Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I typed this up 2 months ago, saved it and neglected to complete the entry. Here it is anywho.

(Ok, my pics are not uploading, I'm tired, going to bed, will deal with this in the morning)
Rewind-School of Alex stuff

It’s been too long, I know, I am bad, I am not worthy of keeping a Blog. Tis life, and this life is mine. Better late than never, right? If I ever get a tattoo, that is what it will read. Since my last entry we have been super busy. Mark (I mean WE) got a new truck. A super sweet truck. Black F150 Lariat Supercrew 4 door. Very clean, leather interior super horrible gas mileage. Who could ask for more. Lets see...I've dug up a gazillion bush roots and planted new bushies, some of which are transplanted nandinas from mom's yard that Ashley planted as a bitty girl. Aw, so sweet. I planted two Chinese Pistache trees, and transplanted one mountain laurel from our old house...shhh, that's our secret. There is so much more to do outside. It will all come together. We're also in the process of painting the kitchen. We have three different colors up right now, but I think we've narrowed it down, and will hopefully get started this weekend. Tonight Mark and I went to the tile place and ordered our tile!!!!!!!!!!! Our kitchen floors will look like dook no longer! I can't wait to mop my floors and watch them come clean! Imagine that! The master bath will follow soon behind. Oh, oh, oh, other news, I can't believe I'm saving this for last, oh wait, I'm going to save that for another entry. Hehe! I'm just mean. (edited Jan. 1st to add...Braces, she got braces!)

Ok, so rewind a bit to the adventures of staying home with Alex. Our playgroup is very active, we do lots of fun stuff, but most of all we’re socializing our kiddos along with ourselves. We have at least two get togethers a week. (Throw in Gymnasics on Wednesdays and Storytime on Thursdays and now it's quite obvious why I have ZERO time to Blog) Anywho, here are some pics I took at the Austin Science and Nature Center in the Dino Pit. Our little scientist had the opportunity to dig up dino bones while playing in the sand. What fun!

Ok, phew, I'm caught up for now...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Alex and momma

Alex has been home with me full time for a few weeks now. He was attending preschool everyday from 8-12, but I began to realize how unnecessary it was and decided to pull him out. On more than one occassion I was told that Alex was very advanced and was getting bored quickly. His teacher told me he should be in Kindergarten. I agreed. Sooo, I decided that I could give him much more than the school could. We can learn at his pace, and I can be here to stimulate his learning desires much more than a preschool teacher can. So far that has been the best choice I could have made. We do learning time everyday for short periods of time, and spend most days learning through play. My friend Mollie started a playgroup where we get together with other kids and have planned playdates where the kids can play and learn together. We do themes and try to come up with ideas for crafts and learning opportunities pertaining to the theme of the week. Last week we went to the Austin Science and Nature Center, the week before that it was the Austin Childrens Museum and each week, we have new places to go. Lots of home playdates with planned craft activities too. Today we're going to my friend Jen's house and we'll learn about bats and do bat crafts together. Alex and I are getting so much out of our time together. This is such a wonderful opportunity and I am so thankful that Mark works so hard for us.


The house is coming together more and more all the time, some days not as fast as we'd like, but it's a work in progress and we're learning to accept that. Mark made a lot of headway on powerwashing the deck, it's looking so nice. I hope to finish the deck today and then begin working on the outside. It looks awful. I have GOT to remember to take before and after pictures!!! Yesterday mark leveled the floor in the kids bathroom in preparation for laying the flooring and then we can finally have a -*GASP*- toilet in the BATHROOM! Haha! I'm so anxious to check that bathroom off of our list.
I started working on the trim, baseboards and window sills yesterday. I scrubbed em down and started staining. This is my first time to stain wood and I have to say, it's my new favorite home improvement project yet. It's so rewarding! I'm all about the instant gratification, and with this house we don't get too much of that.
I found a nasty water ring on the window sill in the kitchen and found a very easy way to get rid of it. I took a thick rag, layed it over the ring and held the hot iron on it for at least a minute and VOILA! I really didn't think this would work, but I read it on the internet and figured it couldn't hurt to try. I'm just so wowed that it's actually gone. Once again, a perfect opportunity for before and after photos, but I can't ever seem to remember!
Other house stuff....we finally got the driveway cleared out, and cleaned off, it's beautiful underneath the brush and leaves. lol The grass is finally starting to fill in and perk up. It's looking so nice! I sure missed St. Augustine, that Bermuda grass is such a pain and never looked as good as good ol St. Augustine.
I finished pulling up the bushes in front of the house. I still don't know if they were just at the end of their lifetime, or if they were diseased, but they're gone! Now we need to dig up the roots and pick out some new bushes. It's almost time to start planting. The weather is cooling off little by little as fall creeps in.
I still haven't figured out how to get rid of the mothball smell in the theater, but from what I've read I might have to repaint and pull up the carpet. I also read that if the smell is still present then the air is still toxic. Joy. We'll get it figured out in due time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ashley's Birthday part TWO

Holy guacamole I’m going to barf. Night before last I typed up a super long entry about Ash’s birthday bash, with tons of pictures ta boot. Guess where it is now, dunno you say, it’s in nasty ol cyber heaven. Just as I was finishing up adding the last few photos (which by the way, takes an ETERNITY) my most prized possession, my laptop, went kaput. Just beeped at me and went black. Buh bye, no warning at all. Soooo, now I need to see if I can do a little deja vouis (or however that’s spelled) and rewrite history…yet again.

