Monday, July 26, 2010

Going Wild!

Some friends from church sent me this video they made with the following message:

We hope you have a really fun, let-your-hair-down kind of time in Hawaii, but please don't do anything that would later prove embarrassing! (To you or to us!!!)

We will try our best to control ourselves or at least make sure there are no cameras around!
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Expecting Better

I got a phone call today that made me smile. About once a year my friend, Kim's mom calls me to give me updates on the family. Kim has been gone for 5 years now and I'm sure her kids would no longer even know me, but they are all still so close to my heart. I love hearing these updates, but they always leave me feeling a little unsettled. For some reason I always hope to hear that life is great, the kids are flourishing with no problems, and all is well. While the kids are doing fine and life is going on, things will never be great. There is a mom who will grieve for her lost daughter every day for the rest of her life. There is a teenage girl and a teenage boy trying to grow up without the guidance of a mom. And there is their dad who has to make decisions and raise these kids on his own. Nothing is right with this picture, and it never will be. That is not to say there won't be continued healing and lives lived well, but something, someone will always be missing. I cry as I write this because it really frustrates me, this imperfection we live in. I don't know why I'm always surprised when life isn't complete, when I get that feeling deep down that something is wrong or missing. Since I was a little girl I have longed for perfection in the world, in myself, in others. Of course I am continually frustrated and have learned that is not something I can create. So why do I keep longing and expecting? Could there be something deep down in us that knows there is supposed to be more than this? There is, I know, and there will be, but now we're stuck here living in this imperfection where mommies can die and parents must bury their children. I guess that is what hope and faith are for. So next year when I pick up the phone, I will hope all is well, but I will have faith that someday it will be.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I have a 3rd child...
She wakes up with bed head that must be brushed,
She has to go to her OWN beauty supply store on the OTHER side of town (I know we live in San Angelo, but still) to get her specialized hair brush that won't rip out her hair. I wasn't kidding when I said she cost as much as Sophie did. Sophie was a very cheap baby to have, but we want to take care of that precious hair.
She doesn't require a lot of interaction, but I do find myself having feelings of jealousy towards her. This is what she gets to do at the pool,
and she gets a nap every afternoon. I guess all that laying out at the pool made her tired.
Last week Sophie and I made her a birthday cake. She came with this wonderful little book of things you can do with your doll.
This book puts all sorts of ideas in little girls' heads about things they need to make for their baby in order to be a good mommy. We start the mommy guilt early.
So we all sang Happy Birthday.

Sally was beyond thrilled.
Then today Sally got her first package in the mail. G-Momma made them matching outfits! Sophie was beside herself with excitement.
It's tough being the mom of 3.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Little Swimmer

Who is that child swimming UNDER the water?
It can't be mine. My child is the one who goes to the pool multiple times a week but is content to bob around in his life jacket, never getting his hair wet.
He's afraid of going down the slide (that he loved to go down last year). My child is NOT a swimmer.
Except now he is!!!! No one recognizes him with his straight, wet hair, though.
Yes, my son has gone through a complete metamorphosis. He can't get enough of the water now.
He swims down to get his dive sticks, jumps off the side and swims to me where he can't touch, goes down the slides, and even jumps off the diving board. We have a swimmer!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Adventures in Grilling Part 4

This will be my last post from the list for a while. Please don't be too disappointed. I know everyone has been running out to their grill to try these recipes with us, but we have VBS this week and our meals will therefore consist of hot dogs, probably some mexican stackups, and maybe even a corndog or two. So Saturday night we tried number 67.
You can use any white fish. I had flounder in the freezer from Sam's since my mom loves to stock my freezer when she comes to visit.
We are back to using mango again now that I am an expert at cutting them.
I cut up the fish and mango and alternated them on skewers. Then I brushed them with a sauce of soy, Tabasco, and cilantro.
We threw them on the grill along with some corn.
Sophie admiring the yummy food
John Curtis didn't want to be left out of the picture taking.
Throw in my all time favorite, fried okra, and you have a meal.

