Monday, March 31, 2008

My Three Sons

You don't raise heroes; you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes." --Walter Schirra Sr.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break - Went by Way Too Fast!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Cade what he wanted for his birthday. He said he wanted a Nintendo DS. No problem, I got it, wrapped it, and had it ready to go to the beach with us. When we went to church on Easter Sunday, though, they had a drawing in the children's service and guess who won? You guessed it! Cade! So what did he win? Why, a Nintendo DS, of course. We couldn't believe it! He was so excited, he could hardly contain himself. Works for me, I'm going to return the other one and get my money back! Thank goodness I had gotten him a game also, so he had something to open.

We left for the beach that afternoon, and had a great time. It was a little chilly for my liking, but we had a really good time. Cade had his birthday while we were there, so he got to pick a whole day's activities. We played putt-putt, rode go-carts, played tennis and baseball, swam, ate at Lamberts and saw Horton Hears a Who (not the most exciting movie I've ever seen!). We had a great time. Here are some of the pictures I took:
While the boys were doing this...

The parents were doing this...

They were crazy. The water was freezing! They didn't stay in for long, and this is what they looked like when they got out...

This is what our poor waiter was subjected too during our visit to Lamberts. If you've never been there, they throw rolls to you across the room, and they try to play practical jokes on you. Cade and Braden were daring him to try to get them. It was pretty funny. I think the little guy was new, and he didn't quite know what to do with these two. So funny.

Here's one more, this is the view from the condo.

Well, that was spring break. I can't believe it's already over! The good news is, we have a baseball tournament this weekend! I can't wait to get out there. The weather is supposed to be great. My in-laws come today, also. We have a very busy weekend ahead. Just the way I like it!

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We're Back

Thank goodness, for everyone's sake, I kept my top on! We made it back and had a great time at the beach. I haven't had a chance to download pictures yet, but I will post about it soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter Everyone, Happy Birthday Cade!

This week, my "baby" will turn 7! I can't even believe that all of my boys are growing up so fast. Because Cade is the third boy, he has grown up especially fast. He walked faster, to chase the others. He potty trained easier because he wanted to be big. He stopped watching "baby" shows way too soon because his brothers didn't want to watch them anymore. He became a clown, making sure we never forgot he was around. His size doesn't help either. He is so much bigger than any other kid his age, that he is always considered to be older. I am guilty of rushing him through the "baby" stages, as well. I needed him to walk and be potty trained, and get along with his brothers. So here I am, the mother of an 11, 9 and 7 year old, and in line in China to add another. I don't think I ever thought I would actually be this old. I always saw myself with babies, but never with older kids. As much as I hate to see them grow up, I love it at the same time. I love seeing the new things they can do, and try to picture what they will look like when they're in high school.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant with Cade, I told the doctor that she had to do something. My pregnancies were always very easy, but I had a lot of back pain with Cade. I also felt like he was always about to fall out. She decided to do an ultrasound the next week, and it proved that I was right. He was huge. They estimated he was already 8 1/2 lbs. She induced the next week (38 weeks), and I delivered a 9lb 2oz, 22 1/4 inch baby boy. She immediately held him up and said, "Look, it's a bubba". She couldn't believe how big he was. Cade size has never evened out. We have barely been on the growth charts at all. When I doubled his size at 27 months to see how tall he would end up, it came to 7 ft. tall! Let's hope he's not that tall! Cade was the easiest, happiest baby until he hit 18 months.

Then he turned into a temperamental, tantrum throwing crazy child. When he was happy, he was great. But when something didn't go his way, you'd better watch out, and pray to God you're not in public.

I learned more about myself as a person and a mother during that year than I ever had before. There were days that I really didn't think I could survive. The truth was, he is very much like me. We were both fighting for the same control. When I learned to give him some control of the things that really didn't matter, things started to get much easier. As soon as he hit 2 1/2, things were totally like they used to be. He turned back into the happy, hysterically funny child he was before. He has continued to be such a wonderful part of this family. He fills a spot nobody else could fill. He keeps us laughing all the time. He's stubborn, cocky, and doesn't mind beating up his brothers, and eats more than any kid I've ever see, but he has so much personality, nobody seems to mind. (Well, the brothers mind!) He's the kid in school who takes up for those who are being bullied. He doesn't back down from anyone. From a mom who has another child who has struggled with bullies, I love this about him.

Anyway, I love this child. He has been such a blessing and a joy. I could never imagine my life without him in it. Here are a few pictures of him through the years.
In this one, he had just turned 3. He wanted to play so bad that we let him play on Braden's team. Richard was the coach, and nobody could tell he was so young because of his size and he could really play!

Happy Birthday Cade!!
I'm sorry, I know I got a little carried away with the pictures. He's just so darn cute, and I could have put so many more!

