Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Loving Memory of "Capaw"

Last night, Kris' dad died after suffering a heart attack. It was very sudden and unexpected. Our hearts are aching and we grieve our loss, but we don't grieve without hope.

Our hope is this: Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ is coming again! We trust in His goodness and give thanks for the years and years we were mercifully given to spend with Tommy, a doting husband, a wonderful father, and a grandpa(or "Capaw" as Asher called him) who took his job of spoiling his grandkids very seriously.

Thanks to so many of you who have extended your love and support and who have prayed for us. Please continue to hold us up as we walk through the coming days.

Jude 24-25

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My friend Lis linked to this article and I wanted to share it with you here. It snapped me back to reality really quickly.

Please pray for this faithful servant of Christ.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Joy To The World

Also, joy to the winner of the Wondertime giveaway!

I have randomly selected a winner and have captured every moment of the riveting drawing here for you. Nobody say anything mean about this unbecoming expression that the video starts on or my crazy hair or my unpolished camera presence or the mascara smeared on my face, k?

Congrats to the winner!

And with that, the DBC '08 draws to a close. Another succuessful run, I'd say.

My best wishes for a happy non-specific winter holiday to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Everybody Knows A Turkey

I happen to know two!

This little turkey is almost 5 months old now. I'm behind, as usual.

This turkey was in desperate need of a haircut!

A friend of mine that has cut my hair for several years now recently stopped working at a salon and is now doing monthly haircuts at another friend's home. She is one of the the few hair stylists I have had whom I have never walked away upset after a cut. She always does a great job so I was really excited to have her cut Asher's hair. He looked pitiful but we were trying to outgrow an unfortunate incident involving clippers here at Salon de Rives.

As expected, his little haircut was just precious. She even trimmed a little snip or two off Jude's hair. No pictures because that was not his first haircut. At least that is what I am telling myself. It's not any shorter, but it is a little more rounded now. Still wild, but just not as much :)

She also trimmed me a little hint of what I am calling bangettes--not full on bangs, but a little too short to be considered just a layer. It was against her better judgment because she knows hair in the face is not really practical for a mom on the go, but I do like it. I took this pictures especially for you, Jessica T!

In other news, tomorrow is the last day of the DBC. I'm a little emotional even just typing that. The only thing making me feel better is that tomorrow, I will announce the winner of my giveaway!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You Really Are A Heel

I dropped the DBC ball. For shame! Only 2 weeks to this challenge and I still faltered. I repent in dust and ashes.

But life goes on. I could just wallow in my self-loathing or I could pick myself up and begin again. Let's go with the latter.

So today there is much to do. It will be a marathon of a day. All the shopping will be completed, with two little boys in tow, no less. I'm throwing Jude in the sling and strapping Asher in the stroller (with a generous supply of goldfish and apple-goose as it is called around here) and Kris and I will brave the madness together. I'm pretty sure this is what Mark meant when he had us promise "for better or worse." I know there are worse things than a store on the Saturday before Christmas, but I am hard-pressed to recall one right now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If Only In My Dreams

Walmart jacked up my Christmas cards. The machine was broken, their colors were WAY off, and they cut off part of my wording. So we left them there.

And now it is officially too late to try to send out more. Oh well. Maybe next year. To my friends and family who read my blog, please know that I love you dearly and I do hope that you and yours have a spectacular Christmas.

Just so the suspense doesn't kill you, here is what you would have gotten in the mail:

Feel free to print it out and place it with your other cards ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Better Not Pout

Yes, this is a major cop-out of a post. But Mr. Bowser tagged me and answered my question for me, "What, oh what do I blog about today?"

Most of you will find this post terribly uninteresting, but I will not shirk my DBC duties.

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? As a former professional gift-wrapper, I would like to say wrapping. But as a mom of 2 under 2, I have to go gift bag.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I guess real because that is what we have this year, but if I find a pre-lit one on sale after Christmas, I am taking that baby home with me

3. When do you put up the tree? whenever we get the energy

4. When do you take the tree down? see above
5. Do you like eggnog? umm, yes. a little too much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? speed skates for my weekly trip to the roller rink (remember Mannings all you Beaumont peeps?"

7. Hardest person to buy for? Kris

8. Easiest person to buy for? me

9. Do you have a nativity scene? no

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail, because I have insecurity issues that are somewhat lessened by receiving cards from friends

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? can't think of one

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Little Women
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I'll have to let you know. I can tell you it is some time after December 17.

