High Five

Once we feel like we've made it through another Texas summer, Rick and I congratulate each other. It's been in the 80s all week, and we're headed for the 70s next week.

Hey, Rick. We made it! Woohoo!

High five.

(I'll be back soon with pics of Edie's visit. We had a fabulous time with her!)

My Girl is Here!

Edie is in town for the next several days!
Pardon me while I have some cheeks to squeeze and kiss.

Garrett's Mini Me

I am not a creative mom; therefore, I have feared the artsy-fartsy projects my boys will bring home from school. Such a project came home last week for Garrett.

Mrs. Whitsell sent home a "mini me" on cardstock. The assignment was for parent and child to decorate it to look like the child. Instead of breaking out in hives or hyperventilating, I rung my hands for 24 hours. Then, I set out for Hobby Lobby to gather supplies. I'm so proud of my coping skills.

Garrett was so pleased with the supplies I found, and we sat down to complete the assignment together. Much to my surprise, it was a fun time.
From head to toe, the mini Garrett has yarn for curls, googly eyes for (duh!) eyes, bead wiring for glasses, markers for nose and mouth, felt for his favorite outfit (Aggie shirt and camo shorts), black marker for socks and shoes completed with yarn for shoelaces.
Hopefully, this project has eased my fears of creative homework. We'll see....

Jack's Friend

Rick wanted me to update everyone on Jack's hand-holding friend. We met her at lunch the other day, and we can see why he's drawn to her. She's as crazy and WILD as he is. After sitting with the two of them for 25 minutes at the lunch table, I was sufficiently worn OUT. And if he were to marry someone as hyper as this little girl, Lordy, I don't know that I could recover between family gatherings.

So when I pray about Jack's future spouse, not only do I ask the Lord to give him a God-fearing wife, but I need to be certain I ask for a girl that can calm herself.


We Heart Our Teachers

During the summer, I prayed for the boys' teachers. I prayed the Lord would place each boy where they needed to be. I trusted Him with the right fit.

We have been blessed with great teachers this year. All three boys have competent, professional, caring ladies to take care of them. I know this is not always the norm, so I am very thankful.

I am especially grateful for Garrett's teacher. Mrs. Whitsell was made to be a kindergarten teacher. She is bubbly, sweet, fun-loving, and 100% dedicated to her students.

She only has one downfall. She is a Red Raider. My G knows that his Daddy doesn't like Texas Tech, so he came home on the first day of school upset about her college of choice. I had to talk him through forgiveness and acceptance.

I am not kidding.

I'm pleased to say that Garrett has definitely forgiven her, but he doesn't let a day go by without reminding her of his love for Texas A&M. He carries an A&M backpack. He writes with an Aggie pencil. He wears his Aggie shirts as fast as I can wash them. And he reminds Mrs. Whitsell of the team the Ags face on the football field the following Saturday.

This past weekend, Tech played Texas Longhorns. Garrett cannot stand the Longhorns. (Note to self: Talk to G about forgiveness and acceptance again.)

On the Monday before the Raider/Longhorn game, G told Mrs. Whitsell, "I hope Tech wins this week. I don't like the Longhorns." When my boy told me about this after school that day, I laughed out loud.

I had a conference with his teacher later in the week, and she and I giggled about the common ground that she and G had found. I'm glad she's a good sport.

Unfortunately, Tech lost to the Longhorns. My ornery husband encouraged Garrett to take her some tissue on Monday.

When Monday morning came around, I found my baby stuffing kleenex in his camo shorts. "What are you doing, G?"

"I'm taking kleenex to Mrs. Whitsell because the Raiders lost," he said.

Duh, Mom!

When I picked him up that afternoon, he was proud to report that he had followed through. I asked for a play by play.

"I walked right up to her and handed her a kleenex. She asked me what it was for, and I told her, 'Boohoo, Texas Tech lost.' She wiped her eyes and pretended to cry. And she carried it all day and would pretend to cry. When I was leaving to come home, she said, 'Thank you for my kleenex.' I told her, 'My dad told me to do it.' She said, 'Your dad must be funny.'"

Yes, his dad is funny, and so is my G. I'm glad Mrs. Whitsell thinks so. And I'm thankful for her, even though she's a Raider.


