{Weekend Wrap-up - Blast Ball, Playdate and hanging out at home}

//on the way to Blast Ball
//throwing the ball to first base
//little slugger
//playing outside on Saturday
//playdate with the Rochelle's
//trying on Tanner's costume
//pancakes on Sunday morning
//bubbles outside
//fresh outta bed

Our weekend was so low key and I love it! Usually we are go-go-go on the weekends and that's how I prefer it. But this weekend we spent a lot of time at home and I didn't hate it one bit. I actually enjoyed it. Friday night we met my parents and brother and sister and their families for dinner, then we swung by Target and home for the evening. Saturday Mason had a Blast Ball game, then we went to Lowes for supplies for my desk for my in-home office, had lunch and went back home. We worked on the desk all afternoon until the storm rolled in. Then we all went in to relax for a while. That evening we took dinner over to the Rochelle's house and had a playdate. Sunday we were lazy, but productive around the house. Nate finished my desk and worked on yard work while I tended to the indoor chores. Around 4pm I finally made myself get out of pajamas to grab some groceries. Then it was back home to cook and get ready for the week.

How was your weekend?

{Friday Five and a catch-up of sorts}

Hi Friends!!! TGIF! I haven't been able to muster up the energy to blog much this week, so this will be a catch up post of sorts! I can't believe this is the last full week of September! The days are just flying by, it seems! I can't believe Christmas is in just three short months!! And just like every year, I failed in the "starting early" thing I say I'm going to do every.single.year. I don't even have ideas! Anyhow, here is a little bit of what's going on with us lately.


I am loving the semi-Fallish type weather we've had lately....but with that comes sickness! I have had something going on all week...mostly a deep cough and just junk in my throat. It's taken a lot out of me, though! My whole body aches...just from coughing so much! I've been sleeping in the living room all week because I don't want to keep my boys awake. Plus, it helps to sit up. I am so over this, for sure!


Fall TV!!!! I am so excited that some of my favorite shows are coming back on....Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Beauty and the Beast, New Girl, The Walking Dead, Revenge, Hart of Dixie, Chicago Fire,  and Nashville!!! There are a few new ones I am going to give a try, too. Anything I should add to my watch list??


I think we are going to go camping after Mason's blast ball game on Saturday. He plays at 9am and the games only last 20 minutes. Nate's parents are at Meridian State Park, so we may join them for a night. I'm excited, since it's not miserably hot. And it will be nice for Mason to get out and play and get dirty and well, just be a boy!


Mason's behavior has been so great this week!!! He has been so kind and sweet and cooperative. He hasn't given us any problems at bed time or in the morning! He will ask to watch Netflix for 5 minutes each night. I set a timer on my phone and when the alarm goes off he hands me the Kindle without any fuss! It's been nice. And I don't want to jinx anything, but he's been great at school drop off in the morning. I go in with him and sit with him a few minutes while he eats his breakfast. And when it's time to go he hugs and kisses me and goes on about his business. I know for some Mama's that's hard...but it's harder for me when he cries for me! Such a big boy! 


And the biggest news I learned this week.......I will be working FROM HOME full time by the end of October!!!!! Goodbye hour commute in the mornings and sometimes evenings!!!!! Goodbye to filling up my tank twice a week. Goodbye to traffic! And good riddance to this cute little office!!!! I really did like this office and the area, but nothing trumps working from home! I am excited that I can do laundry and cleaning throughout the day while working and I can have dinner ready by the time Nate gets home! I think I might actually put to use some of those 9992837349837490 pins I have in my recipes and crafts boards on Pinterest!!!! And I can't wait to design my new home office! I already have a desk, just trying to decide which color of Annie Sloan chalk paint I want to slap on it! 

What have you been up to this week? 

{Instilling manners in a toddler}

Yes ma'am.

No sir.

Please. Thank you. You're welcome.

Manners are important in our household. Very important. We have always worked hard to make sure Mason knows and uses manners. It's been a challenge for sure. He will do really good and then go to school with 19 other three year olds in his class saying "Yeah" and "uh huh" and come home doing the same. We just stayed consistent and would remind him the kind way to say things. 

I've seen a few looks thrown our way during the process when we've corrected Mason and made him say Yes Ma'am or Yes Sir. But, I am okay with that. If he doesn't say it to us why in the world would he say it to anyone else? 

Well, I am proud to say that he now uses his manners without us having to tell him or correct him. And he points out when others do not use their manners.  

