Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

good with the bad

I hate to share ho-hum news, but unfortunately when it comes to dealing with people I have learned you have to roll with the punches.  This past outreach was not one of my more favorite moments being downtown.  We had plenty of food and plenty of clothing, but the overall vibe of the morning was off. 
Every morning, when we arrive we first get out the food and after everyone is served we then get out the clothing.  This month, we took my mom-in-law's truck, so they saw the clothes and shoes before we were ready to get them out.  They just encircled the truck, would not eat and would not listen to me that I would get the items out after everyone had eaten.  Their eyes were on the shoes and did not matter one thing I said.  It was as if they stepped away I might give them to someone else.  It was very frustrating.  We also encountered some other attitudes, but I can only imagine the sleepless nights they spend on the streets so I try to look past it.  I saw a lot of new faces, and a lot of familiar faces.  We were able to pass out deodorant and lots of jeans.  My cousin's husband brought several decks of cards which they were so excited about.

I am creating a new project and a new blog, as soon as it is up and running I will share with you the big news.  Please pray for us & this project, b/c it could literally change lives.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Pictures do not do this room justice, but it is the one room every female wants their spouse to see when they come to visit. My pantry space is bigger than my last kitchen, pantry and laundry area combined. It is our pantry, laundry room, game closet, Ben's tool shop, girls artshelf, cleaning supply room, & home to extra fridge ( I think that is all).
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Monday, July 26, 2010

just call us neutral

When we bought this furniture I painted our living room barnwood red. Now, that we have lived in a house with white walls and now this house with khaki walls, I know I need to buy some accent pieces. I want to get some red pillows, Ben just wants new couches, so we will see whats in the budget. For now it is home and I am just thankful for it, neutral and all.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Office Space

Ben finally has his own space, ok he shares it with me, but he gets to decorate however he wants. His last "office" was literally in our walk-in closet, so this is a palatial mansion to him. I like my space too. I am just glad I cannot sit on my bed and touch my computer at the same time.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010


"I had a blackout at Gourdough's last night", wanted that to be my facebook status, but knew being preggo that might freak some non-Austinites out.  My cousin, Anna has blogged about Gourdough's a couple of times, so if you read her blog please pardon the repeats, but OH MY GOSH if you live in Austin - get there!  Forget the gym, half an hour on the eliptical did not work off the first bite. Even Ben, the food critique was oohing and ahhing over this Big. Fat. Donut.  He had a scoop of ice cream, I had a glass of milk.  We could not finish one donut between the two of us, so either come hungry or bring a couple of friends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tori boxes

You know by now my favorite organization on the planet is children's cup.  I am so excited to announce their fall project and hope it sparks some excitement in you.  The public schools in Mozambique and Swaziland (the two countries I traveled to) are not free, but for $150 you can send a child to school for an entire year.  This fall Cup is also creating Tori boxes to send the children so they can go back to school ready to learn with the right supplies.  You can create a Tori box with your family. School supplies are at great prices, right now too!!

•Plastic Storage shoebox (Sterilite at Walmart is $1)

•Pencils (a pkg of 8-10)
•Ruler (metric system a must)
•Doll (small, skin color not an issue)
•Crayons (box of 16 or 24 Crayolas)
•Scissors (safety, blunt-nosed)
•Hot Wheels vehicle (fit-in-your-hand size)
•Toothbrush (soft bristles)
•Toothpaste (3.5 oz)
•Notebook (3x5 size)
•Pencil sharpener
•Stickers (Please, nothing "magical" or scary. Witchcraft is so very real that there's no room for even pretend magic.)
•Markers (washable)
•Pens (pkg of 8-10)
•Glue Stick (washable)
•Craft PipeCleaners (craft dept at Walmart)
•Washcloth (colorful cotton would be nice)
•Bar of soap (a gentle soap such as Ivory or Dove)
•Vaseline petroleum jelly (Africans use this for protection on their skin and lips)
•Ball (small enough to fit in the box, large enough to not choke on)
•Photo/note (photo of you, your family, your pet...and a note to encourage your child to do well at school)
•A check for $10 to cover overseas shipping costs.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

car says ahhhh

After 11 1/2 years of marriage, we have a garage that our cars sleep in!!!  It is nice to get in the car mid July, midafternoon and it is only 83 in the car as opposed to 103.  Thanks honey for making it a priority to get the garage cleaned out so the cars can actually go in.  Maybe I will wash the car now!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I did it! chores

When we were at the homeschool convention, the one booth that stole Daddy Richards' attention was the I did It chore system. We have been trying to get the girls more productive around the house without the nagging reminders. Each of the girls have their own chart and they have different color-coded chores to do through out the day.
Morning - brush teeth, feed dogs, make bed...
Lunch - clear plate from table
Afternoon - quiet reading
Dinner - clear plate, bath, brush teeth, ready for bed...
Extra - Say something nice to your sister, clean your closet...

