Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Weekend

We had a great, long weekend. We made a stop at my cousin's house, Troy. His wife & 2 kids (Sabrina , Alex, and Kennedy) and his sister Dena and her husband Jeff and their 2 kids, Macy & Dylan, and Troy's parents HArold and Sandra. Harold is my mom's brother thus my uncle....Okay...was that clear enough for ya?? =D They made us a great lunch and we enjoyed some very much needed catching up! We need to do it more often. It was nice for it to just be a smaller group. My mom's family is large and when we all get together it is very difficult to focus on a certain group/family to see how life has been. It was nice to just sit down together and focus on what had been going on with us and them.

After the great time with the family we headed over to the gym for Christian's state competition. It was great. He had a tougher day and was not very pleased with a couple of his performances but he did GREAT!! He got the highest ever on rings! He did wonderful overall.

After the meet we all headed over to PF Chang's and after a 2 HOUR wait we had a delicious dinner and I enjoyed the time together. Meemaw and Pawpaw headed back home but Matt & Candy had convinced us to stay the night in Dallas so we could wake up and go to the zoo on Sunday. We stayed at the ALoft hotel and it was a pretty nice place considering we only paid $50-something through Expedia. You can't beat that. The kids liked it a lot because it was VERY contemporary and New York loft like. Clara had a tough time therefore I had a tough time. She wanted to sleep with me and not in the crib the hotel had provided. It was a LONG night. We gradually staggered out of bed in the morning and grabbed a bite to eat before heading out to the zoo. It was a LONG, but wonderful, beautiful, perfect day for the zoo. We all had a great time and if you have about 7 minutes....here is our day in a montage!!

We then parted ways and headed home. We grabbed some Mexican food on our way. Clara is learning that in this family we like spice. She was hilarious!! She has watched us eat hot sauce and chips so long that she figured there was something to it. She loves tortilla chips but on this trip out for Mexican she decided to give the hot sauce a try and really liked it!! It was so neat to watch her continually dip her piece of chip into the hot sauce over and over again,....and I mean over and over again after licking it off. =D She would make a face every once in a while like, "this is spicy" but just kept at it.

We made it home around 7:45. We were exhausted. We then got a call a couple hours later letting us know that Mamie (Clay's grandmother) had finally gone home to be with our Lord! I have shared on here about her struggle with Alzheimer's and that her health was steadily and quickly fading. She had celebrated her 82nd birthday just Saturday and they brought her home to the Lake where she had lived most of her life. She loved it there. She was able to watch one last sunset to the best of her ability and spend the day with her children. She passed Sunday evening in her sleep. She was a lovely woman who had accomplished much! She was a teacher at a private school for children with disabilities. She has touched an enormous amount of children and families in her lifetime. She also taught swimming lessons at the Y years ago. She was a wonderfully loving and happy woman who is now at home with her Father celebrating eternity with Him in perfect health and happiness!! Please keep her family in your prayers as we all grieve her physical loss here with us. She leaves behind her daughters Kathy, Robin, Bonnie and their son David. She leave behind her husband, Mac, of over 62 years (I think 62 or 63). She has I think 9 total grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. She will be dearly missed!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cupcakes, steaks, and the lake!

Yesterday I had the honor of making cupcakes for my friend, Faydra's, baby shower. I am not sure anyone noticed they spelled out "Baby Stratton" and because there were so many of them they lost their effectiveness. I will try to figure out a better way in the future of spelling it out to be more eye catchng. When they were stacked on the cupcake stand it was hard to see that it spelled anything out especially when people started picking them out. All in all I was pleased with them.

The shower was probably one of the most fun I have been to. We played a Pictionary-type game and the B team won and of course that was my team....=) I don't know what, if any, help I was. We then played the "baby" game where you cannot say the word baby or you lose your necklaces. The one with the most necklaces at the end won a prize. We then took a "test" about how well we knew Faydra by answering questions on a test paper. It was cute!! The Stratton's are one neat family and uniquely woven together by God....as we all are. This is their 3rd child but first pregnancy and first infant. =) Confused?? Well Faydra is pregnant with # 3, #1 (Caden) was adopted from Russia, and #2 (Blue) is working his way into the Stratton family through the foster care system and hopefully SOON will be a permanent part of the Stratton's. I cannot wait to meet who God has planned for #3!!! Thanks Faydra for including me in the shower fun!!

The boys spent the night with Meemaw and Pawpaw Saturday night for Spring Break. Clara, Clay, and I had a date night at home Saturday night and Clay brought home our favorite Asian food after got finished playing golf with Uncle Matt & Pawpaw. Our date night turned into a cupcake baking extravaganza as I had to finish up so I had piece of mind for Sunday's shower. Thanks for being patient with me Clay!! =D
Sunday after the shower we went to pick up the boys and cook out steaks with Meemaw, Pawpaw, and Matt & Candy showed up too!!! Oh, man the steaks were GREAT!!! Candy fried up some squash, Pawpaw made his pan-fried taters, and I made a salad!! Meemaw topped it all off with her wonderful brownies that Clay can eat a whole pan of....not kidding at all!! Meemaw and Pawpaw live out at the lake if you haven't noticed in past pics. Their yard has been featured on a Master Gardener's tour before....so needless to say it is BEAUTIFUL!! The Azaelas are out full force!! I did not get enough pics but here are a few of my little princess making her way around them. The boys also had a bast playing with Garrison and Victoria (next door neighbor's and old church friends). They were playing in the lake like it was warm or something....let me tell you it was NOT!!

