Saturday, July 25, 2009

About to Go on a Vacation...

Our family will be going on a vacation this coming week and we are quite excited about it. It has taken quite a while to "nail down" exactly what we are doing...and I still wouldn't say that they are nailed down "tight."

We planned on staying in a Comfort Inn hotel, but then I thought about going to see Buddy and Nancy Canady, our cousins, for a couple of days. They called today and asked us to stay the week instead, so that is what we are going to do. It will save us quite a bit of money AND we get to spend time with some great people. The last time we went to the Canady's the girls were 2 and 3 years old. Buddy was able to tell me stories about the Bell Family (my mom's paternal family), that even my mom didn't know about. I told them that I plan on bringing my pad and paper this time to take actual notes!

We plan on leaving Monday. We will go play at the Schlitterbaun in New Braunsfels on Tuesday. Wednesday we will go to Downtown San Antonio and just "be tourist". We think we might go to the mirror maze place and eat at the Rainforest Cafe, other than that, we will just see what we see.

Thursday we will go to Fiesta Texas. Its a Six Flags amusement park. The kids love amusement parks and have fun seeing all of the characters in costume and riding all the kiddie rides!

Friday we will go back to the Schlitterbaun.

Saturday we plan on going back to Fiesta Texas and Sunday we plan on going to the Natural Bridge Caverns and Wildlife ranch. We will then drive home...if our bodies will still be capable of doing so. It will be a busy vacation, but I the girls are still at that stage where the idea of relaxing for a vacation makes them wonder why we are stick in the muds. I'm just hoping my back and feet can stay as young as the kids want me to be!

One reason I am really excited about going is that we went to this same place as kids. My dad would rent out a condo called The Other Place. We would be able to walk out the back door with a tube and hop in the Guadalupe river for some floating fun. We would always go to the Schlitterbaun too. As well as the Alamo, the needle, the house of horns, the river walk, etc. The only thing we didn't do was go to Sea World. We DID drive there though. When my dad got out, he found out what it cost to get in and we got right back in the car and did something else that day. It really must have been a lot, because as frugal as my dad was, he usually didn't skimp on things like that. Its a funny memory...NOW.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kaytlynn's Portrait of Me...

She is very into choker necklaces right now, which explains the line going across my neck. I'm also pretty impressed with the triangle more accurate could THAT be?!!!

I Hate Spending Money...

I woke up this morning wanting to buy a new outdoor freezer.

Actually I didn't. But I woke up wanting my old freezer to work and it didn't, so I went Todd went and bought us a new one. It was the condenser. That's right. I had to replace the car condenser and the house condenser in the same exact month. What are the chances of that???

We bought my old upright freezer used 8 years ago for $250, so it lasted us about 7 years. The new one is the same size, but being newer, will probably save us in energy. We bought it at Conn's after we wheeled and dealed with them for a couple of hours. We were able to get them to take 50 dollars off the sale price and half off of the delivery charge:-) It will be here tomorrow.

1200 in car repair...600 in a new freezer...How fun is that?

I'm thankful that we had the money to buy a new one. So that is how I am trying to look at it! In life, you never do really know what is right around the corner, do you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sweet Tomatoes!

There are few things that taste better to me than a homegrown tomato. I am one of those people that can eat it just like an apple (but prefer it cut, so that I can be a little naughty and add salt to it). I bought these new contraptions at Sam's that hang the plants upside down, so that you don't deal with the pain of weeding and tying the darn things up on a stake so that the plant doesn't hang on the ground. We have had quite a bit of luck and think that they were well worth the fifty bucks I paid for them.

The girls helped Todd plant the 6 tomato bushes...and he even threw in a couple of flowers, green beans and strawberries. They go outside everyday and water them and take turns picking the tomatoes right off the vine. I am the only one who actually likes to eat them...Todd and the girls do NOT care for them a bit, but they have all had fun working on them and watching them grow.

Kaytlynn and her daddy
This is back when we first planted in April

Kaytlynn and our 5 color pepper plant. The peppers go from this beautiful deep purple to a light cream color, then to bright yellow, bright orange, and then a fiery red!

The first tomato that Kaytlynn has ever picked...
Delaney's first tomato and also the first one picked at our house this season!

Big News for the Northrups...

Todd got news a couple of weekends ago that his schedule was changing and that he would have to start working Saturdays and now have Mondays off. This isn't exactly what I would call great news for us. It takes one of our 2 family days away from us. When we first got married, Todd was going to school during the day and working at night...while I was doing the exact opposite...teaching during the day and getting my course work done at night. And he worked Saturdays. We had Sundays together...but with church, there was very little down time together. We literally would not speak to each other face to face for 6 days straight on most days. When he graduated, that crazy time finally went away, and we thought "never again." This Saturday teaches us, yet again, never say never. Keep Todd in your prayers. He works so hard for our family, but has always had a desire to spend as much time with the girls as he can. My maternal grandmother would always joke that my girls have 2 mommies because Todd is so nurturing and attentive with them.

