Thursday, July 28, 2011


At 7 months, 3 weeks and 1 day old we had to purchase R2's first package of diapers.  This pic was taken when he was almost 3 months old, so it does not even include all of them.  The majority of them came from my senior friends at the gym.  They also gave us two bulk boxes of wipes (which we ran out out of last week too).  Many friends and family brought us diapers too.  It was such a blessing.  It was also a blessing that he would outgrow a diaper when we were almost out of a size, so there was never any leftover diapers.
Guess it is time to potty train.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dallas weekend

I was so excited when I found out my zumba training was in McKinney b/c it meant the possibility of seeing one of my dearest, oldest (as in I have known her longer than most) friends. Kim was one of my students when I taught high school in Kerrville. I traveled with her when she tried out for the Tech Color Guard, she was one of my bridesmaids and I was one of hers. I hardly ever see her anymore now that she is a business professional and I am a professional Mom, but even after years apart we were able to pick right back where we started like a day hadn't passed.
We got there pretty late Thursday night, but her husband made a wing stop run and we sat up late watching 127 Hours. After my class Friday, she told us of a Latin restaurant where we could celebrate. On Saturday morning, we had to pack up and head home to relieve Mimi, but I am so grateful for the time we did get to spend together. Thank you for the warm bed and much needed shower.

Monday, July 25, 2011

she's hooked

Landry tried rock climbing for the first time at the museum and she had a ball.  Now, she did not go very high according to you tall peoples' standards, but it looked pretty high to her and I.  She says it was her favorite part of the museum.  Hopefully Bella will grow a couple of inches before we go back.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bella's day at the museum

One thing I can say about Bella is that she knows how to have fun.  She tried almost every experiment that she was big enough for.  She test drove a helicopter, made music on metal, danced, and explored with physics.  She had a great time and is ready to go back. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm official

As of Friday afternoon, I am a licensed zumba instructor.  Never thought those words would come out of my mouth.  I travel to south Texas this weekend for my Aqua Zumba license and next month will be traveling to San Antonio for my Zumbatomic license.  I will be teaching Zumbatomic (kids) 4 days a week this fall, and not sure what my aqua zumba schedule looks like.  Check out my bio on

LE's day at the museum

The science tree house was the perfect hands-on museum for LE. Some of the experiments were a little over her knowledge level, but she was still able to participate and explore. She recently asked if you really could talk to a person across the room with cups and a string. They had a similar experiment that her and Bella enjoyed. She used a simple pulley to pull herself up and she had fun creating wind in Mommy's face. There was a really fun game that all 3 girls enjoyed where the lights on a floor lit up. They had to outrun the light & not step on it. It was a really great field trip for her age and even for kids a few years older.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Read's day at the museum

R2 received so many compliments at the museum on how happy of a baby he was.  I told you, I am really not biased.  Ok, maybe a bit. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Witte Museum - DINOSAURS

This past weekend, we headed to San Antonio to the Witte Museum.  I found out that morning my brother's family was there and we met up to celebrare Emmie's b-day.  We went b/c of the dinosaur exhibit, but quickly discovered there were only 3 dinosaurs.  Thankfully there was a great science treehouse that kept our attention for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheesecake Factory Endive Salad

The Cheesecake Factory has my favorite salad, but at $6 for a "small salad", which Ben and I do not like to share I had been on the look out for the recipe.  CCF sells salad dressing, but at $8 and they have to be used in 48 hours, it was just not feasible.  In my salad searches over the past few weeks, by accident I discovered olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixed was the secret CCF salad dressing. 

My Endive and Bleu Cheese Salad Version:
Belgian endive (had to purchaed at Sprouts - cut this like you would celery and toss the hard center stalks - very bitter if you don't)
Ruby Reds (CCF uses radicchio, but also hard to find)
Gorgonzola (or bleu cheese)
Candied Pecans
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

Mix 1/2 cups pecans, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 T. water - stir and heat on low heat.  Remove when mixed together and allow to chill  (this made enough for a week's worth of salad).
Mix 3 cups (handful = cup) greens together and coat with olive oil.  Then, toss with vinegar.
Garnish greens with cheese and pecans.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

do you zumba?

