Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas pictures

Here are a few pictures I was able to get from Norma's camera:

On Christmas Eve, in her new pajamas and slippers

Christmas morning with her new play kitchen from Mimi and Papa

Our white Christmas!

Hamming it up on her new bike from Grandma and Grandpa Ramirez!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ziva, baby Jesus, and poo poo

Norma has a carved wooden nativity set that she brought back from the Philippines years ago, and on Christmas Eve, she used the figures from the nativity scene, along with the angel from the top of the tree, to tell the Christmas story to Ziva. Since then, Ziva has been intrigued with baby Jesus. She points, says "Baby!", holds him, carries him around, and puts him back in the manger when it's time to sleep (face down, the way she sleeps). It's cute, but here's the best part. This baby Jesus has a bit of cloth covering his front but on his back side, his behind is bare. Ziva noticed this, and after examining Jesus closely, she declared, "No poo poo!"

We're getting closer and closer to potty training...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What we never knew about Christmas Eve (sorry, Mom and Dad)

Okay, Vince and I decided tonight that THIS is what officially makes us parents: working all hours of the night Christmas Eve putting toys together. We've been saying, "So this is what it was like after we went to bed on Christmas Eve!" My dad is probably re-living all those long moments. As I write, he and Norma are working on a ridiculously intricate play kitchen set. Vince has finished the toy bin organizer (with a tad, tad bit of help from me), and he is now working on Ziva's first tricycle, which is a very cool hot pink. We are taking pictures, but I'm going to have to work out a new way to post pics now that we're out of our place. All our pictures are on our laptop, but we don't have wireless here, so it may take me a little time. I'm sure there's a fairly simple solution, but I'm not that tech savvy.

(Interlude while I tend to a crying Ziva who has fallen out of bed, which reminds me...)

In the midst of all our craziness this week, I forgot to announce that we have moved Ziva to the "big girl bed," which looks a whole lot like her crib except it's missing one side and has two small guard rails on the ends. She has taken two excellent naps in her new bed (the very first one yesterday took her about 45 minutes to fall asleep, but ultimately it was successful), and last night was her first full night. We have nothing to compare it to, but we thought it was a pretty huge success. She only slipped out once, and went right back to sleep. She didn't wake up and cry any more than usual, and during daylight hours, she LOVES climbing in and out (and jumping) on her "new" bed. I am extremely thankful for the training she has received at school....she already has a good understanding that a bed is meant to be stayed in during sleeping times, so that's not something we really are going to have to train her in. (I hope.)

Now before I go, to our Florida parents, Vince would just like to say "sorry" for always orchestrating such early Christmas morning risings, now that he knows how late you stayed up the night before. Thanks for all you did and do for us. We love you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Adventure

Hmm, where to begin?

I don't know that I've posted anything about how icky Vince's job has been lately because of the new apartment managers. But to understand this story, you need to know that it has been icky with a capital I. The new people are just...well, we're trying not to be bitter and angry and strongly dislike them, so I won't say. By now you probably want the bottom line, right?

On Monday, Vince was fired. For no good reason. And since he worked at our apartments, we had to be out in three days. Today is the end of day three. Whew.

From the very first day (literally!) that we arrived in Oklahoma, we have been what I can only call opposed by the enemy of our souls. We always have and still very much so believe that God has extraordinary plans for us (and I believe specifically for Vince, in ministry) here, and that makes the devil angry. Think back over our time here so far: our moving truck was over three weeks late arriving from Florida; despite two solid job leads when we got here last year, it took Vince over three months to find a job, and it wasn't one that made him happy; all three of us have probably been sick more often than ever (although I'm not sure we can really count Ziva in there since her "ever" is much short than ours); we were stymied again and again in finding a church to call home; and now, most recently, when Vince had spent less than 6 months at a job he originally loved, he got fired. 4 days before Christmas.

And we're excited! Because we see these struggles for the warfare they represent, and we know we are on the victorious side, and God's plans for us won't fail. We trust Him completely and know that He has an amazing, bring-tears-to-our-eyes-beautiful kind of plan up His sleeve, and we just need to sit back and watch Him work. We know that He will take care of us every step of the way. Already He has blessed us so, so much. In my two scavenger trips to Walmart, looking for boxes, I scored more boxes than I ever have in my life. Small victory, I know, but it felt huge since we had to pack everything in three days. We posted our couches and ottomans and a few other odd things on Craigslist, and sold them for just a shade under our asking price. The weather, although drizzly, held out for us to get everything moved. Three wonderful women came to the rescue yesterday and helped pack and/or keep Ziva happy. And my parents have welcomed us in for as long as it takes for us to figure things out.

