Thursday, December 24, 2009

Recent Recipes.....

I have had some friends recently exchange some really good recipes with me. Not only do I want to share them with you on our blog, but having them on my blog helps me if I misplace my paper copy!!! So here they are…. We have tried them all, and they are each wonderful…..

Lime Scented Quinoa with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro—from Hannah Burns

3 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
zest of one lime
1 tablespoon of hot sauce (we used Central Market Organics Chipotle hot salsa)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, and drained
1 cup diced red or yellow tomatoes (we used a plastic container of Cherubs)
1 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper

--Bring stock to a boil; add quinoa. Stir, and bring back to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the quinoa is fluffy and tender. Strain and let cool. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper, zest and hot sauce. Place quinoa, beans, tomatoes and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil mixture, and toss. Suggestion: Serve with sautéed kale or spinach lightly tossed with olive oil and garlic.

NOTE: Logan and I added a chicken we had oven roasted. We shredded the chicken and added it to the meal, adding some protein and flavor. (And we always want some type of “meat” with our meal!!!) This is a great dish, served hot for winter and would be great cold (like couscous) for the summer.

ABOUT QUINOA: That was the first time I had ever cooked with quinoa (keen-wah). Hannah and Casey had us over for dinner and she had made a wonderful quinoa dish with chicken, carrots and celery. (I’ll post that recipe later….) Quinoa is a very nutrient-dense grain, is safe for a gluten-free diet, is high-fiber, and it has anti-fungal properties. So in a nutshell, this is a very healthy, nutritious meal! Quinoa is a complete protein (one-quarter cup of uncooked quinoa has about six grams of protein, about as much as one egg), and contains vitamins B and E and trace minerals. There was no quinoa here in Marble Falls (go figure!), so Cinda got me some when she ran in to Whole Foods in Austin. You can buy it packaged in health food stores or in the bulk section of larger stores. If you buy bulk, make sure to rinse it off and drain before you cook it because it has a bitter taste if it is not rinsed.





Baked Spinach---from Ashley White

NOTE: Not only do we love spinach because it is healthy, but with cheese, it is even better! Ashley said their almost 2 year-old LOVES this…..

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
6 ounces Cheddar or Colby Cheese, shredded (1 ½ cups)
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 7 by 11 inch Pyrex dish. Add onion. Stir in flour. Combine spinach, eggs, cottage cheese, and Cheddar or Colby cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon spinach mixture into onion mixture. Stir to combine. Back uncovered 1 hour.

This casserole can be prepared a day ahead, refrigerated, and cooked the next day.





Osta Kaka (Swedish sweet cake)---From a friend of Ashley White’s

24 oz small curd cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups half ‘n half
almond extract (use your preference)

Drain the small curd cottage cheese into a colander for 2 hours. Discard milk. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the 4 eggs. Add the sugar, half ‘n half, and almond flavoring. Stir. Add cottage cheese. Spray casserole dish and pour in mixture. Bake 1 ½ to 2 hours. You can serve with fresh fruit or just eat alone! Yummy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

WOW!!! It's almost Christmas!

I can't believe this month has flown by already.... Here's a recap of what we've been doing. This month has been particularly busy for us, not only because of the Christmas holiday, but because Weiss had his third birthday. I had my finals for two classes at one time (which ended Friday---HALLELUJAH!) and had to secure my internship in late January to complete my master's program. All of this has made the first part of December busy, and unfortunately, stressful.
A bit about my internship: God worked everything out beautifully; I will be working at the Highland Lakes Crisis Center. It services four counties here in Central Texas and houses up to 40 women (and children) at one time. I will be working with women and children who are victimized by domestic abuse and sexual assault. (It is also the sexual assault crisis center for this area, as well.) It stays very busy and is open 24/7, so I am sure I will be very busy. I am required to complete 800 hours there, so this will take me several months working full-time.
Weiss was so excited about his birthday approaching; he really had a great time this year celebrating. For the longest time, he said he was "five" if anyone asked, but I think he has figured out he is three now....
We attended the Main Street Bethlehem production in Burnet this year.... If you've never been, it was incredible and so worth going to see. There were plenty of live animals (chickens, geese, camels, sheep, donkeys), everyone dressed in period costumes, and everything was so realistic. Burnet FBC has a permanent "Bethlehem" set up outside of their church on some property they have there. The buildings are stone, and there is a wall around the city, just like it really would have been. There are Jewish priests, many merchants, Roman soldiers, wise men, shepherds, tax collectors, prostitutes, vagrants, lepers, prisoners, and families with small children. And of course, there is Jesus (a real baby!), Mary, and Joseph. Weiss loved it and learned how to say "Shalom!" We went late on a Sunday evening (someone had told us that was the best time.... It really wasn't crowded. We had no lines. We had heard people waited for TWO hours in line! After all, over 10,000 people go through in 2 weekends.) Mary and Joseph were supposed to remain "stoic" with the baby Jesus, and Weiss kept hollering at Joseph and waving to get his attention. It was so cute--finally Joseph looked up and casually waved. We were the only ones around the manger at that point, so I guess he thought it would be okay to break character....
We went to a wedding in the Merkel area this past weekend (Kelle Hicks and Derreck Ratliff). We had a great time; I got to see and visit many people I had not seen in quite some time! Thanks, Kelle, for including us! We left Friday morning and Weiss got carsick right off the bat. (He has never done that!) We pulled over and Logan was cleaning out/"Lysoling" Weiss's carseat; I took Weiss in the back with the tailgate up and changed his clothes. When he was covered in yuck, he kept saying, "I need a doctor...." I thought that was hilarious! He perked right up and was fine the rest of the drive and weekend. We think he got too hot because the heater was on and he had just had a big breakfast. Poor dude.
We stayed with my parents and enjoyed visiting with them. It was so COLD there. The temperature isn't too bad, but the wind makes it feel soooo cold. We had the rehearsal Friday in Eriksdahl (Avoca), and then the dinner in Abilene. Saturday, we drove to Eriksdahl (near Stamford) and then the reception was in the Elks Building in Abilene. We then left to eat at Catfish Corner! (Logan was craving it.... Good choice, Logan!) Sunday we left to go visit Logan's granddad at Big Spring in the Veteran's Hospital nursing facility. It was great to see him and know that he recognized all three of us. He was glad to see us and Weiss was in a great mood. We then left to go to San Angelo to visit Justin, Ashley, and Sydney White. It was a fun but short visit. We made our way home last night. We had many hours in the car this weekend, but it was a fun one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Catchin' Up to Do.....

Hello, All! I have been enjoying the cooler weather the past few days here in Marble Falls and my recent trip to West Texas last weekend. Weiss and I had a great time, but we came back with sinus junk! Logan had gone to a dental conference in Dallas with Dickey, and he escaped the lovely allergy/sinus junk. What have we been up to the past few weeks this month? Weiss has been busy with school, going to the library, Lo busy with work, we finished Financial Peace (we LOVE Dave Ramsey--he's an awesome guy!!!) and I ran the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. We all were gone last weekend (what I mentioned earlier) and this weekend is the lovely Thanksgiving holiday with family! We are officially celebrating on Friday because my Mom and Dad are getting here on Friday because of work. So tomorrow (Thursday), we will be doing the Austin Turkey Trot with Dickey, which is hosted by Thundercloud Subs and helps to feed the local homeless. (It is really fun---last year, there were many dogs and costumes---people dressed as turkeys, Santa Claus, Indians, and pilgrims!) We can't wait for this year's five miles!

And as always, I feel overwhelmingly blessed this Thanksgiving. I hope all of you do, as well. My God blesses me abundantly and keeps on blessing me each breath I breathe. I am so thankful for my faith, family, friends, health, church family, community, our nation ('m a bit partial to Texas--teeheehee), my dog, our beautiful world--plants, animals, and all, good food, my beautiful home, good music (my favorite pasttime), books (another favorite pasttime), and much, much more......

Today, Weiss and I began to set out Christmas nativities. I put a special table in his room to place his 3 nativities upon--Veggie Tales, Fisher-Price, and his newest and coolest, Playmobil. For those of you who want to get your child a nativity set, I would highly suggest this one. Granted, I will really have to watch him around this one, but each of the kings have special gifts to give to baby Jesus, and there is so much DETAIL. You can REALLY tell the Christmas story in detail, and the kings LOOK like kings, and the shepherd really LOOKS like a nomadic shepherd. (The only complaint I have is the little, kidlike angel, but Weiss got a kick out of it.... He raced around his room saying, "Fly, Angel, FLY!") It even comes with a small story book telling the Christmas story. The neat background is included. I will have to post pictures of his nativity table and Texas Tech Christmas tree when they are all finished, but here is the Playmobil nativity....




