Saturday, November 17, 2012

advent calendar

Yikes! I know it has been a while - there are lots of pictures to post, stories to tell... but that will have to wait until after finals! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to break from my massive paper writing and post some PDFs for you that I made for H this year. It started in October when we did our annual shoebox trip to fill up a box for Operation Christmas Child. This year H got very excited about it! He wanted to pick out every item and for weeks afterward would continually ask about the 'little boy'. He wanted to know if he was awake or asleep, did he get his toys yet, does he go to school, how is his mommy, etc. We began praying for this box and our 'little boy' at night as well as praying for some friends of ours who are in the process of an international adoption and were just placed. I was really surprised how much he seemed to understand about these children on the other side of the world and what a joy it is to pray for them. That gave me an idea! I recently bought a sweet advent calendar on etsy and wanted to add something else to it to make it a little more 'reason for the season.' So, I went to the Operation Christmas Child website and looked up where they distributed the most boxes and then started searching for pictures and maps and prayer requests. I assembled this all into documents for one side to be the pictures and name of the country and the other side to be the prayer requests. I'm going to put these slips in his advent calendar everyday and we will take one out talk about the country, pray for the country, and then use little mini clothespins to pin them on our tree. I might buy him his own little tree for his room, we'll see. I'm excited to start the tradition though of celebrating Christmas through praying for the children of the world. Hope you can use this with your families this Christmas season!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

back to school blackboards

I kind of accidentally made this chalkboard for H the other day and he liked it so much and it was such an easy project I decided to make a cute little back to school blackboard for all of the kids in H's class. All you need for this project is: construction paper, hole punch, yarn, chalkboard paint, and felt. These were all things I had on hand, so it was a super easy and FREE project. All I did was paint the construction paper with a few coats of chalkboard paint and after it dried (I did have to lay books on the edges to keep them from curling) I used the hole punch to make a border. Then I wove yarn around the border and left enough string to tie a bow with a long end from which I could tie a piece of felt that would become the eraser. I used a little snack size zip lock bag to put a few pieces of chalk in for the kids and stapled it to the top of the finished chalkboard. Here's the finished product. The kids were super excited about them and it was a really easy project that even H helped me with!

the blur

That has been the month of August so far. I did manage to take a few pictures... and apparently wear the same clothes repeatedly. The first big event of the month was Jake & Mallory's wedding. H was SO excited. I've never seen the kid dance like that before! running from the camera before we even got a decent picture. Luckily Daddy managed to snap this one. The only time we got him to sit down all night was for chocolate covered marshmallows! We also decided to celebrate our 5 year anniversary this month instead of in December because let's face it... this year is going to be crazy until then! We spent a weekend in Fredricksburg, TX and went on a wine tour. It was really a relaxing, romantic and much needed getaway. I'm already looking forward to 5 years from now when we get to do it again! In other exciting August news, I finally finished the quilt for H's big boy bed that I got the idea for when he was like 6 months old. It has been a work in progress since then. I started cutting up his baby clothes to use as the bunting pieces for the front and the back came together this summer. Having never made a quilt like this, this large, making the binding, and with batting and everything I'm really happy with how it turned out. I just started my final year of grad school this week! I'm excited about this semester and eager to dive in. I started my practicum assignment today and am really looking forward to learning about the daily activity and work of psychologists and counselors. I'm working at the University Counseling Center at Texas A&M University and am really grateful they picked me as their 1 intern this semester! Because I am doing my practicum this year I also had to change jobs because I can only work part time now. I am finishing my last week as the case manager at the high school next week and then will be the Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend resource development coordinator. I'm excited about this new opportunity, but I'm going to miss those kids SO stinkin' much! This month has been full of changes already, but we're excited about and looking forward to this fall for sure!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What we've been up to

