Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Better late than never

Merry Christmas Happy New Year? (At least I am early for that one!)

I promised to hold the boys down with force if necessary, trick them into looking in the general direction of the camera and sitting next to each other without punching, pushing or elbowing each other.  It’s getting tougher to accomplish each year-bribes and “please do it for mom” don’t work anymore.  It’s so much easier to take pictures of other people’s kids.

boys xmas 2

Now only the mothers here will care but I have to share a mom frustration. I could tell you “please ignore the tear in Braxton’s shirt” but most moms have already seen it and everyone else would never notice it. It’s a mom curse I guess. Neither of my boys will EVER wear a collared shirt. The minute you suggest it they writhe on the floor as if in pain. I warned them weeks in advance that they would be expected to wear one on Christmas because Steve’s parents were coming and we would be taking pictures. It really is akin to being set afire to them. So imagine my surprise when Braxton BEGS to wear his brand new red collared shirt to school the Friday before Christmas break. This is the same boy who has ruined most of his shirts with paint and markers but he just keeps begging and promising that there are no crafts scheduled that day and in a moment of weakness I give in. He comes home PROUDLY that afternoon and shows me that there is no paint on his shirt, only a tiny hole! I could have strangled him. So now as an outsider looking at this picture I see two pretty handsome men but as a mom all I will ever notice is that stinking hole in Braxton’s shirt!  :(

Monday, December 19, 2011

Store bought Christmas goodness



 Christmas cookies


I love these

do you?

we love homemade cookies in our house too

but there is just something about these!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A birthday Celebration

In honor of Braxton’s 12th birthday we spent part of our weekend at the Waterpark of America in Minneapolis, MN. It is the largest indoor waterpark in the U.S. It is 70,000 sq. ft in size and one of its slide towers is nearly 10 stories tall. As a parent all you need to know is that it is very loud. There are three body slides, two tube slides and a family slide.

Waterpark of America

As you can see, the slides all curve in and out of the building.

There is a wave pool and a lazy river (which believe it or not, is where the boys spent a heck of a lot of time).

Braxton in raft

here is the birthday boy

Cayden and Brandon in raft

here is Cayden and Brandon (Brandon is a good friend of both Braxton and Cayden and we invited him to join us this weekend.)


here is a view of some of the smaller slides

I think the coolest ride at the park is the Flowrider…here it is empty.


The flow rider is a shallow but very fast moving sheet of water, moving from 30–35 miles per hour, that you surf or boogie board/knee board on.

Cayden Pos 1 Flowrider

Here is Cayden trying it out. It is just like the waves-you never know which way you are going to be tossed.

Cayden Pos 2 Flowrider

The object is to get to your knees and ride. This is just about when he decided to try and push up…

Cayden Pos 3 Flowrider

almost there…up on one knee…

Cayden Final Flowrider


Braxton Pos 1 Flowrider

Here is Braxton giving it the college try.

Braxton Final Flowrider

Braxton wasn’t nearly committed to actually getting to his knees. He just had a lot of fun riding the waves on his stomach.


Well we had a ton of fun and I wish I had the pictures to prove it but the lighting was terrible and my subjects were even worse (especially Braxton). The minute I picked up my camera the boys disappeared under the water or around a corner every time. You’ll just have to trust me, he is another year handsome and another year ornery.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dallas Family Photos

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

and this is mine.



This is my gorgeous, brilliant, sweet sister Melanie and my handsome, equally brilliant brother Matt. It honestly seems like just yesterday that Matt was a sweet, cuddly, cute kid and now he is so good with my own kids. Don’t get me wrong though, Cayden and Braxton love Aunt Mel too-especially Braxton.


Here are Melanie and her boyfriend David- If David plays his cards right maybe he can be part of our crazy family someday.


Here are Matt and his wife Angie. She is so sweet and makes Matt so happy.  She is also going to make Matt a daddy! I guess I am allowed to say that she is pregnant-if not, sorry!


Last but not least, here are Matt, Mel and Donna (otherwise known as Nana and otherwise known as the Mom who raised me). I am not sure how I managed to not get any pictures of my sister Jenny and her family this trip (other than how fast and hectic and a little unplanned this trip to Dallas was).

We miss you guys a lot and it sucks to never see y’all.  Love you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Water, Heat and Dallas (otherwise known as “Uncle Matt is the best thing since sliced bread”)

friendly warning: there are a lot of pictures in here…lots of fun=lots of pictures :)

We were recently blessed to spend several weeks in Texas catching up with family and friends, melting in the heat we have become so unaccustomed to and eating enough Bahama Buck’s snowcones to replace a glacier.  Part of our time in Texas was spent in Dallas with my family. We were invited to stay with my brother (Uncle Matt) and his wife Angie in their beautiful new house. (We may have been a tornado they won’t soon reinvite!) As background information, Uncle Matt is already deemed the bee’s knees, the ultimate in fun who can act like a bigger kid than my own kids. He has a large pool with a diving board in his backyard and we spent 97% of our visit in the pool I think…we almost had to since you could have fried an egg on the pavement. We have definitely become acclimated to North Dakota temperatures but even a Texan had to admit it was “warm”. On our drive between Dallas and Amarillo we passed through Childress, TX where it was a “warm” 117 degrees!