Friday after school I walked Ash and 6 of her brand spankin new Geortownian friends home from school. I met them in the back of the school and I have to say, as they walked towards me, with each step, I felt older and older…these girls are NOT little girls. They’re the kind with bras and shaved legs. What the heck happened??? Do they serve up hormones in Georgetown or WHAT!? Despite their size, they were very sweet, mostly innocent girls that I am soooo glad that Ashley has befriended. I’m especially excited about them because most of their parents are overprotective and told me this was their first sleepover. Holy crapolie! Now we’re talking! I actually got the third degree from one mom. I think she actually had a list of questions in front of her when she called. Good… Crazy, but good. Do we have guns, do we have siblings, how old are they, do we have dogs, what kind etc. Great questions, logical questions, but a first for me. Anywho, back to after school. So I walked them to our house they explored our house, walked around in our garden tub, jumped on my bed a bit and then went to the basement to sing a little Karaoke. At some point we did a craft…I took a picture of each of them with Ashley and they glued it to a foam frame like backing and decorated it with all kinds of cutesy little stuff. It was definitely a hit. At some point Nana and Grams showed up.  It was soooo nice to have them here! After we all ate pizza, we did cake and presents. The karaoke machine was handy when it came time to sing Happy Birthday. Pretty sure the neighbors heard that one. Presents were awesome, of course. Lots of littlest pets. That’s Ashley’s latest craze, they’re pretty cute I must admit. The girls played “telephone” and did some more silly girl stuff until it was dark. Then we broke out the glow sticks and these silly little mouthpiece glow thingees. We went out in the front yard, and those girls had so much fun! They wore themselves out pretty good. By the time they were done with that, they were in desperate need of another sugar rush, so we did do-it-yourself sundaes. Complete with nuts, cherries, chocolate sauce, caramel, and whipped cream. That went over well.
By then I didn’t have much left in me, so I grabbed the boy (who was 100% a part of all the festivities up until bedtime…sweet sissy!), told the girls to go to bed and Mark, Alex and I crawled in to bed. By this time it’s about 12:30. We didn’t last 15 minutes and we were out.

The next morning sweet daddy cooked eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast tacos and Nana made pancakes. 11:00 rolled around pretty quick and before we new it the house was empty. Messy, but empty. All in all, the party could not have gone better. Ashley has really made some great friends in the short time that she’s been here. Several have already offered for her to come spend the night. She’s overwhelmed with the number of people who are anxious to have her over. This is good. Her birthday was good. Our girl is now 10 years old and starting a whole new chapter of her life. I’m anxious to see the next 10 years unfold. 

Pictures will come as soon as I get my laptop problems figured out...errrr, as soon as Mark does. :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years later

Five years later, life has gone on, but it will never, ever be quite the same. So many lives lost, so many dreams shattered, so many freedoms lost.

Today my heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy of the September 11th, 2001 attacks. I know their pain is fresh today, and their wounds have been opened once again. I hope that the media is gentle today, and those who are hurting, can do so in peace.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Trip to the ER

Saturday night Ash was bit by something shortly before bed time, I shrugged it off, put some caladryl on it and sent her to bed. Sunday, she limped around on it and complained that it was really bothering her quite a bit. It looked like a spider bite to us, with a little puss pocket on top, but nothing horrible, so we told her to stop thinking about and move her leg as much as she could. By evening time, she was lethargic, and came down with a fever. She complained of muscle cramps and a headache. I jumped online and found information that pointed towards a poisonus spider bite. We ended up taking her to the ER here in Seguin where they took blood, and did a culture of the puss pocket. We're still not 100% sure what bit her, but whatever it was the blood test showed a bacterial infection of some sort. We're still waiting on the results, which will take 3-4 days, but they did end up giving her a shot of antibiotic and a prescrption that will cover all of our bases in case she has a staph infection. This morning she is a new person, she feels 100% better. We'll make her an appointment tomorrow and have her doc. call in for the test results asap to find out what we need to do next, but for now, we're just so glad the shot has made such a huge difference.

Sargent Rock

In the midst of the moving chaos, the Urben's have lost their mind. We have adopted another sweet doggie. We've had him for a week now and are just absolutely so in love with him. He's a 9-12 month old chihuahua mix, a dog I would have NEVER imagined myself having. His personality is just so sweet. He will sit in your lap whenever you want, and for as long as you want, but then he'll get up and play when you want too. He has slept with us the past few nights at dads house and has just been the sweetest little cuddle bud! He loves to stay snuggled up next to you to keep warm. He gets along so well with Big Dud and Sadie Sue. Dud tolerates him, but is getting more and more tolerant everyday. Sadie really likes the little guy and will play with him whenever he wants. Sarge has really proven to be a perfect match for our family. We took a ride on the boat yesterday and he didn't flinch! He just relaxed in my lap, and took in all the new scents. Not the skittish little chihuahua one would expect.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Ash, House stuff and a break

Ashley is feeling much better. I think she was just having a few off days. She has come home from school happy and excited to talk about what she did all day and all the friends that she's made. We made birthday invitations on Thursday evening and I was just thrilled to hear her beg me to allow her to invite more friends. I let her invite 8 from her new school and she has 3 from her old school that HAVE to be there. 8 wasn't enough, she wanted more! That made me feel so much better about how she's adjusting. Yesterday, a girl from school called her and invited Ash to come swim at her house, they had just got a new slide for their pool. We were actually on the road to Nana and Big Daddy's, so we had to pass this time. I'm sure there will be plenty more opportunities.

We're getting more and more settled in to our new home everyday, but that doesn't go without ups and downs. The wall paper in the kids bathroom is down, I've textured the wall with a sort of venitian plaster look, and Thursday I primed it. Now all that's left is paint and a wipe of tinted glaze. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't forget the toilet and flooring. lol We're getting there!

Yesterday, I decided to tackle the master shower. The tile looked awful, the caulking and some of the grout needed to be redone so I thought it would be a good idea to get started on it before our trip to Seguin to allow for drying time. Boy did I bite off more than I could chew. I was able to scrape most of the caulking off and then started in on the yucky grout. The dremel worked pretty well, but the more grout I got off, the more trouble I revealed. There is mold and standing water underneath the tile. I ended up getting after it with a hammer. Fun stuff! I knocked out the lower three tiles all the way around and revealed rotting wood, gooey mold and standing water. What a MESS. When I get it all cleaned up, we'll have to call out some professionals, there is no way I can do all this on my own. Our bathroom is a disater area right now. Actually all 4 of the bathrooms are disaster areas. Ugh. I keep reminding myself how fortunate we are to have this place and it makes it all seem so worth while. I really need to keep it all in perspective.

