Dec 13, 2006

Christmas Pictures

With shopping and wrapping and parties and packing, I haven't had much time to blog. Here are a couple of pictures that didn't make the Christmas card this year. I'm hoping to get those in the mail before Christmas. We'll see if that happens. . . if not, Merry Christmas from the Walters!

Dec 4, 2006

Happy Holidays

Hope everyone is doing well. We're pretty busy getting ready for the holidays, but so glad to be settled in our house this year for Christmas instead of packing. I couldn't wait to put up the tree this year since I couldn't last year. Our halls were decked before Thanksgiving! The few of you who check this blog (mostly out of town family) wanted some new Ava pics so here you go! Enjoy! She's hilarious and is getting so excited for Christmas this year. She is starting to understand the whole Christmas present thing, and has let me know that she wants a rocking chair. We'll see what we can do. . .
Striking a pose in the mirror with cousin Carly. Riding a big girl tricycle
Catching snow
Playing dress up

Nov 12, 2006

Treadmill Dance-- Here it Goes Again

Need a laugh? Check out this site for a cool music video. I promise it won't disappoint!

Nov 6, 2006

We're off to see the Wizard

Here are some photos of Ava as Dorothy at Halloween. In the picture below, she is holding hands with her good friend and bumble bee, Emma Walker. Ava is posing with all of our pumpkins. We had a party with several friends and carved jack-o-lanterns. These were the ones that got left at our house.
Here we are dressed as Glenda the Good Witch, the Scarecrow, and Dorothy. Our friends Zach and Kara Sheets completed our ensemble as the Lion and the Tin Man. Unfortunately my camera ran out of juice before we got those pictures. I'll try to get copies from friends because all of the costumes were great. The Flinstones won for best overall, but we were a close second! I love dressing up. Really, I don't even need a reason. . . and when it comes to shoes, Ava doesn't either! She wants to wear her dress up shoes everyday of the week.

Oct 23, 2006

The Pumpkin Patch & Sparkly Shoes

Today we visited the Cedar Creek Pumpkin Patch.
It was so cute-- pumpkins, games, cookie decorating and storytime. Ava loved it! She wouldn't leave without telling the "teacher" (the woman who read the story) bye.

The picture below requires a story. First, Ava is wearing the red sparkly shoes that Julia mailed us today for Ava's Dorothy costume. She refused to take them off during her nap. She even took her pants off because they were blocking her view of the sparkly shoes. My girl LOVES shoes!Second, I have been experimenting with different forms of discipline lately because there have been more and more "terrible two tantrums" around my house. A few days ago, I tried putting Ava in time out in a small chair facing the wall in her bedroom. It backfired. She thought this was a new, fun game and has been asking to get put in time out ever since. When I put her down for her nap today, I reminded her not to get out of her bed. Several times she got up and walked around loudly in her sparkly shoes, yelling, "I'm up mommy. You can put me in time out." After the second time delivering her back to her bed, I decided just to let get back in bed when she got tired enough. When it finally got quiet, I peeked in and Ava had fallen asleep in her chair. . . still waiting for me to come put her in time out I suppose.

Oct 5, 2006

Back to the 80's

There is a fine line between totally lame and rad to the max! Last weekend our small group had an 80's party and walked that fine line. . . we moon walked it! Here are some pictures to prove it. Blogger won't let me upload any more, so for more laughs, check out for our couples pictures and a full story of the night's events-- the good, the bad, and the ugly! Making an appearance at the Galaxy Grub definitely ranks on my top 5 lists of most awkward moments. But if you're going to show up at an ACU grub as a 29 year old mom, you might as well be wearing a lavendar poofy sleeved dress with really big hair!
This is what the Walters family might have looked like in 1986.

The boys are posing like the 80's band ( I forgot the name) album cover behind them. Check out Brandon's Miami Vice look-- so classic!

Like, what a cute little valley girl!

Here we are trying to jump and pose like the movie Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

Anyone up for a 70's party next?

Oct 1, 2006

From the lips of children and infants

I just left Ava's room after putting her down for the night and I had to come write this down because I don't want to forget. Ava was crying and having a hard time going to sleep tonight. As I rocked her, this is the conversation we had:

Mommy, It's too dark.
I know it's dark, but you don't have to be afraid because you can talk to Jesus any time.
Where did Jesus go?
He is with us all the time.
Yah, he lives with us.
He does? What does he do?
He talks to me. He funny. (she laughs)
What does Jesus say?
He prays to God.
Do you pray with him?
Yah. He my friend.

