Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Monday, December 9, 2013

A little ice never hurt anyone

Unless you've been living under a rock, or without power for the last 4 days, you heard that Dallas was victim to an ice storm.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being contained to my house and was fortunate that my hubby ended up being off work with me for all but a few hours Saturday afternoon.  Although he did have to ride home in the cold and rain Thursday night.  Check out his bike!

I spent most of Friday doing crafty projects to get ready for our Bible study Christmas party.  I found a link on Pinterest to this party mix.  Fortunately I bought all the ingredients last weekend, otherwise my friends would not have gotten anything nearly as yummy as a gift.

There was lots of laundry and cleaning done on Saturday, and the crockpot got plenty of use over the weekend.  My good friend's baby shower was scheduled for Sunday, and we made it happen!  I wasn't supposed it host it originally but it ended up that I did, and we had a fabulous turnout!  We did the traditional belly measuring game, advice for the new mom, and bingo while she opened gifts.  We even had a dear friend who couldn't fly in for the shower Facetime so she could still be part of the fun!

After those festivities we had our annual Edge Group Christmas party.  It amazes me how every year we always have new people.  We've got a couple members still in utero, one who was just born to LEBean, and our friend Bagels became a part of our community in the spring.  Some old friends have moved back to the metroplex after being overseas for 3 years, and it honestly doesn't even feel like they ever left.  The highlight of the evening for me was the munchkin and her toddler friends pushing each other around in the doll stroller.

Oh and one of our friends bought a donkey as the community gift.

Today has been a quieter day.  We all slept in, the munchkin sleeping the longest, and we ran a couple errands.  The roads were fine by the afternoon, but I'm grateful for the bonus day off with my little family.  Just another 9 days of work until Christmas break, two of which I'll be spending at a conference, and we're also celebrating our anniversary (twice!) and my brother-in-law's birthday, and going to a Christmas party.  Busy December!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Getting closer and closer to 2!

Little L is now 21 months old and she is all toddler!  We're learning that we need to make everything into a game, otherwise we have a very stubborn and strong munchkin to contend with.  But overall she is good natured and affectionate, but very active and curious.  We wouldn't have her any other way.

Finally putting away the 12 month pants, but she can already wear 24 months and 2T shirts, if we roll up the sleeves.  She recently had her 2nd hair cut, just a trim of her bangs, to keep the hair out of her eyes.  She is a good eater, especially if it involves fruit, cheese, or pasta.  She also is loving peanut butter and yogurt right now and her favorite treat is ice cream. (She calls it ice!)

It's tougher to get outside since it gets dark earlier but Scott still takes her to the playground on his days off and I try to take her on the weekends at least once.  She loves her gymnastics class and practices at home by climbing on everything and jumping in her crib.  We read lots of books, currently Todd Parr, Eric Carle, and Spot are her favorite, and she likes to push her stroller (sometimes empty) around the house.  We let her watch a little tv, the show Taratabong everyday.

Her talking is really taking off.  She's great with her animal noises and can recognize a couple colors too. She will say "bless you", "thank you" and "excuse me" at the right time and loves saying "Hi!" to people when we're out running errands.  She has a name for herself, it comes out sounding like "Sha sha".  She's starting talking to Grandpa and Grandma on the phone and with Skype, which always makes their day.

We're looking forward to her second Christmas in a couple weeks!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Sprinkle

My Bible study (Edge group for those who know what that means) put on a "sprinkle" for one of our dear friends having her second, a boy, next month.  Once again, I let the people who are much more talented that me put everything together to make it beautiful and fun and I provide a clean house and nice platters to place all the food on!  The theme was alligators.

One of the girls came up with a cute game.  The mom-to-be loves See's Chocolate, so my friend created a gator out of the box.  She took pieces of candy out of the box and put them in baggies with questions about her pregnancy.  To get the chocolate back, she had to answer the question.  She had a few "Pregnancy Cards" she could play if there was a question she didn't want to answer.

It was a great afternoon celebrating The Bean and her little boy on the way!

It's been awhile...

A blog update has been stewing in my brain for awhile, but alas, the time to do it!  It's Saturday afternoon, pumpkin chocolate muffins are cooling, dishwasher is running, the Munchkin and hubby are both napping, and I'm listening to Husker football online.  I win.

The new job is great.  It's a lot of work and not enough time to do it all that I want but I make the most of it.  My co-workers are passionate, caring, and humble.  I'm so grateful.

Little L is now 19 months old and I think the terrible twos are starting a little early.  Not that she's terrible all the time, but she definitely has an opinion she will express at times and has developed some selective listening.  But she's also super affectionate with hugs and kisses, likes to help us, and is talking more.  She says mama, dada, whoa, ice, hi, bye bye, uh oh, and her favorite food, cheese.  She is very friendly and likes to wave and blow kisses.  She has also become an expert climber; as a result, we're now in mommy and me gymnastics on Saturday mornings.  She's the youngest one in her class and is still working on following the teacher's directions but we have fun together.  She loves looking at her books, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar, riding in her swing in the front yard, and dancing.  Now that I'm at work all day, I cherish even more the time we spend together on the evenings and weekends, especially when the three of us are all at home.

