Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alamo Bowl 2008

Granny, Reese and PaPa before the game--good tiger paws Reese!:)

Reese waited forever for these balloons to fall--he saw them right when we walked in up on the ceiling and asked the WHOLE game when they were gonna fall and finally they did! YEAH!

PaPa, Granny, Reese and I after the game--score behind us--MU-30 Northwest-23
not a slaughter but it sure kept us on our toes!

Reese took a picture of me acting like a tiger---this is the best I can do!

Look at these seats--wow!!!

Watching the game with my Dad

The ultimate fan! He was so excited about getting his face painted!

Trying to sit still while getting sprayed with paint!

Kicking a football--he was so excited to get to do this! It was cute!

Oh the road again....all decked out in his MU gear!
San Antonio bound!

Yesterday Reese and I drove down to San Antonio to meet my parents to watch the Missouri Tigers play in the Alamo Bowl (I am from Missouri and my dad played for Mizzou in college)
Reese was THRILLED when PaPa called and said he bought 2 extra tickets for him and either Greg or I to go--I got the ticket because Greg couldn't get off work:( ---I was happy to go though...another reason I am GLAD I don't work!
Anyways got there about 4pm and I was pooped! Sunday night Greg, the kids and I got back from KC and then the next morning Reese and I had to get back in the car to get to the Bowl in time! Well anyways there was no time to sleep because my dad just HAD to get going because he didn't want to miss the game....no hard feelings Dad I'm just giving you a hard time:)
Before the game there were all kinds of booths and inflatables for the kids. -Reese LOVED that!
When the game finally began Reese was the ultimate fan! He was hilarious! He did every cheer with the crowd and I seriously think one time he started a cheer himself--he started yelling, "Lets Go Tigers!" and everyone around us slowly started taking notice and began to follow suit--he was so proud!
The game was really close and we had a few hiccups BUT...Mizzou pulled through and took the win! We had incredible seats right on the end zone about 6 rows back! We were also right next to the band so Reese loved watching the drummers! This kept Reeser very interested because he could see everything and when they scored he would freak out with everyone else (while holding his ears of course...being that it was a tad bit loud:)
The game lasted a long time and from time to time he would ask when it was over but all and all he watched the game intently. We didn't get back to the hotel until around 1am--Reese didn't fall asleep in the car but as soon as his head hit the pillow he was out!
We drove back today and wow it seemed like a LONG drive! Reese slept about 2 hours of the trip (very rare for him) and I kept calling people so I won't dose off! We finally pulled into the house about 2pm and I felt like kissing the pavement--I didn't but we were both thrilled to be home....I told Greg that I don't want to travel again for at least a month:) -ok a week! (that's for you Jill and Jeremy who always thinks we travel alot:)

*I forgot to tell a story--while walking out of the game we got to see the Mizzou drumline play in the parking lot and Reese was in Heaven! His new love is drums and he was enthralled watching them play. After they were done we were walking away and we just happened to pass one of the drumline guys and he gave Reese his drum sticks and let him play his drum! Reese hasn't put down the sticks yet! He kept telling me that he got real drum sticks from a real MU tiger! Too cute!

Thank you so much Granny and PaPa for taking us to the game--it was such a treat and very special for us both to share the experience with you both! -a memory we both will NEVER forget! Love you guys!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Family Christmas

Me and my jacket!

Reese opening his gift from Abby--a gumball machine!

the kids loved their little weasel toys from Cracker Barrel--who knew they would love it so much--score!

The trampoline!

Drum set #1

Drum set #2---ahhh that's better and the symbols work--his favorite!

