Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ava's Clothes via Aunt Brittany!

I love that my sister has a machine now and is so generous with her time! Look at all these adorable things (and yes, I have to iron!) she has made for Ava since she made the purchase back in the spring:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Scrapbook

Summer Scrapbook: Family Post

We've had an extremely busy summer! I taught two summer school courses at the community college, tried to get all the boxes unpacked and the apartment organized, made doctors appointments, worked on The Find and some decor projects for others--

BUT we also made time for lots of summer fun! 

Here's some of the highlights of Summer '11: 
  • Swimming-- It was great to have a pool at our apartment this summer; we could just go when we needed a change of scenery (made apartment-living feel a little like vacation:). Ron and I like to pretend it's our vacation condo;) I'm soooooooo proud of Ava because she learned how to swim about two weeks after her 4th birthday! She LOVES being in the water! She also has a little pool at Papa & Mimi's house that they fill up for her when she visits, and Papa 'swims' with her:) We also had play dates in the pool with Maria and Hannah Mae, Eren and Emma, and Jesse, Kristan, and Heather. Fun times!
  • Sprinkler park-- One day we drove out to the Sprinkler Park and had a blast! I hope we'll get one closer to our home next summer. Ava had a great time with Hudson there, and on the way home, I cracked up listening to them talk about their future. It went something like this: Hudson: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Ava: "A mommy." Hudson: "Oh, well, I'm gonna fly a space rocket, and you'll be my wife, and I'll take care of you." HA! They are hilarious.
  • Sleepovers- Ava's first sleepover away from family was with Mary Abbott. Niki said they played nonstop with babies, watched Tangled, ate pancakes, and all that fun sleepover stuff. Niki and I kinda had an emotional moment as we have been friends since she moved from Texas in the 6th grade, and now our little girls love each other so much. Then a few weeks ago, Hannah Mae spent the night with us. Ava was so excited to have someone stay with her. HM is about 2 1/2 years older, so she's like a big sister. Sweet! 
  • VBS-- My parents' church had a fantastic VBS this year, and my dad was one of the tribe leaders (he had to wrap up in a sheet-- I hate I don't have a pic of that;). They invited Ava to spend a few nights with them and go. She really enjoyed it and came back singing new songs (that was one of my favorite parts of VBS as a kid-- the new songs). I reminisced about my days of visiting both sets of grandparents and going with them to Bible School. Glad for those memories.
  • Birthday party-- Ava was invited to a bounce birthday party. Let's just say she slept good that night!
  • Visitors-- Ron's mom, brother, & sister-in-law have visited several times this summer, and we enjoyed some quality time with them. Ava is thrilled when Mammaw comes to town! They have so much fun together. Our friends from Alabama also visited (Lonnie & Nicole); we don't get to see them nearly enough, but I think we try to make up for it when we see one another! They are so much fun to be around. We tried out some resturaunts in Memphis that we'd be curious about (Gus's Fried Chicken and The Blue Fin and The Cheesecake Corner), took a carriage ride downtown, swam, and laughed a lot!!
  • Ava-isms-- Aren't kids hilarious?! I wish I was disciplined enough to write down all the funny things Ava says because I never want to forget this season of life... She's been using 'big' words in correct context lately like frustrated, bacteria, and definitely. And while those sound like a big girl, I love that she still says things like a-fore (before), a cause (because), ank you (thank you), hee highs (high heels), and cob corn (corn on the cob).
  • Shopping-- It seems like we've done a lot of shopping this summer as I've attempted to get our new home just right! Sometimes after night class I just walk around in Target or Marshall's to 'wind down.' We also went shopping with Shannon and her girls at the mall. It was a treat to hang out with them and go to the mall since we rarely go...
  • As I mentioned in my Hot Springs post, our GNO group did a neat outreach in July. We made food bags primarily for people who experience natural disasters and such. We had an assembly line and raced the other groups for the best time at putting boxes together. I was in charge of packing the boxes, and Ava had to put the vitamin packet in the bag. 
  • Life Group-- Ron, Ava, and I went bowling with our life group. I joked that I'm a life group junkie because I've jumped in on several new ones. Our family still goes to our 'main' life group that we've been a part of for the past three years and the homeschool group, but I've joined some new ones that meet less often such as one for moms of preschoolers, zumba, reading club, and healthy cooking.
  • Whacky Water Fest-- Our church held the 2nd annual fest, and it was open to the public. They had around 10 different water slides, free hot dogs, and ice cream sandwiches. It was so much fun!!
  • Family movie nights-- Ron loves to rent movies that he thinks Ava will like. They are both movie buffs;). We all snuggle on the couch on these nights. Love it!
  • Date night with my hubby-- We only had one 'real' date night this summer. We've been making plans to do better than that especially now that Ava is older. It was really good though to spend some time together and not be in 'gotta-get-things-done-mode' (the move wore us out).
  • Ava's pet: While I was in night class, Ron and Ava went to Petco and came home with a spotted leopard gecko. At first, his name was Gerald (my dad's name), but Ava informed me that he was actually a girl, Sara. So Sara lives in Ava's room now. The first night was a trip! Ava asked three questions: Can she sleep with me? Can we paint her little nails? Can we put a little bitty outfit on her? Ha ha!!
Lots of pics... Even cleaned out my phone pics.... 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hot Springs, Arkansas with the GIRLS!

This weekend I had such a wonderful time with about twenty ladies from church. A few months ago, a new ladies' ministry was launched called Girls' Night Out (GNO), and we've had some fun monthly meetings from a mother/daughter dinner, all things thrifty night with couponing tips and other ideas for budget living, a missions outreach project, and now this overnight shopping trip.
Friday night we had a quick Lenny's dinner on the road with LOTS of talking and laughing-- the three hours flew by! Then more talking and laughing and getting to know others in our hotel rooms that night.
Saturday morning, we were up bright & early for breakfast at the Pancake Shop and shopping downtown. I bought Ron a bottle of Roasted Raspberry Chipotle sauce for his grilling and my parents, who kept Ava since Ron had to work, some Key Lime cookies from a gourmet food/gift shop. When I shopped at a boutique toy store, I ran across a great book for Ava that we'll use in our science studies. I found a pretty antique bird print with a unique frame for my walls and the perfect kitchen hand towel. We all met back up for lunch at a fabulous Cuban restaurant-- everything was so good!
Our next stop was a store called Half off of Half (I think). Majorly good deals in there! I was at the end of my shopping budget when we got there:( so I just got a pair of $3 sunglasses and two outfits for Ava for next summer.
Finally we went to the mall for about an hour, then headed home; on the way back through Hot Springs, I spotted a Home Goods store. I have been wanting to go to one of those for several years! Now, I need to go back to Hot Springs asap!! I seriously laughed so much that my stomach is a bit sore this morning! :) Thankful for great friends and memories that were made this weekend.

Some of the girls: Heather, Kristan, Jeanne, Lauren, me, Shari, & Maria. (Thanks for snapping the pic, Jamie!)