Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"The Best of" Christmas 2008

Best new tradition:

Best old tradition: Going to the candlelight service at church with the Fosters. It was very touching.

Best present that took ten times longer to put together than it did to destroy: (You can see in his eyes that he wants badly to destroy it.)

Best World War II era present:

Best present overall for the kids: There were lots. But I think the scooters and the remote control car won.

Best present for the adults: Jackson got his training wheels off. We were all so proud.

Best Darth Vader impersonator:

Best DVD watched (so far): The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best movie at the theater (so far): The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best DVD that the kids watched over and over: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

Best Idea: Playing in the pool on the day after Christmas!

I love that you can see the snowman in the background.

Best memory: After eating more than his share of fudge...Lukey running laps around the downstairs singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" over and over and over and over and over...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Recent PIctures and Movies

The boys had their Christmas pageant a couple of weeks ago.

Jackson sang every word of every song, and yes it sounded that loud in person too! He did a good job. Jackson's class were shepherds and the 2-year-olds were sheep.

Putting up Christmas decorations.

Roasting marshmallows in the backyard.

And last week we were fortunate enough to have an appointment with Tanya (Cozy Impressions Photography) to have our family pictures made. As always, she did a great job and made everything seem fun and effortless. Here is the slideshow from our photo session and the link to her blog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Christmas memories blog experiment and to my mom who shared one of her memories with me by email. I enjoyed reading all of your stories. And now the whole world wide web knows that my brother, David Foster, can be nice when he wants to be. (j/k Davey) I hope everyone makes more happy memories this year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Memories

Now that I have kids, I'm always thinking about their memories. Like, I wonder when they'll start remembering the holidays and what their best memories will be. My guess is that they won't remember every little present, but they will remember time we spent together and weird, random things that you wouldn't expect. Below are some of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions. (BTW, these aren't in any order, they are just the first 10 things I thought of.)

1. We used to always pull out the projector and screen on Christmas Eve and watch all of our old home movies.

2. My Granny would spend the night on Christmas Eve even though she lived in the same town as us. I remember coming into the room and hearing her breathing in her sleep. I thought she sounded like Darth Vader (in a funny way, not a scary way).

3. I remember going to my Meme's house and heading straight for her buffet to see if the little crystal dish had her homemade date-loaf in it. Sounds gross, but tasted GOOD.

4. I remember getting some really cute, corduroy knickers one year that I loved and wore all the time. (Remember knickers?) I think my mom actually made them, and I can picture myself on my Meme's couch wearing those knickers - so happy.

5. I remember that our stockings were always stuffed with a lot of fruit every year! We had other little presents in there too, but the fruit must have been an easy and cheap way to fill that sucker up.

6. Seems like there was always a big jigsaw puzzle laid out on a card table that everybody worked on during the days at home after Christmas.

7. One year my sister and I both had the chicken pox at Christmas. Our brother was the only one who had any fun because he had them a week or two before and was already well. I'm not sure I remember this actual event as much as I remember seeing the pictures (and home movies) of my sister and I in our matching pj's looking really sad.

8. We had an artificial Christmas tree and I remember pulling it out of the box and putting it together every year by matching up the color-coded branches with the trunk. I can picture most of our Christmas decorations and exactly where they were in our house year after year.

9. Food staples: ham, cheesy potatoes, pecan pie, gum-drop cookies, fudge, trash.

10. I remember the unfortunate time that I got busted for peaking into my presents before Christmas Day. Doh! My secret tradition became a painful memory. haha

Share your favorite tradition or Christmas memory. For every person who comments on this blog post, I am going to donate $10 to Central Texas Children's Home.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vote for Healthy Child

Healthy Child Healthy World is entered in a contest on The JB and Sandy Show. They get celebrities to call in to 94.7 and talk about a charity and then you vote on your favorite celebrity. Brooke Shields called in for HCHW, and if she gets enough votes they will win $20,000. Please click on this link to read more or click here to get connected to the page where you register and vote for Brooke Shields!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Our Thanksgiving pictures can be found on my Flickr page, but here's a little taste of what our week was like:

Monday, December 1, 2008


I'm just starting to download pictures from Thanksgiving and found this cutie from before we left.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One way to give this year...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm not making this up...

Today on the way home from school Jackson told me he wanted to have a "Korean War" birthday party...with lots of jets. I've got a little over 2 months to change his mind.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mothers of boys in Austin...

I think we're going to try to go to this on Saturday at 11am. Let me know if you are coming too so we can look for you...

