Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree

So, the plan this year was to buy our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving since we were actually home (with no plans!).  But...then we chickened out.  That's a whole lotta weeks to have a live tree in our home, and our house is so small that 4 weeks of decorations just about drive me nuts...I love, love decorating for Christmas, but I also love, love taking it all down in January and having just a basic, clean house for a while.  :)

We made time this past weekend to decorate our tree, so off we went Thursday night to buy our tree.  That way we could get straight to the decorating this weekend.

Or...not.  But man, we did have a great weekend!

So, the new plan was to decorate the tree Monday night.  Last night.  Only, one of us commuted to Houston for work and got stuck in CRAZY traffic coming home.  So maybe we got a later start than we planned.  Daddyboy and I just looked at each other and agreed, it was TIME to get the tree up--the kids could stay up late one night.   :)

My favorite part of decorating the tree is opening the boxes and telling the kids the story behind each ornament...and remembering.

Each year we give our kids a Hallmark ornament for Christmas.  Whether they like it or not (and we hope they love it!), when they get married they'll already have a lifetime of ornaments that tell their story, ready for their trees.

When I was 9 (in 1983 if you must know), my Grandma Weseloh started the tradition of buying ornaments for all of us grandkids, which is where it started for us.  When she was unable to continue the tradition, Mom and Dad started buying ornaments for us.  So I have almost 30 years of ornaments that tell my story on our family tree., along with a few really early ones.  This is the ornament that started it all.  She's broken now, and out of rotation, but this year I had Kayci put her on our dresser so I could enjoy her again.  Man, I miss my Grandma.

Our tree is perfectly imperfect, as one of my favorite bloggers would say.  In addition to our bought ornaments, there are tons of kid-made ornaments.  It was fun last night looking at their 1-year old ornaments and comparing the size of their hands then and now.  Oh, how time flies, y'all.  

Each year we have our jobs:  Daddyboy puts on the lights (NOT my favorite!), and I sit on the floor and open ornaments and hand them to the kids, telling them the story of each one.  Then Daddyboy helps them place the ornaments on the tree (unless it's an unbreakable one, then we just let them have at it).

It's too early to go out there and take a picture, but I got a good laugh last night...last year was the first year Bubby was big enough to help with real ornaments.  Yeah.  I'm thinking we were a year early--at least 2 of our Hallmark ornaments are glued together with notes "Noble dropped, 2011."  But you know, being THAT KID is part of his story.  Someday his wife's going to get a big kick out of it!

It's been a little tough for Bitty to share the job of putting the angel on the tree--after all, it's been her job for YEARS.  Last year Daddyboy let both kids put the angel on, and he did it again this year.  I'm thinking we've spent enough on his back...next year we'll flip for it.  :)

And that's it.  It still needs a little garland for a finishing touch, but that's our story.  It's the kind of tree one either loves or hates.  But to me, a fir tree dressed with our story is a Christmas tradition.

Oh, Christmas tree.  You were a long time coming this year, but man, we're glad you're here.

I used to overload December with activities and too many traditions to count, but last year and this year we've kind of toned it down.  I realized I was focusing too much on the DOING and not enough on the BEING.  So this year, I'm not sure what we'll do.  Since it's December 4th, guess I better figure it out.  I know the kids are excited about the Advent calendar, so looks like I'll be working on that today.  Our Elf on the Shelf has been visiting, of course, but she's JUST an elf, not one of those mischievous ones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Invitation!

Okay, a few invitations!

This Friday, 11/30 is the Brenham Lighted Christmas Parade!  We'll be riding on the Germania float, but will hit downtown afterwards for some hot chocolate (weather permitting) and the Stroll.

Next Friday, 12/7, is St. Paul's Christmas Program at 7:00 pm at Brenham High School.  Noble will be playing the role of a gift, and he can't WAIT!

Saturday, 12/15 is Kayci's Fall Piano Recital at 10:30 am at First Baptist, Brenham.  Afterward we'll grab a quick lunch (dutch, Kayci wants me to remind everyone--she's learned a new word!) and then James and I will head off to a wedding shoot.

We will take video and photo at each, of course (who am I kidding?  James will take video and photo, I'll snap a few crappy pictures with my phone), but we'd love for you to join us at any that appeal.

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for...

Surely he's thankful for other stuff, too?

If you're reading this, we're thankful for YOU!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Corn Maze

After church yesterday, we had a picnic then headed out to the Brazos Corn Maize. It was wonderful, and the people were so nice! Our goal was to get photos for a little happy (fall 2013!), but the kids sure had a blast. James took "real" pictures, but here are a couple of fun ones. The fifth Pharaon, Levi, was with us this weekend, so that's the extra kid on the bridge. :)

Bubby played hard...then he slept hard until it was time for trunk or treat. He slept through a 90 minute visit to the Carroll's new house while the kids played all around...now that's tired!

