Friday, December 28, 2012

Sandy {11 Months}

Dear Sandy,

It's Christmas Eve and you are turning 11 months old today!  What a fun day it will be for you, because you're going over to Nana and Popo's house to celebrate Christmas.  So not only will you get to open presents a month from today for your first birthday, but you get to open presents this afternoon, too!  You're one lucky little girl.

I think right after I wrote your ten month letter, you decided it was time to walk.  I worked with you a few days trying to get you to let go of the couch and walk to me just a few steps.  You always did it with a smile.  One day after work Daddy and I tried to get you to walk in the hallway a few more steps, and after you realized you could do it on your own, you were off.  You officially became a walker!

I think you can almost run, now.  Whenever you put something in your mouth that you know shouldn't be in there, you give Mommy a glance and then start moving the other direction as fast as you can.  And you are so fast at whipping your little head from side to side as I try to reach my fingers in to stop you from swallowing the object.  You also run as fast as you can when you have a toy that Brazos wants to play with.  You two haven't quite figured out how to share yet, but I think you two are getting a little better at playing together.

You still only have two bottom teeth, but I noticed your top, right, front tooth is starting to poke through.  That explains why you are always putting every object in your mouth to chew on. 

You love to eat table food and will only eat baby food if it's the only option.  Your teachers at Mother's Day Out told me one day, "Ok, mom.  Sandy threw a fit when she saw the other students eating pizza.  She refused to eat her baby food, so we tore the pizza up into little pieces for her."  I guess you'll be buying your lunch from now on.  Gosh, I didn't know that would start so soon.

Formula is still your drink of choice.  You even wake up once or twice, sometimes three times a night just for a bottle.  You used to sleep through the night, until that nasty salmonella attacked you.  During the day you love to carry your brother's sippy cup around, so I bought you your own sippy cup, but you don't seem so interested in it.

At your last doctor's visit you weighed about 18 pounds.  You also had an ear infection.  The doctor also said that we should wean you from waking up in the middle of the night for a bottle, but unless he's going to come over and listen to you scream {yes, you scream and you're really good at it} then I don't see that happening.  I'll be waking up every night with you until you're ready to sleep all night.  I don't really mind getting up with you, but after the third time I do become annoyed.  Sorry.

This month you rode on the Mother's Day Out float for the Christmas parade.  It was titled, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"  You even waved to the crowd!  I was so proud to hold you, but unfortunately you didn't want to sit in my lap.  You wanted to crawl around or stand up.   By the end of the parade route you were screaming so loudly because you were mad at me for trying to keep you on my lap.  You are such a wiggle worm!

At church you were in your first Christmas program.  You and Brazos were the two sheep at the manger.  You also went with me, Brazos, and Granny to sing Christmas carols.

On December 21st, we went to Great Grandma Lyles's house to celebrate her birthday and Christmas.  She was excited to see you walk.  You even wanted to climb the stairs to try to keep up with Brazos running around.  You figured out the climbing up part, but not the coming down.  Great Grandma Lyles had so many little figurines that sang and moved and played music.  You really enjoyed watching all of them and wanted to grab at each one.

This month you met Santa Clause for the first time...several times.  You weren't scared at all.  You just sat in his lap and stared up at his big white beard.  Your picture looked a lot like your brother's - no smile, just a blank expression on your face.

Well, tomorrow is Christmas Day and I know you will have a jolly ole' time.  Lots of sweet surprises await you.  I'm in high gear with your birthday party plans and your last month of your first year will fly by fast.  Merry Christmas my sweet little girl.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas was filled with lots of fun, family, friends, and faith!

With our church we participated in the Christmas parade in downtown.  Our church had a float called "It's Christmas in Any Language."  The kids dressed up as people from different countries and they walked beside the float with the manger scene on it.  Brazos and the other littlest church members were part of the nativity since they couldn't walk along side the float.  Brazos was Joseph! 

We also helped with Christmas caroling to the shut-in members of our congregation, which Brazos and Sandy slept through most of it, so mainly I just drove around and waited in my car hoping they would wake up for the next stop.  Of course, they woke up to go eat pizza afterwards! 

Our little family went to see the live nativity out in Independence on December 17th. 

December 23rd the kids participated in the annual Christmas program.  They were both sheep.  Brazos was supposed to be a shepherd but his teacher said that he refused to get dressed, so she just through a sheep smock over him.  At practice he did so good and sat in his spot.  During the program he acted like a bucking bull in the middle of the floor.  Oh well, that's what you call entertainment, right?