Jackson's Blog

I was trying to think of a new post for my blog, but I was having trouble. So I decided to let Jackson pick, and when he woke up from his nap just now I asked him what he thought I should write about. Here's what he said:

Jackson: Mama, Who's going to be my Daddy and Mama when I grow up to be like you?

Beth: Me and Daddy.

Jackson: You're going to be my Mommy and Daddy when I grow up to be like you?

Beth: Uh-huh. We're always going to be your Mommy and Daddy.

Jackson: Are you going to die at the same time as me?

Beth: No, probably not.

Jackson: Cause you're older than me?

Beth: Yes. Is that all you want to say on the blog?

Jackson: Well who's going to read it?

Beth: Our friends and family.

Jackson: Okay you can say...Dear Nana and Big Papa, Jackson really wants to come to your lakehouse and ride the boat and jump off the dock. Grandad and Gammo, I really want to come show you my fighter plane that I made with Amy. Grammy and Papa, I really want to come see that water park that they brought Emily, Rob, and Cody to when their mom and dad wasn't there.

Beth: Anything else?

Jackson: That's all I have to say.

So there you have it. Jackson's Blog. I'm kind of glad he doesn't have one because that was kind of a downer. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Country Divided

Batman for president! (Luke is singing the Batman theme song which he's never heard. Followed by "I'm going to fly to Michigan!")

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A New Look

Mat said nobody was reading my blog anymore because of that stupid owl. So tonight I've used my daylight-savings-extra-hour changing my background. No harm, no fowl.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


For the boys, it seems like Halloween started weeks ago. But the first official thing we did was the costume carnival at school. Here are my cowboys on Thursday morning.

That night Mat and I each carved a pumpkin. Feel free to vote on which one you think is best. :-)

Randomly, the boys went to the dentist on Friday morning. It was their first time and they both thought it was really fun. (Strange, I know.) The dentist was surprised that Luke allowed the hygienist to clean his teeth and do everything that they normally do with older kids.

After the dentist we went to Lunch Bunch at our friend Julie's house. We never managed to take a group photo and most of the kids ended up stripping so they could decorate cookies, but here are some of the cuties.

Then we stopped by the office for a quick visit. Cara (in the blond wig) had treats for the boys. Here they are with Mat, Cara, and Ginny who dressed up for work.

We all enjoyed Halloween in our new neighborhood. We walked around the entire neighborhood with all the kids and parents who live right around us. After we trick-or-treated we all hung out in our front yards and on the street with the kids playing chase until late at night. Most of you who live in family-friendly neighborhoods probably have had this experience before. But this was our first time to have a good trick-or-treating experience and it made us even more happy about our decision to move.

The candy has all been hidden away, and I can proudly say I only had TWO pieces. This is a big deal to me since Halloween has always signaled the dissent into holiday gluttony and porkiness that usually lasts until January 2nd. Not this year! We went to the mall this morning and enjoyed looking at all the Christmas trees and decorations at Macy's. I'm so glad summer is over...I love this time of year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

LeeAnna and Steven's Wedding

Jackson and my sweet niece Emily were chosen to be the ring bearer and flower girl in my cousin Donice's daughter's wedding this past weekend. It was a very big honor. Jackson really felt like a grown up in his tuxedo. We have been talking about the wedding for so long, and on Saturday he said to me several times, "This is my big day." We had a blast visiting with all of our family, eating good food, and dancing until late in the evening. (Well it was late for a two and four year old anyway.) LeeAnna, thank you for including us in your wedding and we wish you and Steven all the best!

For my relatives and anyone else who has some time to kill, the rest of my weekend photos can be found here.

Halloween Preview

Thursday, October 23, 2008

If this doesn't make you smile...

...then there's something wrong with you.

Thanks for sharing, Beck.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Real Simple TV Show Premier

After Beth F. wrote about this show on her blog I set up my DVR to record it. I've had a subscription to Real Simple for a long time and they used to have a show on PBS, but it was not so good. This new show was a lot better, but I did feel a little sorry for the woman who was getting a makeover because it made her life out to be a total mess. These shows always make me think I'm not doing THAT bad. At least half of my garage is okay. Maybe I should just hang a giant curtain to cover up the other half. Anyway, does anybody besides me remember when the girl who was hosting (Kit Hoover) was on the first season of Road Rules? I remember her being kind of funny, but now she just seems kind of drunk all the time. And stick-like. I thought the show would've been better without her.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Night Life

Last night I went to check on Jackson after he was in bed and found him studying his new book about fighter jets. Mat got this at Barnes & Noble on that big rack of clearance coffee table books that you always see.

This is how I found him first thing this morning. This may be the best $15 we've ever spent.

