Texas Tigers
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to school photos 2013

The alarms are set, bedtimes have been moved up. No longer are the sweet summer days of playing outside a little longer after dinner or why not when the littles ask for a living room picnic and watch a late night movie. Of course the excitement of the first day means that even though the first day outfits are picked out and everyone is tucked into bed - everyone had trouble falling asleep.

My big girl who was so looking forward and kept asking when school would start started having overtired doubts and changed her mind about being ready for school. Her brave face about how she'd still see her friends on the playground and on the bus ride home turned into sadness that her friends weren't in her class this year. Still I think she'll make new friends and have a great day. She did say her teacher was pretty. (And I have to agree - I really like the first impression I got from her teacher) I can't wait to hear all about her first day when she gets off the bus. I don't know if I should be happy I am not going to be waiting in the first day pick up line or sad while I wait for her to get home on the bus since she didn't want me to pick her up.

Now my sweet little guy has been very excited for months now that he gets to go to school this year. He'll be attending pre-school at the same pre-school Abby went went and even has the same teacher (who is still Abby's favorite teacher!) He doesn't start back until after labor day but it's so close! 

Were your littles ready for school? How did their first days go? 

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Friday, August 16, 2013

5 on Friday

Happy Friday ya'll! I'm linking up with 5 on Friday on Friday again.  Do ya'll have any big plans for the weekend?

- one - 
Did you know you can now print instagram photos at Walgreens? They had a code that expired yesterday for 40% off that I used to print a ton of my instagrams. It was simple to load the app onto the ipad, log into instagram and select the ones I wanted to print.  I'm so awful at getting pictures printed that I at least have these current ones for now and I want find a cute way to display them and since it's so easy to print I can easily swap out for new ones when I want to. 
- two - 
We are soaking up the last two weeks of summer around here. Reality that school is starting back hit when I kept seeing first day of school pictures all over Facebook and Instagram this week. On the way home from an evening swim Abby got this idea in her head we should go camping. Since I vetoed outdoor camping and we had no marshmallows to roast Abby came up with a plan to camp inside, she went as far as to determine where everyone would sleep and what we'd do. She was so excited about her plan that I just couldn't say no. So living room camping and a late night movie it was. It was fun and so cute to see her so excited about it. (Until the following night with an extreme overtired meltdown at bedtime from the exhaustion of a full day and not enough sleep the night before)
- three - 
Where did this big girl come from? Pigtails and not much of a baby face anymore. She has a very strong will, know what she wants and the terrible two tantrums are already starting. Yikes! Not so fast little one you've got 5 more months before two! 
- four- 
My friend let me borrow her awesome antique school desk to take back to school photos of my kids! I'm so excited to go play mom-tog/photographer in the coming week and have new pictures of the kids. Maybe I'll even get those printed for the wall? I'm mostly excited because I failed on getting a birthday set up for Micah near his birthday so this beginning of the school year shoot is overdue for him. I'm hoping they are cooperative and we get some nice shots! 

- five- 
Our gym is having a luau this weekend and I'm excited to go hang out with our gym friends and play in the pool. Now that Abby passed the swim test and can go down the slides, Micah is getting braver about swimming without his puddle jumper. He made it all the way across (short ways) this week! I love that our gym puts an emphasis on family and has all these fun events for us to attend. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting to know you: Texas Woman Bloggers

Welcome to my little corner of the internet ya'll!

I'm linking up for the getting to know you link up with the Texas Women Bloggers so we can get to know each other a little more Q&A style. To start with this is my sweet, crazy little family.

Getting to Know You Link Party with the Texas Women Bloggers

1. What part of Texas do you call home?
Home for us is South Texas. The Texas Women Bloggers puts us in the South Texas Plains. To be exact San Antonio is where we've called home for the past 6 years. We love it here and I don't see us from from it any time soon even though Louisiana might also be my first home we are very happy here.

2. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging back when my oldest was 6 months so I've been blogging for 6 1/2 years now since she just turned 7. 

3. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to supply out of town family with pictures of the very first grandbaby. I discovered I was pretty awful at keeping my oldest's baby book up to date (and she was only 6 months old!) so I figured if I could blog it I'd at least have a record to look back on. So far that's worked out very nicely and I plan on taking those posts and making them into a book at some point. 

