Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bastrop Aid Project...

Heat and Texas go together.  Hurricanes and Texas go together.  Drought and Texas go together. Unfortunately, when you combine heat, drought, hurricane winds, and Texas you get wildfires.
Our wonderful state has been repeatedly scorched and singed this summer.  It has been heartbreaking to hear of the many communities that have suffered great loss due to the fires.  One of the hardest hit is just a short drive from here; Bastrop, Texas.  Over 34,000 acres were burned and over 1,000 homes were lost.
Bastrop, Texas

Smoke seen from space.
During our social studies unit entitled, Communities, the students discussed the many characteristics of a good citizen.  Inevitably, the discussion turned to the many communities in need throughout the state.  Being the kind and generous ages of 6 and 7, our students eagerly embraced a relief effort to aid the community of Bastrop.
One of the members of my team is married to a local minister with connections to a church in Bastrop.  He contacted them to get a better idea of what items would be most helpful.  As a result, our second graders went into action and collected toothpaste, tooth brushes, baby wipes and soap. Our drive lasted a little over a week and was very successful.
As I read through the reflective journals that my students wrote, it was heartwarming to think about what a lasting effect this project will have on them.  They were all so very proud of the work they did, and have experienced the joy that comes from help others in need.  I am adding some pictures I took on the last day of the drive.  My little friends were busy boxing and labeling the donations.  In order to protect the privacy of my students, I erased their faces.  Unfortunately, you won't see the joy and excitement on their faces.  But, enjoy the pictures anyway.
Boxing up baby wipes...

Sorting through toothbrushes and toothpaste...

Where is the end of the tape?

Packing up bars of soap... 
Lining up boxes...

A job well done!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A very busy Saturday...

After family dinner on Wednesday, when plans for the weekend were made, I knew this Saturday was going to be fast paced and hectic.  In preparation, I worked until around 7:00 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday.  I am so thankful I did, because it was wonderful not having school work hanging over my head and putting a damper on the festivities.
Saturday started off with Seth's football game.  The weather has been horrible this summer.  I don't mind the heat, by the drought has been the worst on record.  The football field is normally somewhat green, but this year it is hard, dusty, and covered with dried bits of grass that resemble hay.  The boys on Seth's team are tough and still managed to play well.  So far this year, the Raiders (Not our favorite team, but we are thrilled to be wearing something other than green or purple!) are undefeated.
Seth is once again #61 in honor of Uncle Ryan's high school jersey, and is now called the "Mean Machine" instead of just Machine.  He has become a more aggressive player this year, much to my dismay.  I am still holding out hope that he will decide to play the tuba in the marching band.
Seth is right in the center of the picture.  Don't know what position he plays, and frankly don't care!

It now takes several players from the other team to take Seth down.  
We have become one of "those crazy football families" this year. In my blog last year, I poked fun of the people that came to the games with coolers, lawn chairs, and portable awnings.  Well, I should have kept my big mouth shut, because now Ron has bought an awning.  In I have to admit that it was much more enjoyable sitting under that thing during the game.  We had enough room for Ron, myself, G, Leslie, Becca, Adrian, and Garret.  The girls were able to wander about and we all stayed much more comfortable in this horrid heat.

Maggie is wearing her Raider's tutu complements of Mommy & Aunt B.

Garret, Leslie and Adrian

The girls: Sophie, Maggie, Becca, & Leslie

Sophie Lyn opted to go tutu free.

I had to tickle her to get her to put a natural smile on her face!

I am thinking Sophie doesn't like football much.  She spent most of the game twirling around the leg of the awning.
After the game, we went to a local Mexican restaurant called El Tapatio.  The food is pretty good, servings are generous, and service is fast.  Unfortunately, Ryan and Scott weren't able to join us today; but, we had a great time anyway.  For some reason, the grandchildren have become a little camera shy.  It has been hard to get good pictures of them lately.  That is NEVER the case with G though.
I had to sneak a picture of this guy!  Love my Seth.

My handsome Sugarbear.  

G, lovin' some Mexican food.  For some reason, he is the only one that can actually have a conversation with the wait staff!

My grandkids: Sophie, Maggie, & Seth.
Once lunch was over, we headed back to Temple.  However, the day was far from over.  G got tickets to the Baylor game, so Ron, Ryan, and G went to the game together.  The rest of us were invited to Leslie's house for a Fancy Nancy Party.  Seth didn't want to be the only guy there so he invited his friend, Jim.  It was so much fun.  Somehow, I never seem to remember to have anyone take a picture of me and that is too bad because my Fancy Nancy clothes were the best!  We enjoyed pizza, creme' puffs, chocolate dipped strawberries & marshmallows, pigs in a blankets, bubbly grape juice and soda.  
Two fancy dudes: Jim & Seth

Fancy Maggie

Fancy Maggie, Fancy Leslie, Fancy Sophie was playing, Fancy Becca and Fancy Dude Seth

Enjoying a Fancy Feast... not the cat food kind
But, the very, very, very best part of the day was what we got for an after dinner treat:  RAIN!! We were all sitting on the patio behind Leslie's house and we heard the first rumblings of thunder.  We were all so shocked, we weren't quite sure what it was a first.  Pretty soon, both Leslie and Becca could smell it coming.  The kids had decided to go into the side yard to play soccer.  By the time we got around to the side of the house, the drops started.  The were the big, wet, soaking drops; not simply sprinkles or drizzle.  We were all so excited that we spent the next 30 minutes playing in the rain.  It didn't last long, but it was so very, very welcome.
Yes, Maggie & Sophie; that is what is called a puddle

Glorious, glorious rain!!!

It just didn't last long enough

The perfect ending for a perfect day.