About Me

Texas, United States
I am a stay at home Mom from Oregon who has landed in Texas.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Low key birthday

Today was Keith's big 3-1 birthday. He got his present a few weeks ago, so today was just a very low key day. He is up and out the door before the kids and I even wake up, so there was no birthday breakfast. The kids had some time to play on their own this morning while I was cleaning up and getting ready for the day, and they put together the cutest little birthday "display" for Keith to see when he got home. They drew him a picture of a football on their magna doodle, they each made him a little story book, they each built him a trophy out of Lego's and Natalie made one final card for him with a pretty little picture. It was just too sweet, and it made me happy that they put all that together for him, on their own.

We were going to try and squeeze in a tour of the new stadium, but since we forgot to check the times, we were unaware of the fact that the last tour goes out at 4:30, well Keith wasn't home in time for that one, so we skipped the tour and headed to On the Border for a birthday dinner (sans loud obnoxious singing) and then headed home for homemade birthday cake and some Ben & Jerry's ice cream on the side.

Now we are just hanging out, the kids are finally asleep, and the day is done. It was very quiet, but I think Keith know he is loved, and that is the most important part.

Monday, June 29, 2009

To Do List

I really have a tendency to just lay around and read or hop on the computer or nap when I get a free few minutes, and so I was really afraid I would waste away my vacation days doing just that. Now, don't get me wrong, there will be plenty napping/reading/computing(??) happening, I just want to make sure I get some other needed stuff done as well. So how's this for accountability?

My Vacation To Do List:

1. Bake at least 3 new recipes. Including this from my cousin's foodie blog. She has tons of great stuff, check it out!

2.Take the annual trip to a local water park. First time was NRH2O, last year we went to Hawaiian Falls. This year it will be where ever is cheapest, haha!

3. Go to bed and wake up early (at least once). Ha ha.

4. Take the Cowboys Stadium tour.

5. Complete a sewing project.

6. Organize my fabric stash.

7. Get Keith to the dentist and the kids to the eye doctor.

Oh yeah, and the best one:

8. RELAX!

Of course now that I wrote this down, I will probably not do half of these things, but as long as I enjoy every minute, spend a million hours with the kids and Keith and visiting family (WOO HOO) I know I will look back and feel good about what I accomplished.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

First weekend

I just had/have so many things that I want to get accomplished over my vacation days, that I knew I needed to take one weekend to veg out before I really get down to business. Except why can't life ever let me veg out?

I feel like I have been going non stop the last two days, and I am so glad it is Sunday because I can't run any errands! Not to mention the fact that the weather here has been out of control! I am afraid for our electricity bill to arrive. We have been pretty much living without any lights on, so that we can have the AC set at a comfortable temperature. Though I am hearing much worse horror stories about fritzing units and such, so I think we are pretty lucky as far as that goes! I am grateful ours broke awhile back, so that it runs fine now, and run it does! It's pretty much on all day.

Friday we met with one of Natalie's school friends at a little water park, and I feel bad because we stayed for MAYBE 30 minutes. It was just too hot! Even playing in the splashers, I knew my kids were gonna melt away. It's just not pretty.

I also had a huge project thing to do for church today, that thankfully Keith helped me finish which means that tonight I can start sewing something new I am cooking up. I picked up some cute fabric yesterday, and I can't wait to cut into it. I love when I get in the mood to sew. Let's hope that what I want to make turns out! Especially since the second one I make will be for a giveaway for my blogiversary! :D

Oh, and one more thing. Yesterday we ventured to Costco to pick up a few things we just couldn't live without (doesn't everyone need a giant thing of animal crackers, or a package of 60 eggos, or 2 HUGE things of crunchy peanut butter, or maybe Punch Out for the wii is more your style...), and ended up getting everyone a book for the upcoming trip. Seriously, what is it about that store?? We always buy more things than we went in for, but it's all stuff we need (have you tried Mr. Yoshida's sauce before? It's amazing, and we have been looking all over for it and apparently we missed the memo that you can only buy it at Costco or Sam's. So Woo Hoo Costco!). Anywho. At least that's what we tell ourselves...but, I am getting off track. The books. Keith was happy to find the next book in the series is he is currently loving (The Ranger's Apprentice) for super cheap, and I was happy to find something that looked so crazy I just had to get it. I am not normally a book buyer, I prefer the library for selection, but this one had to come home with me.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Click the link, I am not making this up! I can't wait to read it and see if they butchered the book, or if, like the critics say, it's actually pretty entertaining! Sad thing is I have to wait a week before I can start it.
Anyone else have some fun books lined up for summer time reading?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Galoshes!

