Monday, January 31, 2011

reading with bryce

bryce and i really love to read together. he is learning to read himself now and thinks it so fun when he recognizes words or can stop and sound out words on his own.

each night we read two books together after the babies go to bed. it is such a sweet time. he gets to pick one book and i get to pick one book. he usually picks his childrens bible that he got from preschool last year. i pick something silly.
my mom and dad saved ALL of my books from when i was little. ALL OF THEM.
we have quite the book collection over here....because i was always quite the worm.
my favorites were the sesame street ernie gets lost and grovers bad awful day. i still have my wheres waldos books (which bryce and justin love to do together) and all the dr. suess books and so many others.
my mom had me write my name and phone number in all my books. this is hilarious to me. like...if someone found my book were they really going to call me to return it? probably not. but so still cute that she had me do it. written in the front of many of them is my name and the year i received the book.
one of the BEST books we dug out the other day was this...

i so so so love these amelia bedelia books! what a silly lady!! did anybody else read these??
and what do you know??? the first page had this written inside :)

Now Brody LOVES to read too. ALL DAY. He gets a book (his books are in a special box...they have pages that cannot be ripped...he still gets excited lol) and plows me over so he can sit on my lap. I can be in the middle of a million things and he will just plop his booty on down. He loves books with pictures of animals. He likes to make their noises and if there is EVER a kitty on the page....he kisses it.
i am looking forward to so many more years of reading to my cute boys. i love how they slow me down.

Friday, January 28, 2011

phone pics

Here is a recap of fun things from my phone over the last couple weeks :)
We got a kinect....and dance party is the Seriously! It is hilarious and silly and such a fun workout!!
Such fun competitiveness!!
We got to wear our pjs to preschool last week for polar express day! I snuck over and grabbed this little fatty out of his class for some fun while my kiddos were outside!
Brody is cool. He wears his sunglasses at night.
Justin got us tickets to the MONSTER JAM! We were front and center! Thanks Toyota :)
Bryce has the TIME OF HIS LIFE! We got a sitter for the it was just us and him! His fave truck of the day was the ninja turtle!!! We had such a blast.
While I was in the little boys were doing this. Weirdos.

and here is one i stole from a friend! i love my job. i love that we got to wear our pajamas to work...and i LOVE that i get to work with the most fun and awesome and God fearing women in the UNIVERSE!!!

dirty laundry

I have a "laundry system" works for me. It is extremely scientific...NOT. I do 4 loads and let it pile up on the laundry room floor until each load makes it out of the dryer. Then I put the boys down for a nap and busy Bryce with some "important project" (like painting shoe boxes or something else time consuming and messy). I put on one of my shows (too embarrassing to name) and get to folding. Every person gets a section of the living room....they get separate piles for underwear, pants, pjs, hanging up shirts, etc. Then when everything is folded...I put away the clothes in order from oldest person to youngest person. I specifucally do this chore in the living room so I can watch TV
so that I will not leave the job undone. I cannot handle clothes on the floor in the living doing it here forces me to finish.

So who the heck cares how I do my laundry?? Nobody. BUT the reason I chose to share this is because while I am doing this chore I really am reminded of how blessed I am.
I get to fold all these tiny little blue jeans. I love them. I love the fat chubby Braxton legs that go into the jeans. I love the tiny Brody hiney that goes into the jeans. I love the holes that my precious Bryce rips in the knees of all his jeans. I love the big handsome daddy that changes clothes more times than me in a day and has more laundry than everyone :) I love the super cozy pajamas that keep my babies warm at night. I love the treasures I find in the pockets. I love the acorns and hot wheels and work nametags that fall out when I begin to sort.
As I make each precious boy (and mans) pile...I pray over that pile. And no...I am not praying over the handsome clothes that I love to buy them :) I pray for each man in my family that I love so much. I even pause (too embarrassing to name) my show and really praise God for giving me the opportunity to bless these men. These little baby boys that will become men and this man that I often feel completely undeserving of.
I love/hate this chore. I hate it for the obvious reasons....and the repetitive-ness of it. But I so so so truly love it. I love the reminder it brings. I love seeing the tiny mismatched socks and getting the opportunity to quietly thank my savior for His gifts.
Amen for dirty laundry!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Justin is so pleased to announce that he finally got his daughter...

