Monday, December 31, 2012

The New Year's Eve Fortune Cookie Game

I had taken my kids to grab some Chinese Food at Pei Wei on Saturday (the 29th) and my kids had the best time reading all the fortunes in the fortune cookies. I had to laugh at how much fun it was to see them each read their fortunes and at how most of the fortunes really didn't apply to any of them or they were so generic that they really didn't mean anything. My fortune read, "May all your fantasies come true!" I laughed at that but then laughed even more thinking about how much funnier that one would be if my Dad got it at a Chinese restaurant. I thought how fun it would be if to actually get a "personalized" fortune and right then I knew I had a fun activity to do with our family on New Year's Eve.

We distributed strips of paper and pens to everyone and I would call out a name and everyone would write a fortune for the coming year for that person. One of the kids would collect all the strips and we moved on to the next person. When we were done writing everyone got their bag of fortunes and read them aloud trying also to guess who wrote it.

It was a roaring success. I don't think we could have laughed harder. Here are some of the highlights. (I wish I could remember more . . . I should have saved the strips of paper).

for Tyler, "The road to success is paved with homework" and "You will win a state water polo championship!"

But the real highlight was watching my Dad read his fortunes. I even videoed it. It is very entertaining. The first video is his first 2 fortunes.

This second video he is reading a fortune and he is laughing so hard he is crying.

This 3rd video is the rest of his fortunes (except somehow I missed his reading mine or Sally's).

If you don't have time to watch the video's here are his fortunes.

from Amy "You will treat the whole family to a trip to Hawaii."

from Julianne "You will find a hair growing solution for your hair and grow hair on your head, finally."

from Shad, "Confucius says, Your athletes foot and jock itch will suddenly resolve."

from Tyler "Someone is speaking well of you."

from Trent "Marriage lets you annony one special person for the rest of your life."

from Carrie, "All your dreams of love will come true."

and I just rewrote my actual fortune, "May all your fantasies come true."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Owen at Christmas

Owen is just so sweet. Here are 2 videos of him opening 2 of his Christmas presents. In the first one he is opening a Little People DVD. He loves playing with Little People (the fisher price ones and watching the animated cartoons -- not the TLC show about a family with achondroplasia). In the video they sing a song that says -- "discovering" a lot. And that is what he calls them "cubbering". As in, "Mom, cubbering on TV?" (and that is Catherine doing a version of the song in the background).

The second one just shows his figuring out exactly what one of his gifts is and his face is so cute. He smiles so big and his eyes get so big!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holy Hail!

Trent and I made it to bed by a little after midnight and we were looking forward to a good night sleep. Our kids have gotten to be so much better about sleeping in a little and so given that we had personally UN set all of their alarms felt confident that our morning wouldn't start to early. Ha!

The first thunder woke me a little after one am. And it was anything but little. It was loud. And then the hail started. It woke up everykid but Owen. The hail lasted about 15 minutes and then everyone was finally asleep when we got to repeat the whole thing at 2:30 am. And then at 3 am the pool alarm went off following a really close lightning? Then another wacky hail storm at 4:30 and the last one at 6:15.

No one slept last night. . . at least that's how it felt.

We all assembled on the stairs and the kids loved finding the hallways and rooms wrapped so that they could come downstairs but still not see what any of the presents were.



The tore through the paper and found some new bikes and outdoor toys, their stockings, and "just a few" other things under the tree for them.





We had a great morning. The fire was going. The hail had stopped and it was raining. And then right around noon the rain switched to snow and we had a white Christmas.




Unreal? In Texas? snow? I am still puzzled by it. It just shows that Dallas and Houston are not in the same climate zone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

I just love the holidays. Trent has been home since Friday and we just all have a really good time hanging out together. Today, Trent made breakfast for everyone - eggs and toast and then we wrapped some last minute presents, got ready for the day, caught up a bit on the laundry and then we all headed out on some errands. First we went to chick-fil A for lunch (even posed with the mascot!)

'Cuz I can only cook so much. #momscookingbreak

And then a quick trip to costco, home depot and Kroger. We came home fully loaded and Trent and the kids put all the groceries away while I did a photoshoot. It was cooler than it has been with the high being only about 50 degrees but it was a great afternoon to take pictures.

Then I came in and we got our traditions started. We do a fancy dinner on Christmas eve. For us that means using the wedding china, having fancy sparkling cider, and having at least 3 or 4 courses for dinner.

