Today my sweet, loving, devoted husband turns 31. Not a monumental birthday. Not a real memorable, for-the-books birthday. With that said, I want him to know how much I love him and truly admire the man, husband, and father that he is. Josh has so many attributes that others strive for and fall short. Patient, faithful, deliberate, loving, hard-working, full of integrity, knowledgeable, fun...the list goes on and on. What a honor it is to call him husband! If only everyone could see the look in Andrew's eye when he hears that garage door go up, knowing Daddy is home from work. Words can't describe. My cup over flows! Josh and Andrew's first picture together.
Our first year of huddles and their pumpkin carving contest!
Josh and the boys, senior year at A&M, playing basketball at the Rec Center!
Josh on the bridge crossing the 18th fairway at St. Andrew's in Scotland.
No. 12 Aggies Topple No. 2 Sooners, 57-56: Takia Starks (#3) hit a layup in the lane with 6 seconds left to lead No. 12 Texas A&M to a 57-56 win over second-ranked Oklahoma on Monday night, ending the Sooners' 20-game winning streak. What a game and we had the privilege of being there to see it! I do not do well with these "down to the buzzer wins." They stress me out, make me anxious, and flat drive me crazy...but what other way to watch a game than holding your 4 year old as you both yell (like there is not tomorrow) the last 3 minutes (what seemed like an eternity) of the game! We are for sure Aggie Women's basketball fans...any takers on season tickets with us next year?
As a parent (especially a teacher parent), you hope that your child will excel at academics. I was not given the gift of easy-come intelligence. Praise God that Josh was. He is just naturally smart and has to do very little to improve on his smarts. I had to work at mine...study, study, study.
As Andrew gets older, he loves to learn. We have a drawer in the kitchen that holds his "stuff". His kid scissors (these are new and definitely a favorite), glue and glue sticks (because there are time when you need both), colors, pencils, markers, and his workbooks. There is not a day that goes by that he does not go in his drawer, sit down at the table, and work through his books. His new favorite is the "big, red book!" It is chalk full of letters, mazes, same, different, shapes, colors, and all other things pre-K kids should know (according to the authors). Also, his favorite shows are Word World and The Magic School Bus. Moms, Dads, Nanas, whomever, if you are not aware of Word World...check it out. It is on PBS and Andrew could watch it all day, every day. It teaches the kids to put letters together and use their sounds to build a word. The Magic School Bus is a Science teachers dream come true. Each show teaches the kids some new scientific concept. For instance, there is a baseball episode all about friction. Now, is Andrew getting all of this...NO, but the seed is being planted and he understands more and more everyday!
Andrew is constantly discussing what words start with what letter and asking what does a specific word start with. It is so fun to see him grow and take an interest in learning. I just pray that it continues for a lifetime!
Ainsley finally got her two, front, top teeth!!! I noticed on Wednesday that she was not really herself. She was a bit warm and slept most of the day. On Thursday morning, while feeding her breakfast, I heard her spoon rubbing against something...and it wasn't her bottom teeth. I stuck my finger in her mouth to see what it might be, and sure enough both top 2 teeth had popped through!!! What she is doing here is beyond me! While eating supper the other day, she noticed that she could open up her shirt and stick her head down it. Not did she just do it once, she kept doing it and boy did she think it was hilarious!
For Valentine's Day, Josh and I decorated the kids rooms while they were sleeping with hanging hearts. Ainsley thought this was pretty neat. Since, her goal is to grab the heart while we walk by and pull them down. I think she got the idea from her brother!
Pee-Wee basketball is officially over. Tuesday was Andrew's last day. Here is the star, himself, and his sacred certificate! As you can see, there was a pretty good size group. To be honest, the last night was the most full of any of the nights. Andrew is three to the right of the adult in the middle of the back row.
This is like picture 49 of 200 that the kids posed for. Andrew's "cheese" smile was definitely out in full force. Getting that many kids to smile and cooperate for pictures was no small task.
