Sunday, January 31, 2010

From The Vault: My Siblings

Tonight I am sleepless, and I am looking at some old photos on the computer. Before last December the oldest photos that I had on my computer were from 2005. Thankfully, Corey was able to add some more when we got a new computer at Christmas. There are so many good ones and ones that have good memories attached to them that I have decided that I will randomly share them here as I come across one (or some) that I love.

First up, my siblings.

I have actually been missing them a lot today. I never thought I'd say that 20 years ago. ;) But now, I kind of like them. I really love them, as a matter of fact. As our families have all grown over the last few years, we have less time to actually keep in touch. Many phone calls are interrupted by "hold on"s and "wait just a minute"s and ultimately end in "Sorry, I have to go.", and many of our interactions and get-togethers are met with refereeing and normal parental tasks that seem to keep our conversations to a 3-5 sentence maximum. Don't get me wrong... we would not trade our jobs as parents for anything... and I think that we all would even say that we know that this is the most important time in our families' lives, but still... I miss them.

So tonight when I came across these photos, it made me smile. It kind of put a band-aid on my sad heart that was missing my crazy siblings... that I love like crazy. (That is such a great thing about pictures... they can take you to a different time and place.)

This one was taken in the summer of 2003 at a family reunion for my mom's side of the family. I don't remember how many of us there were, but there were a lot! We all had these matching shirts and wore them to an outdoor production at Palo Duro Canyon (near Amarillo) called Texas. It was a good weekend and a special time spent with my siblings and all of my family.

Emily, Sara, Amy, & Coby
July 2003
Palo Duro Canyon

This one was obviously taken after Emily's graduation. All 3 of my siblings graduated from Baylor, and I am very proud of them. (I was pregnant with Cooper in this photo.)

Sara, Emily, Amy, & Coby
December 2004
Emily's Graduation, Baylor University

And this one was taken when our entire family got to go to California to celebrate Emily & Allan's marriage at their wedding reception near Allan's home. It was very special that we all got to go a trip together! On this day, it was way too cold to get in the ocean, but we just had to go and see it! (Again, I was pregnant with Cooper.)
Coby, Amy, Sara, & Emily
(in birth order)
January 2005
Laguna Beach, California

SURPRISE!!! Jack's 10th Birthday Celebration Has Begun

This year is a big one for birthdays in our family. Within a 12 month span of time Corey turned 40, Allie turned 13, Cooper will turn 5, and Jack will turn TEN... this week!!!!

Last summer Jack had told me that he has always wanted a surprise party, and I tucked that into my mommy-memory. So, that is what I have been planning. Over the last few weeks Jack has asked me over and over and over and over what we are going to do for his birthday, and I have tried to hold him off... That was not easy to do, by the way. He brainstormed several different ways that he would like to celebrate and all the friends that he would like to invite to his party. All along, I had already invited 2 of his best buddies to come over for a surprise sleepover. I knew that he would love that, but in all of his brainstorming I could also tell that my little social guy had his heart set on celebrating with several friends... so I had to come up with a brainstorm of my own...

On Friday night, Corey and Jack went out to pick up some pizza for dinner. As soon as they walked out the door Allie, Cooper, and I flew into action. We only had a few minutes to get ready for the surprise sleepover that was about to happen. Corey had bought balloons and cupcakes earlier in the day and we decorated with that and a banner, and I set out the gobs of snacks that I had bought earlier in the week. Soon, Jack's friends Brady & Jack arrived, and we waited for the birthday boy to come back.

