Thursday, April 29, 2010


          It amazes me that I have had this little guy in my life for 335 days already!!  I hardly recognize the chubby little newborn in the above picture.  The sweet little guy who'd lazily sleep in my arms all day (cause I didn't want to put him down).  The baby whose life goal was to eat happily and sleep dreamily.  Nope.  I definately don't have that child anymore.
       Here is my 11 month old Bubba today!  This big boy loves to play in the pantry, freezer, fridge, name it...if the door is open, he's in it.  He will be all across the room and you think you can get the dishes quickly put away. Not so.  Slap, Slap, he comes....we call it ru-awlling (that's running/crawling...seriously, he is so fast!) to get to the open dishwasher.
         This is his other favorite place to be.  No matter how many times we try to remember to latch the dog's cage shut, he finds it open and crawls on in. To play with the ball.  He loves balls.  Momma would just prefer that he doesn't play with the puppy's......
       The stairs still intimidate him.  He rolled down them once (I was there, don't worry) and every since then, he just stands at the bottom and stares up them longingly.  It's actually quite funny how he will hike his leg up to put it on the next step and then decide mid-movement not to.  I'm sure he'll be up them no time. 
         He will find the most interesting things to play with too.  All the doorstops are off in my house- he has found a way to take all of them off the wall - so, don't be slamming any doors open around here!  And you know the first place they end up- his mouth!  He loves flip flops- loves to chew on the toes.....eww right?  If I could just get his brother & sister to take them off upstairs!  Momma's lenscap, Sissy's bookmarks, Daddy's iPhone, Brody's legos...nothing is SAFE.  So the house is pretty sparse right now.
        For a few days this Spring we had the windows open - only a few days...we live in Texas...the air is already on here.  I thought it was adorable how he would sit at the window all day.  I thought he was watching all that was going on outdoors.  Oh no.  See where his finger is?  There were about 20-30 tiny dead worms.  Yum.  Protein.  
       All that "pincher" practicing with his fingers and thumbs has made him love to feed himself.  I can barely get 5 bites of the mushy food down him anymore.  He loves to eat cheerios, bananas, peaches, peas, carrots, blueberries, blackberries, noodles, mac & cheese, chicken, oh he loves it all!  And despite the funny face....he absolutely loves his carrots.  Much better than the dead worms.
        And his favorite person right now is his Daddy.  He will flash a mega-watt grin as soon as his Dad walks in the room.  He reaches for him.  He says "Da-DA-DA-DA" non-stop.  He and Matt have such a sweet relationship.  I love it.
        Bubba Boy- thank you for the last 11 months.  You have been such a fun addition to our family and I can't imagine life with out you.  I'd love to go on and on about how adored you are, but in the time i have written this, you have done 3 laps in the house.  Did you get enough exercise in for a nice long nap???

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No More Regular Chicken

       Meet Brody (that's not his real name, but go with me....).  He's my middle child.  Brody doesn't get talked about a lot here on the blog b/c the baby seems to take up 99.9% of the spotlight and his older sister takes up the other 0.1% (only b/c she lets me take her picture).  Brody doesn't want the spotlight- most of the time, he runs from me when the camera is out.  In fact, the only reason I have the above picture is because he had just lost his 2 front teeth.  Pretty cute, isn't he?
       For a long time, Brody was my baby boy- he and I have a pretty special bond.  Matt says I baby him too much, but I know that time will be gone soon enough, so if the kid will still let me smother him in kisses, I'll do it!  With the addition of Bubba,  I don't get enough Brody time.  And I am noticing that he is become ever-so independent.       
      He does his homework on his own.  Has chores around the house.  Loves to build anything - legos, paper, random trash he finds at the all becomes a creation.   He loves anything cammo - and he especially loves learning about the past wars.  Over Spring Break, we went to the Pacific War Museum in Fredricksburg, TX - And while I thought most of it was way above his head, He loved it!
He loves catching frogs....
And is learning how to mow.....already???

