Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009!
I hope this year finds new hope in Christ, new adventures, and a more joyful look upon life.
I know that's what I want!
As John Piper says in his book, Desiring God, "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever."
May we all do this together in 2009.
Happy New Year! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas Birthday Girl

I received one of the sweetest, most precious bundle of joy 7 years ago today.
My sweet girl Addie Noel.
It has been some of the best memories of Christmas yet as my water broke on Christmas night 2001 at 11:00 pm and she made her grand entrance the next morning 4 hours later. At 4:30 am, I held my first girl, my first child, my first miracle of God's creation of me and Ryan woven together to make this girl. A girl named Addie that's is so gentle and merciful.
I am grateful to you this day my Christmas child.
Happy 7th Birthday Addie!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

Yes, snow in League City TX! It was absolutely beautiful and quite fun for the girls. :) I couldn't believe it snowed for 5 hours and stuck. The miracle only God could give us all down here in the tropical land of South Texas. In fact, its been the best Christmas gift ever for the girls to have and I am so grateful they experienced it.
It was quite a sight to see!
Well, take a look....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out Numbered

Just when I turned my back for 5 minutes to go get the pj's and lotion.... this happened.

Annalise dumps an entire bottle of Suave shampoo in the bathtub!

I officially felt out numbered as Ryan was not home to help out with bath time.
So tell me, what do you think? Was I out numbered?????

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I remember just 2 weeks ago I was walking hand in hand with Ryan downtown Nashville. I remember the great music we heard, the good food we ate, and most of all the memories made. We had so much fun at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the Hermitage, the Belle Meade Plantation, and just the local eats and hot spots.
What I remember most is walking with our hands held together, coldness in the air as we could see our breaths, and the snow flurries that fell on us as we walked together.
I remember, it was romantic.
I finally took time today to throw together a quick video of our snapshots from Nashville.
I want to go back! I will go back!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome Home?????

AHHH, its always nice to come home from a long holiday with family until you see this.....

Yes, the laundry pile that awaits you. Yikes, 3 huge mounds of dirtiness! Not fun nonetheless but I will simply do it because the huge mounds are worth the work. :)

It was a super fun Thanksgiving holiday break. It started off so wonderful as Ryan and I made our 10 year trip to Nashville. (post coming soon) Then, back home for 2 days to decorate the home for Christmas, wash and pack and load back up and head to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for Thanksgiving. It has been such a fun, memorable past couple of weeks that I am so thankful for. Over the Thanksgiving break, my aunt had won tickets to an ice sculpture show at The Gaylord Texan (huge hotel in Grapevine, TX) and we made it a girls night out. My mom, sister, me, 3 aunts, and my 19 yr old cousin went to have dinner before in the Gaylord, very fancy and then off to the ice show. It was so neat and simply incredible! I loved the manger scene at the very end which was stunning to see carved in ice. The funniest part might have been when me, my mom, my sister, and cousin slid down the ice slide. :) So cool...well, literally as it was 9 degrees in this place and you had to wear these parkas to stay warm. BRRRR!!!

Another highlight to my holiday week was a lunch date with my best friend from high school. We hadn't seen each other in 12 years and it was like things hadn't changed one bit. I am so grateful for facebook as it reconnected us all these years. Now, a trip to see mom and dad will include my dear friend Lindsay. Sweet times remembered and new ones made as I saw so many family members and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I really look forward to the Advent season as we celebrate our Savior and His birth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

O Happy Day

Well, today I am officially 33 years old!
Yes, Happy Birthday to me. :) As turning 30 was a hard year for me, I have come to enjoy the years that have followed. It seems life gets more fun, adventurous, joyful, laughter filled, and precious memories swelling up inside.
I love my birthday and the time of year it happens to fall on and around. FALL, one of my favorite seasons and the time of year you get to be with family and laugh, and laugh, and eat, and eat! Its joyous and I am grateful for what it brings. This year my birthday has fallen before Thanksgiving so I truly have gotten to spend time with just the girls and Ryan today. It was special. Today we spent the whole afternoon and evening putting up our Christmas decorations and decorating the girls trees, and pulling out the stockings while Christmas music played in the background. Its been awesome and refreshing! I loved it and so did the girls. :)
Here a few pics of them decorating their tree.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A New Tradition

