Friday, May 29, 2009

Samantha, The Graduate

Yet another milestone has passed in the Cantrell Family...Samantha's graduation from Kindergarten. I know I will say this many more times in my life, but where did the time go? I am working on a Father's Day photo book for Jason and went through her baby and toddler pictures to put in it. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that I was holding her in my arms, changing her diaper (don't miss that!), rocking her to sleep. Then some days it seems so long ago. I just hope I don't forget the little things about her that make me smile, the amazing adult-like things that come out of her mouth, and her overall sense of amazing generosity and caring. I have plenty of scrapbooks with her pictures, but I don't want to forget the small, tender moments. I am thankful daily that God had little 'ol me be the mom to this amazing person.

Since her graduation was at 8:30 this morning, I got to sleep in until 6:30! I felt like I slept until noon compared to my usual 5 am wake up call. Sammi was so excited to get all dressed up for her big day.

Here she is getting her diploma from her great teacher, Mrs. Blevins.

I have not had time, nor the patience, to edit this pic to get out the red eye. Some days I am just lazy. :)

The proud parents...I actually don't like this picture of me, I should know better than to lean like this. It puts on like 50 extra pounds on me in pictures! this is better. Gosh, I love this girl!

My dad came too. Sammi loves her granddad!
My mom and Sammi. I love this picture of them.

Her teacher, Mrs. Blevins. She the sweetest, fun, most patient teacher!

Sammi's friend Austin. Isn't he cute? I personally love his red hair.
Check back in 12 more years for her High School graduation pictures! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Annual River Trip

Every Memorial Weekend, since 2005, Jason and I go down to Gruene, TX with other friends. Our goal for the weekend: relax, have fun, and put on our bartender hat to try new drinks.

This year we had 19 people in one house. Yep, 19 people. I knew all of them minus 6 newbies. My amazing friend Jennifer found a great house that comfortably slept all of us. Seriously, we all had our own bed and room! All were couples and 3 singletons. The backyard was amazing and it was right on the Guadalupe River. For those that have floated the river, our dock was about a mile from the end where you get off at the bridge.

Here is Jason and Todd fishing off the dock. They caught some fish, but nothing to keep.
Most of us got there Thursday, but all of us were there by Friday. That night we played a lot of drinking games. Yes, most of us are in our 30's and still enjoy playing drinking games. Come on, you know you want to if you are child-less for the weekend!

Here are most of the ladies floating. The water level was super low, so we did not float the majority of the river. We conned the guys to drag us upstream in canoes to a rapid (that we would have had to walk down due to the low water level) where we let go and floated down to our dock. It was so relaxing!

A view of the river from our backyard.

Superman Tim swinging into the river. We built a swing from a tree in the backyard. It attracted a lot of people floating by to use it.

Several of our group just chilling by our dock.

Sadly, I didn't get a good picture of Jason and I.

Awe, there is my sexy man. Isn't he so cute?

Jared in Jason's raft and Rayna. Isn't that a cool float? It was comfy just to sit in.

There is Jason, aka Tarzan. I lost count how many times he swung into the river.

I like this one the most. I myself, did not partake. One, I can be a wimp. Two, the water was too low and knowing me I would have been the one to get hurt.

Todd swung and actually landed on the float!

Jason made a great fire for us one of the nights. At one point I drug the comfy float to sit in by fire. I could have slept there!

Here are some videos I took of Jason swinging into the river.

It was an amazing weekend filled with great friends, lots of laughs, and great food. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday

It's Monday, so what does that mean?? It's Friend Makin' Monday! Go to Kasey's blog and check it out. She is so stinkin' cute and I wish I could copy her background. I love this and have met some great people over in Bloggy Land.

Here are today's questions to answer:

You wouldn't be caught dead where?: Easy...a nudist colony!

Do you have any hidden talents?: Not sure I call this a talent, but I can move my eyebrows up and down separately. It is funny to see other people try it because most cannot do each one individually. I know you just tried it after reading this. :)

Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at: directions (don't be hatin'!) and making people laugh

Name two things you consider yourself to be very bad at: keeping my kitchen bar clear of clutter and singing

Have you ever won a trophy?: Yes! Lots of 'em in sports when I was a young'un.

Name one thing not many people know about you: Gosh, I am an open book so this is a tough one. OH! Maybe that as talkative as I am, I used to be almost completely mute in school when I was young. My mom had to coach me into even saying Good Morning to my teacher when I got to school. I didn't even like to say "here" when it was roll call. I know, shocking if you know me now.

Name your earliest memory: being at the first house I lived in and looking out the back door to see my sister playing.

What was your favorite musical group in jr. high?: INXS and the start of my love for U2

What was something the worst roommate you ever had did?: Oh gosh, way too many things to list. Maybe my first roommate in college that listened to my phone conversations. Seriously, she did. She insisted on having our own phones in the tiny dorm room. Now I know why! Then it would have to be at UNT in my apartment when Jane Doe (I am respecting her privacy :) ) and her sister that lived with us intermittently got in a huge fight because Jane Doe insisted on mothering her sister. She came home drunk and Jane Doe just was tired of it or was jealous of the fact that her sister had a life (sorry, I'm still bitter over her) and they came in my room yelling and screaming. I tried to be the referee and then one of them shoved the other into my shelf which had a special porcelain figurine from my deceased Grandmother and it broke. I was just beside myself with anger, hurt, frustration, etc. Needless to say, I did not want to live with them when our lease was up!

