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

In love, even when you're alone

In God, even when He is silent.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rise and shine!

First riding lesson in over a month due to all of the rain...

She couldn't wait to, if it will just dry up a little more at home so she can enjoy Grayson...

Gracie & Haley...maintaining the "jump" position for an entire lap isn't!

Like she hasn't missed a lesson in forever..."right back in the saddle"!

Good Times Rollin'

Watching the "wildlife", waitin' on some beads :)


...and here they come!!!

Jack's favorite :)

If I knew I could decorate my golf cart and ride in the parade, I sooo would have done it!!!

They didn't throw nearly the number of beads as in previous years, but she was still all smiles, happy for what she was able to lady on a float landed a strand right around her neck which, of course, she thought was totally cool!

still admiring her loot :)

She got one cool strand from the Galveston Firefighter's Children's Parade and enough regular ones to share with her classmates...

Now, for up all soda. I think know I might will cry before the 40 days is up :(

Happy Hearts!

Valentine's Day! Time for xo, xo, xo!

Our most precious Valentine :)

Gracie's class had an ice cream sundae party and it was a big hit with the kids :)

She just HAD to put every sprinkle, nut, & syrup (except the strawberry cheesecake syrup..."ewww...that sounds nasty, Mommy") on her ice cream, only to stir everything together into an ice cream soup :) "Whaaaat, Moooommmmmmy? That's what makes it gooood!!!"

Unloading their Valentine goody bags...

Gracie sent one of her own cards to herself... "It has candy!"

Katie, Maegan & Gracie striking a pose for Mrs. Maddox.

Her pink outfit didn't weather her school recesses so well, so on to outfit #2 for dinner in Houston at Brennan's with Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Joe & Aunt Belle. Her new lovey from Daddy had to make the ride, too ;) She loved the live jazz band and pralines ~ definitely worth the later bedtime!

We hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day, too!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

No longer MIA

I know this is a super cheesy way to do this, but speaking realistically, this is the only way for me to catch up. As most of you know, I also scrapbook for Gracie and was even more behind on that, but recently had a chance to catch up, so I have photographed her scrapbook pages for the months that I didn't blog about here, November & December 2011.
Picking up in November then, Gracie attended her second Pony Class show (she placed 2nd) and since Romeo, my gelding, is being used for lessons by her trainer, he participated in his first competition show. Although she was scheduled to ride Romeo for her event, no preparations were made for him to get accustomed to the mirrored arena beforehand, so she ended up riding another very sweet pony that the trainer had luckily brought, Squiggy. She really had her heart set on riding Romeo & was understandably very disappointed, but other students that were scheduled in the open arena were able to ride him, so at least we were able to watch him perform. He did an absolutely fantastic job! We were soooo proud! He even had a chance to meet his twin (middle left picture - he is on the right) - not really, but they did look just alike!
The leopard spotted pony that you see in the upper right corner is not ours, but Gracie & I absolutely fell in love with him, so I thought it would be a neat memory for her later on.

We hope to enter more shows this season, where she can gain more experience and move to the next level, maybe even on her own pony, which you will see more of in a bit.

Gracie also performed in the 100 Year Celebration of the Girl Scouts held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. We had never seen so many little girls all in one place, all wearing green - EVER! There were many Saturday practices & she really stuck with it, making many new friends along the way. If making history was on her to-do list, check! Katie Couric was the guest speaker for the super-big, super-fun, logistically-nightmarish event, but even that played second fiddle to seeing our brave girl up there on the big stage!

Although we are members of the Houston Zoo, our animal-crazy family doesn't get there as often as we would like, but if I'm remembering correctly, we had gotten considerable rain and her riding lessons were cancelled one Saturday, so we made a very impromptu visit. The weather turned nice and we had a good visit, capping it off with her favorite part (or maybe it was her Daddy's!), a ride on the train, the "Jack Express".

Her school celebrates "Grandparents Day" the day they are released for the Thanksgiving holidays each year, so this is her class' performance at the top. Marmie & Popi didn't make it this time, but Jack & I played good stand-ins :) At the bottom, we were excited that Mom, Dad, Patrick, Lindsey and all four of Daddy's sisters were able to join us for our Thanksgiving feast.

