Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Christmas....in TEXAS?!?!

It was an amazing Christmas Eve and Christmas day as Texas enjoyed snow!!! We got around 2-3 inches at our house and the kids (Don included) had a great time. We were supposed to go to my Mom's house on Christmas Eve and attend church with her, but the weather conditions were looking like they were going to get worse so she hurriedly packed and headed to our house at noon. Sarah and Katie had spent the night with her, so she had helpers to get presents and food packed and loaded up. We were so glad she went ahead and came over since it did turn into a mini-blizzard by the time we went to our 4:00 church service.

This year Santa didn't get left any cookies because we forgot! And he must have been tired when he got to our house because a sack of stocking goodies was just left on the couch instead of put in the stockings. I guess "Santa" is getting old and the girls have lost a lot of the Santa magic :(
Katie in the front yard on Christmas Eve.
Dixie trying to catch a snowball.

Leaving for Christmas Eve service.
Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sarah's Birthday

Sarah turned 14 on November 27. We were in Arkansas visiting with family and were enjoying Black Friday shopping when I said "I need to get back and tell my baby Happy Birthday". Just a little distraction, but she didn't seem to mind. She had already had her party with friends a week earlier. She always has to plan that way since her birthday falls at Thanksgiving.

For her party she invited 4 friends for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (and let Don and I eat with them), went to a movie, and then home for a sleepover. We were very much in the minority at the movie theater that night since it was the premier of "New Moon", and we were going to see "A Christmas Carol". I would like to get on my soap box about Twilight, but will contain myself, and just say that the Holy Spirit has burdened my heart to teach my girls to guard their hearts and mind. Remember the children's song "O, be careful little eyes what you see.....", God brings that to mind often. Anyway, back to Sarah's party.......

The girls had so much fun at dinner, and we laughed so much with them. What a joy it was! They had fun strolling in the misty rain around Southlake Town Center and then going to the movie. They stayed up until 3 a.m. after just having fun being together. I feel so blessed that God has provided Sarah with friends who share her values and are not afraid to be their own person and not follow the crowd. For that I am thankful and pray that it will continue through her high school years.

Here are a few pictures of the party fun.

Dinner at Cheesecake Factory....so many choices.
Just being silly while waiting for our food.

Sarah picked chocolate mousse cheesecake and we also had cookie dough cheesecake.

Celebrating Sarah's 14th birthday. This is my cousin Darren whose birthday was on the following Monday, so we had a joint cake.
Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Adventures of Katie

Katie has been busy the last few weeks, and remaining healthy despite Sarah getting the flu, then me getting flu and pneumonia (or as she says "mynonia"). Her elementary school days are going by fast, so here are a few pictures of the latest events.

Katie brought home the NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick registration form in September and said she wanted to do this. She said she wanted to try everything at school since this was her last year at W.A. Porter. She ended up winning first place in the 10/11 year old girls division at her school. Below are pictures as she competed in the next level. She didn't advance, but was proud of her for trying something new!

Katie and friend from church who also advanced from her school.

50's day at school.

The 5th graders took a field trip to the new Cowboys Stadium to learn about mathematical concepts in a real world situation. Katie said she learned that the new stadium would hold 3 of the old Cowboys stadiums. Amazing place for sure!
Trip to nature park after touring the stadium.
Katie and best friend Hannah.
Katie taking pictures of her and friends on the bus.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Katie!

Today is Katie's 11th birthday. I started this blog last year with her birthday.....my how time flies. She is "letting" Don and I come eat lunch at school with her today. She wants Panda Express and was wanting to go to Chili's tonight in order to get free birthday dessert (and the chips and salsa). This is exactly what we had for lunch/dinner on my birthday! Not sure if we will go out tonight. Sarah's in bed with the flu. She starting running fever on Saturday and still had low fever this morning.

You've already seen the post of the guinea pigs which was the big birthday present. Two weeks ago if you would have told me I would be enjoying these little critters, I would have laughed at you! They are fun to watch and squeal when you bring in food. Katie is being very responsible taking care of them. She cleaned out the cage yesterday and commented "what a way to spend my Sunday night!"

Here are pictures from her party last weekend. We went to Main Event and the girls bowled, did laser tag, ate pizza and cake, and played some arcade games. They had a great time and Don and I didn't have to do a thing but show up and of course hand over the money!

Friends from church and school....they are a great group of girls!

Not sure how much money she spent to win at the giant claw game!

Monday, October 12, 2009

More pets for the Rileys!

