Monday, December 20, 2010

It's His Time to Fly

What do you get a boy who has everything? A 15 year old boy at that??
He’s got a cell phone, an I-Touch, a laptop, 4 dirt bikes, every gaming system one could think of and all the video games to boot. The dilemma my parents were faced with was just that.
I guess with us girls it was easier the answer for all the “important” birthdays was jewelry. With boys it is just not that easy.
They looked for an older model truck Joe could tinker with over the next year while he learned to drive, but that was either unsuccessful, or mom and dad just came up with a better idea.

Joe’s birthday present was to fly this…

Amazing I tell you!! He was so excited! He has now decided that he wants to take up flying, in fact, on his Christmas wish list, a Cessna (hate to break the kid’s heart, but that’s not happening).

Houston Skyline, not sure if it was foggy or smoggy :)

Aerial of Joe’s high school, which just so happens to be my old high school too:)

I guess it is just getting time to let him spread his wings and fly!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Power of a Child's Words

We were sitting at the dinner table one night, and the TV was playing in the adjoining room. I am not sure what was on TV before that the kids were watching, but at the time it was the show “Hoarders”. Have you seen it? It is heartbreakingly awful!! There is just no other way to describe it!!

Ok, my point is, this lady was sitting there telling all of God’s creation that she just can not stop shopping. It has gotten to the point that her and her husband can not sleep in there room, heck they can barely walk to it, let alone in it. They were sleeping in recliners, literally the only spot in the house you could see a smidgen of the floor, and any resemblance of furniture was there in the living room where they would retire in the evening.

It is unfathomable to me that people can live in those conditions, however, this lady seemed to want to change, and in fact she expressed it. “I have tried everything, I just don’t know what to do,” and then he said it, “All she has to do is pray, and Jesus will change her heart, her mind and her habits.” Out of the mouth of my sweet eight year old boy was such wisdom and compassion.
As I turned and looked to his face, the expression was priceless; he sat there staring at the TV wondering why this lady hadn’t thought of something so simple and profound at the same time. I fully understand we do not know everything about these families being shown on TV, and that in all honesty the show probably depicts only the worst of the worst that happens the whole time they are taping, but that night, I sat there and knew that at least in AJ’s mind all he ever needs to do is pray.

None of that may seem like any big feat for people out there, but knowing all the struggles and constant changes we are going through in our family, it is so heart warming to know that my child sets his eyes on the Lord to guide him and help him. As a parent doing my best to raise children with strong, true, and not condemning Christian beliefs and values, all I need to see or hear are little moments like that. To know that they are “getting it” They do understand with in their capabilities as young children, the importance we have instilled in them to have a strong, ongoing, and growing relationship with the Lord.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Princess' Party

As usual we have been very busy around here, and unfourtunately the blog has seemed to bear the brunt of it. I do hope that changes very soon!!

I would like to share with you all some of the pictures from the Princess' 2nd annual costume birthday party.

Jenna in her kitty costume:)
Emmy with her bumble bee antenna,

my nephew John as a pirate,

Jenna hitting the pinata

I promise more pictures to come, the computer was acting up last night:(

Plus there will be a very cool post with in the next couple of days, about my very cool brother.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, Columbus Day...

Here where we live, Columbus Day is used for Parent/Teacher Conferences. Joy!! So the week before, the kiddos bring home notes from the teacher dictating when you are to arrive and meet to discuss your child.

I have that child, you know, the one who gets notes sent home everyday. I am fairly certain my phone number is on his teacher’s speed dial! Let’s just say with my two, life always stays interesting.

So I get a note from Jay’s teacher telling me when I am supposed to be there, and another note from AJ’s teacher letting me know that I do not need to meet with her. Super, only one conference!!

I took a late lunch that day to meet with the teacher. Wouldn’t you know, there was something that transpired the Thursday the week before. Hmm. Apparently there was a substitute teacher, and several other students were absent as well (yucky fall Houston-allergy induced crude going around). My child and another boy, although I am certain that Jay was the master mind behind the scheme, decided to sit together, at the wrong table. Therefore, the two of them were actually counted as being absent; while the two children who were the “real” absent ones were marked present. Are you following all of this? Whilst Jay and his buddy were sitting together (which the teacher realized would not work on the first day of school, yes, my child came home with a note for misconduct on the first day of school, was a horrible, bad, awful idea) they raised all kinds of trouble, laughing, giggling, cutting up, talking, you name it, these two were doing it!! Leaving the substitute to do what any good substitute would do, write a note to the teacher.

Upon her return the teacher promptly scolded the two “misbehavers” and proceeded to revoke their recess privileges and used her planning time to call their parents. Umm, one problem, those two were ABSENT the day before!! It almost worked like a charm, Jay almost got away with a perfect plan, except the kids he and his buddy were imposter-ing were very good students and it was very un-like them to misbehave, so the teacher was calling to make sure everything was ok at home, since their behavior at school was so off.

