Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life in Motion Photography

Here is a link to the photos my brother's family had taken in Austin by the wonderful Lyndsay of Life in Motion Photography. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and the slideshow is moving, to say the least.
Slideshow #1: my name is alex

Slideshow #2: the laynor family

Lyndsay's blog:

Anders is featured in her blog because his chubby cuteness was too irresistable. I know this, but it is always nice that others appreciate his cuteness as well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Alex's story on Fox

Not sure how long it will be up for, but they posted my brother's story on their website. Fox 4 in Dallas ran a story tonight on my brother's battle with cancer. They did an awesome job. Thank you Fox 4 and Matt Martucci for doing this. This cancer is so rare and needs all the exposure it can get, since it tends to strike unexpectedly and in younger men.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick updates by Dad

Shane and I went to the bank today and opened a savings account for him. He seemed a bit concerned about leaving his money with them. The banker and I walked him over and showed him the vault and how thick and heavy the door was. He was impressed "how strong it was" and agreed it was a good idea to leave his $6 with them.

On the way home out of the blue he asked me why I wanted to be with his mom forever. I told him because I thought she was pretty, smart and nice. He was quiet for a moment and said, "Yes Dad, yes she is."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Behind on blogging, one word - Twilight

Knowing that Brian's dad was on the way and I would have some extra help, I finally took up Twilight. I have owned the first 2 books for over a year but did not read them because of the horror stories I had heard. Not vampire horror stories mind you, but becoming a neglectful mommy stories. I had heard the books were so good, moms were putting their kids in front of the tv all day so they could read. I have too guilty of a conscience for that, so I waited. And they are good. But I have been staying up really late at night/early morning to read. Then sleeping in a little later than usual since I have morning help. Thank you Bob.

Anyway, here are some recent funnies.
Thursday morning I was really tired from staying up too late reading Twilight. When 7 am rolled around and the thought of getting up was painful, Shane came in and was agreeable to me sleeping a little longer. He said ok mommy, I'll come back. 7:45am he returned and told me to go sleep in his bed, not sure why that was better for him, but I agreed to anything that meant more sleep. He covered me in his bed and turned off the light and shut the door. He said sleep well mommy. Then at 8:15am he came in and said "Time to wake up and start your day." Who can ignore that cheerful awakening, so up I got. Thankfully Myann and Anders were still sleeping.

Shane is obsessed with being first, going first, anything about first. We are working gentlemen let ladies go first, but he isn't getting it yet. Anyway, this all stems because he says he came first out of my tummy, so he always gets to go first before Myann and Anders. He was then telling Daddy that he (Shane) was mommy's and not his (daddy's) because he came out of my tummy. Brian defensively and not wanting to be excluded explained that he had a hand in his being too, and that he was not just mommy's. Shane's response, "Oh really, what did you do daddy?" Brian's answer, "Nevermind, you're right you are mommy's." Brian obviously was not ready for "that" talk yet.

Myann REALLY loves her baby brother, she can be mean to the world, but rarely ever is she mean to Anders. She loves to give him hugs and kisses too. Well Anders is really getting into the kissing thing and in general likes to have his mouth all over my face. He bites my nose, sucks on my chin, just slobbers all over me. Myann went in for a kiss the other day and Anders stuck his tongue out when she did. Myann just giggled and I mistakenly said, "Oh, did Anders slip you the tongue?" For the rest of the day Myann would say, "Anders, I want a kiss, slip me the tongue." I blushed, such innocence, but highly inappropriate for a sister to say that to her brother.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Alex's Blog

My brother's blog is up and running. Hopefully he will find time and energy to keep it current. I will fill in when he can not.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Myann's Monday funnies

Oh Myann, she woke up a talker today. Some of her funnier statements.
Me, "What do you want for breakfast"
Myann, "ketchup."
Later, Myann "mom I want ketchup with cereal."
Me, "No ketchup on cereal"
Myann, "How about syrup?"

Seriously, what is up with the ketchup and syrup, she mentioned them several times during the day.

Next as we are getting her breakfast, I tried to grab her spoon, she said NO I will get it, I will get a stool. Then she sits and says, who chewed it, who chewed my spoon. Referring to the mangled spiderman spoon, likely a puppy casualty. Then yuck, I don't want it. Then a little milk spilled, like 2 drops, as I tried to pour one handed holding Anders and Myann said what a mess. Myann said mom look what you did, look at this mess. Hmmm, wonder where she has heard that before.

