Thursday, February 19, 2015

Aubrey's 5th Birthday

Aubrey's 5th birthday party turned out better than I could have hoped for. Last year when I was thinking about having it i wanted to do something big, I mean 5 is a big birthday! I had planned to have all her little girlfriends over. Broke my heart when we moved my dreams of her first party (outside of family) was not going to happen. God is good. We meet out neighbors down the street who have kids our age and they played like they had known each other for years the very first day they met! Melissa and I talked the whole afternoon away. Since then all Aubrey could say was "can my new friend Avery come to my party?". 

We had all our in town family come, Avery's entire family and our good friends the Humphries who befriended us even before we arrived here. It was a blast, I had never imagined that my house would be filled with laughing, running around, and joy. It was a ballerina themed party and believe it or not there was not one piece of ballerina anything in the entire central Texas region....and I looked! So pinterest and everything pink at the dollar tree came to the rescue.

I blew up a few of her ballerina pictures and placed them on the table. I laughed with my girlfriend Jodi, it was like Harlee was at the party with Aubrey. That picture of the two of them just might get blown up and put in her room! Her big gift this year was her bike. After playing with Avery's any chance she had we knew we had to get her one...and of course she requested pink.

Everything was perfect, Happy 5th Birthday My Beautiful Aubrey Tate!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent 2015

  For the last few years David and I had the opportunity to attend a multi-church gathering to celebrate Ash Wednesday.  The first year I remember not taking it very seriously, I mean a Baptist partaking in Lent...I had never done it! God, however had begun working through this period of time in me and using it to humble, mold, and change me.

    Last year I took it very serious and decided to fast from something that was difficult to willing give up. It wasn't caffeine or sweets, as a family we fasted from ALL unnecessary spending. We stopped going out to eat, no little extras at Target or thrifting trips. We also tried to use up all of our food in our pantry before grocery shopping for more. It was hard, I remember posting about my failures in buying the kids Easter outfits. I was so mad at myself that I could not go without indulging in what I felt was justifiable. David reminded me that being to legalistic was beside the entire point of Lent. It was a time of repentance, prayer,  fasting from the idols in our life, and the MERCY God has bestowed upon us when we do fail. 

   It was an incredible experience I will say. I even took an already planned trip to California and spent NOTHING besides a few groceries. We even packed our lunch to drive out there. It really opened my and my families eyes on how much we 1. consume 2. justify things as necessary and       3. how much time and money was spend on those two things. Through those 40 days I was able to take back an (embarrassing) amount of time.  I finally took my kids to the library. I lived in central Phoenix my entire adult life and had never taken the kids to the Central Phoenix Branch. They were in awe, as was I. We went to the park and thought of several ways to spend our time. I finally finished tasks that were only partially completed in our little fixer upper in Phoenix. I look back and see how God used that time. I had no idea that we would only live in that house 9 months before having to sell it and move. Those projects helped us to quickly sell our home! We definitely got healthier! No more fountain drinks or out to lunches while running errands, which were cut drastically as a result of our fast, and potato chips are not exactly a necessity (the kids begged to differ!).

    With all this said we are going to do it again this year. I'm going to hold my self accountable to try my best but also not make it into a legalistic practice. I will be buying Easter outfits for the family....It's the Baptist in me :) We also are not going to give up our Sunday lunches. It is an amazing time of fellowship, plus Sundays are not counted into Lent anyway :) I am though putting a brake on projects that I want to get done, thrifting, and thoughtless meals through the drive through, which is really only Taco Bell for vegans!

      I'm typing this with a sense of humility rather than pride. I know the Bible warns us not to go into any fast with a sense of pride "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others..." Matthew 6:16. It takes a sense of humility to deny yourself indulgences with it all around us, to say no to shopping trips or lunch dates. Rather to use it as a witness to others if asked, to be held accountable, and to journal for my self on my blog how God has moved within this family. I also see it as a Christian wide act that we do in communion with each other to prepare ourselves for Easter. The preparation for Easter begins with Ash Wednesday. This season should should draw us in, into the very foundations of our faith the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Christmas Break 2014

 We celebrated Christmas a few days early at the Grammies and Pop-E's (The Ellis's house). After such a big move for our family, to be able to celebrate with both families this year was what my heart needed.  We opened gifts, ate homemade pizzas and played the kids Nintendo DS's while they weren't looking.

 We spent Christmas morning at my grandmothers ranch in Templeton, CA. It was along trip but so worth it. I know we will not be able to do this always so every time I'm up there I cherish it! Boy was it a drive it took us 18 hours to get to Phoenix and then another 11 hours to get to the ranch..we have some amazing little travelers on our hands and we made some awesome memories.

Take one

 Take two

Finally got it!

David and I had the opportunity to get away for 24 hours all thanks to my mom who booked us a room at a bed and breakfast in Los Osos as our Christmas gift. We walked Morro Bay, had dinner, saw Into the Woods, and actually had time to breath and be with each other. 

A few pictures of our time in Phoenix.  I had the chance to love on my niece who completely lives up to her fiery red hair! Aubrey got her ears pierced while in Phoenix, she took us completely by surprised and said she wanted them...who was I to say no :) It was nice to get back and see our friends. Although I must say I'm not sure I could ever move back to a large city....the traffic was going to do me in....and I'm talking the traffic in my old neighborhood! I think I'm spoiled with having only one stoplight on my commute to work....David has none!!

My mom drove back home with us, we did the trip in two days and really enjoyed our drive home (well all of it except the umm the 7 hour stretch through west Texas).

We even had a chance to stop and play in the snow in New Mexico.

I'm looking back and got NO pictures of my moms time in Texas except for when she flew home (and we were all in tears!)...I'll blame it on all the fun we had and didn't have time to stop and take pictures, sometimes I do get to wrapped up with feeling the need to capture every moment with my camera. That's okay we have the memories and shopping receipts to prove we had a good time!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

'Tis the Season 2014

 With this being our first Christmas in Texas I decided that we needed a new adventure this year with regards to our Christmas Tree. I have always loved the idea of cutting down our own. You can do this in Arizona but need a permit and well we just never made it a priority, well that and a fear of acting out a scene from Christmas Vacation.

I was able to find a Christmas Tree farm about an hour away from our house. We loaded the kids up and headed out. They said that they would cut the tree down for you but I put the idea in the kids head that daddy was going to cut the tree down so there was no way the kids would let us get away from cutting down our own tree.

We found the "one" and daddy cut it down with the help of Trey. It was a small 6 foot tree (the smaller ones have become my favorite for our home). We snapped a few pictures and headed back home. The tree was small enough to out inside the van so we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed home. Mommy put the lights on and then the kids went to town putting on the ornaments while daddy built a fire ...and yes it was 75 degrees today but one needs a fire while decorating the tree!