Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Brings...

Craziness! I can't begin to explain what happened without saying that the Lord is gracious and compassionate and we are forever thankful for the abundant blessings that come from every trial we are put through!!

So, fall. We found out in August that Noah's daycare provider was getting married to a wonderful man whom we quickly grew to love. That being said, I cried hard for days. Noah started going to Nancy as a baby and he loved, loved going. When we found out we called another friend of ours who also runs a private daycare. She had a waiting list of 1 1/2 years! More tears! In the end, this choice came open and Noah is starting his 3rd week with Vicki.

Noah's first week there we received a letter saying that the previous week a young girl there was diagnosed with Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. No problem...Noah wasn't even there then. Wednesday I picked Noah up and he had bitten his lip...boys. Friday I picked him up and he was running 100.6 temp. He screamed and kept crying "Owie". Saturday we called the doctor and took Noah in. The doctor told us he had a couple canker sores from biting his lip. We went home to a weekend of screaming, no sleeping, no eating, and no drinking.

Monday Noah headed to daycare again, hoping routine would kick in and peer pressure would get him to eat. By Tuesday he was eating again, although beginning to dehydrate, he was really on the road to recovery.

Tuesday night I came down with a sore throat...and multiple canker sores. Mark came down with the same. Stress was our diagnosis. Wednesday came and I was no longer able to eat and I had weird, unexplained blisters on my feet. Thursday...same. I was down to drinking broth. Mark...mashed potatoes. Friday we went out, I painfully tried to eat. Mark commented on the strange coincidence of us both having these bizarre canker sores. We went to Starbucks and I asked for hot tea to cure a sore throat instead of the yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte. Saturday I woke up with blisters on my hands...we have Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease...and no doubt, Noah did as well.

Despite everything, we had plans to go to the pumpkin patch...which we did! Here are some fun photos from our weekend, and while late for us, fall is officially beginning!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fall Fiesta

I'll start by saying I don't think there are more than a handful of people in the Holden-Kingsville area who speak fluent Spanish and there isn't a Mexican restaurant in the immediate area, but each year our neighboring town...Holden...holds its Fall Fiesta! Being from Texas, Mark and I find some irony in the name of the fair. That being said, we may not be able to jet off to a foreign land, or even neighboring state, but we were able to attend the fair as a family this year!

I remember a friend going to a similar event in a small Texas town, Muleshoe, to be exact. I couldn't really grasp the small-town family feel all those years ago, but there is a buzz in the community that is only felt once a year. Everyone I know goes to the fair...even if it's just for the Queens Contests or a funnel cake.

Mark and I have been to the fair almost every year we have lived parents have even been. I mean, who would miss the mattress race down HWY 58...or the cute little boys dressed for the Wee-King contest?

So this year we braved the night and took Noah. He loved it! Had he been tall enough I think he would have hopped on rides! His ride for the night had four legs! He loved the ponies and cried each time he had to get off. Now, let me remind you, ponies still have bathroom breaks. Mommy,, had to jump said breaks and I was in flip-flops! Nothing like the local men laughing at me while I jumped piles, well, flattened piles. The women running the "booth" kept telling me how impressed they were that I was keeping up while on tip-toes and in flip-flops. Note to self: wear closed-toed shoes to the Fiesta next year.

After pony riding we had dinner...Noah had fries, Mark a burger, me a hand-dipped foot-long corn dog! Nothing organic about it! We also had cotton-candy...can't leave a fair without fresh cotton-candy!

Before leaving we headed down to hear a friend's worship team singing. Noah loved it, we loved it. Nothing like getting to worship on the streets of the town! Noah also loved the fire dog, or man in the fire dog suit. I kept apologizing for my child's monopolizing the time of said man.

All in all, we had a great time. On the way out Noah road the ponies again...and cried when he had to get off. This time Mark walked with him...I am a fast learner!

Until next year, "Viva la Holden!"

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I love surprises, I really do! So when my parents showed up in the halls of the high school with Noah last Friday I was thrilled. I knew my parents were planning a get-a-way, I just didn't know it was to Missouri.

