Friday, September 28, 2007

There are two reasons I wanted to post the picture above:
1. Because Carter does not have one of his beloved pacifiers in his mouth (that's for you mom and dad).

2. Because seeing Dan has become somewhat of a rare occasion. I snapped this a couple days ago in our next door neighbors driveway. Dan works in an amazing school district... but that also means he has a lot of meetings and trainings outside of the normal school day (this week that includes Saturday). He has been gone so much this week that Carter has started to wave goodbye anytime Dan leaves the room. So sad!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I know I have probably explained how close we live to the middle school, high school, and district offices... but for all of you who have never been by the house before... this story will give you a little perspective.

Our backyard is only fenced on two sides. We actually have an alley that runs behind our house and is the entrance to our driveway which is in the backyard. It's nice because the alley is not paved after our backyard... so no other cars drive behind our house. No cars is great... but foot traffic is another issue. The middle school and high school kids can shave a little time off their walk by cutting through the alley and our backyard. That means that at about 7:30am and 3:30pm we have anywhere from 15 to 30 kids walking in our yard. It's not a huge deal (especially since a couple of the guys that live here now used to do the same thing)... but can be a little annoying at times. Now to the story... Yesterday, Dan was upstairs getting ready for school. He started down the stairs to get his stuff and noticed one of his students in our side yard throwing a stick at our neighbor's dog. From the kitchen I could hear Dan pounding on the window for the kid to stop. His next stop was the front porch where he stopped the kid to ask what in the world he was doing. I've never taught... but I can imagine that teachers probably don't like having to have "talks" with their students (in their front yard) first thing in the morning.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'd like to say that I'm an original home decorator... but the truth is that I "borrow" a lot of my ideas. Right now I don't think I even have any idea generating power. Chasing after a one year old all day while trying to keep the schedules of four other people straight will do that to you. My desk near the kitchen has become a command center of sorts. I actually don't know if I could manage without having my computer calendar within 5 steps of me at all times. This is one of the main reasons that we decided to set up our desk in the main part of the house rather than our bedroom... that and the fact that there is no way we could have fit our desk in there. I say OUR desk... but over the past 10 months it has really become MY desk. I do the bills, schedules, and coordination of different Joe's stuff... so I have kind of taken over. Every couple weeks Dan asks if there is any way we can set up some sort of table in our room so he can have some office space of his own (where he can also be alone). My answer has always been no because there really is NO room. That was until a couple days ago when I got my nifty new trial issue of Domino magazine (thanks to Audrey, Julie, and Rebecca for telling me about it). Domino is like Real Simple... except it really is simple and affordable. Here is one of the first pictures I saw:

I couldn't believe it... an office in a closet! Dan was excited to try it out... so today we spent a lot of time organizing our clothes so that we could fit the clothes we actually wear into one side of our closet. Everything that we haven't worn in the last two weeks went into tubs that fit under our bed. Later in the afternoon we stopped by an Antique Store around the corner from our house and found an amazing deal on a matching desk and chair. The really amazing part is that you can leave the chair in the closet and still open and close both doors with no problem at all.

View from the hallway:

View from the bathroom:

Dan's new office:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some friends who used to go to Crossroads commented on a picture recently about how much kids at our church have grown since they lived here. That comment made me think of how much has also changed in our little town over the last two years. So... here are some pictures of changes in Maplewood for all you former St. Louis and Crossroads folks. I also have a bit of trivia for you... one of these buildings housed the Crossroads office during the time we met at the High School.


Bouffant Daddy

Closet Company

Cooper Ella Cafe: We spend a lot of time here. They sell Kaldi's coffee and have an awesome indoor play area.

Carter on his favorite toy at Cooper Ella today:

Cooper Ella Patio

Jive and Wail Piano Bar


Monday, September 17, 2007

It has arrived!! About a week ago my mom mailed the Brio train set that I used to play with when I was little. In the last couple months Carter has become obsessed with anything that has wheels. We were so excited when the mailman dropped it off this morning. Thanks, Mom!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It is finally beginning to feel like Fall. It's amazing how much temperatures can change in a week. We decided to head out of town again this weekend to do a little more camping. Last weekend we didn't even sleep in our sleeping bags because it was so hot. This weekend we couldn't get warm enough... but we'll take the cold weather over the hot any day. We camped in Hawn State Park. It's a great place because there is plenty of hiking and there are some camp sites that you can walk into so you feel like you are actually in the wilderness.