I can't believe my vacation is ending already and I'm heading back to work next week. Boo hoo! We've had such a great time and have had a lot of fun things we've been able to do in spite of my being in summer school all summer. Thanks to pinterest and some other good mom blogs out there I found lots of activities for us to do and it has been really fun! Here's what we've been up to lately We hid the puzzle pieces of H's number puzzle in a tub of rice and beans and practiced putting our numbers in sequence. Once you have done it with them a few times, this is a great keep your kid busy while you need to make dinner activity. I also used the same rice and beans and gave H a bunch of cooking utensils to play with so he could make dinner while I was cooking dinner. I also found these Crayola window crayons at Target and decided to give them a try. They were a big hit and clean up really easily. I highly recommend them! We had a few rainy days so we built a fort under some bar stools and I gave H a flashlight and put all his cars under there with us. When the thunder started we moved this game to our bed and we played under the covers with the flashlight and cars for another 45 minutes! On July 4th we went to the picnic at our Church and H actually stayed up for the fireworks and when we got home we lit some of our wedding sparklers in the backyard. It was a fun day! Once it got really hot we started freezing ice cubes with food coloring everyday to play with outside. H and I went to the teacher supply store one day to look for some things for us to start doing some science projects with. We found some magnets and little magnetic circles. He loves playing with them in water. We found this activity on Pinterest. You dump some baking soda on a piece of paper and put food coloring in little cups of vinegar and use droppers to put it onto the paper and it bubbles up. H and Daddy thought it was pretty cool. We also did some painting with H's cars to see the different kinds of tracks they made. This quickly digressed into this... I'll leave you with this jewel... I've been teaching H to make faces. Being a mom is awesome. We've had some other adventures this summer but the pics are all on my phone. I'll post more after my next picture dump. Grateful for lots of fun with friends and family! It has been an awesome summer!

Monday, July 9, 2012


It has been kind of a whirlwind lately - summer school is no bueno! We are really happy that Elyse & Stephen and baby B are here to visit for almost a whole month! H and B are off to a pretty good start already. B thinks H is pretty hilarious and H loves an audience, so it is quite a symbiotic thing they have going on right now. Enjoy the video below of H and B laughing together. More posts to come soon now that I am on vacation for 3 weeks! Woo hoo!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life is good!

Great news! I passed my comprehensive exam!!! This means I can start my practicum in the fall and should graduate on time next May with a Masters in Clinical Psychology! We've been celebrating my successful completion of my first year of grad school by enjoying every spare moment before summer classes start. Last weekend we went to San Antonio and took H to the zoo. He had a lot of fun and loved the train ride around the park outside the zoo.
H and I have been doing lots of art projects too. His latest favorite is painting on the sidewalk with homemade sidewalk chalk (1 C water mixed with 1 C cornstarch, add food coloring). We also took a trip to the Texas State Aquarium this week, played at a great splash park and bought a new inflatable pool for the backyard. It definitely feels like summer! I'll post more pictures soon. Just had to get this video up of H singing Happy Birthday to his Papa Bill! Happy Birthday Papa Bill!!! We love you so much!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

update in pictures

The semester is almost over. Instead of finishing the paper that is due tomorrow or the other one due Wednesday, or studying for my comprehensive final on Wednesday - I'm posting pictures!!!! Clearly, the total brain fry and lack of motivation have already set in. I will have made it through my first year of grad school in just 3 days! Praise the Lord! Here's what we've been doing lately (in between studying...which I was at one time actively engaged in) We had a lot of fun over Easter with family. H is an expert egg finder now!
We also went to Austin to celebrate Easter with Jeff's family and it was a lot of fun!
I'm proud to announce that Jeff won the annual skeet shoot this year and is the keeper of the coveted 'champ' trophy that will live on our mantle until next Easter
We spent Earth Day at the downtown "Bay Day" where they brought in some animals from the South Texas wildlife. H loved it, he got to pet an alligator!
This past weekend we went to Rockport with our sunday school class to a beach house and the kids had all kinds of fun. H and Daddy even went on a kayak together, but I didn't have my camera around to get a picture and was standing close by in the event that H decided to stand up or some other funny business. He sure had a great time though and we really enjoyed spending time with our friends!
Okay, denial over. Time to get back to work. We are taking full advantage of my 3 week vacation before summer school starts. We are going to the San Antonio zoo, going to the Texas State Aquarium, hosting an epic barbeque, going to the beach, and spending lots of good family time! P.S. - no test results yet from comps. They will probably come next week - yikes! Praying for some good news!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For those who pray