So, as we've been telling Ziva, "God is taking us on an adventure." We can't wait to see what's next.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mental Health Day

Today I played hooky. It was for a very important reason, though. :) Our tail lights have been out for quite some time, and we've been driving at night when necessary in spite of the lack of lights, but it definitely needed to be fixed. I took it in yesterday afternoon and got it fixed, but the lights went out again almost immediately. So I called in, took today off, and planned to spend the whole day if necessary getting those lights fixed. I dropped Ziva off at 7:30 for PJ day at school, and the lights were fixed by 9:00. I do feel a little guilty about this, since I missed a whole day of school (and right before finals), but the day off was good for my soul. I got to clean, de-clutter, organize a bit, plan meals, catch up on laundry, pray. Good day.

We have one more week of school and then, Christmas break! I'm counting down the hours, and now with even a little more excitement. Vince and I are thinking of making the switch to a big girl bed for Ziva over the break, since sleep won't be quite as important for me while I'm out of work, and I can train her to stay in bed and not be a zombie at work. AND, I think Ziva is on the verge of readiness for potty training! So we may even give that a shot during break too, who knows? I talked with Angie, one of Ziva's teachers today about it a little bit, and was beyond thrilled to hear that she and Donna are happy to help with the potty training when she's at cool is that?

I think Vince is going to post some more tomorrow and we'll do pictures. Check back soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our funny girl

I know this blog is already mainly about Ziva, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we're thinking about how blessed we are, here's another post about how cool Ziva is and just how much we love her and are thankful for her!

Today I discovered just how much our little one likes to draw. She was especially fussy this afternoon (crying for a cookie for close to 2 hours!) when I finally plopped her at the table with a few pens and some paper, and she got busy and sat there drawing for about an hour and a half!! Sometimes she wanted me to sit and draw with her, but for most of it, she just happily scribbled away on her own. (and I got LOTS of dinner/Thanksgiving food prep done!) I realize it's probably a little early to start telling what her "bent" will be, but it's fun to dream about, wonder about, and pray about. Maybe she'll be an artist some day....
Speaking of prayer, that's another thing Ziva is developing quite an interest in. She loves to hold everyone's hand, bow her head, close her eyes, and then say a very loud AMEN! at the end. Again, who knows how much real spiritual tenderness that indicates, or if it's just a love of mimicking us, but Jesus did say that when it comes to matters of faith, children get it more easily and more completely than adults. We certainly pray that she learns to love Jesus as a young girl!

Cuddling with Daddy at our bonfire last week

My dad always used to play horse with us and give all four of us rides around the house. I now have a new appreciation for that....especially since all I did was "trot" a few circles around the living room and I was definitely feeling it the next day.

Is she precious or what?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Pardon my singing...I thought I was a little better than that, but apparently not. It doesn't matter, though, because Ziva is the star of this show. She does do more defined movements to the song, and she does sing more of it, but I think this time she was a little camera shy. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bye-Bye, Tia

I know I keep saying I'm going to do better about blogging, and then I keep not doing better about blogging. Sorry. I don't think I'll say it this time, and we'll just see what happens. :)

Today we said goodbye to Daneli (Tia) after a great weekend visit. It's just so wonderful to see favorite friends, especially when they don't mind just sitting around and not doing much. We did have a pretty cool bonfire at my parents' last night (where everyone wimped out on the s'mores so I HAD to eat three so they didn't go to waste) and Ziva LOVED having Tia here (she's so cute when she says "Tia"). We didn't get any pictures with Daneli this time, and I haven't downloaded our most recent so we'll save some of those for the next post.

Let's see, what else has been happening around here? Last week at school was Spiritual Renewal week, which was a really great time. I saw new sides to some of my students, and was reminded many times of how much I love my job and how crazy hard life can be for teenagers these days. Both great things to pray over. We are loving our church, and last weekend we did finally meet with another couple about starting a small group. The plan is to wait to start anything official until after the holidays are over since this is such a busy time, but we're going to try to get together to just hang out and get to know them at some point. So far it may just be the four of us (six counting Ziva and their little one due in March), but we're excited about the possibilities there.

This week we are looking forward to some time off together, good food, and great times with family. I also have a short list of "projects" I'd like to accomplish during the week off of school. When I wrote it I felt it was fairly realistic since there are only 3 or 4 things listed, but I'm not so sure. One of the things is to do a baby scrapbook for Ziva. Yes, she is almost 2. And I still haven't done that. With my track record, the chances of it happening this week are not that good. We'll see. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

October's over?

