Monday, July 15, 2013

You're Only As Old As You Feel

We celebrated a couple of big birthdays this past Spring. Sydney Marie turned 12 and Shelly Ruth turned the big 4-0.

Sydney decided she wanted to spend a fun 24 hours with her Besties.  We ordered pizza, ate cake and ice cream and played in the rain!  Now if you didn't know, Sydney has a lightning phobia. She literally will hide in a room with no windows until a storm passes by. But somehow, someway her friends Amy and Rachel were able to coax her outside to have some birthday giggles.

This year was a biggie for me as I am now officially "over the hill."
Although I don't FEEL old by any means. I think I'm in better shape in my 40's than I was in my 30's or even 20's. Wait... I KNOW I am.

My new found hobby and passion for running has helped me and for the first time in my life I LIKE getting healthy. It's not a chore...hmmmm!!! Wow, what a 180 I've turned!
We celebrated with my friends at King's Biergarten located in Pearland. It was voted the best German food in America and is owned and operated by a couple who uses their authentic families recipes.
The food was fabulous!!! This German girl was definitely impressed! The music and atmosphere just added to the night. But best of all, spending it with friends and family was priceless!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Enchanted Rock Weekend Getaway

There is nothing like spending time with family. We spent a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Hoenerhoff in Fredericksberg this past President's Day holiday weekend. Aunt Wendy and Uncle Bill couldn't make it last minute due to sickness and work responsibilities. They were missed!

After spending time in town shopping and eating we hiked the infamous Enchanted Rock. It is absolutely awesome with it's steaming vernal pools and sparkling granite.The bolders are huge and the view is breath taking.

I did some research and learned that legend states Tonkawa Indians named it Spirit Song Rock, believing a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it. They believed ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night.

The Rock is a huge, pink granite batholith (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion), that rises 425 feet above ground, 1,825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. Humans have visited it for over 11,000 years.

I have to say it was a bit intimidating. I am afraid of heights and felt dizzy most of time, not to mention the winds were really strong that day, but when I saw a little girl in a pink tutu passing me by I got a grip of my fear and made it to the top.

My family had a blast hiking and boldering. The kids and husband, Darrell, steadily hiked to the top while Mom, Dad, and I hung below them as the safety net in case one of them came rolling down. My son, James, was so excited and wanted to run his way up which made me a nervous wreck, but he made it! We stopped and rested about half way up to enjoy the view and drink some water.
Once at the top, the wind was so incredibly strong that we could lean into it and it would keep us up. There was a coin placed in the rock at the highest point.

After all the climbing and hiking we went back to our comfortable B&B and relaxed on the porch enjoying each others company. This was a wonderful mini vacation. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!

My Baby is 15!!!

Even though she promised me since the day she was born to stay my baby, Ashlee continues to grow up. Sniff! I have decided though, that I'm not going to hold it against her, just as long as she promises to stop!  LOL!

So, Ashlee turned 15 and as she continues to remind me, will be learning to drive on a permits license very soon. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. I keep focusing on the positives to find comfort...

First positive... There will be no more "Taxi Cab Momma!" Selfish? Maybe... but from the time I get off of work until the time I go to sleep, I am picking up and dropping off kids for all of their extra curricular fun. It will be nice to have a little help.

Second positive... Thank goodness Ashlee is responsible! She has always been conservative and careful in all that she says and does. She will follow the rules of the road and will be on the lookout for those who do not!

And third positive... The Ford Explorer is easy to drive and huge! This truck is tough and could probably survive a nuclear attack. For obvious reasons this is the biggest comfort and blessing. ;-)

To celebrate her birthday, Ashlee wanted to take a few friends down to the Kemah Boardwalk to spend the day. The weather was beautiful and I scored a really good coupon for all day passes to ride the rides.

While the girls had fun, Monica and I took James and Sydney to ride a couple rides and then to the playground where we had some fun of our own. Such a nice and relaxing place to be!

Ashlee's favorite food this time of year is boiled crawfish. She can put a few pounds away single handily! So we stopped into the Flying Dutchman for dinner and she gave it all she had. YUM!!!

Ashlee is becoming a beautiful young lady. She loves to play her trumpet in the school band. Marching season is her favorite time of year! She is friendly, funny and smart. She has a great group of friends and a family that admire and adore her. She loves the Lord and is active in her youth group and dance team. I am such a proud Momma!!! May the Lord bless you and keep you in this new year! Happy birthday Sweet Ash!

Little Ninja!

James is growing into a rough, tough young boy. As they say... "He is ALL boy!!!"

We decided it would be beneficial to teach him how to channel his energy, while learning about self discipline and respect for others. So we started him at a local Martial Arts studio where he has been practicing Taekwondo in the Little Ninja class for 4-5 year olds.
He goes 3 days a week and is having a blast!  Mondays and Wednesdays are normal class days where he listens to Master Hong (5th degree black belt) and learns the rules and Taekwondo values as well as practices kicks, punches and blocks. He is able to earn stripes for each technique mastered and after 6 stripes he gets the next color belt.

