Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeling Festive...NOT!

The "Holiday Season" is officially here. All of the stores have festive decorations, big sales and Christmas music playing. Many of the neighborhoods are decorating the entrances. Home owners are putting up lights, wreaths and even trees. My favorite radio station played Christmas music all last weekend. The bell ringers have invaded Wal-mart. Church has the angel tree, magi boxes and stockings to fill. A Christmas Carol is playing at the theater. I have even picked up a couple of Christmas gifts.

But with so many signs of the season all around me...why don't I feel festive? It all seems so mechanical right now. Automatic. Like we are all just going through the motions. We are decorating because we have to. It's time. It's not even cold outside! Where's the magic???

It's in the other room. Getting ready for bed. My kids are the magic of Christmas! They love to decorate, sing carols, and look at lights. They love to bake and decorate cookies. They love to dream about gifts, pack magi boxes and wrap gifts for others. But they are kids and kids don't think about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. They don't know how the magic happens, it just does! Somehow, we have sugar, flour and sprinkles. We have wrapping paper, bows and tape. We have the perfect gift for all of our family to wrap. Magic! And that is why I will start going through the motions, getting ready, preparing for the season. They count on me. And soon, before I know it, I will be feeling very festive too, ready for a magical holiday season full of wonderful memories.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin? Like something isn't right? You feel like you should be doing something bigger than you are? Today I am uncomfortable. I am taking care of my sick family, doing laundry, dishes, taking out the trash, feeding the dog. None of these things are really very glamorous things to do. Necessary, but not necessarily fun and exciting. But surely life is about more than dirty laundry!

I don't always talk to God as I should and yet today I randomly opened up my Bible to 2 Corinthians this afternoon. "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

Yeah! It is ok to be uncomfortable. God wants us to be uncomfortable! If I feel ok and confident in my body doing what I always do, no matter how big or small, I am away from God. He wants us to be close to Him. At home with Him. Today I am uncomfortable. Are you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lysol please

Fall is a great time of year. I love the cooler weather, the changing leaves, football, pumpkin crisp...but one thing I do NOT love is that fall usually means someone gets ill at the Texas Tolleson's house. This year there are LOTS of someone's getting ill!. Lily had a random fever virus 2 weeks ago. Lily and my allergies are acting up after a school field trip. And now Logan AND Larry are running fever. I have an appointment for Logan tomorrow and hopefully it is something that antibiotics can easily heal. Please pray that they will heal quickly and that I don't run out of Lysol! And now, I'm taking my Nyquil and heading to bed. Good night.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Logan is 9!

Logan officially turned 9 on October 31st! And so, to commemorate the event, I give you a look back at sweet Logan...

He was such a big bundle of joy! He had rolls on his rolls! Logan was always smiling and very content to be held all the time. We weren't sure if he would ever crawl because he would have to lift his belly off the ground!

One of Logan's favorite foods, no, his absolute favorite food is chocolate. He has always loved chocolate. When he was little he used to "purr" when he was offered chocolate. That is how Larry and I describe the sound he makes. It is this super fast laugh that only comes out when he is overjoyed by something (usually food).

Logan loves to have a good time and laughs out loud often. He's got a great laugh! He is shy. He does not like to be the center of attention. He is sneaky. He is devious. I know, you would never expect it out of those sweet eyes!

Most of all Logan is a sweet kid that likes to have fun. He loves playing baseball on the Crossmen. He plays second base, outfield and just started pitching. He also loves video games, reading and swimming. Not to wish the year away, but he is already looking forward to being double digits next year. Slow down big boy. Momma's not ready for that quite yet. Happy 9th sweet Lo.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It was a great Halloween week for us. On Sunday night we went to Legacy's annual Trunk or Treat. We had a great time and it is a nice safe place to let our kids have fun with their friends. We passed out candy, visited with friends, got balloon flowers, ate hot dogs, and ate lots, and lots and lots of candy!

Here are the kids in their costumes. Logan the Hippie, Lily as Hannah Montana, and Zac as, well he just went in his school clothes. :)

On Halloween the boys had baseball games at 4:00 and 5:00. Seriously?? Who made that scheduling??? Anyway, after we got home at 7:00 pm, we changed in to costumes and went out with a pumpkin in one and and a piece of pizza in the other. Hey, I had to feed them dinner sometime! It was a lot of fun! The kids are already thinking about their costumes for next year!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Almost 9

Logan is so excited about his birthday - he can barely contain his joy! He is ready for his party, and presents and being 9. The only problem is that he has absolutely no concept of time. He was ready for his party days ago! This must seem like to longest week ever for him! If he asks one more time "when does my party start?"...Aargh! We are heating up the pool for a swim party and no, of course this crazy Texas weather is not exactly cooperating. It will be pretty cool, but we all swam today, and it wasn't too bad. (Hopefully swimming when it is cold out will not make us all sick!)

I will try to post some pictures of the birthday boy on his special day. October 31st is going to be busy though. Each child has a ball game. Assuming no rainouts. We have 2 parties to attend. If we have rainouts. And then of course, the kids insist we go trick-or-treating! Maybe we will have time to get into costumes in the car after that last game ends at 6:40 pm. (Who made that schedule?!?)

Tomorrow I get to decorate and make my little chocolate lover's cake. Atleast I will get to lick the icing bowl all by myself. Yummy!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flu Ready

Well, it is flu season in Texas and the Texas Tolleson's are finally ready. Hopefully. Larry had his shot weeks ago. His doctors don't give him an option! I got mine at a Walgreens. They had 10 left after mine and they would only give the shots to people 9 and older. So, I raced to school, picked up Zac and surprise! He was thrilled to get a shot! Well, not exactly. Ok, not at all! But it did get him out of school for an hour! We spent the next few days hitting each other in the arm! I spent a week trying to call the pediatrician's office. I finally got appointments for the flu clinic. Logan and Lily got theirs at the pediatrician's office. Luckily for me, shots are not a big deal for my kids.