Since the kids and I were leaving Sunday for Kansas City we declared Christmas (for us) on Dec, 20th--hooray! I was so excited to see the kids open their gifts. This year we decided to wait to buy for the kids until we were absolutely SURE they still wanted the things on their list. We were able to get Reese a drum set for his main gift and a mini trampoline for Abby. They were both so ecstatic and couldn't wait to open them up!
*side note on the drum set*
We had really thought through it and we decided we would just try a "cheaper" drum set for him to try it out. Then if he was really into it we would invest more to get a real set. Well when we opened what we got him we were so disappointed. Reese was perfectly happy but Greg and I couldn't believe how bad it was--the symbol didn't even work and it was basically made of thick paper. Well anyways to make a long story short while we were in KC Greg had to stay back a few days and work so he went on a hunt for a better drum set! Thanks to Craigslist he found a great deal and was able to get a full real "used" set! When we got in tonight we were able to surprise him with a super drum set and he couldn't believe it! It is VERY loud but very worth it--he loves it!
Anyways---Abby also loves her trampoline--she is very excited to get to jump! (they are getting too big to jump on the beds like they used to;)
The kids were so sweet to buy Greg and I and each other gifts too. They earned their own money and it was so fun to watch them pick out the perfect thing for everyone! I cherish those gifts because I know they are full of heart and sacrifice!
Greg was a great little gift giver himself! He got me a new jacket--the exact one I wanted:) and a Nike+ for running with my ipod! He did very good this year---and I might add I wasn't too shabby...I actually was able to surprise Greg this year with a gift certificate for a massage! I never manage to surprise him and this year I did---hooray!

Christmas with Grandma

Merry Christmas! It has been awhile since I blogged last because I have been in Kansas City, MO spending Christmas with my family. We got back tonight and I am so very far behind I am gonna do my best to cover all our Christmas festivities!
Our first Christmas was with Grandma Reese last Thursday night. We went over for dinner and presents. It was great to spend the evening with her. The kids were very excited to get their gifts and they also thought it was really cool to open before Christmas had even come!
Grandma is always very thoughtful in her gift giving and we all are blessed to have her in our lives. It was sad to be away from family here in Texas over Christmas but it's always wonderful to get together no matter the time!

Abby got some Webkins--she was thrilled!

Reese and his transformers--he accidentally left one at her house that night and was very sad! (thankfully Grandma came to the rescue and brought it to him the next day!)

Grandma Reese with the kids.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroling at the Nursing Home

This is Mrs. Hughes and every week the kids can't wait to go in her room and visit! (she hands out candy:) -this week I told the kids we were gonna do the giving and they were ok with that!

This woman called us into her room and didn't want us to leave--she asked me if we'd make a point of coming to her room again and I told her absolutely!

Mrs. Green--she was all dressed-up--she told us she knew we were coming (I guess she wanted to look nice)--I about cried!

Friday afternoon we took the kids to go caroling at the nursing home.
The kids were all practiced up and were ready to sing their hearts out! We also had some treats and ornaments to hand out that the kids made . The people there were SO happy--it was such a blessing to see their faces when the kids sang! One woman cried and told me that this made her Christmas! That made my day!
We were able to sing to almost everyone in the home and they didn't care that we were repeating ourselves:) (since mainly the kids only wanted to sing Away in a Manger and Jingle Bells;)
It is so great to be able to teach Abby and Reese through all of these visits--they are beginning to see more clearly that everyday whether it's a holiday or not we should shine the light of Jesus! I love that whenever Friday rolls around Reese will say, "Mommy, I want to go visit my old friends!" -precious!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Giving Gifts!

Tuesday night for Family night we did the "What God wants for Christmas" Nativity story with the kids. When I read the part about the wise men giving gifts to baby Jesus the kids got very excited! A couple a weeks ago Maw Maw and Poppa went to Israel and brought back myrrh and frankincense just like what the wise men brought to Jesus way back when!
So they wouldn't let me read any further until they got their own gifts to offer Him!
*****I'm not sure why-- but Maw Maw and Poppa didn't bring us any gold back:) so Reese asked to borrow our wedding rings.....aren't we so holy!! HeHe!

Christmas Party!

All the kids with Santa--can you see him? --it's like Where's Waldo:)

Abby and I icing cookies!

Isn't she the cutest little girl ever????

Getting some loving from Mrs. Claus!

Abby's friend Hailey and her family came with Reese and I to see Santa--
Abby was very excited!

Today Abigail had her first Christmas party at school. I was able to get Maw Maw to watch Reeser so I could volunteer to help out. The party lasted 2 hours and it was "crazy"--we actually got to feed the kids junk food!!!! Normally we have to go by the district rules and serve healthy food but today we sugared them up good!;)
I got to man the gingerbread decorating table so that was fun--if you call 20 kids covered in icing and sprinkles fun:) I was laughing with one of the other mom's about how funny it was that I got the cookie table.... because I just LOVE a good mess--hehe! No really all kidding aside it was great and after school Abby mentioned how I'm always at all of her school parties and field trips and that she was happy about that! Now that makes any mess worth it doesn't it??
Yesterday Santa Claus came to the school--he was supposed to come in a helicopter but it was too foggy. It was still fun to wait outside and watch him come up in a mini-van:) and then he, his wife, Mrs. Claus, the Eves, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman walked down the sidewalk (we were out in front of the school lining the street) and greeted all the kids! Abby hid behind the other kids...she's not too into that kinda stuff. When we asked the kids if they wanted to go see Santa she said, "No way!" Reese said, "Sure but I don't want to go to close- I"ll just yell at him what I want!" -so as you can see we lucked out.... we don't have to wait in those long lines like every other American parent does every year--score!

