Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love Thursday


I stood my ground and said "no" to every request
(although I wanted to say "yes").
We did not bring home any pets today!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bellaire Aquatic Center

Maggie spent the day playing with one of my first graders from last cute is that? I'm pleased she'd rather play with younger girls than the older! They spent the day at her house and the new Bellaire Aquatic Center...looks like fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NOAA Sea Turtle Hatchery

The main reason for initiating the whole Galveston trip today was to visit the NOAA sea turtle hatchery to see if it could be a suitable field trip for my 1st grade class next year. It’s an unprepossessing set up, behind the campus of Texas A&M, but fascinating. We took a tour with one of the marine scientists and heard about all the work they do... rescuing eggs, monitoring hatchlings, testing shrimp net escape devices etc., as well as see a real Turtle Excluder Device in a fishing net in the yard. Maggie was really impressed with the simplicity of the TED device...a special net that allowed sea turtles and other marine animals to easily escape shrimp nets. We especially enjoyed the unlimited, up-close and personal time with the sea turtles!

1861 US Custom House

Being an avid admirer of quilts, I knew we had to check out the Quilts of Summer exhibit at the 1861 U.S. Custom House! Maggie and I could never agree on which one we liked the best...they were all spectacular!

Galveston Historical Museum

We went to the Galveston Historical Museum and the best thing about it was the brass beacon light from the Galveston South Jetty Lighthouse! The original light was an incandescent oil vapor light with a power of 23,000 candles! The South Jetty Lighthouse was automated in 1972 and the brass beacon light was removed and placed in the museum at that time. It was truly amazing to see up close! Afterwards, we went to the Pier 21 Theater to see The Great Storm. Last year in school Maggie was required to read The Day it Rained Forever so she had a bit of an interest in furthering her knowledge concerning the devastating hurricane of 1900. Many times today, Maggie commented on the seawall that was built because of the hurricane and how wonderful it was for the city to continue to live and grow.

1892 Bishop's Palace

Ian would have loved The Bishop's Palace! It was built of stone/steel for the Gresham family and one of America's finest examples of Victorian exuberance and Gilded-Age extravagance. It was purchased by the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese in the 1920's and served as the Bishop's residence; thus it became known as The Bishop's Palace and has been operated as a museum since 1963. We bought Ian a book about the house...we hope it will adequately tell it's story!

Stewert Beach

Going to Stewert Beach was a very last minute decision! Maggie has never really been to a real Galveston Beach...sounds crazy...but true! She danced around like a crazy girl, loving every minute! She loved the thrill of looking for shells and building bridges in the sand. She didn't love the water...sure that a shark or jellyfish or catfish would eat her up! The water never went past her big neither!

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Sacred Heart Catholic Church was right next door to The Bishop's know what a sucker I am for churches, so we took a peek! It was your ordinary Catholic church...beautiful. We took a moment to light a couple of candles and say a few prayers for Grandma Jean and the father of Maggie's classmate that recently lost his father unexpectedly. May they rest in Peace.

Galveston Here We Come...

Maggie and I decided to spend a marathon day in Galveston together. Believe it or not, we NEVER go to Galveston and we decided it was time to go! By the end of the day we promised to return because we had only scratched the surface of the iceberg of things to do! Maybe we can get Ian to go next time if we promise not to spent too much time on the beach...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History

Today we went to the all new Goodykoontz Museum of Girl Scout History...what a name! We had a wonderful docent show us around and really enjoyed ourselves. They had a lot to look at...old memorabilia, uniforms, photos, etc. Maggie enjoyed the dress-up area and games. We could only spend an hour and a half there because I had a tutoring gig...I promised we would go back another time this week! Maggie is looking forward to scouts now that she is a big Junior...I'll miss my little Brownie!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kit Kittredge

Today I took Maggie along with three 1st grade girls from my class last year to see the movie, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. It was from a Bash item at the school auction that their parents won... we had a great time! Aren't they adorable?

