Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What We Did Yesterday

Here is what the Briers did yesterday. We drove to Houston. We said "Hi" to Joanie and Jacob who were waiting to have their baby.

Then we waited with Ava and the Esparzas in the waiting room.

Fairly soon, Jacob appeared and Lucy had been delivered.

Everyone arrived and we figured we would be going in to see Lucy and Joanie and take a group picture like we did with Ava, Scarlett, and Ben. Then we would head out for an afternoon of rest and relaxation while Joanie and Jacob bonded with their new little one.

But then...because they keep the OR so darn cold, they decided that Lucy needed to go to the nursery to warm up for about an hour. ( which ended up being much longer. Those nurses must have felt they needed to tend to other patients and they didn't have a room for Joanie) So we stared through the window, but Lucy was in the last bed.

Michelle and Ava played with Marble Racers. Aunt Shannon provided Tootsie Roll Pops.

Ben and Miles played video games.

Brett worked via his phone.

The cousins played really well together.

Barry napped.

Then Brett and Scarlett slipped off and somehow got the nurses to let them into Joanie's room when they brought Lucy in. They were in there holding Lucy while the rest of us waited!

Scarlett seems to have inherited her father's talent of being the baby whisperer. Aunt Michelle was not too happy about Scarlett's ability to quiet Lucy down.

Ava had a great day but was really tired after becoming a big sister.

As soon as she got in her car seat she was out.

The star of the day has been bright eyed and bushy-tailed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sidy's Tree

The best thing about Christmases and holidays are the special memories that we collect. One of my Christmas memories is of the aluminum tree that my Aunt Sidy bought. Some thought that the tree was cheesy, but I thought it was wonderful. The tree came with a color wheel,

and each color made the branches sparkle with brilliant lights. That tree may have begun my obsession with all things colorful and sparkly. You rocked, Sidy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Days Before Christmas-The Good, The Bad, and The Hideous- Part 2

More Good

Scarlett, Ben and I went to see Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Casa Manana.

Ben and Scarlett posed in front of the stage for this picture. 
I had to bribe Scarlett with Skittles.
I should have been more specific on what kind of photo I wanted for that kind of tender.

Scarlett and I were both suffering from some laryngitis during the evening, so Ben was our voice. 
He decided that everyone should learn sign language and Spanish for just such situations.

We also drove by the Chesapeake Building to see the lights. 

The Bad

As mentioned above laryngitis has set in. There are some that may feel that my not being able to speak should not be under the bad category, but then they should stop asking me questions.

These are some of my poinsettias. They are all dropping their leaves. It is driving me crazy. I cannot wait to get rid of them. "Hurry Christmas, hurry fast.
Next is Bailey, the cat. Again, Bailey is not bad. However, he has had no problem taking over. He pretty much tries to boss everyone around. He, also, spills his food when he eats it. Barry has said he is not going to feed Bailey until he eats all the food he has spilt around his dish in the garage. As you can see, Bailey is very concerned.

Now this is really BAD. Little Ava woke up sick this morning. It is no fun being sick at Christmas or anytime. Plus she has a new baby sister coming next week that she is anxious to meet.
She was enjoying the season so much.

The Hideous

Barry is usually complaining that I make him look bad in these posts. So, as you may have noticed, I did write some very nice things about him in some past posts. Then, he complained  that I was writing too many nice things. Whether he believes it or not, I just write what I observe.

You may remember that I was working on a crafty, little bowl made out of paper mache. The project is still not completed, but this is how it looks right now.
First, Barry said, "One day archaeologist are going to find this and say, 'Look, this family had not progressed to using glass, china, or crystal.' "

Then, the next morning as he was walking by, he said, "That is hideous." Obviously, he can't see my vision. 

Not to be outdone on critiques, this morning, I heard Scarlett tell Ben that her orange juice tasted like poison.

Maybe 2011 should be the year of no paper mache and only fresh squeezed orange juice.

Best Wishes to all of you,

The Days Before Christmas-The Good, The Bad, and The Hideous- Part 1

This blog will be split into two parts. That should let you know right there it is probably too long.

Scarlett participated in her preschool program. She knew all the songs and should have received a Tony.
She was not even distracted by the little girl next to her with something under her nails or the little boy on the other side, who put a lot more into the songs than was chorographed.
Please stop taking pictures, Jama

All in all, it was precious.

