Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i just got back from taking William to the allergist. hoping for some answers to his constant struggle to breathe through his nose. it's weird how he's the only one of the four that struggles with seasonal allergies. he'll be getting tested next week.

didn't do much on Monday. i felt like i wasted a lot of time, though i did get the house cleaned and laundry done. Margaret and i went over to Mueller that night and walked 4 miles. or i walked while she roller bladed. it was nice to be out together, just the two of us.
yesterday i worked for Classical Conversations all day. i felt pretty rotten - tired and shaky, but didn't want to go home early since i only have one more week of work left in the semester. i assume i'll be back to work the fall semester until the baby comes.

i had a train wreck of an afternoon on Tuesday and felt so out of sorts emotionally. i went to bed early had a long heart to heart conversation (crying session) with the Lord and felt so comforted as i drifted off to sleep. i can't comprehend such great love!

i'm now 8 weeks along. here's this week's tummy pic. not wearing the best clothing for tummy pics, but nothing to show anyways at this point.

Monday, March 28, 2011

weekend recap

friday afternoon Brian helped plant trees at Maplewood. here are some pics of the sweet little school where we spend a lot of time.

friday night we went over to Central Market to listen to Guy Forsyth. he's real popular around here, and it's a treat to hear him for free at CM when he charges at most other venues. but that's what makes CM so special. they bring in so many really good acts for no charge.

saturday morning we were up and at 'em early for the Jr. Dillo Mile, an annual family event. a few pics from that~

 Margaret is the short, little thing in blue, by the way.

 that's Samuel in second place, in blue as well.

 John and me waiting for the start of his race, the youngest group of runners, the Six and Unders

running together toward the finish

everyone did great, but Samuel blew us away by running his mile in 6 minutes 38 seconds. he won second in his age group, and was second on the Maplewood team of 24 kids. the others ran their miles in the 8 minute range, which i'm very proud of them for. even John, who rarely takes any sporting event seriously gave it his all and ran a, 8:20!

after the race, i took William and John to their baseball game at the Y. some pics from that~

the boys team won their game, though they don't much keep score at the Y at this age. Patrick, William, and John all seemed to enjoy themselves. 

after the game, i brought our crew home, which consisted of three of my kids plus Patrick and Margaret's buddy, Marissa. i made a quick brunch of breakfast tacos, and then it was off to the next baseball game, this time at the Delwood NEO. a couple of pics from that~

these cousins were pretty darn cute in their Reds uniforms.

that's Samuel up to bat

the Reds were playing the Longhorns from Hutto, and lost. it was their first game, and there was a big sigh of relief from Roger and Brian (the coaches) on having one game down. next weekend's game is the only away game of the season. we get to go on the road to Manor. woohoo!

Brian and i had an little time to ourselves on Saturday evening. we walked around the neighborhood for about 45 minutes and called it a date. i think both of us needed it, not having spent many waking hours together in the past week.

sunday was wonderful. it was so refreshing to go to worship, and then on to my four year old SS class. we went out to lunch at Jason's Deli after church and then came home for a little r & r. i went over to Mueller and got in my 4 miles. there was a neighborhood meeting in the next block at Bob and Daphnie's, so Brian and i walked over to that for cookies and lemonade and to discuss neighborhood watch stuff. i aways love hanging with the neighbors. it gives me a renewed love for Windsor Park. it's such an ecclectic group of
folks. we met two sweet ladies that have lived on Ridgemont since the houses were first built, both outliving their husbands. then there's the guy with the two goats and the chickens. and then the guy named Chito....

Brian and i discussed the next thing on our renovation wish list: turning the playroom into a master bedroom and adding another bath off the utility room. this would be the plan most likely if we stay in this house. and we really do want to stay. it tears me up to think of starting over somewhere else just for the sake of more room. the concept of a starter home and "bigger is better"  just goes against our principles. i can't really explain it too well.

i went over to James and Susanna's, our sweet, across the street neighbors, and looked at their garden. they graciously told me to bring the wheel barrow and come dig up all sorts of herbs and flowers because they are being over run. they are such blessings to have as neighbors.

and now it's monday and Brian just left to take the kidlets to school. i'm off to get in my miles and then hopefully meet Jess for lunch. i need to catch up on how married life is treating her.

