Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time Flies

I can't believe that the last time I posted we were getting ready to leave San Antonio, and now here I am sitting on my couch, looking out the window on this rainy Kentucky day!  Our time in Texas is just a memory now, but I want to continually reminisce on the sweet moments God provided for us while we were there.  Leaving was so difficult, somewhat heartbreaking, but it couldn't have been more of an answer to prayer.  It meant that we had treasured our time and relationships there and that God's power in our lives had prevailed so mightily.  Thank You Lord!


Leaving was emotional, our road trip was once again miraculous.  We made amazing time and our kids did well.  Many thanks to several books, Elmo and Beauty & the Beast dvds, leftover Halloween candy and other appeasing snacks.  The Lord was really gracious to us.  We even made it in less time than anticipated.    We had 9 hours of driving each day and only stopped twice each day.  I call that a successful road trip.


Upon arriving at our house...we found: a bouquet of flowers, a loaf of pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, a pasta meal to make, a crockpot dinner, and a pantry and refrigerator full of the essentials!  We knew we had great friends here, but we were stunned by the love that was poured out on us in a such a practical way.  Wow.  Really, it was another amazing testimony of God's love and faithfulness.  Thank you friends, you know who you are!!!


Since then, we have enjoyed/experienced: unpacking, runny noses, organizing, birthday parties, bowling, family in town, runny noses, thanksgiving, more family in town, shopping for furniture, Christmas decorating, and more runny noses.  I think we have entered the land of perpetual runny noses!!!  Besides for that, everything has been going well.


We are really thankful this Thanksgiving and Christmas season.


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"  1John 3:1 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What I'm going to miss

Holy cow, we are moving in 3 days.

I have to blog about the things I'm going to miss so I can remember it down the road.  Otherwise I might forget the name of that amazing bbq restaurant or why I still have a few pounds to lose...(by the way don't judge me that almost all of what I'm going to miss is based around food and shopping, k?)

In no certain order, here goes:
-I'll just get this one over with - SeaWorld.  That's an obvious one.

-La Cantera.  The nicest outdoor shopping experience a girl can ask for.

-Cooper's, Rudy's.  Excellent bbq restaurants.  I have never been a huge bbq fan before living here.  I mean I ate it, and I liked it, but it wasn't something I craved.  That all changed with Texas bbq -- soooo darn delicious.  Mmm my mouth is watering even now just thinking about it.  They say in college you gain the freshman fifteen, here it's the Texas twenty.  So  just know it's the bbq (and the next point).

-Mexican food galore!  To name a few - pappasito's, mi tierra, tink-a-tako, las palapas.  What I love is that there is mexcian food everywhere, and it's pretty darn authentic.  For example, homemade flour tortillas that are beyond anything you could ever find in a grocery store.  Unless that grocery store is HEB, where they have sweet little ladies making and bagging tortillas right in front of you.  It kind of reminds me of Santa's workshop, but instead of toys you get tortillas.  Anyway, you can buy warm fresh tortillas that never make it home without first being ripped open in the car and munched on, by parent and children alike.  But back to the restaurants, yes they are good.  And when you order a chicken or beef taco at one of these places, don't expect anything else.  A chicken taco is a taco with chicken in it.  This I have learned.  Personally I enjoy a few extra toppings so I have to remember to ask for them!

-Target here, Target there.  They are everywhere!  Seriously you can find a Target at every exit around here.   My favorite has been shopping at the Super Target nearby.   There is no shortage of shopping here.  There are 14 targets and 20 walmarts around san antonio!

-Same goes for Starbucks.  Where ever there is a Target, that means there is a Starbucks inside of the store.  Every single Target I have been inside of here, there is always a Starbucks.  And at every shopping plaza that has a Target (with a Starbucks in it) there is a Starbucks stand alone drive through store as well...just incase you've finished the latte you got in the store and need another while you're driving away.  Happens all the time.  There are a gazillion Starbucks', but the down side of that is that there are only starbucks.  No caribou, no biggby's (which will always be beaners to this MSU girl).

-In all seriousness, San Antonio has been great.  It has had a lot of perks, but I will miss the people the most.  We have been so blessed to make sweet friends here, and have been loved by a welcoming and caring church body.  The love of Christ has manifested itself to us through these people, they have been the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ to us, living it out so well.  Sniff sniff.  I'm so thankful that we don't have to move to a new place, having to start all over.  Although it will be sad to leave, I'm glad we are going to back to something great too.  That makes it easier!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween

Halloween has become so enjoyable since having kids.   I really look forward to it, and to our mini tradition that goes with it.  It's not a very special tradition, just making apple pie and ordering pizza, but a tradition nonetheless.   And who doesn't look forward to homemade apple pie right?  (and not having to cook dinner for that matter).

