Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Pictures

We had a fun Halloween. We kept our tradition of making chili and watching a movie. This year we watched The Wizard of Oz while we got ready to go trick-or-treating.

All ready to go! Jackson is the cowboy "Woody" from the movie Toy Story and Luke is his horse. The other day when we tried on the costumes for the first time, Jackson looked at Luke and exclaimed, "That's exactly what I wanted him to look like!!" as if he was directing the whole holiday.

Luke loved trick-or-treating. He would walk up to the houses and say "HI!" really well. By the end of it, he was saying something that sounded like "treat" too.

We went to a lot more houses this year than we have before.

Jackson wondered who lost their hand at this house.

Jackson found a Buzz Lightyear while he was trick-or-treating. This Buzz had lost his wingspan, though, and was no match for Jackson's real sidekick Ben.

Finally, here are some of our church friends all dressed up. These are some cute kids!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

HGTV comes to Abilene Trail

If you don't watch HGTV this post will probably get on your nerves.

We had a busy week working on our gameroom culminating in a visit from Jackie (Mat's mom) and Judd (Mat's stepdad) this weekend. We like to fondly think of them as Candace Olsen from Divine Design and Frank from Trading Spaces. They're much better at design than we are, so the weekend was a combination of Mission Organization, Clean Sweep, Freestyle, and Design on a Dime. All weekend we were wondering how in the world those people are able to get a whole room finished in one day!

I couldn't take a before picture because my camera wasn't at home on the day that we started, so for those who have never been here it was painted a dark tan color and had brown beadboard on one wall and all over the very large wet bar. Also, our TV had been sitting on an old dresser for about 8 years. :-) I did a screen grab of two different movies I took of Luke in the gameroom so you can kinda see how junkie it was before. The bar is behind him on the left.

We started by having the wet bar removed. Don't worry, we still have another wet bar so we're in good shape. You gotta love the eighties. I don't know why in the world the people who built this house thought they needed two wet bars in addition to a kitchen and three bathrooms. But they probably were not thinking about my feelings and how bad I would grow to despise the wet bar 24 years later. Speaking of those people, we found a stack of family photos under the bar that I presume belonged to the first inhabitants of our house. We also found a newspaper dated July 6, 1983 and a perfectly preserved mouse skeleton.

So anyway, last weekend I met a lovely girl named Rachel from craigslist who we hired to patch the hole in the wall left by the wet bar and paint the room. She did a nice job, and we're having her back next week to paint downstairs. Then after spending weeks looking for the right furniture we settled on the very first thing we saw at the very first place we looked. We got the stuff at IKEA and had it assembled by professionals. I'm sure if we hadn't hired the guys to assemble it we'd still be trying to get the boxes up the stairs right now instead of laying on the couch writing this blog entry.

Then, on Friday the design team showed up (Jackie and Judd) and about an hour later Mat and Jackson left for their father-son camping trip. Jackie, Luke, and I went back to IKEA to get some accessories and that is where I got hurt. Jackie was off trying to entertain Luke because he was melting down, and I was pushing a loaded cart and carrying a heavy sack of more stuff through the warehouse. Suddenly I stubbed my toe on the cart. It hurt a normal amount, and I really didn't think much of it. A couple of minutes later, though, it felt kind of weird and I looked down and most of my toenail was kind of hanging off and it was bleeding all over my flip flop!! I started to panic and looked around for the first aid station. I thought a place this big with so many crazed shoppers must have a doctor or at least a nurse onsite. When I calmed down a bit, though, I realized that shopping injuries were not really very common and I was probably on my own.

We spent the day Saturday putting the room together and rearranging the couch and chairs about a million different ways. We contacted another helpful man named Brandon from craigslist to come and remove all the debris from the garage. We organized our books and movies and hung pictures. And here is the result of our efforts:

Tonight we will pop some corn and enjoy watching Heroes Season One, Disc Three in our new room. It's gonna be great!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Give the People What They Want!

