Thursday, October 29, 2009

Punkin' guts

Pullin' em out is the best part.

These pumpkins were done, start to finish, by the children shown. It was ooey and gooey...

...icky and yucky...

...nasty and pretty gross...

Exactly the way they like it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tales on the Rails

The kids and I had a very full day Saturday. After morning chores and a few errands run, we went to church (and I saw Jason Witten!). From there we went to downtown Grapevine to spend the rest of the evening.

The boys insisited in a little ghoulish window-shopping.

Peyton found a witch to toddle around with.

A trucker's hat/wig was a family favorite.

Oh my.

Pizza was next on our list of to-do's. My dinner partner refused a picture.

Then finally gave us her best scary witch impression.

We walked several blocks to the train station...enjoying the cool evening and all of the sights.

Our evening culminated in a Tales on the Tracks event at the train station: spooky stories told fireside by professional storytellers. We munched on popcorn and warm apple cider.

The first hour the stories were not too scary and just right for 2 and 5 year olds.

Eventually I took the two youngest home, much to Landon's chagrine. But not before one more scary picture.

Hayden wanted to stay at the story-telling because "nothing's too scary for me!" I must say the look on his face when he got home was priceless as he retold what was "the scariest story I've ever heard in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!"

He slept on the couch that night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkins and pals

After a long hard week of school (and work) we decided to celebrate by going to the Pumpkin Patch Friday night. Sutton came home from college for the weekend so we loaded everyone up (sadly, Reagan had a volleyball game) and met some friends for the evening.

The children started out the night lost in the corn maze and then chomped on fresh kettle corn. We then moved on to face painting, tractor riding, and photo ops. I won't bore you with the details but I will bore you with too many pictures.

"Ready or not, here I come!"

Hayden playing a goofy cowboy.

Landon in an unusual moment of stillness.



And more friends.

Sisters, Sutton and Keaton.

Momma loves her boys.

Peyton starting to zone out...ready for bed.

"I think I'll just sit here and wait for you guys to finish."

Scary spiders on our cheeks!

One more tractor "drive" before we leave.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One lucky church-going Cowboy-lovin' girl

I was thrilled beyond words that I got to see Roger Staubach on Tuesday. So imagine my utter delight when I ran into Jason Witten in church tonight. I saw him in the church and was tickled enough, but then I ran into him, his wife and children outside. It was so cute as I listened to him tell his three year old little girl, "Yes, you're right, you pooh pooh in the big girl potty, not your panties."

What a sweet daddy.

I put on my sunglasses so they wouldn't notice me looking at them as I loaded up my own toddler into her car seat. He looked over at me and said hi. With what was surely a goofy smile on my face, I said hello back.

So much for the sunglasses trick.

(I thought about the Cowboy tickets I turned down for tomorrow's game because there weren't enough tickets for us all. I knew I couldn't enjoy myself without all of my children there. Oh, the sacrifices we make as parents.)

When the rest of my kids got to the car, I excitedly told them who I'd just seen. I was met with blank stares from half of them...but Sutton understood...she ran around the car hoping to catch a glimpse herself. The other kids would have perked up a bit more had it been like last year when The Jonas Brothers, also members, came to our same service.

Anyway, I've always known we have an awesome church for a multitude of reasons but seeing Jason Witten tonight just added another point to the why-our-church-is-super-fabulous column. You just never know who your going to see.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Did I mention how much I like my job?

A luncheon today with this man: Roger Staubach. As a girl I was completely in love with him...and Tom Landry...and the Dallas Cowboys...and football in general. Such a tomboy I was. After today I know I still have a crush on Roger Staubach, I miss Coach Landry, and the Cowboys will always have my heart. Football remains something few of my girlfriends care about. Thank goodness I work with all men.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My son, the conversationalist

When it's you vs. them and "you" is well, you know, me, and "them" is the six children, it's a challenge to carve out individual time with each child every day. Recently I needed to pick Reagan (14) up after her volleyball game so I put Peyton (2) and Landon (5) in their pajamas, brushed their teeth and loaded them into their car seats to ride with me. Peyton immediately fell asleep leaving Landon and I time...time alone...a priceless commodity in our family.

I told Landon, "Hey Buddy, we have some time, just you and me, what do you want to talk about?" I was expecting the usual conversations consisting of which super hero is the best, which friend in school can burp the loudest, or which teacher he would ask to marry him, Ms. Leach or Ms. Jacquelin.

