What We Believe

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Amarillo by Mornin'

My sister has been a little reminder on my shoulder that I haven't posted. She doesn't actually say anything...but I feel her checking my blog to see if I've updated and it's high time I stop disappointing her. I love you, Sis. Thanks for helping me out even when you didn't know you had. ;)
Recently we had a opportunity (called Spring Break!) to travel the SHORT! trip to Amarillo, Texas. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we can get there in 4 1/2 hours and on one tank of gas...that is when we take no breaks. When we got there it was our intention to orient ourselves with the city, do a little bit of sight seeing, and try to figure out the best place to live so we can move forward with trying to find a home. In the short time that we were there we were able to accomplish all of out goals (yippee!). We fell in love (all over again) with Amarillo. Phillip and I have really felt that the Lord has guided us to Amarillo. I have told my family that the job and location feels like a glove that "just fits". We don't know why, the landscape there isn't one I would've ever really have chosen, and we aren't familiar with the area--but we feel like it's home already--in a way. We really are excited to see what's in store for us.
Just a cute pic of Coop in our first hotel room.
We first looked at homes and are trying to decide what's best for us...to rent or not to rent. The jury's still out. By the end of the trip, to say that I have decided where I want to live is an understatement. There are a couple of developments right outside of Amarillo and Canyon (the actual town that West Texas A&M University is located). It is a quick drive to either Phillip's job or Amarillo. I hesitate to write this-as I may be judged (and I have been called picky...you know who you are) but I have figured out exactly what I want. I want to be in between Amarillo and Canyon (for the reasons listed above) and because if you live close enough to Amarillo you can still get to shopping and etc. and if you live close enough to Canyon you can be in the Canyon school district...and they are the best. I also want to live in these developments because they are newer, if we rent and don't buy I still want to be in this area because then my kids aren't pulled from their school and we stay in the same ward. I am not looking forward to moving there and then re-moving all over again when we decide it's time to buy. Ahhh I know...picky, picky, picky. Can you blame a girl for knowing what she wants?
We also drove around town and (especially Phillip) oriented himself to where things are. We checked out the local Target (they have one...not a super center...but still!!) and ate at a few fun places in Amarillo. We also went to one of the biggest attractions in Amarillo and Route 66...Cadillac Ranch. For those of you who are not familiar with what it is, don't feel bad...neither did I. I had heard of it, but that was all. I was shocked and amused when I found out. There is a eccentric millionaire that own a large ranch on the outskirts of Amarillo. He thought that it was a fab idea to stick 10 Cadillacs into the ground-nose first-and call it "art". I suppose to some, it may be...all I could think of was, "how much did that cost?!" and "he could have done so much more with that money". Oh well, I'm not an eccentric millionaire and I obviously didn't have a say. ;) Eccentric and odd as it was it was a great little adventure for our family. I mean, where else can you go color and paint on cars that are sticking out of the ground??!! I would dare to say nowhere else.
I was too afraid to let them loose w/ spray paint, so we bought permanent markers. Next time, I think I'll let them use the paint and dress them to "have at it".Cutie little Grey.Our sweet Elle Bell.
We also had to go (just for the sake of going) to the Big Texan. If you are at all familiar with the area, you have heard of the place that will serve you a 72 oz. steak and if you can eat it in an hour they will give it to you free. Now that I have gone, I can say the "free part" is the best part.
It is a total tourist trap, but nonetheless we have gone, experienced it and somehow felt it was a "right of passage" in an odd way. They are very proud of their state. They actually sell suckers in the shape of Texas and when we were at one of the motels they have waffles in the state's shape....comical.

Yep, they advertise on a HUGE bull. What can I say, they take their livestock seriously. ;)

If you look verrrry closely you can see a plethora of stuffed animals on the wall, or standing....ohhh, just about anywhere. My brother, Mack, would've loved it. ;)

Me and the kiddos. If you can catch the prices on the menu, I think it said, "your child's college fund". No joke. ;)

We had a good time being together and looking forward to the adventure that lies ahead for our little family.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things Could Be Worse...

I read this on a friend's blog and thought that I would share. It makes me grateful that a.) my children are still young and don't pull stunts of this magnitude b.) they are pretty good kids. Read on and enjoy...
P.S. I have a blog to come of our trip to Amarillo... I know if I put it down in writing I will be more apt to post. So, I'll keep my word... more to come soon.

A Mother passing by her son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Mom'. With the worst premonition she opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter. Dear Mom: It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...Mom, she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very, happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it. Don't worry Mom. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren. Love, Your Son Paul P.S. Mom, none of the above is true. I'm over at Dustin's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when its safe to come home.......

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pigs Must Be Flying...

'cause I am finally posting! I know, I know I have been such a slacker. Between going to my sis' and the winter blah's my blogging has suffered. So...here's a post and to say it's late is a huge understatement.
During my hiatus a couple of my very favorite people had birthdays. Phillip and Cooper both celebrated another year. Cooper is now a big seven year old. He is growing so much. I can't hardly believe it. I look at him with his wrist watch, chapter books and toothless smile and I can't help but feel so proud to be his mother. He is such a special boy and I am so lucky to be his mom. Because it's been sooooo long I decided to shake things up. Instead of a travel log I wanted to tell everyone 10 reasons I think they are special.