And here's how I found Luke when I went to check on him. Thanks Aunt Charlotte for the giant fish!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recent Quotes

I've done "recent quotes" posts a few times for Jackson, but it's been awhile. Now we have two talkative boys saying funny things on a daily basis. Everyday I wish I had all these things videotaped so I could replay them over and over. Here are a few things that I've managed to remember from the past few months.

We sing some of the same songs over and over at night getting ready for bed or on CD's in the car. It's always funny when you realize they have the words wrong. Here are some wrong names for church songs:

Luke: Rainbows and bad guys = Blue Skies and Rainbows
Jackson: Old Rocket Cross = Old Rugged Cross
Luke: Celeshduhshhow = Celestial Shore = I'll Fly Away

Other random quotes:

Luke: What's your name, Jackson?

Luke (crying as I was wiping his nose): Put my boogers back!!

Luke (anytime it' dark outside his bedroom window): It's Halloween out there.

Jackson (listening to the Mama Mia! soundtrack): Mommy, what's a Love Machine?

Luke (last night, talking about our friend's daughter): His name is Abby. Mommy: Abby is a she. Luke: No! I want her to be a him!

Mommy: Luke, how do you spell your name? Luke: 2 years old.
Mommy: What letter does bee start with? Luke: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.
Mommy: How old are you? Luke: L-U-K-E!

After nap, I always go into Luke's room and say: Good after-NOO-OON! Since he started getting out of his crib in the mornings, occasionally he comes into our room singing: Good after-MORN-NING!

Luke occasionally has nightmares and wakes up screaming for me. :-( Here are some descriptions he's given me when I've come into his room to comfort him:

- I don't like that rattlesnake!
- That man was trying to fight me!
- There's a storm in the parking lot!

Poor guy. I'm sure when the boys wake up from their nap today, they will say more cute things. This is truly a fun time in their lives, and I'm really trying to remember and enjoy all these moments.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tagged about my kids...

I just realized that Julie tagged me the other day. So here goes...

1. How many kids do you have? 2

2. What are their ages? Jackson is 4 1/2 and Luke is 2.

3. What time do you start your day? Luke usually wakes me up around 7:30.

4. What do you eat for breakfast? The boys usually eat yogurt and granola, frozen waffles, fruit, or scrambled eggs. I have just recently switched to a high-protein breakfast rather than cereal. My new staple is Morningstar Farms veggie sausage patty chopped up in a tortilla and sprinkled with a little cheddar cheese. I either have that or veggie sausage and eggs over easy.

5. Do your kids watch TV? Not much. They usually get to watch about 1 or 2 shows a week, and it's always something we've recorded so either Curious George, Word World, or Clifford.

6. What are their favorite activities? They do the usual stuff around the house... playing outside or with toys. Thanks to Jackson's imagination, though, no matter what it is we have to pretend that we're doing something else or it's no fun. For instance if we're swinging in the backyard, we have to pretend we're astronauts blasting off to the moon. If we're playing with cars, then we have to take them in the bathroom and set up a pretend car wash. Most recently they are very into paper airplanes. Mat makes really awesome airplanes that fly really far and do tricks. So we play with them and decorate them. The other thing I do with them the most is read. We end up reading tons of books everyday.

7. Do you get a break during the day for some down time? I do. They take a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and I usually work during that time. Actually, that's not really a break, huh? But I always have an Oprah show on the in background so it's better than physically being at work. Also, going to Lifetime Fitness after nap is my other break.

8. How do you end your day? The boys take a bath or shower, I read to Luke and Mat reads to Jackson, and then they go to bed. Then there's usually a 20-30 minute period of running up and down the stairs responding to emergencies (I want milk! I need to go poop! Can you rub my back! I dropped my papi!) When that's over I either go to workout or if I've already been or don't feel like it, then I take a long bath and read.

9. What is your best parenting advice? You have to pay attention at all times.

I tag Ashley and Jonna!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A visit from Ike

We got a visit from Ike after all...our family from Houston who fled from the power outage. The Leslies came by to spend the afternoon with us. Don't feel too sorry for them since they're staying at The Hollows indefinitely. Here are Wil, Cate, and Hud with Jackson and Luke.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike...what happened?

Okay, so yesterday the boys and I spent the day preparing for the hurricane. They pretended to be members of Texas Task Force One while I organized the garage enough that we could get the Pathfinder in there. After that we decided to go out and get some supplies. Still pretending, Jackson took his hard-hat to protect his head from falling limbs, a gun in case he saw a snake, and a little funnel thing he was using to breathe in case we got submerged under water.

