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Month: May 2011

Blue cupcakes

Blue cupcakes

With so much packed into one month, it is easy to forget a thing or five.  That is why I was so glad when Jacob’s teacher emailed me and said … “we need to celebrate Jacob’s summer birthday”.  And I said … “why yes, yes we do”.  Although there are still about eight weeks until his actual birthday … it was fun to celebrate early.

And what better way to celebrate than with cupcakes piled high with blue icing …. made to look like puppy dogs?!

He loved ’em.  And judging by the blue lips everyone had … I’d say they all did!

Just another manic May …

Just another manic May …

Here we sit.  May 28th.  I had to look up the date because I honestly had no idea what it was … it just seems this month has been unending!  I’m tired, my kids are tired … I even think the school bus sounded tired the other day.  Jacob told me they are learning about the ocean this month at school and have watched “Finding Nemo” and “Little Mermaid”.  Sounds to me like his teacher might be tired too.  🙂

Summer is coming … although I do wish it was already here.  I want to celebrate Memorial Day without final exams looming over two of my children’s heads.  I want to go to the lake!

It seems like forever ago that baseball ended and suddenly we are full steam ahead in swim team.  We did pause last week for field day at the elementary school.  I worked the water balloon volleyball station which was a lot of fun.  The kids had a great time:
I love living on our new street.  Last weekend we all gathered out in our yard to watch the high school seniors get their pictures taken before prom.  When we turned around we saw Jacob and his buddy Jack ON TOP OF our car.  And we figured we’d laugh about it (or maybe cry!) eleven years from now when they are being photographed for their own prom.
And, surprise! surprise!  I have an extra room in our house I didn’t even know about.  It’s the front porch and we now have TWO rocking chairs on it.   I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed them.  I sit there and drink tea (it’s the right drink for a front porch rocking chair, dontchathink?!) and wait for the school bus, talk to my neighbors, visit with the kids, read, watch the world go by … you name it.  I absolutely LOVE it.  Favorite “room” in the house so far.

Speaking of the house, we are getting close.  Bill and I went this morning and selected the final granite for the kitchen.  It was BLAZING hot out there.  I’m thinking by the end of the week it will be installed.  Yippee!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  And good luck Baerg girls on your finals!  Hang in there … June is coming!! 

I’m still here …

I’m still here …

With the exception of the night that Osama bin Laden was killed, we haven’t watched TV at our house since before we moved.  It wasn’t really in the plan to not watch TV … although I must admit that I LOVE that my children are outside a lot more … it just kind of happened.  We bought a new TV to go over the fireplace but it is still in the box as the family room isn’t quite finished.  

Proving that they haven’t kicked the TV addiction fully, one weekend I was speaking at a retreat in Galveston and Bill brought the kids down for one night to play on the beach and hang out at the San Luis Hotel.  
They enjoyed the beach but THE SECOND they got into the hotel room they yelled … TV!!!  Disney Channel!!!! and promptly became glued to it.
Then the other night I found my kids sitting on our porch.  I asked them what they were doing and they said they were watching the TV in the house across the street.  It seemed a little bit like the days when only certain families had TV’s and I kind of liked it.
All that to say … our only real news has been from the internet.  And you almost didn’t even need that this week to know about the guy who had predicted the end of the world on May 22.  Of course it came and went without so much as a blip but there was lots of talk about it.  I thought the billboard that said … “That was awkward” followed by Matthew 24:36 … “no one knows the day or the hour” was funny.  It WAS awkward because one day He is coming back, but not even Jesus knows when that will be.
I thought, jokingly, after the date passed about saying … “Good, I’ve got more time to pack now” but all joking aside … it’s a good question to ask … “are you packed?”.  The only thing you need in your suitcase is your faith.  Believing in Him and that He died for your sins will assure you that you have what you need when you get to your destination.
And, I know we long to hear him say … “well done, my good and faithful servant … well done”. 

So, pack your bags.  

