slice of my life

Monday, July 31, 2006

Serenity Now!

Peace . . . Peace . . . Peace . . .

Remember the waves, the ocean lapping up on the sand. (or the quiet of the bay side of the island, as this picture is.)

And drown out the sounds of bickering children.

There have been several references to finding rest in the midst of turmoil lately. I need it. I need to find rest when I can't control my surroundings. I need to hold my temper when I am being yelled at by a little seven-year-old. Why do I let her get to me, and why in the world am I yelling back?

Yoga is a perfect example of this. You find a resting spot in a stretching moment. And if there is too much stretching, you pull back a little and rest there. If you just focus on the resting, the breathing, you can hold yourself firm in funny positions! But in each funny place you find yourself, there is a rest. Your body is working, but your mind is resting. I don't know a whole lot about yoga, but I have hung onto this idea and thought about it a lot lately. It made a hymn come to mind: There is a Place of Quiet Rest. The next line is "near to the Heart of God." I know that yoga comes out of eastern philosophy, but this idea is something I think is expressed in Christian thoughts, and also in the Psalms.

The kids are so weird. Today seems so over-dramatized, and I guess I can chalk it up to tiredness from coming back from camp. Or maybe they are disappointed in the "real" life here at home. I think J and B made friends this week. ( I am contemplating just using initials for the kids! I am trying that on for size.) B is already talking about an 8-yr-old who she hopes will be in her cabin next year when I go with her. She wanted to write several girls' addresses in her address book on Saturday night. (They came home Sat. afternoon.) J had a boy call him on Saturday night to guide him to his Star Trek website. A fellow trekkie! How exciting! And this guy was older than J (L didn't realize he was a teen, but J said he was.) J even made friends with a girl, which I really find exciting. I have had my doubts that he would ever be able to get along with the opposite sex.

The both of those kids have come home acting older. J especially. There are certain phrases and attitudes that just seem older. For better or worse! I relish the thought of J acting older and being less whiny (because I can only handle one child that whines, and B has this covered). On the other hand, he is so mouthy, I don't know what to do with him. Today, I have taken a whole dollar, one quarter at a time, from J for his language (stupid, moron,idiot, etc.). They both know that the quarters are going in a jar for me to spend on whatever I want----and it is a CD. Something wonderful for my ears, to counteract the horrible words I am not putting up with.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

It's all about me

I am having the most self indulgent week of the past 10 years. I have had no one to take care of except me. It's really weird. It's a bit lonely. It's coming to an end this afternoon.

I am looking forward to seeing the kids and Larry again. But I am sad that I can't commandeer the TV and the computer at the same time anymore. I like having all my wants and needs met at once. Like right now, I still have a scrapbooking table up in the living room, I am watching A River Runs Through It on the TV and I'm blogging and checking e-mail and getting a free sample of shampoo and a coupon for a Sonic drink. I am eating some lasagne at the computer desk (eating at the desk is a huge no-no!). I thought about doing some yoga in peace! I can't get over how I am just doing whatever I want!

This photo is all of us who went on our trip to South Padre. One foot each. Can you see my foot? Those who know me know my toes are all basically the same length.

I'm still basking in the glow of this trip. I still have my bag of shells to pour over. I still am waiting for others' pictures to combine with mine to make the mega-collection. I'm remembering the new insights I have learned about my friends. I'm excited about the sarong I got for myself---a coverup for the pool. I'm remembering the food I ate at Blackbeard's---shrimp and stuffed crab, and a loaded baked potato, and a salad. I remember the soft sand and the huge waves that made me laugh with fright! I'm remembering the "Oh Happy Day" that someone always said, and the comfort and care I recieved from my friends when I felt awful that one day.

So I am going back to the scrapbooking table now. A few more moments of self indulgence this morning!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sheeee's back!

I am back from my training trip to South Padre Island. I went with 10 other ladies of various ages and life-phases. We were all married, save one; we were all mothers, save one (a different one). One of us was "with child" and I am so glad we didn't induce labor on the beach!

I am sunburned, because, apparently, I needed to be living proof that you can get sunburned through clouds, fog and even light rain. This sunburn I got on Wednesday afternoon when I was in the Gulf waters, bracing myself against the enormous waves we were playing in. It was a total blast! It was great exercise, too. We played in the waves on Monday as well, but we got rained on Tuesday. It might as well have rained because that day we had to be in class from 8:30 to 4:30.

