Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today is the Day

UPDATE:They ran the story!

Click HERE to watch the news segment.

Ok, the skies are blue, the sun is shining! It's a gorgeous day here in H-town! Tune in to KHOU channel 11 at 4 TODAY for the "What's Right" segment and see the Emma's Hugs story.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In the news

Edited to update:
If you tried to catch the Emma's Hugs story on KHOU Channel 11 news at 4 today 1/25/12, you didn't miss it. The weather in the Houston area was severe today, so our story got bumped so everyone could see the effects of the weather. Bummer! We will post the new day the story will air as soon as we know it.


Sherry Williams, an anchor from KHOU, Channel 11 in Houston, Texas, followed Emma's Hugs respresentatives, Kelvin and Christy Dunnam (that's us) around Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital a couple of weeks ago. She was doing a story for their "What's Right" segment in which they feature weekly reports that highlight positive, inspiring stories in our community. They saw first hand what Emma's Hugs does. In case you're new around here, Emma's Hugs is the charity we founded in Emma's honor. The mission of this organization is to provide parking assistance for families in the Texas Medical Center. The story should air tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, on the 4 o'clock news. Hopefully it won't get booted to another day because of all the bad weather forecasted for tomorrow. If you're in the Houston area, we hope you will watch, or set your DVR!

Friday, January 20, 2012

We're adopting

We are adopting! We had our home visit tonight. Meet Princess.

She's an adorable black cocker spaniel. A really great foster family brought her over and Stephanie, the director of the cocker spaniel rescue group, came along to tell us all about life with a cocker spaniel. It was a sad good-bye when the foster family left...for them and her. They have had her since November. I can't imagine not wanting to adopt every dog they foster! Thank you Leigh Ann, Brad and girls for doing such a good job with her. She is a very sweet girl. She is still looking around the house for them, but I hope she begins feeling at home in her new forever home very soon. She seems to like the kids and found Kelvin's lap comfy indeed. Luke has big plans of taking her to the dog park tomorrow. We'll head to the store in the moring to get the essentials, and she will probably be worn smooth out from playing with three very energetic kiddos by tomorrow afternoon.

Hope you all have a good weekend! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Batten Disease is mean

Please pray for my friends, Jenni and Andy. Their precious little girl, Celia, died this afternoon. She had infantile Batten Disease, just like Emma. I know they are extremely happy now, playing, running, jumping, flying. But I know too that Mom and Dad now have a whole in their hearts, one that will probably never completely heal.

Please remember all the families who have lost children to Batten Disease. There have been a lot lately. Batten Disease is mean. Like someone on my friend's blog said, "it plays dirty..."

-not sportsmanlike
-extremely unfortunate; thankless
-stormy; rough

Batten sure does play dirty.
Yes, it does. I fully believe a cure is insight. My heart aches deeply that Emma and Celia and so many others like them will not benefit from a cure, but I am hopeful for ones like Will and Christiane. Please continue to support the efforts of Batten Disease Support and Research Association and Beyond Batten. Tell your friends about Batten Disease. Encourage your representatives to give more funding to rare diseases. Participate in fundraising events. Do what you can. And remember to pray for miracles and believe they can happen.

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, You look lovely in my living room! (yes, still!) I am sooo lazy when it comes to unpacking and that sort of thing. I guess taking down the Christmas tree falls under the same category. I plan on staying up late tonight and getting it down...probably.

Kelvin and Carleigh are hunting this weekend. The other two kiddos and I have been holding down the fort. We had a good evening with my good friend and her little girl last night. I made some

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Brown 1 onion (finely chopped) and 1 bell pepper (also finely chopped) in olive oil
When onion is transparent, add 3 TBS minced garlic

Add 2 large cartons of chicken stock
2 cans of garbanzo beans
2 cans of zucchini or two large fresh zucchini chopped
1 large can of Glory brand seasoned green beans
1 large can of pinto beans (Ranch if you like or refried if you want a creamy soup) I added a can of black beans too!
2 cans of Rotel original (1 can of plain tomatoes if you like a little less kick)
1 large can of white hominy
1 package of enchilada sauce mix
2 bags of Tyson grilled and cubed chicken breast (comes in freezer section precooked or you can use a rotisserie chicken)

Simmer and serve. You can top with grated cheese, sour cream and cilantro.

Don't you just love soup? I especially love the kind where you just dump a bunch of good stuff together in a pot and simmer. Mmm Mmm good!

I also made some tomato basil soup the other day which Luke and I finished off this evening. I could eat soup every day.

So, my friend and I spent the evening perusing Pinterest and awesome blogs. There are so many creative people in this world! I love seeing all the wonderful ideas out there. Luke's good friend spent the night and Cora loved playing with my friend's daughter, so everyone had a great time. Love nights like that.