It is sad that I could not bring myself to scold the child too harshly, since it was after all a clever idea, but I did tell him that type of behavior is not acceptable, and you may wind up in jail for impersonating somebody.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Buzy Bees

Oh, as the lazy days of summer have passed us by so quickly, the busy Fall schedule is filling up more and more each day. My calendar in my office once was boring and bare, with only birthdays filled in with black ink.

Today however, as I look at what remains of September, and look forward to October and November, there are green and blue and red notes all over. Bare and boring days with nothing scheduled are becoming scarce. Saturdays are now filled with Baseball practice, I have various work related travel from now through the end of October, Thursdays are filled by High School Football games, Mondays and Tuesdays are now overrun by Baseball games.

We have a very fun extended family weekend planned for the beginning of November, followed by various holiday plans and get-togethers, and that moves us into December, which by the way is already being painted with appointments as I type, Christmas parties, plays, church activities and missions projects.

Oh, did I mention that I am going back to school? Did I mention that my actual job task is changing? Did I mention that we have some very, very, big changes within our family happening as I write? (NO!! There are no new additions to announce!!!)

I accept all the changes and challenges, I know that while there will be adjustments made, He is in charge and He is guiding me through everyday. I will watch and grow as transformations unfold in my life.

PS – Something very, very big is happening this weekend!! I will be back on Sunday to post about that!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The First Day of School 2010

It seems that time of year has rolled around again!!! AJ has started 3rd grade and Jay 2nd. Wow, these boys are getting so big!!

AJ was none too happy about the first day of school. You see he is a bit of a perfectionist, I have no idea where he gets that from, ahem. When tying his shoes the laces all have to be the same length, I mean the bunny ears each have to be the same length, the tails have to be the same length, all four pieces on each shoe has to be the same length! Then they have to be tucked just right into the sides of his shoe. Of course this morning he could not master this feat. Hence the sour look on his face.

He is actually hiding his shoes because he said everyone would laugh at them because they were all uneven!! Oh, if that were my biggest worry! Also any kid that has stared at another's shoes long enough to determine that the laces are all uneven, needs some more work, in my opinion:)

Jay in his futile attempt to make AJ at least crack a smirk, I believe his words were something to the effect of "That's the best you got?" There may have also been some conversation regarding the very stern looks on both their faces in the previous photo, and why they both looked like they were ready to fight!

The best of the three, please excuse the quality, I was using my phone!!

What first day trials did you have with your kids this week? Was everything a piece of cake, or crazy chaos? What do you do to help make the mornings easier?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Cake

Ok, so a while back, I posted about making fondant from scratch - kind of. Here is what I made the fondant for.

The ingredients used:)
First I started by greasing and flour-ing the pans.
It was getting kinda hectic by this point I had a few kids hopped up on a marshmallow high, so the Pictures started to take a back seat to the chaos going on. As I recall there were also several other neighborhood kids in the house that I was trying to fend off by throwing marshmallows out the door and watching them all run, or maybe that was just a thought:)
In the oven they went,
and out they came:) Beautiful!!
The bride to be chose white cake and wanted chocolate frosting, which is not typical for a fondant cake, but she is my bestie, so she gets what ever her little heart desires!!
Then came time to dye the fondant, fun only if you do not have a bridal shower to be at in less than two hours!! So there I was sweating like a pig, rushing around trying to finish up, and the clock was ticking!!
Rolled out the fondant, and covered the cake, I told you at this point the pictures were not a priority, as I was mentally spazzing out since the clock was ticking and I had to finish the cake and shower, and arrive with said cake before the guests!!
Rolled out the white fondant, placed the template over the fondant and began cutting.
I spent an hour sitting over the fondant punching our little flowers and stars and rolling little blue flower centers.
In the end, this was the finished product, I arrived to the shower ahead of schedule, showered (and even a little cute), and before all the other guests!! Success!! This picture is not that great, there was very little cake left over and I have heard from a reliable source the groom-to-be may have eaten the leftover cake for breakfast the next morning.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

One really great thing about the consulting field is all the vendors we use. The great thing about these vendors, free lunches, and free game tickets. The bad thing is they usually come last minute-ish.

This was no different, about the time I was walking out of my office, my phone rang. Normally I would just let it ring and let voicemail get it, but I have a semi-big project going on and also had a dreaded feeling that something was not going to go right with it over the weekend (everything was just peachy by the way).

I answered the phone and I got "Hey Megan, it's Jerry. I've got some tickets to the Astros for tonight's game and wondered if there was anyone there that would like to use them"

Sure!! I'll take them! So I waited around a bit for the tickets to be delivered and then I was out the door to pick up the kiddos and head to the game.

We picked up dinner on the way to the game and ate in the car. I drove all the way to Minute Maid Park - and did not get lost once!! Even though we left the house about quarter till 6, we still managed to get food, eat, park and find our seats before the game began!! Did I mention that I did not get lost once!!

Here are a few pictures, and there are only a few because my battery died!!

