Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 in Review

2010 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before? Ate sushi.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any resolutions that I remember.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No family members, but lots of friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No.

5. What countries did you visit? No countries=( I added Arizona to my lists of states and got to visit my beloved California this summer.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? Definitely more patience and creativity with my boys. My greatest desire is to have more and more joy in the children God has given me!

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? My birthday was so special this year. God has blessed me with so many amazing, generous friends. I felt so loved by them. Zack and I got to go out to dinner ALONE for the first time in 6 months thanks to a friend that not only watched our boys, but gave a a gift card to a very nice local restaurant.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being able to wear clothes that I hadn't worn since before Conner!

9. What was your biggest failure? Continuing to selfishly put my desires ahead of others.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I got the flu at the end of the summer and it completely wiped me out for almost a week. Not fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought? New boots!! I've been wanting a pair of boots for several years. I'm so excited! Also, I got a sweet new double stroller thanks to the generosity of another friend.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband works so hard to provide for our family. I really don't know how he does school, works and is an amazing husband and father at the same time.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Governmental leaders.

14. Where did most of your money go? Gas, diapers, food and clothes for the boys.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to California this summer with Zack. It's was our first time to get away without the boys! It was so refreshing and relaxing.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010? Life is a Highway. My boys are obsessed with that song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? Happier. I am so blessed. It has been my prayer that I would be filled with joy in being a mom. My situation hasn't changed (except for getting more sleep finally=), but my heart has!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Playing with my boys.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Whining.

20. How will you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve with my parents, grandparents, and two brothers, Christmas Day with Zack's parents and 7 brothers and then all of Zack's extended family on the 26th.

21. How will you spend New Years? Not sure. I'm pretty boring, so I probably won't make it until midnight.

22. What was your favorite TV program? I don't really watch tv besides kid's shows and the news. Does college football count?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Nope

24. What was the best book you read? I really enjoyed reading the Naria Series this summer.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I don't listen to much music these days. Usually, it just adds more chaos to all the boy noise=) I have liked Rascal Flatts lately.

26. What did you want and got? A new stroller and suede boots!

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I didn't watch a whole lot of movies. I liked Toy Story 3, the new Emma, Sherlock Holmes, Up, and the documentary Babies.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 25! Isn't that a cool age? Zack and I went to dinner and to a nice outdoor shopping center on my birthday eve. On my actual birthday we went to breakfast as a family to a local place, then Zack watched the boys and I got to take an epic Target trip and even go to the mall on my boot hunt. We ordered pizza for dinner and watched an old movie after the boys went to bed. It was a perfect day.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Getting to be with my husband more and spend time as a family more.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? I think I've finally got a little bit more fashionable. I got some cute tops, boots and skinny jeans.

31. What kept you sane? My husband!

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? ????

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Obamacare

34. Who did you miss? My husband

35. Who was the best new person you met? I've gotten to know so many new people at my church this year.

36. Tell us some valuable life lessons you learned in 2010: I have learned so much through motherhood this past year. I have continued to be stretched each and every day. God is faithful to answer prayers and will provide for us. It's easy for me to be worried about the future of our country and our future as a family. I'm trying to enjoy each day with my boys as a blessing from the LORD.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's the Little Things

Daddy is out late tonight, so the boys and I had our first official movie night.

I saw Rudolf was going to be on TV tonight. I try not to have too high of expectations with the boys (they are only 2 1/2 and 1 1/2), but I sure was envisioning us all snuggled up together on the couch. We got lots of blankets and pillows out. I was bummed we had no popcorn left! As I sat between two little boys, both with hands full of cars, there was no place I would have rather been. It was wonderful. (At least until Shep got wild and banged Conner on the head=) Would it really have been a boy movie night without a little chaos? I love my boys.

I've really prayed that God would give me more and more joy in just being with them. I've asked friends to pray and God has really answered. Yes, we still have bad days and my situation hasn't really changed, but my heart has changed. I can truly say that I am very glad God has allowed me to be a Mom.