NEVER SAY NEVER!  Last year, I stood in the back of a packed gymnasium and watched 76 women shake their bonbons to Latin and HipHop music and told my boss at the Y and uberfit combat instructor friend - you will never see me doing that in public.  Back in May, my boss at 24 hour e-mailed several of us and asked if we would be interested in teaching a song at the Mother's Day Zumbathon.  I giggled, no really laughed till I wet myself at her request.
Fast forward to one day last month in my fitness magazine I read an article about aqua zumba.  Then, two days later several of my regular Saturday members asked me about the new craze.  I e-mailed my boss that afternoon and asked her what she knew about it and what she thought about it.  Within minutes she e-mailed me and said please, do it, go for it.  After praying about it and talking to Ben, I registered for my training class.  At this point, I had taken the class once, yeah, like attended it.  So, this weekend I am traveling to Dallas for zumba training and next weekend to Laredo for aqua zumba.  And, then in the next couple of weeks I will be getting zumbatomic - zumba for kids.   Both of my bosses (Y and 24) have told me there are classes waiting for me when I am done.  I am so excited about the new knowledge, I love to learn.  But, I am more excited about the favor God has given to me in this job.  I am not the most athletic person or have the fit, hot body type.  So, I often get uncomfortable in my role.  But, God has given me this desire to teach others and encourage others to get active.  And He fulfilled the desires of my heart.  Also, I am so thankful to my friend, Erica who encouraged me to join the gym 3 years ago, thank you friend.

Monday, July 18, 2011

missions Monday- Elsa and Leo

These are our two sweet kiddos in XaiXai that we sponsor through Mission of Mercy. We got a progess report on them with new photos. Elsa is in 6th grade now and Leonardo is in 1st.
Dear Lord,
Please keep them protected from all harm. Bless their families with health, food to eat and shelter over their heads. I pray that you teach them in your ways. Help them to grow strong, healthy and wise. I pray they know you and have a desire to know you more each day. Thank you for the mercy center that provides them food and education. Please bless the cooks and the pastors who are there every day to provide for them.  And Lord, if it is your will please provide us with the finances to sponsor more of your children or touch someone's heart to sponsor a child.  In Your name, Amen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

my inspiration

Please take 5 minutes and read this post from my friend, Sandra.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Ben still actively serves on the media team at church. The team always talks about hanging out socially when they are not serving, but it never happens. This past weekend, we finally go together at one couple's home. We had Mexican food and the kids enjoyed making water balloons. It was really a great night of fellowship. I got to hang out with a couple of moms whose husbands serve and it was really funny to learn how much we had in common, I mean couples as a whole. All 3 of us had artsy/techie-type hubbies with the same personality types and us 3 wives had the same personality types. It was nice to know someone else walks through so many things that as a mom/wife/homemaker walks through and I am not alone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dinosaur George

Oh my goodness, if this guy comes to your town, make the trip to take your kiddos.  The girls giggled so hard and learned so much.  We no longer want to be rockstars, but now (this week anyways) a paleontologist (LE) and dinosaur girl (Bella).  I was even entertained and learned something, a lot of somethings. 
So, after the day at the library we ditched all of the science lesson plans for now and are focusing on dinosaurs.  Ha, I can, I homeschool! 
Really, this is one of the big reasons we homeschool.  The girls have read every book they can get their hands on about dinosaurs and are asking for more.  Dinosaur Train is exciting again. , We are planning some field trips to Glenrose and the Witte Museum.  I love that they can fuel their passions.  If we spend 9 weeks on it, it will be ok b/c they will come away with true wisdom on the subject and I will be learning right along with them.  I love my job. 
After reading a book, LE told me "she knew what happened to the dinosaurs, the T-Rex had eaten all of them", but then asked, "but what happened to the T-Rex?"  We have alot more to learn.
Top pic - a plank from a stegosaurus, pic with girl paleontologist is a jaw from a T-Rex. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