Just because he is cute. And these cones are my best purchase in a long time, all 3 love them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

The Easter Bunny visited our house today. He left baskets and a "bazillion" eggs in the front yard. Bazillion was Shane's word. Even Myann got into it. Last year she was happy with one egg. This year, the race was on. Myann and Shane were running around the yard and when they were having a harder time, Shane was yelling, "Spy me some more mom." Their baskets were overflowing, so Brian dumped them into plastic bags and boxes. When Myann wasn't looking, Shane started taking the eggs out of her box, she turned and saw and the meltdown began.

Anders enjoyed his first Easter. He celebrated with green beans. He does not like green beans. He disliked them so much that he was dry heaving. What a little stinker. So I mixed in a little sweet potatoes, and oila, he was happy to eat again. How does a boy his size have any particularity about food? Pickiness and all, I love that little boy. Everything makes him smile, he has to be the happiest baby - I am one lucky mama.

As for our Easter, we spent a lot of time this weekend trying to talk to the kids about what Easter really meant. On the upside, Myann seems to be getting the significance of God. Shane is getting the story of Easter, but then it upset him. I was explaining how Jesus died and then rose again to save us. Shane said he did not want Jesus to die and he missed Him. I explained that Jesus was always with us, but Shane insisted he wanted to see Him. I said he would see Jesus one day in heaven when he died. Oh what was I thinking. Shane got very upset and said he did not want to die. I told him it would be a very long time and he would be a very old man. He said he wanted to be with me forever and did not want to die. I tried to calm him, but when he woke up this morning he told me again he did not want to die. Yikes, I guess I need to work on my explanation.

Praise God for our Savior!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Skip this blog if you don't want silly details about my kids. Since this will be the only baby book my kids ever have, I have to list mundane things like what they say and eat. Anders is moving quickly through food. Call it 3rd baby syndrome, but we don't do the feed them the same food for days to wait for a reaction. Anders started the rice cereal, last week we moved on to oatmeal. We will do barley soon, but I can't find the stuff in stores here. One more place to check. Last weekend, I gave Anders carrots, then this week was sweet potatoes, and this morning applesauce. Ironically, he made faces when I gave him applesauce, I guess too tart. But he ate it. I also gave him a biter biscuit Friday morning and he loved it. It bought me a few minutes to clean the kitchen and he practiced his hand mouth coordination.

Anders is also mimicing now, which has enabled him to win his daddy over. he bobs his head back and forth. I call it the Stevie Wonder move, and he thinks he is pretty funny. Daddy and him do this for 10 minutes at a time. Anders is VERY vocal and likes to demonstrate his loud voice. No distinguishable words yet, Brian swears he is trying to say, "hi". Maybe. Regardless, Brian is convinced he will be an early talker, not unlikely given his chatty siblings. My absolute favorite Anders thing right now is how we rests his head on me. When someone approaches, he puts his head to my chest, to pull the "shy" move. It is all an act, this child does not have a shy bone in his body at this point. I think it is his version of flirting. And oh yeah, he is a huge flirt. He picked several ladies on the airplane as his objects of flirtation, and took turns blessing them with his smiles.

Anders loving his first biter biscuit

Myann is impressing us with her new understanding of Jesus. She usually mimics Shane, so we are not sure what she actually understands. Well tonight we were in the car, talking to them about the meaning of Easter. Shane was explaining God, not unusual for him, but then Myann got in on it. She was talking about God and not seeing Him, then she asked, "How is Jesus God?" Very profound. And then she asked, "And what about the Holy Spirit." She jumped right to the complicated stuff, she listens more than we thought.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Pictures

Who wouldn't love this face

After the bunny pictures

It took a lot of willpower to resist taking the kids for formal Easter pictures, but we have done photos recently, so I thought we would wait and do some spring bloom photos next month. So we settled for the Easter Bunny photos. All 3 liked the Easter bunny. Woohoo! I wish I had the disk from last year, Myann was screaming her head off. Come to my house and you'll see the picture in the entryway. So this year was nice with all 3 happy. Then we went to Build a Bear, the kids love it, and secretly I do too. It takes again, more willpower, to not buy every outfit in the place. So each got to pick out one outfit and then Myann and Anders got to "build". Shane was gracious and built Anders'.

Rubbing the hearts on their ears, not sure why.

