Thursday, November 22, 2012

A few of my favorite things:

Some of the pictures are older...but they are of great times together. I love my family and am grateful for each of them...everyday, everyday, everyday:)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BFF...our annual September weekend away...this time we headed to the Florida Keys.  We actually stayed north in Key Largo, but traveled to the southernmost Key in Key West...
And what would a trip with Jennie be without a visit to the local lighthouse?
The highlight for me was our visit to Ernest Hemingway's house.
The house had the most amazing windows/doors that surrounded the living room. They were floor to ceiling and wonderful!
The gorgeous wrap around porches were to die for!
And there were cats everywhere...over 40 of them...Hemingway loved cats and the interesting thing is that about half of them have 6 toes...a sign of good luck, who knew? This family of six-toed cats has been around the house since the time Hemingway lived there.
Key West...just after we filled our hungry bellies with some yummy food:)
Palm trees and water...exactly what we like to see from our hotel room...Although we didn't get any pictures of our Sea Doo outing, it was another highlight of our trip.  Jennie and I were hootin' and hollerin' and no one could hear us...we even raced...Jennie won...beginners luck+a faster machine...great memories.

Garrett and Anna...Homecoming 2012.  Great friends who met in the Theatre program at school. Her dress was awesome...great looking kids:)
Back in July I finished a project Christine had started...A labor of love for her 20th birthday:) She is our animal lover...beautiful selection of fabrics Sweetheart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And so it begins...

The annual 10 mile Allen Eagle Escadrille Marchathon! All 800+ members were so fortunate this year to enjoy mild temperatures...we have been doing this for 7 or 8 years and it has ALWAYS been HOT and HUMID!  This year the weather was amazing! 

Garrett marching along...much to his chagrin:(
 
Grant having a blast in his first marchathon...:)

I loved this shot:)  This little guy marched some, but was carried by various guys in his section for most of the way...10 miles, my friends...

Garrett is an actor, by the way...he WAS NOT miserable...not at all...both boys were happy with their accomplishment.

And this is the much talked about $60 million dollar stadium that our school district thinks our city needs...ugh...don't get me started...anyway, atleast our boys get to be on the field...playing in the nation's largest marching band! They really are out there somewhere:)  This was at "Kick Off"...and the "Open House" for the community...

"Watermelon Bust" with our newest band member... I had never really thought about how it must feel to carry a marching tuba, so I tried Garrett's on...it was heavy and cumbersome and down-right uncomfortable.  I couldn't get that thing off fast enough:)  I am so proud of our boys...NOT an easy instrument to carry and play and march with all at the same time...I am more impressed than ever.

I am not sure if you can really tell, but the "bell" sits almost ON their heads...so very uncomfortable. Now I know why the tubas are not issued hats like the rest of the band...

There are 35 tubas in the band...that's a lot! Among them are two Caspers...a good thing? ...who knows.  They like to horse around when they are together.  Hopefully they are making some memories that they will look back on someday with fondness:)

A "day of rest"?...Only for a few moments:) This is what happens when my sweet husband has a minute between meetings or interviews to sit down on Sundays...this day happened to be a particularly busy one...they aren't all jam-packed...only sometimes:)  He's a trooper, that's for sure.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

I always tell people that we are hiding in plain sight...we live a little bit "out of the way"...on the outskirts of our town... actually in a different town than the one our kid's school is in, our ward building is in, the stores and restaurants we frequent are in...but we are here none the less. We rarely get visitors WAY out here...so it was a rarity that two different friends dropped off yummy food to our house today.  We totally scored!  Chocolate chip cookies AND homemade bread sticks!  These two ladies did do something good today for the Caspers. A reminder that maybe we aren't hiding after all:)

Monday, July 30, 2012

The "Dog Days of Summer" are upon us (ugh) and all I can think about is taking a trip to someplace cooler:)  THIS picture is a wonderful memory of our time in NYC in March...notice that we are all wearing jackets?  That's because it was cold atop that double-decker bus, and we LOVED it!  These memories will get me through the brutal Texas summer heat:)
...and THIS is my JOY.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just Hanging

Grant and I returned home from Utah over a week ago after getting Christine situated in her apartment in Cedar City. We also spent some time with the newlyweds...they seem to be adjusting just fine to married life:) We had planned to visit California...family, Universal, Magic Mtn., Sea World, La Jolla Shores, Seaport Village....etc., but I felt like heading home instead:(  Garrett was sitting home, not working the hours I had hoped---plus, we had been gone for 2 weeks in June to Flordia.  I just wanted to be in TX...(I must have been ill:)  So we stayed an extra day in St George with Papa and Grandma and then Grant and I got in the car and headed back across a not so pretty part of the US on our way home to the Lone Star State...and here we are.

