Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cupcakes for Gracie


I have mentioned many times in this blog that my sisters, who have all boys, love to buy cute little outfits for Grace to make sure that she looks absolutely adorable. Here is one of the outfits that Missy bought for Grace for Christmas. Cupcakes galore from Gymboree, notice the cupcake tights, denim skirt, cupcake shirt and matching hair bow.

It just happens that Grace is a big fan of cupcakes. Her favorite pajamas have a big cupcake on the shirt with a cherry on top. And when we went to Carson's Christmas program, Grace found a "cupcake" on Gram's sweater. Now, the cupcake on Gram's sweater was actually a crown, but it made sense to Gracie!


Aunt Missy hit this one out of the park. Grace loves the outfit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008



It was fantastic Christmas in our home. Grace was so much fun to watch this year. This year for the first time, I think she was starting to "get it". As usual it was a very busy holiday season. Somehow, every year Christmas manages to sneak up on us, even though we know that happens every December 25th. The days run together and before you know it, its here.

We went to see Santa Claus a week before Christmas. We achieved a major milestone this year, no tears!! Grace was very excited about seeing Santa, and as we waited in line for our turn, she giggled and laughed and pointed, "there's Santa, there he is!". When it was our turn to go up to his sleigh, Grace started to get nervous and scared (as we have come to expect), but she was a big girl and climbed up in his sleigh. She wouldn't sit on his lap, and she wasn't interested in talking about what she wanted for Christmas... and there were no smiles, but there were no tears either! Afterwards, she said she wanted to come back to see Santa again tomorrow.

We also went to see Carson perform in his school's Christmas program. It was fun to see all the kids. There were well over 100 kids from the 4th and 5th grades that performed songs celebrating all of this season's holidays. Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah were all represented. Grace did very well sitting still (which all parents know is a feat). She liked being at the school. She said she wanted to go back to that school and sing and clap... oh if she only knew. It is the same school that she will attend in 3 short years. I am sure she will have a change of attitude before her days are finished at Old Town Elementary. For now, we are just thrilled she is excited about school.

Next, we packed up the truck and headed for Tyler. It was nice to get out of town, even though we had so much to do still at home. We got to take Mema to lunch and we got to visit with Granny Jean and Derwood in their home. We also opened presents at Gramma and Grampa's house. Grace gave Gramma a stuffed hummingbird, which has been named Hummybird Mama. Hummybird Mama was huge hit. I am not sure who liked it more, Gramma or Grace. Grace got a new pink poodle, which she named "Sugar Bear". Yes, its a dog and not a bear, but "Sugar Bear" is a term of endearment that we often use for Grace. She named her Sugar Bear all by herself. This was the first time she named her own stuffed friend. Grace also got some cute clothes from Gramma, Aunt Tracy and Aunt Missy. She loved wearing her sweater, hat and mittens. She wouldn't even let us take them off when we loaded up the truck to head back home.

Speaking of coming home... what a wonderful treat. I am pretty convinced that I have the best in-laws around. We left town in such a rush, we hadn't had time to properly clean up the house the way we wanted. There were still boxes out from decorating the house, the counter tops were a wreck and the whole house was in need of straightening up. When we returned home on Sunday, the boxes were stacked in the garage, the kitchen was cleaned up, the floors had been swept, mopped and vacuumed, and our laundry was done! Not only that, Tom had completed a project we had discussed, adding new shelves in our laundry room! Woohoo!!

We also settled on a name for new little girl! We decided on Haley Michelle. We are still working on the spelling of Haley. I didn't realize there were so many ways to spell it! I found "Haley", "Hailey", "Hayley", "Hayleigh", "Haylee", "Hailee", "Haylie", and on and on. Realistically, we are just thinking about "Haley" or "Hailey". The middle name is in honor of my twin sister. We think it is a beautiful name, and are so thrilled that we can stop calling it "Baby Cornish". Grace is getting more and more used to the idea of becoming a big sister, and I think it helps her knowing that it is Haley that is in Mommy's belly.

