Friday, September 28, 2007

Houston and back

This one's out of order. I forgot to post it! Driving down the HOV lane! Crazy!
Ricky's car after the break in.

Ashton playing with a stingray.

Pretending to be screaming on the ferris wheel.

The Great White that got out of the tank!!

Sharks on the shark train tour.

A very big snake!! (300-pound reticulated python)

Kanton and Ashton looking at fish in the aquarium.

The Houston skyline

Leaving in the early morning fog. We're supposed to be following the van in front of this car, which we can't see.

Well, we took our first trip to Houston for Braden's class field trip. I am so glad that my mom convinced me that I could not drive there. We took the HOV lane (high occupancy vehicle). Our van was driving down the freeway with no lights and no traffic at 65 mph between the two other lanes. It was pretty scary. I am glad I was not driving. We saw the Houston skyline which was pretty impressive to a girl from West Texas. The biggest town I had been to was Dallas, and I think Houston was way more hectic.

The field trip was to the Downtown Aquarium. The kids had a blast looking at jellyfish, alligator snapping turtles, a 300-pound reticulated python, and petting the sting rays and sharks. Yes, I did say petting the sharks! I touched them, too. They were so awesome. We saw a white bengal tiger, and there was a train that took us through a tunnel full of sharks! The audio tour mentioned that the 5-inch thick glass over our heads was holding 700,000 gallons of water, not to mention that there were several aggressive sharks in the tank. The front door closed, leaving us sitting in the train in the dimly lit tunnel surrounded by the sharks. As I smelled the gas from the train get stronger and stronger, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if we passed out in the tunnel and the door didn't open. I am a worrier like that. It did open, and we rode out of the tunnel. The audio guide mentioned a great white that escaped the tank, and we found it a few yards ahead when the great white jumped out of the water, sprayed us, and scared the kids on the train! They did ride the train again and still jumped when the shark sprayed water in the air and came up out of the water again.

There was a carousel, a fun little ride that went up in the air and down over and over so that you get that feeling in your stomach ...the one that only roller coaster enthusiasts would understand... called Sharky's Dive, and a ferris wheel. For a woman who is afraid of heights, I was proud of myself for braving the ride so Braden could ride. I must mention that there were no seat belts, which I freaked out about as we were leaving the safety of the ground. We did make it. We got lost from the group on the way home, but more people got lost following us. So, we had them lead us out after getting directions from the phone.

Last night, someone broke into Ricky's little car outside the apartment. They busted his window out and stole the front of his radio (because they couldn't get the rest out), his planner that had business appointments in it, and free phonebooks and cd's from Ricky's job. We had to buy a new window today, which we weren't planning for. Let me just tell you how upset I was with my husband when I found that he had left our van, parked next to the car, unlocked all night with our DVD player inside! We are not leaving that out there any more! I think I will be checking the van myself from now on! The police came and lifted prints. Hopefully, they will get a match. That is very scary when someone does this to you, and you just don't know why. I am thankful that it was only the window and not my van and DVD player for my kids. I hope that they are caught.

That's all that has happened the last two days. I think we are worn out from the excitement around here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


At our Mom's Day Out training, I won a door prize. I never win anything, and I was sitting there thinking to myself "I never win." So, imagine my surprise when I won. Yeah. I got a Women of Faith study guide series journal called Encouraging One Another with foreword by Nicole Johnson. I think that God knew I needed to read this. Here is an excerpt from the journal by Nicole Johnson:

"Sometimes we plod through life with our head down and our back bent under the weight of our load. We feel unimpressive, unkempt, unappreciated, and unneeded. We've put our hands to the plow, but the same theme song that runs through our mind is, "The old gray mare, she aint what she used to be." ... God doesn't want to leave us staggering under such weight of discouragement. It's quite the opposite, really. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much He does His best to cheer us up and cheer us on. Do you know God planned ahead for all of your gloomy days? He knows just when you'll need a little lift, and has arranged for encouragement to be right there, waiting for you to discover it!"

And here's what she says about encouragement:

"Encouragement is to a relationship what confetti is to a party. It's light, refreshing, and fun. It's cheer you can throw someone's way. But even deeper, it is the assurance you are there, that you are standing behind them and supporting them. The time it takes to gather little pieces of love, grace, strength, and hope is well worth it when you see what happens as you shower those gifts on someone else. It's like spiritual confetti, and it's the ultimate encouragement."

I read this and remembered how I would feel sad that we moved here, and a friend from back home would call and just see how we were doing. Even the simplest gestures sometimes lift your heart. My friend Kristi sent me the sweetest birthday gift, and it means so much that she took the time to do that for me even though I am not there to do things with her. It encouraged me that although I have not really had the chance to meet people here, I know that I am blessed with great friends I have made along the way. The friends that I have made will stay with me forever. New friendships cannot replace them, and I wouldn't want them to. God wants us to have a vertical relationship with him and a horizontal relationship with others. This horizontal and vertical picture that I imagine in my mind leads me to think of another symbol...the cross.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First time blogger's heart

I have been reading blogs the past few months. I have often thought that I have some fun, thoughtful, or just plain interesting things to share. This gives me an outlet to do that. I think that the purpose of this blog will be to stay in touch with friends and family and share things that are on my heart. I turned 30 last week, and I think that it really got me thinking about life and relationships. I always wonder if I am living my life as God has intended it to be. Am I serving to my fullest potential? I am so thankful for my family and the friends that I have grown up with. I thank God for the friendships growing up that I look back on with the fondest memories. I often wish I could see what God has planned for my life, because I often wonder what He is trying to teach me at a particular moment. We recently moved to a new town, and I am trying to find new friendships and a church home. It is frustrating that this is proving so difficult. I know God has a church here for us, but missing our old church really puts a strain on my heart. I pray that God will help us find it here. Our pastor told us that God already has a perfect church planned for us. I wish we could find it! What if we never do? We'll just go to every single church in town! That should keep us busy. At least we will meet a lot of new faces.

On another note, I am working at Mom's Day Out and taking care of babies. We have 6 babies and 2 teachers. Sometimes that is not enough! I enjoy this job more than I thought I would. I think the babies are beginning to like us, too.