My best Christmas gift ever came to me on December 26th, 2001! A dark headed, 6 pounds 9 ounce beautiful baby girl~my first girl, Addie Noel. :) My dark headed, Christmas baby girl is double digits now~the big 10...yikes! I can't believe 10 years have gone by so fast, yet they have been a blast. I've treasured every minute being a stay at home mom and sacrificing a lot to be with this girl as she has grown.
Happy 10th Birthday to my big girl, Addie. I LOVE YOU so so much. :) Praying God continues to use you mighty for Him. We love you. Mom
I LOVE, LOVE this time of year. Having lots of fun in the Praters for sure. :)
1. Christmas shopping 2. looking at Christmas lights around town 3. Getting Christmas cards in the mail everyday 4. Advent calendars 5. reading the birth of Jesus as a family at night all piled up on one bed 6. the cheerful songs of Christmas music 7. a glowing Christmas tree in a completely dark home 8. Christmas movies with my girls 9. endless holiday treats that are constant in our home 10. Christmas Eve service with my church 11. wrapping gifts with my husband 12. holiday dinner with your best girl friends 13. collecting all the stocking stuffers for my girls 14. Operation Christmas child box 15. new pjs for the girls
...And, SO many more!! It's fun just writing them down. I love the Christmas season and hope you too are finding new reasons to celebrate this Holy season. :)
Whew....One word!! Wow, it has been incredible busy settling down to life in Katy and the demands to starting up a church with your husband! I can't even hardly remember November besides a trip to TX panhandle that brought me some of my favorite weather...cold! ;) Then, between subbing and constantly hosting something at our home for church, we were volunteering in the schools, and for me just keeping my head on top of water with 3 girls, schedules, homework, and did I mention my kindergartner has homework?!?! Needless to say, November came and went, and we are already have way into December. Cross Community Church is doing well, we added another family in November so right now for our "core group" we are at 9 families & too many kids that we literally could already have a peewee school!!! LOL :) I'm excited to announce that we will have our first "public" service this Christmas Eve at Cimarron Elementary, my girl's school. We are SO Excited to celebrate our first Christmas with some friends and neighbors the core group has been investing in. After Christmas Eve, we will meet starting in January. August will be our big "Launch" as they call in church world where its a HUGE push to public and the church has to be ready on so many levels. It has been hard....but so fun. I am getting gray hair and Ryan is still losing his. ;) Girls are growing like crazy...2 of them already letting go of their blankies but needing me in so many other ways. Its a weird dynamic going on but I am trying to enjoy and embrace the good growth. I caught a super cute pic of the girls so I'll be posting soon. Its a perfect example and snapshot of all 3 personalities. Well, it's off to bed I go....although sitting here with all lights off except the Christmas tree next me makes me happy. I sure do hope to post more...tomorrow. :)
On October 29, 2003..the Lord blessed our family with our second girl! Avery Rian truly has a heart of gold, the sweetest & kindess spirit, and lover of our family. I love every ounce of that girl beyond belief. I thank my God for her life. Happy 8th Birthday my Avery girl!! :)
Last Saturday, Avery and her 2 best friends~Kennedi and Brighton, along with Addie and Annalise had a pedicure all together to celebrate Avery's birthday. What else would a 8 yr old girl love but have leopard printed on the toes and be pampered while doing it?!?! ;) We topped off her "fancy" day with cupcakes at Ooh La La. :) She beamed the whole time and I think it might be one birthday she wont forget. Best friends and pretty toes....Happy Birthday Avery.
We had a GREAT night! Our new neighborhood was rockin last night. There were a total of 3 homes that had a haunted house type theme going on and then there were just tons of people walking the area. Just might be, our best Halloween yet. Hope yours was super SWEET!
The Praters love football! Both of us growing up in West TX, Ryan being a quarterback in high school and college, and me cheering on a huge 5A high school....both of us appreciate tradition and some great high school football. This past weekend, we headed out again to support the undefeated Katy High. It was a blast and Beautiful day. Big blue sky and temps in the upper 50s! :) Awesome. I LOVED it. Here are some fun pics of all the Prater clan cheering on Big Red. Enjoy.
with Pinterest! Yes, I am. The online catalog that just made my life a little more organized, creative, and a whole new menu for my family. Pinterest is so fun!! :)
By far, my favorite past time right now is getting my comfy pj pants on, the laptop on my lap, & go a looking. I have been able to find some awesome and easy recipes and great, creative ways to decorate my new home for Christmas. For example, due to the fact our new home has a wrap around fireplace mantle...I needed ideas of how to decorate this baby for Christmas. I typed in Christmas mantle decorating into pinterest and BAM.... I got tons of wonderful, yet simple, easy ideas with items like mason jars, balls, lanterns, and so much more. :) WOW!
