Monday, September 21, 2009

And The Rains Came!

College Station has been blessed with several days of rain. Boy, did we need it and the tempertaures sure have come down. The only bad thing is, the kids have been cooped up inside for several days. What better cure for cooped-up-ness than to go out and enjoy all the rain God has sent. And enjoy they did! Andrew and Ainsley ran, played in the down spouts, swang, slid down the slide, took a break from the rain in the fort, and just had a grand ole time. I loved seeing all the smiles and freedom that came along with their new found fun!

A Big Time Was Had By All!

So sorry to be still stuck in August, but time is getting away from me way too fast. We had such a fun summer! Lots of travel and visiting with family. Our latest trip was to Albuquerque for Josh's dad retirement!!! How exciting. We all gathered to celebrate his great accomplishment. In getting there, Ainsley had her first experience with flying! The first leg of the trip was not too swell...she ended up being "that baby on the plane who cried a lot." One businessman had to put his sound-proof earphones on to escape. Unfortunately, Josh and I were not so lucky so we just endured her screams and tried to entertain as much as possible. She was fine with the flying, it was being contained that got to her.
Thankfully the first leg was short and we got to Dallas and on our way again...she fell asleep! We all did...quite worn our from all the excitement! Once to Albuquerque, we had a BIG time. A retirement ceremony, lots of cake, the zoo, the aquarium, the science museum, the pool, cousins, what more could we ask for!
Thanks Gammie and Poppy...we love you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Words of Wisdom!

Isn't this just a face only a mother could love? Andrew is fascinated with getting his picture taken while making funny faces...this is his latest. Also, here are some Andrew'isms I couldn't help but share.

Aggie football has started with all nights games. While at the game on Saturday, part of the stands at Kyle Field was taken over by crickets. It was a section just under the big lights so there were tons and tons of other bugs swarming the lights. Andrew was obsessed with looking through Pop Pop's binoculars to see what ended up being quite a show of bugs.

Andrew: "Mama, you have got to look at all these bugs. I think there is a million of them!"
Out of NOWHERE comes this horrible shrieking noise.
Me: "ANDREW, why are you making that horrible noise?"
Andrew: "I am calling the bats to come eat all those bugs!"


Josh and Andrew spend a good part of Sunday afternoon watching football.
Andrew: "Daddy, who are the Steelers?"
Josh: "They are from Pittsburgh...the Pittsburgh Steelers."
Andrew: "What did they steal?"

What do you do with a girl?

God gave me curly hair for a reason. He knew I would never be coordinated enough to use all the equipment needed to maintain straight hair. Well, He also gave me a sweet baby girl whose hair is getting so long she looks like a little rag-a-muffin. I was feeling so very self-confident about her looking un-kept that I stepped out of my comfort zone to do something about it. I put her hair up in a top pony tail. This is my first attempt! Not too bad...I am getting better each time and Ainsley is sooo patient with me. She sits very still and lets me take all the time I need.

Ainsley is very much a girl. She would stand on her stool, look in the mirror, and either brush her hair or brush her teeth all day if you would let her! I just love it. She is coming into her own personality, very different from her brother who is definitely all boy! Here she is in her favorite shoes. She just prances and prances on her tippie toes showing them off to whomever will notice! Such a big girl.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Walking for a Cause!

My maternal grandfather, Kenneth Post, was every bit of 6 feet 4 inches tall. He was a proud, strong, broad chested man who worked his whole life at Allis Chalmers, a tractor plant in La Porte, Indiana. Despite his grandiose stature, when he opened his mouth to sing, angels stopped to listen! What a gift he had.

I wish I had more memories of him, but my grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's. It robbed him of more time with us, his memory, his physical being, and his pride. What a horrible disease. Upon hearing the name Alzheimer's, it does not take long for most of us to conjure up loving thoughts of someone taken by this awful disease.