I will put up some pictures when I can get everything put on the computer. I have some totally funny pictures, and I haven't laughed so much since I don't know when. We learned in one of our classes that a good belly laugh helps boost you immune system for 3 days afterwards. That means I'm good until about 1:00 am on Sunday. By then I'll have my little family around me again, and all will be well in the world.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

here, there and everywhere

I might have a really long and crazy rambling chain of thoughts here. I am up and my hubby isn't home, and we are all going in crazy directions tomorrow. So my brain is working overtime trying to remember everything we need to do tomorrow morning to get where we all need to be on time. And in an effort to pass the time without worry, I decided to blog. I think I'll get it all out of my system before bedtime so then I can sleep. My background soundtrack is The Brady Bunch. This is perfect. This is even the first episode where they get married! The perfect non-scary choice for my overworked brain. No stress of shootings or autopsies (oh, spelling after ten!) or mysteries to figure out. No history channel with countdown to armageddon. No baseball either, which does put me to sleep sometimes. That would be Larry's choice. Big Sigh.

Larry and I had our anniversary this week. It has been a big 15 years since we were married. That is the Crystal or China anniversary (depending on your list). We didn't exchange gifts, but we went out to eat at Johnny Carino's and then saw Pirates of the Carribean. A fun film! I wanted to go on a weekend trip sometime, but it just couldn't work out this month.

Ahhhh, Mr. Brady just got the cake all over his face! "A nice, quiet wedding!"

I have been watching my counter every day, and I even have a place where I can see what page referred me to that visitor. It was very interesting the other day when I got a hit from someone who searched for "Krystal burgers" and got a link to my blog way back (June!) about our trip to Memphis. Now I might get hits from people seraching for Brady Bunch or Johnny Carino's. We'll see!

The family is going to Church Camp without me. BooHoo! I will definitely be "out" of the loop when we all meet up again. I know and remember the feeling of comraderie we all had when we got back from camp. We'd endured the same hardships (bad food, snakes in the cabin, hot sports, etc.), and we'd had the same fun. We had all just been without TV or radio for a week, and had rediscovered the pleasures of just being with people and conversing. So I Know I will be missing something good.

But! I am excited about my own adventure to the beach! With other women! No kids! Of course this is not the main reason we are going. We will be training for our new school year---early childhood training, info about autism, info about using music and movement in our classrooms. That I am also looking forward to. Really! But I haven't been that far south in a long time. And it feel so different there, with palm trees and sand and bathing suits. And the fun part of training in years past has always been the fun times we have in our hotel getting to know each other. WooHoo! There's more of that comraderie I was talking about.

I hope I made the right choice about letting Bess go early. She's two years early, and she's only going because of my going on this training trip. I am worrying about her, but probably too much. Or about the wrong things! I don't even know what wil bother her-----sharing a bathroom with a bunch of girls? the food that is not to her specific tastes? the girls who won't be her friend? (that one probably won't even be close to coming true.) will she be bothered that I'm away? I hope so a bit, but not too much!!

I already mailed each of them (even Larry) two letters. It was hard to figure out what to write since I haven't even left home. And the kids were fighting with each other and me while I was trying to write! Ha! They didn't even know I was writing and mailing those letters right under their noses. heehee!

I have read some really interesting blogs lately, and I hope I can figure out how to link to them inside the blog.

Do you know we start school in like 3 weeks? I can't believe the summer is so close to being over.

Next blog----Thursday night? I might get to it by then with pictures of South Padre Island!

Our trees

This picture was taken on July 10th. I was excited because the crepe mertle trees were finally blooming after the rest of the town's had already bloomed. This happened last year, and I thought something was wrong with the trees. But no-----Yea! So here we go . . .trees start blooming.

I couldn't believe how the grass was growing,and ten days later, we have a jungle back there, and I took this shot. The 20th! my anniversary. Nice full tree of flowers. It makes me happy to look out my kitchen window and see the pretty flowers.

I took one more picture on the very next day and it seemed like there were even More flowers on the tree. And the grass got cut, so it looks prettier. I like the color of this tree a lot. We have another one this color, and one more that is a light purple. But it bloomed earlier in the summer, and is past it's prime.

