Sunday, May 31, 2009

bike ride

Our time was running out and we got to end our time on the island by riding bikes around to fit in a bit more exploring! We really liked this. We loved seeing the neighborhoods and I especially loved seeing the schools! Teaching on Catalina Island must be a dream come true!

Sea Lions

Taking a chartered boat out to view the sea lions was probably Maggie's favorite thing to do today! The sea lions were adorable...and stinky! Luckily, when we arrived at the area where the sea lions were...the sky opened up and gave us a little bit of blue sky and sunshine. It was absolutely magical!

beach time

The weather was too cold to go in the beach but at least we got our feet in! The water was warm enough but the weather was not. We found a lot of neat pebbles and enjoyed splashing around. We even saw a dinner plate sized was amazing!

Catalina Island

We arrived to Catalina Island by boat. The Island is actually 30 miles off the California Coast. We fell in love with it's charm immediately and already wonder when we will be able to return! Let's just say, it didn't feel like we were in California anymore! It was not over-crowded or outrageously expensive. We found plenty to do and easy to navigate. We especially loved taking a bus tour of the interior and learning a little bit about the island. We were sad that the weather didn't cooperate as it was still cold and overcast. The locals called this "June Bloom." Just the same, we had a memorable experience!

Surprises are AWESOME!!!

As usual, mute the playlist music on the left column to hear the video...crank up the volume!

Here's the plan...tonight at dinner we will give Maggie another birthday present and card. The card will tell her we are spending the next 2 days at Disneyland (she thinks we are going to the airport for Tahoe after dinner) and the present is Disney shirts for the 3 of us to wear tomorrow! Priceless.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

call us crazy...

Can you tell who belongs to which burger? :-)

Of all the beautiful outdoor patio restaurants to choose from...we chose the infamous In-N-Out Burger to eat lunch! We ended up totally loving it!

Pacific Coast

We finally arrived to California and wouldn't you know it...cold weather! We were looking forward to swimming in the Pacific Ocean but had to settle on looking at it instead! We spent most of the day driving down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and sampling different beaches...there were so many! It was absolutely gorgeous!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Thursday

OK...we did not remove this heart rock to add to our collection. We found this one last week in Kerrville off the Wharton Highway historical marker beside the tombstone of the first settler in Kerr County. We felt it should stay.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

class party

Now I've seen it all! I was shocked to find Maggie playing kickball with the boys during her class party...her friends were nowhere to be seen.


Although some don't see the beauty in teaching in your own neighborhood school, I do! Today Maggie's teacher had a meeting and needed someone to watch her kids. Since she watched my class last week while I viewed the "girl movie" with other 4th grade parents I owed her one! Today Maggie's class came over for about 45 minutes to read with my class and play a game. The kids enjoyed it and as always, Maggie liked coming to my classroom!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

reading buddy

When Maggie's old reading buddy moved away when her daddy died, she got a new 1st grade reading buddy. I'm not sure what her name is...but she adores Maggie and wants to hug her at every opportune time!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Camp Arrowhead

The absolute highlight of our trip to Kerrville was the opportunity to go to Hunt and visit the summer camp I attended when I was younger...Camp Arrowhead for Girls. I have such fond memories of my time there in the early 80's and have always told story after story to Maggie...I was thrilled to finally show Maggie around myself. Unfortunately, the camp visit wasn't without sadness. Camp Arrowhead is closing...due to unfortunate circumstances. The camp has been open since 1934 and will not be in session this summer. The chance to see the camp one more time was Golden...I was even willing to trespass if I had to...much to Ian and Maggie's dismay. Fortunately, we stumbled upon one of the owner's and they could see I was a harmless nutty ex-camper! We walked every inch of the property and the best part of the day...I even found my own graffiti on the walls (many times) in one of my old cabins...truly amazing that it was still there and so clear! It was also Maggie's birthday which meant she could fulfil one of the traditions I could never experience myself since my birthday was in December...kiss the deer! It sounded like a crazy request and she probably thought I had lost my mind, but my dutiful daughter did it anyway. Bless her.

