Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Trip to Dallas

Last Friday Bob decided on the spur of the moment to drive up to Fort Worth to take a look at a Bombi he was thinking about bidding on.  I thought that was a great idea and we could go visit Erin in Dallas at the same time.  Bob said no, she was going to be in California so we were just going up and coming back.  Well, just before we left I tried to call Erin "just in case" but she didn't answer so we figured she had left already.

Bob looks over the Bombi and decides it won't work in the snow

We were taking the scenic route up to Fort Worth and it truly was very beautiful!  The wildflowers were at their height of blooming and Texas is very proud of them.  Kim (or Micah?) was telling me that the city of San Antonio discourages mowing the right of ways of all highways so we can all enjoy the beauty.  Right now the yellow daisies, black eyed Susans and several other types of flowers are covering the sides and center of I-10 a few blocks from here.  The Bluebonnets were great last week and are still pretty much around but the yellow is overshadowing them!  I haven't got any pictures of them because of traffic and Bob's idea of travel which is go from point A to point B as quickly as possible without any stops.  Alyssa wants to walk over to the interstate to try to catch some butterflies for her butterfly house but I'm not going to get that near to the traffic!  On the way home on Sunday I did see people in the barrow pits with their cameras, but now I'm ahead of my story.  (As I was writing this, I decided to drive down to McDonalds and take some pictures from there so here they are).

I-10 right of way covered with wildflowers!

 Just off the I-10 exit going to Micah and Kim's house

  More I-10 wildflowers!

Back to my story.  We were on our way for less than an hour when I got a call from Erin and she not only was in Dallas but had all afternoon and all day Saturday off!  So we decided to stay up there until Sunday.  We were driving on a highway we had been on a year ago when we got lost coming home from Dallas.  I remembered a town I had fallen in love with, called Hico.  I talked Bob into stopping there for lunch.  We had been driving through the hill country of Texas which is very beautiful and great ranching country as well.  We also saw plenty of fancy horse ranches closer in to San Antonio and several goat ranches(??) too.  Around Johnson City they have huge wildflower seed farms.  I really would have liked to take a little detour and drive around where those were since it is wildflower season but the point A to point B was in full swing by then!  By the time we reached Hico the hills were still there but not quite as big and it is definitely cattle ranching and deer hunting country!  We pulled into a cafe called the Koffee Kup that looked like it was very popular and had a really good meal.  The best onion rings I've ever had (even better than Sonics!) and great pies were their specialties.  Many locals were taking whole pies home with them.  I still love that town.  It's not quite as small as Walden but I think the same kind of people live in it.  (you know, ranchers and just small town folk).

We made it up to Fort Worth, looked at the Bombi (not in very good shape) and gave Erin a call.  She got out the Garmin and gave directions for getting to her house.  Things went OK until we got on I-820 on the eastern outskirts of Fort Worth at about 3:30 PM.  A big wreck had occurred and traffic began to back up.  About 1 hour later moving an inch at a time we finally got by the wreck and were on our way again.  Next we got caught in rush hour traffic on I-635 in the middle of Dallas (due to our delay) and it was inching along again.  We finally got off and following Erin's directions we were going again.  And going, and going, and going...... and not finding the street we were supposed to turn on.  Finally we called her, told her where we were and discovered she had told us to turn right instead of left!  Soooo we turned around and followed her directions to make it there in a quicker way on the Dallas toll road.  However, she forgot it was rush hour so we were back in snail paced traffic!  We finally made it to her house around 6PM!  So much for her direction giving, must have inherited it from her mother.

 Erin is chillin' with the grandparents at our extended stay hotel at a very good price and very near her apartment

 Bob is also chillin'

We had a great weekend visiting, looking at apartments, eating, sitting by the pool and going to a movie (The Book of Eli--gory but I liked it.  Bob hated it), and driving by Carla's former house in Carrolton.  I even took a couple pictures of the house because it is so different from when we were there about 15 years ago!  The trees have all grown up and the street is very different with grown trees lining it!

 Carla and Jim's house when they lived in Carrolton (a suburb of Dallas)
Sorry about the blur
On Sunday we drove home with no problems.  We ate lunch in Lampassas which is an historic old town with the old stone buildings on the main drag!  Lots of picturesque towns on this route between Dallas and San Antonio. 
These are pictures  of more wildflowers along the road to Kim and Micah's house

Look at these huge thistles, but aren't they pretty?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yet Another Weekend--2002 Olympics

This was technically not a weekend but a fun, long Saturday back in 2002 in Salt Lake City when they hosted the Winter Olympics.  I felt that this was the only chance I would ever have to experience The Olympics even though I could not afford tickets to the events I wanted to see.  The city was geared up for a big party and so I talked 2 friends into going in and spending a day just around downtown where all the celebrations were going on.  We were living and working in Wendover at the time, 110 miles from Salt Lake City.

