Friday, January 28, 2011

Yeah, I Drive A Minivan

I fought it pretty hard, I have to admit. I just couldn't figure out how we would get all of our "kid junk" in the small cargo space of a minivan. Also, my major hold back was the fact that a minivan symbolized to me that I was getting "older." I kept thinking, "Only mom's in their 30's with like 4 or more kids drive minivans..." and then it hit me - THAT'S JUST ABOUT ME!

Brent and I went back and forth with pros and cons on a larger SUV vs. the minivan and when the minivan came up with more pros than cons we knew what we had to do.
And, I'm going to admit here and now - I LOVE THIS THING!

It has everything! All the convenience features including navigation, rear DVD, remote start, 2 sunroofs...I LOVE IT! And, after loading the girls in this the first day vs. the Expedition, it is totally worth getting over my minivan hangups. It makes my life so much easier.

Our black 2011 Toyota Sienna

Rear DVD - The Best Thing Ever!
Our seat configuration - for the time being (we took out one of the captain's chairs)
Cargo room - the choo choo fits perfectly!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Miracle

I have been holding out on you, my blog readers, I really have.

Partly, because we wanted to wait for a 100% confirmation and partly, because Brent and I have both been trying to completely wrap our heads around this.

Let me back up to, let's see, the day before Christmas Eve 2010.

I realized during the morning of this day that I was late....not late to an appointment but "late." I'm never late. Ever since having the girls - bing, bang, boom right on time every month. But I realized after checking my calendar that I was about a week late. "Hmmmmmm....what to do?", I wondered. I couldn't get the girls in the car for a quick run to CVS, plus, it is ridiculous to even entertain the thought that I could be....
So, next best option, wait for Brent to call me on his way home from work and ask him to run into CVS for me. "Ohhhh, what will he say?" I chuckled to myself. ;)
So, right on time, Brent calls when he leaves work to let me know he is on his way home.
I said, "Heyyyy honeyyyy...."
"Yes?" He asks.
"Would you run a quick errand for me on your way home?"
"Sure, what do you need?"
"Would you run into CVS and pick up a Home Pregnancy Test?"
Silence on the other end of the phone...
"A what?"
"A Home Pregnancy Test...I'm a few days late and I just need to make sure that I'm just big deal, I'm sure I'm not pregnant, but I just want to be sure before we leave for the holidays."
"Well, ok, if it will ease your mind."
Brent arrives home a few minutes later with plastic bag in hand and passes it over to me.
He said, "I got the three case you get one of these wild whims in the future you will have a few extras on hand." He then proceeds to complain how crazy CVS is at 6:00 pm and that he thought as he was walking in, "This place is crazy and I'm about to go in here and waste twenty dollars."
I left Brent with the girls to run to the bathroom to do my thing. As I unwrapped the test I thought, there is no way but I've got to check instead of wondering all night.
The test says to wait 2 minutes for a result....It read POSITIVE (+) immediately.
As I sat there, test in hand, I thought...."No, this can't be right. Can it? I mean, we have less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant on our own. Brent's not going to believe me, I'd better take the test instructions with me so he can check for himself."
I walked back into the kitchen with the test and instructions behind my back.
Brent said, "Sooo, it's negative, right?"
I just smiled.
He said, "Just say it, quit messing with me! It's negative."
I said, "Nope, positive."
He said, "Your kidding........really?! Are you reading that test right?"
I said, "I knew you wouldn't believe me so I brought the instructions for you."
He looked over the test and the instructions and then said, "I can't believe it!"
He kept saying that over and over at random moments of silence throughout the entire night. :)
Our next conversation - Do we tell family over Christmas or wait until we know for sure?
Brent and I have always been very close to our families and open about everything so we voted to go ahead and tell them. They were just as shocked as we were but very happy for us.
Our next conversation - What is Dr. Beaird going to say? :)
Brent and I both really like my OB, Dr. Beaird, he is just wonderful. And I had told Brent about the last conversation I had with Dr. Beaird about contraception. :)
After my conversation with Dr. Beaird, Brent and I decided we would leave the next 5 years up in the air and if God wanted to miraculously bless us, great! If not, we would worry about prevention when the girls turned 5.
Brent and I also had a conversation during our trip to Oregon that we would discuss pursuing another child when the girls turned 2 and see what we thought then so it isn't as if we weren't entertaining the idea of having a 4th child AT ALL, but we you tried so hard to get pregnant the first time and thought you couldn't get pregnant on your own and it happens it is quite a shock!
I didn't sleep much that night. I tossed and turned and got up at midnight to take another test...still positive.
6 am - I'll take this third test, surely all 3 tests can't be defective...still positive. :)
As it seems now, I will be due with this baby 11 days before the girls' 2nd birthday. How crazy is that? 3 - 2 year olds and a newborn...we just thought our lives were nuts, it's about to get a whole lot crazier on our way to a family of SIX!
Huse Baby #4!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Huse Christmas 2010

