Monday, June 30, 2008

Chance's Birthday Party

Chance's Half Birthday Party

On Saturday we celebrated Chance's "half" birthday. While it is weird celebrating the half, it's much better than trying to celebrate it in between Christmas and New Year's. It's funny asking Chance "How old are you?" because the answer is still "2 years old."

But we had a great time. Summer parties are the best!

Chance's Half Birthday Party

Chance's Half Birthday Party

We had a triple-wide slip'n'slide, which was a big hit with the 10 boys and 1 girl in attendance. We were so blessed to have so many friends, and to play like kids for awhile. Chuck barbequed (yumm!). We had a pinata, which was busted by the girl, thank you very much! ;) Way to go, Addison!!! I think the biggest highlight of the party, though, was the water balloon fight. It was typically the kids versus the dads. Check out these shots:

Chance's Half Birthday Party

Chance's Half Birthday Party

And here's my favorite...
Chance's Half Birthday Party

Addison has the biggest balloon of them all, while the kids are having her dad look up in the sky for a plane... It was hilarious!

Our friend Holly made the beautiful and delicious cupcakes! I'm not much of a baker, so it's extra special to me to have friends who can make such great tasting treats!! If you're interested, she's thinking of starting a business.... She also videoed us singing to Chance:

Singing Happy Birthday to Chance

And finally, later that day, Big Daddy came to visit. He told Chance Happy Birthday in his own special way...

Big Daddy on Helium 2

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Bucket List

Ok, quick post... Chuck and I just watched "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Has anyone else seen this yet? I had heard a lot of bad reviews, so I was hesitant about renting it, but I'm so glad I did. In my opinion, it is excellent! I rarely see a movie I'd want to buy, but this is one of them. Great morals to the story, some deep thoughts, sweet storyline. And great acting. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Always catching up

That's how life feels lately. Housework, bills and paperwork, Bible study, time with family - it's always in effort to "catch up." Overwhelming? Yes! So it's become my goal to enjoy each moment, even if there are stacks of work to be done everywhere. No more Mommy monster...that's my focus.

And that's how it is with blogging, I guess. If my almost-daily posting was a sign of how sedentary I was while pregnant, my lack of posting shows how little time I get to sit anymore. But either way, life is good.

Here are a few things we've enjoyed this last couple of weeks.

1. A visit from Lacey! Chuck's cousin Lacey moved here from Austin for a year to attend UTSA awhile back. We have missed her since she moved back to Austin, so she comes to visit! The boys LOVE Lacey. She even watched all 3 boys so Chuck and I could go to dinner. What a saint, right?!!

And Lacey and I took the boys to our gym to go swimming. Since she was with me, we were able to let them go without life jackets. To my amazement, they are both really good in the water! Charlie can truly swim now. He stands beside the pool, jumps in, swims about 3 yards to meet me, then turns around and swims back. We need to practice more so he can ride the big twisty slide. And Chance, my I'm-scared-of-water kid (6 months ago), is now a changed boy. He goes under the water without a problem, and even holds his breath right. He loves to kick his feet, no surprise there. It won't be long before he's swimming, too. It was a moment when I felt that Mommy guilt that maybe I'd been holding them back too long because I was so afraid of them swimming without life jackets. So hopefully we'll continue to work on it this summer.

Thank you so much, Lacey, for coming to see us. We love you!!

Charlie's favorite game
[Making funny faces.]

2. Father's Day. I had already posted about the dads in my life...But here's what we did to celebrate. We gave Chuck a shirt to match the boys' shirts, and went to church. We were like a little parade with our "Chuck" shirts. Charlie still doesn't understand why I don't have one. LOL. Then, during nap time for the younger ones, Charlie and Chuck went out to purchase his Father's Day present: a grill. Not just any grill, but the one he's wanted for a long time. It has a gas and charcoal grill side-by-side. Then Chuck assembled it in the 100 degree heat, and managed to grill us some delicious dinner! It was a fun day!

We're geeks :)
[All the geeky ones in their tshirts.]

A man and his grill
[Look closely, you can see how red Chuck is from the heat!]

Can you smell it from here?
[Too bad you can't smell and taste this thru the blog, right?!]

3. Milestones. In addition to swimming, the boys have had more milestones.

~Charlie had his first dentist visit with no cavities! After all we went thru last year, this is a big relief.

~Charlie also has a new computer game which means he gets to play on the computer all by himself. He's getting so big!

