That Face


I thought I’d bring a little humor to the blog this evening. Those of you that know our family know that Zachary is a big source of humor.

One thing about Zachary is that he does not hide his emotions. He displays them clearly on his face. One that I don’t think he intended to be funny is his "mad" face, though it has turned in to quite a game to try to imitate it. He’ll do anything for a laugh, so it doesn’t bother him that we’ve made a joke out of it (something that would disturb his brother A LOT).

What about you? Can you make Zachary’s "mad" face?

And, just cause it made me laugh, here’s the face he made when I asked him to make his mad face so I could take a picture. 🙂



O Christmas Trees

Since Emily’s first Christmas, we’ve been carrying on a tradition in our family in which we purchase one new Christmas ornament for each of our kids each year.  I’ve certainly lost track of who got what and when, but thankfully we’ve labeled each ornament and kept them in good shape over the years.  However, the ultimate result of this tradition is a very sentimental but horrendously hodge podge Christmas tree.

This year we tried something new.  We bought a separate 3’ tree for each kid.  They’ve now accumulated enough ornaments of their own plus a few oldies-but-goodies from Christmas-past and they can decorate their own trees.  Plus, with the dormers on our second floor, where the boys have their room, we can put them in windows and add to our external illumination.


(See them up on the second floor)

The final benefit and probably the main goal was that we were able to decorate our tree with a more uniform style.


Here are the kiddos trees:

zachsTree TimsTree EmsTree
Zach’s Tree Tim’s Tree Emily’s Tree
(with a photo bomb by Zach)


Zachary’s birthday was last Sunday, December 7th. He has been looking forward to turning 4 for quite some time. For the last year, any time anyone would have a birthday in which they would turn anything over age 3, he would inform us that he was still three with disappointment. So, it was with great anticipation that he starting counting down the days on November 27 — 10 days before his birthday.

I asked him several times what the big deal was about turning 4, and he explained to me that several things would happen when he was 4:
* he would no longer be a baby – though I explained to him that he would always be MY baby, he was pretty insistent on this one. It really threw him when I told him that Scott was still Grandmama’s baby and that Grandmama was still Gran’s baby…

* he would no longer suck his thumb – we have been passively working on getting him to give up this habit. Having been through before with Emily, we knew better than to push too hard until he was ready. He had decided that he would be ready when he was 4. So, on the night of his birthday, we told him to try to only suck his thumb at bedtime. No point in going cold turkey on a 4 year old habit! Well, I have to tell you that he has done so well. He hasn’t sucked his thumb at all since last Monday night. Not even in bed!

* no more dragging his blanket everywhere – he has carried his “blank with fringe” with him everywhere he went for the past 4 years. He still plays with it around the house, but that’s it. No more getting dragged into the car and begging to take it with us wherever we’re going.

* play on the computer – Timo LOVES to play on the computer. Somehow, Zachary has gotten it in his head that he would suddenly know how to play on the computer when he turned 4. I was willing to show him how to play before then, but he really wasn’t interested. Well, this week, he came to me and asked if he could play on the computer. I opened the NOGGIN website for him, showed him which mouse button to click and he was off and running! All our educational games have gotten pretty scratched up through the years. I guess that’s something we should put on his Christmas wish list…

* go to school – I’ve been surprised that he hasn’t asked to go to school this week. Anytime he would tell me that he would be going to school when he was 4, I would remind him that he would after he’d been 4 for a few months. He’ll be going to pre-K in the fall.

There have been other things mentioned, but those are the top 5. Turning 4 was a BIG deal in his mind. So, we started planning the celebration in early November and the celebration really started at Thanksgiving. On the day after Thanksgiving, he had a mini-party at Gran & Ol’ Granddad’s house where he got to open his presents from Grandmama & Granddad and Gran & Ol’ Granddad. He was quite excited to get a Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber and some “dollars” (that he later used to buy a Dora game for his Leapster). We all spent the rest of the weekend making aliens.

We came home from Amarillo on Saturday. The next few days were rather tame as far as celebrating his birthday were concerned. We put up Christmas decorations and continued the countdown to December 7th. Grandmother & Granddaddy arrived on Friday. Their visit was mainly to see the kids (and, I like to believe, to see us), they were also coming to see the new house since they had not been up since we’d moved back to Plainview. We’re hoping that we’ll be in yet another new before too long, but that’s for another post.

Friday evening was spent enjoying spending time with Grandmother and Granddaddy. We left the house once and drove ALL the way to Wayland to see the living nativity before dinner, but that was our only outting. Before bed, I baked a birthday cake to be iced the next day. As he smelled the baking cake, Zachary knew he would soon FINALLY be 4.

Our plan for Saturday was to go to Chuck E. Cheese in Lubbock. We always let the birthday child choose one special meal for their birthday, and that was Zachary’s choice. We had big plans for the 7th, so we went on Saturday. I decorated the cake to look like an Omnitrix (from Ben 10) so we could take it with us. We decided to let him open his gifts before we went. He likes to dress up like the characters in his shows. We had got him some clothes similar to what Ben wears in the show, and we thought it would be fun for him to dress up like Ben to go to Chuck E. Cheese. He was very excited to get his own Leapster (so he doesn’t have to beg Timothy to let him play his anymore), Diego checkers, cards, and “magic ink” coloring book, and his Ben clothes (a green windsuit). We arrived at Chuck E. Cheese around 2:00 and had a great time.

