Friday, October 25, 2013


Saturdays are different than they were in Amarillo.  We are pretty much back on the law school/ Virginia schedule.  This means that Jared has to work part of the day every single Saturday.  But we always manage to do something fun as a family.  On busy days, it is simple.  One Saturday we went for donuts in the morning: 

This past Saturday we went to the Houston zoo with one of Jared's co-workers and family.  This is the boys with Mr. Scott's little boy:

Micah and Cameron

We have gone to Bass Pro Shop, the neighborhood playground, cousin's houses, Lowe's, and Los Cucos.  We always had time with Dada in Williamsburg and we have time with him now.  But I will tell you that the time we have is suddenly very precious again.  The boys very much look forward to Saturday time with D.

Micah Started School!

This picture is from last winter when Micah first starting talking about going to school.  He has been waiting and waiting for so long!  First he was told that he had to be 3 to go to school.  Then he was told that he had to be potty trained.  Mostly Jared and I were waiting to find out about the school district program and whether Micah would qualify before we seriously looked into anything else.  We kind of figured that would give us enough time to get Micah potty trained either way.

But alas!  Micah is still not even very close to being potty trained.  And he started school anyway.  There is, I am sure, some bad parenting in that scenario.  But I thought he was ready for school and that we should pursue it even if he wasn't making big progress with potty training.  So here's how it came about:

Micah did a screening with the school district and they recommended doing a full evaluation.  We decided to do the evaluation, even though we were doubtful that he would qualify for the program. But I had a nagging feeling that it might not be the best option for Micah.  I asked about some private programs and did some online research but was still holding off until we heard more from the district.  But when the full evaluation was finally being scheduled, we backed out.  The school where Micah would attend, we found out, was about 25 min. from our house and in a bad part of town.  Since our only real goal for Micah this year is socialization we figured a private church preschool would be more than fine.  

I signed Micah up for the M,W,F class at Memorial Lutheran Preschool.  Really two days a week would be fine, but Micah loves his tumbling class on Tuesdays, so I didn't want to change that.  Plus Thursday is the library story time, and Micah enjoys that too.  

Monday was Micah's first day at Memorial Lutheran.  I put the camera in the car the night before so I wouldn't forget to take a picture of him walking into school on his first day.  I still forgot!  But here are a few pics of me picking him up from HIS VERY FIRST DAY of school:

His teachers say he's doing great interacting with friends and participating in the activities.  His only oddity is his interest in the a/c units that are right outside the playground fence.  Micah's favorite school activities are painting and recess.  He says thank you in his prayers for Ms. Laura and Ms. Tina, and he talks about kids in his class.  So I feel really good about our decision.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Meet Griffin!

From the time Jared and I were dating we talked about getting a dog someday.  I think our first real fight when we were dating was about whether a dog should be allowed inside the house or not.  You can see who won that argument!  We started talking about it some more in Amarillo once the possibility got a little closer.  We said when Luke was 7.  After we moved into our house, it was maybe this summer.  And then it was suddenly this week.

Here's how it all came about.  Two weeks ago I was browsing the shelter website and saw some super cute puppies.  I called Jared to look and he said, "Let's go look at one!" and he was totally serious.  But I wasn't ready for a puppy.  I don't know anything about training a puppy.  We didn't have anything for a puppy (bed, food, etc.) and plus it was Sunday.  But the next day I ordered a book about Puppy Training since it now seemed that we would very likely get a puppy pretty soon-- in my mind I bumped it up to Christmas.  I read what I thought were the most important chapters first:  picking the right puppy and potty training your puppy.  

My downfall was that I still browsed the website.  I soon realized that the cutest puppies last only a few days at most.  On Tuesday I saw this:


So that evening I ran the boys to Walmart where we picked up a bed, food, leash, crate, dog toys, food dish, carpet cleaner.  All the essentials.  Just to be READY when we found the right dog.  And I spent Wednesday looking at the sight over and over throughout the day.  When I showed Jared he said we should check it out.  I knew "Harry" as he was labeled would never last the weekend.  So on Thursday the boys and I (along with Cara and Libby Rae) went to check him out.  We didn't last 10 seconds before we were head over heels.  We couldn't bring him home that day because the shelter has a rule that a dog can't leave before it's fixed.  So Griffin had surgery Friday morning, and we picked him up Friday evening.   We all love him.  The boys run around and play with him and try to boss him around. They think having a dog is the best thing ever.  And so far I really like taking care of him.  It definitely feels like he is the perfect dog for our family.  Even Jared who swore dogs should never be in the house has taken to sneaking Griffin into his office.

Ignore the wee wee and check out the wink.

