Archive for January, 2011

hiking, hiking, hiking; man, we love our hiking…

of course, if we lived somewhere like colorado or washington or someplace more  hiker-friendly – well, then we would really love our hiking!

but we take what we can get and around here, one of our favorite places is mineral wells state park

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granola bars and apples first…

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(and some chit chat)…

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and then we head out!

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the trail that we took this time is an area that is well known for its rock climbing so we wandered around the rocky trails while watching (and staying out of the way of) climbers…

of course, it made jon want to climb again and this time, i have no doubt he will have a 4 year old “assistant”!

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even upside down, she is cute!  what do you know?

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jon and jasper have A Conversation.

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jasper climbs this little rock and proclaims, “look, guys!  i am climbing rocks too!”!

and then she amuses herself by finding chalk (leftover from previous climbers) marks on the rocks.

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up the rocks, around the rocks, through the rocks.

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can you see the green rope on the right side of the picture?  there are some climbers down there so jon and jasper head up for a prime watching spot…

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jasper climbed up just like a monkey but coming down from the high rock was not nearly as fun – just like a kitten.

she kept wanting to slide down on her bum but we really wanted her to come down like she was on a ladder so that she was more in control of what she was doing…  the part of that she didn’t like was that it meant going down backwards!

there was some whining but jon perserved and calmed and talked her right down the rock…

and then?  she decided she “needed some more practice so she could rock climb better” and headed right back up the rock to come back down again like we showed her.

she still didn’t really like coming down but she kept doing it until she was comfortable with it.

color me impressed.

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and then she took a break and watched the climbers 🙂

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after we finished with the climbing trail, we headed to the flat, wide trail head so jasper could run, run, run to her hearts content while jon and i strolled behind…

it was a relief to get to a trail where we didn’t have to keep jasper away from the edge and jasper could scamper all over the place.

so jon and i walked and talked and jasper did…  well, jasper things – they were very important things, i am sure.

a good day!

why settle for a horse when you can have a pegasus?

jon went to go collect jasper for her bath time and instead of getting her, he came and got me!

he lead me right to jasper’s door way where i saw her putting her blue butterfly wings on her horse, serena…

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she looked up and said, “i’m making serena a pegasus!  what do you think about her now?”

so while jon and i were busy exchanging those universal parental looks of “our kid is so freaking cool” (you know the kind of look i mean), she finished putting the wings on her horse…

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then threw her arms out wide and grandly proclaimed, “now i have a horse that flies with blue wings!  mama, did you know that serena was a pegasus, too?”

well, no…  i didn’t but i do now…

i also know that i have The Coolest Four Year Old Ever…

scooter time…

so there were three gifts under the tree this year that really got jasper going – you know what i mean:   they were The Presents that had what i call The Christmas Trifecta Effect:  1)  she had just the reaction you wanted her to have when she opened the gift, 2)  she started playing with them immediately and 3)  she hasn’t put them down since.

they were (in no particular order); the sneakers (yes!), the scooter and the pink-haired girl doll (which she actually had before xmas since we saw her neena before we went to natchitoches)…

we have already seen the sneakers and now for pictures of the scooter!

well, jasper on the scooter, i mean!  and jon on his skateboard as well!

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so one of the cool things about this scooter (that her gram and pop gave her) is that it has a handle that can be removed as she gets older…  so when we decide (does 15 sound too early?), the handle comes off and the scooter becomes a skateboard – how cool is that?

jasper has been tummy-riding jon’s old skateboard since she could barely walk so this was like WOW for her 🙂

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jon practicing some rusty skills while jasper tests out some new ones.

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they make a cute team, don’t they?

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she is a bit of a speed demon, that is for sure!

between her scooter and her bike and her running everywhere, “slow down!  slow down!” is one of my most often uttered phrases!

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she was feeling better on this day but i think we let her play a little too hard on her scooter because that night she felt even worse than she did on christmas morning and ran a high enough fever that i started trying to remember where the natchitoches hospital was…  the fever went down with some motrin and broke later the next morning but man, i was nervous there for a while.

