Sunday, July 27, 2008
Holly playing play dough with Anna. (video coming soon at how EASY it is to make)...for those of you interested in making homemade play dough.
She did NOT want her picture taken. She is such a diva when it comes to the camera.
At Panera Bread with Jeremy, Nikki and Eleanor Rhodes. Once again, Anna did not want to take a picture.
Eleanor saw Anna's hair and was going in for the kill.
I love both these pics because Anna is having such a blast. It just makes me smile.
So, moving on, we found out last Monday that Anna was able to get into "the" daycare in Rockport, the town where I teach. We put her on the waiting list last year and didn't think a thing about it until this summer, when we realized that Stephen was only going to be in school for three days of the week in Corpus and I was commuting 45 minutes 5 days a week to Rockport. So we called "the" daycare (and I say this because everyone in town says everywhere else, which is not a lot of places, are not worth it in comparison to this one) and because of our previous years placement on the waiting list, she was allowed an upcoming spot. So, we went with it. We started looking for a place to live, and found one within a matter of days that is more affordable than the one we are currently renting. I have three weeks left of summer and two are taken up partly for staff development. So, we have begun packing. Oh, how I loath packing. I have been singing that in my head for the last few days to the tune of Oh, how I love Jesus. It makes me feel better as I open yet another cabinet to find gobs and gobs of junk that we have decided we cannot live without. I really am fine about it...I have had more time to pack appropriately, not just throwing stuff in a box hoping it won't break during the move and I am getting really positively anxious about living in a new place. I could have been a military brat I think with the love I have of starting again and the idea of change. Anyway, I will try to post with pictures of our new place and how things are going once we get settled week after next. I am in PD this coming Tuesday and Wednesday and then on Thursday we move. Stephen is still searching for a job in a restaurant, they are currently finishing up with summer staff who are heading back to college and he hopes to hear from various prospects this coming week. Pray for success in that if you feel so inclined. Have a fabulous week!
Monday, July 21, 2008
We celebrated her birthday in Corpus at my Mom and Dad's house last weekend. Here are some pics of the occasion. Those in attendance were Jered, Holly and Parker Johnston (my brother and family), Great Granny (my grandmother), Granny, Grandpa and cousin Kaylee
(Stephen's parents and our niece) Tommie and Mike Welch (my aunt and new uncle..congratulations are in order :) ) . Libby Grantham (fabulous friend) and her girls Sadie, Tessa and new baby boy Jack. We did things I knew Anna would love. She started the day with a horse ride with J-Paw. (no pictures of this event)
Then the guests arrived and we did some swimming in our rocking 20 dollar pool from Walmart. Can I say, that for 20 bucks, this thing is AWESOME! They had a good time while it lasted. It was getting close to lunch, so we broke down the pool and went inside to do lunch and presents.
When it came time for cake, Anna was not too sure about her cupcake, even though her counterparts had a GREAT TIME. She opted out after about five attempts to eat the cupcake and went for jello instead.
Notice the new hairdo. We cut off the mullet curls.
Not very sure of this fire thing. Let us, just for grins, see how she compares with her cousin Parker when it comes to fire. Flash back to his birthday.....YES! That IS my nephew at ONE YEAR old, trying to grab fire. He loves it. Not so much like Anna on this one....but very much like his Father, who last week, during 90 degree weather mentioned starting a fire in the fireplace...he said he was joking, but I have my doubts. : )
So here is the progression of tasting the cupcake. (which I promise was good..see other children lapping it up for proof...)
Notice Stephen talking her into eating the cupcake on the right and Kaylee watching in amazement as another child turns down chocolate.
We even tried using a fork, which she loves, to no avail.
Why is that fire thing in my Jello?
She does NOT play around when it comes to her Jello. She is serious.
Present time was a little crazy. Lots of kids around. They had a good time though. She got some awesome stuff.
That is a lot of kids wanting very badly to tear at some paper and Anna just stood there and looked and wanted ME to open her presents. I could tell it was making the other kids (especially the older ones) itch.
Talking about her bell on her new tricycle from Granny and Grandpa.
