Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sophie turns two!!!

Our youngest grandchild, Sophie Lyn, turns two on the 29th.  Leslie had a family gathering on Monday night to celebrate.  Here are a few pictures from the party.   
Sophie invited Owen to the party.  They ate hot dogs, watermelon, baked beans and chips.

Dessert was a yummy cupcake cake!
Opening gifts was a blast!  Here are a few of her gifts.
Her cute, pink sandals! She had to put them on right out of the box.

She loved how they looked!

Aunt B gave her a Princess dress up box.

I don't remember who got her the Dora guitar...

Seth got her a box of Tinkerbell band-aids.  She LOVES band-aids!

Maggie got her a unicorn Pillow Pet...

She got some cool sunglasses, a sun hat, and some super cute pj's from Owen...

And our present was a blue Beta fish.  We had asked her what she wanted and all she said was "blue."  Hence, the blue Beta named Goldie!

After presents, she got to whack the tar out of a pinata... a family tradition at the Gutierrez house!
Lots of fun at a special party for a very special little girl.  Happy Birthday, Sophie Lyn!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Beautiful Day at the Park...

We have had an unusually hot and dry spring.  Temperatures have been averaging in the triple digits for most of the month and rainfall has been minimal.  Finally, on Tuesday night we got some rain and the temperatures dropped to the low 90's.  Leslie & I decided to take the kids on a picnic to the park Wednesday afternoon before heading to my parents home for family dinner. One of the things I love about Temple is the wide selection of beautiful parks. Lion's Park has a wonderful play area with a covered pavilion nestled in a grove of huge oak trees.  It is the perfect place to spend some time with the grandkids.
Here are a few pictures I took that day.  The kids looked especially gnarly that day; Maggie has started dressing herself, Seth had decided to not cut his hair for the summer, and Sophie is at that stage where her face is always dirty.  That being said, I still think I have the cutest grandchildren on Earth.
Sitting with Sophie & Leslie at the pavilion..

Maggie crawling through the tunnel...

Seth on the monkey bars...

Seth on the swing (before he got motion sickness)...

Maggie on the swings...

A nice game of tag...

Sophie playing on the stairs...

Climbing on Seth...

Maggie trying out the monkey bars...

Three beautiful, healthy, & happy kids!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What does your garden grow?

I have missed Dad's huge gardens ever since we moved away from Ohio.  In all of our travels, I have made attempt after attempt to grow a few vegetables in whatever yard we have happened to have.  This year, I thought about putting out tomatoes again, but decided I have fed the birds enough of those over the years.  Being in Texas, I have discovered that jalapeno peppers are THE vegetable to grow.  And they produce beautifully!  So, during spring break, instead of putting flowers in the flower garden that surrounds the mailbox, I decided to put 4 cabbage plants, 2 jalapeno pepper plants, and a rosemary plant.  It is truly the only place in our yard that gets sunlight for the majority of the day.  
The cabbage plants grew quite large in no time at all, and the peppers were producing before the month was up.  Unfortunately, my cabbages ended up with caterpillars on them and I had to treat them with sevin dust.  It took care of the caterpillars within a day or two and the plants continued to grow.  Soon, I had perfectly round little cabbage heads in each one.  
I knew it was time to harvest, so I had two choices: 1) pull up the plant, cut out the head, and dispose of the plant; or 2) simply cut out the head and leave the plant to produce a new cabbage heads.  I opted for the second choice, reasoning I might as well get my money's worth.  As I cut away the heads, I notice new little heads beginning to grow.  Dad says the new ones won't be as large, but Ron and I don't eat that much anyway.  I know it seems silly to some of my friends that grow beautiful gardens in this horrid soil, but I am so proud of my little peppers & cabbages.  I just had to share some pictures.  
The flower bed after I cut the cabbage heads out.  I should have taken a before shot but, I don't think that quickly.

