Monday, February 15, 2010

Gift Ideas

I'm always looking for great gift ideas, so I wanted to share two of our favorites that we found through recommendations from other friends.

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (ZonderKidz): This is a bit advanced for our girls, but AJ and I are always trying to talk them into picking these stories when we read, because we love them! These are the bible stories you usually find in a kids compilation with an unusual, refreshing perspective. It's not just the facts but someone who clearly loves Jesus and wants to communicate the beauty of the stories of the Bible. The subtitle is "Every story whispers his name" and she finds a way to show how each story is a hint of what's to come with Jesus or a picture of God's heart. When I finish a story, I want to read the next to find out what will happen! There's lots of words and some pictures but sometimes it's not enough to hold the girls' attention. We'll keep reading them, and I think they'll like this book for many years. If not, AJ and I will just keep it in our room!

Hullabaloo: It's the best game we've found for the girls' current age (3). There's a voice that gives instructions and pads you spread out around the floor. The voice says things like "spin to a green" "put your nose on a musical instrument" "sit on a triangle". Then at some point it says "FREEZE" and asks if anyone is standing on a particular picture. That person gets to take a bow or do a funky monkey dance. So fun! You should get it if you've got little ones and like playing games.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birthday girls

Hello sweet birthday girls! It was fun celebrating your birthday with you!

Breakfast: Blueberry muffins and their favorite present of the day--pink and purple scissors!

The Wonder Place. It's a super fun kids' play place...we were worried they wouldn't be open because of the snow, but they were and we had the place to ourselves.

Lydia as the animal doctor

Drew loved the play houses and the doors to open and close

Jenna catches a scarf floating out of some air filled tubes.

The mall to go to a candy store. Several weeks ago the girls saw cotton candy in a book, and I foolishly suggested that they have some for their birthday. That's a hard thing to find in the middle of the winter, but the candy store came through for us.

Home for lunch: Campbell's Dora Chicken Noodle Soup


Dinner: Spaghetti with a pink cake with an L for Lydia and a purple cake with a J for Jenna

Baths and skype with Grammy and Grandpa

In between the planned events, they loved the phone calls and messages that they received! A few favorites were their cousins singing them Happy Birthday and a text with Tusk (Ben and Maggie's dog) holding a happy birthday sign!

Good news!

We've had a good last couple weeks! We found out our van needed a new transmission, but God provided and made it much less expensive than we initially expected. We chose a rental house in Little Rock, and AJ's dad and I made it safely to Little Rock. We're back together as a family! Yea! Then, two days after we moved into our rental, we got an offer on our house in Midland. Yea again! It's under contract right now, and we're just waiting on the inspection and appraisal before we get super excited. However, it's looking promising, and it's so much fun to seriously look for a house to buy here in Little Rock. We'll probably put an offer on a house once the inspection is completed and we decide which house we like best. We have have to pay for our 3 month lease for a short time while we're not living here, but we're okay with that. Right now we're favoring a house that is in the "pre-foreclosure status" which means it could take some extra time to get the deal to go through.

It feels so good to be doing daily life with AJ. We've started meeting some people, visiting churches together, all the new town things. We miss Midland but are committed to making the most of our time here. This is our empty living room, which the kids love because there's more room for running around. We borrowed a bed for us and the girls and a table. Otherwise, the house has no furniture. Don't get worried about the bars on our windows...we're in a safe neighborhood and aren't real sure why they decided to do that. Since we arrived, we've been battling a stomach bug which forced us to change our plans for a fun weekend to AJ's sister's house to see all his family. We're still not 100% better and are hoping that comes soon.

AJ continues to love his job...what a blessing! He works about 40-45 hours/week, and his hours are different each week. It's nice, though, that he's only gone 2-3 nights per week and doesn't have to bring work home with him! He's also pursuing a part-time job at Kaplan as a standardized test tutor which means he's been getting to take the tests himself to prove he's capable. He loves that opportunity and looks forward to that job as a way to bring in a little extra money.

That's the update from us. Birthday post coming soon!