Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Traditions

I recently became aware of this life size gingerbread house from the fine folks at The Fairmont in San Francisco. I've never been there, but would you look at that?! Can you even imagine a tradition of decorating something that size? We can't even manage the little gingerbread houses.

Our traditions actually start at Thanksgiving. We make sure the tree is up and ready and the kids decorate it with Busha (Dax's Mom). I readily embraced this tradition because when they were little and they decorated the tree with me they always got into an argument about something. They didn't do that with Busha so it was a great tradition to go with......although at 17 now I would like to hope that would no longer be a concern.

From Thanksgiving until just after Christmas the Trail of Lights is set up at The Emily Ann Theater here in town. The light displays are set up by different groups and organizations in the area. It's always fun to see what they come up with each year. We usually walk through once or twice during the Christmas Season to see the lights, listen to the band, sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows, and drink hot chocolate. The weather has been very agreeable this year so it was packed.

Somewhere along the line the kids managed to talk us into letting them open a gift on Christnas Eve. That one gift is always pajamas (Dax loves this one pair if pajama pants so I occasionally wrap them up and give them to him again.) We usually open those pajamas and them watch Christmas Vacation together.

This year we were blessed with a visit from 'Cousin Eddie'.

We generally head to bed far too late and then get up far too early to see if Santa has come. Dax likes to open the last gift, so our challenge is to sneak one aside to have it to open once he is through. Some years he's paying more attention and it's a tough thing to do.

After all of that, we start what usually turns out to be an all day eat-a-thon. There is always too much food, but we do our best to eat it all. A few years ago we decided we just didn't want turkey again so close to Thanksgiving so we've opted for steaks cooked out on the grill. I can't tell you what an amazingly great choice that has been.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And on it goes

Since the kids have gone and outgrown trick-or-treating (why do they do that?) Dax and I like to go sit and have coffee in town at the square (that's downtown for our little town) and watch the little trick-or-treaters. The last couple of years Addison and Kirsten have gone with us. We love seeing all the little kids in their costumes and being so excited about the candy.

This was my favorite costume this year:

He's a half gallon of ice cream. So creative!

I'm usually a little sad that the kids are too old for that kind of thing, but then I remind myself of how much work I don't have to do anymore. Ha!

We also welcomed two new critters into fold.

They are adorable, but get into the dishwasher....

Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to a family member, as my uncle passed away. It still seems hard to believe and I know his presence is missed by all.

The kids managed to sneak in a birthday and are now seventeen. SEVENTEEN! What the heck?! I'm tired of them doing this growing up thing. Next they're probably going to want to move out on their own or something.

Regardless, we celebrated with cheesecake.

.....and sundaes......

It was fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Catching up

This year has been crazy busy, or at least that's how it feels.

After we got home from vacation we discovered that one of the water lines was leaking. Addison and I got busy finding and fixing the problem.

Even though it had been only a couple of months since all of the flooding, the ground was hard as a rock already. But, we think we got it fixed. So far so good, anyway.

Then, just like that, the summer was over and it was back to school time. 

I can't believe they are already juniors in high school! I know I say it all the time, but this has all just gone by so fast!

Not long after, Addison got her braces off.

That just leaves Abigail still in braces. As slow as her teeth move, she might be 30 before they get to come off!

Somewhere along the way we enjoyed a small hometown rodeo.

I've really decided that I like these better than the big rodeos. I don't know why, it's not like I'm riding in it or anything.

And Dax and I also celebrates out 20th wedding anniversary.

Who would have ever guessed what those twenty years would bring? But it's been a wonderful time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Vacation's over....

We didn't do a whole lot more on vacation. We spent some time bowling.

My game got off to a good start...

Okay, in the name of full disclosure, the pins had not set up so I had to roll the ball down the lane to do it. No pins? Strike!!! I'd be a great bowler if I could don it like that all the time!

Here's the master at work.....

I'm pretty sure that look is because I'm beating him so badly. 

And it's important to still look cute.....even if you have to wear bowling shoes.