Last week James earned the last of his stripes for the white belt and received the next color which was an orange belt. This was a very special and proud day for him!
Standing at front being recognized by Master Hong
James' Orange Belt
On Fridays, he actually uses theses techniques practiced throughout the week in his sparring class with Master Walter (3rd degree black belt).
Sparring Uniform

James kicking

Master Walter teaching James to spar

In the room next door, Master Katarina (black belt) teaches a power fitness class for the parents of the Little Ninja's. Now the unbelievable part is that I took advantage of this class and am learning a few Taekwondo kicks and punches myself. It's not as easy as it looks...believe me! It's a tough workout, but lots of fun!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's good to have a STABLE background...

December flew by this year! I blinked and it was time for the Christmas holidays. Within all the hustle and bustle it's nice to stop and reflect knowing it's all because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Looking through the eyes of the cross, this little baby saved me... and all who know Him. What sweet peace we can rest in.

It all started with volunteering at our church as a puppeteer for the "Kids Crazy Christmas Show."  I had practice every night of the week and then performed 7 shows altogether. Ashlee participated in it too with the church dance team. It's a lot of time and work, but I love to serve in this manner...making kids laugh and love the true meaning of Christmas.
Some how between puppet show practice, homework, and Christmas shopping we found time during the first week to visit a Christmas tree farm near our home. Bringing home a real tree has become a family tradition in our house. This year we found a beautiful 12 foot tree that gave us a pine aroma for the whole month of December. Our house smelled so good!!!
Hayride out to the trees
Searching for the perfect tree

Found it!
Ashlee jumps into action
James tries his hand at it!
Darrell is contemplating the 12 footer
Taking a li'l siesta
And it came down!!!
Time to get it on the hayride back before it gets dark
Beautiful sunset on our hayride back to the farm
Yay! Apple cider!
And hot chocolate!
Can't wait to get it home!

Once we got our tree in the door at our house we realized that there was no way it was going to fit. So Darrell ended up chopping off another 3 feet so we could put our angel topper on. But I still believe that our tree this year was the best one that we have ever had! It was just perfect!!!

On December 10th, my bestie, Monica, gave birth to our precious bundle of joy, Isaac Antonio! Roger and Monica have been waiting for this day for many years and after 9 looong months he is finally here! He makes my heart melt!!!
Moe and her most precious blessing
Isaac Antonio Flores
Yes, I am a proud Tia!
Don't you just want to kiss those lips!
During our holiday festivities, Sydney and Ashlee played their instruments in their school band Winter concerts. Sydney made her very first debut playing her French Horn. Her band had only played together for a couple of months and did an excellent job of Jingle Bells!
Once the school break started, we decided to take a trip up to College Station to see Santa's Wonderland. It's a place known for displaying over 2 1/2 million lights spread throughout an acre of land. We visited on one of the "peak nights" so we weren't able to drive our private vehicle through but were able to catch a hayride instead. After the lights we stopped and looked through the gift shops, listened to live music, and toasted by the campfire.

The week before Christmas, Ashlee went to visit her family in East Texas for a week. She was missed but made it home in time to celebrate Christmas Eve with the Higgins'. Christmas Eve was a blast hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Susan and Uncle Travis and the cousins.
The teenagers
The girls
James and Drew Drew
The battle begins!
Grandma and Ava
The boys!
Christmas morning we awoke to find that Santa had come! We had a little family time and opened some gifts before heading over to celebrate Christmas with the Powell's side of the family. We met at Aunt Brenda's for an innocent white elephant game that is always fun with the family.
Mimi and Sydney enjoying each others company
Playing white elephant game
Grandpa and Darrell hanging out
Later Christmas Day we packed up the Expedition and headed to Austin to visit the Hoenerhoff's side of the family. After an intense windy drive, we arrived safely just after dinner time. Over the next 4 days, we opened gifts, played games, ate delicious food, and enjoyed each others company.

Gma had a tasty menu for us, including her creative, fun touches. 
Smiley face pumpkin pizza
Snowman pancakes with bacon scarfs and chocolate chips
The men decided to play golf in the cold, wet weather while the women shopped until we dropped. Thank goodness our cousin Philip was able to get off of work to hang out with James. James loves his big cousin and the two were happy campers in the midst of the women's shopping spree because they had each other! LOL!

Below are some of the treasured gifts and moments of our Christmas visit. 
Very loved quilted mosaic handmade by Dad and Mom Hoenerhoff
James enjoying Spiderman
Each grandchild received a hand painting for their room from Gma
Dancing with Papa!
My first Coach from my little Sis...notice my hubby's face. Ha!!
Prayer and story time before bedtime
A little practice couldn't hurt ;-)
Cousin Philip!
The men discussing men stuff
My beautiful sister!!!
Visiting Oma and Opa!
Oma and Opa Carter
Wendy and Bill
Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!!
The love of my life on NYE!