Sunday, July 10, 2011

trip to Utah, Master's degree, 4th of July weekend

Amanda and I, the kids, Tracey and I on 80's night, me and Judd, and Judd with Dominik and Adrian

We put the kids to bed tonight and they just stayed in their room giggling together for like 15 minutes. It was so funny! We have been potty training Rylan this week and it is going so great. Potty training always brings me anxiety because, well come one, it's just no fun to do. It's one of those parts of parenting that sucks. But it's going surprisingly well. We've talked about it and "prepared" him for it until I felt he was ready, and he's doing so well I'm shocked. He uses Brooke's pink little potty but that's okay. It's actually a bonding activity because I'm spending so much time right next to him so he goes all the time and he gets lots of high fives and "knucks". So we've actually spent more time at the house lately because of it and it's been kinda nice. We did got to a Luau birthday party at Jacque's house last night and it was fun. The kids were so cute in their Hawaii garb and the food was all amazing.
Judd and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary Friday. Yay! Anniversaries are cool because we got to just celebrate us and our love and talk about our memories and dating and our wedding and everything. It was so fun! We went to Which Wich on the Boardwalk (love that place) and then saw a sucky movie (Larry Crowne) then had awesome yogurt at Orange Leaf and then to his mom's house to hang out in the hot tub with some martinelli. His mom was so nice to come to our house and watch the kids for us. He wrote me a really sweet card too! I'm married to an awesome guy that loves me so much and is a great husband and father!
I found a lady to watch Rylan and Ava when I start work again from Craislist. Her name is Whitney Thompson and she is wonderful. She watches kids at her house while she homeschools her own kids and is so loving and great with kids. She's only $25/week per kid too!! I went to her house and felt really good about it. It's a relief to now know where they will be.
I've been thinking about how much I love my family and how neat it is that my world revolves around them and their lives revolve around me. It's like everything I do is for them and to develop them and help them to grow and be prepared to have their own families. And so is the circle of life. My parents did everything they did to help me be prepared to be a great wife and mother and person and the now the cycle continues. Judd and I got to talk about the temple and our wedding in Primary today too. We went to the Spanish group meeting at church today and the kids were much better and the spirit was really strong. Ana our old babysitter is in it. We got our temple recommends renewed this week and it was a nice feeling to answer those questions and know we're living our lives in accordance with the gospel. Obviously we have our imperfections, but we are striving to live like our Savior and keep our covenants. I'm just so thankful for the temple and its blessing and for a loving Heavenly Father that has given us them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mardi Gras! my brothers, my beautiful children, the 4th in Dallas, me and Bekah Blanc at Boyz II Men

Judd coached Brooke's t-ball team and she was the little "butterfly" on the team!

Family camp out at Lake Claiborne and family pic at Brent and Laura's

Summer 2011

So far this summer has been amazing! It's flying by as they always do for teachers, but it always reminds me why I love teaching! Summers off are AWESOME! I love being a stay at home mom for a while. It really is the best. It is completely exhausting, but completely fulfilling. Like now, for example, it's after 11:00 at night and this is my time to get some things done and relax. All the kiddos are in bed - including Judd - and I have some peace and quiet. I love peaking in on my kids sleeping. I look at them in amazement and just smile thinking to myself how blessed I am and of all the joy they bring me. They bring me utter exhaustion as well, but SO much bliss and fun!

While they are sleeping, one thing I'm doing is working on some new zumba songs. I teach 4 classes a week at Element and sub at WK and teach a kids zumba at WK which Brooke gets to take! It's so much fun and it really does work! I'd probably be losing more weight but Judd is doing this 3 month no sugar challenge, so I'm eating his portion of all the goodies. Not that I have that much around, but I like to make whole wheat chocolate chip cookies for the kids (Rylan could seriously live off of cookies). It's funny, he talks so much at the house but around other people he doesn't say much until he's really comfortable around them.

My kids are such good sports going to and fro all the gyms I teach at during the summer. The extra money really helps tons. At least they have fun and enjoy all the gyms, but it is some work loading 3 kids in and out of the car. I've been teaching a lot at Schumpert too and started subbing at the YMCA. I get a free membership at all these places and great discounts for kids' things at the Y. Brooke did Camp Forbing while I was in Utah visiting Megan and my family out there.

It was a good trip. I hadn't been out there in 2 1/2 years. I got to go for free since I had a voucher from my free trip to Paris. I love free things!! My kids also just finished taking swim lessons at the YMCA. It's amazing how much they improve in a year. Today they started free swim lessons at Querbes. We were the only white people there, but hey we had an instructor all to ourselves. Maybe people didn't know about it or something. They are at 8:00 a.m., which is early, but I don't want us all getting used to sleeping in so it'll be easier when school starts.

