Monday, July 28, 2008

Never Too Young

Our first attempt at skiing!

What did I post some time ago about wanting my kids to love the water? Well, this past weekend we had a first....almost. My dad bought a pair of training skiis for Ella. I really thought she would just jump right on it, since she snow skiis so well. She really, really liked the idea of water skiing, but not being able to see what is under the water must throw her for a loop. She played in them at the cabin and then wanted to play with them in the water, but NOT behind a moving boat. So we came up with an alternative plan. Erik and our friend, Nelson, stood on the boat and pulled the rope really hard and fast. She is so tiny that she was able to pop right up out of the water. It was so funny. However, at the end of the day Ella sumed it up in one concise statement..."I don't want to ski until I learn." Makes sense to me!

Lucy gave it a whirl, too!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boot Camp 101

This past week I successfully completed my very first Boot Camp. 3 hours of intense exercise (mainly outside) for 5 straight days. The first day it was 99 degress outside. The hotest day of the year so far. Each day we would start with a walk/run. Usually 3-5 miles; one day with an 8 pound weight in my backpack. By Wednesday I had 4 blisters on my toes. But I persevered. I am very proud of myself and don't mind telling you about it. After years of battling health issues that were greater than myself, I am thankful to have renewed health and energy (along with a peaceful mind.)
If anyone is interested in a great place to exercise and develop a good network of friends, I recommend Barr Belles here in Covington. One year ago I could not have even made it through 20 min. of moderate exercise. Now, I just love it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let's Go to the Ballgame!

For some, going to the ballgame means watching the team play, enjoying the pipe organ, booing the opponents. Not for my girls. For them it means Rockey Hopper, Slides, playing games and total oblivion that a game even exists. Oh, well! We had a blast last night anyway. Here are some pictures...

Ok, so we're not quite ready for Disney!

This is as close as they would get. You should have seen the grip marks on Erik's arm!

Foam Fingers Rock!!

Dancer in Training

Ella took it upon herself to play dress up with Lucy the other night after dinner. Literally, with Lucy(she was the babydoll). So, she took her upstairs and put tights, an outfit and shoes on her. Much to my surprise she did a rather good job. Aren't those tights funny!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Birthday Preview

Ella will turn 5 in September. I can't believe my baby is growing up so quickly. I know it is cliche but I blinked and she went from infant to preschooler overnight. We've decided to have her party this year with her best friend Gracen. The girls were born only 9 days apart and are pretty much inseperable. They love each other like sisters. Gracen wanted a Marrying party (we still can't figure out exactly what that means) and Ella just wanted a party. She'll never turn down an opportunity for a party :) So, Amanda and I just made an executive decision to have their party at the Millington YMCA water park. Poor Gracen still thinks that someone is going to get married. I hope she won't be too disappointed.

Erik and I took advantage of having a couple extra hands around this week and paid the water park a visit. His parents loved being able to watch the girls play and Erik and I enjoyed watching Ella go down the water slides over, and over, and over...well, you get the point.

Lucy was pretty much in her element as well. The majority of the pool is not over 18". That means that LuLu walked around with her swimmies on her arms acting like she owned the place. It was a site to behold!

Our friend Mike

Mike with his family

Ella and Mike

This past week Erik's family came to visit. His sister and her 3 children came over from South Carolina and his parents came over from Maryville. It was a wild, fun and tiring week. We went non-stop. Ella and Lucy were thrilled beyond belief and pushed themselves to the max. They were exhausted at night (as was their mommy!)

On the last night of Grandma and Grandpa's visit Erik did a big seafood boil. I emphasize the Erik part because thanks to my pregnancy with Lucy I can no longer eat seafood. Not only can I not eat it, the very smell of is brings quite a unpleasant feeling to my tummy. If you know what I mean....

Anyway, I digress. Ella made friends with a crawfish from the boiling pot of water. She named him Mike. It's been 3 days and Mike is still on my kitchen counter. He is beside the candle Ella got out so that he would not stink. As if a candle is going to hide the smell of a rotting crawfish. YUCK!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All least for a moment

My parents came yesterday afternoon and picked up the girls. They went to a movie and then let them spend the night at their house. That in itself is enough to send the girls into an uncontrollable frenzy. They just LOVE being over there. Add the movie to that and you have chaos! So, Erik and I had a date night. We did not go any where or do anything magical...just stayed at home and talked. We had a wonderful night. Sometimes you forget that there really is joy in just being with your spouse.