4. When we visit your blog, what can we expect to discover?
Let's see-  a little bit of a lot of things - chaos? Ha! I blog about the kids a lot, some baking, crafts, different adventures around the city and a tiny bit of a lot of other stuff. 

5. How did you come up with your Blog Title and what is its meaning?
This blog started out as just being about my daughter. As we added more kids to our family, I had to come up with a new name since it wasn't all about her anymore. By that point we were in Texas and it was football season and we were missing our LSU Tigers so that's how I came up with Texas Tigers. LSU Tiger fans living in Texas.

6. What do you love about being part of Texas Women Bloggers?
I love connecting with all the amazing women that are part of this network and it's great that even though Texas is huge with all the blog conferences, events ect. that happen around Texas it's not unlikely that maybe one day I could meet some of ya'll. 

7. Who inspires you to blog?
Keeping up with the events I don't want to forget when my kids are older is what keeps me blogging. We've also got an awesome, creative, talented group of San Antonio bloggers that inspire me with all the amazing things they are doing blog-wise. It's incredible to have such local talent to learn from and the friendships from that group are fabulous as well.

8. If you could pick a favorite blog post from this past year, what would it be?
Let's see I'm still loving the pictures I took of my kids at my Aunt's wedding with the baby goat. (You aren't crazy you read that right - there was a goat at the reception) I also love that I was able to remember and successfully document my littlest first 12 months as she grew so I love her 12 month recap with all the pictures of her first 12 months.  I also love how her cookies and milk party came out. All that to say it's nearly impossible to pick a favorite post. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to get to meet ya'll as well!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

birthday cake macarons

I've been seeing all sorts of yummy macaron flavors floating around the internet and at various bakeries and I couldn't resist trying a new flavor to bring on our team leader retreat last weekend. The hubs was not happy with me of course for making this goodness and not letting him eat more than two! I would have made more but that would have required another trip to the store for more almond flour. So now I owe him another batch this week. I've already got a flavor in mind for those but you'll have to wait and see for those. 
I ended up adapting a couple different macaron recipes to come up with these. My mom took a macaron class in Paris while they were living there and that's typically my go-to for the shells.  I found this recipe from Oh My Pancake that I used for my starting point. Since my go-to has never failed me recipe calls for an even almond flour to powder sugar ratio I adapted this one a little bit. 

Here's what I ended up with: 
110 grams of egg whites
150 grams almond flour 
175 grams of powder sugar 
28 grams of granulate sugar for the meringue 
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp vanilla extract 

If you've never made macarons before Oh So Very Pretty has an awesome tutorial.  

1. Combine the almond powder and powder sugar. If you have a sifter you have sift them together. I usually just whisk them together. Set aside 

2.  Beat the egg whites, adding in the granulated sugar when it gets foamy, add the vanilla as you continue to beat the eggs. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the eggs until they are white, glossy and hold a stiff peak. 

3. Gently fold in the mixture of almond flour and powdered sugar until it is combined. You want it to be ribbon like when you raise the spatula. Be careful not to over mix it. 

4. Add the mixture into a piping bag (or ziplock) with a no. 11 piping tip. 

5. Pipe the batter into small circles on parchment paper or a silpat. Having a template to use underneath the parchment/silpat is very handy at this point. You can make this using a shot glass or other small round circle. This will keep your shells an even size. 

6. Let the shells sit and form a skin over them - I usually let them sit for about an hour. I added the sprinkles after about 30 minutes so they would not break the skin and fall into the shell but instead sit on top. 

7. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. You'll want to keep an eye on them until you know your oven and how hot it runs to see you if you need to adjust this. 

8. While the shells sit and cool make the filling. 

For the filling I used a recipe from With Lovely  along with the Oh My Pancakes one as my starting point. 

2 sticks of butter
1 cup of cake mix 
A splash of milk 
Powdered sugar to taste 

9. Beat this up in the mixer and put it in a piping bag with same size tip as before. 

10. Make up similar sized shells and pipe filling on the inside of one of the shells and pair it up with the one you've matched it up with. Continue until you have matched up and filled all your shells. 


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OHC Fit to Fight for our Families

Over the weekend our Church launched our fall sermon series for all our campuses and services. And we didn't just start with a fresh sermon, we started it in a big way. Our Church has several campuses and each of those has several services. To launch our series, celebrate 55 years as a Church and 25 years of Max Lucado being our pastor, 10,000(ish) members gathered together in the AT&T center.

