Sunday, June 29, 2008

Western Night at Bunko!

Just wanted to share a picture of my Bunko group... minus 2 of my favorite friends who couldn't make it! We missed you Dona and Angela!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Deep Thoughts by Caroline Castle

You may remember the segment on Saturday Night Live called "Deep Thoughts by... whoever.. it was". Well, I have one of those kids that just asks me questions constantly. The funny thing is, with this child in particular they are either very high level questions...things neither I nor anyone else normal cares about, or just plain ole "blonde" moments. So sorry to all of my gorgeous blonde friends. I know you are all brilliant.

Well, I thought I'd list some of the recent questions I've had to field from my 8 year old. Some of those... what does it matter and who really cares questions.. Although, I NEVER say that to this precious little smart girl! To tell you the truth, my answer is almost always, "Let's ask Daddy when he gets home"
All of these are Caroline speaking.....

1- If the sprinkler is on full blast and is running for 2 hours, how many gallons of water do you think that would be?

2- Do you know the song the National Anthem? When it says " what so proudly we held" what exactly are they talking about? What war? Who wrote it? What song did they sing at events BEFORE this song was written? Who gets to pick the song?

3- Who makes gasoline and why does it come out of the ground? Who gets to pick how much is costs?

4- If I am at gymnastics from 8:20 - 12:00 does that mean I'm there for over 13,000 seconds?

5- About Christmas, why did Jesus have to be born at the END of the year? Why do they call it Christmas anyway. I mean, what's the "mas" for.

6- If there were astronauts in outer space and the world ended, what would happen to them? Where would they go?

7- Why does the bible verse say " to the ends of the earth?" I thought since the world was round it doesnt ever end.

8- Who thinks up words and puts them in a dictionary?

9- If this book has 237 pages, how many pages do I have to read every day to get this book read in 1 week and 2 days. OH... how many minutes each day will that take?

10- What makes up the earth?

11- Why does the lady in the bank window get all of our money?

12- Who started the Alamo and what good did that battle do? ( This one is a little more difficult for me since I took Louisiana History and don't always know exact details about Texas)

These questions just make me laugh. I would say she asked me all of these in the last 2 weeks. I'm so missing Mrs. Metz, Caroline's 2nd grade teacher. She encourages questions and I'm sure would have a fantastic reasonable answer to all of them. OH it exhausts me. I much prefer the " Mommy, can we go to Keva Juice" questions....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

God bless this STRESS!

Ever feel like there's just not enough of you! Boy, have I been feeling that way lately! It's like suddenly school let out, four kids are home and someone opened the flood gate and BOOM everything at once! It's not always a BAD busy, but just plain BUSY..

Praise the Lord the Real Estate market really picked up in the last month. I was just wading through work this spring, when the boys WERE in Mother's Day Out, then the minute school let out there was a HUGE tidal wave of business! I'm so thankful for the rush and the beautiful houses I'm listing as well as selling! It's just crazy. BUT, I didn't plan on a lot of childcare for this summer, so it's been really interesting, but doable, juggling the kids.

These girls I have are wearing me out too. I always thought the boys were the real task. OH NO. They don't require NEAR the time the girls do. With Caroline doing 14 hours a week of gymnastics, and then coming home an absolute crab because she's plum wore out, it's just taxing. Then, she wants to have friends over, which I try to encourage because there IS more to life than gymnastics! She's is quite persistant and doesn't take no for an answer very easily.

Then there's Kate. She recently made Dance Company at Jenni Holley. (Congratulations, Kate) So she is busy going to dance classes and camps. She too is always asking for things. Like enough is not enough. Can I have a friend over? .. Okay now, can we go swimming, .. okay now can we go to the mall? . Alright now we want to rent a movie. I mean the asking NEVER ends. The whole time I'm meeting all these girl needs, the boys are just riding along in the car hoping for a little smidgen of attention. It's TRUE!

It seems like this summer every day has been packed. I kinda miss the days of "filling time"... "keeping the kids occupied".. between showing houses, inspections, phone calls, gymnastics, karate, dance and swim lessons, there is NO time filling here.

One thing that I have found that has helped me not turn into a maniac and continue to gray so quickly is exercise. I have found myself stress eating, so exercise is very beneficial. The other day, I was in the middle of a tense situation and looked down to find myself just eating Pirate birthday cake by the forkfulls. Well, if you don't know me very well, I'm quite health concious, very aware of my weight and don't often eat cake. This is another very stressing thing for me.. is being so aware of my size and what I eat. I was not blessed with a flying metabolism like my daughters and my friend, Heather, so I have to work at it. Thankfully, I caught myself eating that delicious chocolate Pirate cake with buttercream icing, and just moved right away. Yum! If I would have kept that up, then I'd be on the scales stressing like this gal.

