What we’ve been up to…

This week has been full!  I think my mom has been trying to keep me busy while Ed is gone, I have been trying to keep the girls busy while Ed is gone, and the girls are keeping us busy, whether intentional or not.  Seriously, some days it feels like a zoo!  I am glad to be a part of this zoo – even if the noise level, activity level, and messes seem to multiply!

Here is an update about our week:

Ed and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary.  Can’t believe its been that long but so excited to have spent all these years with him.  I hated being apart, but I was able to talk to him through Skype the day before and he made sure I was “loved on” even while he wasn’t there.  He arranged for these flowers to be ready for me when I woke up via my mom (even calling from the airport before he left to remind her).  So pretty!

This week, we have spent time at the beach, at my mom’s pool, going to swim lessons, going to yard sales, visiting with my cousin and her children who came into town, and visiting Brookgreen gardens.  I am sure I am forgetting something because it seems we were a lot busier than that!

Brookgreen gardens is a public garden museum that has gardens, sculptures, picnic areas, a zoo, a butterfly house exhibit, and a new thing they have added for a short time – Enchanted Storybook Forest.  We decided to take the girls because of Kinsley’s intense interest lately in all things princess and castle.  The zoo was an extra plus too!

The Enchanted Storybook Forest is a collection of storybook playhouses created by local builders, architects and organizations. Each house is based on a classic children’s story or nursery rhyme and encourages reading and interaction with the natural world.  They have houses for Cinderella, Snow White, Treasure Island, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Dr. Suess, and the Crooked Man (never heard of this one – guess I need to read up on my kids’ stories).  They were all really neat but Kinsley’s favorite was Snow White’s house (probably because it had food, bowls, plates, etc. for the kids to play with as well as tree stumps for them to sit on – all just her size since they were made for the dwarves.

Anyway, if you are in the area and your kid loves these characters or fairy tales, it is totally worth checking out.  Because our admission is good for 6 more days, Kinsley is already raving about taking Ed there when he returns.  The zoo was fun!  All of the animals are ones you would find around the coast of SC – we even saw a 10-12 foot alligator.  The butterfly house was really neat, too.  Their colors were so pretty and Emerson loved seeing them fly all around!

The other fun thing I wanted to share this week are the new recipes I was able to try. One is Chick-fil-a tasting lemonade.  The verdict:  it was a little time-consuming squeezing all the lemons and while it didn’t taste exactly like Chick-fiil-a, it was good!  Not sure its worth trying it again though.  Especially since I can buy a whole lot more of the pre-made lemonade at the store for the same price.

The second thing I tried was Japanese mayo sauce.  We love Japanese food and the thing that makes it for us is the mayo sauce they serve.  We have tried making it before but have never been able to nail it, and the restaurants keep it a huge secret. Needless to say, when I saw a recipe for it a friend has posted online, I had to try it. The verdict:  while it was really close to the real thing, it wasn’t quite there.  Maybe a little too much vinegar or not enough paprika – but I am hopeful I can tweak it and even if I can’t, it is still close enough to the real thing to do.  And the best part – it isn’t super expensive to make.

Ed returns Monday so I look forward to updating you on how the Lord worked in Africa!!

So much to do…so little time….

When we talk about going to Gammy and Pop-Pop’s house (my parents), Kinsley always has so much to list that she wants to do.  I mean, seriously, their house is a dream for little kids like Kinsley.  Fishing, feeding the fish, the beach, the pool, swinging, feeding Joker (the horse next door) a carrot, going to their restaurant, seeing Granny, and so much more.  So needless to say, when we visit, there is so much to do and so little time.  We try to take pictures of her doing as much as we could but also try to balance that with not living behind the lens of the camera.

She loves catching fish (well, trying to as she is learning how to turn the rod and reel)!  My dad made this pond (enlarge the little pond that was there), raised the fish, and feeds them regularly so it is catch and release only.  She also loves feeding the fish and watching them swarm the surface.  Emerson also loves watching it all!

Up next…sparklers!  We found these gems when we were cleaning out our car recently and saved them for her.  She did a few during 4th of July last year, but this time, she really understands what she is doing and loved it!  Yes, we are in our PJ’s – we had to wait for dark which means it is almost bed time!

