Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Anxious and a little terrified… It’s Christmas Eve, y’all!


After being excited all day about Santa’s big visit, the tears started flowing at bed time tonight.

Apparently a big jolly guy sneaking into your house while you are sleeping is a little scary when you think about it long enough. Luckily there is strength in numbers. Together, snuggled closely on the floor of the boys’ room, they await Santa and his reindeer.

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A little FYI for all you parents with an Elf…

“Hiding” your elf on a cross only leads your kids to believe he has been crucified.

Lesson learned.

crucified elf

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Not quite the adventure I planned...

 I believe the last words I left you with were something like "stay tuned for one crazy adventure".
Little did I know that would be a HUGE understatement.
If you've followed us for a while now, you've likely heard of our triplet friends Emerson, Everett & Emmett. Some of you remember our bravery last year when we offered to keep the trio for 4 days so their parents could get away. Well, we've planned for a while now to have them stay over again...this time for a week. Are we crazy? Maybe. But if anyone knows how badly parents of multiples need a break, it's Bret and I. We've been fortunate to have others help us out along our journey, so we like to pay it forward when we can.
I'm a planner, I have quadruplets myself. I know what it's like to depend on adrenaline and rely on it to get through challenging times. Been there, done that. I'd been gearing up for a few weeks now. Schedules, snacks, crafts, games, sleeping arrangements, meals...etc. were planned. A good balance of play/naps/entertainment and if we were lucky, a little outdoor play. If I can stay ahead of the game, stay prepared and stick with our general plan, we're good.
Little did I know, God had other plans. Last week we (North Texas) had beautiful weather that reached into the 80s by Wednesday. Unfortunately, mother nature took a turn for the worse and we were hit with an arctic blast Thursday afternoon. Thursday night/early Friday morning our electricity went out, the smoke alarms beeped, babies cried...bla bla. No big deal, right? The power will stay out a few hours, "they" will fix it and we'll be up and running by dawn. We woke up that morning to find we still didn't have power and that the ground and EVERYTHING outside was covered in THICK ice. Boo. The triplets were scheduled to arrive late Friday afternoon. Although I was a bit worried about their drive to our house, I still "knew" the power would be on at any time. Nope.
Once our little friends showed up, the sun was setting, we still didn't have power, we were freezing cold and were depending on about 25 tiny battery operated tea lights, a couple of small child size lanterns and a few flashlights to see anything. Luckily Papaw (next door) has a small propane heater in his living room that could offer us some warmth...as you can imagine he was ecstatic to welcome seven 4 year olds and a one year old into his home for the night ;) One by one we walked err, skated the kiddos across the property next door. With the kids bundled in jackets and hats, it was all we could do to know who was who. We gave them each a tea light to hold and that was our way of keeping track of how many kids we had. I sat in disbelief at our situation, just praying the power would kick on at any time. Yup, never happened. The 10 of us camped out in Papaw's living room for the night. Despite 2 of the quads coughing their butts off all night, Baxlyn grinding her teeth every 5 minutes and a Blade who woke up to party for an hour at around 2am, we slept great - feel my sarcasm?! Really though, we were MUCH warmer next door and I'm so grateful that we were welcomed!
Granny Linda snapped a picture during the night of part of our set up. Hard to see, but under each blanket you'll find a four year old...
 Saturday morning we were at a loss as to what to do. It ended up being the coldest December day in 15 years in Texas and the low (here) dropped to 17 degrees - HOLY COLD! The electric company gave us no hope that we would have power anytime soon as thousands of people were without it and we were basically at the bottom of the totem pole due to our location. My sister, mom and brother in law who live 15ish miles away had electricity and plenty of room for us and urged us to come to their house with all the kids. The only thing standing between us and them were some seriously icy roads. It was a tough call but we ultimately decided to venture out knowing that their house would be a much better environment for the kids. With the help of my fantabulous brother in law and father in law and their 4 wheel drive vehicles and tow ropes, Bret was able to get our 9 passenger van de-iced and out of the driveway. Altogether the process took a good hour, but we finally made it off of our iced over country road. Luckily the main roads had been plowed/sanded and we made it to their house slowly, but safely.
Our set up at Aunt Beth's house... thankfully Bret and I had our own room and Blade had his while the living room was transformed into the land of four year olds...
A few flashcards on Uncle Darrell's Tablet (so great to have a brother in law who works for Dell! Never mind the kid with a finger up the nose...)
Some train play...
 It's been QUITE a situation around here, but I am SO thankful we have such a great family to welcome us and all of our kiddos with open arms! We've done pretty well given our impromptu situation and have come up with things to do to keep the kids busy. From baking cookies, to crafts to movies and dance parties, we've done it all in the past 36 hours. Tonight (Sunday) we are finally told that our power has been restored - thank goodness! It's been great here at the family's house, but it will be nice to get back to our kid-friendly house and to give our family a well deserved break! Because temps have dropped below freezing for the night we are waiting until tomorrow afternoon to head out. Well keep you updated as the week goes on!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our Christmas Tree Adventure {2013}

