Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Happy 8th Birthday, Cole Brenden!
This past Saturday was his birthday, but we ended up letting him open all of his presents the night before because of his noon time game, Brooke's horse lessons after, and Nathan's need to be at work for the evening to work on a project. You know Cole sure didn't mind opening them early. I worked on the cake all afternoon and had it ready by dinner, but he didn't want it until his real birthday. Nice.
Thank you Uncle Tim, Aunt Leslie, Emiley, Carley & Dayley!Thank you Nana, Pa & Christopher!
Thank you Uncle Brent, Aunt Gena, Breanna & Caleb!
Thank you Grandma & Grandpa!
Strangely, I don't have a picture of him holding your stuff, but you can see him opening it in the video.
Can you tell he was a wee bit excited?
Less money spent on a big birthday party with lots of people allows for more money to be spent on gifts. I feel bad that we haven't done a big party since we've lived here, but I think it has worked in his favor so far.

For some reason, I really don't see the strong resemblance that most people like to point out.
Aww...Brooke loves her big brother!
Brooke also loves her some Troy from High School Musical, or as he probably prefers to be called, Zac Efron. I spotted her a couple of times giving him a little smooch. She says that he's her boyfriend. Wouldn't that be fantastic if he was?! We would never have to worry about money again! I kid, I kid. He's just slightly too old for her...For now :)
Nathan has been wanting the UFC game (since we love mixed martial arts) ever since it came out a couple of years ago, but there wasn't a version for the game systems that we had...Until now. That's probably why Nathan was all for getting Cole an Xbox 360 instead of the bunk beds that we were planning on getting for his room. That is until I realized how much they would cost after adding up the mattresses and all the bedding and stuff. Uhh...No thanks, I'll pass.Look at Nathan's face...He's in shock that Cole can figure out the moves so quickly and beat him.
Cole was actually pretty pleasant most of the evening...Until about 15 minutes after he finished opening his presents. He decided to start being a little punk to his sister and just about got himself grounded from his new stuff. Ugh!!!

That boy...I think he enjoys taking credit for every new gray/white hair I get. Some days it's hard to believe that he actually made it to 8 years old.

When will the nonsense stop and the maturity kick in?!?!?!?!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Okay, this really has nothing to do with our family happenings, but I just had it on my mind. I heard the newest release by Taylor Swift on the radio a couple of weeks ago, and just could help but thinking...

That girl is amazing!
Another hit song...How does she do it?!
This isn't her actual video, just something I found on youtube so you could hear the song...If you haven't already that is.

It's unbelievable that a young girl can posses so much talent...And has since she was barely old enough to be called a teenager. Yes, she gets knocked for her vocals on many of her live television performances, but who cares! She writes the lyrics AND the instrumentals to all of her songs, plays the guitar, chooses and designs every set for every concert she does, wears a dress or skirt in nearly every performance she does, and is such a good role model for girls of all ages. And she's absolutely adorable and seems very down to earth...Not that I know her personally or anything.AND I love the fact that my daughter LOVES her, and we can jam to all of her songs together.

I completely forgot about these videos we made of Brooke singing Taylor Swift songs, but they are so cute...At least I think so :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

4/20/10-GAME 3 (13-2)

Cole ran up to me right before his game was about to start and handed me this baseball. He said, "I don't know what this is for but here."
Awww...I thought it was really pretty cool that one of the coaches gave this to Cole. It would have been a little more significant if he'd gotten the actual day of his inside the park home run, but that's okay.

Cole rushed off and I soon spotted him shuffling his feet and doing some dance moves in the dugout. He must have had his head in a dance party mode because he just wasn't quite on during his game. So much for being honored with a game ball.

He struck out the first two times at bat and grounded out to first base the third time. He didn't play third base until the last inning when we were way ahead and the official time had actually run out. He missed three ground balls that he could have gotten. However, he did get an out on a long distance run down from third base to first base. That was good. They won 13-2.

If Nathan had been able to be there, he could have reminded Cole (and the pitching coach) of what to do. I felt so bad for him that I really wanted to cry sitting there watching him. He really is fairly decent, but something happens when game time comes, and it seems like he completely loses focus...More so if Nathan isn't there. And the fact that the majority of the kids on his team are really, really good just means that the coach expects more out of Cole.

