I have said about a million times lately that my life feels like a dream. I seriously can not believe that this is the life that I get. I am so blessed to get to stay home with Laney this year. Todd reminded me yesterday, as cars were parking up and down our street because they couldn't fit in the nearby elem. school parking lot, that this is the first year in 23 years that I have not gone "back to school" Isn't that crazy!!! I really am sad that this is the first year in eight years that I won't have students. I loved teaching and I really love my co-workers, BUT I am so thrilled that we made the decision to make sacrifices and the Lord is making it possible for me to stay home with Laney this year. I have so much fun with my little girl every minute of every day. I don't want to trade a single one of those minutes!!!
Laney loves to play outside. She sweats like a beast, but she doesn't seem to mind at all. She stands at our sliding glass door and looks longingly into the backyard until I finally relent and go outside to play in the 125 degree heat! One of the cutest things that Laney does right now is the sign language for drink. She learned it a couple of months ago and used it appropriately at first. But now she uses it to communicate any want or need. So sometimes we will be playing at the park and she is desperately pointing and signing that she wants to drink the swing!!!
I love these pictures of Laney helping her daddy mow the lawn!!!
The Collins family hosted the most fun barbeque/pool party for our families last weekend. They have an incredible pool that the kids loved playing in and their backyard was the perfect setting for swimming, eating, and making smores!!!
Laney loved swimming with her daddy. He is way more fun in the pool than I am.
Laney enjoying her very first popsicle. She was so cute holding it by the actual popsicle part...needless to say a very sticky experience!
Laney is such a fan of dipping! She uses foods merely as vehicles for dipping. The same chip goes in the dip over and over. That's right, she doesn't stop at double dipping, she goes for record numbers. I have started giving her dipping sauces at every meal to encourage her eat her cheese/turkey/etc. We have tried hot sauce, spaghetti sauce, ranch, ketchup. I think hot sauce is the winner in her book!
Making some smores!
Laney was pretty content to just eat the graham crackers. She really loves to double fist her food so I think that this picture is of her requesting a cracker for her empty hand. It is so cute, though!!!!
Since I am home with Laney again all day every day, she has become quite a little momma's girl! She hates to be away from me (no complaints here!) Here is a little sequence of pictures to illustrate my point!
Joshua and Melissa came over last weekend and Laney couldn't wait to take Joshua outside and show him how fun the backyard can be. He didn't seem to care that it is a million degrees outside either! Aren't they cute on their very first car date!
I love these pictures of Laney last week for church. This dress made her look like such a big girl. She was taking my breath away!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I mentioned already that we got to spend time with our sweet friend Ingrid a couple of weeks ago. We had such a blast with her! Here is a little background on our sweet friendship. 3 years ago, having just returned from a mission trip to Taiwan, I was in a little Boba Tea shop right by my house. I had already been obnoxious enough to tell the owner,Joe - an incredibly kind Christian man, all about my time in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and how crazy in love with his country I was. This particular day, a man was in that Joe said I had to meet! He was in charge of a program called Friendspeak at a nearby church. Friendspeak partners international college students with American volunteers on the basis of practicing conversational English. The program uses a workbook with passages taken directly from the Bible to teach some vocabulary but ultimately to open doors of communication. YES!!!!!!!! SIGN ME UP PLEASE!!!!! So I started the next week and met my two partners, Sharon and Dolly, who have become some of my absolute dearest friends. They are the embodiment of the precious Taiwanese culture with their constant desire to put others in front of themselves and their humble natures. I love love love them!!!! Sharon had to move back to Taiwan last summer, which was devastating. BUT she was in Taiwan when we got to pick up Laney. She met us at the airport, her family found and acquired our fabulous hotel room, took us on site seeing trips, out to dinner, to their home. We were blessed abundantly by them!!! Dolly still lives here and just got a job in Texas- YAY!!!! So, we didn't get to see her while we were in Taiwan, but her sister, Ingrid who we had never met, was quick to fill in in Dolly's absence. Ingrid came to our hotel on the night we got Laney to make sure that we had everything we needed and she didn't stop until we boarded the plane to go home. She drove us everywhere, from AIT to the TaiPei Zoo to the night market, you name it. Ingrid has such a dynamic personality. She is fast friends with anyone that she meets and is totally hysterical. We were thrilled when Dolly told us that INgrid was coming for her graduation this summer. We were even more thrilled (selfishly) to find out that Dolly was going to be very busy with work and school so we were going to get have Ingrid all to ourselves much of the time!!!!