I don't know why all the pictures from my camera came out with his eyes looking a freakish blue.  They are black.  I need to learn how to edit.

So you may be asking, "How did you come up with Griffin?"  To be honest, I don't really know.  Luke wanted Steven which I just think is a ridiculous name for a dog.  Micah wanted Gus which I actually think is cool, but Luke was very much against.  (Originally Micah wanted "Sister Anderson," but I explained that the puppy was a boy.)  Jared didn't know what he wanted, but he knew he didn't want Steven.  So I just started throwing names out there.  Anything that came into my head I threw out as an option.  Boone?  The boys said no.  Rider?  The boys said no.  Bruno?  No.  Boots?  No.  And on and on.  Until... Griffin?  They both paused.  They tried it out, and the dog became Griffin.  His full name, according to Luke, is Griffin Steven Wilkerson.  Whatever.  Jared is actually not a huge fan of Griffin, but by the time Jared got home on Friday night the boys had been calling the puppy Griffin for 3 hours, and the name just wasn't going to change without a big fight.  So Griffin it it.  I think it fits.

You may also be thinking, "What kind of sissy dog is that?"  I once thought little dogs were sissy dogs, and Jared did too.  But our boys are interested but skittish around big dogs, so a little dog seemed a better fit for them.  Throw in our very little back yard and a novice dog trainer (me), and it seemed like a little dog was the way to go.

He is a sweet, sweet puppy.  He has barked maybe twice?  But he makes a really weird noise that sounds kind of like a duck.  We think that is pretty funny.  He loves to cuddle, and he follows us around.  He does jump up and has had a few accidents, but since the carpeted areas are gated off this isn't a big deal.  Yet.  If it continues a long time it will get to be a problem.  If we can't supervise he goes in his crate, and so far he hasn't been a bad whiner when he has to go in.  He might cry for a few minutes but he settles quickly.  He is already responding to "Come."  I think he's going to be a good dog.  We'll just have to be consistent, and I know he'll pick up quickly.

Anyway, comment away and tell me how cute he is.  Love him!

Grandma and Grandpa

Mom and Dad Wilkerson came for a whirlwind visit the second week in October.  They drove in late Tuesday night.  I knew the visit would be short, so I let Luke play hooky on Wednesday.  We took Grandma and Grandpa to the neighborhood rec center and play ground in the morning.  Then we drove downtown to meet Dada for lunch.  He took us to the underground tunnels where we found a Korean restaurant.  Happy Stacy.  We wish we could have stayed with Dada longer, but he had to get back to some very fun doc review.

So Grandma, Grandpa, the boys, and I moved on to the zoo.  Here we are at the sea lions where we watched for quite a while.  Right when we arrived the zoo keeper was feeding them, and that was neat to see.  It was also cool to watch them glide around in the water.  The boys liked the sea lions, but what REALLY kept them fascinated were the drains in their tank.

We explored the monkeys for awhile, and we ate a snack over by the tigers.  Then we went to the children's section where there is a playground, petting zoo, and carousel.  We were the only people on the carousel, so apparently Wednesday is a great day to go to the zoo.  At least while school is in session.  There were "regular" fans mounted around the carousel, and Luke really REALLY wanted the man to turn them off.  The man told Luke to close his eyes and say the magic word, "Abracadabra!" and the fans would turn off.  While Luke had his eyes closed, the man snuck into the control room and flipped the switch.  Luke thought he was magic and kept asking how he turned the fans off.  I finally told him that the man had just tricked him so he would STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!

We stayed for a little over 2 hours and didn't even come close to seeing everything.  It was a much different experience than the Amarillo zoo where you can see everything in 20 minutes.  Both zoos have their good points, but overall the Houston zoo is more fun.  We tried to beat traffic by leaving around 4:30.  We didn't.  It was pretty backed up, and I just followed the GPS directions and got on a tollway that was EZ tag only.  I'm not at all familiar with the downtown roads, and I just figured the signs were for 1 or 2 lanes while the others would have a booth.  I was wrong.  So I'm just waiting for that ticket to come in the mail.  Boo!  Overall, a very fun day though.

On Thursday we didn't do anything special in the morning.  I had meetings at Luke's school.  When I came home Mom and I went shopping to get fabric for living room curtains.  Our windows are very tall, and we needed them to be 120 inches.  Can't find that in the store, so we had to make them.  I was lucky that Mom has that kind of talent because I'm still a novice in that department.  We found the perfect fabric at Walmart of all places and then rushed home to meet Luke's bus.