What worked for us?

- Consistency! Consistency! Consistency!!
- We say Yes sir/No Sir, please, thank you, excuse me, etc when we talk to Mason
- We also do this when Nathan and I talk to each other or to anyone else so that Mason can hear and see that we do
- Correcting him when he says "yeah" or "Uh-huh". We tell him that those are ugly words.
- Acknowledge his good actions with tons of praise!

This past weekend we were at Antique Alley and Mason and a man crossed paths. Mason said "excuse me". The man stopped in his tracks and turned to me and asked, "Did he just say excuse me?" I said "yes sir" and he just looked at me for a minute and said "Wow! You are raising a good one." 

The pride that filled me right then and there was so much I thought I might burst.

And then the other day I heard Mason playing with some toys and he was was even using his manners while playing!!!

Goodness, I love this boy and I love being his Mama!!!!

Is there anything sweeter than a toddler that has manners? Oh man it just melts my heart. 

{Miranda Lambert - Locked and Reloaded}

Last Friday my best friend and I went to the Miranda Lambert Concert – Locked and Reloaded. We have been talking about going to Miranda together for years! She is both of our favorite and our biggest girl crush! Krista scored us Pit Passes months ago and we had eagerly been waiting. I took the whole day off on Friday so that I could spend time with my boys before the concert. Krista and the kids got into town around 12:30 so we met them at Chick Fil A for lunch. We ate and caught up and let the kids play. Then it was time to head home and get ready!

We got to Gexa around 4:30 and got a pretty good parking place. We went straight to the Will Call so that Krista could get her Miranda Meet and Greet. She was lucky enough to snatch one online. I tried and tried…but couldn’t get through!  

We stood in line for over an hour! It gave us time to lay out our plans, though! Our gate was right in front of the merchandise tent, so we decided it would be best to get our shirts first. We got them and scurried off to the venue. Pit tickets are first come first serve….so the earlier you get there the closer you are to the stage!  Everyone was going to the left of the stage because that’s where we entered the gate…so Krista and I hurried to the right side and we were able to get front row, right next to the stage!!! It worked out awesome!! 

We made some friends behind us and they helped me save Krista’s spot when she had to leave to get in line for the Miranda Meet and Greet!  But, my best friend is awesome and she took my shirt for Miranda to sign! They got 1 picture and 1 autograph. Goodness I love them (my best friend and Miranda). 

The Cadillac Three opened up. I have never heard them before.  I think they may have been okay, but the sound was muffled and not very good. Next was Brett Eldredge and I loved him. He put on a really good show! Dierks Bentley was up next. He's wild! He put on a great show, too! The JBM Band played out near the lawn while they setup for Miranda. My heart was beating so fast! I couldn't believe I would be standing inches from her!!!!

If you've never seen Miranda in concert...........GOOOOOO! She is awesome!!! More than I expected, and I expected a lot. She is definitely one of those artists I could watch over and over. 

I made a slideshow of the pictures because I took over 400 with my iPhone. Krista and I did not take our big cameras because the rules said no cameras with detachable lenses. But of course, everyone around us had them. Of course. 

Locked and Reloaded from Crystal Hall on Vimeo.

 Oh man...take me back!

Have you ever seen any of these artists in concert?

{Sickies - Mason}

Happy Hump Day!

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever! I was off on Friday so posts from then on were scheduled. And then I have been just plum exhausted since Friday night. Friday {how many times can one say Friday in one paragraph?!?}  I went to the Miranda Lambert concert with my best friend {post coming soon} and we didn't get in until late and then had to be up early for Mason's Blast ball game. Then Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night Mason was restless all night and didn't sleep well...which means that Mama didn't sleep well. Yawnnnn...

I took Mason to the doctor on Monday because he had a deep cough, was breathing rapid and labored and wasn't eating very well. The dr checked his ears, throat, and everything else and said that his nose was pretty impressive. It was impacted with junk and she knew right away it was a sinus infection. While she was listening to his breathing she thought she heard something in the lower part. She ordered him up an X-ray to rule out anything serious like pneumonia. I was worried about pneumonia.

Mason did the X-rays like a champ! And then she let him look at the pictures. She pointed out the heart, spine, ribs, etc. Then she said, this is a gas bubble.

He giggled and said, "That's silly...I don't drink gas, cars drink gas!"

The Dr. looked at the X-Ray and didn't see any signs of pneumonia, but was going to have the radiologist confirm that. She prescribed him a strong antibiotic for the sinus infection and we also have to do breathing treatments for his breathing! 

