Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy belated birthday Taylor

This post is a week late due to technical difficulties, but I wanted to recognize that Taylor is now 18. It's amazing to look at the pictures and see how quickly time flies and how much he has grown. It was a wonderful Christmas 18 years ago to have a new baby boy to bring into our family. Taylor is a awesome young man and we look forward to what he will do in the next 18 years. Taylor has brought tears and laughter into our home and has been a great blessing in our lives.

Our brand new sweet baby boy

4 mos old-1st Easter

2nd Easter 1992-16 mos.




Baptism day 1999

Space Derby Champ-2000

the fisherman-2001


learning to waterski at Lake Powell 2003

With our dog Montana 2004

The pyromaniac & his goods 2008

The 18 yr. old 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful-snow in Houston

For the 1st week of Dec. the weathermen kept saying we would have snow by the end of the week. Houston can get pretty chilly, but snow is very rare. Thursday was very beautiful, blue sky, about 60 degrees. It didn't seem possible to have snow the next day. The school district was on alert for "deteriorating" weather. At 5:30 am we were given notice that the school day would go on as regularly scheduled. As I took the elementary school kids there were occasional flurries. A bit exciting, but not that big of a deal. The temperatures continued to drop and things began to change. By 10:00 a.m. there were big fluffy snowflakes and it didn't look like it was going to stop any time soon. The school district decided that school would be dismissed at 1/2 day. Ken and I enjoyed watching the scenery being changed to white and decided to get Lexi out early so they all could enjoy this special day. By the time everyone was home the snow was letting up and already starting to melt. The kids enjoyed a snowball fight, building the best ice/snow man they could and just getting cold and wet. For a small moment in time it seemed like Houston would actually have winter. Just as quickly it was gone. By evening the lawns were back to green and only the most solidly packed snowmen survived. That night it was below freezing which took care of whatever plants hadn't been covered. Our "white" Christmas was short lived but very much enjoyed.

Our front lawn and plants with the snow.

Some of our Christmas lights with the snow atop.

Lexi taking aim with a snowball after leaving school

Lexi with her snowman

Lexi and Paige with a snowman they built with Boyers in their backyard. There was lots more snow to work with there.

Video showing where we started and how the snow progressed within a couple of hours.

Reagan in the snow

When it was snowing we took Reagan out to see this new phenomenon. she was a bit timid in the snow at first and then thought it was great running all over the backyard. The funniest part was when she was trying to catch the snowflakes. The video is of her going after the snowflakes. Excuse the potty break at the beginning. And sorry I can't get it flipped right side up. I'm still trying to figure out how to add the bells and whistles.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bayou Wildlife refuge

For Girl Scouts we are working on the animals and insects patch and to fulfill a requirement for the patch we headed to the Bayou Wildlife refuge in Alvin, TX. It was somewhat confusing because you pass all these homes and business and all of a sudden here's the sign for the refuge. I'm sure with all the growth in the past few years, city is getting closer and closer to country. We had perfect weather, not too hot and a big overcast. The girls loved the animals and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of animals. They were very used to humans and the girls loved being able to feed them. I would recommend this outing, but line up a bunch of friends to get the group discount.

This deer was very interested in Lexi's patches and was trying to nibble at them. You can see there is no fear though, of either one.

This camel came right over to Lexi and gave her a kiss on the cheek, then of course it wanted food.

Lexi and the kissing camel

Lexi hanging in the petting zoo with the goats.

There were even pony rides. Of course its a trainer led ride, a bit tame for Lexi's taste.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Taylor's 'Do

When Taylor was born he was very blonde and fair. So much so that we called him the "Man with no eyebrows" because you couldn't tell he had any. Over the years his hair has become very dark, almost black. A couple of weeks ago he decided to get his hair "tipped" where just the ends are lightened. I guess that wasn't what the stylist understood and this is what he came home with. He now has lots of highlights. My dad always said the only difference between a good and bad haircut is two weeks. While the haircut is great, the only only difference between a good and bad dye job is several months. We'll see if he tries it again.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

P.O.W.E.R graduation

P.O.W.E.R. is a program to help kids resist drugs and alcohol like D.A.R.E. is but extends beyond that to encompass internet safety, bullying, and abuse. It's very sad that 5th graders need to have the program available to them, but many of these things are a real part of these kids lives. I was told that the program was being piloted here in our school district. Every 5 th grade throughout the district will go through the P.O.W.E.R program, either this fall or spring. Lexi would come home and share the things that she learned so we could discuss them as a family and put it in perspective to our values and principles.

