Friday, January 30, 2009

even simon would love her

This my friends is a picture of our dear daughter singing. Could you hear her in Missouri? :) I don't know where she gets it, but Chica loves to belt out some tunes. I never know when it's coming. She just throws back her head, raises her eyebrows, opens her mouth and lets loose. It sounds like a cross between a screech owl and a raptor dinosaur. And it cracks me up every time she does it.

When she really gets going she sings in increasing decibels. She's determining just how loud she can get. Occasionally after she hits a note, I see a flash of surprise on her face. Even she can't believe how she hit that octave.

The best is when I'm on the phone and mid phone conversation she serenades the caller.

"Is that the baby making that noise?!"

I can't figure out why the talent scouts aren't banging down our door.

Unless of course, you count that police officer who came to inform us we were in violation of disturbing the peace. Or the visit from lady with the Humane Society making sure our pet velociraptor was properly caged.

If that doesn't launch her singing career, I don't know what will! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

snow bunnies

Once a year our little southern neck of the woods braces for a snow storm. The aisles at the Kroger are jammed full of people stocking up on all the necessities. Superstitious text messages fly from one student's phone to the next in a county wide effort to get school called off. Which, down here, if there is any snow on the ground in the wee hours of the morning, then the extra star at the end of the text did in fact work and everyone can go back to bed.

Our first year here, the kids had a snow day and Danny took them sledding. They took two trips down the hill and the snow was gone. :)

Yesterday was 2009's annual snow day.

Danny planned an impromptu pizza & dodge ball get together at the church for all the students. On my way there I was on the phone with my friend Debbie. A fellow mid-western girl, she understood the irony of Mississippi Snow Storm 2009.

"Debs, the grass is poking through the snow, it's poking through!"

Last night I received the following text message:

"It worked last time. So add a snow flake for no school tomorrow. ***********"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

drum roll please...

Behold the never ending saga of Tooth Watch 2008/2009. Months of speculation. Moments of scrutiny. Check lists of every teething symptom assuring us an incisor was imminent. Questioning if our daughter would ever be capable of delighting in the phenomenon that is a T-bone steak. And then there was that hasty/desperate decision to have her fitted for baby dentures.

All leading up to this long awaited moment.....

Ta da!!! Look what Reese grew!

Oops, sorry, I'll zoom in. Check it out!!

Isn't it beautiful? Albeit, painful looking. This must have been what the Israelites felt like when God parted the Red Sea. Haha, ok I admit that's a bit of a stretch. But apparently God's in the business of splitting things wide open cause looky there!

Danny thought he felt something last Thursday night. But, well, we've been wrong before. However, Friday when she barred that bottom gum for the world to see, I snapped a shot. And the camera doesn't lie. (Nor has this photo been doctored, but that might have been our next step had Tooth Watch continued on past her first birthday. I'm just saying.)

I let her take that bad boy out for a test run Friday afternoon. She worked that cracker over in record speed.

For the record we'll probably wait until she gets another tooth before we take a trip to Longhorn. :)

So as Tooth Watch 2008 turned 2009 comes to a close, we'd like to thank you for sticking with us through all the oral updates. You're probably breathing a sigh of sweet relief. Ahh catharsis. There ain't nothing like it.

Except of course, a big juicy steak. ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

9 months!

Can you believe it? Neither can we. Now, I know this picture is a little pitiful, considering she's not even looking at the camera, but it was the best we could do. These monthly pictures have become quite the extravaganza. It takes our village to raise up a quality photo.

I served as the appointed photographer. Danny was the Designated Lamb Protector and President of Paper Eating Prevention. All Reese had to do was sit there and smile at the camera.

A majority of the shots featured the president's arm hard at work. He deserves a raise.

Do you see that trace of a smirk on her face?? "Yeah Daddy, you go right ahead and prop him back up. See what happens. I'm wearing you people down one lamb conquest at a time."

And she did.

Hence, why the shot of her half smiling, diverted gaze was the best we could come up with.

Be sure to stop by our blog tomorrow. We have a Big Announcement to make!!

*Updated to Add: Something is wrong with the blog's calendar. This was posted on Tuesday so the Announcement will be up on Wednesday. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

weekend recap

Happy Monday everybody! I hope your weekend was as fun as ours! Daniel was out of town for seminary so Reester and I made the most of our girl time. Friday we went shopping. The Children's Place was having a great sale (50% off anything that was already on sale.) I stocked up on some clothes for next year, and got such a great deal I just have to brag. I bought three shirts, a long-sleeved onsie, two pairs of pants and four pairs of socks for $20.00! As I flipped through the racks, I found it hard to believe that by the time she's wearing these clothes she'll be walking around.

