Monday, June 30, 2008

Goodbye Jason

Today was the last day of summer school. It is a mixed blessing for me. Of course, I am thrilled to no end it's over...I'm exhausted and tired. On the other hand, I sort of got attached to many of the kiddos...especially Jason.
Let me explain. Jason is autistic and I first met him when he was in Maggie's kindergarten class. He walked right up to me and licked my arm! Wow...who are you? I quickly found out that Jason is a very smart and loving child...just as all children are. I got to know Jason over the years and he quickly became a favorite with many of the teachers on campus. The kids appear to be protective and supportive of Jason and all that he does. I was a bit nervous when I found out he would be in my summer school class.
Jason knows a lot. He can tell me what he likes and doesn't like...he can be very opinionated and brutally honest. He can also have a political conversation. He is a Democrat and very pro Obama but says his parents are Republicans! Sadly, he doesn't do any work in class and his mother makes him do it all at home. The only work he somewhat completes every once in a while is writing in his journal. The other day he told me his wish for himself is to have a friend, his wish for our school is to have a big slide, his wish for our city is to be clean and his wish for the world would be no more earthquakes. Very insightful.
Anyway, about a week ago he got stuck on the phrase, "I like hearts." I think he said it a hundred times. He pulled some scraps of colored tissue paper from our recycle box and started cutting. I didn't say anything because he was busy and I had a lot to do with the other kids. After a day of this I looked more closely and noticed his cutting mania was actually hundreds of hearts of all sizes...perfect hearts!
You know what a heart lover I am...especially unexpected ones. I hated to see his hearts get thrown away. He put so much heart into his project! They were scattered everywhere. Maggie glued a lot of them onto a poster board with his picture on it with a note from me on back. I presented it to Jason and the children gave Jason a standing ovation! He was so proud of his hard work and he felt appreciated.
Jason will be going to a new school next year. A special school. I will miss him as will everyone else. I heart you Jason.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Maggie's coming home today! Ian and I had a wonderful day together...sleeping in and skipping church, which is a rare thing. We meandered to the Farmer's Market and picked up our veggie/fruit needs for the week as well as a bunch of fresh garlic! Mom, Maggie and I are going to pickle cucumbers when we get to Tahoe next week. Anyway, we also stopped at Wabash Feed Store and
promised to go back when we return from Tahoe to get a Satsuma tree for me, a new Meyer Lemon tree for Maggie and get my dad a lime tree for his birthday in August...sounds like a great plan!
Afterwards, we went to my 2 favorite stores Casa Ramirez and Tansu on 19th Street in the Heights. I almost got an antique school desk...I've always wanted one...but in the end, didn't. I couldn't figure out where I would put it! I think I will regret that decision...just like the day we passed up getting my dream car in Tahoe...the Jeep Wagoneer!
I love this picture because Maggie and I decorated these crosses one day when she was in pre-k and had a great time. I made the one with the tile mosaic and she made the one with the glass bead design. The glass beads were all clear...she painted underneath each bead to get the desired color...very clever. The crosses are lying on a quilt mom and I made for Maggie when she was in kindergarten. The picture captures a lot of family memories.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Missing Maggie

Maggie is off to Crosby to spend the weekend with her great-grandmother Marion. Ian and I saw yet another movie, Baby Mama. It was my choice and I thought it was pretty cute.
It rained today and washed away the heart chalk drawings Maggie and I created the other day together...we haven't done sidewalk chalk in years. Kinda sad to see the hearts slip away into nothing.
I spent the day collecting goodies for Maggie to take on the plane for our trip to Lake Tahoe. I know she will be pleased!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Comet Girl

I took Maggie to a WNBA Comets game last night. It was a good game against another Texas Team...the San Antonio Stars. As you can see, Maggie had a blast. The tickets were a last minute idea so we had the worst tickets known to mankind...Maggie thought our seats were awesome. Last year we went to a championship game and had a lot of fun. I always forget about the Comets. I should go ahead and plan ahead and get some more tickets for the end of the season. The halftime show was hilarious...we saw the Senior Women Olympic Basketball Squad play...their ages ranged from 63-91 (yes, you read that right). It was amazing to see those ladies play and have such a great time. Maggie cheered for the 91 year-old grandma the loudest!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Love Thursday

Weird story. We had a stubborn bed of fire ants (yep, we're in Texas) that just wouldn't go away. I tried everything and didn't want to use pesticides that were harmful to the soil. I had one more trick up my sleeve...pour boiling water directly onto the anthill. Well, they did die and we never did have another anthill pop up afterwards. The grass died from the boiling water and guess what? It was heart shaped! Can you believe it? Maggie and I find hearts everywhere...I swear they come to us. Love is everywhere...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our favorite things

Maggie's golden hair.
My favorite pair of purple pajama bottoms.
The sand on the beach at Lake Tahoe.
Our favorite blankets from Aunt Karen.
Grandma Jean's old pink pillowcase.
Clementine's fur.
All as soft as a butterfly's wings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surprises are always fun!

