Friday, December 5, 2014

Walk by Faith

A few weekends ago we were honored to participate in the Walk by Faith.  All proceeds from this event go to the Addi Faith Foundation that funds childhood cancer research and also provides financial assistance to families who are caring for a child with cancer. 

The two largest teams at this event were Team Teague and L3 and we proudly wore our shirts for both of these teams.  Doug and Matt were on Team Teague.  Teague is Matt's friend that he met through baseball who recently had a brain tumor.  Praise God they were able to remove the tumor and after proton radiation his scans look good!!  It meant a lot to participate in the walk with Teague and his family and the rest of the Hooks baseball team!

Marlie and I walked for the L3 team, Live. Love. Landon.  Landon Ahrendt fought a tough battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a rare soft tissue cancer. He went to heaven in May of this year and the L3 Foundation has been going strong to continue to help others kids fighting cancer.  What I love about this Foundation is that it's run by kids, Landon's friends and family. Landon's older sister Teagan dances at Marlie's dance studio.  Marlie fell in love with Teagan a couple of years ago when she was helping in one of her summer classes.  We are so blessed to know Teagan who is amazingly beautiful inside and out.  And you should see this girl dance!!  We were honored to be walking for Landon and his family!
The kids decided they wanted to enter the 1K kid's run and Matt as you might expect was super excited.  He made sure he was at the front of the starting line and was ready to race.  He went out in a definite sprint, not realizing that a 1K wasn't really a full out sprint race.  He got tired at the end and slowed down to give high five's to his teammates along the way, but still came in 3rd for the boys and 3rd overall!
After Matt crossed the finish line I turned my focus back down the track and guess who was leading the pack?  Marlie!!! She finished really strong, with great running form and I was SO proud of her.  She said she saw a shadow behind her at the end and kicked it into gear.  She placed 2nd for the girls and maybe 5th or 6th overall.  Please excuse the proud Mom comments in this video!
 The kids were really excited about placing and they were happy to represent Teague and Landon!
After the 1K race we all participated in the 5K. Of course Doug and I walked and Marlie had fun walking with Skylar.
But the boys wanted to run and so some of the Dads decided to run with them to make sure they were ok.  I think most of the boys petered out along the way but Matt didn't stop.  Coach Raymond, Jayden's Dad said he tried to keep up with Matt as best he could but he lost him when Matt decided to sprint coming down the home stretch.  Matt finished the 5K in about 30 minutes and I wish I would have seen him cross the finish line.  He was extremely proud of finishing it with a good time.  Matt is in the running club at school and was the 2nd kid in the entire school to reach the 26 mile mark. 

Maybe both my kids will take after their Daddy and be runners after all.  Matt with his intense desire to finish and Marlie with her amazing running form!  It sure doesn't come from Momma!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Halloween in our neighborhood never disappoints.  Matt asked how many more years he could trick-or-treat and I told him as many as he wants as long as he had a good costume!!

Matt wanted to be something scary so he was beyond excited when he found a zombie football player costume!! I wasn't sure about the scary thing but he had so much fun with it that in the end I liked it too. 
We tried so hard to convince Marlie to be the zombie cheerleader but she said it was too scary.  She wasn't really too excited about anything.  We looked online, we went to the store and she finally found this "lovely leopard" costume.  When she put it on her eyes lit up and she was ready to go!!
 Even though this was the first year of not matching I thought they were both really cute!  
We party hopped a bit this year.  First we headed to the Triche's to catch up with them.  I always love to see the costumes the girls pick out.  They were all so cute! The boys were too busy playing football that I couldn't convince them to stop for a picture. 
Then we headed to the Patton's house.  It was super cute...their grandparents sort of disappeared and then we heard a knock on the front door.  They had snuck out and dressed up as sock monkeys! The girls thought it was hilarious! 
After dinner, more football and cupcake decorating, we headed out! It was pretty much impossible to corral all the kids for a picture but we got a fairly good one...and with the sock monkeys too!
After years of trying I finally convinced zombie football player and Jeter (aka Caden Wellmann) that if they took their time, the fun would last longer.  These two and Marlie and Avery strolled from house to house so it was much easier for the adults to keep up! 
Marlie was so excited to see Ashdin along the way.  We're so glad they are truly IN our neighborhood now!
Nene was our official candy hander outer until the kids came home...then they took over! They love handing out candy!
Overall it was a great night with friends and we just love seeing the kids all dressed up.  Can't wait to do it again next year!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Fun

I just love the fall Saturdays, pumpkin patches, fall festivals and pumpkin weather that is so beautiful that we can be outside without melting! 

