Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Went on a Walk About

I had lunch at the hotel's cafe today, since they were offering discounts for the conference attendees. Grabbed a bowl of Chowder. Alright, so "grabbing" isn't exactly representative. I ordered a bowl of soup and that alone took almost an hour and a half from seating to receiving the check. It was good soup with all sorts of in-shell goodies, fish, veggies and herbs. But the service was slooooowwww. With my discount it was only around $6. I'm willing to sit around twiddle my thumbs since I had the time to burn and it costs me A LOT less than anything else close at hand.
There was a two hour break between the last session today and another movie they were going to share, so I figured I'd go walk around Gastown again thinking maybe it'd be different in the daylight.
Funny thing about coming in late February is that even in a Saturday, it is DEAD tourist wise.
First I headed over to the waterfront to see Canada Place in more detail, since this time it was open. People watched for a while. Gave a wandering tourist (apparently I looked like I knew what I was talking about) directions. Took some pictures.
Continued on to Gastown. In and out of shops, took more pictures.Headed in the direction of my hotel ... but was slightly askew ... so I ended up in Chinatown. I did what any one would do. I wandered around there too.
Then I THOUGHT I was once again headed due ... whatever direction I thought I needed to go and ended up at BC Place. So took a look around. Photo-documented it.
Carried on.
By this point I had started wondering if I was lost.
If my sense of direction was TOTALLY off.
Which is just absurd.
I have some kind of internal gps.
Turns out I had just gone ... oh 5 blocks further north than anticipated while wandering aimlessly. And over corrected by ... say 8 blocks or so.
By the time I got back to my hotel I had walked at least 40 city blocks and was WAY too late to make it back to the Hyatt for the movie.
I guess now I'll never know why "Normal People Scare Me".

I LOVE this picture of the guys on the roof.I know they are doing a very mundane task but it just struck me as funny when I saw they were all wearing safety harnesses.
"Safety isn't funny Krista."
Sure it is when you look at the safety harnesses and realize - those guys would have hit the cement before the harnesses got to the end of the rope.
So then in my head, I'm thinking it through, "Maybe they are on work release and they are harnessed so they can't run away."
That's also absurd.
First of all the guys are all essentially using weapons to strip the tarring off the roof.
Second of all, they could strip the harnesses off as easily as they were stripping the roof.

So my only other option was the guys girl friends have them on "Guy release" time.
They've put them on leashes so they have to stay on task.

Then I started giggling inside and thinking about marketing leashes for boyfriends and husbands.

Oh how I amuse myself.

The Story about Today

Second full day of the conference today.
I am so conflicted about how I feel about this conference.
I am sure I am getting some good ideas.
But I have some serious misgivings about the sources of these "methods".
You see, this conference is all on biomedical intervention and "recovery".
Which means they have brought in medical professionals.
And people who know these remedies, have seen them first hand, have administered them first hand.
All of which is fantastic.
If they all didn't profit from me buying into what they are, essentially, selling me.
"This and this and this worked for my son ... and my company now sells these herbs in just the right dosage and we can help you too!"
"I have seen remarkable results in my step daughter using these methods ... and if you come to my clinic and pay us to do these tests - we'll see what we can do for you too!"
It's kinda sickening to tell you the truth.
Knowing that these professionals have a spell bound audience, who are obviously willing to go to great lengths to help their child "recover" ... How is it a great step to know you have parents willing to spend sometimes great amounts of money on YOUR products? It's not.

At these conferences at the meet and greets, the breaks ... you hear story after heart breaking story of parents so desperate to help their child. So in need of hope of someone telling them "I have what you need".

The upside on this whole conference is that I have met some really great ladies, exchanged stories, exchanged opinions, shared improvements. That, to me, makes it worth it. I love talking to other parents, hearing their stories, hearing the triumphs and hope they have. Hearing, "It gets easier."

Even when the people with all the letters behind their name are in the back ground pushing their "cures" on you.


