Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Football...

...Dallas Cowboys football, that is!  One of the bummers about living here is that we don't get every Cowboys game on TV.  That REALLY stinks.  The first game was on a Wednesday night.  Cody and Lauren had youth group and I had something going on so we started our Football Game Concessions' Stand last Sunday for the game.  Lauren wanted to go first.
 Her menu
 Taking Orders
 A Happy Man
 I like this view.  
You can see the concession stand, the football game on the TV, and some of the fans
 Too Cute!
 Lauren's specialty on the menu was Chocolate Chip Cowboy Waffles
 The finished product
I acted as her assistant.  I stay in the kitchen and help fill orders that are made.  She did all the waffles herself.  I have found this a pretty easy tradition to manage.  They all have to eat anyway.  This just makes it fun.  Each kid can give me a shopping list ahead of time if they have special foods they would like to make on that day.  I get them so we are ready to go.  If they don't choose ahead of time, I find we usually have plenty to choose from around here.  The thing that made this day even better is that the Cowboys won!!

Tomorrow night, I am doing the concessions and in addition to watching the game, we are going to be celebrating Cody's spiritual bday.  It should be really fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Little Toaster That Did

Has it really already been over a week since we celebrated our 18th anniversary??  Time is going so fast.  It seems I can't keep up with anything, my house, this blog, my kids' social calendars and activities.  Most days I feel like my head might spin right off my head.

Last week, Rick and I were able to take an overnight trip to Boulder for our anniversary(thank you so much, Laura and Ellen for keeping our kids).  I had never been to Boulder.  We usually do Denver when we have one night.  Boulder seemed like a good option since it is not much farther than Denver.  

We had a yummy dinner at Cantino Laredo 
 We took an evening walk on Pearl Street.  It is an outdoor area with lots of different shops and restaurants.  The weather was perfect.

I have been hearing lots about the restaurant, Snooze.  So, we went there for breakfast.  It was a long wait, the service wasn't stellar, but I liked the unique menu and atmosphere.  There were several things on the menu that I wanted to try.  I would definitely go back to try some of those things.

Just having uninterrupted time alone with this man is the best anniversary gift I could ask for
 I chose the pancake sampler.  
(l to r) Coffee and donuts pancake, pineapple upside down pancake, banana peanut butter granola pancake.  
 Rick had French Toast OMG!
 Pink Grapefruit juice always reminds me of my Grandmommy.   
 We made a trip to IKEA on Friday.  Rick had never been there.  Here is my take on that place.  It is very overwhelming to me.  I am not a "decorator" so I don't do well with all the STUFF.  I do like seeing how they put it together in the mock houses.  Most of the furniture looks miniature to me.  When Rick sits on it, he looks even more like a giant.  My favorite part, the kitchen gadgets!!  I got a few items that I needed for my kitchen.  I could spend all day in that part of the store.  Free childcare is genius.

Speaking of kitchens, we got this toaster as a wedding gift.
 It has served us well for 18 years.  
The little lever has been broken for years, but it still toasted our bread.
 We decided it was time to retire the toaster and go for the 4-slicer!!  Our family has grown significantly in the last 18 years.  Almost every day, someone in this house has toast.  This was our anniversary gift to the fam this year:
 I never imagined I could get so excited about an appliance.  I don't even really eat toast that often myself, but I am excited to make toast for my family with it.  My favorite feature is the "reheat" button. If the toast cools before you take it out, you can push this button to warm it back up without toasting it more.  Wow, that is amazing.  I get so busy doing other things that I retoast because it is cold and end up burning the toast.

I think that everyone should get an anniversary shower somewhere between 15-20 years of marriage.  Everything is wearing out and there are so many new gadgets and features on appliances.  Also, as a family grows, those 6-muffin tins just don't cut it.  I need to upgrade lots of my cookware and bakeware.  Oh, well, a little at a time.

I am just thankful I still get to have this man in my life.  
Our marriage has stood the test of time even better than that toaster.  
Here's to another 18 years and a new toaster!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I woke up on Monday morning with 2 thoughts on my mind.  First, I thought, "Wow,  nobody has been sick and missed any school so far this year.  Second, I thought, "I haven't had the hiccups in forever."  (This is how my mind works, people, very random thoughts that make no sense)  It wasn't 5 minutes later before Cody came into our room coughing and sniffling needing his temperature taken.  Throughout the day, I had the hiccups at least 4 different times.  Coincidence, I think not!  I am bit weird.

