Friday, January 28, 2011


Shane is one cool dude on his skateboard. Fearless and a little crazy, he's got just the right attributes to become a really great skater. If only he could remember which are the elbow pads and which are the knee pads...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Piggy Tail Power

Ah, the power of piggy tails. Katie's hair was finally long enough to fit into piggy tails without sticking straight up in the air. It totally transformed her look. She went from a shaggy haired boyish urchin to a sweet faced little pixie.

Since this first attempt, I've done her hair almost daily in piggy tails because it looks so darn cute on her. She will even tell me that we can't go outside yet because we haven't done her "pitty tails". She sits patiently on my bathroom counter while I put them in, although she'll let me know if I'm pulling her hair. Next she wants to stand up on the counter and admire herself in the bathroom mirror. Finally, she has to jump down to show everyone else how pretty she looks. She'll keep bugging them until they exclaim, "Woo woo! Pretty girl!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

WoW Museum Birthday

Some friends of ours from church were having a birthday party for their little girl at the WoW museum. It was convenient because our county had given us a free one year membership for being a foster family. Also, their daughter is in the same Sunday school class as three of our kids, Brianna, Shane, and "Boo".

The kids had so much fun. Danya got to milk a pretend cow, Kevin monopolized the Thomas the Tank Engine table, and Katie was a blur running from one center to the next. She ended up with about three inches of sand in her pants before we left. The party went well and even Shane's Options kindergarten teacher came with her daughter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance

Danya, "Junie B.", and "Boo" went to the Daddy Daughter Dance at their elementary school. Did I mention that we decided to let Danya try out the latter half of 5th grade? She pointed out that it was her last chance ever to experience public elementary school. I pointed out that she'd be wasting an entire semester academically, but she really wanted to try it. It didn't take long before she was saying she was ready to be homeschooled again, but we are requiring her to finish the semester.

Anyway, the dance was packed. It was a bit strange, too. At one point they gave all the kids rolls of toilet paper to wrap their dads up. And lots of families didn't get the whole daddy DAUGHTER point so there were quite a few boys there. The girls enjoyed dressing up and having their hair done. We didn't manage to get "Boo" new dress shoes in time, so she wore princess dress up shoes. "Junie B." wasn't much into dresses, but she seemed to come out of her shell a little in her sparkly pink gown. I think some of her tom boy front is more of a defense mechanism. It took a while to convince her to let me put her hair in something other than her typical low over the shoulder pony tail. They all looked absolutely beautiful.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Biggest Loser

Starting on January 1st, Daniel and I decided to challenge each other to lose weight. We started out with mini goals that we had to reach before February 3rd in order to be allowed to use the Toby Mac concert tickets that Daniel surprised me with. My first goal was to get back under 200 lbs. I made it by the end of January. My next goal was to lose 10 lbs. I achieved that by the second week of February. My next mini goal is to have lost 10% of my body weight. I'm half way there already.

Daniel has really made good use of the treadmill we got in November. He's up to running 2.5 miles in 31 minutes. I'm really proud of him. He's been such an encouragement to me. Our big goal is to reach our total weight loss goal by this summer. If we both make it then we will take a big 15th anniversary trip, just the two of us (assuming we can get someone to watch the kids for a few days), probably down to the beach near Galveston, TX like we did a few years ago when I was pregnant with Katie. I'm really proud that every week I have consistently lost at least a pound since we began this weight loss plan. We aren't following any specific plan, just eating sensible portions and exercising more. That, plus a LOT of prayer is getting us there.

Mask Mania

After reading about masked balls in their Story of the World history book the kids took one of the projects in the workbook and went wild with it. This photo is only a small sampling of all the masks they made. I told them we couldn't keep them all, but having a picture means we'll always remember what they looked like.

New Faces in our Family

Today we had two sweet little faces join our family. The caseworker says it may be long term, so we'll be enrolling them in school this week. For their online nicknames we've decided to call them "Junie B." and "Boo". The older one loves Junie B. Jones books and the younger one reminds us of Boo from Monster's Inc. They remind us so much of two little girls we had at this same time of year three years ago.

The sisters are 6 1/2 and 10 years old, first and fourth graders. Our girls are super excited to have girls their age to play with. They are in the dining room right now giggling up a storm and playing a board game called "Faces". The oldest girl is a musician, so I know we'll get along great.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Game Frenzy

For awhile in January we were on a crazy game kick where we played a board game, cards, or our new dice game "Farkle" almost every day. We're planning to put up a board in the dining room to keep track of our top Farkle scorer. I gave Daniel the game as a stocking stuffer for Christmas, but had no idea that it would be such a hit with the whole family. We've even roped friends into playing it with us.

One lazy Saturday I pulled out a game we haven't played in a long time called "Acquire". It's actually out of print now. The manufacturer stopped making it a few years ago, although you can still play online versions. We introduced Danya to the game and she came pretty close to winning. It's all about buying and selling shares in hotel chains and is loosely a stock market game. It's so nice having an organized game and toy storage closet. We're finally enjoying our stockpile of board games.