"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

31 January 2013

Lucy's Muffins

Lucy from Attic 24 is pretty much a celebrity in the crochet-blogging world. She works with bright, cheerful colors and posts beautiful pictures from her hometown in "North of England."

Remember my granny stripe that is this year's Big Project? Here's a reminder:

It's one of Lucy's patterns. I veered from her main color palette and added some of my own picks, but the idea is hers.

Here's something else I've made of hers.

Sorry for the terrible lighting. That outer layer is actually a teal color.

Any guesses what it's going to be? I won't tell yet, but it's for one of my homemade pay-it-forward buddies this year.

Check out Lucy's blog. It's a haven of happiness.

I mean, how could something like this not make you feel a teensy bit better inside?
Photo Credit: Lucy from Attic 24
Granted, those pictures are from a trip she took to Provence last fall (and you all know how dear Provence is to my heart).

Recently, she posted about her "easy peasy muffins," and what really got my attention about them was that the recipe makes just six muffins. One of the reasons I don't bake much is that there are only three of us. Whenever I bake something, the last third or fourth of whatever I make ends up sitting around and getting sort of funky. I hate having to throw away food -- it's incredibly wasteful.

This recipe is perfect for a little family. I tried a batch after B went to bed last night, and N and I promptly gobbled up four of them -- two each. They were so warm and good and "yummy tummy," as B likes to say.

I thought I'd share Lucy's recipe with you. I'm nice like that. I don't keep all the goodness to myself.

All I need to know, I learned in kindergarten. (Read the poem here).
Anyway, here's the non-metric version of the recipe for my American readers.

*Mix 1 c self-rising flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 c sugar together.
*In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 c milk, 2 T sunflower oil, 1 egg, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. I also added a dash of orange extract. It was amazing with the raspberries.
*Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients.
*Line a muffin tin (NOT a cupcake tin) with cupcake liners. Trust me, they make it much, much easier to remove the muffins.
*Spoon a large dollop of batter into each little section. Sprinkle two or three or six berries or pieces of fruit or what have you on top. Spoon more batter on top. Top off with a couple more berries. I used raspberries yesterday, and they were perfect.
*Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.
I have a million leftover Christmas-themed cupcake liners from a couple years ago. Don't judge.

30 January 2013

Toddlers & Community: A Compassion Post

Toddlerhood has been a wake-up call for me.

Little B was an incredibly good-natured baby. Other than not sleeping well, he was the ideal baby. He was always cheerful, rarely cried, ate well, and was a healthy baby overall.

And then he began talking. And having opinions.

The audacity. 

Toddlerhood has brought forth such an awareness of my own shortcomings and embarrassing lack of empathy at times. As I was on the phone with a sweet friend last week, we were commiserating about how parenting toddlers makes us aware of "issues" in ourselves that we never even knew we had! 

I think this is why communal support is so important. God created us to live in community, to share laughter and sorrow, to carry one another in love. The presence of a supportive community has never been as crucial in my life as it has been since becoming a mother. In those desperate moments of "I just can't do this," there is nothing more healing than hearing the voice of another mother say, "I know. I get it." 

It makes you feel like you just might not be as crazy as you suspect you are.

If you've been reading here for a while, you'll know that I blog for Compassion International.
One of the reasons I love the work that Compassion does is that, by helping children, the organization supports families.

I was thinking about Compassion tonight. As I looked at pictures of little ones on their website and praying that the Lord would provide sponsors for them, I came across this:
Sponsor a Toddler today!
And it stopped me in my tracks, and I had this thought: "These precious toddlers have mamas who love them dearly. When their babies are sponsored, there is a thread of "community" that links them. How beautiful!"

Maybe I'm being extra-sentimental. It's very likely, actually. I'm a very weepy person.

But after having my stomach turned by two seconds of a viral video of a mom pinning down her screaming baby boy while a tattoo "artist" pierces the tender, pure skin of the baby's upper arm, I'm extra-thankful for all the mothers out there who protect their children fiercely, who love them deeply, for whom their babies are not a fashion accessory to flaunt and tote around but a precious life, a life with which they have been entrusted.

Won't you join this community of Compassion? Won't you help release a toddler -- or two -- from the vicious cycle of poverty?

*All photos on this page, except for the first, are taken from Compassion.

Creepy Crawlies

Today, I bring you two "creepy crawlies."
A "Very Hungry Caterpillar" Newborn Photo Prop Set for a Hannah Plays Hooky customer
Didgeridoo, our bearded dragon. We call him "Dooey."
Aren't they cute?

What you don't see is the brobdingnagian pile of poop behind Dooey that he oh-so-thoughtfully left for us this morning.

B was delighted, by the way. He kept alternating between being Dooey's cheering squad, yelling, "YAY, Dooey!" as Dooey went about his business and running to me to report the play-by-play: "Dooey pooping-uh." (A few words that end in "-ing" get the "uh" tacked on to the end of them lately).

This was followed up by "B clean up."

I think we'll wait for Daddy to get home to take care of that one.

29 January 2013

Today's Eucharisteo

I know some of my more sophisticated readers might turn up their noses at Ann Voskamp, but I happen to think she's incredible. Sure, her writing style is not one that I prefer, but good heavens. The woman speaks truth and grace and beauty and honesty.

We need more of those things in this broken, ugly world.

I follow her blog, not daily, but regularly.

Today's entry was a guest post by her friend Sarah Mae, author of Desperate.
I'm positive I am meant to read this book.

Desperate first came to my attention a few days ago. I don't even remember where I saw it. I just know I read the blurb under it and it shook me to my core.

"It’s for you, for the mama who has ever whispered, “I just can’t be a mother today.” It’s for those who love their little ones to the depths of their souls, but who feel like parenting is way harder than envisioned. It’s for those who have watched their ideals slip through their fingers like water, unable to grasp them." 

We just moved across the country, to a place where we have no roots, no community, no friends. Life is still unfamiliar. It has been lonely, and mothering well through all the transition has been hard. 

Eucharisteo has been hard. 
I posted the link to Desperate on my FB page, saying (rather flippantly, because people don't really take these things seriously, right?): "I need this. Somebody buy it for me!" 

The miracle is, there was a somebody out there.  Another mom, one with two little ones and one on the way. Someone who, like me, moved here from far away. 

Someone who understands. 

So although I had another long and sleepless night, trying to soothe my child through the discomfort from coughs and a very stuffy nose, and although the morning got off to a rough start with cleaning up vomit and yet another load of linen laundry, I'm finding it a little bit easier to be thankful today. 
Because even through this loneliness, God is here. He sees. He sees my frantic attempts to be the perfect mom. He sees my anger when I fail every day. He sees my desperation. 

And He sends me a book to read to remind me that there are others out there. 

And He sends me a friend who reaches out a hand when I've been feeling like there are none. 

And He reminds me, just a few days later, when I've had a hard night and a hard morning, that He's still here...
still seeing...
still ever-strong when I am oh-so-weak.

28 January 2013

Sickies in the House

I hear the flu is particularly bad this year. We hear it everywhere we go, and when it involves most medical-types, they follow that up with, "You have had your flu shots this year."

It's not even a question. It's a statement heavily loaded with, "Only crazies wouldn't have gotten the flu shot."

Here's the thing.

I don't get sick often (*knock on wood*). I never have. That said, I have never gotten the flu shot. Not even when I was pregnant.

I am not an anti-medicine hippie. I believe that God gave humans intelligence to develop things like antibiotics, pain killers, and vaccinations. I also believe that God created our bodies with incredible immune systems, bodies with the ability to heal. I think we in the western world far underestimate the healing ability of our bodies. I also think we are terrifyingly over-drugged.

All this just to say that he has a bit of a cold and has slept terribly the past couple nights.* 

We didn't go to church yesterday, because we didn't want to expose other children to his germs and him to other people's germs.

I can't wait until we're settled into a church where people will notice when we're not there and call to make sure we're okay.

Well, I hear a little voice calling for me. If you think of us today, say a little prayer for healing. And that we'd find a church home soon.

*And before anyone gets all up in arms and judgmental, yes, Little B did get the flu shot this year.

26 January 2013

Turtles, Crepes, H-Mart, & Small Animals

Back when B was a bad, bad, bad sleeper (the most sleep-deprived season of my life, counting sophomore year of college), we tried many, many, many techniques, tools, and gadgets.

One of the best (out of the few) items that we bought is the Cloud B Twilight Constellation Night Light. To be perfectly honest, I think we purchased this turtle because 1. N has a penchant for turtles and 2. he likes all things space. After all, his favorite job to date was working at Space Center Houston.

B didn't have a particular affinity for Turtle Moon until he got a little bit older. But as of a couple months ago (maybe because he really likes the classic book Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown), he loves to point out the moon and stars ... in the sky, in pictures, in shapes.

Yesterday, he carried Turtle Moon around the house with him for a good portion of the day. Because it was overcast, once I closed all the curtains, it was dark enough in our hallway for him to play with the turtle's lights. The lights come in three settings: amber, blue, and green. B likes green the most, and amber is nice and dim for when we are singing songs and winding down at the end of the day. And the blue is just pretty.

This also gave me a good opportunity to sew up his curtains and finally get them hung up. Our house came with new blinds on all the windows (the nicer kind with the wide slats), but really, I'm just not into blinds. I like my curtains. We've kept the blinds up, because we figure they'll help keep out the heat in the summer, but I'll be glad to have curtains up to hide them some of the time.

On Saturday mornings, N is usually in charge of breakfast. Sometimes that means he and B make a run out to get doughnuts. Sometimes it means he makes very elaborate eggs.

Yesterday, though, I had said that I would make crepes, and although I made the ridiculous decision to stay up way past my bedtime last night (see below), I kept my promise. 

"So yummy!" proclaimed my boys.

It's so rewarding to be appreciated.

We had a quiet morning. N and B played with toys while I read my library book, and then we all took long naps.

This afternoon, we drove out to Carrollton to the H-Mart and saw more Korean people than we have seen in the past three years combined.

We also drank bubble tea, ate lots of samples (B enjoyed the fish cakes in particular), and were pretty much overwhelmed at the thought that we have all this Korean food and ingredients available to us just half an hour (and some tolls) from our house. Overwhelmed in a good way.

Here's our loot from today:
And finally, I wanted to share a couple projects I've been working on. I made this first one as a sample for a contribution I'm making to a local small business giveaway.
B loves doggies, even ones that bark ridiculously at us through the fences around their yards as we walk by on our way to the playground. He will point through the fences, delighted, and call out, "Doggies! Loud doggies!" When he saw his new hat this morning, he said, "Wa-oooo! Doggie hat!"

I follow Bunny Mummy's blog, and she makes these adorable little owls. I had left my laptop screen up recently, and B was quite taken with her colorful little flock of birdies. I decided to whip up one for him to hang on his doorknob.
I think it turned out quite adorably, don't you?

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

25 January 2013

How to Make Ironing More Fun

Find a cute little helper, preferably one with a cheesy grin
Have good "dance" music. I had TobyMac, Mandisa, Britt Nicole, and Big Daddy Weave on yesterday.
Let your little helper be responsible for the hangers.
Have plenty of amusement available for your little helper for the in-between moments of helpfulness and dancing.
That's it! Iron ... sing out LOUD ... dance ... give lots of hugs and high fives to your little helper!

24 January 2013

A Few B-isms

People always tell parents to write down the memorable things that their kids say. I thought I'd share a few of B's latest with you.

First of all, he calls the smoke alarms "lopey-limes." We don't always correct him. What can I say? He's going to grow out of this saying-thing-in-adorable-ways stage too fast anyway. We're enjoying it while it lasts. Even when some things (i.e. "shirt") sound utterly inappropriate coming out of his mouth.

While play-wrestling the other day -

B: "Biting Mommy!"
Me: "No, no biting."
B: "Biting Daddy!"
Me: "No biting Daddy either."
B: "Biting B!"

Without missing a beat, he bit on his finger, then: "Owie! Need man-made [band-aid]!"

*Disclaimer: He doesn't really bite people, don't worry. And he didn't really bite himself hard. He just really likes band-aids, so every little bump is a good excuse for him to ask for one.

While helping me prepare dinner on Tuesday -

B: "Apples!" and scooped up a few slices of raw onion and put them in his mouth. I watched him to see how he would react. He chewed and then nodded.

"Yummy apples!"

B has learned to recognize President Obama, and he knows the president's name. He used to say it perfectly, but has since become a bit silly about it, adding multiple syllables to it. When you ask him what the president's name is or if you show him a picture, B will shout gleefully: "Oma-bam-bam-BAM!"

Well, yesterday, we were practicing how to say B's full name (it's a mouthful for a little guy, especially with the S and all the L's). He was doing a pretty decent job at it. After a few tries, though, he decided he was done and began making up his own variations. One of them included, "B___ L___ G____ bam-bam-BAM!"

And finally, since football season is in gear...


Sorry. If you know me, you would know how funny it is that I just said that. I know nothing about football. I don't even really know that it's in season, except for the fact that we live in Texas and everyone and their mom were wearing team jerseys last Sunday.

Okay, so back on topic. A friend of mine requested a NY Giants beanie. Here it is:

You can see more of my work at Hannah Plays Hooky.
Who woulda thunk that I would be making football team-themed beanies? You just never know what life will bring your way.

23 January 2013

Car Seat Blanket

I woke up this morning and checked my email, and I found a purchase notification from my bank. For a purchase I did not make.


I just spent the last half hour listening to the automated service and finally talking to a claims specialist at my bank.

Anyway, on to happier thoughts.

Remember last week when I made the little boys' taggie blanket for my friend's baby shower? I also made a fun car seat blanket as well. Little B loves his blankie, but we only allow him to have it when he's sleeping. We've always thought it was disgusting when kids dragged their beloved blankets everywhere. I mean, think of the germs ... blech.

We were grateful for all the soft and warm blankets we received as gifts when I was pregnant, because they came in handy in the winter months in upstate New York. We would tuck them in around B in the car seat, and we'd be ready to go. And it was great because we could layer as needed and pull them right off when we got inside wherever we were going. No dealing with zippers and buttons.

Plus, I always thought those infant car seat covers were a bit creepy. They are probably good at doing what they were made for (keeping the kiddos warm) but they make ME feel a bit claustrophobic.

Anyway, here's the blanket:
It's smaller than a regular blanket, so it won't droop over the edges of the car seat and drag on the ground when set down. I put soft, fuzzy material on the other side so Baby would be toasty and comfortable.

Isn't it fun? Hand-stitching the binding took forever, but it gave me ample time to listen to my audiobook!

Have a great day, everyone!

22 January 2013

Completely Rich

To be poor and without trees,
is to be the most starved human being in the world.
To be poor and have trees,
is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Faithful Gardener

We spent a good portion of this weekend working in our backyard. There are many bulbs, rose bushes, and other plants back there, but there is also a mess of various vines, weeds, and leaves. 

Oh, boy, do we have leaves.

One of N's dreams growing up was to someday live in a house that was surrounded by trees. 

Well, that dream has more than come true. 

Too bad it wasn't in a place where the leaves don't ever fall off the trees.

Like in Africa.

Oh, wait. Wrong dream.

Really, though, I'm glad that dream came true for N, because I can't imagine living without any trees. Growing up in a rain forest, north Texas is a shock to my system. Sometimes, I ache for mountains (or at least some hills!) and greenery. 

When we first moved in, we raked up all the leaves into huge piles. We bagged the leaves in the front yard, but we left the ones in the back yard in four giant heaps (we ran out of bags).

So over the weekend, we started bagging the piles in the backyard, and yesterday, B and I spent most of the day outside, working. There are many more leaves to bag, lots of weeds to pull up, rocks and plants to move. He was such fun, running back and forth between the yard and the garage, bringing me this and that, riding his toy car around. Every time I created a pile of leaves and weeds, he would come over with his bright yellow rake and "help raking pile" (which really means scattering the pile I had just made, but I love his desire to help!). 

There are many days of work and backaches for us, and sometimes, I wish we had friends to call over for help. This would all go so much faster if we had more hands. 
I mean, some of those rocks are HEAVY.

Then I remind myself of how this house is an example of God's provision in our lives. That we wanted these trees. This yard. 

Truth be told, the more time I spend back there, with my little helper and my Big Helper, the more I am reminded of the importance of renewal. Of clearing out the bad stuff and giving the good stuff room to breathe and grow.

These are good lessons to learn ... and to teach.

21 January 2013

"No Blessing!"

Every night, before B goes to bed, we have a night-time routine.  Discovering that having a consistent bedtime routine was the answer to all our sleep (or rather, lack of sleep) problems when B was around 10 months was what enabled me to return to being a clear-minded able-to-stay-awake-past-eight-o'clock adult.

Anyway, about a year ago, a dear friend of mine (who used to be one of my youth leaders in high school!) passed this book on to me. At first, I just quietly prayed those prayers of blessing by myself in the morning and at night, but with this new year, I decided that I wanted to incorporate them into our bedtime routine.

So after we read our books and Bible story, we have "blessing time." The first few nights, B sat nicely and allowed me to place my hand on his head as I read the blessing for the day. After the first night, he even asked for "blessing." It was all so cute and sweet and adorable.

Over this past weekend, he was having a particularly ornery night. He was being quite the little contrarian. He did not want to read books. He did not want to sing songs. He did not want a Bible story. He did not want green eggs and ham.

Oops. Wrong story.

Anyway, when it came time to do the blessing, he emphatically stated, "No blessing!" and plucked the book right out of my hands and returned it to his bedtime books box.

The audacity of it all caught me off-guard, and I actually began laughing.

Will I ever learn?

B is in a rather comedic phase. He has learned that there are certain things that he can do that will garner laughter, applause, etc. So once he realized that something he does is funny, he will do it repeatedly. Sometimes, he follows up with a fake "a-HA-HA-HA," accompanied by approving nods for himself (even if no one else is laughing).

So ever since that night, when it is Blessing Time, he shouts, "No blessing!" and laughs uproariously.

In other book-related news, B calls this book the "naughty baby book." I mean, check out the cover.
Photo Credit
But really, throughout that entire book, as it chronicles that baby growing up, he is quite naughty. The ending (in case you haven't read it) is lovely, though. I choked up the first time I read it and that was before I was a parent (or married ... or dating).

In the interest of complete transparency though, the last couple instances of the mother rocking her son "back and forth, back and forth, back and forth" (or "backy forf" if you are B) are a bit creepy. Just saying. I won't go into any more detail in case some of you haven't read it. Wouldn't want to diminish the suspense. After all, it's quite long for a children's book.

The third book I want to bring your attention to is Five Little Pumpkins. It really isn't the book so much as it is the little song that it's based on. One of the very first YouTube videos that B really liked was this version of "Five Little Monkeys".  "Five Little Pumpkins" is very similar, so when we first checked it out of the library a couple months ago, he LOVED it.

And we read it over and over and over and over and over...

and over...

During our last visit to the library, he spotted it on the shelf and made a beeline for it. "Pumpkin book," he insisted.

I don't know why. He knows the entire thing by heart (he recites it).

I took a video of him doing it today, but I can't get any of my videos to load online (on Facebook, on this blog, anywhere!). I used to be able to. I don't know what changed.


So instead, I'll leave you with this lovely, out-of-season picture.
Photo Credit
Because we like pumpkins around here.

18 January 2013

Sunshine Outside Makes Everything Better

Wednesday night was one of Those Nights. The Bubs kept waking up, calling for "Daddeeeeeeee!" nearly every hour. By midnight, he had woken up four times, and finally, I just grabbed my pillow and we snuggled together on the couch for the night.

He woke up around 5:30 yesterday, hovering over me, patting my face saying, "Mommeeeee!" excitedly. I love his enthusiasm, but at Dark O'Clock, it was a little hard to meet his energy level. I managed to convince him to lie next to me quietly, staring up at the skylight. We I must have both dozed off again, because the next thing I remember is B scrambling over me off the couch and running into the kitchen, yelling, "Daddeeee!"

With this very early start to the day following a not-so-restful night's sleep, I wasn't sure how he would handle the playdate we had scheduled with our neighbors down the street. But he talked about it all morning as we ate breakfast, brushed our teeth, got dressed:

"EJ's house? EJ's house?"

It ended up being a good time, and we even had lunch with them before returning home for naptime.

Oh, boy.

I know that this is fairly common, but lately, B has been missing his daddy A LOT during the day. It started right after N returned to work after taking a week off for Christmas. B got used to having Daddy around all the time, and it's especially rough after he wakes up from his nap. Forty minutes into his nap yesterday, he woke up crying for Daddy. I rocked him until he agreed to go back in his crib (because he was yawning through his crying). He fell asleep again (so grateful for that mercy), but when he woke up an hour and a half later, he was inconsolable.

He cried so hard, he made himself gag.

There's nothing more heartbreaking to a mama than her child crying and feeling like you can't do anything to make it better. I rocked him, sang all his favorite songs, got him one of his favorite treats, stacked his stacking cups for him ... he would calm down and then start all over again.

Finally, I asked if he wanted to talk to Daddy on the phone, and he nodded with shuddering sighs. As soon as he heard N's voice though, he wailed, "Daddy ho-o-o-ome!"

(True confession: N and I both had to restrain our laughter at the drama of this reaction.)

After N explained to B that he missed him very much and would be home at dinner time, he suggested we go outside. Now, why hadn't I thought of that?!

I asked B if he wanted to walk to the playground, and he brightened up.

"Stroller?!" he requested. 

We got all our things together (he wanted to wear "Daddy's hat"), went to the playground where he ran around, climbed like a champ, went down the big slide all by himself multiple times, hugged a little girl (who promptly latched on to him and followed him around the rest of the time she was there, much to the amusement of her mother and grandma), and ate all his "wishies" (goldfish crackers).

I decided it would be best to keep him outside until N got home, so we walked to the nearest grocery store to pick up a roasted chicken for dinner. I got B a strawberry milk box for the walk home, which he proclaimed "Yummy milk."

He also got a cookie from the lady at the store bakery and stickers from the cashier, both of whom told him he was so handsome. They were rewarded by his cheesy "Aw, shucks" smile, which he has learned triggers some pretty great reactions from women. 

What could have been a pretty rough day ended up being a pretty good day overall.

16 January 2013

Moisturizer-Infused Jeans

Photo Credit: Wrangler
My husband just brought this article and its ludicrous contents to my attention.

These jeans are ridiculous. 

Jeans in general are crazy-expensive to begin with ... I can't even imagine what they're charging for these. 

Not to mention the skeevy feeling I get about sweat shops and child labor.

Why can't we all just accept aging as the natural part of life it is?

Especially in our nether regions.

B's Potential Music Class

When Bubs wakes up in the morning, I tell him about the plans for the day. Yesterday, the schedule included checking out a local Kindermusik class later in the morning.

He talked about it all morning before we left.

"Music class? Music class?"

B is currently in the 18-months to 3-year-old group, which, in my opinion, is a bit of a wide gap. As an almost-two-year-old, B towered over most of the other children, particularly because a good chunk of the class was comprised of dainty little girls. A couple of the toddlers had big brothers with them, thankfully. I love that B is his healthy, long and lean self, but sometimes, given his height, I feel know other people expect him to be more advanced than would be reasonable for his age.

And of course, there's also the fact that he always had that serious face as a baby.

I looked for a picture to include here, but all of B's infant photos are on our external hard drive, which is buried in a box in our office. Once he learned to engage people, the serious face disappeared for good. He is my cheerful, rambunctious, curious toddler now, and I love it - most of the time.

We liked the class. I didn't love it (not like I loved our Kindermusik class in NY), but B enjoyed the instruments, dancing with me, having other small children around. But as we were leaving (we were so glad to see that the teacher had stamps for the children's hands, just like Ms. Renee!), he kept asking, "'Nay? 'Nay?" He wanted to know where his beloved teacher was. I explained to him that this was a new class, with a new teacher.

We'll have to decide whether we're going to enroll him in this class. 

Following our jaunt to Kindermusik, we popped by the grocery store to pick up a few things. By the time we got home, it was nearly two hours past his regular naptime. He had a snack and some milk, then conked out for a good two-and-a-half hours.

It's hard work being a toddler.
Check and see if there's a Kindermusik class near you!
If you live in upstate NY near Saratoga Springs (and you have preschool-age children), you should definitely go to Ms. Renee's class. She is a gem of a teacher.

15 January 2013

Jalapenos, Death Star, & Exercise

First of all, I have to share the fun news: Yesterday, Hannah Plays Hooky mailed its very first international order ... to AUSTRALIA! Woohoo!
Thank you for allowing me that moment of celebration. Now back to the actual post.

There is a Mexican restaurant just down the street from our house called Jalapenos Grill.

Pretty much, it is awesome. The food is scrumptious, the staff is incredibly friendly (and so very nice about the messes a toddler makes), the decor isn't over the top (not that that really matters), and the prices are amazing compared to NY's prices.

We first went there a few weeks ago following a miserable church experience. What can I say? We desperately needed a pick-me-up after that one.

We went again for a late lunch as we headed to the aquarium this past (very rainy) Saturday.
Following our trip to the aquarium, we walked around the mall for a bit. B spotted this train display in a window, excitedly shouted, "Shanes!" and requested that we go inside to take a closer look.
On the way home, we passed up the "Death Star" that N has been wanting to get a picture of ever since the first time he came to the aquarium with us. We're pretty sure that the designers of the roads didn't necessarily plan for the image to be the Death Star, but that's what it looks like. We zipped by it too fast on previous trips for me to get a good picture, but this time, we were at a red light, facing the image.
As we headed home, the sun set, and B amused himself by pointing his little Stormtrooper flashlight out the window.

Sunday was a gorgeous, clear-blue-sky kind of day, so we went "hiking." Afterward, we walked around the shopping area, and popped into a fancy grocery store for bathroom breaks. As we exited the store, I saw this:
I don't know what the mathematicians of the world would say about it, but I sure loved it!

Have a great day, friends!