Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Really Moving Story to share

We shared some big news with our family this week. I have to share with you the letter we sent out. Now, before reading this, you must know that my nephew & his wife are expecting their first child this summer. However, they had OTHER big news as well. Really, though, when the first Grandchild all around and the first Great-Grandchild is expected, who thinks about OTHER news? With that in mind, here is my letter. Note that I am a dork. I meant to say "Memorial Day" where I wrote "Labor Day." Just thought I'd leave it in here so you could appreciate how my dorky mind works!

We have a very big announcement to make. This may come as a surprise because we haven't had to make this same announcement for about 10 1/2 years. There is going to be a change in our lives very soon. We had expected to do this when we were younger, but sometimes God has plans for us that surprise us.
You know that announcement that Katie & Nils made this year? Well, guess what! Yep, we have the same news! It's true!
Have you guessed what it is? Think hard now. CHANGE, 10 1/2 years, same as Katie & Nils. I'll give you a minute to think about it. Scroll down to see the announcement.
It's true: WE ARE MOVING JUST LIKE KATIE & NILS! HA! HA! HA! WHAT? You didn't really think we were having a BABY did you? I'm not planning on being the next Sarah & Abraham, thank you very much, except for the packing up & moving around part! Great Aunt is a good enough new title.
Some friends of ours have a house for rent that is about twice as big as this house, in a nice neighborhood (they live in the same neighborhood) and they will charge us what we are paying NOW for our house. That is actually lower than their house payment, so they are offering this to us as a way to help us and they will not be out the full house payment each month. There is a possibility that they might be willing to sell it to us IF we like it. This gives us a chance to try it before we buy it. I keep thinking I measured wrong, but what I wrote down is the Master bedroom is 15'8" x 15'6"! We're going to "subdivide" it to use part as we would a 4th bedroom. Then the master closet is an L shape, about 10 feet one way & about 12 feet the other, and about 4 1/2 ft. wide. If that room had vents in it, I told Phil I would use that as my craft/sewing room! If you come to visit us, we may turn the closet into a spare bedroom! We'll be moving stuff in starting in May & then wil officially be out of this house by the end of May. I hope we have everything moved out by the weekend before Labor Day so we can use that next week to clean this pigsty, um, I mean house.
Have a wonderful day!

Well, WE thought it was pretty funny. Our parents already knew we were planning to do this, but for the others, I was hoping for the shock factor. Mom did say the thought went through her mind & she kept saying, "No, she can't be. This must be a joke." ha, ha!

And I hope YOU have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Just a quick note. This is Fiesta Week in San Antonio. Personally, it doesn't make a big difference in our family's life, as we don't do the activities. I would love to take the girls to some of the parades sometime, but it has yet to happen. The only thing it alters is Phil's work schedule. Yes, in San Antonio, half or more of the city shuts down on the Friday of Fiesta for a Parade! You gotta love a city that dedicates a week to a big ol' party! Sure, there's some history here with the Battle of the Alamo and Texas Independence. But, really, if you go to any of the standard Fiesta events, most people will not greet you with a history book or the TRUE story of David Crockett (Davy, Davy might know the song). They'll more likely greet you with a Cascarone, or colorful eggshell filled with confetti, and crack it over your head. Yes, they sell cartons of eggshells filled with confetti in San Antonio. We even have royalty for this event! The gowns the ladies wear are amazing. We have not one, not two, but THREE official parades! First is the River Parade, a parade of floating barges with Fiesta Royalty, musicians, and more. Then we have the Battle of Flowers Parade held on the Friday afternoon of Fiesta Week, with floats all covered in flowers, much like the Rose Bowl Parade. Finally, Fiesta finishes off with the Fiesta Flambeau (obviously we like to use mulitple languages here): the biggest nighttime parade in the U.S. (according to local news personalities). While we will likely just be sitting at home tomorrow during the parade (trying to get over an ear infection, mine this time), I'll leave you with some glimpses of what you might see if you were here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Nils!

Just want to wish my nephew Nils a HAPPY Birthday! It's his last year of his 20's. Wow, I can't believe it was 29 years ago that I was a teenager waiting in the hospital to become an AUNT! My friend Denise was with me. His mom's younger brother, Tommy, was there, too. Of course the anxious grandparents (this was a first for all of them) were waiting for the big moment. I guess teens get bored easily, and Denise & I had some free passes to Astroworld, a now non-existent amusement park. Tommy was WAY older than we were (probably about 2 years older & we thought he was SO old & cool---LOL!) and had a car. Guess what the 3 of us did since this baby was taking so long to be born? Yep, we took off for Astroworld! By the time we got back the baby was finally here. Apparently this big moment stuck with Tommy, whom I'm sure goes by Tom now, because at my niece's wedding a year & a half ago, we discussed this piece of history!

Nils has a big year ahead of him. He & his wife Katie just moved into a house they had built and they are expecting their first child, Emery Jewell, a sweet little girl.

