Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 14

LRC was hidden most of the day. We didn't discover him in the dining room until late in the afternoon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 13

We were surprised to come home from the White Rock Marathon to find Little Red stuck in the kitchen cabinets. Maybe he'll have some menu ideas to share.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 12

Little Red was caught hanging around the family room today, attached to the lamp near the staircase.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 11

LRC found a new room today -- the master bedroom. We weren't home today, so he didn't see or hear much. Maybe he was due for a rest.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 10

Little Red Charlie seems out place today, hanging out so close to the Nativity. But he has a good view of the kitchen, where we spend a lot of time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 9

Little Red is catching a ride with Steve's favorite chicken, the Chicken on Wheels.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 8

Our elf blends in with the dining room wall today! He's surrounded by love -- a family photo and a Nativity set.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 7

Little Red is keeping watch from under the Christmas tree. He can also see who comes and goes through the front door.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 6

It's cold outside, so it makes sense that Little Red Charlie found a warm spot, nestled in a pocket that holds Christmas cards.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 5

Little Red was so brave overnight, perching high in the kitchen. He can see all the way into the family room from here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 4

Little Red was found near the breakfast table, atop a photo of Katie with Santa in 2007.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 3

Little Red Charlie settled in at the top of the staircase banister. He can see the family room and kitchen from this spot.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Little Red Charlie, Dec. 1

We have an Elf on the Shelf this year, a gift from Mary Mitchell Trimble. Cooper and Katie named him Little Red Charlie. (Cooper likes Charlie; Katie thought he looks like Little Red Riding Hood.)

Every night he flies to the North Pole to tell Santa the good and the bad from the Damm house. He returns while we're sleeping and settles into a new spot.

Today he was in a pitcher in the kitchen, barely peeking out. His ears always work, though.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


(Photo from last Sunday)

On the way to church this morning, I told Katie that she'd meet her new Sunday school teacher and class today.

"Well, Mommy, if I don't like the 4-year-old teacher, I'll just ask to move to the 5-year-old class."


Friends Melinda and Corey were over this afternoon to play with Cooper and Katie while I cooked.

Katie leaped from the coffee table to the sofa.

Me: Katie, don't do that. We don't jump from furniture to furniture.
Katie: Mommy, just don't watch me and it will be OK.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Katie woke up 4

One of the traditions Steve and I love is taking a photo of Cooper and Katie the moment they wake up on their birthdays.

Here is Katie from Saturday, the day she turned 4!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last day of preschool

Katie and Mrs. Lilly

Katie and Julianna

Katie completed another year of preschool last week. It's hard to believe that she has just one more year at ECDP and then she moves onto Bledsoe for kindergarten!

Katie had a great year. She learned to write her name and draw shapes and people. She identifies all the letters and can sound most of them out. She also learned a little more self control and is better at recovering from a meltdown.

She loved her time in music and P.E. and any chance to create art. She also learned many signs -- Mrs. Lilly is a former sign language interpreter and taught her kids all the letters and many useful words.

Click here for Katie's first day of school!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Church egg hunt

We learned today that Katie isn't the most strategic egg hunter. She scooped up just four.

I expect that next year she'll have a different plan. She wasn't happy with her portion, especially when she saw Cooper's bounty.

She is an excellent kite flyer, though. She just throws it up and starts moving with success every time! I loved watching this tiny little girl holding a string attached to a kite dozens of feet above. She was serene and happy.
Cooper's egg hunting skills are tops, but he has some kite skills to master. He wants to run before the kite has a chance to get enough lift. And he has trouble letting out string fast enough. We have a nearby field that's ideal for flying kites -- we can practice more this spring.
More photos from today's church egg hunt are here. (We loved having Delaney join us!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Q&A with Katie

Favorite color?

Favorite food?

Favorite dessert?
Apple pie

Favorite drink?
Apple juice

Favorite TV show?

Favorite book?
The Cat in the Hat

Favorite movie?

