Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TLO loves Michael!

Before the guys loaded up all their gear to take to the City Tavern on Saturday night, they had a quick practice. They have a practice room in Garland, where they go at least once a week to practice old songs and work on new songs. Since I was riding with Adam, I also attended their practice session.

As you all know, Michael Jackson passed away last week. Well, being that he is one of the biggest musical icons of our generation, The Lash Outs wanted to pay tribute to him during their show Saturday night.

They all wore buttons with Michael's picture, there was a Michael Jackson record cover on stage in front of Dustin's drums, and Joey wore a Michael style hat. Adam even wore a tiger shirt during practice, but decided not to wear it during the show.

Most of the pictures I took were at the practice room, but I also took a couple at the actual show.

Joey in his hat
The album cover
One of the buttons
Adam in the tiger shirt
Here's one of the two that I took at the show. Annie was posing for me! That's Derek, Andrea's husband, and Ramos in the background.
Joey again!

5 Posts!

I got some more posts done!!

We're Home!

Kemah Boardwalk

Kemah Aquarium





For anyone who has never lived in the country, y'all might think this is a little weird.

Uncle David lives in a pretty country area, surrounded by a LOT of trees and woods. They have always had a ton of wildlife visit them in their backyard. There has been several kinds of birds, squirrels, deer, raccoons, and even a bobcat!

Attached to the back of his house, Uncle David has a huge sun room, that looks out to the backyard. Right outside of the huge windows, is a picnic table. A couple of years ago, he started putting out dog food every night on his picnic table, to feed the animals. He was very curious to see what he would attract and which animals would be brave enough to come so close to the house.

Not long after putting out the food, families of raccoons started showing up every night to enjoy their midnight snack. He told me that some nights there would be as many as 7 out there all at once!

Well, while we were visiting, a couple of the raccoons showed up for their snack. I was so excited to see them! I tried SO hard to take pictures through the glass, but hardly any of them turned out. I even snuck outside, through the front door, down the side of the house, to the backyard to try and get a shot. Heck no! I scared them so bad, I didn't think they'd ever come back.

So anyway, here are a couple of the pictures that I took. I tried to edit them so you could at least the raccoons a little bit. They turned out super blurry though.

The one on the right was hilarious! She kept sitting up on her hind legs to eat. At one point, she stood up tall on her back legs to look at something, and I think she was about 2 feet tall. So cute!!
This was the first one that showed up. He was sneaking in, slowly taking piece by piece off the table, until he was brave enough to get on top.

Monday, June 29, 2009


As I mentioned in a previous post, we also got to go see my Uncle David and his family. They live about an hour away from my grandparents and we hardly ever get to see them.

Uncle David's step-son, Brad, which I consider my cousin, since we've been family for almost 15 years now, came over too. He and his precious wife, Sandra, have two little boys, Jackson and Carson. Jackson is right in between Parker and Peyton; Carson is almost 7 months (I think!).

It had been so long since we had seen them, that it was our first time to meet Carson! The last time I saw them, Sandra was barely pregnant. It was so great to see them, my Uncle David, and his wife, Charlotte (ChaCha). I love them all so much and it makes me sad to think how little I get to spend time with them!

The kids all had a BLAST playing together. The boys even shared all their toys with each other! Jackson brought a bunch of his Thomas toys along to ChaCha's house and dumped them all out as soon as he got there. He had absolutely no problem letting Parker and Peyton play with his trains! Such a sweet boy!

Carson was an absolute doll! He let Granna and I love on him for a long time; we got lots of smiles and giggles! He is getting ready to crawl and he was so precious, trying SO hard. I can't believe Carson is already that old, and I just got to love on him for the first time. So sad!!

I wish that we lived closer to them. Not only so I could be closer to my Uncle David, whom I just love to death, but so that we could be closer to Brad and Sandra. I have always wanted my kids to have cousins to play with and grow up with, but I don't see that ever happening. Unless they wanted to move to Dallas (hint-hint)!

Jackson & Parker - aren't they SO stinkin' cute?!?!
Carson - I could just eat him up! Look at those chubby cheeks!
Jackson and Peyton loved on each other a bit. They were getting ready to leave, and Peyton had to tell him a secret and give him a hug!

Kemah Aquarium

After Parker got his fill of the amusement park, Mimi & Papa left to go check on Granny, and the rest of us headed to the aquarium. The main aquarium is also a restaurant and you have to go up several flights of stairs to get to the top. The entire way up, through the middle of the stairs, was an extremely tall fish tank. It was beautiful!