I'm ready for him to get better and for his normal appetite to come back!

Last night he actually slept a lot better and I feel like we both rested. I pray he is taking a good nap at school today. They have pictures today!!


{Fall Bucketlist // 2013}

I love Texas and I love Summer, but when the temperatures start creeping up into the 105s {110-112 with heat index} I start dreaming of Fall. It is without a doubt my most favorite time of year. So naturally I start thinking about everything I want to do in the Fall months. And thus, a Fall Bucket List is born.

What is on your Fall bucketlist?

{Five on Friday - Crazy week, sickies, MIRANDA LAMBERT}


This week has been plum crazy! Even though I only worked at the office 3 days (and 1 at home) it felt like 3 weeks. No lie. All of the crazies came out this week and made me want to pull my hair out. Although, working from home on Monday was a nice treat. I got so much cleaning and laundry done.


The reason I worked from home on Monday was because my sweet boy was sick. Sunday night he started running a random fever and his nose was a little stuffy. He also had a cough and was sneezing like crazy. I kept him home Monday and Tuesday. Monday he absolutely NO appetite. He was pretty calm and spent most of the day lying around watching TV. He played, but not his normal hyper playing. Nate stayed home with him on Tuesday to give him one more day to rest. He was pretty much back to normal on Tuesday and had more of an appetite. He still has a little cough. I think the Ragweed in our area got to him. It's making me feel icky too!


Now that I have an iPhone I never pick up my big girl camera anymore. The iPhone is just too convenient. I need to change this. My sweet boy is growing too entirely fast and I need good pictures to look back on.


Tuesday night we had the best night!! I love our little town and our little piece of land! Makes me so happy that my boy will grow up in the country and know that we have "go to town" for food, groceries, etc. I blogged the pictures from our evening ==> here.


I'm not at work today. Why? My best friend and I are heading to the M I R A N D A  L A M B E R T concert!!! I am so freakin' excited. Check my Instagram for pictures!!

{First week of PreK3 - Genesis 1:!}

Mason's first week of PreK-3 went really well. He was only there 3 days of the first week due to the holiday and then he stayed home with his Daddy on Friday...but he still learned a lot.

I guess before I get into his first week I should describe his "school" a little better. Mason goes to A Christian Academy. They have PreK-3 through 3rd grade as well as daycare, and before/after school care. Mason goes year round. During the Summer it's a little more casual and they do more "play" activities. Curriculum for PreK starts with the new school year. So, for PreK-3 he didn't go to a new school, a new class or even have new teachers or peers. It's the class he's been with since he turned 3. They just began their curriculum with their A Beka Books. It is a Christian based program that incorporates the Bible into their learning. 

For the first week they learned about "Creation" from the Bible as well as their basic colors.

The Bible Verse for the first week was - 

God Created the Heavens and the Earth.
- Genesis 1:1

Mason memorized it the first day. He knew it Wednesday morning and recited it spot on during our ride to school. 

 Great first week and looking forward to the 2nd. 

{Note - Mason missed the first 2 days of week 2 due to allergies...so we will have to make up the work in the evenings}

{A typical evening with the Halls}

If you were to come spend an evening with us...

Be prepared for lots of silliness...and picture takin'...and Instagrammin...

 Playing on the playset...

Visiting Jake...

Trail Wagon rides...

Driving out to the pasture to take the boys some water..
Some Dove hunting and awesome sunsets...

How was your Tuesday evening?

{Texas Tuesday - Texanisms}

Hey y'all!! Happy Texas Tuesday!!

Masons Mama

What is Texas Tuesday? A chance for you to show off the awesomeness that is TEXAS!! You can blog about anything; restaurants, vacation spots, venues, concerts, your hometown, shops, fashion, sports, etc. The linkup is not limited to Texans, we just ask that the post is about Texas. 

We don't make following any of the hosts a requirement, but we do ask that you include our button and at least post about a Texas related topic. Any links that are not related to the link up will be deleted. (button code is in grab box below the image above)
We've invited Texas bloggers to co host with us weekly. If you're interested in being a co host for our link up please email Amanda at princessofthepanhandle(at)gmail(dot)com and she will get you on the calendar. 


It's true...us Texans have our own language...

Over yonder...

 I'm fixin' too...

This ain't my first rodeo...

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight
and bull-strong.  

I reckon...

