Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'll remember for you

This last weekend, Greg made preparations for next weekend. What I mean can be summed up with two words - DEER SEASON. This next weekend is opening weekend, so the preceding trip is all about preparation. Apparantly, it is no fun to get all geared up to look like part of a tree, climb up in a stand in another tree at a unmentionable time of the morning (which for all pruposes can still be called night), settle in silently waiting, and then never have your feeder go off. Hee-hee. It kinda makes me laugh to think about, but it's so not funny. Anyway, Greg went to the lease.

So, the boys and I (all healed up and well) went to visit my Mom. My Granny was going to be at her house for the weekend as well. My sweet Granny has some form of dementia, and she has a really hard time remembering. Most of it, you have to let it go only because it makes you too sad to dwell on. And, sometimes, she's clear as a bell and can carry a conversation on about people and places. Most of the time, though, we remembered for her and did a lot of reminding. One of the boys favorite part of the weekend was when she offered to read a book, because they never turn that down. And, Granny delivered - snuggling and reading several books to the boys...

Saturday afternoon brought more bonus visitors. My sister-in-law came and brought their two sons. Daniel is 9 days older than Cameron, and the boys had a lot of fun playing together. Katin is now 6 months old, and he had a lot of fun letting me hold him. My mom had bought a Halloween cookie kit for the boys to decorate cookies...and eat cookies

or at least, lick all the icing off and eat the little candies that came with it...

Well, Granny quickly decided she needed to be in on the fun, so she asked for a cookie to decorate...

and then she asked for some pointers from Daniel.

It was a fun weekend - a little crazy, but fun

and exhausting...

Oh, and for those of you worried; the deer feeder was operating in perfect form!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We did survive the Swine in '09, and with only very minor suffering. I am slightly out of sorts trying to catch up from the last week, though.

Last Monday started like any great Monday. Cameron and I went to Bible Study, then to the grocery store. The first couple of aisles, Cameron was chatting happily and singing. About 10 minutes after arriving though, I noticed his eyes watering, his face paled, and he was shivering. I felt him, and he was suddenly burning up. I asked him if he felt okay, and he said "yes" but that he wanted to go home. He had no complaints other than being cold. We went home, took meds, and he took a fantastic nap. The fever had broken by the time he got up, and he played happily that night slightly segregated from Caleb. The night and Tuesday morning continued the cycle of fever/no fever/fever, so we went to the doctor. By this time, we had a runny nose in addition to the fever and a headache. One little swab test and the confirmation was the flu - H1N1 - the doctor said.

The pediatrician wrote prescriptions for Cameron for Tamiflu and for Caleb (for prophylactic measures). At this point, Cameron felt like, well, the G-rated version is 'not well at all.' We discovered that all the pharmacies in town were out of the children's suspension of Tamiflu. We were told Austin pharmacies were out, as were most other area pharmacies. We finally tracked some down, and what felt like forever later, made it home.

Caleb ended up having a fever the next morning for a few hours, and then was fine. I mean perfectly fine. And, praise God, Cameron was feeling better. It lasted for 36 hours total for Cameron and a few hours for Caleb. And, there, my friends, is our swine story.

I managed to read a book (in between cleaning and using about four cans of Lysol and two tubs of Clorox wipes) - one of the BEST I have read in a long time - last week. It was life changing - more about that later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The One that Got Away

The morning after Caleb's party, we took the boys fishing. Greg was originally going to be headed for the deer lease, but due to torrential rain that week, it was unlikely that actually making it to camp was going to happen. So, he stayed home that Saturday, and he, my dad, the boys and I headed to the river. The little boys fished for a while, but then became more interested in the water that had settled in amongst the rocks from the rain that were now filled with tadpoles. My dad and Greg were wade fishing, so I took Caleb's pole and went up river for a bit.

After about 30 minutes of casting, I caught a small bass. It was the first catch of the morning, and the boys quickly came to see the very small monster of a fish. Greg unhooked it for me, and released it back into the river. The boys went back to their puddles (the boys were now soaking wet), Greg went back down river to wade, and I went back to casting. Another hour went by, and nothing. For anyone. My dad and Greg called it a morning, and packed up all the tackle. They walked up by me, with everything loaded in their arms, and I decided to cast "one more time." And, cast I did.

A tug, then a pull. Then, Greg asked if I was caught on the bottom. No, sirree. I had a fish. I began reeling it in, getting pointers from both Dad and Greg. Then, my fish debuted above water. I had caught a nice size - about 2 lb - Guadalupe Bass. We all get excited, the boys are cheering (caleb and cameron, that is), and Greg gets a hold of it. I ask what we are going to put it in. Greg says, "you're gonna keep it?!" My dad and I answered together, "of course." My Dad's commending me on a "nice size fish." Greg unhooks it. It is slippery. He doesn't have a good grasp. And, OH NO - the fish flounders (all pun intended) and lands back in the river - where it promptly swam off. WHAT?!!!

