Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kayci's turn

Kayci asked me to post 2 things on the blog tonight...a picture of a ghost she drew, and a picture of her in pigtails (she did them herself, bow and all).  :)  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mobile Noble 2: The Need For Speed

It's official. As of today, Noble is no longer "commando crawling" and has started crawling for real. It's so weird because just yesterday he was sliding himself across the floor and today it's like he's been crawling for a month. And he's getting faster with every passing hour.

It's a lot of fun to watch, and we're excited to share it with you:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ruin Me

This struck a chord in us today, thinking of how we sometimes get lost in our plans for our lives and forget to seek God's will.    On that note, we attended our first Dave Ramsey class this evening, and feel encouraged that we're growing up when it comes to our money--or lack of.  We'll get it, with a little work and a lot of prayer.  Anyway, here's the song:  

Ruin Me

Woe to me I am unclean
A sinner found in Your presence
I see you seated on Your throne
Exalted, Your Glory surrounds You

Now the plans that I have made
Fail to compare when I see your glory

Ruin my life the plans I have made
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain
Destroy the idols that have taken Your place
'Till its You alone I live for,
You alone I live for. (repeat)

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy is the Lord!

Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy is the Lord!

Repeat chorus

Friday, October 24, 2008


The Rest of the Story, as Paul Harvey Would Say

I thought that last picture might pique your curiosity...

It's Friday afternoon, and we're leaving for Houston at 4:00.  So, I'm frantically trying to get packed and kind of clean the house...you know, Mommy stuff.  Noble didn't sleep long this afternoon, but he was very excited to get down on the floor to play while Mommy ran around.  He started out in the living room with Kayci's Barbie computer...I heard it turn on, Barbie said hello and Noble said "BaBa!"  Oh Dear God, he said Barbie before Mommy.  We'll pretend like we didn't hear it, okay?

So, I have to keep a close eye on him because as soon as I turn my back, he does the electric slide.  The kid knows where ever exposed outlet is in the house (exposed as in not covered by furniture, we don't have open outlets you safety freaks).  Anyway, on our "to do" list this weekend is purchase & install the outlet covers that cover the entire outlet, plugs included.  (We gave our old ones away...never really needed them with Kayci, but that's another story.)  After he loses interest in Barbie (really, don't we all eventually?) he starts the slide, into the dining room.  I have to say, he's starting to respond to my "no!" when he gets too close to the water cooler outlet or the Roombas.  We do this for a few minutes, he scoots, I no, he smiles and tries to con me, I no, he retreats.  Finally, he makes me smile by retreating for good, into the hallway.  I'm done in the kitchen and ready to pack, so bedrooms seem to be a safe zone.   Here's what I found about 30 seconds after he entered Kayci's room--pardon the focus, but I grabbed my iphone and it has its limitations (but you didn't hear it from me!).  The first pic is actually him falling down when I walked in and surprised him.  Little Mr. Mischief didn't let a Mommy stand in his way for long...

You saw what happened next. I put him in the crib with some toys so I could finish packing. And by the way, Boy--here's something else for the list.

Mobile Noble, indeed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The boy is a meat eater.

Yesterday Kristi, Noble and I had a picnic out on the hill behind our house at lunch time. Kristi had gone to our favorite barbecue place, Big Daddy's (not the same Big Daddy's that you find in Houston). I got a chicken baked potato and she got a rib plate (Big Daddy's has the best ribs I've ever eaten, by the way.) Noble was trying really hard to grab some food - any food - from the plate, so we handed him a rib to see what he would do.

The photos speak for themselves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All about Kayci

Kayci's forever saying, "let's put that on the blog."  Like you guys care about every single little thing that happens.  But here are a few special items that we just have to share...

1.  The Brenham Banner-Press:  We FINALLY started taking the paper.  I was way excited, too, about finally being plugged in to what's going on around town.  Well, the Banner-Press is a lot like the Iola Register...every police call is in there, etc.  It's definitely a small town paper!  As it turns out, that has its advantages.  Saturday morning we had to run back by the house to grab the laptop.  I noticed the paper was in the yard so I picked it up.  I planned to just recycle it, but for some reason opened it up and we all started looking through it.  On page 4, there was a big section called "Brenham ISD Student News."  A certain name caught my eye...