We do have a few more pictures of her enjoying the beach and such, but they are on Ed’s phone, and seeing as how he is Africa sharing Christ, I don’t think we will be getting those for another two weeks :).

Last time, I also shared about my Pinterest fail – well, I am excited to say that I have a Pinterest success!!  Mom was brave and decided to try this one with me and they turned out fabulous!  Not too time consuming, not too expensive, and real cute!

Like I mentioned, Ed left Monday for Senegal, Africa.  They arrived safely and we are very eager to skype with him to hear about how the trip is going so far.  Please be in prayer for their team (students and staff) and that Christ is glorified, exalted, and his name is made known amongst the Muslim students and people there!  Pray for us as we are dearly missing our daddy.  Kinsley said last night “I want my daddy back.  I want my daddy back right now.”

Update on DIY projects

As I have mentioned here before, each year I make a list of DIY projects that I want to sew/craft/make/try/etc.  This year, I am doing that with a goal of trying one each month and I am also trying one new recipe each month.  I have gotten a few months behind as things have been crazy at our house but here is an update as I have been catching up:

March – Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki, Bacon and Cheese Quiche, Stovetop Cleaner                                                                                                                April – Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread, Soap Crayons                                                    May – Fruit Pizza, Monogram Twine-Wrapped Letter for the front door

I did get to everything I had listed for March except the Stovetop Cleaner (I did buy everything for it but didn’t have a chance to use it – that counts right?).  As far as I can remember, all the recipes were good – not great, not horrible, but good and would probably eat them again.  Here is a picture of the sausage and gravy:

For April, I did not get to the bread recipe but I did the soap crayons (well, I just did them this week – better late than never).  And how did it go?  It was a major Pinterest FAIL!!  Seriously, I don’t know what I did wrong or if I even did anything wrong but what I do know…I will never try this again.  It was time consuming, the food coloring came off every time we touched them, and they disintegrated before we even made it to the tub.  I will post pictures of the soap crayons and of the bath water just for kicks and giggles.  Good thing it was soap, because you would think just from the pictures that Kinsley needed a bath after taking a bath.

My project this month is the letter for the front door.  I have bought all the materials and hope to get to it tomorrow.  I am really excited about this project and am hopeful it will turn out well.  Pictures to follow.

6 months already!!

We enjoyed a staff retreat to North Myrtle Beach to celebrate another year being finished and to relax together as a team before we start our next phase of ministry and traveling.  We are so thankful for wonderful campus supporters who graciously open their condo to us to use and enjoy.  Such a blessing!  We love playing on the beach, swimming in the pool, walking around Broadway at the Beach, shopping, and, what overwhelmed the majority of our time, playing games.  We are a game playing team!

Can you believe our little munchkin is 6 months old already??!!??  Whoever said that the days are so long but the years are so short was 100% right!  Days can be so fun, long, challenging, repetitious, exciting, etc.  But before you know it, they are grown.  Trying to remember this in the monotony of the day.

Let me share a few facts about our half a year old little girl, Emerson (most may not care about this but pretend to be amused 🙂 )  She is 16 lbs 15 oz, almost 26.5 inches long (I think), has very little hair, and big beautiful brown eyes.  While we don’t know the full extent of her personality yet, we do know that she is observant and loves to watch people, especially her big sister, but that she also loves to move, go, and is very independent (she could play with toys for hours – unlike Kinsley as a baby).  She is already army crawling (happened at 5 months) but has been getting up on her arms and knees to rock back and forth for a few weeks now.  Once she figures out how to move her arms with her legs, she will be gone!  She seems way more advanced for her age – probably due to having an older sibling.  She pulls a sippy cup to her mouth to try to chew and suck, she was trying to crawl way early, and wanted to eat real food like we do over a month ago.  She loves giving out smiles and kicking her arms and legs when excited, but it takes a lot of work to get a laugh out of her.

I LOVE seeing the girls interact with each other, smile and laugh at each other, and love on each other.  Kinsley wants to wake Emerson up every morning and is so concerned if she gets up from a nap or comes back from somewhere and Emerson isn’t there.  Kinsley loves to kiss her, play with her, and make her smile and laugh.  Couldn’t imagine not having two kids and watching them enjoy each other.  Yes, there is jealousy and a struggle with sharing “mommy” and “daddy”, but overall, they do great with each other.