Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year

It seemed like 2011 began on December 28th last year. That is the day our little Lucy was born.
We celebrated her birthday a little early this year. ( while she was here for Christmas) Her aunt Shannon made her a special cupcake and let all the kids decorate their own cupcakes. Can you say sprinkles for everyone?

I can't think of a more appropriate way to end 2011 than to wish everyone a 2012 filled with the happiness, love, and hope that a child brings to our everyday existence.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Brought Christmas Back

As I said previously, we had a wonderful Christmas with our family. We were not going let a bad play bring us down. In all seriousness I am thankful for my family every minute of every day.

I'll just post a few photos to tell the story.

Michelle showed us her baby belly. 

We set up a playhouse to color that occupied the kids, so we could eat.

Photographs were taken.

Then the children opened their gifts.

The adults began their gift exchange.

Shannon volunteered to be in charge of quiet time for the kids.

Shannon during quiet time.

While on Shannon's watch-The kids during quiet time. (in my closet playing with clothes and jewelry)

The guys during quiet time.
But, not Miles. He's a trooper.

We hadn't had a full meal in a few hours or a gift, so off we went to Chris and Robin's house.

So many cute kids. I couldn't capture them at one time. Lucy thought stairs were for climbing, not for sitting still and taking photographs. 

Jennifer and Jeremy must have been thinking it was so nice before the Briers arrived. Yes, it is like a tsunami when we are on the scene.

Robin, and her mom, Grace. Two beautiful women.

Christian and Lucy

Ben, Jeremy, and Sidney

 Sidney entertained us with her violin.

Thank you Sidney.  Children danced, adults sang, 
and everyone loved it. 

Then, we sang Happy Birthday to Joe, the family's Christmas Eve baby.

"The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in 

the warm embrace of kith and kin."

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Evening Christmas Died

First, let me say, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Ours was filled with family, love, and laughter. There were also the anticipated meltdowns, tears, little sleep, and a tragic glitter nail polish incident. It was a perfectly, fabulous family time. ( I mean that, that is not sarcasm)
Now back to the titled story.
It was the evening of our Children’s Playhouse tickets at Casa Mañana. I had changed our tickets and purchased extra, so Ava and Joanie could go with us to see Santa Claus, The Musical.  I didn’t see the reviews of the show, but since we had attended Christmas shows at Casa many, many times, I assumed that the show would consist of children, reindeer, elves, and, of course, Santa. I, also, assumed that these characters would be portrayed in a fun, happy,  setting.
Ben, Scarlett, and Ava arrived dressed to impress Santa, full of good cheer, and ready to spend a special evening together. 

We gathered in our seats. Scarlett and Ava held hands, and they were just too cute. 
I perused the playbill and became concerned when I read through the musical numbers. Some of the Christmas classics in this show were:
The Fate of Man
Differently Now
Burn, Burn, Burn
Misery Loves Company
Lock Up the Houses
When the World Turns Cold
Then the play begin. It was downhill from there. It was a bizarre story that little children could not follow, scary, and just the worst play ever. (this makes two in a row). I just don’t know who is in charge at the theater and why they think a theater full of little children would enjoy such a production. (or anyone for that matter)
Scarlett ate her playbill, 

Ava just held her playbill over her face, and, Ben, sweetly told me “Maybe it will get better.” when I asked Joanie if we should leave.
Unfortunately the play didn’t get better. I just wanted to stand up and yell, “Does anyone else think this is the worst Christmas show you have ever seen?” I couldn’t believe people applauded. 

We would have walked out, but Joanie, Ben, and I kept up hope that the Christmas spirit would come through and, the play would get better. It didn't.
In an effort to bring joy back in my grand children's’ life, I bought them Rudolph noses. 

That turned out to be a good move as Joanie and I had a good laugh on the way home.

The children probably had nightmares.

Shame on you, Casa Mañana.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wiley Coyote

These are my dogs. 

This is the coyote that wants to eat my dogs. 

Because of the coyote (or should I say coyotes), my perfect plan on training, Magic, the puppy has been foiled. We have a doggie door that goes into a little garage and out to the backyard. The dogs can either go in and out from the house through the little garage or if need be, they can stay in the little garage and still go into the backyard.

However, the coyotes have been very active around here. We are seeing them every morning and a dog in the neighborhood has recently been killed. Barry saw a coyote run past the yard around 10:00am last week. Now, one of us has to be outside whenever the dogs are out.

This is a real dilemma for me. Personally, I want the coyotes to live a happy life, but I want them to eat rodents, snakes, rabbits, and the creatures they should be eating. How about a squirrel, Mr Coyote? Too fast for you? They have decided to go for the easy drive-through food like dogs and cats.

