Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sadie's Birthday

Today is Sadie's 11th birthday. And, no, it wasn't quite the birthday she wanted.

Earlier in the week, she came to us and had these gradiose plans for her party, complete with cake walk and bobbing for apples (and, yes, it was about 25 degrees out when she planned this).

The next day we broke the news to her that it would be a family only birthday "party" but, she'd have cake and presents and her family around (including her brothers). I could tell when her Daddy told her when I walked into her room by the look on her face. What a sad face she had.

So, today comes and all is good. Madeline had us all wake Sadie up with our rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to you" complete with party hats and noise makers and a sign that Madeline made last night and we all signed. Plus, she had decorated the living room with streamers.

Then various trips to various stores for various gifts and a special trip for Sadie to pick out her cake, special just for her. She picked a lovely winter themed, blue iced marble cake that smelled deliciously like buttercream. It had a snowman and trees and "Happy Birthday, Sadie" written on it. Great job!

Then while I took yet another trip to the store for bowls for the red beans and rice I had made (because we have about 3 bowls in this house - they keep getting broken) she convinces her Daddy to take her down to the parade of lights because the running club (she is a member) is sponsoring ACA's float and she wants to be in the parade. When I got back she had 5 minutes to get there and no one had eaten, she hadn't had cake, blown out candles or opened presents. I overruled and devastation set in. But, she bounced back because she had cake to look forward to as well as presents.

Finally, we all eat. Time for cake. We light the candles, Conrad takes it into the living room, I run to get the camera. When I got back (maybe 10 seconds later) chaos has broken out. I come in to see cake on the floor and Anna freaking out because she thinks the house is going to catch on fire. Aaron takes care of her and Conrad picks up the cake, now unfit to eat (maybe in a cleaner house you could have salvaged it but we have animals and kids - need I say more?). Sadie was less than pleased. Crying in fact. But, I have to give her credit, there was no tantrum, just a broken this-isn't-how-I-thought-my-birthday-would-turn-out little weep session. I couldn't blame her. This is what the cake looked like after Conrad picked it up.

Apparently, what happened was...Anna was sitting on the stool that Conrad had planned to put the cake on and when he asked her to get up she jumped up, arms flailing, and knocked the cake out of his hands.

So, she had to settle for a big bowl of ice cream (chocolate) instead. Not quite the same thing.

This is all my kids (and their significant others) after no cake, lots of ice cream and presents had been opened (hence the smile on Sadie's face).

All in all, I think she handled all the disappointments of the day well. Hmmmm, I guess that means she's growing up...or getting used to living in our house. Nothing seems to go exactly as planned. But, hey, fun things happen when you're open to the flow-of-normal changing.

And, this is my new Grand-dog, Alice. She is the sweetest thing and wobbles when she walks. How cute is she?

Wow, my Sadie is 11 now. How time flies.

She has started being more responsible with her work at school, rarely do I get emails, now, telling me she forgot to bring this assignment or that paper. I'm very proud of this turn of events. She was even proud of herself for bringing up her grades from her report card to her next progress report. Way to go, Sadie!

As far as I can tell, she's not that into boys yet. She did have one crush at the beginning of school but that seems to have cooled off. I haven't heard his name or seen any other sign of her liking him in quite awhile.

She's in the running club now. She seems to have found something she really likes to do. She'll be running in some races when it gets warmer so we're looking forward to that. And, she's in the choir and student council. She's not dancing anymore so no recital this year. But, she's finding her way and I think the dancing exit had alot to do with her feeling overwhelmed and over extended. I'm glad she realized it herself and there was no argument about what should go. I thought she was good at it but she must not have felt that way.

I do love the fact that she's become more demonstrative towards her father and I. She just comes up and hugs me or just leans against me for no reason. And, she actually came and kissed her Daddy and I goodnight a couple of nights ago. Totally surprising, but most welcome.

She's also becoming quite the beautiful girl. Of course, I may be a little biased but, I've heard other people say it too.

Sadie, I'm enjoying you watching you grown up. I love you!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

First regular season home game

I was perusing my card for my camera today picking out "turkey leg" pictures for the school...don't ask, it's a carnival thing for the school. (But it sounds fun, doesn't it?) Anyway, I realized I never blogged about the first official Cowboy game at the new Stadium, or other things that I will blog about later.

