Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh My Gosh..Am I A Soccer Mom?!!

It happened this week.I got one step closer to driving a minivan, wearing "sensible" shoes, and cheering like a mad woman from the sidelines.
Bella started her very first soccer team. *(Let the stereotypical images begin)
It's a beginners' team for 4 & 5 year olds, and Bella nearly missed the deadline by turning 4 a week or so after the mandatory date. But she was able to squeeze by- and she joined the team with her older cousin Marley (which is pretty much the only way we got her to do it). She's not a newcomer to activities by any means. She's done gymnastics for years, ballet and tap, cooking classes, swim lessons and tumble classes. But this is her first "official" organized sport, and her first experience being part of a 'team'. I'll just go ahead and be honest- I'm not really into turning my sweet little Bella into some "tough" girl. John and I even joke that we have a list of so-called "approved" sports we want her to play. You know what I mean. But teaching kids about teamwork, discipline, good sportsmanship and respecting coaches is something we think gives them valuable life lessons. Plus, it's too darn cute to see my curly-haired little girl wearing the smallest shin guards and tinniest cleats (in pink of course!) I've ever seen :-)

So here we go...
Super proud and anxious mom? Check.
Cooler with CapriSun's and water bottles? Check.
Dusty pop-up camping chairs for the sidelines? Check. way.
And sensible shoes?? Me?! That one is laughable ;-)

So I guess I'm not a full-fledged soccer mom just yet. Maybe I'm one in training.
But the day some bigger girl or boy on the other team pummels my little Bella......

Look Out.

Just Another "Mom" Moment.

I know I said I would be blogging stories and pictures from our trip to Minnesota, but instead of using my free time yesterday going through all the pictures I took on my trip, I decided to get out of the house and take the kids to our favorite park to enjoy what may be the last few summer days.
While we were there, I snapped a bunch of pictures of the kids playing, but these pictures in particular of Bella really caught my eye. As I was looking at them, I realized that my first-born is actually starting to look more and more like a little girl.
I feel so overwhelmed when I think of everything I want to teach her. I want her to see me as a friend, but still her mom. I want her to be confident, but also humble and open to constant change. I want her to have a good sense of humor, but still sensitive and handle things with grace. I think most importantly, I want her to appreciate and love me...but not constantly need me. I once heard someone say that the real purpose of motherhood is to "work yourself out of a job". As much as I may want to- I cant constantly be doing everything for her. Someday she will need to grow up and be independent of me. Sad isn't it? Ugh- it's so hard to be a mom!

At 4 years old, she still needs me. And I definitely relish in that thought. But my prayer is that Isabella will someday become a completely independent young woman- who no longer needs her mom to do everything and decide everything for her...but instead turns to Christ as her life compass. When the day comes that Bella is seeking Him first for direction as a young woman, wife, mother, professional.....then I will feel comfort and satisfaction in knowing that I did my job well.
As a side-note to my own mom: Mom, thank you for encouraging my independence...I think I'm all the better because of it!
And since I have a love affair with taking pictures of my kids, I had to include these pictures of Bella building a sand castle. I played around with some new editing, and I really liked the 'vintage' feel and the softness of her little face in these pictures :-) But of course, I'm biased.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Our family has a lot of plans this next week, so stay tuned for some new updates.
And poor Ty is in need of some blog time, so I'll leave you with this adorable little face:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home At Last.

We looooove going on trips. It actually seems like we have been traveling more than just being at home lately. But finally we are home, unpacked and feeling settled. There just isn't anything like being in your own home, with everything just the way you left it (and for those of you who know me well- you know that I cleaned the house from top to bottom before we left. And I truly enjoyed the fruits of my labor when we walked into the house yesterday and it smelled like lemon pledge and febreeze pine-sol! The carpets even had fresh vacuum lines! Yes I know I'm weird. I'm okay with it.)
But now it's back to the normal routine. Back to dance practices, work, meal-making, swim lessons, bible studies, basketball games and everything else that falls into our normal weekly routine. I have lots to share about our visit to Minnesota, but after all the unpacking I did last night, I have mountains of clean laundry that are staring at me...begging me to fold them and put them away. I suppose a normal person would gladly ignore the laundry for a while. But when it comes to cleaning and organizing, I'm not normal, remember? And again, I'm okay with it :-)
So stay tuned for future posts on the fun activities we did. I was just in love with how green and lush everything is in Minnesota...and I never saw a single cactus! Imagine that! I even have some cute video clips that I might try to download later. Plus, I'll upload a photo album as soon as I get a chance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Little Bit Of Everything.

