Friday, January 28, 2011

A home phone

I still remember the home phone number that we had when I was little (460-5228, this was before the 10 digit numbers). And when Madeleine could recite our home phone number, it made me so proud. But when I was late to pick her up one day because I was caught it traffic, and she told me that she had called me but I didn't answer, I began to wonder about the necessity of a home phone. She had called our home phone number because that is the number that she knew, but I was not at home. If she only knew my cell phone number... Well, that had me start thinking...

Did we need a home phone? The only people who called us on it were telemarketers, and I was tired of receiving those calls.

The only thing preventing us from giving up our home phone number was our security system that needed a phone line. So, we have changed our security system to use a wireless box and I just canceled our home phone number.

We will see if we miss it!

Room - A Book Review

I read Room in 2 days for one of my Book Clubs. I could not put the book down. I did not want to read it initially, a book narrated by a 5 year old child who was born in captivity and whose entire world consists of Room. No thank you. But, I can not stop thinking about it. I was looking at a friend from college's worst and best books for 2010, and she said that it was the best book for her of 2010. Her comment about Room being "ultimately the story of a power of a mother's love for her child" is what resonated with me about this book. I found this website that lets you put yourself in Room, and the perspective changes as if you are in Room.

Also found on that website is this quote by the author of Room, Emma Donoghue, "Our culture is constantly telling stories about psychos who capture women. I deliberately kept my kidnapper out of the spotlight. The more I read and thought about it, the more it seemed to me that there is no comfortably fixed moral distance between a kidnapper and the rest of us. (The existence of entire slave-owning societies reminded me that humans often find it both convenient and pleasurable to own others.) It was not Old Nick's evil that fascinated me, but the resilience of Ma and Jack: the nitty-gritties of their survival, their trick of more or less thriving under apparently unbearable conditions."

Room is a book that you will continue to think about, long after you have finished the last page. To me that is the sign of a great book, one that keeps coming to your mind, one that you keep thinking about, long after it is over.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#4 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit a gymnastics class for free. Every year I call the local gymnastics place and they let your child come for a free gymnastics class. Each year Madeleine had enjoyed herself, but not wanted to sign up for more. This past August we tried again and Madeleine finally wanted to be in gymnastics instead of ballet or tap. So, I asked if they had classes for Everett too, and once he turned three he could be in his own class as well. So, we were going to start in October when Everett turned three, but then it was Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it was not until yesterday that we started gymnastics for both kids at ASI.

The kids had a blast! They each received a chart with the skills that they have to achieve before they can advance to the next class. They each received a sticker because they were able to freeze on the trampoline. I do have an ulterior motive for signing the kids up, I want to learn how to do a cartwheel...

Madeleine (in pink) enjoying her class

Everett doing donkey kicks, which I think is the beginning of cartwheels.

A movie of Everett freezing on the trampoline.

Check out Everett jumping..

Monday, January 24, 2011

#39 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Attend Tuba Christmas in downtown Dallas. This event began in Dallas in 1974 and is held at Thanksgiving square downtown. These Tuba Christmas events are all over the world and I was so excited to go this year. Unfortunately, I did not realize that when Christmas Eve is on a Saturday, then they have the Tuba Christmas (last year it was on Christmas Eve) on Friday. So, I missed it this year, but the kids are excited about going next year! You can watch the 2007 Tuba Christmas event on youtube here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Making cookies

The kids helped me make cookies yesterday, but the best part for them was cleaning up afterward...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#3 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go to the public library. This past Saturday we visited two different public libraries. In the morning we went for a puppet show and in the afternoon I took my daughter and niece to read to Heart of Texas therapy dogs. The dogs were great listeners! I love the amazing events at the public library!

Everett (on the right) enthralled with the puppet show.

My niece reading to Elliott, the dog.

Madeleine reading to Pretzel, the dog.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

#2 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Play in the snow. Sure, it doesn't snow every year, but when it does ... it is awesome!!! It has snowed the last two winters in Dallas, so it must be a trend... (we can hope). And when it snows,
snowball fights are mandatory, as is building a snowman! Just FYI, if you ever have a snowball fight with a 3 year old, they play dirty. Madeleine was taking her time, making perfectly round balls and Everett was just shoveling the snow at Madeleine. He definitely won the snowball fight.

Here is Madeleine rolling either a)the biggest snowball ever or b)the bottom of the snowman.

Don't you think they need to make a Buzz Lightyear hat for adults? And mittens? I miss mittens!