Mat told me that my blog has been lacking pictures lately which is what people really drop by to see. So I decided to post some pics of the preschool Pumpkin Party not to be confused with the Costume Carnival which is next week. Here's Luke with his icing soul patch:

Jackson had a Pumpkin Party too, but they just weren't as cute I guess. I didn't end up taking any pictures.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Funny Jackson Quote

Today on the way home from preschool, Jackson and I were talking about his friend Nema. I told him that Nema can probably speak two languages, Farsi and English, since his parents are from Iran. Jackson said, "Well, I can speak Franch and Hola." (That isn't a typo either. That's really how he said it. Haha!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My 100 things

Okay, for my friends and family who do not read all the blogs on my list, let me explain. Several of my friends have done these lists of 100 things about themselves. I decided to try it since I can't think of anything else to write about tonight. Here we go...

1. My full name is Elizabeth Ann Foster Hames.
2. I was born in Texarkana (Texas side).
3. People from Texarkana have to specify which state they are from when they meet each other. Texas side or Arkansas side. (And the word "side" must be pronounced almost like "sad" because the long "i" is difficult for us.)
4. I love/miss East Texas because of the tall trees and friendly people.
5. I graduated 11th in my class in high school.
6. That still bugs me.
7. I went to Harding University.
8. I finished in 3 years because my parents said they'd give me $1000 for every year I graduated early.
9. That seemed like a good deal at the time.
10. It worked out pretty good for them.
11. I only sent out one resume after graduation.
13. It was to Harpo Productions.
12. I'm still waiting to hear back from them.
13. When I was in high school I thought I would live in New York and marry a man at least ten years older than me and never have kids.
14. I've been to 38 states.
15. I've been to Alaska 3 times.
16. I found out I had a gambling addiction when I spent a week in Vegas for work once.
17. The most afraid I think I've ever been was driving through a massive wind and rain storm in the Texas panhandle on the way home from Colorado in 2003. I will never forget it.
18. One year, I got stuck in an elevator for about an hour on my birthday.
19. My favorite day of the whole year is the first day when it's a little bit cold. There's always one day where there's a cold snap and you know that summer is almost over.
20. We haven't had it yet this year.
22. I'm not a big fan of Halloween.
23. I don't like to wear costumes or display scary, ugly, or dead-looking things around the house.
24. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
25. Except I wish it wasn't so much about the presents.
26. Getting presents embarrasses me a little bit for some reason.
27. But I don't like to not get presents either. haha
28. I'm the room mom for Luke's class at preschool.
29. I think the names of the other kids in his class are very unusual. (Skye, Bliss, Banks, and Berkley)
30. Before kids, I would go to the movies 2 or 3 times a week and rent movies to watch at home on the other nights.
31. I just discovered that I love an author named Tom Wolfe.
32. But I'm sad because he's pretty old and he's only written 3 novels, and I've read two of them.
33. I read Moby Dick once because I felt like I should.
34. It took about 6 months, but I finished it.
35. It was so difficult for me to understand that I wasn't even entirely sure what happened at the end which was a huge let down. I had to confirm what I thought happened by reading the Cliff Notes. (Do not recommend reading Moby Dick.)
36. I bought several canvas grocery bags, but I can never remember to bring them into the store with me.
37. I used to be a dog person, but I'm not anymore.
38. I'm not the type of person interested in life-threatening things like sky diving or bungee jumping.
39. But I would risk it all to go to space.
40. I've never colored my hair.
41. But I will when I can't keep up with plucking out the grays.
42. Speaking of plucking...I've been trying to let my eyebrows grow back because I saw a video of myself and thought I looked a little like Cruella DeVille.
43. I love my job.
44. My favorite color is navy blue.
45. I love sweets.
46. My current favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Brownie Batter.
47. When I was a kid I was really into stickers and four-square.
48. In high school my friend and I would steal salt and pepper shakers from fast food restaurants.
49. We had a huge collection.
50. I have no idea why we did this.
51. I feel like I never have any time.
52. For a couple of years in the mid-90's, I had muscle definition in my legs.
53. I only drink one Diet Coke a day, but I feel like I should give it up.
54. I love to crack open an icy cold Diet Coke and drink the first sip down really fast so that it makes my eyes water.
