Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mr. Freeze

Our spring break trip to Six Flags was a frigid one. Cold front. With no warm clothes except for the one pair of jeans and a hoodie I always pack in case of emergency. EMERGENCY! So we made a run to the Old Navy sale rack. But still not enough clothes. We froze our tails off. We were able to make it through, but it wasn't pretty. Kind of hard to believe sitting in the 110s of the summer (Blog has been back-dated.) that it was in the 40s that Sunday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fort Worth Zoo

A Little Spring Break Kickoff Trip ... The idea was to catch the weather just right before the heat of the summer. Little did we know what the next day would hold.
With that said, we loved the Fort Worth Zoo. And it was nice driving the kids around TCU, my almost alma mater.

Friday, March 25, 2011

She's my American Girl

Millie's First American Girl Doll

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I've Relished In Lately

* Abe's super cheesy smiles.
* Abe's hysterical laughs ... can't really describe it, but it's hysterics up many notches.
* Millie's dance moves -- in the hallway waiting area at dance, in the living room.
* Millie's conversations -- her vocabulary's out of this world, and her speech sounds so sweet. You can definitely tell she's becoming a young lady.
* The weather. Daddy grilled burgers for us last night, and we ate them in the back yard.
* The idea of moving to Texas -- bigger yard, bigger house, better jobs, better schools, more opportunities. I've mentally made a pros and cons list, and so far, there's not a single con on it. And if you know me, I'm looking hard for that negative ... It's just not there.
* So many friends are having babies. Today, two sweet friends were blessed with adopted babies. What blessings!
* Thinking about how far we've come from a year ago. Diagnosis Day is fast approaching. I want to make good memories and celebrate that day, so Millie will always think about the positive things in her life, know how brave she is and celebrate her good health!
* Humphrey Yogurts from Counter Culture
* Morning walks
* Finding out that a sweet smocked outfit I picked up at a local high-end consignment shop was made (smocked) by one of Millie's preschool staff member's moms and passed down through her family and the preschool family and finally to Little Millie. It gave her chills and me chills to think that dress has wandered around Shreveport for 15 years and basically ended up where it began.
So honored.
* The peace that comes from knowing your children are right where God wants them. Both have been blessed with terrific schools. I love each one and have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at both and watching how each has impacted my children's lives. Amazing to find the complete package for each child.
* S-L-O-W-L-Y but surely going through every nook and cranny of this place. I'm no where near finished, but it will feel so good to get rid of what is amounting to a storage room full of junk. I'm not taking crap to a new house!!!!
* Learning how to say a big-fat "NO!"
* The thought of getting my hair done in Dallas by my old hairdresser! I miss her!
* Scouting Dallas and praying for God's will. Pray that we'll be still long enough to listen. A move has been on our hearts for more than two years now, and patience is running low. But we can't help but feel God nudging us. Pray we'll follow his lead ... wherever that may be.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First T-ball Practice

Shreveport Little League Wee Ball 2011
The Thunder

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Boy, oh, boy am I lucky to be her momma! She has a whole day of fun planned for her at school. I'm looking forward to hearing all about the trap The Rainbows set for that pesky little leprechaun. Abe and I are going to party at a local bookstore this morning. Hopefully, the evening will include a hearty Irish meal. Afterall, we are Irish -- descendents of the O'Roberts, who according to my late great-Uncle Bob were thieves (shhhhh!) before leaving Ireland! So kiss us and watch your pot o' gold!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Play Ball!

My little guy is registered for wee ball! Can you believe it's that time already? I'll admit I've dreamed about it for a long time. Pregnant, I dreamed of a little dark-haired boy in a too big ball hat and jersey. At the time, I thought if they went with first names on their little jerseys, his would say "Eli." How cute would it be to say, "Hit the ball, Eli" "Run, Eli!" "Yay, Eli!"? Ha, Brother has been many things, but he is finally "Abram" and will most likely be "Abe" on the ball field.
Daddy's got a lot of work ahead of him this spring. He was so excited, though. He went straight to Academy and bought a tee and balls and bat. We left the glove for The Special Visit with Brother. Every little boy should be with his daddy to pick out his first ball glove.
Looking forward to the season!

