Tuesday, May 29, 2007

12 Years & Counting...

This past Sunday marked mine & Michael's 12th wedding anniversary! I cannot believe it has been 12 years already...I cannot believe it has only been 12 years! Ever get that feeling??? We spent a wonderfully, child-free weekend in Dallas just enjoying being together and not having a schedule to keep. Our excuse to get out of town was a wedding that we attended on Saturday afternoon, but other than getting to the wedding on-time, we were schedule-free :) The wedding was beautiful and very sweet. It was so neat to watch a couple begin their lives together 12 years after Michael & I made that same commitment.

Let's see, maybe I'll give a few 'what we did' items to fill the page a bit:

If you haven't had the opportunity to do so, you must go see Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. It was wonderful - hilarious, suspenseful and surprising. Michael & I are "Pirates" fans, so we were very excited about getting to see the 3rd installment right after it opened here in Texas, rather than waiting for the DVD. Getting to the movies doesn't happen very often for us, so getting to hit a late show on Friday was a rare treat!

Our hotel room was absolutely awesome! We had an in-room jacuzzi that Michael used incessantly - and I got to use it a few times too! We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, so I wasn't really expecting the quality we had. We were informed that this particular hotel was relatively new, so maybe that was the reason it was so nice, but it's my understanding that most Holiday Expresses are just as nice. Travel plans in your future? Check out their website here. Their rates were very comparable, and even cheaper, than many of the other hotels in the area. Having a great place to stay on your anniversary is a must!!!

On Saturday after the wedding, we met up with Chuck & Cori for dinner at a tiny little restaurant in downtown McKinney called the Londoner. We hadn't seen each other since Thanksgiving, so getting a chance to visit with them was wonderful!!! The food was great too :)

If you're ever in need of tires, I highly recommend visiting Discount Tire. I'm happy to report that we had to replace no less than 2 tires on Michael's Nissan. Getting to Dallas was tough since a 3 hour trip took more than 5 hours, but not having 2 tires blow-out on us that apparently should have - such a HUGE blessing!!!! We were informed that the steel on both was showing and that they shouldn't have made the trip between there & Houston. There is a reason we pray over the car before we leave town....

Um, other than just spending quiet time together and catching up on sleep, that's about all we did! Like I said, it was wonderful and relaxing. I can't wait to see what next year's anniversary holds :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

It Hurts to be Humble

A few weeks ago, Michael & I decided to make a quick trip to the mall. He had set-up an interview for the next day and since his only pair of dress pants had been wadded up on my closet floor awaiting a trip to the cleaners, I thought our best course of action would be to purchase him a 2nd pair. He really only needs dress clothes for weddings, funerals and interviews, but having 2 pair would only make my job of clothing him that much easier, right? Of course, I also had ulterior motives for treking to the mall that evening. Doing so would get me out of cooking dinner for the night. After all, with a plethera of fast food restaurants at our disposal in the food court, I was assured to find something to please each of my crew.

When we arrived, we were immediately informed by Alex that he wanted a Wendy's cheeseburger meal. Morgann & Ian informed us that they would be very happy with cheese pizza. So, like the good parents we try to be, we decided to get the kiddos' food first. After completing our purchases, we settled them in at a table in the center to let them dig-in. Michael then told me to go get my food, so off I marched to my favorite soup/sandwich/salad spot while he sat with the kiddos.

I arrived at the counter and ordered my favorite 3 salad sampler and a large iced tea. While waiting for my order, I turned around to check on the table I had just left. Michael was deep in conversation with Morgann & Ian while Alex was busily chowing down on his burger & fries. When I returned my attention to the restaurant staff, my order was handed to me with great care. The full-to-overflowing plate of salad had a plastic cover on it, as did my large iced tea. I quickly grabbed a few napkins and a straw, then headed back to the table.