This morning, after Luke's friend went home, the kiddos and I loaded up and made the trek to Sugarland for a dog adoption day. I had already contacted one of the board members for the rescue group who was hosting the adoption day, so it was nice meeting her in person. All of the foster families were so kind and willing to answer all of our questions. We really thought we wanted a Springer Spaniel, but it doesn't seem to be working out with that group. It's been two months now, and we are no further along than we started. This new group, a cocker spaniel rescue group, seems to be on the ball. We are scheduled for a home visit Tuesday! (incentive to get the Christmas tree down.) Luke fell for a sweet cocker spaniel named Princess today. Her fur is smooth and black, and not curly, which is the main reason he likes her. Kind of funny to me since he's my boy with a head full of curly hair. Who knew?! Her foster family was precious and had very good things to say about her. She was so calm and lovey dovey. Anyway, I reminded him our entire family has to agree that she is the one for us before we sign on the dotted line. He understood. We shall see. Cora was extremely distraught that we didn't bring Princess home with us today. Luke wanted to brainstorm different names for the dog since Princess is so...girly! I told him I wasn't sure that was such a good idea since she isn't a puppy and is probably quite used to her name and that she is a girl after all, but that we would talk about it.

When we got back to our hometown, it was time for one of our good friend's birthday party. They rented a RoadGamer truck and had laser tag set up in the church gym. They also has some balls laying out for dodge ball. At one point during the party, it seemed that all the kids were playing dodge ball. My friend commented that wasn't that how it always happens...spend a bunch of money on fancy stuff, and the kids go for the simple thing. They loved the game trailer and the laser tag though. Everyone had a great time.

Well, I guess I'll go make another cup of coffee and bring down my Christmas ornament boxes now. Hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it was here today. Wishing my friends Dane, Holly and Mark an awesome run in the Houston Marathon tomorrow! Have a fabuloso weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The gym

I made it to the gym for my assessment and to kick off the start of my 30 day free membership. I guess that's all it will be at that particular gym, because they are mighty proud of their facility...not in the budget. Maybe I'll give the other gym in town a try again after the free 30. Anyway, I had an assessment and will have a free personal training day tomorrow with an adorable gal named Audra. She had an inspiring story to share of how she went from 200 pounds to the tiny little thing she is today. I think I can do it. I'm not 200 pounds, but I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be either. I am inspired though, and that's huge, right? I think so. Big problem with me is that I like to eat...a lot! I like to cook, I like having people over and cooking for them, I like to eat what I cook, and a little just doesn't do it for me most of the time. When I'm in the yucky part of my cycle (and there only seems to be a few days that aren't yucky) I like to eat even more. So, I'm praying those habits are replaced with good ones, and I won't be starving and ready to eat a half a cow with my smaller portions and less food in general. I'm on my way to fit and 40 (ugh)! I still can't get used to that number. Good thing I have 337 days, 4 hours, 54 minutes! :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


We had a couple of firsts yesterday.

Cora got her very first haircut. She was so excited. I told her a few days ago I made her an appointment. On the way to the hair dresser, we had to run an errand, and Cora fell asleep. Needless to say, she was not nearly as excited about her haircut once we woke her up after we arrived.

Carleigh had an appointment to get her hair trimmed yesterday after school. Cora was wide awake for that one. I had to chase her all over the salon. What a difference an hour makes! Veronica said, "Now, that's the Cora I know!" Carleigh's hair turned out very nice. She said she wants a straight iron. I said maybe for her 10th birthday that is in June. Did you care so much about hair and nails at 9? I don't remember either one being a big deal at that age.

Well, yesterday evening while we were at Target, Carleigh reminded me that she needed a bra. Can you believe I just typed those words?!? She is 9 1/2 years old, for crying out loud! I'm not liking this whole growing up all! So, we scooted back to the little girl bra and panty section and picked out her little tank top bra. I didn't make a big deal in the store, but inside I was dying! This is killing me. How did she get to be 9 1/2 so fast? And when in the world did little girls start growing up and maturing so soon? I didn't need any undergarments until I was almost 11! Ugh! I wish I could rewind the clock and enjoy the days when she was little more. I will try to slow down time just a little and enjoy the days to come. There are so many changes to face...I don't think I'm ready.

Mighty Hunter Boy

I forgot to share with you Luke's deer and hog. At 7 years old, he shot his first deer, an 8 point buck! He went hog hunting on Kelvin's cousin's property down the highway the day after Christmas and shot a 300 pound hog! He is my mighty hunter boy!

Friday, January 6, 2012


I usually have quite a few things I like to think about changing when a new year rolls around. This year is no different...except that I only have

340 days, 20 hours, 22 minutes

from the time I began composing this post before I turn 40! I cannot believe I just wrote that number! I distinctly remember, like it was only yesterday, turning 30. I had our first child six months before. I didn't really like turning 30 all that much. Lots has happened in my thirties. I believe I have changed more during this decade than any other in my life. Some good, some not so much.

