Friday, January 30, 2009

2 days of winter and childhood memories

so texas participated in last week's ice storms, though thankfully not to the extent that much of the rest of the country did. we, nor anyone in our area, lost power, though there were a few deaths in texas. and of course, a bajillion accidents. so, i think it was 19 deg when i took this picture. right about when the weatherman was saying avoid the roads if at all possible. i guess i should be proud of him for being committed. being office manager and all now, he likes to set a positive example. at least he waited till ten to go in!

i realize this was just a little bit of ice, but for some reason i had a blast that morning. Hannah and i got bundled up and took to the streets. which were, of course, empty. No other kids, even though there was no school in a 5 state radius, i think. i guess kids in texas don't have snowsuits, or real hats and mitts. thankfully i have enough canadian left in me that we were properly outfitted. because i know i'm a wuss, but this was actually cold. poor hannah, i kept trying to get her to play and she just kept falling because it was a giant skating rink.

the trees were beautiful. thankfully, not heavy enough to fall down on anything.

for some reason, this particular cold spell and ensuing outdoor activities awakened in me a new appreciation for winter. I was transported back to when i was a little girl (I spent the first ten years of my life in Canada.) I didn't even live in an especially cold part of canada, but snowsuits came out by halloween and generally stayed until easter or so, possibly. the snow came and didn't melt all winter. this is such a foreign concept to texans (and Alabama and North Carolina and of course, Senegal; all the places i've recently lived), that it's become foreign to me as well. I decided i do like real winter, i just don't like this halfway winter. i like going outside when it's so cold you can smell it, and it takes your breath away. the complete and utter stillness of a fresh snowfall, when you wake up in the morning, is quite unlike anything else. I was overwhelmed with precious memories of winter, of snow. Of playing dogsled with my sisters and our poor little dog. My best friend and I, purposefully sticking our heads in the snow because we thought that would get us more hot chocolate. Of wearing our boots to church then changing into our dress shoes, where coats and boots are lined up in the hallway. of ice skating all the time, either on a community rink, outdoors normally, on a pond, or on a river or canal. once (on vacation in california, actually) we built huge forts and even tunnels of snow. of sliding and snow angels and igloos. of mitt drying racks over the floor vents. and of course the skiing. my brave, committed, patient parents first strapped skis to my little legs at 2 yrs old. i'm sure it took a few years to catch on. the only sport i've ever been decent at! i love skiing with a passion. and the memories i have of my family skiing are absolutely positively priceless. and then, of spring. of finally shedding your eskimo layers. of running around jumping in melting snow. of feeling sun on your skin. I now sleep in fleece pajamas, under a regular comforter and a hudson bay blanket (only a privileged few know what that is) in our 70 degree house. i need a jacket if it gets below 70. what happened to that little girl who went from the hot tub to the snow bank in one leap, i'm not sure. but at least i have the memories. and they are as real as the wetness of a snowflake on my tongue.

Monday, January 26, 2009

hanging in there

i'm trying to sort pictures, and i love coming across old ones. this is from thanksgiving 07. she was so little, we bathed her in the kitchen sink. (there's actually a funny story about that with a snowstorm and a poopy blowout, then stuck on the road behind an accident.)

this is from october. blue steel.


we tackled the Ft Worth rodeo last week, which is huge. we didn't buy tickets to any of the performances, but there are alot of free/cheap things to do in conjunction. downtown ft worth is just a really neat place. when you come visit . . .!

hannah was small enough to fit through the bars, and i had a hard time keeping her out

they had a free petting zoo, where the kids just get down on the floor with the animals. she loved it, but we didn't get many good pictures.

