The Things We Do

You never know how much good you do…

Well doesn’t this bring perspective.  I can relate to this mom’s day all too well (except she fits in a family prayer in the morning.)  However, not all my days are filled with helping others outside my home, such as this one.  But, it does seem there are days where service is jam packed into one day or one week.  As the saying goes, “When it rains it pours.”

This reminds me of my last post…I went on and on about how I can blog again now that the kids are back in school.  I have one less child at home…yet she could drive and was helpful when I needed help with the kids.  Since the kids have been back to school life has been filled with unexpected happenings.  The most recent was saying goodbye to my Brother-In-Law who passed away after suffering another stroke.  If ever there was a family man, it was him.  Praying for my Sister, Nephew & Nieces.

The Things We Do

Before that happened, I helped prepare my oldest for her study abroad trip in Turkey and Greece.  Today she embarked on her first day of sight seeing in Greece.  I’m extremely grateful she made it there safely with all that is going on in the country right next door.  She will be touring for about 3 weeks.  If ever there is a time for this mom’s faith to be tested, it is now.  Feel free to pray with me for her safety every day until she returns home.

The Things We Do

Daughter created this double exposure of herself.

The Things We DoMy youngest daughter is a dancer.  Dance is what makes her happy.  She comes by it honest, as it is one of my favorite past times.  We thought we had found her a new dance studio before we moved back to Texas.  Upon moving here, we found out some information which led us to not use that particular studio.  We tried one studio in which they made her audition.  The dance instructor said she would need to be in a class with kids much younger than her based on her ballet skills only.  Her words were, “She can’t help it, she was taught in Oklahoma.”  To say this rubbed us the wrong way is an understatement.  We absolutely adored my daughter’s dance teacher in Oklahoma.  It just so happens she taught more lyrical ballet rather than classical ballet.  We said au revoir and found a much better dance studio for her.

Football has been the name of the game for my son the line backer.  We’ve attended all sorts of pre-games including one held at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in my hometown of Arlington.  The high school here is something else and has the coolest pep rallies!

The Things We Do

Can I just end by saying YOU ARE AWESOME!  I’m so grateful for my faithful readers…my new ones as well!  Hope everyone has a super day!

YOU matter…I promise,

Change Is Good

Change Is Good

Hey there!  It’s good to be back!  I’ve missed blogging.  We are somewhat settled into our new abode here in TX.  It feels good to be back in my home state and very close to where I grew up.  Today is the kids first day of school! (at least my 2 youngest ones.)  I enjoyed walking my daughter to school.  Yes, I did say walking.  Our town home is directly across the street from my 6th graders school.  It was THE best first day of school experience EVER!

Change Is Good

{I hope you overlooked the second who above, because I sure did! ugh! Change Is Good }

Change Is Good

Now that 2 of the 3 kids are back in school, I have time to blog again…yippee!  I’m looking forward to sharing more special features about our house in OK (which is still for sale…boo hiss.)  I will also be posting a really cool DIY craft tutorial I made for our new mantel here.  I hope this finds everyone safe and in good spirits.

See You SOON,

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Just a few weeks ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to host 2 young men (high school) in our home from Canada.  The Canadian’s came to play a 5 day long baseball tournament against 8 other state teams: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  It’s kind of crazy they come to our little remote town in the middle of no where Oklahoma.  But they do, and it’s a BIG DEAL. {College scouts come from all over}  Anyway, what’s even more insane is that 200 of these baseball players stay in homes of families in the community.  I believe that most families house 2 boys, but there are some families who had up to 5 in their home.  Over the 7 years we have lived here, I’ve heard heartwarming stories about this tournament…really the experience of hosting the players.  Now we know why.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Above is one of our boys {yes, we host families used that term} we hosted at bat. {For privacy’s sake we will call him #17}  I love this photo because it also has the whole team and coaches in the background too.  Below, 17 is running from second to third.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Above 17 makes it to home plate.  I love how my camera captured him looking as though he is on his toes.  17 played designated hitter about half of the time while the other half he played outfield.  Now let me introduce our next boy, #21.  He is one of the pitchers on the team and stands at 6’4″.  He is TALL!  And he can pitch a fast ball.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

I swear it looks like he almost does the splits when he throws the ball.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

There was a digital display of the speeds for all the pitches thrown and below shows the speed of one of 21’s pitches.  I know he threw some faster ones, but this is what it was when I decided to take a photo of his speed.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

In the above photo you can see how tall 21 is compared to the rest of the team.  Below is both the boys after a win!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