Today we made lots of fun memories. We went to Hobby Lobby. I'm happy to report that the boys broke nothing=) Conner was beyond excited. He has talked about it all day...who would have thought Hobby Lobby would have been that exciting to him? It reminded me that it's the little things that mean the most...things I don't even think about. We listened to Christmas music and had snow man shaped grilled cheese for lunch. We went for a walk and got some hot chocolate. It was a good day.

Conner quote of the week: They have kiddie hot chocolate at Starbucks in the short cups. When I handed Conner his cup, his eyes were shining to have his own Starbucks cup. He marched right over to the table with all the fixins' and exclaimed, "I need to fix my drink." I couldn't convince him that we didn't need to add anything to it. We emptied a bag of raw sugar in and then stirred it up nice and good. Guess he's seen Mom and Dad "fix" their coffee a few times. His Dad was quite proud!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

I'm doing my first turkey this year. Thank goodness I don't have to do it alone! Here's a peek at the menu my friend and I planned. Along with one of the recipes, if you want to try them yourself.

  • Maple Glazed Turkey with Reisling Gravy (my friend found this recipe...let me tell you, she is an amazing cook!)
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Sweet potato casserole (a must have at any southern Thanksgiving)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rolls
  • Some sort of veggie
  • Spinach salad with toasted pine nuts
  • Butternut squash risotto
  • And last but not least, Chocolate Pumpkin Tiramisu

I'm a big fan of risotto. Here's the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe compliments of Rachel Ray.

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (10-ounce) box cooked frozen butternut squash
  • Nutmeg, grated, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 or 8 leaves fresh sage, slivered
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Bring 1 quart stock plus 1 cup water to a simmer in a sauce pot then reduce heat to low.

Heat a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat with olive oil. When oil ripples, add the onions and garlic and soften 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and toast 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and cook it out completely, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle in stock in intervals, a couple of ladles at a time. Allow liquids to evaporate each time. Risotto will cook 18 minutes, total, from the first addition of liquid. Defrost the squash in your microwave in a dish to collect any liquids and stir in squash the last 3 minutes of cook time, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. In the last minute of cooking time, stir in butter in small pieces, sage leaves and cheese, serve.

What's on your menu this year? Happy Thanksgiving from the Stanton Family!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

Stole this from facebook and thought I'd put it on my blog for fun! What have you read?

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (On my list!)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (have this, but haven't read it yet)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I've read The Idiot, but Dostoyevsky, but not this one yet)
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina –Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Willaim Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - dan brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabrial Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far from the Madding Crowd _ Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martell
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On the Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson
74 Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylivia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - Charles Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree collection - Enid blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie & the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (This is my favorite book!)

Wow, this list gives me some great book ideas. So many things I haven't read yet. I will say that almost all of these books were read pre-baby.

Conner quote of the day: Last week as we were getting ready to leave for the grocery store we had this conversation. Conner: "Mom, I'm going to help you pick out fruits and vegetables at the store". Me: "Oh, good. What kinds of fruit do you want to get?" Conner: "Chocolate. That is my favorite fruit." Me: "That's my favorite fruit, too"

Then, as we were driving there he said, "Mom, I don't want to go to HEB!!!! I want to go to Whole Foods!!!!" What have I created?=)

Happy Monday everyone!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Decorating with Boys

We set our Christmas tree up this afternoon. We had hit the 4 o'clock hour and needed something to do. (Anyone with kids will understand=) We didn't decorate it yet. I'm thinking I may decorate it alone this year or maybe leave a few ornaments out that the boys can add.

I left the room for a minute and this is what I found when I came back in. Conner was wearing two stockings on his feet and one on his head. Life with boys is never dull.

Shep had to join in. Yeah, he still doesn't like clothes, but he's getting better.

The sheer tree skirt always provides endless fun every year.

I think this one ended in a fight.
I guess Conner won this time=)

Playing with Mom.
Conner had to show Dad how he could wear the stockings.

