Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A quote...

Searching and doing various things online yesterday, I came across this...I'm not sure that I have any specific commentary on it...but it just convicted me;

"What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men -- men of prayer." -E.M. Bounds

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Hannah!

I failed to post my usual "Happy Birthday" message last Friday to Hannah. She is the big 1!!! Saturday we went to her Luau party. It was a great time despite her being a little sick. It's always fun to get together with the family. We have had a lot of fun living so close and getting to be so involved in watching her grow up and spend so much time with them. It has truly been a blessing. Julie wrote a little more about it and has more pictures on Count Your Blessings, their blog.

I am disappointed we didn't take more pictures...but these are a few of what we did get.

Hannah playing in the "hot tub". The kids decided that was the hot tub because the water was warmer than the big pool.Those kabobs were really good. G did a great job grilling!
We were even treated with frozen strawberry lemonade drinks!! They were super sweet!

She managed to get icing just about everywhere, arms, legs, belly, etc. She clearly had no hesitation about digging in.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Caitlin's visit

Last week Caitlin was here visiting. She stayed for 5 nights. During the day Caitlin and I filled our time with swimming, baking, computer games, shopping, etc. At night we would wait for George to come home and have dinner and spend the evening together either hanging out by the pool or some other adventure we had planned.

A few noteworthy things...Tuesday Caitlin and I baked cookies in the morning, then delivered them to her dad, Uncle George, and Uncle Ben and Aunt Julie. When I handed her the mixer she said, "This is my favorite part!" I thought she was excited about using the mixer by herself, come to find out...she just wanted to lick the beaters.

Caitlin loves dinosaurs, which is quite surprising considering how "girly" she is. So as our very special thing of the week we went to T-Rex Cafe for dinner Tuesday evening. For those of you who know Rainforest Cafe...imagine that, with dinosaurs instead. In addition to their huge moving dinosaurs, skeletons, live fish, and gift shop, they also had an area where children could dig up dinosaur bones. Each child received a small paintbrush to gently brush away the sand from the bones. Unfortunately the camera was left at home so we didn't get any pictures of the adventure. Caitlin loved every minute of it. She repeatedly showed her appreciation as she hugged us saying, "I love you, I love you".

Wednesday Aunt Julie and Cousin Hannah joined us for a trip to the Kansas City Zoo. It was not exactly the best idea on my part. I had never been to the KC zoo and didn't realize how spread out it was. It was an incredibly hot day to say the least and there was very little shade. Once we found some shade we stopped awhile to drink and cool off. As we sat there Hannah became sick with a rash of some sort and we decided it was best to just go home. Thankfully we were all agreed, even Caitlin, "Aunt E," she said, "It's hot, maybe if it cools off this afternoon we can go swimming." She ended up spending the afternoon swimming and playing with her daddy at Uncle Ben's house.
Caitlin was able to feed the goats right after we arrived at the zoo...she thought it was pretty cool.

All in all, we had a great time. I had been a little worried about how she would sleep at night and if she would get homesick, but as she told her mom, "Only once I missed you berry bad" Sometime next month little sister, Emma is going to stay for a visit as well...I think we might only do a couple of days for that visit. :)

Morning at the ball park

A week and a half ago we headed up to Kirksville, MO for George to fill a preaching appointment. We had a great time. I went to college there and lived there for 4 years. It was fun to show him around campus and the different sights around town. We had a wonderful time with the members of Hazelcreek Church and Lord willing will go again for another church meeting sometime next month.

On the way out of Kansas City we were able to stop and watch Daniel play in a Special Olympics softball tournament. Mom wrote on her blog about it and shared a few pictures...but just in case you missed are a few of our own.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Last day of vacation!

Well, this post will sum up all of our vacation travels. We arrived in Dallas mid-afternoon on the 3rd to meet my Aunt LeAnne (mom's sister). We picked her up and headed over to Uncle Jeff's house (my mom's brother). The evening was very casual and relaxed. We went out for pizza then visited until early morning. On the 4th we slept late, and sat around the breakfast table a long time just catching up. George, Aunt LeAnne, and I ran to a fancy grocery store to pick up a few more things for lunch. I've never seen such a produce selection in my life!! Plus they had a whole wall of specialty cheeses. It was quite the experience. After a delicious lunch we had to say farewell and get on the road. Overall it was a wonderful trip full of friends and family. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

Uncle Jeff and Aunt Paula

Aunt LeAnne

Day Five-Tuesday

Tuesday morning of our vacation we slept in just a bit, then were able to get up and enjoy breakfast, again, Aunt Charlotte is a wonderful cook. Emily, my cousin, and her three children came over so we would have a little more time to visit. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, but we knew we needed to get on the road. After saying goodbye to the Huffmans and Halbgewachs, we headed back over to Beckett Meadows to say goodbye to Aunt Margie and gramps. Once we said our goodbyes there we headed north to Dallas to see some of my mom's family.

Emily and her beautiful family. Unfortunately, Mark had already went to work and we didn't get a picture of him.

Just the kids.
Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte
With Emily.

Everyone came outside to sing, "so long farewell" to us, it was very sweet.

Me and Gramps having a good laugh before we left.

Us with Aunt Margie.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day Four: Monday-Part II

For dinner we had arranged to meet Joseph and Rachel Weyel to catch up with them. They met us in the downtown area and then treated us to a wonderful dinner overlooking San Antonio. We had dinner at the 740 foot tall Tower of the Americas' Restaurant, Eyes Over Texas. It is a revolving restaurant that makes a full circle every hour providing a full view of the city. It was kind of an odd feeling at first; we'd get caught up in conversation, then look out and have an entire new view of the city. We had a great visit, and enjoyed catching up.

