Thursday, July 31, 2008

A crazy night before bedtime

I've been trying to a take a few videos of Rhett doing things I want to remember "forever", but one of two things always happens when the camera is turned to the on position: 1. Like all children, he won't perform "on cue", or 2. Grant gets in the way - it's true. I know you're surprised.

I managed to get two rough, very rough, videos tonight.

Rhett has begun to "sing". Soooooooooooo cute. It's more like a hum where all the words are "Bluh, bluh, bluh," but you can still pick out the tune. *Side note: Daddy will not be happy to see Grant in his underwear (just got out of bath - almost bedtime), but hey - at least he has some type of clothes on... Am I right???

Rhett singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and then ignoring me. Typical guy. ha ha I think I will hide his pacifier the next time I try to video him... You can tell that by the end of the video Grant is becoming impatient with Rhett not wanting to perform. You can tell that I then become annoyed at Grant. Shocking.

Isn't it so cute when little ones copy you and have no idea what they're saying? For months now, Rhett has been saying, "Golly, golly, golly!" when we say it. Something about that cute little tongue stumbling around in his mouth trying to get this word out is too precious; I had to get a video of it. Although this is not the best shot, you get a small glimpse at his cute trick.

I was thinking of entitling this video either, "Golly!" - or - "I'm Ready for My Close-Up", or maybe even "Nice Teeth!". I'm not sure what Grant is doing in the background - your guess is as good as mine. The possibilities are endless when one is in their make-shift pajamas, underwear and holding a glass of water, and one's name is "Grant".

Splish! Splash! Saving Summer Carnival Event

The boys and I had the best time this morning as it was our first visit to the Noah's Ark pool here in Houston (Sam Houston Tollway and Westpark Dr). The pool is an outreach/ministry project for the Westpark First Methodist Church, so the pool is located on their property. It was a very nice experience. The boys enjoyed the other sweet children that were there. Grant and Rhett also enjoyed the tunnel going through the ark, the slides, and lots of spraying water! It was one of those outings I had to D-R-A-G the kids away from. We will certainly be going back, so don't be sad, cousin Jackson. We can't wait to go again with you!

Noah's Ark pool

Why swim when you can suck on the hand rail?

What's in your mouth, Mr. Whale?

What's her name? She's cute!

Grant's splash landing off of his favorite slide.

Grant coming out of the tunnel.

I love this water!

Grant climbing up the ark.

Do you know what else is fun besides swimming and licking the hand rail? Getting in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out of the pool!

Grant wanted me to take a video of him going down his favorite slide...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Stay Inside!!!

Yes, it is that unbearable outside today! As a matter of fact, I think it is so hot, it's too hot to swim! So why on earth did I take the kids to our favorite park today??? First of all, I had extreme cabin fever (I get it rather easily and often) and HAD to get out of the house. Going to the grocery store, Target, etc. does not count. Second, the boys were restless and needed to do some running around. Third, I did not know it was THAT hot.

Our short excursion lasted about 20 minutes because both boys (and myself) were soooooooo hot and just... well... miserable! Before you decide that I am a pansy, you must realize that I really do do things in this Houston heat/humidity/no breeze climate with the boys. We really do play in the sun and sweat really does drip off of us, and our outdoor activities always last more than 20 minutes. But today, man! We could not do it. Rhett's little face turned as red as a beet, and Grant was begging to go home. I was personally imagining a cold pool that I could jump into, but I think no such thing exists today. The pools have got to be extremely warm! So, my image changed to a cool bath instead. Anyway, it must be the hottest day of the summer so far. The weather man made it sound like it was, but I did not believe him as they are often wrong. They were correct today. I thought that the fact that the park is covered by a fabulous canopy of trees would make the heat bearable. Nope.

Here's a few pictures of our short adventure:

Rhett chasing (supposed to be feeding) the ducks. He chased them all the way to the little pond and was pretty ticked when I would not let him go in the water with his new found feathered friends.
Rhett enjoying his man-made breeze.