~ Corey & Jack coming through the door ~
At this point, all he had seen was the decorated kitchen...
...then he saw his buddies.
He was SO happy that he finally got his surprise party!
~ The Birthday Boy ~
~ Jack W, Jack P, & Brady ~
These 3 have been friends since they were all babies.
~ the "silly picture" ~
Cooper followed the 3 big guys around all evening and wanted to do everything they did. As soon as I had taken a photo of them, he said, "Now take one with me."
~ Allie & Cooper celebrating their brother ~
Brady & Jack gave him Legos and a yo-yo. He loved them!
We gave him something that I think that he really wanted. A party that he could invite 10 friends to.
~ cake time! ~

~ building his new Legos... his favorite activity ~
The boys spent the evening, the night, and the early morning building a fort that covered the living room floor and playing video games. Lots of video games.
At 3:00am they were still going full-force... and were still having a lot of loud fun. Corey asked them to watch a show and go to sleep. At 5:15 Jack came in and told me that they were going to go to sleep and asked me to wake them up at 7:ooam so they could play a lot more before his friends had to go home. Needless to say, I didn't wake them up but still they were up by 7:20. Lots more playing and fun and noise and eating took place until we wrapped things up around 11:00. I think that Jack loved his surprise...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Catching Up November: "Cooper has something to tell you." 11/28

As we were decorating for Christmas I had gone into my room for a bit, and shortly Corey yelled, "Amy? Where are you? Cooper has something to tell you!" I came into the living room to hear Cooper say, "I asked God into his heart! I am a Christian!" For our Christian family, that is the best news that we could ever hear - that our kids have decided to give their heart to our God and will someday be with us for eternity in heaven. We were so happy for Cooper and thankful to God that He has called our little boy to Himself.

When I asked Cooper how he came to this decision he said that he and Jack were setting up our nativity, and Jack explained to him that we celebrate Christmas because that is when Jesus was born. He then explained to Cooper that there was a reason that Jesus needed to be born - to save us from our sins and make a way for us to be with Him forever in heaven. He asked Cooper if he wanted to go to heaven. Cooper said yes, and Jack led him in a prayer to ask Jesus to come into his heart. It was as easy as that. A child's faith is so amazing! I know that Cooper has a lot of things that he will learn and grow to understand in his walk with Christ, and I am so glad that he is taking the first steps of that journey. And how special that he was guided to the place of beginning that journey by his big brother?!? For that, I am extra thankful.
Thank you, Jesus!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catching Up November: Decorating the Christmas Tree 11/28

Are you surprised to see a Christmas Tree post here at the end of January? Well, you know what that means... I am almost caught up with catching up November... and incase you don't remember (and why would you?) December has already been caught up, so just a few more posts and I'll be current, baaaaby!!! WOO HOO!

Let's get to it...

Each year, we make it a tradition to decorate our house for Christmas on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It is something that we look forward to each year. We put on some Christmas music and our Santa hats (we all have one), and we decorate away. Some years it takes me more than that weekend to get all the decorations put up, but this year I was determined to get everything decorated that we could on the weekend after Thanksgiving and get the rest of it put back up in the attic at the end of the weekend. With the help of a few elves (and the Big Man, himself), I met my goal.

~ Coop & me putting the tree together ~
~ hanging ornaments ~
~ Allie placing hers just right ~
I'm not sure how the other 2 elves missed getting into a photo, but they were there helping too.

~ the finished product ~

My New Toy

I love my iPhone.

Anyone that knows me very well, knows that. It was an unexpected Christmas gift from Corey in 2008 - something that I had not asked for or even thought that I wanted. But Corey knew something I didn't know, and he upgraded my old phone that I didn't have Internet service on and hardly ever texted on to an iPhone... and I have LOVED it! I, of course, like it for the phone... but I also love the way that I stay "connected" (in the 2010ish sort of way) through all my apps... email, Facebook, Twitter. I also love the convenience of having a GPS with me at all times... I actually use it a lot! And I, along with my kids, love the games. I have become the master of my favorite game Tetris when I am sleepless at night and the kids love all sorts of games... their new fave is playing crossword puzzles. But one of my favorite things about my phone is that I always have a camera with me. No, it doesn't take fabulous photos like my "big camera"can, but it does okay... especailly when there is plenty of light. And something that I like even more than the camera are the apps that I have downloaded to make "playing" with my photos even more fun. I have one called CameraBag that has several options and one called CropForFree that I love. And now I have a new favorite! Yesterday I downloaded an app called Hipstamatic (like the camera from 1982), and I have been having a lot of fun with it tonight. It takes really cool photos... I love the vintage look of them! The app has a few lenses that you can "change" and even some more that you can buy, but so far I have only used one. Here are a few of my favorite pictures so far:

