Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day From Elvis

Kade and I had a lady I found on create him a Valentine card from one of his Halloween pictures. She was a having a half-price sale and barely charged anything to create a digital file for me. I then uploaded the picture and had them printed at Walgreens in wallet size. We are both excited about passing them out on 2/13 at his party and seeing everyone's reaction. He is such a comedian, so this is right up his alley! Happy Valentine's Day!!! Thank ya, thank ya, thank ya very much!

Snow (really Ice) Day!

School was cancelled on Tuesday, Jan. 27th and we started late the next day, the 28th. I cleaned house all day and then did a lampshade project that I've been putting off. Tuesday was Clint's birthday, so he got to spend it with all of us! We baked him a Paula Deen strawberry cake (from scratch!) and gave him Same Kind of Different As Me (audio format). I hope he enjoys the book as much as I did--it is so moving. Kade played on the Internet, watched cartoons and played outside on the ice, a little. Layton is just now starting to enjoy cartoons. He has a cowboy video that he watches all the time, but he found "Charlotte's Web" on Tuesday and has since watched it almost 10 times. It is not even the cartoon version--it has real people & animals. He was so funny when Charlotte wouldn't get up (she was dying). He was yelling at the t.v. "Spider, you hear me, get up!". I was laughing so hard. I've included pictures of my lampshade project, Layton in his cowboy getup, and with his new favorite movie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ft. Worth Stock Show

This past weekend my family went with my parents to see my sister, Skye, in Stephenville. While we were there we decided to go over to the Ft. Worth Stock Show to walk through the exhibits and animal barns. The first thing we had to do was have the boys picture made on the stuffed bull. (I had my picture made every year as a child & I think it is fun for the boys to do so, as well. Maybe I'll find mine and post on here, too!) Clint just about disowns us when we do this, but it is fun and the kids love looking at their picture all year on the big bull.

Layton had a wonderful time seeing all of the animals. He especially loved sitting on Jr. & Lane Livingston's horse. He thought he was a big time cowboy! As you can tell from the picture, Kade was less than enthused with all of the animals. He played his Nintendo DS most of the time! The boys did love the free petting zoo, though. While I was in the pen with the boys an Alpaca spit all in my hair and down my wool jacket. Everyone there got a great laugh, including me. I should have known better than to turn my back on him! We all had a great time, but were ready to go after just a few hours!!

Kade and His Heelys

One of the many things Kade wanted for Christmas was a pair of Heelys (shoes that have wheels in the heel of them). He asked for these beginning in about June and reminded me at least once a month that he wanted them really bad. Well, my sisters ended up getting him some. He is slowly getting the hang of them. My mom has told me that she will be glad to accompany him to the local mall and let him meet some boys who can teach him how to do it (our mall is full of boys wearing these things)! He has started practicing, on his own, each night after his bath. The first night he started practicing I couldn't help but snap a picture of his attire! He will kill me for this in a few years, but it was just too hard to pass up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sleepover with Nede

Kade is always asking Nede (great-grandmother) when she will come spend the night with him at our house, so on Friday she gave into his wishes and we had a sleepover. First, we all went to the basketball game and watched Kade's PIP performance and the Lady Panthers play. Once we came home we had snacks for supper, then put on our pajamas for a movie. The boys, Nede, and myself watched Snowbuddies. I don't know that we got much watched, because the boys had their tent in the living room. They even talked Nede into crawling in it with them! After popcorn and the movie, Nede and Kade laid in bed and read "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Kade's new favorite book). The next morning we had breakfast, played some more, then Nede went home. The boys had a wonderful time & I'm quite sure the sleepover will be something they remember always.

Layton's Wiggle Scooter

A few Christmases ago Kade received one of the scooters that you sit on and wiggle the handlebar back and forth in order to move. Well, Layton has taken it over. He doesn't ride it correctly, however. He rides it by pushing it along with his feet (Fred Flintstone!) and can get to going VERY fast. He can even make it around corners at a high rate of speed! It is hilarious--we videotape him often & have thought about sending it in to America's Funniest Home Videos. Everyone that comes over and happens to see one of his performances just carries on about how funny he is on the wiggle scooter.

Layton has also started this odd quirk of opening all the lower kitchen cabinet doors. We have a small dinette table (the idea of the table is to sit at it with your coffee and look out in the wheat field at either the livestock or wildlife, but "Yeah Right" out our house) that creates a small space when the cabinet doors on either side of it are open. Layton has started parking his scooter in there and even thinks it is where Ace should stay put while Layton is about the house. Ace doesn't like it one bit, but as always cooperates with his little friend, Layton! Usually, after several minutes of whimpering Layton will release Ace. The things he comes up with give us many hard laughs.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Kade and Layton received a four-wheeler for Christmas and have ridden it everyday possible. Kade even told me the other day to not be jealous, but he loves his four-wheeler. I guess he was kindly telling me he loved it possibly more than me! It is a great baby-sitter, too. Layton went to sleep riding in front of Kade the other day!

