Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting Ready




Before I get to the whining and making fun of camping (I'm sorry...I tried it and I do think some mocking is definitely required) let me FIRST say that I had such a fun time.

Really...

Camping was incredibly fun.

Crazy how even horrific experiences can be enjoyable when you have a few key ingredients...

A husband who is so sweet

Children you love spending time with

A brother, sister in law and nieces that you actually down right adore

And friends who are as precious to you as your own flesh and blood

Without those things, this last week would have been for me something out of a HORROR movie.

But WITH those wonderful elements, this week was one of the best weeks of my life (when the new Target opens in our town, that will be another one of the best weeks of my life).

I didn't write all about getting ready for camping when I was actually getting ready for camping for a couple reasons.

One...

When one is in the throws of trying to throw your entire home into five rubber maid containers, one does not have time to sit down and write.

Two...

I didn't want anyone to know we were going camping because there could be whackos reading this blog, and I didn't want any whacko faces coming on our camping trip.

(On the way to the camping trip I thought, hey...I'm going to be in the car forever, I'll finally read that book Aaron's mom told me about...The Shack. I opened it up, started reading and ya know what it's about? Some kid getting kidnapped on a camping trip. Are you kidding me? I almost threw it out the window.)

Here's what I learned while getting ready to go camping...

I am high maintenance when it comes to what I use on any given day.

Prior to camping, I would have said that I was not high maintenance.

But, once you have all the things you love...that you simply can't live without in one pile in one room...there's no denying it. I'm high maintenance.

I admit it.

I have a lot of toiletries.

I also use a lot of dishes.

Even my condiments are extensive.

I stood in the kitchen for thirty minutes thinking through this conundrum...

How am I going to live a week with just plain mustard?

I mean, I like regular mustard, but only on ham sandwiches with cheddar cheese.

If swiss cheese is involved, then I like honey mustard.

But it's silly to take both, so I just stuck with regular.

Camping.

Roughing it.

Before we even left, I knew this was going to be hard on me.

But with three boys and a husband who loves the outdoors, I knew that camping was inevitable at some point.

I should get a t-shirt for living this long with this many males and not camping yet. I'm not proud of this, but honestly, avoiding camping this long took extreme manipulation. I would listen carefully for any hints of camping and then...with precision...redirect the conversation.

Nothing about camping appealed to me.

Nothing about getting ready to GO camping appealed to me either.

Now, I know that I'm going to be made fun of...I lived through a week of this...but I will shamelessly say that when I think of going on vacation, my mind drifts to a happy place where when you need some coffee you pick up the phone, dial zero and then that coffee quickly appears at your door. When I think of vacation, I think of eating in a place where someone else cooked my food and cleans up the horrible mess my kids made. When I think of vacation, I think of packing what I sort of half way think of packing, and if we forget something, pulling into the first parking lot underneath a red bulls eye logo. When I think of vacation, I think of leaving your room for a few hours and then coming back to find it magically clean...new towels...beds made...now that's vacation to me.

So make fun of me all you want, but taking bits and pieces of the home you own and shoving them into Rubbermaid containers to go somewhere less nice than where you live...where even the most basic of things like going to the bathroom or eating breakfast is about 95 times more difficult than normal...that's sort of weird. Really. I don't care what camping lovers say...that's weird. You know that's weird.

Who on earth came up with this train of thought...

"Ooh...I know. For vacation, why don't we leave this house we've worked so hard to afford and go in the woods for a week and pretend like we're poor and have nothing. Won't that be fun? After working so hard all year, why don't we go pretend like we're homeless people?"

The next thing ya know, the new vacation rage will be loading up your family and wandering around downtown Houston pushing grocery carts. It's a slippery slope and I'm pretty sure that sleeping under bridges and eating out of trash cans is where we're all heading.

Before you go camping you have to spend a week paying attention to everything you use every day.

Sheets, pillows, toilet paper, eye cream, coffee creamer, ketchup, ziplock bags in a variety of sizes.

And then you have to go to the grocery store and buy enough food to last you for a week...enough snacks, suppers, lunches, car treats...and if you forget anything, guess what...you have to live without it because annoyingly, no one puts a Target in the middle of a state park that's in the middle of nowhere.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but for some reason, my brain must have thought that when you go camping, your family turns obese.

