Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back Home

MERRY LATE CHRISTMAS!! We are finally back from our family tour. Let's see...9 DAYS AGO...we drove to Arlington to have Christmas with Ben's family. We spent our time finishing last minute shopping, cooking/eating, and waiting in a huge line to look at Christmas lights. Finally, we ended our time with them with a delicious Mexican meal of enchiladas and tamales (I can't wait to tell my bilingual students! They will be impressed!) for Cooper Christmas night followed by opening presents. Pat (my mother-in-law) made it such a special Christmas with lots of house things and our yearly purse. Sadly I had lost my camera for that trip (it was just under the seat of the car!) so I have no pics from that.

Second, we went to Dallas on Christmas Eve and stayed through Christmas until Sunday. It was a great Christmas day. We got to play games (I love games!) on Christmas night and Christmas afternoon, I watched the Christmas Vacation movie with Chevy Chase for the very first time. It was a great day.

Then finally on Sunday, we drove to Vicksburg for our final stop to see Ben's grandparents Mimi and Pa. We got a wonderful Mimi breakfast, shopping time, and a roaring (and tense at times) game of Phase Ten. Also, no pictures because of the lost camera. We were truly blessed to get to see just about everyone. I missed my kitties while we were gone and I really wish I could get in their heads and know what they were thinking. Like did they think we just weren't coming back or did they forget us altogether?? Such a mystery. Anyways, its so refreshing to be back now in our own bed, our own couch, our own house. I've experienced hunger today for the first time it seems in at least a week and I am slowly trying to remind myself that every meal does not need to be followed by dessert.

Brother Keith, Dad, and Ben
As tradition goes, the men make Pinch Me Coffee Cake on Christmas morning

A White Christmas!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

O Christmas Tree

My sweet Ben went with me yesterday to pick out a real tree in the rain. What a sweetheart he is. We let it dry out overnight in the garage, and then tonight, I decorated the tree with Pandora Country Christmas station playing. Oh glorious time! I spent most of my night decorating the house and the tree and getting things nice and pretty for...us. Sometimes it seems silly to spend so much time decorating for just Ben and I seeing as we are leaving for the holidays and not hosting any parties...but we will enjoy it and so will our cats in their own mischievous ways so therefore I will still decorate. So far (in the 2 hours we've had the tree up), the cats have not been too much trouble, although I think maybe Carlos is allergic because, poor thing, he keeps sneezing. I have lots of lights left over that I think I will take to school...even though I think they are against fire code. Does it really count during the holidays?! Below are the fruits of my labor :) and a little fun from the snow on Friday.

As I finish this post, the cats have discovered the tree and Carlos was IN it and Polly was climbing up the center. Oh what have I done?!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Madness before 5am

My precious alarm went off at 4:00am today. And yes, it was to go....shopping. I don't even get up that early to go to work or to work out but for shopping, I'll do it once a year. I was out of bed by 4:30 and in the van by 4:40. A Starbucks (a must have if you are out of your house before 6am) Peppermint Mocha, which my stomach later hated me for, was in my hand by 5:00am and I was ready to shop. I went with the very-kind-to-go-with-us mother-in law Pat, my sweet sister-in-law Cherish and Ben's aunt and cousins...my cousins-in-laws? I have never been one to even attempt to leave the house on Black Fridays before last year. I mean, really, who wants to go out on day that starts with "Black" but last year Ben's female family members were going so I joined in. I have to admit, I really went more for the thrill and fun of it that for any amazing deal. I think I could have gotten the same deal at 10am that I did at 5:45am but hey, then when someone compliments my new boots (20% off for the early birds) I can't say, "Yeah, I bought those at 5:45 in the morning!". And who wants to take away that experience. I also got some other Christmas gifts but they might be for YOU so I won't spill the beans. Here is us about to buy our 5:45 in the morning boots! The first photo is Cherish, the 2nd one is Sara (Ben's cousin) and me

I hope you all enjoyed "Black" Friday whether you were shopping, eating more, or watching football. A few more days and its back to school and normalcy. We're being pampered by my family and Ben's family and will miss them dearly!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twas the night before thanksgiving...

If you haven't read this book, you should! It's cute. I read it to my kids this week.