While Doug and I were in DC for a work event, Nene took the kids to the pumpkin patch.  As always they loved it and managed to find a few odd pieces to bring home!
We had lots of fun carving pumpkins too. They loved pulling the guts out of the pumpkin although Marlie kept complaining about the smell!!
We tried harder patterns this year.  Mom & Dad had to help some but the kids did a lot of it on their own.  It will be fun to keep this tradition up and see if we can do better each year!  I'm not looks like Matt is pumpkin stabbing, not pumpkin carving!!!
Both pumpkins turned out really cute and the kids were very excited!! Marlie hasn't wanted anything to do with anything scary this Halloween but wanted to take a scary picture with her cute pumpkin???

Matt has been all about "scary" this Halloween.  So he and Dad went to the store and bought a giant Grim Reaper blowup for the yard.  The boys put it up and Matt had Marlie close her eyes and he walked her right in front of it.  It was so cute watching it all take place.  Marlie screamed when she opened her eyes and then they had fun taking silly pictures in front of it! These moments are what I live for!! 
And so many wonderful Moms from our school put on the best school County Fair ever!!! We only had about an hour or so before soccer Saturday started but we managed to take some pics with a few special people...Mrs. Gommels our favorite 2nd grade teacher...
and Coach A...our PE Coach, but more so an amazing role model for the kids here at Fall Creek Elementary.   
The kids got to climb the rock wall and do flips on this cool bouncy thing.  I wanted to try it but 1)thought it would be weird to be the only adult trying it and 2) I'm sure I would have hurt something. 
I hope everyone is having a great fall and enjoying the season with their families!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Matt's 9th Birthday - Houston Food Bank

Matt loved Marlie's birthday party at Lunches of Love.  When we got home he said "Mom that was so much fun can I do that for my birthday?" With a big smile I said sure!

Let me first start by saying that I can't believe Matt is 9! While I want so bad for him to stop getting older I love the little man he's become.  I love that he is so organized and helps me so much at home! We couldn't get out the door in the mornings without his help. I love that he really cares about his friends and has had the same best friend since he was 3.  I love that he tries so hard at everything (except for singing).  I love to watch him play sports...any sport!  I love to hear him play the guitar because he's actually gotten really good at it. It makes me laugh (just a little and after I've chewed him out) that he gets in trouble at school for talking because at home Marlie does all the talking for everyone! I pray that God continues to surround him with teachers, coaches and friends like all of the wonderful people who joined us to volunteer for his birthday!

I wanted to find something different for Matt's birthday so we decided to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank.  In lieu of gifts we asked everyone to bring school supplies and peanut butter.  The neatest thing happened while we were getting our items for the HFB.  We were at Walmart (just to note...I hardly ever go to Walmart because no one in the entire store seems friendly) and Matt had a full cart of school supplies he had picked out.  We were headed to buy peanut butter when a man and woman walked by and she said laughing "are those all for you?" Matt smiled and explained what they were for.  She opened her wallet and took out $30 and gave it to him to by extra peanut butter.  The man with her then reached into his wallet and gave him another $30! I was shocked and Matt was super excited.  We thanked them several times and they were kind enough to take a picture so we could remember what a sweet couple they were!
We did a project called Operation Backpack where we packed bags with lots of different food items that get delivered to kids in need on Fridays so they have food for the weekend! We had tons of packs to assemble and it required lots of effort on everyone's part.  Here are a few videos of our assembly line:
The kids did great! Most of them actually worked really hard for 2 straight hours! 
  And a few of them stood around helping but doing a lot of talking and looking cute!
The parents did even better and we're so thankful for all the parents that helped too.  Especially the tiers at the end of the assembly line who suffered on the job injuries. 
I'm not sure how many "backpacks" we packed but it was a ton!  Thank you all so much for working so hard!
We are so thankful that Ms. Gommels joined us and brought Ms. Spooner, a new Fall Creek teacher with her!  It was a nice surprise for Matt that you all came to help!
  Everyone brought a ton of supplies - look at all that was donated!!  Y'all are awesome!

Such a fun day. Happy Birthday Matt!   
On Matt's actual birthday we decided last minute to head to Waco to watch the Baylor Bears play their first game of the season.  But this was not just any was the first game in the new and fabulous McLane Stadium.  The stadium was amazing, the Bears won, the atmosphere was great and we got to see Robert Griffin III and hear him do the invocation which is just such a wonderful treat and great example for Matt.  It was a lovely evening!
And we got to see our brick that Daddy did for us!  Who knows if the kid's will go to Baylor but if so it's cool that this will be here for them.  And if they don't...well we'll save a lot of money! Happy 9th Birthday Matt.  We love you more than you'll ever know!