Abby was able to sing in the children's choir and not only did they get to sing but they were able to sing with our guest worship leader - Stephan Curtis Chapman. They sang one of his songs Children of God.   It was a once in a lifetime type of experience for Abby (even though she has no clue!)

We were there Saturday evening for rehearsal. It's hard to see but Abby is on the front row in a yellow shirt.
Sunday morning we were there early to get all the kids sat down together and our seats up in front to be near them. For the performance Abby ended up smack in the middle behind the keyboard singer and Ms Selma who was leading the choir, add in the middle school and high school ribbon twirlers and you couldn't see Abby on the stage except on the screens for the camera angles.
Here's a view from above taken by my friend Wendy. The kids are all on the back risers and you can see all the spotlights on Stephan Curtis Chapman (and him up on the screen on the side) 
Lexie says thank you for the goldfish in the kids goody bag! (Psst can you spot Max Lucado and see how close we were to the stage) Of course being so close to the stage was not a good thing when we got to hour 3 of being there and Lexie had a massive tantrum over wanting the communion juice. It was not an easy quick exit when I had to get Micah, tantruming Lexie, and Abby up those stairs you see in the bottom right of that picture to head to the cry room!
So we watched the remainder of the service from the cry room. (aka the suite boxes) Well tried to watch anyway - because we were there early and service was long with extra worship time to allow everyone time to get in and seated. The kids were very antsy by hour 3 of sitting. We made it through to the end and the moment they were waiting for - the glow sticks. 

Each glow stick represents a resolve from our Church members to strengthen our families and the families in our neighborhood around us.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
And one more from our Church facebook page. 
This fall our Church is committed to strengthening our families and those around us. If you are in the San Antonio area - you can see the schedule of sermons here and find a campus near you if you'd like to join us in this awesome series. 

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Friday, August 09, 2013

5 on Friday

I'm linking up with Darci and her friends this week for a '5 on Friday' post. 

- ONE - 
I'm getting nervous. This morning I'm leaving on a retreat with some of my Bibleland ladies and leaving my babies behind (with Daddy) for a little over 24 hours. I haven't been kid-less for that long a time since I had Abby. So in 7 years the only times I've been kid-less was for the few hours in the hospital before having a new baby. I'm excited but nervous about how Alexis will do. Abby and Micah were older before I left them overnight. I think she'll do okay at bedtime (though she might be exhausted from not napping because I don't know how she'll nap for Daddy!) but her early morning 3-6 am wake up might be shocking when she usually moves from her bed to mine and I'm not there. Daddy is excited for all this time alone with his littles so that makes me worry a lot less.

- TWO - 
It's been awhile since I made a batch of macarons. I think it was Christmas when I went overboard and made 4 varieties in one morning to bring to our Bibleland Christmas party. I've seen so many tasty varieties lately that I had to test out a new variety. It was a tough choice but I settled on a cake batter one since our wedding anniversary was this week and Abby's 7th birthday was last week. They turned out so tasty! Super sweet though but isn't that true about birthday cake too? I plan on blogging the recipe next week. 
Of course since I'm taking these to share on a retreat the hubs is pouting that he only got two. So I guess I'm making more soon. I'm thinking cookie butter ones shall be next! 

- THREE - 
Micah had his first gymnastics class yesterday. He's been watching sister head off to gymnastics every week for a year and was so excited he finally got to go. He was the youngest in his class and at the beginning the teacher was a little worried he wouldn't have the strength for some of the moves and might need to move down a level (they have a 3-4 class and a 4-5 class - this was the 4-5s) At the end, she said he could move down if we wanted an earlier time slot but was impressed with his upper body strength and said he could stay at this level if I wanted him to.  Beau (being male) wasn't all on board with gymnastics lessons for his son (though this time slot ended up being all boys!) but was proud that I was told he was strong. I of course had to point out it's easier to be strong when you only weigh 28 lbs! He's also had lots of upper body strength practice with the rock wall at the gym. 
I also have to brag because his teach also commented on how polite he was and that he was one of the only ones that helped to put things back where they went when he was done. 