Friday, October 26, 2012


This came home in Noble's backpack yesterday.

Hmm. Might be yet another cookbook we put up in the cabinet and don't use--really, who but a chef would have these ingredients on hand?

Sunday, October 21, 2012


With the nice summer weather (and crazy busy work schedules for Mommygirl & Daddyboy), it's been a little tough to get into the Halloween spirit. So today we skipped church (gasp!) to stay home, recharge, and find some time to dress the little green house up for Halloween. Come on by in 10 days-we'll be ready with the candy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who's got two thumbs...

...and wants you to order from her school fundraiser?

This girl!  This year Krause has signed up to sell Cherrydale Farms products--there are some really cute gift wraps in their catalog and I can tell you from personal experience that the cookies are YUMMY.  :)

Please take a look, and order something if you'd like!

You can click here and go shopping on the Cherrydale website:

Thanks so much for supporting Kayci and Krause.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fair Fun-Take Two

Five years ago, I went to the fair with 4 year old Kayci and her classmates. I was just a few months pregnant with baby Lucky. (A month later we'd find out Lucky was, in fact, the little brother Kayci prayed for.) Today I had the pleasure of going to the fair with 4 year old Noble and his classmates. It was so fun to do the exact same things, but to see them through his eyes.

If you had told me five years ago that life would get even better and we'd find so much joy in this knucklehead, I probably wouldn't have believed you. And I wonder if Kayci is pleased with the answer to her prayer...may be better not to ask!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blue Ribbon Girl

Kayci entered three photos into the Washington County Fair this year and won blue ribbons on all three!

Here she is standing in front of them. Hers are the orange flowers above her and the two photos immediately to her left. One is of Jackson at his birthday party and the other is of Noble in a hoodie.

Congratulations, Bitty!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water Piling

This year Kayci's GT class is similar to our Encounters; she leaves campus one day each week to spend a day in a science lab.  So far, she's been three times but has absolutely RAVED each time!  She's been wanting to show us a "water piling experiment," so last night after dinner we told her to get to it.  We all sat around the table and watched the scientist work.  I can't wait to see what she learns this week!

(Note:  yes, Noble was already in pjs at dinner.  I cut his hair yesterday and then let him play in the bath until Daddy came home...until he got shampoo in his eyes, it was even more fun than swimming!)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Grandparents Day!

Happy grandparents day to Grandma, Nana, Dan, Jhido, Nahia, GoGo, Angus, Great Grandma Hagler, Aunt Peggy, Aunt Susan, Patty...and every other grandparent we know!

We are especially blessed this year to have a grandparent living in the SAME town...for the first time in over 6 years! Our cookie jar runneth over. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fortune? Cookies

Finishing lunch with Nana & Dan at the Chinese Buffet...got a kick out of the knuckleheads' fortune cookies. Try Truth cookies:

These have already come true!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Our niece, Emma, is visiting for a few days. She's not quite used to Bubby, and their conversations make me laugh. Case in point: I sent Noble in to change into pajamas. Emma went in after a few minutes, and we heard this conversation: Emma: is that...like, a dress? (We knew exactly what he was wearing from that one question.) Noble: {oblivious} Emma persisted: are you gonna wear pants with that? Noble: {indignantly} Pants?! What, are we going somewhere?!

Poor Emma never stood a chance.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's tough being the little brother...

Kayci had a birthday slumber party, and Noble was in little boy heaven. All those cute girls...he quickly attached himself to his 2 favorites and ate only what they ate, drank only what they drank...cute. Annoying, I'm sure, but cute. :) This morning the girls wanted a girls-only breakfast in the tree house. To avoid hurting Bubby's feelings, we came up with a plan and told him they needed privacy to plan a surprise for him.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kayci's 9th Birthday

Yesterday was Kayci's 9th birthday, and I think it was a pretty good day.

The day started off at 5:50 when Kayci came strolling into my office where I was working.  It's not uncommon for Noble to come in early in the morning to say good morning, but it's really rare that Kayci is the first kid up. In fact, she even woke up before Mommy.  I think she was pretty excited.

We woke MommyGirl up and then woke up Noble so the birthday festivities could begin.  Noble woke up really well and was really excited about Kayci's birthday.  MommyGirl was, too.  In typical Kristi fashion, she had decorated the house for the occasion - she's so great at making us all feel so important on our special days.  I did the bathroom while Kristi decorated the rest of the house.

