Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let Them Entertain You

Casy and Debbie flew in to Hooks Airport yesterday. Casy is here for his semi-annual check up at MD Anderson.

Kelli, Brooke and Maddux came to visit them yesterday. While they were over, Kelli organized part of the storage room. She was going through some of her boxes that were left over from their move and trying to find some items I had left over from Meagan's wedding that she is going to use to decorate for their Women's Retreat later this fall.

With their move, our move and Brian's recent move...there are a lot of boxes that needed to be resorted. She made a striking discovery when she uncovered my china which I thought had been lost forever to Purple Heart. I have been looking for it since soon after we cleaned out the Alief house. I just knew that Jim had picked it up with the pile of donations and that I would never see it again. I was so happy when she took me out to show me her discovery!

Anyway, just before they left for the evening, I snapped a few pictures of my adorable grandchildren. (Please excuse the closed eyes in every shot. My camera was taking forever to flash and these two are not big on sitting still for pictures to begin with!)

Here is Miss Brookie Bear with her cheese face.

She loves stickers and applies them liberally to everyone in her path...including herself.
Maddux decided that he liked Uncle Duck Duck's (William) shoes better than his own.

Look at how big they are on him!

It was a treat to get to see them in the middle of the week!
Tonight Meagan, Derrick and Davin will be over for a visit.
Come on by if you find yourself in the neighborhood. Our door is always open to family and friends!

What's On My Nightstand - September

Well, I did it again. I missed yesterday's What's On Your Nightstand? carnival over at 5 Minutes For Books.

I was busy chauffeuring and serving a couple of VIP's instead. We have family in town for the next two days and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.

As for What's On My Nightstand this month, it has been a pretty uneventful month. I haven't removed many books since the last post. (Four to be exact...and one of those I am still reading.) And I have added only two, both of which I picked up just last Friday. I was meeting a friend for dinner and had some time to spare, so I ran into Barnes and Noble to browse. I should have known better as I can NEVER leave that place empty handed.

My 'To Be Read' List:

From April: The DaVinci Code and Snowflower and the Secret Fan.

From May: The Happiness Project and Sullivan's Island.

From August (with June and July included): Major Pettigrew's Last Stand; The Red Queen; The Familiar Stranger; Mennonite In A Little Black Dress; A Homemade Life; and To Kill a Mockingbird.

New to the list:
The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

(If you would like more information on either new book, just click on the title and you will be taken to the Amazon page for each.)

Click on the link at the top of the page to see what everyone else is reading...and leave me a comment letting me know what you have been reading lately.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One Reason Why I'm Lovin' This Weather

Last night the weatherman said that from May until September we had 113 days that the temperatures topped 90 degrees. Fifty-five of those days exceeded 95 degrees. And 23 days roasted us at over 98 degrees. Yet, we had a mild summer up until late August!

That is why yesterday afternoon was a perfect day for driving a convertible. 78 degrees and sunshine!

Sunglasses + iPod + Rockets cap + semi-open roads = a great commute home.

Ford may have forced her into early retirement in 2005, but she is still a beauty to me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Wild Hair

Last night, Will got a wild hair and decided it was time for a change. He was heavily influenced by Jim, Brian and Josh in making this decision...but he decided to cut his hair.

This is his BEFORE picture:

With his cowboy hat on, he reminded me of Kevin Bacon in Tremors. (We kept telling each other to look out for the worms! Ha!)
He asked Bri to be his stylist. She was worried about taking that first snip of hair, just in case he changed his mind.

This is his DURING picture where Bri and Josh decided to give him a mohawk. (He refused to spike it up with the gel!)

Jim helped with the clean-up around the neck, ears and sideburns.

And this is his AFTER photo:

He looks so different!

I think now he looks more like Kenny Chesney than Kevin Bacon.

What do you think?

He is a handsome young man, with or without the wild hair!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Is A Test

Our beloved Hogs will be facing the test of the season today as they face the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The game has been named the NCAA Game Of The Week by College Football Picks.

I was encouraged by an article that I read in USA Today on Monday by Mike Lopresti.
"Saturday will show how some remarkable numbers stand up to heavier lifting.
Alabama has outscored three opponents 134-19. Is the Tide THAT good? We'll know after the trip to Arkansas."

Here's hoping that not only does the trend not continue, but that the Hogs come out on top.