We're spending the weekend at the lake for a MUCH needed break from all the work. When we get home Monday we'll start back in. We'll remove the range top and counter to prepare for the new silestone counter and rangetop that will be installed Tuesday. If we have time (and energy), we'll go ahead and take out the oven/micro. wall unit and install the new one. So many things to do, but for now, I will kick back and enjoy the down time with the fam.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We're finally moved in!!

So much has happened since my last update! We're all moved in to the new house, and trying to get settled. Today I finished cleaning up the old house, thank GOODNESS! I'm so glad to be done with that, now I can focus on our new home and getting it organized. We have so much to do! The cooktop and counter are going in next Tuesday, and hopefully within the next few weeks we'll get the kitchen floors in, the oven/micro unit in, and the stairs for the deck built. Those are the items at the top of our to do list...and that list is growing everyday!

Alex started school last Monday, he's adjusting fine. He has 6 kids in his class 2 boys and 4 girls. :( Today when I picked him up his teacher told me that he is very advanced and way ahead of the other kids. She says he finishes his work VERY quickly and gets bored easily. She says he should be in Kindergarten. While I'm so proud to hear this, I'm also a little concerned. The whole reason for him being at preschool half days is to be stimulated. It sounds like I might be able to do a better job of stimulating him. I have plenty of learning materials, and social opportunities for why is he at school? I think I've answered my own questions. I think either he needs to be at home, or I need to see about bumping him to private Kinder at the same school (if they will even allow that). Poor guy, so many changes in such a short period of time, I hope I don't screw him up too bad.

Ashley started her 3rd week of school this week and is doing very well. Her GT records were finally transfered over from her old school, which means now they will need to put her in the GT class. Unfortunately, that means she'll have to have another big change. She'll have to leave her new friens in her current class and start all over in a brand new class with a new teacher. I just feel so bad for her. Part of me wants to just forget about the GT class and let her stay put, but on the other hand I know that she will adjust and that this is for the best. She seems a little down lately, which is understandable, but I'm worried about her. She has always been such a people pleaser that I'm afraid she's dealing with too much on her own. She doesn't talk about it, probably because she doesn't want Mark and I to feel bad for the choices we've made for her regarding school. That's my girl, always thinking of everyone but herself. Tomorrow I'm going to speak with the school counselor and see if she can talk to Ash. Maybe it will be easier for her to talk to another adult about what she's feeling, an adult that's a neutral party. I'm going try to get her to talk to me some this afternoon. I just hate that I don't know what my own daughter is feeling.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tomorrow I will be mom to a 5th Grader

Yep, my baby girl is about to start her last year of elementary school. Wow! It's bittersweet really. The past 5 years have been a dream. My baby girl will be one of the kids I looked at in Kindergarten, thinking it would be ages before my baby was THAT big. Well, here we are, it happened in the blink of an eye.
This is a big year for Miss Ash. Not only is she starting her last year of elementary, she's starting a new school and leaving all of her friends behind. She's so brave! I think I'm more touchy about it than she is. She's a tad nervous, but more excited at what lies ahead for her. She's just such an easy child, always has been. She hasn't complained a bit because she knows this move is positive and that's what she chooses to focus on. I am so proud of her! I know she will do well.

Trip to Alabama!

The trip to Alabama was waaay too short, but oh so much fun! We were nervous about making the trip without Ashley in the back to help entertain Alex, but somehow we manged to have a fairly laid back trip. We hit a "boulder", as Mark would say, around Waco and ended up having flat. It wasn't all that bad though, daddy was our superhero and we made it to Alabama safe and sound. By the time we got there Frank, Nicola and Wilbur had already arrived and we were greeted by the whole crew. Grannie Frannie, Papa Jack, Mamaw, Both uncle Franks, Nicola and our sweet Sissy!! It was soooo good to see miss Ash after a whole week of being away from her. Alex would NOT stop hugging and kissing her, he hung off her leg like a little monkey. It was precious!
This was our first time to see the property in the summertime, it was so different! Gorgeous! The trees were lush and shaded so much more of the property than I realized they would. The trails seemed so far away from civilization with all the cover. It reminded me a little of the trails we hiked at Devils Den in Arkansas. We got to see all the new ducklings and a flock of traveling geese. Dudley and Sadie had so much fun tormenting the geese and wading in the pond, it almost seemed a little cruel to bring them back to our small yard. The kids had so much fun hanging out with everyone. Ashley is still telling Papa Jack stories, which we have found so intriguing that we all agree he should write a book...or two.
The last day we were there we talked with Mamaw quite a bit about her childhood and then some about her raising kids in a small town. I just loved talking to her and hearing about how things were back in her time and how it was to have so many siblings growing up with a family store. I loved listening to her talk. I wish we could have talked more, her stories were more interesting than many books I've read. We'll have to make a point to continue those conversations another time. :)
Fran's cooking was OUTSTANDING as always and I managed to make it home with two new recipes! We had such a relaxing time just hanging out enjoy the presence of family.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The last supper

The load ress traveled. Yeah, so it's really NOT as funny now.

