Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I love it!

I forgot to show off the lovely desk Ian got me for my birthday. Looks kinda plain now...wait until I junk it up with all my stuff! I think it will go next to the fireplace in our den. All it needs is a new laptop...

Happy Birthday to ME

Can you believe I turned 40? Whatever. Maggie woke me up with one of her famous breakfasts...can only be appreciated by a mother! I was then treated to her many creative presents...my favorite was a "loaner elephant" that was good for carrying in my purse for a week. God love her...I sure do! We went out to dinner with my mom and Howard...one of many birthday celebrations this week!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ladies Night #3

I had a lovely evening Big Maggie, EJane and Jenn. Of course the food and wine (or shall I say Martinis and champagne) were delicious but the company was even better! Thank you for a wonderful evening away from home! Too bad it took us a month to find a date we could all agree on...let's do it again soon!

Houston Zoo

Mom and Howard took Maggie to the zoo today. The weather has been horrible so today was the first chance they had. Of course, they had to see the elephants. I think they had a good time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet Eva & her father

Living near the Medical Center in Houston, teaching at Mark Twain and being a patient at MD Anderson pretty much guarantees you will meet someone (sadly, many) that are here for treatment. One such family (you may remember Maggie's reading buddy at school) has been very dear to me…especially their daughter, Eva. She is in 1st grade…same age as Maggie was when I was diagnosed. My worst nightmare became their reality Christmas Eve when her father died. His memorial service was today and dear Eva was brave enough to read a poem she wrote about her father. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church.

From Eva

I hear my Daddy’s voice
In lots of things
When I’m running fast
When I’m eating last
When I’m watching cartoons
Or looking at the moon.

I hear him in the waves
In the breezy ocean air
In the shell at my ears
The quiet voice over my fears
Tells me I am not alone
Tells me I always have a home
Where he will always be.

I will play the piano loud and soft
And blow hard in the shells
Laugh and scream in fun
Paint vivid colors in the sun
And rainbows and fish and sails
Zebras, monkeys, Lions, Whales
So Daddy can hear and see me, too.

I only had the privilege of meeting her father once. Antonio sounded like an amazing man. I hear he lived his life based on this simple Japanese phrase: “If you see a hungry man do not give him a fish, rather teach him how to fish.” He decided to commit his life to cancer research at age 14. The only way to make that happen was to go to Angola during wartime to pursue a medical degree through teaching. I’m sure many grateful people who visited his free clinic or arrived at the emergency room where he was the only doctor can thank him for their lives. It was only after all this he finally received a grant to support himself was he able to devote all his time to cancer research. He loved his family, he was fair and believed in justice for all. It seems he worked and sacrificed his entire life to uphold these principles.

I will miss Eva. She would tell me daily of the struggle her father was fighting. It was so sad such an innocent child had to know. She is leaving for Portugal this week for the funeral and when they come back they will move back to Oklahoma City to finalize some commitments. Ironically, both parents are cancer research doctors. Then they will move back to Portugal...I know they will find peace to be home.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marley and Me



*** Don't forget to pause the playlist music on the left column.

Maggie and I saw Marley and Me with my parents after our Dim Sum lunch. We loved it despite Marley dying in the end. Since Maggie is currently reading (the adult version BTW!) the book she was prepared for the ending. Sadly, we are used to it! Seeing the movie really intensifies the urge to find a new dog. It's hard finding one that will meet the high standards Lola set...

Ike Flashbacks

Ian got me my own lantern for Christmas. I love it. Today the power has gone out TWICE. Once because of crazy rain but the second was our whole neighborhood for an hour in the middle of the night...which I was up for. I have to say...I was a bit panicked. I can't go almost 3 weeks without power again!

Cody

We are dog sitting a neighbor's dog this week. We still miss our Lola to pieces...looking for just the right dog! Doesn't it look like Maggie is loving Cody to death? :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Addicted to GH

Today my 24 year-old sister Kate took Maggie out to lunch and came over to share her Guitar Hero knowledge with us. After listening to Maggie strum out Slow Ride 500 times she finally got through the song without being booted off stage! I think I picked up a few things too because I am now addicted to Guitar Hero and loving it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Maggie woke up Christmas morning feeling much better! It was apparent immediately that she had been a very good girl this year! Maggie was thrilled to find her requested elephant ears headband, cozy elephant blanket, Littlest Pet Shop and her awesome pencil case waiting for her. These were all her requested items this year...Santa had an easy year! Mom, Howard and aunt Karen came over mid morning and opened presents with us. We spent much of the morning skateboarding, playing Guitar Hero and singing karaoke. Dinner was great despite I somehow wasn't paying attention when I put the turkey in the oven...upside down! Dad's green beans always seem to be our favorite.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cookies for Santa

A smile at last. Who wouldn't smile about cookies for Santa? Maggie was begging to go to bed and I think she was asleep before 8:30 PM.