We brought hot dog buns to feed to the ducks. The first thing Grant did when we arrived at the park was not swing or play on the equipment. The first thing he did was seat himself at a table and begin to chomp down on duck food. Poor kid - guess he decided he would eat today after all.

Following the trail to the duck pond. (Look closely: Grant is eating another hot dog bun.)

Grant with his new friends he met at the park. How is it that my son finds the biggest sticks and carries them around as his prized park possession? Boys and their toys!

Where did Rhett learn to climb UP the slide??? Hmmmm - could it be from Grant??? We'll have to break that habbit before they go to kindergarten, isn't that right all you teachers out there? Nothing causes recess playground issues more than the kid who goes UP instead of DOWN the slide. Been there, done that.

We saw ducks, turtles, and got a rare look at a random bunny...

But, it was hot and we were miserable, so we went home!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mission Complete take 2

Okay, so I wasn't completely done with the whole trip to Europe post like I had said in my last post. I have added one more video and a few other pictures - one is of two Einsteins having dinner together. You don't want to miss that!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mission Complete

I finalized the post about my trip to Europe! Check it out!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Legacy of Randy Pausch

The Pausch Family: Halloween 2007
"The Last Lecture"
Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch, professor famous for his "Last Lecture", died of pancreatic cancer early this morning at the age of 47. (My grandfather also died of panctreatic cancer many years ago - it took him quickly! Panctreatic cancer is a BEAR!) Personally, I knew this news about Randy was coming. He had not updated his blog in a while, and the last entry gave updates on his condition (tumor markers, etc) which were rising dramatically. In that post he also said that the doctors had decided his body was no longer strong enough to endure chemo, so they had stopped the treatments. I hate that his life had to end so soon; especially since he had three young children and a wife whom he loved deeply. I appreciate the energy Randy exerted to make the world a better place. What a perfect role model he was to adults and children alike. I do wish he would have mentioned God in his speeches and interviews as I have read he is a very spiritual man, and I think the world needs to hear more about God - especially from someone like Randy Pausch who gained instant fame. All of that aside, I thank him for his bravery and wisdom America grew to know and love. Randy certainly left his positive, Christian mark on the world. What a wonderful statement to be able to make about someone after their passing! I know his children will grow under his steadfast love and example even though he is no longer physically with them. I believe they will enjoy reading his book, watching the recordings of his "Last Lecture" as well as the recordings of his many inteviews that will serve as their memory book of their father. They will be proud of him and his grace. Wow - so many kids can't say that, huh? I take great pride in saying I can say that about my father. My sons can say that about their father, but I know we are in the minority.

We should keep Jai and the three kids in our prayers as this must be very hard for them despite their months of preparation.
On a superstitious note, aren't these things supposed to happen in threes? Makes me a little anxious.
1. Estelle Getty
2. Randy Pausch
3. ???

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who else thinks "Karen" is a humorous idea??

It's true: I am one of those rare moms that allows my kids to watch Spongebob. I know many parents find it to be rude, crude and full of sarcasm (and it is), but that higher level of humor is still above Grant's maturity level, so we watch it. I realize the day will soon come when we probably should not anymore, but until then, I'm laughing it up because let's be honest: Spongebob is a breath of fresh air for all of us moms out there whose worlds are filled with dirty diapers, stained laundry and lots of never ending "baby noise stuff". (this would include the annoying shows/videos kids watch over and over again, the annoying noises their toys make, etc)

Anywho, to get to my point that I meant to get to a long time ago: Does anyone else get a kick out of Plankton's wife being a computer whose name is Karen?!!! How funny and random is that!? Those little comments he makes to and about her are soooooooooo funny, such as, "Karen, my computer wife..." and, "I knew I should not have installed that new voice software..." You won't be hearing anything like that on the Backyardigans!

The Golden Girls

Estelle Getty, the "mother" known as Sophia on the Golden Girls died this morning at the age of 84 from advanced dementia. I'm a little bummed because she is certainly one of my favorite TV actresses, and I am sad that the Golden Girls are truly coming to an end.

No worries though - I have every season on DVD, so I can enjoy them whenever I want!