      But the one thing this kiddo has not yet mastered.....eating.  He loves his staples - chicken nuggets, fish sticks, grilled cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches.  Broccoli? Definitely not.  Strawberries?  Nope.  Grilled chicken?  Never.  Mashed potatoes?  Hates um.  Pizza?  Absolutely not.  Our friends use to laugh at us, as Brody thought "regular chicken" was the nuggets.  Blech.
      Matt & I look back and shake our heads- why did we introduce him to chicken nuggets?  When did he have his first fish stick (b/c we certainly don't eat them)?  And what happened to the baby who would eat anything? Every night was a struggle to come up with something he would eat.  I was seriously cooking a separate meal for him each night.
      This had to change.  So, in January we took a stand.   It started with 2-3 pieces of whatever meat we were having that night.  He had to eat them before he would get his Chicken/fish crap.  You would have thought we were asking him to swallow acid.  It would sometimes take the kid 30 mins to eat just 3 bites.
       We would bargain and plead with him..... one night he lost his chance to race his car in the PineWood Derby b/c he wouldn't eat ONE bite of spaghetti.  He was seriously that stubborn. (Momma gave in and let him go... bad parenting 101!).  If he ate all his bites, he would get dessert....if he ate all his bites, he could have a friend over.... so on.....  It would take him all night, but he would do it.
        Well, I got sick of the bargaining.  After Spring Break, we went cold turkey.  Now Brody gets a plate full of everything....and I mean everything.... we are eating.  And we are cooking NO MORE regular chicken for him.  He's he eats it.  Pork chops, grilled chicken, spaghetti, tacos, broccoli, asparagus, peas, mashed potatoes...he is eating it all........
           We still have the whining.  We still have the faces.  We still go through 2 glasses of milk ("to swallow it down!") each meal.  And yes, it still may take him an hour some nights.  But my boy is eating!!!
            I'm not this mean all the time.  Believe me, the kid still gets his fair share of nuggets.  And he still eats the same boring pb sandwich every day for lunch.  But, the way I see it,  it is a step in the right direction. 
       Of course, now he likes the carrots, but I know that as soon as I get Brody converted, this one will be asking for the regular chicken. Oh boy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Party in the USA

            After my Epic Fail with the Birthday Banner, I succeeded at making Sissy's 9th Birthday Bash a blast.  And how could it not be?  3 friends, a movie, burgers & milkshakes, crafts, pillow fights, ice cream fro breakfast, and lots of giggles!!  What more could a 9-year-old want out of a birthday party??

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not A Crafty Bone in My Body

             While I so enjoy all the crafty goodness that is out there on the internet these days, I am always fearful to try any of it.  And with good reason.....I am terrible at being crafty.  No creativity to come up with a project,  no patience to take my time with it,  try to short cut my way around it....and it always comes out looking like, well, crap.  
              I ohhhh and ahhhh over some of the gorgeous stuff that Jen from Tatertots and Jello can whip up in minutes.  Seriously, where does she come up with this stuff?  Like this precious Family Rules Canvas.  I have been eyein' this for months...however, if I attempted it, it would be off-centered and the colors would not go together and I would end up putting it in a closet 'cause it just wasn't as pretty as this one:

             Another amazing crafter I adore is Vivienne from the V Spot.  She is the MacGuyver of Craftiness.  She can repurpose anything.  Just take a look at all the things she can do with spraypaint.  She is amazing when it comes to organization.  I need her for about a week.  She could organize my pantry, re-do my mantle, decide what needs to go on the very blank wall up my staircase, make a survival kit for the car....I digress.  This lady is amazing.  
             So when I saw Amber at Silver Lining come up with this adorable banner (complete with step-by-step instructions), I thought- I can make that! 
           Easy, right?  Apparently, not so for this non-crafty lady.  The turning-9 year old girl helped me pick all the supplies out at our local Hobby Lobby.  We cut the letters out, cut the zebra striped paper out, hot glued the hot pink crape paper around the was looking SO cute at this point.  We glued the letters in order on the ribbon and let it dry.

We then hung it up.

hmm.  why is it looking down?  WHAT????

yup.  Apparently, only the baby needed to be able to read it.

And that my friends, is why there will be no more crafty silliness going on in the Darling house.

              But stay tuned, cause this momma knows how to create fun memories.  And I can't wait to show you the turning-9-year old's birthday party in a fun, fun way!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

How Can I Possibly Blog About Anything Else?

i can't.  he's just too irresistible.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Not a Stalker.....I'm Not a Stalker

Maybe I've mentioned a time or two how much I love Chris Tomlin? No? Well, I do. And my enabling friend, Christie from Pop Rocks for Breakfast, knows that all too well. She dragged me kicking & screaming to yet another concert with Chris (I like to refer to him on a first name if we're friends.) Yes. This was my 5th concert in 3 years, but who's counting.

