Thursday, August 28, 2008

I am officially a "Soccer Mom"

Saturday was the start of kids soccer. Abby has been waiting "forever" for this. She was so excited to put on her new shin guards and soccer socks. Her cousin, Belle, gave her pink shin guards a couple of weeks ago, and she's been wearing them pretty often. Of course, the socks cover them up, but they still look good!

The youth soccer program puts boys and girls together on teams. Her team has only two girls but she was able to hold her own. She's been watching her older cousins for a couple of years and she has a pretty good grasp of the game.

Here are some pictures of the day.

Her coach was teaching her how to throw the ball in.

Even sitting on the sidelines is fun when you're in uniform!

How cute are those ponytails?

Kick it, girl!

Go, Abby! Go!

She loves to run!

A fellow teammate getting a little too rough. I don't think teamwork is one of the learned skills at this point. It's almost "every man for himself."

So we have 12 or 13 weeks of soccer and I promise not to put too many soccer pictures up. But I'm sure you'll see a few more in the next couple months. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This is what I found yesterday when Abby and Little Buddy were playing in the dark closet with her new glow stick. They climbed up on the shelf and were sitting there. I'm glad the screws held in the 100-year-old plaster!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Unexpected Reunion

Last Friday, I go an unexpected email from a long lost friend.

Kevin and Denise were the directors of a music group I travelled in during Bible school. Their young sons, Kevin and Joseph, travelled with us for the summer tours. Having just taken the trip with the Youth group this past week with Abby in attendance, I have a new appreciation for what Denise went through for 12 weeks out of the summer.

Our summer tour went to Jamaica and up the east coast of the U.S. When you travel with a group - in a van, for that long, you really become like family. We played, prayed, sang and ministered together.

After graduation, I went home to Kentucky. At the same time, Billy started at CFNI and was selected for the same touring music group. That summer, the group sang at my church and I briefly met Billy. A year later, I went back to school to do a third year in Missions, and Kevin and Denise introduced me to Billy (again). We were both at their apartment a lot during the next year and became good friends. When Billy and I got married, Kevin sang in our wedding and Denise was the wedding coordinator.

And at some point in there, they also had another son, Nicholas. He was super cute and boy, could he sing!

When they left Texas, we were so sad to have our friends leave. But we knew they were following God's call on their life. Some years later, we lost touch with them personally, but would hear of them through the grapevine (mostly my friend Tanya).

So when I got her email saying they were in the area for a concert, we jumped at the chance to catch up with them again.

It was pretty wild experience. We had VIP parking and back-stage access. I have never been back-stage at a concert before. We were treated so nice by everyone that tours with them. It was really fun! And the food was great, too.

The last time we saw them, Denise was pregnant with her fourth baby, which turned out to be another boy. Here he is eight years later. Abby had so much fun playing with Frankie. He made her laugh and laugh!

Goofing around on the family bus.

My dear sweet friend. She hasn't changed (or aged) at all. She still looks great and has impeccable taste. The boys had a few minutes before the concert for a quick photo. They sure have grown up in the last few years.
Since the concert was sold out, we were able to be with Kevin at the sound board. Notice the screaming girls in the background. They were so happy we came to the concert. ;)
Abby is checking her earplugs. We all wore them. It was the only way to actually hear the music over the thousands of girls in attendance. Most of them knew the words to the songs even though the CD was just released earlier in the week. Amazing.

The concert was very entertaining and I told Kevin that I just might have to buy the boys new CD. They seem to be really popular. But at the store today, I opted to buy their movie instead.

It was so good to catch up with our friends again. And hopefully it won't be too long before we see them again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Free Date (if you don't count the $12.50 parking fee)

Last week, Billy called me from work and asked if I wanted to go to the Indians Baseball game with him. His company had bought a suite for the game. Free tickets and free food. How could I say no?

The Indians won, which was an added bonus. Here's one of the home runs coming in.

Game over. We had a good time. It brought back memories of going to the Texas Ranger games all the time at the Ballpark. The nachos were a lot better in Texas.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Washy-2 DC

On August 13, Billy and I took a group from our church - mostly youth - to Washington, DC to participate in a conference with ILE and also TheCall. We had 13 people in a 15-passenger van.

We traveled nine hours that first day to stay with my brother in Maryland.

My sister-in-love babysits sometimes and so she has a crib in her guest room. Abby loved it! It was just her size.

The next morning, we ate breakfast, packed lunch and then headed to DC.

