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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Girls Night Out Preschool Style

So tonight, we had our Girls Night Out...Preschool Style. We took the girls to Simply Fondue. We had so much fun being girls and cooking our own food. Addy ate maybe 2 bites but she had fun. We had a great time catching up with Xuan and Gaby! Here are some pics of our night.

Week in Check

Well, this week has been kind of crazy with moving stuff out and in for carpet and with the church moving into the movie theater this weekend. It's all exciting and crazy at the same time. Yesterday I was not feeling well, I've got some kind of sinus thing going on. Today is better. The kids and I met our friend Shelley at the Wetzone to swim and play. It was a lot of fun. I always enjoy adult conversation, however at times feel like I forget what I'm saying as I'm stopping to rescue Keegan who thinks he's a master swimmer. Addy is doing so good but she wants me to watch all the cool stuff she can do. It was fun and good to catch up with Shelley.

I am still LOVING the carpet. We are going to do laminate in the front 2 rooms but again, that will have to wait for a while. I can't wait to get it all done and come up with more projects. It's neverending. I'm going to be patient and enjoy what we have and where we are at the moment. I don't want to be an "I want it, I have to have it" kind of person.

Tonight, my friend Xuan and I are taking our girls on a date. I'm really excited to have a girl's night. We're going to dress up. Xuan and I went with our mommy group a few months ago to Simply Fondue and there was a bad storm. Xuan got rained on...I know it was funny!! So, she got a free gift certificate and so we decided to take our girls on a date. We're finally doing it. I've missed my friend so it will be great for all of us to catch up:)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So.....we have our new carpet. I love it. It is just what I wanted. It's soft and clean....AHHH!! I have realized over my house buying and decorating years. I am not a picky person. I don't have a "style." I kind of wish I did. We had some friends in NC and she was an interior decorator. Her house was beautiful. She had a style and it fit her. I am realizing I like simple and the clutter that we accumulate drives me nuts. I think we're going to have a yard sale. We've got too much stuff. We don't even know what we have....lots of extra clothes.

On another note, I'm sick. I don't know how it happened but I feel yuck. I hate being sick.

I'm looking into some parttime work for the fall. I've got a couple of different opportunities. I'm trying to decide which would be a better fit. One is an Accreditation Coordinator for a private school. The other is teaching in the homeschool department of a local community college. If you think about it, say a prayer that I would have a clear sense of which would be best for me.

By the way, today is Cheesecake Factory's Anniversary, you can go in and get a piece of cheesecake that's normally $6 or $7 for $1.50. Yes, I'm trying to figure out how to get in on that deal.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Addy's night night prayer tonight was (and I quote) "Dear God, help our family. Please let Brendai and Caitlin and all our friends go swimming with us at the WetZone."



We had a good weekend. We traded Caitiln & Brendai off to the Sprangs. We had fun with them. We had a cookout last night at Andrew & Marilyn's. Andrew makes the best brisket. Last night the Lowry's sponsored the gets to be too much for Andrew & Marilyn to buy all the meat. It was worth every cent...Andrew is the bomb on the smoker. Today we had church and had a great crowd. Next week, we start in the movie theatre. Levi & I are really looking forward to that move. We ate lunch at Which Wich....yummy!! This afternoon we took the kids to Wetzone to swim. We had a lot of fun. We stopped by for Levi to check out the staging that's being built and then we met the Sprangs and Caitlin & Brendan at Bahama Bucks.....another yum!!