- FOUR -
It's so hot here lately 8 of the last 10 days have hit over 100 degrees. (Being in Alaska for the finish of the Texas 4000 would be pretty darn good about now!) I'm more than ready for fall - football, fall clothes (boots!), being able to play outside without sweating as much. The stores are obviously ready for fall. They didn't seem to get the memo that here in Texas we aren't ready for long sleeves for another few months. It's making back to school shopping much more difficult as 75% of the fall clothes have long sleeves which isn't going to work. Doesn't make me want to shop for actual fall clothes any less! 

- FIVE -  
I'm proud of my sweet big girl as well. Last week they were looking for a few more kids to join the kids choir that will sing a song this weekend in front of the whole Church and she agreed to go try out rehearsal and is going to sing. I knew she'd love the singing part as we'd been listening to the same two VBS songs over and over and over in the car with her singing along but I wasn't sure how'd she'd feel about being in front of everyone. She did well in rehearsal. Of course it might be a shock on Saturday at the next practice and Sunday morning. See when I say in front of the whole Church, I really mean the whole Church. Instead of the Saturday service, 3 Sunday services at our Campus + services at various campuses around town we are having one huge service downtown at the AT&T center with everyone at one time. It was awesome last time and I expect this time to be amazing as well - Stephen Curtis Chapman is going back to lead worship as well. The only thing I'm worried about is how the littlest will do sitting in 'big' Church - and no retreating to the nursing room (the suites) since we'll be sitting with the kids choir.

Happy Friday ya'll!  

Texas Women Bloggers

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

I'm going to miss this

19 months and still going strong with our nursing relationship. The first three-six weeks of nursing with Abby were rough (it's all a blur now!) but with Micah and Alexis it came pretty easily. I've been blessed in that we never had any real struggles with weight gain (in the beginning at least), over/under supply. My babies may have never willingly taken a bottle to let mommy leave them for longer than they could last between feedings but that was something we could easily deal with. 

However, sadly, I'm beginning to think their may be an end in sight. Abby and Micah were addicts... serious addicts. Lexie isn't showing quite that same tendency. Like any nursling there are times she'll throw a fit to nurse when she is sleepy but doesn't really want to sleep. However at nap and night time she all the sudden in the past few weeks has decided that she doesn't want to nurse and rock to sleep like we have for her entire first 18 months of life. Bedtime now instead of laying a sweet sleeping baby down in her bed, she is going into her bed awake, playing the whole throw everything out of bed (twice!) before laying down and putting herself to sleep. 99% of that was her choice. She's showing signs of starting to self-wean, something Abby and Micah had to be encouraged to do. Life will be different without the cure-all that is breastfeeding - no magic milk for boo-boos, pink eye, a quick way to quiet a tantrum-ing toddler. But thankfully we aren't there yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for this stage to end. 

She's growing up. She's not staying my little baby any more. She was already showing how 'big' she was in her toddler ways while she was playing and copying everything sister and brother do. But bedtime I could still cuddle my sweet babe, rock her to sleep and enjoy the quiet listening to her sleepy breathing. Now it's only at nap time, and not even every nap lately that I get to breathe in that sweetness. Time enjoying my last baby. 

I'm going to miss this. 

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Championship Village

The last week of July was VBS round two - the elementary aged kids turn. Of course with a large Church to have enough volunteers to run the VBS, we provide childcare and a mini-VBS for the little ones. Which means all hands on deck! We spent the week before decorating - it's a lot of work but so worth it to see the resulting transformation. I call it 'decorate ALL all things week' because that's what we do. Even the crib and stroller get decked out for the babies to ride in up to Praise and Worship time. 
Our theme for the week is Championship Village and all the different tents we different countries. Our nursery babies downstairs were Team USA and Abby's tent was Spain. Our memory verse and theme for the week was Be a Difference Maker "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
Praise and worship time was held all together with catchy songs Abby is still singing. 

Then both upstairs and downstairs with our Team USA, we rotated through various stations. A track time for running races. Here Abby's at the soccer station, in the background is the hockey station. 
The little ones (kinder and younger) rotated through stations including races, a ball room, obstacle course, bubbles/water table/chalk, a bounce house 
and the room I was in charge of The Souvenir Shop
We made Scuplty clay medals with heart thumbprints and also pennant banners with their pictures. As well they were able to write/color a Christmas card to send to a solider. 
The last night we went upstairs twice - once for the Praise and Worship and once for the closing ceremonies. It was a long last night but a lot of fun. 
And now we recover before doing it all again next year! 

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