Sunday, January 31, 2010

ER, nursery & the ambulance ride

Daddy had a terrible spill at the museum and LE had to drive him the emergency room. He was ok b/c Bella took such great care of him during the ride. However, when we go to the hospital both girls forgot Daddy was hurt when they discovered a nursery full of newborn babies. Nurse Bella weighed, fed and changed all of the babies & conducted many experiments on the miscroscope. LE took exceptional care of Brady by feeding and rocking him to sleep. Bella said being a nurse was her favorite part of the day.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

next homeless outreach

Our team is collecting toothbrushes and toothpaste for our next homeless outreach. If you are interested in picking up a couple of brushes or paste, we will be going downtown February 20th. Kerrville folk, you can give them to my mom, she will be coming into town that weekend to join us. If you want to meet us downtown Austin send me a message and I will give you info.
If you know a dentist who can donate any items, please pass the word on. Thanks!


We HAD to take advantage of the art room at the museum.
The girls got an easel for Christmas from Gigi and PopPop, but I have yet to let them "paint" on it. When we discovered the easel had plenty of paint, a drop cloth the size of China, paint smocks, tile floors, spill-proof paint cups and nearby sinks, Mama finally agreed they could paint. LE entitled hers night and day, Bella "just painted".
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Friday, January 29, 2010


These are the days I wish I was four again. This was one of my favorite rooms in the museum. The girls and Daddy loved it too. We actually visited the moon twice. The girls put the planets in order and LE initiated the flight sequence. Bella even had fun checking out the life-sized R2D2.

wild animals

The man from the area reptile farm was doing a demonstration when we arrived. He had a large tortoise who was the Mommy of these baby tortoises which Bella enjoyed petting. LE was able to pet a skink and Mama had a lemur jump into her lap. All I know is I want for a pet. Did you know lemurs are indigenous to the island of Madagascar? Guess another reason to move to Africa.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grandma's house

Bella enjoyed playing the old radio - She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, over and over for Mama. She made me a nice cup of coffee and brought me some milk. LE enjoyed riding the horse. We even saw on old telephone like Grandma Neal had in her kitchen when Mama was a little girl.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

McKennah Children's Museum

This past Friday, Ben took the day off and we had our first family day of 2010. My friend Kris blogged a few months ago about the McKennah Children's Museum in New Braunfels. I was really impressed with their website so we decided to venture down to spend the day. The museum was fabulous, much better than our local one. The girls had a blast. This will be a multi-day blog b/c every room is blogworthy and most pics are too. Thanks to my friend Erica introducing me to Picasa I now know how to make collages. The first of many rooms was camping out, complete with an "open-fire" tepee, tents, kayaks, fishing rods & vests & a large bear that we were instructed to not feed.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bye Miss Christan

Our sweet friend (and occasional babysitter) was accepted into dental school in Arizona. She packed up and moved back to her home state last week, so we had to say goodbye. We will miss you so much, but will promise to stay in touch. Thank you Miss Christan for teaching us so many things and teaching Mommy all about yummy sushi. We love you!! We wish you the best of luck!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

thank you

Thank you for all of the encouragement, calls, & e-mails about the homeless outreach. We have definitely come to a cross road in how the outreaches are/have been/will be here on out. It is so great to see people are touched by these "untouchable's stories". I wish nothing more to make a difference in a life, but to know that some of you are reaching out to them to make that diffence, it brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.
We are his hands and feet.
You know you are, really thanks, xoxoxo!

Antonio's story

This is Antonio. I just met him this week; a really nice guy. We sat and chatted. He took a shirt donated with some tools on it and said he wished he could get some real tools so he could go back to work. He was hoping he could find some work mowing lawns in the spring or washing dishes somewhere.
I sit here in my warm room at my personal computer thinking of the David Crowder Band song - How He loves Us. My heart aches - how he loves Antonio. Everyone who comes to Church Under the Bridge gets fed each week, they have praise and worship and a message. Oh, how He loves each one of them.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Matthew 25:34 - 40

Then the King will say to those on the right, "Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me somthing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes & clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

The king will reply " I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers of mine, you did for me."

Friday, January 22, 2010

homeless outreach

This is Red. She is one of the ladies I see each month and she now recognizes me too. The past weekend she was really upset and told me she had spent the previous two nights sleeping sitting up on the streets. See, Red had an apartment. She collects social security and pays rent each month. Since she had an apartment and glimmer of hope when the cold front blew in Red gave away her three sleeping bags to other people on the street. Now a week later her landlord's son shows up at her apartment, threatens her and kicked her out.
Last month, I posted on FB I was collecting blankets, socks, hats and gloves for the homeless. My friends, the Lowthorps answered that call. Last month, they brought 20 blankets they had gathered at their apartment complex through a blanket drive. This month, TA showed up with 4 large bags of clothing donated from co-workers at Home Depot and 5 cases of water donated by managers at Home Depot.
Not everyone on the street wants to be there, some of them have desperately tried to change their stories. Ben told me on Sunday he "just did not know what to say." I told him just listen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas moment

