Sunday, September 2, 2012

Texas bluebonnets

Every year on the 1st Sunday in April we head towards the hill country in search of the Texas bluebonnets.  We were really excited this year thinking there would be fields full of bluebonnets since we had had a good rainfall and prime conditions for flowers.  We have about 4 or 5 places that we have gone in previous years and had great results.  This year we headed to two of them and were very disappointed.  We ended up with a small area of flowers and made the best of what we had.  It was perfect lighting though.  




Ken and I
Just for the record Jordan was there but did not want his picture by himself.  We have our family pics somewhere else and I have to add them to our photos.

Silly family

After Ken got home from church we did a couple of family pics.  My family loves to complain about this and give me a hard time.  We used a tripod with the camera timer.  There is one setting on the camera that will take a burst of successive shots.  We did this so if anyone blinks or something we might still get a good shot.  Taylor, who likes to mess up family photos, decided to keep things interesting.  Look at his right hand in the pics.-the 1st two he gets into position and on the 3rd grabs Lexi and shakes her.  Gotta love it!!! 


We looked forward to celebrating Easter but felt a bit out of sorts with all the chaos of our house.  We made do and still enjoyed our traditions.  

Coloring hard boiled eggs.  Funny how much better they taste because they are pretty colors

Our beautiful kids before church.  Our egg hunt and things were a bit delayed because of Ken's church responsibilities.  

After a wardrobe change it was time for the chocolate egg hunt.  

sharing a delicious dinner with good friends

The outdoor plastic egg hunt.  My girls don't want to give up the hunt and miss the goodies.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jordan's birthday

Our oldest turned 23 this year.  Can't believe how quickly time is flying and continues to pick up speed.      Although birthdays aren't as much fun as an adult we did still have him choose what restaurant to eat at.  He chose Pappasitos, a local yummy Mexican restaurant.  I remember when McDonalds was the place to go because you could play in the playground.  Jordan is a great young  man and will accomplish much in his life.  He is working full-time and taking classes in anticipation of transferring to BYU at the  beginning of the year.  Can't wait to see what's next.

Our four kiddos, can I turn back the clock and enjoy them little again?  

Being serenaded by the Mariachi band.  Caught Jordan enjoying the salsa verde and chips

Jordan likes brownies vs. cake, a preference inherited from mom

Jordan got assorted presents, but the one thing requested was new luggage.  His sisters said it was a hint to use it to move out.  They are eyeing his room.

Project Linus

Our Relief Society, the women's organization at church, decided to participate in Project Linus.  This is where handmade blankets are donated to local hospitals for children.  As part of the plan we also had a work night at church where we learned to crochet and hopefully make a blanket to donate.  I have done some basic crocheting but never completed a "real" project.  I decided to work on a blanket and had a great friend who helped me all along the way.  Once I got going it wasn't too bad, a great way to accomplish something when I wanted to sit and watch something on TV.  I appreciate all the help and encouragement from my friend and am happy to have completed this and was able to donate it to the program.  The girls want me to make something for them now.  We'll see how that goes.  

In Spring of 2010 Ken participated in Woodbadge training for Boy Scouts.  This is an advanced leadership training done over a couple of weekends.  After the training the participants have their "ticket" items, things they have to complete as part of their goals of ways they can enhance the Boy Scout organization.  Ken's overall goal was to encourage greater love of country.  He completed his ticket items in fall of 2011 but it wasn't until April 2012 that we were able to get everyone at a Court of Honor so he could receive his beads and neckerchief.  All parts of the award have symbolism of the growth of Boy Scouts.  It is a great relief and honor to complete this training and we're proud of Ken for finishing his.  

Receiving his neckerchief

certificate of completion

Ken and Larry the course coordinator

Some of the boys from the Venturing crew that Ken was the advisor for.

The proud fam.  Not the best picture but unfortunately the only one.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012


When we built our house almost 8 yrs ago we used the upgrade allotment from the builder to do the things that could not be changed later.  We went with the builder grade finishes that we figured we could change at a later date.  So for 7 1/2 yrs we have had cheap carpet, tile that I didn't like, vinyl flooring and laminate countertops.  We finally bit the bullet on the downstairs flooring and ripped everything out (except the kitchen vinyl) and replaced it with laminate wood.  This began in feb.-it is almost done.  :)

The entry before.  While the lighting makes it look decent, the tile actually had a orange cast to it that I hated.  Ken decided that the tile was the 1st to go. 

To try and eliminate dust everywhere Ken built a plastic enclosure around the tiled area and then started on the removal process.  The idea was great, but the fine white dust was everywhere.

 Tile all gone, interesting to see the builders notes on the concrete.

Out came all the carpet in the dining area.  Each day became the obstacle course with furniture being rearranged.

The before on the living room, hall and office with carpet

The office with the carpet gone

This "easy" click and lock flooring became much more involved that we originally thought.  1st the slab had a lot of high/low spots so Ken used self-leveling to even some of that out.  And thankfully Ken is Mr. perfectionist and got all the angles right.

The new flooring heading into the living room
 finishing up the dining area

The dining area all done, including the new baseboard.  

Working on the last part of the living room.  The master at work.

The living room before

The living room after.  Of course when you change the flooring it makes everything else need a update.  Not really, but while we loved the leather we needed something lighter.  We decided to try fabric and see how it holds up.  We are still looking for lamps and a area rug.  Family prayer is a bit rough on the knees on the wood.  Once I get all the finishing details done I'll post a final pic.  That building construction degree of Ken's has really paid off.  Just a side note, Ken also redid the fireplace last year.

March 2012

Since the beginning of the year Lexi has been practicing for the spring play which was Mulan this year.    Lexi was chosen to be one of the chinese warriors.  She had to balance Basketball practice, play practice, school, piano and church.  The play was the beginning of March and the kids all did a great job.  She loved the songs and tae kwon do moves she learned.  Finally a outlet for her "dramatic" personality 

After doing so well in his company's Halloween costume contest, Jordan decided to enter the next contest.  It was for a chili making contest, this was in recognition of rodeo time in Houston.  Jordan had a recipe from a friend for white chili- Chicken and great northern beans.  He got 2nd place-$75.00.  Jordan has the touch with contests.

Our baby girl turns 13!!!  Has it really been 13 years since she turned our world upside down?  It's been  a great blessing to have Lexi in our family and she adds a spark to our lives.  She started the day with her favorite-cinnamon pizza.

As per tradition, the kids get to choose where they want to go out to eat for dinner.  Lexi's choice was Cracker Barrel.

Lexi and her loot.  This is a big milestone year, as we let the girls wear make-up when they turn 13.

 For her actual party Lexi wanted to play volleyball at a local sand court.  Unfortunately the Houston weather did not cooperate and we got buckets of rain.  Much needed but not wanted at this time.  So we went to the church and the girls played there.  I am definitely not a cake designer but you get the picture.  The school colors are green and black so we went with that color scheme.

March is rodeo time in Houston.  This year with scheduling it ended up being myself, Taylor, Paige and Lexi that went to the rodeo.  It was a beautiful day and for the concert we saw the Zach Brown band.  A very good concert.  It was during Spring Break so a bit crowded.  The sad part was that the kids are no longer in awe of the animals and displays.  Kind of  been there, done that.

We did take a ride across the fairgrounds on the sky ride.  Since there is only the freeway overpasses that have any height to them in Houston, anytime you can get up above it's a great view.

During Spring Break we did take a day and go to the Houston Zoo.  We went with friends and the girls had a good time.  It's been a couple of years since we've been and they've added many new enclosures and animals.