Monday, January 31, 2011

Austin, Avery & Caleb

At least we had the weekend

Subfreezing temps are headed our way! Hard to believe we spent Sunday outdoors playing soccer, shooting hoops and throwing around the baseball. Short sleeve shirts and shorts were allowed and sweat broke within minutes. It is great to see the kids play better together outside but I think that a lot of refereeing will be needed as the kids get more competitive. It took a bit for Austin & Avery to understand that the ball could be taken away from them. Austin grasped that concept a bit better than his sister... she may have to stick to being a coach because she sure knows how to tell everyone else what to do.

Making muffins

An afternoon of fishing.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random things to note....

Though these aren't earth shattering events, I thought I'd list a few things going on with the kids....
- about 2 weeks ago, Avery & Austin transitioned into a high back booster car seat. It's not quite as easy as I was hoping, but they were so excited to get to be in a "booster" and Caleb loves Austin's old Britax seat. He really loves that he gets to ride next to the window and not in the middle anymore.
- Avery is loving dance. Every Tuesday she reminds me that we need to send her dance bag to school. Recital time is late May!
- Caleb is still loving everything cowboy, but he isn't as insistent on putting on full cowboy gear when he gets home from school (Thank goodness!) It was pretty easy for him to decide a theme for his birthday party!
- Austin is still our soft hearted big brother. The other day I had 4 small cookies that a coworker had given me and I saved them for when I picked up Austin and Avery. Caleb was sick that day so I planned to give A&A 2 cookies a piece when I picked them up from school. As we got closer to home, I noticed Austin still had a cookie in his hand. When I asked him if he was going to eat it he said he was saving it for his Caleb because he wanted Caleb to have one too.
- Mornings are so much more manageable than a year ago. The kids can dress themselves and most mornings we are able to have a warm breakfast opposed to sugary granola bars on the go. Avery and I even seem to agree most days on what she will wear to school. She doesn't seem quite so picky or maybe I just know not to put something in front of her that I know she won't wear. I don't do those battles too often anymore.
- Wes and I are days away from our 9 yr anniversary. NINE years!!!! Whoa!


Wow, it's been over a week since my last post and I have no real good excuse. No big events to blog about but that definitley doesn't mean things are boring around here, maybe we are just moving at a bit of a slower pace. Evenings seem to be a bit lower key as the temps outside are too cold for the kids to enjoy and on top of that the sun sets just shortly after we get home in the afternoons. I have actually sat on the couch a few nights and sat through a whole 30-minute tv show as the kids tend to entertain themselves better than a year ago this time. Though this isn't the norm, I am seeing a little more uninterrupted time in my future.
A&A are almost 4 1/2 now. They are both doing great in school and we never have to worry about bad notes home from the teacher. Avery is a teacher pleaser - loves to write her letters, raises her hand for everything and loves to get attention. Austin loves school but primarily because of the playground, not the classroom. I forsee a few dificult nights of homework in the future. Caleb is days shy of turning 3. He makes us laugh everyday.... little guy is a clown. He's enjoying school and doing well in all his activities. There are days I forget he is only 2. In so many ways he is just like his brother and sister and wants to be a part of everything they do.
We are getting ready for a busy spring, one that includes a family trip to Disney World. We will experience lots of firsts including their first plane ride. Should be entertaining! We have backups, both sets of grandparents are coming along too. I think they'd prefer to see the huge smiles on the kids faces opposed to hearing about them.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A weekend away

Birthday parties + family gatherings + tired parents + lack of babysitters + poor planning = very few weekends away for mommy and daddy. For the first time in way too long, Wes and I got away for the weekend. As a belated Christmas present we treated ourselves to a weekend in Austin with Jason and Bruce. We did a little bit of everything: nice dinner, late night downtown, movies on the couch, bowling, more lounging and a scrumptous brunch. Yep, it was just what the doctor ordered.
The kids split time at the grandparents. Friday night with Toppe and Grandpa and Saturday with Mimi & Popo. They managed to squeeze in a trip to the Children's Museum in The Woodlands and we were all ready to see each other on Sunday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is what happened when Avery & Caleb were playing last night. Isn't he "cute"?

