Thursday, September 24, 2009

Movin' on up!

Well this will be my last post from blogger and from
My fabulous husband has made me a new website at

I am so excited about my new blog. Chris did an awesome job and I hope you will come visit us at

We are on our way to the doctor this morning for Caleb. He is running a fever and not feeling well. This is just how we roll this week. I am working on paying for my doctor's next vacation!

Here is your moment of Hannah-talk for the day:
"Momma, Facebook says we need to go save the mermaid!"

They sure do pay attention don't they??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This weekend the clouds cleared long enough for us to take a family trip to Grapefest in Downtown Grapevine. It got a little warm out but we had a great time. This was our first time out to Grapefest. We will definately be going back next year but we will go on two days one with kids and one without. We did not get to do any wine tasting this year because parents with wine and kids with their own agenda just do not go together!

Welcome to Grapefest

Grapevine Vintage Rail Road
Hannah on the Carousel
Hannah got to ring the bell on the kiddie train
Caleb only got to ride the stroller since he is too small for the rides.
Overall we had a great time and we can't wait to go back next year (kids and sans kids).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Family Portraits

This weekend we completed #44: Have a Sain family portrait taken. This was no easy task. There were almost twenty of us there including my two little ones and our three week old niece. We went on Saturday to have the pictures taken at Portrait Innovations. Our trusted & favorite photographer Holly took the pictures and then we all left to go on with the day and return later to view the portraits. When we returned we were informed that none of the pictures had turned out because the digital card had been corrupted.
Anything worth doing is worth doing twice! So we managed to get EVERYONE back together again on Sunday, through the pouring rain, to take another set of pictures. As luck would have it Hannah had busted her lip during a nasty fall at church that morning but you can't see it in the pictures too much. The pictures turned out great! Here are a few:

Susan and her family

The entire Hannigan Family

Susan and her girls

Susan and her boys

Monday, September 14, 2009

It has begun

The List. I started my 101 list on Saturday and already things are getting accomplished. Tonight I worked on #53: Try one new recipe a month. I made Chicken Quesadillas with Corn Salad. It was fast and easy and a WW recipe, only 6 points!

The filling of the quesadillas: chicken, lettuce, salsa and cheese.
Make it a nice family meal!
Chicken Quesadillas with Corn Salad.
The verdict: Yum, we should do that again!
So I have one portion of one of my goals accomplished. 999 days left! :)

Dance Hannah, Dance

So today was a very important day at the Sain house. Hannah had her very first dance class. She is taking Ballet and Tap for Preschoolers at the Grapevine Rec. Center. We all know Hannah is the dramatic type, so I figured dance would be right up her alley. She loves it! She said her favorite part was the music. I am amazed that we have made it to this moment. How can she be old enough for dance? This is not the first or the last "big girl" thing she is going to do. Here a few pics from Hannah's dancing debut:

Excited in rain boots on our way to class.

Tap away Hannah!

The Dramatic Pose!

Friday, September 11, 2009

101 in 1001

Ok folks, I did it! I have made my list. I got this idea from a friend and the Internet and I am so excited to get started. This is a list of 101 things I would like to get done in the next 1001 days. This list has taken considerable time and thought to complete. Many of the items are challenging but I believe I will grow and be stretched through this process. So here is too the next 1001 days and to making every one of them count!

Start Date: September 12,2009

End Date: June 9, 2012

Jen's 101 List:

001. Go on Grand Canyon vacation with the Richards
002. Go on a romantic vacation with Chris
003. Go to Disney World
004. Go hiking in Big Bend
005. Use my passport at least once
006. Visit five Texas cities I have not been to (0/5)
007. Take a road trip
008. Go visit Allan & Becky
009. Go camping
010. Go to a Broadway show
011. Go geocaching at least 3 times (0/3)
012. Go on a hot air balloon ride

013. Attend Love and Logic Seminar
014. Edit and Compose videos for the kids
015. Create chore lists for the kids
016. Teach Hannah to sew
017. Send Hannah to kindergarten
018. Send Caleb to preschool
019. Complete Caleb’s stocking
020. Write letters to the kids on their birthdays
021. Sew a dress for Hannah
022. Complete six service projects with the kids (0/6)
023. Caleb potty-trained

024. Run a 5K
025. Lose 35 pounds
026. Learn to swim properly
027. Workout regularly
028. Increase my flexibility
029. Get a physical yearly (0/3)
030. Work with personal trainer
031. Give blood
032. Visit dentist every 6 months (0/5)

033. Chris to be self-employed
034. Create a budget and stick to it
035. Save 10% of income
036. Use coupons
037. Pay off Chris’s car
038. Start college savings accounts for the kids

039. Learn to drive a stick shift
040. Go to five museums (0/5)
041. Read the bible in its entirety
042. Read 15 books
043. Be involved in women’s bible study

Friends and Family
044. Get Sain family portrait taken
045. Get Mills family portrait taken
046. Host Thanksgiving for the Allen family
047. Send 30 “Thinking of you” or Birthday cards
048. Make a new friend
049. Have new friend and family over for dinner
050. Have Wes over for dinner
051. Host board game/domino night

Food & Drink
052. Try ten new foods I have not tried before (0/10)
053. Try one new recipe a month (0/33)
054. Go to a wine tasting
055. Go to Grapefest
056. Make homemade ice cream
057. Avoid fast food for an entire month
058. Make homemade muffins
059. Bake a homemade pie from scratch including crust
060. Successfully make Aunt Evie’s chicken & dumplings
061. Shop at farmer’s market