I'm in hunker down and get er done mode. For those not from the south, allow me to translate. My ginormous comprehensive exam over my first year of graduate school is in 7 days. It is 4.5 hours of essays and I must score at least a 3 (on a 5 point scale) on every question (6 total) in order to pass. If I don't pass not only do I have to take the test again in the fall but I can't start my practicum in the fall like I am planning to which means delaying graduation by at least another semester. Last year there was a 60% FAILURE rate on this test... and I'm just not as smart as I wish I were...So, those who pray- please pray for me as I spend this last week cramming my brain with everything I learned over the last year and pray for me on April 25th from 9 - 1:30 as I take this huge test and get one step closer to my Masters in clinical psychology. Thank you in advance!

Friday, March 30, 2012

a baby for AB

I have to tell you all about my friend Anna Beth and the blog that was just started to help her family fund raise the $10,000 they need for IVF. I will share with you the blurb about her I wrote for the blog...

As a close friend and former roomate of Anna Beth's, I have seen just about every side of her and even at her worst and in the most difficult places, she manages to find hope and choose joy. Having Anna Beth in my life has changed me - it is what she does - she lives her life in such a purposeful way that lives are impacted merely by her presence. While Anna Beth has made some radical choices (living alone in a dangerous neighborhood so that there is a safe place for children to come, leading a team of college students to Turkey for the summer, after graduating - choosing to live with 7 college students in order to invest in their lives, and the list could go on...) she would not see herself as a radical person. She would simply see herself as an image bearer of Christ. While AB doesn't recognize these things as remarkable, she possesses a remarkable attitude of grace and joy. I have never seen anyone endure as much as she has while maintaining an attitude of hopeful anticipation. It seemed like the harder things got, the more determined Anna Beth was to choose to trust the goodness of God and accept what He chose to give her whether it was joy or pain. That doesn't mean she didn't hurt... that is another amazing thing about Anna Beth, she isn't afraid to be real and admit when things are hard or hurt. But even as she pours out her pain and heartbreak she has a determined grasp on God's love and provision for her. This whole journey of adding to their family has been so painfully personal to Anna Beth as her lifelong dream has been being a mother. And she is, she is a fantastic mom to Jace, and I know a long list of people who have been 'mothered' by her presence in their lives. Knowing Anna Beth, as hard as this journey has been and as much as she wants to have a baby - I don't think she would change any of it. She might not have chosen for things to be this hard, but she has fully embraced that the fulfillment of her dream will come from God in one way or another. IVF is the next step of this journey of faith, hope and trust for the Morgans and I'm so grateful to be a part of what God is doing in their lives through helping them make this dream a reality. My life and my family have been forever impacted by the Morgans and I can't think of a better response than to invest in their family by giving financially to help cover the costs of IVF. If I have learned anything from Anna Beth it is that God is so good... all the time, even when it hurts.

Go check out their blog and be inspired by the story of this amazing family and then get involved!!!

I am believing God for a miracle for them and I totally believe this $10,000 is nothing compared to the greatness of God. It is so cool to be a part of what God is doing through their family by giving financially as a step of faith. So, come on! Join me in being a part of God's blessing to them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

baby projects

I've been making lots of gifts for the recent baby boom of friends having children. It's been so fun. I love making something special for my friends to show them how excited I am about their new arrival. Here are some of the recent projects and links to tutorials I used (cause who needs original ideas anymore? .... thanks pinterest)

This was a blanket I made for a friend of Jeff's from work. I got this idea from a gift that one of my friends gave me when H was born. That blanket is his favorite and he takes it with him to daycare everyday. It is actually a really easy project. It only requires a yard of flannel and a yard of the soft, bumpy fabric. I've made a few of these but this was my first attempt to embroider...I used this book to learn the stitches, but I totally free handed it, so that was not the best idea.

Since I have a boy, it is really fun to get to buy/make girl things. I've been wanting to make a tutu for a while and found a great tutorial on you tube that I used. The best part is there is absolutely no sewing involved! So when I found out my friend was having a girl I immediately ordered some spools of tool on Amazon. Just an FYI it is much easier to use spools than to get a yard from a fabric store.

