We have been having SUCH problems with our internet service. Needless to say,
C-O-M-C-A-S-T isn't high on our popularity list these days. So, if you've sent an email but haven't heard from us, please don't be offended. We may not have gotten it! Right now, we have internet but no wireless so this 30 week pregnant woman is having to sit at the desk to type which is not very comfortable since this little girl seems to be acting like her biggest sister and basically trying to stand up inside me which makes it hard to sit at a desk for too long. Anyway.......
It was nice to have the weekend off together as a family. I continue to be thankful that Chris's schedule allows him to have the weekends off and even with the Houston commute, he is home during the week by around 6:20-if not earlier-which isn't so bad. He will also have every other Friday off which is great.
We went out Friday night and enjoyed some barbeque. I've been craving a chopped BEEF sandwich and it was good! Still no Joe Allen's (for all you Abilene people!) but good nonetheless. We then topped off the evening with a family trip to H-E-B! I'm telling you-the Shanks family knows how to have fun on the weekends!
Saturday, we organized the girls' room during which Gracie showed some maturity by acknowledging the fact that they have a lot of toys and the baby won't really need any new ones since they have so many. Katie on the other hand said she only had "12 toys and that's not that many." I guess one day she'll have the maturity of a 7 year old-and learn how to count! We then headed down to the Galleria near downtown Houston which was lots of fun. Since I don't quite have the energy these days + my back was KILLING me, we really only skimmed the surface of it but did enjoy a late lunch at The Cheesecake Factory! YUM!!!!! Chris also showed us the outside of his office building. This summer, the girls & I will head down to actually see the inside of his office and eat lunch with him-something we NEVER got to do while in SC, so we're excited about that.
Later in the day, Chris & the girls went swimming again. Well, Chris swam. The girls kind of pretended to. They're both timid around the water which I HATE to say they get honestly from me. We're hoping that having easy access to water while in our apartment will help them with this and that Chris can teach them to swim.
Sunday, we went back to visit the church we'd visited on Wednesday. It was nice yet again. We were blessed to have some people take us out to eat for lunch which was very welcoming! They have a 2nd grade girl which is GREAT for Gracie and a 4th grade boy. Guess which girl was more interested in him?!?! Yep-Katie! At one point they were having a staring contest and Katie was holding her own. It was hilarious-she is such a hoot! Both girls seemed to enjoy their Bible Classes, although Katie didn't like Children's Bible Hour that much. It was only for ages
2-5 and didn't start until after several songs & communion. Chris said she did fine when he dropped her off but when I picked her up, they said she'd gotten upset and I guess had cried. I'm not sure why, but she did say that she wanted "Sissy" to be with her. So, I'm not sure if we'll try that again or just keep her with us. She's used to sitting with us anyway, but I thought she would like it and I liked that they stayed with us through a large portion of the service before they went, so they were still in "big church" and learning about all of that. It may have just been a little overwhelming to her.
We went back tonight and continued to meet many more people "our age." We're still trying to find the best way to get there, but tonight the commute was less than 30 minutes which wasn't bad at all! Wednesday was just hard because of the time of day with work traffic, etc. I imagine we'll stick with it and try to find the best way to get there. There are a lot of kids and people we seem to relate to. The worship style is very similar to what we're used to, although MUCH larger. There is a great courtyard with a playground where the kids go after church to play which is really nice.
That being said, we've only visited 2 churches and there are others we've seen and/or heard about, so we'll probably visit at least 1 or 2 more before making a decision about where to attend full time.
I heard from an "old college friend" (a.k.a. maid of honor at my wedding) who lives here (although not very near me!) who told me about a free night at the local children's museum so we may meet her there sometime soon. I would love for our girls to meet, and it'd be nice to see her too since it's probably been........gosh, I don't even know! Years & years!
I also talked to another friend this week who plans to drive down with her family in the next month or so to visit. I am way excited about this because our husbands are just the biggest goofballs together and have so much fun together. Well, they used to anyway..........he's never even met Gracie......it's been that long since we've seen him! I have a feeling though that their friendship will pick up where it left off! Krista & I keep up online and we have seen her since we have seen him, but it's still been probably since I was pregnant with Katie that we've seen her. They are from ACU, but we really weren't friends 'til we lived in Lubbock together as "young married people with NO kids.' Memories, memories. Since then, they've been blessed with 3 children and of course, we have our girls and I just really look forward to seeing them now that we're in the same state, although still probably 4 1/2 hours away! And....if Gracie decided to marry their oldest and Katie marry their middle, that'd be A-OK with us! Gracie said, "I don't know if I'm going to marry Blake. I've never met him." You never know....it could be love at first sight!
It seems like there's so much more I could write, but it's late and I need to get to bed. People keep leaving comments about how great we're doing, etc. Things are going well, but please don't misunderstand. This is still a struggle because we left behind such great friends who I miss! I cried this week on the phone with a friend because she was expressing how she missed me and I kinda lost it. I'd been "so strong," but it hit me that she was a long, long way away. I have prayed for God to send me girlfriends and I know that He will. I don't want to replace my Aiken friends-just add to them. I know that He has plans for all of us here. It made me happy to watch Gracie at lunch as she was being silly with her new friend who is only about a month older than her-but it also made me think about she & LA and how much fun they always have together-and to hear about all the other 4 year olds that hopefully Katie will connect with. I loved meeting new people who welcomed us to church. But it's still hard.
I did like what our Bible Class teacher said this morning (the class was on 'worrying'), "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future." I am holding onto that!