Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Family Time

Monday evening kicked off Volleyball Season in Westphalia so I loaded up Ty and we headed to cheer on the Lady Bluejays. We started the tradition of attending Volleyball games last fall, and I think we will do our best to attend some this year as well.
Ryan has to be there, so it is way for us to get to spend some extra time with him and Ty really enjoys going to the games. I have learned over the year that things always seems right when we are all together, so if that means traveling to Westphalia to spend time all together.... then that is what we will do.
I think we are slowly getting back in to our school routine, and it is feeling good. Ty is really enjoying this year so far and learning a lot, and Ryan's year is going great, too. So thankful for for a wonderful and positive start.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today kicked off our first Soccer Practice of the Season, and Ty was one excited little boy. He talked about it from the moment he woke up this Morning. Of course we love our Soccer Coach..... Coach Ryan (AKA) Daddy is Ty's coach this Season. We had a wonderful evening and we can't wait for our first game in a couple of weeks.

Tyler with his favorite buddy, Luke.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Official

I'm a Minivan Mom! Giddy is the best way to describe how I feel about this huge purchase..... I felt like a little kid at Christmas opening presents when we drove out the dealership on Saturday evening.
We have been talking about getting me a new car for a long time, but it just never seemed like the right time or unexpected expenses would arise. Last Monday Ryan brought it up again and he started sending me pictures of Cars on line. We looked at the dealerships in Temple but everything we found, or that I wanted had a huge price tag on it! I knew I wanted a Minivan because they are so wonderful and practical when it comes to Children. I think it's funny that I wanted a Minivan, because I swore that I would never drive one..... never say never.
On Saturday we headed to Killeen to look at the dealerships there, and we found several vans that were with in our budget, but non of them met my criteria. This is the first time that I actually had a long list of "wants" when it came to a car. I'm sure I was driving Ryan crazy but I did not want to settle, and after our second dealership in the HEAT I think we were both prepared that we would not find anything..... We decided to make another stop and it tuned out to be our last and longest stop!
We finally found a Dodge Grand Caravan that had everything I wanted plus a little extra! Of course it was a little more than what we were wanting to spend, but Ryan was able to get it to where he felt comfortable in making such a huge purchase. After it was all said and done Ryan said; Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!
I am so in love and ready to fill it up with Car Seats and Soccer Balls (Ty starts Soccer practice tomorrow).

Tyler loves our new car, and gives it two thumbs up! One of my favorites, and Tyler's is the DVD player.... I asked for one and got two.
Ryan and I were so impressed with Tyler on Saturday...... he lasted all day until we drove home in our new van at 8 pm on Saturday.

Tyler was such a trooper so we made a special stop at Toys R US for a new DVD (testing out the DVD player in the car) and a special gift that Ty got pick out. Thank you, Ryan for making me a Minivan Mom! I love my new swagger wagon!

Landry's Reading Corner

I have posted before about the wonderful Memorial that the Junior League of Bell County set up for Landry Last year, but his Reading Corner in Westphalia is now complete and I am in love. JLBC raised $2900 in Honor of our littlest. $1,000 went to Ryan's School and the rest was used to purchase a new NICU bed at Scott and White Hospital. Ryan came up with the idea of purchasing comfortable chairs and creating a special a Reading Corner for all the students in the school to enjoy. On the back of the chairs are special plaques with Landry's name on them.

Therefore, Ryan has a super talented Board Member that mentioned she would love to paint a mural for Landry's corner..... She got her inspiration from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The book was presented to Ryan with the check when the Junior League held their check presentation at Ryan's School last October. I of course love the balloons that Ryan had her add, because they have become so special and meaningful to us over the year.

Every time I go in to the Westphalia I am and reminded of the enormous support system we are blessed to have and how much our, Landry James is changing and impacting the lives of others every day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Ryan had a couple of late nights last week, which meant Tyler was missing his Daddy. Ryan made Ty's day when he invited him to football practice on Friday afternoon. Therefore, I loaded Ty up and we made our way to Westphalia on Friday afternoon.... a perfect treat for a wonderful first week of School. Ty ran and gave Ryan the biggest hug when he saw him...... that melted my heart. I love my boys.... all three of them.
Every good football player must warm up before hand. Ty gets right out there with those boys and does everything they do. It is so fun to watch Tyler interact with the big boys, and they are so wonderful with him.
We are getting closer and closer to Westphalia's first Football game of the Season! We can't wait to cheer them on.

