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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our trip... part 2

While in this cute little town, we ate at this most awesome place... they have some of the best burgers & homemade fries. Plus, they have homemade PIES! Mike mentioned to me when he first went to this restaurant, that they had PEANUT BUTTER PIE! So, when he took me there for the first time, they ran out. SO disappointed! But this time... THIS time they had ONE piece left! and it was ALL mine! Totally reminded me of my grandpa's peanut butter pie, and I'm going to make one soon. Oh yes... it was that good!

Anyways, here are some odds & ends of pictures that I snapped.
I learned a lot this weekend...

I learned that a full case of water isn't enough for 4 people. We need at least 2, maybe three cases. Course, Gatorade is a must too... for those that like to drink it! (not me)

I learned that my girls can get silly when they get overheated & overworked.
But they still get along!

I learned we have wild grapes/berries growing on our land! The grapevines were ALL over the place. Does anyone know if these are poisonous? (Lorinda?)

I learned this beautiful scenery is in our backyard.... of someone else's property. (See the fence?) Still.... it'll be a good scenery for me.

And this final picture is taken from the road and if you go to the big tree past that sign, that's how long our property runs. Still, tons of work...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our newest project... part 1

I guess I should back up and say that Part 1 is really when we bought some property in Texas that is SO far away for us. It's about 5 1/2 hours, maybe 6 hours away! 30 days worth of traveling by handcart if we ever lose electricity and have to hightail it out of the city....
(just kidding!).

Anyways, we had an opportunity a few months ago to buy some land, and it has always been a dream of Mike's to build a cabin, a place we can retreat to when life gets too hectic. Not to mention, possibly.... eventually... rent it out to vacationers b/c it is close by some amazing lakes.

So, that was Part 1. Part 2 was when Mike went back up and created a road. Or, rather, map out an area where we will eventually build & get started.

Part 3 is when Mike went back up and put in a culvert, and made a gate.. to protect said land. Protect from what? Not sure.... it's a pretty nice gate though, and I'm sure the deer will be frequenting our place often enough. Hopefully the snakes will stay OUT!

So, I guess our trip was Part 4. This past weekend we, as a family, took a 3 day trip to our property... and cleaned it up some more. All the pictures & vision I had to go off of was from Mike's camera on his phone. I had been to the property before, but that was last fall, and truth be told, it was just all a big pile of lumber/mess.... and just ick. I am not one to see the beauty past anything, but Mike can see the beauty. I'll see the beauty when it's done.

So.... we go .... and when we arrive, I see this.

That's a lot of..... work.

Apparently Mike had it all cleaned up, and it grew back in a month.

So, we got to work.... well, mostly Mike got to work in a bobcat, and the girls & I played on the four wheelers and helped out whenever absolutely necessary. It was hot. Let me tell you. I never sweated so much in my life. I thought I was in an Indian sweat lodge, to be honest with you! Mike kept saying over & over again "this is good for you..." :: insert rolling eyes ::

So, we went to work trimming back trees, removing trees, leveling the road some more... and complaining. There was LOTS of complaining by a certain Miss M. "I'm gonna puke!" ... "I'm SO tired!" and the wonderful groan we heard from said child everytime Mike said "let's go work!"

I kept warning them
"watch out for poison ivy!"
"watch out for snakes!"
but we saw neither..... whew!

Heigh HOOOOO! Heigh HOOO!
Heigh Ho Heigh Ho... it's off to work we go!

My baby is so strong....
I love her even when she's grumbling & complaining.

When we closed the gate one final time, we took a look back and saw we accomplished a lot.

This is looking at the curve that takes you to the gate.
Go to the 2nd picture in this post.... see the difference?
This is where our Mother in Laws house is going to be.
Yep, you heard that right... a mother in laws quarter.
It's gonna be small... open room w/ a loft for more beds.

Ahh... it's coming along much so beautifully!
All in all, I only got about 10 bug bites, saw two lizards, no snakes, and TONS of fire ants.
It was a good trip.

More posts to come soon about all the things we found & did this weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

While in my 20's .....

Two weeks ago I found a little message in my inbox from one of my dearest friends Anne who lives back in Kansas City. She had a invitation for a girls night out. Another dear friend who was the first to leave the bunch was coming back into town for a quick visit .. and I was the only one out of all of them who lived too far away to make it to this girls night out. These girls literally became a light in my life and the dearest friends anyone could have when my girls were little...
when I was in my 20's.

