Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tummy virus got #3

Yesterday started out as a 'pajama day,' although we ended up going out & about. Ellie is taking Wii lessons from one of the best...our Katie!

Ellie loves giving out kisses these days! Just watch out...they may be open mouth! LOL

Such sweet sisters!

Katie decided to get her hair chopped yesterday. I think she looks really cute with a little bob!

Last week, Ellie & Katie were both sick. Early this morning, around 5 a.m., we woke to the sounds of Gracie being sick. :( Katie ended up in the ER Wednesday night/Thursday morning where they were able to give her some meds to stop her vomiting, and they sent us home with 2 prescriptions. We never had to use them for Katie, but today Chris got one filled to use for Gracie which was able to make her feel better enough to keep down both some Sprite & Gatorade thankfully. She still feels icky though and is just laying on the couch after waking up from a pretty long nap. Poor thing.

This was her this morning.

Ellie is just too cute, so of course I had to get some pictures of her while the camera was out! She seems better from her bout of sickness last week other than having some interesting diapers from time to time and not having her full appetite back yet.

Chris is pressuring me to get her hair cut. I know she needs it, but I'm nervous about where to take her and about her losing her curls.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Fair

Last night, Gracie & Katie's school held their 1st Annual Science Fair. The Kindergarten did their project as a group and had 1 Spanish project display and 1 English project display. (We are a bilingual school.) They popped different brands of popcorn to see which brand had the most popped kernels. Jiffy Pop won!

Gracie did her project with 2 other girls from her class. Their project was to put tarnished pennies in lemon juice, vinegar, and salt & water to see which would shine them the best. They did a lot of the work in class, and they also met here at the house after school 3 days. 1 day was to do the actual experiment which had to be done at home. They had 3 trials and soaked a penny in each liquid for 15 minutes at a time for an hour. Lemon juice "won" as doing the best job.

2 other days they came over to work on the report & display board. They worked hard and did a great job! Their group presented to the class, as did everyone else, then they found out that their group was chosen as 1 of 4 finalist groups in their class, so they got to present to outside judges. Last night, everyone's projects were on display, and winners were announced. Gracie's group won 2nd place for their class. We are very proud of them! I enjoyed getting to know the other moms (& 1 dad) of the other girls. They were all great to work with!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Incredible Marriage!

We were so blessed with yet another wonderful weekend! Our church sponsored a marriage retreat at The Retreat at Artesian Lakes. It was a really great weekend. The speaker gave some good lessons, and I really enjoyed getting to spend TIME with our friends and getting to know other people better. Our church is large, and life is so busy, that sometimes it seems like we don't get to know people very well and/or spend much quality time with those we do know fairly well. This weekend offered time, without children (except for 2 sweet, young babies a couple of families brought), to sit & well as be strengthened in our marriages!

Friday, January 22, 2010
Chris' parents were coming to watch the girls and arrived not long before we picked up the girls from school, so we just stayed to pick them up. We then left and entered Friday afternoon Houston traffic (yippee!) towards the retreat. Really, Houston traffic is so bad at times, but we pretty much use our brains and know where to go when and where not to go when, and Friday afternoon at 4 is not usually when we would choose to drive on the specific highways we had to drive on at that time, but that's okay. It really wasn't too bad.

A friend who was traveling at the same time called, and we decided to meet for dinner along the way. We chose to eat at Chuy's, and Kevin & Lisa soon joined us after we got there. We had never eaten there and had heard good things about it. It was really good. I think we would both get different things whenever we go back, but it is definitely worth trying again.

We arrived at Artesian Lakes around 7:40 and got checked in and found out what cabin we were in, went to look at it then went to our first session. There were 59 couples in attendance which was up quite a bit from last year. This is the 2nd year for the retreat. Our speaker, Randy Roper, gave a good lesson ("The Incredible Marriage") then we had an opportunity to hang out and snack & visit. There were a lot of people I didn't know, mostly the "young marrieds." I love the range of ages. During our first session, we sat next to one of the elders whose nametag showed that he & his wife had been married 60 years, then 1 couple we met later in the weekend had been married 7 months!

Our cabin was quite a bit away from where most everyone else from our group was staying. There was 1 cabin next to us where no one stayed then 1 other cabin where a group not from our church was staying. They were LOUD! I don't think they were necessarily being wild, but they were just so loud. Chris finally walked over there about 11:30 and asked if they could keep it down. One of the girls was very nice and apologized then they went inside and everything was fine. Of course, Saturday night it happened again (at 1:45 a.m.!) but I stuck in some earphones with music until they went back inside.

Saturday, January 23, 2010
When we left our cabin Saturday morning, a beautiful red cardinal landed in a tree right next to the deck. It was obviously used to being fed because it sat there for the longest time looking at me and chirping as if it expected something. Chris was able to go to the car to get the camera and come back to take quite a few good pictures of him. He even hopped closer to me. I love cardinals. They always make me think of Maw Maw, my Kentucky grandmother who passed away when I was pregnant with Katie. The red of this cardinal was so pretty against the gray of the tree and day (it was a gray kind of day weather wise.)

Artesian Lakes has a really good resturant, and breakfast & dinner Saturday and brunch on Sunday were included in the cost of the retreat, so we were able to enjoy a wonderful breakfast Saturday morning. We sat with our friends, Matt & Heather, who have 2 cute little children. Ellie & their little boy have quite the good time together, and Katie & their little girl enjoy playing together as well.