Please join me in the fight to find a cure for this mind-crippling disease. A dear friend of mine whose grandmother was taken by Alzheimer's has put together a team of us to take part in a "Memory Walk.". My goal is to each raise $200 for this awesome cause.
Please join me in supporting a great cause by making an online donation at: http://blba.us/i.asp?id=299967-265453627-1 I appreciate your sponsorship in what I know is a hard time for all of us.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Girls

Whitney, Josh's sister, and I were due a week apart...each with a girl. Whitney went early and took my due date, having Jaekob on April 19th. I was glad someone got to use it since I always seem to deliver late. Ainsley came 5 days later on April 24th. Now that the girls are getting older, it is neat to see them play and interact with one another. I am not sure who has more fun...the girls playing together or us watching them. Based on the following video clip, the girls are actively looking for a manager to help them take their show on the road...coming to a city near you!
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They Done It Again!


Josh plays, every July in Amarillo, in the Budweiser partnership with his high school buddy, Greg. They have won the tournament twice. The first win came in 2001, thus the picture on top. The second win came this summer in 2009, thus the picture on bottom. Let me assure you that these are the same two men posed in both pictures!

Congrats gentlemen on a tournament well played! You both are like a fine wine...you only get better with age. :) Which do you think has changed the most...for the better of course?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yummy Dipping Stuff!

Some girlfriends and I decided to do a recipe swap to help "spice up" our dinners. I was way excited to have received such yummy ideas that I started trying the new recipes right away. One was for La Madeline's tomato basil soup. WOW, is it delicious. We made it with grilled cheese sandwiches that we ended up cutting like croutons and dropping in the soup. Andrew ate every last drop and requests the "yummy dipping stuff" every time we have grilled cheese sandwiches. I thought I would share the recipe for you all to hopefully enjoy as much as we have. It is very easy to make.

4 cups (8 to 10) tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed (I use one 28 oz. can of crushed + one 14 oz. can of whole that I then crush as I put them in the pan).

4 cups tomato juice or mixture of tomato juice and vegetable or chicken stock (I use one 11.5 oz. can of tomato juice + one 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth). You can buy single cans of vegetable juice at Wal-Mart on the juice aisle.

12-14 fresh basil leaves (it is worth planting basil just for this recipe).

1 cup whipping cream

1 stick sweet unsalted butter, softened

salt to taste

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper (I just use regular pepper).

Combine tomatoes and juice (or juice-stock mixture) in a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor with the 12-14 basil leaves. Process to puree. (This will need to be done in batches. I found that my blender is good to have about 1 and a half cups at a time so that it does not leap up and burn your hand while blending).

Return mixture to the saucepan and add cream and butter. Stir over low heat until cream and butter are incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with basil leaves.

This makes about 10 cups of soup. Each eat half and then freeze half!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Put It In Writing!

I have learned why Weight Watchers works...they make you journal, aka write down, what you eat for the day, therefore keeping track of your caloric intake. There is nothing more powerful than having to write down THE number, however small or large, just writing it down...seeing it on paper...staring back at you...leaving you sitting there thinking, did I really eat that much? It is enough to make a grown man (Josh) leave a white-chocolate, macadamia nut cookie on the break room table just so he did not have to record the 310 calories it would have cost him to eat it! Now that is the power of the pen!

Josh and I are going to Mexico with some good friends at the end of September. We have, well Josh did and then convinced me to, started writing down the calories we eat in order to hopefully shed some unwanted pounds before dawning a bathing suit for the lavish beaches of Mexico. (When I say it that way, it makes me more motivated to lose some jiggle). It seems to be working. I find myself contemplating, do I REALLY need to eat that. I have learned that fruits and veggies are your caloric friend, while pasta, rice, and potatoes are not so calorically friendly.


