Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Highlights

This past weekend was a lot of fun.  Mainly because we didn't have to be anywhere at any certain time.  And I think it will be one of the last simple, stay at home kind of weekends left in the year. Between Thanksgiving, the girls' birthday on December 16th (and party on the 6th!), shopping, wrapping, Christmas, and ringing in the New Year, life's going to be crazy!  So this past weekend, we took it easy.  Some of the highlights were.....

* Family Movie Night:  Mike made a pallet on the floor for the girls, popped a big bowl of popcorn, and we all watched the movie Wall-E.  It was the first time for all of us to see it and we all loved it.  The girls are finally getting humor.  They laugh at the appropriate times and that makes me giggle a little too.



* Saturday morning lounging:  We all slept in a bit, then spent some time snuggling, playing doll house, and making waffles for breakfast.  I think we all stayed in our pj's until after noon. It was great.  And I did manage to mop the kitchen floor which always feels like a great accomplishment.

* Saturday night football game:  The girls played "Lion King" on the floor while we watched OU stomp Texas Tech.  We also ordered pizza from one of our favorite places, and while we were driving to pick it up we noticed all kinds of houses with Christmas lights up already! 

* Sunday I wasn't feeling that great,  so we stayed home in the morning.  But by the afternoon I realized that I was going to have to go to the grocery store if we wanted anything to eat in the near future, so off I went.  It was crazy crowded too.  I guess people were mostly shopping for Thanksgiving because I overheard words like "heavy whipping cream", "pie crusts", "cream of mushroom soup", "sweet potatoes" and "pecans" being whispered between husbands and wives shuffling up and down the aisles.  

One random thing also occurred that is worthy of note.  I had placed four pumpkins on our porch back in mid-October to decorate for the fall.  The girls picked all four out:  two big ones (for mommy and daddy) and two little ones (for Hannah and Leah).  Sunday morning we woke up to find all four pumpkins smashed in our cul-de-sac.  They met a violent death, I'm afraid because they had also been slashed to bits with a knife as well as crushed to smithereens.  We all went outside with our big trash bin to clean up the carnage.  The girls were quite irritated that some "meanie person" would do this to us.  I was a little perturbed too I might add.  

Regardless of the pumpkin fiasco, we still had a wonderful, restful weekend.  How about you? What were your weekend highlights?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bookshelf

Whenever I visit someone's home for the first time, I always like to check out their bookshelves. I think it's a great way to really get to know that person or family.  Sometimes I see books that I've also read which can lead to interesting conversations, or I sometimes see books I've been wanting to read.  Sometimes you can see a leaning toward certain topics or interests like cooking or science fiction or art.  Or you can clearly see a person's favorite author or series.  I just find it fascinating I guess. In keeping with the bookshelf theme, I thought I'd give you a peek at our current bookshelves.  I should clarify, however, that in our office we have two shelves.  A tall, narrow, traditional looking shelf that houses my books.  And then there is a wide, open-backed shelf that is home to all of Mike's books.  We appreciate each other's books, but there is a clear difference in interests!  

Here are my current shelf selections:

 I could read Anne of Green Gables every year. If I could go back in time, I'd live on Prince Edward Island in the early 1900's.  With Matthew and Marilla of course.
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning was one of the most interesting and challenging books I've read in the last few years.  
I still love young adult fiction.  Fair Weather by Richard Peck and Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson are great reads.  
I really like Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti.  Three and This Present Darkness are two of my favs.  
The two standouts on this shelf are A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  I still find myself daydreaming about them sometimes.  This shelf also has a lot of books I have yet to read.  There's nothing better than a good book and the time to sit and read it!  

Here's a peek at a couple of Mike's shelves:

This one's a little blurry, but you can see a book on one of Mike's favorite artists:  
These are some of his favorite design books.  He once told me that if our house is ever on fire and our children and cats are safe, I need to grab this stack of books.  =)

So there you have a glimpse into two of our bookshelves.  Feel free to browse.  Do you have any books worthy of grabbing in a "house on fire" situation?  What are some of your favorites?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Colorado Pics

Today I decided that I needed to clean out my hotmail inbox.  I have a really bad habit of not deleting anything except junk. That means any little note, invite or forward from anyone I remotely know has been saved.  I flipped through 50 pages.  That's right, 50.  It was kind of fun to look back at some of the emails because a few dated back over two years ago.  There was an email from Mike containing the logo designs for P31 bakery-- a short-lived small business venture that my friend Nikki and I had put some thought into.  A note from an old college roommate whom I haven't talked to in years.  And then I found my Colorado pictures from this past January.  One of my dearest friends, Kim, recently moved to Colorado Springs and as an early birthday gift, we sprung for a ticket to fly me out to see her for an extended weekend. Another friend of ours, Susie, was living with Kim at the time, and so the three of us had a fine time indeed.   Here's a look at some of the pics.


