Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's been so long...

I forgot my blogger password!

Is anyone still reading out there? Well, in case you are, here's an update that should cover the last 2 months. Let's see, the girls and I went to Texas for 2 weeks this summer. It was a whirlwind trip, hitting all the major cities and seeing lots of friends and family! It was VERY hard to come back to FL, I must say! When I'm here (in FL), I'm fine. It's when I'm there (in TX) that I become discontent. Why is that?

Lexi started first grade last week! I can't believe it! She seems to have another wonderful teacher, no surprises there! She's young, but very sweet and she is also a pastor's daughter, like Lexi! Ashton started her final year of preK and is loving it. She actually entered the classroom all on her own the other day WITHOUT them having to remove her surgically from my leg, which is quite a big step! I just finished filling out the book of an application to get her in speech services through the public school system. She needs some help before she starts kindergarten next year!

Other than a fast, busy summer full of traveling and trips to the ER and swimming, not much is new! I must confess there are 2 reasons I rarely blog these days...#1)Facebook! It's so much easier to post my thoughts in a sentence or two rather than typing a book on blogger! #2)My PHONE has replaced my computer! After getting one of those high techy phones that does EVERYTHING, I rarely turn on my computer these days. But to type a whole blog entry on a phone would give me carpal tunnel thumbs! But it's true, I'm having to dust off the computer these days to use it. And it's so much slower than my neat little phone! Plus I've sorta quit reading blogs, not because I don't care about people, but because I can keep up with everyone all in one spot on facebook!

So now you know....

I'll try not to go 2 months without another post! But in the meantime, you can keep up with every detail of life on facebook!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm taking up permanent residence at the E.R.

I knew it would happen eventually. Kids and E.R.'s just go hand in hand. When you have a child, you're always aware of the closest E.R. I don't do well with poop. Or vomit. Or blood for that matter. Come to think of it, I now realize why God gave me girls. And ONLY two of them. In fact, sometimes I see it as a miracle of all miracles that He gave me children at all, seeing as how I don't do well with poop. Or vomit. Or blood. But today at swimming lessons, Lexi was getting out of the water and while climbing up the steps and holding onto the metal rails, she lost her footing and fell and hit her chin on the concrete. The result was yet ANOTHER trip to the E.R....our 2nd in a week! The first trip was when Nanny fell. I said to someone, I'm probably going to be investigated soon. My grandmother comes in with broken ribs and my child with a big open gash on her chin! Lexi's chin was cut so deep, the bone was exposed. I was pretty weak in the knees just looking at it. She ended up with FIVE stitches! She handled it like a pro! Not a single tear! Me, on the other hand, I had spaghetti legs the whole time and the nurse kept coming in checking on ME, not her! Thank God daddy arrived in the knick of time! He's good at that kind of stuff. So no more swimming for a while! $100 bucks and 5 stitches later, we headed out to Dairy Queen for some lunch and ice cream! What a week!

Monday, July 13, 2009

What to do when your kids don't want to go to church and your husband is the children's pastor...hmmm...

I'm going to be a bit transparent here and don't act like you can't identify with what I'm talkin about! I think every mom, at some point, feels some pressure of living up to other mothers' standards or expectations. Because women can be brutal. Really. We can! Not me. But you know. ;-) But can I just be honest for a minute and tell you there's not any pressure in child rearing quite like having a husband who is a CHILDREN'S pastor of all things? Aren't my children supposed to be perfect? And quote scripture as freely as a 12 yr old girl sings Hannah Montana songs??? Aren't my kids supposed to be "issue free" if you know what I'm sayin? Don't our family nights consist of memorizing scriptures and singing Kum-Bi-Yah around the fire? Aren't I supposed to have all the answers when it comes to child rearing, because I must, after all, have the entire Bible memorized. Isn't that a prerequisite to marry a pastor? (I'm sorry, that one makes me laugh!) Let me amuse you by blowing all stereotypes OUT of the water right this second.

But what does the Children's Pastor do when his own kids don't want to attend church??? My children have never really enjoyed church since we moved here to FL. And I know it's in large part just due to their ages. And personalities. But I, like every other mom, have wracked my brain trying to figure out WHY they don't like to go. And I don't think there's any one particular reason, other than that stinky ol devil tries REALLY hard to mess with pastors' families in a multitude of ways! This being one of them.

But this past Sunday during the weekly, ritualistic, ugly, outright WAR of getting the girls ready for church, (I'm telling you, they REALLY don't want to go!) I approached things from a different perspective. Rather than saying my usual, "You know you don't have a choice, it's where daddy works for Heaven's sake!" I changed my tune. And some of you are going to be thinking, "Duh...Heather...this would be the common sense thing to do" Well, I'm a little slow! I explained to the girls that church really isn't about having fun or seeing friends or eating a yummy snack or playing outside on the playground. It's about worshipping God. God tells us in His word to reserve this day as our Holy day. And church is not about US, it's about HIM. We don't go to get something for US or to make US happy, we do this to honor God and to show Him of our love for Him. It's a sacrifice. And we don't always FEEL like going, but we have to do things in life we don't FEEL like doing.

I wish I could say they were all smiles and frolicked like gazelles happily into the bathtub singing How Great Thou Art. It wasn't THAT magical of a transformation. But I could see that FINALLY I had given them a reason they understood for WHY we go to church every week. Not to say I won't have to have the same exact conversation with them next Sunday morning. But eventually one day, maybe all this head knowledge I keep pumping into them will really be a heart decision.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Texas Aggie is BACK

Okay, really, I promise, no more bloggity breaks. I'm jumping back into this blogging thing, starting NOW! I don't really care if I only have one faithful follower these days. It's therapuetic!

So now that I'm back, what can we talk about? Well, my grandmother, who is 87 and has diabetes, COPD, and osteoperosis came to visit this past week and to help babysit so I could work. Her first night here, she fell and fractured 7 ribs and spent the next 4 days in the hospital. She's home now, in a lot of pain still, but home and doing remarkably well. So instead of babysitting, the girls have been doctoring her. I think she's still sort of enjoying her visit with us, despite the accident.

And in just 4 short days, I'll be headed to the Lone Star State! Me and the girls and Nanny. Cary is staying home with the animals and to work, and he's going to Peru for a week while we're gone. The girls have always been VERY excited about going to Texas until this trip. Lexi has been crying about it for 2 weeks ever since we told her. She's sad about leaving Daddy. :-( I guess she considers Florida her home now. Understandably. But I certainly won't let her forget her Texas roots! Aggie football starts in just a few short weeks!!!! That will definitely re-acclimate her to Texas culture! Dontcha think??? I'm hoping to make it back to a few games this year. Especially the Texas game and the Arkansas game which will be held in the new Cowboys stadium. Super excited about that one!

Well, time for family movie night...Kung Fu Panda! HI YAH!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy Summer Days

That had to be the longest bloggin break I've ever taken! Not on purpose, we're just so busy I rarely have time to gather my thoughts in paragraph form. I do, however, gather my thoughts in sentence form and update my facebook status daily!

We have been so busy though. The fist week of summer was spent going to waterparks mostly and swimming a lot. The second week of summer was spent in dance camp. The girls had a BLAST! It was at the church and taught by a youth in our church who has been taking dance all her life and is very talented and loves kids. They were so adorable! Lexi enjoyed wearing her hair in a bun every day and on the last day they got to dress up in recital costumes and perform for us all the things they learned throughout the week. It was just precious. Ashton did SO good! Well, they both did, but Ashton just surprised me b/c I thought she would be too shy to do it, but she was a little stage ham!

Lexi is continuing in gymnastics this summer. And this week has been Adventure Week at our church. Adventure Week is like vacation Bible school on steroids! I am serving my 2nd year as the coordinator of Adventure Week. Why, I do not know. It's very stressful. I think this will be my last year to do this job. We had over 280 kids the first night and about 260 tonight, even in inclement weather. And over 120 volunteers. It's fun, but very stressful.

In a few weeks, Cary will be going on a mission trip to Peru. And I'm hoping to go to Texas for 2 weeks. That plan is not final, but I'm hoping! And before we know it, school will be back in full swing. So far, we haven't had any relaxation time to enjoy summer yet. But hopefully after Adventure Week is over with, that will all change. I need some beach and disney days!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Know This for Sure...

We've had a ROCKIN school year! Last year, I remember blogging about my hefty decision of whether or not to put Lexi in public school or keep her at the private school where she and Ashton had been attending pre-k, mainly for convenience and because I thought she wasn't ready to leave the nest. Boy was I wrong! I was the one not ready, she did JUST FINE! And I'm so glad my fears of releasing her didn't stand in the way of her getting some of the best life experiences ever! The Pre-k did start that kindergarten program, and guess what? I think it was in February or March...they dissolved the program and all those kids had to go to other schools. I'm so thankful, knowing what I know now, that I didn't put her in that school because she would have been so behind entering kindergarten in the public school mid year like that. They were rockin and rollin and doing things most kids don't learn till 1st grade by mid year. So she probably would have had a very difficult adjustment. She is leaving this school year doing so many new things. She has made the best little friends, all from wonderful families. I just could not be happier with our free public education! I don't think it's any secret that I'm a huge advocate of public schools. I attended them. I taught at them. And one day, I hope to go back to them as a teacher or administrator. I think they're wonderful! I get very offended when people talk down about public schools and I can't stand to hear a person say, "I would never send my kids to public schools." It's highly offensive to me because I'm so passionate about them. I know God will use my passion for public schools for His glory. I know not every family wants their children to attend a public school, but it has definitely been the best place for Lexi. It has been what was right for our family.


