Oh 'deer!

"And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them . . . "

and said, Housewives of Israel,

"for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

and you shall celebrate with all manner of baking and crafts . . .

and you shall remain FESTIVE at all times. Fa la la la la!

No, no that isn't right!

But that didn't stop me from attempting to bake. And thus there is another addition to the Baking Hall of Shame. In my defense, baking at my house is not just combining ingredients and putting them in the oven. There is the added challenge of removing an 18 month old from the counter, side-stepping the entire contents of the Tuppleware cabinet that the 18 month old has emptied on the floor, yelling at everyone to steer clear of the oven, re-rolling 10 feet of aluminum foil, and trying to ensure that both boys eat less than their own weight in M&Ms.

First, we attempted to make reindeer cookies. This was not a good project for a 4 year old sous chef. You have to move fast to add the decorations once these come out of the oven. And you need substantially more chocolate covered pretzels than I planned for. So in the end we ended up with the reindeer from Santa's (motley) ground crew.

  • Rabid (red eyes)

  • Jaundiced (yellow eyes)

  • Fighters (missing antlers)

  • Toupee wearers (replacement plain antlers)

So now I have lots of gingerbread dough and M&Ms and no place to go. The next attempt is to make regular gingerbread cookies and press M&Ms into a tree shape. It was a culinary MacGuyver moment . . . until I went to move them and the M&Ms fell out. Fail.

This is what M&Ms look like when they are missing all the green ones. Sad. And where did all those blue ones come from? You know, when I started eating M&Ms there were no blue ones . . .

Fortunately, all was not lost for this day.

We did get to go to Jackson's Christmas program and he followed the advice of Buddy the Elf -

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

But Jackson knows the real story . . .

"The animals saw such a wonderful sight.

Baby Jesus was born in the stable that night.

Mary was thankful and filled with great joy.

God blessed the word with this new baby boy."


Gratitude Platitudes

All during the month of November, I have eagerly read other people's Thankful Notes on their Facebook pages. I wanted to participate in this viral festival but I just never could get it together. And as I learned in July, daily posting is exhausting! But there are so many things to be thankful for. So, just in time for Thanksgiving, here is my list.

1. Family - Family shapes and molds who we are and who we will become. We are so grateful for those who have surrounded us with love throughout our lives and have served as a beacon to light our path.

2. Friends - From those that we see daily to those that we haven't seen in forever, we are grateful for the many friends that God has given us. They are always there to support us, teach us, encourage us and love us even on our darkest day.

3. Fun - Some of the best sounds in the universe are the unmitigated overflow of giggles from our two boys. Whether it is silly noises or funny faces or just something that tickles them, we love to play and have fun. We treasure each moment.

4. Freedom - I am grateful for the many freedoms we enjoy every day. And I am grateful for those who have fought to preserve these freedoms and for those who are still fighting.

5. Food - Sometimes it feels like it consumes entirely too much energy - planning it, shopping for it, cooking it, driving through for it, eating it, cleaning up after it . . . but we are so grateful for the plentiful food that we have.

6. Faith - I am grateful for a God of amazing grace. I am more aware with each passing year of just how desperately I need it.

** This concludes my ode to F words (the nice ones). **

7. Imagination - Without it, there would be no science, no medicine, no literature, and no faith. We must never stop imagining.

8. Knowledge/Education - Things that were once the secrets of the universe are now literally at our fingertips. We are so grateful that there is no limit to the things that we can learn.

9. Seasons - We are grateful that there are new seasons in our calendar and in our lives. We love being able to see God's hand in the falling of the leaves, the sparkle of the snowflakes, the arrival of blossoms, and the warmth of the sunshine.

10. Smiles - I believe a person can become immeasurably more beautiful/handsome just by smiling. I am grateful for all the blessings that there are to smile about and for all the people who remind me to keep smiling.

11. Home - In a time when so many are struggling to hold onto the buildings that they call home and so many more are trying to hold together families, we are grateful for our house and our family. Our house is perfect for us in this time (and it has a gorgeous new fence!) and our family is committed to enjoying our amazing journey together.

12. Words/Communication/Books - The power to convey thoughts is an amazing thing. I am blessed that I am able to read so many ideas. It keeps me up at night . . . literally.

