Thursday, December 31, 2009

Root Beer Floats

New Year's Eve is also a time to have my favorite Root Beer Floats. It is a tradition that started with my mom and one that I can't bring in the New Year without a Root Beer Float. This is no exception.

As I think back on 2009, I see a year of new beginnings, adventures and of course growth. We had a great year and I was able to visit two new places for the first time. San Fransisco to see my brother receive his Ph.D. and to Florida to experience Disney through the eyes of my child. On both trips Jeff and I flew together. I find it kind of funny that we have been married all this time and this was the first year that we flew together. Our normal mode of transportation is driving. We have logged lots of hours driving but not this year.

Mickey has grown up a lot this year. She started the year unsure of being in a classroom by herself and ended the year being fully confident going to preschool all by herself. "All by herself" is also a theme in our house lately. She is so excited to do things all by herself and I am happy to see her accomplish things. I find myself looking at her and wondering just when did she grow up? Time seems to have gone by very quickly since she has been born. I have been blessed to be able to stay home with her and experience her life with her. I am thankful everyday, even those days when I am overwhelmed and tired that I get to be a Stay At Home Mom.

I am looking forward to see what 2010 brings us and meeting our new member of the family.

So Happy New Year!!! and hope you can enjoy a root beer float. ;)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today, Jeff and I celebrate our 9th year of marriage.

It is hard to believe at times that I met him 16 1/2 years ago. I was going to Houston to work at the Baptist Mission Centers for the summer. He was already there and working at the mission centers. I was scared out of mind and wondering what in the world I was doing in Houston of all places. I had seen him and talked to him a little throughout the first week. I was so out of my comfort zone.

Then on that Saturday, I think it was, he came up to me and asked me "How old are you?" I said 19. He then said come with me. And out of that brief interaction we became friends. Romantic, huh??

We worked with both college and high school missionaries. He needed someone to go with him but wanted to make sure he asked someone who wasn't in high school. So I was there and I was the one who would go with him that day. Jeff is reading this and probably wondering how I remember such details. I don't know, I just do.

Anyway, so on we went to the pick up and we met a lonely lady who really wanted someone to talk to and we were it. He treated her so kindly and with such warmth. So much so she was ready to marry him off to her daughter. Jeff and I talked about our life on the way to and from her house, which is really how we became friends. We would spend the summer eating lunch or dinner together. We often would find ourselves mentoring the young high school kids. We built a friendship together by ministering with each other.

Then the summer ended.... and we went on our separate ways. I sent him a letter that never got to him and he well, never wrote. Then I returned the following summer much more aware of what I was getting into and was surprised to find my old friend there. Our friendship continued and grew deeper. I was dealing with the death of my grandfather which really disrupted my world. We found ourselves eating dinner with each other and our friendship grew.

Time came to say good-bye again. He volunteered to me to the airport and vowed to write this time. He did. Over the years I would I would get phone calls and letters and again our friendship grew.

I returned to Houston one last time and this time my friend was not there. But he surprised me on several occasions that he would drive up from where he was living at the time to see me. He was coming for different reasons but always made it a point to see me. He wanted to make sure I had a friend there that he introduced me to a friend of his.

Then I left Houston, again. We lost contact. Then out of the blue when I was at Seminary, he wrote me again. This time we had a new invention called email to use. What a lovely thing that was. We would write at least once a day. We would call. In short, our friendship deepened. Then by December we saw each other for the first time in years. Then in March we were engaged and by the next December we were married.

Who marries someone that they never dated??? I guess we do. We had a great friendship that we built and we knew that we loved each other and that we wanted to spend our lives together.

Our married life has continued our friendship. We have had some tough things that we had to walk through and thankfully we chose to walk through them together. Those tough times was not in our own relationship but outside circumstances. That if we had allowed them to could have hurt our relationship. But through our love for each other and because of our faith we have only grown stronger.

We have a beautiful child together and are expecting our second child. One thing that I love about my husband is that he is a wonderful daddy. The next thing that I love is that he is my biggest supporter and willing and wanting to back me up on any of my adventures. I only hope is that I give back to him as much as he has given me.

I am truly a blessed woman to have such a loving, caring man as my best friend and husband.

Love you Jeff

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sea World 2009

I am slowly going through all the photos we took on our vacation. Here are some photos from our day at Sea World. We had a lot of fun. I have to say that the dolphins are still Mickey's favorite. Mickey will still tell me that she likes dolphins.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tamales

My family has a great tradition of making tamales on the 23rd of December. It is a great time to get together and share in a lot of work with a yummy outcome. I enjoy my family and love it when I get the opportunity to join them.

