Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lillian's Party

First birthday parties are always more about the family (okay, the mom) than they are about the birthday boy or girl. It is a way to celebrate the amazing fact that one year ago, a precious new life entered, and forever changed, our own lives.

I don't have many pictures just yet because I let the paparazzi take care of that :-) (My friends Kacie and Jawan have NICE cameras and were snapping lots of photos, so I will rely on them to send some of the very best...)

I do have a video that I will post though, as an appetizer :-)


video

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The kids from church

This past Sunday, the little ones from church (ages from 2 to 4), sang some songs that they learned in Sunday School and on Sunday nights. Well, Ankica doesn't really sing "words" yet, but she was trying hard to keep up with the hand motions.


At one point, Ankica saw me in the crowd and waved to me. And then on the way out she said "Bye Bye Mama" with the biggest proud grin on her face. It made me completely melt!

My Department of Homeland Security Hero

Every once in while (once a month I think), Loran needs to qualify with his assigned firearms. The gun he is shooting in the picture is NOT one of his assigned guns :-) After the guys qualify, they bring out the "fun guns" and shoot a BUNCH of ammunition and eat whatever comes off of the grill. Ah yes, guy time :-)


On a gentler note, this is a picture from a friend's birthday party on Saturday :-) What a good Daddy!!!

And then there is the hammock...need I say more?



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Open House Up North

On Tuesday, Loran took time off of work so that we could attend the open house at Julia's school. Now, keep in mind that Julia lives 2 1/2 hours north of Columbus, and we have to drive through Atlanta to get there. We went up early so that we could pick Julia up from school and spend some time with her. We decided on Chuck E Cheese's so we wouldn't have to travel much and all of the girls could have a good time.







The open house was an eye-opening experience for me and it was nice to meet Julia's teacher and get our names and faces associated with Julia. We had wanted to do that last year but we ended up getting in a vehicle accident not long into our trip. This year we were successful :-)

Playtime with Daddy

During the reality show, The Next Great American Band, there was a band called Light of Doom. A bunch of preteen boys that, initially, had long hair and wore no shirts. Last night, Ankica reminded of them (long hair and no shirt, not the preteen boy part). I will admit, they were quite good for their ages.


Lillian loves peek-a-boo, and being with clothes, of course. I think that a messy supper is what prompted both girls to be without shirts.



The girls love to play with their daddy, and there are certain things he does that they are picking up on...like playing guitar and dancing around shirtless :-)

video

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Down with Weight

I weighed in yesterday morning with the hopes of making 0.8 lbs so I could reach 25 lbs lost. To my great surprise, I lost 2.6 lbs for a total of 26.8 lbs.

I now have only 2.2 lbs to go to reach my first goal and I have set a goal date for this of August 29th...Lillian's birthday.

This weekend was, again, full of good food that I usually crave during the week. I think this is helping me. I know it isn't the best way of doing things but I am losing weight every week (but one) and it helps keep me sane and generally happy. I know I could lose weight more quickly if I wasn't "feasting" over the weekends, but, as we all know, this is a lifetime journey, not a short detour in my life.

The biggest thing I have been able to change is walking more each week day. I am up to 2.3 miles in about 45 minutes while Lillian is taking a morning nap. I am trying to get up before they do to get my walking in early but that is NOT easy.

Another update next week...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lillian stood!

You heard it here first: Lillian stood up on her own today. She was in the middle of the floor in my bedroom with nothing to hold on to and she STOOD UP :-)

Yeah, Lillian! I don't think she'll be walking by the 29th, but she surprises me every day.

Blah...

Anyone have any funny or encouraging stories they want to tell?

I have been just so DOWN today. I know the reason...not something that I am willing to talk about on a blog.

I hate feeling this way and I know that I rile myself up over the past WAY more than I should. I should just "give it to God". I try, I really do.

But I am human (is that an excuse? I'm not sure.) and so there are days when I can't get myself out of a destructive cycle of thought. Now, whether or not I should let myself do this, I don't know, but I DO know I am not the only one. The "what if's" set in.

Ugh...