Once you get to the top, which is the restaurant part, is where the giant tank is. It was full of HUGE fish, sharks, an eel that I swear was 6 feet long, and stingrays. So cool! The kids absolutely LOVED it!

I took lots of pictures, but because of the lighting, they all turned out blue. So, unfortunately, I only have a few to show you.

After we saw the main aquarium, we headed back downstairs to the other side of the building, which is a stingray exhibit. Peyton decided she would rather get a ball from the gift shop than go see the stingrays, so Grumps took Parker in by himself. Parker loved it. He got to pet the stingrays and feed them fish!

When we left Kemah, we were all pretty hungry, so we headed to Bay City, in search of a restaurant that we used to love. We had heard that Clifton's had closed down, but we had to make sure for ourselves. Luckily, it was still open!! We all ordered a lunch special and it was absolutely delicious. It even came with dessert; I chose the chocolate cake!

Here's Bitty in a great mood, looking at the fish! She was mesmerized!
You can't really tell by this picture, but this fish was HUGE!!
While we were there, a man came into the water, in full scuba gear, with canisters full of fish. It was so cool to see him feed all the sea life!!
One of the stingrays

Kemah Boardwalk

We spent a day in Kemah while we were down South. It's a little town outside of Houston, that's on the ocean. It was hit really badly by the hurricanes a couple of years ago, pretty much destroying everything that was near the water.

Kemah is known for several things, but mainly it's boardwalk. The boardwalk used to look very old fashioned, but since it was destroyed completely, they have redone the entire area. It is SO awesome!!

Not only does it have several rides, including a train that goes around all the property, but it has tons of restaurants, shops, and an awesome aquarium! I think Parker had the best time out of anyone. He got to ride the train, an airplane, the carousel, and the ferris wheel. Woo hoo!!

Peyton only attempted one ride, which was the train, and cried almost the entire time. I don't know if it was actually the train she was upset about, or the fact that she rubbed sunscreen in her eyes. Her poor eyes were completely blood shot and running like faucets.

As soon as she got off the train, we took her to the bathroom, and I rinsed them out really well with water. I also washed her hands and face really well, so she wouldn't end up rubbing more lotion in her eyes. Once I got her eyes flushed out, and they stopped burning, she was acting like a totally different child. Bless her little heart! They had to have been burning like fire!

Despite the stifling heat and awful humidity, it turned out to be a great day. I'm really glad we went, and Parker had the chance to ride some big boy rides. He was so happy and proud; it made me melt to see the huge smile on his precious face!

My big boy!!
Mimi and Peyton waiting in line for the train.
Granna, Parker, Peyton, & Mimi. Can you see how upset Bitty was?!?!
Grumps, Papa, and I met the train at one of the crossings. Isn't the property gorgeous?
Broke my heart when they passed. She was screaming, "MAMA!!!!"
Parker waving "hi" to me from his airplane
He thought it was amazing!!
Go, Parker, Go!!
The carousel was beautiful. It was 2 stories and all the hand-painted details were gorgeous!
Parker chose to ride on the top deck!
Here we are getting ready to go on the ferris wheel
"Hi, Granna!!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We're Home!

We had a great time in Houston spending time with our family! I was definitely happy to be home though, and so were the kids. After a week of being off of their normal schedules, and not having naps, they were acting pretty rotten towards the end of the trip.

The weather in Houston is SOOOO humid! The temperature is the same as it is in Dallas, but we don't have the humidity. I think I lost a pound every day we were there, just from sweating. Just going out to the car to get something was torture! As soon as I would walk outside I would be sweating, and by the time I got back in the house, my hair would be wet. Definitely not good weather when you have wavy hair!

We spent most of our time hanging out with my grandparents, my great-grandmother, and great-aunt. We also got to see my Uncle David, his wife Charlotte, and my cousin Brad and his family. It was great getting to see all of them, because it's usually only once a year that it happens.

My great-grandmother, Granny, isn't doing too well. She is 91, has taken a couple of bad falls lately, and her mind is starting to go. When she fell, she fractured several little bones in her back, which is causing her a lot of pain. It was SO sad to see her in such awful discomfort. She wasn't able to stay out of bed for very long periods of time while we were visiting.

It brought me great happiness to see how thrilled she was to see Mom, Dad, me, and the kids! She hadn't gotten dressed in regular clothes for several weeks, but since she knew we were coming to see her, she got all dolled up in one of her suits. It was SO precious! I just love my Granny!!

