Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Highlights

These boys crack me up!! Life is more busy then I would like and time is flying by. Jaden and Drew are involved in a couple different things. Drew is in tennis right now and Jaden is involved with the Debate team. I am still waking up super early most days to get everyone up and ready to go. By the afternoon I need my afternoon coffee and then it is time to pick up everyone. My day goes so fast. The boys are both teenagers now so my life is a bi-polar mess. Lauren is very easy right now. She is very independent and a leader. She was picked for the leadership group at school and does the tech for morning announcements. She is mostly in a good mood and is a good student. A mom of three is no joke in the school years. Between drop off and pick ups, there are Dr's visits and strep ): and many other crazy stories and emotions in between.
I'm still loving painting when I make the time. I ordered the picture on the right from Ballard Designs a few months ago. I ordered it late one night thinking it would be perfect for my living room wall. I splurged a bit which I don't do to often, with shipping and all that it was around $375. I thought it would be perfect as I love most of Ballard's items. Well it came, and I was disappointed right away. The picture was not bad but the canvas was flat and muted and there was no gel raised brush strokes which even cheaper prints have. I decided to try and paint it myself. I am not the worlds best painter but enjoy it and think I have some ability. I love the relaxing aspect of painting. I enjoy painting animals best especially birds. I went out a night later and bought a nice canvas for half off at Jo-ann's and then drew a heron and used the other picture as inspiration. I think it turned out good, so I packed up the other picture and saved some money. To bad I had to pay for shipping but I am proud. 
I love having lunch with my friends, we usually try and get out every couple months, it's always a good time. We even got in a little shopping!
Just a cute picture of Drew, Mr Fashion. 
Lauren and I had a Mom and Daughter night. We had the best time. She picked Red Lobster after first picking Sonic. After encouraging something a little more special we settled on crab legs.

We laughter and talked and on the way home we were listening to NGEN radio (Houston Christian young rap channel) She called in and requested a song. Right after she hung up they played her song. She loved it!! We danced and turned up the music loud. After that she got a scoop of Baskin Robbins Ice-Cream. Of course I had to go into that being my very first job many years ago. I love these kids they are absolute amazing!!
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Friday, September 29, 2017