So, thank you Pinterest for new decorating ideas, new meals for my family, creative gifts, easy do it yourself projects, and my favorite....CHRISTMAS ideas. I LOVE u! ;)
I really don't like dropping a lot of money on a birthday party, never have! I've always kinda leaned more to the "experience" so more memories can be made for my girls. I want them to look back and remember more family experiences for their birthdays instead of some random year at another gymnastic place or chuck e cheeses. So, for Annalise's birthday we spent some time down on the farm...Dewberry Farm that is, in Brookshire, TX. It literally is like 20 minutes from Katy. Country land, hay stacks, fort, animals, corn maze, and a big pumpkin patch. What else could a little 6 year old "active" little girl want?!?! ;) It was a blast! Ryan went down the roller slide and I rode in the tractor barrel train. :) Fun times as a family and the day was absolutely perfect!!! Woke up to a sunny, cool morning of 57 degrees and by the time we left the farm it was 83 degrees! AWWWEEESome! Loved every minute of the birthday celebration down on the farm. Here are some pictures. :)
(Ha~Ryan won the pig call at the pig races...total youth minister still in him) :)
My spunky, yet full of life little girls turned 6 today! She truly has such a joyful spirit about her that is contagious. There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't make us laugh. Annalise LOVES life and every day she teaches me to live it the fullest and have fun doing it.
Happy 6th Birthday to our 3rd daughter, Annalise Grace! :)
(Taco Bell for lunch with mom~ but mom didn't eat Taco Bell ) ;)
(Build a Bear tonight with money from Aunt Trudy~ Thank you Aunt Trudy, she was so proud to hand the lady her birthday money) :)
Well, Fall is here and that means a lot of things for the Prater household but one being, the family birthdays have begun. Friday, Sept. 23, Ryan turned the big 37!!!
This man still can make me laugh like no other, smile, and make my heart skip a beat (especially in his boots and jeans.) :) So thankful to God for an amazing and godly husband, daddy to my 3 girls, fun friend, and awesome pastor.
I love pumpkin...well almost everything pumpkin. I do not like pumpkin pie or pumpkin candles but pumpkin muffin, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pancakes are a favorite for sure!! Friday night, I took out one of my favorite cook books (Junior League of Abilene), one that has some amazing from scratch recipes and kicked off my crave for FALL by making the family some pumpkin muffins. Here is the recipe, thought I would share. Enjoy...they were delicious!
Pumpkin Muffins/2 2 cups flour 2 cups sugar 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt 1 small can pumpkin 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 4 eggs
Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the pumpkin, oil, and eggs. Beat 1 minute. Spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake a 325 degrees fir 15-20 minutes or until done.
You can also... *Bake in a bundt pan in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour.
Its like right there! The ending of a scorcher and dry summer and now we are slowly getting to embrace the cool mornings! Ahhh :) I.Love.Fall And I can feel it, it is almost here, and it feels good. I have to admit that yesterday Mr Al Rocker on the Today show was kindly showing the map of the US and the states that were already feeling cooler temps this week and I was JEALOUS! Then, on facebook last night, some friends were sharing the rain, the cool front, and their glee of what they were experiencing as the front pushed through. Again, jealous! ;) Yesterday brought this Fall longing and so I ended up buying a huge order of Scentsy products to get me stocked up for the holidays and change of seasons. Then, in my grocery cart yesterday sat the peppermint mocha coffee creamer. I love that stuff! And even though its been out like all year long, I only buy it in the Fall. So, today I am grateful for the cool mornings Katy TX has brought me!!! Because right now....I can feel it, FALL is coming! :)
As the 10 anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I have been glued to the stories being shared on TV and on the web. I love stories....and don't we all have a story to tell....don't we all come together during a suffering, or catastrophic event to be a helping hand?! Because even with one hand of help, there is hope. You are not alone. Our stories start weaving together. September 11, 2001~ I was 5 1/2 months pregnant with Addie, teaching at ST. John's Episcopal School in Abilene. We were all in chapel that morning when our business lady who was in front of me, turned around and told me the twin towers in NYC had been hit by a plane. I remember when my school kids went to an enrichment, I was standing in the library with many other teachers watching this tragedy unfold on TV and we were all crying. I couldn't believe what I was watching...I remember thinking, I'm scared to now bring a little girl into this world! As I type this, I can still see everything vividly in my mind. So now, 10 years removed, I am still captivated by stories, heroic ones, sad ones, the rebuilding of the memorial, and how people have changed or have been moved to start a cause because of their loss. A story shared on the Today show was on a husband who lost his wife in the World Trade Center leaving him with a 2 year old girl and newborn down syndrome little boy. Their story was beautiful of how this single dad has pressed forward raising these kids. The 12 year old girl was asked, "what would you say to your mom", she replied and crying "I would ask her, what are we going to do today together?" She longed just for the presence of her mom and a daily, simple life with her mom. It was so touching. Or this story...please take time to watch this video, it is incredible. I saw in early Saturday morning on ESPN, Ryan and I both were crying on the couch together. It truly is another wonderful story!!!! May we never forget that day when so many of them face it every single day!