I had an interesting experience at lunch today.
I took Dawn's advice and decided to check out a Chinese place.
I knew there was one near the hotel the conference is being held at, as I had passed them both on my meandering on my way to Stanley Park the other day.
After finding the Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant I wandered on in.
Not knowing totally what to expect.
One thing I've learned in Vancouver is the restaurant is never what you expect.
So just don't.
Expect that is.
You of course have to eat!
I requested a table for one and after doing a quick run down of her tables she replied,
"I squeeze you in. Tiny table. Good for just one."
I swear that is just how she said it.
So I follow her around the room to a ... TINY table.
It's pressed into the corner beside some folding screens and crowded by three bigger tables.
Enough room for one.
No big deal.
This may have been true if I understood anything about anything that was going on.
But I didn't.
I was a Dim Sum virgin.First of all, I failed to read the ticket she placed on the table.
I just figured it was a regular ticket that the waiter came and filled out when I placed my order.
Not so much
Not so much at all.
It turns out if you want to see the menu, you turn over the ticket.
Then the waiter brings you the menu, you choose if you'd rather order or ...
Take your chances with the food a procession of wait staff bring around including not being offered a beverage but bring bought the traditional herbal tea Yum Cha.If you like to chew your tea, this stuff if for you.
After the guy poured me the first cup I opened up the top of the pot and found what can only be described as a plant floating in the water.
The wait staff circulates with loads of different dishes and hard to understand accents.
If you take what they are offering they make a mark on your ticket.
When you are done, the marks are added up according to the category the food fell into and you pay that amount.
Never quite knowing what that is until the check returns to your table.
Very tricky.

I took two dishes.
Neither of which was that tasty.
After I had passed over one dish two of the lady wait staff offered me they refused to make their way back to my table.
I felt slighted and ... seated at a VERY TINY TABLE.

Paid $2.50 for the tea I didn't order and had to chew.

Left hungry.
And $20 lighter.


Tomorrow I'm going to get a Smokie from the street vendor on Robson and Granville.
End of story.
Forget the sit down restaurants. Apparently I suck at finding good ones.

At least if the Smokie sucks I'll only have spent $4.

Full Day

The 2009 Autism Biennial Congress was in full swing today.
This year the speakers are concentrating on biomedical treatments.
Thus far, I have took notes, considered closely what they have said and promised myself to do more indepth research on what they are advocating.
I feel some of them have to be taken with a grain of salt.
Because though they are passionate about what they speak ... I know they will profit if I buy into their method.
"Oh sure, I'd love to try your treatment ... Oh? It's only $1,500 a session? Let me just write you a check!"
There is so much hope, so much discovery, so many different stories, the diversity even within the children we are discussing ...
It is hard to muddle through to see what is best for your child with all the voices talking to you.
Not only what you are comfortable with.
But what is truly best for your child.
What in the long run is going to benefit him the most.
It's his life we're contemplating here.
Not just an interesting thing to "try out" and if we're wrong "opps!"
Or "We'll try something else"
This is his life.

It cannot be taken lightly or easily.

This evening they also played the HBO special, "Autism: The Musical". I have talked about it here before. Yet, even after watching it TWICE before hand ... I still WEPT like a little girl as I watched it tonight. Enough that people were turning slightly (trying to be discreet I assume ... or maybe checking to make sure I had a Kleenex handy) to take surreptitious looks at me. In this case, one of the ONLY cases ... I didn't care. This movie is powerful. It speaks to the heart of a mother with a child with Autism. You feel for these kids, the parents, the care givers. You love them, you hurt for them.
I'm definitely picking up a copy of that and sharing it with my family.
It is so touching.
And real.
And high emotion.

Weather Commentary

I think the weather here in Vancouver makes the people very annoyed.
I cannot count the times I have done a small thing like held open the door a little longer for someone, or shifted my path a little bit so the oncoming person doesn't have to detour, or simply smiled at a passing person. You know what I have got in return? NOTHING. Not a thank you or a nod or a return upturn of lips. Nothing. And they all wear such dark clothes. Seriously, it's like the color has been leeched out of the city. Maybe it's just because black is "chic". But I'm starting to think it reflect their souls.
Is that a little too harsh?
Yeah maybe.
But seriously, till I walked into the Meet & Greet at the conference last night, I didn't see one up beat person other than the people who were serving me ... and essentially I was paying them to be polite to me!
I think it's because so darn cloudy here.
That'd make me angry inside too.
Actually, when I'm in Texas it does.
But come on people! You choose to live here! You can't go around mooping about something you obviously find attractive in some shape or fashion.

So to summerize - yeah, it's been over cast most to almost all the time I've been here. Drizzled and even snowed a little bit. It's been so cold I've been wearing a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, a scarf, beanie touque and leather gloves with my winter jacket zipped all the way up. Brrr-frickin-eeeeer.
However, I planned to come here.
I accept the consequence of me coming to Vancouver.
It's going to be cold.
It's going to rain.
It's going to be overcast.

