Monday, March 30, 2009

MMM...Snow Man Building and Kite Flying All In One Weekend

If you've never been to the Texas Panhandle you might think we are crazy, or at least given to telling tall tales. But I assure you this isn't true, well at least when it comes to our weather. To say that it is unpredictable is a bit of an understatement. Let me give you an example...Thursday it was 72 degrees outside, Friday morning it was blizzard conditions with roads closed and blowing snow that made visibility next to zero, Saturday it got up to 50 degrees and the snow was melting, and then Sunday we were back to wearing short sleeves.

My children had a long weekend. Friday schools were closed due to snow, Saturday they were sledding and snowmen building, and then Sunday they were flying kites. All in one weekend, and people think us Texans exaggerate, humph!!

WB and Little One braving the snowstorm!

View outside of blowing snow.

Saturday morning our neighbor came over with his 4-wheeler for some sledding fun!

Even though the snow was melting by afternoon we had some friends over for some snowmen building!

And of course Sunday we were flying kites!

WB mastering the kite in the high winds with Soph and Em at his side (Little One was hiding in front of Soph).

And just in case you think I'm telling a tall tale, here's the kite flying above Em and what's left of the snow:)

The weekend was full of Memorable Moments!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In My Head Are A Thousand Posts...

Okay, maybe not a thousand, but at least a couple hundred! The problem is the time I need to sit down and actually put them into my blog. Then there is the downloading of pictures, if I can find the right camera and memory card that I need that is. I could spend hours blogging, which would be fine with me. But I have a feeling my starving, naked family that would be living in a filthy home would object. Some people are obviously way more organized than myself, it's a flaw I live with daily folks.
Anyway, I need to catch up on a post promised a long time ago. WB did his 3K and my sister did her very first triathlon the next day. It was another frigid day. The temp was below freezing with windchill and I don't even want to guess what the water temp in the lake was. I cried when Kim stripped down to her shorts and running top. It may have just been the Arctic blast that caused the tears, but they were there. The officials decided to cancel the swim, oh did I mention not only was the water freezing but there were whitecaps larger than what I've seen on the beach recently. Anyway, that meant run, bike, run which can throw a person off, especially when they've been training diligently for the swim.

Kim started the race and as we waited for the first runners to come in she was probably the third woman and about 10 men in before her. She's a powerhouse I tell ya! Anyway, she hopped on her bike and was off again. Which meant I ran back to the car with Little One to stay warm. Bikers started coming in and she was in the lead pack. I cheered her off to her final run and then ran back to the car for warmth. At this point there was some commotion because bikers were coming in asking where the second loop was. Apparently, it was not well marked and some people had missed the second loop therefore not going the distance and shaving considerable time off that leg of the tri.
The finish was awesome. My sister was a good 30 paces behind the woman in front of her on the last stretch. Kim kicked it into overdrive and blew past her to finish at least 30 yards ahead of her. I'm telling you she is a machine! Here's the real kicker that women in front of her was in her age group so she overtook her to win 1st place. Yes, first place for her age group!! And to make it even more amazing my sister ran an extra 1/4 of a mile or so because the course was not well marked and she took an extra loop. That woman she blew past, later looking at the times it was obvious she had not done the extra loop on the bike. So all in all Kim would have blown the competition away in her class. Pretty cool, huh?

There's the champ with our mom.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Memorable Moments Monday...Houston, we have a problem...

Not, really. Just always wanted to say that. Especially since we spent the day at Space Center Houston located next to the Johnson Space Center. Boy, how things have change since I last visited the space center pre-9/11. Last time I went you actually went straight into Johnson Space Center and were able to walk into the Mission Control Building and see the actual control room at work. You were also able to walk to the building that held lunar artifacts and check out their lab. That has all changed. First the new Space Center actually sits adjacent to the JSC and upon arriving you go through a bag check. Then later, when we went onto the tram tour that took us over to JSC you go through another bag check and scanner. You also receive boarding passes that they collect later on the tour to make sure no one stayed behind.

Despite all the changes it was a lot of fun. The girls tried out a trainer in which they had to maneuver around in order to complete a task overhead. Em mastered it with plenty of time to spare, while Soph was more interested in perfecting her maneuvering of the craft. She was getting good at it too

Soph driving her space craft.

Em completing her mission.

Gramp on the Tram tour in front of the Saturn V building.

The crew standing by the Saturn V.

This is Joe. He was our guide in the historic Mission Control. He was a wonderful storyteller. This is another thing changed from the past. We only were able to see the old mission control, not the real live working one. We did get to view it on a TV screen for awhile, which was neat since the shuttle is up.

The famous red phone. The one they use to call the pentagon. Wonder how many times it has been used?

Before we left we got to see the shuttle's path as it hurries to catch up with the space station. It will be docking soon and bringing home a female astronaut that has been there for about 3 months. I bet she'll be glad to see them out her window!!!