We had butternut squash soup with french bread, then a gorgonzola/craisen italian salad, then cocktail shrimp, then rib-eye steaks with brussel sprouts. It was delicious.










The kids were amazingly pleasant to be around and I was quite shocked by the lack of teasing that usually is there. And then when dinner was over everyone helped do all the dishes without really even being asked (I only mentioned that we wouldn't be able to open the Christmas Eve presents until the dishes were done . . .) I don't suppose that really had anything to do with all of their sudden willingness to help out. Or maybe, just maybe after 24 days of ignoring the elf on the shelf they decided to put their best effort into the last remaining hours???

We opened our Christmas jammies, read Twas the night before Christmas, read from the Bible (and this time instead of acting it out, we set up our Little People nativity as we read). We sang songs (actually I sang mostly and the kids didn't complain too much). We facetimed with family. It really does give you the sense of being right with them. We set out cookies and the kids put out nearly every carrot we had (Madelyn said it was to make sure she wouldn't have to eat them if she gave them all to the reindeer) and then the kids headed to bed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Elf Yourself

My kids cannot get enough of the Elf Yourself App.

Here is their video of all 5 of them!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Texas High School 5A division 1 State Championship game at Cowboy Stadium

My brother Tyler is a sophomore at Houston Lamar High School. His school's football team went undefeated this season and progressed through the playoffs to the championship game. I had high hopes that his team would get to play against our team here in Southlake, but our team lost 2 weeks earlier. Instead Houston Lamar played against Allen High School. Allen is a huge rival to Southlake and was Southlake's only loss this season. Allen High School probably has the newest, fanciest, and largest High school football stadium in the world. It opened last year and seats 18,000. It cost 65 million dollars. It is unbelievable. Allen is a Texas football behemoth. Lamar, on the otherhand, is an inner city Houston school that shares a district stadium with all the other high school's in the district.

The whole game felt a bit like David and Goliath played out at Cowboys stadium.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I still cannot get over the size of the screen there.

Lamar took the first lead by scoring a safety.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Allen came back and scored, as did Lamar.

Then it was half time. Lamar's band played and then Allen's band hit the field. Allen has more than 650 members in their band and I think they would put to shame nearly (if not all) collegiate bands in the country.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

They were really impressive.

The game stayed close and with about 3 minutes left it seemed that Lamar would score and take the lead, instead Allen intercepted, scored, and then quickly scored again. It was a great game.

Here we all are at the game. The kids had fun and made it all the way to the end (which was well past 11 p.m.).

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here is my Dad at the game.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Friday, December 21, 2012

Another swim meet

The girls continue to get better (and caught up) on their swimming. It is one thing I really did not like about living in New Canaan. The summers were so short (since school didn't get out until the end of June) and we always nearly immediately left on vacation so the one swim team that was remotely affordable we were not able to swim on. The year round teams were so expensive that it would be 3-4 thousand a semester for all my eligible kids to participate and so they didn't really do a lot of swimming while we lived there. They are all working hard at getting caught up to their peers in both finesse and speed. They really do enjoy it!

Here are just a couple videos from today's meet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My extended family

I can't say enough how wonderful my whole extended family is. We have a great time together. We all call each other all the time. We talk and laugh and keep up with each other's lives. Our kids love being together. Everyday when I see one of their names on the caller ID I give thanks for having been born into such a great family.

This picture was taken on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We were all together for Zach's baptism and we RUSHED to grab this photo. But it works!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012! Our Digital Christmas Card!


Once upon a year . . .

January - We started the year living in New Canaan, CT.  Trent started the year continuing on as a practice fellow at the FASB.   It was cold.  Jamie wrote on her blog all the things we do to keep from going crazy when the high is only 22 degrees.   Jamie had a birthday and Catherine turned 10 years old.  We still own our home in Katy, TX and afreaky hail storm totaled the roof.  Jamie set 2 New Year Resolutions.  She wants to run a marathon and she wants to make it through the year with no library fines.  She lasts 22 days before the first library fine hits.  

February - Our children turned into TV junkies and so Jamie made the unilateral (and very unpopular) decision to cancel cable television.  We headed on a road trip to Disney World in Florida to escape the cold.  Trent celebrated his birthday at Animal Kingdom!  The kid's BARELY survived without television, but Trent not so much.  We discovered that nearly everything the kids watch on television they could access online through a variety of web resources, but the only thing Trent watches is an occasional sporting event and there are very few ways to see those events live online so we had the cable back on before the start of March Madness.  