Thanks, Estelle, for your great one liners that made us laugh!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

From Escargot to Cheap Drive-Thrus

I bought a new battery, and you know what that means: This post is now complete. Enjoy the additions to the slideshow and few new videos.

We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I certainly enjoyed our fancy meals and glasses of fine wine while in Europe, but you better believe my first meal back in the USA was cheap Mexican food that was washed down by a big 'ole DrPepper!

I missed Texas and the boys (Kerry, Grant, Rhett) more than I could bare at times. I cried a river when the boys dropped me off at the airport. A lot of this was due to Grant wanting to give me a million kisses, including Eskimo Kisses, Butterfly Kisses, and kisses the two of us have made up. That sweet moment, coupled with Rhett's huge smile and silly laugh he gave me as I told him goodbye, made it especially hard to grab my luggage and energetically walk into the airport to my adventure that was awaiting me several thousand miles away. The image of an annoyed mother tapping her foot at her child that is dragging behind came to mind at that point. I knew I had to go - NEEDED to go and that I was being ridiculous. It took me a good three days before the sick feeling of guilt over leaving my kids began to subside. This "adjustment period" should come as no surprise to anyone; I actually did better than I expected. Hooray for me!

Anyways, the trip was wonderful, and I am deeply thankful that I was invited to go along and experience the world in ways I've only read about in history and art books. It is a memory I shall cherish for a lifetime.

Quick observations:
1. Paris IS as dirty as you have heard. Take antibacterial wet wipes with you; especially on the subway!
2. Paris smells just as bad as New York, if not worse!
3. As a whole, Parisians are not a very friendly people. They certainly do not care for Americans or tourists. (that's unfortunate for them, huh?)
4. No, Paris is NOT romantic. If you want romantic, you need to go to Carmel, California. They've got Paris beat in the romantic department by a mile!!
5. Despite its dowfalls, everyone should go at least once - Paris does have much to offer in ways of history and art, and it would be so sad to miss out on all of it.
6. London totally ROCKS. I would go again and again. Unlike its neighbor, London is very clean, and the natives are extremely kind and outgoing.
7. Six hour layovers are not fun!

The Eiffel Tower at night: I believe it was lit in blue lights due to the Tour de France, or perhaps the fact that France's Independance Day (July 14) was coming up. What a fabulous surprise to learn at the top of every hour at night the Eiffel Tower sparkles!!! Did everyone know that but me???....

The view of Paris on our way back down from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, that is me in the background (not a 13 year-old boy) saying how cool of a video this is, which sort of makes the video not as cool - Me and my loud mouth!

So, apparantly the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is surrounded by a traffic circle. This is not your everyday run-of-the-mill traffic circle: There are no lanes, no rules and lots of gutsy people who for some reason enjoy tempting fate where several roads pour into one another in pure chaos. If cars are not "safe" on this road, why on earth would any fool ride their bicycle or motorcyle through it? I don't know either, but they do. Anywho, we enjoyed the free entertainment at the expense of others' insurance policies possible skyrocketing.

A quick interview while on the London Eye, with your hostess, Jessica.

We did not get to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, but we think this parade was a precurser to the event...

We went to a restaurant called Leonardo da Vinci's in London. We were seated upstairs across from a larger than life... well... Leonardo da Vinci. Half way through our meal, the restaurant turned him "on", and he came to life. People gathered around in awe to watch him move - but we were pretty sure it was the cheesiest thing since the nachos you get at football games. One man even got out his video camera and took a nice long video of the famous manikin's movements. I think those people needed to get out more. Yes, I too got my camera out, but for a different purpose...

We named this restaurant: European Chuck-E-Cheese

This windmill dates back to the 1100's. It has surely seen war, peace, and everything in between. We spotted it on the way to Mt. Saint Michel all alone on a hillside.

