Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Morning!

Joey got what he wanted: Every Ben 10 toy that he didn't already have in his vast collection!

Max got what he wanted: A new copy of Mario Kart Double Dash to replace the one that got too scratched up to use anymore! He has been playing it non-stop since Christmas!

Emma got what she wanted: Lots of creative kits (this one is paper fashion designer) and a real guitar! Lessons in Spring....

Joey (who had green arrows painted on his arms like a TV character from the day before) examines our top collection, back when there were still presents under the tree....

Hope you all had a great Christmast too!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

2006 Wrap Up

My pirated photo of the kids with Santa yesterday. I almost missed the opportunity for the Santa photo. Thought about it yesterday and knew we had to get it done, even though I had planned to avoid the malls all season....and almost did it!

Max and cousin Alex at Gramma and Grandad's Christmas weekend

Handsome Hubby

Tuba Concert on the Capitol Steps... magnificent!

Here are some December Photos to wrap up the blog for the year. This one is the most beautiful tree I've seen in a long time. It's a Chinese Pistache on the grounds of Camp Mabry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In between time.

I'm all messed up for Advent. At church it is the time of waiting for Christmas. And so far this Advent, I've missed more church than the rest of the year. No slowing down, with a wedding in Orlando, an Art Sale, then a trip for Kennemer Christmas in Fort Worth on the three weekends.

Each day, I've been focusing on the next thing on my list. We had a Girl Scout Troop party last week, and I help organize a Teacher Luncheon at Bryker Woods tomorrow. But all in all, I'm in the waiting phase right now... and I love it.

I bought and wrapped all the gifts on schedule (first time ever), and today was my glorious day of the kids in school, so I'm getting chores done. I'm finally waiting and getting ready without stressing, just like Advent is supposed to work. And it really is nice, all 48 hours before the kids get let out of school for the break!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where I'm headed...

Tonight all the Boy Scouts and most of the Girl Scouts at Bryker Woods did their annual holilday carol sing-along at the retirement home in our neighborhood. And let me tell you something. THAT is where I want to end up. I've seen some nice places (rhymes with "Pemmington") but, I'm sorry, Westminster has it beat. I went past the dining room on the way out, since Max and I took the scenic route after having parked in the wrong parking lot. The Christmas Dinner menu was posted.

If my memory serves me, some of the items were "mimosa bar", caviar, rack of lamb, lobster, prime rib, chocolate fountain, assorted crackers and imported cheeses, salmon.... you get the idea.

Before we left this evening to drive over, Emma said that one of her friend's moms said she wanted to live there. And in the parking lot, another mom and I decided that we wanted to live there. Maybe if I stay in Austin, all my buddies will move there together, and we'll stay up playing dominoes after our lobster and prime rib dinner. Sounds great.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What I did last weekend....

At this point, David has had his photo taken one too many times.
wedding photographer
worst. combover. ever.
Last weekend, David and I flew to Orlando to attend his sister's wedding. It was the first get away without the kids EVER. So that was noteworthy in itself. It was the first time David had seen his father in a long time, my first time to meet Malcom and his wife Ellin. It was my first Biker wedding, the first time (in a while) to fly first class home (after volunteering to get bumped on the way home), and the first time that a celebrity (Andy Dick) ever cut in line and took our seat when we tried to fly standby on the last leg of the flight. Lots of firsts.

Anyway, this is the family photo. David's sister-in-law, Jessica and brother Michael on the left. Mom, Linda next. Tom and Christi in the center. Malcolm and Ellin, Kathy and David to the right.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving Photos

Some photos from our trip to Ft. Worth for Turkey Day 2006.
Joey chose not to accept chocolate candy on Halloween, thus limiting his haul.
Max photo taken over Thanksgiving at Gramma and Grandad's
This is a Halloween photo that never got posted, Max set the record this year, and also won first place for most time consuming arrangement of the loot.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's Wime

When we are at church, and it's time for communion, we all head up as a family. David and the kids dip their bread in the chalice, while I just take a sip out of the cup. The kids started taking communion much younger than I did growing up, but then again, everything seems to change over time, and they are doing fine.

Joey has finally started listening to the words while he takes it, and has noticed that they say the cup is BLOOD of Christ. When that first registered, he took a look at the chalice bearer and said, "It's not blood, it's wime". She sort of nodded and moved on. The next occasion that she gave Joey communion, she headed him off by saying, "Blood of Christ, cup of salvation -- but it is really wine", before his dip.

Today he took communion, we went back to our seats, and he turned to me and said, "You know mom, it is actually wime".