Around the House
062. Paint master bedroom
063. Get new bedding for master bedroom
064. Redo flooring living area
065. Redo flooring in kitchen
066. Paint kitchen
067. Stick to cleaning schedule
068. Keep up to date with the kids photo albums
069. Go back and label Hannah’s albums
070. Install programmable thermostat downstairs
071. Get new kitchen towels
072. Buy one new piece of furniture
073. Make valances for the playroom
074. Put together the kids’ playset
075. Replace blinds in master bath
076. Make shower curtain for master bath
077. Have the outside of the windows cleaned
078. Plant a small garden & eat the produce
079. Clean out master closet and donate unused clothing

Fun & Games
080. Complete 5000 piece puzzle
081. Take a dance class
082. Take a cooking class
083. Fly a kite
084. Go to a UT football game
085. Watch Bollywood film
086. Ride on a motorcycle
087. Host Memorial Day cookout
088. Ride the Grapevine Vintage RR
089. Take the kids on the Polar Express train
090. Post on my blog at least 2 times a month (0/66)
091. Start my Christmas stocking
092. Shoot a gun
093. Watch a sunrise and sunset on the same day
094. Go to the Stock show

Just for ME!
095. Get 3 massages (0/3)
096. Get a facial
097. Get 10 pedicures (0/10)
098. Get laser hair removal
099. Buy a new purse
100. Take pictures and blog about completed goals (0/101)
101. Complete 101 in 1001

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thank you Peter or Matthew

This morning I awoke to the pitter patter of SILENCE in the house. Since the kids had spent the night at my dad's house I could actually lay there in my bed for a moment and "be" instead of "do." There I began to think about the blessing of days off and breaks that are so desperately needed sometimes. Today, being Labor Day, gave my dad and stepmom the opportunity to be off work so they could spend time with their grandkids. I then realized I really didn't know much about this holiday at all.

So, for all you trivia buffs out there, here is what I learned:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, by the Central Labor Union. They encouraged other groups in other cities to join in the celebration of laborers and workmen of the country. In 1894 Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. Since then we have celebrated Labor Day annually.

Thank you, Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire (the history books are in disagreement about the true founder) for founding Labor Day. Without your pride in your "workingman" status this holiday may never have come to pass and consequently I may never have woken to a silent house this morning. THANK YOU!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Productive Day!

What a productive day it has been! I have spent most of the day adding to and completing items off of my new TO DO list. With this new direction I have it has made my day much more focused and as a result I have been way more productive than days past. I am happy to report that I completed the item at the top of my to-do list today: Make a cleaning schedule.

What a task, first I had to analyze my needs around the house and then determine when and how often I wanted to get these things done. It is not rocket science, but I feel I have made one small leap for the sanity and cleanliness of my home today! So, in its first published edition, The Sain Family Cleaning Schedule:

Make the beds
Wipe kitchen counters
Pick up clutter

Dust downstairs
Swiffer/mop kitchen, bathroom, laundry room & playroom
Clean kitchen counters, appliances & table
Take out trash

Dust upstairs
Swiffer/mop bathrooms
Clean desk

Change sheets
Vacuum stairs

Clean bathrooms – up and down
Disinfect phones and remotes
Disinfect toys
Take out trash

Cut Annabelle’s nails
Water plants

o Dust baseboards and stairs
o Spot clean walls and doors
o Dust blinds
o Dust ceiling fans
o Take the pillows off couches and chairs and vacuum them
o Move and clean under and behind big pieces of furniture
o Wash mattress pads and blankets
o Clean the oven (as needed)
o Wipe out refrigerator
o Sanitize trash cans
o Clean out mail baskets
o Wash rugs

I know no one really cares but it makes it much more real when it is in writing and someone else knows it exists!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

All growing-up!

Tonight Hannah and I sat down to go through the rest of her birthday toys from this weekend. I have been pacing her so that there was no huge influx of toys in my house. We need time for these new things to overtake our home gradually!

Hannah loves all her toys but her favorite of the night is a Disney Princess Purse complete with pretend make-up, car keys, cell phone, and various other princess necessities. With three boys at our house all week long (the Richards are here from Tucson and we have loved their visit!) Hannah has not really had a lot of "girlie time" to play with everything she wants to play with in peace. Since all the boys went to bed early she has had free reign tonight!

Her favorite game of the night has been to walk around the house with her shopping bag (a birthday sack), her purse, and an old pocket planner that she calls her "shopping list" and purchase things from us. "I need to give you my moneys," she says as she has you swipe her credit card. She has now successfully re-acquired all of her new birthday presents by "purchasing" them from us. She cracks me up!

One of her newly reclaimed birthday presents is a set of clip-on earrings and a princess crown. After clipping her earrings on, my baby girl looked about 8 years old. It just about broke my heart. She cannot be growing up this fast. I sent her over to Chris to show Daddy her earrings. He, of course, said that the earrings made his little girl looked so grown up. Hannah responded by saying, "Daddy, I'm still growing up!"

I never thought that it would take my growing-up child to remind me that she still has growing-up to do and is not as big as she seems sometimes. When things do get stressful or irritating around the house it gets very easy to wish my life away; hoping for a day that things will go better or everyone will behave properly. It is my goal to stop and take mental pictures and to make the memories. After all, the memories will be all I have to hold onto after my baby is all grown-up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mini-Me turns Three!