This year we did the whole dinner/dessert/trick or treating thing with our friends, Tom and Janelle, and their little boy Liam.  Sophie and Claire adore him.  Sophie calls him her little prince.  And when I mention going to Liam's house Claire always gets excited!  So needless to say, we all had a wonderful time.

The girls were Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.  Poor Sophie didn't get a say in her costume this year since she already had one hanging up in her closet from dress up play.  And Claire's, I got for a $1 at a thrift store.  Can't go wrong with that.  Liam was a dragon, but a very kind dragon who said thank you after every piece of candy he received!   Sophie loved trick or treating as expected.  Afterwards she kept saying "i love halloween."  She did get tired pretty fast though and once it got dark she was done.  I think Claire could have kept going all night, she had a riot.  She knew what to do (minus the talking part), though at one point we were at a house and I was holding her little bag, and she demanded her "beh" (bag) so she could move forward with getting candy.

Great time, and now it's over.  Time to look forward to moving, Thanksgiving, Christmas, oh my.







Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Disneyworld

Sophie has been asking if we can go to Disneyworld at least once a day lately.  I don't even think she fully knows what disneyworld is but she sure wants to go there.  Today our conversation went like this:

S: Can we go to disneyworld?  I really want to go to disneyworld right now.

Me: Well, we can't go right now because we have to take an airplane to get there.

S: Oh. Can we take an airplane tonight?

Me:  No, we can't.  Going to disneyworld takes time and planning.  It takes money.  We have to save up for something like that.

S:  Oh...then maybe tomorrow we can go.

Obviously the words time, planning, and money don't register in the mind of a  3 year old very well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Respectable Sins

Those of you who read my blog might remember that I set out to read 6, that's right, a whopping 6 books this year.  :)  I just finished #4.  (I  do really want to get all 6 in and realize time is running low but I hope I can still pull it off).  Anyway, back to book #4.  Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges.  It is awesome.  Not awesome in a nail biting, can't put it down kind of way.  Rather, awesome in a heart examining, dead on, life changing kind of way.

This book takes our daily, more acceptable, subtle sins that we experience and puts them under the microscope.  It is in no way condemning or harsh.  It is merely written to help expose these in our own lives and make us think about how we accept them, justify them, or overlook them.  

I have always hated the saying "Do as I say, not as I do."  It completely turns me off and immediately I think hypocrite.  I think as Christians, we can tend to do that without realizing it.  We are fervently opposed to such things as abortion, murder, stealing, adultery, etc., but when it comes to our own hearts we are filthy and don't think twice about it.  I think that really taints our witnessing opportunities.  Because what is so different about us, besides the fact that we go to church on sundays and maybe a small group or bible study during the week, when the rest of the time, we look the same as everyone else.  We watch the same shows, we spend our money the same way, on and on.

So I love this book because it breaks down the more common acceptable/respectable sins we commit.  Things like impatience, irritability, anger and weeds of anger, anxiety, worldliness, judgmentalism, envy and jealousy (he even differentiates between the 2), and sins of the tongue among others.  

I certainly don't love the fact that I find my heart and attitude in many of these categories of sin, but I do love that God has pierced my little bubble and allowed me to recognize the depth to which I live out some of these, how truly accepted and common they have been in my life.  I'm thankful to have read this book. It has made me more aware of my sin, and allowed me to see myself more accurately, according to God's standard, not this world.  I am even MORE thankful that God gives his Holy Spirit, His word, and the power of Christ to transform us!  So thankful that we don't have to remain in sin, but that we can overcome it.  That is freedom in Christ.  He gives grace to recognize, repent, and live as a new creations.

Obviously, I am no book critic but I do get excited about great books like this one and can't help but share.  So...because I love it so much I would love to get a copy in your hands!  Consider this my first ever blog giveaway!!  You'll just need to leave a comment to this post and a scripture that God is currently teaching you about/using in your life.  I'll pick a winner by Saturday (Oct. 23rd).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Everyday fun


I think it's fair to say that the old cliche "never a dull moment" is true around here.  These girls keeps us laughing all the time.

First, there is Sophie rocking out to Chris Tomlin:
video
Then, there is Claire and her shoe obsession.  She also loves her own shoes, but the obsession comes with BIG shoes.  She must like the challenge.  By the way, this girl from the age of like 10 months has loved purses and shoes, and already has moments of drama that pale in comparison to what her sister did at that age.  Are we in for it or what?
video
And of course, some storage bin fun because what would a day be without climbing into something that is not meant for that?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Infraction

Yep, my first ever.  This morning, on my way to bible study no less, I got pulled over.  It stings a little.