We all hung around together, depended on one another, saved one another (from screaming kids... whatever it was!) and was basically just a light in my life. We taught one another crafts, canning, worked out at the YMCA together .... and took many "let's go to the park" trips.

the last time the four of us were together.... two years ago.

One friend is actually Mike's aunt by marriage ~~ Gerri (bottom left), and we became close. Katie & Gerri's little boy are only 4 months apart, and literally looked like twins when they were little. Inseparable too! They told everyone they were going to marry each other. Gerri's sense of humor & my sense of humor just complements each other. Our youngest girls were only three months apart, and were also bestest friends ever. Even when we get together after not seeing each other after a year, we pick up right where we left off... that is a true friendship.

Another friend, Debbie (the redhead) is just so awesome. If something is bugging her, you can't tell. She smiles through it all. Everything rolls off her back. She decided to paint her house... and gosh darn it! She painted it! By herself! I took a trip with her to Branson to see her parents and their huge mega mansion with a swimming pool inside the house. She taught me canning (well, the ONLY time I canned before this summer, but really, she did all the work). I loved my exercise buddy... but she was the first one out of all of us to fly the coop. To Japan. She's in Virginia now... I keep hoping her husband will get transfers to Texas. That would be AWESOME!

My friend Anne (bottom right) taught me the power of friendship, and service. This girl served EVERYONE! Everyone loved this gal so much. She always had a smile on her face for everyone. Her home was open to anyone and everyone who needed help.. or a friend. One big thing she did for me was when Maddie was a toddler, she would have major separation anxiety about leaving me. Anne would simply say "Amy, bring Maddie over here and let her play for an hour every day". In turn, Maddie screamed and cried so much the first couple of days, but in time, because Anne was so gentle and loving with her, Maddie was able to overcome her fears. Momma always returned.

All of our kids were best friends with each other. Everyone got along so well (most of the time).

We would have girls night out at Anne's house. We would dim the lights, turn on some music (at the time, it was whoever was big on PBS like Charlotte Church or somebody like that), break out the chocolate, and do pedicures or manicures. Some scrapbooked (we were all big into scrapbooking at that time).. and others just lounged around and visited. It was wonderful.

I love my new friends here in Texas, but man do I miss my old friends!


As I look back then, I remember having conversations w/ them "wow... wonder why those 30 & 40-year olds don't want to do anything w/ us come to Enrichment? Don't they know how FUN it is?!" We literally did everything that was offered.... but we had little kids!
We needed a break!

Then I hit my '30's.

I learned.

Women in their 30's & 40's with tween kids don't have time to play around. We're too busy chauffering our kids to all the activities they need to be at. Even now, when I do have a get together w/ some girlfriends, it's a constant email of "can you do it _____ or _____" and we all email back & forth until we find a date. That's how busy we are nowadays. Now I get it. I totally get why those ladies in their '30's & '40's didn't come! They weren't snobby at all! (not that I thought they were)... they were exhausted. Tired. Busy.

Like I am tonight.

Monday, July 19, 2010

mission san jose

On Saturday a group of friends & I went to the Mission San Jose here in San Antonio. A new church group for the gals was created ... and we call ourselves "the Pic Chics!". We all are trying to develop our talents in photography, and this month we concentrated on natural lighting, and of course, architecture!!

Here is my collage, but you can go here to see my individual pictures
instead of them being so tiny here!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

sometimes I'm so dumb...

Sometimes I'm so dumb,
that I realized just a few short years ago,
that INXS was NOT pronounced
I.N.X.S. (saying each letter by itself).

It's pronounced "In Excess"...


Sometimes I am so dumb
that I had no clue that "G&R"

Thanks to Mike for pointing those things out to me and making me feel so embarrassed from my high school years ... oh, what? 17 years ago?... and what my friends thought of me when we talked about those groups.


So... what dumb things have you done or realized lately?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My birthday gifts....

I usually get money for my birthday from family... and this year I wanted to put it to GOOD use!

So, what better way then to spend it on my new hobby?
I thought so too!

I could do several things:
Buy Photoshop Elements....
Buy a new smashing Camera Strap sold by many people on Etsy.
Buy a Jo Totes camera bag that I've been wanting SO badly...
Course, if I did buy one, I wouldn't know which ONE to pick b/c they're all so amazing!

