Friday, December 11, 2009

Playing Catch Up - Random Stories

So, I'm not the greatest at remembering or being motivated to blog. Seems like life happens and blogging always falls to the bottom (if not off) my list of things to do. My dad reminded me that I still haven't blogged about Ainsley's miracle from the spring. At first I didn't write it because I wasn't ready to process it all. It still brings up a lot of emotion but it needs to be told. So, I'm giving myself a due date - by the end of the year I will post a blog about Ainsley's Miracle story.

Onto what's gone on since Halloween:

Monte and I were able to go to Austin to celebrate his 40th birthday. We had so much fun!! Austin is a great city full of great food and even better music. The weekend was spent hitting all our favorite food joints plus a few new ones. Only in Austin can you get a gourmet lunch from a trailer one day and eat at a gas station the next!! Both meals were delicious. We heard some of our favorite artists play. The best was hearing Robert Earl Keen play on Monte's birthday in Gruene Texas. We are so thankful mom was willing to watch the kids so we could get away for an extended weekend.

Thanksgiving was spent at my parents lake house. We love going there because it is so beautiful and peaceful. Amy, David and Katie were there along with Amy and David's new little boy, Matthew. He is so cute! It was fun hanging out with the fam but as always time flies and before we knew it the weekend was over. The highlight for the kids was helping Grammy Keeks decorate the Christmas tree. They got to do it twice because there was a mishap with the tree and it fell over (on top of Ainsley - but she's tough).

December has been a blur. The only thing Ainsley wants for Christmas is a real baby reindeer and Beckham just wants a robot to clean his room. Why can't my kids have normal lists like dolls and cars? Ainsley refuses to budge on her reindeer - that's all she wants (so it makes it hard to fulfill her list). I tried to tell her that Santa needs all his reindeer. her response "not the baby ones." My reply, "he needs the baby ones to train to take over when the current ones get too old to carry the sleigh." Beckham chimes in by saying, "well then have him bring an old reindeer." The conversation went on and on about weather, food and many other excuses I came up with all of which were shot down by Beckham. After a while Beckham looked at Ainsley and said, "maybe you should have a back up list." Another story from a few months ago was when were were in the car and Ainsley said, "Jesus forgives me if I do something wrong so it doesn't matter." Beckham immediately responded "but Santa doesn't". I was cracking up. This month has been full of hilarious conversations with the kids - too many to post.

I don't have time to post pictures right now but want to post this before I get too busy. Hopefully I'll add pictures in a day or two.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

The kids enjoyed trick or treating this year (when do they not?). This year Beckham was Captain America and Ainlsey was a Tiger. The rain didn't keep us away. Luckily it stopped raining when I took them. Unfortunately for Monte it started raining when it was his turn. A good time was had by all and now we have enough sugar to last us a long time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

For a year Beckham has been begging us to do Karate but we could never fit it into our schedules. This fall we found a wonderful karate (taekwondo) place. They are class schedule is flexible and the instructors are great. We sign Beckham up in hopes that it would help his self confidence and his muscle planning skills. After a two weeks we already noticed a difference. He is loving it and is learning so much. The teach self discipline, respect, confidence, leadership, the actual karate skills, and self defense. A few weeks ago Beckham earned his orange belt. he was so proud of himself and we were proud of him. Monte and I were shocked at graduation when Beckham raised his hand to answer a question in front of everyone (40+ kids and 60+ adults). He stood up and in a loud voice answered the question! That proves how much confidence he has gained in a karate because earlier that month his school teacher had made the comment "I just want him to talk to me." We are proud of our little orange belt and know that he is going to continue to work hard and earn his yellow belt soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So it's been awhile

I haven't blogged since Beckham's birthday so I don't even know where to begin. The summer came and went and now the air is getting cool and the leaves are starting to fall. A lot has happened since May. we had an eventful summer. Monte and I celebrated out 10th anniversary and went to the Dominican Republic. My mom and dad watched the kids which was such a blessing. It was nice to spend a whole week together with no responsibilities. Monte went to India for 3 weeks for work. We spent lots of time at the lake and pool this summer. Beckham learned how to swim and loves his new water wing free freedom. While Monte was in India the kids and I went to the school bus races again. Always a highlight for the kids (well, Beckham more than Ainsley). Beckham started kindergarten and is loving it. Ainsley is in the 4 year old class at our church preschool. She goes 5 days a week so she thinks she is a big girl. A lot more has gone on but I don't think I could put it all. I just waned to post an update to ease myself back into the blog world.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Baba

Well, the last time I wrote on my blog it was Ainsley's birthday seems fitting that my next post would be about Beckham's birthday. A ton has gone on in our family (most of you know about the scare we had with Ainsley) but that is for a different blog entry. This one is for Beckham.

