Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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Sweet Sixteen

March 14, 2009

 

Sara on her actual birthday!

Sara on her actual birthday!

I was trying to remember recently what my sixteenth birthday was like and it must have been uneventful.  I can not remember it at all.  My oldest daughter Sara just celebrated her day with a big party at our house with a band and a cake that cost more than my wedding cake.  As this party and cake was her gift from me I actually did not mind spending the extra on it.  As birthday parties go, I think it was a big hit. 

Sara helping to set up an hour before party.

Sara helping to set up an hour before party with the cake.

Sara and Versecity (the band)

Sara and Versecity (the band)

I should say that we had only just moved into the house a whole week before and getting it ready to host a party was just about my undoing.  But with Marks help we managed to pull it off 
We only have 5 more to get through their sixteenth.  I think we can do it.  Poor Shea, his sixteenth birthday was the week before hers and he didn’t get a big sweet sixteen.  Boys are so much easier than girls.

I’m going to start offering weekend trips with Mom instead of a party.  I think it will be a lot less work for me!

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I’m in L O V E

December 7, 2008

With this place!

I love to cook and entertain and I see myself spending a lot of time and way too much money exploring all the foodstuffs they have to offer.  It’s gorgeous, are you allowed to say that about a “market”?

I’m totally and completely in love, that’s the only word for it!

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Hallowed Ground

November 30, 2008
 
This deserved it’s own post.  It is impossible to describe the feeling that comes over you when you walk in Arlington National Cemetery.  Everything has a precision to it, a precision that says we take pride in the Men, Women and the families who have fought for our country.  In the way these grounds are preserved you know we are honoring the lives they lived.  If you have never been and have the opportunity, it is worth the time to pay respect to these individuals and to thank them for the freedoms they fought to preserve.
Arlington National Cemetary

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetary

Arlington National Cemetery

Resting Place of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy

Resting Place of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy

View of Arlington House from Kennedy Memorial

View of Arlington House from Kennedy Memorial

Arlington House looking across Potomac to D.C.

Arlington House looking across Potomac to D.C.

Changing of The Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of The Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of The Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of The Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more

November 28, 2008

We walked a hell of a lot today!  This is not an exaggeration.

Our day started at 4:30 CST in order to get a great spot for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  We started across from Central Park and then got antsy because it was two hours until the parade began.  So we started our adventure in the city.  I think we now have a pretty good grasp of the Subway System.  We ended up near Times Square and was “cattled” towards the Square where we watched the Parade. We couldn’t see the High School Marching Bands very well, but we had a great view of the Balloons and some of the floats.  And we now have bragging rights to being one of over 3 million other spectators and I think most of them were crammed into the square!
Times Square before Parade - Some of the 3 million spectators...many more behind us!

Times Square before Parade - Some of the 3 million spectators...many more behind us!

Buzz Lightyear one of many balloons in this years Parade.

Buzz Lightyear one of many balloons in this years Parade.

Santa Clause - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Santa Clause - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Longest Escalator I've ever been on...NYC Subway system.

Longest Escalator (on the Right and Left) I've ever been on...NYC Subway system.

Next came Wall Street and Battery Park.  I really enjoyed just looking at the buildings, churches and cemeteries in this area.  I saw lady Liberty from a great distance.  We did not have time to take a closer look this time. Then we were off to a fabulous Thanksgiving Lunch, and it was a feast at a little Steakhouse near Wall Street.

Trinity Chapel looking down Broad Street standing on Wall Street

Trinity Chapel looking down Broad Street standing on Wall Street

After lunch we walked the perimeter of the World Trade Center attack. 

St. Paul's Churchyard looking towards WTC site

St. Paul's Churchyard looking towards WTC site

Then we strolled over to Chinatown…I wish I had had the opportunity to take more pictures in this area. 

Fowl in the window of a Chinese Market - Chinatown, NYC

Fowl in the window of a Chinese Market - Chinatown, NYC

Strange Taste Cuisine - Chinatown, NYC  Do you think they might of meant Unique Taste Cuisine?

Strange Taste Cuisine - Chinatown, NYC Do you think they might of meant Unique Taste Cuisine?

Next stop was Union Square and the Flat Iron District…so many cool things to see everywhere.  Grand Central Station is just that “Grand”.  Finally it was off to Central Park at night, I’m sure mine and Mark’s Moms are not going to be happy about that.  But it was a lot of fun and a big adventure. 

The Flat Iron Building

The Flat Iron Building

Empire State Building lit for Thanksgiving

Empire State Building lit for Thanksgiving

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Interior Grand Central Station

Interior Grand Central Station

From in front of Grand Central Station looking at Chrysler Building

From in front of Grand Central Station looking at Chrysler Building

Lion in front of Public Library

Lion in front of Public Library

Imagine - I took a much better shot, but can't find it.

Imagine - I took a much better shot, but can't find it.

Washington Square

Washington Square

I’m too tired to do any witty blogging and we just got screwed on the Tollway and have sat in traffic for the last 45 minutes.  I can’t wait to find a place to sleep tonight.  It looks like we will head to D.C. because the weather in Buffalo looks to be rough with pulling a trailer…I’ll get to the trailer tomorrow.

I guess Mark and I managed to blend as we were asked many times for directions both street level and in the Subway.  By the end of the day we were even able to give credible directions.

