Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Pictures!

Click to play Christmas 2008

Christmas Eve, we had the Groves over for dinner and advent.

Every Christmas Eve, we have a huge meal that is sort of a medley of everyone's favorite foods.

We eat Poor Man's Lobster (chicken that you dip in butter), rice pilaf, asparagus, shrimp, corn on the cob, homemade bread and we drink cranberry limeade. Yum!

Then we did advent. It was so sweet to have the Groves with us.

Hayden loves telling the Christmas story. His favorite part is when he holds up two angels on both sides of his head and acts like he is one of the angels coming to the shepherds. He says something like..."I'm the big headed angel, bringing you great joy. Don't be afraid." He's so strange.

Aaron did a mini-candlelight service with us. We had a candlelight service at our church, but we promised the boys we would do it at home, because they did not get to have their own candles at the church. I was singing, and there wasn't anyone to watch them, so they sat on the back row of the church and were told not to get a candle.

Aaron told Anson, "We'll do a candlelight service at home, since there isn't a grown up with you."

During the last song...holy cow, I looked back in the back and there was Anson...holding fire.

I was so nervous.

I didn't know how he got a candle!

Someone gave him one.

Already, he was getting a "talking to" when we got home for not doing exactly what we said.

In the car Anson's defense was..."You said a grown up had to do it, and a grown up gave me the candle."

Okay...that was sort of understandable.


At one point, towards the end, I looked back there and oh my word, Anson had given the candle to Hayden.

I almost ran off the stage.

Sure enough...Hayden only stood there still with the candle for oh...two words of the song...and then he disappeared under the row of chairs. Yep...I just knew the church was about to catch on fire. Thankfully someone intervened.

So, to Anson I said..."I can sort of understand taking the candle since a grown up gave it to you, but what on EARTH made you think giving it to Hayden was a good idea."

Anson sat there...then he calmly said...

"I don't know. I shouldn't have done that."



So...we had our own candlelight service at home close to a fire extinguisher.

The boys loved having their very own fire in their hands. Of course, it was only reverent for a moment, until Hayden realized if he held his up high in the air, he looked like the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes...seriously...this kid is too much.

We sang Happy Birthday to Ashton.

We ate cake and key lime pie for dessert.

We opened Christmas pajamas, washed, wrapped and ready to wear. We started this tradition when Anson was born.

Then we stayed up way too late with the Groves.

I'm too old for that!

So fun. Enjoy the pics.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Five Years Old

Happy Birthday Punkin' Doodle Head

5 years ago today I went to my doctor's office for a check up before Christmas.

I heard him say...

"You're at a six Heather...go to the hospital."

Who knew.

I was so miserable for the week before Ashton was born, that I didn't even know I was in actual labor.

I got to the hospital.

The nurse checked me...then without saying anything said...

"I'll be right back."


A new nurse came in...an older nurse.

She checked me.

Then she said..."Your baby is head down?"

"Yes! My baby is head down. He has been for a long time."

"Well," she said, "I'm feeling something really pointy on his head."

Then, she said..."I'll be right back."

I immediately started crying.

Right then, I was trying to come to grips with the fact that my baby would be ugly.

I turned to Aaron, and through my tears I said, "We're having a rhinoceros...or a unicorn."

lots more crying

It was hard to take in without lots of crying.

Just a little while later, my doctor came in.

He doesn't usually show up until the grand finale, so this was odd.

He checked me.

I wanted to make an announcement..."If anyone else in the hospital is interested in checking me...why don't you just bring them in."

Then he said...

This baby is coming out hand first.

His head is down, but his arm is raised above his head.

No c-section needed.

We'd deliver him the normal way.

And sure enough...

When it was time to push, a tiny hand came out first.

My doctor said, "Take a picture of this!"

What? No! Cameras in my delivery rooms are for above the waist ONLY shots.

Before the cameras started firing away, I at least got my doctor to cover me up with blue paper. Sheesh.

Doctor Davis took pictures of a baby hand, holding his hand, before that baby's body ever presented.

And that's how Ashton made his arrival.

What a special boy.

We love you sweet baby.

Your voice...your kindness...your sillyness...the way you serve us and your brothers...we see pieces of all of us inside of you.

I love how you love Hudson, and how you ask for a sister almost every day.

I love that home is your favorite place to be. You don't understand why your brothers ever want to leave here and go to a friend's house.

Your heart is here...with your family.

Or maybe your heart is here because there is always a lot of food here.

Cookies and cupcakes are still your love language.

We adore you Christmas Eve baby!

