Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The Castle was cramped.

Remember these two sweet kiddos?

I was J and JK's nanny this past school year. We meshed our families together and weathered quite a year. I know for sure we could not have survived without the generosity and boundless support from J and JK's family. I've done our laundry at their house, cooked most of our dinners in their kitchen, and had constant playmates for the Bave. You can imagine our heartbreak when we heard that they would be traveling out of state all next year. You cannot, however, imagine our amazement when they asked us to house-sit while they were gone. It took us about four and a half seconds to start packing.

For the first few weeks I nannied for J and JK I had to carry a screaming and crying Ava James down the stairs each evening when it was time for us to go home. Their house is one of Ava's favorite places in the world. She was thrilled to be making the move, though it meant leaving her Castle.

When we left our Green House in Texas we shot a video tour of the house, guided by Ava. We decided to continue the tradition (hey, we're Aggies, that's twice so it IS a tradition now).

This has been my life for the past week.

Castle 2.0, known henceforth as Xanadu

Josh's precious parents volunteered to come and help us make the move. They planned to stay the weekend and ended up staying Thursday though Tuesday evening. Words cannot express our thanks for the magic they worked during their stay.

Gordon and Judy, next time y'all come it's nothing but pampering and fattening up, I promise!

We did have a little fun.

On Monday night Josh had a Christian Legal Society function in Oklahoma City.

The dinner was on the top floor of the Chase building.

View from the top, see the capitol building?

Ava was so excited to show off for Coach at swimming lessons.

There's the Bave not jumping off the diving board. Thank God Coach was there to help Mommy breathe into a paper bag as my darling baby considered jumping into 15 feet of water. She decided to jump from the side instead. Smart girl.

Mimi and Coach bought Ava the pink vacuum she's been wishing for.

Judy and I happened upon this scene late one night. They were watching I Love Lucy. I teased her that we married the same guy, and must have excellent taste.

Coach took Ava to swimming lessons while Mimi and I worked on the house. He's really a great photographer. I love this shot.


Floating on her back is Ava's favorite part of swimming lessons.

Buying dishwashing soap for the first time in over a year!

The List of the last few things that needed to be done. J and JK's family left most of their stuff in the house. We worked really hard to make sure the house looked like a cohesive home, with our stuff and their stuff mingled together tastefully.

Here is the inside view of our Xanadu:

From front entryway into living room

Other living room view

Breakfast nook

Kitchen view 1

Kitchen view 2

Kitchen view 3

Mimi was kind enough to build a Pre K classroom for Ava and me to use this year.

Welcome to Mommy School!

Grocery Store, Restaurant, and Home Center

Reading Center, Word Wall, Learning Wall, and Building Center

Learning Wall closer view

Art Center, Math, Letters, Reading and Writing Centers

My sewing room/ Upstairs guest room

Media/Exercise room

Play room

JK/Ava's room view 1

JK/Ava's room view 2

Girls upstairs bathroom

J's room

J's bathroom


Laundry room!!!

Our room view 1

Our room view 2

Our bathroom view 1/Ava's indoor pool

Our bathroom view 2

Our bathroom view 3

I realize now that I've left off the study, formal dining, and downstairs guest suite. More pictures to come. We've been so busy, and I know many of you have been wondering if we fell off the face of the earth. We are here and alive and so very humbled by this opportunity to have a house for the year. And humbled by the help from family. I know we don't deserve this, but I am so very grateful. We welcome friends and family to please come see us, we can only sleep 14 people though so be sure to book in advance.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where do you store your mouthwash?

My favorite wall calendar is put out each year by Susan Branch. She has darling artwork and such sweet ideas to celebrate each month. I know it's a little late in 2010 to order one, but I highly recommend treating yourself. Thanks to an idea I saw on the July page of this perfect calendar I...

painted Ava's fingernails and toenails (and okay, my toenails) in rainbow colors. I joked with Josh that with our toenails painted this way anywhere we walked we were actually 'over the rainbow'. Cheesy, but true.

On Tuesday we arrived at gymnastics a few minutes early, shocker. Ava plopped down and watched the big girls on the beam until her class started. She was glued. It's so exciting to watch her love of gymnastics develop.

On Thursday I took M and the Bave to The Jasmine Moran Children's Museum in Seminole. This is the second time we've visited the museum and both times I've had to drag the kiddos out the doors as they closed for the day. Ava enjoyed driving this 1921 Model T.

Front view

She also pretended to pilot an airplane from a real cockpit.

The ambulance was by far the biggest hit. From blacklights that showed what germs were squirming on their little hands to the kid-sized scrubs, Ava and M played here for at least an hour.

I showed Ava what baby Nolan looks like right now. Here she is holding a 4-month fetus. Sarah informed me that she is actually 6-months along, but all of the older fetus models were multiples. Didn't think she'd appreciate that, though I certainly wouldn't mind having twin nephews or nieces.

Performing open-heart surgery, tongue out with concentration.

Poolside picnic on a stifling Friday

What's the best way to eat watermelon without getting sticky all over the floor?
I LOVE this shot.
(I bravely endured the nauseating watermelon smell to capture this moment. One watermelon revisited in 1st grade has ruined them for me forever, blech.)

The Locketts have BIG news to announce with the next blog post. You'll have to wait for the official news, but here's a hint: I'll soon be able to store our mouthwash in a bona fide bathroom cabinet instead of inside my rainboots at the bottom of our closet. Notice in this same 3-square-feet you'll also find: extra paper towel rolls, spare bath towels, cordless drill, all Josh's shoes, some of my shoes, sewing scraps, dry cleaning, 1/4 of Josh's clothes, part of my bras and a few stray dust bunnies. Hey, with 600 square feet you have to be creative. I can't wait to share our fun news!!! (That's right, three exclamation points. You know it's big on a blog that is barely allowed one per post.)