Also, a dear friend of mine from high school called and invited me to run in a half-marathon (13.1 miles for those who were wondering) with her. For some unknown reason, I am sure it was divine intervention, I opened my mouth and enthusiastically accepted her invitation. Then I started running. I have found the ole bod is not what it was in high school. My legs ached, my knees were sore, and most of all my back hurt. What you see here is one solution to my aging joints...new running shoes. I had to go all the way to the big city to find them. Apparently College Station is not a mecca for running paraphernalia. They seem to help along with some veteran advice to build my core strength, nice way of saying lose your flabby mid-section, and also to work on my hamstring flexibility. All-in-all, my body aches have subsided thanks to all the heeded advice and I am actually enjoying getting back into running. Now, come January when the race gets here...we will see. I know I am anxious too!

What has God put on your heart to do lately that you have just had to go blind faithly into?

Mr. Literal!

Andrew: "Aunt Whitney, what is that on the wall?"

Aunt Whitney: "That's the first aid kit."

Andrew: "Where's the second?"

Josh's Girlfriend!

This is something you don't see everyday...me with straight hair! Josh and I joke that this is the closest thing to a girlfriend he will get! :) When I get my haircut, I have my girl straighten my hair for me. There is a reason God gave me curly hair...He knew I would never be coordinated enough to use a flat iron on my own.

Unfortunately, this will be the last time I get my hair straightened. After my last hair cut, my face broke out in water blisters and I ended up at Urgent Care in San Antonio. I am apparently allergic to the straightening serum my girl sprayed on my hair...which involuntarily ended up on my face also. Just one more reason not to mess with Mother Nature! :)

Love That Small Town Feel!

Let me preface with I am WAY behind on blogging, so I apologize for the tardiness of this posting!

We spent the 4th of July in Canyon. After not being there for the 4th last year, I have come to decide small town 4th's are the only way to go! Yes, every town, regardless of size, has fireworks. But the difference I appreciate is in the quaintness and charm that comes with the small town celebration. For me, I love the community spirit and togetherness that comes with this patriotic holiday...it seems more magnified and genuine when experienced in a small town atmosphere.

We kicked off the day with a pancake and sausage breakfast put on by the Lion's Club, where our children bought American flags and red, white, and blue twirly-whirls. From there we went to the "Fair on the Square," around the downtown courthouse building, as we awaited the start of the parade. Face painting, greasy fair food, and homemade crafts galore! Of course we sent scouts out early to find the best parade-watching spot while the rest of us tooled around looking at all the various booths and catching up with old friends it is so fun to run into. The afternoon was spent swimming and bar-b-queuing in the backyard. What better way to end this magical day but by watching fireworks in the front yard of our dear friends.
You can take the girl to the big city, but you can't take the small town 4th out of her! What are your favorites parts of small town living?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reminiscing!

OK...the house is quiet. Ainsley is sleeping, Andrew is in Port Aransas with his grandparents, and Josh is at work. I am sitting at the computer updating my playlist, adding songs I hear on the radio and then try desperately to remember. (I am not too hip when it comes to current music...). In trying to think of more songs to add, I remembered one I heard called "We Bleed Maroon". I type it in, the website finds it, I listen to it, and then find myself crying! No, I am not pregnant, just overwhelmed with very fond memories of times past. Listening to the words made me remember why I am so proud to be an Aggie!