I'm tired and sometimes that affects my point of view. I better blog tomorrow...if I'm still feeling it and thinking it, I'll write about it. I ambiguous...not my ususal style:)

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Well, our carpet has arrived. I missed all the calls so I have to call on Monday to find out exactly when they can install it. When we moved here, a year ago, the only thing I wanted so badly was carpet. However, we couldn't even think about that with two mortgages. So, a year later, after we've sold our house, carpet is the number one priority. I am so thankful. I was budget mindful in choosing so we did really great on our price. We're carpeting the bedrooms. We've decided we're going to do laminate in the playroom and Levi's office. I'm so excited! Tonight, Levi told me he felt bad that I've had to wait a year for carpet. I tried not to be a brat about that demand a year ago. I realize that my choice to be a stay at home mom requires some sacrifices. We have old cars, we only buy off sale and clearance racks, we budget very well (because we have to). But you know what, we're all fed (and could stand to lose a few), my kids have all of their needs met and more. We get what we need and a lot of what we want. I'm happy. I'm secure where I am in my life as a person, a wife, and a mom. I feel good where I am. I don't mean that to sound haughty or arrogant, quite the opposite. I'm humbled daily by how God takes care and provides for us. I've survived with the carpet we've had. I'm okay with having to wait a year for carpet. And, I'll have to wait a couple of months for the laminate. Then after that, I'll have to wait a few months for a new fence. Then, a few months to get our tile SUPER cleaned (or we might venture out trying to rent the machine and do it ourselves.). That's my list of priorities:) I'm okay with waiting. For me, the waiting makes it so much worth the wait. I'm so excited and grateful for this carpet, a bit anxious at the same time. It's like paint, you never know how it will look. That little swatch doesn't do it justice.

I feel like in our society, we get what we want when we want it without regard to anything else. I must admit, a year ago, I so badly wanted carpet and I was embarrassed about the carpet we have. How selfish of me...I don't want to live in want or feel inadequate because of material possessions. I am where I want to be. I wouldn't trade being with my kids for any amount of money. I realize teachers do pretty well in Texas but in the other states I've taught in, it's not been so great. I wouldn't trade that either. I feel like I was a good teacher and I loved on those kids that were in my classes. I don't want to be led or guided by money. It has been amazing to see how God has blessed and provided for us in this past year without very much money. I know He will continue to take care of us. I want to be a giver. I see even more clearly how we should give, give, give...not just money but time, possessions, ourselves, energy, etc. I want my kids to learn that. I want them to give and know the joy and fulfillment in giving.

I just reread this blog. My brain goes and my hands follow. It's kind of random thoughts.

On another side note: I am going to the Women of Faith Conference later in August. I've gone before and my sister and mom go every year. It's been a few years since I've gone. I'm going. I invited the ladies from Catalyst, just informally, whoever wanted to go. I thought, maybe it would just be Meagan and I or maybe we'd have 4 or 5....SHUT UP!! We have 12 ladies going. Isn't that crazy??!! I'm so excited. We're going to have a girls weekend or night at least. It will be fun!! I'm super excited and glad so many of us are going.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Six Flags

So yesterday, we left the kiddos at home and took Brenda & Caitlin to Six Flags. It was nice to be kidless although I missed them. I love taking Addy to Six Flags because she loves it. We had fun. It was really hot, we didn't stay too awful long. We did get to ride the major roller coasters. It was a lot of fun. Levi and I rode the Titan and sat in the front car. It was crazy! We enjoyed it.

Addy is in her last week of swim lessons and she is doing awesome. I am so proud of her. She's like a little fish. Keegan was up last night from 3am - 6am...I have no clue what his deal was but I am pooped today. I'm glad Brendan and Caitlin are here, they've been a huge help with the kiddos.

Today we're going to go swimming and just hang out. I think we're grilling steaks for dinner...YUM!! I know, a lot of superfluous information....that's how I roll I guess.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

House for the Sprangs

The Sprangs closed on their house today...finally. It's cool to see them so excited about moving in. I guess we take for granted having space. Who would have thought that they would be in their apartment for a year??? Certainly none of us did, we thought those houses would sell and it would be smooth sailing for all of us.....wasn't the plan. In hindsight, that was a good thing, it's taught us all a lot about life and our relationship with Christ, it did me and I'm speaking for them too:) Yeah for the Sprangs house!!

