Sunday, December 7, 2008

And...

In other happenings over the last couple weeks, we had our first "big snow." It really wasn't all that dramatic, but it was enough to delay school on Monday and almost pick my kids up from school early on Tuesday. From what I hear, we have another round of yuk coming up this week. Pray for a snow day; I could really use one... (o:



On a happier note, we got a new washer and dryer!! Sadly, I am ridiculously excited about my new appliances and have managed to get more laundry done since I got them, than I normally do. Surely, this is a sign that I am getting old. Seriously, though, aren't they gorgeous? Thanks to my parents, as they bought them for us for Christmas...


Last Friday, we and the Moraleses miraculously found ourselves simultaneously bored on a Friday night. So, they came out to the country for a visit... We had way too much fun, as usual, and determined that the timer on my little camera works quite well. (As evidenced in this self portrait.)


And, finally... the highlight of my decade. My amazing husband surprised me with a belated 10th anniversary present. I'd mentioned an "upgrade" to my current wedding ring several (ok, maybe more like a million) times, but we had decided that it wasn't financially wise to upgrade this year. I'm not easily surprised, but Brad managed it somehow. It's beautiful and I love it...


So, it seems to me that I've had a pretty great couple of weeks. Here's hoping that our good times continue... (o:

Update!

Life has been busy since Thanksgiving, so I haven't had much time to blog. For some reason, I'm unable to upload any more pictures in this post, so it will probably take two to get caught up... (o:
Ginna and Avery recently decided that they wanted to cut their hair like mine. They are so different from one another, but often have similar opinions when it comes to things like hair styles and fashion choices. They are such good friends. They make me wish I had a sister...






This weekend was busy and fun. On Friday night, Carmen and Noelle and I joined a couple of Carmen's friends for Japanese food and a movie. We had some wine with dinner and managed to not make it to the movie. It was a fun time... On Saturday night, we went to my parents' house and spent some time with some out of town guests. My mom's best friend since jr. high and her husband were in town from Albuquerque. I somehow neglected to get a picture of them... They and their family are very special to us and it's always good to see them.
My cousin Jacky was in town from Amarillo to visit her dad, my Uncle Gary. It's been a few years since I've seen her, so it was nice to see her looking and doing well.

Jacky and my mom...

My Uncle Gary and Jacky...


Gin and Avy... BFF's


My parents...



Brad taught the girls how to play pool on my dad's pool table... It was a VERY long game...
Overall, the weekend was good. This morning, we drove out to Fox Run to meet our best friends and amazingly talented photographers (http://www.photosbyjcm.com/) for some Christmas pictures. The weather was beautiful and I can't wait to see the pics. I'm sure they'll be awesome, as always. (o:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A White Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was pretty low-key for the Costain family this year. We went to my parent's house this morning and had the most fattening and delicious lunch ever. My mom made a traditional feast and my dad and uncle made prime rib and chicken/shrimp fettuccine alfredo. I lost about 9 lbs. while I was in the hospital earlier this week, but I'm pretty sure I gained it all back today!
This evening, we went to my father-in-law's house for dinner. I didn't eat much, since I was still full from lunch, but the food was good and we had a lot of fun playing with our sweet niece, Sammi and conversing with the rest of the fam.
Sydney climbed in my lap at one point and said, "I make you happy, don't I mama?" It's reassuring when my children say something so positive without my forcing it upon them. I really love that kid...
All that being said, I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year: The miraculous preservation of my marriage, my beautiful, smart and healthy children, my God-fearing family, my faithful friends and confidantes and the knowledge that my salvation is secure in Christ.
Happy Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Appendicitis?!


I somehow managed to end my great weekend in a pretty crummy way. Sunday night, I started having some rather severe abdominal pain that just wouldn't subside. By 10:00, Brad and I decided that it would be a good idea to take a trip to the ER to make sure everything was ok. Long story short, I didn't get out of the hospital until Tuesday morning. My symptoms all pointed to appendicitis, but the two CT scans I had proved otherwise.