We also got him a neat Playmobil advent calendar instead of a candy one this year. It's pretty incredible..... Every year, Playmobil changes their advent calendar and does a different theme to collect, and they aren't expensive--about $18.00, but the previous year's versions sell for quite a bit because there are BIG Playmobil collectors out there. I think this will be something we do for each Christmas season.... Here is this year's Playmobil advent calendar... It's a forest animal, winter theme.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Muppets Do "Bohemian Rhapsody!!!!"

Some of you may already know I am a BIG Jim Henson fan. I loved the Muppets/Fraggle Rock/Muppet Babies growing up, and now Weiss LOVES Sesame Street. I got a kick out of this new video of the Muppets doing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and I just HAD to post it. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I'll have to post an update at a later time! Enjoy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Kilpatricks to Come....

Okay. My bud Katie has a blog that had an AWESOME post about friends and mommydom, and I just HAD to share... (Katie and Ash, I hope this is okay! :) ) It could not have been better said.... Just click on the link and it will explain itself.... More Kilpatricks to Come

And Ash, you HAVE to start a blog telling about your jet-setting adventures! (Like Julia and Stacey!)

November is Racing By.....




I can't believe it has been around one year now since I have started our family blog. Time has flown---my kiddo is growing--he'll be 3 next month, we've lived here in Marble Falls for a year and a half now, and we've almost been married 5 years. WOW. Life is indeed the blink of an eye. I can't believe all of these things. The past few weeks have had their highs and lows. Many good things have happened, but many tragic things have also happened, not only in our nation, but with people whom we are friends with--several families. Please keep them in your prayers.

We've been continually busy every weekend. This past weekend was Team Karen, a 5K that benefits a rare form of breast cancer our LifeGroup teacher, Karen Cottrell, is battling so courageously. Please check out Team Karen to learn just a bit about Karen and David, who Logan and I (and everyone else that knows them!) love dearly. Karen and David teach our class, the Encouragers, together, and Karen leads a Mom to Mom Bible study group that I am in. The 5K went very well; around $30,000 went to MD Anderson for her specific type of cancer research, and $60,000 was raised for the First Baptist Church School and Preschool. These totals were over and above any goals set. God is good---All the time!

Later last Saturday, I had the opportunity to see Katie, Bo, and Cameron Kilpatrick, along with Ashley Higley in San Antonio. Ashley flew in from Oklahoma, or "Joke-la-homa," as she kindly refers to it.... (You have to understand---she is a Native Texan who is temporarily displaced...) I had not seen Ashley, Katie and Bo for over a year and a half, but I had never met Miss Cameron! I had the best time with them catching up on each other's lives and having alot of massive belly laughs... (My abs were sore when I got home....hehe!) And all of you, we have to get together sooner this time!!!! Here are some pictures of us girls... (Thanks Katie and Ash for the pics that I "stole" from Facebook....haha!) Katie is in the yellow and Ashley is in the red, Bo is self-explanatory because he's the only guy in the pictures, and Cameron is that precious little girl!!!

Weiss has the potty thing down....I am sooo proud of him! We haven't had any situations were we are away from the potty for prolonged periods of time, but I just keep his "frog potty" with me in the car and everywhere I go. He is growing so fast and I can't believe it. He is a big helper and I feel I can delegate some more responsibilities to him. He LOVES to read and he has a newfound interest in the "I Spy" books... He loves to search for the hidden objects in the pictures. He also enjoys singing, and I think after Christmas, we are going to embark on learning the books of the Bible via a WeeSing song... (We'll see how that goes... I may change my mind on that one this early...) He is very excited about Christmas and I think he will have a blast this year!

Logan is also doing well; he is busy with work, and it just keeps getting busier! He and his father are practicing in a temporary building right now, which is very nice, but the new Stanley Dental building will be open in January. (I will post pictures soon!) We are very excited; this is my father-in-law's dream office, and Logan has the privilege of being his son to also work there! Cinda (my mom-in-law) has spent countless hours pouring over every last detail, and so she is looking forward to it, as well. (We are fortunate--she is an interior designer.) Each operatory has a large window with a panoramic lake view so the patients will not feel "claustrophobic" in the dental chair, all of the equipment is state-of-the-art, and there is even a workout facility upstairs for the staff, complete with a shower! You can sip on an in-house latte before your exam or surgery and bring your iPod or favorite DVD to listen/watch in the chair. There's even a massage and aromatherapy room for the patients who need extra care, along with an outdoor courtyard as a waiting area for those seeking fresh air. I am super excited for Dickey and Logan; however, it may be hard pulling them away from the office it will be so much fun for them!

I am beginning to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel with school; I am taking two classes together at the moment, which is a challenge, because I am wanting to finish some time next year. I go to Virginia again in January to take another class and a mandatory exam for all students prior to graduation. I feel I am ready, but it is still intimidating, so please send a prayer up to God for me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 Weeks Have Come and Gone....

WOW! Can I just say this year has flown? I cannot believe we are almost finished with October, and I haven't even blogged yet!!!! We have been very busy!!!! The past three weekends have been my parents coming over, a half marathon with Lexy and Mackenzie at San Antonio, a day out with Thomas the Train (and a ride, too!), dinner with Mia, Grappa and our friend John Shao, and last weekend I worked the music team on a Walk to Emmaus with Kim Edwards, so I was gone Thursday through Sunday. The boys hung out and had some quality bonding time! Since I have had some time off school (I start back Monday, however), I have really been enjoying myself. I've done a lot of leisure reading and spending some good playtime with Weiss.

Mr. Weiss, in the meantime, has been doing very well with potty training. We went 4 days with no accidents, and then he had an accident when he was at the church nursery this evening without us there (I think it could have been avoided if he was with us). However, things have been going well and his vocabulary is ever-expanding! He can count to 20 and identify most letters. (There are about 5 he does not know.) We've made an autumn gingerbread house with gumdrops and candy bats on the roof, and when I am not looking, Weiss will grab a kiddie chair, stand on it, reach the house up on the bar, and grab a licorice gumdrop! Of course, it's easy to spot the evidence in his teeth! YUCK!!!

I will have to update with some more current pictures, but I am just glad to be posting a short update. (I'll probably post more when school is back in session, because I'll find myself stalling on the computer!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

WHOA!!!!! It's been a LONG time......

WHOA!!! I can't believe it has been soooo long since my last post... I have really been negligent lately; however, now that things are more back to normal and I don't have any more exhausting weekends looming in the future, I should be able to post. I have just been drained from all of the traveling and packing.... I have felt until recently as though I live out of a suitcase! It's refreshing not to feel that way anymore!

After our Las Vegas weekend, Weiss resumed school and I don't know where that week went! We left the following Friday for the coast with our friends, Casey, Hannah, Sophia, and Gabriella Burns. We went to Port Aransas and stayed at the family friendly Port Royale.... We had a great time at the beach, in the sprawling pool, visiting the U.S.S. Lexington, and the State Aquarium (Weiss really loved the dolphins, petting the manta rays, and the bird show). Of course, we also enjoyed the company of our friends, and the kids had a great time together.

This past weekend, my parents came down to Marble Falls. Friday after picking Weiss up from school, we visited the pumpkin patch at Sweet Berry Farm. Weiss was really looking forward to stuffing a scarecrow and seeing the goats, but the scarecrow stuff wasn't ready yet and the goats weren't out. (I was looking forward to the homemade pumpkin ice cream, but it was still freezing....DRATS!) We picked out some pumpkins, got some pictures of Weiss posing, and pet the horses and the donkeys... The baby donkey was sooo cute! We all headed in to Austin to go to the Apple store for Dad and we ate some good food at Pei Wei! (It was my FAVORITE in San Antonio; there was one not too far from our house--I haven't eaten there in awhile because I am out here in the "boonies!" Haha!)

Saturday morning, we went to Sea World! It was Weiss's first time. We were all anticipating (and hoping for) cool weather, but that wasn't the case. However, we saw the Shamu show, the Viva! show (with acrobats, dolphins, and belugas), and the sea lion show. We also got to see the penguins, dolphin feeding tank (Weiss was too tired at that point to feed them), and shark reef. By that time (5 hours in the park), Weiss was zonked! We were, too. We came home and ate at the Bluebonnet and then retired to the house.

Anyway, I know I'm not too detailed in this post; I'm just glad I'm posting! I have some stuff to do here and dinner to tend with, so I've got to wrap up. Tata for now!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!!!




Now that I have returned home from Virginia, it seems like I have been ultra busy!!!! (You probably all can relate; activities are never spaced out equally; they tend to fall together in clumps!) The last week home was a great week--I mainly spent it getting the house back to normal, doing laundry, and spending some overtime with husband and son... (I owed them BIG TIME for being gone!) I also tried to exercise each day because Chick-Fil-A and all of Liberty's goodies (free coffee, bagels, chips, cereal, cookies, you name it) had REALLY gotten me down....

