Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aruba - One Happy Island

We're back! Alan and I had a great time on the island of Aruba. As the slogan goes, it is "one happy island!" I actually could have stayed away another day or two (I thought I would miss the kids too much. Nahhhh. Next time we'll stay a little longer).
We did absolutely nothing but lay under our little cabana and eat at really fun (outdoor, of course) restaurants. I read 2 novels while we were there (okay, so I actually laid on the beach and read all day). In the evenings we would walk a couple blocks and spend the last part of the day at the shopping/entertainment/dining areas at Palm Beach. On the last full day we were there we did go on a jeep expedition tour of the island. It was rough, dirty, wild, and a blast! There was 1 tour guide and 3 land-rovers, so our driver was "one of us." Aruba is a desert island. The resorts have palm trees and lush vegetation, but the rest of the island is cacti and dirt. We drove on some rugged terrain, bouncing all over the place. We were filthy dirty, but it was so much fun. We learned quite a bit of history about the island, saw a few interesting monuments (see slide show), and ended the tour snorkeling in a natural pool. It was very relaxing, which is exactly what we were looking for.
People have asked us how we decided to vacation in Aruba. My answer... "The Beach Boys!" When we decided to take a 10 year anniversary trip, we searched the internet and looked at all the islands in the song...you know... "Aruba, Jamaica, (ooh, I wanna take ya) Bermuda, Bahama, (come on pretty mamma),Key Largo, Montego," etc. After going through the song a couple times, and looking at all those places, we settled on Aruba. My kids even sing along to it now. I suppose every time I hear that song now, I'll think back to our trip. And a big thanks to Alan's Mom and Dad for watching the kids for us. Every day since we've been home, Charis asks us when we're going back to Grandpa Gene and Grandma Lou Lou's house. They had a fun "vacation" too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Selah's Dance Recital

Selah has just completed a year of ballet and tap dance lessons. She took my breath away at the recital. As I watched my baby girl dancing on stage, I had a huge smile on my face, yet I was crying, and perhaps not even breathing, all at the same time. With the exception of watching pictures of her set to music on a video, etc., I think it was the first time I felt this way inside. I felt equal parts happiness and...I don't know...something that made me cry. More happiness too, maybe???
I was so proud of her, I thought she was absolutely gorgeous, I had a rush feeling of "oh my gosh, that's my baby and she's growing up," and I felt so happy because she was so happy to be up there dancing. She danced beautifully.
Funny thing, as she danced, she was singing along to the words of the songs. I don't think she realized she was doing it, but it was cute.
ps. these pictures were taken at the rehearsal. I videoed the actual recital.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Inspired by a Friend

My friend Margo posted this personal revelation of hers on her blog a few days ago. Margo is a homeschoolin' Mom to 4 boys, the oldest is 6 years old. I was so inspired by it after I read it, I called Jodie and read it to her. I have thought about it almost every day since then. I decided I had to copy/paste it here on my blog, so I could share it with all of you. I love her insight here, how did we all miss this one every time we studied it?
She writes:
I have been memorizing Proverbs 31, something I have tried to do many times! This time, though, it's working. Anyway, I noticed something for the very first time in verse 15.

She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens.

Here is my discovery: SHE HAD HELP!!! She had maidens! The original word is hr(n. (You can check it out here.) This means maid, female attendant, female servant. I have to tell you that I have often felt very overwhelmed and even defeated when studying this godly example of a woman in the bible. I mean, how in the heck can I do everything she does and still rest at all, much less sleep! She had help. She had help. She had help. I know that I too have a lot of help that this woman didn't have, like a washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc. However, I am sure that these maidens were like friends, also.

