Dec 21, 2009

Dec 17, 2009

Introducing My Sister's House

Introducing. . . drum roll please. . . My Sister's House!

This is a business that my sister, Kate, and I are starting up in Abilene this spring. Kate and I have always enjoyed scavenging garage and estate sales for unique finds and saving money without sacrificing style. We have often wished there was a one stop shop to sell and buy cute gently used women's clothes, shoes, accessories and furniture. . . so we created My Sister's House, a semi-annual women's consignment sale.

If you are from Abilene, you may be familiar with Dittos for Kiddos. Our sale will be run in much the same way but we will have two unique boutiques within My Sister's House. The Closet will feature women's clothing, shoes, accessories, purses, and jewelry. Right next door at The Attic, you will find home decor, bedding, rugs, lamps, and furniture.

Let's face it. After two pregnancies my closet is full of clothes that are still cute but just don't fit my current body. Yet it is so hard to get more than a few dollars for clothes at garage sales. Our hope is that My Sister's House will become a place where you can sell the items that are taking up space in your house that you just don't wear or use but that will work great for someone else! Then you can shop the sale for clothes and home decor that are new to you without breaking the bank!

It's going to be a lot of fun. We're hoping to create a "Girl's Night Out" feel at our Wednesday and Thursday night Pre-Sales with snacks, good music and no children while you shop! Bring your friends, have fun shopping for great deals, and make some money on your own clothes in the process by becoming a consignor. (You will be able to try on clothes in an open dressing area so bring your bike shorts and sports bra. We hope that it won't be as awkward as those high school locker room experiences.)

The sale will take place downtown at 181 Pine (the old Jordan Taylor location) and will be open to the public March 25th - 27th. We have no idea how big our first sale will be, but we're hoping through word of mouth and our community of A-town friends that it will exceed our expectations!

So check our website: , save your old clothes as you clean out your closet after Christmas, sign up to be a consignor and tell your friends. It's gonna be fun, girls!

Nov 21, 2009

Ava's Art

I just had to post some of Ava's artwork. She loves to color and produces more art than I could possibly display in my house. These are some of my favorites from the last few months:

Drawn after we attended a wedding last weekend. Notice the
stained glass window in the back and the Bride's train.

She said this is me about to hug her. I like the clip in my hair.

This is a picture of Ava with the 3 Strader girls.

This is a self portrait of Ava in her Halloween costume as a cowgirl.

She does a lot of drawings for friends.
This is one for Emma Russell and Ella Carder.

David and Goliath. I love Goliath's angry eyes and David's surprised face.

This is a colorful girl, but it reminds me of a Japanese kokeshi doll.

Ava drew this at my mom's house while looking at a photo of
my mom in Japan standing in front of a big pink bus.

More friends: Ava and Sofia

A princess and a rainbow

Oct 28, 2009

Fall & Friends

These are all out of order, but here is our fall at a glance. We've had good times with good friends.

Jackson and Ava on a hayride

The Walters' in western wear at our small group dress-up party

Two of my favorite cops: Ponch and John. (Aren't these guys hilarious?)

Our little cowpokes (Ava was all excited about this horse costume until she had to put it on. Then it only lasted about 5 minutes. Oh well, we got a picture. That was the closest I could get to a smile from either of these outlaws.)

Trunk or Treat

Playing in the rain with Ava's bud, Sofia

Some old friends at ACU Homecoming

I miss these girls!

Getting ready for the parade

GATA friends at breakfast

Ava with the Russell and Encalade girls

I misss these girls too. . .

Pierson playing ball with Maddox

Ava and Sofia dressing up alike for a girl's night out

Levi, Pierson and Will. . . cuties

And one last picture-- look at that smile! I love this little guy!

Oct 5, 2009

Madinah Namuddu

I just found an organization called Kiva that I am pumped about. If you can spare $25.00, you must check this out. Kiva connects people through person-to-person micro-lending, empowering entrepreneurs across the globe.

For my first micro-loan, I lent money to Madinah Namuddu's Group. I selected Madinah by scrolling through a list of hopeful entrepreneurs from around the world. I used paypal, but you can use your credit card to start your loan as well. It only took about 5 minutes. I'd like to add one new loan a month! I'll keep you updated. I love the world wide web!

P.S. Leave me a comment and let me know if you decided to start a micro-loan too! I would love to hear that my "tens of readers" all got as excited as I did and found someone to support. Better yet, put a link on your blog. Then all of your hundreds of readers might do the same. Am I a hopeful optimist who thinks we can change the world? Yes I am. So let's get started...

Click here for to learn more about how it works.