Our REALife group celebrated Christmas with our annual White Elephant gift exchange. We have some interesting characters in our group. Who couldn't use an enema to celebrate Christmas, right? And everyone needs a Last Supper commemorative metal lunchbox and dashboard bobble-head Jesus. I can now also tell you that "bacon-flavored" breath mints are as bad of an idea as it sounds... gross! It wasn't all just fun and games though, this year, we also adopted a family in need and got to deliver presents for all the kids (and Mom too), as well as all the trimmings to make a wonderful Christmas dinner. It was awesome to see the true meaning of Christmas in action.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Santa brought Grace some new toys and crayons. She now has a new stroller, pack-n-play and high chair/swing for her baby dolls. She also got an Aquadoodle to draw on and new games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Doctor Enders said this was good time to get her playing these types of games, learning how to take turns and work on counting, etc. It was a slow paced day in our house. I am sure there won't be many more Christmases we can call "slow paced" but we enjoyed it. Christmas wasn't exactly in the air though, we had to turn on the A/C because it was pretty warm outside. Grace and I even spent the afternoon at the park. Christmas night, I celebrated by re-organizing my pantry and putting those new shelved in the laundry room to good use. It took me over 3 hours to get the pantry the way I wanted it. It is a work in progress, but slowly but surely we are making it!

Tonight, we will wrap up our Christmas holiday, celebrating with Brenda's family in our home. We will have a nice big dinner and exchange our Secret Santa gifts. Then it will be time to think about tearing all of the Christmas stuff down and packing it away. The garage could use a little love, especially once the Christmas boxes get refilled. I have added several new albums in our public photo album. Check the link on the right hand navigation area to check them out.

Where ever you are this Christmas season, it is our hope and prayer that you had the chance to surround yourself with family and friends. We hope that you celebrated the wonderful gift of a Savior that makes everyday worthwhile. We also hope that you had the chance to impact the life of another in a meaningful way. May the Peace and Joy of this season carry you and yours into a wonderful and blessed New Year.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas comes early

Brenda and I got a wonderful early Christmas gift this week. For those of you who haven't heard, we found out that we are having another girl! This is indeed a wonderful gift for us.

Several people have asked me if I was disappointed that we aren't having a boy. And yes, I would absolutely delight in having a little boy, but it does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm and anxiousness to hold our newest family member. I think that most men will tell you that they hope for boys. To us, boys represent something we have confidence in. We know and understand the masculine psyche, thought process and anatomy. We hope for a boy that we can teach the intricate details of the spiral forward pass, and how to get well placed grill marks on steaks, not to mention all the joys of Tonka trucks, little green Army men, Legos and Lincoln Logs.

When I told Mema that we were pregnant a couple of months ago, she shared a great perspective with me from my Pa. Long before the days of sonograms, Mema and Pa waited anxiously until delivery before they found out what they were having. Late in one of Mema's pregnancy, friends and family would ask them if they were hoping for a boy or a girl. After waiting for so long, with excitement and emotion building, Pa replied "at this point, I wouldn't care if it's a puppy!". With this story in mind, Mema asked me what we were hoping for. Before the words "boy" or "girl" even popped in my head, the first thing I thought was "healthy".

In all sincerity, we feel so incredibly blessed with Grace. Brenda enjoyed a problem-free pregnancy. Our doctors did a great job of preparing us each step of the way. And now that Grace is 2 years old, we can look back at her infancy and see that we continue to be incredibly blessed. Grace has never been seriously ill, teething was quite nearly a joy in comparison to some of the stories we have heard from others, she has had no food allergies and has an amazing temperament. She even does a pretty good job of entertaining herself for hours. Grace is a beautiful and adorable little girl. To me, she is wonderful reflection of Brenda. With all this in mind, I don't mind saying that we have done pretty well with our baby girl! This gives me great hope for our next.

It also doesn't hurt that I have wonderful sisters... all of which are "girlie" girls, and all of which are raising boys! They have each delighted in finding great clothes, toys, books and such for Grace. I don't have any problem putting all of Grace's gently used toys and clothes back to good use.

The only thing we are missing right now is a name! I have no doubt that we will have that figured out shortly though as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving

Yes, yes, yes... I know! It has been way too long since I updated our blog. A lot has happened in the month of November since I last posted Halloween pictures. We went to Wichita Falls to celebrate Josh's birthday, we have had a couple of football games (and tailgate parties) and we just wrapped up Thanksgiving.

