Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Diamond Crater State Park

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Looking for Diamonds

More digging. We had a lot of fun looking...despite the mud! It was rather shocking. Within 5 minutes I fell and couldn't get up! Supposedly the best time to look for diamonds is after a rain. The pictures do not prove that each foot weighed at least 10 lbs. each! It was quite a workout.

Finder's Keeper's

At the end of our day digging, mucking and sifting visitors are encouraged to bring all their possible "diamonds" to the discovery center for inspection. Honestly, they all looked like tiny smooth shiny rocks. We all had the most hope for Ian's find...but it turned out to be a souvenir rock from the gift shop!!! Maggie ended up with a certified 8 pt. diamond. Probably only worth a couple of bucks...but cool!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wegner's Crystal Mine

Since it was a bit rainy we opted to postpone the diamond digging 1 day and drive north to escape the showers to dig at Wegner's Crystal Mine. It was a fabulous decision! The crystals were literally everywhere and everyone felt successful right away. We had a great day digging, we were the last ones to leave and were allowed to bring home as much as we wanted! Our rock enthusiast friend at home has given us chemicals to clean our crystals...stay tuned!

Stuff to Do

Luckily, there was a family camping in the site across from us that had 2 boys Maggie's age that played really well with the kids in our group. That gave the adults in our party a BIG break! We brought a badminton set that was a huge hit! After 1 rainy day, Maggie and I hit the nearby laundromat and put all our blankets in the big dryer for a warm cozy slumber we were destined to was a quarter well spent!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my friends, family and health and hope that this Thanksgiving finds everyone happy and safe.

Love Thursday

Compliments to E. Jane's found crystal!

Hanging Out

The weather was cold at night and we were able to have campfires every night! We ate all our meals at the campsite.

The anticipation is killing us!

Our first full day in Murfreesboro, Arkansas was full of anticipation. Of course, the diamond mine is closed on Thanksgiving! We still hiked over to peek through the gates, walk around, and dig through their gardens!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finally there!

OK, here are some pictures of the beginning of our journey. The drive was a bit long after we loaded the cars, picked up the turkey at Goode Company, stopped at a dive for dinner and pitched our new tent. We went to bed around midnight.

We're off!

We're off on an adventure! You'll be hearing from us soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

TAG, you're it!

A blog I follow challenged her readers to find the 4th photo out of the 4th album on their computer. I dig to see what photo that might be and look what popped up! According to the date on the download it was June 2, 2004...seems like yesterday! What a cutie. It was taken at the inside playground at Memorial City Mall that Maggie affectionately called Candyland. This was a fun never know what picture you will come up with. I will tag anyone who wants to do this. Have fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Music Man

Maggie and I went to see The Music Man at the Hobby Center downtown today with her Girl Scout troop. The weather was beautiful...too bad it was spent inside!



Sacred Sunday

Today was the "Kirking o’ the Tartans" at church...always invigorating!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


We sacrificed The Greek Festival (it was rescheduled because of Hurricane Ike) and instead spent the day driving to and from Madisonville (halfway point from Corsicana) to visit with Ian's mom. Her mother had a stroke a few weeks ago and will be in Texas indefinitely to care for her after her surgery in a few weeks. It was nice to see her...sorry it is under such circumstances. We don't see Vickie often...she is always amazed at how much Maggie has grown!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rest in Peace

Aug. 15, 2008 - Nov. 21, 2008
We'll miss you were loved.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Thursday

Amazing...I know. I was innocently walking around at recess and stumbled upon this heart in the dried up mud on the playground field at school! Love is everywhere...

What Baby?

We feel like Lola escaped death again! We headed down to BARC after I tutored and Maggie went to tennis today. She started to FOAM AT THE MOUTH! Good Lord, what next? Each time we go I feel as if they are going to put her to sleep. Legally, she is not ours until she is spayed. We have her through a "foster to adopt" program. Can you believe it? We have a foster dog! Anyway, it turns out that she needs water after her antibiotics! It would have been nice to know that! Maggie and I spent almost 3 hours just to find that out and Maggie chose to sacrifice her Math & Science night at school that she was really looking forward to. The vet is not concerned. Lola still calls earth her home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maggie's Pilgrim

Maggie is reading Molly's Pilgrim in class right now (I am also currently reading it to my 1st graders!).