For disregarding a stop sign, though in my defense I didn't disregard it, I saw it!  I did more of a rolling-stop...a more natural approach to stopping in my opinion.  I guess according to the law that is considered  slowing down.  Apparently you are supposed to cease all movement of the vehicle??  Who knew!  Ok, I am being a little sarcastic here.

But really, $265????  That is the same fine that one would pay for going 26-30 miles over the speed limit!  I know what I did was wrong, but to put my offense in the same category as going 26-30 miles over the speed limit is a little absurd.  Clearly, I am trying to justify here, and gain some sympathy.  Any is welcome by the way :)   Did I mention this was my first time ever being pulled over, first time getting a ticket???

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Life, lately.

Wow, time is going by quickly.  We are officially 6 weeks away from departing San Antonio. Remember the song from Mariah Carey..."you've got me feeling emotions...?"  That pretty much sums up how I feel right now.  I honestly did not expect moving away from here to be in any way difficult or emotional.  From the get go I really just wanted to go back to Kentucky.  But now... now that we know people, we have relationships here, we're seeing God at work here, we're involved in our church, have a small group, our kids have friends they adore, oh it's hard!  But, there is also soooo much excitement to coming back.  See what I mean?  The 2 pinnacles of emotions - the high and the low are happening at the same time.  I guess it was kind of like that when we left last January to come here, but for some reason it seems tougher this time.  When we came we didn't know who are friends would be, how we would be spending weekends, at what church we would be worshipping God, etc.  and now we have to leave all of that.  So bear with me as I am on this little emotional roller coaster.  :)

Where was I?  Oh yeah, on with life lately...

We are full swing in to our fall routine and thriving.  Sophie is still doing ballet, enjoying it and learning more.  I really just LOVE watching her and the other girls try to dance.  They are precious.  Sophie seems to be growing up so much right now.  She now refers to us as Mom and Dad (which by the way, I am not the biggest fan of.  What happened to endearing terms like mommy & daddy??)  

Claire is a toddler.  Did you hear that?  She is a toddler!!!  Sniff sniff...my baby is not really a baby any more.  How did she go from being a little roly poly on the carpet to saying "bye dada"?   She loves doing sign language, she loves to climb, play with her sister, and snuggle with us.  Claire is big on kisses.  Who can resist?  And then she has her less desirable side, like when she holds her breath while crying and turns blue, screams for now reason every now and then, throws her food...but we love her!

As for us, the adults...we are enjoying teaching the 3 year olds sunday school class together.  We are enjoying doing our last outings in San Antonio.  Tonight we are going to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Pappasito's, with one of our favorite couples from here!  We're also trying to get a little taste of fall.  We went to a "pumpkin patch" yesterday.  Ummm, yeah.  It's not quite real fall here, but that's ok.  It has gotten cooler here.  It gets down to about 60 degrees at night.  It is very refreshing.  This morning as I went for a run I was actually cold!!!  Imagine that!


Anyway, that sums things up around here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The SIV

Here is Sophie saying a few of her memory verses, don't mind the pumpkin muffin that is smeared all over her face.  I had a video of her saying 5 of her memory verses with a clean face even, but silly blogger wouldn't have it!

video

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Better than Ballet

With just over 2 months left in San Antonio, there are a lot of things that I am going to miss, (all of which I will be sure to blog about for my memory's sake).  Nearing the top of that list though, is something that I just learned about last week.  It is called Ballet Gloria.  It is a ministry for children that incorporates dance and worshiping God and their theme is dancing for an audience of one.  It is held at Oak Hills Church which is Max Lucado's church.   It is just a precious ministry, and on top of that it is FREE.  Awesome.  Who doesn't appreciate that?
Today was Sophie's first class.  It was super cute and her teacher was so sweet.  I was not sure how she would do at all ...but she hung in there and tried to follow along as best as a short attention spanned 3 year old can.  She enjoyed most of it but a couple of times fell and was not happy about that.  Poor thing, I think she has inherited my physical skills, or better said - limitations.  Afterwards she told me that her legs were sore because she did a lot of exercise.  When we got home she was happy to show her daddy a  demi plie and before bed tonight she asked if we could go back tomorrow.  So even though her legs were sore and she got some boo-boo's, I think overall she had a great time.  I know I did just watching her!  And let me tell you - they don't mess around with memory verses!  This was their memory verse for the 3 & 4 year olds today:
Matthew 28: 1-2
 "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it."  
 Sophie couldn't get over the earthquake part, she kept asking about earthquakes for the rest of the night!  Anyway, here is a little picture of our ballerina!