This was our second year to hunt down our Christmas tree at a tree farm. We went to a different place this year, Ivanhoe Christmas Tree Farm, and found the best tree yet! Like last year, Chris and Bethany joined us to help keep track of all of our peeps! Here are the quads on the trailer as we were taken out to the fields…


They enjoyed running the fields, in and out of trees, giving us adults a run for our money as we tried to keep track!


Blade was awake this year and enjoyed his wagon ride as he ate leaves, hay and anything else he could grasp as we wandered.

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I’m sure we are not the only ones who find “the tree” several times each year. We would come across one that was perfect and then Daddy would spot a bigger/better one. Here are the quads with a tree that was sooo close to making the cut for the Cox Household this year…

tree12 You’d think it was snowing the way we were dressed. Heavy coats, hats and gloves. We left early in the morning and here in Texas you just NEVER know about the weather. By afternoon it was a nice somewhat warm day. Speaking of weather, here in north Texas we had a high of 81 yesterday and today’s high was 37. I’m telling you, it’s unpredictable!

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The family who owned the farm had a sweet puppy that rode out with us and followed us along. Kylee, of course, couldn’t care less about the trees as long as that dog was there. Of course, she had to smooch it, that girl!


Bret finally spotted the perfect tree for this year. It was beautiful and stood 11 1/2 feet tall (so they said!). We knew standing next to it that it was big, but we didn’t realize how big until we got it home! Bret told us that he always wanted a tree that touched the ceiling growing up, but his mom and dad didn’t ever go for it - his dad says otherwise ;). Bret said that now that he was grown, he’ll get that tree that touched the ceiling! Below is our family picture with our tree… check out the choo choo in it’s tiniest form!


The quads’ each took turns helping Daddy cut down the tree… timmmberrrr!


Brody & Mommy

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While the crew was hauling and prepping our tree for the transport home we were all on the hunt for Chris & Bethie’s tree. Like our search, we found “the one” for them a good 6 times before they officially chose this beauty!


Brody…or was it Korbin (?!) helping Chris chop it down!

tree4 If you know our Brody, you know he is a tool man. There is nothing he loves more than being next to his Daddy or Papaw helping with all sorts of tools. He begged me to let him hold the saw and cut down his own tree, sweet boy.


After explaining he was still a little too little to cut down a tree I let him get after this little stump we found :)

tree2           Once home we put all the babies down for a nap allowing the guys to set up the trees while Bethany and I went to the store for more lights. Our ceiling in the living room is 11 feet tall so the tree didn’t quite fit. Bret and Chris did a great job trimming until it fit beautifully. Being there would have stressed me out for sure! Luckily they had it up and stable by the time we returned. It took up more room than I anticipated and looked GINORMOUS at first but after putting on the lights (all 1650 of them!) and ornaments, I think it’s perfect!

tree 2013 2

Love love this time of year! Stay tuned, one CRAZY adventure to come ;)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Waiting for Dallas


Chris and Bethany have been close friends with Bret and I for years. If you’ve followed our blog for a while now, their names are familiar. Bethany also has a blog that can be found on our blog roll called Life Is Good. After struggling to get pregnant themselves, they’ve decided to go forward with adopting a baby of their own! They’ve known for a while now that they wanted to name their first baby, boy or girl, Dallas.

