Monday, February 23, 2009

Bye to Sam

18 month old Sarah feeding Sam

Grace and Sam - fall of 1994 (our house in Euless)

Friday was a hard day for the Riley family. It was finally time to say goodbye to Sam after 14 years. She had pretty much quit eating last week and the decision we had been putting off had to be made. Sam came into our family in the fall of 1994 when Don brought her home from the animal shelter (without me knowing). Does this have a familiar ring? Anyway, we had been talking about getting a friend for our black lab Grace since we were trying to get pregnant and didn't want Grace to be lonely. Sarah was born in November 1995 and the two black dogs were always around. Grace died in May of 2006 and now Sam is gone. I'm thankful for the wonderful years we had with her, and she was one of our first "children". Here are a couple of old photos. Our family will appreciate the memories as Grace and Sam were the first generation of Riley dogs. I hope the next generation (Dixie and Ranger) have as many years with us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Videos from TMEA performance

Someone did not follow the posted rules and recorded some of choir performances at the TMEA convention. But I won't be too mad, since now I can share with family and friends! The challenge is to find Sarah......(look under the director's right arm). I promise this will be the last time for choir posts, but thanks for indulging a proud Mom!

This one is "Fix You" by Cold Play

This one is "Gloria" , "Remember Me", and "Singabahambayo"

This one is "Oh Lord how excellent is thy Name"

From the rehearsal "Kikkehihi"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choir performance at TMEA convention

Wednesday night rehearsal

At the hotel

Wednesday night dinner at La Margarita

Waiting to get changed and perform

With Mrs. Crawford, choir director

Right after performance.

On the Riverwalk after lunch at Hard Rock Cafe.

Here are a few photos from our trip to San Antonio last week with Sarah's choir. To sum up their performance I will share this story. They were assigned to perform in this large ballroom and at least 1,000 people were at this particular performance. A woman not affiliated with our school was sitting next to Don and I. When the choir finished, she said "that was amazing!". We heard so many beautiful comments about this choir. Their director had them singing some college level music and you could tell how complicated it was, but their harmony was perfect. I think the girls learned a valuable can do anything you put your mind to and can achieve greatness through hardwork and dedication. I hope they take this lesson and apply it to other areas in their young lives. Mrs. Crawford does an incredible job of challenging these girls, helping them achieve their full potential, and then celebrating their success. Great job Sarah (and to the other 64 girls)!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Today is February 11 - Happy Birthday to Don!!

Don 2009 - 48 years old

Don 1979 - 18 years old (love the hair!)

Happy Birthday to Don!! Or as the girls say...."you're old Daddy". When we first met, he did have blonde hair, but just not the long locks (he was in the Air Force). He says it took lots of hairspray to maintain that look back in the 70's. Everyone always wonders where our girls get their blonde hair, now you know!!!

We will be celebrating his birthday in San Antonio. We're leaving this morning to go with Sarah's choir for their TMEA performance. Looks like Mexican food is a must for tonight!!

I will set aside my sarcastic sense of humor for a minute to let Don know how much I appreciate him. He ALWAYS puts our family first and is 100% involved and engaged with our family. I tell the girls they are so lucky to have a daddy like Don. I didn't have that experience growing up and I know he is shaping our girls to become wonderful women. Thank you Don for adding fun to our family. If it were up to me, we would be totally practical and never leave home. After 18 years of marriage I think I'm starting to learn to go with the flow (Don is saying "oh, really"). But thanks for loving me when I don't. I'm so grateful that he is slow to anger and puts up with my tirades over the "ant hills" as he calls them. And just because he loves me, he cleaned out his closet!!! Probably got tired of hearing me complain, and even though the mess didn't bother him, he spent the time to make me happy. Don is a wonderful man, friend, husband, and father. I pray for my girls to marry someone like their daddy. We've grown up together over the last 18 years, and I can't imagine life without him.

I love you Don and Happy Birthday!!! Can I be sarcastic now and crack some old-man jokes???

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dull Week

Here's a quick snapshot of what's been happening in the Riley house......

Friday - Kim notices swelling under arm; Katie spends the night with a friend

Saturday - swelling of lymph nodes make armpit look like horror movie; Sarah has choir rehearsal for upcoming TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) - see previous post on 1/16/09.

Sunday - Katie is extremely cranky getting ready for church; Kim's armpit hurts! Katie comes home with fever. We all watch Superbowl with Katie sick and Kim with low grade fever. Woo Hoo!!! I bet no one else had such a great Superbowl Party!

Monday - Katie wakes up at 4:30 with 102 fever and throwing up; Kim notices red streaks running up arm. Don goes to work, Kim calls doctor, Katie goes to doctor, Don comes home, Kim goes to doctor!!!! Katie is negative for flu/strep. Kim has infection from shaving cut (we think) and is on antibiotics and told to make sure and have annual mammogram (it was already scheduled for later this month).

Tuesday - Katie wakes up at 5:30 with 101 fever and throwing up. Don goes to work, Kim can't go to work. Don comes home at 11:00. Kim goes to take Sarah her wallet at school for the book fair (at least she asked for her own money) and then goes to work. Kim comes home at 2:00 so Don can go to appointment with oral surgeon. It's now 4:30 and Sarah cries over algebra homework, Don says "I'm going running!" Sarah has to get dressed to be at school at 5:30 for dress rehearsal concert (full makeup, hair, dress, hose, puffy eyes from crying).
Kim runs to WalMart for groceries/medicine and gets back in time for Don to go to 7:00 concert with Sarah's choir. Kim and Katie watch American Idol, Don and Sarah get home about 7:45.

Wednesday - Katie wakes up at 1:30 with 102 fever, Don gives her medicine and water. Katie wakes up at 6:30 with 101.9 fever , throwing up and is becoming a difficult patient. Sarah makes it to school on time. Don goes to work and Kim stays home and misses first day of new Bible study. It's now 12:30 and Katie had 102.5 fever an hour ago. I talked with nurse and she told me to keep doing what I'm doing and call back tomorrow if her cough gets worse and we may do a chest x-ray.

So far no one else is sick. I'm doing better; the redness is gone and swelling down. Don has an appointment in another week to get his implant from a tooth that was extracted last year. Sarah is excited about the trip to San Antonio next Wednesday for TMEA. Don and I are going with her as long as everyone can get well and stay well.

I sure wish the week would get a little more exciting!!!

p.s. there has been a bright spot in my life. Last week I got an anonymous note in the mail from someone in church who wants to be my "secret encourager". She wrote some very uplifting words and says she prays for me. She left me flowers in the student area where I teach on Sunday mornings, and I just received another note in the mail. She calls herself "Sophie" and will later reveal her identity. So "Sophie" if you happen to be a reader of my blog......thank you!!!! You have brought great joy to my heart over the last week.