Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Party and Trunk or Treat...

Tonight was the ward Halloween Party and Trunk or Treat. My youngest daughter, Leslie, is the activities chairman for our ward and has been working on this activity for over a month. She was pretty stressed out and super busy all week. But, when all was said and done, I think it turned out great. Because she was sooooo busy all evening, this is the only picture I managed to get with her in it! She is the cute cat lady on the right hand side, just above the ball cap with the huge Y.
Leslie made all of the costumes for her family. G was Woody from the movie series Toy Story....

and Maggie was dressed as the character Jessie. Sophie was a cute little lady bug. She was so good and kept her antennae on all night! Ron was very original. He wore one of his many umpire outfits.
I found the cutest clown costume on eBay. Ron picked up the face paint, wig, and nose for me today. I had to do a little alteration because it was pretty large. I added a hula hoop to the inside at the waist so it would stand out away from my body and lift some of the length. Next year, I think I will shorten the legs a bit. But, I love it. Do you see my nifty medal? I won first place in the adult category!
During the party, I was able to avoid the crowds and confusion by manning the prize table. My partner in crime was my super best friend Marilyn. She was so funny! She went estate sale shopping today and found the rattiest witch's hat. She said when she saw it she just had to have it. She didn't pay anything for it because she told the lady selling it that she should actually be paying her to carry it off for her. I think she made a cute witch.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And yet another October birthday...

October has always been a busy birthday month for my family. I was born on my father's birthday. Two years later, my brother Bob was born 1 day after Dad's birthday. Then a year later, my brother Larry was born 2 days before Dad's birthday. During the years that have passed, we have added a few grandchildren and an anniversary to the October occasions list.
Now, Leslie's husband, Gerson, has been included in that prestigious list.
Last Saturday, he celebrated his birthday. He and Leslie invited a few friends from college, work, and church over for dinner. Here are a few pictures taken that evening.

Leslie made G some yummy chocolate cupcakes. They had a creamy center and a thick dollop of icing on top. He tried to get Maggie to help him blow out the candles, but she wasn't interested in blowing, only eating!
One of the families from church has 2 little girls the same ages as Maggie and Sophie. They all sat together and munched on hot dogs, watermelon, baked beans and chips.
Then Sophie enjoyed a cupcake...
...very, very, much!
"Blow kisses, Sophie!"
Happy Birthday, Gerson!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This month I turned 55 years old. To some, that may seem ancient; to others, it may seem quite young. To me it is just a number. I don't really think about age that much; but, at times I feel my age. In honor of my birthday, I figured I ought to post at least 1 picture of myself on this stupid blog. That was hard to do! I don't seem to have many pictures of me. I guess it is because I am always the one with the camera. Anyway, this one will have to do. Also, I thought now would also be a good time to list a few things that I see as accomplishments, sources of joy and happiness, as well as my dreams and goals.

First: the things that bring me joy...
1) Most importantly of all, I know who my Heavenly Father is. I love Him, I know that He loves me, I receive guidance from Him on a daily basis, and I know that I can always turn to Him for help. All of which are possible through the loving atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
2) I have managed to stay close, geographically and emotionally, to my parents. They are the greatest role models anyone could ever hope for. They are hard working, honest, talented, and supportive. I hope that I have given them joy and pride by the things I have done with my life.
3) I have stayed married to a wonderful man and weathered many storms with him. He drives me crazy at times, but is and always has been my sweetheart.
4) I have managed to become friends with my children. I will never, ever, ever say that I was a good mother. The whole time I was raising my kids, I felt like I was playing a continuous game of Roulette. I never knew how my decisions would turn out. I like my kids as adults, and I think they like me.
5) I have become a good teacher. Waiting until I was older to get my degree was mostly due to lack of confidence on my part. Going to college, doing well in college, and becoming the type of educator that others turn to for advice, or look to as a mentor, has been a complete surprise and joy to me.
6) I have had the privilege of living in, traveling to, and learning about many different places. In each place, I met people who had an impact on me. Some of the people who have stayed in my memory as examples include Phyllis Condie, Cindi Page, Barbara Becker, Rae Keck, Beth Jepson, Teddi Richardson, Joyce Rey, and LeAnn Wright. I am thankful for these people from my past and for the good they brought out in me.
7) My greatest joy of all; being a grandmother to 3 beautiful, bright, and healthy children.

Second, the things I hope to someday accomplish...
1) To always remain a source of love and comfort for my family, friends, and students.
2) To someday learn to manage my time so that I can sew, quilt, craft, garden, and travel.
3) To take a year off and hop in an RV with Ron and the grand kids, then travel to all the major ballparks & LDS temples throughout the continental United States.
4) To write a book.
5) To live my life in a way that people will know my beliefs by my works.
6) Be the kind of grandparent that is never thought of as "old".
7) And last, but not least, (I am stealing this one from Barbara), to design a bra that fits comfortably, has straps that don't slide off my shoulders, and feels as good as not wearing one!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fire!!! Fire!!!

Last night was Family Night for the fire academy. Family members were invited to watch the cadets as they went through the drills they have learned for putting out different types of fires. We arrived at twilight, in time to see Scott standing around with the other cadets as they waited to begin.

Once they suited up, we had a hard time distinguishing Scott from all the others. Luckily, his disproportionate "Porter" body helped. We just looked for the tall one with a large upper body and bowed legs. However, once they started wrangling the hoses and crawling on the ground, it was way to difficult to figure out which one was Scott. I thought this shot of the reflective tape was pretty cool.

Scott was on the first team to go out. They had to put out a "tree" fire first. I think this will probably be the main type of fire Killeen FDP will battle. Fort Hood is ALWAYS setting grass fires out on the ranges that result in massive cedar trees simply exploding. The cadets worked in teams of 3. In the picture below, Scott is the last one holding the hose.