Then Chris, Barry, Robin, and I held the annual clinic Christmas party. As per tradition, a Chinese Christmas Gift exchange was held.

Chris went over the rules.

Cory drew first and knew she would not get to keep her gift long.

Chris and Erin were proud owners of the Santa hat for awhile.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This photo slideshow personalized with Smilebox

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Printer Giveaway


As you might expect, this is from the Pioneer Woman.
To celebrate holiday cooking and baking—and to support the printing of recipes in general—HP is giving away two (2) of these brand new Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One Printers. These are the slick new web-enabled printers loaded with apps that allow you to print directly from the Web completely independent of a host computer.
To enter this giveaway, just shout out your favorite holiday recipes/dishes in the comments section of this post. Feel free to simply name the dishes (roasted turkey, monkey bread, Yorkshire Pudding, etc) or, better yet, link directly to your favorite online recipes. I will randomly select two entries — each one will win a fabulous printer.
Giveaway open through December 31, 2010.
You may enter up to two times by selecting from two of the following entry methods:
a) Name (or link to) your favorite holiday dishes in the Comments section of this post.
b) Mention this giveaway in a Tweet, then leave a link to that Tweet in a comment on this post.
c) Mention this giveaway in a blog post, then leave a link to that post in a comment on this post.
d) Follow this link and provide your email address and your response.
(To clarify: enter twice by using any two of the above four methods.)
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
Winners will be selected via random drawing, and will be notified by e-mail.
You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
Good luck, and thanks for sharing!

Here's the website

What It's All About

Travels with Barry (now known as Inside the BrierPatch) began as a little travel blog for our family and friends as we began our adventures in our motorhome. Barry would say it began as a way for me to tell everyone about the things he says and does that I find funny and strange. Both would be correct.

Today, though I am writing about something he does well.

After reading through the paper each morning, Barry will bring me articles from the paper to read that he feels I need to see or would be of interest to me.
(I need to clarify that it is not that I don't read the paper, but after the Britney Spears and Michael Jackson reporting frenzy a few years ago and all the political bashing, I just stopped reading the paper everyday.)

This morning Barry brought me an article in the Star Telegram about the Doughnut Man. He said, "This is a story you will like". I could tell he had really liked the story too.
So, I read it. I recommend you read it too.

I hope everyone has had or has a "Doughnut Man " in their life. I know I do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Step Away from the iPad

I have to admit when I first got my iPad, I wondered if I would even keep it.
My son, Brett, helped me get over the extravagance of it, and I began to enjoy it more. Now I need a self-help program to enable me to put the iPad down. I haven't accomplished much since getting it, except to learn more about its features and surf the web more.

Sometimes I do set it down. Then, Barry picks it up and uses it. After all, we are sharing it. The time ratio right now is about 90/10.

It's hard to describe the hold the iPad takes over you when you already have an iPhone and laptop that have the same functions and more. Too bad Apple has no idea who I am or what recommendations I am giving them. I am sure they would want to send me a free gift or something. Actually, all I need is the strength to walk away and do my chores.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Houses and Hereditary

Some of you may have heard that we were planning on buying this house, a whole .7 of a mile away from our present home. Then, you may have heard
that it all fell through. Well, last night the contracts were signed, and we will be moving.

I remember when my parents were around our age and decided to move. Craziness! I thought. Then Chris and Robin decided to build a new house. More craziness, but Barry and I have jumped on the bandwagon. Could it be genetic?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Word of the Day Is...

When Barry and I were first married, we lived in Houston. There was a morning television show that Barry's mom watched faithfully. They would give a word for the day. Then later, they would pick a number out of the phonebook and call it. If you knew the word, you won. If there was no answer or someone didn't know the word the money carried over to the next day.

Barry's mother would call me every morning to make sure I knew the word. It irritated the heck out of me. I would complain to Barry, "I don't care what the word is. What are the chances of them calling me in a city this large?"

Now I do the same thing with my daughter-in-law and daughters. I notify them of every Pioneer Woman Giveaway. Sometimes even my son and son-in-laws are informed. I figure my own children are used to me by now but am sure their spouses feel the same way I did when I was their age.

