Monday, August 30, 2010

5 Months!

My sweet baby is 5 months already! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying her little personality! She is full of smiles and laughter. We were still dealing with Audrey's disposition when she was this age. I also remember Audrey not taking naps. Julia takes at least 3 naps a day! Just plop her in the crib and she goes off into dreamland.

I will say that I'm growing concerned with her development. I'm hoping and praying that it is just because she is so laid back. She spends almost her entire waking time on her tummy. She has rolled over once while I was in the kitchen pouring myself a bowl of cereal. She has been through Mommy's Rolling Over Bootcamp and failed it. She's not bearing much weight on her legs and she is nowhere near ready to sit up. If things don't improve soon, I'm calling her doctor. I won't mind if she's slow developing, I just don't want this to be something more serious.

***UPDATE*** I witnessed Julia roll over at 5 months and 1 day! She's looking stronger on her tummy too. Huge sigh of relief!

Project Access

I just love something that my church does a few times throughout the year. It's called The Church has Left the Building. Yesterday, Michael cleaned up graffiti and I put together care kits for an organization called Project Access.

Project Access helps the working poor that do not have health insurance. Here are some facts:

•There are currently about 500,000 uninsured in Dallas County

•66% have family incomes below 200% of federal poverty level

•30% are children younger than 18

•76% of the working poor are U.S. citizens

•58% of the working poor are Hispanic

•More than 20% of DCMS' active membership is participating in Project Access Dallas

•In other Project Access Programs 80% of patients have reported improvements in their health

•And ER visits have dropped from 28% to 8%

•As many as 50% of patients become insured through an employer after using Project Access Dallas

We put together simple packs of toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and soap. Edd Eason, who was running this, said that these items are the first to go when someone's money isn't covering everything.

Edd also had a slideshow detailing the harsh reality of healthcare in Texas and in Dallas. I take it for granted that I'll have doctors to go to when something happens to me. I've learned my lesson this past April that your health can suddenly be taken away from you. You begin to rely on doctors like never before. Your life completely stops until a doctor can figure out what is wrong with you. What would have happened to me if I wasn't able to see a doctor?

Edd told us of a man who was a technician for WFAA. On his way home from work, he pulled over to help someone with a flat on LBJ. He was struck by a car and left paralyzed from the waist down. He receives help from Project Access but he is unable to receive healthcare because he was not born in this country. His is a story that resembles the Good Samaritan in more than one way.

I know that this can bring up politics. As a teacher, I saw firsthand what it does to our education system to have non-English speaking students in the classroom. I would guess that the majority of my students were not citizens. I understand the strain it puts on our hospitals. Edd spoke a little about how administrations come and go, but we are responsible to live as Christians to those in need around us each day. I also am a believer that I live for the Kingdom of God, not the American Kingdom.

I recently read about Becky's trip to New York on her blog. She wrote this:
"After visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I couldn't help but be struck by the conflicting message our country sends. On one side we have a symbol of opportunity that says,
Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Yet, we also scream a message that immigrants are not welcome here. That message is especially loud here in Texas where instead of a beacon of light, we propose a wall at the border. So which is it? Was the welcoming message a limited time offer that has expired along the way at some point? Do we think our country is full now, unable to support anyone else? Does the attitude of Americans toward immigration differ according to region?"

I ask that you look around you with open eyes and take care of your neighbor with a compassionate heart. Most of us are very blessed with health and the essentials. May we help those that don't have what we do.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Question Friday 8.27.10

5QF again! Click on the button above to add your blog to the linky and get in on the fun! Copy and paste the questions and answer so that we can know more about you. Feel free to answer in the comment section as well.

1. How many pets do you have?

2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?

3. What is your favorite money saving tip?

4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?

5. What is your favorite quote?

1. How many pets do you have?

We don't have any pets. If Audrey can work her magic on her daddy, then we'll get a dog. She's been asking for one a lot lately. Michael never wants to get a dog, so we'll see what will happen.