March - Jamie's Dad and Tyler come to visit and after 3 1/2 years of living close to Broadway, Jamie finally made it to see Wicked.  Then Trent joined them and the four of them went to see Spider Man.  Then Trent took the three girls into the city 2 weeks later and they saw wicked too!  We got ready for Easter and Jamie resurrected an old family hobby of hers from growing up -- making pysanky Easter eggs.  Everyone really got into decorating these eggs.  

April - We had our spring break and enjoyed time together in Connecticut and New York.  We enjoyed the Bronx Zoo one day.  Trent's parents and his sister Melissa came to visit.  And we finally crossed another "big" milestone off our New York to do list.  We went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  We celebrated Easter with them in town.  We geared up for the start of soccer and softball season (where Jamie was coaching 2 soccer teams and 1 softball team, all the girls played both soccer and softball and Adam played soccer)  We added 180 games and practices to the calendar.  Jamie's Dad turned 60 and Jamie presented him with a book about his life that she had been working on for months.  

May - Julianne and Jamie headed to Houston for a weekend of fun.  We participated (and with Jamie's whole family) helped sponsor this year's Sprint for Life in honor of Jamie's mom.  We also had the big 60th birthday party.  We made it to our town's darling May Fair.  Trent is officially made a partner at Ernst & Young!  And for the first time we didn't just watch our town's traditional Memorial Day parade, we walked in it!!!  We finished off the month with Carrie (Jamie's sister) coming for a quick weekend visit.  

June - Carrie (Jamie's sister) and Jamie started the month off with a bang by doing the Pawling Triathlon, grabbing lunch, and then driving into the city for dinner and Evita.  (I'll be honest-- that was one long exhausting day!!!!!)  Of course we didn't miss the town's ice cream social (one of our favorite events!)  There were end of year school events (like band concerts, art shows, and fair thee well's) and there was one crazy broken arm day (courtesy of Catherine).  And then there was the completely unexpected, job relocation offer that was made to Trent and we accepted it.  We were moving to Dallas.  This meant selling our home in Katy, TX and frantically starting the house hunting.  Julianne had her 12th birthday.  And we traveled to Utah for summer vacation, a family reunion, and so we could leave the kids and go to Dallas to find a home.  Jamie took all of Trent's family's photos before she and Trent headed to Dallas and found a house (after hours and hours of time with a realtor!)  

July - We made it back to Utah in time for the 4th of July and the family reunion.  We had a great time (the highlight being a photo scavenger hunt!)  We went back to New Canaan where Julianne went to Girl's Camp.  We started following Jamie's Dad's blog as he and Tyler traveled around the world.  Realizing that our time in New England was coming to a close we asked ourselves is there anything we haven't done yet that we want to do.  And so we took a last minute trip to upstate New York.  We went to the Palmyra Pageant.  Then we continued on to Niagara Falls.  We came home and tried to soak up all the beauty of a New England summer while at the same time planning to move, designing swimming pools, dealing with some changes to the new house and more.  Madelyn turned 8 years old.  And as if there wasn't enough going on. . .  Owen decided he wanted to be potty trained.  

August - This was a month of change.  Catherine's arm was all healed so she didn't have to wear a sling anymore!  Trent sold his beloved Honda Civic- after 13 years, it was practically a family member.  We reluctantly said good-bye to so many of our friends and were loaded up.  Trent and Jamie celebrated 16 years of marriage and we boarded a plane to take us to our new home!  We closed on the new house (and played at the Great Wolf Lodge while everything was finishing up).  We then started the rapid fire unpacking of the house.  We might have set a speed record.    We had 9 days until family arrived for Madelyn's baptism.  It was crazy busy.  Trent started work (and bought a new car).  We started construction on a pool in our backyard (fulfilling a long ago made promise to the kids that if we ever moved back to Texas we would for sure have a pool!)  The kids started school.  

September -- Labor day weekend had Trent's parents and Jamie's entire family here for Madelyn's baptism.  Everyone left except for Trent's mom who stayed on to learn the routines.  She was joined by Trent's sister Melissa and then Trent and Jamie headed to Beijing, China for a week.  (You can read the first of many blogposts here and then just keep clicking on newer posts if you want to see the whole trip!)  We had a fabulous time.  It was quite the capstone event to conclude our 8 weeks of craziness.  After coming back, Jamie's sister Amber came up for a weekend.  And the pool was finished!!!!  Adam turned 6 years old (and is loving kindergarten by the way).  We tried to swim every dayto make sure we enjoyed the warm Texas fall!  