Another post later!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Locomotives on parade #26

We went by this one on the way to swimming Thursday. It is in downtown Bryan, and it's called Regrowth. It's sponsored by the Downtown Bryan Economic Development Association. I like this one, with it's 20's style lady in the engineer's spot and the stylized flowers and symmetry. (I wanted to say Art Deco, but my Art friends might have to correct me). The artist is Felice House. It was SO HOT and BRIGHT when we took this picture! Rachel told me that it was going to be 110 degrees today in OK City! Yikes! Right now at 10:16 at night, here where I am, it's still 87 degrees. Ug!

The newspaper has had a contest in it to win a trip for 4 to Chicago. (Maybe I can escape the heat!!) It's a train trip for four! I would love to win this---3 nights in a hotel for two adults and two kids, city passes, $500 cash. We have often talked about taking a train trip sometime. Maybe it's all the Harry Potter train travel or the Alfred Hitchcock movies we've seen. I'd like to sleep in one of those pull-down bunk beds.

Here are the entries we submitted. You have to be 18 to win, and only one entry per person. Bess did one for Larry to submit. I did one of my own. Bess's colors did not scan well. The yellow was a florescent color. Hers has crowns on it. Mine is the one with the rainbow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Locomotives on Parade #27, #5, #1, #2

Four more trains this week:
This is the Freedon Express, sponsored by Jim Singleton, Architect. It is in downtown Bryan, near the Carnegie Library. The other side of it has an American flag on it. We took this one right after I picked up the kids from the lock-in.

This first one is at the A&M Consolidated High School, and was designed and executed by the Art Club. (Give three "hurrahs" for Art Club!) The City of College Station sponsored it. I was really impressed with all the different things on the train. (You'll have to go to my webshots account to see all the angles.) The kids' names were on the back; "Train of Thought," the name of the train, was written on one part of it in many languages; mathmatical equasions are on one smaokestack; "art club" was in sign language on the front; photos of the making of the train were decopaged (spelling?) on the bar that connects the wheels together. It's really cool!

This third one was inside the Geo. Bush Pres. Library. This is train #1, called On the Right Track. The kids liked the photo of the Pres. and Mrs. Bush in the window. Cheesey, but fun. We were on our way to an afternoon of swimming.

This last one is also at the museum. It is #2, called Building America. It's sponsored by Union Pacific. One interesting thing about these two is that they had real trains painted in just this way, and when the muesuem exhibit about trains began, the former Pres. came and they had these trains drive around our area. So I think these painted trains are out there somewhere still.

While we were at the museum, the docents talked with us and invited us to go see the 15 minute movie you see before you go in the museum (the part you have to pay for). I know I've seen the movie about 5 times. But this time, it seemed like the kids were paying attention. They were asking me questions. Jamie has been there on field trips at least 3 times.

It's nice to have a museum like this in our community! There is big talk in Texas about where the current pres. will put his library/museum. I think it'll end up at Baylor, which is just an hour and a half up the road. Maybe we'll be heading up there in a few years. I also want to go to the LBJ museum sometime.

My little friend, Jane Eyre

I have been reading Jane Eyre for a while now. It takes me a long time to get through a book. During the school year, forget about reading something so heavy. I really want to be a "reader" again! I used to be! I really have no excuse now that my kids are as old as they are. I am not constantly holding them or running after them, nor are they always under my watchful eye. (See, my vocabulary and syntax may improve if I continue to read intellectual stuff!) The kids are often in the house (escaping the blazing heat of outdoors), but doing their own thing. Ya-hoo!

We took a trip to Half-Price Books last week. The kids were selling their old books. Bess took about 25 off her shelves alone. They were disappointed when the take was only $3. I think they are saving for a Lego set and now a mysterious $10 item Bess saw in HPBooks. Anyway, I came upon the three drawer file of Cliffs Notes there, and I realized that I would love to get the one about Jane Eyre. There are passages in French in the book with no explanation, and I thought the $2 I spent was worth it just for that knowledge. (I bet my Mom could figure out the meanings without that help!) I have really enjoyed reading the info in the Cliffs Notes; I read a chapter and then read the summary and the commentary. It helps me make sure I am "getting" it. I said this about Shakespeare when I took it in college, that you have to sort of get into the book (or play), get used to the language, and then it is much easier to understand. And since it has been such a long time since I read anything like this, it took me a while to get into it.

