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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Blog Wrapping Up 2014

Wow! Has it been a year already!?!?! 2014 brought a busy year of mothering 2 toddlers (which probably explains the severe drop off in blogs posts this year)... Here are some highlighs (to all you 2 people who read this blog: "Hi Mom!" "Hi Dad!" "Hi Paul!" )-ok... 3 people...

Anyways....

Highlights....

-January: 2nd annual vision retreat at the Lied Lodge in NE City... PERFECT! Oh yea... except we had our BABY with us!! Violet would not take a bottle until 8 months old so she tagged along... Still, it was a fabulous tradition that we are making a part of our life. This coming January we will have our 3rd vision retreat in Colorado (No babies!- Thanks Grandparents!)

-February... Theo turned two. With an affinity for balloons, balls, and Bam (the dog)... we will just call it the B year... Also, I survived the month of January and February with two small children, weekly dr's visits because of ear infections, and eventually Violet also got ear tubes which made my life much easier. 


-March: Took a trip to Lied Lodge with whole Lanphier side of family... 7 babies swimming in a pool! Fun!
-April: Paul started his dream job at our dear friends (Scott and Lindsay Warren)'s Home Building company and LOVES it.. Lots in of ideas and growth in the works for 2015 so we are both thrilled to find such a good fit for him :)
-Also in April... We had a dog. For a month. You'll have to take that brilliant idea up with my husband who insisted it would be great... Yea, with 2 kids two and under that trial month flew by... Best decision I have ever made is being Dog Free for Life (those of you who knew me in my childhood will be shocked by that statement)... Let's just hope none of my kids get my fervent love for animals or I will be eating my words...
- Mother's Day 2014 was very significant to my heart. My dear 97 year old grandmother in the Faith 'Grandma Germaine' has seen countless women who desire to be mothers have babies. She prayed and imparted the blessing of praying for others to get pregnant into my life. I will never forget that specail time.

-June! Bestie Elizabeth Mabrey got married! Paul, myself, KIM-BOW-LAY, and cousins Bryson and Alyssa roadtripped to Chicago for the wedding! We stayed with Havekost cousins Erika and Josh and so enjoyed our time with them.



-July... Schenzel Family Reunion in Chesepeake Bay with the Schenzel/Darr side of family... MAGICAL  I sure hope this is a reoccuring event. Pool, tennis court, boats, jet skis, theature room.... need I say more...


-August... Vi turns 1! Spunky, Spicy, and Sweet we will call this her S year... But seriously, this baby is very attached to her parents, her grandmas, and- well, that's kinda it. She is a sassy little thing who keeps us on the edge of our parenting game...


-September: Vi and I flew with my parents and siblings to wild and wonderful West Virginia for my cousin Josh's wedding. A very memorable time with the Alexander side of the family...

-Also September.. Paul and I decided to seal the deal on our faith and get baptized (just kidding... we were already committed, but just hadn't wanted to get baptized until my dad could be apart (Good job being a pastor and all Dad!)
 
-October: Paul's sister Amy had the 8th grandbaby on the Lanphier side after spending 5 weeks on hospital bedrest! So happy to have sweet Collette here safe and sound... Did I mention she has two brothers ages 3 and 15 months (at her time of birth) !?! Amy and Andrew are busy parents.... 

 
-November: RoadTRIP! Houston, Texas to visit our dear friends Nick and Angie Delaney followed by Jackson, Mississippi to see the Grantiers! Wonderful Thanksgiving with friends who are more like family. 


-December: Christmas is more and more special every year with young kids... We did the Santa thing with Theo and I don't know about him, but it made Christmas much more magical for me! December always makes me so grateful for the richness of life in having wonderful families on both sides.  

Here's to a great 2015!
   

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Cousins' Vox

   Sometimes you begin something nonchalantly, not have the slightest clue that it will change your life forever. The Cousins' Vox has done that for me. 
  Voxer, for those of you unfamiliar, is a voice-recording, walkie talkie app. Me and my three cousins (Joy, Laura, and Alyssa) have a group vox where we chat EVERY single day.
   Guys, it beyond fun. Each cousin brings something so entirely different to the conversation that we can't help but vox ALL THE TIME! One time, I had 215 Vox messages to catch up on in the span of 2 hours... that's a small picture into our level of love for the cousins' vox.
   Take Laura, for example, she is like having a personal stylist and interior design consultant at your beck and call.. She pretty much single-handedly helped Alyssa envision the decor for her new home. She could probably design in her sleep. Laura also loves to cook and entertain. She is basically the ideal woman. Plus Laura is very prophetic and one of the most naturally caring people you could hope to meet.
   Joy, besides keeping all us other cousins' hair in top condition (she is a hairstylist), helps define our core muscles from the sheer hilarity of her voxes. Joy is the most naturally funny person I have EVERY MET. Seriously. She also is so versatile because not only is she hysterical, but incredibly wise and profound too. This girl hears from God and studies The Word more than I even thought it possible to do (kidding, kinda). Joy also boasts a deep love for her cats Lilly and Mischa, whose pictures make frequent appearances on vox. She has for sure been accused of liking cats a little too much...
   And Alyssa, undoubtebly the most "Zen" cousin of the bunch. Alyssa's calm and level approach to life and being the mother of TWINS makes her the go-to for Joy and my very high highs and low lows that our personalities present. Alyssa is the rock of the cousins Vox. She also will randomly be SO funny without even trying to be that you can't almost stand it. She and I lived together two years in college with some other friends so we have a lot of history together, have been in each others weddings, and plan on living together someday again if we all outlive our husbands.... 
  I will say that I have made several sacrifices being a part of the cousins' Vox. First off, I'm an avid cat disliker and I have had to power through some very long voxes about cat-related incidents because all the other cousins happen to love cats. I did conceded to us all having cats in our future cousins'  old people home (if in fact, we all do end up out-living our spouses- BTW we are hoping our husbands all live long, healthy lives... we just needed a back up plan and alternative to a nursing home).  
   Admittedly, I also have put the cousins through some stretching voxes of my own... Like that trial month where Paul convinced me that we should take a Schnauzer puppy... with me having a new born and not yet two-year-old... Yea those were some interesting times.
   But lest you think the Cousins' vox is all entertainment, think again. For a stitch in time, we actually had a "word of the day" challenge so that we increased our vocabularies. We have collectively participated in healthy eating challenges and regularly share what we are learning from the books we read and scripture we study. The cousins' vox has even crossed over into a couseling tool within the last week as we pleaded with Joy to consult her parents on some parenting questions we had. 
   In short, thank God for the Cousins' Vox.