Brazos's class at school invited the parents to come and watch the kids play instruments and sing carols.  I was a proud mommy watching my little man play the tamborine.  He didn't do much singing, but he had lots of fun.  Afterwards, we all drank some hot chocolate.  Yum!

Sandy rode on the school's float in the Christmas parade.  The theme of their float was "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"  She did so well keeping her party hat on, but mommy didn't do so well keeping Sandy in her lap.  She wanted to stand or crawl and by the end she was screaming from me trying to confine her.  Good times!

On Christmas Eve we celebrated with my husband's family.  Brazos and he cousin Cody were so cute eating dinner at their own little table.  Afterwards, they were excited to open presents and play with new toys.  Sandy loved her first Christmas and did a fabulous job prancing around the house in her tutu.  She even sat in her rocking chair to drink her milk.  Having a little girl in the house among all those little boys is so much fun!

Before we left the house, Brazos and I placed Santa's magical key and some cookies at the front door.  We also sprinkled some reindeer food of oats and glitter in the yard so Santa could find our house.  Mainly mommy did all these things, because Brazos had just woken up from a nap.  He watched me with a snarl on his face.  He could have been the Grinch Who Stole Christmas at that moment.

Christmas morning Brazos was the first to crawl out of bed.  I told him to go look under the tree to see if Santa had left him any presents.  He went to check and said his usual, "Yaeh."  So he ran to wake daddy and Sandy up.  Daddy got up with ease, but Sandy wasn't very happy to have her brother yelling at her first thing in the morning.  Once we were all fully awake, the tearing of wrapping paper began.  Brazos did such a good job helping his little sister open her gifts, too.  I think they were pleased with Santa.  Santa even ate their cookies and left them a note with two new ornaments for their tree!

My family came over for a quick Christmas breakfast before we ventured off to the big family Christmas with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Another round of gift exchanging commenced and Santa brought Brazos one last gift.  It was a John Deere Gator just his size sitting outside on the sidewalk.  Santa wrapped it in a big white sheet and Brazos really didn't understand what to do, so Aunt Emilie helped him lift the sheet.  He quickly hopped in and spun off.  And around and around he went!

That morning I baked some cupcakes and Brazos and I sang "Happy Birthay" to Jesus before we dug in and devoured the sweetness.


Next it was off to Great Granny's house.  We ate lunch and played Chinese Christmas.  I took an idea off of Pinterest - "It's Raining Money!"  Uncle Veryl was the perfect person to open that gift. 
My grandma, mother, me and Sandy all took a four generation photo.  It isn't the best of us, but it captures how beautifully imperfect we are.  And there a sweet moment when Sandy laid her head on her Papa's shoulder.

Some other memories we made this season were building a gingerbread house together.  It turned out disasterfully cute!  One wall was caved in and the icing dripped all over the place but I loved it!  We made it look like some cars had crashed into the house.  That's why the wall was caved in, not because the builders made it like that {wink}.
I walked in Brazos room night and saw him standing on his stool just admiring his Christmas tree.  It was a sweet moment. 
We gave my Grandma Lyles and ornament of a dove with a note that read, "If we could fly over here every day to play with you, we would.  Love, Brazos and Sandy"
I saw a field of tall grass and always like how pictures looked in it, so we stopped to take a picture.  Sandy didn't like the idea.  Her face tells it all.  But she liked the idea of visiting Santa in Independence.
Merry Christmas to all and may there be Peace on Earth!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cutting Firewood

Ever since Matt cleared the back pasture for more grazing land for the cattle, he has been busy cutting firewood.  Brazos likes to go out and help his daddy with the wood in the afternoons, and I love that he is finally old enough to help daddy with things. 

Brazos pushes his little dump truck out to the wood pile and picks up pieces of bark.  Of course he dumps the pieces on Matt's neatly stacked wood, but Matt doesn't complain because I think he likes the company. 

Yesterday afternoon we all ventured out to the wood pile to watch Matt work.  Even Sandy found pieces of wood just her size. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sand Box

A few months ago Matt finally built Brazos a sand box.  I had been asking him to build one for a while.  The arrangement was that he would build it and I would have to fill it with sand.  I used a wheel barrow and took sand from our drive way.  I'm thinking I might have to refill it soon since some little boy thinks it's fun to sling sand around.

With the weather being warmer these past few days, we've been playing in the sand.  Sandy can finally sit in the sand with Brazos without putting everything in her mouth.  She understands when Mommy says "No" and tries her hardest to listen, but sometimes the temptation gets the best of her.  So yes, she has had a few mouth fulls of sand, as well as sand in her hair and clothes from that slingin' that seems to happen.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sandy is 10 months!