Here are a handful of snapshots of the boys soaking up the sun (and sneaking in a nap on the water).



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And here is my brother Matt teaching the boys a new trick…and the boys trying their hand at it.

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More fun from our trip to share soon…


and hey Matt and Angie- Thanks so much guys for your hospitality. We had an AWESOME time. Come see us in North Dakota!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Practice makes perfect (someday maybe)

I love to practice on flowers-they are beautiful of course but they also don’t move when I say “hold still” and they don’t complain!















Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still stalking the family

With the boys at school today, I set my sights camera on Max. Here are two shots from today, both SOOC (straight out of camera) and edited just a bit for fun.

Here is Max on his normal, back of the couch perch waiting for the school bus to come.



Today had been a very busy day though for Max, full of chasing birds and UPS trucks and he just couldn’t keep his eyes open long enough to greet the bus. It is a rough life after all.




I took a bunch of flower pictures. I will sort through them soon and share anything worth sharing.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I learned a new term the other day-mamarazzi. It basically means “mom who stalks child with camera”. That definitely describes me well these days. A fellow mom blogger told me about a place that rents cameras and lenses. You reserve what you want and they ship it by FedEx. Return shipping is part of the rental fee. I rented a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. Steve told me that renting would not help me make a future purchase choice, it would only make me want one now…and he is SO right. I really, really, really want one…but I digress.

I have stalked the boys and the dog for the last few days, taking a ton of pictures at a ton of settings. I think I am even going to rent one again when we go to Texas in June so I can take some pictures of my best friend Tina’s kiddos. The minute I pick up the camera my boys turn on their heels and head the other way, maybe it will take John a day or two to learn that.

I haven’t posted in awhile so I thought I would throw up a picture of each of the boys real quick. I can tell that this lens is nice because I didn’t edit these at all (and I wouldn’t want to).

They both look so old-especially Cayden. He will be 14 in a few short weeks. Where does time go???







(yes, as you can see, their allegiance no longer belongs to Texas teams)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Checking off boxes with little red X’s

There are 66 days until we go back home to Amarillo for a visit.  Notice I said “home”— it will always be my home.  We are counting down the days on the calendar.

This morning I found myself making a mental list of all the things I was looking forward to.  Here it is:


  • Cherry Limeades from Hud’s (no such thing as a Cherry Limeade in ND)
  • Wild Cherry snow cones (again, no real snow cones here either)
  • Sonic Ice –- the best ice cubes ever (and it does make a difference)
  • Chicken fried rice from My Thai – my favorite restaurant ever.  I ate there 3 times a week, every week when I was pregnant with Cayden.  Funny, it’s his favorite too.
  • Blue Bell Pecan Praline and Cream Ice cream
  • Watching the boys ride the roller coasters at Wonderland Amusement Park – they have such a great time, you can’t help but have fun too
  • Chicken fried steak – from somewhere, anywhere would be better than ND.  ND puts brown gravy all over theirs!
  • Riding around in the car with my BFF Tina, acting like teenage girls, catching up on the latest, pretending we see each other every week instead of once or twice a year
  • Worshipping at “my” church, Trinity Fellowship – I miss it so much.  There is nothing like it and I will always consider it my home church even if I have to listen to podcasts of Pastor Jimmy instead of watch him in person






Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting our ducks in a row

where does that saying come from?

We are thrilled that Braxton was accepted into the same middle school that Cayden currently attends.  It is the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math school.  We have had nothing to complain about thus far, in fact we feel blessed that Cayden has been able to attend and even more richly blessed that Braxton will join him next year.  The approval process was based on many things such as grades, state achievement test scores in math, and teacher recommendations, but he did receive points in his favor for having a sibling at the school.

So, schedules are being made for next year’s classes.  Braxton decided to take band.  We are very excited for him and we hope that it will help him make friends and find his niche in middle school.  We went to band orientation night and he tried out many instruments, got a feel for what he liked, and got recommendations from the band teachers. 



We will soon be investing in one of these





and one of these!


                              noise reduction headphones


By the way, keep voting for Fargo.  We are up against Juneau, Alaska.  It might seem obvious to vote for them because of their bitter winters but we have extremes in other categories too.  Take a second and click below to vote. :)

UPDATE: We made it to the final two.  We are now against Bradford, PA in the final match.