-ok this has nothing to do with today but here is a conversation we overheard the kids having in the car today-
Reese- I wanted to get rich and selfish when I grow up Abby!
Abby- No--No you don't Reese because you'll never be on Santa's good list.
(Reese got the point and changed his mind quickly:)

*to clarify a bit --we are not teaching this principle at home;)
Reese heard Huey, Dewey, and Louie say it in the movie "Twice Upon a Christmas" -man this is proof that kids DO pick up even the smallest little thing from movies!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread Making Party!

Abby and her friends

The masterpiece

Finally finished!

Reese looks like he's up to something doesn't he? I think Abby's onto him!:)

Abby's little friend Trinity invited her over to decorate gingerbread houses and Reese was invited to tag along too---he was thrilled!
Trinity's mom, Keri is one of my dear friends and she went way over board-as usual:) She got every candy and icing color imaginable! Abby was in heaven---Reese was too but he mostly ate the candy and licked the icing while Abby tried to cover every inch of the house with sugar!
Reese would put a piece on the house then take it off again and eat it. Abby would then get mad at him for eating all the candy--it was hilarious! The house turned out beautiful and Abby worked her heart out on it. While every other kid was done and already watching a movie she was still sitting at the table working away!
Most importantly the kids wanted to know if this house was for decoration or could they eat it? I told them that we would make one they could eat on Christmas day--not only would it give us something to do after all the festivities but also they would probably be on a sugar high already anyway so what would it hurt-- right???:) (One of these days they are gonna figure me out....but until then let's go with it!)

Dallas Children's Theater

"The Stinky Cheese Man" is a show that is playing at the theater in the spring and he just had to get his picture by the sign! If you hang around Reeser for more than 5 minutes you would understand why this sign is perfect for him;) He wanted to take it home!

Abby in her Mrs. Claus dress--she has been wanting a red dress for sooooo long so for the show I surprised her with one! She did point out that there is no black in it (see Nutcracker post) but I told her she could wear her black shoes and she was satisfied! (thank goodness!)

This is the best I could get ...it's cute though---I told them to put their arms around each other and I guess that translates "squeeze each other"???

One of Greg's friends from high school gave us 4 tickets to a Christmas Puppet show at the Dallas Children's Theater. We were so thrilled to get them because we had wanted to take them there for a while now but the tickets (like everything else these days) are pretty expensive so yet again we were blessed with free ones! I tell ya it pays to be a Stamps in this area:) -everybody knows them and loves them--glad I got voted in--hehe!
Anyways the show only lasted about 50 minutes but it was a perfect length because right about the last act Reese started asking for something to drink! The puppets in the show were marionettes and the kids have never been to that kind of show before--they were very intrigued! They both really loved the guy/puppet that sang "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!" Abby just kept giggling and touching her mouth---if you didn't already notice in the pictures she is missing her 4 front teeth! (it's adorable)
After the show we headed to Starbucks for apple cider then headed home. We were shocked at how long it took us to get over to Dallas---the metroplex is huge! After the long haul we decided we picked the best city---Ft. Worth is so much better!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Abby went to the Nutcracker with her best friend Hailey and you can check out all the cute pictures on Hailey's mom's blog!
Abby loves her Hailey and so when they asked her to go to the show and to spend the night Abby was elated!
Anyways since Misty was there I will let her tell the story!
Thanks Misty and Shane! Abby had a blast and we had a great night with Hayden--he the best little boy--by the way you need to by him a drum;)

*the only complaint Abby had about the night was that everyone had a black and red dress on and her's was pink and black! Ha! Is that starting already????

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2nd Annual Neighborhood Christmas Party!

Everyone hungout in the kitchen all night--my legs were killing me!