Tonight in the flu clinic, Lily and I had fun watching the faces of the kids after getting their shots. Most of the big kids were fine. The babies had red, teary eyes. But there was one girl that caught everyone's attention. She was about 4 or 5 and was being quickly carried out by her mom. As they left, the girl screamed "I'm dying! I'm really dying!" The mom tried to reassure her (and it sounded like she had done this before). But she insisted "No, I'm really dying!!!"

As a mother that had a terrible 2/3 year old daughter, this was hilarious to me! It is also amazing to me that we are all created so different. Even at such a young age, we are tough, tender, loving, independent, adventurous, shy and melodramatic. All in one room. All God's creations. Created uniqely. Loved equally. Amazing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Should have beens

Ok, so I should have been blogging regularly to keep both of my readers informed...sorry. But when you only have 2 readers, it is easier to make a phone call. Let's see if I can remember what has happened the past 2 weeks.

We should have been playing fall baseball, but it rained and rained and rained. So, we have been spending time together as a family at home instead. Not such a bad trade off, but now we are trying to make up all of the games we missed. Now we have baseball every night! The kids are playing well and having fun.

We should have been landscaping the backyard, but it rained and rained and rained. So, we have been spending time together as a family instead. Once again, not a bad trade off, but now we are trying to plant a few bushes in between baseball games! It is looking much better, but we still have a lot of work to do. Do you have any idea how much trash that is buried under a construction site???

I should have been doing a lot of things to catch up on my to do list, but it rained and rained...wait...I guess I can't really use that as an excuse here. I should have been filing records, cleaning house, exercising, etc. But instead, I have been playing with yarn thanks to my mother-in-law teaching me new tricks. I made Lily another scarf and I am working on another one for myself. I love that I can sit and make something without having to drag out every tool I have and cover the dining table with a huge mess.

How is it that the should haves seem to rule my life lately? I have the best of intentions, but my follow through is severely lacking which leads to much regret. I pray that there are certain areas of my life that I have no regrets. My husband. My kids. My faith. My family. My friends. For all the planning I do, tomorrow may not come. My prayer today is that I will live a life of no regrets.

Friday, October 2, 2009

For Granted

Today was a great day! The house magically cleaned itself. The sheets were magically changed. The laundry was magically washed and folded. Dinner was magically prepared. That magic fairy was working hard at our house today! She probably even had to work overtime! I bet she did not even shower until about...oh, just guessing...5pm!!! Wow - just enough time to get ready to go out for the night.

Magic. This is how these things happen in the eyes of a child. They are always taken care of for them. They do not have to worry about cleaning their baseball uniforms, or what to eat, or whether the toilet is really clean. They are taken for granted.

But how different am I as an adult? I still take things for granted. The paychecks keeps magically appearing in our bank account. The pool chemistry is magically adjusted. My computer is magically fixed. The church services are all magically prepared. The shelves for give away day are magically stocked. These are things that are always taken care of for me, but do I really appreciate it all? As a magic household fairy, I love to be appreciated. Verbally. Often. How much more should I show my appreciation of those that magically take care of me?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Self Punishment

When each of my kids were babies, there came a time when we had to teach them to go to sleep on their own. In their own bed. Without mom rocking and singing until the wee hours of the morning. I remember listening outside of their doors - out of sight of course - waiting for them to stop crying. Knowing in my head that it won't be long before they fall asleep, but feeling like my heart was being ripped out with each sob.

There also came a time for each one when they had to learn to eat what I served for dinner. Even if it was green or mushy or not peanut butter. They went to their rooms crying many nights. I remember wishing they would just try the food. I am a picky eater, so I don't fix weird foods. I listened to them cry, praying they would come back down and fill their little tummies. I was trying to nurture them, but felt so sad knowing they were hungry.

Tonight I asked them to all get ready for bed. I gave them time. They all heard me. They all ignored me. So...I ignored them. They all got ready for bed and tucked themselves in. No stories. No prayers. No bear hugs. No sweet kisses. Lily cried and said she couldn't sleep. I felt like the brand new mom, waiting for her babies to sleep. I was dying to go up there! I waited as long as I could, then I crept upstairs to kiss all their sleeping faces. Logan was sound asleep. Zac was still awake, feeling bad, and apologized. Lily...she was reading her Bible with her ring light. OK reading her Bible is sweet, but OF COURSE YOU CAN"T SLEEP!!! I still have so much work with that one!

They are older now. They have no trouble sleeping. They eat what is served. The battles are changing. The punishment is changing. But why is it that I am the one that feels punished the most? Sometimes the punishment is so much worse for me than it is for them. But they don't know that. That is part of being a mother. And that lesson is one that they will not learn until I am a grandmother.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

OK. I love a rainy day as much as the next gal. Cuddling up with a good book. Visiting with friends. Watching old movies. Playing board games with the kids. Making cookies. Eating soup. Taking a long nap.

But ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! It has rained too many days now. I feel the need to begin construction on my ark!

There is something I love even more than a rainy day...and that is getting things crossed off my "to-do" list. Isn't that the best feeling in the world?!? Does anyone agree, or am I all alone on this one? I absolutely love finishing projects! Starting projects is fun and the process is good, but stepping back and seeing a job well! And right now the biggest "to-do" on my list (and subsequently Larry's list too) is landscaping the back yard. The pool is finished and I am ready for it to look like the pictures in the pool brochures. Right now, it is a pretty swimming hole planted in mud! If it ever stops raining for more than 2 days, we might just get the chance.

