Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Almost there (but not quite)!

As I think I've mentioned before, potty training is not my favorite parental responsibility.  It is down right dirty, frustrating and patience testing.  Emma was quite the challenge and I was determined to procrastinate with Owen for as long as possible!

      Frankly, I had plenty of excuses!  At first I decided that he wasn't able to verbally communicate well enough to tell me when he had to "go".  I told myself that it would work better when all four of us were living under the same roof during the week so that his daddy could teach him how to tinkle like a man.  I had all intentions to follow a specific three day method I found.  This method seemed to go about things in the total opposite way I did with Emma, so surely it might work!!  The only problem was that it literally required us to stay home and ignore life altogether for three full days.  This just wasn't an option with big sister's schedule.  Then I told myself we shouldn't start the process during our big move.  Once we got settled in here the kids got sick and of course that just wasn't the best time to start.  We have been in and out of town so much this Summer that I knew the time wasn't right.  Each time I would buy more diapers Jarrod would be right behind me saying "that's the last package we buy"!  If only deciding was that easy!  

I finally decided that now was as good time as any.  My main goal is to have him potty trained by the time he starts MDO at the end of August.  I stocked up on tiny hiney undies and dollar store candy and prizes.  He wears big boy undies during waking hours at home only right now.  He still wears diapers during sleep times and in public.  This morning I actually got brave and decided to let him wear undies while we were away from home for over an hour.  He did SO good!  I was truly impressed.  Upon picking him from the church nursery on Sunday his teacher asked "Does he wear underwear at home"?  I told her that we were working on it and she said that he stayed dry all morning and went potty each time they asked.  Way to go Owen!!

The consistency will come soon enough and practice makes perfect!!  I can't believe how fast this little boy is growing up right before our eyes :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Independence Day

The Smiths enjoyed the 4th of July this year!  We woke up in Oklahoma and went to bed in Texas.  We enjoyed dinner and fireworks in downtown Waco, just as we have for the past several years.  


FCA Enrichment Retreat

Jarrod and I were blessed with the opportunity to attend an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) marriage enrichment retreat this past weekend.  It was held at the beautiful Horseshoe Bay Resort.  It was SO nice to briefly get away from reality to reflect on our marriage.  It was also wonderful to fellowship with others who are in this ministry of coaching and touching the lives of many student athletes.  We stayed up late playing Bunco and even went on a midnight Wendy's run!!

The beautiful view from our hotel room:

We really enjoyed all of the speakers and activities.  Hosts for the retreat were Phil Dawson and his wife, Shannon.  Phil is an American placekicker for the Cleveland Browns and holds the franchise record for the most field goals made.  They have an incredible story and you can get to know them better here.  The main pastor, Paul, was amazing and powerful.  He talked about the toxins we all bring into marriage.  He also presented some very effective marriage investment strategies (spiritual, physical and emotional).  Perhaps the most important relational truths require us to expect problems, accept responsibility for them and bring God into the center.  He also said "If Satan can't make you bad he will make you busy."  The information he presented was simply life changing.  The men and women divided on a couple of different occasions.  The men discussed 3D coaching and how to share the Lord with their athletes while the women learned more about obeying God and how to be better "help mates" for our husbands.  The Tommy Snyder Band  was in attendance all weekend and the worship experience was wonderful!  Be sure to check out their great music!

FCA is a wonderful and effective organization and it is so powerful to know that there are so many Christian men and women coaching the athletes on all levels across the nation.  These coaches may very well be the only father figure and leader some athletes ever know.

Our resort had so many things to do, including a fun miniature golf course.  It had gorgeous birds, lush plants, waterfalls and real grass.  

On the very last evening Jarrod participated in one of the many contests.  Never in my life have I seen such a seriously competitive group of people (a bunch of coaches)!  In this contest he was required to stack and balance four dice on the end a popsicle stick secured in his mouth.  He did an impressive job!!

We were divided into small groups called "huddles".  Ours was comprised of seven couples.  There is no doubt in my mind that God's hand was in it and pieced our group together.  His perfect timing is always outstanding!!  We bonded very quickly and hope to have a reunion (after football season of course)!  We were able to lean on one another, learn from each another and engage in impactful discussions.  We were sad to leave them but look forward to praying one another through the upcoming "seasons" of life :) 

The entire group of retreat attendees:

The Houston (and Huntsville!) area representatives:

"Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, 
for I trust in You.
Reveal to me the way I should go 
because I long for you." 
~Psalm 143:8

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zoo Day

Earlier this month we headed to the zoo!

Ladybugs Emma & Grandma


 Baby Khloe's first trip to the zoo (2 weeks old)

Daddy & Owen spot a giraffe!

The whole gang :)

How far can Owen reach?!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our return to Oklahoma

Jarrod and I share many wonderful memories of our three years spent living in Stillwater, OK. Moving north was a huge step into the unknown, undoubtedly God's perfect way of preparing me for what was to come.  It's where we spent our earliest years of marriage, obtained our first full time jobs, adopted a cute tiny black puppy (Roxie!), became home owners for the first time and discovered we were pregnant with Emma.  We also enjoyed plenty of OSU sporting events, experienced four seasons of weather and made so many lifelong friends.  Oklahoma is also the place where Jarrod discovered his desire to teach/coach and I discovered how easily a career could completely consume one's life.  We bid farewell to everything we knew in Oklahoma and moved back to the Lone star state during the Summer of 2006.  For several years we considered returning for a visit but it just never worked out.  

Finally, this past week we loaded up the car and headed for the Sooner state.  My Trailblazer was very familiar with that 420 mile one way stretch of I35. 

It was incredible to see so many changes and additions throughout that familiar highway route.  Upon our arrival to Stillwater we were flooded with the most nostalgic and bittersweet emotions.  We drove directly to OSU Boone Pickens Stadium for a tour!  Since Jarrod's time working for the Posse athletic fundraising department many of the athletic facilities have undergone massive upgrades.  Some of those changes had begun while we were there but it was so neat to witness the finished product in person.  We were most impressed by the  beautiful stadium, coaches' offices and indoor practice facility still under construction.

Pistol Pete
The first night we created our own progressive eating arrangements for dinner.  We indulged in world famous cheese fries at Eskimo Joes, went to Hideaway Pizza for our main meal and on to Bad Brads BBQ for their unforgettable dessert.  These were just three of our favorite eateries and the kids seemed to enjoy :)

The next morning we treated ourselves to breakfast at Red Rock Bakery (the former Mikels Bakery).  Once upon a time we frequented this place almost every Saturday morning.  They have a wide variety of yummies but I vote the cinnamon roll as one of the best :)  The kids satisfied their tummies with sprinkled doughnuts!

For lunch we traveled an hour north to Ponca City to meet up with one of my former co workers and his wife.  Dewey was one of my wonderful drivers at Enterprise and there is no one in the world quite like him!  Over the past few months he unexpectedly lost a son and daughter-in-law and it was nice to finally be able to give him a hug in person.  Dewey has been great about calling at least once a month since we left Oklahoma to check up on us.  He was so excited to finally meet the kiddos :)

For dinner that evening we met some more old friends at El Vaquero, our favorite Mexican food place.  Matt and I worked together at Enterprise and his wife and I became good friends too.  We were thrilled to finally meet one another's child(ren)!

They were even nice enough to invite us over to their house the next morning for breakfast on our way out of town!  Thanks guys :)

We had a wonderful time walking down memory lane in Oklahoma.  Each place we live leaves special memories in our hearts and this one is definitely one of the best :)