So Katie has been bugging us for months to get hamsters for her birthday. I was not really wanting anymore critters in our house, but Don gave in to her begging. Well, we began to do research and found that hamsters would not be a good fit for our family. So leave it to my sister to provide an alternative. My niece Chloe turned 7 on October 3 and had been begging for guinea pigs. Of course when Katie heard that Chloe got 2 guinea pigs it was all over for us. I tried and tried to put off this purchase until Katie's birthday on October 26, but somehow we ended up looking this past weekend. The challenge was to find a "female" pet store. Finally Saturday morning found the PetSmart in Euless carried female guinea pigs. There was no turning back once Katie got a look at them and of course, we came home with 2 (after reading and hearing that they do better in pairs).

Katie has them in her room, has posted a list of rules, and is keeping up with changing the water and food. Let's hope the responsibility continues. Looks like guinea pigs have a life span of 5-8 years. So when Don and I are finally empty nesters in 7.5 years, we may have two senior citizen guinea pigs and two older dogs......something to look forward to!!!!
Katie and Ginger
This one is named Coco and is a little more spastic, but still sweet.
This is Ginger.....very calm and sweet.
Sarah and Ginger

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homecoming Parade

On Monday night (9/28/09) Birdville High School had their homecoming parade. Some of the feeder elementary schools participated by building floats for the parade. Our school (W.A. Porter) created a float and then had a drawing for 5th graders to walk with the float in the parade. Katie was so excited that her name was drawn, as well as, 3 of her very good friends. It has been MANY years since I've gone to a homecoming parade, and I really enjoyed it. Although, as many of the high schoolers went by in the parade, I kept thinking about Sarah being at BHS next year. Yikes! But it was also fun thinking about being involved in all the school spirit and those Friday night football games. Anyway, here are a few pictures of Katie and friends from the parade.

"Birdville Kingdom" = W.A. Porter Elementary, Smithfield Middle, Birdville High

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School - August 24,2009

Well it's official, the summer is over and here we go 8th grade and 5th grade. How can this be my last year with a child in elementary school? I was fighting back tears as I walked Katie in and took a picture with her teacher. Of course, she walked WAY ahead of me as if she didn't want to be embarrassed, surely I was imagining that. Don took Sarah on the first day, and he said she made sure he dropped her off without letting him get out of the truck. They both had a good first day. Katie says she's not going to have enough time to talk with friends, duh! Sarah has a tough schedule this year with Spanish and Algebra I counting towards high school credit. I know we didn't do that when I was in middle school. I enjoyed my first day without them (I kept busy because I felt like crying). Got a lot of little things done and even squeezed in a pedicure! Enjoy the pictures of my "babies". Next year I won't be allowed to take pictures at the middle school with Katie. Maybe Sarah will let me follow her into high school;what are the odds on that?
So happy, will it last???
Katie and her homeroom teacher, Mrs. James. Sarah had her in 5th grade too. Katie said she kept calling her Sarah all day. This happens every year, and I feel for her. But, hey, half the time I call her Sarah!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cowboys Training Camp

We took a side trip from the ranch into San Antonio and went to the Cowboys Training camp. We also have some long-time friends that moved there 2 years ago. We went to visit them and their 2 cute boys. Thanks Scott and Tammy for the great dinner and letting us put our dogs in your backyard so we could enjoy a long visit.

End of Summer Get-Away

We have been blessed for the last several years to get away at what we call "the Ranch". Some of you have heard us talk about this, but I'll clarify for those who wonder what the heck we're talking about. My Mom works for two very generous men who treat her like family, and we're blessed to reap some of their generosity. One of them owns a 450 acre ranch in Kerrville that has been in his family for years. It's called the Hungry G. He lives in the Dallas area and he opens it up for family and friends to go and have fun.

There is a retired couple who have a house on the property and they take care of the houses and land. We get to stay in the "main house", a limestone house that has a "bunk room" with 6 twin beds, a master bedroom, kitchen, screened in front porch with a hammock that is perfect for naps, a pool, etc. The house has everything you could possibly need, except...... no air conditioning, no t.v., no computers and the only phone is the old rotary kind. But this lack of modern technology has never phased our family. It is nice to just get away from everything in our busy world and enjoy God's beautiful creation out in the hill country. It was a little warmer than usual this trip, but amazingly it does cool down at night. Very peaceful sleeping with the windows open and the ceiling fans on high! You hear all kinds of sounds and the sky at night is breathtaking! Here are a few pictures of the fun we had. Thank you Mr. Gruy for blessing our family!

Can you see the cow behind the fence? Boy, can they make some noise. Interrupted my relaxing float in the pool one day!

Down at the creek. We've found many fossils on our nature walks. There's a drought in south Texas, so the water was not as deep or flowing like in the past.

The best way to stay cool!

Yes, we take the dogs. They have fun being country dogs. It took the girls 2 days to coax Dixie into the pool. She prefers swimming in the creek.

Don secretly wants to be a photographer and had fun taking pictures of the girls. Here are a couple of his shots.

Sarah got to drive for the first time! What a perfect place......dirt road with no cars in sight for miles!