Brrr.... it's a bit chilly outside

I guess we have finally had a little winter weather here in Texas. The kids are wondering when the snow is coming. I hope they aren't getting their hopes too high. A few days of freezing temperatures never hurt anyone, but I am already ready for thermometer numbers to climb. The main reason: all the extra clothes. Putting on jackets, gloves, hats and scarves is killing our already pressed for time morning routine. The worst part is they take half of it off by the time we get to school. Oh the joys!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kitchen help

I am no chef, don't even consider myself a cook, but occasionally I grab a recipe and give it my best shot. On New Years Day, Caleb helped me fix a gumbo. He is quite the helper in the kitchen.
This past Saturday the gmas were at the house for supper and they taught the kids how to play "Old Maid". Sunday I agreed to play with them and as I shuffled I couldn't find the old maid. Then I found her torn up on the floor. I asked who did it. Caleb said "I did. We don't want to lose. We don't want to have that old maid so I tore her up." Guess that is one way of taking matters into your own hands.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Filling the freezer

When I was growing up, we ate mostly beef. My grandparents had a large farm with cattle and when a cow was taken to the butcher, the fresh packaged meat (steak, hamburger meat and roast) was distributed among the family. I rarely remember mom buying meat at the store except for chicken occasionally and we'd eat fish when the guys had a good day fishing. When I met Wes I was introduced to a whole new ballgame when it comes to meat eating. They always had a freezer full but it consisted mostly of fish, rabbit (raised, not wild) and deer meat in just about every form. At the time we met, I was a chicken breast girl so I didn't fully appreciate what the full freezer meant. In fact it has taken me many years and now realizing the cost it takes to feed a family of 5, I am thankful for a freezer full. I'd still consider myself a chicken breast girl, even though rabbit is my very favorite (don't say "ewww" until you try it - best white meat around), but now that I grocery shop I am thankful we have a variety of options in our freezer. Plus, it's all lean meat and the kids approve. Also, I can cut up dried deer sausage and take it to a party and it will get eaten faster than any chip/dip I would have taken.
One thing Wes and his family have always done is process their own deer meat. Yep, the deer steaks, dried sausage, fresh sausage, deer jerky and this year-salami, are made in our garage and then put right in the freezer. When we got married I thought this was what everyone does, but I have learned it is rare for someone to process their own. When sausage making day comes around I am pretty much hands off. The large masses of raw meat in huge tubs isn't something I want to sink my hands into. It is more of a "guy day" and I provide snacks if I need to. Otherwise I stay out of the way.
This year Wes had 70lbs of deer meat to do something with. Yesterday, Austin & Caleb were able to help Wes make dried sausage. It was a great day for them to be outside in the garage. Grandpa Otto & Popo came over to get in on the action as well. It true Avery fashion, Avery mostly stayed inside with me, but she did make it out for a lunch break. It was a great day and Wes was exhausted when the day was done, but I know he enjoys being able to accomplish this on his own. Our next dilema - we need a bigger freezer!
Side note: I am beyond frustrated about posting w/ pictures because my wording never coincides with the pictures. Now as you see above, the wording has a mind of it's own and part is way up in the post. When I edit is shows it all together. If there is a secret to writing text inbetween the pictures, someone with a blog, email me or comment on here. Right now when I upload my pictures, they are all jumbled together... I can't really space them out. If I try, the text still won't adjust how I need them to. GRRRR

BB Gun Practice

Catching a ride

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We are going to miss her!!!

Imagine that you are the parent of three active and demanding toddlers. You are working a full day at work and know that the night ahead of you consists of preparing supper, hanging up clothes, unloading the dishwasher, wiping up spills, listening to whining, picking up messes and all of that in just the first hour at home. Wouldn't it be amazing to get a text in the middle of the day saying "you can drop off the kids at my house on your way home if you want." Believe it or not, it can happen. I know first hand thanks to Kelcie Maurer. Random times throughout the year I have recieved these types of texts and I don't know if she really understands how thankful I am for those messages. It allows Wes and I to get so much done in a short time without little feet following us or voices requesting a snack or more apple juice. It gives us a break from a sometimes chaotic evening routine and gives the kids a chance to do a little something diferent.
Well, Kelcie has decided to start a new chapter of her life and will be moving to College Station in about a week to become an aggie. We aren't so crazy about her school of choice -Hook 'Em- but we are excited that she will still be close. We wish her the very BEST in school and are excited to see where this next step in life takes her.
THANK YOU KELCIE. Always remember that if the school thing doesn't work out, we'd love to have you as our nanny!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First post for the new year....

I have a few New Years Resolutions (most I have stuck to). Obviously keeping up with the blog is not one of them. 2011 got off to a relaxing start. New Years Eve we were all in bed by 10:30pm - and I'm not ashamed to say that. New Years Day we were home all day and the final Christmas tree came down in the morning. The kids must have still been recovering from Christmas chaos because they all napped for almost 3 hours. I on the other hand sat on the couch more that day than I think I have since Avery & Austin were born. Wes and I watched a little New Years Day football in peace -it was GREAT!! I think Wes & I needed a little Christmas recovery too.
A&A&C were back in the swing of things at school on Tuesday. I think everyone was ready for that. One bit of news is that we enrolled Avery in dance class this spring. She did gymnastics in the fall but had recently started saying she wanted to do dance like the other girls in her class. So we will try dance. Can't wait for the first recital this spring!