Sunday, September 28, 2008

Did Jesus miss out?

Bedtime seems to always be the marked slot in our day that Grant and I talk about God. Grant has been asking some very deep questions recently as he has been trying to piece this whole very confusing God/Jesus/Heaven thing together. Tonight's talk, however, was just funny. Short, but funny:

Grant: Momma, is Jesus big enough to drive?
me: Yes, but there was no such thing as cars when Jesus was still alive on the earth. So, no,
Jesus did not get to drive.
Grant: Ahhhhhhhh! Poor Jesus! I think he really would have liked driving.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Check out these cakes!

My chilhood friend, Heather, is an AMAZING cake decorator. She truly inspires me to try new things, but let's face it: she's really good, and my cakes would look... well... not as good (I know from experience as I have dipped my creative juices in the whole cake/icing/fondant world. No doubt my pigs or chicks would look more like pink and yellow rocks.), so I'm not sure if I'll give it another whirl. I really just wish she lived closer because I would get all of my cakes from her, but she lives in the Granbury area. BUMMER!!!! Well, if you're ever in the Granbury area and need a cake, you should give her a call!!!

Now how perfect is this cake? Can you tell she is the mother of two boys?? Here's how creative she is: the haystack cake was just for the birthday boy to smash and smear as all one-year-olds always do.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Precious Words

This will be a short one, believe it or not, so there is no need to get comfy. I just want to quickly share the sweetest thing that Grant has started to say with the whole world because I think it's priceless and it totally melts my heart. Grab a tissue because it's precious.......... "Momma, I will love you forever and ever!" and then he gives me a kiss. I don't ask him to say it, and I don't even ask for the kiss that definitely serves as the icing on the already yummy cake. Now how perfect is that?Every time he says it (usually at bed time) I find myself not only storing those innocent words in my "Extra Special Mommy Memory Bank" where only the PERFECT moments are kept, but I also find myself trying to save the way his little voice sounds when he says it so I can pull it up on the day he goes off to college or the day he gets married and remember "our" special times and how he'll always be my "prince". (Disclaimer: it still totally surprises me that he is so lovey at this point because he was sooooooo NOT a touchy-feely baby. He did not want to snuggle. He did not want to rock. (Too bad we bought a really nice leather rocker before he was born for that specific reason. Oh well - at least Rhett likes it.) I feared he would never want to be close to me the way I imagined he would when I was pregnant with him. Thank goodness he's changed his mind!)

PS #1= The boys and I spent a lot of last week in Granbury to get away from the whole Ike mess. While we were there, we took a day trip to my Uncle Mark's ranch house outside of Brownwood (where Boone, Kate and the boys are currently living until they can go back to Galveston) to meet our newest cousin, Everett. The boys (Grant, Rhett and Jackson) had the BEST time together on the ranch, and Everett, well, he just slept, but he was still really cute and a perfect snuggle-bug. Pics will come whenever I get a new battery for my camera... You know how long that took me last time.

PS#2= Due to Ike, Kerry's business trip to Brazil that was supposed to occur this week was cancelled. He was a bit disappointed, but I was selfishly THRILLED. Ya know - I'm liking Ike more and more. (except for the HORRID traffic problems he caused! It took me an HOUR to get to school today; it usually takes me less than 20 minutes!!)

Guess this wasn't as short as I planned. Big shocker!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hasta la Vista, Ike!

We decided to take advantage of the "calm before the storm" and spent most of Friday outside because we figured we would not be able to get out of the house for a few days after Ike. The pre-storm weather was perfect. The humidity was low, the sun's burning rays were hidden behind cloudy skies, and there was a really nice breeze; granted the breeze was from the scary incoming storm, but the breeze was rare so we took advantage of it. After a fun time at our favorite park, we fed the ducks and then enjoyed lunch at Sweet Mesquite. Although almost no one in Sugar Land evacuated, there weren't many people out - unless they had kids. I noticed those with kids were out and about staying as busy as possible for the exact same reason we were: reduce the amount of Ike-Cabin-Fever that was sure to come in the near future.
Friday before Ike:
Fun at the park: Rhett going UP the slide, as usual...

Daddy got to join us at the park since his work was cancelled Friday.
Lots of kids at the park. We did not know any of them, but Grant made friends with them quickly. Not sure if you can see them well, but all the boys had sticks because... well... playing with sticks is fun!

Peek-a-boo, Grant! Grant and his new friends.
Fun with Daddy at the park.

Honk! Honk! Jeep drivers comin' through! Grant and his new neighbor friend, Amber, enjoying time outside before the storm hits.

Saturday afternoon after Ike: pictures taken around our neighborhood.

"Go Away, Ike".

The park/tennis courts/sray park/pool/baseball field by our house.

Our fence.
Debris hanging from power lines near the mall.

Another park in our neighborhood.