On Saturday, January 3, Kade had a friend over to ride four-wheelers. The friend, Carson, brought his four-wheeler and I rode Clint's big one and we went exploring. We rode through the pasture and then along the river behind the house. We found a few low spots and the boys jumped off the bank and played in the river sand. A good time was had by all. You'll notice Ace, our Jack Russell Terrier, in between the four-wheelers. He loves the ATV as much as the boys!

December 2008-Baptized

On Sunday, December 28, 2008, the boys and I were baptized in the First Presbyterian Church of Seymour, Texas. Then the four of us officially became members of the church. We love our church, our pastor and our church family. We are so excited about becoming members of such a wonderful house of God. The pictures are of us before church.

December 2008-Christmas w/ Nanny

Each year we go to the Panhandle for a day or two of Christmas. We, of course, enjoy seeing everyone. Here is a picture of Kade and Layton with their great-great-grandmother, Elsie Lasley. She is 98 years old and as sweet as ever!

December 2008-Christmas Cookies

On Christmas Eve morning the boys and I baked and decorated Christmas cookies. I thought this would be a fun tradition to begin! We used a honey dough, which is delicious. We decorated Christmas trees, stars, angels and teddy bears. Kade decorated maybe two and he was done! Layton kept getting the baked cookies and taking one bite off of them. I don't know if this will be a yearly tradition or not!

2008 Church Christmas Program

Kade and Layton were angels in the church Christmas program this year. I didn't think Layton would do it, but he did. He was a perfect little angel--they both were!

December 2008-Gaylord Texan-Ice

At the first of December the boys and I went with my parents and youngest sister to see the Ice exhibit at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. The exhibit is hand-carved from two million pounds of ice and kept at a frosty 9°. We had to wear a snow suit type jacket in order to walk through the exhibit. ICE! featured Old Man Winter blowing snow, a wintry forest complete with frozen pond, and a life-size Santa's lap! Plus, there were exciting ice slides and a breathtaking larger-than-life Nativity-carved from crystal clear ice. The Gaylord Texan lobby (which is huge) was also decorated. The boys were able to visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and even walk inside a real, life-size gingerbread house. We will never forget this experience!

November 2008-Bill & Carol Wallace

For those of you who don't know, I am the librarian at the 5th-12th grade campus in our district. One of our favorite authors is Bill Wallace (Beauty, Danger on Panther Peak, Christmas Spurs), so the district allowed he and his wife to come speak at our school. It was an event that I know the teachers and students will remember always. He will forever be one of my favorite authors and people--he and his wife were sincerely nice people. Kade was able to hear Carol Wallace speak and he thought he was so important hearing someone famous speak. He also got two books autographed by both authors.

This picture is of one of the 4th grade teachers in our district posing with the Wallaces.

October 2008-Halloween

This year for Halloween Kade was Elvis Presley and Layton was a rodeo clown. Kade would sing "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog" to everyone, then kiss the ladies' hands. He was hilarious. Clint painted him some chest hair--all the teachers at the elementary were emailing me about how funny he looked (they got to wear their costumes to school)! Layton had his makeup so smeared he looked like a killer clown, rather than a rodeo clown. I painted him a bucket and knocked the bottom out of it, so he would have a barrel. He would not get in it, though. The boys, of course, got lots of candy that we are still working on!

Kade wanted to carve a pumpkin, so Clint helped them create a cat. I was impressed! We had a fun night!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

September 2008 - Presbyterian Church Punkin' Patch - Backtracking

Our church held it's first Presbyterian Punkin' Patch in September of 2008. It was a huge success and brought the members of our church together for a fun function. Molly sat up a fall photo spot for taking pictures of the kiddos.

First Grade - August 2008

Kade began First Grade on August 27, 2008. He is really enjoying his teacher and all the kids in his class. The first semester he had all A's and perfect attendance, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for the next semester! He also won 2nd place in the Fire Prevention contest for First Grade in October.

Layton's 2nd B-Day - August 2008

Layton turned 2 on August 15. We had a small family birthday party for him. The theme was a farm/barnyard. He is really into horses, cows and tractors. His big gift was a battery powered John Deere tractor with a dump trailer. He is still working on reaching the foot pedal!

Layton loves to dress himself--as far as the accessories. The day of his party he was into the cowboy hat and the plastic green glasses (no lenses). We get a big kick out of his personality!

The other two pictures are ones that I took of him for his birthday invitation.