Favorite character?
Peter Pan

Favorite animal?
Tigers and lions

Best friend?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A doctor

Where do you want to travel?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 things

For the few of my few readers who aren't on Facebook, here are my "25 Random Things."

1. My sweet hippie mom wanted to name me Cookie. Our last name? Crumb
2. The first song I remember singing to is "The Day the Music Died." I was 4.
3. I have always loved school.
4. We moved in the middle of second grade from Farmers Branch to Belton. The teachers and principal in Belton decided to skip me to third grade. After that, I was always a year younger than my classmates.
5. I grew up playing word games with my dear Gramma. I still love all word games, but no one can play like Kathryn Sibley Thomas.
6. We named our daughter after Gramma. I was pregnant with Kathryn Sibley Damm when my grandmother died.
7. I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was 8.
8. I bit my nails until I was 20. I was driving to meet Steve for a date when I looked down at my ugly, chewed fingers and decided to stop. I haven't bit my nails for 16 years.
9. I have always lived in Texas.
10. Every July and August, I wish we lived somewhere cooler.
11. I have been skiing three times and don't ever want to go again. I always fall down. Who wants to spend vacation falling down?
12. I love the beach. I didn't discover this until my mid-20s.
13. I didn't grow up going to church regularly. Now I can't imagine being without my church family.
14. I didn't have my hair cut by a non-family member until I was 24. I think I frightened that first stylist when I told him so. He barely took off half an inch.
15. Thinking about my husband Steve takes my breath away every time.
16. The older I get, the more nervous I get about speaking in public.
17. I helped train hundreds of journalists how to use a new computer system. It was one of my favorite jobs.
18. I love cooking and baking.
19. I don't like to clean.
20. Years ago I created a word puzzle that I sometimes play in my head. I can teach it to you, but I can't imagine anyone else would want to play it.2
1. I do not like scary movies. I do not like to see previews for scary movies. Thinking too long about a certain Stephen King movie that takes place in a big hotel gives me nightmares.
22. I love being mom to Cooper and Katie. They surprise, astound, entertain and spread joy every day.
23. I need some alone time every day to feel rested.
24. I don't like saying goodbye. I cry every year on the last day of school -- as a student and now as a mom.
25. I am almost always steady and certain during crises.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

10 things you should know about Cooper

Cooper is the spotlight student in his class this week. As part of the festivities, parents are asked to write a letter to be read to the class. Here's what Steve and I have shared:

Cooper is very strong! Before he was 2, he went to the Fort Worth Zoo with his mom, aunt and cousin. His mom was holding him up to see the bears. He was so strong that he almost pulled himself away from his mom and almost fell into the bear pit below! His mom and aunt were very scared, and they took Cooper away quickly.

Cooper loves adventure! When he was 3, he and his mom were in the elevator of a very big San Francisco hotel. His mom walked off the elevator, but Cooper stayed behind. The doors closed, and he was all alone in the elevator! When the elevator stopped at the next floor, he walked off and talked to the ladies at the health club. They helped him find his way back to his mom.

Cooper is very helpful! Just this week, he was at the grocery store. Another shopper dropped the onion she was holding, and it rolled away. Cooper didn’t hesitate to chase after the runaway onion and return it to the shopper.

Cooper is very friendly! He and his family were on vacation on Mackinac Island, Michigan, a couple of summers ago. A group of teenagers was playing baseball on an open field. Cooper just walked right up to the big kids and asked if he could play. They let him, and Cooper was happy to have made new friends.

Cooper is creative! He has always loved to tell stories. Here is a story he told when he was 5:
The Eagle and Its Owner
By Cooper Damm
There was a daddy going to outer space. But first he had to go to the beach to pick up his pet eagle. He had to go on a sailboat to get to the eagle's home. But the eagle went to get some food for its babies. The man waited and waited. Then one day the eagle came home, and the eagle was surprised to see his owner there. They went together to space.
The End

Cooper has a positive attitude! His mommy and daddy can’t help but smile when they see Cooper smile.