Chris, Patty and I set out early Saturday morning and headed for the big city.  We had heard a lot about the city train that you could Park and Ride into downtown.  We were planning on trying it because downtown was completely blocked off to all traffic.  We were so excited!  When we got there we found so many things to check out that we didn't know where to start!  There were all kinds of entertainers along the streets and on stages set up around the area.  Large corporations had booths and whole tents and buildings with attractions, beer gardens, displays, Clydesdales, phones and internet connections so you could call friends free and say "Hey, I'm here at the Olympics!"  Eating pavilions, pin trading tents and sooooo much more!

We listened to music, I think we went on a ride, we made our phone calls commemorating our visit, looked at all kinds of pins, and ate (of course), and did a lot of browsing through all the different displays.  By now it was well after dark and getting late.  We had a couple hours drive home and so we needed to leave but we wanted to buy some sweatshirts and caps from the official Olympics store.  We noticed there was a line but did not realize how long it was until we had been in it for about 30 minutes and came to a sign saying one hour wait from here!  We already had committed so decided what the heck, let's have some fun while we are waiting.  We introduced ourselves to the people around us and sang some songs, called all kinds of people on our cell phones to tell them what we were doing (maybe you got one of those calls, huh?) and acted goofy and in general, had a ball.  We really didn't believe the sign but it was true so about an hour later we finally made it to the head of the line.  By then all of us in that part of the line were fast friends!  We made it into the store and I got some caps and those winter knit hats for grandkids and got myself a really neat sweatshirt which I still wear even though I have lost a lot of weight and it is kind of big on me.  It was expensive but worth it if only for the memories it brings back!

I have lots of pictures of this event but they must be on a CD back at the cabin.  I loved the way they had huge like tapestries of different events hanging on the skyscrapers so you could see them from miles away.  When I get home I will have to get those picture out and post some of them!   I sure hope I didn't lose them when we transferred over to my new computer!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Girly Weekends!

I am on this girls weekend kick because of a post I read on Facebook about 2 of my former students at NPHS.  Diana and Jo were best friends in high school and now they are living up in North Park and after 12 years decided to have a girls day out in Fort Collins.  They had so much fun it reminded me of why we always try to make a point of  getting together with friends and or family just to have a fun time like we used to!

Carla, Kathi (Danny's wife for those of you that may not know--who lives on their farm near Scottsbluff, NE) and I try to get together in Fort Collins once or twice a year to do our girlie things.  Some of those trips have been quite memorable!  One of the first times we did this we planned to go to the Carousel Dinner Theater, stay overnight and then visit the Farmer's Market, browse around Old Town, go shopping in Centerra, and go to the JoAnne Shop at Loveland.  Carla bid on a 3 star hotel in Ft. Collins and we got a good deal at the Hilton on Prospect.

We all met up there and got checked in.  We were kind of resting after our drives in and checking out the facilities when  Kathi came out of the bathroom and asked me to go in and see if I saw what she thought she saw.  I went bopping in thinking it would be a cockroach or something like that, but didn't see any bug life.  I kind of looked around and Kathi yelled from the other room to look under the sink counter.  I looked and saw a garbage bag like they put in wastebaskets with something in it.  I pulled it out and whoa! It was a bag of barf!!!  Housekeeping either missed it or wouldn't touch it!  We were on the phone and moved out of that room quickly!  We also got some perks!  We got a key to the VIP lounge with all the drinks, a gorgeous view from the top of the hotel, a library and sitting room, Happy Hour snacks (which we couldn't do since we were going to the dinner theater), and I even think they had complimentary breakfast up there but we wanted to go out for breakfast as part of our experience.  We, of course, went up there and explored the whole room, cupboards and all.  We found a huge bag of those little chocolates they put on your pillow.  I have to admit we felt like they owed us so we helped ourselves to a few of them!  We also had some pop from the fridge but that was OK according to the sign.  Then it was time to get all dressed up to go to the dinner theater.  We wanted to do this up right so we took a taxi to the theater.  We had a really good time and tried the frou frou drinks, appetizers (which were complimentary because it was the last night of this particular show), and the desserts.  Since this was the last night for the season, at the end of the show they brought out all the performers and had like a Q and A session.  It was fun to see where these people came from, what they were doing for a day job, etc.  We took the taxi back to the hotel and went to bed.