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. In my humble opinion, the world has been reset on its proper axis. See, back in the 90's, the cheaters from Texas A&M University got caught commiting various NCAA violations and as such, could not appear on TV for a number of years. Since the aggies could not appear on tv, the annual rivalry game between Texas and Texas A&M was replaced on Thanksgiving game. Up until this year, the game has been played on the Friday following Thanksgiving. For many families around the state, this was probably a welcomed change. For me, it created a void that could not be replaced with another NFL or college football game. It would not surprise me in the least if returning this game to its rightful place on Thanksgiving night reverses global warming, or leads to the cure of cancer.

Ever since Brenda and I started dating, I have enjoyed a family rivalry with my aggie brother-in-law. In this short period of time, I am currently ahead 3-2. This year, Bryan and his oldest son, Clancy (a faithful Longhorn fan) came to the game with Brenda and I. Since Bryan and Brenda were both going to be at the game with me, and since going to the game also meant going to the tailgate party, Tom and Cheryl figured that if they wanted to have Thanksgiving with their kiddos, then they better come downtown too!

Our tailgate crew joined up with our neighboring party for a united Thanksgiving feast. When we compared notes, we figured that we would collectively serve approximately 50 people, that grew to 60 and by the time it was said and done on Thursday, we easily fed 80-90 people. We had a great time. We were determined to not allow our tailgate party prevent us from having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We were equally determined to not allow Thanksgiving to stand in the way of our tailgate party. The result was lots of family and friends gathered together, potluck style. There was no shortage of food, in fact, we had more leftovers than we knew what to do with. There was smoked turkey, fried turkey, roasted turkey, honey baked ham and smoked brisket. We had stuffing, macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. There was pumpkin pie, pecan pie, chocolate ice box pie and cheesecake. There was spiced cider, champagne, wine and sweet tea. We even had the traditional NFL games on satellite tv! We didn't show the morning parade, but that was only because it took too long to set up the tv when we got there.

To top it off, as Bryan, Clancy, Brenda and I got ready to walk over to the game, Tom and Cheryl loaded up our dirty dishes and tired little girl and brought them all home. By the time we got home after celebrating a Texas victory, the dishes were cleaned and Grace had been bathed and put to bed. Brenda and I are thrilled that we have Tom and Cheryl to put at up towards the top of our "Blessings" list.

Check out our photo album link to see some pics from Thanksgiving and from our trip to Wichita Falls. I hope that your weekend was a wonderful and restful as ours.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trick or Treat


Grace wore her Texas cheerleader outfit for Halloween this year. Brenda and I looked all over for an Abby Cadabby costume in her size, but we didn't have any luck. That's okay, she loves to wear her cheerleader outfit. Trick or Treat was kind of a tough concept. See Grace never has had much in the way of candy, so there wasn't a tremendous appeal to the buckets of chocolaty, fruity, chewy, sugary goodness that people tried to tempt her with.
For her, it was just a walk down the street. If we got her to say anything at all, it was usually a soft "trick or treat" while she looked at her shoes and swung her pumpkin bucket around. We went around to our neighbors and made sure she got the experience, then it was back to our house. We had Gram and Granddad over, they brought pizza for us to eat and they manned the candy at our house while we walked around with Grace.
Once we got back home, we all just sat out in folding chairs at a card table to hand out candy and look at all the costumes and wave to neighbors. Halloween was a little different this year since it was on a Friday night. I would have expected a larger than normal turnout, but as it happened, most of our neighbors were either in Lubbock getting ready for the Tech game or they were at the Round Rock High School football game. Either way, our street was pretty quiet. Last year there were neighbors out everywhere and tons of cars parked along the street. Seems our neighborhood attracts more than just our neighborhood kiddos for candy.
We had a great time though, ate too many snickers, gummy lifesavers, starbursts and 3 musketeers, but hey, that's what it is all about right? So did anyone else notice the unusually high number of "un-costumed" grown up trick or treaters? What is up with that?? I am not talking about the too cool for school teenagers, I am talking about the parents of litte ones that were trick or treating right along with the kids! I felt a little silly having to tell grown adults to only pick one and leave some for everyone else... geez. Oh well.
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

We Miss Maggie

Today is a rough day at our house. Some of you know that Maggie had been battling illness for the last several months. Convinced the root cause of her various symptoms was inoperable cancer, we have worked hard to keep Maggie comfortable and pain-free. She was scheduled to visit the vet tomorrow to have some of the fluid in her chest drained in what we figured would be our last option to help her continue a happy life. Instead, she died this morning. Brenda was cleaning the breakfast dishes, I was upstairs getting Grace and I dressed so that we could clean up the trailer after another tailgate weekend. When we came downstairs, Maggie had just collapsed on the kitchen floor near Brenda and she was gone.