2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?

I would switch with my daughter, Audrey, so that I could understand what goes on inside that little brain of hers! She has so many fears and I would like to get an insight to what is causing these fears.

3. What is your favorite money saving tip?

I don't have a favorite, so I'll just list a few. Before we had kids, we ate rice and beans for dinner. When we eat out, I'll often get water and we like to split our entree. I am currently using E-mealz for our dinners. Click on the button to the right to check it out. We buy used cars and we will forever pay cash for any cars that we buy.

4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?

Easy but honest answer is to be Christians. Also, I really want my girls to feel like they can decide to be whatever they want to be (within reason, of course) and have our support.

5. What is your favorite quote?

Off the top of my head - "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Embrace the Camera 8.26.10

We had a cold front blow through! YIPPEE!!! People, on Monday (or was it Tuesday?), it had been over 100 degrees 23 out of the last 24 days. I bet most of those days were over 103 degrees. So Wednesday morning, it was rainy and much cooler. Perfect! I lounged around and slept when I could. Then, in the afternoon, after the naps, we went to the park. It was in the low 80's or high 70's. I even thought about pulling out the jeans, but decided to feel that cool air as much as I could. It was wonderful!

Not the best shot, but a brick wall took the picture.

I've got to teach my older girl to look at the camera. She just gets lost in her own little world.

She's got a great face in the above picture! Ha! And my little one just sat there while we played.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Golf

Michael bought me golf clubs for Christmas last year. It was so that we could do something fun together. Yes, I was like 6 or 7 months pregnant. Needless to say, I was going to wait until after I had Julia to attempt swinging a golf club.

Saturday, we met up with our friends, Jake and Amanda, to go to Top Golf. I had been here before to putt putt. Super fun! (see picture below to see the cool course) This is not your ordinary putt putt. But this time we were going to the driving range and I was very excited! I don't really know how to even swing a club, much less hit a golf ball. This was going to give me the ability to just go for it and not have to worry about injuring anyone.

You see, we were on the second floor and that really helps when you can't get much air on your ball. And they have these HUGE, GINORMOUS holes that you try to hit the ball in. You get points if your ball goes into the hole. There is a chip in each ball that tells the computer where your ball landed and how many points you received. In a way, it's like bowling.

I was horrible! But I had so much fun! (Once I got out the driver so I could actually hit that tiny ball!) I was very sore the next day too. Anyways, I highly recommend this place for a date or just a day/night with friends.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Week in Pictures

So, I've had a little fun with my new camera this past week. I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures because I have LOVED taking the pictures!

My Sweetie.
My Baby.
So Happy.
Love her!
Sisters playing.
Audrey cooking.
Audrey playing.
My loves.
Sweet looks.
Saying hi.
Bath fun.
Big Eyes.
Baby cheeks.

Big blow.
Bubbles galore.
Sticky mess.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Couple of Opportunities

Happy First Day of School to all you moms and teachers out there! I hope your morning went smoothly!

I wanted to tell you about a couple of events that my church is doing this weekend.

I know a lot of you know about the sudden death of the young wife and mother, Jenny Bizaillion, earlier this year. Jenny's mom, Beverly Ross, is speaking at a brunch at out church, Richardson East, this Saturday. You have to sign up by Tuesday, so click on the church link if you are interested in attending. Also say a pray for Jenny's daughter today. This is probably her first day of school.