Meanwhile, we got "party passes" to go to the first "official" Cowboy game at the new stadium. Party pass means you can go into the stadium and you can eat, drink, cheer and in all other ways soak up the atmosphere in the stadium, you just don't have a place to sit your hiney down. But, you can also say "I was there when..." so there.

On our way to the stadium, we saw the motorcade with President George W. Bush, but didn't know he was even coming to the game. But, of course he would be, this was the biggest event since...well, heck I don't know. I just know in my neck of the woods, it was a BIG event. Sadie's the one who said who was in the black SUV, not the van in the picture but the SUV behind the van. I took a picture just in case it really was him. Sure enough, he was there - more to come on that later.

Here's Conrad and the girls with Tom Landry standing on Conrad's head. Well, really, they're outside the stadium.

After we got "in" ("in" meaning not actually in the stadium but only "on" the grounds) the doors on either end started opening up as did the roof. It was pretty cool. That's a picture of everybody already "really in" the stadium.

Well, I just lost a picture of Conrad and the girls lounging on these lovely leather sofas outside the stadium. Very plush.

This is the only time I actually saw the field with my eyes. This usher invited me to look out of this balcony. If you are any kind of a Cowboy fan, you know something is missing from this field...can you tell? Where is the star??? Those men in the middle of the field must be wondering the same thing...

Oh no, they were guarding where the star would eventually be revealed! Ta-da!

And, how can you go to a Cowboy game without taking at least one picture of the cheerleaders. How about this for angle?

Oh, and remember I said George W. Bush was at the game? Well, not just George, but Laura too! They did the coin toss! How exciting was that? I had no idea (other than Sadie screaming at me that "that was George Bush in that SUV!!") that he would be there. Very exciting.

More George and Laura...

Then Jordan Sparks (past winner of American Idol) sang the National Anthem. Pretty cool.

I totally expected a flyover of huge proportions and so I snapped away at that open roof and man, nothing. Nothing at all. Nada, zip, poof, nothing. But, I got a picture of that nothing so you have to look at that, too.

Conrad and the girls left right before half-time and I stayed to usher in Jon Michel and his friends using the party pass as an actual "pass" as in Conrad passed it them. Hey, Jerry (as in Jones) is the one who told Conrad to do it, not personally, but in some article or something he said he envisioned people coming taking a look around and then passing the pass to someone else and letting them take a look around. So, that's just what we did.

During half-time they unveiled the Ring of Honor. The picture at right shows the Triumvirate of Smith, Aikman and Irving. How cool to see all three of them in the same place. I got a picture - thanks to the big screen.

Got this one of Staubach the same way. Awesome!

All in all, I think it's something we will all remember at least for a long time, if not, for the rest of our lives. The girls will be able to look back at this when they're ready to demolish this behemoth and say "I was there the first regular season game that was played there". They'll talk to them on TV and the girls will regale them with stories of how we lived 2 blocks away when they built this big ol' thing and how we went to several events there the first year there and however many we go to from here on out. And Anna will tell them how she didn't want to go to anything there because she thought as soon as she walked in she'd get a nosebleed because everytime we'd drive by we'd say "well, there's the nosebleed seats". Oh how everyone will laugh!

It's been enjoyable being a small part of history. Hopefully they'll buy us out soon and we can move somewhere new and start new memories in a new place. One can hope...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A week ago, we loaded up into the van and headed East. The purpose was to be there when Mumsey and Gail played their piano/organ concert, an event we've been looking forward to for months. In fact, I think back in May, Mumsey told me to save the date for this concert. Heck, could have been at Christmas, I just know we've been waiting a long time. And, can I just say...


From the beginning strains of the Toccata in D (which Gail played quite well on the organ) until the final notes of the beautiful "Lord Here I Am", it was a glorious evening of music.

They had two grand pianos and an organ and they each played each instrument at some point. That was pretty cool.

Mumsey had both girls turn pages for her on a song and they did a fine job. I loved that she included them on her big night. I know it's something they'll remember always.

