Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

(Posting by Jes)
It's New Years Eve...about 10:40PM and everyone's asleep...pretty typical New Years for us. I'm the only one up...
We did light a fire in the backyard tonight, make smores, light some fireworks, and Wendy and her family came over. That was fun. But once 10PM was lights out for everyone (except me).


At first Mason was scared and ran from the sparkler I lit; however, he eventually came around and had fun!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pictures in no particular order

The little boy table on Christmas eve! They had the cutest conversation going!

Jumping on the new tramp Santa brought with Daddy

Here is the next segment of "that's what he said"
After jumping with Daddy for about an hour Mason came in and sat down to play a game. After a minute or two he said...
"I think our house is bouncing!"

Daddy helping Victoria open her presents.

yay! I got cute boots!

Christmas!!!! YAHOO!

Here are a few pics from our Christmas eve party last night, and some of today. Merry Christmas!
Crazy fun party!

Christmas Jammies!

Mason got a computer game from Grandma and Grandpa Springer! He loves it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Goodbye Old Friend...

(Posting by Jes)

I guess I'm a big traditionalist. I love Christmas, and with Christmas comes many of the favorite things (mostly food) I remember about growing up... This was food you didn't normally eat the rest of the year: The Lifesavers book, tin(s) of Danish short-bread, peanut brittle, fudge, popcorn balls, and of course egg nog.

As I get older, some of these traditions have had to stop, such as the Lifesavers book. The last time I ate some Lifesavers, I had to follow them with half a bottle of Tums. Short-bread doesn't last long between myself and Mason, and the peanut brittle, fudge, and popcorn balls have slowly diminshed after we left Utah (too hard to ship). But egg nog? I'm certainly not going to give up one of my FAVORITE holiday joys?!? No way. I love it and I'll continue to drink it like water from Thanksgiving to Christmas day... Or so I thought....

It's now December 22nd and the only egg nog I've had this season was a thimble cup sample at Costco (and it was excellent!). While I almost bought the 5 gallon container of it, thankfully I had just sampled the cheesecake, truffles, muffins, chocolate cake, and some weird chicken I didn't...

I've worked hard over the past 6 months to lose about 25 pounds. My goal was to simply maintain my weight during the holidays and so far I've been successful. So each time I go to reach for that wonderful glass of egg delight, I stop. And I keep thinking, "I'll have some tomorrow." With only 3 days left and the holiday treats appearing like fire-ants after a rain (Texas joke), I fear I'll have a hard time justifying drinking 1 cup of egg nog at 400 calories (and who can simply have 1 measured cup?) when I can eat 2-3 times the amount of the other cookies, candy, cake, popcorn, etc while breaking about even in the calorie count?

So, I guess this is goodbye old friend. We shall meet again next year.

(by the way, yes, in Mason's stocking this year will be a Lifesavers book, Danish cookies, and other "traditional" treats that I remember growing up).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

That's what he said... sorry Meghan!

So, My friend Meghan had this great idea to post the funny things her son says each week. I thought this was a great idea, since Mason says the funniest, weirdest things daily!!! This way I will be able to look back and remember the funny things and laugh all over again! I hope you get a laugh out of it too. I am going to title these segments "that's what he said". Sorry to steal your idea Meg!

So, first post of That's what he said... story courtesy of Jes...

Jes was giving Mason a bath last night and Mason was playing around. He was lying flat on his belly and lifted his arms and legs up into the air, kind of like superman. He excitedly exclaimed

Monday, December 15, 2008

Old Faithful

(Posting by Jes)
Two comments to put this story in perspective. First, on our property we have a second house (our guest house) that we've rented. Currently, a woman and her daughter live there.
Second, we have a nifty little contraption called a septic tank that breaks down all the waste from the house, chlorinates it, and waters the lawn with it. I used to think this was cool...

Why do bad things always happen on weekends? Saturday night, we returned from shopping to find our renters standing outside. The mom approached me and explained that sewage had backed up and overflown from the shower and toilet and ran all over the guest house main floor. (Luckily, it's all tile). I won't explain what I saw on my first inspection...

Since BOTH the shower and the toilet were full of ...well, sewage, I decided the source of the problem must be outside. Armed with a flashlight, I approached the relief valve between the house and the septic tank. Now...are you familiar with movies involving water and the ominious scenes where little streams of water are shooting from the cracks? Obviously that means there is a large build-up of pressure and you SHOULDN'T open it, right? Well, I had to. The result? Old Faithful in our backyard! I've been to Yellowstone Park before and I probably would have appreciated the scene a bit more had I not been running for cover from flying...well, sewage.

Needless to say, it worked....