We still did plenty of eating out and just kind of relaxing. It was a good time, even if it wasn't a far away or exotic destination. But we always have fun together!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Next Stop....NASA

The next morning we were up and at it again. This time our destination was NASA.

We were having fun, despite the look on Wyatt's face.

Addison took a quick nap while Kirsten and Abigail kept the Mars station going.

Then it was off to finish our tour with a visit with the President.

Another successful day complete.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The vacation continues...

Wow!!! Time sure dies get away from me!! We've been so very busy it's hard to keep up.

We were up and at it again the next morning and down to Galveston Island. We spent the day at Moody Gardens. There were several different things to do. We took a ride in the bay on an old fashioned paddle boat.

We hung out in the beach.

Abigail played in the sand.

We also went through the dinosaur exhibit and rode a Sponge Bob ride.

That took up a large part of the day and we were all pooped, so we had dinner and headed back to the Rogers Resort.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

After the dog races .....

Since we had anticipated the dog races taking almost twice as long as they did, the cancellations left us with some unexpected time to kill.

We decided to head over to the Boardwalk at Kemah. They have rides and games and lots of places to eat. One of the things we decided to do was take on 'The Beast.'

The Beast won.

Once we were completely soaked, we headed to dinner. We decided on The Aquarium for dinner. 

After a full day and then with full bellies, we decided we were exhausted and it was time to call it a day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Time for a Vacation

We decided that we needed a get away before school started back up. We didn't travel far. Just headed to Houston/Galveston to play tourist.

On Saturday night we went to see a performance of Guys and Dolls. It was in a very small theatre (like only seats about 75 people) and there were almost no props, but it was still fun.

After the play we were all hungry so headed to a local icon to eat.

Welcome to the 59 Diner.

On Sunday we took the kids for a life lesson. We took them to the dog track and taught them how to place bets. Ha! 

We were having a good time, even though we were not winning, not by any stretch of the imagination. Then a dog got injured near the end of a race. Then another dog got injured in the very next race. One of those dogs - don't know which - actually broke it's leg. They held off on the next race while they inspected the track. Eventually, they cancelled all races for the rest of the day. Boo for us, but better for the safety of the dogs.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Turtles Are So Ungrateful

We were on the way to an orthodontist appointment early one morning last week. We got down the road from the house and there was a turtle part way in the road. Abigail made us stop so that she could go get the turtle off the road to safety.

She ran back and moved the turtle into the grass in the ditch. But she was very unhappy when she got back to the car.

Perhaps the turtle just wanted to be in the road. Perhaps the turtle didn't want to go in the ditch that she was carrying him to. Perhaps it was just a mean spirited turtle. Whatever it was, the turtle was not happy with her.

When she reached to pick it up it hissed at her. Then when she started carrying it to the ditch, it peed on her......a lot!

We had to turn around and go back home so she could change pants and then head back to the orthodontist. We were late and I told them why. Once they stopped laughing, they did say that it was a reason for being late that they'd never heard.

So now, Abigail doesn't like turtles.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Time to Cowboy Up!

They are serious about the 'cowboy' part of Hill Country Cowboy Church!

We had a really good time at the July 4th (ish) celebration.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We have taken a couple of opportunities to celebrate Dax. 

We enjoyed an ice cream cake in his honor on Father's Day. Unfortunately, it fell out of the freezer before we could cut it (thankfully it was still in the container).

Then we celebrated Dax on his birthday. 

What's that? Another ice cream cake? 

You know it!!

But, he absolutely deserves it. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer time

Our summer started with big fun!!

The first week out of school, Kirsten had her wisdom teeth removed.

(Look at those swollen little cheeks)

Sounds fun, right? This was the most she could smile.

Then, Addison and Abigail went to church camp. They had a great time. They did all kinds of fun stuff, including playing in the river. The one that recently flooded our town and is full of germs and disease. So, it was no big surprise when Abigail got sick. Fortunately she is now well, and back to hockey lessons with Wyatt.