I packed enough food to last us three months. I don't know who I thought I was feeding, but it wasn't us.

At the grocery store, I saw Ashley Garratt's mom.

She asked me what I was doing.

I told her I was getting ready for the trip.

She mentioned that Ashley (her family went with us) was also running around like crazy getting everything ready.

That's what you do before you camp. You work yourself into a frenzy. I would get up out of the bed in the middle of the night for a week because I remembered something I needed...I would wake up...go get that thing and throw it on the "going to Garner" pile. That's what you do when you're getting ready to camp. You panic and walk around your house carrying cotton balls at 3 a.m. because if you forget them, then no cotton balls for you for a week. You'll have to apply your Proactive Toner with a leaf that a deer probably peed on.

While I was practically crying to Ashley's mom I said something like...

"This will be the furthest I've ever been from a Target in my life."

Some elderly lady was standing in the aisle listening to me whine.

After I was finished with my sob story, exhausted from packing and shopping...exhausted from waking up in the middle of the night, finding batteries and throwing them on my pile...that elderly lady stopped me in the aisle and said...

"Maybe you can take a picture of that Target circle with you while you're camping."

She meant it.

She was so sweet.

So I spent a week getting ready to relax.

By the time we were ready to go, I was so tired...it was a sick tired...like Christmas morning tired.

Then Aaron informed me that we would be heading out with the 5 a.m. caravan.

5 a.m.

leaving at 5 a.m.

When I think of the word "relaxing" 5 a.m. never comes to mind.

It was hilarious...really...by this time it was so funny...everything about camping was funny.

By this time, after all the hard work to get ready to go to Garner, Aaron would start smiling or laughing before breaking any new crazy news to me.

"You need to get up at 4. I'll probably get up at 3:30."

To these insane comments I would say...

"Ah...vacation. Can't wait."

We're going to some place crappier than where we live and waking up hours earlier than we normally wake up.

Ah vacation.

"How far is this place?" I asked the day before leaving...

Another smile from Aaron...trying to keep a straight face while breaking the news to me...

"About 5 hours."

Great. Great.

Everyone knows how much I love being in the car.


Ah vacation.

The morning of the big adventure, Aaron indeed woke up at 3:30. Then, like an excited child, he noisily got ready, turned on the bathroom light...and then, at 3:54 he laid down on the bed beside me and started rubbing my back sweetly.

I still had 6 minutes left and he was rubbing on me.

Ah vacation.

More to come...

Friday, May 30, 2008

We are not dead



Wondering where we've been?

Wonder no more.

Camping.

That's where we've been.

And boy do I have a lot to write.

A lot.

As in...my eyes watered up when I got home and saw my own toilet.

Until camping, I never knew how much I love my own toilet.

Sweet little toilet.

Sweet, relatively clean little toilet.

Sunday, May 25, 2008



My dad was here this weekend.

He showed us the coolest thing.

Right now, I'm imagining people in offices...in dorm rooms...in kitchens doing what I'm about to tell you to do.

That makes me smile.

First, pick up your right foot.

Then, start turning it clock wise.

Gross. Mine makes a popping noise.

Then, take your right hand, point your right pointer finger.

Draw a 6 in the air.

An air 6.

Weird what happens huh.

Freaky.

It's like your finger has magical powers.

Your finger can make your foot stupid.

My life with boys...

Hayden: (Walks out of the bathroom into my bedroom. Comes over to give me a hug. Looks up at me sweetly and says, so earnestly...) Mom, I really do wish you had a wee-wee.

Me: Ew! Not me! I don't want one of those things!

Hayden: (again, ultra serious, sort of frustrated I find this topic a joking matter) Mom. Really. You should have a wee-wee.

I started laughing, since Hayden made it sound like the only reason I don't have a wee-wee is because I haven't gone out and bought mine yet.

Me: Why do you want me to have one?

Hayden: Because, when I go places I can just stand, like this and tee-tee (he demonstrates, of course) But, when you go places, you have to do this (he then does a pretty accurate impression of me, squatting, hovering over a public potty).

Again...much laugher on my part.

Hayden: Mom, I'm serious. Standing is much better than what you do.

