Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Getting Ready to Go . . .

It's almost time. We received the news last summer. Reasonably priced tickets were found in January.

I. Can't. Wait. We're going to the states!!!!

Next week we're packing up and taking our first trip home as a family. My brother is getting hitched, and Renae is a flower girl in the wedding, along with my 2 adorable nieces. It will be worth the plane tickets just to see what Renae and Taylor do in their roles as flower girls.

I've been counting down the days everyday in my journal over the past few weeks and I can't believe it's so close! My list of things to buy has outgrown the alloted space on the piece of paper so that I have sidewise notes all over the place. We are taking only 2 suitcases back with us so we can bring 4 back to Spain. Renae will be getting a whole new wardrobe to cover the rest of our time here. (Spain has expensive kids clothes!) We're mostly bringing back clothes and food that I need (want) for cooking and baking here. Things like brown sugar, peanut butter, crisco, salad dressing packs, marshmallows, chili powder . . . you name it. I must say my American food pantry is pretty well stocked right now, however we don't have any more visitors coming this way and no more trips planned so I need to stock up for the next 9 months!

I also have another list going. This one is in my mind. But it's my favorite one to think about: (Can you tell where my heart is?)

Places I want to eat at, and things I want to eat:

  • Arby's (Don't judge me . . . .)
  • Hickory Park
  • Great Plains!! Can't wait!
  • A homecooked meal on Penni and Kevin's patio, and on my parents deck.
  • GRILLED hamburgers
  • GRILLED steaks
  • My Mom's cooking

And another list . . .Things I really want to do:

  • See and hug my brothers. All 3 of them.
  • Tickle my nieces.
  • Get big hugs from my parents.
  • Attend a Cornerstone service. Can't. Wait.
  • Walk barefoot in the grass.
  • Watch Renae play with Taylor. What kind of trouble will they get into together??
  • Go to Target.
  • Go to Old Navy.
  • Go to the Gap.
  • See Jenny, Tom and Aiden-hold Aiden for the first time!!! (If he'll let me, that is!)
  • Just be with family to laugh and have fun together.

I haven't taken hardly any pictures this past week so you're stuck with this pictureless post to read, and no new pictures of Renae. I can however tell you what Renae has been doing that's cute.

I've been showing her pictures of my family so that she can practice saying their names. Renae is good at identifying Mommy and Daddy in the picture, as well as Nana and Grandpy. However the rest of the family . . . she's not doing so hot. Usually, she points to "Schaw" (same word for sock and Scott), Tee (Tim) and No (she won't say Michael for some reason . . .) by choosing one uncle to point at for each name. And you aunts . . . sorry, but she can't say your names or point them out either. ONCE she said "Ju ju" for Julie. But I can't get her to repeat it. Hopefully while we are there she'll get better at saying her family members names!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Practicing . . .

There's nothing like a little Toby Mac to get in the dancing groove. Renae is practicing her dance moves for Uncle Michael's upcoming wedding. We're pretty sure she's going to upstage him since his main move is the hand clap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane . . .

Four years ago I was finishing up my degree in Caceres, Spain. For two months, I observed, helped and then taught in a 1st grade Spanish classroom. I lived with a Spanish family the entire time and was forced to speak in Spanish for a good chunk of my day. It was a great experience that I will always be grateful for. The only bummer about the whole thing . . . . I was there without Jesse. And we were married at the time. Yeah. Two months apart from each other was no fun at all, but we learned a ton, and God was faithful to provide us with what we needed. One need I had was a friend! He sent me a friend for life in Paula. Paula and her family have lived in Caceres for almost 10 years, and she was my sanctuary. She picked lice out of my hair when I got it from a Brazilian boy in my class, she cooked me American food when I needed it, and she spoke in English to me which was so nice as speaking in a foreign language all day is very draining.

We have kept in touch over the past four years, and now that we live in Spain, we've been able to see them a lot more! They were in need of a babys-sitter for a few days and I volunteered to drive over with Renae. Renae had a BLAST with her 3 kids, and I had a blast taking care of 3 sweet, responsible children. When they were in school, Renae and I took a walk to see some of the old places I frequented. We tried to visit my Spanish mom, but she wasn't there. Instead, we wandered into the historic part of town, stopped in a cafe for a pastry and hot cocoa, and enjoyed the sites.