another one bites the dust.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

three pepper salad

I am cutting back on carbs over the next few weeks (I have becomed quite obsessed with them lately and wanted to get it in check.)  In that attempt, I needed to discover more sides, primarily veggies.  The vegetable aisle is so colorful and I found a recipe using my fave ingredients, colorful bell peppers.  Oh yeah, and we love Mediterranean food.

1 European cucumber (or 2 regular cucumbers)

1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 orange bell pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and cut in half)
1/4 cup red onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces (optional - I added to Ben's salad)
1/2 cup diced Feta cheese
1/2 cup Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
1 tsp. dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Mix oregano into salad dressing, set aside - I did not use all of the dressing.

Peel cucumber in strips, leaving some green stripes lengthwise. Cut in half lengthwise, then in slices. Dice peppers in 3/4 inch pieces.
Combine cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, olives, and onion and toss with desired amount of salad dressing. Sprinkle Feta cheese over salad and grind on black pepper, then serve immediately. (Kalyn's Kitchen)

Monday, July 11, 2011

first day of the new year

Our new school books finally arrived and this morning was our first official day of kindergarten and first grade.  We decided to go with a classical approach to homeschool this year.  The girls will learn history in the order it occurred, starting with creation.  In this first year, we will attempt an overview of four centuries, up until the fall of Rome.  The key word is overview.  Bella's primary focus will be on learning to read and Landry's will be on learning cursive, or fancy writing.  Our science will be biology; animals, plant life and the human body. 
When I taught private school, we used the Abeka curricula.  I swore I would never use it again b/c I was so burnt out.  After visiting multiple homeschool friends and conventions I decided it was not as bad as I remembered and since I knew it, decided it would be a wise choice for this year.  We are using the math, handwriting and LE's spelling books from Abeka.  I am using much of the things with Bella that I used to teach LE how to read.  I have spent the past couple of weeks writing lesson plans for the next month.  I think it is going to be a great year.  Of course, will keep you posted.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

little architect

R2 has discovered blocks and big sister, Bella could not be happier to have someone knock over her sculptures.  He has really good fine motor skills for someone so small, but then again I am comparing him to girls. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

4th of July fun

We celebrated 4th of July for the 2nd year at my cousin Anna's & her family.  One of my closest girlfriends, Natalie is also friends with her (from church).  All of our kids are close in age, so it makes for a fun time together.  After some backyard splash time and hot dogs, we headed to the neighborhood pool.    Thanks Jenks fam, I guess this is now a tradition. 

first friend sleepover

The girls had their first friend over for a slumber party.  It was great fun until Bella rolled out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and all three were wide awake.  Netflix came to the rescue and Mama was able to get a little more sleep.  There was popsicles and hot chocoate (per LE's request), lots of trampoline jumping, and squealing, but most of all fun. 
LE, Blythe, and Bella

Friday, July 08, 2011

Sunday, July 03, 2011

I am sure this is more for me, than you

"Watch your words and hold your tongue; you'll save yourself a lot of grief" Proverbs 21:23.

A practical way of doing this is to think before you speak. I find that I can save myself a lot of grief if I think about the following questions:

T - Is it true?
H - Is it helpful?
I - Is it inspiring?
N - Is it necessary?
K - Can I say it in a kind way?

from Marriage Vine Ministries

Friday, July 01, 2011

7 months, really?

There is no way this sweet baby will be 7 months tomorrow.  Time is going way too fast.
This month he mastered sitting up and rolling over (tummy to back and back to tummy).  Two little teeth have emerged on the bottom and he prefers baby food to the bottle lately.  He sings mamama when he is hungry and rubs his eyes when he is tired.   My pure joy, so glad God knows what He is doing.