~12 months of Texas Tour~ January- Abilene Zoo

Good evening everyone,

The farmer and I had a wild hair Saturday and thought… What if we explored Texas throughout this year and shared it with our kids? There is so much to offer RIGHT HERE in our backyard… The timing is perfect. We are just now at the point with the two little boys (twins- 22 months old) that we do not feel like we are absolutely drowning. (Seriously yall… Twins as your last babies is rough. You would think you have this baby thing down after having two but it’s a whole other level of crazy!) Plus…we know that Hunter (6) and Finnlea (4) are at such in impressionable age. Now is definitely the time to do this!


WHY: First of all I don’t want to look up and realize that all we did today or this week or even this month was sit around the house and watch TV. I feel like I’m going to look up and think our lives completely passed us by! I want to be here in this moment and know without a doubt I have SHOWN UP. We have done ALL the THINGS. We are an active participant in their lives, and have allowed them to experience everything that we could possibly throw at them. Don’t get me wrong… We LOOVE movies! I’m talking about a much bigger picture… Get what I did there? 😉 It really is one of our favorite past times…. with popcorn- always make popcorn! BUT It’s so easy to get sucked in and I want to show them the world! They NEED real world experiences. They NEED culture. I want them to have an adventurous spirit! I want them to learn how to go with the flow. I want them to explore and ask questions. Most importantly I want them to know that there are no permanent obstacles in life and if you want to do something- all you have to do is – do it! Take the action for your desires to have some forward motion. I have lots of regrets in my life and they all involve me not going for things that I wanted. WHY!!!!? NO MORE. I cannot change the past, but I can LIVE and teach my kids to live which is what I have set out to do… Hopefully you have seen this in me! I’ve definitely done this on a smaller scale previously. Remember that one time I got a wild hair to take (2) 6 weeks old babies, a 2 year old and a 4 year old to Waco…. That was a GREAT IDEA until we couldn’t find a hotel ANYWHERE and had to sleep in a Subway parking lot! It all turned out ok though… Waco was a gem and Magnolia was an ABSOLUTE DREAM! On a larger scale Hunter and I just got back from Nepal (Recap of that is coming soon…. I Promise) Nepal was completely life changing.


WHAT: So how is all of this going to work? We will take a day or two out of our lives each month and pick a place in Texas to EXPLORE. It may be far, and it may be close. The basic idea though is that we are not at home- we are learning and exploring new things! The farmer might not get to come with us EVERY TIME but we will try to plan it so he can! We are doing this on a budget and we are including the kids on this task! We have a VERY TENTATIVE want list that will probably change depending on life or new finds of locations we might want to go to more! As it sits this is what we are thinking. We would love advice at locations or new ideas if you think we missed something! It’s a lofty goal… but we have to try!

  • January: Abilene Zoo
  • February: Lubbock Museum Day- Buddy Holly, American Windmill, Texas Tech, ect…
  • March: San Antonio- The Alamo, Sea World
  • April: Dallas- Texas Rangers Baseball Game
  • May: Houston- Space Center
  • June: Buffalo Lake camping/fishing
  • July: Fredericksburg
  • August: Corpus Christi
  • September: Austin
  • October: Big Bend
  • November: Palo Duro Canyon
  • December: Cadillac Ranch

Now lets chat about the Abilene Zoo!

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  • Total Drive Time: 5 hours
  • Total Cost: Less than $100.00 (Including Gas, entrance fees, lunch, and train rides.) 
  • Experience:  Wonderful! We visit zoo’s many places that we go and this one did not disappoint. Their crown jewel is the 10 giraffes on the property which was absolutely worth the drive if that was the only thing we saw.
  • Some of the other animals we encountered: Flamingos, Yellow Billed Duck, Sandhill Crane, Snakes, Lizards, Spiders, River Otters, Cougar (Hunters Favorite), Hawk, Bobcat, Monkeys, Owls, Giraffe, Hogs, Stork, Lion, Camel, Rhino, Zebra, Ostrich, and many more!      

Experiences they offer:10788261200_912a0432

  • Giraffe Encounters- Free- unless you want to feed them which is 4.00. They will come to you without food though.  
  • Paddle Boat Excursions- Closed until March. 
  • Safari Express- 2.00 per rider and under 2 are free 
  • Wildlife Carousel- Under Construction
  • Kilamanjara Mining Co.- Closed until March.
  • The Watering Hole- They actually had great food and where we had lunch! 
  • VIP Tours- See link for more info: Behind the Scenes Tour Info
  • Keeper Chats- Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Still want more info? Check them out here!

 

alana

Heading to Nepal- EVENTUALLY we got there!

Namaste!