But, for tonight, I guess we watch football, listen to the rain and patiently (I'm working on that) wait for things to dry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rainy Visit

Last weekend Grana and Poopa (Larry's mom and her husband) came to visit from Mississippi. We had big plans to go to all the kids baseball games, but every time they come to Texas, they bring crazy weather! Snow, hail, torrential downpours, etc. And this weekend was no different. It rained all weekend long!
But for once, it was a great thing that we were trapped inside! We got more time to visit with each other. Saturday, we were watching some football and Grana had brought her crochet project that she was working on. Lily was very curious and cuddled right up to her for a lesson in how to crochet. Grana patiently taught her to make a chain stitch, which she worked on until it was taller than her! She was having a great time and Grana talked about how easy it was. She was making dishrags. Sounds easy, right?

Well, she taught me how and I made my first dishrag. No, it is not real pretty. Quite far from it! But I improved a lot! Notice how the stitches are a bit crazy at the top, but got more consistent toward the bottom. I now know why people call them rags!

Grana also taught me how to make a hat. Lily really wanted one, so ta-da! I did it! Honestly I am quite proud, because I even made a flower for her hat. I enjoyed crocheting so much that I got carried away and made Lily a scarf to match! After I finished the scarf, Lily wrapped up, smiled a huge smile and said "Mom, I love it! All I can say is thank you!" Baby girl, that is all a momma needs.

She has been sleeping with her scarf since I finished it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What a Pain!

You know how when you have a crick in your neck, you just take a few Motrin and keep going? Cause you just slept funny. Right? Well, you know how your shoulder is kinda numb, and you just ignore it? Cause your purse is heavier and you always sleep on that side. Right? And you know how your fingers feel a little tingly, and you blow it off? Because you have tremors and that is to be expected. Right? OK, so maybe you don't have tremors, but we always ignore little health issues because we are busy, busy, busy. Can't let a little ache or pain slow us down! Right?

Well, Monday after swimming a few laps, I turned my head to the left to look at Lily and something happened. Not sure what, but I couldn't move my head, neck or shoulders. PAIN!!! I barely got out of the pool and luckily Larry got home right after it happened to help me inside. Well, after an awful night, I went to see the doctor. And he said I have a bulging herniated disk in my neck. A pain in the neck - literally! I will be going for an MRI tomorrow to see what to do about it. So, please pray that I will not freak out in the MRI and that this can be easily fixed.

Well, not feeling great. Going to take some great meds. Then off to bed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Welcome to our ool!

Notice there is no P in it. Let's keep it that way! (This is a wallpaper that Zac keeps putting on my phone!)

No really, we had our first pool party tonight with our small group and it went very well. The kids all had a great time. It still feels kinds weird to have a pool in our yard. I guess I just haven't gotten use to it yet since I have only swam a few times. We still have a LOT of work to do in the backyard...sprinklers, landscaping, furniture...etc., but it is going to be such a blessing to have.

The kids want to invite their friends over every day! And that is part of the reason we decided to build a pool in the first place. We want to have the kind of house that our kids want to invite their friends to. "Be the house." That's what our friends with teens said. I'm glad that my kids still want to be at home. Selfishly, that is where I like them best. Under my wings. But tonight, I pray that I can put my selfish desires behind and maintain open communication with my kids and a sharing heart for their friends and future loved ones.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday Update

Wednesday. Half way through the school week. I have all of those first of school papers to fill out and there seem to be more every day. PTA meetings. Church meetings. Committee meetings. Busy, busy, busy. But this is a week like every other school week. Or is it? Homework is not too heavy yet. Sports games have not started yet. It is going to get much more hectic!

But tomorrow will be a great day for the Texas Tolleson's to take a few moments to chill out. Literally. Tomorrow we start to fill the large hole in our backyard. And that water is going to be cold! I'm not sure who is more excited - the kids or Larry! We began this project sooo many months ago but the actual time to build it has only been 3 weeks. Wow! I will post a picture when it is full. I love how it has turned out! It is so hard to pick out materials and hope they will look good together, but we did it!

I know that is not an exciting update for today, but that is all I have in me today. I need a physical and spiritual revival, but I think Zachery will be providing part of that soon. He has some specific ideas of things he wants to start studying. I love that kid. He sure keeps me on my feet as a child of God. It is quite a wonder how your attitude and actions change when you realize just how closely someone is watching you.

Who is watching you?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Serving God

Today was our Small Groups turn to work in the church's food pantry. The boys went with me and a few others to help out. I had never worked in there before and did not know what to expect. We were shown what we all needed to do and then we got to work. The boys flattened food boxes, carried them to the dumpster, taped up new boxes to hold the food, help stock shelves and babysat a 2 year old on the playground. Zac also helped load boxes (really heavy boxes!) into the families cars.

The regular pantry workers mentioned that they had not seen such young kids be so truly helpful. They really worked hard for 2 straight hours. And they did not complain. Not even once. What great kids!

They had fun. They served our community. They served God. And they want to do it again.

Now what I want to know, is how do I get them to be as excited about helping out at home???

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1st Day of School

Well, hello to both of my readers! I know, I know I have not posted in forever. But my summer job has kept me quite busy. Being the Entertainment Director for a zoo is quite challenging! The monkeys are always jumping on the furniture, the lions just want to lay around and the penguins just want to swim all summer long. By the time I got the bears fed, the stinky elephants bathed and the birds to quit chattering, I was exhausted!

But, school officially started Monday. Can I hear 3 cheers? Hip Hip Hooray!

It was a great first day for the kids. They all love their teachers and have some of their friends in their classes. Zac loves being the BMOC and Logan says "3rd grade is wonderful *sigh*". Lily is very excited to do big kids things like PE and music.

I promise that I will try to start posting again. Hopefully it will be easier with the kids in bed by 8:30pm. But now, I'm off to look over more school papers to sign. Don't you just love all that back to school paperwork? Filled out in triplicate? NOT.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid Summer Smackdown

OK. It is mid summer and as of today, I am not going to make it until school starts again. I have two kids that are going to make me lose it! Zachery and Logan get along well. Logan and Lily get along well. But Zachery and Lily are pestering each other to death!!! They look so cute an innocent, but as soon as I turn around it starts up again.

"He did this, she did that, he started it, she started it, I didn't do it, I didn't do anything"...etc, etc, etc.

