Thursday, June 02, 2011

Appreciating Life

God is good....

Much has happened since I last blogged, and some of my pics are saved to my folks' computer, so that set will just have to be one of those belated posts!

In recent news, my purse was stolen (a smash and grab) while I spent literally 3 minutes inside my friend's house! My van was locked, but I left my pink purse on the passenger side seat. My friend walks around to her side, as I'm going to drive on our day of shopping, and woah, glass everywhere! It was done so quickly and quietly. Someone was watching. I felt so violated! I used my friend's cell to call James (mine was in my purse), and he called and canceled my cards. Then, I had to drive with a blue tarp over that window to the nearest Wells Fargo (thank goodness they didn't take my navigation system!) to get a temp Visa so I could get enough gas to get home! The wind pulled the tarp apart, so I pulled over and ripped it off lest it cover some one's windshield! Driving without anything on it made it easier for me to know what was on my other side, so even though it was kinda ghetto, I made it home fine. Then it was standing in line at the DPS forever to get a new license, which was actually kinda cool because I've lost 30 lbs so I took a better picture, and I was able to get my address changed on it, too. So, yay. It was one of those experiences that, you know, is a story to tell, and I learned a valuable lesson. HIDE anything left in locked car. You just have to. These guys are swift. They turned my cell off immediately knowing it might be tracked with gps. I prayed their conscience would be troubled seeing my kids' pics in my wallet (grrr). I feared they had my house key, and of course my address, too, which even though our home was 1.5 hours away from Sugar Land, you never know. James had to leave work to get the locks changed, and then I found that key under Linc's car seat! And, I really feared they got my camera, too, with pics not yet saved to my hard drive, but no, it was at my mom's. One new Target purse and wallet later, one new license later, one new Visa later, one new (well, refurbished) phone letter, one new van window later, one shocked, inconvenienced and slightly less trusting Laurel later, take it from me---put'cha purse in the console, Sistas, just der'it.

Next bit of exciting news, we took the kids to the circus with friends, and I took some great pics, but those were among the ones at my folks', so hold tight until I get'em, AND, da da DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wendy graduated Sonshine Kids pre-k! She wore a cap n' gown, and I cried. I know she's not going off to college just yet, but she's growing up, my little lady! The kids sang, we parents received special scrapbooks made by their teachers, displaying our kids' work, photos of special days, etc.
Funny story, just a couple school days before she graduated, they had "Water Day," and the kids took their suits, towels, change of clothes, and came all lathered up in sun block. They'd have water slides and all kinds of splashing fun outside! Well, it hadn't rained in about 4 months or so, and had been pretty consistently hot outside. But on "Water Day," it rained. And rained. I was like, "Really?!" I drove an oily bathing beauty to school:

and picked her up with Linc dressed like this:
Another funny story goes a little somethin' like this---Miss Kristi sent the kids home with their very own tomato plants, and Wendy's, having been petted and kissed and otherwise manipulated, wound up a little on the sorry side. But she LOVED it. So, thank goodness, we needed to take a short trip to Houston. While we were gone, James, my hero, went out and bought a thriving plant and walking up to the front door, Wendy exclaims, "My tomato plant GREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We just planted it outside, but it's past the prime to time to get r' goin', so it'll likely peter out, but I'm just excited to know that planting herbs and other things with her will be a satisfying venture for her. Wendy watering her plant:
A good reason for the time that's passed between posts is the fact that we moved! Yes, after over 10 months in the town house, we went ahead and bought a house. We do still own the house in Washington as we were not able to sell it, but we have renters in it now, which is a big help, and we figured out that to rent a house was not much less than paying another mortgage. The thing is, James signed a 5-year contract, so we are here for the long-haul, and the market is good for buyers now, but who knows what'll happen later on, and interest rates were steadily climbing. We spent nearly a year thinking it through, and we decided to invest in a home that we know will hold its value at the very least. This area never really felt the shock waves of the real estate crisis elsewhere (like in WASHINGTON! Ugh.)

The time we lived in that tiny town house served to increase our appreciation for a home of our own. 2/3 bedrooms were storage rooms with just enough room to walk to the beds. We had no yard. Ha ha, I remember when James would "take the kids outside for a while," he let them play together in the bed of his truck in the parking spot in front. We were near trains and fraternity houses. Yeah. We made it work though, had to, and we knew that our circumstances were still better than they could'a been. In deed, our love grew in that small space, but to have a yard again is like, well, I'm opening my back door to the hyper-color land of Oz!

We had our eye on a Sams Club cedar chateau, so James spent three nights sweating hard and nearly kicking the thing several times, but viola!
My folks kept the kids for a week, and they were amazed to see what awaited on their first sunny afternoon at home!

Originally, we had Wendy in mind when we got it....and she does enjoy it so much. She pretends it's a restaurant and calls it by the sign on it, so it's the "Back Yard Discovery Restaurant!"
But we agree that perhaps Lincoln is more into it!

When we started to look at houses with our realtor, I began to dream up designs for Wendy's room. My mom got me several books on kids' rooms from the half-price book store, and below is my own version of a suspended canopy. I found the sheers and materials at Big Lots and other cheap stores, and James did the tool work according to my specifications. I spliced the sheers in a diamond-like peek-a-boo because the sheers were too short! I used feather hair clips to cover my safety pins. I found cheap frames from the hobby stores, hammered the glass out, painted them to match, and these shapes anchored the fabric. The one on the left glows in the dark, and the middle one is a mirror so she can see herself! Truly, this was the most fun I've ever had decorating a space. It was so satisfying to my spirit! And, she loves it:

I wedge her in between pillows that are tucked in with a sheet, and she hasn't tumbled out, so yay!

The kids and I stick around a lot now so that I can slowly but surely put things away, but we still go out for little errands and outings, and these two photos below, I thought were cute.

In other news, Lincoln walks! He started walking at Mimi's and now he walks 1/2 the time, crawls or knee-walks the other half. Below is a link to the youtube video my dad took of his first real walking! Before, he'd taken maybe 4 steps at a time, with days passing before another 3-4 step demonstration that he COULD walk, but this was more than that:

My mom came to visit for the day yesterday, and brought Hattie, and I took some super fun pics, but I'll post them later. Stay tuned!

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