Old Town Spring, that is!!!! Well, if you live down in the Houston area or Bay Area, it is a must see. When, we first moved down here to League City 6 years ago, a friend kept telling me how cool this "Old Town Spring" was and all the shops, and food, and shops, and food. You get the picture! :) Anyway, last year Ryan and I finally made a trip to Spring, Texas which is on the North side of Houston. It was amazing and so much fun. You see, I am such a Fredericksburg, Texas lover and always will be but this had such a feel of Fredericksburg with the unique, specialty shops made of old houses lining 2 streets. This sure can make a momma happy! Last December, Ryan and I went all by ourselves and found this little German food and gifts shop. It was so cool! It had chocolate and gifts, and more chocolates to buy that were from Germany. Then, Yes..just want I wanted for the girls. I found an Advent calendar for kids with little Germany chocolates inside. I was so excited to buy this for the girls as I had an Advent calendar almost every year growing up and that was one thing I remember looking forward to during Christmas. The girls loved doing it every day last year counting down the days until Christmas! It was so cute because my little sweet, candy lover Avery never forgot that we were to open a door for a chocolate!
Well, this year we made a trip back to Old Town Spring and one of the last shops we went into was the famous German shop. Yep, we bought 3 advent calendars for the girls and this year, they got to pick which one they wanted. We had family in town this weekend so we decided to take them to Old Town Spring so we had the whole gang with us. BTW...we only lost Annalise once! That's a miracle since her nickname from me is bullet!!! Anyway, I decided on our journey home that this was it, my new tradition for my girls. We would go to Old Town Spring and shop and get our yearly advent calendars for Christmas! :) Makes me smile just typing this out. It was a good day and quite chilly for South Texas. I loved it!

Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Week

Yes, a week from today I will be holding my mans hand walking around to the sights and sounds of Nashville, Tennessee. Yea-and the best part of our trip is that I googled the weather to see just what a girl is to wear and YEEEESSSS, its going to be cold- 52 during the day and upper 30's at night. I love the cold and often realize that God has a sense of humor since I live by Galveston Bay and its like warm tropical weather almost year round! So, now its time for me to pull out the jeans and boots, some layers of clothes, and those jacket vests that sit in your closet and you might wear once. Woohoo! This South Texan is ready for the northern blue skies. I can't wait as this is our long awaited 10 year trip. A time together without our 3 precious girls, a time to remember, a time to make memories, and a time to share our new adventures and dreams of our next 10+ years together.
So here is a big shout out to Grammy (my mom) who is watching, loving on the girls and holding down the fort while we go. Thanks mom! I couldn't go and have fun without your love and support for me and the girls.
Stay tuned for more is to come from Nashville, music city!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

5 Conversations

To my blog roll of this blog spot is Virtue Alert by Vicki Courtney. She is an incredible talented woman who loves the Lord, has 3 kids of her own, and has created a ministry for teen girls and their moms. I was introduced to her by Ryan who told me about an interesting article and instantly I was hooked. I enjoyed her humor, her knowledge, her love for growing godly girls, and her personal experience of raising both girls and boys. Well, after following her blog community for months she has launched her long awaited book called 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter. Yea-when I first heard and read about her new book it was in June and I couldn't wait to pick it up as its about raising godly girls from the cradle to college. Its here, and she is creating a book read club through her blog ( where you can follow. I am joining and really can't wait to be mentored in an area of raising godly girls as these tween and teen years will be upon me fast.
Another exciting adventure I am joining is the jr high girly ministry that's in its first stages of development. I am leading out this book club with jr high moms and anyone else who wants to commit to reading the book, following Vicki Courtney's blog, pray for each other's girls, and a chance for us moms of girls to communicate and share our deepest struggles, challenges, or most fruitful growth of our girls. I am truly scared and excited as launching this in jr high ministry is already showing a sign of great success. Within 2 days of the email going out to all jr high parents, I have 21 moms that have contacted me via email that reads, "count me in" or "this is so exciting and I need all the help I can get." Yea- I am thrilled to commit myself and join this new journey. So, here is what I need from you. Please pray for me when I come across your mind. I want God to use me in a way that I can help facilitate a group of moms who have committed to this book read. Join the journey if you have a girl. There are moms of girls with all ages so come and bring friends. I have a good feeling God will do some amazing things!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Soap Box