It was a very pretty and a very healthy dish, but I think we might try a different white fish next time. The flounder had a pretty strong "fishy" taste. Also we might use the glaze as a dipping sauce next time to give it more flavor. Still a very good meal. There was nothing left on the adults' plates.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bathroom Floors

Remember this????
It's been sitting on Taylor's side of the bed so that every time he gets up he trips over it or scrapes his leg. He hasn't been procrastinating. This was the first weekend we have been home since we put down the floors. His crazy wife likes to be on the go in the summer. So finally we had a free weekend.
This is how our bathroom looked before. Not horrible, but not great.
We probably wouldn't have spent the money to put down new floors, but since we had them....
Taylor did this.

The kids' bathroom had a similar floor to ours. Since we have replaced every floor in the house except the carpet in the kids' rooms, we thought why not?
Taylor had been looking at these tiles during our many trips to Lowe's this summer. They are new and much easier to lay than ceramic tile. It was a very inexpensive way to do such a small space so he decided to go for it.
You really can't tell that it isn't ceramic tile.
Look at that precision around the toilet. After totally moving the toilet out of our bathroom and then resealing it, he worked really hard to just make the tiles fit around this one. I was very thankful for this. Helping to move the toilet is the only role I played in this project since the kids were home, but I hope to never do that again. I got that gunk stuff on me and wanted to throw up. It was not a pleasant experience.

I must say that Taylor continues to impress me. I did not marry a handy, do-it-yourself guy, but I have watched him evolve into one. Our combined cheapness, but desire to have a nice home motivates him. I am convinced he can learn to do almost anything (if he has his you tube videos). He has worked so many hours on projects to make our house beautiful and I love my home even more because of that. He finished these two projects this weekend even though he has a million other things to do - paperwork for refinancing the house, tons of reading for his D.Min., church projects. He spent his weekend doing this and swimming with the kids because he knew those things were important to us. Then got to church at 6:00 this morning to get some of his D.Min. reading done before the day began. I am thankful for all his hard work.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Adventures in Grilling Part 3

Thursday night was Sophie's birthday meal and our friends, Victor and Courtney, were coming in from Waco. I talked Sophie out of the frito pie suggestion and we decided on quesadillas. We were almost deterred by the rain, but real grillers persevere.
We started out with an appetizer, number 9 on the list, grilled guacamole. We consume a large number of abotados (avocados) at our house so this was right up our alley. I halved and pitted some avocados and halved a red onion and Taylor threw them on the grill.
I chopped up a tomato and chopped the onion and a garlic clove in the food processor.
Then I mashed the avocados and stirred it all together. I added lime juice, cilantro, and some salt. VERY yummy. This one we will be doing again.
Then for the quesadillas (#88) I got the kids on the corn again. Then we grilled it and cut it off the cob. I chopped up some more of the red onion and mixed it with the corn, chili powder, and a little bit of mayo to bind it all together. Then I put it on a tortilla with some grilled chicken and cheese and we threw that on the grill for a few minutes.
It was really good, too. Once again I was busy talking to company and didn' t take a picture until I had started eating it, but I would recommend numbers 9 and 88.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adventures in Grilling Part 2

Wednesday night we had the Peacocks over and since they're such good friends we decided we could experiment on them. I had a chicken in the freezer so I decided to cook it in the crock pot in this Caribbean Jerk marinade. Of course it made me think of fruit so I went to our trusty list to see what they suggested for grilled fruit. I found number 20 on the list that said to grill pineapple or any fruit and then make up this interesting dipping sauce. So I chose pineapple and mango. I had to watch a you tube video to figure out how to cut up the mango and found that there really is an easy way. It was very helpful.
Then it was time to make the sauce. It was peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, basil, and warm water to thin. We couldn't get it the right consistency so Carey added some toasted sesame oil and then we just kept throwing ingredients in there until it looked right.
I didn't get the pretty grill pictures this time because I was too busy talking. I had never had grilled mango, but I really liked it. Taylor thought the sauce with the fruit was a wonderful combination. Carey and Bill thought it tasted like salty peanut butter, but they liked it. I, not being a peanut butter fan, didn't care for it at all. The grilled fruit alone was really good though, and blended well with the flavor of the chicken (and I added in some rice).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Birthday Girl!

