Sunday, February 27, 2011

meeting Pioneer Woman

So there's this blog. And pretty much if you have a blog, you know about this blog and you read it on a regular basis. Most likely your mom, your sister, your math teacher and your second cousin three times removed read it too.

Its author (Ree Drummond) goes by Pioneer Woman. She lives on a cattle ranch and writes about her life in the country. She's a fabulous photographer and recently she wrote a cookbook that landed on the New York Times Best Seller list. Friday night she paid our town a little visit and Whitney, Chica and I were there to welcome her. Along with half the city. :)

It was my first time attending a book signing so I wasn't sure what to expect. Dan was out of town for the night which meant he couldn't tease me too much about being a crazy groupie. I told him earlier that afternoon I was going to meet someone I had met on the Internet. (One of my favorite things to do is to say something outrageous just to try and get a rise out of him. Aren't you so glad you're not to be married to me? It's become a bigger and bigger challenge to get the kind of shocked response I hope for. After four and a half years of marriage I think he's caught on to my ornery, tormenting ways.)

Here's my Internet friend. And she was right on time!
She answered a few questions from the audience.
She brought her husband. He's a real life cowboy. I wanted to ask him if horses really can sense human fear but I chickened out. Google before you speak and all.
I am so grateful the bookstore people didn't make us wait in one long line. Instead they called us up by groups according to the letter on our ticket. Whit, Chica and I were in group "M" so we had some time to kill. Thank goodness for the fabulous children's section of the store. It kept us busy for (literally) hours. Chica found this Duck & Goose sign and wanted me to take her picture. They are two of her favorite storybook characters.
Three hours later it was our group's turn!
This picture makes me giggle. Ree was completely warm and talkative but having stayed up way past bedtime, Chica gave her a slight stink eye.
Times it's worth waiting for three hours:
1. Riding Splash Mountain
2. Getting front row seats at a women's conference.
3. Giving birth
4. Meeting Pioneer Woman
Can this count as Baby Hinton's Week 16 belly picture?
I asked Chica how she felt about being done with the bookstore and this is what she did. (Again, waaaayyy past bedtime.)
She wanted to take a picture of me too. (Ten years from now it'll be easy to recognize which pictures she took because they're all of me with my giant face taking up most of the shot.)
Thanks Pioneer Woman for visiting our neck of the woods! We loved meeting you! (And also, sorry about the stink eye thing.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

only one you

*The following is an excerpt from Francis Chan's book Crazy Love.

"Oswald Chambers writes, "Never make a principle out of your experience, let God be as original with other people as He is with you." To that I would add, "Be careful not to turn others' lives into the mold for your own." Allow God to be as creative with you as He is with each of us....We have a God who is a Creator, not a duplicator. He's never made a Francis Chan [or Chica] before."
You, my daughter, are the only you there will ever be.

May the world never be the same once you're through with it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

photo fun

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted for Chica's picture last week. She made the website! You can see her snapshot by clicking here. If you don't see it right away, wait a few seconds, it will scroll through several that were chosen. How fun is that??

Today I went to MOPS and we made the cutest magnets with family pictures. Normally a tad cautious when it comes to crafts, I was totally into this one because I knew Reesie (our little comic) was going to love the final product. Can you tell what they are?
silly pairings galore!

I couldn't wait to see Chica's reaction to her mama's craft project.
It was love at first giggle!!
(And totally worth the additional 45 minutes I had to drive to get to MOPS because I had left my pictures at home. Sometimes I want to put myself in timeout.)

Here's Chica's first arrangement:
She was in self-induced stitches over giving her Daddy a Woody body.
The Hinton girls share the same sense of humor. What can I say? We bond over anything and everything that's the least bit silly. I'm pretty sure our love language is making each other laugh until it hurts. Even when the joke's on Daddy. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

it's zoo season

For our Christmas present this year, my dad and his family gave us a season pass to our local zoo. All our friends with kids say it's a must have and after taking Chica a couple of times last year, I understand why. Ever since we received it, I have been itching to go. Dan had the morning off and now that the weather has warmed up, it was the perfect time to go.

Here we are heading for the entrance. We parked at the front and pretty much had the place to ourselves!
These monkeys were near the front of the zoo and they were so entertaining. They did back flips as they flew from one rope to the next. I held my breath, nervous they would fall. We could have watched them all day, but Chica had her heart set on finding an alligator so off we went.