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and they  are done…  for now 🙂

now that we are home, she does something i find highly amusing:  she scoots from room to room…  she doesn’t walk or run, she climbs on her scooter and scoots!  it’s like a 4 year olds version of one of those segways!


mom, i will have to post some shots of the pink haired girl and jasper next – she likes to set up little still lifes with her and the purple haired one and for some reason, it really tickles me to walk into a room and see how she has them set up…  they make me smile and she makes me smile when she plays with them!

thanks for all the fantastic presents everyone!  i am sure that you will be seeing them over the next several months of posting 🙂

christmas day. here. finally.

and then it was christmas morning!


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we totally tortured the girls – had coffee first, took family photos and so on and so forth before we finally took pity on them…

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doesn’t jon look like quite the angel?  (even with That Look on his face again!)…  arnetta gave the two girls some angel headbands and it wasn’t long before at least one of the husbands ended up in one 🙂

luckily, it just happened to be mine.

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one down note:  jasper started running a fever late, late christmas eve night so she wasn’t feeling so chipper when morning came around…

she wasn’t her normal self, that is for sure – she still had fun opening presents (of course!) but still.

in fact, it was kind of a sickey-filled week – louis came in on the tail end of a cold, jon got very sick the day we left arlington and spent about 3 days feeling miserable (and doing way too much for being so sick), juliet came down with a 24 hour stomach bug and then jasper ran a high fever for a couple of days… and then (yep, there’s more) arnetta came down with bronchitis after christmas with louis following her with another cold…  there was one or more people sick at all times!

nobody got coal in their stocking though so there is that 🙂

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why, louis!  what in the world do you have there?  not in your hand; on your head??!!

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there was lots of cuddling with the semi-sick jasper…

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mocker and i look on while jasper checks her bounty out!

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well, this is a funny shot, isn’t it??!!

arnetta gave jon these little bionic man (?) pants with an iou note that said, “i o u some jeans that fit.”

cute, huh?

arnetta, i stuck those jeans with the note up on jon’s board 🙂

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one of jasper’s christmas gifts was a pair of sketchers twinkle toes (very, very, very specifically asked for by the jasper herself…  over and over and over again) and these sneakers are manical!

they light up, they glow!  case in point:  see the purple shine to jasper’s face in this photo?  that’s from her sneakers!  her sneakers!

she loves them; she shows them to everyone and she gets tons of compliments on them.

i, on the other hand, am just now starting to feel like i don’t have to wear sunglasses to look at them – they have taken some getting used to 🙂

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susan, she calls the gift you gave her “the mouse house”…  and it is set up in her room even as we speak 🙂

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pierce, juliet and susan going through their bounty as well!

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ok, so i know what this looks like – forced hug; nobody  happy but!  the original hug was spontaneous and sweet and happy (really!) – it’s just that we had them redo the hug way too many times in an attempt to capture it on camera…

so 3 year olds and 4 year olds don’t do reenacting so well…  now we know 🙂

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jasper goes over to check out what is happening on the other side of the room…

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see?  family photos taken!

merry christmas all!

christmas eve!

it is christmas eve and once the girls go to bed, the adults run around putting all the presents out, filling up the stockings and acting as excited as the little girls (and boy) we just put to bed…

i think christmas eve is almost more fun than christmas morning!  (all the excitement and none of the stress)…

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now that is a haul, isn’t it?

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not just the stockings are stuffed but the gift bags underneath are stuffed as well!

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the daddies get busy putting scooters and wagons together for the kiddos…

man, i wonder how many millions of fathers were doing the exact same thing (with whatever kind of present) around that time??!!

christmas tradition 🙂

family time and a christmas tree is up!

it was good that we had a full week because there was plenty of family to share it with!

louis and his family came over from virginia and mark and his family were in from texas as well – lots of cousins running around!

we might have gotten there earlier than usual but we somehow still managed to get the tree up only a couple of days before christmas – i am not sure how that happens but we always get sidetracked doing other things and the tree just slips by the wayside 🙂

still, we don’t usually have it up until christmas eve or the day before so i guess this year, it still went up earlier than usual 🙂

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jasper lilith and juliet hang on to jon!