Now, yes, there are people who came to Texas A&M, earned a degree, and then moved on...never really experiencing what I consider Aggieland. My definition of Aggieland is Yell Practice at midnight on a Friday night, falling off bleachers wiggled loose by the other thousands of Aggies who stood there the Friday nights before. It is Kyle field on Saturday, sweating with 80,000 other devouts. It is the Dixie Chicken, playing 42 with dominoes traded at the bar for your drivers license. It is taking your hat off when you walk in the MSC (no matter how bad your hair looks), memorializing all the Aggies before and after you who will give there life defending our great nation. It is to Aggies don't boo, we horse laugh...booing is tacky. It is the Aggie Code of Honor, we do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do...and we mean it! It is smiling and saying "howdy" on your way to class as you pass by others on their way. It is the Aggie ring, a symbol of our pride and means of finding a common bond with strangers wearing theirs far from the boundaries of campus. It is knowing the words to, singing, and then teaching your children the words to our War Hymn. It is a whoop, what we say when we hear some "good bull"! It is Reveille, who else gets out of class when their mascot barks? It is Silver Taps, where campus is darken and Taps is played from the roof of the Academic building for any enrolled Aggie who has passed that month. It is Muster, a roll call for all Aggies who have died that year. It is maroon and white. It is all the amazing fellow Aggies you meet and get to call friend for many, many years after leaving. It is getting engaged under the Century Tree, to another who also shares this Aggie love. It is bonfire, and Gig'em, and the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, and the 12th Man, and fish camp, and yell leaders! The list goes on and on, but I will not bore you with more...

I know we, Josh and I, are pretty devout. We certainly get some looks when people hear our children's initials are AGS. As one good ole' Ag told us, "Who says Old Army is dead?" Anyway, to all you non-Aggies out there, I can only hope that your 4 (or maybe more) years at college come with as fond of memories as mine. I can only hope that songs written can bring tears of joyous memories as you remember your days on campus. So, joke all you want...make fun of us all you want, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Sorry for the cheesy gushing, but that is what was on my heart. I know there are a lot of other things I could have blogged on...and those are coming...I just got caught up in the moment. Now, indulge me in one more thing. Pause the song and enjoy "Welcome to Aggieland"! Just another way of sharing our Aggieland story.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sweet Dreams!

With all this swimming, Andrew has gone back to taking naps. In preparation for his nap, he gets 1 book (which he puts under his pillow) and 1 "friend" (aka stuffed animal) to sleep with. I went in to check on him, and this is what I found.

Its Not the Size That Matters!

Josh and I have decided that we are going to give all of Andrew's toys to Ainsley and all of Ainsley's toys to Andrew. It never ceases to amaze me how Andrew loves to play with all of Ainsley's toys. Take this little kiddie pool. Andrew was the first one in and had a ball! Who needs swim lessons or a diving board. Just give the kids 6 inches of water in a tiny little pool and they are happy, happy, happy!
We did bring out some bathtub toys to make the pool experience a bit more exciting. I think they paled in comparison to how easy it was to get in and out of the pool. Both Andrew and Ainsley found that to be the best part. In and out, in and out! No need for ladders or steps in this pool.
The amazing thing to me was that both kids fit comfortably in the pool at the same time! They sat and splashed, stood and splashed, fell down and splashed...splashing was quite a hit. This was a valuable lesson for me. I have a tendency to forget just how simple minded our sweet angles are. They do not need a big pool with fancy equipment to have a marvelous time. A simple blow up pool in the back yard is a treat!
Andrew is so proud of himself. He has learned how to pump his legs and swing himself! I think he has Josh or me or both come outside daily so he can show us. For him, it is a new and exciting adventure each day. He can get himself going pretty high...thus relieving Josh and I of our swing pushing duties. Occasionally Andrew does revert back and want someone to push him! I forget he is not as big as he sometimes thinks he is!

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Ainsley also enjoys playing out on the back patio. She has begun riding the big kids bikes and driving the big kids cars. Heaven help us all when she can actually get out on the open road. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy!

A New Found Freedom!

