7 years and counting!

We had a wonderful time at the Melting Pot for our Anniversary last night. Thank you to all those involved for making it possible for us to go spend some wonderful quality time together! Here are just a few pictures from last night... and I mean a few. We were much to busy enjoying the alone time to be bothered with lots of pictures, as I'm sure you understand! :o)


A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday we decided to take a much needed break from life as usual, so we loaded the kids up in the car and headed for the San Antonio Zoo. It was a beautiful day, not to hot or cold, and nice and sunny. We love the zoo, there's so much to see and learn about, it gets us out into the fresh air, and we all get to spend time together doing something that everyone enjoys. Here are a few pictures from our outting.

Moira said her favorite part, aside from our picnic lunch, were the kangaroos. She had all sorts of questions about where there "pockets" were and if there was really a baby inside. I have to admit, the kangaroos are pretty cool.

The San Antonio Zoo is pretty nice, and there's a wide representation of different animals to see. They just opened the first part of the new Africa Live exhibit, where we got to see two hippos swimming under water, a big Nile Crocodile and plenty of big snakes and such.

I think Ian's favorite part of the zoo was the turtle tank. They were active and swimming around right at his eye level, so it was easy for him to observe (and try to play with) them. Of course, he told me that he, too, enjoyed the picnic part like his big sister.

When we got to the Komodo Dragons, Ian got super excited. I was trying to figure out why, when he looked through the glass and said "Where are the DRAGONS?!" Ahh... not that kind of dragon, sweetie. He seemed a little bummed, but got over it quickly when given the opportunity to pose with the komodo dragon statue. Sweet little guy!

Our time at the zoo was very refreshing for all of us. My favorite animals to watch are the cute otters, but my favorite part of our day was definitely the picnic on the grounds too! What was intended to be an atempt to save money turned into a really enjoyable activity for our family. So, truly, it's being with family, no matter what you do, that makes a day a good one.
"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" -- Psalms 118:24
Today is our anniversary, and Collin's parents are coming over to babysit the kids so we can go to The Melting Pot all by ourselves (thanks to a generous gift card from Stephen & Dara and money from my parents). It'll be great to get out alone together and reflect on the last 7 years of marital bliss. I am truly blessed for having such a wonderful husband, sweet children, loving family and caring friends.


Happy Valentine's Day...

from our family to yours! We hope you all have something special planned for today, or if not, that you at least plan to spend it together. Our family falls under the second category, but honestly it'll be refreshing after the business of this week so far. So, to commemorate this day of love, here are a few pictures from this week to represent things I love and that I'm thankful for:

We finally found the perfect preschool for Moira, The Mustard Seed. She had her first day of school on Monday and has been a much happier kiddo since. And, I had to add this picture of their school bus... is that not the cutest darn thing you've ever seen in your whole life? ;o)

I'm thankful that not only did we find a preschool, but I'm sincerely happy with the program and her teacher. This is Moira with her teacher Ms. Patty who is very warm and friendly, and used to be a kindergarten teacher to boot - how about that for getting her prepared for Kindergarten in the Fall!
I *heart* making valentine's treats for the kid's classes. Moira picked out heart-shaped Jolly Rancher lollipops for her class, so I came up with the wrapper and she helped me put them together - and wrote her name on all 20 of them!

How could you possibly not adore this face with the huge blue eyes looking up at you every day? I'm so thankful for a happy, healthy family and children. We're so blessed.

And, here he is... my soul-mate. He's an eternal goofball, fun father, supportive and loving husband, and all-around great guy and I'm so glad God saw it fit to make him just for me! (OH, and check out the never-before-seen-on-this-earth picture of Collin actually wearing a suit!! I never I thought I'd see the day...)


