Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Vacation

So I know... long time no post. So I have decided to do one gigantic update on our Christmas month. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

December 9, 2008 Photo shoot in the backyard... didn't work as well as planned, but I thought these were cute. Thank you Aunt Nanny for the matcing pjs.

December 14, 2008... Since we were travelling over Christmas day, we celebrated our family Christmas early... Santa even came. I didn't get any still shots of Christmas morning, only video, but here are a couple of pics of the boys with their big toys.

Michael got a bb gun, or as I like to call it a opposum gun (we have one that is readily coming in our backyard and that is what he is hoping to shoot with it.) It is a little hard to see in the photo, but the boys each have a stick that they are pretending is their gun.

Letting Mommy give it a go.

December 19, 2008... Christmas in Austin. We celebrated with my family at my brother Jared's house. It was our family, Jared, Callie, and their two boys, and Memaw and Grandad. Jared took us on the trail of lights Saturday night, it was a blast, and the kids got to spend alot of time with Memaw and Grandad on the trail. We had to park and ride the city bus to the trail... which to find out later was Williams favorite part. And I didn't even get a picture... I was busy holding a hungry baby. We had alot of fun!!! This is the gigantic tree at the end of the trail... it is really cool if you stand under it, look up, and twirl. Here are some sweet pics of our nephews... Taylor and Andrew.

December 21, 2008 We leave Austin after dinner : Next stop... Granny and Papa's house aka Crawford, TX. (Cade was exhausted and slept almost the whole way there.)

We stayed there for the rest of the week. Here are some of the activities.Riding the go cart with Daddy, he is more fun to ride with... faster.Opening B-day presents early with Aunt Jen. Playing with the cousins.. Here are the rest of the kids in the family. Left side front to back: Emily, Cade, Alyssa. Right side front to back: Cole, Grant, & William... aka The Three Muskateers.

And the Adult Table.. Michael, Aunt Jen, Uncle Greg, Aunt Krisit, Papa, & Granny. The boys are waiting for their presents... I thought this was too cute. L to R: Grant, William, Cole, & Cade

One of our gifts from Granny and Papa was the entire family... all 14 of us going to Medieval Times for dinner on Friday Night. We had so much fun. Thank you so much. Our little night William... and yes his eyes were that red. The poor boys had allergies and colds the entire time we were gone, but they didn't miss a beat, they were just a little more grumpy doing it all. :) But we made the best of it.

Friday and Saturday we spent the day in Dallas doing two more Christmases with extended family... it was alot of fun to see all our Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and Cousins. Michael's side... we will have to travel soon to go see my side. So that is the grand update, and I'll try to do better now that the holidays are over. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, filled with the blessings of friends and family!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thumbs must be better than candy!

Well as mentioned in the last post, William stopped sucking his thumb a while back and last week Brennan started sucking his. :) It is just so stinkin cute when babies do it, but I'm still pushing the paci. Anyways, here are a few pics of our sweet baby and his new found friend. :)

Christmas Quiz.

Sorry I have been so bad about posting lately. I feel like I don't have a single second to do anything extra, but I know the time will come. So I got tagged and thought I would share. I have a ton of pics to come, but for today you will just have to wait. Oh and by the way any of you that read the last blog will fing this funny.... 3 weeks after William stopped sucking his thumb, Brennan has now started. Anyways, here we go..

The Christmas Quiz!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping

2. Real tree or Artificial? artificial and prelit!!! What a great invention.

3. When do you put up the tree? Friday after Thanksgiving, Michael is usually at work and the kids and I get everything decorated and put the ornaments on that night as a family.

4. When do you take the tree down? Before New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE IT. We have already gone through 2 gallons this season

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Teddy Bear, that I asked for all year long.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad

8. Easiest person to buy for? Jeanifer (my sister in law)

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but it is fisherprice:)

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? What are Christmas Cards?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't know if I can say. :)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I love the old animated cartoons. Rudolph and Frosty.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? in October.

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas dinner (all of it)

16. Lights on a tree? White, I love all white! On the house on the tree, everywhere

17. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song, by Nat King Cole (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire) Its putting a smile on my face right now:)

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? We just like to be with family. Santa usually comes to our house early, and then we travel on Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Yes, but I have to sing them.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. Made of Cardboard and covered with aluminum foil, it is a strange Caldwell tradition that I love and completely embrase.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We always do it before christmas day, but we act like it is christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? No.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We have a very country christmas theme.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I think I would have to say sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pecans, and brown sugar. It's like getting to eat dessert early:)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To be with Family! and to watch the boys grow relationships and play with their cousins

Well their you have it. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

William is Not a baby anymore!

