Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cat in the bag

Yes - that's right - Rollo was bagged, scrubbed, rinsed, towel dried and she did really well! I anticipated a lot of hissing and attempts of escaping but she was really calm. Poor Rollo. She is strictly an inside cat and still had the most terrible time with our flea infestation. She didn't even get to enjoy time outside to get these darn fleas. So how did we come to the big Flea Infestation of 2010 (that's what Neil likes to call it!)? It's a bizarre story and the only reason I'm sharing this with everyone. Back at the beginning of August, I had a piano tuner come in to fix and tune our piano so I could start teaching lessons from home. I got his name on recommendation from a friend and set up a deal for him to do ours and my mom's piano since we live so close. Well, he showed up with his 8 yr old daughter and said that she wanted to bring her cats - could they bring them inside? They were in cages and it was a really hot day so I of course said yes - never dealt with fleas so it didn't cross my mind. The cats entertained the girls for the 2 hours he was here. They stayed in the foyer area mostly in the cage but the older one (there were two) got out and roamed a little. I never let them get too far. Well, after they left Claire was talking to my dad and said "Yeah Grandpa it was so funny! Those cats had fleas!" When my dad asked the piano tuner about it (he was now tuning my mom's piano) he said they were just about to take the cat's to Petsmart for fleas collars.

Our house was covered within 2 weeks. Rollo wouldn't even walk on the floor but stayed on top of everything. Claire was COVERED and is highly allergic to anything that bites her. I felt terrible for her =( We had to get the house sprayed twice, wash all our exposed laundry and get Rollo shampooed at a groomer to get rid of everything. Not a cheap endeavor at all =( The hardest thing was vacuuming the entire house every day. That's not easy with two little ones tearing through the house!
A month of fleas and Claire being bit about 30-40 times was about to make us nutty. We didn't think we'd EVER get rid of them! Praise God they are gone. It took so much energy to keep up with getting rid and preventing. Certainly something I NEVER want to do again!

Claire's field trip

About two weeks ago Claire had her very first field trip with her class to the fire station right next door to the school. She was so excited about going she talked about it a week leading up to the big day!! I was able to move my lessons to a different day (have I mentioned I LOVE my job?) and go along. Claire would tell everyone "And my mommy's going with me!" She won't be saying that when I chaperone her middle school dances - I will be there too =)

They learned a lot and I actually learned a lot too. SO glad I was there to talk about things with her and reinforce what she heard. Some things I never would've thought about telling her like be really loud so that the fire fighters will hear you, be sure not to hide if you are scared - stay in the middle of your room on the floor (not in the closet) if your door is hot, make sure you have a meeting place like a neighbor's mailbox, etc. Good things to keep in mind and wanted to share them with you all as well!

Here is Claire with her friend Chloe - it was spirit shirt day too!
Claire with her classmates Ethan, Chloe and Tate

Me and my girl
Claire LOVES her teacher - Ms. Claudia
Ayden and Claire - they've known each other from playgroup for a while now and see each other throughout the day at school. Too bad they aren't in the same class but they get to do fun 4 yr. old activities together!
Claire's entire Aqua Class
We had SO much fun! Love taking part in these special days with my big girl! How did she get old enough to take field trips?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Picnic

Fall... I LOVE the turn of the seasons but there is just something special about fall. Maybe it's the relief from the summer heat or the holidays but I just LOVE that very first day when the air is crisp and you can wear a long sleeve shirt. This year has already been oddly warm and it wasn't until the past two days where it even felt like the fall!! A few weeks ago we got a glimpse of it so after BSF, the girls and I had a picnic outside. I just love being able to create these memories with my girls -nothing like it and it makes me even more grateful for my time I have with them - each and every day. Never take one second for granted.
My beautiful girls!
Here's to cooler weather with November right around the corner!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Unofficial Pumpkin pics!

We still haven't gotten to take our family pictures at the pumpkin patch this year but we did take a few cute ones when we picked out our big pumpkin =) Claire also got a hold of the camera. She is a really great photographer and we loved looking through what she chose to photograph. Apparently she really liked the pumpkins that looks different =)
Claire's pictures:
taking one of daddy
and of mommy
thought this was funny to take a picture of!

I LOVE this one!

Doesn't she have a good eye?! Hope to get to the pumpkin patch tomorrow to take some cute ones of our family!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Half Marathon - Check!

I can't believe it - we survived 13.1 miles and we had an AMAZING time being part of the Chosen Marathon!! It was so wonderful to come together with so many people (1200 registered!) and take part in something so big for such a great cause. From what I know, we ended up with at least 35 members (including us) on our team and we didn't know 15 of them personally. Wow - God continues to provide in a big way and confirm His plan for our lives!

My parents kept the girls Friday night so we could drive to New Braunfels to get our packets and then we stayed in Schertz with Neil's sister. It helped us tremendously since we had to be on site by 6:15 a.m. - that came really early!

