Chuys later that night!! He told us the story about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. We were so amazed at how much he had learned. We are SO happy with his new school! Notice horses in hand in the picture below. Gram bought these last weekend and they haven't been out of our sight!!! This kid LOVES horses. Marlie had a parade at school and each class had a wagon decked out to lead the class with all of the kids footprints on it. It was so cute. Marlie made it about 10 steps until she spotted Mom and Dad and then started crying!

Dad was so proud of her. She was still not too happy about the whole thing but we thought she was the cutest Indian we'd ever seen!

Matt had his last TBall game on Saturday. We sure are going to miss watching the kids and all the new friends we met. It was interesting to see the progress they made during the season. The first game we had parents on each base directing them where to go. On Saturday they pretty much did it all by themselves. It was great. Matt's been talking about wanting to play soccer next Spring but we might try baseball once more and return to soccer in the Fall. It's so much fun!!!

We helped put together our neighborhood Thanksgiving Feast on Saturday and we had a blast with our neighbors. EVERYONE has kids it seems so Matt and Marlie had fun. And those that don't have kids we've pretty much adopted as extra Grandparents.

Can't wait to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families! If I told you what I was thankful for you'd be reading this for another hour so I'll keep it short. We remember to thank God EVERY day for the wonderful things in life. Our two little turkeys are the greatest gifts we've ever been given and we could never say thank you enough for them!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gram & Papa Howie Visit the Baseball Star

Gram & Papa Howie came up so that they could catch one of Matt's Tball games before the season is over. At one point Matt looked at the sidelines and saw everyone including Great Granny & Tia Virgie who were in from Laredo. The smile on his face was priceless! Gram and Howard thought the game was hilarious too. Wish they could have seen the first one! Matt was SO excited they were here.

We had a wonderful visit and ate lots! We'll have to find more excuses for Gram to come visit. She never shows up empty handed and the kids LOVE it. She bought Matt colored socks and he thinks they are the greatest. I had to do laundry early this week so he could wear them again.

Matt is going through an "I am the coolest, sweetest, most loving child" stage right now. Not sure how or why this comes along periodically but I soak it all in when I can. He's an absolute gem. Now Miss Marlie on the other hand won't stop biting. She got in trouble today at school for biting and I had to send her to "time out" twice this afternoon for trying to bite Matt (although sometimes I pretend I don't see it happening when he deserves it). She cries SO hard when I say NO and her face is SO stinkin cute I can't stand it. But as soon as she walks out of time out she'll bite again! This too will pass but I just feel bad for the kids on the other end of the bite. Sorry in advance!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Beautiful Children

We had a few people over the other night and I think my kids are adorable but man you guys have some really beautiful children too. Here are just a few of the this the cutest Elmo you've ever seen? His sister is just as beautiful as he is handsome. Way to go Mom and Dad!

And this is little Emma. Cute her parents picked the name because it is pronounced the same in English and Spanish. This is my Colombian friend Patricia who had a look of terror on her face when I once was so excited to go on vacation and I said "I can't sit still....I have ants in my pants". I'm sure you've heard this's funny every time I tell it.

Here are Matt and Payton playing in the sandbox. After Payton came inside she told me that they were up to "wild business". Wish I had that clip to post on YouTube.

And then I heard this beautiful sound coming from the other room. It was my daughters laugh. Her and Ashdin were wrestling with Ashdin's Daddy. I call this picture "drinking and...playing with children".

Their smiles are much better in the above picture than when the Moms tried to take pictures with them. We couldn't get them to be still for a second!

Anyway we had a really good time and I think the kids did too. These were the only troublemakers at the party that went home toasted. Just kidding. Actually Rajesh was holding Marlie at the end of the night and she would not come back to me. She was resting on his shoulder, exhausted and comfortable. It was really sweet.

Other than that Marlie has turned into a 2 year old (she's only 17 months). All we hear from her lately is "mine" and when she gets mad she bites. She has now moved up to an older class at school and the transition isn't easy but better than I expected. I really loved her old teachers and she's been with them since she started school so it's hard for ME to let go. Another neat thing happened this morning....Marlie said "momma look". I know you're wondering why that was neat but it's the first time I've heard her put 2 words together. It was great!

Matt is still going strong with baseball (although he had a blast playing football with everyone at our house). My Dad was able to see a game when he was up last weekend and as everyone else he thought it was comical. It started to get cold so it was a good excuse for Doug to finally buy Matt something UnderArmour.

Matt says funny things EVERY day...I just can't keep up. But one really funny story happened today. I asked Matt if he could let the dogs in and give them a treat. Well Doug just bought these new dog treats that they don't like so Matt told them that he couldn't find the other ones so they had to have the ones they didn't like. Then he said "you get what you get, don't pitch a fit". It was hilarious!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

We've been preparing for this day for weeks! It was a busy day but we had a blast. Matt had a party at school and then Marlie had a parade at her school. Then we FINALLY got to go trick-or-treating! Here's my favorite picture of Matt and Marlie. Of course Matt had to be a Cowboy and he wanted his sister to be a Cowgirl. AND he made his Dad dress up too. At some point while we were out that night Matt got mad at me because he said "Mom I thought you were going to be a jockey". So maybe I'll have to dress up next year too. This year I went as Mom which meant that I pretty much looked tore up from the floor up as usual. Marlie's pink boots were the cutest. Hopefully you can see them a little in this picture.
Marlie figured out how this all worked pretty quickly. This is at Ms. Kathay's house. She is one of our favorite neighbors. She let Marlie dig into her candy bowl and it was cute to watch her pick out one at a time and put them in her bag. She didn't want to stop!
There are so many other cute pictures so I had to put all of our Fall pictures in a slideshow. You must check it out! Hope everyone else had fun!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Nene's Birthday

We HAD to have a party for Nene's Birthday. It was so much fun and the food was great (thanks Doug). We wore party hats and had balloons cake because Nene likes turtle brownies so we made those instead. Marlie refused the hat and Matt insisted that the card he gave her was HIS because he had his name on it (I had him sign it the day before). And he wouldn't let it go. That was HIS card with HIS name! Maybe Nene will get to have her card next year!