Let's see...I guess I'm a little behind on the blogging. Nothing spectacular has been happening around here, just lots of good days (and some somewhat sleepless nights, thanks to coughing or new teeth or ear infections or who knows what else).

Last weekend we went to a pumpkin patch for a little bit and had some fun with Ziva. Then Vince and my dad took a guy's trip to Stillwater to watch the OSU-Texas game. They had fun, even thought OSU lost. And Norma came over and we girls hung out for the night. Fun times!

We've been checking out the youth group for a few weeks now at our new church, and so far we're liking it. We're planning to meet someone this weekend about joining a small group, so we'll keep you posted on that.

Other than that, not too much happening. Tonight we're kind of sad since our friends here at The Greens are moving tomorrow to Texas. Good friends are few and far between so it stinks to see them go, but we know God has great plans for them there and for us here.

Here are a few moments from the last few weeks...
Reading in a diaper box. I got a good video of this too, but it's several minutes long and might literally take an eternity to load to the blog...sorry.

We're creating quite the little ham

When I saw her feet poked through the bars like this during her nap I just had to get a picture. I've got one of just her feet, too. Precious.

Running through the hay maze at the pumpkin patch

You may remember this one from last year, when Vince perched a 7 month old Ziva atop this giant scarecrow. I wasn't much less nervous this time around. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The best $3 dollars I ever spent

We have been unusually busy lately. Last week we met with two different pastors on two different nights, and Vince got to go see the TU vs. Boise State game last Wednesday. Friday I got a call at work around lunch time that Ziva had a fever of 101, so I packed up my books and picked her up early. She conked out before I even got her car seat straps on, and then slept for about 2 hours without even eating lunch first. When she woke up she was still burning up, so I gave her some Tylenol and by the time we got to the doctor her fever was gone. It turned out to be an ear infection, so she's on antibiotics for 10 days. Which is where the best $3 I ever spent comes in. I wish I could shake the hand of the man (or maybe mom) who came up with the brilliant idea of adding flavor to kids' medicine. Ziva has always taken medicine pretty well, but this time, other than the very first dose, she just wasn't having it. We tried every thing we could think of--forcing it down her throat, mixing it with yogurt or juice--all things everyone knows you're not suppsoed to do. And they didn't work that well anyway. So yesterday I headed back to Walgreens in desperation and paid $3 to add grape flavoring to the yucky amoxicillin. (no idea how to spell that) Ziva loves grape Tylenol and actually asks for it ("peez!") whenever she sees the bottle. So after we added the grapde flavoring, Vince had the awesome idea to rinse out an old, almost empty bottle of Tylenol and use that dropper to give Ziva her meds. And it worked!!! It takes about 8 droppers worth to give her each dose, but she sucks down all 8 without one bit of protest. Our home is peaceful once again!

Ziva showing us her grill

Showing off Uncle Mitch's hat

Go Hurricanes!

Bedtime story with Daddy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding Home

After many, many months of searching, we have finally found a church to call home, and we are EXCITED! Monday night we met with an associate pastor at Discovery Bible Fellowship and did all the "official" business of joining the church: sharing our testimonies, discussing our talents, interests, and spiritual gifts in order to find a place to serve, and signing the church's membership covenant. At some point we'll be introduced to the congregation, but even without that, we feel finally at home. Another pastor emailed us about finding a small group to join, and we're meeting tomorrow night with the youth pastor and his wife to find out if/where/how we can work with the student ministry. Did I say we're EXCITED?

I have to confess, when we moved up here from Florida, finding a church was the last thing I expected to be difficult. And yet, that's been one of the toughest parts of this season for us. We both loved Calvary so much, and were so plugged in there, that the leaving was definitely an up-rooting, and left some painful reverberations in our life. There were some weekends when we didn't even want to visit a new church, because we could never find something as great as Calvary, and wasn't it just so easy to watch Calvary online?

We know that God has many different seasons for us to walk through, and when we're in one we really really love it's hard to move on to the next, but we trust His heart and His plan for us and move forward on our journey. It's been a long (to us) walk in the dim light, not fully seeing why we had to leave what we loved so much, but God in His goodness is giving us more and more glimpses into the "why," and we are feeling more and more settled in our new life, in this season. Of course, the moment we begin to feel settled may be the next time He moves us (like we're finally making some good friends, but found out this week they're moving to Texas. Boo.), but every change draws our eyes back to Him and reminds us that we just don't know. And that's okay. And it's EXCITING. Because only He could plan exactly what we don't even know we need.

