Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

     We crammed so much action into our 3 day weekend that it felt more like a week! Friday night I took the boys to the Splash Pad at our gym. I hadn't been before and parked in the wrong place....so I walked two kids in bathing suits all the way through the gym, then we walked BACK through, completely wet. I realized later there was a parking area just for the pool. Oops. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen anyone in a bathing suit parading around the workout equipment. But we made it, so that's what counts. The splash park was a hit and it was easy to take them even by myself. There are huge buckets that dump water out and Walker got numerous buckets dumped right in his face. He didn't care. Not a whimper. They had so much fun and were completely worn out when we left. The excitement continued when Tom brought in a lizard while I was giving them a bath.

Harris' face in the bottom one is awesome. The lizard unepectedly moved. Poor thing was probably terrified. So that kept things exciting.

Saturday morning was our last soccer game, finally. I was so excited for him to get into sports and now I'm just a little relieved that it's over. But it was fun and I really liked our team. All the parents were of the mindeset that it's a game and the purpose is for them to have fun. We had an end of year party, complete with medals (presented by our awesome coach) and donuts. What else could a gaggle of 3 year olds want?

Saturday night we met some friends at Mo Maks. It's a very family friendly place. We sat right next to the toddler play area and all Walker wanted to do was climb the stairs. Sigh. It's just his age. He wasn't being bad, just staying busy.
Sunday morning was church. It got off to a rocky start......but Walker rallied and Tom and I both got to enjoy the service. This video was the intro to the sermon and it is SO good. It's awesome because it is pure truth!

After we got home the boys played together some more. Yay!! I feel like we're turning a corner and they're going to start enjoying each other more, and hopefully with less arguing. Anyone that has kids older than this  and knows that's not true, please don't tell me. This is the definition of "Ignorance is bliss. "

Sunday night we let them play in our kiddie pool in the backyard. They dumped buckets of water out for easily 30 minutes.  Walker imitated every step Harris took and was pretty proud of himself for being able to hang with his brother.

Monday was one of the longest days we've ever had with these two. We were up at out the door early to go to Marburger Orchard. It's near Fredericksburg. Only blackberries and strawberries were able to be picked the day we went so Walker had to stay in his stroller the entire time. Balckberry bushes have thorns and he would have stepped on the strawberries, so here's what he did most of the morning.

I finally just gave him my camera. Glad I brought both of them.

Here is one of the 200 pics he took while we were there.
 Meanwhile, the rest of us went on picking fruit. Harris was a good helper at finding strawberries.

They had beautiful wildflowers and I really wanted a pic of Harris in them. After numerous tries, this was the best of the bunch.
After picking some of the sweetest strawberries I've ever had, we headed to Fredericksburg. We went to the park and just walked around the town for awhile.

We had lunch at a place with an older guy playing country music. Old school country, like George Jones. Walker LOVED it. He danced his way through lunch. There were two older women sitting right by the "stage" videoing this guy with their iphones. Tom and I were kind of giggling at the "groupies" until we realized Walker was just as into it as they were. We ended up staying there till almost 2, which is waaaay past naptime. I assumed at least Walker would fall asleep on the hour ride home but he managed to keep his eyes open and they both took good naps.

We went to dinner at a friend's house that night and I wish I had pictures. All 5 kids played together with next to no fighting. It's so nice when that happens.

Even writing that was long! We had a birthday party this morning so the mayhem continued. They're both napping right now and my kitchen is in desperate need of mopping.

....."The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him."
Ezra 8:22

Friday, May 27, 2011

Green Apple Goodness

I'm linking up to Kelly's Korner blog about desserts. This is one of my favorites because it's simple and reasonably healthy, as desserts go.
I found this pic here because I didn't want to actually make this and then be forced to eat it all.
You just need cream cheese, caramel, and toffee bits. Spread the cream cheese on a plate, smear caramel on top and then dump toffee over the whole thing. Use green apple slices to shovel it in take small and dainty bites.
It's nice for the summer because it's light and people can eat more green apples/less dip if they want to watch their calories. Enjoy!

A Three Hour Tour......

Tom's sister got married so we headed to Oklahoma for a few days. She got married on Saturday (OUTSIDE) and it poured for about 14 straight hours, from Thurs night to Fri morning. I mean a torrential rain the entire time. But, the sun came out Friday afternoon and it ended up being absolutely perfect weather for their big day. Here the best pics we have.

Tom took the top one, I took the bottom one, within seconds of each other. Why is the top one so much more crisp with the exact same point and shoot camera? I'm claiming that my photography skills are exceptional and to be praised. Anyway, we took these on the way out the door and once we got to the wedding we were way too busy chasing kids (Walker! :) ) to think about a whole family pic. Darn. But the bride was GORGEOUS and they had a lovely wedding. Congratulations Kathryn and Marcus!!