Yesterday I got to read for an uninterrupted hour. An HOUR! The kids slept until 8:30 and 9:00, which is unheard of. So I read instead of getting right to the computer. And this morning, Bess got up just now before 8:00, and I still haven't seen Jamie. I better check for a fever! The kids are recovering from a lock-in on Sunday night at Troupe. Jamie had a whole slew of shows this weekend, which tires us all out, too.

Note: if you think you'll read Jane Eyre sometime and don't want the story spoiled, don't read this paragraph. Yesterday, I got to read through the part where Jane is engaged to Rochester, and they prepare for the wedding. I passed through the midpoint of the book (page 220). This morning I read the book's climactic chapter (my Cliffs Notes told me so), where we find out that Rochester is still married to a crazy wild woman who is living in the 3rd story of the house. Aha! This explains to Jane all the sounds she has heard from above! I am bothered by Jane's relationship with this older man. He is nearly 40, and she is just 18 or 19. I am like Mrs. Fairfax, who is the housekeeper. Rochester has had a full life, full of tragedy (tricked into marrying a crazy person, fathering a child out of wedlock and then scorned by the French beauty who was her mother), and full of sensual pleasures (he says!) that helped him forget the "stuff" he's had to deal with. And now he wants Jane, someone who's unblemished, virginal, honest. He wants to start afresh with a new chapter in his life. He wants to be better, and Jane can help him. She likes him, I think, just because he's the only available man she's been around! Poor Jane! She should find someone with less baggage! I really think the love she has for him is really just those infatuation feelings everyone has in the beginning of a relationship. Given opportunity, she could feel just as passionate about someone else. Maybe no one else with as much money (which I really believe doesn't interest her).

But I know what else happens, since I read a synopsis before I started. I felt like I had to in this case to help me get through the book. People assume I am well read if they know I got my degree in English! I am going to try now to get a few books under my belt that I feel like I "should" have read. I am considering getting To Kill a Mockingbird next because it is one of the movies coming up at the presidential library. It'll put me back in the century in which I was born! If you have a "classic" book to suggest, please do!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I got this on an e-mail and thought I'd include it on the blog. I changed it a little---I know the kids read my blog, so I made it PG instead of a PG-13 rating.

Pick the month you were born in:
January--I kicked
February--I loved
March--I did the Macarena with
April--I played with
May--I choked on
June--I told a secret to
July--I sang to
August--I had lunch with
September--I danced with
October--I smoked
November--I yelled at
December--I ran over

Pick the day (number you were born on)
1-------a paperclip
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a gangster
6-------a stranger
7-------my cell phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friend's boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------an ipod
12-------a banana
13-------Chuck Norris
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
20-------a football player
21-------a ninja
22-------a fireman
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a baseball bat
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------my science teacher
29-------a permanent marker
30-------a llama
31-------A homeless guy

Pick the color of the shirt you are wearing
White------Because I was happy.
Black-------Because that's how I roll.
Pink--------Because I was having a bad hair day.
Red---------Because the voices told me to.
Blue--------Because I'm beautiful and do what I want.
Green------Because I hate being boring.
Purple------Because I'm cool.
Gray--------Because I was having a heat stroke.
Yellow------Because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars.
Orange-----Because I love my family.
Other-------Because that's what I did at my old school.
None-------Because I can't control myself.

Put the phrases together, and don't forget to leave a comment with your sentence included.

Here's mine:
I played with a pickle because that's what I did at my old school.


Friday, July 14, 2006

A Major Award!!

This title is for my Dad, and for all who watch the TBS marathon on Christmas Eve/Day of A Christmas Story. I won a major award, and instead of displaying it in my living room window, lit up in all it's glory for the neighbors to see, I am going to proudly wear my "major award" on my chest. Maybe not out of the house, though, because it is a XL t-shirt.