I was still laughing at how matter of fact he was about this subject. He wasn't acting like it's unfortunate I don't have a wee-wee. He seemed to be trying to sell me on the idea of purchasing one. The whole situation felt like a sales pitch.

Me: Well, even if I wanted one, where would I get it?

Hayden: (thinks for a second...sighs a couple times). I don't know. (another sigh) I just WISH you had one.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Singing on Ice...Love it

Aw dang.

Now I want to be an ice skater.

That's what happens when I see anything cool.

I want to be that thing.

Right now, I'm dreaming of sliding smoothly across ice wearing sparkly clothes.

I wish I were magic and could turn these hard wood floors into ice, and then take every day activities, like cleaning the bathroom or setting the table and set them to music...

dance

skate

sing

and shake my jazz hands

Months ago, we bought the older boys tickets. The plan was for them to go with their Aunt Lynsey.

The tickets cost some substantial chu-ching, so the older boys were the only ones who were going to get to go.

But lo and behold...

Someone I love at church pulled me aside and said she had some tickets to High School Musical on Ice for Thursday night. Did I want them?

Did I want them?

I knocked people out of my way in the name of Jesus to find Aaron and tell him the good news.

Thank goodness church hadn't started yet, or I would have text messaged him during the children's chat.

Most husbands would have to feign excitement over getting tickets to a musical on ice...but not Aaron.

We also got to ask another couple to go with us!

That would have been a hard decision, since there are in fact TWO other men we know whose favorite movie is the Newsies.

Matt Mosier

and

Charlie Apel

Since Matt is far away this week, the choice was easy.

Kirby and Charlie agreed to go.

Woo-who!

The show was incredible.

Basketballs fell out of the ceiling.

The thighs on the skaters were applaudable.

There were fireworks, flips and fifty dollar snow cones.

Our favorite part of the evening was when this lady came and stood right in front of us.

She was facing us.

Just standing there, irritated...with her tickets in her hand.

She sort of looked through Aaron, who was sitting right in front of her and said...with an ample amount of attitude...

"SOMEONE is in our seats."

The old me would have said back to her, in a very sarcastic tone...

"SOMEONE'S been sleeping in my bed too..."

But I didn't.

She stood there looking very annoyed and accusatory.

Oh, this was going to be interesting.

I settled into my seat for the show.

Without making eye contact, she had in fact challenged my precious husband.

He calmly shut down the pretense.

He said gently, yet firmly...

"Really? What seats are you supposed to have?"

That's when I thought, "How sad for this lady. She has NO IDEA who she is up against right now. This is Aaron Hendrick, we're talking about. The man that probably checked and rechecked 14 times that we were in the right seats before letting us sit down. This is Aaron Hendrick the RULE follower. Seating assignments on tickets are RULES to Aaron. They are where you sit. If no one else showed up for the show, except for us, and I suggested that we move in closer, since the auditorium was empty...Aaron would have to take stomach medication because my suggestion of "bending the rules a bit" would cause great upset in his abdominal area. I mean, he'd eventually cave and move up...but he'd be miserable for the rest of the show, just waiting for some police officer to come up and arrest him for seat trickery. Seriously...this lady has no idea what she is suggesting here. Aaron break the rules and sit in the wrong seats? No freakin' way. If she's right, and Aaron's wrong, my world, as I know it will CRUMBLE right here in Reed Arena."

She replies...again, not looking straight at Aaron, sort of talking loudly to the ceiling...

"Row J. Seats 7 and 8."

I started to feel a little nervous.

We were indeed sitting in row J, seats 7 and 8.

But Aaron calmly says...

"Section 107?"

She fumbled for a second...

"Oh. No. Section 106."

"This is 107. 106 is to your right," Aaron said.

She apologized to the sky and walked away.

I said, under my breath..."You can't touch this, sista."

My husband is the MAN. The man.

The sit in the right seat kind of man.

Unlike his wife...who once got tickets to a show at Rudder, acted like I knew what I was doing...drug Aaron into the theater with me...to watch a Christian dance performance...

We got in there and these people were on the stage doing some dirty dancing.

It was rated R. They were gyrating and doing things unheard of right before our very eyes.

I was thinking, "Wow. Charra has changed."

Disgusted, Aaron looked at my tickets and explained to me we weren't just in the wrong seats...we were in the wrong theater.