Anyway, so our last dinner was at a place that my hair stylist recommended this afternoon, Aisan Mint. It was delightful! Mark had the seafood platter with clams, crab cakes, and spring rolls. I had the Pad Thai. It was INCREDIBLE! I have to tell Jeremy thanks for the recommendation, it was scrumptious. We ordered our first bottle of saki as well. That was....umm...interesting, to put it kindly. Actually, that was probably the worst $20 we've ever spent. lol We had an absolutely wonderful evening together though. What a trip!! :)

Married WITHOUT children

Ahhhh, what an AWESOME week it has been! Ash flew out to Alabama to spend the week with Grannie Frannie and Papa Jack, and Alex is hanging out with Nana and Big Daddy. These grandparents are SAINTS and they have no idea what this break has done for Mark and I. We have had the most amazing time together!
We have a $55 a day allowance to spend on meals and we have been spoiled little rich kids, that's for sure. My pants are a little tight, but ooohhhh so worth it. :) Mark and I have laughed and laughed and just had such a wonderful time together. It was just the break we've been needing.


I decided that I really didn't feel like driving to Dallas again, so opted to take Amtrak instead. What a trip! And a TRIP it was! I was able to sip wine, nap and take in all the sights along the way. It was such an enlightening experience, and I know that I'll do it again. I met some very interesting people on my little adventure. From a single mom who dumped her 2 year old in my lap to "watch" for a while after only having exchanged smiles to the over achieving retired professor from Cali and we can't forget the hippie with a buzz who kept me company for the last few hours. It was really an awesome experience to say the least. I ended up making friends with the two year old, we read my magazine together and played with my hair clip which proved to be just what this sweet boy needed. I heard his mom telling him to "shut up" on multiple occasions, which just broke my heart. It turns out all the boy needed was an ounce of attention. Of course, that's me judging the situation, but that was my observation.
The retired professor was very educated and pretty much left me in the dust with most of his conversation, but it was definitely a positive experience. lol The hippie with a buzz was quite an experience. He originally came to hit on me, but when he learned that I was happily married, we just had friendly conversation. He's a singer/welder and much to my surprise and delight he belted out a tune for me (and the rest of the passengers for the next...ohhhh 3 cars). He was a riot! I really enjoyed talking to him. He tried on multiple occasions to hit on me, but I made it very clear that I wasn't budging. He told me of his wild life and how he had a 13 year old daughter that he rarely saw. He was a 46 year old man living on the edge, traveling from city to city doing welding jobs and partying his life away. He was surprised that I would talk to him, but honestly, he was quite entertaining even if he was half lit. He talked about how lonley he was and how he just couldn't give up the hippie lifestyle, it was obvious that he longed for someone who cared about him. There were times in the conversation when he spoke in past tense about what his live "could have been". I gently reminded him that his life was still on the table and that he didn't have to commit to the way his life had been. In the grand scheme of things, he has plenty of time to have all that he desires in life. It was sad, it reminded me so much of the many conversations I've had with my brother, in fact he reminded me so much of Jason, and that's probably why it was so easy for me to tolerate him. He was very kind and had many kind words to say about that.

As we came in to Dallas and our conversation ended he told me about some of his exciting travels and how he had done SOOOO much that most people had never dreamed of doing...he had stories of playing guitar on the Eifel Tower and playing music for change in the subways of Paris, and how exciting and adventurous his life really was. And then he lowered his sunglasses and told me that of all the travels and adventures, he still envied me, because I had love. It was touching, it really made me think about how wonderful my life is, and how lucky I am to have love, and a husband who works so hard for his family. I really feel like the luckiest person in the world. I have just enough troubles to make me appreciate what I have, but never too many to handle.

Before I got off the train, the writter sitting behind me handed me a note. Apparently, he had been listening to our entire conversation. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I am flattered. Here is what he wrote:

Finally, the chance glance, I was awaiting.
Though my identitiy is conceiled by an aloof space.
I'll believe, because of need,
that even space small and glance fast, our eyes were mating.
Now I just heard her voice, a beautiful tone, with the perfect touch of sweet Southern Drawl.
My quick fleeting scenario, fills me warmly, but I know has to end soon.
She commands such cruel beauty in sincerity, look and speech.
I don't have to take all the blame, do I?
These midafternoon dreams just seem to happen in July or June.
Oh, just another thing to add to the wonderful torture.
She is fairly close to perfect, 'cause she loves her husband and her daughter.
What is saving grace to what would be disaterous fantasy is that she is real and right, and makes all her airspace feel good.
Which thank the lord, saves this author test of his vanity.

Jamie, this was written for you because you deserve it, and has done me well,
Just to hear you speak. It also revives my hope there still could be one out there for me.
Thank you, Jim

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Live Simple

This is my new goal. To live Simple. I'm learning.

I want to take the amazing opportunity of being at home with my family and do something meaningful with it. I love taking care of the home, cooking meals and making everyone in my family feel less stressed, but I want to do more. I want to teach my children, my husband and myself how to live simply. I don't know exactly where I'm going with this, but I know it's important. I want them to be less dependant upon "stuff", and more in tune with themselves and the world around them. I want to teach them where the water we drink comes from, how the food gets to our table, and how we can do our part to use less of everything without sacrificing anything. I want them to be aware that although getting a good education, and finding a good job are important things that they will need to do, they need to remember to enjoy their lives and not get wrapped up making and spending money. Life is too short and it's so easy to get caught up in going through the motions of making and spending that we forget what it's all about. I'm not even exactly sure HOW I will go about teaching them, since I'm learning too, but I know I can do it.

While I don't plan on limiting TV time at home, I hope that by posting this on the fridge and talking about it often, the kids will choose some of the items listed on their own. Mark will laugh, but that's ok. :)

There are many alternatives to television.
Read a book. Go to the cinema. Watch a play or musical. Write a letter. Go for a walk. Pick up litter. Call a friend. Sing. Pursue your hobby. Bowl. Write a poem. Clean your drawers. Take a class. Floss. Plan a trip. Exercise. State your dream. Volunteer. Dance.

Ride a bicyle. Paint a picture. Teach someone to read. Learn Spanish. Look out the window. Go to the library. Visit a neighbor. Do your dishes. Fix a broken item. Learn improvisational comedy.