After shopping I took my friend Natalie's advice, and Reese and I went to the park for lunch. Natalie predicted Friday would be the warmest day of the month, and when the car said it was 65 degrees outside, I knew she was right! Reese and I had the whole park to ourselves so I went a little picture crazy.

Every time the wind blew through her hair, Baby Girl made this face and cracked up.

In this picture, I can't help but think she's plotting her strategy for world domination.

"Look Ma, I got a stick!"

Saturday Reese attended her very first birthday party. Her friend Ava is turning one. Here's Reese with her present for the birthday girl.

Her friend Maddie also attended the birthday soiree.

And we just had to get a shot with the birthday girl. She's a doll baby!

Sunday was the annual ministry fair at church where we recruit volunteers for each ministry. Cheryl, the nursery director made the cutest booth. It was an old fashioned "Hug Booth". If you signed up to volunteer in the nursery you got a free hug. This picture isn't that great but check out the Chica handing out the hugs! :)

The weekend was so full I completely forget yesterday was the 25. This month's lamb picture will be up ASAP!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

do you need a word?

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears." Psalm 18:6

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:16-19

However you're feeling today I hope you'll let Him minister to you. We love you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

we're back in business!

As it turns out, four pieces of equipment are required to get a picture of Baby Girl from my camera to all her adoring fans who frequent the blog. At our house the chances of all those things being in one find-able place when I need them are pretty slim. Sadly, the Reese pics have been sparse because one cord or another has eluded me for the past couple of weeks. By now Chica could have a mouth full of teeth and hair down to her waist!

In reality, she has neither of those. (And thank goodness, because that would make for one bizarre looking baby!)

Here's what she has learned to do:

What you're looking at is the beginning of a pull up. She has pulled to standing position (yeah Girl!) just not while I was taking this picture. I just love how she sits on her feet like that. It's like she pulls to there and then rests for a second before gearing up to stand all the way.

The other morning I was watching Regis and Kelly and during the show, they announced they're now accepting entries for their annual baby photo contest. The finalists get to go to New York and the winner receives $125,000 for a college fund. And while we're rolling in the money, being youth ministers and all, we could probably use $125,000. With her college bills out of the way, we'll be able to finish the astro turf out back for Dan and get that pair of diamond shoes I've had my eyes on. I'm thinking about sending in this picture I took this morning.

I think it says "please bring me to New York" in a subtle yet tasteful way. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

stuff i'm loving

One of the most profound things I ever read (or did I hear it on Clean Sweep?) is to love people and use things. And while I try to reserve my emotional attachment for you know, people, there are some things that are making my life just a little bit better. And it would be wrong of me not to share them with you because, well, they're that great.

LeCrae is a local Christian hip hop artist who is gaining national momentum with his latest album. It came out this past summer and at one point it was fourth on ITunes downloads, above Kanye West. It is hands down, the most convicting CD I've ever heard. Ever. How in the world is a white, suburban mom able to identify with these lyrics? That's some God business. My favorite song is "Go Hard." If you're into hip hop music, this CD will clean up your I-Pod and speak some truth. Does it ever speak some truth!!

Oh, how I love me some Jon & Kate. If you're a fan of their show, you have to read their book. It's funny and moving and uplifting. Plus it's a quick and easy read. It's perfect if you're looking for something to take on vacation to help pass traveling time.

Have you guys hit up Sonic's dollar menu? If your Sonic has had a dollar menu for as long as you can remember, please don't tell me. It'll hurt my feelings and serve as a reminder that Mississippi is in fact the last place on earth to round the corner of the latest trend. My favorite thing on the dollar menu is the candy ice cream dish. Mmm, I could go for one right now. (And the fact that one sweep of my car seats could produce the money needed to pay for such delicacy might be all the convincing I need.) Because really, when it's -30 degrees outside, is there anything you'd rather have than ice cream??

Rounding out my current fav's list is Pride & Prejudice. It was on TV the other night. I've seen it before and read the book (multiple times) and it just doesn't get better than a story like that. It makes my heart happy. It makes me cheer when a smart girl gets the guy. And I can't help but hope someday Reese will channel a little Elizabeth Bennett and not settle in her man-picking!

