Friday, July 27, 2007

I Love My Boys

I have some of the world's best kids. They are both so sweet and funny. I feel truly blessed to have two happy, healthy boys.
I love to snuggle with Brennan, talk about what is going on in his world, and just enjoy his innocence. Jackson is so sweet to watch as he tries so hard to keep up with his big brother. They both try so hard to please me and Bart, bringing us little things they find, giving us an award winning smile, or offering a hug at just the right moment.
And my goodness, the things they do and say! Yesterday, at Payless Shoes, Brennan looks into the small mirror on the bottom of the bench and says, "Does this make my butt look big?" What?!? Where did that come from?
And Jackson, he loves to do everything Brennan is doing. When Brennan went skinny dipping last night, Jackson was pulling on his clothes, whining to get in, too. He was not satisfied to just get in with Brennan, he had to get naked, too. (Brennan was naked only because he didn't want to get his underwear wet!)
It seems I have spent more time with them these last few weeks as we have been visiting family and friends. I have really developed a greater love for them and all their quirks and even the flaws (yes, my children aren't perfect, but neither are yours!) I can hardly believe that in a few short weeks Brennan will start preschool. I am going to miss him, even if it is just three hours a day, five days a week. I am so thankful for these two boys, and all their quirky ways.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Playing outside in the sandbox is hard work and gets little boys hot. When Uncle Justin sets up the swimming pool it was too much temptation for Brennan. Off come the clothes, in goes the boy. A few minutes later, Jackson is pulling on his clothes and whining to get in, too. So, I didn't want him to be left out, so, I helped him become one with nature, too.

Although Jackson didn't get into the pool (except for about ten seconds), they both had a great time and rinsed off all the sand.

Now they are both fast asleep, tired out from all the digging and splashing. If those two don't fit the expression "Monkey See, Monkey Do", then I just don't know who would.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Want Cake

I watched my mom torte and prepare about ten cakes for this weekend today, sat through her decorating one, taste-tested her new white chocolate cream cheese frosting, and I even delivered one birthday cake myself.
Now, I am sitting in a quiet living room (the satelite is down because the construction crew hasn't rehung it wishing I had a piece of cake.
The irony of it all. I can hardly stand knowing there is a perfectly good Italian Cream Cake in the freezer in the next room, waiting to be decorated tomorrow, and there is nothing I can do about it, but sit here and be distracted with the tempting aromas from the kitchen and the knowledge of good and evil in the freezer. Will Power, be my friend, because we all know I don't need some cake, just want it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

We made it to Mommy and Me at the mall today. Brennan was a bit terrified of the clowns, and the line was a bit long, so we just got balloon animals (a purple dog for Brennan, like the girl in front of him, and a tiger for 'Jackson' {Ayden}) and rode the carousal with Jeni, Marjorie, Stacey and Kim (well, their kids, you know) It was Jackson and Brooklyn's first go round. They both seemed to like it. Then we went off to lunch at Izzo's where we met Burgundy, Wren and Nicole.
We had a great time, and we are so sad that we are back in Vidalia. We'll see you all again soon, though!!!

Treats from a Harry Potter Fanatic!

Thanks Lexi for the yummy Harry Potter treats! My favorite was the red Jelly Slugs. Although I was up and munching on the snacks at midnight on Friday, I skipped going to get the book.

I know that's a shocker, but I was scrapbooking with some great friends and didn't want to miss a minute of that time.
I did go to get the book while I was at Target Saturday...however, I have decided to wait until I get to Omaha to read the book. Bart has already bought it and has it waiting for me on my pillow, where I can give it my full attention. Harry, Ron, and Hermione deserve more than a few moments here and there over the next two weeks. I will give them the full, ignore the kids, let the dishs fill the sink and laundry overflow, attention they deserve in two weeks. Until then...keep it zipped, or warn me in advance, if you are going to discuss the book in any way. Please.

The Miracle!!!!