My advise: If a category 3+ hurricane is headed your way, GET OUT OF TOWN. We experienced hurricane winds (100 mph) ALL night, and Ike was "just" a high category 2. (Actually I heard the winds have to be 111 mph for a hurricane to be labeled a "three". Ike's winds were 110 mph so he was labeled a "two" .) I would certainly imagine that anything over a "two" would be very dangerous; hence my advice to get out of town. I am sooooooo happy to report that the boys did very well during Ike. Rhett did not awaken once, and Grant only awoke occasionally; who wouldn't with winds like that?? We played musical beds in the hopes that we would all get the best sleep as possible. Therefore, Grant slept with me and Kerry slept in G's room. Rhett remained in his bed all night as we wanted to keep things as "normal" as possible. I hear that lots of people slept in their bathtubs, so I feel a bit guilty that we didn't. But, I suppose I should get over that because we are totally FINE. Trees did not smash through our windows as I had feared - HOORAY, and - the best news of all other than the fact that we are not hurt and not flooded = we have water AND electricity. Get this: The news is saying 96% of the areas affected by Ike (millions of people) are w/o power; except us. Our power lines are underground, so we have had power the majority of the time. If it weren't for that, we would probably be MISERABLE in this heat and therefore be headed towards Granbury. Having electricity is one more thing that makes me really feel for those near Galveston, or any other place/person that has been through a hurricane for that matter. I feel a bit tougher, braver and wiser having been through a hurricane as it is an experience one could never put into words - you just have to go through it in order to have DEEP empathy. From now on when I hear the word "hurricane", I will have a totally different picture in my head of just exactly what that word means, and I will have an even deeper respect for those that will have to endure it - no matter if they suffer a lot of damage or a little - hurricanes are an awesome force! How does anyone doubt there is a God once they've gone through one? The storm's size, power and pure rawness is a strong reminder of how powerful and almighty God's creation is. Thank goodness God is all knowing and made hurricanes m-o-v-e.

Schools and businesses are still closed. Grant MAY have school tomorrow (Monday), although most of our part of the world, including public schools and my private school, Logos, will be closed tomorrow. Kerry was supposed to catch a flight to Chicago tonight, but due to Ike and the fact that Ike's rain is headed towards Chicago, that flight no longer exists. I'm secretly hoping the business trip is cancelled all together. I am also secretly hoping Grant DOES have school tomorrow because the boy needs to get out of the house for a while, and Rhett and I need to get away from him for a while, thus his going to school tomorrow would be a win/win situation for us all. Love the boy- but he gets Cabin Fever easier than I do - and that's a BIG statement! He's been outside playing with the neighborhood kids all morning (and believe me when I say they were all as wild as holler monkeys - being cooped up for 24 hrs. can do that to kiddos; especially boys) and now he's outside helping Kerry clean up the yard. Maybe that means I can put him to bed a bit earlier tonight since he should be extra tired from all of this hard work, and Kerry and I can have another kid-free-movie-night-at-home as we enjoy all of this extra "us" time -and- electricity!

**UPDATE = Grant's school WAS cancelled for tomorrow. Bummer x 4.
**UPDATE = Kerry flies out for Chicago tomorrow. Bummer x 5.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike is not taking a hike!

I think we may be really dumb. WHY would you stay anywhere where electricity could go off at any time and toilets not work and water not be available??? I'll tell you why: because you're an idiot. Yip - that means I am one of "those" (an idiot) that is sticking around for Ike. Actually, I think almost everyone I know including friends, neighbors and family are staying put, but I've never been one to follow the crowd. Every inch of my soul says to LEAVE; not because I am afraid of the actual storm, but because I am afraid of losing power and water. (Hello? Have you seen the radar pictures???) Unfortunately, it's not that easy to leave. Wait. I take that back. It is easy if you don't mind sitting in "Rita Traffic" for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours with two young children which would then cause you to go insane, rip all your hair out and bang your head against a wall. Kerry and I swore we would never do the "Rita Traffic" again which is a main reason as to why we are staying here. Have you seen the traffic reports tonight?? Holy moly! NO WAY could you PAY me to get out there in it. As Ike gets closer, however, my insides are shaking a bit as I have never been through a hurricane. I find myself wishing I was Samantha (not "Genie" - thanks, Jess) on "Bewitched" and I could blink my eyes really hard one time, and with a nod of my head (or is it a crinkle of my nose??), we would be in Granbury where I would feel safe. There are long lines at gas stations (there's lots of honking), grocery stores are swamped, traffic is pretty heavy, the news is on 24/7 as opposed to "Grey's Anatomy" and other fun shows, and schools and businesses are closing. As a matter of fact, both Grant's preschool and my school were cancelled for today AND tomorrow. Despite all this mayhem, "natives" to the Houston area are not scared - at all. This would include my husband; hurricanes don't frighten him in the least. As you could imagine, that little difference of opinion between us has caused some "loving" friction in our house today. Kerry thinks it will be no problem at all, and all I can see in my mind's eye are trees flying through our windows due to the predicted 100 mph winds, water lines bursting, electricity being out for days, and being stuck in a house without air conditioning with two small children until the cows come home. I should take comfort in that, as I mentioned, almost everyone is staying here because they think it really won't be that bad. What exactly do they not understand about the statement, "100 mph winds"???? Sounds pretty bad to me...
Anywho, due to my panicked state, I have been getting ready for Ike for 24 hrs now.
So far I have done the following to prepare for Ike: helped a few neighbors carry heavier outdoor items to their garages, purchased lots of diapers, filled my gas tank, done LOADS of laundry, placed everything that lives on the back porch on their sides (iron table, chairs, sandbox), taken the wreath off the door, brought in welcome mats and other outdoor decorations, saved lots of ice, got prescriptions refilled (especially asthma stuff), cleaned the house (dusted, vacuumed, shined, wiped, scraped, fluffed and mopped - my house is sooooooo clean), done three loads of dishes, made several lists of what to do when Ike gets closer (fill bathtubs with water, fill washing machine with water, fill other large containers with water, get candles, flashlights, cash, cell phones charged, plan meals) and packed up the kids and myself -oh, and the dog. That's right: I've been packed and ready to G-O since 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night which was when I learned Ike was turning towards Galveston/Houston. Never thought I would still be here at this point...
So far Kerry has done the following to prepare for Ike: picked up his dry cleaning, taken a nap and made a short trip to the grocery store.