What a treat they had for the kids on their last day at basketball! Four of the Aggie Women's basketball team were there to work with the kids. They each took a station and led the kids through the drills. Andrew thought it was great, but turned into a puddle of shy mush when he had opportunities to speak to them.
Andrew really did improve his skills. He shoots with his Little Tykes basketball goal every day in the driveway; practices dribbling constantly (even though it drives his mama crazy when he does it in the house); and bounce, chest, and overhead passes the ball to Daddy almost every night (in the living room, mind you, but nothing has been broken up to this point).
God smiled on us last week! In Andrew's Pee-Wee basketball group, one of the moms of another little boy works with the Aggie Women's basketball team. She apparently was telling Coach Blair (the Aggie Women's head coach) about what all was going on in Pee-Wee basketball. He decided to give all the Pee-Wees and their families tickets to the rest of the Aggie Women's home games. We were so excited!!! So far we have seen the Aggie Women beat Nebraska and Colorado. They play the t-sips this Saturday and then have Oklahoma and Oklahoma State left. It should be an interesting and exciting finish to the home season!!! Here we are at the game. All that Coach Blair asked in exchange for our free tickets, the kids were to wear their Pee-Wee basketball shirts! A big time was had by all!
Ainsley particularly likes to dance along with the music they play during timeouts! Andrew and I enjoying yelling "AGGIE'S BALL" along with the announcer when there is a turn-over on the court. It is a fun environment to be in. The Aggie Women have a good team, so that makes the games even more enjoyable to go and watch!
February is breast cancer awareness month. All month, in spreading awareness, Ags have been wearing pink to the games. Also, for you non-Aggie fans, we have a yell (remember Aggie's don't do cheers, we do yells) that is "beat the hell out of..." and we replace the ... with whomever we are playing. Well, some good Ags made a pink t-shirt that says BTHO (short for beat the hell out of) Breast Cancer. They are selling them and then donating the money. If you look closely in this picture, the Aggie's players are wearing these pink BTHO Breast Cancer t-shirts. They also have new uniforms that sport pink trim instead of maroon! This particular game was also on Valentine's Day, so the pink was extra neat.
For all of you who are not on Facebook, there has been this craze of writing 25 random things about yourself and then sending it to your friends...you know, one of those get to know you better type things. Its very fun to read and very interesting some of the things you learn about about. It is quite similar to the e-mail questionnaires...You've all gotten these e-mails with a million questions. You read the answers of the person who sent the e-mail, delete their answers, add your answers, and then send it on to others. Here are 25 random facts about me:
1. I am afraid of clowns and have been my whole life.
2. I am an awful speller, even though I made a 100% on all my 5th grade spelling tests...guess it went down hill from there.
3. My kiddos initials are both AGS, and yes we did that on purpose. Gig'em!
4. I have a hard time going to bed without checking on my little ones.
5. I am fascinated with ear wax. My sweet husband leaves his Q-tips on the bathroom counter for me to see! Not that is REAL love. :)
6. In my 33 years, I have lived in 5 different states (7 if you count the 2 my parents moved to while I was in college) and 4 different cities in Texas.
7. I like to cook and Josh admits I am a good cook, but we have decided I am recipe challenged.
8. I can touch my tongue to my nose. My son cannot, but practices quite frequently.
9. I have seen every episode of Sex and the City and read all 7 of the Harry Potter books.
10. I am a bit on the OCD side, so I have a bad habit of throwing things away the maybe should not have been thrown away. This makes Josh really happy.
11. When our second was 10 days old, Josh moved 535 miles away and left me to sell the house, pack the house, and take care of the 2 kids...one being a newborn.
12. I love to ski, but do not like to go fast down the mountain. Therefore, I spend a lot of time on the greens and easy blues.
13. I am not big on mixing my foods, so I usually eat all of one thing on my plate first and then move on to another. I am big on the divided plates!
14. I do not like mayo, miracle whip, ranch, or any creamy dressings. I eat my sandwiches dry...just bread, meat, and cheese.
