Sunday, May 31, 2009

Amen to Summer!

September 2008
The First Day of Preschool:

May 2009
The Last Day of Preschool:

Ha. Not only have the boys grown, but so has my fern!

We. Are. Done.
I can hardly believe it. As I mentioned back in August, our lives drastically changed this past school year. We went from having a very relaxed, do-as-we-please schedule to two days a week in preschool (me too) and the other three filled with therapy appointments (one day of which was 70 miles down the road in Waco). And throw in the new business venture and you've got the madness we referred to as 2008-2009.
But now, we can breathe again. In September, the boys will be attending the same preschool at our church twice a week, but I get to come home (or do whatever)! And our therapy schedule for Benjamin is changing for the better in two ways. The first is that Camp Hope opens its Temple location in June (cutting that commute in half) and his KISD therapy will now just be once a week and across the street at the elementary school. Goodbye, stressful schedule! Hello, happy mama.

It's funny though...I cried as I told each one of those kiddos in my class good-bye. I never knew how the teaching thing would have such an impact on me. The idea of me teaching stemmed from the guilt of putting Benjamin in preschool all the way in Belton; I stressed over driving there and back and there and back two more days a week. So, the solution was for me to stay and teach. A great idea at first, but then our therapy schedule was more than we ever imagined and I lost my mind in December and opened up the biz. An idea I seriously don't regret...although my timing was a little off!

But now....ahhhhhh! I don't even know what to do with myself. After this week, though, summer "preschool" will start once a week and gymnastics will get into full swing. We are a little bummed to have to forego an actual vacation in lieu of a major job transition, but that's okay. We hope to at least be able to take some time and head out to see family and friends not in our area. And I have promised the boys Sea World at some point in time.

I am hoping to reinstate Family Fun Fridays again, too. Although, I am not sure how many David will be able to get away for. But, I still want to be sure to do it. I already have a growing list in my head of places to go for that.

The Ellison transition has been hopping lately. We have quickly learned what banquet season at a high school is. We have been invited to some wonderful events and been able to meet so many people. The boys also have a sweet new babysitter, Tawny. She is one of the Ellison Emeralds (their AWESOME drill team) and is precious. She was also quite familiar with the movie, Cars, so she naturally fit in with our bunch.

All this to say....WELCOME, SUMMER!! We have been waiting for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Smell of Summertime

Yesterday, the halls of preschool were filled with the scents of suncreen and grape popsicles. One parent laughed as she was leaving the building saying..."this is the smell of summertime". I totally agree. Mmmm.
Everyone enjoyed a fun Splash Day filled with water slides, wading pools and sticky, drippy treats.
I was able to watch Benjamin have a blast since our classes' splash times were together. I also got over to Jonathan's area for a moment to snap a couple of pics.
One FUN time.
One more preschool day left.

Jonathan was more of a spectator at first.

Sizing it all up.

Benjamin had a great time on all of the water slides!

Showing me his purple tongue.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Turkey Chili Mac (makes me happy)

Sorry for the lack of WeightWatcher Wednesday posts lately. I actually wasn't sure WWWednesday had a readership until a couple of friends from church mentioned they had been missing it. (Very sweet of you two). So now to the meat of the matter...(ha)
I know what you're thinking....chili in May? For some reason the simplicity of this recipe just had me at hello. And the elbow mac really cuts the chili-ish-ness a lot. It's just a yummy dish. And great in the lunch the next day. This is David's favorite right now. 

1 cup uncooked enriched multigrain elbow macaroni (such as Barilla Plus), note: if you use regular elbow mac, it will up your points value
cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, chopped and undrained (you can cut these in the can with kitchen shears)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded 2% reduced fat Cheddar cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting fat; drain.
2. While pasta cooks, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat it with Pam and add turkey, onion and next five ingredients. Cook 7 minutes or until turkey is done.
3. Add cooked pasta, beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups).

