Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring is bustin' out all over.

 March 12, 2012

One of the best things about spring break is being able to spend some time with my sweet husband. It's nice to get to join him on his afternoon walks. Another benefit: getting to walk in daylight! During the school year, I try to run three mornings a week, but since we have to leave for school so early, I'm usually hitting the road well before sunrise.

Hitting the trails in daylight means I can actually run the trails instead of the streets, and we get to see sights like:

Love it!

Thank you, Frisco, for sharing your daddy with me this week!

Another day, another dog walk.

 March 11, 2012

Lovely spring weather + a couple of crazy canine cousins = a fun afternoon!

Our dog is the one drinking the stagnant, muddy water, nasty water that she must try to immerse herself in. Of course! Stay classy, Frisco.

And they're off...

(Click to see bigger version)

March 11, 2012

'Twas the first Sunday of spring break
And all through the church
The youth group was gathering,

Oh, forget it. Anyway...

Once again, Katie went with our church youth group on the annual spring break retreat. This year she was especially excited since more of her friends would be attending.

Actually, there were more people, period. Because the group was staying at a larger campsite this time, they didn't have to limit the number of attendees.

On the Sunday that the group departed, we all met in the Great Hall for last-minute instructions and a prayer.

Then they were on their way!

This event is held at the same campsite where we held many of our college retreats, and I have a special place in my heart for that holy ground. It's an understatement to say I was jealous of all those who got to attend! Fortunately for us, even though we didn't get to accompany Katie to the retreat, a prolific photographer provided these glimpses into her fun-filled week:

HEB Foundation Camp is such a beautiful place, and it's great to know it's still providing such a gorgeous background for spiritual renewal.

Weekend wanderings.

March 3-4, 2012

Highlights from our weekend:

Lunch with Memaw at Meadow Lakes

Gorgeous redbuds from our Saturday morning walk

Sunday morning with the cousins
(We went to Nana and Papa's church because they were
recognized for "staying the course" in their marriage.)

Sunday walk with the boochies at the "Mommy Park"

The K9 Guzzler, a new doggie water fountain

Silly geese.

March 1, 2012

On this particular morning, several faculty and staff members noticed we had some visitors waddling around campus.

You know your school has a good reputation when everybody is FLOCKING to your campus!

These guys really stopped traffic, but at least they're obedient. Soon after crossing the street, they headed straight to the office to check in like good little visitors!


Feb. 25, 2012

A little more than a month after our last family gathering at M&S's house, we were back for another mini-reunion, this time to honor our nephew Chris.

Since earning his Ph.D. in linguistics, Chris has been working in Japan. His trips back to Texas are fairly rare, so when he's home, it's time to CELEBRATE!

We all enjoyed the time to eat and talk (and talk and eat). As an extra bonus, we were blessed to get to play with our sweet great nieces from Austin, too! Our world traveler, yummy food, lively conversation AND the three sweetest little girls: It all adds up to a great evening.

What a finish.

 Feb. 9 and 11, 2012

Katie's eighth grade basketball season came to a close with the district tournament.

Katie's team won their opening round game, which qualified them to play in the silver bracket championship in the district's coliseum. It was fun to watch them play this season-ending game in such a big venue.

The Lady Wildcats lost the championship game, but coming in second in their bracket's not bad!

Afterwards, Katie got a little emotional when it was time to take the last team photo.
Her friend helped her dry her eyes.

What a team! What a season!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The way to spell SUCCESS.

Katie's name was "in lights" after she won
her campus spelling bee back in November.

Feb. 9, 2012

After months of studying, Katie was READY. Thanks to the Post-Its all around the house and the well-worn word packet that Katie carried to school and church and the park and restaurants and even Six Flags(!), she knew her stuff.

And at the district spelling bee, she showed it.

Katie's cheering section

During the practice round
I'm certain that when it comes to stress levels, spelling bees are waaaaaay up there at the top of the list, somewhere around skydiving and root canals.

Getting down to the last contestants
Now that we're retired from the spelling bee circuit, I can safely say that these things are PURE EVIL. I mean, in what other situation do you watch children and actually HOPE they mess up? If my daughter's going to win, I have to root against other kids, and that's just mean.

And then, half the time the eliminated kids end up crying and have to be consoled, and yet I'm thinking, "One more down!" Evil, I tell you.

Katie handled the pressure remarkably, but she had a couple of close calls on her way to the second place trophy. One time was when she got the word "colloquial." When she paused, I swear our whole row stopped breathing. Another time was for the word "erudite." The pronouncer said "air-oo-dite," and Katie misspelled the word. Brett protested that there is an alternate pronunciation, "air-you-dite," the judges agreed, and Katie got another chance. WHEW.

The word she ended up missing? DOCENT. (We have decided that is the new curse word in the Dub house.)

When she missed that word, we were OK with it because we thought she was the runner-up. Then we found out that Katie would have to be in a spell-off since another contestant also missed a word in that same round (the 19th). Aaaaarrrrgggghhh! More evil thoughts! In the end, Katie spelled "limbo" and "zaniness" (appropriate, right?) while her competition missed "nuance," so that big ol' second place trophy was all hers.

District runner-up!

Second place: The best possible finish that does not
involve more studying!

With Lexi, the district champ.
Lexi went on to place fourth
in the regional spelling bee.

With her proud principal and campus bee coordinator

Of course, her finish led to an onslaught of hugs and congratulatory texts and Facebook posts. We were so thankful that all of her hard work had paid off, and we were glad we could be there for her stressful but successful day!