Boy, how time flies. It seems so long ago and yet it seems like yesterday that Chris and I found out we were pregnant with a baby girl. I have to admit, I was a little scared and nervous about having a little girl. I had grown up with all brothers and I knew I could handle a little boy, but the thought of raising a girl just made my head spin. After the notion of having a girl sank-in I really did get excited about it. Who wouldn't? Dresses, bows, pink, purple, little frilly socks, ... hormones, puberty, boyfriends, weddings... Wow, exciting and overwhelming all at the same time!

I remember driving home from the doctor the day we found out our firstborn would be a girl and Chris looking over at me and saying, "Boy, you get ready, you are about to get a dose of your own medicine!" What? No! Surely, this wonderful creature will be a perfect combination of both Chris's and my best traits! Right?!?

Hannah's birth came with a bang and she surprised us by coming into the world three days before she was due. This should have been my first indication that she was so much like me... Jen need always to be on time but early is preferable!

Hannah has definitely been a daddy's girl from the beginning but for the first few months she was not only pro-Daddy she was anti-Mommy. Chris and Hannah have that bond that will never be broken that I so wanted. At about 15 months Hannah finally came around and decided she would keep me around. It was so beautiful to get to grow closer to my daughter who would finally crawl up on the couch and cuddle with her Momma!

It is very clear from the confrontations that do come up at this house on occasion that Hannah has my "strong-willed spirit" as Chris so lovingly puts it. She and I are so similar. We both like order, things must be cleaned up and have a place to belong. She enjoys cleaning the house with me. She can have a mean streak in her on occasion and can reason her way through ANY situation. Though there are times that Hannah and I do clash the good times far outweigh the rest. How can you stay upset with someone who looks just like you anyway?!?

I look forward to the challenge of raising a young lady. I look forward to seeing her grow into a beautiful woman of God. I cannot wait to see what is in her future. I just want to take one day at a time, soak-up as much as I can and find the joy in every moment with her.

So what have we done today to celebrate Hannah Grace?

Diana, Christopher and, most importantly, Zachary have come into town for a long visit!
Cupcakes for Breakfast!
Train ride with Zachary, Petyon, Lucas, Caleb & Christopher!

McDonald's for lunch! YUM!
On to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner!

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Precious

I just returned from a wonderful outing with my beautiful Hannah! Her birthday is on Friday and I figured three would be a good age to go with her to have our first Mommy/Daughter pedicure. So, in true "Jen-fashion" we started celebrating her birthday several days before (and we will continue to celebrate for many days after her birthday)!

"I want my feets in the water just like Momma."

"I love getting pedicure with you Momma"

"Pink with pink flowers!"

The entire drive home and as I write Hannah is saying "I love my pedicure," "I had fun at my pedicure," "Thank you for my pedicure Momma."

This is absolutely a night I will never forget. My baby is one step closer to becoming a young woman. (in the far off future... er... right?)

To My Precious: Thank you for the wonderful "girls-only" pedicure tonight. I cannot wait for all the things we will get to share together. You fit perfectly into the Hannah shaped hole in my heart! I LOVE YOU!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hello Again!

It has been a while since I have felt like posting. With the surgery recovery and so many additional pressures on our family it has just been easier to hole-up and keep it all in.

Things are going well around here. Chris has started a web design company called Bear Creek Technology Solutions. Check it out! I am so proud of him and all his hours of balancing family, church, his full-time job and of course caring for his favorite brain surgery patient. He is working toward his dream of entrepreneurship that he has had since high school and I can't wait to see the places he/we will go!

For today I want to share my favorite moment from a very long and busy day around Casa de Sain:

After winding down from a lovely dinner and baths, the kids were doing their best to destroy the recently picked-up playroom. Hannah calls to us in the livingroom to come see what she is working on. Here is what we saw when we went to the playroom:

My daughter, with her apron on, had laid out a baby blanket and was ironing her "fabric." She said, "Look Daddy, I am like Momma, I'm getting ready to sew."

Looks like I won't have to push my hobbies on her. She will become a Domestic Diva on her own!

Friday, July 10, 2009

5 Years Strong

Five years ago today I wed my wonderful husband Chris. What a time we have had. I am looking forward to the future with Chris and the life we have made for ourselves. This morning I sat thinking about all the changes that have come our way in the past five years. From the beginning, two new college graduates, to today with two wonderful children by our sides, I couldn't be happier or more thankful for the love I have in my life.

For purely selfish reasons, mostly so I can have a record of my remembering, I want to take the time to remember some of what we have been through the past five years.