Friday, March 25, 2011

hey there!

my little gummybear baby last wednesday~

i'm in the middle of cooking dinner (pasta with roasted red bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes, sauteed tomatoes and zucchini, spinach salad with homemade dressing, homemade whole wheat rolls, and coconut oatmeal cookies - yes, carb city!) while listening to some Scripture teaching online. and blogging. ever the multitasker.
this morning as soon as Brian left to take the kids to school i went over to Mueller and walked my four miles before heading off to work at Redeemer. our morning was uneventful. we made kites and the kids had fun running around the church yard flying tissue paper/popsicle stick/yarn kites.

i had a couple of free hours after i got off, and i fully intended to take a nap, but i never got around to it. napping is hard for me. i guess because i can't multitask while doing it. =)

tonight everyone has baseball, so half the family will be going one way, and half another. i'll be looking forward to crawling into bed next to my man tonight. seems like we've barely spoken since we got back from spring break. he worked at the office until about 8:30 last night.

it's now Wednesday night. i took William and John to their baseball practice at the Y. i had hoped to work out in the gym a bit while there, but got caught up visiting with another mom and before i knew it practice was over.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


the nausea has set in, but i only see it as a blessing. the past day or two i was worried because i wasn't experiencing much in the way of pregnancy symptoms. last night while at the ball fields for Samuel's practice, while the other kids played in the creek, i wandered around, perusing site after site on pregnancy to see when one should start experiencing symptoms, when one should start to show, etc. some mommas said that with 2nd and 3rd, and beyond pregnancies they looked like they were five months along at just 7 weeks. others said they didn't start to show until two months. i'm not showing at all. yeah, i've got the mother Mary shape up top, a pregnancy blessing, but not one bit of bulge in my tummy. i've never wanted a pregnancy to "stick" like this one. i've given it to the Lord and i know that baby is in His hands.

many people assume that this is an Oops! baby. quite the contrary.

a couple of months ago i sent Brian this text:

"you wanna have another baby?"

it was not what was on his mind at all. he was just feeling comfy with our family of six. we talked about it a couple of times, then it sort of dropped. then when we were out to dinner at Eastside Cafe for Valentine's dinner, he brought up the subject again. he said he'd been thinking about it and the idea had grown on him, and, if it was something i wanted, he would be thrilled to have another. i can't duplicated the beautiful words he said, but it was really touching. so a couple of days later we through caution to the wind and a new Wells baby was created. i really thought it would take awhile, what with both of us doing a lot of running during that time, and then me running a marathon between conception and implantation. but it's all in God's hands, and He made it all come together all so beautifully.

it's Wednesday afternoon and i just got back from my doctor visit. i got too see Baby and see the heart beat. i wanted to jump up and scream for joy! it was really exciting! everything else looked good. as expected, i've lost a weight since i found out i was pregnant and stopped running as much though i feel like i'm eating all the time. it was so fun to chat with Dr. Love and his nurse Janine. i had to go to the lab in the hospital to have all my blood work done. it was such a neat feeling to be walking down the hall as an expectant mother again.

well, the kiddos and the house need my attention.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

tired. that about covers it.

just got home from working at Redeemer all day. our class has shrunk a lot since the beginning of the year, so we have about half as many kiddos to keep up with. that makes the day less hectic, but it's still long. one of the CC moms, Greta, was in there to assist me today. she's become a good friend over the past few months. she's more than ten years older than me, and is pregnant herself. both she and her husband are doctors though she's dropped her practice to homeschool her children. anyways, it was fun talking pregnancy and whatnot with her. she's just so interesting to visit with. she, too, lives in central Austin, and her family converted to Catholicism a few years ago. she has 5 kids and they live in a house smaller than ours (which gives me hope that we can stay in ours as a family of 7). she's full of all sorts of wisdom and gentleness. anyways, i really like her. her twin 3 year old daughters are in my class and are a hoot.

i've been craving salt like crazy. can't get enough of things like pickled jalapenos, chips and salsa.

i go for my first OB appointment tomorrow. looking forward to seeing Dr. Love after all these years.