A little one on one in the backyard this afternoon. I was so excited to put a sweater on Carter today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sometimes I don't do a good job of showing a picture of what our lives are really like. Sometimes it's because I am just so tired... like Tuesday when we had 20 extra people in and around our house at different times of the day. There are also times though that I just want to cry when I think of this amazing place that we are living right now. Our family has changed in a way that I never would have imagined... and we are so thankful for that... tiredness and all.

This is a somewhat typical evening at our house. A sport is always played at some point after dinner... it's just usually played outside, not in the living room.

Here are Steven, Fred, and Jose' after football practice Thursday. I had to beg them to let me take this.

Carter camped for the first time this weekend at our church retreat. We were supposed to camp both nights... but the Woita's graciously allowed us to crash in their room Friday night because of the pouring rain outside.

Amanda took this picture (she actually took all of these retreat pics) of some of the horses on the property. The place where we stay each year is beautiful.

Carter hanging out with Manna Lindman and Chloe Brouwer at the water slide.

At the top of the slide with Daddy...

and the bottom.

Swinging before we left on Sunday.

Carter was so tired he just crashed in Amanda's lap. Just to tell you what an amazing church family we have... Audrey took Carter Saturday morning so we could sleep in and Amanda took him Sunday morning.

The guys football game was canceled because of the rain on Friday... we were happy because it was rescheduled for Monday. I snapped this shot of the High School/Middle School building while we were at the game Monday.

We beat Brentwood by a lot... I can't remember the score but our JV team was even able to score on their Varsity team.

Carter brushing his teeth before bedtime last night.

Basketball in the backyard on Tuesday. It was our guys and Dan against some Middle Schoolers that live close by.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I shouldn't be sitting at the computer right now since we are heading out of town for our church retreat in a couple hours... but I couldn't help posting what Carter's latest obsession caused today. This a picture of him yesterday with his favorite thing... keys.

He doesn't spend much time in one place... but he will actually stand for 10 minutes at this cabinet putting the keys in the lock. He is so obsessed with keys that we made him his own key ring (complete with real keys, remote lock, and everything) so he wouldn't be so focused on finding ours. Anyways... the man we bought our car from had a remote start system installed. That's probably the reason Carter would rather play with our keys. It didn't take him long to figure out how to start the car and make the alarm go off. Each of those consists of pushing buttons more than one time. Today we had an early morning appointment. I brought Carter everything he needed to keep him occupied. We parked in the garage and took an elevator up to the office. It didn't take Carter long to start to melt down... so I gave him my keys. I thought there was no way the remote could reach the car since we were so far away. I was wrong... when we walked down to the car about 45 minutes later the car was running, lights were on, and windshield wipers were going. I guess I've learned my lesson. He's just so busy. When we stopped by the church office later today he got a jolly rancher stuck in the back of our administrative assistant's computer speaker.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Carter insists on feeding himself now... and really doesn't do too bad. Here he is eating with his big boy fork from Aunt Jan and Alex.

The rest of these pictures are from today. He has started to look so grown up. I couldn't help taking some more pics of him in his new Vans. It's amazing how much he changes from week to week. He has become so vocal. We have no idea what he is saying... but our conversations go on and on.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I cannot believe how quickly things have gotten busy since school started. We are already into our third week with the guys back... crazy!!! Fred, Jose', and Steven are all on the football team... so we are looking forward to watching their Friday night games. They won their first game on Friday. Seth is playing soccer in a league outside of the school team and is also working.

We got a break from all of our busy schedules this weekend when some of our best friends from Seminary came to visit. Toby, Ellie, Ada, and Machen drove up from Atlanta Friday afternoon. I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did this weekend in a really long time. It was so great to spend a couple days with them. Labor Day weekend is our annual get together with the Riggs and Allen families. The 6 of us were able to spend some time together on Saturday night. We are looking forward to the time when Amelia is out of the hospital and we can all be together. Here are some pictures from the weekend...

Carter and Ada hanging out with "Uncle Dan" Saturday morning.

Carter and Ada sharing a snack. Ellie has the better picture of them "sharing" on her camera. Saturday morning Carter found Fruit Loops in our cupboard and Ada nicely poured them in a bowl for the two of them to share. We were laughing so hard that we had to take a picture before we took it away.

The girls on Saturday night...

Giving our husbands a smooch...

Steve's brother, Andrew, and his family were also with us on Saturday. Andrew let Dan check out his iPhone.

We spent some time at a local park Sunday afternoon. Carter does this new thing where he likes to run down the slide instead of sitting on his bottom. We thought it was funny at first... but now he tries to do it even when we are not at the bottom. We're trying to work on it.

Sweet Ada Francis. Thanks for making the drive you guys!!!