Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life this week....

It has been a good week so far and kind of busy. I had "inservice" day at the preschool yesterday and tomorrow is "meet the teacher" day. My friend LeeAnn (co-teacher) and I have been getting everything ready and I think it is all done! I have 7 children now in my class and it just so happens that each day there are 6 boys and 1 girl. I don't think I will know what to do with myself and all these boys! Ellie will be so excited about starting school next Tuesday, but I haven't really talked about it cause if I do it will be the only thing we talk about! Ellie's teacher asked if I thought she would need to meet her and get used to the room. I told her I thought she would be okay. There will be no tears from that child only sprinting into her room with much joy! Anna might take a few minutes, but she is normally okay. We've had some fun things going on lately such as:

Outside the Camp Leaders Retreat- Every year the student ministry takes the leaders away for a retreat right before school starts. I got to go on Friday night and stay in the bunk room with all the girl leaders. It was so much fun and I kind of felt old as I met the new 6th grade leaders who had graduated last year from Baylor. We have awesome leaders and I am so excited to start my new small group this year. I am joining an existing group of 10th grade girls who have been together since 6th grade. Their current leader just needs a co-leader as she recently got married. It will all start next Wednesday.

80's Skating Party- It was the high school ministries kick-off night. It was super fun and there were some great outfits that everyone put together. I wore many of them during my elementary school years.

Gloria's- Last night we went out with our friends Cory and Jamie to a fun mexican restaurant called Gloria's. I really liked it and I loved the fact that I didn't see one high-chair the whole night. Ellie and there little boy had a great time together. They love to have a sleep over and they actually went to sleep.

Clothes- Our wonderful cousin brought over 3 trash bags full of clothes from her little boy and daughter. I was able to give away all the cute boys clothes to two different friends who are now set for the whole winter. I was so jealous of all their cute gap khaki cargo pants and long-sleeved t-shirts. I have 2 bags full of girls clothes that I am saving for the girls for when they get a little older. We are stuck in our 2t and under clothes! However, they loved playing dress-up in the tinkerbell and snow white costumes.

Lawernce, KS- We are so excited to get away this weekend to visit Mike's parents for Labor Day in Lawrence. The girls will love it. Mike and I are going to the first Jayhawk football game on Saturday night!

Anna- My incredible sleeper woke up early for the first time in forever during her nap today. It was so strange to hear her early as she normally sleeps for a really long time. It just so happened to be on a day where Ellie is taking a nap. They are so different!

I'm off to figure out what to cook for dinner... Hope you are all having a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Highs and Lows....

*The picture above was taken after I wrote this post. Ellie was really quiet after her nap in her room. The crayons were in a pencil bag that has a zipper pretty high up in her closet. I threw those crayons away and I tried to clean up the toy box with no success? Any suggestions? There was also a p.t. disaster in the room, but I won't share a picture! I am so glad we are going out to dinner tonight. We all need a break!

It seems like the girls and I have had lots of these this week. Although, I know that each day with them is precious and a gift from God. We've been kind of busy this week with things to do at night to where Mike has watched them the past couple of nights. I get home and we are just wanting to lay around and watch gymnastics. I'm still wondering if the drama is ever going to end, but I just saw that Nastia is flying home today to DFW! I've been reading in my Beth Moore book about perspective and I have really been challenged to be careful of my thoughts and words. She is teaching on the Psalms and the verse that struck me is:
" I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven." Psalm 123:1. She says "I'd like to suggest that an entire chain reaction begins with our eyes and ultimately affects our hearts, souls, and minds. Where we look-Where we ultimately fasten our gaze amid continual life challenges has a tremendous impact on how we feel. God is worthy of our fixed attention. Everything else will downsize into its proper place when we look to God alone."
I've thought about this a lot this week during this very short season of having two toddlers and feeling stretched in so many directions. It is so easy to feel sorry for myself or make excuses. When I think about this is exactly where God has me and He wants to use me here with Ellie and Anna it makes such a difference. I read a friends blog the other day whose stage of life is just like mine except she is pregnant with her third and her husband is an attorney. He's about to start working really long hours and often times she feels like she is doing a lot of the work. Her desire is to always have a big family (5 kids) and she was saying how easy it would be to say I think 3 is enough, but she knows she would regret not having more children just cause of the current stress level. It really encouraged me to think through this short season and enjoy it. I know it will only get more difficult, but I don't want to let the daily craziness of p.t., naps, working, laundry, crying, tantrums, etc.. bring me down to where I just give in to my attitude. I want to thrive during this season in the highs and lows. I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Fall.....