It's not all bad news for my family though. I have had the pleasure of working with my terrific friend, Robbie Green for the past 2 years. He has been my AP at Cooper. Last week, he got a job as head principal of a brand new school. He had all of his staff hired for him, BUT he had 2 openings in the school. 1 Pre K teacher and 1 LIBRARIAN. We have always talked about how awesome it would be to work with one another and now we get too. How awesome is that??? I found out from him that he was hiring a librarian today and my principal at Cooper graciously released me this evening and allowed me to transfer to Eickenroht Elementary. It is a new school so I will have to work a little during the summer, but he gave me the okay to bring my girls up there, so I can spend plenty of time with them! New staff to get to know and get used to, but I still think it will be worth it. I am so grateful to my great God that he gave me this opportunity to work with such a good friend. I'm also grateful for Todd's job, whether it is in the "time slot" that we prefer or not.
Job 1:21
explains my feelings in a very succinct way...“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” May I always remember that my family and I are in His ever loving grip.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Mother's Ceramics

My mother was a stay at home mom when I was little. She sacrificed a lot to do that. She has never been the type that spent a lot of money on herself. I have never really seen her splurge on anything. She doesn't shop unless she NEEDS it, She doesn't really decorate much; if it is in her house, it is functional or it was a gift. She never drove fancy fact, She drove our OLD white corolla named Daisy till the wheels practically fell off. The one thing she did do though, was paint ceramics.

Every week she would go to Violet Bells shop in Porter, Texas and paint with friends. She did some amazing work, actually. The sad thing is...she had 2 naughty daughters that really didn't see what a treat this was.

I hated school so I would always go to the nurses office. I could make myself have a fever. I don't know how, because it wasn't actually a "trick". I could just have a small fever if I wanted one. So I went to the nurse often. As in SEVERAL times EACH WEEK. The nurse and my mother both knew I wasn't really sick...but by law they had to send me home...Yippee!

On my mother's day of ceramics, she would tell me "JUDY, do NOT go to the nurses office today...I will be doing ceramics". Yes Ma'am...but I would still go...almost every single time! If she couldn't be reached (since this was before the days of cell phones) the nurse would call her back up, Mrs. Ray.

My sister hated the bus. She would miss it on purpose almost every day...and this is when she was in middle school. My mom would warn her as well, not to go to miss the bus because she was doing ceramics. I found this story out last week while visiting my family and mother never failed.

I am so lucky to have had such a patient mommy! God was truly showing His grace when He gave her to me...and He was truly showing how He could test a person when giving my sister and I to my mother :-).

Above this post are 2 pictures of a rabbit she painted for me and it was in my Easter basket. I have very few pieces of her work, and they are all her more simple pieces, but this one always makes me smile. I put it on my mantle this year at Easter time and me and the girls would admire it. I decided to take a picture of it, just in case it is ever broken.

My Favorite things...

Kaytlynn is quite the artist. Every time she has a moment and a blank sheet of paper, she has to draw something!...I don't know why I didn't upload this before, because it is sure to give everyone a laugh.

About a year ago, when she was 5, she brought this picture to me. She was so proud of it and had a grin from ear to ear as she stood there waiting for me to brag on my present from her. I asked with BULGING EYES what it was a picture of. She stated..."they are your favorite things, mommy". I asked her to explain...The small rectangle is a piece of chocolate. The circle on a stick is a lollipop. The next rectangle with a mushroom shape on top is a COKE CAN and the last is, of course a candy cane.

Isn't that what you were thinking it was? I thought so.

That Was a LONG 4 day trip...

So, I went to Denton for the 4th of July. Todd couldn't leave until Friday morning because of work, so I decided to leave Thursday afternoon and stay a day longer than Todd as well.

Its July in Texas, so the heat is on! Like 103 degrees heat! My a/c went out on the way up there and I thought I was going to pass out. I would try it with the windows, windows closed, and hot a/c air blowing in my I tried windows up, no It was absolutely awful, so when I get dad hooks me up with a mechanic. He is cheap, he is good. Great!

I also needed new shocks and a timing belt replaced, so daddy and Todd go get the parts and drop the car off. They wait on another part, so they don't start to work on my car until Monday. That's fine. (remember it is a holiday weekend). I can just go home Tuesday night, right?

Monday...they give me a new condenser for my A/c because it had a hole in it for a rock. Yippeee, its working.

Tuesday, they fix the shocks...YAY! And my timing belt. Yahoo! Bad wasn't done until late, so we plan to pick it up Wed! No big deal...Ill go home Wed. Afternoon.