Friday, September 3, 2010

More Photos!

A couple of weeks ago we had our family pictures taken.  It was mostly fun, minus Sophie inappropriately throwing a fit during the middle of it, not wanting her picture taken, getting bribed with ice cream and still really did not cooperate.  Although we were NOT laughing while she was being completely defiant, it will be a good story to tell her when she's older and the pictures of her crying are priceless.  Here are some of our favorites.  Oh and all of these are courtesy of Kate L Photography -  I highly recommend her for anyone in the San Antonio area - she is awesome!










Body & Food

I can't exactly pin point when it happened, but somewhere in these last few years my body has decided to strike against the food freedoms I so once loved.  You know, a cookie every day, a donut, a latte, chocolate, cheesecake, you name it I ate it - without shame or feeling like it was going to settle anywhere. 
Well, those days have bid me farewell.  Maybe it had something to do with having kids.  I just realized that for the past 4 years since November of 2006 I have either been pregnant or nursing every fall.  Anyway, somewhere between 2 pregnancies, lots of indulging and feasting on any food at any time, 2 c-sections and 1 year later - things just aren't the same!  I actually have to watch what I eat.  I have to practice self-control.    I exercise more regularly now than before but I still have a flabby belly, and I'm NOT pregnant.  I  weigh the same as I used to, but things just did not settle where they should have.  Really they shouldn't have settled at all!  And I so crave dessert.  I love sweet things.  I hate sweet things for the same reason.  I love to bake, but I hate that whatever dessert I bake tempts me like satan to eat it.  Just a bite, just another little bite, and by the time dinner rolls around it's half gone and I was the only one who ate it!   
Of course there is a balance, I want to be healthy but I also want to enjoy the flavors of this life.  I just need to halt and control how much enjoying I do.  One piece is probably ok, half a cake is probably not.  And I am completely jealous of those beautiful ladies that bounce back from having babies in like 2 months and look like nothing ever happened to their bodies.  Grrr.
And not only I am concerned about how MUCH I am eating, but also what I am eating and feeding my family.  It is so scary to think how manipulative and political our food has become.  Well probably not the food itself, but the industry behind it.  All of the GMO's, bad industry practices, pesticides, etc.,  We are definitely trying to use wisdom here with how much to pay attention to all of that and how much to oversee.  But in all this...I cling to:
"It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."  Matthew 15:11
I should definitely be spending more of my time contemplating that and applying it in my life and heart. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

august in pictures

enjoying our time in michigan

some family fun and of course yummy food to enjoy

princess sophie - she is totally into princesses these days!

she just likes to smile, climb & sit in places that aren't meant for it

the girls with nana & papa at seaworld


how do you like claire's double chin? we call her our garbage disposal, the girl does not stop eating! :)
the girls really love each other and have been playing together really well lately...so much so that sophie won't go to her room, or go to sleep without claire. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ramble On

In Led Zeppelin fashion, here i go:

Tonight I made seared rainbow trout, roasted asparagus, quinoa tabouleh, and sweet potato fries for dinner.  And then I made tapioca pudding, and ate it.  It goes against everything I believe...dessert/dairy/fat.  It ruined my healthy dinner.  Now I feel bloated and disgusted thinking about Proverbs 23:2 "and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony"....but I press on.

It goes without saying, but I can't believe it is the end of August.  That means t-less than 3 months until we are back in Kentucky.  I am trying not to get too excited but thoughts of going back take over sometime.  I picture us playing in the backyard, out front chatting with neighbors, wearing coats, listening to our wildly enthusiastic pastor, using my kitchenaid mixer (AHH the excitement is boiling), getting out the crock pot, having more than one cookie sheet....oh I could go on but I will stop.  Really, we are enjoying our time here.  


So back to it being the end of August.  August was a busy and fun month.  I traveled with the girls to Michigan for a week to visit my family.  One of my cousins who lives in Poland was in town so it was great to see him as it had been 6 years since I last saw him.  It was a great family visit, it seemed like most days we were hanging out with family here or there.  We returned on a Tuesday and on Wednesday morning Bill's mom arrived to spend a week with us here.  Bill's dad joined us for the weekend.  Props to my in-laws for wanting to come to Texas in late August!  It was HOT.  