That's okay. I know how Ann felt and why she kept me informed of that word every morning. They will know one day too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Testing, Testing, Testing

I am practicing blogging with my iPad. This is only a test.

Today is Joanie's birthday. When we called to wish her a happy birthday, Ava was drumming in the background.

This is Ava last year. She apparently likes to drum.

If I only have to take my iPad when I am in Houston, it will be ,oh, so easier. Barry will probably be using my computer and that just sends shivers up my spine. But, the thought that I might be posting a blog more often probably sends shivers up your spine. Thank you for being part of this test.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Artists

You know it has been a long time since you posted a blog when you can't remember what you have written.

I want to go back to the days that Barry or The Artist Formely Known As Barry (TAFKAB) was working on his project for Ava's room.  During that time we kept Scarlett overnight. Scarlett, too, is an artist, but she is still just known as Scarlett. Once she got to our house, she began working on a gingerbread house.

 She worked until dinner.  She still needed to let some things dry on the gingerbread house, so after dinner, she and Barry pulled out the paints.

Barry was working on the artwork for Ava's bedroom. 

Scarlett was painting for the enjoyment of it.

So much so, she wouldn't even look up for photographs.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Truth about Photography

All of the extended Brier family headed to Houston on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate with Barry's side of the family. We arrived at Barry's brother, Mike's, house on a drizzly Thanksgiving afternoon. We all got to meet Baby Dash who was in Houston to spend Thanksgiving with us. I managed to get a photo of him with my iPhone.
I felt this is all I could do since the battery did not charge for my camera. We had Barry's camera. However, it was in the car, and neither of us wanted to exert ourselves to go get it. There is an even sadder part to this story. When we got ready to leave, I went to get my purse, and there was Barry's camera bag. Barry nor I had any recollection of carrying it into the house. Scary, huh? So due to the apparent onset of dementia, this photo of Dash is the only picture taken Thanksgiving Day.

Friday morning we woke up to cool, rainy weather. We all met over at Joanie and Jacob's house. As the sun started peeking through the clouds, it was decided a trip to the zoo was in order. First, we stopped at James Coney Island for lunch. After I took this picture of Ben, I decided to give up my crusade for a new camera. There is only so much any camera can do for a photographer with this kind of skill.

This photo in the zoo parking lot was the only photograph I managed to get of all three grand kids together at the zoo.

Photography is hard. And that's the truth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank You, Barry

Not only did I have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, I won a bet with Barry. In a moment of weakness, he bet me an iPad I was wrong about something. You would think by now he would know I am not wrong. You would think my children would realize I am not wrong either when I tell them something. But, I digress. Long story short, I am now the proud owner of an iPad.

However, I told Barry we would share it, so it is our gift to each other this year.

I have other things to blog about this past weekend, but I wanted to try out my iPad.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We are thankful for family and friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

Monday, November 22, 2010


There were four entries to the Container Store gift card giveaway. People must be busy, because The Pioneer Woman only had around 1450 entries in her ipad contest.
No one had all the correct answers (or at least the answers, I deemed correct), so two names were drawn for the gift cards. Thanks to all who participated.

And the Winners Are:  Donna and Michelle-Congratulations!

And the Answers Are:

 Who started a campaign in 1827 to set a national day of Thanksgiving?
Sarah Josepha Hale
 Name one of the top producing sweet potato states.
North Carolina, California, Misissipi, Louisiana
 Which president was the first to officially issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation naming the last Thursday of November as the National Day for Thanksgiving?
Abraham Lincoln
What cartoon character balloon has been in every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades?
This ended up being a question I should not have used. I have taken it out of the quiz.
Name one of the top pumpkin producing states.
Ohio, Illinois, California, New York
Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national bird. One statesman, in particular, opposed him on this matter. To spite this statesman, Franklin is said to have nicknamed the male turkey “Tom”. Who was the statesman?
Thomas Jefferson
Name one of the top cranberry producing states.
Wisconsin, Massachusetes, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington
Name one of the top turkey producing states.
North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia,Minnesota, Arkansas, Indiana, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
Which President moved Thanksgiving up a week in November to make the Christmas Shopping season longer and thus boost the economy?
Franklin Roosevelt
 Who won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay in Bobby Flay vs. Ree Drummond?
Ree Drummond

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Productive Barry

While you are busy answering the quiz questions, I thought I would catch you up on a few things.