Oct 4, 2009

Here are a few things I am writing down so I don't forget them:

1. Ava let us know that we might need to start using bigger words with her now that she's 5.

2. I asked Pierson if he was ready to brush his teeth a few nights ago and he told me, "I'd wather not." (I'd rather not.) 2 going on. . . 12? By the way, I didn't give him the option.

3. This afternoon we were reading bedtime books and Pierson was searching for the "Yucky Hat" book. I was baffled. I finally found the book he was looking for about a "Lucky Hat."

4. Ava is into clothes, shoes and anything to do with fashion. She often explains how the dress on her barbies or in coloring books would be cute if it had a different color, a longer hem, a different color bow, etc. She loves to play dress up and is extremely particular about what she wears. The other night at dinner, she let me know that she liked the pattern on my shirt, but she thought it might be cuter if it had a button by the neck. Chad and I laughed and said she might become a fashion designer someday. She asked what that meant and I explained that a fashion designer is someone who imagines what clothes might look like and makes them for other people to wear. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "I have an idea. At my fashion designer store, there will be two people who work there. I will be the one who makes up the outfit and the other person will be the one who sews my idea."

5. I heard Pierson being a little too quiet in Ava's room yesterday while she was coloring in the living room. I went in and found him standing on her bed with one of barbie's legs (detached from her body.) He tilted his head to the side, smiled like he knew this might not be a good idea and said, "Swing batter, batter, batter. . ." Then used the leg to hit to practice his swing. I had to walk away and laugh before I came back and reattached Barbie's leg.

6. When Pierson is tired or frustrated he whines in a way that sounds a lot like Napolean Dynomite. It cracks me and Chad up, which is probably not helping him learn not to whine. There is no funny way to write in words how it sounds, but imagine a 2 year old Napolean saying "Aaawwwaaawww. I don wan to go night night."

7. Chad was driving home with Pierson in the car and instead of wanting to listen to music or watch a movie, Pierson said "Tell me a story, daddy." After a short story Pierson whispered, "Tell me a secret." This reminded us that our kids just want connection with us. They don't need to be entertained, just talked to.

8. Pierson fell off of a chair last week and busted his lip pretty badly. We were lucky that the cut was on his lip or he might have needed stitches. Ava was so concerned about all of the blood and Pierson's injury that she wouldn't let me talk about it in front of him because she was worried he would start thinking about it again and get upset. She would come up and whisper in my ear, "I just feel so sad about Pierson's lip, but don't look at it. It might make him feel bad."

Pierson with his cousin Eydie. Love 'em!

Sep 23, 2009


We have several birthdays in our little family around September. My birthday is August 28th, Ava's is September 12th and Pierson's is the 17th! This year we combined their parties again since their birthdays are so close together. I figure that we might be able to get away with one combined party for a few more years until Ava starts asking for a party with no boys! For now we really try to make having a shared party special. This year we had a Safari Party at the Abilene Zoo! It turned out to be a perfect day. The weather was cool and breezy (which is remarkable for September in Abilene), the animals were out and the lions were even putting on a show. I have never heard lions roar that loud for such a long time. It was pretty amazing. . . and a little scary for Pierson! Here are some pictures of the party:

The Safari Cake and cupcakes

Grandma Ruby came in from Decatur.

Posing with friends in front of the lions

The Safari Guides

Pierson blows out his candles.

Pierson shows off his new Ranger baseball cap and car puzzle.

Hungry kids

Ava poses with some friends on the caterpillar statue.

All the kids

Eydie at her first birthday party with K-Papa

I never did write the post about my birthday surprise so I thought I would recap that as well. This year I turned, ahem. . . 32! I don't feel a day over 22 except I have a bad back, an injured knee and I get tired around 9 pm every night. Okay so maybe I feel exactly 32. Anyway on to the surprise-- On my birthday Chad took the day off of work to watch the kids, scheduled a massage for me without my knowing, and planned a birthday lunch with a few friends at The Olive Garden. Then when I thought the day couldn't get much better, Chad's mom showed up at our house to watch the kids and Chad and I headed for Dallas. We ate at P.F. Changs (my favorite) and stayed the night at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Los Colinas. The next day we slept in, read by the pool and shopped around in Southlake Townscenter before heading home. I have no idea why Chad chose this birthday to pull out all the stops. Birthdays are fun in our house, but we usually just go to dinner and have some cake. I was so surprised and enjoyed having a day of pampering. I love this guy!

Ava took this picture and got a real smile out of him : )

Sep 6, 2009

Pierson Reed

Pierson is such a funny little man. He is 23 months and has become such a talker. In the last 3 or 4 months, his language has exploded! I am amazed at all of things is starting to say and put together.  Looking back I realized that I haven't posted as much about him as I did about Ava at his age. Poor second children. . . they are so neglected. I have found it so much harder to stop and write things down with 2 kids. But I have to record some of my favorite Pierson stories. They are too funny and I don't want to forget this age. 