Brian is up for election as a deacon at Redeemer along with a few other men. he's been asked several times before, but always declined because he felt he was already stretched too thin, or because he just didn't feel ready. this time he decided to go ahead with the officer's training. the church will vote on the candidates this coming Sunday.

kids' sports are keeping us busy. Brian and Roger are coaching Samuel and Thomas' team at the Delwood Optimist Club. the younger three boys, William, Patrick, and John will be playing baseball at the Y. and Margaret is playing softball at Delwood as well. i think that after baseball, we'll take a break from sports. or maybe just do swim team and that's all. i love that the kids are getting to learn to play so many different sports, and learn to love being active, especially since i never played any sports growing up, but i also worry that they don't have enough down time.

i think i'm going to sneak off and try to get in a nap while the kids play wii.

Monday, March 21, 2011

a new tummy pic. still nothing. but then again, i'm not quite 7 weeks. pardon the ugliness. it was Monday morning. i'm hoping to have something to show by ten weeks. i think i can recall starting to show around ten weeks with one of my others. i always feel goofy smiling at myself in the mirror.

i've been cleaning house all morning. that's usually what i do on mondays. it's my recovery day. today is especially so.

i've been working through this Bible study called Becoming A Woman of Excellence. it's really motivated me to not do things half-hearted, but do everything the best i can, throwing my all into it. i'm hoping to take that approach into meal preparation and cooking. i want to start being more creative with things i prepare for my family. i love the cook book that have the meals laid out in menus. does anyone have one like that that they can recommend?

i did a lot of reading while on our trip. i finished several books - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and The Liars Club, and Safe Haven, and read just about all there was to read in Julie and Julia, at least enough to satisfy me, nearly the entire thing. (i think that's also what inspired me to put more into my cooking, that and the above mentioned reason.) so yeah, i spent a lot of time with my nose in a book while we were gone.

Margaret did not get accepted into any of the three magnet programs that she applied for. she was pretty disappointed. we were, too, for her sake, but it does make the path for next year clearer. most of her friends will be going on to the assigned middle school anyways.

i'm sure i have other things to write about, but i can't think of them right now.

oh, and my garden is starting to show itself which makes me really happy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


i read this great article in the PCA's magazine byFaith. this is our reason for living where we live and having our kids in public school. Since the article was not on the publication's site, i had to retype it from hand. hopefully i didn't butcher it too much.

Transforming Neighborhoods by Transforming Public Schools

Despite our history of antagonism toward public schools, especially as a cultural darkness seems to have settled on them, it's intriguing to wonder: what if Christians flooded public schools with practical help? What if Christians became more willing to enroll their children in public schools? And what if the lines between public and private education began to blur?

Such "what ifs" describe a continuum of thinking  and action in a growing number of Presbyterian churches. ByFaith spoke to laypeople and pastors in Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, and Florida, and New York, asking what's wrong with the public schools, can we fix them (or even make a dent), and why should we consider supporting them after so many years of building our own schools that are safer, more academically sound, and biblically based?

Their answers may surprise you. Some privately admit that helping public schools is the right thing, but they would never enroll their children in one. Other cite success stories of evangelism, discipleship, tutoring, and role modeling opportunities resulting from their personal involvement - factors that energize them to volunteer again. Some become involved, but feel overwhelmed by what they describe as the cultural darkness, although they my stay with the effort because of the huge need. Others plow forward, convinced that engaging the public school community is part of God's call.

An encouraging number told byFaith that they experience great personal joy in helping public schools. They see more reasons to rejoice , fewer reasons to grumble. They are tired of finger pointing, eager to serve. They are rewarded with a softening of their attitudes toward what they still may perceive as the sorry state of America's public schools, because they see specific ways they are making a difference in the lives of the students, faculty, families, even the physical campus where they volunteer. These people see God at work in the environment, and they feel hope.

Many have caught the vision of leaders such as Drue Warner, director of Live, Work, and Play Ministries at Atlanta's Perimeter Church (PCA), who notes that the churches have become more externally focused in the last decade. "We may have cared about our communities evangelistically, but we haven't cared holistically about the needs of our communities. If we want to see God do a work of transformation in our communities, it really starts by building relationships with families, because there's a lot of breakdown in families. And one of the best places to build a relationship with families is in our public schools. They're the hub of our communities."