Since Monday, they are dropping like flies around here.  Cody and Lauren stayed home from school yesterday and today Abby, Cody, and Lauren are home.  I really am going somewhere with this story.  (Rick is always saying that I share way more than necessary to get to a point.)  All of this leads to today.  I had the rare opportunity to have only Sam in the truck to take to school.  He was the only healthy kid that is dropped off in the morning.  We went to Burger King to get BOGO smoothies to have on our ride.  We had such a great conversation.  It reminded me how important it is to spend some one-on-one time with each kid.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just a ride in the truck will do.  

I asked him how things were going at school.  I found out things I wouldn't know otherwise.  He gave me some glimpses into his school world.  My favorite thing that he shared was about this cross:
(Don't you just love how he put it in front of his night light so the light would shine behind it?)
He made this cross with some wood.  He is the kind of kid that likes to take things apart to see how they work and build things out of random objects he can find.  He made this a few weeks ago and put it in his room.  This morning he said, "Mom, every morning, when I get up, I kneel before my cross and pray."  Be. still. my. heart.  That is precious, and I love that he shared that with me.  He is such a sweet, tenderhearted little boy.

I had 2 other things to share from the kids yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon, Laila and I had to walk in the cold rain to pick up the kids from their classes.  As we were walking, she said, "Mommy, you are going to have to make me some coffee after this."  That was so funny to me.  She doesn't even like the taste of coffee.

Last night, I was being silly with Isaiah when he said, "Mom, you are the most hilarious, funny and annoying mom in the world."  I asked him, "Do you know what annoying means?"  He said, "I have no idea."

A friend commented on my Facebook page that surely he meant that I am "anointed."  I am pretty sure she is right, so we are going to go with that one.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Faraway Friends

I love this pic!
~ I love it because it means we got some time with Kriek and Clara.
~ I love that my Swazi babes got to play with their South African friend.
~I love that I got to sit and chat with Kriek at Chick-fil-a while the kids played in the playground.
~I love that Kriek got to see these 2.  She was such a big part of our adoption and that first month we spent together with them in Africa.  She met them before I did.  She sees every day the circumstances from which they came. She sees the difference in their lives.  The last time she saw them, was when they had been home with us for 6 months.  Laila was 15 mos. old and Isaiah was 2 1/2.  They have grown a lot.
It was such a treat.  I am thankful for friendships that stick no matter the time or distance.  I love seeing that this calling to Swaziland has so many layers to it beyond just reaching out to the Swazi people.  

After our time together, I needed to get these 2 to school.
Since we had breakfast at Chick-fil-a, and since it was $1 cone day at TCBY, 
we had frozen yogurt for lunch!
Isaiah and Laila kept thanking me over and over for their "lunch" and saying, "You are the best mom we ever had."  I got some major bonus points for this day!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

18 Years and Counting...

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary.  It wasn't really an eventful day. We mostly went our separate ways for the day.

Rick scored big points when he greeted me in the morning with a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks.  With every little sip, I just had to smile and think about him.

After 18 years, he knows me well.  He knows that flowers just don't thrill me.  He knows that I will not truly appreciate the value of jewelry.  I know most women would be enamored by those gifts.  Not me.    I am usually into treats, dinner dates, vacations, or cash.  That is how to make my heart swoon.

We each secretly left each other anniversary cards strategically placed in our respective vehicles proclaiming our love and how thankful we are to have each other as our one and only love!

He spent the day hard at work.

I spent the morning grocery shopping and the afternoon (2 hours to be exact) cleaning my kitchen.

After getting everyone home from sports and dinner served to them, we headed out on a dinner date.  By 9:30, we were heading home thinking how great it would be to get into jammies.  I guess that is what happens when you get older.  : )

It was a time to reflect on our 18 years and dream about the days ahead.  These days that we are living in right now are good and full and very busy.  I feel like we have come out of a very hard season and am excited about what the future holds for us as a couple, for our family, and for our ministry.