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?: An architect

What was your worst dating experience?: Other than the horrible blind date that my friend set me up on with her cousin (just awful), it would have to be my Senior year in high school. A guy I knew from school that was a year ahead of me was home from college over Christmas break. We were always great friends and I had a crush on him. He told my friend Keith that he wanted to go out with me. I was floored. We went out and there was ZERO chemistry. I mean ZERO. We were definitely better off as friends. He brought me home and kissed me. ZERO sparks. Fast forward to the end of our Christmas break and back at school...come to find out there were two friends in my class that had a "friends with benefits" relationship with said date-man. They found out about me going out with him and were not too happy. One threatened to "beat me up". Yeah, so high school cliche'. They confronted me in the hall and started to interrogate me about it. I finally just said "look, it is obvious you both are mad that he bought me dinner, which it is clear he has never done for you" They were both speechless. That is probably the only time I ever had a good comeback like that.

If you were about to die what would your last meal be?: A toss up between my husband's grilled steak or my mom's fried chicken.

Who is the most important person in you life?: Other than my husband and kids, it would be my mom and sister. I can't imagine my life without them.

If your house was on fire what 3 things would you grab on your way out?: My daughter, my son, and my scrapbooks! I don't even say my husband because I know he will get out first. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun Times

I started this post last Sunday and am just now getting around to actually doing it!
Sammi's soccer team had an end of season party at yummy Bosses Pizza in Keller. I love that place! It is a good thing they don't deliver so I don't order from them so much on my lazy, I-don't-feel-like-cooking nights. She has played indoor and outdoor with these girls since last fall and we just love the parents and the coaches. Aren't they cute with their trophies?

My proud soccer player. She is now on a mission to get more trophies than her daddy has...good luck, he has boxes and boxes of golf trophies from the many tournaments.
Josh took this picture of himself. I just had to throw it in.
Saturday, our lovely U-Verse that we fight with weekly was completely out. Even the internet. I was not a happy camper, but it was good to not have the TV on so much. But after awhile the kids were restless and fighting with each other. They tried to play with their Leapsters, but both had dead batteries and we didn't have enough to replace them. I remembered their Aunt Julie gave them the console to play Leapster games through the TV a year ago. Score! It kept them busy for awhile. Notice the pj's? It was definitely in the afternoon when this was taken. :)

Since I have returned to work, I feel like our nights are rushed and a blur of cooking dinner, cleaning afterwards, bath, reading, etc that I don't really get to spend quality time with my kids. My sister, who is the smartest ever, told me to just make a point to play a game with them several nights a week. Duh! Why didn't I think of that? So this night Sammi picked Pretty Pretty Princess to play. It was the first time I let go of my control-freakness and let him play alone. And guess what? The little stinker won!
Isn't he so cute with his jewels and camo pj's? Gotta give him something to make him still feel like a man.

Here he is showing off his big ring. He was so happy that he won.

And here Sammi is trying to take back the crown. It almost broke.

Sunday was a GORGEOUS day! I took advantage of that and took the kids down the street to the park. There is a great jogging trail that we go on first so Sammi has a good place to ride her bike. She still isn't wanting to take off the training wheels and try to ride without them. I personally think the training wheels make it harder for them to ride, but what do I know?

That's all folks! Jason and I are leaving tonight for our annual trip to Gruene with other friends and cannot wait for relaxation and fun with our friends. We will be back Monday, so you can bet that I'll be posting pics from the trip later. Have a great Memorial Weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Son, The Biter

This is the face of an angel, isn't it? Looking at his angelic face, happy smile, and beautiful curls makes me just smile. It makes me think "this beautiful boy could not possibly ever do anything mean to someone else".
Boy am I wrong! I got a lovely call from Joshua's school this morning. Not a call us mommy's like to get. I was advised that Joshua bit another kid. For no reason. Not over a toy that they both wanted or anything that would spark a kid to bite someone. I'm not saying biting is right, but one would think that something would need to happen to make a kid be so upset to bite someone else.
I was speechless and embarrassed when the teacher told me. I kept thinking "not my kid!". He has definitely hit his sister. I think he bit her a long time ago, but only once that I am aware of. I have heard of kids with biting problems getting kicked out of their school, so that was also running around in my thoughts. The teacher I spoke to was there and saw the whole thing happen. She said he just reached over at his friend and bit him on the arm. I couldn't even bring myself to find out if he drew blood. I was literally speechless. A first for me. I finally mustered up some words and told her how sorry I was, I appreciated her letting me know, and how embarrassed I was. She was so nice and told me that it happens to many kids. But not my angel!
After we talked, I promptly called Jason to let him know. I can't type what he said, as he wasn't as speechless as I was. :) Then I emailed my mom to see if she had any advice...she sent me something online about biting. I now have new reading material for my train ride home.
If anyone has had their child (or know someone that has) bite, let me know how you handled it. I might seem like I am over-reacting, but I really want to nip this immediately so it doesn't happen again. I don't' want to be known at Harvest Christian as "the mom with the son who bites", thank you very much.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Relaxing, Fishing, and Tulips