Visit an art museum. Volunteer at your local humane society and spend time with animals. Go ice skating. Compose a song. Eat a good breakfast. Test the smoke detector. Sort your old photographs. Take your unwanted newspapers and magazines to someone who would like them or to recycling. Fish.

Satisfy your craving for "reality programming" by going out in the "real world." Trace your geneology. Rearrange the furniture. Help someone build a house. Jump on the bed. Get your cholesterol checked. Visit a new restaurant. Volunteer to clean up a city park. Do the laundry. Bake a pie.

Laugh at commuters. Save whales. Brush your teeth. Remember what your mother told you. Write a poem.

Take up a new hobby. Walk along the seashore, lakeshore, desert, mountains, or parking lot. Test your strength. Ride the bus. Talk to your cat. Save big money at Menard's. Plant a garden. Talk with someone. Hoe the garden. Take a bath.

Balance your checkbook. Coin a term. Found a literary movement. Chop wood. Change your mind. Mow the grass. Do the macarena. Write a manifesto.

Choose your long distance carrier. Tie your shoes. Comb your hair. Clean the windows. Take a five. Go for broke. Inventory. Make an appointment for dental care. Take your pills. Attend a festival. Dance the night away. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Play ping-pong. Take photos. Chase rainbows. Chase Manhattan. Chase Chevy Chase. Paint the town.

Settle old bets. Change a diaper that needs changing. Change a bill if you need some coins. Keep an appointment.

Finish that book you've been reading. Toil in obscurity. Learn a new language. Lower your cholesterol somehow. Escape to Wisconsin. Find a pin and pick it up.

Herd cats. Jump like a bunny. Collate papers. Sharpen the pencils.

Try walking up the stairs. Tell someone that I love you. Don't spread rumors. Tell someone that you love them.

Lose weight naturally.

Go to a planetarium. Teach a class.

Take a shower. Take another look around.

Behold the power of cheese.

Minister to the sick. Visit the aged. Treasure the moments. Appreciate the veterans.

Pursue art for Art's sake. Tune a guitar. Walk a dog. Mend a fence.

Clean your plate. Renounce your secret admiration of Kenny G. Fall in love.

Learn line dancing. Eat all you wish. Shake hands with your neighbor. Clean your room. If you need a penny, take a penny. Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Don't covet your neighbor's wife. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Go downtown, where all the lights are bright. Use the Web site or call the 800 number for more information. Shoot the moon. Shoot the rapids.

Memorize a sonnet. Can vegetables. Stoke the furnace. Pay the piper. Sort the mail. Find buried treasure. Shower before entering the pool. Listen to a symphony. Sort your CDs. Remember that all funds are subject to loss. Call me sometime. Rinse. Repeat.

Finish your salad. Don't litter.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Trip to visit Daddy

We got to visit daddy this past week, and it was sooooo good to see him. I forgot how sweet he smells and how amazing his hugs can be. He had to work most of the time we were there, but we did get to spend some good time together. We went to visit Uncle David, Aunt Cara and baby Keller. The first night, David, Cara, Mark and I went out for dinner and drinks and had SUCH a great time together. We got back to the hotel about 12:30, and crashed. The kids woke up the next morning at 11:45. That has got to be an all time record. It was heavenly. We spent our last day hanging out by David and Cara's pool, and enjoying our time with Baby Keller. Mark showed up later for BBQ and once again we had a really nice time. Our visit was short, but soooo nice.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Where oh where has my baby gone

Ok the past week has been a blur, busy, fun but a blur. Mark is out of town and will be for up to 3 weeks and we miss him oh so much. We made a trip to Nana and Big Daddy's to see David, Cara and baby Keller. Wow, Keller has changed so much. I am SO in love with this precious boy! Is is absolutely irresistable! I took so many pictures while we were thaere. I so wish they were closer so that I could be more a part of his life, but I will make do with what I have and do what I can. He is soooo sweet.

My love is in Dallas, and I miss him so much. It's so strange without him. I feel like a big ol piece of me is just not here. I talk to him multiple times a day and that certainly helps, but it sure doesn't replace his presence. Everything is just "off" without him. I'm up in the air on when I'll be able to go visit. Monday I'll be going in to work for a little bit and maybe Tuesday as well. I have a get together with some friends on Wednesday and really don't want to miss it, but I might have to. I know that I need to be back in town by Saturday so that Ash can make her flight to Alabama and that sure doesn't leave much time to go see my hubby. We'll see. By the time Tuesday rolls around I may not be able to stand being without him and there will be no question.

Kids are ready for bed, I better get off the puter for now.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm HOME!!!

It's official! I started my new job! I have 3 bosses, Ashley, Alex and Mark. They are very demanding, but the pay is EXCELLENT. ;) I'll update with details of my new job when I get the chance.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


It's hard to believe I'm on the home stretch! Just one more week and I will OFFICIALLY be a Stay at Home Mom once again!!!!!!! I'm so anxious! They are sure making me work for it though, this has been one of the most stressful times I've had at this job. We're having to do a project in Microstation, which is HORRIBLY difficult to learn. I have really come so far in learning all that I have, but this program really does require training. It's the least user friendly CAD program I have EVER experienced. It SUCKS! I'm pulling my hair out trying to get my work done. Sadly enough, I know the program more than anyone in the office, so when I leave, I feel for these people, they're not going to be happy. Oh well. I will be at home enjoying my summer with my two favorite little people and that's all that I can think about right now.

Today Mark and I are going to the new house to work, while Paula and Brian have the kids. They just called and asked if the kids could spend the night. Hmmm, let me think.....YES!! Brian and Paula are two of the kindest people I have ever met. I'm just blown away at how lucky we all are to have them in our lives. They would give the shirt off their back to a complete stranger if they new it could make a difference. We're both off to get haircuts and then to the house to work. Can't wait until it's finally OURS!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

4 going on 16

Yesterday Alex spent more time in front of the mirror than he has in his entire 4 years of life. He has a sudden fascination with fixing his hair. He refuses to use a normal full size brush, instead he uses daddy's tiny beard trimming comb. He combs and combs and combs until it's juuuust right (whatever that is). Yesterday he got a little TOOO in to his hair and decided to TRIM a spot. Here he is sporting his new "Do" 100% by Alex:

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer Happenings

I am having SUCH a hard time updating lately. I will do my best to make up for the past few months in this post.

