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Friday, June 29, 2012

Katie goes to EFY ...

Imagine my surprise last fall when I learn that EFY (Especially for Youth program in the LDS church for youth ages 14-18 years old put on by BYU) is located here in San Antonio (as well as multiple cities around the USA).  I always hoped that one day the girls would be able to go to EFY, but Mike said at one time "it'll never happen"... meaning, he wouldn't put our daughters on a plane to go to Provo, Utah to participate at EFY.  I get it.. I would be nervous as well.

However, it was here in SAN ANTONIO!!!  So, I got Katie registered back last fall and by January the drawings were taking place to see what number she was drawn -- and if we got the spot (session) we wanted, etc.

Her best friend Madison also tried to get the same session as well, and both applied to be roommates with each other.

SO... last Monday morning Madison's mom Rachel & I loaded up the Explorer with the girls and their things (and another friend who needed a ride) .... and off we took off for the University that EFY was being held at.  I'm so grateful it's only about 15-20 minutes away!

It was a very very hot day.  I mean... sweat pooling down your back after being in the heat for 2 minutes and 29 seconds.  HOT HOT HOT!  Imagine our surprise (after it took us 15 minutes to drive around the campus trying to find the building) that the line we were supposed to be in snaked around here & there ... and we waited in line for 45 minutes in the hot hot sun?!  Yup.  It was hot.


But, we made it into the air conditioning (aka ... picked up the badges, keys, etc) and found the dorms.  The girls were so excited!  We were excited for them!  At EFY, they have classes daily (teaching them things like how to read the scriptures), and they have service projects, dances, devotionals, and game nights.  It's so much fun that kids every year want to return.  It's a pretty hefty price tag though!!   The theme for this year is "Arise & Shine Forth".


Are they excited or what?!!


Their counselor decorated their doors for them! 


"No Mom!  Don't help me make my bed!  I can do it by myself!" ... said the 14 year old.  Then she couldn't get the last of the corners to get tucked in .... I guess college twin beds are longer than normal twin beds?  Never to fear.. Mom to the rescue!

We had to buy twin bedding sheets because we didn't own any!  Good thing I remembered two nights before otherwise she would've been in trouble!


Complete with a quilt at home... her bed is ready!  Check out the fridge & microwave in the corner?  Madison's mom brought them food for the week to munch on.  Spoiled kids... :)


I've missed Katie this week .... I pick her up at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.  She's been texting me at night and sometimes during the day letting me know she's still alive.  One of the funniest things that both she & her BFF have texted me was "I can stuff my mouth with a whole orange!!"  I can't wait to hear all that she has learned!

She did text me tonight and told me that she got up to bear her testimony of the gospel -- so super proud of her! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

From Owl House to Yours...

Wow.. I'm really behind on my blog! 

Until I gather up all my pictures I need to post, here is one of my latest treasures from my owls in our trees.  I made a new blog for all things owls (in my trees... I'm not an owl lover).

From Owl House to Yours....  follow it!  Subscribe to it!  I have a ton of pictures to share for my fellow owl lovers. :)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A girl, her mom and a magazine

Last year, I entered a picture of Katie leaping at the Highland Games Photography contest here in San Antonio.  I was shocked that I won second place in the photography contest!  Wow!  The rules stated that the picture became their property, but that further acknowledgment would be given to the person who took the pictures. 

So, all this past year, my picture of Katie has been used in the Facebook page header of the Highland Games profile, as well as gracing the cover & a few other places in things for the Highland Games this year.

At the girls' monthly dance lesson, their dance teacher Miss Annette gave me some magazines, and on the cover was the picture I took of Katie leaping in the air.  If you open the magazine up, there was an article and a larger picture of Katie.

I was so excited that Katie made a magazine!  She was .... embarrassed.  Behind Katie you can see Madison as well!

