Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A new friend

 Immediately after arriving home from camping Annie wanted her Gigi, she must of know somehow that waiting for her at Gigi's was her new best friend.   Oddly, Gigi and I were both clueless to the fact that the most docile (to the point of appearing dead) toad was about the cross paths with Annie.    It was love at first hop for miss Annie when she found the toad she lovingly named Merryl.   For two glorious days this little duet was inseparable.   To the point that yes, Merryl slept next to Annie in a little house made of grass, mud, worms and a Tupperware box.   Sorry mom, I know that must have been hard to have in your house.    Annie walked around for the two days holding Merryl as she did everything from swing on the swing set, dig in the sand box, to driving the toy car with a mysteriously missing steering wheel.    You should be happy to know that Merryl was set free and is now probably still hopping very far from my mothers back yard. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

ready, Set, GO!

Annie found two baby toads when we went to go pick up Texas for the camping trip. 
We saw this as a good omen.
After putting the toads back in the yard, so they could get home for lunch, we hit the road.
there are no pictures of the camp site set up because Annie my photographer was fast asleep from the hour long drive.    Not to mention soon after she woke up we went for a walk, only to be met by a giant black snake (I did not like this, Annie wanted to say hi and give him a kiss).
The camp grounds came complete with a playground only a short walk from our site.   
Annie had a blast trying out the monkey bars with Texas.
Hanging out at the campsite with JJ and Emma Peel.   It was really great going camping with other families.  The kids had a blast together.
The fishing was exciting for about 2 minutes.  Then we saw a snake and left (yes, this makes snake number 2, Annie thought it was great).
Annie was quite skilled with the bat after learning how to hold it.   
She actually hit the ball several times.
The camping chair train, orchestrated by Sadie. 

Sadie has a knack for making up games and this lasted a really long time, giving all us adults some down time.  Thank you Sadie, your awesome.
Yes, the trip was an awesome success, and I definitely want to go again.
Maybe in the fall when its cool out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Camping Gear count down

This weekend Texas and I are taking Annie camping with some families from my church.    Four families all together, making it 12 kids and 8 adults.    I'm thinking it's going to be a little crazy, but totally worth it.    Since Annie and I have never been camping, Texas has been doing most the planning.   He even went as far as setting up the tent in the living room.    Annie was confused at first, but then she got really excited.  
Bringing Annie in to see the tent.

She thought the door was really cool, but had a little trouble climbing in.  
Inside she found a new rain jacket, a camping chair and a tiny little camping mug.    After examining all her gifts she runs out of the tent and comes back with her pink crown and immediately puts it on Tex's head and gives him a hug.    It was pretty cute.  Not sure what made her think a pink crown was what he needed, but it was cute.

I am super excited about this trip.   I have only been camping twice in my life and loved it.   I really hope Annie has a good time, and I really hope I don't forget anything.   Thankfully Texas was a boyscout growing up, and seems to know all about this stuff.   He spent an hour checking all the propane gear the other night outside in the rain, and has already compiled most the gear we need to pack in the car tomorrow night so we are ready to go Friday after work.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old Grandpa