Anyway, I told a friend the other day, "I want to be 40 and fit, not 40 and flabby! (The latter of which, is my current state, unfortunately! ugh!) During a fundraising event I attended in December, and I'm chuckling as I write this, because it was called A Chocolate Affair, and we ate wonderful chocolate treats, I won the silent auction bid on a 30-day membership to a local fitness center. So, next week, I will march my flabby self into the fitness center and cash in my 30-day membership, including the personal trainer to tell me what to do to get myself on the right course! Yay me!

So, that's one of my goals or resolutions this year. I would also like to read more, memorize another chapter in the Bible (I've almost completed Colossians with my friend Rachel), eat less but better foods, read to my kids more, love them better, get outdoors more, drink more water and wine, take better care of myself, get to know something new about the love of my life, be intentional and purposeful in my everyday living, and make some changes around my house and yard.

I would like to learn how to sew...more than pillows. I would love to have a sewing mentor who would come to my house and teach me the ins and outs of sewing. I want to make my kids cool and cute things to wear...especially Carleigh, since a lot of the clothes available for her are more than hoochy! I want to make slip covers for my furniture and curtains for our rooms.

I would like to learn how to knit or crochet or whatever it is called. Maybe that dream will come true. A couple of friends of mine and I meet every week, and one of them is trying to line someone up to come teach us. Very cool!

I think it might be kinda cool to do a triatholon. (crazy, I know.)

I would like to be at peace. I feel completely unsettled. I yearn for a deeper relationship with the Father and others in my life.

I feel like my kids are growing up too fast. I want them to stay little for a while longer. I want to mold them into God-fearing, God-loving, and bold witnesses for Him. Sometimes I think I would love to homeschool them.

I want to slow down life. I don't like to hurry, but it seems like I am in a constant state of hurry. It makes me tired.

I want to be a better steward of our finances. I want to do a better job of meal planning, watch for sales on essentials, find coupons for the things I need, start special accounts for Christmas, clothes, and entertainment. I hate money. I wish we didn't have to have it.

How about you? Any resolutions or changes for 2012?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I've learned recently that some do not take down their Christmas decor until after Epiphany. Seems I'll be joining those in this tradition this year. (I know you're not suprised. Just thought I would share. And besides, I didn't really get everything out until a week or so before what's the hurry?) We went to the deer lease for the New Year's weekend. It was good to get away. Seeing as how I wasn't here, I didn't get our Christmas decor down. I'm not sure that would have made much difference, but it's a good excuse, nonetheless.

Not knowing much about Epiphany, I decided to do a little research. I found this prayer and thought it was wonderful...

An Epiphany Prayer
(click for source)
Father, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in Jesus the Christ, we who once were not your people but whom you chose to adopt as your people. As ancient Israel confessed long ago, we realize that it was not because of our own righteousness, or our own superior wisdom, or strength, or power, or numbers. It was simply because you loved us, and chose to show us that love in Jesus.

As you have accepted us when we did not deserve your love, will you help us to accept those whom we find it hard to love? Forgive us, O Lord, for any attitude that we harbor that on any level sees ourselves as better or more righteous than others. Will you help us to remove the barriers of prejudice and to tear down the walls of bigotry, religious or social? O Lord, help us realize that the walls that we erect for others only form our own prisons!

Will you fill us so full of your love that there is no more room for intolerance. As you have forgiven us much, will you enable us with your strength to forgive others even more? Will you enable us through your abiding Presence among us, communally and individually, to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Name we bear?

May we, through your guidance and our faithful obedience, find new avenues in ways that we have not imagined of holding the Light of your love so that it may be a Light of revelation for all people.

We thank you for your love, praise you for your Gift, ask for your continued Presence with us, and bring these petitions in the name of your Son, who has truly revealed your heart.   
And Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The Inspiration

The Ice at Discovery Green is dedicated to Houstonians Jack Bennett and Evelyn Hoop Bennett. Jack and Evelyn met in 1936 on the ice at Houston’s old Polar Wave Ice Palace, just blocks away from Discovery Green. The couple fell in love on the ice, married, and continued to skate their entire life, well into their 80s. Until recently, the distinguished Mr. and Mrs. Bennett glided around the ice hand-in-hand, Jack in his coat and tie, and Evelyn always graceful in a stylish dress and pom-pom-topped skates. A true love story on the ice. A truly inspiring couple for skaters of all ages.

Some friends of mine and I took our kiddos ice skating last week to Discovery Green's outdoor rink. It was loverly! I so enjoyed watching them ice skating outside. Cora wanted to skate too, but I think she would have been run over...literally! Isn't the story above precious!? I just love a sweet story.

Carleigh and Luke taking a break to say "cheese" on the ice.

Carleigh and one of her good friends, Chloe

(minus one who couldn't come along)

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