Warner recalls Christians' earlier efforts to influence public schools, and "when it became obvious that we were not allowed to [lead with the gospel], we got made and sad, 'Well, we're going home.' I think churches now have a perspective that is accurate, one that says, 'You know what? We can preach the gospel in public schools, and the way we're going to do that is through our lives, by allowing teachers, students, families and administrators to experience the love of Christ through our actions, with a goal of provoking them to ask questions, provoking them to curiosity,' Once that happens, you can talk about whatever you want."

Adds Warner: "The Schools see through the experience that the church is not here with a ulterior motive - our ultimate motive is to love, to serve, to bless. As they receive that, as they experience that, as they begin to trust us, to trust our hearts and motivation - they become very open and transparent. If we have a message of hope, they're willing to listen."

Warner shares an anecdote of how he found incentive after Atlanta's large Perimeter Church has been casting a vision for members to invest themselves in public schools. He admits, "though my heart wasn't really in it, I felt like I needed to try this."

He walked into a school, told the administrators he lived in the community and was on staff at a church that encouraged members to volunteer at public schools. "Within half an hour they had connected me with a first-grade boy who didn't have a dad at home. They said. 'If you'll come once a week and meet with him for 30 minutes over lunch, it would make a major difference in this boy's life.' I strolled out of there with a whole new view."

The experience was so beneficial to both the pastor and the boy that Warner and his wife feel compelled to enroll their daughter in public school, even though - with Warner on staff - the family would have a scholarship to Perimeter Christian School.

Would they be throwing  their daughter to the wolves? No, says Warmer. In addition to a commitment to have direct impact on what she learns by being more involved in her public education, the Warners have made peace with the realization that it's their job as parents to teach her the Bible. They characterized the education and environment at Perimeter Christian School as "great" but think the decision for public schooling is the best for their family because of the intentionality with which they will be involved in their daughters academics. plus knowing that giving her a biblical worldview and kingdom perspective is their responsibility.

A critically acclaimed documentary film entitled Waiting for 'Superman' was released in the fall of 2010. the film analyzed failures of American public education by following several students through the system. Conservative critics praised the film, despite the director's liberal stance, saying it added useful information and ideas to the debate.

Members of Indianapolis's Redeemer Presbyterian (PCA) several years ago gave up waiting for Superman - caped or otherwise - and began a deliberate effort to rejuvenate the city's public school system. Pastor Jim Dorsey, his wife and four children led by example.

Some, like Dorsey, enrolled their children in the Indianapolis Public Schools. Others did their part to reverse the trend of while flight/socio-economic flight by selling suburban homes and moving close to the church's urban location, making it easier to volunteer and  - just as important - to care about the schools which became their neighbors.

Dorsey is part of a grassroots partnership of educators, civic leaders, and neighbors called IPS Renewal, which counts among its goals the recruiting  of gifted teachers, administrators, and principals, a reversal of suburban flight, and an end to socioeconomic/ethnic isolation due to the poor quality of inner-city schools.

In addition to Jesus calling His followers to be salt and light in the world - not retreating from it - Dorsey cites the trumpet call to service described in Isaiah 58, adding  that public schools need rigorous Christian engagement. "Public schools are the front lines of social problems facing our cities."

He volunteers on Thursdays for lunch duty at a high school and coached the junior varsity basketball team. His message to the public school system , its students and families: "In your poverty, in your suffering the wounds of a broken family, in the absence of make role models, I stand with you.
Dorsey has warnings. "It is a false belief to assume that public schools can't provide our children with top-notch educations. Our four children are receiving rigorous, holistic. education in IPS.

And Christian parents much remember that sending one's child to a Christian school will not make that child a Christian; only God's regenerating power will do that."

Individual feedback from volunteers in public schools is a mishmash of joys, concerns, surprising blessings, and discouraging letdowns. Some report that the entire emotional spectrum occurs in one day of washing windows for a school or tutoring children or helping teachers or delivering basic supplies such as pencils that, without donations, educators would pay for out of their own pockets. As a result, some volunteers retreat from the effort. Others plow forward, returning to public school campuses day after day, certain that God called them to this environment.

Many volunteers are committed to activities such as tutoring, even stopping by a school in their way to work or during their noon hour to read to a classroom of rowdy students while a flustered teacher prepares another lesson or simply catches his or her breath.

Hands-on is our best method of helping a struggling system," explains Kim Blankenship, who works at Second Presbyterian (EPC) of Memphis. "Believers are called to be the hands of feet of Christ."