       Well this will be my last Florida post, and for me the saddest.  I never really knew my grandfather growing up.   I didn't get to know him until I moved to Florida.   Grandpa was 85 at the time.   I would go over to visit and we would make dinner or lunch together.   Sometimes I would visit 2 or more times a week.   I loved getting to know him.   We talked about family and gardening but mostly about cooking.    We would sit and read cookbooks for hours.   We both have an addiction to cookbooks that's hard for most people to understand.   I really loved getting to know him.    We became very close while I was there. 
       When Annie's dad left me in Florida he was there for me.   I was pregnant and scared to death.   He took me in and listened to my crying for hours.   He tried to cheer me up by having a "pizza party," (his words).   It was a disaster, pizza is not his forte', but he really tried.   I don't think I've laughed so hard since.   Looking back I wonder if that was his goal the whole time.    I stayed with him for a week before coming home to St. Louis.   He sent me packing with a cookbook and a promise that I would come back to see him.   It was really hard to leave.
      Since then I had gone back to visit him once.   I took Annie to meet him.   I was shocked to see how he was with her.   He is not the smiling, warm and fuzzy type, but with her he just lit up.   He would put her on his walker and take her for rides around the house.    She was two at the time and thought it was great.  Annie would do his exercises with him, and they would walk through his garden.   She really loved spending time with him.   She called him "old Grandpa,"  and he would just laugh and say "that's right I'm old."  
     This trip when we got to Florida Annie wanted to go straight to "old Grandpa's."   She was really upset that he wasn't in his house.   When we got to the hospital he smiled when he saw me walk in, but he about jumped out of bed when he saw Annie was with me.    He tried to reach over and give Annie a hug.    Which of coarse made me cry.     Annie immediately climbed onto the hospital bed with him and started telling grandpa all about her plane ride and that he had to get better because he needs to be in his house.    She held his hand and sat next to him for about an hour.    Asking him questions like why he had a straw in his nose, and when do we eat (she really loves his cooking).
      This man was a complete stranger to me when I moved to Florida, and now I hate to think of him not being around.     His Parkinson's has gotten to the point that he won't be getting better, and it was really hard to come home knowing I might not see him again.     Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time, and I hope he knows that he is loved and we are praying for him.     Annie and I miss Old Grandpa already.    

Monday, May 17, 2010


Well I was going to save this post for last, but all this gloomy gray weather made me change my mind.  Annie and I had the best time on the beach.   In the whole time I lived in Florida I never once got to see Dolphins and Sting Rays on the beach, but for Annie they both came out to say hi.   First we were swimming and a school of fish swam right past us.  Then a herd of sting rays swam up and down the shore line, a few did flips out of the water, it was really cool.   After all that we look out and there is a family of 5 Dolphins doing pirouettes on the water 20 feet from where we're swimming.    Sadly I didn't get pictures, we were too busy watching in awe at all the creatures.  

Future star on Baywatch.
I will do my best to stop that from happening.

She looks so grown up

Drawing on the sand.

Is it just me or does she look like a movie star in the all these photos?   She is definitely a beach girl.  I think she would stay on the beach forever if I let here.    Sorry if this post makes you miss the sun even more, but I needed to look at happy pictures today.

Miss Byars

During our trip to Florida I got the chance to catch up with my old friend Byars.  We haven't gotten to see each other in probably 8 years, and it was so good to get to see her.  It's wonderful how God puts people in your life that no matter how long it's been, there is this sense of comfort in seeing each other.  And I am so grateful that I met Byars 11 years ago when we were two completely different people.  We have both changed by leaps and bounds, but it made no difference she is still one of my favorite people to be with.   I am determined to not let 8 years go by again.

One of my strongest memories about Byars was her dedication to God.   No matter what, she always put going to church before going out.   At the time I thought it was unnecessary and weird.   I had no relationship to Christ then and I remember it making me think, but not enough to go see what it was all about.    She was one of the first people I thought of when I started going to church, and I am forever grateful for her display of dedication so many years ago.    

Annie and Byars  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recovery needed

Annie and I are finally back from Florida.  It was a long trip, and we are super glad to be home.   I'm a little to tired to tell you all what we did, so I'm just going to post pictures.  Lots of pictures and let them do the talking.
Annie Insisted on pulling the suitcase.
And she really loves these "magic floors."

Her fist time in a hotel!  It was exciting. She bounced.
She Balanced.
She fell down.
 She found ducks outside our hotel window.
And every morning they walked over to say hi.