Moving on …

Quick “announcement”.  I know many of you that read this blog are friends of mine on facebook, but for those of you who aren’t … I wanted you to know that in addition to my website, I now have a facebook page.  Just type in Darla Baerg in the facebook search bar and it will come up.  My sister made the page (seriously, does anyone think I would know how to do that?!?!).  At first it felt a little awkward to “promote” myself but this is what I finally decided …
I know I honor the Lord when I speak.  I know I use the gifts and talents He has given me.  I want to hear Him say “well done”.  Speaking to and encouraging women gets me so excited I can hardly stand it.  It is my ministry and I want to do it well.  And if I was going to, let’s say, go to the mission field, I wouldn’t just go, hoping I found the right place, … I’d apply and write letters and find an organization to send me.  And my mission field is here … with women … and if a facebook page or a website helps then I don’t want to be opposed to it.  I would be so honored if you passed it along to your church … I love knowing someone in the audience!!
So there you have it.
Last thing ..  my friend Debbie Bertrand has a blog.  She wrote the other day about the list of names in the Bible.  You know the ones you usually skip over or skim … and surely you have wondered why they are there.   And I loved her perspective that she shared.  You can read it here.  SO good.  We do all have a story to tell.

That is all.  Hope you have a great week!
If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals ….

If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals ….

Climb on the animals …

Yesterday I went to the zoo with Jacob’s class.  I helped herd a group of little boys around the exhibits.  This is not something for the faint of heart.  

Little boys kind of act like monkeys at the zoo.  They run, jump and climb on any and every thing.  It was fun, but I was in serious need of a Route 44 about 2:00 in the afternoon.  Whew, that wore me out!

We did contain the boys … for about 15 seconds … in the ground hog exhibit. 

 But boys will be boys …

I’m pretty sure the girls didn’t take any pictures like the one above!  And why do boys feel the need to make weird noises with their skin?  I’m pretty sure we’d lost control at about this time.
My two favorite sights at the zoo were:

1.  The monkey who looked like his mom packed him a Lunchable:

Can you see the plastic box?  I thought it was hilarious.

And my all time fave was this guy:

I mean SERIOUSLY, I was telling boys to get out of trees, stop jumping off benches, get off other people’s backs, etc. … and this guy was just all laid back and relaxed.  He stayed posed like that forever.  I loved him.  I wanted to be him!

Lucky for me, the bus did not have room for the chaperone moms so trust me … on the car ride home … the QUIET car, with air conditioning …. I looked like this picture.  I just sat there.  Without moving.  Almost daring someone to break my trance.

But I digress.

We had a good  time.

Really we did.
I enjoyed hanging out with him:

And a whole bus load of his friends!

Except I wasn’t on the bus!  Whoo hoo!!

Thank you El Paso Energy …

Thank you El Paso Energy …

Saturday morning Bill declared that after 15 years of not attending the El Paso company picnic we were indeed going this year.  We went the first year we moved here … you know, back when we didn’t have kids and sports schedules and birthday parties and all manner of other things to do on Saturday afternoons.  Hard to imagine now those days where we woke up and wondered what we would do that day.  Anyway … back to the present … we loaded up and went to the Houston Oaks Club, and can I just say …. we had a fantastic time.  
The weather could not have been more beautiful … I mean really it was perfect.  There were parts of the day I felt like I was in the movie Truman or something … everything seemed exactly as it should be …. the sky was a beautiful blue, the grass was a gorgeous green and the kids loved every minute of it.

After a wonderful barbeque lunch, we hit the water.  (figuratively speaking)

Just the fact that they had kayaks made the day great for me.  I tell Bill on a regular basis how much I miss Tahoe and the  kayaking day we had.

The girls enjoyed these bicycle boats:

Jacob took his buddy Josh and the “men” went out on a paddle boat:

The little boys watched some big “boys” playing ball:

And all the kids took a turn on the jumper thing (for lack of a more sophisticated term):
And perhaps best of all … you could have as many ice creams or fruit bars as you wanted.  Like NO limit.  We only had two but still … no limit!

Well done El Paso … well done!  Thanks … we had a great time!
A list of sorts …

A list of sorts …

1.  BIG Bear didn’t work.  Jacob gave it a go but ended up in a pallet on the floor before the night was over.  Looks like Big Bear might be making the long trip back to Costco.

  If you have any advice, feel free to pass it along.  

2.  Baseball season ended on Friday night.  So enjoyed watching this boy play ball:

3.  We bought two rocking chairs for the front of our house.  We put one of them together.  I will leave it up to you to decide if Bill:

A.  Questioned my reasoning skills in not paying the extra $20 per chair to have it assembled at the store.

B.  Tossed a hammer down in complete disgust during what was supposed to be an “easy assembly” job.

C.  Only got one of the two chairs assembled even though it was supposed to be a “quick project”.

D.  All of the above.

This might be considered cheating, BUT THE ANSWER IS “D”.

