Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lucky Dog

We found his owner.

Lucky went home tonight at around 9 pm.  After 24 hrs between us and our neighbors.  To say our children fell in love would be an understatement.  As I was taking this picture of Colton, I heard him whisper (unprompted) "I love you."  All this is before we found the missing poster.

Once the poster was found, my girls lost it.  No pictures were snapped of this out of sensitivity to mommy and girls.  I had one on each arm as we all 3 cried.  And while Daddy grinned at his emotional women.

He was 12 years old and belonged to a family of 6 kids.  The "daddy" has had him since he was a puppy and was very missed.  Truthfully, had we not found him so quickly and moved him to our backyard, I think they would have found him last night.  His home was only a couple streets away.

As were we eating our dinner (waiting on the family to arrive) Jadyn says, "I have to tell you the truth about something.  I found a poster on our mailbox earlier today and I threw it away.  I felt bad as soon as I did it."  Yes, I am devastated that she did it to begin with, but I am so happy she felt like she had to confess.  I know my girl, she wouldn't have been able to sleep tonight.  It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about that "bad" feeling right away was the Holy Spirit speaking to her heart.  It has always moved me as to how loudly Jadyn hears the Spirit convict her.  I pray the older she gets, the more she will be willing to act in response sooner rather than later.  The heartache and pain she will be saved!

As Champ (his real name) was jumping into the car of his real family, Colton called out "Where's my dog?".  VERY emotional Friday night for us Burress'.

Friday, March 30, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 13

3 kids, 1 mother in law, 2 cats and now a dog.  We sound like a circus side show.

As Rusty pulled in the drive from work yesterday, the old guy was in our yard waiting on him.  No collar, but well behaved and well groomed.  We posted pics on our neighborhood FB page, but no one has yet to claim him.  There are no missing posters posted anywhere and we had a vet scan for a chip with no luck.

Well, no luck for the original owners.  My kids consider this to be great luck for them.  They have appropriately named the dog "Lucky".  Lucky even seems to like the cats.  

He appears to have found a home (atleast until someone calls to claim him) for now.

Springtime in the Sprinklers

"I am sick of four walls and a ceiling.  I have need of the sky, I have business with the grass." - Richard Hoovey

Welcoming spring with an afternoon in our backyard sprinkler has become a family tradition.  

This typically marks the beginning of consistent warm (almost hot!) weather and evenings spent grilling and eating on the patio.  (Tonight's patio dinner consisted of grilled tilapia and grilled shrimp and fries-which all 3 kids ate!) 

I adore the "first touch of the sprinkler" every year.  So hesitant.  Yet, after the hands become okay with the cool water, it is all in!

Drinking from the hose.  Is there anything else that captures the essence of childhood quite the same?

When I am able to look back on pictures over the last several years and am able to watch our neighborhood kids growing up, I am always so grateful for the relationships we have been blessed to have with these kids and their families.

And, of course, we must perform for the camera, mustn't we?

Oh, winter (mild as you were) we are so glad to see you go.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Father/Daughter Sock Hop

Our church hosted a Father/Daughter Sock Hop this weekend.  All decked out in their 50's attire, Daddy took off with Jadyn and Rylee.  What a sweet, sweet evening for my girls and this amazing dad of theirs.  I can only imagine what an imprint times like these are leaving on all 3 of their hearts.

They had a great time!  Burgers, hot dogs, root beer floats...whats not to love?  They danced and hoola hooped the night away!

Speaking of hoola hooping.  They held a hoola hooping contest and Jadyn won!  I told her she is having quite the year so far with her 1st places!  (She also received the game ball in the next days volleyball game.  She played like a rockstar!)

Here is a video of her hoola hoopin' in action.  Look for her in the pink tank top!

father/Daughter Sock Hop Hoola Hoop Contest from Burress' on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 12

2 little boys playing downstairs.  Cousins.  One (mine) is 2 1/2 years old and the other (my nephew) 3 1/2 years old.  Playing quietly.  With no adult supervision.  They couldn't possibly be doing anything wrong.  Right?...

You would think this being my third child, and having had RYLEE for my second child, I would know better than this.

This is what I found one afternoon while Colton and Brett played "quietly" together.

