Friday, March 30, 2012


Yesterday we celebrated my entrance into this world 32 years ago.  It was such a fantastic day!

I am forever grateful to my sweet parents.

There was quite a crew at my birthday dinner and I was so thankful to have so many wonderful people there to celebrate with me.  We dined on Cafe Max (one of my faves) and then it was time for some delicious cake.

Lila got some good practice on how to blow out the candles.  Guess she's practicing up for her big day that's in only a week or so.

Right after the "Happy Birthday" song was over, the two big rascals immediately started blowing out all of my candles!!  I had to hustle to get to blow out only a few!  No birthday wishes for me this year:)  I was sure happy to have some help, though.  32 candles is a lot!

Everyone wore their party hats except the littlest girl.  She's got the candle blowing down, and she loves cake and ice cream  Now we just have to work on her attire.  Baby steps.

One of my favorite cards was this one from my little guy.  Look closely, it says "To Mom."  Love it.

After I opened all of my gifts, the party started getting a little wild. 
There were even topless girls running around!

Thanks so much to all of my family who made my day so special.  I am one lucky girl.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Four kids under 5

This past weekend we were so excited because our friends came up to Denison with us!  The mama's and all four kids rode up in the minivan (yeah Honda Odyssey!) and went to the lake first.

Not long after we were there, the kids decided to change into their swimsuits.  Since the hot tub was still at a chilly 75 degrees, we opted for a ride on the golf cart.

These munchkins want it to be summer so badly!  They loved seeing the lake, but really wanted to just get back and swim. Too bad the hot tub didn't quite get warm enough by that evening. 

Since there was no swimming to be had, they played on fun things like this tricycle.  Sawyer was so enamored by Lila Lou that he just had to give her a sweet hug.

When his mama told him to give Lila a kiss on her cheek and he hesitated, Lila said, "C'mon, Sawyer," in a sweet little southern voice. 

The embrace only lasted a few seconds, but then they made their way inside and decided that the pantry was the perfect hiding spot.  They'd close the doors and then wait for us to open them.  When we did, there were squeals of delight and very big grins.

After dinner time, we just had to get these stinky kids into the tub.  What better way than just bathing them all at once?  They loved it. 

The next morning, the water was perfect, so the big kids hopped in right away.

Miss Thang got her suit and sunglasses on, but opted to just watch from her lounge chair.

After we got them out of the hot tub, it was time to go see what was going on at the Ranch.  Not long after we got there, Jackson had Adam playing catch with him.  Then he decided it was time to show off his mad pitching skills.

It was so funny.  He'd look at Adam...

then check the runner on second base (Daddo)...

then fire a strike!  He probably threw 7 out of 10 strikes.  Looks like we may have a little Neftali Feliz on our hands.  The kid can throw heat!

After ball practice, we headed on down to the barn.  For the first time maybe ever, all three kids got on the horses at the same time.  We all took a very mini trail ride up to the house, which thrilled the littlest one since she never gets to go on the real deal.  She has talked for days about it, saying "Me ride Princess. Me go on trail ride."  She was so proud of herself. 

We ended the day by letting the kids feed the horses some Nilla Wafers.  They get such a kick out of it and it's a fun way to make friends with the horses, I think.  We were so glad to have our friends come enjoy the Ranch with us.  Thanks again, Adam, Hayley and Sawyer for a really great weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who knew?

Who knew that an old, worn out mattress could be so much fun?  These three!

We finally got Jackson a new mattress last weekend and just haven't figured out what to do with his old one yet.  Since it rained a good part of yesterday, the kids were going a little bit stir crazy.  So what did we do?  Got out this mattress, and voila, an indoor trampoline was created!  They jumped like CRAZY...

even practicing their toe touches.  I have no aspirations for Jackson to become a male cheerleader, but I have to say, he did have the best toe touch! 

Maddie, on the other hand, has a little work to do! 

While I was getting dinner ready, the two big kids went on a mission.  It was called "Get every pillow in this house and bring it down to the living room."  And they did fabulous at completing this mission.  I knew that they were taking the cushions off of the couch and getting some off my bed...

but it came as a big surprise to me when I looked over and saw at least 30 pillows covering our floor.  Oh boy!  They were thrilled with themselves. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is it summer yet?!