They other part about this situation is that I have known all along there were coyotes around. However, I figured if I couldn't see them, they couldn't see my dogs. How do I know when it is safe to let them run in and out during the day? How do I know they will survive their walks with Barry "watching" them?

At this point, during the day, I am counting on the golfers to keep the coyotes at bay. But I don't think the coyotes are afraid of the golfers. They know that golfers only care about what kind of shot they hit, where their ball is, and what club they used or should have used.

My next line of defense is to get those coyotes something better to chase.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little Notes

Here are a few notes about what is going on at the Brierpatch.

This month, Scarlett, too, had a birthday. She and her friends were so busy painting that it was very difficult to get a picture of them. I guess I could have laid on the floor, but still probably wouldn't have been successful making eye contact. Yikes, all these kiddos are growing so fast.
PS- The room in which Scarlett had her cake was the most vibrant painted room I have ever seen. (and I love bright colors)
Between the moving subjects and those walls my camera and eyes are still recovering.

The mailbox is up. It has a few cracks and a couple of chips. Now we are trying to decide whether to reconstruct it totally or patch it up. Since it is hard to see how deep the cracks go, it is hard to decide what to do. If you have viable information about mailbox repair, please let us know your opinion. Actually, we would like to hear your thoughts viable or not.

I just wanted to post a photo of Ava and Lucy wearing clothes. If you would like to see even better photos of them you can see them on Joanie's blog.

Thank goodness I have grand kids, because I would hate to only be able to write about a mailbox. However, that does seem to be the large part of my material lately.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The 12th of December

Monday was Joanie's birthday. 

This is Joanie when she was little.

I went to Houston to give her the gift of helping with the girls. I was paid in hugs and remarks from Ava. My favorite which I heard throughout the days I was there was, "I'm so glad you are here. I missed you." Be still my heart. 

Ava and I felt Joanie needed a cake.

We gathered the ingredients and went to work.

Ava did the taste tests to make sure we were mixing it correctly.

Joanie loved her cake. 

Ava helped Joanie blow out her candles.

Jacob and Lucy waited patiently for their serving.

Joanie received a new lens for her camera. I can't wait for her to post some photos. She is my inspiration when it comes to photography. She has a great eye and takes amazing photos. She actually has sent me some photos she took, but they are so good, I can't have them competing with my photos here. (Yes, I am proud of her skill, but, hey, I'm no fool when it comes to posting them next to my photos!)

Joanie was not thrilled that neither of her daughters had clothes on for the photos. But it was almost bath time and other than that, I really can't recall what had happened to their clothes. 

I also can't recall how time has passed so fast from when Joanie was little. Happy Birthday, sweetie.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Death of a Mailbox

Just as I was having difficulty coming up with a good post, there was an accident last night.

Barry was in his office, and I was in the living room. Sound familiar? We both heard a HUGE thud.

I called from the couch, "Barry, are you okay?"

He replied, "I thought that was you."

Notice I did not say either of us ran immediately to check on the other. I actually thought something had fallen off a shelf in the garage, so our search began there.

Then we stepped outside. Our mailbox was lying on its side about four feet from its original spot. Intact as far as we can tell.

Car parts were distributed all over the flowerbed.

Car tracks were in our flowerbed and our neighbors yard.

Barry and Trey (our neighbor) followed the tracks in the street and found the hit and run driver a few blocks away.

I called the police.

Since this is not a major crime, like putting your registration stickers on the wrong automobiles, no ticket was issued. According to the police, if someone is in their house when the police get there, they can't do anything. (surely I missed something in that statement from the policeman)

My nephew, Joe, said this is good to know if you want to commit a crime. Note to Joe: Don't admit to the crime, leave no evidence, and you may be correct in the assumption that you will get away with it.

This young man did fess up. Barry said he seemed a little strange, but forthcoming with all his information. Now that we have seen the crash in the daylight, we fear he may have hit his head and maybe that is why he seemed strange or maybe not.

We did not initially think it was car wreck because there was no screeching of tires. It appears, he was going too fast, hit the mailbox full speed, mailbox flew head over end, and THUD, hit the ground.

Of course, Barry made a comment at the end of the evening last night that made me laugh. He said, "The mail carrier is going to have to deliver the mail in a go-cart."

Tonight, Barry spoke with the teen's mother. She knew nothing about this being a hit and run. She knew nothing about where the accident took place. She knew nothing. Barry told her she should have the young man checked by a doctor if he hit his head, because it had to be quite a blow. There were other things that he wanted to tell her, but he bit his tongue. How could a mother see this kind of damage on a truck and not ask questions?

This is where blogging gets hard. I don't feel it is the place of this blog to give unsolicited advice. It may creep in at times. However, if you would like to comment on how you would handle this as a parent, feel free. If you want my opinion, Barry's opinion, or you are a child of mine, and want to guess our opinion, be our guest.