Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Temporary Hiatus

Sadly, I have to announce that I will be taking a temporary hiatus from blogging while we move this week. I'm not sure how long it will take to get our internet up and running in the new house, but I'll be back as soon as I can. And then WATCH OUT!

The kids are so excited about moving into our "big house" and being able to run, jump, fall and stomp without me having to say "Please stop stomping; that's too loud for our neighbors." In fact, the kids came with me on Monday to take a load of stuff to the house and all they wanted to do was chase each other in circles around our empty living room; all I could do was sit in the middle and laugh. Good times, good times.

Peace out!

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Down, One to Go!

John graduated on Saturday with his Master's in Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree! Yeah! Congratulations, honey! One down and only one more to go! He still has to finish his thesis and have it published before he can graduate with his second Master's in Music History, but the goal is to be done by December. Ahhhhhh, it feels good to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

John walking to his seat

John was the name reader for the department of music

Way to go, Daddy!

"You'd better give me a kiss!"

John with his parents and younger sister, Lisa

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday!!!

I can't believe it, but Steven actually turned 3 yesterday. He's just growing up way too fast! We had a busy day yesterday as we celebrated and played hard. In the morning he opened one of his presents from us (Candyland) so that we could play before Margaret woke up. Then we all got ready for the day and went to eat donuts at our favorite donut shop. Then we drove out to Plano and played at Pump It Up Jr. for a looooong time until we were all tuckered out. Margaret went down for a nap after lunch, then Steven, Daddy and I played another game of Candyland before Steven's nap. In the evening we went to dinner at Uncle Julio's with most of John's family where we celebrated Steven's birthday and John's graduation (which is today.) We ate lots of food, then we ate birthday/graduation cupcakes and sang "Happy Birthday" to Steven, though he couldn't even hear us b/c it was so loud in the restaurant and he was busy playing with his cousin Tristen. Then we went outside to a little patio area and Steven opened way too many presents (most of which were Thomas themed, though not on purpose.) It was a great and busy day, and the kids crashed when we came home. And now they're already crashed again (I love it when naptime is easy like this!) Of course I had to take pics of everything we did! Happy Birthday Steven! We love you so much and we're so glad that you are a part of our family!!!!

Ready to play Candyland in Mom and Dad's bed

Yummy donuts

"Ahhhh, I feel much better"

"Don't even think about taking this motorcycle, Margaret"

Margaret was climbing and sliding as much as Steven

Steven falls out of a tunnel

A glimpse into the future when our kids have their license

Of course Steven won, but he only cheated a little bit

Aunt Jennifer and cousin Sidney at the restaurant

Steven opening ANOTHER Thomas present

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our House, "It's Our Castle and Our Keep!"

Well, we finally found a house in Little Elm that we're happy to call home. We were really excited when we went to look at it because it had a wooden playset in the backyard that the realtor said would come with the house. However, later that same day the landlord sent a crew over to do some maintenance on the yard and exterior and in the process they dismanteled the playset and took it away. By the time our realtor had expressed our interest in the house, it was too late. Man! Not that the house isn't great without the playset, but it was definitely a selling point for us. So we're moving to Little Elm next Saturday (May 24th)!

I have pictures posted, but they're not of our exact house but one with the same elevation and floor plan. Our house was pulled off of the listings the same day that our application was approved and it wasn't until later that I thought to save the pics for my blog. Oh well, you still get the idea. The only differences between these pics and our house are colors (carpet, ceramic tile, backsplash, and brick.) Enjoy!

Ours is flipped around with the garage on the right

Formal dining, though ours doesn't have a chandelier

Living Room with fire place

Kitchen with built-in microwave and 10-in cabinets

His and hers sink in master bath with walk-in closet

Published Artist

My sister-in-law Lisa is a VERY gifted artist and just finished her degree at BYU. She is now working for the Dallas Observer and this week she secured the cover with one of her illustrations. Lisa says "I did an illustration for the cover of the Dallas Observer, where I work, this week. I attached a jpeg for your viewing pleasure. I am very pleased with it, and the fact that our newspaper's ciculation is about 90,000, so lots of people will see it! The feature story is about the writer attending our Texas Scarborough Faire and becoming a "monster hunter" for the weekend. She specializes in zombie and ogre killing and is basically the Trinity (from the Matrix) of the Faire, so the fun comic-book style is appropriate. Thanks for looking!"