I swear to goodness: if I did all of this work for nothing and Kerry comes out looking like the genius in all of this, I am going to be really...well...ticked. Mark my words though: if Ike ends up being as bad as they are predicting he will be, I told Kerry I get to sing "Told ya so! Told ya so!" for a year. I may even add a little victory dance to the routine.

But seriously, I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my dear cousins Boone, Kate and Jackson of Galveston. Bless their hearts; especially Kate's. Kate is 39 weeks pregnant with their second boy, Everett, and was scheduled to have a c-section TOMORROW, Friday the 12th. However, since they live in Galveston as Boone is attending med school there, they chose to evacuate to San Antonio last night. I feel so sorry for them. What a bummer! If you've ever been pregnant and near your due date, you can probably feel Kate's pain. Everett, we are excited to meet you, but we ask that you stay put for a few more days. Love you guys!! Hang in there, Kate!
**UPDATE = Everett has arrived! He was born around 11:15 Friday the 12th in San Antonio. I'm thinking his middle name should be "Ike".

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We're still here!

It's been quite a while since I last posted, so although there is not much to report, I did want to share a few videos and pics taken over the last few days. I am sure they will make the grandparents' day!

Rhett's Newest Tricks

Who's the couch potato in your family? Rhett is ours...
He's proud of it, too:

Baby-proof dishwasher lock needed:

Pucker up! Rhett now gives sweet open-mouthed-baby-kisses that make your heart melt.

This is a video of Rhett portraying an elephant; one of his favorite animals. You have to wait 'till the very end, but he lifts his arm (the elephant's nose) and trumpets.

Gee whiz! Talk about a temper!! No doubt he's got Martin in his blood. Does anyone else get the idea that he does not want to perform as an elephant in Mommy's Talent Show any longer? He got in trouble for this one. (it's really funny though) On the bright side, he's got a good arm. Look out Astros; you've got a new pitcher coming your way...

High-fives are great fun. Rhett saw me give Grant a high-five the other day in the car, and he wanted in on this "allowable hitting" game as well.

Grant's Turn

Looks like Grant loves Jesus and God after all... (little inside joke for the fam) As we were sitting on the couch talking tonight, out of the blue Grant looked at me and said, "I like Jesus and God." It was so sweet I asked him to say it again so I could get it on video.

Gramma told Grant to smile for the camera and look handsome. He looked at her and said he already looked handsome... I'd agree to that!

Until next time, take a hike, Ike!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Girls' Weekend

HOORAY for weekends without kids! A group of us gals spent the weekend in New Braunfels to celebrate Alicia's 30th birthday while the hubbies got the kids. We enjoyed shopping at the outlet malls, eating, gossiping, eating, attending a Cory Morrow concert, eating, staying up late giggling and eating!

It does a girl's heart (especially a mommy's heart) good to be able to get away and be... ME. Sometimes I think I will never get "me" back since every bit of me is used up by my kids by the time I go to bed each night. Weekends like this, however, remind me of who I am, my "Amanda" bucket is refilled, and I'm ready to take on the world yet again.

Here's to next year: Alicia, Emily, Jennifer, me, Laury, Lisa, Carrie, Erin, Kandy, Courtney, Shaye, Micahand Angie. (Shaye, Micah and Angie are not pictured but are still loved!) The theme has already been chosen and there will be shirts commemorating the event that read: (front of shirt) All I know is... (back of shirt) we're in Canton! Nothing like a little inside joke to keep you smiling.
theme and shirt design by Micah and Amanda

Guess who took this picture...
Not sure who the chick in the blue striped dress is. She came up to talk to our table for a moment. Since she is a girl and not a husband or child, we let her be in the picture.