Cooper loves games and puzzles! When he was 5, he could do 400-piece puzzles by himself. He is excellent at chess, Monopoly and Battleship, too.

Cooper was a giant baby! He was 9 pounds, 6 ounces when he was born. His head was covered in dark hair.

Cooper has always loved Tex-Mex food! When he was 10 months old, he devoured an enchilada and side of rice and beans at Mi Cocina. His plate was clean! And he was really happy.

Cooper is funny and loves to tell jokes! Here’s our favorite riddle that he’s invented:
Why are thermometers so good in college?
Because they have so many degrees.

Roy Finney (1950-2009)

My dear choir director from Belton Junior High passed away yesterday.

Mr. Finney created a family in his choir room. He was funny, strict and encouraging.

I wasn't a good singer, but he did let me participate in just about anything I asked -- musicals, contests, ensemble choir.

He was part of a small group of Belton teachers who made life better for me.

I remember so many songs from my three years with him. One of my favorites is the English folk song "Early One Morning."

Early one morning,
Just as the sun was rising,
I heard a maid sing,
In the valley below.
Oh, don't deceive me,
Oh, never leave me,
How could you use
A poor maiden so?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Person's best friend

A few mornings ago, the kids and I were talking about friends. Katie said that Margie couldn't be a friend because she's a dog.

I told her that she is our friend and that, in fact, some people call dog "man's best friend."

She thought about this for maybe one second.

"Mommy, can they also be woman's best friend?"


On Monday, Cooper became ill quickly. I took him to the doctor, and we learned that he had strep throat.

Margie apparently knew he was sick before we did.

She usually cuddles up with Steve. We're certain that she does so to help him feel better.

But on Monday afternoon, before I realized that Cooper had a fever, Cooper and Steve were resting in bed. Margie chose Cooper as her pillow -- instead of Steve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meteorologist Cooper

It's college week at Cooper's school. Each day has a theme -- hats on Tuesday, sweats on Wednesday (though just about every day is a sweats day for Coop), career day today and college shirt day tomorrow.

As you may recall from last year, Cooper hopes to be a meteorologist. Or scientist. Or inventor. Last week he decided he wants to invent a combination telescope and microscope that would allow you to see very small details of something very far away.

He dressed as a meteorologist and gave us the forecast this morning.

He takes his job very seriously. I tried to get him to smile.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I have two measurable resolutions for 2009. Both are designed to reduce calories and reduce spending.

No matter how much I run and walk, I can't seem to lose weight that I put on last year.

Plus, Steve and I deliberated for a while about our church pledge for the new year and decided to increase our annual giving by almost 15 percent. That money isn't going to just fall out of the sky!

1. Buy a drink from Starbucks only twice a month.
For about a month this summer, I boycotted Starbucks altogether, in recognition of Uncle Greg's job loss. (He was laid off as part of a national cost-cutting measure in August.) In the fall, I had started drinking lattes again, about one drink a week. And then they introduced the holiday flavors, and I fell under the spell of the Peppermint Mocha Twist. I couldn't resist its call. I was buying a drink three or four times a week.

The trick will be to not use up my two drinks too early in the month. Tomorrow, for instance, a group of us are running to Starbucks. We'll stop for a drink. I will ask for ice water. I do not want to use one of my two chances on the third day of the month!

2. Buy a restaurant meal only once a month.
We eat out as a family once a week usually. I eat out with friends for lunch once or twice a week. I don't expect we as a family will have too much trouble following this resolution. I will have to change my social habits. Liz and I were talking about social meals today -- maybe we could just meet at someone's house for sandwiches?

The one contingency on both of these resolutions is a hospital visit. If Steve has to be admitted to the hospital in 2009 (and we're all praying that he won't!), then I give myself permission to temporarily break these resolutions.

Good luck to you and your resolutions for 2009!