Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Waits

Allie has been here for the past 8 days for her spring break. It's ironic it's called "spring" break since we really haven't been experiencing any spring at all! For the last week of March it is unusually cold, rainy, and dreary. This unexpected weather put a big damper on much of our spring break plans. Horse-backing riding with friends, a family day at the US National Whitewater Center, a trip to the park and more were postponed until the summer. Nonetheless, we still found a plethora of ways to have fun indoors. :) 

Allie and Zach are both musicians. I am a "retired" musician. My previous career included abandoned piano lessons as an elementary schooler (I hated it) and setting down the clarinet as a sophomore in high school after playing 4 years. (I was actually pretty good at that one.) Anyways, Zach plays pretty much everything and Allie plays the violin. Their love of string instruments leads them together often, but especially this trip. 

This was the first time I saw her pick up one of his guitars and pick at it. :)
They also started writing a song together about a guitar named Joe and a Violin named Mo-lissa. It's hilarious. Gosh I love these two birds!
In addition to music, Allie and I love to cook and bake. But more than cook, I think Allie loves to experiment in the kitchen which is honestly something I never do. I will follow a recipe explicitly to ensure it comes out perfect. Allie on the other hand likes to rather randomly, mix things together and see what happens. Ha! She did this once this week, attempting to make cinnamon bread and considering she used almond meal to make it gluten-free for me, it turned out... ok. Ha!
Later on she made pumpkin bread and this time followed the recipe. :) Often in the kitchen I find myself torn between wanting to teach Allie the right way to do things and wanting her to have the freedom to create. I guess it's a balance. After all, how will she ever learn if she doesn't try it on her own? :) I do love to teach her how to do things though so one day she can be an incredible chef and party host. :)

Allie also looks outside the kitchen and in general, outside the box, to create art. We went to Lowes so she could create something out of paint swatches...

And we also went shoe shopping... which led to creating fashion statements. Ha! In one of the stores, Allie wanted to try on hats and so, we did. :)

She. Is. So. Funny.
Also this week, Allie spent time with her friends at church. She and Payton helped run the tech booth for our preschool large group environment (called the Art Studio) during Saturday night's service. They spent their down time weaving bracelets on a loom out of colorful rubber bands. 
And then on Sunday (and a few days during the week) Allie got to hang out with her two friends Emma and Annie who were also on spring break this week.

These girls love to play pretend and build forts. In addition to playing, they also helped deliver some books to a local elementary school FHC-South Park did a book drive for. This week we were also doing TONS of prep for Easter. We pull off this massive interactive Easter exhibit for our elementary schoolers each year and so the girls pitched in and helped set up the displays. It just looks like a super huge mess right now, but I will post some pics of the finished product. :)

Quality Treat Time
After all our hard work setting up at two of FHC's campuses, I treated Allie to a TCBY date. :)

Family time
At home this week, Allie helped me finish up the last coat or two of paint on our floor table (an old card table with collapsable legs that originally belonged to my great-grandmother). We had a lovely candlelit dinner here one night using my floral Anthro plates. I can't wait to use it again when Al is here this summer. It's just fun to sit on the floor and eat. 

Allie also wanted to practice her own hosting skills, so she threw together a delightful candlelit evening tea for Zach and I. Isn't she the sweetest? 
One of my favorite memories from this week was sitting across from her at this table (before Zach got home), and just chatting about everything from what she'd name her future children to the Bible to life after death. Love this girl and my precious time with her. 

Laser tag
Also this week, our indoor spring break included many games of laser tag. We love playing this game and all leave sweating bullets! It's every man for himself inside the laser tag arena! Ha!

Inside the briefing room. Black light art.
Strapping on vests and guns
 Post game certificates! (As you can tell in this pic, Allie got serious after a few games and started dressing in all black. Lol)
Daddy-daughter date
In addition to laser tag fun, Allie and Zach had a daddy-daughter date while I hosted my discipleship group Monday night. Zach treated Allie to dinner downtown at Vapiano, a hip Italian restaurant Zach and I went to on Valentine's Day
Chicken alfredo and Hawaiian pizza entrees

(Can you tell I wasn't there by the lack of photos? Hahaha) Dinner was followed by dessert at Amelie's, a Parisian cafe known for their desserts and coffee. It's no surprise that Allie brought some super chocolatey dessert home. :)
I am so so SO glad that Zach can have this much needed one-on-one time with Allie and really be an incredible role model in her life. There's no doubt that he pursues her and sacrifices for her, in many ways, and I am so thankful for that and that it's apparent to Allie. 

Family photos
We had our first "official" family photo shoot with my dear friend Lindsay Alexander Tuesday night. Originally scheduled for December, then rescheduled to February, then rescheduled AGAIN for March (all because of us, not because of her :)), we definitely thought the weather would be in our favor this time. It was not. Ha! Tuesday evening was a windy, overcast, 50 something degree evening, but we all braved it and I think she got some great shots. Prior to the shoot, Allie got her hair cut and styled by the lovely Mary Ellen Arnold. Allie loves having her hair curled so I wanted her to have a special 'do for the shoot. It's no surprise that she loooved it and couldn't stop marveling at her gorgeous hair. 
Mary Ellen added a soft, loose braid on one side, held in place by a burlap bow with a rose-colored pearl. 
Ready for pics!
I'll post a ton of our photos when we have them all, but for now, here is a sneak peak. 
Family friends
Wednesday night we spent grilling out with our dear friends the Carson's. We treasure their friendship so much and incredibly positive, Christ-centered influence in Allie's life. Seriously, some great memories were made sitting around their living room chatting, laughing, singing, and talking about Jesus. 
Celebrating Jesus
Thursday was Maundy Thursday. FHC-South Park always does a service of darkness this night, celebrating Christ's sacrifice on the cross. This year, not only did Zach lead worship, but Allie read the scripture passage! Zach and I were so incredibly proud of her for standing up on the big stage, alone, in front of probably 1200 people, and not missing a beat! Way to go Al! :)

Pre-service pic
It's go time!
Proud proud moment for the daddy. 
Good Friday with David
On Friday, we went to visit our dear friend David Kuo at hospice. David, who has been fighting brain cancer for over a decade, is such an incredible friend of my whole family. I'll write more about him later on, but it was a treasure to go hold his hand and spend some time with him in his final days. 

So even though it was a slower week than what we had planned, my favorite moments are yet again the ones not caught on camera. Family devos, precious conversations over candlelit dinners, visiting DK as a family, playing a million rounds of "Would you rather" with Allie, and watching Zach and Allie play, laugh, tell jokes, and prank each other. Seriously, these two have such a special relationship it's crazy! They are father and daughter, but also great friends. I love seeing the balance grow and change as Allie gets older. 
Zach will be in Alabama in April to escort Allie at her Acteens Coronation Ceremony, we are both planning to be back in Alabama in May to have a few days with Allie and my MIL, and then Allie is here for 5 weeks in the summer! We can't wait! Family time is the best time!

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