55. I do not like to talk on the phone very much at all accept to my mom and my sister.
56. I prefer to chat. (on the computer)
57. I can't stand the smell of bananas, but I've had to get over that since having the boys.
58. I could live on cereal.
59. It's hard for me to call people close to me by their real names. I usually have nicknames for people.
60. I finally had the wet bar in our gameroom removed on Thursday.
61. My current favorite snacks are Pirate's Booty and yogurt pretzels.
62. I haven't washed any of my own clothes in two or three weeks. I can't even remember.
63. I have no idea what I'm going to wear to church tomorrow.
64. Someday I think I'll take up painting.
65. I wish I could be a vegetarian, but I don't like vegetables all that much.
66. The DVR is my favorite invention.
67. I don't really enjoy cooking.
68. I got married to Mat in Round Top, Texas.
69. It was outside at a beautiful bed and breakfast.
70. It truly was one of the best days of my life.
71. I found out later that two people rode up on their horses and watched the wedding from the fence.
72. I love seeing people getting married that I don't know. You know? Like driving by a church when the bride and groom are coming out - that sort of thing.
73. I watched a couple get married in a beautiful park in San Francisco once. And once in Little Rock at the Old Mill.
74. We went out to a fancy restaurant in Paris, and I enjoyed the potato side dish that I was eating so much that I asked the waiter for seconds.
75. My husband was very embarrassed by this, but when am I going to be back in Paris?!
76. I like to think the chef was flattered. Besides he didn't know that I'm from Texarkana/Oak Hill.
77. One of my most embarassing moments was when I flew home from Girl's State when I was in the 11th grade. I fell asleep on the plane with my mouth full of Skittles. When I woke up there was rainbow drool all over my chin.
78. And one time I was flying to Key West by myself for work. Somehow I fell asleep on the way from Dallas to Miami with my head laying on the magazine I was reading. I woke up, gathered my carry-ons, got off the plane, walked all the way through the airport in Miami to my connecting flight, waited at the gate for an hour, finally went to the bathroom and discovered that half of my face was totally black where the ink had rubbed off the magazine while I was sleeping.
79. I used to be borderline narcoleptic.
80. I would have trouble staying awake just driving around town.
81. I used to go to Subway for lunch, eat in my car, and then take a little nap before going back to work.
82. One time I ran into another car right after lunch because I woke up and realized I was late getting back to work and started driving while I was still kinda groggy.
83. Now I have trouble falling asleep at all, then I have to wake up over and over all night long
84. I love my boys, though, even if they do keep me up at night.
85. And I always miss them when they're sleeping. Crazy, I know!
86. It makes me feel good when I know that they need me.
87. I buy almost all my clothes at the Banana Republic Outlet Store, and I only go two or three times a year.
88. I don't like jazz.
89. But a like music from pretty much every other genre.
90. I don't really like old movies (other than Hitchcock) because the acting and dialogue are so unrealistic.
91. I think movies started getting good in the 70's.
92. I like to sing the third verse to Away in a Manger all the time as my constant prayer.
93. It goes: Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay, Close by me forever, And love me I pray. Bless all the dear children, In thy tender care, And take us to Heaven, To live with thee there.
94. This is on the CD "Christmastime with The Judds" which is one of my favorites and a highlight of the holiday season for me.
95. My favorite meal is my mom's roast beef, mashed potatos with brown gravy, biscuits, fried okra, and pecan pie. YUM.
96. You could substitute peach cobbler or any cold desssert made with cream cheese and it would still maintain favorite status.
97. I've been slightly disappointed with "The Office" this season.
98. I support the FairTax.
99. I would not rather live anywhere other than here in Austin.
100. It took me about two hours to think of these 100 things, and Lukey just woke up. Perfect timing...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Answers to the Burning Questions

My sister has spent the last 34 years trying to figure out ways to embarrass me in public. Now she has branched out to the world wide web. Check out this entry she found about Oak Hill on Wikipedia. It answers the question about boundaries. We do live in Oak Hill, but so do all of you Circle C people out there too. Jonna, you're still in Oak Hill because the eastern boundary is Brodie Lane! Beth and Kris, you may not be safe out there in Bel Terra. If you're in Hays County then you are beyond the boundary but your zip code is listed as Oak Hill. (Yes, I looked it up. I'm majorly procrastinating at work today.)

