Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lessons learned from the disappearance of an orange cat

Orangi, oh Orangi. Lily's beloved cat had disappeared once again. She is the petite adventurer while her brother, Blackie, is the big homebody. When she disappeared last Thursday, we figured she'd show back up by the next morning.

She never did.

Jerry and I pretty much had decided we had seen the last of that cat. Orangi had the habit of following anybody who happened to be walking by our house. With last week being Spring Break, we figured some kids had just ignored her tags and adopted her as their own.

Lily was not so quick to give up. She spoke daily of how she missed Orangi and prayed the sweetest prayers for her quick return. Jade even chimed in praying that Blackie would not get lost. I love to hear the earnest prayers of our daughters, but also felt the need to remind Lily that God is good, but doesn't always answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to.

I was really feeling bad for Lily and decided I better make some Missing Cat- $ REWARD $ type signs in effort to get Orangi back home. I was just getting started on it this morning but ended up getting distracted with a welcome phone call from a friend. Rachelle's battery ended up dying, but my phone rang soon unrecognized number.

I answered.

The woman spoke broken English, but I quickly figured out that she had our cat! It was a mistake, but I must have muttered, "you have our cat?!?" out loud, and then I had the girls' screams of joy as well as her lack of English to contend with while trying to figure out how and where to retrieve Orangi. I scribbled down the name of an apartment complex and her unit number and called Jerry to see if he could swing a lunch break to retrieve her with us.

After getting off the phone I was finally really able to notice the joy on Lily's face. Her confidence had never been shaken. She knew this day was coming. And most remarkably, she immediately asked me if she could pray to God to thank Him for keeping Orangi safe. My heart melted.

I am so thankful the Lord chose to answer the tender prayers of my 5 year old in this situation. Her confidence and faith has encouraged me.

Orangi seems to be in good shape...just super tired! She normally makes herself available for whatever schemes Lily has up her sleeve, but when Lily put her in the doll cradle and she actually fell asleep and stayed there...I knew she was zonked!

Lily wanted to be in a picture too...when I asked her what she was doing she explained she was making a heart with her arms...showing her love for Orangi. ;)

Nighty, night sweet Orangi....sleep well sweet kitten!

And I better get to sleep as well. My dad is undergoing a cardiac catheter very early in the morning about an hour away from here. I want to be there before they take him back. We are praying for a safe and productive procedure. Lily and Jade have been praying for the owies on Papa's sweet...and I know the Lord is listening to them!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Day of Spring and it SNOWS!

I'm not sure what this says about me, but although I've been a Texan for almost 31 years...I am STILL amazed by the abrupt changes in weather in our state.

Friday was spent taking a train ride to the zoo and enjoying gorgeous warm weather. The high hit 71 as we perused the animals and even met a giraffe named Jade!

Then Saturday the temp dropped over 30 degrees from morning to evening and it began to snow!

We woke up to SIX inches of snow on Sunday morning. No time to play in it though. It was off to teach 3 year olds and then worship.

And just last week I had started planting flowers! Remember this?

Well Sunday after church it looked like this...

My friend Rachelle said they call this an "onion snow". I had to have her explain. I am thinking y'all may know? Anyway, I'm calling mine a snapdragon/marigold/poppy snow.

I should have gotten a shot of it as we left for church. It was seriously covered. But it melted nearly as fast as it came.

And plus we were delayed a bit by visiting the original 1918 location of El Fenix and then even a little more by a visit to The Cupcakery.

(Almond Joy, Strawberry Shortcake, Grasshopper, Mocha Mocha, Bailey's & Cream--minus a taste, and Peanut Butter Cup)

What can I say? Trudging through the snow really works up an appetite. Or maybe it was the 3 year olds? Whew! After all that I could barely breathe and was lucky to waddle out there to get the remnant snow pic.

Either way, thankfully today it hit 70 again and there wasn't a 3 year old in sight!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Introducing ZEBRA!

Yesterday we took a special trip to the dentist to claim Jade's prizes for giving up her beloved thumb. To read how this milestone happened, click here.

44 seconds of pre-trip excitement fun (with sister answering the questions on Dora in the background!):

May I pick up my Zebra please?

Thank you! Oh how I've missed you Zebra!

In his rightful owner's arms.

And a new "watch" too!

Let's take him on a walk around the dentist's pond. We need to introduce him to the fresh outdoors after all those months of being exposed to laughing gas!

Hopefully he isn't scared of heights!

Does he need a drink?

Hold on tight, Zebra! You'll be at your new home in no time.

We are so proud of you Jade! And now we're going to enjoy the gorgeous weather by taking a train ride to the zoo.

Zebra will be meeting his captive friends.

Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

But Mommy, I really want to suck my thumb!

Thumb habits. What are the odds that both of our daughters would battle them?

Lily gave hers up so easily right before turning three, that I was sure Jade's habit would not be kicked as easily.

I give props to our amazing dentist who I wish was not limited to pediatrics. I have sung her praises before.

Jade had her first appointment there two weeks ago. Here she is enjoying the tree house/slide in the lobby.

But after we went to the back, she became very timid and ended up shedding many tears during her lap visit with the dentist. I didn't even have to tell the doctor about her thumb habit. It was obvious by the shape/positioning of her teeth. So sad.

She told Jade that sucking her thumb gave her teeth owies and it would ruin them. Ruin her new princess teeth...that the "tickle bubbles" had just given her? That news got Jade's attention. Then she told her a little trick. She said that when her thumb wants to get in her mouth, she needs to lock it up (envision thumb tucked into palm of hand) and put it in its cage (fingers wrapped around thumb). Jade really seemed interested in this and immediately started saying, "No thumb! Lock up in cage!". Precious.