Not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here on the blog, but I was adopted at birth, so this new journey they are embarking on is close to my heart. There is a baby out there (or someday will be) who will be BLESSED to have Chris and Bethany as parents just as I was blessed to be placed with my mom and dad! No doubt God had an amazing plan for me and I know he does for little Dallas too. I encourage you to click and read more about their story and please, keep them in your prayers. So excited to see how God will bless their family!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

We started our first ever Thanksgiving Tree the first of November. Each day each person in our family (who can talk!) added a leaf with something written on it that they were thankful for. Such a fun, new tradition we are starting! Here is what our tree looks like today…

thanksgiving tree1 NEW

thanksgiving tree 3

thanksgiving tree 2

Thankful doesn’t even begin to cover it…

 Thanksgiving 2013 NEW

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Six Flags Over Texas 2013

Each year Bret’s company has the park to themselves. This was our 3rd year to take the quads and it just gets better every time! This year it was Bret, Bethany, myself and the quads and let me tell you it was ENTERTAINING! We left Blade with a sitter (Thanks Amy!) but look forward to him joining the fun in the future! This was also our first year to go stroller/choochoo-less – HUGE DEAL! Brody and Kylee still tire out quicker than most kids their age so we debated a lot on whether or not they were ready. We ended up bringing the 2 car choo choo to keep in the van just in case but we didn’t need it!

We had talked for a few days about going and the quads were super excited. Kylee distinctly remembers the characters from the past 2 visits in 2010 and 2011 (we didn’t go last year due to Blade just being born. This girl remembers EVERYTHING!). She talks often about both instances that freaked her out. Here’s a quick look…

6 flags 171 N 6 Flags 2011 002

This year she was determined to be brave. She told me for days leading up to our trip that she was not gonna be scared and that she even wanted to take a picture with Tweety Bird like I did with Korbin a couple years back. The moment we walked into the park, she started to tear up out of fear she was going to “see something”. Bless her heart! She tried so hard and just the THOUGHT of the characters being there terrified her!

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Once inside we had to wait by another gate before entering the rides (for those of you who don’t know, I have a phobia of being late therefore we are early everywhere we go.). Brody, Baxlyn and Korbin stood looking through the fence but our “nervous” girl couldn’t bear to!

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Once we entered luckily Kylee perked up and her fear faded as she was distracted by all of the fun rides! First up was the semi-truck choo choo ride. They all loved it!

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Their next ride was this “Cliff Hanger” type ride that they went up and down reaching maybe 20 feet. It was so cute as they all excitedly hopped right on not having a clue what they were actually doing. Here are the all around smiles as they first got started…

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As the ride lifted and ‘dropped’ Brody & Kylee’s faces went from smiling to slightly terrified, back to a nervous smile and then another terrified took. Bret, Bethany and I were cracking up as we watched from below…

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As they rode I kept snapping pics as I was able to. After looking back through them, this was my favorite. The look on Brody’s face cracks me up while Kylee looks down as if she’s praying to land on planet Earth once again sooner than later! Hard to see but Korbin and Baxlyn were loving every minute of this adventure!

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Next up were the speedy swings that terrified me those other years. It’s so fun to see them react differently to different things at different ages. Their first time on these swings they LOVED it (2010) and the second time the boys were TERRIFIED (2011). This year they were all back to enjoying it!

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Here’s Brody giving us his best “thumbs up” before zooming away on his airplane…

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While just as excited to take on this ride, our little Broman didn’t come out with a smile. These were spinning teacups. Ya know, you get in, they spin slowly AND you can twist the wheel in the middle causing them to reallllly spin? So the employee in charge of this ride wasn’t the quickest so the quads were literally spinning a good 3-4 minutes before the ride even started. After a few good minutes of flying in circles the ride began to rotate and that’s when the real fun began. Bethany, Bret and I watched as they spun and occasionally we couldn’t see the head of one of the kids only to see them finally pop back up, thank God they were buckled. At one point Brody started not looking so hot. We called his name as he passed us and as much as he tried he couldn’t focus on ANYTHING. He went pale and had a very confused look on his face, I just KNEW he was gonna spew at any minute. The lady stopped the ride and I rushed to retrieve our Brody. Poor dude couldn’t stand or hardly talk but after a short break he was stable and good to go again!

