Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Video of the Week - Week 31 - Swimming

This video shows a little of Amelia and a little of Ava at one of the last lessons of the summer season...both have advanced so much!  Amelia is jumping in, by herself (!), and Ava has advanced to the butterfly, freestyle, and breast strokes!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Project 365 - Days 212-218

Trying to catch up...seems weird to be going all the way back to July!!

Day 212 - July 31


This was my best attempt to get a picture of the bird's nest (with the Momma inside) in our tree outside.  She built it well within the tree so it was difficult!!

Day 213 - August 1


Quick trip to the American Girl Doll Store in Dallas.  The girls got to pick out a new outfit for their dolls and we had lunch (though not at the cafe there - they were closing :-(

Day 214 - August 2


Did I mention it was hot this summer?  And that we were in a major drought?  One of the few times in Texas where the heat index is LOWER than the actual temp...which 109 was the actual high that day...

Day 215 - August 3


Swimming lessons began again - second 2-week course for both the girls...

Day 216 - August 4


Ava loves taking her lessons and learning with the teachers and coaches.  She considered joining the swim team this fall but decided against it after I explained to her that it would involve going straight from school to practice 3x a week (which means no play time after school) and they don't "play" in the water at practice, they actually swim hard!

Day 217 - August 5


Love love love this verse...what a great reminder to keep our eyes on the Lord, even in the midst of trouble and tribulations.

Day 218 - August 6


We've started an evening ritual of getting in our swim suits, going up to the barn to muck the stalls, feed, and turn out the horses to graze overnight (coolest part of the day) then we run and jump in the pool to cool off and clean up!  Rosie joins us at every step but lays, gazing out the back of the property, looking for evil lurkers!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - Favorite Photos of 2011

Well, I've definitely been putting the blog on the back burner the last few weeks and months.  Like most people, the holidays have been a busy time for us!  I'm still going to try and catch up with my Project 365 for the remainder of 2011.  And, I'm going to try and continue it into 2012, but I might decide to limit it to Project 52 or give it the axe all together in hopes of creating a more content-enriched blog...we'll see...

For today, I loved what Stefanie at NiHao Y'all did, and will copy the idea here by compiling my  favorite photos from 2011.  They are in a relatively chronological order, not a most-loved order.  Tomorrow the list might change but as of right now, on this first morning of the first day of the first month of 2012, here are my favorites from 2011:


Ava and Tinkerbell...both have come along very well this last year and definitely have a bond.


There was a heavy blanket of fog early on this morning.  I love how the first morning light and the cloudy background perfectly silhouetted and defined this tree in our front yard.


Ginger - on the morning of one of the worst snow and ice storms we've experienced since we've lived here.  Despite it being so frosty and icy, the horses were quite warm under their thick, winter coats.


Ava on the same day of that terrible storm.  This girl is a "glass half full" kinda girl and when it's freezing and icy cold outside, what do you do?  You don't mope around inside, huddling by the fire - No!!  You go outside and play in the freezing snow!  


Warmer weather soon returned and Jason took Amelia on a little motorcycle ride.  This little girl loves to go FAST (even though they don't).


I like this shot of Ava as it really describes her personality - loves horses and fairies and to have her head in the clouds imagining things, but also is grounded enough to want to excel and do well at whatever she does by listening and learning, be it at school or riding lessons. (That's our wonderful instructor, Denise, in the background)


I just love these longhorns that live near our place.  I still would like to own a small herd of these guys someday...


Our beautiful Amelia in her gorgeous silks to announce we were adopting again from China!  This shot also made it into our adoption agency's 2012 calendar!


Our cutie patootie also turned four years old this year - and I got some great shots of her to boot!


Our dear Rosie came into our lives in April this last year - this was taken after she had only been with us a few weeks but shows what she so much loves to do - sit and stand guard, searching to and fro over her territory for anything that might harm us ;-)


Taken at Turks & Caicos - our new favorite family vacation destination!  Ava and Jason spent a lot of time snorkeling while we were there...can't wait to go again!


Also from our Turks vacation - love how exotic Amelia's eyes look here...


Our woodland fairy, Ava...


This baby deer was so cute, jumping through the pasture like a little kangaroo.


I'm also happy for rain and precipitation, no matter what form it comes in...this storm was particularly fierce and this shot really shows the fury, power, and intensity that came with it!


Ava sitting outside an old church in San Antonio.


Ava loved being a flower girl at my cousin, Joni's, wedding this summer.


And of course that meant seeing lots of family!  This was the best shot of most of our immediate family with my grandparents.


We took advantage of a Groupon this summer and visited the Ft Worth Botanical Gardens...wow...what a beautiful place!!!


Ava and Tinkerbell on a little trail ride...


Hmmm...it would appear I got a lot of good pictures of Ava and Tinkerbell this year!  Oh well, this was a cute one I got before Christmas...


Beautiful shot of Decatur at sunset with the tree framing it...


This one was shot in New Mexico or Arizona, I believe, on our way to California for Christmas this year.  Love the sequined Santa hat!


This was taken at my in-laws just a few weeks ago.  They have this little bugle that Ava LOVES to blow (very loudly I might add).  I had her grab it and blow away to commemorate the love she has of her little bugle!  It is one of the first things she looks for when we arrive!


This is a special one as we all stopped in to visit with Grandma Schuh before we left to come home.  She is doing much better than when we saw her last in October and it was a joy to visit with her...

So that's my top photos for the year!  If you want to see more photos and perhaps some more Best of 2011, check out NiHao Y'all!

Sunday Snapshot

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