Monday, December 31, 2007

A Stratton Sized Christmas

Maybe it just seemed like a circus b/c 4 of the 12 of us were 5 and under...any way it comes out...we had a ball at the circus. The Florida Strattons (Neil's middle brother's family) were here from the 21st to the 26th. The kids played and played and played. They decorated gingerbread men cookies. The played with Brock's Leapster. They broke things in Paula's house (I still don't know the whole story on that). The grown kids all went down to Chuy's and Aaron had an Elvis Platter, yummy. All in all, we had a fabulous Christmas vacation.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve Eve

My family came over tonight. ALL of them. 14 of us in all. And that's a LOT of people in my house. We had chili and the boys and Jake & Zach decorated cookies that Nancy brought. I think that was a bigger hit than any of the boys would like to admit. Zach was just in it for the icing. It was a super night and Jake loved his pirate ship from Aunt Ancy and Uncle Eddy. I wish I had videoed him opening it up. It was a huge success. Zach especially loved it too. Zach loved his Lego things too. Anything truck related (or train or bus). We all had a great time. Also, Pawpaw really loved the present we told him would take 4-6 weeks to arrive...a signed Christmas picture of the whole gang from Gunsmoke signed by Matt Dillon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Dear friends and family,

I need some prayers: for my mom, dad and myself.

She has been experiencing terrible back pain for about 6 months. Yesterday, she finally went to a doctor about it. (Has been getting massages). They did a chest/upper body x-ray. Today he called her to say that he thinks her back problems are being caused by her ENLARGED AORTA. I'm hoping they are wrong and that those were someone else's x-rays. However, to find further details, she is going to have a CAT scan (I think. Mom is sometimes not great at getting all the details) the day after Christmas.

I immediately got on the internet and tried to get some info on this. Wow...don't do that when you are unsure of something that has to do with the heart. Almost everything I found said "open heart surgery".

Anyway, please say some prayers for peace for Mom and Dad right now. Dad was very shaken by this. He said "Mom's not supposed to be the one sick...that's his job!" We are all scared right now-especially Mom. Pray that the doctors are given super wisdom and guidance in diagnosing this and advising further action. Pray that Mom and Dad are able to take it in right now, then sit back and patiently wait 6 days. Pray that the further tests show not much of what we think might be there.

I thank you for your prayers in advance.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Zach Attack Upon a tiny baby.

Tonight I got out a sweet little nativity set that my sister, Amye, gave Jake several years ago. We set it up at the foot of the tree. Zach was especially taken by it. I set it up and then he "REset" it up...several times. We didn't really know what to think about the 2 wise men and Mary being on the roof, but hey, maybe he knows something we don't. He also liked putting all the animals up the ladder.'s a barn, why not?

Stratton Elfs

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pirates & Princes (of Peace)

Zachy's new favorite thing is to put on the "pirate hook" and sing the "Arrrgh, Arrrgh" song from the Backyardigans. It is really cute. I'll try to get the song on video. Also, the bottom picture is of a Christmas present from a dear dear friend. It is of Santa bowing down and worshiping our Saviour, Christ. It is so special to me. It is so ME. It is my favorite yard decoration in the neighborhoods. Our Santa coming out the chimney just doesn't measure up to that. But Jake and Zach love it. Anyway...the present is a wonderful one. I hope my friend knows how much I love this present. Zachy loves it too. I have had to tell him numerous times to "put baby Jesus back on the table".

