Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Caught!



By a nasty virus! My Hannah has it, bless her heart!  Oh,that makes me hurt for her...and at the same time, makes me want to lysol everything in the house to keep it from spreading.  I can't stand it when my children are sick and this one is a doozie!

We normally get the flu shot, but I missed doing this when we were in New York...and then I meant to get us all in over Christmas for the flu shot but, like every other Christmas, we were too busy and I forgot! The doctor thinks it is a nasty virus and we are hoping and praying that it is and doesn't turn into the flu.  There are only 3 more district basketball games left and hopefully on to playoffs after that.  We need her to be well....for more reasons than basketball of course!

My Rachel is battling a sore throat and not feeling well at college too....which makes her seem so far away!

UGH!  I'm praying my girls are much better soon.  Have you been caught too???




Ten on Tuesday

1.  Um, February begins Friday~what?!  That's the month my baby girl turns Sweet Sixteen.  {Be still my heart}

2.  We went Prom dress shopping last weekend and it was so much fun...but kind of made my heart hurt at the same time! Motherhood-a constant mix of special moments mixed with the ever present feeling that time needs to stand still!

3.  Just last week someone stumbled on to my blog because they googled, "Biker babe only wearing chaps." Huh?!!!  Why me???



4.  Turkey Burgers are delicious.  Sorry, fellow Texans!  But, seriously they are.  I didn't snap a picture of ours because I was starvin' marvin' but here is my recipe:  Mix 1 1/2 pounds of lean ground turkey, garlic, minced onions, and 1 cup of salsa.  Form into patties and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  We grilled ours inside because a family of mice has decided our grill is their new home. Oiy!  I added a bit too much salsa so our burgers were not perfect patties but they were perfectly delicious!



5.  My photography business is booked solid until the last week of April....although I am still managing to fit a few more sessions in to my schedule between now and then.

6.  My Rachel is on the Dean's list for last semester's stellar grades.  This seems to be her norm...we are so proud!

7.  Last week, when nearly the rest of the country was snowed in, we had near 70 degree temperatures two days and 50's the rest.  They say if you don't like the weather in Texas, hang on, because it may change that very day!

8.  The hubs and I are are still drowning ourselves with water daily.  We read something about drinking half of your weight in water ounces.  Did that make any kind of sense?  Needless to say, I once thought 8-8 oz glasses use to be difficult...try adding a few more.  Yes, we are still Mr. and Mrs. I.P. Freely!

(found this image on google-it's not mine and I don't know who to credit-sorry!)


9.  I like sweet potato fries!  Not the kind I have to make-who has time for that! I like the pre-cut frozen kind. Delicious!

(Source:  Bed, bath, and beyond)

10.  I like a Ninja! Not just any Ninja....my Ninja blender. It crushes ice in seconds which is perfect for smoothies!!! 

Whew! I made it to ten.  Yes!!!!


Monday Morning Musings

Happy Monday!  Sorry, I know that sounded lame.  Hope you had a great weekend!!  A friend sent this to me and I thought it was perfect to share on a Monday. Who doesn't need an extra smile  on Monday...well, besides people who live under a rock, right?!


Christian One Liners

Don't let your worries get the best of you; Remember, Moses started out as
a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited
Until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God,
But only as advisers.

When you get to your wit's end,
You'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus,
Middle of the road, And back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once,
But temptation bangs on the front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;
If it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

We're called to be witnesses, not lawyers or Judges.

Some minds are like concrete
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch 'em - He'll clean 'em.

Stop, Drop, and Roll won't work in Hell.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone,
But probably prefers 'fruits of the spirit' over 'religious nuts!'

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot, swap seats!

Prayer:
Don't give God instructions, just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the
Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message,
The message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is
By what it takes to discourage him/her.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.



Rangers and Rachel

This cooler weather we have been having makes me wonder if spring is around the corner or if when the groundhog makes his appearance we will have more winter weather (I know the One who determines the weather but I still like to see what Punxsutawney Phil forecasts on Groundhog Day).

Spring means spring training and March Madness (my favorite)! And after looking through our 2012 photos, I realized I didn't post these images. Oh, the horror!  And this was on our anniversary weekend.

Our Rachel LOVES the Texas Rangers so we surprised her with tickets!  Hannah was at Varsity Basketball camp or she would have gone with us too!  The three of us wore our Texas Ranger shirts of course!

Here is our Rachel with her daddy while we waited for the game to begin. 

  

And this is Ian Kinsler.Someone in our party of three things he is awesome and just might be Mrs. Kinsler one day.  I totally understand this because a long time ago I wanted to be Mrs. George Brett.  Swoon!

I told her that it simply wouldn't work because she will be Mrs. Tebow someday instead.  If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big, right?!  And this momma has big dreams for her girls!


After the game it was time for fireworks. Love!



We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Texan where this tall, dark, handsome, cute cowboy wanted a picture with our Rachel (who is a very good sport).



Look out! Another cowboy...but this one must be wealthy. Look at him wearing all gold!  Ha!