(And yes, Ziva pictures will come soon. And maybe some awesome video, if you're lucky. You've got to see her show her "grill". We love our gangta girl!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bye-Bye, Bottle

I'm so excited to announce that we have easily, almost magically, even accidentally taken the bottle out of Ziva's life. I had planned on breaking her of the habit over the summer, knowing that she wouldn't need or be able to have one at school this fall. She was already down to just one bottle a day at bedtime, so I didn't think it would be too hard, but then the summer ended being much crazier than we expected, and I've always heard that babies and toddlers can only handle one big change at a time. So between packing, moving, a visit from Grandma, a vacation to Chicago, and starting a new school year that brought several big changes with it, there was never a good time to pack the bottles away. I had heard that if you don't take the bottle away by 18 months, it becomes a hard and fast habit that's much tougher to break. So as 18 months snuck up on us, I was feeling a little worried about how Ziva would handle not getting a bedtime bottle. And then, lo and behold, God in all His wisdom and mercy let Ziva get a cough. Sounds strange, I know, but let me explain....we wanted Ziva to sleep, and since milk always makes her cough worse, toward the end of last week I started offering her a bottle with just water in it. She would drink a tiny bit, and then be ready for bed. We did that for three nights. On the 4th night, she didn't want the bottle of water at all, so I put her straight to bed and she did fine. Slept great, as a matter of fact! And I realized after that night (which was just Monday), that perhaps we had broken the bottle habit without even realizing it! So last night, I didn't offer a bottle at all, and she didn't protest or even seem to notice, and went straight to sleep. Hallelujah! I hope any and all of our future kids are this easy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

18 months!

Ziva is 18 months old as of yesterday! We went to the doctor for her check up today, and she is right on track and, thankfully, perfectly healthy! This week she started saying "I love you," which we are super excited about, since Vince has been trying to get her to say that one for a long time. One of Ziva's new favorite activities is turning on the radio on my alarm clock and then dancing like crazy. We dance like crazy (and probably look crazy) with her, and it is so much fun!

I was able to get her hair in pig tails once last week, so here are the pictures. They were so cute! She really likes standing on her little stool and "brushing her teeth" on her own.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good weekend

We had a good weekend! It turned into a 3 day weekend for me and Ziva...she wasn't really sick but she had too many diarrhea diapers (TMI, I know, sorry) at school Thursday, and they've got pretty strict rules so we got to play hooky on Friday! Vince was off this weekend so we had fun just hanging out, and Sunday we went to my parents for a birthday lunch for Mitch and Rachel. Here are a few moments from our weekend...

Nap time with Daddy

Not sure why the rotating didn't take on this one, but isn't it sweet?

Okay, and these two crack me up. This is the face she made when I asked her to smile for the camera. Both times!! This is what we call her "mean face". She's usually playing and being funny when she makes it, not actually being mean :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Few Pictures

How sweet is she?

Ziva loved climbing on the boxes!

My two "basket heads" :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We're back!

After a long silence, we are back! Or still here, I guess I should say. We moved in to our new apartment a few weeks ago, just two days before I went back to school. We got it done in record time, and after just a few days we felt like we'd been here quite a while. We finally got our internet back up this week, so we should get back into a pretty good blogging routine. I don't have many pictures of these past few weeks, but now that we're settled hopefully we'll get back to taking lots and lots of pictures.

School is going well; I've got some great groups of kids this year. Ziva is adjusting pretty well to the toddler room. The hardest thing was (well, still is) getting used to just one nap.....she wasn't quite ready for that, but last week they let her move back into her old crib instead of sleeping on a mat, and that has helped. Vince is still loving his job, and we are all happy about that!

So, we're back....check back soon for another update!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're moving....finally!

Today we got the good news....the new buildings are finally open, and we can start moving in! The plan is to move a couple truckloads over the next couple nights, and then do the heavy stuff this weekend. I confess I came close to being bitter and had given up hope that we'd get to move before school started, but God is always good! We'll get moved in a whopping two days before I go back to work! :) We'll probably cancel our internet here in the next couple days, and who knows how long it will take to get it set up again, but we'll see you on the other side, with pictures. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicago recap & Moving update

We've been back from Chicago for almost a week, so an update is long overdue! We had an amazing time, and I'm so thankful we were able to go. I had a great time meeting so many family members. Special thanks to Aunt Myrna for not only letting us stay with her, but for giving up her bed for us (which Ziva subsequently threw up on!) and being so understanding and flexible with us and Ziva's sleep (or lack thereof at times).

