Thursday, December 25, 2008

Your Next American Idol!

The consensus may very well be that American Idol has overtaken bowling and tennis as the new Jordan family favorite Wii game. We got this for Christmas and we ALL had so much fun with it today. I should take a picture of each of our characters. Elena's has a big, crazy afro. It looks quite like the afro she has here, actually! Elena was super excited when she discovered that "The Sweet Escape" was available to perform, as that is her most favorite song on my ipod right now. (no comments about the kids on the coffee table please- can't you see how closely it resembles the American Idol stage?!) :)

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! We had such a wonderful day at the Jordan house! Our Christmas traditions are pretty solidified because it has always been just us on Christmas. When we got married, we lived in New Orleans (about a 10 hour drive from family). Then we moved to Indianapolis (an even longer drive!). So we have, from the establishment of our family, started and kept our own traditions.
I can't say that it was a simple thing to do. When two people from two different families come together, there are sometimes differences in expectations. But the uniting and tweaking of all the things we each loved growing up and then the addition of what we want for our kids is a beautiful thing. It all starts on Christmas Eve...
Since we've been married, we always go to church together on Christmas Eve. Since Elias was born, it has been us + child/children. I can't ever remember using childcare for a Christmas Eve service. It is a family thing. Thankfully, the services we have always attended have been fairly family friendly. Last night was no exception (to say the least)! In fact, our kids ended up sort-of stealing the show when they asked all the children to come to the stage to sing "Away in a Manger" with Rick Trevino (recording artist from HCBC who has been a part of the Christmas Eve service here for the last 19 years). Background info: Elias' kindergarten class performed all 3 verses of Away in a Manger in chapel last week. With motions. So who do you think was sitting at the VERY front edge of the stage singing (remember, WITH MOTIONS!)? Oh yes, my boy. And not only that, my girl as well. And she was watching him and doing all the motions he did. And singing as loudly as she could- which really was quite a bit louder than any of the others. Enough that it was very obvious that it was her. And then, during the instrumental interlude, she made eye contact with us in the 3rd row or so and yelled out "Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy!" while waving and smiling. It was absolutely hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried. If I only had a video camera with me!! And, to top it all off, it snowed inside the worship center at the end of the service. Beautiful, soapy-foam snow.
As I put Elias to bed last night, I reminded him that I would come get him this morning and we would all come open presents together. He said "But first we will read that really fun Christmas story!" I love that he even remembered our tradition, and that he was so excited about it! To try to remind the kids that the reason for Christmas is the birth of Christ, we have always read the Christmas story together in our bed before coming down to open presents. This year, Elias read some of it to us.
This morning, in keeping with what seems to be the norm for us, each of the kids had something under the tree unwrapped because it was just too stinkin' big to make the effort. One year it was a wagon, once it was drums. You get the picture. This year, Elena got a dollhouse and Elias got a big parking garage. To see the look on their faces when they came around the corner and saw their "big" gifts awaiting them! Oh, priceless! I actually took a video and will post it if it turned out. (update: it is posted below)
After all the unwrapping (and meticulous cleaning up of every scrap after EACH gift because I have created completely OCD kids), we got to relax the rest of the day! We tested out new toys, rested, read, played multiple new Wii games (we each have a look-alike on American Idol now, which is so much fun!!!). Adaryll smoked an amazing brisket to round out our first Christmas as a married couple in our home state. I think the weather was in the mid-70's, though I wouldn't know because I am still in my PJ's from last night. And that, my friends, is what Christmas should be!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry...

Noone cried or even pouted for our annual pictures with Santa. I guess that means that each of the kids will only have one crying-on-Santa's-lap photo. I really thought Elena would freak out again this year, but she fed off of Elias' excitement. Elias told Santa that he would be happy with whatever Mommy and Daddy got him. But that, when he is seven, he would like an ipod. Elena told him that she wants H-E-B Buddy Bucks. (dollars that they give kids at the grocery store. then the kids put them in a crane machine and win a ball with a sticker on it. they keep the stickers in a book and can "buy" things when it gets full. actually, Elena is just excited about the stickers. about half the time, the stickers don't even make it to the book. needless to say, she has never redeemed them for anything.)
Here they are, along with previous years so we can all ooh and aah over how much they have grown...