Krause Elementary School

We are all in Mrs. Bolcerek's class.  We know that if we be good and study hard and pay attention we can get to go on some field trips later this year.  We need to show respect too.  That is our character trait this month.  

Kindergarten sure is lots of fun!  There are so many fun things we do at school...

It goes on from there, but you get the gist.  Apparently (this is what I got from Kayci), Kayci and a couple of her friends "wrote" this with the lady in the computer lab.  The second sentence is all Kayci, but the rest is definitely obviously assisted.  But hey, she made the paper!  She will tell you this is the second time this year she's been in the paper--she SWEARS the back of her head was in a picture with Sparky the Fire Dog.  Daddy doesn't believe her, as the head in question was blond.  :)

2.  Kayci made a 100 on her first "real" spelling test!  

3.  Yesterday, Kayci got in the car all excited about them calling her name on the speaker.  I haven't talked to Mrs. Bolcerek yet to get details, but I think I understand that Kayci was chosen (it's a drawing) as a Star Student this week, so she gets her picture taken and gets to have lunch *on the stage!* with the administrators.  She's stoked!

4.  I got a work phone call yesterday just as we came in after school.  I normally don't take work calls at that time, but I really needed to hear what this teacher had to say.  Well, Kayci kept interrupting.  And interrupting.  And interrupting.  She wanted my attention, and she finally got it, and I was grumpy.  I sent her to her room to clean up (what she was supposed to be doing anyway!) and to give me a minute to just breathe and get over the grumpy.  Well, after she made her bed she came and asked if she could draw.  I said yes, and after a while she headed into our room with a piece of paper and tape.  To my pillow, she taped a picture of the two of us smiling, with red crayon hearts coming out of the Kayci drawing and heading toward the Mommy drawing.  It was very sweet, and touched my heart.  She had written "Im sore for bng so men."  (I'm sorry for being so mean.)  Aww...even if I was still mad at that point, no way could I have stayed that way!  She's either very sweet, or very smart.  Crap, she's both--we're in trouble!

5.  Last one...she was very excited today that she and a friend got to "water paint" during center time.   You can't really read it, but she wrote a sentence:  "I see a spider."  This one is already hanging up on Kayci's wall of fame in our office...she was so proud to show it off to Daddy.  :)  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This Day in History...

It's Saturday, October 18th.  

One year ago today (it was a Wednesday, though), we found out that Noble was a...well, a Noble. :)  Remember the picture of Kayci with the big sister shirt, "it's a boy!" balloon and the knowing smile?  

Eleven years ago today, James proposed.  Come on, you remember...Senior year.  Let the Good Times Roll!  50 yard line, halftime...10 minutes later, I quit crying enough to say "yes!"  And the rest, as they say, is history.   I'll never forget at our rehearsal dinner, Dad telling about standing there talking to some guy, the punchline of "the funny thing is, that's my daughter."  

Today in the car one of us said, "do you know what happened one year ago today?"  And Kayci, God love her, would have brought me to my knees if I hadn't been sitting already.  She said, "If the kids left for Taiwan one year ago today, that means they could come home today."  Soon enough, Bitty, soon enough.  

Here's a quick pic of the littlest Bearkat...I'm sure Daddy will post some pics of the kids with Sammy.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This is definitely worth mentioning in the blog, for those of you who know me well.   Noble & I went to College Station to deposit my paychecks and pick up some fall clothes for the family.  First we went to Old Navy and found tons of stuff that I liked, but I restrained myself and bought just a few basics for Noble.  Then, we went over to Target and...wait for it...spent NOTHING.  Didn't buy anything--not even from the $ spot.  I know, I know, I can't believe it myself.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Breakfast party!

