Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope that you and your family had a very Happy Thanksgiving Day.  We had a good one here, and have already done some shopping today on Black Friday (Michael's and even Walmart--gasp!).  Here are some pictures that Gabrielle brought home from church and Kid's Day Out this past week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My wonderful husband

Just gotta do a little bragging on my husband...

I loved the beautiful flowers that he got me this honor of his "Yellow Rose of Texas" (me!). Then, I got to enjoy a movie with him ( was great!), and some delicious popcorn. We were going to head out to dinner afterwards, but we ate small and enjoyed some time shopping at a couple of stores before heading home a little early to see Gabrielle before her bedtime. After that, we exchanged gifts...I got him some pj pants, a guitar t-shirt and several CDs he's been wanting. I got the Willow Tree figurine "Anniversary" and two Christmas CDs (Sara Groves and Barlow Girl) that I am listening to today. Thanks, honey for being a wonderful husband and daddy for Gabi too!

My beautiful flowers!


Gabrielle seems to be going through a "naked" stage right now. We've been encouraging her to sit on her potty chair too, so I don't know if she just thinks that she needs to have her clothes off all the time.
Yesterday she was trying to get her shirt off over her head in the middle of the livingroom. Luckily, she hasn't mastered that yet!

This morning after we sat on her potty chair (first thing in the morning), she ran back into her room and hopped on her rocking horse...she's looking quite ornery in this picture, don't you think?

Oh, so much fun!

Like Father, like daughter

Enough said...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gabrielle's speech evaluation

Just thought I would post an update after we had Gabi's speech evaluation this morning.  

First of all, we want to thank those of you who have been praying for our patience with her, and for her to develop in God's time.  Since she's 19 months old and saying very few words, our pediatrician was fairly concerned.  Unfortunately, our insurance doesn't cover any speech sessions for her, and we would have to pay full price out of our pocket (ouch!).  

So, next best option was to take her to see a church friend of ours down here who is a speech specialist at one of the local elementary schools.  After about an hour with Joni, she decided that Gabi is on track for her age in all areas except for her verbal communication.  And, she actually scored high enough that she wouldn't be able to qualify for special Preschool services.  Wonderful news!  

The next step is for Nick and I to continue using some basic sign language with her, as well as trying some picture cards to get her to communicate better with us as to what she wants.  And, we are to encourage her to be as LOUD as possible...she's pretty quite most of the time, so this might be a challenge for us.

Thanks again for your continued prayers, and I know that God has a plan...I just sometimes want to get it all in my time-line (oops!).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In our hotel...

Just a few pictures of what can happen in about ten minutes or less...

Ready for bed with some light reading about the Holiday Inn.

What a good smile!

Getting the zipper all the way down on her pjs.

Wondering how in the world to get the feet off...
love the look on her face!

One foot off...may be standing near something would help.

Nope...back to the sitting position to finish it off.
Notice that everything is inside out by now.

Some more light reading--a Gideon Bible.

What!  No pictures?

I wonder what else I could do right now?

Hmm...may be I should take off my diaper.

Finally--completely naked!

Dinner with Wichita friends

So, our trip to Kansas City for John V's wedding (one of Nick's buddy's from college), some fun shopping, and staying the night with the Sommer's was great (even though we missed Gabrielle since she stayed in Wichita with Grandma Martin).  

We stayed in Wichita the next week so that Nick could attend some meetings at the Koch building.  And, we got together with some old "Focus" friends.  Thanks to the Schaefer's for opening their home for us to enjoy a meal and some fellowship.

No basements in Texas means that Gabrielle has had VERY limited experience with stairs.  So, when she took off down their stairs by herself, I was a little apprehensive.  But, we let her do it by herself without freaking out too bad, and got some great pictures of it in the process.  I was surprised that she didn't need to hold the wall/railing or anything.  
Way to go, Gabi!

Almost to the bottom...looks like Ellen was there waiting for her.

Enjoying some game time with the boys...yeah!

Keith and Andrew bowling with the Wii.

I got some baby time in with the newest addition to the Schaefer family...little William was quite alert, but then fell asleep in my arms soon after that.  How precious!

Nick got some time with William too...unfortunately we both got spit-up on, but I think Nick was upset that it directly hit the Jayhawk on his shirt.  Come on, Joel, teach your son to get some respect for KU--just teasing!  

Andrew and Grace spent a little time reading together...

Ellen getting tired...I think that bunny is bigger than she is!

Jonathan hanging out...he so badly wanted to go downstairs with the "big kids" while they were playing.  He was "stuck" upstairs with the "boring" mommies were enjoying some wonderful conversation together.

At one point we didn't know where Gabrielle had gone.  She must have gotten more comfortable with the stairs and snuck down to their playroom.  This is where I found's almost like a "Where's Waldo" picture.  She was having so much fun with all the new-to-her toys!

November trip to Kansas

So, here's the pictures from our last trip to Kansas...
Gabrielle's really been "into" the Little Einsteins lately, and I found a really cute book on clearance at our grocery store one day.  It was great because she played with it and looked at the book for quite a while (okay, 15 minutes at a time--but that's a lot for an 18-month old's attention span).

Playing with Rocket who's attached to the book. was cold and windy in Kansas!

We visited Cheney, enjoyed some chili and cinnamon rolls (yummy!), and played in the gym for a little while.  I caught up with some of my teacher friends...we all had a great time!

Getting into the my makeup in my purse is one of Gabrielle's favorite thing to do after we're done eating at a restaurant...seems like a great idea until she gets eyeliner on her face!  :)

Playing on the floor a little with Grandpa Reinke--we also made a quick trip up to Nebraska to see my family for about 36 hours.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Never a dull moment around here...

So, I was home by myself yesterday eating a quiet lunch when Nick called to inform me that the Flint Hills Resources (Koch) chemical plant here in Odessa that he works at is shutting down--permanently.  Whoa!  So...guess that means that I'll be seeing more cardboard boxes sometime in my future again.  Just so that you don't get too excited about anything, we could still be here for up to a year.  There aren't any specific dates set for when everything will happen, and most likely Nick will have plenty of work to do after most of the workers leave (tearing down technology and shipping it to other plants that can use it).  

Most importantly, please pray for the 400 workers who will lose their jobs, not to mention the 150 contractors who won't have this plant to depend on either.  Lots of people who are going to be affected by this decision, but the job market is still good here (since we're in the middle of oil fields), so hopefully everyone will be able to find something that fits their needs.  In this economy, unfortunately the company had to make the decision as to whether or not this plant would eventually make money...Nick said they would have had to invest millions of $$ over the next few years, and the projection was that they wouldn't make any profits for several more years...ugh.  

Hope to see some of you this next week while we are up in KS/MO/NE.  I'll write another post when I know more later...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Reading and singing...

I just put new batteries in this book this week, and this is Gabrielle's new favorite thing to play with. We caught her "singing" with the music as she was "reading" through the book. Too cute if you ask me!

Ridin' a horse

Before I start this post, I just wanted to thank you for keeping up with our family through our blog. If you regularly check our blog (I know who some of you are), could you just leave us a note down below by clicking on the the "comment"? AND, can you believe that this is our 200th post already? Crazy!

Gabrielle going for a pony ride after trick-or-treating.

My grandpa made this wooden horse for me on my first birthday.

Just checkin' behind to see if she's winning the horse race.

Here's a little video of her on her horse that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did watching her the first time.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween a few days late...I feel like I am still playing catch up with all of our posts. Hopefully I can get them completed this afternoon while Gabi's napping...

I don't have a problem with the KU cheerleading outfit as long as she can wear the Bethany hat too. Nick and I agree to disagree on where we think she should go to college--go figure! :)

I was sick with the flu for a couple of days, and still trying to relax on the couch Friday. Gabi wanted me to wear the hat, but then immediately decided that she needed it back...great picture, huh?

Gabi wearing the trash can as a hat--
luckily I didn't have to use it while I was sick this week.

My two Jayhawks.

Eating some chicken nuggets and apples before we headed out to our church for their "Night of Light" festival.

There were some FABULOUS costumes on kids as well as adults.
And, who knew that Blue Man Group was going to be there!

Ivanna and her son, Noah enjoying the festivities.

Some of the fun...

More of the fun...

And still more fun...

They even had a rock climbing wall for the youth and adults.

Inside one of the game tents. I can't wait for Gabi to be a little bit older to enjoy all the fun (may be next year?).

We saw a LOT of our TX friends at the festival. In the wagon are Maddie and Haley (who Gabi had her 1st birthday party with) with Maddie's mom, Alison (who sings on the praise team at church with us, and her husband plays bass guitar too). Keep Haley's family in your prayers as they are going through some medical issues--Amanda is on bedrest, Jayson has psoriasis problems, and his dad's cancer has come back.

Posing for the camera...
Can you believe that just a few hours before this we had big tears while I was getting her pigtails and bows in her hair?
At home after we went out trick-or-treating to a few of our neighbor's houses (some of whom we haven't talked to since last year at Halloween!).

Gabrielle decided that there was probably something really great in the candy basket that Nick had been using to pass out candy at our house.

Oh, so many to decide from...

Playing clean-up before she headed to bed for the night.