Christmas Day, after our chaotic morning, we headed to West, TX to spend the rest of Christmas Day and that night with Gran, Grandaddy, Uncle Adam and Aunt Elizabeth at Gran and Grandaddy's house. It was definitely a change of pace with the girls being the only three kids.
Gran cooking up a storm!

Stockings hung with care... The Huse Christmas Tree Elizabeth, Gran and Baylee Opening stockings...The girls, by far, loved the boxes of animal crackers they got in their stockings the best...this is Baylee shaking the crap out of her box :) Brent, Baylee and Elizabeth
Adam opening his stocking
Baylee was having THE BEST time taking all the bows off of EVERY gift LOL! We started sticking them all over her...she was having so much fun! Addie getting in on the bow fun...they like to stick bows in their hair but they won't keep them there! Opening gifts all together... The aftermath... Baylee got so excited she threw up all over her shirt, hence she is nakey now :) and helping Brent pick up paper Reagan loving all the new toys!
Brent testing out his new sleeping bag for camping BOWS! Here she is sitting on top of boxes again... Sweet Addie! Addie and Reagan helping Brent open gifts... Baylee snuggling with Grandaddy after her nap...

We had so much fun spending time with our family during Christmas this year. The girls absolutely loved running around checking out new toys and playing with wrapping paper and bows. I can't wait until next year when maybe they will better understand the concept of "Santa." :)

This Christmas seemed to sneak up on us SO FAST and then it was over just as quickly. I'm hoping next year we can slow down a little and enjoy the Christmas season to the fullest. Then again, "slow down" may not be in our vocabulary. ;)

My Mimi

Right after Christmas we lost our dear Mimi, my maternal grandmother.

Everything that I would want to say about my Mimi was summed up so perfectly by my mother in the eulogy she read during Mimi's funeral services. Mom was so strong and kept it together to get through reading all of our favorite thoughts and memories of this spectacular woman we called "Mimi."

