Friday, October 03, 2014

A Glance Back at September

2014 marks 20 years since high-school for me.  Traveling to my reunion just isn't possible with all our schedules so I decided to include a couple pictures of my senior year.  I can't believe that it has been 20 years and that I now have a daughter in high school.  

 September brought a nasty cold bug to our house that resulted in steroid treatments and a trip to the hospital.  Joseph and Sam were knocked flat and were home for a week.  Harley stayed close to them during their convalescence.

 Football......  Joseph had to sit out his first game as his lungs were still recovering from his cold.  He is playing defensive back for the time being.  He is hoping for an offensive position sometime soon.

I showed my support of the Jags by having my toes done in purple and white.  Joseph thought that this was pretty cool.  I'm happy to show school spirit every month with another pedi.....  ;)!
 McNeil High School Homecoming.  So we are learning the Texas tradition of "Mums" for homecoming.  Mom's and significant others make their girls these giant obnoxious beasts that the girls wear on the day of Homecoming.  Many of the girls wear more than one!  Girls however are not the only ones who wear them, the boys wear slightly smaller versions made on garters around their arms.  The few mom's in our ward who have McNeil students got together and made these for our kids.  I spent about $25 dollars putting this together.  While buying the materials and seeing examples, I realized that people spend hundreds of dollars on these babies, all I can say is WOW!
 Sam is trying his hand at football too.  He is loving flag football.  We have discovered his ADHD is quite handy as he is one tough kid to catch!  His team is sooooo much fun to watch.  There are 2 Sam's on his team so his teammates and coach call him "Cheese Man" or just Cheese for short.

 40!  Ronny went "Over the Hill"!  Well I guess this was technically October at this point.  This was a good week for my guy.  He had his first yearly review for Apple who loves him, was accepted as a 2015 runner for the Boston Marathon, and turned 40.  He is loving work as much as they are loving him working for them.  I love that he loves going to work each day so we are happy campers here.
 The kids are making great friendships this year in school and seem to be settling in so much more.  Ronny and I don't hear too many more grumbles about the move anymore and generally seem to have acclimated to life here.  I guess you know that you are starting to get used to the heat when you now comment about having a day in the 80's as a "cool" day!  So, unless the Lord tells us otherwise, we are here to stay....

August 2014 in Review

August was filled with lots of summer fun and school preparation.  While Nana was in town we ventured to Austin Park and Pizza.  The kids enjoyed rock climbing, go cart racing, bumper boats, miniature golf, fair rides, and arcade games as well as the pizza buffet.  The adults enjoyed the air conditioning!
 It was fun to watch all 4 climb the wall.  I was sure proud of Ben making it all the way to the top several times after falling on his first several attempts.

 School shopping for 4!  We did most of in in one morning at the Outlet Mall.  They did great considering the amount of stores we ventured in.  It was awesome having Nana there to help keep those who weren't trying on clothes entertained outside!
 Poor Joseph had to have 4 more teeth pulled before school started to get ready for the braces.  
 After working all summer long, Sam finally passed off all the swim strokes.  He would get discouraged when the butterfly was taking sooooo long to master.  We had a talk about doing hard things and sticking with it.  Hooray for Sam, he finally did it!
 Start of school.  We once again have kids in 3 schools, 4 if you count early morning seminary!  Not sure how I feel about having a child now in high school.  They are all doing great and enjoying their classes.

 After waiting for 11 months, Ben's front teeth have finally broken through and now he can eat apples and corn on the cob once again.  We were getting worries with how long they were taking to come down.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Deacon Amongst Us! and Space Center

Joseph had his big 12 birthday this last Monday.  Our ward had a temple trip scheduled for the youth on Saturday.  Joseph really did not want to have to wait 6 more months before going to the temple to do baptisms so we asked our Bishop if we could ordain Joseph during the week.  The bishop asked the Stake President for permission and the wheels set in motion to get Joseph to the temple!  Joseph was sustained last Sunday, ordained at home Tuesday night, attended the temple yesterday, and passed the Sacrament for the first time today.  It was a big week of 1st's for him!