Oh, I miss this face! I hope she doesn't mind her momma having a little fun today on the blog.  She and I both know God has the most wonderful, incredible, amazing plans for her life. He shines so beautifully through her (and her sister too)!  I love you and miss you, sweet daughter of mine!


Dreaming...

longing...wanting...missing!!!  This is where my heart and mind are today.  I can almost hear the sound of the waves, taste the salty ocean water, and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.





And then I hear a few of my students arguing and snap back into reality!  I miss you Virgin Islands!!!


I Love You to the Moon

and back a million times over.... and it would still never be equal to how much I love my girls! And this heart of mine knows that somehow their Heavenly Father loves them even more! Wow! That is a lot of love!

I feel that I need to add, that God loves you that much too.  Oh, yes He does. Even when we don't deserve it....or feel like it....He really does.  We are all dearly loved!!! Loved by God...the Great Creator, the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, the Faithful One, the One who never changes, the One who pursues us, knows us, and loves us anyway.  Glory! With tears streaming down my face, I am in awe of His great, unselfish, perfect, complete, edifying, healing, merciful love for us!

The other evening, I saw the moon just as I was pulling in to the driveway. I had all of five minutes to grab my things, freshen my makeup, and head back out the door.  I was so awestruck by the beautiful moon and the very thought that God was showing His glory and His love for us!  It was cold outside, but the sight of the moon warmed my soul.

So, knowing I had only a few minutes, I decided to not touch-up my makeup, but I grabbed my camera instead!

It was so very far away, so I used my 70-300mm lens and zoomed in as close as I could.  This is my straight out of the camera image.  


And then I added a little bit of texture because the moon really looked a bit warmer out of camera:


And for fun, I changed my perspective and shot this through a tree branch. Love this!! This straight out of my camera~no photoshop needed. 


And just for fun, in Photoshop, I added a little texture. 



Such a cool image with the branches.  I simply changed my perspective!  Hmmmm...if you aren't feeling loved or feeling far from Him, maybe you need to change your perspective today.  It works wonders for your soul when you realize how dearly loved you are!



Ten on Tuesday

It's Ten on Tuesday time again. With my NYC posts, I totally missed doing these.  So, here goes, ten things that caught my interest or just random info I wanted to share.

1.  Do you like my little Ten on Tuesday graphic? Me too! I thought it would be fun since I like to try to do Ten on Tuesdays. Anyone want to join me?


2.. Hannah shared this video with me and it totally cracks me up.  Alan! Alan! Alen! (What's even funnier is all this time I thought it was "Helen."  Hannah set me straight!) Ha!!!!!!
http://youtu.be/3aAtFrWft2k


3. TAXES.....my least favorite five letter word! I am much better organized this year, but oh my goodness, gracious, what a life-sucker taxes are! I think I would rather have my wisdom teeth taken out again. At least there would be unlimited amounts of ice cream at the end...although there still might be after I get our taxes together...and smoking....and drinking (I really don't do those, Starbucks coffee is my thing~oooh, that's a much better idea!!!).


4. Mr. Incredible and I picked the COLDEST week of the year to begin drinking more water. Say hello to Mr. and Mrs. I.P. Freely. Yowza! And that picture makes me want to go to the bano...excuse me for a sec!





5.  I purposefully chose to savor every second with my family over the Christmas break.  The weeks before Christmas were filled with photography orders, designs, purchasing new props (tax deductions), and lots of paper work!  I chose to put it all in my office and shut the door.  January is for reorganizing-right?!  Well, the office can wait no longer!  I nearly fell to my death as I fumbled my way to the office yesterday morning at the early hour of 5 a.m.  I knew that I had photography session emails to schedule and a few things I needed to do on the computer before school. I didn't want to wake my man who was sleeping in the next room. OIY!  It's time to reorganize my mess of an office!  Anybody want to help?!

6.  LOVE this office:  http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/01/home-office-changes/

7.  Nearly every weekend is booked until April! What a blessing to photograph so many! God is good and I love this adventure with Him.



8.  Balance!  If you have a secret to balancing teaching high school full time, and having a thriving photography business as well as being a wife, and mom I would LOVE to know.  Some days I think I am doing pretty well and other days I open the door to my office and I am overwhelmed.  I want to do all of it for God's great glory and for His great purpose....but some days I wonder if I am doing any of it well. Do you ever feel that way too?



9.  Louie Giglio....we were blessed to meet him at our Baylor Days. He led First Choice on Monday nights.  It started with a small group and grew and grew and grew into Passion!  What a ministry.  He has been under fire lately and while my heart is broken for Him, I know full well that God will defend his good name and somehow use it all to further His kingdom!



10.   Do you remember the Cover Girl white concealer?  Um, it's back and better than ever. I like it much better than my expensive concealer that I purchased at Sephora.  It really helps on days when I slept a few less hours than normal.




Sweetheart Sessions

Only a few spaces remaining!!!



NYC: Lady Liberty and Me!

I have wanted to see the Statue of Liberty since I was a little girl. I can still remember my neighbor talking about her trip to New York and in that instant, I made a mental note that one day I too would see Lady Liberty with my own eyes. And I did!

