Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Camera Clean Out

I didn't realize how long it's been since I've looked at my pics. I guess the reason is partly because it seems that my camera battery is almost always dead from complete lack of attention.

Anyway, here is a quick summary of recent events in our family.

Thomas during his football hey-days. He loved it so much he's convinced he wants to play high school football. Yikes!
Apparently Thomas was missing our non-tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween and his creative juices could no longer be constrained.
More football. And sweat. And serious hydration efforts.

Chad got a Chia Obama and this is what it looked like about a week after the soaking and planting process. The finished product didn't look much better. It began to mold before it achieved the full head of hair shown in the commercials.

My cutie niece Erin in Keller for Thanksgiving. This was my attempt to get her to warm up to me. "Hey. Let's see what toys I have in my purse." I was quite successful, by the way.
Thomas and Cameron looking cool at the 3-D Christmas Story movie.

Katelyn helping Ella open her present on Christmas Day.
Katelyn's idea of a perfect birthday ~ two of her bestest friends over to watch movies and have fun.
Katelyn warming up for her first track meet.
One of my MOST favorite pics from our YW How-To SleepOver. We had everyone spend the night at the Baker's home. We had pizza and treats for dinner and sooooooo much fun hanging out and being silly. Then in the morning we learned MANY new skills as well as making significant progress towards many personal progress goals. It was such a wonderful activity that I would like to see it become one of our ward traditions.
Now that my camera is cleaned out, I have LOTS of room for pics of our San Antonio Spring Break! Woo hoo!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Most excellent GF adaptation EVER!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading a once obscure, but now wildly popular blog, Pioneer Woman. When I stumbled upon it, I spent weeks, literally, going back and reading every post so I wouldn't miss a thing.

One of the aspects of her blog that I love best is her COOKING section. She has some of the most amazing recipes. The ones I have attempted have received rave reviews at our family Sunday dinners.

Ree posts recipes for scrumptious recipes for cakes, cookies, and other yummy (I imagine, anyway) treats. I have never adapted one of her recipes, but have new hope as of today.

Another blog I stalk is for the Gluten Free Girl. She has been a wonderful resource for recipes and support. Well, on her facebook page today, GFG posted pics of one of Ree's cakes that had been adapted GF. She reports that there is no discernable difference in taste or texture. I can't wait to try it and am looking forward to more options!!!

Happy day!

A few things...

See anything wrong with this scenario? Anyone???
I wonder which marketing genius is responsible for this embarassing display? :)

So, how exactly does one "move out of your hands?" as directed in the fourth line of text?

My special AMAZING gluten free pizza at our YW How-To Sleepover. I was also blessed with blueberry muffins but they disappeared (all warm and swimming in melting butter)before I had the thought to capture their beauty for posterity.

Thomas enjoying our first of two visits to IHOP on their annual FREE pancake day.
By the way, for anyone keeping up with his current stats, he weighed in at 145lbs before a diagnosis yesterday of bronchitis, exzema, and potential for asthma. He's only just a bit shorter than I am. Both his feet and hands have surpassed his dad's in size. Chad bought my boy new cleats for baseball this season (because last year's size 9's are waaaaaaaaay too tight) and they walked out of the store with size 11 shoes. Holy cow!!! Will it ever end? Hopefully not. Otherwise he'd be a pretty awkward looking kid. I can't have that. Dad always told me there's no sense in having ugly (ie: awkward) kids.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have you ever...

... no, not that game. This is a family oriented blog.

Have you ever been watching a show that pertains to an area of expertise that you are extremely familiar with only to have crucial details completely misconstrued???

Did that make any sense at all?

Chad and I were watching "Bones" tonight for the first time ever. It was pretty interesting until it became disturbing. There was a scene in a psych hospital where a nurse was diverting medications from the pharmacy to "help" others. The medical director of the facility explained to the investigators that the number of missing medications was well within appropriate discrepancy limits.


This was particularly upsetting because in December I had an experience (my first) with a drug diversion. To clarify, there is no "acceptable" discrepancy limit with any medications, much less controlled meds.

To sum up, on the night of the incident, I was at my building from approximately 9:30pm until about 1am. Staff were called out of a dead sleep to come to the facility. I got to thoroughly interview everyone with access to the missing medications. I also became acutely aware of urine drug screen procedures as all those with access were also screened for illegal substances. I had the unfortunate occasion to terminate an employee based on the drug screen result. Many tears were shed and promises were made. Local police were involved as was the State. It was a holy mess.

Chad was kind enough to pause the show so I could vent about how WRONG the show was portraying the situation.

Then we(I)moved on and enjoyed the rest of our evening...

The End

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Too Cold

How do you know the chapel is too cold on a frigid Sunday morning?

After spending over an hour shivering in my seat as I tried to focus on the messages that had been prepared for this morning, I told Chad I was going to skip Sunday School to go home and get my coat (that I should have brought with me, incidently).