My next project was a onesie for my nephew Bryce. I had my sister's friends all make her or buy her a special onesie for Bryce that symbolized them. I saw this one on etsy a while ago and knew I had to make it. Since there wasn't a pattern this was my first time drafting my own pattern and figuring it out myself. I ended up making two of these in different sizes and on one I left the edges raw and on one I pressed all the edges. The one with the pressed edges turned out better.

Finally, I saw this adorable tutorial over at Lil' Blue Boo (I totally have a blog crush on her) for a sock bunny and decided to make one for H for Easter. It turned out so cute! I don't have a good picture of the one I made for H, but here is his holding it at the Easter egg hunt today.

I've got a few more baby gifts to make, but don't think I'll be able to get much done until after my comprehensive exam on April 25th. So, please don't come early babies!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Cross

Around Easter, especially during lent, I try to spend daily time meditating on the person of Jesus and on the consequences of the cross. You won't find pretty, ornate crosses in my house because I try to see the cross for what it was - an instrument of death and torture. Particularly in America, it seems that we are often in a hurry to jump to Easter, the 'happy ending' as it were, and skip over the anguished death of Jesus and the hope of the world dashed to pieces. I don't know how I can truly say God's grace to me was not without effect(1 Corinthians 15:10) unless I am willing to descend into the depths of hell with Him when he bore the sins of the world for the sake of the glory of God. The cross isn't just about nails and pain and the price for MY sin... the cross is so much greater than that. You know that song, the one about how 'He took the nails for me' - that is so far from the whole truth about Jesus. To get to the heart of the cross, we have to get to the heart of God - primarily the deep love of God to manifest His glory among the nations.
Even in the Old Testament, God chose to use individuals, but it was for the greater purpose of manifesting His glory to the watching world, both in righteous anger and awesome acts of mercy. He didn't take the nails for me, for you, or for Christianity. Jesus chose to endure suffering death on the cross so that all men could come to God and God would be made glorious. Somewhere along the way the message of Easter became personal salvation rather than the great mercy of the Father toward his children for all eternity. He is made great, not me.
The recent martyrdom of Jeremiah Small hit me very hard - not because we were close, but because it woke me up. Having lived in the very city he was living in, among the very people whom he loved and gave his life for... it reminded me what is real. Jeremiah was not controlled by the world, but by the love and will of God - that is what led him to Iraq several years ago. When we decided to move overseas it was because we wanted to be obedient and felt compelled to respond to the love of God. But, my experience there and since returning to the States has taught me that living a life controlled by the love and will of God has much more to do with what is inside your heart than your physical, geographical location. I have been a fairly ineffective vessel of God in that I have allowed myself to be controlled by many things and Jesus said it best when he said that "You cannot serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Matthew 6:24, Luke 6:13 Jesus didn't give us a lot of room here to love him and love everything else too. In fact, he was very black and white about it being love and hate. I don't think this means we hate in the sense that we express hatred toward everything worldly, that is surely not how Jesus lived on the earth. I think it means we hold in our hearts a single, all consuming passion for only one thing.... and whatever we choose will be the thing through which we filter everything else. If we choose Jesus, than it will be Jesus who inspires us to love those around us, Jesus who inspires us to appreciate the beauty and joy to be had in the world, Jesus who brings us to submission out of his overwhelming kindness towards us.
Jesus died. Jeremiah died. I don't want my life to be unaffected by either of these things. The story of the cross is full of torment and I think it should be. It is good for my soul to meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and in turn respond with overflowing gratitude for all that was purchased on my behalf. Easter is certainly a celebration, without Easter there would be no Christmas. I've always loved the verse where Paul says "And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world." 1 Corinthians 15:19. Jesus made a way, through the cross for us to have a lasting hope - a hope for all eternity. I pray God's grace in my life will continue to be 'not without effect"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

meet Bryce

It has been so wonderful being with my sister and bro in law and their precious newborn Bryce. He was born on March 2nd. Here are some pics of the adorable little guy

New Daddy

New Mommy after his first bath

Proud Aunt!

Welcome to the world Bryce, we are SO excited that you're here!