Oh vacation.....
A little bit of airplane travel.....
A little bit of roller coasters...both big-
..and small.
A little bit of swimming....
A little bit of dancing....
A little bit of time taken to pass on family traditions to the younger generation (more explanation later).....
A little bit of bonding between cousins.....both young-
...and old.
A little bit of fishing....
....and a lot of fish! (15 total!)
And of course, a little bit of wrestling and jumping on fluffy hotel beds.
Ah, vacation.
More (much more) on all of this later.
Have a great week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Room For Two?

I'm up working on a few pictures for some friends of mine- and I thought I'd use this cute picture of Mr. Hudson to help lead into a public congrats to my dear sweet friend Kerri...
You see, there will be another addition to this "baby basket" come May :-)
No doubt the newest addition will be just as dashingly good-looking as this handsome little guy!
And as a side note, aren't' babies and kids that much cuter when put into a basket? Wouldn't that be funny if we did that when taking pictures of adults? I'm giggling to myself just thinking about it :-)
Congratulations again Kerri, we are all praying for a healthy (and quick!) pregnancy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nearing The End.

As September has rolled in, the end of summer is quickly nearing. But wait- I live in the desert..nope, no end in sight just yet. So while we are still enjoying (AKA: managing) through the warm summer weather, the promise of fall is fast approaching. I love fall and winter in Scottsdale. The weather is so unbelievably pleasant, and we get to enjoy our favorite family activities like bike rides, playing and eating outside and even just watching the kids play in the yard and cul-de-sac while we lounge in our chairs. Ah yes. Fall will be here soon enough.
So we might as well take advantage of the perfect pool temperature while we can. This morning some of the cousins got together and we swam in the pool and set up a slip n' slide of the kids (and by kids, I am also including David and John). They are so blessed to all grow up together, and its awesome to see how much they really do love each other. Here's a few quick pics of the fun-

More cute pictures are in our Picasa album, so click HERE (it's a big album, so scroll to the bottom to see the most recent pictures)

Oh, and did I mention that Ty pooped on the patio deck?

Yes, you read that right. He pooped. Oh my little boy. What will I do with you?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Future Mrs. Anderson

Its been a busy few days for Tyler! He hung out with his buddy Hudson yesterday, and this morning he got to go to the park with his sweetheart Allie :-) Get used to seeing this face around here, because not only is she incredibly photogenic and sweet as pie, but she's also practically family to us (especially considering that she will one day be an actual 'Anderson'). Allie Grace is a little ray of sunshine, and we just love her to pieces! I'll send you some more Heather, but here are a few cute shots of Miss Allie!

Sweet Bundle of Joy

Yesterday when Ty and I hung out over at Kerri and Hudson's house, we got to double our pleasure by also seeing Alison and her adorable new little man, Fischer. You can just tell that Alison was made for the role of "mom". She is patient, calm and completely in love with her precious son. But who wouldn't be? His bright blue eyes and wrinkled little skin just makes you melt. There's something about the way a newborn feels and fresh and soft:-) Here's a few pictures of Fischer for you to enjoy. Love you Alison- you're doing awesome!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tyler's Best Friend (besides Bella)

This morning Tyler and I had the pleasure of a fun play-date and lunch with his Godmother Kerri and his best friend Hudson. Ty had so much fun playing with his little buddy (besides the occasional fights over who got to hold the basketball) and I brought along my camera in hopes of capturing a few precious shots of sweet little Hudson. So here's a little peek Kerri- more to come soon! Love you and thanks for having us over!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Viva la Sur La Table!

A while back I made a few resolutions for myself.
{1} I would learn more creative cooking techniques and recipes for my family.
{2} I would explore my curiosity about photography.
Well, I'm happy to report that I have been dedicated to both! Imagine that! I have been having lots of fun learning about camera functions and technical stuff (ok, minus the night I was so frustrated with this learning process that I almost threw my camera into my computer screen. I'm better now.)
And tonight I had the pleasure of continuing in my efforts to become the domestic goddess I aspire to be, by attending a cooking class at Sur La Table with my friend Heather! Being that it was our first time taking a cooking class, we pretty much realized that we have been doing everything wrong all these years. Even the way I held my knife was wrong. Poor Chef Carol kept shaking her head and smiling at us. I think we amused her. But we set our minds to the recipes we were making, and they turned out darn good if I do say so myself!
Of course Heather shows us how to look good while sauteing shrimp.
And here was her final result. It was divine. Probably one of my favorites of the night. My dish was roasted garlic chicken with tomato and pear chutney.
That's right. I made a chutney.
Hats off to Bri!! Chef's hat that is! I may have needed a little instruction from Chef Carol about the proper consistency of my chutney...but I am no longer afraid to make things that look intimidating in the recipe description.
Voila! Final presentation! We also enjoyed a delicious polenta dish, pan seared salmon with orange and fennel salad and white bean turkey chili. And as an added bonus, I got to spend the evening laughing and cooking with a good friend.
And for the record, she thought my chutney was the best. :-)
**{more pictures to come later in picasa, check back later for a link! }**