The cupboards are bare, and Daddy wasn't around this morning, so Bitty and I decided that we'd get around early and go to the donut store before I took her to school this morning.   We left with plenty of time to spare (very rare occurrence around here) and headed over.  The first thing we noticed was Jennifer's truck in the parking lot, which meant that Savannah and Jessica were inside.  Kayci restrained herself, though, and didn't jump out until the car actually stopped.  (Kidding, kidding, we're very safe.  Well, we try--don't want to tempt fate.)  Anyway, we ended up having breakfast with the Scheffler's, then Jennifer & Rachel came in, then the Headleys.  It was a lot of fun--an unexpected little gathering in the middle of the week.  The best part for Kayci?  Lydia and Rachel loaded up and rode to school with us.  It really is the little things in life...

This morning I'm grateful for our little life, and the little things, and for being able to be happy and grateful for the little things.  :)  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ain't that a kick in the...head

Kayci would like to tell you about tonight's soccer game:

"I fell down but I was alright for 2 seconds.  All the sudden I got kicked in the head!  I had to go sit down because it hurt.  The game went good.  Except when I got kicked in the head.  We losed...lost.  We took snack today.  Ooh, and can I have my snack now?"

Mommy's unabridged version:

I knew we were sunk when I walked to our regular spot to spread out, and there was a banner in my way.  I thought, who are all of these people if there's only one other Red Hot here?  Well, it was the opposing team.  We'll call them the Pros.  They had a flippin' banner--seriously, and it's all downhill from there.  Once I realized it wasn't, in fact, an advertisement (thought that was odd for U6 soccer), I clued in to the fact that some overzealous soccer mom had a freakin' banner printed with the team name and all of the girls' names.  2 color banner, y'all, with prismatic--these people are hard core.  I felt like Ralphie, when the hubcap with the nuts & bolts goes flying...as I walked around the field to where our sad little team would sit, all I heard in my head was "oh, fuuuuuudge."  

After I got everyone settled on the loser's side, I sat back and took inventory.  If you're not familiar with Brenham soccer, everyone gets standard-issue black shorts and then a team color jersey and colored socks.  So that's what our team wears.  Not these little Hamms...they all had--no lie--matching monogrammed soccer backpacks, matching hair ties, monogrammed shorts (not the standard-issues, either), and special practice jerseys over their regular jerseys.  The practice jerseys had their team name, the girls' names, and the kicker:  on the back, each girl had several soccer ball appliques in assorted colors.  They were obviously symbolic, so I asked the coach (who does this purely for fun, you know) what they meant.  Each color was a different achievement, from attendance to goals to defense.  You know the Kristi in me was impressed as these 8 little dynamos lined up...in a straight line...and went through their pre-game drills like a well-oiled machine.  Our 2, no 3, wait, there's 4 girls went out and attempted to look alive, but it was sadly apparent that we had no pre-game drill.  Coach did manage to whip them into a line and get them to kick the ball, so the Bad News Bears weren't all bad news.  

But then the game started--3 on 3 instead of 4 on 4, because we're down to 6 players, when they all show up--and we didn't even have enough players there to rotate 3 at a time, so the girls had to play more than they're used to.  I have to say--our 5 girls, even the sick one--ran their hearts out and spent a good game in control of the ball.  They fought for it, man.  I overheard Jenna saying, "I like the feet fight!"  And she's right--that big ol' cluster of girls, all kicking for the ball...it's a feet fight, all right.  Tonight our girls did a great job of playing together, fighting for the ball, controlling the ball, and getting the ball down the field.  Next week, we'll work on kicking it in the goal.  But I was darn proud watching how far they've come since last week!  

As far as the kick in the head:  the previous author has taken some creative liberty in the retelling of this incident.  Kayci tripped over the ball in a feet fight, and went down on her knees.  A big ol' girl on the other team was already running and couldn't stop in time, so she pretty well ran over Bitty.  Her foot did strike the back of Kayci's neck, but it was a glancing blow.  Kayci got up immediately and shook it off, no tears or drama of any kind!  It was a water break anyway, so the girls were sent off the field to rest...it's not like she was so badly injured she couldn't play anymore.  :)  But her version is more exciting, can't wait to hear what she tells 'em at school tomorrow.  Is it wrong that she's more excited about getting kicked in the head than about scoring a goal last week?  Wait, don't answer that.  