We are thankful that we were all here. Normally, we would have been at church this morning. Oddly enough, we had decided that we needed a morning to sleep in and cook breakfast and relax as a family. We didn't have any illusion that Maggie was going to get much better, but we were definitely not ready to let her go today. Truthfully, I don't think we ever would have reached that point. Maggie was our first "baby girl", an original member of our young family. She delighted in cuddling with Brenda on the couch, especially with "their" green blanket. If she wasn't nestled in with Brenda, its a safe bet that she was curled up on my shoulder. Over the last few months she had even grown to find use for Grace, realizing that under Grace's high chair was great place to catch a treat or two.
Until recently, when she was too sick, she used to love to wrestle around on the floor. She was fiesty with Brenda and I, and would playfully bite at our hands as we rough-housed with her. And she didn't really mind too much when I would finally get her wrapped up and "pug-tied". Our little black pug dearly loved us and we loved her. It makes us sad to realize that Grace will likely grow up and not have memory of Maggie. We won't be able to replace her "pug loving" and nibbles. We will miss her velvety soft ears and her ticklish little paws.



We are a dog family and one day I am certain that there will be another little 4 legged kiddo in our family. We will probably wait until Baby Cornish and Grace are old enough to help us take care of a pet. But our family will never be the same without Maggie. She will always have her place in our hearts, right next to Tawney and Charlie, Bear and Cash. Pets have a wonderful way of being completely and totally irreplaceable.



We miss you Maggie.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's pumpkin time!

This week, Gram and Granddad took Grace to the pumpkin patch. She had a great time and Gram sent these pictures on to us. Grace is a big fan of pumpkins. She points them out when we drive through neighborhoods and she has to go kiss the pumpkins next door when we get home.
This morning, on our way to Gram's house, she made sure to tell me that she was going to kiss Gracie's pumpkin when we got to Gram's house. I think this one is just adorable. This poor little pumpkin gets dragged around everywhere at Gram's. We may need to go through some counseling when it is time to get rid of it. Check out the album on the right to see a few more pictures.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This girl takes her Texas football seriously!


Lots of people have asked us if we take Grace to the football games. And the answer is OF COURSE! Usually when the question comes up they kind of marvel at the thought keeping such a young toddler's attention for an entire football game. We are usually in our seats when the band marches on the field and it takes an act of God to get us out of the stadium before the "Eyes of Texas" at the end (we did leave at halftime of last year's KSU game because it was POURING rain). Here are a few pictures from the Rice game last weekend.


She loves to look for Hook'em, and she loves the band. She doesn't even get scared when Smoky (the cannon) fires after Texas scores. At the FAU game to start the season she did fall asleep for about 20 minutes on Mommy, but at the Rice game, she was content to curl up next to Daddy, but there would be no closing of the eyes (that how you miss stuff!).


In the last pic, this is her version of getting her "horns up". She can't quite get the hang of extending the pointer and pinky at the same time, but I am sure she will have it down in no time.

Thanks to her Aunt Becky, she reads "Hello Hook'em" every night at bedtime. She has learned to spell out "Hook'em" and "TEXAS", and she knows that we all sing "Texas Fight". She is a lot of fun to take to the games, well worth the shoulder ride to and from the stadium. Although next season, we may have to opt for hiring our buddy who works as a pedi-cab downtown on game days!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Grace has a secret!

We took some cute pictures of Grace that we thought we would share.


Brenda had her doctor's appointment today, and we are excited to share the news! Brenda is pregnant! The nurse said she is 8 weeks and 3 along making her due date April 24th. We have known for awhile but wanted to wait until her first visit before we shared our news. Please celebrate with us and pray for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

The irony of the shirt is that we haven't told Grace yet, although she has been talking about a baby brother or baby sister for months now.