Harvey

I haven't really been able to talk about it since it happened, so many emotions took place in a matter of week and now it's been one month. This was defiantly a life changing experience. I knew Hurricanes were part of living near the coast. We prepared as best as we could, school was cancelled a couple days before it hit for preparation. Stores were crazy, we read everything we could about filling bathtubs and filling water jugs and buying all the right supplies. It kind of felt like the Zombie Apocalypse was happening. Everyone was in panic mode, buying generators and canned goods. Below you can see there was no water at times, thankfully our grocery stores kept up pretty well. HEB is our local store here that stepped it up like I have never seen. They stocked shelves and worked endless hours to get supplies in and ready to go.
Nothing really happened until Saturday I believe so we tried to have some fun going to Whataburger and watching movies. The days all ran together and I truly lost track of the hour and day. Saturday evening things started to pick up and the rain was unreal, like gallons and gallons. The news was predicting biblical proportions of water 50"! We watched the weather and by Sunday things took a very bad turn for the worse, first south of us and then almost every area of Houston and surrounding areas. It became national news pretty quickly once everyone saw the devastation that it was causing. People were being rescued by boat, and helicopter. Houses and cars were flooding everywhere! It truly felt like the end of the world, what they were showing on the news was exactly what was happening and I would say as bad as it gets. I did not sleep for three days straight. I sat up for hours watching the news just like everyone else in Houston. The rain just would not stop! Harvey sat on top of our big city and just sat for days it felt like. It would not move! Even the news casters had tears in their eyes and just did not have good news. They would get optimistic about a front to push it out and I would sleep for an hour only to wake up hearing the rain hitting my house even harder and that hope was only false hope. Into Sunday night and Monday it was more of the same, more and more bad news. Many people continued to lose everything including the clothes on their back that were no longer wearable. Everything gone in hours and material things really didn't seem to mater anymore. The sad thing was where were these people all going to go? Everything in the area was flooding. One of the most touching moments was when Houston's local hero Mattress Mack who owns a huge furniture store here opened up his beautiful show room to let people sleep and find shelter on brand new beds. We were having big issues and everyone was frantic on what would happen next. The news was constantly posting updates on shelters and emergency neighborhood evacuations and of course tornado warnings. At one point we got in the closet for one headed our way. Thankfully but the grace of God it dissipated. It was just bad news and more bad news. As we watched tearfully for hours and also knowing in our mind that we had a threat of our neighborhood possibly flooding it was such a helpless feeling. I think it was Sunday or Monday when our neighborhood was under voluntary evacuation. During all this time Rob would get out and drive in his truck to look at all the roads. He would go several times a day to see where we stood. The water was getting high in some areas, and the threat of water being let out of a dam at a extreme rate North of us had everyone scared to death. Although we are not in a flood plane we have flood planes all around the area and houses were flooding through the whole city who were in not in a flood zone. The back of our neighborhood began to flood and beautiful homes were beginning to flood. Houston has a issue with flooding but when the rivers flood and especially the water being let out dams they back everything up going down stream and that is where most of the issue came from. The fear of dam's breaking were real fears. At this point we were getting concerned we started moving stuff upstairs, and decided not to leave. There really wasn't a way out by then and we felt somewhat that our house would fair well since we are high up. A major river flows only a couple miles from our house and it was over the road on top of a major highway. When we saw someone being rescued on the news in that spot it really got real. Rob stayed pretty calm, but at anytime it seemed things could change quickly. We had another leak by the fireplace, apparently it was some flashing issue but it really feels so small to what others have faced. Monday night things slowed down but it was still raining into Tuesday. We kept in contact with neighbors and friends and I stayed glued to Facebook and could not believe the amount of rescues taking place in the adjacent subdivision. Rob's co-worker who lives a couple miles away lived right next to the creek which sadly took over her pool then her home. So sad to read texts like hers that said "We are going upstairs water is now going up the banister." My other good friend had the same Facebook posts stating the same river was not cresting and shared the pictures of the continued water rising. On Tuesday we saw a huge change, the rivers finally crested, which meant the water would go down if it stopped raining which it finally did. The worst case scenario really did happen in Houston, we did receive rain of biblical proportions. Harvey went back down to the gulf and came back for another two days of relentless rain.
here is my yard, we finally had our own lake
These are unreal statistics, but it truly was like no other. While not sleeping for days I also saw so much love for people. People came from all over to help Houston. Normal people who had boats were rescuing people, it truly moved everyone to tears. So emotionally broken but humanity was at it's greatest. Suddenly no one cared about politics, religion, race, financial status or any of it. People did the right thing!  Churches stepped up in a big way, they were helping with supplies, there were so many volunteers that people did not know how to help. For days after we heard the coast guard flying over our house and saw military vehicles all around. We had a distribution center set up by our church that was loading up truck after truck with supplies for our area and for other parts of the Houston area. The generosity and volunteer work of people was remarkable.
My kids missed a whole week of school, it was a week that no school could ever teach them. They helping others gladly in a way like no other, they saw devastation first hand. They learned so much about life and learned real skills on how to use tools and how to serve others. So many families in this area helped, everyone was helping in some way. It made me really love my state and have pride for Texas. I have never seen so many men and woman come together to help neighbors and complete strangers. 

This was at Rob's co-workers house. So devastating to see! This was only a couple miles away and every few miles in our whole area looked like this.