The team had to slowly advance while the other cadets fed them the hose. I thought it was a little crazy that, at first, the water seemed to make the flames grow.

Once they got close enough, they had to drop to the ground and crawl in towards the "tree". They did this 3 times so that each member of the team was in a different position, performing different duties. In this shot, Scott is the one on the ground to the left. I don't have a clue what he is doing down there. Maybe turning off the gas line?

Anyway, next to the tree was a metal thing that looked like a water heater. They followed the same procedure of working in teams of 3, and rotating positions.

After they put out the water heater, they had to put out a dumpster fire. It was pretty scary because at one point, they had to use a metal bar to lift the lids on the dumpster and the flames just roared out! The next thing we knew, they were leaning over into the dumpster with the hoses and the flames were completely surrounding their upper bodies.

We were pretty far away from the dumpster, but we could still feel the heat from the fire. I didn't use the zoom on the shot above so that the distance would be a little more evident. The shot below shows the team advancing on the dumpster to lift the lid.

The next thing that was set on fire was a car. It was my favorite to watch because the flames were always in the background as the cadets walked around the car, spraying the flames. Once they got the outside under control, they had to move to the interior.

The last fire was a propane tank. It was fairly contained compared to the other fires, but the flames were much higher.

Each cadet had to take a turn feeding the hose to the team that was actually fighting the fire. In the shot below, Scott is the one to the left of the idiot without his helmet.

After the demonstration, Scott came over to talk to the family and, of course, I had to get a picture of my baby boy. We all had a blast, but I think Scott thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I guess all of those years of sending Scott out to cut down cedar and then burn them had more of an impact on him than I thought...
I created a fireman!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grandkids... at least the ones that are potty trained.

I love weekends like this one. Becca brought Seth over on Friday evening to stay the night. We didn't do anything special; ate Pappa John's for dinner, played some games, watched some TV, and just sort of chilled out. We were both pretty beat from a full school week, so we went to bed pretty early. I was feeling a little disappointed because we weren't going to be able to spend Saturday together due to the weekly football game. Lucky for me, my disappointment disappeared when not only Seth, but Maggie came home with me for another overnight visit.
Here are a few of our "exciting" moments.

We played flashlight hide and seek... Maggie is actually pretty good at hiding. She just doesn't quite get the "count to 20" idea. She will usually say "1, 2, 20!" So, you have to hide pretty quickly when she is it.

We took some pictures... I was trying to snap a picture from time to time. Even Seth snapped a picture of me. We tried to get Maggie to take a picture of us, but she kept taking pictures of our feet, the ceiling, her fingers, etc. We just settled on the picture Seth took.

We worked puzzles together... Seth was so thoughtful. He would wait until Maggie had her puzzle taken apart, and several pieces were put back in before he would actually start on his.

We played video games... Seth brought over his Nintendo DS and held Maggie on his lap while he played. We also played some cool math games on a web site his teacher showed him. We even tried out some games on NickJr.

When Saturday evening came, both kids were pretty tired so we got to go to bed early again; always a plus for Mimi! Sunday, we woke up to eat waffles before Seth went home and Maggie & I headed off to church. What a great weekend!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Things I have been meaning to blog about...

I thought I would post a few pictures that have been taken over the past few weeks. It is an attempt to make up for the posts that are photo-less.
Football season continues to move along. Seth's team lost their first game today. Luckily, Seth doesn't get that bent out of shape over a loss, so the day isn't totally ruined by a loss. Leslie, G, and the girls didn't make it today because they are in Houston visiting G's family. These are a couple of shots I took last week.

Look at that cute, pink face. Sophie may have some Hispanic blood in her, but that pink glow is proof positive that she has some Anglo-European blood too.

Becca found these awesome chairs at Academy. They are regular camp chairs with a twist. They have a little awning on top of them, which will make them perfect for watching games in the hot Texas sun. Last week was especially warm. Even Maggie, who usually seems impervious to the heat, snuggled up with Aunt B under the awning.
This next picture is for Mom and Dad. They said they couldn't figure out which player was Seth. He is #11 and the only one wearing gray socks. He couldn't seem to find his purple ones. Becca found them yesterday, shoved under her seat in the van.
After the game, Maggie came home with me. I had intended to get some lesson plans written, some papers graded, and entered into the online grade book. As you can see, Maggie ended up using my laptop for other things.

Here is a picture of my beautiful girls. I had a doctor's appointment one day a week or so ago. I decided to take the entire day off. The girls came over and we ended up having lunch, making a trip to Hobby Lobby, and making Christmas gifts for the great-grandparents. Because it is only October, pictures of the craft will have to wait until December. But, they turned out really nice. Can't wait to share pictures of them.

Another thing I have been meaning to blog about is my rain water collector. The kids got it for me as a Mother's Day gift. I love it! I have been able to water my potted flowers on the deck the entire summer; even in Texas!
The prettiest flower in the bunch is Sophie.
The rainwater collector is attached to a rain gutter on the corner of the sun porch. It can either be used with a hose or by filling a bucket. My yard is so small, that using a bucket is so much easier than fighting with a hose.
I managed to harvest enough water from the collector to keep my potted plants watered through the entire summer. That is pretty impressive because there are 4 pots like the one below as well as 6 medium sized pots. Not bad for a TEXAS summer!

I wasn't going to put any flowers out this year because I knew I would be recuperating for most of the summer. But, the rain barrel motivated me and I was able to enjoy these beautiful flowers for the entire summer.
Luckily, because of this wonderful Texas weather, I should be able to enjoy these gorgeous flowers well into December.

Well, that is it for another week or so. Nothing super interesting; just
some of the simple pleasures in my life.