In the story, Molly wants to go back to Russia. The girls in her third-grade class make fun of Molly's imperfect English and her peasant-looking clothes. Her mother reminds her they can't go back to Russia; the reason they came to America was to escape religious persecution, and it would be very dangerous to return. To make matters worse, Molly's teacher gives the class a project for Thanksgiving. Not only has Molly never heard of Thanksgiving, but she is supposed to make a Pilgrim doll out of a clothespin for the class display. That evening, her mother offers to help, and when Molly takes her doll to school the next day, the children tease her, saying her doll doesn't look like a Pilgrim. Molly defends her position, explaining why the doll her mother made is a pilgrim. With the help of the teacher, the entire class soon realizes that not only is Molly right, but it really does take "all kinds of Pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving." This strong and important story easily ranks as one of my favorites and a must read for this and every Thanksgiving!

For extra credit, Maggie wanted to make a clothespin doll with me. I was more than happy to oblige!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Better Lola!

An appetite and antibiotics have done wonders for Lola's spirit!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Little Tykes

Can you believe Maggie still plays with this...who knew?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Aunt Karen gave Maggie and I matching cross necklaces a few years ago...she has one, too. We love them and her dearly!

Long weekend!

By 6:30 PM Maggie, Clementine and Lola were all sound asleep!


Today was the day Lola needed to get her 2nd round of shots. It turns out she had just what we expected...kennel cough! She escaped the shots for a couple of weeks to get 10 days of antibiotics through her system. The vet recommended wrapping the capsules in cheese so they could be eaten whole. What we do for our pets and children...I stopped at a fast food joint and ordered 1 slice of cheese (You can imagine the weird look we got!). Maggie felt as if it were a real emergency and she needed her meds right away! The cheese didn't work...any ideas?

Patches galore

Maggie was pleased to get 2 more patches for her Girl Scout sash!

Tall Ship Elissa

After NASA the girls headed to the Tall Ship Elissa in Galveston. They had a very hands-on experience that included taking turns for an hour (Ian drew the highly coveted 11-midnight slot) each to keep watch during the night and sleep below the deck (cold weather kept them from sleeping on deck). The Elissa is more than an artifact from a bygone era. She is a fully-functional vessel that continues to sail annually during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to the Galveston Historical Foundation and its commitment to bring history to life, combined with the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who keep her seaworthy and train each year to sail her, Elissa and the art of 19th Century square-rigged sailing are alive and well. Elissa's wake is 123 years and counting!

Space Center Houston

First stop on the way to Galveston was NASA Space Center Houston. Maggie also went last year on a field trip in 3rd grade but this time had a once in a lifetime behind the scenes tour that isn't open to the public...good to know people! Ian thought it was cool to see the actual flight simulators and Maggie got a kick out of the space food. I haven't been to NASA since I was a little kid...we hope to go back soon!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Missing Maggie

Maggie is on a Girl Scout excursion with Ian (who is probably hating every minute of it!) and will be back tomorrow. More news to come...

Friday, November 14, 2008

baby quilts!

On my last day home from MD Anderson I made good use of my free and uninterrupted time to make a baby quilt for a co-worker. I just love pinks and greens together...especially for baby girls! Some of the fabric is from scraps leftover from Maggie's cozy quilt her Grandmother and I made for her a few years ago. Of course, Maggie wanted to keep it for her baby hope is that a real baby would appreciate it even more! :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cancer Free, thank you

Our surgery time was 5:30 AM ...but glad to have it. I've got horror stories ( I will spare you the horrible stories ) of being too dehydrated to find a vein for IV's if the time is after 10:00 AM. Nothing looked suspicious and I talked Dr. Wood into checking me next in June vs. the busiest month for me...May. We celebrated later with Maggie...getting ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles!

A big Thank You to Martha (Myers' nanny) for bringing Maggie to church choir after school, my substitute that stayed for both days and did a great job and Kari for making sure Maggie got to tennis in one piece. And especially to the Enos' for bringing Maggie home from church, having her spend the night with them (Ben loved this!), getting Maggie's reading minute log added up and letting her wear Jennifer's shoes to school the next day!