Crap.

From then on, it was all Aaron when it comes to tickets and seats.

Seriously though...the show tonight was amazing.

Any time Disney does anything on ice...it's so worth going to see!

I will be the first to admit that I am easily moved by anything big, dramatic and grand.

I'm moved by mass worship.

At church

or

At Disney on Ice

Any time there's lots of people in a room expressing emotion in one, heartfelt, unified way...

It moves me. My eyes watered up several times tonight. Really. It's ridiculous.

Tonight I heard little girls screaming and cheering when relationship issues were restored.

Several times, I zoomed out, away from the show, pulled back, apart from the cheering and watched everyone watching. Fireworks illuminated faces...faces filled with hope.

I saw an audience in love with love.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Telling Lies Ruins Your Summer


As I mentioned before, I am a reformed exerciser.

Prior to a few years ago, I hated anything athletic.

I didn't even own tennis shoes until three years ago.

I despised them.

I hated wearing them.

And why should I wear them?

When I sported tennis shoes, I felt like it was false advertisement.

My shoes were telling lies.

I felt like people looked at me and thought, "She's sporty."

No...

I wasn't.

I had a hurt back and my doctor made me wear tennis shoes.

For an athletic hater like myself, PE in junior high was like a recurring bad dream.

I can't flashback to that horrible time of my life too thoroughly or I start to feel sick to my stomach.

The smell of that locker room. Did they wash the uniforms in sweat?

The stupid lockers themselves.

My lady coaches and their mullets.

Spending all year debating with my friends if our lady coach was in fact a lady. You could argue either way. We were constantly looking at her from different angles trying to catch some glimpse of boobs. We were on constant look out for any change in the terrain.

It was not uncommon for a friend to walk by and say, in passing, "I saw coach from the side today and she was reaching up for some shirts on the top shelf...and I saw some things that may have been boobs."

And what about changing in front of everyone...

Doesn't that bring back fond memories?

Puberty unveiled.

Pure torture.

Torture!

And let's not forget when they make you take off your shirt and bend over so that they can see if your spine is crooked. I told my coach I felt like Anne Frank. She wasn't impressed.

The coaches were looking for crooked backs.

The girls were looking to see which of their classmates needed real bras, no bras or training bras.

That day was particularly horrible because if you wore a bra, you could keep it on. If you didn't, then...well...

I was always jealous of the girls with real-life bras and their real-life need for one.

I was never one of those girls.

But on "Bend over and check your back" day I set my training bra aside and wore my mom's instead.

Imagine a boy wearing a bra...or wearing a bra on your back. That's what it looked like.

One of the poopiest parts of PE was that they make you get all hot and sweaty then give you a whole 6 minutes to morph yourself from athlete to student.

But, the all time worst thing about PE was...

swimming

Swimming at school?

Who wants to cry remembering this?

I always imagined the school board meeting.

Some man in a suit stands up and says...

"Everyone put on your thinking caps. We need ideas...ideas to make these gangly, hormone freaked out, pimply cheeked, braced faced students feel even worse about themselves."

Some lady at the table with yellow pencil buttons on her denim shirt raises her hand...

"Oh...I know. Let's make them swim."

Everyone groans with delight.

"And not just with children the same sex. Oh no. That would merely be awful. What would scar them for life would be...boys and girls swimming together."

Everyone at the table claps and straightens their devil horn headbands.

Swimming...

Ugh.

I hated swimming.

I hated other girls seeing me in a swim suit.

I always felt ugly and fat.

But the main reason I hated swimming was because after you swam, you still got 6 minutes to turn back into a normal looking person.

This was the late 80's/early 90's.

No one could get their hair dry and teased in 6 minutes.

No one.

I have always had high maintenance hair.

It does nothing good on its own.

Nothing good.

My hair requires a lot of attention.

It only has two modes.

Either it looks good because I spent a lot of time on it.

Or, it looks like I'm running for Ms. White Trash.

I only have two choices.

When you only have 3 minutes to give to your hair...it's a no-brainer. Just hand me my sash that says Ms. White Trash.

When we first started swimming, it was just us...just girls.

But one day, I walked out of the door from the locker room into the pool area and what did I see?

Boys.

Boys in the pool.