Shep is only about 4 lbs lighter than Conner. He is catching up quickly! He is 35 in tall, which is how tall Conner was at age 2. Looks like they'll be the same size before I know it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall is Here!!

Today it not only looked like fall outside, with blustery skies and wind, but it felt a little bit like fall. The high was only 68 today...woohoo!!!! It was just one of those cozy afternoons that begs for one to make banana bread and curl up with a book and coffee. That is just what I did. Conner napped a little while today, so I got some "me" time. It was nice.

You can't beat coffee, Tim Keller and cozy slipper socks. I'm definitely not whining today.

Yes, I'm happy. I've been dying to wear my new GAP thermal under ware shirt. Excuse the picture...I'm terrible at self-portraits.

A few Connerisms: Last night my hair looked a little nicer than usual, since I was going to my bible study dinner. Conner was staring at me with a funny look on his face. He said, "Hey, Mom, look at you!" I said, "Look at what??" "Look at your hair! It looks silly." Thanks. It made me remember how my brother-in-law Eli, now almost 9, always had an opinion about my hair. He didn't like it when I had it in a pony-tail, or if I tried a new style. He would tell me point blank he didn't like my hair. When Zack and I started dating, Eli was Conner's exact age now. Wow...time really flies. I'm going to turn around and have an almost 9 year old.

We walked around our block on Sunday night for some goodies. It was Conner's first time to trick-or-treat. We don't eat candy at all, so Conner was beside himself. At the first house he very a-matter-a-factly told the man as he held up his little bag, "Just fill it to the top".

My Nikon is getting repaired. I really don't take a whole lot of pictures right now, but I'm major bummed because I won't have it back until the very end of November-at the earliest! I just have my fingers crossed that I'll get it back in time to take a picture of the boys for our Christmas card. Talk about a bad time to have your camera die. At least, it takes all pressure off of me making a solo trek with both boys to the pumpkin patch. There is no way I'm going to attempt that, if I can't even take pictures to prove I went=P

Here are some pictures from our "camping trip" to the kitchen.

We had to bring a lot of the stuff on our back porch into our house while the porch was painted. When Conner saw the wagon and the picnic table he informed me that we were going camping. We packed food in the cooler.
Shep was being silly and just wanted to lay on the little bed we made. Conner wanted him to help gather things for the bonfire, but he wasn't interested.

Whenever we go on these excursions, Conner just keeps getting more and more stuff out. I'm trying to find the balance between letting him develope his imagination and teaching him some boundaries, so he doesn't completely destroy the house. As you can see here, the train set came on the camping trip and he is getting puzzles and coloring books out to make the bonfire.

Ok, this has gotten pretty long. Off to watch some more election results. I must say, I'm smiling tonight=)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Love it!

Conner is quickly approaching his 3rd birthday. I can already tell you that I think this will be my favorite age yet! He has changed so much the past few weeks. I love it! We survived the "terrible" two's!! I know there will be new challenges as we go through year three, but he is becoming such a sweet boy. I just enjoy being around him, spending time with him.

Just as Conner is leaving the two's, Shep is entering. Eighteen months to about 2 1/2 yrs is just plain hard! Conner was independent,but in some ways I think Shep is more so, probably because he has an older brother. As I type this he's trying to climb up into the recliner, while saying, "NO help!!" He has to climb into his car seat by himself (that takes awhile, so we have to allow some extra time when trying to go somewhere=) and climb into his high chair etc. Every age has it's joys, but I'm glad they don't stay 18 months forever!!

Here are a few cute Conner quotes, so I don't forget.

Conner was using masculine pronouns to talk about something I was doing. Me: "Conner, I'm a girl." Conner: "No, Mom. Actually, your not a girl. Your a Mom."

Conner ran into his Sunday school class last week exclaiming, "I'M BACK!!" hehe

This morning I heard Conner talking softly in his room. He is FINALLY waiting quietly in his room until I come to get him in the morning. As I came in he said, "I'm just talking about the donut store and ice cream store and how I like chocolate." Yesterday, I woke up to hearing Conner singing the ABC's in his bed. It was so precious.