Yesterday Sophie turned 6. Since we had already had her birthday party we had a pretty calm day. Taylor got her a balloon bouquet and her presents were out when she got up.
The was the year of the American Girl doll for Sophie. Her face in this picture says it all.
Grammy and Bumpaw got her the doll and everyone else got her clothes and other accessories to go with it.
The doll, Sally, has not left Sophie's side since she opened her, much to Spot's dismay. Up until yesterday morning Spot was the one who went everywhere with us. Unfortunately, Spot has been sitting on the kitchen table where Sophie left him when she got up yesterday. Poor Spot!
Sally does everything Sophie does. She has watched a movie with Sophie, eaten snacks, gone to multiple stores, had a broken arm fixed with band aids, gone out to eat, and had her clothes changed over and over. Sophie tries to make sure her clothes coordinate with Sally's and their hair must be done the same as well.

We let Sophie pick where we went out to eat for lunch yesterday and she chose her favorite place - China Garden. You can get all the shrimp you can eat right off the buffet. It doesn't get much better than that. Sophie's friend, Avery got to come to lunch with us, too (along with Sally of course).

We always make sure Sally is buckled in nice and tight. After all, she did cost about as much as Sophie did.
Last night we had some friends come in from Waco to visit. Sophie wanted quesadillas and you know out of 101 grilling recipes there was one for quesadillas. We'll cover the meal in another post. After dinner we has cake and ice cream.

Then both the girls were worn out.

If you are not a family member you might want to stop reading at this point because I'm going to gush and it might get a little long. Sophie blesses our family every single day. She has a sweet and sensitive spirit and longs in every situation to do the right thing. She is learning to deal with her imperfection as she grows and sometimes it is hard on her little heart.

Sophie has a real thirst for knowledge. She loves to read about animals, insects, and nature. She likes to study about places we travel to or would some day like to see. She loves to draw pictures and do crafts. She is a neat freak and likes order. She has a hard time having friends over to play because they often mess up her room. We are learning to be more generous with our friends in this area, but it is a real struggle for her. Her room is always neat and picked up, without any prompting from me. If only this were true of every family member :)

My girl has a very tender heart towards God and his Word. She has not "walked the aisle" in a formal sense, but I believe God has a hold of her heart. She loves to sing songs to him and write about him during church.

Almost a year ago when I was sending Sophie off the kindergarten, I was really struggling with letting her go. On the first day of school I was sitting on my swing on the back porch before everyone was up praying for her and her first day. I can remember telling God that she was mine and I was scared to let her go. I'm not one who says God speaks to me often, but immediately I remembered she isn't mine. I had her all to myself and been blessed by her for 5 years, and I felt like God was telling me it was time to let her bless others. I have to trust Him with her life. This letting go of control is the hardest thing I've found in my life as a parent. And yet God proved faithful. I saw over and over how Sophie was blessing the lives of teachers and students at her school. I've had teachers tell me that she is the first one to notice when a child is left out or upset and she always stops to comfort them. I've had teachers I don't know stop me in the hall and tell me what a joy she is. My biggest prayer for Sophie is that she will have courage to continue to be this little light. Right now it is easy to do the right thing, but it won't always be. I pray she'll have courage to stand up for those no one else is standing up for, courage to try new things without fear of failing, courage to follow God even when it's hard, courage to help right the injustices of the world. I know those are big prayers for such a little person, but I guess my job is to pray those big prayers.

I could go on but I know this is getting a little long. There is my Sophie update. She is blessed to have many people who love her (including most of the people who read this blog) so to you I say thank you for investing in her life.