Tuesday, June 26, 2012

165. A walking stick and a really cool retreat center.

(Updated with a couple of pictures from my friend Mindy. Thanks!!)

I went to my scrapbook retreat last weekend.

I made 165 pages plus a gift album and put together an album that records my pregnancy with Kylie.

I was productive.

My friends took pictures. I can't wait to show you them!

On a different note, because the place was in the absolute middle of nowhere, the owners suggested that if we were going on a walk we should walk LOUDLY and carry a STICK!


So, on Friday morning, when I went out for my run, I had already decided to stick to the absolutely MIDDLE of the road. But, I was looking for a stick anyway.  And I couldn't find one. And I was getting antsy.  Snakes and dogs are a regular part of country life around here.

So, finally, I ask God to show me a stick that it big enough to scare off animals, light enough to run with and close enough to the road that I would be willing to pick it up.  And within a minute, there was the stick.  I almost didn't get it.  I almost decided that that stick wasn't sturdy enough, and that it couldn't be the one that God would show me.  But, I decided that since this stick was close to the road and it almost had a spotlight on it, I should probably pick it up.

I am so glad I did.  I didn't see another stick until I was on my way back to the house. After I had encountered a barking aggressive neighbor dog!! My stick was perfect.  It as light enough to swish around quickly and had the dog stopping in its tracks!

It really made me think and wonder about how often we ask God to show us something or to help us with something and how we discount possible answers.  I mean, really, my stick was funny it was so pathetic. It was not at all the stick I imagined!  But, it was the stick I needed.

And finally, if you live in central Texas and are looking for a retreat center, the place I went this past weekend is the coolest!! Kay, one of the owners, made us feel so special and wanted!  The hospitality was incredible!  The retreat center where we stayed has 8 bedrooms and 8 1/2 bathrooms!! Check out their website, www.brazoshouseretreat.com and see what they have to offer.  I'm thinking about seeing if I can put the wedding package on layway for my girls!! If you check it out and book something, tell Kay I sent you.  Nope, I don't get anything for it, I just want her to know that I appreciated her work!
And that's it for now. I've spent the last two days working on my smart board lessons plans... yep, we teacher's even work during the summer :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Carrot Fries? I don't know.

I'm on the hunt for vegetables that can replace fries. It's not easy.

I saw a recipe on Weight Watchers  (or maybe Hungry Girl) for carrot fries. So, I made them.

Now, let me be honest.. I don't like cooked carrots. But, I thought I'd try. You never know.

Preparing the carrots took longer than they should as the girls, including my niece were starving from swimming and needed a snack.  So they chomped on some raw carrots.

We started with large carrots, washed and peeled them. 

Then as directed, I cut them into strips, put some coarse salt on them and baked at 425 (I think..) for a while. 

To be honest, I wasn't impressed. But my family liked them. This was all that was left. 

I think next time, I am going to use a mandolin and cut them into paper thin rounds and bake them like that and make carrot chips.  I think they would crisp better.

I'll keep you posted :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Throwing in the Swimming Lesson Towel!

Kylie lives for swimming.
So, I enrolled her for swimming lessons thinking it would be perfect for her!


It was a disaster!

So after two classes of misery, I have given up.

Many of you might say, don't give up!
She'll get it.

But, I'd have to say, then you haven't met Kylie.

You can forcibly make her sit on the side of the pool (which I have),
but you can't make her do what the teacher asks. UGH!

And, what would be gained by having her there and associating the pool with bad feelings?
I don't want to ruin swimming for us all!

So glad I took pictures of day one and a couple day two.

She started off great. She was so excited. She wanted to learn to swim like her sisters.

But then... this little girl (who is not in any of the pictures...) started crying.
And she cried and cried and cried.
For 30 minutes.

And Kylie watched and worried.
You could see it on her face.
She kept looking at the little girl and you could see her wondering about why she was crying
and if there was something to be scared about.

And then we got this.

After the first class, I told the teachers that Kylie loved swimming and this didn't make sense.
Kylie left saying she was going to swim the next day at class.
(In fact, that afternoon we went swimming at the park pool and then she swam at my mom's!)

Day 2.


And this is what we got.
I made her sit there and watch.
But she wouldn't do ANYTHING. 
I guess it's no wonder she doesn't want to go.
Swimming lessons means crying kids and cold!
  I don't think I'd want to go either.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weight Watchers. 3 weeks=11 pounds

So, I decided to make my quest known to the blog world.  I am determined to get in shape and lose about 30 plus pounds.  Three weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers Online and so far have lost 11 pounds!

I've tried Weight Watchers before and didn't have great success as I hated having to track everything and count.. yuck.

But I love the online and mobile apps!

And, I LOVE the tracking activity part!  You earn points for working out. Some activities only get you a couple of points.. like 30 minutes of  refinishing furniture only gets you 2 points, but when you end up spending all day on a project, those points add up!

Last week I earned 69 activity points! And better, I didn't use a single one!

The daily points are plenty for regular life and the weekly extra points are plenty to cover going to a baseball game and eating out!

So there you have it.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why I love Father's Day.

Father's Day is a great day. I love celebrating the dad's in my life.  It starts pretty simply. I have a great dad.