July 10, 2004 I married the love of my life!
August 2004 Jen got her teaching job in Coppell
November 2004 We bought our first house
December 2004 Our first Christmas as a married couple and Chris gave me my precious Annabelle
June 2005 Jen had shoulder surgery
July 2005 One-year anniversary trip to Las Vegas
December 1, 2005 Found out we were pregnant!
December 2005 Fun-filled vacation to New York City
May 2006 Jen left her teaching position to stay home with our upcoming arrival
July 10, 2006 Second anniversary celebrated at DelFrisco's (Jen was VERY pregnant)
August 7, 2006 God blessed us with our beautiful Hannah Grace
October 2006 Jen began working part-time in the church office
Februaruy 2007 Jen became the interim youth minister
May 2007 Family trip to Colorado Springs for Uncle Allan's graduation
August 7, 2007 Birthday Bash for Hannah's #1
August 2007 Romantic vacation to Costa Rica (to celebrate our anniversary)
October 26, 2007 Found out we were pregnant again!
November 2007 Bought and moved into our second house
January 2008 Chris became an Elder at our church
March 2008 Jen went to Seattle with Diana for a "Pregnant Girls Trip"
End of March 2008 Chris fell out of a 20 foot tree, gave us a scare but God protected him
June 26, 2008 God blessed us with our handsome Caleb Robert
July 10, 2008 Managed to escape long enough for dinner at P.F. Chang's, we also found a carnival on the way home and rode the ferris wheel to celebrate four years of marraige!
December 8, 2008 Jen had brain surgery - Fun, Fun
End of February 2009 Jen and the kids took a week long vacation to Arizona to see the Richards, during which Hannah and Zachary apparently got married on the mountain. ;)
June 2009 Family vacation to Disney World. It was amazing!
June 26, 2009 Celebrated Caleb's 1st with a rockin' party
June 29, 2009 Jen had brain surgery again
July 10, 2009 Five Year Anniversary. On our honeymoon we decided to go back to Mexico for our 5th anniversary, instead my man sprung for brain surgery!

What ride it has been! The past years have been filled with wonderful times and times of challenge for us both, but I know that as every day passes our love grows stronger. How sweet it is to build a marriage on a solid foundation! God has gotten us through so much and He alone knows His plans for us. I trust that God's plan is perfect!

Chris I love you and I look forward to the next fifty-five years with you! I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This is how I roll!
Chris lovingly pointed out that this picture is missing all four seasons of THE OFFICE that I have been watching this week. I am thankful for time for healing and a wonderful week with my hubby!

Friday, June 26, 2009

What a year!!!

My baby is one! My baby is one! My baby is one! I think if I keep saying it over and over again it might actually sink in. What a year!!! Hard to believe that one year ago today that tiny creature came into our lives and graced us with his presence. Caleb Robert Sain turns one year old today at 4:51pm. Happy Birthday Bubba!

To commemorate the special day I thought I would take a look back at the past twelve months and see how far we have come!

June 2008
26th- Caleb Robert was born.
Hannah became the proudest little sister you have ever seen!

July 2008
10th- Momma and Daddy's 4th anniversary
18th- Christopher Richards was born
30th- Great Papa passed away

August 2008
1st- Caleb's first night away from Momma and Daddy
7th- Hannah's 2nd birthday and party
Caleb still spitting up EVERYWHERE-ALL DAY LONG!

September 2008
23rd- Caleb's first Ranger game
28th- Caleb's baptism

October 2008
13th- Caleb met Uncle Allan
27th- Caleb's 1st day of preschool
Jen began work as preschool director for a month and a half
31st- Halloween as Boots the Monkey and Dora the Explorer

November 2008
Caleb's spit-up got better as he began baby foods
12th- The Richards family moved to Tucson :(
27th- 1st Thanksgiving

December 2008
5th- SantaLand and trip to the farm
8th- Jen's brain surgery
Both kids spent a lot of time away from Momma and Daddy due to surgery
Caleb met Aunt Becky
25th- 1st Christmas

January 2009
Happy New Year!
7th- First word: "Dada"
19th- 1st tooth
31st- Daddy's birthday and visit to the stock show

February 2009
Growing like crazy! Crawling, more teeth, sitting up and assisted steps.
24th- Plane ride to Tucson, AZ. Awesome visit with the Richards family!

March 2009
16th- Caleb says "Momma"
Waves, trips the park, pulling up and dinner with friends!

April 2009
4th- Easter Egg hunt
19th- stood on his own
30th- 1st Haircut and Momma's birthday

May 2009
3rd- climbs the stairs (unknown to his parents)
17th- says "bye"
31st- Uncle Robert, Uncle Brian and Uncle Ryan all graduate from High School

June 2009
9th- 1 year pictures
18th-23rd- Disney World vacation with family
26th- Caleb turns one! WOW!
Birthday party on the 27th then surgery for Jen again on June 29th.

What a year!! My baby is a little boy now! He looks more and more like his Dad everyday. We are so blessed with wonderful children. Happy birthday to my little boy! I cannot wait to see the man you will grow up to be. Caleb, I love you more than you will ever know!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Hannah just brought her two favorite Cabbage Patch Dolls into the livingroom and pulled them and herself up onto the couch to sit next to me. With her two babies in her arms she looked at each of them intently and said, "Hola, what is your name? Soy Hannah, I'm glad to see you today."

Ha, my girl loves watching and reciting Dora.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Perfect Date

I love my hubby. He drives me crazy sometimes but then he does something so perfect it could bring me to tears. I have been a little stressed lately: preparing for DisneyWorld vacation with the WHOLE family, planning for Caleb's 1st birthday party (which is 3 days after we return from Disney) and my upcoming surgery. My headaches are back and they will be doing my brain surgery again on June 29th. I will be thrilled to be without headaches FINALLY but as you would assume my stress level is at an all-time high.