Dear Sandy Pandy,

Yep.  That’s your nickname and I’m thinking it’s going to stick.  Your daddy started calling you this one day after he saw a cartoon with a panda bear named Sandy.  Brazos has caught on quite well and calls you “Sandy Pandy” more often than just “Sandy.”  So little girl, I think you will be “Sandy Pandy” for a while.  {But do you know that Brazos will not let you call him anything other than “Brazos”.  He refuses to have a nickname.  I wonder if you will tell us later on if you like “Sandy Pandy” or not?}
It’s hard to believe that my little girl has turned 10 months old.  This past month you have grown so much and you now weigh 17.6 pounds.  Most people tell me that you look nowhere near 17 pounds because you have such a petite little body.  I think you have the most beautiful legs.  I love to sit back and watch your little legs walk across the room.  That’s right!  You can hold on to the furniture and just go, go, go.  A few times you have let go and stood up on your own.  In no time you will be running around with all of us chasing you.
You are ready to try all kinds of food.  You enjoy eating mommy’s supper at night and you can scarf down your baby food.  You will only drink milk and refuse to drink water or juice.  Although, you love to take Brazos’s cup and drink his orange juice, but you make a sour face with every gulp.  Bananas are some of your favorites, as well as little cheddar puffs.  Oatmeal is your first choice for breakfast.  You’ve become really good at feeding yourself finger foods and love to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for a snack.  Sometimes we think you’re done eating, and later will find that you are still carrying a small piece of food around in your mouth!
You hate to ride in your car seat and will scream for an entire car trip if you have to.  The only way to keep you from screaming is to give you a bottle to hold and drink.  At restaurants you now sit in their high chairs, but you are quickly learning how to twist your wait out of them.
At home you love to play with anything Brazos is playing with.  All toys and items go straight to your mouth.  Every now and then you’ll carry a stuffed animal or little doll around which makes mommy’s heart smile.  For some reason you love to carry around a pair of your pants.  It doesn’t have to be any specific pair, just a pair of pants to drag along where ever you crawl.  You enjoy going into Brazos’s room and pulling out all his toys from under his bed.  Mommy and you like to sit on the couch and red stories together.
At night you usually refuse to go to sleep without a bottle.  Just like in the car, you will scream and cry and wheeze until someone either takes you out of bed or gives you a bottle.  Daddy has been successful a few times in holding you until you fall asleep.  Sometimes you both relax together on the couch watching t.v. while Brazos is taking his night-time bath.  You even took your first bath sitting in the bath tub all by yourself!
This month you celebrated your first Halloween!  Mommy made you a nurse costume and you looked just like your Great Grandma Lyles when she was a nurse.  We all went to the Burton Halloween Carnival together, as well as the Fall Festival.  You also visited the pumpkin patch and we bought you your first tiny pumpkin.  You also celebrated your first Thanksgiving this month with dinners at Great Granny’s house and Nana’s house.
Other events you went to were Avery Maass’s birthday party, Burton football games, Night at the Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos, visited Great Grandma Lyles, went to Disney on Ice and refused to let Mommy sit in the stands, and you met Santa for the first time at the Poinsettia Festival!  You just sat on his lap and gazed up at him wondering what all that white hair was doing on his face.  You also went on your second trip to Galveston.  Granny and Mommy took you and Brazos to eat at the Rainforest CafĂ© while Daddy, Papa, Uncle Justin, and Aunt Emilie went fishing.  You also went to eat at Bubba Gumps and you strolled through the Christmas light display at Moody Gardens.  You even went to the American Girl Store for the first time and I think we will be visiting that store more often in future.
It was an eventful month for you, but you are full of energy and ready for it all!  Only two more months until we celebrate your one year milestone and party with all your friends and family!  I can’t wait!
                                                                                                   Love You Always My Pretty Girl,

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Month in Photos {November}

November 4: We helped my grandmother move into a new home.
November 5: I finally captured Sandy's scrunchy nose in a picture.
November 7: We movied Brazos's train tracks to the dining room table so his little sister couldn't destroy them every chance she got.
November 9: We went to Houston to see Disney on Ice, and we took Sandy to the American Girl store for the first time.
November 10: The family went fishing in Galveston and celebrated Aunt Emilie's birthday.
November 11: The family enjoyed the sand and giant waves of the beach before heading back home.
November 14: A friend asked me to take pictures of animals with Santa at a vet office.  Fun!
November 17: Sandy met Santa for the first time and Brazos asked Santa for more trains.
November 20: Granny and Mommy went to eat Thanksgiving lunch with the kids at school.
November 22: We celebrated Thanksgiving Day at Great Granny's house with the family.
November 25: We celebrated our nephew, Cody's 7th birthday.
November 29: We played in a pile of leaves.
November 30: Brazos was Joseph in the Christmas parade and Sandy rode on her school's float titled, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Halloween 2012

Ok.  So I'm a little behind on posting pictures.  But our Halloween pictures are worth sharing although they're a month late.  Of course, I think every picture of my kids is worth sharing because I think every picture they take is adorable.

