Sunday, September 24, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Hunter!

My first born is SEVEN years old! September 13th was Hunter's 7th BIRTHDAY! He is creative, funny, smart, brave, adventurous, a leader, thoughtful, protective, funny, and so much more! He woke up to a decorated hallway and big boy presents...a hat and a watch! Then, on our way to the bus, we found a gift Uncle Greg left outside for him to start his day!!

Hunter wanted an "ARCTIC party!" What the heck does that mean, and where did that idea come from?! Anyways, I ran with it and we had a great time! I turned our climbing dome into an igloo, complete with a plug in A/C! The igloo got down to 55 degrees, which is an igloo in Houston! It took me over an hour to build this igloo, but worth every minute when I saw his reaction! He asked for Arctic, so I gave him Arctic! The party was on his birthday (Wednesday) right after school. A huge group of boys rode the bus home with Hunter. They ran off that bus all smiles and ready to party!

We put cool whip on a slip and slide and called it a "snow slip and slide!" It was hilarious and so so slippery! The boys made a huge mess, and I did the slip and slide just as much as the kids. It was so fun! Hunter had the idea for his dessert, so I let him do it...he and Trent made them together! He covered rice krispy treats with blue icing and put marshmallows on look like snow! I got Arctic animal napkins, hanging snowflakes and a snow backdrop! It was all out Arctic! I also got snowcones from Bahama Bucks, and the boys loved eating them in the igloo!

I always let my kids pick the theme of their parties, then I do my best to bring the theme to life! Faith Ann had a sprinkle party! Trent had a silly string party! And now Hunter had his Arctic party! Our parties are always 'backyard simple', but full of thought and good ole fun!! Happy Birthday are beyond what I ever dreamed of! You were my first baby, and now you are my first big boy! I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hurricane Harvey, Time Away and Stitches

Let's start with the stitches! Yep, we had our first emergency room visit!! A few days after school started, Hunter was barefoot walking on our neighbors slackline. He was alone while I was inside gathering stuff for their football practice! Then, I hear screaming and Faith Ann ran inside to tell me "mommy, there is SO much blood!" I run out to see Hunter hopping around with blood pouring out of the bottom his foot. Yes, it was that deep! Luckily, a neighbor was driving by when it happened and was able to take care of Trent and Faith Ann while I scooped up Hunter and took him to the Texas Childrens Urgent Care down the street from us!

Hunter fell off the slackline and the arch of his foot landed on the corner of the medal landscape edging! It literally took a chunk out of his foot! It was so deep that the blood was thick! Hunter was so tough. The doctor said that the ER would have anesthesia, but if she did the stitches she couldn't provide anesthesia. Well, Hunter did NOT want to go to the hospital!! So, he promised me thhat he would not move his leg during stitches!! Sure enough....that boy took it like a champ and did not move! We got home to a house full of neighbors and family checking on Hunter! I texted our pediatrician (Dr. Brack) who has become a good friend of mine. She called in antibiotics and saw us 9 days later to remove stitches.

Now...onto Hurricane Harvey! Which made me extra cautious about Hunter's open wound- I kept that foot wrapped and sealed and far away from all flood waters! So, Harvey was a doozie and did a number on Houston! History breaking rainfall and flooding! Our home thankfully stayed dry and did not flood!!! But, our neighborhoods flooded like never before! Many feet of water in the homes! I think it was over 50 inches of rain!!!!! That is crazy! The bayous overflowed and were were destroyed! Close to home...many of our friends are now displaced, along with my brother Chad who lived on Eldridge! The following days were filled with us being stranded...all roads flooded, no stores open, no gas! It was something I have never experienced before!

We took boats into our neighborhoods rather than cars! Our street stayed totally dry, so I hosted a kids bootcamp for the kids to get energy out while the parents were dealing with flooded homes! I also climbed balconies and roofs to try and collect belongings from second story homes! This is when I was glad to be ninja strong! I was able to help many friends gather what they could save! However, water sat in homes for many many days! The bacteria took over and it was hazardous. So, with school and the kids headed off to the JW Marriott in San Antonio!

Scott stayed home to help his clients, he was very busy at work as people were trying to deal with this crisis! Beau, Kate, Jake and Ally decided to join us. We had a great time! Lots of swimming, water slides, lunches, and playtime! It was short and sweet. I enjoyed my alone time with the kids, and really enjoyed spending alone time with Beau's family!

The kids really enjoyed tubing down the slides...we did it more times than I can count! Faith Ann has no fear and was right in the middle of it all! No one was at the resort, so we had no lines and the place to ourselves! It was amazing! A nice memory amidst all the Harvey chaos! The "new normal" around here is hard. It is messy! Lots of debris piles, lots of misplaced families, lots of stress and worry as homes are deteriorating with the sitting water! This was history that we will hear about for years to come! Houston is a great city full of giving hearts! Harvey was crummy, but Houston is so good! Our community united, and I am honored to raise my children here!!! It was a whirlwind 2 weeks!