Five years old...I can hardly believe it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stupidity Clause

I love my husband.

He's funny.

genuinely, creatively, spur of the moment funny.

He just called me and told me he had to poop.

This won't embarrass him.

If you were here, he'd tell you he needed to poop.

That's just what he does.

It's definitely a quirky thing about him that NO ONE expects from him.

I bet that's why he does it.

Most women should not write about their husband's bowels on their blog.

It might be humiliating and disrespectful to most men.

Not for my husband (and weirdly enough, not for my brother either. Lynsey could write about this kind of thing and Jason would be so proud).


On the phone, he tells me he needs to poop.

But he's in Wal-Mart.

I shudder.

That image right there almost makes me gag.

Now that everyone knows what public potties do to me, I don't have to elaborate.

I say, "You better not poop in Wal-Mart. That's so gross, I would never let you sit on our furniture or get in our bed again. I might have to divorce you."

Usually Aaron argues with me when I justify a new reason for divorce. He goes all "Jesus" on me.

My latest made-up, marriage loop hole is the stupidity clause.

It goes something like this...

"I will stay married to you unless you do something so stupid that does NOT kill you...it only severely injures you. If you do something so stupid, that everyone we know agrees was super stupid*, then if you end up in a wheel chair wearing the "oops I crapped my pants" diapers, I'm sending you back to your mother."

Sorry Grandma and Poppi. I'll drop your crippled son off on your front porch in the middle of the night. (I'll bring his diapers)

Now, if Aaron gets injured in a normal way...or it is an accident, and ends up in a wheel chair, that's different. I will love and serve him faithfully until I die. Accidents happen, and I will get to learn how to love Aaron in sickness, like I've loved him in health.

But I'm married to a man that thinks hanging off of roofs is fun, and doing acrobats off of ladders as tall as our church is a thrill. Crazy!! I can't make him stop that stuff. He won't agree to quitting. Instead, he bought a gigantic life insurance policy on himself. I guess that's something.

When someone comes to me and says, "You ought to see what your husband is doing. He's insane," I calmly say..."I don't want to see what he is doing, but will you go in there and say this to him..."Your wife wants to remind you of the stupidity clause."

On the phone today, instead of arguing that marriage is forever, even if diapers are involved, or Wal-Mart bathrooms, Aaron instead said...

"I know. I wouldn't poop here. I think you could definitely argue marital unfaithfulness and legitimately divorce me since I might get as many diseases sitting on a Wal-Mart potty as I would picking up a prostitute."

Much laughter from the wife.

He's a funny man.

* I imagine the process of determining whether I change Aaron's diapers for life, or send him to his mother to go like this...I get all our friends together. I tell them what Aaron did to cause the injury. I will probably be saying something like..."He was at the river. A group of guys were with him. There was a rope swing. The other guys were saying, "How will we know if the water is deep enough?" And then Aaron said, "I'll go see" and then he did a back flip, off the swing into the shallow water and broke his neck. Raise your hand if you think that was stupid. If the majority thinks it was, then I'm packing his "Going to Grandma's" suitcase.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


...meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. Its purpose is to clear one's mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let his truth make its full and proper impact on one's mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God's power and grace. (from Knowing God by J.I. Packer)

Monday, December 15, 2008


This is what happens

when you have three older brothers.

Will he survive?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Memory Lane

When I can't sleep at night, sometimes it's because I'm anxious.

That's not good.

And so...I remember that I'm supposed to cast all my cares on Jesus (as in, throw them on Him) because He cares about me. I remember I can't worry, because Jesus says not to do that.

But sometimes, I can't sleep because my brain won't shut off.

It's not worrying. It's not anxious.


It is rearranging furniture, in my house...and in friend's houses.

It is picking new paint colors for me...and for you maybe.

It starts trying to remember all the words to stupid, weird songs like Baby's Got Back.

My brain walks me down the halls of old houses I lived in growing up. My brain makes me open all the cabinets in the bathrooms, remembering what was inside them.

Dippidy Do. Anyone remember that hair goo? It was on the second shelf in the right side of the white cabinet in my house on Marlene.

I know...

It's weird.

I'm sure I could pay someone a lot of money to tell me how weird it is.

Last night, while in my bed, looking at the insides of my eyelids, trying to drift off to sweet sleep, my brain was on a bike.

It was riding down my old streets in my old neighborhoods. It was trying to remember all the names and addresses of places where I used to live, and where my friends lived. It was trying to remember Mrs. Baty's house and all her snails. I rode past the twin's house, whose dad looked like the man on the movie, Clue. I rode through the ally between my house and Robin Black's house and wondered what she's doing now. I got lipstick on her Cabbage Patch doll's cloth arm. It never came out, and I never fessed up to it.

