Thursday, November 24, 2011


One of the downsides of my new job is that I definitely have less time off.  At school this year everyone got a week off.  Me?  Thursday.  I will admit, though, that we got off early on Wednesday and only have to work a half day on black Friday tomorrow.  I didn't get to be with my family - the first time since my mission, I think. The Calls - my relative here in town went out of town for Thanksgiving so I was a little worried about being here by myself.  Luckily, though, (for me anyway) my cousin Shalene and her kiddos were here for Thanksgiving so we planned to have dinner together.
I made this pumpkin pie along with some sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and stuffing.  Shalene made the turkey, potatoes, and an apple pie.
Here are her cute kiddos enjoying the feast.
We got a pictures with our pies before dessert.  Both were delicious.
Here's our little spread.  I was so stuffed and had to come home for a nap!

Visiting PFE

The other day I was looking at my old school website and noticed that there was an open house for grades K-2 one evening.  I decided to take the day off (I needed to take another one before the end of the year) and get some stuff done.  I then made some Navajo Tacos and took them to my old teammates since I knew they'd be stuck up at school for a long day/night.
It was so great to see everyone.  I also loved it because the second graders were having a performance so I got to see a bunch of my old students all together.  They spotted me watching from the back of the room and were waving.  I bunch of them ran up to me afterward and we had some fun little chats.

Robbie & Brad

Some of you may remember that a couple of summers ago, I got to babysit a little 7 month old boy named Robbie.
This is my favorite picture I took of him during that week.  It was so fun and he was such a good little guy.  I was so sad to take him back at the end of the week!  Sadly I hadn't seen him since I took him back . . . 
until the other day!  Luckily, I now work with his dad and he invited me to Robbie's 2nd birthday party.  He's so big!
Here he is with his mom and grandma and new little brother (who looks a lot like Robbie did when I watched him).
At the party we watched a video of Brad and Jake singing at a stake dance for the youth.  Robbie liked the music and was dancing up in front of the tv.  So cute.
 Recently it was Brad's (Robbie's dad) so I made him a cake.  He requested something pumpkin flavored.
 I had seen this idea on Pinterest and thought I'd try it out.  I just made two pumpkin bundt cakes, turned one upside down and put them together.  I frosted them with cream cheese frosting.  The stem was quite the undertaking.  I put a plastic cup upside down in the middle and rested the stem, made out of some stuff similar to fondant.
 Brad was excited to try it and it was a big hit.
I had to get a picture of the inside with the cup showing because it cracked me up! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I had a couple of fun Halloween activities.
Our ward had a trunk or treat and RS was in charge.  It was an easy one.  I just bought rootbeer float stuff and Kenna and I manned the booth while the kids went around and got candy.
I loved this little peacock costume.  Sorry it's a little blurry!
I loved April's costume.  She's pregnant and added the baby skeleton to her costume.  I thought it was super cute.  Nate showed up for a quick visit.  He was in town to see his kids over Halloween, but I forgot to take any pictures.
Katherine's birthday is on October 30th.  We had a little dinner party for her on Halloween, though.  About half the folks there dressed up.  Here are a few of them.  Justin was a "chick magnet,"  Scott was . . . not sure if there's an actual name, but he went all out.  I don't know Kath's pirate friend, but Katherine's old lady costume was awesome.  The sign on her says Granny Smith and it has the grocery store code on it.  She's funny.
Scott had his nails painted and even had a purse with make-up in it.  We got this one of him reapplying some lipstick.  It was hilarious!
Here's looking down the table.  There were lots of people there.
Katherine was also reapplying lipstick a lot.  Like any "stereotypical" grandmother, she was kissing everyone on the cheek.  It cracked me up.  No, I didn't dress up.  I was lame this year and had no ideas.
I got Katherine this cake but forgot candles.  Chuy's gave me this little "chip" to light.  It worked really well.
Here's a better shot of Granny Kath.  She wore a body suit with a saggy chest and a saggy pooch.  It was hilarious!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My new job