They are one of those things that living here I just can't justify buying. Yes we get some major rainage, but it's just not often enough to spend money on boots. But of course, getting prepped for this trip had me searching the web for some cutie patootie boots for the kids, you know, just in case. Pretty sure I won't be able to convince Keith that we NEED them though. It was still fun to look!

I actually ended up at Target.com. I love these for Natalie. Like seriously, a bow! polka dots! hot pink and black! Could the BE any cuter?

I loooove these, in fact I wouldn't mind a pair in my size! But, they don't have Nat's size available anyways.
These little robot ones are super duper cute for Brady.
Except these are the ones he has actually SEEN and asked for in the store. They are definitely little boy!
Oh, and not sure why I am posting so dang much today, I blame the Diet DP!

Say what you will...

...but I loved his music! Michael Jackson was an Icon. One of those people that you just assume will be around a long time, even if he was weird. The man left a great legacy of music, and I am sure most of us can remember one song or another of his that we loved and danced too.

Mine is this one. I remember in 5th grade my best friend and I would spend HOURS singing along to this one.



Some of my other favorites were Black or White and Man in the Mirror. What Michael songs did you grow up listening too? Which ones were your favorites?

Shannon is...

...trying to stay calm, but failing miserably. Seriously, I am so excited about the upcoming trip it's like I had 4 cups of coffee (or at least what I imagine I would be like if I ever did that, haha).

...working on a "To Do" list for my 3 weeks off. I don't want it to fly by and not have accomplished anything. In fact, maybe I will post it here so I have to hold myself accountable.

...drinking a ginormous Diet DP so that I can try and skip my regular nap. Maybe that is causing my jitters...

...feeling a little sunburned.

...procrastinating starting the laundry. Why does it torture me so? I swear that basket is magic. I wash every single piece of dirty laundry, and by the time I go to bed the basket is full again.

...also starting her list of Must See places when we go to Portland. Among them VooDoo Donuts (I have GOT to try a maple bacon donut), Pix Patisserie (to try some of the French Macarons that Black Apple's Emily often raves about), and the Portland Children's museum (much larger than when I was a kid, but still a childhood memory I want to pass on to my own kiddos). I really hope we can do these things, but we shall see!

...getting excited for a new sewing project I am starting up. Keep your eyes peeled for a blogiversary giveaway coming up! (See now that I mentioned it, I HAVE to do it!)

...wondering if anyone still reads this? *tap tap* Anyone out there?

Guess what?

We're

going

HOME!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Story Books

Natalie in recent months has taken to making us stories. She has always loved to draw, and now she will make a bunch of pictures on computer paper, have us staple them together, and sometimes narrate for her. I love the stories, but I hate keeping the bulky awkward "books", so I finally buckled down and made a craft I have had bookmarked to make for ages.

I know these are not a new concept, I first saw them on Salt and Chocolate here , and I knew that I had to try my hand at them eventually. It only took me, what? A year and a half? Better late than never I guess.

Anywho, they are very easy to make, cut the paper down to size, get some embroidery thread, poke a few holes and "bind" it up. They are actually really relaxing to make too, so if you don't think you can make them on your own (and you want some), I would love to! Haha, no really, I have pent up creative energy, call me. The best part is now Natalie has a great place to draw her stories and pictures, and they are much more pleasing to look at than stapled together computer paper.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Puzzles!