It was cold enough that, instead of chiding me for skipping class or mocking me for being cold, Chad supported me in my decision.

I think he wished he had a nice coat that I could retrieve for him also.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happiness at HEB

How wrong is it to want to burst into tears in the HEB frozen foods section? These would have been happy tears, of course.

HEB is the first local store to designate a "Gluten Free" section where I could find safe food. It was also the only store to stock ready-made GF bread in the freezer. The bread was a small loaf and difficult to find unless you knew where to look, but it was there.

Today, for the first time in ages, Katelyn and I strolled down the frozen breads aisle looking for another type of frozen GF bread, Udi. I understand it's amazing, even if GF is not a dietary requirement.

There was no Udi's bread in the freezer section, but what was there almost made me cry. There was an entire SECTION of GF breads, cakes, rolls, and other goodies in the freezer! Holy moly!!! I kept apologizing to Katelyn for acting so silly, but it is such a change from what I normally find when shopping GF.

Then to top off the entire experience, an entire freezer endcap was filled with GF entrees, pizza, ravioli, pierogi, and many other ready made meals.

YEA! More reasons to frequent HEB more often instead of just going to the closest store.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Year, New Goals

... not resolutions. That's so cliche.

Anyway, one of Chad's and my goals is to eat healthier. We found this cool app for our phones that took our (then) current weight and alloted us a calorie ration for each day. We are to log everything we eat and it figures out the calories we've taken in and what we have left. VERY cool. And effective, by the way. We've both already experienced significant (to us, anyway) losses.

The difficulty came in preparing meals we've eaten for years without any nutritional information. That's where NutritionData came in handy. You plug in all your ingredients and how much you use. The site then compiles all that information and produces a nutrition label like you'd see on the side of a cereal box. It is sooooooooooooooooo cool! And very helpful in tracking our daily calorie intake.

Happy healthy habits!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Year in Review ~ 2009

As I read Lindsay's year end post, I was a little sad because I won't be able to do the same like I have in the past. When my computer was fried, it also fried {I think} all my pics and documents. I'm hoping there's a way to retrieve them, but so far I haven't had any luck

So all the pics I have to post... Darn, I don't really have any, dang it!

Just a couple from my phone.

Here's Emily modeling her new back up glasses. Yea for insurance!

Here's Katelyn making sure she likes what she sees.
Baby Ella fast asleep on Lexie's shoulder. I can hardly believe Dana's babies are 7 mos old already!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thought for the Day

is the fairest blossom
which springs
from the soul
~Henry Ward Beecher~

I won't dare promise to attempt the blogging record I set for myself last November when I posted at least once every day.

I will try to remember to show more gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all the many blessings I receive each day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apologies with an excuse

I've done it again. What level of neglect will be tolerated by Blogger before they cut me off entirely?

I do have an excuse, for the last two weeks anyway. Apparently during one of the thunderstorms that passed through recently, the power outage fried my computer. The monitor seems to be fine. The modem seems to have suffered no ill effects. But the CPU appears to be out of order since the storm. When turned on, I can hear the motor running, but no images show on the monitor and the quality of the sound remains constant without the variations that let me know it's working. I'm hoping to be able to retrieve all my photos and documents before relegating it to "Kids Use Only" like our old Compaq.

We've been blessed for Chad to purchase a laptop with wireless router for his work. Actually, the laptop is for work. The router is for home. That is how I've been able to be more responsive on Facebook and to compose this lame excuse.
A quick update since it's been forever:
  • Katelyn has been training for track season in the spring and was issued her uniform because the coach felt she would be one of the ones to stick with the program in the spring. Her grades are exceptional, as anyone who knows her should expect. She LOVES seminary and looks forward to it each morning.
  • Thomas is still loving football and we love watching him play. They have won all but two of their games thus far and one of those was a tie. He continues to grow like a weed. His feet and hands are bigger than Chad's and he seems to have grown a foot over the summer.
  • Emily is continuing to practice for her choir performances this winter season. She has such an intuitive mind and is able to follow the music and remember it. One of her favorite activities lately is to play with Jack, the dog. She really enjoys (most of the time, anyway) caring for him.

Until next time, here is a parting message stolen from Lindsay's blog.

I've neglected

I've ignored

Life's been busy

That's for sure

But I'm back

In full force

Never again to fall of this horse, named blog!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Way Back When...

Kids came across some old pics today while watching conference. Here are some of my favorites.

Emily singing, "Jesus wants me for a sun-BEAM!"
Thomas ready for church.
Katelyn before church.
Katelyn's 8th birthday party.

Ready for the Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma Bradshaw's.Emily after becoming acquainted with appx. 500+ ants in the back yard. She still carries scars from that fateful day.
Sparklers in front of the Safari Motel. Katelyn supervising the construction of the swingset in our back yard.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And now back to our program...

This year Thomas has decided that football is how he wants to earn his PE credits at school. He is totally loving it. In fact, Lindsay asked him what his favorite part of playing football. His response? Dressing out in all the pads!