I will end with some shots of Pawpaw and Clara. Let me tell you....this Pawpaw adores his little Clara and I can say the same for little Clara. She loves her Pawpaw!!

All in all it was a FANTASTIC weekend!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Proud Mom shares....and a Thank you to Candy!!

I want to say a HUGE Thank you to Candy!!!! She made the new header for my blog!! I had started trying to make one but just gave up!!! I really LOVE it!! THANK YOU!!! She did it as a surprise and I just popped on today after I posted this first post and saw it!!! THANKS!!! I LOVE IT!!!

I wanted to brag on my oldest child (well teenage, young man), Christian, for a moment.....=)

I had to announce that my young man was in the newspaper along with his two other teammates. Their pictures and everything!! He was so happy and excited. They were in the paper for being state qualifiers in the last gym meet and for the gym meet that is coming up not this Saturday but next. I am so proud of the growth God has done in him this year. He is becoming more responsible all around. He is very devoted to his gymnastics and enjoys it thoroughly.

Christian's 14th birthday is coming up May 9th!! I cannot believe that I have an almost 14 year old. I cannot believe that time can actually zoom by so fast. He was born May 9, 1995 weighing in at 7lbs 9oz. He was the sign from God reassuring me that He was really here for me and had been all along. I was only 19 at his birth!! I have to say that Christian is the reason that I held on to what little faith I had at the time. I was single, barely making it in college, spoiled rotten, and thought nothing could ever happen to me. God woke me up by giving me Christian. My growth did not happen overnight but was at a snails pace. I met Clay and we got married and he adopted Christian when he was 2 years old. God had again shown Himself to me!!! Clay and I, still growing at a snail's pace, grew together instead of apart!!! I am so thankful to God for everything He has given us!! I am thankful that God will continue to show Himself to me throughout this wonderful life!! He is my Heavenly Father and I will NEVER doubt Him again!! I know that throughout this life you grow and you truly grow closer to Him through the tough times. As I always say, "Nothing Great comes Easy!"

My Christian is the light of my life along with my 2 other blessings God has bestowed upon me. I enjoy watching him turn into the young man God desires him to be. I treasure the opportunities I have with him and appreciate that God is growing me into a mom that can finally drink in the greatness of her children and to be thankful for the many blessings I have!!

CONGRATULATIONS Christian!!! You are the most creative, gifted, skillful, handsome, intelligent, caring, loving, young Christian and I am so overwhelmingly proud of you!! I will leave you with these shots from today....Christian curled up with his history lesson in Clara's Woodland Climber....Rustie enjoyed it with him until he noticed me taking pictures through the window!!! I LOVE YOU, Bo!!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Tutu and a Woodland Climber

Today was a big day!! The mail came and had a wonderful gift from Shawna and Miss Sophia!! Shawna had made us tutu just like Sophia had!! If you want to know who Sophia and Shawna are you can click on Soaking Up Sophia on my blog list. Sophia was born a week after Clara, I think. (correct me if I am wrong Shawna) and was also born in Utah in the same area!! I just thought it was a great way of God bringing people together. The only drawback is we don't live in the same area....so I miss the great playdates they have!!! Maybe one day we can be blessed with an in-peson meeting. Anyway.....THANK YOU Shawna and Sophia for taking time out and thinking of us!! It is very much appreciated! We LOVE it! We waited out in the driveway with our tutu on to meet daddy home from work!

This is more like my little princess.....wearing her tutu while playing in the dirt and mulch at the same time. =D

To top off the tutu....Daddy picked up the Woodland Climber by Step 2 from Toys R Us t lunch today. He is a the bestest Daddy ever! He put it together after dinner and we had a great time. Cousin Katelyn was over and had dinner with us and also played. Here are some shots of the fun!!

The kids loved playing with the box, of course. It was ripped to shreds when the evening was all said and done.

Be sure to check out the new videos I added to our video link at the top right. I got video of the kids playing in the box too. Also, Clara LOVED sliding down face first. I got her cracking up in video!! All in all a great day!!

Thanks again, Shawna!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Swinging and tickling!!

Matt & Candy came over and played Trivial Pursuit on Saturday. We whooped up on the guys!! It was a nice evening. You can see Aunt Candy in the pic of Clay pushing Clara on the plasma car around the pool. Clay bought a swing for Clara to hang on the backporch Saturday. He did not have all the equipment he needed so he came home on his lunch break and made Clara's day!! We have been wanting to get Clara a swing set or playground or both but our backyard is really small with the pool. We have worked around that so far. Clay hung the swing on the back porch. Clara could stay outside indefinitely. She could swing literally for hours!! Here are some pics of her swinging and I will try to download the video of her swinging at some point.