I will add more photos and tell you more a little at a time.   Right now I am super busy catching up on work and getting ready for Annie's first camping trip!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Miss me

For the next few days I will not be posting because I am going to Florida to say goodbye to my Grandpa.   He is in the hospital and not doing well, but who knows.   I've always thought of this man as indestructible.    The saddest thing is that because I thought that, I put off going to see him and now feel terrible.   He is not the easiest man to get along with, but he has surprisingly been there for me when I needed someone the most.  I'm a little scared to walk into "family" territory, but it's worth it to get to say thank you for all he's done for me throughout my life (and by family I mean "Hostile").   Annie is sad about her "old" grandpa and I'm not sure she understands, but I'm hoping she will at least make him smile a little when he sees her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Long Day

We had a long day, Annie and I.  It started with me trying to get my morning chores done.  Water the garden (which takes 1 hour), feed the chickens, rotate the laundry and then make breakfast.  Three out the four got done.   I ate leftover fried chicken from my moms when I dropped off a hungry Annie in jammie's and ran out the door (it's true, I would not survive if it weren't for my mom).    Then I worked all day while Annie played.   All was great until I get done with work at 5:30, rush to my moms for Annie and realize I have two hours to feed, clean and dress my kid for bed. 
I thought I had it under control.   Yes, I'm exhausted from working all day, but I've got Annie bathing in the kitchen sink, leftovers heating up in the stove and Banjo outside Barking (his latest new trick).   Then Annie puts soap in her hair.  Not good.   She starts screaming that soap is getting in her eyes, and water is everywhere within minutes.   As I'm trying to handle this mini crisis, dinner burns.   Which cause huge tears to stream down Annie's face as she screams "but I wanted to eat that."  Not good getting worse, Annie refuses to eat anything else and can't stop crying because it 7:45 and she's melting from utter exhaustion.   Her capacity to be flexible has been exhausted from 9 hours of constant play and watching dinner go up in smoke.   All I wanted to do was cry at this point.  How in the matter of minutes had things gone from smooth sailing to crash and burn?   I blame the soap, and plan to go soap free with my crazy hippie sister now.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good news

After his first visit to my crazy church, Texas still likes me!   So much that I think he's going to go again next week.   I'm still probably going to fret and worry, but that is just me when new things come into my life.   Weather good or bad I will stress and worry.   More so it seems with the good than the bad.   Not sure why that is, but Texas seems able to handle my worry well.  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Church

Today I went to church like I do on every Sunday morning, but this week Texas came with me.    I was so worried the whole time that he wouldn't like my church it was ridiculous.   I kinda tried to pick a fight with him this morning so that he wouldn't go (yes, I am this crazy).   He came regardless of my immature behavior.    I was so terrified that he would hate it and think it was terrible and never want to go again.    He is used to a far more formal church setting than mine.   One where men wear slacks and the women dresses.   Where children are quiet and do as they are told, and where the pastor wears an official robe.    Nothing like my church where kids run rampant, people wear jeans and t-shirts, and often the pastor is barefoot. 
I love my church, but I know it is not for everyone.    I love the chaos of 60+ children dancing and running around.   They are embraced for being children and are encouraged to love Christ as kids not as adults.   Annie loves it and I don't ever want her to hate church.   The biggest thing for me at times is that I don't have to pretend to have it all together to love Christ; I can show up on my messy days as I am and feel safe.   My church is my family and at times I truly believe I would stop breathing without them.     I  know that's probably not healthy either, but this church has walked with me for so long it is hard to remember a time without them (and I don't really want to remember that time).
I'm not sure how Texas felt about the whole thing, and I'm not sure I'm ready to hear his honest thoughts about it.     I feel exposed in a very vulnerable way to him now, because he has been to my church.     To the most important thing I hold on to, and I am scared he will reject it.   That seeing my church and knowing it is a part of me he will see us both as too much and walk away.

My after church distraction?:

I spent 3 hours cleaning out the chicken coop.
Puff was really excite to see the nesting boxes cleaned out with new shavings.
(I had to clean around the eggs because I forgot my egg basket)

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