Blankenship tells a familiar story among churches who partner with schools. Sandy Wilson, senior minister, asked the Memphis school superintendent a question: "What can we as a church do to help?" The need was obvious; an overwhelming majority of the city's students qqualified for free lunches, an indicator of poverty, and graduation rates were among the lowest. the superintendent answered, "We'd love your help!" and recommended  joining the Adopt_A-School program.

So Second Presbyterian bean what Blankenship describes as a partnership with neighboring Berclair Elementary, where the need was great.

She shares examples of educators who became so frustrated they they had to scream to control their classrooms. Contributing factors, says Blankenship, were overcrowded classrooms that are undersourced and the behavior issues that are exhibited in the students.

"Little structured discipline exists in our public schools. Many of these children come from stressful home lives which carries over into misbehaving at school. Teachers deal with this by themselves all day, so when we come in we provide a different approach - we come in to provide a different approach - we come to assist the teachers and love the children. Church volunteers provide a calming presence as soon as we enter, perhaps because  we are someone other than the teacher or because the kids sense something special about the hearts of these Christ-centered volunteers."

Among the positive outcomes: Beclair Elementary now has higher teacher retention rates. The school passes its required standardized testing. Parent involvement has increased in activities such as cleaning up the school grounds. Adds Blankenship: "Teachers trust church volunteers enough to allow us access to all parts of life as Beclair, even to the extent of adding a desk in a classroom for loyal volunteers. Beclair is a positive and happy place to be, because we see the work of Christ being done and we see changes."

Leaders provide guidance about being realistic and softening attitudes. Ray Cortese leads Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida. Warns Cortese, "I dont' think we need to soften our opinion of the limitations of any education that fails to recognize the heart of all truth - the reality of God. We do need to engage, though.

"Jesus associated with those far from God (tax collectors and prostitutes) much to the chagrin of the religious right of his day. He came to seek and save the lost. Seeking  cannot actively going to where the lost are. those 'lost' in our communities are in public schools. If we are not there are teachers, coaches, mentors, etc., then we are not very wise seekers. We may differ on whether public education is redeemable, but there is no doubt that there are objects of the Savior's redemptive love."

Tim Keller, pastor of Manhattan's Redeemer Presbyterian Church makes the case that Jeremiah 29:7 "tells us to seek the peace of the whole city." Keller adds: "Alot of our neighbors are in the public schools...people we are called to love...and an awful lot of people are essentially dying in those public schools." Keller points out that many leave a flawed public school system only to land back in poverty, incapable of getting into college or the job market.

"You can pick them up off the streets 30 years later and help them at the soup kitchen and feel really good about yourself, but if you'd actually made the public schools better they might never have landed on the streets. Pragmatically, not even theologically, [helping public schools] is a way to help your community so that it doesn't need to spend as much money on other social services later.

"I love Christian schools," Keller says. "I think they're competition for public schools in a good way. Just like starting a new church is one of the best ways of renewing the older churches.

But if Christians withdraw; if we tell the rest of the worked we really don't want to have anything to do with you, if we take that attitude about public schools, then we're abandoning the common good.
~Carolyn Curtis for byFaith magazine
it's early on Sunday morning and i'm sitting in bed next to my sleeping honey. we've had overnight guests. our friends Mike and Kristi and their five kids made a bit of a detour on their spring break trip to come visit us on their way back to east Texas. we grilled fajitas last night and fed the whole clan, 13 of us in all. the whole house is quiet right now, at least for a bit, before we get up and head to church.

we got home from our vacation on Friday night. all the talk was about what Lucy was gonna do when we got there, but we couldn't find her for the first thirty or forty-five minutes. the kids were really getting concerned. but here she came out of the darkness, mewing like crazy to let us know how upset she'd been at us being away. our across the street neighbors had taken good care of her, feeding her and checking on her three times a day. it was good to see our fuzzy family member again!