It's kind of funny, we would ask her,
"would you like a baby brother or a baby sister?"
To which she always relied "Yes!".
So we would ask her, "Which one?"
"I hold baby brother, you hold baby sister!"

Brenda is feeling fine. She has had more nausea this time around, but no actual morning sickness, so we are counting our blessings. Its been hard to keep it a secret, Brenda has been very tired, so our busy weekends and Grace's birthday party were especially tough for her.

What are we hoping for? Its a toss up. Both of us would love to have a boy, so we can have one of each. But then again, we are already "equipped" for a girl. We really don't have any preferences and I think its too early for us to decide which we think it will be. Now if we can only convince Grace to be happy with one or the other I think we will be okay!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yikes! So much for Ike...

So we waited all week, monitored the weather, and tracked the hurricane. Ike was ripping up Cuba and appeared to be on a beeline to Corpus Christi and then headed up 35 to Austin. So a couple of days ago, the powers that be in Austin put their heads together and cancelled the UT football game. We prepared for evacuees and stocked the shelves. And then Ike decided to check out Galveston and the sites and sounds of Houston. So rather than a category 1 hurricane with 60 mile per hour winds it looks like we will have about an inch of rain and some stiff breezes.

I am very thankful that we will miss the worst of the weather, and our prayers are with our family and friends in Houston. And hey, I got the yard mowed and put away everything in the backyard that wasn't tied down. That can't hurt, right? No stray projectiles here. But all in all... I would rather be tailgating with my friends and watching the horns beat up on the hogs!

Be safe Houston! The piggies from bubbaville will have to wait.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bigger and Better in 2008

Can I just tell you that I love college football??? There is something about the atmosphere, the sights and smells and of course, the tailgate party! We have grown our little endeavor from 2007 into a really fun, high class event for the 2008 season.

The Texas Facilities Commission did make things a lot easier for us this year by allowing us to reserve our tailgate spots for the entire season. That dramatically cuts down on the preparations required to get ready each home game. We secured a great spot with a huge oak tree, space for the travel trailer and plenty of space to set up our canopies, satellite, TVs and tables for food and beverages.

I added some pics on our photo gallery from our first game.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grace's Birthday pictures

Count Brenda and I into the category of fans of Portrait Innovations! Leading up to Grace's first birthday we took her to have her picture taken at Sears every 3 months so that we could watch her grow. Each time it was a difficult experience. Nobody at Sears seemed to be able to get Grace to interact at all. It usually came down to Brenda and I deciding on 1 decent picture out of the set to use. For Grace's 2 year old picture, we decided to try someplace different. We went to Portrait Innovations. Talk about a great experience. Just like in the previous times, Grace was fussy and not at all interested in having her picture taken. The difference was that this time, the photographer took her time to draw Grace in and make her feel more comfortable. We took some family shots and used lots of different props to keep Grace engaged. It also helped that they took a ton of pictures!
Not only did they take lots of pictures, we used 2 different studio rooms and several different backdrops along with 2 different outfits. We also consider ourselves very blessed, because Missy (my very girlie twin sister) has 2 very typical boys. Missy finds great joy in finding and assembling fun and "girlie" outfits for Grace. This outfit was a "must" for her birthday shoot.
So, 100 pictures later (seriously, 100!), we sat down at the big screen plasma TV to pick out poses and settings for our package. At Sears, we usually picked THE one that was good and ordered lots of sheets of 5x7 portraits to send to family. This time, we had WAY too many to pick from. By the time we were done narrowing down the pictures, we had everyone covered and we didn't have to order any extra sheets. As a matter of fact we had more than we really needed. We had twice as many 5x7s as we usually ordered, tons of wallets, more 8x10s than we needed and a few 10x13s that we definitely didn't need. Usually, when we ordered our prints from Sears, they would throw in some different pictures that weren't ordered using their special effects or larger prints that they would offer to sell us at a discount. With Portrait Innovation, we ended up with more pictures included than we could have ever expected. It also cost us the same as what we had been spending at Sears as part of their "special member" program. Needless to say, we won't be going back to Sears Portrait Studio. Oh, and with our package deal, they put our pictures on a CD... and not just the ones we selected for print, but ALL of the 100 photos they took.
One last detail to the Portrait Innovation mini-commercial here, the pictures were ready for us before we left the studio. 20 minutes after we picked the poses, Brenda and I were thumbing through the prints. And we had lots of great Gracie smiles staring back at us. I have loaded a few on the public photo album for you to see. Above is the family picture that is now hanging in our Family Room. I even put a link to Portrait Innovation on our list of favorite links on the right hand tool bar.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Our little sous chef

