Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School

No tears from this big girl.
Wish I could say the same about her mama.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We've Got a New Blogger 'Round Here

Today during our "school time" I started a blog for Braelyn. It will be a place for us to display her stories, crafts, and work. Everything will be as authentically Braelyn as possible. Enjoy it here.

Meme, Nonnie....I'm sure a certain someone would love some comments ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shaping, Cleaning, Gearing...UP

So, the world is back at school and back on routines and sack lunches and vows of indefinite organization and reasonable bedtimes and all things responsible and respectable. The Ceases are no exception.

Since Casey moved into the new office, our household is definitely catching on to a cleaner rhythm. For starters, I am much more aware of when it's 4:00 and that in about an hour I'm going to lose my mind. Just kidding...sort of. But honestly, our house does seem to be running smoother, which I like. Casey can be at work and actually BE at work. No more talking on the phone while playing Tea Party. In addition, when Casey gets home, he can BE at home. No more touching up websites while watching an episode of Project Runway. Now he can watch it with his undivided attention, which is exactly what his little heart had been desiring. ;)

Our home is also running better because more things in the house that were once homeless now have a home in the new work room. You have no idea how happy this little space makes me...well, maybe you do. If I didn't have this little room, where would Braelyn's school stuff go? Where would my gardening stuff go? Where would my sewing stuff be, but in a little corner in the dinning room, so sad and unloved and underused? Indeed, this room is bringing organization and focus to our lives. Although, we pray that it will soon be a nursery, so I do struggle a bit with the thought that all our things will return to homelessness, but then I will have a baby and who will care about a homeless scissor? Not I.

Braelyn starts school on Thursday. She'll go Thursdays and Fridays, from 8:30-11:30. We're both very excited. After she met the teacher last Friday, she threw a right, proper fit when I would not allow her to sleep at her school. So we have joined the club of over-sized Dora backpacks and laminated name tags and closed-toed shoes. I don't know if I mentioned this before on here, but we are also tossing around the idea of homeschooling. I agonize over this issue, my friends. A-GON-IZE! I loved school. I wish I could go back to school and redo all the parts that I was too busy passing notes, but I suppose that that's part of what I loved. Anyways, I want Braelyn to enjoy meeting new friends and learning from great teachers and learning things like math, which may not actually be offered at the Cease academy. On the other hand, I love the idea of teaching her and taking her on field trips and learning about the plant life cycle as we spend time in our own garden. In my dream of dreams, I would like a private school-homeschool hybrid which does exist but, not in these parts...which I am sure is quite shocking to you. All this rambling to say...for now, we will have an unofficial private school-homeschool hybrid situation happening in our house. Monday and Tuesday Braelyn and I will spend a couple hours in the morning learning together...reading, gardening, sorting, crafting, whatever. Then Wednesday we have storytime at the Library which is fabulous and then, of course the private school portion on Thursday and Friday. I have two years to work with this system and then we enter everyday Kindergarten. So I figure, somebody has 2 full years to build a Logos campus here in Brenham. Better get going, whoever you are!!! Ah well...we'll figure it out I suppose.

One thing in our new schedule that I don't have completely figured out yet, is how exactly I am going to spend my time when Braelyn is at school. First thoughts....Thursday - deep clean the house. Not super fun, but worth considering. For Friday, I'm thinking - Starbucks and a book. Ahhhh...yes, I think that's it. ;)

So, we Ceases are shaping up, cleaning up, gearing hopes of a life lived with intentionality. The three of us, I hope, will learn the beautiful marriage of discipline and freedom, routine and spontaneity, responsibility and responding to the invitation of priceless moments. Here's to trying.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Backing Up a Bit

This post is several weeks late, but I just have to post some pics of our family vacation to the beach. Casey and I spent the first few days by ourselves, and then Braelyn joined us for the second half. I highly recommend this system! :)

The va-cay kick-off picture. I can still remember the glorious, audible exhale that says, "Let the relaxation begin!"

A friend posted an Ike Line picture on her blog and I could hardly believe my eyes. Seeing it in person is even more shocking. It's amazing that there's anything on that island at all. Needless to say...I had to get my own Ike Line photo.

Definitely a vacation highlight...our couples massage. Heaven!