Off to the pool. What is summer vacation without a few hundred trips to the pool? It is safe to say that the Shields' children have taken to the water like a fish to the sea! Ainsley even got in on the action. She is not a complete fan of the life jackets, but she tolerates them just fine.
Andrew took swim lessons! A lady, who lives here locally, takes residence at the park pool all summer and gives swim lessons. She has been doing this since the early 70's! Her name is Ms. Kathy and Andrew loves her. I have not heard him this excited about something. I think he told everyone he knows that he was in swim lessons. He took them with a buddy of his and the 2 of them had Ms. Kathy all to themselves!
They took their lessons for 1 week. We lived at the pool that week, soaking up the sun and learning to swim. The boys floated (with big Santa Clause bellies), learned the crawl stroke (with big ice cream scoop arms), and learned the back stroke (with tickle tickle, airplane, and then soldier arms). I had to learn the lingo Ms. Kathy used so I could help reinforce the moves when we were done!
Here is the superman glide which led to big kicks and ice cream scoop arms! Andrew informed me that in this picture his legs should not be out of the water. "You should kick with your feet, Mama, not your knees!"
Here is a demonstration of the back stroke. To get the concept across to the boys, she had them do tickle tickle arms (hands up under their arm pits), airplane arms (arms straight out from their sides), and then soldier arms (arms down by their sides). In this picture Andrew is going from soldier to tickle tickle. Certainly not the most conventional terminology, but it works. I love it! Safe to say, Andrew was sad when our week of lessons was over, but we still get to see Ms. Kathy when we go swimming, so that kind of makes up for it!

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Ms. Kathy's big goal was to teach the boys to swim and then roll to their backs and float. If they were to get tired while swimming in water where they could not touch, this is a strategy that let's them back float and rest before going back to their active swimming. Andrew caught on for the most part, but wanted to put his feet down instead of float.

The most exciting part of the swim lesson came the new found confidence Andrew gained from he experience. His first big task was to go off the diving board. The park pool does not allow kids to go off the diving board in a life jacket, nor can a parent be there to catch them. It needs to be all them! Andrew took his first jump with Daddy waiting by the ladder if the need for assistance should arise. He LOVED it and the rest was history. Other than having to take a break due to sheer fatigue, Andrew would camp out in the deep end enjoying the diving board all day!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

The Girl With NO Fear!

Ainsley is quite the daredevil. It is interesting to compare her personality with that of her brother. Andrew is more reserved when it comes to trying new things and certainly has to think about something before just jumping into it! Ainsley, on the other hand, is not so reserved. She is fearless, uninhibited, and quite ready to try something new!

Her newest accomplishments are in the realm of climbing. Ainsley's smallest climbing quests are the living room furniture. She struggles with all her might to get up the front of the couch or the big leather chair and then sits so proudly like the Queen of Sheba on her thrown. Ainsley has ventured to try climbing the glider and its gliding ottoman, but they have bucked her off a time or two, thus sending her to try a different climbing piece of furniture.

Here are some of her largest climbing quests! Ainsley can climb, all on her own, up the ladder to the playhouse on top of our backyard adventure. Once up there, she does a fancy dance, aka stomping her feet and circling around, before positioning herself to slide down and start all over again.
The most unbelievable (to me that is) daredevil feat is seen here. She goes down the slide at the park pool all by herself! (Let me insert here that she does wear a life jacket at all times while on the slide!) Now, contrary to the picture here, she does need some assistance climbing the slide ladder, but I promised Susan I would not publish the pictures of her taking Ainsley to the top! :)
Once up, she sits and whooshes down the slide, completely on her own!!! even with the water at the top spraying her little face, she thinks its great. Here she in in mid whoosh!
Once out the bottom, she skates along the top of the water to be met by her Daddy! Even with a face full of water, her grin shines through brightly! Notice her brother in the orange trunks watching and cheering along side her!

She's Got The Look!

Ainsley has certainly come into her own and developed quite a little, well actually quite a big, personality! Regardless of what she is doing, she can bring a smile to one's face...most of all her brother! From sucking her thumb (mostly just when she is tired) to telling ghost stories with a flashlight up to her face, she is learning so much and becoming so much fun.
I could certainly come up with commentary for each of these pictures. For instance in the bottom, left corner car picture, I know she is exclaiming, "She said WHAT...Oh no girlfriend!" In the bottom, right picture, I know she is saying, "Peek-a-boo!" But alas, I will spare you the others. You can come up with them on your own. I hope they bring as many giggles to you as they have to us!
Not only is the girl great at making funny faces, she is a pro at making funny noises. Here is here newest. Be sure to turn your volume up to get the full effect of the noise making!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fat Lady Has Sung!