Love Thursday

My dad brought over one of Ian's favorite treats the other day...jalapeno venison sausage. It's Maggie's favorite, too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It had been a long day at MD Anderson. It started with me arriving at the parking garage with a sign that read FULL. I saw a few cars leaving so I took my chances. It paid off...or so I thought! Thank you to Irene (one of my current parents and breast cancer survivor) for breaking up my day to have lunch with me at the lovely MDA cafeteria, Waterfall Cafe. The appointments were long and uneventful. I actually got some grading done. As I got on the elevator to go home I noticed a big full moon above the hospitals over the Medical Center skyline and I was thinking I spent way too much time there. Just at that moment I get a text from good friend, Jennifer. Honestly, it said "Go look at the moon. It's a sign that only good things are coming." I went to the parking garage and somehow didn't see the giant, white pillar in the almost empty very well lit parking garage. I should have valeted.


Maggie came right to the room the other day and finished reading Sign of the Beaver. She has been on a manic reading marathon trying to accumulate atleast 750 minutes of reading in just a few weeks (which is hard to do when it seems like we are always busy!). HISD is heading up a "reading champions" program with The March of Dimes to raise money for premature babies. If you would like to contribute a few dollars to sponsor Maggie's reading I know she would be thrilled!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dearest Nate

Thank you so much for all the sweet notes, drawings and poems you've sent me this year. Your care package of pencil sharpeners for my class was so thoughtful! I absolutely loved seeing the photos of your new school and neighborhood...especially the giant Saguaro cactus like we read about in class! I know you check both of my blogs often and I appreciate your sweet comments. It sounds like you miss Houston and Mark Twain a bit. I know you must be having a great time at your new school meeting new friends and going to a new church. I bet your teacher is awesome, too. Did you know Jourdan, Adam, and Matthew Q. come see me every morning? I bet if you were still would be right there with them! I've misplaced your return address so this blog post will have to do for now until I locate it. Have a great week and Happy Veterans' Day to you, too!
Mrs. Phillips
Say hello to your sweet sister...I bet she LOVES kindergarten!

Too Cute

I couldn't resist. This tickled me when I first saw it on a friend's blog in Bloggerland. Have a great day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby Mac

Mac, the baby Asian elephant at the Houston Zoo, died last night with his mother, Shanti, and his aunt, Methai, nearby. He died after a brief battle with the elephant herpes virus, which is also found in wild elephants. He just celebrated his 2nd birthday last month. Along with the entire zoo staff and elephant lovers everywhere, Maggie is very sad.

Cozy Blankets

Last year for Christmas Aunt Karen gave all 3 of us each our own soft chenille blankets. As we watched iCarly Goes to Japan Saturday, Lola snuggled up with Maggie. I think she likes loves chenille, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Backyard Camping

This weekend was great...nothing big planned other than a few play dates and acolyte training. We are going to Diamond Crater State Park in Arkansas over Thanksgiving with friends and wanted to get a bigger tent for the occasion. We brought it home and set it up. The weather was beautiful so when Maggie asked if we could spend the night in the backyard...who could say no?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Tomatoes

Fall tomatoes rule! We don't seem to have any bug or bird problems!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Love Thursday

Too much candy still around the house...not so lovely! It's a good thing I don't like peanut butter or chocolate!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fenced in!

It's a temporary fix...until our neighbor replaces his fence that blew down during Hurricane Ike. Honestly, I kind of like it being open! All the backyard fences went down and you can see all the way down half a block. I'm sure the neighborhood started out in the 1950's with chain link fences...much more neighborly that way! We needed to find a way to keep Lola in the yard and not in the street!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

Today is a big day...tomorrow is even bigger. I couldn't have said it any better than this.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Maggie was especially proud to show this to me in the hallway because it was hers AND it was in cursive! She learned how to write in cursive in 2nd grade, was not required to use it in 3rd (and forgot ) and was horrified to have to relearn this year in 4th grade.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Even though I teach in a public school, I was pleased to see many students incorporate churches into their Starry Night paintings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Volleyball season done!

To make up for games missed during Hurricane Ike, Maggie had a double header planned. Nothing like 6 games in 2 hours...they were exhausted! True to YMCA character, the games were rescheduled at the last minute and I neglected to tell anyone...which resulted in Aunt Karen, Dad and Ann missing the games. I felt like a heal! The games were great. The girls won 5 out of 6 games...a good way to end the season!