Ever since Lila Lou heard our weatherman say that it is now spring time, she has been dying to get in the water!  Yesterday she insisted on wearing her swimsuit around house.  Flat out refused to put her shirt back on.  We even went to Gigi's house with her wearing a swimsuit, purple leggings and jean jacket.  It was quite a look and I was lucky to get that jacket on her.

This morning she tried on her new swimsuit and then wouldn't take it off.  We compromised by her wearing pajama pants with the suit. 
She got her baby all buckled into the stroller and then told me, "me going the ranch," and they strolled away.

I think it's safe to say this little girl cannot wait for some fun in the sun!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break 2012

Spring Break at the Hays Casa. 
We have had a pretty laid back week, but the three rascals always keep it interesting. 
Here's a highlight reel from SB 2012:

Stunt riding on the John Deere--notice the scooter strategically placed under his booty.

Working on her balance in the front yard...

Practicing his casting skills for whenever he gets to go fishing next time...

Both "fishing" in the hot tub.  It's shocking how long this entertains them:)

Taking a little break and enjoying the view...

Swimming in March!!  Oh how this thrilled these two!

Little girl was so intrigued by the big kids that she immediately decided that she, too, needed to go swim.

So she took her top off and climbed up to see what all the commotion was about.

Lila only got in up to her knees, but the other two swam for hours!

Miss L had a few firsts this Spring Break.  Not only did she take a dip in the hot tub, but she went on a ride with me on the four wheeler, and loved it.  We went to see all the animals and she never got scared at all.  It's so fun having an adventurous little one.

Feeding nilla wafers to the horses with Gigi...

and taking a quick pic with their favorite two horses...Princess and Doc.  Maddie was a little braver and sometimes fed the horses from her hand.  Lila prefered to sit the wafer on the ground and tell the horses, "here you go!" then squeal with excitement after they ate it. 

We ended the week with two birthday parties.  The boys went to a firefighter party at Hunter's house and the girls went to Gattitown for Ashlyn's party. 
Whew!  We've had a fun week, but we're ready for school on Monday.  Let's just hope we can get up on time to make it there!  We've gotten mighty lazy this past week and are loving sleeping in a little later. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Little Divas

Yesterday I left the kids with Memaw so that I could go run some errands.  When I came home, this is how I found them.

Lila was wearing Madison's birthday outfit from last year and Maddie was wearing my costume from my good old tapping days.  Ha!  That costume hasn't been worn in probably 28 years! My favorite is the headband, though.  These are the days:) 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back at the Ranch!

This past Friday, we headed north after the big kids got out of school.  It was a beautiful 70 degree day and we were so excited to be out of the city, if only for a little while.

Minutes after we arrived, Little Bit asked to swing on the horsey.  She looks so old to me these days, especially when I think back to a year ago and how I couldn't let go of her on this swing for fear she might fall off. 

Friday evening we went to see the horses and then went for a ride to see the cows and llamas before it got dark.

The next morning, two of my best ranch hands were ready to take a few country pics.  It started out like this...big brother asking Lila to hold his hand...which you can see she was not really fond of doing.

But after a few minutes, she had warmed up to him and even let him put his hand on her shoulder.  Success!  She's a stinker, sometimes:)

A little while later we all went down to ride the horses.  Before we could saddle them, though, they needed a good brushing.  The kids were all over this task! 

I think the horses appreciated some TLC, too!  Our horse, Princess, was especially friendly to us.  Lila had been talking for two days about, "Ride horse with you, Mom!" so I was really glad that Princess was very calm.  We rode for a good 10 minutes before she declared, "done riding."

After lunch, it was time for the weekend trail ride.  Gigi had never been on one of these.  She was a little scared, but I heard that she did great.  Way to go, Gigi!! 

That afternoon, I had a few dates.  I shot some targets with the hubby and then went on a four-wheeling expedition with Jackson.  The girls and Gigi went to feed the horses some cookies and were so excited to tell me all about it after I got back.  We had a fantastic afternoon. 
Towards the end of the day, the big kids wanted to see if they could ride the swing at the same time. 
They loved it when it actually worked--check out their huge smiles!

Before we had to head on back, the kids and Daddo gathered some wood and made a little campfire.  Turns out the big kids are pretty good gatherers!  Could come in handy someday if we're camping in the woods, cause goodness knows Jared and I aren't going to be much help in hunting any animals!  Out of about 80 tries of hitting a stationary target, we were only successful 4 times.  4 times.  It was kind of comical after a while.

We loved hanging outside this weekend.  I want to go back already:)

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