Monday, October 18, 2010

San Antone- Part 1

It has been a long dream of my mom's to take a "family trip" ever since grand-kids came into the picture. But for awhile there my sisters took turns spitting out kids about every 6 months ;), so we thought it'd be best to wait until the last baby, Emerson, was a little bit older to enjoy it. My parents had to choose a place where we could go for just a couple of days, that was drivable for 14 people and kid friendly, so San Antone was our best option. A couple of days before the trip my brother's kids all got pretty sick and sadly had to cancel. Here is a ton of pics and recap of our family vacay:

On the way down we stopped at some caverns. This is Drew, me and my sis on the train headed down to the caverns.

My sister's 3 precious boys

Uncle Drew chatting with Mason

Me and Mason
My parents in the caverns

After the caverns we continued our drive and stopped at the famous Salt Lick BBQ to enjoy some delicious Texas BBQ. This is where my first pregnancy craving kicked in. They had these amazing pickle spears there and they placed a huge batch on every table. I think I ate at least 10....I can still taste them, sooo good. My sister even joked "goodness, are you pregnant or something?" I awkwardly laughed knowing I was but hadn't told the fam yet. Not a fan that my biggest pregnancy craving is so cliche but oh well:)

My sister's going to kill me for this one

We arrived at the house my parents had rented for us and after doing some grocery shopping we settled down for some ice cream. My dad and bro-in-law love them some ice cream as you can see:)
That night is when we announced our pregnancy and you can see that video below.
Next up Fiesta Texas.....

Love,
Apes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Start spreading the news.....

After going to have my beta levels drawn and finding out they looked great and were more than doubling, we couldn't keep the news from the family much longer. We were heading to San Antonio that next week for a 4 day vacay with my family and planned to tell them all together then. Drew's parents happened to invite us over for dinner a couple of days before we left and we thought it would be a good time to tell them since they were the ones doing the inviting and wouldn't see it coming. We were trying to think of a fun way to tell them but everything we thought of was either cheesy, or cheesier. So on the way Drew said, "just let me handle it". So we walked in about 6pm, ate dinner, hung out and started playing games. At this point I was going crazy! It had been 3 hours and Drew has yet to say anything! I start kicking him in the leg in the middle of us playing a game and finally he says, "before we play this next hand I need to tell you that April is pregnant!" Just like that, out of nowhere. Mike and Kathi were happily shocked and Drew's brother, Grant, was very excited for us. Then lots of hugging followed. This will be the first grandchild and great grandchild in Drew's family, quite a different picture from mine:)

After sharing the great news!

Me and Kathi, she will be a great grandmother!
Me and the hubs

Here is a funny video of us telling my family. My brother's family ended up getting very sick and had to cancel, so it was us, my parents and sister's family. We told them the first night we got there and Drew pretended like he was taking a picture of the girls but was actually taking video. I told Drew to just say, "ok 1,2,3, we're pregnant!" but he decided to go a different route which didn't quite work.....

video

Love,
Apes

We're Finally Pregnant!!

As everyone already knows we are expecting our first little one and couldn't be more excited! It was quite a journey to get to this point which makes us even more thankful for this little life inside me.We have been married for a little over 4 years and have been getting the "when are you guys going to have a baby" question for quite awhile now. I have been ready for children since we got married. I cherished our first couple of years together but our 3rd year my patience started to grow thin. Drew was a different story. He would continually tell me he wanted kids, but wanted to wait until he was ready and in a place with the Lord where he felt comfortable taking that step. When he was finally ready we found out shortly after that I had PCOS and was going to require medication to be able to get pregnant. It was heartbreaking news to someone who always dreamed of being a mom but we chose to depend on the Lord for strength and guidance and reached out to family and friends for prayer. So thank you to everyone that prayed for us in our journey to become parents!