Above and below are just me hanging out on some rock in the Garden of the Gods. Breathtaking I might add.  (the scenery, not me so much)

We had to ask another visitor to take this shot under the rock.  That's Kim's sweet little boy Jackson with us.  
Traditional tourist picture spot.
Susie and I at the Broadmoor Hotel contemplating buying $80 fur hats.  We look quite Russian here.
Flower Power at the Broadmoor.

I had never heard of the Odyssey! radio show put on by Focus on the Family, so here's my tribute to it while we visited the headquarters and bookstore.  

We laughed a lot, stayed up way too late talking, and I officially became addicted to Dairy Queen's Chocolate Cherry Blizzard.  Colorado is so pretty!  I forget this since I live in the middle of the flattest part of the country.  I had such a good time that I propose Mike send me away somewhere fun every year. I'm thinking Hawaii, Seattle, New England, Mexico, Europe.....It's just a suggestion.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seeing Myself

I had one of those parental moments this week where I saw my child behaving badly, wondered where she got it from, then turned around and did the same thing (sort of), and went Ohhhhhh I get it now.  It was humbling for sure.  Let me explain.

My little Leah is usually very easy going, friendly, and quiet by nature.  But when she thinks of an idea or game or scenario she wants to act out, her plan must go exactly as she sees it in her little head or else a major crying meltdown occurs.  These are few and far between thankfully, but this past Monday we got to experience one big time.  Mike pulled up in the driveway after work and Leah decided she wanted to hide and surprise him.  Well, she scurried around and was looking for a place to hide when Mike walked in and "found" her too early.  She instantly said, "Noooooo, Daddy!!!!!!" and started to scream and cry and absolutely throw a fit. The way she had envisioned that scenario going down was not how it actually happened, and she just lost it.  I thought, "Where does she get this from?  Surely not me!"

Now, fast forward a few hours to me entering the tutoring academy where I work two nights a week.  I casually glanced at my schedule for the evening and saw that a math student had been added to my list.  My eyes must have bugged out because my boss came and asked me if I was okay with the new student.  You see, I signed up to only tutor for English.  Grammar, reading, spelling, writing, etc.  Not math.  I was the kid who passed my math classes only because I had a dad who is a math genius and could help me every night.  I would rather have a few cavities filled than look at an equation!  

So presented with this little "hiccup" in my plan, did I smile and say, "Sure, I'll give it my best try."?  Nope.  I whined and tried to give ten different reasons for why I'm not the best qualified to tutor a child in math.  I didn't throw myself down and scream and cry (thankfully!), but I did throw a rather mild "adult fit."  My boss did a great job of calming me down, and in the end it really wasn't that bad. It's just embarrassing to admit, but I guess I have a hard time adjusting when something pops up on my radar unexpectedly.  

Just like my Leah Bee.

 Now I know who she gets it from.   Can we skip the teenage years please?

 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baby B

My amazing Baby B:  Hannah Joy.  

Hannah showing her sweet side by bringing me a flower.  
She's got a beautifully independent spirit.  I love that about her.  


A while back I blogged about my my Baby A (Leah).  Today I'm going to focus on my little Baby B. My Hannah Joy.  Also known as Banana, Banana Bread, Nanners, and the infamous Nana Bug. Hannah is my second born, but is just one minute younger than her sister.  As I mentioned before, during my pregnancy, the doctors referred to my babies as "Baby A" and "Baby B".  And like any mother-to-be, I wondered what my babies would look like, act like, and grow up to be.  I quickly discovered that my 6 lb. 3 oz. baby with a ton of black hair would be my spunky little ball of fire.  Hannah is so expressive.  I call her the girl with a thousand faces.  And she loves to act. She'll look at her reflection in the mirror and practice smiling, frowning, crying and acting surprised.  Everything with Hannah can be dramatic.  I always say that when Hannah is upset, you'll hear about it with loud wailing, but when she's happy, her sparking eyes, sweet smile and deep belly laugh will melt your heart.  Hannah loves freely.  Her hugs are strong and meaningful, and she is a great helper.  She is smart, kindhearted, and independent.  I like to describe her as "passionate."  My prayer for my amazing girl is that her passion will be channeled into good things:  loving God and loving others.  Those are two things I hope she never stops being passionate about.  


Spiderwoman.  You can see that she's been working out.