We made the trip from Manhattan to New Jersey were we would catch the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  While we waited for the ferry office to open, we saw this 9/11 Memorial.


And a beautiful view of Manhattan.

We eagerly boarded this ferry:


I thought the ferry station was so pretty:


I bravely placed my BGC (big girl camera) on a nearby trashcan, pushed the timer, and ran back for a group picture....it only took us three tries. Oiy!  And again, with the wind and my hair. Oh dear! 


A short ferry ride and we were there.  I could be a puddle on the floor just remembering this wonderful day!


While we waited to get off the ferry, this little bird came and sat by me.  Instantly, I remembered, that His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.  And that we are worth more than the sparrows...He cares about every detail. 


I was crying....okay sobbing at this point at the thought of my family members making their way to America. 

What a beautiful site!






I cried again when I saw these worn benches....benches where family members waited for their names to be called.

So much history in this place!  I had traced my family history and had already found two signatures from my great-grandparents who signed in at this very place.  What a gift freedom is!

Even more so, what a precious gift our Spiritual freedom is for all who will receive it!!!



and then it was time to see Lady Liberty!


What a blessing to be able to see her with my own eyes! That day I posted this on facebook, "I am overwhelmed and filled with gratitude for the blessing of walking where my great-grandparents walked when they entered the United States from Germany and the Ukraine so many years ago. Thanking God for the freedom we are blessed with in the United States of America, but greater still, our freedom in Christ Jesus! God is so good!!!



Whew! What a day to remember!I could have gone home right then...but we were hungry. Go figure!  So we hopped in a car and headed to Gray's Papaya for....wait for it....I can't believe I am going to type this.....seriously.....hot dogs!  UGH!  We didn't go for the hot dogs, let me clarify, we went because this place has been in movies like "Fools Rush In," and "You've Got Mail."

Hot dogs just happened to be on the menu.  I sound like a hot dog snob and I guess that I am.  There is just something about mystery meat, that turns my stomach. They smothered my hot dogs with sauerkraut and I was good to go!


Then we made our way to Serendipity for dessert! Yes!



To our delight they seated us right away.  We all ordered frozen hot chocolate.  It was better than I hoped for.  Yes! They sell packets of this delightful goodness so I took a few packets of the mixture home to my girls.  They enjoyed it too!



And then we shopped a little, ate dinner at a manly steak house (Peter Luger's) where the waiter takes your order, decides if that is what you really want, and then brings you what he knows you will like.  And he was right.  But, I've never seen so much steak in my life...and I've never seen grown men lick the bones quite like they did that night either....I'm just saying.  And sorry, I don't have pictures for that! Ha!

The next morning, we boarded our plane and headed back to Texas. Great food, fun, and company. What a trip!


NYC Part Three

You would think that after getting in so late after our Empire State Building adventure, that we would be sleeping in. But, no! I really don't want to miss anything when we are on a trip, so I was up early. I was nearly dressed for the day when Mr. Incredible woke up. I was nearly out the door to shop at Forever 21 just across the street, but he caught me.

He smiled, and told me to give him a few minutes and jumped in the shower. It didn't take long and we were on our way to shopping for our girls. Hardly anyone was there. They must have all been happily sleeping. Mr. Incredible went will me to all 5 floors. We found a few things for our girls just before the rest of the group called.
 
We did a little group shopping at the Cake Boss shop and ate a cannoli for Hannah.  We tried to ship them home to her, but since they are perishable it would never have worked.  Sigh! 


 And then it was time to catch a car and head for lunch at Katz Deli. Yum!


It felt totally New York. I really enjoyed Katz's Deli!


And I thought this guy looked like a New Yorker so I snapped his picture.


While we waited for our order, the waiter brought us pickles. Yum! My mouth is watering as I type. 


Most of us ordered Reuben Sandwiches....just look at all of the meat!  We really should have shared one.  It was way too much for me....and now I want a Reuben Sandwich.  So good!



There was a self serve water station.  It reminded me of Happy Days  so I had to try it out.  I thought it was pretty cool.



After lunch, we made our way to a tour bus stop. On the way, we passed several flower vendors.  I thought they were beautiful. 





After the bus tour, I found a Mac store and tried some new eye shadow.  I smile every time I use that eye shadow.  On our walk back to the hotel, we saw the Naked Cowboy.  Hannah told me that if I saw him on Times Square that she wanted a picture.  I didn't have the nerve to pose with him...this was as close as I got.  Ha!


I crashed for an hour before we changed clothes and headed to dinner. Italianissimos was one of our favorite places to eat! They treated us like we were family! Everything, absolutely everything on the menu was amazing!


 But my dessert was the BEST! I could have bathed in it, but that could have been embarrassing...seriously though, it was that good!  I have no idea what it was called, but if we ever get to go back, I'll just bring this picture. Oh my!


And then I just might have smoked a cigar like a boss....or not?!  When in New York...


While we waited for the car, I looked across the street.  Doesn't it look like the Huxtable house from the Cosby Show?!  Claire and Heathecliff sadly were not home though.


We did a bit more souvenir shopping for our girls and then headed back to the hotel.