So what I really wanted to say is that we bought 600 forks to fork their yard as a welcome. The kiddos were asleep so I stayed home with them but we got a few others to join in on the mischief. Fun times!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Have I told you about our van lately? Well, tomorrow marks 7 weeks that our van has been in the shop. Fortunately, at week 5, the guy gave us a loaner EXPEDITION. It's huge and I love it but I do not love filling it up with gas. The bad part is that our van is at the "transmission" shop not at the mechanic where we left it. So, who knows when we'll get it back.

Today our friends, Caitlin & Brendai flew in to see us. I'm so proud of them, they're just great kids. It was fun seeing them react to Keegan & Addy and how much they've changed. It feels like normal being with them again....kind of like they just walked down the street. They were our neighbors in NC and they'd walk up or we'd walk down to watch tv or have dessert or just hang out. I'm glad they're here. We have lots of good memories from NC and they're some of them:)

Addy is in her second week of swim lessons. I am so proud of her. I seriously almost cried the first night I had to leave her with her teacher because she started puckering up like she might cry. Well, that was the end of that, once she hit the water, she's been like a fish. She has loved it. Tonight, I got there late because of band practice and she was riding her teacher's back playing the shark game. She bobs up and down and blows bubbles, floats on her back, and more. It's crazy. I love watching her because she loves it. About 2 weeks before her lessons, one day she looked at me and said, "Mommy, I'm putting my face in the water at swim lessons." I doubted her but she was right, she was determined and she has done it. She's getting to be so big.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just Me

I've kind of been on a little bit of a low since my parents left. I miss them so much. I know you're probably sick of me saying that. On another note, we had a great weekend, it was very productive. Levi did a lot with the yard. I've been catching up on laundry getting ready for Caitlin & Brendai to get here tomorrow. Sunday was awesome at church, we had 57 again...woohoo!!! Very exciting. We move into the movie theatre in 2 weeks....again very exciting for us. Jonathan preached on Sunday which was nice. It gave Levi a break and let Jonathan experience preaching. He did a good job. The series we're in is Upside Down God. Be last to be first, be weak to be strong, etc. He talked about how we should share our burdens instead of having to act like we have it all together. It was good. In the past 2 days, I've talked to 2 or 3 people that are just going through it with relationships or situations that just suck. My heart just aches for them. I hate that. I wish we had some guarantee as Christians that life would be smooth sailing. I think back to the last year and how hard it has been for me, feeling alone, feeling distrust that we were even supposed to be here, feeling financially strapped paying 2 mortgages, feeling distanced from Levi in the midst of the junk he was feeling too, there was so much crap, I couldn't see straight. And then God began doing awesome things. Some of them were tangible but some of them were in our hearts. We began praying and fasting (which I should totally do more of). We did see God come in a way, we never have experienced before. I had an unnaural trust that God would take care of us. Sometimes I wonder why we went through that. I don't know if this is true but I think that now, when someone shares their struggles, whether it be financial, relational, or whatever, I can relate to it on a deeper level because I've felt that desperation. I have compassion where before I tended to be a bit more judgemental. I'm glad for that. I still struggle with worry and I struggle with keeping in daily communication with God. It's like I expect Him to take care of me but I don't read the Word and talk to Him like I should. The crazy thing is, He's still right there waiting for me. I love that about Him, who else in the world would do that?? Noone! So, my challenge for myself this week is going to be to be in the Word and to get a plan for fasting. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and thanks for reading! It's late, I'm hitting the hay!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

WooHoo for Levi

Just wanted to give some public props to Levi. He got up EARLY this morning to do yard work. He had gone to Home Depot and the Lawn Mower store before the kids and I were out of bed. Crazy I know but it was nice to sleep in a little bit. Levi mowed our yard (and our neighbor's) and had trimmed the bushes. It was a lot of work for him. The yard looks great.

At some point, we need to tear most of the bushes out and start over. That's a big job so we're pacing ourselves. We also went to the Habitat store to look for laminate flooring. We're going to put that in our play room and office. I also ordered carpet for the bedrooms today. We're going down our list of priorities and carpet was definitely the number one priority. I ended up getting a frieze. It is flecked. The one I chose is lighter than my first choice but I think it will look good in our rooms. I think the darker one would have been too dark when we got it all in. So, in the next few weeks we'll have new carpet. WOOHOO!!!

