Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Office

Todd and I don't get a chance to watch a lot of adult television, but we usually have "a show" that we watch together. Right now, it is The Office. Its been on for 7 years but we are just getting around to watching it. We stream it through Netflix, so I don't even know if its on cable or regular TV, but It. IS. HILARIOUS. It also happens to be a bit irreverent, so it is definitely not for everyone. Todd and I actually have to rewind and watch scenes over again because we can't hear it, due to the fact we are laughing too hard. Good Times!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmastime at Our Home...

We are officially starting to enjoy the Christmas Season. Todd has our lights on the house, the reindeer in the yard and we have the Dicken's Villiage pieces throughout our living room. The girls are definitely getting bigger. It surprises me, but it is still fun. They ask to go outside constantly to "pet the reindeer" and I let them...but there is a nagging suspicion that the question they are really asking is...Can I not do school work right now? Wink wink. I have even wrapped 80% of our gift...Yay for me (too often I wait till Dec. 23 and 24th!!!

We drove through the neighborhood last night to enjoy the lights on the houses. Its quite funny to see Delaney because she is appalled when people don't have lights outside. Why don't they believe in Jesus, she asks!!! Such a dramatic stinker, she is. We have loaded lots of Christmas music onto the Ipod and the girls occasionally whip out the Karaoke machine to sing and spread Christmas Cheer...decked out in formal wear, of course :-) And we are trying to watch a Christmas movie as a family each night. We all love this!

We aren't all the way ready though...We still need to decorate our trees and I have a few more presents to wrap. I also plan to start reading a book about Advent with the girls...but haven't begun it because it hasn't arrived from Christmas yet. We haven't made our Christmas cards yet...even though I am DETERMINED to do them this year!!! And the girls haven't OFFICIALLY written their letters to Santa yet...though I am sure it will be filled with American Girl this, and American Girl that!

I'm not stressed over what has been done though...which is quite unlike the regular Judy Northrup...I'm just trying to savor it...even the to-do lists. I am trying to look at the list in an anticipatory way. And I am enjoying it. Its months like these, I really wish that time would freeze.

Merry Chrstmas Season everyone. May it be filled with Love and Friends and Family and Focus on what this time of year is all about.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Things don't make us happy...Its a saying that is quite popular. And I know that on a foundational level, its very true...but ya know what? Sometimes "things" DO make me happy :-) Right now...just knowing my brand spanking new kindle is on its way to my house warms the cockles of my heart.

I'm cheap. That's not a surprise to anyone reading this blog. So I have watched the kindle quite closely for a while. I waited for it to drop in price...starting around 3 years ago. It dropped from 300 to 189...and this year they came out with the NON- 3G one for 139. I still didn't get it. But a couple of days ago, I was looking at a new author on that I had heard good things about. Her name is E. Nesbit. She was an early 20th century author that wrote The Railway Children, The 5 Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and many many more. Well, from what my friends said on the Five in a Row board, I knew that I was going to love them and want to read them to my kids and my school library didn't have them. They were 4.99 - 10.00 ea. in paperback form, which is COMPLETELY REASONABLE...BUT they also had 16 pieces of her work...all the titles that I wanted, plus more...for .99!!! I researched further...they had other books I had been planning on getting for the girls for this price or for free...all the Wizard of Oz books, All the Anne of Green Gables books, all the Peter Pan books. So it would actually pay for itself...and rather quickly. So since I'm all about spending money if its going to save me money...I hit the purchase button and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I even bought a great little leather case for it that has a light for it. I'll post later what I think of it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Sound of Music

When I was little there were no VCRs or DVD players. You looked forward to your most favorite shows being played on the TV once a year. We would watch Romeo and Juliet on Valentines Day, The Wizard of Oz whenever it came on, and just before Christmas we would watch The Sound of Music. It happens to be my father's favorite movie of all time (even though he hates musicals), so we were pretty much guaranteed the opportunity to see this amazing film. The Christmas of 1985 we woke up to our very first VCR and my dad had been smart enough to tape it off of the television before Santa left it in front of the tree so we watched it over and over and over again :-)

This past week I had the pleasure of watching The Sound of Music with the girls. They were mesmerized by it. Kaytlynn's favorite part of the movie was the So Long, Farewell song...especially the part that they kicked each ones rear end, sending them off to bed!!! Delaney's favorite part was them escaping! My happy ending girl.

It really is wonderful being able to pass traditions on to your children. To watch them enjoy what you enjoyed and to see them giggle in delight when you explain, you too, were once 8 and danced around YOUR living room to I am 16 Going on 17...

I. AM. SO. Blessed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Read Alouds...

It amazes me how much read aloud time has changed lately. We have been really enjoying this time together...even more than usual. The girls are starting to enjoy chapter stories that AREN'T easy readers and it has been such a pleasure to enjoy these quality books.

It is easy to find age appropriate, high quality picture books. They surround us in our home. Finding an AGE APPROPRIATE high quality chapter book is another thing altogether. Its not that they aren't there...but I do have to stop and actually "think" about it for a second.

Some that I have in mind for the rest of the year...and some you might want to try with yours at home if you are looking for some ideas...


3. 4.



So that's my not-so-distant future list. What else would you recommend? Do you have any experience with any of these? I'm sure you noticed that all of them, except Edward Tulane are not exactly new...I don't know why that is ...other than the fact that right now, Kaytlynn has been in love with some oldies. Oldies like Madeline, Katy and the Big Snow, and of course, her favorite Peter Rabbit. I guess it has put me in the mood to enjoy some antiquities right there beside her.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Budding Artists or Naughty Girls?