The first weekend that Ingrid was here, we took her with us to Todd's dad's house in Nocona, a.k.a. the country! Ingrid was so excited to hear everyone's accents and ride a horse!!
Just call us Annie Oakley!!!
We had such a great time. Ingrid was calling out, "Howdy Y'all" every chance she got. She completely cracks me up!
We rode 4 Wheelers all over the ranch. It didn't take long for Ingrid to ditch me and Laney for the fast 4 Wheeler. She is from Taiwan you know. Not a lot of slow driving happening over there!
It doesn't get much more Texan than this!
Here are some totally adorable pictures of Laney in the car on our way home from Nocona. Way past her bedtime and she was loving every minute of it!
On our last night to get to hang out together, we went to UNO's in Sundance Square for some of the best pizza ever!!!! We had such a great time.
Ingrid and I spent the next day trying to convince each other to move to Taiwan or Texas. Who knows what might happen someday!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Well, we are settling in to our new house a little now. I still haven't uncovered the "thingie" but I took my memory card to Walgreens and got a disk of pictures. Definitely should have done that sooner!!! Now I have to go back and choose from the hordes of pictures that I have from the past month and a half. I know that everyone really wants to see them all!!!
Here are some pictures of Laney helping with the moving and packing process!!!
Laney's first meals in our new house! Obviously, it didn't take her long to feel comfortable!
Laney got Todd a "cocoon" for the back of his bike for Father's Day. They have only tried it out once, but it was so cute and she had a really good time. We still need to break it in in this neighborhood!
Ella came over to play in Laney's playroom! (p.s. having a playroom is the greatest thing ever. We can just throw all the toys/books/music-makers in baskets and call it clean, rock on)
We got to go swimming at Michelle's parents' house in Mansfield a few weeks ago with Keegan and Ella. This was the beginning of my discovery that Swimmer Diapers equal pooping in Laney's book. Seriously disgusting, but every time I put one on her, it's go time. Like a cure for constipation or something. Don't worry we were already changed by the time these pictures were snapped!
So consider this the first installment. We still have lots of events to chronicle.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I feel a little like I am reuniting with a long lost friend. Hello internet, I have missed you!! We have just moved into a new house, which was a bit of a whirlwind decision, but we LOVE it. We have been packing/moving/unpacking for about a month now. At this point, we are just working on wallpaper stripping/painting/ cabinets...etc. (p.s. I have decided that people should be fined for putting up wallpaper these days, especially wallpaper with fruit on it. are you kidding me?)
During this moving time, Todd has not put our old computer together in our new office. I think that he is hoping that we can replace it since it is crazy old/slow. Needless to say, I am at the mercy of when he is home and I can use his work laptop, which is what is happening right now. I have gotten too desperate to wait any longer. However, my second piece of bad news is that we have misplaced our camera USB thingie in the move. So I have billions of pictures waiting to be uploaded that I can't access til I get a new thingie!!!!
Right now, we are getting to spend lots of time with our friend Ingrid. If you followed our blog while we were in Taiwan picking up Laney then you know that Ingrid is my friend, Dolly's sister who even though we had never met her, took incredible care of us the whole time that we were in Taiwan. She was basically our personal chauffeur, tour guide, shopping assistant, you name it. Her father is a pediatrician and he helped us take care of Laney's skin while we were there. Their family is amazing. Ingrid is in town for a couple of weeks for Dolly's graduation and we are getting to return her sweet hospitality a little bit. It has been so much fun to spend time with her, and of course Laney LOVES her! I have lots of pictures of them to come (as soon as we get the thingie)