The pic to the right is Sadie doing her job.

The pic under this is Mumsey and Gail, aren't they cute?

To the right is Mumsey relaxing before the event with her hair all "did up".

Sadie and Madeline also handed out the programs before the concert. Hmmmm, free child labor, and in the church to boot. Better not let the labor board hear about this. teehee

OK, the first video should be of Madeline helping Mom turn pages during "My Tribute".

And this was just one of my favorites.

I've always known my Mumsey was a gifted and talented piano/organist but I was so proud of her on Sunday evening. She (and Gail) treated that whole audience to an evening of beautiful, uplifting music. The crowd was pretty big, I thought, especially since there was a torrential downpour going on outside. They braved that weather to watch the concert and they were not disappointed.
Mumsey, you have a gift and I am so happy you give your gift so freely to everyone. My Nonnie and Opper would have been so proud of you. I bet they were listening!
I had to remember the names of the songs from memory so if I got them wrong, I apologize. I can't find my program anywhere. I'm sure I'll find it later when I start cleaning. Wish I was in Shreveport now, thinking about the cleaning ahead of me. I digress.
I think I speak for everyone there at the concert when I say that we are looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You may have to enlarge the picture to get the full effect. You see the truck parked under the tree to the left of the "no parking" sign?
The picture of "rules don't apply to me".
Maybe that sign only means "you're not supposed to park - just right there - where that sign actually sits. Hmmmmm....

Monday, September 07, 2009

new take

I've been thinking about a new take on the ol' blog. Almost everyday, I see something that is the "picture" definition of a word.
Today's post was actually taken yesterday at a birthday party for a friend of Anna's, Caden. While watching him open presents, I caught her being the definition of "a prim and proper lady".
Sadie's dance teachers (who also teach etiquette) would be so proud.
So, in the coming days, I will try to take a picture of things I see that are the very definition of a word.
I hope you enjoy this new venture!

Monday, August 31, 2009


We have started school. In years past, it was YAHOOOOO time. Now, since I work at the school it's survival mode for me. Here are the girls on their way to school!

One of the cool things at the school this year is Mrs. Alvarado's hedgehog. She got her for a classroom pet and boy is she cute! I call her Persephone, her class voted and it was split between Spike and Angel so they call her AngelSpike. I know what her real name is. Here she is...

In the middle of June, two days before we came back from our vacation, we had a power surge in the house. The oven got fried as well as the vent-a-hood and multiple other electrical items (including the computer). We finally got our settlement from said power surge (it was caused by a tree-trimmer, not the electric company otherwise, we'd just be up a creek without a paddle) and got an oven and instead of a vent-a-hood we decided on a microwave/vent combo.

We decided on an oven/cook top combo instead of our range and wall oven set up we had before. That oven is huge! This is a picture of the oven/microwave today, cooking my beef for my first big meal made in the lovely new appliance. I made lasagna....look below! The oven cooked it just right!

And then do you know what it did? It cooked the cheesy garlic toast perfectly! Now, what do you think about that? Sounds to me like I'm going to be expected to cook alot in the days and weeks to come. What was I thinking?

Today, we celebrated Mrs. Alvarado's birthday and one of the mothers made cupcakes for her class and look how cute they are! They're HEDGEHOGS!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

4 pictures of a 4 year old

Since Anna turns four today, I thought I would post 4 pictures of her, taken today.

This morning she woke up to the sound of her momma singing "Happy Birthday" and was wished a happy birthday by everyone in the family. And opening her present that she told her Nonnie "this is what you are going to get me for my birthday" and sure enough, Nonnie did. Then to Mrs. Jennifer's where she was greeted by "Happy Birthday" by all of her kids.

They then decorated birthday cupcakes and in general had a very pleasant day, by all accounts that I heard.

Then back home and more birthday presents from sisters and some money from them and Mr. Phil - she's got more cash than I do! Then to Chic-fil-a and ice cream from Marble Slab and sitting by the fountain in Lincoln Square. Now we are home and trying deperately to get these darn children to bed.

Now, I think I will tell you four favorite things about Anna.

