Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

Happy – In this challenge, we were suppose to use the new WordPress gallery layouts. However, I found one picture that summed up happiness for me.

Using Grandma’s “everyday” china, I have homemake cookies made with my daughter Hannah using my dear friend’s recipe and hot coffee. I love my family – past and present. I have enjoyed many special times over coffee and cookies with friends – new and old. And these are resting on my new countertop in my new kitchen – more room than I’ve ever had and perfect for visits with family and friends.

I am happy, I am blessed, and I will be a blessing! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

Yummy! Hannah’s birthday cake for 2011…Rainbow Cake! An indulgence of both time and deliciousness!

It turned out great, but I will probably not make it again. There are too many simple things the kids like!

Just in case you are interested in trying the Rainbow Cake, here are the sites links that I used http://www.marthastewart.com:80/256688/rainbow-cake and http://www.angelastrand.com/2011/01/rainbow-cake-how-to.html.

I also found this tip handy from one of the comments: –“I used white boxed cake and it worked great. Also I didn’t have a way to weigh it so here is what I did. 2 boxes of cake mix. I made one box at a time in a large bowl. I had 3 bowls waiting. Divide the mix into 3 bowls about 1 1/3 cup each bowl. Add colorings to each. My oven can only fit 3 pans so then bake the first three. Repeat with second box. This makes a perfect 6 layers.”

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What is something you’ve indulged in recently?

Sponsoring Children

I’ve planned for several years to sponsor a child either through World Vision or Compassion International. However, for some pathetic reason or another it just hadn’t got done.

BUT this morning, the girls and I chose two girls to sponsor through World Vision.

Emily is 1 years old and lives in Honduras. She was born on Eva’s (our youngest girl) 3rd birthday!

Dotto is 5 years old and from Tanzania. She and Hannah (our middle girl) were born on the same day!

Now I’m glad I waited till the girls were a little older and could be involved.  They are very excited about helping and getting to know these two precious girls!

Lord, thank You for this opportunity to bless Dotto and Emily! Please continue to help us look at the world with Your compassion. May we always remember how much You love us ALL! Amen!

I Pushed It and Now Suffer the Consequences!

During this pregnancy I have no desire to eat sweets or to drink coffee drinks.  For my health and the health of the baby, this is wonderful.  However, I really truly miss a coffee drink or some chocolate now and then!!  This has been hard even though I don’t crave them.  I could sit in front of my wonderful homemade chocolate chip cookies and have no desire to eat one!  

But, today I just wanted to want something chocolate!!  So, I chose to eat some chocolate ice cream.  For the rest of the day I have had diarrhea…which I’m sure you’re excited to learn about!!! 

My lesson:  Don’t push food that you don’t need down a pregnant body or there will be consequences!!  =)

Good Morning!

I meant to post something before we left on our trip, but I ran out of time.  (Time…now that's something I'm running out of often!!)  Anyway, Matt and I got back home Monday.  Matt took Tuesday off so we could hang out with the girls. 

The Trip Matt and I dropped the girls off at my parents Thursday evening.  We went back to their house three times!  First, we forgot their hanging clothes.  Then, we took over a couple of waterproof pads and I grabbed a Sprite for myself because I wasn't feeling well.  Ok, now I can't remember the other reason, but I'm pretty sure we went back over one more time!!  However, our reasons were good ones so don't laugh!  I wasn't missing them already!  =)   

We left really early on Friday.  I wasn't sure if I was going to survive at this pace!!  We survived the drive, the Houston traffic, and finally found the hotel.  We ate at Steak and Ale, which was good.  Then we called it a day…I was exhausted!!  (Oh, by the way, we realized that we forgot our nice digital camera with excellent zoom.  We grabbed a couple disposable cameras, but Matt was very frustrated since our camera would have worked great at the baseball game on Sunday!)

Our plan on Saturday was to, first of all, sleep in.  However, we both woke up around 6:00 am!  Ok, we tried to get a little more sleep, but we were out of bed at 7:00 am.  So much for sleeping in!!  We ate breakfast at Dennis.  I love breakfast!!  Then we hung out at the Downtown Aquarium.  It was pretty neat.  We kept saying, “The girls would enjoy this!”  We drove to the Woodland’s mall to meet a friend of Matt’s and his family.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory, which was very good!  I didn’t know that it sold real food too!!  Even though I really don’t have any desire for sweets I had to try a slice of cheesecake.  I got a slice of the brownie sundae cheesecake and shared it with the rest of our party, except Matt who doesn’t like cheesecake.  It was excellent!!  We visited a little bit, and then Matt and I checked out the mall after they left.  Later we went back to the Aquarium’s restaurant for supper.  That was really cool.  It has this floor to ceiling fish tank.  It was huge and full of all sorts of fish and other sea life.  We took a horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown Houston.  We really enjoyed the ride!!  It was nice, laid back, and relaxing.  Then we tried to find an event that was happening that night, but we couldn’t find it and just decided to go back to the hotel.

Sunday we got up early, ate breakfast at IHOP, and made it to Minute Maid stadium by 8:30 am.  The gate was opening at 10 am and the first 3,500 people got a nice leather Astros photo album and got to go down around the field to take pictures of the players.  The line was extremely long already, wrapping around three sides of the stadium, so we didn’t have high hopes that we would be in the first 3,500.  However, we were!!  Matt was really excided, even thought he’s not an Astros fan he appreciates good players!  Matt got his picture with a couple of Astros players (the catch and a guy who was with the Yankees) and the Astros manager.  If Matt was here, I could include their name, but you’re lucky I remembered that much info!!  The roof was closed on the stadium, and it’s temperature controlled.  So, I was very comfortable during the game!  Actually sometimes it was a little chilly, but I would rather be that than hot!  The game didn’t go well for Braves fans, but we enjoyed it anyway!!! =)  Then we shared some excellent fajitas at Cabo, which is a interesting restaurant in downtown Houston.  After that we headed back to the hotel.  Then we got everything possible packed and loaded in the van.  We were pretty tired, so we thought about renting a movie at the hotel, but it was ridiculously expensive.  Instead, we just hung out, found something to watch on TV, and went to bed.