The answers to "Guess Who?":

1. Garrett was limping because of a fall on the playground. He told me he couldn't walk correctly because he "fell and twisted it". He proceeded to model the twisting action in the afflicted ankle. I knew it wasn't serious, and that was confirmed when he was running after Liam two minutes later.

2. Liam was running late. In fact, he was probably the last student to exit the building that afternoon. To his credit, his classroom is located in the busiest hall of the school. If his teacher doesn't dismiss them a minute early, then they get stuck behind a million kids.

3. Liam and Jack's shoes were untied. Of course. They can tie their own shoes, but who has time for such a daunting task? If I didn't make them tie their shoes first thing in the morning, they probably wouldn't bother even then.

4. Who was holding hands with a girl? Jackson, Jackson, Jackson. When I asked him why he was holding hands with a girl, he said, "I don't know. She told me to." Aye aye aye! I didn't make a big deal out of it, but I know that Jack will struggle in the area of peer pressure, so I gave him a little chat. He's his father's child. What else can I say?

Guess Who?

This is how I found my boys after school this afternoon:

  1. One child was limping.
  2. One child was running late.
  3. Two children were walking around with untied shoes.
  4. One child was holding a girl's hands.
I'll fill you in on the details later. In the meantime, guess who? Go ahead! Guess!

Personalities in a Box

As I was changing the boys' sheets, I stubbed my toes on various forgotten objects that have taken up residence under their beds.

Note to self: Remind the boys that cleaning up does not mean stuffing items under beds.

The one item that does belong under each of their beds is their special box. Each boy has a plastic shoe box with their name. They are able to put "special items" inside their box, and they do not have to share any of these important objects with anyone.

My only rules for these boxes are:
1. The boxes need to be under their beds, unless the boys are playing with them.
2. The boxes cannot overflow.
3. The boys may not raid their brothers' boxes.

As I stubbed my toes, I took a peek under each bed and giggled. I didn't find humor in the extra toys under their beds, but I did have a good chuckle at the sight of the special boxes. Each box gave a good picture of my boys' personalities.

Jack's box:
His bos is not at all full, because he probably forgot about that box two minutes after I gave it to him a year ago.

The contents:
Daddy's driver's license from 1987 and old photos from Daddy's life as a college boy, because Jack loves his Daddy to the core of his being. A broken Star Wars toy, because he loves Star Wars almost as much as he loves his father, but he's a bit rough on toys.

Garrett's box:
It's not full, because my Mini Me and I, we don't like to keep much of anything. If we don't truly need it, we throw it away.

The contents:
A Cars diary with some scribblings inside, because Type A persons typically journal, even before we can read and write. Aggie football trading cards and magazine clippings, because hello!, anything Aggie-related is worth keeping. A bag of small shells that his biggest brother gave him. Don't forget the maroon rock next to the Aggie cards, because hello!, G bleeds maroon.

Liam's box:
It's overflowing, because this child collects everything, and he's not the least bit concerned about cleanliness, bless his heart.

When I ask him where the box's lid is, he'll say, "What lid?" Mark my words!

The contents:
There's too much junk to list each item individually, but I do see his watch on top. He loves that watch, but he probably has no idea where it is, because hello!, it's a pig sty in there. He loves Garfield, and it's quite natural to see one of his books in this stash. There might be 200 baseball cards thrown in here for good measure.

Oh, my boys...I love them so. They are each so different, and it's funny how these plastic boxes mirror their little personalities.


In some ways, it seems only a year ago that our country faced such death, destruction and disbelief. Yet it was nine years ago that I was loading 100 fifth graders on school buses for a field trip, when one of my colleagues whispered in my ear.

"Ami, our country is under attack," she tearfully whispered. "Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center. My husband is watching the news at home and calling me with updates. I think our school will be under lock down any minute. Take your students back to class."

100 pairs of young eyes could see the fear on my face. "I'll explain later," I quietly told my students. "Just turn and follow me."

And then I was faced with what to tell my students. They needed to know why we weren't going on our well-planned field trip, but I could hardly form the right words. How do I tell them our world has changed forever? How do I tell them that we're safe, when I don't know that for certain?