Okay, so back to my broken camera and Best Buy.
I went to the Best Buy on Bluebonnet and the manager, Mr. Thibodeaux, was very rude and awful. I cried all the way to Chuck E. Cheese.
Camera still broken...only way to fix it: send it off and wait three weeks...impossible.
So, I live the entire weekend without my camera (I did borrow Jeni's for Sunday...thanks!) and I am feeling miserable by Monday.
Well, Bart is the general manager for a home shopping network's (ShopNBC) customer service group, and I know he has helped people in similar positions. So I call Olympus's customer service...all they can do is have me send it in. Boo.
Let's call 888-BEST-BUY back. This time Sam is very nice, but doesn't offer any more solutions. I offer Sam the solution of 'giving' me enough disposable cameras to last me through my vacation. Well, Sam didn't think that was funny, but he did offer me a $50 gift card for my troubles. So, I sadly hang up the phone (after accepting the $$$ of course), resigned to my vacation fate of being camera-less. Boo.
Now for the miracle!
I decide to upload a few pictures to dropshots for Bart to see what was going on before the camera broke when...

I decide to just try the camera again...just for kicks...when...

THE CAMERA TURNED ON AND WORKED!!!! Prayers really are answered and dreams do come true. Hallelujah!
So, now I can quit worring and fighting for what is right and good (for me). I can now quit boring people with my sad tale and get on with what's important...capturing my kids sweetness and cutie patutie lives!

Whining done...NOW!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Brennan's on the web!

My dad posted this picture on some motorcycle website he views. Pretty cute, if you ask me. (Now, I may be a little biased...)

Upset and Taking Action

So June 1, 2007 our digital camera broke. I mean, the lens was shaking about and the shutter wouldn't close, the screen was white, and no pictures were being taken or retrieved. My camera is an important part of documenting my family's history, so I was quite upset over this. Bart, being the loving husband that he is, bought me a new, better camera! Yeah! It has been really is shock proof ("If you can take it, it can take it" is the motto), water proof, and fits in my jeans pocket. Oh, happy day!
July 21, 2007. I used the camera Friday night while scrapbooking to take a picture of the Three Amigos...Burgundy, Melissa, and myself. Worked great. Charged up the battery while I slept. Woke up to an irresistably cute Jackson. Plugged in the battery and...
NOTHING. The lens cover opened, the screen went blue, then black. The end. I can still view the pictures on the memory stick and get around the menu, but the camera refuses to take pictures.
I took it to Best Buy this morning, where they were able to pull up the reciept and determine that "Yes, it is not taking pictures." Boy, what a Geek Squad. I already KNEW that.
Oh, but even though it is not taking pictures, is less than 2 months old, and I am on vacation, they cannot exchange it. I can send it off and get it back in 2-4 weeks.
Absolutely Not.
1-888-BEST-BUY was no help. The camera was purchased more than 14 days ago. Well, excuse me for thinking something that I took good care of and spent a large chunk of change on should last more than 14 days.
They did, however, tell me that on occasion the store manager can make a store exception. Oh, they will be making an exception for me or I will go crazy. So, as soon as Jeni and Trent return from the Harry Potter movie, I will be heading back to Best Buy (I am starting to doubt the name) and fight for what is right...a wonderful, fully functioning camera. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Motorcycle Men

My dad has been giving Brennan rides on his motorcycle as long as he has had the motorcycle. Brennan even has his own DOT motorcycle helmet. Well, because of all the rain, my dad was unable to take Brennan on their usual trip down the country road, around the country airport parking lot, and back again. Brennan was getting a bit bummed, because he knew his Papa Jeff had to go back to work. Luckily, it did not rain yesterday afternoon, so Papa and Brennan were able to go on a dusky motorcycle trip. Brennan always has so much fun with his Grandma and Papa. We are glad to be visiting and have such wonderful family to visit.
(and yes, I know that the thought of letting a child ride a motorcycle is scary. however, he is locked inside a car seat and has on a, I turn a blind eye to this escapade of theirs and let them just have fun together...we are in the country, you know?)

