Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Big News

First, let me say I'm not pregnant! HA! Actually, I've been taking great joy in donating Eli's baby equipment/clothes/toys the second he outgrows them. I dropped off our two infant carseats today and it felt G.O.O.D! Although, I do have to admit that I did have to resist the urge to go back and take a picture of them. They have been with us for so long, well 4 years anyway, but it seems like a long time. I selectively ignored the new recommendations regarding car seats...what news report? My brother David gave us the car seats when Luke was born (he has twins, hence the two seats) so those seats have seen a lot of little behinds! Does some small part of me want to try for a girl? Yes, the thought of having a girl is thrilling to me but the REALITY of having another baby is more than I can handle. And, I would probably end up with another boy anyway and I'm all out of boy names. On that topic, spring break turned out to be a really great experience. The boys and I stayed home for most of the week and I learned something important. While I love my job and I'm so very thankful for it, the most difficult part of this year and my return to work has been this feeling that I don't get to spend enough time with Eli. He's so easygoing that he often plays and plays while I'm taking care of the other boys and household chores. But, spring break showed me that it's not the fact that I'm working that takes so much of my time from Eli, it's the fact that there are three of them now. Somehow, adding one more little person has increased the work around here exponentially. So, instead of sitting down to play with the boys once they are all playing peacefully, I'm off to squeeze in loading the dishwasher or clearing off the kitchen counter that seems perpetually cluttered. It was good for me to see that even when I'm home with them all day, everyday, I still have the feeling that I don't get to spend much time with Eli. In a weird way, it made me feel better. Now, when I become independently wealthy and hire a maid...

Anyway, on to my news. It's official now! I was offered the assistant professor of educational research position at Texas Wesleyan and took it! So, the "visiting" part of my title will be dropped and I'll be tenure track. And, I will get one year of credit toward tenure for this year! So very excited and so glad to get that off my back! This year has been like a year long interview! The most amazing part of the process is this: Last semester I was walking around campus and just talking to God and telling Him, Lord, I really don't want to go through an all day on campus interview. I just need them to give me the job. And do you know what? That's just what happened! It's almost unheard of but that is what happened. They did not even bring anyone else in to interview so I did not have to compete against anyone in an on campus interview. I went through one 30 minute phone interview and that's it! It's a real miracle for me and I'm so thankful!

What does that mean for our family? Well, we are making plans to move west. The 'when' is still unknown. We have been looking in the Keller area. The older I get the more I realize wisdom is the most important component of a successful life. With wisdom comes insight and knowledge about not only what to do but when to do it and the patience to wait until the right time.

So, while I'm spilling my guts on this blog which is really strange in and of itself, I'll go ahead and share another epiphany I've had recently. I mean, I write blog posts in my head all the time but never put them down on paper. But, something occurred to me not too long ago. For a long time I prayed and wondered what my role is in the Body of Christ. In a way I kept waiting to get involved until I "found out" what IT is that I'm supposed to do. But then one day it occurred to me that the IT happens every day. I should not wait to get in THE position before I can be useful. I mean, I get asked all the time, how do I manage 3 little boys, working, remain calm (HA, if they could see me at 8:30 every morning!)...? The answer is always easy and an open door for me to share with them, I could not do it without God. There it is, a role for me. Maybe one day I will have an official "ministry" role but until then, I'll embrace this one.

Family Fun

Monday the boys and I had the chance to go to the Dallas Arboretum with Grammy and our Mosley cousins. And, Aunt Julie brought along her fantastic camera (aka, the baby)! Brian and Julie always take the most wonderful pictures of the boys so it was a real treat to get these pictures of our arboretum visit from Julie. It's terrible that I've lived in Plano/McKinney for 10 years now and had never been to the Dallas Arboretum (except for a beautiful wedding reception that was incredibly FUN!). It was cold and cloudy but that meant no line and not too many people. Julie, Grammy and I talked about how our version of fun has changed over the years. This day really was fun even if it did end in some tears and poopy underwear (I mean, who has time to poop when there are cousins around and wide open spaces to run?).

This one reminds me, someone asked Julie how old her boys were! HA! She said, well, they're 1,2,3 & 4 but they're not all mine! Grant's face cracks me up in this one. It's hard being the big boy!
A photographic display of the early childhood term, egocentric.

Take a look at Luke's feet. Huge! We received a wonderful box of supplies from cousin Kyle (Luke's hero). Once Luke spotted the shoes he won't wear anything else! They are two sizes too big but who cares?!
This past Sunday Brian and Julie had us all over to celebrate Grammy's and my birthday. It was a lot of fun and the boys had a great time! And, I racked up the loot with some books I can't wait to start and my very own KINDLE! So excited! So long to lugging my heavy textbooks back and forth to work!

Papa with his biggest fans.
Grammy and her helpers waiting to blow out that candle!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Vacation Day

This week is spring break week for the boys and me. Today, Jeff was able to take the day off and we planned a little Vacation Day with the boys. Who knew it would be so exciting to give today a name! The boys were really excited about it. First stop, getting hair cuts. Luke and Nathan love to get their hair cut. On top of that, today was special because it was Eli's first time to get his hair cut. Here he is, happily (unsuspectingly) sitting in a little race car, waiting for the big boys.
And, let the fun begin.
Poor thing cried the entire time. :( The stylist worked like a pro and was even able to get us a little bag of his hair.
Mr. Experienced showing him how it's done.
Next Stop: Owens Spring Creek Farm. Not being a native Planoite or Texan, I had no idea this existed. Imagine, right in the middle of Richardson is a farm, a place where kids can feed animals, ride in a barrel train, and have a hay ride, while out back, The Owens Sausage is being made! Amazing!
Sporting their new do's.
Feeding the goats.
Nathan loved this weather vane.