Boys my age.

For a minute there I thought I was having a nightmare.

I wanted to melt into my towel.

That's when something brilliant hit me...

A way out...

A way to stick it to the man lady.

You see...I was not always a Baptist. I was raised Church of God. They believe girls and boys can't swim together. It's called mixed bathing.

That's a big no-no in that denomination.

So...I was raised Church of God, I knew the rule...but let me mention here that I spent every summer of my entire life at the public swimming pool in our town. I knew the rule, but that wasn't something our family thought was important, obviously, judging by our tan skin in the summers.

Once I saw the boys in the pool, I said to my friend, Jessica...

"I've got it. I can say I'm pentecostal and that it's against my religion to mix bathe."

Surprisingly, Jessica said, "I want to be pentecostal too."

So the two of us went up to the coach and said...

"We're pentecostal and it's against our religion to mix bathe with boys."

The coach didn't really know what to say, but holy cow...she believed us.

We got to leave the room...go put our gym clothes on...and then run laps in the gym.

We didn't really run laps though. We just walked.

What a victory...

We beat the system.

We found the way out.

My hair was still 4 ft. tall.

We were so proud of ourselves.

And besides, Jessica was Jehovah's Witness. I was giddy with excitement about all the things we could make up about that religion. Next year, when we got a new coach, I had already decided I was going to be Jehovah's Witness. "We can't run...it's against our religion. We have to have 12 minutes to get ready and do our ceremonial getting ready routines or we will go to hell. You wouldn't want that coach." Oh..this was going to be great.

So that year...because we were pentecostal, instead of swimming almost every day, we only had to swim a couple times a week, when for some reason the boy class was not in the pool.

Awesome.

Until summer came.

My mom bought our pool passes.

It was time to set up residence at the public pool once again, getting tan, eating snow cones...

I walked in the first day, so excited about summer.

And who did I see?

Coach.

She was working as a life guard at the pool that summer.

That day I learned two things...

1. Your sins will find you out.

2. And our coach really was a woman. I saw her in a bathing suit.

I want to hear your PE horror stories! I'm sure we all have them!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Who am I?


Just one Mother's Day ago, if I had opened a gift that contained...

A Nike ipod thingy

and

A wrist band deal for my ipod thingy...

I would have looked up from my gift and said...

"This must be for your other mother."

I might have even cried and thrown my gift bag at Aaron and said, "Is this some sort of sick joke?"

Knowing Aaron, it would have been a sick joke. Then, he would have brought out my real mother's day gift.

Not this year.

When I opened up my cute little gift bag and pulled out those two items...wow...I was beaming with joy. The contents of that little orange bag made a years worth of taking kids to the bathroom right when the waiter hands me my long-awaited tacos all worth it.

Running gear.

Who would have EVER in a million years thought that I would have EVER gotten excited about getting some running gear?

Not me.

I LOVE my neat, white, Nike chip do-dad that clicks into my ipod.

It tells me how fast I'm running.

It tells me how long I've run.

It TALKS to me over my awesome running music.

And...

Thankfully most people sit down to read blogs, because you need to be in the sitting position to hear something of this magnitude...

I, Heather Hendrick ran 3 MILES on Friday...running for a total of 32 minutes...never stopping...and I didn't die...as a matter of fact, I loved it and wanted to keep on running, but Hayden needed me to get a bug net out of the car for him, so I stopped running and made my son happy.

3 Miles!

The lady on the Nike Ipod said, "Congratulations, you just ran your longest run ever" I screamed, out loud, unconcerned about what the other moms at the park would think..."I know! Who am I?"

I mentally high fived Nike voice lady.

The other reason why I love this new Nike gadget is because it told me what my doof-wad problem was.

Want to know why I wasn't getting any better at running?

Want to know why I could only run 12-15 minutes and then almost throw up and die?

Because I was running about an 8 minute mile.

What is wrong with me?

Everyone kept saying, "I don't understand, Heather. If you run three times a week, this faithfully, you should be getting better."

I wasn't.

That's because I was sprinting...not jogging...

Now that I'm jogging, staying at a 10 minute mile, I feel like Forest Gump.

It's mind boggling to me.

3 miles

32 minutes of running

INSANE

Who's ready to buy some running shoes?