So, back to Chris and his perfect actions! Knowing how stressed I am right now he took me away for part of the weekend, just the two of us. Here is how it went down:

Friday afternoon Chris calls me about two 'o clock "just to check in" and see how I was doing... ok... then before we got off the phone he told me I needed to pack an overnight bag for myself and pack the kids bags because they were going to stay at his moms. Shock me, shock me!!! I was not expecting that.
  • He gets home from work we all get in the car and we are off to ????.... We drop the kids off at Susan's and then start heading westward... I still don't know where we are going. At this point I am excited but I was trying very hard to not get aggitated by the fact that I still had no clue where we were going or what we were doing. You know me, I like to know the plan, preferably make the plan, but atleast know the plan.
  • Chris then tells me we have reservations to make but he wants to check-in first. We check in at the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. I am still excited and in shock from the happenings of the past few hours but by now I am starving and ready for dinner. We drop the bags and then Chris leads to our mystery dinner at ... PF Changs... YUM! We haven't eaten there in forever and I LOVE IT! Great.Wall.of.Chocolate... is there anything better? Of course, in true Chris-fashion he tells me that the reason he picked PF is because we had gift cards at home that he could use. Ha, I love my frugal and quite honest man!
  • We enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing dinner. No kids, no plastic placemats, no bibs, no sippy cups... for the first 20 minutes we were there I kept remarking on how weird I felt without the daiper bag next to me in the booth. Dinner was fantastic! We ordered the Great Wall to-go and headed back to the hotel.
  • You know I can't stay still for long so after we got back to the room we decided to go out for a walk and to go have a drink. Again, bazaar going somewhere with nothing but my man! We ran into an old high school friend while we were out and then back to the hotel to relax.
  • Fast forward... you don't need those details...
  • Morning.. breakfast at Corner Bakery in our hotel. YUM! Did I mention that there were no points documented for this weekend?!?
  • We had a leisurely morning and then made our way to the Kimball Art Museum. Currently they have "Love & Art in Renaissance Italy" on display. It was wonderful! Beautiful pieces and insight into love, marraige and childbirth rituals of the day. I highly recommend it.
It was amazing how perfect our extended "date" was. I didn't even know I needed this break but boy how it renewed my spirit. I love my wonderful husband! He never ceases to amaze me. Chris you are my best friend and I wouldn't trade you for the world! Thank you for a perfect date!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Been a while for postings around here. Crazy life, crazy brain, something's gotta give!
Here are my 8 things, enjoy!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
1. Getting rid of all these headaches
2. Family trip to DisneyWorld in 16 days
3. Getting back into a new bible study this summer
4. Joe T's with the Shannon Family
5. Diana, Zach & Christopher's visit in August
6. Caleb's 1st Birthday party ... I can't believe he will be one!
7. Hannah's first swimming lesson ... what a big girl!
8. Caleb taking his real first steps and then the fun that will follow as I chase him chasing his sister!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Went to BodyWorks class at the gym
2. Picked up Caleb from Mema's where he had spent the night on Sunday
3. Mailed a care package to Arizona
4. Bought my bible study book for this summer
5. Called the Neurosurgeon to schedule my surgery
6. Went to the store before dinner
7. Enjoyed Tostada Night with the fam
8. Enjoyed an evening with no TV (after The Wheel was over, of course)

8 Shows I Watch:
1. The Today Show
2. Dora
3. The Golden Girls
4. Jon & Kate plus 8 (for now)
5. The Biggest Loser
6. 18 Kids and Counting
7. Wheel of Fortune
8. The Office!

8 People I Tag:
1. Ashley
2. Becky
3. Nicole
4. Angie
5. Kristen
6... No one else even knows I have a blog!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday

We are surrounded by so many blessings. Even those things that I perceive to be burdens or inconveniences at the time in hindsight are part of God's plan for my life. God uses my good and my bad choices for His glory. Praise be to a forgiving and gracious God. So to start out, I am thankful for....

1. ... a loving God that is in control even when I do not understand His ways or even see him working. I have had a hard time over the past few years really "feeling" God with me or working in my life. It has been straining on my relationship with Him. Having just finished "Esther" by Beth Moore my eyes have been opened to looking for Him even when I don't see Him at work. This quote from her study had a profound effect on me and my outlook on things:
"I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when I do not feel it.
I believe in God, even when He is silent."

Thank you Lord for being there even when I do not "feel" you.

2. ... my amazing husband who has supported and stood by me even when I was not doing the same for him. God is working on strengthening our relationship right now and I am so thankful for the wonderful man God placed in my life. I love you Chris!

3. ... Hannah Banana and her caring and loving nature. She expresses genuine concern and feelings for people that only a child has the ability to. She is such a little mother. Yesterday she and Caleb were standing at the coffee table eating some crackers for snack. She gave him one more cracker and then put the rest away saying to Caleb: "No more until dinner sweety." What a caregiver!

4. ... my precious boy. For our family, it has definitely been true that daughters love their daddies and sons love their mommies. I love the special bond that Caleb and I have. Though he only says "Mama" when he is angry or in need of something and "Daddy" whenever he is happy, I know that our bond is unbreakable and at the end of the day he needs his Momma and Momma needs her Caleb.

5. ... friendship and a bond that can only come from above. I love my Diana and the relationship that we have. In God's amazing time and providence Diana and my relationship has only gotten better with her moving to Arizona. Believe me, I would love to have her back in Texas but God has allowed the geographical distance between us to be a catalyst to strengthen our relationship. Diana, thank you for doing the Esther study with me. That time together has been priceless!

6. ... family and love that abounds regardless of our actions. The dynamics of both Chris and my family have changed over the past few years and will continue to change, as time has a way of doing that. Our families are so supportive and loving and I am very thankful for them.