Three of the coaches do a good job of being encouraging and supportive of the kids no matter what, but the head coach tends to show how he really feels more often. That look of frustration and disappointment is not what I like to see from someone else in regards to my child. It really breaks your heart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


So, everybody has been posting bluebonnet pictures with their kids looking so adorable in them, and while they are very pretty, it makes me sad that we don't have any here. Nope, no bluebonnets randomly spotted on the side of the highway to remind you that you're in the great state of Texas.

We have cotton. Dumb, fluffy, wish it was snow cotton. It's not even in season yet, but when it is, the fields do actually look pretty cool (I'll post some fall cotton pictures later). But it's nothing compared to the bright color of bluebonnets that make you smile every time you see them.

In the spirit of trying to be like everyone else, here are the only digital bluebonnet pictures I could find. Apparently, my love of them wasn't photographed that often. But I KNOW I told Nathan dozens of times that I wanted to take the kids' pictures in them. I guess I just never got around to picking out the right outfits and finding that perfect location for a photo op. The only reason we even have these is because they were blooming at my aunt's house while we there for an Easter egg hunt a few years ago.
Look at sweet baby Dayley in this picture. She just turned 4 in March.Brooke loved this Dora drink bottle, but now she refuses to drink out of it because she thinks Dora is dumb. Her words, not mine (and Cole's too).
Now, y'all make sure to take some extra special bluebonnet pictures for me!

Monday, April 19, 2010

4/17/10-GAME 2 (33-11)

Saturday we got our first taste of crazy parents getting their panties all in a wad during a game. Evidently, it all started because our coach told the team that they would be playing much better teams than this one, so they didn't need to get lazy on the field. I guess the parents of the other team heard it loud and clear and were very offended. I mean really?! Their kids stunk! It's not our fault that the teams were unevenly matched, but our coach just wants the kids to play their best every time so they can win the championship.

This white trash hoss started screaming that we had already scored 7 runs right when Cole walked up to bat (each team is only allowed 7 runs per inning). Then our coach's 5 foot tall wife starts yelling back to check with the score keeper, and then the hoss lady yell's that our team had poor sportsmanship. Oh my gosh...Shut up!

It didn't help that the umpire was like 16 years old and had no clue what to do. Finally, our coach just yells something back at her from the pitcher's mound and throws the ball at Cole anyway. Cole almost struck out with the distraction of the psycho mom throwing a fit about the score, but he managed to pull out a hit when he was down in the count...Actually it was an inside the park home run! Probably would have been a close double if the other team didn't have so many errors, but hey, we'll take it! Cole was so excited, and it was really cute to see how pumped his teammates were for him.
He was saying that his knee hurt from that hard slide he did at home plate. It really wasn't necessary to slide, but he just HAD to get those pants good and dirty. You can see it in the video.
Some parents are awesome examples for their kids. Yes, we were creaming the other team and probably shouldn't have run up the score so badly, but the other team's kids didn't care about it all. Most of them were staring at the sky when they were supposed to be watching the ball. Thus the reason they would miss the ball, and we got so many hits and runs. And the other team's kids went home happy because they got 6 runs in the last inning. They didn't know that our coach pretty much let them have those just to shut them up. Geez, just let the kids have fun. Maybe practice with them a little so they won't be so terrible and you won't have to make a fuss and look like a fool in front of everyone. Okay, enough ranting.

I think our family practice during the week really helped because Cole got a hit every time up to bat! Yep, three hits! I missed videoing the first one because Brooke and I were a few minutes late to the game. I did see him get the hit as we were walking up though. He did such a good job!They were so far ahead in the last inning that the coach flopped all the kids' positions around. Cole does better in left field, but I think he has fun playing third base. He gets so scatterbrained in the excitement of a ball and a kid coming right for him. He won't usually play there though and will be in left field the majority of the time.
Despite the crowd drama, we won the game 33-11 and the kids all felt like all stars.

I think every parent on the other teams takes one look at big Travis (in the front of the line) and has a moment of worry and fear for their tiny child. This kid is HUGE!
Here's my Saturday night enjoyment. Jealous?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


After Cole's game this past Tuesday, we decided to try and have our own little practice at the ball fields the very next day. We headed out to the ball fields as soon as Nathan got home from work and lucked out that there was one open field left. Evidently Wednesdays and Sundays are available for any one to use for practice on a first come first serve basis. It would have been nice to have a couple of other kids out there to help shag balls and stuff, but we made do.