Our first stop was the Jefferson Memorial. Mr. Jefferson is very tall. And he has big shoes.

Here are some of the waterfalls at the FDR Memorial.

Here is our family with FDR's bronze dog. I do love dogs.

The Lincoln Memorial. Abby enjoyed having her picture taken with all the "Presidents."

From the top of the Lincoln Memorial, looking down towards the Washington Monument. It looks like I Photo shopped her in. But if I could do that, I would have Photo shopped the other people out!

At a restaurant with Uncle Michael and Aunt Melissa.

Thursday night and Friday was spent at a conference sponsored by International Leadership Embassy. Abby did very well with all the meetings. She sat and colored or read books. A couple of times, cousin T took her elsewhere in the building to play.

On Saturday, we participated in TheCall DC. It was a large (70,000 people) prayer and fasting day from 10AM to 10PM. It was on the Mall in front of the Capitol building. When we got there, Abby said, "Why are we at another meeting?" I told her that just like we pray every night for God to help our family, we were all there to pray for God to help our nation. She seemed OK with that explanation.

Our group was near the front beside the gravel walk-way. Abby busied herself with playing in the rocks...

...and staying in the shade! It was hot out there under the sun all day. (I wonder how much the Israelites sweat when they gathered the nation to pray in the desert.)

Abby fell asleep in the afternoon and snoozed for about three hours.

She woke up in time to pray an end to abortion. She wore her LIFE tape for a while!

When the sun finally went down, she livened up a bit and played with Uncle Michael.

With her cousins Belle and JR.

We drove home again on Sunday. Only seven hours this time. We were all glad to be home again!

If you want to see more pictures of the trip and the group that went with us, visit our Youth Blog (password protected). If you have forgotten the password, email me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Puppy Itch (no, not fleas)

Because this wait for our adoption is taking sooooooooooooooooo long, I have really been getting the "baby itch." And because we don't have a new baby, it translates into a longing for something else cute and cuddley. Like a puppy or a kitten.

A kitten is out of the question because of my allergies and because one of our dogs would think I brought him an appetizer for dinner.

So, a couple weeks ago, I was asking Billy if we could get a new puppy. He talked me down that day, but the next day, we saw the cutest little puppy wandering around the street looking lost. I am a sucker for little lost puppies, but my wise husband would not stop the car for me to investigate.

The day after that, Abby and I went to our International Play Group at the park (yes, it is as important as it sounds). While we were there, one of the moms brought out seven all white German Shepherd puppies for the girls to play with. Oh, they were so cute and soft! It was almost too much to bear. But the thousand dollar price tag helped - A LOT!

I took some pictures with my phone and sent this one to Billy with the message "what do you think?"

He was expecting a call saying, "can we keep him?" He's had a call like that in the past. :)

So far, he's been able to talk me out of adopting a new pet. Especially when he reminds me that they pee everywhere and chew on everything. But if we have to wait too much longer, we might have to start building the ark in the backyard.

Friday, August 08, 2008

At least we're not getting AARP notices in the mail!

When we got back from vacation last month, I went through the receipts to record all our expenses. I came across one for a little purchase Billy made at the grocery store across from our hotel. He had gone in to buy milk and juice for Abby. When I looked at the receipt, I burst out laughing! Can you notice why?

Here's a closer look:

They gave my 36-year-old husband a SENIOR DISCOUNT!!! We have reached new levels in the "grayness" of his hair!

Monday, August 04, 2008


I have fond memories of blackberries from my childhood. Not fond memories of picking them. No, those memories are painful.

But the fond memories are of eating blackberry cobbler. Yummy! And the only thing that could make it better was vanilla ice cream. Heaven.

We have a few blackberry bushes beside our garage. They just started growing there one year. They used to be in the garden, but they didn't do well out there in the blazing sun all day long. So we pulled them out. And we must have thrown the plants at the back corner of the garage, because that's where they grow now. And they do so well there.

I love plants that thrive with little-to-no care from me.

See how happy they are?

A few days ago, we pulled these little beauties off the plants and made them into a cobbler. I used this recipe. I liked it because it only had five ingredients. I like low-maintenance recipes, too. And it was yummy.

Taking the first bite. Mmmm, mmm...


I think Billy only got one serving of this cobbler. Abby might have had two. And the whole thing was gone in 24 hours. Hmmm.

Good thing there are some more ripe ones out there right now. They'll have to eat faster next time.