I hope you all have a great Easter and week. The kids are out of schoo this week, so we are off to the beach for a few days. The weather's supposed to be great, but a little cool (relatively speaking). It'll be in the 60's. I am so excited to be getting away for a few days. Hopefully I'll have some cute pictures to post when I get back.

Thank You Secret Pal!

I was so excited to see the "big brown truck" (as my boys used to call it) today! Getting a package in the mail is always exciting, but this was so much better. These two little dresses that she chose are adorable. I can't wait until I have someone to wear them!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Had to Add This


This little cutie hit a grand slam during one of our games. I was taking pictures at the time, but got so excited, I forgot to start shooting until he rounded third. Here he is on his way to homeplate. The smile on his face is priceless, but the look on the coaches' face is even better! This little boy and Braden met each other when they were 3 years old in preschool. They became best friends, and I became great friends with his mom (she's now one of my tennis buddies). The boys haven't really seen each other for a while because they go to different schools, so it has been great having them together.
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My Little Catcher

During the last game of the tournament, Braden was catching and the sun was glaring right into his eyes. We had a pair of sunglasses, so he wore those under his catcher's mask. He looked so cute. He, of course, did a great job. I love seeing him behind the plate. Catchers have to be aware of everything going on in the field, and Braden is really good at that.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

Well, it was definitely the perfect baseball weekend. The weather was perfect. I even got a little sun on these snow white legs! Braden had two games on Saturday, and then two more on Sunday. They ended up finishing 2nd in the tournament. They were so excited, but we really should have beat the team that placed 1st, so it was bitter-sweet. Here is a picture of the team with their trophy. Since Richard is the coach, the trophy is now being displayed proudly in Braden's room.

Here's a picture of Cade and another little brother. They had a blast running all over the ballpark. No, Cade doesn't have two black eyes, one of the player had "eye black" and put it on him.

And, here are the Ray's biggest fans. I am definitely the voice those boys hear constantly. They probably hear it in their sleep at night. Poor things. Bryce wasn't too thrilled about spending his whole weekend at the ballpark, but he was a trooper, and money for the concession stand goes a long way towards happiness.

I'm going to post another picture of Braden catching with his shades on because it was too cute, but I'm having an issue with my pics. In my exhausted state last night, I loaded them into a wierd file and I have to figure out how to move them.
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Friday, March 14, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

We have been having so much fun learning to play tennis. These two friends and I have had 3 classes, so far. We still have a LONG way to go. The picture is not very good (of me, of course), but I am determined to have more pictures of me floating around. I am always the one taking the pictures. In fact, any picture of me exists only because I told someone to take it, or my dad took it (thanks Dad). If something happened to me, my kids would wonder where I was during all these fun times. I WAS TAKING THE PICTURES!!!!!!

Anyway, we have a baseball tournament this weekend, and I am hoping to plant some flowers in the flower beds. Yesterday, I planted some in a few pots on the front of the house. The weather has been in the 70's and just gorgeous. I even got a sunburn yesterday. Don't be too jealous, soon we won't be able to breathe with the 100% humidity and ungodly high temps. When people talk about the heat and humidity in China, I always think I'll feel right at home.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I'm sure I will have baseball pictures to share next week. Lucky you!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This Will Make You Laugh!

An actual letter from an Austin woman sent to Proctor and Gamble
regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the
first paragraph...

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20
years and I appreciate many of their features. Without the Leak Guard
Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd pr obably never go horseback riding or
salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the
beach in tight, white shorts.

But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary
Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how
crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm
guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now.

As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces
violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body
will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call
'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division,
you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens
during your customers' monthly visits.

Therefore, you must know about the bloating,
puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings,
crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a
tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer
fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles in to a George
Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was
written by drunken chimps. Crazy!

The point is, sir, you of all people must
realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri
pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so
painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I
opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing,
were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.' Are you f****** kidding me?
What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really
think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during
a menstrual period? Does anything mentioned above sound the least bit pl
easurable? Well, does it?

FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak
girl, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have
to jack yourself up o n Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house
just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen armed with a hunting
rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If
you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more
sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the
Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department
that, effective immediately there will be an $8 drop in month ly profits,
for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And although I
will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your
brand of condescending BS.

And that's a promise I will keep. Always.


Wendi Aarons

Austin , TX

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


These boys have become fast friends. Cole's dad is coaching with Richard. He played professional ball until last year. He says some of the funniest things to the kids. I am writing them down to share. Braden and Cole are both very talented, and they worked together to tag a guy out at home plate during the last game. (Braden was pitching and Cole was catching). They were so excited, and gave each other a high five after the play.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What a Great Weekend

We had a great weekend. The weather was perfect and we had lots of baseball! Sunday we had some old friends come to eat with us. I had to get a picture of these two because Parker is 5 days older than Cade! She is the cutest little thing, but I think he out-weighs her by, at least, 20 pounds.