Unfortunately, since she was in bed most of the time, I didn't get a single picture of her. After looking through all of my pictures, I was very sad when I realized it. I did get a lot of pictures on the trip though, so I have several posts to do tomorrow!

The trip was a success and overall, Parker and Peyton were pretty good! They are acting much more like themselves now though, since they are back on their schedules and taking good naps. Man oh man, what a difference in their behavior, with just a couple of extra hours of sleep!!

This weekend was spent with Granna. She came home with us to finish out her vacation and watched the kids for Adam and I last night, so we could attend The Lash Outs show. Thanks Granna!! While we were heading out for the evening, she was loading up the kids and taking them to Chuck E. Cheese. She said they had an absolute blast! I wish she would have had the camera to take some pictures.

Shortly after returning home from taking Granna back to Hachie, Nona came over. She brought with her a lot of delicious food for dinner, along with some fruit for me and Peyton! YUMMY!! Aunt Kate and one of her friends, Katie Joe, along with her daughter, Kendalynn, all came over for dinner as well. We enjoyed the pools and sprinklers in the backyard until dinner was ready.

The dinner turned out delicious!! We had steak, salmon, shrimp, roasted potatoes, roasted asparagus, spaghetti squash, sauteed mushrooms, and brownies with Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. WOW! It was a lot of food, but hardly any of it was left over.

We ended a great week with a great weekend!! I am so grateful for my family!

I hope you all had a great week and weekend as well. Stay tuned for some posts, that I hope to complete tomorrow. Love you all!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fun Weekend at the Lake

We had a very good time at the lake this weekend! There was lots of time spent in the sun; thank goodness for sunscreen and water!!

I bought the kids some fishing poles to take with us and they loved casting and reeling, over & over! I got the kind that don't actually have hooks. Peyton's had a purple, plastic butterfly attached at the end; Parker's had a red, plastic fish attached to his.

I also found them some life jackets at the re-sale shop on Friday. You know, just in case! I am so paranoid about the water. I got Peyton's for $9.99, which was $29.97 at Wal-Mart; got Parker's for $5.99, which was $22.97 at Wal-Mart. I love re-sale shops! I couldn't believe how much I had saved when I checked the prices.

Aunt May's birthday was Saturday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAY MAY!!), and of course, today was Father's Day (HAPPY FATHER'S DAY ADAM & DAD!!), so we all had a great time together celebrating.

We also ate a LOT of delicious food! Last night for dinner, we had steaks, corn on the cob, homemade french fries, cantaloupe, watermelon, and home-grown tomatoes...YUMMY!! This morning for breakfast, we made breakfast tacos full of sausage and bacon, and fried potatoes with a little onion...DELICIOUS!!

The only down fall to the whole trip, well other than my brother's anniversary being the same day as Father's Day, was the fold out bed...again!! Since we stayed there the first time, the trailer has been leveled, so we thought that would fix the problem with the leaning bed. Once we pulled it out last night, I laid down on it to test it, and it seemed fine. Well, it wasn't!

Adam, Peyton, & I were the 3 that were sleeping on the bed. Peyton was on the inside, then Adam, and then me. Well, needless to say, I didn't get hardly any sleep. I kept feeling like I was going to roll off the edge, so I would wake up in a panic, and then it would take me for ever to fall back asleep, before it happened all over again.

Before we go down there next time, I am going to get some bed risers to put under the two legs. Hopefully that will fix the problem. I would definitely prefer feeling like I was rolling in a little bit, rather than feel like I'm falling onto the floor!

This will be my last post for several days, because we are heading to Houston for most of the week. We are heading to Hachie tomorrow evening to stay the night, and will head South early Tuesday morning. We'll either come home Thursday night or Friday morning, so I probably won't be posting again until Saturday. Just when I decided that I am going to make a conscious effort to blog everyday, we are leaving. Sorry!

Hopefully I will get lots of pictures while I'm there and will have lots to blog about. I'm going to try to get a more recent 5 generation picture while we're there, so I'll definitely be posting that for y'all to see! I hope you all had an awesome weekend. Love you all!

Here's Adam helping Peyton "fish" Parker does an awesome job all by himself!!
Here's Dad in his typical lake attire!
Peyton got to drive from the dock to the pool!
If you recall, the last time we went to the pool, Parker didn't want to be by himself at all in the water. This time though, I brought different flotation devices, and Parker was a swimming fool! I guess by having two different types of floaties on, he felt a lot more comfortable. I bought the same exact things for Peyton, but she still wouldn't have anything to do with the water.
Parker had SO much fun "swimming" around the pool! He even decided he was brave enough to jump in from the side. At first, he would only do it if Adam was right there to catch him. Eventually though, he was jumping in all by himself. I was very proud of him!! It was awesome to see him & Adam having so much fun together. Maybe by the end of the summer, Peyton will be brave enough to swim too!
Here's Parker jumping in!
Adam and Peanut...of course, he has his tongue out...doesn't he always when there's water involved?!?!
See how much braver he was getting with his jumps? Look how high he jumped for this one! That smile on his face just melts my heart!