October -- Owen turned 2 years old.  Jamie traveled to Utah for her Grandfather's funeral.  She got to go to a BYU football game (which made Trent a tad jealous).  Jamie decided to take the kids to the Texas State Fair (all by herself and 80,000 other people).  She wasn't the biggest fan of the state fair, but she swears it was not her who burned Big Tex down.  We started to check out Texas high school football (Our district is BIG into football).  Jamie officially opened her photography business here in Southlake.  We watched and waited to hear from all our friends in CT to see how they all made it through Hurricane Sandy.  Of course we celebrated Halloween and enjoyed the nice weather.  

November -- The backyard finally gets some grass!!!!  We continued to swim in the Hot tub, get more settled into school and the community, attended band concerts and swim meets.  We took in a Texas high school playoff game at Cowboy Stadium and began to cheer in earnest for the Southlake Carroll Dragons.  Jamie's brother Tyler's high school (Houston Lamar) is also in the playoffs and if they both kept winning our two teams would meet at the Championship game.  We traveled down to Houston for Thanksgiving.  Decorated for Christmas (cursed at the Christmas lights) and kept marveling that the weather was still mild!

December -- Like always -- it is a busy month!  The kids had their Piano recital.  We got the trampoline set back up now that the grass is all growing!  We volunteered at school, shopped, caught up with old friends AND ran a half marathon!!!  Trent and Jamie both finished (and started) the Dallas Half Marathon.   Jamie's sister came up and watched the kids.  We are truly so proud of ourselves for doing this with all the other things going on in our lives.  It was challenging to carve out times for both of us to run each day, but it was pretty amazing to cross that finish line!  The Southlake Dragons lost in the State playoff, but Tyler's (Jamie's brother) team will be playing in the Championship game this weekend.  And now you have caught up with us.  (if any of you are still reading!)  

Maybe next year will be calmer, but we doubt it!  As always you can follow along our everyday escapades at Jamie's blog.  

We love and miss and cherish all of our friends and family.  It seems as we move and meet new people our circle of friends just continues to expand.  We are so grateful for all of our friends and family for the love and support you are to us.  We couldn't do it without all of you and it certainly wouldn't be as much fun without all of you.  

May your Christmas be calm, may your night's be silent, and may the New Year bring happiness, love, hope and faith.  

The Handy Family
Trent, Jamie, Julianne, Catherine, Madelyn, Adam, and Owen.

All the details about reaching us  (it's a ridiculous amount of info!)

3533 Matador Ranch Rd.
Southlake, TX 76092

682-502-4611 (home)
281-851-5558 (jamie's cell)
713-851-4739 (trent's cell)
832-726-6581 (julianne's cell)
832-726-6582 (catherine's cell)

Jamie Handy Photography

on instagram @jamiehandy and @juliannehandy

and on twitter @jamiehandy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beautiful Band Flute Player

Sometimes it just hits you that your kids are getting older. Last night at Julianne's band concert was one of those times. She had come home from school, gone to swim team, headed to the shower to get ready, and then we rushed out the door. She was cutting it close on time so I dropped her off while I parked and came in with the kids. We got inside and waited until it was time for her band to take the stage and as she walked across the stage I was literally blown away. She looked beautiful. And so grown up. And I couldn't believe she had curled her hair BY HERSELF and she seemed so poised and confident.

My beautiful Julianne. At her band concert!

Here is a small part of one of her songs.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Dallas Half Marathon

So it all started in January this year (11 months ago). I decided to run the New York Marathon with my friend Melissa Simmons. She is quite the runner and has run several marathons. She and I were neighbors (1/2 mile apart) in New Canaan. I figured if ever I was to run a marathon it ought to be the New York Marathon. I registered for the marathon on January 7, 2012. For the New York Marathon they have a lottery for spots (unless you have qualified). I posted this photo on one of my blogs.

JHH_1494-Edit, JHH_1494-Edit

The drawing was held on April 26 and . . .


But that didn't mean we couldn't run. It just meant that now we had to gain entry through a charitable organization. (in short, you have to raise a substantial amount of money for charity and they then will give you an entry). I was looking over all the charity choices and it seemed that every day they added more of them. I was waiting for a charity that supported Ovarian Cancer research and their lists showed that several were getting registered so I just waited.

Now it is May and Melissa calls me to let me know that they just might be moving to North Carolina and also that her son's senior year last football game looks like it will be the same weekend as the New York marathon. Suddenly I realize that I might be doing this on my own.