It’s currently 3 in the morning here and I am listening to Hunter snore away as he’s been sleeping non stop after arriving a few hours ago. We left on Wednesday morning around 8 to drive to the Dallas International Airport. I should also mention that my momma heart was a mess because while we are driving Ben took Finn, Greyson and Asher to the doctor and they ALL had terrible strep! Nooooo! Probably the BEST SURPRISE on the trip was Steph texting me that someone had just called her that morning to bless Owen to come as well! You see… earlier this month I texted Steph that I really thought Owen was supposed to come but we weren’t sure how because we were all pinching pennies already. She said Gods done wild things before and provided unexpectedly so we will have to see… obviously seeing as it was the day of us leaving I thought our team was set but God had different plans and I am so grateful!Welcome aboard Owen! After 5 hours of driving and getting all checked in to the airport we should have only had a 1 hour wait for our plane… but after MULTIPLE DELAYS due to weather we finally left over 4 hours later. They even loaded us in the plane and before we even taxid we had all watched an entire movie. Thank goodness for in flight entertainment right!?

Scott, Stephenie, Tobi, Owen,Zoe, Hunter and I

The flight To Doha, Qatar was LOOOOONG. I knew it would be but goodness. I’ve lost track of time but I believe we were in the plane a little over 17 hours. What!!!? And we were not even there yet! We flew up from Dallas to Canada, Greenland and then right on over to Doha, Qatar. It’s called “The Polar Route.”

It was mostly uneventful…until it wasent! The flight attendant accidentally spilled a whole sprite on Hunter and he, his seat, and his clothes were SOAKED. Luckily and seriously at the last minute I threw a change of clothes in from Hunters kindergarten bag. I literally changed him in the seat because the line to the bathrooms was so long! We sat next to a lovely lady that was headed to India and Hunter and I really enjoyed her company. We talked all about her life, Jesus, and her plans in India. She played games with Hunter, and even gave me some advice about our churches. Mrs. Brown, you are a treasure!

Hunter playing games on board

When we arrived in to Doha, Qatar and unfortunately missed our flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. The airline was AMAZING. They had new boarding passes ready, hotel vouchers printed and we were told to rest up to catch the plane the following day….at 3 AM. We got through customs and headed that way! Hunter and I were both so excited to get another stamp on our passport.

Their King’s image is EVERYWHERE.

*not my image but I wanted to show you the street lights! They changed colors and were amazing!

*not my image

And now you see why I had to borrow some! Nothing did it justice.

Perhaps the most exciting part so far was not trekking in an unintended country but just locating and getting to our bags! After a little over a four hour flight we had finally made it! We filled out our Visas and got separated from the group…no big deal right? Except when we came down the stairs we came down to this…. again…in the moment I couldn’t take pictures. I was honestly trying to do my best darn job keeping myself and Hunter collected with our carry ons and emotionally because Hunter was a nervous wreck.

Not my picture but a representation of our event.

Above is exactly how close we were…can you imagine being waist level in this and your mom pushing you through it? Me neither! Hunter was not impressed! He cried a lot. It was terrible, but there was nothing that I could do except try to scurry him with the crowd and tell him it’s going to be ok. What I will say is the other travelers/locals were so nice and kept yelling “give them some room” or protecting Hunter from the shoving. For that I am grateful!

These are not my pictures either but someone was way more coordinated than I was to capture Chaos in the Nepal airport!

Somehow I got and FOUND ALL 4 Full size bags in this mess (we only packed our stuff in one but I have 3 for the orphanage). I was soo happy!

Finally- we made it!

We have rested the rest of the day here (while you were sleeping last night) and it’s night time now…(3:13 am specifically). In the morning we are driving a couple hours to stay at Songa, the orphanage. This is where we will have no amenities. No heat, or anything. This will be our rude awakening. Please pray for our bodies to overcome THEIR NORMAL (which will no doubt be the most heartbreaking part) so that we can be the shining light they need to see. Until next time!

Xoxo- please excuse typos! It’s hard to do this from my phone!

Praying for Nepal

Hello! Namaste!

I’m 99.999999999 percent sure you are all tired of hearing about this trip and ready for us to GET. THERE. ALREADY. Let me tell you that we are ready too, and are so excited. God has been working so much on all of our hearts to prepare us. We have practiced and practiced Nepali – WHICH IS SOOO HARD… We are all but packed, and as soon as Christmas hits we are OUT OF HERE.

HunterAbout a year ago when I was standing in THE FIELD MEUSEM in Chicago with Hunter for his 5th birthday, God told me that I was going to take him somewhere really far away sometime around his next birthday and it would be completely life changing for him. I had no idea what he had in mind and honestly I just assumed he was talking about Africa because we have several farming connections there. Fast forward to a couple months ago Hunter and I were given the opportunity to go with some friends (Scott and Stephanie) to Nepal. There is an orphanage there that I am completely drawn to and I knew that this was the trip God told me about several months before. I still am not sure why I am drawn here specifically but I have a feeling that God will reveal everything that he needs me to see, know, and do when I get there.

I am going to do my very best to update here for friends and family to keep up with. What we are seeing, doing, and any prayer needs that we may come across as we go. For now I wanted you to start praying on some specifics with me:

  • Zoe – is Scott and Stephenie’s little girl and has epilepsy. Please pray for a seizure free trip.
  • Hunter- is anaphylactic to Peanuts. Please pray for an episode free trip.
  • Songa: Church and Children’s Home- Help us to be his hands and feet at the Children’s Home.
  • Youth Center: Prayers for opportunities to minister and share the gospel through actions and words.
  • Pray that God would give us eyes to see and ears to hear what He’s doing in Nepal. Let our hearts be changed by encountering Him in a different language and place.
  • Prayer and Justice tour: We will be touring and hearing prayer needs of Kathmandu.
  • Financially- Our goals are still not met. We are looking for people who want to be a part of this story with us. There are several different ways to support us including donating 🛫 through our sponsor church The Tabernacle Dallas ❤️:
    http://www.thetabernacledallas.com/donate/
    (Missions In Nepal is a drop down option)
  • Please pray for all of the family that are staying behind.

Last- for the following people embarking on the journey:

  • Scott and Stephanie- They are bringing 2 of their little ones Max and Zoey.
  • Tobi
  • Hunter and Myself

alana

*Top image is of Scott and Stephanie’s son Owen on a previous trip to GP, Nepal.

Crave.Lubbock Date Night.Dessert

Quick Recap:DSC_0366

Overall Experience:Good

Price Range for two: 20-50

Wait Time: 5 minutes in line      15 minutes for it to be delivered to the table

Our order:

Bananas Foster Fondue Tower for two 20.00

Reckless Love Wine 14.00

Shiner 4.00

Quality of Food: Excellent

Location:

2910 W Loop 289

Hours of Operation:

Monday -Thursday 12-10PM               Saturday 12-11PM                    Sunday 12-7PM

Complete Review:

Have your heard that Crave is all the rage?

Here lately the bearded man and I have been trying new places and going on little mini dates around Lubbock. One thing about us is that we are REALLY adventurous and we LOVE to try new things…. Especially NEW FOOD PLACES!

So whats all the rage with this Crave place?

The atmosphere will sure to please your eyes with clean lines and a very modern feel. They have HUGE glass garage doors that I can only hope they will open throughout the summer months, and patio heaters to keep you warm!  They have menus available along the counter or on a large digital screen above the counter. Now on to the food……

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Bananas Foster Fondue Tower

We did have to wait sometime for our order to arrive for a desert in my opinion but OH MY GOODNESS…… IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. We ordered the Bananas Foster Fondue Tower that was served with all of the freshest ingredients that melted in our mouths.For all of you gluten free mommas they have chocolate cake and macaroons!

I also ordered a glass of Reckless Love. Super smooth fruity wine that is sure to hit the spot!

Overall,  If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and would love a place to spend some time with your main squeeze this is the place for you! We had a great time!

alana

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Bible Journaling

Have you ever considered Bible Journaling?

I was brought on this fun adventure by a sweet friend that offered a class. The first rule of thumb is that you CANNOT MESS IT UP! Seriously… Even my biggest UH OH’s have turned out GREAT!

What do you need?

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I recommend purchasing this bible! Right now it is 30 percent off at Lifeway!

You can purchase it here. A couple reasons that I selected this one. First, its not a HUGE bible. The leather binding and cover is super nice, and it will be sure to last you! Its easy to pack up in your purse and tote to church, Sunday school, or small group. Next, it is in English Standard Version. Very easy to read and understand. It has a two inch margin for reflections, but don’t worry… that’s plenty…. once you get the hang of it you will use that section to write and you will be illustrating over the entire page!

       You will need to purchase these pens! penspens1

These pens are a lifesaver! Not only do you get a defined line that is perfect in multiple widths, but you will never experience such a smooth writing experience when using these! Also, unlike many markers these do not bleed, so you can feel free to be as creative as possible without worrying about messing up the reverse page. Right now on Amazon they are half off, coming in at less than 10.00! They wont disappoint!

crayolaWhat else can you use?

Really anything! Scrapbooking paper, paint, markers, crayons, stickers, washi tape….

My favorite crayons to use are the twistable crayons from Crayola!
They have them at  Target! These are AHHHMazing. Because the outer50672744
barrier is plastic your mom hands stay nice and clean and you no longer have broken bits of crayons everywhere! WIN WIN!

I also like Washi Tape! Target has a plethora for only 2.99 each! SCORE! This adds a different medium to your creations and also works wonderful as tabs to easily find your favorite entry’s!

How do you start?

Spend some time with Jesus! Pray. Reflect. Draw.

DSC_0333The biggest slump I had was getting the courage to COLOR IN MY BIBLE!!!! Hasn’t our parents always taught us not to color in a book of any-kind? That’s why I created my doodle page…. I used the front couple pages to start doodling and get used to the idea of it being O.K. to draw in this precious book.

I recommend finding a verse that is meaningful and literally just pray and listen to what he has to tell you about it.For me images might come into my head and you have an instant direction! But sometimes you might have a block and not be able to think of anything! That is OK! It’s fun to look at Pinterest and get ideas too!

The best advice I can give you is to just have fun! You cannot mess up! Here is a couple of my entry’s…. I am not a professional and there are tons better than mine! But it sure is fun!

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