(different Santa because I was pregnant with Elena and had a PICC line, so we decided to go to a mall that was a little closer to home)




Our Weekend (not-so-much-of-a) Getaway

I am not a big fan of road trips. I would just so much rather fly. But I have come to start to appreciate the low-cost, convenience, and even fun (did I just write that?) of a road trip since we moved to Texas. You see, there are LOTS of places to drive down here in Texas- and a trip from east to west in our state is over 800 miles.
Soooo, this past weekend we had the opportunity to do some TX road travel. Adaryll was invited to play sax at a church in north Houston on Sunday morning and a church in Yoakum (read: charming little town in the middle of nowhere) on Sunday night. It was an opportunity to play with some guys who he used to travel with 10 years ago. These are really special guys- some of those lifelong friendships that you are able to just pick up where you left off when you get together. So I was really looking forward to seeing them all play together for the first time in a couple of years. And I was REALLY looking forward to getting to spend some time with their wives and kids (the newest of which was just born last week!).
So as we are driving to Houston, the kids entertaining themselves in the backseat, Adaryll driving, and me filing my nails for the first time in I don't know how long, I actually had the thought "Hmmm. I think road trips actually can be enjoyable! When was the last time I had a free moment to file my nails? I could reframe this in my mind and instead of being stressed out, I could consider this a relaxing, pampering thing. After all, I am just sitting here in the passenger seat with nothing really to do." (ok, the while ride there wasn't quite so blissful and required me climbing into the back of the van several times to get something for one of the kids. but still, when was the last time I actually sat for 4 hours???)
We got to the hotel, checked in and got settled. The boys went to get lunch while I put Elena down for a nap. Fast forward about 3 hours. When I got Elena up from nap, she had a 102 fever and wanted to do nothing but lay on me. (yes, the OCD mother carries a thermometer in her diaper bag. it is only fitting because one or both of our kids get sick every single time we travel. without fail.) By the time Adaryll was able to go to the store and get some tylenol and motrin, her fever was over 104. I called her doctor, who had just seen her Wednesday for a bad cough, thinking that they would just call in an antibiotic. No such luck. And not a single urgent care center open. But her breathing seemed labored and her cough was really awful at this point. As soon as I gave her the motrin, (literally within 5 seconds) she puked all over the hotel bed. The bed Adaryll and I would be sleeping in. After a call down to get new bedding and a night of her puking every 20-30 minutes I realized the one positive thing I could hold on to. I didn't have to do all that puke laundry!
I got her into urgent care while Adaryll was at church Sunday morning and she had bronchitis. They said that kids that age often puke with that because their body is just doing everything it can to expel the thick snot from their lungs and throat. Lovely, eh? They gave me an antibiotic and phenergan for her. She pretty much spent the rest of the day in a 104 degree phenergan coma, waking only to puke in the car on the way to Yoakum.
That night was much the same as the night before, and we drove straight to her doctor's office Monday morning when we got back to town. I just needed his opinion. He agreed with the other Dr. and gave us 2 more meds as backups. She seemed to start to rally yesterday afternoon and be much more like herself by the evening. I am hoping we are past the worst. And that all the throwing up wasn't too traumatic. She spend a good deal of time crying at bedtime last night saying that she needed her bucket and that she was going to cough in it. It took a dose of phenergan to convince her that she wasn't going to throw up anymore. Or at least to put her back into the coma. Ahh, the joys of parenting!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coming to Town

The Jordans (all 4 of us!!!) are coming to Indiana in January!!! Can't wait to see all of you!!!!! More info soon, but it is really official- we have plane tickets!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Family Photos

You all know how obsessive I am about having the kids pictures taken often. I'm not nearly as good about family shots, mostly because that requires that I actually do something with my hair and face. And it seems like a lot of work to coordinate everyone's outfits, etc. But we were WAY overdue for a family shot, so we scheduled an appointment for this afternoon. I am really happy with how they turned out, and I'm even happier that I had a great coupon so 2 of the 4 were free! I posted the family pic on the right side of the blog. (replacing the 2 year old family photo in which Elena was only 6 months old...)
I love this one of Elias pulling Elena in the sled. Even funnier was the one of her pulling him, but he was laughing so hard that his eyes looked wierd, so we went with this one. I also love both of their individual shots. Elias looks so intellectual, which is quite accurate. And can't you just hear Elena saying, "Seriously!" That look on her face and hands on her hips just says it all- it is just SO who she is!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I can't believe this was six years ago... it has gone by SO fast!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Texas in the Window

For those of you who are wondering, our Texas (made of coat hangers and Christmas lights) is making it's debut in Austin tonight. I actually made it in 2000 when we were living in New Orleans, so this is its first Christmas in the state that it represents. I can almost hear it humming as I type... "Texas, our Texas. all hail the mighty state..."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Allergic to Nothing

Conversation between me and Elias a couple of weeks ago:
E- Mommy, what was I allergic to when I was a baby?
M- Well, you were allergic to milk.
E- So I couldn't drink milk?
M- Right, you drank soymilk. But you couldn't eat cheese either. So you couldn't eat pizza. But you outgrew it, and now you love pizza, huh?
E- MmmHmm. So what am I allergic to now?
M- Nothing.

