Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Golden Ticket

If you want to try out for the regional band, you had to perform for the band teachers, and be awarded a "Golden Ticket" to continue.
Cooper was the first to receive it out of both bands in the middle school (close to 100 kids), and he was asked to move up to Honors Band, even though he'll have to switch a couple of classes.

His practicing paid off!
Way to toot that horn, Coop!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

With All Our Love

Dear Thing 1 and Thing 2,

Halloween is quickly approaching, and the drooling for candy has begun, the anticipation of candy collecting is climbing frantically towards the top, and the thrill of wearing costumes to get candy is making your siblings a quiver. Here is a small preview of better things to come ;-)

I came upon a thought I think you might enjoy: Sveater Vest Vednesday. Please do, and send photos! I'm sure Porter will join you in this weekly tradition yet to be! You'd be a smashing duo of fashion and intelligence.

Your father has been playing Yahtzee with some of the boys today. He came smiling into the room, and said, "We should have named Sawyer something different. Tanner, Hunter, Porter, Cooper, Yahtzee! He's too funny. Sawyer loves that game. He also said instead of Tanner, he should have been Uno, and Porter TriDominoes, Miller Quirkle, and Breyer Taboo ;-) Too bad we don't have any that would qualify for Phase Ten.

I've been reading a few things in the news that caught my eye recently. The first was that the Church through its humanitarian arm, LDS Charities, sent food and other emergency supplies to more than 1,500 Latter-day Saint families and others in Sierra Leone during the recent state of emergency — "The Ebola-virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 500 citizens, including two members of the Church. LDS Charities provided rice, cooking oil, hygiene supplies and chlorine to families. The supplies arrived during a government-mandated lock down."

Also, in the New York Times I learned that heavier babies are smarter. "New data suggest that the thresholds to maximize a child’s health seem to be higher. Seven-pound babies appear to be healthier than six-pound babies — and to fare better in school as they age. The same goes for eight-pound babies compared with seven-pound babies, and nine-pound babies compared with eight-pound babies. Weight, of course, may partly be an indicator of broader fetal health, but it seems to be a meaningful one: The chunkier the baby, the better it does on average, all the way up to almost 10 pounds."

And, in Science Alert, I learned that because of their unique compound eyes, the mantis shrimp can see cancer and the activity of our neurons. Now this technology is being put into smart phones so people can scan themselves to see if they have any form of cancer. How cool is that?

While we were stopping by the library, Dad got stopped by an enthusiastic Friends of the Granbury Library member, who proceeded to tell him our downtown square use to have FOURTEEN saloons! Can you imagine? That's almost every building!

By now you might have heard Dad picked up a hybrid of a car, Toyota Prius. He's tired of driving the 12 passenger beast 37 miles each way, spending close to $600 a month in gas. So he figured a small car payment, 45 MPH and an insurance payment would come in cheaper, perhaps by $200. It's a light gold, 2008, with 101K miles. He hasn't stopped driving ;-) Now I've got wheels, except it's been so long I forget the van's sitting outside the front door.

Here are some photos to recap the week:

Miller and Sawyer had their first pack was pretty boring for them as they haven't been there long enough to earn anything. But, Miller got up and participated in the Wolf skit, which is great for him.

Having my own set of wheels means I can take the kids to the park on a Friday after school. So I did. Breyer was very grateful to get out of the house!

Dad took Breyer to a Halloween food craft class at the HEB grocery store down the road. She made some spooky smiles, one with peanut butter and one with caramel. How fun for her to go on a date.

Dad wanted Sawyer to build a fishing pole holder out of the wood left behind by the previous owner. He put it together all by himself. We just have to anchor it to a wall.

We love you boys. Love to laugh with you! Be good, be safe, be brothers.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pizazz


All you need is a power drill...

A cute partner...

A dark corner...

And a candle!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Super Stars!

"I nominated Sawyer for the Shining Star award because he is a wonderful role model for our fifth grade team. Sawyer is respectful, responsible, and works hard.He is prepared for class and does what is expected. He always has a smile, a great attitude, and enjoys helping others. He manages his time well, which allows him computer time or time to read. He is a joy to have in my class, and I know that he will be very successful someday." Mrs. Travis

"Congratulations! Your child Miller has been selected to receive the Terrific Kid Award for the first six weeks of the school year!"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Easy Entertaining!

When the spin cycle starts, the Princess hops aboard for a shake!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SuperGirl SuperPowers

Nothing like a SuperGirl Smile with a few scrawny wildflowers to brighten your day!

Monday, October 20, 2014

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner and Hunter,

What a fun thing to talk to you tonight! We miss laughing with you! You didn't tell me about your dinner invite and leftovers, though! Glad somebody is always thinking of you! God bless Marie!

We didn't have any balloons land in our backyard, as I had hoped, but we did catch a few on the airport field. There were a LOT of people that came to see the balloons. People in Granbury LOVE to get out and do fun things! There were a few booths selling trinkets, and a stage with music equipment. They turned on a nice, slow, old country song, and it was too good to pass up. Your dad and I danced in the middle of the field, with our children's mouths hanging open. We laughed and laughed, as we danced and danced. And even though no one else joined us, I'm glad I have a husband who is willing to put up with my eccentricities.

