Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today has been an awesome birthday! It all started with donuts this morning. Claire's had chocolate and sprinkles! (And mine did, too!)

Claire and I went to the store, went to the park with friends, went out to lunch with Kelly, and then came back home. I put up some Christmas decorations, which is WAY fun for me! Jordan fixed some things on our computer so I could listen to Christmas music. And he worked hard on making an AMAZING dinner.

Homemade pasta with a homemade alfredo sauce and grilled chicken

salad (and bread, too)

We are ready to eat!

That pasta was incredible. And Claire might have eaten as much of it as I did!

Funny story here. Claire and Jordan wrapped some gifts for me tonight. When it was time for me to open my presents, Claire handed me one and said, "The books are in here." It wasn't books; it was a gift card to a salon. (Awesome!) When Claire realized that present wasn't books, she said, "Oh, the books are in here" and pointed to the other gift. At that point, I finally realized that I was getting some books! Jordan tried to explain what a surprise means; I'm not sure that the explanation stuck. But that's okay! I love these books, and I'm happy to own them now!

Next, it was time for chocolate souffles! Delicious! 

 My two favorite people!

Birthday love

I feel incredibly blessed and loved today! - And pampered, too! Thank you!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Class: Thanksgiving

Claire and I made a turkey that was in need of feathers. So when Claire helped with something, I was thankful for her help, and she earned more feathers to put on the turkey. The turkey is fully feathered at this point, but here he is when he was just beginning.

All of our other classes were with some cousins in Houston. 

Claire and Ryan carefully placed M&Ms on their turkeys.

After eating those M&Ms, Claire and Ryan colored their turkeys and shared crayons. This kept them occupied for about an hour!

We made leaf families, thanks to Aunt Mel's planning.

And we made some cute turkeys with a footprint and fingerprints. I love how Claire's turned out! - Thanks for this project, too, Mel!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for: Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day full of family, great food, and fun times.

The cousins got to play together.

The kids built a little "fire" outside. 

Stephen did a whole lot of work for the turkey. 

Oh, wait! Where's Stephen??

Hey thanks, Stephen. - The turkey was delicious!

Skin for Rebecca!

Uncle Chris and Claire

Timee Lou and Grandma Polly - who has great taste? They do!

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Great Grandma with four of her great grandkids

Our little family

And dessert! Yum!

After I got Claire to bed, I went over to Aunt Debbie's house and caught my parents and grandmother just before they left. They were kind enough to stay and talk for a while. I'm glad I got to see them, Debbie, and Jack. Families are the best!

Today I felt truly thankful for all of our blessings. We are in a great place right now. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for: The Last Day of Clinicals

That's right! - TODAY is Jordan's LAST DAY OF CLINICALS!!!! -- EVER!!!! I know he's excited, and I am, too! I'm thankful that Jordan got into CRNA school when he did. I'm thankful for his hard, dedicated work to get through CRNA school. And I'm thankful that CRNA school is coming to an end! There IS light at the end of the tunnel! We've almost made it! Hooray!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for: Parents

I am thankful for my parents, for Jordan's parents, and that Jordan and I get to be parents. Parenting is not always easy; I have learned this during the past two and a half years! But it's still wonderful. It requires lots of hard work, sacrifice, patience, and humility. It requires standing your ground when you need to and relaxing when you can. It requires lots of love, energy, creativity, and playtime. It requires assembling things with lots and lots of parts and having plenty of batteries on hand. It requires making something out of nothing and using imagination to develop amazing worlds to play in. It requires teaching - every chance you get. It requires learning - be ready because it's coming. It requires everything. But you get MORE than everything in return. The blessings are boundless. Immense. Immeasurable. Uncontainable. Unimaginable. And we've only just begun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful for: Music

I am thankful for music. It is my passion, my art, (was) my profession, my service, my release, my refuge, and it is a daily part of me being a mom.

My passion - I sang in a choir from 1st grade through my senior year of college. I took piano lessons for more than 13 years. I took voice lessons for at least 8 years.

My art - I love to make music; that is my art. Whether it's on the piano, on the organ, in a piece I'm singing, or with a choir I'm directing, music is my art.

My profession - Thankfully, I got to teach high school choir for 6 years. I taught amazing kids, I had great co-workers, I learned an incredible amount, and I LOVED what I did each and every day. Having a profession where you LOVE every minute is an incredible blessing. I'm so thankful I had that opportunity.

My service - Through church, I have had many opportunities to serve through music. I have been a choir director, a pianist, an organist, a chorister, and the children's music director. I'm thankful for my talents, and I'm thankful that I can help and bless others through the talents I have been blessed with.

My release - Sometimes I just need to hear some great Bach motets. Or Aaron Copland. Or the Rachmaninoff Vespers. The list goes on and on. - Does anyone else ever feel that way?

My refuge - As I might have mentioned before, there's a quote on my college piano professor's door that goes something like this: "She who plays the piano stays sane. ~Chinese Proverb" I completely relate. Sometimes I just need to sit down, play the piano, and let my emotions come out. When I get up, I feel so much better.

My mothering - I sing good morning to Claire when I see her. We sing children's songs together. We listen to music together in the car. I sing about brushing her teeth and drying her hair. We sit at the piano and play it together. We sing together while we play the piano. Claire listens as I practice what I need to practice, and then she chooses songs from her book (the primary song book) for me to play. And - to me - the best part about having music be a natural part of each day is that music has already become a natural part of Claire's days. She makes up her own words or verses to songs that she knows. She hums (or oooo's or aaah's) to songs that she knows. She recognizes many songs from the first few notes. I love that she improvises new words and makes up her own songs.

I am thankful for music. It is my passion, my art, (was) my profession, my service, my release, my refuge, and it is a daily part of me being a mom. LOVE! IT!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful for: Family Gatherings

I love getting together with family members! Yesterday we went to my uncle's place in Centerville, Texas, for the annual gathering with good food, good fun, and great family. I'm thankful we were able to go.

Jordan was able to meet Belton.

Claire had fun playing with Uncle Matt - of course!

We took a walk. 

Claire liked exploring and finding things to play with outside. 

Jordan was scouting (and planning a hunting trip!)

Claire helped Aunt Joyce hold Belton.

And we sang some songs with the piano. Here we have Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Jack. 

Aunt Joyce and Krish


Mom and Uncle Don

Dad with Jordan

And the Tovar family! 

Dad, Peter, Don, and I were able to play a couple of games of 42, also. Love it! 

I truly am thankful for the opportunities we have to get together with family - immediate and extended. I'm thankful for the sacrifices that people were willing to make in order to come.