Anyway, I aged one more year on Wednesday, which happened to feel more like a Monday (random things occurred to make my day a bit "out of whack" from the moment I woke up....). Weiss kept us up during the middle of the night, banging on our door, wanting to sleep in the bed with us (he knows he's not supposed to), I got two giant quarter-sized blisters on my arches for not wearing socks with my running shoes.... Aunt Flo came to visit--ON MY BIRTHDAY...BUMMER...., my car battery was beginning to give me trouble, so I had to go spend an hour and a half in Walmart Automotive... However, a visit with Kelley and little Brooks really helped get the day off to a better start!!!! (Thanks for the birthday cake, Homeyers!!!!! YUMMO!!!!)

I left the Homeyer's house to pick up Weiss from preschool at FBC, and found him in a totally different set of clothes. His teacher informed me that he pooped his pants first thing in the morning on the playground, took them off, and began to "play" in the mess..... (GAG...).... Weiss was put in time-out... Then at lunch, he began to "play" in his food without his utensils... I guess we have a little sculptor on our hands.... "Le artiste..."

Logan and I went to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University on Wednesday night. I am super excited about the class, and I am glad we signed up! He loves anything about management or finance, and so we are both looking forward to it... That was a great finale to my big birthday....

We left on Thursday to come here to Las Vegas. Logan and Dickey (his co-worker and dad) had a conference here for the specialized medical/dental group they belong to, which is really focused around biological dentistry and overall physical and dental health. I'll discuss more on that, later.....

The conference is located at the JW Marriott, in Summerlin, Nevada, which is not far from the LV strip. The first night we all (Logan, Weiss, Dickey, Cinda, and I) went to the Caesar's Forum and ate at Wolfgang Puck's Spago... WONDERFUL!!!! Weiss was a great boy and ended up making friends with a couple from Vancouver sitting across from our table.... He made such good friends that they shared their dessert with him..... SUPER hilarious!!!

He really had a good time at Caesars, and he was great on the flight from San Antonio to Las Vegas.... (Buying a miniature Southwest plane really helped, I think!!!) Yesterday, Cinda, Weiss and I went to the pool (which is fabulous here) and spent all morning... Weiss had a blast, and enjoyed hanging out. We had a great lunch (caprese salad on focaccia bread....going to try that at home....DELISH!!!). We came up to the room so he could take a nap, and then Dickey and Cinda went to a banquet. Logan and I took Weiss back down to the strip and went to New York, New York. (I thought he would like the scenery in the boroughs.....It reminds me of Universal Studios....) We ate "outside" at a little Jewish Deli called Greenberg's... We had homemade chicken noodle soup, matzo balls, and a pastrami reuben.... Because it was 9/11 and we were at NYNY, they had a great, HUGE group of bagpipers and drummers in the traditional garb. They honored the miltary and the LV and NYC firemen and police officers, which was quite a sight. They had a "mini" parade in the casino.... Weiss enjoyed seeing the firetrucks.... He was impressed they came in red, white, AND yellow!!!

However, he began to ask if he could play the "games" as we were leaving.... (aka "the slot machines.....") AAHHH!!!!!! Funny, but NOT funny...... (We didn't even play ourselves..... He just saw everyone playing and all of the cool lights and sounds...)

We then took Weiss back to Caesar's forum, where we spent some time in FAO Schwarz.... Three stories of a child's fantasy!!!! He picked out "Colin the Crane" for his Thomas railroad set (go figure---he's obsessed with wooden trains) and has been playing with it all day! He also was loving the Playmobil toys in the store, and I'm glad about that, because I had already bought him some for this coming Christmas!!!

After the toy store, we went to see Caesar's fountain perform in front of the Cheesecake Factory.... He started out saying, "I'm not scared....." However, Weiss started getting scared when he saw the fire in the show. He didn't cry, but he said, "I'm scared..." However, that was only for a brief portion of the end, and then we redeemed ourselves by letting him watch the fish in the huge aquarium around the back of the fountain... He watched for about 30 minutes.... It had some great fish and lots of rays...

This morning, I heard some great speakers at Logan's conference. I decided to go because there are many topics that echo beyond dentistry, and quite frankly impact ALL of us, and these topics are near and dear to my heart. I have heard some GREAT speakers this morning, one being a top expert in his field, Dr. Boyd Haley. US Representative Dan Burton gave a compelling speech, as well. (If you want to know the content of their speeches, just ask me. Don't get me started on my blog because it is a HOT BUTTON for me....) One reason this group is controversial is because it does NOT agree with all the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), CDC (Center for Disease Control), ADA (American Dental Association), AMA (American Medical Association) and other big governmental agencies stand for. (This includes all of the big lobbying, big spending pharmaceutical industries....) Any entity that is denying individuals their right to know the FULL truth about health and its various components is what the IAOMT speaks out against. ANYWAY--Enough about that!

Now, I'm waiting for Weiss to wake up. (He stayed with Cinda in their hotel room while the guys and I went to the conference.) Cinda and I are going to head out again to the strip and go grab something at Serendipity 3 (ice cream)!!! We fly back tomorrow..... I'll chat again soon! I still have to update on my fun weekend with Logan in Virginia!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Something funny from class this week.....

Hey, all! I'll continue my blogging when I return home; I really can't focus because I am HERE:




Well, not really at Magic Kingdom..... I'm stuck in the airport with all of the fun of Orlando right outside.... And this was a LONG layover, people!!!! VERY BORING!!!! Anyway, just thought I would post this great clip from class.... (This is not what Christian counseling is all about, but it's hilarious anyway.....)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'll Talk More Later...

I'll talk more later about the awesome weekend Logan and I had together this weekend and the fun things we did!!! Here's a preview of what we did last Thursday evening, the first evening he was here....... It just so happened it was opening week for Liberty SNOWFLEX and we got to go Thursday........... Fun, fun, FUN!!!!!!

Some of You Have Been Asking....

So I know I've taken quite a hiatus from blogging. I don't like doing that, but I just haven't made the time lately. However, I've had many adventures going on. Some of you Marble Falls people and Facebook friends have been wondering where I've been.... Actually, this is the beginning of my second week in Lynchburg, Virginia. I am completing my master's in professional counseling at Liberty University. (Please note: this degree is not to be confused with school counseling.) I have done the majority of the classwork online and have put off the required courses on campus until this point, and now that Weiss is a bit older--although it is still hard to leave him--I found it time to get my coursework on campus started. I am nearing the end of my degree--I see the "light" at the end of the proverbial "tunnel"--however, I do still have some more on-campus work, a practicum, internship, competency exams, and courses from home before I am complete. However, I should be finished in the next 8 to 9 months...

I chose to go back to school after I had Weiss because I LOVE people. I love to help people; I love to interact with people. I chose Liberty because I knew they were online, would work with my schedule as a mom, they were reputable, could give me the degree I was seeking, and--most importantly--would teach me in a manner that corresponds to my Biblical worldview as a born again Christian. Liberty is the world's largest evangelical Christian university, is the world's fastest growing university, and has only been around since 1971. (When I got on campus, it was totally evident that this is God's economy here at the university; they are being blessed tremendously...)

Anyway, I've heard some great preaching while I've been here--Thomas Road Baptist Church, Wednesday night campus church (Aperture) with Dr. Ergun Caner, who is incredible.... Check out his stuff.... I'm going to be following him from home... I feel so comfortable here because you can speak the name of Jesus and not feel "weird" or uncomfortable because most likely, the individual you are talking to knows Him personally, as well. Our professors are also spiritual leaders; I appreciate this greatly. They lead us in worship, prayer time, prayer requests, and daily reflection and devotionals. They bring up questions from a biblical standpoint, which I LOVE. My classmates are pastors, youth ministers, church administrators, teachers, and people who just feel God's calling to help others. These weeks have been tough (leaving family, et cetera), but it has honestly felt like a spiritual retreat for me and my classmates. Each of us (in our 15 person class) has expressed this; we are learning how to counsel with others, but have each been receiving counseling, as well, and it has been a time of renewal and joy, albeit draining.

The emotional aspect of it all is pouring out yourself, being transparent and honest, but also listening deeply to others with empathy. Having a relationship with Christ helps provide the foundation a counselor needs to work with all of His children, no matter how hurt or broken. Although this doesn't sound draining, it truly is; I am mentally exhausted today, yet physically energized (probably from all of the coffee they've given us!!!). I'm sure many of you in the ministry and other helping fields can relate.... I have been a sounding board for the deep emotions of others, but I am honored that Christ can work through me. I have also used others as my own personal sounding board. God has also revealed to me additional ways I may choose to help others in our community, so I'm going to look into these avenues very soon, as well....

Enough with the deep stuff.....