I am the winner of Sonic's Sneak Peek Contest for July. Yea! So I won a Sonic Cruiser T-shirt, which I got in the mail today. I guessed that next month's new menu item was a Spicy Chicken Breakfast Burrito. They give one clue, and then if you send the invitation to the contest to someone else, you get another clue. I didn't narrow it down to the Breakfast burrito until I got the second clue. So if you're trying to get the answer, I suggest fionding someone to send the invite to so you can get the second part of the clue. !

I'd take a picture, but Larry has the digital camera with him taking pictures of our little runner. She will do long jump tonight, and tomorrow the running events---50 meter and (hopefully) the 4x100 relay. Guess what? This morning one of the little girls' Moms said she wasn't going to do it after all. UGGG! Those other girls were practicing all week with their baton handoffs. I am so mad! Maybe they can find another girl to run in her spot. I'm so mad!

Since this entry is Sonic-related, maybe this is where we talk about Sonic add-in favorites. (Janet, you may now quit reading.) I actually have not done a lot of research into this, so if you want, leave a comment with your favorite add-in. Please? Or your favorite drink there. Anyone try that Cranberry add-in or cranberry-limeade? I really like cranberry things---nice and tart, not too sweet.

Jamie used to embarass me with his multiple add-in requests. I wanted him to only do one add-in per drink. But as I started getting these Sonic e-mails, I realized it is part of the charm of the place to get a bunch of add-ins. He usually gets Sprite, no ice, with grape and cherry add-ins.

I like the similar grape-cherry Slush. This protects me from getting a slush without enough flavor, which has happened a few times I get only cherry. Nothing worse than pulling away with a cup of slush that is barely pink. Ug! I also like to get a Vanilla Coke. I have classic tastes!

Bess likes to get a Vanilla Diet Coke Float. I also love the Coke Float. That girl and her diet drinks! She is just getting diet because Larry started getting diet drinks. He might just get a plain Diet Dr.Pepper. No add-ins for him.

I have a friend who clued me into a Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Coke. That supposedly tastes like a chocolate covered cherry. I deemed it too special for regular, everyday events, so I am waiting for a special occasion to get it (like the birth of another chid or another "major award").

And let me just say that there is hardly anything you can get for less than $2 that brings me such happiness as a great big ol' Sonic drink in my cup holder on these hot summer days. Ahhh!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Parade Pics

These are some more pictures from the parade. I couldn't get them to post a few days ago. You can see our group minus Kirk (who took the picture-----Jamie, me (holding umbrella), Mom, Ethan, Dad, Bess, Rachel and Sabrina (in a stroller). I love the holding of the hands over the ears! And I had to include the picture of the float with the animals. I picked this one because Bess is in it, slightly.

Monday, July 10, 2006

This is . . . Granbury

We did all the "necessary" things in Granbury this weekend. Part of it for our family has always been to celebrate Rachel's birthday. It was disappointing last year when we went and I knew Rachel couldn't come. The Fourth has always been about her! But now, it's also about Sabrina, and that'll make it even more celebratory.

In years past, we've fought the crowds to watch fireworks in town. We've sat at the Church of Christ parking lot (up on a hill) to watch them (both in high school and at least once with my kids). We watched the fireworks from my Grandmother J.'s backyard during the years she lived in Granbury (lots of bugs!). I think Rachel watched them from Kirk's parents' house when they lived in Granbury. And this year we did the watching from Comanche Peak. I think one year I went up on the road above Mom and Dad's house. But I wasn't going to take the kids up there this year.

It's a big deal in this small town, and people really do come from all over the area to enjoy the "Hometown Celebration."

Part of the Celebration is the arts and crafts booths all around the square. It must be quite a money maker for the city. They do this at least 3 times a year----The 4th, General Granbury's birthday (in March) and Harvest of the Arts festival (or Harvest Moon Festival now?). Rachel and I have both marched in parades----4th of July and the Birthday Parade. Now a days they have a Christmas parade, too. Oooo! lights!

Here are a few pictures of the revitalized downtown area.
Rachel took the one on the right. This is the park behind the Shanley House. We walked the square (with children) on Monday. It was very hot, but it's something ya gotta do.

On Tuesday was the parade. It's a given that you have to get to town an hour before the parade. We did, and we got good spots on the curb at Morgan Street. We debated much about where we wanted to park our cars, park ourselves, a quick getaway if we needed it for the kids. Much is to be taken into account! I can't get more than 3 pictures to post tonight, so I'll add a few more pics on another post if I can.