(Shhh, don't read that "man-picking" part out loud if her Daddy happens to be around. According to him, Baby Girl isn't allowed to date until she's married!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

not as expected

For several months now, our family's been on the brink of a Big Decision. The details aren't really important. But the tedious measurements of the pros and cons, the lengthy discussions probing presumed consequences all in the name of making an informed Decision neither of us wants to's exhausting.

It's like a tennis match. Back and forth.

Should we? Shouldn't we? What about Reese? What about us?

Last night the Decision was made.

The result...well it wasn't what I expected.

How I felt about it...wasn't what I expected either.

Expecting sweet relief of finally letting go, the tears caught me off guard.

I feel sad. I feel bad for feeling sad. As tears trail down my decided cheeks, pangs of guilt are quick to follow. You see, I'm confident that God is all over this Decision. He is. I never, ever want to concede to His will. Instead of mourning the loss of what I thought would be, I desperately want to embrace what is- His "good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom. 12:2)

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:18

Monday, January 12, 2009

fancy book learning

Oh bloggers, you are nothing if not faithful to stick with me through these times where the posts have been lacking. And by lacking I mean in consistency, not in material. The funny thing is, I've just kicked a serious case of stomach bug/flu. And if I had been more consistent in the area of posting, the material most certainly would have taken a turn for the worse. The good thing about being too weak to climb out of bed is the foresight to refrain from over sharing. Right now I hear a tiny voice, strikingly similar to my mother's, saying, "Now, really Rachel, must we share everything we know?"

No. No we don't.

Guess what I get to do tonight???

I'm leaving the Hubs and the Chica at home and tearing into this bad boy with some of the most fabulous women I know!

I can't wait, I cannot wait, I cannot W-A-I-T!!!

Did you notice the subtitle is "It's Tough Being a Woman"? To that I say, "Heck yeah it is!"

This whole girl thing? The baby-bearing, hours-clocking, husband-pleasing, meal-cooking, laundry-folding, grocery-shopping, bill-paying life that is ours? It ain't for sissies. Do I need to even mention hormones?

No. No I don't.

It's rough. And I'd like to know what God has to say about it.

Another reason I can't wait to start this study? The only Esther I know in real life is this sweet girl.

She likes to cook. She laughs all the time. She thinks her Auntie Rachel lives in the computer. And she loves her cousin "Oh Reese" like Christ commanded us to love everyone we ever meet. In a few days she'll be two years old.

And any study that shares her namesake, has to change me for the better. Just like she has.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

happy 2009!

Yoohoo! Is anyone there? *Tapping computer screen* Hello?

So much has happened since the last time I posted...
*We drove home to see all the families for Christmas.
*Miss Thang sat on Santa's lap.
*The Tigers won the Alamo Bowl. (And the only reason I knew the name of the bowl game is because I just asked Dan. He's such a valuable contributor to our family blog!)
*Auntie Michelle came back to Mississippi with us.
*I took down all the Christmas decorations.
*Danny finished another week of seminary.
*Reese has remained toothless.

But I haven't been able to blog about any of it because someone hijacked my blogging machine! I know! To make matters worse, I left a cord to our camera charger at my mom's house, so I can't upload any pictures from our trip.

Does anyone else hear that tiny violin?

But we here at the Hinton home are persevering. Side note: to this day, I cannot for the life of me spell persevere. It takes me two or three tries before I get it right.

Moving right along.

Before we left for Christmas, we opened our family presents here at our house. This was by far my favorite Christmas ever because Baby Girl is hysterical when she opens presents. Still convinced that laughing at your kids is one of the best parts of parenting, I documented as much of the delightful dismantling of presents that I could get.

The process went something like this. Hand present to Reese. Reese lunges for bow. Reese rips off bow. Mom or Dad opens small corner of paper. Reese grabs paper. Reese rips a strip of paper right off. Reese eats strip of paper. Mom or Dad takes slobbery strip of paper away. Reese swipes another strip of paper. Reese eats strip of paper...and on and on. You get the idea.

Here we are sitting among piles of slobber soaked wrapping paper. And for the sake of what little fashion pride I have, I must tell you I was only wearing that sweater vest for our Cheesy Christmas Sweater Youth Party later that night. Ok, I feel better.

Here's Reese with a present from her Daddy. It's a girly Nerf football. :)

I had to include this picture because it captures perfectly the types of facial expressions we saw all Christmas long. She is too funny.