1. Anna has this look she gives you when she's done something wrong that she thinks is conveying her innocence. It cracks me up so much that I can't keep a straight face so she thinks she's getting away with whatever it is she's done. But, Momma knows!

2. The way she says vanilla. It's more like va-willa.

3. How she still has her blankie that my step-sister, Nancy, made for her. While this is also a non-favorite - as in "how long is she going to carry this thing around?", I'm impressed that it has held up so well and that she is so true to it. Since she got it, right out of the box, it has been "her blankie". And, heaven forbid we leave it somewhere, there is heck to pay if that happens.

4. Her verbage. She uses "actually" correctly and other words I would consider too old for her.

I remember 4 years ago, this time of the day (10:55 as I am typing, now) we were holding our little girl and oohing and aahing over her sweetness and marveling, once again, at how we had been blessed.

From the beginning, she has been Aaron's baby and still is. She gets excited when he comes home. He argues that her dates will have to answer to him, her big brother. He would always pick her up at her slightest whimper and he was the first to weigh her.
Sometimes I feel like she's not getting a childhood or getting to be a "baby" because she wants to do everything her big sisters do. It's hard to watch her try and fail, but I guess she's gaining character and strength from such failings. And it's very exciting to see her try and succeed at things she probably shouldn't be able to do yet. Momma is proud.
She likes feeding the animals, especially the fish and considers it a special treat when she does. She and Paco have a love-hate relationship. She loves to run from him and hates it when he chases and (generally) catches her and nips at her. If Paco lives through Anna's childhood, he'll be a tough dog, indeed. She's usually picking him up by the legs or pulling too hard on the collar or something equally painful (I'm sure) for him.
She will start a new school this year. She's going to be a few places down from us at school so she'll be close and go to the same place everyday. She's excited about this and is ready for her new adventure. One last year before she starts "real" school. Momma is ready (she thinks).
I thank God for the gift that is Anna. Wrapped everyday in a sweet hug and a smile reserved just for me.
Some days one of my children will do something very kind for me and I tell them "you're my favorite". She always asks me who my favorite is that day and she says "children" "child-wen" and it always makes me smile. Today, Anna, you are my favorite.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Lots of catchin' up to do

Week before last, we were all sitting outside when all of a sudden a bird essentially flew all upside my head. I thought it was a humming bird but it ended up being a parakeet. After several screams by some of us it finally landed on the side of the van and Conrad caught it.

Here's the pretty birdie. We gave it to some people who had a bird cage on their front porch (after we tried in vain to find the owner) with parakeets in it.
Then, last weekend a family invited us all out to a place called Lifetime Fitness to enjoy the facilities and they have a really cool pool, all sorts of exercise stuff and a big indoor soccer field. Here's a picture of all the girls together. We really had a great time and enjoyed spending time with the Augons.

Today, we (Catholics) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Ft. Worth diocese. There was a huge mass at the Tarrant County Convention Center. The picture at right is the dais (I'm guessing that's the correct term -if not, blame Conrad). Those beautiful banners were made by the Carmelite nuns. Awesome.
I took part in the celebration as a member of the diocesan choir. Below or to the right depending on how this loads (- he's in a black jacket) is the director of the large choir, Russell (I never got his last name) and next to Michele (choir director at my church) he's my favorite choir director. He seemed to enjoy what he does and was a joy to sing for, and very expressive.

I also got to meet the man who wrote the Misa Luna which is the new music for the mass that we've been using all summer. He gave me permission to sing the new verse of the Gospel Acclamation (for you non-Catholics that's the Alleluias we sing before the Gospel is read) at our church. OK, Sallie was there, too, and I asked him to tell her I get to sing it first but he didn't go that far. It was a blood bath between us fighting about who would sing it first. I think she Cantors before I do so she'll probably win.

That's him in the white shirt and tie

I think every priest in the diocese was there at this mass. I know there was at least one Bishop, and maybe two Archbishops many (maybe all the deacons and these Knights of the Holy Sepulcher who had on really cool capes and even cooler hats. I'm sure that's sacrilegious on some level but they did.
Speaking of the Tarrant County Convention Center, there's a star made out of hats. Here's the picture. Really cool.
All in all, I was enthused after I left and infused with excitement for our faith and ready for choir to start again (we take vacation during the summer). I hope all faiths have an event such as this to help get their "flock" enthusiastic.