To make a long-story short, the septic tank was clogged and full. I opened up both relief valves for the main house and the guest house to get us by until Monday morning. Yep...that means everytime we used the shower, the toilet, the dishwasher, sprayed into the yard. Just the sight of it made Ashlee gag and we had to keep Mason inside (likes to run through sprinklers).

It's all fixed now, but now I need to clean-up the yard. Hopefully it will rain today. Maybe I'll just plant some bushes there. They'll probably grow really good!

Consider this before ever becoming a land-lord.


Here is another of the cute pictures Kathy took while she was here! I am so lucky to have a photographer for a Mother in Law!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Here...we'll let the general population vote on our Christmas picture this year...
Thanks to Kathy for taking these while here for Thanksgiving!!!
Picture 1

Picture 2


Picture 3

Cozumel, Mexico Cruise

Yesterday, we returned from our cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. Believe it or not...we didn't take any pictures. So, you'll have to use your imagination!!! A special thanks to Brandi and Morgan that flew to Texas to stay with Mason and Tori while we were gone!

Here are the highlights of the days:
Thursday Night- We wandered around for a little while, trying to see all there was to offer, but ended up in the gym (a great start for non-stop eating!). There was a storm in Galveston that night, so the boat was rocking pretty bad. Turns out, running on a treadmill while on a rocking boat is NOT a good idea. It has a tendency to throw you off the treadmill. Dinner was GREAT! Ashlee was in bed by 8PM. I guess with a 6 month old at home, she thinks vacation means sleep. Of course...the rocking of the boat started to get to Jes and he stumbled into bed, a little sea sick, around 10PM.
Friday - When did we become the "old" couple? Complaining about how LOUDLY the music was at the pool, Jes overheard two middle age (but certainly older than us) women talk about how they were up until 2:30AM the night before. Reality set in. We were being out partied by all these OLD people!!! In an effort to keep up, Jes did the water slide. Ashlee wouldn't. We got sunburns. Jes went to gym. Dinner was GREAT! Ashlee in bed by 8:30PM. Jes refused...stayed up until 2:30AM (gambling)...
Saturday - Cozumel! We shopped. Nothing exciting, but beautiful island. Had we taken any pictures...they would have looked like this...

Saturday night, Ashlee actually decides to stay up after dinner. We saw the comedian, did some more shopping, watched a movie, then Jes taught Ashlee how to play Blackjack.... BAD IDEA. Before he knew it, she was the party at the table, yelling, screaming, making large bets, throwing chips, yelling at was crazy. Well...that may be a little exaggeration... Jes tries midnight Mexican buffet....BAD IDEA.
Sunday - A little cold, Ashlee refused to let it ruin her tanning time. Jes goes to gym. Ashlee gets a massage. Jes goes to casino to try to pay for the massage....he should have just got a massage instead. We see a really lame Christmas show.
Monday - Drive home....
Left out was the tons and tons of food we ate, the funny drunk people Jes made friends with, the old lady that wanted to disco dance with Jes, when Ashlee screamed out loud on her first blackjack, the crazy table-mates during dinner, the funny towel creatures, the games we played, etc...
We had a great time, can't wait for the next one!!!
Thanks to Katie for watching Abby for us! Hopefully she was nice...

Monday, December 1, 2008

More video from Children's Museum and San Antonio


San Antonio Boat Parade

San Antonio Boat Parade

The Friday after Thanksgiving, we drove to San Antonio to see the light parade on the riverwalk! Luckily we had reserved seats as there were SOOOO many people and half of San Antonio seemed to be shut down. Luckily we went early and went to the Children's museum (so we missed the traffic). We were going to eat on the river and watch the show, but since you couldn't get anywhere without a ticket (and ours were at will-call), we had to walk a few blocks to get our tickets. I held Tori and Jes had Mason on his shoulders. We finally got our tickets, but by then, it was too crazy to get anything to eat. Mason had to go potty, so Jes took him to find a porta-potty (Masons first experience) and they ended up getting gettingMcDonalds while I fed the baby on the river. Poor Jes was trying to wade through all these people with Mason on his shoulders and holding all of our food, and he dropped my Dr. Pepper! It went everyone and Jes was getting really mad, but he said it was hard to get too upset as he dealt with the crowd because Mason was on his shoulders singing "Old McDonald" as loud as he could. After dropping off the food, Jes was nice enough to go BACK to McDonalds and get me a drink. He said the line was out the door, so he walked up to the first person in line, gave them $3.00 and said, "keep the change, just get me a drink". They did.
The parade was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kids Intuition and Thankful

You've heard of mother's intuition right? Well, I believe that kids have intuition as well. It seems that they can find some of the most inappropriate things to say at the most opportune time. I'm not just talking about pointing out the obvious (as Mason loudly commented about the lady in front of us with a "big butt"). (she did have a big butt...) anyway...

I'm talking about something totally out of the blue.