Conner likes to teach Shep what things are and how to same them. It's hilarious. He will pronounce the object very slowly and deliberately to help him.

He loves it when our whole family is together. He'll always say, "The whole family is together!" The boys and I were eating lunch. Conner: "The whole family is eating- Conner, Mommy and Sheppie. Daddy would be so happy to be with us!"

My little boys is becoming so sweet and fun. He likes to make up songs and sing them. He's started naming some of his toys. I love 3 year olds!

EDIT: Forgot these

Conner has started coming up with excuses for things. Last night he kept saying, "I can't eat it. It's going to make me gag!!" Sometimes when I ask him to do something he'll say, "That's too dangerous for me!!"=P

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Painting Fun

I found some little paint kits in the Target dollar bins. Conner loves to paint. I saved them for an afternoon when we desperately needed something fun to do=) Shep has never painted, so he was very excited. I explained that the animals were ceramic, so they would break if dropped. Shep didn't quite get it. He was much more excited about the paint part and promptly discarded his giraffe on the ground giving it a skull fracture. Fortunately, it was salvageable.

Conner very carefully painted his lion.

Shep very carefully painted his giraffe and his fingers...

I ran inside for something and this is what I saw when I came back out.

Guess he decided to sneak a taste or maybe he wanted to be Joker.

Conner was so cute and serious. Best two dollars I've spent in awhile! It kept them occupied for thirty minutes and anyone with little ones knows how long afternoons can get!=)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And that's why we had pizza for dinner...

Friday afternoon I did a brave thing. (I'm a wimp, I'll just say it now!) I hadn't taken both the boys to the grocery store for awhile. You see, they've gotten a little much for me. It's always hard to go out places when you have a newborn and a toddler and then when that newborn reaches the "I'm big enough to sit up in the cart stage" it's a whole new world. For several months the boys and I enjoyed getting's wasn't so hard. Then Shep grew up. He got independent. Before, I just had one trying to climb out of the cart, or crying for something they wanted or running away in the parking I have two very busy boys, often running in opposite directions and it's just gotten hard to get out again. We always talk about proper behavior etc and the consequences for not obeying before we go out, but inevitably challenging situations always arise.

All that said, we headed to the store Friday afternoon. The boys are both excited about the race car cart and I'm just hoping there is one available. Sure enough, there are several available, but they are all in the way back behind many other carts. I decided to be an annoying costumer and asked an employee to help me. He had to pull several cars out before retrieving the much coveted yellow race car cart. I set Shep in before realizing that this particular cart had a missing steering wheel. Anyone with two kids, especially boys, will understand that one steering wheel and two little boys is not a good thing. Shep had already seized the wheel and Conner started crying. Shep lost interest after awhile and they switched places, so it worked out. They were pretty good in the store and waited excitedly to get their "buddy bucks" to play a little kid's game. We got over to the machine and tried to play, but it was out-of-order. Conner took it pretty well and only a few tears were shed before heading to the car.

Then I decided to be even braver and let them get a sno cone. It was a pretty afternoon and we hadn't gotten one in awhile. We sat down. Sky was blue, slight breeze...lovely. Then suddenly out of nowhere it started raining. I figured it was just a stray cloud and would pass, but it didn't. Soon it was pouring and we're scrambling to get into our car. Conner climbed in and promptly dumped his whole sno cone on the seat. We saved most of it. Shep made a complete mess with his and was soon covered in syrup. The rain finally stopped and we ran into the house. I hurried to get the groceries in and then stuck the boys in the tub. After starting the water I ran into the kitchen to put the milk and chicken away. Upon entering the bathroom I noticed Shep was standing weird. He just looked up at me and said "Poop". Boy, was it ever. I will spare all the lovely details, but I'll just say it had disintegrated in the tub and I think I spied a lot of kidney beans floating in the water...yuck. As I tried to clean up the mess, the boys unloaded all the groceries, but fortunately didn't break anything. (Last time Shep helped with groceries all the veggies ended up with Shep teeth marks.)