Woooo Pig Sooie!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bulldogs - Tigers

Last night, the JV Waller Bulldogs met the Spring Woods Tigers at the old Bulldog stadium.

Here are a few highlights from our #54:
Hands on the receiver
Manhandling the Offensive Line

In the middle of the (Bull)Dog Pile

Finally! Getting to play on the Offensive Line again.

Will had his own personal cheering section for the game.

There was a beautiful full moon over the stadium last night...which might help explain this:

JV Maroon Bulldogs first win of the season!!!
Go Dawgs!

Great game, guys!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't That Just Butter Your Grits?

Last Friday afternoon, I left Houston's Intercontinental Airport on a 'Barbie' jet headed for upstate South Carolina. (You know the ones. They have one seat on one side of the aisle and two seats on the other side?)

I was going to visit my friend, Jeanene, and her husband, John, for the weekend. The reason for the trip was to attend a Women's conference with her at their church on Saturday. Really, it was a good excuse to finally get to visit her in her 'new' home. (She has been there for almost 4 years!)

Jeanene and John met me at the airport and swept me off to the big city of Greenville. From the car window I viewed their downtown and their minor league baseball stadium as they showed me the highlights.

We pulled into a park in the downtown area where we walked around a bit so I could stretch my legs. This is the view from the bridge.

A beautiful waterfall on one side and from the other you could see people walking their dogs through the park.

We left the park in time to make our dinner reservations at Soby's. (I apologize for the poor picture quality. I forgot to take a picture until we were driving away.)

It was at Soby's that I had the first of many exquisite meals in South Carolina! We ordered fried green tomatoes for an appetizer. OMG! They were amazing! As for my entree, those of you who know me well know that I had to try the regional specialty...Shrimp and Grits. It was my first experience with grits other than for breakfast. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

After dinner, we drove through downtown Greenville once again and then headed to their home for the night. We watched a video (Star Trek's newest one...I highly recommend it even if you, like me, are not a Trekkie) and then it was off to bed for me.

The next morning, we woke semi-early and went to breakfast at Coach House where I enjoyed the best pancake I have had in a long time.

After breakfast, Jeanene and I drove over to her home church for the simulcast of Living Proof Live. Yes, I understand that I flew almost 1,000 miles to South Carolina to attend a conference that was being held in Chicago by a Bible teacher who lives and ministers in Houston. I'm a woman, what else can I say?

Seriously though, Jeanene and I have attended several of Beth Moore's weekends together. We have seen her in Houston, we have attended a Living Proof Weekend in Little Rock, and three years ago we met in Atlanta to see Beth, Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer at Deeper Still.

Saturday we were at Simpsonville First Baptist Church which was hosting the area simulcast. Though we were in a state of the art building with air conditioning that worked beyond really well...just across the street sat a building that the congregation had built in 1913.

I just love these beautiful stained glass windows!

I can't even imagine attending a church that has been going since 1888!

After our day with Beth, we went back to J & J's house where John had graciously recorded the Arkansas/Georgia game for me. He even let me watch the last quarter before we headed out to dinner so that I could see the Hogs near defeat...and remarkable comeback, firsthand. (He had been texting the score throughout the day, so I knew the ultimate outcome.)

We had dinner at a local "Chili's" type restaurant called Fatz Cafe. I had their 'World Famous Calabash Chicken' . Pretty good...but basically it is fried chicken strips!

Sunday morning we woke early for church. It was my first time to be in a church with a full orchestra on a Sunday morning.

After church, Jeanene and I had brunch at a little house on the corner called Elegant Gourmet.

The food was good...but the Creme Brulee French Toast was DELICIOUS! I have to find that recipe!

After brunch, we drove an hour and half away to Asheville, North Carolina. She wanted me to take the Biltmore tour...and man, am I glad we did!

What a beautiful drive up through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Once we parked, we walked the path to the Biltmore estate. You walk out of the tree line to see this.

A North American castle, wouldn't you say? This place was built in the 1890's and has four acres under its roof!

This is the view from the 'back porch'.

I didn't take a lot of pictures in the house because I was unsure of how to operate my camera without the flash coming on. But, man, oh man, that place is something to behold.

It comes complete with gargoyles!

And stone statues on the side of the house!