If I can do this ANYONE can.

ANYONE

Remember...I'm the girl that could tell no less than 50 funny stories about all the ways I got out of doing any sort of physical activity in school.

Maybe I should write some of those out this week.

If I would have spent as much time at school learning things as I spent creating ways to get around the P.E. system, I would be a stinkin' genius right now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Get your shoes on...and everyone push a little...



What is it about leaving home that makes kids have to poop?

Seriously...

What is it?

Every time we go anywhere, someone announces, after being at that some place for about 5 minutes that they have to poop.

We will have only been there 5 minutes!

Maybe I don't understand the inner workings of their insides, but I say, "How could you NOT have known 5 minutes ago that you were going to need to poop?"

While in the store, or at the park, some of my children say "I need to poop" louder than others.

We're still working on that...but they come by their "pride in their poop" honest. They can thank their Dad for their brilliance, their patience...AND their love of letting everyone know when they need to "go."

But I want to know what it is about leaving the house that makes my kids have to go.

Is it the lighting in the store?

The car ride?

Toby Mac?

The combination of the letters, H-E-B?

Big red bulls eyes?

Someone should study this.

I think if you sat my children in chairs and showed them random pictures, when it got to one with a red bulls eye on it, they would poop their pants.

Now, I've been saying right before we leave the house...

"Everyone listen up...I want you all to kind of push a little...like you're trying to poop...and if you feel anything down below...will you just go now, at home, where you can sit on the potty and I don't gag?"

I'll see if this improves anything and get back to you.

So far, there's just been lots of pre-leaving tooting...but unfortunately no pooping.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to My Show...


Is there anything funnier than listening to two little kids playing together?

After eavesdropping on Hayden and Reese playing, I decided to do an interview with these two crazy kids. The things they say separately are hilarious...together...they are pure entertainment.

They were very eager to do an interview, after they found out what an interview is. I sat them down next to me, asked them questions and typed their responses.

Where does the food at the grocery store come from?

Reese:

It's um...

They, um...

They cook it and then they put it on the shelf.

(thinking)

I think they get the food at the grocery store from a different grocery store.

Hayden:

Animals

Like, remember like, if you want some eggs, they come from chickens, because they lay eggs. This guy comes to the chicken place and takes their eggs to the grocery store.

Reese:

People just look for animals, find animals, kill animals and then people get bee's honey and bring it to the grocery store.

How do two people get married?

Reese:

They make friends for a long time. Then they get boyfriend and girlfriend, and they do that for a long time, and then they get married.

Hayden:

They find someone, pick them and they marry them.

But first, they get fallen in love.

(lots of giggling)

They are boyfriend and girlfriend. Then they become married. But, the girl has to have this big thing that goes on their head to get married.

So, how do you know if you found the right person to marry?

Reese:

God tells you.

Hayden:

You can just find someone you like and then you'll say, "Can I marry you?" Some day, they will say yes.

How do you know if two people are married?

Hayden:

You have to go to a place and live with each other and then you'll know if you're married. Oh, and you have to have a wedding ring.

Reese:

Well, um...if you remember that you got married, that would be good. Or, if you're just walking together or something then that means you're married I bet.

Where do grown ups get money?

Reese:

The bank.

Hayden:

AND, people give people money.

How do you think people decide what to name their babies?

Reese:

You just pick a name out that kids are supposed to have...but it needs to be a name that God made.

Hayden:

You just have to think of it. God thinks of it maybe and then He puts it in your head.

How old do you have to be to get married?

Reese:

30. That's how old my mom is, and she's married.

Hayden:

What about 25?

How do you know if you're ready to get married? And what do you need to get married?

Hayden:

You can ask someone, and maybe they will tell you. And you need a beautiful dress...the girl does.

Reese:

You have to get flowers to hold in your hand.

You need furniture. You need lights and beds and bathrooms.

Hayden:

You have to have money to get in the wedding place.

Hayden, what do you do if your wife makes you angry?

Hayden:

Pray to make them nice. And, I would give her a Bible...to be nice. And, I'll say, "Next time, you should be nice, and you should read your Bible I'm about to give you."

Reese, what do you do if your husband makes you angry?

Reese:

I would talk to him about it. I would say, "Stop being mean to me."