And that is why we had pizza for dinner. I'd like to say that is a highly unusal day, but it's not. That's basically my you understand why I'm so tired=)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lessons in Mommyhood

I was reminded again last week that kids learn things in their own time. Conner decided last Wednesday that he was ready to potty train. We'd been talking about it for quite a long time with little success. Conner is just one of those kids that it has to be his idea. I was stressed about potty training for a long time. I would see kids younger than Conner who were already potty-trained and feel somehow that I wasn't doing a good job as parent. All my worry and the pressure I was putting on myself was so silly! Potty training has been the easiest things ever. I just needed to wait until he was ready. I think I was forcing it because I wanted people to think well of me, which is completely the wrong reason for training him! I decided to back off from it for awhile and weigh my motives. It's amazing how God can use even something like potty-training to reveal sin in my heart!

Conner loves wearing underwear. He only wears a diaper at night. I NEVER thought he would be potty-trained in just a couple days! It just goes to show how once again I stressed and worried about something that ended up being no big deal.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Letter "C"

Today we talked about the letter "C". Obviously, that is Conner's favorite letter and he has known of it for quite awhile. I'm trying to do a little preschool with him, but it's quite challenging. He's smart, but definitely has a little boy's attention span. He also wants to "do by himself" everything. He doesn't want me to explain to him what we're doing or how to do it. Apparently, he already knows how to do everything.=)

I got out some glue sticks, scissors, magazines and construction paper. We made these.

Conner was excited about the Camero. I cut out several letter C's as well.

I made one too. I love doing stuff like that. I decided "C" is one of my favorite letters, too. So many wonderful things start with "C" like, Creme brulee, cheese, California, capuccino...

Coffee...what a wonderful letter. This is my favorite mug.

Conner lost interest after about 15 min. He wandered over to the bookshelf and pointed out the letter "C" on the Copland books. Being the nerd I am, we went over to the CD shelf and picked out a Copland orchestral CD. We then looked around the room and found other objects that start with C. (Shep loves clocks, but he calls them "docks" and says, "dock-dock" for "tick-tock")

We lit a candle. See the teeth marks on the back? Shep did that. He thought it was food.

Well, that was about all the learning they could take. It was time for a morning swim. Shep needed to wash all the ink off his face, anyway. I tried to occupy him with some stamps while Conner and I did our got a little messy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Here We Go

It's been a great summer. I am so grateful for all the wonderful time I got to spend with my husband. It was so refreshing and so needed. I feel ready to get this semester started. The sooner we get started, the sooner we're done...FOREVER!

The semester officially kicks off on Wednesday. I know I'm going to miss Zack, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. One more intense year of coursework and then a year for dissertation. We're almost there! Last year was very difficult for me. I remember watching Zack leave for school that first day holding a 3 mo old with a 1 1/2 yr old by my side. I was tired. I was overwhelmed. I wanted to quit, but God was faithful when I really didn't know how I would make it.

The boys and I will resume our normal routine. Bible study for me on Tuesday nights, storytime on Wed morning, park playgroup on Fri morning and lots of swimming. It will be very nice when we can go on walks and explore again. Conner may at some point have MDO on Tues and Thurs from 9-2. He's on a waiting list, so I hope it works out! (for both our sakes=)

Our church is launching all sorts of new Sunday morning programs. I am going to start teaching Sunday school in Sept. I get to teach 4 year olds! I am very excited. I haven't done anything like this since I was a teenager, so I'm looking forward to it.

Well, that's about it. We'd definitely appreciate prayers as we transition back into school and for provision for our daily needs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Books, books, books!

One of the best things about this summer (except for the getting to sleep until 8 am every other day and having my husband home around 6 pm!) is that I've gotten to read a lot. The boys are finally starting to play together some, so I can sometimes sneak in some reading while they play (can't do housework all the time=). Zack and I have been wanting to re-read the Chronicles of Narnia for quite sometime. I only read two of them growing up and after seeing the two movies that are out really want to read the whole series. I found 6 of them for 2.99 each at Borders! They are hardbound and have the original pictures.

