Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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Saturday, August 27, 2016


We always have a great time when Branson joins us for our weekly Legend's dinner with Grammy & Pa.  He's so full of personality and gets a long with both girls so well.  :)

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Just a Year

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Rug Saga

My dogs are getting old.  We've always had issues with our boy dogs, Chuy (13) and WT (12), marking furniture when they got mad or if a storm came through but Shea (10) has never really given us issues with messing in the house.  But over the last six months it has become painfully obvious that she has taken to using our rugs as her personal pee pads.  I took our living room run out of the house and gave it a thorough cleaning - complete with a good week of sun bleaching.  During that time we realized that we really needed a rug. It is nice to help absorb sound and concrete floors are hard, especially for Drew.  So I researched and brainstormed and decided that our rug needed a waterproof cover.  I refused to spend money on a new rug b/c it is really hard to train an old dog, especially when you don't know the cause of the issue (if it's more than age?).  I found a water resistant tablecloth on clearance and decided it was as good as anything to see if my idea would work.

I used a tutorial for making a pack-n-play sheet and used it as my basic instructions.  I did go ahead and buy some shower curtains and covered my rug first just in case the water-resistant part of the cloth did not include dog pee.  I did not want to wash my rug again! 

It took only a day once I got it in my head to do and you know what?!  It works!!  When Shea has an accident, the pee just sits there.  We can wipe it up and spot clean the cover very easily!  I have taken the cover off once to throw in the wash and steam mop the shower curtain part underneath but so far we have had no issues with smell.

Keith's only complaint is the rug cover is very bright.  It actually would work well in our room as our bed covers most of the rug and would give the room a nice pop of color.  Our current bedroom rug is in the garage as it suffered from Shea too.  I'm now in search of a colorful, yet not too floral and bright, water-resistant fabric to cover the second rug now that we know this works.  I'm not having much luck - well to clarify, there are lots and lots of pretty oil cloth/laminated cotton fabrics but they are crazy expensive!  So the search continues. 

I did try making my own to cover the dining room rug, which for some reason Shea has left alone but it clashes with the new rug cover.  Turns out a polyurethaned fabric is not washable, is very stiff and cannot handle Drew's dinner time messes!

Shea does not like that her pee does not soak into the rugs, so she decided to seek opportunities to go in the girls' room and playroom when the doors are left open.  We have repeatedly asked the girls to keep their doors shut but they are 6 & 7 and yeah, they forget.  They got a lesson in shampooing carpets, but we got real and found some self closing gadget that keeps the door shut for them in order to keep the dogs from sneaking in the rooms. 

Some ppl may say that we are crazy to work so hard just b/c of a dog.  But what those ppl don't understand is that we are all these dogs have ever known.  Just b/c they have gotten old and honorary doesn't mean we will send them away.  It was our choice to bring them into our home 13, 12 and 10 years ago and so we will work with the issues they have and do our best to enjoy what time we have left with them all...

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Monday, August 22, 2016

2016 First Day of School

We survived another first day of school!  It was a pretty smooth morning, even Drew cooperated by sleeping most of the night and waking up to have breakfast with the girls!  School is starting 10 minutes earlier than last year so we were up and at it at 6:30 to make sure we had enough time to park and walk the girls in...plus take pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures!

Ava was pretty excited to go see her friends but I think as the time for leaving for school neared she got more and more nervous.  She went from bubbly and talkative to a little more solemn.  She did at least smile for a picture or two!  :)

Carli was up and ready to go this morning.  No asking her twice to get out of bed.  She is my little learner and thoroughly enjoys all things school.  Especially the rules.  She loves the rules of school...but not so much the rules of home.  I'm not sure that's very fair...

Sibling picture before we all cram in the car for the ride to school!

We took Carli to her class first.  She wasn't that thrilled to have me walk her in but hey...I needed a picture!  Ava was more clingy and resigned.  She was a little anxious about sitting across from Grayson and her best buddy Bella had not shown up yet.  But she did at least give me a smirk before I left...

And the annual picture that started as a fluke back in 2012 and was one of my most favorite pictures of all.  We've taken it every year since.  The girls didn't so much want to hold hands for me...I may have to throw Drew in the mix next year just to get them to cooperate...but for now, the traditional picture has made it another year.

Drew and I had a very quiet day.  He worked hard all day destroying one room and then the next.  I may have helped him as I decided to purge the girls art supplies/desk area and make room for more Drew toys.  One bag of trash and one box of donated stuff later we finished just in time to go get our girls from school.  They both were all smiles.  Carli declared Mrs. Shofner to be an even better teacher than she thought possible.  Ava decided Grayson wasn't such a bad little boy to be friends with as long as he didn't kiss her any more!  Ha!  We stopped for ice cream on our way home so they could dish about the details of their day.  We ended the first day of school with their favorite dinner of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and I threw in some green beans they complain about eating.  We called both sets of grandparents to report on the first day of school, then showers and in bed before 8...I'd call it a successful first day of school!