We spent 2 days doing some short road trips to visit a couple of unique towns.  One was Fredericksburg, and the other Bandera.  Bandera is the self proclaimed cowboy capital of texas, or maybe the world? I don't know.  The lunches we had were great, the towns were ok...kind of rustic/ghost town-ish/cowboy-esque...but overall it was good to see something other than a  walmart or target at every exit on the highway.  The nicest parts of our trips were the drives.  We took some scenic routes and they did not disappoint!  Beautiful hills, a sparkling bright blue lake, and more really surprising scenic hills. Who knew that Texas had such beautiful natural landscapes?  Sophie also got to have her first "sleep over" with Nana and Papa in their hotel.  She got to sleep on the sofa bed and boy was she excited about that.  So excited, she wanted to go the following night.  And every time we drive by that hotel - she fondly reminisces, half excited and half sad "Look, Nana & Papa's hotel!"   We also took them to SeaWorld.  Will I ever write a post that doesn't include seaworld in it?  It was fun, but it was hot.  And quite honestly I've had my fill. The crowds are insane, people flock that place like it is a gold mine.  I say that though knowing we will probably go just one more time before the water park closes for good.  


So anyway, that was August.  We're now moving on into our fall schedule. I love how a new season can bring a fresh schedule and some new structure into our weeks.  I am looking forward to it, and hoping not to get jealous of places that will actually have a real fall season.  



Saturday, July 31, 2010

3 Years

Bill and I were reminiscing just the other night about the arrival of our first baby.  And in the spirit of sharing birth stories, here goes a summary of the first one:


Waiting, seemed like most of what I was doing, along with walking, spicy food, etc., to get this party started.  I think it was the night before I went into labor that Bill and I were out for a walk.  A man was watering his lawn, stopped, looked at us and yelled out:  you must be having twins!  No, but thanks for inquiring.  This could get me going on a whole other topic about what not to say to emotionally unstable, overdue pregnant women, but I'll save that for another time perhaps.  Anyway, later that night I did end up feeling some regular contractions, and by 3am they were actually somewhat painful.  Later in the morning there were definite signs that this could be it (which for the sake of not being gross - I'll leave out).  One of my favorite memories from that morning was telling Bill around 7am that I thought I was in labor.  His response was a calm ok, well I'll go to work and you call me if something happens.  Hello!?!?!?  I just told you I was in labor!!!!!  And you're going to work????  I didn't say any of that, I just thought it.  So he went to work, I called almost immediately and within an hour and a half of leaving he was home. :)


I  had an appointment scheduled that day for a non-stress test , so I called the doctor and told them I thought I was in labor and asked if I still needed to come in for the test.  They told me yes so they could check me just to make sure it was labor.  Why was no one believing me???


I was so excited to get to the doctor's office to see just how much progress I had made.  Up until this point I had been pretty much 0 cm dilated, and like 50% effaced.  I was just positively sure that after almost 12 hours of contractions, them getting closer together and becoming really painful, that I would have been at least 4 cm by the time we got to the doc's office.   On our way there we even dropped off a meal at a friend's house - i remember being extremely uncomfortable in the car!  Anyway, we got there, they hooked me up to the contraction machine (?) to confirm, that yes I was having painful contractions.  Then came the moment of finding out how much progress I had made (drum roll please)... = 1cm.  I was not a happy mama to be with that news.  1cm??


Because my contractions were in fact so strong, they sent us to the hospital.  My goal had been to do this thing naturally.  I even had a birth plan.  We read the Bradley book.   HA!  That was all thrown out the window.  After laboring naturally for most of the day and still making NOOOO progress (at one point the nurse told me I was at "1 and a wiggle" I cried.  All of this hard work and nothing was happening!  So it was time for the epidural and breaking my water.  This happened at night, and by the next morning I had fully dilated!  Other highlights from that evening - having a vein popped on my hand by a nurse trying to get the IV needle in, having an epidural was much less painful than contractions, and shaking all night from the IV flowing through me.  Not to mention zero sleep since 3am on Monday, and now it was Tuesday morning at 8am.  I felt good though.  I was ready to push!   2 hours of pushing and again no progress.  The doc told me I had to have a c-section.  Cried again.  50 minutes later Sophie was born via c-section.  The doctor then took out my uterus and said it was abnormal, showed it to other doctors there, said I would NEVER have delivered naturally.  I was very thankful to have had a c-section.  (Side note though - when I had my c-section with Claire I asked a different dr to check out my uterus to see if it was abnormal, and she said that it was perfectly normal, and the rest of the staff confirmed that it was the doctor who had delivered Sophie, who was in fact, abnormal).  :)


