The Return of Pudge

Here he is! Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez! Back with the Texas Rangers!

August 19, 2009 Pudge was traded back to the Rangers from the Houston Astros. Pudge has always been our favorite Ranger and when he left as a free agent in 2002 a little sparkle left my eyes... really.

So Bryan got 6 tickets to the Ranger game on the 20th from his office and we decided to invite the Koenig girls to come with us so our girls wouldn't be quite so bored. Two days later Pudge was traded back to the Rangers and suddenly we were scheduled to be at THE game of the year! It was exciting! The crowd was electrified! The hot dogs were $1! Could life get any better? When Pudge ran onto the field and was introduced the crowd went crazy. It was a deafening roar. Well, even though the Rangers ended up losing, the game was a blast and the Return of Pudge was everything a Ranger fan could've asked for!

Here's how the girls spent the game.... See? Not bored!

Gotta love it!


Pre-K Graduation

Yes, I know I just posted that Jordyn started Kindergarten last week but this is another "catch-up" post that I just couldn't skip.

She attended Hurst Hills Core Knowledge Pre-K program and learned all kinds of new things! She learned many, many new songs and poems. Her social skills improved dramatically. She can count to 100 and recognize all the letters and sounds. I could go on and on... This Pre-K program was different in that it was tuition-based ($600/month - ouch!) but it came right out of my check so I didn't really miss it AND when summer came and they stopped deducting the money it was like a huge raise. :) Besides I would have spent pretty close to the same for daycare anyway, right? It was also a full-day Pre-K with after-school care until I could pick her up at the end of my day.

Her Pre-K graduation was super cute! They walked in to "Pomp and Circumstance" wearing these card stock caps. This picture fully captures Jordyn's bubbly personality!
The children sang three songs that all had motions and hand gestures. I REALLY wish I could figure out how to post video because it was seriously precious. They sang "Each of us is a Flower", "The Three Little Pigs", and, one that I sang way back in my elementary days, "The World is a Rainbow". Here she is in her flower hat.
Being a good mom, I sent Jordyn to school wearing shorts under her dress. The kids were up on the stage for their performance so you could see Jordyn's shorts every time she raised her arms and even sometimes when her hands were down. Oops! We were probably the only ones who noticed though... :)

This is her teacher, Mrs. Mathis. She just adored Jordy. The principal at Hurst Hills, Mrs. Gallian, passed away last year from cancer. On the day of her passing, Mrs. Mathis told me that she was very upset about it and during nap time Jordyn crawled up on her lap in the rocking chair and she just rocked and rocked her crying silently. Jordyn can sense when people need a love and she was able to comfort her teacher. I love that about her.
Mrs. King, the Pre-K assistant.
Proud parents!
I checked Cara out from school to come watch the program too. One of the great perks to having your mom as your teacher! Congratulations Jordyn on a job well done!


Camping with the Dinosaurs

Check out this cool tent. It was a Christmas gift from my mom a few years back and has been woefully under-used. So any time we can pull it out of the garage and go camping - we do! We spent a weekend at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glenrose,TX with our friends the Petersons and Koenigs.

Six adults+seven kids+one dog and one armadillo = lots of fun! Cooking a hot dog for dinner. The kids spent a lot of time at the fire "cooking". There's something about fire that, as a kid, is just awesome. Okay, as an adult it's still awesome... I think the most interesting thing the kids tried to roast was watermelon.
Court, Erin & I chillaxing. It almost looks like I'm asking for a refill on my plate...

So excited to be camping!
In the middle of the night Bryan ventured off to the bathroom and crossed paths with this friend. He rustled around the tent to get the camera out and snapped a quick and blurry picture of Mr. Armadillo's back end.
In the morning we ventured out to find some dinosaur tracks. Mission accomplished!
Then it was time for the river. The kids and some of the adults followed the river downstream. The water was not too chilly but the bottom and the rocks were slippery. It wasn't long before the girls went from this...
...to this...
Even Erin slipped and fell in!!
The waterbugs!
Dinosaur Valley State Park has a few ginormous dinosaur statues that originated at a World's Fair somewhere and then were shipped here. The kids were entranced.We were going to go check out a big dinosaur museum but the majority of the exhibits were outside and just as we pulled into the parking lot we were caught in a downpour and decided against that idea. It was a great time with great friends and lots of laughter and memories!


So happy together!

Today was the first day of school. I've been back for a week now doing "teacher things" but it was the first day with students and, hence, the girls first day. This will be the only year all three of us are together. It's really actually very exciting that I don't have to drop anyone off or pick anyone up this year! Cara is in 6th grade, Jordyn is in Kindergarten and I am firmly planted in fifth grade. :)

Here are the annual first day of school photos...
Little Jordyn in front of her kindergarten classroom. Doesn't she look so tiny?

Too much...