14. Have you ever re-gifted a Christmas present? probably

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? cookies

16. Lights on the tree? yes, lots of white ones

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Come, O Come Emmanuel

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? as close to home as possible

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? of course I can. I can also name all 44 presidents, in order, in under 10 seconds.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? people acting like this is something to get worked up over. if you are frazzled, you need some perspective

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? multi-colored, unbreakable!

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? appetizers

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? like I would make it that easy on my husband. please.

Ok, now I tag anyone else who needs something to blog about during the home stretch of the DBC.

Also, remember my give-away ends soon. Make sure to leave me a comment if you want to be entered.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiny Tots With Their Hair All Aglow

Like we need to draw any more attention to that wild hairdo!

Monday, December 15, 2008

With Every Christmas Card I Write

I was not going to send out cards this year because I am still recovering from Jude's birth announcements that just went out last month (he was born in July) but now that I am getting cards from friends, I feel left out.

So last night, we put the boys in their cute matching p.j.'s and attempted to take a few pictures. Drama, of course, ensued.

Jude likes low-key evenings in which no one asks too much of him. I quickly learned that taking pictures with Asher qualifies as asking too much. He is such a smiley, happy baby...until I pull the camera out. All my pictures of him showcase a blank stare and an open mouth.

Asher was a good sport, but even the M & M's I was bribing him with lost their appeal after a while.

But it's not about perfection (thank goodness!) Asher is overdue for a haircut and Jude has a runny nose. Asher had chocolate on his mouth and got it on Jude's p.j.'s. Jude screamed and Asher refused to smile at one point.

And there is such beauty in that. We are not perfectly posed, immaculately dressed, every-hair-in-place people. We are a crazy, last-minute, just-go-with-it family--and that's just how I like it.

This will all make more sense once you see the card. This is my little way of preparing you ;)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bearing Gifts We Traverse Afar

I've decided to do a little gift-giving right here on my blog! My first give away! I'm so excited!

My friend Kathy gave me a subscription to Wondertime magazine for Christmas last year. It is a really good magazine for parents--lots of great ideas and photography and articles. But even if you don't have kids yet or your kids are grown, I think you would still enjoy it!

So it's time to renew. And since I'm renewing, I can get a 2-for-1 deal, which I would like to give to one of my readers. If you would like to receive the subscription, leave me a comment and tell me how pretty I am.

Just kidding, of course!

Seriously, just leave me a comment telling me you would like to join the Wondertime family. I will randomly select one person and I'll announce the winner one week from tomorrow, which will be the last day of the December Blog Challenge (for this year, that is! Oh, DBC of 2009, how I look forward to you already.)

Thanks for playing!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sing We Joyous All Together!

Sorry for all of the videos, but the grandparents love them. And it is Christmas time. We want them happy. You do the math.

So for Mamoo, Poppy, Capaw (that would be Grandpa,) and Grammy, here is Asher's rendition of that old favorite, the ABC Song. Take it away, Asher!

Sometimes he sings it all, sometimes I have to fill in a little bit, or a lot bit, --just depends on his mood.

Friday, December 12, 2008

...and friends are calling, "Yoo-Hoo!"

I was able to capture Asher on video as he placed a few calls on the ol' hand-phone. The recipients of these calls are Poppy (my dad), Bikah (Micah, my brother), and Mamoo (my mom, who used to be Mamaw but Asher changed her name.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

These Wonderful Things Are The Things We'll Remember All Through Our Lives

That's my Jude! My little, tiny 17 lb. four month old! In case you are wondering, I totally took this picture on November 28, not on December 9.

He did have clothing on, but it's really hard to fully appreciate the rolls of chub if he is covered up.

Oh, that hair. We know not from whence it came. Or what the heck to do with it. It is his trademark though. Not many people are sporting the fluffy curls these days.

He is a very busy guy now. He rolls over from his tummy to his back. He is in love with his toes and his thumb, which provide hours and hours of entertainment and comfort, respectively. He would rather not recline. He is constantly trying to sit up when he is in his bouncy seat or if I am holding him.

He loves the exersaucer that Saige and Meadow let him borrow although I have to turn him facing away from the little balls that are on there because he gets very upset that the balls do not come off so that he can chew on them.

He takes thumb-sucking breaks during playtime. It relaxes him if he gets a little too worked up trying to get everything in his mouth.

He does reach a point though, when the fact that the toys are attched becomes too much.

And I know exersaucer time is over. He's a pretty easy guy to read.

He is enjoying his oatmeal cereal twice a day now. He is sleeping about 10-11 hours at night. He no longer requires a late (10 pm-ish) feeding so he goes down around 7:30 or 8 and wakes up between 6 and 7. No complaints here! And now that big bro is back in a baby bed, night time has become truly restful once again. That makes me happy.