we had a lazy saturday morning. the kids didn't even bother with eating breakfast and immediately pulled out dress up clothes and started playing elaborate games out back. i went over to Mueller for a 4 mile walk. around lunch time we loaded up the car and drove out to Blanco to my aunt Lucy and uncle Neil's little place on the river for a cookout/birthday party for my grandmother and her brother who have birthdays a month apart. the land is out in the country, just across the street from my grandmother's house. Lucy and Neil are sort of crunchy naturalists. they love to spend time outdoors, love the minimalist lifestyle, and love drinking. they have a little 60's era trailer parked on the land overlooking the river, a self composting toilet and outdoor shower, and big deck surrounded by a string of cactus lights, among other things. Neil's sister, Rita, and her husband, Phil, have also set up and old rv at the land and the two couples spend weekends out there getting away from it all. Lucy has invited us to bring our trailer out and camp anytime, but we've yet to take her up on it. it's totally cool hippie life at it's best.

when we got home, Mike and Kristi and kids arrived, and we all had a great time catching up on with each other. friends are such a nice thing to have.

while we were gone we had a cool corrugated metal fence installed across our backyard. right now it's just 6 ft. metal panels, but we'll have a wire panel put at the top and hopefully i can get something viney to grow and weave in the wire panel, adding even more privacy.

my garden is coming along nicely. i was hoping the plants would be a little taller, but i guess we didn't get any rain while we were gone. the front flowerbeds are looking beautiful. back in February i bought some plants on clearance at Lowes, ones that had been touched by the hard freeze. i was able to rescucitate them and they look so good!

our spring break was great, but i'm ready to get back to routine. SXSW was going on for the past, what 11 days, and the city has felt packed to the gills. we even had a few concerts in the neighborhood. the festival ended last night, so hopefully things will start clearing out today, making it a bit easier to get around town. for several years we've talked about renting our house out during SXSW since we're almost always gone for the week, or part of the week for spring break anyways. next year we're doing it for sure. it would be a great way to pay for whatever we do for spring break. several other people in our neighborhood rented out their places, as we're close to downtown and right on the bus line. we're also hoping to rent out our place for the weekend of ACL fest, which is the weekend we go away for our anniversary in October. hopefully we can get our act together this year to make it a reality.

i need to go rouse the household so we can start getting ready for church.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

i'm sitting here at the laundry mat at Rio Grande Village in Big Bend Nat'l Park. it's the one place i can get wifi, so i'm passing the time while the laundry washes and dries by catching up with life in the outside world.

we left Austin on Saturday morning. we'd not gone far, just a few blocks in fact, when someone flagged up down and informed us that we had lost a bike off the back of the trailer and that the rest of the bikes were dragging. we were so saddened. Margaret's was the one that was missing. Brian ran back the quarter mile to the intersection to check to see if it was still there, then ran home and got his truck and drove around looking for it. he came back with bad news. no bike. my bike was damaged, as was Brian's. Samuel's is a dirt bike and wasn't hurt at all. so Brian loaded the bikes in the back of the truck and stayed with the suburban and trailer while Margaret and i ran them back home. on the way, i decided to drive through a strip center near the intersection that we lost the bike. after circling through, Margaret hollered, "there it is!" it was in the back of someones truck! as it was early, not many of the businesses were opened, but the barber shop was. we ran in and immediately about ten black men and boys turned to look at me and i asked if that truck belonged to any of them. in a hasty, jumbled way, i blurted out our story and this barber drops what he's doing and heads out the door to help me unload the bike from that truck. we didn't know whose truck it was, but he said if it was my bike, he was gonna help me get my bike back. we loaded up with the rest of the banged up bikes and then this crazy-like woman comes storming out of the Such-and-Such Christian Center and attempts to take the bike back from me. i rose up in my pregnancy hormone aided mother bear fury and holler "thief!". she kept coming so i hollered, "i'll call the police on you, you thief!" she backed out a bit after that, so i jumped in the truck, put the thing in reverse and gunned it out of there.

after that, we were on the road for what seemed like three days, but was really 11.5 hours. a very long time to be in the car with cranky kids.

yesterday we hiked over to the hot springs, about 8 miles round trip. it was 8 very hot, very dry miles, and i really feared that one of us would pass out. we had only taken one water bottle per person, which was way too little. Margaret and i went on ahead on the way back and rationed our little bit of water between us for the last three miles. i was praying nearly the whole way. thankfully we all made it back safely.

today we went down to Boquillas Canyon. a cool front had come through last night and the wind out here is incredible, and made the canyon one huge wind tunnel. it was more than John and i could handle, so we spent an hour or so in the car reading books, which was fine with me because i've been pretty weary these days.

