Sunday, September 28, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup and The Redskins...

It doesn't get much better than this!  

Okay... first... my husband has made me a Redskins fan.  Last year I was feeling them, but this year I'm in love.  And today... they beat the Cowboys!  AH-MAZING!!! Did you see this game?  It was perfection.  Beautiful.  I was biting my nails 'til the end.  It made me think of my old band days and how fun it was to watch high school football games.  haha  I'm a dork.  What can I say?  

Here's my girl watching her team play...  

Now... secondly, Butternut Squash Soup... Have you tried this?  If not... go out immediately and buy all the ingredients to make this tonight!  It is SO GOOD!!! 

 I desperately wanted to make some soup this weekend.  So, I made beef stew yesterday, which is Andrew's favorite, and today I made a new recipe that was incredible ... and I highly recommend it!  I loved it and so did Caroline!  

The recipe comes from the lovely Paula Deen, whom I love!  Check it out!  

I was a little intimidated by the butternut squash themselves, but they weren't too bad.  It took me a good 30 minutes just to peel them and cut them up and my hands hurt.  It wasn't that it was hard, just time-consuming.  Also, if you read the recipe, I did add a couple of things at the end. To me it needed more spice, so I added a bit of cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, also I added a tad more salt just to taste.  I can't tell you how much of this I added, because I never measure anything.  :-)  But I will say if you're looking for some yummy fall/winter comfort food, this is IT!   You HAVE to make it!  Go... do it... NOW!  

So... that's about it for this weekend.  Have a great week!  

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayer works...

 There is no doubt about it.  

I have prayed for my students every single day of this school year, often multiple times a day.  I will not say that they have not had their challenges, or even that I have not had mine, but I have noticed a real change.  Even in their moments of weakness, my patience has been through the roof.  It's incredible and I am so proud of myself.  This week, my entire class had such a phenomenal week, it made me want to cry!  This is the class that some others told me they would never want, but they have turned out to be one of the most well behaved in the school.  I do not even attempt to take any credit for their success, but I do believe that prayer has something to do with it.  Every morning and every night I pray for them... that they are safe and productive, that they come in with positive attitudes and if they don't that I have the patience and ability to help them with whatever challenge they may be having on that particular day.  Students who have never done well before are thriving and encouraging others!  It's amazing! It's just a joy to my heart to see such success this month and I pray that it continues throughout the year.  

I don't claim that they are perfect or that every month will be this good, but I truly believe that God is helping us through this year.  He is listening and definitely answering prayers!  

*** Edit:  Speaking of answered prayer!  My life long friend Rachel has now raised 100% of the money needed to go into full time missions with Wycliffe Bible Translators!  Praise God for His guidance and perfect timing!  Love you SO much Rachel!  Our prayers have been answered and I can't wait to see what God is going to do through you overseas!  She will be leaving in January to begin her two years in the mission field.  Please join us in prayer for my dear Rachel! Check out her blog with the link above if you are interested in learning more about what Wycliffe is all about!  ***

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall is fun!

Thanks everyone for your votes, by comment and by email, from the last post!  :-)  I think the winners are the dragonfly and the sailor girl!  I'm thinking the dragonfly is the one we're going to go with!  It's so cute! 

As I talked about in my last post, Fall is by far my favorite season!  And with cooler weather comes the ability for us to spend more time outside enjoying the great things DC has to offer!  

Today was no exception, as we left the house this morning with crisp 60 degree weather!  It was the perfect morning for the zoo!  

We took Caroline to the National Zoo in April, but we knew she would be able to enjoy it so much more this time around!  

Here are a few pictures from our morning...  

The Pandas... always a must-see!

Caroline's favorite animals are the "Big Kitties"... She was waving and saying "meow! meow!" Trying her best to communicate with the Cheetah.
Such a beautiful animal.  They might be my favorite too. 

Me and C walking around in the zoo! Aren't we cute? 

Looking at the elephant!

Looking for the lions! Rawwrrr!

And then she was ready for her nappy!
oh my sweet girl!

Also, football season is in full swing and "Hail to the Redskins" as they won last week!  Caroline is now part of Andrew's good luck jersey wearing tradition!  She loves watching football with her Daddy!  

Wearing her Clinton Portis jersey!  She now knows how to say what players are from "The U".  It makes her Daddy proud!  haha

This picture cracks me up... wearing her bunny ears from Easter and her Redskins jersey, while sitting in her baby doll stroller.  She's hilarious!  Such a nut!

So, I hope you all have a good weekend!  

I'm ready for a good nap while my girl is taking hers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My favorite holiday's...

...are coming up!  Yay!  Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I LOVE them!   My favorite time of year is starting again and I'm stoked!  Having a kid around these holiday's just makes it even better and since school started up again, Caroline's Halloween costume has been on my mind.  This may be the last year that I'm able to pick out her costume, because frankly, she's a very independent child and as soon as she understands that she can make this decision on her own, I am certain she will.  

So, here are some pictures of what I've been considering... all of these are from Target, my favorite store.  :-)  (I realize I still have over a month, but they start putting Halloween stuff out in July for crying out loud! I can't help but get excited!)

First...the angel costume, for my little angel.  :-)  This one is adorable, and probably my favorite!

Then the little dragonfly.  Also super sweet!

Then the sailor girl!  oh my gosh!  Caroline would love that hat!

And then...keeping her young...with the little strawberry fairy costume.  ooh! 

Finally, we have Abby Cadabby, which is one of her favorite Sesame Street characters... and of course, she loves her "Dabby" baby doll.

Which one do you like best???  
Leave me a comment and let me know.  Let's have a vote!  

And for a walk down memory lane... my girl last Halloween in her pink kitty costume! oh so cute!