Thanks Levi for all your hard work is VERY much appreciated! Love you!!

Awesome God

I am constantly amazed at how awesome God is. A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and a college friend started chatting with me. I told her all about Catalyst and how God was working things out so beautifully. She happens to be a children's pastor in California. She's awesome at what she does. She was asking me a lot about Catalyst and how we were doing things. She then offered to send me a bunch of kid's curriculum that her church used. Well, I got the package today. Now, let me rewind to another "chat" I had with Jeremy Self who is planting a church in Austin, Texas. He told me that he found a kid's dvd curriculum that they loved, it's called KID-MO. I looked into it and it's pretty expensive. So, we were going to contact Jeremy (which we still may do at some point) about "renting" or "buying" it from them when they were done. Now fast foward to today when the package that my California friend sent. I opened it and she had written me a letter expaining what she sent and how she used the materials. About half way down, she writes, "I'm also sending one series of KID-MO curriculum. This stuff is pricey, so if you like it, let me know. We own about 3 more and I'd hate for you to spend the money..." I just laughed out loud because I realize how good God is and how He provides in perfect timing and in perfect ways. Is that not cool??? I mean, I realize it's not a huge deal but it helps us out so much. Toni didn't even know how God was going to use her to bless us. I think that's so awesome.

At District Assembly this week, I was talking with a friend, Shari. I was telling her about some neat things that have happened to us. We were given a very generous "vacation" gift for next January. When I was telling her, she looked at me and said, "It's so cool because God isn't just telling you He's going to take care of you, He's going over and above and blessing you with this." It was so neat to realize that we not only have our needs met but He takes it one step further sometimes.

On a totally different topic, last year when we moved here, I was looking into some part time employment and I ended up tutoring online which is great and it's pretty good money for tutoring in my pajamas. I contacted a school in Lucas, Texas about a part time teaching position. Well, the position was fill before I sent my application but not before my references sent their references in. A year has passed and I haven't thought much about that. At District Assembly, a lady approached me who works at Lucas Academy. Well, we have a mutual friend and that's how I heard about Lucas Academy in the first place. She came up and out of the blue asked if I was interested in a part time position there. I would have office hours two days a week and be the accreditation coordinator. Any of you teachers know what a crazy ordeal accreditation is but I feel like with my background and my master's I could do this. I've been emailing the HR person this weekend. I don't know if it will pan out. We have salary issues and childcare issues to work out. I can't help to think that God is reminding me that He is in control and how in the world did that lady who didn't know me from Adam approach us to ask me about a job?? Isn't that crazy.

I've been watching Dr. Phil. I know that sounds so funny but I really like him. He had a show on this past week...I TIVO it and then watch it fast. Bishop T.D. Jakes was on with him and they were talking about repositioning your life. And how you have to take action steps to get out of repeating behaviors that you don't want to repeat. Dr. Phil talked about (on another show I think but they connect well) how his motto is "Pray to God and Row to Shore." His point was that we have to work and that God gave us the oars so row, don't just pray, put action behind it. They had Christian guests who were hiding behind scriptures and misusing the Bible to excuse their behavior, whether it was not working or worse. I heard both of these guests use the phrase "God's will." They used it in different contexts but one man said, "Well if it doesn't work out it's not God's will," in response to him not getting a steady job and providing for his 7 kids. It just bugged me. I've heard other people use that phrase and I don't know if I fully believe that. Sometimes I think it doesn't work out because of choices we make and we have to be accountable for our actions. Sometimes we don't think about how our choices and actions could affect us down the road. And sometimes I think using that line is an excuse for our laziness in not working at something.I guess this whole "God's will" is like there is one path that we should take and that sounds to me more like we're robots. God gave us free will and He gave us choices. We have to pray and trust that we're led by God's spirit in the choices and decisions we make. If we mess up or make a bad choice, God is still there cheering us on and loving us but we have to be accountable and accept responsibility for those choices and live the consequences. So now I'm blogging about Dr. Phil.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quick Catch Up

