Monday, January 31, 2011


Of some warmer weather this weekend, before the cold front and possible snow come to Texas this week! The kids had fun outside on their bikes waiting for Daddy to come home from a long day of Saturday work. Afterwards we went to a crazy indoor game park; photos of that to come!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I am totally not a sports mom. I never played a team sport in my life, aside from fun games of dodge ball or flag football in elementary school PE. In junior high, my mom convinced the school board that my daily hours of dance class should count for PE credit as it did for the gymnasts at my school. So I was exempt from that, and was on the drill team in high school. I played on a summer softball league for my church youth group once, and was probably the worst person on the team, or any of the teams we played, for that matter!

So needless to say, I haven't encouraged the girls in sports. They have done well with swim team, which is about enough sports for me! Actually Mary Clare shouldn't even be participating in any high-impact sports after her severe knee injury. So I don't feel guilty. They love ballet and are very talented at it. It's great exercise and artistic as well. If they showed an interest in sports, I'd try to foster it, but for now...our homeschool PE and swim team will have to suffice!

I'm sure we'll have years and years at the baseball fields for Steven Joseph and Thomas in the future. In fact, SJ is already claiming that he's going to play t-ball this spring. We'll see if that can fit in our family schedule, in the midst of ballet exams, ballet recital, swim team, a First Communion, and end-of-the-school-year events...and a husband who is gone from dark to dark every day. Hopefully we can figure it out; he would SO love that!

So Friday was our homeschool PE class. I think it's been over 2 years since we've attended one of these. First it was concern about MC's knee...she couldn't really run during that time frame, and then had the surgery and recovery. Last school year our PE program didn't work out much; the weather was always bad. And this year we had a new baby, and PE was low on my priority list. So this week when it was at our park down the street on a gorgeous day, we made the effort!

We had about 30 kids playing baseball. They had a blast!

Here's Mary Clare at bat. Ellie wasn't interested in the game, or didn't like her team or something, because she wandered off to the playground with some other girls before it even started!

Now poor SJ had me almost in tears. He was watching the game holding this tee and bat just waiting, waiting for his turn. I was distracted talking to other moms, trying to get the baby to sleep, and calling the police to come and get a dog that was loose at the park. So when the game was over and he came and grabbed onto my leg, I felt SO bad that I didn't tell them how much he wanted a turn.

So I was able to hand off the baby, take him back onto the field, and convince the other boys still playing around to let him have a few hits and run the bases. He was so excited!

And my sweet Tommy boy just living the sweet baby life!

We stayed at the park for SEVEN hours, it was such a great day! Now we'll be back to rainy and cold weather this week. Glad we got to enjoy a little sunshine and a fun sports day at the park!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

my little love

a couple more beautiful baby pictures, thomas at 4mos, can't quite get the colors right, the pics were dark, but isn't he so sweet and lovely? everyone thinks he looks just like his daddy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Boy

He's been a bit under the weather with a cold this week, but here are some pics of the happy boy in his walker at NeNe's house!

Colorful T-Shirt Scrap Wreath Tutorial

It was time to put away the Christmas wreath, and I was ready for something colorful to get through the rest of this dreary winter weather. This wreath is made with scrap knit fabric and would be fun to do in pink/white/red for Valentine's Day, or other seasonal colors. It would look great on the wall or door of a child's room or playroom, or even as a hospital door wreath for the arrival of a new baby!

Here's what I did:

The only wreath form I had was a twig wreath, so I wrapped it in packing paper and secured with clear packing tape. This makes it easier to glue the fabric on. I've heard that it's even helpful to do this with a styrofoam wreath form when you're using hot glue.

These were some t-shirts, knit leggings, and a knit dress that were stained or had holes.

At first I wanted to make rosebud flowers. I cut strips of fabric and wrapped into a rose. But after gluing a couple, I realized this was going to take way too long and I wasn't going to have enough fabric. Instead, I'd just scrunch up the fabric circles for a flowery look without the need for so much fabric.

I cut out circles, about 2-4 inch diameter.

Stacked the circles. You can tell that they're varying sizes. I was just trying to use up all the fabric so I wasn't concerned about them being equal sizes.

Then later that night we started gluing! The girls helped me squeeze up the circles to look "flowery." They had so much fun helping in their PJs!

Mary Clare demonstrates her technique...Grab in the middle,

and squish together.

At first I wasn't sure if we would run out and I'd need to add another color (possibly white), but in the end we had just enough to cover the front and sides of the wreath!


I nailed a ribbon to the top of the door to hang the wreath.

A colorful-looking front door!