Conversation that occurred in my car on the way home from school Monday:
M- Hey sweetie, how was your day at school?
E- Good. Did you bring me a snack?
M- No, I didn't bring you a snack today. You can have a snack as soon as we get home.
E (with Elena agreeing)- Can we stop at McDonald's for fries?
M- No. But we will have a snack at home. I promise.
E- You really didn't bring me anything?
M- Right. So tell me about your day. Did you have Spanish today?
E- You brought me nothing?
M- (silence. I am NOT responding to this. I can see we are headed in a bad direction.)
E- You brought me NOTHING? But I am allergic to NOTHING! And you brought me NOTHING!?!
M- (still silence)
E- (under his breath, realizing I am not going to respond) Now I am going to have a rash... (quiet sobs)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

After record highs in the 80's yesterday, this is what we woke up to this morning. For Austin, TX, this was a "winter storm". I am speechless on Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Before I forget, I am posting Wordless Wednesday tonight. This week it will be a series of pictures, but only one caption is needed to sum them all up. Post your ideas in the comments.


The Jordans have officially turned on the heater. At least for today. Brrrrrrrrr. My body has re-acclimated to Texas weather quicker than I thought it would. It was mid-40's today and I just flat out couldn't get myself warm!!! I am off to my fuzzy fleece sheets and electric blanket. Now you all know why we had such a hard time with that frickin cold up there in Indiana!!! (shiver. shiver again.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

One of the things that I love about Christmas is reminiscing about the tree ornaments. I am pretty nostalgic, so having an old shabby ornament with a great memory attached to it is better than having a shimmery, new, pretty one. I thought I would do a post about some of my favorite ornaments on our tree. Why don't you all do the same? Which ones are your favorites and why? What is the oldest ornament on your tree and how long have you had it?

This is an ornament that I painted and then decoupaged one of our wedding photos on. I made these for all of our parents and grandparents the year we got married.

I think Adaryll's Dad (Papa-G) got us this one. A few years ago we had it signed on the back by Montae Raegor when he was doing a book reading for kids at a Starbucks in Indiana. (he played for TTU and went on to play for the Colts)

This is one of the 2 oldest ornaments on our tree. It was made by my childhood friend, Kim, in 1983. She gave one to each of us in our Brownie Troop that year.

We got this one for Elias his first Christmas. I grew up playing with trucks, not dolls, so I'm not sure if this was more for him or for me. :)

Elias made this one last year in his Fours-Plus class at TPCA.

Elias made the baby Jesus on the cross in Sunday school at TPCC a couple of years ago. The sax was given to Adaryll by my Dad and Karen a few years ago. Elena tried to play the sax before she hung it on the tree Saturday.

This is the best "Baby's First Christmas" ornament I have ever seen. Someone gave it to Elias for his first Christmas. It is a book with real pages where you fill in who you spent the holiday with, what his favorite things were, etc.

This one is a marshmellow snowman on a Smore. We had 5 families in our neighborhood who we were really close to. We used to sit out in lawn chairs wrapped in blankets and cook smores in our firepits together. So the Millers got us all this ornament to remember those nights together. If anyone wants to come to TX and make smores- we still have the firepit!

This is a hand-painted replica of the chapel at our seminary. I got it at a craft fair we had on campus one year.

This is a little girl carrying a teapot. I got it for Elena her first Christmas since her whole room was decorated in teacups.

I think this might be the oldest ornament on our tree. E.T. came out in 1982, and I am guessing that is when we got this one. I remember hanging it on our tree every year growing up.

I painted this one a few years ago. And now here we are- back in the Lone Star State.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Despite the warm temps, it really IS starting to feel like Christmas! The four of us had a great Thanksgiving lazing around the house, eating turkey and stuffing, watching football, etc. Then we had one of our babysitters spend the night so that Adaryll and I could both hit the Black Friday sales. I can't say what we got because then some of you would know what you are getting, but we got some GREAT deals! The thing that we decided to get for all the grandparents and great-grandparents was on sale (limit 1 per person) at 4am. We got up at 3am and headed to the store to find a line of people already waiting to get in. Everyone was very friendly and we even convinced several of them to buy the item for us (with our money) so that we could get as many as we needed. It was great. We finished our shopping and were home at about 6:30am. Then we took turns napping the rest of the day.
We always decorate for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We are both pretty big on traditions, and this is one we really enjoy. This year, the kids got really into it and actually put about 80% of the ornaments on the tree themselves. I saved some for me to add at the end since the top 2 feet of the tree was completely bare. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What's This?