It was until a few hours later that I realized... I'm a PUBLISHED photographer!  Wow!!  That is so.. cool!  HOWEVER!  In the magazine, it doesn't have my name.  It says "Courtesty Photo."  Booo!  :(  Oh well -- at least I can say "hey, my picture has been published in a magazine!"

Check it out!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Owls, indexing, missing things, & moody girls

SO I mentioned that my girls' dresser drawers are a mess.

I found a quote on Pinterest that basically said "Nothing is missing until Mom can't find it."  Yep... my girls will tell you I turn into a raving lunatic trying to find their missing items.  Katie couldn't find her white shirt to wear under her dress.... I looked in her drawers, Maddie's drawers (b/c the girls can now wear each other's clothes) and saw jeans, shirts, underwear and socks all in ONE drawer.  The same was seen in every single drawer.  SO, therefore... today is "clean out your drawers day."

From now on, the underwear has its own drawer.  With the socks.  NOT the jeans or the shirts.  No wonder they can't find anything....


Here are my moody girls... cleaning their room

Katie is starting another Personal Progress project.  PPP is what I'll call it from now on.  She is indexing on the FamilySearch.  If she does 10 hours of this, and presents this to her Young Women group on how to index... then she will pass off on a project.  So last night we sit down to figure out what exactly is indexing.  Let's just say.... indexing is a little hard.  We sat down this morning trying to decipher old people handwriting "is that a B or a L?"  "Is that a U or an A?"  What is that name of the city in Poland???  And guess what... she's is graded!!!  BWAHAHA!  So far, she has an 89% b/c the arbitrator thought a certain letter was different than what she wrote.  She downloaded a census page, and let's just say that 40 lines of people's names was about to make her and I crosseyed with the handwriting.  So grateful they have typewriters nowadays!!

So while Katie is indexing, Maddie is knitting.  Doing a darn good job on knitting.  :)

Last night Mike turned on the sprinklers in the backyard again (seriously, when we see cracks in our dirt, it's time to water).  He can rushing in (OK, maybe not exactly rushing in, but he came in quickly) and said "the owls are back!  So, I managed to get some decent pictures (although, at a high ISO on my camera, they did turn out a little grainy) of these burrowing owls!  It was pretty cool to see them chase the birds and hang out in our trees. 


Mike did tell me that I didn't have hunters eyes.  I would stand in front of the trees searching and searching, and he would say "oh, it's right there" and point after looking for 4 seconds.  I still couldn't see it, and gave up.


Enjoy our owls.  :)

and a final picture of a happy Katie and her sister ... being ornery!  (they are in the middle of cleaning their drawers out -- hence the clothes all over their bed!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

One week down...11 more to go

This summer's edition of my blogging is going to be titled

"How I survived summer with a teenager and a tween."

As I post this, I am on week 2 of 12 weeks worth of summertime fun.  I would say this in a sarcastic way, but I love having the girls home during the summer.  However, I might be singing a different tune come a few weeks....

Some days were fun!  Some were not so fun!  Some I wanted to tear my hair out of my head!

Day 1 (school was let out on a Wednesday, so I am officially starting on the following Monday):  I went to workout like I always do at 8:00.  Then I had to run to the dentist after running home and showering.  No cavities!  Best news of the day!  Had to turn down a swimming party because of said dentist appointment.  Made the girls sit down and make goals for the summer.  This lasted 5 minutes.

Day 2:  Made the girls get up at 7:30 a.m. for a one hour walk.  Said girls were not happy about this.  One girl mentioned blisters as soon as we got on the trail.. the other girl took her shoes off.  She promptly put them back on after running into two bare chested boys from her school who were running.  Movies at a nearby movie theater is only $1 on Tuesday & Wednesday.. and our movie theater was playing Journey 2.  Helloooo Rock!  My girls were saying "Helloooo Josh Hutcherson!"  We met up w/ our friends and spent only $3 this day.  Win!!