POINTS value per serving: 6

We serve this with cornbread (from a mix). I always try to buy the mix that you only add water to so you don't increase the points by adding milk, eggs, etc. This type is 3 points per piece, but if you think about it, a piece is actually 2 when cut in half and buttered with Brummel & Brown!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Wild Week

Still reeling. Since David received his job offer Tuesday night, our feet have not quite come down to earth. It has been fun and exciting and a little crazy, too! 
David was able to spend the day at Ellison yesterday meeting the staff and students. He loves it already. Everyone has been super friendly and welcoming. 
Tonight he and I were invited to attend the Spring Show for the Ellison Emeralds Drill Team. We had a great time. All of the students and their parents welcomed us into the Ellison family with open arms. 
Again, I can't say cRaZy enough! But, we are having an unbelievably great time sinking into this. Sunday afternoon we are headed to the Ellison baseball banquet and bringing our two little eagles along for the fun. 
Around the house, we welcomed Daddy home on Wednesday with our mini celebration. 

We filled the laundry room with green and white balloons that would come tumbling out on him when he opened the door from the garage.

I went to bed that night with a major headache that I now attribute to blowing up 40+ balloons on my own! The boys' little lung capacities just couldn't quite hack it!

We're getting our green on! David came home with Eagle wear, stickers and more! I headed out today and ordered the boys their own Eagle shirts. Looks like there's going to be a lot of green in our lives from now on! So fun!

Something new to little old A Waco television station came out to interview David and he made the news! We were also amazed to pick up the Thursday paper and find the above article on the front page! Seriously. When we make it back to earth, we'll let you know. But, this has been such an incredible time. Thank you again for all the sweet well wishes, notes and emails. Please keep our little foursome in your prayers during this time of major transition as we grasp a hold of what's to come. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Welcome to Eagle Country

What can I say, when I am proud, I am proud! I couldn't be more excited for my wonderful husband, David. He will be the new principal at Ellison High School here in Killeen. He will officially start this new job the first of July.
Right now, we are still trying to let it all sink in. We have actually been in the midst of this since about February when we started praying about this specific position. We have just prayed for God to put us where we need to serve. 
I am just in awe of you, sweet husband. Your hard work is evident in all you do. I can't wait for the students, faculty and staff at Ellison to get to know you. You show HIM in all you do and I am blessed to be by your side. What an awesome opportunity for our family. 
Humbled. Speechless. Thrilled. 

This is Eagle Country.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama Mia

What a great Mother's Day it turned into! Hope all the mamas out there were treated just as well as I was. The boys truly made it a day about me! I have such a thoughtful bunch.
I did end up having to stay home from services this morning...I know you'll be astounded to know that our two year old has a virus (for the 300th time this year). We're thinking he's on the tail end of it, but didn't want to spread the love to the kiddos in his Bible class. I took him in to the doctor Friday just for fear of pig flu, but it just seems to be one of those weird fever viruses. So we hung out in our jammies until noon, alternating between Max & Ruby and HGTV. 
His fever was pretty minimal all day (hooray-- finally in the 90's again) so we thought it would be safe to venture out to, where else but....

Of course, I had to make my annual date with Wrinkle Cafe as we fondly called it in college (it's not like that name stopped us from eating there...or purchasing their college meal plan). And of course the boys had to have their Jello.
David surprised me with a truly thoughtful and wonderful gift that came in my favorite kind of package...

I felt like one lucky mama when I opened my initial necklace (I am wearing it in the pics). Thank you so much for an awesome day, sweet family. I am a blessed mom and love all three of my boys (David sometimes argues that we just have 2 boys, but there are definitely 3).

And one year ago on Mother's Day....

Hope all of you had a great day with your family, too.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Around Our Town

One thing I have truly loved about the Killeen/Harker Heights area is the selection of awesome parks. For a smaller town, they have filled it up with some great ones. And they are all so lush and green and usually a part of a huge complex of hike & bikes, sports fields and more. David has made it his mission to enjoy Killeen while we live here and really make the most of it. I have tried to adopt this mentality with the boys, too. We try to enjoy one of the parks at least once a week. Our newest kick is to go early in the morning before it is too hot and crowded. Our favorite playground just opened the week of spring break and is inside the Harker Heights Community Park. I finally remembered to take my camera on our last visit. If you're ever up for some post-breakfast playtime, come on over and join us!

Jonathan ventured over to the non-tot-spot for some sliding fun.

Hey there, J-Man.

A park's not a park without a good rock to climb on.

I was so proud of Benjamin-- he did this with very little help. 
They have a rock climbing wall at Camp Hope that has taught him some serious skills!

More climbing.

Did I mention that Jonathan is part monkey?