Thursday, December 31, 2009

goodbye 2009

We had a mini-photo session today, because...

it's the last one we can take in 2009...

and we're so excited for 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

christmas recap 2009

Whew, what a week! A fun week, that is.

There's so much to tell and more importantly, remember about our second Christmas as a family of three. I decided I'd make a list of my top Christmas memories from 2009. Cue Bing Crosby.

1. The dress.
(We'll start with the most materialistic memory.) One of the absolutely best parts about having a girl is getting to dress her. She's the most realistic baby doll I've ever owned. After her baby showers, Dan remarked he never knew the world contained so many little pink dresses until we were cramming them into her closet.

I found this dress in September at a consignment sale and couldn't wait for Christmas to hurry up and get here so she could wear it already. As I ironed it on Christmas Eve I nearly had a conniption when I realized part of the hem had come undone. But then I remembered some double sided tape we had purchased a while back. So what if its purpose is to hang things on the wall? Desperate times call for desperate measures, even if it means hemming my daughter's Christmas dress with the 3M equivalent of duct tape. I bought her headband on Etsy and her fabulous shoes were a destined find at Target.

2. The standing ovation.
Reesie has gone to church nursery every Sunday since she was six weeks old. She loves her some church nursery. For a very specific reason I decided to try her out in "big church." I'd like to say that reason was so we could worship as a family and I could impart to her my wealth of biblical knowledge. The real reason was I wanted to show her off. Especially after pulling off a duct tape victory for non-sewing moms everywhere. I knew she probably wouldn't make it through the entire service. I packed some snacks and hoped for the best. After leading us in a medley of Christmas songs, the worship pastor beckoned for us to take our seats. As far as our daughter could tell, someone had finished singing a great set of tunes and deserved some applause. As the entire congregation settled in, Chica raised both arms over her head, smacked them together several time and shouted, "Yea! Yea!"

3. The 11:00 service.
For the first time ever, our youth hosted an 11:00 P.M. service for anyone who wanted to attend. They led the worship , memorized scripture and even handled the teaching. They did an incredible job and the service was unforgettable.

4. Christmas cards.
I love, love, love Christmas cards! I love checking the mail in general, but when December rolls around and there might be a Christmas card in the mailbox, get out of my way people. I strung the cards up over our big window. I didn't have time to hang each of them on the line, but I loved them all nonetheless. I'm trying to decide how long I can justify leaving them up.

5. Gourmet meals.
I decided we were going to have breakfast food for Christmas Eve dinner. But by the time the 5:30 service was over and we had set up for the 11:00 service, we were all starving. It was a Christmas Eve feast.

6. Cookie decorating.
Before bedtime, Reesie changed into some Christmas jammies and we decorated Christmas cookies together. I handled the icing and Reesie was in charge of sprinkles.

And she was the self appointed taste tester.

7. Christmas Morning.
Chica noticed right away when she came out of her room that something was different. She made a beeline for the table and chairs that my dad and stepmom sent for her. The rest of the morning she opened her presents.

Sometimes you just have to get your teeth into it. :)

Her Daddy assembled things all morning before he opened his own gifts.

For lunch we went to the home of some very dear friends. They were so sweet to "adopt" us this year since we were so far away from our own families. We were Christmas Crashers. This picture is Chica getting ready to blow out the candle after we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. I made the mistake of asking whose birthday it was. What kind of pastor marrying Christian am I?

After lunch, each of us took a Christmas nap. Then we spent the rest of the day hanging out. It was delightful.

You know what the best part of my week was? Spending time with two of my favorite people in the whole world.

Merry Christmas bloggers. Thanks for sharing in ours!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

blogging slacker

Merry Christmas bloggers! I decided I love saying "Merry Christmas" so much I'm keeping it around for the rest of the month.

We're still here and we had a fabulous Christmas. In fact, we're still recovering from our three hour present opening extravaganza. While I go back to building the new addition we need to house all of Chica's Christmas loot, enjoy this one, solitary picture of Big Girl.

These jammies are quite possibly the cutest pajamas ever.

With bed head to boot.

Friday, December 18, 2009


She looks like a Reecasso, don't you think? More so than a Reeselangelo or Reesoir. I asked her to stand by the Christmas tree so I could take a picture of her masterpiece.

She sat on a present instead. (Sorry Uncle Alan! When your present comes in the mail with a noticeable dent the size of your niece's backside, now you'll know why.) Cute picture, but you can't see her artwork while she's sitting down.

There it is! Isn't it magnificent? Inspired? Before her time? She even demonstrated her method for you bloggers. It's amazing all the different things a hand print can become when combined with a little creativity.

Now if we could just figure out how to turn a dented Christmas gift into a piece of art, we could mail it already.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

mmm, mmm, easy!

A few nights ago, I tried a new recipe for dinner. It was delicious and all three of our family members loved it, which in our house, is a HUGE victory. It was our own little Christmas miracle! Since I can't bear to keep such a good thing to myself, I'm going to bestow on you bloggers, a crown of chicken casserole. Enjoy!

Cheesey Chicken Crescents
By Anonymous (Not me, not me, not me. I take no credit.)

10 oz canned chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
4T grated cheese
1 cup milk
1 can crescent rolls

Unroll crescents. Mix chicken and 2T grated cheese together. Put wad of chicken mixture on wide end of each crescent. Roll up. Mix soup and milk together and 2T cheese. Pour half of soup mixture into Pyrex dish. Add the 8 crescents. Pour rest of soup mixture over crescents. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 375.

I couldn't possibly publish two picture-less posts in a row, so I'll leave you with a picture of Davo. He was here the night we ate this meal and he can testify of its awesomeness!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Potty Chronicles Part III

One night this week I ran to the grocery store on the way home. Because we were running short on time and the dinner hour was quickly approaching, I pulled into the parking lot of the fancy grocery store. Normally we don't shop there, but it's noticeably less crowded and we were in a hurry.