On Sunday, Zachary decided to wear his “Easter suit” to church. We have a “Birthday Champ” ribbon that he wore proudly. He had a great morning telling every one that it was his birthday. Because he’s 4, he now gets to go to worship with the family. We had a great time worshipping together. After church, we went to lunch and then headed home.

Now, for the evening, we had a decision to make. After getting the tickets for his REAL birthday gift, a ride on the Polar Express, we had found out that the Children’s Choir Christmas musical was that night. All the kids were scheduled to sing. The service started at 6 and we had to be at the Polar Express Train Station in Lubbock by 7:45. We probably could have done both, but our time would have been rushed. So, we explained to a tearful Emily (the boys couldn’t have cared less) that we’d be skipping the musical. We arrived at the train station at 7:45, picked up our tickets at will-call, and found our place in line to get on Train Car 1.

The train ride was wonderful! Zachary enjoyed letting everyone know that it was his birthday. The whole train car sang Happy Birthday to him twice! Everyone enjoyed singing, dancing, listing to the “Polar Express” story, having hot chocolate and cookies, and of course, getting to see Santa and his Elves.

These pictures are from Chuck E. Cheese and the Train Ride.

There has been one interesting development of letting Zachary open his presents before his actual birthday. Any time someone asks him what he got for his birthday, he tells him that he didn’t get anything. He got a Leapster, Ben 10 clothes, Diego checkers, and an Alien Creator when he was 3, but he didn’t get anything when he was 4. Little turkey…


School Kids

Emily brought home her 3rd grade school picture today.  Isn’t she stunning?

We’ve been waiting for hers so we could post both of our school kids’ pics.

Here’s Timothy’s Kindergarten picture.  What a good looking guy!


An angel, a transformer, and a clone trooper

We spent most of the week dreading Halloween night.  Not because we don’t like Halloween.  We usually enjoy letting the kids dress up and go trick-or-treating, but this year we found ourselves pulled in several directions.  There were a couple houses that I’d promised to bring the kids to, Trunk-a-Treat at church at 6:00, the Fall Festival from Timothy’s school at 6:30, and an office party at 6:30.  All fun activities that we wanted to go to, but took some work to figure out how to do them all.

We started the fun at 4.  Timothy had learned at the pumpkin patch that pumpkins last longer if you paint or color them than if you cut them, so the kids had been begging since Wednesday to be allowed to paint the pumpkins that we got.  They pointed out several times that it made the most sense to decorate them before Halloween, and they were right.  So, we pulled out the tempera paint and brushes, covered the table, and they had a great time!  Surprisingly, there was very little mess.

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The finished products:

Emily decorated hers to look like a black widow spider
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Timothy painted a real (used the peach paint) face on his

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Zachary usd all the colors to paint a face on his  
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Then it was time to get their costumes on and go trick or treating.

Emily dressed as an angel (I guess she just didn’t want to dress up this year!), Timothy as Bubblebee, and Zachary as a Storm Trooper (Scott was so proud!!!).

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Trick-or-Treating, Trunk-A-Treat, and the Fall Festival were all a lot of fun and we have a pumpkin basket completely full of candy now.  We dropped the kids off at some friends house and made it to the party by 8:15.   There were 10 people there.  When we got there, they were playing a round of “Fact or Crap.”  We’d seen the game before, but hadn’t played it.  It was fun, but we were disappointed that the cards didn’t reveal the “real” answer when the statement was not true.

The party was pot luck.  We knew we’d be late, so we brought dessert.  For the first time in my life, I baked a cheesecake from scratch.  It was a pumpkin cheese cake with an oreo crust, sour cream icing, and chocolate drizzled over the top in the shape of a spider-web.  It was a hit!  I forgot to take a picture before, but here’s what’s left.


All said, it was a fun night.  Today we get to relax.  I hear there’s some big game today that I’m sure will be on our TV at some point.


Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, Zachary and I went to the pumpkin patch with Timothy and his class.  Being a small, private school, they do not take busses on field trips.  Instead, they depend on parents to travel with them to the destination.  So I loaded Timothy, Zachary, and three of Timothy’s classmates into the Trailblazer and we headed to the pumpkin patch in a town just over thirty minutes away.

Now this was like most pumpkin patches that I’ve been to before.  There was a short lesson about the different kinds of pumpkins and the kids got to pick out a pumpkin to bring home with them.  There was something that I hadn’t seen before though.  Beyond the pumpkins, they had a pen filled with goats, donkeys, and horses.  They put on a little demonstration with their farm dogs herding the goats.  First with the old dog who very calmly rounding the goats up and then young 4 month old dog who ran and pushed the goats around.  The kids weren’t terribly interested in this, but we “grown-ups” thought it was neat.  After the show, the kids got to feed the animals.  That was fun!


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Tonight was the last game of the flag football season for Timothy.  We got to see him score his first touchdown.  As you’ll be able to tell from the video, we were quite pumped.

Here are a few pictures from the last day as well:

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