But I wanted to chronicle some of the amazing things Lexi has learned this year because I'm so proud of her:

She can READ! Today, she read 5 books to me. And I'm not talking those little 5 pager books, I'm talking REAL children's books with lots of pages. And needed help on very few words.



She can count to...well...the other day I stopped her at 500! Because it was kinda annoying! In the car! Really annoying actually! But WOW, 500??? This time last year she was only counting to 20!



She can add and subtract single digits...sometimes using her fingers, but mostly in her head.



She can identify pennies, quarters, nickels, and dimes.



She can sorta read a clock, but mainly just on the hour and half past the hour.



She can write a 3-5 sentence story with proper capitalization, punctuation, and phonetic spelling. The spelling is at least close enough that I can make out what she meant. And I have saved stories from the beginning of the year till the end of the year and what an amazing amount of progress she has made in this skill!



She can read cursive! She can't write it, but she can read it. I don't know how. I don't think they learned that in school!



She knows all sorts of interesting facts about dinosaurs, butterflies and other insects, outer space, weather, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and all sorts of other people, animals, and holidays!



She has learned some of those intangible skills like working quickly and staying focused to complete an assignment in a timely manner (this is HUGE!) At the beginning of the year, she wasn't completing her work and was just too slow and was bringing home so many unfinished assignments but slowly her teacher worked her magic on her and now Lexi can stay focused and complete things quickly and accurately. One of those skills that helps you be very successful in school!



She has learned how to study and memorize things and has shown such self discipline and determination in accomplishing personal goals. She was so determined to complete her 300 words to win a pizza party and wouldn't get up from the table each night until she learned those words. She got all 300 too!!! (And they weren't site words! They were HARD!)

She learned all her site words and made a 100 on EVERY SINGLE SPELLING TEST all year long!

She learned how to make friends and how to survive....THE PLAYGROUND...this is a very big deal. There are bullies out there. Lots of them. And those kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies! It's so great to learn this survival skill as a child!

She learned how to tie her shoes!

She learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels. Well, she didn't learn that at school.

She learned how to be much more assertive with other adults and ask for help when needed or ask questions. She was so shy before kindergarten. Now she will actually talk to waiters and waitresses at restaurants. I know this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for Lexi it's a big deal!

She learned how to take care of herself! She goes through the lunch line and buys her lunch, she cleans up after herself at lunch. She packs her own backpack to come home and remembers to tell me what I need to sign or look at in her backpack each night. She remembers to wear her belt every day and how to get dressed quickly in the morning to be ON TIME! She is learning to be responsible.

I'm sure there's more. I'm blown away at all she has learned! She blew that kindergarten testing out of the water. I am SOOOO proud of my girl! I'm thankful for a wonderful teacher, a wonderful school, wonderful friends, and all the wonderful new experiences she has gained. I can't wait to see what 1st Grade holds!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Missy the Navigator

Cary and I both have these high tech phones that we thoroughly enjoy and don't know how we ever lived without them. Our phones have voice activated searches along with voice activated navigation systems. So for example, I can search for the closest Starbucks by hitting a button and saying "Starbucks" into my phone. It calculates my GPS and then gives me a map and driving directions that I can either read or "SHE" will read them to me as I drive along, just like any regular navigation system. It's a nifty feature, except for one thing..."SHE" has a bit of an attitude, especially when we don't exactly follow her route. And "SHE" can get a little testy. It's quite entertaining. Sometimes I take a wrong turn just to make "HER" mad. Heeeheeeeheeee. Today, Ashton asked, "What's HER name?" And I was like, "Who are you talking about?" And she said, "Her, the lady talking on your phone." And it occured to me that we haven't given "HER" a name. But tonight as we were listening to "her" get agitated with us yet again, Cary said, "Oh hush up Missy!" And that's when it occured to me that her name should be Missy. Missy is kind of a sassy name and she is a sassy kinda voice! So here is a conversation that took place tonight between Me, Cary, and "Missy":

Picture us driving in a part of town we've never been in before...

Me: Honey, I think you should turn right at that light, I just really think that's the direction you need to head in.

Cary: Well, let's see what Missy has to say....pause....Missy says we should go left, not right.

Me: (At this point, he's getting the raised eye brow, slow head turn from me b/c how dare he not trust my sense of direction!) Well, are you going to listen to the woman who has never walked on this planet, or ME who just drove us here and feels like we should go back in sorta the direction we came in?

Cary: Missy gets her cues from satellites.

Me: FINE! Listen to Missy. But she's WRONG! I think you should turn around now.

A few minutes later....

Cary: Missy froze up. pause. Missy says we are off track and should take a U-Turn at this light and go back the other direction.

Me: That's what I tried to tell you 10 minutes ago! Now turn that thing off and listen to your wife!

Cary: But you don't have a satellite.

Me: No, but I have a BRAIN!!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lexi & Ashton isms

Tonight after dinner, we sat outside and enjoyed the nice weather while the girls played and ate ice cream. I said to Ashton (who suits up for soccer each Saturday but refuses to enter the field unless attached like glue to Daddy's leg) "So, Ashy, are you going to actually PLAY at your soccer game tomorrow?" And she replied, "Nope." And I said, "Why not?" And she said, "It's scary." I asked, "What's so scary about it?" And she said...no lie..."My team." Cary and I had a good laugh. They are all boys, so I guess that's why they're so scary!

At Lexi's school, apparently they've been talking a lot about safety. Today Lexi said, "You should always THINK before you leave." I was a little puzzled. Later on at the park, Daddy was pretending to "dig a hole to China" and Lexi said, "Daddy, you should really THINK before you do that."

Kids are SO funny!

Oh and just for a quick brag, Lexi got her DIBELS test results back. She BLEW that test right out of the water. On her letter naming, she was expected to name 40 letters correctly in one minute, she got 70! On the Phoneme Segmentation (they say cat and the child has to say all the sounds they hear in the word) and get as many as they can in one minute. She was supposed to get at least 35, she got 57! And on the nonsense words where they have to correctly sound out unfamiliar nonsense words like baf, ral, jup (made up words) she was supposed to get at least 25 and she got 65 in one minute. I'm soooo proud of her! But we worked really hard to get this far! Trust me...LOTS of homework! She also said her third 100 words today. They had 300 words to say for a contest, some were site words, but really most were not site words. There were some tough words like yesterday, because, round, might, once..those are hard! She has said all 300 now so she gets her pizza party. I'm so proud of her! 1st grade here we come!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Field Day & Her Royal Highness

Lexi and Daddy are both at Field Day today. I hope to have plenty of exciting pictures to post later today! She got to wear her swimsuit under her uniform and her aqua socks so she was feeling like big stuff today. And Ashton was highly jealous! Which means I'll be taking Ash to the waterpark this afternoon so that she feels like she had as exciting of a day as sister. But for now, I'm just home cleaning house and meeting the demands of my 4 yr old queen! "Mommy, I don't like this show, I want new show. Mommy, I thirsty. No, not that kind of drink. I want BIG drink. Mommy, I cold. Mommy, I hungee. I don't like this snack. I want new snack. Mommy, you don't cut it right. I cut it myself. Mommy, I go waterpark NOW!" AAAAAGH!!!! Lord, help me when her vocabulary catches up to her will! I don't have the slightest clue where she gets royal nature from! No clue! Couldn't be from me, I mean, I would never...!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

4 Generation Mother Daughter Tea Party

My sweet husband gave me a wonderful Mother's Day gift, a beautiful tea party to enjoy with my mother, grandmother, and 2 beautiful girls! It was so magical! He had the music playing, the decorations were all so beautiful, the food was delicious, he even bought hats for us all to wear. He did all of this himself. I didn't do a thing! I didn't even tell him where to find table cloths or tea pots. He rummaged through the house and found everything and did all the shopping and everything. What a man! And he's not even gay! I told him if this whole pastor thing doesn't work out, he can go into the catering business.
The Menu: Cucumber sandwhiches made with fresh cucumbers from our garden, chicken salad sandwhiches, cookies, mixed nuts, cheese and crackers, chocolate candies, and three different assortments of tea, all of which were his own creation. He used regular tea bags and flavored them with things we had like apple/banana juice and juice from the cherry jar and such. They were all so yummy! This was my grandmother's first tea party, and she's 87 yrs old. It was such a special treat for us all. Thank you Cary for such a wonderful Mother's Day treat! Now I have to get busy planning something equally fabulous for Father's Day!

The girls wore their princess clothes.

FOUR generations of fabulousness!

The flowers in the pink tissue paper were made by Ashton at school yesterday. They were made from her hand prints.












Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Wow! Two blog posts in one day...what is happening to me? Lots of people have asked what I decided to do about my Teacher Appreciation gifts so I will share:

For Lexi's teacher, who is an older lady and loves coffee, I got her a Starbucks gift card, along with a bag of Starbucks coffee, and a personalized coffee tumbler. I made the insert for the tumbler on photoshop and it had her name on it with a sweet teacher poem and it was on a cute blue printed background with blingy embellishments, turned out very cute. The poem read, "You've probably tied a million shoes, dried a million tears, given a million hugs throughout your teaching years. In my child's life the role you've played has been a priceless part. And you must know the special place you hold in my child's heart." And then under the poem it had "To the BEST teacher in the world, Mrs. F...Love Lexi." It was really really cute. I tied it all up in cellophane wrapping and put some cute ribbons at the top. I'm also taking her lunch from this very yummy cafe here in town that just as very unique, gourmet-ish food. She'll love that!

For Ashton's teacher, who is a country girl and has young children and she is the SWEETEST thing on Earth, oh we just LOVE her...I got her a tub of unpopped popcorn from Blockbuster and put inside the tub sodas and a variety of movie popcorn and a Blockbuster gift card. I tied it all up in cellophane wrapping and put cute ribbons on top. And I'm taking breakfast to her school in the morning for all the teachers. It's a small staff, only 7 of them, so that was easily doable. I bought some yummy pretty muffins at Target today, cut up fruit and put it on a platter with cheese cubes, orange juice, and bottles of water and voila! Less than $20 bucks but the thought goes a long way with teachers!

I had bigger and better ideas involving painting pottery and personalizing it, but the funds just weren't there this month with Mother's Day gifts and still recovering from 4 family member birthdays last month! But I think they will appreciate the thought, no matter what it is and I do secretly think they will both LOVE their gifts! Don't forget to thank your teachers. They work so hard for little pay and little to no appreciation! We love our teachers and I think it's important for our kids to see us show that appreciation because it instills in them that we honor and respect those in authority and that we as parents are partnered with their teachers in a supportive role. Don't ever let your children hear you say something negative about their teacher, it totally undermines them in their role. And that's my soapbox for today!!!

I'm smiling...really :-)

I'm a miserable excuse for a blogger lately, aren't I? I guess facebook has kind of taken the place of my online verbal diarrhea. So if you're not on facebook, you should get on it! So we can be "friends". And then you'll know way more about me and my family than you ever wanted to know!

What's been going on here? Not much honestly. A whole lotta single mommin' it! We rarely see Daddy these days. Even when he's home, he stays outside watering the grass and pulling weeds for hours upon end. We haven't had rain in weeks, but you'd never know it because there are actually mushrooms growing in my yard. :-) I'm smiling. Really. Maybe I should find an outside addiction. It would probably get me out of cleaning house, doing laundry, and wiping bottoms too! Come to think of it, my husband is a genius. See, still smiling... :-) (I bet he won't be smiling when the water bill comes!)

Lexi has an obsession with flipping, twisting, rolling, and sliding on anything and everything she can, including the kitchen counter tops. I'm still smiling! :-) I'm thinking one day a week of gymnastics is really not enough. When we go to the park, she finds bars that are NOT meant to be flipped over (like the uneven bars at gymnastics) and she flips over them anyways. She says she does it at school too, probably giving her teacher a near heart attack every day. Yesterday, I caught her standing on her head on one of my dining room chairs, legs STRAIGHT UP in the air. Still smiling. :-) And later using my kitchen island as a vault! Smiling smiling smiling.

Ashton is just doing what she's best at...being Ashton. If she were any higher maintenance...I'd have to charge her a daily maintenance fee. She's a puzzle to us. So shy at soccer that she won't even step foot out of on the soccer field without being wrapped around one of our legs. But yet take her to her friend's house or a swimming pool or the jumping place or the water park...she knows NO fear and meets NO strangers and is just as big as sister! I don't get it. At school and church, she has to be surgically removed from our legs, but yet in other settings as soon as we hit the door, man she's GONE, out there making friends, talking to everyone, and doing her thing. I'm not sure I'll ever understand. But I'm smiling! :-)

All this smiling is making my face hurt. Must go finish chores (and keep smiling.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So I went swimsuit shopping today...

Does any woman in her right mind REALLY enjoy swimsuit shopping? Really? I don't care if you're skinny or fat or tall or short or round or flat or young or old, this is an annual dreaded chore among women. And the only thing worse than swimsuit shopping alone (where at least you can drown in self pity in private) is swimsuit shopping with your children, who are not afraid to point out that your tummy is big or your thighs are massive or your butt has sinkholes, I mean dimples...Oh I LOVE swimsuit shopping! And I can't buy just one. No, my children are part fish, which means we swim EVERY day during the summer therefore I have to buy one for each day of the week. Well, not really, I try to keep three on hand. My girls have one for each day of the week though. Did I mention they are part fish? Actually Ashton thinks she's a mermaid. A mermaid princess I mean. And so two hours and 20 swimsuits later, I had narrowed down my choice to the lesser of the evils and made my way to the register, coupon in hand, cause there's just really no excuse to shop without a coupon these days with all the coupon websites galore and the hundreds of coupons littering my inbox daily. And the sales associate said, "Ma'am, um, this is an online coupon only." And I said, "Well, surely you have a coupon you could let me use right?" Thinking this is one of the stores that is the WORST about littering my inbox with coupons, surely she had one on hand somewhere behind that register! And she flipped through her coupon code book and said, "I'm sorry, I can't seem to match up this coupon to any of my codes." To which I replied, "You work on commission right? BIG mistake!" I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman at this point, you know, when she goes shopping on Rodeo Drive and the ladies wouldn't help her the first day in her prostitute clothes and then she came back the next day all dressed to the T and they wanted her business...except I wasn't wearing prostitute clothes. Nor was I dressed to the T. I said, "I guess I'll take my business online and buy these exact same suits on your website so I can use my coupon!" And I did just that. I came home and I think I got the better end of this deal. I found the suit I REALLY wanted that they didn't have in the store in my size, plus the two others. I got free shipping PLUS my $20 off. And in, oh about 3 months or so, when swimming season is over, my swimsuits should be arriving!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Little Gymnast

Lexi loves the rings on the play set. We bought them a few weeks ago because every time we would go to the park, that's all she wanted to play with. Sorry this video is sideways, but you'll still get the idea. Just turn your head! She does take gymanstics, but they don't do the rings there. I'm amazed by her strength at age 6! Amazed and a bit jealous!

video

Staycation

So we had a "staycation" at home last week. Ever heard of that term? A stay at home vacation? You can totally do that in Orlando! We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom one day and Hollywood Studios one day. We went to Blizzard Beach Water one day and to St. Pete Beach one day. My mom gave us Disney passes for our birthdays (thank you Granny) so it was fun to put them to use! The parks were SOOOOO crowded! You would never guess we're in a recession or that Disney had to lay off 1500 employees a few weeks ago! But despite the Spring Break crowds, we had a great time! Cary and I really enjoyed "sleeping in", you know, till 7:30/8:00! It's a sad day when 7:30 is "sleeping in". That's when you know you're getting old! On Friday morning, the girls busted in our room at 8 AM wearing their swimsuits begging to go to the beach. Who could say no to that? The weather last week was INCREDIBLE! Cool nights, perfect days! Not too hot, not too cold. Lots of Florida sunshine! I didn't even break a sweat at Disney! And of course today was back to reality. Daddy went back to school and had a test today. The girls both went back to school today. I went back to work today. My house is back to being a wreck today! It stayed so clean last week!!!! Anyways, fun times!

Must go unglue Lexi from the rings on the play equipment to do homework! That little monkey does flips over and over. It's like an addiction. (An addiction I'm highly jealous of...I could never do that!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's Spring Break!!!

We are FINALLY on Spring Break! I've been highly envious of all my facebook friends who have been flaunting their Spring Break statuses the last month or so. And finally, my week has arrived! It hasn't been much of a break yet, although the girls did sleep till 9 this morning. Of course one of them had been in my bed since 4 a.m. so not like I slept till 9! So far, I've spent the weekend working so that I could enjoy the week. Which meant my house went to pots, because if I don't clean, no one cleans. So I spent the day cleaning and getting caught up on laundry and about 4 hours of my day finishing up all the work related stuff I didn't finish this weekend. Today we took Ashton to the doctor. She was diagnosed with asthma about 3 months ago and so far the inhalers and nebulizer meds haven't phased her. She's also on Singulair, like sister. And that doesn't seem to phase her either. So the doctor said, let's tackle the congestion and then the inhaler will be effective. Made sense. So she attempted to change her to Allegra and Nasonex today, but the insurance company wouldn't approve it b/c we just got her Singulair refilled on Friday! Grrrrrr.....So unless we want to pay out of pocket (we don't), we'll have to wait about 25 more days to change her over to the new stuff and see if it works. Her lungs sounded clear the dr. said. So that was good. She hasn't had any fever. She just can't stop coughing, poor girl! I'm hoping to spend the rest of the week not working and cleaning and going to the doctor. Is that too much to ask? We're going to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom one day, St Pete beach one day, and I don't know what else we'll do this week. RELAX I hope! I always thought Spring Break was for the students and teachers, but I'm telling you it's just as much for the parents! It's a whippin to get them up and bathed and dressed and backpacks packed, lunches packed, homework in the folder, hair done and all out the door by 8:15. Not to mention the homework when Lexi gets home! So I was all over this little break! I can't wait for summer!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So the Proverbs 31 lady could sew...

