Monday, November 20, 2017

The Polar Express

On Sunday, we surprised the kids with a trip to the North Pole aboard The Polar Express, aka Texas State Railroad, in Palestine Texas.  We arrived about an hour before departure to walk around a bit, take some pictures, shop, and prepare for the ride.  Prior to boarding, they reenacted a scene from the movie and then allowed us all to board.  We were in the Open Air car which made for a chilly ride (especially coming back) but we had coats and blankets, so we were prepared.  One the way they served cookies and hot chocolate.  After arriving at the North Pole, Santa came aboard and gave every child a bell from his sleigh.  We stayed overnight in Palestine which is always a fun treat for the kids staying in a hotel.  The hotel even had Polar Express craft time in the lobby in the afternoon before we left.  My parents came along.  It was good to spend time with them as well. 

Craft Time at the Hotel:
making paper trees

making bead candy canes

writing a letter to santa

The Polar Express:
in our Christmas pajamas


The North Pole

Looking at his bell from Santa

with Periquito Azul - his school mascot

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Tonight as part of my half marathon training I had to run sprints.  I loathe sprints.  They hurt.  I get winded.  They wear me out.  I'm usually sore for a day.  If i had my way, I'd never do them.  But to reach some of my fitness/running goals, sprints are a good idea, despite my feelings for them.

All day today I dreaded them and nearly talked myself out of running sprints a few times.  But then I was reminded that sometimes to reach a goal, you have to endure the tough/not so fun experiences.

What are your goals?

What are the steps you need to get there?

Which of those steps are your "sprints"?

How will you handle them?

Will you talk yourself out of them or will you lace up your shoes and hit the pavement?

Tonight, though I'm sore, I feel strong. I still dread the sprints, but I value the goal more.

Monday, August 28, 2017

First Days of School

Nicholas started Pre-K on Monday 8/14.  He is in Clase de Venezuela with Sra. Gabi y Sra. Andrea in his final year at Spanish Schoolhouse.  We have loved this place and look forward to all he'll learn this year.

Mikaela started 2nd grade today.  She continues dual language at Independence Elementary with her homeroom teacher as Sra. Valle and her English teacher as Mrs. Ruiz.
Mommy has lost her job as the chalk artist.

Actual first day
 We go to campus before actual start of school and stage photos.  Since I teach and Daddy has to get to work, and Mikaela doesn't seem to feel like we need to walk her into school anymore, this just works out better for us.

We had fun with this one.  Nick really does want to go to school with Mikaela.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017


13 years.

Today Mike and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary.

In 13 years we've:

graduated Mike from college
gotten 1
had two kids
bought two houses
bought 3 cars
taken 4 big vacations (Disney, San Francisco, New York, Toronto) and many smaller ones
started a tour of visiting all the ballparks in North America as our love for Ranger baseball grows
suffered a car wreck
suffered some broken bones, sprains, and other injuries
had 5 surgeries (4 for Donna, 1 for Mike)
run a half marathon and countless smaller races
been members of 2 different churches
made a ton of fabulous friends
5 job changes for Mike
3 position changes for Donna
experienced times when we didn't know if there'd be enough money to cover bills
experienced times of immense blessing
had our marriage tested
supported each other's dreams
shared each other's sorrows

There's probably so much more I'm forgetting, but those are the highlights.  13 years.  A LOT of life has happened in those 13 years and even knowing what I know now, I wouldn't change it.  Michael is still my best friend and the one with whom I want to grow old.

Marriage isn't easy, but when you put your spouse first and commit daily, the rewards are great.

The Lord only knows
what the next 13 years will hold for us.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Professor Emeritus

A couple of weeks ago (yeah, sorry, I'm behind), my mother was given special recognition and the 1st ever "Professor Emeritus" honor for Dallas Christian College.  DCC is a small school in the Farmers Branch area at which my mother has taught in varying capacities for the last 44 years. She moved from Springfield, Illinois to accept a job as a music professor there in 1971.  

Her talent and poise won the attention of many young college boys who made a bet to see who could ask her out first.  My dad won.  :)

In 1979, she quit to stay home and raise my older sister and I, teaching piano lessons at home.  At some point not that many years later she went back to playing for choir and teaching piano/theory, because honestly, I don't ever remember a time when my mom wasn't serving the college in some way.  

In 2016, the school did away with her department and she quietly and graciously left with no fanfare. The president and other faculty decided to change that a few Fridays ago and give my mom the honor she deserves for the Kingdom work she has done all these years.  I am so proud to be her daughter.  

Walking in with other professors for the first time at a DCC graduation (as she was always the accompanist)

The president gave a wonderful speech.  I hope to get a copy of it.

receiving her stoll

the kids were so proud of Graemma, too

The traditional parents flanking the graduate pose - only reversed