One night we had a team swim party and they still played baseball…{that’s 17 with the bat}

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Below – Us host moms took a photo together.  We had fun talking about ‘our boys.’  All of us host families got to know each other.  It’s like we were a big extended family.  We sat together at all the games…cheered for our boys.  We all had great experiences with our baseball players.  It was fun learning more about the Canadian culture.  There is NO TELLING what they said about our southern accents.  Best of all is how quickly they were able to integrate into our families.  My son loved having ‘brothers’ for the week.  All of the kids enjoyed having older ‘brothers.’  The other moms talked about how they would play with their kids and help out around the house.  They were true gentlemen with gracious manners.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Below 17 plays catch with my daughter.  Isn’t that sweet?

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

I caught a quick shot of the boys in the back yard before they started their outdoor adventures.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

On the next to the last night of the tournament they announced all of the players and their host families.  We walked on the field. (below)

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

After, we took a big photo of the team with all the families. (below)

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Believe it or not, the last photo was before they boarded the bus to go to the airport.  I’m glad I wasn’t in the photo because it was sad for me to say goodbye to these 2 young men.  We ate meals together, I helped them with their laundry, drove them to their games…basically did all the things mom’s do for their own kids.  What can I say, I’m a softy.  I’m so glad we had this experience before we move back to Texas.  I hope to keep in touch with them and know they have a bright future playing baseball at a college here in America.  By the way, in case you are wondering how Team Canada did in the tournament…they won 2 out of 9 games.  However, they beat their record from last year where they lost every game.  You have to understand, baseball is not a popular sport in Canada.  As a matter of fact, they don’t have high school or college baseball in Canada.  These 2 boys come from a private club team.  So the Canadians have a little disadvantage competing against southern boys who have probably played baseball since they were tiny.  #17 has only been playing baseball for a couple of years.  Personally, {& yes, I’m proud to say I’m biased} I thought they did great!  I was very impressed with the team and their coaches.  I was worried they might be in bad moods after losing games, but they never were.  They were happy to be here and happy to be playing the game.  For us Team Canada families, they are number one.

Baseball brings joy,

Moms Bring Joy

Moms Bring Joy
Let’s Celebrate with Photos!

Moms Bring Joy

Me & My Mom

Moms Bring Joy

My 2 Youngest & I

It’s difficult finding a photo of all 3 of the kids with me. {take note self}  I’m usually the one behind the camera taking the photos.  My oldest daughter took the above photo before she left for college in the fall (first day of school for the youngest kids.)  My Step Dad took the one below when my youngest came home for her spring break.

Moms Bring Joy

Me, Mom & Oldest…3 Generations

And the following was taken only 2 years ago and now my son is taller than his big sister.

Moms Bring Joy

Where They Were Born (Photo taken in 2012 by Blue Lily Photography)

My youngest girl will be 11 tomorrow!

Moms Bring Joy

Youngest, Friday at her friend party

Moms Bring Joy,

Friday’s Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

1. The Disney Character I’m most like is Jessie from Toy Story.

There’s a place in the California Adventure park where a computer asks you a bunch of questions to see what character you are most like.  Turns out I’m most like Jessie.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

I found this info out AFTER we met Jessie.  If I would have known of my special kinship, I would have gotten a photo with her too!  Below Jessie signs my daughter’s autograph book.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

2. There are special cutting artists on Main Street of Disney Land who can cut your silhouette by hand.

You might not think this is cool, but I do!  The lady who cut my kid’s silhouettes has been working this craft at Disney Land for 40 years!  I could not believe my eyes as I watched her.

3. If you feel something in your hair at Toon Town in Disney Land, don’t pull it out of your hair…it might be a bee!

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney LandYep, this happened to me.  I felt something in my hair.  I pulled it out of my hair to find a bee.  As soon as I figured out what it was I let go of it…too late…it stung me.  I haven’t had a bee sting since I was 4 or 5 years old.  It’s pretty painful.  We found the first aid station and they had some good numbing gel for it with an ice pack.  Thank goodness!  For future reference, if anything like this or any other unfortunate accident occurs while you are visiting Disney Land, tell the nearest cast member (worker) and the nurse will come to you.  We had to walk a little ways to get to the first aid station.  The nurse told us she could have came to us.

4. Spending money on an experience is completely worth it! (I already knew this)  In this case it was the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Land.