Next morning Kathi kept hearing like a drip, drip sound and sure enough, the ceiling was leaking!  We were going to check out anyway but we did lodge a complaint hoping to get a complimentary night there for the future but no such luck.  We did our Fort Collins type things and then headed down to Loveland to Centerra.  We ate lunch at the Rock Bottom Bar and Grill.  I had fish and chips made with salmon that was terrific and I still go back to have it again and again.  Kathi says she had the best carrot cake she ever ate there.  By now it was getting late and we each had a couple hour drive home. Kathi and Carla wanted to try the specialty beers but if they did we couldn't be driving home so we decided to stay another night!!!  We stayed in Loveland at the Residence Inn next to the regional hospital and the outlet mall.  The next day we got in all our shopping and headed back home refreshed and with some great laughs and memories!

Click on the picture to make it bigger.  Hit the browse button to go back to the blog.

Lounging around

Using the library in the VIP lounge

Ready for the show.  This was before we had lost all our weight from our lapbands!

We had lots of fun goofing around and lots of giggles

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Girl's Weekends Episode 1, The Nutcracker

I've been thinking about some memorable girls nights and weekends we have had over time.  First of all, because I live in kind of an isolated area like Owyhee, Wendover or Walden  I have to go to a bigger town every so often to do girly things like shop, go to a show of some sort, go to a spa for a massage, facial or pedicure, eat at an interesting place, check out old towns or boutique shops or farmers markets or antique shops.  You know, stuff my husband would not enjoy doing but I want to do!  Ideally, this would occur on a weekend when hubby is going to a farm implement auction or on a men only fishing trip.  But it could also be at a time when the men can stay home and baby sit if need be!  For me, all three of those towns are 100 miles from a big city so it usually means an overnight stay which is OK for me.

The one that is most traditional for our family is going to The Nutcracker with one or another of my daughters, granddaughter (even grandsons once when they were young) and several times with friends.  I love going to see it in Denver because it is different every year.  Some of the interpretations have been very interesting but the costumes, scenery and dancing is always superb.

  One time Carla, her sister-in-law and I went and I was very sick with strep throat.  Carla was so pregnant with Thomas that I think she had him within a day or two of when we went.  I could hardly hold my head up but I still enjoyed it and made it through the performance without passing out.  The next day I had to go to an urgent care place to get some antibiotics but it was still worth it.

Another time Carla, Marianne and I went and forgot our tickets at the hotel and Marianne and I raced back to the hotel and had to take a taxi at breakneck speed to get back before they closed the doors.

I guess the most memorable Nutcracker we have been to was when I lived in Owyhee and went into Boise, Idaho.  Carla, who had  just flown in from Colombia, Tory, Lori and I went.  I'm not sure but I think there must have been a musician's strike so the music was not live but on a CD.  I had been hearing about the "full contact Nutcracker " on the radio for several weeks but was totally unprepared for what we saw!  As the scene opened with the decorating of the Christmas tree, the tree was cut from green bulletin board paper!!!  Our next surprise came when the Nutcracker battled the mice with the help of a football team!!!!  Carla was wondering where her Clara went and we were torn between laughing out loud and great disappointment.  By the end of the performance the prince was thudding so heavily on his feet that we could hear the thuds in the balcony and the prima ballerina was so tired she fell twice in the adagio!  What a disaster but we still talk about it and get a good laugh out of our experience.

We have also gone to the Nutcracker in Salt Lake City.  JJ, Erin, Carla, and several friends have attended this one at different times.  Every year they put on the same interpretation which is the original one from the 1950's.  The costumes and scenery are the same every year.  There are many children in  this show and it is very nice. One of the costumes weighs hundreds of pounds and maybe 10 or more children  are under the skirt of the dress.  It takes a strong man to wear that costume, I think.

I am thinking about maybe taking the great-granddaughters and their mom to a Disney On Ice show in a few years.  I think they would love it! Or maybe we all need to go to a Nutcracker performance in San Antonio to check it out.