Happy Birthday to our kind hearted boy. 6 years ago today the Lord blessed us with a rather large (10# 13 oz) baby boy. Beckham is such a special kid that bring such life and joy to our family. He is a bright young boy that is always thinking and figuring stuff out. You can always see the wheels in his head turning. Not only is he smart but he is one of the most compassionate kids I know. He is always asking about others and is eager to share and comfort his friends. This past year he has also developed quite the sense of humor and is already taking after his dad with quick witted come backs. He is so much fun to be around and you never know what you'll end up talking about. The kid has an extensive imagination. He is definitely a special part of our family and we are so blessed to have such a wonderful son. It will be fun to see how Beckham develops and who he grows up to be.

**Pictures to come tomorrow once I down load the ones from his party. I also promise to blog about Ainsley's story in the next few weeks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Sweetest Girl

So our sweet little Ainsley turned 4 years old today. I know everyone says it when they get older but time really does fly. I can't believe she is already 4. One more year of preschool and she'll be off to kindergarten - scary. I asked her if she wanted to stay 3 for another year and her response was, "no mom that would be silly, I can't be 3 again but maybe I could be 6." At least she said 6 instead of 16!

Ainsley has grown up so much in the past year. She is no longer a toddler she is a big girl. Not only does she know it, she makes sure you know it. She has quite the personality and is a ball to be around. I love her little giggle and the way she loves life. She spends a typical day "reading" books, doing puzzles, coloring or hopping around like a frog or kangaroo (yes, she is still doing this. A few weeks or maybe it was months ago I wrote a post about her jumping everywhere. I thought it wouldn't last but it has.)
The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful girl that has brought us so much happiness and joy. We love her desperately and are looking forward to what the next year brings.
Here are a few pictures of our "big girl". After not having a camera for months we finally got a new one. Problem is I still haven't gotten around to downloading all the software. Maybe this week I'll get it done and will be able to download some current pictures. Until then enjoy pictures of her younger (bald) years.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

PJs and Ice Cream

What better way to end a glorious day than with PJs and ice cream? Bruster's Ice Cream is right up the road from us and every year they have a PJ party. Anyone that wears their pajamas gets a free waffle cone of ice cream. So after dinner we put the kids in their PJs and headed to Brusters for free ice cream. The kids loved it and so did we because when we got home we just put them straight to bed since they were already in their pajamas!

Today was a wonderful day. It started off hanging out with friends of ours we knew in Chicago that now live in the Winston/Salem area. The Clemmons stopped by on their way to Hilton Head. It is always fun to see old friends. Unfortunately the visit didn't last long because I had to go teach swim lessons and they had to get on the road. While I taught lessons Monte took the kids to Home Depot to do the monthly project. Today's was a tough one and since it was 2 on 1 (Monte vs the kids) only one project got done. When I saw the finished product I was quite impressed - 2 ramps for little cars to race down. From there he took the kids to Target to get popcorn and a drink - which the kids love doing. I got home and packed a lunch for us to take to the park. Today was a perfect day - sunny, not too hot and not a cloud in the sky. It was great to be outside. It's funny to think that the kids had 2 snow days this week and it was in the 70s today. We spent the majority of the day outside enjoying the weather hoping it stays like this. All in all it was a great day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Verse #5

I'm a day late posting but here is verse #5 for the first two weeks in March.

"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding." Proverbs 2:2-3

Snow In March?

Snow Day in March? In the South? Yep! We got about 3-4 inches of snow yesterday. Can you believe that? We haven't seen that much snow since leaving Chicago. Of course school was canceled and the kids got a snow day. Both kids were up bright and early this morning begging to go play in the snow. What does one do if they live in the south and they don't have attire or sleds to go sledding? Improvise!! The kids were in miss-matched layers of clothes. And the sleds - cookie sheets. FYI - They work great! We do have an old sled that Monte's dad and Monte used when they was a kids. It worked well in this time (in the past there was never enough snow for it to work).