Grandpa the Great

My dad just got back from Kuwait (this was about his 100th trip over there). This time around he bought the grandbabies shirts to match his uniform. Before he left to return to work last night, we did a quick photo shoot. The grandbabies all love their Papa Jeff and he is a great example of what a doting grandfather should be.

A Mall? In a town this small?

Okay, there is this gas station/general store on the way to a lot of my relatives homes, and Bart loves to stop there and get some of their homemade beef jerky. He has also bought some very unique and distinctly 'redneck' trucker hats. So, this is a tribute to the Whitehall Mall in Jena, LA.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bake me a cake as fast as you can...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fun for all at Grandma's and Papa Jeff's house

Brennan and Jackson have been having a blast at Papa Jeff's and Grandma's so far. They have ridden the four-wheeler until the battery has died (twice), played in the sandbox until they had more sand than hair on their heads, and rediscovered all of the cool toys. Brennan helped bake his birthday cake, and in a little while he will help decorate it. Jackson has fallen in love with the wooden rocking motorcycle and can hardly be pried off of it. Papa Jeff brought them both stuff camels from Kuwait with little Army hats (very cute) which he gave them last night. We also went out to eat La Feista #2 (it isn't where we started out going, but that's another story...) Isn't it fun to visit grandparents???

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well, we made it (finally)

Okay, I know that weather delays cannot be helped, but they sure SUCK! The first half of our trip went great, but once we got to Chicago, planes were being grounded or delayed left and right. Our 7:15 flight was delayed (over and over again) to 7:45, 8:30, 9:40, 10:15, and finally we were actually on the airplane at 10:40 p.m.
The boys were overall surprisingly well behaved. Heavenly Father really blessed us, though. Just about each time Brennan was getting a little too bored, another group of people came to the gate next to ours (how come all their planes could leave?) and provided new playmates for him. Jackson did okay, but he was so tired he started to get cranky. I took him for a walk in to stroller to get him to sleep, but that was a no-go. Luckily the 9:30 p.m. walk gave him enough energy to be happish until we were on the plane. He was asleep before the plane was totally off the ground, with Brennan taking about half an hour to follow suit.
So, back to guardian angels. Thanks Kathy and Wes for you help, and everybody else, too, who was put in our pathes Tuesday. I truly know these people were put on the same plane to help me be able to stay calm and not go insane. Otherwise, I would still be in Chicago, locked in the looney bin, with my two poor babies as wards of the state until Bart could get there to rescue them!
Oh, and just so you know, we landed in Jackson, MS around 1:20 a.m.
Thank goodness my mom had decided a few hours before to get a hotel room to get some sleep, instead of hanging out at the airport. We all feel right into bed when we got there...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just Can't Wait

Poor Brennan. Since he was up half of last night and started to watch a cartoon at 5 a.m. (hey, a mom's gotta sleep), he was pretty tired by the time we got home from story time at the library. He started to cry when I told him it was time to eat lunch, so I just gave him a sippy cup of strawberry milk and had him put in a movie. Not twenty minutes in, Brennan was out. Thank goodness. Hopefully this hour nap will be enough to keep him happy and excited on our trip. He is so excited to be flying in a "Jet Plane" and going to Louisiana that he can hardly stand it. He'll be so disappointed if he falls asleep on the plane and misses all the fun and excitement that we all know happens during a flight.

TLC Life Lesson # 327

Have any of you seen the TLC commercials that are about things that seem dumb but are really true? They have little statues and call them 'life lessons'. Well, here is my life lesson to share with all of you.
Life Lesson #327: If planning a trip that you know will excite your child, spring it on him the day of the trip. Give no advanced warning, and if you do, be vague as to the day you are leaving. Otherwise, you and your child will get about 3 combined hours of sleep and wind up watching Playhouse Disney by 5 a.m. You will hear the comment, "Look, Mommy, it is getting light outside, it is almost morning." more times than you care to mention and you will have a little bit of dread build up in the very back of your mind as you contemplate the upcoming travel time with your child.