Everyday I wonder how I'm going to survive BEING at work at 7:00 a.m. this next school year! What?! Craziness! Judd will have to be the morning man and get everything taken care of for them. I'll be at Parkway teaching Spanish, but at least I'll get out at 2:30. It feels good just to say where I'm going to be next year because for the longest time I had NO clue what I wanted to do. I liked First Baptist and all and I loved teaching kids P.E., but I can't coach basketball and don't have the time for it (and I need to make more money), so I needed to figure out something. I thought long and hard about working for Edward Jones as a Financial Advisor, but felt like now wasn't the time (if ever). I just got my Masters Degree in Kinesiology and Wellness in May from LSUS (Woohoo!) and it seemed to make sense that I do something with that, but I couldn't find anything with it that paid better and had better benefits that teaching did, so until Judd's job provides benefits it's teaching for me.

I do love running into kids I taught though because they actually get excited to see me and I feel I made a difference. One of the kids I took to Costa Rica actually died last week in a car accident and it's just an awful feeling to think what his family is feeling and going through right now. I just know life is fragile and we need to use our time wisely. We are in a probationary state being tested to prepare to meet God. I want to live my life so that I am prepared to meet Him.

After much thought and prayer I felt like Parkway was where I needed to be (it's just a one year sabbatical job but that's great with - hopefully I can find something in P.E. at that point). They actually called right after I got out of the temple where I felt it was right. My mom and I got to go to the Bountiful Temple together in Utah. She was out there visiting her parents because they aren't doing so well. I'm just so glad I'm done with school. The past 2 summers I was taking classes at LSUS.

The only class I took this summer was a 2 week sewing class for fun at LSUS. The last time I took a sewing class was when I was 12 years old with Megan and we hated it. Now I REALLY want to learn and it was so cool to make a pillowcase for Buddy (Rylan) and LSU pajama pants for Judd that he actually loves! I'm still a BEGINNER but it's very rewarding because it seemed to intimidating to me and like it was another language. In fact, the only thing that gave me hope that even I could learn to sew was the fact that I learned how to speak Spanish, which I thought would be impossible. I'm working on a purse right now - we'll see how that goes.

My bread and rolls just came out of the oven and it smells soooo good in here right now. Yummy! It's a great recipe. Wow - I feel so cheesy right now talking about sewing and cooking. Oh - speaking of cooking, I love that I'm in a freezer meal swap right now which some girls from church. It is so awesome! We each make a few meals and multiply it by however many families are in the group and then swap! My freezer is stocked with dinners. It save money and time! Love it! I made salsa and canned it with Katie Geldmacher again this summer. Homemade salsa is the best!

Judd and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary this Friday! Yay! We've been having so much fun together. I surprise him for father's day and took all of us camping to Lake Claiborne. We borrowed his mom's RV and I had us all packed up and he had no idea. He was so excited because he's been wanting to go forever. The RV was great and it was so fun to just have some good family time and play at the beach and stuff. It was short and sweet.

We just went to Dallas this weekend for Brent and Laura's baby blessing for Camilla. We had fun seeing everybody! It's rare that we all can get together. The kids are good little travelers too. For the 4th of July we just went to Southern Trace and played in the pool and tennis. It was fun - I think that's a family tradition.

I decided that Brooke will go to Shreve Island for kindergarten next year. I'm excited about it because it's a really good school and it's year round. I haven't figured out yet where Rylan and Ava will be, but they are on a lot of waiting lists and I know something will work out. I hate that I have to go back to work because I'm having so much fun with them. Ava is getting so big and started crawling! She even pulls herself up on things too. She has the biggest smile and is just so cute! I'm trying to potty train Rylan right now and he's been doing okay at it. It's hit and miss (literally, he misses some times but that's okay). He is just a big ball of energy that has us constantly cracking up! Brooke is really growing up. Almost 5 years old (she lets everyone know how old she is and when her birthday is)! She is such a good helper and loves being the big sister. We all go to the library together, the park, sci-port, kid city, friend's houses, free lunches at Broadmoor Middle School (yay - free! - haha). I try to do everything with them except shopping - that is disastrous! Judd helps out so much. I've even been playing on tennis leagues this summer, which has been nice since it's been a whole year.

Memorial Day we went to Houston for Ammon's graduation and it's always fun to see all the cousins there. Then we went to my parent's and they rented this big blow up slide thing that was awesome for the kids! Wow - I don't remember anything like that as a kid! These grandkids sure do get spoiled! Groupon and Living Social deals are my new best friends! I love getting those things when it's a super deal!

I'm trying to start a book club/game night thing (I'd like to start bunco but we'll see if I can get that many people). I just love to socialize. I seriously thrive on it. I love reading too so this gives me an extra incentive. The book this month that Tracey picked out was amazing. I loved it. It's called Same Kind of Different as Me. I've been trying to get volleyball nights together at the church too. Not that many people have come, but it's still so much fun and a great workout! I need to do it more regularly.

At the end of May I went with Holli to Dallas so I could get spin certified and she reminded me of being a missionary and so I've been reading my old mission journals lately and it's so neat to read of all the many people that I met and miracles I saw. I'm so glad I kept a good journal and wish I kept a better journal now. I just know that God is aware of each of us and is so involved in our lives. He is there and He cares. Today I took some new members to the church to join the missionaries and an investigator for a church tour and I felt the spirit so strong. I love missionary work and service. The new members - Ty and Sidney are awesome! I always say this, but I seriously need to update this thing way more often. Too much happens and I can't even remember it all.