This was very interesting reading. It made me appreciate the neighborhood a lot more. I'm glad it's no longer called Oatmanville which was its first name back in the 1800's. Once there were Comanches and Apaches settled out here. And there's some great history about how prisoners were brought in to quarry limestone for the interior of the capitol building. That's where they got the name Convict Hill. There was also a ghost story about how the prisoners were shot for trying to escape and buried under piles of limestone. And "Have you heard" that the land where Freescale is used to be a race track in the 40's called Oak Hill Downs?

I also learned who William Cannon is. My sister never fails to ask me that question every time she comes to visit, so it's good to have some closure on that. And our cross street Beckett is named after another early pioneer.

So it wasn't always pawn shops and roadside rug sellers. Oak Hill was the last stop in Austin for the cattle drives before they headed out into the hill country. Pretty cool...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oak Hill People

Mat and I have this inside joke about our neighborhood. There are places around here that we refuse to go to because we imagine they are frequented by "Oak Hill People." This is a very specific category of Austinite that exists completely in our heads. We totally made it up, but when we say it we both instantly know what it means. Does that make sense? For example, we have vowed to never set foot inside The Village Inn, Darque Tan, or Detour (you know that bar over by Goodwill?). And we have a running joke about that Boomerz Nite Club over on 290W close to the gun range place. In our minds, these are all distinctly Oak Hill-type places.

For the record I don't even really know what the boundaries of Oak Hill actually are or if we technically live in Oak Hill. Our exact subdivision is called The Villages of Western Oaks. This is another inside joke with Mat and I. We can shop at the new Excarpment Village and take our kids to the park on Slaughter Lane, but who are we kidding? We don't live in Circle C. We don't even live in Legend Oaks. Heck, we don't even live in Western Oaks. We live in "The Villages" of Western Oaks. haha.

So anyway, the boys and I had an Oak Hill experience this morning. I decided to take them to McDonald's at the Y in Oak Hill for breakfast and to play on the playscape. I sent Jackson out to the playscape while I got our food, and when I sat down I noticed that he was just sitting up in the playscape. For a long time all I could see were his feet hanging down. When he finally came in, he told me there were a bunch of bugs in there and he was afraid. As we were eating I noticed a bunch of big black birds out there on the playscape. Once, I glanced out and realized the birds were catching grasshoppers in their mouths and devouring them right before our eyes. We ventured out there after we ate, and there were sick and dying crickets everywhere. There were also these weird moth-type bugs everywhere.

Mat always says I'm going to make the boys sissies or something because I totally over-react about bugs. I also really hate birds of all kinds. With that in mind, I was trying to just go with it and let them play for awhile. I just couldn't take it after a couple of minutes, though. Jackson and I were both getting freaked out. (Luke didn't care at all. He was busy waving and flirting with this little Mexican girl who didn't speak English and her Daddy.) I started yelling at Jackson to go get his shoes out of the cubby. Panicked, he started to get the shoes but then stopped in his tracks when he saw a bunch of bugs on the ground in the way. He started yelling, "What do I do? What do I do?" So I shouted, "Wait there! I'll get them!"

I took off after the shoes and happened to turn around to see that Luke had gotten my Diet Coke cup off the window ledge where I left it and was drinking Diet Coke through the straw! And he was carelessly just walking around crunching crickets under his feet. So I went back and snatched him up and then grabbed Jackson's shoes and we got outta there! The guy and his daughter probably thought we were CRAZY! From now on, as weird as I think it is to eat chicken for breakfast, we're sticking to Chick-Fil-A and the indoor playground - far, far away from Oak Hill.

Okay, one more thing about Oak Hill. Mat is obsessed with this guy who writes a column called Have You Heard? for the Oak Hill Gazette. He really thinks this guy is cool and talks about him all the time. He even currently has his icon on iChat set to be this guy's picture! I may have to add him to my blog list...