So, Pros, you got us.  You creamed us...as Kayci said, like, 54-1.  (Maybe more like 9, we lost count.)  But our girls had fun, and the way they ran through the line at the end, you'd think they'd won the World Cup.  Sometimes playing the game is its own reward...well, that and the crackers at the end.  So play on, Red Hots, play on.  Win or lose, we'll be rooting for you!  

And Pros, there's room for both kinds of team in the league...you girls had fun tonight, and you played well.  In the end, that's all that matters.  It just goes to show, I saw the banner and the jerseys and the well, stuff, and jumped to the conclusion that the Pros were in it to win it, not play.  I apologize for jumping to conclusions.  But I don't apologize for making fun of all your crap.  Seriously...U6 soccer, not Brazilian national futbol team.  

Does not? compute

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Clearing

I just finished a painting that I'd like to share.  It's for a marriage retreat lodge that will soon be built near Brenham called "The Clearing."  

I was contacted by my friend Lori a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in doing an illustration for one of their clients.  I did a brochure for her employer, Texas Log Homes, last fall and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to do some more work for them.  That, and I'd like to transition into illustrating children's so I was really interested in a paying gig that would allow me to practice.

The drawback was that there was nothing in existence for me to work from except an architect's elevation drawing. Oh, and they wanted it with just a little more than three weeks turnaround.

So I got to work drawing.  Trying to draw a building that doesn't exist from a straight-on drawing and trying to show depth and size is actually pretty tough.  After several starts, I finally got a sketch that I likes and that I thought was decent enough to proceed.  So I scanned it and began working with it in Photoshop.  

Then I got some voicemails and an e-mail on Friday from the owners of The Clearing.  They wanted the art early for a brochure.  I wasn't ready to give it to them, but I promised that I would have it by the end of the weekend.

After several hours of work, I took a look at it and realized that my perspective was all off.  It didn't become clear until it was painted how bad it was.  It was like MC Escher got together with Salvador Dali and decided to build a log cabin.  This is the first version:

So on Sunday morning, I started over.  Sitting in the living room drinking my coffee with Kristi, I began sketching.  What miraculously appeared was what I originally envisioned, but somehow abandoned.  So I scanned it and began working feverishly.  Having just done all this the day before, it went pretty quickly.

I fixed a few things that I didn't like from the first draft and experimented with some different ways of doing some things.  I worked most of the day, with a 2-hour break to go to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill with the family.  Finally, at about 7pm, I finished.  Here's the final result:

I think you'll agree that it's much better.

Darn Tootin'!

I'm sitting on the couch working, James and Kayci are in the office playing tic tac toe and visiting (I'm so enjoying hearing their conversation drifting through the little green house, btw).  Anyway, a while ago a car drove by, honking like crazy.  Whenever that happens, I always wonder who's saying "hi."  (We live on a busy street, so usually the honking is a friend driving by).  

Sure enough, a few minutes later, Sherri texts...it was them driving by.  So James and I are talking across the house, he's reading her texts and texting back.  And so it goes.  We tell her to tell Brad that he needs to come up with a tune for the honking, so we know it's them.  And, James jokes, so he doesn't shoot.

Text back:  "Brad's not worried..."

James stopped there.  I said, "not worried about what?"  

He reads the rest...  "he's seen you shoot."   Hee hee.  Poor James, but that's typical Sherri and Brad--they ALWAYS make us laugh!

So, those of you who honk your hellos, next time, see if we can name that tune!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BONUS VIDEO of Noble laughing

At story time this week, Noble thought a pig puppet was HILARIOUS!  Here's a quick video clip of him belly laughing at the librarian and the pig puppet.

Mobile Noble

Noble started scooting this week. Over the course of the week, he has gotten so good at "inchworming" that he can now get just about anywhere he wants... which means that it's time to babyproof down low. Yesterday, he had scooted over to the buffett and was trying to remove a couple of wine bottle that were down low - that just a week ago were of no danger to anyone.

He's also started learning that if you scoot under something, it's easy to bump your head. It's tough being a Bubby.