They kept calling this man "the farmer."
Pretty place!

I guess I'll have to learn photoshop to get them all looking and smiling at me at the same time. I can't tell you how many times every day that old song "two out of three ain't bad" runs through my head.

Practicing a little baby tai chi. Really, it was super windy and I think he was trying to touch it.
On the way home. Looks like Trouble to me. No wonder I found him and Nathan yesterday completely naked in the living room and jumping on the couch. I was cleaning the high chair after Eli vomited ALL over it and was not, for once, staring exactly at them.
Thanks Daddy for taking the day off and spending it with us. We love you! XXOO

Can't Think of a Title

We decided to stay home this spring break. I say that like anyone but me had a choice in the matter. I thought we would go to MS to visit family but I decided we would stay home and start Nathan on the potty training road and try and get Eli to drop his bottle. Basically I decided to torture myself instead of going to do something fun. To mix things up a little, we went to Grammy's house and went for a walk with a detour by the playground.

Wish you could have heard "The Wheels on the Bus."
Back at home. Good thing we have two fire hats and two strings of Mardi Gras beads and good thing you can't see the Mama's boots they are both sporting. At least they balanced the beads and boots with fire hats. I think it makes this gender neutral.

Now, in this one Nathan has turned into a pirate and is saying "aye matey!"
Just wanted to show my sweet baby and his post immunization rash. It covered his torso too :(

Catching Up, Again

I feel like I have not posted anything in a long time but now that I see the date on the last post, it's only been a couple of weeks. This post is a little scattered but there were some things I wanted to record. The day after Eli's birthday party we went to the Dallas Zoo. The week before Luke had asked my Mom to take him to the zoo and then for ice cream. Don't know where he got that but that's what we did. Eli stayed home with Daddy while Luke, Nathan, Mimi, Uncle David, Kyle, Kristin and I went to the Dallas Zoo. It was fun, not too hot or too crowded. Mostly, I discovered the boys are still a little too young for the zoo. I pretty much just saw the backs of their heads as they ran after Kyle and Kristin. Here are a couple of shots to prove we were there.

On the monorail. I thought this would be a BIG hit with Luke but he was not that impressed.
The after-zoo ice cream treat!

Next Topic: On February 26 Luke went to his first (that he can remember) friend birthday party. It was for his friend Harry and was at WOGA. The interesting thing I found out was that Harry was turning 5, instead of 4. I guess I'm a little paranoid about Luke keeping up with the other kids in his class because his birthday is May 29 so it was quite surprising to find out at the party that several of the kids in his room are a year ahead and that a couple of moms there are planning to keep their kids back next year. I guess this is becoming a pretty common thing. Anyway, after the party Luke and I got something to eat. This, I'm sure, seems like a strange picture to post but sometimes a picture just really captures the essence of one of the boys. For some reason, I thought this picture really spoke of Luke. He tries so hard to be big and independent but really, he's just a little boy who loves his trains.
I was trying here to get a picture of him before the party.
Which turned to this.
And of course this.
Switching Again: Here we are in the backyard one day last week. It was this picture that made me realize Eli finally needed a haircut. Trains and mud and camo, oh my.

I did have a birthday on March 10. The big 36. On the downhill slope to 40. Am I where I thought I would be at age 36? Yes, pretty much. I thought I would be here a little sooner but basically I feel like things worked out the way they should. Time is a funny thing. In some ways it's moving so fast now but in others, it's still creeping. Ever had a head full of thoughts but nothing to say? That's how 36 feels so far. Maybe by 37 I'll have it all worked out. These are some flowers my very great friend, Sheila, sent me. Florida is just too far away.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eli's Birthday!

Birthday Stats:
Weight: 17 lbs, 13 oz , less than 3%
Height: 30 inches, 60%
Head Circ.: 46.2 cm, 40%
Projected height and weight at age 18: 5'11'' and 120 lbs! HA! Maybe he'll be a supermodel!
Eli's actual birthday was on Wednesday which was a regular work day for all of us. But, I did manage to get some pictures of my sweetie as he woke up (actually I had to wake him up to go to school, he was sleeping in on his b-day).
Sweet baby, hated to wake him.
How many years to come of this mom why are you waking me up face?
There's my happy boy!
Ready for school. So much ham in my house we could build a pig.

Birthday Boy!
More brotherly love!
We had pizza and cupcakes for dinner to celebrate.
And, on party day...
The cake...
Party goers...

Frosting makes me H-A-P-P-Y!
Sugar Daze
Sweet Eli! What can I say about you that I have not said a million times? It is an absolute joy to watch you grow and change. You seem to change more and more quickly each day. You have started crawling to me when I come in and give me the most wonderful open mouthed slobbery kisses! You pat me on the back when I am holding you and whack me in the head if I'm not careful! Love pats I'm sure. You are pulling up, cruising around furniture and starting to let go a little. I'm sure you'll be walking before we know it. You love your brothers and always have a smile for them. They are a great source of entertainment for you! You are eating most anything you can with your two little teeth. You wear size three diapers and 12 month clothing. Your favorite toys are firetrucks that make noise, you push them everywhere! You also like the trains that have taken over our house. You LOVE Sandi. I am pretty sure you are saying "dog." But, I'm also pretty sure you are saying "stop" which is a very common word at our house but not the first word I had hoped for you. You love to be rocked at bedtime. Aside from some time you were sick recently, you sleep from about 8PM-7AM. Now if I could just get your brothers to do the same...I really, really can't imagine this life without you. I know our house is a little crazy sometimes Eli so thanks for your patience and calm manner. Your sweet smile cheers me even during the most poop infested bite fest. I love you baby! Thanks for being my sweet boy!