Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

The clock struck 12am just about an hour ago and believe it or not, I am still up. Avery and Austin made it until midnight... barely. 2008 was a very eventful year for us.... Caleb was born in February and we built our house and moved in in May. It has been nonstop and we are looking forward to a less eventful 2009. We are looking forward to sitting back and watching the kids grow. They are the center of our world.... love them infinitely. Happy New Years to all....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up

What a week it was! Places to go, gifts to open, food to eat, beverages to drink.... it was 5 full days for us. Wed - Sun we had at least one Christmas event, if not more each day. The fact that we survived without any major melt downs is a miracle in itself. We spent plenty of time with family and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it..... ok, not every minute, but most. We are now trying to find back some sense of normalcy and get back on a schedule. I won't bore you with too many details, but will share a few pics....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

It is Christmas Day and I have so many other things I should be doing... like making a walkable pathway through the living room amoungst all the toys, but I decided to take a quick break and say "Merry Christmas". We are enjoying the entire day at the house, just us right now. We told our family if they wanted to see us, they knew where to find us. The grandparents will be stopping by tonight to check out what Santa brought. We still have a full 3 days ahead - tomorrow at my mom's, Saturday in Rockdale and one more little Christmas at mom's with my dad's side on Sunday.
The kids have opened so many presents already, don't know where we'll put it all. Their big Santa gift was a Little Tikes jumping house and they love it. Avery has gotten lots of princess stuff, including 5 tutu's/princess skirts. Austin's favorite toy so far has been his wooden tractor with trailer, loves it. Caleb is most interested in crawling around and getting in the middle of things, could care less if he gets a present or not.
We are so blessed this Christmas to be with friends and family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Pics to come....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas program

Last night was the first of many church Christmas programs for Avery & Austin. They rang jingle bells during the "Ding Ding" song and then hung their bells on the Christmas tree. Not a tear was shed as the stood in front of a church full of people and they sat with their class the entire time. It was great!

Caleb's letter to Santa

Dear Santa-

This is my first Christmas and I am still trying to figure out what the excitement is all about. It's a little confusing. Mommy and daddy talk about you coming down the chimney with presents and there is also something about the birth of baby Jesus. Avery and Austin want to have a birthday cake for Him and blow out the candles, but then they also want to make cookies for you for when you leave us gifts. I just go with the flow and hope that I can keep up with all that is going on.... I also hope to get a little of the cake and cookies!

I don't have much of a Christmas list. I have lots of toys that I get to play with thanks to my brother and sister. I could probably use a big warm jacket and some new socks, but other than that I am set with all that I need. I'll have a bigger list next year!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Austin's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. It's been hard, but I am trying. My baby brother always wants to play with my toys and it frustrates me, but I am learning to share. I help my mommy take care of him and I keep an eye out for my sister at school.
This year for Christmas I would like:
1) A toy train with a track
2) A fire engine that doesn't make noise - those other ones are too loud and hurt my ears
3) A blue pony
4) A puppy named Shocker
5) Blocks - I love to build things
6) A flat screen TV - I love to watch TV, mom and dad won't let me sit in front of the tv for very long, sometimes they won't turn it on at all. I figure if I have one in my room I could watch whenever I want
7) New Thomas bubble bath
8) My own washer boards
9) Books - any kind except princess, those are for girls
10) Ice cream
I hear you will be bringing our toys down the chimney. I don't know how that is going to happen since we usually have a fire going, but Mommy says you have magic shoes that don't get hot. I hope I get to meet you... from a distance.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Avery's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa-
I have been a very good girl this year.... most of the time. Mommy and daddy told me that you only bring toys to good girls and boys, so I have really been trying to behave. I am trying to learn to share with my brothers. They always try to take my toys away from me, so I run away as fast as I can.
My mommy has a list of things she thinks I need for Christmas, but if I could write and make a list of my very own, this is what it would look like:
1) Dora pull ups - I love to take them all out of the drawer, put them in a bag and then drag them around the house. It keeps me busy for hours.
2) Shoes - Pink ones, purples ones, shiny ones, sparkly ones
3) Chap stick - I love carrying it around all day long....
4) Pens and paper - I prefer the paper my daddy writes on... I like to write on the sheets he makes all his lists on
5) Hair clips - I've lost all my other ones around mommy's house. She's always finding them in random places
6) Princess books
7) Purple pony
8) Karyoke machine - I need keep practicing for American Idol.
9) Bubble bath - Dora... it's pink!
10) Markers - the kind mommy doesn't want me to write with because it leaves marks on the walls and furniture... I want them anyway.
Can't wait to see the presents under the tree. Instead of cookies and milk, I'm going to leave you Chex Mix and Apple Juice. That's my favorite snack these days.

Christmas cards = STRESS

BY FAR, the most difficult/stressful part of the Christmas season this year has been Christmas cards. I have this vision of the perfect Christmas card going out that has a picture of three adorable children putting ornaments on the tree.... all dressed in their new shirts and Christmas dress, all looking and smiling at the camera, all cooperating with the photographer (me)..... Well, maybe when pigs fly.
Having all three kids in a cooperative mood is next to impossible, especially if it involves cooperating for a camera. They were dressed up nice for pics with Santa, yet even with a photograper taking the picture, we didn't get a decent shot. So this year I finally just settled for a pic where all the kids are somewhat looking... I just hope I can get them out by Christmas....