"Bathing" the bears

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I feel the need to do a little plug for the photographers who have become essential in my life. For a little background, I love taking pictures and always have. I hope to get better, but for now, I am average and rely on professionals to do the pictures I want framed on a wall. I do take my kids to Sears for what I call novelty photos (Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc.). Sears does a fine job, but there is something missing, my guess is the personal touch and the personal attention a professional photographer gives their clients, and the extended amounted of time helps too. You can see it in the depth of the picture, and trust me once you get "real" photos taken, you will never be able to stop. Now, I know that there is a substantial cost difference, but to me, I would sacrifice a lot for good photos and I have. My biggest regret is that I did not spare no expense when I got married. I did find a decent photographer, but nothing exceptional. I was trying to keep costs down. If I had it to do over, I would spend double on the photographer and half on things like flowers, favors, and other decor. So when it came time to have babies, I went nuts. I also did maternity pictures, which are still some of my favorite photos of me ever, 50 pounds heavier and all. I have no regrets when it comes to pictures of my kids. I have had lots of photos taken, and that is what I am most proud of. Even the 2nd and 3rd children have had equal time with the camera. This time passes so quickly and you can't get the moment back. A good photo helps preserve the memory.
So here are the photographers I have loved:
The one who started it all in San Diego - I love Carrie and think she is brilliant (she had just started when I met her and now she is published)

Our first photos made in Spokane - she was great, but then I met Jaidean

Our current photographer and now friend - Jaidean is wonderful and has a knack with my kids

Our recent photographer in Austin - she is wonderful and so generous. I love her blog for decorating ideas with photos.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Shane!!!

Where did the 4 years go? My super smart boy, you are 4 years old today and already you are looking forward to five. You reminded me this morning that you turn five then six. I want you to just stay 4, even 4 seems too old already. You have been a challenge these last 6 months, with having to lock the house down tighter than Ft. Knox, but we are thankful because it means you are smart, smarter than us. You are always one step ahead of us. Your daddy and I thought we were smart people, and then we met you. So you humble us and amaze us. On the way home from the airport last night you wanted me to sit in the back with you so we could talk. You gave me a big hug and said you missed me, in that moment I realized just how much I missed you too. Then we proceeded to have a full mature conversation about what to make for school the next day, since they don't allow cupcakes. You insisted on orange muffins, when I said I didn't know how to make them, you said to look up the recipe on the computer. Seriously, you used the word recipe and knew exactly where to look.

You are a joy to this family. You make mommy and daddy so proud. So proud of your big heart, so proud of how you love your friends, your baby brother, and your puppies. You say you don't like Myann, but we know better. When you think we aren't looking, we see you help put her shoes on, we see you play secret hiding place together, and just giggle til your bellies hurt. Some days you talk about what you will do when you get to be an adult, like eat nuts (probably not going to happen), but then you say you want to stay a kid forever because then you can play all day. Oh how wise you are.

I love your hugs, I love how you tell me you just want to be with mommy. That is my cue to drop what I am doing and just give you the time you deserve. I love that you love superheroes, but I secretly fear that you will jump from something too high, because you really believe you can fly like a superhero. I hope that you will learn to ride a bike even though when I told you that you were getting one for your birthday, you told me, "No thanks, I already have a truck." Oh brother, what have we done.

Shane, mommy and daddy think we are lucky parents to have you, and we love you more than you will ever understand.

Happy 4th Birthday,
Mommy and Daddy

Shane's Party at Chuck E Cheese

We did Shane's party at Chuck E Cheese on his actual birthday. Shane has been asking for a party at Chuck E Cheese since last birthday, so I had to oblige. However, I am opposed to CEC on weekends, so we did Tuesday night. It turned out wonderful. The place was reasonably empty, we made up most of the patrons. Shane ran crazy playing games, but was willing to take a break for pizza and cake.
The cake, Stefanie's Bakery, love them! They make whatever cake and cookies I ask.


Yes, those eyes on the screen are Shane's.

This jumping game was popular, more so with the adults.

Myann being sweet

Momma can jump!!!

Shane liked the cake, I mean the icing

The Birthday Boy

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alex Laynor Family Benefit

I don't even have words to express the power of the evening. It was amazing, powerful, heartfelt, fun, joyous, crazy, overwhelming, and a HUGE SUCCESS!!! The organizers, of which there were several, were absolutely amazing. It started with a few friends off facebook, who had not even seen my brother in 10 plus years, organizing, then my go getter SIL, Tiffany, got involved. It exploded into this huge event with probably 300 people and they raised nearly $25,000. It was remarkable. It was also a mini high school reunion, with probably 50 plus Judson alums. Then we had family from all over come in, so it was just a great weekend. My brother and I are truly blessed with some of the greatest friends and family in this world.