The Carriage House and Stables are totally separate. I couldn't even get the whole thing in my lens finder.
After touring the estate and the winery, we enjoyed a quiet dinner outside at the Arbor Grill. We enjoyed a quiet(er) drive home and I fell straight into bed. After all 4:30 AM was going to come really early!

Even with a 960 mile commute, I was at work by 8:30 Monday morning.

Fall hadn't really arrived in South Carolina yet...but I did get to see the beginning of turning leaves on this little tree.
And a pumpkin 'tree' at the Biltmore winery.
Thanks for the wonderful visit, Jeanene. And thank you to all of you who took the time to read this post and take the trip with me. I hope you are beginning to see signs of fall wherever you are today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Next Time You Hear Me Complaining About Laundry

...remind me of this laundry room from one of the most modern, cutting edge homes of its time!

Their washing machine:

Their pre-soak and delicates:
Their dryer:

And this house could host up to 40 guests, plus its family and staff, at any given time! That's a lot of laundry!

I need to show more gratitude for those trusty Kenmore large capacity front loading machines sitting in my laundry room that work even when unattended!

As I said in Saturday's post, I was in South Carolina visiting a friend this past weekend. We attended Living Proof Live's simulcast on Saturday and on Sunday, she took me up into North Carolina to tour the Biltmore Estate.

I still have Saturday's message swirling around in my head and my heart, so I will share more about that later. However, I will try to post pictures from the Biltmore visit tomorrow afternoon.

Right now, dinner needs to be cooked and all those clothes in front of the Kenmores are screaming for my attention.

See y'all tomorrow!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wooo Pig Soiee!

Go Hogs!

Beat them Dawgs!

I'm scheduled to be in Gamecock country today visiting a friend and attending a Women's I won't be able to catch the game. Setting the DVR and leaving my best wishes in 'queue' before I leave.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's All About Convenience

Convenience from Wikipedia:

anything that is intended to save resources (time, energy) or frustration

Like having your purple hull peas growing right in with the tomatoes? Why not? We plan on eating them both for dinner!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Mess With The Texans

A few weeks ago I received a text message that read, "I won 4 tickets to Texans Sept 12. Are you and Jim interested?"

To which I wanted to respond, "You think?" But that wouldn't have been very nice; so I didn't.

So thanks to our dear friends, the Lozanos...

Jim and I were able to attend our first ever NFL game at Reliant Stadium.
(Thanks again, Albert and Stacy!)

It was pretty warm on Sunday, but we enjoyed a little time tailgating before heading into the stadium. Tailgating at Reliant is A LOT of fun! There are people out there who have it down to an art form. We just had two coolers and couple of chairs! But the food was good...and the company was even better.

For Sunday's game, the Texans were facing the Colts. We had seats in the next to the last row in the end zone. But man, were they ever good seats! You can see all the action from up here!

This picture (below) is a little better representation of what the players looked like from where we sat.

Jim commented that it reminded him of the Electric Football game boards from the 1970's.
This was the view through my binocular lens.

Sunday was Liberty White Out Day. However, Houston is quite the melting it was not uncommon to see clusters of blue spread around the stadium too.

These guys were ready to cheer on their Colts. They had no idea what was awaiting them!

For the most part, Reliant Stadium was a sea of white. There was the cutest little boy that walked down to the railing in front of us when the players were announced. He was maybe 10 years old, but he knew every starting Texans name and cheered and yelled for each one like no body's business.

Jim was feeling a little odd about wearing another man's name on his he decided to make a game out of seeing how many Schaub versus Manning pictures he could get for the day.
#1 (as we were walking into the stadium):

#2 (a young man in the section next to us - I know he is wondering why Jim put his arm around him!):

#3 (beside an even younger Colts fan - with his dad's permission of course):

#4 (this guy was sitting just across the aisle from us and never even knew Jim was having the picture made!):

#5 (taken on my way to the ladies room with my iPhone, so please forgive the shakiness):

#6 & #7 (he found a mother and daughter who were both wearing Manning jerseys - in return they wanted the same picture made with their camera, plus pictures of the two of them at the game):

He had to stop playing after halftime as the Colts fans were not nearly so receptive to the idea once they realized their team was really losing!
I told Stacy that maybe I had found the way to lure him back to another game!
Final Score:
Houston Texans 34
Indianapolis Colts 24
I have been trying to post since the game, but was having a very hard time loading pictures. Anyone else having trouble with Blogger?