Maggie's Birthday

Maggie's birthday began by waking up and opening presents. We actually brought most of them to Kerrville from Houston. At Maggie's request, we celebrated by dining on a patio with live music on the banks of the Guadalupe River. The band was horrible and way too loud...but Maggie loved it! She really loved the surprise dessert they gave her. That did not deter Maggie from celebrating all over again when we got home with Mimi's homemade chocolate cake! She went to bed tired and with a tummy ache.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wharton Cemetery

We are always a sucker to pull over and read historical markers alongside roadsides. Today was no different. We stumbled upon the cabin site of the first settlers to Kerr County. Some of the tombstones dated back to the mid 1800' to the pioneer buffs in the family!

Rosie's bad day

We were able to spend a couple of days at Mimi's neighborhood pool, much to Rosie's disgust! Remember how upset Rosie was at Inks Lake during Spring Break? Well, today was no different! Rosie really did not like Maggie in the pool at all. It's really weird...

deer everywhere!

There were A LOT of deer in Mimi's neighborhood. Almost all day you could spot several deer across the time we counted 28 at once! They would be a disaster to my garden!

Tranquility Bridge

We stumbled upon Louise Hays Park near downtown Kerrville. We played around on Tranquility Bridge, climbed a massive amount of stairs and watched the ducks in the Guadalupe River...all before the rain came!


We spent the day puttering around Downtown Kerrville and stumbled upon a case of large Ball jars for $7...the same exact kind I use for my pickles!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Going to Mimi's

Today we drove all night to get to Kerrville. The drive was a bit much for a Friday night after work...but worth it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

awards day

Luckily, I have tremendous support at school from my classroom parents...I was able to go to Maggie's awards program while they taught an Art a la Carte lesson! Maggie received many awards but was especially proud of the one for outstanding Achievement for being principled and a risk-taker!

Love Thursday

I saw this written on the wall in a bathroom stall at Girl Scout camp a few weeks ago! How refreshing...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

presentation time

I mentioned before that Maggie has read 3 Cups of Tea (she's now reading it for a 2nd time) and decided to do her class presentation on the author, Greg Mortenson. She wrote a paper and made a Power Point at school... even decided to dress up as one of his students in Pakistan for her presentation. A friend's mom from her class taught her how to wear the headpiece and she wore one of my shirts backwards! She was all set...and did everything on her own. When her time came to present she didn't read her report or show her Power Point...she just got up and talked. Her teacher reported to me that she got a 100 because she told the story of Greg Mortenson in her own words and further explained her stand about inequities in schools. She talked about action, how she collected pennies for Pennies for Peace (she collected $78.15. Wow!) and how her influence affected not only her class...but other 4th graders at Mark Twain and even kids as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan! Maggie continues to make me proud...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Maggie was excited to have a reading part for the announcements again this year. Unfortunately, due to technological difficulties...she had to do them the old-fashioned way!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweet Idea

Maggie decided for us to eat outside tonight...we've had unbelievable weather this week in Houston!!

good timing

Sometimes it is hard to be a teacher AND a parent at the same school. Sometimes I feel far removed from what goes on in the classroom but then other days I love being right there. Today I walked into the science lab to talk to the science teacher...and Maggie's class just happened to be there! She was searching for and identifying different bones found in owl pellets. She seemed to like it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Maggie's party

Luckily, the weather held out for us and it didn't rain! The girls seemed to have a good time and as predicted, the cupcakes were a hit. In lieu of gifts, Maggie asked that dog treats, dog biscuits and gently used towels be donated to the Houston Great Pyrenees Rescue Society...the rescue group that we got our sweet Rosie. She received an incredible amount of donations and is eager to pay it forward!

Friday, May 15, 2009

cupcakes from hell...

I was way too tired and busy to take on something so ridiculous...but it was for Maggie's birthday party! Mine were not as cute as seen on Bakerella but Maggie was pleased nonetheless. Actually, it wasn't so bad...I have 40 more "cake balls" in the freezer for future fun!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love Thursday

Maggie found this at the Japanese Festival last month.

cancer free!!!

