Sunday, August 30, 2009

Business Trip to DC

Midnight picture of Greg and me in DC--it's the best we could do:)

Greg's office...well it would be his office if we still lived in DC. Check out that view! He looks over Georgetown and the Key Bridge--love it!

Kiersten, one of my best friends in DC and her daughters Layne and Mia--we spend almost everyday together when we lived there. Our kids are the same age, yet since we left she has had 2 more--crazy girl:)

This is precious Amelia, the daughter of Eric and Erin. She's the best....we almost took her home with us;)

Greg with Eric, Erin, Amelia, and the player-to-be-named-later (see Erin's belly)--this family has blessed our lives tremendously--we love you guys! Thanks for letting us crash at your house:)

This past week Greg had to go to DC for work (he works from home but is based in DC) and I got to go with him this time!!! YEAH! I have been wanting to go back and visit friends for a long time. We lived in DC for about 3 years and made some great life long friends so we of course were thrilled to get to see everyone! Greg left early Wednesday morning and I flew in late that night. We took a little drive around the district at night and drove by the little apartment we lived in there--it was amazing we lived there for so long:) Anyways over the next few days we just had a blast visiting friends. I went shopping with my friend Kiersten and her 4 kids on Thursday (it was so fun because her kids are very well behaved:) Thursday evening we had dinner with Jen and Matt, a couple that was in our small group from church. Friday Greg had to work so I slept in, went for a jog down the National Mall, hungout at a Coffee Shop and played Nintendo:) ~Greg's co-worker had one set up at the office:) After Greg got off work we headed over to our friends Eric and Erin's house to spend the night. We had dinner and sat up late into the evening catching up on each others lives. They have a beautiful 2 year old daughter that was a joy to be around and we just couldn't believe how big she has gotten! She's such a ham--I love it!
The next day we had lunch with Jeremy and Heather who are also friends from our small group and spent the afternoon with them shopping. They're moving to TX soon so we can't wait to see them all the time!!
It was a jam packed 3 days but it was wonderful! I have missed our friends so much and was reminded this weekend of how God has blessed us with lifelong friends even though they are across the counrty! One of these days I plan of writing down all the amazing stories from our days when we lived in DC. Each of the couples are so dear to Greg and I as they lived life with us, prayed with us, helped us move apartments-all 4 times, helped us paint, loved on our kids, threw brithday parties for our kids, threw a baby shower for Reese, meet every week for small group in our 600 square foot apartment so we could put our kids to bed:) and SO many more blessings I could go on and on. I am humbled as I refelct on how the Lord provided us what we needed EXACTLY when we needed it! He is so good isn't he! That's not a question:) it's a FACT!:)
Thank you Greg for taking me along with you, thank you Debbie and Jerry for watching the kids for us, and all you DC friends, thank you for living life with us....we love each of you dearly!
*I also wanted to add that I forgot to take pictures with Matt and Jenn and with Heather and Jeremy--I am so sad I forgot but I guess we were too busy catching up:) Sorry guys I will remember next time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beauty Hurts!

Well, I have a report about Abby's new shoes.
Apparently they are "party" shoes and not school shoes. (Abby told me this when she got in the car after school yesterday:)
*If you didn't read the post about Abby's first day of school she got a new pair of sequined shoes and she absolutely LOVES them.
Anyways, after recess she had to go to the nurse because her shoes had given her blisters and during recess one of them popped--yuck! Poor girl! She says she never EVER wants to wear them to school again! She also said that even when she wears them to parties she will have to take them off if she wants to dance or play:) Ha! I love it!
Wow! What a lesson she has already learned at the ripe age of six! You know what I'm talking about ladies-- we all have at least a few pair of these shoes in our closets!!! You know the shoes that you love to look at but hate to wear and just hope that wherever you have to wear them you will be able to take them off under the table during dinner!;)
I told Abby that sometimes beauty hurts.... she took it ok:) I think she'll be one of those girls (like me;) that sacrifices comfort for some killer heels! ~hey at least we look cute right? :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School!

Abby and her new teacher, Mrs. Piland

Walking into the school--isn't she precious?:) ~check out those shoes! Nice!

Abby walking into class...