The highlights of the parade: The high school marching band (of course), including the flag corps. It was actually kinda sad looking this summer-----you can't require it when school's out. We think the band directors were marching! The people giving out popcicles---Sabrina had to have one! Catching candy being thrown. The float with stuffed animals on it---I mean like stuffed wildlife, a "sensory experience" exhibit this business provides (I esp. loved the skunk on the back end of it). The fly over of those airplanes near the beginning. I would say the fire trucks, but Sabrina did NOT like that in the least. Dad kept saying Santa was supposed to be at the end (Oh, Mr. Agee!)

At any rate, we had fun, and I'm glad we put forth the effort to do it!!

Locomotives on Parade #11 and stuff

Ahh . . . back on the track----choo-chooo tracks! We saw this train called Postcards from the Brazos Valley sponsored by the BCS Convention Center, and it sits right in front of the building on University.
The picture with Jamie shows the postcards. Both the kids thought we had to include the back of the train. Nice and colorful!

This Saturday we gave Zuzu a bath. Larry thinks she got sprayed by a skunk while we were gone to Granbury. She still smelled like skunk after quite a few days. We used a little tomato sauce on her to cut the smell. It worked a little, but she still smells bad to me. To get the job done, we had to get three of us involved---Larry, Bess, and me.

Sonshine School camp started this week again. Penny and I are teaching only 9 kids this time. So we are busy from 9 to noon every day this week, and Jamie has TROUPE camp one more week with a show at the end of the week. He will be doing shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This one is "Broadway Follies" and he will get to reprise the role of Timon as he sings "Hakuna Matata." This past weekend they did another show, and he sang some smaller parts in some medley songs. But did a really fine job. he makes us proud!

I really enjoyed Janet Laminack's blog today. She posted some pictures of a parade in Ecuador, and it was just interesting for the colorful pics, but as she always is, the commnetary is funny, too.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I don't have a special food-related name for this entry about Sabrina. After "Ginger" and "Coconuts," I tried to think of something witty, but didn't. But I have pictures of Sabrina eating food! Here she is eating her first birthday cake. Yummy! It was also a birthday cake for Rachel, and as tradition dictates, it must be a cat cake.

Last year for the 4th, Larry and I and the kids went to Mom and Dad's for the "Hometown Celebration" in Granbury. But guess who decided to be born a few weeks early? Sabrina! Her birthday is the 3rd. Mom and Dad left us there at their house when they went up to OK to be with Rachel and family. We stayed in Granbury for the parade and then went home.

This year's party was on the 2nd, and included all her cousins---my two, Jamie and Bess, and Mitchell's one, Kaitlyn. Jamie and Kaitlyn are only 6 days apart in age. I am including a picture Rachel posted of Kaitlyn that I liked. I am sorry if the spelling isn't right. This is on Mom and Dad's front patio. Of course, Kaitlyn's parents, Mitchell and Kris (spelling again!), and Aunt Mandi were there. It was a housefull to feed hamburgers and hotdogs and cake and ice cream. But fun!

We opened presents in front of a video camera for Kirk's parents' sake. They had sent a big box for Sabrina to open there at the party. After seeing the tapes we made at Christmas years ago, you would probably shun any present-opening tape we produce as a family!! It can get sorta boring.

The funniest thing that hapened I think, was when Sabrina opened a doll from Ethan. Rachel and Kirk had gotten her a stroller. She started bouncing up and down bending her knees, and making little grunting-type noises. Grunting in a cute way. She was obvious in her desire-----she wanted that dolly cut out of that box as soon as possible. Kirk worked quickly on those twist-ties and got her out. She hugged that doll and kissed it with her little open mouth on the top of the dolly's plastic head. And if she set the doll down, that did NOT mean you could go pick it up. She knew that was her doll, and she wanted to wag it around. It was very cute.
This bathing suit was another of her presents, and she looks like a cutie in it!

Mom is trying to tell us that Sabrina has a "Rachel" personality. Maybe!?! That memory of Rachel gets dimmer every year for me. I can't remember what she was like as a toddler at all. I remember her wearing dresses all the time. And I remember Rachel telling me I did not do Teddie's voice at all right. Rachel was always a little Mommy for all her dolls. But we in the family knw what Mom is trying to allude to-----a temper.

