We had fun visiting Ryan's dad and stepmom last weekend. Molly loved running around their house and playing with KK and May May. Grandpa KK especially delighted in Molly's eating. She shares his taste in food. Eating out at an Italian restaurant, we ordered a Caprese Salad (fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil) for Molly. This is also one of her grandpa's favorites. She also enjoyed eating his eggplant parmasean. The community where my inlaws live is beautiful. Part of it is built on a mountain and other parts of it are by lakes. There is a golf course throughout. When Molly was napping, I would make myself a cup of tea and sit in their backyard. They have tall Carolina pines right behind their house. One evening it was completely still. For several minutes I heard no sounds. There was not even one leaf or pine needle stirring. I just sat in silence and praised God for the beauty around me.
We are going to NC tomorrow to see Ryan's dad for a long weekend. Ryan gets next week off for Thanksgiving. We'll have a lot of time to spend together as a family. I'm going to be working a little bit at the GAP again for the holidays. Cross Country ended a couple weeks ago. Ryan was busy getting ready for his banquet last Monday. Then he and I came down with the stomach flu and didn't get to enjoy the banquet. We just stopped in so he could give out awards. It was at a Mexican restaurant that we hadn't tried yet. Thankfully Molly hasn't been sick.
As you can see by the pictures, some days it is sweater and hoodie weather, and other times it's warm enough for just a dress. My dad made Molly this awesome pebble box. She loves it! We got some awesome garage sale deals. This slide was $5, and the basketball hoop was 50 cents! I love it!
I took Molly to a play area at a mall. It was so nice because there were only a few other kids and a couple of them were babies close to Molly's age. She had a great time. She was RUNNING around and shrieking. Consequently, I was trotting around after her. She was busy trying to climb all over the play structures. She hasn't tried much to climb on furniture, but she likes to lift a leg up and over the side of the bathtub when she's getting in and out. When I get her out of her crib, she lifts up her leg to try to get over it. There's no way she can, though, because the crib rail is right at her chin.
We then stopped to see my grandma at a nursing care center. It is very difficult, because the floor isn't appropriate for her to sit on or play on. So I have to either carry her or try to keep her from sitting down or touching the floor. She is impatient in her stroller, so that doesn't work for very long either. She also won't just sit on my lap or my grandma's. My grandma did enjoy giving her a sweet hug and kiss when we ended our brief visit.
Voting here in TX was somewhat smooth. There were no lines at the polls at 7 am when Ryan was there or at 1:30 pm when Molly and I were there. We had no option but to vote with pen and paper ballots. After they were complete, we were to take them over to a scanning machine that takes the ballot, reads it and displays a flag graphic if it worked correctly. Apparently when Ryan voted this morning, it wasn't working. So, the voters had to leave their ballots on a pile on a chair and trust that the election officials got the machine fixed and scanned their ballots. Not the best system... This afternoon it was working, but only on the second try. So, a poll worker was right next to me, and he politely instructed me to enter it into the machine again. He demonstrated the angle at which I was to hold the ballot. It was very easy to see who I voted for because I colored in a dark rectangle next to each. Again, not the best system. He remained standing by the machine and helped the next voter with the same problem.
This was Molly's third time to the polls; she accompanied us to a school board election and the primary in the spring. These are my freebies that I got for voting. Conveniently Krispy Kreme and Starbucks are directly adjacent to each other. The fall colors in Texas are much more muted than those in the midwest. We don't have the vivid red, orange, and yellow leaves and bright green grass that paint the landscape in Michigan.
Recently I read an article in Compassion International's recent magazine about the global food crisis. (You can go to their website to learn more by clicking HERE. By the way, compare the estimated cost of solving this food crisis shown on the website with the cost of our government's STUPID bailout.) Especially as a mom, I'm saddened deeply by the stories of children going without food. Even children who are sponsored through their program are receiving less assistance this year because the cost of food has risen. Quite often I feel helpless, but I need to feel empowered and pray and give more. We are abundantly rich and have tremendous ability to impact the hurting in this world.
This week, I had planned to do my grocery shopping at Albertsons. I noticed an ad in the paper for two pounds of strawberries for $2.99 at Kroger. I decided to make a quick trip there before finishing my shopping back at Albertsons. How blessed am I, not only to have a car, but to have many options for purchasing affordable, fresh, abundant food.
This morning I fed Molly a breakfast of strawberries and oatmeal. She is a voracious eater and will often show me the sign for "More" when her tray is empty. Twice I had to wash more strawberries and bring them to her. At one point, I bit into a strawberry and was delighted by its sweetness. "What a treat," I thought. My mind went to the hungry in Ethiopia. This strawberry, which cost me a few cents, would be ecstasy to a famished child. Let me often thank God for our innumerable blessings and do my part to diminish suffering around the world. Grateful, I gave my baby girl more berries, and thanked God that I always have plenty to give her when she asks for "More".