Now it is June and we find out that we are also moving. And my hopes of doing a marathon are pretty much over. With the moving and settling there is hardly enough time to get ready for a marathon the first weekend in November. And I don't really want to raise a ton of money and I won't have time anyway with all that is going on to raise the money or do the training.

Now, here is the thing. I was disappointed that I would not reach a goal I had set. But overall I was not too disappointed about not doing the marathon. I am not much of a runner and training for one takes so much time so in some ways it was a breath of fresh air to not have this hanging over my head.

Then towards the end of September, after we had moved, after we were pretty settled, and after we had gone to Beijing I found myself needing some motivation to do something. I googled Dallas half marathon and found out that their's was held on Dec 9th. I looked at the calendar -- that was exactly 10 weeks away. I googled half marathon training plans and found a 10 week training plan and right then I registered myself AND Trent to do it.

I printed out the training scheduled, taped it to my bathroom mirror and went and told Trent about my plan. I can't say that he was super thrilled, but he also wasn't really against it either. And so on Oct 1, our training officially started. Neither of us had gone on a run since the first weekend of Jun (when I did a sprint triathlon) and so we were beginners! When you register you have to give them an estimated time so I put 12:30 for my pace and 11:00 for Trent's pace.

And then the work started. I ran during nap time. I ran at night. I ran on Saturdays. Trent ran in the morning. Trent ran at night. A few times we ran together. Mostly we ran alone. On the longer runs we would track each other on find my iphone and deliver water and energy to the other. And we gave thanks for the nice temperate weather the Dallas area has. Not once was I rained out. Not once was it too cold. It was perfect. Before we knew it we had crossed out every day.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The race day arrived. It was a beautiful 60 degrees at 7am this morning. The race started at 8:05 in Downtown Dallas. Here we are before the race started.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

You line up in corrals. Trent was in corral B and I was in corral C (based on the times I submitted when I registered us) and it was so crowded that we were quite toward the back of corral C. It took us 14 minutes of walking to even cross the starting line. It was quite crowded too. There were 25,000 runners. I tried to take a photo to show the crowds but it was tricky. Here is my best shot.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Finally we were off and running. Trent and I didn't stay together. I really wanted us to both just run our best race without having to worry about the other. Additionally it would have been so difficult as it was so crowded. I ran in a tight pack the entire 13 miles. There were a few times where the road widened and we could spread out some, but most of the time it was pretty cozy. And that led to a few interesting things. First, my headphones seemed to have a short in them. I actually couldn't find my headphones the night before and so I grabbed one of the kids' headphones. When we started they worked for about 3 minutes and then stopped. I unplugged them and plugged them back in and they would work for about 15 seconds. I tried this about 10 times and was getting frustrated. It was crowded and very difficult to pay attention to everyone's feet and my headphones so at that point I made the decision to not wear them and give up (at least for a while on having music). In some ways this was a great thing. I started to rely on all the groups out cheering and all the bands and Dj's for inspiration rather than my own playlist. Also I just ran at a comfortable speed and I did not know what it was. I figured I would rather just enjoy the event than worry about my pace. And I really did enjoy it. There were tons of spectators. With the weather so beautiful it seemed that everyone came out in support. My favorite place was running across this beautiful bridge.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

This was right at the 3 mile mark and it was the first time that the running area widened up so that we weren't right on top of each other. An interesting thing about starting so far in the back of the corrals is that if you are at a faster pace, you are passing everyone (or if it is crowded) everyone is blocking you in. Both Trent and I felt like we zigzagged the entire 13 miles and it showed on our GPS mileage. I don't really recommend running that way. We probably would have done "officially" better if we hadn't had to zigzag so much. In the end my GPS showed that I ran 13.59 miles. The extra half mile was from all the side to side I had to do.

Once we started I only saw Trent once on the race. There was a turn around and small section where you were doubling back over where you had come from and I was surprised to glance to the other side right as he was there. I shouted at him and waved!

By about mile six I was really missing my music and so I gave the headphones another chance. I plugged them in and they worked. The worked just great from mile 6 to 11. When I plugged them in I also heard and saw my pace for the first time. I was running at 10:54. I was happy with that (I really wanted to be right at 11:00 min per mile and under 2 hours and 30 minutes overall) and in typical fashion for me once I hit the halfway mark I usually pick up my pace. I tend to hold back at the beginning. From mile 6-13 I brought my average time down about a second per quarter mile finishing at an average pace of 10:38. Trent finished at an average pace of 9:53. These were both great times for us. Officially, we were a little slower (as that doesn't account for all the side to side running!)