Halloween for us is like a trip around the world.  We start by visiting our neighbors.  Then he we head to Great Grandma's house and walk around the block.  Next we drive on over to the Fall Festival to visit Granny.  Then we're off to Nana and Popo's house.  Finally, we drive out to Welcome to visit Stephanie, the kid's godmother.  It's is literaly a trip from one end of the country to the other.

I had deciced a while back that Brazos would be an American soldier, because he had Army fatigues given to him by his Aunt Emilie last year while she was in boot camp.  He finally fit into the outfit this year, so it was perfect for Halloween.

I really wanted Sandy to be something that coordinated with Brazos's costume.  During the summer I had found an outfit that was covered in camo ruffles.  But it was sleeveless and really didn't match his costume at all, and it really bothered me that I didn't make her costume.  I made Brazos's first costume and I really wanted to make Sandy's first costume, too.

After a lot of thought, I finally came up with her costume and made it the week before Halloween.  She was a nurse!  I sewed her little dress and made her a hat.  I found her white stockings and white shoes.  It was perfect and she was the sweetest nurse I had ever seen.  My mom had bought her a winter coat that she also wore with her dress because it was cold.  The coat matched her little outfit so well and she looked like a World War II nurse.  I was in love with my two kids!


We also went to Burton Elementary's Halloween Carnival with my two nephews.  Cody wanted to be something scary this year and Cullen was the cutest sleeping dragon.  Yep...he slept through it all, but he did a great job looking cute in his costume.

Brazos and Sandy were allowed to dress-up one day at their school for a little Halloween party.  Brazos's army pants were too big and kept falling down, so I thought it would be best not to wear them to school.  I don't want him fighting off the girls just yet....hehehehe.  Anyways, he still fit into his Einstein shirt from last year so that's what he wore.  Sandy wore a cute little spider jumper because I didn't want her getting her little white dress dirty before Halloween.

I just love dressing my kids up and I think I already have a plan for next year!  I'm so excited!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fair 2012

Our county fair was in September, but I never got around to posting the pictures we took at the fair.  I really love the fair.  I mean I LOVE the fair.  It could be because I was crowned the Washington County Fair Queen way back in 1999.  Being at the fair just feels like being at home.  I really enjoy walking up and down those hills of dirt and gravel.  I love hearing the sound of music in the background and the sound of animals making their presence known.  I love watching all the old-timers sit around and admire their tractors and engines.  I love seeing all the kids running around without a worry in the world.   I love seeing the neon lights light up our town sky for one week out of the year.  I love eating an ear of corn and sharing a funnel cake with my mom.  I just love being at the fair.  And I am grateful to be able to share the fair with my children.  They will grow up running up and down the same dirt hills and gravel roads I did.  They will grow up learning how to care for animals in the same barns that I and their dad did.  I hope that they will grow up loving the fair just as much as I do. 

We didn't miss a day of the fair.  We went to Cajun Fest the first night.  We went to Gospel Fest the second night.  We watched the crowning the fair queen.  We participated in the fair parade.  We watched a rodeo or two.  We ate an ear of corn and shared a couple of funnel cakes.  We fed the ducks.  We played on the tractors.  I think we did it all.

The kids rode in a red wagon for the fair parade with our church group.  Their little troop was called "Party with the Animals."  Sandy was a cow and Brazos was a pig.  Their Granny was a lively yellow chicken leading the pack.  The kids were all so cute dressed up in their costumes.

After the fair parade we headed down to the fair grounds to enjoy a tall glass of sweet lemonade, do some serious train playing with our new "Fair Train", play with Granny some more and watch them crown the newest fair queen.  Maybe some day Miss Sandy will be the fair queen!

