May 31, 2009

Lyle and Lillian

Lyle, the red balloon, dreamed of floating high into the sky, up, up, up above the clouds. He and the other balloons bobbed on the breeze, each waiting for the chance to be set free.

A tall boy with red hair came into the park first and chose the big, yellow balloon bumping Lyle’s side. The boy bent to tie his shoe and the yellow balloon slipped through his fingers! Lyle watched as a strong wind carried it up, up, up above the clouds. Soon it looked like a tiny, yellow dot in the big, blue sky. The boy waved goodbye to his balloon and skipped away. Lyle hoped his turn to fly would come soon.

“Which balloon would you like, Lillian?” asked a little girl’s mother.

Lillian chose the pink balloon to match her pink shoes. Her small fingers held the string very tightly, but a small gust of wind quickly pulled her pink balloon away! Whoosh! It twisted and turned and floated up, up, up above the clouds. Lyle looked up at the tiny, pink dot in the big, blue sky.

Lillian did not wave goodbye to her balloon. Instead, Lillian cried!

“The pink balloon is gone now,” said her mother, “but you can take the red balloon.” Lillian’s mother tied Lyle to the sad little girl’s wrist. Lyle was sad too. He would not be floating high into the sky, up, up, up above the clouds. Lillian did not want to lose her new red balloon so she took Lyle everywhere she went.

She took him to ballet class and tied him to her bag. He did not like wearing a tutu, but he did like dancing to the pretty music!

She took Lyle to the beach where they chased seagulls up and down the shore until sunset.

Lillian even took Lyle to the doctor when she needed a shot. Dr. Sue gave them both stickers for being such good patients... but only Lillian ate the grape lollipop.

At night, Lillian would untie Lyle’s string, give him a kiss, and carefully tuck him in between Gorilla Joe, Fannie Frog, and all her other animals before she got into bed.

Lyle and Lillian had become the best of friends, but Lyle still dreamed about flying high into the sky, up, up, up above the clouds.

One day Lillian had a birthday party.
Balloons were everywhere! Big balloons, little balloons, round balloons, skinny balloons... pink balloons, red balloons, yellow balloons, green balloons! Lyle and Lillian had a wonderful time opening presents, eating chocolate cake with sprinkles, and playing duck-duck-goose.

When the party was over, each guest chose a balloon to take home. By the time Lillian’s baby brother Mikey grabbed the last little balloon a strong wind had begun to blow. WHOOSH!! It pulled all the balloons up and soon they looked like tiny, colorful dots in the big, blue sky.

Lillian watched all the balloons float away together and then looked at Lyle who was tied to her wrist. She slowly untied his string, and when the next gust of wind came along, she opened her fingers very gently...

...and WHOOSH!!! set him free. As Lyle rose quickly into the air, he looked back at his friend with surprise. Lillian was smiling and waving goodbye as he floated high into the sky, up, up, up above the clouds where he had always wanted to be.

This Little Piggy

Aaaaaagh! On Tuesday we went to Life's a Beach with a friend. It's basically a bar and grill type place with a sandy beach (no water) on the back of the restaurant. Well, the whole thing was dry and lovely except one spot- this one! Hannah found it and was a bad influence to the other kids there who jumped in as well! Haha. I bet that mud felt really good on a hot day. Look at those legs just splashing in it! I had to throw away these clothes they were so far gone. Thankfully our friend had brought a shirt for Hannah to have that was too small for her daughter so she wore that home. It was fun.

The dried up result. The girls with guilty looks. : ) " What do you mean, bath?"

Goose and Cheeks watching a video. You can guess which one is cheeks.

Dax took this picture of the girls in conversation. "Do you think we should put up mommy and daddy's laundry for them?" "Yes, let's do it!"

Hannah putting her animals to sleep and giving them "cold water."

Mom and daughter in "discussion."

On Thursday I attended Megan's elementary school production of The Music Man! It was so fun and entertaining. There are some really talented little kids at her school. She has worked on it all year- did everything but the sets herself and I was really impressed.

My new style. : ) Hannah and Chloe were invited to their first birthday party! Big Al the balloon man was there and turned out amazing creations at the speed of light. This hat was actually one of the more simple ones and he didn't make two of the same thing all afternoon.

Chloe doesn't know what to do with this balloon sword.

Big Al is still working hard. Yay! My first children's book is finally complete after two months of work and has been delivered!! This is Jessica holding it up. The title is Lyle and Lillian (Lillian being the 3 year old recipient). For those who wrote me back with some helpful comments when I e-mailed the story out- thanks!! You'll all be getting a copy soon. I'll post some of the drawings in a minute. What will not be posted? Videos. Someday....

Back to the party... there were about 10 kiddie pools in the backyard, delicious food, great party favors, and fun company. Jessica puts a lot into her parties and it was a great time.

Chloe in her frog bikini (with the birthday boy and girl's grandma).

She loved the water.