Their Grandfather has been through some scary stuff which has had him in and out of the hospital. We're hoping that the doctors are going to get things under control soon, and that life can get back to normal for him.

They did go stay with their other grandparents for almost two weeks and they had a lot of fun with that. They went to the movies 1 1/2 times (the power went out in the middle of the movie) to the museum, did some shopping, and some eating out. They were returned to us as happy little campers.

The summer is half way over, and we're still trying to figure out what we're going to do for vacation. Nothing like planning ahead!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Out with a fizzle

The school year didn't really go out with a bang this year. It was more like a fizzle. It was actually kind of a surprise because at the end of the day that day at school, they just announced that the year was over. So there you go.

Anyway, overall it was a good year.

Kirsten and Abigail were both inducted into the National Honor Society. And, Kirsten received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Spanish. 

Much to her delight, Addison received her letter jacket. 

Unfortunately, by the time she got hers (which was not until soccer season was over) it was far too warm to wear it. 

I still can't believe how quickly the year went by and that my babies are now juniors in high school!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Love this place

 We live in the best town!

The last week has been pretty hard on our little town. It's hard not to have seen at least some coverage on the news about the devastation the weather has caused. We even have some clients in England that saw news coverage on it.



 (Photo credit Jay Janner)
It's the best place to live because of how the people of this little place have come together to help each other.

I'm so proud of my own children because after we learned of all that had happened, I told them to get dressed in old clothes because we were going to help. They never complained once. Even while we were working hard and wet and muddy, they never complained of being tired or dirty, they just kept going. Volunteers have been out working everyday. Even through the rain that continued for days. 

All of this really messed up the last week of school and decisions were made on short notice. The seniors had to skip their class trip, but the rather than complain, the class decided to donate the money they had raised to the flood victims. How great is that?!

It's been both horrible and wonderful all at the same time and there will be so much to be done for months to come.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Soccer Season

Soccer season is over for both teams that Addison played on this Spring.

The high school team did a great job. They finished second place in the district. They did not advance in the Regionals, but this is the best finish the soccer team has ever had.

Her select team, however, did not make out so well. They didn't win a single game all season. Heck, I think they only had a full team show up for one game. They played the rest of the games ranging from 1 - 3 players down. It's tough to keep going when teammates don't bother to show up for practice or games. I'm proud of the girls that gave it what they had and made the effort to keep their commitment to the team.

I'm also amazed at how aggressive the girls play. It's often more physical than the boys. One girl actually crossed the line and got needlessly physical and aggressive with Addison. So Addison punched her. It caught the girl off guard, but it also caught Addison, and her father and I off guard. While I would never encourage my kids to start something like that, I'm thrilled to know that she is not afraid to stand up for herself....even with someone much bigger than her.

We're not sure where things go from here. She hasn't decided if she wants to play again next year at school and I'm not sure if her select team will hold together. If more girls that are dedicated and will follow through don't join, there's really no reason to keep it going. I guess we'll see what the Fall brings.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thank goodness that's over

It was a long and very stressful tax season this year. I'm still not sure we've recovered.....possibly because there is still so much work to be done.

Some of what has happened in our lives:

Two of our dogs got into a fight. It was awful. They both had lots of wounds but one of them has to be in the hospital for a few days. She had a wound that had to be made even bigger because of the tissue damage which left a gaping hole on her neck.  It took a long time to get to the point where it finally started to heal. But once it did, it healed very quickly. Unfortunately, the vet told us that we will have to keep those dogs separated from now on.

In late March, my Aunt and Uncle were killed in a car wreck. It's always a shock to lose someone so suddenly, but to lose them both still seems unreal. It was good to see everyone at the funeral. I just wish it had been for a better reason. We have to make a better effort to see each other and to make sure everyone knows how much we care. It seems that we all get too busy with 'life' and all too often things get put aside when they're too important to do so.

After all the stress, it was all the better to have all of our family with us for Easter. And to take a little time to do this.

It's sometimes hard to understand why life works the way it does, but maybe it's not for us to figure out. Overall, it's all good.