Greg starts apologizing. My Dad is belly-laughing behind me. I'm looking at him with disbelief, and Caleb pipes up, "Dad, I'm a little bit angry at you." Greg felt terrible.

I got over it, but I didn't let it go easy - it was too much fun ribbing him about it. I told nearly every person I talked to the rest of the day. Of course, we had no camera, so you'll have to take my word on it. And, if you need to talk to one of my witnesses, let me know.

And, come to find out from some other anglers we know, that is about as big as those fish get.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Game Day, Baby

And, we are ready...

And, we have a deer antler on our head?! Also, I have no idea why Caleb is standing at attention - these boys make me laugh!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pretty Painted People

Being the mother to sweet boys, I don't get the opportunity to indulge in some of the mother/daughter things that my mom and I love. Don't get me wrong; I love my sweet boys, I adore their personalities, I enjoy watching their activities, but there are plenty of things I don't do. I don't go to ballet or dance. I don't fix hair in the mornings. I don't buy Christmas dresses with matching tights and hairbows. I don't have Barbies in the house.

So, a couple of months ago, our family went to the birthday party of some friends of our's kids. Grace, the little girl, is Caleb's age. Conveniently, around the same time, a new nail salon opened in town that has little chairs and mini-pedis catering to the younger girls. Well, I thought, in all my brilliant thinking, that we would get Grace a gift card to use at this place.

They took their gifts home from the party to open, and later that day, we saw Grace, and she thanked me for the gift card. I told her, that I would really love to go with her when she goes. Did I mention I don't get to do this? :-) She smiled real big in her big Grace grin, and said "okay" and giggled.

Just before school started, Grace called and asked when would be good for me to go get our pedicures, and we settled on that coming Saturday (although, I really think she wanted to go right then). I had to explain that I needed to wait for Greg to be home to stay with the boys because I didn't think they would enjoy the pedicure experience quite like us girls.

So, Saturday came, and Grace, Julie (her mom), and I went for pedicures. And, it was delightful! It was so fun to go do girly things with a girly girl. (don't tell her I said that; she can climb trees and catch frogs with the best of 'em)

We didn't have the camera at the nail salon, so this is from later that evening:

Grace and I - aren't we cute?!

Grace's cute little purple toenails with flowers

Just for good measure - Grace's frog

What Kind of Mother Are You?

I am doing a mom-to-mom Bible study this fall, and Monday's lesson hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. The title was "What Kind of Mother Are You?"

Um, convicted.

And, not in the felon kind of way.

In case you were wondering.

The focus was on Great Expectations - the ones we have for us, our culture has for us, our family has for us. But, importantly, what are God's expectations for us?

After last week, and the horrible feeling that my sons birthday party was not going to be perfect, and the pressure I put on myself - I really needed this. And, it has caused me to think.

Apparently, there is such a thing as the "Everything" Mom. And, apparently, attempting to do it all is gonna do you in.

Then there's the WWPT - what will people think? UGH! What a struggle. And, this can be real or imagined, but most of the time, it's all imagined in this make believe little head of mine to the point of me feeling failure.

Then, there is the chatter within:
"she's a better mom than me"
"it's never good enough"
"get your act together"

Then came the slapping upside the head- the What is God's Call to Me?
4 P's - provide, protect, prepare, and pass it on

Provide - love em and feed em
Protect - from outer harm and inner harm
Prepare - teaching God's ways
*Deut. 6:4-7 "Hear, O Aleesa: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (emphasis and change of names is all me)
*Eph. 6:4 "Aleesa, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (again, my name is not really in the word there, but it sounds good to me)
Pass It On - leaving a legacy
*Psalm 22:30-31 "Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn - for he has done it."

There are some other really great verses that I would be happy to share. If you want them, send me an email.

But, then there is the Too Much trap!
Provide - being the spoiler mom
*When we spoil too much kids get a distorted view of things and tend to have a sense of entitlement.
Protect - but too much, then you smother
*Letting them become independent - raising strong kids in a Grace-based environment
Prepare - too much, too soon; the Mama Einstein syndrome
*expecting the child to read before leaving the crib
*I thought I saw this when both the boys were pre-K, but I think I see it even more now that one is in school. It's the comparing and competition that mothers pit there kids against others. Not healthy.
Pass It On - cramming it down preacher style
*the Holy Spirit has His job, and we have ours

So, I came out thinking and praying about:

What legacy am I leaving for my boys?
What memories am I making with them?