It was a great day and full of memorable moments:)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

WB's Run

WB ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago in Houston. It was the kick-off for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The Conoco-Phillips run starts the parade that runs through downtown. Of course the weather was blustery, even for us Panhandlers, and definitely for Houston!! We are used to the wind, but walking some of the streets of downtown with the skyscrapers towering above was just like making your way through a gigantic wind tunnel. It was frigid and we were layered as best as we could be with our warm weather wardrobe that we had packed.
We got there around 7:30 and the race began at 9:00. There was a 5K run, walk and then a 10K run. As it turns out WB should have run the 10K because every time we found him on the course to cheer him on he was smiling and waving as he ran along. I think the 5K was a little too easy. I was going to try to do the 5K walk at least, but they wouldn't allow baby strollers due to the over 10,000 participants so I we'd just be the cheering section this year. As it turns out though I could have carried Little One for the 5K because by the time we walked WB to the start, then raced to a couple of points along the route and then finally to the finish we had walked at least a 5K and I carried Little One the entire way!! That's WB in the middle with the white t-shirt and smile!!
WB paced a little over an 8 minute mile, which was awesome. He realized he started too far back in the pack at the end. He started with the 10 minute milers, that's where I would have been for sure!! Anyway, it was fun even if it was freezing!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ave Verum Corpus

I wish I had taken Latin in school like my friend Margaret. We always joked she was learning the dead language. Thing is it's not really dead, especially when so many of the words in our language are based in Latin. And if you know Latin you won't have any trouble getting through those anatomy or medical classes in college. And if you're Catholic like me it comes in handy when certain songs are being sung. My Dad still rattles off parts of the mass in Latin, as he remembers it back in the day the whole mass was spoken in that language.

Today, as we celebrated the season of lent, I listened to the beautiful words of Ave Verum Corpus sung by our choir. The translation was given before the lyrics began and I was struck at the profound beauty found in such a short verse. Here are the words, first in Latin and then in English.

Ave verum corpus natum de Maria Virgine
vere passum immolatum in cruce pro homine:
cuius latum perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine.
O Iesu dulcis! O Iesu pie! O Iesu fili Mariae.

Hail true body:
that was born of the Virgin Mary,
That truly suffered and was sacrificed on the Cross for men,
From whose pierced side flowed water and blood;
Be for us a foretaste of death and judgement.
O sweet and gentle Jesus!, son of Mary.

The history I found on this piece is that it was written as medieval religious poetry, some say from Pope Innocent VI. Even though it is short it covers the Incarnation, the Passion, the Eucharist, and the Last Judgement.

I love the history of my faith! Knowing that the faithful sat in churches thousands of years ago listening to the same musical words, celebrating Jesus and his sacrifice for us. That kind of love bridges all time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Memorable Moments Monday

It seems as if we are cursed with the never-ending yuckness around my house. About the time one of us gets well, another one falls victim to yet another illness. We’ve been through a month of non-stop antibiotics between us all. We’ve shuffled pharmacists and doctors, all in hopes that we will get back on track soon. The latest is our short trip to Houston that has turned into another extended stay for Little One and I. My doctor appointment on Friday was mysteriously changed to this Wednesday, not sure how all that took place. But since the doctor wasn’t even in on Friday I had no choice but to wait around for my appointment…I’m ready for my ears to get on that right track as well!

In my absence from my blogging we’ve celebrated many Memorable Moments, one of which was a certain child’s 9th birthday. How exactly did my first-born get to be nine in a blink of an eye? I watched her from across the room the other day as she visited with family. Her smiling face reminding me of the baby she once was and her sparkling eyes giving me glimpses of the young lady she is becoming. Click…another snapshot to file away for my memory book. I have a head full of these images that can be viewed at a moment’s notice. Usually triggered by a long forgotten look, or a giggle, or even a touch.

Em celebrated first with WB’s parents when they came for a visit a week before her birthday. My mother-in-law Pat posted some pictures on her blog if you want to take a peek since all my pictures are back at home. Then we came to Houston and celebrated again here. This year she decided to forgo the big bash with friends and just do a family celebration. So she got to choose a nice restaurant to go to and she chose one of our favorites, Chimichurros that sits on Lake Houston. We had wonderful food and fun. She gets to come back Spring Break for the Rodeo to see her favorite singer Taylor Swift in concert, yee haw!!

The Birthday Girl

Gram and Aunt Kim

Soph and Gramp

WB can't believe Em is 9!!

Me, Little One and Soph

It was so much fun and I’m glad we made it down, even if the stomach flu detained our leaving for one day!! That was my Memorable Moment for this weekJ

And I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about my sister’s and WB’s memorable moment of the week, stay tuned.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm Still Here

I am so sorry for my absence once again!! Keeping up with it all has been difficult recently. There's been illness, and computer problems, and illness, and travel and then some more illness...geez it's getting a little old. I plan on getting back on track this week, even though I am back again in Houston without my two oldest and my husband. Waiting on another ear doc visit and hoping this time we get things fixed, keep your fingers crossed will ya please. But I will be posting soon because we've celebrated birthdays, 5K's and tri-events recently I want to share with you. And I can't wait to catch up with all my blogging friends!!!