Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No Training Wheels!

Mike has made a deal with Evan that if she can learn to ride her little bike without training wheels, she can have a new big bike for her birthday. Apparently he shared this idea with Kassi's dad, so this afternoon the dads were out with the girls trying to teach them how to ride. It was really quite funny watching the dads rest frequently from all the hard work!! I think the girls had fun eventhough they had a few near misses and complained of being tired. Evan had a few good runs all by herself across Mr. Billy's yard (to cushion her fall). The funniest thing to see is Evan trying out her brakes while Mike is jogging behind her. I'm surprised he hasn't flipped over the handle bars yet!

She's Becoming a Bowhead

My little tomboy has finally begun the transition into 'dolling up' (is that even a real phrase?). Evan was around boys for so much of her first few years that she naturally enjoys boy things - cars, blue, bugs, sports, etc. Her best friend who lives across the street, Kassidy, is such a DIVA. She is a real girl's girl! Frilly clothes, bows, updo's, big bows, dress-up clothes - and all that fun stuff! It just so happens that Kassi has rubbed off on Evan. We went shopping this weekend, and almost everything she picked out was PINK! She even wanted to buy some bows. I was able to get her excited about this cute little blouse because it had a headband with a bow on it to match.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Evan's Extra Special Talent

Evan's Sunday School teacher told me a very funny story about her today. They were talking about talents and how we all have different ones. Evan said that her talent was the ability to speak Chinese. Sister Sparks asked her to speak a little for the class, and Evan was only too happy to demonstrate her talent. She opened her mouth and said "Hola!"
Aren't children the highlight of our lives?????

Fun at Sci-Port

Last Monday MiMi and PaPa came over to spend the day with Evan. She didn't know they were coming and was very surprised when MiMi picked her up from preschool at 11:30 am. They went to Sci-Port and spent about 3 hours letting her do whatever she wanted. PaPa even got in on the fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chinese Moon Festival

The Moon Festival is a tradition that we are trying to keep in our family. It is a great time to think about our family members who live far away as we eat traditional moon cakes under a full moon. OK, I admit, that description sounds a little Munster-like. But seriously, there is a cool story and tradition behind it. We are using it to keep a special place in our lives for Evan's birthparents.

Last year we celebrated with some friends and ate traditional moon cakes. The moon cakes were ... interesting, but not our favorite. This year, we added a redneck twist ... we ate moon pies! (To be honest, the moon pies were not much better!) Evan loved talking about her grandparents and great-grandparents for a while. Evan got really excited when we talked about how Baby Sydney sees the same moon we do. The moon was so full and pretty, but the sky was very cloudy we had to wait a while to catch a glimpse of it.

Hurricane Ike

What an adventure! Early Saturday morning I watched Ike roll ashore at Galveston and then later barrel through Houston (on TV, of course). My brother and his family live in Houston and stayed to host the traditional Hurricane Party (those crazy kids!). They were actually told to shelter in place (stay at home) to try to prevent the gridlock on the roads that occurred with Katrina three years ago. They live far enough away from flood zones that they were not evacuated. Keri, my brother, has of course been waiting patiently for this kind of excitement since they moved to Houston several years ago. In fact, I even think he was a little jealous when the tornado hit our house.

On with the story..... Keri had been texting updates Friday night and Saturday morning letting us know that they had no damage but also had no power. When they heard that they could expect to be without power for about 3 weeks, he asked me to find a generator, a window A/C unit and gas. We live about 5 hours away, so you'd think a generator would be easy to find. Most of the generators in the area had been purchased earlier in the week by those on the Gulf Coast who were preparing.

Somehow we found the one generator that was left and the other supplies he requested. As far north as we are, we were expecting some serious impacts from it, too, so locals were buying up generators and supplies. So, Mike packs the truck up and heads out to meet Keri halfway. By this time, Ike has made its way northeast towards us, so Mike is driving through it the whole way. He met up with Keri and Madison and decided to follow them back into Houston. They had to drive on the wrong side of the road fequently because of the debris. There was flooding, so they had to take detours. Keri ran out of gas because there was none to be found along the way! Luckily, Mike had about 20 gallons in the back of the truck. Finally, they make it to Keri's about the same time power was restored!!!! Mike rested up a while and headed back home! It took him about 14 hours to complete this adventure! I think he had a lot of fun! By the time he made it home, Ike had passed through our area. We had one major loss - Evan's playhouse. It was torn apart, and we have one sad little girl (every once in a while when she remembers).

A week later, Houston still has gas shortages and there are over a million people still without power.

Pictures are courtesy of my niece Madison who had a blast looking at all the devastation. I guess we are a morbid family!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chad and Amency's Place

We headed over to Chad and Amency's new place to check out the toys some of the hurricane evacuees brought for safe-keeping. Evan got to ride the 4-wheeler with Amency and Marlee. She had a great time and even picked some flowers for me! We had a hard time pulling her away from the cat, though. She SO wants a cat, and we are SO NOT cat people!! Mike got to try his hand on a souped up 4-wheeler. I just hope the bug hasn't bitten him!! I have other hobbies in mind for him!

Labor Day Weekend

Eventhough we are 5 hours away from New Orleans and the projected landfall of Hurricane Gustav, we spent a good portion of the weekend preparing. The projections showed a strong possibility that we would have strong storms move through with 10 - 20 inches of rain. Mike put sandbags in front of the doors and secured everything outside. We made our emergency plans and waited, and waited, and waited.

You might think we're crazy, but I have a good explanation as to why we were wanting to be VERY prepared. All the schools in the north part of the state closed. Also, Mike was expecting to be called out to help with security for all the evacuees, and he wanted to make sure that Evan and I had all we needed. Also, let me take you back about 9 years so you can understand our preoccupation with storms. Easter weekend 1999 a tornado came through and remodeled our house. With 5 adults and 1 lab in a guest bathroom, we listened while our belongings were whipped around the house and wondered what we would find. Since then, I would say that both Mike and I suffer a little PTSD during these times.

Now where was I? So we spent some time playing with Shady (Chad & Amency's lab), Mike got to practice his bagpipes in a different setting, Evan made a new friend - Marlee, and we went on a cruise around Black Bayou. Thanks Loftins' for a great day!

My Little Baker

Evan was playing with play-doh this weekend and decided she wanted to make a birthday cake. I was busy getting ready to go out of town, so she worked on it all by herself! She did a fantastic job!! It's so great to see her figure things out on her own.