Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Zoo

Every year the Dallas Zoo has discounted tickets for the winter months, and every year we make a visit.  It's not as close or convenient to get to as in Columbus, so once a year is about all we do.

The timing was perfect, since we had just studied all sorts of zoo animals--elephants, kangaroos, penguins, and more!

The kids were excited, and the weather was perfect.  It was in the 60's and a little overcast most of the day.  I've always found that the animals are more active in the cooler temps, and we were able to see a bunch of them!

One of our first stops was to see the elephants.  An elephant is both of the kids favorite animal, so they requested we head straight there.  We got to see all sorts of them... even a few babies.

Logan led us around with the map.

And Olivia documented the entire day through pictures.  She's really interested in taking pictures lately (and even video), so we have been letting her use my old point and shoot camera.  She's in love!


"Mommy, take a picture of me!"

It was a perfect January Saturday.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Play Street

Olivia learned about a couple of different farm animals during the month of December.  Of course, I visit to a real farm would have been fun... but not really a December activity.  So after all of the kids headed back to school, we took advantage of the low crowds and headed to a farm themed play place!

We've been to the Play Street in Frisco a couple of times, and the kids love it. That one has more of a city theme.  The McKinney one is newer, and we hadn't been yet.  The kids had a blast!

Logan in the ice cream shop.

They have a life size cow that you can "milk".  Logan screamed the first time it mooed at him! :)

Olivia thought it was awesome!

Got milk?

Logan warmed up to him, and eventually gave it a try.

Tending to the horse

Shopping at the farmers market


Logan enjoyed playing with the floam.

I sent this picture to Michael.  Logan was playing with balls, and Olivia was crafting in the background.  A perfect place for both!

Her rainbow

Our little engineer... he built these pipes and then was disappointed that the water didn't actually turn on.  What a mess that would be!

Olivia made us a menu at the craft table, and then served us up some yummy goodness.

We played all morning.  This place is literally right across the street from Michael's work.  So we left and picked him up for lunch--a special treat for everyone!  The kids can't wait to go back.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The New Olivia

You may remember that Olivia had about a dozen goals for this past year.  Guess what?  She pretty much accomplished every single one of them!  She's pretty proud of herself too.  And rightfully so.

So I asked her about her goals for this year.  Her goal is to get to the top of rock wall #2.  It's quite a bit harder for her that wall #1, so it is a challenge.  But she's determined.  I love that!

And she decided to start the year with a new look.  She's been talking about cutting her hair for a few months now.  Really, she was just sick of the tangles. (And we were using all sorts of products to try to make them better.  It's just the type of hair we have.  I'm 37 and sick of the tangles!) I wanted to make sure she really, really wanted to do it. So we sat on it for a few months, talked about it, looked at pictures, and made a plan for after Christmas.  She never wavered.

Her hair grows pretty fast, so I told her if she didn't like it she could always grow it back out.

She insisted Emily come along and sit next to her.

So. Much. Hair.

We went to the girly place, so they put it in braids (which looked kind of funny). But she got glitter, and scented spray, and hearts on her cheek and a sucker.

I thought about growing out her bangs, and we had been wearing them pinned back for a few weeks. But I gave her the ultimate decision and she said she didn't like how she looked with a bare forehead and wanted to keep the bangs (cowlick and all).  So we are back to bangs.

I think Michael was a little hesitant about cutting it at first, but he just told me the other night that he thinks the cut fits her personality just right.  I agree!  

Love her and her spunky personality!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Texas Snow

It seems like everyone jokes about the weather in their respective state. But I will say that we sometimes get some crazy weather around here.  A few weeks ago, we literally had a 35+ degree difference in a 24 hour period of time!  It's nuts.  It gets cold, and we pull out the gloves and hats and bundle up.  Then it's warm and we are walking around in short sleeves.  Then two days later we are back to hats and scarves.  You just never know.

A few weeks ago we got a special little surprise... SNOW!
Olivia has been waiting for snow for a while now.  She was thrilled!  It wasn't much, and it certainly wasn't anything you could pack, but it was still fun.

She remembered her friend Avery telling her that she liked to eat snow.  So she has been wanting to give it a try.

There was just enough on our patio table for her to give it a try.  It's the simple things in childhood. ;)

He wasn't quite as excited about eating it, but he always follows Sissy's lead.

We didn't stay out long, because it was cold.  But when it snows in Texas, you have to at least experience a little of it.

Snow is fun!

And when you play in the snow, you must enjoy some hot chocolate afterwards!

Love this cutie with crazy hair!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Word

It seems entirely fitting that I would be writing a new years post for the 10th day of the month... ;)

Even though I didn't write this post earlier, I have actually put a lot of thought into it.  Each year I choose a word for the year (over doing a resolution).  Some words in the past have been journey, to be, and last year was hope.  I actually did think on my word all throughout the year.  I heard a speaker say that to have hope you have to exercise the muscle.  I feel like that is exactly what I did last year. There were times when I though, "hope was a dumb word.  I have none."  But then there were other times where I could see the "light at the end of the tunnel".  In all situations, I did attempt to have hope and to put my hope in the right Source.

So when I thought about this year's word, I spent the last two months of the year throwing around ideas in my head.  Some of those words were grace... gratitude... balance... and simplicity.

I was pretty set on simplicity... or to simplify.  I've been slowly working towards this goal for a while now, but it all came to a head during the month of December.  I need to simplify my life. Simplify the thing in my life.

But then as I showered on New Year's Day, and thought over what my ultimate goals were, I realized that simplify doesn't really cover all areas.  After some contemplation I decided my word would be....


I need to be intentional with my time.  I need to be intentional with my money.  I need to be intentional with my belongings.  I need to be intentional with my schedule.  I need to be intentional with my mothering.  I need to be intentional with my marriage.  I need to be intentional with my friendships.  I need to be intentional with my thoughts and attitude.

And by being intentional, I think I will inadvertently simplify.  So that's what I'll be working on for 2017.  What about you?

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Years Eve

We actually had a really fun New Years!  Our life group hosts decided to throw a kid friendly party, and it was perfect for our little family.

They made carne asada, which is one of our group favorites.  Really, most anything they make is fantastic.  So we all enjoyed a really yummy meal.  Then the play began.
Our friends brought their bounce house.  The kids went between that, the trampoline, the swings, and all the toys in the play room.

A little blurry, but the girls had a great time switching off on the swings and pushing each other.

The adults had a corn hole competition.  A few also competed at ping pong, too.

They built a fire

And we made s'mores


After a little while the kiddos settled into the theater for a movie.

When it was about time for the families with babies to leave, we all got hats and noise blowers to count down the new year.

Netflix had a kids countdown that you could turn on at any time. There was dancing and fun and we all counted down. Then we had all sorts of poppers.

It was very noise, and quite messy, but lots of fun.

C'mon, 2017.  Let's do this!