I call this portrait "Oatmeal: I can feed myself."

Speaking of big brother, Asher just turned 22 months. He has the ability to frustrate me and crack me up, all within about 2 minutes. He is always coming up with new sayings now. One that makes me laugh is he will call something by the wrong name, for example, say something is green when it is blue. I'll say "no, it's blue." Then he'll say "not green!" with a note of condescension in his voice and on his face, as if you were the one that thought it was the wrong color in the first place.

He really just may have some natural muscial talent. One of his favorite songs, "Three Little Birds" sung by Elizabeth Mitchell begins with just a rhythmic pattern played by what sounds like 2 drum sticks being hit together. He can replicate the exact rhythm using his drumsticks. The first time he did it, Kris and I looked at each other in disbelief. We knew he loved playing instruments, but there is a big difference between having the love and having the talent. Just ask...

We are rapidly appraching the "twos." They will not be terrible. They may be challenging. The may be tiring. But acting like a brat just because you are young is simply not an option. So there. I will make sure Asher gets that memo.

Sweet little brothers! Hard work should always be this fun.

It'll Nearly Be Like A Picture Print From Currier and Ives

You know, that one where the little boy can barely spot any snow on the ground.

As you have probably already heard if you know anyone who lives in the greater Houston area, it snowed last night. Normally, snow is a huge deal here because we so rarely see it. And it actually sticking to the ground for any length of time is rarer still. But what really highlights the expereince is that the day before, we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts. I went for a walk with the boys and actually broke a sweat. I was pushing a 35 lb. stroller, a 27 lb. toddler, and a 17 lb. infant so I got a good workout. I will be employing my "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD today because there is no way I'm getting out in this weather for a walk. But I digress.

So the snow was basically gone this morning, much to my dismay, but I still wanted Asher to go see what was left. So when he woke up around 7:30 (Bless that crib!) I somewhat bundled him up and let him walk around outside. He kept pointing to the white stuff and saying "Nose! Mama, nose!" He often transposes sounds in words like that. What's that called, Miranda? Miranda is a speech pathologist--she knows these things.

Then Asher started asking for "Meal!" (oatmeal) so we went back inside. Snow isn't much fun if you are just taking someone's word that it actually was there.

Of course, the azaleas just bloomed. Plants around here get very confused.

I took this picture before I left last night to meet my sewing girls. I am practically covered in snow. I'm surprised I could even identify myself.

You Yankees go ahead and laugh. When you are dying in the heat next summer because of the 35% humidity, we will remind you of this day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When They Pass Around The Coffee And The...

Garbanzo Bean Flourless Chocolate Cake?

I decided to try out a new recipe. It was definitely edible and a good option if you really want some chocoalte cake but also really want to avoid the calories that come along with it. It is also high in protein and gluten-free.

You are supposed to dust it with powdered sugar but I didn't have any so I took a little of the frosting that I got almost free from "playing" The Grocery Game and drizzled it on top. It definitely added some much-needed sweetness.

I don't really recommend bringing this one to your next holiday gathering, but as a healthier option for the people you live with that have to love you anyway, it's not too bad.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There's A Happy Feeling Nothing In The World Can Buy

I truly love to be organized. It does make me happy. But I am not naturally an organized person. So any amount of organization I manage to obtain is hard fought.

It's not just an aesthetic thing either. My frustration level rises when I have to search for things or try to accomplish things with random objects cluttering my workspace. And since I have an almost 2 year old, the last thing I need is something else zapping my patience when Lord knows Asher requires the bulk of it.

To this end, I have enlisted the help of a professional organizer. My friend Michelle, whom I have reconnected with through that blessed social networking site,Facebook, is a professional organizer in Dallas. Now obviously, financially, there is no way I could pay someone to provide this service, but she was very kind to give me a few minutes of her time over the phone. She gave me lots of great ideas and tips, one of which was to have an organized "command central", or a place in my house that is sort of the gateway of information that I need to keep track of. For me, it is receipts, contact info, recipes, pending items, bills, and several other categories.

So here is my "command central" before I implemented Michelle's suggestions.

Note the complete absence of order. Things tend to pile up here because a) I still need to do something with it, so I don't want to put it away and risk forgetting about it or b) I have no idea where else to put it.

And here is the after.

Aaaahhhhhh. I can breathe better now. I know this seems like a really small project, but it's a start. I love that everything has a place now. No more random piles and unnecessary clutter.