One thing I love to do (though I haven't done so in a very long time) is put together puzzles. I don't know why. I must have gained this love from my Mom and my Grandma Jean, and now it looks as if I have passed it on to my kids. Brady for the longest time, would pull out his puzzles after I had tucked him down for naps,a nd put them together one by one. Now he will go to the closet and pull out a huge puzzle to put together. I love it! It also gives them such a sense of accomplishment when they finish one. Plus it makes me one proud Mama!
Oh! And a very, very Happy Father's Day out there to all the Daddys!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

fleeting moments

Yesterday we got to take both kids to the dentist for the first time in too long (no cavities for either kid! Woo hoo!). Keith and I were watching the way they were acting, and said to each other how nice it was to see them acting their respective ages. Not acting like a baby (whining, crying, pouting) and not acting like a teenager (sassy, rude, defiant), just acting like sweet innocent kids. It was really refreshing, and it made us so happy. Brady was being so good in the dentist chair, and when it tipped back he just held on to the little toothy alligator he was playing with for dear life, making sure it wouldn't fall down. It was so sweet. And Natalie with the little sunglasses she put on to block the light, she just opened up wide and obeyed the hygienist, but then was still fascinated by all the tools and stickers and bubbles they had to look at. Weird how some seemingly insignificant moments of time, that you might not even have noticed had you not been watching closely, can bring such a sense of peace and joy.

I also saw it in Natalie the other day at the library. They each got these cool cowboy hats for turning in their second reading log of the summer, and she instantly put hers on and pretended to be a cowgirl riding her pony all over the library. Gone was the little princess, the sassy girl who thinks she is older than she really is. All I saw was my precious, creative 5 year old enjoying being a child. Sometimes I feel guilty that we have made her grow up too fast, but seeing things like that make me breathe that much easier, she is still a little child, happy to enjoy simple and sometimes silly things.

Brady can be so hot and cold. One minute he is just the sweetest thing, soft and squishy and lovey, and the next minute he is screaming "NOOOOO" at the top of his lungs and you are standing there scratching your head wondering what set him off. Even with the weird outbursts I still can't get enough. Often times when I am just watching his sweetness and can't resist reaching out for a few squeezes or maybe a nibble of a squishy body part (toes, thighs, fingers, cheeks, arms, elbows, belly..you name it!), he has to tell me to stop. Earlier he was playing with his harmonica and had said that the high note meant stop, and the low note meant go. Well this afternoon, as soon as I sat down on the floor next to his piggies hanging off the couch, to get a little nibble, he let out a high note, "that means stop, Mama."

I think having a 5 year old, that is clearly NOT a soft toddler anymore, and just so ready to be a Big Girl and having a 3 year old that is there in that in between, no mans land of being a Big Boy and yet still being the child that will tell me he never wants to grow up so he can be my baby forever, makes me see and realize how quickly time goes by. In 2 short years Brady will really be a Big Boy. It makes me sad in some ways, but in other ways makes me realize I need to enjoy what I have while I still have it. Instead of a time out, give an extra squeeze or ten. To grasp at those quickly passing days of childhood.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A pretty.

Last week when grocery shopping I spotted a bunch of fading lily bouquets for sale and it was just so sad to me. I dug through the bunches and found a bouquet of all buds, not a one had bloomed yet, and I snatched them up, thinking it was worth $5 to at least see if they would bloom for me. Oh how glad I am, that I did! They burst into one of the prettiest bunches of flowers I think I have ever had. The kids enjoyed seeing if another bud had "popped" each morning. There is just something about having fresh flowers on the kitchen table.

Have you bought yourself flowers lately? I highly recommend it, sometimes we just can't wait around for the guys to do it for us!

It's a summer miracle!

Out with the old teal truck and in with....

OUR NEW VAN!!

To some of you this is old news, because I am a slacker and haven't posted about it, but for the rest of you here it is! We decided that since the truck was totalled in the car accident (did I blog about that??) it was time to upgrade and get ourselves a van. And oh what a glorious van it is! It's a Dodge Grand Caravan, and it was the first kind of van I ever wanted (the second was a Town and Country, but apparently those are more expensive for the same amenities), and it has everything we could have ever hoped for, plus more!