AJ smiling

Jenna and Jay caught off guard

Jenna and Mommy.
Since I was so proud of myself for NOT getting lost on the way there, I will tell you that I DID get lost on the way out - I mean on the way out of the building people!! I did not exit from the same door I entered. Thank God my little man has a great sense of direction!!! He kept telling me "we need to turn here mom, turn here, see I remember that just go straight," all the way to where the car was parked!! And wouldn't you know I also got lost trying to leave downtown Houston!! I will give you one guess as to who told me I was going the wrong way for three miles...AJ!! "Mom, you need to turn around, mom, turn here, mom!!" Yes, my 8 year old directed me out of Downtown Houston!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Come Help C3

We have thousands of troops across the world that do not have readily available access to their local Sunday paper for coupon clipping. Many blogs have been publishing ways to send troops coupons to help them save.

Did you know that military commissary stores accept coupons up to six months after the expiration date? No? Well, neither did I!!

I have started a group, C3, to begin collecting coupons to be sent to the troops overseas. Please contact me if you have any expired coupons that you would like to donate, please contact me via the blog email found in the sidebar. Please use C3 or Coupons for Troops in the title. Feel free to grab the button, blog about this on your blog and link back, or start your own group by visiting OCP.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Hot Mess

So I have committed myself to numerous crafty adventures for the next few weeks. The first of them was to make a cake for my BFF's Bridal Shower!! Oh, have no fear, it was delicious!! It started with home made fondant!! I, yes I, made fondant from scratch - or something like that:) I do know that I did not purchase the premade out of the box $20 in my opinion not very tasty fondant.

So today I will take you on a trip, a trip where you will learn how to make your very own tasty fondant icing.

You will need to start with two pounds of confectioners sugar, 16 oz of mini marshmallows (the store brand do not work as well), a couple of tablespoons of water, copious amounts of shortening and then a good amount of corn starch.

** The shortening will be used to coat your hands and counters during the mixing process**
**The cornstarch will be used to coat the rolling pin and counters when you are forming the fondant**

The first step is to find a bowl big enough to fit 16 oz of marshmallows, heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, remove and stir between each round of heating, for about 2 minutes and thirty seconds.

Stir and heat, stir and heat.

Stir and heat, and feed marshmallows to the munchkins.

and stir and heat some more...

Once the marshmallows are completely melted, pour ¾ of the powdered sugar in the bowl, stir gently and then prepare to get messy.

This is where the shortening comes into play, generously coat your hands, front, back, in between the fingers (I suggest removing any hand/wrist jewelry), and even coat a bit above your wrists. You will also want to coat the surface you will use for kneading the icing. In my case, the counter tops are not solid, but 12 inch tiles, so I opted to do my kneading on a baking sheet – that was covered in shortening.

You will be a literal hot mess (remember we heated the marshmallows) Keep kneading and slowly adding the remainder of the powdered sugar until the icing is dough like material.

Double wrap in saran wrap, then in an air tight container, store in the fridge over night.

Voila!! You made your own fondant – and the secret is that it tastes better too!!

More crafty/Suzie homemaker adventures coming soon!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Changes in the Air

And I am not talking about our heat or humidity!!

There are changes going on, with in me personally, how I parent, how I react to situations. It’s all changing. Things are hectic, confusing, busy, and hard. But I am here, the kids are happy and healthy and at the end of the day that is what matters most.

We will take one day at a time, move forward one step at a time, and life will go on.

I can say it no better than it was once said my John F. Kennedy himself “The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.”


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To Camp, or Not to Camp??

I think I may be a bit over protective of my children. First let me tell you, I have been informed by medical professionals to stop bleaching things around my house, the kids’ toys, walls, doors, etc. I have been told that doing this all once a week is excessive. Really, excessive?? Can you be too clean?

I suppose you can, and then I hear my dad’s voice “A little dirt won’t hurt,” and then there is his dad’s voice “Bring me a glass of water, but make sure you wash your hands, and don’t breathe on it!” I have always grown up with cleanliness as part of my natural habit, you vacuum at least every other day, dust a couple of times a week, wash out sinks and baths after every use, the trash is taken out every day, etc. Has this all made me a bit over protective?

I ask because I do not let my kids go to public restrooms alone, they have never spent the night away from home unless they were with a grand parent. So, imagine how my heart sunk to the pit of my stomach when AJ asked to go to camp this summer. I mean go away, sleep over, gone for three days in another city camp!! What am I supposed to do???

Now to give you some insight this is camp with our church. With very nice people that we know and see on a regular basis and people who love AJ just like he was their own! Add to that, this child has a love and dedication to the lord like no eight year old I have ever met! Even when he was smaller there was an understanding well beyond his years about God, Jesus, and religion in general.

I know every parent swears that they have the brightest kid, and by no means am I denying that, but the reality is this kid is a sponge. He soaks up knowledge and information and retains it forever! He can spout any Bible verse he has read or been told, he can recite verbatim what he has watched on the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet or the History Channel.

How young is too young? When are they old enough to go away to camp? What would you do?