The video is for my Mumsey, it's of the organist playing as the procession takes place. The organist was not only good (of course, not as good as Mumsey) but a Methodist as well.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why I use a shop vac as my vaccuum cleaner

I had alot of titles for this particular post:
1. Why I am ready for school to begin again.
2. Why it's a good thing I already got 4 kids past the age of 4 (because 4 out of 5 ain't bad).
3. Why flour might be the bain of my exsistance.
4. Why was the flour in the living room in the first place?
5. Flour must feel good between the toes.
6. Why staying in bed after the kids get up isn't always the best idea.
However, you see what I chose.
When I got up this morning, I could smell flour. You know, the baking kind. The kind of flour that makes yummy cookies, cakes and other treats? Yeah, that kind of flour.
Now, last night, I saw the cannister of flour in the living room, but, it was late and I put the top back on and just left it sitting there, knowing I would put it up in the morning when cleaning the rest of the room. BIG MISTAKE...
Sadie and Madeline were still asleep so they catch a break on this one. However, Anna and Cherokee were very awake (Cherokee is a girl from down the street I watch during the week) and apparently finding that flour feels good between the toes. When I went in there, I saw the small mess and thought to myself that surely when I tell them to clean this up they will. Yeah, I wasn't quite awake and still in my dreamworld. And, yes, I did see Cherokee put a hand load of that flour back into the cannister and put the top back on it. YUCK!
So, having told them to clean it, I returned to my room before my head started spinning around "Exorsist" style. When I got back up to face the mess, not only was it not cleaned up, but the top was back off the cannister and now ALL the flour is all over the living room floor and a certain guests' feet were barefoot, toes dallying in the flour.
Now, I have to say Anna, at this point was nowhere near the mess so I don't know if she's learned at the tender age of 3 that being next to the mess isn't a good idea because you can always blame it on your sisters or if she really wasn't a part of the mess. It doesn't matter. I hold it against her. And, she is lucky indeed that she has her 4 siblings to thank for making me one of those moms who says "that flour was probably old anyway" and "my shop vac will get that up in no time" instead of beating her black and blue and making her suck it up in a straw and spit it out in the trash can. Lucky, indeed.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

And introducing...

Last week, Aaron came home and requested to go to a Ranger game. Here's the whole family all enjoying the Rangers WIN!!!!

On July 4th we had a battle royale, and our
weapon of choice was, you guessed it, water balloons
And, this is the newest member of the Wangler household. Because our life isn't chaotic enough, meet Paco. A guy at Conrad's work had him one night and beause he whined all night, they didn't want him. So we took him in and he didn't whine once. Finally, a little one that doesn't whine. Anyway, he's kinda cute and he still has puppy breath and I'm getting used to puppy kisses. So far, the cats haven't really given him the time of day but also haven't killed him, either. So, I guess that's a good thing.

Yeah, he's kinda cute.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pirates and wenches

We decided to go out to eat on the first evening at SPI. We stopped a local out for a walk and asked her where she would suggest and one of the places she suggested was Pier 19.

So, off we went to Pier 19, delicious food. Great locale. Then we went onto the actual pier and while out there a pirate-y looking mate asked if we would like to be a part of a pirate show and really? Do you think we would say no?

So we successfully scared away the pirate ship
and I'm sure those scurvy pirates don't want
anything to do with us pier rats!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacation post #3

After San Antonio, we went to South Padre Island. My first visit to the island and, hopefully, not my last. I loved it there. A nice cool breeze was always blowing. Although, I do have to say, even though the sand is a part of the island and it wouldn't be SPI without it, I really got tired of it. You cannot walk from the surf to the car without tons of it getting into your shoes, very tiresome. However, we persevered. Here is the bridge going over to the island.

Various shots of the family at the beach.
Anna found the first seashells. I'd be surprised if there were any left from the amount that we brought back with us.

I'm not sure why Mads was so upset except it had something to do with those goggles but I love this picture of her.

This is actually a combination of our two days at SPI. I'll download the pictures from the camera and our pirate adventure for my next post.