Monday, September 18, 2017

First Day of School

First grade, Pre-K and 3 year old Panda Class! Just like that...I have all 3 kids in school! Hunter is in 1st grade with Mrs. Ghiotto. Trent is in PreK at Rummel Creek with Ms. Hansen, which was Hunter's PreK teacher! And Faith Ann has started school at church 2.5 days a week with Ms. Sarah in the Panda Class.

Hunter says he wants to be an "American Ninja Warrior" when he grows up. And Trent wants to be a "driver for Monster Jam!!" They have been pretty consistent in their goals from day one. It will be interesting to see if their dreams turn into reality. The boys had a great first day! We took them to school and walked them into class. Trent was brave, but I could tell he was a bit nervous! He kept asking me for "one more hug!' My sweet boy. They both rode the bus home, which was a highlight of their day! Trent had a huge smile and LOVES the bus just as much as Hunter does!

Faith Ann started school a couple weeks after the boys. So, we got some extra alone time filled with lunch dates and cupcakes! Hurricane Havey hit (that's another post!) so there was a delay in her first day of school, and the boys got 2 weeks of school off! So, they kind of had another "first day" of school after Hurricane Harvey! They are now in the full swing of things and loving it!

Faith Ann said she wants to be a "mommy and a daddy" when she grows up! My sweet girl! This was a big day for us! For 7 years straight, I have had a little human echoing my voice with the sound of footsteps following behind, and I always have a hand to hold. Not one day have I eaten lunch alone or been in my car alone! This girl has literally been glued to my side for 3 years. She is only going to school for 2.5 days a week, but to me, that is a lot! I remember mom telling me "let your babies be a baby as long as possible!" So, I did! Each season of life has its bittersweet moments!I am so happy for her, and she is ready, but it is still bittersweet!

I have a grateful heart and priceless memories as the next chapter in life begins! I loved every second of having my babies home with me!! The simple everyday moments is what I will treasure the most! However, I know there is much more to come! That is officially a wrap on summer 2017! They have all grown and continue to blossom into amazing and unique little people! Happy first day of school to my loves, my sidekicks who are ready to spread their wings!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cousin Camp & 34th Birthday kids best friends! They adore their cousins SO much! So, I hosted "cousin camp" at my house! I made matching shirts. We played flag football, ate smores, wrapped houses, made a huge pallet, and snowcones for breakfast! It was so memorable and a highlight for our summer!

All the parents came over to celebrate the family summer birthdays. So, I made dinner, then we kicked out the adults for cousin camp time!!! My dad loved seeing the joy!! This is a big cousin camp was needed. Dad's health is declining, Chad and Veronica are moving to Brownwood, Tx, Sam is going to college, Jake is starting high school! It's just a big transition year for everyone. So, we had one last cousin gathering before the changes! Our neighbor, Tess, wanted to join the fun. So, I made her a tshirt and she joined cousin camp! The more the merrier!

We made smores on our firepit table. Then, loaded up the back of Scott's truck to go wrap houses. We wrapped Beau and Kate's house! When we were done, I rang the doorbell. When they answered, we yelled "you've been cousin camped!" Then speed off in Scott's truck! The kids thought this was hilarious! Then, we made a huge pallet. Scott told some stories then they crashed! Seriously, not one peep! All night! They were tired from all the fun! Bright and early, we made snowcones and egg tacos for breakfast!! Yumm...breakfast of champs! Hey, it's cousin camp...where a kid can be a kid! I love this picture of my dad and Chad!! Chad moved to Brownwood (near Fort Worth) to start his new job as a PE teacher! He always wanted to live in the "country!" Veronica is going along with it, but she needs to finish out her teaching contract here! So, they will be making weekend trips for a while until Veronica and the kids move too!

My 34th BIRTHDAY!!!! I woke up to 9 kids on my 34th birthday...the perfect birthday morning! Cousin Camp was on my birthday, and they were all eager to sing to me in the morning! Faith Ann and I got a manicure and pedicure...her first one, which was adorable! Then, I got a massage!! That night, Scott and I went to Escalantes with the kids for dinner! They sang to me, and the kids loved my birthday hat!!! It was a simple birthday...filled with family and fun! Perfection! The best way to ring in another year!

In other news...Hunter lost his top tooth! Around 11pm on my birthday...he walked out to the living room with a bloody smile! He was so excited! And, more big news....I now have a monthly fitness column in Absolutely Memorial Magazine!!! This was my first month, so it was kind of an "introductory." I am looking forward to the future months! SO much has blossomed from my leap of faith the day I decided to let God guide me on my fitness journey! Doors keep opening, I keep saying 'yes' with a grateful heart, I keep giving the glory to God....and I keep on this path with a smile, excitement and a love for fitness! What a big year 34 is going to be for me! I am excited and grateful!