Over the next week everyone continued to help and work until reconstruction could start back.  As everyone went back to work and school we all had a piece of us that was broken but also a renewed love of people. I think it was a horrible experience to live through but also a important one. It made people really stop and think about life and others. There are months left of recovery and many people are still displaced. Prayers and help are still needed in our area. Sadly after this Florida and surrounded states were hit, then Puerto Rico. Two beautiful places and one that is near to my heart is the Florida Keys where we have vacationed and fallen in love with. So much devastation and lives changed. I distinctly remember what if felt like on Tuesday evening once Harvey left. The sun came out, we had not seen the sun in days. It's amazing what we take for granted, even the sun shining felt so different that day. Please continue to pray and help where you can.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy 13th Birthday Drew

Dear Drew,
Big 13, you are now a teenager. My little Drew Bear, you are still a cuddly sweet guy that loves hugs. You are charming and kind, and have a way of making everyone feel like a somebody. You notice everything around you and you feel deeply. You came home today and told me you were worried about a boy that wore the same clothes. You wanted to help him but didn't want him to be embarrassed. You notice when people are sad and sense others feelings. You are so compassionate, you still love all babies and children. You still talk about being a nurse or some other profession where you help others. You are on your way! As you are getting older you are seeing more and more how life works. Life can be hard but it can also be so beautiful. You are in control of your attitude and how you deal with the ups and down. School is getting a little tougher now so you have to continue to work hard and not get ahead of yourself. Don't get to prideful about any subject in school and continue to work hard. Always be a life learner and ask a lot of questions. You can do anything but you have to want it. I have been so impressed by your ability to see what matters in life. You are very wise when it comes to worldly desires, although you enjoy fun stuff you see that those things are not everything. You have a great love to help people no matter who they are. You are good at almost everything you try including art and most sports but I think you are seeing that strong effort equals results. We sometimes have to have talks to get attitudes in check but you are pretty quick to see your errors. You are on your way, the teenage years can be tough emotionally! I have seen some big changes in your confidence and being comfortable with who you are. I'm seeing you come out of your shell around others. With us you have always been a funny social guy but I think you are seeing that you don't have to be anyone but you and if people don't like you then you're better off without them. You are also seeing that sometimes people act the way they do because they are hurting and have their own struggles. Somehow God is using you to love people who don't always deserve it and you continue to shine with the love of God in your heart. Everyday you make me laugh! You are funny, and quick with your humor. You can act and do all kinds of silly voices. You love animals and love to play music especially Twenty One Pilots and NGEN Radio. You love to eat, especially Chipotle!! You love all things Pug, Star Wars, PlayStation, Youtube, adventures and Nerf. You also have a great sense of style and yes you have cool hair. You mean so much to me and each day it is a gift to be your mom. I'll love you forever, I hope you had a great 13th Birthday!
Love,
Mom and Dad too
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy 15th Birthday Jaden

Dear Jaden,
Here we go again, another Birthday!! Jaden I am so proud of who you are. I have never met a kid like you in my life and never will. You are so unique and interesting. I could talk with you all day, you are defiantly an old soul. You have more wisdom then most adults in their graying age. In the last year you are becoming more and more of a man. If I need help you are right there to help move stuff or even give me a hug if I am having a bad day. When Dad goes out of town, I see you go around the house making sure that all the doors are locked being the Man of the House. This year in High School yes High School you are handling so much and doing it well. You are taking so many classes and so many fun classes it's like a mini college. You are going over to the the Senior High Campus and then back over to the 9th Grade Campus and up and down and everywhere and you are keeping track of so much stuff. Mom and Dad were impressed when we came to Open House, you seem so happy. Your big new thing this year is Debate and it is right up your alley. You just love it so much, and have already won some Debates as a freshman just staring off. You are so well read and this is your sport (: We never want you to be anything you are not. We are so proud of the unique wise and witty person you are. You come up with funny witty stuff that is so smart funny, I don't say that lightly you are creative in your humor. You like 80's stuff and Classic Rock, anything throwback or Geeky. You are everything I could ever want in a son and friend. Jaden if the whole world was as honest and kind as you our world out be a better place. Keep being who you are, a natural leader who does their own thing. Life will get you down sometimes but it is always better the next day. You just keep being who God made you. I can't wait to see what comes of your life, I know it will be something interesting for sure. You are really coming out of your shell too and that is a blessing. You are getting more confident in who you are and have met some great friends this year, everyone is maturing and you are loving it. Always remember Who's you are, we will love you you forever.
Love, 
Mom and Dad too!!
After your Debate Saturday, looking quite dapper.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