Grace LOVES to play in the kitchen. If she isn't busy in her play kitchen at our house, or her play kitchen or Gram's, or standing on her stool with me in my kitchen, then its a safe bet she is standing on her stool at Gram's house helping Gram. And looking the part is extremely important, so she has aprons and chef hats at both houses. This one, at Gram's is a little on the big size, but to be fair, it is meant for all the grandkids to be able to wear. It probably fits Colton or Carson far better than Grace!
When you work in a kitchen, "mis en place" is very, very important. This is the process of assembling the ingedients before you start cooking so that you don't miss anything. Translated it means "In its place". At home, I rarely take it to the extent that Gram does. Look behind Grace and you can see all her pinch bowls lined up with eggs and vanilla, and measuring cups with sugar and oatmeal. To me, that's just more clean up, but it does help Grace see what is coming next.
At our house, Grace does not care for the stand mixer. Its too noisy for her, it kind of scares her. This picture makes me laugh, because she is standing right up there and looking into the mixer to watch everything come together. In Round Rock, we have a Young Chefs Academy, which I am really looking forward to taking Grace to one day. They have classes and events for kiddos starting at age 3. We still have a year to go, but I think Grace will really enjoy that. On Sunday, we were in Target, taking advantage of the fact that we can still shop for Grace's birthday with her sitting right in the cart. That won't work at Christmas time, but for now, she doesn't even know the difference. Anyway, we stopped and looked at a row of toys that included the Easy Bake Oven. Its recommended for children 8 and above. At this rate, I think she will be well beyond the Easy Bake Oven stage by the time she turns 8! Check out the gallery from the link on the right to see more pictures from today.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't let the silly smile fool you!


Oh, we have a sick baby girl! Don't let the silly smile in this picture fool you. She does not feel very good these days. Over the last 24 hours both car seats have needed to be stripped down and cleaned, the crib has been stripped down, the changing table stripped down, the carpets cleaned... oh goodness... She wasn't even able to keep Pedialyte down this morning. We took her to see the doctor this morning and the doctor suspected that she picked up a virus, probably from the nursery at church since thats the only group of kiddos she has been around recently.

Fortunately, the virus seems to be winding down. She hasn't been sick since this morning, but she has only eaten cheerios and small doses of juice today. I felt so bad for her. She really has been very good though. She isn't overly fussy when she gets sick. She goes through phases of being a clingy little Mommy's Girl (or Daddy's girl or Gram's girl or Granddad's girl, etc...) and then she is happy and playing and smiling and giggling.

There wasn't much that the doctor could do to help us, the virus has to sort of run its course. He did prescribe a suppository to help with the nausea. Don't you know she is looking for that little bit of joy if she gets sick again! Pray for us, we hope that things will be better tomorrow.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

POOH!!!

A big part of my job involves traveling to other cities where to provide user training for the software we build for credit unions and banks. And while I really enjoy seeing new places, there usually isn't time to hit the tourist spots just for fun. For example, this week I was in "The Sunshine State", at the home of the "Most Wonderful Place on Earth" and home to Shamu and Universal Studios! Yep... Florida. Now just to make sure nobody gets the wrong idea, it rained the entire time we were there. And while there was no time for a day at any of the attractions, there was no way I was coming home without a small momento for Grace. There is not shortage of Disney characters for sale in Orlando, and I knew that Pooh was the right choice for Grace.