Pathetic with a capital "P"

Maggie didn't even get a chance to really wear her Christmas dress. Her AG doll even had a matching dress. A new bracelet opened before church didn't cheer her up either! She just wanted to get in her PJ's and rest. She said she didn't feel like having any Christmas Eve fun...

Sad Angel

Here's a bad picture of Maggie singing at Christmas Eve services. She didn't last long. Doesn't she look like such a sad angel? Fifteen minutes later she came looking for us before the procession. We left and some lucky family got great seats!

Dad's House

We went to my dad and step-mothers house today to exchange gifts. Dad loved the pickles and hot sauce collection. I think Ann liked her bracelet. Maggie loved her American Girl clothes and goodies. She always enjoys going over there. I should have noticed that she was pretty quiet and kind of sleepy...not normal for Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The last gift...

Maggie wrapped the last gift for her dad today. What a good feeling to finally have all the shopping done, Christmas cards addressed AND mailed and have all the gifts wrapped. Now we can rest...

Christmas from the Past

We have this hanging in our kitchen every Christmas. I think it was from school when she was 2. Time sure does fly by...

Monday, December 22, 2008

7 Pounds



Don't forget to pause the Playlist on the left column to hear trailer.

Good movie. A bit of a downer. Interesting story.

Imagination

Today a friend came over to work on a baby quilt she is making for her soon to be niece. Her son came over to play. Age and gender make no difference if you have a great imagination and good sense of fun! Maggie and Ben spent a good amount of time today in the backyard "running away."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Good Friends

Our favorite friends joined us at our house for a Christmas celebration. We grilled steaks, my mom baked a cake with Maggie and the gifts were a hit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Pickles are Ready!

My parents arrived from Lake Tahoe today and brought my share of the pickles we made last summer. They are delicious...I may even share a few with you! Did I mention they won 2nd place in the Nevada State Fair this year? :-)

Cookie Party!

Maggie elected to go to a friend's cookie party instead of Girl Scouts today...a first in 4 years! I elected not to go. I just wasn't in the mood for crazy activities involving big groups of kids. I'm sure the hostess understood! Didn't matter...Maggie came home with very festive cookies!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maggie's Holiday Party

I love Maggie's class this year. Today for their holiday party they had a talent show that was self-directed by the kids, decorated a tree with their origami for kids at MD Anderson where a classmate is getting treatment, had a international potluck lunch and made crafts with their 1st grade reading buddies. I think everyone involved had a positive experience!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Love Thursday

New ornament Maggie made this year with Mimi at St. Paul's Sights, Sounds and Smells of Christmas at her church.

Surprise Cookies

Despite being worn out from my class party AND pajama day at school Maggie and I decided to make cookies at the last minute for all her teachers. How could I say no? We made something new and of course, they never turn out as pretty/perfect as the magazine! Needless to say, all our bases are covered and I can finally take off the ridiculously hot flannel pj's I've been wearing all day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Angels

One of Maggie's favorite traditions at Christmas time is the Angel Tree at church. Around Thanksgiving she starts asking about it. She sometimes even puts her request in early to the woman running it. This year...a 9 year-old girl that loves art. She was indulged and one such girl was put aside for her. I was a bit taken aback a few years ago when we started supporting this ministry. I wasn't too sure how I felt about supporting prisoners...but quickly realized it wasn't their kids fault their parents made poor choices to land themselves in prison. I am more than happy to help a child feel a bit more happiness in an otherwise sad and unfortunate situation. I'm glad Maggie feels the same way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Tomatoes!

Our tomatoes are doing great despite the crazy cold weather we've had! Ian is in Salsa Heaven!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Lucky

Minor infraction...not even that. Thank God she feels some sort of accountability and remorse! Sweet apology.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Aunt Julie's

Tonight we went to Ian's Aunt Julie and Uncle Ron's house for a Christmas celebration. The last few years we've only been able to make it over there every other year...so it was nice to see everyone again. It was nice to see all the babies!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Gift of Music

Maggie's program, The Gift of Music, tonight at school was delightful. She even got a special singing part at the beginning of the show. Maggie is not one to be a risk-taker on the stage...I'm proud of her for giving it her all. I know her 6 years of choir training at church gave her a bit of confidence. Thank you Mrs. Bardin and Mrs. Courtney.

video

Be sure to pause Playlist on left column so you can hear Maggie sing!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow in Houston!