As I approached the table, I noticed that Michael was still conversing with Morgann & Ian, but what originally appeared to just be a chat turned out to be sheer scolding. This has become fairly common-place when out in public, so I gave little-to-no thought to it. About the time I actually reached the table, I began to skate - literally. My feet underneath me were shifting back & forth, very quickly, exactly like you'd see in a cartoon! Holding my large iced tea in one hand, my full-to-overflowing salad plate in the other, I did my best to regain my footing, but to no avail. Right about the time Michael turned his attention to me, it happened...I started to go down.

As if in slow motion, my drink went one direction - straight up into the air - my salad went another - amazingly enough, landing on the table - while my body went a third direction - straight down toward the floor. I think Michael may have managed to grab my arm as this all transpired, but I'm not exactly sure! Landing flat on my bottom on the floor, I looked up to see about 20 people all around me - laughing! That's right, not one bit of concern for my well-being - just all-out laughing and hysterics at my expense. Michael too did his darndest to stifle his giggles, and I must say he did a lousy job of it! At this point, I glanced over my other shoulder to see one of the janitorial staff make a mad dash in the other direction.

Stunned, I sat there for a second trying to figure out exactly why this had to happen to me (again), and wondering where the heck the cleaning lady went? Mustering everything within me, I stood up, wrang (wrung?) out my left leg (a totally pointless action on my part since my entire lower-extremities were soaked with the large iced tea that had come crashing down on me), removed my very wet & slippery flip-flops (in hopes that maybe I could stay on my feet and not fall again) and looked at Michael. With the smirk still plastered across his face, he simply shrugged and pointed to Alex, "It was his fault!"

Um, yeah, that's not exactly what I expected him to say either!

I just stood there silently, still looking at my dear, sweet hubby, and started to laugh. I had nothing else to do - it was either laugh or cry and I couldn't start crying in the middle of the food-court! After all, I'd already made a huge scene so there was no need to make it worse - I had all of the attention I could possibly want at that very moment. About that time, the cleaning lady returned with a roll of paper towels in hand, and another cleaning person with a bucket & mop. While they worked to clean up the mess I'd just created, I stood there pointlessly attempting to dry myself off with the paper towels, all while directing passers-by to go another direction lest they meet the same fate I did!

Eventually the floor was mopped almost dry, and I was safely seated in my chair. Michael scurried off to retrieve a 2nd large iced tea for me, then off in another direction to order his meal. When we were finally all seated and eating our food (should I add silently?), I couldn't help but burst into laughter again. When I asked Michael how exactly this was Alex's fault, Michael informed me that Alex had dumped his cup of water onto the floor near my chair just seconds before my accident. He had intended to tell me to be careful of the spill when at that same moment Ian & Morgann started fussing with each other about something. While his attention was diverted to settling the dispute between the 2 younger kiddos, I returned, slipped in the water that Alex had just spilled and...well, the rest was history. He claims that he tried to grab me, which might would explain the huge scrape and welt on my arm, but I think I hit it on the chair as I went down.

At any rate, I can sadly admit that this is not the first, and I'm sure it won't be my last time, to fall in a very public place. I make a habit of landing on my derrier in public places on at least an annual basis! One would think that I'd be used to it by now and that I might be a bit more careful; and I am for weeks & months on-end after such an incident! But, eventually, about the time I let my guard down and feel secure on my feet, something inevitably happens to remind me that I am indeed not as graceful as one might assume a former ballerina might be!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

In Spirit and In Truth

Today I read a post by Judy that stirred up something for me. She was discussing her thoughts on having children in the church service with you, and her shock at the fact that so many children weren't familiar with the songs, service etiquette, etc. (badly paraphrased by me so you really need to read her post to get the full picture). I tried to comment, but I couldn't keep it brief, so I decided to post my thoughts here.