Here is my mom's eulogy...
Who best to describe a mother but the women in her life? So I decided that it needed to be me to eulogize her. My mother was quite the lady. Prim and proper from head to toe. And sitting on her bookshelf, the guide to proper behavior “Miss Manners” and Amy Vanderbilt’s “Complete Book of Etiquette”. So it is no wonder that she was intent on passing her important details to me and my daughters.
Never wear white before May. And for her, never wear white at all because it’s blah!!.
Never forget to write thank you notes in a timely manner and be specific about the gift.
Silver set polished once a month.
Set your table correctly with the right silverware and the right glassware in the correct order and don’t forget matching tablecloth and napkins. I inherited no less than 75 tablecloths from her. Every color, every size table.
Always wear a necklace and make sure it matches your earrings. And what about a slip? I think we failed at that one!
Never go without lipstick.
Never wear flats with a dress or skirt.
Add color whenever possible which is always.
Never go without hose. I think we failed at that one too!
Give at least one surprise gift at Christmas.
Be at least 15 minutes early to an event or meeting. Otherwise you are LATE!
Give more than you get and forgive before asked.
My husband thinks I overdress for most occasions. Well, I came by it naturally. And I tend to go overboard on color. Again an inherited trait. And if I’m not 15 minutes early, then I must be late!
She had many acquaintances and a few good friends. She spent most of her time caring for her home and my father. Doting over my brother and I and my girls. And oh, how she would have truly loved playing with her 8 great-grandchildren, but she was not physically able.
She suffered for many years from a disease that has always been a mystery to us. She spent the first few years of her decline searching for answers but the diagnosis was never discovered.
My greatest regret is that after her decline she was never able to have a conversation when I had questions about how to plan a wedding, what accessories to wear, what color to paint the walls in my home, when to quit griping and just let things be, and when to challenge an injustice.
Although she never boasted , money was no object to her when it came to her granddaughters. I remember once, I was so proud of myself because I had learned to use a sewing machine and had spent hours making a few clothes for my girls. And in she walks with boxes of new clothes she had bought for them at a favorite shop in Del Rio where she and my father had a lake house. I wanted to shoot her because of course the girls loved the clothes she bought much more than the ones I had slaved over!
She never wanted to miss the girl’s eyes when they saw what Santa had brought them. So when the girls awoke on Christmas day, which was usually in the wee hours of the morning, she wanted to be called immediately and in less than an hour she and my Dad arrived at our home, coffee in hand, and the frenzy began with wrapping paper flying everywhere.
Her greatest achievement had to be the hospice she founded. Her mother died in 1989 under hospice care in Odessa. She called me one day shortly after that experience and said, “We don’t have access to hospice care in Hobbs, don’t you think we need to do something about that? I could be the volunteer coordinator and fundraiser and you could handle the business side.” We were both too na├»ve to think that we needed a medical background to start a hospice. And that’s where it all began. We spent hours in her upstairs office working out the details and learning everything we could about hospice care. She recruited a much coveted board of directors committed to making her dream come true. They could raise money like nobody could. The hospice thrived and in 1991 she was awarded citizen of the year by the Hobbs Jaycees.
My father died in 2007, and shortly after that I moved her to a wonderful nursing home that just happened to be 2 minutes from my home in North Texas. By this time, she had very few words, mainly “yes” or “no.” She loved to watch movies so I bought her a complete series of “I Love Lucy,” one of her favorite TV shows. One day a nurse at the facility stopped me in the hall and said, “Say, rumor has it that your mother is related to Lucille Ball”. I said of course not, but I knew what had happened. The nurses had noticed that all she watched were I Love Lucy episodes and when they asked her if she was related or something, she must have said “YES!” A little gentleman in a wheelchair made friends with her in the nursing home and came to see her twice a day for three years. He could make her smile when no one else could.
My girls, the “Three M’s” as mother called them, have memories they wanted me to share.

From Mandy:
Her crazy driving
Her bright beautiful clothes and jewelry
She remembers spending hours in her bathroom putting on makeup and jewelry
Her coke machine full of Tab
How beautiful her house was at Christmas
The dolls she bought for them
Their shopping trips where she would practically close down the store for them
How she loved to read
Her library of classic books
Easter egg hunts
How good she always smelled
Her cards and letters to me over the years
I feel blessed to have inherited some of her traits

From Missy:
She was always in bright colors and bold jewelry. My sisters and I used to love going into her massive closet to look through her clothes and high heels and try on all of her jewelry. She was always in style. Her home reflected her personality, vibrantly decorated to a T, not a white wall to be seen. She used to let me drive her Cadillac when I was way too young to be driving. I specifically remember driving through the Dunlap’s parking lot cracking up. She’d be in the passenger seat just giggling. She wanted the best of the best from cozy towels and sheets to feeding whole boiled chickens to their dog Wrinkles. Everything was slightly bigger than life and over the top with Mimi. Like the player piano she bought, the staircase banister had to be removed and a lift was used to get it upstairs to the loft area. The piano was always playing during parties they would host at their home. And the life size Easter Bunny that graced her front yard on Easter. She was very mannerly…maybe that’s why we thought she was so funny when an occasional bad word would come from her. She had a mischievous spirit at times which I loved …she’d wink at me and twitch her nose. I knew a surprise was coming. When we’d come home from college, she’d hold our hands as we were leaving and just squeeze. I remember her squeezing Clark’s hand at one time and he joked with her about her grip and she just laughed with this light in her eyes. You just knew you were loved by the look in her eyes. Everything was “FANNNNNtastic,” “WONDERFUL” or “FABULOUS” to Mimi.
I remember the time I called 911 from her house over and over, the police went to Papa’s office and I remember locking myself in their guest bathroom as Mimi tried to coax me out and to tell the truth. Each of my sisters and my mother are blessed to have inherited some of Mimi’s amazing traits.