Elias brought me a cassette tape the other day. By his reaction, I am guessing that he had probably never seen one before.
"What's this?" he asked?
"It's a tape. It has music on it like a CD." I answered.
With a questioning look on his face, he stared down at the tape he was holding. He kind of seemed doubtful. "How do you listen to it?" he asked me.
So I took him up to his room where he has an old boombox that he sometimes uses to listen to CD's or the radio while he plays. He didn't know that it could also play tapes! He was thrilled when I showed him how to put it in and push play. It was one of those tapes that goes with a book and dings when it is time to turn the page. We found several others and he spent the next hour or so listening to them.
Also, a few weeks ago I saw someone giving away a typewriter on a freecycle site. I emailed them and picked it up the next day. Once I showed Elias how it worked, he spent the next several days typing things. Being the perfectionist that he is, it was quite frustrating to not have "backspace". He has learned that he can X-out things that are misspelled and then try again.
Funny how something so "old-school" can be so entertaining!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Current temperature: 61 degrees
Projected high for today: 76 degrees

Thanksgiving in Texas- aaaaaahhhhhhh! So much to be thankful for!

(although we will miss the always-fun-and-loud Thanksgiving with the Caseys!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Praise the Lord- we closed on our house in Indiana today!!!!!!! (deep breath) It has been a year this week since we put the house on the market. As much as I loved that house, I could not possibly be any happier for it to belong to someone else! YEAH!!!!!! (anyone want to go out and celebrate?!)

Wii Boxing

Here is a video of Elias boxing on the Wii. I love how Elena cheers for him and how he gets all out of breath. :)

Gitcho Shake On...

I did Elena's whole head in braids with little barrettes on the ends a couple of weeks ago. She loved how she could shake her head back and forth and feel them move. This is her standing on her "stage" (the coffee table- I know, what kind of parents are we??) and singing her "Dancie Girly" song...

Wordless Wednesday

I have really been slacking on the picture-taking lately, but I just came across this one from a few days ago. Leave your caption in the comments...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankfulness Garland

Remember how we used to make garland out of construction paper strips by taping them into loops and linking them together? I always loved doing crafts like that when I was little! My sister has been working on one of these with her son for several days, but she added a Thanksgiving twist. On each strip of paper, her son writes something he is thankful for. I love the idea of doing this over the course of several weeks and fostering the idea of thankfulness in the hearts of my kids. But since we only have 3 days left until Thanksgiving, and we had a full day today with nothing to do, we decided to do this whole project in one morning.
I used my paper cutter to cut strips of construction paper (which was super quick and easy!) and then asked the kids what they would like to thank God for. Seriously, I think they could have gone on and on and on forever. The only reason we stopped was that I ran out of glue dots. Some of their answers were really sweet and others made me laugh. After writing down all their answers, we linked all the loops together and ended up with a masterpiece.
If you have not already done some sort of activity like this with your kids this year, I would highly recommend this one. It was easy, fun, and now we have something to decorate the house with through Christmas!
So here it is- the grand list of thankfulness.
We are thankful for...
Aunt Sandra.
My first basketball lesson in January.
Papa-G and Gladys.
Going to places that are fun.
Wii Fit.
Honey and Raun.
Mrs. Blasig.
The Bible.
Ms. Horvath.
Grandma Jane and Grampa Morrie.
Mario Cart.
The Millers.
The McCollums.
Mr. Frog.
The Batistas.
Mrs. McGee.
My backyard.
My bed.
Brent and Jenna Spears from Georgia.
GrandDad and Oma.
Hugs and kisses.
Jean and Jerry.
Mrs. Fones.
Sunday school friends.
The Himelicks.
My church.
The Jacksons.
My family.
Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jeff
My brain.
Roller coasters.
Mr. Pig.
Pajama days.
The zoo.
Ice water.
The Pointers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Seriously, I really didn't mean for that last post about poop to be my latest post for that long. Really, I promise. Sorry for all of you who may have been checking for an update throughout the week and had to keep seeing that visual each time. But it WAS funny, huh?!
Last week didn't go quite as planned. Monday night I started feeling like I was "getting sick" and realized it was too late to do anything about it. Elias was also coughing up his lungs all night and then had diarhea in his sleep during the night. (Thankfully, there are no pictures of that!)
So, off to the pediatrician we went Tuesday morning. And off to the family practice office we went after naps. Long day. Turns out we both had sinus infections. Actually, he had finished his sinus infection antibiotic the Friday before, but it hadn't done the job.
After staying home from school both Tuesday and Wednesday, Elias was a little stir crazy and ready to get back into the action. After dropping him off at school on Thursday, I went back to the doctor to find out I also had bronchitis. Seriously, could we just get some antibiotics that work for us? :) But we already had a trip to Dallas on the schedule, so we packed everyone up that evening and drove up to the metroplex. And even though I felt like crap, it was such a great trip! We stayed with Papa-G and Gladys (Adaryll's dad and his wife) and it was so good to get some time with them. The kids just adore them! Adaryll had a conference to attend on Friday, so the kids and I spent the day with my sister and nephews. I just love seeing that somehow kids just know who their relatives are and they are so drawn to them. These 4 cousins (the 2 older specially) just LOVE eachother and are SO excited to spend time together!
Saturday morning we drive back early and arrived home just in time to attend Kelii's birthday party and a TTU vs. OU party. (we won't talk about that game. just know that we were mad. and then sad. and then disappointed. and then disgusted.)
And that finally brings us up to today!!! I think we are all on the mend and looking forward to the week ahead. Elias has the whole week off, so I have some fun crafts and activities planned. I will try to take pics and update as the week progresses!
Love to you all! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Have you ever had a REAL surprise? Meaning, something that you totally didn't expect AT ALL? This is probably completely wrong of me to share, but it is just so friggin' hilarious that I can't help myself. If you gross out easily, stop reading now. Click the little X on the top right of your screen and walk away.
You couldn't do it, could you? I know, me neither. A good surprise is fun every once in a while, right?
So here it is. This morning my sister was changing my 1-year-old nephew's diaper. We all know the routine, right? Diaper off, wipe the bootie, diaper on. Not often many surprises in the pee and poop department of being a mom (or dad, or grandparent, or babysitter). I am trusting now that everyone still reading has changed a diaper at some point in their life and isn't going to freak out at the photo I am about to post. Because this morning, there was a surprise in the diaper. (seriously, if you gross out easily- or even not so easily- now is the time to close your browser)

