Monday, June 30, 2008

Quick Update

Good Monday Morning to you all! It has been a pretty good weekend in Amarillo, TX. The weather has been so nice with highs in the mid to upper 80s. The air conditioner in our apartment went out Saturday night. I called the repair guy Sunday at noon after church and had it fixed by about 4. Outside was so nice that while I cooked lunch I just kept the two doors open and it was quite pleasant.

I cooked my first brisket Sunday! It turned out perfectly thanks to the recipe from www.thepioneerwoman.com. Even Cliff loved it! I got up at 4:30am Sunday and put the brisket in the oven so that it would be ready for lunch. Cliff got home about 12:30, the brisket had been cooled and trimmed of fat and we had a great meal with the addition of crash hot potatos (also recipe from the website) and squash. Yum!

Friday night we had a free date courtesy of a gift card to Basil Doc's and movie tickets from Tom, my boss. We saw Wall E and somewhat enjoyed it. Had no idea it had a going green message! Poor Cliff was pretty bored.

Last night Hannah Thompson came through town and stayed the night with us. It was so good to visit with her for a bit! This morning it's back to work and back to a normal week of work/school.

Have a great week! Happy almost 4th!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday again

It's Friday again. This week seems to have gone by really fast for me. I am sooooo glad it's the weekend, well almost. First, I have to make it through another Friday at the church. It is really quiet around here!

Cliff and I don't have much planned for the weekend. I am going to cook pasta tonight and then tomorrow attempt to make my first brisket. We'll see how that turns out. I bought a pretty cheap one in case it got messed up. We'll be graduating to the more expensive briskets as we have more people to feed and less of a chance for a ruined brisket. :) Other than cooking, I plan to sleep in tomorrow, work out and lay by the pool. I also heard that Old Navy was having a sale, $1 flip flops, so we'll probably make a trip by there too.

Sunday night, my friend Hannah is coming through town. She is going to stay the night with us. I am glad to have the chance to get to hang out for a little bit with her. I've missed Hannah and Joe! They live in Brownwood. We served with them at FBCBrownwood, but before that we were college friends.

Next weekend my parents are coming to visit. I have Friday off for the 4th and we're just going to hang out. Probably go check out Route 66. They have a fun strip of antique malls and interesting restaurants/coffee shops. Also, we might go check out the play at Palo Duro.

Please continue to pray for our family. Debbie is back in Rusk this weekend taking care of her Dad and other family things. Pray for them to have peace amidst the grief and confusion.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let's Catch Up

We have had a pretty busy couple of weeks. Some very high highs and some very low lows. First, this past week was Vacation Bible School at our church. Cliff alwasy amazes me! I am so proud to be his wife and pretty unworthy to be his partner. :) He did a great job preparing for the week of craziness. I think we had around 850 kids and workers for the week. Unbelievable.


Cliff's prescious grandmother, Letha Joe Parsons, passed away on Monday. We found out at about noon when VBS was ending. Cliff and I and the rest of the family were shocked to find out about her passing. She was the family rock with an amazing faith in the Lord and a joyful heart. Cliff and I flew to be with the family in east Texas on Tuesday afternoon. I think Cliff wanted to post some more about the week there, so I'll let him do this. We will miss Grandmama terribly, but are so glad to know that she is rejoicing in heaven with her Savior! Thank God for giving hope amidst the sorrow. Please pray for all of the family as they figure out where to go from here. It will be a difficult few years of adjusting without Grandmama around. What a special woman!


The weekend before VBS I flew to Arlington to surprise both of my parents with a 50th birthday party. What a blast. They were definitely surprised. My siblings and I had fun getting it all together. Well really, Joni Holder, Jana (Joni's friend), Jon and Leigh did all of the work. :) They did a great job pulling it all together. We had about 60 friends and family come celebrate with us. Mom and Dad were very surprised and we got to enjoy the rest of the weekend together. Aaron, Trish and Dakota even got to be there with us. Dakota had a good time at her first birthday party.