Some family photos after our bellies were full...

Two days later, in the pouring rain, another visit, this one scheduled, to the zoo for Breakfast with the Orangatans. We got to meet Aurora, the new baby, and hear her story, as well as the stories of all of the resident Orangatans. Aurora's mom had surrendered her care to the zookeepers for no apparent reason and much of the zookeeper's talk surrounded around their diligence in getting the mother or another female adult to care for Aurora, as this would be the best for her.

Just recently, the zoo emailed us the story that they had finally been successful. You can read it here...

Some early December Girl Scout troop arts and crafts fun...

A busy month indeed, the school Christmas musical, riding lessons, the Kemah Christmas Boat Lane Parade...

...more decorated boats from the never know what you might see! This year it was dancing Elvis impersonators - a bunch of them actually. This was their 50th Boat Parade, so I guess they pulled all the stops! We had brought our neighbor with us who is just one year younger than Gracie and all she had in mind was eating. Plus, it was very cold, so most of the time, I was out on the rail on my own, shivering and snapping photos, while Jack had care of the girls inside the warm restaurant lobby, waiting for our name to be called for dinner. Fun times!

Gracie's school class caroling at a nursing home and enjoying their class party afterward.

After the party, we headed to Palestine for the Polar Express train ride...

Gracie bundled up in her PJs, brought along her book and we were all set to meet Santa (he even autographed her book) and drink mug upon mug of hot cocoa!

Ahhh...Christmas morning! Mommy was suffering from food poisoning, but Santa overlooked all that and still delivered the greatest present ever! Gracie got her very own pony, Grayson! She was over the moon! What a big surprise! *Please ignore the fact that Mommy was so tired by this point in her great venture of scrapbooking May-December 2011 & January 2012, that she included the same picture twice on this page. I guess this is what you would call "scrapdrunk" :/*

Presents, presents, presents! Mommy only took a minor three breaks to go lose the previous day's breakfast...blah!

Just outside of Bastrop, Hyatt Lost Pines...a great place to be for New Years Eve...a ferris wheel, s'mores, long walks with Bandit, fireworks, a huge BBQ buffet! A very nice, relaxing weekend get-away. We liked it so much, we're heading back for Gracie's Spring Break!

Bandit made two friends, a very cute female Yorkie puppy and a pink balloon poodle. By the looks of it, I don't think he was too impressed by the poodle...he's looking at me as if I was trying to pull a fast one! "Mom, you know I know he isn't real, right?" Gracie made up for it with "Strike of Midnight, Happy New Year" sugars though, complete with fireworks overhead!

She also painted a piggy moo bank, enjoyed visiting the mini donkeys and longhorn cattle, and a visit to the kid's camp for a few hours. You see what Jack and I did while she was having fun...laid in the grass doing absolutely nothing, of course! The last shot is just a few miles away where all of the wildfires claimed hundreds and hundreds of acres just a few months before.

My Great-Grandmother's old apartment - lots of memories made here. Also, she and my Great-Grandfather's gravesite.

More of Mamie & PaPa...home, parents, church, even her old train case :)

A visit with Lilly (Gracie: "Mommy, I had no idea I had sooo many cousins!") and a sorrowful goodbye to the stray black lab (that we named Blair) that just mysteriously showed up on our front door step Halloween weekend. She had heartworms that had progressed too far to treat. She was a huge blessing for the short time she was a part of our little family. She had a very sweet soul and we miss her tremendously, but probably not as much as Bandit, who finally had a furry friend that would play with him. :(
Birthday Party fun with the triplets, Jack, Katie and Michael @ The Aquarium Restaurant...complete with a behind-the-scenes visit with the stingrays.
...& more riding lessons with Frost.
The top four photos are all of Gracie riding Frost at her lessons. The barn photo starts the ones of Gracie at home with Grayson...oh my, what a true love story those two are :)
Gracie's two favs...Bandit & Grayson...and a frosty January dawn of our herd running toward their breakfast...

Who knows what February might hold?!
Ahhhhh...bliss. Blog project...check!