Eventually, it was time to say goodbye and head back to Austin. When we arrived back in Austin it was just at 11pm, but we wanted to take the opportunity to visit Mark and Emily Huffman. Emily is my cousin, and they had been out of town all weekend. We went over their home until the early hours of the morning and had a nice visit. We felt a little guilty keeping Mark up so late since had to work early in the morning, but we were thankful to get to see them.

The view from our table.

Our group.

The view from the observation deck -- it was really windy up there!
As we left I took a quick picture of the tower.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day Four: Monday-Part I

On Monday morning we woke up early to join Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte for breakfast with gramps and Aunt Margie at Beckett Meadows. Then we headed south to San Antonio to see some sights down there. After stopping briefly at an outlet mall, we arrived just in time for lunch. We stopped in at a unique deli for a light lunch then began out walk around the riverwalk. We eventually decided to take one of the boat tours to find out more about the building and things we were seeing around us. Despite the silly tour guide, we really enjoyed the ride.

After the boat tour we went to visit the Alamo. I had been as a young child, but didn't remember much of the history. We did a quick tour of the barracks and then into the Alamo itself. It was a neat part of history to see.

After the Alamo, we headed to a local mall to cool off and find a place to sit and rest awhile.

A mama duck and her ducklings. They looked so soft and cuddly.
A nice gentleman visiting from Arizona took our picture in front of the river.
We got great seats on the boat...the very front of the boat!
A view from the boat.
Another view from the boat...very neat architecture.

George outside of the Alamo

The front of the Alamo
A long semi-covered walkway that was very pretty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day Three-Sunday

Sunday morning we woke up early to join grandpa and Aunt Margie for breakfast at Beckett Meadows (the assisted living home). After breakfast we had time to return to Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte's to get ready for church. We were blessed to attend services where Uncle Dickie serves as pastor, Oak Hill Primitive Baptist Church. After church we headed back for lunch. Aunt Charlotte made us a beautiful, not to mention tasty lunch. Matt, Becca, Karsyn, Heath, and Becca's mother joined us as well. We had a wonderful visit and time together.

Later in the afternoon Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte took us on a tour of Austin, ending at the Oasis. A restaurant with gorgeous views of Lake Travis and the city of Austin, and surrounded by some beautiful homes. Again, we had a wonderful time of fellowship and visiting that was continued back at the house and late into the evening.

Matt (cousin), Becca, George, and I after lunch Sunday. They are expecting another baby in December or January.
The fellas doing some car talking at the dinner table after lunch.

Becca and Heath. Sorry Karsyn, I didn't manage to get a picture of you!

George and I standing right by our table after dinner. We were blessed to get a table right by the edge, with a gorgeous view.Here is another view from our table. It was so relaxing to just sit and visit with the fresh air and cool temperature.

This was the view of this home from our table. Apparently the small, cone-shaped home next door is their guest house. Pretty incredible, but quite a lot to clean. :)

Day one and two of our vacation

We left home Friday afternoon immediately after work. As we headed south we could see we would be contending with a fair amount of rain. We drove in hard rain all the way to Oklahoma, but were thankful we were still making pretty good time. Our original plan was to stop just south of Oklahoma City for the night...but when we got there it was 10:15 and we felt like we'd rather get a little further. We continued to drive until about 1:30 Saturday morning. By that time we were definitely ready to stop. We stayed in the north side of Dallas in a hotel. The next morning we headed further south to Austin. After stopping to get a quick haircut, we headed to the assisted living home where my grandfather and great Aunt Margie live. George had never met either of them, so it was exciting for both of us.

We sat and visited for awhile with grandpa, he showed us his room, and shared some of his pictures and wood projects he had completed. His mind is not what it used to be. He frequently thought I was his youngest daughter, but there were some very sweet moments, where he was very clear and reflected back on sweet memories. His generosity, humor, and caring spirit were still very present. We shared the wedding pictures and then let him rest, while we went to track down Aunt Margie.

She had a stroke just about a year ago and has made remarkable recovery, but enjoys her new home and has been a great blessing for grandpa. We sat and visited with her for awhile, then joined them in the dining room for dinner with Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte. After dinner we returned to Aunt Margie's room to watch the wedding video. It was nice to be able to share it with them, but also fun for us just to reflect back. We then said our brief goodbyes, and headed to Uncle Dickie and Aunt Charlotte's beautiful home. We stayed up for several hours visiting, sharing stories, and laughed together until the early hours of the morning.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The first swim...

Before I begin journaling our vacation...I'd first like to share some pictures from last night. We are fortunate enough to have a large pool in our apartment complex and have utilized it more than we thought we would. Last night we invited Ben, Julie, and Hannah to come join the fun. Although they have their own private pool, it is under repairs and hasn't been "up and running" yet this summer. Thus, it was Hannah's first pool experience. She seemed to really enjoy it, but did become quite cold by the end of the evening. I am sure with more and more experience and warmer water, she will find it even more fun.

Daddy sitting on the edge easing her in.

Beautiful family!!! This my favorite picture of the evening.

The shivers had kicked in at this point, so her smile looks a little forced.

Home Again! Home Again!

Since last Friday we have been on the road enjoying our first vacation as husband and wife. We were blessed to see many family and friends on the journey, but also able to do a little site seeing as well.

Over the next few days I hope share the adventures and some pictures as well. We arrived back home late on July 4th, and were blessed to see many firework shows as we traveled. At the end of our trip, we pulled into our apartment complex at 11:45 pm, and looked at the "trip odometer" to see exactly how many miles we had traveled only to find out we had traveled 1776. We got a good smile out of the irony.