With Jamie, I looked at it like he just wants what he wants, and he Knows what he wants, and if you don't get it, he'll tell you about it. Sabrina is the same way. Maybe right now, she has to throw a fit about some things because there is no other way to deal with it. As with every personality trait, though, there's the bad and the good side. The up side is, that's one little girl who will not get walked all over, and she probably won't be talked into something she doesn't want to do. (Now my Mommy mind is trying to figure out how to teach such a kid the have the "right" in their heart, so they want to do right! Because they are going to do what they want ot anyway---and these teen years are approaching us.)

I really enjoyed Sabrina. She's kinda spunky! She makes really cute, squished up faces when she's happy. She let me hold her (a little), and was happy to be with me. She is not a cuddly little girl. She is constantly moving when she is awake. I don't know how many times she walked around the couches in the living room and the circle throught the kitchen. She's not running, but just busy moving and doing all the time. She isn't running around aimlessly.

The kids enjoyed her, too, and I'm glad.

By the way, I am still making my way through Jane Eyre, and am enjoying it more and more. It's not easy! I need a dictionary, but I don't want to interrupt my train of thought to go look something up. It takes some concentration. I think I am going to get To Kill a Mockingbird next.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I almost called this one "Ethan" but decided this title was more descriptive. Heehee! Ethan said "coconuts" to be silly at least once a meal the whole time we were there. I encouraged him once to keep saying it, and that's all it took.

Ethan is almost 3 and a half right now, and he is getting to the age that I just love to interact with. He's talking to me in real conversations. We talked about favorite foods, and coming to visit each other at our houses. We talked about who in the family has blue eyes or black ones (or brown---that brown/black distinction is so confusing). We talked about our dogs.

On the night of the fourth, we talked about the fireworks. About dinnertime we decided that we were not going to go back into town and fight the crowds with our tired kids. Sabrina had had it by about 7:30 anyway! We could stay at home and watch the fireworks form Mom and Dad's street, we thought. Before the house was built across the street and before the trees got as tall as they are, we could see the fireworks show from the driveway. No luck this year, although Kirk found a spot in the music room, looking out across Mom and Dad's bedroom out the windows at the top and could see the fireworks. He was the official Dad on Duty, listening for Sabrina in case she woke up during the ruckus.

Anyway, as we always do, we were looking out towards town from the road, and we saw nice little fireworks, spraying out in their sphere shapes. "Is that it? Where should they be? What are the bright lights there? Aren't they usually over this way more? Shouldn't they be a little higher?" We said this over and over. And as always, when the real show began, they were much higher than those little ones. (I found out that these were all banned in Hood County. There was a burn ban for the whole county, not just in town, so any of these fireworks were actually illegal!) Ahhh . . .there they are! Big balls of color, but still pretty far away from us.

But overhead? The neighbors down the street were lighting up their own fireworks. Kinda scary for Ethan and Bess and Jamie, even. After the end of the Granbury fireworks show ($30,000 for 30 minutes, I heard), the neighbors lit their impressive show, and it was so scary, Jamie took off, "running for his life" he said. So Bess and Jamie took off after him, running in the dark down the asphalt road. "Stop!" the mommies yelled, but they kept on! We caught up to Ethan and Bess, and I talked to them about how the scary part was the noise, and you just had to get your ears ready for the noise. Plus, we kept on walking back to the house, too, and from thier driveway it wasn't so scary, and we could enjoy them.

So that was one more conversation I got to have with my little nephew. Too fun! I So so so wish we lived close and they could come over and play, and we could watch them grow up. I was so impressed it brought tears to my eyes to listen to Ethan "read" a book to me. (Mouse About the House, by the way.) He played with Bess and Jamie, and they had fun. Not often my kids are playing with such young ones.

But they liked it, maybe for the same reason I liked it so much. Ethan is part of us. We're connected by blood. I am proud of him in an Auntie kind of way, I guess.

This picture to the left is Ethan and Bess at the square. Aren't they sweet? My kids don't hold my hands anymore for protection! Sometimes we do, though.

