Saturday, December 10, 2011


A.J. has only ever wanted to play baseball. This year, though, he asked to play basketball in the winter. We thought that was a great idea. Not only would it improve his conditioning, but help him to make new friends, too. Last Saturday was their first game. And he was nervous! He's never been nervous about a game before. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" he said. But it's because in baseball there's always a right choice, depending on each situation. In basketball, the situation is always changing, and there are always many right choices. He did just fine, and even had one dad declare that he must be lying about never playing before. :)

It was not easy to get pics. Gyms aren't exactly photo-friendly, with all that bad lighting. But here are a couple.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

So behind!

Many, many fun things have happened, even before we moved, that I still haven't posted. There's the video from A.J.'s first orchestra concert, and his birthday, the first day of school, and lots of baseball. (Surprise!)

Today, though, I'll just put up some things from this week.

Wednesday was Parent/Teacher conference, so they were both out of school. I scheduled Levi's conference for 8am (A.J. is too old for mandatory conferences now!) and we headed out by 9. First up was the Trinity River Audubon Center. This is a new center, built along the Trinity River (which runs through much of the DFW metroplex) an on top of an illegal dump site. They "sculpted" the trash, covered it up, and planted lots of native grasses and other seeds. It is still in the early stages of succession, so it will be even more beautiful in future years. The drought this year also didn't help. The building, though, was mostly a disappointment. There was very little information available. Minimal, non-changing displays, and no staff to answer questions were bummers for me. I wanted to learn more about when the monarchs arrive back in TX, but no luck there. We did get several things passed off for A.J.'s Webelos requirements, and the river was beautiful.

Here are some fun pics.

 A.J. had to help Levi find the turtles sunning themselves on the logs.

 They liked this little fence.


This is Levi learning to perch with the binoculars.



 He spent several minutes up there.

After hiking the trails for a couple of hours, we headed over to the Ft. Worth Zoo. It's a really nice zoo. Much nicer than L.A.'s. They even have penguins there! I didn't get any pictures, since we were getting short on time.

Yesterday was Levi's school fundraiser, the Fun Run. They set up cones on the soccer field, and the kids ran 30 laps each. Levi looked like it was easy, he just kept running and running, and running. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a goof

Just a quick post to say that my boys are still around. They just haven't gotten much blog time lately.

Today, A.J. told us about having getting to learn Spanish during Social Studies. His school bought Rosetta Stone for the kids to use in the computer lab. His computer was having troubles, so he only managed to watch the introductory video, and didn't get to "talk at it. You know, with headphones and a microphone like pilots and commentators wear."

Levi starting quoting some of the Rosetta Stone commercials, and then announced that he wanted to learn Latin. He picked Latin because "nobody speaks it anymore. And then nobody would understand me. It would be funny." See? He's a goof.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What we've done so far...

Well, we've been in the house for almost 3 weeks, but only owned it for 2. We've been quite busy with various projects. And the shopping! Good heavens we've done a lot of shopping. Between new clothes, school supplies, food, furniture, tools and such, and other sundries, we've spent more hours in retail outlets in the last 2 weeks than in the previous 2 months.

Here's a rundown of what's been accomplished so far.

Painted A.J.'s room for his birthday. (Pictures later.) Curtain fabric bought, but not made yet. That's a project for this week.

Bought desk/table surfaces for the office and put them together. Finally got the computer off the floor. :)

Opened and put away most of the boxes. Only a few left in the office and the master bedroom.

Bought, installed, and improved some used laundry appliances. Only $500 for both!

Set up the furniture, more or less where it will stay.

Got lawn care equipment (weedeater and riding lawn mower) and tidied up the lawn. Good grief it looks so much better.

Bought and assembled some garage organizing/work bench pieces. And put up peg board. And then actually put the tools away!

Scrubbed (with Soft Scrub and a brush) the grout lines in the kitchen. Well, I've started, but I sure haven't gotten anywhere near finished. WHY WOULD ANYONE USE WHITE GROUT IN THE KITCHEN?!?! If you happen to be grouting in your kitchen in the near future, do not choose white. You will regret it. At least it's coming mostly clean.