Well, after several months and several different sports, our adventure with Pee-Wee sports has come to an end. What fun we had. The last sport was baseball. Now, I have to admit...I am not a huge baseball fan. I used to think it was boring to watch. It still is when it is professionals playing on television, but when it is a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds, that puts a whole new spin on the game.
Andrew enjoyed his baseball days. Lots of base running practice; throwing practice; catching grounders, fly balls, and pop-ups practice. Here they are practicing throwing the balls at hull-a-hoops placed at varying heights along the fence.
Then came the games. Putting it all together and actually playing the game! Andrew started in the outfield and boy did he take his job seriously. This boy was ready to catch whatever came his way, or not his way. He ran after just about anything. When it was all said and done, Josh got him squared away about staying in his area, but I bet he ran a mile over that field shagging balls!
Who says you can't crowd the base. This boy was not letting anyone get to 2nd base on his watch! Then it was his turn to bat! This proved no big deal for Andrew. He would get up to bat, hit his home-run, run the bases, and then get back in line where he continued drawing in the dirt!

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If he wasn't playing in the dirt, he was yelling at his teammates to, "Run to first, run to second, run to third, run home!" After listening to myself in this next video, I have to admit, I see where he gets it from.

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We are now done with sports for the summer! There is a new addition to the Pee-Wee line-up, football starts in the fall. Also in the fall, Andrew is now old enough to start playing city league, so we will look into playing College Station soccer. In the mean time, we will rest and catch our breath with the thought of more good times to come!

Our First Attempt!

College Station certainly has a much more garden friendly growing season. We were a bit caught off gaurd by how early in the year we could plant our garden. Josh has grand plans for multiple beautiful raised beds, but with time running out, we postponed them until next year. The helpful people at our local Lowe's broke the news to us about just how bad the soil is here. After a spray of Round-Up, the grass was dead and ready for the rototiller. That was a chore, but Josh succeeded and we learned just how bad the soil really is. It sure is sandy. I think there once was a lake where our backyard now stands! Anyway, after several weeks of water, weed pulling, and love, the garden has given us some yummy treats: several zucchini, cucumbers, and basil. The tomatoes and cantaloupes are starting their production, and the watermelons are trying...Andrew talks to them all the time and cheers them on to grow. He is most excited about the watermelons...who knows why, but he is!

These pictures were taken about a month and ago as we celebrated our first harvest...I know I'm behind, but better late than never! And Andrew has decide he likes cucumbers...like the one he is holding!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Little Olympian!

Andrew has been taking gymnastics this past school year at a local gym, Powersports. He started in a recreational class, and then was invited to join a little boys team. Andrew loves it and enjoys getting to run, flip, bounce, and jump! They had their end-of-the-year "mini-Olympics" where they got to showcase their talents. He was the youngest boy there, but made up for it in heart and determination! Sure made his mama and daddy proud! The boys performed on 4 different apparatuses: parallel bars, rings, floor, and vault. Here he is waiting oh-so-patiently for his turn.

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Let the games begin! Andrew was the first to go on the first event, parallel bars! Once he figured out all the salutes and ta-da's, he was off to the races...what fun he had!

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I truly believe that putting the chalk on his hands in preparation is Andrew's favorite part of the rings. With that said, he also enjoys the flipping around that naturally comes with doing the rings! And I am amazed at how strong he is...he does not get that from his Mama!


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The memory card on the camera filled up in the middle of Andrew's floor routine...so sorry! If he practiced this once in our living room, he practiced this no less than 100 times. He was bound and determined to get it just right...just as Coach Geoff taught him to perform it with all the lunges and arm positions put just so! :) I was impressed with how seriously he took all of this.