I went looking on the Internet for the history of the original Hipstamatic camera (because I can't remember the camera at all), and I found this interesting information:

Founders: Bruce and Winston Dorbowski
Founded: November 1982 (Unofficially, as in no lawyers)
Location: Merrill, Wisconsin, USA

The Idea:
Bring people a camera that cost less than the film. Bruce had a Russian plastic camera that our father gave him as a Christmas gift in 1972. The camera had since broke and was no longer being made or sold, at least anywhere he could find it. So Bruce and Winston came up with a plan to recreate something similar. Winston had fallen in love with his Kodak Instamatic and that was the start of the Hipstamatic.

Camera Specs
Model: 100
Material: Plastic Body, Plastic Lens
Produced: 1982-84
Type: View finder camera
Lens: Hipsta A1
Film: 35mm
Picture Size: 28mm x 28mm
Original Cost: $8.25
Focus: Automatic
Aperture: 2.8
Flash: hot shoe

Do you remember this camera from the '80s?

Do you have any cool camera apps for your iPhone (if you have an iPhone)?

What other apps do you like to use?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I've been working hard today to get this ol' blogeroo caught up. I got 5 posts done today, so be sure to scroll down if you want to look at them all. We're almost there, people! Hang in there. Just a few more posts until we are not talking about fall anymore. (Maybe I'll actually have it current by spring! ;) )

Catching Up November: Asher's Football Party

The day after Thanksgiving our family celebrated my nephew Asher's 3rd birthday. He had a "football party" and being the family of a football coach, we had the perfect place to celebrate him... a football field! We put on as many jerseys as we could find and the party began....

~ the birthday boy with his dad & mom ~
Ainsley got in on the football action.
In my hustle and bustle to get to Asher's party I forgot my camera, so Corey ran to get it. I was so sad not to capture the first part of the party.... it was really cute! First, my brother led everyone in some stretches. Then, the kids (and an aunt or 2) ran a relay which involved running with a football helmet on. So funny! Next, we all ran down the field to play some games by the goal post. The first one was "throw the football through the tire", (I totally just made that name up. Can you tell? ;) ) and then they all swung at a pinata and collected candy.
~ Cooper loving the football party ~
~ pinata time ~
~ the kids trying to gather more candy than Uncle Allan ~
... and then it was time for cake.
(Doesn't he look so cute and excited?!?)
The bench was the perfect place to eat cake.
Next, Asher opened his gifts. This sword was part of the pirate dress-up stuff that we gave him. I think he looks so cute (and serious) in this photo!
~ jersey girls ~
~ water boy ~
~ team captain ~
(Jack, the oldest boy cousin)
When the party was over, Poppie drove everyone around the field in his truck, so they could clean up the equipment. (The kids loved this part!)
Happy Birthday, AshMan! I love you!!!
(and good job on hosting a fun party, Sara!)

Catching Up November: Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2009
We spent Thanksgiving with my family at my parents' house this year. It was a good day filled with cooking, football, a movie, playing with cousins, and lots of visiting.

Do you ever wonder how someone gets a good photo of 9 kids at the same time?
Yeah... so do I.

~ Allie & Jakey ~
The oldest cousin (13) and the youngest cousin (5 1/2 months)
~ my baby and me ~
(Cooper had an ice pack on his neck because he had been stung by a bee.)
And that is about all of the photos that I took that day... Sometimes the photographer just needs a break. Just wait though, the next day we celebrated Asher's 3rd birthday... Selke Style. And there are lots of photos of that.

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