I didn't realize how many memories I have of just the Nutcracker so I guess I'll have to write another blog about some of the other girls weekends we have had later!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reading Fantasies and More Pictures

One of the reasons I have not been keeping up with my blog lately is because of my Kindle!  Amazon has a whole bunch of free books offered to Kindle owners every month.  The trick is that many of them are the first in a series and they get you hooked and you have to buy the rest of the series.  The nice thing about Kindle is that most of the books are around $10 or less.  That's what happened to me and it was a book that I thought I would not be interested in but was really good.  The rest of the trilogy was under $7 so it was not too bad.  It's called The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobbs.  The other 2 in the trilogy are The Royal Assassin and The Assassin's Quest.  They are  fantasy books located in a fantasy time and place complete with Kings, Queens, a Fool, Assassins (duh), deceit, court politics and dragons (last book of the trilogy).  Hobbs writing is good and keeps you wanting more.

  I never got into fantasy too much until I read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and loved them.  I have to admit something about those books.  I read them at school when we had the ten minutes every hour every Wednesday to do nothing but read.  I think it took me almost 2 years to finish all 3 books of Lord of the Rings (I had read the Hobbit first as instructed by Marianne).  My students caught me crying as I finished Return of the King not only because it was sad but because there was no more to read about.  Don't you just love books like that?  I tried to stay ahead of seeing the movies and I did, which I like because the books are way better than the movies but I love the movies too.  I really would plan a whole vacation to New Zealand around visiting the sights where they filmed it!  What fantastic scenery and those sets must have been terrific too.

Back to the Assassin, I think these books would make a good film too.  Lots of intrigue, battles, heartbreak, even drugs to keep the action going.  I think I am ready to try some other fantasy books now that I have gotten my feet wet.  Of course I need to try some other genres too.  I still can't get into the vampire stuff too well.  A long time ago--even long before the movie--I read An Interview with a Vampire and absolutely loved it.  I have to say, though, that I can't get into the Twilight series.  I started the first one several years ago and couldn't even finish it.  Just not my thing, I guess.  Futuristic and Sci-fi are also not my bag although occasionally I like one of those too.

I have a lot more freebies to read plus I want to read some of the recommendations of friends as well.  Can't wait for summer to sit outside and get in some good summer reading at the cabin.  OOOOPS! I forgot for a moment about the mosquitoes, flies, and sunburn possibilities.  Silly me!

Carla and my empty chair await me at the cabin!

Here's some more pictures of what's going on here!  Click on the pictures to make them larger and hit the browse button to get back to the blog.

Mr. Grassman in less than 1 week after Easter.

Nat and Maizie wonder whether he needs a haircut after 2 weeks!

What do you think?  I vote to wait and see if they curl like Nat's

Samara getting up on the balance beam.  She does a roll over on it in the video I took.

Samara is mounting the high bar.  This was her last gymnastics class of the season.  Next week she starts swimming lessons!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Children's Birthday Party Texas Style

Yesterday I took Samara to her first birthday party not at someone's house but done by a business.  I was overwhelmed!

It was held at a Pizza place similar to Chucky Cheese's but on a much grander scale. This place (America's Incredible Pizza Company) is huge.  The party was for a boy just turning 5.  There were at least 30 4-6 year olds and their parents in attendance.  The kids had all the pizza they could eat, all the drinks they could drink, ice cream, cup cakes, and cookies.  Meanwhile the parents could go eat at the buffet, complete with all kinds of pizza, mac and cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, tacos, nachos, salad bar, spaghetti, etc, etc., etc. and ice cream and cookie pizzas for dessert plus all the drinks you wanted. All this was part of the birthday package.  One person was assigned to the party room just to keep the kids entertained and keep the food and fun going!  After about 90 minutes in the party room the kids were given bags of candy and toys and a charge card kind of thing to go play the games in another huge room.  They had 3 attractions and all the games they wanted on the card.  Attractions included mini golf, bumper cars, bowling and I don't know what else but a lot!  I can't even imagine how much this cost the parents.

  Micah had to do sound that night at church so we had to leave before the games commenced.  Not to worry, she still got her charge card that does not expire, and a whole bunch of tickets for prizes that she must have won while I was in another room eating pizza,  and her bag of toys and candy.  I just glanced into the game room and noticed it went on forever!  Huge!  Being a Saturday afternoon there were tons of parties and people there but it was totally organized so not frustrating at all.