Hannah's favorite pool turned drinking fountain.

I wanted to jump in too!!!

Today was the last day of softball for Dax. So many games got moved, rained out, etc. the igrls and I only saw 2 or 3. Today was the tournament but they didn't advance. Oh well, Dax had a fun time with the league. As for me, I'm going to play CATS this month! I've never played or seen this musical so I'm excited about it. I leave you with a conversation I over heard between two 11 year old girls.

" Oh my gosh, I've been sooooo busy lately I haven't even called you!!"

"What have you been busy with?"

"Ohhh, knitting."

May 25, 2009


Happy 7 month Birthday, Chloe : )

We went to a duck park on Thursday with Lillian and Sage. We were almost overtaken by a field trip of older kids but thankfully they left after awhile. They looked like barbarian giants next to our little princesses! Haha. The girls had a good time throwing chunks of bread for the ducks- all 50 of which completely ignored the bread. Then we had a great picnic. Picnics are one of my favorite things to do. Chloe got to try out the baby swing for the first time. She also sat in the the grocery cart seat for the first time and so many people at the store stopped to talk to her. She grinned at everyone and looked so tiny and so grown up at the same time. Also on Thursday we had a great brisket dinner at the Joines home.

I sit for a couple of really nice kids once a week. Here's "L" with the craft I brought. I try to bring something new to do that will take a little time. It's kind of hard to tell if the kids think it's interesting or not sometimes but they participate nonetheless. I'm thinking of bringing some knitting next week- we'll see how that goes. Anyway, this is a CD case cube! We put all our CDs in books and I didn't just want to throw out the jewel cases. It can hold photos, drawings, etc. and in the middle hold pencils, whatever. "R" made his to hold Leggo pieces. I think I'm going to make a few with some cool fabric in the windows.

Chloe has graduated to something else again. No more baby tub- on to the duckie tub! You know who else had to get in too- little orphan Hannah- : ) Her hair is between stages again. We're trying to let her bangs grow out so they will be out of her face for good, but for now she seems to always look like she rolled out of bed!

She likes it!

Also this week I started something new. I was invited to join a book club! It's something I've always wanted to do. We read "The Ten Year Nap" and I had a great time in the discussion. It presented a lot to think about. I seemed to have alot in common with the other 4 women in the group and they were extremely nice and layed back. This month we're reading Sarah's Key. It's historical fiction about the Vel' d'Hiv roundup in France, a part of the Holocaust I didn't know about. The Jews in Paris were all rounded up one morning into an arena by French police and then sent to French camps on French buses..then onto places like Auschwitz. It's an incredibally sad book but also lots to think about so I'm looking forward to the next meeting. I read the entire book last night!

A picture where I don't look like tired out Zombie mom.

Anna treated Dax and I to a movie and watched the girls. I have not seen one millisecond of a Star Trek show or movie but we went to see Star Trek. I loved it!!!!!!! The music was terrific too.
It does make me want to go back and start from the beginning but I don't have a couple of minutes to spare in my day, much less hours and hours, days and days.

Attack of the Red-Faced Monster!!! Oh, that's just Hannah as a lady bug courtesy of Nana's face-painting skills. Our church's Memorial Day picnic was today and wild face painting is always part of the fun.

Chloe is in awe of Rick's bushy beard.

Lady Bugs like to jump in bounce houses.

Some folks brought some interesting instruments- little recorders, autoharps and a contraption set up with different sized pots and a mallet. This group of people played some traditional tunes and others sat and knitted. Looks like an old-fashioned good time. ; )

The Lyda family coordinated the kids' games and Hannah anticipates the water balloon fight.

Ben Lyda showing the kids how to put on the potato sack. Those Lydas sure have a lot of energy when it comes to kids. I got tired just watching them!

Chloe is happy when something is in her mouth.

Haha- I wasn't here for this but apparently the volleyball game grinds to a hault when Hannah decides to take over.

May 20, 2009


Well we visited Collierville (home for me) this past weekend. Myself, the queen of taking pictures of every tiny thing, FORGOT the camera. So these are shots borrowed from my sisters' sites. Actually, I told Dax it was kind of nice not to be digging the camera out of the bag every few second, rushing before the perfect shot was over, being disappointed when someone turned their head..etc. I just got to enjoy the time. I guess I should do that more often. Poor Hannah and Chloe will have so many hundreds of pictures taken of them they won't have any that are special if I keep it up! Anyway....

The drive down on Friday was really nice. The girls were well behaved and I got to read a book. We ate a lovely spaghetti dinner at my parents' new house and watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on their gigantic tv. I was super excited to try my dad's version of my favorite dip in the whole world and it was almost identical!!! We don't have it in Texas so now I can make it.