Anyway, here are two videos - one shot earlier in the week showing how he was just starting to scoot and one shot this morning showing how quick he's gotten already.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weird Week

We've been pretty quiet this week for a reason...our internet went out (we thought because of a big storm late Monday/early Tuesday) and we're just now back online.  You'd think it wouldn't be such a big deal, but I WORK online, so it's been a long few days, man.  

Just a reminder--if you want to order from Bitty's fundraiser, tomorrow's the deadline.  Scroll down to the post with directions, links, etc.  No biggie--thanks to Kristin for supporting Krause!

I'll leave with a quick pic.  Yesterday was the beginning of the newest Region 4 cycle, for which I'm the Cyber Coordinator.  A big, big workday for me and of course several emergencies popped up before 9:00.  So, after Noble's nap he and I packed up and headed to Starbucks so I could work for as long as he could stand it (he was running a temp of 101.5, God love him!).  Anyway, he was just wonderful...he sat in his rarely-used stroller and looked out the window, played with his toys, flirted with the ladies...and finally, fell asleep.  Sweet boy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Highlights

It was a quiet weekend, considering the ear infections. James told me this morning as he headed out for San Antonio that he downloaded the pics, so I'll go ahead and toss them out there for you guys. This is truly a hodgepodge, nothing exciting but some pretty pics of the Bitty.

What you see...Kayci at Gander Mountain hunting giraffes, Noble trying out Daddy's hat, Kayci lounging--we had a PJ day yesterday, her completed 300 piece puzzle (her first!), and the kids dressed as Scarecrows for Awana (Kayci earned her book & vest last night!).

Here's to a great week!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Farmer McCrow

This is Kayci's class scarecrow...if you come to Brenham this month, vote for #33!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


P.S.  One visit to Dr. Draehn later, it's official:  both kiddos have ear infections.  Both in the left ear, oddly.  Interesting tidbit--Kayci's tubes came out a while back but have been just laying there in her ear canal.  Today the left one was out enough that Dr. Draehn could loop it...it was bigger than I thought, and nastier as it was encased in who knows how old ear wax.  But it was cool!  My drama queen informed me at Wal-Mart that I needed to speak up, as her left ear doesn't hear so well now that the tube is out.  Sigh.  

All through the night...

Last night started out pretty promising...both kids fell asleep on the way home from College Station, and so we thought we were ahead of the game.  Then, at 1 AM, Noble woke up screaming and was so exhausted but SOOOOOOO hard to get back down.  With that accomplished, we hopefully went back to sleep...only to wake up an hour later to Kayci crying in the next room.  Her ear hurt--by the way, why does it ONLY happen on Friday nights?  So I went in there to cuddle with her.  That lasted for a couple of hours, until Nobley woke up again at 4, unable to breathe for all of the snot.  Sorry, it's the truth.  He was so fussy, I finally got up and took him outside around 5 for a change of scene.  We came back in to watch the news at 5:30, and he finally fell asleep on the couch with me about 6.  And then, of course, at 6:19 Kayci came out of her room, crying.  Anyone relate to this?  

The silver lining--we got to cuddle in bed and watch our new favorite family show, "Opportunity Knocks."  We've got a call in to the doctor and have cancelled our Fair on the Square plans (darn it!).  Daddy took pity on Kayci and went to the donut store to pick up breakfast, and now we're all piled in our bed again, watching "Camp Rock."  Hopefully at least a couple of us will be able to take a nap this morning.  Sigh.  Well, gotta run--time for our Saturday morning Skype call to the kids.  Hope everyone's well where you are!  

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall = festivals!

October is, hands down, our favorite month.  The fall weather, the football (for James, obviously), just the FEELING of fall.  And for us girls, fall means festivals!  Here are a few that we'll be checking out in the next couple of weeks... 

Tomorrow is Fair on the Square in Huntsville...haven't ever taken Kayci, but think we'll head over and play there while Daddy's out shooting skeet (skeet shooting?) tomorrow.  There's a lot of stuff for kids, and I'm not worried about being tempted to spend $$ at the craft booths.  