UPDATE: If you like to go to one of the establishments mentioned above, it does not mean that you are Oak Hill People. We actually have a good friend who apparently goes to The Village Inn all the time. However, if you like to go to all the places mentioned above, you probably are Oak Hill People. :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tagged about my husband

Okay well, I got tagged by Kim a few weeks ago. I'll admit that I've been putting it off, but I thought this would be a good time to go ahead and do this. Mat is out of town and I know he'll be checking this tonight. I'm sure he will be fairly mortified when he sees the headline. hahahaha.

1. Who is your husband? Mathew Stephen Hames. Legend has it that his dad misspelled Matthew on his birth certificate, hence the one T.
2. How long have you known each other? 13 years
3. How long dated? ~ five years
4. How old is your husband? 36, I know, it's shocking, huh?
5. Who eats more? I think we eat about the same. Mat eats healthier than me, though.
6. Who said "I love you" first? I'm sorry that I don't remember. I don't feel too bad, though, because I'm sure he doesn't remember either. :-) If I had to guess, I would say it was probably Mat who said it first.
7. Who is taller? I'm an inch taller. This is why I don't wear heels. I used too, but I didn't like the way it made me feel. (picture Tom and Katie)
8.Who sings better? Definitely Mat. He is a very good singer, and I'm terrible. I love to sing, though, and he never makes fun of me which is nice.
9. Who is smarter? Interesting question. I think we both have about the same capacity. We're very different, though. He definitely has more knowledge than me. He's interested in a lot of different things and gets really into subjects and learns everything there is to know. He's an encyclopedia when it comes to certain subjects. He can carry on an intelligent conversation about music with anybody from a 20-year-old urban hipster to a 50-year-old soundtrack composer. I think that I tend to catch on to things a little quicker than he does sometimes.
10. Who's temper is worse? My temper is worse, but I get over things really fast.
11. Who does the laundry? We each do our own laundry with the help of Miss Amy.
12. Who takes out the garbage? Whoever remembers to do it. It's about 50/50.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Mat.
14. Who pays the bills? I pay the bills.
15. Who is better with the computer? Mat is better, but we both know a lot about Macs.
16. Who mows the lawn? Mat.
17. Who cooks dinner? We both cook about the same amount. He likes to grill, though, and I don't even know how to turn it on. Also, he likes to cook fun, interesting things like crab legs or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, while I handle the day-to-day fare like brown food.
18. Who drives when you are together? Mat, because he doesn't like having to deal with the backseat chaos.
19. Who pays when you go out? I do because I'm better at figuring out the tip.
20. Who is most stubborn? Ummm. That's hard because I really don't think either one of us are stubborn at all. He's more opinionated so I guess that kinda counts as stubborn.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Probably Mat, but I'm trying to work on this.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? It's fairly equal.
23. Who kissed who first? He did.
24. Who asked who out? We were pretty much best friends and hung out all the time from the day we met.
25. Who proposed? I'm so sure!! Mat proposed.
26. Who is more sensitive? I think Mat is actually more sensitive. It probably depends on the topic, though. We get critiqued all the time about things we're working on and that affects Mat a lot, whereas it doesn't really bother me very much. I'm a lot more sensitive about crying at the movies and stuff like that.
27. Who has more friends? Definitely Mat. He's incredibly good about keeping in touch with friends and planning get togethers.
28. Who has more siblings? Me. I have an older brother and sister, and he has a younger sister.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Definitely Mat. I don't mind letting him make decisions, and I trust his judgement. I think I'm genetically wired to have trouble making decisions, although this is another thing I'm working on. Also, I'm a lot more resistent to change than he is. So every big thing we do as a family is usually instigated by him, but I'm better at implementing and actually getting things done.
30. New question: What is something that most people don't know about your husband? Something bad: His finger nails grow really fast! hahaha It's true! Something good: He lost 35 pounds in 2001 and has never gained it back! Something strange: He frequently puts the DVD of Raiders of the Lost Ark in to help him fall asleep. I've seen the beginning of that movie more times than I care to count.
31. What do you love most about your husband? Let's see....Before the boys, I would have said that I love how FUN Mat is. We used to find things to celebrate every single day. He's very funny, and has always been the life of the party. He draws everybody out, and listens to what you are saying which makes you feel good. And Mat is extremely intuitive about people and situations. Since the boys...I would say my new favorite thing about him is how serious he takes being a father. He never gives less than 110% when it comes to the boys. He is always teaching them something, and thinking about how we can make sure they have every opportunity to be smart and faithful throughout their entire lives.

