San Antonio Do Seum Where Children DO!

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Today was our second trip to the Do Seum. This children’s museum is pretty cool and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually enjoy museums. Everything is very “hands on” so it’s been perfect for Audrey. One thing I’ve noticed here that I haven’t seen at any other children’s museums would be the ‘baby rooms’. They have plenty of things for older (walking) children to entertain themselves with, but they also have areas specific for crawlers. Obviously that’s a wonderful idea for mothers with multiple children because you can find something for any age.

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Audrey is a very independent child. When she’s playing she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. For the most part she likes for me to sit and watch while she goes off to explore. This usually means that I’m stuck standing by the stroller or sitting on the ground somewhere. At the Do Seum they did a good job of sneaking in seating areas for parents. In my opinion they still need more because I can see it being inconvenient on a busy day. The outdoor areas are very nice. Audrey was having so much fun playing in the water areas today while I sat in the shade. Unfortunately any bench by mulch was home to ant hills. I was bit several times before I moved to the covered concrete part. I do think they should have created a splash fountain for kids to run though. They are already getting soaked in the water attractions so why not go all out.

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Audrey’s favorite area of course is Little Town. It’s a city for children under 5 and an employee guards the gate to make sure children are confined until their parents leave with them. This little town has a grocery store, veterinary clinic, food truck, post office, and even an airplane! We spend most of our time in that little room of chaos. I think my favorite part is that we can bring in food! I can’t stand the “no outside food or beverage” rule. The Do Seum has a little café that sells pizza, wraps, and other things for under $10. I haven’t eaten there yet but it smells yummy. I always prefer to pack our meals to save money. We bought the Do Seum membership so I think we’ll be spending a lot of time there this year. It’s always nice to have a place to take children when the weather outside isn’t nice.

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http://www.thedoseum.org/

Shrimp and Italian Sausage Pasta

Ingredients

Italian Sausage
Small tail off shrimp
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1/2 – 1 cup evaporated milk
Olive oil (I use truffle oil)
Whatever noodle you choose
Italian Seasoning
Oregano
4-6 garlic cloves
1 Onion

Chop your onion and garlic. Slice your Italian sausages. Heat some oil in a skillet and cook the Italian sausage until it is half way, then add the onion and garlic. Add 2 TBS Italian seasoning and 1 TBS Oregano. Once everything is cooked together for a few minutes set the sausage aside. Sautee you shrimp in a pan with 1 TBS chopped garlic.

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In a large sauce pan heat the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the Italian sausage that you set aside earlier. Cover the pot and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the evaporated milk. Add as much or as little as you like. I prefer a creamier sauce so I usually add 1 cup.

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Cook the noodles. I like to toss mine with my truffle oil after I strain it, completely optional.

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Now just top your pasta with the sauce and add some shrimp. ENJOY!

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How God Speaks To Us

Growing up I’ve always been in awe of people who have seen the Lord or heard from him. I believe that God speaks to everyone and its up to the person to be willing to listen. I have had encounters where I just KNEW that God had sent it to me. Sometimes it was a feeling, other times it was something I was reading but I knew it was God placing it in front of me. Tom and I have had a lot of life changing decisions over the last year. All of these things happened all at once, and came to a head all at once. Now that we are at the end of a lot of these things I feel excited but also scared. It takes practice to trust God and to listen to what he’s telling you. I’ve realized that a lot of times we ignore “gut feelings”. We label them as just emotions and nothing more. But I believe that this is just another way that God speaks to us. I used to think there was nothing behind these feelings until recently and now I pay a lot more attention to what they could mean. God doesn’t just speak to people audibly and visually, he uses all of our senses. We have to become more sensitive to the ways He speaks to us.

Today is a big day for us. We have been praying about it for over a year. I have been working on strengthening my faith and being sensitive to God speaking to me, whatever way he chooses. It has been HARD to curb my thinking, and like any bad habit it takes time to break. I don’t know what the outcome of this day will bring, but I know that God spoke directly me today. I don’t want to get into details about the situation, but we have been dealing with some legal issues for a while. Tom and I have worked together on all the decisions regarding these issues, and today we trusted God to lead us where we needed to go. Although I felt peaceful in the morning, as the day went on doubt started to creep in. I started to worry more (which we know does NO good) so I decided to refocus my energy on reading. Lately when I feel doubt I always bring up “Trusting God Day by Day” written by Joyce Meyer. Well at this time I was praying to God to speak to me about how I could push this doubt out of my mind and replace it with peace. I typed a search for “fear” in my book (on my iphone) to see what there was regarding this emotion. I didn’t choose the first result or even the second, my fingers were led to the one God had for me.

