Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Go Jack, Go!

I'm not gonna lie, I've had a tough day with the kids.  Parenting is mentally and physically exhausting.  More than I ever anticipated.  But then there are times where they really surprise me.  Like this afternoon.  Jackson asked me to read him a book.  He chose Go Dog, Go!  Instead of reading it like I always do, I thought I'd see what words he could read.  Little did I know how much progress he's been making in school. As far as I knew, he could only read a handful of sight words, as well as the names of his family members. 

So imagine my surprise when he sat down and read 19 pages of Go Dog, Go! to me.  I was in awe at first, then just felt my heart swelling with pride for my big guy.  He's not even 5 and he is reading!!! 

This evening we sat down with the same book and he read 23 pages of it.  Seeing his face whenever he figures out a hard word is just priceless.  You really can almost see the lightbulb go off in his head right before he says the correct word.  His world is about to open up tremendously and I am so excited for him.  And proud.  Is that obvious yet?! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bowling Bebes

It's Saturday and we have no plans...a rare occasion, indeed!  Since this almost never happens, we decided to take the kids for a little indoor fun.  We hit up the Main Event this afternoon to try our luck at bowling.

Aside from bowling on the Wii, this was the first time for the kids.  They were so excited!

Main Event was perfect for us.  The girl at the counter set up our screen and programmed in who needed bumpers and who didn't.  That way they automatically popped up whenever the kids came up to bowl.  I know I probably sound like I was born in the 1950s for being so impressed with this, but it really was cool...and quite helpful!  Jackson was up first.  I think the ball was heavier than he anticipated, but he stuck with it.

Next it was Maddie's turn.  She took a big running start and plopped that ball down the lane!

Lila was next and she got to use this cool aparatus that our friend, James Brooks told me about.  (Shout out to James for this little tidbit of info!)  It was neat--she got to push the ball down the ramp and see what pins it would knock down. 

Believe it or not, Lila got a strike!  She was so excited that she ran back to me, Maddie and Jackson with a huge grin on her face.  She kept high-fiving everyone and was saying "Me!  Knock down!"

About halfway through our game, it was time to break it down in the bowling alley.  The lights went down, lasers came on and rap music started playing.  In one word, it was awesome. Jackson and Maddie both got much better and J even bowled a few times without even needing the bumpers.  Lila loved the jams and danced on her daddy's lap with this big smile.  I think her daddy was even doing a little jig of his own. He was feeling pretty good about himself because he bowled 7 strikes.  In one game!  Thank goodness I didn't start talking smack to him in the 4th frame when I was winning for a brief time.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Both girls fell asleep right before we got home, so the rest of us are getting to enjoy some quiet time right now.  Peace and quiet, oh how I love thee...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

FW Stock Show and Rodeo

A few months ago my dad called and asked if we wanted to go to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.  I had never been, but thought it sounded like a good way to spend a Saturday.

Fast forward to yesterday, and the day had finally come.  We were a man down because Maddie didn't feel good, but the rest of us piled in the minivan and went to Cowtown.  We parked right by the midway, and the guy talked Boom into winning a stuffed animal for J. 
By the way, are carnies not some of the strangest people ever?!


Our next stop was at the petting zoo, where Jackson fed a few llamas and then petted some goats...

and even a few really large rabbits!  There was also a Scottish Highlander Cow in there that acted exactly like a dog.  We rubbed his soft neck and head just like we were petting Sadie.  Now if we ever run into one of those while touring Scotland, we'll know exactly what to do!


After we finished with the animals, we headed inside to the exhibits.  The tractor one was definitely one of the most intriguing to Jackson.  Something about the wheels being taller than him just makes him smile:)

After all that walking, it was time for some lunch. We heard the BBQ was good, so we went for that.  Let me just say, there is no need for anyone to ever be scared of going hungry at the FWSSR. 
There was an insane amount of food available at this event.  In every building.  Outside.  Inside.  Restaurants. Fast food.  Snacks.  Big meals. 
Ok, I'm starting to remind myself of a Dr. Seuss book, but you get the point. 

My mom's cousin, J.D., has been in charge of all the animals for the rodeo for the past 15 years or so.  We were lucky enough to hook up with him before the next rodeo began.  He and his daughter gave us a behind the scenes tour and it was really cool.  Here we are on the rodeo arena floor.

We also got to see lots of the rodeo horses and even the bulls, who looked meaner than the dickens!  This was the closest that we could get to them--it was a little dark back there, but they are all behind Jackson just giving us the stink eye!

We had a few more minutes to kill before we sat down to watch the rodeo, so we went over to see the cows.  We were looking for the cow milking station, but they were on break, so we just hung out with these guys who were having a mid-afternoon hay snack.

By the time we got to our seats and got situated it was time for the Grand Entry.  JD's daughter has grown up around the rodeo, so she got to ride in it!  Very cool.