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Meet the Teacher

Carli has said all summer long she does not care which friends are in her class, all she cares about is that she gets Mrs. Shofner!  And she did!  I'm not sure who was more excited, Mrs. Shofner or Carli!

All Ava cared about was getting in the same class as her BFF Bella and she was pretty stoked that they were in the same class.  She decided Mrs. Ivy was pretty awesome too!  Here's to an awesome school year!  :)

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ava's Completed Woodworking Project

Ava's summer woodworking project is officially complete. Kit's loft bed was built and stained by Ava with her very involved assistant Daddy. She picked out Kit's coordinating bedding herself and Grammy sewed them up for her. She's pretty proud of the finished product! (Pls excuse the ice cream mustache.) :)

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Friday, August 19, 2016

A Little Saleswoman

Carli had to raise $300 for her part of the Sassy Sluggers fall fundraiser.  She had raised about $33 for her part of helping with the team car wash so she needed $270.  I'm the type of person that I'm okay with a page where family and friends can donate but I think that the kid ought to do something to earn some of the money as well.  So after some brainstorming, Carli decided she could make and sell some cookies.  So she made a sign, found some baskets for holding the cookies and collecting donations.

Then it was time to make cookies.  I could have made the cookies in two hours but it took us all day.  When Carli stopped, I stopped.  She got a little put out with me for not doing it all for her, but it was worth it.  She made Chocolate Chip Cookies and Snickerdoodles. 

After the cookies were cooled off, she bagged them and added toppers to her bags that said "Thank you from Carli.".

And then, she went door to door in our neighborhood and sold cookies.  Ava held the donation basket for her.  Drew helped drive.  :)

She even took her cookies to the chiropractor and sold some to him!  She raised $50 from her door to door sales.  The next day we delivered cookies to Uncle Andy, Ms. Jamie, Becky, Andrew and Grammy & Pa.  By the end of the day she had earned another $60.  She was really proud of herself!  :)

She reached her $300 goal by the end of the week with help from her online donations from family and friends.  She was ready to start another fundraiser of a lemonade stand but I couldn't get her to understand it would be less successful living on a quiet street in the rain!  :)

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Walking Fashion Statement

I've always said my kids were doomed to get my sense of fashion...thankfully, sometimes they overcome the odds and pick out some pretty cute clothes.  Ava loves to pose for me on rare occasions!  :)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016


We have had so much fun this summer with our neighbors.  Branson has been a constant companion most of the summer.  He and the girls get a long really well.  And on the days they just don't click, no biggie, they all go their separate ways and try again another day.  Some days the girls spend most of the day at Branson's house and a lot of times they are at our house all day. 

One day I was working really hard to get Drew to nap and had finally given up and just was rocking Drew while he napped.  It turned into a 3 hr nap and I was enjoying the rest and quiet but was kind of itching to know what was going on in the rest of the house b/c there were 3 other kids and it sure was quiet!

When Drew woke up, we found Carli, Branson and Ava had spent the three hours asking the Magic 8 ball questions and it turns out after asking the Magic 8 ball over 20 times if Carli and Branson were girlfriend and boyfriend, Magic 8 ball said they were and so it came to be...

We have been thoroughly entertained listening to the planning that goes into being a boyfriend and girlfriend at 7 years old.  It is a very serious matter.  They have planned out their house, land, family and jobs.  And have agreed it is a secret from everyone but family. 

Branson started calling Carli "Girlfriend" and is quite serious about it.  He created himself a Wii character on our system and it is labeled "Boyfriend" and when Carli was busy with Ava, he renamed her Wii character "Girlfriend." 

Branson declared when they were married he would work and make $50 a day.  And Carli said she would be a waitress.  Branson said, no, no you can't do that, you must be a home-mom.  Carli replied but Ava is the AUnt and she can watch the kids.  Branson threw his hands in the hair and said that just won't work b/c babysitter's cost like a $100 a day!  So Ava announced it would be okay, she'd just babysit for free! 

It's been so fun to watch and listen to them play and be so innocent!  Tonight, Branson's biggest worry was what he would call Carli at school b/c he's so use to calling her Girlfriend he might forget and then he'd be in trouble with her! 