My last thought was “God please protect us through this”, and to this God answered You Have Nothing to Worry About“. As soon as I read those words I was settled. I KNEW they were for me. It was an amazing moment for me that I just HAD to share. I took a screen shot to show you:

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I think God has really used Joyce Meyer and her ministries to speak to his children. We don’t know how God will use us to bless others but Joyce Meyer has been a blessing to me by writing this devotional. I hope any of you who need a little ‘pick me up’ will read this and be encouraged that God IS speaking, we just have to practice listening.

Exhausted!

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Here is an update on our ever stressful life. I have been working on getting our house ready to list the last two weeks. It’s been so much work on very little sleep. I was painting, packing, cleaning, scrubbing, polishing, vacuuming, washing, lifting, and chasing a rowdy 2 year old around. Audrey added 10 times the work load. I would pack a box full of stuff and walk away to grab more……..well by the time I would come back the little munchkin had emptied them!!!!! I had to then move these very heavy boxes into the garage so the house would look pristine for showings, only to have Audrey follow behind me to lock me IN THE GARAGE. I boiled water and scrubbed the porch to clear spider webs and bird poop, I noticed Audrey being quiet and she had spilled a whole sippy cup of milk on the freshly mopped wood floors. I had no idea how much work this would be and I can’t believe I did it! Now that I worked so hard to get this house PERFECT, I have to keep it that way. I have a bedspread that I use only for showings and Audrey will take it off every chance she gets. She loves the mini throw pillow that she lovingly calls “Aude pillow”. So when I am not sweeping her crumbs in the kitchen or polishing furniture, I am constantly searching cabinets and rooms for this “Aude pillow”. I paid $340 to have window cleaners come and lately I’ve noticed that any window Audrey height has lip and finger prints. The other day I caught her licking the window!!!!! On top of all of this she has become obsessed with taking cushions off of the couches………

How did I birth the busiest baby ever!? I am convinced that she is what I get because I wasn’t an easy baby. I constantly pray that my next one is simple. I would love to have a baby that – sleeps, takes a bottle, isn’t 8lbs at birth, likes the carseat instead of screaming for HOURS (really I had no idea how a newborn baby could even have the energy to scream the whole 3 hr car ride with NO breaks), actually cried like a baby instead of shriek like a pterodactyl, says “momma” earlier than 16 months lol. I don’t think I can survive another Audrey.

BUT thank you Lord! The house IS finally listed and we are tying up other future determining issues. Our prospects look good for all our upcoming battles though. I am happy to report that my daily devotional – Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer had been a Godsend. It’s still difficult not to let emotions get entangled with the web of malignant negative thinking, but since I have been reading this devotional it’s a lot easier to remind myself that God is in control. One of the recent devotionals was all about how God lives in us and you have to ask the question “Is it comfortable for Him to live there?” Any negativity that is effecting you will make his home in you a lot less comfortable. So lately it’s been nice to focus on calming any storms that arise. It still takes effort not to slip into negative thoughts, but it’s a lot easier when I get reminded daily through my devotional. It’s good to be on God’s side because he is victorious.

Halloween 2014

This was Audrey’s FIRST time trick or treating. She didn’t know what she was doing in the beginning. She would hold her basket out and say “please” only because we told her to, but by the end of the night she greeted every house with a “tik or teek!”. She even practiced saying “Tank yooo” after she received her candy. This little girl man. She didn’t have to take a step all night. She was passed around between Makayla, Tom, and myself. How great is that? You go trick or treating and you don’t have to walk yourself! It was so cold tonight though. This whole week was shorts weather but today it decided to be winter……. IMG_0899 IMG_0934

Happy Second Birthday Audrey!

Audrey turned 2 on October 4th. It’s funny because so many people across the world wish her happy birthday and they’ve been apart of our life since she was born…….most of them we’ve never met! I love having blog family! This is the life Audrey will be familiar with. When she makes friends in school she’ll think it’s weird that her friends DON’T have viewers all over the world who know them. This will be her normal because she’s known the blog world since she was born. It’s so cute too because she knows how to take my camera and start filming. She loves to take selfies at the moment. I love flipping through the pictures on the camera and finding her selfies haha. Sometimes she’ll zoom up so close that you just see nostril or eyeball. What a fun year it has been. Audrey went from being a cute 1 year old baby to a running, jumping, talking toddler. I really enjoyed this last year because she just grew up so fast. Every week she picked up something new. I must give Dora The Explorer a lot of the credit! Audrey has learned so much from watching that show. The last 2 weeks I have been seeing more glimpses of the “terrible twos” and I am scared. She’s a lot more…….bipolar now. Tantrums are just around the corner, well at least with me. The funny thing is, she’s a different baby with other people. I’ve noticed that she is the most difficult for me. I just don’t understand it, maybe its because I’m the person she’s with 99% of the time? She is definitely better behaved with others, even Tom.