I know that siblings are supposed to fight. I know that home is where they learn to work out problems with others. Home is where they develop their communication skills. But come on! Give me a break! Right now they are not learning anything!

I feel like a failure as a parent right now because I'm really not sure how to stop the madness. How do I teach them to treat each other with love and respect? It is fine if they fight some, but at some point they also need to practice kindness to each other. What do I need to do? Does anyone have any suggestions? Please I am begging for your comments. I'll try anything that might be helpful - even if that means giving them some gloves and having a mid summer smackdown!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Country?

The kids were driving me c-r-a-z-y today! They have been irritating each other relentlessly all day! So about 5pm I had them all come down and sit in different parts of the living room while I prepared dinner. Here was the conversation:

Z: Mom, I have something to tell you about what happened with Logan.
D: Blah-blah-blah-blah...
Z: Mom, come on. It's important.
D: Do you want ketchup?
Z: Mom, I thought this was a free country. Don't I have the right of free speech???
D: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...(I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe!!!) Oh, Zachery. Haven't we told you. You do NOT live in a democratic household. You live in a dictatorship! You have no rights in this house except those your father and I give you. And right now I don't want to listen to anymore fussing or fighting or explanations.
Z: Man, that's not fair!
D: Nope. But when you grow up, you too can be the dictator of your own home. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Zachery!

Zachery turned 11 today. I'm not really sure how it happened though - since he was just born yesterday!!! He has been very excited about his big day and has had trouble talking about anything else for days. I'm pretty sure he had a great day! Now, I may have a headache tomorrow though. He got an electric guitar and amp. A really loud new toy. But his smile was priceless. Happy Birthday baby boy!

(I will have to post some other pictures later. This was the youngest picture (7 yrs) we have of him on the computer.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Holding Hands

The boys were at baseball camp Monday through Thursday from 9am -12pm this week. So Lily and I got some great girl time together. We read books, went shopping, cleaned the house. She was really enjoying the time we spent together no matter what we were doing.

We had been running errands one day and we were running out of time very quickly. And she wanted to hold my hand. All day, everywhere we went, she made sure she was on the side of my empty hand. But we were hot. And sweaty. It was close to 100 degrees. And I just didn't want to be touched with sticky hands. But then I looked down and saw her looking up at me. I realized how quickly she is growing up. Then I remembered two little boys that used to want to hold my hand. But not anymore. So, we held hands. Tight. And I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Summer!

The Texas Tolleson's are so excited about summer! So far we have been:

Swimming - just show them water!
Staying up late - 9:30 bedtime
Sleeping in - 7:30 is such a nice time to get up.
Drinking caffeine sodas - a huge treat for the kids
At the beach - We were at South Padre last week. Hopefully I can post some pictures soon.
Jumping on the trampoline - only in the mornings though. Afternoon is HOT!
Watching cartoons - We did say 5 hours is too much in one day! But mom was sick, so...
Eating snow cones - Every Wednesday night after church - yummy!

Tonight Zac went to a Ranger game with a friend and Logan is having a sleep over with his friend. Lily is feeling a little left out, but maybe we can give her a special time with friends soon.

I love summer because it is so free. We are so tied to a schedule all school year long, that when summer hits, we just crash! I don't wear my watch at all in the summer. Ever. Really. We eat when we are hungry. Sleep when we are tired. And we don't make plans too far in advance. We want to be more impulsive. Carefree.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven... a time to tear down and a time to build...a time to mourn and a time to dance, ... a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace... He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3

That pretty much sums up summer to the Texas Tolleson's. I pray we see everything as beautiful this summer. What is summer to you?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Tricky" Monday!

Monday was Memorial Day. Monday was also BISD's bad weather make up day. Yuck. But we have a great Principal that made the day very fun (and "tricked" us all into coming to school on a National holiday!) It was "Step Up" Day. Each grade got to "step up" to the next grade to check it out. So Lily got to visit 1st grade, Logan got to visit 3rd grade and Zac got to visit 5th grade. The kids loved it! They got a close up preview of what next year holds. What a great idea!

Also, Monday was Kindergarten Splash Day. That is the day Kindergartners look forward to all year long. It is 2 hours of swimsuits, water, bubbles, shaving cream, body paint, slip-n-slides, pools, and unlimited popsicles and snacks! Wow!!!

It is a wild 6 year old free for all! And everyone loves it - even the parents! Especially since that means it is almost summer!

Lily the Proud

Lily was chosen as the "Proud Porter Panther" for her class for the last six weeks. The virtue she was chosen for was trustworthiness. She was very excited about being chosen and getting to eat huge cinnamon rolls for breakfast at school.

She received a certificate, a pencil, virtue tag and best of all (in her opinion) a Chick-fil-a certificate! Now she can go visit Mr. George at her favorite restaurant! He spoils Lily with ice cream and balloons when she eats all her food. Isn't that all a girl needs in life - someone to spoil her?!?

Way to go Lily! We are very "Proud Panther Parents"!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Cut

Well, after he tried to apply sunscreen and wear his goggles to swim, Logan finally agreed to get a haircut.

Before - aka "Shaggy" had to brush his sticking up, rooster hair every morning.

After - "Mom, I think my smile is better now. Thanks for the summer cut." No problem kiddo, my pleasure.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Finally Productive!

For whatever reason, I was feeling blue last week and did not want to do anything but take a nap. Well, I have finally gotten over my "blue funk". And let me say, it's about time since there are only 3 full days of school left until summer! Yikes!! I better get busy! Here it part of what happened this week:

1. I have gotten several things marked off my list. Well, I actually had 1 list and 3 sticky notes full. I am down to just 1 list now, so I am making progress!
2. I filled all of the PTA positions for next school year. Yeah!
3. We sold the van to a sweet young couple. Yahoo!!!
4. We cleaned out Larry's closet. Whew! That was hard work. I was not able to get rid of the awful blue shirt, but he did let go of many other items that had overstayed their welcome in our closet.
5. We had a moderately successful garage sale and finally all those sacks of stuff we didn't want are sold or taken to Goodwill.