Thank you, God, for sending your son to be both man and divine, to have relationship with us, to know us, to love us, to laugh and talk and pray with us as we seek you. You have revealed yourself to me many times throughout my life, but never so sweetly as tonight, through the lips of my two year old. I am overwhelmed by your goodness as I praise your name.

Psalm 8:2 You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise.

Sep 27, 2006

Emma's Princess Party & Ava's Shoe Obsession

Ava poses for her princess picture at Emma's birthday party. All the pretty princesses. I love how frilly they all look-- so cute! Ava lining up her shoes

We had a fun, busy weekend in Fort Worth, seeing family, friends, attending birthday parties and Chad's 10 year high school reunion. It was good to see everyone, even though it was a fast and furious visit. Maybe next time we'll get to visit a little longer. The first 2 pictures are from Emma's 3 year old princess party. It was so cute. Julia decorated the house like a castle and all the girls were dressed up like princesses. They decorated crowns, ate lunch, listened to a princess story, and took pictures on a "throne." But Ava's favorite thing at the party was all of the little shoes the girls were wearing. My girl is obsessed with shoes-- big shoes, little shoes-- doesn't matter, she LOVES them. If you've been around her for more than 5 minutes wearing a pair of flip flops, she's probably either asked you for them, or just taken them right off your feet. The last picture is Ava lining up her all of her shoes-- one of her favorite games. She might end up being a little obsessive compulsive. That will probably be the one thing she gets from me. I have to fight those OCD tendencies! (And for those who are interested, she is sleeping great in her new big girl bed. She loves it and has slept through the night with no major incidents of wandering through the house. . .yet.)

Sep 17, 2006

"And Ava will be there. . ."

Today in Bible class Ava learned a new song. When she learns something new, she repeats it over and over. . . and over, just to make sure she's got it down. Today's song is to the tune of the Farmer and the Dell and goes something like," We are going to Bible class, and Ava will be there, and Jude will be there, and Emma will be there, and Ashton will be there,. . ." this goes on and on as you say every child's name in class. Ava sang this all afternoon inserting almost every name she knows into the lyrics. At one point, Kate and I were driving in the car with her and we started laughing at the length of the song and how many people will "be there." Ava quickly changed the song to, "And mommy will not laugh and Kate will not laugh. . . " This of course only made us laugh harder. She is a funny kid. This picture has nothing to do with my story, but new photos are always fun. This one is of Ava reading and singing as she rocks her baby.

Sep 15, 2006

The West Texas Fair and Rodeo, ACU & other things

1. I tried to take a picture of Ava's first day of school ,but whenever I tell her to smile, she makes this face. She closes her eyes as soon as I hold up the camera. What a goofball! She was pretty excited about having pockets on her jacket, so she walked around all morning with her hands shoved deep in her pockets as you can see in the picture. (Note to moms out there: Ava's hair is getting lighter and thinner. At first I thought it was just because we were in the sun, but it's gotten so thin, I can't even keep a bow in it anymore. I am starting to worry that she is malnourished or something. Is this normal? Do you have any ideas or experiences with this? I don't want to be paranoid but people ask me about it all the time, and I'm getting more concerned.)

2. We went to the annual West Texas Fair and Rodeo last night with our small group. I ate Sharon Allen's chopped brisket sandwich, sweet iced tea and a funnel cake. What's a trip to the fair without sticky fingers and a layer of white powdered sugar all over your clothes and mouth? Highlights for Ava include dancing to the western band, feeding the goats at the petting zoo, and riding the train. (It cost $6 stinkin' dollars for a 30 second ride-- $3 for her and $3 for me because she's too young to ride alone.) Somebody is making some serious bank at the fair and I'm pretty sure it isn't the "carnies" who work there. Highlights for me include watching Kevin Campbell ride a fake bull for 8 seconds, dancing with Ava to the music, and hanging out with my friends. Something about that environment reminds me of being in middle school! We had fun, but 2 hours at the fair is about all I need until next year.

3. Today I went to chapel at ACU with my cousins and had "Cousin Lunch" afterwards at Little Panda. I've got four cousins and a nephew at ACU right now. Being back on campus is interesting. It has the same feel with the same young faces, so I kept expecting to see someone I recognized. I caught myself scanning section "L" for a familiar face. Then I did a little math and realized that the freshman starting ACU this year were in 2nd grade when I started at ACU in 1995! Needless to say, that one made me feel old. Still, being on campus brought back great memories. Ava loved the singing and seeing all those kids in chapel!