Lucy McElhannon was born Christmas Day (we made this up because she was actually sadly found by our sweet friends on the side of the we decided she deserved a fancy made up birthday). We have had her for about 2 weeks now and things are going great.
Our long time friends are thinking WTH??
We have tried with pets is a rundown on that.
Lacy - Maltese/mutt. Our very first dog. We bought her on our second date. When she was 6 months old...she ran into the street and was hit by a car. She lived. We bought her a new butt. She was never able to be potty trained again. Put her on craigslist. Yeah...we did that.
Turtle - Chocolate Lab. Ate a set of patio furniture. Ate a swing set. Ate three garden hoses. Ate our fence and swam in our neighbors pool. Ate the rain gutter. Ate the siding on the house. Went to live on a farm. Really....a friends farm.
Louis - Kitty. He had a leaky butt. His poop came out all day and night. Justin got rid of him the day after our honeymoon. I still do not know the truth on where exactly Louis went.
Panda - mutt from the adoption place. She wouldnt get in the car and wouldnt let me put her in the 15 minutes later I returned her to the adoption place.
Noodle - Black Lab. Our favorite dog of all the above mentioned. When we moved from the "country" to the "burbs" he was confused. He left and never came back :( Bryce still looks for him. (it has been over a year)

SO...if you are thinking we should NEVER be allowed to have another pet are probably right. BUT we have this sweet baby blue heeler that so badly needed someone to love her. We are determined to make it happen this time! We got her a kennel (thanks to a sweet friend) and we are having so much fun with her! The boys love playing with her....but they will surely be glad when those sharp puppy teeth go away.

So prayers and encouragement and tips on how to have the perfect puppy are always welcomed :)



1. Do you wear glasses or contacts, if so for how long?
i wore contacts all through high school. i cant handle them...i always leave them in too long and well...that is bad. i have glasses and i can see wonderfully in them. but i have probably only remembered to wear them once in the past year.
2. What was your favorite board game as a kid?
i LOVED playing LIFE! or checkers with my daddy :)
3. What is a word that you use all the time?
i generally talk a LOT. so i use ALL words often.
4. What is your favorite day of the week?
sunday! i get to see all my friends at church or sunday school and then get to spend the rest of the day with my cute family.
5. Did you graduate high school from the town you grew up in?
yup. born and raised in good ol H-town.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

hoot and a recipe


1. Do you use an alarm clock or some device to wake you up, or do you wake up on your own?
on tues/thurs i have to use an alarm to wake up at 6 to get ready for preschool but the rest of the days i wake up when braxton wakes up...which is between 7:30 and 8:30.
2. If you could go on any game show, which won would you choose?
do game shows still come on? if price is right is still on then i pick that. not are you smarter than a 5th grader...because i think i am not lol
3. Do you prefer the weather to be hot or cold?
HOT. I HATE the cold. every second of it. i heart summer. i like shorts.
4.What color of clothing do you wear the most?
black and purple
5. What is your favorite color?
pink sweet friend April shared some recipes with me. I needed to spice things up in the kitchen! Here is what we had last night!
round steak (cut into small pieces)
onion (i didnt add this because i dont like onions)
1 or 2 cans of hot green chile
1 can beef broth (i used about 3/4of the can)
1 can water (i used about 3/4 of the can)
1 can rotel (i used hot)
salt and pepper to taste
2 large potatoes cut into small pieces
Brown the meat slowly, add in all the other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender. I cooked it on medium and then let it simmer on low for a while.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a little HOO and some 5Q


1. Are you fond of cooking?
um well i have my moments. i like to cook...but i dont LOVE it. its not like relaxing for me or anything. i really prefer cooking when what i make is delicious. if what i made was a flop...then i hated making it lol
2. What kind of food do you prefer eating when you are out?
we love mexican food! it is also the best place to take our kids. they can put down some mexican food...for real!
3. Which do you prefer, sweet or salty?
salty for sure. i will put salt on my salt.
4. Where is the last place you ate out at?
i had yardhouse last night! yum!! 13 fun girls celebrating birthdays!
5. What's for dinner tonight?
its taco night!!

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
steel magnolias...but every southern girl says that right?!

2. What's your biggest pet peeve right now?
CEDAR! i have NEVER had worse allergies in my whole entire life :(

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
five words is simply NOT enough

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
i am changing this question to if you didnt have to worry about your kids what would you do? well i would be a wedding planner or a missionary. lol...those should not be listed in the same sentence.

5. What is your one "splurge" item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?
shoes. i love love love shoes.


Once there was a tree..... and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree.......very much. And the tree was happy.

