Monday, June 29, 2009

Russell's Turn Once Again

I don't normally contribute to the blog all that much. But, I must make an exception in this case.

For those of you that know Shireen know that she consistently gives so much for me. I couldn't ask for a more supportive and complimentary wife. Having said that, many of you know that Shireen has never had much desire to do the whole 'homemaking' thing. Don't get me wrong. We work well together at keeping the house, doing the chores, caring for Rhys, etc. But to decorate, entertain, to hostess fine dining, etc. The whole fru-fru thing is simply not something she has really cared for.

She has always offered to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for me. I nearly always accept. But like many of us we focus on the task, not the presentation, normally opting for the path of least resistance, cutting corners, just accomplishing the task in a nitty-gritty kind of way. Shireen is no different....until now.

She recently borrowed a book by Edith Schaeffer called "The Hidden Art of Homemaking". I'm loving it!! We've gone from breakfast, a simple omelet and toast to this:

This morning I come in from a run and begin loading my car for the day's work. Shireen offers to fix breakfast. I accept. Later she calls me in for breakfast. Instead of the usual omelet and juice there before me is a work of art! She not only went the extra mile to add hash browns (one of my favorites) but cherries too. More than that she intentionally spruced things up with a place mat and candles. Wow, she outdoes herself.

Being raised in south Louisiana I've picked up a few words that are not so common outside that area. One is 'lagniappe'. It simply means something extra. Most people would explain it by saying the 13th donut in a baker's dozen is lagniappe. Offering just a little more, giving an added value above the standard makes all the difference in the world.

Thank you Shireen for giving a little extra! It's great to be so loved!

Take time today to offer lagniappe in whatever it is that you'll do.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Play Times...

Rhys is growing SO much!! Last week, I had him in his little exersaucer, and only his toes touched the bottom of it; this week, he's standing in it! He's getting SO long, SO fast!!! I praise the Lord for his healthy growth & development!! He's so curious, as he plays with his toys, trying to figure out movements and's really sweet and fun for me {perhaps, as a first time mommy???}. :)
Moving on into our week...we had a fun time at our play group yesterday.
Thank you, Jenn, for hosting!! We met a new family...Chrissie and her little ones, Ella & Hudson. Sadie will be here within just a few weeks!! Chrissie will have three babes under three!!!
Of course, some of our regulars were there...sweet Christian......and Rollins... :)
Miss Melissa with little Vale...Miss Melissa enjoyed holding Rhys for a little while...
I got to enjoy holding Rhys for a good while!! :) He's still at the age where he's not quite as mobile, so I need to take full advantage of that and hold him as much as I can!!
"Christian, are you performing CPR on Rhys? Good to know you have that skill, little buddy!!" ;)And for about a minute, all the kids were out of the main 'play room,' so I couldn't resist taking this picture of what courageous moms get to clean up when all of kiddos leave play group! Jenn, Melissa, Lauren, thank yall for hosting, which includes even more than setting out toys and then cleaning up our messes!

What a fun week, so far! More play times coming up!!

P.S. Have I mentioned that it's fun being a mommy? :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birthday, Reunion, Father's Day & Good Ole Visitatin' in LA

A couple of weekends ago, we got to visit with family and friends in Louisiana. We celebrated Russell's dad's 60th birthday (& early father's day), which was a fun surprise for Rusty!! Lots of family came, we had lots of grilled meats, yummy side dishes and fun desserts!!
I think Poppa was excited to see Rhys. :)Definitely Aunt Tami, too!
Poppa & Aunt Tami canNOT get enough of this little man!!! {I love that!! :)}Above, Russell's parents, Claudia & Rusty (aka Grandmom & Poppa :)) and Russell's sister Tami
Below, Russell's sister Kristie, her husband Todd & their sweet little girl, Sierra Grace {"Ra Ra" :)} Uncle Jimbo seems to be fond of this little fellow, too. :) The next day was Russell's mom's family reunion, which was a fun pot-luck get-together!
Afterwards, we got to catch up over coffee and dessert with some friends, Tyler & Krystal, at a local coffee shop! They're expecting, and we are very excited for them!! "Krystal, please keep us posted when you find out if yall are having a girl or a boy!!" :)
It was such a pleasure to watch Krystal love on Rhys!! She's already an amazing mommy to that sweet baby in her tummy! What a fun weekend, with lots of fun activities, visits and celebrations!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beach Babies & Beach Bums

We've just returned from a wonderful, long weekend at one of our very own, beautiful Alabama beaches, Gulf Shores. Two of our best couple friends joined us, and we had my dream family vacation...lots of outdoor activity, uplifting fellowship and conversations, lots of yummy eats, good shopping at outlet stores, evenings of Joker :) and so much more!!

Since pictures share so much, here we go...Chris & Tara Kear drove all the way from Arkansas...such troopers!! Chris and Russell have known each other for years, have served in ministry together, are adventure racing partners, and Tara is his perfect and sweet mate! Chris even performed our marriage ceremony! So, needless to say, we love this couple {and their coming baby, as they are expecting!! :) Yay!!!}, and we take advantage of any opportunity we can to spend time with them! Ryan & Jenn deVilleneuve were also able to come, which marks this trip our second annual 'deVilleneuve-Kear-Wright Family Reunion' :), if you will! Last year, we all met up at a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and had a blast! Ryan, Chris and Russell have known each other for years and are great brothers in Christ to one another. I am thankful for their accountability and brotherhood to one another, and I know that any of them would do anything at all for us! Tara & Jenn are the icing on the cake! I love these women of the Lord and learn so much from them each time I'm with them. We each took turns cooking dinner after we put the kiddos down for bed. I got to cook a couple of Mexican casseroles, one with deer meat and one with chicken. Chris & Tara served up their yummy chicken parmesan over spaghetti noodles. Ryan & Jenn topped off the trip with their herb-marinated shrimp, served with a beautiful spinach-strawberry-walnut salad (pictured below).
We enjoyed some fun fruity drinks...some virgin, some not. :) We got to wake up to this each morning...The weather could not have been more perfect! {Well, maybe 20 degrees cooler. :)}
Rhys got to hang out with his Uncle Chris & Uncle Ryan, whom he evidently loves!! Wouldn't you say from the pics??? :) I didn't get pictures of Rhys with the ladies, but he enjoys their company, too...he sweetly nestles his face in their necks as they hold him. :)
And, last but certainly not least, the boys did great! Yes, both the big boys and the little boys. :)
We had lots of play time for the kiddos in between feedings and nap times, and they all got along so well, shared, and I'm excited to see their relationship/friendship grow into a strong brotherhood, as the Lord leads them.
My man left home without his boonie hat for sun protection, so he scouted through local stores, looking for the perfect straw hat. {Justin, do you approve? :)} I sure like it! Kinda sexy, but he's mine, ladies! :)
We had a wonderful beach vaction, and I loved pondering over all the fun details during our drive home yesterday. Russell sported his straw hat for me, while he listened to his i-pod, I listened to mine, and Rhys slept soundly in the back!!

I wonder where next year's 'deVilleneuve-Kear-Wright Family Reunion' will take us! :)

Happy 5 Months, Rhys!!

Rhys, you are growing so much, so FAST!!! Truly, you are so BIG these days! Big and handsome!! This last month, we moved back home {since the flood}, we started giving you formula, which you love, you’re napping well {still 3 times a day…morning, mid-morning and afternoon}, sleeping well at night…longer since we’ve been home {yay!!!}, and you’re just so happy!! Friends keep telling us what a good and happy baby you are, and, of course, we completely agree.

We’ve been traveling a ton, it seems, so now that we’re slowing down a bit, Mommy plans to introduce you to some fun solid foods!! This morning, we start you on rice cereal, and I'm hoping you will like it!

