Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Family Time in Indiana

The Texas LePage family is finally back in Texas. Boy, was Indiana ever cold! It didn't help that we got in to Indiana during the coldest part of the day - that few moments before the sun rises. Yes...we did not get into Indy until the very early morning hours. It was a long travel day. But our little ones did so well. We even got compliments from the people surrounding us in airports and airplanes as they all sat and waited the same wait we waited. We really did have a blessed week. My in-laws were blessed to have all their children and grandchildren home for the holidays. Can't you just feel the happiness this family radiates?
I must note here, in case you couldn't already tell, that I was not the photographer in the above photos (or many of the following photos for that matter). My sister-in-law, Sara, has been blessed with this amazing gift of capturing the moment. She does an outstanding job and we always wait so eagerly to receive the disk of photos after one of our family gatherings.
In fact, between her photos and the ones I managed to snap, I am kind of overwhelmed and not quite sure what to blog about! This is why I haven't posted until now. So, excuse me if this blog seems to be all over place or in any way....random. So anyways, I was telling you before about our loooongg travel day. This was one of Lukas' solutions to helping his mommy and daddy carry some things through the various airports. Very creative, don't ya think? He begged and pleaded for me to put Logan in the backpack. But I am quite certain that Logan weighs exactly as much as his big brother. The little guy likes to eat. Actually, that is an understatement. The little dude literally goes nuts when he even sees you walk toward the kitchen. Then there was Lukas - he is tall and skinny. He has maintained a steady weight of 49.5 pounds for the last two years. Lucky dog. I wish I could grow upwards and not outwards two years in a row! And here is what a 5 year old looks like after being up all night traveling:Poor little fella. Oh but how this look of utter sadness was washed away the moment we walked off that jet way and said "Look....there's Papaw!!!" as we pointed in the near off distance. We could see Papaw, and he saw us. He started waving his arms. And Lukas bolted. Literally took off, I could hear the screeching from his shoes. And to our amazement, he was veering away from Papaw. I saw it all play out. It was CLASSIC. One of those "i-sure-wish-i-woulda-had-the-video-camera-rolling-cuz-we-coulda-made-it-big-on-America's-Funniest-Home-Videos" moments. Lukas was running full speed toward the wrong man! And about five feet from the stranger, Lukas realized his mistake. And again, I could hear the screeching. The sound his stopping shoes made as he was yelling "papaw!!" and in an instant realizing it was not papaw...but some guy with the same hair...or lack there of. Sorry, Papaw. You know I love you, hair or no hair, right? Anyways, my loving husband and I saw this, Papaw and Uncle Jonathan saw this. It was hilarious. Lukas turns to look at his mom and dad with a look of question and humiliation. Only to see us keeled over in laughter. I did manage to point beyond Lukas so he would know where to turn and look. Then, once again, I could hear the screeching shoes and he saw his Papaw...and then the embrace. It is always such a heart warming moment. Lukas and his Papaw. They sure are great together.
Remember how cold I said it was up there in Indiana? Well, here's proof:
Yep, that's me and Logan greeting the neighborhood canine, Huckleberry. And trying desperately to stay warm. Did you notice my three coats, extra hat, two hoods and blanket? And I was still cold. I am starting to think that the Texas weather has ruined me for good. I am now a whip in the cold. So much for skiing. I would turn to ice after the first run.

The picture reminds me of one of those women that used to, or probably still do, carry their babies on their backs all day. I just hope Logan was warm enough back there.
This is Sara...my sister-in-law. She's married to my loving husband's little brother. And that precious boy is their little baby, Micah. And Micah's about to be a big brother! I am 99.9% sure that Papaw and Gammie are gonna be blessed with yet another grandson. I know Gammie is still holdin' out hope for her first granddaughter...but all the rest of us think it's not gonna happen this time.
Here's what opening Christmas presents looked like in the LePage home:Fun, huh? Santa was so good to us all. wink wink.
Lukas and his Uncle Johnny decided to make a gingerbread house. Lukas is absolutely crazy about his Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Sara. He cried and begged and pleaded to go home with them. Biggest alligator tears I ever saw. It was precious. Since Lukas was a little boy I have maintained that I thought he looked a tad bit like his uncle. And this picture proves it beyond reasonable doubt. Does not anybody agree? Them there are some strong LePage genes! Just see for your self:
All of this, because two people fell in love...*sigh* It was a wonderful 8 days. We were all sad to see it end. I think we all agreed that it was certainly one of our most favorites. Gammie and I cooked and spent lots of time together in the kitchen, Papaw and his kiddos played lots of basketball, the cousins got well acquainted, Jess and I shared some sweet smelling moments together...I could go on and on...but here's some of my favorites from the week: Obviously, Logan is learning some new facial expressions. This one was a family favorite:

A little duet.

