After many ear infections (about 1/month during 2009), Clara had surgery to put tubes in her ears (I had this same surgery when I was about her age).  Here she is pre-surgery…all smiles.  I got a lot more emotional than I expected…it is hard to see your baby rolled off and not get to hold her hand and comfort her, and of course there is also then the (needless) worry!    


The surgery didn't take long at all and we were there holding her the second they let us.  It was difficult for her to come out of the anesthesia, probably because her body felt very weird and she couldn't understand what was happening.  It was like having a drunk 2 year old in your arms – poor little thing! :(  She threw up several times on the drive home, but after a long nap, she was as good as new!


Clara video chats often with Mimi and Papi and gives the computer hugs and kisses the screen when they're on it…soooo precious! 


One super cool thing that happened around this time was that Clara
decided to potty train herself.  I wish we could take credit for it,
but it is like she just woke up one morning and decided she wasn't
going to use her diaper anymore.  and POOF, she didn't!  it was
amazing!  and wonderful!!!  the only thing I was concerned about was
that we were going to Disney in a couple of weeks, and I was so scared
that that would interrupt and ruin everything (my friend Kristi had
experienced something similar with her youngest)…and unfortunately, I
was right. :(  but we sure did enjoy those couple of weeks! 
that little rabbit trail was to explain why she is naked in the photo :)

being silly…


beautiful 21 month old!


best friends! (as Clara calls her, "Cake")


in early august, I got to go to my very first Air Review show!!!!!  and
it was even more amazing than I dreamed possible.  They are just SO
GOOD.  Air Review is a band one of Brian's best friends, Richard, is
in.  They just started playing publicly in May and Brian had been to
the shows they had done thus farand raved and raved.  I can't wait to see where they go and hope for all the best for them – they certainly deserve it!

Down the street from our house is Grapevine's Dove Park/Pool/Playground.  there are these dolphins there have water sprouting out of them and kids love to run around and play in them – including Clara!  Several of my days off we took a picnic down there and enjoyed.  Brian even joined us a few times during his lunch!


She made a route of running through the dolphins and then onto the playground, down the slide and back to the dolphins!



Go Rangers!!!!


It was only a matter of time being married to Brian that I would start to REALLY care about the Rangers instead of just kinda enjoy watching them with him every now and then.  And this was it – 6 years to be exact.  We were in the wild card race and it was so exciting!  there was a night when he had fallen asleep that I ACTUALLY STAYED UP WATCHING THE GAME to see how it turned out.  I was incredulous at myself.  And Brian was very, very happy.

Clara found a new way to watch TV…


One crazy thing that happened was that my laptop was stolen!  I should clarify…it was the church's laptop, so fortunately, it was covered by insurance.  But I lost all my files, music, etc., which was REALLY depressing.  Many of my work documents that I had saved to our server were backed up, which was an extreme blessing.  It happened on a Sunday, right off of my desk.  We even had security video footage of the guy taking it… there seriously could not have been a worse time of year to lose so much I was working on or to not have a laptop – we were getting ready for Promotion Sunday and the "new" year in Children's Ministry.  This is always my most stressful time of year and crazy work hours.   But all in all, laptops are just things, and things can always be replaced, or done without.  And anything that reminds us that our dependency is on God, and teaches us to continually rely on HIM, is a good and wonderful thing.  Obviously, someone who will steal from a church must REALLY be in need, so we prayed for him and that God would use it all for good.  

Promotion Sunday ended up going great and very smoothly.  One of the things I am over is the creative programming (large group worship experience) for preschoolers.  God brought together an AMAZING team of volunteers and it was so exciting to see them all in action that first day.  We have storytellers, hosts, youth worship leaders, worship leaders, puppeteers and techies.  August was filled with auditions and trainings, as well as training new small group leaders for the classrooms and getting everything ready to go for that first day (kids assigned to the right rooms, orientation for parents, etc.).  One of the things I am most excited about this year is that each of the large group teams has a significant number of youth on them – older elementary, middle school and high school aged kids – that will be leading and teaching the preschoolers.  And the adults who are leading those teams won't be just building into toddlers and preschoolers, but intentionally building into the youth as well, teaching them in loving and serving God, impacting others and discovering their own value and gifts.  These youth are so excited and eager; it is refreshing to see that sincere desire to serve.  And I couldn't have picked better adults to lead them – such a heart to love on kids of all ages!

We had a super cool event at the church for "back to school" – I just stood on the stairs in Town Square fighting tears of joy.  The church was filled with literally thousands of people in need getting free backpacks filled with supplies, clothes, shoes, haircuts, dental exams, dinner, physicals and Love…it felt so right – THIS is what Church should be.  It has never felt better to be a part of this community. 

A GREAT thing that happened at the very end of August was that we went to Disneyworld!  more on that later :) 


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