Verse of the Day!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Summer is here and we are having a good time. We went to the zoo on our first day off. We went stroller free! This summer is going to be great because the kids are now old enough to walk on their own, not have to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes and can usually all be entertained by the same things.

We went to a Mwangaza concert. We wondered if they would remember us. They did and the kids enjoyed catching up!

We went to Corpus for the weekend. Mark's granddad celebrated his 95th birthday surrounded by family! He is a great man and does really well for a man of his age. Mark's mom does an awesome job of making people feel special. She entertained a house full of people so that granddaddy could see all his grandkids and greatgrandkids on his birthday. That is no easy job since we are a crowd of 21! She sacrificed time, energy, money and most of all peace and quiet to have us in her home! We are thankful to have been included in the celebration.

We came back to Waco so that Evan could attend a theater camp. He is really enjoying it! This is the first time that Evan has done something that Drew has never done. He is so proud to be independent. He is also nervous about memorizing his lines for the play on Friday. Mark is going on a business trip and I am trying to plan a surprise party for Evan. We've got lots of bad birthday memories to erase from last year. As the first guest arrived to Evan's party last year, he had a huge seizure, threw up and walked around in a daze for the rest of the party. The kid has had a really rough year. We weren't sure what our situation would be like a year from that moment. We were told to keep our eyes open for neurological degeneration. We feel very fortunate to be where we are today. We still struggle with issues but we are grateful for how far God has brought us.

Everyone is invited to come join in the birthday fun. We'd love to let Evan know who loves him and who has been praying him through this tough year. Looking forward to having a healthy and happy seven year old!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


So, we got one of these yesterday. I found out that Baylor employees get a discount at Grande, though they never asked to see proof of employment. We changed some services around and added digital cable with the DVR and we'll paying about the same as before. Pretty cool

I was at work when the cable guy came to install it, so he trained Drew on how to work it. Regina will just ask him how to work if I'm not home and want her to record something. Maybe by the end of summer, she'll have it figured out. He set it to record the Braves game last night. I doubt that he'll ever watch it. I haven't played with it too much yet, but it's neat. The thing I really like is being able to "pause" the TV. So if the dog needs to go out or one of the kids needs to be slapped around and lovingly taken back to bed, I don't miss a moment of that Seinfeld episode I've already seen a dozen times. Of course, I just started punching buttons. Who needs training or a manual, right?

Regina asked how much memory it had and the cable guy said "don't worry, you'll never fill it up." Obviously, he doesn't know how many episodes of Deadliest Catch there are. And I've set it up to record every one of them so Regina can watch them over and over and over....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Worn out!

We are all worn out from all of the end of year activities. Summer time should be time of rest and recuperation.

Yesterday was CRAZY!! No time for Drew to celebrate his birthday. Both boys had awards ceremonies, Lindsay had her end of year party, we took cupcakes to Drew's class (they ate while they packed their bags with a year worth of work), violin, baseball game, Drew played violin for the TAKS ceremony then he was given certificates for 2 perfect TAKS tests! Even though it was almost bedtime, we took Drew to Marble Slab to celebrate what little of the day was left.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Drew!

Drew is 9 today! It's hard to believe.

What I find really hard to believe is that he is about to be a 4th grader. Everyone says that kids grow up quickly. I never believed it. I think once they start school, the days are so busy with activities that time gets away from you.

I am thankful for Drew. He is a sweet kid and blessed in so many ways. He certainly keeps us on our toes (and on our knees)! I can't wait to see what God has in store for him!

Happy Birthday, Drew!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The return!

Well, finally, after 26 days and almost 1,000 miles on the rental, we have our van back!!!!

I almost got ugly today. I called to see if my car would be ready. The secretary said she didn't know and would have to call me back. When she called me back she said, "....said that we can deliver your car the day after Memorial day." WHAT??????

I told her that was unacceptable. She told me they had a guy out sick and things were moving slowly in the shop. I told her I wanted to speak with the big guy! She told me he would just tell me the same thing! I was not a happy camper and I let her know it. I have been nice up to this point. The whole situation has been almost comical but I wanted my car back NOW! We are going to Corpus Memorial weekend and I was not going on a 6 hour trip with 3 kids TOUCHING in the back seat!

