Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The house got toilet papered...

Its fun to watch your kids learn things. I mean, I've been watching them learn since I became a mom. And I've always been amazed. Especially when you can see the wheels turning in their little heads. But they also learn things that we don't really think about as important, such as how to toilet paper a house.

The other morning as we pulled out of our driveway we realized our neighbor's house down the street had been papered. The girls don't remember seeing anything like this before and were full of questions. Who did it? How did they get it to stay? Why did they do it? How do they clean it up? Etc etc etc... It was quite entertaining!

Right now they're playing with their Littlest Pet Shop toys...and the LPS house got toilet papered...I looked in there and they have taken a square of TP and shredded it to size, and wrapped the LPS house.

Their little pets also have a maid and a cook. Must be nice!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember when?

I could hardly sleep last night. I had back to school butterflies. My sweet girl is a 3rd grader! I couldn't be more proud. And over the past few days, I couldn't have felt more nostalgic.

It all started on our "date day" last Thursday. The plan was to get the last random school supplies and some new clothes. Maybe find a fun store or get a special treat. We started at Staples, looking for a certain color folder (the lists are so specific) and a backpack. The backpack. Last year it was Hannah Montana. The years before...My Little Pony and Barbie. This year, well, its a backpack. With blue and brown pattern. Its adorable, but without a character. Yep, she's growing up.

Remember her chubby cheeks? Her round fingers? Gone!

Remember the two weeks when she first came to us that she wouldn't let anybody hold her but me? Today she (barely) gave me a high 5 when I walked her to class.

Remember when she only said one word...that high-pitched, 2 syllable sound that resembled "toodie?" Everything she saw, she pointed and said, "Toodie?" Now she teaches me new things each day that she's read in the plethora of non-fiction books that line her shelves.

Remember when she learned to walk...and run...and pedal her trike...then a bike?

Now she's all grown up (well, sorta...) and I'm so nostalgic. And so wonderfully blessed!

Menu Planning Monday!

B: scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, milk
L: soup
D: chicken pot pie

B: oatmeal, milk
L: picnic at the park
D: pigs in a blanket, green beans, apples

B: smoothies
L: chicken roll-ups
D: chicken quesadillas, fruit

B: cereal, fruit, milk
L: sandwiches, chips, yogurt
D: grilled chicken and veggies, pasta salad

B: blueberry pancakes, milk
L: chicken nuggets, carrot sticks, oranges, milk
D: frozen pizza, salad

B: french toast, milk
L: english muffin pizzas
D: swiss chicken, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole

B: breakfast casserole
L: leftovers
D: steak, potatoes, salad

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Planning Monday!

After slacking off this summer, I'm trying to get back on track. This means I need to organize my life. Won't that make life much easier? I pray so!

Monday Menu Planning:

B: eggs, bacon, toast
L: salad with turkey
D: frozen pizza

B: yogurt, melon
L: grilled cheese, grapes
D: lasagna, salad (DH home!!)

B: cereal, fruit
L: hamburger sandwiches
D: roast, carrots, potatoes

B: oatmeal, yogurt
L: leftovers
D: cheesy avocado chicken, rice, grilled veggies

B: fruit, toast
L: sandwiches, soup
D: spaghetti, salad

B: pancakes, sausage
L: back to school party
D: shrimp pasta

B: cereal, yogurt (DH leaves :( )
L: bangers and mash, green beans
D: leftovers

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Olympics

Last week we were on vacation when the Olympics began. We watched every night as we wound down and went to sleep. It was fun!! The girls were really into it, and especially love the diving and gymnastics.

Now that we're home they're enjoying as much Olympic viewing time as possible. This evening after dinner Thing2 was sitting on the couch watching swimming. Thing1 walked in and Thing2 said to her, "This is called the backstroke." So they both sat, cheering on the American swimmers. When Michael Phelps won his 7th gold of this Olympics, Thing2 was cheering so loudly, encouraged by the announcers on t.v. It was ADORABLE!