And I thought it was bad when I realized I didn't make my kids take a bath all weekend. But then Rachel said Ethan hadn't had a bath either! Unless you count the kids splashing around in Poppa's pool. Ha! They were clean enough, I guess. My kids also got in the hot tub. That has chemicals in it, so it sanitized them. Right?

That's my post about Ethan! I think I have a post about Sabrina and one I am tentatively titling "this is . . . Granbury." If you are from Granbury, you'd know that was the title to a featured picture in the Hood County News for a long time. And sometimes, as my friend Donna and I know, they hit the nail on the head. Not in a flattering way! I don't know if they do that feature any more. Leave a comment if you know. Leave a comment if you liked the blog!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I thought instead of posting about my Fourth of July weekend in chronological order, I'd do it topically. I am a big fan of chronological order. So this'll be a stretch.

Here is Ginger as she normally looks. We took these first two pictures in March when we visited during spring break. She is my parents' dog, half great dane. She is gentle, but her biggness can get people hurt. As Dad told me this weekend, big dogs don't know they're big, and small dogs don't know they're small. Funny! Their new dog, MaryAnn (spelling??) doesn't know she is like 10 time smaller than Ginger, so they play together, and get along fine. Ginger can put MaryAnn's whole head in her mouth, and she lets this little puppy bite at her ears and jowls. MaryAnn was found at Dad's shop, and the vet says she might be part Border Collie (the best kind of dog ever, and may Brownie, the best dog ever, rest in peace).

On Sunday night after Sabrina's party, Kirk's family was leaving, and they were saying goodbyes in the front yard. Ginger was making a big fuss in the back yard. We thought she was just barking at them. Dad checked on her anyway and she was at the back of the yard, with her head in some brush. Danger! He heard her yelp and start crying like she doesn't usually do. He got her to come back, and she had been bit by a snake. On the mouth!

When Dad got her to come in, we were all worried. Ginger was sitting with her eyes half closed, and she was beginning to swell. Her face was swollen, and her neck, and her tongue. After a while, she was drooling blood. Boohoo! Mom administered some Benadryl. Fortunately, she had been given and anti-venom shot before. I didn't know there was such a thing. But this is the third snake bite in her three years of life! Mom and Dad live out of town, on about two acres, but they have a empty (except for cows and a gas well) field behind them.

So we grown-ups were looking after Ginger and worried she might not make it through the night. But by morning, she was wanting to eat, and her activity level was back to good. I took this picture of her the next afternoon. look at that neck! I think Dad said she might have gotten bitten more than once. He thought it wasn't a big snake judging from the fang marks. Oh yes, he saw the marks on her gums. Bad place to get bit! Maybe a copperhead he thought? One of her bites before was from a Rattlesnake.

By the day I left, she looked much more normal. She needs to be less brave about snakes!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Japanese Elvismania

Here's Jamie's Star Trek page. This is him without the aid of spell check, mind you. That last period needs to go in there, too, but it looks like it isn't part of the link for some reason.

This morning I had to go online to find out about the President and the Japanese PM visiting Graceland. It's a funny story, but I didn't see any really halarious pictures. That's what I wanted. With all the super-sizing going on in America these days, Graceland is a bit small. We already personally know people with homes as big as Graceland or on such beautiful grounds. But we will not as Joe Public get the "royal treatment" like the Pres. or the PM got----both Lisa Marie and Priscilla were there with them to show them around. I guess I ought to go to the Memphis TV station websites to find some more info. The news article on yahoo said the PM sang a bit of Elvis for the group. Japanese man singing Elvis! Come on! That had to have some funny clips.

For those who don't know, I was born in Memphis, and therefore have a personal connection to the King's homebase. I remember when he died in '77. I was 6. Of course my parents were more into the Beatles than Elvis, so I have never been a big fan. I appreciate all the groundbreaking he did, the music he produced, the pink Cadillacs he gave to people.

I have made two visits to Graceland, which is now sort of an oasis within a bad-ish part of town. An oasis surrounded by tourist/souvenier land. Rachel and I went one summer with Aunt Ronda and Uncle Gary. I think Jackie was a baby. or maybe it was Jeremy? And then I visited again on my honeymoon with Larry. That was his only visit. I've taken pictures of the gate with the kids two summers ago (that time Jackie drove us, and we saw some "women of the night" in broad daylight---not a pretty sight).