After breakfast, we went into the hospitality room where all of the sessions were taking place and found a place to sit and enjoyed (2?) more lessons before breaking for lunch. The committee planned to serve sandwich stuff for lunch or you could order a picnic lunch from the restaurant. We chose to just eat what the committee was serving. Everyone brought 'snacky' stuff too, so there were plenty of desserts to choose from at anytime, as well as cokes, etc. During some of the sessions, the restaurant also provided additional snacks and coffee, etc.

The afternoon was free time! We laughed & laughed when we somehow (not even sure how it came up) convinced David, our preaching minister, to race his wife. I'll be honest, I 100% expected her to win, but he beat her quite easily! (except for when she cheated!) It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life....the look on his face while running was pure concentration! (Later, he admitted to being quite sore! LOL) My pictures don't even come close to doing it justice. They raced 3 times, then David & Chris raced as well which pretty much ended up as a tie.

After the races, Chris changed clothes and joined some guys (& girls) for a flag football game. Most of the guys were MUCH younger than he was!!!! It was funny to watch the competitiveness of all of them.

I left during the game to go to the "lake house" where some of the committee members were staying. Cindy was putting together a slide show of all the pictures she had been taking so she could show it that night. It was fun looking at all of them and just enjoying relaxing and visiting with people.

We had dinner at the restaurant that night which was very good! We sat with our friends, Kelley & Lisa, and their sweet baby who came along for the weekend since he's so young. We also enjoyed getting to visit with a couple who have recently placed membership, Daryl & Melissa.

After dinner, we had another good lesson then had a fun group activity. They split us up into groups and we were all supposed to tell "our story." I loved this! We were with Tom & Lori, whom I adore, and Morgan & Melanie who I know a little bit because their son is around Ellie's age, and then a couple I just met that night who have been married 7 months. I loved getting to talk & laugh in this small group and get to know the 2 couples better and get to even meet the 1 couple. I would have loved to have done this a few times, mixing up the groups each time!

After the activity, we watched the slideshow of pictures from both last year's retreat & this year's. We then broke up to visit, snack, whatever. If anyone wanted to, they could stay & watch a Tim Hawkins video. Oh my goodness! I'm not sure I have ever, ever laughed so hard for so long. We were in pain from laughing so much. I think the video was about an hour and a half long, and we laughed the whole time!!!!!

It was late when we left, and we went back to our cabin and were asleep before long (of course, I was woken up at 1:45 a.m. for a little bit, but oh well!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010
Worship was planned for 8:45 this morning, so we packed up and headed over for that. The singing was incredible! I think it was a small enough room with just enough people in it to make it really sound good. It was awesome! We had another good lesson from Randy. Here's part of it: 5-Serve. 4-Listen. 3-Commitment. 2-Keep the Peace. 1-Oneness. Those are key points to making your marriage work. Of course, he elaborated on those points.

After worship, we had brunch in the restaurant. We sat with Aaron & Cindy, good friends of ours, and Greg & Sandra. Greg is one of our elders. They are such a nice family and really welcomed us when we first attended at Memorial. She was one of the main organizers of Ellie's baby shower. We ate & visited and said good bye to some who were leaving. Craig & Susan came and sat and visited for awhile, too. I really enjoyed visiting with them because we never really have. I work with Craig some via email as he is one of our main song leaders, but I've never really talked to him 'socially.' He appreciated my love for Tony Bennett, so I thought that was cool! Susan cracked me up many times throughout the weekend.

We then walked out onto the deck where many people were standing, looking for the giant turtle down in the lake and the alligator (crocodile?) who was hanging around. Then, we headed back to Houston. Thankfully, we got back in plenty of time for me take a nap! :)

It was a wonderful weekend! The elders at our church have made helping our marriages be healthy a priority, and like Skip, one of the organizers said, it's good to see people "put their money where their mouth is." The elders have made it a commitment of theirs to make this retreat affordable and have carried the cost of much of it so that the cost to the couples isn't high. I also think some individuals have helped with that as well.

One thing I think is so neat, and really appreciate, is that at least 6 of the elders & their wives attended the retreat. I loved getting hugs from Danny just about every time I passed him and watching Frank & Jeanine crack up at something and eating with Greg & Sandra and watching Cecil so gently help Martha and visiting with Jeannie and listening to Bill tell her what notes to write down. I thought that was cute!

It was a really great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

cute Bed Head

Bed head may not look good on me, but it sure is cute on my baby who is almost 19 months old! She has yet another sinus infection and fussed some during the night, but after breakfast this morning, she is a good mood while watching "Handy Manny" & "Imagination Movers!"

Look at this hair!


"I think I can put on my sock!"

I think this pose should be awfully cute for the camera!

It sure is fun to be almost 19 months old!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gold Honor Roll!

I need to document a couple of things about Gracie. Last week, she has a nighttime P.E. program. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was really impressed! The students & coaches all worked very hard to make it a cute program. They did a routine with a parachute, a dance routine, a basketball routine, a baton routine, and something else I forgot the name of that only specific students did...tenicula? Something with sticks and jumping in between them while they were hit on the floor. I would have broken my leg if I had tried that! (Please forgive the horrible pictures.!)

Before the program began, we were able to walk around and try out some of the things they do in P.E. class. Here she is with one of her BFFs!

Today was 'Awards Day' for the semester for 4th grade. I wasn't able to go, but Chris was. We are very proud of our little 4th grader...all A's for the semester!!!!! Gold Honor Roll! She is so self disciplined & self motivated when it comes to her school work, and we are very proud of her. 4th grade is tougher than earlier years, and I find myself needing to remind her of more things more often, but I really can't complain. She is a fabulous daughter, and I'm happy God blessed me by choosing me to be her mommy!