Anyway, I've had a great and awesome experience with last week's intensive with Dr. Patti Hinckley and my counselor and small group facilitator, Francis Raj, a Christian pastor from Malaysia who is on fire for the Lord (and has a great sense of humor to boot). Just when I thought the classes couldn't get any better than last week's, this week is Dr. David Appleby, a former pastor turned professor with two doctorates and a seminary degree.... He is coming out with a book next week, and he is an authority on deliverance...... Tomorrow afternoon, he is going to explain more in a Q & A session with our class of 15.... Can't wait!!! (More on that later!!!!)

Before each class session with Dr. Appleby (the class deals with group counseling), he plays this clip, which has really touched me (and everyone else in our class) this week. It's the Gaithers, for those of you who shy away from their music, but the message is sooooo incredibly powerful for anyone in the helping profession, or anyone who is a Christian, for that matter. Take a look and be moved......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Now Here's MY Personal Favorite....

And here is my personal Sesame Street favorite: Huey Lewis and the News. His hit, "Hip to be Square," is changed to "Hip to Be a Square." And the cool part is that Huey Lewis is actually singing it! I didn't know this 1980s goodness existed, but it is on one of Weiss's Sesame Street DVDs from the 1980s. It's made complete by the awesome 80s music video style format. Take a look.....

And While We're on the Subject of Sesame Street....

I thought I would post this... I love how Sesame Street uses current songs/artists to convey a learning principle to kiddos. (And it also helps "woo" the parents because it's entertaining, too....) This is one of Weiss's favorites current Sesame Street songs by Feist. The song was made popular because it was in an Apple Computer commericial, and then Feist showed up on Sesame Street. I bought the CD, and when it is in the car, guess what Weiss has us listen to, over and OVER???? "1, 2, 3, 4....."

I am CONSTANTLY singing Sesame Street's praises.... Weiss can now count to 15 and recognizes about two-thirds of the alphabet, and I certainly attribute this to the show. Each episode, there's a "letter of the day" and "number of the day," and I think those 7 AM episodes on PBS and all of the Sesame Street DVDs have really helped him out! Thank you, Sesame Street!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Potty Training is 90% Complete...


Since my last post, Weiss, Logan and I have been focusing on his potty training. He is in "big boy pants" most of the day, and he stays dry during naps and at night. (Even then, I am still paranoid and put a Pull-Up on him; I really don't want to add "change and wash sheets" on my to-do list...) And we had a "motivating moment" last week on the potty training circuit....

Last Thursday, Hannah and I took all three kiddos to the Dell Austin Children's Museum. We had a great time; Hannah and I are both still partial to the New Braunfels McKenna Children's Museum, however.... There was lots for kids to do (the target age was more like 5, 6, or 7) and LOTS of kids.... WHOA.

After the visit, we took the kids to eat at Which Wich? downtown, about 2 blocks away from the museum. The kiddos seemed to enjoy it. Weiss and I made a run to Target before he was to get a haircut. And, as always, I found more in Target than I was anticipating....

Weiss kept asking to go down the toy aisle. I obliged, of course. (I feel like he has to go down every non-toy aisle in Target for me to browse; why not let him have a few aisles of his own?) There was a toy--more like an obsession--the Sesame Street house, exclusively for Target, by Fisher-Price, complete with the Sesame Street character figurines to play with. I thought I would get it for Christmas; I like to shop early. I figured I could put it in the basket, take it home and stick it in the closet. He would just forget about it. WRONG.

We returned after a haircut for Weiss to Marble Falls. I picked Logan up from work and we met Dickey, Cinda, and Logan's godparents, the Davenports (who were in from Dallas) at Real New Orleans Restaurant. Weiss began to ask for his "Sesame Street House" when we got out of the car. No---it was more like PLEADING for his Sesame Street house.....

To make a long story short, for several days, he pleaded for his Sesame Street house. BEGGED. OBSESSED.

Logan and I finally decided it would be a good potty training reward. Christmas (or his birthday--whichever gift-giving occasion we chose) was too far away to hear all of this.... So I told him Elmo and Big Bird cry when he doesn't go in the potty. So everytime Weiss had an accident, he would say in the saddest tone, "Elmo and Big Bird cry...."

However, he is doing GREAT now. He has had just a few accidents, and he is getting better about telling you when he needs to go potty instead of forcing him to go. So last week, he had a great day and was a great, obedient kiddo. He earned his "Sesame Street House." And he is still OBSESSED with it; he continually plays with it and asks us to play with him. It's so fun because he's just now getting into imaginative play....

So now, Weiss watches Sesame Street while he plays with his Sesame Street House in his Sesame Street pajamas, drinking Sesame Street Earth's Best Organics juice. AAAHHHHH! (At least they're cute characters....)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Weiss Video Upload!!!!

Okay..... I was going to upload some pictures, but I couldn't find the recent files here on Logan's computer because I don't know where they're categorized.... However, I did find this precious video of Weiss saying his shapes at dinnertime on his Sesame Street placemat.... (This was from about a month ago.....)

What's Been Going On Around Here....

Hello, my bloggy friends!!! This past week has been fun and laid-back. Weiss and I have spent more time around the house, which has been nice because he will begin preschool at FBC very shortly. (He'll be attending Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings....I'll pick him up after they serve him lunch...) This is really a bittersweet moment for me because I feel he is growing up and we are already cutting one of the "strings" that attaches him to our "nest." Friends will become more important to him, he'll be forming opinions and bringing back things that are not of this household, and you name it.... (Thankfully, there are some great Christian families we know that attend his school and strong Christian teachers and administrators, praise the Lord!)

Because school is starting, Weiss had to go to the dr.'s office for a wellness check. And I LOVE Dr. Madrigal, our doc. (When I was in San Antonio, I started driving Weiss all the way out here to see her.) She is a Christian, very high energy, and she practices what she preaches (extremely fit and healthy doc--love that). She spends lots of time with each patient, thinks outside of the box (she doesn't try to shove prescription drugs first thing down your child's throat), and lets you call her home or cell if you need her anytime. (What doc nowadays does THAT?!?!?!) Anyway, so we have found a real gem for our entire family.... (She is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine, but she also does family practice....)

Because she hasn't seen Weiss since December, she was very impressed with his sentence structure, counting skills, and him saying his ABCs. I had brought his little DVD player with Sesame Street playing, and although she is not a TV advocate by any means, she began talking about how great Sesame Street is for development and how it can help Weiss get ahead. (I told her he was OBSESSED with Sesame Street....) She said at this pace, she had no doubt that he would probably begin reading in his fourth year after several questions she asked me. (I'm not going to take that to the bank, but we will continue to work on all of the above....However, it made me proud of him!) Weiss is tall right now for his age and right smack in the middle for weight, and Dr. Madrigal thinks he looks older than he is. She told me to make sure others understand his maturity level and age and don't expect him to act like an older child.

She also told me to always, ALWAYS keep him in a five-point childseat for as long as possible, regardless of what companies advertise for older kiddos. (Her personal childseat recommendation was the "Britax" brand.) She said avoid boosters AT ALL COSTS, even if it means Weiss doesn't look "cool..." We will certainly heed her advice for as long as we can... I believe our particular seat holds up to 65 lbs., so Weiss will be stuck there for awhile.... Dr. Madrigal gave him a clean bill of health and signed off on his FBC preschool sheet!

Last Thurday, we FINALLY got to meet Mr. Brooks Matthew Homeyer, the newly-hatched son of our great friends, Matt and Kelley. He is soooo cute and is a teeny little man! He's got a crop of blonde hair, and he's just precious! We took them dinner and Weiss came along... Weiss was VERY wired at their house....(Sorry about the free entertainment, Homeyers!!! And thanks for letting us crash your peaceful atmosphere.... We'll be back--whenever ya'll are ready!!!) I was SUPER frazzled with him because, well, Thursday had been a fiasco most of the day... I woke up and Weiss pooped his pants and tried to "clean" them up when I was in the shower..... (Just imagine....) There was poo all over his bathroom toilet and floor.... on the rug, and all over him! So he had ANOTHER bath, and I had ANOTHER shower... We went to volunteer at respite care at Fellowship Baptist, and Weiss was great---until it was time to leave. MAJOR screaming meltdown. Matt was so nice to bring this neat little train Weiss was nuts over home that night when we came over to see them. (Thanks, Matt!) We went on to HEB to get dinner for the evening and Weiss said, "Don't wanna go to HEB" when we got in the parking lot...

