Thursday, July 31, 2008

One of the Challenges with Being Catholic

There is a wonderful article and discussion happening over at about NFP. For any of you who would like to read an honest article about it, or would like to feel encouraged you might want to take a look.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Misplaced Blessings

What I said to my adorable 5 year old cousin...Bye, Sweetie. I love you! God bless you!

Her response...I didn't sneeze.

What is Wrong With This Pic?

How about 86 year old Nee Nee pushing Sophia around in the walker she refuses to use? She says that only old people use walkers.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How Many Aggies...

Does it take to change a lightbulb?

Welcome to Manhood, Son. He is also enjoying learning how to vacuum out the cars, mow the yard, and clean the bathrooms. He really likes it when we work on the "do it well the first time, and you won't have to redo it" lesson!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Recently, I was able to attend my Latin/Hip Hop Adult Dance Class.

Are you laughing? What? Sure, I look REALLY funny doing the steps. Yes, I look very much like a 30 something, ex-drill team girl, that never really had any soul, but it is a great workout and very fun, and is helping to dust the cob webs off of some unused parts of my brain. Last fall I took a Jazz class, and my father and step mom sent me pink leg warmers and a Flashdance B-day card just to rub it in! Hey, I love Jazz hands!

Anyway, the BEST part oldest kids babysat! You moms with 4 kids under 6 may think this day will never come. I have a friend with older kids, and I used to just dream about what it might be like to do something ALONE. My kids always hated nurseries, so I stopped taking aerobics classes many babies ago. It was so great and such a good workout and I am grateful! Now, I must go practice my mambo and salsa!

Advanced for Her Age

Sophia "reading" with her big sis Hannah. (Look how cute her foot is!)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Wipe out, crash and burn, kicked in the booty. These are the words that could be used to describe what kind of a weekend I had.

Wednesday night, I started feeling that little nagging feeling, that makes me pause and say, "I don't think I feel well."

Thursday there was no question. Like my father would say, "I was rolling down hill like a snowball headed for He--." But there was no stopping on Thursday because my kids had to be at 4 different places, and we had company coming for dinner and Omar had an important meeting. So at 9:45 that night - I crashed.

Friday, I burned. My throat was so closed up, I could barely swallow - I went to the doctor! Strep Throat! But my doctor looked in my throat and said it wasn't that bad. Oh...huh? Really? That's helpful information, so I also felt like a whimp. A whimp that couldn't talk or swallow, but a wimp none the less.

Now, a lot of weird illnesses have circulated around my home, but I almost always side step them. This time, my kids weren't even sick, and somehow I managed to get strep throat. Had I been licking the bottom of my shoes after we were at Target? Did I eat a Cheerio that I found at the park? Did I forget to wash my hands after I rode rides at the amusement park? No, I don't think so. So where in the world did I pick up this curse on humanity? I started on an antibiotic right away and expected to feel better on Saturday.

Saturday, I wiped out. I couldn't talk, it hurt, I stayed in bed ALL DAY! Not that I could sleep because I was miserable! I did learn that Brad and Angelina had their twins and I am totally caught up on several other reality shows.

Sunday, I was still being kicked in the booty, but started to feel a little better as I approached the 48 hours on antibiotics and I was able to sleep. Sweet sleep! I was still pretty annoyed that I wasn't up and about! The novelty had worn off!

Monday, still not 100%, but well on my way. I was actually able to care for my family!

To all of this, I say, "I don't like to be sick." I think I may even take my good health for granted and, dare I say, expect to feel ok everyday. I get my share of aches and pains, but I can plow through it. In fact, I pride myself a little at my ablilty to keep going with some of the things that ache and pain me. So it is necessary for me to slow down and see what it is like to be really sick sometimes. I really am grateful that God allows menacing stuff like this. I am glad that he slows me down to teach me a few lessons. I am grateful that I am usually healthy and being sick makes me count my blessings. It also is such sweet relief when I start to feel the tide begin to turn. Being stopped in my tracks, also helps me to look at the rest of my summer. Now that most of our planned activities are over, I can stop running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I want to have fun with the kids, but also take it a little slower. Also, it helps me to have more empathy when my kids get sick. Sometimes on the 5th week of someone being sick almost every single day, I can get a little...less than totally sweet and understanding. When I am the pitiful patient, God allows me a moment to remember what it is like to not feel well so that I can be a better mom. So, I hope I don't get anymore of these lessons anytime soon, but for now, I am glad I had to STOP.

And may I just say that my husband is the best! Thank you for taking care of everything, Honey! (He even made a 10 PM run to Walmart to get face paint for World Cup Day at soccer camp!)

Feliz Cumpleanos, Bubba!

Happy 32nd B-Day, Brother!


What a blessing to have you as my brother! I pray that your year is filled with joy and peace. You are totally awesome dude!