Recently, we've started getting involved with a non-profit organization called Foundation for the Homeless. It's a program that takes homeless families and allows them to live in homes (as a large group) while they get their feet under themselves. They are required to have jobs and attend school, etc., and they need people to bring them dinner and socialize with them. We were attracted to this service because we could volunteer as a family. So, Monday night, we brought dinner to these families and spent time with them.

Mason had a blast! He was able to play with all these kids and he made a few friends. But then....
While eating dinner, Jes overheard Mason ask his new friend, "where's your house?". Now, this isn't uncommon for Mason to ask his friends this, so Jes quickly said, "this is their house, now eat your dinner.". The subject was dropped. was time to leave and Mason was enthusiastically running around saying goodbye to everyone. But instead of his usual, "Goodbye". For SOME UNKNOWN REASON, he had to add, "Goodbye, I'm going to my house now". And he said it over and over and over....

I doubt anyone noticed other than us, but why would he say that?!?!?!? Kid's intuition.

Given it's the week of Thanksgiving, having had this opportunity really reminded us that we have A LOT to be thankful for. Traffic, broken Christmas lights, burned dinner, etc. just don't seem that bad when you realize all the stuff that's GOOD about your life compared to others who are less fortunate.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Circus Weekend!

We went to the circus this weekend! Mason was excited for days! He wouldn't stop talking about it...and then we arrived. I guess it could have been worse, but it definitly doesn't rank in the top 10 of our family events. In fact, for weekend family events, our trip to Costco may have been more exciting (they were giving away Cheesecake samples!!).
Anyway, since Mason probably had the most fun, we'll tell the story from his point of view.

"Wow. What a BIG building", I say. Where are we? I heard Mama saying something about East Austin and us getting shot. She's funny..."silly mama", I giggle. Wow, Daddy found great seats, close to the floor! How come they are all looking the other way?!? Oh well, I just want to see the Elephants! Oh, I think it's starting! WOW!! I love the lights zooming all over! Daddy's trying to tell me to look at the tigers, but man, these lights are cool. Maybe Daddy will setup something like this in my room? Oh, there ARE tigers doing tricks. Man those tigers are...HEY, SNOWCONES! Daddy, can I have a snowcone?!?!?!? PLEASE?!? Sweet, he's motioning to the guy. DANG, he didn't see him. Were did the Tigers go? What are those weird dressed up people doing? Hmm...Daddy told Mama that a clown had the name "Mr. Sleezy" on his vest. Not sure what that means... "HEY, it's ELEPHANTS! (makes elephant noise)", I yell. Wow, that elephant is neat...I sure like ele...SNOWCONE GUY!!! Daddy got me one. YEAH! Opps...I dumped half on daddy. He looks a little mad. Oh well. "Sorry Daddy". Wow, check out this cool straw/spoon. Opps. I dumped half of it on me. Daddy is looking very frustrated. He's pointing at things on the stage, but I must focus...this snowcone is tricky. WHOA! What did my chair just do?!? It tried to eat me like a Venus Fly Trap!!! And I dumped half my snow cone again! "Stupid chair...", I say.
(20 minutes pass)...
This snowcone is good. Mama left with baby Tori when she was crying and Daddy seems mad that I'm not watching the Circus.
Half time. Done with my snowcone. Playing with chairs. Second half starting. Wow, more elephants. I'm tired now. Maybe I'll just snuggle up with Daddy (who smells like cherry) and watch the rest. BOOM!!! WOW! "They just shot a man out of that cannon!", I yell. "I want to do that!!!!", I tell Daddy.
What?!? It's time to go already? I didn't even get to see any of it. Mama seems mad, something about sick baby and she has a headache. Hmm...well, that was fun! "Can we go to the Circus again tomorrow?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Time and Empty Threats