Today Maggie and I drove all the way to Cunningham Gas Co. in the Woodlands and back to get a cooler for our deck to surprise Ian. We made another pit stop at Whole Foods to fill it with all our favorite cold beverages. The cooler itself is made from old weathered barn wood, with a rust colored Texas state seal, a barn door handle and a handy bottle opener on the front. Ian will be delighted.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mom's Teacher Assistant

What a girl! Maggie has been a big help to me in the classroom this summer! I hate to grade papers and she loves to do it...it's a win-win situation!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sacred Sunday


I wanted to share one of my favorite hymns,

More Love to Thee, O Christ.

Have a restful and abundant week everyone.

*** Be sure to pause the music on my playlist to hear the hymn.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pompeii


Today was a fun day...busy as usual! I woke up this morning thinking I could sleep in a bit but at the last moment realized I had a nutrition class at 8:00. I bolted out of bed and got there just in time! Since I was already out and about I went ahead and attended the 9:00 Jazzercize class. Glad I did. I had taken a week off due to an injury to the back of my knee (which apparently happened playing Wii DDR with Maggie!) and needed to let it heal a bit. I still need to schedule an orthopedist just for good measure! Anyway, by the time I got home Ian already made the girls eggs and biscuits for breakfast. Maggie had a friend of hers spend the night last night to see the new Disney movie premier of Camp Rock. Ian did the yard work and then we spent the day at the MFA to see the Pompeii exhibit before it left town. It was awesome and Maggie had a great time. We got home just in time to drop her off at a birthday slumber party. Ian and I are going to go out to dinner and to see The Happening...Ian's choice! I don't have high hopes, as Ian and I don't have the same movie taste at all! Wish me luck. Update...the movie was horrible! No big surprise!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Love Thursday

Maggie has been such a sport! I encouraged her to attend volleyball camp, zoo camp, etc. while I taught 3 1/2 weeks of summer school but she chose to come with me instead. I told her she could only go half days since Ian didn't have to go to work until lunch time...but she still makes me promise her each night at bedtime that I will wake her to go to school in the morning! The work is 3rd grade "drill & kill" boring but yet she still wants to go. So here, on Love Thursday, I wanted to honor Maggie and her desire to be with her mommy and leading the class with enthusiasm and joy!

Sour Lemons


Maggie's dream of homemade lemonade was shattered today. We had a CRAZY storm that blew through our neighborhood...I almost grabbed the kids and hid in the bathtub...and snapped her beloved lemon tree (among other things) in half! Maggie has been so upset...mourning as if she lost a member of our family...poor thing. She told me tomorrow she would be ready to collect the lemons and keep them in the house with her. Lemons go to Heaven, right?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Strangers

Maggie has a slumber party every Saturday of this month...which means Ian and I can go out!
Well, I have to tell you, we wasted a good evening on the worst movie ever! We didn't even really know what we were getting into...we just showed up at the theater and watched "The Strangers." Good God, it's a good thing we didn't see this movie before we went to Round Top last month! We wouldn't have been able to sleep! We were so freaked out by the horrible suspense of the movie...we walked out at the end sick to our stomachs and exhausted! Please don't waste you time, money and sanity on this one! I wonder who watches movies like this...
*** I removed the trailer to this movie. It was too terrible to have on my blog! If you are going crazy with curiosity...check it out for yourself!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Perfectly Polished

Today Maggie and I had a wonderful day day together. We got up and the 3 of us went to the Bayou City Farmers' Market and got some Indian food, gourmet cookies for my dad and salmonella-free tomatoes! We went later than usual and boy was it hot! Maggie and I got a pedicure (My OPI color was "My Chihuahua Bites!" and Maggie's was "I'm Indi-a Mood for Love"...what OPI color are you?). Then we went to lunch at La Madeline and afterwards went shopping for a few Father's Day gifts. Later on we went to our friends house for a bit and ended up coming home with half a watermelon! I love to spend mother/daughter time with Maggie. I am constantly amazed at how grateful she is for the things she has and the opportunities that come her way. We are so blessed by her.
This morning Maggie wanted to know how to make coffee. She made me the best cup of coffee (with my favorite whipped topping) a mommy could ever want!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Friday

A few hundred thousand little girls with no memory of the genocide.
Hundreds of primary schools waiting to teach them reading, writing and a little bit of English.
A generation of well-educated Rwandan women determined to do their part.
A deep well of compassion from fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers for women, girls and the injustice of the artificial limitations placed upon them.
A strange and wonderful dream planted carefully in the hearts of a brother, a sister, a friend and an ally for the purpose of this hope and more.