Congratulations, Lisa!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Song of the Week

"Full of Grace" by Sarah McLachlan

I had such a hard time choosing the song for this week. I knew that I wanted to feature Sarah because anyone who knows me knows that Sarah and I are tight like that (or at least we WOULD be if she knew me), but choosing my favorite Sarah song is like trying to choose a "favorite star in the heavens." I finally decided on "Full of Grace" b/c I feel like it's a prime example of all that I love about Sarah. I love how her music is just right, whether I'm up or down. I've listened to her ever since she was an underground Canadian hit, and I've always felt like her music perfectly fits my mood. Some people have a hard time listening to Sarah for a long time, but that would definitely not be me. Her music is so lush with harmonies and melodies that it's easy to get swept away in. My favorite feature about Sarah's voice is how she can shift from chest to head voice and back so seamlessly. Listening to her voice as she effortlessly moves up to hit those high notes with such clarity is like listening to Gil Shaham as he moves up the fingerboard of his violin; I'm completely carried away in the moment and I feel as if I, too, am rising up to some celestial home. It might sound a bit dramatic to you, but music like Sarah's has such a powerful effect on me. Though I would never put her in the same class as some of my favorite opera singers (TeKanawa, Bonney, Von Stade, Fleming), the effect that her voice (and music) can have on me is very similar to what I might experience while listening to one of them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Political Comedy

I saw this on my brother-in-law's website and I had to borrow it, I thought it was so funny!

Are you a Democrat, Republican, or Southerner?

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a large knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, and screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock cal 40 and are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

Democrat's answer: "Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor? Or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids? What does the law say about this situation? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day, and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior."

Republican's answer: BANG!

Southerner's answer: BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click....(sounds of reloading) BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click

Daughter: Nice grouping Daddy! Were those Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?

Son: Can I shoot the next one?

Wife: You ain't takin' that to the Taxidermist!

The Hunt is On!

John and I have finally scheduled to look at houses this Friday with a realtor. We're going to check out a few houses in Little Elm, one in Frisco and a few on the Frisco edge of McKinney . I'm starting to get very anxious about not knowing where we're going to be in a month's time, so I'm really pressuring John to get things going. It's been hard to schedule time to go and look b/c he's been so busy with finishing up school, but he's done after tomorrow... WOOHOO! We both really wanted to stay in this area, but after dedicating an entire day exhausting all of my resources, I came up with one house in our price range and it won't even be ready to look at until the end of the month. I can't wait that long! So now John and I are having a hard time deciding where exactly we should end up. Unfortunately, we both have a hard time settling for an old, smaller house, which rules out The Colony, Plano and most affordable parts of Lewisville. That leaves only the areas that are growing, which are Frisco, Little Elm and McKinney. While we would both prefer Frisco over the other two, there is NOTHING in Frisco at the moment (which stinks.) So we'll probably end up in either Little Elm or McKinney. Finding a home and moving is such a tiring and stressful process, but I know that we're doing what is right for our family and I know that we will be so blessed in so many ways once we move into a home.

Song of the Week

"Nine in the Afternoon" by Panic at the Disco

This band is a new discovery for me and I just have to say that I'm diggin' their unique sound. Aside from Brendon Urie's great voice (and rather interesting vibrato), I love the way pop, electronica, dance, rock, raggae and jazz are brought together to make for a very pleasing and positive sound. I can't help but tap my toes and dance in my chair as I listen to this song (as well as a few others that I've included on my playlist.) I don't like the tunes from their 2005 album quite as much; they tend to be a little on the raunchy or crude side with explitives thrown all around the place. But I like this new, peppy sound of theirs alot. They've definitely got something here!

Out of five stars, what would you rate this song? I'm interested to hear back from you. Enjoy!