Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

My lack of posting the past couple of weeks has been because we were out of town enjoying precious time with family. This summer as well as the past 11 years, my Grandma on my dad's side rented out a house on the beach for a week for our entire family. This tradition became a treasured part of my childhood, and continues to be something I look forward to every year. It really is an amazing blessing to have a large, godly extended family that can actually get together for a whole week and enjoy every moment!

PhotobucketLast summer, Katie was too little to really enjoy playing at the beach, so this year, Katie was able to play at the beach for the first time. She had such a blast. At first, she enjoyed the sand a lot more than the water, but by week's end she was pretty enthralled with both. We took her out most days in the mornings and evenings when it wasn't too sunny out. She is about as fair skinned as they come, so I wanted to be extra careful not to get her burned.

It was also a lot of fun seeing Katie play with my cousins' children. So far between the four of us who are married, we have 6 kiddos. The oldest of the children is 6 and the youngest is 6 months. They had a lot of fun together, and playing with other little kids and sharing toys was a new experience for Katie. Before the end of the week, she had learned to be possessive of her toys if she didn't want them carried to another part of the house. Ha! Here is a picture of all of the kids together. My aunt got the little girls all matching dresses. Aren't they cute?! Next year, this picture will have three more sweet babies in it, since two of my cousins are expecting, in addition to our little one on the way.


Another highlight of the trip for me was getting to go play golf with my dad for an afternoon. My dad is a golf enthusiast, and started playing when he was just a little boy. I never got as "into" golf as he was, but I do think it's pretty fun to play. I didn't play particularly well (for those of you who know golf, I shot 143 on 18 holes. ha!), but I didn't really expect to since it had been a few years. Getting to spend a few hours hanging out with my dad was a treat, and it was a prime opportunity since Katie doesn't nurse at all during the day (just early in the morning). Next year, I'll have a little nursling with me again (!) and won't be able to leave without children for an afternoon.

As with all our past family gatherings, there was much fun, a lot of sweet fellowship, and way too much food. And of course, the it was the fastest week of the year. 


As a somewhat last minute deal, we decided Katie and I would ride back to Florida with my parents and spend a little extra time with them. Except for the stomach virus Katie got on Tuesday night, we had a really nice time. It was good to spend Father's Day with my dad and there was a picnic after the church service, so I was able to catch up with several good friends as well. I also got to meet my good friends' precious baby boy who was born the day after I left Florida from my last visit. Mom and I did a lot of cooking and a LOT of talking and catching up. It's so fun for me to see my parents and Katie enjoying each other. She absolutely love them, and actually started calling my mom "Ahmah" while we were down.

It was a lot of fun to spend some time away getting to enjoy family and good friends, but now that we're back, it sure is nice to be home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Plan, June 28-July 4

As of 1 o'clock Friday morning, we are finally home from our (nearly) two week vacation. I really enjoyed the time we were able to spend with family, but it's nice to be home and I'm looking forward to returning to "normal." While taking a break from everyday life, I was able to do some work towards getting our lives (and meal plans) more organized since I've finally recovered from early pregnancy fatigue and nausea (yaay for the second trimester!). There will be more on all those things later, but for now, here's what's on the menu at our house this week. 

~whole wheat bagels with cream cheese, peaches (x3)
~apple baked oatmeal (x2)
~Maple Banana Oat Muffins with Streusel Topping, scrambled eggs (x2)

~grilled cheese sandwiches
~peanut butter & banana or jelly sandwiches
~snack foods (cheese, veggies, fruit, etc.)

Monday~Lawnmower Taco (plan to freeze half for another meal)
Tuesday~meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes, steamed veggies
Wednesday~date night (hopefully!)
Thursday~quiche, fruit
Friday~whole wheat pizza, salad
Sunday~our traditional Sunday dinner at the farm

What are y'all cookin' up this week? For hundreds of other menu plans, check out OrgJunkie.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Plan: The Visiting-Mom-and-Dad Edition

At the last minute, we decided Katie and I would ride back to Florida with my parents from South Carolina last week and fly back home Thursday night. We're really enjoying the extra time with Mom/Grandma and Dad/Grandpa! It was nice to get to spend Father's Day with my dad yesterday. The church we went to (along with my parents) when we lived here had a Father's Day picnic on the grounds, so it was also really nice to get to catch up with good friends face-to-face.