It was a long day. Major problems with the IV. I'm VERY tired. Despite all that, our family rejoices over the news...cancer-free for 2 years in a row!! I heart you MDA. Thank you Dad for spending the day with me.

last minute fun

It's that time of year where Girl Scouts are awarded badges for that year. In Junior Scouts, 6 activities need to be completed for each badge. Many of the badges are started together as a troop but cannot be completed in just a couple of hours. It is each girls responsibility to complete the remaining activities to complete each badge. With that said...we are doing a bunch of random stuff around our house lately to get some of these badges completed! Today, Ian and Maggie flew balsa wood planes and paper planes. Tomorrow we are going to make sun tea and deliver wrapped Girl Scout cookies to a shut-in on our block. A few more to go...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Field Day

I missed Maggie's field day. I spent much of the day at MD Anderson for pre-op appointments getting ready for tomorrow's procedure. Several people told me they snapped a few shots of Maggie. I will add them to the blog if they materialize. Maggie was pumped about coming in 2nd place!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Mmmmm...I got the yummiest Mother's Day treat ever (thanks, Vicki)...and I shared it with the best daughter in the world, my Maggie. Maggie was concerned about eating my Mother's Day treat but I quickly assured her that I couldn't have been a mother without her. How can you argue with that logic?

Monday, May 11, 2009

That's my girl!!!

The kids in Maggie's class were given the assignment to research a famous person and write a report. Maggie is currently reading Three Cups of Tea (I read it last summer) and decided to do her report on Greg Mortenson. On her own she decided to raise money through Pennies for Peace to help build schools in Pakistan. Maggie is very shy and certainly would never choose to speak in front of a crowd...but her teacher reported to me that Maggie went to every 4th grade class and spoke about her cause. Apparently, kids have been excitedly coming to Maggie's classroom and dropping money into her donation bucket while she has been home sick. She will be pleased.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's in the world! A friend of mine sent me this cute video...hilarious!!! We were not able to go to the CampCullen open house as was cancelled...not sure the organizers realized it was on Mother's Day when they planned it! We made up for it by watching 17 Again...cute movie! Ian and Maggie cooked a fabulous dinner for me last night and had breakfast for me this morning. Maggie went swimming with a friend and I was able to get a few things planned to help get ready for Maggie's birthday party next weekend!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I spent much of the day cleaning out the other half of our garden and planting some flowers. I third of it is still empty...any suggestions on what to plant? It was totally hot out...not expecting that! My face was so red from the heat it freaked Maggie out! It was nice to have the time to devote to the garden...

our favorite furry pals

Clementine and Rosie are becoming fast friends. I think the phrase "...they fight like cats and dogs" must have originated with our favorite furry pals!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Maggie went home sick today. Nightmare for me but what can you do? Tomorrow we will have to squeeze a lot into our day to make up for me leaving early today and being out 3 days next week! Arghhh. Anyway, Maggie has strep...again! It was a bit alarming when asked seriously... if she's been to Mexico recently! Double arghhh.

Love Thursday

A student gave me a hanging basket at Easter...I just noticed the petals are shaped like hearts!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This is the cover to Maggie's portfolio of artwork from school...colorful!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


No, there hasn't been another hurricane. Apparently, we've let our yard get out of hand. The new lawn service stayed all day to "clean-up" before they could mow our lawn!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lemonade Day 2009

Today Maggie and our sweet friend Ben had a lemonade stand near the zoo for Lemonade Day 2009. It was hot and a lot of other people had the same idea!! Despite all that...the kids had a lot of fun and Maggie says she wants to do it again next year. Since Maggie is almost reading 3 Cups of Tea, they chose to send the proceeds to Pennies for Peace.

choir banquet

Tonight was Maggie's end of the year choir banquet at church. For many reasons it is a comfort for her to be there. We've been going to choir on Wednesday nights since Maggie was 4...note the 6 different color of ribbons on Maggie's choir cross representing each year! One more thing to cross off my list! I opted to miss my principal's retirement party this evening...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thanks, I needed that!

Flip flops and OPI Cajun Shrimp. Priceless. Thanks Jennifer for including me in your indulgence!

garden update

With all the rain...our garden is really thriving! We got the fencing up behind the cucumbers...they were attacking the edamame!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bash Swim Party

The new month begins with the first of MANY obligations this month. Today I hosted a swim party at the YMCA to raise money for our school. It was the first time this season for Maggie to go swimming. I had a good turnout and everyone had a nice time. Glad it is over...on to the next obligation on my agenda! Afterwards, Maggie went to a birthday sleepover and I had the night child free! Strangely, I spent the evening eating dinner/playing Wii with a bit too much wine. Different game when that happens. Fun nonetheless!