Ahhh Thanksgiving. It's finally here. It seems to have snuck up on me this year. All the sudden it was the beginning of November and then all the sudden it was Thanksgiving! I'm at home in Allen which means family time. I adore family time. I love the group times with all the laughter and people around and I treasure the one-on-one times whether planned or if it just happens. This morning, as I always try to plan for, I got to wake up slowly and sit and talk with my mom. Historically, this has been the time when I hang out with her. We talk and drink coffee. My brother Keith was doing a landscaping job at her house so he came in also and ate breakfast with us and I got to talk to him while my mom took Cody (the dog that's more like a small child) for a walk. Such a treat and all before 11am. I then ate lunch with my sister Anne and we went shopping at let's see...DSW, the Loft, Charming Charlies, and some cute stores on the McKinney square. For lunch, I had a small quiche, a small cup of fruit, and a nice helping of Chocolate Chip Pie. Can we say YUM?! It has been a precious day. Tonight, we are going to my sister's oasis of a house (its amazing!), to eat BBQ and play games with the whole family. I have to pack in months of family time in two days. This is how it must be done and I must say I love it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I'm tremendously thankful to my God and King for how He has blessed me with his faithfulness, the people around me, and all His blessings. Now bring on the delicious food!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I confess...

...that I am a Twilight fan. I have been hiding it for too long and it must come out. I'm not a crazy fan though. I just enjoy reading the books and have enjoyed the movies. I went yesterday with a few of my ADULT girl friends to see the newly released New Moon movie. We were in a theatre full of crazy teenage girls and you cannot imagine the screaming. The last line of the movie elicited an ear piercing scream that I have never heard in a movie theatre ever. But teenage girls aside (I love you teen girls, just not while you scream in a movie) I enjoyed the movie. It was interesting to see how they portray certain characters and events that happen. I'm currently reading the 4th book so please don't tell me what happens at the end.
On another note, today, we were very kindly given passes to the LPGA tournament that is right here in Houston just about 20 minutes from our house! It was a gorgeous day to walk around. We went with our friends Grant and Jen. Grant and Ben very very serious about their analysis and discussion of the golf being played around us. Jen and I really just followed them around and found different places to stand and talk. We got shushed once by someone official for talking while someone was about to tee off. So sorry! We got to see Lorena Ochoa from Mexico in this exact outfit! That is a picture of her from today.
Two day week this week, then off to Dallas on Tuesday night, then to Arlington on Thursday afternoon. I love Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

October where did you go?

Whew! It has been quite a month. It has been exactly 1 month since I blogged - partly just from lack of motivation, partly from busyness (if you write this word by the rules, changing the i to y, it comes out looking like business, what's correct?) Well, because I don't want you to A, skip all the text and go to the pictures, or B, have a lot to read, I will just recap in mostly pictures. Here is the month of October...

Mom, Dad, and brother Keith came to visit the weekend before my birthday. Friday, I took off work and my mom and I went to the Houston Art museum! Then on Saturday, the guys played golf and I went shopping with my mom. Such a special birthday treat. They took me to the Taste of Texas for dinner and it was absolutely delicious!
On my actual birthday, Ben took me to the Melting Pot and gave me some pink sapphire earrings. He is the sweetest husband!
Is that Bacon? And Eggs??? YES! My school has book character dress up day every Halloween. The students are encouraged to dress up as a book character. Usually, each grade level team of teachers picks a book, and we chose Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I am the bacon that falls from the sky, Erica is eggs, and Amanda is the old man who tells the story. We had a blast! The others on our team were a pancake, the little boy, and one of the towns-people.
This past week, 3 other 3rd grade teachers and I got the opportunity to go to a 3rd grade teachers conference in Austin. We learned a lot and enjoyed our time together. After our first day, we went to the capitol building, to the Hula Hut, and then to the Yogurt Spot. A night to remember! Below is Amanda, me, and Erica.

And these are my sweet kitties. Carlos is getting huge. He is just so long but he still has a little baby meow. Maybe he will mature later and have a deeper voice. On the other hand, Polly has seemed to stop growing and is a petite little kitty. Oh how I love them :).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A different week

So, its been an off week for us. Odd, different, totally out of routine. Ben had the swine Flu this week. It all started on Friday afternoon. He went to the men's retreat feeling ok but got worse throughout the weekend. (If your husband went to the men's retreat and is now sick, we apologize). But he's feeling much better now and will for sure return to work on Monday.

I have been sleeping in the guest bed so that I have as good a chance as possible to not get it. It's actually a really comfortable bed. Well a little too comfortable and too quiet I guess because this morning I woke up 2 HOURS late! Ahhh! I set my alarm but then forgot to touch the little button that turns it ON. I woke up unknowingly at 7:12 and remember thinking it was abnormally light. Not good.