So I did what anyone would do, I took the afternoon off and headed home. Mom and I slipped out during Noah's nap and headed to our pastor's wife's new spa. That night we went to a local restaurant and had entirely way too much food for one family.

Saturday mom and I went to the local Farmer's Market and brought home a huge box of goodies...see Sunday's note. The rest of the day was spent shopping, eating Mexican food, and playing.

Sunday we enjoyed the day together as a family and ended our day with a yummy home-cooked feast!

Despite having to say goodbye after only 2 and a half days, it was so worth the surprise. I love you Mom and Dad...thanks for coming!

Monday, August 10, 2009

11 Years

I decided to follow up my day of surprises by recounting my wonderful day with Mark! This year for our anniversary we headed to the Plaza (Country Club Plaza for those non-Missourians reading this). It is located in Kansas City, MO and is an outdoor shopping extravaganza with all of "the" shops, street performers, incredible restaurants, the art get the picture.

Before we had Noah we spent about every-other weekend there, more specifically, eating PF Changs there!

We went to an early movie...the theater there is one, that until recently, does (did) not allow anyone under the age of 17 into Friday and Saturday night movies, ie, no junior high kids at the theater to scream and squeal at movies that really did not require screaming or squealing. While they lifted this rule in the face of a rough economy, it is still our favorite theater, located upstairs in an unsuspecting building with small theaters.

Once the movie was over we headed to Fogo de Chao for a feast of meats!

Honestly they have an enormous salad bar with a lot of exotic foods, but when we had the chance to sample 15 meats we chose the meat! We actually sampled all 15 and if you area headed there, ask us for our favorites!

Our waitress brought us this dessert to end our night there...

After dinner we waddled, seriously, I told Mark my stomach was so full I felt like I was carrying Noah once again! Embarrassing to admit, but true. Mark said his belly could be thumped like a ripe melon!

So, back to romantic night...we picked up Cheesecake Factory to go (remember, full tummies) and when leaving Mark took me for a carriage ride! Cynthia, don't worry, I questioned the owner as if it was the great inquisition. The horses are treated well, they wear special shoes for gripping the road, and our horse, Trigger, had glitter nails!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day of Suprises

Today, the second day back to work, started out seemingly like every other day. We got up, I got Mark and Noah off for the day and I headed in to work. When I opened the door to my office I found...produce! I have the most amazing friends who work hours in their gardens and share a tremendous amount of it! Look at the amount of yummy, fresh goodies! Amazing surprise #1!!

Later in the morning the school secretary came in with these:

I have to tell you that I always tell Mark not to spend money on flowers...they die quickly and cost a lot, but when these arrived I just stood and cried. Eleven years ago tomorrow Mark and I were married in the heat of the Texas summer. We traveled to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. While there, we went to The Burning Bush, a restaurant on a small river...creek more like it in Tennessee. In the restaurant there was a woman selling roses to unsuspecting men C: My sweet, new husband bought me a pink one. I will never forget it. So these pink roses sent to me 11 years later meant so much. They meant he remembered all those years ago the "fresh" love we had for one another. They meant he still feels that love for me. Eleven years later he has not forgotten. Wow! I love my husband. Surprise #2 (the surprise is not that I love Mark, but that he sent me flowers without me knowing about it).

I left work at noon and came home. In the mail were surprises #3, 4, and 5! My sister and parents sent cards with items inside them for a great date night to help us celebrate our anniversary. So we are headed to Fogo de Chao for dinner and to Cheesecake Factory for dessert all at the Country Club Plaza...we had actually made those plans well in advance and hadn't told my family, God is so good to provide the blessings from my family to make it the perfect night out! Along with that there was a large package on my front door, HIT Entertainment was the name on the box. Now I will be honest, I thought my sister had bought us our much desired Wii!! That being said, I am totally thrilled with my Cheesecake Factory gift card, and I mean it! So, what was in the box? This:

Noah received a huge Brobee! He loves Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba! Thank you MaMa (Grandma)!

That same husband who sent me those roses took off early to go shopping with me. He patiently went to the teacher supply store, Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Kohls, Starbucks, HyVee, Chilis, and to pick Noah up from daycare.

