Halloween 2014

One of our favorite traditions is the annual Halloween “parade” at the Dane’s house. It just gets bigger and bigger each year. Our friends have cookie/cupcake decorating in their garage and other people bring goodies. These are the hosts of the parade. They know they’re cute.


Many of their neighbors sit in lawn chairs and watch the “parade” and hand out candy. It’s really more fun than Halloween itself. The kids LOVE it! And now that our kids are getting older and more manageable, it’s more fun for us, too.


This year, our kids were…

A horse in a hoodie.


A frog. Yes, I made it. Yes, I know it looks weird.



A tired mom. She’s seen that a lot, except without the rollers.


And Mr. Harry Potter. He got a haircut.


And here are just a few other random parade pics of our kids and our friends.
















This never happens.

First of all, what’s up with all of this recent blogging, right?? I don’t know. I think I’ve finally decided that I need to actually start photographing my kids again.

Anyway, I decided to *try* to take just a few decent pictures of our kids at the local pumpkin patch. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve done that with the “real camera.”


I bribed them with cookies. I begged them to be cooperative. And guess what?! THEY WERE!!! I was stunned.


We were in and out of there in about ten-fifteen minutes. And nobody cried. And I didn’t get mad. Amazing, I tell you.






I honestly don’t even know how this happened.

These two.

These two are the absolute best of friends. They are always together. They’ll play together for hours on end. They also argue like an old married couple. We have no doubt that these two will get into all kinds of crazy trouble together as they get older. But today, they just fed some ducks. And neither one fell in.


And just like that, she can ride a bike.

A friend gave us this used bike for Brittany. She had a bike with training wheels, but she outgrew it a while back.

IMG_5827shrunk3We’ve been meaning to get her another one and just haven’t gotten around to it. So it was great to get this great little bike for free!!

brittdoubleWe got the tires aired up today and she just hopped right on. I helped her go up and down the street for about thirty seconds. She was pretty wobbly at first. Then she said, “I think I got it.” and she just took off. Like she’s been doing it forever.

britttripleEvery time I told her that she was doing great, she just said, “I know.”

brittdouble2She does cool stuff. And she’s very brave.

IMG_5800rsinstadoubleAnd while I’m bragging on this girl, I should probably mention that she made all A’s on her report card. She’s kind of awesome.

I choose to be reckless.

If you’re willing to love deeply, you allow the possibility of being hurt deeply. Being closed off seems like protection, but really it’s just confinement that will still cause pain. The pain is just mostly self inflicted. You are in control of it, but not entirely. No matter how protected we think we’ve made ourselves, no matter how guarded we may be, we are still vulnerable.

One day I had to choose. And really, every day is another chance to choose. I chose to be reckless. Almost 14 years into this marriage thing and we’re still figuring it out.

No marriages are perfect. But I also believe that no marriages are beyond repair. We aren’t made to love with restrictions and conditions. We are made to love recklessly. And I believe that a person who is loved recklessly will will rise far above a person who is loved cautiously.

Dear celebrities,

We…the rest of us who aren’t you…we really like you guys. We like some of you more than others. We like you for reasons that have nothing to do with who you really are. And as quickly as we decide that we like you, we can decide that we hate you. We like you for your face or for you butt or your boobs or maybe for your talent. We like the characters that you play. We think we know you because we have witnessed the edited 10% of your hours and hours of effort that was put into your latest movie. We daydream about running into you at Chili’s so we can tell all of our friends. We want to share just like a 10th of a % of your fame, just for like a minute. It’s all we could handle.

And we get “sad” when one of you dies. We get sad, but only for a few minutes or maybe a few days. We may watch a documentary about you ten years later and feel sad again, but only briefly. You aren’t real people to us. We want you to be. And we know, on some level, that you are real people with mothers and fathers and sickness and maybe even decorating dilemmas. But for the most part, we can’t identify with you at all.

And so you guys, not all of you, but many, are destroying yourselves for a bunch of people who don’t even know you. You’re killing yourselves for us. Maybe you’re killing yourselves for the money or awards or the respect of your colleagues, but ultimately you’re killing yourselves for a bunch of people who don’t even really care about you. And maybe that’s why you’re killing yourselves. Because you know that it’s all for nothing. Because you know that once you’re gone, the world will mourn you for a few weeks.