Day 3:  Went to work out at 8:00 a.m. ....  Katie sat down and for one of her Personal Progress projects, she is creating an exercise plan, a menu for a month, a shopping list, and went shopping with me for the groceries.  That took... awhile.    Made the girls READ.  I don't know I have such a hard time getting them to read  == but Katie is reading Unearthly and I am making Maddie read either Princess Academy or the Goose Girl.  So far, Maddie is not happy about this. 

Day 4:  Let the girls sleep in until 8:00 before we left on our four mile walk.  The girls are supposed to have one hour of exercise in a day.  Katie comes out all glammed out in her bandana around her forehead, matching clothes and looking so stylish.  Both girls are now sporting new tennis shoes.  Maddie, however.... gets a blister while on the walk.  Original plans to make a craft with some friends was scratched, so we ..... lounged around the house, cleaning... and I can't remember what else we did.  Katie got ready for Youth Conference, and we picked up her BFF Madison that afternoon. 

Day 5:  Katie is gone to Youth Conference, so it's just Maddie & I.  She goes with me to my workout place -- bored.to.death.  I come to her and say "wow!  What a workout!  I'm sore!"  she said "yeah, that looked pretty easy to me..."  Hmmm....  We go home ... and get ready to go swimming!!!  Head to the pool with some friends and leave before the heat hits hard.   I had to laugh at my friend.  I asked her what she was planning with her girls this summer and she said "I'm just trying to prevent them from killing each other!"  I looked at her girls, and the little one smacked the older one across the head ... and I had to laugh.

That is the end of week 1 .... (forgot that we have weekends as well...) 

I have 11 more weeks to go.  Until school starts.  Today they are cleaning their drawers out.  I don't understand how their drawers are such a mess.  Is it too much to ask the underwear to stay in the underwear drawer, and the shirts stay in the shirt drawer??  So.. they are organizing today.  :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Whoooo ... Whooo....

I came home one night from taking Katie to Young Women and Mike said "we have owls out in our trees".  Really??  We live super close to a large trail that has tons of wildlife like deer, raccoons, armadillos, snakes, possums, turkey vultures, etc..... so it's not uncommon to see wildlife in our neck of the neighborhood.  Last year an owl was spotted in a tree with her baby owl.
So I ran outside to see if I could find any of them.  Couldn't see anything.

Mike came outside and said "they're burrowing owls and they're small .... we had five at one time flying around and hanging on the trees and the ledges of our patio."  So cool!

So he took a flashlight and searched for one of the owls  at least, and found it!

I took a picture, with flash b/c it was dark ... and he flew away.  But at least I got a picture!  I was surprised how small these little creatures were!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Crawfish ....

A family on my volleyball team invited us to their first annual crawfish bake.  I smiled at the dad and said "I don't eat anything that lives in water."  He said "we also have brisket".  I was sold! 

A crawfish bake is really interesting!  I enjoyed watching the whole dynamics go down w/ this endeavor.  The only experience I have with crawfish is when my brother & I used to go crawfish (or we called it crawdad) fishing in the creek that ran right next to the house we grew up in. 


This one is missing a claw... poor thing.


Love my volleyball families!!




and the final look of what cooked crawfish looks like..... very colorful!


My brisket was out of this world!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Club disasters....

Last month was my month to host book club. 

I had planned to serve up my Janie's Cakes that we had gotten in Tyler back in November, that was sitting in our freezer, but I had forgotten how small it was -- so I went to work making a lemon cake. 

Let's just say I refuse to use bundt pans any longer!


Yes, I still served it -- and it was delicious!  Next time... a 9x13 pan!  And I know I could have make cake pops or a trifle, but I lacked the ingredients to do anything... and I waited until the last minute to make this cake anyways.  Oops!

If you're interested in what book we read, it was The Iron King.  :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Memorial Day at the cabin

We headed up to the cabin for Memorial Day weekend.. Mike had a four day weekend.