These aren't any that are on the Christmas card... but these are the kids of shots I get....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Angels, Lambs,Lady Bugs & Fireflys

Today was Austin & Avery's 1st school Christmas program - "Angels, Lambs, Ladybugs, & Fireflies." It was a cute story about other insects going to spread the good news of Jesus's birth. Of course you had to listen very carefully to get that story line because the majority of the time kids were crying and calling out for "mommy." Avery and Austin were lambs, very cute lambs I might add. The program was for 2's - Kindergarteners and the teachers did the best they could with what they had to work with. Avery spotted me as they were walking into the gym and that pretty much ruined her for the rest of the program. Austin was pretty mellow through most of it. I think he found the kids standing behind him more enjoyable than the crowd in front and he obviously got a little restless because by the time the program was over he was missing one black glove and his lamb ears.

Above is Austin standing with his class. Got to love that belly....
Avery walking in the gym... not sure what is going on.
After the program we treated the kids to McDonalds. We don't get to do things like that often with our work schedules so it was a good break from the "norm" and a fun treat for them. The not so fun part was hearing them say "Mama, I no go to back to school, I go home"... all the way back to school.

They thought the jelly beans on the table were so very cool.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Toppe!!!

Today is Toppe's birthday. We all went to church and then had the fam over for lunch to celebrate. Austin and Avery have been practicing singing "Happy Birthday" all week long. I think they sang it at least 17 times on the way to church this morning.... I wish I could figure out how to upload video on our computer so I could show the video of us practicing singing "Happy Birthday" last week. Everytime they would blow out the candles, Avery would say "one more time.... let's sing it one more time." It's pretty hilarious.
There are some days when I don't know if I could make it without Toppe. She is a great mom and an absolutely AWESOME Toppe. There are days when Avery & Austin wake up and the first thing that comes out of their mouths is "I want to go to Toppe's house." I don't blame them, they have as many toys there as they do at our house and she pretty much spoils them rotten... I know that Toppe is going to be a very important part of Austin, Avery, & Caleb's lives in the years to come....

Christmas Parade

This weekend was the Christmas Stroll in downtown Brenham. One of the highlight events of the weekend was the lighted parade and this year First Baptist had 3 floats and I signed the kids up to ride. Our float theme was "Jesus Warms My Heart" and we threw out hot chocolate. They gave parents the option to ride along and it was obvious by the way that Austin clung to me when we walked up to the float, that either Wes or I would be riding. I took the honors and jumped on.

Austin was really excited about the whole event!

Here we are as along the parade route.

Caleb and Wes got to watch the parade as spectators. Caleb was bundled up... it was cold out!

Austin and Avery did get to see Santa ride in on the fire truck. They thought that was pretty cool!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pictures with Santa... maybe next year.

This pictures shows exactly how excited everyone was about Santa pics!

We had pictures with Santa tonight. The past 2 weeks we've been talking about the big guy in the red coat with the white beard. At random times Austin will say "I no like Santa." Then we tell him that Santa brings him presents and his quick response is "I like Santa." So tonight we didn't really know what to expect. I knew in the back of my mind that we'd have at least one crier, but wasn't quite sure who it would be. Caleb was a champ. I think the white beard mesmerized him. Austin would have nothing to do with the man in the red suit, but he at least sat on the stuffed reindeer standing right next to him. We attempted to put Avery on the stuffed bear on the other side, but she would have nothing to do with it. She cried.. and cried... and cried. We finally convinced her to go on the other side with Austin and stand next to the deer. I think we got a half way decent shot, but by that time Avery's eyes were glassy and her face was red from crying. I was going to attempt a picture myself, but never had the chance. Maybe we'll do better next year.....

After the pictures, the kids didn't forget that we promised them pizza if they took pics with Santa. Guess we should have specified they had to smile for the camera. Oh well, we enjoyed the night out, but as expected we are exhausted....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Uncle Steve!

Today is Uncle Steven's birthday! We celebrated this past weekend with cupcakes and pull ups!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We made it through a full day of Thanksgiving festivities (Thursday). We followed tradition by eating way too much, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We started out at Aunt Bonnie's for lunch and then we had some people over to watch the UT/A&M football game. Hook 'em!!!! The kids loved having everyone over and they obviously were exhausted because they are currently 3 hours into their nap. I think that's a record!!!!!
This was my best attempt for a pic with all 3.....

Caleb wasn't int he mood for Austin's hugs.

Wes & Caleb.

Who needs toys? All we need is dirt!

We are headed for Round #2 tonight at Doug & Dorothy's. More food.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

This week we put a special emphasis on things we are thankful for. We could make a list a mile long of all the things we have to be thankful for. At the top of the list would be our family and friends and farther down the line would be things less meaningful, but just as important, like diet coke and baby wipes. This year we are especially thankful for our new home, a place we will be making many memories as we watch the kids grow.

66th wedding anniversary!!!