We got in Saturday night, and on Sunday we had the big reunion/birthday party for Grandma. We took TONS of pictures...this is Grandma with her grandkids and their spouses/significant others. She was such a good sport, sitting through so many pictures. It probably lasted about an hour for her...we were all joking about the paparazzi. Finally we had just one camera finishing up and every one got a disc. Next reunion, we'll remember!

Here's Grandma with her great grandchildren. Pretty amazing!

On Monday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo and spent most of the day there. It's a great zoo, and we all had a lot of fun. The weather in Chicago was beautiful the whole time we were was a perfect zoo day! We got most of the family that was there together for a group picture by the flowers.

Thursday night we got to see Mexico play (and beat) Costa Rica in one of the Gold Cup games at Soldier Field, where the Bears play. It was awesome! The stadium was packed out...I've never seen so many Mexican soccer fans in one place! It was exciting, and quite an experience. When Mexico scored for the first time toward the end of the game, everyone was throwing beer in the air....we got a little drenched, which wasn't so fun, but it was kind of funny. Like I said, an experience. :)

We had planned on seeing Cubs game, but ended up just going to the soccer game instead. However, we took a drive down to Wrigley Field just for fun and to get some pictures. We were there during the game, so it was crowded and there were lots of street vendors selling Cubs stuff, and we stopped and got a stuffed Cubs bear for Ziva. She napped during the drive, so she'll have to see Wrigley next time.

All in all, we had a wonderful time. Our favorite part was just spending so much time with family. A couple other highlights were the food (amazing!!) and going to Millenium Park downtown, where we saw the Bean and played by the water towers. Ziva adjusted pretty well to sleeping in bed with us (after a couple nights, that is) and she loved having her cousins to play with. It was a great trip, and we're thinking we should just do it every year!
Back on the home front, we still haven't it's looking like NEXT weekend. I am praying even harder that we actually get to move before I have to go back to work on the 17th. Apparently the fire marshall in charge is on a little power trip and keeps finding new reasons to postpone approval of the certificate of occupancy. Oh well, we'll make it eventually. I'm just still waiting for a good reason to start packing!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just a few more hours...

We are finishing up our packing at this very moment, and in a few hours we'll be heading to Chicago for a week to see family. We are so excited! Check back in about a week for pictures!

But before I go, we got a special treat last night in seeing my Aunt Julie and Uncle Dave, who are in Tulsa for the weekend. They came over with my cousin Katie, and Dad, Norma, and Mitch came too. We had a great time just hanging out, catching up, and reminiscing. Aunt Julie hadn't seen Ziva since she was about 3 weeks old, and Uncle Dave had never seen her, so that was fun. This was Vince's first time to meet Dave too. Ziva was a little shy at first, but eventually warmed up to them and had a lot of fun. Julie and Dave brought a child table and chairs that used to belong to my mom and Aunt Kristy, so that was pretty special and we're looking forward to setting that up in Ziva's room once we move. The bad news: I totally forgot to bring out the camera and get some pictures, despite thinking about it all day before they got here. Bleh! Next time...I just hope it's not too long! We love you Aunt Julie and Uncle Dave!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Funny Face

I've started packing a few boxes....they are Ziva's new favorite seat.

This face cracks me up!

She wasn't doing a cheesy pose, although it turned out that way :)

We took a little road trip to Arkansas today to have lunch with Cherissa, Max and Maggie. We got to stop by and see Vicki too, which was a treat, especially since Vicki was feeling pretty good. Ziva was a great trooper in the car, even though she only slept 30 minutes on the way back, and that was it for the whole day...contrary to the "plans" I had made!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Park Play

Yesterday wasn't quite as hot and there was a great breeze, so I took Ziva to the park for a little bit. She gets so red in the face it scares me, so we only stayed about 25 minutes, but it was fun. Rayola Park is so different than I remember when I was a kid....they've got toddler sized gyms, which Ziva liked climbing around on, and which I liked because I didn't have to worry so much about her falling off!

Ziva likes sliding down the slide, but she LOVES trying to climb back up it! This tunnel slide proved a challenge, though.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I'm procrastinating. Ziva is sleeping, so I should be tackling my to-do list. Blah. I made the bed, washed some dishes, and got a load of laundry in the dryer, but none of those things were even on my to-do list, so I don't feel like I've accomplished much. Maybe I'll go back and add them to the list so I can cross them out. (I LOVE crossing things off lists!)