So, I haven't blogged for a LONG time. Mostly because I'm so overwhelmed with things to blog about and it was easier to just avoid it altogether... I feel kind of bad because my visitors number is still going up and I imagine the disappointment when there is nothing new here.

Just get ready because I'm gonna get it all on here and anyone out there can read at their leisure. With that said, here is a list of future blog posts:

Camping trip
Jordyn's Pre-K Graduation
Rainforest Cafe celebration
Piano Recital
Bathroom Renovation
Bear Lake
Helper Cousin Visit
Cara's birthday
the Return of Pudge
and more...


Jonas Brothers + Oldest Daughter = Heaven

My first guest blogger is a lovely, talented soon-to-be eleven-year-old girl. Her name is Cara. You may have seen her featured on this blog before… (Any comments from her mom will be in blue.)

This is no ordinary post. This one is about what happened on June 20, 2009 from 7 to 10 pm. My birthday present. This is about my night with the Jonas Brothers.

It all started during the school year, when my friend, Pheobe, the crazed Jonas fan, mentioned their first show of their world tour and how she had gotten tickets to it. I began to feel very jealous of Pheobe.

Ok, now skip ahead to June 19, day before the concert at the new Cowboy Stadium. I asked mom about going to the Jonas Brothers concert in San Antonio on August 13, my birthday. My mom said they were all sold out. But then she said she would check on EBay. (I really did not want to drive to San Antonio...) Sure enough, there they were - Jonas Brothers tickets. Except that these were tickets to the concert tomorrow night!!! And they only cost $60.00 for 2!! (This was a STEAL! They were tickets on the floor! When we got them the face value of the ticket was $85 for one...)

Next night. We are on the road and it is packed so my dad dropped my mom and I off on the side of the road by the new Cowboys stadium, we took a couple of pictures in front of it, and walked in. Inside we looked over the edge and were amazed at what we saw. Did I mention that we got floor seats?!
When we got to our seats, Honor Society started playing. Then about 30 to 60 minutes later, Jordin Sparks sang about 4 songs. (No Air, Tattoo, One Step at a Time.)

Then, we waited 1 & ½ to 2 hours for the Jonas Brothers to perform. (I don't think it was really that long but it felt like it...) When they came on stage everyone was screaming. We stayed in our seats for about 20 minutes and then moved closer so we could see better.
This was a cool rotating stage they played on.
The two above pictures were taken of the jumbo-tron screen. The one below was with my camera of the stage. We were close! (I didn't bring my camera but now wish I had to get better pics for Cara...)

The back of someone's t-shirt...They sang, in order, Paranoid, Poison Ivy, Live to Party, Play My Music, That’s Just the Way We Roll, Fly With Me, A Little Bit Longer, Much Better, Year 3000, Tonight, Gotta Find You, Turn Right, When You Look Me In The Eyes, Sweet Caroline, Hold On, BB Good, World War Three, Battlefield(Sang with Jordin Sparks) (AWESOME!), SOS, Lovebug (my favorite with cool waterfall action...), Before the Storm (Sang with big surpise guest Miley Cyrus), and Burning Up. In the middle, they showed a video of Joe Jonas dancing to Beyonce’s song Single Ladies in a leotard! The video is at the end of the post. At the end, my dad came and picked us up around 10:50 pm. We got home at 12:00 pm. (It took us FOREVER to get out of the parking lot and drive less than 4 miles to our house...) But I had had the best night of my life.
Thanks Mom! You are the BEST!


Fruit & Veggie Co-op

My ward started a fruit and vegetable co-op several months ago. The cost is $20 and they make a run every other week up to the Dallas Farmer's Market. You never know what you're gonna get but it's always a fun surprise.

So what does $20 get you this week??? When it's all boxed up like this it feels like Christmas morning opening presents...

Here it is all pulled out and sorted...
...tons of apples, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, cherries, red peppers, corn, cantaloupe, lettuce and a pineapple. If anyone local out there wants in on the co-op, it's open to anyone. The more, the merrier!
I'm pretty excited about the pineapple because of this handy unitasker I got at the most recent Pampered Chef party I went to. It's called a pineapple wedger.It's just like an apple wedger but larger and makes fresh pineapple SO, SO, SO easy! It cores and slices the pineapple for you! I pink, puffy heart it so much! It says it is also useful cutting cucumbers and pears but I haven't tried that yet...
With the red peppers I'm gonna make this tasty dish I found on this blog awhile ago. It is delicious and makes a TON. Seriously. If you're taking dinner to someone this recipe will make a 9x13 for them, a 9x13 for you and some to take to that single sister you visit teach as well.