I have to tell you about my soap box that I got on the other day with Ryan. Poor guy just looked at me like a deer in headlights and then would say yes, I know. Well, I don't know if he really knows or understands but it was nice to get it off my chest so I could move on and have a good day. :)
Here it is....Do any of you like me get a little overwhelmed with all the fundraisers and constant asking of money from the school systems? Ok.. I said it and it sounds so tacky but hear me out for a minute. In just the past 2 weeks, my girls backpacks have been full of info on fundraising and sending in money for certain things. For example, Addie has 2 fundraisers going on right now, A Fun Run and selling butter breads. Yikes! Last week was Halloween so I sent in money for the party plus money for the Zoo field trip in December and the week before that was school pictures. Then, this week they send home Scholastic Book orders. I sound like a grumpy mommy but seriously..I feel like weekly I am sending in money for something and this doesn't even include Avery's preschool stuff! I went on and on to Ryan about how I want to be a huge supporter of Addie's school and will always participate in the activities but it does take a toll on me. Being on a single income, we watch all pennies and sometimes I just have to say no. This month it was Scholastic book orders and I had to convince myself that it was ok. Just part of my personality, but I hate for it to "look" like I am not supporting the school. Ryan convinced me that its ok and really Addie's teacher would completely understand as she is a single mom herself. So, thats my soapbox! Can someone adjust my attitude please or say they understand or offer any advice??? Your input would help my self worth here!! he he :D
Thanks for listening and letting me vent one last time as I am off to print out pictures for school project for Addie! Ha ha :) Cha-ching!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My 5 Year Old!

Happy 5th Birthday Avery!

I can't believe my 8 lb, chunky monkey, no ankle little girl turned 5 years old yesterday! I love how she has definitely been my girl that has changed the most in personality and looks. She was my chunk a love with black hair and grew into this major meltdown 2 year old, then into this more reserved, sweet, tender hearted girl who has brought so much joy to my life.

I am so proud of her and thankful for this life that God has given me to help develop into HIS precious princess.

Avery had a great birthday this year. We started the celebration at Grammy's house and Aunt Melissa's. (2 of her favorite people) We treated all the girls and Chandler and Berkley to High School Musical 3 and then ended the celebration with Halloween cookie baking and presents.
At home, we celebrated with more friends and family and carved our pumpkins for Halloween.
It was a special day and I just love my little pumpkin girl.

Happy Birthday Avery,

We love you so Much!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moms of Daughters

I have decided to read a book that peeked my interest early this summer but wasn't due to release until November. YIPEE...November is upon us and the book will soon be in my hands. The book titled...5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney. I landed on Vicki Courtney after Ryan introduced me to her website in which she gives up to date happenings in the teen world mostly on girls but does talk about boys too. Her experience and knowledge of the tween and teen years are incredible. The moment I read the first entry on her website, I was hooked. I follow her constantly and now with the release of her new book on daughters and conversations you must have, it captured my attention quickly. Its hard for me to believe that one of my own daughters is not that far away from being in the tween years as she turns 7 this December. With 2 other girls right behind her, I wanted to read this book and take time to open this book and find out just what I can do as my girls go from cradle to college. Vicki Courtney has also launched a blog community that you can interact with her and leave your thoughts, ideas, struggles, etc on topics that are seriously struggles for our girls in this culture. If you don't read the book, hop on over to Vicki's website and read all her virtue alerts. She's very insightful and has tons of experience on the youth culture today but in a godly way.
So, please let me know if you decide to join in the journey and read this book and follow Vicki's blog community. It will be fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Keepsake

On Sunday, I saw Addie busy as a bee at the table writing and drawing. I didn't bother to look over her, as she loves to sit and do arts and crafts, coloring, or simply write notes to friends. Later that day, I noticed she had posted her learning sheet from Creek Kids (kids program from church) on our refrigerator along with a note card. I read the note card and I couldn't believe what she had written on the note card. Its so special and dear to my heart, a true treasure. :) It was joyful and loving and most of all sweet, sweet words of Jesus- A Keepsake.
I'll keep it on the refrigerator for awhile but I will tuck it away in a safe place so she can read it when she is 10, 14, 18, and some day to her children. I took a picture and I'll translate for you her sentences. Enjoy...its so special.