Friday, November 17, 2006

Waking Joey

Every school day, the big kids get up at 6:30. David and I get them dressed, fed, lunchboxed, and off to school by 7:30. Lately, David's the guy to ferry them to Bryker Woods, and then he just keeps on going to work.

I enjoy a few moments of quiet, then I wander in to wake up Joey. Usually, he has switched over to our bed, and he sleeps very hard in the morning. Recently it occurred to me that this a special little time with him, before he starts "big kid school" next year, so I am savoring every morning of his wake ups. I crawl in next to him, and on these cold mornings, I snuggle up to this little warm lump.

He smells like a little piece of toast.

And that is my best moment of the morning.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What I've been up to

Girl talk

I've had several occasions to hang out with groups of women lately. I took my Girl Scout troop camping, and there were a couple of other moms. Been to the park, and hung out with the moms there, did an Art Day at a friend's house, and there have been other gatherings recently.

What I've come to realize is that it is very important for women (don't know about men) to have nice talks. Margaritas too, if the occasion warrants. But at each gathering, whether we knew each other very well, or not so well, the talking was almost the same. We listened to issues about other kids, our health, our families, the world. And it struck me that it is almost like building a spider web. I get these little glimmers of shared experience from other women, so that I'm better prepared to be the family counselor, doctor, or whatever. They weave together and then when I need them, they make a nice strong net for me.

I don't know if guys need that. Or maybe they do and they just work past it. But if I had any advice for young women, it would be to get involved in lots of different groups, so that you have multiple places to go to recharge the batteries. And you make lots of good girl friends.

Kind of deep, but that's what's on my mind.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Random Thoughts on Halloween and other stuff

1. This Halloween, even though I was in my Cowgirl costume again, complete with fringe, Joey told me I didn't have the Halloween spirit. When I protested, he said, "Mom, you have to like ALL the Halloween candy, and you don't like sour Skittles." When I pointed out that Joey does not like candy with chocolate, he spun it around so that it was OK, or he really did like chocolate, or somehow he had the Halloween spririt more than me.

2. Joey declares: "Jolly Ranger" candy is best, it is the"most jucier and flavory".

3. Emma bought clothes that she put together to be a Pirate, and my main thought is that I am starting to want to wear her clothes. We got her some black suede boots at Target and I actually wish I could borrow tham. She is already wearing ladies size 7 shoes, so perhaps that time is coming sooner than you'd think.

4. The kids confound David and me when they Trick or Treat. After walking one long block from our house, they report they are done and ready to come home. Even the kid we were trick or treating with told his parents the same thing. What's up with that!? When I was a kid, I don't think we ever asked to stop trick or treating. David confirms this was true for his childhood too.

My only theory is that when I was a kid, you got one piece of candy per house, and it might be something like a roll of smarties. To get any volume, or prize pieces of candy (little candy bars) you might have to knock on many doors, so you were predisposed to want to trick or treat for a long time. Plus it was fun.

Today, children in Bryker Woods get candy by the handful at each door. And every other house has Snickers bars. By the time our kids get to the end of one block, their bags are pretty full.

The other theory a friend proposed, is that we know the other parents in the neighborhood so well that we slow the kids down with our chatting and they get so frustrated that they just want to lug their big bags home and eat.

Fortunately, Max has a love of candy and a streak of greed. After coming home, I convinced him to keep trick or treating with me and we did another block. He came home and carefully arranged his candy into categories. When Emma saw his loot, she got a little jealous, so next year, I don't think we will have the party pooper syndrome again.

5. One of Max's classmates lives about a block from us. His mom gives out margaritas to the trick or treater's parents. That is a great idea.

6. Outside of Halloween, there is a significant achievement to report. I usually have a messy house, and most of my friends know it. No biggie. But one aspect of the mess is that I always have a laundry basket full of stuff that has no home; patches the boys got at an expo, old dice, popped buttons, bits of pieces of paper that don't really get filed but can't be thrown away, and other weird stuff.

I can usually guage the cleanliness of my house by how many baskets I have going. When I have two laundry baskets full of this orphan trash, I am in bad shape. And I only have my last, third, basket for laundry. When I have a half a basket, I am on a roll.

I am pleased to announce that for two days, I used free time to tackle that laundry basket, and I have an empty basket! I've noticed for the days that have followed, I wake up in the morning with a sense of calm. The rest of my house is getting cleaner, and I have dirty laundry sorted into three baskets (whites, darks and colors). Yea me!!

7. Our WORD group is planning yet another party. It will be held this Sunday. We were asked to hold it by the Texas Democratic Party. Apparantly our email network is something to be envied! Go to If you live in Austin, come hang out with us. I guarantee glorious weather, and even Republicans will have fun with us.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Vote for Bell

If you are one of my legions of readers, and you were contemplating voting for Kinky, please read this.