Cooper is special because:
1. He is a wonderful son. He loves to help out. He'll ask me if he can carry the diaper bag while I carry Ella. He is such a helper and I couldn't get around without him.

2. He loves music. He sings beautifully. I love to hear him sing Primary songs. He is like a ray of light when he sings and it often chokes me up. Cooper is so pure when he is singing and it is one of my very favorite sounds in the world.

3. He is an excellent reader. Cooper was one of the very earliest readers in his class and he reads very well. It has been a joy to watch him develop and grow. This has been one of my favorite things to watch bloom.

4. Cooper loves to learn. He strives to do more and be more. He is excited to memorize The Articles of Faith in Primary. He has an excellent memory and so he loves the challenge to memorize them all.

5. He likes to be creative. Cooper enjoys doing "crafts" and creating. He loves to build tents and then "decorate" the inside with all sorts of pictures and toys. Fun for him... a bit of a clean-up job for me and Phillip. ;)

6. Cooper loves the scriptures. He is eager to have them read to him every night and has been enjoying reading them himself. Phillip and I planned on giving him a set of scriptures for his 8th birthday but decided he was ready for him this birthday. He loves to read them and look at the pictures.

7. Cooper is a wonderful brother. He enjoys playing with Greyson. They enjoy riding bikes together and he'll read Grey books. Cooper is very sweet to Ella. He will watch over her and make sure that she isn't getting into any trouble. He is always very excited at the thought of more children to come into our family, as well.

8. He has a sense of style. This may sound a but funny, but it is something that is just "Cooper". It was something that just came with him. He loves to look nice and he has a sense of what goes well together. It is fun to watch him pick out his own clothes...and they generally match quite well.

9. Cooper is very sweet. He loves to pick flowers...well flowering weeds that are in our yard and give them to me. He is never embarrassed to tell me he loves me and hold my hand in public. This all may change in the future...but I think that he will still be as loving. He often will tell me that he loves me and gives me a hug without my initiation.

10. He sleeps very well. Another thing that may sound a bit silly, but is innately Cooper. He has been a very excellent sleeper since he was little. He liked his naps when he was young and would reach for his crib when it was nap time. He doesn't overly complain about bedtime even now and when it's "lights out" he will be asleep soon after. It has always been a relief and a blessing to me to know that I don't have to struggle with him at bedtime.
I love you, my sweet boy!!

Cooper and his Mimi...aren't they beautiful?!

Everyone at Cooper's birthday celebration. We gathered at Incredible Pizza in OKC

Cooper on the bumper cars at Incredible Pizza.

Cooper ready to open his presents on his birthday morning.

Me, Uncle Mack and Cooper at Incredible Pizza.

Cooper and Grandma...so sweet.
Phillip had a birthday that followed a few days later. Ten reasons that Phillip is special.

Phillip is special because:

1. Phillip always wants to help. He would do anything that I asked him. He wants to make my life easier any way that he can. He hasn't just done this just for me either. When his mom was the apple of his eye he was there to help her, too. She was the Stake YW pres for 10 years and he would go up to Girl's Camp and help set up and then come back after it was over and help take down. He would come early and stay late for church dances as well to helo set up and take down. He loves to serve, especially his loved ones.

2. Phillip is a worthy priesthood holder. He is always very willing to give a blessing or pass the sacrament whenever needed. I am grateful for the priesthood in my home and I couldn't have it without my husband.

3. Phillip also has a sense of style...and I love it. I rarely have to "help" my husband pick out an outfit. He is a very smart dresser. He enjoys looking nice.

4. I have never met another person that loves a good deal...and can find them like my husband. He will rival any other early morning garage seller out there. He is soooo sweet and will usually take the kids (yes, all three of them) on Saturday mornings and go hunt for a good deal. He loves the steals and deals out there and the chance to give his wife...me *beam* a chance to sleep in...I know!! What a guy!!

5. Phillip is an excellent teacher. I love watching him teach. It has been a treat for me to be able to sit in on his Sunday School lessons. He truly cares about his students, whether they be at church or at a university. He wants them to succeed and his teaching reflects that.

6. Phillip is great with children. He will get up with the kids in the middle of the night and help them. He has taken it upon himself to put the boys to bed while I put Ella to bed. He will get up with Greyson (countless times, sometimes) and take him potty or with Cooper and rub his legs if he gets leg cramps. There is also no one that can swaddle a newborn like he can.

7. He is always very supportive of me. Phillip lets me be me. If I wanted to dye my hair blue and work a 40 hour week out of the home he would let me. I choose to have blond hair and stay at home because that what I want...not because my husband has ever pressured me. He also lets me flourish in my home. He supports my love of decorating my home. He understand it's my castle and lets me reflect who we are through the decorations.

8. Phillip loves to be with me....and I love being with him. We are happiest when we are together. It's been that way since we met. We spend as much time together as we can.

9. Phillip and I are very in sync with our taste. We generally enjoy the same music, food, style, etc. It is fun to know that when I choose something, my husband will like it too.

10. He wants to support me and our family. It is very important to him that we have a home, food and clothing. He tries very hard to not only meet our needs but let us enjoy life as well. I am very grateful for Phillip's education and his sacrifice to earn it.

Phillip blowing out his candle on his "itty-bitty" cake.

I love my boys and am so very blessed to have them in my life. I hope they had wonderful birthdays. I love you Phillip and Cooper!!