We left early on Monday, not quite as early as on Friday.  We made it home in much better time, since we didn’t end up dealing with bad Houston traffic and we knew how to get everywhere.  We were ready to see the girls.  We talked to them a couple times of each day.  Overall we had an excellent time just spending with each other, and I did fine being gone from the girls.  Also, I was tired off and on, but I did pretty well with that too!  Thank you, Jesus!!

Yummy!

For Mother's Day, Matt got me the delicious Godiva Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar.  It is "dark chocolate ice cream enrobed in Godiva milk chocolate coating."  It is wonderful, perfect, YUMMY!!  =)  Matt and I totally agree that by far it is the best ice cream that we have even had! 

Go ahead and give it a try!!

The Smell of Coffee =)

I have always loved the smell of coffee, even before I would drink any. 

At first, it was a smell I associated with my grandparents’ house, since my parents don’t drink coffee. 

In high school I enjoyed cappuccinos from a local gas station, which I learned later are not at all similar to real cappuccinos! 

In college I tried other kinds of coffee drinks at a really neat coffee shop that was close to ACU. 

About three years ago I started drinking more coffee drinks, since I joined a book club that met at a coffee shop. 

It’s just been in the last several months that I’ve actually enjoyed coffee without anything in it!  But that’s only because I use the china that my grandma gave me, which her and grandpa received when they got married.  (Matt and I didn’t register for any china when we got married.  Since we had only lived at home and in the dorms, we didn’t have anything, so it just wasn’t practical.  But a couple years later, I was very excited when Grandma gave me their china!)  When I drink out of this cup, I feel special and sophisticated!

Anyway, the whole reason why I was thinking about the smell of coffee is that Matt was going to make some coffee on Monday.  He opened the coffee container, the smell hit me, and I was nauseated.  I had been feeling a little uneasy for a little bit, but after that I just knew!  So, the next morning I took a test…  We are expecting a baby!!

At first we thought that the baby would be due around the middle of January.  However, after consulting Matt and conferring with Jami, we figured out that the first day of my last period was either March 17th or 18th.  So, the due date may be toward the end of December.  I have a doctor appointment next Monday, May 22.  I’ll have more information after that!! 

Matt’s pretty sure this baby will be a boy, since I’ve never felt like this when I’ve been pregnant.  (But he always makes sure to include that the health of the baby, not the sex is the important thing!)  When I was pregnant with Abbye, I was tired, but not sick.  With Hannah, I was definitely tired and a little queasy a couple of days.  However, I’ve been queasy all day for a while.  So, we’ll see! 

Please keep us in your prayers!  Thanks!!

What comforts you?

People talk about comfort foods a lot, but there’s more in our lives that we find comfort in.

Clothes – When Matt and I were dating, I loved hanging out in a long sleeve button down shirt that I stole from him.  Now Matt has a Third Day hoodie that I enjoy wearing.  Both of these clothing pieces are Matt’s, and they are soft.  Sound like comfort to me!!  How many people have a favorite pair of jeans?!

Drinks – I love hot drinks!  Give me hot tea, coca, and coffee any day of the week no matter the weather.

Activities – I love going on walks with my family, spending time with Matt, receiving hugs and kisses from the girls, reading a good book, having a few moments to myself, receiving a phone call from a dear friend, a great night sleep, listening to or making music…!  I could definitely go on in this category!!

Then, of course, Food – Chocolate is wonderful, but not just any kind.  I prefer dark chocolate.  I love Godiva chocolate, however I do not like the ones with hazelnut.  I enjoy chicken strips, mash potatoes, and gravy.  I really enjoy biscuits and sausage gravy.  My grandma’s cherry pie is at the top of my favorites’ list, along with my mom’s chicken and dumplings.  I love trying new things, especially new foods!

So, again, I ask…What comforts you?

A Brand New Start!

My friend Nicole’s Hakuna Matata post inspired me to write about starting anew today!

  • I want to get up early, so that I can workout and spend time with God before the girls wake up.  (I didn’t get up with my alarm this morning.  I have a problem getting to sleep.  It took me at least two hours last night.  Matt said I think too much!  Also, Abbye’s arm fell asleep during the night, and she woke up very upset.  So, I was up with her.  I know those are excuses, but they’re pretty good ones!!)
  • I want to eat healthy, so I need to be more aware of what I put in my mouth and how often.  (I’ve done pretty well.  However, I did eat a little too much at noon because I was trying to finish some leftovers!  That’s not a good habit to get in to!)  I want to eat slowly and savor my food.  I want to still enjoy desserts, because they are important as my last post pointed out!!  However, I want eat them less often and be more choosy.
  • I want to prioritize and order my day, so that I get things done.  However, I don’t need to forget to stop and smell the roses, to play with the girls, …to enjoy life, too!
  • I want to stay in touch with family and friends.  I made a list during church a couple weeks ago (Sorry, Pastor John, but you were repeating something you had already talked about in the Course class!!) with the names of family and friends that I want to revive, if needed, and maintain a steady, on going relationship.
  • I want to practice my cello regularly.  I miss my music!

Well, that’s a list that will keep me busy!!  Please pray for me!  =)

 

But I was wondering how you balance enjoying life and the people around you with taking care of your responsibilities?