The inside of one of the plants.  You can just see the tiny new cabbage heads starting to form on the left of the core.

Three of the cabbages I harvested.  I gave the largest one to Leslie before I decided to take pictures for this post..  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Faces of summer...

I agree with the belief that you can tell a lot about peoples' thoughts from the looks on their faces.  Here is the proof.  

  I call this my "I look like Joaquin Phoenix!"face.  My niece, Sarah, makes these cool hats.  I saw it on her blog and knew I needed one for crazy hat day.  Thanks, Sarah!

This is Sophie's Cheeto's face.  Ryan and Scott started giving the girls Cheeto's lately.  
I think it is because they love the orange finger effect. 

This is Seth's "What, I'm not teasing Maggie!" face.  He is usually very sweet with the girls, but from time to time he gets a little ornery.

This is Maggie's "I will eat this candy because you told me to Mimi, but I really don't like it!" face.  I gave her a War Head.  She never did develop a taste for them.

This is Seth's "Come on in! The water's fine!" face that he had when the water was still not quite warm enough for my taste. 

This is Maggie's "I am a little bit afraid of the water, so I think I will hang out here on the ladder." face.  Hopefully, her fear of the water will fade as the summer goes on.

This is Sophie's "I don't want to get out! I'm not hungry!" face.  This girl is a little fish!

And the final face is Sophie's "You can't see me! We are playing hide-and-seek and you can't see me 'cause I'm under the quilt!" face.  

Sweet faces that I love soooo much!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another school year ends...

Every once in a while, as a teacher I have had a class that was really special.  Not necessarily filled with brilliant or agreeable children; but filled with memorable little personalities that somehow wiggled their way into my heart.  I can't really pin point a reason for it; but, this was one of those years.  I thought I would try to jot down a few of the most memorable characters of the year before my feeble, old mind lets them slip away.
Ashley:  this little gal reminds me of the character Stephanie in Robert Munch's book Stephanie's Ponytail.  She has waist length hair and always had it pulled into a pony tail on the side of her head.  She had the sharpest wit and a great sense of humor.  Her favorite library books were the joke books.  During silent reading time, she would pull her chair up to my table and read jokes to me.  It was one of the highlights of each day.
Savannah:  She reminded me of Little Orphan Annie because of her curly red hair and freckles.  She started the year out so shy and timid, that I had to read her first oral report for her because she turned beet read and burst into tears.  By the end of the year, she had blossomed and decided for her final presentation to dress in character and present her report on Fern in Charlotte's Web. 
Brandon: one of the worst cases of ADD I have ever had in my class.  He would curl his legs up on his chair and find ANYTHING  imaginable to play with (fingernail dirt, eraser rubbings, crayon shavings, etc.)  Mom was a teacher across the hall from me and she agonized over whether or not to medicate him.  Eventually, Brandon's physician convinced her to try meds.  After a week, his work was all done and his grade point average was soaring along with his self-esteme.
Andrew:  memorized all the states and their capitals using a classroom floor puzzle!
Kyjuan:  the best big brother to his 4 little siblings while mom was deployed.  He took home his prizes from the treasure box, candy from parties, and snacks from lunch for his little sisters & brother.
Amaya: an animal lover through and through.  Her choice for enrichment group was the animal group.  Her choice for "what will you be when you grow up" was to operate an animal shelter.  Her favorite books were about animals; and, she and Andrew just sobbed when Daisy the hamster died.
Bailey:  the principal's daughter went from trying to be everyone's boss to one of the most helpful students in the class.
Christopher:  little guy, huge eyes, and a massive vocabulary!  He impressed me the most when he told me about asking his friends to bring donations for the animal shelter to his birthday party instead of birthday presents.
Morgan:  sweet little thing that worried more about Miss Beaty (another second grade teacher) being single and ending up alone than she did her school work.
I could go on and on and on... However, it is late and I am tired.  I can only hope that next year brings as many wonderful and unique little creatures into my room.