It's already the END OF JUNE! How did this happen??

Miss Ash got out of school on May 28th, and within two days we were on our first vacation of the summer. We met Nana and Big Daddy in Tulsa where we spent one night at a local casino. The next morning we made the two hour trek to Arakansas where we spent the next 4 days in the gorgeous Ozark mountains at Devils Den State Park. It was one of the best vacations we've had together. We spent a lot of time just being 'together'. We fished and hiked, rented a paddle boat and a few canoes, played catch, and spent some time inside the cabin just hanging out playing games. Alex learned to cast a full size fishing pole, and is a PRO at it now. (I actually think he can cast farther than me) They caught several fish between the two of them, and on the last day we were there, they both caught a huge snapping turtle. It was at least 2 feet long with a huge fat tail and long creepy claws. The look on their faces when their poles bent in half was priceless! Alex caught him first, and within minutes Ash caught him, and then a few minutes later he was BACK on Ashley's line again. This was clearly not a very bright turtle. It sure did make for some good stories though. Alex's first day back at school, he elaborately told his turtle story while all of his little friends listened with wide eyes. It was adorable!
Our trip was rejuvenating to say the least. We've decided that Devils Den will be a regular spot for us. I'd really love to make it a family reunion spot for both of our families, especially since it's so close to Grannie Frannie and Papa Jack.

The following week Ashley, Savannah and Kell went to spend the week with Nana and Big Daddy at the lake. During the day, they attended a nature camp and in the evenings they were able to spend time with Nana and Big Daddy. They had so much fun that week, I don't think they were ready to come home when they did.
The next week Ash attended Dr. John's Sports Center Camp, and of course Savannah and Kell were signed up too. They did all sorts of fun activities and are anxious to go back in a few weeks.

Mark and I have spent a lot of time getting our house in shape to sell. We've decluttered a LOT and have even taken quite a few loads over to the new house. We spent last Saturday trimming the trees at the new house. HOLY SCHMOLLY that was a lot of work, we spent about 6 hours trimming and we're not even half done. I guess that's the price you pay for having such beautiful trees!
We put our house on the market this past Saturday and had a showing on Wed., Thursday, and one more today. I have such mixed feelings right now. I am so thrilled to be able to move in to such a wonderful house so close to mom and to be able to stay home again, but this house is home, and I just can't imagine not living here. The kids have so many friends on our little street, I will miss sitting on the front porch watching them play together. I took some video of them all piled up in Alex's Gator riding down the street squirting their water guns at the invisible bad guys. It was so precious. I just hope we can capture those memories forever.
Despite what we are leaving, we are moving to something wonderful. The choice we have made is a good one, and I know that. That Gator will now drive down the street to moms, and I will be able to sit on the porch and watch more now than ever because I will be where I should be, at home. I'm so anxious to get back home. I really feel that I belong there. Two parents working full time jobs, with children of any age, is just too much stress on a family. We deserve more, our kids deserve more. And I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to do exactly what I want.

This weekend we're going to visit Nana and Big Daddy FINALLY!! With all that we have going on this summer this may be the only opportunity that we have to spend some time with them. We JUST bought the brand new Jet Ski, and poor Mark has been chomping at the bit to get out on it. I doubt I'll see much of him this weekend. lol

Last night the kids and I went with Brian, Paula, Kell, and Savannah to a Round Rock Express game. Mark had already planned a poker game at the house so he wasn't able to come. The weather was great, we had a nice breeze and it wasn't too hot. The kids really had a good time. It was really all about the food and friends. They had hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jacks, cotton candy and soda. I don't think they even watched a full minute of the game! Hehe! That's ok though, it was all about having fun. Paula is so sweet, she had all the kids over to spend the night last night, including Alex. His FIRST sleepover. It amazes me how well the girls and Alex get along, despite the 5 year age gap. Those girls just love him to pieces.

That was the past month in a nutshell. I will try to post picutres in my down time this weekend at Dads.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm an AUNT!!!

My precious, sweet, adorable nephew was born on Saturday!

Keller Rocket Rogers
7 lbs 15 oz
21 3/4"

Here are some pictures of our newest buddy:

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I'm so excited! I just got a call from Ruthie. David called, and Cara thinks her water broke. They are on their way to the hospital now. As soon as we find out that she's for sure in labor, we're heading to Dallas!! I can't wait to meet my first nephew!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Never growin up!

Alex stayed home from school with me yesterday and today. Yesterday he had a sore throat, and a low fever, and today he was probably ok to go to school, but we went ahead and stayed home anyway. We really have had such a wonderful time together. I sure miss being with him all day, and I think somewhere inside him, he does too. On our way home from the bank today Alex tells me (once again) how he never wants to grow up. He wants to always be a kid. He doesn't want to be tall, and he never wants to move away from our house. Then he says
"Momma, someone needs to take a picture of you."
Momma: Really? Why is that?
Alex: "So when I grow up and I'm not with you I can look at you when I think of you and when I miss you."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Silly lil Alex qoutes

We were visiting dad last weekend when Buddy decided to show Alex who was dominant in the little guy world. I never actually saw the incident, but Alex told me alllll I needed to hear... In a little Alex laughing voice "MOMMA, MOMMA, aww, Buddy was hugging my leg like a little child."

At dinner the other night Alex was horrible. Bouncing all over the place, not eating, same old Alex as usual, but worse. Daddy had been pushed over the edge (as was I) "ALEX, SIT STILL AND EAT, NOOOOWWWW I'M TIRED OF IT!" Alex put on his pouty face and says in a weepy voice, "but I can't help it Daddy, my body is just wild."