I'm glad to be home, but it seems I brought a cold home with me. I can't win... )o:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight and Cocktails with Friends, New and Old...

I'd been looking forward to my Twilight plans for several weeks and I'm happy to say that it was not a disappointment. The movie was not great, as my imagination is far superior to whomever wrote the screen play. They seemed to cram in a whole lot of book into one 2 hour movie, and it just didn't do the novel justice.
After the movie, we headed downtown for some Italian food and a couple cocktails at 15C. While the movie was a let down, the company was superb. I invited myself and my friend, Angie to tag along with my friend, Tarah and several of her girlfriends. I'm making a conscious effort lately to branch out and meet new people - so far, it has paid off in a really positive way. I'm all about personal growth!
I had fun reacquainting myself with a couple High School friends and getting to know Tarah's friends and sisters-in-law, and before long, we seemed to be playing 6 degrees of separation. Colorado Springs will always be a small town for those of us who grew up here. It's fun to learn who knows whom and how...
I try not to re-visit High School often but, in this scenario, it was a lot of fun. I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time.
So, cheers to new friends and old. And, to those of you who were unable to join us, here's to next time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fat Turkeys Are We...

video

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's Sydney's version of "Fat Turkeys Are We". (o:

Crazy Neighbors...

Apparently, we have a neighbor who's a little...ummm...unstable. Check out this sign he posted in his front yard:


I've come up with a crazy scenario as to what it all means but, in truth, I have no idea why someone would put something like this in their front yard. Kind of sad, isn't it?

Poor Ginna Rose...

I promised I'd put up a picture of Gin with her new braces. It's not a great pic - she was waaaay too miserable for a photo shoot on Monday. My poor baby is such a trouper... She can't talk, can't eat, and is so sore that she isn't sleeping well. But, she is hanging in there nicely and has barely complained. She had better have perfect teeth when this process ends, or the Orthodontist will see my not-so-pleasant side!



She's currently under construction... My poor, sweet girl. )o:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Garden of the Gods and UFC 91

Last week, Ginna had a field trip to Garden of the Gods. I've lived here in the Springs nearly all my life and had only ever driven through the park, so I was really looking forward to the hike and guided tour. The weather was nice and warm, but the wind blew at 50 mph the entire time we were there. Aside from that, we had a nice time.
Gin's BFF, Valerie got to ride with us, which she and Gin both were very excited about. Valerie is a sweet little girl and I'm thankful that Ginna has such a good friend this year.

This is really the only decent picture I got while we were there. It was just too windy!
Saturday night was UFC 91. Those of you who know us well know that we're HUGE UFC fans. We get made fun of A LOT for it, but it's something we enjoy doing together.
Gearing up for the fight... Some of our friends were supposed
watch the fights with us, but they got a better offer. We're not bitter, though.
Sadly, the main event was a bit of a disappointment... )o:

Acting like a fool always makes me feel better! (o:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Anniversary Trip

A long weekend in the Costain family mountain vacation home was a great way to celebrate our anniversary. I can't remember the last time that Brad and I were able to spend four days alone. (Wait...How old is Ginna? (o:) By Saturday morning, I was really missing the kids and by Sunday, I was definitely ready to come home.
Brad was able to take some pictures, and I took a picture of him taking a picture! This is the view of Turkey Rock from the deck. This picture does not do the view justice, though. It really is breathtaking...
Brad's bike was not cooperating and refused to start on our first attempt at a good ride.

It was just a spark plug. Brad got his bike running and we were off! We didn't ride any trails, since I'm still learning to operate my bike, but we still had a nice ride.



On Thursday night, our actual anniversary, we watched our wedding video. We both agree that our ceremony was a little long, but the wedding was beautiful. It was fun to remember that time in our lives...