Scrubbed our shower. Eww. That's all I got on that one. And got a bench for it, since there's not even a soapdish!

De-cobwebbed the upper corners on most of the first floor.

Signed myself up to help with the garden at the elementary school. I figured that's in my skill set. 

Got both of the boys through the first week of school. They're both making new friends and enjoying their classes. Levi is excited that his school has music, computer, and art classes, and that he gets to have PE three times a week. A.J. is thrilled to have PE every day, and that he's doing really well in his Honors Math class. And he gets to see his teammates. They're all 6th graders, so he has no classes or lunch with them, but he sees them in the halls frequently. It's a pretty small school. :)

Up to bat for next week:

Get Aaron to his new office.

Sew curtains for A.J.'s window.

Actually get all the stuff off my kitchen counters that doesn't belong there.

Vacuum and use a Rug Doctor on the carpets. It's not particularly easy to tell, but they had two dogs. And they weren't imaginary.

Get some mulch to put around our poor trees. Especially the ones in the front of the house. They're younger, and taking the heat and dryness a little harder than the mature ones in the back.

Get Levi out to his first practice of the fall season.

Have the missionaries over for dinner and Family Home Evening Monday night. And then go to Levi's curriculum night at school.

Stop eating so much fast food!!!

Find a pediatrician. They're up for their check-ups in a few weeks.

And just enjoy being right where we belong. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's finished!

We finally, finally closed on Monday. That was awful. I never want to do it again. Good thing I like my new house!

 And, finally some pictures!

 First, the front: The house faces south, and we have no western windows. So, it doesn't heat up unnecessarily every afternoon! :)

Next: the music room. This was originally the dining room. But, the boys aren't allowed to eat over carpet, and the breakfast area is huge. And we needed a place to put the piano!

The kitchen, breakfast area/dining room and living room are one long room, which I love. Bring on the friends! And, I now have possibly the largest kitchen island ever.

Here is the living room. Yes, we already have a Texas star. It's an unwritten law around here that you must. (The master bedroom is through the little hallway on the right. And the boys' rooms are upstairs. Score!)

 The entryway. Music room is to the right, and the study is on the left.

The guest bathroom. It's small, but beautiful like all the bathrooms. 

This is the boys' homework/art room. The girls that lived here before left some magnetic boards and some cork boards. We're going to paint the dormer wall with chalkboard paint for some more art space.

Levi's room. He wants blues and greens for his paint colors. 

 A.J.'s room. There is a bed under there, I promise. :) He wants Cardinal red on one wall. Of course. Notice all three upstairs bedrooms have window seats. We love them. It's time to get cracking on some good comfy pillows!

Obviously, it's still a mess. Once we get some paint, and some pictures on the walls, it will really start feeling more like home. It's a beautiful house, and we feel really blessed to have it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NOT Homeless!

Let's just call this Aaron's worst birthday ever. I really hope there's never one even worse. Apparently, the mortgage company we picked is worthless. And so, we may be are likely to be homeless for at least a couple of days next week. We are hoping, but I don't have any idea how likely, that a different company can get us closed by Monday. If they can't, we'll probably lose the house. And then we're in real trouble. So, send up a prayer or two, please?

* Update: We won't be homeless! The loan won't close before we get there, like it was supposed to (Stupid, lazy mortgage co.!) But, we're going to lease the house from the sellers until it does. Whew. Thank goodness.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My special, long-time friends

When I went back to Missouri for Jared and Shelby's wedding, I got to see a couple of my childhood friends. We haven't all been together since graduation, more than 13 years ago. One lives nearby, but one was only in town while her husband finished basic training. These are friends who I know will always stand by me, no matter what, or how long it's been since we saw each other, or how far away we are. I love them!

My boys were just starting their drive from California, so they didn't get to come hang out with us, but Janey's cute boys were there, and Teri's adorable son and daughter. Here are a few pics from our fast-food picnic at the park.

Clay: almost 2!

Little Levi: just turned 4!

Emily: gonna be in kindergarten!

Spencer: big 3rd grader!