Abby at her desk

Today Greg, Reese and I took Abby to her first day of first grade! She was so excited this morning it was adorable! This weekend we took her to pick out an outfit for the first day and she couldn't wait to put it all on this morning. Last night she slept in sponge curlers and today is wearing silver sequined shoes---she looks simply spectacular;)
Her classroom is decorated with fish, which couldn't be more perfect since that's all she ever talks about! She is also excited about her new teacher Mrs Piland and meeting new friends in her class. I know it's gonna be a wonderful year and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for her!!
Now if I could just get rid of this aching sadness that is overtaking's all going way too fast!
~I hate sharing my daughter with the public school system:(
I will miss her dearly, but know it's exactly where she needs to be and the Lord will bless her in it! Have fun Abby!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dr. Pepper Park

Abby, Reese, Charlie and Landry

Landry got catcher gear for his Birthday--isn't he adorable?? I love it!

I was shocked to see that Abby dressed-up in her baseball stuff! She sadly isn't that into the Rangers but she told me she did it for her cousins:) ~I am praying that she starts liking the Rangers more--hey it worked for me and now I'm a huge fan! God does answer prayers!

Reese...oh I mean Michael Young;) (Rangers 3rd baseman)

Thursday night Abby and Reese's cousins, Charlie and Landry, had their Birthday parties together at the Dr Pepper kids park at the Ballpark in Arlington (right next to the Rangers' Ballpark)
They had a blast playing baseball! The kids played against the adults and they even had a homerun derby---Greg hit one out of the park:) Way to go Greg!
I, sadly, was unable to go to the party but I heard lots of fun stories and saw how messy and sweaty they got:) Now Reese can't stop talking about how much he wants his party there for his birthday. We'll see though, he changes his mind DAILY!:)
Happy Birthday Charlie and Landry-we love you guys!

Ice Skating

Abby and her ice skating teacher....maybe this week I will get better pictures

Abby started ice skating lessons this week. While we were in Colorado one of the things Abby kept asking us to do was go ice skating and man, she was good at it! She and I skated for almost 2 hours and she was really independent and seemed to have strong ankles (which I hear is key;) Anyways Greg was looking around our area for lessons for her and was able to find some about 2 miles from our house! She did really good her first lesson. I wasn't sure how much she would like it when we got there and she was the only girl with two other little boys in their hockey gear but she didn't seem to mind at all! The lessons last only 30 minutes but after 30 minutes she was spent and told me if she skated any longer she would have probably fallen down (she didn't fall the whole lesson and was quite proud of that:)
Well she has 9 more lessons so we'll see how things go but she IS hoping to be a full blown figure skater by the end of this year....I told her we'll see;)
*oh also I promised Abby I would remember to dress her warmer this time:) All the other kids had winter jackets and gloves on....oops! ~note to self--ice is cold! ...I'm brilliant I know:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Titus Daniel Russell

Me and Titus....he's sooo little!!! I love him:)

Titus all ready to go to the mall and walk....he loved the mall by the way:)

Today I made a super fast trip to Austin to go meet Stacey's (best friend from college) new baby boy, Titus! He is so precious and I had such a great time getting to spend some quality time with him and Stacey. He is such a good baby with a great temperament and it was so fun seeing Stacey as a Mommy-she's awesome!
School's starting next week so I didn't think I was gonna be able to go see them for another month or so but thankfully Maw Maw offered to watch the kids for the day so I could go make a quick trip down there! Thank you very much Debbie, I am so thrilled that I was able to go!

Face Painting

Abby's friends in her class all painted pretty!

Sunday night we had leadership training at church. It was a LONG training (4 hours long:) so the childcare at the church did some special things for the kids to keep them busy and happy! When we went to go get the kids in their rooms this is how we found them! Reese as you can see picked to have his face painted like Spiderman and Abby is a sweet like Kitty:) I was very impressed with how well the lady painted and the kids had a great time! I am thankful that we have a church that really goes out of their way to bless our kiddos! They had a blast and that gives me a lot of peace knowing they are well cared for when we are serving!


Full car...Jill and I are brave!

Ice cream with 2 little "wanna-be-teenagers" and some super heroes...nice:)

HILARIOUS! They are cracking me up! The picked out these matching outfits from Madison's closet and wore them all night...too cute!