It feels cooler here today in Texas and I thought today wow the summer is almost over. All the pools are now closed except for on the weekends and I noticed today that teachers went back to school. It is our last week without student ministry weekly programs. We don't have normal Sunday night program in the summer or small groups. I am looking forward to our normal routine and seeing what it will look like this year as it will be way different than last. We are now in a community group so that is one night a week and we each co-lead a student small group once a week. I am excited to meet my new group this year. I know it will be an awesome opportunity to invest in these girls and learn so much from them.
The BIG change for us will be that I got a job at Ellie's mothers day out program. I had signed her up to go one day a week. I knew that I wanted to get a p.t. job and really had been praying for the right one. I had shared with some of our comm. group girls about this need. The next day I bumped into a friend at the gym who also has her boys at this MDO. She said the director had called her to see if she knew anyone who was looking for a p.t. job. She gave her my name and it worked out perfectly! The other great thing is that they needed one more teacher and my friend who lives in our neighborhood got that job! We will be co-teaching the 2 yr. old class on Tuesday's and Thursday's. The girls will both go for free and I get paid! I am really excited for them as well. I know they will love it. Anna really needs to gain some independence from me as I am her favorite person at all times. I love it, but it can get so exhausting. Ellie is very ready with her backpack and she thinks every school we drive by is "her" school. I know our lives are about to pick up a lot and I hope I can balance it all with a great attitude. We've been so blessed by such an incredible summer and I now think I am ready for the Fall.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ellie's Birthday

Thanks for making the incredible cake Amy!

What else do you do for an August birthday in Texas?

Ellie loves all of her new presents!

The care bear went everywhere with Ellie

Sweet girls loving their cake

Fun in the bounce house

Fun Cupcakes
The Yummy Cake!

Early Morning Birthday Picture

Amy is running today....

I think I have it figured out that my friend Amy is running this morning which is Friday night Beijing time. They just mentioned it on the today show and I think it will be on around 11:00 tonight. Set your tivo if you can't watch it. I know you will enjoy it. There are 32 women in the 10k and her goal is the top 10. She will be running against many ethiopians etc....Her teammate Kara Goucher has a chance to medal. Go Amy!
* She didn't do very well... I'm wondering if she didn't feel well. Her teammates both did incredible and one got the bronze which an american has never done in this event.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Growing like crazy....

So we went to the doctor today for Ellie's 3 year old appointment and Anna's 18 month old appointment. It was quite the experience and we were there for almost 2 hours so you can only imagine the fun we had in our little room! The girls are actually catching up on height. They are both at the 50th percentile. We've never been above the 25th percentile so I was a little shocked! However, they are looking like they are going to be tall and skinny! They are both below the 5th percentile for weight. Ellie weighed 24 pounds and Anna weighed 19 pounds. I got the questions on are they eating enough etc.... It seems like that is all they do is ask for a snack or more food! However, she is not worried since they both follow the exact same curve which will be great for the clothes situation. I think Anna will be a little taller as they get older cause her foot is growing all the time compared to Ellie's. They both got shots which went really well and of course we had a little potty adventure. We were almost to the car and Ellie starts pulling down her pants on the sidewalk. I caught her and we ran back into the dr.'s office for her to go potty. While we were in there Anna got into the open trash can and found a urine sample cup and put it up to her mouth. SICK! Those little hands can find anything it seems these days! The doctor was not worried at all about Anna's motor skills as she was pushing a chair around and crawling up into it. I almost laughed when she asked if Anna could climb, run, or throw things? ha ha! She get to go to timeout numerous times a day for these three things! Ellie is off to the dentist on Friday. I'm already looking forward to it.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

The weekend at Possum Kingdom Lake...