Total time was about 2 hours with interruptions and some gluing helpers!
Let me know if anyone tries it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Cooper

I have several posts with crafty house stuff I want to write about. But tonight my heart is heavy and is keeping prayerful vigil for Cooper. His mom Sarah is a friend I met through high school youth group, and then we lived at the same dorm in college. She married her college sweetheart, Kevin, and they have 4 beautiful children and live in our area.

Their youngest child, 4 year-old Cooper, has been battling health problems since birth. Last spring, after discovering the root of his problem was degenerative Mitochondrial Disease, they finally got the call for him to go to Pittsburgh for a bowel/colon transplant. Since then, he continues to battle infections and need more surgeries and procedures. Thankfully he was able to spend the holidays at home and they were blessed with a Make A Wish DisneyWorld trip in early January (see photo).

He had a surgery on Tuesday and is now once again fighting for his life in the PICU after complications. My heart and prayers are with them. I can't imagine what it's like to live day-in and day-out with a chronically ill child. To spend months at a time living in hospitals, sometimes cross-country and away from her other children. I'm inspired each week by the determination their family shows in the face of such adversity. They are true advocates for their son and are doing whatever they can to help him to get the best care possible and to enjoy as many happy days at home as they can.

With the internet being such a great means of communication, it's amazing how many friends and acquaintances I have whose children have faced serious illness. I've got 4 good friends who've gone through the Congenital Heart Defect and Open Heart Surgery battle which we will have to endure. Mary Clare's close little friend fought through kidney cancer. And then little Cooper...

We are blessed to have such great medical care. When Steven and I start talking about how stressful life is these days...bills, and work, and kids, and house...he reminds me of the number of children, and mothers, who died in those olden days that we sometimes long for.

Tonight as I'm rocking my sniffly, fussy baby, my heart is with Sarah and all those mothers who sit bedside in hospitals this night. My prayers are with those children who suffer. Those little ones who face obstacles that we may never experience in our lifetimes.

I hear the background music on one of my favorite blogs. "I trade these ashes in for beauty, wear forgiveness like a crown, coming to kiss the feet of mercy, I lay every burden down, at the foot of the cross." I lay these burdens at the feet of the Lord. These sufferings that are incomprehensible. I give him my own worries about the little details of our life, and the big ones. I give him my precious Steven Joseph and ask that He makes him strong to endure the battle he will face. I lay down my hopes and dreams and fears for my family, for my children. Illness is one area where I've faced tremendous anxiety in my life. One part of life we can't control which must be placed in the hands of Jesus. Tonight, I lay it down, Lord. Have your way with these children. Oh how we want their lives to be spared and their sufferings to end. But oh, how you know every hair on their head and you have a plan for a future and a hope for them, whether in this world or the next. Please hold Sarah and Kevin and Cooper and their family close to your heart this night. Their cross is so heavy Lord, and I pray that you will lighten their load. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I'll edit when I hear anything about Cooper. He is a fighter, one thing for sure.

Edited to add: (Thurs afternoon) Cooper is hanging in there! They've gotten his bleeding under control and he is fighting hard as usual! Still in the PICU getting blood units one after the other. Please offer another prayer for him when you think of it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Little Way Farm

I think it was our first trip out to Little Way Farm since Thanksgiving. And it had been awhile since we'd been there in the daylight.

They now have chickens and a rooster!

Mary Clare had on Enrique's sweater; it was getting windy!

Steven Joseph was scared of the chickens, the puppy, and the calf...silly boy!

Mama had Tommy all bundled up!

Thomas enjoying his doting godparents!

And Mary Clare's favorite part of the evening...bottle-feeding the little calf her dinner!

What a blessing to get a little taste of farm life with our dear friends out at Little Way!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A few from the zoo

Last week we spent a few hours at the zoo with a dear friend and her 3 cherubs!

The kids wanted me to take their picture that morning; I couldn't get to the camera fast enough and poor Thomas was ready for mama!

They always love this tunnel. I love that there's still a Christmas tree in the aquarium!

Tommy sitting like a big boy in the stroller. He loved watching everything!

Almost all aquarium pictures! It was really too wet outside to take many pictures.

And my friend and I were too busy catching up and trying not to lose our kids!

But how sweet is this elephant and calf?

We survived this misty and cold zoo outing, and then I proceeded to continue my adventure to go visit Steven's dad with the kids, make a quick visit to Steven at his office, and then go on a wild goose chase for a Craigslist item. Please note: if it's advertised as a "trundle bed," I would expect to see a TRUNDLE! Oh well, we survived, but I've learned my lesson to stick with local classifieds!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes "Saturday"
The blessing of brothers
Teaching baby to play with knights...

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