Surprise #6 happened there. When we drove up Noah was playing outside, but not in the shorts we sent him in...hmmmmmm. We asked what had happened and this is what we heard,

"I was changing Noah's poopy diaper and the other kids were around me pulling and calling my name. I finished changing Noah and he met me in the hallway grabbing at the front of his shorts. I thought that he was trying to tell me he had gone to the restroom in his diaper...until I saw pee running down his leg! I had forgotten to put his diaper!" We laughed so hard. I am a mother of one...have any of my friends who are mothers of multiple children ever done the same? LOL! No picture of this...although the mis-matched outfit was one not to be forgotten!

So we just put Noah to bed, he is laying on Brobee. Mark is in the kitchen heating up the molten chocolate cake that came with our Chili's take-out dinner...the 2 for $20 is an amazing deal...maybe surprise #7! I'm going to end my night snuggled with my amazing husband and thanking God for an amazing day, an amazing family, an amazing life. C:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Little Tike

After watching Noah get in and out of the Little Tikes car at daycare, Mark and I decided it was time we bought one for Noah that he could play with while at home. We have actually started a family tradition of heading to the city each Friday night for dinner.

So, Friday night we headed to Fuddruckers! Have you been there lately? They have raised their prices since I was in! We packed Noah a healthy dinner, he ate french fries!

After dinner we headed to Toys 'R Us for Noah's first new car! While there he also got a booster seat so he could sit at the table with Mommy and Daddy.

By the time we got home it was time for bath and bed. That's when the fun began! Mark and I wanted to put Noah's car together so it could be waiting for him in the morning...err...I wanted to put it together. UGH! That little thing almost brought me to tears. There were only picture directions, no words. There were no holes for the screws. Mark, being the wonderful husband that he is, stepped in and took over. Marriage saved (lol).

We didn't get to watch The City of Ember as planned, but the car was ready for Noah bright and early Saturday morning. As we laid down Friday night, at 11:30, I told Mark, "Noah probably won't even play with that car tomorrow." I am so glad I was wrong!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fourth of July

There is something about going home...really home. Everyone thinks I grew up in Texas...and for over half of my life I did. My true home is Ohio. There is something about it, something about returning and seeing the elementary school I learned in, the house I played in, the park I ran in.

Mark and Noah at Razor's, the ice cream shop that we ate at as kids.

But the trip to Ohio was not really about places, it was about people. I was blessed to be able to spend several days visiting with my dad's family, and one quick day with my mom's. It just works out that favorites!!

The cousins.

I was introduced to "corn-hole" a game that is quite addictive, competitive, and rib-tickling fun! owe me one more game. We left it tied 1-1. I'm not sure why, but I was pulled in to game after game, after game, after get the idea. The first night my arm hurt so much I had to take medicine for pain!

Helen throws during a game of corn-hole.

We ate...and ate...and ate. Galaxy Pizza beats Wally's Pizza any day are going to have to accept it. For those not part of the tradition, our family greets one another late on Friday night with a big pizza party...only we can't decide on a favorite pizza so we order from two places! I wish I had taken pics of the pizzas...they are enormous and they taste so good after 10:00 pm! I did take pictures of the barbecue from the 4th of July...delicious!

Chris was the grill-master for the day...that is, after I beat him at Corn-Hole!

We celebrated until the wee hours of the night and then headed to Columbus for my mom's family picnic. It was short-lived. My grandma had a single-car accident the morning of and our concern was her getting home...yes, she went to the hospital and then came to the picnic with gifts for Noah! Please pray for her recovery...they are concerned with pneumonia setting in at this point in time.

Dad and Uncle Charlie grilling for the Pennypacker reunion on Sunday.

I wish I could bottle up the events of the week, video each one, post each one. We laughed hard...hard, hard. The conversations were sometimes deep, those happen late at night after we've laughed all we can and the stillness of the night, err...morning...sets in. I know you can sense it, the love I have for my extended family. They are great people, people I love, people I miss. Happy next 4th of July to the Masons, the Albaughs, the Pennypackers, the Beards...miss you until then.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Father's Day

So I'm a little late posting...several months late to be exact. A special thanks to those of you who encouraged me to write again.