Here are a few pictures to show you the process

auntie lin inspecting
Inspecting the Ojas (Corn Husks)

Uncle Andy Mixing
Mixing the Masa (it is a lot which is why he uses a drill)

Zaya cleaning ojas
He is washing the ojas

Masa
Masa is ready for spreading

Spreading Masa
Spreading the Masa

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Tamales ready to be filled

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The Red Chili that goes into the Tamales


Lin Syl

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Filling the tamales

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Tamales


Grammie

Putting Hot Water onto the tamales getting ready to cook them.



Happy Birthday, Jeff!!!

My hubby does not like to make a big deal about his birthday. But I wanted to take the time to wish him a Happy Birthday. I am thankful for him and who he is to those that he loves in his life. He has been a friend to me for 16 1/2 years and I could not have found a better friend than him. He has been a wonderful husband and father. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a part of his life. I love you, Jeff and I wish you a wonderful year full of blessings. Happy Birthday!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mickey!!

My baby is now 4. I look at her sometimes and still see my sweet baby the day she was born. Other times I look at her and see how much she is growing and realize that she is not a baby anymore. She will often tell me that she is not my baby but Grammie's baby. Today she gave me the best Christmas gift, she said, "Momma, I'm your baby". I love my sweet girl.

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P.S. I normally do a slideshow of her year in review, but it is going to come later due to technical difficulties with my computer. ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poll Added

A question that people have asked me after I tell them that I am pregnant is "Do you know what it is yet". I have had many conversations with various people who give me their take on what they think my baby is going to be. I have way more conversations due to my little girl telling EVERYONE that there is a baby in my tummy.

Mickey's guess is that it is a boy: Because she thinks all babies are born boys.

Random lady at Disney World says it is a boy: Because of the way I held out my hands when she asked to see them.

Jeff thinks it is a boy because this pregnancy has been soooo different and because he would like to another male in our household. He is the ONLY guy in the house, even our dogs are females. ;)

Ultrasound Lady : I had an early ultrasound and she told me "Children and Grandmother's always know.

Me: Well, I will let you know in a later post.

So tell me what your guess is. Make sure you post on the poll. I will let you know when I have my next ultrasound and if we have any results at that time.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Photos of Characters

I am beginning to go through all the photos of our trip to Disney. I look back on the trip and know that we had a blast. Every day Mickey has a new favorite memory. Yesterday we took these pictures plus a few others and put them in a photo album for her. She was absolutely in love with it. She loves looking at photo albums so this was just great for her. So don't be surprised when you visit with Mickey that she will sit you down and share her experience with you. When you look at the video remember to look for the one with Mulan. Remember she had a break down right before we met her and she declared that she was her favorite princess. I don't think that it shows. Do you??

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Princess Mickey

Today is the day we are on our way home and end our fantastic family vacation. Yesterday we got Mickey's hair done and she absolutely loved the experience. On our way back to the hotel last we had this interaction....

Mickey: "I feel so beautiful today"
Daddy & Momma: "That is because you are!"
Mickey: "Really, Yippee!!"

I need to share more of the experience but will wait until I get home and can get the pictures together to share them with you. I can't wait to share all about our experience, but let me leave you with the finished product. Here is my little girl in all of her beauty. I think that she is beautiful everyday but yesterday (and today because she slept with her hair up) she felt more like a princess than ever. :)

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Oh and today she gets to go eat breakfast with the princesses before we go home. A great way to end the week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Posing for Pictures

One thing that I am learning is that Mickey does not pose well for photos. She is beautiful and photogenic but posing for pictures is not really her thing. She loves to interact with all the characters that she is meeting (well most of them) but posing for pictures well I think that at times she could do without. But this is Disney and her chance to pose with all the characters. So we are doing it. Though I think that sometimes her faces in these pictures make me laugh. At times we are too close to the bigger characters such as Goofy and her eyes are on them to make sure they don't get her. Other times she looks like she is not enjoying herself at all. Today she had a meltdown right before we met Mulan. Mulan asked her who her favorite princess was and Mickey's answer is "You are" in the most pathetic voice ever imagined. The picture looks like we are forcing her to meet her favorite princess.

I have to admit and it is probably one of the reasons why I hate having my picture taken is that I do not pose well for pictures. I have these weird faces that I am seeing because at times I am taking all these character pictures with Mickey because she needs me there to meet her characters. So I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree, now does it.