This was my daughter’s chance to be prettied up like a Disney princess.   The sweet beautician treated her like royalty doing her hair, nails and makeup.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Daughter was able to choose what dress/princess she wanted to be.  At the end of the beautifying process they open the curtains you see behind her.  A special mirror is revealed with animation and music. (I wish now I would have taken video)  Here she is…Snow White.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Next included a photo shoot in Cinderella’s carriage!

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

The photographer let me take a few photos with my camera.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

That’s not all…time to meet other princesses!  First is Cinderella.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Another favorite…Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

I am so glad we did this.  I will forever have this time etched in my memory…and more importantly I think it will be something she will never forget.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

5. I don’t like roller coasters, crowds and kids who complain about wait times.

I used to like roller coasters when I was young.  As a matter of fact, I would purposefully ride in the very front and put my hands in the air.  Not anymore…it’s another sign of me getting old.  Boo!  I got motion sick riding Space Mountain.  I hate motion sickness.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney LandI thought going in February was a good time to go to Disney Land…meaning less crowded.  Turns out Valentine’s Day/President’s Day is a popular time to go.  I mean honestly, we could hardly walk through the parks.  Thursday was the least crowded of all the days of the weekend.  I’m so glad we took the kids out of school that day.  Disney Land was more crowded than California Adventure, yet I was very disappointed with the amount of people there.

Fridays Five Things I Learned At Disney LandIf I didn’t already know how impatient my kids are already, I do now.  Sigh…it was incessant whining and complaining about waiting in the lines.  Sometimes they wouldn’t want to go on the ride if they saw how long the wait time was.  And let me tell you, most of the wait times were around an hour.  We learned to use fast passes as much as possible.  The last day we were there my daughter and I only rode one ride all day.  Instead, we went to lots of shows, which I love.

This was our first family vacation without our oldest daughter.  If you are a new reader, she’s a college freshman at an out of state university.  It was weird not having her with us.  This is a different stage of life for all of us right now.  K, if you are reading this, know how very much you were missed.  We thought about ya while searching every shop for a plush Flynn Rider.  I’m sure there will be other Disney opportunities for us to vacation together in the future.

As Tigger says, “Ta ta for now!”

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by Disney to write this post.

Disney Brings Joy,

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

This is what our neighborhood has looked like for the past week.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had the most snow here in Oklahoma since we moved here 7 years ago.  We have snow at least once a year here, which is different from living in Texas.  This also means lots of snow days with the kids at home.  I’m pretty sure our kids will be in school until June this year instead of May.

Flurry Friend Friday

On Monday for Family Home Evening we built a snowman.  This was the biggest snowman we have ever built because the snow rolled very well.  You aren’t seeing things if you see some blue on the snowman.  We had our lawn fertilized right before it snowed.  The dye from the fertilizer made an impression on the snow.  The box you see my daughter holding is our snowman kit from Land of Nod (not an ad.)

Flurry Friend Friday

It’s cool seeing the “same” snowman reemerge every time we build one.

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

We made him right next to the mailbox so everyone can enjoy him as they drive by.  He always makes me smile when I drive up to the house.  We had more snow yesterday so he looks just like this still…alive and well.

Flurry Friend Friday

Our ski attire and boots have come in real handy for these snowy days.

Flurry Friend Friday

Here’s our backyard.

Flurry Friend Friday

The pool could probably serve as an ice skating rink without the cover.  Not that we would ever do that. Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Here’s our sweet outdoor cat, Daisy.  She’s a little cold.  I love how her fur puffs up in the winter time.

Flurry Friend Friday

One of these days I’m going to learn how to do justice to a sunset in a photo…maybe.  Don’t look at the boob on the house.  That’s what we call those covers you put over our outdoor faucets so your pipes don’t freeze. lol…not sure what their actual name is.

Have you had any snow this winter?  Has your family built a snowman?  I’d love to see yours too!

Hope this finds everyone staying safe and warm this winter.  I’m excited to share my Valentine’s Day fireplace mantel with you very soon.  I’ve been creating away!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @familybringsjoy and all the other social networking sites.  Buttons are on the side.  Oh and I finally figured out the plugin to use when I reply to a comment on my blog, it will automatically send you an email with that reply.  Before, I would answer questions via email and it wouldn’t show up on the blog.  This is great because before I would have to copy my email reply and paste it on the blog.  It was a tedious process and sometimes I would forget to do it.  I don’t want anyone to think they are ignored.  I also don’t want visitors to NOT leave a comment because they don’t think I will respond.  Comments are little gifts to us bloggers.  I APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE!  Thank you!

Snowmen bring joy,