(HEB has marketed well.....he knows HEB logos, HEBuddy, et cetera, et cetera...) As a side note, we were going down an aisle to get Logan some more hair gel. The adult "underpants"--ahem--Depends--and the like, were across the aisle from us as we stopped to search for the particular type of gel. Weiss saw the HEB brand and exclaimed loudly: "HEB PANTS!! YEAH!! (I laughed so hard....) He loves to get Buddy Bucks after we check out and put them in the little claw machine. He cheers when he gets a Buddy Buck and doesn't keep the points.... He just loves the stickers because they are, well, stickers! He'll exclaim: "Number 2! YEAH!!!" And then he'll jump up and down.... It really is cute to see... (Parents, I'm sure you know what I mean with the Buddy Bucks.... And thank you, HEB, for making my toddler's day a bit brighter.... Can I get some free groceries for saying that??)

This weekend, my parents came down for a visit. We really didn't get out and do a whole bunch, but we ate at Real New Orleans Cajun Restaurant on Friday night, which is NOW IN TOWN!!!!!! Yippee!!!! It was great (as always) and I can't wait to order out etoufee and gumbo when it's cold outside.... And their bread pudding is some of the BEST on this planet.... (Now there are three locations: the old Round Mountain location on 281, Marble Falls, and Burnet.) And not only is the food great, but it benefits the "Smoking for Jesus" ministry, located in Kingsland. (Yes, you read that correctly.) They are an incredible group of godly people who moved together from New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, and they have all made their home in here in the Highland Lake area. So come on out, support their ministry, and eat some REAL Cajun food from authentic Cajuns!!!

Saturday, we didn't do much but get some stuff accomplished around the casa. Even though Lakefest (boatraces) were going on, I wasn't excited about going because it was soooo hot, soooo loud, and soooo crowded....Dad, Logan and I assembled our new coffee table, which Logan was skeptical about me ordering, but now I think he likes it. (I basically watched... The dudes had to put their muscles behind it at times....) Mom and Dad played with Weiss, Logan washed his car, and I did some laundry. We ordered out Thai food from Ginger and Spice on Saturday night, and we all got the Pad Woon Sen (my fave, Logan's fave, Weiss's fave). We also got some Tom Kha soup, which I want to attempt to make (coconut cream base, lime leaves, cilantro, mushrooms, chicken...YUMMO.....) Everyone enjoyed it. Mom and Dad kept Mr. Pookie while Logan and I went to see "A Perfect Getaway." It wasn't too bad, but wasn't great. It was just nice to get out of the house for a bit and have a little "date...." Thanks for the babysitting, guys!

We all went to church Sunday morning, while Logan and I stayed for Sunday School and Mom and Dad took Mr. Weiss home to play before they had to leave. We came home, I threw together some lunch, and Mom and Dad had to go back to West Texas. Weiss took a nap with Logan while I worked a bit on organizing our closet. I want to install some shelves so we have some room to keep our suitcases off the ground...

I am enjoying these last two weeks with Weiss before he goes to school and I am gone to Lynchburg, VA, for two weeks for school. (I have to do a total of four weeks on the Liberty campus--4 classes, one week apiece. However, I figured I would cram two together to save on airfare and just to get 6 hours out of the way.... It will be hard to be away for the moment from my family, but so great to have knocked out. I am quickly approaching the finish date for my degree, but have many, many, MANY hours left for internships!!! Thank goodness I have five more years before I must have my completion!!!) Logan is coming to visit the weekend in between classes, and we plan to see the local Civil War sights that are around in beautiful Virginia. Anyway, more on that later....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So I've Been Getting Behind A Bit....

my cousins, Cameron, Hunter, and Carson
my aunt and my Dad's only sibling, Alana
This last week has flown by and been action-packed. Logan headed off to Big Spring to see his grandfather, who is still not doing well at all, and Dickey and Cinda kept Weiss. I headed to DFW for a college friend's wedding, Mrs. Lindsay (Harris) Lemon.

(Okay, Lindsay---if you're reading---I still can't get the last name right: Lemon, Lemons, Lemmon, Lemmons??? Let me know.... However, I loved the "lemon" theme at the wedding... PERFECT for this time of year!!!! I could have used Stanley Power Tools as my wedding theme.....not quite as charming....haha!!!)

I stayed with Dad's sister, Alana, who I don't get to see nearly enough. We had a blast: She took me out shopping to some cool, little eclectic hideaways she knows of, took me to an AWESOME Italian place downtown (Taverna), and then to the "Jubilee," Ft. Worth's African-American theatre, to a musical comedy. And it was AMAZING!!!! "Sam Shade" was totally funny, and the cast had INCREDIBLE voices.... I felt as though several of the cast members could have been with major recording labels or on Broadway.... I was blown away.....

Alana and I got up to run---(well, it ended up being a 6 mile walk because we were catching up!) through her BEAUTIFUL neighborhood. It's over by the Colonial golfcourse, in the Tanglewood/Bellaire/TCU part of Ft. Worth, so it is absolutely stunning. The houses made me drool.... She even showed me where Pat Green lived!!! (Thanks for the tour, Alana!!! It was awesome!) Alana is a runner, snow-skiier and biker (she's been doing all for quite some time now---I'm jealous) and in EXTREMELY great shape!!! (Okay---Alana---I had to brag a bit on you!!!!) I won't reveal her age, but Dad always gives her a hard time because he is the little brother..... (I know Dad is snickering right about NOW....) I hope those great genetics have been passed on!!!! haha

We went to see Andy, Heather, Hunter, Carson and Cameron (the twins).... (This is Alana's son, daughter-in-law, and grandkiddos, for those of you out there....) Hunter was playing in an indoor summer soccer league, and he is AWESOME!!!! Lots of high school/college potential there..... I know he will definitely be on the Weatherford 'Roos starting lineup in high school, no doubt! (I also informed him he was wearing my number, 16, that I wore all the way through college...... I called it "sweet 16," but that's not too appropriate for a teenage boy.....) It was great to briefly see everyone and catch up a bit..... (Heather and Andy--- I wish we all lived closer.... ) The girls are growing like crazy and are BEAUTIFUL....

Then Alana and I had a quick stop at QT for a coffee and then my favorite: SUPER TARGET!!!! And I guess we are just out here in the backwoods, but QT is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I'm addicted!!!!!!!

We headed to the wedding, which was beautiful, and Lindsay was a stunning bride! I approve of her new hubby, Luke! I saw a few friends from college and got to visit and catch up with Shannon Stovall and her mom. (Shannon was my roommate on our Model UN trip to NYC.... She was the BEST!!!) Alana and I then headed to Stephan Pyles for dinner---it was WONDERFUL!!!!!
(Cinda and Stephan are good friends, and so he came out to greet us at our table and chat for a bit---Thanks, Stephan!!!!) We were so full from the wedding we had no room for dessert, but could fit a few truffles down....YUMMO!!!!

We headed off with our leftovers back to Alana's house for some R and R.....

Sunday morning, we went to Alana's church, University Christian Church. I really enjoyed the speaking and the great choir and handbell special.... It was a beautiful place to worship... After another coffee stop at 7-11 (well, a cocoa stop for me---they had a HUGE thing of the little miniature marshmallows to sprinkle in---my FAVORITE!!!!!), she drove me around the TCU campus and through some more gorgeous neighborhoods where we walked on Saturday.... After some quick leftovers from Stephan Pyles, I had to head back to Marble Falls.....

It was a great visit with Alana, and we've already made plans to rendezvous again soon for the State Marching Band Contest in San Antonio in November!!! (Anissa, I hope you can join us!!!!!!) I was glad to see Logan and Weiss again; I was very tired from the drive and the fun! Now, this week, I've been concentrating on EXERCISE and HOUSEWORK........ Blah....

Monday, August 3, 2009

We're Going to Start on Some Bible Verse Memorization....

So---I think it is time for Weiss to get some Bible verses to memory. (After all, he is old enough, a talker, and can be motivated by rewards!) Here are some I have found that are "doable" for little ones... We're going to start with these....


10 Easy Bible Memory Verses For Kids
Proverbs 30:5 - Every word of God proves true.
Matthew 6:24 - No one can serve two masters.
Deuteronomy 6:5 - You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Matthew 22:39 - You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God.
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalm 139:14 - I praise you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Isaiah 43:5 - Do not be afraid for I am with you.
Psalm 1:6 - The LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

(I've been lazy lately; I'll have to update soon with another post of what we've been up to....)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend of Fun....

Hello, Everyone! I blog to you today from the Stanley lakehouse... (Thanks, Dickey and Cinda!) We had some great friends from Logan's years in dental school over: Brett Shirley, Anna Windham, and Mark and Brooke Sumbera. We had a great time catching up and enjoying the lake.

I took Weiss to Mom and Dad's on Thursday for them to keep him over the weekend. I stayed overnight and left Friday morning. All of our friends arrived Friday evening. The Sumberas arrived from beautiful Victoria, where they both grew up. Mark practices dentistry with his dad (who ironically went to dental school with Logan's father!), while Brooke is a second grade teacher (and looks like Rachael Ray).... (Sorry, Brooke--I just had to throw that in!)

