Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa is watching..

While I can get away with it, I have taken to telling the boys "Santa is watching right now.." anytime they have started acting up these last few weeks.. apparently, Riley feels that Santa is fair game.. the last couple days, if Troy or I don't agree with him on something, Riley looks up, bats his sweet little eyelashes & says in a soft voice, "when I talk to Santa, I am going to make sure he puts you on the naughty list.. sorry, but you'll get nothing for Christmas this year".. {sigh}.. that kid has beaten us at our own game..

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life..

I was wrapping presents tonight, using some jingle bells on the packages.. when Taggert heard the bells ringing, he said "Mama, did you know- everytime a bell rings, an angel gets another wing?"... yes, baby, that's exactly right.. ; )

Saturday, December 13, 2008


First thing Saturday morning the phone rings.. "what are you guys doing?".. "trying to make the kids believe we are still asleep" we respond..
it turned out Carol didn't have to go to work for the day, and we needed to take full advantage of a rare Saturday with her.. Poor Troy stayed home & studied, while the boys & I loaded up in the Sippel van for our free day.. Free was our theme & we did our best to stay on track..
First up was a visit to the Austin Capital Building.. The boys did a great job of paying attention on the tour (free), with Riley even stopping to ask the tour guide a question about the renovations..
Next we stopped at Whole Foods for a little wine tasting (they use teeny tiny cups) & some snacks.. a quick bite to eat on the lawn of UT campus (what a gorgeous day) & it was off to the LBJ Presidential Library (free).. Steve's bit of trivia was that there are only 12 presidential libraries currently, with 2 of them in Texas.. who knew? (a wealth of knowledge, isn't he?).. we could have spent a lot more time there, but the boys (pretty much just my boys) were reaching their time limit of quiet voices & no running, so it was time to head back north..
By the time we got home Troy was ready to put his books down.. we all loaded up & headed to Salado, for the annual Christmas Stroll (free).. what a picture perfect little town.. the boys enjoyed the carolers dressed in costumes & the fact that we spotted Santa, driving a big, red Ford no less!
On the way home for the night we stopped at the Georgetown square for dinner, the Heisman announcement.. all the boys loved playing video games & pool while the grown ups enjoyed a quiet dinner.. no one can say we don't make the most of our days!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the last to know..

Troy & I had a meeting for work this morning in downtown Austin, beginning at 8:00 am.. It's pretty rare when we both have to be that far away from home that early, but when it occurs, we take the little trail over to Carol's house & ask if she can adopt our children for the morning, getting them to school after we leave.. God Bless Carol, she always helps out when we are in need..
We left Round Rock at 6:15 am, which meant I had to get moving at 5:00 am to get everyone ready, out the door & deposited on Carol's doorstep on time.. knowing this, I still stayed up until after 1:00 am reading Angels & Demons, the prequel to The Da Vinci Code. why didn't I know these books were soo good?.. I remember all the media hype, prior to the TDVC movie, and I can't for the life of me remember why I didn't read it back then.. perhaps there is a small part of me that resists things that get all the hype, which makes me the last to know how great these books are..
now that I'm finally with the program, if it weren't almost 11:00 pm as I've finished it, I would run over to Carol's to borrow TDVC next.. of course, it would mean I'd stay up reading again until I fell asleep with the book on my face.. I suppose I'll save my late night reading for tomorrow night.. sweet dreams! : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sneak Peek...

If you click on the link to Tina's blog to the right, >>>
you can get the first look at some of our photos..
I love the pictures of us laughing, but I'm embarrassed tell any of you what started it.. ahh.. the joys of being a mommy of little boys...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

picture day... aghhh...