1. I wanted to brag on Barry. This past week he had an Eagle (not to be confused with our national bird)  on #1 of the Oak course. Three beautiful shots in a row.

2. The Diet Coke ban is not going well. I fell off the wagon a little less than a week ago. I am going to give it another try though.

3. The Artist Formerly Known as Barry has finished his paintings for Ava's room. Joanie says he needs to come out of retirement. I see a request for the new baby's room on his horizon.

4. I have bought the paper for my craft project. Maybe I can get Barry to complete it for me. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Giveaway Quiz

Everyone knows the story of the Pilgrims. We all know how the Pilgrims would not have survived if it hadn't been for the Wampanoag Indians and their chief, Massasoit. However, we also know that things did not turn out well for the Wampanoags. That is a downer to think about during these festive times, but if you hear of a group that uses Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning, now you know why.  That little tidbit is not on the quiz and no Pilgrim /Wampanoag questions are either. I decided to start this quiz in more current times, like 1827. 

The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a $10.00 gift card to The Container Store.

All other CORRECT entries will be entered in a drawing and the winner of the drawing will win a $10.00 gift card 
The Container Store. 

Be sure you read through the rules on the previous post and good luck.

1.Who started a campaign in 1827 to set a national day of Thanksgiving?

2. Name one of the top producing sweet potato states.

3. Which president was the first to officially issue a Thanksgiving Proclamation naming the last Thursday of November as the National Day for Thanksgiving?

4. What cartoon character balloon has been in every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades?

5. Name one of the top pumpkin producing states.

6. Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey our national bird. One statesman, in particular, opposed him on this matter. To spite this statesman, Franklin is said to have nicknamed the male turkey “Tom”. Who was the statesman?

7. Name one of the top cranberry producing states.

8. Name one of the top turkey producing states.

9. Which President moved Thanksgiving up a week in November to make the Christmas Shopping season longer and thus boost the economy?

10. Who won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay in Bobby Flay vs. Ree Drummond?

Speaking of Ree Drummond, she is having a giveaway on her blog tomorrow. Her prizes are much nicer, but she has a lot more readers, a best selling cookbook, and the largest ranch in Oklahoma.  Enter her contest too, but trust me you have to be really fast and really lucky. You will be playing against about 35, 000 others, including me, but you can't win if you don't enter. Here is what she has on her site today and the link. (I am not sure if this is legal to place on my site, but I am just trying to help her out.) She is also giving away a stand mixer on this page-enter by noon, pacific time tomorrow. If you happen to win and have both of these items, you can share them with others. Mabye me.

Posted by Ree in Smartypants Quizzes
Smartypants Quiz – Study Up!

If you’re bored, lonely, floating in space, itchy, disenfranchised, twitchy, clammy, or otherwise feeling devoid of purpose and meaning Saturday evening, drop by and participate in an exceedingly challenging Smartypants Quiz! Prizes will be awarded and it’ll make your brain twitch violently. What could be more fun than that?
Smartypants Quiz: Saturday, November 20 – 6:00 pm Pacific Time.
Topics may include geography, history, literature, pop culture, science, math, art appreciation…any topic at all is fair game.

I won’t tell you what first prize will be, but I’ll give you a tiny clue:
It starts with an “i” and ends with a “Pad”.
Oh, and it looks like this:


But that’s absolutely all I’m going to say.
Study up – see you then!

        Thanksgiving Giveaway Rules

        Following are rules for The Container Store gift card giveaway contest.  
        1. The contest will begin at 6:00pm CST on Friday, November 19th.  
        2.  The contest will end at midnight CST on Sunday, November 21st.
        3. The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a $10.00 gift card.
        4. All other CORRECT entries will be entered in a drawing and the winner of the drawing will win a $10.00 gift card.  
        5. Answers must be sent to this email Do not place answers on the blog page for others to see.
        6. Participants must comment on the Inside The Brierpatch blog page something for which you are thankful. If you say you are thankful for my blog page, it will be appreciated, but will not increase your chances.
        7. I will be using answers to the questions that I have deemed the most correct. (sometimes those historical facts gets a little convoluted) Oh the power!
        8. One Entry per person
        9. Enjoy!