But she didn't know squat about operating a computer! I've been sewing lately. Correction. I've been attempting to sew lately. First time. Curtains. Not just your average curtains. No. Fancy curtains. I like to start out with a bang! My mom saw the pattern and said, "You don't start out simple do you?" Well, the pattern said, "Simplicity". I thought that was a clue. But apparently not so. McCalls sounded...complicated. Simplicity sounded...simple. Who knew! So my curtains are so complex that each night I sew just ONE PART, I'm made 4 parts and by my calculations I should be done in 13 more days! Unless I like do something crazy and sew TWO parts in one day. I'm not really the domestic type. I'm not one who really likes to cook or try new things in the kitchen. My husband has decorated my home, not me. Until last week, I didn't know how to thread a needle. Now cleaning, I can do! But last night, it occured to me, all these domesticated women who like sew all of their children's clothing and make all their curtains, and their dog's bed, and their purses, and their toaster covers and their seat cushions and on and on I could go, I bet they don't know SQUAT about the computer! Last night, in between stitches, I was texting and facebooking and working on some graphics in photoshop for work. And it occured to me...I'm kinda like...the NEW Proverbs 31 woman. The Proverbs 31 woman of 2009. I can live with that!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My "Babies" Are 4 & 6!







I know some moms say "time flies" and "it seems like yesterday I gave birth to you"...WHATEVER! It doesn't seem like yesterday. It seems like a lifetime ago! I can't believe Ashton is only 4! Don't get me wrong, I'm loving every minute of it, well, not EVERY minute, but 99.9% of them, but I feel like such a different person in a different world than the lady who gave birth to Ashton 4 yrs ago and the lady who gave birth to Lexi 6 yrs ago! That was, let's see, FOUR houses ago, yes FOUR, in a different state, working in a different career (full time I might add) with a husband in a different career, actually that was 3 jobs ago for Cary, and I felt about 20 yrs younger than I feel today! About the only thing that has stayed constant over the past 6 yrs has been my PETS...Candice and Mr. Baloo! They've stuck with us through it all! But this week we celebrated both girls' birthdays. Ashton was 37 minutes from crashing sister's party four years ago! So March 25th and 26th we celebrate! My mom's birthday is also on the 25th, which worked out fabulously as far as Disney is concerned b/c you get in free on your birthday and we recently got annual passes from Granny for our birthdays so we all went to Disney on the 25th (after school of course). And turns out, if you're a pass holder, you can get $75 Disney Bucks on your birthday rather than the free ticket, so we got our Disney Bucks and headed to the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique for Princess makeovers. It's located in the Magic Kingdom castle. Lexi wanted to be Jasmine and Ashton wanted to be the Little Mermaid. Then we had dinner with Pluto and Goofy.

Then on Thursday, the birthday festivities continued with Ashton's birthday. We had her party at the Lakefront with her classmates from school and then that night had Lexi's party, which she insisted that she just wanted her two best buds from school to spend the night with her as her "party". We ate ice cream and learned how to dance like Hannah Montana with a "how to" video (I'm not kidding), we painted pillow cases as party favors, we played dress up, we slept in a tent in the living room, it really was great fun and Lexi kept saying, "This is the best birthday party ever!" And all I could think of was, "You mean all these years of killing myself with these over the top, lavishly creative parties and all I really had to do was invite a couple of friends over and build them some ice cream sundaes and a tent??? Now that I'm getting this whole parenting thing down pat, it's a darn shame I don't intend to have another one! Which by the way, I know I was tossing that idea around, but let me just tell you, I realized the other day that I would be the 40 yr old mom dropping off my 4 yr old at preschool. Something about that thought drove me to reality and I realized...two's good!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pet Blessings

Today we were the recipients of yet another amazing blessing. Without going into too much detail, let's just say an AMAZING vet who wants to bless pastors treated our dog, Candice, to some much needed services which probably equaled a month's salary for me. We were blown away! We had every intention of paying, we weren't looking for free services. So it was indeed a surprising and wonderful blessing by an awesome man! (And if you're in need of a great Christian vet in the area, email me and I'll send you his info. If he won't take my money, I can at least send new patients his way and help build his business!) Candice is home from the "hospital" and is recovering beautifully! She's quite perky actually.

On another note, Lexi said the funniest thing today. This morning, we were going through our normal torture rituals. You know...bathing, brushing teeth, brushing hair...pure torture. And while Daddy was brushing the tangles out of her hair, she looked up at him and said, "Daddy, you're so lucky you don't have hair!" (He shaves his head bald.) We both just laughed and laughed. I asked her if she wanted me to shave her head like Daddy's. She declined that option.

2 more days till the birthday fun begins. Lexi will be 6 on Wednesday. Mom will be...I won't tell! Ashton will be 4 on Thursday. It's a busy busy week!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You're a Daddy AND a Son???

Ashton is so funny! Cary was on the phone with his mom the other day and Ashton asked who he was talking to and he said, "I'm talking to my mommy...Mimi." And she thought and thought and you could tell she was processing this carefully. Then she said, "So you're a Daddy AND a son?"

Speaking of Ashton, she is OFFICIALLY paci-free! YEA! The paci fairy came to our house last Friday night. We left them all in a bag under the palm tree in our front yard. The paci fairy left her a new pink baby doll stroller, an Abby Cadabby (Sesame Street) DVD, and a lovie (pink furry and silky blanket). We still can't believe she fell for it, knowing how good and attached she was to her paci. But it really could have been on Super Nanny, it was THAT smooth! The next day, she was like a drug addict going through withdrawal. That day was tough. She was not herself at all. She really acted drunk. I kid you not. She would thrash herself around on the bed screaming for her paci. It was kind of freaky. But we didn't give in. Instead, we gave her a ring pop! Way to be strong huh? Hey, it worked! And this week, she has had more than her share of candy. I guess it's like when a smoker gives up their cigarette and they gain weight b/c they eat more? She's definitely eating more this week. Candy, that is! But she hasn't asked for her paci since that first day. I found one when I was cleaning up the playroom the other day. I snuck it into my pocket and headed straight for the trash can. That would have been tragic if she had seen it. I mean, I literally took trash out of the trash can so I could bury the thing way down at the bottom.

Ashton and Lexi both have birthdays next week, so we're gearing up for that. We have lots and lots of surprises up our sleeves! More to come on that next week!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holy Cow

We were blessed with a holy cow yesterday. Okay, so I should explain that statement. Cause I know you're going, "huh, wha, Heather did you bring home a COW too?" There's a veternarian in our church, actually there are 2 or 3, but this one man, who just continually blesses our church in so many ways, came to Cary about a week ago and said he was going to have a cow slaughtered and that he would like to bring some meat up for the pastors. So yesterday, he actually came up to the church with three huge coolers packed full of all different cuts of meat. There was so much meat, not only the pastors were blessed, but everyone in the church office was able to partake in the holy cow! I got sirloin steaks, round steaks, flank steaks, lots of ground beef, pot roasts, ribs, stew meat, I can't even remember what all I got. And I know what you're thinking...veternarian....slaughtered cow...mad cow disease???? Actually, this was a PRIZE WINNING STEER at the local rodeo and he bought it and had it slaughtered. So sadly, this was someone's pet, very well cared for pet, but I'm choosing not to think about that. Rather, this was a blessing, a HOLY COW that I'll be eating for FREE for the next month or so! We're very thankful for Dr. Porter (who also offered to clean our pets' teeth for free!) We're praying HEAPS of blessings return to him!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Princess Sparkles

We found the cutest, most precious pooch at church on Sunday. She was roaming the courtyard from 7 AM until 11 AM when I saw her and sent Cary over to check her out and see if she had any tags on. She did not, but she was very friendly and it was obvious that she had been well cared for and definitely belonged to someone. So we brought her home and gave her a bath. Lexi named her Princess Sparkles. She was a shitzu. Very cute. White with light brown patches and black ears. She was a lap dog and great with my girls. We fell in love with her. But all the while, we told the girls we were just babyistting until we could find her mommy because, after all, isn't that what we would want someone to do if Candice ever ran away? They understood and were happy to partake in the babysitting job! Over the course of 36 hours, we all fell head over heals in love with this dog. She was just so dern sweet! We put some signs up around the church neighborhood and knocked on a few doors Sunday afternoon trying to find her owner, but no one claimed her. I even called Animal Control and left a description with them in case the owner called there. Last night around 7 PM, the phone rang. It was a man from our church asking if I had taken the dog on Sunday. I said, "Yes, she's here." He said, "I think her owner is here looking for her." I spoke the woman and sure enough Princess Sparkles was really "Chloe". She had been searching the neighborhood and a man told her, "Oh, yes, one of the pastors up at the church took her home. He knocked on my door yesterday asking if it was my dog." So the woman ran to the church and that's how she tracked us down. We took "Chloe" up to the church and said our goodbyes. The girls were sad. I was sad. Her mommy was weeping uncontrollably. She thought her baby was gone forever! We assured her that we took very good care of her and gave her lots of love. When we were driving away Lexi said, "Mommy, I'm kinda happy now. We did the right thing. It was nice that we took care of that dog for her mommy." I think the girls learned some valuable lessons from this experience. They learned that we take care of all God's creatures. They learned that it's best to do the right thing, even if it hurts a little. They learned that God blesses us when we do the right thing and it makes Him very happy. Maybe one day we'll have our own Princess Sparkles!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm Alive!