I know, this is late, but I had to post pics of my kids fishing with Jason on Mother's Day. There was a kid fishing tournament in our area that Jason was going to take them to. We thought it was on Mother's Day, but we found out the day before that it was actually on Saturday! Whoops! So Jason still took them, just to a different place. They were so excited to go, and I was too! I was going to be ALONE for a little bit. Wow! We started the day with Jason cooking a yummy breakfast and then let me lay in bed for the morning, just dozing off and on while he kept the kids busy. Loved it.
Off they went after lunch to go fishing. Josh kept saying that he was going to "catch a BIG fish!". I made sure that Jason took the camera and get some pictures. He knows how I want to capture everything with them, even if I am not there. Bless him.
As you can see from these pictures, the fish were not big, but that didn't matter to them! They had a ball. I was alone for a whole 2 hours. It felt weird at first. As much as I looked forward to being alone, I felt guilty and terrible to not have my kids with me on Mother's Day. That's me, always second-guessing myself and my actions. But they had a great time with just Daddy and they really needed it after he was out of town for work for 7 days.
I love this angle of Jason taking the picture with his hand stretched out to show the fish. I wonder if the kids didn't want to hold it?

My beautiful babies. *sniff sniff* What's left of them being a baby.

Joshua took this picture. Not bad!

Proud of their catch. Joshua's smile looks a little strained and his hair was such a mess on that muggy day.

My two handsome boys. Gosh, my husband is sexy. Ah-hem. Sorry about that.
I got great homemade gifts and cards from the kids that they made at school. Those are the best, better than jewelry! Jason grilled steak (my favorite!) for dinner and brought me some tulips. I love, love, love tulips and I love, love, love that he remembers that. It was a great, relaxing day for all of us. I teared up when I was kissing them at night before bedtime and telling them how lucky I am to be their mom. It was a great day and I am a blessed momma!

I took this video of Joshua singing his ABC's. I just had to get this on video to hear him. Love his precious voice. But I HATE hearing my voice!
I hope everyone had a blessed Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family Fun Weekend

This is a week old, but I just had to post these pics about our fun weekend at my sister's last weekend. Every year, we go to her house in Georgetown for their annual Poppy Festival. It is also a combined birthday celebration for all of the April and May birthdays. We have several, starting with my stepbrother, JC's on the 17th, my brother-in-law, Greg's on the 18th, mine on the 23rd, then my mom's on May 1st.

We were going to start the day on Saturday with the parade, but my niece Kate had a horrible rash/hives that started on Friday and her lips were bigger than Angelina Jolie's. But they looked good! Poor thing was so self-conscious about it...her legs and body were covered. Meredith took her to the doctor, then we all headed to Will's t-ball game.
Lito bought the kids some candy and Josh picked a BLUE ring pop. Guess I didn't really need to tell you the color it was. :) Nic and Lita (my mom). Josh took this picture. My camera is now never safe from his clutches when I bring it out. He screams when I take it from him. Lovely. He took this one too, which is really good! My Sammi is such a cutie-patootie, if I must say so myself!
Saturday night we relaxed outside, which was beautiful! The kids played and played outside and Greg and Meredith made fajitas. She even went to Chuy's the day before to get some of my beloved Creamy Jalapeno Dressing and their great chips. I think I ate enough of that to be a meal! Hey, it was for my birthday so the calories don't count...right??

Sunday morning I went with my step dad, Johnnie and Greg to the famous place of yellow donuts that are by far the best I have ever had. Round Rock Donuts. If you are ever in that town, you MUST, and I mean MUST get some! We waited in a super long line to get them and they were so worth it. There is always a line, so prepare yourself!

After stuffing ourselves with doughnuts, we went to the downtown square in Georgetown for the Poppy Festival. It is filled with all kinds of vendors. I think I always come home with great homemade soaps and candles. My favorite!

We had to get a picture of the kids by the poppies. Josh kept calling it a Puppy Festibal. Cute. There was a bee flying by, hence Sammi looking like she is on the verge of big screams and tears. Imagine hearing me talking through my teeth "just ignore the bee and smile!" Yeah, talking like that will make anyone smile! We started in the kid area filled with bounce houses and slides. This is my nephew Nic. Great action shot!

Nic and my sister, Meredith. Sammi on the velcro wall. We had Greg, who is 6' 7" be in charge of throwing them up on it since they couldn't jump high enough. Yep, he got them really high up there!
See the bow my mean sister put on Josh's head? He wouldn't let her take his picture and I don't blame him. But I have to say, he really did look like a girl with the curly hair and bow. :) Jason will be so happy knowing I put this on my blog. Ha!
Unfortunately, we had to eventually go home. The kids cried and didn't want to leave. When we got home and Josh woke up, he said "awe! I want to go to Nic and Will's house!" I'm so glad they love their cousins so much. Thanks Meredith for inviting a house full and being a great host!