I accomplished a lot more little things, but you really don't care about all of that. You know how it is, we all have little things to pick up, drop off, buy, mail, bake, email, pay for, put away, wash, dry, plant, water, file...sleep.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Any guesses as to how this happened???

Notice the lovely rainbow of colors...purple, red, green, yellow...

Oh, and YES it hurts, so don't make me laugh too hard!!!

(Look in the comments for the answer.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lily's Last Game

Today was a very important day for Lily. Lily and Jacey (her best friend) wore their uniforms to school today. It was her final game of the season with the Diamond Girls. Awww. It was also awards night. Oooh! Lily has been very excited about getting another medal like she got for playing soccer and fall softball. I warned her that she might not get another medal, but she just knew she would get something. (That smart girl has been watching her brothers get trophys for years!) Well, she got something even better than a medal. Coach Ben handed out the awards. She received a sparkly red and gold trophy...and a chocolate chip cookie...and a blue slush that turned her tongue blue! Wow! I know one little girl will be having very sweet dreams tonight.

Oh, and PS...only 9 more days of school! Yippee!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Snaggle, Snaggle, Tooth

Well, it is all about teeth at the Tolleson house. Zachery lost another tooth at school today. Logan finally lost his top two teeth and has one of my favorite smiles ever on a kid! And Lily, well, thankfully she still has her teeth! We went for her check-up today from her stitches and she is healing well. She was very excited that she can eat regular foods again! One of her top teeth is still wiggly, but the Doctor is not concerned since she would lose it soon anyway. Her only restriction is not to bite into something real hard like an apple for a while - or the tooth may pop out! On the way back to school from her appointment, we stopped at Sonic to get her lunch. Oh my. I have never seen a child eat a grilled cheese and french fries as quickly as she did today! Poor girl must have been absolutely starving for the past two weeks! She has a list of foods that she has not gotten to eat over the past two weeks, so I guess I better get cookin'!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Give Her a Break!

Poor little Lily. She has had a rough few weeks. First the incident with her mouth and then today she went to the Doctor with Strep! She has a bad case and has been feeling pretty yucky since Saturday afternoon. Poor thing has just cried, because "it's just not fair". But she didn't cry about stitches, or about Strep. She cried because Logan lost another tooth and Zachery has one that is very loose! I think she was disappointed that the fall did not knock a few teeth out!!! Silly girl! She will have to stay home from school again tomorrow. She is missing school and her friends. I think she has finally realized that mommy cannot just play and watch movies with her all day. Poor mommy has to do the bills, dishes, laundry, cooking... Can't either one of us get a break?!?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Count Down Begins

The kids can count it on their fingers and toes. Only 17 more days until...


I can't wait for lazy days, sleeping in, cartoons, walks in the park, going to the beach, visiting family, riding bikes, homemade ice cream, sunscreen, tan lines, swimming, zoo trips, picnics, watermelon, Parker County peaches, no bedtime, movies, reading books for fun, play dates....Ahhh.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old Yeller

It seems like every day I hear about another tragedy. Another illness. Another death. There are so many people that are hurting right now. Zac and I finished reading "Old Yeller" tonight. We both cried. It is such a heart-breaking story of life, love and tragedy. But there is a great message to the story.

Bad things happen. Bank on it. It is impossible to escape. But, just like Travis in the story, we have to get past it. Move on. Begin to see the joy all around us. For the families that are hurting, I pray not only for their comfort and healing, but that they can experience God.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Cor 1:3-5

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lily's Progress

Thank you to everyone for your concern for Lily. She is starting to feel a little better. Her face is still really swollen, but she does not feel too much pain unless she gets more active. She has been pretty tired, which is very unusual for her. (Isn't it funny when kids say "I'm not tired!" as they scream and cry?!?) She is enjoying her diet of soft foods and has not complained one bit. Although who wouldn't like to have ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, spaghettio's and popsicles all day long?
On the plus side, we were able to get her hair cut today finally! She was very specific. Shoulder length, with layers and glitter. What a girly girl!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Larry!

Today is Larry's 39th birthday! Hooray! This morning we celebrated with a candle in his biscuit - that melted really fast because the biscuit was still hot! Then he opened presents and went to work. Nope, work is not a fun thing to do on your birthday. Oh well, such is the life of a grown up.

Although the kids think 39 is OLD, I think 39 is fantastic! Especially since he was diagnosed with leukemia 4 years ago. Time flies when you are having fun!

Here is Larry's favorite birthday cake ever - Mama Myrtis' Carrot Cake. This is completely from scratch and tastes fabulous! I have to say that this is one of the prettiest ones I have made yet! Since it has carrots in it, can it be considered healthy?

Happy birthday my sweet! I look forward to many more happy years together.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Yesterday we had quite an adventure in the Tolleson family.

After a fun time outside with our friends, Lily fell backwards in a chair and hit her mouth on the brick window ledge. Ouch!!! Have you ever noticed how much head wounds bleed?!? Also, have you ever noticed how God blesses us even in the midst of tragedy?

1) We immediately went to visit our neighbor, Ms. Deb, who is a nurse. She told us to go right to the ER. Don't panic. So, I went screaming like a crazy woman into the house for Larry to get the van!
2) Larry was home - not traveling like last week.
3) The boys stayed with the Henry's - who completely took care of them. Gotta love our Henry's!
4) Then we took Lily to Cook's Urgent Care. Love that place, but it was jam packed! After we filled out the paperwork, a woman sitting next to us started asking questions about Lily. She was an orthodontist. Seriously. Thanks Dr. Tamera Miller! She looked in Lily's mouth and told us to call our dentist. They would not be able to do anything at Cook's. So, we took her advice and called Dr. Parker.
5) Get this, he was at his office planting rose bushes. No, really. He said "come on".
6) He called the tech from the dentist office next door, who was just leaving, to come over to assist. After we got to his office he quickly assessed that this injury was beyond what he could do, so he called on oral surgeon, Dr. Tye.
7) He was there in about 15 minutes. Just long enough to get Lily's mouth numb. Again - ouch!!!