I am incredible saddened by the devastation this great state of TX is experiencing due to all these wild fires! Although we woke up to a beautiful blue, clear, no humidity Texas sky filled with a northern chill, I was reminded this afternoon with the haze and smell of smoke coming from Magnolia, TX that lots of devastation is happening all around. Last night, I laid in bed lights totally out, Ryan already asleep and I prayed for rain for our land. I prayed only for the wild fires, the people, our land, the fire fighters, the animals. My heart was heavy! People less than 2 hours away are losing everything...wildlife are in danger......some lives have been lost.....people are letting go of their life stock so they can escape......people are sleeping in trucks & animals in trailers, beautiful TX lands are being charred down to nothing......and firemen are working endlessly to put out these fires. It's heart breaking. I want to help....just trying to figure out how and what that en tells. Today, the Katy ISD posted on FB ways to start donating. I'll start there. I've got some other ideas too. I'll begin again tonight, praying for rain, praying for these fires to diminish, praying hands and feet rise up and help neighbors of this great state! Join me in praying...and maybe moving into action~
A new home~
A new city~
A new school for my girls~
A new school time (8:20-3:40)~
A new school district with a lot of school pride~
A new grocery store~
A new hair stylist~
A new favorite local eat~
And so the list could go!!! Its funny how my IPhone map has become my best friend as I learn all the new places and how to get around Katy. ;)
So life in Katy has been about a month, and my home is finally feeling like home. Everything is up on the walls and in place. One of the newest things I almost love best..... is the long bar and tall bar stools where 3 beautiful girls sit every morning before school as I scurry around in the kitchen.
We have already had some really good conversations. It is good! :)
Because men and women fight for my freedom every.single.day....and because I'm an animal lover...you have to see this!
(you might want to you tube it, you can't see all of the dog)
The photo showing the bond between felled Navy SEAL Jon Tomlinson and his dog Hawkeye has captured the attention of the Web.
The soldier was one of 38 killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade took out a U.S. Chinook helicopter. He was mourned at a service in Rockford, Iowa, attended by 1,500 family members and friends, and Tomlinson's loyal canine companion.
The Labrador retriever was such an important part of Tomlinson's life that the San Diego resident called his dog "son."
When Tomlinson's friend Scott Nichols walked to the front of the room to give his eulogy, Hawkeye followed. As Nichols spoke, Hawkeye dropped to the ground at the foot of the casket and, according to observers, heaved a big sigh. The loyal pooch would not leave his owner's casket during the funeral.
The video clip of the mourning dog seen here has already received more than 113,000 views.
Yes, all 3 girls in school!! I can't believe it. The year 2005 seems like yesterday and now the last Prater girl is going to big school. Wow!
4th, 2nd, Kindergarten....my girls! So here they are, one of my greatest joys and blessings. I come to this year thankful and grateful for the 9 years I've been home with them. The huge sacrifices made, the time, the endless memories. Thank you Lord for the time with my girls. :)
First day of school 2011-2012
(Grammy always makes it to first day of Kindergarten-Annalise's turn now!!)
~ A routine....
~ early mornings in my bible again....
~ Cooler weather~ Fall~ a very BIG hope its a cold winter....
~ a date night with my hubby....
~ instant friendships for my girls as they start a new year at a new school....
These past 3 weeks of this summer have been incredible busy, non-stop, and truly just hard work as we packed up a house in League City and moved across Houston to Katy and unpacked into our new home. And along with that, life didn't stop like church world and seeing family and registering your girls for a new school district. My days have been filled with A LOT. I'm tired, but I'm incredible thankful and grateful for all that has happened in these weeks.
So right now, I find some peace and rest writing on my blog and reading some blogs.
This is nice.... :)
Wow, I've never intended my summer to be consumed with trying to sell a home but it sure was! Wow, so glad it is over....no we didn't sell our home but we did lease it out for a year. Praise God! My prayer through all this transition into church planting world has been that my girls would start school in Katy. Such a HUGE answer to prayer~ we just needed to start life in Katy. All summer, we have been commuting on Sunday for Cross Community because well, the church plant has begun and we are in the process of building the "core team". So, life in 2 cities as pretty much consumed a lot of our time. So, I am excited to tell you that someone put an offer of lease on our home last week and we signed on a lease home there in Katy yesterday. Back at the end of June, we had someone put an offer on our home to buy but they wanted A LOT of money to be brought to the table. We knew with the crazy market and type of loan we had on the house we needed to have quite a bit saved and we did, it's just they needed so much help that we would of ended up in an apartment over in Katy because we emptied our entire savings. We were not at peace with that decision, so we declined the offer that was presented. Another continued blessing came again in 4 weeks, we had this offer to lease. We took it! It lined up and was perfect in many ways. God is good~always! :) So, now we press forward and move out of our League City home this Saturday...Yes! I will have packed this home in 4 days...yes a 4 bedroom, 2100 sq ft home but I am thankful we have lived simple. It pays off now! ;) Seriously though, I am just thankful to be packing a home so we can at least get one year under us and continue to work hard in starting the church in Katy. Thank You Lord! :)