On a side note, one of my sweet girls gave a speech in class and she used the word ya'll! My bilingual kids are growing up to be wonderful Texans. Pray that I don't wake up sick in the morning!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Santa Fe and more...

So I think its time to get back to blogging. I've been in school about 6 weeks now and I feel like I'm in a routine. I love my kids and the teachers I work with. I think its going to be a good year. Last weekend, we enjoyed a weekend away from home in Santa Fe. We saw the historical sights around the town Plaza and then drove up into the mountains. We rode up on a gondola to the top of Ski Santa Fe (where there is no snow right now), and then hiked down.

This weekend, I had the wonderful treat of my friend Jamie coming to visit. She lives in Dallas. We have been friends since 2nd grade and have gone through so many things together. She was the maid of honor in my wedding and its always a delight to spend time together. We did all the normal girly things, but we got to do them together. Such as...delicious desserts, shopping, yummy lunch, several girl movies at home and in the theatre, hair coloring, and lots of talking in between. So fun. Now its back to real life. I've got 2 loads of laundry in the works and one yet to be done.

I leave you with one picture to make you smile. Or at least the real life version made me smile. Somehow, this is his favorite way to sleep. I hope that today you get a nap or some chill time that makes you as relaxed as Carlos looks.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feliz Cumpleanos mi amor

Happy Birthday Ben! Today is my sweet husband's birthday. Last night we celebrated in style at Fogo de Chao. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it for your next special event. Ladies, it might not be exactly your cup of tea (or skewer of meat) but it will win big points with the menfolk. Just picture it...waiters walking around with skewers of meat asking you if you want a slice of Fillet Minot, Top Sirloin (my favorite), leg of lamb, and more. We both thoroughly enjoyed it along with the free birthday dessert. Needless to say, I had zero desire to eat breakfast this morning. My stomach was still recovering.

I gave Ben his gifts this morning (Guitar Hero 5 and a wireless controller) and tonight I grilled fish and asparagus and made cupcakes to take to Bible study. I hope he feels well celebrated.

On another note, the first two weeks of school have gone well. Finally my feet don't ache every night when I come home and I am gaining my energy back. I think its going to be a good year.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Joys

Wonderful encouraging Church Service, smooth transition
Pastor returned
Lunch after church with friends, laughter
Errands with my sweet Ben
New pencils and erasers
Reading, kitties in my lap
Spaghetti, dinner together, leftovers for lunch
Making no bake cookies
Country Music
In bed early
Kids come tomorrow!

Could it get any better?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why I'm ready for school

Its that time of year again. Brand new school supplies, no more summer, and a new start. One reason I love being a teacher is getting to start over every year with new goals and plans. Now, as I am trying to be positive about seeing all my free time, sleeping in, and playing go away, I would like to make a list of the things I'm looking forward to as the year beings. They are in no particular order except the order I am thinking of them in.

1. Time with teacher friends. I love my 3rd grade team, and its fun to spend time with people who know your field. You can make jokes like "There's no child left untested" and everyone gets it. (Someone said that at a workshop I went to).

2. My sweet kiddos. Some of my favorite conversations are the ones I have walking the track at recess with my kids. They are so easy to talk to and you can count on them to be completely honest.

3. Speaking Spanish. This year, my school is going to a 50/50 model of Spanish/English. I will be learning so many new words this year and getting to speak a lot of Spanish. Can't wait!

4. Routine. I'm one of those people who loves it. I am so much more productive and get more done when I have a routine to follow.

5. Working Hard. A month into school, I'll be wishing for a lot less of this, but during summer, its in short supply. Everyone needs a break, yes, but I'm about done with mine. I've relaxed enough and I'm ready to join the rest of the productive world.

6. Forced healthiness. I walk around my classroom and the school all day constantly and sometimes very fast - thus forced exercise. Also, I have a forced eating schedule. Breakfast, morning snack during specials, lunch, snack after school and dinner. During summer, eating is a possibility at any moment and sometimes its hard to say no.

I went back to school last Wednesday and the kids come back on the 24th. This week, we've got meetings, time to work in our classrooms, meet the teacher and time for planning. Should be a nice week!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lots of food and a good friend

Officially, I have no more full weeks of summer. Last week I savored my free time with naps, TV, reading, shopping, and time with friends. I did go into my classroom a little and had a two-day training for school so don't get too jealous.