The kit came with a set of chore cards and then blank cards to add chores specific to your household. Each night the girls go through their list and then, get token for the items they placed into their I did it box. We also can say at a specific time during the day, are all of your orange cards gone and have them check to see what their chores were instead of listing all of the things we want to see them get accomplished in a day. There is a graph and a cylinder for us to keep track of their tokens. Top prize - 250 tokens = trip to Gattiland, 25 tokens= movie. The girls helped us decide on the prizes with some encouragement from mom and dad. It has also cut down on them wanting to watch movies during the day b/c they have to spend their tokens in order to watch one now. So, far it is working great. LE remembers to feed the dogs each morning, she is usually dressed before Ben and I are, and both have become excellent at cleaning up after themselves. Bella is still getting the concept with a little help, but she has no problem remembering to get her tokens each night.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

imagining at the museum

The girls favorite past time is dress-up. The museum had multiple rooms to let their imaginations run wild. They got to grind corn and beat the Indian drums. They dressed up like damsels in distress in the lego castle. We rode a wagon and churned butter in the pioneer room. Had a tea party in the Victorian tea parlour. Dressed up and played with toys from around the world in the international room. Drove all kids of cars in the trasnsportation area and grew our own vegetables at the homestead.
We went on Saturday morning and there was even a birthday party, but the museum was not over crowded at all.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

it's a...

todays' the day

We are getting ready to head out the door.

Bella - girl
Landry - boy
Mommy - boy
Daddy - boy

Wait is almost over.  What do you think?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

exploring at the museum

The Waco Children's Museum had a lot more discovery rooms than the other children's museums we have been too. It was for a much more diverse age than our girls, but they still had a great time. Bella enjoyed the mammoth fossil that you were able to walk over. LE liked the animals. Mommy liked the "Big" piano and Daddy liked exploring with the water and magnets.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010


We took the girls to Waco Children's Museum, but first we had to make a stop at their special exhibit - Lego Land Castle World. It did not take much convincing to get Daddy on board with this family day.
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Friday, July 16, 2010

new job

I was offered a position four days a week as a fitness consultant at the Y.  I am so excited, I begin August 2nd.  Come see me!!!  I will be the one in the staff shirt with the potbelly!!! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

new look

If you follow us via google reader, you may be missing out... after a year we finally achieved the look we have been working on!!  Also poll on the left, 3 for 3 or 2 to 1.  Voting closes Monday at 9 am, we find out at 9:30.  Will have to see.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

special delivery

Our homeschool kindergarten curriculum arrived in the mail tonight. I have never heard the word "cool" come out of a 4 year old in one setting more in my entire life. The first thing out of the box - an ant farm, second, a butterfly garden, then a book about dinosaurs and then their readers. Both of them were ohhing and ahhing, Emery even got in on the action. I let them upon the Cuisennaire Rods and explore, but wanted everything to be new and exciting when we start school after her birthday. Cannot wait!
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Monday, July 12, 2010