There were two boys that had to do push ups and and sit ups after practice, so Tyler decided to join them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gungor - Beautiful Things

I heard this song a while back on K Love and I have not been able to get these lyrics out of mind. Every time I hear this I am reminded that in the midst of our trials, God can rise up hope and make us new.
I look around at our life and the heartache that we have endured and at times still endure, but God continues to amaze daily with how much hope and joy can come from ashes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Perfect Tribute

I took Ty to Whistlestop Playground this Morning to play with one of his favorite friends, and look what we spotted while we were there. Tyler loves this playground because it is attached to our local train station, so you will always see and hear lots of trains during your visit.
Our next door neighbors (we have fabulous neighbors) informed me in July that they bought two pickets at Whistlestop in honor of Tyler and Landry for their Birthday's. All of the pickets surrounding the park have names on them, so we feel so blessed and honored that our boy's now have their names at this park. Landry's theme in his room was Choo-Choo trains, so Whistlestop is perfect in so many ways.
I was beaming all over this Morning when I spotted their names and Ty loves to point out where his and Landry's name are at the park. We went back later in the day so I could take pictures with our camera, and just as I was snapping away a train went by..... perfect timing.
Thank you so much Eric and Sarah for such a perfect and meaningful tribute to our boy's. We are so blessed and humbled by your kindness.
Next time you are at Whistlestop take a peak at Tyler and Landry's special tribute..... you should spot them right when you enter the playground, they are in a perfect location for everyone to see. I love it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day Of School

Today marked Tyler's first day of School. I loved seeing Ty in his School Uniform and grabbing his back pack as we headed out the door for our first day of Pre K! That seems really strange to type.... Ty is really growing up way too fast.
Drop off was a little uneasy for Ty as we found out that his original Teacher that we met on Sunday decided yesterday afternoon that she was leaving the School and not going to fulfill her contract. Thankfully, they hired a new PE teacher this year that is new to the area but is extremely qualified, so Mrs. Jones is now Tyler's teacher and she seems so wonderful. Ty told me today at pick up that he really liked her.
I can't wait to see what this year holds for Tyler and Ryan as they both began a new School year this week. I am so proud of them both and I can't wait to see all of their accomplishments through out the year. The hardest part of leaving this Morning was having to put down the Ipad!
Ty was explaining to me in this picture that there was nothing in his back pack (except for the extra change of clothes) and it should be full. Thankfully, he left School with a take home folder and his Friday t-shirt! He loved telling me when I picked him up that his back pack was full.

All grown up. Walking in to our first day of Pre-K!

We did have a little fight over the back pack, but of course it was a battle that I knew I would not win. For those of you that know me I love everything to be monogrammed. My Mom found this back pack for Ty and gave it to him before we went to San Diego, so he would have a fun carry on for the plane. Well, I knew that Ty would not want to carry his personalized back pack that he has after he saw this really cool Cars back pack...... as you can see I was right! So my solution is to take and have his name put on this back pack.... we will be doing that tomorrow. :) I am sure Ryan is rolling his eyes at this right now, but I can't help it! Trying hard to get a good picture, but Tyler told me while I was taking his picture that he was practicing his mean face. I adore this boy, mean face and all!

