Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Morning Encouragement: Psalm 51:10

{Monday Morning Encouragement}

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ben's 6th Birthday Party

Ben's 6th Minecraft Birthday Party

Ben and Will love playing Minecraft so when it was time for Ben to choose the theme of his birthday party he picked that over Ninjago, Ninja Turtles, Superheroes, Despicable Me Minions, Planes, and surprisingly even Lego.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!  I found all of the ideas for his party there. 

Here's Ben with the table of Minecraft food.

This is my go-to for parties with little ones.  I get out the picnic blankets and the kids have a place to eat and it doesn't matter if something gets spilled.

The adults were mostly in the other area of our yard in the shade.
The food was all under the blue canopy in the middle of the yard.

Such a sweet group of kids!  They made Ben's party fun!

I love the serious look discussing this Minecraft Lego set.  Ben had been wanting one and he got some great sets and was so happy!

Ben would not put his new Ninjago book down.  Ashley did a good job picking this one out for him.  Notice it in all of the following photos.  

Will wanted in the photos, too.  Ben is still holding his book!

Can't believe Ben is 6! 

My friend Brandi always makes the most amazing cakes for the boys.  She's made almost all of their birthday cakes and they have all been incredible.  They also taste delicious.  We bought the Minecraft characters in the toy section at Target and she decorated it based on that. Ben was adamant that the Minecraft Steve we bought was the one with diamond armor, therefore we have a Diamond Armor Steve on top of the cake.  Let me confess that the last sentence I just typed does not make sense to me at all, but it wasn't my party so I didn't have to understand it.  Also, all of the blocks on top represent something but I didn't pay enough attention to know the difference.  I may not have known what they all were but I think every single kid at the party did.  

Getting ready to sing the birthday song to Ben.  Mia is too cute.  She looks ready to sing.

Make a wish big guy! 

I think he was surprised he blew out all of the candles in one breath. 

The next two photos go together.  I had stepped inside and my friend Jourdan was helping me out by taking photos.  She told me she got some photos of Ben eating the candle wax, and I wasn't sure what she meant until I loaded the photos on the computer and then I knew what she was talking about when I saw his face.  LOL!

I think in this photo everyone knows what he's about to do and they know it's probably not going to be good to eat the wax.

This photo cracks me up!  I love how everyone else is laughing and Ben has that look of surprise and disgust on his face.  I guess candle wax doesn't taste so good after all.  Ha!!!

Ben requested ice cream cones for this party.  I had to buy the ice cream at Braum's since Blue Bell isn't ready to purchase yet.  When we were at Braum's and he saw the ice cream cones he asked for a box and I couldn't tell the birthday boy no.  You can see him with his ice cream cone here and he still has his Ninjago book, too.   

Thanks to Printabelle for the free Minecraft party decorations!

Monday, June 8, 2015

InstaMay 2015

It's June and these are photos from May, but I had to share them even though they are from last month.  

I have so many things to blog about for June already.
Here's the list:
1. Ben's kindergarten graduation
2. Will's 2nd grade awards and end of school
3. Ben's Minecraft birthday party for his 6th birthday
4. First week of summer vacation
5. Farmhouse updates

It rained and rained in May.  It was actually record setting rain.  The abundant amount of rain made the flowers beautiful.  These photos were taken at the land.  The wildflowers are very pretty.  I don't know the names of all of them, but here are some. 

As we spend more time at the land, I notice things I've never seen before.  The red oak trees have tiny snails on them.  There were about the size of my thumbnail and some are even smaller. 

We only had a few days in May dry enough to check out the foundation for the new house.  The boys are "inspecting" it here.  They were picking up big pieces of dirt and Ben was calling it "icing".

Unfortunately all of this rain has made our baseball and tee-ball seasons shorter than normal.  Even though we didn't get to play all of our games, the boys have still had a good time.  It's fun to watch them play.  Mamaw and Papaw never miss a game and are such loyal fans.

Two of my favorite flowers in my front yard are coreopsis and lamb's ear.  This was earlier in the month because my coreopsis are struggling right now because of too much rain. 

Ben playing in the backyard.

Field trips at the end of the year are fun.  This was at The Frisco RoughRiders baseball game with my teacher BFF Kacie.

Mark and I had just gotten the autograph of Joey Gallo.  He's moved up to the Rangers now.

Josh Hamilton is back!  He's back to the Rangers now.

Our good friend Ashley watched the boys and Mark and I had a date to watch Pitch Perfect 2.  It was hilarious!  The first 5 minutes had me in tears.  Seriously funny!

Open House for our school is usually in March but due to bad weather it was rescheduled for May.  Will's teacher has such a cute classroom.  He's loved being a "Super Second Grader"!

Ben's gone on lots of adventures in kindergarten.  He's had a terrific year and learned so much.  Look how big he looks here and so proud!  I can't thank their teachers enough for taking such good care of our boys.  We are blessed to have wonderful, caring and kind teachers who are such gifted educators.

