Tuesday, March 31, 2015

InstaLife January-March 2015

This is one of those blog post that starts with the warning of "get comfortable" because it's long and there are a lot of photos.  I had made a goal to get a blog post written with my Instagram photos for the months of January - March.  I should have written it for each individual month, but we've been busy with school, work, and life since the beginning of the new year.  We're also in the process of getting everything in order to build our new house.  Mark and I have already invested hours in the building process and we haven't even broken ground.  I had mentally prepared for this.  I knew once we made the commitment to start this process it would take up all of our spare time (as if that even existed working full-time and raising a family, but let's pretend like we did have some free time). Since I blog in my free time and that's disappeared, I haven't been very good about writing blog post regularly.  I know that no one is holding their breath waiting for me to blog, but this ol' blog is my place to save memories for our family.  If it's important for no other reason than that, then that's enough to keep me at it. 

Here's a glimpse at life for the first 3 months of 2015.  

January

The boys looking adorable in their footed pajamas drinking hot chocolate.

We attended a birthday party for our cousin at a local children's museum.  Will and Ben have a such a good time when we go there.  I wish I could remember to take them more since they enjoy it so much.

Ben blowing giant bubbles.

Will looks like employee of the month taking care of the check out like at the grocery store. 

Boys + Legos = hours of fun

We watched Paddington and it was too cute.

The elementary school hosted a reading camp out encouraging students and their families to read together.  The boys wore their PJs and I wore my sweats.  

Will had a check up with the endodontist to make sure his tooth is healing properly after being knocked out.  He got a good report!  Praise the Lord!  I wrote about his good report {here}

While we were in Frisco we stopped by IKEA.

Just a typical scene at the house--the boys playing on their DS.

February

This photo made me smile. I asked the boys to look at me and smile for a photo.  They both ignored me, and I have a feeling this is a indicator of things to come.  They don't like me to interrupt them for a silly photo. 

Is it Leonardo the Ninja Turtle or Ben?

This winter we've worked at the land cutting trees and burning brush.  This is the general location of where the new-old farmhouse will be.  We went to the land this weekend, but we won't be out there very much because the weather is getting warmer, which means snakes are becoming active.  I don't feel comfortable letting the boys explore once the snakes are out.  Since the land is so wooded, there are venomous copperheads.  I don't want any part of that.


Maggie took these cute pics of the boys on one of their adventures.


The boys getting their Valentines ready for their classes.


I wasn't able to attend their school Valentine's parties, but my mother-in-law went and took photos of the boys.  Here they are at her house with their Valentine from Mamaw and Papaw.

We attended a cute birthday party on Valentine's day--even though it was a "girl party" the boys had fun because Rachael's older brother was there.  They decided it was okay to go to a "girl party" if there were other boys.

Our Valentine's dinner wasn't at a fancy restaurant.  Instead we had BBQ at Rudy's.  


Just because I love them so much.

We took a short road trip to East Texas to visit family. 
Family time is special and fun!

While we were there we saw the Texas A&M Singing Cadets.  I had never seen them perform, and they were very talendted.  This year they included a Frozen medley.  Olaf even made an appearance!

Me and my boy Will

I think Ben will learn to play chess before I ever do.  Will has been teaching him all that he knows.

Snow!
We had a fairly mild winter until the end of February and beginning of March.  I thought we wouldn't use our bad weather days built into the school calendar.  If we didn't use them we'd have 2 extra days off in the spring.  I was so sure we'd be off from school....BUT I was wrong.  Even though it looks like we wouldn't have school this day, we did.  This was just powdery snow.  That doesn't shut down school.  It's the ice that we can't handle in Texas.


The boys had a hard time going in to school without stopping to play in the snow along the way.

Look at this adorable candy store!  It's called Lolli and Pops.  The irony of this photo is that I took the boys there before they had a dentist appointment.  I guess we were trying to get our money's worth.  Since this was our first time to visit the store, we were given a tour of all the different candy sections and lots of free samples.  Can you tell we're enjoying it?  Like a kid in a candy store!

March

If you're reading along, you're probably thinking, Whew, finally made it to March.  

These two guys love them some cake pops.

Ben and Will had a sleepover at Mamaw and Papaw's over spring break.  Mark and I did fun stuff in Dallas since we had the day to ourselves.  Lunch at Twisted Root for Mark. 

A stop by West Elm for me. 

I didn't feel very good over spring break so this is the most exciting thing that happened.  I planted some succulents.  They are living happily ever after in my kitchen window now. 

A sweet friend passed on a box full of her son's old Legos.  Ben was in Lego heaven.  He and Will had a great time making all sorts of new creations and looking at all of the new mini figures.   

I LOVE that Will is reading chapter books now.  He's never had an issue with reading, but he's finally developed an attention span to appreciate good books.  He's read almost all of the Little House series and only has 2 books left to read.   Yay Will!  I can see a road trip in our near future that is dedicated to following the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I've looked and there are road trip guides focusing on this very thing.  I haven't told Will yet or he'll be asking when we leave.

Rain, rain, rain
This made me think of Seattle. 

Mark got some new glasses at Warby Parker, and the boys tried on sunglasses while we waited.
Ben looks he belongs in The Royal Tenenbaums in this photo. 