I pack up Wed. morning and go pay for and pick up my car. Shocks are great and most importantly the air is on and it is cold! I drive off and notice about 10 miles down the road that my engine light was on. Uh-Oh. I decide to have them look at it the next day. I can just go home Thursday or Friday.

The mechanic's wife has a kidney infection and she has to go to the mechanic Thursday.
Friday....we drop the car off and he says he will look at it. We wait to hear from them...he says he fixed it. It was just a loose connection that was making the sensor go off. Then on his test drive, the light comes on again...He will fix it Sat. morning and call when it is ready. He finally figures out that it is the sensor that is bad. We tell him okay, we will come pick the car up a little later. He says he is going to his daughters house where his sick wife is and that we should call when we are ready to go and he will meet us with our keys.

We started calling at 1:00 pm and got NO ONE...The phone would just go to static. We kept calling until late that night.

My dad finally gets a hold of the wife. She tells him" We heard you wanted to get in touch with us"...My dad asked...why didn't you call me daughter has needed to go home."

She either hung up or lost the connection. Later, we found out he was out of minutes on his phone...I don't know how it all went down, but I do know that I was able to pick up my car at about 2 on SUNDAY at a tire shop.

My dad ended up hearing one of the workers say...Yep, he used to work for me. GREAT mechanic, but just not EVER dependable.

I don't understand people. Really. It would have taken 5 minutes of his time to find SOMEONE with a freakin' phone to call me. People like that frustrate the devil out of me. Blatant selfishness and Insensitivity is one of those things I can't put up with.

So yes, my 4 day trip lasted 11 Days! Most of them were fun days...just highly frustrating!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lilly Tandra Rexi...

Kaytlynn got one of those "growing" dinosaurs at Moody gardens. It has grown about 5xs its original size and Kaytlynn just showed "her" to me and announced that her name was Rexi. How nice, I told her.

Well, her name could also be Lilly, because that is a cute name. I tell her I like both names.

She pauses..."Lilly is her first name, Rexi is her last name, and Tandra is her middle name. She can come up with some Crazy names. God bless her children. It kinda reminds me of the song "A Boy Named Sue".
Publish Post

Off to Denton...

Today we are going to the movies to see Madagascar 2. It is a movie we have seen before, and it has already been released to DVD, but who can beat a movie for a dollar! It is one of those kids summer movie camp specials.

Afterwards, we will load up the car and head up to Denton for the 4th of July weekend with my parents, sister and family. Todd will come up tomorrow. The only thing that we plan on doing is going to pick blackberries, but I am sure we will have fun....especially the kids, since Kaytlynn and Delaney still talk about missing their cousins quite often. We are so blessed to have each other.

Busy Summer So Far!

Last week we had VBS at our church at Spring Baptist. Both girls (read..."Delaney ALSO) had a great time. Delaney had fun singing and called it her "school". Kaytlynn had a good time as well. Her teachers repeatedly told me that she was "just the sweetest little girl!" I don't think that anything makes me prouder than hearing that...and with her I get to hear it all the time.

We went over to the Crenshaw's for cards Sat. afternoon. Dana made a homemade stew in her crock pot that was 100% organic and it was YUMM-O! We played spades and Up and Down the river until 10 and then walked home.

We went to church for the first time in what seems like ages on Sunday. It was good seeing everyone.

Monday we went to Moody Gardens for the new Dinosaur exhibit. I really liked it and so did the girls. We rode the paddle boat, saw the new animatronic dinosaur exhibit, enjoyed 2 "ride films" that were both based on "rescuing dinosaurs", saw a 45 minute IMAX filmed narrated by Michael Douglas on Dinosaurs...and also a quick 4 D film.

There is a dance floor inside the paddle boat. They play old Jazz music for all to enjoy and the kids love to go out there and strut their stuff. This time though, we were joined by a LARGE group of daycare children. They were loud, with poor manners, but what do you do? So, I am watching the girls dance on the dance floor when all of a sudden these little 3-6 year olds start dancing out there too...and they were being NAUGHTY!!!! I really could not believe my eyes and without thinking I screamed across the room...KAYTLYNN, DELANEY....GET OVER HERE NOW!!!! Of course they did so quite quickly. I did get a few smiles and giggles from other adults so I know they understood, and I wish I had been a little more discreet, but COME ON. Where did these kids see this stuff? I know that I shelter my girls from a lot that goes on, but I can't see where ANY person would think it was okay for their children to see, much less mimic, what I was seeing on that dance floor. It was one of those moments that was funny afterwards...and then sad.

The kids were so exhausted that they slept in the car on the way back home. We did very little yesterday because we were still a little tired.