Emily, Teri, Spencer, Clay, me, Janey, and Levi
Friends are so special. So glad we got together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yesterday, me and Levi made the board game "Monopoly". We started at about 1:30 yesterday. We stopped to go to bed at about 8:30. then, we started back up today at around 2:00. We only had the money left to do, and we finished at 2:30. It looks great, and here it is:

I told you it looks great! well, see you in my next post.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baseball...have you missed it?

Yes, the boys both played baseball this spring. It was very busy, and not terribly notable for most of the season, so there weren't many posts about it. But, now that Levi is done with his tournaments, lets look at some pictures!

In one of the last games of the season, A.J. hit his first real home run. No, it didn't go over the fence, that's a really big field they're on, but you can see that the ball hasn't even been thrown to the cutoff man yet, and he's rounding 3rd. He was very happy. :)

In their second playoff game (everyone makes the playoffs, double-elimination), they went up 12-1, but barely won 13-12. Yikes. A.J.'s buddy Nate Dog (they all had nicknames on their jerseys, it was very confusing) got his "daily home run." Nate's not the most natural player out there, but when he connects, the ball goes a long, long way.

A.J. loves catching. I took a few pics of some good stops. The pitching was mediocre, at best, so he had some nasty stuff to try to stop. Lots of balls in the dirt, and some way over his head. He got to most of them, though. I must say, he's pretty good. :)

On to Levi: he is a very scrappy little player, and loves to get dirty. He dives for anything, even if he has no chance at all to get to the ball. This won't serve him terribly well as he gets older, but for now it just means he's aggressive. And his coach liked that a lot. He played pitcher and 3rd base, even as a lefty, and made lots of outs. He even caught some fly balls!

He is one of the most encouraging kids I know. He pats the other team on the back when they make it to 1st. He applauds foul balls, and good effort. He can turn around and tell you that you messed up, but we're trying to stay positive. :)

He's really fast. I don't see him run very often, we just don't have that much room in our yard. But when he lets loose, he flies. As for his number, no, he's not 00. He's 99, but the jerseys were enormous, so most of the numbers were tucked in to their pants.

We had good seasons, with a lot of learning going on. The biggest accomplishment: A.J. has improved dramatically at controlling his emotions, and not taking a loss so hard. It's still not fun, but he's usually not devastated anymore. Hooray, baseball!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Best Couple Ever...Jared and Shelby

My adorable brother Jared married sweet Shelby on June 18, and then had a ring ceremony and reception on the 25th. I knew she was a keeper after my Grandma's funeral in December. She sailed through that stressful time, and then through Christmas with us, too. Our family quirks (cause every family has some...some families have more than others) didn't scare her away, and she fit right in. Can you tell that I love her? :)

They asked me to take pictures for them at the temple, and I gladly did. Here are some of my favorites.

The super cute couple. They giggled through most of the pics. :)

Smiling faces, and the beauty of the temple all in one photo.
Simply love this photo. They clearly love each other an awful lot.

Meet Mr. Nubman. Jared lost part of his finger in a work accident a couple of years ago. He occasionally draws a face on the stub and calls it "Mr. Nubman." What a goof.

Shelby's great family that drove out for California to be there for her. That's her brother in the back, her mom in blue and her aunt on the right.

These are all the Sudholts that made it. Somehow we finally managed to get a nice picture. After Aunt Karen stopped making faces.  Left to right: cousin Emily, my mom Jan, my sister Hallie, Shelby, my brother "Uncle Jon," Jared, me, my dad Bob, and Aunt Karen.
Jared's sweet son Gavin, ring bearer for the ceremony at the reception.
Shelby's pretty little Jasmine, the flower girl.
I am so excited to have such a great sister-in-law. Their new family is beautiful, and I can't wait to watch them bloom and grow together.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lots to catch up on

I think I'll do this in a more or less random order. I'm not organized enough in my brain right now to do it any other way.

First up, we have a contract on a house! A gorgeous house, even. Never thought I'd have one so nice, especially that I can move right into. A couple of pictures for the curious, but no interior shots yet. It's still not mine, after all.

It's a 2-story house. The boys were thrilled. They've been begging for one for a couple of years now.