So there she was, this bloody, wrinkly, scrunched face, long fingered baby in my arms.  Mixed emotions.  I knew my life would be changed forever.  Having this child exposed so much of my sinful heart. Selfishness, impatience, anger...I could go on.  Having this child also brought so much joy, grace, and grew me in my love for God who gave up His precious, perfect son for me.   I had a friend whose sweet baby had died when she was just 18 days old, earlier that summer.  I remember when Sophie was 18 days, just holding her, crying and weeping, so thankful to have had her for that long.  Oh how I treasured having her for 18 days.  And now how I treasure having her for 3 years.   Happy birthday to my princess!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bag Lady

The bag lady loves her bags, especially this little denim tote.  The bag lady is also known as Danger C, Mad Woman, C-bear, and sometimes we refer to her as Claire.  :)   She is developing quite a little personality.  It has been so fun to watch.  Soooo different from her big sis.  She can be quite feisty at times, a little firecracker.  She does not say many words.  She blabs in her own language, says Hi & Bye well, attempts other words but they are attempts at best.  She is signing well - finally!  She is a very very busy little lady, always on the go.  Happy most of the time.  She LOVES to eat.  Sometimes she prefers her food off of the floor (the food she has thrown there).   We don't encourage that of course but it does happen.  She is done with her paci.  Some of you may remember my struggle with Sophie and the paci.  Well, this time it was extremely different!  I was not looking forward to taking it away from her because of my past experience, BUT it was so easy with Claire!  She didn't even cry the first few times it was gone.  Of course, a few days later she did have some stretches of crying herself to sleep which I guess could have been because she was missing her paci, but she is so over it now. Hurray!  We love her, the sweet little joy that she is! 


Monday, July 19, 2010

Eventful

Per typical weekend, it was eventful.  Saturday morning we went to the Natural Wildlife Ranch Safari.  We took the kids out of their car seats, let them come to the front seat, rolled down the windows and drove at dashing speeds of 5mph through 4 miles of a "safari."  We fed animals, had zebras stick their heads into our car, enjoyed (sort of) a petting zoo at the end.  We mostly loved it, except Sophie who got a little freaked out by the zebras' heads and threw herself into the back seat and demanded we head home right away.  Nor was she a fan of the petting zoo.  She was holding a white paper bag of feed, and a certain goat was determined to get it.  All of the little goats wanted nothing to do with the actual food, just the white paper bags we were holding.   Anyway, Sophie did not enjoy the goat approaching her therefore making her want to head home all the more!  Today she did say she liked the safari, so hopefully the bad memories have faded! 






Upon coming home, we were called by our bank to notify us that someone had gotten my debit card info and charged oodles of mula to our account.   Thankfully, the bank caught site of it as irregular activity and it should all work out fine, but scary none the less.  Oh this world we live in!

And lastly, I had a great revelation about the foods our family consumes.  I've always been interested in eating healthy but somewhere between moving, having babies, raising babies, moving again -- it never really sprung up as urgent to my mind and we've never had a total food makeover.  I try to buy some organic items, make "healthy" meals, be mindful of the budget, and aware of God's sovereignty over our bodies and lives.  I put a ban on high fructose corn syrup in our house (that means even ritz whole wheat crackers are a gonner.)  And,  I continue to read some undeniable things about dairy, meat, conventional produce and can't help but think that maybe we are consuming way too much bad stuff.  So, we are just going to buy a farm, make everything ourselves and eat berries, nuts and seeds.  Maybe in heaven.  For now, rather than obsessing over it, I am first going to trust God, and second try to weed out as much bad stuff as can be managed.  For example, my kids love dairy.  In all forms - cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream.  But I have girls, and the studies that are out there on girls reaching puberty faster and sooner scare the padoodles out of me.   That is just one reason we are going to decrease our dairy intake.  It's going to be easy for Bill and I but the girls are going to have a cow (heehee) because they are such lovers of the stuff!  We'll see how it goes.   



That's all the ranting for now.  Surely there will be more to come.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

family adventures


We have had many adventures lately; big and small, some fun some not, some right here in our home and some a road trip away.  In pictures:

Rockport for the 4th! Salt water and fireworks:
the perfect way to road trip


hotel bed all to herself!  she was thrilled


we called her the fearless beach babe - she LOVED it!


waiting for the fireworks - we all loved that!
 Our baking adventures: cobblers, muffins galore, summer is sweet!
fresh blueberries and peaches=delicious cobbler


sophie always does the dry mixing and spoon licking when we bake :)
Other adventures have included driving around exploring parts of San Antonio we haven't seen yet, a saturday afternoon spent at a family fun center - picture lots of bouncy blow up things, rock walls, arcade, etc.  they even had lazy boys for the parents :)
                            

and what would our adventures be without trips to seaworld?






Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good News

Like most people, I like to make a list of goals/resolutions at the beginning of each year.  It's always nice...err...it's interesting to look back and see your progress, or lack there of.  One of my goals was to read more.  And I don't mean more blogs, news pages or cooking magazines.  I'm already "good" at that.   I mean books.  The kind you have to commit more than 5 minutes to.  I have to confess, I've never been much of a reader.  In high school I was always in the advanced or AP English classes, but  I'm pretty certain that I never actually read an entire book.  Literature is not my thing.  I'm what you call, a good skimmer.   BUT, being a skimmer has no permanent value.  I'm also very very good at starting books, and... that's it.  
And cozying up with a good book?  Usually my idea of cozying up with a good book turns into a cozy nap.  Even if the book I am reading is good I still have a hard time staying awake during all of it!  Terrible I know.   And would you believe that I married someone who LOVES to read?  In the words of Lloyd Christmas, I am one pathetic loser.  So back to my goal.  My goal was to read 6 books this year.  To some of you that sounds pathetic.  For me, a big deal!  I can now say I have successfully finished 1 book.  Never mind that the year is half over.  One.  Unless you count the Growing Kids God's Way workbook?  No.  Ok.  I do devoutly read the bible, but I can't say I've finished that this year, nor will I likely.  
So the book I just finished (which has taken me a couple of months as I left it on an airplane and had to reorder - I do hope it blessed someone!)....is called Good News for Those Trying Harder by Alan Kraft.  I loved it and will likely read it again!  It was so insightful and awakening to why we just don't feel like we're living the Christian life right...because most of the time we are focused on ourselves and what we can do, not on Jesus.  The picture on the front is perfect too - a hamster in a spinning wheel working hard and getting nowhere.   I think every page was filled with Godly wisdom & excellent examples.   It was an easy read, and really just an honest and sincere book, gently convicting the wayward heart.  If you are looking for something worthwhile to read, read this! 
Although I didn't specify what type of genre my 6 books had to be, I do want to read all Christian books, at least while my goal is only 6. If I am going to take the time to read (which is a big deal for me) then I want them to enrich my life in a way that grows me in my relationship with the Lord.  I already have so many distractions or should i say- am easily distracted.  My attention span is just barely more than that of my almost 3 year old. I think solid times of reading will help in that area too! 
On to my next book, the Unexpected Journey.   Oh, and I have been summoned to read Total Money Makeover...thanks Bill! :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

a night out

I'm sure you're probably thinking, oh how wonderful - a night out for them.  But oh noooo, no, no.  A good learning experience though.
Let's start out by saying that there are some good restaurants around here.  GREAT barbeque.  The best is almost an hour away from where we live.  Coopers, it's called Coopers and it is amazing TX BBQ.  They even have a catchy jingle.
Bill had called me around 4pm and had mentioned that his boss was going to Coopers.  Ooh I thought and said, can we go?  Half joking because it was a wednesday night after all, and it was far away, but half salivating over the tastiest beef ribs and the creamiest of potato salads I had ever tasted.  Mmm.  At about 4:30pm Bill called back and said, do you really want go?  Why yes, I do want to go.  Oh did I mention that a trip to Coopers also means a trip to the Prime Outlets where one of my favorite retailers, Jcrew, rents space?  
Me: Do you think it's wisdom to go?  I mean it is wednesday, you have to work tomorrow...but it's not like the girls and I have any plans for tomorrow, we're practically on vacation.  Plus we're the parents, the kids can be flexible around our plans!  Yeah.  
Bill:  Yeah, I think it will be fine.  
So as you can tell, so far we have been persuaded by the lusts of gluttony & shopping.  While we were driving we should have known it was going to be a bad night because Claire spent most of the car ride practicing her high pitched squeals.  The kind that actually pain your ear drums and make you cringe.  She proceeded to do exactly that while we were in the restaurant eating.  We tried all sorts of things to distract her; food, toys, cell phones, water, etc.. Nothing worked.  We left in a hurry.  We got looks, all sorts of looks on the way out.  I tried my best to half-smile and walk out with some dignity and had wished I was wearing a t-shirt that read: I'm not a bad parent, really.  
For some reason we still thought it was a good idea to head to the outlet shops.  And I had fun.  We bought some pj's for the girls (on clearance!) and I managed to find a couple of things.  I thought it was time well spent :)  
The drive home proved to be a disaster.  We thought Claire would just conk out but rather she took turns between screaming and crying.  She was so over exhausted that she couldn't even fall asleep!  An hour later we arrived at home at 10pm, and that is when Sophie took her turn at whining before bed.  It was a full night.  We were all exhausted.
Thankfully we made it home, all alive. The girls went to bed & slept in the next morning.  Even I got to sleep in some.  Poor Bill actually had to get up and go to work.  Lesson learned here.  We are crazy, our kids are crazier.  Don't take them out to a restaurant an hour away (just because you're salivating over the food) on a Wednesday night!!!    