This last month has been so much fun! You are so interactive, you talk/babble during just about all of your awake time, you laugh and giggle, roll over from your front to your back and then your back to your front, keeping us entertained, and Mommy and Daddy are just so proud of you and thankful to the Lord!
You enjoyed rolling around on our HUGE king-size hotel bed!

You've enjoyed your new float at the Stickler's lake house and at different swimming pools, recently! You still cuddle with Mommy, which I LOVE!!! {Justin, aka 'straw man', that's your hat! :))
You've been Mr. Social, and everyone wants a chance at holding you, including our sweet neighbor Miss Kate, who adores you and takes such good care of you!Speaking of just spent a nice, long weekend with two of your good friends, Rollins & Christian, and y'all played so well!!How sweet is this!?!? We love you, big man!! Happy 5 months!!

Love, Daddy & Mommy

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day to my Beloved Husband!!

Although you were a daddy last year, Hun, Rhys was still in my tummy, and it was just not the same as it is today! He’s been here for a wonderful 5 months, now, and you truly are an amazing daddy to him! You genuinely seek to honor the Lord as you lead us as leader of our family, and I appreciate that more than anything this world could offer.
How do I appreciate you as a father to our child?

Well, it’s a long list…I love to hear you pray for Rhys, for his future, for his spiritual walk and acknowledgment of our Lord Jesus and God as soon as He would allow for this. I love to see you in this new role as father, treating me with utmost love and respect, while also seeing Rhys as an individual with needs and desires to be fulfilled. God is teaching me so much through watching you with our son, teaching me to desire patience, perseverance, endurance and integrity as a parent, as your wife, as a woman. You do not hesitate to help in any way with our sweet child, and that just makes my love and appreciation for you grow so that I would do anything for you! I enjoy watching you hold Rhys against your chest, cradle him in your arms, whisper, speak and sing sweet words of life and encouragement into his ears, coo at him, play with him, bathe, change and just selflessly be with him as his father.
Rhys is incredibly blessed to have you as his father, and he will learn much under your guidance…the spiritual things of our Heavenly Father, as you pray with him and teach him all of the wonderful truths of His Word and of Him as our Lord and God. And I know you look forward to teaching him about life through some good application…camping trips, off-roading trips, working on cars/trucks/jeeps together, helping him determine and discern what is right and good so that he can confidently live his life out, hopefully for the Lord.
God has blessed me with you as my husband, Russell, and I am so excited to watch you father our son! He will be so well-rounded, Lord willing, through your patient, tender, yet strong love for him. May our Lord continue to bless your heart and role as father, my love.
Happy Father’s Day!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Social Sanity :)

I think we're genuinely making the best of our "mess!" :) Spending time with friends has made difficulty easier and has helped time to fly by!We got to try out a new restaurant with our friends, Shegun & Mary, with whom we always LOVE to spend time!We've also gotten to spend a lot of time with our neighbors, Aryvia & Kate, who we also LOVE! Last night, they came over with another set of neighbors, Damon & Heather (below). Aryvia held Rhys for the first time last night, and I had to capture it in the above picture. He's a NATURAL with babies!! :) "Kate, I'm impressed! He will be a wonderful daddy, and it's a 'given' that you'll be an amazing mommy!! We may as well call you guys Uncle Aryvia & Aunt Kate, as much as yall love and take care of him!! Thank you!!!" :)
Damon & Heather came over for the first time last night. We all had dinner and started getting to know each other......And, of course, how do we end an evening in the Wright household? That's a no-brainer...Joker! :)
The evening was fun, and we tried a new dessert...homemade chocolate icecream. It's so easy...turn on your icecream maker, pour in about a quarter gallon chocolate milk and half a can of sweetened condensed milk, and 30 minutes later, you have homemade chocolate icecream. The consistency is more like a Wendy's Frosty, but it will be more like icecream if you pour it into a tupperware and freeze it. I just had leftovers from the freezer, and it's YUMMY! :)