If you count our dating years, we have been together half of my life!!  If we live into our 80s, we could still have 40 more years of adventures together.  I know that we have no guarantee of that, and I have become especially aware of that as I have watched some very close friends lose their husbands at much too young of an age.  That makes me all the more aware of how precious every day is with him.

18 years feels good.  It is comfy like my favorite blanket I like to cuddle up in when I watch TV(Actually, that blanket was the comforter that we used on our bed when we got married!  I kind of feel like that blanket at times.  I have quite a bit of wear and tear, but just keep doing what I was made to do. )

Over the last 2 years we have experienced some new freedoms as our bigger kids have gotten old enough to "babysit" the younger ones.  We can go on dates a little more often.  Over the next 10 years, our life is going to change drastically.  Laila will be 14, Isaiah will be 15 1/2 and everyone else will be adults.  I am excited about what that means for us and our relationship.

I love that man with every part of my being.  I am so proud of him.  He is really good at the work that he does.  I love being able to partner with him in ministry, even if it means just making breakfast for his early morning team meeting.  We make a good team in so many ways.  I will take every minute I can get with him.  I pray we will be given even more than 18  more years together!!  
On Thursday night we are going to have a quick overnight getaway to complete our 18th anniversary celebration.  I can't wait to have some time away together!!
Happy Anniversary, Honey Bunches of Oats!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soccer Time!

Lauren loves to play soccer.  She has been playing for years.  Last spring she decided to play spring ball in preparation to move to the competitive league this fall.  Then, she hurt her foot and ended up with a cast for 3 weeks.

 Now, even though it was a cast with soccer balls, that injury eliminated the possibility of playing soccer in the spring.  As a result, she approached this fall season hesitant to begin in the competitive league.  Her foot was much better, but she had not played in almost a year.  She was not in "soccer season shape."  So, she decided to continue in the developmental league for one more year.  Then, she did this two days before her first practice:
The doctor gave the okay for her to play as long as she bubble wrapped her arm for the games.  We wouldn't want her knocking anyone out!!  She began her practices and has done really well despite her broken wrist.  Because the bone was completely broken, we had to go back 10 days later to make sure it was healing properly.  Thankfully, surgery was not required.  She kept playing and getting ready for her first game.  

Saturday was the big day.  She actually had 2 games to kick off the season.  The first one was very early in the morning.  I forgot my camera and Rick was at Sam's game with his camera.  So, we don't have any pics from it.  It was a rough start for her team.  They lost 5-2 and walked away a bit discouraged.
  Rick got these pics at the afternoon game.  

 Notice the bubble wrapped cast on her right hand

 This pic made me laugh.  I was walking toward Rick and realized he was taking a pic of me so I made face.  This is one of those pics you hope is not used if you are ever missing.

 Go, Lolly, Go
She got so close to scoring a few times! 

 Lauren and her coach.  Her team is the Pumas

 I know this is blurry, but I love the action that it shows.  She is the second one from the left.
The score was tied the second game 2-2.  They played much better!!

Today, she got her cast off!!  Her break is healed in her wrist, but the doc said she is only at about 70% usage at this point.  She got this lovely little accessory to help her during soccer and other activities:
We are both relieved to have that cast off.  Now, she can wash her own hair and take showers way easier.  It is sore and she is a bit nervous about using it.  She had her first soccer practice today with it.  She did great!!  Hopefully, we can keep her out of casts for a while!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Super Sam

Sam had his first football game ever on Saturday.  I missed it.  Lauren had her first soccer game of the season at the same time, so Rick took Sam to his game and I headed with Lauren to hers(a blogpost to come on that one).  We were up bright an early on Saturday morning(something I don't enjoy).  Thankfully we only have a few early morning games this season.  I love watching my kids play sports, but I also miss our Saturday morning big breakfasts when we are heading out the door on Saturday mornings.  

Sam has become quite the little beast on the field.  He has earned the nickname, SuperSam.  Rick bought him a "Superman" shirt to wear under his football gear.  You can see the blue sticking out below his jersey in the pic below.  I will have to make sure and take a pic of him in the SuperSam shirt at some point during the season.  

The anticipation before the game

 The man standing behind Sam in the white shirt is the doctor that delivered him, actually saved his life.  He holds a special place in our family's heart for sure.  He had twins born the day after Sam was born.  Here we are 8 1/2 years later with all 3 of our boys on the same football team!!