And if you'd like some information about Chris Bell, who I plan to support, please email me. I feel strongly that he is the guy to get behind to rid our state of Rick Perry.

I had this letter published in the Statesman today responding to their endorsement of Rick Perry for Governor....

I can't believe how soon the Statesman is willing to forgive and forget.

Tom DeLay didn't force redistricting on Austin without the local help of Rick Perry. Many of us attended numerous hearings at the Capitol, trying to protect our city's right to a locally based representative in Washington. My democratic rights, and those of the citizens of Austin were trampled by the DeLay/Perry assault, when Austin and Travis County were drawn and quartered into four gerrymandered districts stretching across the state.

Chris Bell, the Democratic candidate to replace Rick Perry as Governor, started the ball rolling with an ethics complaint, which eventually led to the downfall of Tom DeLay. As an Austinite who would like once again to have one D.C. Representative based squarely in Austin, I'm doing everything I can think of to help Chris Bell replace the other half of the dastardly duo.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday: The Pumpkin Patch

This year's pumpkin patch photo. Posted by Picasa

Max and his friend Uma at the pumpkin patch Posted by Picasa

Saturday: Company Picnic

David's office is very cool. Actually they are just a bunch of big kids, so their company picnic is pretty fun. The had a bouncy house, kegs, bar-b-que, two luscious cakes from Whole Foods, a homemade train ride, and all the body painting you can handle. Oh yea, horse shoes too.

The perfect weather was just a bonus.

One of Max's classmates, Sadie, also has a parent who works for the company, so he had extra fun. Posted by Picasa

Emma and her friend Kiki show off their tatoos. Posted by Picasa

My green/blue monkey tatoo Posted by Picasa

Kids on the train. The man who owns this party ranch built the train out of barrels, and the opening of the barrels have garden hose lining the edges. The ingenious locomotion system is a series of hand trucks sort of bolted end to end. The whole thing is pulled with a yard tractor.... oh yeah, the seats in the barrel are boat seats. Any ideas Grandad? Posted by Picasa

Joey gets a paint tatoo (fire breathing dragon) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Women Organizing to Revive Democracy!

The main reason I haven't added anything new to this blog in a week is that I'VE BEEN BUSY! What a week, I had a meeting at church on Tuesday, I hosted the PTA's teachers' lunch on Wednesday, my scout troop met Thursday and our first ever W.O.R.D. (see the title above) met last night. And what a meeting it was!

After Ann Richard's memorial service, I really felt charged up, but since it was a funeral, no one really seized the power of thousands of pretty politically interested mourners and told us to do anything.

I have wanted Rick Perry gone since redistricting. Ever since Austin was split into four parts, and my representative lived west of Houston, I've been pretty pissed off. I mean, you expect some dirty politics, but when my district was so badly drawn that no Democrat even entered the race, my voice in national politics was basically taken away. That is serious and wrong. So all these years, I've hoped Tom DeLay and Rick Perry would get what they were due.

One down, one to go.

Anyway, cut to last month's memorial for Ann. A couple of days afterwards, I saw a mom-friend at the grocery store. We were both feeling antsy. She told me she had decided to "drink the Kool Aid" and work on getting Chris Bell elected. I made the decision right there, that instead of only trying to get Rick Perry out, I wanted to get my guy in. Chris Bell does not want to build a useless wall along the Mexican border, he does want us to stop coming in 50 among the states with regard to getting kids health insurance coverage. He wants to stop putting so much emphasis on testing in public schools (Hallelulia!) And I want it all.

So within a two week span, we started a little email revolution, planned a party, and held it last night. And it was a success. We had a couple hundred people show up. They had fun. We cheered, we laughed, and we inadvertantly raised over $2000. We didn't even appeal for money, but at the last minute thought we'd better bring something to put donations in. So one girl slapped a Bell sticker on a coffee can and brought it along.

We might do more in the future, but for now we are basking in our success.

Our Crowd!  Posted by Picasa

Our team of 6 WORD girls. Posted by Picasa

Donna Howard a fantastic state representative for most of us. Due to a suspiciously timed resignation by the Republican who held her seat previously, she's had to run for this office three times in about 6 months. Posted by Picasa

Genevieve Van Cleve, Slam poetry queen, gets the crowd fired up. Posted by Picasa

Gretchen, our musical entertainment Posted by Picasa

The Big Democratic Sandwich and Corinne and Edie, Gretchen in the background onstage Posted by Picasa

Spike cuts the big Democratic Sandwich with the sword of justice Posted by Picasa

Young Sandwich server Posted by Picasa