Wednesday and Thursday I went to a required bilingual training. We were blessed with Taco C breakfast tacos (YUM) and Panera bagels (my faves) for breakfast from the presenters. I learned a lot of really good stuff. For those teachers out there (the rest of you really may not know or care about this) the 3rd grade students no longer have to pass the reading TAKS test to go on to 4th grade. I haven't really decided if this is a good or bad thing for me or in general, but it's something different. We also learned about all the new standards that govern what we teach and how in depth we go into subjects (new TEKS) and learned some new perspectives on bilingual education. It got us motivated and thinking about the new school year. The second day of training, the presenters decided that if we worked through lunch, we could leave a few hours early and we enthusiastically agreed. We brought way way more than enough snacks to tide us over the hour we would have to wait to eat lunch. I think we maybe went a little overboard. It ended up being my lunch.

So lets see...grapes, chocolate, wheat thins, cookies, candy, granola bars, bagels, and sandwiches. No one can say we weren't prepared. And actually we were the only table to bring this much food...we were a bit embarrassed...but definitely not hungry!

Amanda, me, Jennifer, and Ana (3rd and 2nd bilingual at my school)

I also go the treat of seeing Lindsey, my sweet friend and roommate from college. She came to visit her boyfriend and so she stayed at my house Thursday night. Ben played golf Friday morning so we got to wake up, drink coffee, and make breakfast just like old times. Such a gift from the Lord.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thanks Obama!

Last week, Ben got a brand new truck! We took Obama up on his offer for $3500 off our new truck if it met the requirements of 18 MPG or better. Also, our trade-in had to be 18 MPG or under and the new car had to be at least 2 better if it was truck. I think that was about how it went. Anyways, we met all requirements and took advantage. Ben got a 2009 Toyota Tacoma in the color Pyrite which is like a shimmery bronzy brown. Currently, its my favorite car color! Now my car is old news and we like to drive Ben's car around. Sweet Ben had been driving around without A/C in his old car. That's right, the past three Houston summers (temps into the 100's!) with no air to cut the heat. He would come home from work sweaty everyday. He has been so content with his old car and so kind to let me have the new car first. What a sweetheart. We look forward to many opportunities to use the truck. Thanks Obama for making it possible :).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

San Antonio

This weekend, we went to San Antonio for a mini-vacation before school starts. It was just enough time out of Houston. We started the vacation on Friday afternoon with none other than a round of golf. Normally, this might not excite me greatly, but it was in the hill country. But this was no normal golf course. The holes were hilly and unique. And its always enjoyable to ride around with my Benjamin. That night we ate at a yummy restaurant on the riverwalk. Below is us when we had finished eating. We went bold in Pink and Purple!

Saturday, we went to Fiesta Texas. I had not been to a theme park like that since early college or maybe even High School. In High School, I absolutely loved roller coasters. This time I did enjoy them, but, I have to admit, not as much as I did before. The jerkiness was not so exciting as much as it was a potential headache. But the one ride I will never get tired of is "The Scream" called the Superman ride in Arlington. It shoots you way up and then drops you down. The most fun ride. Ever. Below is me pretending to ride one of the rides. The picture was supposed to be more zoomed in so that it looked more real, but the photographer was notified of this request. So instead I just look silly.

Saturday night was another delicious dinner on the river walk. Sunday, we drove to San Marcos to go to the HUMONGOUS outlet mall. Oh my, I had forgotten how big it actually was. I have to say though, I did not make the shopping queens proud this weekend. I pooped out on the first third of shops and was ready to go. Ben probably would have kept shopping and actually bought a lot more than I did. I was hungry and it was way too crowded. So we drove down to Gruene, Texas which is along the Guadalupe River. We ate at the Gristmill - a gorgeous little restaurant on the river. We had a nice time together and came back very relaxed and refreshed.

Changing subjects, I went to the eye doctor today and I need glasses. I see it more as a new accessory (just one I actually need). They're really just for reading and such, but I'm kinda excited. Hopefully it will help with my headaches as well. I'll post a picture when I get them.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The big catch up...get ready!

I have come to the point where it is absolutely mandatory to blog. There have been many events that I wrote blog posts for in my head with pictures and catchy sentences. And they never made it to the actual blog world. So today will be a major catch up of events with pictures and brief descriptions if you can handle it. If I don't do this now, the events will be forever lost in imaginary blog world and you will never know about them. Oh the tragedy.