Seriously this girl rolled this ball around the entire yard all by herself! It was heavy!

Showing off the snowman to the neighbors...

Some clean snow that tasted delicious!

Hope that you were able to enjoy some snow!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trip to Wimberley

Every year Lee has the week between Christmas and New Years off, so the Sunday after Christmas (since I work on Sundays), we head down to Wimberley for a time of relaxation and unwinding. We made our annual trip to the Wimberley Trail of Lights with my mom and stepdad (Nana and Papa).

playing at the Trail of Lights

We of course made our annual trek to the outlet malls in San Marcos, while my mom took the kids to the children's museum in New Braunfels.

This year we knew that we wanted to go to Blanco like we did last year to pick up some yummy apple bread from the Deutsch Bakery. My mom had seen outdoor ice-skating the last time that she was in Fredericksburg and it isn't too far from Blanco, so we went to both! For lunch we stopped at Rather Sweet Bakery for lunch. It was very delicious!

The Christmas pyramid in the Fredericksburg town square.

Madeleine ice-skating.

Trying out hats in the stores in Fredericksburg.

The kids in the doghouse in Fredericksburg.

The next day we ventured to Gruene with my mom and stepdad as well as my aunt Judy and uncle Gil. All of our Gruene pictures were taken by my very talented Aunt Judy.

A family photo by a wagon.

Lee pointing out a vulture that was on top of the building.

Everett playing at lunch. The food was great at the Gruene River Grill.

Everett saying, "No more pictures Aunt Judy!"

Dancing at Gruene Hall.

On our drive back we were able to have lunch with our college friend Drew Weston and also see my other niece and nephew, Cassandra and Xander. We had a great trip!

Christmas Eve

All dressed up for Christmas Eve service (I was the preacher!)

And the kids sang

(excuse my son Everett playing with the dollar bill that he was given for the offering). I had to stop taking the movie so that I could persuade my son to sit with me while everyone else sang. The video can be found here.

A Christmas post

Just a few pictures from our Christmas...

I got the kids plates with their full names and dates of birth on them.

Madeleine really wanted days of the week underwear. The package came with 9 pairs. 2 extra for laundry day? The 2 extra have designs on them.

Everett wanted to finish the cookies that Santa took a bite out of.

Celebrating Christmas with my mom. Madeleine LOVED her Nintendo DSi.

And this is the image of Madeleine that we will see from now on. Head down, playing with her video game.
Madeleine so excited about her American Girl doll llama.

Within minutes of opening his tools, Everett had figured out how to fashion a gun. Seriously.

Everett rocking it out on his guitar.

Everett building a castle as we got ready for bed (he ran away before I put his top on!) from last year's Christmas present of blocks.

Hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration!

#1 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

The first Tuesday in January I was able to bring my daughter, Madeleine, and my niece, Sydney, to work with me since they were still on winter break. Sydney had seen the pinkberry on the way to the church and she said that she loved pinkberry. And I knew that the McKinney Trolley route was right there. And then I thought, isn't the Dallas Museum of Art open for free on the first Tuesday of the month? After a little googling, our afternoon plans were set. I settled the girls into the Parlor at the church and was so excited when I realized that the first Tuesday craft group was coming. This wonderful group loved listening to the girls and shared with me afterwards that the girls love to pretend that they are sisters. I did not know that!

So, with the morning of meetings finished and a little more work completed, we left at 2 pm for pinkberry. It turned out that my niece Sydney had never been there, she just loved that it was called pink!

The girls managed to finish their treat and then we headed across the street to ride the free McKinney Avenue Trolley. They thought it was so cool that they did not have to put on a seatbelt just like the school bus.

The last trolley stop was the Dallas Museum of Art and the girls skipped to the incredible children's area where they made sculptures out of foil, sketched, and loved exploring.

After a long time, they finally agreed that we could leave the children's area and explore the rest of the museum. We never made it off of the first floor (there are four levels), and my favorite moment was when we entered a room with a sculpture of a little boy playing with a car. The girls ran right up to it and I saw the gallery attendant begin to grimace and open her mouth, when the girls skidded to a stop. They knew not to touch the art! Look with our eyes and not our hands. Love those girls! They wanted to go outside as well to run among the sculptures.

I had a great time with the girls and it was all free (except for the pinkberry!) They loved the trolley ride back, though they wanted to stand up since they were so comfortable on the trolley by now and they had to be reminded by the conductor to sit down.