Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today is our sweet Peter's 10th birthday. Ten years already! It's hard to believe I have a kid in the double digits. Peter is so excited for today- he got up at the crack of dawn (which actually is nothing too new for him!). We have so enjoyed having Peter is our lives. From the first moments of his life we learned he is a mellow, kind person. He is a friendly kid, trying hard to talk to those who may not have many friends. It's fun to take him to school and hear the chorus of "Hi Peter!"'s from his schoolmates. He is a very creative kid and spends much of his time creating games or other various activities to pass the time. He also spends much of his time reading. He loves to read, especially the Harry Potter series which is his favorite. He helps me out a lot in the kitchen and likes to sit and chat with me about life. He made his own cupcakes to bring to school- white cupcakes with green-dyed cream cheese frosting. He put on green spinkles and platic army guys since today is Veteran's Day. He did a gret job! So happy birthday to my sweet boy. We love you Peter!!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
"Mom, I think I want to try out for honors choir at school."
me: "Wow. Really? That's great!"
Peter: "Do you know why? Because I just really like to sing!"
Let me share a little background here. He is the kid that does NOT sing in the primary sacrament performances, nor in Family Home Evening unless we bribe him, or threaten! :) (Whichever works best at the moment!). So I was a bit, or rather, ALOT surprised to hear this! Apparently a new choir director started at his school this year and he really likes her. He says she makes singing fun. The kids who want to be in honors choir have to be in 4th or 5th grade and have to sing solo "America the Beautiful." Peter practiced for me a few times and wow! the kid has a great voice! Who knew??! Very clear and in-tune.
So he autitioned two weeks ago and came home yesterday with the news that he made it. I am so proud of him for trying. None of his friends did- he just decided he wanted to, even though he knows our time here is limited. He will only be in it for a few months. I am so hoping that he will love the experience and continue to sing. He gets to prectice after school once a week, have a few evening rehearsals and then some concerts. I can't wait to watch!
I have to add how grateful I am for dedicated teachers. They truly make a difference, and a big one, in the lives of children. I have had a few teachers in my life who make the list. Not many, as they are hard to find. David Pool, for one, cemented my love of music in 8th grade choir. Never have I had a more decicated teacher since him. I love him for it and am so grateful to all he taught me. Vic Bucy- my junior and senior year journalism teacher who helped me to believe in myself academically and as a person. He saw in me qualities I did not see in myself. And Sherm Lloyd, my social studies teacher who became my friend who I kept in touch with until he passed away 8 years ago. I still miss him. I am very grateful that there are other adults in this world who care about my children and see the good in them and care to have relationships with them. It is truly a blessing for us parents.
So good work Peter and good work Mrs. Gulley for inspiring him to try out!!! I will keep you posted on the outcome of his choir experience.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Leah up front and center. She was so excited about the teacher she got, Mrs. Marek. A good teacher makes all the difference!
Here is the reading rug. The kids got to school and picked books to read. Hannah is by the basket picking out a book.
Leah was thrilled to be able to sit by her friend Taylor. She loves school.
Here is another shot of that incredible sunset. We ate our meal out on the deck of the ship. Truly beautiful.
The last full day of the cruise we were at a private island owned by the cruiseline. It was exactly what I had in mind for our trip. The water was so clear we could see the bottom even when the water was several feet deep. We enjoyed snorkeling, climbing on the rocks, hanging out on the beach with our yummy virgin pina coladas, eating great food and swimming some more. It was a wonderful day. We did both get pretty burned though from all that sun.
On the rocks overlooking our ship in the background.
My handsome husband out on the rocks.
I love this picture of Jordan sucking in his tummy. Enjoying the view from the ship's restaurant. One night we got to enjoy the most beautiful sunset. The wind was whipping around but the air was warm and pleasant. So pretty!Our ship out yonder. We had to take a ferry to get to the island since it was a small, privately owned island. Definitely our favorite day of the cruise. It was so beautiful.
Friday, August 22, 2008
As to (1), we travelled to Austin the week after Andrea's birthday to visit Andrea's sister and to look for new homes! (We are moving to Austin very soon- surprised?!?- details forthcoming...) Right after we got back from Austin, we drove out to Arizona for a week with the Fowles- John and Allison had flown in from London with their girls, Adam and Eve came down from Logan, Utah, and Jenna and company were there in Mesa. We had fun with so many cousins for our kids to play with- always good to see everyone. I will post some pictures as soon as I get them downloaded. Finally, after a week of madness getting our house ready to sell (more below), Andrea and I dropped the kids off at Heidi's and headed down to Florida for a week-long cruise to the Bahamas. We managed to just barely skirt Tropical Storm Faye and enjoyed the last week of paradise (and waaay too much food!). I will post more specific blogs about that with pictures when I get them downloaded.
