Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday & 24 Weeks

Every Wednesday, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer does a post called Works for Me Wednesday. I've always wanted to post something, but have a hard time coming up with something. As I was packing today, I thought of what I should post.

I don't remember when I started doing this (probably sometime in middle school or high school), but I have a master packing list for me, Phillip and Emily. It has evolved over time and I also have one for things I need to do in the house or with Oso to get ready to leave. I really only use it when we're going for a long trip (for me and Phillip, anyway), but it is so helpful in not forgetting the important things, like underwear. (Yes, even I forget to pack that sometimes!) I use Emily's every time because, although we've travelled with her quite a bit already, there are still some things I would forget every time! The other benefit is that when we're going on a big trip (like New York and Tennessee at the end of December), I can print out the list and start adding things as I think of them. And, one day, when I get my household notebook up and going (thanks for the reminder Lynley!), it will go in there.

Anyway, that's what works for me. Hope it can help someone else!

By the way, here's Emily's week picture for this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food and more

Because Phillip handles the paperwork for the free and reduced lunch program at Panther Creek, he can have a free lunch any time he wants it. Occasionally, he'll come home for lunch bearing lunch. Today was one of those days. It was also the annual Thanksgiving meal the school serves for the community so he had spent time with community folks too. Here's one (of TWO) of the containers of food he brought home today. He also brought 2 16oz cups of marshmallow, whipped cream fruit salad and a 16oz cup of gravy and an 8oz cup of cranberry sauce and 6 rolls!!! This was food for the two of us. Can you imagine?!?

Here are the leftovers after we had a generous serving for lunch today.

On another note, I'm migrating away from my PDA because I just don't use it anymore. But, my address book is in it and I've yet to find a good replacement for that. I want to be able to manage my address book on the computer and be able to export out of it so I can print labels, print an address book, etc. If you keep your address book on the computer, would you let me know what software you use?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

23 weeks

Emily told me a couple weeks ago that she wanted to come visit Aunt Jenni's house. So, Aunt Jenni and I figured out a time when we could come. Emily and I drove to Dallas on yesterday and met Aunt Cara (and Zachary & Jackson) for lunch at Chick-fil-A, then went to Babies R Us to kill some time. We finally got to Aunt Jenni's house about 4 (after taking a l-o-n-g detour up Central Expresway--don't take the HOV lane unless you're going to north Plano!) and waited for Aunt Jenni to get home. We made waffles for dinner and played with Emily for a while before putting her down to bed.

Today, we got up, took Emily's picture (see below) and started running some errands. There are just some places you have to go when you visit the big city. Like JoAnn and Bubba's. Neither of which you can get in Abilene. So, errand running we went and got plenty accomplished. We finally got home about 4:30 and ordered Chinese for dinner. Now, we're just playing and hanging out before bathing Emily and putting her to bed.

Here's the 23 week picture.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rancho Loma

Since this year was a special birthday (yes, I turned 30!), Phillip wanted to do something special for me. He made reservations at Rancho Loma and arranged for my parents to babysit. We'd heard about the restaurant (mainly due to its proximity to our house) and were curious about it. It was incredible! It's one of those places where your reservation is for the evening and the menu is set. I think the dining room would seat 22 people.

We started the evening with a Pine Nut, Currant & Fontina Cheese pizza with a balsamic vinegar. A nice light appetizer. Then we moved on to the second course...Fresh Pasta with tomatoes and basil oil. Yummy! The salad was a spinach salad with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic chips and warm garlic dressing with bread with goat cheese. I'd never had sun-dried tomatoes or goat cheese, but both were wonderful. The main dish was Akaushi Beef Short Ribs and polenta, but it was more like roast...incredibly tender roast. It was one of the most tender cuts I've had in a long time. (Akaushi is a Japanese breed of cow raised in south Texas.) Then, dessert. Ah, dessert....Chocolate Panna Cotta. It was a lot like chocolate pudding, but thicker and no after-taste, like some chocolate desserts leave.

It was an incredible evening of wonderful food, wonderful company and a wonderful atmosphere. The best part, though, was that it was all free. When Phillip originally made the reservations (for 11/8), the owners comfirmed them, but then realized they would be in New York that weekend and wouldn't be open. So...because Phillip had a confirmed reservation, they gave us our next meal on the house. It was incredible!

(And, Emily did just fine with her first babysitters. She played for a bit, got a bath, had a bottle and went to bed. Thanks, Mom & Daddy!!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The weekend, 5 months and 22 weeks

I am a little slow in getting pictures up. This past weekend, my parents and sister spent the weekend with us, to celebrate my birthday. We had a good time, but you know how it is getting your house back to normal after people have come. (Not that I would trade the time with them for anything!)

Before they came, I tackled a project I'd been wanting to do for a while...hang our travel pictures. Eight years ago, I went to Oxford, England, with ACU's Study Abroad. I bought a picture there and have been buying pictures on vacation ever since. The challenge is always to arrange the pictures so they look good. An even bigger challenge this time was to arrange them in a way that won't be changed until we leave here. (All our walls are just paneling so we have to use wall anchors to hang anything substantial and, unfortunately, they leave 3/16" holes in the wall.) I took the "advice" of my dear sister and used butcher paper to decide where they were going. (Here's another tip from her that I used...I just didn't take pictures with my yardsticks on the wall.) Here's the progress and final result.

Then, Monday was MOPS (and shopping) so I wasn't home all day. Yesterday was long and Phillip had something at school for most of the pictures just didn't happen. But we did get them taken today.