Brooke actually wanted to be on the field and use a glove most of the time. We made her stay in the outfield, and she actually scooped up a few balls that rolled right to her. It was so cute, and she was so proud of herself. I don't know how it ended up at our house a few states away, but somehow we have my 13 year old niece Emiley's glove that she used when she was little. It's so much better than a brand new glove because it's already been perfectly worked in. Thanks, Uncle Tim! I'm sure he's been looking for that glove since Emiley has a 7 and 4 year old sister that could use it. Oh, well. Y'all can have it back if you come and get it!

Brooke took a couple turns at bat, too. We stuck Cole's helmet on her just to see how she did with it while batting. She liked doing things just like her big brother. His helmet is way too big for her and she had trouble seeing, so I may have to get her a pretty pink one. How cute would that be?!She saw a pink bat at the store the other day and really wanted me to get it. I didn't, but I just might because today she said that she wants to play softball when she's 7. Can you imagine?!?!?! Oh my gosh, the cuteness would be off the charts!!

After way too many missed balls, Nathan finally figured out that Cole likes the balls to be thrown lower to him. Well, I guess it's really more that he can't lay off the high balls and tends to swing at them and miss them no matter what. He usually makes some kind of contact with the low balls though. The coach tends to throw the balls higher to most of the kids that he hasn't coached before, so Nathan will tell him that Cole likes the ball low, and maybe he'll do better at batting during the games from now on.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

4/13/10-GAME 1 (18-4)

Cole had his first game of the season on Tuesday. Nathan was supposed to be home from California about the same time the kids got out of school, but because of flight delays, he was 3 hours late, and made it back merely 15 minutes before we had to leave for the game. Cole was so worried that his daddy wasn't going to get to see all of his first game. Well, it turned out that Nathan wouldn't have missed much anyway.

The team as a whole played great, but Cole struggled a bit. He played left field the whole game, and had one ball come his way the entire game. The other team was so tiny and looked like it was filled with the youngest kids allowed. Cole's team has mostly the oldest kids allowed that have lots of previous experience. I bet those other parents were in shock at the size of some of the kids on our team.

I didn't video much of the game or take any pictures because my camera battery was almost dead, and I wanted to make sure I at least got Cole's turns at bat. He struck out the first two attempts, finally hit it the third time, but was thrown out before he even made it to first base.

It didn't seem to bother Cole all that much since they won the game 18-4. He was just pumped to get the "free" suicide flavored game drink afterwards. I guess it's the little things that mean most.

Nathan was so frustrated because Cole was pretty much swinging at everything instead of being patient and waiting for the right pitch. I don't know what the deal is. He has the ability to hit the ball into the outfield every time, but it's like he totally spaces out during the game or something. I think Cole just gets so excited when he steps up to the plate and just assumes he'll hit whatever is thrown at him. If he'll just concentrate on watching the ball, he'll be awesome out there. Hopefully, with a little more work, he'll have it down soon.


Nearly all of the horses were in the stalls when we pulled up to Karley's place this past Saturday. We've never actually gotten to see all of them up close because the majority of them stay far off and way out of reach. Evidently, Karley was having a hard time getting Hershey to come with her to get ready for Brooke, so she ended up putting all of the other horses in stalls to draw him out last. Poor girl was so stressed out because it was frustrating dealing with those horses all by herself, but I'm pretty sure she thought it was worth it when she saw how ecstatic Brooke was to get to talk to all of them.
Look at this crazy-eyed horse. One eye is dark brown and the other eye is crystal blue. Kinda creepy.
In a separate pasture are the mommy and daddy horse that are expecting their latest act within the next month. Brooke is going to be over the moon and in LOVE with the new witty bitty pony!
Even though Karley really loves the horses, her dad is trying to sell the majority of them. I guess they are getting to be more upkeep than he wants to deal with once she goes away to college. Soooo...everybody start saving now to pitch in and buy Brooke one of these horses for her birthday!
Karley let all of the horses out to run around once Brooke was done and out of the riding area. Brooke just wanted to keep watching them and had no desire to leave at all. She was in awe of them like they were famous celebrities or something.While Brooke was starstruck, Cole and I were amused by some other stars. Cole kept saying, "Pull up your pants...We can see your underwear!" Brooke would respond with, "I don't care!"I took some time out from pretending to be a photographer, and tossed the baseball around with Cole for a while. Cole made me stand out in the sun so he could be in the shade under a big, beautiful tree. That's cool...I needed to work on my farmer's tan anyway.
So Brooke got to enjoy all the pretty horses, and I enjoyed snapping all the pretty pictures. Have I mentioned that I love pictures? Well, I do. I really do.