My dad and his amazing lady came to visit us a couple weeks ago, and we made the most of the trip.  We went to Oktoberfest, participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's in memory of my Grandma Jo, and went to the state fair.  Headed back up to Nebraska in a couple weeks for a wedding.  We're flying this time so say a prayer for us!

Hopefully a Halloween post will be written before Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


So it's been an interesting few months for us...many people have been asking us about our job situations and I finally feel comfortable making the news public.

S has been working nearly full time at Performance  Bicycle since the spring.  He is currently in training as an Operations Manager.  Once he finishes the training process he will be full time with benefits.  He loves his job and is very good at it, both things we've been praying for him about for a long time.  He still commutes by bike and actually gets rewarded for it! The downside is that it doesn't pay enough for me to just work part time like I have been for the last two years.

That being said...I will be working in Dallas ISD as an Instructional Coach for math teachers at a campus about 10 miles from our house.  Getting a job offer this early in the summer was a huge blessing.  I will still have a teacher schedule, and while I have experience with teacher workshops and mentoring, this will be the first time I get to do it full time.  It's the kind of job I was praying to get, and I am so grateful.  I will continue to work at the Dallas Zoo occasionally and sell Silpada jewelry, because those are just too fun to pass up!

So the question most people will have is...what are we doing with the munchkin?  Fortunately we do not need full time care; between our two work schedules it'll probably be about 20 hours a week, but at this point, we're not sure what the hours would be exactly. We'd like someone to come to our home, so if you are interested or have someone you would recommend please let me know.  I know God has the perfect person already determined.

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement during this time of uncertainty.  God is good and always provides.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


We made two trips to Nebraska in the last month.  The first was for a cousin's wedding, the second was to celebrate Newman Grove's 125th anniversary of its founding, quasquicentennial .  It worked out that the weekend fell on my birthday so I was able to celebrate with family in the place I always was when I was young, with homemade pie and ice cream cake.  The first night we were there they had a BBQ dinner in the park followed by fireworks.  L hadn't been around fireworks since she was pretty little so I wasn't sure how she'd react, but she loved them!  Having her sit in my lap and enjoy the fireworks was one of my favorite times that weekend.  (Her sitting still in my lap doesn't happen very often anymore!)  The next morning my dad and hubby participated in a 22 mile bike ride (in the rain!).  They didn't plan on coordinating, but they looked good together in Husker colors!
My aunt, brother, and cousin all participated in the fun run and got medals.  My husband got first place in the bike ride so our family represented well!
After Mass we went to the pancake breakfast and I got to meet my grandparents' second grade teacher.  She was 17 when she taught them!  I can't even imagine teaching at that age. Sunday afternoon was the parade.  There was a flyover, a lot of tractors, and plenty of candy thrown at us. My grandpa won first place for his antique tractor.

(This isn't it, I just thought it was funny and so appropriate!)

My hubby had never driven a legit tractor before, so Grandpa gave him a lesson.

It was refreshing to get out of the city and spend some time in a small town with family. I remember being in Newman Grove when I was 8 for the town's centennial so I was so glad we were able to come back and create more memories.  L was an excellent traveler as usual, falling asleep in the car more than once while reading her books.  She's turning into a bookworm like her mom and grandma!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My child is a genius

The munchkin keeps showing us all of the new things she's learning.  It's so fun to see how she's developing into this little person.  Last week she stayed still long enough for me to put her hair in pigtails and she looked so grown up, this little girl walking around instead of this baby.  L is great at catching herself with her hands when she gets to walking a little too fast but sometimes she forgets to look at the hazards up ahead.  She's figured out how to climb steps and will walk outside our back door if there's an opening.  She loves it outside, pushing her toys, trying to catch bubbles and attempting to eat whatever she can find-rocks, leaves, dirt.  She always perks up when she hears dogs bark and will say "woof woof" if you ask her what a puppy says.  She points up when she hears an airplane.  L likes to play with her baby doll and has started talking in a high pitched voice to her.  She's very curious about younger children.  She loves music and will bring you her books and toys that play songs and bounce up and down.  She is learning to hand you things when you ask her for it.  She shakes her head when we say "no" sometimes.  I'm working on the sign for "please" (rubbing your fingers on your chest).  Sometimes she'll pat her fingers on my chest instead when I ask her to say please.  Just this morning she was able to put her colored rings back on the pole.  Remember having that toy?  She won't put her shapes in the sorter, she likes to take the lid off instead.  At different times during the day she'll sit and read her books to herself.  Her attention span is pretty short when we try to read to her. We recently took a road trip back to Nebraska and she was an excellent traveler.  She had a great time being spoiled by all the relatives and friends, especially my mom.  We're excited to see what the summer will bring for our little family.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Not a baby anymore

So when I read a friend's blog update about her son, it reminded me that I haven't written one lately about the Munchkin, in fact I haven't written about her milestones in 3 months.  And especially for those friends and family who read this and live far from us, you've missed a lot!

