Friday, October 24, 2014

InstaOctober 2014

Instagram + October = InstaOctober

Life is busy this time of year.  Who am I kidding?  Life is hectic no matter what time of year it is, and the month of October is no exception. The school year is in full swing.  We've been going to Ben's  soccer games on the weekends.  Will's involved with academic UIL at school.  We've been working at the land clearing brush and burning it.  Add normal everyday stuff into the mix and it makes for a full schedule.  All good things that we're thankful to have time for.  

Life is busy but it's good.

Here are the many things filling our days.

Will has been practicing to make the chess team for academic UIL.  Mark and I don't know how to play chess (shocking, I know! shame on us) and we downloaded an app on the iPad to teach him.  Will also plays against the computer to learn.  His chess teacher is really encouraging and I think he's learned a lot in a just a few weeks.  Ben will probably end up learning just because Will is so interested.  Here they are playing a game.  I use the term "playing" loosely but you know what I mean.

We're making progress clearing trees and burning brush at the land. There's still a lot of work to do before we're ready to build but every little bit of work done now is less to do later.  

Ben has some silly ideas.  On the night I took this photo, Ben was pretending that the bathtub was a coffee shop.  He lined up all the plastic cups I keep in the tub for them to play with.  I had to order a drink and play along.  In case you were wondering, I had a white chocolate mocha.

My sweet mother-in-law, Carol, had a birthday at the beginning of the month.  We celebrated her birthday by taking her out to eat TexMex.  It was impossible to get a photo of her with both boys cooperating so I took several and made a collage of the best ones.  Will and Ben sure do love their Mamaw Carol and so do we!

The boys go through phases with the toys we own.  We've had these puzzles for years and they normally don't pay any attention to them.  For some reason they decided to put them together.  They like anything that has to do with space and planets. I think Mark enjoyed learning about those things when he was a boy.  I know they didn't inherit those genetics from me. 

One of the funniest photos of the month.  On Instagram I said, "Transformers have destroyed the United States and they are about to take over the universe!" 

We don't make it to many of our niece's volleyball games, but we always have a good time watching her play.  She threw a personalized volleyball to the boys in the stands.  They love it!

I don't think this photo ever made it on Instagram.  We were running errands at Watters Creek.  Ben found a leaf on the ground while we were shopping.  When we got to Anthro I made the boys pose for a photo by the autumn leaves window display.  Ben proudly held up the leaf he found. 

On that same day, we hung out at Starbucks for a little while.  I love the weekend!

Weekends in the fall mean college football and the NFL.  Mark watches both, but he really loves professional football.  The Cowboys are his team.  They've been doing awesome but some of the games have been close.  It's so stressful and intense that I have to distract myself with Pinterest. 

Look what I found at Trader Joe's!  These cookies are awesome.  The calorie count, not so much.
It's time to bring back the Chai Tea Latte at night.  Mark and I treat ourselves to one now that it's cooler weather.  And by cooler weather I mean not 108 degrees.  It's been in the 80s.  

I've taken some photos of Ben using my DSLR, and now I just need to get them on my computer and the blog.  He's so stinkin' cute!

Who has seen Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible....?  We thought it was really funny.
The boys love going to the movies and eating popcorn.

We had to go to Cabela's.  

Fascinating fish

That's all for now.  I have more photos to share but not enough time.  
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cousin Time

My boys are blessed to have lots of cousins in their lives.  On my in-law's side there are lots of cousins, which we are lucky to get to see a lot.  Since my brothers live in Virginia we don't get to spend as much time as we'd like with that side of our family.  I've always tried to look on the bright side and since we don't get to see them as often, we consider the time we do spend with them extra special.  This summer they were visiting Texas and we had a super fun afternoon hanging out together.  We grilled burgers and let the kids swim and play in the backyard.  The day ended in an unexpected way (remember Will's tooth incident) but like family does, they were there to support us through that stressful situation and take care of us when we needed help the most. 

Here are a few photos from their visit this summer.

My niece Ella is close to the age of Ben.  She and the boys had fun in the pool.

They also played with the giant sprinkler ball. 

Lily just turned two.  She and Ella are just too cute!
My brother Chris and sister-in-law Laura sure do have adorable kiddos!