Happy Friday, everyone. We are so fortunate...sometimes we forget.

Love Thursday

We went to the "other" farmer's market this week. It is non-organic and cheap! We love picking out all of our favorite vegetables/fruits/beans/spices...all for $20!! Maggie and I always get a glass bottle of Coke with REAL cane sugar in it all the way from Mexico...something that hasn't been done in the USA in a really long time! It's always a treat...simple pleasures.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Behind Closed Doors

Recently while talking to a group of moms I was hearing growing frustration that their daughters have started to close their bedroom doors and do "secret" things that were obviously off limits to nosy moms. Although I was not worried, I secretly wondered what Maggie was doing behind closed doors. Today I bravely knocked on her door and asked permission to enter...and found that she was playing with her baby dolls and elephants! God love her!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sacred Sunday


Inspiring, isn't it?

*** Be sure to pause the music on my playlist to fully hear the video.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Small is Beautiful

I've been following an amazing blog lately that I feel compelled to share. Jen's selfless action and hope is such a inspirational lesson for all of us. Please consider going to her blog, read about her work and find a way to help. She proves that everyone can be a superhero...


Bubbles

Happiness is...teaching someone how to blow bubbles!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mom's Night Out

Tonight I saw the big Sex and the City movie. It was awesome! I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would...now I am inspired to actually see the series! Part of it may have been because I was with 6 other mom friends and enjoyed getting out with other like-minded women. Afterwards we went out to eat at Dolce Vita. All in all, it was a fabulous evening and look forward to doing it again!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Love Thursday

Summer school started today. It's always hard getting a new class...
when you still miss the old one!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ladybug Innocence

I'm thankful my 9 year-old still wants to happpily paint her face like a ladybug!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Picture of FIT

Shutter Sisters is sponsoring a photo contest. All you have to do is show them your best visual translation of the word FIT and you could win a Nintendo Wii Console and the Wii Fit to go with it. There will be one lucky winner.

I've given it some thought and came up with a shot that was taken when I thru-hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail in the summer of 2006. The photo is me on the TRT's highest point - Relay Peak at 10,338 feet above sea level! It was quite an accomplishment for many reasons.

I battled kidney cancer that year and had my left kidney/ureter removed. Bladder cancer followed 3 months later. I really felt like I was lucky to be alive and wanted to do something life-changing that I'd never done before. Hiking 115 miles, ridge to ridge around Lake Tahoe, did just that! The hike enabled me to take the time to re-evaluate my life and set my priorities in the right order without the pressure of my everyday crazy life at home and school.

I came home FIT...both mentally and physically. I've since had a couple of relapses and gained 30 lbs. Wii Fit would be a great tool to get fit AND have fun at home.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Schlitterbahn

I almost drowned...no exaggeration. The water was only 3 1/2 feet deep and I am an excellent swimmer. I'm glad it happened to me and not Maggie...because she would have drowned for sure. It was a wake-up call reminding me that I will never be ready to let her come to a park like this without me! My experience could happen to anyone.

We were at the part of the river where it divides...you have to choose to go straight or make a left to go on the rapids part. All of our group had made the left and Maggie started to panic when she thought I wouldn't make it with the rest of the group. I was fine but wanted to linger back to make sure everyone got in before I committed to the left. I didn't want to leave someone on their own. In Maggie's panic she tried to not make the turn and got stuck in the fork. As I pulled her in the right direction someone jammed into me knocking me off my tube and my body wrapped around the fork of the current. I was literally pulled underwater under everyone with my head flat against the wall upside down. I was under for a long time, tubes all crammed on top of me, all the time I could somehow hear Maggie screaming "Mommeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
My life was literally flashing right before my eyes. I was instantly brought back to a time when I was a little girl and a similar thing happened in New Braunfels...it was a very out of body moment to say the least. I didn't want to die after the hell I went through with cancer! I couldn't pull myself up against the current. I held my breath and a stranger pulled me up just as I felt like I had no more air left. Maggie was screaming and crying. It was terrible. Hopefully, Maggie doesn't realize how bad it really was. My friends knew.

Lesson learned. I was lucky. My guardian angel has had to watch over me a bit too much lately. Maggie almost went on the trip without me and I was having a hard time letting it happen...I decided on going at the last minute. I really needed to go to school because I am teaching 3rd grade summer school starting in 2 days and have no idea what I'm doing. I'm so thankful the "over protective mom" that I am made the right choice and went along! There is a God.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Great day today.
Slept late, skipped church.
Swam at the YMCA with Maggie and girlfriends, gossiped with moms.
Went to Jazzercise class, Ian cleaned the garage!
Ate dinner at friends house, enjoyed the fellowship of good friends.
Great day today.