~Chance also had his first dental visit ever - and also had no cavities. We made those lifestyle changes (especially limiting the chocolate milk!) just in time for him, I think.

~Chandler started laughing, rolling from belly to back, and eating cereal in the last 2 weeks. He's also up to 17 pounds, which Chuck and I are feeling it - our arms are sore! LOL.

Charlie loves the dentist
Charlie loved getting his teeth cleaned. And just imagine Chance there, same everything - because I meant to get his picture, but Chandler was fussy so it didn't happen :(

Charlie's concentrating face while playing a computer game, ha!!

Little joys
Chance, playing at the pool.

Are you feeling lucky, punk?

First time to eat cereal
Cereal face!

Sleep in Heavenly Peace
I was so relieved he finally went to sleep after a fussy spell, I had to take a picture!! Doesn't it just relax you to see it?? I could stare at it all day.

Curly tongue

Now I'm off, to catch up on yet more thing...Do you ever feel "caught up"?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Another oldie

Big Daddy

My dad. I couldn't even begin to describe him - you just have to know him. He is someone special, for sure.

One of my earliest memories of him was actually when he was leaving. He and my mom divorced when I was a baby, which really, I'm kinda glad because I don't remember them being together. But I do remember when he dropped me off after visiting when I was about 5 years old (he lived 200 miles away, and would come visit often)...and how much I missed him. I spent the day going back over and over to the spot where his car had been - and breathed deeply. I loved the smell of his cologne, because it reminded me of him. Old Spice will always bring me back to those days of wanting to be with my dad. I just adored him. I remember the letters he would write and the drawings he'd put on them. I remember waiting in the airport, just crying because I was flying back home, and telling him how I wished our towns were closer. I remember riding in the car with him once, headed to his town, with his arm around me and telling me that I was his buddy. I was so proud. Visits and phone calls from him were always the highlight of my days growing up.

Then in high school, I moved to his house. And I learned so much more about him. He got me a job working at a local marina, since he knew all of the marina owners. I quickly discovered how his reputation preceded him. And then it preceded me. There was a special amount of respect that was shown to me because everyone had so much respect and adoration for my father. It was an honor to get a glimpse into his work environment, and made me so proud to be his daughter.

When I started college, I remember having a friend help me move because I was too afraid to let my dad do it. I couldn't handle watching him drive off. And for the first time, in my college days, I got to know Dad on a new level: as a Christian. I was trembling as I finally got the nerve to ask him how he'd come to know the Lord. And he told me the story. He was a truck driver, out traveling, when he'd met some people who were very excited about the Lord. They took him in like he was family, and told him about Jesus. I think that their church held a baptismal service in a creek and he was baptized (right, Dad?). I was about 6 or 7 years old at the time. I vaguely remember playing in his big rig. I asked him why he quit driving the truck, since he really enjoyed traveling and he said it was too hard to be apart from my sister and me.

And then Chuck entered the picture... I didn't date much before him, and in fact, I think I worried my dad a bit. He didn't know that I was watching Chuck closely for a few years and that we'd become good friends. So I think he was happy the day Chuck asked him if he could date me, but shocked when Chuck returned 6 weeks later to ask for my hand in marriage! I was only 20 - Dad was only 44. At our wedding we had our dads pray over us, and while I remember Chuck's dad praying for any future children, I don't recall my dad doing the same. He later said I should wait 10 years before having children because he was too young to be a grandfather! Ha!! I gave him ample warning 3 years later that we were trying to conceive... And he choose the name "Big Daddy" instead of "Grand Father" because he was still too young, he said. LOL. He can always make me laugh. But then our relationship changed yet again when Charlie made him a "Big Daddy." To see how much he loves this boy, and now Chance and Chandler as well, is just amazing.

Angie's folks
[Charlie as a baby. Notice the Big Daddy shirt?]

Charlie & Big Daddy
[Dad with Charlie now.]

Smiley boy
[Big Daddy makes Chandler smile.]

Happy Father's Day, Dad...Big Daddy! We love you!

Thanksgiving 2006

Then there's Chuck's Dad. It would be an understatement to say he's been a role model to me. I actually got to know him as my friends' dad long before he was my father-in-law. I practically lived with the Thiers, as often as I was over, and got to see first-hand how a loving Christian family operates on a daily basis. It was a great learning experience, and then such an honor to be grafted into that family. Chuck's dad is a man of great wisdom, great patience, and sacrificial love. He models a great marriage, and how to be a great support and father to his children. He's taught me much about the Bible and about life. And Chuck is just like him. I'm so grateful.