From Michelle:
My Mimi rocked the 80’s and 90’s. Her home reflected her personality, always welcoming and vibrant with pictures of family everywhere. I specifically remember a picture of myself and my sisters in FAB jumpers with HUGE hair that Mimi had professionally taken which was then blown up to fit an entire wall in her dining room with a very ornate frame. Everything was slightly bigger than life and over the top with Mimi but she did everything in style. Like the life size automated Santa that sat on their front porch each Christmas waving at light lookers in the neighborhood. My favorite memory of Mimi is that I would lie down in the pew at Church and put my head in her lap and rub my fingers over her smooth manicured nails. They were always so pretty. Also when she took us to the Galleria in Dallas, just the girls, and gave us ice skating lessons

And from her sister Rheta:
Wilma was always the “big sister” that made sure that I was properly dressed when I was in High School. She had a good job at the Model Shoppe in Odessa and would bring me home the latest in fashion. I always looked up to her. She was special to my two boys as she always brought them special surprises when she came to visit. I was the youngest child and the “brat” of the family. Wilma was very popular in school and always had lots of boyfriends. Mother used to make Wilma take me with her when she had coke dates. I’m sure she loved that! I always reported to Daddy when a boy kissed her goodnight. After I became an adult our relationship became much closer and we enjoyed many shopping trips together.

As you can see there is a central theme. Colorful, graceful and loved her family more than life itself.

This is one of my gorgeous.
Mimi and my Papa

Mimi, Papa, my mother and Uncle Mark

Mom and Uncle Mark
On Mom's wedding day...
Uncle Mark
Christmas time
My sisters and I...I'm the youngest with the akward look on my face :)

Mimi as Grand Marshall of a parade and Citizen of the Year
My parents and Mimi and Papa

My sister Missy and Mimi
Addison with Mimi
Reagan and Mimi
Baylee and Mimi
Me and Mimi
This is Mimi's obituary...
Wilma Dale (Roberts) Slater long time resident of Hobbs, NM and founder of Hospice of Lea County (now Vista Care Family Hospice) was born October 26, 1932 in Coleman County, Texas. She died on December 28, 2010 in Gunter, Texas at the age of 78. Services will be held on January 3, 2011 at First United Methodist Church, 200 E. Snyder, Hobbs, NM. under the direction of Chapel of Hope Funeral Home and officiated by Hospice Chaplain Elio Barrios. Viewing will be held from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday, January 2. 2011.

Wilma attended Odessa High School, Odessa Junior College, and Sul Ross University where she met Charles Arthur Slater. They were married in Odessa, TX in 1952. They were married 58 years. Before moving to Hobbs in 1958, she modeled for a prominent dress store in Odessa, TX. She also worked for Hughes Tool Company and Don Hallum, Atty. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Hobbs, NM. followed by First United Methodist Church, Sherman, TX.

She raised two children, Mark Wayne Slater who died in 1985 and Brenda Karyl (Slater) Chambers.

In 1990, she started the first hospice in Southeast New Mexico which provided end of life care for residents of Lea and Eddy County New Mexico; Gaines and Yoakum County, Texas. She was awarded the 1991-92 “Citizen of the Year” by the Hobbs Jaycees for her work in End of Life Care.

She is survived by her daughter Brenda Slater Chambers and son-in-law Steve Chambers of Gunter, TX; three granddaughters Amanda Rose (Chambers) Payne and husband Rev. Tim Payne of McKinney, TX; Melissa Renee (Chambers) Miller and husband Clark of McKinney, TX; and Michelle Ann (Chambers) Huse and husband Brent of Hewitt, TX.

She had 8 great grandchildren; Luke Payne, CJ Miller, Mark Miller, Peyton Miller, Mackenzie Miller, Addison Huse, Baylee Huse, and Reagan Huse.
She is also survived by a sister Rheta Duncan of Odessa, TX; a brother Don Roberts of Bixby, OK; and two nephews Michael and Jason Duncan.
She was preceded in death by her parents Vernon and Opal Roberts, her husband C. A. Slater, and her son Mark Slater.

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation for the special attention and care given to Mrs. Slater by the team of professionals at Hilltop Haven Care Center, Home Hospice of Grayson County and the personal attendants from Home Instead Senior Care.

On our way home from the funeral on Monday, I told Brent that I hope I can make some sort of impact during my lifetime and leave a legacy behind like my Mimi did with Hospice. She will forever be missed and one day I hope I can do something that would really make her proud.
Thank you to everyone that came to the viewing or the funeral to see Mimi one last time. It meant so much to our family to see you there.