4. For those who don't know, I took on a second part time job. In addition to being the Nursery Director at Highland, I am now a Rep. for National Geographic and a few other publishing companies. I market curriculum and instructional materials to schools. Generally speaking, I hate selling anything to people. It is just not my personality to be a salesman, but I am stretching myself and giving it my best effort. I took the job because we have to replace our air conditioning unit so we needed to make a little extra to help offset the cost of that, plus our electicity bill, and the gas prices lately have been making us feel the crunch. Chad has also been working extra hours. We've both been pretty worn out, but we're thankful to have ways of making extra money to help when we need it. I know many people don't have those opportunitites.

Sep 12, 2006

Good Morning, Patty!

So I spoke with my dear friend, Patty, a couple of days ago, who told me she checks my blog every morning after she gets to work. Talk about putting on the pressure to post more often! Everyday she checks only to be disappointed that once again there is nothing new, and then, wa-lah! Two posts in a row. Happy reading, Miss Patty!

This got me to thinking about who actually reads my blog. Patty has never posted a comment so I wonder who else has been secretly reading. Kind of creepy when you think about it. Have you ever cliked next blog in the upper right hand corner of your blog just to see where you end up? There are some pretty interesting folks out there. I actually don't recommend this practice because there's a pretty vulgar blogging culture outside of the family oriented bloggers I'm used to reading. It is interesting though to click and see that many of the other blogs are written in different languages. It makes me feel somehow connected in such a big world.

Isn't it crazy that you can use the word blog as a noun, verb and if you really stretch, an adjective?
I am a blogger.
I blog.
I have a blog.
This is blog world.
Fun Word! Hope all you non-posting blog readers out there have a good day!

Happy Birthday Dear Ava

Two years ago today, our sweet Ava Grace was born! It's so cliche to say this, but I can't believe how quickly she's grown from being a tiny baby to a little girl. The past two years have been the most fun, exhausting, joyful, selfless, happy, prayerful, thankful two years of my life. And we're just getting started. . .

This week, Ava has been saying, "Oh my gosh." We think she picked this up from a decorating show as the room was revealed. It could be worse, but still, it doesn't sound very nice coming out of her little two year old mouth. We have been redirecting her to say, "Oh my goodness" instead. A few nights ago during dinner, we repeatedly corrected her "Oh my goshes" to "Oh my goodness." After a few minutes, she announced. "I don't want to Oh my goodness. I want to Oh my Gosh!" She certainly has a mind of her own! Oh my Goodness! Needless to say, we're still working on it.

We've been so into the whole birthday thing lately that Ava has been singing "Hatty Burtday" to everyone and everything. In the past couple of days, she's sung happy birthday dear peanut butter, squeaky shoes, Abraham, and cantelope to name a few.

I love so many things about Ava, but mostly I love her spirit. She has something remarkable and hillarious to share with me everyday. I am blessed to be her mother.
Here are some pictures from Ava's ladybug birthday party:

Our little ladybug
Smiling for the camera Ava and mommy
Blowing out the candles

Aug 24, 2006

Cancun Baby!

Okay, so I have been a horrible blogger lately. I have been hearing from the few of you who actually check my blog that it's time for a new post. So here it is-- our Cancun pictures from July! We went to Cancun with the Ridgells a little over a month ago for a short, but fabulous trip! Ava loved the beach, the sand, and the swimming pool. She got pretty confident with her floaties. Jamie, Joe Don and sweet Anna were great travelling companions.

We were both a little nervous about flying with the girls, but I packed a bag of goodies and a portable DVD player and Ava did great. Anna did so good too. We didn't hear a peep out of either of them on the plane. We love hanging out with old friends. We have a special relationship with the Ridgells because Chad and Jamie grew up together in Fort Worth and Joe Don and I grew up together in Abilene. Then Chad and Joe Don were roomates in college, and Jamie and I bonded on our summer abroad trip to Oxford. Jamie actually takes credit for setting Chad and me up! Needless to say we're friends all the around and had a great time with the Ridgells in Cancun! I love the beach.

Jul 14, 2006

Jesus diapered all the babies

After bath time, Ava, Chad and I usually sing a couple of songs, read or tell stories, and pray before bedtime. Here are a couple of my favorite Ava bed time stories:

As I was singing songs with Ava, I asked her, "What song do you want to sing now?" Ava's response was, "Jesus put diapers on babies." Not sure about this one, so I asked her to sing it. Ava started to sing, "Jesus loves the little babies, all the babies of the world, every color dark and light, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little babies of the world." This song I am familiar with. We sing "babies" instead of "children," and "every color dark and light" instead of "red, and yellow, black and white," but still I was confused about the diapers. Then she proceeded to verse two. "Jesus diapered all the babies, all the babies of the world. . . " Somewhere along the way, I had sung, "Jesus died for all the babies. . ." Ava has no frame of reference for the word "died," but she certainly knows a diaper, so in her mind, Jesus diapered all those babies. He must be one tired guy!

