Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Backyard Camping

This weekend we discovered the very best way to camp out. My parents and sister came on Friday night. On Saturday the girls had girl time getting pedicures, shopping, and eating out. The guys had boy time, which I think consisted of playing with John Curtis and taking a nap. On Saturday night we had a pretend camp out in the backyard. Taylor built a fire in the fire pit and Sophie got to roast hot dogs and marsh-
mallows for S'mores over the fire. We also got her little Dora tent out so she could pretend to be camping with it. Pretend camping is the way to go because when we were finished, everyone went inside and took a shower and slept in beds! This morning my family stayed to hear Sophie sing in church. I'll post the video of her singing later. Taylor has to do it and it takes a while.

Popsicles and Pinwheels

Friday was hot again so we turned the sprinkler back on and the kids cooled off with some Popsicles. We got a package in the mail from G-Momma with some new clothes, pinwheels and beach balls that added to the fun!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Summer Fun on a Spring Day

I know it is only April, but yesterday it was HOT in San Angelo. The kids were cranky and sweaty and my temper was beginning to match the heat, so we all needed to cool down. We pulled out our swimsuits and spent the afternoon playing in the sprinkler.
Since the summer Sophie turned one, I have tried to get her to play in the sprinkler. She has never liked it until this year. It was so much fun to see her finally enjoying running through the water.
John Curtis had a love/hate relationship with the sprinkler. He really wanted to like it when he saw sister laughing and having so much fun. He would try to play with the water, but as soon as it started hitting him in the face, he didn't like it anymore. This surprised me since he practically swims in the bathtub and puts his face in the water.
I know this picture looks mean - what kind of mom would take a picture while her kid was screaming? But he just kept going back to it. He would stand there and scream while it hit him in the face and not move. I would move him to the porch and tell him he didn't have to play in it. Within minutes he was back in it and we would repeat the whole process. Mom's sympathy only extends so far!
Finally, John Curtis found something he really enjoyed playing in!
After this we had to dunk him in the sprinkler!

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Haircut

I finally gave in to Taylor and let him take John Curtis to get his hair cut this morning. It hurt me to see those beautiful curls fall to the floor, but thankfully he had curls to spare and still has quite a bit. As you can tell, he didn't really enjoy the experience.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend Pics

My morning couch potatoes
John Curtis about to dig into the dirt!
Sophie speeding by so Daddy couldn't get her picture (that is why we only have one of her:)
Riding just like sister, or as John Curtis calls her, Sssss

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ponderings on Turning 30

Today is my 30th birthday. Taylor is taking me to San Antonio without the kids and I am so excited. I must really need to get away because Sophie told me last night, "You're not a woman! You're a Momma!" A friend asked me the other day how it feels to be 30 and I've been thinking about that. I really think it feels great. This is a good time in my life. I've been reflecting some and asking my 20 year old self if this is where I pictured my 30 year old self being. The answer is yes and no. I wanted to be a wife and a mom. Of course you never know what that is like until you are one and I did think my house would be a lot cleaner and I would be more together and organized:) I was going to be Supermom! Reality has set in and I am content with just trying to be a good mom. So while I pictured myself as a wife and mom I never thought we would be living in a middle class neighborhood pastoring a predominately white, affluent church. My 20 year old self would tell my 30 year old self that we sold out. Maybe my 20 year old self is right, but life isn't as black and white now as it was at 20. We've done our best to follow God's leading and feel (hope) that we are where He wants us. Perhaps more important than WHERE I am is WHO I am. What I am most thankful for is that I am God's child and his grace will never let me go (even if I do sell out!) As great as my life is, I know that the best is yet to come! I was in the van (another thing 20 year old Alyson didn't think she'd have) the other day listening to a song by Nicole Nordeman that pretty much sums up my feelings.

I Am
Pencil marks on a wall, I wasn't always this tall
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed
You watched my team win, You watched my team lose
You watched when my bicycle went down again
And when I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call you by name
And I said, "Elbow healer, superhero, come if you can."
And You said, "I am."

Only 16, life is so mean
What kind of curfew is at 10 PM?
You saw my mistakes, you watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I'd never love again
When I was weak, unable to speak
Still I could call You by name
And I said, "Heartache healer, secret keeper, be my best friend."
And You said, "I am."

You saw me wear white by pale candlelight
I said forever to what lies ahead
Two kids and a dream with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it's 2 AM
When I am weak, unable to speak
Still I will call you by name
"Shepherd, Savior, pasture maker, hold on to my hand."
You say, "I am."

The winds of change and circumstance blow in and all around us
Still we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

When life had begun I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
And who can say when, but they'll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home
I will be weak, unable to speak
Still I will call you by name
"Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and the End
I Am, Yes I Am.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day Eight of Eight Days of Springtime Fun

We are finally at the end and great springtime fun has been had by all! Today was all about vegetables. We read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert and Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres.
Then we made vegetable soup for lunch. Sophie helped me heat it and make grilled cheese sandwiches.
Unfortunately, she wasn't crazy about actually eating the soup. She is having rest time in her room right now and is coloring the paper vegetables and the basket that came in the bag. Then we will cut out the veggies and glue them in the basket. Thanks again, Grammy! We had fun!

Birthday Surprise!