Within a few minutes, I had voicemail from Rick and my mom with further details of the horror unfolding. At that time, I decided I could only tell my students that our country was facing a very tough day and their families would need to decide what to tell them that evening.

Nine years later, I want my own children to know what happened on this day. Or do I really want them to know?

Each year, I try to explain 9/11 to my young kids, and each time I cry through my explanation. I keep it as simple as I can, but it's not simple. Our country was attacked, and many people died. Many families were directly affected.

As I was contemplating over 9/11 this morning, I felt compelled to pray for those lost souls who rejoiced over such pain. The Lord tells us this in Luke 6:

27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

As I continue to remember, I must also pray for my enemies.

I also felt the Lord prompting me to move on. Yes, I will remember that fateful day for the rest of my life. And I will whisper prayers as I remember. But I must also move on.

So we will play baseball today. That's moving on for us.

(And I'll forgive Blogger for not allowing me to change the font back to its original state.)

Curbs = Contemplation

Garrett and I were out perfecting his bike riding tonight. He's doing every bit of it on his own now, so I guess I should say, 'Garrett was perfecting his bike riding tonight, while I cheered him on.'

As with all boys, he wanted to make skid marks in the street, so he was slamming on his brakes, when he almost hit a curb head on. I said, "You don't want to hit that curb. You'll crash and hurt all kinds of body parts."

To which he replied, "I don't want to do that, because I don't want to die tonight. [pause for contemplation] Yea, Daddy would be sad."

Yes, Daddy would be sad, but I couldn't keep a straight face in response. I laughed and said, "Get back on that bike and go get 'em."

A Big Day for G

I was made for three-day weekends. We need more of them, yes?

Our long weekend began with an Aggie win on Saturday. WHOOP! Our Ags looked pretty good, and we're hopeful for the rest of the season.

It was an evening game, and we didn't make it home until 2am. I'm pretty sure the Lord intended for me to be in bed by 10pm every night, so I'm not sure how I made it through that long drive home without turning into a pumpkin.

But our precious children allowed us to sleep in until 9am Sunday. Aren't they just so sweet?

I can't say that I felt rested, but we lounged around all day to make up for it.

Yes, we skipped church because of an Aggie game. The Lord understands. I hope. But I did watch our service online, so I do feel better about that.

And we did go to the evening service. I don't need to justify myself with you, but I'm not sure why the past 5 sentences make me feel better.


Rick and I declared today, Labor Day, the BIG day for Garrett. It was the day to learn to ride his bike without training wheels. Enough of this standstill already.

He started with Daddy's help, and he was off and rolling within ten minutes.
A little race with Liam encouraged him to pedal faster.
He did have one bad spill that included tears, but we encouraged him to get back on and try again. We're so proud to say that he was starting, stopping, and braking by himself by lunch!

Notice I didn't add 'turning' to his abilities. He needs to build his confidence in that way, but he'll get there.

He spent the afternoon at the piano. He is our most musically-gifted child. He has taught himself to play "Silent Night" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" by ear without any of our help.

He took interest in learning to play the Beatles' "Obladi Oblada" this afternoon. He asked Daddy to help him, so the two of them worked on it until G could play it.
It took quite a bit of concentration of the mind and contortion of the lips.
But he did it!
And we're so proud of our baby.

Let the Season Begin

We're heading to Aggieland to see the season opener. Gig 'em, Aggies!

Yesteryear: Where Did My Babies Go?

For this installment of Yesteryear, I decided to pull random photos from August 2005.

Five years ago, Liam was 2 and getting ready to go to preschool. I had just taken him to pick out new tennis shoes, and he was extremely proud of his choice of all white leather. When we got home with his new shoes, he posed in the chair and asked me to take his picture. He was so stinkin' cute!
And so tiny!

Speaking of tiny, Jack and Garrett were 7 and 6 months respectively. Jack had a love for hats at an early age. No one could walk into our house with a hat on their head without J claiming it for himself.
How do you like those wide eyes?

As for Garrett, this is the only picture I found in the August folder in which he wasn't fussing.
That lazy G was proud to be sitting up by himself, and Jack was already crawling. If I remember correctly, Jack loved to crawl right into G and topple his roly poly brother.

A lot happens in five years!