My family

My family

Monday, September 19, 2011

Keep the plates, please!

It's official.....I am now a Minnesotan!  My new license plates arrived today.  I have to admit that when it came time to switch the Texas plates to Minnesota plates, I had a hard time.  Silly....I know!  I love it here but it felt like I was letting a piece of me go.  (For the record:  No one should put this much importance on license plates!)  How appropriate is it that the letters spell out "hockey"??  Thanks to Jim and his family, we have all become Wingnuts!

My brother-in-law, Bill, has always nailed a horseshoe above the door in his garage.  He said it granted good luck for anyone who entered through that door.  I've always loved that so I decided to steal the idea.  When I asked Jim to nail the Texas license plates above the garage door, he looked at me like I had three heads.  After lots of teasing (check out the picture above), he finally relented. 

Garrett decided to get in on the action too. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farmers market

The kids & I went to Maple Grove's farmers market last week. The weather turned out to be beautiful....just a slight chill in the air. We had a really good time. There were booths set up with homemade ice cream, apple pies, preserves, flowers, homemade pasta, etc.  All in all, I had an awesome day with the kiddos! 

We've been goosed

We have a gaggle of geese that have been keeping us company lately.  Thanks to the pond in the backyard, they come to visit quite often.  Bailey is so used to them now, she doesn't even growl when she looks out the window.  They, on the other hand, are not too fond of Bailey.  Whenever she gets too close, they start honking. It's so funny to see them waddle around talking to each other. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's freezing!

It's freezing up here!!!'s only September 15th and we woke up to 32 degree weather this morning.  The windows were all frosted over and the grass crunched under out feet.  Poor Bailey, she did her business in record time.  Garrett stepped outside and declared, "It feels like Christmas!"  Holy's going to be a long winter.  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jim's OCD influence

I got quite a chuckle this morning when I went into Delanie's room to make her bed.  I know what you're thinking......don't you have better things to do during the day?  The answer is NO!  I'm bored out of my mind now that the kids are in school.  Back to the point.....after making the bed, I turn to shut the closet doors and find this vision.  Her clothes are organized neatly by the colors of the rainbow.  I couldn't help but laugh because my sweet husband does the exact same thing! 

When we first got married, Jim spend hours (literally!) organizing our closet - yep, his clothes and mine - in order of lightest to darkest.  He didn't just stop there, though.  All the long-sleeved shirts were together, all the short-sleeved shirts.....tshirts.....polos......all precisely arranged lightest to darkest. 

Just this morning on the way to school, Delanie asked, "Mom, why is Jim so strict with us?"  I explained that he wanted them to be the best they could be.  I thought about that question as I was comparing her closet to ours.  Evidently she doesn't mind his "strict" influence too much if she's imitating his OCD habits.  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11


I remember exactly where I was on September 11, 2001.....

I was killing time in the library of Grand Prairie High School during my conference period.  A colleague came out of the media section with tears streaming down her face and a look of pure panic on her face.  She had just watched the airplane hit the first tower and was trying frantically to call her daughter on her cell phone.  As it turns out, her daughter worked at the World Trade Center..... 41st floor. 

As my teaching friends and I huddled around her for support, we watched as the second tower was hit, the tower collapse, people jumping out the windows to their death and the utter and complete chaos that was New York City.  We all broke into tears when her cell phone rang and her daughter's voice came on the line. 

My mother was working in the attendance office at the time.  I couldn't believe what was happening and, although I was a grown woman, I made several trips from the library to her office.  I needed reassurance......I needed my mom.  She couldn't bear to watch the TV coverage and I couldn't bear to turn it off. 

I've never felt so vulnerable as that day ten years ago.  By the time the bell sounded to end the day, I had decided I wouldn not tell the kids about what happened.  How do you explain to a six and two year old that type of devastation?  So much for good intentions.....the second I picked Garrett up from 1st grade he asked, "Mom....why did the bad guys try to hurt us today?".

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Motorcycle madness

Garrett has decided he wants a motorcycle. He hit me with the idea yesterday. Of course, my initial reaction was, "Please tell me you're kidding. Absolutely not!!". Then came the reasoning (this kid is good).

Argument #1: Life is it!

Not exactly something you would expect a 16-year-old to say. I'll admit, it took me off guard. I couldn't argue with this one. I happen to feel the same way. BUT...we are talking about my baby firstborn. So the best thing I could come up with was, "It's way too dangerous. You're much safer in a car."

Argument #2: I'll take motorcycle safety classes.