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Andrew finished up with vault. One of these days he will nail the handstand portion. Control is not yet one of his strong suits...but he sure tried! What fun, what fun.

So You Think You Can Dance?

Let me let you in on a glimpse of what I get to witness daily!

Ainsley is getting to be such a big girl...soon to be 14 months. She loves her big brother and he loves her right back. Any new accomplishment, regardless of how trivial or small, she adds to her repertoire, Andrew feels cause for celebration. And what better way to celebrate than to dance. (regardless of the "Footloose" mentality).

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I feel certain that they get their moves from their Church of Christ Daddy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cabinet Raider

Ainsley has progressed from pulling toilet paper off the roll to unloading everything out of the kitchen cabinets...and this seems to be her favorite one to raid! I have yet to decide which of the two is worse: toliet paper pulling or cabinet raiding. I certainly do get a workout restocking all that she pulls out. The part that makes me laugh the most is that she is so proud of herself each and every time she raids! It is like she is finding treasure and wants to show it off to everyone. Apparently this time she was a bit tired and decided that my 100 calorie snacks made for a nice seat.

A Weekend of Golf

(Yes...this picture does say "PROOF" across it because we are too cheap to buy one...no really, ours has been ordered, it just isn't here yet. )

The Shields headed to Dallas this past weekend to attend the Byron Nelson golf tournament in Irving. It is safe to say that my boys were in heaven. A weekend filled with golf...and a hotel swimming pool! That was icing on the cake for Andrew. The Byron Nelson is now sponsored by HP, who Wayne (Josh's step-dad) works for. He volunteered at the tournament and then ended up winning extra tickets, so we all got to spend some time at the course. The girls actually did more shopping than golf watching...which is just fine by me!

I about fell out of my seat. While at dinner, Josh noticed that one of the PGA tour golfers was also dining at the restaurant. Josh proceeds to tell me that yes, as nice as it would be to get paid to play golf for a living, a huge draw back is the fact that you are gone from your family 30 plus weeks a year. And when you are home, you need to be practicing and getting ready for the next tournament. Not a life style conducive to having a family. When the children are grown and gone, we have decided that Josh can be a caddie...which he would love to do and I think would be very good at...and I can travel with him! What fun...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wise Beyond His Years!

Picture Andrew in I in the kitchen preparing lunch.

Andrew: "Mama, did you know that God is the weather man?"

Me: "No I didn't, but I guess that you are right. Who told you that?"

Andrew: "No one. I made it up!"

Oh, what we have to look forward to!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Need an Ashton!

Josh continues to joke that we need to have 4 kids. That, to me, is not even funny! I have a better solution...Cousins! Who needs 4 kids to entertain one another when you can play with cousins...they entertain one another...have a great time...don't get sick of each other because we don't see them all the time...and then you get to send them home with their parents leaving just your 2 to bathe and put to bed! Its great, especially when one of the cousins loves to play/keep up with/look after your little one!
Ainsley and Ashton hit it off beautifully. Ashton is certainly a GREAT big cousin to have. She is smart, responsible, and loves Ainsley...and Ainsley loves her.

Who needs a big brother when you have a Catch? Andrew LOVES Catch. If Catch does something, I can guarantee Andrew will be 2 feet behind him mimicking every move. I am quite certain that Catch is ready for Andrew to go home by the time our visit is done due to the fact that Catch has a new shadow when we are in town. The only alone time Catch gets around Andrew is potty time...and that's only because Catch locks the bathroom door! (just kidding)

Here are the Girls. They are 5 days apart, with Jaekob being the oldest. Ainsley was supposed to be the oldest, but was to fond of the womb and missed her opportunity! I was a bit worried...at Christmas, Ainsley was a bully and beat up a bit on Jaekob, but Jaekob has since started moving and getting around...thus not being such a target for Ainsley. Also, Ainsley has chilled a bit. They just followed each other and laughed!