My 30th birthday is this Friday, but I really haven't thought much about it until yesterday. On Tuesdays I usually have lunch with two of my special friends and yesterday they suggested we go to a nice little tea room for my birthday. When we got there I was surprised by a collection of my friends throwing me a surprise birthday lunch. It really was beautiful. There were pink and brown balloons, a beautiful pink cake with white polka dots my sweet friend Leia made, and even my own tiara. They all got me gifts with the theme of 30 - $30 gift certificates, 30 poems, 30 pieces of scrapbook paper, stickers, and ribbon, 30 beads, 30 quarters, and 30 one dollar bills. I was truly surprised by all this. I was also overwhelmed, not just by everyone's generosity, but by friendship. That these ladies would rearrange their busy schedules of work, school, and taking care of kids and make time to give me a special birthday celebration really honored me. It wasn't just getting together for lunch, but a lot of thought and effort went into it and I thank all of you. I was thinking last night how 2 years ago I didn't know any of these girls and I didn't particularly want to. I know that sounds bad, but when we first came to interview here I didn't want to like the people. I was quite content where I was and am not big on change. Of course, anyone who knows the people of Southland knows that it is hard not to like them. I am thankful for each of you and what you add to my life. I realized last night that what I was feeling was a sense of home and that because of friendships, San Angelo truly is home.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Day Seven of Eight Days of Springtime Fun

Today's activity was my favorite because we got to eat popcorn. We read The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola then popped some popcorn.
We ate a lot of it, but some of it was glued on some pictures Sophie colored of a popcorn bowl and an ear of corn. Then we glued the popcorn seeds on our Seed Collection sheet we have been working on.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day Six of Eight Days of Springtime Fun

Today's activity would also be a great Halloween or Fall activity. We read The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano about a pumpkin growing.
There was a mix in the bag for pumpkin bread so we made some. There was also a bag of pumpkin seeds that Sophie enjoyed eating.
I was really surprised that Sophie liked the pumpkin bread. We had some for dinner (not so good with spaghetti) and will probably take some to our neighbors. I didn't have any shortening and they let us borrow some :)

Scary Happenings in Mississippi

My grandparents live in Vicksburg where a huge storm blew through last week. A tree fell on their house and pretty much damaged the whole thing. Thankfully, Grandma was gone and Paw-Paw was on the other side of the house. I didn't realize how bad it really was until they sent pictures this morning. I've been thinking all day how thankful I am that they weren't on the side of the house where the tree fell. They would surely have been killed. Mixed with my relief is a sadness at the loss of a home with many memories. I can't imagine the memories they have from their over 30 years in the house. For most of my life (until I got married) we traveled to Vicksburg at least twice a year. During the summers my sister and I would spend time without our parents there. Most of my memories are outside the house - exploring in the woods, playing Tarzan with the vines, making mud pies, riding the tractor with Paw-Paw, and swinging on the wooden swing he had made. However, the house was special too. It's where we gathered for big family meals, where my sister and I played dress up in Aunt Carol's old dance costumes and Grandma's wedding dress (I know! Can you imagine her letting us do that??) It's also where we opened presents together by the tree that once fell over. It's where you could hide in the hall closet that connected to the hamper in the bathroom and scare someone (I don't appreciate this aspect of the house quite as much since becoming an adult). It's where scary Grandma Mendrop's picture hung glaring at us as we slept in the spare bedroom giving us nightmares. More recently I have memories of my cousins wrestling with my own kids on the living room floor. I'll admit I'm being a bit nostalgic, but that house is part of my childhood and I may never see it again. So all you Mendrops out there, feel free to share in my nostalgia and comment with your own memories.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Day Five of Eight Days of Springtime Fun

Okay, I know all of the pictures are starting to look the same everyday, but bear with me for a few more days. I want to chronicle all of the activities for Mom since she worked so hard on putting them together. Also, I've had a few people tell me they would like to do the activities with their kids or grandkids. Today we read the book Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. This book is the one that gave Mom the idea and has all of the activities in it through today.
After reading, Sophie colored a picture of parts of a face to tape onto a flower pot.
I thought the pot turned out really cute. We added soil and then she planted grass seeds. We sat it in her windowsill and will wait and see if it grows.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Day Four of Eight Days of Springtime Fun

The activity for Day 4 was a craft project. The kids decorated picture frames and Sophie got a Corduroy sticker book.
Sophie worked hard gluing beans and sticking stickers on her frame.
John Curtis hard at work.
Sophie's sticker bookSophie's completed frame.
John Curtis's completed frame.

Literacy Festival

San Angelo had a Literacy Festival downtown today. They had booths set up where authors were signing books, lots of books for sale, a jumping house for the little ones, and chalk drawing. We made a family masterpiece!
John Curtis's contribution!
Taylor took this picture to show what a true artist Sophie is covered in her art work. Notice the chalk covered pants.
One of the tents had a local police officer reading a children's book. Sophie wasn't quite sure of him, but she did get a free book. Last night Taylor was telling her the story of Goldilocks, which I was shocked to find she didn't have a copy of in her overflowing book shelf. She found a copy here, though and was so excited.

When we left the festival we went to a park downtown on the river for a picnic. The kids played and Sophie rode her bike along the river. We took this picture from our blanket during lunch. Sophie saw a wide open field and an opportunity to be in her own world. Who knows what she was pretending here, but I'm sure it involved a princess.