It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Jaydon!

Jaydon celebrated his 8th birthday today!  It is hard to believe that he is eight, but I say that every year.  I also make the same comment about everyone on their birthday, too.  Time seems to be flying by, all the more reason to enjoy every moment of every day!

After church we all met up at Chuck E's for pizza, games and birthday fun.  Here are a few pictures:

The birthday boy shows off some of his ticket winnings!

Sponge Bob and friends joined us for the party

The smile says it all!

Emma enjoyed people watching!  (This was the only picture I made of her because I was holding her most of the time!)

Ellie had lots of smiles, but not for the camera!

Cameron had so much fun!  This was some serious cake eating!
Happy Birthday Jaydon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pumpkin Smashing

Today was the annual pumpkin smash.  This event is never planned, oh no.  It just happens when the last fall pumpkin is ready to go.  And today was the day.

First, the smash.....

Then the ingenious method of hauling...(why Jaydon used the tricycle is unknown to me).

Finally, the smashed pumpkin is put on the brush pile. Good bye to fall!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Surprises in the Botanical Garden

This weekend was Dog Days in the Botanical Garden.  I took Sawyer and Bentley down yesterday afternoon for a while.  We had a good time and I've done two posts on their blog but wanted to post  here about what I saw that surprised me.

I had never been to the garden in the winter until last winter (remember that post?) but I was surprised to see the beauty of the garden in a different way.   As I was walking with the dogs yesterday I had the thought again that the garden seems to be sleeping, almost hibernating like a bear.  In a few weeks it will yawn, stretch and shake itself awake, right?  Right!  Take a look at this picture:

Does it look like they are standing in a weed patch?  Yes, but those weeds are really wildflowers waiting to bloom!    

I found myself looking in the places where I knew that in years past there were wildflowers.  I saw a nice promise of flowers to come, including bluebonnets!  We had rain in the fall, so everyone is hoping for a good crop this year.  I saw enough evidence to confirm this expectation.  But the big surprise I had was this:

The only blooming flowers at this time of year are the ones that have been planted in the beds of the garden.  Walking along one of the trails I was pleasantly surprised to see this small but brave iris blooming!  I guess our mild winter had fooled it into blooming early.  So sleep on mother earth, but bring spring to us soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some fresh air thoughts

When I got home yesterday afternoon I followed the usual routine of walking out in the backyard with the dogs; this is just a habit left over from their early days but I still want to make sure that they take care of their business.  As I waited on them I realized how nice it was outside.  I had been stuck inside all day and the change of being in the fresh air was wonderful!  I decided that I needed to spend some time outside, so I changed my clothes and went out.

As I sat down on the deck I realized that I had not been outside on the deck to just sit in quite a while.  I had stopped going out in the early morning when the temperatures dropped down in December and the evenings had been too busy to just sit around.    It was around 60 degrees with a light breeze, ah beautiful for a January afternoon. The neighborhood was peaceful even though there were traffic sounds and barking dogs. My dogs were playing happily.  So this was a pleasant treat and I soon found myself just relaxing and just thinking.

I found myself thanking God for the opportunity to sit down on the deck, being thankful for the fresh air and gentle breeze and the peace of the moment.  I thanked God for giving me a tiny spot on the face of the earth to call my own, and I almost felt like I was sitting in a heaven like setting.  The phrase "I will praise the Lord at all times" came to my mind.  Those quiet, peaceful moments spent thanking God and reflecting made me realize that I do not always have a heart of praise but I should.  I truly felt myself praising God as I sat there and so determined that I needed to keep that thought in my head. Just a quick thought of praise is all we need, no matter what the situation. A heart lifted in praise to the Lord is a heart filled with joy, blessings and peace.

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Enchanted Rock

Jaydon, Sawyer and I headed out this morning to Enchanted Rock for a little rock climbing.  It was a perfect day to be outside; we started out driving in drizzle and at one point actual rain but by the time the Rock came into view the sun was breaking through.  The temperature was perfect to be outdoors but the wind, especially on top of the rock, was fierce.  Jaydon actually got a little freaked out by the wind once we got to the top so we didn't stay at the summit very long.  I think we would have both enjoyed the result of the climb if it had not been so windy!

As we were starting the hardest part of the climb I had the sheer terror thought, "why am I doing this, I'm terrified of high places, yikes!".  But I was determined I would climb all the way to the top, so I just forbid myself to look back.  The summit was large and safe feeling so we sat down for a water break (and to catch our breath) but the wind was just relentless so we started down...going right straight into the wind.  While Jaydon had pretty much scampered up the Rock, he was holding my hand going down!

Enchanted Rock-this is the only visible part of a huge underground rock.The Indians thought it was enchanted because it made unusual sounds when the rocks cooled at night.  There are several other folklore stories associated with the Rock as well.

Jaydon starting the last part of the climb.

The view from the summit.

Jaydon loved climbing on the rocks.  I think he would have gone all the way to the top of this rock if I had not stopped him but it was very tall and I did not want to have to explain to his mother what had happened if he slipped off!

The wind was fierce, as noted by Jaydon's hair.
This was made at the end of the trail.  Jaydon had fun looking for the trail markers (one is just to Jaydon's left in this picture) and there were a few times that I was glad to see one as there was no defined trail in places.