Here's the gross part. She had scraped back the gum tissue above her front teeth almost to the bone, had at least 2 loose teeth and had a busted lip. She received about 10-12 stitches and has to eat only soft foods for 2 weeks until her mouth heals.

Amazingly, she has done really well with everything. Much better than I have done! She was so brave while they were working on her mouth. She did not even cry!
8) Her face is pretty swollen, but after that goes away, no scars.
9) My parents came over to help get the kids (and me) settled for bed.
Lily is doing well today and I thank everyone for your concerns and prayers. Please also thank God for all of the (9+) blessings that he heaped upon our family yesterday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Craft it Forward - take 2

A few weeks ago my friend Jill brought me a wonderful little package. (Jill, you probably thought I forgot to post about it!) It was my reward for leaving a comment on her "craft it forward" blog. She made these wonderful coasters. Aren't they beautiful?!? She is very talented and can make anything she sees!

Jill found someone with a fun idea - to have a "craft it forward" give away - you can click here to read about it @ The Parks Family.

I posted a craft it forward entry once, but no one commented. That could mean a few different things. 1. You don't want anything that I might try to make, or 2. you are not sure if you could craft it forward.'s an idea for those with concern #2. If you are not crafty, then bake. Or surprise someone with flowers. Or take a friend to lunch. Just reach out to a friend.

For those of you who would like to play along with me... be one of the first three to leave a comment! Those lucky 3 ladies will receive a handmade gift from me! I'm not sure what it will be yet... but I have several great ideas!

I would like to "Craft it Forward" and it would love for you to "Craft - or Pay - it Forward" too. Ready, set, comment!!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feeling Used

Several week ago I started a ladies Bible class about having authentic relationships. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!!! But the class has far exceeded my expectations! It is such a wonderful time for us to develop our friendships and find solutions to some of the problems that we all face.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, I was asked if I knew someone (maybe even me) that could speak to the girls at the high school retreat about self esteem. I said no, but I would think about it. Well, I did a lot of thinking. A lot of praying. I remembered the promise that I made myself years ago. If I ever got a chance to pass along the lessons that I learned as a teen, that I would. So I agreed to talk to the girls. I was a bit nervous about speaking to teens, but God took care of that for me. He gave me courage through the loving support of my friends. The retreat was wonderful and I pray that the young ladies will benefit from what I had to say. Also, while I was there, I was able to comfort a young man whose close friend has just been diagnosed with leukemia. That was rough. It brought back so many memories.

And now I am feeling used.

And what a great feeling that is!!! I feel as though I have been used by God for His good purpose. I can not claim any of this as works of my own because "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 Thank you God for the opportunity to serve you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Day

Easter morning was cool and rainy, as usual, but the kids still looked bright and sunny in their new outfits. We enjoyed lunch at Dena's followed by an egg hunt to beat all egg hunts! There were so many eggs that their baskets were overflowing! They has a blast, and I have to say, I have enjoyed the fruits of their egg searching. Don't you think that chocolate just tastes better when it is bunny shaped?!?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tie Dyed Easter

We got creative this Easter by tie dyeing our eggs and cookies and it was so much fun! The kids did great and we did not make too big of a mess.

We used a kit from Walmart to dye the eggs. It was so easy and I loved the bright colors of the eggs.

From left to right the eggs are the creations of: Lily, mom, Zac and Logan.

The boys had fun and like the brighter colors.

We also decorated Easter cookies with Grandmother. She had neon food color and matching sprinkles. We had so much fun tie dyeing the eggs that we found a way to do the cookies too! Too bad we broke a few. Those had to be eaten immediately!

I will try to post more pictures from Easter later. Right now they are in Larry's camera - which I do not touch.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have a Blessed Easter

Spring is my absolute favorite season. Everything is coming back to life, budding, turning green and flowering. I love the smell of spring rain, fresh mowed grass and my sweaty little children that have been running around in the yard after a long cold winter. I also love Easter. When I was growing up, I always looked forward to Easter Sunday. Everyone would be at church. Everyone would be happy. And everyone would have new clothes to show off. I remember my friends and I comparing hats, purses, gloves, fluffy (scratchy) petticoats, and our beautiful, ruffled new dresses. We were dressed in every pastel color of the rainbow. Always pastels. We probably looked like a bunch of frilly Easter eggs, but I loved it.

My brother and I also had great Easter baskets. Even when I was too old to have visits from the Easter bunny, mom would just say "Don't look until morning." My Easter bunny brought chocolate, but she also brought good stuff like new Barbies, clothes and shoes.

I am looking forward to Easter tomorrow. I am ready to see the large crowd, the new dresses, pretty flowers and maybe even someone's new hat. But I now realize that it would still be Easter even without a new dress or a basket or an egg hunt. I am thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made and the significance of his resurrection. I know that without that, life would have no meaning, and I would be forever lost. I pray that I can see Easter as a time of renewal, rebirth and recommitment to the one who gave everything for me.

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Post April Fool's Trick

April Fool's Day is a lot of fun for the kids. They devise ways to try to trick each other and me, and then they wait excitedly for me to trick them. I know, it's weird that they want me to trick them but they don't like to be tricked by each other. Weird.

This year's tricks involved:
-Switching pillows
-Pink undies in an 8 yr old's drawer
-"Kool-aid" for snack time that tasted kinda like plain purple water
-Creepy plastic cockroach on mom's pillow
-Creepy plastic cockroach in 4th grade classroom
-Lily faking being sick and about to vomit

But the best "trick" was actually today.