22 weeks

5 months

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next installment of life in God's country.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our story, part 4

Mary over at Owlhaven is challenging her readers to tell their Love Stories for October. Since this was something I'd been meaning to write down and get into our wedding album for three years now, I figured this was just the motivation I needed. I don't want to overwhelm you (it's kind of long), so I'll put it up in installments. Here's the part 3 of our story! (See part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.) (Yes, I know it's now November, but I started late in October and there was just more to tell than I could fit in October!)

August 10, 2004...the big day! Well, that’s when Phillip proposed. We were spending the night apart, as we did on most Tuesday nights. But, he called me and said he was sick and would I come over? I grabbed some medicine and my sewing project that I was starting for my mom for the wedding and headed over. He had told me that he might be in the bedroom when I got there so I should just let myself in...he’d leave the front door unlocked. I went on in and found him in the bedroom all right! He had the lights off, candles everywhere and he was standing there in a suit. I just about fell on my knees, I was so in shock! He had dried the three daffodils I brought him back in March and gave those to me. He also told me this story (or something close to it).

There was once a beautiful young girl named Heather. She had met this boy. One day she asked him, “Do you like me?” He said no. She was a little puzzled, but asked, “Do you want me?” Again, he said no. Shocked, she asked, “Would you cry if I left?” Again, he said no. She turned and ran off, crying. He ran after her and said, “Wait. Let me finish. I don’t like you; I love you. And I don’t want you; I need you. And I wouldn’t cry if you left; I’d die.”

At this point, he got down on one knee and asked if I’d marry him. Of course, I said yes. We went to Sonic to get an Oreo Blast to celebrate.

Fast forward nine months (the events of those nine months really aren’t that exciting...lots of trips back and forth to Abilene) and on June 4, 2005, we were married at Chapel on the Hill at ACU. Phillip planned the honeymoon and surprised me with a trip to Italy. We went to Florence for 4 days and Venice for 2 days. It was a wonderful trip!

I hope you've enjoyed reading our story. I sure enjoyed writing it, both for me and for Emily (and any other kids we may have in the future)!

(If you choose to participate, leave a comment below so we can all read your story!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Country life

Tonight there is a junior high football game in Cherokee, located about 2 hours away. Due to the distance, Emily and I decided to stay home and just let Phillip go. He was planning to ride the bus down there with the kids and they were leaving at 2:30. Or so they thought.

Phillip got on the bus and was deciding which seat to sit in, behind the driver or the seat across the aisle from the driver. He, wisely, chose the seat behind the driver because the sun would be coming in on the other side. Just as he was sitting down, something spooked the racoon that was sleeping on the floor of the other seat he was considering. Yes, that's right...a racoon! The bus mechanic had a pellet gun and shot it, but unfortunately, a good amount of the racoon's blood ended up on Phillip's leg because the racoon was just about to go up Phillip's leg. So, when Phillip came in about 3:10 with blood on the leg of his pants, I was shocked, to say the least. First, he was supposed to already be gone. Second, there's blood all over his pants! Everything ended well (for everyone except the racoon, I guess), although they didn't leave until about 3:15. The pants are now in the washer and I think all the blood came out!

Exciting times out in God's country!

Our story, part 3

Mary over at Owlhaven is challenging her readers to tell their Love Stories for October. Since this was something I'd been meaning to write down and get into our wedding album for three years now, I figured this was just the motivation I needed. I don't want to overwhelm you (it's kind of long), so I'll put it up in installments. Here's the part 3 of our story! (See part 1 here and part 2 here.) (Yes, I know it's now November, but I started late in October and there was just more to tell than I could fit in October!)

By Phillip’s birthday (May 9), we had decided that we would be getting married one day. We didn’t know when, but we knew that each was “the one.” On May 20, Phillip told me he loved me. It was the best feeling in the world.

Memorial Day 2004...Phillip finally met my parents. We had a picnic (of hot ham & cheese sandwiches) in the park before watching a concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the park. Everyone seemed to like each other, which was very fortunate!

We had talked enough about getting married that we knew we needed to go ring shopping at some point. June 26 was the day. We went to several different jewelry shops and “celebrated” by going to Steak n Shake. We had a lot of fun that day!

July 2004, I went to Branson, Missouri, with my family. The week apart was miserable, but we did get to talk on the phone a couple times and we gave each other gifts to be opened each day. He gave me cards and I gave him pieces of a puzzle I had made.

Part 4 to come later!

(If you choose to participate, leave a comment below so we can all read your story!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

21 Weeks

Not too much to report this week. Emily does love her toes though. This was the only picture in the shoot in which she wasn't holding her toes!
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Blinds and Halloween

I finally finished a project I've been working on for several weeks (and wanting to do since we moved in). Some of the windows didn't have miniblinds or the ones that were there were broken enough to warrant replacing. So, that's what I've been doing for the past several window at a time. I finally got all six new miniblinds put up and I am so glad to have that behind me. If you ever need miniblinds hung, I'm your girl!

As I read about everyone else's Halloween's, I realized that I hadn't posted about ours. Well, that's because we really didn't do Halloween. When Halloween falls on a Friday night (football games!), you're not part of a church yet, and you live in an isolated area, there's really not much reason to do anything. But, Emily did have a couple "costumes." She had a pumpkin bib and a ghost onesie. So, she was our pumpkin ghost. (And, yes, we enjoyed our time at the football game, even though we lost.)

(I forgot to mention, the bear in the pictures above was a gift to Emily from my mom's cousin Kathy. Thanks, Kathy! Emily loves her bear!)