I have very strong opinions on this topic, and have had many discussion with close friends about this very same thing. I've basically said that I would not attend a church that didn't provide age-appropriate services for my kiddos, or Children's Church, because I have no intention of going to church, only to miss the entire service because of dealing with my noisy, wriggling kiddos! So, read at your own risk and feel free to comment! Everyone has an opinion and I'd love to hear what you have to say - though it probably won't change my perspective :)

My input as being a child that grew-up in church would be this: My parents were on staff at almost every church I've ever attended. We were non-denominational, so there really wasn't an 'order' to the service. I grew up going to children's church, then graduated into 'big church' when I hit Jr. High. But, I was well prepared for the change when it arrived. Children's church taught me things at my level - not above my head - and we had our own praise & worship services that were fun, but taught me how to truly worship. I also grew up with a knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus, but as I grew, so did my understanding. And, when we left each week, I could tell my parents what we had learned that day and we would all discuss it over lunch. My parents were able to fulfill their commitments to their positions without having to worry about us (my sisters & I) and we were getting what we needed each & every week!

As a married mother, we attend a very free UMC church nearby and I still feel the same way. My kiddos go to their respective children's church services and worship at their own level (dancing around and having a blast, but also learning how to really worship the Lord with their entire being!). There are 2 different worship services for them, my 2 younger attend the Preschool service, my older the Elementary service. They all learn the same bible lessons, but at their own levels, so their perspective is totally different (and sometimes humorous), but wonderful. I love knowing that my kiddos are in an environment where they can learn and grow at their own pace, but still learn about the Word of God.

My getting to sit and enjoy 'big church' without them is just bonus!! My feeling is that if I'm not getting anything out of the service, then I might as well not be filling a spot. God wants us to worship in spirit and in truth, not just be there because it's Sunday. The point of church is not to just get perfect attendance, but to actually grow in our knowledge of the Lord & His word. I wouldn't be able to do that if I had 3 kiddos sitting next to me making noise, being even slightly disruptive, bored, etc. And, taking things for them to read or draw on doesn't work - I've tried that before, but my kids are 'active players' and noises just happen. I don't want to feel responsible for disrupting someone else either!

So, there you have it - my opinions on church and all that entails! I've done my best to stay brief because I could have gone on & on on this topic :) I'd love to hear your perspectives!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Beautiful Surprise!

Mother's Day came early for me this year...I didn't expect it to show up at all, but this little surprise made my day...my year!

To all of you that are mother's, may the Lord bless you on your special day, and remind you what a blessing it is to be called a
Mother :)

An update for Judy...aren't they gorgeous???

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Like Father...Like Son

It seems that the only blogging I have to do lately is to comment on pictures of the fam, so here's another one to add to the online scrapbook...

This is daddy teaching Ian how to play Mario Kart :)

And this is Ian playing solo!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Celebrating Life

Yesterday was my honey's 35th birthday. In preparation for the family celebration, we worked all day to make it as happy as we could for the special man in our lives. Each child had a job to do, and I had the responsibility of documenting the day for my blog :)

We started by pulling out all of the ingredients necessary to bake the
perfect double-fudge cake for daddy.

We mixed it well and made sure there were no lumps!

Then we taste-tested!

Then double-checked to be sure it would be eatable!

Finally, we watched it bake...

...while mommy threw together a home-made lasagna!

When Morgann got home from an exhausting day at school, it was her duty to ice the cake.
She took her duties very seriously...

...working diligently to cover the entire cake well, including the sides & corners.

To finish off her masterpiece, pastel colored sprinkles were added with loving little hands.

Before dinner, Alex was given the job of counting out 35 candles, which required opening not one, but two, packages of candles!

In case you were wondering, this is what 35 candles look like when meticulously lined out :)

And, this is the section where you should see pictures of the family enjoying our dinner. I had also intended to include pictures of the cake with 35 lit candles, but due to the amount of heat being put-off, my brain temporarily took a time-out. The only thing I could think of was getting daddy to blow them out - quickly! So, I failed to take any pictures. Michael suggested re-lighting it for the photo, but I decided against that due to the potential fire hazard...not to mention all of the smoke!

So, here you can see the family enjoying ourselves after eating our cake and watching daddy open his presents, laughing and telling funny stories.

And, finally, a picture of the birthday boy that wasn't interested in having his picture taken :)

Happy 35th Birthday to a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and friend!!!