Shane and Myann stayed home with Tina, 3 kids for a 3 day weekend in Texas is just not something we wanted to subject ourselves to. So thankfully we have Tina who could take care of them, and we just took Anders. It was so simple flying with just one and a baby at that. It took me back to the good ol' days with Shane, he and I flew every single month his first year of life. Shane was the easiest flyer, even easier than Anders.

My brother in law, Shane, played with his band - The Haymakers. They were quite impressive. It was the first time I have seen him play with his band.

Another mom had this great idea to plug his ears since the music was so loud. I am not a big fan of babies in bars, but this was an exception and he left early.

Anders then passed out on Papa

My niece, Lexi, and I

My husband paid money that resulted in my singing, don't ask. It was actually Charles who was meant to sing and then Alex and I ended up there somehow. We were singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"

My people

I got me some stories about many of these boys. All Alex's friends/teammates

Alex telling his story and thanking everyone

Brian and Danielle, my sister in law

The organizers who made it all possible

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Time repeats itself

I took this picture of Anders, because I have almost the identical picture of Shane, over 3 years ago, in this outfit. A favorite by the way. I think it is the stripes and the hat that make the outfit. The Shane picture I will have to track down.

Look at Shane's smile, pretty devious.

So sad to see Myann crying in the background.

Ahhhh... brothers

When it snows...we paint

Since today we woke up to 3+ inches of snow, and it was melting faster than we could play in it, we painted. We started with water colors and moved up to thick paint. Shane and Myann were having so much fun, that I decided Anders needed in on the action. You ask how much work it takes to let kids paint, well 10 minutes of set up, 5 minutes of painting, and 20 minutes of clean up. Actually, Shane and Myann painted for 30 minutes, but Anders less than 5. It was well worth it, even the paint in my rug and on my shoes and on the floor.

Goodbye ER

Now I remember why I quit watching ER, it makes me introspective and sad. Since it was the series finale and I used to be a diehard fan, I had to watch. The last time I watched was almost five years ago and I was a few months pregnant with Shane. In the episode, Dr. Carter's wife was giving birth to their baby which died in utero. I cried for 60 minutes and said I was done with ER, I could not handle that kind of emotion while pregnant. So here I am again, watching it and they are talking about that lost child again. It is heartbreaking, and all I can think about is how lost I would be without one of my kids. So goodbye ER, and hello happy Kari!

Along these lines, I have been really sad all day. Tomorrow Brian, Anders, and I are flying to Texas for my brother's benefit. I have been so looking forward to this weekend, as a celebration of my brother, wonderful time with family and friends, and a break from toddlerhood. However, today, the thought of leaving Myann and Shane is just sad, I am dreading 4 days away. Why is it we long to get a break from our kids, but miss them the moment they are away? I know that taking all three kids for a quick weekend trip would have been too overwhelming, but I will miss my toddlers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

God knows how to get your attention

So I have a crazy story to tell you. Only crazy because it really happened and happened to my stepmom, this is not an email story. It just confirms what I know to be true and that is that God knows how to get your attention when he needs to.
My stepmom, Pam, called to tell me today about this incident that happened to her yesterday. I may edit the story after Pam reads it, so that I accurately describe the account.

Pam was at the bank yesterday at lunch, and she said there was upwards of 30 people in the bank. She said she noticed a distinguished black man in the bank who seemed to be friendly with everyone and everyone seemed to know him. Pam had never seen him before and did not know him at all. She said he appeared to be leaving and walking towards the door when he stopped, turned, and walked up to her. She said he put his arm around her and looked her straight in the eyes and said, "Put a smile on your face and quit worrying about that young man, God will take care of him." The man then walked away. (This just days before we are all traveling to Austin for the benefit for my brother, who just met with his heart transplant team, because there is not much else they can do to fight the cancer.)

At this point in the story, I had chills down my spine. Pam said she almost cried, but held it together and went back to work. She told her coworkers about what happened and it turned out that it was the uncle of one of her coworkers (they live in a small military town, so not surprising). However, my stepmom had not told this girl about my brother's cancer and Pam asked her if she knew from someone else, and the girl said she had no idea about my brother. Anyway, the girl said her uncle was called Prophet Paul, because God speaks to him and he tells people things all the time that turn out to be true. He used to be a Southern Baptist minister, but poor health has forced him into retirement. So the girl insisted she call her uncle so he could talk to Pam more. Pam said they talked for 30 minutes and prayed together. How amazing!!! I have always believed that each person has a spiritual gift and for some that gift is hearing God a little more clearly than others. This man is remarkable, because he not only hears God, but has the confidence to pass the message along. Our family is so thankful for that message.