I finally fell asleep, but I woke up this morning wishing I could drive to Deer Park and see my old houses and my old neighborhoods. I woke up wishing I could drive there, all by myself, park my car on one of my old streets and then...ride my bike in all the same places I grew up riding my bike...that Baptist church...San Jacinto Elementary School...the hardly ever used baseball fields.

That would be so fun.

It would be odd, I'm sure. I would feel like I was in another world...not quite right, but pleasantly amused.

It would be like going back to your elementary school after a long absence.

It feels as fascinating and creepy as watching Alice in Wonderland.

Everything is the way you remember it, and yet nothing is.

It seems as if you have swallowed the little tart that says, "Eat me" because you're the wrong size...or maybe the toilets are...it's so hard to tell.


So this morning, I don't know what made me do it, but while my kids were busy at the table complaining about their copy work, I sat here, at this computer and google mapped my childhood neighborhoods.

I was expecting to see familiar street names...there were two I couldn't remember, so my brain would be made happy to have the holes of my neighborhood grid filled in completely.

I found something far more engaging.

Google has this feature called, "street view." It's incredible.

I could practically ride down my streets, turning and looking at all the old houses. I would go to my old houses, turn and stare at them...right there, in real, computer life on my screen. You can stand in the street and stare at your house without anyone honking, or the people who live in your old house calling the police.

Isn't that amazing?

So for those of you as old as I am...or older...you could go, right now and walk down memory lane...practically in real life.

You can stand in front of your old houses.

You can stand in front of your elementary school.

You can stand in front of your old church.

I've just had such a freaky, wonderful morning!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Snow in Texas?

No way!

The boys were super excited this morning.

I've never seen them get dressed so fast.

Anson and Hayden had lots of fun.

There is a snowball in my freezer.

Ashton would go outside, and then come in crying..."It's so cold. I'm so cold."

That's my boy.

Cold hurts me, disables me, and makes me want to cry.

As I was getting ready I heard this in the kitchen...

Hayden: You get the hot water ready.

Anson: Okay, go outside and do it and I'll bring the hot water out there.

That's when I decided to intervene.

Me: Do what?

Hayden: (extremely excited, as if this is still a good idea, even with his mother looking at him like he's lost his mind) I'm going to go stick my tongue on that pole out there. (He starts jumping up and down so excited.)

It is a MIRACLE this child is still alive...a miracle.

Apparently, he saw this on America's Funniest Home Videos.

I told him he was not sticking his tongue to a pole.

"What? Why?" he asked...like I'm the crazy one.

To this I replied...

"Hayden, I have not had enough coffee this morning to deal with you. Please go do your math."


Monday, December 08, 2008

Black Mole

To my sister Carrie

The Black Spot (from the book pictured above)

That black spot on your palm.

It never goes away.

So long ago

I can hardly remember,

I stabbed you with a pencil.

Part of the lead, there,

still inside you.

And inside me, too,

something small and black.

Hidden away.

I don't know what to call it,

the nugget of darkness,

that made me stab you.

It never goes away.

Both marks, still there.

Small black


by Alyssa

Saturday, December 06, 2008

One of our Favorite Things

I don't know if any house that has a boy in it should be without this book.

You can watch this video to get an idea of what is inside this great find.

We have loved this book so much, that we are going to use it for something Aaron and I have been wanting to do for a couple years.  A Dangerous Book for Boys Club.  Coming soon!

Check these out as well!

The Dangerous Book for Boys Board Game

Things to Know

Things to Do

How to Get There Kit

Nature Kit

Friday, December 05, 2008

Edit Your Dictionary Please

There has been a new entry this morning in the Ashton Dictionary.

Neck Chunks n : The things the Ninja Turtles use to hit bad guys.

This weapon will never ever, no never, be called nun chucks ever again in this house.

Never ever.

In the house of Hendrick, we poot the cheese and beat up bad guys with neck chunks.

Got it?

For kicks, you should let your kids look at this picture and tell you what Ashton is holding.

It will be funny.

Apparently no one really knows exactly what these things are called.

It took me a while to find the real name for them online.

If I had to guess, I would have said they were numb chucks.

I kind of knew I didn't actually know what they were called, because I remember avoiding saying this word in a group of people, and when I had to say it, I sort of made sure I mumbled it.

Ask your kids...and tell me what they say those things are.

This will make me laugh.

The word, "Nun chucks" is as elusive and weird as ninjas themselves.