Anyway, I insisted on speaking to the manager. She asked me if I could be reached at ###-####. I told her that was not my number. Then she asked if I was Belinda. I said no. She had the wrong file the whole time!!! I was relieved and mad all at the same time. She concluded that she should use the files rather than the newspaper in front of her to jot down her notes. I agree with her!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Evan lost his first tooth tonight! It has been loose for months. He has asked many people to try to pull it. He wanted Papaw to pull it out. Evan thought he was the best man for the job because he has so much practice pulling babies out (as an OB/GYN) that a tooth should be a piece of cake. Funny how kids, relate unrelated things together.

We knew it was coming out tonight. Evan was so nervous. He wanted Mark, our family tooth puller, to yank it out but he was scared it would hurt. He decided that he couldn't look, so he got a mask for his eyes. After about 30 minutes and only one yank, the tooth was free! He already has a tooth that grew behind the baby tooth. So you can't see much of a hole. I bought a pillow for him with a monkey (his favorite) on it. He put his tooth in the pocket. He placed the pillow on the edge of his bed and said "I am going to put it right here so YOU can reach it easily." It's kind of sad when they don't believe in such a tradition of childhood but I also feel like I am deceiving them when I talk about fairies coming into their room while they sleep. It's sort of creepy. Nevertheless, Evan has made it through a milestone that we will all remember sharing with him. It really is fun family entertainment!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The latest picture of the trees that used to be...

Friday, May 12, 2006


Here is an update on the tree. I'm sure you are all just dying to know the latest. Both trees are officially goners! Mark went out last night to get an extension cord and heard the trees creaking again. I had the assembly line going for kid showers. I heard a loud BOOM and ran outside. I am glad Mark was not right under the trees. They are huge. We can't see any grass in our backyard. I think Mark was very discouraged that he was unable to save the Pecan tree.

The Artist Market was a lot of fun. The night was perfect for an outdoor event. We needed the time to just hang out. We loved spending time with those of you who had a chance to make it to the Market. We feel blessed to have such an incredible art department at Hillcrest. So many schools have had to cut "fluff" programs due to funding. I don't happen to think that music, art, technology etc are fluff but some of those political decision makers seem to.

Since our friend, Cliff shared his crazy day, I thought I'd share mine so far.

12:45 a.m. To bed
3:15 a.m. Woke up with Evan standing by my side
4:15 a.m. Put Evan back in bed
4:45 a.m. Got Drew up for school
5:15 a.m. Drew ate breakfast and boarded bus for Sea World
6:00 a.m. Tried to go back to sleep
7:00 a.m. Got Evan up for school
7:15 a.m. Muffins for Moms at Hillcrest with Evan
8:00 a.m. Back home to get Lindsay ready for school
8:30 a.m. Take Lindsay to school. Stay for Muffins for Moms
9:00 a.m. Home to help Mark with tree removal
11:30 a.m. Pick Lindsay up from school
12:00 p.m Fix lunch
1:00 p.m Help Mark with tree work again
2:00 p.m. Come in and clean up
3:00 p.m. Pick Evan up from school

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


As I sat at the computer yesterday afternoon, I began to hear a very strange creaking noise. I got up to investigate just in time to hear the BOOM of the cotton wood tree falling a little closer to the ground. Along with it's enormous branches, it took down a large branch from another tree and landed on the trampoline. This situation just continues to get uglier. Mark has checked several times and we still do not have an insurance adjuster assigned to us. It is hard to sit back and do nothing.

I got home this afternoon and discovered that the tree is even closer to the ground, the fence is bent and now the swing set is crushed under the weight of the tree. It is real shady in our back yard right now. I hope it is after this fallen tree is taken away. We are still keeping our fingers crossed that the pecan tree that is holding this tree up is not damaged.