Casey and I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday at the beach by ourselves. I got a few pictures, but um...beach pictures...not so flattering. We'll just keep those to ourselves.
Wednesday evening, Braelyn joined us and we spent Thursday at the beach again. Sadly, my camera battery died so I have no pictures to show you, flattering or otherwise. Such a bummer.

Thursday evening we ate dinner and walked around the Strand.

At the oh-so-yummy Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. A Galveston must.

Chocolate covered marshmallow stick.

Quality family time and bellies full of chocolate. Don't get much better than that!

Just look at that sunshine!

Before we left town, we made one more stop at the Moody Gardens Aquarium. Very fun.

Braelyn and I in the shark cage.

Braelyn is proving to be a very handy photographer!

So there it is. We had such a wonderful time.
Thanks Case, for giving us these happy memories! I love you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Humble (But Happy) Beginnings

So here's the work room. Doesn't look like too much yet, but I couldn't be happier! Get some curtains on those windows, some more storage for craft supplies (I have my heart set on a set of aqua lockers I've seen here in town), a bulletin board and maybe a few friendly photos on the wall and you might not be able to get me outta here. :) I might even be able to host a proper sewing party, Ladies!
Oh right...need the castle in there. :)
And, I am discovering that with a little Pandora Radio on, set to the Taylor Swift station, this is the perfect room for dancing! :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So Much Happy News

1. Casey moved out of our home office and into his own office in downtown Brenham. I am super excited for 2 reasons. a) He will have a much more pleasant, toddler-free, castle-free work environment. I know he loved being near us, but it's hard to get work done when home and work are happening in the same room. b) With office out of the house, that room is now freed up for crafting and laundry sorting and garden preparation (more on that momentarily) and yes...the castle will have a permanent happy home. I am SO excited to have a place to sew and to craft with Braelyn and to store things in logical places. I'll post pictures of Casey's new office and my new work room soon. They are not presentable at this time. ;)

2. We started a fall garden! I saw the book Square Foot Gardening and after a quick perusal it seemed quite manageable and just the step-by-step instruction I needed to get a garden started. I will say this...if I am able to grow a single vegetable, I will consider it a success. For this first season, I just want to figure out exactly what I don't know, so that for the spring I can go to my garden guru friends and ask more specific questions, instead of, "Uh... Mandi, how do I garden?" Anyways, here's some pics...our first day as gardeners.

See. Just a little 4x4.
3. Guys...Look at this surprise that was waiting for me when I got home!Today my sweet, amazing, wonderfully dashing husband got me my first computer! I've always used a family computer, but today Casey surprised me with my very own MacBook Pro. With the office move, and Casey taking the big PC to his new office, we had been talking about getting me a new laptop so I wouldn't be computer-less, but I never thought it would be so soon. What a happy day! it my privilege to bring this blog to you today from my very own beautiful, shiny MacBook Pro, which by the way I don't know how to use very well. Something was bouncing at me while I was writing this. Not too sure what to do with the bouncy things. But who cares?! I have a computer!!!!! Woo Hoo!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rock the Desert Pics

Just arrived at the Rock the Desert (RTD) site...hangin' out in our trailer. That's right...we're big time! ;)

Casey 'bout to go on the main stage for the first time.

Can you find Casey? Uh...Jumbotron, baby. That's a whole lotta handsome right there.

The RTD crowd listening to Lecrae...who's AWESOME! This dude can rap and preach the Gospel like nobody's business.

Casey and Lecrae...a RTD highlight for the Ceases

Working on my "My Husband's Kind of a Big Deal" Documentary...hopefully coming soon.

Casey and Brad Fogarty

Toby Mac, y'all! This guys puts on a great show! He raps. Did y'all know that? I didn't know that. Super fun. My two favorite performers...rappers. Go figure.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Almost a Month

It's been almost a month since my last post! Shameful! Even this is just a Promise-to-post-again post. Casey and I are staying in SL tonight to drop Braelyn off at Meme's and then we are off early in the morning for Rock The Desert in Midland. This is Casey's biggest event ever so keep him in your prayers!

Just wanted to post a little something to let everyone I have not stopped blogging, just took a little break from the computer during our crazy summer season. But I should be up and writing again soon. For anyone out there that's still with me...thanks for your patience!

For now, off I go to pack. For such a big event, and because I am so proud of Casey I think I am going to bring the video camera and make a little event documentary. :) Hopefully, it'll be ready to share on Sunday or Monday. Let's say Monday. :)