Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

camera blues

The past couple of weeks I have been so lonely without my trusty sidekick.  My camera is my journal, my therapy and key to the girl's baby book.  I document everything with my camera and I should not be disappointed that it lasted for six years.  However, I have only put a small fraction away towards a new one.  For months, I have wanted a point and shoot to keep in my purse for outings to the park, homeless outreachess, etc. etc.  So, when we started shopping to replace my SLR (minimum $1000) I tried to make the grown up decision and not dip into our personal savings (knowing I am going to be without paycheck for at least 2 months).  Tonight, when we went to look at the actual camera and I saw my dream SLR sitting there calling my name I actually cried (have grace I am 35 weeks preggo!) I hope and pray it will do the job, it got rave reviews.  I have 2 jobs booked before Christmas, so I am hoping from them I can garner some more business to get my dream guy soon.  So, I have decided to not register at Babies R Us and just register at the online camera store.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Granny!



Wish we were there to take you to Hunan's.
Happy Birthday!
We love you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

rachel ray magazine

I recently subscribed to Everyday with Rachel Ray.  I actually got a free subscription through a blog I follow.  This past month, I decided I was going to try a new recipe every day and found almost all of them in her September issue.  One afternoon I sat down with my magazine, tablet and pen and planned the entire month of grocery shopping out of her magazine.  We enjoyed it so much, well today is my day to plan November.  I actually lost weight this month - only 1/2 pound, but at 8 months preggo that is kind of cool (dr. was ok with it too).  We had meals including Shepherd's Pie, Minestrone Soup, Cheese steak Kebabs, Bacon-Cantaloupe Wraps, & Picatta-style Tilapia. For the most part all recipes came from Rachel Ray, I ended up making a couple of meals that are RFF faves; LE insisted on and dumplings one Sunday after church, we had tortilla soup one night.  Ben loved that we had more meals as opposed to one-dish wonders, which is usually the norm.   She has a section for 30-minute meals from her show, $10 bucks or less meals (for family of 4), and one week of meals planned including grocery shopping.  The website has a lot of great ideas too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

in need of prayer

I am a stubborn person, I have no problem denying it.  And I hate to ask, but I really could use prayers. 
I am having a lot of back pain, it is just pregnancy.  It is bad I know b/c even my girls prayers tonight were, "please help Mommy's back not hurt and help her to not be tired".  I cannot just sit around for the next 5 1/2 weeks.  I am taking care of myself and I may push too hard, but I am not doing anything crazy.  I would appreciate your prayers for energy and the pain in my back to let up.  The dr. said he would write the orders for physical therapy, but that seems so unnecessary.  I know God can provide the relief.  I also could use prayers for sleep at night.  It is so hard to get comfortable sleeping on my side.  It is just not fun waking up hurting and tired.  Thanks I appreciate it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

N is for nest?

In the process of loosing my camera, I also lost some pictures of the girls building a nest. We have been learning about animal homes and LE decided she wanted to build a bird house. I wanted to post pics after the girls had a chance to "decorate" it.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

senior moment

I have come to the conclusion that working with seniors can be more entertaining than working with preschoolers.  I have a new client at the gym male, 72 years old, widower, retired Army, green Beret, paratrooper, broken nearly every bone in his body and recovering from a major heart attack.  I learned all of this within the first 6 minutes of meeting him.  He was so awesome to work with and so fun to listen to his stories.  However, my favorite part was when we were walking to get on the treadmills.  Super model in her tiny shorts and sports bra was running on the treadmill, he says, "Holy Cow, God bless, can we work on that one?"  My response - "um, no, we will be working over here" on the last treadmill in the row, thank you very much.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

T is for turtle

We are really enjoying the curriculum we picked out for the girls.  Now that we are in the swing of it, we have adapted some things and I have become more comfortable with adding/taking away knowing what it is the girls are really in need of.  Every day there is a special activity and in the beginning I was trying to figure out how to manage it so Bella would not have to repeat it next year, given we will probably be using the same curriculum.  Since then, we have discovered she is more advanced in her letter/sounds than we first thought.  Within the first week, she was able to recognize all of the letters and now she knows most of the sounds.  She is even writing her letters now.  We will continue on this path for the time being of doing a modified kinder curriculum for her, and a more advanced kinder curriculum for LE. 
LE read her first book yesterday.  It was about turtles.  I was blown away with her ability to figure out the words.   This is her journal entry for the week.  Once upon a time there was Turtle.  He was walking slow to the pond.
*On a side note, became frustrated this week with the world's political correctness.  One of our favorite tv shows is Super Why.  I never have to preview the shows and I know the girls are actually walking away with something other than 30 minutes of babysitting.  We were able to record the episode The Tortoise and the Hare.  This week our Bible theme is I don't quit, I persevere.  I could not find the book at the library, so thought we would watch the Super Why episode instead.  Yes, except they completely changed the plot of the story!  The hare does fall asleep, but wakes up in time to catch the tortoise and they cross the line together, b/c in the real world we cannot have winners and losers.  We all must be equal.  Needless to say, making another trip to the library today to see if we can find the true story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

