Friday, January 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2009

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Joel & Sarah. Joel and Helen cut the turkey.
I made a pumpkin pie (bottom) and Helen made an apple pie (top).
The delicious spread.
We celebrated Brynn's 5th birthday too.
Jarin was extra thankful for his cupcake.
We bought Brynn a Build-a-Bear gift card.
She got a doll from Grandma Inez.
You think it should be easy to take a picture of the 4 kids, but...
no.....
it's not. Kudos to you photographers out there!
our 2 families.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The big Hoo-Rah!

Well, I suppose this could be called "Thanksgiving Day; part 1". This was the first year in 4 years that we haven't had Thanksgiving company and for the past 4 years I've wanted to go to this parade downtown. So...this was the year. We sat across from Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros).
This guy probably thought he was coming to a baseball game, but his wife dragged him out of bed early to see large floats and balloons.
The somber moment of the parade
And then there was this lady. Do you know her? You might recognize her from here. She spoke at Michael Jackson's funeral. She's also our Texas congresswoman. Yeah, she's kind of famous. Anybody who speaks at Michael Jackson's funeral is famous.
I don't think they teach firemen how to stand on moving firetrucks in EMT school. Something tells me that OSHA would be all over this!
And then there was this group. Some dance group. They were good.
Can you guess why all these kids are smiling? Because their Mommies fed them Wheaties! Actually they are from HEB (one of our local grocery stores). Yeah, I paid for them to be in this parade!
Can you guess the name of this balloon? It's from Sunny 99.1, one of our radio stations. Bet you never would have guessed that!
AND....this is what happens when you give your money to the local Shriners. They go buy neat things like these cars...
or this car...
or these Harley Davidson's. Wait a minute...what's going on here. I see a pattern! No, actually, I have great respect for what they all do to help with their burn hospitals.
I only took this picture to make the lady in front of me happy. Her daughter was one of 300 and something cheerleaders from the American Cheer Academy. She's in there somewhere (the cheerleader, not the lady). Oh, and that's her arm (the lady, not the cheerleader) in the Left forefront. You think she could have moved it for the picture? NOOOOOOO.....
This is the float that we own. Hey cameraman down in front...do you know that there is a giant dog floating above your camera?
There's a lot of meat on this turkey! They grow 'em big at HEB!
And then there was this "Fameous" girl. You might recognize her, you might not. I didn't, but I found her here. She sang a lot in this parade. She thought she was coming to the tropics when she came to Houston. I guess no one told her it can freeze here too. I think she sang through chattering teeth.
Wait...don't tell me. I know this family. Why it's none other than the VonTrapp family from the Theater Under the Stars "Sound of Music" play. Maria sang and she had a lovely voice. I think the oldest Von Trapp on the Right looks entirely too happy for having to run away from the Nazis.
Hey cameraman...there's a giant frog above your camera! I should have been a cameraman camerawoman.
Kids...do NOT attempt this at home. Do NOT attempt this at the grocery store. Ladies, do NOT attempt to do this with a full cart.
Hey you! Yeah, you on the Left. If you let go of your string a little more the cake might look a little more balanced and your friends won't have to push it up with their hands. Thank you!
Hey, there's that Fame girl again. Poor girl. Somebody finally loaned her some warm clothes for the rest of the parade. She didn't warble through this song.
And did I forget to tell you that the best benefit of box seats (in front where the performers perform), is that you get to stare at this 30 foot long camera pole? Yeah, it's great! That's the Disney float in the background. I think we paid for that too with our last trip to Disneyland.
Lani (and Craig) I took this picture just for you...
and this one too. I won't let my friends down. I'm nice like that.
The pink panther had to hold that paint can on. Whew that would've been a disaster if he'd lost his paint can 1/2 way through the parade. The cameraman is no where in sight. I think he was in the line for the Porta John. I call these the mariachizumbacancansalsa dancers.
I'm not sure where this drill team was from. At first I thought it might have been my alma mater (Kilgore College Rangerettes), but it wasn't. They were very good. I vote for them to win!
Hey cameraman...do NOT, I repeat, do NOT get a shot at this angle. Miss Piggy has had far too little time to straighten out her skirt and this would not be good for her reputation. Besides, Kermie would NOT be happy to see Piggy in this shape! Thank you Mr. Cameraman!It's Frosty. In a Salvation Army vest. He's missing his bell!
You might recognize these guys. They're the Shriners who put on the circus every year. You know, the circus where my son and the entire Kindergarten class got messed on by a bird/birds. I guess I'll save that story for later.
I know an old lady man who lived in a shoe. C'mon...sing it with me!
And what would a Thanksgiving Day parade be without Santa? Well, it would be a Thanksgiving Day parade. Wait a minute...that's not the Mrs. sitting with Santa. I wonder if she knows what he's up to? Maybe I'd better write her and tell her.
And last but not least...What would a Houston parade be without Pancho Clause?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear First Grade teachers

Dear First Grade Teachers,

First of all I would like to thank whomever of you it was who came up with this ingenious "family project" to "make a turkey out of things found in nature". My "family" (consisting of a husband who was out of town for a month, an older Son who has so much other homework he can't see straight and would rather have his nose buried in an Archie comic book than glue turkeys, and my other Son (your dear student) who was lying on the couch listless due to swine flu and pneumonia), and myself really loved this project! Who would've thought that picking up oak leaves from your yard could be so much fun? Or that the next day when you discover that there were little cocoons on the back of the leaves and you now have little wormy larvae on your counter crawling around that you could enjoy this project on such a deeper level. I'd like to thank the teacher responsible for seeing so much in nature. I'd like to thank you because my neighbor actually thinks I'm nuts. After wandering around outside picking up acorns my neighbor's curiosity actually piqued and he came outside and said "what on earth are you picking up"? I'd like to thank you dear teacher. Because of this project I now have all the neighbor squirrels wondering how they are going to survive through the winter. I'd like to thank you because did you know that when you hot glue leaves that they crumble? Did you know that? Yes, I'm sure that's a scientific fact! My son told me from his makeshift hospital bed on the couch! And did I mention that I had to had to hunt for just the perfect sticks and when I thought that I had them, I found out they were too long, so I had to cut off some of the turkey's feet (poor bird)? Then I would like to ask if you know if turkeys have tails? I had a small disagreement with your student about this. He won. (Note to self: google turkey tails). And lastly, I'd like to thank the child who showed up at school the day these were due with his turkey largely made with glued on pieces of paper towels. Can you please let me know where I can find large rolls of paper towels in nature as this would surely help out with the grocery bill! Thank you!
Sincerely,
A nature loving mother

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pumpkins in January?

Yes, it's sad but true...I really am that far behind. These were actually the kids pumpkins from October. Jarin wanted a scary face.
Jarin's pumpkin
Justin saw this idea online, and wanted to copy it
Pumpkin eats another pumpkin
And the finished product all lit up

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cub Scout campout

I am so light years behind on this blog, that I don't even know where to start. These pictures of the boys were taken in September one day before school. At the time we had a Tiger (Jarin) and a Webelos 2 (Justin). Jarin is now in another pack (due to the Sunday Den meetings not working out with the first pack) and Justin is now a Boy Scout and in a Troop.
Jarin...our little Tiger
Justin-Webelos 2
And, this is what you find in your refrigerator when you have Scouts in the house.
Yesiree...right up there with the whipped cream and the sour cream, are some nice cold wriggling worms. Gotta be prepared for fishing at all times!
Jarin's first camp out with his new pack. Making their own lunches (sandwiches and chips)
This was our first camp out at Lake Livingston. We loved this place! Our Kelty tent held out once again!
Mike with one of our Den Leaders, Mr. Carl. Kids having lunch (Christopher, Jarin, Corbin and Christian).
Jarin with the Scout sign
After lunch, the Tigers got busy with their Map and Compass achievement...
while the Webelos did some knot tying. Justin is not in this pack, per se, but they were nice enough to allow him to participate with the Webelos group as he was in Webelos at the time.
The Tigers counting out their steps with their compasses
One of the Webelos leaders showed the Webelos how to light a fire with very few items.Then they broke into groups and tried it themselves. Justin was proud of himself that he actually figured it out. They had a nice little fire going.
The Webelos fire starters
Then it was off to a nature hike with a park ranger. He was very knowledgeable and showed the boys some plants (including poison ivy and oak). By the end of the hike even I could point out the poison ivy!
Jarin and his buddy Noah listening about animals in the area. Christian and Dad, Bruce on the Right.
A flock of geese flew overhead
Back at camp the boys made their dinner of Frito pies (Taco meat and cheese put inside a bag of Fritos).
I wandered over to check out the Webelos cooking. They went all out with the dutch oven style of cooking.
And they definitely won the dessert contest for the best peach cobbler!
Our Tiger Den decided to have dessert after the campfire ceremony. Mike and Mr. Carl cutting up the flag. The Boy Scout organization is one of only a few organizations who are authorized to retire a flag. In retiring a flag, each stripe must be cut up and the square with the stars must be cut up. All must be folded up and added to the fire individually. It's a long process when you don't have good scissors too as we found out!
After the campfire ceremony, we made campfire smores. You start with a sugar cone, add chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, peanut butter, carmel and chocolate syrup, then wrap in foil.
Add it to the fire, wait for the chocolate chips to melt and you have a mess-free smore!
The next day before we left, Justin wanted to try his hand at fishing with all those worms he'd collected. He didn't catch anything, but he sure had fun trying!