So the boy's summer break will come to an end next week...hard to believe.  In Allen, Texas when you participate in marching band at the high school, 2 a days start well before the school year actually does.  Grant, as a freshman, will start a couple of days before Garrett.  They will be outside for the first 3 hours, a one hour lunch break and then another 4 hours inside working on music.  We are praying that Grant has a good experience and that he makes some new friends...we had to "twist" his arm to get him to sign up...we think he won't regret it:)

Garrett is spending the week with his friend, Karl, in Utah.  We haven't heard much from him, so no news is good news:) 

Grant is seeing, first hand, what being an "only child" is all about.  Although it is quiet around here...he seems to enjoy the peace...or the ability to use the computer whenever he wants and having the TV all to himself in the gameroom isn't bad either:)

I continue to struggle to fill my days with meaningful activites.  In my dreams I have a meaningful career...not that being a mom isn't meaningful, it is the MOST meaningful thing I have ever done, I just see this day-in-day-out, kids constantly needing me, sitution coming to an end...If only I could have a heavenly vision of what I should do with the rest of my life...that would be so nice.  Instead, I pray and ponder and wonder and dream about what I could do that would be meaningful and doable in my little world...I hope to be a more diligent sub this year in the school district.  Special Ed still comes to my mind often...perhaps I can look into become certified in that...but it involves more schooling...ugh.  Just the thought of it makes me cringe...but then again...maybe it is time to come out of my comfort zone...I think I hear "Google" calling my name...Chao----


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yet another calling...

We have lived in this area for over 14 years now...and in those 14 years, I have had too many Church callings to count (No really.  I considered trying to count them and decided I couldn't.)  I have loved my current assignment of teaching Gospel Doctrine...although I feel very inadequate most of the time:(  The teacher does always learn more than the student.  But a week ago I was called to serve in the Stake Relief Society presidency...I know the calling came from the Lord and I am looking forward to the learning and growing that always come from new challenges...I will miss teaching in our ward on Sundays though...not to mention being in Sacrament meetings with our boys on the Sundays I need to be at other wards...It will be a blessing to meet the women of the Stake though.  Our area has grown from 3 wards when we moved here, to 6 wards and a branch!  It will be a fun experience.  Of this I am certain:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Fantasy...:)

 We started out with a couple of nights at the Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom Resort...we think we live the "good life" staying at Marriott hotels...well, our 2-bedroom villa at Kidani Village was much nicer than any Marriott we've stayed at...well, it rivals the Marriott Marquis suites in Times Square...we were pampered and felt blessed.
 Behind the kids you can see what the view looks like from some of the rooms at Kidani and also from the resort lobby...we saw zebras and giraffes and birds and many other animals, whose names I can't remember :) simply unreal~
 We spent a day at the Magic Kingdom
 Garrett made a friend:)
 A view of what the lobby looks like at the Kidani Village.
 We made it! On the top deck of the Disney Fantasy!
 Every night our bed was filled with goodies and marketing paraphenalia:) Oh, and a towel animal.
 Bill, Christine and Mom (the adults of the group) ate at Palo...one of the ship's "adults only" restaurants...YUMMO!
 A little Denzel Washington and Remember the Titans on the "Funnelvision"...the GINORMOUS screen on deck 11 above the pool. Nothing like it:)
 First stop. Grand Cayman.
 That sign says $5.85 for a gallon of gas.  Yikes!
 A windy ride on the tender boat to shore.
 Stingray City!  Look at that water...it was amazing.

 One of our guides holding a huge Ray...we loved it!
 Stop two. Costa Maya, Mexico
 Our servers...Mircea and Ivica...(out of order:)
 More Costa Maya...a real dump of a town:(
 Fun with some of the characters on board...
 Stop three. Cozumel, Mexico
 It was HOT and HUMID...we did a little shopping before we went on our excursion...Mom scored a couple of Mexican blouses, Garrett got a cool backpack and Christine got a surfer poncho thingy:) The vendors could smell us from a mile away...we didn't disappoint:)

 Some Mayan Ruins...this is the temple of the hands??? Interesting...but it was hot and the bugs were biting...ugh.

 We stopped at a beach...didn't take any pictures of the beach area...pretty commercialized:( but we did order some yummy nachos:)
 Christine and Grant riding the awesome Aquaduck...so cool.
 This group, the Caspians, performed the entire cruise on and off  in the ship's atrium...Christine knows their names and enjoyed spending time with them.
 Stop four.  Castaway Cay...here we are at Serenity Bay...the adult area of the little island.  Bill and I never have been there in all of our trips to Castaway, so this trip we took advantage of the kids being old enough to entertain and look out for themselves...it was serene and beautiful:)

 We had wonderful servers...this is Mircea...he was our favorite...he is from Romania and we loved him...his accent made him sound a little like Herman Munster...but he spoke well and was so kind to all of us...We had a wonderful time on the Fantasy and we know we will return again...:)