Here we are so early it was so dark!! We had just greased up with sunscreen just in case =) I think Neil was falling back asleep (just kidding honey!)

So glad we got to see a few of our team members before we started! I randomly ran into my friend Rachel's cousin, Kayla, who flew down from Wisconsin just to run for our team. Isn't that incredible?! Thanks Kayla and so glad we got a chance to meet!

Here is a pic of Danny ready to run the half . We've known Danny since high school and he recruited a work friend to run for us too! Becky and I have gotten to know each other from church the past two years!
Can't remember what stop this was but got to see the sun rise with some wonderful ladies from church!! Monica, Georgia and Theresa (taking the pic!) were great walking buddies for a lot of the way.
LOVED the course (except the killer hills at the end) - after you completed half of your distance, you turned around so I got to see most everyone! Here is my amazing friend Kristi and her cousin's wife, Kathryn. Couldn't have been more overwhelmed when I saw them and gave huge sweaty hugs!
Kristin, Lauren and Erin are all great friends from church - so wonderful to see them become closer friends through training! You ladies are AWESOME!
Neil and I wore shirts that I made to thank everyone for their support! I especially wanted to do this for the people we didn't know at the race that were running for us. Again, overwhelmed.
Rounding the corner to the finish line - hand in hand with my groom =)
We're still standing!! A great pic of us with our medals and some wonderful people from church - Rob, Theresa, Monica and Georgia
Love these ladies
After we recovered a bit, we drove to Landa Park in New Braunfels for a celebratory picnic for our team. I wanted to do something for everyone who made such a huge sacrifice to run for our team. We didn't have a huge turn out but we had a great time! We had most of our family come and celebrate with us too!

Claire wearing Daddy's medal and the matching shirt I made for the girls.

Daddy and Eden - her hair was SO funny! It had been pulled back but once the rubber band feel out it stayed straight up like a rooster! The cutest rooster I've ever seen!
Rebecca and Cyndi ran the half for us! Rebecca and I knew each other in high school from choir - she was a freshman when I was a senior. She recruited Cyndi to run for us - thank you SO much!! My sister and Heather also came to celebrate with us =)
My mom made these awesome jello squares to resemble the colors in the Ethiopian flag - Green, Red and Yellow! The kids couldn't get enough of these and neither could I =) Takes me back to childhood!
Brandon ran the half marathon and the whole family came for the picnic. His wife, Samantha, and I taught together and Bush and we've continued our friendship while growing our families! Brandon was the first to sign up for our team and was such an encouragement to me from the very beginning. Believing I could do this when I was in major doubt!
WHAT?! A picture with all four cousins?! Can't wait to add our little one to this bunch =) These are the best pictures we've gotten of the kids together since Easter. They had such a great time playing together and riding the train.

Becky and her family - Alan, Sebastian and Sherri (her mother in law)
Heather came from Austin and Claire got a lot of love!
Grandma, Mimi and Eden - thanks for everything!
Gene and Elaine
Posing with my mom - she did so much to get the picnic together! Thanks to everyone who brought goodies to contribute to the picnic!
Heather (one of my child hood best friends) cam from Austin to celebrate too!
Riding the train - Claire is behind Kyle - Eden had the time of her life with Aunt Shannon
Talking with Mimi and licking her jello square
Cousins digging in the sand volleyball court!
Eden and Grandpa digging in the sand making castles!
Here is the back of the girl's shirts - they looked so cute!
Again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who walked/ran for our team! We couldn't have done this without your support. I want to list everyone by name =)
Brandon Hopkins, Kristin and Josh Zimmer, Lauren and Troy Gibbins, Erin and Chris Torres, Becky Bounds, Monica Chapman, Theresa Turner, Georgia Ockerman, Rob Anderson, Kristi Seitz, Kathryn Stevens, Melanie Romero, Danny Gonzales, Rick Deaver, Debbie Lytton, Rebecca Gough, Kayla Hedland, Brianne Murphy, Courtney Collins, Erik Adams, Amy Birdwell, Cyndi Jetton, Kimberly Heimbecker, Elaine Karst, Elizabeth Culver, Melissa Whan, Dana and Travis Besselman, Alecia Murphy, Shara Zigmond

Also, a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated/sponsored us. I haven't gotten a list or total from Bethesda yet but will let you know about that when I hear!

Also, till haven't heard how much we actually raised but I will post that once we hear. I know it will be an amazing, overwhelming amount - praying that we will have access to it by the end of November! We will be taking part of the Chosen next year as well - maybe forming another team to raise more for SA Lewis to Ethiopia but if we are all set, we will take part to help out other families! Maybe another family we know?! =)

(OK I still have about 10 other posts I need to catch up on so I might be going backwards but I had a lot of people ask me about the marathon! Btw, the movement on the waitlist has been incredible the past 2 weeks. Our unofficial number is already 56 which is crazy! We get official numbers once a month from agency but keep track on our listserv yahoo group with each other's referrals)