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This next ride was, believe it or not, in the kiddie park. According to the sign and measurements at the entrance the quads were “tall enough” to ride. There was room on the rollercoaster for 2 more people, Korbin and Baxlyn had no fear so there they went. I didn’t think much of it because again, they were “tall enough”. Once the rollercoaster zoomed off my heart sunk as I could BARELY see their little heads sticking out of the very back seats. I looked at Bret and said “OH MY GOSH, they are tiny! What have we done?!” With my jaw still on the ground as I was trying to comprehend HOW I could have put my little bitty peeps alone on this huge ride, Korbin and B zipped right by us laughing as much as the hard wind in their faces would allow them – they LOVED it! Brody and Kylee rode along the second round (with Daddy and I) and loved it as well!

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L-R Brody, Korbin, Baxlyn & Kylee Mae


Our little family waiting for the train! Unfortunately we failed to ALL take a picture together, gah!

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My kids are notorious for picking flowers at any place any time. Hotels, restaurants, weddings, you name it, they’ll pick flowers on display.

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photo (90) We figured Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin would be tall enough to ride some “real” rides this year but I figured they would be scared of some if not most. Boy was I wrong, they were excited to ride anything we were willing to put them on. I was really surprised at just how much they were allowed to ride. Here we have them lined up on the BIG swings. Flying high in the air watching my little people sway back and forth through the air in front of me terrified me to say the least. Could we get a five point harness on these things?!? GAH! I was happy to have all of their little feet back on the ground once it was over.

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Like I said, they were happy to ride anything we put them on. Here’s one ride they were not tall enough to ride which made Korbin mad. It’s called the Sky Screamer and takes you 400 feet up in the air to swing. Bret and Bethany wanted to ride it so I stayed with the quads to watch from below. Unlike last time they didn’t cry frantically until Daddy returned! (If you haven’t seen that post, check it out here, it’s hilarious!)

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Hellloooooo Daddy and Bethieeee!!!!

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Here’s a fun shot of Korbin on a random bench. Top pic is 2010 and bottom is 2013. We may try to recreate this every year for fun ;)

korb bench

I think this was the Mine Train. This is another one that I wish had a 5 point harness. No way would I let them ride this again without sitting next to an adult. Their little hands barely stuck out of the top of the ride. Bret is in front of Korbin and B with one of the others while Bethany is behind me with the 4th quad. I literally rode the entire ride with my hands reached forward to hold their heads keeping them from smacking together. Ridiculous!

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Here’s the Mini Mine Train where Bethany did the head holding from behind. Next year, Uncle Chris will have to join so we can ride each kid with an adult! Love this one of Korbin and B enjoying being riding buddies!

photo (87) At this point the day is going GREAT! They’re all holding up well, nobody is whining, we took out a loan to pay for a nice quiet lunch and we’re just cruising along when it happened……..

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This picture was taken after Kylee, from a good 20 feet back from where this picture was taken, laid eyes on Pepe Le Pew through the lattice on the right. Poor girl lost it and ran frantically to the protection of her Daddy’s arms. He had to have been 100 feet away and it took us a while to realize what she had seen, poor girl!

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Daddy took Kylee far far away (Brody played it safe and went with them) while Korbin, Baxlyn and I posed for a picture!

photo (86)   photo (83) photo (82)    photo (78)       Silly B and I pretending we were afraid of the Hot Air Balloon ride… 

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We ended up staying about 5 hours, much longer than I thought they would last! After enjoying a funnel cake (ok, two funnel cakes) we headed out and it wasn’t 5 minutes that we were in the car before they were all passed out in the back! It was so so much fun and I look forward to going back each year!

Stay tuned – our first, less successful, trip to the Circus!!

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