Are those pickles in my 2 year old's hair?  Why, yes, yes they are.  Those ARE pickles in his hair.  Will I learn?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 11

This weeks photo memory is coming to you through the eyes of my 9 year old.

Field of little purple flowers at our campsite
Miss Jadyn has decided she is a little bit of a photographer in the making.  She borrowed my camera while we were camping and this is what she came up with!  She was SO PROUD of herself!  I truly was impressed with her eye (for being 9 yrs old).  I cannot express how cool she thinks her pictures came out.  Typically, I delete the pics the kids take, but have decided to start saving some and occassionally scrapbook through the eyes of my kids.  If J does grow up to pursue photography, how fun to be able to show her some of her first work.  I love that this child of mine is confident, artistic, and motivated.  How grateful I am that God chose me to help guide her.

Colton puddle splashing near our campsite
I did not crop these photos.  I only edited the brightness, nothing else.  What we see is what Jadyn wanted to photograph.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Inks Lake

Last Friday, to kick off Spring Break, we loaded up our car and pop up camper and headed out to Inks Lake State Park for 4 nights.  The trip started out not so great.  It was pouring on Friday night and the rain continued until around lunch time on Sunday.  I am very proud of us.  We were troopers and handled the hiccup in our plans well.  Another full day of rain, though, and I think we may have snapped.

Once the sun came out on Sunday, it was GORGEOUS until we left on Tuesday.  This was our first time to Inks Lake, and it did not disappoint.  The scenery was so pretty.  I am always amazed at how pretty the hill country is here in Texas.  A couple hours northwest and everything is so different!  As you can tell, I love taking scenery photos (the outdoors cooperate so much better than 2 1/2 year olds :).

We hiked up through Devils Waterhole on Sunday and again on Monday.   It was not a long hike or a hard hike, but it was just rocky enough that the girls thought it was AWESOME and Jadyn felt like she was truly rock climbing.

There is a small waterfall towards the top of the trail.  Just above it was a perfect swimming hole.  Well, if you consider brutally cold water perfect.  And, obviously my children do.

While swimming above the falls, Jadyn and Rylee watched about a half dozen people (adults and kids) climbing down the falls and "sliding" down part of the falls.  For someone as chicken of rollercoasters as Jadyn is, we have figured out it is not a fear of heights nor is she scared of risking her life.  She is going to be an adrenaline junky just not at Six Flags.  She begged and begged to go down the falls.  Thankfully, the girls have their daddy to be adventurous with.  I was having no part of it, but Rusty was all for it. 

This is the best picture I could get of them going down.  I volunteered to keep Colton in the calm, NOT rushing water above the falls.  I am being a tad bit dramatic Rusty would remind me if he were reading this :)

And here they are on the rocks down below.  Inks Lake was a fantastic time and we all cannot wait to go back.  4 days was simply not enough. 

And, just for fun.  My new favorite photo of Colton, taken this weekend.

I am particulary proud of the fact I did not add that lens flare with photoshop!  I set out to catch it naturally and I did!

Tidbits to remember:
  • Colton slept with us for the first time ever Friday and Saturday night.  He has never needed/wanted to be in our bed before.
  • Rusty saw his first shooting star (he hasn't asked me to document this, I am just choosing too)
  • Rylee says her favorite thing about camping is being able to go off without her parents.
  • We forgot our level at home, and you need it when popping up the camper.  Gotta love technically!  I downloaded a free level app on my iPhone and it worked like a charm!

Spring Pictures

Don't all people start their camping trip's off by getting all dressed in their Sunday best for pictures?

Double clicking on these photos to view them is much better.  The quality isn't so great otherwise.  J's eyes kinda look creepy otherwise :)

Oh, it's just my children....

I made a deal with my kiddos if they dressed up for me at the beginning of the weekend, cooperated for pictures, then the rest of the weekend was theirs. 

Originally, we hoped for bluebonnet pictures.  I think we were just a bit to early in the season for a great showing.  Oh well.  I am happy that I ended up with some cute spring pictures in their Easter outfits with or without the bluebonnets!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

52 Week Photo Challenge Week 10

Something that the 52 Week Photo Challenge has taught me already is that I do take a lot of pictures!  I have realized that I haven't really struggled to keep up with taking pictures every week.  I have struggled more with which ones to label "52 Week Photo Challenge" here on the blog (as well as how it will be titled later in my scrapbooks).  I have decided to change my focus from just taking pictures every week to trying to take 1 picture every week of a simple memory that I normally would have not noticed/remembered to be important.  I am also going to challenge myself to think outside of just the kiddos.  So many other things make up our days as well as our memories.