Overall, the trip was a success, we saw lots of family and had a relaxing time. Until the drive home. Without going into the entire thing, the 8-9 hour drive ended up taking 16 hours and we got home at midnight. It was comical how things kept going wrong but both boys were rock stars. About 10, Walker told me he didn't want a cracker and Harris said he was tired of movies so I started to get concerned. But they rallied and lasted till 11:30, when they finally nodded off. It is AMAZING how kids don't sleep in, regardless of their bedtime. They were up at 8. I wish my internal clock was that reliable.

While we were in Tulsa, the tornadoes hit Joplin, just two hours away. The devastation is incredible and reading the news is almost too difficult. My heart breaks for the families that have lost everything in an instant. Especially the family in Piedmont, OK, that lost their two young sons. That story hits way too close to home. Some friends from our church are driving toys and books up there tomorrow. Apparently donations have come in from all over the country, with formula, diapers, clothes, etc, so they are now requesting just toys and books. Our very brief stint in the hospital with Harris makes me appreciate the value of new toys to distract from an upsetting situation. So we started gathering some things up around the house. I explained to Harris that a storm took toys from little boys like him and we needed to help out and give them some of our things, just like we would want them to do for us. And then I realized Harris was actually teaching me. He turned around and got a book that he loves that was just given to him as a present. He held it out to me and said, "They would love this one!"  He knew what he was doing. We've done this before and he understands that the toy isn't coming back. And the first thing he grabs is a brand-new favorite thing?!?!? Had they been collecting women's clothes, I can tell you I wouldn't have gone to my closet and gotten a a brand new shirt that I really love to wear. But as a Christian, isn't that exactly what we are called to do?? Loving my neighbor as myself isn't giving them what I don't want anymore. I'm so proud of Harris for his compassion and completely humbled at the same time.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3-4

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

McKenna Children's Museum

Oh my goodness, this place was toddler paradise. Both boys were able to enjoy it and I could keep an eye on each of them while still letting them do their own thing. And it was air-conditiotioned. For my SA friends, it was TOTALLY worth the drive. It's basically all in one room, with little sections of different exhibits, so there's no stairs for them to fall down or any places for them to really get away from you. If this was in dowtown San Antonio we would go much more often.

I think Walker liked that everything was just his size. He kept sitting in the chairs and grinning.

This atm actually gave you money.

This was magnetic and you moved facial features around a board to make your own art.

Inside the space shuttle. Too bad he wasn't having any fun.

That's Harris inside the space suit.

Walker was an awesome shot with those sprinklers.

Direct hit.

This was a full sized VW bug to paint. Thankfully, Walker was too busy squirting water to realize what he missed.

There was also a little grocery store, hospital, laboratory, art room, wild west room, bank, and I'm sure I'm forgetting parts of it. If anyone wants to go with me, let me know! We'll be headed up again soon.

**I just read this post before I published it....I sound like an advertisement for this place. Regardless, I'm publishing it anyway because it was a great way for my troops to spend the morning.

Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Little of this, little of that

We've just been hanging out...

                                                                And eating......
                                                 Or should I say shoveling it in.
                                                           Going to church.

                                 Making sure our hands stay warm. Yes, those are socks.

                                                 Keeping in touch with our people.

Taking very serious, professional pictures.

                And, of course, keeping up with quiet time. No, I didn't pose him like that, he just did it.

Tom did a tri-athlon this weekend and did great!! Harris was super excited to watch Daddy "wun a wace."
He's been working hard and it paid off. Great job, Tom!!

Harris has said some cute things lately that I want to remember. My ankle was swollen from an allergy to something. When he saw it, he told me I could have one if his Lightening Mcqueen Band-aids. He adores those and uses them sparingly, so that was a sacrifice for him. And Tom's birthday was last week, so he picked out a card for him. The one he picked out is baby pink card for your mom, but had a pic of a cake on the front. It was vital that the card have a cake, so that's the one he wanted. He spent quite awhile checking out all the cards before finding one that was "beautiful."  Precious.
Hope everyone has a good week!

Proverbs 16:2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
   but motives are weighed by the LORD.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day

       My mom and I have always ALWAYS been close. Growing up, we would spend nearly every single Saturday together. I remember her taking me to my cheerleading functions, basketball games, riding lessons, movies, band things, out to lunch, shopping, and the list goes on. During football season, whatever we did usually revolved around OU football games. I can remember watching an OU/Nebraska game in the shoe section of a department store. Looking back, I'm not sure why we were out in the first place, but I know my mom was happy that Renberg's had a tv. As I think back to all those memories, years worth of times we spent together, I think of all the laughter we shared. We would pretend our cell phones (the enormous kind from the 90's) were microphones and sing into them. With gusto. We used to drive to my grandparents cabin in my dad's pickup truck. It was a 3 hour drive and I think we even had to share a seatbelt. Anyway, we both started trying for more space, gently nudging the other person's side with our elbow. This turned into an all-out contest and we called it elbow fighting. We would put our elbows up and kind of poke at each other with them. My dad HATED it. We thought it was hilarious and used to do it just to get a reaction from him. Sorry, Dad.  Now that I'm writing it down I guess it was a little weird. We got the giggles in an elevator in her office building so uncontrollably we laughed till we didn't make any sound. I know the guy stuck on there with us had to be uncomfortable. I have no idea what was so funny, but sometimes when you're with your best friend you can laugh over nothing. My mom has truly been my best friend and I'm so grateful to have always had someone in my corner that made me know I was unconditionally loved and supported.
     Now that I have kids of my own, I get to watch her pour her love out on our boys. Harris is so excited to see his Mimi he can hardly stand it. He likes to call her on the phone and will carry on a coversation that's long, even by adult standards. Over skype, he'll sit for an hour while she reads books to him. She is so delighted to be with him that she'll spend hours doing whatever he wants. She plays cars with him, does bubbles, takes walks and delights in the rocks that he finds or the plane that flies over. She's never too worn out to read another book or chase him around the yard. She has dropped everything to come help our family, even while working full time and living almost 1,000 miles away.