Brad bought me some beautiful roses. Happy Anniversary!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

10 Years

Today is no different than any other day I've had lately, except that today marks the day 10 years ago that Brad and I were married. There was a time not so long ago that this day seemed as if it would never happen. I am so thankful that God's plan is bigger than my own.
Thank you to all of you who have prayed for and supported us over the years. Your friendship is everything.
And, to those of you who haven't, stop reading my blog and mind your own business!! (o:
We're heading to the mountains for a few days of r&r. Love to you all and we'll see ya when we return!

P.S. I love you, Brad. Happy Anniversary!

Monday, November 3, 2008

99 Balloons - Please Take the Time to Watch

I watch Oprah much less often than I used to, but I was lucky enough to catch it the other day when this segment aired. Please, please take the time to watch it. It has had a profound impact on me personally, as well as on many others. It is a vivid representation of the battle that we Pro-Life "zealots" are embarking upon with the impending election. Every life counts. So, please, hug your babies and take the time to hit your knees tonight and thank God that they are alive and well. Keep in mind that under Obama's plan for our country, the baby in this video would've been allowed to die after 7 months of gestation if his parents had chosen not to deliver a "less than perfect" baby. His short life had a greater impact than that of so many people that live an average life span.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th6Njr-qkq0

And So It Begins...

So, today was the beginning of the process of Ginna getting her braces. Avery had to have a couple teeth slenderized, so we decided to get it all over with in one day. The Dr. was running a little late, so we killed some time by taking some self portraits in the waiting room...





Silly girls...




Avery before her procedure... Always smiling! (o:




Ginna, before her procedure... So brave.


And, Ginna after... She had to have one filling, two teeth pulled and four spacers put in. She did great!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The weather this Halloween was amazing! Trick-or-treating was more fun this year for that reason alone... Thanks to the Moraleses for letting us tag along around their neighborhood, as it's nearly impossible to trick-or-treat in our "neighborhood" of 5 acre plots of land in between houses. Good times...

Sydney (Grumpy Fairy), Avery (Southern Belle), Jenny (Carmen's sister as a Pink Lady), Hailey (Goth / Dancer / Cutie Pie)???, and Ginna (Sharpay)

Too Cute...

Friday, October 31, 2008

A New Toy!


Brad bought me a 4-wheeler for our anniversary!! We had been talking about buying a brand new one, but decided not to after we found out that Gin needs braces. He came across this 2001 model at a customer's house a couple days ago and the guy offered it to him for a ridiculously low price. We couldn't pass it up!

Ginna was excited...


Avery was excited...





And, Sydney was excited. Until...



Avery accidentally scraped some skin off of Syd's little ankle. Somehow, I captured the moment. Poor Avery felt bad - can't you tell by the look on her face?!



Daddy made it all better...


And I got this sad but sweet picture of her. All is well...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Metal Mouth

I took Ginna and Avery to the orthodontist this morning and left with a $2,500 cloud hanging over my head. Ginna will be in braces by the end of November. Poor kid - her teeth are a mess. Avery's going to have to have some work done too, though not nearly as extensive as Gin. Pray for us if we cross your minds. There will be a lot of extractions, spacers, x-rays and molds leading up to getting the braces on. Ginna is my sensitive one, so I'm especially concerned that she'll be traumatized by the process. Good times, ya?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin

My day started at 4:30 this morning, when I woke up to get ready to head to the Sky Sox stadium to see Sarah Palin. I'm not much of a morning person, but I didn't have too hard a time dragging myself out of bed for the occasion, as our country is in dire need of change and I happen to believe that John McCain and Sarah Palin are the people to bring that about. Today only reaffirmed that belief. It is so clear that Gov. Palin loves her God, her family and her country. She supports families of children with special needs, the rights of unborn children, small business and free enterprise, among many other things that are so important to me. I believe that she is actively seeking out God's will for our country and that she will continue to do so after she is elected.
It was an honor to be there to support her this morning. Surely she's much more exhausted than I am right now!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Today's happenings have really provided me with a long overdue ego boost. According to the girls' teachers, they are all beautiful, intelligent, respectful students. I'm just so overwhelmed by my incredible family. Considering some of the things that happened in our lives a few years ago, we are very blessed that we have such happy, healthy, well-adjusted children. I mentioned in my last post that Ginna made the honor roll. I found out at my conference with Avery's teacher that she also made the honor roll. How great is that?! The following is a letter that Av's teacher wrote for us to keep:

Avery works eagerly and diligently on all Language/Reading assignments. She is becoming creative in her development of stories. She has a confident approach to Reading that comes from the number of high-frequency words she now recognizes. In addition, she has started to rely on sound strategies for approaching unfamiliar works, using context and her own experience to predict text.
Avery has sound math skills firmly in place. She does well and is a good observer. This grading period has been a more challenging math program. She has to work harder to grasp new concepts. She has the persistence and willingness to accomplish a lot. Avery's achievement is commendable.
Avery has many friends and does not lack for partners at lunch and on the playground. Avery is cooperative and well mannered. I've been blessed to teach both of your daughters.
AAhhhh.... I needed that.

Ginna Rose

My oldest daughter, Ginna, made the Honor Roll! She has struggled with some of her school work this year and has really worked hard to keep her grades up. We're so proud of her!!
As some of you know, Ginna had some pretty obvious sensory issues when she was younger and wasn't able to join her classmates on stage for any kind of chapel performances or school plays. I can't even recall how many times I had to make my way up to "rescue" her from herself and the paralyzing fear that she felt on stage. The transformation that has taken place in her over the past 18 months or so has been nothing short of miraculous. She and Avery attended a music/drama performance camp over the summer and loved every minute of it. The night they perfomed is one of my happiest memories. I'm sure the other parents thought I was a little unstable, seeing me cry like an idiot throughout the entire thing, but it was awesome. Yesterday, her class presented the chapel message and Ginna gave a very strong performance as "Shepherd #1." Her pre-school, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers all made a point to find me afterwards to express their amazement at her progress. We've come a long way, haven't we? (o:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good Friends and Birthday Fun

Brad and I got together with some of our favorite people last night to celebrate my birthday. It was a fairly low-key evening and we had a nice time.

Me, Brad, Rosie, Josh, Carmen, Judah and Noelle
Josh, me and Rosie

Carmen, me, Brad and Noelle

Nazareth, me and Robert

Me and Naz

Me and my best friends

Saturday, October 11, 2008

31

Today, I am 31. I got so caught up last year in the struggle between the desire to hold on to my precious twenties and the even stronger desire to finally become an adult that it hardly crossed my mind that there would be life after 30. Here I am, a year later, wondering how time could've passed so quickly. That being said, I think I can safely admit that this past year has been one of the best of my life. I am more in love than I thought possible with a man that I don't deserve and I have three amazing daughters that keep me in awe non-stop. My husband wrote me a beautiful letter and left it for me to find this morning and my daughters let me sleep in until 7:00 a.m. before they came in with 3 really lovely homemade birthday cards for me. Life is good...
Tonight, we'll meet some friends and family for dinner and drinks. I'm sure I'll have pictures to post later...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pictures

The girls are out of school today and tomorrow for Fall Break, so we went with Carmen to Monument Valley Park to take some pictures of the girls. They're posted on Carmen's blog:
http://mycrazylife-carmen.blogspot.com/2008/10/such-beautiful-girls.html
Check 'em out and let me know what you think!
Thanks, Carm! I love you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Field Trip... (o:

Today was Avery's field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion. Once we got through the nightmare traffic, we had a fun day!




I offered Avery $20 to hold the tarantula; she countered with $25 and I agreed, but was still beyond shocked when she actually did it!




Monday, October 6, 2008

Avery's Field Trip




I got uninvited to participate in the "help Ginna with her science project" party, so I'm blogging and feeling like I have to include each of my daughters equally on the blog. So, here are a couple pics of Avery's field trip a couple weeks ago to Mueller State Park.

It wasn't exactly my idea of a fun field trip - bees and animal skins aren't so much my "thing." The kids had fun, though, and I'm glad I got to go with her!