24 May 2012

Odds & Ends

So...we have a dog now.  We're all still trying to figure it out, but all in all, life with Trixie is good.  We're working on basic obedience right now (training her means we're really training us, of course).  The kids are still adjusting to having a furry sibling and you know, not being able to eat off the floor anymore.  :)  Don't get me started on the dog hair...

We're in our 3rd week of eating right and moving more.  Technically we're on day 17 of the 24 day challenge.  After day 10 we quit counting because we're not looking at it as 24 days of being healthy and then we'll go back to doing whatever feels good at the moment.  We've (I've) let things get way out of control, and it feels good to take that control back.  The other day I made a list of the positives about the 24 day challenge.  It's a long list--I feel better than I have in...years.  Honestly.  I have more energy.  I am more productive (well, not today...don't judge).  We're eating clean and healthy--which means our kids are, too...dinner, at least.  Breakfast and lunch haven't changed much for them other than that we've cut back on processed foods and sugar.  Yup, as crazy as it sounds, the Pharaons are no longer eating dessert twice a day PLUS an after-school snack.  Surprisingly, we haven't heard a single complaint from the knuckleheads...I'm shocked that they've accepted the changes so easily.  But, I don't give them enough credit--Kayci is very interested in being healthy, and Noble is a good sport.  I hope they'll grow up with good habits...because I'm lazy when it comes to food and exercise, plain and simple.

I fell off the blogging wagon, and the quiet time wagon...I guess I can't focus on too many things at one time.  I'm doing my best to keep up with my family and my jobs right now, but I look forward to more time for both blogging and quiet time this summer.  We'll see--summer starts tomorrow around here!

20 May 2012

6 Years Ago Tonight...

...Kayci put on her new Gymboree ice cream pajamas to celebrate our first night in "Ice Cream" (what she called Brenham until we moved here).

Six years later, this 2 year old is 8--almost 9.

Our family of three is a family of four.

We are still renting the little green house we rented "for one year"...six years ago.

And while our life looks nothing like it did six years ago, or even how we thought it would look, we are happier than we ever imagined.  More importantly for James and me, we're content.  Six years ago, we didn't even understand the difference.  :)

18 May 2012

Fun Teacher Appreciation Cards

I have been DYING to share these with you guys, but I wanted to wait until the kids shared them at school.  I took these fun pics with Hipstamatic and DaddyBoy added the cool words--these are officially my new favorite cards!

16 May 2012

12 May 2012

This week on my phone...

Sunday...we got a dog!

Monday: started the 24 day challenge. Here's my take: I am lazy when it comes to food & exercise. Obviously, I need the accountability of a "program" to get back to clean eating and moving enough. But I'm frustrated with myself because we don't NEED hundreds of dollars worth of supplements, etc. to eat clean...each day I think, why didn't I just DO this?! I'm excited about being back on track--it's been a few years since my grocery cart looked like this, and I've missed feeling good!

Tuesday: I don't remember Tuesday. I know I went to yoga and worked at home...hmm... Wednesday: was our anniversary! After a day at work, we celebrated with a picnic at one of our favorite places on earth. Kids, dog, and all!

Thursday: was the last general PTO program of the year, and we finalized officer selection. It's kind of a blur, so this pic Noble took of himself at WalMart (cookies and lemonade for 300, anyone?) seemed appropriate. :)

Friday: was the last PTO Board meeting of the year, and Kinder graduation, and Academic Day, and...just busy. I'm so grateful to have a knucklehead who can entertain himself.

Still Friday...by the time we got home and walked Trixie, the week had caught up with all of us. Picklesicles and a movie were just what they needed to unwind. (I almost forgot Kayci's piano lesson, we were so relaxed!!)

Today will be fun, too...more on that later! Happy Mother's Day, friends!!

09 May 2012

Happy 14!

This picture of James and Sami at our wedding (14 years ago today!) just seemed appropriate since our anniversary gift is...a dog!  :)

So, we didn't wake up on a cloud and have mimosas and manna for breakfast...but I'm thinking it'll still be a good day.  Since we got married at one of the busiest times of the year, we have to keep our anniversaries in perspective--it's more of a day for counting our blessings than for partying.  Sigh.  One of these years, though, one of these years...I want a weekend AWAY for our anniversary.

I love you, Boy!

08 May 2012

Milk & Cookies Sprinkle

Remember these?

The sprinkle is over, so now I can tell you more! Well, I have to start with the fact that I wish I'd taken more pictures...seems to be a theme with me! We had an old tan milk can in storage (sad to say, we actually have 2 and use 0 in our home!), so it just felt right to spray it red and use it for the entry. I liked it so much, I came home and put it in our flower bed (minus Gage's g magnet)!

The theme was milk and cookies--it's a really cute and flexible theme, and I hope to use it again.

The banner was hard to capture because of the great light streaming in, so there's a detail shot next. By the way, Lynn & I learned the hard way: aqua and red are a great pair, but they can never, never touch--too hard on the eyes!

Lynn had a great idea: she bought Gage a copy of "If you give a mouse a cookie" and used that as the sign in. She mounted a copy of the invitation in the book, too...it was sweet!  For the favors, we made dipped Oreo pops--thanks, Pinterest!

Here's the other banner...I love the simplicity of the letters, and will definitely use this again.  This was just supposed to be a sprinkle, but they were SHOWERED with love and gifts--this was just the beginning!

06 May 2012

Found: One Dog

This is Sami.  Sami has been gone for almost exactly 2 years.  For 15 years, she was the best dog you can imagine.  If you've been around a while, you know that Sami lived with Grandpa for several years and when we moved to Brenham, we got Kayci a "new dog."  Our mistake?  Thinking the new dog would be like Sami.  Jessie's a great dog, but we weren't ready for a puppy (we were used to a well-trained dog).  When we got pregnant with Noble, we started searching for a new home for Jessie and found a great lady at Germania who lives out in the country and was willing to add Jessie to her family.  It's been a great fit, and we're so grateful (and happy for Jessie!).  I was very clear after that:  no more dogs.  Then Dad got sick and you know the rest...Sami came to live with us a few months after he was diagnosed.  It's hard to believe that she outlived him by 1 whole year, but she did.  That's another story, though.  The moral of this story?  We didn't want a dog--we've already had the best dog in the world, loved and lost.

Two days ago, Noble and I were in line at WalMart and struck up a conversation with the elderly gentleman behind us.  For some reason he and Noble got to talking about pets, and Noble announced as only a 4 year old boy can do, "Our dog died.  She's in heaven with Grandpa now."  He went on to explain how we don't have ANY PETS...well, except a couple of real, swimming frogs.  I told the man that we'd never be able to replace our dog, and we wouldn't try.


This morning, I was thinking about the Advocare 24 Day Challenge James and I are about to begin...and I thought, the key to success is going to be MOVING every single day.  I wish I had something that would MAKE me walk every day.  Ha!

Today was a different kind of a Sunday; I was on schedule at church to do the hospitality stuff, but then Kayci and I needed to leave for Kingwood for a baby shower so we weren't going to stick around for Sunday school or church.  All was well, we were right on time.  Kayci and I headed to the donut store to pick up the church's order and get our family's breakfast.  Daddy and Noble were going to go to church in the truck, and we'd meet them there.

Well, when we got to the donut store, there was a dog outside who bore an amazing resemblance to Sami.  Of course my heart melted a little.  I talked to her, then we went inside and got in line.  As we stood there, I was watching the dog outside and I realized she wasn't with anyone...she was on her own.  I asked around in the donut store and they told me she'd just shown up, that she was lost.  So...I couldn't do it.  I couldn't let her get hurt or really lost, so I went out to look at her collar.  She had a tag from a vet in Bryan, but no owner's name or phone number.  Poor James is used to stuff like this--I called him and asked him to come get her to put her in our yard until we could track down the owner.  I left our phone numbers with the donut store employees and we went on our way to church after James put her in the backyard.

After set up, Kayci and I went back to the house.  Driving up and seeing this in the yard made my heart skip a beat...she looked so much like Sami standing there in the yard.  She was already digging out, so we moved her into the small yard where she'd be safer.  Once I got a good look at her, I realized that she was somebody's baby because she was so well taken care of.  I told Kayci that most likely she'd be with us overnight and that we were going to find her owners, that somebody would be missing her.  (You KNOW the kids were absolutely ecstatic...thinking they were going to keep her!)  I won't lie, when the puppy rolled over and showed me her belly at the donut store, and looked up at me with Sami's big brown eyes...I hoped.  But then I reminded myself, I don't want a dog.

I didn't want a dog.  And I definitely didn't want an inside dog--I've gotten used to clean floors, no pet hair, being able to bake and leave stuff out to cool...we've all gotten spoiled to be able to leave toys and stuff around.  We've been telling the kids for 2 years, we're NOT getting another dog.  Heck, they're lucky they got frogs!  (There was Otto the orphan kitty last year...but even his cuteness didn't last long.)