13. Tex-Mex Cuisine - Tacos, enchiladas, nachos, sopapillas, queso, chips, salsa, quesadillas . . . I don't discriminate. I am grateful for them all.

14. Childhood Friendships - I am grateful for the friends God has placed in my life who have withstood the test of time. I am also excited to see the friendships that are starting to form for my boys.

15. Brothers - I am grateful for the sweet relationship that Jackson and Logan have already. They love each other fiercely.

16. Health - We are so grateful that save for colds and allergies, we are incredibly healthy. Even though some of us have been known to lick the grocery cart or let the dog share our sandwich.

17. Arts and Crafts - I love arts and crafts! I am so grateful that I have the time and energy to work on them occasionally. And that my family is forgiving of their propensity to multiple in closets and overflow tabletops.

18. Clothing - Though keeping up with it makes me crazy most of the time (laundry!), I am grateful that I have clothes and that they will keep me warm if Texas ever approves the turning on of winter.

19. Molly the family dog - She's every inch a bundle of wild energy, but Molly loves us unconditionally and she is so good to the boys. For her part, Molly is grateful that Logan has learned how to sneak kibbles to her and that Jackson leaves lots of delicious, crunchy toys laying around that she can use for games of "Keep Away" with Mom and Dad.

20. Digital Photography - How far we have come since people sat for hours waiting for their images to be preserved. Now they are across the globe in seconds. Unfortunately, Jackson does not share my excitement and is now treating me like the crazy paparazzi lady. "I am done with pictures now, Mom."

21. Sunshine - I love the sunshine! The light, the warmth, the dazzling brilliance. Sometimes, winter (even Texas winter) is long.

22. My husband - I am grateful to get to share life with a guy who loves me in spite of my occasional craziness, who is a great dad for our boys, and who continues to dream big dreams and work hard to make them come true.

23. Our little guys - I stand amazed at how perfectly created each of our little boys is. So unique and special. I am so grateful that God chose me to be their mom and that I get to guide them as they grow.

24. Each and every new day



I fought the LAW and the LAW won

Logan fought valiently for at least 30 minutes, but eventually Sleep knocked him out!


More from Jackson

In the car on the way home -

Jackson: "Mommy, when Daddy was a little boy was his name Daddy?"
Me: "No, his name wasn't Daddy until you were born."
Jackson: "Oh, I thought his name was Silly Pants."


Quotable Jackson

Whole family in the car . . .

Jackson: I LOVE cats. I think we should get a cat.

Me: We can't get a cat, because I'm allergic to them. Maybe you can visit someone else's cat.

LONG pause . . .

Jackson: I think we should get a cat AND a new mommy.

Me: Really? What are you looking for in a new mommy besides not allergic to cats?

Jackson: She'll be green.

Me: Oh, ok. Anything else?

Jackson: She'll wear perfume.

HILARIOUS! I can't make this up. This is who Jonathan thinks should be cat-friendly, GREEN, good-smelling Mommy 2.0


This afternoon, Jackson was pretending to be a squirrel. A little odd choice in animal, but I personally think that squirrels are pretty funny vermin.

Me: Jackson, what do you eat when you are a squirrel?

Jackson: Nuts

Me: What kind of nuts? (Thinking peanuts, walnuts, round nuts, brown nuts)

Jackson: Chicken Nuts


Jackson: We need another pet. Right now we have JUST a dog.


I want a squirrel.


Goodbye, July!

Twenty six days over 100 degrees. . . makes us a little wild.

Sayonara, July from the H2O Rambos.

Heat that no air conditioner can cool . . . makes us look cool in our ride.

makes us want to play some tunes . . .

makes us want to keep an emergency stash of cow brew in the kitchen towel drawer (!)

July is over. It has been one long, hot month. You, my faithful readership of 2, have survived a month of mindless blathering from me. Daily posting was a little harder than I anticipated - there's just so much awesomeness we can pack in around here, but we made it! Thanks for taking the time to read about all of our crazy adventures. I hope they made you smile. The goal of posting constantly for back to back fortnights was to increase consistency for a blog that had no new content from December to July. Done. Now we are moving to a maintenance schedule.

We'll see you soon.


Car Crazy

What do you do when it is sweltering outside and you have Matchbox car collection that spans more than 30 years? You build a "parking lot"!

Including an auxiliary "lemon lot" for the unsavory characters.

And you fear attracting the attention of the local Godzilla.