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and now jasper and juliet hang on to their cousin ila!  hmm, this hanging on thing seems to be a theme, doesn’t it?

ila is always great with jasper but this time, she was great with juliet as well 🙂

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jackson and i strike poses…  i like to think it looks like i conquered something here – maybe that pile of trash?


this is when we were out christmas tree hunting – jasper loves to run around in “the forest” as she kept saying and we all enjoyed the romp as well…  except for the t. rex-sized mosquitos – those winged buggers were hungry!

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just hanging out…

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and from texas?  jon, jasper, mocker and myself all pose for gram and her camera!

ugh, i look really shluppy here, don’t i?  that is what i get for staying in my “house clothes” all day long 🙂

we finally have the tree up and the three of us (not including mocker) are having a good time decorating it…

jasper especially enjoyed herself since this was the first year that we let her help put “breakable” ornaments up 🙂

she was stoked about that and very, very careful…

juliet was napping when we were decorating but plenty of candy canes were saved to allow her the experience as well – the candy canes were a hit with the girls for sure!

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i guess standing on daddy’s shoulders is a lot more fun than using the ladder!

and the christmas tree is up!!

our first christening.

no, really – we had never been to a christening before!  turns out it is pretty much like going to church with some special words thrown in 🙂

everybody dressed up in their church clothes (jasper decided that she looked like a “purple princess” and how do you disagree with that??) and we headed off to oil up pierce’s forehead…

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pop and pierce (the 4th hyams grandson but the 7th and latest grandchild) share some happy time 🙂

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and jasper watches 🙂

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pop, pierce, the priest (i can’t remember his name but he and pop are actually cousins), juliet, louis and susan!

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hmmm, we aren’t all there – this photo is missing all but the youngest of the virginia hyamses!

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now it’s gram’s turn to have some pierce time!  look at those smiles!

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jasper, myself, juliet and jon pose for the camera…

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and hello!  here we are!

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the two cousins pose for some nativity pictures – “purple princess” indeed 🙂

happy christening, pierce!

(i wonder if hallmark makes cards that say that?)

a downtown stroll… (and a man dressed like santa!)

one of the silver linings (gotta keep those in sight!) to jon not working right now is TIME!

he has plenty of it.

so we headed to natchitoches for a full week of louisiana christmas – usually we kind of blow in and blow out but this year, we made a point of staying long enough to relax into our space…

and relax we did 🙂

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here is a dark picture of louis, juliet, jasper and jon all strolling along – a happy string of hyamses…

downtown natchitoches is beautiful at night – all the christmas lights and the river and the meat pies and the people!  even if the festival isn’t going on, it still has a festival feel to it.

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i almost didn’t put this picture in here because, i mean, really, look at jon’s face…  but then if you pan down, oh, about 3 inches?  i think you will see why i had to add this photo after all!

jasper’s “pink haired girl” was cold so she had to ride in daddy’s coat – jon was just fine with it and tucked the doll right in with a smile on his face and a sweet look at me…  until i threw the camera up and started snapping away…  at this point, his smile and his sweet look kind of jumped right off his face and i ended up with That Look.

so clearly, i had to post it.

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here are pierce (well, his foot anyway), juliet and jasper lilith clamoring around the cool, metal sleigh.

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and jasper sitting on The Man Dressed Like Santa Claus’ lap…  try to say that 5 times fast!

it took her all of 5 seconds to size him up and then?

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she was off and talking up a storm!

when asked what she wanted for christmas, she leaned in and whispered, “lots of new books.”

that’s my girl!

kitty face… or doggie face…

jasper has this new thing:  doggie or kitty face…

and yes, there is a very clear distinction between the two…  apparently 🙂

doggie face has a round nose and kitty face has a triangular nose – now you know!

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“mama, can you give me a doggie face today?”

i do and the rest of the day, she runs around with her doggie face…

needless to say, women love her at the super market 🙂

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on this day, not only does she have her doggie face on but she has her apron on as well – she must have been helping her daddy in the kitchen…

i am pretty sure that chanel did not intend for their black eyeliner pencil to be used this way 🙂