I Love Jesus
I Love God
My Mom and dad
I Love My sisters
I Love My Cousins!
and my Friends.
What do you want For U?
I want Jesus and God
So I could listen to God
and Jesus God is
special to my heart
Jesus is special in my
heart My mommy is in
my heart My sisters in my heart

Monday, October 20, 2008

The BIG decision is made!!!

Yes, the big decision being what in the world the girls would like to be for Halloween. After 2 weeks of going back and forth, I finally told the girls last week that they had to make a decision and it be final. This mommy needed to get the costumes or at least accessories before supplies flew off the supermarket shelves. Well, Avery and Annalise finally decided on cats. Avery wanted the leopard looking cat and Annalise picked out the black and white cat. Addie on the other hand, you know my big thinker, very serious girl made sure she knew what she wanted because there was no turning back. So after a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader or Gabrielle from HSM, she landed on Sharpay from HSM. Addie's biggest concern now was how are we going to make her hair blonde. :) I knew that $9.99 Hannah Montana wig would come in handy again! Daddy worked out some knots and frizzes and I told her that I would try and pull it up or at least make a pony tail so it wouldn't look like Hanna's hair. If it doesn't work, I told her we could spray paint her hair blonde.
She was pleased and so was I for only spending $35 dollars for the Halloween costumes.
Stay tuned for pics as we will be hitting the pumpkin patch this weekend and trunk or treating.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I was Inspired

So I decided to go darker on my hair! My neighbor darkened her hair and it looked so good so it got me thinking...hmmm... my natural hair color is quite darker than the top layer. Hmmm...I won't have the skunk look in the middle of my head hmmm... I need to do it today!
So it was darkened this morning! :)

I like it and it does seem to match my eyebrows better. he he
Here it is.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Productivity & Creativity

Ahhhh...its Sunday night, the kids have been in bed since 8:00, the kitchen is cleaned and Ryan and I have already chatted and now its time to sit. I love Sunday afternoons especially after a very busy Saturday like I had yesterday afternoon. I specifically stayed in my pjs until 12:00 because I knew my afternoon was going to fly by super fast once my first commitment lined up. Lets see, I had a wedding shower to go to at 2:00, then a birthday party from 3-4:30, next off to drop food at Baycliff for Lighthouse Ministries, and last and final stop was at a friend's house for dinner as our new "prospective" youth pastor was in town and we had a dinner for people to meet him. Whew, that was Saturday and today I had nothing except church this morning.
Last night though, I felt this itch to be productive in my house. So, this afternoon, the playroom was my first tackle as I reorganized and moved things around. Next, I just cleaned because well it needed it! :) Then, I sat in our guest bathroom and finally figured out how and what I would like to do to it to make it look more modern. I have to admit that I was watching HGTV and they gave such great ideas to how you can update a bathroom without spending a fortune.
Hmmm, I put on my creative hat and decided some ways to start working on our house starting with the girls/guest bathroom. I love decorating and fixing our house. Its fun although as I get working on it and decorating my list keeps getting longer. Does that happen to anyone? You start a project and then you start seeing and wanting to do other things to your home and then the list keeps getting longer and longer and longer.
Ask me how to update your bathroom without spending a lot of money. I know just what to do and can't wait to get started on ours. Stay tuned. I'll try and post pics once the project begins. My goal....Before the Holidays! :) Will happen, probably not but I'll try. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The 10 Year Trip, Finally!