There were 12 events, but the calf scramble was one of the most entertaining ones.  There were high schoolers running around and trying to catch these calves, who were making them look so scrawny and uncoordinated.  It took a while for about half of them to catch their calf and get it to walk back into the that white square. 

Another really cool event were these trick horse riders.  A family tradition...their dad and granddad were both trick riders in the rodeo in years past.  Now it's the sister (15 years old) and her three brothers, the youngest of which is only 8!  And they were good!  They did flips on and around the horses and hung upside down and all kind of crazy things.

Cowboy Jack enjoyed the show very much and even wore his new hat for some of the last event--bull riding!   He was very entertained by the clowns and loved watching those ornery bulls.  And JD was right.  Those bulls were particularly mean.  One of them refused to leave the arena and had to get roped and led out.  Hmmm...maybe I should keep a lasso around the house.  
I know a few kids who get a little ornery every now and then, too.  It could come in quite handy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January Birthdays

Christmas is over, but our celebrations haven't ended!  Gigi's birthday was last week, and since the kids and I enjoyed our birthday breakfast so much with Memaw, we decided to do it for Gigi, too.  We brought over lots of good food from Whataburger this time and had a little party, complete with hats and presents.  Too bad I got banned from putting any of those pics on our blog!  Gigi was not feeling the need to be make-up free for the world to see:)

Later that night we met the whole fam at Olive Garden for dinner.  This is a good summary of how our night went.  Madison was not in a good humor and wouldn't even think of looking at the camera.  Why?  I have no idea.  She did perk up once we got her some food, so maybe it was just a case of severe hunger.

Last night we went to Matt's Rancho Martinez to celebrate Aunt Keen's birthday.  She requested a homemade pudding dessert instead of cake, and so Jackson and I happily obliged. 

Happy Birthday, Mom and Colleen! 

Beauty and the Beast

This past weekend we took the big kids on a fun outing to the movies.  Beauty and the Beast was playing and since it is one of Maddie's favorite flicks, we thought it would be a great one to go see.

From the time we told them about our idea to go see a movie, these two were so pumped!  Jackson has been twice before, but this was Madison's very first time. 

They were both very excited about the movie, but the unending popcorn really sealed the deal.  These two can put down some popcorn like nobody's business! 
They both did great and we can't wait to go back in March to see Dr. Seuss' next movie, The Lorax.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rainbow Brite

The only person I know who can wear Rainbow Brite leggings and pull it off with no problem!

Splish, splash I was taking a bath


on a little Saturday morn!
Rub a dub, got three monkeys in the tub...

Gotta get 'em clean, so scrub, scrub, scrub!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hoppy Returns

When I picked the kids up from school last Friday, Madison had a big surprise.  Hoppy was in her bag!  Hoppy is her class mascot and he spent a weekend with us last semester as well.  It's important to document Hoppy's doings the whole time we have him...

so we started by taking a pic of the kids enjoying a really nutritious after-school snack of Cheetos. 
They were feeling generous and gave Hoppy a few to try.

That afternoon we went to the park to feed the ducks.  Hoppy loved it! 

After the ducks had eaten every last cracker we brought, it was time to go hang out at the playground.  Hoppy was a little scared being up this high, but I'm happy to report Maddie did not drop him once.

Friday night, Jared had the idea for us to all go to Cici's.  Now, I haven't darkened the doors of a Cici's in at least 15 years.  Let me just tell you, I have not missed much!  It was crazy--tons of people, kids, total mayhem.  We ate our pizza, got marinara sauce on pretty much everything, grabbed a few cinnamon rolls (by far Cici's best product!) and got out of there. 
Whew!  Makes me tense just thinking about it again.

The next day Hoppy was in luck because we had a birthday party to attend.  This party was way cool--not only did it have the standard cake and ice cream, but it also had a bounce house...

and pinata for all of the kids to try and break!

Hoppy gave Madison some good tips and she walupped that Nemo Pinata really well!

The next morning, Hoppy got to watch cartoons with all the kids. 
After the cartoons, we ate some donuts and then headed to church.  We accidentally left Hoppy behind, but he said it was ok b/c he needed a nap anyway.
I think he had a pretty sweet gig at our house this weekend, but he was pooped! 

Christmas Break

We have had so many new toys to play with since Christmas it's been hard to keep up! 

Madison was a chef one afternoon and served everyone their choice of fine pastries.

All three kids have loved this castle that they got from Uncle Scott and Aunt Lyndsie.  It came with markers and they get to decorate it whenever I am feeling adventurous! 

We got to spend a fun afternoon with Amanda and her boys, Cason and Chase.  The kids played their hearts out in our back and frontyards and then came in for a bit of downtime.  Here they are jammin' to Lady Antebellum that was playing on Maddie's new CD player.

The kids haven't been the only ones who have been having a good time. 
Us big kids went out for NYE and had a blast. 

Happy New Year!  I think 2012 is going to be great.

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