We've had a great week with my parents and sister and niece. I hated to see them go this morning. I think the hardest part of them leaving now is how sad Addy gets. It breaks my heart. I hate that about being here. I don't mean that to sound harsh because I know this is where we're supposed to be but I absolutely hate it and I have to watch that I don't get resentful about it. I'm so glad Addy and now Keegan love their family. I want to make sure we see them more often than we have. Nobody loves your kids like their grandparents. My kids have 2 awesome sets of grandparents and I'm so thankful for that. However, it makes it a lot harder being so far away.

We're headed to District Assembly in a little bit. They're just denominational meetings that are really boring but I love to see our friends from around the area. I sang yesterday and am singing in the services this afternoon and tomorrow morning too. We're a bit busy.

Next week our friends Brendan & Caitlin are coming from North Carolina. We can't wait to see them. They were our neighbors and we fell in love with their family. I wish their parents could come too and By-an (as Addy called Ryan). Maybe sometime we'll all get together again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Recap

Long, we painted Addy's room. I was at a play date at Xuan's (pronounced Swan) on Friday morning and she says to me, "When are you painting Keegan's room? Let's do it." So. we head over to our house, make a pit stop at 7-11 because it was free slurpee day, then start painting. We painted 1/2 of it completely and stopped. It was also free Chic-fil-a Day. So, we dressed all the kids in white and black and painted their faces with black spots to get free food...yes we're desperate. You might make fun of us but all 7 of us at for $3.02. Juan and Levi were both working...Levi reffed so it was just us and the kids. We finished Keegan's room Saturday and both rooms look GREAT. Xuan is awesome and a work horse. I always have fun chilling with her.

On Saturday morning we went over to the Penney's to hang out and see Emily's new swingset which is awesome. We had a great time with them. If you go to Catalyst and you haven't made a point to meet them, you are so missing out. What a delightful bunch!! Carla---Happy Birthday!

My parents and sister and niece drove in from Florida last night. It was great to have them at church today. I miss them so much. I'm really trying to enjoy the moment because my brain automatically thinks about how limited our time is and I don't want to miss out on enjoying them. We always have fun. An added bonus was that my aunt from Wichita was actually in Dallas for a funeral. We got to meet them for breakfast today. It was good for my dad to visit with his sister. Not that the funeral was a good thing but it was nice to get to see my aunt and uncle. My cousin lives outside of Dallas and works as an Equestrian Director. We were going to go see him (all of us) but instead my dad is just going to drive over and spend the day. My cousin lived with my parents for a bit after college and he and my dad really connected. They're both cowboys so they entertain each other. It will be good for both of them to hang out.

We had a great day at church today...we had some weird things going on with sound and we were missing a lot of our regulars. We still felt full which is a good thing. I can't wait till everybody is here (and done vacationing) to see how full it really feels.

We've got a busy week. We have swimming lessons at night and we start District Assembly which is a lot of meetings. I always like that because we see a lot of people around the area that we don't normally see.

Have a great week! I'll try to blog again but it will probably be after everything settles down.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday is Purple Day

So, we spent today painting Addy's is very beautiful. She has been wanting to paint her room since we started painting stuff last fall. Xuan and the crew came over. We had our neighbor girls watch the kids and she and I did it. It took us a long time but her room is beautifully purple...a few different shades. Xuan is awesome. She even took my kids home with her so we could go out with the camp band for dinner. I guess I should say she's a glutton for punishment. She is always willing to help and do whatever. She doesn't complain. I need to be more like her. I will do things but not always with the right spirit. I'm so thankful for her. If you're reading...thanks girl!!