These are of Cade, my little model. He just got his whole uniform, and he is too cute in it. He is at a game tonight. I couldn't go because the other two have standardized tests this week. They need to be well rested.

Notice the "rock star" fingers. Every picture I've taken of him lately, he has these. I happened to have one of him and Parker where he didn't.

I have a picture of Braden from his game, but I am loading these through Picasa because blogger won't work, and I couldn't get the picture up. I'll try to load it on another post.
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Friday, March 7, 2008

You Are Going To Love This!

I found a website that is SO cool. It makes books from your blog! It automatically retreives the blog, then you go in and edit things like you want them. I am so excited about this! Here's the LINK

Thursday, March 6, 2008

heroes/sons quote

"You don't raise heroes; you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes." --Walter Schirra Sr.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Random Thoughts

Here in the south, the blooming azaleas are something we look forward to every spring. It marks the turning of the seasons here. Soon there will be huge azalea bushes scattered all around bursting with blooms. This is one of the azaleas in our flowerbeds. Since everything was planted in the winter, I am just now seeing what colors will unfold in the beds. I am itching to plant some annuals and more color, but it's still just a little early.

I was testing the lighting in a few different places in the house with my camera today. Cade jumped in to be my model. He's always the clown. I wanted to take this because his hair has gotten so long, and he insists on having it all spiked up to go to school. This is what it looks like when he gets home. We got a haircut right after this picture!

Here are a few more from our "photo shoot". Right in the middle of me taking the pictures outside, he says "work it!" and starts posing like crazy, moving from one side to the other. It was hysterical!

He's my "cool" kid. Always looks at himself in the mirror, and always wants to look "cool". He is such a joy.

I am the chairman of our auction committee at the kids' school. Every year we hold an auction to raise money for technology in our school. Last year we raised $15,000. It was so much fun. This year, however, we don't have many moms who will go out and gather donations, so things are a little stressful for me. I am not someone who is comfortable going into a business and asking for a donation. So you might wonder, "Why would I be the chairman of the auction committee?". Good question. At the moment, I 'm wondering the same thing. The auction is a month away and we have very few donations. I guess I need to suck it up and get busy. Just great!

Baseball is heating up. I think it's going to be a great year for Braden, and a pretty good year for Cade. We'll see with Bryce. He's playing in a league close by that he's never played in before, so I 'm hoping it will be ok. Richard isn't coaching him this year because he's coaching the other two, and you can only be so many places at once. This league has been known to have some jerk coaches who are just mean to the kids, so I am really praying that Bryce doesn't get one of those. I don't think he could take it, and I know I couldn't. We'll know by the end of the month.

I'm about halfway done with loading my pictures on the Creative Memory software. So far, I think it's going to be great. I'm really pushing Richard to let me get a laptop. I think I want an Apple. He's putting me off, but he can't hold me off for too long. I'm not very patient when it comes to those things. I have also been wanting a new lens for my camera. It's a portrait lens that takes awesome portraits. We are going to the beach at Easter, so I am going to try to get that before then.

Oh, well, I know you're probably bored to tears (if you've even made it this far). Sorry to ramble on. I'm off to put the monkeys to bed.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Happy Birthday Frank!!

Sunday was Richard's grandfather's birthday. His 91st birthday!! We had a ball game that day, but ran by to see him on the way. He is the sweetest man, and was such an important part of Richard's life growing up. He was actually the best man in our wedding. We brought him a new LSU blanket, which he didn't need, but loved anyway.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Did You Notice That I'm A Blonde?

Update: Nancy just left a comment about me searching for a gun before I went into the kids school! Please know that I was looking for "gum". I can't believe I did that! I'm telling you, it was a VERY blonde day!!!

Well, if you hadn't, you'd have noticed today. I got in the car to take the kids to school this morning, and when I went to close the garage door, the opener wasn't on my visor. I immediately thought Richard must have done something with it, so I got the extra one and then called him to check. He said he didn't touch it, so I made the kids promise they didn't touch it. After going over every possible scenario, I figured someone must have stolen it out of my car. The garage was open for a little while this morning, and I thought that must have been what happened. I mean, what else could have happened to it? I got back home and called my builder. I was going to make him call the garage people to come and change the frequency. I made the HUGE deal out of it, all the time, swearing that it could not have been misplaced. After all, I never touch it!! So I left the house to go volunteer at the kids school, I reached into my purse to get some gun and what, do you suppose, was on top? Of course, the garage door opener!! I don't know what is scarier: thinking someone had stolen it, or know that it was me and having absolutely NO recollection of touching the thing! I had to call Richard and the builder and tell them I found it. Very humbling!!

I'm not a horribly dingy blonde, but I can definitely have my moments.
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