I found out I was pregnant on June 28, the first morning the boys were staying with us the week of basketball camp. I didn't even tell Drew I was taking a hpt, I didn't expect to myself but wanted to know the "yes or no" before the week began. I was shocked when this came up....
The line popped up immediately and I couldn't believe it. Drew was still asleep, about to wake up to get ready for camp. I got back in bed, woke him up and whispered the good news in his ear, and got a pretty big smile from him. Our due date is March 8! I will do a pregnancy recap soon of what I have experienced up until this point.

I continued to take test for the next couple of mornings to make myself feel better and watched the line get darker which made it more real!


It's official, I'm preggers!

Love,
Apes

Basketball Camp

So let's go all the way back to the last week of June shall we? A couple of months before this, Drew and I were out to lunch and he came up with the idea of asking my sister's and brother's oldest boys, Garrison and Tre, to come stay a WEEK with us so they could attend Van Alstyne's basketball camp. Drew's high school host a camp every summer and he thought it'd be a great idea to expose them to basketball since that's what Drew loves and coaches. I looked at him like he was crazy at first but then thought it would be a great idea too. The logistics of it all working out were slim though. It would mean being able to take 5 days off of work, and both of them being available that week because I knew the boys wouldn't want to do it alone. I sent an email out to both sisters and I was shocked- they both were free and wanted to come! So they come over Sunday afternoon and stayed through Thursday. It turned out to be a great week and we all had a lot of fun! They went to camp every morning from 8-1130, then came home and we had some kind of outing every afternoon. I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday- I felt like such a mom, ha! Here are a ton of pics from the week.....

Mendy giving Garrison a last minute "you better behave" speech

The boys reading in bed Sunday night. Garrison has turned into a bookworm (like his aunt was, haha) and brought his own booklight. I happened to have a couple extras and let Tre have one. Tre loves to be like Garrison!

Uncle Drew had to be at camp a little early every morning so the boys had to get up early with him. Monday morning I made them eggs, bacon and toast. He took them to camp with him every morning and brought them home for lunch everyday. Very weird to see my husband doing those kind of things but he was great with them!

Monday afternoon I took them to the indoor pool in Allen to swim. Here they are playing around in the pool

I love this pic!

We then went to the neighborhood park afterwards
Making homemade pizza together. Uncle Drew had to go back to camp every night for the older kids so we did dinner on our own. I made some pizza dough that afternoon and let them do the toppings.

They quickly got bored and I had no games at my house so I got creative and went through a box of my old stuff. Found an old Highlights magazine from like 1987!! I used to love those things!

Cuddling in bed with Jovie, she loved the extra attention!
After camp the next day I took them to Incredible Pizza, here is me with the sweet boys!
Playing games then we headed to the movie room to eat lunch

We then took a trip to the half price books and I let them pick out a few books to buy. That place is great for kids books, most of them aren't even used and are super cheap! The next day after camp Drew and I took them to see Toy Story 3- 3D which was great, we even enjoyed it. The last day of camp I went up to the school to see what they learned and watch them hand out awards.


Here is Garrison in a shooting drill
Here is Tre
Here they are in their groups waiting for awards to be passed out. Uncle Drew is in there too with his group
The boys with some of their awards, they got other awards earlier in the week
My brother, "Uncle E", came to pick them up- with Garrison
The boys with Coach Will
The four of us after a great week!
Here is a little video of both boys

video

Love,
Apes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Playing catch up!

Tune in because I have many things to catch up on for this blog. It's going to take a lot of work so bear with me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know, I know, it feels like an oven outside and who wants to eat soup this time of year. But it's the only thing I've cooked recently that I actually took a pic of and at least as far as soups go, its pretty refreshing thanks to all the lime. Lime is a favorite around here and instead of that little garnish, you actually squeeze quite a bit into the soup, delish! And this doesn't have huge chunks of random veggies like at some restaurants. Don't you hate when you order Chicken Tortilla soup and there's huge pieces of carrots and celery and none of the good stuff? Well, here is the recipe:

