Thursday, January 31, 2008

well loved Christmas presents

Tonight, we had family night at home.
For Christmas, I was giving a menu from one of my students and was told to pick anything off the list and she would provide dinner one night for our family in January. Tonight, we had stuffed pasta shells with Italian Sausage, an awesome veggie salad (LOVED the dressing), garlic bread and brownies (warmed in the microwave) (yes, hitting the gym hard in the morning). It was so good, but the best part I was not stressed after work trying to plan dinner. Then, afterwards we opened our new movie. The girls were given a gift card to Target for C-mas from their little buddy, Connor and we went and picked out Curious George. Bella responded to the movie and was giggling at George. She has never responded to the tv or books before. Bell watched about 10 minutes and LE almost watched the whole thing, but they both enjoyed it. Thanks Hargrave Family and Connor for a fun family night!!

a month of revolutions

A month down of revloutions and lots of successes...

#1 we almost stayed completly on budget - with 2 children sick for the past 2 weeks+, some extra expenses went to meds and dr. appts, but we were just barely over our budget and kept up with our cash system

#2 - I lost 8 lbs.+ this month by giving up soft drinks and sweet tea and being more mindful about what I eat.

#3 - I have continued with the gym for the whole month, although it has been hard since the girls have been sick and I have not been able to take them, but I have gone at least twice a week and sometimes three times every week this month. I purchased a size 6 jean (Banana Republic) over the weekend and wore them to school today!!

#4 I have read Matthew, Mark and Luke twice this month and memorized 3 new scriptures. As part of my Bible classes, I am reading the new testament and reading three new books - New Testament Survey (tough read), Communicating for Change, and Living Your Strengths (love this book), it is all about discovering your strengths and then how to put them to use. My strengths are Achiever, Belief, Communicator, Developer and Empathy.

It is only the first month and we have already seem some great changes, I cannot wait to see what else 2008 has in store for us!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Luke 19:10

The Son of Man comes to seek and save that which is lost.

Love accepts many imperfections

Ben and I attended the Growing Marriage Conference yesterday at our church with Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages. I think Ben and I have a great marriage, and it was so nice to have that confirmed, but there are always areas in which to grow. The topics included Communication 101, Understanding and Expressing Love, Initiating Positive Change, Making Sex a Mutual Joy and How to Share the Things that Bug You. We discovered when it comes to communication, Ben is the Dead Sea and I am a Babbling Brook. I am sure there are no arguments from any of our readers:) We knew our love languages already - Ben is personal touch and I am a mixture of acts of service and words of affirmation (but quality time a close 3rd). We had such a great time and we are already taking several ideas from the conference and putting them into place. It was a great time for us, I highly recommend reading the Love Languages book if you have not done so and attend a marriage conference even if you think you have a great marriage. Check out The Five Love Languages of Children or Now You are Speaking My Language.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

look familiar???

Bella - 13 months, December 2007

Landry - 13 months, September 2006

Friday, January 18, 2008

week 2 scripture

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others, giving His lifes as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I FINALLY made it to a kickboxing class last night! I loved it, but my left arm feels like it is going to fall off today. The girls are sick and Ben's car did not start this a.m. so I did not get to go today. I am hoping tonight I get to go to a weightlifting class. HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

to travel the world

One of my desires is to travel the world. I have found this great site on Fox News website that is webcams from around the globe. I LOVE to sit and watch them. Some of my faves include the Eifel Tower, it is gorgeous when it is lit up at night, but they do turn the lights off at some point. The African safari is so cool, my #1 destination spot. Tonight, I saw a giraffe at the water hole. The Pyramids are absouletly amazing, even at night they look so majestic. I have never seen them in broad daylight (I always catch them at night), can't figure out why b/c isn't Egypt on the continent of Africa?