Thanks, Wyatt, for the funny surprise and the great, big laugh you gave me today! I especially like that the little lego man you swallowed is still happy and smiling after a 2 day trek through your insides.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I totally forgot that today was Wednesday! I guess that might be another clue as to the losing of one's mind- not knowing what day it is...
Oh, and the winners for last week are me and Adaryll. That is probably cheating somehow (even though there are no rules), but here are the comments:
Me: "Elena for president!"
Adaryll: "The eyes of Texas are upon you."

Here is this week's picture. I can't wait to hear your captions! (and I promise not to play or at least not to pick myself as a winner again)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thankful (continued)

If you haven't read previous post, Thankful, you might want to start there to put this into context.

After having such warm, fuzzy, blogged-about thankful feelings this afternoon, I thought I should give an update. Lest anyone think that I have somehow got it all together, or that being a pastor's wife and mother of 2 incredibly beautiful kids is always "thank-filled", let me burst the bubble.

Although I truly am incredible thankful for both of my kids and their creative little minds (which is sometimes displayed in artwork), I am also incredibly thankful for my beautiful WHITE kitchen table. The combination of the 2 is not something I am too thankful for. I am about to scrub my table (and this is not the first time) with alcohol wipes in an attempt to get black sharpie off.

And in the midst of that, washing dishes (don't you love opening the dishwasher to find that you fully loaded it yesterday but forgot to run it? and now you have a sink full of more dishes that need to go in???), and cooking dinner- I discovered once again that I am losing my mind. I actually just found myself looking in the clothes dryer for a pound of frozen ground beef. I guess the one piece of sanity in that is that I didn't find any beef there.


The virtue of the month that Elias is studying Sunday mornings is thankfulness. He made a list yesterday of people he was thankful for. He was writing sort of big and using a fat marker, but he filled both sides of a regular size piece of paper. What a sweet heart. It is so rewarding to see how many people have invested in his life. Relatives who he only sees a couple of times a year, but he knows they are part of his family so he values them as such. People who he isn't related to, but they have spent a significant amount of time and energy pouring love into him so he loves them as family.
I have read some things online today that have made me stop and thank God for my life. My days might seem hard sometimes, but I have a loving, supportive husband and 2 beautiful kids. We are part of a great church with a solid vision. We serve a God who is sovereign and above all things. For all of that, I am incredibly thankful. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

End of Season

Elias has finished his second season of t-ball. This was his team, the Sluggers.
What a great group of boys!