Branson even went with Carli to her tryout for a softball team the other day.  I'm convinced that Carli was able to keep her cool and not let her anxiety get the best of her b/c Branson was there.  When we moved from our house in Whitehouse, one of the biggest things we missed was the kids having friends in the neighborhood.  It's been such a great summer watching the girls play with their new friends and making so many fun memories!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sassy Sluggers

Carli was asked to join the East Texas Attitude and she was pretty excited after getting over the anxiety of trying out.  The following week, before she even had a chance to go to an official practice we got a call that they were moving the team to Lufkin which was way to far for us to drive.  :(
So Carli and I scouted out a couple of teams who were advertising tryouts.  We ruled out one team because the coach was loud and we knew that would conflict with Carli's personality.  The other team we drove over to Palestine and had an individual practice.  Carli was a bit nervous but loosened up a great deal when she realized she was just going to play catch and hit the ball for the coaches.  She did an amazing job and they invited her to join their team.
She had her first official practice with the team that same Friday evening.  She was crazy nervous but the girls on the team were amazing.  They talked to her and helped her feel very welcomed.  I was so glad.  There is nothing harder than watching your child have to work through her own fear.

After her first practice as a Sassy Slugger, where she seriously has gotten the dirtiest I have ever seen her get playing she asked if we could go to Little Mexico for dinner.  And of coarse we did b/c when a girl works through the crazy emotions of fear, she gets to pick where we have dinner!

The very next day the team was hosting a car wash.  We gave Carli the option to go or not.  It was to help raise money toward the team insurance and tournament entry fees.  Carli wanted to go and that was a good sign!  She had a blast and worked hard.  Her Uncle Andy and Aunt Chelle came by and so did Becky and her parents! 

I pray we have finally found a good fit for Carli and softball.  She still says she doesn't want to play but she's all smiles and laughs when she gets to practice and around her new friends.  Our goal for softball is not so much to be an all star and win but for Carli to learn the game and how to work with others.  There's so much more to the game than winning it. 
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Little Summer Fun

Here are a few stray pictures from our last week of summer...
The girls showing Drew how to make mud pies, he mastered the mud part pretty quickly!

And Drew LOVING him some bundt cake.

Grammy and I take turns dog sitting for eachother when we are out of town.  Here are the three brothers:  Chuy, Blacky and WT all having to wear their diapers b/c they like to have pee wars when they visit eachother to see who's "man" enough. 

Ava helping Drew ride the scooter during a trip to the TeraGanix office.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Criss Cross Braid

Sometimes I like to have fun with the girls hair.  Carli rarely tolerates my creativity but occasionally Ava will let me play with her hair if I let her play on my phone...so we played yesterday and copied a braid we saw on facebook.  Turned out cute and stayed up pretty well too!

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Friday, August 12, 2016

When There's a Will

Carli is known to crawl up in Grammy's lap no matter where we are.  It reminds me a lot of Anthony and Grandma.  If Grammy is sitting down and Carli is around, odds are you will find Carli in Grammy's lap.  This could happen at home, eating out and at church - it's simply a given.  Since Grammy had knee replacement, Carli has been in withdrawals not getting to sit in her lap!  But, where there is a will, there is a way and Carli is making due as best she can...

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Carli Got Mail

Carli met a friend from Camp Deer Run earlier this summer and decided she wanted to write her a letter.  It was pretty fun to watch her work through what she wanted to write and address and stamp her envelope.  She watched the mailbox for a week and had about given up...try explaining snail mail to a 7 year old...when she got a return letter in the mail!  She was so excited!  It took her a couple of days but she wrote a reply and it has been sent on its way back to her friend Lexi!  :)  It's the simple things in life that bring us joy. 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Baby Carli

I usually put the Drew to bed every night, but occasionally I get to put the girls to bed.  It sure is crazy how big my first baby girl is getting!!

Carli's love language is touch and gifts.  She loves to cuddle and give hugs and kisses.  But I am always finding little notes and gifts around the house from her too.  She may not fit in my lap very well any more but she will always hold a very large part of my heart!

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Just a Game of Baseball

Keith took the girls to the Astro/Ranger game last night along with Pa, Pappy, Uncle Andy, Logan, Uncle Tone and Aunt Chelle.  While they were off watching ball games, Grammy, Drew and I enjoyed dinner together and a little shopping.  :)
How special it is for my girls that they get to spend time with BOTH their grandpa's at the same time!

They got to go to batting practice.  Pa even caught a ball with Carli's glove!

While Carli was enjoying the game with Pappy, Pa took Ava and bought her a new Astro hat!

And they totally took advantage of being with their Dad and Grandpa's...pizza and ice cream for dinner!

They had a lot of fun together and it sure was a late night.  Drew and I did not wait up for them!  The next day before Pappy left, Carli and I ran to town to get the makings for some burgers.  We may have detoured by a softball game or two and gotten an ice cream cone too!

We had a great weekend!  Especially the girls, full of family, baseball and a lot of spoiling!  :)

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