This is us at Houston Project. Notice we look a little sweaty and like we're workin...well we were! It went so great and God blessed our site greatly. For a more detailed account, my friend Jen wrote several detailed posts about our site.
This was the going away party for our sweet Herringtons. They moved to Springfield Missouri recently. This is some of our Bible study girls - Amy, Liz, Rachael, and me (aparently I wore the wrong color). We already miss her!
The church we did Houston Project at invited all the volunteers back for a delicious authentic Mexican taco dinner. They were delicious. Some of the guys had 8 tacos. Wow. This is Jen, me, and Shayna stuffed from amazing tacos.
Now we're up to last weekend. Slowly but surely catching up. My cousin Emily got married and this is at her rehearsal dinner. We were very excited for her hence the faces.

Rehearsal dinner with my wonderful sister Anne and I.

Now to the wedding. I didn't have any good pictures of the beautiful bride and groom but I did get a picture of the cake. This is the grooms' "cake" in the form of a bunch of chocolate chip cookies. Then they brought out little cups of milk. Such a cute idea.
Now we're caught up to yesterday. I drove to College Station for the day and the day really deserves its own post but won't get it. The Lord worked it out perfectly and I got to see so many people in such a short time. Some of them are here - in the back - me, Jen (in from East Asia), Rebekah (friend from college), in the front - Holly, Carson (Amber's son), Erin, and Amber. I also go to see Lindsey who is moving to San Francisco!
Erin leaves soon for North Africa and this was the last time I will see her before she leaves. It was so sad to say goodbye, but I'm so excited for her.

Wow, so that's been my July pretty much. Teachers go back to school August 12th so my summer's almost over. Sad to see it go, but once I'm back, I'll enjoy getting back to work and being with the kids. Today sometime, we go to San Antonio for the weekend for one last hurrah!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tremendously Blessed 2 years

Today is Ben and I's 2 year anniversary. Wow, two years. Sometimes it seems like a lot less, and other times I can hardly imagine life before Ben. Thank you sweet Ben for a great 2 years. We have both grown so much in patience, love, kindness, faith and trust in the Lord and dependence on the Lord. Ben has reminded me and challenged me often to love the person God made me, to be confident and decisive, and to put my ultimate faith, security, and hope in the Lord. Ben is blessed with wisdom and the gift to remember facts. He is silly but also sweet and gentle. He is a wonderful person to talk to and to be honest with and to discuss ideas or feelings. I love Ben and I couldn't be more thankful! Here's some pictures of us the last two years...

Our wedding Day

July 21, 2007
Halloween 2007
Valentines couples retreat 2008

Cayman Islands summer 2008

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Houston Project

This week is finally it! We and so many others have worked hard to prepare for this event for a while now. We've been working on it and recruiting leaders and volunteers since the beginning of May. It seemed so far away when we started and now its here!

Houston Project is a city-wide event put on by the church Ben and I attend. Groups of people from the church go to different smaller churches around the Houston area. The goal is to help the local church reach the people in their area so that they may learn about Jesus and believe in Him and get involved in the church in their neighborhood. Ben and I are leading one of the groups that is partnering with a smaller Spanish speaking church. The pastor and people of this church are so gracious and kind. We can't wait to get to minister to them and hopefully help their church grow and reach the community. So, if you think about it, please be praying for us and the other sites for safety, wisdom, soft hearts and for people to come to believe in Jesus as their Savior. We're offering them free dinner every night but ultimately, we want to show them the freedom from their sins they are offered by Jesus Christ. He died for each of us in our place on the cross and then rose three days later conquering death. We now by simply beliving in Him can have Eternal Life with Jesus in Heaven. Praise the Lord!
If you want to sign up, its not too late. Just go to houstonproject.org and pick your site.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Search with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a search engine that lets you earn stuff while you search. Many of you might have already heard of this - I read it on Jana's Blog a while back but just never signed up. If you heard of it from someone else first, by all means, use their link. But if I'm the first one you have heard this from then use mine! You earn swagbucks randomly (I haven't found any ryhme or reason to it) when you search. You can trade in your swagbucks for gift cards and other prizes. Right now, I have 5 swagbucks. If you want to sign up, click on the link below and I'll get swagbucks for referring you I think. You can even download a toolbar search spot like Google has for your Browser.