Sacred Sunday

Good to have Maggie home.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Camp - Saturday

We picked Maggie up from camp today.
She seemed to have had a great time,
had bunches of stories to tell
and talked all the way home...well, almost!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Closing Campfire

Tonight was Closing Campfire. Closing campfire embodies the core values of camp...Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Faith. Each session one camper is chosen from within their cabin to be named the Honor Camper, the one who has represented the core values to the highest of standards. (I think something amazing may have looks as if Maggie was chosen Honor Camper again this year!) If I remember correctly...the evening ends as everyone circles the fire for one last campfire round up as they sing the camp song, a time to remember forever.

Camp - Friday

Today was Maggie's last day of camp. It appears to me that the unthinkable has happened... someone pretty incredible got that girl in a "canoe-like" boat (I need to know who's hand is in the picture!!!) and I may even see a smile on her face! I'm glad to see she got to go to rifles (yep, you're in Texas)...last year it rained and she didn't make it. I think she has a little bit of Ian in her! I'm glad to see her try fishing...we don't do much of that in our everyday life. I asked Maggie to consider trying one new thing this summer at looks like she did!

Houston, we've got a letter!

"heart art" by Maggie '08

When I checked the mail today my heart sank...because there was only a letter for Ian and not me (you'd think I would be happy for him!). Anyway, I happened to flip the envelope over because it felt heavy and saw her handwritten note on back..."Mommy's letter is in here too because her envelope wouldn't shut!" Music to my ears. I ripped it open to find that she really missed me, loved camp, zip lined on the ropes course, sometimes gets cool at night, ate chili hot dogs, made 2 new friends, went banana boating, she's really busy, she passed the swim test and that she loved me! She makes my heart sing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camp - Thursday

It looks like Maggie went horseback riding (in her swimsuit!) with her cabin...they are all there! I hear there was a little bit of rain but it ended pretty quickly and there was a luau!

Love Thursday

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Camp - Wednesday

What a breathtaking sunset on the waterfront!
That's Maggie in the back of the art room...
I wonder what leather craft Maggie will bring home this year?

The CAT got a letter! read that right! Clementine got a letter from camp today. (Meow, meow, having fun, meow, get the idea!) This picture was taken as we were packing for camp...he kept trying to get inside the trunk to take a cozy nap! Update: It seems Maggie's friend Caroline ALSO got a letter from camp today! She reports that she loved opening campfire, has gone banana boating and tubing, and ate pizza for dinner last night. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camp - Tuesady's slim pickings on are the only "Maggie sightings" I could muster for today! Her unbrushed self appears to be having fun. She's the one in the red helmet below waiting to take the plunge on the zip line! Her friend Emily (the one looking at you in the front) looks happy, too!

Past, Present, Future

Today was our 10th wedding anniversary...hard to believe. I've known Ian for more than half of my lifetime! We had a quiet dinner to celebrate and exchanged gifts. I went for the modern...aluminum plaque (sadly, it wasn't ready). Ian went for the! I love you, sweetie!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sacred Sunday

When Maggie and I were in Tahoe mom presented us with two beautiful crosses she had made using diamonds from Grandminnie's jewelry. We love them and will treasure them always...I know she would be pleased. We miss you Grandminnie...

Camp - Sunday

Can you believe it? Bunk1 has already posted a batch of photos from their first evening of camp...they don't waste any time...good for an over-anxious momma like me! It appears that they have been given camp t-shirts for their cabin photos (I'm glad to see she had not arrived yet when we left) and taken their swim tests. I wonder how Opening Campfire went? Last year rain prevented the campers from this Maggie was really looking forward to it this year!

Opening Day

Today Maggie left for camp...finally! She has been waiting all summer for this moment to arrive. She had a hard time sleeping last night, despite putting herself to bed before the sun went down. Her excitement grew as we made the first turn onto camp property...felt like home. Some of her school friends joined her this year...she hopes they love it, too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crazy Squirrels!

We have 8 big pine trees in our front yard and every year about this time the squirrels turn into pine cone pigs! Ian sweeps up their mess weekly for a couple of months. Shown are the before and after shots...with a little help from Maggie. The mess will be back in a few days...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mom's Night Out #2

Tonight I went to see Mama Mia with a group of girlfriends. The movie was absolutely delightful (if you enjoy musicals and ABBA!). I don't believe most of our husbands would have said the same! Afterwards, we had dinner and drinks at an old favorite, Benjy's. Yum, Yum. Maggie was at a birthday sleepover so poor Ian was home alone on our first night back from Tahoe. Sorry Ian!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Love Thursday

It's GREAT to be home.
For Love Thursday,
Maggie put together a collage of stuff
(notice the baggie of bacon!)
from her backpack at the airport today!
We had a great time in Tahoe this summer, Mom and Howard.
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Last Day at the Beach!