Brett and Anna were also in Logan's class. Anna and Brett brought their two dogs, Sassy and Dot. (We had Zoey out here, too!) Anna practices in Center (far East Texas) with her father. Her brother is also in dental school right now... Anna always has great recipes wherever she goes, so I got some great stuff from her this weekend! Brett Shirley is from San Antonio, and the crazy thing is HIS father was also in Dickey's class!!! (So it was Dickey Stanley, Malcolm Sumbera, and Jack Shirley all in one class... Brett, Logan, and Mark all were in the same class, as well! Anna was also in their class, but Anna's dad went to dental school in Houston--the rebel. haha) Brett is currently in an oral surgery program at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, which means he will graduate in 2014!!! For this program, he will receive his MD, as well, so he enjoyed a weekend at the lake, away from hospital rotations.... (Bless your heart, Brett!) So Brett and Anna are in it for the long haul!!!

Friday night we stayed up super late--just visiting. On Saturday, the guys smoked some meat (wonderful pork and chicken) and we spent lots of time on the boat with everyone tubing! We all put on sunscreen, but some of us got burned.... OUCH!!! The water was PERFECT and we had a great time looking at all of the great homes on Lake LBJ.... We came back in later in the afternoon and sat on the giant floatie out in the water....(It holds 8 to 10 adults!!!) We also took the kayak out and put Dot and Zoey in it.... Us girls went inside to visit and cook the side dishes while the guys went out to surf behind the boat. We had a wonderful dinner!!!

This morning, we got back out and tried surfing some more. Everyone did great, and we had a few good laughs!!! Logan and I are relaxing right now, waiting on his parents to bring Weiss home. (My parents met Dickey and Cinda at Bronte, who were coming back from Big Spring this weekend. Weiss hitched a ride home!) We're going to enjoy the last few hours of daylight on the boat, so I'll chat again later!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This Article is Very Relevant... (WARNING: Rant)

As a former student of political science, political intern, and law school dropout, I do find myself interested in politics. I'm not as obsessive as I once was because I have OTHER things (Logan, Weiss, et cetera) to fill my time. However, I do credit my knowledge to Dr. Paul Fabrizio and Dr. Tina Bertrand... (The benefit of a small university is that I took EIGHT classes with Fabrizio and SIX with Bertrand... I really got to know them well!) They were really great professors and made learning something possibly so mundane, well, so...fun and interesting!

(Anyway, enough with my reminiscing!!!) (WARNING: The following contains my strong opinions!)

This article is very relevant with today's presidential situation. We all know the current domestic situation: taxation issues, the presidential push for universal health coverage-- and I may discuss the healthcare issue in a later post. (I've been really tempted to already, but haven't had time to condense my thoughts!) The international scene is shaky: relations with other countries (North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela) are unsteady, Honduras is having a major political upheaval, and the economy is causing a strain for everyone. The President has ALOT on his plate to deal with, domestically and internationally.

Although I've never been a big Obama fan because we have differences in our opinions, I still pray for him, his family, and his leadership of our country. The article shows President Obama's approval rating to be dropping rapidly; frankly, this is disturbing because if his approval goes down with the general American public, then the approval of our country in the eyes of other nations is certainly influenced in a negative manner.

Although Obama has the incredible benefit of working with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, the unity is fading even within the Democratic party because of so many different views regarding this vast, enormous piece of legislation to reform health care. My comment on this article is that Obama's polling numbers are only beginning to drop, but this debate is likely to become much, much, MUCH more heated--not just across party lines, but within Obama's own Democratic party. What I am saying is that his approval rating is likely to drop much further. (As I stated earlier, when his approval ratings drop, we ALL lose--Democrat, Independent, or Republican).

However, I do want to praise our president on the encouraging speech he gave during the latest NAACP convention.... (NOTE: It is a bit long, but is very inspiring....)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Snow Ski, Mama!!!"




A Little Weiss Antic:

Early yesterday morning, Logan was out kayaking with Matt Homeyer, and so I had the opportunity to sleep in. I had my alarm set for 7:45 ("sleeping in" for a mom), and at 7:20, lo and behold, Mr. Weiss Hyatt Stanley comes toddling in my room. Apparently he had been up a bit because he was naked from the waist down but had his Superman pajama top and cape on (hahaha!!!). I walked through the living room to his room to see where his pants were... and he said:

"Snow ski, mama!"

He pointed over to his Fisher-Price school bus. I didn't see anything, so I groggily replied, "uh-huh." (At this point, my eyes weren't hardly in focus yet!)

We go in his room, secure him some underwear and clean clothes. I looked by his kiddie potty, and he had removed his overnight Pull-Up and the Superman shorts to try to use the potty. What a good boy!

I walked back in the living room.

"Snow ski, mama!"

I looked closer..... Weiss had poured baby powder all over and inside his oversized school bus..... (Thus, the reason for "snow....") He had several little characters, including Elmo, Grover, Lightning McQueen, and Tow Mater, "skiing" in the "snow."

Very funny. However, I had to get out the vacuum and clean it up.

The Week's Recap....

Hello, All! We are still here, surviving in the ridiculous heat......

I am ready for some rain.... Weiss and I have spent some time almost each day in the water, whether it is our sprinklers, Weiss's "frog" pool, the Meadowlakes pool, the lake, or at the pools of generous friends....

And the days we haven't been in the pool, we've been in "pools" of our own sweat.... (Gross, I know... but true....)

I have a crazy story from the heat: Wednesday evening, I got in from choir at 7:15ish and took Zoey on a 3.2 mile run. She was really pulling hard against the leash after the first mile or so.... She was POOPED when she got in the house, and immediately went to sleep. She sort of limped home. However, she has run many times before, so I did not know why she was limping because I was running slow, as well....On Thursday morning, she was still limping.... She kept licking her front paws... I looked at her paws, and she had BLISTERS from the asphalt... I guess it was sooo hot... My poor baby....

Weiss finished up his swim lessons this week. He did really well; I am looking at putting him in private lessons or the ISR option, but I'm going to let more friends know about it first to see if we can get an instructor out here in no man's land...

We stayed cool on Friday night by going on a kayak ride as a family up Lake Marble Falls.... Ahhh---the breeze felt soooo good off the water... We had a great time, as usual! Weiss LOVES to kayak, and I really, really am enjoying it, too!

Currently, Weiss is pooped... We went to two separate birthday parties this weekend (Sophia Burns and Zach Spillman)... I am exhausted, as well!

Weiss has been doing very well with potty training. (It's just that I have to remember to take him every 30 minutes or so......) However, it is so funny now--I will tell him to go potty, and he will usually go... YEAH!!!! He is sleeping through the night without going in his overnight diaper, so that is a good thing.

This post is a bit short and sloppy, but I am ready to retire for the evening. I have two great, great books I am reading (a mother/daughter memoir---I'll talk more about it in a future post---and "Revelation Unveiled" by Tim La Haye), so I want to go dive in!!!! :0)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Too Funny.......

Katie K, I just HAD to post this...... way too funny..... I had never heard of the "Hawaii Chair" before, but it is a riot!!! I actually found the website selling it here...... Anyway, check this out and get a few laughs.... (You'll probably laugh as many calories off as the Hawaii chair could burn.....)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm Just Full of Posts Today....

Goodness!!! This is what a lazy Sunday afternoon will do to you!!!! (Hey--at least I am getting caught up on blogging....)

And have you noticed the new background and font?

THAT took about thirty minutes for me to decide and get on my blogsite....

And I figured out how to do hyperlinks today. (I used two in my last post.

(Sorry, I just couldn't help myself......)

I'm trying to be better about posting pictures and images; hopefully, I will upgrade to video soon! I took down the RealPlayer for a bit.... (I'm sure you would be proud, Dad....)



Anyway, this week I found some 1980s goodness that used to fill my little ears for Mr. Weiss. Yes---that's right: Psalty.
(Did anyone else listen to the big blue songbook's music?) Does anyone remember the song, "If I Were A Butterfly?" That was my favorite on the first CD..... Psalty KidsPraise! albums were great, and they have a knack at helping little people remember Bible verses and other great life-building principles.... (However, I do realize Psalty sometimes gets a bad rap for his goofy costume.... As a matter of fact, I remember going in a closet growing up in my home church, and seeing an old Psalty costume that was used sometime in the early 80s, complete with foam pages for the hymnbook and a hole the actor's head popped out of.....)

I thought I was getting SUCH at deal at amazon.com, but his music is MUCH cheaper at his own website: http://www.psalty.com/who.html So I just wanted you moms to know...... I anticipate getting the music in so I can reminisce while Weiss enjoys his new music!!!!

A Great Website.....

Okay---I just had to post this.....