Well, when you have 3 girls and a very busy husband who is the ministry, time and life fly by so quickly! Ryan and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in May, yes like 6 months ago and we are just now getting around to finalizing plans because so much has taken place over the months. Let me rewind a little.... we celebrated in May with a wonderful, romantic dinner at Perry's Steakhouse in Clear Lake. Can I say very, very nice with fantastic food, yum, yum. Then, summer was upon us and it was the end of school and Ryan quickly was off to youth camp with the kids. He came back and we took a group to SLU 101 to San Antonio then its July. All my side of the family came in for the 4th of July and then a week later, we left for Washington DC for SLU 201. Hang with me here, now its the end of July and Ryan's side of the family comes down and spends a week with us which now knocks us into August and Addie and Avery are taking swim lessons. So, now its August and really, really hot and we start to discuss places we may go and started searching the net. Now, hurricane peak season is upon us and our focus totally turns to what is brewing in the Gulf. August 25th and Addie is starting 1st grade, Avery is off to 3 day Pre-K and Ryan is in full swing with Fall series for church. And me? So glad you asked... I am the queen at trying to keep on top of schedules, lunches, and dinner, potty training, and just being mommy and wife, friend, and child of God. September is now upon us and yes the famous hurricane IKE is headed our way at least to Texas. A week later its being forecasted that it will hit Corpus Christi which is still South of us but close none the less but wait the forecast has changed again, and again, and yet once more putting Clear Lake and League City getting a direct hit. Yikes, we were outta here and evacuated to my parents in the Dallas area. September- here and gone due to IKE.

Well, Ryan is being trained to become a speaker for Planet Wisdom so he can go around to different areas and speak to parents about the current culture of youth. The conference is in Nashville and Ryan made a quick mention that I should go with him. Perfect! Nashville was on our list anyway so we are booking it today. We will be gone a Wednesday-Thursday in November. He will be in a conference Th. and Friday morning so I am just going to hit the downtown area and shop, maybe get a massage, maybe sleep because I have no kids or just hang out at a park and enjoy an area that really does have a Fall and Winter. Ha :)
He finishes Friday by lunch time so we will hit the town together and have the rest of Friday and all day Saturday. We might get in some country dancing because I heard the night life is incredible. Yea, we are excited.
There ya have it, our journey to how and why we planned Nashville. Stay tuned for pictures later. Its sure to be a great trip together.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Annalise Turns 3!

We can't believe my baby is 3! Wow, time really does fly by fast when you are having fun. Yes, we are having fun with little Annalise. We love her sweet yet crazy personality! It keeps us laughing all the time. So, we dedicate this post to our baby. We love you Annalise.
(her birthday was yesterday but didn't have time to post pics of her big day) :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Chance to be a Neighbor

I am wanting to take time once again to share my thoughts and views of whats happened to our area just 2 weeks ago. Ryan and I took time today to help feed 1000 or more people who drove by in their cars by a FEMA pod area so we could help serve a hot lunch on their way to pick up free ice and water and cleaning supplies. It was so good to be serving hands to these hurricane victims who lost so much. It was good to see my girls be serving hands and put bread out on plates after plates after plates.
After our time there, Ryan took me to some of the areas he has been helping out this whole week ripping out sheet rock, moving debris to the curb, and so much more. I was silent once again as to see so many people's homes after homes just destroyed. Its simply heartbreaking.

The difference with hurricane Ike and hurricane Katrina is that the Red Cross had received millions of dollars for hurricane Katrina. Three years later, hurricane Ike hits and the Red Cross has received only thousands for this disaster. Its troubling to me. Its troubling that people have said, it was only a category 2 storm but simply forgot it was the size of Texas and at one time took up 80% of the gulf. Its troubling to me that my neighbors are back to normal. They fixed their fences and roofs and have re landscaped and to my knowledge seemed to almost forget what has happened to our neighbors just 5-10 miles away.

Those homes and families are anything but normal. Its troubling.

Ryan and I were talking on our way over to San Leon to serve the hot lunch today and we were talking about Jesus and the parable of the good Samaritan found in Luke. Here it reads....

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the law? he replied. Jesus says, "How do you read it?" He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your soul and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus replies, "you have answered correctly. Do this and you will live."

But the expert in the law wanted to know, "who is my neighbor?"

This is when Jesus goes on to the tell the story of the good Samaritan a story I am sure many are familiar with. What I find so interesting is the Jesus never answers the man's question but simply tells the parable and in return asks the man a question. He says,

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus tells him,

"Go and do likewise."

So as we are all trying to move forward and and get a routine back or some type of normalcy to our lives, I pray that I would remember this parable. I pray that I would show mercy to my Seabrook, Kemah, San Leon, Clear Lake Shores, Baycliff neighbors. I would be the neighbor who knows God's words and commandments to go and do likewise.

I found this video through our local news website that I wanted to share. Its a chance to give to the Red Cross and to remember their efforts in disasters such as hurricane Ike. Or you can give to, a website set up by our church to help and keep people informed of the many needs that still need to happen to make this area complete again.
Thanks for listening to my rambles today.