Same dinner..."Momma, what's a manager?" (From watching Spongebob) I gave my best definition and Ash responds with "Alex, you know daddy is a manager?" Alex: "!Oh Cool....does that mean momma is a girl-ager?"

Spring is in the air!

Wow what a gorgeous weekend it was! Now I'm starting to remember why I'm so much happier during the sunny months. I forgot what it was like to enjoy the outdoors. Mark and I did yard work all day Saturday, he planted 4 O'leander bushes outside the kitchen window in the side yard. It will be so much nicer to sit at the kitchen table and see more than the neighbors red brick. It will also give us a little more privacy, from their two windows that face our house. He also planted a Mountain Laurel. Yippeee! I finally got a Mountain Laurel (or two)! I've been wanting to plant one since before we ever moved in. Those suckers are expensive! 5 gal. for $25! It will be worth it though. I just LOVE the blooms that come in the spring. I'm hoping we'll get to see a few within the next couple of weeks, but I'm not counting on it this year. Steve is in town for the week, and David and Cara were in town for the weekend. It's so nice to have family over. The kids just LOVE when their uncles come to visit. Looks like David and Cara MAY have come up with a name for my new nephew who will be here in just 3 short months. They might have taken Blaze off the list (no comment- until after this baby is named!) and replaced it with Keller Rocket. David is a nut. I get the feeling that once this baby starts to live up to his name, they're going to wish they named him something more like Keller Devine, or Kellar Sleepswell. That's ok, no matter what they name him, he WILL take after David and keep them on their toes indefinitely, much to Dad and Ruthie's delight. :)

On the Urben kidfront...Ashley is on Spring Break all week, (nice coincidence that uncle Steve is in town) and will be going camping with Ciara on Thursday. No big plans other than that. I'm hoping to get a day off, maybe Wednesday, to spend with her. I'll probably take Alex to school late and just hang out with my girl.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Cluck Cluck

In 21 days we will have peeps! I can't believe how excited I am about this, maybe it's just that motherly instinct kicking in, whatever it is, I'm loosing my mind. Ashley is on her way home from Lockhart with chicken eggs that we will be incubating for the next 21 days. Ashley's good friend Kelly just finished her first batch of eggs, but unfortunately none hatched. I've been doing a lot of research and have learned so much about this stuff. It's really quite fascinating. We started out with a big plastic storage container, but the more I read, the more I realized that it might not be insulated enough to maintain a proper temperature so we decided to get a foam ice chest instead. Mark cut a hole in the side and we stuck a 25 watt bulb in. This worked great, but the temperature kept climbing and the only way to drop the temp. was to vent the top, but venting the top allowed the humidity to escape. After toying with several different ideas...most of which were a bit on the pricey side, Mark came up with the idea of wiring a dimmer to the bulb. He bought the $3.00 dimmer, wired it up and VOILA! It works like a charm. It's exactly what we needed to get the temperature just right. I hope this works!!! When the peeps hatch, we'll probably keep them for a few days and then take them back to the farm. Oh how I wish we lived in the country and could have a chicken coop! How fun! I will post incubator pics. when Ash gets home with the camera. :)

Happy Day for Alex

Alex's teacher sent a note home the other day. It reads:

Mark & Jamie,

Just wanted to let you know how proud I was of Alex today. Over the weekend I purchased new games and activities for our class and Alex was the only one to give me a hug and say THANK YOU for bringing us all the new stuff. You have a great kid!

Happy Day :)

We stopped at Walgreens on the way home and Alex got to pick out a special treat for making Ms. Jane's "heart feel warm". :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Valentines Cake

Chilled Plum

Don't worry, in 8-10 washes we'll have our little girl back. :)

Cruel joke?

Alex is recovering from the flu, he's back to his normal self only with a little cabin fever. He's been cooped up since Thursday and needs to run around sooooo bad. Unfortunately, the rest of us have come down with it. What a JOKE. We all just want to lay in bed and rest, and Alex is bouncing off the walls. Poor guy. He's ready to get back to normal and we'd like to have that lazy boy back for just a little bit longer. If we could we'd ship him off for a few days so we can sleep, but unfortunately, he still has a low grade fever, which means he's still contagious. We really need to get some Tamiflu in us since it only works if you start it within the first 48 hours, but it's Sunday and the only place we can go is either the Urgent Care Center, or the ER. Urgent Care would be $50 each, plus the prescription, which was $40 for Alex. That would put us out $270 for the three of us! We just can't do that right now. I will probably call in a script for Ash first thing in the morning and hope we get her started on the meds soon enough to catch it. I wonder if getting the flu shot would have prevented this. Who knows. Next year we're definitely getting them.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Sick lil buddy

I took Alex to the Dr. yesterday after realizing that he had every symptom of the flu. Sure enough, his test was positive. Thankfully we caught it in time to start Tamiflu. He threw up the first batch yesterday, but today he was able to keep it in his system. He's feeling much, much better right now, but still doesn't have much energy. He's eating a grilled cheese sandwich and asking for more, so that's a good sign. I'm starting to feel pretty yucky, but crossing my fingers that it's just the high molds.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update on us

Gosh, where does the time go!? If I could find a way to bottle time and sell it I would be a gazillion-aire. Lets see, what's happened in the last month...Grandaddy got out of the hospital and is doing ok. He's still not able to walk on his own yet, and he's still having to use his feeding tube, but his spirits are much better now that he's back at home. Mom has her work cut out for her, I wish there was more I could do to help.

