Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When pigs fly?

In the midst of the swine flu (H1N1) scare, this was the hand sanitizer shelf at Wal-Mart:

Our school districts never closed, but several large ones near us did. Pretty crazy stuff! We were just happy to get through TAKS testing without interruption. It was interesting to see the strange looks on students' faces when one of their classmates would cough or sneeze!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another day, another dollar.

We've had some warm days this spring, but this? This was NOT one of them! Still, as Brett and I rehashed our day while sitting by the pool, Katie just couldn't resist getting her feet wet. And since her feet were already wet, she entertained the thought of just jumping in.

Ryan, who was happy to stay dry, offered to pay her 50 cents if she'd just go for it. After a few hesitations, he upped the ante to $1, and...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A stroll through the garden.

On Sunday evening, we attended an educational seminar at Blue Mesa. Afterwards, we couldn't stand to waste a minute of daylight, so we drove the short distance up University to the Botanic Garden. We're not sure the kids had ever been there, and Brett and I think we may have been engaged on our last visit. So yes, this trip was long overdue! The spring weather was perfect for taking in the sights. After all those sweet potato chips, we were ready for a walk, too!

Brett pointed out these leaves. They look painted!

The Texas Gold Columbine reminded us that the name "Columbine" will always remind us of a dark day in history.

When we walked into an area full of rosebushes, the aroma nearly blew me away. A Tyler girl, I'm sentimental for roses. That section of the garden really reminded me of my hometown.

Ryan and Katie enjoyed the honeysuckle.

The kids weren't too sure about this after-dinner visit, but within a few minutes, they were asking when we could come back. Oh, we'll be back!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our birthday girl.

Today was ChaCha's third birthday!

We celebrated with cupcakes. ChaCha even blew out her candle. (OK, so maybe Ryan exhaled at the same time.)
Thanks, Ryan, for reminding us that on this special day three years ago, our precious ChaCha (and much-missed KitKat) came into the world!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On the road again...

Last weekend I was back on the road, this time headed to our state high school journalism convention. Of all the trips to Austin I make, this annual pilgrimage is the most stressful. Why? Because I'm responsible for my students, and there are SO many things that can go wrong, from the charter bus to the registration to the hotel. ("No, ma'am, my students are NOT the ones sledding down the hall in the luggage cart!")

Still, I wouldn't miss this trip because it's one I looked forward to when I was in high school. I attended my first Interscholastic League Press Conference as a sophomore in 1984. (Don't bother with the calculator; I'm 41.) Now that I'm a journalism adviser, I love seeing my students soak up the journalism vibe and get excited about reporting, photography, design, PR, the works.

And best of all, they form those bonds and make memories that they'll remember when they're 41!

One thing I'll remember about this trip: It was great to get to see one of our alumni who's now a freshman at UT. She met us for lunch and it was great to catch up. We are SO PROUD of her!

My mobile office: I worked on Powerpoint on the drive down 35. My leg made for an interesting desk.

Striking pose: I love the MLK statue on the UT campus.

Home, sweet DKR: I walked down to the stadium during one of our breaks on Saturday.

Memorial plaque: This war memorial used to be in the north endzone. It's now just outside the stadium. Such a nice tribute.

YIKES! UT planted a tree smack-dab in the middle of our tailgating spot! Those people! They act like they OWN the place! ;-) Guess we'll have to figure something out by Sept. 5.

Sometimes I complain because this ILPC trip to Austin isn't really like a trip to Austin at all. No time for friends, for Chuy's, for Kerbey Lane. No visits to the Capitol or the Arboretum cows. And no Longhorn sports! But I have to admit, it's wonderful to have an excuse to roam the UT campus again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Puppy love?

While Frisco frolicked in the yard, ChaCha watched from her perch on the upper deck:

Our "other kids" have this strange fascination with each other. They'll stare at each other through the sunroom windows, but once that back door opens, they're not sure what to think about face-to-face contact.

When they're both in the backyard, ChaCha is oh-so-sure to keep her distance.

In any case, we're so thankful for the warm weather, and we're hopeful we can enjoy some more peaceful evenings like this one in our backyard.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Only on Easter can I get my sweeties to pose with each other.

Of course, the posing didn't come without some crack-ups!

After a wonderful (if not glitch-free) Easter service at HCC, we were off to Nana's for lunch.

Soooo good!

The rain from earlier in the day subsided, so our annual egg hunt was on! And yet again, we had a ridiculous number of plastic and boiled eggs to hide.

Duke was such a good dog! He watched all the festivities from a truck bed.

The hunt got pretty intense! The kids were even looking under umbrellas and digging in the dirt!

Poor Prince! He didn't get any candy. Still, I think he enjoyed all the commotion in his backyard. I know we sure enjoyed the holiday family fun!