it's Wednesday morning now and i'm back at the laundry mat washing a few things before we get back on the road. we're heading to Seminole Canyon State Park for the second half of our spring break. yesterday we hiked out to the Window. we ran into a Maplewood dad out there. he works for a local non-profit, which is what about 75% of the parents of the parents at Maplewood describe as their occupation by the way. the other 24% are artists or musicians, and about 1% are engineers. anyways, this guy, Brent, had brought his environmental group out there. his son is in William's grade. so we had a nice little visit with Brent out there in the Chisos Mountains, ten hours from home. he was the second person we'd run into from back in Austin since we've been here. there is a City School family staying here as well, one of Samuel's former classmates.

Big Bend has been fun, though it's been hotter here than we expected. Brian and i have struggled with having patience with some of the boys, especially William. he has some much pent up anxiety and OCD behaviors. we weary of playing psychiatrist. it has driven us the prayer for sure.  i've come to realize that we shouldn't look at him as something we need to fix, but as a blessing from above that we need to learn to love as Jesus loves. he's so needy, and i tend to push away from people who are needy. the Lord knew i needed a child like that i suppose.

i'm still feeling pretty good. i'm now 6 weeks along. i'm already experiencing physical changes which is so exciting, as every change is further evidence of this new life growing inside of me. i am convinced i was just made for having babies. i love being pregnant. i love the way it makes me feel. i love the way my skin shines, and the shape it gives me. i feel more even keel emotionally, sort of like i'm on some kind of mood stabilizing drug. and i feel so womanly.

it's Thursday morning now. we drove down to Seminole Canyon State Park yesterday. it took ever so long. after depositing the trailer at the park, we drove into Del Rio for some dinner and grocery shopping. Brian and i decided to set up the tent last night and spend the night "roughing it". i don't think i slept at all. i'm just a camping wimp, i guess.

well, i guess i'll go ahead and publish this post before i stretch it out over another day. sorry for any typos. i'm not in the mood to proof read these days.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

life comes at you fast

it feels really good to be feeling healthy again after so much sickness the last two weeks. i worked at Classical Conversations on Tuesday. the day seemed to go by pretty quick. i rode my bike there, and over lunch i rode over to HEB to pick up a few things, then back to the church. i think i'm getting a little better on those hills, but gosh, they really take it out of ya!

i made a king cake on Tuesday night. it was fabulous! i made one last year, but this recipe was way better.

i rode across town on Wednesday to run some errands. being out on a bike on a beautiful morning is some kind of wonderful. i did a little thrifting at a store on Burnet, and scored one great buy: a brand new pair of dark wash jeans from the Gap for $10.

i did Meals on Wheels that day also. to my surprise and delight, my friend Esther was back on my route! she had gone away for a month or more and i ussumed she was never coming back. she told me all about how "they" put her in rehab because they said she fell too often. and from there, "they" tried to put her in a nursing home, but she was gonna have none of that! anyways, she's back at her apartment in her look hover-round scooter, and i'm glad. i had missed her. i have just fallen in love with those old folks! i think i feel most comfortable dealing with the very young and the very old.

i had lunchtime recess duty Wednesday, and enjoyed visiting with another mom, as well as Grandma Green. she's a wealth of information when it comes to anything garden related, and heads up the gardening program at the school. she and i are often on recess duty at the same time.

Karen, Keegan's mom, came by to visit in the afternoon while the kids played. it was nice to have so many social opportunities in one day. i think i talked a lot that day.

we went to the Ash Wednesday service at Redeemer that night. it was a beautiful way to start the season of lent.

i worked at Redeemer on Thursday morning and that went well. the day seemed to go by quickly. i came home and pulled out my sewing machine and did a little sewing. i altered the shower curtain for our little bathroom and worked on a few other small projects. i love my little house and i love that every room has a personal touch. because of this, i know that it would be extremely hard to move.

oh, i forgot to mention that on Wednesday i found out i was pregnant. yes! i'm 5 weeks a long. one of the best things about the timing is that i can now blame my less-than-stellar performance in the marathon on the fact that i was carrying a wee one inside me. =) i hard my first OB appointment the week after spring break. it's weird doing this again after almost 7 years. wonderful actually. i cherish everything about being pregnant now. oh, and over the past 2 weeks i think i took a total of 8 pregnancy tests. i told you that i'm kind of obsessive.