This morning Lily had her 6 year old well check. The doctor said that she is perfect! Of course. He also wanted to do a blood test for a couple of things. Let me tell you - Lily was such a trooper! The nurses could not believe how still she was. She just laid there while they tried, unsuccessfully to find a vein in one arm. And then with success in the other arm. She did great and they gave her two coins for prizes! Just as soon as she got her prizes, she said "Mom, I don't feel so good." I got down on my knees and put my arm around her to talk to her. And then, she fainted.


Oh. My. I have never caught someone as they fainted. Let me tell you. It. Is. Scary.

She was not out long, but we carried her back to the room, propped up her feet, got her a cool towel and took her pulse. She scared me to death!!! I began to talk to her and asked if she was trying to April Fool's me again?!? It got her to laugh and distracted her for a moment. We were both pretty scared, but after several minutes of hugging and taking really deep breaths, we both felt able to leave the office. I then took her to school, where she had special animal crackers from her teacher, and had a great day. I, on the other hand, had to take a few more minutes to recover from her "trick". Let's hope she never plays that one on me again!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life's Not Fair

People get hurt. Tornadoes rip homes apart. War. Famine. Drunk drivers. CEO's get million dollar bonuses while workers get laid off. Women are battered. Children are abused. Bullies. Cancer. Buildings burn. Shootings. Robberies.

We all know that life is not fair. God does not promise that the road to heaven is paved with roses. John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

But how do you explain that to a child? I have a child that sees the world as black and white. Right and wrong. If you do what is wrong you should be punished. But that does not always happen. Sometimes people that do bad things seem to be - almost rewarded - with popularity, skills, privileges. And it is not fair.

I wish there was a way to explain all the bad, without it hurting so much. But I can't do it. I just want to cry. Life seemed easier when I was young. Maybe the world wasn't as bad then, or maybe my parents just shielded me from it all. I wish I could wrap my arms around my kids, hold them close and protect them from all the evil in the world. But I can't. So, instead I will pray with everything I have that I can teach my children God's love and God's reward if we live like him. I pray it will be enough and that they can understand that we don't want to live life for the world's reward of popularity, fame or fortune. I pray that my children will live their life worthy, in an unfair world, to be a child of God.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Awesome God

Well, once again God has surprised me. Not sure why. I should expect it from Him by now.

A few weeks ago, I asked an elder if we could have a ladies Bible study on Wednesday nights. What I wanted was to get into the Word, but let someone else teach it to me. (Wow that sounds lazy!)

What I got was words of encouragement and a study book. The book is titled "Authentic Relationships: Being Real in an Artificial World". I was not sure if this was right for the 30-ish year old women that I had in mind. It seemed almost too basic. Developing friendships. We all have those. Right?


Believe it or not there are women that are faithful Christians. Involved in church activities. Popular. Cute. Sweet families. But not feeling connected. No close friends to lean on. How can this be?

As a society, we have gotten so busy and yet we still try to do more, have more, be more. Maybe today, we should do less, have less, and be less, so that we can be a friend. Because as my mom has always said, "you have to be a friend to have friends".

This week, there were 21 women in class praying for authentic relationships. Wow! What an awesome God! Whoa - what a responsibility. I may be making a complete fool of myself by leading this class, but that will be a small cost if God will use me to make a difference in one woman's life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break at the Zoo


We got up this morning excited about the day ahead. We had decided to go to the zoo for the day. We dressed, packed lunches and picked up Grandmother. As we got to the exit for the zoo, we noticed police officers were directing traffic. Not a good sign. I kept driving, just hoping that everyone was going to a spring festival in the botanic gardens. Not so much. Cars were parking in the grass beside University!!! We knew it would be at least another hour before we even saw the zoo entrance. So, we sadly turned around.

Idea # 2 - We drove over to Keller-Smithfield Park to eat lunch and play with friends. But, there was not one single parking spot. Cars were jumping the curb and parking in the grass. I was not willing to jump the curb in my new van, so, we turned around. Again.

Idea #3 - We drove home and had a picnic in the front yard. No lines and no trouble finding a parking spot. It also had fairly clean bathrooms. Perfect! Lunch was great! It is a beautiful day!

Idea #4 - We have Putt-Putt passes, so this time I called to see how busy they were. I was told "We are CRAZY busy! It is spring break you know." Really? *sigh*

Idea #5 - We took a nice relaxing walk down the trails to the Nature Center park. It was a great walk and I got to see all kinds of wild animals. Mountain lions, alligators and monkeys...

I am so proud of my kids. Today could have been a disappointing day, but they all had such great attitudes. "... for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

Thank you kids for your beautiful example of Jesus that you have shown me today. I treasure you in my heart.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Logan the Proud

Logan was honored at school last Friday as a Proud Porter Panther. Every six weeks, teachers and students choose a child from each class to be honored for a particular virtue. This six weeks the virtue was fairness. His teacher Ms. Fiehler writes:

"Logan is a great example of the fairness virtue. He is a patient student, which makes him a good friend. Logan makes sure everyone has a partner and doesn't want anyone to be left out. I am proud to have Logan in my class. He models all virtues, and I am thrilled for him to be our Proud Panther."

Awww...Way to go Logan! Mom is very proud of you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Horrible Hair on a Cutie Pie

Last Friday was horrible hair day in Lily's class. She had a very specific way she wanted me to "fix" her hair to be "horrible". Thursday night we made ponies, braids and knots all over her head. Friday morning we added the non-matching bows.

It is pretty hard to make a cutie pie look horrible! Pretty much impossible...just look at that face!

Horrible hair morning was a great morning for Lily. She and Zachery were upstairs brushing their teeth. They had been up there quite a while and Larry was calling Lily down to take o picture of her hair. She came down, posed for the camera, and as Larry looked through the camera lens, she smiled...a really big, toothless smile! She had lost her first tooth while brushing her teeth! She did not say a word about it until she smiled for the camera. She loved "tricking"dad!