Also, this Sunday, our church is doing "The Church has Left the Building" again. This is when the church goes out into the community and participates in several service projects. My class will be working with Storyline Christian Community to clean up graffiti in East Dallas. There will be other projects going on as well. If you are interested in this project or another project, let me know and I will get you more information.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the brunch Saturday. I also will miss the graffiti cleanup since I'll have to have Julia with me and it's just too hot to be outside with a baby right now. I'm hoping to join up with another project instead.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Question Friday 8.20.10

I would love to see your answers to these questions! Copy, paste, and answer on your own blog. If you would like to link up, click on the button above and add your blog to the list. No blog? Feel free to answer in the comment section. Here are this week's questions:

1. Do you have any nicknames and if so how did it come about?

2. What is your birth order amongst your siblings?

3. In a movie of your life, who would play your significant other?

4. What is currently your favorite song?

5. Are you saving your money for anything right now? Big or small purchase?

1. Do you have any nicknames and if so how did it come about?
Well, I got called "No Nose" in high school for my little nose. I suppose I could have been called worse.
In college, some called me BP (my initials then). After this oil incident, I'm glad I'm now BH and not BP.
I go by my middle name. My first name begins with an A. When I was a teacher, the kids would get a list of their teachers. It was listed in last name-first initial format. That made me Halla. I can't tell you how many eighth-graders would walk into my classroom proclaiming, "Hollllaaaa!"
Mainly, my nicknames are Brookie and Brooker.

2. What is your birth order amongst your siblings?
I'm the youngest of three and the only girl. That's right, I'm the baby girl. One of my brothers would claim that I was spoiled and got everything that I wanted. Maybe. I know I got things I never even asked for. Still do. My husband is sweet that way. :)
I grew up as a tomboy. I'm so much girlier now and I'm not that girlie.
I'm a strong believer that birth order shapes your personality. I live best with other babies. Fortunately, my husband is a baby too.

3. In a movie of your life, who would play your significant other?
This is a hard question! I recently saw a movie where the actor reminded me of an ex-boyfriend. Kinda weird. No actor has reminded me of my husband. So I get to choose anyone, huh? Robert Downy Jr. could pull off my husband and I wouldn't mind him.

4. What is currently your favorite song?
Church song: In Christ Alone. Fun song: One Life by Sister Hazel.

5. Are you saving your money for anything right now? Big or small purchase?

Just spent all of our money on a new camera! Super excited about that! I'm also excited because we are about to leave this town for a little anniversary vaca. Yeah, baby!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Embrace the Camera 8.19.10

Well, I wanted to get some "real-life" shots today. Wow, that's hard! Here's what I got.

How do you french braid a 2-yr-old 's hair? Put on Curious George!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Got a New Camera!

I finally took the plunge and bought a new camera! I asked around a lot and shopped around on the internet before making my decision. My knowledge was zero when it came to cameras; I only understood point and shoot. I also didn't want to have to go to a workshop to understand my camera. I'm not made of money, nor time for that matter. We are about to go on vacation, so I needed to do this now! I ended up with the Canon Rebel XS. If I ever come across more money (we all can dream, can't we?), I'll purchase lenses.

Anyways, here are my favorites from last night. I was just reading through the manual and taking pictures. The first is of Julia before I put her to bed. Poor thing was so tired. This is the second picture I took and it's in Full Auto mode.

This is Audrey reading after she took her bath. I was playing with the ISO (whatever that means!) with this one.

And this one is of Michael consoling Audrey after she pinched her finger. Portrait mode on this one.
I am beyond excited! Woohoo!!! Thanks to everyone that gave me advice!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


If you don't know about P90X, it is an at-home workout video program. It is intense and is supposed to do amazing things in 90 days. We'll see if I can commit to it for 90 days! The stretching alone is difficult!

Last night, I did a workout from the Core Synergistic DVD. Now that I've had my last baby, I've got to get this body of mine into shape - the core being what I focus on first. I'm only just a few pounds heavier than I was before getting pregnant, but those pounds are not in a good place. Very few of my outfits fit me how I would like. I am very grateful that I didn't gain weight while I was on prednisone for a month. That's a huge relief, actually!

Michael is my workout partner, so that's fun. It will be good for us to do something together and it will make us feel better too. I hope to be accountable to y'all. I will give updates at least telling you how stinkin' hard this program is. If you want to be more fit, maybe we can encourage each other on our goals - so let me know!