After Luke got home we went to the boys' favorite hangout:


And then home for dinner and boys' bedtime.  After the boys were in bed and the kitchen cleaned up, Mom and I got to work.  It took until 1 am to finish the curtains, but we got them done.  I say "we" but to be honest Mom did all the sewing.  I cut and pinned and practiced threading the machine.  I need to make some more pillow cases and things like that before I make anything that is going out in the open.  Or anything that costs that much per yard!

They turned out beautiful.  Pictures to come soon.  Thanks, Mom!

It was a wonderful visit, but we wish it had been LOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGEEEEERRRRR!

Next time we'll take them to Space Center Houston.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Micah's Birthday

Micah turned THREE on September 29.  It is amazing how fast the time has flown by!  We had a simple party for Micah on the 28th since the 29th was a Sunday.  Micah had 2 requests:  the bounce house and a pink cake with M&Ms.  

It was a family only party only since Micah doesn't have any friends of his own yet.  How sad!  (We have since met a few children close to his age, so that is changing.)  But Micah LOVES his family, and he was so happy that he could see almost everyone at his party.  

First there was pizza at our house.  Then we opened presents.  Micah got lots of Thomas trains!  From Emily and family he got Thomas and Emily (the gleaming green engine.)  Cara and Libby gave Micah Gordon and Flynn the fire truck.  Percy and James were from Mima, and Grandma and Grandpa gave Charlie, the cheeky purple engine.  Micah was so excited!    

Micah got several books and a very neat set of puzzles from the Herrera/ Duarte's.  Do any of y'all remember the book "The Monster at the End of This Book?"  I LOVED that book when I was younger, and the boys now love it too!

Micah also got a pink pig!

Micah loves pink, and he loves pigs.  Pink pigs to be exact.  He was so happy to see this.  He named his pig Pinky, and he keeps it in his bed to sleep with at night.

After presents it was time for cake.  I have to say pink with M&Ms was pretty easy to deliver!

He was happy with it.

After cake we went to the "bounce house."  We planned to go to Pump It Up, but when we got there we found out there isn't open jump on Saturdays-- only birthday parties.  I hadn't booked a party because I felt that was overkill for a family party.  So we caravanned up the road a few blocks to Monkey Joes.  This was still a pretty good place but much larger than the other one and a little scarier to keep track of the little ones.  I'm glad he got his bounce house party, but I think we'll stick with Pump It Up whenever possible.

On Sunday Micah got his present from Mom and Dad.  A new trampoline!  With the party and the rain we couldn't put it together on Saturday, so Michael came over after church and helped Jared put it together.   The boys had missed not having a trampoline.  The weather thrashed the trampoline in Amarillo and completely destroyed the enclosure.  We wanted one that would be safe for little ones (Libby Rae and Beckett) to play on too.  So we left our old one with a family in Amarillo that has older kids.  Our yard here is pretty small, so a little trampoline fits better.  Plus, with little visitors, a smaller trampoline lets kids get on and off by themselves safely.  The boys can still jump and play, but it is harder for adults to join them.  In lots of ways the bigger trampoline was better, but this one is great for now.

A very happy birthday to my favorite 3-year-old boy!

The Little Gym

Luke and Micah both love their tumbling classes.  They started their classes in September.  I did research online and then called a couple of gymnastics studios.  The Little Gym of Katy seemed like the best fit.  There is only 1 class at a time which I LOVE.  Also the teacher student ratio is low, so the kids get a lot of attention and it is easy to keep control at all times.  There is a nice lobby behind glass windows so I can see the class the whole time.  I am grateful for this during Luke's class on Monday evenings because I can keep Micah entertained in the lobby with books, etc. and keep an eye on Luke as well.  Also, the whole environment is geared towards younger children.  There is a lot of music and repetition. 

Luke loves to walk up the wall holding on to a low bar.  He also loves the jump track and the balance beam.

Micah loves the balance beam.  He also likes hanging from the bars and doing somersaults.  He is so proud of himself that he can do one without help!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


On labor day we went to "Pump It Up" with Michael, Cara, and Libby Rae.  The boys were very excited to play with Libby and show off to Michael and Cara.

Micah is a great climber!

Luke is a great jumper!

and a brave slider.

This is a tornado simulator.  It blows really fast, really loud wind.  Michael took the boys in there, and I thought there might be a freak out.  But they loved it! (Headphones required.)

They had to do it again with Cara.

Later in the day, after Jared was done working, he and I took the boys to Bass Pro Shop.  And we happened to run into Jeff, Aunt Lori, Brevin, and Keaton.  Luke and Micah were so excited to see more cousins!  They looked at fish:

Drove some boats:

and saw the fish again.

Emily joined them with Beckett a little later and then we all went to eat at Fudruckers.  Days like that are awesome!  I LOVE the chance to be with family.