Happy Searching!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Craigs List Newbie

Today, I bought my first item off of Craigs List. I started small - just looking for a cute wooden chair for my new craft room. Ben and I lived in an apartment for our entire marriage until we moved in February so we got used to living in just two rooms. Well, little by little we're realizing that there are other rooms in our house that we can use! Like three of them. One of the upstairs rooms has wonderful big windows and it was just filled with boxes that never got unpacked - mostly of random decoratives and things we don't use much. So, this past week, I cleaned out the room, threw away stuff, and put the boxes in the closet (genius I know) leaving myself a wonderful craft room! I already had a desk and a chest of drawers and our sweet friends that are moving (I'll miss them so!) gave us two bookshelves that they didn't want anymore. The only thing missing was a chair. I didn't want to put a black leather swively office chair in my cute girly craft room so I went to Craigs List in search of a cute chair. I found one and even bartered the price down a little. I drove and picked it up today from a sweet school teacher in Houston. I bought a girly cushion for it and a bright lamp and my room is almost complete. Below is a picture of the chair and the lamp. Later, I'll post a picture of the completed and organized room.
The cute "vintage" chair...the lady said she bought it at an antique shop and she thinks its English

I love this lamp! Clearance at Home Goods. Great place.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Honesty from Lynn

I was recently tagged by Jen to say 10 honest things about myself. I've been in a blog slump lately and have had no motivation to write a blog so thanks Jen for getting me back to blogging! I have done this before so I'll try to think of 10 new things that you may not know about me or maybe they are new things that have come about since I last wrote one of these types of posts. Ok, here it goes...

1. When I'm at home, I talk to my cats on and off all day like they are people. They don't respond but I think they understand.

2. I have a whole new love for rain. I always have loved storms but now it means one more things to me - a day I get to skip watering the lawn. I love you rain.

3. Although I have embraced my incredibly straight hair now and am learning to work with it, in high school, I had a perm every 6 months or so and even convinced a friend to do it. She ended up hating it and wearing her hair in a pony tail for the rest of the year. Poor thing.

4. I took copperplate Calligraphy (like you see on invitations) lessons this summer from a lady who has her own Calligraphy business. Actually her office door says Calligraphy and Haircuts. Maybe I'll start cutting hair too. So, if you want something calligraphied, let me know! I need the practice!

5. I have discovered recently that I love to bake. I love to make cookies, cake, or any other type of dessert. But, I am conflicted. See, I love to also eat what I bake but this could be bad for my midsection. So, I need to brainstorm more reasons to bake when I don't have to eat what I bake.

6. I genuinely love to watch golf. Ben was gone this past Sunday and I was really disappointed that we weren't going to sit and watch golf together. I haven't gotten to the point of watching by myself but anythings possible now!

7. I hate to waste things - time, food, clothes, money, craft paper, etc and get a pit in my stomach when I do. It just happens sometimes though and you can't help it. I'm learning.

8. I am trying to cut two things out of my diet - caffeine and fake sugar. You don't realize how much of something is in your diet until you try to cut it out.

9. I am starting the Twilight series (don't judge me!).

10. One of my favorite things to do this summer has been to go to Starbucks mid afternoon with a book and get sweet tea and an oatmeal cookies. Its just so wonderful.

Thanks for reading. I hope you learned something new about me!

Monday, June 29, 2009

More sweet family

This weekend we got the special treat of being with Ben's parents all weekend. They drove down from Arlington on Friday afternoon. His parents are so encouraging and fun and Ben and I both always enjoy our time with them.

The weekend was really pretty low key which is just what we needed. This past week was one of the busiest I've had in a while (but thankfully not stressful). I had trainings everyday and some event or dinner every night. I enjoyed it all but needed a little time to just chill. I went to the grocery store with Pat Friday afternoon to get stuff to grill out burgers. I don't always enjoy burgers from restaurants, but I love grilled out cheese burgers. Ben and his Dad grilled the burgers, some spicy sausage and....grilled peaches! It was a recipe I found on KraftfCheck Spellingoods.com and it was pretty good. Just make sure they are ripe! After some fabulous hamburgers, we saw the movie Star Trek. I really knew nothing about the movie or even the series but it was really good. Believe me, I'm no sci-fi fan but I enjoyed it and you can trust my recommendation.

Saturday, the guys played golf (the 4th time in two weeks!) and Pat and I went shopping, talked, and ate lunch. Life is good. That night, we enjoyed dinner at Berry Hill Tacos with some live Latin music (two favorite things!) and just spent time together. Sunday, Ben's parents came to church with us and were able to see Ben teach and meet some of our friends. We loved having them come and step into our world for a little bit.