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Ingredients:
- A couple of marinated and grilled chicken breast
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cans chicken broth
- 1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 jalapenos
- 1/4 c. fresh lime juice- must be FRESH!
- salt and pepper
- tortilla chips
- grated cheese
- avocado
- a handful of cilantro

Marinate and grill your chicken- can be done ahead. I put a couple breast into a big ziplock bag with lime juice, crushed garlic,and a splash of vinegar. Then before grilling sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. In a large stockpot (or your beloved Le Crueset pot like mine), heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and minced jalapeno and cook a few minutes more until pepper is softened and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, juice the limes and set aside. Start preparing the toppings: grate the cheese, chop the cilantro, and cut up the avocado(sprinkle with lime so they don't turn brown). Right before serving, add lime juice and chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into the bowls and add desired toppings. Enjoy!

And after eating healthy soup that night we treated ourselves to these yummy desserts!
Key Lime Tarts!
Love,
Apes

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters



Our homegroup started our 2nd study a couple months ago. We finished up Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and decided to work through The Screwtape Letters. I've always wanted to read this book but honestly C.S. Lewis has always intimidated me. I've attempted Mere Christianity before and couldn't make it past the first couple of pages. Well we had to work through the book pretty fast to stick with our meeting schedule which I think actually helped me get through it. This book was quite the eye-opener. Basically it is letters written between two demons, an uncle to his nephew, trying to educate him on the manipulation of humans. They are writing to a man who just became a Christian and they call him their "patient". It is an intricate portrait of the evil forces working against believers at all times and really makes you reflect on what is really going on around us. Each chapter is only 3-4 pages and typically covers one subject- family, friends you surround yourself with, sex, time, fear/anxiety, church, etc. It is crazy to think that your mind can be controlled by evil whether it be distractions, manipulation of thoughts, or temptations. This was probably one of my favorite books just because of the knowledge and insight I gained from reading it. It forces you to rely on God even more for protection and strength. After reading the book our leaders asked us to write our own letter between two demons with ourselves being the "patient". Wow, what a process. The letter almost became half testimony and half analysis of sins we struggle with and how the devil can tempt us. It forced me to work through my past and then associate that with what I struggle with now. I was able to pinpoint my weaknesses where I am most likely to be tempted. Each week our homegroup gets together, we split up in guys and girls and share a couple of letters. It allows us to get to know everyone's backgrounds and where we can step in as a family in Christ and help each other, whether it be encouragement, prayer or anything one would need. As we call it on our group, it's "going deeper" :) Anyways, definitely pick up a copy of this book and stick with it, it won't disappoint!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friends and Lakehouse

Our homegroup decided it would be fun to have a weekend retreat. Drew and I thought my parent's lake house would be perfect for a getaway. Drew and I headed down Friday night to have one night to ourselves, well not completely, we brought our puppy Jovie. I couldn't wait to get her down there to run free on 13 acres. Well it turned out to be more stressful than I thought. She wanted to take off to chase all the critters down there and the property isn't fenced. But she had the time of her life and slept for 2 days straight after we got back in town. Only about half of our group was able to make it but we still had 5 couples down there. We cooked for each other all weekend and our friend Caleb brought his brand new boat for all of us to enjoy.

Some of the group on the dock getting ready to get on the boat

Caleb getting the boat ready

The girls enjoying the boat ride

The boat had an amazing sound system and we listened to music and enjoyed good food and good company!

Bethany and I sat at the front of the boat and got soaked from all the waves we hit

The Williamsons!

The boys throwing around the football

Joves enjoying the property

After grilling out we played games and then the boys fished while the girls chatted all night

Some of the guys

The next morning we ate some yummy breakfast made by the Rydbecks and enjoyed the view from the porch.


Drew playing Rock Band

It was a great way to relax and get to know our friends in homegroup a little better. They have all been such a blessing since we've met them and Drew and I are so thankful for such a great support system to have.