Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Half Way

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Considering that we're now half way through this pregnancy, I guess it's about time I actually blog about it, huh? 

We were overwhelmed with joy to find out at the beginning of September that our prayers for growing our family were finally answered with a YES!  We also consider ourselves very lucky that our first round of fertility treatments worked. I know that is not always the case and I don't take it for granted.  I hope to eventually get back into the habit of blogging so this second child doesn't feel so second child-ish, but I can't promise how regular it will be! 

Here's a recap of how the pregnancy has gone so far:

6 weeks on the dot: hello evening sickness! up until this point I had been in the "I know I'm pregnant but don't feel like it so is this really real stage?" This was quickly shattered. I went from feeling great/normal to feeling terrible in the days and getting sick at night.  This is basically how I would sum up weeks 6 - 11.  One of our church ladies told my mom she was worried about me because we work so hard and I'm looking so gray. Yeah... that's just me trying to keep it together and not get sick at church! Cooking was no fun and mostly everything I made made me feel sick. Fruit helped, but still made me feel sick. I craved orange juice but always paid for it. Want to know the only things I could eat without feeling sick right after? Peanut M and M's and Allsup's burritos. I know. It's amazing I didn't pile on the pounds during these weeks! (we were also going through a budget crunch and only using cash for eating out, so it did limit the burrito intake!) 

I brushed my teeth constantly. Anything I ate or drank left a funny metal taste in my mouth that made me want to be sick. I could hardly drink a Diet Dr Pepper and really only drank ice cold water. Considering DDP ruins through my veins, this is how Cody knew things were bad! (that and the fact that I frequently told him, "I feel so terrible. We're never having any more kids after this. I can't handle it!")  I was so tired every night yet also struggled with some insomnia. (Unisom is safe to take and a lifesaver for that!) I actually started feeling movement around 12 weeks. I know, crazy, but true.  Basically anything about this pregnancy that could be different from Griffin's, was!  I kept hoping the second trimester would provide some relief from the sickness. While it did ease up some, it was really 16 weeks before I finally started feeling like myself again.  I still have to watch myself to make sure I don't overdo it, it's been nice to finally have some energy back to tackle some things that have basically been abandoned since September. Griffin and Cody are both still alive and thriving, so we'll call it an overall success, right? :) 

Given that everything has been different about this pregnancy, Cody and I would have both put good money on the fact that it was going to be a girl. We did the Progenity blood test around 13 weeks and found out while we were in Louisville for a youth worker's conference that... 

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Needless to say, we were shocked! It was a little bit of an adjustment in our (mostly my!) thinking at first, but we are thankful to have a healthy baby and I'm preparing for lots of Star Wars and sports in my future! Cody and I both agree it's hard not to picture a Griffin clone, so we're excited to see what he will look like. Considering all I hear is how G is a copy of Cody, I'm hoping he will be mine! We are seeing a Maternal Fetal specialist every time I also see my OB, so I'm hoping we might get a closer view soon of his face to try and make predications!   I'm sure there's much more I should include, but at least that's a little bit of a catch up for someday when I try to remember this pregnancy!   

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans

I realize for most people, Friday is a day of celebration because the weekend is about to begin. When you're a minister, Sundays are a day of work and not for rest, so our weekend starts Thursday night.

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It started off with some problem solving for Mom. Griff found his pumpkin shirt last week and wore it Tuesday to school, and then had a fit when he couldn't also wear it Wednesday and Thursday. I'm afraid this could become a weekly battle, so we headed out early this morning to Walmart to look for new pumpkin shirts. Sadly ours didn't have any, but did at least have several plain orange shirts so we can then have a painting party to solve our pumpkin shirt problems. 

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I've got to be honest: I was amazed at how good of a painter he was, both left and right handed! I found stencils for faces online, traced them on freezer paper, then cut out the faces and ironed them down. (placing another sheet of freezer paper wax side up inside of the shirt helps to seal it off so the paint won't bleed.) We now have five pumpkin shirts ready to go for October. Let's hope it's enough!

After a picnic lunch out of our lunch box and a long nap, we were at it again to make Halloween cupcakes.  It's amazing that Griff can actually help with things now... there are some perks to him growing up!  

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Griff demonstrating proper safety precautions for sprinkle application and a "less is more" approach. 

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He was very proud of his finished product and we all enjoyed his hard work! Funny enough, this morning about 11:30 Cody asked, "What did we used to do on weekends before we had a kid?" I answered, "Sleep in till 10:45, dash to Whataburger before 11 to get breakfast, go home to nap,  go out again to eat dinner, wander the mall then catch a movie. Weren't those the days? Now look at what all we've done and it's only 11:30."  Good thing we love this kid! :) 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hits and Misses (Dinner Style)

I'll be honest, most of our dinners around here become frequent repeats of our favorites (or items that  certainly aren't instagram or blog worthy, like how many lunchables my son can eat in one week) but I did try a new one the other night that was a great meal and one we will make again.

(I don't know why pinterest has to make things so complicated. Remember back in the easy days when you could just embed a pin on your blog? Sigh.)     