We were lucky enough to have both Grandmothers and a cousin here this week.  My mom flew in last Saturday and left this last Wednesday.  We made a trip down to the Johnson Space Center in Houston while they were here.  It was lots of fun and very interesting!  As we pulled into the parking lot, this was pulling in at the same time litereally!

 This is the Independence.  We watched as they backed it into place and started cleaning it.  A few days later it was scheduled to be placed on top of the NASA 747 they have parked right next to it.  Quite the sight we had pulling into the center!

 My grandfather worked on the Saturn 5 rocket and it was fun having my Mom tell them stories about my grandfather and his trips here to the Johnson Space Center.  I have lots more pictures to sort through.  Unfortunately we didn't have time to see mission control as our time was limited and a couple of us had a little too much energy, but I want to go back and do the extensive tour, so much to see and learn!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saying Goodbye to July and Hello to August!

The last few days of July were rather busy here.  Joseph had the first round of braces put on to get him ready for 4 more teeth extractions.  He only complained a little bit........

Ronny and I celebrated 16 years of marriage.  It just so happens that our anniversary is also National Cheesecake Day!  So off to the Cheesecake Factory we went.  They have my all time favorite appetizer, avocado wraps, YUM!

Ben successfully passed off his latest swim school!  He was soooo excited that he promptly demanded we enroll him in the next round!  We just may have found his "sport"!

And to end the month I found this creepy crawly in my living room.  I broke my broom bringing about his demise.  Ronny was out of town and when I reported I broke the broom killing this guy he asked if it was worth it, DEFINITELY!  Yuck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 2014

July started off with Charley heading to EFY in San Antonio.  Mom made her get a haircut before heading out.  She picked the cut.  I think its super cute, she's still undecided.  Charley was not happy she was headed to San Antonio instead of Provo but at the end of the week she announced she was soooo glad she went to San Antonio and wants to return again next year.  Success!  She roomed with another young woman in our ward and they have become great friends, hooray!

 Charley was also put into the group with the young woman from Spring, TX who tragically lost her parents and all her siblings just 2 weeks after EFY.  Charley took the news of her friend's loss pretty hard.  Our heart and prayers go out to Cassidy and the entire Stay family.

We enjoyed our first 4th of July here in TX.  We surely missed our normal ward breakfast in SoJo but found our local park put on quite a bash.  We found the neighborhood does a great parade just down the street from us and the community goes all out with fun things at the park.  The local fire department comes with their ladder trucks and sprays us all down with their hoses from the top of the ladder.  Then there is just about every kind of blowup bouncy house, joust, rock wall, water slide you can think of at the park as well as a barbecue fired up.  We ended the night with a few small fireworks out front with our neighbors across the street, and a few bigger ones from neighbors down the street.  Everyone was saying how great it was that the temperature was only in the 90's.  I have to say we were grateful too!