I tucked Chica into the seat of the cart and we took off, darting in and around the produce bins. I racked my brain for a good recipe, different ingredients flipping through my brain like a Rolodex, when Chica said the word that brings all thoughts to a screeching halt.


She's a mental traffic cop I tell you.

Not to over share, but some of my daughter's systems are very predictable and I knew if she did in fact have to potty and if we were to make it in time, it would save us from some major clean up later on. And I'm not talking on Aisle 5. Ahem.

I ran to the nearest grocer and inquired of the whereabouts of the bathroom with urgency in my voice and a quick nod in my toddler's direction. Sensing my tone, he pointed toward the restroom and we took off before he could finish explaining. I jogged to the ladies' room with my toddler in tow.

Too late. She needed a new diaper. And a shoe. In all that haste, the child had lost a shoe somewhere. That wouldn't have been too bad had we not have been in a public restroom stall. I struggled to change her standing up, juggling the diaper and wipes while pinning down her flailing arms to prevent her from touching anything. Just as I was praying her cotton sock would protect her from all the germs living on the tile floor, everything went wet.

Chica soaked me.

And her pants. And her sock. And a better part of the floor.

Guess it was her idea of germ extermination.

Thanks to the rules at day care, she had a change of clothes in her bag which was hanging from the hook of the stall door, a safe distance from the flood zone.

I pulled out another diaper, dressed her, packed up her stuff, recovered the shoe and we returned to our shopping cart. Back in the cereal aisle, I let out a sigh of relief.

Just then she looked me in the eye, grabbed the waistband of her pants and yelled, "potty!"

We waited until we got home before we tried again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the santa stink eye

This past week, we heard about a free Santa that was going to be at a local coffee shop Saturday morning. We totally took that bait because hellooo, he was FREE.

Last year I made the horrible mistake of taking Chica a few days before Christmas. We waited for more than an hour and forked over fistfuls of cash for some wallet sized prints. I learned that lesson and vowed never again.

Even though the price was right and we were free to take our own pictures, Chica wasn't digging the big guy.

She made us work for a smile. She wanted to see her parents act the fool...which we did.

Totally worth it. (Considering a video of her crazy parents doesn't pop up on You Tube.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

deeper still

Am I the most pitiful blogger you ever did see? Currently, there are three posts in the draft folder and about twenty others bouncing around in my peabrain. My brain cells can't keep up with everything I have to share because I spent them all this past weekend at the Deeper Still conference. (I'm waiting for them to replenish, but it's yet to happen. Anyone hocking any brain cells if the price is right?)

Thursday night I traveled to the great state of Ooooklahoma, where Debs lives. (And yes, I totally sang the song all weekend long. The resident Oklahomians loved me for it.)

I'm about to show you an array of pictures in non-chronological order. (See aforementioned brain cell thing.)

Doors opened an hour and a half before the conference began. If you're there an hour and a half before that, this is what you'll see. What can I say?

We had an hour and a half to take pictures of each other.

Once we entered the arena, the early arrival paid off and we had great seats!

For the next hour and a half we played Scrabble on Debs' fancy phone and pretended to be the teachers. I think 9,000 women would have been a tad ticked off (and in serious trouble!) if that had been the case.

Thankfully the real teachers showed up.

It was really fun seeing them interact.

Before each teaching session, they prayed for each other.

Kay Arthur taught for two solid hours on Friday night. She walked us through the entire book of Hebrews and while doing so, managed to quote every other book in the Bible, at least twice. She's a 76 year old fireball and I loved every minute of what she taught. One thing that stood out in her message was the concept of rest. Hebrews 4 explains that rest for our soul is available to us if we hear the message and combine it with our faith.

This is us on Saturday morning. We arrived at 6:30 (AM) running on five hours of sleep. And we had the seats to prove it.

They started the morning off with a rap.

One of the hip-hop artists leaving the stage.

Two of Priscilla's sons made a guest appearance and they were sooo cute!

Priscilla taught during the morning session. The verses she used were Ephesians 3:20-21, and she explained how God does exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. He goes beyond our beyond. She explained there's a time, turning, truth, transcendence and totality of God's ability. Believing He is able in our circumstances is our responsibility. Whether or not He acts is up to His sovereignty.

We sat near the hearing impaired seating. Lifeway provides an interpreter for them and I had to take her picture. She signed throughout the entire event, even during worship. It was beautiful to watch because even though I know very few signs, girlfriend was speaking my language. There was something so touching about watching her worship with just her arms and the expressions on her face. Tractor beam sucked me right in. I gawked and gawked.

Do you see those glass panels behind the worship leaders? They were out in the lobby areas for us to sign and were covered in our prayer requests.

Here are some of the other women who came with us.

Just got done praying for Beth.

Beth was the finale. :) She taught on spiritual discernment and knowing when to trust our instinct. She explained that a critical nature, jealousy, selfishness and emotions all hinder our ability for acting on that instinct.

During the last worship session an artist came out and painted this over all our prayer requests.

I'll finish with this. Not only did Dan keep Reesie all weekend long feeding, bathing, dressing, multiple birthday party attending, shopping, etc so I could go out of town, but when I returned they had an early Christmas surprise waiting for me. He had hired a professional cleaner to come clean all the carpet in our house. The entire house was spotless. I was shocked. Then he had two ladies with an eye for design come and rearrange the furniture in our living room to better accomodate the Christmas tree that was up and ready to be decorated. Oh yes he did.

In conclusion, I think I can correctly discern that I'm at rest with a man who is exceedingly, abundantly beyond anything I'd ever deserve.

Amen and amen.