Friday, November 30, 2012

Letter to Luke

Dear Luke,

You are my brown-eyed handsome boy.  I love you so much!  Luke, when you were born you jump-started me on my journey into motherhood.  It has always been my most heart-felt wish to be a mother. I am so blessed to be yours.  No one else in this world could teach me the special and specific lessons that you have taught me.  Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me!

Luke, you are funny and original.  And you can make people see the wonders around you.  I've seen grown people stare at you as they realize that vacuums really ARE cool, air conditioners really ARE interesting, and that bug really IS amazing.  You introduce your friends to new ideas.  You can get an entire room of kids interested in the things you like.  Why?  Because you are a passionate person!  That amount of energy and excitement demands a response, and you sure get one.  I hope you always keep the attribute of passion.  Your intensity for the things you love will drive you to great heights.  I can't even tell you the number of people who have told me they just know that you are going to do great things with your life.  I am sure that they are right.

Luke, for all your quirks and self-made rules you are generally an adaptable person.  You feel at home wherever you are.  You embraced Amarillo and our life here, and I know you will do the same wherever our life takes us.  This is a wonderful gift.

You have a lot of love in you, Luke.  And you love people easily.  I love to watch you with your family-- all of your family.  Even without seeing them often, you have forged a special bond with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (and an adopted family too!)  I hope you know and always remember how many people love you.  And I hope you feel joy knowing that you make them feel special by loving them so much in return.

You have many gifts, Luke.  One of your greatest gifts is perseverance.  When you want something you go for it ALL THE WAY.  Whether it be a chance to turn on a fan or learning to ride a bike, you won't quit until you figure out how to get it.  

Another of your wonderful gifts is bravery.  You have dealt with some difficult things already in your five years, and a lot of these challenges were frightening for you.  But you have overcome so many of your fears!  I am so proud of you!  You probably don't remember being afraid of some of these things, but these are some of the fears you have conquered: getting wet, walking on sand, going into a public restroom, riding the bus, eating cereal, going to nursery, sleeping with the light off, hearing a police siren, touching a dog, and many more things.  D and I have pushed you so hard in your short little life, and you have met every expectation because YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.  I am so proud of the things you have learned and the progress that you have made.  You are my special big boy.  You are my favorite five-year-old in the whole wide world.

Love and kisses,


PS.  Here are a few (wink, wink) pictures to illustrate how you have filled my life with joy!

 Right before we moved to Virginia from Utah
Our new home in Williamsburg
 1st Halloween
1st birthday
 Christmas with Mima and Papa
Spring '09

 Summer '09
In Houston for the summer
 Camping trip, fall '09
 This interest started early and hasn't abated AT ALL.
 2nd birthday
 And this is Luke.  
 Virginia Living Museum spring '10
 Amber's trip to Virginia to help out while Mama was sick
(no pics with Mima?)
Bringing Micah home
A little too much of a Mama's boy
1st family pics
3rd birthday
Christmas in Nevada '10
 March '11-- first day of school!
 1st teacher-- Ms. Alicia
 Love this picture!
 Spring '11
Potty training
 Another summer in Houston
(visiting San Antonio with Papa)
 At the boardwalk
 Fall '11
1st day of 2nd year of preschool
Ms. Daisy helping you onto the bus
4th birthday
convincing your friends that the vacuum is the best toy in the room
learning to play hide-and-seek
Easter '12
 New GREEN glasses
 Speech teacher-- Ms. Nelson
 2nd preschool teacher-- Ms. Sara
Conquering fears (ABA therapy)
 Amber's wedding July '12
New home in Amarillo, TX
1st day of third year of preschool
 Pumpkin patch, Amarillo
November countdown
5th birthday

We love you, Luke!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quotes to Remember

Every once in awhile my kids say something and I think, "I've got to remember that!"  Here are two quotes that I want to remember: one from Luke and one from Micah.

About a week ago, Micah fell in the kitchen and started to cry.  I scooped him up and took him to the couch to hug him and rock him.  Through his tears he was saying something that was hard for me to understand.  I finally realized he was chanting over and over, "Too bad!  Too bad!"  And I laughed as I realized that I say that a lot when he gets hurt.  "Oh!  That's too bad!"