Get a tissue, this video is special.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yikes its IKE!

An actual picture of hurricane Ike. A friend at church, her son-in-law's friend took this picture.
It is absolutely amazing to see it coming in!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Encouraged today by this song.

Held by Natalie Grant
Contemporary Christian Music Video

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One Week

Its hard to believe that just a week ago, my family was glued to the tv watching live coverage on hurricane IKE . Now my family is experiencing the devastation in our own town seeing neighborhoods after neighborhoods throwing their belongings to the curb, watch cranes pull boats off of other boats, watch once pretty green trees and palms lay on the side of the roads or streets, or trees that literally are in shock and have shed their leaves, or maybe its the Kemah Boardwalk completely destroyed with debris all over it, or its the semi-trucks that are passing out ice and water, or the national guard around amongst you like you are in a war zone. I could continue on with what our eyes are witnessing and how overwhelming the feeling becomes.
I can't even explain or describe the feeling with what my eyes have seen over the past days upon returning to my home. I am grateful for the minimal damage on my personal home and quickly realized stuff is just stuff and can be gone in a heartbeat. Its like you always know that but until you see homes missing, sections of communities gone, or an entire inside of a home sitting on a curb waiting for trash pick up, it becomes a quick reality.
So today...what a difference a week can make. There is progress going on and you see so many neighbors helping other neighbors, church's launching rescue relief, and so much more. Even in the small things as clothes donations and cooking meals is making a difference in someones life. I pray my small deeds of servant hands are felt with what I can do.
May we all be the hands and feet to those in need during the aftermath of this hurricane.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wisdom and Wings

I haven't officially informed my readers my September memory verse for the month. I wanted to do something with joy or wisdom. Ryan put out a challenge to his leaders and encouraged a verse on wisdom in proverbs so I thought I would join in on that challenge and memorize that verse. So, here it is, my memory verse for September.

"He who walks with the wise is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Then, there is the famous song by Mark Harris "Find your Wings" that has become a favorite. I keep ranting and raving about it because its exactly what I am feeling these days as my sweet babies are turning into sweet girls super fast! So, I thought I would share the song here so you could enjoy it with me. :)

Find Your Wings - Mark Harris
How time flies raising children

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Happenings

If keeping up with 4 schedules is not enough (Annalise doesn't count yet), hurricanes, potty training, head colds, and everything in between has consumed my life over the past weeks!
Whew, its been a whirl wind around the Prater posse. As of 2 weeks ago, Annalise is officially potty trained meaning poop and pee pee! YES- thanks to the bribe of going to the ZOO to see animals, she pulled through for me. :) One of my motherly goals was to have her potty trained my the time she turned 3 so we are right on track. Makes this mommy happy!
Next, we would have these ever occurring hurricanes that keep moving into the Gulf and make for a constant watch. Seriously, this has been a little draining as we have been emotionally strained whether or not to evacuate or is it coming toward us, or do I have everything ready to go just in case, etc, etc.
Then, we would have our normal routine with Ryan's work schedule and church events, Addie heading to first grade, and now Avery in preschool. 3 different schedules makes a full calendar pretty quick and that doesn't even include my meetings, friend times, coffee, date with my husband, etc. So, the happenings have been a little crazy but don't let that fool you. I have joy deep down which shouts excitement a new season is around the corner, my time memorizing God's word, and an exciting adventure I feel God is moving in our family.
The happenings of the Prater posse continue and this mom is just holding on tight to the rope behind the boat making sure its joyous, fun, and purposeful. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Pre-Schooler

My love bug, Avery started her 3 day Pre-K today and she did great!! I am so excited for her as she meets new friends, learns new things, and plays in a "school" setting. I pray my sweet girl shines big this year! This is your special year!! Shine Avery Shine. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Ranch

It was a great Labor Day as we were invited to the famous Diamond R Ranch by our friends Carla and Dave. The picnic was in honor of breast cancer awareness and honored a dear friend of Carla's who is battling breast cancer at age 36. So there was live music, good ol' Texas BBQ, dancing, football playing, hammock swinging, just great picnic table talking. We had a blast together as a family and with some great friends. Enjoy the mini video--didn't get many photos due to all my talking.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dare To Do Great Things

One song that seems to be constant in my mind these days is a song from Mark Harris called Wings. I love it! It has come to be a song I seem to listen to over and over and over. It has words that express what I feel for Addie, Avery, and Annalise as they are growing like weeds right in front of my eyes. Here are some words that bring tears to my eyes but joy within as God gives me these girls to lead toward His Kingdom.

