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.