So, the last week has been a little hard for mommy! My biggest boy is growing up so quickly right now. He is saying such big words and phrases, understands so much, and is giving up all things that make him dependant. Including his blanket! As many of you know William has sucked his thumb with his blanket since he was 3 months old. Recently we have started warming him up to the idea of giving up his blanket and not sucking his thumb anymore. We also mentioned to him that he is getting to be a big boy and that he has to stop sucking his thumb to be a really big boy. He has pretty much blown us off and said, but I'm not that big yet. So we haven't pushed anything. However, one day two weeks ago, William ran up to me in the kitchen and said, "Mom, if I quit sucking my thumb can I have a skateboard?" .

Mom: "of course, but you realize that you have to put your blanket in the keepsake box and you can't have it back ever. Not for nap and not for bedtime, ok?"

William: "ok, where is the box?"

Mom: "are you sure?"

William: "yes, where is the box"

So we made a sticker chart, and 5 days later we went to walmart and bought a skateboard. He has only asked for his blanket one time and plays with his skateboard every time we go outside. Anyways with his new found independence, I have been a little sentimental! Ok a Lot sentimental!!! So here it is a few past pictures of my first baby and now big boy(tear)!

6 months old

13 months old (notice the blanket)

14 months old (blanket again)

24months old(still have the blanket & a new brother)

William and Cade with Michaels Grandad and MeMaw

William the day he gave up his blanket ( I made him hold it for the picture)

And my big boy with his skateboard,gear and all.

Isn't he cute!!! this is his skater pose:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How bout them RAIDERS

So this will be my last post for a while I'm sure. I'm caught up with my updating.... so I want to leave you with one last comment.
Go Raiders!
Wreck'em Tech!!

Just call me Erkel

William came out of the bathroom today with a big smile on his face and said, "Mommy, look at this. I like my pants like this." All I could do is laugh. He is so silly. I think I'm going to start calling him Steve Erkel. :)

Just Being Cute

So I don't blog much about Brennan these days, because lets face it... William and Cade provide so much hilarious material, I can barley keep up. However, I don't want to miss any opportunities to show off my littlest blessing. So I thought I would just post a few pics of Brennan doing what he does best, being cute... and sleeping. :)
Sweet Angel
Checkin out his toys...

Halloween, he is even giving his scarry face.

Sweet baby, cuddling with Mommy.

Michael the Barber

Michael never ceases to amaze me with his abilities.
Today he added another talent to his list, Barber!
The boys needed haircuts and we are trying to save some money for the Holidays, so I gave in and let Michael give it a try!!! HOLY COW! He did such a fantastic job, and Cade had never been so good getting his hair cut. We made our barber shop outside, so no clean up needed; and they even got dum-dum suckers when they were finished, because isn't' that the best part anyways. Here are a few pictures of the event. :)
Cade During

Cade After

William During
William After

Here is what Brennan did, while we played Barber shop.

Ok, I know these pics are a little late, but I wanted to share them anyways. Here are our sweet boys with their Halloween costumes. This was actual Halloween night, We went trick or treating and then came home for pizza, caramel apples, and CANDY!!!

Here is Cade enjoying some yummy pizza.

William posing with his pumpkin.

Trick or Treat!!! Brennan slept through Halloween:)

Lets try that one more time:)

Ok, so this is just a random pic of Brennan, but he is getting so big and I wanted to show how sweet he is. He is sitting in his Bumbo, checking out a few toys.
Can't you see the look of concentration:)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sooner than Later

I knew that sooner than later my precious, cute, sweet, caring boys will turn into rambunctious, loud, hungry, smelly teenagers.. However I didn't expect it so soon. The other day at lunch Cade leaned to the side and let one rip. He thought it was hysterical. Then he did it again, and again; laughing hysterically after each time. I was proud of Michael because he didn't jump on the opportunity to encourage this behavior or to pat him on the back for his accomplishments; but he did have to excuse himself to go to another room to laugh. Well I guess I'll prepare myself, but I have made Michael promise he will always remember that I'm still a girl and some things should not be done infront of girls...even if it is their mom.

Communication Barriers

There is obviously a communication barrier in our home...

Audra: William, you need to knock off the fits.

Will: (looking into space)

Audra: Please, Tell me what I just said.

William: You said I need to knock it off the fence.

Later in the evening...

William is running to his room to find a mask to complete his pajama ensemble.

William: Mom, just hold on to something and I'll be right back.

I'm starting to wonder if I ever make sense to William, he probably thinks I'm speaking gibberish all the time.