So most people don't know who Chris is. Meet the fantastic Chris Tomlin:
He is a contemporary Christian Artist whom I happen to love. He writes amazing worship songs that I bet YOU have sung once or twice in your church. I have always loved his music and have jumped at every opportunity to see him in concert. His concerts are not your ordinary momma's concerts.....he wants you to be a part of the worship. All his lyrics are written on the screen (but for his greatest fan like me, I knew all of them) so you can worship along with him. And it is an amazing experience.

This past Friday, I had the privilege of seeing Chris again. This time it was at my beloved Church, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, up in the DFW area. This was a much more intimate setting than any other venue I have seen him in before, and since I knew my way around the church, I felt like maybe...just maybe...I could run into him. Chris, that is.

Christie just laughs at me. She thinks my (ahem) obsession with Chris borders on know, cause he's a Christian artist and I'm married.....blah, blah, blah. I don't worship the man. I think what he does to carry on God's Great Word is simply amazing and I admire him. (yeah, that's a good word). I don't think it is him as much as the amazing worship experience we receive from him that I enjoy so much. Hubby has gone with me twice to see him and I know he agrees.....but still says I'm obsessed. Ok, maybe it's a little"star-struck-itis" that I have. I tend to get all giddy when meeting's ridiculous, I know. I once was ecstatic to meet Colby from Survivor. But I digress.....

We did get there early and we did get great seat (thank you Lord for general admission). And we did see a few people I knew from church that were working the concert and "tried " to get me backstage. And yes, my accomplice said she would go to meet him with me...... Uh huh...I'm not the only one with a crush......

Chris put on a simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. concert. He is all about giving glory to God all night long. He makes it abundantly clear that it is not about him (Chris)......but all about God.
Have you heard his song Indescribable before? You have probably never heard it played this way.....

Christie had a few friends at the concert who had a connection (i was so giddy!!!!) to the band. Are you ready for this?? Christie's friend's sister's husband was roommates in college with Jesse. Who is Jesse?? Chris's bassist. So cool, right?? Guess who got to meet him??

here i am, ONE degree away from Chris.
And you know I wasn't above asking him to help me meet Chris. See? Here's the proof. He was so cool about it....said he's be happy to help me meet him, if he hadn't left yet.

Jesse had lots of friends to catch up with and as time was ticking away, I made my move onstage to the door where everyone was lined up to see Chris. Unfortunately, I was a little too late as some important person told us 'Chris has left the building'. However, who comes walking out the door? Daniel. Chris's lead guitarist. Who was so gracious and nice to talk to. We had a great conversation all about Austin - they all used to lead worship at a church in downtown Austin. They just happened to move to Atlanta the same summer I moved to Austin. Figures.
So, my dear friends, the closest I came to meeting Chris was this:
And this:
I'm standing on the X where he sang from all night.
Now I realize, he is just an ordinary guy- like the rest of us. Probably likes to eat chips and salsa and watch Lost. Probably loves to watch college football (he went to A & M) and drives a big ole' truck. He is nothing special. Just someone God handpicked to share the good news with the world in a very special way. I just want the opportunity to tell him what an amazing job he does. How he touches the church and unchurched with his music. How he is a true fisher of men. And that my friends, is NOT stalking.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Thank You

Feeding the Bubba Boy has been a challenge to say the least. He HATED eating when we first tried cereal- tried for a good month until he finally got the hang if it. Then he LOVED it- would eat anything we fed him. No problems at all. Huh. That all changed last week when he suddenly discovered that fruits taste much better than anything else....

Lil' Stinker!!

Bubba and I went to Dallas this past weekend and had so much fun. We visited with friends and family, ate TONS of favorite foods and even stalked a star or two. Lots to tell you when I can get caught up in my daily life. Talk soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is This What Easter is All About?

He Is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
He is Risen INDEED!