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Last Few Weeks

It has been busy around here!  A week after returning from Boston, we had some good friends make a stop in San Antonio to see us.  We had such a great visit with them.   Sophie and Claire adored their son Brody!  

Claire really wanted to hold Brody's hand :)
The week following included a 5 nights of VBS at our church here.  I must confess I was a little reluctant to go through an entire week of it (especially because it was at night time) and wondering if I had made a mistake by signing up to volunteer.  Claire screamed the entire first night in the nursery, most of the second as well...but by God's great grace, we all adjusted to the schedule.  Not only did we adjust, but it was a true blessing to be a part of it, to even have the opportunity to plant seeds in the lives of little ones.  Sophie has still been asking this week if we're going to VBS :).  


Other than VBS, friends in town, the only other news is that it's hot here!  For real, hot.  So in honor of hotness, we've spent a lot of time at...you guessed it - SeaWorld!  Their water park is awesome!!  We even spent some time there on Father's Day.  Sophie and Claire have such a great daddy!  Although he could have gone off to play golf or something - he chose to spend the afternoon splashing around a toddler pool with his family.  That's is just one reason he's great, there are countless others!  

Sunday, June 6, 2010

East Coast Trip


May was a busy month for us! Our last week of May was spent on the east coast visiting Bill's family. We were fortunate enough to see almost all of his extended family which also meant a lot of time spent in the car. From Boston we drove to Connecticut to visit Bill's grandparents & aunt, the girls had a great time there. We spent Friday relaxing in Boston which was also my 29th (eeek) birthday. It was a beautiful day that included starbucks, a walk, girls playing at a pretty park, pedicure, dinner with more family, and an amazing chocolate cake! Not to mention a really great birthday present from Bill's parents that won't be used until we return to Ky, but I am anxiously waiting to use my new sewing machine when I get back there!!!

For the weekend we went to Cape Cod. Ahhh, Cape Cod. I loved it. Not to sound like a travel magazine but it just has such a nice feel to it. You're on the coast, yet there are luscious trees everywhere, beautiful flowers, beaches, quaint shops, clam chowdah, oysters, lobsters -- it's just so... east-coasty. (I know, I have a way with words right?) I had been there once before but only for a day visit, so this was such a nice way to spend the weekend. Especially because we were there to celebrate Bill's grandmother's 95th birthday. It was a wonderful celebration, and the rest of the weekend was just as nice. It is always great to spend time with family that we don't see often.

We spent the last couple of days back at Bill's parents home in Boston. It was a really wonderful trip. Great people, great place to visit - when do we go back??? Just kidding. Texas is great. It has been uber hot since we've been back but I have to say I'm adjusting well to the increase in heat. That's probably because I've been inside most of the time though so it may not count.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Little Hottie's First Birthday

I'll just go ahead and spare you all of the sappiness that comes with realizing your baby is now 1...most of you probably know the feeling :)

So let's just move on to Claire and her birthday. She woke up at 1 am with a 104.3 fever (hence the little hottie)...now there's a way to ring in your first birthday, and scare your mommy! After a nice bath, milk and some tylenol, she went back to sleep and slept until 7:30. We had planned to have a party for her that morning which needless to say got canceled! Instead we partied on over to the urgent care clinic where she was diagnosed with an ear infection. She was a trooper through it all and still managed to smile most of the day. We took a little rendezvous to SeaWorld that evening, just the 4 of us, and saw Claire's favorite show, Azul. She loves it -probably because she sounds just like the beluga whales in the show. Maybe that's how she learned, and how she justifies her high pitched screaming :) She slept perfectly through the night the next night and woke up feeling great. Praise God for that.

Some stats/fun notes on our 1 year old:
-She's a little over 21 lbs, hovering around the 50th percentile for most things.
-She been walking for a while now! Bill and I are always amazed at her balance - for such a little thing...
-She says mama, dada, does a lot of other babbling but has no real desire to say any other words yet.
-She's a foodie! She loves to eat (which I am so thankful for and hope it continues). She joyfully ate tilapia and asparagus last night, need I say more?
-She has 7 teeth, 4 less than her sister had at this age!
-We love her and are so blessed to have her in our family!

And a year in pictures: