Monday, January 30, 2012

New Blog Design!

Didn't she do a good job?  I'm so thrilled with what Danielle did!

The whole process was quick and easy, like I could barely keep up with her emails.  I told her the colors I liked, that I wanted her to incorporate plaid, and a few things I didn't like... and this is what she came up with.  I was nervous that I wasn't going to like what she did.  And then I might have to hurt her feelings, and tell her to try again.  But I loved it immediately.  And it's done!  It's something I've wanted to do for awhile but lacked inspiration.

  Who knew I didn't need that much inspiration.  I just needed a good blog designer.
Thank you, Danielle!

I'll leave you with these pictures.  Not for any particular reason except that I'm missing summer... Sonic happy hour, days at the pool, long evenings at the ballpark.  Good thing here in Texas all of that begins in a couple of months.

Happy Monday to you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Embrace the Camera {Snuggling}

I think one of my kids took this photo.  Cry Cry was especially snuggly and I had to capture it.  Blurry picture and all.  

He had just woken up from his nap... still a little sleepy.
Love this boy.

Embrace the Camera here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

They Say it Better {Bible Reading Plan}

I started a Bible reading plan this January, and I'm loving it.  Chris encouraged me to try it after he read this blog post from Tim Challies.  I won't go to great lengths to explain the theory behind this particular reading plan because Challies does it so well.

I've started many Bible reading plans in my day.  It's been decades since I've tried one, mostly because I've always been such a failure at them.  I tend to get lost in Lamentations somewhere.  But this one is different.  I've been using an app called You Version.  This way it allows me to either listen to it or read it.  Sometimes I have the discipline to get up extra early and sit down and read it.  But I can also do it as a part of what I'm already doing.  For example, this morning, I listened to my 10 chapters as I got ready and made the kid's breakfast.  And the cool part is that the kids got to listen to the tail end of it.  Practically, what I love about reading it on my phone or ipad is that I don't have to flip between the 10 different chapters.  It keeps track of what I've read for me.  I even set up a reminder that tells me I need to do my reading.

I've been surprised with how much I've enjoyed it.  To be honest, it's been awhile since Scripture reading hasn't felt like just another task to accomplish, and another thing I was failing to do well. 

I may fail at this one too, but I'm off to a good start.  Ask me about it.  I'll take any accountability I can get.  Or better yet, join in on the fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Boys and garbage trucks.

We spend a lot of time at this table.  Like it or not.

This is the one who was slower to pick up on the reading thing, but now is my most avid reader.


Mandatory reading time.  They always groan when it's reading hour, but once they settle in, it's okay.

Piano.  Love to be able to play, but not so much the practicing.

Again, lots of hours at this table.

Doing one thing or the other.

Sometimes I even let them paint, but only when I'm feeling nice.

Cry Cry asleep with his blanket all wrapped around him. 

I need to remind myself to take more of these kinds of pictures.  It's fun to have great photos of the kids all cute and matchy, but even more sentimental to have these pictures of the typical dailies in our home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Family Photo Shoot 2011

Thanks to a good friend we had fabulous pictures taken of our family this year.
I so wanted to send this one out for our annual family holiday newsletter and picture, but since I was going cheap this year (using up my old wedding envelopes that only fit a 4x6 photo), and this one really needs to be at least 5x7 to do it justice, I sent out the one with the red wall instead.  That was a long sentence.  Sorry about that.

I didn't buy any new clothes, just used what we had.  And look at how well this background looks with my color scheme.  This is a picture we will treasure forever.

And so will this one.  I love how all the boys are snuggled together and that their smiles are natural.

Here's one of my favorites of Chris and me.

She also got great individual shots of the kids... evidenced by my new header.
But here is one of each of them.

And one last one for fun!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Embrace the Camera {Mornings with Samuel}

Samuel has piano lessons early, early in the morning once a week.  When we started morning lessons, at first I let him sleep as late as he could, and drag him out of bed at the very last minute.  He would get there and yawn through his lesson.  Then when I mentioned breakfast before, just him and me, he perked up.  That next morning, when I gently shook his shoulder to wake him, he popped out of bed into his clothes, ready to go.  And he was more ready for his lesson.  It's been a fun tradition for us.  And definitely worth losing a little sleep over.  

And you can always catch up on sleep later on in the day.
Love spending these mornings with you, Samuel.

You can Embrace the Camera here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cilantro Lime Dip

 This dip is one of my favorites to make for company.  I wait until we have company because, otherwise, I will eat it all.  And that would be bad.  I'm posting this just for you, Anne.  You requested the recipe well over six months ago.  I'm so very sorry that it has taken me this long.  Enjoy.

When I make it, I usually make some salsa too.  A great pair.

Serve with tortilla chips.  It's a great appetizer.

Cilantro Lime Dip
8 oz cream cheese
1 T sour cream
7 oz tomatillo salsa
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T. lime juice

Whip cream cheese and then add the rest of the ingredients.
Serve with chips.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Samuel Turns 7

Guess who else had a birthday?
This one.  The one we still call baby Samuel.
I sure hope his little ears stick out in a cap for the rest of his life.

He has the best birthday ever.  I distinctly remember when I was in labor with him on the 30th hoping he would wait to be born until the 31st.  He behaved and was born in the wee hours of the morning New Year's Eve.  It was a party in the room when he was born.  I worked at the hospital where he was born.  He had lots of people waiting to hold him.

My friend, Judy, likes to remind him that hers was the first face he looked at after he was born.

It has become a tradition that for his birthday, we host a breakfast at our house.  We invite lots of families, whoever is in town.  The kids run around.  The adults sip coffee and talk.  It's very low key.  My invitation was a mass text.  I'm classy like that.

Samuel quietly revels in being the center of attention.

He asks me all week who is coming.

Notice who's helping him blow out his candles.

But if you really want to be the center of attention, you should pass out donuts to 35+ kids.
Thanks, Krista, for taking pictures so I could be a part of the moment.

It's nice to have some girls in my house every once in awhile.

To make his day extra perfect, Chris took him to play golf with Graham and Asher.

When did they get this old?

It just seems like yesterday when they were busy doing things like this.
These birthdays... why do they have to come so quickly?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Picture Overload

This is post is mostly for the grandparents.  If you hang with me through all these pictures, you must really love me.
We opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa on the 23rd.

Asher loves crafting... love this about him.

Graham loves camping.  And so does his grandpa.  So naturally, every boy needs some fire to play with.

Fishing in his Minnesota t-shirt.

Love how he gets this excited about every present.

Remember this post.  Well, we like to foster his fear.

He loves his "something to read" present.

Jopie got a doctor kid.  My mom does a pretty good sick person, doesn't she?

Garland out of leftover craft paper.  I'm a little like my mother that way.  I can't stand to waste a couple of perfectly good pieces of paper.

Santa came.  He does our stockings.

Holding back the herd.

Cereal in the tree was a hit again this year.

And gloves for playing football outside.

Gourmet Christmas breakfast.  Mommy was too tired to get up and make something.  
But my mom made us a wonderful egg dish... thanks Mom!

Cars 2 movie.  They were all anticipating owning this movie.  And they watched it about five times already, but what are holidays for, right?

This play dough thing I found on clearance at Target was a hit.

For the young and the old.

And the really old.  Sorry, Mom and Dad.

Chris teaching Samuel how to download music.

The best dishwashers ever.  Really.

Wolfe men sure are handsome, aren't they?

Asher singing away.

Christmas happiness.

Enjoying tuning everyone out.

Love my Jopie.

We all love this Santa.

Lots of big hugs.

And smiles.  Go Rangers!

Love how they gather around.

I got a camera bag.  They know me well.

Even Daddy got a new toy.

I love this game.

Graham making us all pancakes with his new camping stove.

More hugs.

We are really excited about this present.

Watch out, Tiger.  The Wolfe boys are here.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, Papa and Tandy.  You gave gifts, but mostly, I loved how your gifts represented each of us so well.  You know us.  Thanks for loving us well.