Thankfully, being a Christian has taught me that "feelings" don't have to equal my belief. What I mean is, I don't always have to be totally spiritually "happy" and connected to God 24/7. In fact, no one can do that. But that doesn't stop me from believing that my God loves me more than I can possibly imagine.

Same goes for our families. Do we have to be blissfully happy with every aspect of our family lives in order to love our spouses and kids? No, of course not. But some people think they must not be "in love" if they don't feel the constant intense love they felt at the beginning (of either their marriages or the first time they saw their precious child/children). I know I love my family, and...

this too shall pass. It always does. And there are longer and longer periods of time between when I feel like this. Maybe some day I won't ever feel like this again. I hope so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random pictures from the evening

I love to see my girls have fun with each other. I hope they always enjoy each other's company the way I enjoy the company of my sisters. I would love to add a boy to the mix!

Why is it that Ankica always looks like she is either half asleep or on drugs? :-) Lillian does sometimes too, I guess :-)


Lillian loves to attack things (people and animals included) with her mouth. Just like Sunny...she's a biter...
The animals are always in the mix when the girls start to get crazy. (That is a toy frog, BTW...)

Orion, the cat, is really amazing with the girls, especially Lillian. She can crawl right up to him and "pet" him and play with him. They love to play ball together on the kitchen floor.


An almost nightly ritual...talking to Julia to find out how school is going and getting updated on anything else important from that end of things. Tonight we discovered that all of her school supplies were "confiscated" to go into a class materials box, along with everyone else's, of course. She says she likes the new school and her teacher. I just hope she doesn't have to move again in another year (unless it is to be with us, of course!).

Cici's Pizza

Tonight was WCS night at a local CiCi's Pizza (pizza buffet). WCS is the school associated with our church and some of the proceeds of the night's sales goes to help the school, so we decided to go support them.

We always enjoy seeing people from church and so it was nice to see the pastor and his wife and their kids. We also stopped and chatted with the oldest couple in the church. Loran LOVES to talk to the veteran, Mr. A. T. I know Loran admires him alot, and Ms. Emma is just as sweet as a person can be.

After we gorged ourselves on WAY too much pizza and breadsticks, Ankica wanted to play in the arcade. So we all went in to the little game room and I had a few quarters in my pocket so I persuaded Loran to try for a stuffed animal for Ankica. Lo and behold, he caught a duck! Then I let Loran play a shooting game (Jurassic Park) and he was very good at that. So with my final two quarters I told him to try for a stuffed animal for Lillian and he got a cow! GO LORAN!!!

Since we name all of the stuffed animals the girls get, meet CC and DD (CowCow and DuckDuck...goes with the name of the restaurant :-))


Oh yeah...Weight Watchers

I suppose I purposefully forgot to mention this last Saturday's weigh-in. Well, I was expecting a gain but it was alot less than I thought it would be...only 0.6 lb!

I really didn't want to go to the meeting because I knew I had been "bad" with my eating for about a week and a half (part of vacation and the week following). And with Weight Watchers you can use "coupons" to not weigh-in for a few meetings but I thought that might set me back even farther. Knowing what the scale actually says each week keeps me accountable and keeps me on track. So I didn't meet a goal of having no gains while losing all of my weight but I have alot more weight to lose than alot of people :-)

Anyway, I am doing better this week, especially with my exercising and a friend said that I looked "amazing" at church yesterday (thanks Laura!!!). That made me feel really good. Of course, Loran is always encouraging me and saying nice things but...well, he is my husband and I guess I sort of take it for granted sometimes.

So...THANKS HONEY! For being so supportive and helping me when I really need a boost!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ah...sisters...

Lillian is getting braver as she crawls around and on things.

Lillian was actually trying to push Ankica OFF of the stool but the looks on their faces suggests it was a grand fun time.
On your mark, get set, GO...she fell shortly after this...
Ankica decided her noodles needed to be in the bowl rather than in the bag. Which was fine until she got up to throw the bag away and came back to an empty bowl and guilty looking dogs!

Look at these next two...they look a bit a like, don't you think?

Quilting...my house is full of quilts!