(like that watermelon shot?  I was sitting in a chair while everyone was four wheeling and noticing how beautiful the sun's rays were shining through the tree ... so I had to run and grab my camera.  This picture was the first one that I took .... I removed the fire clicker for the rest of the pictures, but I love the rays in this picture the best!)

We also invited another family to come up and enjoy the weekend with us -- so we had an additional 5 people at the cabin! 


I took more pictures of the cabin .. I truly do love the dark green, it really makes it look like a cabin now!



After letting the ATV's run around for awhile, a lot of dirt and sand was floating in the air, so Mike turned on the sprinklers again.  This time, tons of butterflies came out in search of water -- and it was such a sight to see all the butterflies floating around!! 




Our friends brought tons of yard toys ..... (we need to get some of these toys!) and so the kids all had fun playing badmitton!



Of course a good hot dog roast & s'mores was on the menu one night!


Archery was involved as well.....


This picture just cracks me up.  On Friday, Katie had an '80's day at school.  So she dressed up w/ a bandana around her head like in the picture, w/ tights, jean skirt & a shirt.  On Saturday when she arrived w/ our friends (we swapped one daughter each) -- Katie & her BFF Madison were wearing matching tie dye shirts, bandanas, and these aviator glasses.  By the end of the weekend, Madison's brother was matching them as well. 


We also took a short trip down the road to the lake!  This was our first time going to the "beach" at the lake-- and we had a great time!  Got a *little* burnt (turns out lotion sunscreen isn't actually better than spray on sunscreen....), but had a great time!




Sadly. a few "owie's" happened this weekend.. and it all had to do w/ Katie.  Katie was the reason why her BFF Madison got hurt ... like that huge bruise?!  Ouch!  Katie also went shooting and wasn't thinking and her scope bonked her on the head good.... that was the other reason why she refused to remove the bandana from her head.  It covered the egg that formed on her forehead!

Friday, June 1, 2012

School's out! Let's scream & shout!

Prepare for an overload of pictures of both girls and their final days of school!

Maddie had her 4th grade play about Texas & the history of Texas.  I loved that the kids all signed the songs in ASL -- Maddie is in the class that has the deaf children for the grade -- she loved it so much she asked to be part of the class again for 5th grade.  Her teacher said that all the children don't even need the interpretors to help w/ the conversations between the deaf & hearing kids b/c the hearing kids have picked up sign language so easily!!






Here is Maddie and one of her BFF's Jenna

Katie received a "J" award (J meaning Jackson which is the name of her middle school). Typically what a J Award means is that they will get either a nomination for the Principal's Award (which she was nominated both in 6th & 7th grade), A/B honor roll, All A's, perfect attendance, etc. 


This year she got the President's Award and the A/B honor roll! 

I spy w/ my little eye.... Katie!


Oh .. she is so embarrassed I'm shooting pictures.  :)


Sadly, my camera didn't focus in time when she was shaking her Principal's hand!  Boo!



Way to go Katie!  You are now officially a FRESHMAN!!  :) 


This was annoying... taking an ipad, holding it up high above your head, and recording the ENTIRE thing!  Seriously.. it's a little big and does block a lot of people's views!!!


On Maddie's last day of school, they had a "Popping into 5th grade!" party. Everything that was served had the word "pop" in it ... Popsicles, Popcorn, Lollipops, Pop, Pop Rocks.

Maddie was surrounded by her two adorable friends Jenna & Kelsey.  I love these two girls... so glad these three are so close!



This is Maddie's teacher Mrs Foster -- love this lady!! 


Maddie is also now a Safety Patrol!  She was chosen a few weeks ago to be a safety patrol in 5th grade, so they've been hard at work for the past few weeks learning this important job!  Maddie helps the kids out of the car, and rounds them up for their parents after school.  She also is part of the flag ceremony before and after school.  I was able to stick around and watch her in action.  I was amazed at how they are so reverent with the flag as it is coming down the pole.  All of them are holding their hands to their heart. 




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