Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Very Full Tuesday

Whew! Were we busy yesterday. Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach art at Kids' Club. Yesterday we were finishing up our collages. The students have really enjoyed making these, and I started one myself; I couldn't resist. When it's finished I'll post a photo of it.

Below is little Shari, holding her collage.

Vernanza is my "jumping bean." That's what I call him in my head. He is SO full of energy and has so much to say. We argued the merits of the Indiana Jones movie "The Crystal Skull." He refused to believe that it wasn't a good movie. Vernanza wasn't happy with his first attempt at the collage, so he whipped out a completely new one in just an hour! Here he is, hard at work.

Cameron is one awesome dude. He grabbed hold of the idea of collage and just took off! I'm so impressed with him (you'll see his finished collage further down this post). He said he wants to be in the Army when he grows up. I asked, "What if you were a gazillionaire and didn't have to worry about money? Then what would you want to do?" He thought for a moment and then said, "I'd want to OWN the Army!"

Sweet Kaylynn ducked the camera when I came to her table. Several of the girls work so hard...they're very particular about what images and papers they want in their pieces.

Here's Miss Carol helping the boys. Miss Carol's husband, Mr. Mark came last week as a guest artist and showed the kids how to draw. They loved it!

Kayla is one enthusiastic girl. She asked if she could take Art again next block. I was so flattered (but I think it was our guest artist who won her over). Here she is, holding her collage.

Giselle is hilarious. She acts like she doesn't know what to do, but she's really creative. She didn't want me to take her picture, so I offered to be in the picture with her.

Here is Cameron's finished collage. It rocks! He did a city scene, complete with skyscrapers and cars. When I asked him to add more to it, he decided to make it look like an earthquake scene, and set all the buildings on fire. Isn't that cool?!

I dashed from Kids' Club to Canyon High to pick up Hannah, then ran home in time to greet Cheri as she was dropping off Caleb for us to watch for an hour. She had worship practice. Caleb LOVES cell phones. So Lanier let him play with his Iphone.

They were so cute together I just had to get a couple of shots.

THEN, when Caleb's daddy picked him up, I flew to our church to hear "A Night of Discovery" which was a multi-organization presentation of mission opportunities, both local and international. WIM, YWAM, Hopes Ventures International and Perspectives were all represented.

Every person who spoke (Scott Tjernagel, our pastor, is above, and Steve Smith is below, talking about Hope Ventures) did such a great job. I wanted to be part of them all! Our town has such a WEALTH of opportunities...we've just got to get the word out! If you don't already know, WIM is a cause on Facebook. I strongly recommend you add it to your profile; it's updated every week.

Finally, at 9:00pm, I dragged myself home to watch Hannah and Lanier struggle over proofs in geometry. Gag. Hannah and I crashed at 11, and Lanier remained up, working on a new coding program. Today is his 28th birthday, and I plan on taking him to the new sushi restaurant in town while Hannah's at youth group (she hates sushi).

Yes, Tuesday was pretty packed, but it was so much fun. It's so great, doing something you love with people who are excited to participate along with you. It's tiring, but well worth it.

Have a great week!

Friday, September 25, 2009


It's the annual Fair Day here in New Braunfels, the day ALL the schools close and everybody goes to the parade. Yes, we close to go to the fair. By the way, it RAINED two solid days and now it's been 65 degrees here!!!!! Amazing! Thank GOD for the rain.

Hannah, for the first time ever, was IN the parade. So, I grabbed my camera, parked 2-3 blocks away and hiked down San Antonio St. to find her. The weather was PERECT, less than 70 degrees! No rain today. Hallelujah! Here's Hannah with the Color Guard Team.

I squeezed into a spot on the sidewalk and started clicking away. You just gotta love Texas--it's soooo small town Americana sometimes.

New Braunfels High Band. They're really good, as good as Canyon's.

And what's a parade without a princess?

Or two...

...or three?

I think this was the mayor....heelarious.

These dudes were pretty funny, too.

Evelyn, I photographed this horse just for you. He was the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. I thought they had spray-painted him. Or her. I really didn't check.

There were a ton of kids in front of me, and they all ran up on the Chick-Fil-A cow to give him a hug. Precious!

This guy was awesome. Oh gosh. There was a humongous tractor brigade.....tons of dudes on their restored vintage tractors....some were dated from the 1940s!

Dad, I shot this one for you. He even had the horn that blared just like "The General Lee" on "Dukes of Hazard." Ha!

Random cute kid waving a U.S. flag.

There were so many floats that were just too funny. It was probably the most entertaining parade I've ever attended in such a small town. These guys really get into it, which is great fun.

