Believe in the sun, even when it's not shining

In love, even when you're alone

In God, even when He is silent.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lexie!

It's hard to believe that this bow-legged, scrawny little thing was the little gift we brought home 366 days ago...that's right...Lexie turned 1 yesterday.



And look at that other little one - how she has changed in this past year!
Lexie is two months old in these next two pics - I don't even remember her being so dark...
look at all of that dark gray around her face and shoulders...
...but it came and went in a flash, I guess, because there's no sign of it today...

She's come a mighty long way, I'd say...Happy Birthday, ol' girl!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gettin' in the Groove...

Although her bow is slightly askew, this is at the end of her first day, and she looks (and was) so happy - Mom can breathe a sigh of relief. She couldn't tell me the names of anybody in her class, but said that while she was swinging with a little girl today on the playground, she asked her if they could be best friends and the other little girl said, "Yes" - she was thrilled! Ahhh....if all of life could be this innocent and simple...

Day 2..."the sun is bright, Mom"

Day 3...I'm a little sleepy, but still a happy camper... This evening, we had a Parent Orientation and they provided childcare, so we were at her school twice today and she didn't even mind that - she fell asleep in the car on the way home, but it's obvious that she is very comfortable there. We feel so blessed that Gracie has made this transition so easily - she has already made so many friends, per her teacher at the meeting tonight - and there are only 13 in her class, so hopefully, they will have a tight-knit group that will provide many happy memories.
I went and got a binder today so that I can organize all of her special lessons and papers...I want to cherish every second and have it for her later so that she can do the same - she already likes to go through her baby clothes that I have saved for her, so I know she has my same sentimental streak.

Besides the three of us gettin' in the groove with all of the new school affairs, we have some more family members readjusting...last night, Jack went and got two more horses that will now call our home their home...they have been at our stable property and are two of our youngest...as soon as we get more stalls built, we will continue bringing more over...this is Lady escorting Monkey (can you see the big gorilla head on her left side? that's why we call her Monkey!) to the barn...
On the right in this pic is our other addition, Foxy. The first thing Jack said the day she was born and we found her was, "Look at those little fox ears! Wow - she's good lookin'!" - so that's how she got her name. She is a real sweetie! Monkey can be a little on the rambunctious side sometimes, but Foxy is calm, cool, and collected. I'm sure I'll have more of their adventures to share with you in the weeks ahead...all we know is that Lady is thrilled to have some more of her own kind to boss around....
...and, well, Lexie is feeling very outnumbered and unsure of just what the heck is going on...

She got extra rubs and hugs tonight, but I think she's still a little miffed with us...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I haven't cried in about an hour...

...so maybe we're on the downhill slide...

Our girl started Kindergarten today. All I can think is, "In 12 more years, she'll be going to COLLEGE!" I feel like Fred Sanford from "The Sanford and Sons" -- "This is the big one, Elizabeth! I'm comin' to join ya!"

This is just after I woke her up - and I know I'm a mean Mommy for doing this so early, but I don't want to forget a thing!

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This is after her donut holes and milk as promised, and even though we stopped for them on the way, we're still early. She looks real stressed, doesn't she (NOT!)? You would have had to flip the camera around to see that - :) She's watching "Lady and the Tramp" while Mom has a nervous breakdown in the front seat...


This is her new teacher, Ms. Pino, and a glimpse of her classroom. They look like they are going to have a good day. She brought ham, cheese, and crackers, cherry yogurt, 2 cookies, and a juice box for her lunch and five seconds after we walked in the room - we were still the first ones - she had put her bag and lunchbox on her hook, grabbed a tub of pink (of course) play-doh and sat at her table (that we had found yesterday at "Meet the Teacher"). She was fast to inquire when they would have "centers", as she is used to this from Pre-K. She was such a little trooper - never missing a beat - like this was "old hat". I felt like such a goofball, sprinting for the truck as soon as Jack and I kissed her bye so that I wouldn't meltdown in front of her entire school - she's growing up so fast.



Off to a good start...
I cannot wait to pick her up...I want to hear all about how she adores Ms. Pino, all the new friends she has made, and how much she loves all of the new challenges of being a Kindergartener...this is what I'm gonna hear, right?

I'll let you know...

P.S. Becky, I sure hope you're again able to make comments on my blog - I can't wait to hear what you have to say about this!

Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings...
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles (really, you can insert cheese enchiladas here)
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings...
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Spring...

These are a few of my favorite things...

...and here are some more recent ones...

On the 13th, Grace and I visited all of my Daddy's sisters in Houston. She loves all of the attention...

While visiting, we promised Aunt Mary a better shot of the backyard, pool and gazebo (when it wasn't so dark) - you can see my daughter to the right supervising - she needs Grandpa's old hat that was given to Patrick when he was little, "I'm the Boss" -

On the 14th, we had dinner with Justin, Karen, Brooke and Kate...this is Grace showing Brooke her expert building skills with her magnets...
...and some love...
Jack with Kate - she looks thrilled, doesn't she? Poor baby with the mean, scary man - just kidding, honey :)
OK, all better...
Gracie with animals...real or not...still one of my favorite things.
Our girl on Pal - the best pony ever!
He boosts her confidence with every hurdle it seems...
Can you see it? The concentration, the effort...

Ahhhh...the happiness....

You haven't seen Grace in a trot in a while - it's a bit hot, but Mrs. Robin gave it her bravest attempt - you can also get an eduaction from Jack about diesel mufflers if you listen closely enough...all for free! I know...we're so thoughtful! :)
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...and a game of Red Light, Green Light where the star of the show is my little fire engine!
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Backyard Bliss

Mom and I rode into New Braunfels last Thursday in hopes of tubing the Guadalupe River and even though when Jack and I checked it out on our own vacation just a few weeks ago, it was too low to ride. It just wouldn't have been fun - most of the places that rent the tubes were closed - and there really wasn't much activity except for around the campgrounds. So, we went to one of the campgrounds and just played and swam right there in front of where we parked. It wasn't quite the same experience, but at least we were able to get in the water - all was not lost!

The only picture I took on the whole two-day trip was of the Luling watermelon - I guess it's a water tower, but it sure has lots of antennas, so who knows? I just thought it was cute - it was here that I also bought two of the prettiest bouganvillas I've ever seen - they're by our pool and are pictured below.

Saturday morning was Gracie's riding lesson - the first in three weeks as we were on vacation and then the Stanalands were on vacation. She did great!

Saturday night was the George Strait concert at Reliant Park- I bought tickets for Jack and I as his Fathers Day present. Mom kept Grace. The traffic was an absolute nightmare. He had three opening acts - Julianne Hough, Blake Shelton, and Sugar Land. We missed the first completely and by the time we got seated, we were able to see Blake sing 4 songs and that was it. Sugar Land and George did a great job. It taught us a good lesson though - when we come for U2 in October, we're going to get to Reliant Park at 1 am the day before! That's a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much - I can't imagine what that will be like as it's in the middle of the week, so we'll be dealing with concert traffic AND work traffic! Start praying for us now - yikes.
Bobby and Kevin worked all day Saturday (until 10 pm under Mom's supervision -she even ordered pizza for dinner) and part of the day Sunday to complete our backyard project...sorry the pictures are at night - by the time we finished working, this is the kind of light I had to show you what we did - those are the bouganvillas I was telling you about at the end of the pool.

This is another I bought in San Marcos. I love it's variegated leaf AND the turquoise pot Mom and I found to put it in.

Close-ups of the Luling finds - pink and white blooms on the same bush. Love, love, love it!

But, the major part of the "Backyard Bliss" project was our checkerboard backyard. I saw it in a Southern Living magazine, fell in love with it, showed Jack, he really liked it, and so we just went for it - we think it looks great. We initially wanted it in a diamond pattern, but our concrete contractor said he couldn't get it symmetrical that way, so we went with the checkerboard. We still think it turned out really nice and it's different for sure! Even in the dark, that's Jack and Grace soaking it all in...
Whacha think?

Monday, August 3, 2009

What an improvement!

I'm nominating my husband for the #1 Master Upholsterer Award...I'm always discovering new talents that he has...I still think he's hiding his talents for cleaning though! ;)

These are our breakfast room chairs and poor things - they have survived animal upon animal and five years of Gracie's shenanigans. They definitely needed help! So, we bought the fabric about two months ago and this past week, I finally sweet-talked him (at about 9 PM nonetheless) into recovering them for us.

BEFORE:

AFTER:
See...he deserves the award, huh? So much better...