Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cookie Time

I can't remember the last Saturday afternoon we had where we had no plans at all. Well, today was one of those days. And in the middle of a pretend tea party I had the urge to make some cookies. So we made some spontaneous jam-filled butter cookies. The girls were a big help by pouring in the ingredients and making little wells with their precious thumbs. And Mark was a big help by talking to the cookies while they cooked. These were the easiest cookies I've ever made, and we didn't even have to bug our neighbors for any missing ingredients.

Who needs clothes when it's 109 degrees outside, right?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Daily Devotionals

So with the school year starting and summer ending, I decided to start daily devotionals with the girls. They are both at an age where they can sit, listen, sing, and participate in an activity. This week was our first week. We start right after breakfast and it lasts about half an hour. The girls did great and were eager to begin each morning. Since our church's Sunday school has been studying Jonah, I decided to continue with that book since they were already familiar with the story. When I get their preschool's chapel schedule I will begin following that weekly schedule instead.

Getting the whale ready to swallow Jonah up!

Shouting to the people of Ninevah "Everyone believe in God!"

Summer Time is Coming to an End

We have had such a busy summer. If we weren't in Albuquerque, El Paso, San Antonio, or Destin, we kept ourselves occupied at home. Mornings were spent taking walks, reading books, picnics, and dancing. Afternoons were spent swimming, painting, swinging, dressing up, and cleaning. I can't believe summer has come and gone and Mother's Day Out starts next week! Here are some photos of our days together.

Having fun at a splash pad.

Cooling off

One of their favorite morning activities: playing in Mommy and Daddy's bed

Painting away

Letting the creative juices flow

A snapshot of the playroom at 8:30 am!

Enjoying another round of imaginary breakfast with Bunny (he's in the highchair).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Pea!

Still learning how to put up three fingers.

Isabella, we thank God for these past three wonderful years with you. It has been such a joy to be your Mommy and to watch you grow so much this past year. You are so excited to finally be three especially since your little sister just turned two. You have turned into such a little girl this past year with panties, a big girl bed, and a fascination with princesses and tea parties. You need me less as you want to do everything by yourself: from buckling yourself in the car, getting dressed, washing your hands and going potty. But at the same time, you still love to be carried, cradled, and rocked. You have such an energetic personality. You wake up with a smile on your face ready to tackle the day, just like Daddy, and you don't stop talking until your head hits the pillow at night. You have such a sweet and caring heart with an adorable little voice to match.

This past year you had so many good times making friends and learning at Mother's Day Out twice a week. You finally reached your tricycle's pedals and can ride it by yourself. You discovered that you absolutely love: plastic glass slippers, necklaces, crowns, wearing dresses, dancing and dress-up.

These are some of your favorites that your mentioned on your birthday:

Favorite movie: Snow White
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite toy: Pinkalicious jigsaw puzzle
Favorite book: the one with Nana's voice
Favorite thing to do: play and swim

We love you more than 10,000 snakes and don't want you to grow up too fast! We look forward to many more firsts this year!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pancakes and Pajamas

We decided to have a pancake party for the girls' birthday this year. With temperatures reaching over 100 all summer, we knew if we were going to have a party at home, it needed to be in the morning. We also knew that a morning party would be perfect for two and three year olds who still take an afternoon nap. And what adult doesn't mind a party that serves muffins and mimosas? So, why not wear jammies too? The party was jam-packed with friends, family, and fun!

The invitation was created by Seaside Paper Company.

Our playroom was turned into our party room.

Our homemade tissue paper pom-poms added some girly color.

This is our giving tree where our guests could clip their donations to Compassion International. Thank you to everyone! We collected $115! That's three months worth of clean food and water, medical care, educational opportunities, and teachings about Jesus Christ.

Crazy straw cups were always a childhood favorite of mine.

A table for 19 kiddos was propped up on cinder blocks to allow them to pop a squat on the floor.

The spread included:

pinkalicious cupcakes (requested by Isabella),

the girls' favorite breakfast beverages,

and toppings.