Wurstfest is soon and it's nothing but a celebration of sausage and beer. Hey--we're a German town! We actually sport the oldest bakery in Texas! And Gruene Hall (dance hall) is the oldest dance hall in Texas, too. So there!

Finally, an hour and a half after waiting, CHS arrived on the scene!

The awesome rockin' drum line...

And my baby! Oh gosh! She was on the opposite side of the street! What to do! What to do!

Like lightening, I picked my way through the crowd, leaping nimbly over chairs and toddlers, and darted across the street as the rest of the Color Guard glided by.

There was my baby! Distracted, unsmiling and obviously trying to figure out what she was supposed to be doing. I yelled, "HANNAH!" to which her head jerked in my direction and she smiled for a nanosecond. I did not capture it with my camera.

And then they marched by. Here's a shot of the Aristocats, who I don't think ever stop smiling.

I left as soon as CHS was past, walking about half a mile back to my car. There were STILL DOZENS of floats, cars and tractors (yes, MORE tractors) waiting in the queue, and I was at the BEGINNING of the parade. I wondered: is there any way to have a "green" parade, one that doesn't burn so much gasoline?

Hannah's performing at the fair this afternoon and then going on to the football game tonight. Canyon v. Seguin! It's away, so I'll just hang with my small group tonight at the Wilsons'.

Happy Fair Day, everyone!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Stephen and Paige came down to visit from the Ft. Worth area with their 2-year-old daughter, Olivia. Paige and I have been good friends ever since we met in Valdosta when I lived with Mom and Dad. Now we live a mere FOUR HOURS from each other instead of 16!!

Lunch on Sunday after church was at The Grist Mill in Gruene. WHY do we sit outside for three hours in south Texas??? I dunno. All the babies were hot and tired, but somehow we made it through. Above is my sweet Sydni, age 5, with Olivia. Below is Izzy, doing what all Texans must do: drinking lots of water. Izzy is two.

Sydni took this hilarious picture of Lanier. I thought she did pretty well.

Giving daddy a smooch.

...Later, after Olivia had had her afternoon nap, Sophie invited her to a wagon ride around the neighborhood. I think they just wanted the ride to commence and the crazy lady with the camera to quit taking their pictures.

Olivia's classic pose.

The festivities continued by the four of us going out on a DOUBLE DATE--when's the last time I've done that? When I snapped this picture, I swear I could see a 32-year-old Jim Shadrick. Ha!

Am I flaring my nostrils? Weird.

Bright and early Monday morning Paige, Olivia and I returned to Gruene for some 2-year-old portraits. It was already sweltering but Olivia was fantastic. I wish this kid lived in my town.

My favorite shot of her peeking through the fence.

Giving Mommy kisses, and we're all done!

Now it's 6:30 pm and they're between Waco and Ft. Worth, creeping along in post-Labor Day traffic. Hannah's at color guard practice and my house is too quiet. :( I'll miss that little one bellowing, "MAYER!" at Lanier across the table at meals, and her cheerful, "Hi, Nana!" to Hannah. She really liked Zoe, the parakeet, and wasn't afraid at all.

Olivia, until next time!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

At Home Friday Night

Since the football game was Thursday night, we had Friday night all to ourselves. Lanier was out with the guys, and I was dying to make this new recipe I'd gotten off Smitten Kitchen's blog. It's written by a pregnant woman who loves food. What better person to dispense culinary wisdom?

It's Tomato and Corn Pie, and it sounded so amazing. And it IS! The crust was so gorgeous when I took it out of the oven, I nearly fell over.

Here are some beautiful flowers I'd just bought myself at HEB. I love love love these colors. And wish I could have afforded to have hypericum berries in my own wedding bouquet. Alas.

Hannah was hanging out in the dining room reading while I cooked.

Finally! I cut into the pie. The top shell of the crust cracked under the pressure of the knife but once in, quickly revealed its glorious steaming red and yellow contents. Ahhh!!

Here is the last picture before I set down my camera and dug in. We ate like field hands, to borrow a phrase from GWTW.

The sweet bursts of corn! The explosions of fresh basil! Oh my goodness, the tomatoes...even if you don't like tomatoes, you'll convert over this one. Oh sweet salvation.

I can't say enough about this pie so I'll quote the author's words herself:

I want you to stop what you’re doing, head to the nearest market as soon as humanly possible, grab yourself two giant beefsteak tomatoes, a few ears of corn, block of cheddar, some fresh chives and basil, breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve already got some butter, milk, lemon and mayo on hand (you do, don’t you?) and go home and make this for dinner. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a slice leftover for breakfast. If your friends are lucky, you’ll share with them. But I wouldn’t bank on it. Really, they can make their own.

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