Sadly, the time has come. We went to the beach for the last time today. The surf was really up and Maggie had a great time playing in the waves. Good way to end our time in Lake Tahoe...

Watson Cabin

After years of missing the open times of this small pioneer cabin...we finally made it in. It was worth the wait! Watson Cabin was delightful...2 bedrooms, bathroom, 2 living areas, porch and a kitchen. It was built just after the turn of the century and believed to be the first cabin in Tahoe City. Afterwards, we stopped at Izzy's Burger Spa for lunch. Stupid name...nothing "spa" about it! It's one of Maggie's favorites.

Grandma Sam's Sugar Cookies!

Maggie made sugar cookies with mom this morning. They bought a Noah's Ark cookie cutter set...but Maggie only wanted to use the elephants...big surprise!

Yacht Cruise

Maggie went on a 2 hour yacht cruise across the lake to Emerald Bay and back with my parents and had a great time. It was crazy windy and the first day since our trip smoke wasn't a real issue. A steak and lobster dinner afterwards was a great way to end our day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quiet Day

Today was still quite a bit smoky on the lake so we went bowling in Carson City and Grandpa Howard took Maggie to the Children's Museum. The great thing about living so close to the can go to the beach for just an hour!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Italian Street Painting

The Tahoe Arts Festival was holding it's 10th annual Italian Street Painting festival today at the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay. We saw a lot of beautiful washed out photos don't do it justice so I didn't include them! Maggie had fun creating her own artwork but it got too hot. We may continue later on mom's driveway!

Pioneer Days

Throughout our trips to Nevada each summer I am constantly being reminded of how much of a struggle it must have been for those first wagon trains making their way out West... not truly knowing the hardships and struggles they would endure. The mountains are so steep, boulders are everywhere, the temperature is so hot, the winters are so did they do it? On our way to Virginia City we stopped at a roadside historical marker to find that it was dedicated to the pioneer road builders of long ago. If only many years ago those that were part of the Donner Party had the opportunity to use roads...


Can you believe there were 4 huge old-fashioned candy stores and ice cream parlors on 1 little street? The temptation finally got to us and we decided to indulge on a caramel apple and rainbow swirl lollipops! Simple pleasures.


We were able to see the 1st switchboard ever used in Nevada...Maggie couldn't help remembering the episode of Little House on the Prairie where nosy Mrs. Olson was eavesdropping on all the townspeople causing a lot of mischief! We later saw a much larger switchboard in the 4th Ward School down the street.

Mark Twain Museum

Visiting one of the MANY Mark Twain historic spots in the area was a big treat considering Maggie is a student and I am a teacher at Mark Twain Elementary in Houston, Texas! Maggie is sitting in front of the desk used by Samuel Clemens 145 years ago when he was a reporter in Virginia City where he first used the name, Mark Twain. Cool.

Comstock Cemetary

As morbid as this sounds...the Comstock Cemetery in Virginia City was VERY interesting! It was founded in the early 1900's and many of the tombstones were weathered away and couldn't be read because they were so old! Being huge pioneer buffs, Maggie and I were able to piece together realistic explanations for shortened lives, lonely graves, families buried together, infant graves, etc. The cemetery has seen better days but we could still envision how grand it must have once been.

We Struck Gold!

Maggie got a chance to learn how to pan for gold
using real panning techniques
and was lucky enough to bring home 6 real gold nuggets!

Virginia City Trolley

The 20 minute narrated tour on the Virginia City Trolley was a fun addition to our day and gave us a chance to catch our breath, learn some interesting facts about the town and enjoy the cool breeze!

V & T Railroad

Today we rode on the the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Maggie was a bit nervous...and actually tried to back out. She had mistakenly envisioned riding open car barely hanging off the edge of the mountain...but in the end loved it! We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the wild mustangs that are known to roam the mountains but weren't so lucky. The ride was a 35 minute steam train ride through the historic Comstock mining region and Maggie agreed that this was one of the highlights of our day!