these were some of hannah's favourite christmas presents. a baby stroller that she pushes around all the time, empty or not. and a teddy bear that sings jesus loves me.
we've been busy the past few weeks. I signed up to work at 3 different MOPS (mothers of preschoolers programs) for extra money. they each meet 2x/mo, so 1-2 times a week hannah and i do that. we're also starting a monthly missions focus night at our church. we're going to highlight different regions, people groups, ministries, or opportunities. i'm really excited because i get to bring a snack from that place and have cultural influences to make it more interesting. like my unit studies from homeschooling. patrick graciously let us tag along to Houston last week, where i finally got to see my friend Kristi and her (now) 3 boys. i tried some pictures, but that didn't really work. Patrick surprised me with a valentine's day weekend away too, so david and des will be here to babysit in a few weeks. we did leave hannah for the night over christmas, but this is our first real time away.
so if you've hung in with my post this long, you deserve to get the real news: we are 9 wks pregnant, due Aug 31, give or take. i found out before christmas, when we were apart. i had plans to tell patrick, but we went straight from the airport to the christmas eve service. i was really nervous, my hands were shaking, and i had to play my violin for a special. so in the middle of a song (away in a manger, actually) i just leaned over and whispered that we were having another baby. took him a little by surprise, but we're all ok now. we had actually been trying, unlike last time!
the first month was fine. the second month brought a sickness like i have never experienced, which led to the worst eating habits i've ever seen. in me or anyone else. poor patrick, he's been trying really hard and even getting up at 5.30 to go to the gym. then there's me. bread is about the only thing i've been eating. (or cereal, or pasta, or some version of that). with butter, cheese, or pnut butter. yes, it's been that bad. i think i went a whole week with no vegetables. other than 3x this morning, i haven't thrown up, so it's just very different from last time. anyways, we should hear the heartbeat in a few weeks. we are going to find out the sex, probably not till april. no, we don't think we care. except we have plans for a boy nursery and none, as yet, for a girl nursery. i wanted to tell people pretty early because i definitely will be busting out the maternity clothes long before i did last time!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

christmas in nc and va

i apologize for it being Jan 12 and me still putting christmas pictures up. but we don't have alot going on right now, and these are cuter anyways. Top left: i had the bright idea of spending some time with meghan and my mom (and lar, in spirit!) somewhat alone, so we went out for coffee with just hannah and emerson. oh my. you'd a thought she had a venti espresso, zooming around starbucks, throwing crackers, eating crayons, entertaining everyone but me. immediately after this picture she fell facefirst off the chair, too. back to the highchair for a while. and note to self: hannah's much too old and still too young to take anywhere. under 6 months or over 4 yrs i think. Right: we had a modified christmas dinner at dad and bunny's house, and hannah thought temporarily she was going to get to sit at the kids table. (again, back to the highchair.) then my dad came in with a pretty good santa impersonation and she started to cry. like most kids, i think! i know christmas isn't about giving presents, especially more presents to people who don't need them, but i have to say it was fun to watch hannah and her cousins opening their presents. we got good video, and i can't find it! i am very upset. :-(

Hannah and Kennedy are great friends. i'm sure one day hannah and parker will be too :-). it's probably a combination of closer in age and the boy/girl thing. unfortunately, one of their favourite games was 'grab the babou and keep it away from hannah'. as you can imagine, that was a tearjerker. for hannah, at least. and the whole time they fought (as much as hannah can fight against someone twice her age and twice her size :-) over this little car.

i know this is a bad picture, but it's the only one i got with hannah and Dad. With 4 kids running around, we didn't have much time to take pictures. so, how do i look with 2 kids? my mom tried about 10 x, and the only one with hannah looking cut my head off. oh well. i know i'm not important anymore!

"would you people just get out of my face and let me sleep???"
Hannah got to work on her 'gentleness.' She did fairly well, but i think she tried to pull her hair out a few times.

my mom got her a music set, non-battery operated. yeah! she does well with the cymbals
it was warm enough in VA to go to the park. nana and pop-pop enjoying a calm moment with the Tornado.

You dont' even want to know how many times we tried this picture. we did the everyone seperately, then a big crisp group picture. i tried distracting hannah with cookies, actually.

Hannah got cowboy boots and a pony for Christmas. Except the pony belongs to all crisp grandchildren, current and future. she loves her boots. i thought maybe these would be too hard to pull off, but nope. the second we get in the car, off come the shoes and socks as fast as she can. and she throws them around, so i have to climb all over the place looking for them. and we're usually late already. agggghhhhh, toddlers!

we ventured out on an outing because we had so many adults for one child. it still didn't really work. this store had a little play area where David watched Hannah while we browsed. I figured out why they do that. it isn't a convenience to the patrons. it's so that your kid gets hooked on something while they play with it and thinks it's theirs. or at least should be. and yes, we (patrick) got suckered! we actually have never bought hannah a new toy, and precious few from the consignment store. so patrick really enjoyed getting her this cute little teaset. (wooden, no toxins! and no paint, either) it was supposed to entertain her during dinner. . .

