Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top Ten #1- The Waco Bridge

Finally the moment has arrived! The story behind the Waco Bridge. I'm sure it has a different name, but it's the old wooden bridge in downtown Waco. Tracy and I were seemingly going different directions in life in December of 2004. He was headed overseas for his first deployment and I was about to graduate college and head to Africa. He called me around Christmas and we found a way to meet up before he left for the deployment. At the time my oldest sister Leslie lived in Waco; my grandparents and Aunt Cindy, (was Meredith there too?) were all traveling to Waco to see Leslie. It just so happens that North Ft. Hood is 30 min. from Waco. I drove to meet Tracy at Chili's so his sister didn't have to drive all the way to the base. We ate, he ate a lot (2 entrees and an appetizer), then I dropped him off at the base where we said goodbye. The next day he calls me and wants to see me again. I was surprised but decided to spend some more time with him. He borrowed Watson's car and drove to Leslie's house where he met my Aunt Cindy and saw my grandparents again. This second night we went to Krispy Kreme; he'd never seen them make doughnuts and to the Waco bridge. It was a nice, cool night in Waco. We sat, stood, danced, talked on the bridge until midnight. At that time he told me that he loved me and I replied "okay." I was thinking this isn't going to work out; he's going to war! We said our goodbyes and I headed to Dallas. I got home and realized I missed him A LOT! He asked me to come to his going away ceremony in Waco! Which I did and would have been no big deal but that night I had to make a 5 hour drive to Arkadelphia. Before the ceremony I told him that I loved him and wanted to stay together this time! And we did! 4 months later he proposed on leave!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Top Ten #2- My Bed!

I know you've been in suspense regarding the end of my top ten list. My Tempur-Pedic bed makes the list at #2. Tracy and I inherited a bed from his family when we got married. We slept on it and endured two weeks of back pain until I finally said, "if we don't get a new bed today then I'm sleeping on the couch!" Wha-lah! We had a brand new Tempur-Pedic mattress that night! Not only do we sleep a zillion times better, since the bed conforms to your body it was an added bonus while I was pregnant! We also have Tempur-Pedic pillows that we lug around with us. We lug them around so often that I've been called a pillow snob! Well, to that person I say if you had a Tempur-Pedic pillow you'd be a pillow snob too!
The most recent Tempur-Pedic story involves it flying out of Tracy's truck on the way to storage. That's right, we put it in storage while I live in Austin (it was a sad day but we will survive!). Tracy came home from taking a trip to storage and said that we almost had a water bed because the mattress flew out and almost landed in the ditch. Don't worry it didn't but it also almost got run over by an 18 wheeler. Now that would have been the true test of the Tempur-Pedic.
Dear Tempur-Pedic, you should try an 18 wheeler running over a Tempur-Pedic and air it on your info-mercial. I'm getting tired of watching people lie on their bed on a back porch! No one lies on their bed outdoors!

Exer-saucer fun!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

#3- Top of a 14'er/ Family Update

Top Ten List #3- Top of a 14'er

I have been to the top of 4 mountains that peak at 14k plus feet. One of them is Pike's Peak which we drove up to the top so that doesn't really count in the adventure category!

When I was 12 my family indulged my dad in hiking to the top of one 14k foot mountain, Mount Eolus, for his 40th birthday. This was such a great experience that my dad and I took another trip to the Chicago basin for my college graduation present along with Marcus and Forrest Bowen and Uncle Bob and Eric Gross.
A few highlights of the trip:
The unexpected 6 feet of snow at the top which resulted in a sunburn (ouch!),
Camping on a rock in the middle of the snowfield for 2 nights. Thanks to Meredith and Aaron for the use of their nice inflatable mattress thing to make the rock sleeping much more comfortable.
The feeling of summiting 3, 14k foot mountains: priceless. Actually, the views from the top are priceless and the true reward. Unfortunately I'm always so gassed at the summit that I just think about the long hike down. I hope to return one more time and summit North Eolus.
The Family Update:
Today is Tracy's last day of work! We will be packing up and leaving Bastrop this weekend, well our stuff will stay in storage. I am moving into the Lemmon house and Tracy heads east next week. Watch your e-mail account for updates on Tracy's adventures!
I'll admit that I will miss Bastrop, the tall pine trees, and our friends. I told Tracy that "this has been our best move yet." It was our first move away from the Dallas area and truly on our own. While confident that we'd make Bastrop work, you just never know until you move away from security and are truly on-your-own. I'm hoping that our next move will be just as good for our family; that we can find a good church and many good friends!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hospital and Brno

It has been an eventful couple of days. We were enjoying our Labor Day Swim party, our last big hurrah with our Bastrop/Elgin friends, when we got an unexpected call that my mom was having surgery. Long story short she went in the hospital Thursday night with a blockage in her small intestine. They waited it out but with no change decided surgery was necessary. Tuesday morning Addison and I headed to Allen to be with mom. We left the hospital yesterday and spent today taking care of her! She seems to be doing better and taking less pain meds. Thank you for praying for her!