New Train

Charlie & Grandpa

Grandpa bonding
[With Chandler.]

Happy Father's Day, Dad...Grandpa! We love you!

Then there's this guy:

Niagara Falls

Oh wait, that's not a fathering picture...

First time to hold Charlie
There we go. This was his first time to hold Charlie...and realize he was a dad!

Anyhow, how could I possibly sum up what a great father Chuck is? The sacrifices he makes, especially when it comes to giving up his dreams to meet his kids needs, just amaze me! The first year of fatherhood for him was a bit of a downer I think, because Charlie was a baby who wanted Mommy all the time. But slowly over the years, he's completely turned to Daddy. And Chance has followed suit. It won't be long before he has three little boys imitating his every move. And I truly couldn't imagine doing this parenting gig without him. He supports me at every turn, and I am just so grateful. I'm so glad the boys have a great father to follow...

Happy Father's Day, babe! I love you.

Playtime with Daddy

Feeding Chandler

My fave from the hospital

Playing with Daddy Challenge

Playing with Daddy Challenge

Going home again
[About to bring Chandler home from the hospital.]

Bedtime Story
[Reading bedtime stories.]

Daddy's Boy

And since Daddy's a computer geek, we got geeky (and yes, cheesy) for Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day!!

Shirts made for Daddy

Shirts made for Daddy

Shirts made for Daddy

Here's all of the "dads" with me in the labor room, the day we had Charlie. Where would we be without our dads?!
We played cards while I was in labor

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another Week has flown by

Life is going at break-neck speed lately, and I can hardly believe I've been MIA for that long on this blog!

First of all, we had four, count'em, four parties to attend this weekend. We were in Austin Thursday night - Saturday night. It was all fun, but all together exhausting. Things like that were no big deal when we were childless...but you throw 3 kids into the mix and even the most delightful events are also daunting tasks.

We've also had our van in and out of the shop for about 4 weeks now. Another thing that's not easy on 3 kids, or our pocketbook for that matter. ;)

Anyhow, enough complaining. I have pictures! Unfortunately the only party I got pictures of was the one where I didn't have kids. Nana, Big Daddy, and Aunt Annie babysat the boys so Chuck and I could attend Ryan's 30th birthday party. Thanks so much, y'all! Getting time away from all 3 boys is quite uncommon. And I savored every minute - by taking pictures!

Ryan's 30th Birthday Party
For those who care, here is one pic I'm so proud of - because it's in focus despite the super low lighting! I'm even more in love with my 50mm f2! Yep, I'm a dork.

Ryan's 30th Birthday Party
I got to catch up with my dear friend Adam, and meet his sweet wife and son! Adam and I attended seminary together and I am amazed at how much he's been thru. If only I had the time to tell his story...

Elijah's getting big, huh?!!
And check out this one year old boy. He's getting so big!!

Also while in Austin, I had the honor of meeting Sophia, my friend Brandy's newest little one. She was a week old, and so teeny tiny. She's just beautiful.

Meeting Sweet Sophia

One other thing while we were in Austin...We had acquired some ride on toys last visit, but they needed some work. Chuck and his dad got'em fixed this time. So check out the boys' sweet rides:

It would make Big Daddy so proud.
Someday I'll teach him that it's dangerous to ride your motorcycle with no shirt on. Gotta be protected in case of road rash...

He loves the new fire truck
Same thing goes for fire fighting... But I'll let'em enjoy the shirtless freedom for a bit longer.

What's up, Bro?!
I think they're digging the new rides...

Speaking of rides...Big Daddy recently got Charlie the hook ups for his first bike. Every time we visit, Charlie gets better at it. He's getting so big, too.

New Chapter of Life


PCS No More
It makes him so happy, he will actually pose for the camera!

And from my last post...

It was windy at the gym pool..
Chance, the explorer, enjoys some windiness at the gym pool.

365 of Chandler
Chandler preferred the hot wind to the cold water.

Playground updated
The playground has gravel now!

Please Dad, let me play on the computer
Chandler has discovered the computer and is quite drawn to it. He gets that from Chuck...right?! ;)

Silly boy
We are far too serious around here.

365 of Chandler
See what I mean?!

This is the true Chance
Oh, and look closely at this face. He's up to something for sure.
"Hey Chancey, whacha up to?"

The blank stare
Ahh, nevermind.