And who knew a box of ziplocs could be so much fun!?Oh that Micah boy was crazy for Lukas! They are gonna be great buds.
Oh, and here's another one of my 'uncanny photo' moments of my babies and their similarities:
Logan, Christmas 2008:
Lukas, Christmas 2003:
Aren't they funny. The way they sit and just look. So sweetly. It's funny to me that I can take a picture of Logan and the minute I see it, it will spark this place in my brain that says "I have a picture of Lukas doing the same thing at that age!" I love the similarities. I wonder if it will go on their entire lives for me? I hope so.
I am gonna end with this one:
Could one ever want more than any of this for Christmas? Thanks Papaw and Gammie for a wonderful time and for all the memories that were made. I truly have been blessed to get to be a part of your wonderful family. Sara, you are a wonderful photographer, thanks for sharing your gift with this family. I already can't wait for next year's holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

UPD

Or Uncle Phil's Diner to those who don't really know me! Because if you really knew me, you'd know how busy this little dinner theater experience has kept me...and my loving husband and little ones the last couple of weeks. Thanks guys, for putting up with it all! I enjoyed it so much. And thanks John, Kim and Chelsea for making it all happen!
And for those who don't know me or haven't spoke with me lately, you might be wondering, well what was her part in this theater you talk so much about? Just to cool your curiosity, take a look at this:
Oh yes, that is what you think it is. Me, a Pink Lady. Isn't it great!? Wait, this angle might flatter me better:Oh yes, that is much better! Thank you! And yes, it was as much fun to dress as a rough and tumble alley cat as it looks!
UPD is set in 1958. It is an interactive dinner theater. Glenwood put it on last year, and this year it was No Room at the Diner. A lot of it was ad-libbed and a lot of it was scripted. Each cast member had their own table to wait. And I have never waited on a table in my life! And let me just say...I liked it! I really did! *I do like green eggs and ham said Sam I Am!* What I liked most was the not knowing of who was going to be seated at my table. One of the nights I knew every face at my table...but I had to stay in character. It was just so...so...so......FUN! Here's me and my pal Midge....er, I mean Mary at dress rehearsal:It's funny because now when I see these people that I worked with for so many weeks, I really just want to call them by their character name. Everyone just fit into their parts so well.
My loving husband and Lukas came to the show one night...and I had to make sure that they were seated far, far, far away from my table because I just knew Lukas would make my having to stay in character kinda tough. Who could possibly turn their nose up at this face and act like they don't know him...act like he didn't grow in your womb and now calls you mommy?LOOK at that face! Lukas is holding a phone, obviously. One big part of the interactive-ness was a group sing-a-long to the 12 Days of a Diner Christmas (aka The 12 Days of Christmas). And Lukas' table was: 8 phones a ringin'. Here is his dinner date. Her name is Ashley. Isn't she the most beautiful little thing? They have been friends for a long time. I just love her mom! She is one of my good friends. And I sure do hope they enjoyed the show. See that Christmas tree? That was the gumdrop tree center piece. And the guests at the table were in charge of decorating it. For the record, that tree was pretty bare at the end of the night. We won't go into details about how many fingers had touched those gumdrops. But like Wally says, "gives it extra flavor!"
Towards the end of the show the band (aka, diner cooks) agreed to come out and play some rockin' Christmas tunes. The wait staff gets to dance around and look for unsuspecting guests to dance with. I chose this good looking fella:Ain't he a real charmer!? And he was such a good dancer!
Oh my, I just had so much fun. I am sure a lot of the cast was glad it was over but honestly, I was sad. Still am a bit. My favorite part of the whole thing was the social part. I knew everyone going in, but when you spend so much time together you really get to know people on a different level. And that is what I will miss. The people and the interaction. Just look at all these wonderful people. Each one of them has been so blessed by God with such wonderful talents and I am so thankful he put us all together for this great experience.I wonder what will be in store next year for Glenwood's Dinner Theater Ministry? I can't wait to find out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tag time...it's a state of being.

Why did I offer to work for Julie? I have so much to do before Saturday...and I had no time in the last two weeks to do any of it because of Uncle Phil's Diner (i will post those pics soon!). I still have to bake cookies, muffins and put the treat bags together for Lukas' Christmas party that is tomorrow. And I haven't even shopped for the items needed to bake with or for the treat bags! Oh, and we are leaving for 8 days on Saturday. Have I done any laundry? Nope. Which means I haven't packed a thing. Or even thought about it. Christmas shopping? Nope. And the post office needs a visit from me. And what am I doing? Yep. Posting a blog. And working for Julie. Oh yes, now I remember why I said I'd work for her...she's a dear friend and I didn't want her to lose out on her vacation time. We have a use it or lose it policy here in the office. Please note that I had no problem using up my vacation time! Oh, and the extra money is nice. Money is always nice.