Hear Big Ben chime at noon - Sorry so short, but you get the idea. Once you've heard one chime, you've heard them all. I thought I was holding the camera pretty still...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Au Revoir

I think that's how you say "bye" in French... Anywho, I'm off to Europe with Garrett (little bro) and Jessica (little sis) for the next ten days (we leave Saturday). We will be in France most of the time visiting places like Rennes, Normandy, Tours, LeMans, LeMont, Lyon, Paris, and then we will be heading to London for a few days. My dad very much wants this to be a FAB trip for all three of us, and I am sure it absolutely will be. Despite what is sure to be a sweet adventure that lies ahead, I am a bit nervous (my middle name: Amanda Nervous Kilgore). I am not good with "new" things, and this certainly qualifies as new as I have never been overseas. I've been to Hawaii, but does that count?? Also, this will be the longest amount of time I will have been away from the boys, and this makes me a bit sad. I have been away from Kerry for this long before due to his business trips, but it is never easy telling your loved ones goodbye no matter how much practice you've had. But, I am sure that even though we will all be going our different directions, the Lord will keep us safe and return us to one another soon. I am sure that once I get on the plane, I will be able to let loose a bit and enjoy being CHILDLESS!!!! Wooooo-hooooooo! I still can't rap my mind around the idea of there being no diapers to change, no tee-tee sheets to change in the middle of the night, no Backyardigans or Baby Einstein, no sibling arguments to break up, no fits or tempers to deal with, no going to the grocery store with two small children - ROCK ON!!!! (Have you heard of the list of ten things you should do before you have kids to make sure you are prepared for them??? One of the items on the list says "you should take at least one goat with you to the grocery store. You will need to keep it with you at all times, and you will need to make sure it eats or disturbs nothing..." PERFECT example of what it's like going to the grocery store with kids.) Although I'll enjoy my freedom, I have a feeling that the plane won't land quick enough on our way back to the states - I know I'll miss the boys and Kerry (oh, and Madalyn, Mexican food and DrPepper) more than I can imagine.

Well, I'm off to finish packing. Can't wait to share my childless adventures and pictures with you upon my return. Now watch me have to sit by some loud mouthed two-year-old on the plane... either that or a screaming baby... just my luck.

Boys and their toys

Here's a conversation Grant and I had tonight after dinner:

Grant: Momma, me and Da-tee are going to go get some tools!! (very excited, loud voice)
Me: Tools? Why??? (We have no need for more tools. We build and fix nothing. The most high-tech it gets at our house is the changing of light bulbs and batteries.)
Grant: Because Da-tee said we could get some.

I go to Kerry =
Me: Kerry, don't go overboard with the tools. Just get a few.
Kerry: Okay (he says in an assuring way as he closes the front door behind him)

This is what they came home with...
Would anyone else agree that this is the exact definition of "overboard"???

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rhett's first haircut

Although my heart was a bit sad, I knew it was time to face the music and get Rhett's hair cut when I realized that from the back he looked just like the little girls in his Bible class... only they had big bows. It is always a little sad to me when my kids have their first firsts. Rhett has had some major ones recently, including walking, so adding his first haircut to the baby book made me a little emotional about the quick passage of time, but he sure did look handsome when he was finished. No more mistaking him for a little girl or a boy with a mullet. I figure he would appreciate it if he were aware of his hair issue...

BTW: For your child's first hair cut, take him/her to Cool Cuts for Kids. They give you a little certificate with a snip of their hair, and they take a picture of the finished product. Great for the baby book.




Where did all of my hair go?

Grant loves to read!

Grant has always loved books. Perhaps it is because he has never known life without them. Sure, there are certain types he loves: tractor books, science books and human body books (nonfiction), and he also loves fictional stories as every child does. In these two pictures, however, he is "reading" his beloved "Dobdon Books" (Dobson books). Who doesn't enjoy reading on their motorcycle while sitting on the books you plan to read first thing in the morning??? He must have gotten his love of reading from his Daddy's side of the family,
or maybe from my mom/dad. He sure did not get it from me!

This morning he placed himself on the kitchen window seat with a pillow, blanket, puppies, a small fan (not sure why the fan... is it because the blanket he chose is super thick???) and of course, he is again "reading" his "Dobdon Books".
Since he really can't read (don't tell him that though - it would really upset him), he is sure one of the books is about animals, and one of them is about trees, and another is about cars based on a few pictures the books have... I don't have the heart to tell him he is waaaaaaaaaay off.