He proceeded to tell me that he had already researched it & found where the class was (the local college), when it was (April to October) & how much it would cost ($169 - which he would voluntarily pay himself). You have to give him credit for having his ducks in a row.

Argument #3:  What if I wait until I'm 18?

Well, crap! He pulled the '18 is an adult' card. I thought about it & countered with "let me think about it".  Hopefully, if I stall long enough, he will change his mind.  It's worth a try, right?!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Taste of Texas

Thank God it's Friday! This week has been tough. The kids are slowly getting back into the school routine - and making friends along the way - but it's been stressful. They've been out of their comfort zone all week. That, on top of being exhausted, has led to a bout of homesickness. I had to come up with a cure (I was missing Texas too!) so I figured we couldn't go wrong with our go-to restaurant back home....Olive Garden. :)

It just so happened that Jim was planning a work dinner on Thursday night so I concocted my plan. As soon as I picked the kiddos up from school, we would go see a movie and end the night with Texas-style comfort food. We decided on "The Help" - awesome movie....a must see! It wasn't exactly a lighthearted show but right up our alley nonetheless. We all loved it! Next came Olive Garden. True to habit, we all ordered EXACTLY what we used to in Texas.

Problem least for now. We laughed and talked and laughed some more! It was a great evening. We were all so stuffed by the time we got home. Sleep came easy last night and the kids woke up ready to tackle the day. Bring on the weekend...we need it!!

Thinking of you, TT

I have the most awesome big sister in the world!! Whenever I need her, she's always there. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She sees beauty in absolutely everything. These are a few of the incredible photos she's taken. Don't they just take your breath away! Love you, TT!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When life gives you lemons...

Make lemonade, right?! How appropriate this saying is....especially with our current situation. Sometimes it's incredibly difficult being away from our friends & family. BUT...what matters in this world is how we handle the situations in which we are placed. we complain about how sour the lemon is or do we enjoy the refreshing drink? I know which one I'm going to choose!

Check out the lemon trees I just bought. I LOVE them!! Usually they are only available for purchase in the Spring. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think this was just one of many ways God is answering our prayers. Every time I see them, I'm reminded about God's grace and the fact that He's walking beside us through the trials of life. I wonder if God likes lemonade. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Skypescrapping with Sis

Just finished Skypebooking with my twin sister, Charlene.  We get together once a week and work on our scrapbook pages using Skype.  Since we can't see each other as often as we used to, this is the next best thing.  As you can see from the photo.....she's just as crazy as ever! 

Feeling squirrel-ly

I had company on my walk this morning.  I was huffing and puffing through mile #2 when this furry friend decided to keep me company.  When he first darted toward me, I almost wet my pants!  :) Thank goodness he hesitated before crossing the street so I could fumble with my iPhone camera.  I'm still getting used to the wildlife being so approachable up here.  Last week, as Jim & I were coming home from running errands, two deer crossed the street ten feet in front of our car!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New school

Garrett and Delanie started school today.....finally!  Why is it that Summer seems to go slower toward the end when you have kids?!  Garrett's nerves made him Chatty Patty all the way to school.  I dropped him off first (at 7:15am!) and Delanie next.  My daughter was definitely more optimistic than my son today!  I completely dropped the "Mom" ball and forgot to take pictures before school so I had to sneak them when I picked them up. 

Garrett had plenty to report after his first day:  1) All of his teachers were weird, 2)  His Computer Gaming class was full of nerds (was he really surprised by this???), 3) It sucked to eat lunch by himself , and 4) He had WAY too much homework. 

Delanie, on the other hand, was happy to report that she made FOUR new friends!  One of them was a "new kid" too (from Arizona)!  She saw several of her 9th grade friends from the WEB team so she was excited.  She filled me in on all of her teachers, the new dress code (or lack thereof) & how she shared the chocolate I packed in her lunch with a classmate.  Don't let the smile in this picture fool you.....she was not in the mood for pictures.  Next time, I better take any & all photos BEFORE school!!

State Fair

Friday was our first visit to "the great Minnesota get-together" and we had so much fun! Only in town for two weeks, we were excited to check it out. Just like Texas, there was fried food everywhere.....all on a stick! We ate bacon, caramel apples (my favorite!), Pronto Pup corn dogs, chili dogs (minus the weenie), fried pickles, snow cones, etc.  According to Jim, the pork chop on a stick was the best. Lanie loved the pizza and Garrett went nuts over Sweet Martha's cookies.

While Delanie was busy riding every ride available, Garrett & Jim tried their hand at the Midway.

All in all, it was an awesome day!  We were all so tired by the time we left.  Lots of sore muscles & a few upset stomachs.  Can't wait until next year!!!