My mother and father had been in their house less than a year. The walls were a bit plain, so Kaytlynn and Emily decided to spruce their office wall up a bit. I tried to talk my mother into framing it with molding for "posterity sake", but she wouldn't go for it. I STILL think it would have been a great idea...Who wouldn't have laughed at that!

My Paternal Grandfather's Graduation Invitation...

I found this in my pictures. Memaw (my maternal grandmother) went with my parents and I to see my dad's sister in Wharton. Aunt Beth brought this out to see, so I took a picture of it. I love that I have it...even if its just a picture. Between the devastating hurricane that flooded my parents town of Freeport/Oyster Creek and the fact that my father's family were stow-aways on a boat from Germany...we don't have much, as far as memorabilia goes.

Water Baby

This is Kaytlynn's first time in a pool. We were at my friend Jeanne-Marie's house. Jeanne-Marie gave birth to her son the day before I had Kaytlynn. We've always joked that they have been betrothed since we found out that they were a boy and a girl from our sonograms!...This is also the first time she went skinny dipping because I distinctly remember his father coming through the back gate asking..."are they naked in the pool?" Why Yes. Yes they are.

A Strange Family Tradition...

My sister Lisa, my niece Emily, My grandmother Margaret (Memaw, or Mother T), My daughter Kaytlynn, My mother Kay)

We all have strange family traditions. Ours is this strange hat. Strange in a good makes me smile every time I think of it.

We have this hat that was at my Grandmothers. I can't remember whose it was originally. I will have to ask my mother. It was kept in Memaw's dresser...bottom middle drawer forever. It's a dark chocolate hat of yarn with several large yarn "balls" coming off of both sides of the hat. I believe there is a picture of both Bell girls, and the grandkids in the hat. I just found the one of Kaytlnn in it! I wanted to post, not only share with family now...but so that it is in an easy to reference place in the future as well.

This is in December 2002, I believe.

Friday, October 29, 2010

January Joker

Today Kaytlynn finished reading January Joker by Ron Roy. It is the first chapter book that she has read from beginning to end without ANY assistance from an adult. She is really proud of herself...but not as proud as I am!

She liked it quite a bit. It was a mystery and she had solved "who dunnit" by the middle of a book!

This milestone made me want to ask her what her top 5 books order. Her answers...

1. A-Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy

2. Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (shown on top right)

3. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

4. Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne

5. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Ill have to continue asking her what they are so that I can see how often they change.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back from Fall Trip to Denton

Todd was lucky enough to get 2 days off and we headed up to Denton to have a little family fun.

On Wednesday, we drove up after my Dr's appt. to check on my bronchitis and broken toes. All was well, but stuck with the boot for another 3 weeks. He says the pain should be pretty much gone by then too. That was nice to hear, but truthfully...the actual PAIN has been gone for a couple of days. Now its just a throbbing. We also stopped at the Conroe Outlet Mall for a little bit of shopping. We usually get the girls fall play clothes at Sam's, but Kaytlynn can't wear a 6x anymore (which happens to be the largest children's size they sell). We tried Osh Kosh B'gosh. We didn't know if they had bigger kids sizes...and they do!!! All the way up to size 12 if you were wondering! They also sell DECENT kids clothes, which happens to be a hard thing to find sometimes these days. They either have the low ride jeans that are wayyy too low. Or theirs writing on the rear end with words like SWEET, etc. It truly amazes me. Anyway...500 dollars later, we were done with fall shopping for the girls and on our way to Nana and Papa's. We got there at about 10:00. My mom was at work for her last night of the week and Papa had already gone to bed. He hits the hay at about 8:30 these days, which is something I NEVER thought that I would see.

Thursday, after my mom got up, both of the girls got their hair cut at my mom's hair place. It's called Curl Up and Dye...dontcha just LOVE that name??? We also went to Wal-Mart and picked up a few things.

Friday, we went to the same pumpkin patch that we go to every year. This millionaire in the area has a train and the track spans about 20 acres of his land. He opens it up each year for the month of October. You ride the train around part of his property and then the kids can spend as much time as they want on different Bounce "houses", play houses, see-saws, hay mazes,etc. The adults have nice logs and chairs to sit down on to "enjoy the view". They also have 2 covered areas with picnic tables so that you can enjoy hot dogs and drinks for a buck a piece. SOOO worth the 5 dollar entry fee! The girls had a GREAT time.

Saturday, our family and my parents went to Dallas Heritage Village. It is set in an AWFUL part of town, but totally worth the trip. They have taken about 30 different historic building from the North Texas area and recreated a village from 1900. It had a saloon (that sold root beer floats), a school (with teacher), several homes, a mercantile, a blacksmith (hard at work making nails, candle holders, wind chimes, etc., a train depot, hotel and more. All were fully furnished and a lot of fun to see. The girls wore the dresses my mom made for them for the Little House on the Prairie vacation.

They had a scavenger hunt for home schoolers to fill out that helped them pay attention to some of the important things. They got a candy stick if it was all filled they wanted it all filled out!
The infamous blacksmith.
Not exactly the place I want to visit when I am sick. God has really allowed us to come a long way in a pretty short amount of time, if you ask me :-)

I fell in LOVE with this children's bed in the nursery of the old house.
This photo soooo fits my mother ! I told her that all she needed was a mint julip in her hand.

The girls loved being inside the Teepee. Up to 16 people slept in EACH ONE...YIKES.
Can you say lack of privacy? Really! What on earth did they discuss in here?
Pioneer Log Cabin. 22 people lived here during the "school" week.

We left Sunday morning and made it back to a disheveled home. It is now time to unpack, do the laundry, cook dinner, and get ready for the busy week ahead. It makes me wish I was sitting at my mom's table, eating her wonderful food, and talking about funny yester-years, rather than facing the yuckies of today :-)