I remember as a child being so excited during the Olympics. Fortunately, when the girls watched the gymnastics re-cap this evening, they didn't start trying to flip around the family room. During the winter Olympics they typically "ice skate" around on the wood floors wearing their socks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation: The End! So sad...

This morning was a sad morning. The final day of vacation. The final trip to the beach (for the year). We didn't waste much time...we got up and got dressed, loaded up the car and stopped in at Sonic for breakfast on the way to the beach. There weren't too many people on the beach first thing on a Sunday morning, so we had a pretty good stretch all to ourselves. The girls finished their breakfast while the shell fairy did her work. :) We had been finding a lot of shells over the past few days, but decided to buy some BIG, fancy shells at the souvenir shop to really excite the girls (thanks to Aunt Rita for the suggestion!). They each found about 10 shells and a sand dollar. It was all very exciting and provided a lot of entertainment. Then it was a last turn on the surf board for each, and one last sandcastle. The four of us held hands and walked into the water one last time. We said, "Thank you!" to the beach for all the fun it provided and promised to come back soon!!!

Back to the hotel for one last rinse off and packing up the car. We were headed back to Momo's house, back to visit our new baby cousin and her big sisters. Back to reality!!!

First Boat Ride

Its the last full day of our vacation and we're going on a boat ride. Thing2's first boat ride ever. Well, since she was in utero. :) She was so excited to ride the boat. But as soon as we walked up to buy our tickets she smelled the popcorn. Then she was sooooo excited to eat some popcorn!!! The boat was a river boat style complete with a paddle wheel on back. It was 3 levels and we spent some time cruising on each one. The tour took us up the coast line on a mini harbor tour of CC. Then we went out a little bit into deeper waters. In the bay area we saw lots of cabbage head jellyfish. The girls were so scared to "fall in" the water until the captain of the ship told us that these jellyfish do not sting. Then, when we went out deeper, we saw a dolphin jump 3 times!!!! It was spectacular! The Things each got a miniature stuffed dolphin to remember our sighting, and a snack to finish off the boat ride.

Then it was on to Joe's Crab Shack for some YUMMY lunch! Thing1 excitedly ordered the kids crab legs. She was so happy to "work" for her dinner. She splattered crab juice all over herself...thank goodness for the bibs! DH and I shared a steampot (crablegs, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn). Thing2 ordered breaded shrimp, and again peeled the breading off and ate the shrimp. She kept telling us she was, "peeling off the bad stuff."

After leaving Joe's we stopped in the marina to see the Nina and then headed back to the hotel. We made one quick stop at another souvenir shop to take pictures in front of the store. The front is a huge sand castle, shells and a mermaid. The kids had fun walking around. Then we went in and each girl was allowed to get a tshirt and one other souvenir that would remind them of our trip. Thing1 got a shell necklace with a dolphin charm. Thing2 finally decided on a fish shaped kite.

Then it was time to head to the hotel and get changed for the beach. We spent another couple hours at the beach. "Surfing" is the beach activity of choice, but the girls also love digging for sand crabs and building castles. I think they could stay there for as long as we'd allow. But, alas, the sun went down and it was time to head out. We had a hotel picnic for dinner and ended the night watching the Olympics!

Staying Cool on a HOT Day...

Our touristy activity today was supposed to be cool (figuratively) but it was HARD to get past the literal heat!!! We went to the USS Lexington, a retired aircraft carrier and floating museum. We really thought Thing1 would think it was neat, but it was soooo hot that the girls didn't really care what they were seeing, they just wanted air conditioning. I don't blame them. We went up to the flight deck and checked out the airplane, and we looked around on the main deck. Other than that, the girls just didn't tolerate it. We decided to head out and eat lunch at Pier 99...it was yummy! One of those hole in the wall places that adds to the taste of the food by providing excellent, personal service.

Then we headed back to the Lex for our IMAX movie called "The Fighter Pilot." It was a really neat movie about an air force pilot and his training. After the movie we made a trip to the gift shop and then headed back to the car.