Wisdom beyond his Years

Michael is constantly amazing me with his outlook on life and biblical issues. Here is the story.

Note: This journey has been filled with Godincedences - explanation: We don't believe that things just happen (coincidence), but instead that God provides and has impeccable timing. So we like to use the term Godincedence.

As many of you know we had a thriving church family at Alpine Church of Christ in Longview, TX. Service opportunities were abundant, the large amount of dedicated young couples provided friendships that constantly gave encouragement and support to one another; and the strong and enthusiastic children's ministry was the perfect environment for my children to learn about God, meet wonderful friends, and start a foundation for their personal faith. Then (long pause) we moved to Corpus... (music: dun dun duuuuun) Ok it's not that bad, but I wanted to make a good transition.... :)
We struggled to find a church family and visited many different congregations. Then for some reason one of the congregation that we had visited early on and had decided it was not for us, was on my heart, so we visited one more time. What we had perceived as a very "traditional" and stagnant church seemed to have a new passion. So we decided to check it out a little more. Over the next month we got to know many of the members, several of them that have now become our best friends, and grew a love for the congregation and the needs it had and service we might could offer. After about a year, the congregation came to a "Y" in the road. Much of the congregation was looking for growth, but there were others that were happy the way it was. It seemed like all of a sudden everything came to a screeching halt, and the "traditional" stagnant family was back. The young couples class that we had been working on with two other couples was not growing, nor was the children's ministry. Two ministries that are obviously close to my heart. Worship became blah and church became a duty... all the passion I had for corporate worship and service to our church family was quickly vanishing. This period seemed to drag on for a long time and Michael and I were both discouraged. However, I was to a point that I was ready to throw in the towel on this "stagnant" congregation and look elsewhere. I felf like we could not serve in a congregation that snuffed out opportunities and closed doors. Michael, although discouraged, encouraged me to keep my faith and trust that God would provide. "Lets give it a little more time." and He was right. In a matter of months, so much has changed, so much growth has taken place. We have had a series of parenting and marriage classes that have proven to be an outreach to the community. The Wednesday night children's program "Kid's Town Rocks" has excited William and the teachers in that ministry have been such a blessing to our family. This has also encouraged our Wednesday night attendance and brought us closer to many of the young families... which most of them Godincidentally have recently moved to the area. I was also Godincidentally reintroduced to a childhood friend, that moved to the area over the summer, who's husband is now our college minister, another new ministry and door for growth and teaching. I have seen so many brought to God over the last several months, and the passion for God is now visible in our church family. The growth and passion for those who had become disengaged aka Me.. is reaffirmed. I could go on and on with details, but I won't... I mostly wanted to tell this story to encourage any of you who might be struggling with this yourself... God is listening, just keep trusting in Him, continue to keep your personal study going, and His answer will eventually become visible to you. Remember God has impeccable timing. And also remember Gods, biblical order. Trust in the leaders around you. In corporate worship and in your personal household. Michael truly is the head of our household in every way and I am so blessed to have him. Although we are a team, and make so many decisions together, I am so glad he put his foot down on this issue, and reminded me that I had taken God our of the equation. Michael showed great wisdom to me during this time, and encouraged me to wait and give God a chance to work. To not limit God's abilities to open hearts and provide what we needed. I was reminded through all this to trust in God and also to trust in my husband and partner God blessed me with, the head of our house hold, and spiritual leader of our family. After all this I pray that we are all able to reach others around us, to be an encouragment to one another, and that God will provide us with wisdom beyond our years to handle opportunites that come our way in a manner that opens hearts to His work.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Top Dogs

Last night was our fall fest/Halloween carnival at church. It was so much fun and we all dressed up. Here we are, Daddy and Mommy dog and our litter of puppies. I had so much fun making the costumes and they were so easy that the boys got to help. They were so proud! Brennan wasn't crying about his costume, but he Dislikes his car sear so much!!!
This is what he does instantly when buckled!

On our way out to go home, Dr. Denman asked if William would like to help him drive the tractor for the hay ride!!! William loved it. Thanks Dr. Denman!!!

Cade wasn't sure about all the costumes and ended up getting held most of the night! Here is the greatest Daddy in the world with a sleeping baby in one arm(the small white lump with small black spots) and an unsure toddler in the other. (Cade kept taking his ears off)


Cade loves to play with the little people farm!!! However, I think he is a little confused, isn't the horse supposed to be in the stall instead of the farmer?

Here are William and Cade posing for the camera... sorry I posed this one twice.
I got creative for our fall fest cake walk. These are rice crispie treats. Yummy.