Pancake time!

Auntie Brisa and sweet cousin Noah. What a wonderful and easy-going baby he was all throughout the party!

Great friends, Jen and Veronica.

Sweet mothers, Dana, Emily, Sherry, and Ronda

The books of choice for story time

And what a successful story time it was!

More froot loops seemed to be going into little mouths than onto the yarn necklaces.

Benjamin's working hard on his necklace.

Sienna's showing off her finished product! So pretty!

Candles are lit, party hats are on, let's sing!

Happy birthday Victoria and Isabella! We love you too much and are excited to see what God has in store for you this next year!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Family Time

Nana and Grandpa Rami are in for a visit.

Isabella loves holding cousin Noah.

We can't get enough of Noah.

Learning how to change a diaper. " Thanks for the lesson Auntie Brisa, now I can change Victoria's diaper."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Punkin'

Victoria, this year you have grown so much, and not just physically. Now you are so very two! We don't understand everything you say but you have a way of communicating to make sure we do. Boy, do you have some lungs in you! You are a little copycat of your big sis and a parrot of Mommy and Daddy. We have to really watch what we say these days. We can stare at you for hours watching your big eyes show expressions and your sweet perfect lips curl up with delight.
You have that soft, puggy, baby skin that I love to tickle, hold, and kiss. We almost dread the day you lose that baby look about you!

Some of the things that are so YOU are:
• wearing hats of any kind, from party hats to buckets
• getting tickled under your chin and always demanding "Again!"
• taking 3 hour naps and still waking up grouchy
• waking up slowly in the mornings and not saying a word for at least half an hour, just like Mommy
• holding tight to Puppy and sucking your beloved thumb
• always wanting to hold Mommy's hand
• gobbling up blueberries and tomatoes like they were going out of style
• curly thick hair and eyelashes to match
• taking Bunny for a walk with your pint-sized baby stroller

We love you so much! Happy birthday to you Punkin'.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Destin Getaway!

The four of us along with Pop and Kathy were able to get away on a summer vacation to the beautiful, white, sandy beach of Destin, Florida. We all had a blast staying in a gorgeous rental just a short walk away from the water. It was a pleasant sight to see green grass and happy-looking trees and shrubs and to escape the sizzling Texas heat. It poured a couple days we were there, but that didn't stop us from having fun. We braved some sprinkles and headed to the beach where we made sandcastles and jumped in the waves without the sun blazing in our faces. The next day we got caught in quite a storm on our pontoon, but Captain Mark pulled us to shore safely. The rest of our stay was clear and sunny so we spent our days splashing, eating, floating in the bay, and enjoying our time together. Mark and I got the vacation blues the day before we were to head back to Austin. The trip had been so much fun and relaxing and the girls had been soaking up their time with Papa and Grandma. We all had been waiting impatiently for our Florida trip, so we were so sad to see it end. And as the airport tram doors opened and Papa and Grandma said goodbye and stepped off at their terminal, all you could hear as we rode to our gate were the wails and cries from Isabella. We all look forward to our next trip together.

Killing time before our connecting flight.

Taking a booze break.

Where's the waiter when you need him? I need a cold one.

Warming up on an overcast day.

Digging for shells.

Align CenterBuilding sandcastles so Victoria can destroy them.

Sculpting a sand turtle. Pretty good, huh :)

Isabella loved filling and emptying her bucket with Grandma.

Waiting patiently for din-din.

They loved their first experience with edamame.

They also gobbled up their first creme brulee.
Now I finally have my partners in crime who will share it with me.

Pop and Kathy tagging along to shop for souvenirs.

Careful, we had a couple of shoplifters who weren't aware
one has to pay for things before walking out the door.

Ready to float away on our pontoon.

Bathing beauty #1

Bathing beauty #2

Happy that the ice-cream boat floated by just in time for a mid-morning snack.

Nibbling on her ice-cream sammy while watching
her sister try to shove it down her throat.