Don't you love the picture below!! That's my dad and me as a toddler. I have so many memories tied up in my dad being an active part of my life. He wasn't just in the room while we did stuff, he was a part of it.

As I got older I was able to learn all kinds of art stuff and some of the sign business from my dad. Things that I considered to be normal.. like the smell of paint and how to pick vinyl.

When I went off to college, Dad sent me letters and cards. He even sent me a hug one year for Valentine's day. Here is the envelope. It has his arms cut out in heavy paper glued to a cardboard backer.. It it truly a prized gift.

Then... when Doug and I started dating and got engaged, we showed off my ring and told family on Father's Day of 1998!  Later that day we went to a Texas Ranger game with family!

I know that some people don't have great dad's and men in their life. It truly makes me sad. Not only was my dad a great example of a godly man growing up, but yeah, I'll brag, my Grandad and my Papa were awesome as well.

My Grandad taught me to love books and to make wise decisions. He took me to the library and by his financial adviser's office to check on the stock market! At 90 something years old he still is the example of wise council that I use.

And then there was my Papa. He died when I was a freshman in high school, but oh was he fun!  He lived for loving others! He served and loved and taught me to give just to give. He didn't have tons of money, but the money he had he spent buying trinkets and little gifts for people. I appreciate this example so much.

Just in case you were wondering... I've got an awesome Mom and Grandmother and had a great Grandma as well.

And there you have it. I am one lucky girl.

Father's Day 2012

Father's Day.

The girls were so excited about their gift for Doug that we celebrated Father's Day on Saturday night.  First we did cards. All the girls made cards with Lexi even drawing a picture of the house.

 Then it was gift time.

Yes, they chose a double boiler.
Doug is totally into cooking these days and wants to master a white queso sauce.
He needs a double boiler to do that.

So, yes it does make a little sense.
And... one of our friends makes the most delicious chocolate sauce known to man and it requires a double boiler. Maddie decided that if Doug had the double boiler, he could learn how to make the sauce. :)

And then Kylie picked out a smiley face spatula. She said it was for him to use while making pancakes. That girl always has an agenda!

One good picture and then wildness!

Yes, Kylie is jumping on the couch.....

It is so fitting that we end up taking pictures in the family room, where all the junk of the day, kid toys and my craft stuff get to be in the pictures. We do have pretty parts of the house. But this room is where we live.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Finished Table, the Chairs in Progress and Two Adorable Girls.

The red table is finished. It's been so humid around here that I didn't want to put poly on it. So finally yesterday I was able to get it finished.  I love it.

If the recipient isn't in love with it, I'll take it back for my craft table :)

With the table finished, it was on to the chairs.

 Lots and lots of sanding required.

About an hour in...

Over an hour of sanding and only the top half of the chair is sanded. WOW!!
(Thanks storm rolling in for a break!)

And what did Kylie and Lexi do while I was occupied?

Well, after the required fussing and fighting, they settled unto the kid couch that's been living in the garage.  They drug it out into the yard and looked adorable I must say!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

urrrrr. Where is it?

I can't find a scrapbook. It's driving me crazy! I have looked everywhere! I'm missing pages that I know I made. I remember the pictures and I can almost tell you what the pages looked like.

But no,  I can't find them.

Doug has reminded me about how crazy the last few years have been. Packing, storing, moving, unpacking, packing....

It's no wonder.

Hopefully I'll find the pages. If not, at least I have the digital files and can do them again.


But.... I can do them again next week!!

Next week is scrapbook retreat!! Yes, I am SOOOOOO excited!

I've been printing pictures like a crazy woman.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge. It's worth it.

We spent Sunday night at Great Wolf Lodge.

It's an incredible experience.

I don't have most of the pictures yet cause I purchased a couple of disposable waterproof cameras.  But here is a sneak peek :)

When you arrive, it's pretty overwhelming. 
They know how to set the stage. ( I stole this picture off a travel site.)

You can start playing in the water park at 1pm on the day of your arrival, so by 1:30 we were ready.  They say that your room won't be ready until 4pm, but ours was ready when we got there, so it made changing and all much easier!

Maddie didn't feel good, her asthma had flared and her sinus' were all yucky.  But she wasn't going to miss this opportunity to wear a normal swimsuit! (She has to wear a swim shirt with sleeves and shorts when we are outside because of her natual burning ability plus her meds amplify the burning!)

Here the girls are waiting for us to get ready!

And this is what all the excitement is about!

An enormous indoor waterpark with slides and fun galore!
(another stolen picture from a travel site..)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

8 years ago

8 years ago we moved from the metro-mess to the 'ville!

It was a quick move with only a couple of choices on houses, I don't think I ever thought we'd be here more than a year or so...

Well, here we are 8 years later.

We've welcomed Lexi and Kylie to our lives while we have lived here and we've remodeled almost the entire house.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Kylie draws monsters

Kylie loves to draw.
She is really, really into drawing monsters these days.

When Maddie was 2, she drew hearts, flowers and rainbows.
When Lexi was 2, she drew princesses and horses.
Kylie at 2 draws monsters.

I love it.

I know it's the art teacher in me, but I love how each monster is unique.
I love that she can close her circle off and add details.
I love her creativity!

And yes, she is drawing in marker in the coloring book on the dining room leather chair.
That's just how we roll.