"That as I watch you grow, I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams. And faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things. I'm here for you whatever this life brings, so let my love
give you roots and help you find your wings."
My favorite part of the whole song is where he sings about faith. The faith that will give my girls courage to dare to do great things. I pray this for them. I want them to believe in themselves and for them to know the courage God can give. So as I send them on their way in this new school year, I am here for them no matter what this life brings and I pray my love would give them strong roots.
I love you Addie, Avery, and Annalise.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grateful Spirit

As I take time to sit and do this blog entry today my spirit within me is grateful. I am loved by my Creator, I am loved by my husband, my girls think I am wise, and most importantly I have felt a stir from God for quite awhile.
My journey begin last summer when I read a book about Joy. After reading it, I felt that I was ready, ready to let God really use me just couldn't quite put my finger on it on what exactly that certain something was. Through time and reading some books, I feel my character and relationship with God has grown. I feel different.
As the year went on last year, Ryan needed another sponsor to go with him on Student Leadership University trip in Washington, DC. Smart man, he picked me! :) It was there at SLU 201 that God pretty much moved in me and said, "Ok, like the speaker is saying Leadership begins at the feet of Jesus" or maybe it was him nudging me when the speaker talked on God loves you just where you are but loves you too much to keep you there. OK... OK.. I am started to see a common theme happening here. Then, as I return home and start reading 2 different books, plus my quiet time (a daily reading by Beth Moore) I see the common theme continuing on and on and on. So, what is the common theme? My life. My life being totally surrendered to Christ. What? But I knew that and always have. This particular season of my life is different. Its maturity in my relationship with Christ, its really saying ok God I am ready for you to use me. This doesn't mean He will send me to some far away place. God wants me to know that leadership and making a life made to count starts with a close relationship to him and then He will use me in my area of influence for His Glory.
I am grateful for the year journey God has been moving in my spirit, I am grateful for SLU, I am grateful for the books that have been placed in my hands, and I grateful for a God who loves me just where I am but He is ready to move me out because He loves me too much.

"For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do." Eph. 2:10

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

In our house, Ryan and I decided we wanted the first day of school to be special and exciting. Last year we started this tradition when Addie started Kindergarten and we wanted to continue it this year and next, and the next.. you get the picture. So, we decided to get up early and have a big, warm, pancake breakfast all together. Ryan is the cook (apron and everything) with his cast iron skillet and serves it up right! We had pancakes and eggs with coffee and chocolate milk for the girls. Its so yummy and fun to take time and sit as a family and eat breakfast on the "big" day.

Another tradition started by my mom (Grammy) is that she comes and spends the weekend with the girls and sees them off on their first day of school. She has done it every year with her 3 grandchildren that have started school. She makes it special and wants all the grandchildren to know how important school is and simple just to show love and support for her dear grandbabies. To me, it shows me how blessed I am to have a mom that takes effort and time to make sure the first day of school is fun. I am grateful for my mom.

So, Addie is off to first grade with an awesome teacher. She's a favorite and another bonus is that she is a Jr High volunteer in Ryan's ministry. We are blessed to have a Godly teacher who loves kids, especially teenagers and take Addie this year and let her blossom in her knowledge. I thank God for Ms. Birch this day. Stay tuned for adventures of first grade but until then here are some pics of Addie's first day of school today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Millennial Girl

Seriously.... My sweet, 4 1/2 year old Avery was sitting at the table tonight eating. She proceeds
to tell me and Ryan, while holding an old cell phone, " I am texting my friend Macie."