And wouldn't you know it was get a free coffee (we got hot chocolate) all week long at the Race Trac gas station, all week, but we stopped by after watching the balloons fill. Your siblings LOVE a good freebie ;-)

We invited a family over for crepes tonight, who have children the same age as everybody here except Breyer. Porter spent the entire afternoon cooking a quadruple batch of crepes, in his festive Hawaiian attire. He's your father's scoutmaster.

While your brother was cooking, Cooper had everybody else in the library building a fort. Can you see the tunnel? It goes to the back corner. Porter got in there to read scriptures, and became the "mystical voice" while he was reading them out loud. Entertainment is so easily found over here!

After this week's incident involving a missing Cooper and the sheriff's office, we now have ensured every child has our phone numbers in their backpacks. I'm glad Cooper tried calling you, It was unfortunate you were in class, and your number was the only one he knew. I probably will have a thing or two to say to the athletic department about not having any cross country schedule available on line or in print. He had no idea it was happening until he showed up for school.

Basketball officially begins next week for Porter. I think there are try outs still, but he's hung in there thus far. He got a pair of basketball shoes from the school - last year's model - in his size. Introducing his Nike 2013 Hyperdunks!

I was reminded of the story of Ananias and Sapphira, in the Book of Acts, who sold their property, and held back a portion of the value in their tithe. They broke their covenants in lying to God, and paid the consequence by "giving up the ghost." Never hold back, be honest and true with yourselves and others.

We love you dearly. Thanks for being happy together, and loving us as well. 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friendly Landing

We heard the hot air balloonists would be in the area this weekend, and wanted some visitors in the backyard. We didn't put out one white sheet but two, in hopes our backyard would be used as a landing spot. Wish us luck!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Who You Gonna Call?

In case you were wondering what she looked like when she called you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Touch of Home

Dear Tanner,

Do you remember this picture you drew? The one that got left in the art room after you graduated high school, for two years? It's found a home. The frame was repurposed, and blends beautifully. I love it! Thanks for making the house more a home!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cooper's Clarinet

He plays daily in class, practices every day at home, and is good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'member Miller

Second virus of the school year...
with a nasty 103 temperature!

Monday, October 13, 2014

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner and Hunter,

It was enjoyable speaking with you tonight, and seeing your cute faces. I miss you! I'm excited for your trips home! Come quickly!  And Hunter, you WILL get on the plane. You guys make me laugh with your stories. My favorite was probably Hunter's ten minute date. Sit, eat a hamburger with me, good bye. Good stuff. We'll continue to pray for your job situation, Tanner.

Cooper and Porter went to a stake dance last night. Those two are hysterical. Porter decided to wear his "happy" shorts, and Cooper jumped on the bandwagon and joined him in the fun. There was a lot of plaid walking out the front door. Your father told Cooper to work the girl crowd like the Sandlot team catcher Hamilton "Ham" Porter worked the lady crowds at the city swimming pool. "Well, hello ladies!" They came home with some good stories. While they were at the dance, some kid they didn't know gave them and a million other invites to his birthday party. Cooper definitely wants in on that kind of party action in June. He was dreaming of mountains of presents and college tuition when he went to bed. This dance they had dance cards and stickers that were exchanged after each dance you danced. If you filled up the card (8-12) you were put in the drawing for prizes: Kindle! Tickets to Six Flags! Video Games! Ridiculous! Apparently they had an anonymous donor, and the leaders thought it would be fun to encourage more dancing. No winners at this house though. Dad was asked to go to represent the young men leadership, so he drove. Otherwise, we would have stayed longer at the football game we were given free tickets to for Tarleton State vs. Texas A&m Kingsville. We enjoyed seeing the school's traditions that were new to us. They drum a drum continuously from Wednesday night through kick-off 24-7. The drum is actually a 50 gallon metal barrel. Supposedly the drumming "wards off evil spirits" other schools might be bringing into town. It was a chilly day, and we were all freezing and were happy to leave early. But between tickets to the game and a free tailgate BBQ for new faculty, it was worth the drive.

We began the morning by going over to the Acton Nature Center. They were looking for volunteers to work their Monarch butterfly tagging project. Due to a cold front that had moved in, and the chilly weather...we saw ONE butterfly! And it was an imitation! And the poor thing was found by everybody! It will be lucky if it survived the day, but it did not get a sticker. Breyer carried it in the net for a while, until we saw a toad the size of a large dinner plate, and a three foot long snake skin. Then she and I went and waited in the van. The best part of the morning, besides watching your father and brothers enjoy their hike, was having someone talk to Cooper about doing his Eagle scout project for the center. He's very excited to help them there.