Last week, we were reading from Ava's picture Bible, and we were on the story of Abraham (which in her version is a very short poem about Abraham leaving his homeland to be father of all. It makes no mention of Sarah or Isaac.) Ava pointed to the picture of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac to the left and said, "Who's that?" I told her, "This is Abraham and his baby Isaac and this is Isaac's mommy." Her response was, "Sarah!" Stunned, I looked at Chad, who had a similar expression on his face. Neither of us could remember the last time we had read this particular story and pointed out and named Sarah. It was sweet to know that she is soaking in so much of God's word, and a little bit scary to think how much of everything else she is soaking in too! She copies everything we do and say!

Ava sees Jesus in everything! Any photo of a man with unfamiliar attire and some facial hair is Jesus to her. Recently she has seen Jesus in a drawing of Shakespeare, an American Indian carved into wood at a local museum, and a photo of a man from the middle east. I'm glad that she's got Jesus on her radar!

Jul 8, 2006

4th of July Fun!

This is Ava watching the fireworks at Nelson Park. She made this face almost the whole night. The lights and sounds surprised and excited her every time! I loved experiencing fireworks for the first time again through her eyes!
Watching fireworks with Daddy!

Loaded this picture before I saw it up close and realized
how rough I look in it with my eyes half shut. Don't know
how to delete one without losing them all. Oh well.
We spent the 4th of July weekend with the Thompson side of the family in Brownwood. We ate great food, played games, and hung out on the lake all weekend! In this picture, Ava fell asleep on the boat ride. You can barely see her under her life jacket.
Pretending to drive the boat!
Can you believe how blond she's getting?

Swinging with Great-Grandpa at the Lake. Ava stood by the door all weekend talking whoever walked by into taking her outside to either "Swing high,""Go see the lake," "See the dog," or "Go in the boat."

That's me and Ava tubing (very slowly) behind the boat. She said,
"Whee. I like it!" as soon as she realized we were moving.

Ava and me floating in the lake!

This is a cousins dog paddling contest. Jenny and Joe won with an impressive 1 hour and 20 minutes. I was out after a long and painstaking 12 minutes. I'm obviously not a swimmer. . .
P.S. Dad is safely back from Israel, and recovering from jet lag. He has great stories and cool souveniers-- I got a 4,000 year old pottery shard from the dig and a tooth dug up from an animal that was probably sacrificied around the same time! Thanks for your prayers for his safe return.

Jun 26, 2006

A different perspective

Usually my blog is pretty egocentric. I generlly post photos of our family and talk about things that are going on with me, Chad and Ava. I love this form of communication and being able to share with friends and family via the web. I still plan on posting photos of Ava and letting you in on our daily happenings. Today's post will be a little different though.

Lately, I've been thinking and praying alot about my role in the bigger picture. I think that it's so easy in America to allow things to become routine, comfortable, sheltered even. For some reason, Chad and I have both had a heart for Africa in recent months, but not just Africa-- Iraq, Isreal, nations living through war. I don't have any answers for war, but I think that being sheltered from it is not what we are called to do. I enjoy listening to Christian radio, but the "safe and fun" mantra seems to spill over into our Christian living. I don't think that Jesus called us to live "safe and fun" lives. He called us into the world. He called us to be salt and light. Jesus lived a dangerous and uncomfortable life. When I ask myself honestly, "What would Jesus do?" I am frightened by the answer because I'm not sure that my life is truly a reflection of his. I love him, that is certain. I attend church, bible studies, I serve in ministry. I love others in His name, but is that enough? I am still very comfortble. When I see children living in poverty in need of things I take for granted, I am haunted by the fact that this would not happen in America. And yet these children are loved by their parents and God just as much as I love Ava.

A couple of months ago, Chad and I participated in a "Global Night Commute" to help raise awareness for the "invisible children" living in the Sudan. These children are being captured by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) and forced to kill. We first saw a documentary about this in Fort Worth. It brought us both to tears, but we didn't know what to do. Right after we moved to Abilene, we attended a forum at Highland and met some young people who were on a national tour to raise awareness for the invisible children. Since then, we receive e-mail updates, and have been in prayer for these kids. The Global Night Commute consisted of people all over the U.S. who walked from their homes (or in our case, ACU) to a downtown area and literally spent the night in parking lots to raise awareness and publicity. Click here for a video clip about the Global Night Commute . I also have a link on my blog to the main invisible children website.