Ty with his class and his new Teacher, Mrs. Jones. I got this from Facebook.... I love that Ty's school has a FB page. :)

We celebrated the first day of School with lunch at McDonald's with some of our friends. This was our Wednesday tradition last School year, so I hope it continues. Ty got a special Ice Cream treat with M&M's after he ate his lunch! I am so proud of our Biggest, and I hope and pray that we have a wonderful and positive experience this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Outstanding Members

Introducing the 2011-2012 Junior League of Bell County Board Members. I am so thankful to be serving along side these amazing Women.
We officially kick off our new year next Month, but all of these women have worked non stop to ensure that our year will be one of the best and I am thinking it will be! I know I am ready to get my hands dirty and serve along side all of our members and Community. I should also note that there will also be 3 Future Junior League Members born this year to Board Members.... Georgia Kate, Oliva Kate, and Addison Lee (Addie Lee). What a blessing!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Open House

Yesterday we attended the Open House at Tyler's School. This is Ty's second year at this school so he was pro when walking in. We made our way down the hall way and Ty was greeted by his Ghee and Poppy. Ghee and Poppy came to Open House with us so they could attend the Fish Fry with us and some of our long time family friends. Ty walked right in to his new room and met his new teacher, and then he started feeling a little overwhelmed by everything and everyone..... it took him a while, but he finally started warming up once we saw some familiar faces.

Tyler has a teacher that is new to his School this year, but she seems so wonderful and Tyler will be in class with a lot of his friends from last year. We also have a lot of close good friends that are at the same school, so we always see familiar faces, and I think the staff is so wonderful. I am so proud of myself for hitting their Used Uniform Sale, because I found some really deals and have Ty fully clothed for the year.... unless he has a huge growth spurt. Gotta love School Uniforms!! I know I do!!

Last year was so wonderful, so I am hoping for another wonderful year. I am co-chairing the School's Parent Plus organization, so I will once again be as involved as I can be. I cherish being able to be at all of Tyler's school activities, and that is one thing I will always strive to do. After the Open House we headed over to the Fish Fry and then ended our trip on the playground with friends..... Ty's favorite part.

Wednesday is our big day so I will have more pictures from our first day, and more to report from School. Today was Ryan's first day, but he left too early for me to get any pictures of him. :) Maybe I will snap some when he comes home...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Shoes

Yesterday we braved the crowds (Tax Free Weekend) and headed to Academy to get Tyler some new Soccer Cleats.
Soccer holds a special in my heart, because the majority of my childhood was spent on a Soccer Field watching my Brother, Justin play. I know for a fact that Uncle Justin would have adored watching his nephew play soccer, and I know he had a smile on his face yesterday when Tyler picked out his first pair of cleats.
The fact that Tyler shares Justin's name I find it very fitting that Ty is playing soccer with the same program that my Brother played Select Soccer with. It brought me so much joy in watching Tyler's face light up yesterday over his new soccer shoes and soccer socks. We can't wait for Soccer Season to begin!
Trying them out!

This afternoon we are gearing up for Open House at Tyler's School. We can't wait to meet Ty's new Teacher and see his new classroom. Ty has his back pack all filled with School Supplies! After open house we will head to a Fish Fry..... I am currently waiting on my second loaf of Banana Bread to bake for the School Bake Sale that will be held during the Fish Fry.

Wednesday is Ty's first day back and I am already starting to miss him.... keep in mind Ty is only gone three days a week during the Morning, but I got spoiled with him this Summer! I will always cherish all of our special time together.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shoot For The Stars

Every year to help kick off Westphalia's School year off with a bang we host a back to school party for all staff and school board members. I enjoy being able to do something special for Ryan's staff and I am so thankful that we have a house that is perfect for entertaining guests. The hardest part for me is just getting our house all cleaned and set up. We always have the food catered.... last night our good friend, Whitney fixed a wonderful BBQ meal for us. My favorite part was being able to stay in the kitchen and help..... I loved being able to chat with her!
Ty spent the night with his Ghee and Poppy which made him so happy, and Ghee even took Ty to a swim birthday party last night for his good friend, Luke. Ty had another birthday party today... birthday party weekend.
Ryan's students came back on Monday and I hope that he has another "STAR" filled year this year as they aim high and Shoot For The Stars! We love you and are proud of all of your accomplishments, Ryan. Thank you for all you do for your family and your School.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Beautiful Gift