Timeless Traditions

At the end of February, my sweet mother-in-law, Millie's Becca, treated us with two tickets to "Timeless Traditions." We awoke early that Saturday morning in our finest, well Millie was in her finest -- her red Crewcuts dress, cardi and new saddle shoes. Annabelle came along with us. Grandma Vicky and Aunt Joann gave her to Amelia when she was a baby, and we finally opened her the night before the big event.
Our adventure began at the old Dixie Theatre in Ruston. Even though I spent one too many years in college, I never went inside the Dixie. So it was certainly a treat to get to go inside the historic building. Inside, we registered to win an American Girl Doll. Millie does not have one of these. With each passing birthday and Christmas, Daddy and I debate on whether she is ready to care for one. It may be time. It astonished me that some of the children attending had as many as 5! We chose seats in the middle of the theater so we could see the movie "Chrissa Stands Strong." It was an American Girl movie. It was so cute and had such a great message. It was funny to me that the mom in the movie used to play the child in the movies I watched as a child. Guess we all have to grow up sometime.
After the movie, they held the drawing for the doll. Millie did not win. And when I looked down at her, her eyes started welling up. Oh no ... meltdown! The last time Millie entered a contest, she won a bike! So the lesson that we can't win everything hadn't presented itself yet.
We took a quick trip to the potty to recover. And I think somewhere in there I promised an American Girl doll. Yikes!
Regrouped, we walked from the theater to the James house, a beautiful old white house on the main street there in Ruston. The girls were divided into groups -- etiquette class, refreshments and photo. We had the class first. There were about four beauty queens there explaining what it means to be a lady. After that, we had refreshments. Luckily, we ran into the Brashers. They are such beautiful women. And I had the pleasure of seeing their girls/sisters and meeting their new adopted daughter/sister on her birthday! I was so excited. Both are just precious!
Millie enjoyed a tea sandwich, M&Ms, a petit four and water. We enjoyed our snacks on the lawn of the house. It was beautiful but very windy. I was able to take a few pics of Millie outside. Then we made our way into the big house once again for Millie's photo. After her photo, we toured the house. Millie was very intrigued by the organ and the painted portraits. She wanted to know who the people were. After a few more pics, we began our walk back to the theater and then home.
It was such an enjoyable little tea and movie. It felt so good to spend time with Millie alone. She's such a joy! We loved the Timeless Traditions event and can't wait for next year! Thank you, Becca! You will most definitely have to come with us next time!

Monday, March 14, 2011

'Imperfect Mom Tired of Braggers'

Talk about an attention-grabber. Ha. This (from made me chuckle at myself and other moms I know. I had to share.
I so can relate with the slamming the door to potty statement. I haven't read her blog before. I checked it out. The first post I encountered was a bit liberal for my taste. But I like what she had to say in her CNN article.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Have I Told You Lately ...

that I want to move?
Well, I do.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Dreams are Made Of

In my mom's culture, signs are prevalent as are old wives' tales. Have you ever heard of Evil Eye? Silly, I know.
Ultimately, though, our faith is in God alone. And I'm pretty sure HE sent me a sign in a dream this afternoon.
A few months ago, my mom approached me about helping find my grandfather's family. I worked at one time as a librarian in the local genealogy hub. So, I thought this would be easy and fun -- like solving a mystery.
Well, unfortunately, there's little to go on ... except this information shared by momma.
At 15 months, my grandfather's mother (my great-grandmother) died giving birth to a little girl, Maria Angelina. It was a choice between her or her baby girl, and she chose herself. Only six months later, the baby girl would pass away, too. My great-grandfather, being a single working dad now, sent my grandfather to live with family, particularly plenty of aunts. My grandfather returned to Mexico where he met and married another woman and had children with her. One day, they came back for my grandfather. Papaw was very ready to rejoin his family only he overheard his stepmother say she did not want him. So when his father later approached him about coming to live with him, my grandfather said no, that he wanted to stay with extended family. It was not until he was an adult that papaw reunited with his half-brothers and sisters. He never knew much of anything about his mother. On his birthday, Oct. 4 1989, one of the aunts who had helped raise him decided she would give him papers about his family she had held on to and kept from him for many years -- birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. My grandfather was never able to look at the information. He died the next day, Oct. 5, 1989, of a massive heart attack.
My grandmother would later put away the papers for safe keeping. Unfortunately, age has set in and a couple of moves later, and Grandma can't remember what she did with the papers. My aunt did find something behind a photograph.
Recently, she and my mom have taken up the challenge of finding my grandfather's family. Not sure why the urge to pursue now, but of course I want to help. I guess age and the realization of our own immortality drives us. For me, Millie's diabetes spurs me. What if she or another member of the family needed something medically? Or maybe there are cousins who need us?
So mom and I have been discussing, and I have begun researching. It's been on my mind.
But today, my Papaw paid me a visit.
I was having what used to be a typical dream for me as a sorority rush advisor -- a sorority recruitment dream. You know where you plan an event and you're not ready. Anyway, I was in a room full of sorority sisters and then I turned around, and all of a sudden I was outside with all of my family. I mean everyone. My mom kept saying an announcement would be made soon! I was for sure it was that my cousins were expecting again. All of a sudden, a bus headed over a hill toward us. I could tell by shadows, it was full of people. Immediately, I began sobbing. I turned over my shoulder. And there he was. My grandfather. He stood there silently looking out over the land. I walked over to him and hugged him so tight. He never said anything but hugged me back. Amazing how you can feel and smell and touch someone in a dream. I turned and told my family, "It's papaw's family." We all ran to the bus to meet them. Everyone, except papaw. I startled awake, crying. I cried trying to figure out what had just transcribed in my sleep. And once I composed myself, I called my mom to tell her.
She got the same out of my dream. My papaw had come to tell us he wants us to pursue our search for his mother's family, and he will guide us to them. Eventually, we will find someone. Mom thinks he did not come with us because he knows who they are already. He's in heaven, probably even with some of them. He knows who they are. I thought that was such a lovely sentiment.
Mom encouraged me to compose myself. She knows this is a "sign" God sent to let us know this is something that would certainly please my grandfather. And yes, I cried because of this revelation. But also because I have so very few dreams with my grandfather in them. I was so grateful to see and touch him.
What a precious gift!