See...I told you. Kids are funny.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Welcome to Our Art Show


Lately, my baby has been bringing me pictures.

He says, "Look what I made!"

Then I take a look at the great drawing and say, "Really?"

Ashton says, "Yes. I made it."

Then, I have to go confirm with the other brothers.

Come to find out, Ashton really is a great artist! He's only four, and I'm super impressed with the things he draws.

Now, I will admit that it's VERY easy to impress me when it comes to drawing.

The only things I can draw are a coat hanger, a tepee and a butterfly. Really, that's all I can draw. If you ever find a piece of paper at church filled with weird phrases, decorated with butterflies, tepees and coat hangers...that's my paper.

I hate to admit it, but one time, I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about how awful it would be if the game Win Lose or Draw got popular again. When I started seeing jellys and leggings around town, I knew, Win Lose or Draw might be coming back with them. If David Hasselhoff resurrects the Win Lose or Draw game show, I don't know what I'll do. I hate that game. No one ever wants me on their team. I may never understand why people can't tell that when I draw a coat hanger with legs...it's no longer a coat hanger. What coat hanger has legs? No...if the coat hanger has legs, ANYONE should be able to tell that it's no longer a coat hanger...it's a person...my version of a person. What's wrong with people?

Maybe I make too big of a deal when my kids draw other things besides tepees...like animals and D.O. and tanks. I'm elated to see how much they love to draw. There are notebooks upon notebooks filled with their creations around this house. I can't throw them away, but I think Aaron sneaks and does throw them away sometimes. He's not as impressed since he can draw too. Aaron quit showing me his pictures years ago. I would get so excited, I wanted to frame all of them. When I showed them off, it embarrassed Aaron. He doesn't think he's as good of an artist as his wife does.

I'm telling you...I have problems when it comes to people I love drawing cool things. It makes me so excited. I'm overly encouraging. I want to buy them trophies. I show off the pictures Aaron's mom has painted and drawn that are hanging in my house to everyone. Sometimes I show the same person too many times. They end up saying, "Yes...I know. Aaron's mom drew that." People who can draw are SO amazing to me!

So...I thought I would share some of Ashton's cute drawings. I think for four years old, this is superb! True to Ashton's personality, he told me to write the names of the animals on the paper, using ONLY black marker...no other color!









Way to go, sweet boy! I know I'm your biggest fan, but I think you REALLY are such a great artist!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Six Years of Crazy


Happy Birthday Hayden!

Six years old?

How can this be?

Most people ask that question and then talk about how time flies by too quickly.

When I say, "Six years old? How can this be?" that means, "I can't believe he has lived this long!"

I'm not joking.

First, it was all his health issues. He was my only child allergic to everything, AND my only child who liked to lick everything. Not a good combination.

Then, it was his total lack of fear.

The health issues have practically gone away.

The total lack of fear...still there.

He had three near death experiences last week.

Three in ONE week.

I'm telling you...six years old...that's a MIRACLE.

First, I found him hanging off the balcony upstairs at church.

I grabbed him and then started crying. My legs were like Jello. They weren't even able to hold me up I was so afraid.

I said, "Did you know...you could have just died?"

I say that a lot to him...and I always, unfortunately mean it.

He was away from me for a total of 20 seconds, ran to the balcony, jumped up on it, was hanging over it talking to kids down below. He was halfway over the top of the rail! My heart is racing just typing this. The kids below...they were all screaming..."Hayden, get down. You'll fall." Ashton, standing upstairs with his brother was SCREAMING and crying, saying, "Mom...hurry...MOM!" It happened so fast.

I yanked Hayden down. I was in tears. Why did everyone else in the building know this was dangerous? But Hayden...nope...when I said, "You could have just died," he said CALMLY, "Oh. I didn't know."

Then, he decided to climb downstairs at the Garratt's house on the OUTSIDE of their staircase instead of inside it. Thankfully, I walked by before he got too far. Again...the "you could have died" speech came out of my mouth. He was HIGH in the air, and down below...nothing but hard floor.

THEN, the Garners invited us to come out to their cool place. At some point Hayden and Garratt decided to go find the momma horse and her baby horse. Sound precious?