I'm so glad Dan came with us. I didn't have to try and recount for him all that we did. Plus we had quite the intellectual conversation over hypothetical survival scenarios should we ever find ourselves in the grizzly bear exhibit. It just wouldn't have been the same without him there. :)
Here we waited for the polar bear to come out. The attendant said she was coming shortly.
She was worth the wait.
When was the last time you saw something that made your arms freeze mid-air? :)
We tried getting a picture in front of the black bears, but it was hard to look away from them.
Doesn't it look like the panda is smiling as big as she is?
We didn't have time to see everything today, but thanks to Grandpa Ken, Kristine, Jackson and JJ, we'll be back soon! Thanks guys!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

week 14

Our family had a lovely, low-key Valentine's Day yesterday. When Reesie woke up we told her there was a Valentine waiting for her. She walked right out the door of her room and over to the fireplace (where we stash all the presents.)

She squealed over each Dollar Tree treasure she pulled out of her bag. I love this fun, easy to please stage.

At lunch Dan had my favorite soup delivered to our front door. I haven't had it in a while and it was big enough to have as leftovers for today's lunch too.

We had dinner at home and then headed out for dessert. Applebee's has a fabulous dessert right now for $.99. We apologized to our waitress and ordered three of them with waters. We picked up a movie from RedBox on the way home.

Before bedtime I asked Dan to take a picture of our smallest valentine. I'm in my fourteenth week (a little into my fourth month.) This past week friends have said they see a belly and it's definitely more noticeable at night.
I'm not sure how many pictures I'll take along the way. With Chica, I made the mistake of not taking any until the very end. By that point it was hard to tell which was bigger- my belly or my face. :)

As of now, Baby Hinton's major organs and skeletal system are formed and it's developing finger prints this week. He/She is about three and a half inches long. We already love our Tiny Valentine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day!

My Little Valentine, her Mama & her Daddy

Sunday, February 13, 2011

identity crisis

One night last week, a post Bible Time discussion immediately following the nativity story:

Do you think he liked being wrapped up like that?

Her Mama
Probably. Brand new babies love to be wrapped up tight.

Did Mary rock Baby Jesus to sleep?

Her Mama
I bet she did. Just like I used to rock you when you were a tiny baby.

Back when I was Baby Jesus?

Post Discussion Follow Up Notes:
1. Fire teacher.
2. Do more Bible Time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

nobody give her a credit card...

...because she's armed and dangerous with that signature of hers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

an update and a request

Howdy ho bloggers! It's been awhile since I last saw you.
A few things have prevented me from posting in nearly a week. Last Thursday Chica developed a little cough that turned into nearly hacking up a lung throughout the night. She stayed home from school and after a quick doctor's visit to rule out the flu and some medicine to help her sleep better at night, she's been on the mend. Sunday night, it was my turn to be the patient. Either the stomach bug or food poisoning (how can you tell the difference??) kept me up all night long. It's amazing Baby Hinton managed to stay put. :)

Praise God the others have been spared from it thus far. After a few weeks of mounting cabin fever, the last thing we wanted was to be home bound even longer. However all of this has made me even more mindful of how blessed we are for our family's health. Just a few days of our lives being directed by sickness brings me to my knees for those who are dealing with illness on a daily basis.

In other news...I need your help.

Back story: There's this fabulous, professional photographer in California who started a blog for moms who want to take better pictures of their kids. She shares a TON of great information and I've learned so much by reading there. Well, she's updating her website and its new design will feature pictures that moms have taken of their children. I submitted this one of Chica I took earlier this fall and it was chosen as a finalist!!!
There are 24 finalists and only 10 will make the cut. From here, it's based solely on voting and by the looks of the other candidates, we need all the help we can get! Could you please click here, scroll down and vote for Image #3? If you have more than one computer, use every one you have!! :) Voting closes at midnight (pacific time) Thursday night.

This little lion thanks you for supporting her crazy mother. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

this is the way...

This is the way...she looks at her Daddy.
Unless she's giving him this look.
This is the way...she sweetly corrects her Daddy when he's misinformed.
This is the way...she talks you into getting to watch her Busy Town dvd or play the Cookie Game.
This is the way....she reacts when her parents say something ridiculous.
Sometimes her parents are sooo embarrassing. (We're just getting warmed up for her teenage years.)

This is the way....her Daddy lets her know who's Boss.
Think this method will still work when those aforementioned teenage years arrive?