Buy a new lens.
Nothing else.
Chip in extra $$ of my own and buy the lens that I've been had my eye on for awhile....

So, what did I decide to do?
Bought a new camera strap which came in the mail a few days ago and I totally LOVE!
thanks in part to the surveys I do online to make some money and store in my PayPal account....
click on that link to the seller's etsy shop if you want one too!

AND bought a new Canon 50 mm 1.4 lens!!

I figured I could save up my $$ easier & faster by buying the big item stuff NOW with my bday money rather than the cheaper things (well, they're NOT cheap, but it would be easier to save up for them than it would be for a new lens!)

I love photography & can't wait to take some more awesome pictures!

Note: No one at any of these businesses mentioned above paid me, offered me anything in exchange for me spreading the word of their awesome stuff... :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Maddie's special date night!

While big sister Katie is away at a special girls camp held at church.... Maddie has been enjoying the bed all to herself. She's been having the time of her life this week playing with friends, swimming every day, having mommy & daddy ALL to herself.

Tonight was our last night with Maddie before Katie comes home. We decided to take her out and do things she wanted to do (OK, things that Mommy gently steered her to pick).

lately she's the queen in weird expressions, not to mention WIDE eyes....

We ate out at Red Robins... hadn't been there in 2 years! Drank a yummy milkshake!

I had to crack up at the entrance sign into Bass Pro.... LIARS?!! NO WAY!

Then we went to Bass Pro Shops and walked around. Daddy carried in a bunch of quarters so we could shoot the "guns" {aka laser guns}. When Daddy ran out of quarters, Maddie used up all her change. This is really one of Maddie's most favorite activities.

Her score at first was below 100, which according to the signs, it means "NEED LESSONS".

.... so she's getting lessons.
Yes, her score did improve after that.

Then we walked around the store a bit, observing wildlife in very still
& yet slightly disturbing forms....

see the weird expression? I asked Mike "OK, now who does she get this from?" and he just glared at me and pointed his finger
toward moi....

Then Maddie found her ATV.


One of her very favorite colors.

A wonderful evening we had... :)

Can't wait for Katie to come home!
Maddie said...... "she can come home next week"

Monday, July 5, 2010

my favorite things

A few weeks ago in my ladies church group, we all got together and did a "My Favorite Thing" evening. We started out by singing from The Sound of Music "My Favorite Things"... a song which I absolutely LOVE coming from a movie that I absolutely LOVE!! We all went around the room sharing one thing we love (showing the item) and then giving away something that we love as well (to one person).

I only had like 5 minutes to grab something, and wasn't sure which items were my favorite. So I grabbed like 3-4 things. I started off with "My favorite thing is .... Skinny Dipping". I held up my Skinny Dipping Scentsy bar. Oh man... that got some laughs!! Well, it truly is my favorite Scentsy scent! Then I showed my pictures, in a photo book since if my house was on a fire, my pictures would be what I would try to grab b/c those are THE things dearest to my heart (of course, after I get my kids out of the house if there's a fire). I also shared my love for the newest series that I was reading at the time.. the Enchanted Inc series.

I thought about the "My Favorite Thing" and realized that I have quite a few favorite things in life.

For my lips:
Lypsyl hands down is the winner in my book for lip care. These I can only find at Walgreens, and are a little more pricier than the rest of the lip care stuff. TOTALLY worth it though!

For my hair:
Totally in love with Garnier Wonder Waves shampoo & conditioner. My hair is a cross between waves & curls, and it's getting freakishly curlier as I get older (like my aunt's hair!). This stuff makes my hair SO stinking soft. Love it!

For lip care (again)...
I love Bonnie Bell's Dr Pepper. It give just a hint of color... while soothing those lips. I like it more for the color than anything!
For my water habit:
I drink a ton of water at work. I found these Thermos Nissan Intak Hydration Bottle w/ Meter at Target & Amazon... and for the price, they were a DEAL! I believe they were about $10 or under. When you take a drink, the lid doesn't flip back to hit your nose, and of course the water doesn't leak out anywhere b/c it has a latching system so it prevents that... and it's my all around favorite! My girls & I each have our own in our own respectable colors!
I kind of like sharing my favorite things! I might have to keep this up on a weekly basis!

What are some of YOUR favorite things?! Share it with me or on your blog! I am a big believer that word of mouth works.... and I always end up buying stuff my friends tell me they love!

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