Saturday, July 31, 2010

Orange Beach, Alabama

This summer, a new tradition was started that I am so excited about! We went to Orange Beach, Alabama (near Gulf Shores) for a week of relaxing, golf (for the guys), shopping (for the girls), eating yumminess, and lots of beach time. Ben and I went with his sweet parents Mark and Pat, and Ben's brother Luke and Luke's wife (my sister-in-law!) Cherish. We drove from Houston on Tuesday and then drove back on Sunday. It was such great relaxing time and hopefully we can make it back next year!

On the drive there. This is probably hour 5 or 6.

The second day there, we played putt putt. Guess who won??

The 3 Mrs. Coopers. Me, Cherish, and Pat. All proud to have the title! We were shopping while waiting to go and eat at the Oyster House.

These are the kinds of things that happen when you play Quelf. Such a fun random silly game. Cherish had to wrap herself up like a mummy until someone rolled a 4. I had the worst card! I had to say "I command you to be silent!" EVERY TIME someone laughed and if someone caught me not doing it (LUKE!) I had to move back 1 space. I started just whispering it after a while.

Men's golf picture! Ben, Luke (Ben's brother), Mark (Ben's dad)

And this is what we did while they played golf. It was glorious! Oh and the closed water thing...ummm most people just ignored it and got in anyways (we might have been some of those people...). The beaches and the water were not perfectly clean but good enough to thoroughly enjoy them.
Dinner at Lulu's in Gulf Shores.

And ice cream afterwards at Scoops! I got cookies and cream and peppermint in a waffle cone.

The cousins: plus a friend and minus Luke and Cherish (they had gone home)
Ben, me (the cousin-in-law), Sara, Anna, and friend Rachel

Nertz Tourney afterwards! Love. This. Game. Sara won though. Then we played rummicube. Ben won once and so did Anna.

And I leave you with this serene picture of the Beach. This was the 2nd to last morning we were there. I got up early to run on the beach. It sounded so perfect and peaceful. Umm, it was not. Running in wet and dry sand was a lot harder and I didn't make it as far as I usually do. The walk back was nice though, and then I sat out and read my Bible.
Thanks Cooper's for a wonderful trip!

Coming soon...The 2010 HELK reunion!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Houston Project days 1 and 2

Well, we are halfway through Houston Project 2010. Days 1 and 2 have been a success - of course not without the glitches but God has worked them out and we trust Him for every detail.

Last year day 1, no one got onto the buses we sent out to pick kids up. Boy was it sad when they came rolling in empty. But this year....first day 27 people came in on the buses and yesterday, even more! What a blessing. Also, we were able to go around and knock on doors at the apartments where as last year we weren't allowed.

We have soooo many kids this year and our classes are really getting full which is a good thing. Oh how we love our teachers. They are doing an amazing job with their kids. Our Adult Bible study is going so well and tonight if I don't have a sweet baby to hold, I may sit in and listen. Youth has gone wonderfully, and the teens actually got really into it last night. The food draws them in (mmm hamburgers tonight) and they are prayed for the whole time by our faithful prayer team. The evangelism team is going out into the neighborhoods and boldly sharing Jesus with an evage-ball! A soccer ball with the 4 colors used to share the gospel! We have a nursery too and I got to hold one sweet little girl half the night. She was screaming so I walked around with her outside. She kept saying "abuela, abuela". Then when I kept saying, "she's coming soon, she's coming soon", she started saying "coming, coming". I could have taken her home!

Looking forward to 2 more great nights. We need prayer for energy for our volunteers - most of them are going to work, then straight to Houston Project for 2 days now and that is rough. And for more people to have softened hearts to hear and accept the Gospel. Tonight I've promised myself that I will take pictures!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Recipes

I'm loving the summer extra time to leisurely go to the grocery store and cook new recipes. This past week was Ben's first week to not go to Louisiana so I made some fun new recipes.

These Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa from Cooking Light were my favorite from the week. You have to buy Old Bay seasoning which is a little expensive for seasoning but I'll use it on future fish. It was delicious and Ben loved it.

This is Orange BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches made in the Crock Pot. We ate these Tuesday night, then again for left overs a few times. It made a ton of meat, but it was delicious and super easy. We just had cantelope with it. Oh, and its from

Now, this is a Lemon Cornmeal Pound Cake again from Cooking Light. I did try making this, but I did something wrong. I hate it because I really don't know what...but it turned out just ok and Ben wouldn't even try it. I ate it (it's cake!) but I think I cooked it too long. So, try it at your own risk but in this picture, it looks really yummy. Let me know if it turns out better for you and I'll try it again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Insights

I think I'm settling into summer. I've discovered a few things about myself in having all this free time...

1. I hate to clean the bathroom. And even when I have oodles of time, it still doesn't happen as often as it should. Sooo that "I'm working" excuse, isn't really true I guess.

2. I am bad about starting a project and not completely finishing it. In a day, I might start and almost finish about 3 projects such as cleaning something, an artsy project, or organizing. But I just can't seem to finish that last 10%. What does that mean???

3. Carlos and Polly follow me around because they don't get enough time with me. You see, now that I'm home a lot more than normal, they are content to stay in a different room if they are napping. This has never been the case. It's a little sad I must admit.

4. Either I did something wrong, I cooked it too long, or it just wasn't good, but the Cooking Light recipe for the pound cake I made tonight was not what I was hoping for. I guess that's what you get when trying to make a "Light" pound cake.

Summer is going well and I'm enjoying the extra time to exercise (Ran 2 miles today thanks to my new running friend!) and to study the Word and pray. Also its nice to get all the little house projects done and have time to spend with other teacher friends and have a lunch longer than 25 minutes. The next month is going to be busy with vacations, some training and Houston Project so its going to fly!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

High Flyer

So my cat Carlos is quite talented. Besides being overly large and longer than any cat I've ever had, he can jump like no body's business. Also, he plays fetch. Yes, like a dog. My cat growing up, Little Kitty, also did this with hair twisties. Carlos plays fetch with anything - hair twisties, toys, twisty ties. But one of his faves is the little seal that you pull off of the box milk cartons. You know, the ones that are a circle and they have a little circle pull on them. Anyways, below is Carlos demonstrating 2 of his skills - fetch with the milk carton seal and high jumping. Enjoy the show.

Oh and there is no one at home with me - what you hear in the background is the show Felicity. I bought it at half-price books this week and have been watching it as I clean, scrapbook, email, etc. Its been enjoyable and takes me back to college when I watched all the seasons in like a month with the HELK roommates. I love summer!