The Lucky Swimsuit

Is nowhere to be found. My guess is it was tossed in the garbage. After swim, it goes in a plastic shopping bag in the laundry room. And Daddy must have mistaken it for a bag of garbage. It was yellow. It had a tutu. It was precious. And it was lucky!
I promised a replacement, so we returned to Old Navy. No yellows. Only Easter egg pink. We bought that one in the meantime.
But looky, looky what I've found here (WWW.JANIEANDJACK.COM)!

How convenient. New rules for advanced swimmers say that have to wear goggles and in some cases swim caps. Millie isn't advanced yet. Although, she did recently just graduate from preschool beginner. But these are too presh to pass up!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Civilization Fair

On Friday, Eric, Millie and I had the opportunity to visit Brother's school for civilization fair. Each grade of lower school is assigned a civilization to study for six to nine weeks. In the curriculum, the students are immersed in the culture -- art, science, social studies, music, etc.
We thought Abe was performing. Turned out he didn't but did parade in his costume. PS3 studied Africa, so he wore a colorful tunic and cylindrical shaped hat he had decorated with shapes. So cute. His had trouble staying on. Even cuter!!!
(Funny aside: We hadn't received any notes about the performance other than there was going to be a fair. When I asked Abe if he was singing. He said, "No." When I asked if he needed anything for a costume. He told me he needed tights. Good thing I didn't listen!!!)
We watched the fair and were able to sit by the Parents Association president who helpfully narrated us through our first fair! It was very enjoyable. I think the vikings were our favorite, only because of Eric the Red!! Millie was very excited to read her daddy's name in the program. Afterward, we were able to visit Abe's classroom and see all the fun projects he had been working on. He and his classmates showed us the "savannah" they had been growing and all the fun artwork.
It was a another great event at that little school. We fall more and more in love each time we're there! When it was time to leave, Abe had the option of coming home with us. But guess what! He wanted to stay! Couldn't tear him away. And well, that's just comforting to a momma. Congrats on your first civilization fair, Abe!

Easy, Cheesy

Lucky me! On my day to volunteer at Millie's preschool I was copying some little leprechauns, when lo and behold one of the teachers walked in with the "recipe of the week" -- broccolli soup. On that particular day, it didn't sound so appealing because, well, it was HOT. Turns out, Mother Nature was only teasing us with warm weather. Today was a bit chilly. So thankfully, I had asked for the copy of the recipe. I think the note at the top of the recipe sealed the deal: "You can't 'goof' up this recipe!"
And I didn't!
Here it is:
Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 stick of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of chicken broth (I used 99% fat free, no added MSG)
1/4 lb. Velveeta cheese (2%)
1 jar jalapeno Cheez Whiz (could not find jalapeno; so sad)
3 cans cream of mushroom soup (used the fat free)
1 cup of milk (2%; next time I'll try with our regular skim)
1 large bag of frozen chopped broccoli (steam in a bag, baby!)
Cook broccoli according to package directions. Saute onions in butter. Add broth and cheese and heat until blended. Add soup, milk and cooked broccoli. Simmer.

It made a pretty big pot. Next time, I might try olive oil instead of butter. But then again, it might be the butter that really sends this over the edge. The soup was so yummy! I boiled some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them up and then poured the soup over it. I didn't do so well at counting the carb as I made, but there is some. Now I know what you're thinking -- Velveeta and Cheez Whiz -- this thing has to taste like plastic. But no, sir, it does not! Try it. Tastes good alone, will taste good over some brown rice, which may be a side to some turkey meatloaf tomorrow night.
Talk about the right place at the right time! Lucky little leprechauns!

Krewe of Highland

Is it weird to want to cry at a parade? Today, I certainly wanted to. It was more of a celebratory urge. This time last year we were unknowingly in the midst of the beginning of our journey with type 1 diabetes. My little Millie was rather sick with UTI No. Who Knows. Yet, she wanted some kind of fun in what was probably one of the darkest times in her little life. She championed through the parade last year. By the end, she was crying and thirsty, ready for home.
This year was so different! She had been looking forward to the parade all week. And she had a blast, smiling, dancing around, waving for beads, sitting on her daddy's shoulders. The weather was beautiful -- sunny and clear -- a little cold but once you got to moving around for those throws, it was easy to get sweaty. The children loved seeing their librarian Doctor Spaghetti. She threw ... You guessed it! Spaghetti! Unfortunately, we didn't catch it. Wink, wink! Abe looked so tiny amid the crowd, but he waved his little hands like no other! On our way home, we ran into Little Pumpkin Grace and her mommy, daddy and brother! It was great to see friends. We love this little family friendly parade. Next year, we will either walk to it from our house or ride in with our own float! Maybe a JDRF float? Now that would be fun ... a bunch of diabetic children throwing healthy snacks!
All in all, a grand day honoring traditions, celebrating culture, spending time with family and praising victories. This one is hers!