Now for the meat and potatoes of Thankful Thursday.
I am thankful for...
1. Naps and the few minutes of "free time"(does that even exist?) it gives mom.
2. DVR, when through tears we ask for just one episode of Dora.
3. Preschool that gives Hannah a break and opportunity for more social interaction.
4. The playroom that helps contain the chaos of toys in this house.
5. Cribs that hold a screaming baby when mom needs a timeout.
6. The Office and Thursday nights - enough said.
7. My little purple kitchen vacuum, we would live in a pile of crumbs without you!
8. My Swiffer WetJet, my precious, I can't leave you out.
9. Highchairs with seat belts that prevent forward flips.
10. The Internet, that provides me with some, although distant, social interaction.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Who dressed Hannah?

This is a quiz for those who love my daughter and know she has more potential than the ensemble she is wearing below.

Who dressed Hannah...?...?

A. Momma
B. Daddy
C. Hannah
D. Hannah (with the approval of Daddy)
E. Hannah (with the approval of Momma)
or for fun... F. Caleb, of course

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sweet Nothings and a Body Slam

Wow, kids grow up way too fast. I have recently been converting all of our home videos to DVD storage. I will soon be editing videos and such, but I can't quite get the motivation to embark on that task. Needless to say, I have been viewing the lives of my kids in fast forward and rewind for a few days and it made me realize how they are maturing and changing before my eyes.

I think the biggest change I have seen over the past few weeks is how the kids are now interacting together. Caleb is moving from the independent phase of play to a more intereactive phase. He loves to follow Hannah around the house and get in her business. If I ever lose him (which does not happen too often, but WOW is he a fast crawler) he is almost always heading to the playroom to be with Hannah. I know it is still early in their lives but I am so happy that my kids have playmates in their home. I love watching them interact and play with each other.

My favorite Hannah and Caleb moment from today...
Hannah has been cuddling Caleb's hands and face and saying "Hey there amigo." I love that she calls him her friend. Today Caleb was pulling up on the coffee table and Hannah managed to grab him in a full nelson and bodyslam him to the ground while saying, "Hey there amigo!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

What makes you happy?

This morning Hannah was up early and Chris took her downstairs so that I could continue to sleep. Hannah and Chris rarely get time for just the two of them and Hannah took advantage of that. She convinced Daddy to sit at the table and read books to her before breakfast. The first title she picked was a CareBear book "What Makes You Happy?"

The book begins... "Close your eyes and think of something that makes you happy." After Hannah had squeezed her eyes shut, taken a minute and then opened them again Chris asked her what she had thought of. Her beautiful answer astounded me. "I was thinking of my Mami and my Papi." (That is what she calls us now after reading and watching so much Dora)

Of all the things in her two-year-old world she could think of, the thing that makes her happy is her parents! What a blessing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's that smell?

Yesterday we decided to end our wonderful weekend with a walk to the park to let the kids play. Chris and I just love pushing the stroller and getting to talk about whatever is on our minds (mostly, uninterrupted). The park we went to is one of our favorites: Hannah loves the playground, plenty of room to run, it is never crowded and we feel perfectly safe there.

As we were playing, a couple in their forties wandered over, beer in hands, from a nearby house that was clearly hosting a party. I remember thinking how odd it was that these two had left their party. Perhaps they needed a private place to talk. It was clear that they needed privacy when they continued walking off the path and into the nearby woods.

I made a remark about the couple to Chris and then we didn't think much of them again, until a noticeably unique and potent smell came wafting from the woods. Within minutes the couple returned to the public, happy and ready to get back to their party. We could smell their "good time in the woods" the entire 150 yards it took them to get through the park back to the party.

Chris and I just had to laugh and we were at least thankful they had the decency to light up privately in public. Good to know pot smoking is alive and well in Grapevine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Wild and Wonderful Day

Sometimes it takes much patience and a magnifying glass to search for and find the sweet nature of a child. Today I found a huge dose of sweetness in my little Hannah that I will not soon forget. Let me set the stage for the kind of day we have had so you can really see how an unexpected surprise our naptime encounter was today.

We went out early this morning to make our Wal-Mart run (it is payday afterall). Today we were going to be filling up the cart with all those things you wait until payday to get. It was going to be a big shopping day so Hannah couldn't sit in the big part of the cart, she was going to have to walk. I walked her little hiney all over that store and she was such a champ. She never ran off, never complained and never once asked me for anything for herself. It was one of those times as a Mom where you give yourself a little pat on the back for raising such a well behaved (in public, may I remind you) child. The adventure of that outing didn't end there. By the time we checked out it was raining cats and dogs outside. I decided to make the most of Mommy running with the shopping cart through parking lot in the pooring rain. We had the best time screaming and laughing all the way to the car.

By the time we were able to get back home, unload the groceries, and take a potty break it was time to get back in the car and drive to go have lunch with Chris. The whole drive (through the rain) to go pick up Daddy Hannah was just jabbering on about "getting Daddy from work" "going to see my Daddy" "and eating lunch with my family." She was excited, so excited that by the time we got to Daddy's work she had fallen asleep in her carseat. We made it into the restaurant and had such a wonderful time. I am not trying to sound prideful, but it was another great moment as I looked on at both of my kids: eating their lunch, minding their manners (as best as Caleb can for right now), not throwing food or breaking plates, and just generally being good kids. We finished our wonderful family lunch and took Daddy back to work. Hannah wished him luck with his work and then swiftly declared "I will not take a nap today." As Chris exited the car his last words were "Good Luck."