After bundling the kids up we headed out to the golf course to do some sledding. By the way, I'm am thankful we don't live up north because I would dread bundling the kids up everyday - it took so much longer than just throwing on a coat. The kids had a ball sledding until their feet and hands got cold (no boots just tennis shoes and only one pair of knit gloves per kid). After coming in to warm up Ainsley and I decided to venture out again and build a snow man. I'm sure he won't last but he was fun to make.

There are a few nice things about snow in the south - it doesn't happen often and it's gone by noon. That's my type of snow! Here are a few pics from our snow day in March!!

Beckham making the first run down the hill

Beckham at the bottom

Ainsley's turn

Monte's attempt on the cookie sheet


Our Snowman
(the sun shining on Ainsley's face is a pretty good indication that the snowman won't last long - maybe until lunch)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Verse #4

Once again I'm a little late posting this but I did pick out the verse on the 15th I just haven't had time to post it in my blog. Here is verse #4:

My dear brothers and sisters be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Your anger can never make things right in God's sight.
James 1:19-20
I picked this one because we have had a few issues with sibling anger lately. Now when the kids get angry with each other we quote this verse.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Names

Ainsley informed us tonight at dinner that we all have new names. Dad is now Coopster, Mom is Chippy, Beckham is Taco and Ainsley is now Boo-gee. We'll see how long it last but she thinks it's a riot and cracks up every time she uses our new names. Ahh, to be 3 again. By the way, she is still hopping everywhere.

First Heart Break at age 5

After Friday I realized 1. I don't want my kids to grow up and be teenagers and 2. there are going to be a lot of hearts broken between now and when they grow up (not that it stops then). Here's a play by play summary of what happened after school on Friday:

Me: Beckham, how was your day?
B: Not good. I had a rough day.
Me: why what happened? (wondering what could happen to a 5 year old to make him say he had a rough day)
B: I'm sad because I asked Meredeth to be my girlfriend and she said no.
Me: That's too bad. maybe she's not ready for a boyfriend.
B: I asked her nicely and said please. I even told her the reasons why I wanted her to be my girlfriend.
Me: (This peaked my interest I had to find out the reasons a 5 yr old wanted a girlfriend) Really? What were your reasons?
B: I told her that she is a nice and she is the most beautiful girl on the playground.
Me: Aw. That's sweet. I'm sorry she doesn't want to be your girlfriend.
B: That makes me sad.
Me: Well, girls sometimes disappoint you. The only person that won't is God. Should we have lunch?
B: Can we have chips?

I felt so bad for him he was truly heartbroken. Guess Monte and I are going to have our hands full when Beckham is older. Especially if he is already getting his heart broken. He's our sensitive one. Ainsley on the other hand will be the one breaking hearts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Circus Came and Went

This weekend Monte and I took the kids to the circus and boy did they LOVE it!! We took the light rail down to the show (which the kids loved in and of itself). We got there early to see the preshow which allows the kids to interact with some of the performers (mostly clowns and acrobats). The kids enjoyed the whole show and talked about it non stop after it was over. In fact they are still talking about it and Beckham has become obsessed with it. He has me pulling the website up on a regular basis so he can check out where they are headed next, what they feed the animals, how they get from town to town. The kids turned the playroom into a circus. Beckham lined up all his little plastic animals and Ainsley lined up all her my little ponies and put on a show. It was cute. They begged us to go back to the night show or if that wasn't possible the Sunday show. We told them - No, you can only go to once. Beckham's response - it's kind of like Christmas just once a year. Yep! Just once a year (thank goodness). Monte and I did have a good time and they do some amazing tricks. We still think clowns are a little sketchy but the kids thought they were funny. The one thing Monte and I are still trying to figure out is how the circus can get away with charging $15 for cotton candy. Talk about mark up - it probably only takes a penny or two to make. All in all we had a great time and the kids will probably be talking about it for months.

Verse #3

So I'm a few days late posting this but here is my verse for Feb 1 (verse #3).