The guys stuck real close to the food table--Greg had a stomach ache when the party was over--it was too funny! (sorry Greg)

One of Abby's play stations--she wrote: #1 --"Luken" at the Fish (she is learning to sound things out even if it isn't spelled the right way:)

A few more stations-magnets and sitting on turtle!

Craft table, and on the far right side of the picture is baton twirling:)

Tonight went sooooo great!!!!! We had about 30 people come and it was meaningful and successful. We had a table full of incredible sweets (this year the neighbors brought their favorite hoilday treats if they wanted) and I made hot chocolate and apple cider for everyone. Everyone brought their kids (if they had some) and I set up a craft table and set out a bunch of games and toys for them to play with and they all had a blast! (actually Saturday all the kids are coming over again to play--they can't wait!)
Also before the party Abigail ran around setting up "play stations" for every kid to play at--she is so funny! She got that from me...guilty:)---when she was little I used to set up play stations for the kids and we ran on a tight schedule from morning till nap (otherwise I would have gone crazy staying home all day:)--kinda silly I know but it sure seems to have been a success! She's very organized, caring and thoughtful I am very proud of her! She spent all afternoon preparing for her friends to come --what more could you ask for?:)
Anyways something specific I had been praying for was to have very intentional conversation with the neighbors so I could find out about their lives and share Christ's love. Well that is exactly what happened and my heart is broken. First, because we have been 2 years and barely know the neighbors that the Lord has placed in our lives to serve. Second, I realized all around our neighborhood their is heartache, people fighting cancer, losing family, divorcing and basically living lost and sad lives. We have been here the whole time with the answer that brings peace and fulfillment to their lives and we have done basically nothing--I am ashamed!
Tonight that changes.
We have been placed here and this our mission field! Whoever will listen and needs help we will pursue and stop living such innerward selfish lives only worrying about what we want, need and deserve. I challenge each of you to look around you--everyone is so good at acting like they have it all together but don't be fooled people need Jesus and some don't even know it!
About a year ago Abby came to Greg and I and asked us if the neighbors across the street we're Christians. I remember thinking -gosh all I have worried about is if they would get their kids under control and stop having parties all night-they totally annoyed us! I wasn't worried about their salvation just my comfort. Sad.

Tonight I was talking to Denise and she was telling me 2 weeks ago she had cancer removed from her body and I about cried---she lives 2 doors down! Why didn't I know that? I should have know that so I could have reached out to her! Then after that another woman who lives down the street tells me she moved here 3 months ago after a terrible divorce and then 2 weeks later her sister dies and she says, "Becky, I am so glad to have meet you because it's comforting to know that someone is praying for me now!"
I was surprised how touched everyone was to have had this party and it was so simple--I plan on doing this again very soon! I encourage each of you to do the same--reach out make the most of where you are "planted" right now--you are there for a reason!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas in Cowtown

Me holding my armadillo right before the race--he was feisty!

Abby getting dirty during the science experiment---she loved it!

Reese doing the same--they mixed corn starch and water and it made this weird mixture that turns to a solid when you slap your hands together--try it! It's pretty cool!

Bring on the shaving cream!

Reese roping a chicken--scary! He was running after those guys like a holy terror and then he would slap that rope down on their heads like a whip--I am surprised he didn't knock one out break his neck and take one home! He's a mess;)

Abby patiently walked up to the little chicken sitting down all by himself and slid the rope gently over it's head and called it a day---oh I just love this girl---she and Reese are night and day!

This past weekend Greg heard about a Christmas shindig going on in the Ft. Worth Stockyards (aka Cowtown) We were not sure what all was going on but Greg figured it was a good chance to eat some Risky's Barbeque! Well it ended up being fun but I'm not sure what exactly was Christmas about it---they had a petting zoo, chicken roping, science lab experiments (not sure what that was all about but the kids loved it) and my personal favorite- armadillo racing (which I had the pleasure of getting picked to race one and won--good times:)
They also had a Christmas tree up and a parade later on in the evening which we didn't stay for but Greg and I figured that must have been the "Christmas" part of it!
Anyways about the armadillo racing. They would pick 2 people give them some gloves and hand you a huge armadillo. Then they told you to get on your knees and when the horn blew you were to blow on their tail and you were to do that until the little guy crossed the finish line. It was pretty amazing how fast he went---I think he didn't want me to pick him up again...I had to squeeze him pretty hard to keep him from slipping away:)
I am so glad they had gloves because I was freaking out--he kept clawing at my hands! Abby told me later that all the little boys were laughing at me because I was screaming---*clarification I was not screaming I was just laughing...loudly and very high apparently:)
Well my armadillo ended up winning and I was awarded a can of armadillo milk.....so nasty! The side of the can said--hand milked! What? Was that really necessary? Anyways I wasn't about to even try it so on Sunday we had to bring a white elephant gift to our Sunday School Christmas party and that was the best gift by far! (the kid that got it was thrilled....he's weird! He asked me if he could make pudding or something out of it? -Crazy I tell ya!)
Have any of you tried it? Or is that normal here in Texas? Honestly I wouldn't be surprised --I ceased to be amazed at all the crazy things people do down here--hehe!
Welp I guess that's Merry Christmas Cowtown style--you gotta love it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gaylord Texan --ICE!

