Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Portrait Time!

Byron has been wanting to update his family pictures at work and we finally got a chance to take some family (self) portraits. I love the way these turned out. I have already printed a lot of them out and they look fantastic! These were taken in our backyard. The ivy growing on the wall is so pretty, I knew it would make a great background for our portraits.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Story Time with Selah

In December Selah came to me with a book and a sad face and asked if I would teach her to  read. She could already recognize every letter of the alphabet and knew most of the phonetic sounds for each letter, so in January I started teaching her to read. She has done so well! I am so proud that at not even 4 years old, she can read simple books! She is usually very shy, but she is so excited to share with everyone her reading that she let me video her for the blog! So now, sit back, relax and enjoy Dot from Set 1 of the Bob Books,  read to you by Selah:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pensacola Beach

We left Miami at 4:30 in the morning and drove for over 11 hours. The kids were so well behaved. Thanks goodness we live in the time of iPads, iPods, iPhones and on-board DVD players! Finally, we made it to Pensacola and we decided to go and eat dinner on the beach. We had planned to go to the beach in Miami, but the weather didn't co-operate with us, so the kids were so excited to get to go to the beach in Pensacola!

Our view at the restaurant:

Happy to be on the beach - and out of the car!

Byron took the camera from me for a little while - so I snuck out from behind the lens!

At CRABS on the beach - YUM!

This ended up being the highlight of our trip for the kids!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the one who brings STRENGTH and SECURITY to our family! I love watching you be a daddy and helping our children grow into the people God wants them to be!!

More Pictures from Miami

Here are more pictures and memories from our Miami trip.

There is a huge family of ducks at Grandpa's apartment building and the kids had a great time feeding them.

I wished I had my cell phone with me at this time....I wanted to send my sister (mother of triplets) a picture of this momma duck and her 16 ducklings and say "And you thought you had your hands full!! Ha!! They were adorable and obediently followed Mama wherever she went.

Selah loved cuddling with Aunt Claire who my kids lovingly call "Nanny".

Grandpa needed a little help opening gifts at his party....good thing my kids are proficient gift openers!!

It seemed like we drove FOREVER until we saw palm trees. Once we spotted them - they were all over the place. Palm trees just feel like vacation. These are right outside Grandpa's apartment.

I love the moon in this shot!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

On Thursday, May 31st, Grandpa turned 85 years old! We had a little birthday celebration for him on Wednesday because it was my sister, Amanda's last day to be in Miami.

The word had gotten out that Grandpa needed new shirts - and so almost everyone bought him shirts! He is now the best dressed man in his apartment complex!

Selah and my cousin, Sarah, watching the opening of the gifts:

Such a handsome 85 year old!

Grandpa had requested Granny's recipe for "Pig-Lickin' Cake". I think all of the aunts helped out to make it for him.

We had to get a group shot - so I set the camera up and set up the timer - what a crew! In the back from left to right is my cousin Ryan, his girlfriend Yahira, Sarah's boyfriend George, my sister Amanda, Byron, and Uncle Ernest. In the middle is My cousin Sarah, Aunt Jackie, Aunt Barbie, Aunt Sherri. The next row down is Me, my Momma, Grandpa, Dad G. and Aunt Claire (Granny's sister). Then Gabe and Selah - Mig was asleep in the back. Whew!!

It was a nice celebration for a special guy! Love ya, Grandpa!!

Zoo Miami!

 Granny passed away on Friday the 25th. On Saturday we made the preparations for our trip to Miami to attend the services and to see family. We headed out at 4:30 Sunday morning. Finally, after driving for 11 hours for two days straight - over 22 hours in a van, we finally made it to Miami, FL on Monday, May 28th. We had dinner at Grandpa's house and then crashed at the hotel, totally exhausted. On Tuesday, my mom, cousin Sarah and Byron took Grandpa to his doctor's appointments. Grandpa has been retaining a lot of fluid, his kidneys are not functioning well, and he just came home from a long stay in the hospital the week before we arrived, so there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered. Byron volunteered to go along since he has such a strong medical background, he knows what questions to ask. The rest of the family was needed for the final preparations for Granny's services. So that left me and the kids in a strange city all by ourselves!! We decided to spend the day at the Zoo Miami!

We were having a really good time....

We played on animal sculptures...

Dug for dinosaur bones...

And even got to play with some animals:

(Notice Selah's timidity - she really isn't a big animal fan)

We even learned that this is actually a dinosaur:

We saw a few of our favorite animals:

And even found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

(OK...so I photoshopped the rainbow in - but the gold was really there!)

Unfortunately, after seeing about half of the zoo, it started POURING! Mig made me carry him because he wasn't liking the rain. Selah begged me to let her dance in the rain the night before, yet cried her eyes out as we were rained on at the zoo. We were quite the crew! So, we made our way, sopping wet to the exit. We headed into the souvenier shop where they each made a small purchase and the rain let up long enough to get to the van.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

She Will be Missed

On Friday evening, May 25th my Granny, Ruth Burris, lost her battle with cancer. 

She was an amazing woman full of spunk and humor. Granny was my step grandmother - but the moment I met her, she told me to call her Granny - and she became just that. She was at my high school graduation, my wedding, my college gradutation and in the crowd almost every time I sang. She was at the hospital when my first baby was born and celebrated many of mine and my kiddos birthdays with us. She loved hearing stories of my students when I was teaching and even visited one of my classes bearing hand knit washcloths for each child. When I decided to leave my teaching profession to become a stay-at-home mom, Gabe and I spent many mornings at Granny's house as she patiently and lovingly taught me to knit. Her gifts of hand knit afghans and sweaters were like hugs from Texas when we lived in Colorado. Each and everytime I pick up my knitting needles I think fondly of my Granny. 

Granny had an awesome sense of humor. She loved practical jokes and she loved to laugh. Granny had a little song that she would sing in a very serious, opera voice and everyone that knew her well knows all of the words. It was very fitting that at the Memorial Service to celebrate Granny's life, her grown children sang this sentimental song from the pulpit (be sure to turn up your speakers!):

I feel so blessed that Granny was a part of my life and that my children were also able to know and love her. On the morning after Granny passed away Gabe said a simple touching prayer that pretty much sums it up, "Dear Lord, I thank you that Granny is with you now, and thank you that she will always be in my heart." So beautiful and so true.

Granny will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her, but she will in no way be forgotten.