Friday, February 28, 2014

A New Deck!

The deck that Brian built at our last house was one of our favorite features, so building a new one at this house has been pretty high on our wish list.

Brian did a lot of research and went through the permit and inspection process with this one since it was much bigger and higher off the ground than our last one. It was a HUGE project that took a ton of work. We were thankfully able to enlist the help of my dad, Brian’s dad, the guys in our church small group (who will work for pizza!) and even the kids. The hardest laborer through all of this was Brian, though. I know it tired him out to try to find time to complete it between his regular job, overtime, and other family events we had scheduled. It didn’t help that he would find a free afternoon to work and it would end up raining!

10-131

After many many months of starting and stopping, Brian was able to put the last boards down, attach the railing, and sign up for his final inspection. He passed with flying colors. (In fact, the engineer that he was working with praised him, saying that it was one of the sturdiest decks he’d seen in 40 years on the job!)

IMG_2230

Here she is all done. We’ll have to furnish it eventually, but for now we are enjoying the extra functional space out the back door and looking forward to having our new puppy play on it with us!

1 Deck 2-28

2 Deck 2-28

3 Deck 2-28

I think it’s time for a deck warming party!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Disciple Now

We had so much fun hosting for the Abbott Conference that we decided to do it again during Disciple Now a few weeks later. This time, instead of having 3 college girls, we had THIRTEEN 11th grade girls!

Suffice it to say, the house took a bit of a beating.

Disciple Now Collage

Explosion aside, we had a great time. Brian grilled hamburgers and we ate out on the (now finished) deck.

IMG_2398 

The kids bonded with the girls. Gracie gave a very dramatic performance of Elsa’s “Let it Go” and everyone showed off their moves playing “Little Sally Walker.”

IMG_2400

We are enjoying getting more involved in our new church. This was a fun and lively way to serve the high school students. :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rodeo Time!

It’s February and that means it’s time for our annual trip to visit the Rodeo. We hit up all our regular spots and had a great time!

First the kids each got a quick lesson in calf ropin’.

IMG_2282

IMG_2285

IMG_2290

Then it was on to the free samples for an afternoon snack!

IMG_2291

IMG_2293

Once our bellies were full we made our way over to the petting zoo.

IMG_2301

IMG_2302

We finished our day with dinner (dollar hot dogs!) and rides at the fair.

IMG_2324

IMG_2338

IMG_2346

IMG_2347

IMG_2363

Noah did plenty of rides, but he was a little peeved about getting left out of a few of them. Here he is trying to argue his case for meeting the height requirement. :)

IMG_2369

I have a goal to take the kids to see the actual rodeo and one of the shows next year… I love this annual tradition! :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine’s Day

I was feeling particularly festive this year (maybe because Brian isn’t working as much February overtime as he typically does) so we went all out for Valentine’s Day this year.

I saw a few cute & easy ideas online, so the kids and I made their Valentine’s. Noah & Gracie had fun stuffing their baggies with snowman pieces.

IMG_2222

IMG_2223

Frozen – creeping into every aspect of your life since November 2013.

IMG_2233

Ben signed each of his cards and then carefully chose which classmate would get which dinosaur.

IMG_2241

I got up a little early that morning to make the kids a love-themed breakfast. Brian had brought home some pretty flowers – they became a beautiful centerpiece for our Valentine’s table.

IMG_2249

The menu included heart shaped cinnamon rolls and pink milk!

IMG_2242IMG_2252

Nom Nom Nom

IMG_2253

IMG_2251IMG_2259

The final part of our celebration was a fancy steak dinner, complete with little mail boxes for gifts and sugar cookies for dessert (that I made at a girls’ night with my Sunday school chicas!)

IMG_2261IMG_2274

IMG_2268

I love my four Valentine’s! They make everything more fun!

IMG_2277

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Work Hard, Crash Hard

Brian is working hard to finish up the deck and Noah has been one of his best helpers.

I was barely able to get him bathed before he crashed on the couch.

IMG_2213

I woke him up to put on his jammies and he caught a second wind. He ran around like a CRAZY person for 20 minutes. Just when I thought I’d have to send him back outside to get out the rest of that energy, I looked over at the couch and saw this.

IMG_2220

Being a 2 year old carpenter is tough business.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

ABBOTT & Dippin’ Dots

Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting 3 sweet Aggie girls during the Abbott Family Leadership Conference. We’ve never had the opportunity to do this before, and I am so glad we did because it was a wonderful experience. I hope we can continue to do it year after year!

During the conference the delegates meet with businesses and people that “live and operate with strong moral, ethical, and community values.” (That’s from the Abbott website – where you can read more about the conference.) They learn about leadership, service, and building strong families. By the end of the weekend I was seriously lamenting the fact that I never got to participate when I was a student!

We picked the girls up on Thursday evening and took them home and fed them dinner. Then we just had a casual evening of chatting and getting to know each other. We made them breakfast on Friday morning and sent them on their way to their activities around town. We met up with them on Friday night of for a yummy dinner at Paloma Blanca with all of the other delegates and their host families. They spent the night with us again on Friday, and then we had breakfast and said good-bye to them on Saturday morning. We were SO SAD to see them go! The kids especially loved being with them – there was pretend sword fighting, card games, and other miscellaneous shenanigans. Our time together was too short!

I remembered to snap a picture before the girls headed out on Saturday morning. We loved having you, Sarah, Hannah, & Katie! Please come back and visit us!

IMG_2188

On an unrelated note, it snowed Dippin’ Dots in San Antonio this morning.

IMG_2195

For the record, it did NOT taste good. :(

IMG_2193

Followers