We named her Maxine, Max for short, since we got her at CarMax (clever, no? haha), and we couldn't be more thrilled! I wanted to get a picture of her outside, but it just wasn't happening, so this one will have to do.
I looooooove the stow and go seats, that second captains chair just folded neatly into the van to give us so much more space to get in and out. This is exactly what I wanted it to be like, room to move around!
And a nice little spot for my market basket to keep it looking nice and neat (we will see how long that lasts).
I had a sad realization the other day when I initially announced this great bit of news on facebook before I posted it here, my poor blog has taken seat on a back burner for far too long (at least I know I am not alone in this). I used to love blogging, I posted almost daily, and had fun keeping track of the day to day minutia of our lives. Though I do think anyone that reads my blog needs to get on facebook and find me, (that means you family!), I also have committed to myself to find the time much more often to share what is going on with us Texas Bowers. So any of you that are still reading, keep coming back for more mundane stories from the house of Bowers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Natalie

I forgot to show some of the Natalie photos from the photo shoot. I can't believe she is 5 years old! Of course it took forever for her to not give a cheesy fake smile, but I guess that is half the memory. I love love the one in the flowers. It is my favorite by far.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garage Sale

Firstly I want to say, yes, I know I have been a major blog slacker. And I apologize to all my family. I know this is a good way for us to keep in touch, and I do want to be more regular in posting, but I just don't have the drive lately. I may force myself soon to post once a day, but for right now I just can't do it. But know that I think about all of you every day, miss you all, and can't wait till you can learn about our life by being a part of it, instead of reading about it on the Internet!

Anywho.

We had our very first garage sale this weekend. I have been putting it off and off and off for at least a month, and finally a week ago I decided that today was the day. We had a pretty good spread, lots of kids toys, 2 strollers, books, picture frames, and all other manner of junk treasures.

We opened up at 7:30, and the only advertising we did were a few signs on the main street leading to our house, and an add on Craigslist. We actually sold all of the big stuff, except the complete set of Classic Pooh crib bedding (why won't somebody buy that from me??!), and most of the little stuff. We had one trunk load of stuff to take directly to Goodwill afterwards (no need to keep it laying around, or it will work it's way back into circulation!), so I was really happy with that! The only real downside of the day was that it is June. In Texas. So that means it was pretty much a billion degrees out. Not fun.

The goal for the day was to get enough money for the kids to get real bikes, they have been sharing a plastic Dora big wheel since we moved in, and honestly I am sick of hearing them take turns aka fight over whose turn it is. Luckily we surpassed our goal! So after cooling baths/showers, lunch, and naps we headed out to Target to get some new bikes! We then continued on to Chili's to celebrate (plus the kids had free meal coupons from their summer reading program at the library), and then on to Pure Bliss from some seriously good frozen yogurt. Seriously, you need to try it out. Keith and I aren't even fans of frozen yogurt and we loved it. They have SO. MANY. TOPPINGS. It's a serve yourself yogurt bar, you get your own flavor of yogurt, and then load on the toppings, and the prices were totally reasonable. It was 7 bucks for all of us to get a perfectly sized sundae with whatever we wanted on it. I highly recommend it.

Um, I digress. The bikes. Long story short (since I am tired of typing and I am sure you are tired of reading), the kids love them. Natalie was just over the moon. And tonight getting ready for bed she couldn't stop saying "I can't believe I was riding a BIG. GIRL. BIKE!" I love how proud she was! Now we just have to convince Brady that "yes he can!" ride his little bike (which we worry is a bit too small, he is just so dang tall!) if he puts his mind to it!
video



Friday, June 5, 2009

Plum Tuckered Out!

The last 2 and a half days have been so full of activity that I am ready to crawl back under my covers and stay there for the next week! In all honesty I am most happy when I am spending my days lazing about at home, there are always plenty of things to do, and I never seem to get bored. My cabin fever was getting bad though, because after a few weeks of being a hermit, sometimes you just need to get out!

I thought I would cure it with a much needed picnic, so Monday morning on our weekly grocery trip the kids and I picked out some fun foods to have a picnic that night. I am so glad we did, because I am not kidding, the weather was perfect! It was slightly overcast, breezy, and just down right beautiful! The kids had fun running around, and I had fun sitting and relaxing. It's so nice to take them to the park as a family because Keith can be the parent that chases them around while I get to sit!