Sunday night she lost tooth #2. Well, actually Larry used some floss to pull it. She had been wiggling it so much that she was making it sore. She has been so funny looking at herself in the mirror, sticking her tongue in the hole and wishing for mashed potatoes to squish out. I love the way she talks too.

Such small delights. Such great joy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Show me the Diamonds!

Lily had her first softball game on Saturday and LOVED every minute of it! She has a very fun team with 3 friends from church. They are the "Diamond Girls". The smallest girl on the team, Allie (not pictured) looked at her jersey, front and back, and asked "Coach, where are the diamonds?" Ha! Don't they all look precious in their uniforms???

Charlie, Harley, Lily, Jacey, Susie and Presley (Notice all the "e's" at the end of their names?)

I asked Lily and her best friend if I could take their picture, and this is the pose they struck! They love their uniforms. It makes them feel sassy!

Who needs sparkly diamonds when the girls are this beautiful?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lily's New Trick

Lily has learned a new trick. She has practiced it so much tonight, that she may be cross-eyed forever! She is so proud of her amazing new ability. I had to take a picture of her because she kept trying to see what she looked like cross-eyed.

Tomorrow is horrible hair day for Lily, so I will post pictures of that later.

Oh, and tomorrow or maybe Saturday, she will probably lose her first tooth. Unless she stays up late wiggling it out tonight. Which would not surprise me at all from my little night owl! She is hoping that Jacey will hug her so tight tomorrow that her tooth will pop right out! (Lily hugged Jacey's last tooth out!) What are friends for right?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read all about us!

Well, life is starting to get crazy again. Here is what is going on:

ZAC - Zachery tried out for the school talent show - and made it! He will be playing his guitar and singing "This Land is Your Land" on March 13th (the talent show has a patriotic/50's/showtune theme). He did great in the audition, even though he was so nervous that he almost changed his act before he walked in the room! The teachers were impressed that he did so well, especially since he has never taken lessons. The smile on his face was priceless when they said "You're in".

Zachery is getting bigger too - well at least his feet are! He is very proud of the fact that he now wears a men's 7. Which just happens to be just the size of his mom's feet.

Zachery is playing baseball on the Nationals team. He is playing first base and pitcher. His team practices twice a week right now.

Zac took the TAKS writing test today. He said "I don't like writing!" I'm sure he did great, because he always does very well in standardized testing.

LOGAN- Logan will be honored at a school breakfast on Friday as a "Proud Porter Panther". He was chosen by his teacher for showing the virtue of fairness this past six weeks. Way to go Logan!

Logan is growing even faster than Zachery! He is eating everything that does not eat him first! Seriously. He wears the same size shorts as his big brother, which makes him grin from ear to ear!

Logan is playing baseball for the Storm. He rotates positions and since he is catching so well right now, he got to play first base for the first time last night! He made some great plays and hit 2 doubles during the game!

LILY- Lily received a letter today to say she will be in the Excel program at school next year. That is the gifted program at Porter. She was thrilled that she gets to do the same thing as Zachery.

Lily is playing softball on the Diamond Girls team with her friends. They are soooo cute! I will post pictures after her first game on Saturday. She loves softball much, much more than soccer.

Larry is working like crazy and coaching three kids ball teams in his "spare" time.

And me, well, when I am not working on things for church, or PTA matters, or cleaning, or doing laundry (mountains and mountains!), or cooking for my growing boys (you are still hungry?!), or grocery shopping (we need milk again!?), or cleaning the flowerbeds, or running looks like I will be facilitating a women's Bible study on Wednesday nights. God has a crazy way of answering prayers! Ask Him to help increase your time in the word and He puts you in charge. Not what I had in mind, but hopefully the study will be meaningful to the ladies that attend.

Well, that's it. Everyone should be coming home soon ready to eat again. I will try to post a little more often than once a week. No promises though.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Uneventful Life

Welcome to my un-eventful life. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays I have gotten to just relax and get a few things done around the house. Like laundry, filing that huge pile on the desk, cleaning out closets, reading, recycling all of those catalogs from Christmas, sewing repairs, scrapbooking, gardening, cooking dinner...just stuff.

The kids are doing great in school. Zac is trying out for the talent show tomorrow. He has been practicing playing his guitar and singing "This Land is Your Land". (It is a patriotic themed show.) Logan got to have "sock day" today in class as a reward for extra good behavior. And Lily keeps telling me all sorts of facts like how to brush my teeth and that we should not drink too many drinks with sugar in them. (A dentist visited her class this week.)

All three are practicing ball gettting ready for the season to start on Monday. Oh, so if you are looking for Larry or I, we will be at the ballfields until May.

And really, that is it. That is why I have not blogged in a week. Nothing special. Just day to day. But isn't that nice? At least for a while.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Fun Being a Girl!

Lily's party was a big success! The girls were all very glamorous.

We started the party off by spraying their hair with glitter spray. Ooh-la-la! They loved it! You should have seen them grim from ear to ear when they looked at themselves in the mirror! Priceless!

After a game of "Pin the Jewel on the Tiara", we made our own tiaras. Because everyone knows that a princess always wears her tiara. The girls made such pretty sparkly tiaras with jewels, flowers, butterflies and hearts.

Then of course, we needed to have a fashion show. As Hannah Montana blared from the radio, the girls modeled their new tiaras and their fancy outfits for the paparazzi.

The fashion show turned into a dance party and then into a limbo contest. Using a pink feather boa of course! Even Zac got in on the dance party and limbo...but Logan just stayed back as far as possible (as long as he could still see what was going on). I can't imagine why he did not want to play fancy with the girls. Hee, hee!

The girls then ate lunch which included star pbj sandwiches, curly cheetos and fruit kabobs. Then in true "Fancy Nancy" style, we had brownie parfaits for dessert. With pink sprinkles, of course! Yummy!

Lily loved her party and was thrilled to have her friends over. I pray that these girls will continue to be BFF's.