All in all, I'm a blessed woman with so much to be thankful for. Sometimes it's hard to remember that when things don't go the way you planned them out, but then I "count my blessings" and realize how much worse things could really be. I'm truly thankful for a healthy spouse and children, a nice place to live and food to eat, money enough to see us through quite a while while job hunting, a hard-working, loving and intelligent husband, the support and love of family and friends, living in the place we longed to be, and most importantly knowing an all-powerful God intimately and being given a promise for our future. Take some time today to count your blessings and thank God for his provision.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


A trip to Howe

Happy Monday! We spent a very fun weekend in Howe, Texas visiting Collin's brother Stephen, sister-in-law Paige and their little girl Hope. Howe is a little town (pop. 2200) just north of McKinney and just south of Sherman, for those of you curious. Stephen is the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Howe, and we really enjoyed getting to go with them to the service on Sunday morning. We're obviously proud of Stephen, but I was really blessed with a sincerely worshipful service - the music was beautiful and a nice blend of hymns and contemporary praise songs, and the preaching was biblical and well presented. They really have a nice church home... I wish they could transplant it here to San Antonio so we could go too (not to mention see Stephen & Paige more)!
Anyway, we arrived Friday afternoon and went out to lunch at Finn's, a local restaurant that is proud of their fresh fish and seafood. Then, we got a private tour of the church where Stephen serves, including his office, the huge children's area and the impressive Youth building (can you believe they had pool tables and a whole recreation area for them... pretty cool!). We spent the evening catching up and playing Outburst, guys against girls, and we totally stomped the boys (by a whole 2 points). Saturday we enjoyed some time hanging out with Stephen and Paige in the morning, and then went to a cute older downtown part of McKinney to do some shopping and browsing antiques. After that we headed to the park to feed the ducks (they weren't hungry) and were treated to Olive Garden for dinner to celebrate Stephen's birthday, Sandy & Bruce's Anniversary and our upcoming Anniversary - thanks Dad!

Sunday was church, lunch and a bit of visiting before the drive home. It only takes about 5 1/2 hours to get there, which seems like nothing after we used to travel three 10 hour days to get home while in the military! Unfortunately, I did manage to forget my entire tolietree bag at their house, so I made a quick trip to Walmart for another toothbrush, deoderant, etc to see me through until it gets here in the mail. All in all in was a great trip, and we can't wait to do it again! How nice it is to live close to family now and be able to spend so much time with everyone - we're just loving it!
Well, this week should be a busy one, but I'll post as I'm able. Moira's starting preschool today, and I can't wait to pick her up this afternoon and hear all about it. Collin's got an interview and a military career fair to attend this week, so please be in prayer over those. I'm getting ready to make about 20 Valentine treats for Moira's class for Wednesday, so maybe I'll post some pics when they're done. Have a great day!


Flight of the Hamsters

Okay, so I'm forewarning you that not only is this a huge waste of time, but it's also horribly addictive. But, if you have some time to waste and you'd prefer that time be wasted on something completely meaningless, yet suprisingly delightful, check this out:


(Collin actually managed a high-score of 694 the other day... me? I stink at it, but it doesn't keep me from enjoying my feeble attempts at hamster flying glory!)

I found the link from one of my other favorite blogs: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/. It has got to be my all-time favorite craft-related blog. Her name is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and she’s a knitter and author. Her blog is hilarious, by the way – especially for the knitter, but even for the non-knitterly type. I’ve been hooked on her writing ever since I read her book "The Yarn Harlot: the secret life of a knitter." She has a fantastic way with words and I love seeing her works in progress and the stories behind them. If you feel so inclined, check her out – I really do think you’ll enjoy it. It’s smart and witty, and sometimes roll-on-the-ground funny. And, apparently she enjoys completely meaningless, yet surprisingly delightful wastes of time too!


Dinosaur Fun

There's not much to report today, just a few fun pictures. We went to a dinosaur birthday party on Saturday for Sam, who is Shad and April's oldest kiddo, he turned 3. Collin's known April since early high school, and now that we're back in San Antonio, we hope to get together with them a bit more! We all had fun, and hope to play together again soon.

Ian playing in the sand, and searching for buried dinorsaur eggs with a friend!

Moira was more interested in making friends with "Las."

Collin joined into the dinosaur festivities too.

Ian helped Sam inspect his new birthday presents - I see a possible dinosaur themed party in our future! :)

We're heading off to Howe to visit Stephen, Paige and baby Hope this weekend, so I should have some more fun pictures and things to post early next week... so stay tuned!