Apparently that didn't cure my fever though, because Wednesday became the most booked day I have ever had. Fun, but exhausting. The day started with a trip to the local library for the reopening of story time for the summer. We really love the librarian that does story time (Mr. Bob) and the kids missed him so much during May when the librarians do school visits, so story time gets put on hold. Anywho, we got some great books to start our summer reading logs. The kids are excited to get prizes for reading. I guess there is nothing wrong with a little bribery every now and again, as long as they are enjoying the books!

After story time we headed home to gather up supplies for a trip to the strawberry farm with my friend Betsy and her adorable kids. We all packed lunches and the kids all had a "car picnic" on the way there. Brady was sitting near Betsy's new (2 month old?) baby and at one point told me, "Mama, I love baby Kate", can you say sweet? He couldn't get enough of her, and to be honest neither can I! She is teensy and precious.


The strawberry picking was a success! The weather was perfectly overcast, so we didn't sweat to death, and the kids were all excited about what we were going to be doing. We doled out buckets, set a few ground rules (only pick the red ones and don't eat any), and they were off. All of them did so well, and with a few minor setbacks; ginormous patches of mud, a few falls with dropped buckets of berries (Brady), and one incident of shoes literally stuck in the mud (Brady), we were able to get a good 10 lbs of berries between the lot of us. I am so glad we went, it was a good time and we came home with some fabulous loot!

After picking berries and then cleaning off our feet, we headed over to some friends of ours who so graciously let us use their pool! I couldn't think of a better way to cool (and clean) off from a sweaty, muddy excursion. It was a great way to top off a busy afternoon. Thanks again Betsy for coming with!


After a good nights sleep (the kids slept in till after 8, they were so tired!) I was ready to just stay home and get the laundry done, and make my first ever batches of strawberry freezer jam. My Mom always made this stuff growing up, so I was excited to try my hand at it. I have to say it turned out yummy! And we shouldn't have to buy jam for at least a year! I found some sweet little plastic freezer "jars" (with cute purple lids!)and used some liquid pectin by Ball for my batches and it worked just fine. I was a little nervous because I know my Mom always used the powdered pectin (which makes jam solid), but the liquid was very simple and seems to have done the trick.



Anywho, I digress. The morning was uneventful, well if you can count washing AND putting away ALL of the laundry (woot!) and making the jam (can you tell I am excited about that dang jam??). I was just getting logged on to work, and getting the kids settled down for a movie for the time before Daddy gets home when I got a phone call. It was Keith and he had been rear ended. Through multiple phone calls and texts we decided that since Keith's head broke out the rear window of his truck, that a trip to the ER to get checked out was necessary.

Everything kind of fell into place and our friends were able to pick up the kids, and treat them to McDonalds, and watch them for the next 5 hours (Thank you Taylors!!), and I was also able to leave work and take Keith in. After 2 unsuccessful attempts at getting the catheter needle in his arm (apparently he has tough skin, because the first one literally BENT, and the second on PINCHED CLOSED), he was all C collared up and we waited for the CTs. Thankfully all scans were negative and now all we can do is keep any pain under control and make sure no strange symptoms manifest. It may seem that I am being overly cautious, but in cases like this better safe than sorry! I told Keith that if I ever wake up and he is dead in bed beside me, I would kill him! So we are just trying to make sure that doesn't happen any time soon! Next comes the waiting, and the checking out of the vehicle, and all that jazz. I hate car accidents! This is our first between the two of us, and I hope that we don't have another for a long, long time!

All I can say is after all that excitement, I am ready for a lazy weekend!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I...

...love my kids even when they scream at me like I am kidnapping them, even though I am only telling them it is time to come home from the park.

...have been feeling very hermitish lately. Not sure if it is self imposed or out of necessity.

...am planning on making some strawberry freezer jam this week. All I need are the berries, I can't wait.

...keep finding things to cry about, every day. What the heck is wrong with me?

...have so many lovely pictures and things to share, but I just can't seem to make myself do it.

...wish we lived by family. Does it ever get easy to be away from the ones who love and know you best?

...am feeling kinda meh. I hate feeling sorry for myself, but sometimes I just can't help it. Hopefully a better attitude is around the corner.

...am looking forward to summer. Time with the kids, time with Keith, maybe some time with family, and time with myself.