Well, our van is not imaginary anymore. It is there and getting a transmission that is costing us MORE than what they originally quoted but at least we'll have 2 running vehicles. They did give us a car from their lot. I am driving an's huge and takes alot of gas. At least it has 4 doors:)

Tomorrow looks busy. I'll post about our weekend later. I'm pooped and still have to get the house back together so I can tutor in the morning. UGH!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Imaginary Van

So, I'm beginning to think that our van is a figment of our imagination. Levi talked to the van man today. It appears that the transmission they installed isn't compatible with our engine's electrical system. So, back to the drawing board. The man quoted us one price and Levi made it clear that it couldn't be more as the project progressed. Well, now he's telling us he can't guarantee that price. So, we should hear back today what the final price will be. I think it will be a few hundred dollars more which is okay. It's an unfortunate situation for all of us. The mechanic has spent alot of time on it. I feel bad for him too. However, he did offer us a car from his lot....5 weeks later:0 At least we're getting a loaner. I am so sick of Levi's 2 1/2 door Saturn.

Other than that, we're good. My family is coming this weekend and I'm super excited!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Lowry Fam

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Weekend Recap

We had a great weekend. We had a busy Fourth and the fifth was just as busy...and good:)

We celebrated Andrew's birthday. He smoked is the best brisket I have EVER had. Delicious! Sundays are always a little crazy around here. We got to church and had 57 people. It was awesome to sing to a full house....full for us:) We can't wait to see what God has in store. We went to eat Sushi tonight, again to celebrate Andrew's birthday. It was really good, it had more than sushi thankfully!

This week is busy too. My parents and sister are coming into town next weekend and I can't wait!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'm an "A- Doot"

Tonight, I had to spank Addy.....she told me a fib and then she continued to go down hill. Well, she was tired and we had her way too busy this weekend. So tonight during "night night" time, I asked her if there was anything she needed to say she was sorry to God for. We started talking about her fibbing and her attitude. She told me I spanked her and we talked about it and she said, "Yeah, because you're the a-doot." Well, first I thought she was calling me a dope or an idiot. Then it clicked, she was telling me I was the adult. I love night night time. It's our best conversation of the day. We talk about her favorite part of the day, we laugh a lot, we pray and sing. I was glad she wasn't calling me an idiot or a dope, just an adult....maybe that's just as bad somedays:) Just kidding!!!

Fourth of July

We had a great Fourth of July. Levi started his day by helping the Sprangs load their POD. They had to be out of their apartment this weekend and found a house but I'm not sure when they're closing. It didn't take long, Levi said they did a terrific job packing so it was easy to get them out.

Our friends, Juan & Xuan (I know funny) invited us over for a cookout for lunch. Juan is a super duper chef at a swanky hotel club in downtown Dallas so anytime they invite us over, we are there. We had an awesome time talking with them. They truly are great friends and we just feel right at home with them.

B-Rad and Shelley invited all of us over for dinner last night. We trucked over there and ate yummy food and had a great time. From there, we went to Firewheel to watch the fireworks. I wanted to see Kool and the Gang but it was too late and too many people. We stayed in the Lowe's parking lot to enjoy the festivities. It was great. I was nervous about Addy and Keegan but they were champs and loved the fireworks. The anticipation got to Addy a little but when they started, she snuggled into B-Rad and had a great time.

We got home and our neighbors were outside so we hung out with them for a bit before heading inside. Levi and I stayed up playing Mario Kart for a little bit. That game is so addicting.


We've had a good and busy week. Let me recap some recaps from the previous blog....
van back-NONONO....they had to take it back over to the transmission place so we still have not seen our van, this coming Wed. will be 5 weeks without it. Thank you to the Bloomers who have loaned us their Murano which I am getting really attached to.

We are getting our door painted courtesy of the coupon company who hung it on our door. The guy was super nice. I tried Goo Be Gone, WD40, and Simple Green, nothing would get that thing off.

We had a busy week but didn't do a whole lot. Kind of crazy sounding. We all squeezed into Levi's 2 1/2 door Saturn a few times but hung out here and tried to get a lot done around the house. I don't think I got much done at all, laundry maybe. I did this e-mealz this week which was great. I fixed some yummy food and it felt good to do so. Levi's been sick with allergy stuff so that's been a downer. We've played outside alot with our neighbors. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our neighbors. They're great and they love our kids.