But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said "Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy"

"I am too big to climb and play", said the boy. "I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?" "I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money, I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy." And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time.. and the tree was sad. And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy." "I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy. "I want a house to keep me warm," he said. "I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?" "I have no house," said the tree. "The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy." And the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak. "Come, Boy," she whispered, "come and play." "I am too old and sad to play," said the boy. "I want a boat that take me far away from here. Can you give me a boat?" "Cut down my trunk and make a boat," said the tree. "Then you can sail away...... and be happy." And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away. And the tree was happy....

but not really. And after a long time the boy came back again. "I am sorry, Boy," said the tree,

"but I have nothing left to give you----" "My apples are gone." "My teeth are too weak for apples," said the boy. "My branches are gone," said the tree. "You cannot swing on them------" "I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy. "My trunk is gone," said the tree. "You cannot climb--------" "I am too tired to climb," said the boy. "I am sorry," sighed the tree. "I wish that I could give you something------ but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump." "I don't need very much now," said the boy. "just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired." "Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did. And the tree was happy.

© Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

today i am thankful for...

1. My health. I thank God every single day for it. I am brought to my knees far too often in prayer for friends dealing with health issues. His plan is so big and so great that at the time...we often just flat out do not understand it. He does. He knows. He really has a plan for all of us. I am constantly reminded of His grace. He touches us during hard times. He is there for us each and every step of the way. I have had to lean on Him during some hard times and I know there are others that have had to lean on Him much harder. I try and remind myself that He is so much bigger than the "right now" so much. I am thankful to have "bad" days. And even more thankful for the good ones. I am so proud to serve a God that is all knowing. I am humbled constantly.

2. Braxton. Big fat baby Braxton. He had his 1 year check up today (finally) and is growing STRONG! He is in the 90th percentile for height and weight. He wears the same size clothes as Brody. He is hilarious. Fat and funny. He eats like a horse. Everything is so funny to him...he loves to give kisses. Big fat sloppy slobbery delicious ones!
3. Marriage Mentoring. If you are not signed should be. I dont even have to words to express how powerful and life changing it is. Our mentors are our family. They love us and encourage us and laugh with us. They are our biggest cheerleaders.
4. My family. No explanation necessary.
5. Hot Tamales. Yeah...I said that. Not to be compared to my number one on the list. But...they make me happy. A lot happy. Almost as happy as a skinny cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks. Almost.
6. The Bible. I am so thankful for the perfect scripture that is available to make sense out of any situation. I am so thankful for the truth it provides. It has every answer inside. Every. Single. Answer.
7. My bed. Which is where I am headed now. Bring it on preschool...I will be ready for you tomorrow!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

hooo are you...saturday!


1. Did you make any New Year's Revolutions?
not so much.
a cleaner house = a more boring house. losing weight = i would have to buy smaller pants (not interested lol). saving more money = justin worries about that.
2. What are some goals you have for 2011?
having fun with my kids. creating as many fun traditions as possible.
3. What is something that you got for Christmas?
justin mchusband spoiled me! i got some fun shoes and new clothes and a purse/wallet and lots and lots of kisses!
4. Did you see any good movies over the holiday season?
NO. i saw a horrible movie and that is all.
5. Do you do your own taxes or have someone do them for you?
ask justin. i handle kids. he handles money.

The Christmas Letter

So...I am not a Christmas Letter writing kind of girl. Why? Because, I doubt that anyone I love is ever wondering what I am up to :) I pretty much let everyone know...all the time...all year...what the deal is in our household! However, I love Christmas Letters. I love the time and thought that goes into writing them. I love the recap of a year.

This year, I received the best Christmas Letter ever. It was so full of emotion and love. A very very very very special family to me had a loss this past year. One of my very best friends (since like 6th grade) lost his mom. I knew exactly how he felt...but I still did not have the words for him. I got in my car and drove straight to see him....but still didnt have the perfect hug to give or the sentence of a lifetime to make all his worries disappear. All I can ever say to him is "i know"....and "i am sorry" ---- i digress
His mom always wrote a Christmas Letter. Every single year. This year....his dad wrote it. Wow. Did I ever lose it. I straight up...flat out...hands down...lost my cool. Cried my big fat face right off. So many reasons....He learned so many things about his wife after she was gone. He recognized the true amazingness of her spirit. (uh huh amazingness is a word...i checked). Not that he ever took her for granted....but when you live with something every single cant help but just see it as the norm. You begin to expect the cheer and joy....but then when it is gone...:(
His words were so perfectly chosen. He never said oh poor me. He just so lovingly described his wife and what he missed the most about her and what he was so thankful for. He expressed how God had so richly blessed their lives.
More and more and more tears.
I thought about the Christmas Letter early this season. I knew I would not be getting one and it made me sad. But I did get one....and it was the best one I have ever received.