Back in College Station, when Andrew gets in trouble for something and is sulking, one of the first things out of his mouth is, "I miss Ashton and Catch!" Truth be know, Mama does too!

City Boy in the Country

On the way back from Canyon, we spent the night in the booming metropolis of Lelia Lake with Josh's grandparents. Here is Grandpa introducing Andrew to the new colt that was born earlier this spring. What a treat for this city boy! "He's cute, Mama, but let's not bring him home...I won't have anywhere to play in the back yard."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reflections!

God writes the most perfect stories...and we get to live them out! No, they certainly do not always go the way we would have planned. No, they certainly do not come without hardship, trials, and troubling times. But, in the end, when one sits back and recounts, they are always full of growth, a gain of wisdom, and love for those who supported us and were used to guide us along...therefore composing the most perfect story!

In addition to Josh's graduation, we celebrated Ainsley's birthday one more time with our family up in Amarillo. While driving home from our big weekend, Josh and I reflected about the past year. Here are some of the highlights to our most perfect story:

1. It was a year ago Mother's Day weekend that we were in College Station buying a house. After redoing 2 houses in Amarillo/Canyon and then selling them after completing all the work, it was nice to have a house that was move-in ready! Praise God for Josh giving in to me and letting us buy a newer home.

2. Ainsley was just 4 weeks old when the move was complete. Now she is getting to be such a big girl. One chapter of her most perfect story ends and another begins. Ainsley is completely weaned from nursery (we made it a year!) and is now on sippie cups and whole milk. My baby is no longer a baby...that's another whole blog in itself!

3. Getting used to being 8 hours away from family that you were once less than 20 minutes from has taken some adjusting. It certainly makes you cherish and appreciate the time spent with them.

4. Andrew and Ainsley now have a babysitter who is not a family member. Her name is Margaret and I was her babysitter when I was at A&M. She was 3 when I started sitting for them and now she is a beautiful 17 year old! (that makes me feel OLD!). Margaret comes one night every other week so Josh and I can have a date night...is it a date if you end up at Target EVERY time?
I won't bore you with any more of my reflections other than to say I am loving living out this most perfect story with the characters God has put in my chapters. May He continue to bless my story and yours as they continue to be written!

You know your tired when...

In response to poor choices made, Andrew gets sent to his room to sit in his "red chair" for a brief time out. Well, apparently this trip was just too over stimulating and just plum wore him out...could be the reason for poor choices, I guess he was tired. What do you think?

Josh's D-Day!

Diploma Day! Contrary to the Gig'em (after this weekend, we have decided Josh's hand will do nothing other than), Josh earned a Masters of Professional Accounting degree from West Texas A&M University in Canyon. He did it...finished an entire Masters while working full time, being a devoted husband, and a very loving father. Whew...I am tired just recalling it all and I was not the one doing the school work.
Josh will say it all started as a cruel joke played on him by the mail surveyors. You all have seen them...these surveys that come in the mail and ask you 100 and 1 questions, the most grueling for Josh being the one where you check your level of education and your spouse's level of education. It just killed him to check Bachelors for himself and Masters for me!!! Now, I just might have to up the ante and go for a Doctorate. What would he think of Dr. and Mr. Shields? NO way...graduate level statistics gives this math girl the willies.
We had a great time in Canyon celebrating! It did not come without its scares. Josh's ornery online professor decided that he could not e-mail Josh's grade to WT in order for Josh to graduate. Praise goes to God who blessed Josh with some very loving ladies at WT who let him walk on his word that he was passing and the grade would be there in time for diplomas to be mailed out!!! Once that was settled it was smooth sailing...even the drive there was not bad. We made it in record time - 7 hours and 50 minutes. Quite an accomplishment since we set the cruise on 75 and stopped twice. A good tail wind I guess!
To say the least, we are all quite proud of Josh. Here is Ainsley giving her daddy some celebratory suggies! Congrats Joshua David...but don't let it go to your head...we are not calling you Master! :)