I can't believe that birthday parties have grown to be so big although I kind of suspected it and encouraged my students to start themselves a business of doing birthday parties on weekends.  They couldn't hold a candle to this kind of thing.  Alyssa has been invited to swim parties that are organized so parents don't have to do the work and I have seen PJ's and other accessories for all invitees to a sleep over that cost lots of $$$$$, too.  I kind of like doing my own thing and making an original cake and organizing my own fun things like scavenger hunts and stuff.  I guess I'm glad my kids are grown and I don't have to feel obligated to do a huge big expensive do for each of their birthdays every year!  Come to think about it, I don't even remember doing any birthday parties for my kids.  I think I just took cupcakes to school which we all know is not politically correct anymore.  I guess we just had family birthday parties with all the cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and maybe a friend or two.  And that's all I have to say about that.

This is Fiesta week in San Antonio and it is really a big deal.  Alyssa doesn't even have school on Friday to give families a chance to attend the parade of flowers on the river!  I guess businesses must close down too.  Anyway, I will cover that in another post but here are some pictures we took at the children's festival in the rain that kind of kicked off the Fiesta (it was supposed to start on Thursday but was canceled due to pouring rain!)

A Hawk demonstration went awry when the hawk was scared of the big crowd and flew up on the side of the mall and hid for 1/2 hour while the man tried to get him down!

The hawk gets ready to take off!

The girls made "medals" to wear.  Here Natalie shows hers

Samara wears her medal

Alyssa proudly shows off her medal

The man shows off a rare hawk that they are trying to reintroduce into Southern Texas

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Busy Week Final Episode

Wednesday dawned foggy and misting.  It was Erin and Eric's last day here and they wanted to "do something fun and touristy".  As soon as I got back from taking Alyssa to school we got everyone up and dressed and ready to head out for The Riverwalk! (except Grampa who didn't want to do that much walking.  Besides, he'd "already seen the riverwalk.")  The 2 little girls were thrilled!  They love the Riverwalk and could hardly wait to get there.  The closer we got to downtown the harder the rain started to fall, but not to worry, we had an umbrella!  Natalie had her stroller with the built in umbrella and the rest of us had sweaters and sweatshirts, some even with hoodies.

 Rainy day on the Riverwalk

We strolled along the entire length of the walk from where we parked at the very end (or beginning, I guess) of the developed Riverwalk.  We decided we really didn't need the umbrella that bad so stowed it in the stroller and enjoyed a very deserted walk which was great.  The NCAA women's championship basketball game had been the night before in San Antonio so I thought it might be very crowded but I guess the rain kept everyone inside.  We waved at the guys manning the empty water taxis and admired the flowers and architecture along the way.  We even saw a whole flock of ducklings with Dad and Mom herding them along.  They all came racing over to Samara and Natalie hoping for some food but Mom and Dad quickly chased them into the middle of the river away from us!

 Here come the ducklings with Mom

 Mom quickly herds the ducklings away!

Eric was getting hungry so we decided to stop for lunch at a Mexican restaurant along the walk.  We had a pleasant meal and then continued on our way all the way up to the Alamo.  By then, the sun had come out and it started to get crowded.  We strolled down the street and looked in at all the souvenir shops.  There's one I want to go back to the next time we go down there.  It is a huge very typical Mexican-type mall in the basement under McDonald's.  You know, with all the little booths of different things.  Erin and Eric wanted ice cream so they went into an ice cream parlor and shared their ice cream with Natalie and Samara.  

 Following the Maze

 Our lunch break along the Riverwalk

Erin and Eric wait for their lunch

 Samara loves nachos

Natalie loves quesadillas

JJ loves salad.  It is part of the cabbage soup diet, right?

Meemo loves nachos, too!

 Erin also loves nachos!

We had to leave then and get back in time to pick up Alyssa and get Erin and Eric on their way back to Dallas.  Of course, when we got home, they didn't want to leave so decided to watch a movie and then play some more Rock Band.  Unfortunately, they had messed up somehow and it didn't work so they finally got on the road around 5 or 6 that night!

Thursday was Mother's Day Out so all the kids were in school.  JJ, Bob and I went to Target to get me some new PJ's (I left mine in Baton Rouge at the motel).  I got some neat pants on sale but they didn't have what I really wanted for a top so I decided I'd get it at Walmart when we took Samara to gymnastics

Alyssa had a great day at school and we kind of owed her some ice cream so we took all the kids to Coldstone Creamery after school.  Yummmmm!  I love their ice cream.  So did the girls!  Just a note:  Alyssa's ice cream got knocked on the ground about halfway through.  JJ went in to get Bob his dish of ice cream (he was sitting in the car waiting until we all finished ours outside at a table).  She mentioned that Alyssa's had spilled and the clerk gave her another whole one bigger than she had in the first place so Jay didn't get one for Bob and Alyssa and Old Grampa shared that one.