Now, I can't blog without mentioning my kitties. The kitties really liked Mark and Pat and treated them with love! Below are some pictures. On a random side note, I bought the Chi and I love it!

Pat Pat and the kitties

New Iphones = hours of entertainment.` This is what the guys did while Pat and I watched 2 episodes of What Not to Wear. So great.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Family time

It's been another great week of summer! At the beginning of the week, I began my calligraphy lessons. I learned all the lower case letters and most of the capitals. My hand now hurts but it was worth it. I also spent one day entirely in my house. This is something that when I was in the apartment, would have made me go crazy. It just seemed that I had things to do and enjoyed my day at home. On a side note, I love Pandora. It makes a day at home even better.

Thursday, I headed to Dallas to see family and Ben headed to Austin for a golf trip with his Dad. They played 4 rounds in 3 days! Intense. So I decided to take the time with Ben gone to visit my family in Allen. Thursday night, we had a Pulliam/Kalinke Father's Day dinner because all of us would be gone by Saturday. We went to my sister's house and Bob, my brother-in-law, made homemade pizzas in their outdoor pizza oven. Sausage, pineapple, and cheese pizzas. Oh. Wow. Yum. Then we swam although I never actually made it into the pool. Like I've said before, I love family parties and this one was a great one. Then I got to have a late night coffee date with my roommate Erin. It was so fun!

Friday morning gave some good talk time with my mom walking the dog up to donut shop and back. Then I ate a rare symblings only lunch with my brother Keith and my sister Anne in my brother's amazing back yard. It was great to talk to them both. That night, I got to have a date with my friend Jamie. Usually we just have time for a quick coffee, but this time, we had a whole night to hang out. A true girl night with eating, a chick flick, shopping, and lots of talking! Saturday, I got to spend some time with my grandmother and it was great to see her and love on her a little bit. I headed back out of town in the afternoon, but not before getting a Braums milkshake. Houston people, you are missing out. It was a great mini vacation! I was glad to see Ben on Saturday and our kitties did great with their first two nights home alone. I wish I could see where they slept and what they did all night while we were gone. We didn't think to leave any lights on so wherever they were, they were in the dark. Next week I have a training so the summer play time will go on hold...but just for a week.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Opinions Needed

Ok, I am going to buy a flat iron/straightener. I have board straight hair so you may be thinking, oh Lynn, you don't need one of those! Well, it is the only thing that gets hot enough to curl my hair. There's a certain way to use it where you can curl your hair also. Curls made by curling irons are gone by the time I'm out the door.

So, I know everyone's heard of the Chi and I know that its a really good straightener. But, I've also heard that the Conair Infiniti is #1. Now, I'm not sure if that's #1 except for the Chi or if it's even above that. So, I'm going to buy it soon and before I spend the money, I wanted some opinions from people who have actually used them. Also, I've heard of some Chi's breaking or dying out so I'm not sure if that's common or not. Thanks for the help!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Week 1 of summer

Week one of summer is officially over. I definitely have become relaxed and I think I had a good balance of time with people and time alone. I'm big on routine and summer has none. I made my own though this week of reading my Bible, exercising, and then going on with my day. It was a good strong start to summer with an appropriate mix of fun and productiveness. So what would you do if you had 2 months off?? (Maybe I'll steal some of your ideas!).

Here are some things that filled my first week of summer...

1. Working out - my abs hurt.

2. Reading my Bible and praying.

3. Shopping with friends and alone (This activity CANNOT be as frequent in the coming weeks).

4. Cooking - I made two new recipes this week - tilapia fish tacos and lamb kabobs that Ben grilled. Delicious.

5. Painting the half bath in our house a brown color called Nutmeg. It's perty!

6. Taking more pictures of my adorable sweet kitties than you would want to look at.

7. Reading - see newly updated "Currently Reading" on the side bar.

8. Hanging out with my sweet husband while being relaxed and not exhausted or stressed from school.

Next week I've got a lot more random things planned like tutoring a future 4th grader and calligraphy lessons. Happy Saturday night!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best Buddies

Everyone needs a friend...even if you're a cat. Well Carlos and Polly have found their best buddies - each other! It makes me happy. Someone asked me recently if I was one of those people who treats their cats like people and I said...YES that is me!