Us all decked out in our jackets---very warm! Underneath we all have our ski jackets on so we all were very "puffy"---Reese was walking around like Randy from "A Christmas Story"--it was great!:) -he was not so happy about it!

Getting ready to go in

All aboard!

What you see right when you walk in--incredible colors and sculptures! That's a tunnel ahead made completely of ice!

Me reenacting a scene from "A Christmas Story" (can you tell I like this movie?--you must see it if you haven't yet) and no I was not really licking this statue--sadly Reese did but don't worry his tongue didn't stick there too long:) --and for the rest of the time I tried to set a better example for my kids;) --monkey see monkey do!

Ice House--very cool...I mean COLD!

Very big Santa--kids liked this one! Santa is made of ice!!

Flying down the slide!

Picture of the slides--look at those reindeer--incredible!

Abby posing for a picture right before we were instructed NOT to sit on the ice--oops!

The most incredible Nativity ever!

The kids loved this display--Reese loved the drums....go figure!

Reese is a very thoughtful boy--He is always thinking about what others like and wants to take a picture and buy it for the person! This time this picture is for Granny Larson- she loves penguins and Reese just had to show her what he found for her! So sweet!

We were blessed with half-price tickets to the Ice show at the Gaylord Texan on Thursday night and it was as spectacular as everyone says! I was so excited to hear that Greg had a friend in his BSF class that worked at the Gaylord and offered us discount tickets to ICE whenever we wanted--what a blessing! We have been wanting to go but at $20 bucks a pop we decided we shouldn't spend so much on it- especially this time of year! But of course-why am I so surprised:)-- God provided a way for us to go--He's great like that!
Anyways it was so amazing---so freezing (9 degrees freezing)--but fabulous! When you first walk in they give you these big jackets that are super warm--seriously without those we would have frozen and never would have made it! We spent about an hour and 15 minutes in there and it wasn't too bad. Like I said they keep it a "freezing" 9 degrees in there and you do notice it being cold but it has no wind or elements so it's totally bearable! I was pretty worried that I would ruin all the fun for everybody because I get really cold very easily (for example I need a light jacket in the summers sometimes--weird I know;) So I came prepared--I was all decked out in my ski clothes and covered every bit of skin. Really all I had a problem with was my nose and fingers (I HAD to take a ton of pictures of course:)
I don't even know how to describe what we experienced but it was very special-very unique and we will remember it forever! The kids loved every second of it and wanted to stay in there forever! It's an entire ice village-- A 10 foot tall Santa, team of reindeer, life size nativity, and more-- all made of ice. They had 4 ice slides about half way through the display and the kids LOVED that! I would go up with them get them situated and then push them down as hard as I could;) Now I know this sounds kinda rough but really they got some serious speed! Reese was flying but he kept getting upset he wasn't going fast enough--it was funny! Greg and I went down a few times ourselves and man ice slides are where it's at!
Anyways I have posted a ton of pictures because I couldn't decide which ones to pick!
I just love this time of year! There are so many cool things going on and new experiences to be had! That's one of Greg and my big things with the kids--we really want them to experience all kinds of different things and go as many places as they can! As one of my friend says, "Don't let a moment go by without capturing a memory with it!" --or something like that!
When we got done as we were walking out it was so weird. We knew we were cold but didn't really notice how cold until we walked out into the heated room---our faces and hands were on fire! It was the weirdest sensation---yet again something we wouldn't have experienced unless we had spent an hour in a 9 degree Ice room---I'm telling ya it's the best;) If you ever get a chance to go (at half price;) definitely go-- you won't be disappointed!