Monday, February 28, 2011

When Jan Jan and Pop come to town...

A fashion show is sure to be had! :) We had such a great time with Jana and Russell this past weekend! It was way too short, but wonderful! John David's cousin, Ann, is getting married in Seaside in a little over a month and we could NOT be more excited!!! So, Jana brought some PRECIOUS dresses for Lyla to try on for the wedding, and of course she looked adorable in every single one! So, here you go, fashion show with Lyla...

(she loved twirling in each of the dresses!)

Such a little angel!!
You'll just have to wait till the wedding to see which ones we picked! :)

We spent a lot of time playing guitars and singing...and by "we", I mean John David, Jana, and Benji. I spent a lot of time thoroughly enjoying it. :)

Oh yeah. Lyla played along as well.

And, of course Jan Jan and Pop just soaked up time with Lyla:

Even playing in their pretend "house" under the table :)
Jan Jan and Pop, thanks so much for making the trip down!!
We love y'all so much!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Benji's Back!!

So, we had community group at our house last night, and just as we were wrapping things up, we hear a knock at the door. Boy, were we shocked and thrilled when we opened the door to this familiar face!!!
He had literally JUST flown in from Africa!
And surprised us!
Such a happy reunion!

For those of you that don't remember, we took in Benji to live with us for a while last semester. We lovingly began referring to him as our foster child. While he was here, I showed him one of my all-time favorite blogs, kisses from katie, and warned him that it would change his life. Because it's changed mine. And, if you click on it and read it yourself, it will change yours as well. Anyway, little did I know how true that would actually be for Benji! Shortly after he started reading the blog, he knew that God was calling him over there. And, he just returned from spending 2 months in Uganda. We stayed up till midnight hearing stories and laughing and crying. Needless to say, he had the most amazing 2 months ever and is actually back here to raise support so that he can return!! If anyone is interested, PLEASE come on board and let's send Benji back to Africa so that he can continue to serve the Lord there!!!

Here he is with letters that Katie's girls gave him before he left. So precious!!

Paleo Turning Point

My sister wrote the exact post I've been feeling lately. So, I'm going to echo her feelings on this fun little "diet" we've been doing. My brother kept telling me that although eating Paleo is hard in the beginning, he promised me it would be worth it in the end. And I've hung on for that reason only. If any of you are considering trying it (and I highly recommend it), just be encouraged that week 3 is the turning point! I for sure still have my hard moments, but within the past week, I've really turned a corner. I've gone from semi-despising it to absolutely loving and embracing it. This has everything to do with the fact that I feel GREAT! The first couple weeks, my body was literally going through a detox which no doubt lead to my irritability, sleepiness, and frustration. Our bodies are physically addicted to carbs and sugars, and my body (and my mood) hated me at first for not giving into them. But now, after 3 weeks, I truly just feel overall healthy, clean, more energized, and I actually crave those things less. I love the feeling of putting things into my body that I know will benefit me and not harm me. And I've really enjoyed being creative with my cooking. I've learned that I can really eat almost anything, I just have to tweak it in a paleo way. (example: if I'm craving chips, I just eat sweet potato chips instead. If I'm craving pancakes, I look up a recipe for paleo pancakes) It's kinda fun. And then I don't feel guilty eating them. Another thing I've enjoyed is that I'm not counting calories or watching my portions. I am able to eat all throughout the day, just as long as I'm choosing healthy things. Anyway, I had to document these feelings so that I can look back on it on the tough days and remind myself that this is worth it. :) Here are a few examples of what we've been eating:

Paleo tacos. I did tilapia and ground beef:
I was so proud of this homemade peach salsa I made. It was delicious!
And, of course yummy guacamole.
This has become a typical afternoon snack for me. Ants on a log. (made with Sunbutter) I literally feel like I'm in preschool again.
And I love it.
I totally made this next recipe up, and we both ended up loving it!
I made spaghetti squash to substitute noodles, and just sauteed a bunch of veggies and chicken with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. Then mixed it all up like a Pasta Primavera. It was actually yummy! And fun to experiment with!
And, of course, we added some sweet potato chips and the leftover guac.
Some apple paleo muffins. To be honest, they didn't have much flavor at all.
But, I've loved baking with my almond flour and trying different things.
I like having things like this on hand for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
A typical lunch:
SO, come on...who have I convinced?? Join me on this journey please!! The more the merrier!! :)

meet Pearl

Pearl is our new pet pig. She was a Valentines gift to Lyla from Papo and Cookie. But, she's especially near and dear to my heart because...
a. she's the cutest thing I've ever seen
b. she came from Seaside, FL which is where John David and I got married
c. I collected pigs my whole life and they are my favorite animal. Every birthday and Christmas, I ask John David for a pet pig. :)
But, until I get my real live pig, Pearl will do. I'm learning that Lyla is kinda slow to warm up to new things. She wasn't quite sure what she thought about Pearl at first, but now she loves her and plays with her all the time.

They watch TV together:
She wipes her nose when it's snotty:
gently places her in the stroller:
gives her kisses:
pushes her all around the house:
I just love seeing her love and nurture her like a little mommy:
I love this next pic. She was just happily playing with Pearl under the table while drinking her juice and so carefully balanced her sippy cup on the ledge. I love that she's admiring her work. Things like this let me see her little imagination and I love it.

And, of course, she takes breaks to read her Jesus Storybook Bible:
And to look cute:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Community Group Lake Trip

After my parents left on Saturday, we loaded up the car and headed to Branson for a little community group lake trip. I feel like I always say this, but we truly are SO thankful for this amazing group of friends. We have so much fun together!

All the girls that were able to go

after lots of playtime outside (throwing rocks, playing on the playground, riding around on the ranger, walking down to the lake, and running around...these filthy kiddos were ready for a bath!)
Tallis, Stella, and Lyla
so fun!!
And Dyer joined the bath party as well.

watching the sunset with their daddies

Giving Sawyer hugs

Toy Story time before bed: