Thursday, May 6, 2010

Are we getting OLD?!

On April 28th TJ celebrated his 30th Birthday! We both happen to be the ‘youngest’ of our friends, co-workers, etc. but now that is starting to become meaningless…. it feels like we’re ‘catching up.’ (Thankfully I have two more years until mine, phew!) 

It was not until I started making surprise plans for him and shopping in the “30th Birthday” section at Party City that I realized, wow…. TJ is leaving me behind in the 20’s and turning the big 3-0! Scary!! 

I secretly went to his office (he thought I was at Target, where I tend to take LONG time :) to decorate a bit and set out some treats for his co-workers so they’d have a reason to drop by and wish him a happy day. It turned out that several co-workers snuck into his office before he came in and when he opened the door they yelled, “Surprise!” For a few moments he thought they had done all of the preparations! Oh well, it didn’t matter. I just wanted him to feel extra loved and happy that day.

That evening I arranged for our closest friends to surprise him by arriving early to the restaurant of his choice, HuHot (amazing Mongolian BBQ) and they had set out some decorations and I brought some cake. We almost pulled it off, but to my disappointment he saw their cars in the lot :( Oh well, I just wanted him to be surrounded by people he holds close to his heart on his special day!

And as one last, very special treat, TJ’s Dad & Stepmom (Bob & Cindy) flew in for the weekend to spend some quality time with TJ (and the grandkids, of course!) I think the ‘icing on the cake’ was their gift to him, and well, all of us, really. The Wii and Wii Fit and all the fabulous accessories that one of those machines requires! And if you know TJ well, this is the PERFECT gift to make him feel like a ‘kid’ again. And why not, after all, he did just turn 3-0!!
Savannah playing Wii

Grandma Cindy & Adelyn - Playdoh!
Fun day at Sea World!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Show Me Those Pearlie Whites!

Last Wednesday (after stalling for, well, four years!) I embarked on our first visit to the DENTIST! And let me tell you, the Pediatric Dentist is AMAZING! ~ but you wouldn't think so by Savannah's reaction! (Thankfully she was not screaming and crying, but definitely apprehensive and opposed to the entire visit and we had to reschedule a week later!) Adelyn bought all of the tricks, and she did GREAT! (Even got a polish-job and some fluoride!)

You walk into the dentist office, which is cleverly named "Little Teeth of Texas" and it's a Cowboy Wonderland! Video games, plush horsies, bead toys, books, and it goes on! All I remember having in the dentist waiting area was an expired edition of "HighLights" magazine (remember that magazine?)

It didn't stop there, because they have every possible clever tool for kids that you could imagine! You know how adult dentist offices give you 'construction glasses' to cover your eyes from the bright light? Well at "Little Teeth of Texas" you get to pick out a cool decorate pair, and of course Savannah wore "Cinderella." You can sit on a 'horse saddle' to get your blood pressure taken.

The XRAY room is painted dark blue with stars all over, to stress the importance of taking care of your teeth so they "Shine Like STARS"!! (That was the hardest part for Savannah to get through, though she did it and was VERY brave).

Once we got to the 'cleaning chair' which had a television hanging over it, Savannah had me pick bubble-gum flavored tooth paste, and Apple flavored gloves for the hygienist. 
She did so awesome getting them cleaned! Finally Dr. Gerling checked for plaque and announced NO CAVITIES! YEAH! Savannah has become slightly obsessed with brushing flossing, and keeping away the 'sugar bugs.' That's my girl, the rule-follower :) Let's see if we can keep it up for the next 6 months! Thanks to Little Teeth of Texas, I think she'll be excited to go back!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

As Good As Family

It seems over the last 20 years that it is just as 'normal' to be a 'divorced' family as it is to be a 'typical' family with Mom, Dad, kiddos. But where does that leave the kiddos when they grow up? For TJ & I, it is often a difficult place to be…. especially now that we have our OWN kiddos. Granted, we understand that some marriages just dissolve, and end out of necessity. (Although both of us would tell you with 100% certainty that if we could rewind the clock, make things different…. we would choose for our families to be together, intact. Regardless.)Be that as it may, we move on, we do what we can to make the best of it. And we are thankful to have married-couple mentors, who receive us like family.

Take Mark & Linda Countryman… 
TJ became friends with their son Adam in High School.

When Adam asked us to move to San Antonio and they were all here, they definitely became important.

They are so sweet, open with their love and their home, and they are a great example of two Christian people, devoted to a Christian marriage. And now, they extend their love to our kiddos as if Grandparents to them. When you come from a broken family, that means the world!

We recently took a trip to Houston, TX, which is where Adam (who is the Godfather of both girls and whose wife we cherish as an excellent Godmother) lives, and now Mark & Linda as well. It gave us that 'visiting home' feeling despite the fact that we'd never been to Houston! It was a great time and a special way to spend Valentine's Day. 
Thank you, Mark and Linda, for being like family to us. I would be remiss if I did not mention Ed & Julaine Luhmann, who we cherish as well! You never know how you are affecting someone by opening your heart and home to them. 
Rest assured, you have impacted us!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hello & Goodbye

Today I said goodbye to my sweet baby girl. She started out small, so dependent and incapable. And today I said goodbye. 

Today I said goodbye… to little fingers wrapping tightly around mine, as if holding on for dear life and knowing no other security…to the smacking sounds of a pacifier that soothed this baby each and every night…. I said goodbye to "Hold you!" and "Ma - ma"  and the crinkling sound of a diaper as baby crawled swiftly across the floor…. 

Then, as I was shedding tears in the sorrow of my loss, in the blink of an eye, I said hello to a Beautiful, Independent, Strong and Amazing Young Lady who was standing before me.

I said hello to a girl who rises with the sun each day with energy and joy, gets her little self dressed on her own, and comes running to our room yelling, "Good morning Mom, Good morning Dad!"

I said hello to a girl who helps all the time, with excitement and enthusiasm. (Even to scoop dog doo, without being asked!)

I said hello to a girl who is proud of her baby sister and cares openly for her EVERY DAY.

I said hello to a girl who hums and sings through the most mundane parts of the day.

I said hello to a girl who likes to ask people questions about themselves, and remembers their favorite color, in order to associate things with them and share their excitement when she sees their color.

I said hello to a girl who is starting to say "Please" and "Thank you" & "How was your day" because it's the right thing to do.

I said hello to a girl who demands to lead the family in prayer at meal-time because she is getting to know her Creator and the way He provides for our needs.

I said hello to a girl who is beginning to understand the power of positive words and the danger of negative words and will correct herself humbly and appropriately.
And every now and then, when this girl falls down, or gets her feelings bruised, she will run to me like that little baby who I said goodbye to, showing me that she had never left… she had just grown! 

Happy 4th Birthday Savannah Grace Winters!
You are a GIFT from GOD and we love you very much!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winters in Winter :)

A little funny snippet from our day....
When: Wednesday morning
Where: On our way to the store, in the car
Scene: Adelyn and Savannah are in the back, looking at books, mumbling to themselves as little girls do

Savannah (almost 4): Mommy, what does "Winters" mean?
Mommy: Well, that is our last name.... We are the Winters Family... it's daddy's side of the family
Savannah: Huh? (perplexed)
Mommy: Well, before we were married, when it was just me,  my name was Rachel Rosegrant. Like Aunt Mary, or Papa Bob... but I married your dad and I took his last name, cuz we're a team and a family.
Savannah: Oh... when I grow up and it's just me, I'm going to be Savannah....(pause, thinking)
Mommy: You'll still be Winters, like you are now :)
Savannah: OOHHH..... MOMMY! I am NOT a Winters! I DO NOT live in the clouds, I DO NOT live in the SUN! (repeated many times)
Mommy: I know sweetie, our name sounds like a season, doesn't it? But we're not the season!
Savannah: ((Giggles)) Yeah.....