all photographic evidences to the contrary, dinner was a nightmare! we definitely have to do something to encourage small bits of sitting down at a time, building up to a real dinner. it's like she has a time bomb inside that will go off if she's still longer than 3 min. i eventually got up and walked around outside with her, and ate from a to go box on the way home. again, agggghhhh toddlers!
all (or most) frustration aside, though, we are really enjoying her right now. she knows so many words, and she's so expressive. the time on the weekends that we get to have as a family is so precious. i live for it. we're getting even more settled now, we joined our church this morning. I am organizing a neighbourhood playgroup that i'm going to advertise for this week. hopefully i can build relationships with some unbelievers. I also am going to a volunteer meeting for LifeTalk, a crisis pregnancy center that's just getting started. Our town of 100,000 doesn't have one yet. I thought i would have to fold laundry or something because I always have to take Hannah with me, but the lady I spoke with said they were looking for mentors, which would be an amazing opportunity. I would love to become friends with someone and help them through a difficult situation. I've never been someone's support like that.
Patrick has lots of ideas for the upcoming year, he's so motivated. he has alot of shows coming up, some i may be able to help him with. we had the office over for a belated holiday gathering, so i got to know people a little better. He's playing basketball at the church right now, and planning on doing the men's bible study. at 6 am. the poor guys. the women's is always during the day. the men have to squeeze it in before work. but wait a second, i guess i was the one getting up all hours of the night for an entire year. never mind, i don't feel bad!
so, other than a very disappointing night last night, something about the playoffs, we are doing well. i'm pretty sure hannah will be doing her own blog pretty soon. yesterday i was trying to get her to eat her fish and i said something about brain development, and patrick said we should try to impede her brain development, if possible. i thought, that might be a good idea, i think she's already ahead of me half the time. i could always plop her down in front of the tv. :-)

Monday, January 05, 2009

December in Texas

we're finally back online. and at&t is sending us a brand new modem for our troubles.

it was over 1,200 miles from mechanicsville to frisco, but all without incident. actually, our entire 2 wk + trip was without incident, praise the Lord. and worth every mile. you should have seen the car on the way home. we bought a car top carrier, and patrick and david did an amazing job getting things to fit. we hosted an office party on saturday, and now it's back to work.

these pictures are from our holiday activities before we left. frisco had something called Merry Main Street, a little street festival kind of thing. they had games and a tree lighting and performances and fair food, and carriage and train rides, and all kinds of stuff. they even had snow machines. it was really neat. the lights are blurry, but it was beautiful.

we never got around to watching any christmas movies, but hannah got to meet the grinch and Cindy Lou Who at Merry Main Street. They were giving away free hot chocolate. then on Sunday we realized the Grinch was actually the pastor of the church we're joining. He apparently really takes outreach seriously! on a side note, we also found out he studied under our pastor from alabama, whom I absolutely loved, while he went to auburn many years ago. that was what sealed the deal for me, for this church.

self portraits never work well, this one i cut hannah off. but she was there!

we went to the Children's Parade in Dallas, which was really neat. They had almost every character imaginable, from Raggedy Ann to Dora. and all kinds of bands and dancers and everything. even though hannah didn't recognize any, she still enjoyed looking. next year will be even better. (she got her first curious george book, from brett and jes. very exciting!)

after that we went to the farmer's market, then to the mall where we mostly windowshopped. (other than lunch, i got lipgloss from sephora with an $8 gift card) a word of advice: no matter how it looks, how important you think it is, it is simply not worth wearing 3" heels when going to watch a parade, the farmers market, then the mall in december. just don't do it!
the next week we went to Grapevine, a picturesque (albeit commercialized) downtown experience. It was all decorated, and they had a train and everything too. I took Hannah to see all these little displays of holiday and scenes, and she just wanted to play in the dirt. next year, maybe?

in true texas form, it was about 30 degrees warmer the next day. we had a family trip to the park, which is at the top of my favourite things. she's getting so big, she sometimes goes down the slide by herself. but today it's freezing rain :-(
I am trying to actually use my adress book, and send out a spring update. right now i have about 3 adresses in it, though, so i need your help. if i even know you remotely, would you mind sending me your adress? if you feel comfortable doing it as a comment, that's great, or if you'd rather email it, it's Thanks!