We decided to have Audrey’s birthday here in AZ. Most of my family lives here and we thought it would be nice to let them celebrate with Audrey. Since she is now no longer a lap baby I don’t know when she’ll see them next. Tickets are just so expensive so it was nice when she was a lap child. We came back to AZ to visit quite often. I can’t even count how many times Audrey has been on an airplane. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to 100. We’ve flown with this girl since she was 3 weeks old. I remember she was pretty easy to fly with during breastfeeding, but once she started to crawl it was pretty rough for a while. She really never liked anyone holding her so once she figured out how to move on her own she didn’t want anyone to touch her. Luckily after a few months it got better because she started to be more distracted with food and kid shows on the ipad. But at 15 months she started to become difficult again for a while. The ipad would bore her quickly and she couldn’t entertain herself by coloring or books yet. Now at 2 years old flying is still rough but I am looking forward to having my own seat! It’s hard with a lap baby. You always have to be on your A game and you can’t relax at all. The last couple flights have been really bad. She hates being strapped down and she bores easily so a plane is basically torture. But then set an independent baby on her parents lap for a few hours and it’s amplified times 10. She’s had temper tantrums on the last 4 flights she’s been on…..yikes. I hope she’ll grown out of the tantrum phase soon. She’s really good at them…….but I’m equally as good at ignoring them.

Oh our sweet baby girl isn’t such a baby anymore. I can’t say that I miss those “baby” years yet. I miss parts of them but I wouldn’t want to send Audrey back in time. I just enjoy her so much at any age. Its so much fun to have conversations with her now. I can understand about 30% of what she says and it’s just adorable. She’s repeating everything she hears. I love when she copies “Oh Man!”. But then that also means we have to be very careful with what we say around her. Tom has to really watch it because he doesn’t filter his bad words well. She’s already picked up the lovely 4 letter word that starts with S and ends T from him. She hardly ever says it though – thank God. It’s so nice that I can say “I love you” and she’ll say “I love you too momma” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. So cute!

Belgium!

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Hello from Europe! The last 3 days we were in Brussels, Belgium. How exciting right…..well it was wet but fun. We enjoyed out bus tour and saw all there was to see. Of course we had Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles! WOW they were so good actually. I am not even a fan of chocolate but this stuff was good. A medium size box was a whopping 65 Euros!!! WHAT! I know, that is crazy expensive. There are literally dozens of chocolate shops all over the place. It’s hard to choose which one to go to. Today was fun. We made our way from our hostel in Brussels to the train station to head to Amsterdam. My cousin Katrina basically killed her bag. She pulled the handle off so she ended up tying a sports bra onto it in order to pull it. After asking several people which train to take and which way to go, we eventually found our way to Amsterdam. We got to our apartment which wasn’t ready yet, so we waited outside. We ended up making friends with some of the neighbors………well they tried to make friends with us more likely. Honestly Brussels was pretty crazy when it came to the men. They literally would howl at us as we walked down the street. And the constant, OBVIOUS staring was a little intense. Anyways, back to Amsterdam. We are here now and our apartment is very nice…..once it was ready for us. The cute little owner greeted us and actually helped us with our bags. He was very friendly and my cousins were flirting with him. They actually invited him out with us. So now we are here! Updates coming soon! xoxo – xo

June Loves!

Here are my June fav’s for you guys. I have a lot of stuff to show you. I forgot to add one thing though……my Honeywell Humidifier! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I have never owned such a great humidifier. It literally will take a large room from 30% to 50% humidity in less than an hour. It did cost a pretty penny – $85, but if you consider that I have to buy a new $50 humidifier every year then it’s pretty good (if it lasts). The cheaper humidifiers would mysteriously stop working at about a year. It’s manufacturers probably work together to make sure people keep buying new ones every year. I don’t know how long this one will last but if it works well for a year before I have to replace it then it’s worth it to me.

Pool Fun Saturday

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Today we took Audrey to the water park by us. There is a wonderful kids area for the little ones to play at. Its very affordable too. We ate there at the concession stand, but they also allow you to bring your own food and drinks. We had a great time and the pass lasts all day. Audrey is so particular about getting wet. She doesn’t like getting sprayed or splashed. This girl has known what she wants since day one. That personality trait will be good for her throughout her life.