Really though, he is really enjoying the physical aspect of the game and practicing. He is able to tackle, run, and get out any frustrations before returning home at the end of the day. It's GREAT! It's also a wonderful incentive for him to keep up with his school work and to behave in class. If either of those areas slip, the teachers email the coaches and extra work outs are required. If the grades slip too much, he won't be allowed to play. Like I said, great incentive.

We missed his first game because we were in Cozumel, but here are a couple pics from his second game. He plays tight end and is #58.
Our stake customarily hosts a beach party in September. This year it was scheduled for the weekend after our cruise, when it was still raining. The beach party became a dance. Luckily for Thomas and Emily, because they were invited to the party, they were also invited to the dance. Here are some cute pics of the ridiculous amounts of fun they had.
The chicken dance...
The cotton eyed joe...
All three dancing together...

September Summary

... and a little bit of August.

Katelyn at the Tri-Stake End of Summer Sock Hop. What a cute girl I have!

Then, Chad and I went on our cruise with the Ashtons. We had a total blast! I just got the message that the pics I took with my underwater cameras are ready so I'll add them when I get them.

We left out of Galveston on a sunny Saturday which quickly became overcast. The only sunset pics we were able to get were on Saturday.
Sunday was our first "day at sea". Lindsay and I were able to enjoy the atmosphere on the deck (I was listening to hymns on my ipod, of course. It WAS Sunday after all...) and not get any sunburn whatsoever. In fact, it was a pretty dreary looking day.

Monday we stopped in Progresso, Mexico. Lindsay's in-laws knew some of the ropes already about locations that were good and we ended up taking a bus ride to this cool resort on the beach. It was BEAUTIFUL! The white sand, blue sky and water. It looked just liked a postcard or photoshop pic.

Tuesday we neglected to sign up for any of the "excursions" on board and went out on our own with the benefit of the Ashton's previous experiences. We again found a quiet little resort with a beautiful beach where we went snorkeling. What an experience! I have never done anything like it before and can't wait to go again! It was so cool to lay on top of the water and see the life beneath the sea. Here's Lindsay and I.
Wednesday was another "day at sea" which meant we were headed home. Fortunately for us, the days we experienced rain were our sea days. Our beach days were both beautiful and sunny. It couldn't have worked out better.

Thursday we returned to reality and Houston rain. Apparently it rained and stormed so much that my building lost power for a while. Thank goodness for generators!

More to come. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cruise photos

Here is a quick preview of our cruise with more details to follow at a time when dinner isn't being requested.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fun Friday!

I've been procrastinating school shopping in a HUGE way. To put it bluntly, I haven't gotten anything yet, not even pencils. So, now that school is about to begin in a mere 2 1/2 days, I figured it was about time to begin.

After feeding the missionaries tonight, I took all three kids to the store. They had to come, begrudgingly, to try on the pants we needed to get. I hate having to return stuff because it wasn't tried on before buying.

We ended up laughing our way through the store for the better part of an hour. You know how you get to acting silly with a group of friends and EVERYTHING is funny? That's how it was tonight. All four of us had so much fun shopping together. Who knew the process of purchasing socks, underwear, and pants could be so fun?

We concluded our evening by driving home on the freeway with all the windows down, the roof open, blasting songs from the "Mamma Mia" soundtrack. Each kid played an instrument and we all sang at the top of our lungs. What a blast!!!

I'm so lucky to have such great kids!

PS ~ Thanks, Mom, for the music. It's a BIG hit!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Did you know...

...Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses are NOT gluten free???

It is something I have learned the hard way. Now it's one more of my fave treats to add to my "Can No Longer Enjoy" list.

Darn it!

Camera Clean Out

First up is Emily's self-decorated cake. She was so proud of herself. She loved adding all the stars and was only mildly disappointed to see that she couldn't quite fit 12 stars on the top of an 8-in. round cake. Katelyn and Thomas loved the blue decorator icing. Especially straight from the tube.
Lexie came over and took kids swimming one day. The cute pics she took are HERE.

Katelyn babysat Ethan and got him down for his nap before we all went to the HIGH SCHOOL (yikes!) to turn in all her registration paperwork and get her schedule.
And Chad had a wonderful birthday. One of the local golf courses sent out a coupon for a free round of golf for his birthday. He took advantage today and was able to play 36 holes instead of just 18. Yea for free golf!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Happiness

At YW camp this year, Katelyn won an award for scoring the highest out of her certification group on the rifle range. Here is her award acceptance at our ward camp recap.

This past weekend we got to go to Keller for several reasons.

  1. We got to visit with Mom and Dad.
  2. We got to spend some extra time with Chad before leaving him there so he could attend his Family Law Seminar.
  3. Lindsay and her family happened to be in the area, so we got to play with her and her family.
Here is some evidence of our fun at the pool.

We had handstands...

...big splashes...

...smiles all around...

...and two cutie lifeguards.

Too bad it couldn't have lasted longer than a weekend...