When I visit, Mom & I usually cook together, so here's what we've planned for dinners through Thursday night. I don't have a clue what I'll be fixing for meals Friday & Saturday after I get home because I'm sure our pantry/fridge/freezer will be pretty bare after two weeks away from the grocery store!

Monday~Filet Mignon with Pepper Cream Sauce (what a treat!), Roasted Spicy Cauliflower, Salad
Tuesday~roast beef, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes
Wednesday~Mimommy's Arroz con Pollo
Thursday~Mom's Chicken Tacos brown rice and black beans

For hundreds of other menu plans, be sure to check out OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A godly father

My dad became a follower of Christ just after I turned 10. Before he was a genuine believer, I never thought of him as a bad dad. He always provided for our family, he was generous, he went out of his way to do special things with me, and loved my mom.  Nevertheless, the change when Christ called him was quite dramatic. And, I am so thankful for the godly man my father is today.

Dad and me on my wedding day
It wasn't until I "grew up" that I realized what an amazing gift from God my godly father is. I look at so many people in my generation who, if they have grown up with a dad at all, haven't grown up with a godly one. All too often, their lives seriously lack direction, partly because no one worked to engrain the Word of God upon their hearts. They walk around aimlessly, not knowing the importance of making their decisions and prioritizing their lives based on the Scriptures. The gift of a life grounded on the gospel is far greater than a brand new car, a fancy vacation, or designer jeans. And that was the greatest gift my dad ever gave to me.

Dad with Katie last summer
When I look at my own sweet daughter and think of the new little one we'll be meeting at the end of this year, I could not be more thankful for their godly father who will impart the same wonderful gift of a Christ-centered life to them from an even earlier age. An added blessing in having a godly father is knowing what to look for in a husband, and I sure did get a good one!

Ben, reading a theology book to Katie when she was just a few days old!
A father has the ability to make or break his children's lives with his influence. His role has a generational impact...because I was blessed with a godly father, and my children are blessed with a godly father, by the grace of God, many generations to come will grow up to serve Christ.

So, to both of the amazing, godly fathers in my life, a very happy Father's Day! I couldn't be more thankful for either of you and I love you both so much!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fun with daddy at the beach...

Katie had a blast this evening playing in the water with daddy! I'll be back next week with more pictures from our time here. We are having so much fun. What a blessing to have a godly family that loves to spend time together!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just takin' a break...

Just wanted to let y'all know we are fine! After I got sick, Katie got sick with some sort of one day virus, and then had a day of really rough teething (working on THREE molars all at once!), and then I had a couple days that I was totally exhausted and/or nauseous, and now we are in South Carolina with my dad's side of the family (all 24 of us!) for a week long vacation.

My break was completely unplanned, but it has been kind of nice. Thanks to those of you who expressed some concern and asked how we were. I have been thinking about y'all and about some new posts and changes around here even in my absence, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things--probably next week (and as a big plus, I've even been feeling more normal now that my second trimester has started!).

"See" y'all soon! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Change in plans and a great link for your reading pleasure

Monday night, this mama started feeling sick. Today, I'm feeling worse...adding a cold to pregnancy fatigue is no fun. So, we're doing a whole lot of not much at our house so I can rest up. That means our great new routine, while not completely thrown to the wayside, has taken a back seat. That "day in our life" post will probably have to wait 'til next week.

In the meantime, here's a great blog post all you mamas need to go and read. It's by Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama and reading it was really a blessing to my heart. Here's an excerpt:

This beautiful amazing body has stretched to accommodate two sets of feet, two heads, two hearts, two sets of flexing limbs. This body is round where some say it should be flat; soft where some say it should be hard; and full where many others are running on empty.

It's easy to look in the mirror and wish I looked just like I did the day we got married. My sweet husband has reminded me more than once that he'd much rather I be a mama than be skinny (though, I didn't think of myself as particularly skinny back then either!). Not to say that having children is an excuse to let your body go, but it takes time to put on baby weight, and even if you lose it all, you very well may never look the same again (stretch marks, anyone?). But you know what? It's so completely worth it.

Click here to go read the rest!