Lindsay and I surprised Evan and ate lunch with him at school today. He had a fieldtrip to see School House Rock at Baylor. He has been singing "Conjunction junction what's your Function" all afternoon. Sure brings back some childhood memories. Back in the day, when there were not 24 hour a day cartoon channels, I used to love singing along to those catchy tunes on Saturday mornings. My personal fav was "Only a bill"
Lindsay was so good today as I helped the art teacher at Hillcrest get ready for Artist Market tomorrow. I rinsed and hung 85 tye dyed T-shirts. I think I will have blue hands for a long time. Lindsay had a blast because the water hose was on for 4 hours in the same spot creating quite a lake. She played in mud and made a new friend!
Anyone who wants to have a great time and enjoy the outdoors should go to the Hillcrest PDS Artist Market Thursday night. It is at the Art Center on the campus of MCC. There is fun, food and you can express yourself using various art mediums. There will also be an opportunity to purchase art projects that the kids made. This isn't your normal "dump in the trash when the kid isn't looking" stuff. You don't want to miss this!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Odyssey...

Our poor little van has earned it's name over the last few weeks. It's been on quite the odyssey.

As our regular readers know, our van was involved in an accident a few weeks back. We have been in a rental longer than expected and it has led to more familial touching than we are accustomed to, leading to some conflict.

Dennis, the manager (owner?) at Bebrick has been great, but I think he's tired of our car, too. It's taken longer to get parts, they keep finding more stuff wrong, and it's been back and forth between the body shop and Freddie Kish's. Apparently, they do alignments and that sort of stuff there for Bebrick. Since we didn't have power, we didn't hear much about the damage to the rest of town until Saturday night. When we saw the damage to Freddie Kish's, Regina made the comment that she saw our car at Bebrick (she was taking Drew to a birthday party in the area), and she was glad our car was not at Freddie Kish's still.


It turns out it was at Freddie Kish's! Regina talked to Dennis this morning and he had gone to get the car Saturday morning, which is why she saw it there. He tried to call us, but none of our phones worked. The van got a new dent on the roof, the hood (that was just repainted) needs to be replaced, and the fender (that was just replaced) needs to be repainted. So, it looks like we'll be in a rental a little longer, though Dennis says he'll get us something "bigger." We'll see what that means.

If you're not from Waco, to give you an idea, here's a picture from the lobby of Freddie Kish's. Here's a slideshow on the Waco Trib site of the tornado damage. Freddie Kish's is in picture #7 and it's right next to Shipp Belting (pic #8) and the Coca-Cola bottling plant (pic #10) to give you an idea of the damage.

Regina here: This is what I saw when I drove up to Freddie's this morning to check on the car.I didn't find any comfort in the condition of the repair place. Much to my excitement, the Odyssey didn't have much damage at all. Looks like we will have our car back by Friday. (18 days in the Camry). The Hertz guy offered me a Grand Marquis but I decided I would rather hear the kids fuss.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

more pictures

The kids loved eating ice cream for breakfast. It was melting quickly, so why not?

F2 in Waco

Pictures seem to tell the story well. About 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning, we got the kids up for a cozy little family time in the hallway. We had lost electricity and could hear the tornado sirens blaring nearby. We prayed and waited for the hail and wind to stop. They sirens stopped and we tried to get everyone settled back in bed. Before long, the sirens rang again and we got back in the hallway. We could tell that there was damage but we had no idea what the storm had done until the next morning.

Mark used a hand saw (no electricity) to cut a limb loose so that we could get our car out of the driveway.

The lot next to us lost a huge tree. It landed in the street and blocked most of the street during the morning hours.

This is the view as you turn onto our street. The winds snapped our power lines and left them hanging by the ground. We had to get an electrician to come replace our meter on the house before TXU would restore power.

This is across the street from us. This large tree was uprooted.

Long story short, we are at home tonight. We are amazed that we have electricity. I literally walked the TXU man to our house and showed him our problem. They worked on our house for several hours. We were finally connected but we had no food in the house. We went out for dinner and came back to a DARK house. Mark went searching for the TXU man and discovered there was a "fire" down the street while they were reconnecting which kicked our electricity off again. Fortunately, we were able to get lights back fairly quickly.

More to come later. I am exhausted and going to bed.

Mark here (on Monday morning- I was asleep on the couch when Regina posted this last night)-
We felt so isolated on Saturday morning. In addition to no power or phone, our cell phones wouldn't work consistently until about 2:00 pm. I assume they were not at full capacity and more people were using their cell phones as many lines were down, but it was very frustrating.

Regina also failed to mention the 60 foot (or so) cottonwood we lost behind our house. I don't know how we're going to get rid of that thing. It is resting on a pecan tree right now and doesn't threaten the house, but hopefully the pecan tree won't give out. I'm not sure that I got a good pic of it though, since it's back in the woods.