I feel like I am looking through a window to another world.,2933,318306,00.html

baking cookies

This morning, LE and baked cookies for Daddy while he was doing his school work. She had so much fun until she touched the pan on the last patch. They were really good cookies too, I think she may be a chef some day! Thanks Mrs. Petty for all of the supplies to bake our first batch of cookies, that was a special surprise!
Stir it up

LE loved the sprinkles

the final product

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back to the Books

I have been waiting to share another big step I have taken this year until after I attended my first class, but I am going back to school this semester. VERY SURPRISING. I did not realize it was a full on Bible school until after I really got hooked and knew the Lord wanted me to take this class After my first class on Thursday night, I realized I was going to need to borrow LE's Dora backpack. I have to read 3 books, plus each book of the new testament twice before the end of the semester, 4 tests and serving opportunities. I am really excited about what I have already learned and I know God is going to open some incredibly different doors this new year. As, I said in a previous blog I have began volunteering at the church again, but in some new roles. I am Pastor Lori's assistant twice a month on Sunday mornings, Ben and I teach a Connect Groups once a month here at the house and I began helping with curriculum for the Early Childhood department again. I am so excited to share with everyone the things I am learning in class, so be prepared:)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

weekly scripture

Another goal I have this new year is to memorize more scriptures, I will be adding my weekly scriptures to our family blog, would love to hear of a scripture that speaks to you.

Matthew 24:14
And the Good News will be preached to all the world, so all the nations will hear and the end will come.

FYI --

I made it to my 2nd day of class, but I did the Step Class b/c I read the schedule wrong and missed the kickboxing class. I did a pretty good job, but I have had a headache for 2 days, so I think I am not hydrated enough.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

revolution #2 has begun

I joined the YMCA this morning on recommendation of my skinny girlfriend, Erica. I have to admit I thought some choice words as I thought about you as I was passed out in the parking lot, hunched over the steering wheel. I could not pick LE up to put her in her booster seat. I felt like jello, I am so exhausted. I may have biten off more than I can chew for my first day back to the gym after a 2 year hiatus. I took a 1hour and 10 minute circuit class. It was awesome, don't get my wrong, but I had no idea how out of shape I was. I am hoping to join the kickboxing class on Wednesdays, I love kickboxing, so say a prayer for me that I can get out of bed in the morning! Oh, and the girls LOVE it!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas at Mimi and PawPaw's

We celebrated Christmas a couple of days early this year at Mimi and PawPaw's. It was so much fun with everyone together. LE really got excited this year and Bella was able to participate too. It was a very special day for me.
Uncle Troy and John Marc, Ryan's college roommate
Granny opening her calendar LE made
PawPaw opening his gift card to the "mycycle" shop
LE and Mimi
Aunt Marissa, the mommy-to-be
Daddy opening his rain gear for riding.
LE opening her princess table and chairs from her great-granny.
the missing link- Bell has really taken off walking this week and we think it has a lot to do with one of her C-mas presents from Uncle Bryan and Aunt Susan - her Dora walking car, she loves this gift.
LE had a difficult time with the concept of gift giving. Ryan and Marissa gave my Dad some underarmour and LE is pulling the gift from my dad to give it back to R&M.
my only niece, Violet. I have a picture of their baby girl, but none of Bryan and Susan. I was really bad at taking pictures this year. I was too busy watching the girls. It was a fun Christmas.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christmas at Aunt Delores' - my dad's side of the family

The Neighborhood Carolers

Growing up, every year we went to Grandma and Grandpa Neal's on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents. The family has gotten too big for their living room and too difficult to gather everyone on C-mas Eve. So, for the past couple of years we have been going to Delores and Tim's for finger food and presents on the Saturday before C-mas. And yes I got my yearly dose of Velveeta cheese dip! We even had carolers come to the door.

The Neal's
Aunt Susan busted giving Bella cookies!
My Dad was Santa and delivered the great grandkid's gifts from Grandma and Grandpa
Bella on a bit of a sugar high
The girls got music boxes from their Great-Grandma and Grandpa Neal
LE got a Cinderella music box
Bella got a Tinkerbell music box.