We decided to detour at the CC Museum of Science and History. The Spanish government built replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and they are housed at this museum. (The Nina is actually in the CC Marina.) We enjoyed climbing aboard the Pinta and exploring the different features of this wooden ship. Then we went back inside the museum and looked at some of the exhibits, and then let the Things play in the children's area. They had a lot of fun "fishing" from the boat, playing on the kid-size light house, and various other activities.

The girls had been asking if we could ride a ferry boat, so we figured now was a good time. We headed toward Aransas Pass to take the ferry across to Port Aransas. It was short, sweet and served its purpose. The kids thought it was pretty cool. We decided to eat at Trout House in Port Aransas and had another great seafood meal. Then we headed back to the hotel, where DH and the girls went swimming in the hotel pool. I used that time to relax and download my pics to my computer.

What a great, busy and full day!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sandy Sandwiches...

What a wonderful day! We woke up this morning and leisurely got ready to face the day. Had breakfast at the hotel and then we were off! Our first destination was put on hold and instead we turned into another souvenir/beach shop. We made some major purchases today...each of the girls got a necklace (Thing1's is a shark tooth necklace, Thing2 got a bright pink puka shell necklace), I got a beach umbrella, DH got a skimboard, and the girls got a boogieboard.

Then we were off to our first destination, the Texas State Aquarium. We had a great time! They have some really neat indoor aquariums, and even have a couple of hands on displays. The girls got to hold marine hermit crabs and pencil urchins and pet stingrays (there was also a shark in the pool but he was not swimming near the edge). We also saw a dolphin show and checked out the sea turtles. We had a great time.

We headed back to the hotel to rest for a little while and change into our beach attire. We spent almost 4 hours at the beach, we were there past sunset. The kids had a great time "surfing" on the boogie board. They also loved body surfing, and even at one point did it with their life jackets on so they could float better. Then we decided to build a sand castle and everyone in the family participated. DH worked on the moat and drawbridge. It was pretty fancy! We used the dribble technique to decorate the castle (I learned this technique from my mom on this same stretch of beach "back in the day") and I was excited to show the girls. DH was kinda impressed, I think. HA!

Now we're back at the hotel, everybody is showered and in bed. I'm heading there myself. We're hoping to get an even earlier start tomorrow. The tourist activity we're planning to participate in is an outdoor thing. And its hot. And we don't like hot. We want to be done before it gets hot!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Vacation or bust!

Today is the first official day of our family's summer vacation, 2008. We drove 4 hours from our hometown (where we'd been for 2 days with family welcoming our new niece into this big world) to the central coast of Texas. The Things had never been to the beach and were desperate to see it. Desperate to collect sea shells. Desperate for some summer fun in the surf.

Our hotel is less than 5 minutes from the beach. As soon as we'd checked in and I had sufficiently wiped the room down with Lysol wipes, we headed to the beach. Thing1 said she didn't expect it to be that big. You know, its all relative when you're a kid. Thing 2 didn't even realize until we left that she'd been swimming in the ocean. She said, "I thought you said this was the bay?" Man, she really did pay attention in the car! We explained that we had been driving on a bridge over the bay, so she was in the ocean. (Please, don't tell my kids th difference between the Gulf of Mexico and the actual ocean...they're one in the same as far as we're concerned!) We had a great time running and splashing in the waves, digging for sand crabs, sifting the sand to find live clams and then watching them burrow back down, body surfing the waves and collecting sea shells. We decided a few things...we want a beach umbrella, a kite and a boogie board.

We headed back to the hotel for a quick shower/bath and a change of clothes. During that time we used the hotel's free internet to find a place to eat. We decided on a restaurant called Pelican's Landing. It was about 15 minutes from the hotel and provided us a nice sunset drive thru the wetlands. DH and I thought it would be fun to introduce the girls to one of our favorite appetizers so we ordered a plate of calamari. YUM! Then each of us ordered shrimp of some form and traded bites around the table. Oh, and a couple of crab cakes, too! The girls had Shirley Temples to drink, complete with an umbrella and pineapple slice. So cute!!