As to (2), we have been thinking about moving to Austin for a while now, but I finally got the approval from my law firm to do so just last month, and we worked furiously to get our house on the market before we left for the Bahamas. With the help of many dear friends, we repainted a good portion of the house, got new carpet throughout, and basically cleaned up the house very well for sale. After an exhausting week we were able to get the house on the market the day before we left for our cruise- let's hope it sells quickly! If anyone is interested in purchasing a nice home in Dallas, here is the link to our beautiful home. We have loved living here and will really miss it! We plan on moving to Austin just as soon as we can sell our house in Dallas, and we already have money on a home down there.
Watch for more coming soon! For now, Andrea and I are back in Texas with sandy clothes, burnt skin, awesome memories of the Bahamas, and happy smiles on our faces after reuniting with our children!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Part 1: The Flag Raising
The day started out bright and early with a pancake and sausage breakfast associated with a flag-raising ceremony at our church. The sobering confluence of religious ideal and energetic patriotism felt there reminded us that both our spiritual and our temporal freedoms were purchased by sacrifices made by others, even the sacrifice of their very blood. We are grateful for the blood of our Savior and the blood of Patriots- the extreme cost for the freedoms we enjoy today, and hope that the memory of the price paid never grows dim in our hearts and minds.
Part 2: The Parade
We went from the ward breakfast to Independence Parkway in Plano to watch the Plano City Parade. The Plano parade is a fantastic one to attend- if anyone is ever in Texas for the Fourth of July, I highly recommend it. It helped us to again reflect on our precious freedoms as we saw veterans, fire fighters, policemen, community dignitaries, representatives from various political parties, and disciples of various Christian and other religions marching by. Of course, there were also clowns, floats, bubbles, marching bands, loud fog horns, classic cars and motorcyles, and plenty of candy tossed out for the kids. I think both Andrea and I got a little choked up at times as we waved our American flags with our children for the soldiers who sacrifice much and generally basked in the rays of July freedom sunshine. Here are a few pictures of the kids at the Plano Parade:
(P.S. We note with serious chagrine the shocking dearth of pictures of Andrea- Jordan will try to do better at taking pictures too so that Andrea appears- she is definitely easier to look at!)
Part 3: The Lunch and Rest
After the Parade, we headed out for some all-American (and, infinitely more importantly, TEXAN) barbecue at Dickeys. We enjoyed an assortment of meats, sides like mashed potatoes, baked potato casserole, barbecue beans, jalapeno beans, potato salad, mac & cheese, all topped off with Dickey's delicious regular, sweet and spicy barbecue sauces. We topped it off with soft-serve vanilla ice cream, always included in the price of every meal at Dickeys. Here is a picture of an all-American boy (Matthew) enjoying his Fourth of July Dickeys treat:
After lunch, we headed home for some rest before proceeding with the rest of the day's festivities.
Part 4: The Pool Party
Once we had sufficiently recuperated from our busy morning and stuffing lunch, we got into our swimsuits and headed over to our friends' home (two doors down) for an afternoon of fun and swimming with the our friends and neighbors from around our neighborhood. The pool was packed with kids, the coooler with cold drinks, the barbecue with good food, and the chairs with chatting adults, all celebrating under the hot Texas, July sun.
After swimming for a while, the kids enjoyed soaking Andrea and me with water balloons, usually at most unexpected times. Hannah was the sneakiest, one time waiting for me outside the back door for probably over five minutes to soak me with a water balloon and a squirting (i.e., untied) water balloon as I came out of the house with a plate full of food! Every time I dried off again, another one of my four kids would suddenly appear, get me dripping wet again, then run away laughing hysterically before I could gather my senses and throw them into the pool (I did manage to get Leah once). None of the other adults there were quite as soaked time and time again- of course, none of them had four children. Getting wet at pool parties is just one of the hazards of fruitful loins, I suppose.
We partied into the twilight hours, but then it was time for fireworks.
Part 5: The Fireworks
As dusk fell, the pool party disbanded and everyone headed back home to change into dry clothes so that we could go see the Fourth of July fireworks. We are lucky to live right beside the main 500 acre park in Richardson, Texas (Breckinridge Park) where they have the big Richardson fireworks show every year. We walked across the street to the park with some church friends who parked at our house, and set up our blankets on a promising spot of grass situated on a bluff that overlooked the rest of the park. We were not disappointed.