I think the last 10 days has been the longest I've gone without blogging! It's not been due to a lack of words. Or a lack of time. Or a lack of bloggity topics that really are REAL LIFE in this house. I couldn't make this stuff up, trust me! I guess it's been mostly due to a lack of motivation. There's so much on my mind and on my heart these days, none of which I can share on a public forum! One of my favorite speakers at the conference said, "Everyone's entitled to their opinions. You're just not always entitled to SHARE your opinions!" So true! I have lots of opinions lately. But it's not the time or the place to share them. Ministry life is brutiful! What can I say?

On another note, my favorite subject...the girls, my beautiful, precious, sweet girls...THANK GOD for the girls. If it weren't for them, I'm not sure I would have wanted to get out of bed lately! Lexi continues to blow us away with all she's learning in school. Tonight, she read me a book! Like a REAL book. Not a 4 pager that her teacher sent home. A REAL book. I can't get over how far she's come in such a few short months. This whole public school thing...I HIGHLY recommend it! It has truly been the best thing for Lexi and we couldn't be having a better experience. Although I'd be lying if I said I weren't already praying for next year's most awesome teacher, who already has big shoes to fill! Mrs. F will be hard to top! And I'm secretly praying Mrs. F doesn't retire before Ashton gets to kindergarten!

The girls both have birthdays coming up. I had big party plans, as usual, and then Lexi informed me that she really just wants her 2 best buds from school (who are both precious girls from awesome families) to have a slumber party with her for her birthday. Two phone calls later, the slumber party was set! And I thought of the red, Staples button..."That was easy"! I think I'm just going to do a simple play day at the park with pizza and cupcakes for Ashton's birthday on her actual birthday which falls on a Thursday. Don't you love it as a parent when someone gives their child's party on a non-weekend day? I don't know about you, but our weekends are insanely busy. Ashton just wants her best bud from school, "Bibell" (Isabel), to come to her house for her birthday. So hopefully Isabel will make it to the park! She loves her "Bibell"! When these girls were tiny, I busted my chops to make sure they had the biggest and the grandest birthdays with off the charts creativity. Now that they're getting older and can actually voice their opinions, I'm learning less is more (for them anyways). I still like things over the top myself!

I can't believe it's already March! Where is this year going to already???

Monday, February 23, 2009

We're back...

We spent Wednesday-Saturday in Dallas at the C3 conference (Creative Church Conference) at our former church, Fellowship Church. It was INCREDIBLE!!! I think I took 100 pages of notes! My mom came in town and stayed with our girls so they wouldn't miss school. Lexi's asthma got a little out of control while we were gone so last night I took her to the pediatric urgent care place for them to listen to her chest. I was worried it had turned into pneumonia and she was running a low grade fever as well. She couldn't lay down without coughing so hard that she would throw up. So I took her in and guess what? What do I know??? Nothing apparently! The doctor said her chest sounded clear and she wasn't wheezing (I have news for him...she's going to her regular dr today for that one) and low and behold, she had STREP THROAT and a DOUBLE EAR INFECTION! She has been playing like normal, hasn't complained of anything hurting. The doctor even asked her if her throat or ears hurt and she said, "No". He showed me her throat. I don't know how it couldn't hurt. Her tonsils were so huge and swollen and there was this awful looking red patchy rash back there. Isn't that scary? I know a girl from college who recently died from the strep bacteria. They thought she had the flu so they sent her home with an anti-viral drug. Turns out, she didn't have the flu, she had strep. And if it goes untreated for even just a few days, it gets into your bloodstream and organs and it can kill you. So today, I'm thanking GOD for that annoying cough last night which is what took us to the urgent care place which is where we found out she had strep! So once again, THANK YOU LORD for saving my rear and saving my child!

Not today, because I'm overwhelmed with things to do right now, but another day, I really want to share with all of you what one of the conference speaker spoke about last week. Her name was Christine Cain from Hillsong Church in Australia and her message was just INSANELY wonderful and what so many of us need to hear. I will share it later this week b/c it just really spoke to me in such a profound way. That's my teazer. You'll have to wait for the good stuff!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good as Jesus

Lexi and the girls are staying with Granny and Nanny while Cary and I head out to Dallas in the morning for the greatest church conference EVER...the C3 Conference at our old church, Fellowship. Cary was talking to Lexi tonight, telling her bedtime stories and asked her, "Are you going to be good for Granny and Nanny while we're gone?" And she replied, "I'm going to be as good as Jesus!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Disney Day

We took the girls out of school early today and surprised them with a trip to DisneyWorld! It was a magical day! Incredible weather, not a cloud in the sky, high of 82, breezy, the girls were so well behaved, Daddy was well behaved, it just couldn't have been any better! Here are some pics from our day. Click on the link, no password needed.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=216992&id=834995365&l=1cc5e

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Teacher Valentine's

I made these adorable candy bar wrappers for my teacher gifts this year. They go on the huge, jumbo Hersey bars and what teacher doesn't love chocolate? Even if she doesn't love the candy, this little personalized special made wrapper is sure to make her smile and be a small token of our gratitude for all she does! You kind of need to be a digital scrapper or a photoshopper to do something like this. I had a little help from Shabby Miss Jenn's Designs. Or if you bribe me with compliments or...ummm...chocolate, I may just make one for you! It says, "To Ms ____, A sweet treat for a sweet teacher! Be mine...Love, Lexi". I made one for Ashton's teacher too. So cute and so sweet and costs less than $2 bucks!

Last year I made these adorable valentines for the girls to give out to their friends, but I thought that may just be a little too babyish for Lexi now that she's in kindergarten. The bar is high I tell you! So I got the fun dip valentines at Target today. What kid doesn't love fun dip?
Click on these to enlarge the images!
Sorry, the first one's not the best pic, but you get the idea. It's just been printed out, cut, wrapped around the candy bar and I used double sided tape to make it stick. I printed it on cardstock.






Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All Aboard the Vomit Train...

Chuga Chuga Chu Chu!!! Would you like to come on board too? Come on, the more the merrier! Misery loves company! Okay, so I told you we had company all week last week and that they came with a terrible virus! I really think it's the flu! Oh I felt so awful for my friend Jenny! As if she didn't have enough on her plate right now re-locating from Mexico suddenly and unexpectedly, her husband and her three kids all had the flu and then, she, herself, went down in flames too after a week long struggle and determination to NOT succumb to this awful germ, at least not until she could get her family well. Our houseguests left yesterday and I thought surely our family had survived the fall! Not one of us had gotten sick, miracle of all miracles! I just knew the Lord had so graciously protected my family from this monster germ as a result of my...uh um..."kind and generous hospitality". Ha! That's what I get for thinking I had God all figured out! I wonder if he's saying, "Mwa ha ha, next year GET A FLU SHOT!" Okay, just kidding Lord, no lightening bolts, please!

Last night, the big man himself, Daddy-o, fell and he fell hard. They're dropping like flies around here I tell you! I wish I could tell you that my nurturing, compassionate maternal side kicked in and that I held the trash can while he puked in it! But I would be telling a big fat lie! No, quite the opposite occured. The selfish germaphobe Heather peeked her ugly monster head out, pulled the sheets over my head and slid UNDER the pillow and said, "Hey, can you at least go throw up in the already contaminated side of the house??? And while you're at it, sleep in there too just in case this thing is airborne!" Okay, well, I didn't say it quite like that. I did add a little sugary sweet "Please" to my request. You see, the girls were still sleeping on the floor in our room since I hadn't had time yet to strip their bed linens. So I mean, logically speaking, if this was airborne, we would ALL be going down in just a matter of time, right?

Today, Daddy has been very week and still tied to the bathroom all day. I have at least been able to clean and bleach and sanitize one half of the house, the half he's NOT in, so we can at least have one germ free side at all times I guess! The girls are, so far, flu free. My hands are so dry, they're peeling from all the germ ex I've used the past week. No lie! I've been cleaning like a mad woman all day because my tummy has been making some strange and peculiar sounds this afternoon and I'm a little worried that the Queen B herself is about to get run over by the vomit train! Chuga chuga chu chu! All aboard!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Genius Things Lexi Said Today

Tonight at dinner, Lexi informed me that when I was her age, she was in Heaven waiting on me to get older so that God could put her in my tummy. And then she said, "But he forgot to give me some clothes when he sent me down to Earth cause I was born naked."

She saw some old photographs (in black and white) on the wall at Dairy Queen and asked, "Why did the people back then have grey skin?"

