Thursday, June 30, 2011

Santa visits a Pack Meeting

For Jarin's December Pack Meeting, the Pack needed an adult to dress up as Santa and hand out the Pinewood Derby cars as the race takes place in January. Who better to do the job than a Grandpa who just happened to be staying down here for the month. He wore the suit well and we all had a few laughs.

He was pretty well disguised until Jarin went up there to get his car and Carl spoke. Jarin heard his voice and said "Hey, you're my Grandpa!"
Then Mike had the leaders sing "12 Days of Scouting Christmas" which was good for a few more laughs.
Santa and the Mrs. Claus

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2010

We were invited up to Joel & Sarah's house for Thanksgiving last year. Mike was in Qatar, so the kids, dog, in-laws and I loaded up and headed to their place. We picked up a bunch of pecans at Brazos Bend the weekend we camped there. Then we had the tough task of shelling them to make...
this pecan pie
Carl carves the turkey
Trying to get a picture of the two dogs, Maddie and Bridger.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Early November happenings

The boys have fun dressing Maddie up!
He sure loves his little kitty
Veteran's Day Assembly at Jarin's school
Jarin got to hold one of the flags. This picture really shows how much he's grown this year. He looks so little here.
A good head on of Maddie (despite closed eyes). She loves to go pick up her boys from school.
If there was any doubt about Jarin not loving his little cat, this picture will quell that. He's reading "The Little Kitten" to Shadow, who is listening intently.
He brought this home from school too...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brazos Bend State Park-October

Our internet is up and working again thanks to my computer savvy husband (yeah!!).
In October we camped at Brazos Bend State Park about 40 minutes from our house. It's a neat park with all kinds of animals and prides itself that it's the home of the American Alligator.
Our tent in the woods.
Our covered area
Our boys brought their pumpkins so Justin helped Jarin carve his. Jarin's buddy Corbin looks on.
Jarin's pumpkin lit up at night
Mike & Mickey singing campfire songs
The day we left we rode our bikes over to see the alligators.
The boys at the observation tower. They weren't up there for long as there were many wasp's nests at the top. If you look closely, you can see them buzzing overhead.
I love this candid picture of the boys on the bench.
Swampy alligators

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fall fun

This fall I took on a HUGE project (probably much too huge for me), but I offered to help with Justin's school's yearbook. There were only two of us who joined forces, which meant we spent countless hours and time in classrooms and at various events snapping pictures, uploading them to the website, editing etc. This was my first time doing a yearbook and the program was NOT user friendly adding to our frustration. We managed though (although my blog lagged behind). I took 625 pictures in the span of 9 months! The yearbook turned out fairly well, considering we really didn't know what we were doing. The one bonus, was that I got to know all the teachers and faculty at the school.
This was taken on Halloween. The goblin in the blue sweatshirt belongs to us.
They also had a pumpkin decorating contest. Justin entered this one.

Justin was also in a play called "America's Next Top Model Student". He was a stage manager, so I snapped this during one of the impromptu rehearsals.
On another note, our wireless router cratered this week, so I'm w/o internet/e-mail until Tuesday when the new one comes. I'm hanging out at the coffee shop now, but might not post on a regular basis.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Second Adoption

Jarin has been wanting a kitty for quite some time. Since we got Maddie, we were hesitant to take on two new pets in less than a week of one another, but we were told that if they grew up together, they'd learn to get along. So, I asked Candace (friend who found Maddie) if there were any at the vet's office she works at. As luck would have it, there were 3 siblings. One in particular, she said, was very sweet and a favorite of all the techs as she was a sweet natured kitty. So, we headed to the vet's office to look at her. After filling out an adoption form we waited several days (seemed like eternity to a little boy), and we finally got "Shadow". Jarin could not be happier with her and often I come in his room at night to find them both sleeping away on his pillow.
These were some formal photographer pictures that the vet had taken of her for her adoption file. She's a long nosed tabby. Very sweet kitty. She's already caught 3 birds and I'm hoping she'll take care of any snakes in the flower beds too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Raingutter Regatta

Jarin had Raingutter Regatta in September. Since Mike was gone I got the job of helping him with his boat. We didn't do too much to it (sand it down, paint it, wax it and attach the sail to it). The boys race against another by blowing on the sail in the water in the rain gutters.
They had a bottle launcher set up and Jarin enjoyed playing with that.
Jarin and his buddy, Corbin telling tall tales
Jarin and Corbin racing

He won 2nd place for his boat!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Adoption complete!

Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted a dog. After owning fish and hermit crabs, this boy really, really wanted a dog. He begged his Mom & Dad for a dog, but much to his dismay, his Mom & Dad said that they would have to give it some thought. The Mom started looking at SPCA and several other adoption agencies for a puppy, but nothing really stood out to her, so they waited and waited. Then the boy's Dad had to travel overseas and he was gone for weeks and months at a time. The boy just grew more and more fond of the idea of owning a dog. Then one Wednesday night after meeting, the house where the boy's family met had another dog running around with their dog. When the boy inquired about the extra dog, he was told it was a stray that was running around the neighborhood and the dog would be taken to the dog pound in the morning. The boy began begging his Mom to take the dog home and spare him from the pound. The Mom was hesitant. After all, the boy's Dad was over in another country and was sleeping, so this couldn't be an immediate decision. The Mom told the boy to e-mail his Dad and see what he said about the dog. In the morning the boy got the e-mail that it would be o.k. to get the dog, provided it was healthy. The girl who found the dog took it to the vet where she works and found out it was healthy and only about 6 months old. After she had it spayed, the boy's family went and picked up the dog for the boy and the boy named her "Maddie". Maddie is now 16 months old. The boy's vet thinks she is a mini pinscher mix (possibly jack russell too?). The family was happy to have a dog at last (especially the boy).

Friday, June 10, 2011

More San Antonio & Tower of the Americas

The Alamo at night
and in the day
This is the "Tower of the America's" in Hemisphere Park. It shares many similarities with the Seattle Space Needle.
The Space Needle is approximately 605 feet tall/the Tower is approximately 750 feet tall.
The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World Fair/The Tower was built for the 1968 World Fair.
Both have revolving restaurants at the top and elevators that will carry you to an observation deck.
Looking down at AT&T Arena where the San Antonio Spurs (basketball team) play.
Looking down at Alamo Plaza
Looking toward the South

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Haunted? Or not?

Mike came home in September looking like this...He decided to buy a traditional Qatari outfit. The photo is a bit blurry as this was taken on my phone.
Mom came down in September. Justin and Mike had a Scout camping trip, so while they headed out camping, Mom, Jarin & I headed over to San Antonio.

This is the inside of the Menger Hotel. It's one of about 4 or 5 San Antonio hotels reported to be haunted. While I've been in there several times, I've never seen anything, despite reports of those who have. Mom used the Women's restroom while we were there and said she heard someone laughing. Not sure if there was anyone in there besides her, but it was strange nonetheless. Whether it's haunted or not remains to be seen, but it sure is beautiful with the old antiques in the lobby. See the article below for more information on the hauntings.
Looking up at the ceiling.

Lobby area
Hallways with older wallpaper

The Menger Hotel

The Menger Hotel is located at 204 Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, Texas. The original two-story, 50 room hotel was built of limestone in 1859. Over the years many additions and changes have taken place with restoration being completed in 1992.

The oldest parts of the hotel report gusts of cold air, unexplained voices, knocking sounds, cigar smoke appears in a non-smoking bar, lights turn on and off, doors open and close, and sightings of ghostly figures.

A former security guard reports seeing a man in western attire and a black hat who walked through walls and the elevator would stop on the 3rd floor no matter what button he pushed. A hotel manager at the Menger insists that Teddy Roosevelt's spirit visits there. Maintenance men report doors that open after being locked, hearing musical noises and marching footsteps coming from unoccupied parts of the hotel. Housekeeping has reported seeing a blonde woman dressed in blue 30s or 40s attire sitting in one of the rooms.

The ghost of Sallie White, a chambermaid who worked at the hotel in 1876 and was shot there by her jealous husband is sometimes seen walking around the hotel wearing a floor-length skirt, a bandana around her neck, and a long strand of beads.

The famous ghost guest is Captain Richard King. He is the founder of the famous King Ranch south of San Antonio. Furnishings in the King Suite are the same from when he stayed there. He died at the hotel and his funeral was even held in the front parlor at the hotel.

Guests have reported seeing shot glasses levitate and relocate themselves, ghosts entering or leaving the elevators, televisions that turn off and on by themselves,