I just realized I forgot to blog our visit to Andover, KS! I am so sorry Jill I don't know what I was thinking:)
Anyways, on our way home from KC a few weeks ago the kids and I stopped near Wichita, KS to visit my friend Jill from high school and college. She and her husband Sean have 3 kiddos, two of which are Reese and Abby's age so the kids LOVE to see them as often as we can!
We spent the evening hanging out and the kids played dress-up, ate ice cream, swam, and watched some of High School Musical 3-which they love:)
Jill and I had a great time visiting and catching up. Each time we get together I wish more and more that we lived closer so we could all hangout more!
I got some great pictures of the kids and wanted to share! Thanks Jill and Sean for opening your home to us, we had a great time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Abby trying Sushi....hilarious!

Today we brought sushi home for Greg to eat for lunch. He talked Abby into trying it and I got it on's great--you gotta watch! Enjoy! ~I have no idea where she inherited the idea:)

Roller Skating!

Yesterday Abby's friend, Gabbie, asked us to go roller skating. Abby had been to a birthday party once before to roller skate so she was familiar but Reese hadn't been before. He really, really HATED ice skating so I wasn't sure how he would do but he surprised me once again! He was insane racing around the rink--he was a natural!
Abby was also born to skate (she's really good at the nontraditional sports:) and now wants a roller skating birthday party--we'll see about that--her birthday is still 2 months away....she likes to change her mind DAILY about her party:)
Well anyways-Abby and Gabbie had alot of fun together and both can't wait for school to start --they are really hoping to be in the same class again...our fingers are crossed:) Thanks for the invite Gabbie and Tanya! We had a blast!

Gabbie and Abby getting ready to tear it up on the rink!

Abby was a natural

Reese posed for this one...he wanted to look like he was flying:)

Magic Noodles!

I took the kids to Hobby Lobby the other day and let each of them pick out a craft--my kids LOVE crafts! Anyways Reeser picked Magic Noodles and they are so cool! All you do is take the noodle (made of corn starch) and get it a little wet and magically they stick together! Reese and Abby had a blast ALL day playing with these. Although I do NOT suggest you stick them to the window like we did unless you want to scrap them off the window like we had to...opps! (the box said you could:)
Promise you kids will love them and you will too! ~honest:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Silver Dollar City!

This is Granny Larson reporting for the first time on the Stamps Blog. We were blessed to be able to get our grand kids all together at one time (Abby and Reese, children of our youngest daughter Becky, Tobey, son of our son Tim, and Trevin, son of our oldest daughter, Christi) and we headed for our first ever Camp Grand! We went to Branson, MO and stayed in a log cabin which the kids thought was AWESOME! They couldn’t believe that everything in the place was made of wood! We went on a duck ride the first morning, spent the afternoon swimming, and then went to get Tobey for him to join us for the rest of the adventure. We spent Saturday evening from 6 – 10 doing nothing but riding the rides at Silver Dollar City. Then on Sunday we headed back to Silver Dollar City for more rides, shows and food. I will just go through some of the pictures with little blurbs about them. Enjoy, because we surely did! Thanks Becky, Tim and Christi for letting us have them for the weekend.

Entrance of Silver Dollar City--the adventure begins!

The cabin we stayed in for the weekend

Abby, Reese, Tobey and Trevin on the front porch

Back porch

Granny and the kids with Bob and Larry!

Abby and Granny

Granny and her little ducks

Granny and Reese

PaPa and Reese sharing kettle corn

Granny and the 4 grand kids on the rocking ship

Waiting for duck ride

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ice Cream for Dinner

Here are Abby and Reese with some of their best buddies--the Estes kids. They are eating their ice cream which = happy campers! It's amazing when you put ice cream in front of a kid they will magically sit still....hmmmm interesting!