3rd trimester update

Not sure when I will have any more pics to post, so thought I would update you on me... I do not do pregnancy well, thus the very minimal updates on what's going on with me.  I am 4'10", so being 25-30 pounds heavier and carrying it all in my midsection does not equate happy thoughts or happy blogposts.
  • I am 6 weeks, 3 days away from my due date, and I am still working.  I teach class two days a week and I consult four days a week. 
  • I have put on 25 pounds and it is all in my middle area, chest to hips, that is all the details on that one.
  • I have not slept through the night in weeks, multiple potty trips and the inability to fall back asleep have made the nights my least fave part of the day.
  • I crave chocolate, anything chocolate.
  • My back and hips are the worst.  I know he has not dropped yet, but my hips and my lower back are taking a beating.
  • There is a large pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be carried up each night b/c I hate climbing the stairs.
  • He has hiccups 5-6 times a day, mainly at night.  Do infants have hiccups that often I cannot remember?
  • I go to the dr. every other Friday now.
  • I am measuring 28 weeks, but doc says that it is just a primitive tool they use, so why use it?
  • Ben and the girls are awesome.  I know the girls are starting to think this will never end, but they are getting better about me having to rest more often and not being able to pick them up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

What a difference a year makes, and I am sure I will be saying that next year too. We met Mimi, my brothers, and sis-in-laws Friday afternoon at a nearby Pumpkin Patch. The purpose was to get some fall photos of the cousins. Thankfully there was 5 cameras b/c my loyal, trusty companion decided to break today. I went to view some of my photos, and they were black. I got a few to choose from, but hoping one of the other cameras captured some memories for me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

T is for...tent

Ben and the girls had their first campout last night.  Being as we just got over poison ivy they opted to camp in the backyard.  All 3 of them slept outside all night, and came in about 7:15 this morning when the sun came up.  The overnight low was 46 degrees. They were all snug as bugs in a rug, except for Daddy who lost his socks in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heaven's Gain

Tonight, one of the most inspiring people I know went to be with Jesus after arriving in South Africa to distribute the Tori boxes.  Please be in prayers for my friends, the Oehlerkings.  Dave and his wife Jean, were the founders of Children's Cup.  I acknowledged him one time on his accomplishments and he said point blank, its not me.  It is Jesus, all for his glory.  I know they were planning to be in Africa for a few weeks, so please lift Jean, their kids and all of "his children" up in prayers.  I can personally say that my life was changed because of this man.   Thank you, Mr. Dave.   

Happy 10th Birthday

This past weekend, our church celebrated its 10th birthday. We had a county fair on the hill complete with rides, food contests, hot dog eating contests, petting zoos, games and bouncy houses. I am doing photography for the church, but my favorite subjects are still my girls.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Missions Monday - Mission Possible

This coming weekend, is our first fall outreach.  We will be passing out tons of fall clothing including jeans, flannel shirts, jackets and long-sleeved shirts.  I AM IN NEED OF A GREEN or CAMOFLOUGE BLANKET.

Mission Possible is who hosts the church services every Sunday morning.  Church Under the Bridge (CUB) takes place at 7th St and IH-35 on Sunday mornings. You will find live music, testimonies of changes lives, and a down-to-earth message for Austin's street population. Church Under the Bridge is a place where the Body of Christ in Austin can build relationships with those living on the streets. Volunteers at CUB tangibly demonstrate the love of God to others through a corporate worship time, the provision of hot meals, clothing, blankets and sleeping bags. CUB meets every Sunday morning at 7th Street and IH-35 across from the police station. The service starts at 10 a.m.  Lunch is served one time per month at 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

all grown up

Earlier this week, Erica blogged about her daughter's love for her new shoes - leopard print flats, so thought I would share in her misery.  Ours are brown mid-calf boots, at least she chooses to wear skirts with them, but I am just not sure I am ready for this!
Not sure, but I think these are hand me downs from Erica's little fashionista.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