If you know my family even a little bit, you probably know that my father marches to the beat of a different drummer. Right now he is in Israel on an archeological dig for a month. He found a group online and joined their team. They have been excavating an area in Maggedo; he is living in a Jewish Kabbutz (communal living area), and eating Kosher. I have always admired his spirit of adventure. He deliberately seeks out experiences that are not comfortable and familiar. For more on his travels, check out his blog at His experiences in Israel have gotten me paying more attention to international affairs in Israel and Palestine as well.

This is alot of type for a blog so I'll sum up. I want to be more consiously aware of global issues. I don't want to live too comfortably. I want to be intentional about the way I treat others, even others I don't know across the world. I appreciate and admire families like the Vaughns, who don't just talk about this, but act on it, and go to Africa to live like Jesus. Great is their reward. I am inspired by that kind of courage and I pray that God will help me to be more courageous and less comfortable in my faith.

Jun 16, 2006

Big fun in Fort Worth

Ava and I just got back from a six day trip to Fort Worth where we visited family and friends and attended Summer Spectacular. I can't believe it has already been six months since we moved. It was so good to reconnect with everyone. In our short stay we managed to squeeze in dinner with the Micks, Quanzes, and Walters, a birthday lunch with Aunt Teressa, a baby shower for Amy Carder, helping decorate for Summer Spectacular, a two night trip to Decatur for Ava, a play date with several friends at the Critz's house, a trip to the Roanoake pool with Emma and Julia, and Summer Spectacular! We had a great time. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Emma was so sweet to Ava all week, and Ava loved playing with a big girl! In this picture, Emma catches some air!

The girls had fun at the pool! Ava finally got brave enough to ride the slide!

Ava pats a bunny at Summer Spectacular!

Karaline, Ava, Aunt Teressa & Melissa at Summer Spectacular. Ava spotted Teressa on the stage & was very excited!

Play date: Jack Pinson, John Critz, Abby Railsback, Jack & Hayley Willbanks, Emma Russell, Garrett Walton & Ava.

Ava and Hayley love each other! I told Ava to give Hayley a hug and they held this pose for about a minute. It was so cute!

May 26, 2006

Attack of the Ducks

Ava and I enjoyed an interesting morning at the park today. It has been so hot in the afternoons that I decided to take her outside a little earlier today. I packed tortillas and we headed to Nelson park to feed the ducks. We did this a few weeks ago, and she's been saying,"Feed the ducks" ever since. I had imagined that we would throw some bread to a few ducks, walk around the pond area, and enjoy a serene morning with the God's creations. I was wrong. I don't think the pictures adequately reflect the number of ducks and geese that were gathered this morning. When we arrived at the duck pond, I took Ava out of the car with one tortilla and we started throwing small torn pieces to the nearest ducks. Every duck in the area started waddling, swimming and flapping toward us. By the time we had given out our first tortilla, there was a swarm of about 100 ducks encircling, some even snapping at us as they quacked. At first this was funny; then it started to freak Ava (and me) out. The ducks didn't concern me, but the geese were pretty agressive. I picked Ava up and started to slowly back away, but the geese did not back down. Those crazy animals chased us back to the car, honking loudly. And yes, I ran! I am sure this was a hilarious sight, but I felt had no choice. Chad was bitten by a duck as a child and I was not going to stick around to let history repeat itself. I headed back to the car for more tortillas and the security of a quick getaway (just in case.) I let Ava in the car as I gathered more bread, and when I looked up, there were ducks and geese completely surrounding our car. The quacking was getting louder and louder at this point, and Ava started saying, "Uh-oh, mommy." We stuck around a little longer and handed out the rest of our tortillas before we headed over to the park to swing. We honked the horn several times loudly to no avail. These ducks were not afraid of cars, horns or people. I finally had to put the car in reverse and drive out backwards to get out of there without hitting a duck! These photos were taken prior to the attack of the geese, after which I would not let Ava down. But you can still get an idea of how many ducks were out. I wish I had a panoramic camera because they were completely surrounding us!

May 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to Chad!

Chad got a digital camera for his birthday! I'll finally be able to share some pictures of our family. Those of you from out of town are most interested in Ava, so most will be of her, but at least you won't have to click over to Kate's blog to see photos of my child now. I'm still trying to figure out if the camera can take a photo without a two second delay. That's why Ava is not looking at the camera in any of these photos. By the time the picture takes, she's on to something else. Most of the pictures are just around the house. One was taken at an ACU baseball game where Ava was sporting a cute little wildcats cheerleading outfit in support of Uncle Stover. Another is of Ava hanging out of her crib. I think it might be time for a big girl bed! Hope I can figure out how to upload everything. Enjoy!