2008 - Luke and his godfather - A Perfect Match!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A New Study

When my kids were little, I poured over books about raising kids. I read bits and pieces of all kinds of parenting and baby care books trying to find the perfect way to raise kids. Grades were important to me growing up, and I wanted to make an "A" on this most important project. After a while, I realized that the person who is truly an expert on raising a baby is that baby's own parent. Omar and I were the ones who were spending every moment of every day trying to figure out what our kids needed. While I totally value and appreciate everything that the "experts" say, I now know that we have to figure out what works best for our family. So, I still am researching, but no longer looking for the perfect solution.

As we embark upon a new world that includes, a pre-schooler, 2 normal kids, a tween, and a full fledged teen, I have found Dr. Ray Guarendi's book, Good Discipline, Great Teens to be helpful. He talks about not just being ok with your kid not being on drugs. On his radio program, he also talked about it not being ok for "all but one" of your kids to turn out ok. He says don't you want your kid to be a "one-in-a-hundred kid" a "beautiful human being"? Yes, I do.

It is tough though. It is never ending. We always say being a parent, you have to GET UP! To teach, love, correct, guide, discipline, you can't do it from the other side of the room. You have to get up, go to your child and help them. I think it will be the same during these next few years. I know the problems are different and certainly the math is harder! But I look forward to this next phase. Just as I marveled at them learning to walk or talk or read, I am excited to watch God unfold His plan for their lives.

I love what Dr. Ray says about a teenager, "The real nature of the teen beast, though, is full of life, enthusiasm, energy and laughter." (page 1)

Yep, That is True

Tonight I was reading to Sophia from our beloved and well worn Richard Scarry Book. We were reading the chapter called, "Smokey's Day off from Work," and Sophia said, "Daddy goes to work."

I said,"Yes, he does. What does Mommy do?"

She answered, "Clean up."

It's the Small Things

Last summer, some friends of ours bought a house that needed some fixing up. We all laughed as the wife noted that they had to change the tile because it looked like it belonged in a Mexican Restaurant. Over the past year, which is the 3rd year we've been in our house, I've started to notice the grout between our tiles taking on that same look. Omar had sealed it when we first moved in, but A LOT of stuff has been spilled on it since then. I'd like to say that it has been mopped every night, or week, or even every other week, but I really can't. I put out fires, and most of the time, that one just isn't the hottest. I have tried all kinds of stuff to get it looking better, but haven't had much luck. That is until tonight!!!

In a moment of inspiration, I decided to use my generic version of the MR. CLEAN white scrubber thing. WOO-HOO! I wouldn't say it looks new, but so much better! I am a happy girl!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Warning - Sappy Mom Note

Happy 13th Birthday to our beloved teenager!

As I sit and look back at your sweet baby pictures, it seems as if the time really has flown by. As cliche as that sounds, it truly seems that just yesterday we were bringing you home and wondering if the hospital staff was crazy. Did they not know that we had no idea what we were doing?

You have brought your father and I so much joy and happiness. We have loved watching you grow, and we are honored that God has allowed us to be your parents. We look forward to these years to come. We couldn't be more proud of the fine young man you are growing into. Stay close to God, and He will guide you as you follow His plan for your life. Know that you always have our undying love and support! We love you Joshua.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America, land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home."

Irving Berlin - 1938,1939, Revised 1965,1966

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sign of the Times

Today, Hannah was helping Sophia with a toddler computer game. Josh came in and asked, "Sophia, are you playing a video game?"

Sophia responded, "No, I'm playing a dot com."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home Ec 101

When I was in 7th grade, I opted not to take Home Ec. Why in the world would I need a silly class like that? I was going to be a lawyer, or the President, or something really famous. I had big dreams of doing something grand with my life.

It wasn't until college, I think, that God changed my view of what grand is. Oh, those who know me well, know I'd still like to be hosting a morning talk show somewhere. Some dreams never die. However, God has shown me that I have a chance to change the world right under my own roof. I have a chance to raise up kids that love God and their neighbor.

What I don't have, is a lot of home-making skills. I am not that great of a cook, and I couldn't sew a curtain to save my life. In fact my attempts at sewing on Little Flowers' patches resulted in my husband taking over the patches responsibility for all future patch receiving activities. My girls were not satisfied with this inadequacy. They have their father's creativity, and see the dire need in learning how to make clothes for their stuffed animals. This year for Christmas, Hannah said she would like to learn how to sew from her grandma. So, my sweet mother in law came last week to teach my girls how to sew. Grandma saved the day! She gave me a few lessons as well!

It was terrifying and intimidating. That little needle just bobbing up and down ready to make a fool out of me once I looked at my crooked little seam. And then the thread ran out and I had to re-thread the watcha-ma-call-it. It would have be so much easier to be giving a speech about pro-life issues to an audience of 100's. It was exhilarating though to try something that I thought was beyond me and to open up a new world to me. I am grateful for the lesson and I am grateful that God still loves me enough to help me to grow.