So here's a tag that is a little more introspective than most. I really enjoyed it. Thanks, Kim!

*i am at work
*i want to get my errands run
*i have to finish Christmas shopping
*i miss my daddy
*i fear losing a child
*i hear the humm of the computer
*i search for the meaning of my life daily
*i wonder what my kids will grow up to be
*i regret leaving my dad
*i love my family
*i forgive my loving husband for not being able to read my mind (*sorry Kim - it was just too good to not use for myself!)
*i ache when my babies cry
*i always make my own cards
*i try to be more patient with my oldest child
*i seem to forget where i park my car in the grocery store parking lot every time i go
*i know that Jesus loves me
*i feel ready for a vacation
*i dance only when no one is watching
*i dream about living on a tropical island
*i give more time than i have
*i listen to the news more than i should
*i sing only when no one can hear me
*i laugh at my children's silly things they say and do
*i can't sing or dance
*i cry when i get my feelings hurt
*i sleep best in my own bed
*i am going to Indiana for Christmas
*i see God's blessings all around me
*i need my family
*i should be doing laundry and getting things ready for Lukas' school Christmas party!

Feel free to copy this and examine your own state of being!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wanna watch a couple short movies?

Staring Lukas and Logan!

This is Lukas learning to read. It is such a sweet sound. We are so proud of him! Wait for the end - as he describes what that thing is on his finger!

video

And then there was Logan. Not to be out done, he decides to hit a major milestone as well: video

Again, they cease to amaze us. They are growing so fast, right before our very eyes. These little videos are only small snip-its of what is happening day after day in our home. We are truly blessed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Cookies

Well, we tried anyways. This is the recipe from Pioneer Woman's holiday cooking. And she even states that "they may not be the fanciest cookies around, but they are so so good". And as you can see, they sure don't look very pretty or tasty. But ohhhh they were so yummy! Besides, the point of it was to be able to let Lukas experience the fun of making sugar cookies with icing and decorating with even more icing. All for a boy who does not like icing. But he was still stoked about the idea.
And of course, the sprinkles were the very best part. I think we may have gone through two bottles of the messy little things. Oh, and naturally, as my luck would have it, they didn't 'stick' to the cookies. So, while they looked cute sitting there all colorful, the moment you pick one up to anticipate the exact second that your lips will meet the divine sweetness of this holiday goodness, you hear it. You know. The rainy sound of all the sprinkles hitting the floor. And as you jump back to realize what has just happened, you inevitably step on exactly 1000 of them. Then they stick to your socks all night. And if you are real lucky, you will then step in a drop of water and then you have pink, red, blue and white streaks all over the kitchen floor...and carpet. All hypothetically, of course. Oh, whats that? Did it sound like I was talking from experience? Yeah. Maybe I was. Maybe that's why it's already almost midnight and I just sat down from cleaning the kitchen and scrubbing aforementioned floors. All in the name of sharing holiday joys with my oldest boy. And yeah, it was totally worth it! Oh, and we got some mighty tasty cookies out of the whole mess. Logan was there to help too. He sat on the floor and got a head start on picking up the sprinkles. Although, I am quite certain he didn't put them in the trash can...the 10 second rule is still in effect, right?

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did. We spent ours with some close friends. Ate lots, relaxed lots, watched football lots and ate lots more! With Thanksgiving, came our first 'school break'. A whole week. Lukas was more than thrilled. So, with all this time off, we had to find some ways to busy ourselves. My friend Meaghan had a great idea - the Zoo. I remember when I first moved to Tyler and learned that there was a zoo here. I had these images in my mind that didn't include real zoo animals. You know. The elephants, giraffes, lions..etc. Boy, was I wrong. The zoo here - Caldwell Zoo, is actually one of the best zoos I have been to. It has every animal you could imagine. Lukas' personal favorite are the anteaters. I have absolutely no idea why. But that is what he looks forward to every time we go. He will run by the white tigers, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, otters, penguins and go straight for the anteaters. Oh, he might make a pit stop by they snakes. shiver. Ugh. I very strongly dislike snakes. Big and small. Nice or not. Venom or no venom. NO thank you! None for me. I'll pass. And here's why:Yeah. The look on Matthew's face pretty much says it all. That's exactly how I feel about the slithery things! On a happier note:Three little bambinos. Oh, yeah - and you can kinda see the giraffes in the background. I guess I need to work on my photography skills, huh? That's just me though. More focused on the kids than on what's going on around us. And speaking of being focused:
Logan sure had a good time. Eating his beloved Cheerios, that is. And pausing to pose for this awesome photo opp:No, really. He did have a good time and he enjoyed stopping to see all the different animals - as long as they were brightly colored and not being all sedentary like those crocodiles were acting. See, this photo really misses the look on Logan's face. Like I said earlier - I need to work on my photographing abilities. But he was totally focused on those pretty pink birds. Here's one where I changed my focus:Only because he was trying to get at Logan's Cheerios! I wanted to give him one sooo bad, but I held myself back. Cuz I am sure he would have told all of his other little billie friends and then they would have all been trying to stick their funny looking tongues through that fence. Oh, and just one more crazy animal:Oh, wait. That was not an animal we saw at the zoo. This was an animal I spotted outside our brand new digs. But, like I always say: 'better out than in'! I am shivering. Again. Now, if I could just get my hands on that big snake...I am certain he'd take care of this little problem!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Legos & Lukas