It wasn’t pretty.  But I did rock in it tonight and it didn’t fall apart (despite it lacking one screw because one was stripped when we were assembling chair #1).  Between you and me, I’m not bringing up chair #2 for quite some time.

Maybe never. 

4.  I taught Sunday School today.  I absolutely love teaching Sunday School.  And because I was up ALL.NIGHT.LONG with a cough that won’t stop, Bill went to McDonalds and got me a large Diet Coke before church.  THAT IS LOVE BABY.  TRUE LOVE. 

5.  We got doors on our kitchen cabinets.  Tomorrow’s “homework” is to go pick out new counter tops.  And … as much as I’ve missed the sink … I’ve also missed my counter tops.  I currently make lunches, cut apples, etc. on a round end table that is about “not very many” by “not very many” inches.  

Can’t wait to start looking … right after I sit in my rocking chair and wait on the school bus to drive my babies off to school!
And I’ll probably have a Diet Coke while I wait!
Think Big, like REALLY BIG …

Think Big, like REALLY BIG …

Since we (still) have no kitchen, almost every Saturday since we have moved, Bill has loaded up the kids and taken them to Costco for lunch.  For reasons unknown to me, they think the $1.50 kosher hot dog and a drink deal make for good eatin’.  Granted, the price is right, but I’ve been perfectly content to slap some turkey between two pieces of bread and call it “tasty”.

While at Costco, they do supplement their meal with a vast array of “samples”.  And many of the products they try end up making their way back to our house. And often, they don’t get used.

So this past weekend I said as they walked out the door … “don’t come back with anything crazy”.  

And apparently I need to define “crazy” because this is what showed up:

Meet “BIG Bear”.

To be fair, they did send me this picture from the store, so I wouldn’t completely freak that a 4 1/2 foot stuffed animal was coming into our home.

I guess the good news is that they only brought ONE home!

(And can I just interject here that in the “great purge of 2011” … that actually started in 2010 …. I got rid of so many stuffed animals.  Tons and tons.  And maybe it’s better that lots of little ones are replaced with one big one.  But it’s a really, really big one!).

Big Bear does have a job – which is to keep Jacob safe.

You see, we’ve now lived in our house something like six weeks … and tonight will be the very first night Jacob has slept alone in his room.

The first few weeks he convinced Savannah to sleep in his bottom bunk but she quickly grew tired of that set up.  Brittany wouldn’t come to his room, but she did graciously allow him to pull out the trundle under her bed where he has slept for the last month.

He was honestly in his room alone.

According to Jacob, Bill and I were “too far away” in this house.  No matter what we tried, it was all to no avail.  

Until now.

Tonight is “Big Bear’s” first night on the job.  And with a light on in the closet and a flashlight pointed towards the ceiling Big Bear has worked his magic and Jacob is asleep.

And that may very well may have been the best money ($29.99) Bill has ever spent at Costco!

Somebody get the girl a dog …

Somebody get the girl a dog …

Mothers Day was filled with so many of my favorite things.  After lunch we went to Hungry’s restaurant.  We have gone there for many, many years.  Moms get a free dessert and nothing says “Bring mama to us” like a free offer of their chocolate mousse cake!  After lunch we went to see the movie “Soul Surfer” which I HIGHLY recommend.  I loved it.  We followed that up with a family bike ride. 

There were a few gifts … I especially love the ones wrapped in tissue paper that the kids bring home from school or Sunday School.  This year I got a cute flower pot where Savannah had painted her fingerprints to make bluebonnet flowers all over it.   Jacob painted a cute tile.  They made these gifts at school.
Savannah made me a rockin’ purse out of duct tape which I should go photograph just so you could see.  Unfortunately the purse is downstairs and I am up and apparently I am THAT lazy.  She told me the purse would have been bigger but she “only had one night to make it”.  I think it is hip and cool.

I also got a gift that Savannah made for me at Sunday School.  It was a cute heart notebook where she had filled each page with “coupons” for me to use.  One was for a thirty minute massage.  I used it this afternoon but I only got 5 minutes.  Rip off?  I’m hoping I can still redeem the other 25 minutes at a later date.