Thank you Jackson, for only waking up once, when you somehow magically pulled your diaper off and awoke to a pool of pee. That would wake me, too. At least there is hope for you...

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Tomorrow we leave for our 4 week vacation "home". We have been gone for four months, and a trip back is just what we need. Brennan is so excited he can hardly sit still. He woke up this morning, got his Darth Vader carry-on bag, and asked when we were leaving for the airport. Needless to say, he was more than a little disappointed to learn that he had to wait another day.
We are getting packed up and ready. I am bringing a small suitcase inside a larger one, just in case the grandparents go into generous mode. (I also know I will not be able to pack everything up as small as it is now.) If it all works out, we will only have two suitcases of 'stuff', one amazing scrapbooking 'suitcase' (that will be checked), one car seat, two kids, one stroller, two toy planes, three DVD's, and one mom. Not too bad.
Now I just have to remind myself that I really didn't forget the sunscreen or Brennan's "White Quilt" or Brooklyn's bikini I, as any good aunt would, bought her.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Brennan's first talk

Photo and video editing at

Brennan gave his first primary talk today. Unlike me, when I was a sunbeam, he kept all his clothes on and down (I raised my dress over my head). The topic was "My family can follow Jesus Christ in faith." and the weekly principle was "The first member of my family to join the Church followed Jesus Christ in faith. I can learn about my family history."
The following is what he said because you may not be able to hear him. (Yes, I am a dork and had Bart video tape Brennan practicing before Primary started) Brennan called his Grandpa Jeff and asked him the questions himself (as they were whispered to him), as I wrote down the answers.
This is my grandpa, Jeff McClure. He is the first person in my family on the McClure side to join the church. He was baptized on May 17, 1975 in Heidelberg, Germany while he was serving in the Army.
My Papa Jeff says his baptism was very special. Many friends were there and so was the Holy Ghost.
My Papa Jeff follows Jesus Christ in faith by obeying the commandments, being nice to his family and others, and by always going to church.
I am glad my grandpa sets a good example for me and my family to follow.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I didn't know I was still in the South

Sweet Home Alabama…Omaha

Last night, Bart decided we should get a pizza from The Roman Coin. He had had this pizza at work one day and claimed that it was the best pizza around. So, we packed everybody up and headed out to see for ourselves. When we got there, we discovered that the place is actually called Varsity Sports Cafe and Roman Coin Pizza and that no one under 21 is admitted after 10 p.m. In the parking lot was a greyhound type bus and there were a few people in formal wear hanging out at the front door of the bar or getting off the bus. We had on jeans and flip flops.
Well, we had traveled all the way there, so we figured we might as well see what's up, since it isn't 10 p.m. and the boys could still get in. Enter dirtyish dark bar. What scene greeted us as we entered? A couple of old geezers sipping Bud's and watching a baseball game? Frat boys initiating the new guys? Girls night out? Nope, it's even worse then the scene in Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon says, "You've got a a bar". There before our very eyes was a bride, groom, wedding party, and a few guests.
Had we unknowingly become wedding crashers by entering The Roman Coin? We decided to get our pizza to go, just in case.
I still don't know why they were at the bar, why they rented a bus to travel in, or why the bride and groom seemed to be huggy and kissy with everybody they saw, but I do know this...that was some pretty good pizza.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Divine Intervention