cheeesteak kabobs

So my team is not playing real hot this season, but we have had some great food to help take away the sting.
Cheesesteak Ka-bobs
4 T melted butter (divided)
2 T flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 lb sirloin steak (cut into chunks)
1 green bell pepper (cut into cubes)
6 oz artisan bread
Preheat grill to medium-high. In a medium sauce pan, heat half of the butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Lower the heat to med. and slowly whisk in milk until thickens and begins to boil.  Stir in the cheese until smooth; season with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm.
Thread the steak and bell pepper onto skewers, brush with the olive oil, we also seasoned with our fave steak seasonings.  Brush melted butter onto the bread.  Grill the peppers for about 10 minutes, steak for about 3 minutes on each side and the bread for about 2 minutes per side.
Serve with the cheese sauce for dipping.
This recipe is from Rachel Ray's magazing - Dinner for 10 bucks of less, cost was less than $8 for 4 servings.

Friday, October 08, 2010

love of gardening

Grandma always seems to have something growing in her garden. LE enjoyed helping her pick okra, Bella stayed inside in the air conditioning. I loved watching her help Grandma and seeing her learn in the process. She was able to apply what she learned about apples and how they start as a blossom, then grow into an apple with the okra plant. Not sure what we are going to do with all of the okra we collected, but we will find some recipe.
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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Kari Jobe

Last night, our church hosted Kari Jobe from Gateway Church.  I cannot tell you how amazing or impactful a night of worship it was.  I was so glad I took the night off to go.  The presence of God was so thick you could feel it. 
Not sure who Kari is? - youtube her - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FObjd5wrgZ8
Although my favorite song was her cover of David Crowder's How He Loves. 
Sorry Mom, she did not sing My Beloved.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

my frugal life - bulletin board

We are trying to jazz up the classroom for the girls and I really wanted a way to display their artwork. I remembered when I was teaching at a private school, I had four large chalkboards and no bulletin boards. One of my co-workers had the idea of using the foam board from the building supply store to make bulletin boards. At school, we covered it with bulletin board paper, but I decided to use something a little more permanent. Ben picked up the foam board for $10 for a 4x8 foot piece and I purchased the material at Hobby Lobby on sale last week for less than $5 yd. I purchased 3 yards and have enough left over to make a floor pillow.
We cut the foam board down to 30" x 42" (2 of them).  I used thumbtacks to hold the material in place and then hot glued the material to the board. We used nails to attach it to the walls.
I am so proud of it, much better than the corkboard ones at the store which were selling for twice what I paid to make two of them.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

memory garden

My grandfather was the type who was always outside.  He made this flower bed shaped like a star and had the American flag and Texas flag poles added to it.  He always flew the flags proudly.  When he got sick earlier this spring, this area of the yard became overgrown with thistles.  When we went home for the funeral I knew I wanted to do something special for Grandma and to help her clean up the area.  I wish I had a before pic of the thistles in this bed, they were up to my waist.  My dad, Grandma and I worked all morning to pull them up.  Grandma's birthday was a few weeks after he passed away, so that next morning I took her to Lowe's and told her to pick out anything she wanted to do the beds.  We worked again all that afternoon to plant them.  This past weekend, the girls and I got to go see the beds we helped plant.  Grandma has kept them weeded and watered all summer. 

Monday, October 04, 2010

You're invited...

...to a real blessing.
October 17th, 9:30 a.m.
Downtown Austin, under 6th Street Bridge

Help distribute breakfast, Bibles, blankets, sleeping bags, jackets, socks, fall clothing & toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Children welcome. 

If you ever wondered what we do, this is going to be the outreach to attend.  We have a new team assembled, but looking to watch it grow.  You will not leave without being blessed.  If you are unable to join us, please use your social networks and friends to gather any of these items. 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

more orchard fun

The apple orchard had the best climbing tree. All 3 of the girls climbed and explored. We could even hide inside of it.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A is for Alice

The girls were invited to their first theatrical play during A week - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Sarah, was the dormouse and she got us special seats. We even got to go backstage and meet some of the actors. Both of the girls LOVED the play, but Bella was mesmerized by meeting the cast. LE does not like characters in costumes (Easter, Santa Claus) but I thought since she knew it was Sarah, she would be ok. Once Sarah took off her make-up and wig she was hugging on her. Bella says she wants to be in a play, with her love for dress-up I can see that happening.
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Friday, October 01, 2010

A is for apples

We spent Friday afternoon at the Love Creek Orchards to learn more about our topic for the week - apples! We had fun running through the orchards and got to sample Gala Apples and apple ice cream.
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