Tonight our church had an evening prayer service and after they had an ice cream social. The kids were in ice cream heaven and they also thought it was funny they were having ice cream for dinner:) Abby and Reese were so overwhelmed with all the choices they ended up picking vanilla and chocolate which boggles my mind--there were some amazing homemade ice cream choices... and actually I think Greg tried them all:) Only kidding honey!
I really enjoyed having a night service again. It's one of those things that you don't remember how much you miss it until you go again. We had a sweet night of prayer and worship and I feel like Sunday night is just so much more personal and community driven. Our kids are also old enough now that they don't have childcare for them so they were able to go and worship with us and I love that! We can't wait until the next one and believe it or not we'll even go if they don't have ice cream afterward;)

Willie Nelson Concert

A few weeks back Greg found out that Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Bob Dylan were coming to town for a concert at a local minor league ballpark. He really wanted the kids to see Willie in concert before he dies (he's 76 now-wow) so he got us tickets and this Friday was the concert. Honestly the kids weren't super excited but once we finally got there and got in the shade (it was crazy hot because the concert started at 6pm) they really did like hearing the songs they knew and enjoyed it alot more than I thought they would. Greg's friend, Brian English, was there and his dad, Billy English, is the drummer for Willie so he was nice enough to let us come up and share their family/friends suite. We had a alot of fun and were thrilled to get to sit in the air conditioning when we wanted! It was a nice family outing and we know the kids will thank us later for taking them to see it--well even if they don't they sure will be 2 of the most "cultured" kids around-especially after hearing Bob Dylan:) ~there were probably 20 kids total at the concert...guess most parents opted out for a babysitter;)

it was cool how they had the stage set up. It was in the outfield and you could either sit on the field or in the stands. This is our view from the suite--nice...very nice:)

This is Brian English and Greg. They are good friends from high school and went to OBU together. ~it's Brian's Dad who is the drummer for Willie.

Abby and Reese with Willie in the background....notice the BIG Texas flag--too funny:) The kids thought that was really cool!

Greg and I doing our best to get a picture with Willie

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Abby's New Bed!

Today we put up Abby's new loft bed and she was chomping at the bits to try it out!
Ever since we moved in this house we have had trouble with the size of Abby's room. Sadly her room is tiny and is always cluttered! When Abby was born my Dad made her a beautiful crib that transitioned into a full size bed and we couldn't have been happier! But after about 2 years of moving the bed around every which way we finally (reluctantly) decided we needed a smaller bed for the time being. So anyways this week while we were in KC Greg came across a loft bed that would fit our needs perfectly and today through sweat and "cheers":) we finally got it together!
Tonight is her first night to try it out and she was thrilled at first but then came some tears:(
When I put her to bed we said our prayers and gave our kisses and then she began to cry. When I asked her why she says, "Up here there will be no more tickling, no more "Slice, Slice, Slice" (a song I sing to the kids) and no more cuddling." (I about cried too!) So of course I climbed right up there with her and did our normal routine---how could you resist?:)
She also expressed some concern that Daddy would never be able to fit in her small bed...I told him tonight and he seemed quite confident it would hold him:)
Well thank goodness we are able to climb up there with her because honestly after I thought about the change I was sad too....I love our goodnites together and don't want to ever see them go!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Little Cookie Monster!

Tonight we made some cookies and this is how I found them when the kids went to bed. I asked Reese if he was the one that took a bite out of every cookie and he giggled under his breath....smooth move huh? Nice..too bad that won't keep me from eating them:)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Silver Dollar City

Trevin, Granny, Abby, Reese and PaPa on their way to Branson--(they are picking Tobey up in Springfield) ~they were very excited to hit the road!

Tonight the kids went with Granny and Papa and their cousin Trevin and Tobey to Sliver Dollar City for a weekend away together without the Mommy and Daddys!:) The kids were so excited they barely made it through the day today! They ended up having to wait longer than expected because my sister went into the hospital yesterday for an emergency appendectomy and is still not feelng well. I think they might have to take her gall bladder out too so please be praying for her. She is in alot of pain and is very frustrated not knowing what is wrong! Thanks! Thankfully I am still in town for the weekend and plan to keep close tabs on her and be with her as much as possible! I am excited to have so much quality time with her...blessing in disguise I guess!:)
Anyways they ended up leaving after dinner and are gonna stay in a log cabin for the weekend--the kids thought that sounded super cool! I told my mom and dad that they were in charge of blogging this trip so when they get back I will make sure that happens:)
Have fun guys-I will miss you!