Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cousin Camp

Eight cousins: Emma, Alex, Grace, Cole, Austin, Max, Joey and Blake

The girls playing Princess Monopoly, Emma was very popular with the "younger crowd"

Photo ham

The three guys on the left were unseparable. Max and Blake are cousin-twins. I wish they lived right next door.

Breakfast of choice for the kids.

We had a wonderful trip to Port Aransas last week. We were there for nine days. At the middle of the week, when everyone was there, we had 8 kiddos and 8 adults. But there were always people coming and going, field trips to Corpus, fishing, beach and pool.

David and I have an "older" set of kids. My brother has three boys and Julie has a girl and boy, and each of them has a little kid. I really like watching them chase after their youngests while David and I relax (somewhat). Things do get a little easier as the kids get older. Of course, I'll be the first with three teenagers.....

One day was really memorable for me. Mom and Dad and I were sitting on the beach, and we looked out to see that the clouds over the ocean had a little "tail". It was the beginning of a funnel cloud. We watched it get longer and bigger. Pretty soon everyone on the beach was snapping photos, and NOBODY was acting scared except the lifeguards, who were watching on binoculars and making phone calls. It petered out before coming ashore (or even too close), but it looked very cool.

Earlier that same day, David and I had been out boogie boarding, and the man fishing right beside us, pulled out a shark! It was probably 20 inches long, a mini version of a great white --the way I saw it. (Dad said it was a sand shark) The fisherman let it loose in the shallow water and we watched it circle around for a few minutes, with its little Jaws fin sticking up out of the water. Then David was romping back into the surf like nothing happened. All I could think of was that the little shark could still take a quarter cup of my leg with a bite.

Now that we are all to our respective houses. I'm trying to will everyone to move to Austin so that we can put our kids in the same schools and live on the same block. It's nice feeling that way after so much together time last week, but we have a few more golden years until 2017 when all eight are teenagers, then we can split to separate cities again.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fare Well

Today was Father Bill's last Sunday.

Our whole service was wonderful. It was a series of messages of love, from us to Bill, from him to us. We did it by singing together, saying our liturgy together and hugging each other out the door after the service. Different people cried at different points of the service.

For me it is always the hymns. I'm usually a basket case during times like this. When we left our Seattle parish, they had a tradition of singing a song about God lifting you on eagle's wings. I almost couldn't sit through the service, knowing they would call us up to sing it to us. And sure enough, I blubbered away while they did it.

Bill did great. He even picked one of my favorite hymns... (Lift Every Voice and Sing). He picked the Navy hymn in honor of all the mens' fishing trips which was fun. He picked moving solos from our stellar choir, and lots of hymns with descants.

Bill was the reason we came back for a second week to our wonderful church. We drive past at least three Episcopal churches on the way to St. Marks. But on our first week there, we had little Emma (age 3) and little Max (age 1) at the communion rail. I was brought up in a church that started giving kids communion when they were in school. That first St. Mark's Sunday, we were at the rail, and Max held up his baby hands for a wafer. We'd never practiced with him, so I indicated that he needed a blessing, not wafer. After the service, Bill came up to me and asked if Max had been baptised. I said yes. He then told me that Max was as entitled to receive the sacrament as anyone else who was baptised.

I was so impressed that a priest would give us nice direction on our first visit. So we came back.

I also remember the day I first started telling people I was expecting baby 3. When I told Bill, we'd have a baby in late September, his response was, "Fantastic! an All Saint's Baptism!".

I had the honor of attending many meetings with Bill. I always felt like his Adult Education classes were the most challenging I'd ever attended. But I most loved getting birthday wishes and anniversary wishes via his phone calls for every one of our family's special days. Over our 7 and a half years, that was about 40 phone calls!

And surprising me most today, was the fact that I only ALMOST cried twice. Most of the time I was just happy for our church for having him, and for St. Mark's being such a neat place. My tears got ready to drop, but pulled back right at the last minute each time.

Of course I'm crying typing this.... because I'm happy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Grade of the Day: A+

this picture is not OF the actual fried pickles at Alamo Village Theater, they are however, REPRESENTATIVE OF fried pickles at Alamo Village Theater


Woke up, when I was ready.

Everyone was in a pretty good mood.

Took kids to swim team practice, and got to hang out and talk with my good buddy Robbin.

Had a refreshing swim with Robbin and kids.

Ate (using coupon) at Kolache Factory, meaning I didn't have to think of what to make for lunch.

Took a refreshing nap on the couch.

Read the complete paper and found that there is a rare, mid-week estate sale tomorrow.

Took refreshing shower.

David came home early so I could go to see Knocked Up at Alamo with my good buddies Mary and Julie. Laughed with them before the movie, laughed so hard I cried during the movie.

Got to have fried pickles and beer along with dinner during movie.

Made it home and typed "easy to think of" report on blog.

About to hit the hay.

Good night!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The first swim meet!

I'm so proud of Max!

He swam in his first swim meet on Saturday. We have wanted to try out swim team for the last couple of years, but June is typically a very busy month for us. Our church Vacation Bible School is a week, and a Kennemer family trip to the beach is a week. So we already knew we'd miss half the season. But this year, we signed up anyway. And Saturday it all paid off....

Max has been to two of the first nine practices, but luckily for us, one of them was the breaststroke session. When it came time to sign up for swim team events at the first meet, we went for freestyle and breaststroke.

Max was so nervous before the meet started. Understandably since all those days we missed, the kids worked on swim meet skills, but he stuck it out. The first race, he was second from last -- but not last. I had told him just to make it across the pool, and I'd be happy. The second race, breaststroke, he dived in and he was doing it really well. Surprisingly well. His kicks and strokes were synced up, and he was leading the pack of 8 and unders. Then I noticed him stopping at breaths to look toward the other swimmers to see where he ranked, so number two started closing the gap. I think that was what cost Max the race, so it's an easy fix for next week. But most importantly, he was so happy when he finished that race. He was high fiving his teammates. It was really cool.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Our Church....

I am very lucky that my kids feel at home at our church.

We just wrapped up a week of Vacation Bible School. (I was the cooking class teacher)

My kids seem to really love VBS, they have a whole group of kids they know from church. Luckily for us, all those kids will attend the same middle school and high schools as my kids. So I can picture a time when my kids know not only the Elementary friends, but all these other friends that they can use to sit with in the lunch room, or sit next to in class.

It was a busy week, but they all spent time on the playground, taking the pressure off me to take them outside to play. It is really soupy and humid here these days.

We are a week away from Cousin Camp at Port A, another fun week of summer.

Sort of a boring post, but I was feeling guilty for not writing anything recently.