I'm the student government sponsor and we had an end of year dance at the junior high.  The boys attended but stayed in my classroom most of the dance.  I love the look on their faces watching the kids dance, especially Will.  

We can't wait for the Minions movie to come out this summer.

Will is a night owl and stays up late to watch the Rangers.  He and Mark love it!

No particular reason to share other than I love the look and smell of a freshly cleaned bathroom.

Just one more example of the record setting rain.  This was taken at the end of my driveway.  Mark and I have lived in our house almost 13 years and I've never seen the end of our driveway covered in this much water.  

I ate lunch with Ben on the Friday before his birthday.  I had a meeting for academic UIL on his actual birthday and wouldn't be in town so we celebrated early.  He requested Dairy Queen chicken strips and fries.  His teacher and I joked about the early lunch time at 10:45am.  She called it "kindergarten brunch" which was pretty funny and true. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

6 Years Old!

Today is Ben's 6th birthday!

It's been a big year for Ben in many ways.  

He's almost completed his first year of school.  Ben was young for his class since he has a summer birthday.  We worried that it might be an issue starting kindergarten, but after a lot of thought and discussion we knew it was best for him to start when he did.  Mark and I couldn't be more pleased with how the school year has gone.  Ben has exceeded our expectations, and we're so proud.  He has a phenomenal memory.  Ben's started to read and he likes to work on math problems.  He also likes to draw.  He's really interested in space and prehistoric animals--saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths.  

Ben also played sports for the very first time this year (school year).  He played soccer last fall, and this spring he's playing tee-ball.

Ben is full of energy and spunk.  The evidence is that his jeans all have holes in the knees and grass stains.  He loves to make silly faces.  He thinks it's hilarious to annoy Will (he's the perfect little brother).  He likes to make jokes and make people laugh.  He doesn't like to disappoint.  He loves for me to read him books.  He has the biggest sweet tooth--he would live on sugar and candy if we let him.  He could play for hours with Legos and makes the most creative contraptions out of all of the sets we have. 

It's been such a busy day with school, tee-ball and baseball games that I had to wait until the evening to interview Ben to find out what his current favorite things are.

Ben's favorite things:

Favorite food: Pizza

Ben's favorite drink is root beer

Favorite fruit: apples

Favorite veggie: green beans

Favorite sport to play: Baseball

Ben's favorite sports team is the Texas Rangers. 

Favorite toys: Legos, swords, light saber

The best show on television according to Ben is Legends of Chima, Ninjago, and Odd Squad on PBS kids.

Ben's favorite thing to learn about in school is math.

Ben's favorite thing about school is play in centers because there's Legos.

If Ben could go anywhere in the world, he'd go to Arctic to see polar bears or the ocean because he wants to see sharks.

Ben's favorite color is green

When Ben grows up he wants to be a firefighter.

His current favorite song is "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars.  

His favorite book right now is  National Geographic Angry Birds Playground Animals

Ben's buddies are Alex, Dallas, Garrett, Jack, Christian, Jasmine.  

Favorite holiday: Christmas

Favorite animal: Saber tooth tigers and dinosaurs
Ben says, "Extinct animals are actually fun."

Ben's birthday meal, if he could choose would be Grimaldi's.

Ben really likes Minecraft, Ninjago, Ninja Turtles, Chima, iPad,  Wii, Nintendo DS, playing outside, riding bikes, going to church, and spending time with family.

We celebrated Ben's birthday early by eating lunch with him at school on Friday.  He also picked Grimaldi's pizza on Sunday after church.  He said, "Maybe we could go somewhere I like to eat like Grimaldi's where they have pizza that I like."  We will have his birthday this weekend and Ben chose a Minecraft theme.

Dear Ben,
God knew we needed you to complete our family.  You are the best little brother Will could ever ask for.  You are a sweet and kindhearted son.  You are precious to us and we love you so much!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday {May 2015}

I haven't done a blog link up in a very long time.  When I saw that Mel at the Larson Lingo and her friends {Sheaffer & Shay} started a new link up called What's Up Wednesday I thought I'd join in the fun.  Mel was one of the first blog friends I made 5 years ago when I started blogging.  Link ups are a great way to meet other bloggers with similar interest.  It's also good to get you out of a blog slump like I've been in.  Here are the questions with one bonus at the end that changes each month.

What we're eating...
This question is probably about what I've been cooking at home, but this is the first food photo I came across so this is what ya get.  Mark's mom keeps the boys every Wednesday and it gives me and Mark a chance to sneak off for a mid-week date.  If it's left up to me to choose, then I'm going to pick my favorite Tex-Mex place every time.  Give me all the chips and salsa!

What I'm reminiscing about...
Ben is turning 6 at the beginning of June.  How did that happen?  No, seriously, how???  He's my baby, and it's hard to believe that he was born 6 years ago.  This photo was taken in August 2009 and Ben was just a couple of months old.  Will was only two and a half.  My goodness, they were so little and so sweet!