 Sam is on the Ravens

 There he is, #50, ready to tackle anything that moves!!

 I just love how his uniform is a too big on him.

 The next 5 pictures is a sequence of Sam and another teammate going for the tackle.  

 Sam had 4 tackles in the game.  I have no idea what position he played, but he did well!  I wouldn't even know if I had been there!  I have come a long way over the years when it comes to watching football games.  I can actually follow the games, but don't really know positions other than the main ones like quarterback, wide receiver, etc.

That sweet face still melts my heart!
They lost their first game to the Broncos(boo!), 13-6.  There are no football games this Sat.  I will finally get to see him play on Sept. 22.  I cannot wait.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pie on Friday 2012

Last Friday, we completed another summer of "Pie on Fridays!"  I will say that a few times it ended up being "Pie on Saturday" or "Pie on Sunday" because of some Friday evening scheduling conflicts, but we definitely all took a turn this year.  Rick actually started this tradition a few years ago and it stuck.  He likes pie, and he likes to say, "PIIIIEEE ONNN FRIIIIDAAAAY!" Because we are a competitive little family, at the end of the summer we vote on our favorite pie that year.  Here are the entries this year:
Rick - Apple Pie(it did have ice cream to go on top)

 Laura - Village Inn French Silk Pie (I didn't want to cook on my turn)

 Cody- Hershey Pie(This is a frozen pie that I make)

 Lauren - Frozen Chocolate Pie(From the grocery)

 Abby - Vanilla Ice Cream pie with caramel and chocolate sauce(Gluten Free and homemade)

 Sam - Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie(homemade)

 Isaiah - Strawberry Pie(homemade)

Laila - Tollhouse Cookie Pie(homemade)
 A better view of Laila's pie

And the winner is:


His strawberry pie had the most votes.  He was so excited to win.  I think this was his first time to win any of our competitions.

So, until next year, enjoy some pie on a Friday.  I think you'll like it!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


The post is going to be really boring to most of you.

I want to do it, because I want to remember.

There will come a day when my life slows down.

I will totally forget the intensity of these busy days with 6 kids at home.

This will be my reminder.  Unfortunately, most of these events are not near each other  I end up driving all over town dropping off and picking everyone up!

This is what my Thursdays are like this fall:

6:45 - Take Cody to school(Rick helps with this many mornings.   When he isn't able to, I have to take Cody to a friend's house, past the other kids' school,  and then drive all the way back home. This takes about 30 minutes.)

7:40 - Take Lauren, Abby, and Sam to school (Their school starts at 8:15)

9:00 - Go to Bible Study at church

11:30 - Take Isaiah to school (His school starts at 12:05)

12:00 - Take Laila to school (Her school starts at 12:15)

I have the afternoon to do what I want or need to to do.

3:00 - Begin the evening chaos

3:15 - Pick up Laila from school

3:30 - Pick up Lauren, Abby, Sam, and Isaiah from school

3:45 - Pick up Cody from school

4:30 - Drop Lauren off at soccer practice

4:45 - Drop Abby off at piano lessons.

5:45 - Pick Abby up from piano lessons

6:00 - Drop Sam off at football practice at one park

6:00 - Pick Lauren up from soccer practice at a different park

7:30 - Pick Sam up from football practice

(Thankfully, on some nights, Rick is able to help with some of these drop offs and pick ups.  When he can't help, I have to do it all myself.) 

Feed, help with homework, remind everyone to do their jobs, clean the dinner dishes, and get kids into bed.

Collapse into my bed.

Lauren said to me on Thursday as I was yawning and struggling to keep my eyes open during one of the drives, "I don't know why you are so tired, you're just sitting in the truck."  Yes, honey, you are right.  I have no reason to be tired.  There must be something wrong with me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Daddy Date

A couple of weeks ago, Rick and Lauren went on a date to Denver to see the Colorado Rapids soccer team play.  When I was looking through pics today, I realized I forgot to blog about it.  

Their first stop was dinner at TGIFriday's.  Lauren said she had a great burger
 Walking to the stadium
This was Lauren's first experience at a professional soccer game, and 
since that is "her sport"it seemed like the perfect date for her and Rick. 

I love this pic with her cast on because we don't have many photos of it