Our Community Group took this weekend and went to Possum Kingdom Lake. With 10 adults and 9 kids there was never a dull moment. The weekend was filled with 4 wheeling (apparently people from Arizona call it "quading"), water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, cliff jumping, napping, grilling on a big green egg, hanging out by the pool, and encouraging each other to grow closer as couples, and closer to the Lord. You may be thinking, how could you do that much with that many kids running around? We're just that awesome.
I was reminded this weekend of what the new testament church is really supposed to look like. We experienced community in a great way, and I'm now trying to convince everyone to sell their houses, and begin the search for a house that's big enough for all of us here in Dallas. It's taking some work to convince them...-Mike

My friend Amy...

Here's a little spotlight on my friend Amy who runs on August 15th at the Olympics...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Run Away....

Anna is for sure an 18 month old in its fullest! She is so different than Ellie was at this age.  Ellie had barely been walking and she also had a new baby sister. Wow those were the days. I am uncertain sometimes how to handle certain situations cause I really didn't face them with Ellie. Anna is everywhere and exploring everything. I know some of this comes with her age. However, I think she is starting to understand boundaries. I was wondering how my blogging friends with toddlers would handle these situations. Tonight, I took the girls to the mall playground to play. Anna loves it and is very good at climbing on everything. She is always content just playing there. However, tonight she was intrigued by something outside of the playground or wanted to play chase with me. I'm not sure which one was going on in her mind. However, she ran out of the playground about 5 times and then a few times kept running away from me down the hallway. She seems to do this a lot even at home when I am trying to change her diaper etc....I was firm with her each time tonight and spanked her hand/thigh in private! I made her sit by me in t.o., but this doesn't really work at her age. I eventually told them we had to leave cause Anna was being disobedient. I can see this needing to happen more in the future. I don't want to stay and reward them if they are misbehaving. She also loves to try and get out of her high chair. It is another situation I don't know how to handle. I know that I have about 3-4 months until she will really get it. She is such a sweetie and I love her lack of fear. I can sense that she will be a leader with lots of determination and I don't want to hold her back. However, I need her to listen to mommy! Do you all have any suggestions? On a more funny note...we've had some more adventures in potty training. We were out somewhere yesterday and I already had Anna in the car seat. Ellie told me she needed to go potty and there was no way I was going to get Anna out along with the stroller and go back into the bathroom cause that is a 20 minute process. I let Ellie go potty on the ground and she loved it! Tonight, at the mall once again Anna was in her car seat and Ellie had to go potty so she got to go on the ground again. I'm wondering if she is just tricking me cause she thinks it is fun to go on the ground. Life is funny these days......


                          At least a two of us are looking at the camera!
                            Anna had to spend some time in the bjorn again!
                               Ellie conquered her fear of the big swings.
                                    A beautiful river along a hike we took.
                                      Family picture on another hike.
                                     Ellie and Ellis at a horse stable. 
                                 Ellie: "Why does daddy make me do these things?"
                               Best friends! I love Ellie's legs in this picture.

We had a great time on our vacation to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It is near Durango and such a beautiful place. I think it is my favorite in Colorado. We met our friends Cassie and Trevor there. They have two children close to the same age as ours. It was so fun to have another family with us. Our kids are on the same schedule and really play well together. Ellie loves Ellis. They have known each other since birth when we both lived in Virginia. Our timeshare was in a beautiful area with a lake and incredible views. We did lots of swimming, playing, hiking, and ice cream trips! Mike and Trevor played golf a few times. We traded off on baby-sitting so we each got to go out without the kids. Mike and I went to hot springs in Pagosa. There were 20 different hot springs that you got to soak in while overlooking the down town river. It was really neat and so fun for us to be away! We had many funny memories and I'm glad we ventured a road trip to get there. The girls did really well and it wasn't so bad. I loved the weather since it is 100 degrees here everyday!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Almost 3.....

Ellie turns 3 in two days. Where has the time gone? I've been so remembering her early days this weekend. She is so sweet and this morning ran up to me saying "I love you mommy"! I got a little teary eyed knowing that her little heart is full of so much emotion and kindness (most the time)! More to come.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

A little dirty....

Here's a little video of Ellie playing at a river in CO. She loved throwing the rocks and could care less about getting muddy. Sorry about the camera action. I guess you can tell who shot the video?