Now it's back to the Top Ten List- #4 Brno, Czech Republic:
After our wonderful honeymoon we took the opportunity to head back to Europe for a mission trip. A group from Parkway had been going to Romania for a couple of years, but this was their first time to go to Czech Republic. We worked with the Hatchel family ministering to Gypsies. We held back yard bible clubs in an apartment complex all week. We shared stories, songs and games with the kids. Another day we went to a village and had a Bible School. Tracy met this little girl who is deaf. She loved him and clung to him all afternoon. He knows a little American Sign Language and was able to communicate with her!
The best part of our trip was meeting Nelu and Doinita. They were Romanian, Gypsy interns for Boyd Hatchel that summer. They came over to help him begin a church in Brno. We lived next door to them for the week and spent time getting to know them. They have money but not a way to get good, quality clothing. We left Nelu some jeans and a few of Tracy's shirts. We also left them some socks that we hadn't worn that week. After finding out that they cannot buy athletic socks in Romania we even left them our dirty socks. If you've seen Tracy's feet you know how desperate they were for socks. I talked to them a few weeks ago and she said they still wear the socks we had given them!
We continue to have a good relationship with them and enjoy hearing about their ministry. Nelu is a pastor and travels to several cities to do ministry. The one that we help support is in Sintesti. Doinita teaches English and other subjects, other wise there is no formal education, and feeds the students lunch 3 days a week. They are doing wonderful work and we are happy to share in it with them. Who knew that we could make life long friends on a one week trip!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Applesauce Success!

Applesauce Success!

I made my first homemade baby food! I realized this morning that I was out of fruit to feed Addison. Suddenly I remembered the 3 lb. bag of Granny Smith apples that I purchased on sale ($1.50) at HEB last week. I decided to try my hand at making applesauce. I peeled and cut the apples then called my Dad for some "Applesauce making" coaching. My Dad has been canning Applesauce and Apple butter for years now! And it's quite delicious. I had already been boiling the diced apples when I found out that I was supposed to puree them first. Whoops! They were already soft so I threw them in the food processor (I'm glad to finally get some use out of it!). In no time flat they were smooth like baby food. Well, not that smooth so I added some Apple juice. Wha-Laaaah! Applesauce! The real test will be tonight to see if she will eat it! I made 3 cups of Applesauce which equals 6 jars of 50 cent baby food. Since I only used half the apples, instead of $3.00 I spent $.75 and it's all natural! I'm so excited and feel so domestic! I am glad that I stay home so I can do things like this! I'll update you on the results of Addison's taste test!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Costa Rico!

#5 and #6- Costa Rica and Puerto Rico

As you can tell most of my travels have been on mission trips, minus my very first trip abroad to Germany and our honeymoon. For this I have two people to thank. My mother (and I'm sure my Father too) and Grant Byrd. I came home one day from school and asked to go to Germany with my German class. At the time I was thrilled that my parents said yes; in retrospect I'm kind of surprised that they'd let their 16 year old daughter go overseas with some classmates and 2 teachers. Nonetheless I'm very glad now that they let me be adventurous and take my first trip overseas! This trip inspired my love for overseas travel.
Secondly, my youth minister (Grant) took an international youth mission trip every year. He encouraged us to share our faith with classmates and with people in far away places. I took my first 2 trips to Mexico (well, besides the walk across with Dad and Meredith from South Padre), a trip to Costa Rica, S. Korea, and Puerto Rico with Grant. This was great for me b/c it combined two things I loved: adventuresome traveling and sharing my faith.

#6- Costa Rica had beautiful beaches. Across the street from the beach was a beautiful rain forest type park where we had rallys at night and walked around talking to people during the day. We travelled all week in the bed of a Ford Ranger equivalent. Mind you there were 10 of us crammed in the back of this little truck, roaming through the streets of Costa Rica. I'm sure the locals were thinking, "Hey, look at those Gringos!"

#7- Puerto Rico was also a great trip, this time I was a leader along with Grant for our group of 10. This time we traveled the rolling hills of Puerto Rico in a 15 passenger van. Most of us were feeling car sick after an hour ride. I asked if anyone had any motion sickness medicine b/c I was about to hurl. The response was no. About an hour later a kid says they are getting sick and finally Erica pipes up "I have some Dramamine!" I could have hurt her, b/c by now I had been feeling sick for a whole hour and not enjoying the hilly terrain. The best moment for me was sharing my faith with a girl at a park. We went to this park hoping to find some people to talk to but instead resorted to playing kickball. After the kickball I went into the stand to pass out some tracts. There was one 12 year old girl; I asked if I could read the tract with her. To my surprise she let me read it, and at the end she prayed to receive Christ. I was so pumped!