This week Chad is out of town and Kate is at camp. While having one less kid is helpful, it is my older kid who is capable of helping out at the house when asked. So, It's just me and the little guys.

Thank God for sweet little Rachel, my babysitter, who's coming tomorrow to give me a small break. AND, I'm soo excited about this weekend. I am going with some girlfriends to a spa in Austin and just having some good rest and relaxation and, of course, shopping. This was Chad's Birthday present to me. I'm SO excited. I haven't had a girls' weekend since COLLEGE. NO LIE.. I'll post pictures of that later! So, I will continue to run like the wind, but thank God that I still can!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Life's Little... or BIG..surprises

This week we've been celebrating Clayton turning THREE! I still can't believe 3 years and nine months ago I was sitting in utter shock trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do with FOUR kids! I remember telling Chad, "I'm sure I'm not pregnant, but I feel like I better check".. Then I remember viewing the results, calling Chad at work and walking around in absolute disbelief for about 9 months!

Well, it's true, God does have a much better plan than we can EVER imagine.

I just think about his rocky pregnancy,long labor day, the scary moment they thought he had a major heart problem, his stay in the NICU, all the visits with Cook's Children's Cardiologist, the expense of it, and then, Praise the Lord.. the day he was released from their care. It was ALL worth it. All the middle of the night feedings, the constant crying in the car... boy! he CRIED in the car!!, the paci throwing, all the hardships and IT WAS ALL WORTH IT..

As his birthday has come and gone, I can't help but think of how much better life has become in the last three years. God has blessed us beyond what we could have ever imagined. We've gotten a new home, sustained two businesses, watched both of our girls accept Christ and be baptized, maintained fantastic friendships that we will always cherish, and have built a fantastic marriage and continue to truly love each other. So, the next time you come upon one of life's surprises that you're not so sure you're on board with, just remember that God's plan is not only best, but phenomenal! Thank you, God, for our little surprise 3 years ago!

Now, if I can just remember these thoughts as he's throwing temper tantrums in the store, running away from me and laughing, saying NO, hitting siblings, running around the slippery swimming pool and tee teeing in the front lawn!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Need Ideas!

So, to anyone kind enough to read my blog, thank you! I am sure I read yours as well. I read many more than I actually comment on. Shame on ME! ANYWAY, I need some ideas.. Please shoot them at me.

Chad and I have been given the opportunity to get away from our sweet children for a weekend. The lovely woman pictured above, Chad's stepmom, has kindly offered to keep ALL FOUR! Now, we need something fun to do. I was hoping something a little romantic, not too hot (Texas heat, I mean), just good ole relaxing. We've done Priceline before and have gotten some super deals. I'm certainly open to doing that again, but thought I'd ask if anyone has a special place that would be extra fun.

Chad's parents live in Dallas, so I'm sure we'll have to meet them that way with the kids. I won't be able to talk Chad into going too far because of gas prices and our rather large diesel SUV, but I'm sure he'll drive a little way if something were in it for him !!

So, please shoot your ideas this way. I'd really appreciate it!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Couples Who Pray

Our church has just presented a 40 day challenge for couples to pray together at least 5 minutes per day.

Well, to tell you the truth, up until this time, Chad and I have not been the most consistent prayer partners. I guess we both have just assumed that we were praying for each other, just not together. Which, honestly, HAS been the case.

So, my hubby is such a fantastic spiritual leader and instigated us taking the challenge the church has laid before us. Me being the skeptic I am, felt like our marriage is fantastic, we don't struggle to get along... what will we pray for??

After our first precious prayer together, I was SOLD that I never want to go another day without being next to my sweetheart talking to my Savior.

It's just amazing to be held by my husband listening to him verbally thank God for the gift he was given. What could be better than HEARING my husband acknowledge the difficult job of mothering four kids, keeping up with a house, AND trying to work outside the home. It was just precious to hear Chad ask blessings over me.

In the same way, I prayed for him in a way I've never prayed before. I was able to present specific requests for Chad and fears I know he has, but doesn't talk about. It was fantastic.

I believe it will also help our parenting. It's interesting to hear the different prospectives we have regarding our children and who they are becoming. Each perspective brings a different request to the Lord. I believe our children will be blessed ten times over because of the commitment to pray.

In a world that is ruled by material possessions and who has what and when they got it, it's nice to be able to have something special that NO ONE will ever be able to take away and that will reward us far more than anything money can buy. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of YOU.

I'm excited to continue the 40 day challenge and continue to watch what the Lord does in our marriage and in our everyday lives. I strongly encourage you to take the challenge!!!