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Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom

We have been really busy on our vacation. I think the thing that I have liked the best is that we are all together, enjoying something new for the first time together. My little girl is on sensory overload experiencing so many new things, meeting new characters, and being a little terrified at times.

Terrified???

Yes, terrified. I have learned that we keep things pretty simple at my house. When we watch a movie, Momma will fast forward the scary parts. So life is always fun and simple. When you attend a live show at one of these parks, even of a movie that she knows ALL THE SONGS TO, you can't fast forward the show. And you can't get up and leave either. So even though the shows are larger than life they are not working for us. It is just too frightening for our little one. We went to a "movie" with Donald Duck which is 3D and that freaked her out! Poor Donald Duck when she met him yesterday (after the movie experience the day before) she was so out of sorts with the bird that she was afraid he was going to reach out and get her. She eventually warmed up to him when she realized he was a nice guy who was a forest ranger and and took care of the animals. And as a side note Mickey hid her eyes through most of the Lion King show and just wanted to leave. But this morning is singing all of the Lion King songs that she heard yesterday. Hmmm... what does a mom to do?

Let's see what did she love? LOTS! She liked the teacups, dumbo ride, It's a small world, the Safari adventure and the bird show. Oh and we can't forget meeting all the fun characters. Let me tell you sometimes she likes some more than others. Some of them can be pretty big which I think that can be overwhelming when you are the size of a little almost 4 year old.

Here are a few pictures that I can share before we get home.... Hope you enjoy!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

SeaWorld

We went to Sea World yesterday. It was a very good but exhausting day. As I write this Mickey has been asleep for 12 hours. This is unheard of but she gave it all yesterday. She watched the shows with awe and wonder. Amazing to see this through the eyes of my own child, I can say there is nothing better. When asked what her favorite part of the day was she immediately said the penguins. But I can tell you she liked the dolphins, Clyde and Seymore and watching Elmo celebrate Christmas also. She is at the perfect age to experience all of this.

I will post pictures once we get though the week and I have a chance to go through them. But I wanted to share some memorable quotes from my dear child.

At the dolphin show they also had birds and some people flying in the air. One of them was dressed up like a bird. Towards the end of the show Mickey leans over to me and tells me "Momma that isn't really a bird it is just a human dressed up." Good to know that was a human up there. ;)
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Then last night when I was laying down with her while she was falling asleep. She tells me "Momma I want to meet Mickey Mouse and take a picture with him. I also want to go up on stage." My daughter is already dreaming about the ways she entertain the masses. Silly girl. So today we are off to take a picture with Mickey Mouse.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Florida

We traveled all day yesterday to get to Florida. Mickey was so excited the night before that she woke up at 2:30 all ready to start her day. It was a long travel day but she did really well. I think that the excitement of going to Disney World was all that she needed to carry her through. She made quick friends at the airport while waiting for our airplane. I am so thankful for the lady who seemed to be having a great conversation with a certain four year who told her all her exciting news. Including that "her baby was in her momma's tummy". On our connecting flight she was just too excited to finish watching her Monkey George movie that she decided counting and blasting off was much more fun. I am sure her excitement was much more enjoyable than the screaming child in back of us. My heart went out to the parents who were doing everything they could to comfort that child who just didn't want to be in the air.

Today we are headed to Sea World. I am excited to see Mickey see the Okra's and Dolphins. She checked out a book at the library all about them and is able to pick them out and tell you all about them. So I am sure she is going to have a great day!

P.S. I am sorry if this post is all over the place. I just woke up and wanted to get down my memories of yesterday before I forgot them. I am not a morning person though and my brain tends to have lots of randomness in the morning. ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snow Day

I woke up this morning to shrieks and shrills of my daughter saying "It's snowing momma!" We waited all day yesterday for it to snow and it didn't snow. So first thing my daughter did this morning is go and open up the blinds and looked out the window (something she does on a regular basis). She saw snow falling. She was soooo excited. We went out and saw the little bit of snow that was in the garden. I am not sure if it can really be called snow but it was good enough for my daughter so I am calling it snow. :) She ran through the backyard singing "I love snow, I love snow" Then this little one had to take off her gloves so that she could touch it. Oh boy was it cold. To end the cold morning we came in and momma made some hot cocoa. It was a good morning even if she didn't get to experience making a snow man. Someday we will be in area where she will be able to do that, but for now she throughly loved and enjoyed her experience.