He's all hat and no cattle...

Bless your heart...


You smell that Po Cat?

All tuckered out...

Don't throw a hissy-fit

It's gonna be a turd floater...

More thank you can shake a stick at...

I like to fell over....


You want a coke? Sure! What kind? Dr Pepper

She told him how the cow ate the cabbage...

What is your favorite Texas saying?

{Beaver's Bend}

Our trip to Beavers Bend {or Broken Bow, rather} was pretty amazing! It was the first time in a really long time for all of Nate's family to go on a little vacation together. And the very first time for Nate's brother's fiance to go anywhere with us! I think it went well and hopefully we didn't scare her off! ha. 

We left Friday morning and go to Broken Bow around 1:00pm. It's a pretty easy trip and Mason did well. We weren't able to get into our cabin until 3pm so we killed some time by visiting Beaver's Bend State Park. We took Mason to ride the train. He was so excited. It was fun, but oh so hot. Mason wanted to sit right smack dab in the front...right behind the engine. So, we had the 100+ degree heat, plus the heat of the engine on us. I though our flip flops were going to melt onto our feet!  Luckily it was only like a 10 minute ride. ha!

 After the train ride we headed to the visitor center to get Trout stamps and fishing license. Jordan and Kelli met us there. Mason got to play in the stream for a little bit and he was excited about that. After the boys got their stamp/license we headed down to see the river. And the boys did a little craw-dad huntin'. Then we went to the Fly Shop and got bait and tackle. By that time it was after 3 and we were able to head to the cabin!

 The cabin?


We really just hung out that evening. The boys went and did a little fishing and I stayed at the cabin with Mason, and my inlaws. Mason swam and played in the hot tub. The cabin had an iphone/ipod dock that we could play both inside and outside on the deck. Pandora rocks!! That evening Mason crashed before 9. He was so tired. So, we got a game of spades going. Fun times!

The next day we all headed out for some fishing and hiking and whatnot. It was fun, but goodness it was HOT!!! And Humid as all get out.


The boys caught quite a bit of fish! We stayed out for 4.5 hours or so then headed back to the house! Mason and the inlaws got in the hot tub again {they kept it cold}. We hung out and listened to music and cooked fajitas.

Sunday we got up and the boys went fishing again and I went with my inlaws to take Mason to the park for a bit. Another hot and humid day!! 

 That evening we went to Grateful Head for some delicious pizza! None of us were disappointed. Picky McPickerston Mason even approved. We spent the evening playing spades and watching the Ranger game! Good times.

Monday we packed up and drove home.

I love little getaways...they're definitely good for the soul!

How was your Labor Day weekend?

//all pictures are from my iPhone\\

{PreK3 and Huntin'}

Yesterday {9/3} was a big day for our little dude! First day of PreK and first time to go Dove huntin' with Daddy!

I wasn't sure the exact start date of PreK3 because the school was waiting for their books to come in. Yesterday I was sitting at work and started thinking about it. I didn't want to miss taking pictures of Mason on his first day. So I messaged one of his teachers and sure enough, they started that day.

I didn't prepare for this day as best as I should have. We had just gotten back from vacation and we were exhausted! I sent Mason to school in some comfy clothes and I didn't have a 'sign' prepared to take pictures with. I wanted a chalkboard, but was unable to find one last minute. So I grabbed a black dry erase board and some bright colored markers.

Taking pictures of Mason is an act of congress. Seriously. I had to just work with what I had - right then and there. He wasn't going for posing. He was more interested in wiping the marker off the sign. Little stinker!


They learned about creation the first day. Their bible verse they are remembering this week is 

God created the heavens and the Earth  - Genesis 1:1

One of the worksheets he brought home was a color sheet about God creating the animals. It had an elephant on it. We were talking about in and in true Mason fashion....

"Mama, that is a transformer elephant." - Mason
"Oh really? How so?" - Me

"It transforms into a zombie elephant." - Mason

Everything is about Zombies. Everything. And for the record - we do not let him watch any shows that have Zombies on them. He learned about them playing a game at his Nana and Papa's (Zombies vs Plants or something like that). I had to have a little talk with him about Zombies!

After school Mason got to go Huntin' for the first time. He was so excited. And once again, I wasn't prepared. He has outgrown all of his camo! So we had to make do...

Mase said he had a lot of fun. He hunted maybe 30 minutes and then I guess he saw his Grandparents outside and had to go visit them. ha!

It was a good day!