Thank you seems very inadequate given all that you have done for me, Mom, but it's all I know to say. On Mother's Day, I love and honor you. I hope your day is so special and wish I could be there to give you a hug and celebrate with you. And maybe have an elbow fight.

May she who gave you birth be happy. ~ Proverbs 23:25

Monday, May 2, 2011


I just returned from FOUR days away. That's right, 96 hours all to myself. I feel like a new woman.

I went to a women's retreat near Winter Park, CO with my sweet friend Amanda. We laughed and laughed and laughed. I'm STILL laughing about one particular incident that would not sound nearly as funny if I tried to re-tell it. But I'm going to try anyway......we went to drop off the rental car and were taking the shuttle to the airport. We each had one bag and a carry on. The bags were even the same size. Point being there is no reason one of us would have needed any more help than the other. So the shuttle driver comes over to meet us as we're walking to the shuttle. Well, I shouldn't say he came to meet US, I should clarify that he came to meet AMANDA. He greeted her, took her bag, and started chatting her up about her trip and where we were headed. I'm struggling a few feet behind them. At this point, my carry on has fallen off the rolling suitcase, so I was trying to put it back, but my purse and coat were in the way, so things are falling off in every direction. He contines to have eyes only for Amanda. I ended up using brute force to get my things to the shuttle because they were already loaded at this point. I was afraid he would leave without me! Amanda and I are laughing hysterically because the situtaion is so ridiculous and so completely obvious. The guy finally notices me and half-heartedly apoligozes and moves my bag the final 6 inches. Thanks dude. So we giggled all the way to the airport. Getting off the shuttle, SAME THING. He remembers which nearly identical black bag is hers, grabs it and puts it gently on the curb, still talking to her about who knows what. NEVER TOUCHED MY BAG. Really???? I could hardly even carry it down the steps because I was laughing so hard. So was Amanda and he never stopped talking to her. Oh my goodness gracious.

Anyway, the retreat was good on so many levels. Having time to devote to just worshipping the Lord and spending time with Him was incredibly refreshing. I have so many things whirling around in my head to journal about. It takes time to process it all and sort through it. But the time was incredibly sweet and I'm so thankful to have family that lets me go into the mountains for four days and be with my Father.
And the place we stayed was absolutely beautiful. It was a Young Life camp near Winter Park, CO. Pictured below is THE Amanda.....heartbreaker of Advantge Car Rental Shuttle drivers everywhere. And thank you for the coat, Megan!

Look at this enormous pile of snow. In May??

We even saw mountain goats on the side of the road. There were several moose crossings signs...but no such luck.

I was a little concerned about driving back over the winding roads on the mountain but it ended up being fine. Apparently Winter Park is a tad bit more equipped to deal with snowy conditions than San Antonio.

It was awesome to get the opportunity to go. My parents took off work, flew down here, then were on toddler entertainment duty for four days straight. Tom ended up having to take off work Friday because Walker had an ear infection, so there was even a dr's visit thrown in there. All 3 of them did it with a great attitude and I was able to just relax. Thank you Mimi, KB, and Tom!!

My dad even built shelves for Harris.

Cute, aren't they? He loves them.

Right before I left, Walker fell down and chipped a tooth! It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it. He was standing right next to me and just fell down for no apparent reason. I'm sure our dr questioned my parenting skills when she saw him looking like this. And you really can't tell his tooth is chippd because it's on the bottom and his smile doesn't show it very often. But I know it's there!

You might not be able to tell, but that green thing on his his forehead is a big knot, from a separate incident. Seeing him hurt himself while I was right next to him AND paying attention to what he was doing was a good lesson for me though. Sometimes things just happen and there's nothing that could have been done to prevent it.  And it's funny that he is so ornery and into things, yet when he actually caused himself some damage he wasn't even doing anything wrong! Sweet little boy. It was good to just soak up his hugs today.

This is completely unrelated but I wanted to remember this pic. Harris really likes to dress like Walker and he LOVES to dress like Tom.

I will dress those little boys alike while I can. Does Harris look like he's walking the runway?

One of my favorite scriptures.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:13

The worship song below is awesome.