The fireworks began at 9:45 pm and were accompanied by live (Richardson Community Band) and pre-recorded music. Hearing the loud booms accompanied by patriotic music, Andrea and I both got a bit choked up again as we thought of the artillery in the battles fought for this country represented by the colorful spectacle of fireworks exploding above us. Our kids were also mesmerized by the brilliant (and loud) display- not one was scared in the least.
As we tucked the exhausted kids into bed at the end of the celebratory, fun-filled and sobering day, Leah sleepily whispered to me that she liked the Fourth of July almost as much as Christmas. Indeed.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Hanging out in the hottub. Jenna, Travis, Matthew and Leah:
Friday, July 18, 2008
As a side note, some of you know that Hannah has a sort of obsession with disgusting things. That is, she loves to look at things that make most normal stomachs churn. For example, she always wants to look at Matthews poopy diapers before we roll them up, etc.
Before we took Peter in for his surgery, I teased the kids that the doctor was going to let us keep Peter's tonsils and adenoids in a jar to put on our fireplace mantel as a decoration. When I got home, Hannah of course asked to see the jar of tonsils first thing, and seemed genuinely disappointed when I reported that the doctor did not let us keep them.
Wish Peter a speedy recovery!
Monday, July 7, 2008
I thought I would share a few fun pics of the kids. A few weeks ago Peter went to a party and this is what he came home looking like!! Needless to say I was a bit shocked. You can't see too well but he has on a lip ring and a tattoo on his arm. It was a rock-and -roll/ swim party. He really had fun!!
Notice the tiny violins on the wall behind him. One is Peter's and one is Leah's.
A Day at Six Flags
For Hannah's birthday in May I took her all by herself to Six Flags over Texas, a huge amusement park for those who may not know. We had a great time. She is my dare-devil and will try anything she is big enough to ride. While there though a single father with his daughter decided he wanted to spend the day with us. Grr! I told him all about my husband and my three other children but that didn't seem to bother him. I finally told him (after hanging around us for almost two hours!!) that I wanted to spend time alone with my daughter. Kinda funny but at the time it was annoying!!
Trip to Utah
At the beginning of May we went out to Utah for Jordan's brother's wedding. Adam married a beautiful girl named Eve. Yes, they are Adam and Eve! We drove up to Sundance while we were there. Here is our family. It is so beautiful there and it sure made us miss mountains!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Leah turned 7 in April. She is a sweetheart, most of the time. :) She is very affectionate and sweet. She enjoys reading, pretending with her sister, dressing up, getting her toenails painted, swimming, playing at the park and helping me in the kitchen. She, with her brother, is taking violin lessons and is doing great. She tries hard to be a good girl but has a crazy girl streak in her where she gets all hyper and giggly. She is a lot of fun.
Hannah, Hannah. What would we do without our Hannah?? She is our fiesty five-year-old. She keeps us on our toes for sure. She was born with a very independent, strong spirit and although we know this is a strength in her she can be tough sometimes!! She is very, very sweet too though. She loves to make up little ditties and prances around the house singing her songs. She loves to dress up with Leah, play with dolls, swim (she is quite athletic), do gymnastics, pick up songs on the piano and tease her siblings. She can get a rise out of them easier than anyone!! She is a strong, beautiful girl.
Matthew turned two in Februaury. Although he is in those "Terrible Two's" he is so darn cute most of the time we just laugh at his antics. He is the sweetest boy. One of his first words was "Thank you" (dee-doo) and he still says that for every little thing anyone does for him. He is such a boy. He loves playing in dirt, swinging swords, turning things into guns, driving cars and trains around and being loud!! He is very, very affectionate and gives the best hugs. He loves to pray and has to say prayers before he takes naps and won't ever let us forget.
I can't write about my kids without writing about their wonderful Daddy. They all adore him and can't get enough of him. He plays with them as much as he can but teaches them important things as well. The longer I am married to him (we just celebrated out 11 year anniversary) the more I realize how blessed I am. He is amazing!! He is an extremely hard worker, very ambitous, smart, generally cheerful and just a great guy. He has a very kind heart and cares a lot about others. I am very grateful to be married to him and love him very much.
Okay, that's all for post #1. I plan to post often now that this is started. Love to all!!
- ► 2009 (11)
- ▼ 2008 (15)