Also about a week ago, I heard Luke say, "Derlick!" when he was trying to fix something and couldn't quite do it.  I heard him say it again when he dropped something.  I said, "Luke, what does derlick mean?"  He said, "You know.  It means like 'Oh my goodness!'  It's what you say."  And that's when I figured out he was trying to say Darn It!  HaHaHa.  I've explained to him that the expression is "Darn It," but I guess he prefers Derlick because that's what he still says.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I have to begin this post with some quick background information.  In my effort to make a good impression on Jared's co-workers I made some cookies one Friday for Jared to take to work.  Then the next week we made some cinnamon rolls for him to take-- mostly because I wanted them, but I didn't want an entire cookie sheet full.  Those turned out so well that I wanted them again a couple of weeks later, so we did it again.  And now it has become somewhat of a tradition to the point that on Fridays Jared's co-workers ask him what he brought.  There are, however, a few people who don't work Fridays and have missed out on these tasty treats.  We wanted to give them a real doozy of a snack, so one Monday morning Jared brought in delicious HOMEMADE kolaches.

We love kolaches in our house!

So here's the story of kolaches.  In the time I was away from Texas I ALWAYS had to have a kolache or two whenever I came for a visit.  They are so good that, in my opinion, they rank up with BBQ brisket as one of the best foods in Texas.  Up until a few weeks ago I used my pigs-in-a-blanket dough to make some passable kolaches when I was really dying for them, but they really weren't anything like the kind I would buy at the donut shops.  And so they didn't totally fulfill the NEED.  I assumed that in moving to Texas I would now be treated to delicious, warm, melt in your mouth Texas kolaches like I was missing.  But alas!  We haven't found a donut shop in Amarillo that makes them.  So we went on a hunt via the internet for a good kolache recipe.  Jared found a winner!

Is your mouth watering?

If not, then you have never had a true kolache experience.  And you MUST try this recipe.  So click on the link below and have a great breakfast!

Oh, 2 final tidbits about the recipe.  We did not use little smokies.  We used the frozen sausage links (like the Jimmy Dean links), thawed first.  Also, we used grated cheddar cheese instead of American cheese, and both changes worked great.  Next time we're going to switch it up and do some sausage, some bacon, and some ham.  I can't wait.

Didn't see that one coming...

A couple of weeks ago we checked out "The Story of Babar" from the library.  The book, in all honesty, was a lot stupider than I remember.  Isn't that funny about childhood books/ movies?  But that's not the point.  Luke liked the book, and we read it several times.

So on Monday morning, with Luke home sick from school, we were looking for a show to watch on Netflix, and Babar seemed like a good idea.  In the book, Luke wasn't phased at all about Babar's mother being killed by a hunter.  In the movie, however, it was a lot more scary.  First of all, there were noisy gunshots.  Secondly, the hunter really did look pretty scary.  Luke seemed a bit tense, but he was alright.

But then, after Babar got to the city, he was chased by a policeman brandishing a gun.  Luke crouched down and plugged his ears.  I asked him if he was okay, and I said I thought we should turn the movie off.  I'm not sure if my concern was the trigger, but what followed was about a 10 minute total meltdown.  He started beating the keyboard with his fist.  He screamed.  He cried.  I pulled him onto my lap and reassured him that the movie was off.  He asked question after question about why guns are loud, about why the hunters were mean, about what would happen to Babar, about what would happen to him.  He was really shaken up!  The first few minutes we just tried to calm Luke down and help him use words to express his feelings/ needs.  "I feel scared.  I don't like this movie.  Turn it off."  And then we answered his questions.  He cuddled with Mama and D for a long time.  And now we know NEVER to watch Babar or ANY movie with guns, etc. ever again.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rock Stars

The absolute best part about living in Amarillo is Jared's 9 hour/ day job.  It's wonderful having so much time with him.  The boys love it as well.  They get  D time jumping on the trampoline, reading books, and lately, PLAYING THE GUITAR.  

It started a week or so ago.  I had to go somewhere, and while I was gone Jared pulled out his bass guitar and had a jam session with the boys.  Luke and Micah had so much fun strumming the strings and playing with the amp that Luke asks to play several times a week.  Usually Jared is happy to oblige.  Sometimes they get the toy screw drivers and drag them over the string to pretend they are playing a violin too.  Such musical aspirations!