Kayci got down to the business of opening her presents and cards.  Noble gave her a handheld fan from Justice that lights up (or "glows up in the dark") and her present from us was to get her ears pierced and a pair of earrings of her choice.  She's been wanting to get her ears pierced for a couple of years, but we didn't think she was responsible enough yet to take care of them at the time. But Kayci has grown quite a bit in the last year, and now we have no doubt that she'll do what she needs to do with them.

Next was the traditional birthday donuts.  It started as a Kristi and Lynn tradition when they were roommates in college and has just lived on.  Don't judge.

I went to work for a half day and Kristi took the kids to an early movie - the new(ish) Snow White movie, "Mirror Mirror."  They all said it was pretty good.  Then we met up with Amy and the Clarkson kids for lunch as they traveled back to Pflugerville from Houston.  We had a good lunch of pizza and ice cream at Mobius and headed to College Station to get Kayci's ears pierced at the mall.

We went to Claire's in the mall (is there even anywhere else that pierces ears?).  Kayci said her hands were sweating.  She was excited, but not really nervous - until it came time to sit in the Piercing Chair®. The girl who worked at Claire's that would be piercing her ears had blue streaks in her hair and several piercing of her own in her lips and nose.  You should've seen Kayci's face- it was priceless.  We had joked about just taking her down to the tattoo place in town to get pierced, so it was kind of funny. But the girl who helped us was really sweet and did a great job.

Kayci did get a little nervous, but she was a trooper.  She was so brave!  Kayci didn't flinch - she didn't even blink - when the girl pierced her ears. Mommy got it all on video.  And before we knew it, it was over!  Kayci chose as her starter earring some neon peace sign earrings that couldn't be more perfect for Kayci!

We went to James Avery to pick out Kayci's real earrings for when the starters can come out, but we didn't find exactly what she was looking for, so we decided to wait and look around in the next few weeks.  And then we headed home.  Noble had swim lessons, so we needed to get back to Brenham. Kayci requested tortellini for dinner, so we cooked that, ate a quick meal outside on the deck and went off to watch Noble swim.

Kayci was born at 9:43pm, so we told her she could stay up for her birth minute.  I went to the store to get some Drano for a clogged drain and picked up (at Kristi's request) a piece of birthday cake for her to celebrate her birth minute. Kristi and the kids piled up in our bed while I worked on the computer, and went I went in a few minutes before Kayci's birth minute, I found all of them asleep.

I took Noble to his bed and woke up Kristi and Kayci so we could celebrate together. Kayci was groggy, but she woke up quickly when she saw the light from the candle on her piece of birthday cake. We sang happy birthday to her and she blew out the candle - then pushed her own face into cake. What a funny girl. She got frosting on her nose, but she was happy.  She ate her cake and headed off to bed.

It was a very Pharaon birthday (lots of traditions and pampering and sweets), and I think it was special.  I know Mommy and I had a great, fun day. Happy nine years old, Kayci!

[edit from Kristi]: You captured it well, DaddyBoy! My only correction for posterity's sake is that Noble's gift was actually a shirt that says, "My brother has the best sister ever" and a bunch of hair elastics in a cupcake thing (her birthday party is cupcake-themed). 

And so you guys don't think I picked a random print for her banner, etc., that's wrapping paper that Kayci chose to build her Nancy Drew birthday party around...then she switched to cupcakes...and went and bought all premade party stuff at Target. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beauty

Today is Kayci's 9th birthday.  It's a little hard to fathom that it's been nine years since she came into our lives and changed everything (for the better.)  It seems - literally - like another lifetime ago.  We still lived in Houston, I was doing freelance work out of the house, Kristi was still in the classroom teaching and, upon looking back at some of the photos of when she was born, both Kristi and I both look so much like kids.

Since then, we've moved to a new town, gotten new jobs, family members have passed away and we've been blessed with others.  In fact, it's tough for us to remember much about our lives - what we did with our time - before Kayci came along.

And it's been a great nine years.  We've watched our little Bitty grow and blossom into a Beauty - a young lady who is smart and determined and just simply amazing.  It hurts the heart how big she is. We find ourselves trying not to think about how old she's getting and what that means. We just want to savor every moment with her and relish her youth and, as the words to the song say, "let her be little."

So Happy Birthday, Beauty.  Somehow, that just doesn't say what's in our hearts.  Mommy and I love you more than you can possibly imagine and we're so proud of who you are and who you're becoming.  Somehow, you find new ways to amaze us and to make us more proud every day.

Monday, May 21, 2012