On the way home from dinner she asked, "Why do we have to have a moon?" And I stumbled, "Uh, duh, uhm...hmmm....I think that sounds like a daddy question!" Obviously she didn't get her geniusness from me!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Soccer Tryouts

Today was the girls' first time to try out for soccer. Come to think of it, today was the girls' first time to TOUCH a soccer ball! Ever! Lexi is about half way through basketball season and we decided we would just try every sport and see where her talents are. She also takes gymanstics and has done ballet (but the girl had a little too much rhythem in her groove for ballet). We know she is very musically inclined and are on the hunt for a piano! As long as she's having fun at it, what's the harm? We never push her, but just to go out there and give great effort and have a great time! Today at soccer tryouts, Ashton kept begging to try out too. I thought she was too young, but turns out, they have teams for 3 and 4 yr olds. So I thought, what the heck! I turned and looked at the coach and asked, "Have you ever had a kid try out with a paci in their mouth?" And he said, "Nope." And I said, "Well, there's a first time for everything." Ashton TORE IT UP on the soccer field. OMG! She scored higher than Lexi. She's so little and fast. So I'm excited to see what April and May will hold for us on the soccer field with 2 little soccer players.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Friend Returns!

You may remember in August or June or July or some time a while back, I mentioned that Lexi's best friend, Caroline, was moving to Mexico as her family was going into the mission field with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Sadly for them, but greatly for us, they are back! Their visa situation did not work out with Mexico's immigration office and they could no longer stay in Mexico. So they returned on Sunday and have been staying with us since then. We were all so excited about their return, especially Lexi. Unfortunately, the kids have not had much play time this week because their entire family has been ill. They have three children and all three have been running fever, vomiting, and now have the congestion part so they haven't much felt like playing. But we're just so glad to have them back, we know there will be plenty of play time in the coming weeks and months! Fortunately, so far, knock on wood, the Lord has shielded my family from the illness. And I hope it continues b/c I just got them all well about 2 weeks ago after 2 months of being sick! So we've had a very full and busy week with our houseguests. They are house hunting and school hunting. Have I mentioned how excited we are to have them back? Oh and in case you missed it on facebook, Jenny, my houseguest, caught Cary and I having a lovefest in the kitchen last night. Just a weee bit embarrassing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tummy Ache

Yesterday after school, I brought Ashton home and made us some hot roast beef with swiss sandwhiches with homemade guacamole and we sat at the kitchen table together to eat and watch the rain. When it's just the two of us eating lunch at home during the day, Ashton likes to scoot her chair up as close to me as possible and while she's struggling to move her chair she always remarks, "I like you Mommy." Everyday! So sweet! And I say, "I like you too." And we eat and eat and drink and drink and snuggle and snuggle. Heavenly! Yesterday while we were eating together and snuggling together over homemade guacamole, Ashton said, "I want a baby sister." And I said, "Well if Mommy had a baby, then I couldn't hold you all the time." And Ashton said, "No, I just want the baby sister to be in your tummy." And I said, "Well, eventually the baby would have to come out and play." And she said, "Cause why, you have tummy ache?" To say the least!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Potties and Fire Drills Don't Mix

Poor Lex! How many times can this possibly happen to one child? Last year in preschool, the restroom was on the other side of the building from her classroom. One day towards the beginning of the school year, Lexi was in the restroom and the fire alarm went off. Can you imagine? She was FOUR! Oh how awful! She was so traumatized that she would not go potty at school for the rest of the year, even with an adult! She wouldn't even go with me when I would try to take her to that restroom! For the two months that followed, she went through a horrible separation anxiety phase and every time one of us would leave the house or leave her anywhere she would go into these uncontrollable kicking screaming hysterical fits. It was so awful! As time went by, it passed but she still wouldn't use the restroom at school. When she started kindergarten this past fall, I thought "Oh good, now she can potty at school again" thinking it was a new school, the restroom was in the classroom, no problem right?

Tuesday morning on the announcements, the Principal announced they would be having a fire drill that day. So an alarm must have gone off in Lexi's head...MUST NOT GO POTTY TODAY! Because she had an accident in her pants! The teacher sent her to the nurse for a change of clothes and guess what happened when she went into the bathroom to change clothes...you guessed it...FIRE DRILL! Bless her heart! How many times can this happen to one child? Have I already said that? The following day, I volunteered at the school all day so I went by to visit with her teacher during my break. I told her that Lexi had a history with fire drills and restrooms. She's the sweetest little lady. She comforted me and said, "It's okay, Mommy! She will be fine! I will make sure she goes potty!" The next day at the dinner table, Lexi announced that Mrs. F had been taking her to the Lu (that's what her teacher calls the potty, spelling???). She said, "She stands right outside of the door while I potty and she even lets me wash my hands in the classroom so I don't have to stay in the bathroom for very long." And today she told us that Mrs. F even flushes the toilet for her because she doesn't like the loud noise the flushing makes. I wanted to cry!

Mrs. F is so sweet and nurturing and caring and she truly takes care of these babies! She's a special teacher! For all the bad press public schools and teachers get these days, let me assure you, there are some WONDERFUL teachers out there that truly go to the ends of the earth to help their students succeed, even if it's just to succeed at getting over the fear of a fire drill on the potty! We love Mrs. F!!!! Thank you Lord for a special teacher that takes such good care of my baby!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can you say TORTILLAS?

And yet another fabulously wonderful meal has emerged from my kitchen today, two fabulous meals in one day. What's gotten into me? I'm not a fan of chicken & dumplins but they are my husband's favorite! So when my mom told me about this trick of using tortillas instead of dumplins, I was all over it! The dumplins are the part I don't like about chicken & dumplins. So now we have chicken & dumplins or should I say Heather's rendition of "Chicken Tortilla Soup". It's FABULOUS!

-boil some chicks with some cut up celery, I shaved some carrots in there, onion, and seasoned with salt and a pack of ranch dressing mix.
-Cut up your chicken and put the slices back in the same pot.
-I added a can of cream of chicken soup just to thicken a little and for flavor.
-cut up tortillas into fourths and put them in the pot to simmer for a few minutes.

That's it! Easy Schmeasy! I serve it with salad and sourdough bread and we dip our sourdough bread in balsamic vinegar/oil with herbs. YUM! Wanna come over? Sorry, it's all gone....heeheee!

Yummmmmm....

I had the BEST dinner last night. It was SO good that I had to have it for "lunch" today too. Well, I guess you would call it "lunch"...at 10:30 a.m.! I couldn't even wait till noon to enjoy this one! And don't laugh when I tell you what it was. It's something you can order off of just about every restaurant menu (and probably for less than it cost me to make it!) But, I added a few of my own little ingredients to make it JUST RIGHT! And I'm gonna share my special blend with you.

HEATHER'S TACO SALAD...this is NOT weight watcher's approved!

-Ground beef browned and taco seasoning pack added
-All your favorite salad stuff (I used bagged lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
-1 whole avacado sliced..YUM...I was having to fight Ashton for all the avacado slices
-canned kernal corn
-refried beans (I had actually made bean/cheese burritos the night before so I used my leftover beans in the salad...yum)
-tortilla chips
-My dressing of choice: velveeta queso (I use milk, salsa, and velveeta to make mine...takes 2 min and it's SO good)

There was not a bowl in my house big enough to hold this salad. I ended up using a big mixing bowl! I just layered everything and poured the queso on top instead of salad dressing (I never said this was a low cal salad!) It was DEEEEEEEELISH! My kids ate it too. Actually they both ate 2 bowls of it. And I had to cut them off. They were still asking for more after 2 bowls. But if your kids don't eat salad, you could just make them nachos with these ingredients.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just some thoughts...

What's up with that creepy music on every show on the History Channel? Ofcourse this is Cary's favorite channel and sometimes I'll walk through the house and every t.v. in the house will be tuned into the History Channel and it just freaks me out! I like history, but is the music necessary, really?

Should you be offended when someone deletes you from their facebook friend list for no given or apparent reason and what is this, like high school or something? Who does that???

We're on day #2 of a semester long new schedule of Daddy not getting home from work/school till after 8 p.m. three nights a week. Day 2 I said! A whole semester. I need Calgon! Call me crazy, but when I said "I DO" I thought that meant I was married and had a spouse! A helper! 7 days a week!

Speaking of "I DO" today is my 8 yr anniversary. We've had 6 yrs of wedded bliss and 2 yrs of wedded miss! Thankfully, we're back to bliss! As much bliss as you can have with small children and a crazy schedule!

I got a CRAZY whacked out phone for my anniversary today! It's the Samsung version of the iphone and wowsers! Who knew a phone could do so much. It's a camera/phone/computer/ipod/navigation all in one! It will take me till next year to learn how to use it and by then I'll be ready for a new phone. But hey, it's PINK! I love it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Momma Brag Time!