12 oz. grilled chicken breast (marinate in olive oil and garlic salt overnight, then grill on barbecue for best flavor)

½ pack thick bacon

48 oz. (3 boxes) penne pasta

2 large red bell peppers- diced

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp paprika

Gratinata Sauce:

2 tsp butter

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 cup Marsala wine OR 1/3 cup apple juice + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar +enough chicken broth to equal 1 cup

1 tsp Dijon or dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chopped rosemary

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

8 cups heavy cream


Saute garlic in butter in large pan. Add Marsala wine, mustard, salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and heavy cream. Let it reduce down or the sauce will be too runny. (Learned the hard way...)Cook pasta according to directions. Cook bacon. Slice chicken into medium-bite size pieces.Combine sauce, cooked pasta, diced chicken, cooked bacon, bell peppers, Parmesan cheese, and paprika and mix thoroughly. Spread in pans. Top with chopped rosemary and mozzarella cheese.
Bake @ 475 for 10 minutes. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator the day of. Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes.

Number Of Servings: Yields one 8×8 and two 9×13 casserole dishes.Preparation Time: More than an hour


A Special Surprise

Funny Story.

We were out for an ice cream on Wednesday night and got a phone call from Bryan's dad who is on a mission in Oakland, CA.

"Where are you guys? I called your house...". Bryan answered that we were just driving around and the next reply was, "Good, then you can go pick up a stranded sister missionary from the airport!"

Sister Galli was on her way home to Argentina when her flight was delayed getting into Dallas (sound familiar?) and she missed her connecting flight to Buenos Aires. The airline offered her a hotel room since they only have one flight a day to Argentina and the soonest she'd leave was the next evening.

Apparently she was distraught at the idea of an entire day by herself in a hotel and tried to reach her mission president (in a mtg.), his wife (no answer), and finally the temple visitor's center where she got Sister Boyer on the phone. ☺

So what do you do with a sister missionary for a whole day? The girls were initially a tad distressed over the whole no TV, radio, Wii thing but got over it pretty quickly...

Here's a rundown of the day:

  • Make homemade waffles and fresh fruit for breakfast
  • Look at Sister Galli's missionary farewell book with Grandma & Grandpa's picture and letter in it
  • Wash Sister Galli's clothes (since she'll have to wear them all day today and tomorrow too...)
  • Ballet lessons from Sister Galli
  • Take Sister Galli to the park and have swinging contests
  • Spanish lessons from Sister Galli
  • Go to lunch at On the Border (because they don't have Mexican food in Argentina. Who knew?)
  • Play Pictureka and Disney Trivial Pursuit with Sister Galli
  • Sing every song learned in Pre-K for Sister Galli
  • and finally, take her back to the airport for her flight back to her family!

It was a fun day and a great experience for the girls and I!!


San Diego Part 2

On Saturday we went to the harbor to take a tour of the USS Midway. It is a Naval air craft carrier that is docked at the Broadway pier in downtown less than a mile from our hotel. The Midway was launched in the 40's and continued to serve the Navy all the way up to and including Desert Storm. It was decommissioned in 1992 and then was turned into a museum that opened to the public in 2004.

It's hard to get a full-length picture of the USS Midway. It's that big. Visitors can tour the ships bridge, flight deck, hangar deck, mess deck, primary flight control, Tactical Flag Command Center, enlisted and junior officer quarters, the captain's and admiral's quarters, sickbay and an engine room. Additionally, over 25 restored WW2 and postwar naval aircraft are on display in the hangar and on the flight deck including the Top Gun Plane and the type of Huey my dad used to fly. We took the self-guided audio tour that's provided and stopped at 60 different points of interest.

It was actually very intriguing and educational and I learned that while my father was stationed in Korea in 1976? he flew touch-and-go's off the USS Midway. Very cool tidbit! If you're really interested there is a website with tons of photos here.

This is the view from the flight deck of the Midway in the foreground is the statue called "Unconditional Surrender" (lol) of the famous photograph of a kiss in Times Square on V-J Day in 1945 when WWII ended. You can see how large it is with the tiny people surrounding it. In the background is the Coronado Bridge that we took to our next stop.
We went on to Coronado Island for lunch and a trip to the beach. We ate at a Mexican place called Azul Coronado where Bryan enjoyed the swordfish tacos. He says they were delicious... Any time I see a sign that says Gelato, you can bet I'm gonna stop... :)
Another friend I teach with suggested we check out the Hotel del Coronado. It is a beautiful beach resort on this island off the San Diego Bay. It's got these red turrets that are gorgeous. We walked all the way around this hotel to get the big picture. Shops, weddings, surfing, multi-pedal bicycles... you name it. Pretty darn cool.

We drove down the coast past the Naval Amphibious Base to get to a little less crowded area and stopped at the Silver Strand Beach. It was awesome to walk into the Pacific Ocean, see the seaweed wash up onto the shore and feel the powerful undertow.

After all the walking at the zoo and miles traveling through the USS Midway and the walking all over Coronado Island, I was beat. Dead dog tired. So my honey took me to see this...

So, so, so good! It was an awesome way to end an awesome trip! Our flight home was much less traumatic, the girls were happy to see us and sleeping in my own bed again never felt so good.