Every good and perfect gift is from above.
James 1:17

This Morning we got another sneak peak of Tyler and Landry's little sister, Georgia Kathryn. She looked absolutely perfect and already weighs 3 pounds 12 oz! I am still praising God for this beautiful blessing and precious gift from above.
This was my first time to see one of our babies at 30 weeks, so I loved seeing how much she had grown. I guess the best part is she is still a girl! We were joking that it would be funny if it was a boy..... I am sure he would have loved his pink room. :) I am also so thankful for our amazing Doctor who has been so wonderful during this whole journey.
We spent a lot of time looking at her brain and everything looked great, but it is so hard to know that if we would have seen anything with Landry at this point......we will never know what caused Landry to have massive bleeding in his brain. I could drive myself crazy trying to understand how, why, and when everything went wrong with Landry, but Landry was meant to spend Eternity with our Heavenly Father. We are just blessed and thankful for all the time we had with our littlest, and we feel even more blessed that God is showing us a true blessing in allowing us the opportunity to become parents to a 3rd child, our little girl.
Today was also extra special for me, because Georgia Kate's, Ghee and namesake was able to share in this special Joy with me this Morning. Ryan had football practice this Morning so he was not able to attend, and I did not want to go by myself so I immediately thought of my Mom. Tyler loved this Morning because he got to go to football practice with Daddy, and enjoy some much needed Daddy time. Ryan has been working a lot of long and late hours this week so Ty has not seen a lot of Ryan, so today was a special treat for our biggest.
Georgia Kate is a very active little girl, and she is already trying to breath on her own. It looked like she was trying to talk to us a lot because she kept opening her little mouth.... when she had enough of us looking at her she would put her hands in front of her face. I adore all of her little features and cherish feeling her precious kicks and flips. Daily God is showing us that he always provides a rainbow at the end of a painful storm.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Traveling Companion

I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you- The Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:1-8

This Summer at Church we have doing a series titled Selah- stop, listen, and reflect. The series is based on the book of Psalm's. Sunday we studied Psalm 121. The message really hit home, because over the past year we have been on a journey.... it was journey we were not planning on having to take, but along the way we have found help and that help has come from the Lord.
I love that we serve a watchful, caring, and protective God. I know that I will never fully understand why Landry or my Brother was not meant for this earth, but I do know that God has never left our side for one minute. God does not take a break from us, he who watches over you will not slumber.
I have witnessed over and over during these unfathomable heartaches that God always brings you out of your utter despair stronger than ever. He shows you that he can and will turn your ashes into beauty, and He will fill you with Peace, Hope, and Love while you trust and look to Him for shelter during the storm. Who do you trust in the storm? When your life is shaken will you turn to God for help? We have a " Traveling Companion" on the journey of life.... TRUST Him!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back To School Splash

Our Church rented out one of our local Water Parks in town for a family fun night to kick off a brand new School year. Tyler was so excited about going because he knew some of his friends would be there, and this was our first time at this particular water park.

Ty had a blast! He swam like crazy and went down lots of fun slides, and we also did the Lazy River. We did it all tonight.

We had a fun evening in the water with good friends. Ryan had to work late tonight, so we missed him being with us but I am thankful for the sweet time I had with our little swimmer.

We had a fun night of splashing and sliding, and I hope our School year starts off with a big splash!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?

The 2011-2012 Football Season kicked yesterday in Westphalia! Well, I guess I should say practices got underway. I knew Tyler would want to be apart of the action, and of course Ryan enjoys when he is there so we headed out in the heat to watch some football. We have plans the rest of the week so yesterday was a perfect day to go, and Tyler was ready to hit the field as soon as we arrived.

Tyler wanted to be right where all the action was, so he got a helmet and started practicing with the Big Guys. Tyler walked up to me after a few minutes of practicing and said " I am going to be AWESOME" ! I will admit he had a good practice..... Ty just got right in line with the players and did everything they did. The Coaches working on their Game Plan.

Going in for the tackle.
Best of Luck Westphalia Bluejays! We know you will have a Awesome Season and we will be there to cheer you on. We love you Coach Steele! We are so proud of you and everything you do to make Westphalia the greatest School around.