Sea World & Buffaloes-July 2008

In July I had a conference in San Antonio, so Clint and the boys, along with my mom and dad, went to Sea World. We enjoyed our stay in San Antonio, which included two trips around the river in a river boat. We requested the same boat driver the second time, because she was so informative. She was a school teacher, who drove the boats in the summer time for extra money.

A neighbor of ours has a herd of buffalo. They somehow crossed the river and came onto our place in July. They stayed with us about two days. The boys had a lot of fun taking these pictures of them. The buffaloes were terrified of horses, so Clint had to gather them with our Polaris Ranger--thank goodness for modern transportation!

Sports-Summer 2008

This summer we allowed Kade to participate in t-ball, tennis lessons and gymnastics lessons.
Clint and I, along with Jason & Molly Stroebel coached Kade's t-ball team. It was a lot of fun! Molly and I have both been elementary teachers, so we were prepared for the rambunctious behavior of five and six year olds. It was hilarious, though, watching Clint and Jason coach a bunch of kiddos. I continuously had to remind Clint that they were little kids and their parents probably didn't want them to hear some of his favorite words!!

The tennis lessons were a lot of fun for Kade, plus they really helped his eye-hand coordination. It took him awhile to learn to not hit the ball so hard each time--I still have this problem when I play! We still are laughing at the way he is holding his left hand in the tennis picture above. He will probably hate me for posting this picture in a few years, but for now it is too funny!

We had to drive to Wichita Falls to participate in the gymnastics lessons. Kade had fun, especially doing back flips on the rope (you can't see this picture to well). We are continuing to take gymnastics, but are splitting a private session with two friends. Kade has come a long way since he is getting one-on-one instruction.

April 2008 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Babers & Pa-Paw (my parents) took Kade & Layton to Dinosaur Valley State Park in April of 2008. The park is located in Glen Rose, Texas. The place is amazing, if you are interested in dinosaurs, like Kade was at the time. The state park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. There is also a trail you walk with life size fiberglass dinosaurs positioned along it. Kade looks like he is really running from a meat eating dinosaur in the picture above! The trip also included a drive through Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, which houses giraffes and other exotic wildlife. Aunt Sommer allowed everyone to stay at her home in Granbury, so a great time was had swimming and relaxing by the pool.

April 2008 - Texas State Capitol

On Friday, April 4, 2008, my entire family made a trip to the state capitol in Austin. The Texas Department of Agriculture held their Family Land Heritage ceremony on this date and my dad and his sister were honored for their ranches being in existence since 1901. The majority of their individual ranch is located in Throckmorton County. I completed a lot of the paperwork for the application, which was mind boggling at times, but extremely rewarding. I learned so much about my ancestors and their way of life. My parents were proud to tell anyone that would listen that their grandsons (Kade & Layton) were fifth generation ranchers and would be back at the capitol for the 150 year ceremony in 2051. It was an exciting day!

While we were in Austin we went to see the largest urban bat colony in North America fly from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. I have heard about them most of my life, but have never been in Austin at the right time--from mid-March to November. We had to get there early, in order to get a good seat on the lawn. The wait was worth it, though. It was a spectacular sight!

Kade's 6th B-Day & Easter 2008

Kade's 6th birthday (March 20) and Easter all fell at the same time last year, so we didn't really have him a birthday. Plus, it always falls during our school's spring break, so all of his friends are usually out of town. My mom, Babe, insisted that we have him a small birthday party with the theme of his choice during our Easter celebration. He chose dinosaurs. It was quite an Easter--bunnies and dinosaurs! His private ski lessons were his big birthday present--Yeah!

Clint absolutely hates it when I dress the boys in matching outfits, but I think it is so cute! I'm sure I don't have too many opportunities left, however, to dress them alike. I assume Kade will soon catch on that this is not cool and go on strike. Oh well, until then... The picture of the two boys together was taken Easter morning before church.

Spring Break 2008

I've been gathering pictures of the bigger moments in 2008, so that I can create some posts and let you know what my family did in the past year. It has been a lot of fun looking back on the past 365 days. I'm starting to get confused, however, on what year we did what! I'm sure I'll leave a few moments out, so I may insert some here and there.

In March of 2008 we went to Vail, Colorado, snow skiing. We are fortunate to have family friends who own a condo right on the slopes, so we go almost every year it fits in our schedule and theirs. This year the only ones who went were myself, Clint and Kade. My youngest sister, Skye, met us there with a group of college friends. Layton went with us in 2007 and it was a loooonnnggg trip up there and back, so he stayed home with Babers and Pa-Paw (my parents) this go round. Kade had private ski lessons the first day & caught on quickly
(group lessons never paid off in the past). He was ready to go up with the rest of us on the second day. I was sick the entire trip, but managed to ski on the second day with Kade. Clint, of course, had a blast with the college kids. They tried all kinds of crazy jumps, etc. It was a miracle he didn't break anything!