We headed home. By this time both of the kids were way past their naptime and were getting cranky. I drove on through the rain and the now overpowering wind. Driving in rain can be stressful, let alone a two year old that is screaming and crying about the nap she is not going to take. I bet I didn't say five words to her the whole drive home but she managed to carry on a conversation of cries for the entire drive, telling me her plans that did not include a nap. By this time I had had it with the screaming and arguing (with herself) and the tension it was causing.

After I was able to get Caleb changed and in bed I managed to atleast get Hannah up to her bedroom. The whole time (maybe 15 minutes) since we got home she had been continuing to cry and argue about her nap. Today, covered in my God-given patience (clearly not from me), I decided to offer my services as a snuggler to Hannah to see if that would get her to lay down in bed. We laid down in bed together and she was able to calm down. As if a switch had been flipped my crazed daughter turned into the sweetest, most loving little lady.

As we laid there in her bed she asked "You want covers?" I told her no since I knew I would be out of there and doing my own thing in no time (yea right!). She insisted on using her prized pink fuzzy blanket to cover me up. I happily allowed her to cover me up, but the whole time she was concerned about my feet getting too cold, since the blanket is one made for a child-sized body. At this point I was willing to just lay there and take a nap with her. She began caressing my face, smoothing out my hair, and even offered to rub my back. At one point she leaned over, grabbed my hand, pulled it up to her face and said "I'm keeping you." What a moment! I'm sure ten years from now (probably less than that) she will wish I was not even around. But for now she is keeping me and I am thrilled!

I did finally manage to get up and leave her to fall asleep for her regularly scheduled nap. As I left her room, she blew me a kiss and said "I love you." Isn't that what the parent should do as the child goes to sleep? She never ceases to amaze me with her maturity and sweet, caring personality.

Hannah, I am blessed to be your Mommy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feed the Ducks Mommy!

We went to feed the ducks this afternoon. Hannah had a great time throwing all the bread.

Caleb chose not to throw his bread, instead he ate it as fast as he could. By the time we left, both of the kids had eaten their fair share of bread but most of it did go to the ducks!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

He's done it again!

What another wonderful Sunday evening dinner! Tonight Chris made Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana and rice pilaf. It was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Thank you Chris for being such a wonderful husband, father and personal chef. I love you!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bible Study and Breakfast

I don't know what has been going on with my kids this week but we have had several out-of-the-norm early mornings. This morning I woke to Caleb crying in his sleep. A few minutes later his cries died down as the dream he was having was over. I lay there in bed trying, willing myself to go to sleep. I have heard it said many times that when you are woken up or can't go back to sleep that God is wanting some time with you. So by about 6am this morning I was out of bed working on my Esther bible study. It was so nice just sitting there in our room in my comfy chair, doing my bible study, watching Chris sleep and spending time talking to God and diving into his Word. It was the first time in a LONG time that I have had time just for myself with no interruptions. What a blessing!

As I was finishing my first day of study, I heard the creak of Hannah's door and the rustle of pajamas and blankets coming toward my room. Hannah came in and saw me with my book and bible in my lap and she immediately asked for her little bible. She wanted to sit and study with me! "I want to do bible study with you," she explained as went to get her bible. We sat there for a few more minutes, me finishing in my reading and her thumbing through her little green gift bible. She eventually went and got her story bible and asked me to read to her. We of course read about Noah's Ark (her favorite bible story) and the story of the birth of Jesus and his early years as a boy. This is the first time I have done a bible study with my daughter! What a blessing read and teach and learn together with my little girl.

The boys were still asleep at this time so Hannah and I decided to go out and have a girls breakfast all by ourselves. We got dressed, snuck out of the house and were at "The Snooty Pig" for breakfast by 7. We ordered our fruit and muffins and biscuits and chocolate milk, of course, and got to sit next to each other in the booth to eat our food. We had such a great time just sitting and talking about our plans for the day.

This was a perfect way to start our weekend. This was hopefully the first of many, as Hannah calls it, "Girls Only" times with my daughter. With Hannah and I being as similar as we are I know that we will have our times of discord in the future, but I pray that the times I cling to are these times of joy and happiness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Early Morning Blessings

This morning was not our norm but enjoyable nonetheless. Caleb woke us up screaming from his room at about 5:20 this morning. Needless to say I was not a happy camper. Chris and I both played the game where you pretend to ignore the child, laying there like you are asleep until the other one gives in. You know, like playing chicken until the other gets out of your way. Well this morning he won and I got out of bed to see what could be so important this early in the morning.

I quickly made Caleb a bottle and attempted to hold him and give him that bottle. Just as quickly as I sat down to give it to him I was up putting him back in his crib so he could take it on his own. He has been holding his bottle by himself for about five months now and will not let anyone give him assistance in the process. This is apparently a common theme in my kids... they are stubborn and independent to a fault. "Who needs Momma and Daddy when I can do it on my own?"

I make my way back to my nice and comfy bed for all of about ten minutes before Caleb is screaming again but this time Chris lost the game of chicken and he went to get our dissatisfied child. Of course, by this time Chris is needing to get ready for work and since nothing is working to calm our child he brings Caleb into my bed.

So the title, right, Early Morning Blessings? Chris hands me Caleb and I tuck him in real tight with me to lay down and cuddle with him. Did I mention that my kiddos are independent? I thought this whole laying together thing would last for mabye five minutes at the most. He is ususally the last person to want to snuggle and, God forbid it, show dependence on another person.