Here's what I've read:

Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickins (I started this one in Dec and finally got back to it)

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas

Hudson and Maria Taylor: a Match Made in Heaven by John Pollack

Julie and Julia (This is one of my favorite movies. The movie is much better...I was a little disappointed that the real Julie is nothing like the Julie in the movie)

John and Betty Stam by Kathleen White

Books 1-6 of the Chronicles of Naria. Starting the 7th on tomorrow!

What have you been reading this summer??

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Last week was our fourth anniversary. Next year will be five and that's just weird. Not so "newlywed" sounding anymore. I guess we hardly qualify for newlyweds since we have two kids. I was just going to cook something, since eating out was not an option. Then on our anniversary we received a gift card from my Grandparents to Macaroni Grill! What a sweet blessing!! Since I didn't have to cook I did some extra cleaning and a little decorating. It's always so much fun to look at pictures and remember. I put this picture up so you could notice the picture on the far right. That was Conner's contribution. He came out and saw me decorating and said proudly, "I go get Conner!" He climbed up on the piano bench to get down a picture of himself and then added it to the display. I thought that was so cute.

This framed verse was a gift from my Mom shortly after we started dating. Mr. Bruce Thompson wrote out the verse for us with our names inserted. It's very special to me now.

Our yummy meal. Isn't Macaroni Grill bread the best?? Since we had a free meal, we splurged and got a cheap wine. I'm not a huge red wine person, but this Zinfandel is one of my favorites!

While Zack when to pick up the food, I put the boys to bed. Conner had refused to nap that day, so was good and tired. Both the boys fell promptly asleep. Yelling children in the background does not make for a very romantic meal. We had such a wonderful time. We talked and remembered and thought about the future. It was so simple, yet so wonderful and relaxing.
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Growing and Changing

Boy update! The boys have both changed so much this summer. Conner is now very much a little boy and Shep very much a toddler. They are quickly becoming partners in crime=)

Conner is 2 1/2 now. You can definitely have conversations with him. Lately, he's been saying, "Sometime when I grow bigger..." He is very ambitious and has lots of plans for when he's bigger.

Shep is 15 months. He is quickly catching up with Conner in size. (Conner is 32 lbs and 37 1/2 in tall) Shep will have an appointment next week, but I can tell he's grown quite a bit. He's talking A LOT now. A couple weeks ago we were all in the car on our way back home from getting a cold treat. I was using it as a lesson in politeness for the boys. I said, "Conner, tell Daddy thank-you." He said, "Thank you." Then I said, "Shep, tell Daddy thank-you." To which he said, "Day-doo." I just looked at him and asked Zack if Shep had just said that. Now he tells me thank-you almost every time I give him anything, totally unprompted! I know he knows a whole lot more than I think! He can identify his hair, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, belly and toes. I was reading a book to him and asking him where different things were and though he can't say them all yet, he identified them. He can say at least 20 words.

Here are the boys playing in the sand at the Stanton's house last Sunday morning. There is nothing like getting dirty.

Shep is making dog noises here. He can make lots of animal sounds.
Both boys love books. I hope it sticks with them! Shep will bring you a book and slowly back up (walking backwards is his new favorite thing) and plop on your lap.
I'm sure I'll post again tomorrow. It's our anniversary!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Dreadful Hair and Some Darling Pictures

Seriously, can the little stinker get much cuter?? After we got back from our trip, Zack's family stuck around a few days and we all stayed at the Barton Creek Resort in South Austin. We attempted to eat at the 5 star restaurant located in the resort with the boys. I might add this particular restaurant isn't just a nice restaurant, it is very quiet restaurant...not exactly kid friendly. The boys did pretty well, but Conner did throw one car of his cars down a small set of stairs before jumping down said set of stairs. We mostly took turns playing with them outside. It's beautiful there. This shot was taken shortly after the stair incident.