Friday evening I took Miller and Sawyer to the golf course near the subdivision as they wanted to putt for free on their green. But, as they had just saturated the area with insecticide, we opted to pay $4 for a bucket of balls, and they used their drivers to hit. They were able to collect a bucket or two on balls that could be picked up fairly close, as no one else was there. Then, the pro golfer on site brought them out another bucket for fun. He was a golfer with UNLV when they were ranked #2, and decided he would like to live somewhere else besides Vegas, and took a chance in Granbury. He's very nice, and young, and after hearing Hunter's golf story, is excited to meet him as well. He commented quite a few times on how good your brothers are.

Thursday evening I took Miller and visited the community cub scout pack. It's a very nice, quiet, well run pack. The folks seem very down to earth. We'll definitely be going back.

Wednesday the carpet was installed. Everyone goes in there to lie down and smell new carpet smells. Cooper practices his clarinet in there, with the doors closed, of course. Sawyer lays in there to read. Dad enjoys unpacking all his books, even if they're just sitting on the ground for now.

Monday evening the boys had their weekly golf lesson, which is where I went. And the rest went to watch the high school homecoming parade. Porter had to ride on the basketball team float, wearing black. We kept asking him if that means he made the team, but he doesn't know. They haven't even had try outs yet, but other kids have been cut. Cooper and Breyer enjoyed collecting the candy that was thrown.

Well, Thing 1 and Thing 2, stay safe! Know of our love for you,


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No Pictures Worth A Few Words

It kills me not to have a camera! There are so many funny moments at the house that I would love to share with you! For instance, Miller's face when he saw this year's Halloween costumes; Breyer's face when she walked barefoot on the new carpet in the library; Dad's face when he saw me using his work computer; Porter's face when he smelled the pork chops; Cooper's face happily lost in painting throw away-bricks. You get the picture. Wait, you can't. But I'm trying.

We love you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner and Hunter,

We love you! We're thankful you were surrounded by friends and family this weekend. What a nice change. Love seeing my twin and family with my boys! Thanks for sharing all the pictures with us!

Friday I went into work with Dad. I hung all his pictures and plaques, and unpacked his bobble head collection. It was impressive. I haven't seen them all together as he's never had them unpacked. The ones his Marshall students gave him really increased his collection. Breyer did a good job watching Dad's computer. He was at a meeting, and then he took us home. We're glad to help, and don't have a problem being locked in an office for a few hours!

(So sorry your tickets didn't arrive...glad you could watch conference next door!)

Friday night Cooper got to play in the high school marching band at their football game. The middle school kids got fed dinner at the school first, and sat with the band during the game. He loved it, of course. Maybe they'll post some pictures on the website later this week.

(Isn't this temple beautiful?)

We had a little bit of an adventure ourselves, yesterday. We rented a moving truck and moved the explosive fracking pipe out of the backyard. We only had an hour to load it up, between the time when we could pick up the moving truck and the time when the recycling plant closed. Those pipes are heavy! It took four of us to lift each pipe. Joe, our neighbor, and the other party involved in the "let's collect some pipe to build us a fence" project came out and helped us They barely fit in the 26 foot truck, but we got all forty in the back in a timely manner, and Dad took them, along with the broken kennel and lawn mower that was left behind.

Can you believe he got over $700 for the pipe? Subtracting the $200 it cost for the truck and gas, and he made a bit of a profit. Of course, since I put my shorts in the washing machine with my camera still in the pocket, the profit is much less. Hence, the reason there are no pictures from me in the letter. We're in the market, and it might be a few days before I can get my hands on another one.

Dad has some interesting things to say about how they off loaded the pipe. The huge crane grabs the stuff right out of your truck, gets the chain swinging, and releases to throw it in a huge pile. He felt like an ant visiting the termite mound. His impression was he was going to have the pipe hit the truck instead of the pile. He was glad to leave!

We've seen you in some conference pictures! It was wonderful to hear about your weekend. Use it as a recharging station, and gear up for the weeks ahead before your Thanksgiving break!

(Matt, thank you SO much for taking care of my boys!)

We hunkered down this weekend to listen to conference at home.  It was especially quiet at home when everyone but Breyer and Miller went with Dad to priesthood. They were really looking forward to the "steak tip" BBQ. I sent homemade garlic rolls and a tossed salad. The rolls were a hit, the boys came home full of the good stuff and good food.

The boys spent most of today painting the bricks we found out in the backyard with different international and state flags, even a pirate flag made one brick. Pictures will have to be forthcoming, sorry! They want to use them in the planned fire pit for the back deck. I'm thinking I might do a planter instead.

(Your storm trooper comment made me laugh!)

Sawyer wanted to make homemade ice cream, so he's been filling and emptying ice cube trays all week so he'd have enough ice. Today was the day. It was a yummy vanilla. Porter made us crepes for lunch, and turnovers for dinner. Yum! Anything with whipped cream and fruit is delicious. We put meat and cheese in the turnovers.

That's the week in a few words...we love you two the most!


(This brought back a few Londrina memories!)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tacos the Texan Way

In honor of National Taco Day, we stopped by the local favorite:
Fuzzy's Taco, this one in Granbury.

They add feta cheese, and a secret sauce involving ranch and garlic.

We'll definitely be back (and the vegetarian was my favorite!)