Also, a note of thanks to the Grande folks. They provide our phone, cable, and internet over the same coax line. I didn't even think about calling them to get our phone back since we didn't have power. I guess I just equated coax with tv. I guess I hadn't really thought it through. Anyway, they just showed up Sunday afternoon and ran a temporary line to get our phones back up and when we got the power back on, we had cable, too! They'll have to come back and run a new, permanent line when I get some of the trees cleared out, but at least we're up and running.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I took a group of 3rd grade boys on a field trip today in the little Camry. It was cramped but they seemed to like it that way. I thought I would pick up my car right after that. I called after lunch and they were still working on the car. I called later in the afternoon and she assured me it would be done by 5:30. "Just come on by after five" she says. She called later to say that it wouldn't be done until Saturday morning. She called again around 4:15 to say a part they need can not be found in Waco and the car will not be done until MONDAY. I can't imagine they didn't know this part was missing until after 4!!! It's not a biggie but I am trying to return the car with the same amount of gas as it had when I got it. Otherwise, they charge $5.99/gallon. Now that is crazy!!! It had a 1/4 tank so I've been putting a few gallons at a time.

Speaking of crazy, the cost of tennis shoes are out of this world. Turns out that all of us needed new tennis shoes around the same time. I am almost sure that we could support an African child for a year on what we spent on tennis shoes. Good thing I had a job this spring, except that I never got paid. I called to inquire about the whereabouts of my paycheck and no one seemed to know anything about a dietitian doing any work for Baylor. After much paper shuffling, I mean computer clicking, my paperwork was found but did not have an approval signature on it. I would have been waiting forever had I not called. I did learn a lot and met some nice people, but I really didn't want to do it for free.

Only 12.5 days of school left. This is very deceiving because there is so much "non-school" that goes on during this time. There's field day, Awards day, end of the year parties, more field trips, Artist Market, Family Day at the waterpark, Muffins for Mom and a talent show. I am sure I've left something out. I am working really hard to prepare myself to have all 3 kids home this summer. It is fun to be able to live without a schedule but the kids always like to have something to do. 100 degree heat + bugs= lots of time indoors. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New Car?

How many times have I been asked if I have a new car? Too many to count!
I have a rental right now because my car is being repaired. We thought it would take a few days. It has been 10 days now. I am enjoying the gas mileage of this little car but the big drawback is that the kids TOUCH when they are all in the car. I am hoping to get my van back tomorrow and everyone will be happy again!

A return to the blog

Life has been too hectic to stop and write about it. We are buzzing all over town these days. All three kids are in the middle of field trip season. May is just full of fun activities.
I had to include this picture because it says so much about how practical Mark is. He missed his run one morning and we really needed a new air filter for our air conditioner so he decided to combine the two. He ran to HEB which saved gas and time.
Now that my job is over for the summer, I have had time to clean out closets. I love to do this (which I acknowledge is strange). I cleaned mine out first. I love getting rid of stuff and organizing what is left. Lindsay loves to have her closet cleaned out as well because she likes to try things on and play fashion show. While cleaning out her closet, I noticed she has way too many shoes. I guess I've always known this but I was still shocked to see so many in one place. Mark wanted to know if they all fit. I don't think they do but she can't seem to part with some of them. This is not a good sign for her future spending. She loves to shop, especially for shoes. And she doesn't really like this little mall (Richland Fashion Mall). She wants the "REAL" mall (Galleria).
Baseball season is well underway. We are not doing Little League this year. We decided not to torture ourselves again. Those people are SERIOUS about baseball. There were too many curse words, aggressive coaches/parents, and late night games for my taste. So we are at Woodway Family Center again. That is more my speed. Everyone is there to encourage the kids and help them have a good time. Drew would prefer to play with friends in Little League but we haven't heard much complaining about it. Evan is playing up so that the boys can be on the same team. I was a little worried about that but he has done super. This picture shows Evan being carried off the field by his teammates after he made a double play to end the game.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Regina wanted to know if I was ever going to post again, so here goes...

If you've ever shopped at Best Buy, you might think this is funny, as I did.

I just looked at a few of Improv Everywhere's "missions" but they are fun to read.