Silly bands were new to me. Guess I'm old and out of touch with what "tweens" and teens are into these days. Conner was very proud to be wearing the silly band Uncle Eli gave him.

Ok, so now the BIG question.

What to do with my dreadful hair. It used to be curly, but after a wonderful thing called pregnancy hormones, it is neither curly or straight. It is what I call "fuzzy". I have been growing it out for 14 mo now. I think I desperately want to be a long hair person. I love how it looks on people, but maybe my it's impractical. It takes me a long time to fix it nice and it's very hot here most of the year, so up it goes. If I want to wear it down I have to straighten it, which takes a lot of time that I don't have and it usually gets "fuzzy" again anyway. I've thought about perming it slightly to see if the curl would come back, but no money for that. Maybe a curling iron would help, but no money for that either. I'm contemplating chopping it off, which is much easier and cooler, but long hair is so beautiful. What are your opinions about short vs long hair?? I need some input. I feel if I cut it all off, the past 14 months of growing it out will all be in vain.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

California Here I Come!!

Things have been pretty busy here since I posted last.

My husband and I had the AMAZING opportunity to go to California ALONE. We went to CA two years ago and both fell in love with the place. We were so excited to get to go back again and this time without any children.

My parents came down and watch the boys the first few days and then Zack's parents came down and finished off the week. We were gone 7 whole days! The boys did great.

Boy is flying sure a breeze without children and SO relaxing too. I actually got to read and listen to music! I read an entire book and half another book and two magazines on that trip! I will tell you though, the two hour time change really got to me. I didn't really feel like I had adjusted to it until the day before we came back. I felt tired most of the trip, but that didn't stop me from making the most of it!
Zack was commissioned to write a piece for the Sacramento Youth Orchestra. A friend of ours from UT is a conductor/coach during the Orchestra's summer program. Since housing/car was provided for, I saved money here and there and tagged along.
We're nerds, so we wanted to see the state capitol. Actually, we really wanted to see Arnold...haha.
I don't especially like this picture of me, but I wanted you to at least be able to see a little bit of my new dress. My Mom knows I never get to buy new clothes, so she gave me a little money. Zack spent all day Thursday in rehearsal, so I went shopping. Armed with Zack's iPhone and our friend's car I was quite proud of my navigating abilities. I found a great mall where I got some cute sandals and then hit Nordstrom Rack where I got this dress. I love the ruffles. Any of you that know me, know that I extremely directionally challenged. I never would have been able to drive around Sacramento by myself without getting hopelessly lost and crying a few years ago.
Saturday the boys went golfing, so I set off for the Davis Farmer's Market. Davis is a mini-Austin. I would be perfectly content to live there. They are known for their year-round farmer's market. It was amazing. I had a warm sticky bun for breakfast and a latte from a local organic coffee place.

Here is my amazing husband conducting a rehearsal of his piece on Saturday evening.
The last concert was Sunday night. Monday we went to San Fransisco. Last time we went there we had a 6 mo old and a stroller. San Fransisco is not ideal for strollers=)
The pasta I had for lunch contained at least 2 sticks of butter...Julia Childs would have been proud. Here we are at the wharf. We ate so much. Since we are on the topic of food, I must report that I had sushi for the first time on this trip. I also frequented a bakery that had amazing pastries. One afternoon as I sat there eating a chocolate croissant, reading Julie and Julia there were two French women sitting behind me chatting away in French. Talk about perfect.

Since we had a stroller last time, we did not get to climb the famous Lombard Street. I needed to work off all the butter I had for lunch, so we headed over.

The crookedest street in the world!

Check out this house!

At last!
It was so worth it. Suck a treat to get to wear a sweater and scarf for the day!!=)

I hadn't climbed enough, so I found some steps leading up to a park and got a few pics with the Golden Gate Bridge int he background.

I want that dark green house. The picture doesn't do it justice.

How do they ever park?
It was so nice to get away and do something completely out of the ordinary. We haven't done something like this in years. After about 5 days I started missing the boys a little. I'm glad we could actually be gone long enough to start missing them and be excited to be with them again=)