Lovely Tina, who first took pictures of the boys & me as a surprise for Troy at Father's Day, has started her little photography business.. with her three sons, she speaks fluent boy, and mine respond very well to her.. so, when we decided we wanted to do family portrait, she was our first choice..
Did I mention this was the first family portrait we've ever done all together?.. somehow we've just never gotten around to it.. of course, you would think because of this, I would have been a little more prepared... but no, instead, I spent the morning reading the love story of (my new favorite website).. I've even made a couple of her recipes so far, and my personal cowboy has loved them..
anywho, by 2 o'clock, it was time to start thinking about what we would all wear.. that is, to meet Tina at 4..... I know, right?... I scooted up to Old Navy. that store has never failed me, and I was able to find something for everyone.. I ran home, jumped in the shower, instructing each boy to put on a pair of jeans & their new shirt..
Dad, check.. Taggert, check.. and then there was Riley.. He wears a uniform shirt & khaki pants to school everyday.. It's just started to get cooler around here, so he's even been fine in shorts most days.. so it's now, 30 minutes before we are to meet Ms. Tina, that we learn Riley is no longer a 4T.. and the one pair of 5T jeans I found in his room had a hole in the knee..
ah, hand-me-downs..
It's now 20 minutes before we are to meet Tina & I have wet hair and am not dressed.. I race upstairs.. yep, loads of 4T & 6T jeans.. perhaps he has skipped a size?.. I run downstairs & toss a 6T pair to Troy, then back into my bedroom to get dressed.. No dice..
Still with wet hair- 15 minutes to go- I run back upstairs & think, just maybe, we overlooked a 5T pair the last time we went through Taggert's clothes.. Closet? no.. Drawers under the bed? nope.. finally in the last drawer of his dresser- one pair.. and no holes!
Back downstairs, jeans in Troy's hands, hairdryer on full blast.. nothing like a ticking clock, stress, a hot hairdryer & your family standing right outside your door ready to go..
Regardless, we still pulled in at the same time as Tina.. she worked her magic, kept my boys giggling & in no time we were done.. I can't wait to see the finished product, especially after all that craziness!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A creative reward system..

I have to hand it to the teachers at Taggert's school... for many reasons, really.. but tonight, for their method of rewarding the students.. at dinner Taggert was telling us how excited he was that tomorrow was Friday (that makes two of us sweetie).. he said the principal had been watching the 2nd graders at his school & decided they deserved something special for their good behavior.. two groups were formed and a vote was taken.. on one side, they voted for a no-homework pass.. Taggert didn't like this idea because he says he loves homework.. (I'll need to keep that little nugget handy..)
He went with the 2nd group, and that's the group that won... the big treat you ask?.... It's three-fold... 1) they get to take off their shoes for the entire day (Taggert placed heavy emphasis on entire)... 2) they get to write in pen.. and 3) they get to eat their lunch in the classroom versus the cafeteria..
nicely done.. creative & free, yet the kiddos still feel like they are getting something extra special..

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Diego-thirty!...

Tonight we went to a party at Gattiland for Taggert's football team.. while I'm on the topic, what is the draw of skee ball?... why am I willing to almost throw out an arm playing this game?.. anywho- we really had a great team this season, and an even greater coach.. Riley kept trying to be a part of the team activities, and Coach Randy did a lovely job making sure he felt included..

When we got home, it was time for showers & brushing teeth.. I was in the kitchen cleaning up when I heard the most abrupt, high-pitched squeal from upstairs.. the squeal was followed by a thunder of footsteps coming down the stairs, and a little nekkid boy jumping into my arms.. just guess what Riley found in the back of his toothbrush drawer?...
it was his most favorite, not real, Diego watch.. Riley stays pretty happy, but this was pure, primitive joy.. you can see from a previous post below what this watch means in our house.. ; )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween 2008..

I'm cleaning out my camera tonight, so this picture is a little late.. but here's hoping you & yours had a great Halloween, and only got the best kind of candy!

This does not look good...

Four grown men...
... a giant sling shot.... a bucket of water balloons..

...moving targets.... nope, this does not look good at all...

Good meals..