Quilting is something that my mom starting a while ago...I'm not even sure how long ago...at least 15 years I would bet. And now me and my sisters are starting to get interested in it.

Here is a wall hanging that my sister, Heidi, made for us. THANKS HEIDI!!! It matches with quite a few other things that we have.

This is the quilt that my mom made for us as a replacement for the initial quilt she made for our wedding. One of our dogs, Indiana, tore some holes in it when she was trying to get comfortable after we first got married. The quilt pictured below is neat because last year on vacation, Loran, Julia, Katy, and myself all colored some of the pictures that Mom sewed into the quilt. Jodi and Mom colored the rest. THANKS MOM!!! It matches really well in our bedroom.

This is the quilt that Mom made for Lillian when she was first born. It is SO soft!

This is a small quilted piece that Mom made for me quite a while ago and I use it on my night stand. I saw the same pattern at a quilt store on vacation. I am going to be trying my hand at quilting soon but I am keeping the pattern and materials a bit hush-hush because I may be gifting some of it :-)

Here are three pillowcases that Mom made to go along with Julia's quilt (shown below). Now I just have to find my sewing machine and make the right sized pillows for them :-)

This quilt is on my cedar chest/hope chest at the foot of our bed. It was the first quilt Mom ever made for me and I got to help pick out the materials for the squares from scraps of other things Mom made for us over the years. I remember what each piece of material was originally used for. I should probably write it down before I start to forget...

Magic Balloons

Whenever we have balloons, the girls love to watch the floor vent for the air conditioning blow the balloons up in the air.




Spiders

If you are weak at heart when it comes to spiders...don't look!









I was folding laundry at the kitchen table (in the sun room) and looked up at the rafters outside the window and saw one BIG daddy longleg spider. Then I looked to the left and saw ALL of the daddy longleg spiders in the world right there on my rafter!

EWWWW!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

VACATION: Part Two

Every morning we had breakfast on the deck. Loran or I were always up with at least one of our girls by 6:15am and we thoroughly enjoyed how moderate the temperature was, especially in the mornings. Then by 7:30am or so, everyone else rolled outside with their coffee and breakfast. Then the reading, sewing, and chatting began. The young girls would get up around 8:30am, they would have breakfast and get in the pool ASAP. My sisters and I would try to get a walk in and Adam (Heidi's husband) was training Heidi and Cheri in the fine art of tennis :-)



Daddies and their girls....


Sunday morning was fun because it was the 2nd Annual Perfect Pancake bake-off. I don't really know how it started last year but I think probably Heidi was bragging on Adam (they were just newly dating...or maybe Adam was bragging on himself...) about what a good pancake cook he was. Well, it just so happens that Cheri's husband, Matt, is also a killer pancake baker. So last year they both made pancakes and we all tasted and judged. This year was no different, except that Adam, being part of the family now, was cut no slack. Dare we say that his wife didn't even vote for his blueberry pancakes?! His only vote was a sympathy vote from my mom! What an awesome MIL!!! But the oatmeal streusel pancakes that Matt made were awfully tasty (even though Adam's pancakes were more Weight Watcher friendly :-))
*************
The pool was a popular place to be...my girls were either swimming, eating, or sleeping. Typical vacation for all of us I think :-)

Ankica was pretending to skim the pool with this kayak paddle.

Ankica and Lillian loved this pool just as much as ours (and it was about half again as big as ours so lots more people fit comfortably).

My mom was carrying Sam, dragging Ankica, and being chased by Lillian. Is there a better life?




I love pictures like these...seeing Loran on the floor playing with the girls. They are playing their version of Phase 10. I'm pretty sure that Lillian won :-)







On the way back, I stopped at Walmart to pick up some squeaky cheese (curds) for Mike and Kacie, who were back home watching the house and the animals for us. I promptly forgot the cheese at Mom and Dad's house and we stopped at this cute little shop in Janesville, WI.

Loran insisted that a Dairy Scientist/Lactation Physiologist (me) needed a mug like this. (The mug stands on an udder if you can't tell...)


The trip was fun but the drive back was LONG! We dropped Julia off and she started school on Monday. She likes it so far, but we miss her. Such is life I guess...