1. While looking at a book that his Grandma Ruby put together of various sports clippings, Pierson was pointing at different pictures and asking, "What's dat?" I was naming, football, helmet, baseball, glove, etc. He pointed to one picture and asked, "Who's dat?" I replied with "That's a football player." He looked up at me and said, "No. Dat's Tony Romo." He was right. Apparently Chad had been naming the players and Pierson was expecting me to do the same. I only got a few right, and still need to get a tutorial from Chad before I read that book with him again. I can't believe my 23 month old has already surpassed my sports knowledge.  

2. Pierson LOVES baseball. I have never seen a kid like one sport so much. He talks about baseball as soon as he wakes up, plays ball all day, and I think he must dream about it too. He knows all the words to "Take me out to the ball game" and wants us to sing it to him every night as he falls asleep. He loves his baseball pajamas and likes to sleep wearing his glove and baseball shoes. Precious.

3. One my favorite games to play with Pierson right now is pretend baseball. It is almost more fun than the real thing. With real baseball, a lot of time is spent chasing after a ball that neither one of us can catch very well. But pretend baseball is great. He looks over his glove, looks down, winds up, throws a pitch and I back up and pretend to catch it in my glove. This goes back and forth. Sometimes he dives for the ball. Sometimes he runs deep. Sometimes he pretends to miss and says,"Oh, almost!" We also pretend hit. When he's pitching to me, I have to wait to see if he calls a strike or waits for me to run to see if I pretend hit it or not!  He'll yell, "Run the bases, Mama!" I also love to watch him hit. He has better form than I do and sometimes taps the plate and his shoes before getting in his batter stance. We never taught him any of this. He just picks it up from watching the players! He lets me know when I'm supposed to run the bases and slide home. Turns out I'm pretty good pretend ball player. I think I've made about 12 home runs this week. . .

3. Pierson says, the "y" sound instead of "l" which I think is so cute.  We went to Lake Brownwood this weekend f0r Labor Day and while riding in the boat, Pierson exclaimed excitedly, "I yove the yake!"

4. Pierson loves his friends right now. He prays often for LeviWoll (Levi and Will-- his little twin buddies) and Mammox (Maddox). One night while listing off the names of several of his little 2 year old friends, Pierson added, "and Brandon" (His adult uncle.) I thought that was sweet. I think Pierson sees Brandon as one of the kids. It doesn't hurt that he's an assistant baseball coach at ACU so Pierson pretty much idolizes him.  

5. For some reason which I cannot figure out, Pierson has connected Dora the Explorer with our children's minister, Suzetta Nutt. He thinks they are one and the same. He asks to watch "Suzetta and Boots," he points to pictures of Dora in books and says, "Suzetta" every time. For those who don't know these two, Dora is a hispanic 4 year old and Suzetta is in her 40s and has blond hair. And although Ava tries to explain the difference all the time, Pierson cannot be convinced that Dora and Suzetta are not the same person. 

6. He loves to wear his baseball shoes (tennis shoes) all the time. I can hardly get him to put on anything else.  He has been sleeping in them lately because he never wants to take them off. He also loves to wear his baseball hat like K-Papa and daddy. He feels he must be wearing these two items in order to throw, hit or catch a baseball, even a pretend one. 

7. I know that most of these are about sports, but Pierson really is fascinated with any kind sport. In the evenings when Chad gets home, he and Pierson usually sit down and watch baseball, and now football. Sometimes they find a soccer or even a tennis game. I am endlessly  amazed at how long these sporting events hold his attention. He also loves his daddy. Once Chad comes home, he wants to be by his side until bed time. It's so sweet to see how much they both love to be together. 

8. Pierson also loves his baby cousin, Eydie. The other day out of the blue he came to me and said, "I wan see baby Eydie. She's coot (cute)." We had to take a walk to Kate's house to fulfill such a sweet request.

9. Ava and Pierson have been playing great together lately. She recently said that if we have another baby she hopes it's a boy because boys are so funny. Pierson will do anything to make her laugh. It usually involves some kind of slap stick fall. He will do it over and over as long as she keeps laughing. 

10. Pierson is a jokester. We took him to his first Major League game at The Ballpark in Arlington last month. The Rangers were playing the Red Sox. Pierson heard people yelling, "Go Red Sox," and starting chanting that too. Chad told him to say "Go Rangers" not Red Sox, but this only made Pierson laugh. Now any time we watch baseball he yells, "Go Red Sox" and then turns to see Chad's reaction. Chad always says, "No not the Red Sox!" which Pierson thinks is hilarious. He's now started cheering for the Eagles instead of the Cowboys too. . .