And, I loved this:

~I am called to mother the children God gave me, and I don't have to do it alone.~

So, looking back, I think about the expectations I put on myself, the expectations I felt others had for me, and the anxiety of trying to do it all. And, none of it matters. Not really. I am called to assist God in the four P's and love my boys into the men God calls them to be, and everything else is small potatoes.

I know this is all over the place, and maybe it makes little sense, but it seems so relevant and real to me. And, it's my blog.

I leave you with one last verse:

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Cor. 4:7-9 (emphasis mine)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birthday Party Re-Cap Caleb version

Caleb's birthday was on the Friday of Labor Day, so we decided to have his party the next week. For his actual birthday and the holiday weekend, we were invited by our awesome neighbors to Rockport. We headed down after school on Friday, because you know how important celebrating with your friends at school is. We spent the next three days fishing, swimming, and eating (alot). Our neighbors, fondly known as Mista Bud and Miss Monica are amazing and we have been continually blessed by living next door. They treat our kids like grandchildren and spoil all of us. Their youngest daughter, Kelly, made Caleb a cupcake birthday cake for his birthday. He loved it!!

Cameron, obviously, liked the cake...

Mista Bud and Miss Monica gave Caleb a camo visor with a flashlight attached - it was a hit!!

Greg and the boys kayaking. Miss Monica took the rest of the pictures that weekend, so I don't have anymore to show, but it was so much fun!!

For those of you who don't know, we have been in quite the drought/dry spell here in South Texas. So, this past week, when we were blessed by half a foot a rain, it quickly looked like the swimming Star Wars party was not going to happen. Being the birthday party obsessed mom that I am not, I had to last minute figure out decorations, games, change of venue to not disappoint my sweet son. I only whined/cried/had a major anxiety attack complained just a bit.

In the end, it all worked out well. I visited 11 stores trying to find perfect decor and games. I was HUGELY blessed on Friday morning when I was in full panic mode by my friend who happened to be at the big box store at ten minutes until 8 in the morning as well. She kept reassuring me that everything was going to be fine, and then gave me a huge gift. These magic words came out of Miss Julie's mouth - "why don't I take Cameron today so you can go to all these places and get stuff done easier?" Hallelujah - I think I even heard bells ring. For the record, I did put up a slight argument. But, oh my heavens, I was able to get so much more done!!

The party, I think, was a success - Caleb told me thank you at least ten times and he loved every minute of it!

Playing "pass the Death Star" while we wait for everyone to arrive

The very yummy Star Wars cake

Ready to go hunting

Playing his new Wii game with the lightsaber attachments with Drew
Whew! I'm exhausted!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Come again another day (like Saturday).

It's so hard to actually think those words, let alone type them. We have been in a serious drought and have not had measurable rain in months. So, the need is obvious. And, we have been praying earnestly all summer for some relief from the heat and dry weather.

But, not when all your child had his heart set on was a swimming party for his birthday. Ugh!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seven years ago...

Seven years ago, I was very anxious about to embark on motherhood.

Seven years ago, I was scared crazy about the health of my baby who had stopped growing and was being taken prematurely into this world.

Seven years ago, I was taken into a sterile, cold operating room crying with excitement and fear.

Seven years ago, I knew an amazing amount of love for a person I had never seen face to face.
Seven years ago, I found comfort from my incredibly strong husband and all our family and friends.

Seven years ago, I met Caleb Mitchell, and found a new kind of love for the most amazing little 4 pound person.

Seven years ago and every day since, God has blessed our family.

Who would have thought that this precious person

who fought for his life his first night in this world, would be this healthy, tall amazing first grader

Caleb, we love you so much and are so proud of you. And, while we shouldn't be surprised because we know Who is in charge and Who has written out your days, we are continually amazed by you. I never knew I would learn so much in seven years! We love you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Make Like a Tomato

And, KETCHUP! Just kidding (come on, you know you smiled)!

I have so many things I want to write about. And, so little time. I had the most amazing birthday due largely in part to my AMAZING husband. I can't wait to write all about it, but considering he put on a week long celebration for me, it is a long post.

We are well into our second week of school for Caleb, and on Tuesday Cameron headed back to that wonderful place I like to call Kids Kare!! Whoo-Hoo! What's even better is that he was SOOO excited about it. His teachers this year are fantastic, and I just know it's going to be perfect!

We are gearing up around here for fall - the house is looking a bit more autumnish. I absolutely LOVE fall (and not just for the fashion, Ellen, because let's face it, fashion for me often is mascara). I love the colors, I love the scents, I love the weather (let's pretend it cools off a bit), and I will admit I love me some college football. Oh, and for my honey, I love hunting. :-)

So, stay tuned - I hope to update soon about my birthday and the other upcoming celebrator in this house.