Changing Minds Foundation

I was touched last week by something I'd like to share.

I was very lucky to be invited by a friend to a movie premiere about a new treatment for children with Down Syndrome. The documentary was fantastic and it's making its way around the world. Even better, one of my friends was able to come with me and she has a little man who does not have Down Syndrome but may in some way be able to benefit from this new treatment.

I have 3 friends now with children that need extra care. All are wonderful and I admire them as parents. Life with small children and balancing work is challenging but these parents do it and with a smile on their face. You all have touched my life though you may not know and are always in my prayers.

I'd like to ask you to take a minute and visit the website and watch the trailer.... If you haven't made your charitable contribution this year this is a great cause to support. They are now using this treatment to treat children with Autism and people with Alzheimers. All because of one Mother's fight to make life better for her son!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Take II....As Promised

If you haven't read the blog post before this one you should.

Found the outfit. Was as cute as I remembered but too small. Too cute to pass up so I put it on Marlie with her kicking and screaming. For some reason she DID NOT find it as cute as I did. Maybe she was scared of the spider on the front? She definitely did not like the trim at the bottom. Oh well......I continued anyway.

Pumpkin patch was closed and fenced off. But we broke in. Managed to get a few really good pictures before an old lady came out and yelled at us for being there ( I should note this is church property we broke in to. Surely God would think this moment was important and forgive us. I'll have to check in with him later). Anyway, the lady was probably wondering why we waited until the last minute to do this, but I didn't have time to tell her about the diseased pumpkin fiasco. Then when she saw Marlie's outfit she kinda soften up a bit. Now that we found the outfit we'll be wearing it all weekend! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Pumpkin Time!

After the kids were in bed a few weeks ago I put up our Fall decorations. That next morning Matt came downstairs and yelled "it's pumpkin time"! So last weekend we drove all the way downtown to the pumpkin patch we've gone to for the last few years only to find that there were hardly any pumpkins left and the ones they had looked like they had some sort of pumpkin disease. Even the kids noticed. No kidding these were the first pics we took. Their faces say "Mom drove us all the way here for this?" Good thing they can't really express their thoughts yet. My Mom of the Year award would have been revoked for sure.

Pics from the pumpkin patch are my FAVORITE of the entire year. So we managed a few pictures but none turned out great since the pumpkins looked sick. Look at the one below with Matt and the diseased pumpkin....

At some point this is just comical. But we managed to have fun and at least we walked away with a few little pumpkins that still looked disease free. We attempted a few family pics and the kids thought it was funny to put the pumpkins on our heads which I thought was fabulous.

Nene came with us and these pics turned out the best of course because I took them. Nene was a little scared of these pumpkins too!

We also hit 3 Fall Festivals! Yes I said 3! And poor Marlie was sick as a dog all week! We thought she was getting better and this past Saturday we went to our neighborhood Fall Festival. One minute she was dancing with all the little girls near the DJ and the next she's throwing up in the bushes. I thought those stories would come when she was in college, not at 16 months. But Matt had a blast and I love to see him smile like this. I'm afraid some sweet girl will get scammed by this smile one day. So with Marlie sick we never made it to another pumpkin patch. But as I'm writing this I just realized that I have the cutest outfit that was passed down from our cousins that I completely forgot about. If it fits her we're just going to have to put it on and make another trip back to the patch. Doug will kill me for sure. I can't believe I just remembered that. I should be fired as a Mom. You'll see why on the next blog when you see her in it.

Baseball game was great again this weekend. Parents were grumpy because it was 8:00am and pretty cold. Kids did great though. We were SO proud that Matt stayed on his feet during the game. No rolling all the way to first base. He was pretty proud of himself too! One step at a time!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Marlie's First Haircut

So I finally broke down and decided to get Marlie's hair cut. It was almost long enough to tuck behind her ears, but most of the time it was in her face so I figured I didn't have a choice. Plus I get in trouble every morning with her teacher at school because I never have time to fix it. You should see us all getting ready in the morning to make sure Matt is to school before the bell at 8:00am. It's pretty comical and I end up doing what I hate most women do which is put on makeup in the car! Marlie looks about 1 year older and of course I cried because my "baby" is not really a baby anymore. Matt has always been good getting his hair cut but probably because we've been going since he was about 6 months old so it's old news. We figured Marlie would cry hysterically and go a few rounds with the hairdresser but she did okay. There were tears of course but most were mine!
And of course we were up EARLY in the morning for our 8:00am TBall game. Why at 8:00? I mean really.....the grass is still wet everyone is grumpy....who likes playing baseball at 8:00am? Oh well I should get used to this. It's only the beginning. The game was great again. I really thought that Doug and I would get the most joy out of this but honestly, Matt is loving it! And each week he gets a little better. Uncle Jay was at the game this week! After the game we went out for breakfast and we each had our "No the best part of the game was" thought. Uncle Jay said it was when Marlie cheered really loud for her brother. Doug thought it was when Matt was in the field and I yelled to him to get in the "baseball ready" position and he did it and yelled real loud like a linebacker would after sacking the quarterback. I thought the best part of the game was at the end when Matt realized our team wasn't organized and no one brought drinks or snacks for the kids so I looked back and saw Matt digging in the other teams ice chest. He already had a snack is in hand from the other team's coach too. My Mom thought the best part was when Matt was making snow angels in the dirt at home plate at the end of the game. I could go on and on.