And when I see one of you, today it’s Philip Seymour Hoffman, who dies at a young age because of addiction, it’s heartbreaking. But let’s be honest, it’s only heartbreaking for a time because like I said, we don’t really know you. Stop throwing your lives away for us. When it gets to be more than you can bear, take the money and run. Walk away. Start a new career that doesn’t demand so much of you. Get yourselves better. Go be a librarian or something. You are in the position that you’re in because you have a great amount of God given talent. And maybe some of you aren’t that talented, but at least you’ve been blessed and are lucky in some ways or you wouldn’t have the success that you’ve had. Stop throwing it away on people and stuff and accolades. It’s not worth it.

I realize that as a small town nobody, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I know that. But I wouldn’t trade my simple life for anything. Sure, it’d be nice to have more money. Money is fun. Sure, I like to be liked. Who doesn’t? But at the cost of my sanity and my life? No, thanks. And yes, I know that addiction is everywhere, not just among the Hollywood elite. But you guys have so much more to give than the rest of us do. You can be the voice of great things. People listen to you. Use your fame for something that actually matters. Be remembered for your greatness, not for your death on a hotel bathroom floor.

And for the rest of us, can we maybe try to remember that celebrities are actually real people? People with families. Can we maybe not love or hate them for their looks or abilities? And can we try to remember their successes and how their work impacted our lives, rather than their addiction or the circumstances surrounding their deaths? Could it be that we’re all just adding to loss of beautiful lives? Are we “loving” them to death?

I wanna hold your hand

We’ve always had to, or *felt* like we had to, hold Mikey’s hand or at least be in reach of him at all times in public. I still feel this need even though he’s older and more trustworthy than he used to be. It’s been hard for me to shake this feeling that he’s going to disappear.

Last weekend, the kids and I went on a weekend trip to the Galleria area in Houston. We stayed in a hotel and just went lots of different places and goofed off. On our little trip, I held onto him quite a bit because there were crowds and traffic and he just makes me nervous. Jackson kept up with Katie and Brittany is really great! She just stays right with us and I don’t worry about her running off. He asked me for the 100th time why I had to hold his hand and not Brittany’s. And I told him for the 100th time that Brittany stays with me without me holding my hand. I really don’t have to worry about her disappearing on me. He hates that answer and has never liked it when I give it to him. And is always resentful to have to hold my hand and resists having to do it.

Then he said, “I think you just like to hold my hand. I think you just love me so much that you want to hold onto me all the time.” And I just decided to go with it and tell him that is exactly right. That is the real reason why I want to hold his hand all the time. The rest of the weekend and several times since, he has very willingly and proudly held my hand without protest.

With him, it’s all about equality, unless *he* is shown favor. He’s fine with inequality if it’s in his favor. In other news, I’ve been trying as often as I can to hold both of the middles’ hands when go places. And you may see me twirling them both, one on each hand, if you see me walking with them.

He digs charts

Mikey likes charts. He likes lists. He likes to know what’s next. He would like to check boxes if given the opportunity. Anyway, he came home one day demanding to make a behavior chart after school one day. We had to do it RIGHT NOW!! And so since the whole thing was to hopefully help him behave better, I dropped what I was doing to go to Target to get some poster board and construction paper. He was pretty excited about it!


He pretty quickly got annoyed with this one and regretted wanting it, but we are still using it. I think maybe it has helped some when I remember to use it instead of just yelling. 🙂

We had a really bad morning yesterday. Hopefully the worst morning of the school year. Mikey just can’t/won’t do anything without me telling him over and over and over. And yesterday morning, I just lost it. I’ve been sick for days and Phillip was home sick too, but that’s not a good excuse. Anyway, in an effort to NOT have another morning like yesterday, I decided to make this chart while Mikey was at school.


Pretty cute, right?? And this morning it worked great! He was so excited about moving his little Mikey to the next spot. He got ready quicky and on his own and I didn’t have to tell him anything. Yay!! He even told me that I should have made this chart a long time ago. So while he was at school today, I decided to make one for after school too. I also decided to give his little Mikey arms and legs.



I knew that I would need some wild card type cards for the things that change from the routine of the chart. I think we’ll try this and see how well it works. I need to laminate these and get some sticky tack so I can stick the orange cards on there without having to use the little Mikey.


So I guess we’ll see how long this helps. Even if it only helps for a few weeks, it’s worth the effort. I’m hoping this will help him get the routine stuck in his head and get used to doing things without having to be told by me. He seriously hates when I yell at him and I don’t blame him, but sometimes it seems to be the only way that he follows through. We’re both sick of that! For now, I’m not going to mess with a weekend one. We’ll just maybe use this as we can on weekends or just not use a chart at all.