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Showing posts from April, 2008

My paparrazzo husband

For Kelly's gift of $1,000 that he received for being chosen as the best speaker at a conference recently, he got a new Canon super duper deluxe camera. I know nothing about these things, but what I can say is that when my husband picks up a new hobby, he dives in completely. As a result, he has morphed into this photography maniac, taking hundreds of pictures a day. I have embraced his new hobby because it has meant some delightful, refreshing time with family, while at the same time providing Kelly with some interesting subject matter. Two Saturdays ago, we went on an impromptu excursion to the Austin Zoo for the first time. A couple of days ago, Kelly called me from work and arranged for me to meet him later that evening with the kids at the Oasis for dinner just before sunset. He has taken pictures of every flower, bug, animal he comes across. He's having a blast with his toy du jour and has even taken three classes in the last three weeks. I'm very proud (as a peacock…

Hair

Here's what my hair was like one month ago. I like having it short so much better than long hair just because it's so much easier to fix. Long hair is a pain! I have really thick hair and it takes forever to dry, then style, so I was constantly pulling it back in a ponytail. Then I got it cut off, but later with my long hair in the front, I was always clipping it back or putting it behind my ear. So I did what I have only done a couple times in my life--I got bangs. Here's the before shot. Now see the after pose. I got my hair cut on Wednesday and I think the bangs are a little short, but they're out of my eyes, not having to be clipped, which I actually this is a cute way to wear them, but it's just a change. I get so tired of the same style all the time. It's nice to change it up.
Kelly walked in the door yesterday when he saw me and said, "you got your hair chopped off." He never comments on my hair. I'm not quite sure if that meant he likes it…

Three days of digging

The digging started on Friday, then continued a half day on Saturday, and began again at 7 am. Here's the future shallow end of our pool, the outline painted in orange. Then blue the next day.

Here's the future deep end, and the tree stump was left on purpose to make it easier to get the stump out. It's not budging yet.
This was after the digging began on Friday.
This was where our middle deck used to be. If we were to step out the back door now, we'd fall a few feet down.
You can see (above) where they sawed the deck off right by our back door.
Here's what it looks like today at the shallow end.
Here's the deep end where it's solid rock. The tree stump is getting whittled down more.

Pool construction underway

The big excitement around here is that a crew started digging for our pool today. Two panels of the fence and one post were removed to get two big pieces of machinery into the backyard. There has been a lot of jack-hammering to get through the earth, as it's almost solid rock where the pool will be. Before anything could happen, the tall cedar elm tree that was much higher than our house, got chopped down last week, plus three tall cedars. Yesterday our middle deck area got sawed off and taken away. They were very careful and meticulous to not just demolish it, which made me happy, so they can try to reuse parts of it, either here or elsewhere, because it's still in great condition and the wood is so expensive.

I've been without cable Internet access or television all day, as they broke the line somehow. It's strange to not be connected. My telephone line worked fine.

No Bake Cookies

There are times when I just crave chocolate and tonight I concocted some No Bake Cookies for the first time in probably about ten years. They just sounded good to me. Plus I didn't have any eggs, so I decided on this old standard. I didn't have a recipe handy, so I did an Internet search and found several versions. The one I tried was this.

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup milk1/2 cup butter4 tablespoon cocoa1/2 cup peanut butter3 cups quick oats1 teaspoon vanillaPut sugar, milk, butter, cocoa into saucepan over medium heat. When it comes to a full rolling boil (not just a wimpy simmer), cook it for an additional 1.5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the three remaining ingredients--vanilla, peanut butter, oats. Mix everything together, then drop a cookie-sized mound of the mixture with a small scoop onto wax paper until they are all formed. As they cool down, the cookies will get firm and be ready to eat without baking. They are delicious and can be prepared quickly. My kids…

We know where to find you!

Christopher's first day of kindergarten, on August 18, 2003. Our shrubs in front of the house have grown as much as he has since then.
My brother is a software engineer and yesterday he emailed me and the other three sisters (he's the only boy) and told us about something he and his tech-geek friends discovered. It's very cool in a way, and kind of creepy on the other hand. Check it out. Click here, then type in your address. Hit enter, then in the little white window, click street view to see a picture of your house and neighborhood. It's so bizarre to me. Apparently Google went around with a 360 degree camera strapped atop cars and took video of houses and neighborhoods all over the country. I looked up my sisters', brother's, in-laws' addresses and saw their homes as plain as day. Our home is kind of blurry, so I dug up this old one with a cute little redhead in it. I saw the boat in the driveway of Kelly's parents' home, plus our old Jeep that th…

Bluebonnets 2008

Make a scrapbook - it's easy!This was my first Smilebox slide show to make and it's only five pages long, and I couldn't figure out how to add pages to last for the entire song. Be sure to listen for the Dixie Chicks when they say "bluebonnets" on the last page of our adventure. (Tip: The last page has a tag that said Adventure 2008.) After that, enjoy the rest of the Chicks' cool tune. If you are an expert at Smilebox, or smart enough to know how to add pages, feel free to leave a comment teaching me your tricks. Thanks!

Making pool selections

Today I visited Cody Pools to make my selections for our soon-to-be new swimming pool and I'm very excited about what I've picked out. The flagstone sample below is what we'll go with bordering the entire pool and spa, and it's called Oklahoma Chocolate Golden. Now to an Okie girl, this name sounded exactly perfect. I tend to get hung up on things like names and numbers. Example, when we were moving to Texas, I knew I didn't want to live in Pflugerville, simply because I didn't like the name. While house hunting, there's no way I would buy a home on Cluck Creek Parkway either. Above, the shiny tile square is going to be the single row below the flagstone, that will go around the pool and spa. It doesn't have a name, but a number. The hardest choice for me was this little triangle piece, the Pebble Sheen or Pebble Tec, that will cover the entire surface of the pool where the water goes. I initially had a beige color chosen, but Dub told me that that was…

It's Friday! We love the weekends.

My kids love Fridays, just like I do. This morning when I was taking Lindsey to seminary, Christopher called me to say, "Happy Friday!" Tonight Lindsey and I will be going to help out with the Wilkinson quintuplets. This will be my first time to take her with me and I hope she's as excited about it as I am. This picture was taken during spring break when the three of us went to Carino's for lunch. I hope YOU have an exceptional Friday!

Movie night: No Reservations

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a not-very convincing professional chef who is married to her work, and has no life outside of running a gourmet kitchen in the movie No Reservations. There's a surprising and also rather unrealistic, depressing beginning, that changes her life drastically. Then along comes a new, also not-so-believable sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) into her world, and they butt heads a bit, then work things out. I won't share the whole story if you plan to see it. It's a little cheesy, and I don't really mean to make it sound so unappealing, because I still enjoyed it. Mainly because I love all the fancy food talk in it. Cat-Z-J is way too skinny to be a top chef, and extremely beautiful, so to get me to buy into her "poor me" role, it didn't quite work. Maybe because I was jealous of her. Even after all this negativity, I liked the movie and think it was worth my time. It was light and entertaining, and a decent movie. I give it a 3.5 on a scale o…