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In the City that NEVER sleeps…

November 27, 2008
…but we are about to.  Just a few pictures to share of the many that have been taken.  Blogging will commence sometime tomorrow evening…maybe.
Getting Close

Getting Close

Times Square

Times Square

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

Carmilla and Mark at Rockefeller Center

Carmilla and Mark at Rockefeller Center

Phantom Playbill and Program

Phantom Playbill and Program

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NYC in 15 minutes…Texas to New York in 25.5 hours…WooHoo!

November 26, 2008

We are showing up at the hotel in our traveling clothes of shorts and sandals.  It’s 44 degrees outside, I’m sure they’ve seen it all!

I’ll update tonight after I’ve seen some of the City and taken pictures and gone to a Broadway show.  Weeee!

Kids – Be good and I hope ya’ll are having fun!

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THANKFUL

November 26, 2008

It’s time for my annual thankful post (usually found on myspace).  If you are not one of my family, this won’t interest you at all, so feel free to skip reading.

 

Mark – I’m thankful for many things.  First he puts up with all of my quirkiness and I have a lot of quirks.  I’m most appreciative that last year about this time he asked me to be his wife and lifelong partner in crime.  It was a tough road to that point but so worth it.  We have a beautiful family that we otherwise would not have.  He is very good to me and my children and it’s nice to be able to trust your husband with help in raising the kids.  It’s great that he gets along with their Dad so there is no animosity between “Dads”.  It’s also nice that he doesn’t treat my children different than his own.  It has been a relatively easy transition into a family and it could not have happened without his willingness for us to truly be a family.

 

Cory – My oldest, I still can’t believe I have an adult child.  I mean how the heck does that happen?  Cory is a great role model, both at home and at school.  I wish you all could have been there during his Cross Country banquet a few weeks ago and have the opportunity to hear the things we as parents were blessed to hear. He is certainly someone to look up to and I hope all of the kids do and if they don’t, I hope that as they mature they will come to see he is someone to emulate.  Academically he is excelling and will be heading off to University next fall.  He is also an officer with our local Toast Masters organization.  He makes me very proud to be his Mom.

 

Shea – His friends are now calling him Chris, that’s always strange for me, because I still see him as Shea.  He is so dedicated to ROTC and doing the best he can for the program.  That takes discipline and even if he’s not disciplined in all aspects of life YET, it shows me that he is more than capable.  He has a bright future ahead no matter how he chooses to move forward, be it militarily or through college.  I think sometimes he wants us to recognize the responsibility he carries as the oldest child in his branch.  I wish we could take some of the responsibilities away, but I know that he will look back someday and realize how it has shaped him and probably in the best ways.

 

Sara – It will not surprise me if Sara grows up to be a Music Producer.  She already knows more about modern/local music than I will ever know.  She’s always out their promoting local Houston bands. She has such a great sense of self; I just hope she will always have that.  She needs to learn not to let others get to her, especially other girls.  Life will go on beyond those High School years and someday she will have her best friend who will treat her the way she deserves.  It’s so hard being a confident girl, but I wouldn’t want her to be anything but confident and self-assured.

 

Ryan – The ultimate middle child, he is a true peacekeeper, or at least tries to be.  You try to keep peace among seven siblings!  He has his blackbelt and has taken that athletic ability and perseverance and moved it to football.  I can’t wait to see him playing High School football next year.  I think sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself to be better, but he is more than good enough for our family and he’ll be the glue that always keeps everyone together.

 

Tesa – My one true blonde child, only she’s not a blonde in the joke sense.  She’s so intelligent and impresses me with just what she knows.  She has a lot to teach the younger kids. My hope for her is that she will look inside herself more and realize just how beautiful and smart she is.  She really does not need to compare herself to anyone else because she is unique and will be just Tesa and just Tesa is exactly who she should be.  She is easy to love and will someday learn to love just as easily.  And did I mention she’s so smart!

 

Erin – She’s becoming a young woman.  She’s hit the “tween” stage and is beginning to mature.  She has some more work ahead of her, but I have no doubt she will blossom in the years to come.  She has started to overcome some of her “bad” habits and that makes it so much easier to see the real Erin emerging.  She is going to be fiercely independent; I have no doubt about that.  Erin has a great sense of self and I don’t see her letting go of that.  Someday she is going to be calling the shots, be it in an organization or just at home.

 

Luke – My baby, only I’m not supposed to call him that anymore.  Luke is a true friend; he only has a few friends at this point in his life.  But it’s not because he couldn’t have more friends, he’s just picky.  He picks other kids who want to be friends for the right reasons and that’s something to admire in someone who is only just eight.  I overheard his brother talking to him about one of his better friends at school and how he could not go outside to recess because of his disability.  Well many times he offered to stay indoors and work on puzzles and such with him instead of being outside roughhousing and he loves to roughhouse.  This is something I know because of a conversation I overheard in the car last week, not because he has bragged about it.  He is a true friend and I think anyone will be lucky to have him for a friend.  He’s also a great son!

 

Gina – My best friend in the entire world.  We have known each other so long now; sometimes it’s hard to separate our lives because they are intertwined.  Unfortunately distance keeps us apart a lot.  Having the same cell service keeps us connected daily.  She has been through a kind of hell this year within her own family and I watched in awe as she took control of the situation and made it as positive as it could possibly be.  I’m not sure if I would have had the same strength to do what she did.  She also stood by my rougher patches and my more celebratory ones.  I love her dearly, just wish we lived closer.