It actually snowed this evening when we were at church for choir and dinner. The kids were so excited when they exited the choir room...and ran straight down to the playground! The weird thing...last time it snowed in Houston I was standing in the very same spot on Christmas Eve two years ago as we left the sanctuary after services! It was a very magical and memorable moment. The weather is so unpredictable in Houston! I bet my students will have lots to tell in the morning! Wouldn't you know it...my camera battery ran out and I couldn't take any good pictures! Boo hoo.

Wow

Can you believe Maggie is wearing hand me down shoes from an adult friend of mine? Size 7. I remember doing that when I was a kid, too!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Haircut

Take a look at Maggie's summer haircut for the winter...her choice!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Maggie's video

video

Maggie was very proud and excited to make this video in class. Pause the music on my playlist on the left so you can hear her narrate! Note she is wearing the Pochahontas costume AGAIN!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sacred Sunday

1 tooth out, 1 more to go

Maggie lost her tooth finally while out with my dad and stepmother. I say finally because her orthodontist gave her an ultimatum...she needs to lose 2 teeth (that are not even loose) by her next visit or he will need to pull them out. Yikes...that's harsh! Maggie is feeling GREAT stress about it...constantly "working" on her teeth! This morning at church Maggie was acolyting and all I could think about was her loosing the tooth up on the alter during services in the white robe with no tissues! She literally had 1 hand in her mouth wiggling and the other hand holding up a lit torch during the procession! God love her.

snowflakes and blankets

Today Maggie's patrol was in charge of the meeting. Maggie brought a snowflake ornament to make and they also made fleece blankets and cards for Project Linus to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans. It was definitely a rewarding and fun service opportunity for the girls.


1st gift of Christmas

We have to start somewhere...we have 1 gift (well, maybe it counts as 3) to Maggie under the tree.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ben

I know this sounds weird...but it's not! Maggie loves to have sleepovers with Ben. They get along fabulously. I think it's because they are both only children and sweet! They mostly played Wii but I was able to convince them to try out making an ornament Maggie had to learn how to do the next day for Girl Scouts. He loved it so much he insisted they make snowflakes for an hour! :-)

Who Knew?

Who knew Santa was at Walgreens? :-) We haven't visited with Santa in years! I hate those long lines at the mall...and Maggie always cried. At age 9 I finally have a happy girl on Santa's lap!

Little House

Today Maggie and I ate lunch at the Black Lab with another family. We had not been there since Maggie was a baby...I can still picture her sitting on one of the squares of the giant chess game because she couldn't walk yet! Afterwards, we saw the play, A Little House Christmas. Of course all of us loved it! Afterwards, the girls got their programs autographed by the actors.



Friday, December 5, 2008

Tree Trimming Time

We put up our Christmas tree tonight. Since we were out of town for Thanksgiving we seem a bit behind with our usual schedule of events. Anyway, I added a garland on the fireplace this year just for Maggie's handmade ornaments. They started to add up and I decided they just needed a home of their own! Since I took this picture, Maggie has added a bunch more after attending a crafts event at my step-mother's church!

It's egg nog season

I hate egg nog! Maggie and Ian love it. She likes it cut with milk with a dab of whipped cream on top...sounds like dessert!

Pennies 4 Peace

My class has been involved in a project called Pennies for Peace. It was extremely successful. Maggie and a friend went to Randall's to feed all the collected pennies into the CoinStar machine. We had no idea it would take 3 hours! Every time a penny with gunk on it, a wheat penny or a foreign coin passed through the machine it would get spit out...along with 10 after it! One time the machine filled up and had to be emptied and several times we jammed them up and needed assistance. We got a lot of stares and even took in more contributions! Good Grief. Did I tell you we raised a little over $500? Cool. That's 50, 000 pennies my friend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love Thursday

I love this ornament. It reminds me of one of my favorite foods...pomegranates!

Ouchie!

Poor Maggie. She rammed right into a metal door divider in front of my classroom this morning. She cried like a baby. I found out after school her idiot substitute wouldn't let her go to the nurse for some ice. Nice.