Psalms 55:22 - Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Thought this was a good one to learn since I know so many people struggling and stressing over different issues right now. I'm happy to report that I still know the other 2 verses I learned.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Funny story

Here's a quick funny story about Beckham. Last night for Awana's they had to bring a letter for the troops. So, yesterday afternoon Beckham and Ainsley worked hard on their pictures and I was going to write what they dictated. So, here is what Beckham said:

thank you for being soldiers, stay safe and I hope you have a happy battle. Love Beckham

I didn't know if I should actually write that on the letter they were sending to the soldiers but I got a kick out of it and I thought the soldiers might as well.

25 things

I've been tagged - Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.

1. I have become addicted to working out
2. I love to feel sore the day after I work out. When I don't, I feel like I didn't work hard enough. I know that sounds twisted.
3. I don't like to drink calories. I pretty much only drink water (except for my morning coffee). If I am going to consume calories I want it to be through food.
4. I love food.
5. I love candy more than food.
6. If it has butter and sugar in it I'll probably like it (I'm a Scott)
7. I like all the lines to go the same way when I vacuum
8. I hate clutter
9. Patti Griffin is one of my favorite singers
10. I typically always drink out of a straw. I don't like drinking straight from a cup.
11. I prefer drinking out of a plastic cup instead of a glass one.
12. I drink my coffee black (see #3)
13. My new favorite adult beverage is Firefly which is a Sweet Tea vodka. I don't drink it much because of #3.
14. I love the feeling of sun on my body.
15. I still teach swim lessons
16. I love to travel especially internationally but we haven't been able to since having kids. Maybe someday.
17. I think one of the most important things about a church (aside from preaching the Word) is having Small Groups (Bible Studies to hold one another accountable).
18. I love to find a bargain and have gotten into couponing.
19. I am the worlds slowest reader.
20. I have found it crucial to spend time in God's Word Daily. The day just isn't the same if I'm not in the Word.
21. My bed has to be made. I can't stand it when the bed is a mess.
22. Don't like it when the sponge is left wet in the sink.
23. Two of my favorite restaurants are in Austin - Chuy's and Rudy's. Tex Mex and BBQ - Yumm (see #4)
24. I enjoy spending time with the fam. Wish everyone lived closer.
25. I hate when the kids just throw their jackets and shoes in a pile in the laundry room (mom now I see why this used to drive you crazy).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Little Frog

Ainsley has turned into a little frog. She hops everywhere she goes. It's so cute to see her hop from room to room and activity to activity. She just looks so happy hopping around.

I do have to admit that when I am in a hurry her hopping isn't so cute. But I remind myself that she's young, carefree and time doesn't mean anything to her. I wish that was the case for me. All she cares about is hopping from place to place and she enjoys every second while doing it. Why can't we do that as adults? We are always in a rush to get places. We could all learn a lesson or two from our kids. Life isn't about rushing to get to the next event - it's about enjoying the journey and trying new ways to get there even if we look silly hopping to get there.

Lettuce Wrap Recipe

A friend of mine got me the book Eating for Life which has a bunch of healthy recipes in it. Tonight I made Lettuce Wraps and they were so good and so easy. To top it off they are healthy too!! I thought I would pass along the recipe in case you are looking for something new to try. I did make some variations since I didn't have all the ingredients. I post the real recipe first and at the bottom I'll let you know what I substituted.

Prep time: 30 min

4 shiitake mushrooms
7 stalks of napa cabbage
1 lb of LEAN turkey meat (not all turkey meat is lean)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 TBSP hoisin
1 TBSP lite soy sauce
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
1 (8 oz) can of water chestnuts, drained (rough chop if desired)
12 large iceberg lettuce leaves

1. Remove and discard stems of mushrooms and chop. Then chop the napa cabbage keeping the leaves and stems separate
2. Lightly coat a wok or skillet with cooking spray and place over med-high heat. Add turkey and cook until no longer pink. Remove turkey and set aside
3. Lightly recoat wok with cooking spray. Add chopped cabbage stems and onion, stir fry until tender about 2 min
4. stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 5 spice. Add cabbage leaves, mushrooms and water chestnuts, stir fry for 1 min. Add cooked turkey and cook until it's heated through about 2 min
5. serve on iceberg lettuce leaves

OK here's what I changed: I didn't have shiitake mushrooms so I used 6-8 button mushrooms, I didn't have nappa cabbage so I used cabbage from a cole slaw mix bag and 1 celery stalk (I figured the celery stalk would give about the same texture as the stalk to the napa cabbage), I replaced the hoisin sauce with oyster sauce.