After we got about halfway down the wind was calmer and Jaydon decided to do some more rock climbing before we went to a very nice picnic area to eat our sandwiches and rest for a few minutes.  Then we headed out to try to find the scenic trail that looped around the base of the Rock. (I wasn't sure if it was because it is the middle of January or if was because of the drought last summer but everything in the area looked dead.  This area reminded me more of the brush country of South Texas than the Hill Country.  I wasn't so sure about the term "scenic".) We never did find another trail but did find another area with rocks to climb on. 

As we headed back to the car we found this tree along a dry stream bed.  We thought it was neat how the roots were exposed by the erosion of the water.

Sawyer found this small puddle and waded in before we could stop him!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What an ordeal!

I haven't been blogging, huh.  Well, that's because Blogger pulled a number on me and I've been locked out.  And I've been miserable without my blogs, wah wah wah!  I'm not sure what happened but I clicked on the enticing little line that said "Try the updated Blogger interface" and then the trouble started.  I'm always willing to try something new, but this was a disaster.  I kept getting a message that my browser was incompatible with Blogger and to try Google Chrome and then I got a blank page.  After trying everything to get back to the old interface I went into the Google/Blogger help.  All that does is throw you into a forum, but thank goodness someone started trying to help me.  Finally they sent me a link to download the Mozilla Firefox browser.  I was absolutely not going to try Google Chrome at that point.  Guess what...the Firefox browser let me into the blog and I was able to get back into the old interface.  What an ordeal!

So what does the future hold?  In the time that I've been locked out I learned about WordPress, creating your own web site and other intriguing things.  Do I see writing code in my future?  Not right now, but I think I do see some changes coming.  I had already been giving some thought to making some changes, so this bad experience will probably lead to those changes.  So, even good may come out of a frustrating ordeal.  

And, here is a Wordless Wednesday picture:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The last thing of 2011

I literally spent the last hours of 2011 finishing the projects pictured below.  As I snipped the last threads I thought to myself that it seemed appropriate to finish a project as the year was ending.  As I posted a while back I have many UFOs (unfinished objects) and WIPs (works in progress).  Symbolically, at least, I hope that since I ended the year with a finished project that 2012 will bring more completed UFOs and WIPs.

I had started these two placemats for the boys a while back.  I had taken a class in machine applique at the 2010 Quilt Festival and really enjoyed it, so had decided to make these placemats.  They were fun to make, just took forever.  I had problems with the embroidery machine and it had to go in the shop for work (covered by the warranty, thank heaven) but had left the Elna set up for applique and worked on these from time to time.  Then I really had a problem, my sewing room became a junk room and I could barely walk through it, much less get in there to sew.  I'm almost embarrassed to post this, but I did make a picture of the room in its total disarray.

I spent the day after Christmas getting the room cleaned out, cleaned up, and rearranged.  I haven't made an after picture, but will soon.  I find myself now just looking in there and admiring the room!  It looks so nice, and it is a good feeling to have it straightened out.  But the best part is that I can walk in, sit down and sew!

Monday, January 2, 2012

3 T's

Jaydon had experience with 3 T's this past week:  Trains, Taking Things Apart, and Tweezers

TRAINS:  Some very dear friends invited us over to see their model trains.  It was quite a layout, with 6 different tracks and 6 different trains.  Jaydon had fun running the trains, especially when all 6 got to running!  We passed an enjoyable hour with the trains; I'm glad he had this experience as the memories he will retain are priceless.  Thank you to Mr. & Mrs. J. for inviting us over!

TAKING THINGS APART:  Jaydon started to replace the batteries in a remote controlled motorcycle when he discovered that the inside of the controller had been shattered (hmmm, has that thing ever been dropped?).  So he proceeded to dissasemble the controller.  Then he started on the motorcycle.  At first I was hesitant to let him destroy a good toy, after all it wasn't broken it just wouldn't work as a remote controlled toy.  But then I realized that by taking things apart we sometimes learn about how they are put together and how they work.  When he was done everything was completely dissassembled, everything.  During the process he would comment, "look at this" or "wow, what is this thing?".  He threw away some of the parts, including the wires but also kept a zip lock bag of some parts,  including the two electrical boards.  Not sure what he plans to do with these.

TWEEZERS:  I really thought Jaydon had learned his lesson about cactus several years ago at the Wildseed Farm when he fell into one that had tiny little red stickers.  But no, on a visit to the Botanical Garden he started picking the fruit (I think that is what it is called, it is what the cactus forms after blooming) off prickly pears.  The first one he picked was red and somewhat soft.  I told him to leave it alone that there were stickers on it and even reminded him about his previous encounter with cactus stickers.  He wasn't too concerned and even squished the cactus and tasted the juice.  Then he pitched that one and went for another one...this one was green and unbeknownst to him covered in tiny stickers.  Needless to say that was the end of our outing and we came home for him to use the tweezers to somewhat remove the stickers.  And, no, he would not let me do the tweezing since he thought it would hurt if I did it.  He sat in the rocking chair for quite sometime working on this project.

Jaydon tastes the cactus juice.