I tried this Hamburger Soup  (seen above in the top left hand corner) and it was delicious! Here's the recipe from her site:

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/2 a med sized onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbls minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup, plus 1 can water
  • 2-14 oz. cans beef broth
  • 1 cup of corn or other canned/frozen veggies
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Add onion and garlic and stir until the onions are just soft.
  3. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until meat is longer pink. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, in a five quart soup pot, pour in beef broth, tomato soup and water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium and add the ground beef and corn.
  5. Add the pasta and veggies and cook pasta to al dente.

The only changes I made were to add 2 cups of pasta (instead of one to make it a little more hearty) and to also add a can of green beans.  Griff loves green beans, so he had no problems with adding them in.  Cody claimed this was like a healthier hamburger helper (and he meant it as a compliment!) It made quite a bit and I was able to break it up into leftovers and 2 containers to freeze. I think this will be a staple for the fall and winter!

Now on to the miss... One big adjustment we made when we first moved to our small town was that it only had United for a grocery store. It took me a while to get used to not having as much available to us and paying more for it all. Eventually our Super Walmart opened up and now I do most of my shopping there, but I do still return to United because you can't beat their meat sales. They frequently do buy one get one free on chicken, ground turkey and pork chops so I like to stock us up on those. (see above: frequent repeats!) I happened to notice that country style ribs were on sale a few weeks ago and decided to pick some up to have for dinners. Of course, they were cheap, so I bought a lot to freeze, not considering that I don't actually know how to cook them. 

Yep. Turns out its a different type of rib that I was picturing. Most of the recipes I found on pinterest were all for bbq ribs, but I wasn't in the mood for that. I ended up seasoning them and cooking them for a few hours in the crockpot and serving bbq on the side for the boys. The house smelled good, but sadly they were just meh. I totally think it had to do more with my cooking that with the actual meat, but Cody and I finished that night saying, "Well, that was a dinner." Because there wasn't much else good to say about it.  I've learned my lesson about buying in bulk items you haven't actually cooked before!

Anyone have any tips on cooking country style ribs for me? I've got a lot to practice on! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Silly Boy.


This boy keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh every day. Funny enough, I was saying a prayer the other day that three hadn't been as hard to us as everyone had prepared us for. Yep.... and then we hit a new day! Ha! While Griff is mostly sweet (and luckily we're still hearing good things from his teachers and Sunday School workers) he is very independent and expresses his opinions quite frequently! Here's some silly things he's been up to lately:


He likes to accessorize and wants you to too. He even requested on wearing this headband to bed that night! 

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Sunday he required me to call him Pluto all morning as he was crawling around the house, barking like a dog. We were trying to rush out the door to get to church and I was telling Kota to go tee tee, when Griff ran outside and said, "Puppies have to tee tee outside!" This was too great of a shot to pass up :)

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He is obsessed with minions and received this minion towel for his birthday. We'e been using it as a towel for a while now, but somehow on Monday night he got the idea in his head that it was a blanket. So he cried when he couldn't take it to bed (you know, because it was wet!!!) so we compromised and said he could have it first thing Tuesday morning. He, of course, didn't forget and ran right in to cuddle under his blanket when he woke up! 

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We are trying to foster some independence in him and have been making him get himself dressed. This has lead to him now picking out his clothes - shirt, shorts, undies and socks. He has an opinion on it all! So, he wore his pumpkin shirt on Tuesday in preparation for Bami's Pumpkin Party. (Yes, he asked if we were headed to the party when I picked him up from school!)  When he woke up this morning, he wanted to wear the same shirt AND shorts again to school. It took a little while to convince him that we can't wear the same clothes two days in a row. Back to the drawing board for his shirt... and we ended up going to school like this! 

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Luckily he was willing to compromise and at least took tennis shoes to wear for when they went outdoors.

And finally, the nursery workers snapped this picture of G Force and Hurricane Henry tonight. (I do think she asked for a mean face.) I have a feeling these two are going to be giving a lot of church workers a run for their money!! 

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

1. I've read their blogs for years, but it took me a while to follow along with the podcast too.  The Big Boo podcast has become my favorite for car rides to make the time pass quickly. (Or the weekly grocery store run!)  It really is just like listening in on a friend's conversation. When it delves into some of the football stuff I zone out a bit, but if you enjoy laughing with girlfriends, I think you'll enjoy it!

2. The Good Wife. I started this tv show as a recommendation from Big Mama on the podcast and it is now how I pass my time when I'm cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry. If you like to binge watch tv, be warned: it's addicting!

3. Amazon Prime's newest updates. If you haven't realized it yet, with the free streaming tv and movies on Amazon Prime, the latest update allows you to download the shows onto your devices and then you have up to 48 hours to watch them. This is perfect for when you're taking a family trip with a 2 hour drive. Cody puts on his podcast, G is watching his movies and I can get two episodes in of The Good Wife before we arrive. Let's just say that it might be one of the first trips home that I didn't sleep through!

4. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. I used this for this first time this summer and it has quickly gone to the top of my most used polishes. I love it because it dries very quickly and is durable. I might even like it more than OPI polish, which I didn't think I would ever say.  Your first purchase will be a little more expensive to get the top coat too, but it's worth it!

What are some of your favorites I need to know about?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Big House.

After quite the full summer, we decided to hit the road and enjoy a relaxing week up in Ruidoso at the Big House.  We knew going into it that the supposed 5 hour car trip would take a little bit longer with our travel companion, so we just gave into that and made a day out of it. We stopped to eat and check out my brother's family's new house.

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Griff wasn't too impressed with the house because he didn't understand why Jax and his toys weren't there. Next time buddy!  We hit the road again and stopped in Roswell to wander Target and grab a snack. Griff chose a well balanced diet of Target popcorn and Cheetos. Funny enough, he wouldn't let us open them until we made it to the Big House! I couldn't believe his determination. He must get that from me and his looks from his dad :)

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We told him he could either nap in the car and play when we get to the Big House, or stay away in the car and nap at the Big House. He instantly put his thumb in his mouth, grabbed his pillow and closed his eyes and was out. I watched him in amazement and realized that our next kid is probably going to never sleep!

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Our days at the Big House were lazy, full of good food and fun family time. Griffin Scout got to ride his first pony, Scout.
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Please note the shark shorts and mcqueen shirt, both new gifts from Bami from the thrift store. It seems as if he will be a trend setter some day!

Cornerstone Bakery is a must with kids in Ruidoso. They give you dough to play with and Griff was entertained for a full hour. It was almost like we were there by ourselves! Be warned, they are covered in flour after it's over!

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We also went putt putting and go karting. Griff definitely had the right strategy for putt putt- hit it once, then pick it up and put it down beside the hole, then hit it in for par. Mulligan as many times as needed ;)

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We were actually considering passing on the go karts because of the cost and not totally being sure if he would enjoy it, but a family was ready to go and gave us 4 tickets, which was perfect for us to do two go kart rides.  I don't know why we worried about it either, as G Man loved getting to be a crazy driver!

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We finished out our trip by stopping at the waterpark in Brownfield on the way home.  This was really our first family vacation now that G actually knows what's going on. He did great in the car both ways and didn't have any accidents, which now makes us officially potty trained and is the cherry on top to finish out our summer! Ruidoso spoiled us with high's in the mid 70's and rain most days, so it's been extra brutal to come home to 100+ degree days. Cody and I both agree that we wouldn't mind if FBC Ruidoso calls him to be a pastor someday when we're closer to retirement! Thanks to Bamps and Bami for letting us use the Big House and Noni & Boots for letting us crash part of your vacation!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Is It August Yet?

Cody and I could be the only people who are ready for August to be here, because that means we survived our summer. I thought that summer's were busy with a youth minister husband, and then I became a children's minister and it only got busier. We've survived VBS, Jr. High and High School camps and now I have children's camps next week and then we will celebrate! Don't get me wrong, we've had some great weeks and loved getting to see our kids experience Christ, but it wears you out when you feel responsible for the safety of other people's kids! (plus, I don't feel old enough to be the sponsor yet!)

Our High School camp was held in Glorieta, New Mexico, which used to be a rather popular location to have church cabins until the land sold recently. I was happy to see that my hometown's church's cabin is still standing and our girl councilor was actually living in it (with 36 other girls! glad it wasn't me! :)

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Camp at Glorieta was much more outdoorsy than I was prepared for, but we all ended up having a great time and dare I say, even enjoyed the outdoorsy activities! (Feel free to stop reading now if you don't want to see pictures of me doing said outdoorsy stuff! Videos won't work... maybe some day I'll update this with them!)

We drift triked:

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I didn't know it, but drifting is apparently the process of making yourself slide sideways. I was a scaredy cat the first time, but showed the boys up the second ;)

We did the Zip Drop:

Our cute group getting ready to go!
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We'll be jumping off of this:
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Which for two sissies, looked like this:

(wah wah wah... picture two sissy's jumping off!)

What you can't see is where the other two people on the Zip Drop had already jumped off on the count of three, but Cody and I were frozen up there. Some of our group thought we planned it that way so just the two of us went together... but no, we were just scared! It took a huge moment of courage for me to jump, which is why you see me so happy to be back on the ground!

We did a lot of hiking in the beautiful mountains:

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And we also pretended to be movie stars by braving the Stunt Jump. As you can see, they won't be hiring me as a double any time soon! I was the first chicken to make the jump (no need to tell you how long it took!) but I inspired Cody and our other sponsor Marie to make the jump too!


(pretend you see a superstar jumping off a 20 ft ledge onto a blow up landing)

All in all it was a great week, but we're glad to be home with our boy and seriously are looking forward to a little bit of a slower pace in August! I head out today for one last week of camp, which is actually pre-teen camp (monday - thursday) and children's camp (thursday and friday) combined. Yep... we'll pretty much pull into the parking lot, empty the bus, load back up and leave again. Not sure why I was feeling so ambitious when I made these plans!! I know it will be a great week, but I'm ready for Friday already! ;)