I'm sure it is just as good (probably better) if you make it the way the recipe is written but the way I made it turned out good too!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Conversation on heaven

The kids and I were talking this morning and had the funniest conversation. Here is how it went:

Ainsley - mom I love you all the way to the North Pole
Beckham - I love you all the way to heaven
Ainsley - where is heaven?
Beckham - you see that white cloud that's where it is. And it has a big gold gate you have to open to get in.
Me - really, how do you open it?
Beckham - the angels let people in
Me - how do they know who to let in?
Beckham - you need a key and Jesus in your heart
Me - what happens to people that don't have Jesus in their heart?
Ainsley - They have to go to the princess castle.

Not totally accurate but funny none the less. After Ainsley said that people that don't get into heaven go to the princess castle I thought - They're going to wish they were in a princess castle.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Verse #2

It's the 15th and it's time to learn a new verse. As of now I have the first verse memorized (I'm hoping it really stuck and I'll still be able to remember it in August). My memory isn't what it used to be - who am I kidding, I never had a great memory to begin with. Anyway, here is what I picked to work on for the next two weeks.

Eph 4:29

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

I figured this would be a helpful one to know so I can recite it to the kids when their language with each other isn't as uplifting as I would like.

Friday, January 9, 2009

LPM blog challange

This week I was reading through all the blog entries I've missed on the Living Proof Ministries blog. One of the challenges Beth Moore made for 2009 was to memorize 24 verses in 12 months. That means 2 verses a month. So I am taking her up on her challenge and challenge all of you to do the same. Each month on the 1st and 15th I'll post the verse I am working on. You can pick whatever verse you want or you can do the one I am doing. Even though I am a little behind here is the verse I chose for the beginning of January.

Romans 5:3
We can rejoice too when we run into trials, for we know that they are good for us - they help us learn to endure.
Another challenge for our pastor gave was to read the Bible and journal about it everyday. Monte and I did this last year and it was a wonderful blessing. We both made it through the whole year. Last year we studied the New Testament. This year we are doing the Old Testament. Give it a try it will be well worth your time. Spending time in God's word daily is life changing. Give it a shot.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pictures from Christmas

Here are a few pictures from Christmas. I might post more if I can convince my sisters to send me some of the ones they took at my parents. Our camera wasn't working on Christmas. Thankfully Doug and Judi had their camera and my sister's had theirs. We ordered a new camera but it's on back order so it might be a few more weeks.
Beckham as Rudolph

Our two little elves in disguise (they have such pointy ears)

Time to make cookies for Santa

Christmas Eve

Friday, January 2, 2009

Writers blues

For the past few weeks I have not really been in a writing mood - hence the reason I haven't made a blog entry in awhile. I did write one on Jan 2nd but for some reason there was a glitch and it never posted and I lost it. It's not like there hasn't been much to blog about in the Watkins house. We have been very busy the past few weeks with Christmas, New years and the many other events. Maybe that's why I haven't been in the mood to write. By the time the kids are in bed I don't want to use my brain to write something profound or funny. Writing a blog entry does cross my mind every night but then I find something more enticing to do. I know it's the same old story - I'm going to try to be better about blogging but I honestly will try and make a better effort to at least make one post a week. That's not asking too much of myself right? So, if I fall off the Blog wagon and don't post something for a few weeks feel free to call me out. I probably just need some encouragement to get back to using my brain after the kids are in bed.

Now I just have to get myself to write our New Year's letter. I gave up writing Christmas letters because they always went out after Christmas. I figured I would take the pressure off myself and not add something else to my holiday plate of tasks to do. Well, I don't know if that was such a great idea because now that I give myself to New Years I put it off even longer. It's Jan 8th and I haven't written the letter (I have the pictures ready to send). Maybe I should make them Valentines cards that would give me until February. I'm hoping this blog entry will inspire me to start writing the New years Letter.