Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Greatest Gift

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received has been from my Papa and Nanny. This past Christmas we found out about a family in need. My extended family really rallied around us as we tried to lift some burdens and the hearts of 3 children. The experience was incredible, and it blessed the lives of my family so much. Then to make matters even better, my sweet Nanny and Papa sent us some more money in order to help the kids out with more things over the next couple months. It was a wonderful experience to be able to find needs every month, and help them through them. Every month we picked a theme and focused our efforts on that. I would then write the kids an inspirational note, with the theme included, and all of the gifts would match that theme. For example, in January our theme was "A new year brings a new start". We were able to stock them up on new personal hygiene items as well as new school supplies. We had so much fun with this project, and I think that in the end we gained way more than they ever could have. I am so appreciative of my sweet grandparents who have such tender hearts. They have truly given my family a gift that will last a lifetime!

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

Ever since we moved to Dallas we have said that we needed to go to the big rodeo in Fort Worth. Every year when we hear on the news that it is over Rodney always says "Another year has gone by without us going. I swear we never do anything to take advantage of the city." Well this year I decided to do something about it so I did not have to hear about how lame we were- so I bought tickets. We were very excited when Myra and Danny decided drive all the way down and join us. We started off leaving late (who us? -no way) so I was a bit irritated with Rodney. However, when we arrived we had a nice dinner (which chilled me out) and a pleasant stroll around the Fort Worth Stockyards. When it was time for the rodeo to start we made our way to the gate and handed them our tickets. Apparently I did not research everything as well as I thought because the Rodeo at the Stockyards was some rinky-dink rodeo, and we were at the wrong place. Now it was Rodney's turn to be irritated with me. We quickly loaded up in the car and drove across town to catch it at a huge venue. Unfortunately, because of our mix-up, we were not able to see the livestock. We did not miss too much of the Rodeo though- which is the best part anyway. I have not quite figured out why, but our family LOVES the rodeo. We have taken the kids ever since they were young to various rodeos. Rodney and I have watched the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas. We have joined the PBR. We even watch them on TV. I think we love the goofy comedy, the patriotism that is always brought to them, and the good ol' boy feeling you get when you are at them- plus the bull riding. We saw some great calf and goat roping, some funny wagon races, and some crazy bull riding. It was a lot of fun, but next time we will definitely give ourselves time to walk through the HUGE stock show (and maybe even hit the carnival)!!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Valentine's Day

This year was not only Cambria's last year to have an official class Valentine's Party, but mine and Rodney's also. We have been very fortunate that ever since Rodney has worked from home he has been able to attend most of the kids class parties. The kids always love it when he shows up to the school to be with them on their special days. This year we remorsefully remarked that this was our last year to fill out Valentine's from a class list and eat too many sweets that have been sitting out on a table touched by countless fingers. (I personally try to never eat anything that is not individually wrapped- however the occasional rice crispy treat has lured me the other way). This year the room was MASS CHAOS, hot, and full of crazy, sugared up kids. By the time we left the party we were kind of glad that it was the last Valentine's party, although I still think the kids are growing up way to fast.

As yo can see, Rodney has a hard time resisting the lure of the cupcake. Maybe he is willing to come to parties and eat questionable cupcakes because I HATE cupcakes and cakes and refuse to have them in my home except for special occasions. Poor Rodney, but he is a great sport!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cross Country

It has been so fun to watch Declan grow and develop as a runner. When he was little, Rodney and I used to laugh at his cute little clumsy run (although it was not as cute as he got older). His arms would pump across his body, his head would shake from side to side, and he looked like he was tripping over his own feet. If you would have told me that Declan would one day LOVE running and actually be pretty darn good at it, I probably would have thought you were crazy. I would have been wrong. Two years ago Declan decided that he wanted to run cross country in order to stay in shape during the winter. I actually asked him "what cute girl is running". He was a bit offended and said "None. I just want to stay in shape and learn to run". And learn he did. He loved his coach, Coach Tran. Declan would get up early 3 mornings a week and run for a couple hours before school, and then run for a couple hours after school four days a week- CRAZY. He listened to what his coach was teaching him about form, and took it to heart, and developed a beautiful stride. He worked very hard at becoming better and better, and surprised us with his ability to shave seconds off his time EVERY meet. Declan is not someone who was born with a lot of natural athletic ability. He has had to work twice as hard as most people when it come to athletics. Yet he always has- and has become a great athlete. His dedication and hard work has truly impressed me. I am so proud of his determination. We all know that everything he has accomplished he has accomplished through blood, sweat and tears; but he HAS accomplished them. I can not even explain the pride that I feel as I watch his beautiful new stride. It is truly a lesson to me what a GREAT attitude and hard work can accomplish.