Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Memories

We are all about making some Christmas memories and establishing some of our own family traditions for the Holidays. So, last night, along with ten thousand of our closest friends, we braved the Trail of Lights display at a downtown park. This display has gotten so huge that they recommend parking miles away and taking a shuttle bus to the sight. So, we did. After waiting in line for fifteen minutes and then another fifteen or twenty minutes on the shuttle, we finally made it. We were packed into this place like cattle being herded down the chute to their final destination. Finally, about halfway through, the crowd thinned out and we could actually see the displays. They were really good. However, next year, we're going to make sure we go on a weeknight instead of a weekend and certainly not on the last night of the event. Jake was a trooper even though he didn't get to bed last night until after 10pm! And no, he didn't sleep in this morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I found this video on someone else's blog and loved it. It just reminded me of the conditions that Jesus was born into in this world. I love Christmas and everything about this time of year, yet I always wind up a little depressed at some point in the season. Either there's not enough money to buy the perfect gift for someone or the entire family can't be together. Somehow, I tend to forget the real meaning until I go back to the Christmas story and see how a child came to lead us with unconditional love. He didn't have much but He accomplished much in his life here on earth. When I remember to look at this time of year through the eyes of the child I once was, I know it's not about money or gifts but just the wonderment of it all and the idea that we are loved beyond measure. Merry Christmas everyone!

Welcome to our world-nativity scene

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Because I'm a little OC

Obsessive compulsive that is. Not Orange County. There are a couple things right now that I can't get out of my head and they are DRIVING ME CRAZY! So, I'm hoping that by sharing them with others they will leave me and go somewhere else. The first is this song that's been playing non-stop on the radio and television for the last couple weeks. Perhaps you've heard it? "We are holiday elves. We work hard all daaaay. Blah, blah, blah, I don't know this part. WE ARE HOLIDAY ELVES!!" Maybe if you're not in Texas you've been spared from this Texas Lotto Scratch Off tickets jingle. Did I mention it's driving me crazy? I've woken up to it running through my head the past three mornings. And it stays with me until I fall asleep. Sometimes, just when I get it out of my head, I hear Mike singing it and it shoots right back in there! I'm sick of the elves. Somebody please make them stop. Santa, can't the elves have a day off? Please?

Second, is this game that I cannot quit playing. Thank you Suzanne, for putting it on your blog and getting me hooked. Now, if you could just get me into some sort of twelve step program to get off of it that would be great. Oh, and Mike's going to need to go to rehab with me because he is hooked as well.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just Jake

Jake had his one year check up on Wednesday. He got two shots instead of three because we decided to hold off on the MMR shot until he's a little bit older and bigger. He was 28 inches long and weighed 18 lbs and 9 ounces. The doctor is a little concerned about his weight. He's been in the 10th percentile for weight since he was about four months old. And that's fine as long as he stays in that same growth curve. But, it looks like he's fallen into the 5th percentile now. So, we talked about his diet and decided we were maybe giving him too much milk and not enough solids. The problem with solids is that he seems to be on strike against anything other than crackers or potatoes or sweets. Wonder where he gets that from? A typical meal with Jake usually involves him picking up a piece of food and putting it on his tongue, laughing about how it tastes, and then he spits it out or throws it on the ground for the dog or cat to enjoy. The boy loves his pets. So, the question is what can we give him that has lots of calories to put on weight and that is interesting enough for him to actually swallow? Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To tip or not to tip

Here's my question. When do you tip the people at Sonic? I always have this dilemma when I swing by there just to get a vanilla coke. Because the coke might cost a little less than two dollars and I'm paying with two dollars. Is it an insult to tell them to keep the change? I mean, it's probably only 12 cents or something. Or do you just get the change back and not tip them? Or do you tip them a whole extra dollar? For bringing you a coke? That costs less than two dollars?! I always tip something when they bring out food and drinks, but the matter of bringing out one or two cokes just leaves me in a bind. I don't want to be cheap, but you know, if they would let me pick up my coke at the window I would be fine with that. They don't even give you the choice. And do you tip the people who walk out to your car more or less than people who are riding their rollerblades? Who's working harder here? I need advice!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Birthday Festivities

Wow! What a good day. Jake had fun with Grandpa and MeMaw all day yesterday and then when Aunt Cheryl, Uncle Alan and his cousins Tom and Katie showed up the party really got started. He had a day full of people loving on him, giving gifts and eating pizza and cupcakes. Who could ask for more?

Can you see the whale on my shirt? There's a WHALE on my SHIRT!

Hanging out with my MeMaw and the balloon daddy bought me. I LOVE BALLOONS!

Me and Grandpa.

The spread.