I know this is crazy, but this really is an encouraging discovery for me! I have been feeling so defeated, again, with my housework. I just always, always feel so behind and like I can never live up to who I should be in Christ. I just pray that God knows my heart and knows that I am truly striving to be a godly woman who takes care of my household!
Way to go Margo! You are doing a great job! This little epiphany can help relieve some of the feelings of weariness, guilt, and exhaustion that we often times deal with at this phase of our lives. Look at God using you to encourage your friends! Thanks Girl!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Down to 2 Wheels

He's been saving for a new car. This is what he came home with instead. Everyone looks at me like "I can't believe you let him buy that!" Well, he's wanted one for as long as I can remember. I've always said "no way!" However, he's made a pretty good case for himself now that my Dad has one. No, actually, I'm really cool with it. In fact, I think one of these days I'm going to learn to ride. We'll see. I might be too scared??? My neighbor said "he looks really cool on the motorcycle, but it's obvious it's a new toy, since he has a huge grin across his face as he's riding around!" Ha! The kids have been on rides around the block and they all love it too.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

We have really enjoyed our back patio this spring. Last year there was a freeze in April, so we didn't get to see the full effect of all the flowers and plants. We are going for the "outdoor living area" thing. Now that we have a flat screen up in the corner outside, we spend almost every evening out there. Grilling, watching a favorite TV show, playing with the kids, family movie night, and sometimes it's just Alan and I talking late at night.
And we're still planting. I did get an herb garden started in the bed behind the fireplace. It was on my To-Do list! Happy spring!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Croched Coozies

When Alan and I got married, my Grandma Louise croched "coozies" for us as a gift. They're great! We use them all the time. It makes it easy to hang on to your glass, and you don't have to worry about coasters. For my birthday I asked her to make me a few more, and some colorful ones! (the others are cream colored) They were my favorite birthday gift! Each day I choose which color I'm in the mood for (which I LOVE to do!). Most of all, I know they'll last forever, and I love it that it's something she hand-made, and that it's something I use on a daily basis. Grandma's are one of the sweetest things in life.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

You Know You've Been Married for 10 Years When...

Today is our 10 year anniversary.

You know you've been married for 10 years when:
-You spend the morning running to soccer and t-ball games
-You come home and spend the whole afternoon cleaning, running to Home Depot, taking kids to birthday parties, etc.
-The rest of the afternoon is spent working together on painting the exterior of the house
-at 6:00pm you start to get tired and wonder what's for dinner.
-Your husband says "is this one of those things I'll never live down for the rest of my life? That we spent our 10 year anniversary painting...working in the yard...kids all around us...no flowers... no fancy dinner..."
-And in reality, all you want to do is exactly what you're doing! Just hang out!

I ran to the store to pick up stuff for dinner. We grilled steaks, had potato and broccoli salad, bread, and I bought a cake for dessert. We all ate out on the back patio, watched the Chronicles of Narnia, and had a wonderful evening. I couldn't have asked for a better evening. THIS is where we are in life, 10 years later, and I feel incredibly blessed.

ps. Selah took this picture of us

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My name is Cari. I am an addict.

This is day #3. No Coca-Cola for 3 days now. I've been scratching at the walls since about 10:30 this morning. I've called friends for moral support. I've called Alan three or four times today, questioning my crazy decision to give up Coke until our trip to Aruba (3 weeks away). Coke is my boost. My "pick-me-up." My "feel good." There's nothin' like the fizz of an icy-cold Coca-Cola!
Well. I caved. Let's just say I "encouraged" Alan to stop at the gas station on the way home. It's Thursday night! Come on! I can't watch Survivor and eat homemade pizza with water! Tomorrow, I'll be back on the wagon again.

(I only have 1, sometimes 2 cans a day)
(This isn't the first time that I've tried to give it up for a brief time)
(Someday I'll actually conquer this crazy quest)
(Jodie knew I wasn't gonna make it through the day)

Look out...

This morning we were getting ready to take Charis to Mother's Day Out. She put her flip flops on, but they were on the wrong feet. I told her she needed to switch the shoes to the other feet. She said "No I don't. It's right." I told her the little bees are suppose to be on the outside of her feet, and that they would feel better on her toes if she would switch to the other feet. She sat there quietly for a few seconds, and put the shoes on the right feet. Then she looked at me and said "When I get to preschool... I'm going to put them back on the other feet... and you won't be able to see me."
She's 2 years old.