My niece Cassidy is gorgeous.  She's old enough to be in Junior High.  How can that be? Since she's the age of the students Mark and I teach, it was fun to talk to her and hear all about what's going on in her life.  She told us about the latest apps on her iPhone.  She told us about school.  She loves shopping just like me!  We went to the mall and she bought some cute clothes, and then we ate dinner at Taco Diner.  It was fun to hang out with her and my brother Brian.

Even though our visits are few and far between there's still a special bond with our family.  
We love them a lot and we cherish our time together.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Morning Encouragement Hebrews 12:1

{Monday Morning Encouragement} 

Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"

Monday, October 13, 2014

That There's A Swimming Pool...

It's the coldest day of the fall so far, and I've finally decided to share some photos from this summer.   This blog post has been saved as a draft for months, but I never found time to publish it.  It's all about our "redneck" swimming pool.  Our little above ground swimming pool is always a highlight of the summer for the boys.  When I shared some photos on Instagram this summer I said, "That there's a swimming pool boys.  Don't go falling in love with it now because we're taking it down in a couple of months."  Just like  Cousin Eddie said on Christmas Vacation in regards to his RV, ha!

Will and Ben have the most fun in the pool when friends come over.  Their very favorite guest is Maggie.  She comes up with all sorts of creative games to play in the pool.  I'm boring and don't like to play.  I prefer being left alone to lounge on a floating mat.  See what I mean,  I'm no fun.

These photos of Ben's hair are hilarious.

Ben was finally tall enough this year that he didn't have to wear floaties.  He was so excited to get to swim like Will. 

Will hates the bright sunlight so he always has to wear his sunglasses.

The best belly flop award goes to Will!  I love this photo!

Since I'm in the mood to post photos from summer, in a few days I'll blog about the visit from my family in Virginia.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Morning Encouragement Isaiah 40:8

{Monday Morning Encouragement}

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades, 
but the word of our God stands forever.

Are you in need of encouragement?  
Maybe you need advice.
Do you need comforting?

The word of God is where you should turn.  Things, people, and circumstances can all change, but we have the word of God to cling to.  It's a constant.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Life This Week

Photos from this week.

Will and Ben are really patient when they wait for us after school.  The school day isn't over for them when the bell rings because that's the life of a teacher's child (or for these guys--both parents are teachers, bless their hearts!).  While we finish up, they get to play on the computers in our classroom and eat snacks.  I took this of the boys in Mark's classroom just before we went home.  I thought they looked really cute with their backpacks on.

Ben's my "helper" when I buy groceries.  On Friday night, we like to "go to town" and my favorite thing is Super Target.  It's our fun getaway after the work week.  Yes, I did just say "fun getaway".  I live in a small town and Super Target is a big deal. When one is at Super Target to buy groceries they might end up with a chess/checkers/and "that other game no one ever plays" set.  I'm not sure why Ben wanted to pose with it.  Also, please disregard how many times I just used quotation marks.   

The Super Target we like to shop at is just across the street from Whole Foods.  Will thinks it's fun to try on the glasses.  Don't worry!  We didn't let him keep them on for long.  I know it's not good for his eyes.  Mark and I both wear glasses so I think the boys want a pair of glasses, too.  We hope their eyesight is much better than ours so they don't have to wear them.

While at Whole Foods we picked up these cupcakes.  My blog friend Nicolle does a cute thing called "cupcake Friday" and it made me think of her.  This is our family's first "cupcake Friday".  Any excuse to buy cupcakes works for me.  I didn't let the boys in on the secret that "cupcake Friday" is a thing or they would want them each week.  Maybe I didn't let them know because I would always give in and get them.  Who doesn't love cupcakes?

There was a big storm that passed over our area on Thursday afternoon.  It didn't last long but it was intense.  The boys didn't like the thunder and electricity flickering on and off.  They wanted to snuggle up beside me while it passed.  I didn't mind the extra cuddles at all.  We decided to take a selfie in the storm. It was a good distraction.

One more photo from this week.  
Mark reading a story to the boys was a sweet moment. I love how they are listening so intently.  I sure do love these guys and feel lucky to have them in my life.  Mark doesn't like me to take his photo, but I wanted to save this memory. LOVE!


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