I have many more hills to climb, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

***To see more great organizing ideas, please visit I'm An Organizing Junkie!***

Monday, December 8, 2008

You Will Get That Sentimental Feeling When You Hear...


Now it really feels like Christmastime. :)

I kicked off the day with a walk around my hood. I got new running shoes for my birthday from my devastingly handsome husband and I was excited to try them out. Isn't it funny how new shoes can be such a motivation?

For those of you dying to know how "Operation: Stop Eating So Freaking Much" is going, it's going well. Of course, my thanksgiving meal(s) set me back about 3 pounds, but I got those off and now I am staying the course to lose the last 20. I think a little exercise will be just the thing and now that I have fancy new shoes, I'm sure that weight will just fall off.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Friendly Reminder

DBC '08 starts this Monday!

Robin has agreed to make her Monday post the most creative and well-written post she has ever composed in her blogging life to kick things off. So if you want to see how it's done, visit her blog.

You will click away inspired.

(if I don't post on Monday, it's because Robin sent someone to take me out)

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Christmas Tree Chronicles: Part II

Here it is! Nothing too spectacular, but better than nothing, I feel I can safely say. I had to go buy shatterproof ornaments because of you-know-who. So we have 30 colored balls and one Prince Charming and Cinderella ornament that Kris' brother and his wife gave us the Christmas that we got engaged.

Sad story though regarding the aforementioned ornament: I placed it on one of the limbs, but apparently not far enough back, and it fell to the ground. I'm sure it scared Cinderella but P.C. took the brunt of the fall, as any good prince would.

I'm not so sure what is written on the ornament holds true for this couple...

Poor Prince C. But Kris told me he will glue his head back on. The upside of being plastic.

Anyway, back to the festivities. Here is the mantle all decked out.

I think it's pretty clear who the second child is. My sweet little Judah Bear will be getting a picture in his stocking hanger! Poor baby.

Um, well...that's about it. But the Rives have a tree!!! And I really do like it. It smells good, it keeps Jude mesmerized for quite a while, and it's ours.

ps--the door that the tree is in front of is our useless side door that leads to our useless backyard so we never go through that door. just wanted to clarify :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Tree Chronicles: Part I

Well, we did it.

We got a tree. We forked over the $35 and brought home our very first o tannenbaum. I wish we had a great story about how we went up to the farm and brought an ax and rode a horse-drawn carriage out to select and cut down our very first tree amidst the downy flakes drifting steadily, yet not at all severely lest the foul mood, the one that always seems to result when the precipitation exceeds one's preconceived notions of what may acceptably descend from the heavens, befall us all.

But what really happened is we went to the Houston Garden Center that is about 5 minutes away from our house. And it was about 70 degrees. Not exactly something to write a song about, but I was still excited and took an inordinate amount of pictures.

Offical Tree Inspector (OTI) and his assistant, Daddy.

Family Blue Eyes: A Self-Portrait

This is the one!

Jorge the Tree Guy brings it up to the front for us.

Arriving back home with our tree. Jude was thrilled.

Unfortunately, we have no pictures of Kris having to break out the saw to whittle down the bottom of the tree so that it would fit in out tree stand. The tree is now about 6 inches shorter than it was when we picked it out. We made it work.

Much more to post...let's just say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This Could Be The Year

Remember this?

And this?

This streak may come to an end. I can't say for sure, but I am mentally closer to putting up a tree than I have ever been before.

I've talked about this before here, but Christmas, as in the season, is not something we make a huge deal about. We are Christians and we believe that each Sunday, when we gather with the Church, we celebrate the coming of Christ, his death and resurrection, and his imminent return. So the balance between participating in
the season, yet keeping proper focus is one that we will strive to acheive.

That being said, I am very into family traditions and I want to have many things throughout the year that our boys, and any other children the Lord gives us, can look forward to. And I'm thinking decorating a tree might just need to be one of those traditions.

And, obviously, I don't think there is anything wrong about paying special attention to the incarnation around this time of year so we may incorporate the Jesse Tree into our regular tree as well.

So watch for my first official "here's our Christmas tree!" post. It may or may not be coming soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Does this answer your question, Robin?

I know, I know. We said never again.

But I think enough time has passed that we have almost forgotten how much we all hated blogging after last year's DBC.

So please join me in a slightly modified DBC '08. Beginning Monday, December 8, blog each day for two weeks and make the title of your post either a title or a line from a Christmas song. We will wrap it up on Monday, December 22.

Feel free to leave a comment to let us know that you are joining in this little holiday tradition.

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