Sunday, February 28, 2010


I work for a school district in a suburb of Houston that was settled by German families in the mid 1800’s. Relatives of the first German immigrants continue to live and thrive in the area. Probably the most famous great-great-great grandchild of the original settlers is Lyle Lovett. I understand that he is still a member of the Lutheran church choir. I also have heard that Julia Roberts, when married to Lyle Lovett, stopped traffic on the highway when she walked out to the mailbox to collect the mail.

Anyway…the community is very proud of its heritage, so to honor its roots the school district hosts a Germanfest every February. 2010’s was last Friday night. Part of my job is to chair the Germanfest committee.

It rotates among the different high schools in the district. The German teachers are the emcees.
Frauleins from each German club are on hand to take the tickets for dinner and to greet the guests.
An authentic German meal is served in the school cafeteria followed by a program in the auditorium. If you like polka music, this is the place to be! A favorite was The Chicken Dance. I’ll have to bring Katie next year. Ha!
One of the most important parts of the program is the roll call of families. Each family’s name is called and representatives from that family are recognized. It is amazing to me that elderly people come from all over just so that they can stand when their family’s name is called.

The choir from the Lutheran church, an elementary choir, and a high school men’s chorus also are on the program. Everything has to be spoken and sung in German. This is the church’s youth choir.
It was followed by the elementary choir. I didn’t get a picture of the men’s choir.
A retired teacher from the district wrote a book about the history of the area entitled Deep Roots, Strong Branches. I think that pretty well sums it up.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Today, 34 years ago, our prayers were answered because we had a precious baby girl. (Let me tell you that it took a lot of love guts to put this picture of me out on the internet. Ha!)

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You were the apple of your family’s eye… we just couldn’t get enough of our new little one. Mimi and Paw Paw were vying over who would get to pick you up.

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Daddy was a proud papa. (Can you believe the hair? On you and dad!)

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Aunt Judy loved to hold you.

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Your Great-Grandmother and Bill rushed in from Lockhart on the day you were born so that they could see you. Grandmother’s camera is in her hand so that she could take a picture to put in the Lockhart newspaper. Take a look at that smile on Paw Paw’s face. (Leisure suits were in then!)

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Whatever happened to the pink elephant?

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Excited Mi Mi and Me Maw.

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Dad and I hope that your birthday this year is a wild,

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high-flying day

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full of support,

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filled with lots of balloons,










and people who love you!

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amys bd5


Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Chicken Dance and Other Favorite Things

For Katie’s first Christmas, MeMaw bought her one of those stuffed animals that play music and move when you press a button in their paw…or in this case their wing because MeMaw bought her a stuffed chicken. Guess what music it plays when you press its wing? The Chicken Dance, of course. It also hops intermittently.

Katie has always (for some strange reason) loooved the chicken and has just recently learned how to press the wing to make it play. Aunt Erin also taught Katie how to flap her arms. Thanks Aunt Erin!

Today Amy brought both Katie and Hannah over to spend the afternoon. Here are some highlights:

The Chicken Dance…You go girl!!


Pictures from a quick Friday afternoon visit. I got Katie up from her nap and she was a little shocked to see her Grammy on a weekday afternoon.


Hannah is growing so fast. She was 4 weeks old yesterday.



IMG_1299Hannah dressed in hearts to come and see Grammy and Grandpa.


Hannah with her great-grandmother. I love MeMaw’s hand next to Hannah’s.

IMG_1303 Those are some sweet cheeks…


IMG_1307 You can’t beat Chick Fil A for lunch.


Don’t forget about me…I’m ready for some lunch, too!


Naptime in Grammy’s bed…notice they have matching paci’s


What a big girl!

IMG_1313 She’s getting ready to take our picture with her new “camera.” Say cheese!IMG_1317  Talk to you later…IMG_1319

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Vocabulary

Being a teacher and avid reader, I love words. I love the pictures they evoke and the emotions they call forth. I love how words are added to other words to express thoughts and ideas.

This week I've learned a new phrase..."aging in place." I've not heard of that one before. Is it like "marching in place?" I remember that one from drill team. You're marching and not going anywhere.

I guess aging in place means that you can get older in the place where you live, kind of like I'm doing now and I didn't even know it. The next time someone asks me if we are going to downsize since we are empty nesters, I can say "No, we are aging in place."

My husband says that maybe I've misunderstood the phrase - it might have been "aging in places," as in... I think you get the picture.

I'm really being unfair because I've not related the context of how the phrase was used. Dan and I are facing the challenge of dealing with another new phrase as it relates to his mother: severe stenosis of the spinal column. This diagnosis has convinced us that we need to make some decisions about his parent's future, so I have begun to visit retirement homes/communities. One of the questions I asked on a tour yesterday was what happens when his parent's level of care increases. I was told by the manager that they "age in place."

This tour guide also asked me at the beginning of our conversation if I was looking for myself or for my loved ones. (Kind of sounds like a funeral director, doesn't it?) As I glanced at all the walkers and wheelchairs I thought "Well I've obviously been aging in place and places!" She later told me the average age was 82. I'll have her know that I'm decades+ away from 82. Maybe she needs a vocabulary lesson!

A sense of humor, as well as a developing vocabulary, is really important as we face life's challenges.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22 KJV

Monday, February 8, 2010

This and That

I am happy to report that I cleaned one-half of my house on Saturday. It would have been great if it would have been all of my house, but half is better than none! It is amazing what a beautiful sunny day can inspire and it was a beautiful, crystal-clear day on Saturday. It has been awhile since we have seen the sun here in Texas. Last summer we were fervently praying for rain. Our prayers have been answered.

Our Saturday sunshine didn’t last until Sunday. In spite of the gloomy, windy, and chilly weather, I decided to check out the Houston Urban Antiques Market. Three or four times a year different dealers have an outdoor antiques market at the  Knights of Columbus Hall north of downtown. It is open only from 9:00-4:00. There are also several specialty food vendors and a man who sells beautiful orchid plants. (Not to mention the members of the Knights of Columbus who make barbecue sandwiches.)
These are some of the pictures from their site.

urban market1
urban market2
urban market 3
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It was very soggy and cold, but that didn’t stop the treasure hunters. I did find a few treasures myself.
IMG_1289 Some framed botanical prints for the kitchen.
A large and small cloche, along with a bird’s nest.
Some vintage plates I intend to hang on the wall.
I was so cold that I only took two pictures of the market itself.
Since I learned that burlap and grain sacks are certainly “in,” I came home and copied made a burlap wreath similar to the one I saw on Confessions of a Plate Addict. It still needs some tweaking.

Naturally, I was too tired to cook after all this excitement and it was getting close to time for the Super Bowl, so El Palenque’s was just the ticket.

I hope you had a Super Sunday!