Today was Lexi's 2nd report card day. I'm so proud of her!!! They don't really get grades in kindergarten, but she did not have any areas that needed improvement. She had all S's and O's (outstanding) and has made significant progress on counting to 100. Last six weeks she could only count to 16 and today's report card says she can count to 59, although I know she can go all the way to 100 b/c she does it for me in the car all the time! And the teacher's comment reads: "Lexi has been consistantly progressing. She is enjoying her friends in school and is a good citizen. Keep up the good work Lexi. I am proud of you! XOXO!" Her teacher is so sweet! We just love her! She's very grandmotherly. She also received "Outstanding/exceeds expectations" in Math, Science and Reading. Way to go Mrs. F!!! Well, I shouldn't give away all the credit. We do a LOT of homework to make this happen! She also took her 10th spelling test today and she has gotten a 100 on EVERY SINGLE TEST! Her words this week were "seven, eight, nine, ten". I think those are not the easiest words for a child who didn't even know all her letters and sounds 4 months ago! It's so amazing to watch her progress so quickly. We are very thankful for our awesome school and wonderful kindergarten teacher! We could not have hand picked a better environment for Lexi or better friends or a better teacher. Oh and have I mentioned that she takes gymnastics? She LOVES it! She's been taking gymnastics since Sept and I can't believe how strong that girl is and what an amazing athlete she's becoming. Her gymnastics teacher said a few weeks ago that she thinks Lexi could teach the class and this past week she said that she's so proud of Lexi. All of the girls in her gymnastics class have been taking there for 2-3 yrs and this is Lexi's first ever gymnastics experience and she just seems to absorb everything and do it immediately. She also plays basketball. Last Saturday, she scored the "winning" points. Well, they don't really keep score, but I keep score and she scored the winning points. I'm so proud of her! I would be proud of her even if she stunk at gymnastics and basketball!

With all that bragging, I should let you know, just so you'll feel better, that my house is an absolute WRECK at this very moment! And Lexi, as much of a superstar as she is, slept walk to the living room last week and peed on the floor! Seriously! Even superstars have lackluster days!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts on Obama's Inauguration

I don't agree with his policies and I certainly didn't vote for the man but despite my ill feelings towards our new president, there was so much about today's Inauguration that made me swell with pride as an American.

1. For starters, the fact that citizens of the United States were able to see past race when electing this president says so much about how far we've come in the past 50 yrs. God created us all equal and the color of one's skin is just that....color! So witnessing the first African American President take the Oath of Office I felt was such a turning point in our nation's civil rights history.

2. There are very few countries in this world that can have such a peaceful transition of power from one leader to the next. To watch all the former living presidents and their wives take part in today's ceremony was so special. To hear of how the Bush family has done so much to make the transition into the White House so smooth for the Obama's made me so proud. To see the million and a half PEACEFUL spectators there watching made me so thankful to live in this great land.

3. I loved how Rick Warren, during his prayer, called out the God he was praying to by name, Jesus! Because many people of the world pray to A God, but he made sure people knew he was praying to THE God! And there was a definite emphasis on God throughout the day. We don't know much about Obama's relationship with the Lord, but from the church service this morning led by The Bishop TD Jakes (one of my all time FAVORITE preachers of the gospel), to the two ministers who prayed during the ceremony, the fact that Obama was not sworn in on the Koran like had been rumored but on an actual Holy Bible, it all gave me hope that we are still one nation under God.

4. There were several references made to our forefathers and the freedom they fought for. It's something we so often take for granted and it's a thought that we simply just don't think about enough. I pray that we never forget the price they paid for our freedom so that we could live in a democracy, a country that allows us to go out and exercise our right to vote for a new leader every 4 yrs.

No matter your feelings towards Barack Obama, today was a patriotic day for all Americans. The world watched as history unfolded, the first African American took the reigns as the leader of the free world. The world watched as millions stood peacefully watching this great transition of power. The world watched as democracy became reality, this being the result of a totally free election, something that citizens of many countries can only dream of. I'm choosing to concentrate on this great pride I have in my country today rather than focusing on the things about Obama that made me NOT vote for him. Is it arrogant to say we live in the greatest land? If so, I'll be arrogant for a moment. God has so richly blessed America!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have absolutely NOTHING to blog about

Really! Sorry to disappoint you faithful internets. Things have been relatively boring around here. Well, I say "boring" but boring is really a relative term and when you're talking about a household with a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old, I guess it woulnd't be so boring to some folks.

I mean, yesterday within a 6 hr time frame, I did clean up a mess of nail polish, made a flying LEAP into the kitchen and snatched up the cough syrup just as Ashton had removed the "child proof" lid and was in the process of pouring herself a nice little cocktail, then while cooking dinner which involved boiling water, a basketball was thrown on the stove as the water was boiling. It knocked over the pot of boiling water and rolled across to the glass canister of sugar and that is when I made yet another flying LEAP into the kitchen to grab the sugar cannister just before it fell off the edge of the counter landing in the boiling water which was all over the floor and stove! Nice! Two flying leaps in one day! Oh but wait I forgot, when Ashton was getting into the shower yesterday morning, she just dropped her diaper and got naked right there on the bathroom floor and poop rolled out of the diaper and just as I saw it, she walked over to pick up to SHOW ME (oh yes she did). Oh Lord. That's how the day STARTED! Mind you she had just gotten a BIG spanking the day before for picking up dog pooh in the backyard and putting it on the trampoline while sister was ON the trampoline. She laughed. Ashton. Not sister. Nor me.

Oh but the day was not over. Ashton also likes to wash her hands in the bathtub rather than at the sink. It's just easier for her to get to. I saw her washing her hands before we left for gymnastics but I left the room before she was finished. Big mistake. The water was left on the entire time we were at gymnastics. When we got hom, I noticed water on the bathroom floor and heard water running. Apparently she had also closed the tub drain so it filled up the tub and then drained out to the floor. AND WAIT...there's more...There was a small piece of chocolate cake on the countertop that Ashton wanted for breakfast. And why not! So I let her have a few bites and oh she made the biggest mess I've ever seen. So I threw the cake away. A few hours later I noticed that she was walking around the house with chocolate cake spread across her face. She had gotten it OUT of the GARBAGE can and finished it off! In like 30 seconds because that's really about how long it had been since she had been playing happily in the playroom and then went into "hiding". But that's not all.

At dinner last night, Cary and Lexi and myself were sitting at the table eating and talking and Ashton had already asked to be excused and we thought she was playing in the playroom until we heard this strange sound coming from the kitchen cabinets. Cary got up and walked over to see what the sound was. It was Ashton sitting on the floor spraying bleach on her barbies. "They were dirty." He snatched her and ran with her to the bathroom to wash her hands and get her clothes off quickly and in the washing machine just in case anything got on them (and should I mention it was my FAVORITE outfit?) And in case you're wondering WHY I would leave cough syrup and nail polish within reach, well I didn't! It was up high. She's a climber! A climber with skills! The bleach was within reach, but for Heaven's sake, she's almost 4 and totally knows better. We've never had any issues with our kids getting into the cleaning products. We used those baby clasps on the cabinets when they were little and were crawling and learning to walk but enough is enough, you know? And she's so quick to get into trouble, literally the cough syrup issue happened in the minute and a half that I went to the potty! The nail polish happened while I was just making up the bed! AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

See, totally boring! Nothing to blog about!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Busy Bees

It was a busy busy weekend! It all started on Friday when I went to work and Cary stayed home to clean house and do laundry and take Ashton to the doctor (where she was diagnosed with Asthma as well!) That's a whole other blog entry! Then a cousin from Texas came over for a visit, and Lexi's new best friend came home from school with her, and Daddy needed a vegetable side dish to take to a deacon/elder/pastor dinner. I stayed home and entertained guests while he went to the dinner. Saturday morning, we were up at 6 getting ready for Lexi's FIRST BASKETBALL GAME! (And daddy's first game to coach!) It was quite a hoot! Not sure which was cuter, daddy coaching or Lexi in her tomboy basketball clothes on the court! After basketball, we went out for breakfast at McDonald's and came home to do some work on the house. Cary worked in the yard all day and put together the girls' Christmas toys so they could FINALLY play with them, while I snuck a nap (shhh, don't tell him) and then spent the ENTIRE afternoon organizing and cleaning out the toy room and cleaning out dresser drawers and closets. Finally, around 8 pm we called it a day and all took showers and ordered a pizza. Ashton fell asleep before the pizza arrived and Lexi nearly fell asleep at the dinner table. Then, I got to work studying my Sunday School lesson and getting ready to teach this morning. Cary was in charge of a reception for his former preschool director who resigned last month, so he got to church extra early this morning to get things in order before kidzchurch, then after church and the reception we went to pizza hut and all came home and crashed! But we couldn't let this GORGEOUS weekend get away without doing something fun as a family, so this evening we went on a family bikeride to the park and rode around the neighborhood until little Ashton's legs just couldn't pedal any more. She reminds me of Dennis the Menace on that tricycle! I long for a weekend when we have NOTHING to do! But tonight Cary and I relaxed with a movie after we put the kids to bed...Prince Caspian...SO good, if you haven't seen it...highly recommend it! Now it's time to get geared up for next weekend. I'm the wedding coordinator at our church and I have a wedding this weekend, as well as hosting people at our house all weekend for Disciple Now weekend! CRAZY times!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I am SOOOO excited...