I recently discovered Write.Click.Scrapbook and am in love with the way these scrapbookers document so much more than just the big things.   I have always struggled with journaling in my scrapbooks.  I would write the date and maybe where the picture was taken and call that my journaling.  Looking back over years of scrapbooks, I realize that I am missing so much emotion, excitement and storytelling that should have been in that book!  This was one of the primary reasons I decided to start blogging.  I have found it so much easier to journal within a couple of days of the picture being taken rather than 9 months later when I get around to scrapping the picture/event.  Never have I intended for my scrapbooks to be expensive (and time consuming!) photo albums.  I long for them to be storybooks of my childrens childhoods, a love story of their parents, a way to see into who mommy and daddy are aside from being mommy and daddy.  Documenting all the things we all love together and individually.  I intend for them to be an amazing treasure for our grandchildren and great grandchildren to learn about their family.  For this to happen, I need to write more and see the important details that appear insignificant in the moments. 

So that is my revised 52 Week Photo Challenge for myself.   This week (technically lasts weeks) is of Rylee and her BFF Ally.

Rylee begged me to come have lunch with her.  It wasn't really me she wanted- it was the MacDonalds!   And the chance to sit with Ally.  They have recently been assigned lunch seats and she is 2 people away from Ally and this is devasting to Rylee!  My girl has refused to buy her lunch all year, and it is not because she doesn't like school food.  If she has to wait on the lunch line, it takes away from her Ally time (Ally brings her lunch).  It makes my heart happy to see my girl have such a close friend.  As a matter of fact, she has a sleepover planned at Ally's tonight.  No way I could expect her to go the entire spring break without her BFF!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yee Haw Y'all

March means Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo time!  We have taken our kids every year of their lives with the exception only being when Jadyn was 7 months old.  It is easily one of our favorite family traditions.  We love taking it all in- the livestock show, BBQ, Rodeo, cowboy autographs, the concert and the carnival. 

The livestock show is a favorite while they are young.  The girls have outgrown it, but Colton was really excited about riding a pig.  Not sure where he got that idea from, but it was all he talked about when he was told he was going to see pigs and cows.  While no pigs rides took place, we did make sure we scarred him for life.

As you can see, we thought it would be fun to take a picture of him with the black cow.  Yeah, well, black cow decided to "moo" hello from behind Colton.  Turns out the way moms and dads moo to their preschoolers actually sounds nothing like the real thing.  I am laughing again.  Mean mom, I know.

My kids can never get enough of the carnival.  Jadyn has become a bit of a chicken in recent years and she prefers the fun houses and giant slides over the "real" rides. 

She did make a great riding partner for her brother though!

She took it upon herself to teach him to ride ALL rides with your hands in the air.  This was seriously one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  He LOVED the rides and appears to be quite brave.  This little car ride seemed simple.  Cars driving in a circle.  Well, turns out it flings you around the corners very fast.  I was sure after the first turn he would freak.  NO!  He cracked up and screamed when the ride was over.

Colton also rode the kiddie coaster with his noonie.  See him there with his little hands in the air?  Again, CUTEST THING EVER!

Now Rylee on the other hand...well, she is a dare devil.  Nothing and I mean NOTHING seems too intimidating to her. 

The arrow is where Rusty and Rylee are on the large roller coaster.  I rode with her last year, Daddy this year.

Thankfully if her sister isn't going to be her riding buddy, she has a mom and dad who are almost always willing to.

I say almost because the swings neither Rusty or I are willing to ride along on.  Rusty has decided he doesn't trust the chains for himself anymore and I cannot handle going in a circle.  Never ends pretty.

The rodeo is no doubt some of my favorite memory makers with my kids.  I realize that I kind of mark the passing of years by the rodeo.  How big the kids were, what their favorite song was that night, what rides they couldn't ride because they weren't tall enough yet.  Already looking forward to next year!