This is a true story. I should happened to me.
Wednesday afternoon, Brennan asks Bart if he could play the Wii, for "just a little bit please???" Who can say no to someone so cute and cuddly? Anyways, Bart puts in Paper Mario and tries to find the Wii-mote. (I do not know if that is what it is really called, but that is what Brennan calls it.) A long search of the entire house (hey, we've got two kids who love to move things!) proved fruitless, but I did find the missing flip-flop. So, Brennan and Bart go back outside to the slip-n-slide, Bart a little worried we wouldn't find the Wii-mote (we are leaving him along for three weeks, he has to have something to do!) I decide to clean the basement...something I had been planning on doing when we got back from our trip.
Now, let me tell you about our basement. It is L-shaped, and the bottom half is the toy room. When the boys do not put their toys away in the living room, I literally throw them down the stairs. It is wonderful...except when you don't help your 1 year old and just turned 4 year old pick up for a few weeks. Things start to stack up, which is just what happened.
Back to Wednesday afternoon...
About halfway through straightening Toys-R-Us, I mean the basement, I get to Brennan's golf bag. Now, I happen to know that this particular toy has not been played with in a long time, and I decide to throw it out. (That's the kind of cleaning I was doing) Well, instead of just chunking it, like I had done to a few other things, I decide to open it up, in case a "good" toy was hiding inside. Well, I am sure you can guess what I're right, the Wii-mote. Now, had I not been inspired to clean the play room, or had I not been inspired to check inside the golf bag, this would be a totally different entry. It would be one of me gripping about how Bart can't keep track of his toys and how we had to buy a new Wii-mote. Thank goodness for divine intervention!

Oh, and yes, the Wii is very fun to play, but no, I will not post the video Bart made of me boxing with the Wii-mote...I look like a crazy person!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

BBQ at the McClure's

In case you are interested in coming to visit vivacious Vidalia, LA...(but it is a pretty long trip, even if there will be great cake)

Vidalia, LA is a pretty town, what with it's three stoplights, Sonic drive-in, liquor drive-thrus, and newly remodeled river front.

A Fireworks Free Fourth

Because Brennan is absolutely terrified of fireworks, we didn't plan to go to a parade or fireworks display or anywhere that could have some this fourth of July. Instead, we celebrated our country's birthday by going to a movie (Doogal, you can't really pick the free kid summer flicks...), playing outside on the slip-n-slide, and having a BBQ, just the four of us. We made sure that Brennan and Jackson were in bed with a loud fan going before the fireworks in the area really got going. For fireworks to be illegal in Omaha proper, there sure were tons of them all over. Bart and I enjoyed watching them from our dining room window, though. Some of the fireworks we saw were really on a grander scale than kids playing around a neighborhood, which was impressive.

(Jackson isn't in these pictures because his nap time and their slip-n-slide time overlapped)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Jamie's Wedding

Jamie and Jamey Billig

At the end of April, I was able to go to Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL for Jamie East's wedding. She was married on April 29 at the Don Cesar, with the beach behind us and the gorgeous resort in front. It was a beautiful wedding, and the entire weekend was amazing. I am so glad I was able to participate in my dear friend's happy day. I really like Jamey-boy, and I know he is going to "treat her right".
Nicole Cox and I were 'flower attendants', Jamie's solution to Jamey's denial of 8 bridesmaids! Smart girl. I got there Friday, were I met Jamie and Diana (from Germany, a fun roomie for me) for manicures and pedicures and lunch. Friday night was an open house and then a P.J. Party for the girls/women. Saturday I picked up Nicole at the airport, went to the bridal brunch, hung out at the pool (just the girls, the guys were off on a boat), practiced for the wedding, attended the rehearsal dinner, went to Philthy Phil's for some "fun times" (if you're never going to see the people again, who cares if you can't dance???) and came back to the Don. Sunday all the girls were pampered with updo's and makeup by pro's in Jamie's penthouse suite at the Don ( I even got highlights-thanks Nicole!), and then the wonderful wedding and reception. It was a very busy weekend, and the only I'd change is the way I got my hair fixed for the wedding. My hairdo made my face look even fatter than it is, and I hate the pictures of me in them because of it, even though I am usually vain and love any picture that my mug appears in!