My Memaw (my maternal grandmother) had a great talent of sewing. It wasn't just some little pastime; it was her living and profession. I grew up with her sewing many precious dresses for me on until very recently (the last thing she completely made for me was a beautiful, classic "Jackie O" type dress I wore to a formal wedding shower we had. I had purchased the fabric at a amazing custom fabric shop in Taos, NM.) Now that she's gone, no one in our family sews. and although I have never really sewed before, I am interested now. I want to learn how to make a simple shift dress (I need to go look for the pattern---it is very simple, and could be used for ladies, teens, or babies.... The pattern would look great with leggings, over jeans, or alone. (Go to http://www.itspoppydipblog.blogspot.com to see what shift I am talking about.... By the way, check out Poppy Dip's blog, too---it is for a great cause (she's a Jesus-lovin' woman making dresses to pay for her childrens' adoption fees, and her dresses are super cute and a great price, for all of my friends with little girls!)

ANYWAY.... I just need to get my sewing machine set up and go for it, cold turkey. I want to order some funky fabric, and found this AWESOME retro fabric website from the UK..... I just emailed them to see what the international shipping will be here to Texas, and then I am going to place my order..... Take a look..... Here's the link: http://www.fabricrehab.co.uk I want to make some pillows and attempt some other things eventually.



Here's some fabric I'm planning on ordering:




WOW.... A Jam-Packed Day....

I am still recovering from yesterday (Saturday). It was such a fun day with Logan and Mr. Weiss. I got up, ran 6 miles (getting back on track for November's marathon) and then biked 4 with Weiss. After a quick shower, I made biscuits and eggs and Weiss played with his Thomas the Train stuff. I got a new book in the mail, so I was reading!!!! Logan watched Weiss while I showered and made coffee. Then we were off to the driving range! Logan got Weiss a club and he "chipped" onto the green for about 15 minutes. Then Weiss and I got in the Meadowlakes pool. He looked so cute in his floaties and swim ring! Logan joined us after he finished hitting his bucket of golf balls. We swam from 11:30 to 1:30 and then had lunch from the club afterwards at the pool. Weiss LOVED his foot-long corn dog! (We have some cute videos from Logan's phone--however, I don't know how to post them!)
We then all went home for a nap, followed by Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We all played a bit (Weiss was WIRED) and debated going to watch a movie. However, that was vetoed.... I went to Ginger and Spice to get Thai food for us all---Logan--red shrimp curry, Weiss--pad woon sen, me--pad woon sen. Afterwards, we took our kayak and went to get the Burns' kayak to take Weiss on his first kayak ride!!! He did great!!!! Logan and Weiss were in the Burns' kayak and I took ours. We were out about an hour..... SOOOOO much fun!!! I really got a good, full body workout yesterday! (Running, biking, swimming, golfing a bit, kayaking!) Logan put Weiss down while I showered and then we watched "Valkyrie," which was really good (we are both WWII buffs, so it was great....). Although we were very active, yesterday was a super-fun day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today's Mad Hunt.....




Hello, all!!! I have been a bit better about posting lately..... YEAH!!!!

Today was day 4 of swimming lessons; I am starting to talk to people about ISR lessons, and hope to possibly get a group here that is interested so the instructor will come to US. However, if that doesn't work out, I'll just take Weiss in to Lakeway, which is still around an hour drive... It will have to be in the fall, because the summer lessons are booked.... However, if you are from Marble Falls and you are interested in ISR lessons, let me know and spread the word! Weiss's swim instructor says it is great and it would be a great idea for him; she would love to become certified herself, but I checked the certification cost, and it is a $15,000 initial certification fee for instructor training.... WOW.

Anyway, Dickey and Cinda had gotten Weiss a Fisher-Price Kid Tough Portable DVD player last Christmas, and he LOVES it.... He would rather watch his DVDs on a 3.5 inch screen because HE can press play, HE can turn up the volume, et cetera. And it really is a great thing, because now that he is older, if he wants to watch Veggie Tales, Sesame Street/Elmo, Baby Einstein or Barney (his top four), Logan and I do not have to be captive victims. I have it plugged in (it also works off batteries) under this little buffet table with a low shelf so he can sit on the carpet and watch. (Our main TV is on the other wall, behind Weiss's back).

The DVD player has been, for the most part, "kid tough," as advertised. He has ripped off the legs it stands on, but they pop back on, and I think I have seen it fly down the grandparents' stairs as Fisher-Price has advertised. He has touched the laser inside, and we've had to clean it off, but it has definitely been the "little DVD player that could." We have never had any problems, until I attempted to clean the screen.

I used some Mrs. Meyer's basil spray to clean the screen one day, and I guess Weiss saw me. (He also saw me spray my fragile orchids with a bottle of water, and later hosed them down with Mrs. Meyer's..... Monkey see, monkey do.) Later that day, I came around the corner, and Weiss was hosing down his DVD player. I let the player dry, and he began playing with it the next day. However, the buttons have a "sticky" feel, and the latch that closes the player seems to act funny now... Weiss will put DVDs in the machine, and most of the time now, they will not play because the machine's cue tells us the DVD door is not closed (which it IS, but the Mrs. Meyer's residue is confusing it, I guess....)

After Weiss tried today to load Veggie Tales' "Gideon and the Tuba Warrior," I finally gave up. It wouldn't load. I called Fisher-Price, which has always been great when I have dealt with them in the past. (I had to get a new motor for his Baby Papasan swing when he was an infant, and they were quick, friendly, and helped me out, no questions asked.)

My dealings with the company were great and they are sending me a check to replace the DVD player for its cost during December 2008.... Which means.....

THEY ARE NOT MAKING THE DVD PLAYER ANYMORE..... UH-OH. Tell THAT to a two-year old who considers it one of his favorite toys.....

So, today was spent going to the local Walmart Supercenter and looking for the Fisher-Price player in "blue." No blue players, but about SEVEN pink ones.

I went online, called Mom and Dad to look in Abilene (possibly better luck there, but there were NO players in either color when they looked at several stores/locations). I noticed even my favorite "store," amazon.com, did not have great prices on the blue ones--the pink ones were usually much cheaper. However, the pink one is MAJORLY pink; my kiddo cannot do the pink one.... It's fuchsia and baby pink....ALL OVER.... His old one was more gender neutral.

Anyway, I looked at about 15 different online retailers (including many common stores online); no luck. Most were sold out of both, and were not getting any more in. However, I decided to check eBay. I got outbid at the last minute on one (was winning bidder, but did not put last bid in quick enough for my FINAL bid....ARGHHHH....frustrating....)

The same seller had a "buy it now" on a brand new, boxed BLUE player. By the time I would have payed tax on the pink one at Walmart, it would be just slightly less (a few bucks) than what I payed for this one. The check Fisher-Price is mailing me will be seven dollars more than what I got the eBay player for, so, hey---we came out on top.

Isn't it crazy how parents will do ANYTHING to make their children happy?!?!?! (I'm just thankful I found another one, because when I told Weiss his player was broken and he needed a new one, there were tears.....)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This is Hard to Watch, But SOOOO Important....

After checking Facebook this evening, I saw a friend had posted some precious summer pictures of her family. I flipped through them, and saw her son taking ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) Lessons. These are not just any swim lessons, folks.... These teach swimming survival skills to children from age 6 months to 6 years. I have another friend in the Dallas area whose little girl took ISR classes, as well. She was taught how to swim/float to the edge of the pool, fully clothed (in a jogging suit), with shoes on, just as she would probably find herself had she fallen in the water accidentally.

Even though Weiss is enrolled in swimming lessons now, they only last here in Marble Falls for one more week. I am going to check into some ISR classes for Weiss. I think it would be extremely beneficial to do. Watch the video and take note of the statistics....It's hard to watch, but it is amazing what the young kiddo can do that would save his life....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Key Lime Pies and Raspberry Tarts.....



Hello, everyone! The past two days have been busier than normal; Weiss has started swimming lessons for the next two weeks, and he actually has done well without me in the pool! Today he started out on the wrong foot; he did not want to leave the house this morning for lessons (they are at 8:30, so he's not always in a happy mood at that time), but he eventually enjoyed them and at the end of the lesson, didn't want to leave the pool. Afterwards, Kaili came over to keep him while Carol Rhodes, our CBS Bible Study Director, picked me and another group of CBS facilitator ladies up to attend our monthly brunch at Carol Dold's home outside of Burnet. It was a long drive into the country to a place called Wolf Creek Ranch, but the view was well worth the drive! Her home was deep into the ranch, which is now home locations with EXCELLENT views and acreage. Carol had windows all around her home, and even though it is not presently hummingbird season, she had SO many of them (probably 15 or so at one time).... I have never seen so many at feeders in my life.... I could watch them all day....