I just got off the phone with my grandma Keen. I called to wish her and my grandpa a Happy 66th Wedding Anniversary. 66 years.... kind of hard to imagine being with someone that long. Wes and I are just a few years behind - 6! I asked her if they were going on a "hot date" tonight. She said they were going to be going to lunch at a new restaurant in town and then coming home to cook for Thanksgiving dinner. They were looking forward to it! I love the fact that they still have a very deep love for one another. They've given us a great example of what endless love means!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

9 months old

Caleb Wesley is 9 months old!!! Where has the time gone? Seems like just yesterday we were enjoying the look on everyone's face when we told them we were expecting again. I still don't know who Caleb looks like. When I compare him to pics of Avery & Austin, I think he favors Avery. Still there are times we see someone for the first time in a while and they say he looks just like Austin. I guess he looks just like Caleb!!!
Caleb is crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything, and I think we will see him taking his first steps sooner than later. He's a great eater, prefers table food compared to the bottled baby food. He has been sleeping through the night for months now and LOVES to cuddle and give opne mouth kisses. Sometimes he will just bury his head in your shoulder and snuggle. Laugh... laugh... laugh... nothing sweeter than hearing Caleb laugh and fortunetely it's something we get to hear a lot. He likes to have your attention and therefore isn't a big fan of being set down and left alone. He'd prefer to be held or really loves to sit down on the floor and play with us. Avery and Austin love their baby brother. Avery likes to help change his diaper and when he starts to stir in the morning, she says "Mama, Caleb wake. Go get him." Then we both go in his room and before I can pick him up, she is saying, "Good morning, Caleb. How are you today?" Caleb just smiles....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Night, night moon..."

This morning as we were loading up to go to school, Austin looked up in the sky and noticed that the moon was still out. He looked up and said, "Moon, moon, you need to go night night. Sun is up."

Quiet time....

It doesn't happen often, but on occasion.... when the stars are aligned just right.... we are able to enjoy a short span of peace where all the kids are content and Wes and I are able to get a few things done without interuption. I just put dinner dishes away and the kids migrated to their play room. They are still playing quietly... Austin & Avery are building lego castles and Caleb is crawling around exploring. I stay close enough in case something were to happen, yet far enough away to where they can't see me and continue play on their own.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A tribute to Riley....

"Our" beloved dog Riley passed away today. I say "our" dog because I gave him to Wes as a Christmas gift back in 1997, but Wes was a sophmore in college and apartment life wasn't ideal for a yellow lab, though it was attempted. So, my in-laws inherited Riley and he never left there. They weren't crazy about keeping Riley at first, but after a few months, I knew we would never ask for him back. He was just that kind of dog... we all loved him. In his prime, Riley LOVED to play fetch, enjoyed boat rides at the lake, and thought it was a treat to get to ride into town on the back of the truck... he slobbered the whole way there and back as his head hung over the side. I remember throwing sticks in the tank and he would run... jump... swim to get the stick and then back on the bank he'd shower us with water as he shook off. Over the last year or two Riley really slowed down and a belly rub is all it took to make his day. Oh how I wish I would have given him more belly rubs. Unfortunetely Riley has not ranked very high on Avery and Austin's list these last few months (they use to love him)... they claim to be scared of him... so Riley hasn't been around us much when we have gone over to visit. We have discussed getting a dog of our own, but I have always been hesitant because I think we'll always try to compare the new puppy to Riley and I don't think any other dog would live up to those expectations. We will miss you, Riley!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A few conversations....

Austin: "Mama, I want a snack."
Me: "In a minute, Austin, I need to change Caleb's diaper."
Austin: "He have poopo0, mama?"
Me: "yes"
Austin: "Ahh, that's gross, mama."

I was showing Avery and Austin some toys in a catalog I got in the mail.
Avery: "Avery want that one, mama. That's cool."

Wes: "Austin, what do you tell daddy when he sees a big buck?"
Austin: "Shoot 'em"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

THIS is American Idol

Watch out Kelly Clarkson... Avery Maurer may top your record sales with her latest rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

In his mismatching jammies.... Austin's bringing sexy back!

"Oh yeah, I can flow."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We cheered anyway

So the UT/Tech game didn't have the end result we were hoping for. We had a few people over for the game and the majority of the excitement of the game happened well after bedtime. Caleb slept through most of it, but Austin and Avery fought sleep and were awake for the last few minutes when most of the disappoinment occured. When UT scored and went up in the 4th quarter, all the guys started yelling and carrying on. It scared Austin & Avery and they both started crying. They didn't know what was going on.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Well, we survived a night of trick or treating. Austin and Avery did really good actually and Caleb was a trooper until the end when he was tired of getting in and out of the car seat... can't say I blame him. The kids have enough candy and fruit snacks for the year and some will magically wind up at work with me on Monday to give away.

As you see below, Avery and Austin were giraffes, very cute giraffes I might add.

We kept it simple with Caleb and just did the pumpkin onesie. I realized with A&A that the whole costume with a wiggly baby isn't enjoyable, especially getting in and out of the car.

Kennedy came to see us before we headed out trick or treating. She was adorable...