So I was totally taken by surprise when he said thoughtfully and deliberately, "Mom, what part of your job do you like the best?"

I had to steady the car as my heart swelled.

"Gosh, Landon, I guess the best part would be the fact that I get to go lots of places every day, I have nice lunches all over the metroplex, I always meet a lot of really cool people, I'm learning all this new stuff. It's so much fun, Landon, I really like many parts of my job."

He listened quietly and patiently as I rattled on.

Then he added, staring pensively out his window, "Well, I think the best part of your job is that you get to go on top of roofs."

Of course.

"You're right, Buddy, that has got to be the absolute best part of my job. I go on roofs a lot. I climb ladders and go way up high. I get to see some of the most beautiful views of Dallas and Fort Worth from high atop buildings where most people don't get to go."

He smiled as he continued to stare out his window and said quietly, "I want to do that sometime. Will you take me one day and let me see from the top of a building?"

I swear I died a little inside.

"Landon, I promise I will make special arrangements for you to go on top one day and see how cool it is."

His words softer and softer, "That would be really fun. Thanks, Mom."

It was at that time that I pulled over to let Reagan in the car. She put her things in the back, climbed in the front seat and said hello to her little brother and sister, "Hey guys!"

No answer.

I spoke up, "Landon, tell Rea what we're gonna do..."

But he was sound asleep.

He took the time he and I had, our time, and instead of telling me about him, he made it all about me.

Such a sweet little gentleman.

I will get him on a roof someday soon; it'll be safe and it'll be monitored. It will also be like this night...just for us.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mommy and Peyton go to school

Peyton (2) has been home with me her whole life, so when she started preschool because I returned to work, she wasn't a happy camper. The first few weeks she'd cry each morning I'd drop her off (she'd cry, I'd smile and walk away and then I'd cry, you know how it is...heartbreaking) and then I'd call the school to check on her every hour. The sweet directors and teachers would reassure me with each phone call that she was perfectly fine and told me I could call a hundred times a day if I needed to. They don't know how tempted I was. When I would pick her up, she'd cry harder than when I dropped her off and I didn't think that was even possible. She wasn't crying before I got there so the crocodile tears where just a punishment for me.


But each day that week things got a little better and then the next week a little better still. Now I look at what she's doing at her little school and I am amazed at the progress in such a short time.

She cries some in the mornings when I drop her off but at this point it's really only for effect. During the rest of the day she:

plays nicely with others
reads books
does crafts
sits in a group and listens
helps set out food for lunches and serves others
cleans up messes
takes a nap by herself on a nap mat (Oh. My. Goodness.)
wears a pull-up and goes on the big girl potty (I swear these teachers are miracle workers)

Every day when I drop off or pick up, I hear about how good she's doing. The teachers care for her, understand her, love her. She's learning, socializing, becoming more independent, discovering that she's okay apart from me.

There's not a morning that goes by that I don't ache for her as I walk away as she stands there crying for me. But I know, because I check, that she stops as soon as I leave.

If I didn't love my job so much and if I didn't love her school so much, this would all be very different. But I do, I love them both. And while I miss her more than I can ever explain, she's okay and I'm okay and we're doing what we're supposed to be doing right now, we're growing up...both of us.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I love watching them grow up

So far this week I've witnessed Hayden (8) voluntarily carry more than his share of grocery bags out of the car, calm a crying little sister, pick up and return an item dropped by a woman walking in front of us, and gave me an impromptu back rub while I made dinner.

Landon (5) has announced repeatedly the last two days with vast amounts of pride that he hasn't cried at all this week while at school or after school care and he plans never to, he says, "boo hoo" again. He drew me flowers today at school even though he really likes to draw spiders and robots "because I know you like them, Mom."


Monday, October 05, 2009


Little Miss Peyton did a craft project at pre-school today; she made a tree. She couldn't have been more proud.

Landon made me a necklace. Adorable!

And then insisted I let him take my picture wearing it...

Peyton was not pleased.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Award winners

Rea's 9th grade volleyball team just finished three weekends of tournaments. They finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Coach seems pretty pleased but Reagan thought they should have done better.

Personally, I think the girl on the front row, far left is pretty great no matter what place she gets.