This is Lexi with Officer Don on the right who came each week to our school to teach the kids. Some of the KISD officers have this specific responsibility. Officer Don is wonderful working with the kids. The other officer is from the DEA and was there for the graduation

Lexi and all her awards and certificate. This picture and the next show Lexi's extra goodies. The kids get point stickers for different activities and things that they do as they participate in P.O.W.E.R. They get stickers if they introduce their parents to the P.O.W.E.R officer, if they answer questions or help during the lessons, etc. Lexi had the highest number of stickers for her class. She got the packpack and medallion for doing this.

I'm sorry the picture is bad but Lexi is on the left on the stage. Just to the right of the lady with the blue shirt.

Lexi getting her certificate from our principal

After the ceremony they do a reception for the kids with cake and punch. This was before the kids got a hold of it. I really like this logo and concept with the lightening.

A mother's joy

I had to capture this-lexi and Taylor playing checkers together may not seem like a huge thing but as a mom I love to see my kids doing things together. Lately that doesn't happen without a specific request from us and sometimes with the use of coercion. This was done on their own.
I am the oldest of 4 girls and while we had our fights it was much different than the older brother/sister torment that happens around here. I don't get it but it drives me crazy when Taylor bugs the girls just to bug the girls. Taylor is not alone in this, Jordan also loved to do this when he was home. Those of you with older brothers have also validated this point-older brothers find some kind of weird satisfaction in bugging their sisters. I'm just hoping that as time passes this will change and these scenes will become more regular. They will never become less satisfying though.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jordan's mission pics

It has been a while since Jordan has sent any pictures from his mission. He is currently serving in Temecula and is on a bike. He has been out just over a year now and is really loving sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people he serves. He was in Moreno Valley for just about a month between 29 Palms and Temecula. He covered a family ward, young adult branch and Samoan Branch. He really liked being able to meet many different people

Elder Torbit and Elder Smith with family in Samoan branch.

What kind of coincidence is that, to have streets named Elder and Cool. I'm sure every elder in the mission has his picture taken there. Jordan has on a Lavalava. The next picture is also from that day. The former branch president of the Samoan branch does a traditional Samoan meal for the elders on transfer day. They also have to dress in traditional wear.

The Elders and Sisters at Kaios for their Samoan meal. Jordan is right behind the sisters on the right.

In Temecula their apt. is right next to a city park so for p-day they head over and play soccer when the weather's good. Which is 90% of the time. Jordan covers just one ward in Temecula.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween traditions

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays and we have many traditions that come with the season. We're not into the gore but the fun creepy part of celebrating.

Decorations on the outside and inside. Without Jordan to add to everything it was a bit more mellow this year.

Pumpkin, ghost and bat sugar cookies. I usually bake them during the day and then we have a decorating party as a family. Some are extra loaded with candy decorations. Luckily we give most of them away.

Pumpkin carving. Everyone had their own this year and part of that includes cleaning out the yucky part. Taylor and Lexi went for the patterned designs on theirs. Paige was a traditional Jack o lantern.

Dressing up. This year was very light on the costume sewing. I talked Lexi into using a devil costume that I made a couple of years ago. Paige was a character from the Twilight novels. And a local thrift store gave Ken and I the parts of our costumes with a few accessories thrown in. I actually had a enjoyable week without frantic sewing right up until we were walking out the door. Taylor was gone all day with a friend riding dirt bikes and didn't get back until late. We did trunk or treat at the church and then headed to the high school football game (great planning by someone) to see several of the kids from church perform. We were quite the novelty dressed up.