Here we are with our medals! Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here are our official results.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Just to see how crazy we had to run, here is a section of my gps map. I have used this app for all my runs and I always run in straight lines and it always shows exactly where I ran so it was pretty funny to look at this and confirm just how crowded and zig zaggy it was.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here is the whole course.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

And here is the snapshot of my results. I'm most proud of the stat in the bottom right corner. Over the last 3.8 miles, I passed 453 runners and was only passed by 24. Next time I race I'm gonna get myself in a better starting position so I don't have to work around so many people!!!!!
I am so proud of Trent and I. We had a great time. There are so many people I need to thank for helping us get there. My sister Carrie, for driving up from Houston to be with our 5 kids and take them to church all by herself. My friend Melissa who put the first idea in my head. For all the girls who ran the Ragnar Relay with me -- my first running experience EVER. My kids, for patiently waiting while mommy was running day after day. And for Trent for agreeing to do this with me.

Also as we watched the news it was pretty awesome to suddenly see Trent running across the bridge!!!! He was in the right place for the local news coverage!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Busy Saturday

Our Saturday started with our ward's Christmas breakfast with Santa and service project. We painted the fence of a lady in our ward who always lets the ward have the ward activities on her beautiful property (the harvest festival and trunk r treat and the Christmas breakfast with Santa). I put Catherine in charge of Santa photos.

Here is Adam telling Santa what he wants this year.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Owen sat on Santa's lap also. He didn't have any fear or hesitation. He was on a mission. He wanted the candy!!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

As soon as he had his candy he was done!

Then we were home and my roommate from college came by with her 5 children. We heated the hot tub and the kids played and swam. And I took no photos. I don't know what is wrong with me!!!!

Once Emilie and her kids were on their way, my sister Carrie drove up. She stayed with the kids while Trent and I went to EY's holiday party.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dinner with old friends

When we moved to Southlake, we happened upon some friends whom we hadn't seen in over a decade. We had been in the same ward (Trent and Bill had served in the bishopric together). We lived in the same set of condos, and Trent and Bill were doing the same program in school. Katy and I were good friends. We both left BYU and aside from a few Christmas cards over the years haven't kept very well in touch. Once we moved here and saw them at church we have been trying to go out to dinner with them. Finally, after several scheduling conflicts and rescheduling attempts today was the day. We had a great time trying out a restaurant here in Southlake that is one of their favorites. "Gingerine" -- I thought it was delicious.

Here is my meal.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Here is Trent's.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I don't know why I didn't take pictures of us . . . and them??? Perhaps just overcome with the good food. I'll go back there again.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Madelyn at school

I got to go up to the school and take pictures of Madelyn's class to be used in their upcoming Christmas craft. It was fun to see her in her "element." She is such a cute girl.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Art projects

I finished my big art project today. I love it. As it goes, I was saving all the kid's art, but as we were moving and cleaning out, I decided they had to go. So, I took a photo of each piece not knowing before hand what I would do with the photos. Well, today I figured it out. I uploaded them all to photobucket and created a story. You can see it here. It works like an art gallery. The kids have looked at them all. I have looked at them all. Honestly, it is BETTER than saving the original art. And my kids are so cute and talented. They all want to be artists!!!!

Then Catherine had to do an art project for school. She has to bring a handmade gift to exchange at school for a project. The gift cannot be food. It cannot be from a kit. I sent her to pinterest to search for an idea and she found all the crayon wall art. So today we finished up her crayon project. It was fun and I love the results!

Thank you Pinterest. Catherine needed a craft that didn't come from a kit. She chose this.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Return of the trampoline

I love having a trampoline. I know they can be dangerous. blah, blah, blah. Life is dangerous. I don't want any lectures. But right at dinner time, when my kids are driving me crazy and we are still 15 minutes from eating the trampoline is like solid gold. I send the kids out to jump while I finish. And they often stay out longer than I want. I sometimes even get the whole table set. And when they come back in they are less "jumpy" and can sometimes sit still at the table for more than 8 minutes. I missed having it these last four months. But now the garage has more space, the back yard is more fun, and my hand has a really large painful blister from putting it together. And here they are jumping while I made dinner. (nothing fancy -- it was pumpkin spice waffles) and they came in and we had a nice meal together.

After four months, the trampoline is back up. The kids missed it. I missed the tired kids. And the weather couldn't be better!