School Started...2 weeks ago

Once again another year is upon us, time goes so fast. These boys are becoming men before my eyes. Some days they still seem like little boys but those days are coming closer to a end. They are becoming more and more who they are. I am posting some pictures while I have a minute this morning. Things have been extremely stressful with the Hurricane that hit Houston.
Here we are at 5:30 am on Jaden's first day of High School!! Hard to believe. I still can't believe it but he is so ready. He loves to learn. The first year Jaden will go to the old high school and they are building a brand new school a mile or so from our house. So next year he won't have to wake up quite so early.
Next up is my Lauren girl, she is a fourth grader. She loves school too and we love her school! No issues with Lauren, she is easy and goes with the flow. She loves to go to school and her teachers.
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Drew is in 7th grade and is now in Jr. High.
Everyone had a great first day! It's about a 3hr process in the morning with dropping off and picking up is another long process but I can get through the year. I wake up very early if I run in the morning, by the afternoon I need my coffee. We have done so many things I forget to post or don't have the time like I once did to blog but I want to keep up. They opened a American Ninja Warrior gym close to us. The kids loved it, I want to do it too. It's such great exercise. Jaden did really well at it. I guess a light and flexible frame is the ideal ninja body, ha ha
My sweet Lauren! Lauren's teacher happens to be my friend, she came over right before school started. I had no idea that she would get Lauren again. We are both so happy!!
We went bowling a couple weeks ago. #myhusbandisgoodateveryting
#Istinkatbowling.  The kids had a great time but you get the picture.
Right before school stared we went to Austin for the weekend. Austin is beautiful and fun and unique. Rob had some business to take care of but we went along with him to go sight seeing while he worked. We went to the Entertainment District, and toured the Capital Building. Such a cool experience, it is old and beautiful. The architecture is so fancy and it's loaded with historic old paintings. 
If you stand in the middle and look up in the Capital you can hear your echo.
Love this wall!! Super cool picture backdrop. Austin had a lot of art work and interesting people. I like interesting people and for the kids to see new experiences so we loved it.
Of course we had to check out some antique stores. There were some good ones, I found a few treasures of course. This poster below brought back many memories. I was in the first or second grade when Ringling Bro's came to my town. I remember my mom got my tickets and it was a big deal for me. My mom was a single mom we didn't have much but this was a big deal. I was so excited to see the real unicorn a.k.a a goat with a fake horn on it's head. That day at school I had a accident. Think of a kid raising their hand and the teacher not noticing, yep well that happened. I thought I was going to be in trouble and would not be able to go to the circus. My mom is really sweet so I have no idea... (: Anyway I still got to go..funny looking back I was so upset.
This place was super cool, I love to take the kids on adventures. This place had shrunken heads, big foot casts, haunted objects, a man frozen on ice. Apparently it was on Unsolved Mysteries if you remember that show back in the day. We got to see the man frozen in ice, odd... This is Austin!! 
Lauren loves Big Foot but got really freaked out in the museum and wanted to leave. I had to calm her down. I don't know what scared her and it's not like her at all. I guess it was kind of creepy and dark. They had wax figures and movie memorabilia, Johnny Depp even stayed in the upstairs of this shop years ago while he made a movie there.
A real Gremlin
More antique shops on our way out!
They keep me laughing!!
I will post soon, but working on recovering from the Hurricane. My fireplace leaked again and we had a flood in the living room. We can not believe it, but other then that we did not have flooding from outside. So many of our friends have been affected. Keep praying for Texas and now Florida as Irma approaches..
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