i'm determined to stay in shape this whole pregnancy. i've never really got out of shape while pregnant, but i'm in the best shpe of my life now and it feels so good. i want to stay on the active wagon. i've been biking, running, or walking every day. yesterday Brian and i did our 5 miles in the morning. for the last 2 weeks i have felt a blanket of weariness covering me, but it seems that if i push through and exercise i feel better overall throughout the day. no nausea yet. i never had it with the others, so maybe i won't with this one either.

nothing to show yet (if you can see through the splattered toothpaste on the mirror~

i can't tell you how happy this baby makes me! now that Brian and i have shared 13 and a half of married years together and can read each other like the backs of our hands and madly love each other despite our imperfections, well, it makes making a baby together just all the more wonderful.

and yet, in the midst of my thrill and rejoicing, i think of my sweet friends who would love to have another and my heart cries out to God for them. please hear my prayer and theirs and open wombs, Jesus! it's not complete public knoledge yet, as we've yet  to tell Brian's parents, but already word is getting around.

Monday, March 7, 2011

monday morning and i have just a second before i need to be fixing breakfasts and lunches.

it was a nice weekend. after the kids got out of school on friday, and after we'd dropped off Keegan, the kids and i came home and grabbed our cloth bags and walked to the Windsor Park library. we've been going to this library even before we moved to this neighborhood 8 years ago. back then the library was a stressful place to be, but i wanted my kids to love books and learn to appreciate the library at an early age, so we wen. now it's just about the most relaxing place around for me. for all of us.

before we were even home they'd pulled out their books and were starting to indulge.
margaret had her last bball game friday evening. it was an exciting one. the last two were a bit of a letdown because after being ahead, they ended up losing in overtime. it looked like this one was going the same way, but they pulled out a win.

 playing sports at the East Communities Y is such fun. those mommas really get into cheering their babies on. and it feel good to be called sugar and honey and patted by big, padded hands. i really think i must be a little black inside. the truth is that i feel more comfortable with those people than with the upwardly mobile whites.

well, time is up. hopefully i'll get a chance to write some more last today.
so tired.

i was sick for about a week and am finally seeing the end of the various manifestations: sinus infection, pink eye, laryngitis. but it's left me completely worn out. last night i took Margaret to the Y for her basketball practice. while there i tried to run on the treadmill because the ellipticals were all taken. i hate treadmill running. it's nothing like the real thing. i lasted about 3 minutes on the dreadmill, as my MIL calls it. i ended up walking for the rest of the time. i felt like a doofus there in my Livestrong marathon finisher shirt not able to last even a half a mile.

i didn't go in to work for Classical Conversations on tuesday. it was nice to have some time to myself. i cleaned and sewed and cooked and just felt so peacefully domestic.

i brought Jose home with the rest of my bunch. he had dinner with us - pot roast, rosemary biscuits, mixed field green salad with homemade dressing, steamed broccoli with lemon butter, and a homemade lemon meringe pie. he didn't seem accustomed to sitting down to dinner or praying before eating. after dinner, Brian took the boys to cub scouts, picking up Ricky on the way. both Ricky and Jose are going to join the pack.

speaking of Ricky, things aren't looking so good for him. the local doctors have done all they can. every time they try to fight the leukemia, his heart rate drops dramatically. he's a candidate for St. Jude's, so over spring break Gracie will take him up there. hoping and praying that they can figure out how to treat him. that kiddo is a fighter.

this post was never finished, but i'm posting anyways.
some pics~

these are from last Thursday at my job at Redeemer. we girls decided to do each others' hair.

inner-city playground. this was from lunch recess duty on Wednesday. those are 6th graders.

i didn't work on tuesday since i was still battling pink eye and other things. Brian caught it. then Margaret. she stayed home from school today, or actually went to work with Brian because i was working at the church today. i was exhausted today. after i had picked up M's prescription and then picked her up at B's work, i came home, watered the garden and went to bed.
we're all home now except for Brian who has a town meeting to attend in McDade. something to do with that project he's been working on out there for as long as he's been with MWM. so he won't be home till real late.

another post that went unfinished, but that i'm posting anyways.