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cabin Fever and Christmas Lights

Today, Sunday, was cold (for Texas). Too cold to play outside, especially if you have sick kids. Yes, Jake and I went to the RediClinic yesterday to be told he has bronchitis. Yuck. I think he was mostly fever free today. I left all the boys/men home and went to church alone. When I got home, Zachy had fever. Sigh. So it goes. Well, after naps and lunch and all the play inside...we all had cabin fever. Neil and tossed around several ideas of "getting out" but nothing seemed worth it. So about 9pm, we bundled them up, got in the car- Hershey and Bini too- and headed out to look at lights. Guess what? LOTS of people have already tuned off their lights at 9pm on a Sunday. But it was fun, anyway. And it was nice getting out.' Jake was rather excited about wearing 2 different socks. And Zachy put on his shoes all by himself. They are Jake's sandals and way too big for him, but I'm not going to tell him that. He thought he was BIG TIME.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Last Thursday was Jake's 1st ever Christmas "show" for his preschool. It took a total time of 35 minutes...perfect. Neil's parents, Abby & Poppy, went with me to see him "perform"!!! It was a riot. He sang his songs beautifully, mostly. He did this strange little thing with his head, kind of like a wolf howling at the moon. I think maybe he got it from copying Snoopy singing on Charlie Brown Christmas. That's the only thing I can think. He did have a LINE. Just in case you can't hear what he was saying..."We hope this music and its message is your best present this year". Sometimes he add libbed a bit, but that's OK. Oh yeah, the irritating thing about that night was that right before we left, I put 2 new batteries in my camera. AND I brought an extra 4 pack with me (that I bought @ Bass Pro Shop last week). Well, guess what? NONE OF THEM WORKED. They wouldn't even turn the camera on for more than a second. Thankfully, someone there was able to loan me some batteries. Note to self (and you all): DON'T BUY BASS PRO SHOP BRAND BATTERIES.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

In an attempt today tonight to keep Zachy from tearing all the ornaments off the tree, we gathered up our stockings and talked about Santa putting goodies in them. Jake loved talking about that; Zachy still wanted to pull ornaments off the tree. So we went and put on our PJ's. Then Jake and I spent about 30 minutes learning his LINE for the Christmas program at preschool tomorrow night. I am going to video it so that Neil can see it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chooch Chooch...all aboard

Yesterday, in a hopeless attempt to get some cute shots of just the boys for the Christmas card, I took them to the old fashioned caboose in old town Katy. Well, several things went wrong. And from the pictures, you can tell that not much went right. It was too cold and damp. The train is a LOT bigger in person than when you just drive by on the street, so I think Zachy was a big overwhelmed. And, to boot, there was a real, modern, engine hooking up to a load to pull close by, so of course, nothing could get Zachy's attention off of that. Then, after the caboose debacle, we went to try and find some pants for the boys. My kids are so tall that we have a problem trying to find pants that are long enough that aren't really made for 11 year olds. Just so you know, MY BOYS are not all that thrilled by TRYING ON CLOTHES. about NOT SO FUN!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snowy Day in Katy

While we were outside "chalking" (drawing with chalk), our neighbors across the street had us come over b/c it was snowing in their yard. How very cool. Then another neighbor had some cute reindeer, so we went over to pet them. Even though it was 82 and muggy, WE HAD SNOW. Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Jake's favorite sports

Yesterday, Abby and I did a whole lot of shopping. Mainly, we shopped at Toys R Us. I am so very thankful that I don't have to go back there. I am 37 (for a bit longer), and even I get overwhelmed going in there. We made some big decisions (as far as 2 and 5 year old boys are concerned) yesterday. I decided to get Jake this cool blow up guy that you throw a football through a hole in his middle. I think Jake will really like it, and I think that Neil will like playing with it with Jake. So, today on the way to school, I thought it would be a good idea to get Jake excited about football. He and Neil haven't had much time recently to play in the backyard. So I thought we should "remind" him what he likes. So I ask him what his favorite sport is. Here was his answer. "I like all sports and super heroes. My best sport is baseball. I think I like basketball and soccer, too. Oh , and I like football. Also, cricket. Cricket is my favorite!" This is too funny, b/c OF COURRSE he has never seen cricket be played NOR have we ever played it. But Neil reads him a book printed in England at night and I think it's in there. Pretty funny.

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