She is now 13 and a half months old. Today I bought The Happiest Toddler on the Block, because we certainly do not have a baby in the house.  She started taking a few steps right after her birthday, but in the last 2 weeks her confidence as a walker has just taken off.  She doesn't crawl anymore and is handling changes in floor textures a lot better.  She has no problem going off to explore other parts of the house while you're in a different room and reaches a lot more things.

At the doctor last week she weighed just under 21 pounds.  We got her convertible car seat and she's much happier in it, as long as the car's moving.  She likes to become either a limp noodle or stiff rod, depending on which is more challenging to her parents that are trying to get her in her seat.  The CDs of kid songs are played frequently while we run errands now.

Mealtimes are getting more interesting.  She still has 6 teeth, but I think she's working on more because she's been pretty drooly for the last couple of weeks.  L really likes to feed herself and is getting pickier about what she wants; this changes daily, one day she'll like something, the next day she won't eat it.  We're working on putting her food on a plate and not tipping the plate over or throwing the food on the floor.  One interesting habit is putting the food in her mouth, chewing on it a little, then spitting it out.  Her favorites right now are graham crackers, cheese, and fruit.

L is quite the talker, though I have no idea what she's saying.  My mom thinks she says, "this" but I'm not sure if it's on purpose or not.  Mama and Dada are said often, though not really in context.  "Num num" is said when there's food that she wants more of.  I've been practicing some signs with her but she doesn't do them back, except for milk every once in awhile.  She does like to wave, point, and clap.  Her favorite sound right now is the kiss sound and she makes a great face to go along with it.

She's sleeping well still (knock on wood!), usually 2 naps a day and sleeps through the night, about once a week waking us up once during the night.  Her favorite toys are the laundry basket, a Peruvian rattle my mom gave her, utensils from the dishwasher, and any paper that's in reach.

I understand what people say about this experience going so fast.  When I look back at pictures of her from a year ago I just can't believe that she was so little.  We are just loving how she is turning into her own person and her curiosity about the things around her.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hip Hippo ray!

The munchkin celebrated her first birthday 10 days ago.  We had a hippo themed party last weekend.  People asked me if she really likes hippos and that's why we did that theme.  Nope, I picked it.  I'm not into the princess thing and L is too young to really like a particular character.  But she definitely likes animals and I thought hippos would be cute and not something you see all the time.  I had a pretty tight budget. As a result, it took a little more effort to get ideas and find materials that worked but thanks to people much more talented than me and Pinterest, we had a hippo-riffic day!

A friend of mine was a graphic designer by trade and designed the hippo image and signs.  She also gave me the idea to display them as pennants.  I printed the hippo logo on iron transfer paper and put it on a onesie for munchkin to wear that day.

Another friend was gracious enough to help me with the cake.  It was made from 2 round pans and 1 square pan=two boxes of cake mix and 3 cans of frosting.  She used frosting bags to make the eyes, ears, and teeth.  My very talented sister in law made the cupcakes.  She took nutter butters and dipped them in dyed almond bark and used mini chocolate chips for the eyes.  It's hard to tell in the picture but I found these cool German hippo shaped cookies at World Market.  I only bought 2 boxes (10 total) because they're about $5 a box, but they looked so neat and people snatched them right away.  The store will email you coupons often and I saved 10% on them.  I also had a half sheet cake from Sam's because of the number of people that came.

A couple hours before the party I went to Party City and got the balloons.  It's only $1 each and while they said the helium only lasts 6 hours, it was a lot longer.  The pink balloon said Happy Birthday on it.

My graphic designer friend made the thank you notes as well and I filled little treat bags with coordinated color Sixlets from Party City.  We did this for our wedding reception favors too.  If you get on their email list, you get lots of coupons and I got the drink cups as a BOGO.  I had to make multiple trips over the last month as I got new coupons, but there's a store right by my house so it was worth the effort.

We requested that instead of getting the munchkin a gift that people instead bring baby items for a crisis pregnancy center.  L was still spoiled with lots of presents but people were very generous with their donations.

The party was a wonderful celebration of our little one's life and we were glad so many of our friends and family were able to join us.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Adventures in Home Ownership

I've heard stories of other people having challenges with their houses right after moving in so I was somewhat prepared to expect the unexpected...and we have had a few "surprises".