Trying out the bell for the first time, she was very excited and surprised.
She loves her friend Tessa. That is Great Granny there in the recliner.
After everyone said bye, we put her down for a nap and she crashed hard. It went over fairly well. After it was all over and I started looking through pictures I realized that there were NO pictures of anyone else except those who were in direct sight of Anna. Some pictures did not turn out that great of other people, because they were not prepared to be photographed. Oh well, maybe I will be more mindful of it next year. We went to Waco two days later and spent the week with Jered, Holly and Parker and had a blast. I will post pictures from that soon.
Have a great week!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The color is a little dark, but you can see some of the detail in the Hebrew letters. They were breathtaking.
Exterior view of the Cathedral.
Owner of Trattoria la Torre.
Article Stephen read and discussed with the owner.
We stopped for Gellato and Stephen finished his way before Karen.
Outside the Gellato shop. The group of people straight ahead were all watching the Europe cup soccer match between France and Italy that night. That is why the whole Piazza was deserted. It normally is swarming with people. The rain didn't help either, it was still raining off and on pretty heavily. The small crowd outside this restaurant and the various employees within each shop would periodically cheer or boo. It was a fun experience....then the game was over, and Italy had won. That was when it really got fun. Young people from each side of the Piazza came strutting into the fan shaped area chanting in Italian. There were suddenly about 50 people where there had been none. They were so excited that their team had won. The rain started back up and they started running around in the rain, chanting even louder and kicking a soccer ball around. It was too dark to get great pictures of this, and the rain made it even harder, but this is the best we got. All in all, Siena was a fabulous experience, and if you get the chance to go, forget what the books say, this place is one of a kind.
The next day we packed up our things from our beloved Villa in the Sienese countryside. We headed out pretty early because we wanted to make it to Pisa to see the leaning tower, and then drive the many miles to Cinque Terra. The drive was very interesting to both. Some stories can only be told in person, because they are too colorful for the blog, but if you feel so inclined to ask, we will GLADLY oblige you. : )
We got to Pisa with little problems and found a parking place with the help of a gentleman walking his dog. We stopped for Cappuccino and a quick restroom break and started walking towards the tower. The first "sighting" of the tower.
I could NOT resist doing the totally dorky "pushing the tower back up" pose. See me there to the right. I asked Stephen if he wanted me to take his pic, he said, very snootily I might add, "no." : )
Stephen and I in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Leaving Pisa and heading for Cinque Terra. The streets were lined with orange trees. SO AWESOME! Anyone in the town could just pick one and eat it.
We headed for Cinque Terra, which is Italian for five towns. These are five very small towns that rest on the edge of cliffs off the Mediterranean Sea in North Eastern Italy. Please see map from previous post for clarity. : ) We did not realize how long it would take to get there or that it would take us nearly one hour to drive down the side of the mountain (cliff) to reach these towns or we would have stayed longer. We only had time after we arrived to see one of the five towns. We were to spend only an hour or two there so we could check into our hotel in Milan that night. I shall allow the pictures to tell the story and beauty of Cinque Terra, more specifically, the town of Vernazza.
We drove a seriously, one lane dirt road and drove through some crops. These men were giving us the, "stupid Americans" look.
Then we made it to the mountain and started driving, in a standard vehicle mind you, down hill. We were at about a 45 degree angle most of the way down. Our first sight of Vernazza. We were SO high up, we could barely believe that was our destination.
A far off view of Vernazza as we came around the mountain after the fog cleared. This gives a better idea of how far off we were.
Walking down the hill after we parked. We still had quite a hike before we made it to the town.
The street into town from the water. Restaurants and shops lined the streets.
The edge of the water...no beach, only rocks and mountain. This made me think of Goonies. : )
Stephen placing his feet in the Mediterranian Sea.
Stephen on the stairway overlooking the boat dock/manmade beach area.
Stephen and Karen tasting Anchovy Bruschetta, which I opted out of.
How Vernazza looks when the sky is clear and no atmosphere clouds the camera. WOW.
That is Stephen way out of sight, getting better directions out of there. : )