Carol said she had estimated at peak season, there were over 50 hummingbirds at one time! Amazing. She has to refill her feeders daily (and she has 3 in the back, 2 or 3 in the front), and I could literally see the nectar "bubbling up" because the hummingbirds were drinking so much, so fast. Carol also had many butterflies because she had planted certain things which attract them. Anyway, can't you see I was very impressed????

I brought a raspberry tart from Whole Foods. If you haven't tried one, they are WONDERFUL.... They are in the frozen section, and look and taste homemade. However, last night, we had some extra key limes, and I made a key lime pie, which I do often, but I normally top it with fresh whipped cream (Logan doesn't allow Cool-Whip in this house, folks....Only the real McCoy.......) Anyway, I LOVE MIRENGUE---so I thought I would make it with mirengue.


I'll post my super simple recipe......


COURTNEY'S KEY LIME PIE

1 HEB graham cracker crust
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 12 key limes or so)
2 teaspoons of fresh key lime zest
4 large or extra large egg yolks (save the egg whites)
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the 4 egg yolks until they are thick and a light yellow. (Don't overbeat.) Turn the mixer off and add the Eagle Brand. Turn the mixer to low and add half of the key lime juice. Continue mixing until mixed together and add the zest and the rest of the juice. Mix together and pour into graham cracker crust. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until filling is firm.

For mirengue:
Beat the 4 egg whites in a metal or glass bowl. Add 1/3 teaspoon or so of cream of tartar to give structure (If you have to use the same beaters, make sure they are completely dry or the moisture will keep the mirengue from rising properly.) When the egg whites form soft, foamy peaks, slowly mix in 3/4 to a cup of sugar, depending upon how sweet you want your mirengue. Spread the mirengue on the hot key lime pie filling so that the mirengue's bottom can slightly cook and keep it from shrinking during baking. Bake 325 to 350, watching the top of the mirengue until it is a nice golden brown.

Store the pie in the refrigerator and DEVOUR it!!!!

Look What I Found!!!


I found this sweet little gem on Cinda's iPhone. Look how much Weiss has grown!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Must-Read Book!




Okay: since my class ended this past week, I have loaded up on books that I want to read. I’m not even finished with this one I’m about to tell you about, but it is a MUST READ. The book’s called “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick—and What We Can Do About It.,” by Robyn O’Brien. DISCLAIMER: The following commentary contains some pretty heavy opinions, which may be unpalatable to some……

This book is a hands down, MUST READ. Robyn addresses many concerns related to our nation’s food supply, which are mostly “swept” under the rug. She poses questions we, as consumers, parents, and informed individuals, should ask. Knowing what I know about the government from studying it four years and attending law school for one, I know there is a HUGE lobbying interest for mega-corporations and basically, whoever has the money. So what about our food supply?

Why is it our nation has the best healthcare system in the world (our people live longer), but our people are more unhealthy (obesity, auto-immune diseases, allergies, cancer)? I have always wondered this myself after having many in my family (and Logan’s) affected by cancer. (I’m sure many of you can relate.)

I know allergies have always been an issue, but why do so many, many more children have allergies? I’m not just talking about mild allergies, which are also on the rise. I am referring to severe, life-threatening allergies. (Think of children with peanut allergies….)

WHAT is possibly triggering this? Robyn explores the lucrative connections between the FDA, EPA, and mega-corporations, many which dominate our food supply. After reading this book, it is very frustrating how the big corporations, namely Monsanto, are using their power to bully the little men: North American farmers.

She poses some interesting questions for which we should all seek the answer: Why is it that Europe, Russia, Australia, some African nations and Japan have all banned genetically-modified ingredients within their foods? (The United Kingdom allows GM foods, but they must be clearly labeled.) Why is it US food with GM ingredients do not have to be even labeled? Isn’t it our right to know what we feed ourselves and our children? After all, in the US, genetically modified food does not even have to be TESTED before it is put on the market. Robyn explores WHY this is happening and WHAT we should do about it.

The UK, Europe, Russia, and Australia have passed laws so there are no artificially synthesized colors in their foods lining their grocery shelves. Even American corporations with businesses within these nations, like Coca-Cola, Walmart, and McDonalds, abide by these rulings. WHY is it that here in the US artificial colors are no problem?

Now here’s some commentary of my own: We have so many health related issues that doctors have NO CONCLUSIVE evidence exactly WHY they have occurred, like ADD, ADHD, autism, many types of allergies, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some cancers. (These are just the few I can think of off of the top of my head…) Many doctors say many of these are “auto-immune” related disorders, but there is NO CONCLUSIVE evidence what exactly causes them. Why have these diseases seemed to affect more people in recent years? Robyn speaks of this in her book and poses some important questions we should ask.

The foods she discusses are not “processed” foods—these are foods we think are healthy (milk, fresh produce, grains-based foods). PLEASE read this book.

Oh---another great, FREE resource that Robyn suggests is the documentary “The Future of Food.” (It’s an hour and a half long, so make sure you have a bit of time, or watch it in sections, as I am doing.) I found it FREE on hulu.com……… Go to hulu.com and look under the “movies” tab and you will find “The Future of Food….” (It is only one of the topics Robyn covers in her book, but it is worth seeing…..)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day Recap......

I sure hope everyone had a great 4th holiday filled with fun, food, family, and FREEDOM!!! We had a great time with Logan's parents, my parents, and Logan's godparents (Brian and Debbie Davenport) at Lake LBJ. We spent Friday and Saturday in and out of the water, but not in the boat (because it was RIDICULOUSLY crowded this year). Lake Travis was down, the heat/humidity were CRAZY, and EVERYONE wanted to be out on the boat. So we'll just wait it out until a weekday or next weekend.... we can have a nice section of lake practically to ourselves so the guys can barefoot. We had a great time floating on this HUGE float that can hold around 10 people.... They had it tethered between the dock and the boatlift. Some of us got on it, and the wake was so crazy from the lake traffic we would slide off at times!!! It was great fun, nonetheless. Weiss enjoyed jumping off the dock to B-Paw (my dad) and Logan. We got some great video of that.

Something new this year was a great neighborhood block party. The neighbors down at the lake have always been pretty close, and they decided to combine festivities this year. Everyone cooked their own meat, but we combined the other things. It was a SMORGASBORD!!! There was even a salsa contest and washer contest--which I am proud to say, my hubby and father-in-law won! One of the families had several members in a family band, and they provided the music, which was really fun! Weiss enjoyed popping small fireworks this year; as a matter of fact, we had to go back to the stand two days in a row to stock back up! I had just as much fun as he did lighting and popping them!

The Homeyers came out last night to sit on the deck with all of us and watch the Kingsland, Horseshoe Bay, and neighbors' fireworks shows. Dickey and Cinda have the perfect spot on the lake to have a great view of the show without having to get out in the boat. However, that's the best part for me: watching the boats go up the lake to the fork in the Colorado and Llano. The boats all watch the fireworks parked together, and some boats are so close in the water you can walk boat to boat! It's fun when they all leave because the wake gets SO HUGE and the water white caps. Little boats really have a hard time. The water sloshes up over the seawalls, which are about 3 feet, and could knock you down if you were standing at the edge. However, we were looking down on all of this from the deck, which is on the second floor. A great ending to a fun weekend!

ANYWAY.... Today, Mom and Dad left, and Logan, Weiss and I took a Sunday afternoon nap! Mom and Dad also brought down my September birthday present early so I could use it: a new bike with a child's seat! (I'll do the trailer when we have more than one kiddo, but for now, I though the seat would let me maneuver more easily.) I was super excited! I really wanted one to change up my marathon training and for cardio, so we took it for a spin tonight and rode about 4 miles! Logan even got out his bike and aired up the tires. My old bike from middle school will be going to the library thrift store. My booty is a bit sore getting used to the seat, but I'll soon get used to it.... I really felt the burn with a heavy toddler behind me! It's so nice to do more miles and move more quickly in the heat so there's a nice breeze drying my sweat! Weiss kept saying, "This is fun!" He had a precious sea turtle helmet on, which he is quickly outgrowing!

Speaking of "outgrowing" things, this weekend, Dad and Logan took down the baby bed rail to Weiss's bed and put up the toddler rail! It was a bittersweet moment for me to see him one step closer to being a "big boy...." However, it will mean easier sleep for me, because he can come knock on the door to our room (which he already does when I am doing homework) and get out of bed on his own. I won't have to worry about listening for his voice saying, "Mommy! Daddy! I want out of bed, please!"

Tomorrow, Weiss begins two weeks of swimming lessons. I hope he does well; they have moved him up to the older kids' class (3 and 4) because he already has taken lessons in San Antonio and jumps to us from the side of the pool/deck. I sure hope they let me stay in the water with him, or else he may not like it.... I'll keep everyone posted.....