 Here's some ice cream for you!

 Alyssa enjoys mint ice cream

 Samara loves strawberry ice cream!

 Natalie loves to goof around!

Friday was gymnastics, early out for Alyssa, and getting JJ ready to fly home.  Her flight loaded at 5:30 AM Saturday, so she had to leave "in the middle of the night".  JJ  had been craving Bill Miller Bar BQ all week so finally we talked Bob into letting us go get some and bring it home.  He carried on about how we would be all afternoon trying to find one, but JJ said we had the Garmin so not to worry.  I should have been, knowing JJ with her "getting directions" handicap!  She had simulated the whole drive on the Garmin but did not show it to me.  We got into the car and she suggested I drive since she was too short and had not driven on the interstates in Texas.  Well, I hadn't either but off we went.  Jay announces, why isn't this Garmin working?  It just keeps doing the same thing over and over.  I stop and pull over before we get on the interstate but she says keep going I'll figure it out.  Now I'm on I-10 headed toward San Antonio and she is still fiddling with it.  I get to Anderson Loop and know we have to get on it but don't know whether to go East or West.  I randomly (and dumbly) choose east right into bumper to bumper rush hour traffic!  We ease along and JJ decides to call Erin to see if she can tell her what's wrong with the Garmin.  They decide the GPS is not working and I suggest she turns off the simulator but she doesn't know how.  I finally get worked  over and get off the interstate onto a parkway that leads into an elementary school where they didn't have early out and it's time to pick up kids!  I found a parking place and told Jay to let me see the Garmin or else she would have to drive!  I went into the settings, turned off the simulator and on came the GPS!  We found the nearest Bill Miller and were on our way.  No problem, except the whole street in front of this Bill Miller was under construction.  We got our food and the Garmin took us home.  Only Erin knew we had another adventure--until JJ put it up on Facebook!

We picked up Micah and Kim Saturday night at 6:30 PM and our adventure was over!  Except that we couldn't find the cell phone waiting area and had a nice tour of the employee parking area and then missed the right pick up lane and ended up picking them up in the no stopping part of the shuttle lane.........

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy Week Part 2

After a big day on Sunday, Monday was a day to kind of relax.   JJ and I took Alyssa to school and I went into the office to get all the paperwork turned in for us to be responsible for her.

Erin and Eric went for a run and when they got back they had to try to open the mail box.  I had walked down to the box and tried to open it but the key just didn't fit in the slot.  Bob drove down with the kids next.  It probably is 100 or so yards from the house!  He tried and tried but it still didn't go in.  So we waited.  I thought I would go talk to the postman when he came but then Eric and Erin decided to give it a try.  I guess they jiggled and messed with it until it finally slid in and voila! we had the mail!  A few days later I did see the mail lady and she was actually kicking one of the boxes trying to get it shut!!!  I mentioned that we had a lot of trouble opening our box and she gave us a whole story about filling out forms and such to get someone out there to fix it.

The mailboxes

The unworkable one!

The outgoing mail one that the mail lady was kicking!

Samara takes a picture of us

After Alyssa got home all the kids set up the Rock Star Band on Wii and we had a nice loud concert with everyone in the act.  Of course we had to have some more Starbucks too!

Rockin' and Rollin'

Play that guitar, Alyssa!

Make Uncle Pat proud Erin and Natalie!

Belt it out JJ!

The Jones Trio

Nattie's in the spot light!

Back view of the Rockin' group

Tuesday the two younger girls had Mother's Day Out so the rest of us decided to visit with JJ's friend Araceli.  We got to tour their new house and it is very impressive!  Their lot borders a wilderness park in the hills of San Antonio.  The view is spectacular from their deck.  Bob thinks it is one of the best places to be in San Antonio!  We all went to lunch at favorite place--Willy's

Out on Araceli's deck: Eric, Erin, Jay, Penny, Bob

 Eric and I in front of the great wilderness park.  Micah, Samara, Alyssa and I hiked up there one time
  Me, JJ, and Araceli enjoying the outdoor living room

Even a fireplace in the outdoor living room!

 What a great outdoor living space, I love it!

 More Rock Star Band that night.  After the girls went to bed, I made everyone watch Food, Inc.  They were duly impressed with the need to adjust our eating habits. Wednesday's adventures will be in Part 3 tomorrow!