When I got home on Thursday evening, Brenda and Grace were out to dinner with Gram and friends. I had time to unpack and leave Pooh on the counter top so Grace would see him when she walked in the door. It worked like a charm, Brenda opened the door, Grace walked in and immediately spotted the big, soft, fuzzy Pooh bear. After a big gasp and a few quick blinks of the eye, she said "Hold Pooh???!!!" Oh yeah, "Hi Daddy!" She really did love him. It was fun to see her reaction. She played with Pooh and ran around the house with Mommy and Daddy (we play chase around the bottom floor). She loves to chase us and have us hide around a corner to jump out and "scare" her. She just laughs and giggles to our delight.
As I expected, when it was time to leave for work this morning, she wanted to take Pooh to Gram's. It looks like Pooh had a busy day today too. There are more pictures in the web album of Grace and Pooh's day. After Grace's breakfast and Pooh's snack time, Grace went to see the doctor. She has a pretty bad boo-boo on her hand from when she decided to try to grab the treadmill while it was moving. That was a pretty rough day for her and her burn was starting to get infected. But Grace was a champ at the doctor's office and got to go to McDonald's for lunch with Mommy when it was all over.
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Splashdown in Baytown

Now Richard will probably tell you that he was doing this for the kids... I ain't buyin' that stuff! I am sure that Richard had as much fun as any of the other kiddos on Saturday zooming down the slide and splashing in the pool. It was a wet and muddy start to the party, but in the end, the sun was bright and shining, the kiddos had a blast and so did the parents.
I did love this picture. There was no way that I was going to be able to make it up the "ladder" on this water slide. But Uncle Richard did his "uncle duty" and took Grace down. If you look closely through the water drops and splashes, Grace has her eyes closed, but she is smilin'. That didn't last long. The full splashdown scared her pretty good. She spent the rest of the day in the baby "Whale" pool. She did muster up the courage to climb up again, but she fell backwards down the "ladder" and that pretty much ended our day.
A little sunburn, late dinner and short naps made for some tired cousins by the time we headed to bed. They had a great time though playing together and chasing each other around the house. We had a fun time in Baytown and look forward to getting the cousins together again soon. Check out the public album on the right for some more pictures from our trip to Baytown.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Canada Day

When your Gram is
Canadian, it is important to celebrate your heritage on important days, like
Canada Day. This is especially true when Gram goes to Canada and brings
you back a present, like a red t-shirt celebrating the Canadian Olympics in
2010.
Brenda and I both tried hard to teach Grace to say
"Happy Canada Day Gram" on Tuesday morning before I dropped her off at
Gram's for the day. She has the "Happy" part down, and I think she has the
"Day" part. So what Gram got on Tuesday morning was "Happy Day!"
I think Grace makes a pretty good Canadian ambassador
lounging on Gram's maple leaf pillow.
I included this pic, not because it celebrates Canada Day, but because it displays one of Grace's new favorite expressions. She doesn't like to hear the word "No", much like other kiddos, but she sure likes to use it a lot. I imagine this was Grace telling Gram "No smile" or "No picture" or something similar. Clearly, it pains her deeply.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Old Soldiers Never Die

This was a great way to spend a couple of days in the middle of the week. Twenty-two years ago I got to go to Fort Leonard Wood with my dad to see my brother graduate from basic training. On Tuesday this week, I headed up to Tyler to pick up my dad so we could attend Craig's retirement ceremony and reception. It was a tremendous honor to make this trip and made for another special memory that I share with my dad and my brother.

This picture shows my brother, First Sergeant Clark (right) with Colonel Sage, who presented the awards and was the guest speaker for the retirement ceremony.

During the reception, following the retirement ceremony, Craig was presented with the Quartermasters Corps Order of Saint Martin medal. Chief Sanchez (presenting the medal) singled out Craig's community service with Habitat for Humanity and charity work with kids while serving in Bosnia as meritous achievement for this award. Here is a link to the story of this award and levels of presedence. http://www.qmfound.com/martin.htm

Here is Craig and Dad after the reception.
Twenty two years ago, Craig and I took a picture at Ft. Leonard Wood. That picture was a kid and a lean, mean soldier. For this picture, we were just luck we didn't need a camera with a wide-angle lens.

There are a few more pictures in the public album on the right column. I mentioned that it was an honor to attend this event. Not only am I incredibly proud of my brother and his selfless service for our country, we had the opportunity to shake the hands of 11 other men and women who ended distinguished careers on this day. It was a blessing to be able to look those men and women in the eye, shake their hand and thank them for their service and congratulate them on their careers.
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