Saturday was probably my favorite day though. My family including Dom (I love Dom and miss living close) went over to Jon and Joni's to swim. It was so great to have a normal day with my family. That is what I miss most about livnig far away. It is like everytime I come in has to be for a special occassion and I feel like they go out of their way to spend time with me. It's like I get in the way of their normal life when I am in town. This day was different. We all just relaxed and hung out together. So nice!


Here are some pics:






video

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Goodmorning!

Goodmorning everyone! So, it has been one crazy week so far. We have had something to be at every night, and it's the week before VBS which means utter craziness anyway. Monday night I had class #2. We have a test next week, woohoo. Then Tuesday night we had dinner with three couples. Two were introducing us to a young couple who is relatively new to Amarillo like us. They don't know anyone their age really so we were hooked up to make friends. It had the potential to be very awkward, but the other two couples helped make it more comfortable. Meg and Jonathan were very sweet people. Meg is a counselor in town and Jonathan is a lawyer. We hope to get together again sometime, or at least Meg and I will at some point.

Then last night we had church at a city park. Well really, the whole church was invited to have a fun night together. We swam and played volleyball. It was actually a really fun night. I am realizing something about myself these days. I still do not feel real comfortable around all of these church people yet. We showed up and I was really really wanting Cliff to stay with me for a little bit. He of course feels real comfortable, in his medium if you will. I am not so sure I"m there yet. And I'm not sure he knows this either. He immediately drops his stuff, runs to play volleyball and I'm standing awkwardly holding all of our stuff. Fun Fun, I was thinking. This is going to be one long night. So I finally go set my stuff down and sit next to some staff people. It got better as the night went on. I decided to get in the pool which was really cold. I moved from group to group feeling a little awkward until I found some kids. Kids are great, ya know! We played and had a good time after that. :) I guess I still have some work to do to feel at home here.

Tonight we are going over to the Raines' house. Jeff is the associate minister. All of the staff was invited over to have a cook out. I'm bringing a fruit salad. Have to run to the store after work and get all of the stuff, run home fix it, and then be at their house around 6.

Cliff is doing great this week, although maybe somewhat stressed and overworked. :) He is getting ready for VBS this week. I am so proud of him. He was jokingly made Employee of the month by our preschool minister, Elaine Clark. He had a poster board set in the office with his picture and an award to top it off. Everyone got a good laugh yesterday. We are both excited to see what next week will be like with nearly 1000 kids and a ton of workers. We are even going to have a beach scene with real sand outside for the kids. I'll post pictures next week so that you can see. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another New Baby!!

Guess what?? We have another new baby in the family. MY CUP OVERFLOWS! That is how I feel right now. My cousin Chuck, who has always been like my brother, and his wife Ginger had their baby Ruby Nora Lynne Dunton last night at 10pm. Check out Chuck's blog on my blog list to see the beautiful baby. She was 19 inches long and 7lbs. 10oz. They delivered with a midwife and were home by midnight...that's the way to do it huh? Ginger is able to sleep in her own bed to recoup at her own pace.

Update on Dakota: The Donaldson's are doing well. They got home Sunday and Dakota is eating better. My Mom and Dad got in from Hawaii/California yesterday evening and went straight to meet their new grandbaby. They could not believe how small and perfect she was. :) I can't wait to be home again to see everyone and to meet baby Ruby.

Shoutout to Dom and Phoebe: Congrats on Aunthood!!! What a special special week.