Saturday Dax and my dad went to the world famous Memphis Bar-B-Q festival. Most of the event was winding down but I think they got some smoking/grilling pointers. I took A NAP!!!! It was also my dad's birthday so we ate dinner together and he opened some interesting gifts and cards. : ) Saturday evening I worked on some artwork with Kayla and we had a lot of fun coloring.
Mary Beth and I stayed up late watching what else but HGTV?

Sunday my dad had his wonderful spring band concert. I haven't been able to go to one of his concerts in years. For a director with those sized groups, no assistant, and hardly any private teachers, it is truly amazing to hear those kids. I was especially impressed with the horn sections and many audience members couldn't tell us enough how much they loved him. All the standing ovations were great too. I was very proud! I'm so proud of both my parents who are such hard workers and have touched so many lives as excellent teachers. Everyone but myself had to leave after the first concert (there had to be 2 due to numbers) because the kids were getting pretty restless. The last piece was a John Williams medley which my dad dedicated to me and what a treat! I also got to see my high school director and believe it or not- my 7th grade teacher!

Monday morning my mom and I went for a beautiful walk through the woods to the Wolf River and did one of our favorite things- looking through model homes. It's a Ryan family thing. I got to take a lovely relaxing bath and then we packed up to head home. Hannah and Chloe had the greatest time all weekend playing with their cousins and grandparents. We took lots of walks to the lake- Hannah and I at 6:30am one morning! I was so happy to see my family and so sad when we all went our separate ways. The ride back to Texas was bearable, but I'll just leave it at that! Ha!

May 9, 2009

The Week Flew By

On Mondays I've started taking the girls to one of my student's houses to watch her and her brother while their parents are at work for a little extra income. They go to a private school/homeschool so that's why they aren't at school. I basically entertain my own children, keep Reid on track with his schoolwork and stay there for the good part of the day. For some reason Hannah calls Lauren and her brother both "Pepsi." I can't figure out why but she's consistent every time we go over there. Last Monday I told her it was time to go and she gave me the saddest look and said "Pepsi whole day!" I didn't even know she knew that little phrase. Every day she says 10 new things. Tuesday we went to the Plano Nature Preserve with some friends. In this picture, the girls are ready for their long walk.

Chloe and I enjoy a pretty view.

Hannah and friends. These girls are almost 3 and truly understand what it means to pose for the camera...Hannah does not care much for cameras.

Hannah being dramatic about something. I think they were all spreading their fingers far apart and marveling at that- who knows. They were funny throughout the walk and all got super excited when we reached a path that had roly polys everywhere. "Wowy Powys!" they all shouted over and over again. We played on the playground for awhile and ate a picnic lunch.

My new invention- the Sippy Stein.

Chloe has graduated to the high chair!!! She is too plump for her Bumbo chair now. The challenge is getting her to stay in a comfortable sitting position with various towels stuffed around her. She has also tried green beans now but is still more interested in staring at Hannah's food than eating her own. This event caused me to go look up Hannah's first high chair pictures...which led to me looking at way too many pictures and reminiscing for too long.

As I was preparing things for Hannah's bath I put Chloe in the floor outside the bathroom. I came back to find them both like this just looking at me. Look at those tired faces- a long day!
I guess Hannah's foot wanted to be in the picture too.

Sweet girls. Look at that roll under Chloe's chin- that's just one of many. It is so hard to keep her clean and dry with all these rolls!

Yes, our tv is still in the garage. We did drag it out so Dax could watch 24 as it came on and I kept it our for what I thought was the Biggest Loser finale. Anyway, Chloe's reaction is to stare in wonder at that amazing colorful box since she doesn't ever see it. This time she stared, slowly reached out and moved her fingers like she was trying to grab things off the screen.

She likes to grab other things too- like my cereal while I'm trying to eat it. She did not like the cold milk spilling onto her legs and neither did I. : )

Everything else in a nutshell: Dax and I have one more show tomorrow and we're finished! These have been late nights. I've been working on some illustrations for a children's book I just finished- thanks to all who helped me with it! We're also organizing and selling a lot of music books- Dax has them listed on Facebook for those who are interested. We're planning on having a garage sale soon. Wednesday we went to the library and I've been checking out the good old "Frances" books for Hannah. We loved those as kids. Do you know Frances the badger? We also discovered a set of books about two pigs named Toot and Puddle. They are great books- really original yet simple at the same time. The unusual watercolor artwork is really fun to look at too. As for myself, I've been invited to join a book club so I'm excited about that. Unrelated, I'm reading a book called 1 year to complete organization- I know, I know, but this one might really work!! And I've cleaned and cleaned this week since we've had a lot of babysitting going on and plenty of messes. The house never looks any cleaner to me, though, so I'm hoping the garage sale will help us get rid of all this stuff!!! Oh, and Anna is off on her exotic cruise to Greece and Turkey. We took her to the airport on Thursday. We hope she's having a great time. I promised some videos and I do still have several little ones saved up- it's just they take a crazy amount of time to put on the blog. Maybe I'll be able to get to it this week. Until next time...!