My biggest to-do task is to start packing, since we're hoping and praying that we'll get to move to our new apartment before next Saturday, when we leave for Chicago. Even if all we do is get everything moved in but not unpacked, I'd be happy. I know the time will fly once we get back from vacation and it will be time for school to start before I know it, so I'm hoping all that time in between will be time where I can focus just on unpacking, organizing, and getting settled. BUT, since we don't have a definite date, I'm unmotivated to pack, and also overwhelmed. I used to not mind moving too much, but I guess the older I get, the less appealing it becomes. I know once I get started I'll be fine, but it's sort of like writer's block at this point. I have packer's block...instead of staring at a blank page, I'm staring at empty boxes. As a teacher, I would instruct students to just write whatever comes to their heads, whether it makes any sense at this point or not. So I guess I should just start putting SOMETHING in a box.....

Okay, here I go.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy words, happy heart

Vince came home from work yesterday evening, and as he walked in the door he said, "I love my new job. It's so great to come home and be happy!"

Thank you, Lord, for Your good gifts!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot, hot, hot!

It has been HOT wouldn't think we ever left Florida! But in spite of the heat we took in a little bit of baseball this weekend. My dad's work sponsors a family night in the summer, and this year's event was a Tulsa Drillers' game. We got there early for some free food, and then watched less than one inning before Ziva had had enough. She did have fun, though, as you can see. We love this dress that Ross and Amber sent...although it fits more like a shirt so we put shorts underneath it. The material was nice and cool, perfect for the weather. Thanks Uncle Ross and Auntie Amber!
Ice cold water, yum!

Watching the game with Grandpa

Love this face!
I signed Ziva up for the summer reading program at the library today...I didn't realize kids as young as her could participate, but when we checked out, they said I should. My little reader! We like taking trips to the's nice cool fun, and Ziva loves running around the children's section and having great "conversations" with other kids.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vince's new job

Vince was officially offered a new job yesterday, working on staff at our apartment complex doing maintenance. This is such a huge blessing, and we are so excited! It's amazing how God has been leading us in this direction when we didn't even realize it. Vince has been wanting a new job for a while, something that would allow him to be home more and be in a more positive environment. But in this economy, job searching is tough, obviously. We had already planned on moving to a new apartment this summer, downsizing a little, to save some money each month on rent. The Greens is building a new phase, and we applied for one of the brand new apartments. When we heard a couple weeks ago that they were hiring, Vince applied. He had his first interview last week, and it turns out they were super excited that he had applied, since they knew he was already planning on moving to the new phase and that's where they wanted him to work. So....he got the job, which is a huge blessing in itself, but it comes with so many perks...God is good! Since Vince will basically live at work (or work at home), when he's off, he's home! No rush hour traffic, no driving to and from Tulsa, more time at home with us. Yea! Also, we don't need a second car, which is a very good thing since my poor little Prizm is on its death bed. It has been a good car, but it's done. It gave out during my last week of school, and we thought then, "perfect timing...summer is the best time to only have one car." We figured we'd make a new plan once school started again, but now we don't need to, since we only need one car! (Cheaper insurance, save on gas, wear and tear...yea!) And as if all that weren't enough, we get a major discount on our rent, plus we get the best of the new apartments, which means a little more space than we have now, rather than less. Yea!

So we are thrilled with this new season, especially about all the extra time we'll be able to spend as a family. God is faithful, and this is such a great reminder to me that He can (and does!) do more than we could ask, think, or imagine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dear Grandma,

Mommy wanted to put your picture on the blog, but I wouldn't let her. I'm so glad you came to visit. I had so much fun! I can't wait to see you soon in Chicago! Love, Ziva

Vince's mom got to come spend a week with us, and it was so great to see her! We showed her a little bit of Owasso/Tulsa living, but we mostly just played with Ziva.

We went to Cherry Street one night to have dinner with Mitch and Rachel, since Mary had never met them. We ate at Bourbon St. Cafe....yum! Ziva ate alligator bites, dirty rice, and bread pudding, among some other more appropriate toddler food. :)

We got a great video of Ziva dancing like crazy to the live jazz, but it's so dark it's really hard to see. Use your imagination. :)

Fun with Uncle Mitch and Aunt Rachel!

Sporting one of the new outfits Grandma got her and reading to herself. (It is SO fun to watch and listen to her read on her own.)