I've been wanting to get some pictures of my new job, but working at Merrill Lynch isn't as conducive for taking pictures as teaching first grade is!  I do have a few now, though.
When Jen came to have lunch with me, I had her take a picture of me at my desk.  One of my favorite things is that you can see Alan Skidmore in the background.  I work with a lot of great people.
This is a professional shot of our team.  I would have liked to take a less formal one, but they have rules about what you can have for websites and stuff.  This is one that will be posted in a lot of places for our group.  I really enjoy working with these folks.
. . . especially on Halloween! :) 

Austin Mid-Singles Activity

A few weekends ago there was a mid-singles activity in Austin.
13 of us girls stayed at the Williams' lake house.  The activities were great, but I was sad we didn't get more time at the lake too!
One of the 13 was Julie who flew in for a surprise visit.  I was glad she came with us.  With Julie around, you have to be on guard.  She reverted to an old girls' camp prank and hung Katherine's bra on the flagpole.
Katherine was down by the lake and saw it going up.  We heard her shout from down there, but she was too late.  The colors had been raised.
There are actually two houses on their property which was perfect for so many of us.  This is looking up at the deck of the bigger house from the ground.  I hardly took any pictures this weekend.  I need to get some from Mauren!
I did get one of the three of us.  Love those girls!

Fun Food and Folks

I've had a few fun times with friends lately.
Stacie came back to Houston so some of us got together for dinner at Panera.  It was a lot of fun.
Last October Wendy started a tradition of taking me out to dinner for my half birthday.
She chose this cute little French Restaurant in Humble called Chez Nous.  It was awesome!
Katherine joined us this year.  We had a great time.
Jen came up and had lunch with me in The Woodlands, but I didn't get a photo.  Also, Jared, Kristin, and her brother met me on my lunch break!  I've been a lucky girl!

RS Service Project

In October, we had a service activity where we made hats and blankets for the NICU at a local hospital.  We also put together hygiene kits for the moms who end up staying at the NICU longer than they'd planned for.
We let the sisters know way in advance and people went crazy making blankets and hats - especially hats.  We ended up with around 90!
How cute are all these?
We had a pretty good turn out at the activity.  People brought stuff they'd already made to the activity and we learned how to make stuff we didn't already know how to make.
The young women came and got busy making hats using these knitting looms.
Cheryl showed how to make quick flannel blankets.
Some people also learned about crocheting hats.
The sisters had a great time and were so proud of their creations.
One of the looms was left at the activity so I took it home and made a little hat to add to the donations.
I had to get a picture of Cheryl with one of her hats.  She made so many of them plus tons of blankets!  She's awesome!  This is going to be an ongoing thing since we know how to make everything now!

Car Trouble

A few weeks ago, I walked out of work and saw a flat tire on my car.
Upon closer examination, I saw this sticking out of the tire.  I must have run over this on my way to work and it slowly drained the air from my tire.
I got the car jacked up and got the tire off, then headed to my trunk to get my donut.
I started unscrewing it, but it got to a point that it wouldn't unscrew any more.  I pulled out my pliers and got a few more turns, but it was really stuck.  Just then, my coworker, Jake, came out and I asked him to give it a try.  He couldn't budge it anymore.  I'm super glad that I joined AAA a few years ago.  I called them and they sent someone right over.  He couldn't get it unscrewed either.  Apparently the bolt had rusted on the bottom.  The AAA guy had to call the concierge for Market Street and borrow some bolt cutters.  He finally got it off and got my tire put on.  I went by discount tire, but they had just closed, so I went back the next day after work and they fixed my tire for free!  I'm very happy with AAA and with Discount Tire!
Last week, I went out to my garage to head to work.  I got in my car and it wouldn't start.  I called AAA again and they had people out there in minutes.  They ran some tests and found it was just a dead battery.  They had a bunch of new batteries in their truck so I just bought one from them, they installed it, and I was on my way.  I'm glad I decided to join and think it's funny that I haven't used them at all for these last few years, but then twice within two weeks or so!