Now I know it may seem like I am boasting about my recent Father's Day Weekend, but that is not it. I actually became very humble and reflected on what a wonderful, patient, amazing man I married. It was at church, and in jest, that our pastor said another man in the congregation said Father's Day started for him when he got off work on Friday, and ended when he went to work the Monday morning following Father's Day Sunday.

So, there it was. A joke, that I loved!

The weekend was wonderful, yummy food, good dad and Noah times, and a reminder to celebrate Mark!

Noah was the taste-tester for Mark's Father's Day cake.

Daddy and Noah walked Dixie together on Sunday.

Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Blog Is Perhaps a Better Blog

I've thought about it, maybe too much. In the end, I'm done blogging for now. For the three of you who look at my blog...thanks!

Maybe months from now I'll post again...and if I do, I'll let you know. For now...I'm signing off.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Warm Day to End January

Yesterday we had a rare warm day in January. It was in the 60s so we threw on sweat shirts and headed outside. Noah loves being outdoors and despite every effort to get a cute face shot of him, he was too quick for me! What a fun day with Daddy and Noah!

Child Labor?

Can I be brought up on charges for child labor?! Noah took to the sponge and cleaned the dishwasher over...and over...and over...Sunday afternoon!

Despite my efforts to get him to move on to the fridge, or the stove, he thought the dishwasher was worth every minute of his time.

I love our little man!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jacob, Job, and Babies!

A vacation from my blog.


That's where I've been, on vacation from my blog. I've thought each day about something, anything to post. There's been nothing.

I've thought about writing about Jacob, or Job. They've been on my mind a lot. A lot, a lot. I've joined a friend in reading The Chronological Bible in a Year. I have to admit that as I've been reading Job, the thought has crossed my mind to skip ahead. I even told Mark I was tired of hearing Job complain...maybe I'm with high school kids too often (or just the ones who complain)! But Job isn't about Job complaining, it's about a man, sold out to God, who wants his God, my God, to restore him. To bless him. To find him faithful. Job wasn't about to give up.

Then there is Jacob. As Mark and I were going to bed one night I commented on the life of Jacob...born grabbing Esau's heel, tricked Isaac into giving him Esau's birth goes on. Jacob's life reflects the love of God to bless a fallen man...a fallen men...a fallen nation. How Great is Our God!

There's more...when I can put it into words I'll post more.

For now, a celebration of life! Many of you know I have a dear friend who was born with a heart condition. A few years ago she had open heart surgery. The heart condition keeps her from carrying her own children. She and her husband have spent the last few years working with a facility in California/Colorado to use a surrogate to have their children. It's been a long process and through it they have seen several friends have babies (us included). I have cried with her, grieving her womb that will remain forever silent. I have rejoiced with her as finances poured out allowing them to continue the journey. I have prayed for her, shouted with her, and watched the Lord humble her heart and spirit. It really has been a journey. We celebrate now, her baby (or babies) are now 4 weeks old, and growing. They have a long time to grow until we see them outside the womb, but I am celebrating with Becca and John for the life...or lives that we will see in 9 months!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One of THOSE Moms


It happened.

Noah and I went to the grocery store to buy food for a local family who is in great need.

We came out.

Noah was put in the car seat, with Yo Gabba Gabba playing along.

He took my keys.

I left the back door open...ajar.

I put the cart in the cart holder.

That's when I heard it.



CLICK?!?! CLICK?!?!?

My brain couldn't process. The door, the door...I left it the click of my car doors locking shouldn't be a problem.


The door was shut enough to lock.

Noah. The keys. The locked doors.

I called Mark. I asked a bag boy to run inside and get call the police.

A former student came out and stood with me while we waited for the police.

I was one of THOSE moms. How could it have happened?

In the end, Noah was fine. In fact he laughed and danced in his car seat, waiving the keys around as the police officer, Kaley, and I watched and waited for the master locksmith came. Noah was probably in there a total of 15 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. Who would have known that the money we invested in one of those car DVD players would entertain my son who had locked himself in the car while I stood helplessly by.