Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks and The Edifice

We are so very grateful this year. Though not nearly as life changing as last year this year has been especially wonderful for our family. We have been blessed many times over with friends, family, steady employment, dependable cars, good neighbors, dogs that love us, and exceptional children (usually). Could we really ask for more?

We were lucky enough to have the in-laws in town for the holiday - this has become a tradition now that we all look forward to. We spend the better part of the week on some massive home improvement undertaking and then Thanksgiving day we spend cooking, talking, and filling the house with amazing smells. Last year we were the grateful recipients of a brick lined planter in the front yard. This year the kids scored big time with a custom built fort and jungle gym complete with swing, trapeze/rings, and climbing rock wall. Their grandpa obsessed over the "fort" for probably about 200 hours and that is likely a gross understatement. The end result is an "edifice" that will withstand many years of playing and imagination.

The meal this year was just as amazing as last year. We pulled out all the Hill Country TX recipes complete with a smoked turkey and barbecue sauce. An added treat this Thanksgiving was the presence of our friends. There is something about a large gathering around my dining room table that brings warmth to my heart. This was a perfect day to spend with our friends as we are so very grateful for their friendship. Their presence also added some hilarity to the evening when their 4 year old got up from the table, confidently filled his cup with ice from the dispenser on the fridge door, then asked, "Which one does the lemonade come out of?" Brian said that just as soon as he can figure out how to install the one that beer comes out of he would put the lemonade spigot in too.

I hope your meal and your company were just as wonderful this year as ours. Here's to next year. May your cup runneth over.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meanwhile back at the Ranch...

Some things never change. I flew in for a super quick trip, just a few days in CA, and managed to make it for the epic yard sale. My parents are known for good yard sales. This one was no different. After eliminating a storage unit they discovered copious treasures that surely someone would buy. During this event I visited with neighbors, drank too much lemonade from the young entrepreneurs down the street, and managed to rescue a couple of items for myself (she was trying to pull a fast one and sell yards of wool with me right there - can you believe it?). I took some pictures of the actual sale, but who wants to look at a bunch of junk?

I had only enough time to eat dinner out with the extended family, get to church, visit with Grandma Luce, chat with my cousin match, Jessica, teach a little Sex Ed to 5th and 6th graders (the real purpose I was traveling), and eat WAY too much Mexican food. All in all, a jam packed weekend, but I wish I had time for more. So many faces I didn't get to see... Next time perhaps.

I did have to make it back to TX for my Hill Country Thanksgiving! My in-laws are here to celebrate (and build us a jungle gym). I am looking forward to a Smoked Turkey and some good old fashioned Texas treats. Stay tuned for the Turkey Day pics and some of the new edifice in our backyard.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dirty Jobs

So, yes, I know, it's been a rather long spell since I last posted. I'm here to tell you that this day job thing is cutting way into my blogging schedule. I mean what a pain, I wake up at 5:45, get dressed, get kids up and going, drop a child off at school, then I work all day, only to get home and repeat the whole nutty thing. 5 days a week of this! How do you people do this? To top this off I am working a hospital shift everyother weekend still. What kind of crazy am I. Again, how do you people do this?

Anyhow, things around here have been actually quite busy. For starters Aunt Jenny moved out to a house down the road a bit. We helped pack up our beloved Grandma and Grandpa Dentist for their move to Wisconsin and Jenny has the priveledge of a long term house sitting arrangement. I was not prepared for how emotional I would get over my sister moving out of my house. I am not ashamed to say that we both cried. Who knew? After 10+ years of not living under the same roof you would think that living together would have been tougher. Not so, living apart seems more difficult. Things have been quieter around here - especially with the added departure of Jenny's dog, Coach. Now we only have three dogs. What will we do?

I have been quilting, moving back to the dining room table for sewing central. Jenny took back her sewing cabinet, and frankly I kinda like sewing at the table. Darn that pesky Thanksgiving meal that I have to put the sewing machine away for. The family wants to eat in the diningroom - whatever. Quilt tops have been flying out of my machine. After inheriting some amazing books from the one and only Grandma Dentist I have been hot to try every one. I know, big nerd, right here. I am soaking up all the knowledge on this I can. I even called my Grandma Luce to talk about our family quilts. She and I agreed that my quilt from my great grandma was made of almost all 1930s/40s era feedsack! Only other big quilt nerds would be excited over that discovery I just realized.

In other news, our children continue to crack us up. We make no bones about the fact that Jacob is allowed to watch a somewhat questionable show as one of his two shows we actually Tivo for him. Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe is probably one of the funniest and most educational shows on the air. As a Discovery Channel show we feel it is generally ok. Unfortunately for us this has provided us with more than one occasion for a lesson on appropriate language. Just the other day Brian said in some other context, "Kick your..." and Jacob filled in, "Ass!" So proud of himself and then quickly deflated as we explained why we don't use that word in our house. "But Mike Rowe..." was his quick response. Yeah, we know, but Mike Rowe everything lately.

We just had Reba's parent conference where the teacher gushed about how brilliant our 4-year-old is. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know. She can read, she can write, she can do calculus (not really, but you get the idea). When she asked us about our goals for Reba we responded with, "We'd really like her to be able to catch and throw a ball - simple gross motor stuff really." Mostly I would just like to throw Reba a ball without it boucing off of her chest. This is really just to save her all the embarrassment I suffered as a youth.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I know, I know. I forgot to take a picture of my kids but I remembered to take one of the Jack-o-Lanterns. Just so you don't think I really suck, I took these pictures the day after Halloween. Anyhow, just thought I would share how very clever we are. Brian's is the "Boo" pumpkin and mine is the "mice." I am really not that clever - I saw the mice in a magazine - I just thought mine was cuter. The kids' pumpkins were a carve by number so I didn't really feel inspired to post those. Sorry, if you are disappointed.

A visit from Grandpa

My dad paid us a visit recently on one of his semi-regular trips to TX. Jenny and I knew the instant we heard he was coming that a certain couple of puppies would get his undivided attention. We were not wrong. My soft spot for four legged terrors definitely was inherited from this man (though my mother won't admit it, she also had something to do with this). He is a sucker for a puppy and our little Coach and Bailey were no exception. We now have the most photographed puppies in TX thanks to Dad.

Incidentally the granddogs love him right back. Tut was actually the first one to give "Grandpa" a hug. I guess he missed him.

A sick day

I finally have succumbed to the Austin allergies and have developed a reactive airway disease (one step away from asthma). Ultimately I couldn't breathe and took a day off from work to get an official diagnosis and meds from the doctor (nurses are the worst about going to the doctor). My day off just happened to be Halloween and so I was able to send the kids off to school in costume without the stress of a normal morning.

The best part of my sick day was getting to observe my boy and his daddy walking home from school. This is a daily thing for them, but it struck a chord in my heart. How cute are they? By the way, Jacob was a UT Football player for Halloween (for the character book parade at school he was Buzz from the Fly Guy series and carried the football book with him as well as a fly in a jar). The costume/uniform was a very beloved hand me down from dear friends whose child wore it a year ago and is 11 now. You can see how big it was on him - he didn't care. And I am totally the horrible parent that didn't take any pictures of her fairy princess. Some other mom got a great pic of Reba and promised to email it to me later - I will post it then.