Right before Taggert was born, everyone offered to make us meals & bring them by in the first few days we were home.. We politely declined each offer, confident we could do it all on our own.. Millions of people do it everyday, right?.. In fact, while I was pregnant with Taggert a woman gave birth in a hurricane, while stuck in a tree.. My Dad often pointed out that she was fine, so how hard could this be?..
I'll never forget the first day after that first, long, sleepless night home with baby Taggert waking up to eat every 30 minutes.. Troy & I had no plan, no system, and we were both up every time Taggert cried (did I mention it was every 30 minutes??).. we were a couple of keystone cops- bumping into each other, ripping diapers & almost breaking the Diaper Genie.. The next day I called my Mother in tears.. we were beyond exhausted & starving.. it's as if we forgot how to cook, even where in our house to look for food.. a couple of hours later the doorbell rang, and my Mother walked in with one of everything from Boston Market.. we ripped into the containers like rabid bears..
Fast forward to Riley's birth.. 3 years older & a little wiser, our friends Ed & Laura offered to bring dinner our first night home.. Taggert was staying with my parents those first few days to give us time to get situated.. I quickly accepted their kind offer.. once again, all of our focus had been on feeding & caring for our newest cherub, so we were starved by the time Ed & Laura arrived.. I still remember the meal- homemade chicken pot pie, salad and a pitcher of margaritas.. They were barely out the door before we were relaxing over that wonderful meal.. Troy laughs that my fond memories of that meal have more to do with the margaritas (my first adult beverage in 9 months!) than the chicken pot pie..
Well, here we are today.. Jamie & Joel have brought little Deegan into this world, and now it is our turn to deliver a hot meal.. Ed & Laura still had the recipe, so I thought I would make them the dinner we enjoyed so much.. I've never made it myself, so I did a test run tonight..
... I'm not a baker, but it turned out pretty nicely, in my opinion...
... and judging from what is left, my family seemed to enjoy it as well.. Hopefully Jamie & Joel will enjoy it Wednesday as much as we did..

Friday, October 24, 2008

Introducing Deegan Mac..

Congratulations to Jamie & Joel on their new addition, Deegan Mac.. Their lives will never be the same- lucky them.. looking at that peaceful face, wrapped in the hospital standard-issue blanket & cap, almost makes me want another.. Many blessings to the Bandley family..

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where has the time gone?... more ways than one... my precious little Riley loves wearing his Diego watch.. it's not an actual watch, but simply a piece of yellow plastic shaped like a watch, with a picture of Diego on it.. when we ask him what time it is, he has often said "Diego-thirty".. he has been undaunted when someone (especially his older brother) has pointed out it is not a real watch..
he wears his watch every day & night.. in the shower, to school & in bed.. he only takes it off to play flag football, when one of us will hold it for him..
this week, he lost his little Diego watch at football practice.. I came home from being out of town for a couple of days, and Troy shared this news with a sad look on his face..
knowing that his next watch will most likely be an actual watch, I think we felt as if it marked one of those signs Riley getting a little older..

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

out of the mouths of precious kiddos..

After school Taggert & Riley were playing with Taelyn outside.. they were running all over the driveway & in the garage, and having lots of little discussions.. I was reading & not really paying attention, so I didn't catch anything they were saying..
a little later Taggert talked back & I asked him to go inside.. at which point, Riley turned to Taelyn & said "so.. Daddy's out of town.." turns out, they were playing house- Taggert was Daddy, Taelyn was Mommy & Riley told me he was the "older son".. I had to laugh at how quickly Riley was able to improvise..

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What was that?...

I'm sitting next to Troy just now when a commercial for the new season for Dancing With The Stars comes on, showing the new roster of dancers.. Excitedly he says, "hey, it's going to be a good season!".. what?!?

The first day of school..

Today was Taggert's first day of 2nd grade, with Riley beginning a new preschool year at Primrose... Everyone was up early this morning, with Taggert bouncing around & singing some song about being a second grader.. when I picked him up & asked how it went on the first day, he said "awesome".. I'm grateful that they still get excited about going to school.. let's hope it lasts..

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last day before school starts...

We wanted to find a way to celebrate the last day of summer vacation.. Carol & I had read about Hey Cupcake in Austin, a cute little airstream trailer parked on South Congress that only serves cupcakes.. it sounded like the perfect place for little celebrations..
so, after I was done with work, we gathered the troops & headed south.. as you can see from the photo, we were met with a "sold out" sign when we got there.. which left us with some upset little boys..
Luckily, just down the street from Hey Cupcake, is another Austin original, Amy's Ice Cream.. We activated Plan B, and started telling the boys that cupcakes are overrated (so they wouldn't get too upset about it).. Everyone got their choice (how about dark chocolate with gummy bears??) & we took a stroll up Congress... this lasted about 4 minutes until a crazy rainstorm hit.. you would think this would be bad, but with 5 little boys eating ice cream in the Texas heat, a little water comes in handy for all those sticky faces & fingers..