The next day we went to Gospel Fest to listen to some good-ole' country music for the soul.  We even played in the dirt and shavings.  I think my kids have already found their favorite part of the fair - dirt!
We walked through the Country Creations Building and admired all the creativity the townspeople have around here, from beautiful flower arrangements to scrumptious cakes.  I entered three pictures in the photography contest and each one recieved a blue ribbon!  In a few short years Brazos will be able to enter his pictures in the fair contest, cause you know he likes to click a camera just as much as I do.
The kids enjoyed getting up close and personal with the farm animals.  Cock-a-doodle-do and MooMooMoo!
It's always a little boys dream to be able to climb all over the tractors.  Brazos spent lots of time climbing on tractors and kicking dirt around.  He even fed some ducks by hand!
You don't experience the fair to its' entirety without tasting some country fried food!  A high school friend of ours', Callie, has a local restaurant called Smitty's.  She had a booth at the fair and we gave her goodies a try.  Matt chomped on a Red Velvet Whoopi Pie, while I tasted the Fried Cookie Dough.  Brazos was the sensible one and stuck to a hot dog.
While in the food court we even ran into Brazos.  No not our little Brazos, but Big Brazos.  Yes, he was the inspiration for naming our Brazos.  I had this young man in my second grade class SIX years ago.  Well, I also had him in the fourth and fifth grade only three and four years ago.  Whew...that sounds better than six years ago.  He was the most darling little second grader and I wanted to keep him as my own.  Since I couldn't keep him...I just had to get my own.
The rest of the week was spent climbing on more tractors, feeding more ducks, listening to music, and Matt and I participated in the Back Seat Driver Contest.  He was blind folded while driving a lawn mower while I sat in a trailer behind him yelling directions on how to steer through an obstacle course.  We didn't do too well.  I was laughing so hard most of the time that I couldn't yell a word to him.  And at times he didn't know if he was stepping on the gas or not, so we would go slow and we would speed up.  It was a crazy ride!
It was a glorious week in Washington County and we can't wait for another year to roll around so we can experience the fair all over again.
By the way....I learned of this cool new website called PicMonkey that lets you create photo collages for free.  As you can see I tried it out and I really like it.  You should try it too and create yourself a little collage or two.


Friday, November 2, 2012

I Clicked It Up a Notch

This is the last month that the blog is going to do their photography contest.  I've only entered once before, which was last month, and the author of the site commented on my photo!  I felt like I had written a letter to a celebrity and they personaly responded! 

On a side note, I was one of those teenage girls who wrote letters to celebrities just hoping for a response.  I wrote to Jonathon Taylor Thomas and he sent me a post card { it wasn't his actual writing, but a photocopied letter in his handwriting}!  I also sent him fishing supplies for his birthday because I had read in a magazine that he liked to fish.  Wonder if he ever got it...   Then I was part of the Hanson fanclub MOE {Middle of Everywhere}.  Oh...those were the days of dreaming I would one day marry a celebrity.  Do girls still dream of this?  When I taught second grade a few years back, I remember one of my students just knew she was going to marry Zac Efron from High School Musical...he would have only been 15 years older than her.  No biggy.

So here is my favorite photo from October.  Sandy had stood up in her crib for the first time.  She was all smiles when I walked in; but of course, I had to go run and grab my camera to take her picture.  I returned to a crying little girl so sad that her mommy had walked away.  I love this picture because you can see the big tear running down her cheek.  A bittersweet memory.

Click It Up A Notch

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hueske Family Christmas

Last weekend we attended the 54th Hueske Family Reunion!  The theme was "A Hueske Family Christmas."  I know it's not Christmas yet.  We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to go.  But you see, I have picked the theme for the reunion the past few years, and as I was going through my attic, I came across a stack of Christmas stationary that hadn't been used, so I thought What the heck!  Let's have a Christmas party!  After all, we do Christmas in July, so why couldn't we do Christmas in October?

Family members all played along and came dressed in their Christmas best.  We decorated with Christmas decor and even played Chinese Christmas with 50 people!  The most saught after gifts were bottles of wine and M&Ms paired with lottery tickets.  A delicious turkey and ham dinner was served and we held our annual family meeting.


Gifts for special people in attendance....youngest, oldest, etc.

Lots of Chinese Christmas presents!
Family members signed thier names on an
ornament and placed it on the tree.

Here were the youngest members in attendance:

Chase and Sandy


The oldest member in attendance was 87 years old.  He sure looks good for 87!


These two love birds have been married for over 50 years!

Iva and James
My brother Justin and his wife were the most recently married couple!

When the invitation said to dress in your Christmas best to win a prize, these two came to win! 

Carol and Herman
Four little elves played Pin the Nose on the Snowman.  Some how all four of them pinned the nose right on the spot!!!  I put the blindfold on and couldn't see through it, so I didn't know how they could see through it.  Jax later spilled the beans and said, "I peaked from under the bottom!"  At least he was honest.

Addyson, Jax, and Madelyn

This little guy didn't understand that he
had to keep his eyes covered.  He lifted
the blindfold to pin his nose on!

 It was a jolly ole' time for the descendents of Frederick and Henrietta Hueske!