As soon as his little head hit my embrase he was fast asleep. I just lay there for a long time listening to his little infant snores through his constantly stuffed-up nose. I felt his little twitches has he had adventures with Annabelle and Hannah in his dreams. It was a wonderful time in mothering. I think God gives us these little moments when we need them the most. He uses them to remind us that what He has given us is not a mistake or inconvenience but blessings from on high. They are gentle reminders that what He has given us is sufficent and planned in perfect accordance to His will.

I know it is not Thankful Thursday, but today I am thankful for the blessing of my family and the opportunity to serve them every day!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dinner for Two

Sunday nights are for trying new things. For about three or four years now Chris and I have been trying to have nice dinners (almost) every Sunday evening. We try new recipes and most of the time Chris does the meal planning. Consequently, we usually end up at the grocery store to buy the ingredients by about 4pm Sunday afternoon and the whole dinner process is over by about 8pm. This time we spend together is invaluable. We either really enjoy making these great meals together or the time we spend getting on each others' nerves reminds us of those times we are more at peace with one another! The kids get fed and go to play and Chris and I take over the kitchen, making the biggest mess you have ever seen.

Our menus over the years have included: grilled tuna, various steak dinners, adobo pork, homemade salad dressings, roast beef, acorn squash and tonight we add Tomatillo Enchiladas with spinach, onion, & chicken filling. DELICIOUS! By far, Chris's favorite meals are Mexican delights from his favorite chef, Rick Bayless. It takes Chris two hours to do what the recipe says will take 45 minutes but he doesn't care. His presentation is fabulous and the food (usually) tastes as good as it looks. We work together on the clean-up and I finally am at peace again when the kitchen is returned to it's original condition.

My tummy is full but my taste buds are looking forward to our next Sunday evening adventure.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wedgie Wednesday

Shock me, shock me... Hannah just took off her oh so cozy fleece pajamas (necessary for the typically unpredicatable North Texas weather). When I asked why she had removed all her clothing except for her panties she replied, "I HAVE A WEDGIE!"

In true Hannah fashion, she refuses to get dressed again stating, "I like being naked girl!"

With Springtime comes....

flowering plants,
beautiful blooms,
and the ever-present snotty nose!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grocery Ad Tuesday

I don't know about anyone else, but I love the day when the grocery store ads come in the mail. Maybe it is my organized and (thanks to my husband's influence) money conscience nature, but I can't wait to sit down and go through the ads, find the best deals, pull my coupons for the week, plan our meals and make a list of all I need at the store.

If I could talk to myself ten years ago that Jen would wonder what happened to me, what happened to the things that I used to get excited about. But in this place in my life I am loving what I do. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Come on, who wouldn't get excited about $1.99 milk?!?!

Yeah for Ad Tuesdays!

Friday, March 13, 2009

a fashion lesson

This morning I woke with Hannah in our bed (as we do every now and then). The Fashion Diva noticed that Daddy was getting ready for work. She rolled out of bed and ran into the closet. As Chris was looking for a shirt she asks, "You gonna wear that?" Chris promptly picks another shirt that Hannah will approve of. Any jean will work for casual Friday so Hannah allows Chris to make that decision himself.

Now for shoes! She says "These match" as she picks a pair of casual black shoes for him.
But before a very thankful father can put on the "outfit" Hannah has picked out for him, she puts his shoes on and says "I'm gonna show you how to walk." Chris then goes to get socks and Hannah is struck with a look of absolute concern. "Daddy, you forgot your shoes!" What would his day have been like if Hannah had not been there to remind him to put on those shoes?

I am not sure how we got anything done around here before we had Hannah. I call her "my little narrator." She has something to say about EVERYTHING. Right now as I am typing she knows I am writing a story about her and Daddy and she leans over, hugs the computer and proceeds to talk to the computer as if Daddy can here us on the other side: "I love you. Come home soon. We can't wait to see you."

Hannah has just spoken her trademark phrase "I have an idea!" while pointing one finger in the air. I am now being pulled to go to the playroom. I am off on another adventure with the Great Diva and Super Caleb!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You always remember your first!

Welcome to my first blog! The Sain family is finally entering the blogging world. There will never be anything radical or mind-blowing in these pages, just a few thoughts from our simple life. I am still trying to figure all of this out (formating and template design) but I'm sure my awesome hubby can help me out later. For someone who has no problem talking it will be a challenge for me to get my thoughts into words. So no promises about proper grammar or elequent words but I do look forward to having an outlet (other than sharing my random thoughts with Hannah and Caleb during the day).

Nothing too exciting going on today... Chris is at a confrence and I am being an awesome mother with one child sleeping and the other laying on my bed watching her 2nd, 3rd,.... oh, I don't remember... episode of Dora the Explorer. I did get the yard mowed this morning so that will be my exercise for the day! Looking forward to my pedicure my husband promised I could go get this weekend. I am also looking forward to the time change! I love Day Light Savings! I think I get that daylight depression thing when it is dark when your husband goes to work and when he comes home. I will love being able to play with the kids outside more at night and I am looking forward to my overall attitude improving after I get more sunlight! I however am not looking forward to the two hour time diffrence between Arizona and Texas.

Hannah, Caleb and I just returned from a week-long trip to visit Diana, Josh, Zach, and Chris in Tucson. That was difficult to come back from. We had such an awesome time and for the first time since the Richards left it felt like "normal" (though I missed Chris, who was back in Texas working, terribibly). I know God gives us BFFs for a reason. Though our relationship is made possible by long distance and the internet we can still be there for each other and share our bond of sisterhood in Christ!

The time has come to continue my day.

This was my first... was it as good for you as it was for me?