On Friday, I had my special day with Miss Hannah.  Leah spent the night with my mom the night before and they were off doing their own special day.  Our day started at 6:30 in the morning, when Hannah came running into my room to crawl into my bed and snuggle up next to me.  We both fell back asleep and woke up again at 8:00.  Hannah is one of those sleepers who must be touching you somehow at all times.  This can drive me crazy sometimes, but this morning I enjoyed just being close to her, watching her breathe deeply as she slept.  After we got out of bed, we made her favorite breakfast:  pancakes and scrambled eggs.  She helped me mix up the ingredients and she licked her plate clean.  Around 10:30 we drove down to Norman, OK to meet my cousin Katie for lunch.  Hannah was so excited because she loves Katie (a junior at the University of Oklahoma) and she was going to have all the attention to herself-- no sharing with Leah today.  We picked Katie up and headed to a little French sandwich shop/bakery for lunch.  Later we went to Passionberri for dessert.  Hannah practiced her manners and had such a great time.  She especially loved the tour of Katie's sorority house.  
I'm so glad I got to spend some time with her alone.  


Ready to drive to Norman!

At Passionberri.  The sugar high was just kicking in.  

I tell my girls all the time how special they are to me.  I'll say, "You're exactly what I always wanted-- just the way you are!"  And how true that statement is.  I love them both for the things that make them each unique.  And I fall more in love with them each day.

My awesome little family of four.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Girlie Show

This past weekend we spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon at The Girlie Show, an annual event which celebrates female artists and their work. From paintings to clothing to jewelry this event showcases it all.  Friday night Mike and I (along with our dear friend Jacquelyn) attended the show-- taking in the art and swarming the food tables along with the masses.  Oh sushi. How we love thee.  Then Saturday, Jacquelyn and I manned the merchandise and artist's credit card sales table.  I love supporting extremely talented women in their artistic endeavors.  It's nice to be a part of something bigger than my own little world once in awhile.


The view from above. 
We totally rocked the credit card sales. Oh yeah.  


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend my parents and Mike and I took our girls to the Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch.  We had never been there, but had heard wonderful things about it.  And it lived up to all of those things! I think we picked the perfect day and time to go, which certainly didn't hurt anything.  The weather was perfect, the sun was low in the sky, and it wasn't very crowded at all.  The girls saw lots of animals, went for a pony ride and a hay ride, swung in a tire swing, made s'mores over a campfire, played and jumped over hay bales, and walked through a corn maze.  We were slightly dirty and worn out, but we had a blast together.  I am so thankful for these times with my little family. Here are a few pics from our time there:

Hannah proudly riding her pony named "Gingerbread Man."  What a sweet smile!
Little Leah on her pony named "Tom".  She was a pro.

Leah pointing out "Wilbur".  She tried to look for Charlotte, but couldn't find her.  =)
Hannah took this pic of me while we were on our hayride.  She's such an artistic gal.
Finding our way through the corn maze.
Should we jump?
Yes we should!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pledge

video

Well, I intended to post this yesterday (being election day and all), but we had some issues with my laptop and Mike ended up on the phone with Dell most of the night. Even though the election is over, I'm still feeling a little patriotic. And I think it's pretty cute that Leah (and Hannah) both know the Pledge of Allegience. So enjoy the video of my little Bee, and I hope you all got out and voted yesterday!

Liberty and justice for all........

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Well this weekend has been very eventful, and it's not even over yet. So far we have dressed up, been trick or treating, ate too much left over candy, went to a pumpkin patch, walked through a corn maze, cooked s'mores over a campfire, watched OU beat Nebraska AND Texas Tech beat Texas (yes!), and now before we even get to Sunday we get to set our clocks back for an extra hour of sleep. Amen.

I'll get to our fun pumpkin patch experiences tomorrow, but for now, I know everyone is dying to see pictures of our sweet little Dorothys on Halloween. And I will keep you waiting no more.....

This was taken before we left our house to drive over to our good friends Reed and Nikki's house to go trick or treating with their kids Eli and Parker. Eli is the same age as the girls, so it's going to be interesting to see which one of mine ends of marrying him one day. =)


Hannah practicing walking in her ruby slippers. They had their hands full carrying Toto and a candy collecting bucket, but they handled the pressure just fine.

Leah looking coy.

Hannah looking angelic.

We met up with our other friends Mike and Sara and their three boys Drake, Dax, and Dane. Here's the whole crew dressed up and ready to get some candy. And candy they did get. Mike and I have been shamelessly eating out of their buckets. Is this wrong?


It was the girls first time to actually go door to door to trick or treat. Up until now we've "haunted the zoo" or gone to a local fall festival. But this experience was like reliving my own childhood Halloween nights-- dressing up, waiting for the sun to go down, teaming up with other kids, and simply going around the neighborhood together. The girls did so good too. They even rememberd to say, "thank you" to each person doling out the candy. We were proud of them and loved creating this fun family memory.


And they loved it too.......