We hadn't even moved in yet and one night strong winds tore off some shingles on the roof.
The garbage disposal and dishwasher didn't work. awesome husband fixed them both without spending any money!
We have a leak under the kitchen sink.
We have some unwanted visitors and had a pest control company come out this week.
Our dryer died this week.

I have reminded myself multiple times that these are all rich people's problems and that has helped to keep these inconveniences from becoming more stressful.  I have also tried to remember the truth of John 10:10-"A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and live it more abundantly."  The Enemy wants to rob us of the joy that is this gift of a home and we must fight back with God's truth and promise.

With that being said, here is what I love about our new home-
My husband's commute is cut in half, which means he gets home earlier each night.
We have two toilets!
Full size washer and dryer = less time doing laundry.
The munchkin doesn't have half of her room as an office.
A large fenced-in backyard with a basketball hoop.
Our new floors (you may have seen the pics on Facebook).
Being able to paint the walls whatever color we want (again, see Facebook).
Having friends within walking distance.
Our city library is awesome.
Everything we need for running errands is close.
Returning to my former parish and seeing lots of old friends.  A classmate of my husband is a priest there!
The neighborhood is quiet.

I'm hoping to write posts as we do improvements.  Almost all of the boxes are unpacked and we're about at the point we can hang things on the wall.  It's been fun to find things I didn't use at our old house that I wished I had (the garlic mincer is my new favorite kitchen accessory) and reorganize and keep on purging things we don't need.  Having a mobile baby has slowed me down but we're making progress.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ten Months

Looking back I realized I never did a nine months post.  We closed on a house the day after she turned nine months so between packing, renovations, moving, and Christmas it didn't happen.  Hopefully a post about home improvement soon.

But now the Munchkin is 10 months old.  Hard to believe I need to start planning her first birthday party (Hippo theme, in case you were wondering).  She is a lot of fun right now.  We've gotten into a pretty good routine of naps and sleeping schedule.  She typically takes a nap in the morning and afternoon, sometimes a second in the late afternoon.  She goes to bed around 9, sleeps until around 4, nurses and then goes back to bed until 7ish.  In just the last couple of days she's been regularly standing on her own.  She likes to hold her hands in the air to show how proud she is of herself (and she knows we'll praise her every time she does it).  She's a fast crawler and pulls herself up on everything.  We've got three and a half teeth that she uses to eat everything.  I'm not having to puree foods very often anymore because she's such a good eater and likes to feed herself.  I've trying to give her water and at this point she prefers drinking from an open cup rather than a sippee cup.  Around this time the books say she's supposed to get that separation anxiety but she hasn't had it at this point.  Little L is talking more- dada, yaya, mama.  When we're eating she says num num.

Things that she loves-
Mirrors!  We have lots of them in our new house and she likes to wave at herself.
Eating whatever she can find on the floor.  I am sweeping a lot more often now.
Cords.  I blame her Papa Alex for introducing these to her over Thanksgiving.
Her Little People nativity set and Noah's Ark from her grandparents.

As I'm unpacking I'm considering what we can and can't have out for her to get into.  Would appreciate any tips from experienced parents on babyproofing.  We want her to learn what she can and can't touch, especially if she is at other homes that aren't baby friendly but we also want to make our home safe.  Any product recommendations?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Photo freebies

Thought I'd write a quick post about some freebies I've cashed in on this week-

I've always been big on taking and printing pictures, but ever since the Munchkin was born I try to keep up with all the ones we take on our phones and camera.  I have accounts with lots of different sites and always take advantage of their deals.

Walgreens uses promo codes online and in their ads every week and sometimes you'll get items for free, no other purchase needed.  You can use multiple promo codes for one order. This week I got an email for a free photo book; in this case I did have to pay shipping, $3.  I've gotten free photo collages and 5x7 prints before, all I had to do was pick it up in the store.

I get emails from Plum District, it's like Living Social but the deals are recommended by moms.  I had a $10 gift card that I used to get some animal wall decals for Little L's room. Then they sent me a promo code for a free photo book from My Publisher.  It's a neat software you download to create their projects.  Just paid shipping on that.

For both photo books I decided to create them in terms of a storybook that I can read to the baby, with captions to go along with the pictures.  I used pictures from our days at the zoo in the fall for one book and pictures from her first Christmas for the other.

I got an email from CVS as well for a free photo mug.  My hubby is probably going to take it to work.  It's going to be shipped to the store so that didn't cost me anything.

Shutterfly mails me coupons sometimes and I made a free photo book for my grandpa for Christmas since he doesn't have email or text and doesn't see pictures of the baby as often.  Just paid shipping.  You can combine coupons on their site; I made a photo book of our maternity photos for free earlier this year.

Hope these tips help you save a little!

Hoping to do a post on our new house soon, trying to work on unpacking before I post some pictures!