Monday, November 30, 2009

Little Miss 11

We celebrated Natalie's birthday all day Friday. Actually, it started on Thursday & we were still celebrating on Saturday, and she hasn't had a party yet! She's not having a big party this year, but will have some sleepovers with different friends.

On Thursday with the Smith/Garrison families joined together we sang to Natalie & she got gifts from Grandma & Uncle Greg & Aunt Robin. CLOTHES and a gift card! Just her style! She also got to pick a pie for her "birthday pie." She picked cherry.

On Friday we drove to New Braunfels to celebrate with Mammaw & Poppaw (my parents). We went to this fun Mexican Restaurant. Well, it's fun to us because we've had several birthday dinners there and they do the whole make you wear a sombrero (we hope they sanitize it well) and sing to you, plus free sopapillas. The girls like to get alcohol-free margaritas/pina coladas---aka slushies! They have the BEST ones ever. Puts Sonic to shame & we love Sonic! Natalie got Mango & Bethany got Pina Colada flavor. If only I could make a mango slushy that good, or at all!

We went back to Mammaw's & Poppaw's house to have cake, which Natalie decorated by herself. She reminded me she had done the one last year, but she just used a star tip & filled in the wings of a butterfly. We bought this giant cupcake pan to make this cake. I hope we use it a lot as Wilton thinks highly of their products when they price them!
Then we helped decorate Mammaw & Poppaw's tree. Here Poppaw is trying to get the star to stay on top of the tree. Natalie is directing traffic, I'm sure. We call Poppaw Boss-Boss (my nephew named him that about 25 years ago), my niece Becky is Boss Jr. & Natalie is Baby Boss. LOL!

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart to look at bicycles in the hopes of putting one on layway, and to look at what she might want to use her gift card to buy. We found out Wal-Mart no longer has layaway, at least not here (and hasn't for 3 years), so we bit the bullet & bought a bike! She LOVED it. From online pics it looked hot pink, but it was more of a fuschia/purple which is what she wanted. It is a good fit for her & will grow with her for many years. If she doesn't get too tall she can use this into adulthood if it stays in shape. It has 24" wheels. Most adult bikes have 26" wheels & kids' bikes stop at 20". Apparently kids are supposed to grow 6" one summer or something.

On Saturday we went to Starbucks to get her a much wanted Peppermint Mocha (thanks Poppaw!) and Bethany & I got Peppermint hot cocoa. Honestly, it was not cold enough to enjoy the hot cocoa as much as I should have, but it was quite tasty. Then to another Wal-Mart to search for something to use that gift card on. She ended up getting a Webkinz & has a bit more $$ on the card.

Our baby is officially 11. I heard a great quote last night, "Life goes by fast, but some days seem really long." It's so true. The days...or nights when she didn't want to sleep in her crib were torturously long, but these years have flown by. Today in Girl Scouts we talked about decisions they'd be making in the next 10 years, such as college. She said, "I'm going to ATM because that's where my dad & Becky want me to go." (Becky is her cousin & ATM is Texas A&M---I corrected her, but I think saying it that way proves she is Aggie material--ha, ha!) College is a scary thought when you are the teacher from now until then! I want to enjoy the days while we have them here. She is indeed growing up!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My brother's grandbaby

I just had to share this adorable picture of my brother, my sister-in-law and their sweet 4 month old grandbaby. Isn't she just a doll? I mean the baby, though my SIL is pretty, too! My dad (the great granddad) pulled out the Big Wheel that my nephew & niece, then my kids, rode as young children, and put the baby on it. That was pretty funny. Later in the day the baby sat in this cute little seat they have now for babies that supports them and is all soft foam. My niece & my SIL sat on the floor seeing whose singing the baby liked best (apparently they still have the step-daughter, step-mother competitions going on---LOL). My SIL has a beautiful trained voice she has used in Operas in Houston and multiple other musicals and choirs. My niece has a beautiful natural talent voice. However, she was singing in an opera style, which was just hilarious. The baby kept looking at them. She did smile at her Aunt Becky a few times. My 13 year old daughter suggested we sing ABC or counting songs to help her learn the letters and numbers. Being the kick-off to Christmas, we broke into the Twelve Days of Christmas, which was pretty hysterical when my brother (who also has a natural great voice, but also does impressions in speaking & singing) chimed in with this really deep sounding voice. None of us knew the order of words past 8 maids a milking, so it just got sillier as we went along. By the end the baby started fussing, so I think she'd had enough!