Nils, the Garrisons wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And celebrate all weekend. You get to do that when you have a Friday birthday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aren't they Lovely?

After showing Bethany with her hair all pretty & a little make-up, I thought I'd show Natalie's lovely new trim & my "mop" restyled.
Here is Natalie before the hair cut:

And After:

Mine before the cut:

And After:

Wow, the camera really does add weight. I have NO IDEA where that extra chin came from. LOL! Speaking of losing weight, I should have lost a few pounds with this hair cut. She cut and cut and cut, then had an entire dustpan FULL of hair. She could have made a wig out of what was cut. She started to blow dry it and then said, "It's STILL too thick" and cut some more! She left it long but thinned it out with some layers. I can only imagine how much hair would have disappeared if she'd cut it short.

I almost feel guilty that I have so much hair & can't even donate it because it's not long, just bulky.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Birthday BACKY!

Today my niece turned 27. She was ALMOST born on her brother's birthday, but she is a go-getter and came 3 days BEFORE his birthday. Her name is actually Becky (well, Rebecca, but she NEVER uses Rebecca), but when my girls were little they pronounced it BACKY. In all fairness, Becky couldn't pronounce my name, either. I was, and often times, still am, "Aunt Lowee."

Happy Birthday Dear Niece! Praying the Lord draws you nearer and nearer to Him with each passing day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What would your dream job be?

If you had all the time, money and energy for a dream job, what would it be?

I think I would make a good sleep study model. I could sleep all the time & get paid to do it. Cool, huh?

I'd love to make & sell crafts and get paid a regular salary for it.

If I had time, space & energy, I'd prepare Gluten Free food for sale, and/or teach GF cooking classes. I love teaching & after 8 years cooking food at Pampered Chef shows, I think I have that part down. Cooking & Baking gf is so different & I'd love to help people get past the frustration level.

I loved doing the testing when I was working at Sylvan Learning Center. I think I would enjoy being a diagnostician for students. Now that I also have some experience with special needs to go with my regular ed & learning "differences" background, I think this would be an interesting field.

I think right now I'll go be a mattress tester & see how well I can sleep in my own bed. Good night!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

Sing it with me:
Isn't she lovely? Isn't she beau-ti-fu-ul? Isn't she lovely? Made for love.

Bethany went to another Girl Scout outing on Saturday. Her group went to the Paul Mitchell Studio for a "Glamour Girls" event. They each had their hair done and a bit of make-up added. To get an idea of how Bethany looks day to day, here's a quick shot I took of her the other day. By the way, this is a fake posed shot for my crafty blog with a silly story to go with it.

Now here are the "after" shots.

We wanted to get Natalie's age group into this event (on a different day) but it was full and had something crazy like 100 on the waiting list. She had been a bit pouty about it for weeks, but was so sick with an ear infection last week that I think she was thrilled just to be able to talk to friends and be outside on Saturday. Still, I had her give me a good pouty face for the picture!

Now I need to go to a glamour girls salon & see what they can do with my mop of hair. Right now I just need jeans to get dry so I can put another load in & go to bed!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. This month is Autism Awareness Month. Today 67 children will be diagnosed with autism. This hour, the parents of 3 children will receive this news. 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. Stats say 1 in 94 boys are diagnosed.

Why do I write of such things? Why does this interest me? Because of a beautiful 12 year old child in my house with autism. We are among the fortunate ones. Our child has the highest functioning form of autism, Asperger Syndrome. She can speak very well. She now communicates "almost normally."

Others have more severe stories. Many have a child who was developing normally and speaking at 18 months. Then they gradually lost their child to this hideous condition. The child stopped speaking, stopped making eye contact, stopped laughing, and withdrew into a private world full with a mixture of screaming and silence. The child started rocking incessantly and banging his head on the wall. The child they knew at 18 months no longer exists at 24 months.

Much has been done to help find ways to help these kids in recent years. Some have seen success with dietary changes or removal of mercury in the bloodstream. Others have used a behavioral approach to help the child be content and better able to communicate his or her needs.

We have used a program called LIFE. No, it's not an acronym for anything. It's what we do. From the time we realized SOMETHING was going on with Bethany, we focused on dealing with the symptoms. We didn't know we were doing it, but we worked on it. We continually had her learn to look at us when she talks. We taught her how to answer questions (at age 5 she often could not answer a "yes/no" question, and no way could she answer the "wh" questions). We lived life as normally as possible. By homeschooling, we could have our own "Special Ed" classroom: the WORLD!

Bethany still doesn't like crowds. She still has trouble expressing feelings sometimes. And she is SO LITERAL. She actually loves to use "play on words" but she will also then tell you that she's "just using the expression" and doesn't "really mean" the literal use. She makes us laugh a lot!

If you'd like to read more about World Autism Awareness Day, you can visit this website:
Autsim Awareness