I cannot believe in a few short weeks I am going to have a kindergartener.  When I was teaching, kinder and 1st was my favorite ages to teach.  There has not really been a doubt that we would ever homeschool the girls, but we definitely weighed multiple options and prayed countless prayers before making our decision.  Because I have so much curriculum and supplies for teaching this age I just figured I would create something for the girls.  When we found out we were having a baby mid-school year I was concerned I would need to have everything ready before baby #3 arrives or that I would slack b/c of Mommy duties.  Since LE is already reading CVC words I struggled with "the make sure she gets what she needs" mentality, but knew we must be doing something right for her to be doing so well without any formal education.  Recently Ben and I attended CHEACT for central Texas homeschoolers.  It was downtown Austin and we were running late and missed the first 25 minutes of the one presentation I absolutely wanted to listen in on - Hands-on learning for kindergarten and first grade.  I love the whole idea of Classical Education for homeschoolers, but knew that was not what my kiddo needed this early.  Within 3 minutes, I was choking back the preggo tears and knew this was the program for our girls (at least in the beginning years).  Ben agreed.  She is so excited too, both of the girls are as we ordered Bella her own pre-kindergarten curriuclum so that she is not doing LE's work before she is ready and does not want to do her work when it is actually time for her to do so.  We are all so excited and so relieved that the Lord so clearly showed us this is "the one" for our family.  I love that Ben is just as excited and ready to play his role too.

Friday, July 09, 2010

pic of the day

This was the shot of the day, that I had to make sure you caught it out of the collage.  (I also had my mom's camera, so I took a lot more photos with her's b/c it is not so obnoxious looking - hopefully she will blog some of her's too).  Everyone was so grateful for the change and the opportunity to choose something to eat.  We had multiple types of drinks and an assortment of chips.  The chip of choice - BBQ.  Isn't it crazy the things we take for granted each day?  Once again I say thank you.   
Next outreach - July 25th.  Hoping to take deodorant for all, will do hot dogs again b/c of cost and the amount of condiments I have left.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

hot dog outreach

We had the most memorable 4th of July this year. Ben and I took the girls, Lindsay, Troy, my mom and some friends I have known since we moved to Austin 10 years ago with us downtown to serve hot dogs. My mom sent out an e-mail to everyone she knew and the biggest outreach was on. We collected enough money to purchase chips, drinks, hot dogs and condiments for 240 people and a new table. She collected a garbage bag full of socks (that still was not enough), we had jeans 36x30 that the men were so grateful for. Three ladies who I never have clothes for were in Heaven with their selection of clothing. I had enough Bibles, that I brought 3 home. I was able to set up a men's table and women's table to "shop". My girls served hot dogs, my brother commented how surprisingly grateful everyone was, Lindsay never stopped smiling, all were blessed. It was the best day I have had downtown and I basically just got to stand back and watch it happen. I am so grateful to all of you who contributed and to all who have contributed in the past.
I have set aside a large shelf in our garage that I am continually collecting items for. I have loads of winter stuff already and starting collections of toiletries. I had several requests that I would like to pass on. I met Carl this weekend. He is in need of a backpack and sleeping bag, everything was stolen. Red needs some size 4 jeans. Michael requested a pair of size 12 shoes and we received requests for Spanish Bibles.  If you ever clean out or see a great deal on items, please call me and I would be happy to take things off your hands. I also have room in my kitchen for multiple bodies to make 250 hot dogs on a Sunday morning if you ever want to join us.
On a side note - the blessings came pouring in that Saturday that we all knew the Lord's hand was on this particular outreach. The Butter Krust Store had the exact number of buns needed - 31 pkgs on sale for 78 cents each. Cases of drinks were buy 3 get 4th free at grocery store. Chips were on sale, and they had the exact number of bags needed.
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

4th of July

On Saturday morning, the rains stopped and we were ble to head over to Marcus and Anna's for a little pre-fourth of July bash. There was hot dogs, sprinklers, pool, and lemonade for all, Wii for the Daddies and catching up time for the Mommies. Bella enjoyed herself a little too much.
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Friday, July 02, 2010

budding artists

                                 Princess Landry and Pooh Bear

Thursday, July 01, 2010

new chef in town

When I was teaching I bought a kids in the kitchen cookbook that had been packed up until the move. I found it recently and gave it to LE to "play" with. She started looking at the pictures and decided she wanted to cook something for dinner. Last week, she made chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese casserole (not out of book - just what we had on hand) and she ate two helpings - she does not eat rice EVER, cooked cheese or cooked broccoli for that matter. This week she has made strawberry cupcakes - (kind of adapted b/c did not want the sugar in cupcakes so we did shortcakes) and nachos - she does not eat strawberries and I guess has decided melted cheese is not bad after all. Tonight, she is making Taco Grande - which she also read the words to me "taco grand"
*for those who have asked she will be homeschooled, blogpost coming up soon about that. Must go make "Taco Grand"
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