Go ahead and ask me, "Heather, why are you SOOOO excited?" Well, I'll tell you. Two reasons! #1)Lexi is going to be a flower girl in my cousin's wedding!!!! We have a whole year to practice! The wedding is not till next January. But no fear of the happy couple breaking up or anything, they've been together for 8 and a half years!!! They've been dating for longer than I've been married. The wedding is in downtown Fort Worth which is truly one of my FAVORITE places on earth! I'm so excited! Mother of the flower girl. Sigh...... and reason #2 for my giddiness...remember how excited I was about Lexi's best friend at school that she just adores and talks about all the time? I've been praying for two long years for a best friend for that sweet girl! Well, I called the little girl's mom and invited her daughter to come home from school with us today to have a little playdate and when her mom came to pick her up tonight, we had the sweetest conversation about the Lord and about church and how God brought us both here to Orlando and so on and the whole conversation was initiated by her as she began sharing with me about how faithful God had been in providing for her family. Mind you, she didn't know we were believers or that my husband was a pastor or anything. So she was truly sharing with me on faith that I wouldn't think she was crazy. It was just SO awesome to see how God has truly answered my prayers in providing a sweet friend for Lexi from a Christian family. Not that I don't want her to be friends with non-believers too, but I want her best and closest friends to be from families that share our values and morals and beliefs. It was just so incredible to see how God has totally provided that for Lexi. Her other best friend at school is also from a wonderful Christian family as well. I'm just tickled pink that she finally has some good friends that she gets to be with every day and that she really seems to click with. They're all just super sweet and innocent and there's no competition. It's just all pure sweetness when they get together. I love it! YEA GOD! He is so faithful!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Romantic Getaway That Wasn't

Cary and I have wanted to get away for a while now, just the two of us. We had saved up a little money and decided our trip to Texas would be the perfect opportunity because we would have built in babysitters! We honeymooned in Fredericksburg, TX almost 8 yrs ago and it was such a neat town, we knew that's where we wanted to go. Only an hour and a half from my mom's house, it was the perfect place for our romantic getaway! Hahaha! We tried to stay at the BEST place on Earth, Palo Alto Creek Farms, where we honeymooned, but it was all booked. So we settled for this place, listed as one of the top 10 most romantic places, called Settler's Crossing, owned by the aunt and uncle of my good friend, Audra, which I didn't know until like 2 days ago! Small world! When we first arrived, our receipt was sent to our cabin in a basket of apple turnovers. I nearly TURNED OVER myself at the receipt. They charged us double! We called them immediately and they credited back our account for the mess up.
The property is made up of like 7 or 8 private houses or cottages. This was ours. It's called the Pioneer Cabin, which should have been my first clue! A pioneer, I am not!
Oh look, it's Little Bear's house! Thanks for the candy little bear!

Upon entering our cabin, we were greeted by a REAL bird and a stuffed bear. The bird was flying around and we had to get him out. But wait...the windows wouldn't open! So we chased him down with a stick. The owners laughed when we called for help and told us "good luck". The bird pooped all over the cabin. I would have to! But finally he found his way OUT the front door. We joked that the bear was real and when we walked in he probably grabbed a burger king hat and a tray of candy in an attempt to blend in to the decor!

Our bedroom! Very cozy by the fire. Probably not the best thing for pneumonia lungs. This should have been the room of LOVE but Cary was DYING of pneumonia all night.


I couldn't stay away from the bear. I kept thinking of how the girls would get the biggest kick out of him. I was also a little sad at the thought that he was once alive and a hunter shot him dead and now he's a candy statue at a bed and breakfast.



Isn't it cute? And very pioneery? A little too pioneery if you ask me! I had to walk gently because with each step I was afraid the floor would sink in or something would rattle off the wall.




Cozy little kitchen.


There was an old lady who swallowed a cat to catch the bird...how absurd! This little guy came in our cabin while the door was open while we were trying to get the bird out. Didn't think we would ever get rid of him. Apparently he LIVES there. We found cat food in the kitchen.
And in case you're wondering...what's up with the water hose...
Well, when I was taking a bath in the claw foot tub on our first night there, I heard a loud pop from the bathroom wall and then water was pouring out of a pipe behind the tub! I called for Cary who came in and quickly turned off the main water source from the wall. It was the hot water, how convenient. Talk about PIONEERS? The next morning, we called the owners, certain they would come right out and fix it so we could get our showers before checking out and they said, "Well, it's a good thing you got a bath last night! We won't be able to get out there to fix it today." WHAT??? So my handy husband went outside and found this waterhose and cut it to the length to reach from the sink to the tub and filled up the tub with hot water from the sink so we could bathe. He said, "I dare him to make me pay for the $10 hose!"



There were lots of sheep, a donkey, and a whole slew of dear. But they all seemed to follow THIS guy. He must have been the G/T one of the bunch. Me with the leader of the clan!


Hey, wait, come back, I bathed...really...with a water hose!


All in all, still a fun place despite pneumonia, double charges, a bird, and a make shift shower! Oh and shopping ALONE. I had visions of us strolling through the streets together hand in hand, my husband romantically going to EACH AND EVERY last store with me, maybe even carrying my purse cause it's SO heavy. Well, that didn't happen. My sick husband slept in the car while I shopped all day! I shopped. He dropped.










WARNING....X RATED PHOTOS

Santa brought my girls a Playboy Mansion, I mean a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas...home of NIGHTLY wild wild parties as you can see...
After the party, this pretty lady lay naked on the front lawn, apparently run over by the corvette which smashed through the living room wall.
See, Corvette smashed through living room wall. Ken apparently was thrown from the driver's seat and lay unconscious on the kitchen floor.
I'm not even sure what to say about this one...playing footsies maybe?


After a rough night of partying, the bed is broken, the lamp has been knocked over and it appears as though someone has literally been swinging from the chandeliers.


Okay, now in all seriousness, my children do not really know why they prefer their barbies naked, but I assure you it's not for inappropriate reasons. In all honesty, it's probably due more to the fact that they have trouble getting those tight clothes on them. They've never made Ken and Barbie kiss or lay next to or on top of each other. They have bathed together, but only because "Mom, there was only one bathtub in the house...DUH"! Ken did take a dump one day on the potty, but "Mommy, he had to go potty!" So, you see, pure innocence! Only an adult could find adult humor in the state of our Barbie house. My children think I'm taking pictures of it "because it's pretty!"



Back to the grind

Well we're on day #3 of the reality of the real world NOT on vacation. So far only 1 tardy, 7 time outs, 2 spankings, and a very well rested mommy after 11.5 hours of sleep last night. I think we're doing pretty good! I was SOOOOOOO tired yesterday and the day before that and the day before that and the day before that....anyhoo, I went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept till 7 this morning. So did the kids and Cary! It's like we all got bit by the teetsy fly or something. I have good intentions of posting lots of Christmas pictures. One day. Oh funniest thing...our little "romantic getaway" that wasn't so romantic because Cary was buried under a pile of blankets with 104 fever hacking his lungs up with pnuemonia, well, I never really posted on the ol blog all of the "adventures" we faced at the "pioneer" cabin and I will...with pictures! But turns out, one of my bestest friends in the whole world knows the owners of the cabin. She doesn't just know them, they are her aunt and uncle! More to come on that story later. I'm off to get my hair cut and then, I don't know, take a nap??? I need a cure for the sleepies. (I think they call that SUMMER.) This whole lack of daylight hours is killing me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home again Home again jiggidy jig

My mom used to always say that every time we pulled into the driveway. Home again home again jiggidy jig. We pulled into the driveway at about 11:30 pm yesterday. I wish I could say I got all unpacked today and got my Christmas decorations put away, but neither of those happened. I slept in and then got up and went into the office and worked for a few hours this afternoon then came home and am about to work for a few more hours, study my Sunday School lesson and get to bed. I have SO much to do! I feel like I can't unpack until I clean out the girls' dresser drawers and their playroom to make space for all the new stuff. It will get done...eventually. I have lots to get caught up on at work this week so my house chores will probably have to wait! The price we pay for a vacation right? It's good to be home, even if it's not Texas. I LOVE my bed! And my bathtub! And my warm flip flop weather.

Lexi was so eager to get home yesterday. She kept talking about all of her friends from school that she missed so much while we were gone and how she missed her teacher and couldn't wait to get to school on Monday and give everyone big hugs! That made me smile! It's nice to know that your kids are happy! She has a little friend in her class that she is just smitten with and talks about non stop and I'm so excited that she finally seems to have a "best friend" here in FL. The little girl's mom volunteers in their classroom a lot and she took some pictures of Lexi with her daughter over the last few weeks every time she would go up to the school to volunteer and she sent them home in Lexi's backpack the day before Christmas break. They were so cute! She said her daughter never stops talking about Lexi. I guess it's mutual!

On the way home yesterday Lexi said, "Do you know what I don't like about Texas?" And before I could respond I had to pick my jaw up off the floor and pop my eyes back into their sockets because what's there not to like about Texas????!!!!! She said, "It's so far away and as soon as we get there, we have to leave again." I can accept that response! And I agree! Oh well, bloom where you're planted right? When in Rome...go to DisneyWorld!