The main pedestrian walk way.

The plaza mayor-much smaller than Madrid's!

Every Spanish plaza mayor has cafes surrounding it.

Renae sat in a big girl chair all week and did great.

The single mom and her four kids! (Just for a few days . . .)

Enjoy the video of Renae dancing it up with the girls.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Girls and Grilled Food in Grananda-Part 3

So you're wondering where the grilled food comes in . . .

Martin the Lebonese Grill Master . . .

We had food cooked on a grill AND food cooked over a fire. We were in heaven.

While the adults tried to finish up a game of Settler's, the girls watched a video.

La Alhambra is in the background. We could go in and see it because they were sold out. Darn. Next time . . .

One last picture of Emily and Renae . . .

Thanks for the visit-we loved every second!
Video Montage
-Renae does a balancing trick
-Renae reads "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!" (Notice she says "So" . . . 3 little monkeys jumped on the bed, and she hits her head too :) )
-Renae watches an animal video.
-Renae enjoys Emily's toys

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Girls and Grilled Food in Grananda-Part 2

Renae is back to share her version of our trip. You will see she heavily favored one day . . .

That’s me and my friend Emily.

I really liked her toys.

But I didn’t play with a baby stroller the entire time.

Ok, I did play with it a lot. But look at it! It was so cute!!

On Friday Emily and I helped our Mom’s decorate eggs! It was so much fun.

All set to go!

The bummer was they made us wear these ugly plastic bags. Did they think we’d get messy or something?

There were so many sticker choices.

Mom needed a lot of help knowing where to put the stickers.

They didn’t let us eat them though! What’s up with that??

I told Emily we should put the stickers on our faces too.

Our amazing eggs all finished!

I don’t know why, but my parents love it when I say cheese! They make me say it all the time. It’s getting old.

I discovered that if I pressed hard enough . . . my finger went through the egg!

Well I’m bored with posting about our trip. This was the best part of it anyway. My Mom will probably post more but I’m going to warn you, they will be about boring stuff. You just read the best post yet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Girls and Grilled Food in Grananda-Part 1

Last week was "Semana Santa" here in Spain which translates to SPRING BREAK. It actually translates to Holy Week but that's another topic. We have some friends that live in Granada so we decided to drive down for a few days of fun . They live in a much bigger piso than ours with a beautiful terrace to relax on. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing time.

The drive was beautiful once we got closer to Granada.

Renae’s friend Emily. These two are just a few months a part so they were pretty entertaining to be around.

Renae fell in love with Emily’s stroller and baby-doll. You’ll be seeing more of pictures like this . . .

Seriously-she loved that thing.

Corn hole!!

This game has numerous names but we learned it as Corn Hole. It was so much fun to place this with Joanna and Martin’s neighbor. By the way . . . Spaniards in the south have a southern accent too. Instead of hearing: “Pues, dame estos platos.” You will hear: “Pue dame eto plato.” Go figure.
We are super strong Corn Hole players

Martin attempts to win this round. He didn’t.

Renae decided Gonzalo needed help collecting the bean bags.

“For the last time! THIS is how you pick them up!”

The first day we headed into town to try the Andalucia version of churros.

We liked them better than Madrid churros. (That’s a flat Stanley I’ll explain in a later post.)

Emily and Renae decided to check out the fountain inbetween bites of chocolate covered fried dough.

Granada street

cool bazaar was in a really old part, and I believe it was part of the Arab old town. Granada is home to “La Alhambra” which is an old famous Muslim fortress.

Emily and Renae did pretty good seeing the sites that morning

It’s true. Mostly because of the friends that live there.

Old Arab décor.

A spice shop in the street.

Renae STILL loves all kinds of dogs.

Renae and Emily-BFFs!

Renae wanted to help push the stroller back to the car.

However . . . she soon got bored and decided to see the city from a different angle.
More pics coming soon!!!