What I'm loving...
The boys in their Sunday clothes.  I took this photo after church on Easter Sunday.  Luckily they are indifferent about most clothing choices so that makes it easy for me.  I convinced Mark to let me buy these pants that are just a tad on the skinny side.  Mark isn't really a skinny jeans type of guy so that's why I said I convinced him.  These outfits have ended up being one of my favorite things for spring.

What we've been up to...
House planning, house planning, and more house planning.  
I feel like it's all I think about in my downtime.  If you are new to this blog because of the link up, we are in the process of building a new home.  It's a new/old farmhouse on some land we own in the country.  I don't think I've ever shared this photo on the blog.  It was taken at the beginning of this month.  This was when there were a few days of sunshine and the bulldozer was at the land getting the house pad dirt work done. That was an exciting few days watching all of the progress.  I can't believe we were fortunate enough have that small window of sunshine.  The boys had the best time running around and playing on the piles of dirt.  Due to the abnormal amount of rain this spring we are at a standstill with moving forward, but we aren't discouraged.  We know that it will eventually stop raining and construction will begin.  For now we will wait and make plans.

What I'm dreading...
House planning, house planning, house planning.  I put that for what we've been up to, but I'm overwhelmed with all of the decisions we will be making.  Since it's a custom home we have the blessing and burden of making all of the decisions.  If you've ever built a home, then you sympathize with me when I say that I've had dreams at night about light fixtures and sink faucets.
I even used social media to help me on a decision about light fixtures in our master bathroom.  These were some options I've been considering. 

What I'm working on...
Ben's birthday party is next week so I'm working on getting all of the party supplies ready for that. There are giant handmade Creeper boxes in my living room at this moment.  I still have more decorations to make.  It's fun to plan and organize and then it's fun when it's all over. 

What I'm excited about...
My teacher BFF, Kacie, and I have started working out again.  She and I went for a run recently.  It's never fun in the moment, but we are always glad we got it over with.  It's good to have someone to keep you accountable.

What I'm watching/reading...
I did the lazy screen shot of the kindle app on my phone.  I just finished Emily Giffin's The One & Only.  It's different than her other books, but I still enjoyed it.  Maybe it's because it was set in Texas, mentioned places in Dallas, and focused on football.  

What I'm listening to...
Guess what?  You get another lazy screen shot of my iTunes radio stations.  Do y'all do Pandora, Spotify or iTunes radio?  I like iTunes Radio and I've customized it to play a lot of my favorite songs.  Here are a few of the channels I'm enjoying.  I also like the Regina Spektor station and Avett Brothers station.

What I'm wearing...
I haven't done a WIWW post and linked up to the Pleated Poppy in almost a year or possibly longer.  I can't believe I used to keep up with that every week.  I should start it up again.  It's great motivation to put more thought and effort into my outfits.
This is the only recent photo I found that could be close to a WIW.
Top: Anthropologie (the back is beautiful with a floral design but you can't see it from this angle)
Jeans: Boyfriend jeans from the Gap outlet (they are my new favorite)
My favorite summer shoes are leather flip flops from Gap with a thin strap.  I have them in black, silver, gold, and I saw a tan pair and orange pair I might need to purchase.

I don't have these, but I'd like to be wearing them.  I see cute outfits all over Pinterest with similar Air Pegasus Nikes. 

What I'm doing this weekend...
Cleaning the house and getting ready for Ben's 6th birthday party next weekend.  The theme is Minecraft.  Let's hope for sunny weather.  We plan to have lots of friends and family over and our house is cozy (AKA small).  I'm hoping we can all stay outside and hang out if the weather permits.  

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Summer Vacation!!!
The boys' last day of school is June 4th.  School is out for us on June 5th (because we're teachers and have an extra day of in-service).  Mark and I love having a long break from school to rest.  It's awesome to spend that time with our boys.  We normally have a busy summer and a big road trip.  This summer will look different for us.  We are going to keep things simple and not commit to a lot.
One of the biggest things that will be different is that we don't have a road trip planned this year.  Shocking, I know!  We've taken one almost every year except when Ben was born.  Instead of a vacation in 2009 we had a new baby.  Last year we had an incredible time on our summer road trip of 2014.

Here are the stats from that road trip that I cut and pasted from the first blog post I wrote when we got home...

Here's our road trip in numbers.
5, 515 miles
16 days on the road
14 states
5 National Parks
3 Rangers baseball games
2 National Monuments
1 day at Disneyland
Countless memories
4 people who are happy to be home

It's okay with me that we are staying at home this summer because we'll be busy with the new house.  We have a short road trip to Houston planned to see the Rangers play the Astros and visit NASA's Johnson Space Center.  We might even take a short trip to Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle at some point.  Both of those are in Texas though and nothing close to the cross country journey we did last year. 

What is your favorite thing to grill/BBQ?
When I first joined the blogging community I stumbled upon Fly Through Our Window and Darby shared this recipe for Asian Flank Steak.  It's still a favorite for me and Mark.


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