Chuck and Aaron, cousin and brother respectively, were born only 20 days apart. Dom and I were born only a month apart too. So the four of us grew up very close. I am flooded with so many great memories of the four of us together. :) I think it is pretty awesome that Chuck and Aaron had their baby girls only four days apart. God is so creative in how he lays out our lives. Praise the Lord for His mighty works!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dakota Ashlee Donaldson

Here are some pics of the weekend.
Meet Dakota Ashlee Donaldson





Dakota was born to my brother and sister-in-law on Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 5:08PM. She weighed 5lbs. 10oz. and was 18.5 inches long. Cliff and I got the call at four that Aaron and Trish were heading to the hospital. Dakota's original due date was June 26th. We had thought she might be born early because she had really slowed on her growing. Patricia had an appointment with a specialist on Thursday afternoon at 2pm because of concerns with her placenta aging too quickly and not providing Dakota with enough nutrients. The specialist said to go to the hospital and have the baby! Patricia was prepped for a c-section and had Dakota at 5:08pm.


Cliff and I hurriedly finished up things at work and hopped in the car about 5:15pm. We were following a huge line of storms the whole way to Arlington. In Quanah, we were stuck for 45min at a stand still on the highway due to downed power lines across the highway. After we found a detour around that we got stuck again outside of Vernon for 3 hours! There were downed power lines there too all the way across the highway and detours were blocked by downed trees. We were stuck on the highway like it was a parking lot. Everyone was getting out of their vehicles and talking with the others around them. We finally were told about 45min in by a cop that we would be there for at least another 2 hours. And we were...they started detouring us around the downed lines and we started on our way again.


We didn't pull into my parent's driveway until 3:30AM. We were sooo glad to be home, but really tired. We went straight to sleep and got up around 7:00am to get to the hospital to meet our neice. Mom and Dad were in Hawaii celebrating Mimi and Bipaw's 50th anniversary. They will be back in town tomorrow, Monday. They went to see my cousin Tristan graduate from high school and Tori graduate from Junior high. They are enjoying spending time with family but sure have had a tough time missing out on being there for Aaron and Trish.


Leigh was so great for them this weekend! She rushed around with the girls getting Trish and Aaron their bags from the house since they hnadn't had a chance to prepare fully. Leigh and Robby represented the family in the waiting room. :)


Cliff and I spent Friday night at Leigh's house and enjoyed Lerin and Robbyn immensely!! They are such precious little girls! Leigh is an awesome Momma.


Here is a video of Friday morning.



video

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Palo Duro Canyon Excursions

This is Mark Raines. He is the son of our Associate minister, Jeff. They invited us to go hiking with them in the Canyon on Memorial Day.
This is all of us at the Canyon. We stopped and had a snack and lunch along the way. Beautiful day!
This was the day that Jon and Lindsey were in town visiting us. I persuaded everyone to go out on a 6mile hike to this rock formation, the Lighthouse. Lindsey and I hiked up to the formation...fun times!

This is Cliff and I before we headed out. I had to get our pic by the map.

On the trail!
We saw this horny toad. He was pretty cool.

That is the Lighhouse above. The only way you can get to it is to hike the three miles out and then back.


Jon, me and Cliff. We ate lunch up here at the top. :)

Photos at long last!

Here are a few cruise pics. We had a blast on spring break with the family! The cruise was a perfect gettaway for all of us. We went snorkeling, swimming with sting rays, and on this awesome beach buggy ride! We all definitely got sunburned, but enjoyed the time together most of all. The first pic is of Cliff and I on the ride out to snorkel with beautiful blue water behind us! The next one is a pic of us with our ship behind us. Such a huge ship!! We had great weather the whole time and pretty smooth waters. The third pic is of Cliff and the girls in their green beach buggie. We drove these all over the island of Cozymel stopping to eat and snorkel. Snorkelling is my new favorite thing! It was such a cool experience. The fourth pic is of us all dressed up waiting for a show. It was fun to get dressed up each night for dinner. And finally, Cliff and Debbie hanging out in Cozymel. :) I think Cliff wast he only one who didn't get sunburned...he was the only smart one maybe. Needless to say, we had a blast on the trip and if you want to see any more pictures you're going to have to come to Amarillo and visit us to see them. Please come soon!