Never-ending Halloween
Do you remember when Halloween was one day of fun? You’d dress up ALL day, but it was only ONE day. Man have things changed…
This year, the Halloween season started early in October. With small events such as pumpkin carving, costume design, and some minor house decorating, we were getting in the spirit early! A 3 year-old definitely reminds you of the excitement of the seasons.
Event #1: Molly had a costume party the Saturday prior to Halloween. Our spirits high (some more than others), excitement in the air, we dressed up as a Cowboy (Mason) and Indians! It was a fun party, with lots of good food, scary excitement, and of course, candy!!! Yumm.
Event #2: Still feeling buzzed by our first candy overdose of the season, it was Truck or Treating time at the church. Excitedly, we dressed up again! The event was fun and provided for more candy! Now, we were selective. Re-distributing the unwanted candy, we had a pile of the “best” candy to last us the next 24 hours. Somehow Jes’s wig started to fall apart, Tori was no longer a Baby Indian, but now a pumpkin, and Mason ditched the gun and holster. Were we starting to break?
Event #3/4 Still whirling from Truck or Treat, the next day Mason’s school allowed the children to dress up as animals or Mr./Mrs. Noah (it’s a Baptist school). There was games, rides, prizes, and of course…candy. Mason went as a turtle (his costume from last year that barely fit). Later that night it was “Boo”da fest in our little town. All the local businesses and government officials hand out candy on Main Street. Our Halloween spirit quickly falling apart, we parents didn’t dress up. Tori was now a princess (?). Mason was a gunless cowboy with a badge (half Sheriff/half Cowboy?) More candy… Oh…and coupons and advertisements.
Event #5 – Halloween Night. By Friday, candy for breakfast seemed almost normal. The pumpkins on our front porch looked like a pile of orange oatmeal. Mason was drunk on sugar and Tori had a multiple costume disorder. Off we went to Trick or Treat. Thankfully, it got boring after about 30 minutes, so we headed to the YMCA event, which we ALL had a blast. Pony rides, train rides, bouncy things, a petting zoo, games and prizes are all great substitutes for candy!
Event # 6. Just when I think it’s over, Walmart has everything Halloween 50% off the following day. $50.00 worth of stuff and one large bag of M&M’s, we cleared all Halloween items from our house, scraped up the pumpkin mush on the front porch, and started adding more healthy foods into our diet. It was a fun week, but nothing like I remember growing up. Mason enjoyed it so much, he asked if we could do “Halloween again tomorrow?”

Empty Threats
By Halloween, Mason was pretty wired with all the events and candy. Halloween day, by the time Jes got home from work, Mason had already had multiple time-out’s and was even spanked once. The threat of “we won’t go trick or treating” was now being used. Finally, on the third naughty instance, Jes quickly put Mason in time-out, de-costumed him, and said, “That’s it, we’re not going”. Ashlee was stunned. “We’re not going...”, she asked? She had just got everyone ready! After a quick discussion, we realized how much we are both hated empty threats…so… we weren’t going.
Time-out over, Jes explained to Mason that he had lost his privilege and we weren’t going out tonight. We watched as Mason’s lower lip started to quiver, his eyes filled with water, and he squeaked, “o..k..”. He then started to sob. Not a fit cry, not a injured cry, but a cry both his parents recognized as, “I screwed up and now I’m really regretful”. We had never heard this cry before and it brought tears to our eyes. He only cried for a few minutes, then accepted his fate. He had pushed us too far. After about 15 minutes, we asked if he wanted to earn back his privilege. Now Mason could see the light again and excitedly agreed to do whatever it took! Eagerly, for the next 15 minutes, Mason picked up shoes, helped clean the kitty litter box, threw away garbage, organized his room, and whatever odd chore we could come up with. Then, with family hugs, we put his costume back on, and headed out!
The rest of the night was a success. We all had fun, and Mason was the best little boy we could ask for!'s hard being a parent.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Night!

Halloween night we went trick or treating to a few homes, the headed over to the Buda Park for games, bouncy toys, train rides, face painting, pony rides, and more!! Mason had so much fun he asked, "Can we come back to Halloween tomorrow?"

Mama and Baby Tori.
Holding a baby chick at the petting zoo...

Train ride!! Mason loves trains so much, he did this 4 times.

Daddy and Baby Tori in her princess outfit.

Video of trick or treating and Pony Riding Cowboy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trunk-R-Treat and stuff!

These are in no particular order... but here we go!!!
Jes and Mason going through the loot after trunk-r-treat at the church last night

Mason with his teachers, Miss Kristine and Miss Donna. He got to dress up for school today, but had to be an animal from the ark, or Mr and Mrs Noah. I guess that's what happens at a church run school!
My little cowboy!

Here is the whole gang! Tori was going to be a baby Indian, but it was cold, so she was a pumpkin. I decided Indians probably had pumpkins, so it was okay! I am pretty proud of the costumes I made!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zilker Park Dinosaur and Gardens

Saturday we all went to Zilker Park in Austin for a dinosaur exhibit. Jes and Mason took a ride on the Zilker train. It was really beautiful up in those gardens!

Carving Pumpkins

We carved and painted pumpkins last week. Mason insisted on a spider, cat, scary face, and ghost...
We then cooked the pumpkin seeds and Mason loves them!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Something is in our wall. We hear it scratching and climbing around in there. It is driving us crazy, and I am really scared it's a RAT! Jes thinks, and I hope, it is a chipmunk. Jes decided to try and find out. We couldn't figure out how it was getting in, so Jes decided to drill holes in the wall!!
Then he decided to cut a square out of the wall... with my BREAD KNIFE! And look at the mess!
He put a mouse trap in the hole, and taped it shut. We haven't heard any running around since, but we haven't caught anything yet. Wish us luck, I hope it's not a rat...