Will tried on a pair of sunglasses too.  This was more of a  Risky Business look. 

Something's fishy! Shopping after church at Cabela's 

It's rained so much that we haven't been able to play or practice for baseball much.  
The rain finally stopped, the sun came out, and Will had his first game.
He's having fun and playing hard.  This is just the beginning of baseball and... 

Tee-ball!  Ben had his first tee-ball game and it was pretty stinking cute! 
He even hit a home run. He's having fun and learning what it's all about.

My pride and joy! 

Since the weather has been so nice, the boys aren't allowed inside. 
They need to stay outside and play.

When the water hose comes out I have to tell them to come inside. 
 They'd stay out there for hours if I'd let them.   


I don't put a lot of photos of Mark on the blog.  He's a private guy and doesn't like to talk about himself so I respect that.  Every now and then I'm able to sneak one in.  This was a neat moment and I wanted to save it.  I'm terrible at math and it's something that comes naturally to Mark.  Thankfully Will and Ben inherited his math genetics.  They both have mathematical minds already.  Will was excited about a lesson his teacher taught introducing division.  He had some questions for Mark (notice I said questions for Mark and not me, I'd be of no help).  I like the look on Will's face.  He's taking in everything his dad is telling him.  Ben's even interested.  Of course, it's math so I automatically tuned it all out, ha!

Last photo!
Minecraft has officially replaced Angry Birds at our house.  I don't get it, but the boys do.  

If I wait another 3 months to do a massive blog post like this it will be June!  
What?!?
I promise to do better and hopefully it won't be that long.


Monday, March 16, 2015

#letsbuildafarmhouse

If you follow my Instagram, then you know we've been up to some serious house planning lately. 

#letsbuildafarmhouse

Before Mark and I ever got married he'd purchased some land in the country.  I remember the first time he took me to see it. I thought it would be flat, farmland like the place I grew up, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the trees and hills.  It reminded me of places in the Hill Country that I thought were so beautiful.  

We always knew we wanted a house there, but we didn't know exactly what kind of house it would be.  About 3 years ago, we finally decided on a style and design--traditional farmhouse.  We met with an architect and for over a year we worked on creating the plans for the house.  

We are finally ready to begin the building process.  This house has been in the back of our minds for over 10 years, and we're very excited to finally get started.  

We've thought about the house so much that it's easy to second-guess some of our decisions. There's no way to anticipate everything that will happen as we begin, but we're ready to take this leap of faith.  It's hard to believe that it's really happening now.  


Today I took this panorama photo because we're hoping that the dirt work will begin soon and the bulldozer will knock down most of the cedar trees.  It will look a lot different with those gone.  We plan to save all of the big oaks and pecan trees.

As with most major decisions in life, we've prayed about this.  I want to have the right attitude.  I think about being content in the little home we have now and not desiring more.  I worry about not being a good steward of our money.  I don't want to focus too much on earthly treasures or make plans that aren't honoring God.  Those concerns are always on my mind, but undertaking such a major project has had me thinking about them even more.  

The Bible verses below are a few I've been reading and they sure help me feel better about our new home.

Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Psalm 127: 1
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.

Hebrews 3:4
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.


James 4:15 
Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

Mathew 6:19-21
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Even though I'm super excited to start this process and share it on the blog, I will always be mindful that it is just a house.  With that being said, I really believe this home is going to be a special place for our family.  I look forward to the future and the many memories that will be made there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Snow Day, 3/5/15

This week it's spring break, but 5 days ago we were out of school for a snow day.  It's hard to believe we had a snow day in March in Texas, but we did.  

My thoughts on the snow...
It's beautiful.
It's a big deal because we live in Texas.
I only like it for about 2 hours and then I'm over it.
Playing outside in it sure does leave a pile of wet, messy clothes.
It makes for some special memories.

Here are some photos of the fun.

This a snowball fight show down.  If you can look closely, you can see the cutest expressions on their faces.  

Ben got the first throw in...


but Will fired back with a snowball of his own.

Ben all covered in snow from his head to his toes. 

Will on top of the fort. 
 It was a beautiful, sunny day.  We had to play in the morning because by afternoon it had begun to melt.  

Mark tried to pack the snow for a big snowball but it was still too powdery. 


I took this family photo with the timer on my phone.  
All of the photos above were taken with my DSLR.
I have a really funny set of photos (you know how an iPhone does a burst of 10) where I'd set the timer to 3 seconds instead of 10 seconds.  I'll spare you the photos that were taken on 3 seconds because they are only of my backside running to get into place, ha!

The boys are always amazed by the huge icicles on the playset.  They were so busy playing that I could barely get them to slow down for a photo.  

What a landing!
I shared the last 3 photos on facebook.  If you are friends with me or have followed the blog this fall, then you know about Will's tooth getting knocked out in this exact spot at the bottom of the slide.  Believe me, I thought it about it when they were playing here.  I just reminded them to be careful, but I didn't say anything about the tooth.  I don't think Will ever thought about it, and I'm glad.  I want him to be careful but still have fun.  You can tell by the photos that they did!  I had a great time because no one got hurt.  

What a fun morning!  


Now it's spring break and the sun is out and we plan to spend time at the land and work and play. 

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