I put in my 2 weeks notice at my job last Monday, sent out some resumes and then after a 3 hour "meeting" with the boss man and his wife, decided to stick it out and see if things could change. So far so good, it's amazing what a little communication can do. So much has changed. I just can't imagine getting a job clear across town, having to be there at 8 am, and not getting off until 5. Putting me out the door no later than 7 am and home no earlier than 5:45. That is not appealing. Not to mention the fact that I can go home for lunch, pick up Ash from school and take her home everyday, and attend school functions when I can. That is so hard to give up, I figure it's worth trying to work things out. And if it doesn't work out, I can move on. Ironically enough, after I decided to stay, I received 4 phone calls for interviews.

Ashley participated in her 2nd spelling bee she finished 8th out of 67 kids. Big Daddy and pops both came, Ashley was very surprised to see them. She was determined to win, so there was some disappointment, but nothing more than a little healthy competitiveness.

Alex is trucking along just fine at preschool. He still loves getting up and going everyday. He is surrounded by caregivers who truly love to care for children, and that has made a major impact on his attitude about school. Valentines Day is coming up and we're making out his very first Valentine Cards. I bought him cards yesterday and when I brought them home to show him he had no idea what they were. It never even occurred to me that I needed to teach him about Valentines Day! lol
I am home with him today, he woke up in the night throwing up and had a pretty high fever. He's not sick to his stomach today, but still feeling pretty lousy. He's pretty achy. I'm crossing my fingers that this isn't the flu.

Mark has been such a dream through all of my work troubles. He is just amazing. Our relationship continues to grow everyday, as we get closer and closer. He is the best friend I've ever had and he teaches me so much without even realizing it. I still feel like the luckiest person in the world to have found this amazing love.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blog, what's that?

Yeah, so life is a little crazy with the two of us working, finding time to Blog is next to impossible.

Granddaddy just got out of the hospital, he's doing fine right now, but suffered a broken hip and had to undergo surgery last week. The surgery weakened him and caused his Parkinsons to worsen, which is hopefully temporary. The parkinsons is affecting his abilty to swallow right now, and he is unable to swallow anything without aspirating, so they put a feeding tube in to his stomach. He's doing well with it. We are all hopeful that he will gain his strength back and be able get back to normal.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Children's Garden

Alex finally started at his new school yesterday, and he did super! The director noticed that he was reluctant to let me leave him on the playground so she came over and asked him to be her helper with breakfast in the kitchen. He was more than willing to go be her helper and even cracked a smile as he said by to me. :) I called later and they let me know that he was doing fine and had eaten a good lunch. When I picked him up he told me that he really likes his new school and that he had a lot of fun. I was pleasantly surprised to find a note from his teacher in his cubby. It was very thoughtful of her to tell me about his day and really put my mind at ease. :) Today was pretty good too, although there were some tears as I left. I called at 10:30 and they said he was doing fine and stopped crying shortly after I left. The two times I have called up there, they know exactly who I am and can instantly tell me all about who he was playing with, how his day is going, etc. That makes me feel so confident that he's getting the care he deserves.
I got a phone call from them today at about 12:30, I was worried when I saw their number on my caller ID, ususally a phone call means that he's either sick, or upset, it was his teacher calling to tell me that he was still doing good, had eaten a good lunch and was sleeping soundly. :) Ahhhh, I feel like I can finally RELAX a little, he's in good hands.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


WHAT A GAME!! Vince, you are my hero. :)

Report Cards

Miss Ashley has done it yet again. Her report card came home with straight A's today! We are so proud of our girl! Way to go Ashley!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy Retirement Big Daddy!!!

This was all Ashley's idea.

We love you and wish you all the best go fishin already!

Alex-isms updated

I added a few Alex-isms tonight:


Monday, January 02, 2006

Reverse Psychology?

Our everyday eat-your-dinner battle has reached a new level. We've tried just about anything and everything to get Alex to eat his dinner, to the point of giving him a standing ovation for each bite taken, that didn't work and neither did bribery, which is our last resort catch all. Tonight we took it to a new level. I was talking to Mark about positive reinforcement and how that's the thing to do these days. We chuckled about how grateful we'd be to get the opportunity to give him positive reinforcement, but that he actually had to do something positive first. lol I decided that I would dupe him in to some reverse psychology by praising him for taking a bite even when he didn't. So I praise him, he gives me a funny look, but remarkably, he responds and takes a bit. Wooohoooo! We're on to something here. So I can't just take my winnings and leave the table, I have to have more, so in a weak moment when he's on his knees playing in his chair I continue the lying mommy's version of positve reinforcement and tell him how proud I am at how good he's being by staying on his bottom and eating so well. He responds by saying "but momma I was doing this..." and he stands up on his knees to demonstrate his poor behavior. By the end of his demonstration Mark and I are holding our guts laughing out loud. Turns out we're the ones that got duped. The lying mommy's version of positive reinforcement is a crock. I guess that's why I've never actually been given this advice and why it's not published in any child rearing books. One thing the lying mommy's version of positive reinforcement did do was provide a pleasant dinner. When that didn't work, I decided to use it on Mark instead. "Mark, thank you so much for cleaning up after dinner" didn't work too well either. ;)


Happy New Year! It's hard to belive it's already 2006, it's a bittersweet year, chock full of changes and new beginnings, and we're only a few days in to it. The year that my baby girl will turn 10 and enter the era of double didgets and everything else that goes along with it. My baby boy will turn 5. He will have to use an entire hand to tell his age, and coordinating his little fingers in to small numbers will be a thing of the past. This year my dad will enter the retirement years and my brother will have his first baby and enter the world of parenthood. 2006 is going to be a very big year in our family. A year to be thankful for, a year to open our doors to and welcome with a smile. Clearly, we will all have big resolutions for the new year. As for me, I'm going to enjoy my family more than ever this year, and appreciate the little things a little more. Keep in touch with family a little better, maybe send out Birthday cards for once in my life, and try to do the little things that I know mean so much. I'm going to smile more, think more and play more. Most of all, I'm going to work on being a supportive wife, listening mom, caring daughter and supportive friend.