Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Chocolate!

My sister-in-law's friend, Shannan, hates Mother's Day. See why. Inspire her to change her mind, and free chocolate may be coming your way! (Thanks for the post, Mel!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It rained so much last night and this morning that many roads in Katy and west Houston were flooded. In some places, the interstates/tollways were closed because they were completely submerged in water. (I saw a picture of an ambulance that was almost completely under water). It rained 11 inches in the past 24 hours at the creek near Jordan's parents' house. So, needless to say, schools were closed today. There was no way that buses could run or that students/staff could get to school safely.

Once I found out that school was closed, I stayed out in the living room and slept on the couch. When Jordan got up, he was certainly surprised and very happy to see me!

We had a nice, relaxing day. Thankfully, we didn't have any flooding in our immediate area.

For dinner, we decided to make some homemade fettucine! (Jordan was the chef, and I served as the sous chef. I got the flour out, I chopped tomatoes, I grated the cheese, and I set the table; I know my abilities, and I know my limits! I'll leave the real cooking stuff to Jordan!)

He made some fresh pasta! It is soooooo good!

Here come the noodles!

Cook it up!


Now we're ready to eat!!! Can you guess which side of the table I sit on?!!

I know it's not slimming, but it sure is delicious!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And the Winner is...

I know I don't talk too much about work on here. (Maybe even not at all!) That's on purpose. It's not that I don't like my work. In fact, I really, really enjoy my work! But I like to keep some things "work-free." (I enjoy "work-free summers," too!)

But I've decided to go against my norm and talk a little bit about work. I was the music director of our school musical this year. We did "Once Upon a Mattress," which is the story of the princess and the pea. I taught the chorus the music, I went to most rehearsals, and I directed the orchestra at the shows.

In Houston there is an award ceremony much like the Tony's for musicals; it's called the Tommy Tune Awards. (Tommy Tune was an actual person who went to Lamar HS in Houston and went on to be famous in the Broadway scene). Participating schools receive nominations in different categories, such as Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Leading Actor/Actress, and Best Musical. The award ceremony is always "high class," and it was last night. My school was nominated for 12 awards, including best musical, so we "revived" five minutes of our show, and the kids performed that during the ceremony. They did a great job!!!

We came home with 4 awards: Best Orchestra, Best Musical Direction, Best Chorus/Ensemble, and Best Crew/Technical Execution. We're all pretty excited!!! We swept all of the music awards - we got three for three!!! So I'm very proud of my students and my colleagues, and I'm also extremely humbled at these awards. I certainly didn't expect all of these, but it is really exciting!!

Today during 6th period, these beautiful flowers arrived for me! Some choir parents and their son, who was in the musical, sent them to me. Aren't they gorgeous?!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a day!

Jordan and I had a great day today!!! It all started when Jordan got home from work and was able to get some sleep. I got up and ran some errands. (It's so nice to have a day off to take care of things like running errands!) I got home before Jordan woke up, and I was so proud that I had finished everything in a good amount of time. (NOTE: Here's where the day was slightly bumpy instead of smooth sailing like everything else). I unloaded all the groceries and then tried to close the garage. (Our garage door is usually very "jumpy." Whenever we leave, we have to watch the door go all the way down because sometimes the wind will blow at just the wrong moment, and the door will go back up). Well, like I said, I closed the garage door and watched it go down. Suddenly, I realized the door was still trying to go down, but it was not moving down any more. - The car was in the way!!! I (wrongly) assumed that the sensor would notice if the car was too far up. Nope! I pushed the button two more times, so the garage door stopped moving and then started going up. But the damage had been done. The garage door had started to bend at the top! Then I was all worried, but Jordan was still asleep! When he got up later, he looked at it and confirmed that we needed to call the apartment and have them come fix it. Thankfully, they treated it as a routine repair! Also, the car escaped unharmed. Then the day went back to smooth sailing!

After the garage door was "like new," we decided to clean out the garage! It was a nice day, so we didn't mind being outside. In fact, we also opened some windows and left some doors open to create a passageway for the wind to blow through our house. (It was really windy today - which is normal as of late). So our house was really cool. Doesn't the garage look great?!!!

Once we got in the cleaning mood, there was no stopping us! We went through some stacks of papers and other things that have been around for a little while. We got our place looking spick and span!

Then Jordan got the grill out, (we finally assemble the grill last Friday, and we've already used it twice!), and he cooked some steaks for dinner. (We also had baked potatoes - and the great thing about the doors and windows being open was that it kept our house cool even with the oven on for a couple of hours!!) We enjoyed our dinner in the clean garage on our new card table in the cool evening air. (Can't you tell he's excited?!)

We played Phase 10 in the garage, too, and then we came inside and started getting dessert ready! (This is where I became really excited!)

We had some chocolate fondue. I love fondue!

I certainly have enjoyed my 4 day weekend. We should have more of these!!!!
Happy Belated Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Later Gator!

Yesterday Jordan and I spent some time in the fresh air at Brazos Bend State Park. We went on a 1.7 mile walk around Elm Lake and saw 23 alligators! (We almost felt like we were in Sunny South Florida!)

We also saw about 20 baby alligators! (No, they were not baby crocodiles or baby teradactyls!) The mom was RIGHT THERE watching the whole time! A park volunteer said that a few minutes before we got there, there was a big crowd, and the mom swam a little closer to the bank, opened her mouth, raised her head, and slapped it on the water. It's called a head slap, and her intention with that head slap was, "Hey, buster, you're a bit too close for comfort; back off!!!"

In the picture below, the one on the far left and the one on the right are both about one and a half years old. The one in the middle is about 6 months old.

Jordan really liked how this one looked when it was walking. It kind of looked like it was waddling on tip-toes!

Lots of the baby alligators were sun-bathing on the log, but there are lots more in this picture, too. I see about 16 babies in all in this picture. They blend in pretty well.

The bird that is flying the highest in this picture is an ibis, and it was pretty cool to see. But the deeper story about this picture is about a white bird that's kind of hard to see. It's on the ground in the center of the picture, (it's the white spot), and it had a fish in its mouth. Now look at the other five birds flying around the white bird. They wouldn't let him eat his fish! The white bird did all that work to catch the fish, and he wasn't able to eat it because he had to defend himself from all of these other guys just wanting an easy meal! The white bird would fly a few feet and land somewhere, and all the other birds would swoop around it and try to get the fish. So the white bird would fly a few more feet and land, but the other birds just kept trying to get that fish from him. We couldn't see the end, so I don't know which bird got the fish!

Here's a long gator! (See the tail?!)

We saw a number of little turtles sun-bathing on logs, but this was definitely the biggest turtle we spotted!

This bird let us get closer and closer to it, so we got a pretty good picture of it!

Here's Jordan up close with a gator!

We had a great time seeing all of those alligators! Afterwards, Jordan taught me how to swing a golf club. (That might have been his favorite part of the day; I'm not sure!) We hit some balls towards different trees and tree stumps, and, although I wouldn't say that I'm very good at all, I will say that I improved some from my first swing to my last swing!