I am attaching a video of her Clara attacking us from under the schoolroom table. She has learned how to tickle and decided what better place to do it from under the table. She was doing it a lot until I got the camera out, of course. I did get her tickling me once. The noise she makes just cracks me up. She is the cutest, sweetest thing ever!! Well I could not download the video of her tickling but did get it on YouTube so you can look at the top right but it has not been showing up. You can also look under my videos by clicking on one of those videos to take you to all my videos....did that make sense???

On another note we all went to the dentist today and had our teetch cleaned. Cullen got 2 cavities filled.....He has his daddy's teeth!! I was so proud of him! He was worried because he was so unsure of what was going to happen. He handled it like the young man that he is. He was so brave and it was over in no time and has no more cavities!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back home!!!

Well, we made it back home and I am glad to be here!! Today was rough trying to get back in the swing of things and back into routine. Hopefully Monday we will be back in a groove and trying to stick on schedule.

Little Miss Clara is just about starting to walk everywhere!!! I am downloading a video of her walking in the living room. She is just growing up too fast!!! I don't have a baby anymore but a toddler!! She loves to dance and I tried to get a good video of her dancing to American Idol but she would not do it for the camera. Here is a pic of her sitting in her chair though watching.... Her 5th tooth finally came through too and there are a lot more following it!

That is it for today. I have to run Christian to gymnastics practice and then we are looking at another house tonight. Be sure to check the videos up at the top to see Clara walking!! It should be downloaded shortly!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Tucson Pics

Here are some more pics of Tucson and our resort. It is nice here but today it is hot!! Clay and I had lunch together and walked around a bit but he is back to work. Earlier today I lounged in the room playing on the computer, watching TV, and then read while soaking in the bathtub. It was nice and peaceful "me" time. Tonight is the awards banquet so we have to dress up and sit at a table with people we don't know...the up side of that is that dinner is usually pretty good. =) We had a nice evening after our "cocktail" party. They actually had tables for us to sit at for this one while we ate our food. We had a nice walk around the resort grounds and then went back to the room and watched Seven Pounds. I had been wanting to see that one for a while! We might just do the same thing this evening too ater the awards banquet.

We miss you kiddoes!!! Wish you guys were here. Matt, the golf pics Clay wanted me to take to rub it in....LOL =D Thanks mom....and dad too!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wonderful evening and making it to Tucson!

Well, yesterday we dropped the kids off at mom and dad's and headed to Dallas. After the drive we had a wonderful dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Let me say that that steak rivaled some of the best steaks I have ever had!!! Nothing like getting a plate at 400 degrees with sizzling browned butter and a perfectly cooked steak nestled on top of that plate...YUMMY!!! It just melted in my mouth like butter with a wonderful beef flavor.....Can you tell I love food?? Clay and I do not get many quiet meals alone together and this evening was cherished and I enjoyed his company very much and we had a wonderful evening!! Thanks Meemaw!!

We stayed the night in Dallas and flew out to Tucson this morning. It is definitely different here in Arizona. The hotel is pretty nice and most of the golfers had stayed here right before us. Clay thought that was pretty neat. Also....in the Dallas airport we saw Nikki Six (Motley Crue drummer I think). There was some girl with him too that people were also getting her autograph but I did not recognize her. To me they looked like rockers that needed a good shower and were just worn out. Okay back to the topic...I know a few of you would think that was neat.

Here are some shots from the airplane. Clay is working his booth right now and I am relaxing in the room. I enjoy the travel of the business trips but this is probably the worst show every year because Clay actually has to work all day....bummer!! I just hang in the hotel room and take bubble baths, play on the computer, watch TV, sleep, nap, and enjoy the nothingness!!! Very nice and restfull but wish I could spend more time with Clay. This evening we have a cocktail party which are okay....we are always ready to leave. We don't enjoy cocktails and they just serve appetizers. Tomorrow night is the awards banquet and those are pretty boring but can have some neat food. It just stinks having to sit with people you don't know. Why can't I just sit in a dark corner with my hubby and enjoy him all to myself?? It is still a nice break and we enjoy them for the most part. Clay will get to play golf I think Tuesday and will LOVE that!! We then fly home to our kiddoes Wednesday. I hope you boys get a chance to read this and see the pictures. We miss you all very much!! I know you are having blast playing and hanging out and entertaining your sister. I know Clara....you are getting to love on your Meemaw and Pawpaw and tricking them to let you fall asleep on Pawpaw's shoulder...hopefully tonight you will be able to fall asleep on your own! We miss you guys and I will try to blog once or twice a day with pictures to share what is going on with you guys!!

Ok, ok....here are the shots from the plane and outside our hotel window.

These are as good as it gets from our window...hopefully I will get my butt up and head outside to take some more pics. I just am going to enjoy a bubble bath, reading my magazines, and book, and doing NOTHING!!! Until later....