Today, before we left, Adam got out the kite for the kids. They are so amazed by kites! Since most of the lots by my parent's lot still haven't been bought, there is an open field next to them. It was the perfect place to fly a kite.
Parker got a turn to do the flying!
Peyton got a turn too!

I took a video of them flying the kite, but it was so grainy that I'm not even going to post it. I was sitting pretty far away, so I had the camera on zoom, and I guess the camera didn't like that very much. I was sad though, because about half-way through flying the kite, Parker decided he was going to chase the kite's shadow. It was hilarious!! He was running in circles trying to catch the shadow, and then he would just fall to the ground. It's something you definitely had to see to appreciate!

9 Long Years

I want to start this post by wishing my dad and husband a Happy Father's Day!! I love you both and I hope you have a great day today!

The real reason for this post though, is to re-introduce you all to my brother. I have only spoke of him once since I started blogging. It was here, when I was wishing him a Happy 26th Birthday! I still can't believe he would be that old.

9 years ago today, my little brother passed away in a car accident. WOW!! 9 years?!?! It definitely doesn't seem that long ago. I can remember everything like it was yesterday.

He and some of his friends were heading home from the lake, and the boy that was driving, fell asleep at the wheel. No, there was no alcohol involved. That's normally the first thing people think when I say that. All 3 of the other boys were asleep, so I guess he was having a hard time staying awake.

From what we can gather, when he woke up and realized he was heading off the road, he tried to correct the car, but did it too quickly. The car ended up flipping several times, throwing out the passengers, and rolling over my brother. The only positive thing I can say about the whole matter, is that we know Jeff didn't suffer.

The driver and my brother's best friend walked away with only a few scratches and bruises. The other passenger injured one of his legs and had to have skin graphs done on one of his ears. They all 3 survived the accident though, with minimal injuries.

I know Jeff is with the Lord now and is living the perfect life, but I still miss him like crazy! I know he would have been an amazing uncle to Parker and Peyton and they would have loved him SO much!

Jeff was an awesome person and was loved by almost everyone he ever met. He was definitely the class clown and got in trouble a lot in school, but it wasn't for being the "bad" kid. It was because he couldn't keep his mouth shut!

I have never seen a funeral more packed in my life. There were SO many people there! It was great to be surrounded by so many people who loved my precious brother, on such an awful day.
Sorry to be such a downer, but I really wanted everyone to know about one of the most important people in my life, that never gets talked about on my blog.

I also wanted to share some pictures with you. All of the pictures of us growing up are at my parent's house, so hopefully I will remember to get some and I can include them on the post for what would have been his 27th birthday. I have many months to do this, so I'm sure I can remember!

This is probably my MOST favorite picture of my brother! It just shows his goof-ball side and that's what I will always remember the most about him. I scanned it in the frame that it sits on a shelf in my living room. I couldn't believe I found such an awesome frame to put it in! This was taken the weekend he died.

This was taken at a wedding in 1997 or 1998. It isn't a good picture of either one of us, but I love it, because it makes me laugh! I can vividly remember posing for the picture and neither one of us wanted to take it. My Mimi made us pose and we were laughing hysterically after she took the picture. It was Jeff's idea to pretend he was reading the book.
This was taken in 1997 I think. We were leaving my Mimi's house in Houston to head back home after church, and she had us pose for a picture before we left. It's crazy how short Jeff is in this picture. He was over 6 foot when he died. He had a HUGE growth spurt just a few months before the accident.

This is his headstone. He was very big into drama and starred in several of the high school plays. He was also a movie junkie. He had every movie ever made it seemed, and could recite some of them word for word. That's why there are drama faces and a movie reel on the headstone.
This is what his plot used to look like at all times before the cemetery changed the rules. Now we can only have a couple of things out there.
The back of the headstone
The family bench. You can't tell because of the lighting, but it also has Mullin etched in the sides of it.
This is a cross that used to be at the site of the accident.
This is a tree that Waxahachie High School planted in memoriam of Jeff.
This is the stone that sets in front of the tree.