Sad thing is, she was using both hands and pretend texting faster than I actually do! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kenny Krazy

Its no surprise that I am a Kenny Chesney fan. I mean this man has fun, catchy summer songs that can get a woman's blood flowing and ready for some boot scootin. Well, I had the chance, thank you my hubby, for my Mother's Day gift to go to the Kenny Chesney concert with a good friend. My friend Crystal and I were screaming and moving to the tunes of Kenny. This concert was awesome! Literally, no lie it was 7 hours long. The concert started at 4:00 and lasted until 11:00pm. The 3 big names were Leann Rimes, Keith Urban, and Kenny Chesney. I would pay the money all over again to see Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney alone. They are incredible entertainers. I quickly learned why Kenny gets entertainer of the year because he rocks out the house. So, I had a great time with Crystal. It was nice for us to be alone without our kids and have some time to ourselves. We bonded and it was super fun. So here are some pics of our Kenny Krazy night. Enjoy! :)

Leaving for the concert, when our hair still looked good.

eating our nachos and trying to get a pic of ourselves.

Crystal found Kenny in the crowd!

There he is, the one and only. :)

Keith Urban singing his heart out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

PJ Prater Posse

How come new pj's are so much fun?

Man, I love these girls!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Count down

As many of you know, I am a huge country fan yet alone Kenny Chesney. Saturday, August 16th, in Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas will be two young mommy's screaming at the top of their lungs for Keith Urban, Leann Rhimes, and yes the one and only Kenny Chesney. You see, I am so excited about this concert! I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a concert and spent 6 hours watching country singers or out with a girl friend for a night on the town.
Sad I know, I don't get out much!
Ryan gave me these tickets as a Mother's day gift and its been sitting in my dresser drawer in an envelope. I mean come on that is such a tease having to hold your concert ticket for 2 months!
Not much longer, I'll be singing the tunes to Kenny and Keith. Stay tuned to what might be one of my most craziest events since becoming a mommy of 3 girls.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pjs, Coffee, and the Olympics

Need I say more? I love the Olympics. Ryan and I both are athletic and sport fans so this is like high priority in this house. The Olympics trumped Disney channel! So, my tv has been on almost 24/7 since opening ceremonies last night. Did you watch opening ceremonies? It literally was unbelievable and so awesome! We had a couple come over and he is a pastor with Ryan and she is a good friend. They have 3 girls so basically its like estrogen level over flow in the house when we get together. :) Anyway, we ordered pizza, I made cookies and peach cobbler for dessert and yes we had ice cream too. Its not a night out with friends unless I prepare a dessert. OK back to the Olympics...we all watched the opening ceremonies and it was incredible. We all kinda laughed and said, "man, can anyone really beat this?" We got the girls in bed about 10:00 last night and then stayed up until 11:00 to watch it until the end. It was moving and powerful to watch our world come together and honor and celebrate these athletes and their talents.
It was refreshing.
At 7:30 am, the girls are up and Ryan already had the tv on and the games had begun. It was so nice to sit, drink coffee, lounge in the pjs and watch these amazing athletes.
As I type (4:00 pm), our tv is still on and we have watched it almost all day between breakfast, lunch, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and a sick child.
Its been nice to just be home and enjoy the Olympics. Hey, it only comes around every 4 years.
I hope you take some time to enjoy the Olympics. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Greatest American Dog

Here he is.... OBI-WAN, our Australian cattle dog who is an absolute sweety. We rescued him after losing my childhood cattle dog, Buster, who was 15 yrs old.

Because I am a reality show lover and animal lover, I am soo enjoying the new show Worlds Greatest American Dog. Its so cool to see the people interact and train their dogs, the loyalty, love, commitment. Needless to say, me and the girls were glued to the tv last night. Cool show if your an animal lover, especially dogs. Check it out.

OK. I am posting pics in honor of Pioneer Woman, she is a hoot and has a lot of spunk and life to share. I visit her blog daily. Check her

She is a real treat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Its just not right

I am officially spoiled... well at least when it comes to beaches. I had my in-laws in town for a week and one of our many adventures together was a trip to Galveston Beach. Fun, yes. Pretty , No! I love the beach just not Galveston beach. Its a shame that sand has to be brown and hard as a rock and the water looks like your swimming in lake. Its just not right!

I am used to white, soft sand with crystal blue/green waters. A place you can make great sand castles and catch fish with nets because the water is crystal clear.
Ahhh, Florida beaches, now that's just right! :)
Overall though, we had a great time and it seems that the girls don't seem to care. They just love getting in the sand, playing on their buggy boards, and jumping the waves. Here a couple of pics of our day at the beach. Enjoy!