           The Pastor at the church we attended in Dallas, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, had such meaning & conviction when he said these words at Easter.  So much so, that I can't help but hear them run through my head each Easter season. I think I will forever hear Pete saying this to us.  And that is awesome- it was at that church that I fully came to know Christ.   That I was baptized at, even though I had always been a Christian.  And that I really understood what Easter was all about.
           Easter had always been about Jesus dying on the cross and rising form the dead and ascending to heaven, but it read through my mind like a Charlie Brown monologue (You know, like when Schroder tells us the Christmas Story?).  I truly understood and grasped that Jesus had died for ME here at BTBF. And so I will forever think of Pete's words on Easter and no matter how the day passes, will remember what it is for.
            Our Easter this year was uneventful- in fact it was just a typical Sunday.  The kids started coming downstairs around 7:30 - "Can we go and see what the Easter Bunny brought us???"  I remember mumbling to them to go & watch some cartoons until the baby wakes up.... He finally wakes up and we walk into the kitchen all zombie-like to watch the kids go nuts over their Easter baskets and freak out when they see there is eggs hidden all over the downstairs:
They ran around like chickens with their heads cut off looking for eggs.
         Brody finds a golden egg and proceeds jam it under his sister's nose to "show it off".  In turn Sissy, huffs around the house, whining that she can't find the other one.  Of course, Brody finds it before her and the fight begins:
That's my golden egg!  Mom says we both get one each!
But I found it, so it's mine!
Nuh-uh!!  That's not fair- it's MINE!!

           WHAT??  Is this what Easter is about?  Golden EGGS????  I know, I started this monster in the first place but this was way out of hand.  We took their baskets and ALL eggs away and made them sit on the couch - the proceeding lecture went in one ear & out the other, but it needed to be done. Again, what is EASTER about?????
Yes, we look all put together and happy.  But both the older 2 were still steaming....

           The 10 am church service is the best one with Bubba's naps, so we leave our house about the same time we always do - BIG MISTAKE.  We waited 15 mins just to get in the parking lot, another 15 to check the kids into their class, and unfortunately had to sit in the overflow room - which means we get to "watch" church on a very big screen...but it's in HD!!!  Isn't that cool?  no.
          When I finally shake the "ugh-it's-Easter-and-I-am-not-in-"church" feeling of the HD room, Bubba's number flashes on the screen.  Not once has any of my kid's numbers flashed on the screen.  panic.  I get to the baby's room and he is being pushed in a stroller, happy as can be. "we just couldn't get him to stop crying!" But he's not crying now..... (which BTW, is so unlike Bubba to cry).  So I gather his things and take him back to the big HD room (which, did I mention is a huge auditorium that was filled with thousands......).  Try taking communion with a 10-month old.  it wasn't pretty.
          Are you exhausted yet?  I was.  But I kept focusing on what the day was about.  And that kept us going....
          I came home and gave all the kid's eggs to the baby.  just kidding.  But I did make them both tell me what Easter meant to them, why it was important and why the "golden" egg was not.  Did they get it?  Who knows.  But I can tell you- next year will NOT be about Golden eggs and chocolate bunnies....
But about family, and how blessed we are to be a happy, healthy family.  
All because Jesus loved us so.
He is Risen Indeed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Way Too Fast

I am having a hard time grasping that my first child is already 9 years old.  Where did the time go?  
          When she was born, she was our everything- she captured out hearts and we never let go.
She had this adorable face that made you smile- she giggled and laughed and was a pure joy.
 She was a happy little girl - loved to dance and sing silly songs. 
And it makes me happy that she still does.
As a first child, every experience we had with her was so fun and new.  
It was as if we were seeing things through her eyes.
She is such a caring person - wants to make everyone around her happy. 
Um, except her brother....
She is pretty fearless, and will try lots of new stuff- 
roller coasters, jumping off the diving board, tubing behind the boat.
She just jumps right in and tries things - without hesitation - 
even when it comes to trying new foods- like her favorite, broccoli.  Just kidding....
As she got older, she became more picky about what she would wear. 
 Oy, all ready? 
No more frilly dresses huh?
She loves spending time outdoors - riding bikes, hiking, playing in trees.
But her favorite thing...
It has really been a joy to watch the progression over the past 5 years.  
She has turned into a great player and I am excited to see where it leads her.
I am so proud of the beautiful, confident, helpful, friendly young lady that she has become.
She better always have time for her Number One Fan....

Happy 9th Birthday Sissy!
We love you so much and are so proud of you.
Even though these past 9 years have gone by way to fast, it has been a joy and I would not change a minute of it!

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