Friday, September 5, 2008

School and babies...

This week has been tough on many levels.  

Tuesday was the start of school with my new junior class.  They have been fantastic.  I know it's probably just a honeymoon period, but I can at least enjoy it while it lasts.  I love these kids.  It's the only reason I do what I do.  If I didn't love it, we all know I would have walked out long ago.  I just get so proud of their little accomplishments... when they help each other out, or they remember to follow a direction that I gave them the day before, or when they can process with me about something they were so angry about previously, or when they do their homework when homework wasn't even close to being on their mind last year.  It just makes me proud.  I love to see success!  
I miss my 7th graders (now 8th graders) though.  Seeing them in the hall makes my day.  They always have something to tell me and it's adorable.  I popped by their room on the first day of school and one of my former students gave me a little present (a folder with kitties on it and a note written inside that said "happy first day of school") and then all the kids had to tell me something... "look at the picture of my new puppy", "look how long my hair is, Mrs. Heyerdahl", "how do you like your new class?", "I love your hair!", "when I graduate I'm going into the marines"... etc.  I just love them!  Starting school is never fun, because I want summer to last forever, but I'm always glad when I get there.  The days fly by and there is never a dull moment, that's for sure.  

Other than school, there has been a more personal matter that has been weighing on my mind... babies.  gasp!  :-)  Andrew and I have been going over and over whether or not we should have another.  We've been talking about it all week.  We actually just finished talking about it once again this evening.  Yesterday, if you would have asked me, I would have told you that I was ready.  Today, I have changed my mind.  
When I go with purely emotional decisions, I undoubtedly say "YES!" but when I think about it logically, I always go back to a resounding "NO!"  I've gone over it in my mind for hours on end this week.  Andrew and I have discussed it for hours every evening.  And finally tonight, I think we have decided that we need to go with logic on this one.  For one, neither of us  want to struggle.  Our budget is already tight enough as it is.  I want to be able to live comfortably. Childcare for two, plus our enormous house payment would run us dry.  
It's hard though, to make this decision.  I want another baby.  Desperately. I have baby fever.  I have loved being a mommy to Caroline and I would adore having two children so close in age.  But I know for a fact that siblings can be just as close with years apart.  My cousins Erika and James are a perfect example, and I don't expect that my children would even be as far apart as they are (6 years.)  
So... basically... what I'm trying to say... is I think... for now... we will wait.  Even though I want to be pregnant again.  Even though I want to go back to school one day and I know this will delay it.  Even though I want Caroline to have a playmate.  Even though I'm ready for two kids.  But... I know that if we wait, our children (and Andrew and I, for that matter) will have a better quality of life.  
I don't want to wait forever... and frankly, if we think about it too much we'll never be "ready" for a child on paper.  It's just a huge leap of faith.  God provided so much for our family when Caroline came along and for that I am eternally grateful!  I just don't know if I'm ready to take that leap again right now.  I am comfortable with the way things are and even though I am a risk taking junkie most of the time, I know that a little comfort every now and then can be a very good thing.  
So, for now, that's where we stand.  Just pray with us that our move to NC can happen sooner rather than later. I hope with the elections, no matter which way they go, will help boost the economy and the housing market will take a turn for the better.  That's what we need!  We'll see... it's all in God's hands for now.  

Monday, September 1, 2008

Caroline Rooney Day!

When I was a kid my parents started this tradition called "Erin Rooney Day."  It was the most magical day!  There were even songs to go with it!  

Here's the first one... that was sung by my dad (or my parents in perfect harmony) just about every day of my childhood... 

"Oh my Erin is a Rooney! 
She is a looney tooney! 
She's the prettiest little girl 
you've ever seen! 
(Ever seen!) 
She is prettier than her mommy!
She's prettier than her daddy! (Though my daddy always said "PawPaw and I would yell it
She's the prettiest little girl 
in Salisbury!  Salisbury!"  

The official Erin Rooney Day song just repeated "It's Erin Rooney Day" over and over again!  

So, Erin Rooney Day went something like this...  

My parents would burst into my bedroom first thing in the morning singing "It's Erin Rooney Day" and "My Erin Is a Rooney" as loud and excitedly as possible!  Then I would get to pick out of a hat for where we would go and what we would eat and all that fun stuff.  Usually it ended up with putt-putt, pizza and maybe a toy.  But it was a day, all about me, and as a kid, that was pretty darn special!  

So, I wanted to make sure I was able to do that kind of thing for my kid, because it meant so much to me growing up.  

Well, yesterday was Caroline's very first "Caroline Rooney Day".  We even sang the songs!  She's not quite old enough to pick out of a hat, but she is old enough to have some fun!  

So, we first got up and went to the park.  We rode the train.  
What's with this picture?  This is the best we got.  
We attempted to ride the carousel, but she was too impatient for it to start, so we had to get off.  But of course, we had a photo-op. 
 Then she played on the playground for a while.  
After that we went to have a picnic of some of her favorite foods... PBJ sandwiches, chips and brownies for dessert!  YUM!  
After lunch she ran around, kicking her ball and she even got to pet a little black puppy named Bella!  
She was in heaven!  :-)  

We took a pitstop at home for her nap, before heading out for an ice cream at DQ!  
We ended the day with Toys R Us, where she got her own baby stroller and a new puzzle!  woo hoo!!!  

This day was so special, not only for Caroline, but for me too.  We sometimes get so stuck in our every day routine, that it's nice to have a whole day based around your kid!  I love her! 

Even when such a busy day makes her this cranky!  hehe :-)  

The kids come to school tomorrow!  Prayers are needed and appreciated.  Stories from school to come... I'm sure.  :-)