There were also coupons for washing the car, doing jobs around the house, even one that said … “good for one dollar”. 

I thought it was precious.

As I was reading it she said … “the best ones are in the back”.  And as I got to the back I read …

“Good for walking the dog”.

“Good for washing the dog”.

“Good for feeding the dog”.

“Good for playing with the dog”.

And, as you know, well, we don’t have a dog.

Which is why each sentence was followed by the phrase … “when we get one”.

This mama loves to laugh and that is exactly what I did!

I love being a mother to these precious four.

Looks like the only thing missing in this picture is a dog!
At least one of us looked good …

At least one of us looked good …

The week that we moved was long and hard.  We literally worked until very, very late and night and got up very, very early to go back to the old house to continue packing and cleaning.  Although the movers had taken almost everything (we thought), there were still several closets to be cleaned out, storage rooms, the garage, etc.  It was A LOT of work.

The final walk through with the new owner was at 3:00 one afternoon.  We finished at 2:00 that same day.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been that tired, hot or gross.  It seemed like I needed more than a shower.  I needed a long soak in a sudsy tub … but we didn’t have one so that couldn’t happen. 
I remember one day walking in to order some food somewhere and thinking … “I’m quite sure I’ve never looked (or smelled!) this badly in my entire life.  I was literally getting up, putting on a cap and leaving.  I had circles under my eyes, not even a trace of make up, dirty hair … are you getting a picture?!?  

I honestly wondered if I could recover from looking that badly.  It took me some time before I found my hair dryer, make up and even my shoes … and I must confess, I was relieved when one day I actually dried my hair, found my curling iron and put on make up … all on the same day!

I’m sure my family was relieved as well.

A week after we moved … during which time I was still suffering from post traumatic move syndrome, Caroline went to the “Sweet 16” dance.  It’s a big dance at her high school where the girls turning 16 host the girls in the other grades for a big soiree.  We didn’t even look for a dress until a week before the event.  THANKFULLY we found one in about 30 minutes and it fit her without requiring any alterations.  

She looked so beautiful that night.  

And had a great time.

And after weeks of feeling grimy and dirty and gross, it did my heart good to see at least one of us prettied up!

Everything and the kitchen sink

Everything and the kitchen sink

Last night I started to write a post about the fun Royal Wedding watching party I went to on Friday but as I was starting to write it, we got a phone call saying “Turn on the TV .. Osama bin Laden is dead”.  

“England, we’ll see your wedding and raise you a funeral” is what someone posted on facebook from the “Sarcasm Society”.  

Big props to the special operation forces!  As George W. Bush said … “The fight against terror goes on, but American has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

And about the royal wedding … well, I thought it was splendid.  Princess Catherine looked beautiful, elegant and in love with her prince.  Having watched Princess Diana’s wedding at 4:00 in the morning all those years ago and having Kate’s wedding on the DVR I could not help but think … “technology,  you are a wonderful thing!!!”.

I do hope they live happily ever after. 

I’m still waiting for the perfect time to watch the wedding in its entirety with my girls but seeing how Friday night Jacob had a baseball game,  Saturday morning Savannah had a volleyball game, Caroline had an all day volleyball tournament and Brittany’s basketball team had a tournament as well (by the way, her team has only played in two tournaments and lost one game this weekend 31-5 and yet still somehow qualified for nationals), we just never got around to our own family wedding viewing party.

Trust me, we will have it!

In other news, I was supposed to be on a plane this morning headed to Little Rock for a speaking engagement at Second Baptist Jacksonville tonight.  Due to flooding and power outages because of the bad weather there, the event had to be postponed.  I am sorry to not be there today but it did allow me to be here when my new kitchen sink arrived.  I now think everything … AND the kitchen sink … are here and ready to be installed.  

Want to see what is looks like so far?

Please tell me you think it looks almost done.  Tell me that paint, counter tops, back splash and appliances don’t take that long to finish.  I need to hear that.

Truth be told, I have missed a kitchen sink most of all.  More than the oven or the table that seats six as opposed to our card table that seats four, more than the counter tops to prepare food rather than the TV tray I have been using, more than regular forks and spoons vs. the plastic ones … more than any of that, I’ve missed my kitchen sink.

I have not however missed my oven.
Nope, not one bit.