This is the big week, too, at Round Top...and there I will be tempted to spend.  Then I'll remember Sally Scooba and that should quell the urge.  But we'll go out, walk around and have dinner under the trees one evening this weekend.  We love Round Top!

Next weekend is the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill.  I actually prefer it to the Bluebonnet Festival; it seems like there were more and better vendors in the fall.  Now this is one you'll want to bring some $$ to...so many cool things!  

Late addition--Lauren e-mailed and reminded me about our annual pilgrimmage to the Nutcracker Market.  Can't wait!  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A day in the life...

...or an evening, as the case may be.  :)  It's 8:45--both kids are in bed, and James and I are watching the debate.  (Honestly, I'd rather be watching Grey's, but at least this way I'm getting my grading done.)  Anyway, tonight was kind of fun around our house, and we snapped some pictures.  

Kayci made a "nifty necklace" for school tomorrow.  I think it's pretty obvious that Kayci does her own projects, but man, she's proud!  Chances are pretty good, her necklace will be the only one tomorrow that has um, shoulders.   And probably the only one with yup, those are in fact feathers.  We discussed a tasteful number, perhaps with her alphabet beads.  But alas, she had a better idea.  That's SO Kayci, though.  More is more, as they say...wait...

Noble had fun with his dinner.  Some days it's fun to just give him the bowl and spoon, and tonight was one of those nights.  He had a blast, and we got to sit and enjoy our stir fry and a great conversation with Kayci.  She's so interested in reading and writing--and every day we're amazed at the sheer volume of knowledge in that beautiful little head.  She's amazing!  But back to the pic...well, Noble is my boy.  He digs the beer bottle, and before you call CPS, no, he's never tasted it.  We're goofy, not crazy.

James came in tonight and said, "your Christmas gift arrived today!"  He knew it would kill me to wonder about it for 3 months, but luckily, he was just kidding.  Apparently woot had Roomba Scoobas on last week, so Rodney Roomba has a girlfriend:  meet Sally Scooba!  See, James DOES love me!  Other women want jewelry and bags...give me clean floors, and I'm yours!!  :)  

I hate blogs when people make it seem like their lives are perfect.  If you've read more than one post, you know we're far from perfect.  Happy, but not sappy.  So, lest you think things are ideal here in the little green house, check out the dishes.  Oh, my--think that's the water bottle from Tuesday's soccer game.  Guess those have been there a couple of days!  


Sorry if I sent this out blank--not sure what happened! A little fun in cyberspace, I guess.

Anyway, the post.

Yesterday was a BAD day. Big Mommy Meltdown day--not externally as much as internally, although it must have been pretty obvious as James hugged me several extra times and kept asking, "What can I do to help you?" :) It was just a bad day, when it felt like everything was coming down at once. Days like that are discouraging. But then you go to bed, and you wake up and it's a beautiful day and you breathe. Yesterday the mess on the deck was representative of ONE MORE THING I had to do but didn't have time for. This morning, as I took a minute to give Noble his after-nap bottle outside (thanks again, Dad, for a gorgeous deck!), the hay took on an entirely different meaning--it reminded me that it's October, my favorite month of the year. The weather here in Brenham is absolutely gorgeous and yep, I've got a lot on my plate, but all of that is far, far outnumbered by my blessings. It's all about perspective, and I'm grateful to be reminded of that. Thanks, Nobley, for a great day. And it's not even lunchtime. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Soccer's a Ball!

Last night was Kayci's first soccer game. The match-up? Red Hots vs. Peppers (um, she's a purple Red Hot, don't ask). We hit the field at 6, and this video was taken toward the end of the game. The first video was quite a bit less entertaining--I give Kayci credit, every time she got out there she was a little bit better than before, and by the end of the game, she was doing really well! 

As you can see in the video, Kayci playing soccer is, well, Kayci playing soccer. Our little ballerina was a bit disappointed that her soccer outfit did not twirl. :) If you are interested in catching a game, check the schedule. Kayci is in the U6 girls division, and she plays through 11/20, so there's plenty of time.