But seriously, I was thinking this wouldn't last for long. She is a serious thumb sucker and has been forever:

But then she also brought in four cute stuffed animals, matching her jungle themed office. She told Jade that if she stopped sucking her thumb, she could come get one of them to take home to live with her. Jade quickly chose the Zebra, gave it many hugs and cuddles, and put it night-night until she could return.

As we left the office, we called all the relatives so they could share in her excitement of locking up her thumb in its cage as well as the impending addition of a striped friend to our family.

Her thumb was only disobedient a few times that day and I was pretty excited about her progress. That night though, Lily had a friend spend the night, and I ended up sleeping in the guest bed with Jade while Lily and Mia took over the bunks.

Oh. my. word.

It was like sleeping next to a nursing calf the whole night.

Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp. Pause. Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp. Pause.

And of course when she woke up, she was so proud of the fact that she hadn't sucked her thumb last night.

I gave it a few days and then called the dentist to inquire about how to stop an involuntary nighttime habit. She doesn't use any mouth devices until age 4 or 5, so she just advised us to really talk about it right before bed.

It seemed like Jade really understood. Her sweet response several times was, "But Mommy, I really want to suck my thumb!" Broke my heart.

Since then, Jade has asked about Zebra 35,729 times a day, and has TOTALLY stopped sucking her thumb. I have tip-toed into her room to peer in her bunk by the light of my cell phone countless suckling calf has been found.

The other way I know she really has given it up, is that it is taking her a little longer to fall asleep both at nap time and bedtime. But that doesn't bother me at all!

And tonight, Zebra will be able to keep her company as she drifts to sleep. We are going to pick him up today.

Both thumbs locked in their cages!

I am so proud of you sweet Jade.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just a little gardening adventure...

Spring has sprung here in Texas. We FINALLY are feeling a bit more settled in our new house and can tackle some outdoor chores. But to me, outdoor work really isn't a is FUN.

I have sooo much blogging to catch up on and I think I am getting back in the groove to finally do it. The last time I uploaded pictures from my camera, my yard looked like this:

Wait, that was just a few weeks ago! When I speak of catching up on blogging, I mean going back to last June. Like June of 2009, when we lived in a different city, went to a different church, and had different activities going on. There is just something in me that still wants to go back and recount some of the highlights. So, watch out!

Not today it is gorgeous and 70 degrees. Yesterday was equally pretty but a little windy and even chilly at times.

The pressure is on in the new 'hood...not to keep up with the Jones', but to keep up with the gardeners. That is my kind of pressure! Apparently the woman who lived here was a master gardener of sorts. We have had 3 separate neighbors approach us on 3 separate occasions singing the praises of her various gardens and trees both in front and back.

She was ill the latter part of her time here though and all we have inherited are a bunch of overgrown beds. We've been warned not to dig anything up until all the perennials come back, but this weekend I got antsy.

We have several beds both front and back. Some are raised and others are not. I am most excited that we have both shady and sunny spots...something I haven't had for several houses.

I decided to tackle a sunny one out front right where everyone turns in to head down the alley. Although it was not the biggest eyesore, it is definitely the one with the most eyes on it and seemed like a good place to start.

This is what I started with. I had put the pansies in a couple of weeks ago. At this point I had already hoed out most of the weeds and possibly some ground cover that was there on purpose. I wasn't sure and didn't like it, so it went away.

Getting them in position.

I picked mostly annuals but a few perennials as first time ever planting Iceland Poppies. Geraniums are my favorite because they bloom well into August here if you keep them cut and watered. My mom often planted snapdragons for us as kids and my girls enjoy them like I did. They are supposedly annuals, but I had them come back at our old house, so we'll see. The daffodils and pansies should be on their way out soon, but I'm hoping the marigolds and snapdragons last through the heat of summer. I planted two variations of Day Lily bulbs in the back center, another first for me. It looks kind of bare back there, but hopefully by June something will be showing up. I'll be keeping my receipt and packaging and taking Lowe's up on their "guaranteed to bloom" offer just in case.

All done!

And while I was having fun out front, my hubby was NOT having fun out back. Poor guy. One thing we lost with moving was STORAGE. In a serious way. We had a two car garage, a huge storage shed, an attic above the garage and an additional attic above the second story. Not to mention tons of internal storage...ALL completely chocked full of stuff. Quite disgusting actually.

We are doing some heart checking, definitely downsizing and purging, tossing and repurposing. But we are still resorting to building a storage shed out back.

I wish I had an after picture of it, but like I said, this project hasn't been fun at all.

Progress is being made though. And although it is after 7PM, it is still full light.

Praise God for Daylight Savings Time.

Now I've just got to break it to the girls that it is NOT a playhouse for them!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The hardest part of moving...

was not getting to bring our neighbors with us!

We picked up Mia earlier today though and are having a Monday night sleepover!

She and Lily are just 5 days apart and such good buddies. So far today they have been ballerinas and tappers and played ice cream and barber shop play doh.

Then little sis woke up just in time for painting.

Speaking of which, they probably could use some supervision...must run.

Here is a shot of Lily and Mia's first sleepover back in December before we moved.

That night consisted of hot cocoa and a Christmas light tour. They settled down around 11:00PM and were back up playing by 6:15AM. Hoping they will at least sleep in tomorrow!
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