Monday, December 10, 2007

We took Jake to the Wildflower Center last night to see the 5000 luminaria they had lighting up their paths. It was pretty with all of the lights and a cold front had just moved in so it actually felt like Christmas weather. Next weekend, we're off to the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park. It's so much fun seeing Jake's reaction to all of these new things! And yes, I'm still sporting my shiner after two weeks.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sugar Cookies

With Christmas right around the corner, I've been itching to bake and decorate some sugar cookies. It just seems like something you should do this time of year especially if you have kids. I've always loved to bake but I usually stick with things that are chocolate. So, what I'm trying to say here is that this was my first attempt at baking the sugar cookie. Mike helped me make the dough Friday night and since it was supposed to chill for one to three hours we decided to leave it overnight and wake up Saturday morning to begin baking. Okay, that was mistake number one. Cookie dough left in the refrigerator overnight gets really cold and really hard. So, if you do this make sure you have time to set it out and let it thaw some the next day. But don't let it thaw too much. That was mistake number two. Because cookie dough that isn't chilled enough is really hard to roll out and cut with cookie cutters. And then please don't try to bake sugar cookies on a pizza stone. That was mistake number three. For the love of all that is good and sweet you need to bake sugar cookies on a regular old cookie sheet. So, anyway, after all of the mistakes here is what we got.

Notice how all of the Christmas trees and gingerbread men and stars and stockings are grouped together? Even in baking, there's room for organization people. Here's what they look after the decorating.

If you have leftover cookie dough, you might want to think about baking a special cookie in the form of your son's favorite animal. In our case, this is a crab. I know, he's missing a leg.

Then go ahead and let the little guy eat the cookie.

Then, if you want to, take a picture of him falling into a sugar coma and post it on the internet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Here you go mom. This actually happened weeks ago, but it was cute!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fishy Business

Let's just say you leave town for a few days and decide to turn the heat off in your house to save money on the electric bill while you're gone. Now let's just say that a cold front comes in the day you leave. When you get back inside your house four days later it might be a little chilly. And if you left behind a cat and a fish they might be really mad at you or oh, let's say dead. That's what we came home to Monday. Our cat Zoe, looked like a vagrant. She was so upset that we had left her alone in a cold house that she stopped grooming herself. She had dandruff all over herself and kept going upstairs and crying in the most pitiful, mournful little kitty voice you've ever heard. It was truly sad. Sadder still was the realization that tropical fish like Jaws 2 (our beta fish) really prefer tropical like temperatures in their little fishy homes. They're not so happy with highs in the mid fifties. We felt really bad when we saw him lying at the bottom of his little fish vase. He was obviously frozen like a little fish popcicle. So we lamented his loss and then promptly forgot about him while we unpacked and took naps and stuff. Later that afternoon, I remembered that there was a dead body in the house so I prepared to perform a burial at sea. He deserved that much. After all, he was a good fish. He never stayed out late, didn't get mixed up with the wrong crowd or anything. And he always seemed grateful for what he had. So as I went to his bowl to fish him out I noticed that his body had floated to the top of the vase. As I was reaching in to grab him I saw his little fish fins moving ever so slightly! A few hours later he had his color back. And I'm happy to report that this morning Jaws 2 is swimming happily and eating all the fish food he wants. It was truly a Thanksgiving miracle! So I guess the moral of this story is that if you ever accidentally freeze one of your animals to death, don't bury them right away. You never know what might happen when they thaw out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving pics

We made it back home early this morning from a very fun and exhausting trip to Kansas. Jake had never met most of Mike's family and friends so there were several stops to be made and lots of new people to be introduced to. He was such a trooper! We were really nervous about the flight because he is such a wiggle worm and always wants to be on the move. But on every flight we had he sat in our laps and either played or fell asleep. He hasn't slept in my arms since he was three months old so I really enjoyed this! We'll have to fly more often. Enjoy the pictures!

It was very cold going to the airport!

With Grandpa Flinn after eating lots of turkey and sweet pickles.

This is Mike's friend Nathan and his fiance Emily. We had to convince Nathan that you really can't break a baby.

This is one way to contain a very mobile almost toddler person.

Grandpa Flinn with Jake and Allia.

Grandpa Flinn after Jake and Allia.

Playing with Allia and Aunt Mickey.

Jake and Allia

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

We're off to Kansas to see Mike's family in the morning. We're thankful for all of our friends and family and wish everyone a great holiday! If you have a minute leave me your top five list of things you're thankful for. Sorry, no prize for this one! Here's mine (in no particular order).

1. Family and friends
2. God
3. Dolphins (okay, all animals except the really creepy ones)
4. Chocolate
5. Books, music, bubbles, laughter, warm soft fuzzy things

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Our day of FUN!

Yesterday, we took a family outing to the local Austin zoo. It's actually more of a rescue/rehabilitation center than a zoo. But they do have lots of animals and a train which apparently doesn't operate when we're there. I can't tell you how much fun Jake had. It was fun for me too because I finally got to see that even though he looks like Mike and mostly acts like Mike, there is some of his mama in him too. God help him. The boy loves his animals. He especially liked the monkeys and well, anything he could see that was moving. And for only a dollar we got to buy a bag of food to feed the sheep, goats, and deer. Let me tell you, if you've never had an animal with really big lips and gross teeth scrape food off of your palm, you are MISSING OUT! There is nothing like goat spit on your hands to remind you that you are really living life to its fullest. Totally worth a dollar. After the zoo, we went to an outing at our Sunday school teacher's house. They had a bonfire and barbeque for the class. So, it was truly a full day of fun which means today we are staying home and doing absolutely nothing. Well, aside from chasing Jake all over the house and going up and down the stairs multiple times with him, I am doing nothing!

We saw lions, tigers and bears, OH MY!

Can you see how beautiful she is through the wires of the cage? I was mesmerized.

These monkeys escaped from their cage