But you know, God knows what we need more than we do.  If the lost dog outside of Max Donuts hadn't looked so much like Sami, my heart would have been harder and I may have even left her there or pawned her off on an animal lover so someone else would have to deal with finding her owners.  Or not...maybe I would have just ignored her and hurried Kayci by, too.  But she DID look like Sami, she did roll over right into my heart, and we did take on the task of finding her owners.

Which turned out to be pretty easy--James left a message with the vet on her tag, but we weren't hopeful of hearing anything before tomorrow.  But about an hour after Kayci and I left town, I got a phone call from her owner.  He and his wife live right by us and their puppy dug out of the yard this morning.  The owner and his wife are in their 70s, and they adopted this puppy a few months ago (she's a year and a half old, exactly what we thought).  After he and I spoke briefly, the owner asked "do you want to keep her?"  Uh, yeah.  I told him I needed to talk to my husband, but I'd get back with him.

I barely had time to call my Boy before the owner's wife called me back; she was so excited at the thought of their dog having a home with a family!  Well, they came over this evening with a basket full of everything you could possibly need for a dog (these people were just amazing and generous and so wonderful...I hope this dog knows what she's gotten herself into!).  It turns out we did find the dog's owners--us!  We don't know what will happen next, but we do know that it's been a great day and the dog has made herself right at home in our family.  Keep us in your prayers that she'll continue to adjust well...and our house will survive!

And that is how Trixie became a Pharaon.  The...beginning.  :)

Maifest Magic

*I'm sure I'm infringing on BlueBell's copyright, but the title just seemed fitting.  This week has been magical!

If you're not from or in Brenham, you may not know about Maifest.  Click on their website to find out more about it, or here's the summary:  it's one of the oldest German festivals in the south.   We were unsure about it, I think, because it just seemed like such a "Brenham" thing.  Well, that's not a bad thing, and once we got involved we realized it is the LEAST exclusive event around--they work so hard to make it open to everyone, and then work hard to make sure every child feels special.   Last year, one of Kayci's friends talked her into participating and her mom included Kayci in one of the dance groups.  Remember this?

Kayci had so much fun, and we did, too.  She and Kate did the go-go dance in the talent show last spring, and then a bunch of the girls wore their outfits for Halloween this year.  We got our money's worth and then some!  But more importantly, Kayci had a great time, and she loved, loved the dancing.  This year, she was so excited to sign up for another dance number, and Maifest didn't disappoint.  Kayci was a Genie with a fantastic group of girls and parents.  From start to finish, Maifest 2012 was well-organized, kid-focused, and a ton of fun.  And most importantly, Kayci had FUN!

Here she is, waiting to go to her group before the Coronation.  Did I mention that Kayci ROCKED as a Genie?  She loved the dance, and it showed!  We love to watch her dance, and we're even willing to bend our "one activity" rule to let her take dance lessons...but she's content to dance for just a couple months each year.  I love that kid!

And afterwards, we snuck away to ride a couple rides while we waited for Daddy to gather his equipment.

We were up bright and early Saturday morning for the parade...the Genies' float was gorgeous, and so were the girls.  :)  This year they had to combine the Jr. and Sr. parades, so after we got the Genies off the float and back with their families, we went back to watch the rest of the parade.

When Daddy went back to film the Senior Coronation, the knuckleheads and I went back so they could ride the 40-ft. slide (YOWZA!) and get some more of the awesome fresh lemonade.

Did I say YOWZA already?!  Geez, that's a tall slide--the look of pure, abject terror on their faces...needless to say, nobody asked if they could go again.  :)

And I made them take the obligatory goofy picture...I bet next year we'll see his nose, too...they're both growing so fast!

After dinner, Noble was arguing that he was too tired to sleep (and trying to get out of taking a bath).  He lay down on the floor in protest...and proved himself wrong!

I hope you guys had as much fun at Maifest as the Pharaons.  Congratulations, Queen Kate and King Jake--you and your families did a wonderful job of making Maifest unforgettable for everyone!

01 May 2012

16 Years

For those of you who don't know, that's me in 1996--and that big orange Kat?  He's my husband.  Well, my future husband was in the suit.  This is us at the Sammy Awards. (See me holding my award?  Technically, it says "Krista" instead of Kristi, but I didn't have them fix the nameplate because it was a good life lesson...it reminds me not to get too full of myself.)

My Boy and I got married on May 9th, but May 1st is the anniversary that we really celebrate--this is the day that James decided he wanted to be my boyfriend, not just date and hang out.  He said it a lot cooler, but that was the gist of it...and here we are.  Who knew happily ever after was possible?  :)

Thanks for calling me after the Sammys that night, Boy...I love you, you know.