We filled the car with gas. We got a flashlight for everyone to keep by their bed, a lighter and candles, and plenty of milk in case the rain was too bad during the weekend to venture out to the grocery store. I even purposefully bought snack food that didn't require cooking in case the power went out. When we got home we gathered up all the potential projectiles from the backyard like the birdfeeders and chair cushions and stored them in the garage. And finally last night we hunkered down to watch the news as Ike came ashore in Galveston.

Well this morning, Jackson popped out of bed and ran over to the window to see if it was raining. I asked him if it was, and he reluctantly said, "No it's not raining, but just as I thought, the wind is blowing really hard." I looked out and didn't really see any signs of wind, but I played along.

We turned the TV back on and gathered that Ike was heading due north but we were still hopeful for some weather-related drama to come our way. As the morning wore on Jackson complained, "WHEN is it going to start raining!?!?" and "WHEN is the power going to go out?!?!" We didn't really have the heart to tell him that people in Missouri are probably more likely to see rain from Ike than we are.

Eventually we realized that we had the whole day ahead of us with absolutely no plans (other than to watch movies and ride out the storm), so we decided to make the best of it. We let the boys run around in the backyard naked (a new obsession of theirs) spraying each other with lava (the water hose) and eating serruhl (cereal) and it ended up being a great day!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics at Home

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mutton Bustin'

Okay before I begin this post...I have to remind everyone that I'm from East Texas. So I had a somewhat different experience growing up than all you fancy Dallas and Houston (and even West Texas) people out there. Just so you can understand where I'm coming from...it was a big deal to go to Shreveport and eat at Pancho's when I was a kid.

In Texarkana and the outlying areas you can find lots of fun things to do in your leisure time like shop at TG&Y, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or one of the many fine junkyards. Cruise state line. Go to church - there was always something going on at church. Go to a high school football game. Play volleyball with your youth group. (What was up with that? We used to play a lot of volleyball.) Eat at Taco Tico, The Charcoalbroiler, or Raleigh's. (No chain restaurants to speak of until I was well into my 20's.) One time when Mat and I were driving home to T-town we even saw a big crowd gathered and a hand-painted sign that said "Mud Bog." I always wished we had stopped to see what that was all about.

Anyway, it wasn't all that bad really. According to wikipedia the combined population of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas metro-area is 136,000. So it wasn't like "the country" where I lived, we just didn't really have anything to do there. But somehow I managed to live there 18 years, and I never went to a rodeo. That wasn't my scene, though there were plenty of people at my school who were deeply attached to their hogs and cows (until they presumably slaughtered them for bacon and hamburgers respectively).

We felt like we were in for a real treat this last weekend when we were in East Texas visiting Mat's mom and found out there was going to be a rodeo. We (actually Mat) have been wanting to make sure our boys are exposed to the idea that food doesn't just come from HEB. You know, people hunt and raise cattle and farm and stuff like that. Well I can tell you it was eye-opening alright and not just for the boys. First of all, I think this picture just about sums up the crowd. (You may have to click on the picture and make it bigger just to take it all in.)

This young couple sat in front of us for most of the time we were there. Here they are entertaining their kids. Wish you could see the cigs in the mom's back pocket. They could not have been older than 19. We realized right away that we were not in Texarkana-East-Texas or Lake-Cypress-Springs-East-Texas where we feel completely comfortable and at home. No folks, this was DEEP East.

Yes, ladies, here's a camoflage baby bag.

Almost everyone I know from East Texas is just as friendly and caring and genuine as they can be. Truly, the salt of the earth. But some of these Boomhauer's had accents so thick I thought I was no longer even in America. And most of the women/moms/highschoolseniors looked like they'd just as soon stamp you out like one of their cigarette butts as look at you.

After we looked at the animals we sat down for some good old fashioned Texas entertainment and this is what we saw.

That's called Mutton Bustin'! That little girl was either a 3- or a small 4-year-old. And she was the first - but no where near the youngest - of about 20 kids we saw do this. The youngest was 11 months. Oh yes, you read that right. Luckily his daddy/brother/highschoolsenior held onto him the whole time until the sheep really took off and then he snatched him away just in time.

Each and every kid was hurt and crying when their turn was finished.

One kid cried the entire time we were there. I think the sheep stepped on his face. The thing is...there was even a policemen hanging around out there in the arena and the whole time I could not figure out why he wasn't arresting these parents!

Here is Jackson's reaction to the fun.

Uh...I don't think so. Now you tell me...have I've been living in the city too long? Is this typical for small town rodeos? Is it child abuse? Should CPS be called or what?!?!

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