Just after the 4th Joseph and Sam had a checkup with the orthodontist.  Joseph was scheduled to have his braces put on as soon as his surgeon for his gum grafts gave the all clear.  We were surprised Sam needed to start his first phase NOW!  So Sam beat Joseph to the punch and had a few brackets and retainers thrown on while Joseph enjoyed a few more weeks without them.  
The middle of July brought us Girls Camp for Charley and Football camp for Joseph.  Joseph decided he would try out for wide receiver, running back, and corner back.  He said he enjoyed them all.  We'll see what he decides to do in the Fall.  Girls Camp was cut short this year for Charley.  Thursday morning the girls were woken up and instructed to pack up.  Noro-virus had whipped through the camp the night before and wiped out the 2nd years.  In hopes of preventing more sick girls and leaders they decided to send the girls home.  Thankfully they had 2 full days of fun (including the discovery of a baby copperhead snake in the 1st year showers!).  
Ben's quilt finally arrived from Nana.  He has been anxiously awaiting this since March!  Nana went through a few tries until she was happy with it.  Ben was ecstatic the day it came and could not get the box open fast enough!
This week has brought more checkups for the kids.  Joseph was cleared for full braces from the surgeon on Monday July 21st and Tuesday July 22nd was awarded the hardware.  Sam had his retainer put on the bottom and new wires in top too.  Both are a little sore.  
We still have a week to go in July and lots more activities planned.  Joseph earns his First and Second Class ranks in Scouts tonight, I celebrate my 29th birthday for the 9th time, Ronny and I celebrate 16 years of marriage, and we have lots more pool time to fit in!  
On a more serious note, our sweet little nephew is sick in the hospital with a nasty case of E Coli.  His little body is fighting as hard as it can but he has developed HUS associated with E Coli.  His doctors are hopeful for a full recovery but the process is a long one, especially on a soon to be 4 year old and his parents.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Summer has definitely arrived here.  Although the natives tell me its a rather mild start to a normal summer in Texas as it has yet to hit triple digits.  I guess I will count my blessing as we are getting used to the heat and humidity.  Today as we left for church we walked out the front door at 9:45 and felt as if we were socked in the face with the heat.  I know its the humidity that makes it feel so much more hotter than in Utah.  There it would take a minute or two before you realized it was hot outside.  We are definitely taking advantage of the community pools and are having fun visiting different ones and deciding on our favorites.  We have started a summer academic program where the kids read for 30 minutes each day, write a summary of their reading, and spend at least 30 minutes on Khan Academy working on Math and/or Computer Science projects and videos.  We have also visited our public library and got a library card to check out books for the summer.  We have also found a family favorite donut shop that serves "Texas" sized donuts and that is on the way home from the library.  Always fun to stop in and get a treat!

We finished off a week of cub camp last week.  One day was canceled for thunder storms and a downpour and another day was ended early with a tornado warning coming in, definitely a new experience for us!  I went and helped out 3 of the 4 days the boys attended.  When other volunteers heard we were new to the area they immediately welcomed me and then told me the fun things to do here during the summer.  I have a list for us to explore.

Ronny headed to Scout camp early this week and got the low down on what we will need to get Joseph for his birthday and Christmas for him to attend next year.  Ronny has a major deadline at work that is quickly approaching so he has been burning the midnight oil lately for that.

Joseph is recovering from having gum graft surgery earlier this month.  Normally they harvest tissue from the top of your mouth but he had none to spare.  He is officially a zombie as he is now carrying cadaver tissue!  So far the graft looks to be taking well.  We will be in the clear half way through July at which point he is set to get his braces on and have 4 more teeth pulled.  Joseph is hoping to be cleared from surgery to participate in football camp mid way through July as well.  They do not have camp for the 11 year old scouts here so he is bummed about that.

Sam also gets awarded braces!  We thought he would be in line after Joseph but the new plan is to put him in a retainer and put a few brackets on top to pull things together.  We are told his mouth is bigger than Joseph's so he most likely will not have to have teeth pulled.  This phase will allow us to push the bigger phase off a few extra years allowing us to get Joseph paid off before Sam starts.

Charley heads off to EFY next week in San Antonio.  We are excited for her to have this experience and hope she will have a good time.  We found a friend here in our ward that is also going and were able to arrange for them to be roomies for the week.  She will then head off to Girls Camp mid July.  She is excited that the cabins they will be staying in have air conditioning!

Both Ronny and I are wishing we could be in Utah for the 4th of July, especially for our former ward party we loved attending there the morning of the 4th.  We have been invited to a barbecue and swim party on the 5th and firework stands are starting to open.  Maybe we'll try our hand at setting our own off once again.  We'll see if we can't take in a baseball game as well.  We tried our hand at Southern Fried Chicken this weekend.  Definitely needed more salt and maybe just double dip in the batter as opposed to triple dipped as the recipe called for.  They were definitely crispy!