And, it has a nice, long backyard. There's room for a big garden, and lots and lots of baseball.

There's a shed in the back. Nothing terribly fancy, but the girls that live there now have been allowed to spray paint one end to their hearts' content. They're actually quite good.

Up next, my brother Jared's wedding to the best girl ever.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Operation Lone Star

Operation Lone Star is our next family project. It will involve a lot of work, from everyone. There will be packing, and purging, and patience. There will probably be tantrums, there will definitely be some tension, and it will all end in the state of Texas.

We have requested, and been granted, a transfer to the Ft. Worth office. This is a really exciting time for us. We'll be able to own a house, rather than rent. We'll be able to have enough space to spread out. We won't have to hear when our neighbors turn on their Wii, which we can now. Hopefully we won't be able to smell if our neighbors smoke a cigar every night, like we do now.

We've narrowed our choices to a couple of communities. They are both far enough out of the city to have large lots, and smaller schools. But they're not so far to have terrible commutes.

We are lucky enough to have some fabulous friends nearby already. The Johnsons are a great family. Gail was A.J.'s first babysitter when I went back to school. They have boys about the same ages as our boys, and all of them are good friends. We are very glad to be moving close to them again. We won't be next door, like we were in Columbia, but close enough for lots of barbecues and other get-togethers.

And, it puts us much closer to almost all of our family. I have some cousins in TX, one near Houston, and one in San Antonio. We'll have to have our own family reunions, since none of us have been to the "big" one for several years.

We've got a lot to do, and it will be stressful, but by the end of the summer, we're hoping to be in a place we can really call "home."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One did, and one didn't

Congratulations to Levi! He made the Shetland (coach pitch-level) tournament team! He is very excited, but he doesn't quite know what it means just yet. :)

They'll be going to three tournaments, but he'll only make two of them. He must have been good enough that they didn't care, because the initial information was adamant that you be available for everything. His first tournament is over Memorial Day weekend, so we'll see how they do and report back.

Sadly, A.J. did not make his team. He was on the bubble, but he's little, and they only would have put him on the bench. So, they just left him off. He was not happy about the decision. He didn't get angry and stomp around, but he was crying quietly. He's in the younger group, being 9 rather than 10. So there are a lot of boys older and bigger than he is. A.J., however, knows that he works harder than just about anyone and thinks that should make him more valuable. I agree, but I'm not coaching the team, and the guy who is coaching, well, he's a little loony. We weren't terribly surprised, but A.J. was terribly disappointed. Maybe next year.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Break and All-Star Games

So since we last posted the snow has all gone away, the baseball season is well under way and spring break has come and gone. We finally went somewhere for spring break this year. Bethany didn't have classes this year, so there was no conflict with her school and the kids school having break at different times. We did a little road trip down to San Felipe, Mexico. It's a little fishing village on the Sea of Cortez side of Baja. We stayed in a house close to the beach and got a lot of peace and quiet. Here's some pictures of the Giant Cactus forest that we drove through there.
Yesterday was our league's all-star festival/fundraiser. Both AJ and Levi were voted onto their all-star teams by their teammates. It was a long but fun day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


What wacky weather lately.  Today, it snowed.  Dippin' dots style.  It was a little strange.  I've never seen snow like that.  It looked like sleet, but wasn't.  The boys ran outside to be in it, catch it on their tongues, and touch t-shirts and no socks or shoes.  A.J. was even in shorts!

The boys enjoying the first flakes.

It stopped for a while, and then started again with a vengeance!  It eventually accumulated to somewhere between 1 and 2 inches.

It covered our road.  Jon was out with a friend, and came home to say it's not even cloudy 2 miles away, and doesn't stick until 3 roads south of us.

They suited up (as best they could, with no boots or snow pants, or decent mittens) and headed out for a snowball fight.  First, though, they stopped to make their first snow angels.

We found some small mittens for Levi, and some knit ones for A.J., but they didn't work all that well.

 The boys threw snowballs, and Aaron rolled up the balls for a snowman.  And, our lemon tree doesn't look very happy right now.  Poor thing.

This is their first ever snowman.  Carrot nose, raisin eyes and buttons.