So this morning he is out playing tennis and I am at home by myself. I got up around 7 (i know...i should have been sleeping) and made Paula Deen's Gorilla Bread. This stuff kicks Monkey Bread's butt. Since I am not making money from this, I thought I would give you the recipe. It is well worth the effort and time! Forgive me for giving you my condensed directions. I don't have THAT much time.
Gorilla Bread
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter
1 c. packed br sugar
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
2 10ct. cans biscuit
1.5 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Mix cinn and sugar in bowl. Melt buttter and br sugar in pan on low on stove top. Spray bundt pan with lots of cooking spray. Preheat over to 350. Cut cream cheese into 20 pieces. Flatten each biscuit and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cinn/sugar. Put cream cheese in it and roll into ball. Place 10 biscuits in pan. Sprinkle with cinn and sugar, 1/2 of walnuts and 1/2 of butter mixture. Do this again for next 10 biscuits. Bake for 30 min. Remove, cool for 5 min and then place plate on top and invert.
Dude...this stuff ROCKS!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Mother's Love

Since my introduction to blogging, I have enjoyed searching the "favorite" sites of my friends' blogs. My new friend, Sarah, has a great blog. She is listed as The Sullivans on my favorite's list. She recently added this site to her favorites :

I don't think she will mind me sharing this, so hear goes. She recently lost a baby. A little boy to be exact. She had only carried him a short time, 5 or 6 months. Short, being a very relative term. She wears a beautiful necklace with his name engraved on it. The necklace was one of the very first things I noticed when I met her. I guess it is because I wear a necklace with my girls' names on it, too. Soon after meeting Sarah we were invited to dinner at her house. The topic eventually turned to Thomas, her son, and she proceeded to show me the momentos of his "short" life. The thing that stood out the most to me was his footprints. They had to be no more than an inch or two. Just tiny. I stood in her bedroom, vertually a complete stranger, and began to cry. I ached for her and tried to sympathize with her sorrow.

The website listed above is the story of a mother's love for the baby she too lost. I began to read it tonight and wept at my computer. I finally realized that I had cried for Sarah as a mother, not a friend. The love a mother feels for her children could only have been endowed by the Heavenly Father himself. There is no other human emotion that can rival that love.

So as my heart aches for Sarah, the mother in her blog, and the countless mothers who have lost children, I think about the love of Christ. Oh the agony of watching your child suffer and die.

Thank you Lord Jesus for my beautiful, healthy, joyfull girls. If I am never blessed with another child, may I be so madly in love with You, them and life that I would know true fulfillment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Family that Tubes Together....

I am determined that my children are going to love the water as much as Erik and I do. So far, so good. They both are fish in a swimming pool and now have proven that they love the lake, too. Ella wanted to try skiing so badly this weekend. Pops is going to get her a pair of trainer skiis, so maybe next time we go up there we can give it a whirl. We did manage to get a picture of the fam on the tube before my camera battery died. I should have known after taking 405, yes 405, pictures at the beach that I needed to charge it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lulu and the Mud

During the week of VBS, our church had Extreme Week for the youth. They did some really fun things--I was pretty jealous! One night they had Mud Volleyball at my parent's house. We took the girls out there and they had a blast!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Little Princesses

On any given Summer day, or Fall day for that matter, my girls can be found with a fishing pole in their hands. They love it! Ella especially. She loves to pull in a fish and stick her thumb in its mouth before throwing it back in the water. I get tickled with she is fishing in her twirly dress with a tiara on her head. She is so funny! Lucy does not have much of an attention span, but plays along to be like her sissy.

Fleeting Moments

Do you remember being little and the only three things you lived for were Christmas, your Birthday and the last day of school? All the days in between those seemed to drag on. The 24 days before Christmas were sheer torture. As I rocked Lucy to sleep today for her nap, I was stewing over the things that needed to be done this afternoon. Laundry, dishes, dinner, gardening, etc. Then it dawned on me that my almost 5 year old was in the other room sleeping and I did not get to rock her to sleep. It took all I had not to go in there and pick her up. Thank you God for my beautiful children. May I be reminded daily that they are a gift from you and that I should cherish every moment I have with them.