15. I love to take long, hot baths...even though Josh tells me I am lying in my own filth!
16. I wish I were a better dancer. Dance lessons, particularly the jitterbug, are on my bucket list.
17. I once asked for an IRA for my birthday...yes, an individual retirement account. It made me feel so grown up.
18. Monopoly is the only game I can beat Josh at...Mr. Banker himself. I used to be competitive, but then I married Josh and now I am thankful for 2nd place.
19. I love to go to the movies, but having kids has severely put a damper on that.
20. My true gift in life is my ability to pack a dishwasher. My family knows this and therefore assigns me this job whenever we are all together.
21. I do not mind gathering laundry, sorting it, washing it, but the folding and putting it away is what gets me.
22. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite foods.
23. I have not slept through the night since April 23rd, 2008...the night before our daughter was born.
24. I once lip synced “I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor at my schools (where I was teaching 4th grade) talent show. My back-up singers were the male PE coach and a guy that I went to college with who was also a teacher at the school.
25. I was baptized on July 21, 2002 after treking a 13,960 ft. mountain with a bunch of high school kids (who whipped me up the summit).
I was on the computer going through our way to many pictures, and got tickled at all the different looks Andrew has worn in his 4 short years. Here are some examples:
Aqua man: shark goggles and all. / Spider man: a gift from his newborn sister.
Home Depot Builder: watch the fingers / Picasso: paintings still available!
Rockin' Guitar Hero / Mr. Shark: this kit came from story time!
Frogger: no bugs, just candy / Batman: whose the man in the mask?
Mr. Basketball: no autographs please. / Mr. Amateur PGA
All this fun in 4 short years...whose to say what we have in store the next 4 years. I do know this, Andrew is sure to keep us busy. He loves all things sports and cannot wait to play them all on big boy teams. After basketball comes golf, then soccer, then baseball. He so wants to play football. I have tried to tell him the only position I will let play is the kicker...they seem to get get hurt the least. He has informed me that, "NO way...not the kicker. I want to be the touchdown maker!" Not sure which position that is, but what fun we have to look forward to!
Emptying the dishwasher, pulling everything out of a cabinet, another new tooth (on the bottom), and clapping can now be added to Miss Ainsley's resume. She is a women on a mission to do just about everything her brother does. It may drive him crazy, but that only seems to spur her on more! Except the helping with the dishes...Andrew does not seem to mind the help and he referees her putting them all in her mouth before they get put away. No cabinet door is safe...she can get them all. This particular one is her favorite because it has all the plastic dishes. Also, this is the one I will actually let her play in.
This would would be the bad conveyor belt I was talking about a couple of days ago. Ainsley does not monitor how fast Andrew can get the silverware in the drawer. She just know that she wants to help. Now in this video, if he does not keep up, notice how many end up in her mouth. The other day, if he did not keep up, she dropped them on the floor over her head. Quite comical to just sit back and watch!
I do have to say that this would be her sweetest new trick. Each morning when I go to get her out of bed or when I go to get her up from a nap, this is what I am greeted to as she is sitting in her crib. On of these days I will remember to not turn the camera...sorry!
The excuses were all tapped out this weekend, so we all headed outside and got some work done. The weather was absolutely wonderful. Andrew played and played on his swing set. Ainsley hung out with whomever would hold her. I love this picture of her and her daddy...as you can see Josh is dressed in his finest work clothes. Andrew has decided that if Ainsley is available, he cannot go down the slide without her. He does a pretty good job for the most part holding her. It has taken several trips down and a slide burn or two on Ainsley forehead, but the 2 of them have a big time. This is the slowest slide trip know to man, but Andrew does a good job of being a protective big brother!!
I was a teacher for nine years and now get to stay home with my 2 babies...Andrew Gaines is 5 years old and Ainsley Grace is 2 years old. Josh is on track to be the Director of Finance for the local branch of Scott and White health clinic. Josh and I will have been married 9 years this past July!!!