All of a sudden, we hear horses galloping. They were coming fast...I could definitely tell that from all the noise. "What is happening," I said? I was expecting to see horses break out, into the clearing at any moment. I was NOT expecting Hayden to come out first, running and screaming. Pure TERROR was on his face.

All I could think was, "Oh crap. What has he done?"

The horses were right behind him, running fast...straight for him. It sounded like a bunch were coming, but in reality, there were only two. Thankfully, I didn't have to remind Hayden to be afraid. He was terrified. He ran to me, buried his head in my jacket and said, "I thought I was going to die." Well, at least that time, I didn't have to tell him.

But...that's my child.

Head first into danger.

The only child I have that would walk out into a pitch dark field he had never been in before looking for a horse he had never seen before.

I always think...

Hayden makes life happen and the rest of us just sit back and watch it.

That's how it goes in our house.

He is the source for much laughter, much drama...he makes our life magical and alive.

I love how Hayden feels everything intensely...joy...sadness...he teaches me so much about savoring all the beauty of life.

He laughs the hardest, he cries the hardest...really...just watching him live...truly live...is inspiring to me.

Listening to him laugh, holding him when he's crying and hearing him pray...there's nothing phony or hidden about Hayden. We all love that about him.

He's our frog catching, animal loving, crazy, rock star child.

He's the brother to call when the other two see something a little scary, or they are unsure...they get Hayden...he'll do it. They are all so strong in their own ways. I love the dynamic that exists between our three sons. Where one is weak, the others are strong. Where one is crazy, the others are sane.

Today we celebrate six years of never doing a single thing normal.

Hayden doesn't eat normal. He thinks we all eat supper so he can perform his dinner theater. He spills his drink at just about every meal.

He won't watch TV...he would rather make life happen than watch someone else's life happen.

He doesn't even walk around normal. If you watch him, at some point from A to B he will dance, or spin, or hop on one foot.

Happy Birthday Child.

Thank you for reminding me to live...to really live...to laugh, to cry, to shake what my momma made me if I feel like it.

You are one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted, precious, creative people I've ever met in my life. How thankful we are that you belong to us!

I pray we make it to seven sweet boy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fun Times, I Tell Ya! Fun Times!

I ADDED A LOT OF PICTURES AT THE BOTTOM
AND WROTE MORE ABOUT LAST NIGHT.


How do you drive in a wedding dress?

You don't!

I went over to Kirby's house to get ready.

I knew I couldn't drive in my dress, and I knew I would be hot once I was in my dress...and I also knew Kirby's house would be REALLY cold since she's pregnant. It was perfect.

How fun it was to get ready with my sweet Kirby.

I felt like I was in high school again.

Normally, I just get ready with boys in the bathroom, watching me putting on mascara, saying "Why are you doing that mom?"

It was nice to be in a bathroom with a girl again. I have missed that!

Kirby proved that no matter how hard she tries, she simply cannot pull of, "hideous." She's too beautiful. No matter how hard she tries to look like trash, she always looks gorgeous. I looked at her in the outfit she thought was over-the-top gross and thought, "I would let her be in my real life wedding looking like she does right now!"

Eating at Pei Wei was the best. A bunch of us were in line, and I heard a guy talking to someone. They were trying to decide what we were doing, without asking us. Finally he said..."They must be in a play!" Ha!
Look at these beautiful ladies!

I love these women.


I also love Pad Thai so much I would marry it.


Then we headed back to the church for cake. Caryl Merchant and Erin Whitley brought us the cutest wedding cake! Need a cake? Call Sweet Memories! That Erin Whitley...she knows how to make cute happen.

We ended up watching Runaway Bride.

We got to look through wedding albums and talk together...and snuggle up and watch a movie. It was a great night.

I should have asked the guys to come and decorate our cars with shoe polish while we were watching the movie. That's the only thing I regret...

But, my house was filled with boys watching Man Vs. Wild...so it would have been hard to tear them away from Bear Grylls doing something disgusting in Zambia.

Stephen Ward was at the "Big Event" taking pictures.

He'll have his photos up for us to look at/buy sometime on Sunday or Monday.

Until then, if you have pictures you are posting somewhere, will you send me the link so I can include them here?

What was your favorite part of the evening?

Did you learn anything wonderful from the ladies at your table?

Did you notice people noticing? I did!