We had a fun day with family & then yesterday celebrated our 11 year old's birthday. I'll post more about that when we download the pictures. Where is that camera?

By the way, yes, my brother is THAT tall---he's 6'7". AND, does anyone else know the Muppet version of 12 days of Christmas where Miss Piggy sings, "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS....BUH-DUH-BUM-BUM....?" They looked at me like I had 2 heads when I sang that part. Here it is on You-Tube, but she doesn't say it til the 10th stanza & then the next 2. I think it's pretty funny!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving remembering our gracious Lord who gives us so many reasons to give thanks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thursday in the U.S. will be the day we celebrate Thanksgiving. For what are you especially thankful this year?

Here's a list from me.
  • First, I'm thankful for a God who loves me more than I can fathom, for His Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us.
  • I'm thankful for my family, from my immediate family of husband and two beautiful girls, to my extended family. We'll have a houseful at my mom's & dad's this week from my dad at age 74 to my great niece at age 4 months.
  • I'm thankful for my friends, those I've known for many years and those I've only known a short while. I'm thankful for those I know in real life & those I only know through this little box called a computer.
  • I'm thankful for a bigger house this year. I can breathe!
  • I'm thankful that I can find gluten free food more readily each time I go shopping.
  • I'm thankful for a relatively healthy life.
  • I'm thankful that I can homeschool my children.
  • I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can worship as we choose. I especially think of this one when I remember the first "Pilgrims," who wanted to escape the tyranny of the King of England at the time.
  • I'm thankful for the Native Americans who first lived in this land and for my European ancestors who came MUCH later to live here.
  • I'm thankful for indoor plumbing. Yes, 13 years after coming back to the US from Africa, I STILL am thankful for indoor plumbing. And THREE toilets in the same house! Woo-hoo!
My list could go on & on, but I'll stop now & wait to hear what YOU are thankful for.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why do people like Mac computers?

My niece blogged asking opinions of Mac vs. Dell. Her post is here . I'm married to a computer tech. We have 3 desktops (technically Phil has 2 "towers" with one monitor, so that's 4 desktops), all built or re-built by my hubby. They all run Microsoft except Phil has Linux on one of his as well. He has a laptop, we have a dysfunctional laptop, other towers, and now 2 little tiny notebook computers that were given to us b/c the owner was tired of messing with them, so Phil is working on those. We have multiple pieces of computers all over our "office" which is in our bedroom in this house. The only computer we've actually bought was my husband's that he built. I guess Phil is sort of the "dumpster diver" version of a geek. If someone is tossing it, he grabs it & makes it work.

Needless to say, with all these techy pieces around, we aren't looking for another computer. However, I was intrigued by her question & the responses. Most people said go with Mac, but no one added WHY, I'm sure b/c she's already looked at them & knows what they have. Phil said the big difference is that Macs are good for "heavy graphic work." His company uses all Dell products.

So, what does a Mac do that makes it special? I'm very curious now!

Now I will date myself by saying I remember using an Apple computer in college. Back then, they were the only home computers. I didn't have one, but that's what they had somewhere on the Southwest Texas college campus. Couldn't tell you why or where, but I do remember using it!

Tomorrow I will be buying Apples, but they are the round edible type for pies on Thursday. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fruit Flies----a tool of the devil

I am convinced that fruit flies are on a mission from the devil. They serve no purpose as far as I'm concerned, other than to spread nastiness all over our house. We have had a plague of them this past week or so. I have done all the things you are supposed to do: put out apple cider vinegar/soap traps, cleaned thoroughly, put any potential breeding ground that we found in the fridge, and Phil has resorted to the vacuum---just suck 'em in! Today I found the breeding ground. In the laundry room there is a box of clothes waiting to be washed. Somehow some fruit or vegetable got left in there. I only discovered this when I found a multitude of fruit flies in there, lifted some of the clean clothes that had been put on top, and discovered a nasty nest. That's when I pulled out the big guns: RAID! I sprayed the box (the clothes will be washed anyway) and everything that had any signs of ff's on them. Now we are off to get sticky fly strips!

Remember when Eve ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil & shared it with Adam? Remember how they got kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of that sly serpent & their following him? Remember how it was a FRUIT tree? I am SURE there were no fruit flies until after they ate that fruit & got kicked out. See? Fruit flies ARE a tool of the devil! :O