I tag Andrea?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Confronting Your Fears

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Friday friends

Daniel's mom just had a BEAUTIFUL baby girl named Abigail.

So we invited Daniel to get out of the house and come hang out with us on Friday. Here's a snippet of conversation from the car... Jackson: I wanna be a car. Daniel: No I wanna be a car, and I will win. Jackson: No I will win the Piston Cup. Daniel: Me too. I will win the Piston Cup too. Jackson: No I will win. Daniel: I will be an airplane, and I will win. Jackson: Well I will be a motorcycle. Daniel: You be a motorcycle, and I will be a lion and I will eat you. Lions like to eat meat. Like wildebeests and zebras. Jackson: But I'm going to be an airplane. (You get the idea.)

Of course we went to the park and played with our Cars cars. We stayed for a loooong time and these boys were dirty when we left. That means it was fun.

You gotta eat.

Oh yeah, Lukey was there too.

This was a few minutes before both boys were sound asleep. I dared not take a picture after Jackson fell asleep for fear the magic spell would be broken. I felt like I deserved a prize for getting all three boys down at the same time.

After nap we played with our Cars cars again. Unfortunately both boys wanted to be Mr. The King. We went back and forth with this for awhile, and it was going downhill. I managed to find Jackson's Lightning McQueen car (deserved a prize for that too), and things were fine for awhile.

Then, pretty soon both boys wanted to be Lightning. So we decided to watch a movie.

This is how three-year-old boys watch a movie together. (Don't feel like you have to watch the whole thing.)

This is totally off the subject but the movie "Holiday" was on while I was doing this, and I think that I may have lost a few IQ points just for having watched it. Do not recommend. Curse Netflix for sticking me with it over the weekend.

UPDATE: Mat wants me to point out that it was ME who put the movie on our Netflix list, and I should not act like it was some sort of a computer mistake or something that we got it. And I should apologize for the 2+ hours of our lives that we'll never get back. And my Netflix privileges are going to be suspended for an indefinite amount of time. Let me just say, though, that I expected more of Kate Winslet...but that is no excuse. Deep down, I knew I'd regret it. If I can help just one other person in the world through this post, then maybe the suffering (and permanent brain damage) with all be worthwhile.

Visits from the Parentals

Just downloaded the card. Here was our trip to the Stubb's Gospel Brunch with Granddad and Gammo.

And the next's the maestro teaching the fledging artistes a few of his tricks.

Okay, since everyone already knows how cute Luke is, I chose the take where Daddy looks cute.

Light saber fight.

Our tradition...standing on the stump to wave good-bye.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Funny Quote

Today, Jackson and I were talking and I can't remember why, but I asked him if he liked sports. He replied, "Ummm. I like being a GOOD sport." So cute. Sadly (for his Foster relatives), I don't even think he knows what "sports" means other than being a good one.

Lukey's word count: Daddy, Mama, uh-oh, up, hat, truck, bye-bye, hi, cracker, wow. He has said other things once or twice, but he consistently knows these.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Movie Time Monday

Luke has been talking so much more in the last few days that I couldn't resist posting some videos. He kept saying "Daddy" over and over while we were getting dinner ready tonight. He was very proud of himself.

He heard Mat say "wow" one time and then immediately copied him and started saying it over and over.

Here is Luke feeding Jackson his chicken nuggets. There's no talking, but I just thought it was funny because it reminds me of a video we have of Jackson feeding our dog Frances this same exact way when he was that age.

And finally this is a video of Luke coming down the stairs. He looks like a little frog. He gets on his stomach and then starts kicking his legs. Usually he goes all the way down really fast, but this time I was distracting him. He also is saying "bye-bye" to Jackson when he's at the top of the stairs.

These are fun days right now.

Oh What a Glorious Moooorrrrrning!

I feel like singing. Last night was one of few times in Luke's 14 and a half month life that he's slept through the night. It's almost 8:30, and we still haven't heard a peep. I almost forgot what it feels like to get a full night's sleep. The hills are alive with the sound of muuuusssic!

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