Legos. A true childhood joy. Lukas didn't really have any interest in the bright and colorful blocks until about 6 months ago. And it's been nonstop since. He sure does get proud of his creations. I remember him bringing something into the bedroom and placing it on the dresser with strict orders to "leave it there and don't let anyone take it apart!" It would stay there for days...until my OCD would kick in and I would have the sudden urge to take it away from the bedroom and break it apart and place it neatly back in the Lego box. Would Lukas notice? You betcha, he'd notice. I got the biggest "awwwwww mommy! I built that for you!" sigh. What's an OCD mommy to do?
Logan has already developed a rather large interest in the bright blocks. It acutally started with the Big Yellow Bus that carried the over sized legos. Logan was all about the bus...and he would immediately turn the bus over and spin the wheels. Over and over. Eventually he turned to the blocks inside the bus. And now that he has discovered his older brothers littler - is that a word? legos he goes nuts with them. He gets so excited. My boys. They like their Legos. And I like when they can play together. It's the sweetest thing to witness: And just in case you forgot, Lukas is a boy of many faces..none of which smile sweetly or shyly - is that a word? for the camera.This is the best he could do. I wonder what his senior pictures will look like? I cant wait to see those in about 13 years...

Monday, November 17, 2008

All Better

After a week or so of battling fevers, I think they are all better. Logan got it first, then of course Lukas thought he needed it and we certainly can't keep these things to ourselves so, sorry Kim, I am certain that Lukas went ahead and shared it with Jonathan (albeit before we knew Lukas had it!), who shared it with Kaleigh who shared...well, you know the story. I am happy to report that we now have two, happy, healthy boys who are, once again, full of energy!

And in my effort to continue to give thanks:
21. Thermometers that are digital and light up for those 2am readings.
22. Infant Ibuprofen
23. Children's Tylenol
24. new babies (welcome Tyler!)
25. Diet Coke
26. That Lukas can ride his bike with his buddies on his 'day off' (aka Saturday).
27. Blogger
28. Girls Night
29. Nicholas Sparks
30. A husband who enjoys taking care of his kids
31. Double Dave's Pizza
32. Ebay
33. Fall and the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees
34. The cooler weather
35. Warm fuzzy hats and gloves
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 chr 16:34

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like Father, Like Sons?

Is it bad that I am constantly comparing my boys? Actually, I am not sure if comparing is the right word here. It's just so funny to me how much Logan reminds me of Lukas and Lukas reminds me of my loving husband ~ which would equal Logan reminding me of my loving husband as well wouldn't it? They all do some of the same things (they also all three have the EXACT same feet, and as my boys know, I LOVE me some baby piggies - aka feet?!
It just strikes me as...I dunno, weird. Almost surreal. I mean, I know these boys came from the same parents, but to have so many similarities...
You all will remember this:

LUKAS LOGAN
Well, tonight I went to check on my boys and when I walked into Logan's room and peered over his crib here is what I saw:
Cute, huh? Totally racked. I think the LePages call this "one leg up".

But, the moment I saw it, it brought back this memory:Uncanny isn't it? I wonder if Logan will always follow in Lukas' footsteps?
*
Oh yeah...one more thing...
*
I wonder who they get it from?
*
This, my friends is the Lepage "one leg up". Total comfort and relaxation. I will never forget my sister-in-law telling me a story about how someone was a knockin' on her door and she was annoyed cuz, "c'mon! I had one leg up!"
Although I was not born a LePage like my loving husband (pictured above) or my sister-in-law, I have married into the LePage family. And, in my years as a family member, I have had many moments to try this little maneuver out. and Ahhhhhh. Oh yeeeahhhh..... it IS comfy! ("I DO like green eggs and ham sam i am!") Try it. I dare ya.