I know a month has passed since Christmas, but I just had to share about my favorite Christmas present. We drew names this year, since my side of the family has grown so much. I had no idea who drew my name, but I was not worried b/c I think I am really easy to give to. Troy, my youngest brother drew my name, but Lindsay, oh sweet Lindsay helped him out. My gift was a ceramic heart-shaped jewelry box with a fuzzy little yellow chick. I was not sure what to think about it at first, but then it clicked; part of the card was faces of children in Africa. Troy and Lindsay purchased a flock of chicks to be donated in my name to a family in need.
According to the organization, one hen can lay up to 200 eggs per year, enough for a family to eat, share or sell. B/C chickens require little space and thrive on available food scraps, families can make money form the birds without spending much. And chickens control insects and fertilize gardens. So, needless to say I cried, Mom cried, Gran cried, Troy's eyes were moist, but it was the most special gift I can ever remember receiving. Thanks Troy and Linds.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

more Brady

The girls and I traveled to San Angelo to meet baby Brady. I cannot belive how much he has already changed. We will make the trip again when Daddy can join us. It is too long of a drive with two girls and four McDonald's Alvin and the Chipmunk toys that talk for one mommy to brave alone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

first soccer game

The girls first soccer game was a blast. Landry jumped right in and not once stopped smiling. Bella was having fun until she bit it, then she was a little more apprehensive. She played about 1 minute of the game, until we scored, but then she decided she was finished. LE was in every time the coach asked. Coach Dan does not keep score, but Mommy does and we won 12 -2. Daddy and Landry said she scored, but I missed it somehow, probably b/c I was screaming too much:)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Watoto Children's Choir visits

Our family was so honored by the opportunity to host two children, Josephine and Ronus, and their chaperon Auntie Gladys from the Watoto Children's Choir earlier this month.
The children are orphans of AIDS and war in Uganda.
I wish I could put into words the emotions we felt sitting each meal listening to their stories and the adversity these two young girls overcame. The more impressive and important part of their story is the hope they now have b/c they found Jesus through an organization that has changed their stories. I was with them for just minutes, and I was already in love. Joshephine sang a solo at each performance (the girls and I traveled to another Church to see them perform on Wednesday night). The words were "Who will sing my lullaby? Who will hold me when I cry?" Each time she sang it I cried, I just cannot imagine. I have a new button to the left of my page, please take a look - you can also help them to receive a $15,000 grant by voting on a link on their website.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Please forgive me!

SO very much is happening in our lives, I am so sorry I have not blogged. My mom thought I was fasting from the computer, point taken.
From the beginning - we had house guests from Africa - 2 extra children and an auntie.
I went back to teaching.
Girls started swim lessons.
Girls started soccer.
Among other things.
I honestly do not how you moms work out of the home full time. I only teach part-time 3 days a week and I all I want to do is sleep when I get home; much less maintain the house, cook and have energy for my own children. I am exhausted just reminiscing. So, soon I will be back on top and catch you up on our lives, but that is the skinny for now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

another soup recipe -veggie this time

We did not make new year's resolutions again this year, but are trying to gain control over what groceries are brought into the house and what we eat when we go out. Since, it seems everyone is on a health kick, evident by the number of people at the gym this past week I decided to post a healthy, no Weight Watchers point Veggie soup. I have no idea how it tastes yet, but oh my goodness it smells delicious. I found the recipe online, but completely tweaked it, so here is the version that is on the stove right now.

2 lg boxes of organic veggie stock bring to boil then add:
1/2 bag of frozen carrots
1/2 bag frozen chopped onions
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 head of cabbage sliced into large pieces (recipe said you could use slaw, but use the big pieces)
1/2 bag of frozen green beans
4 stalks of celery sliced
3 T tomato paste
1 diced tomato (or canned tomatoes with juice)
oregano, basil, salt and thyme

Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat and cover for 15 minutes.

Add 3 small sliced zucchini and cook until tender.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

saved the best for last

We had a last minute addition to the top 10 of '09, thanks to a little man deciding to enter this world on New Year's Eve. My brother, Bryan and his wife, Susan welcomed their first child this past week, so we have a Neal nephew and grandson.
Mom called Thursday morning to tell me Susan was in labor, I got the house in order and grocery shopping complete (reason post coming soon) and we headed to San Angelo.
Brady Wade
December 31st
7 lbs. 6 oz
21 inches

Monday, January 04, 2010

watoto choir

There is too much to tell you today, but must wait as I have 4 girls stamping at my kitchen table.
I wanted to tell you Kervillians (CARI - that means you) on Tuesday night, the Watoto Children's Choir from Africa will be perfoming at 7:00 p.m. in Comfort at Gaddis Methodist Church. They will be back in Austin Wednesday and Thursday night performing around town, (we will be there if you want to join us).
This is Vincent. More pics to come of our visit from the girls.