Now, back to the hotel, Thing1 was in bed before I could turn around twice. I think she's already asleep! Thing2 always has a hard time in hotels...I blame it on her age. It'll take her a bit to wind down. Tomorrow we're off to some "touristy" places and then back to the beach for a picnic dinner.

Stay tuned!!!

PS...can't believe I forgot my camera today! Its in my purse and I didn't want to take that along to the beach. Even DH said, "Man, you take that thing everywhere and then forgot to bring it today???!!!" haha (insert sarcasm here!!!!) I will NOT forget it tomorrow!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Reflections after church

Tomorrow we leave on vacation!!! We decided to go to church this evening so we can get up and leave first thing. So I'm going to write about church again. (Yes, I know this is dated "Sunday" but I haven't been to bed yet.)

The Gospel today was from Matthew (14:13-21)...the miracle of Jesus turning the 5 loaves and 2 fish into enough to feed the masses. Appropriately, it was followed by one of my favorite hymns..."Come to the Water."

1. O let all who thirst,
let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,
let them come to the Lord:
without money, without price.
Why should you pay the price,
except for the Lord?
2. And let all who seek,
let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,
let them come to the Lord:
without money, without strife.
Why should you spend your life,
except for the Lord?
3. And let all who toil,
let them come to the water.
And let all who are weary,
let them come to the Lord:
all who labor, without rest.
How can your soul find rest,
except for the Lord?
4. And let all the poor,
let them come to the water,
Bring the ones who are laden,
bring them all to the Lord:
bring the children without might.
Easy the load and light:
come to the Lord.

Text: Based on Isaiah 55:1-2; Matthew 11:28-30. Text and music © 1978, John B. Foley, S.J., and OCP. All rights reserved.

Are you ready for my point? I know the readings and Gospel are set and the priests don't "pick and choose" what they will preach on each week. And I know the Bible is an ancient text. Yes, you know this, too. So why does it matter this week? Because this story from Matthew is so relevant to us right now. No, it does not mean that Jesus is going to sail up on his boat and turn the bread and wine into a four course meal. What I mean is that right now, when people are having a hard time feeding their families and paying their bills, the Lord always seems to provide.

I have seen, heard and read about so many people who put their trust in God, and their prayers are answered. And today when I listened to Deacon Ron and Fr. Antony, I truly enjoyed seeing that connection. It wasn't a stretch, it wasn't difficult to believe or understand, it wasn't something "left up to interpretation," it was just right there.

And, frankly, it was a good reminder...to pray...and to trust. Have FAITH!

Then we sang two more of my FAVORITE hymns...One Bread, One Body and Sanctuary. All in all, it was a meaningful hour. And as my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e nephew would say, "Good job singin' church!"

My faves on YouTube:
One Bread, One Body
Come to the Water

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday thoughts

Friday Thoughts...I got this idea from another blogging moma...

~Outside my window: The sun is shining, the storms have passed, the birds are chirping their good mornings...

~I am thinking: I have so much to do to get ready for our trip, but really I just want to relax with my family!

~I am thankful for: The blessings of a wonderful husband, and two healthy, beautiful children.

~From the kitchen: Been cooking with DH this week. I love to spend time in the kitchen with him. We always have fun and lots of laughs!

~I am wearing: Still in my sleep clothes...need to force myself to face the day!

~I am creating: A scrapbook for my grandpa, who should be a hero to us all.

~I am reading: "Eat, Pray, Love" and "The Boy Next Door" (and a couple others)

~I am hoping: That packing for vacation will be easy! And that all goes well with my niece's grand entrance to the world in a few days!!!

~I am hearing: My sweet girls playing together peacefully. The shower running. The fan whirring.

~Around the house: Need to dust and vacuum before we leave. And find someone to care for Houdini.

~One of my favorite things: The smell of fresh flowers growing outside.

~A few plans for the week: Going on vacation in 2 days! Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new sweet niece! Can't wait to see her big sisters' reactions!!

A picture thought I am sharing: Don't they just make you smile from the inside out??