I think the residents need to get on the happy train and either buck up or move off.

That is all.
End of rant.
No seriously.
I'm done.


So, my brother in law Gary reminded me of a "conversation" I had with a punk at YVR waiting to go through customs. Here's me sharing, I know you appreciate it. No need to thank me.

A guy tried to cut infront of me at YVR customs. I was having NONE of that.
"Excuse me, where do you think you're going?"
"...eeerr... to the customs officers?"
"Do you have a number I didn't hear called? or missed being posted some where?"
"Then get back in YOUR place in line."
*hear snickers behind me*
Guy hangs head, shuffles on back. Tries to get back into his vacated spot.
Couple now in that space, "Sorry guy, you moved out - you lost your place. Back of the line with you."
*Me, looking straight forward. Pressing my lips together HARD. I was not going to laugh.*
Glimpse back and realize since I got into line it had almost doubled.
Then I did it.
I lost it.
I couldn't help myself.

Then again, that was just the beginning of the rudeness I have witnessed and been exposed to here in Vancouver.
If I knew that, I probably would have laughed harder and got all of the enjoyment I could out of that moment of victory.

"Social Filters" have been talked about several times thus far in the conference.
I am starting to wonder if I have one.
If you ask my brother, Michael ... he'd say I don't have one. Like I'll explode if I don't say something once it starts festering in my brain.
I like to think if the guy had said something like,
"I have a connecting flight I am going to miss if I don't get through customs quickly"
I would have been more than obliging.
But no!
The guy just wanted to be a line-butter.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Feet Hurt

Vancouver is an incredibly walkable city. I have walked myself EVERYWHERE. Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, hither and thither. Where is "thither"? Down the block and to the East some. Hither is a bit harder to describe ;)
I must be tired, I'm babbling.
Onward and upward!
Started off my rip-roaring day by heading over to the much talked-up Granville Island. I thought about taking a ferry across the ... cause way(?Is that what that is?) but then I figured that'd be trickier to find than the bridges that cross it.
Which essentially was true.
However, as you cross the bridge you have to keep your directions straight or else you could possibly not take the right walk way towards the marketplace. Did that sentence make any sense?
Should I throw over writing tonight and just take this tale up another day?
And deny my readers the joy of my day to day life?
To continue ... after I found the right walk ways and underpasses and cross streets I wandered upon Granville Island. First of all, I don't think it's really an island. It's connected to Kitslano by LAND. After I got over that initial eye brow raising discovery (okay, maybe it's just me) I started to stroll the streets.
I hadn't ate yet so my first priority was FOOD.
Walked up and down the streets, looking at menus trying to find something appetizing till I found myself in the public market.
Keep in mind, I'm hungry, so this shouldn't be such a ridiculously difficult task to achieve. Find a place that serves something that I enjoy.
Maybe I haven't ate enough fruit and veggies in the last few days but I just couldn't bring myself to be enticed by any of the vendors.
I ended up eating at possibly the most expensive place on the "island" - Bridges. The food though, was ... wow. I got a simple fish and chips, cause the lobster just didn't appeal.
I hate lobster.
The batter on it was light and fluffy, just the right amount of crunch and seasoned really well. The cod itself was flaky and perfect. Even the "chips" were some of the best I've ever eaten. Well worth the $23 spent.
The market itself ... it's essentially a farmers market.
With sticker shock.
6oz of blackberries for ... brace yourself ... $10.
This must be a slow time of year for tourists though, because all of the souvenir shops were having 50-70% off sales. So I loaded up. Okay, not LOADED UP. More like a got two small bags of things for those I "left behind".
I think because I am looking at the city from the perspective of "would I bring my kids here to visit" I am looking at it from a totally different perspective than I would under normal circumstances. Thus far ... it's not a city I feel I would really like to expose my kids to. I'd bring them to Stanley Park, but that's about it. It's more of a young, hip, happening type of city. Not "bring the kids and have fun" city.
When I got back over the bridge I discovered (thank heaven for billboard clocks) that it was about time for me to head over to the first part of the Autism conference. So I trudged my way down Burrard, registered, perused a few exhibitors booths, engaged in a few conversations at the meet and greet, listened to a few awards be handed out ... then headed out to have supper.
I walked through Gastown on my way to Sitar Indian restaurant.
Saw the sites you're supposed to see - Gassy Jack and the Steam Clock.
It was dark.
The pictures turned out grainy and not impressive.
Check them out on Google by doing an image search if you're really interested.
The food was alright. Honestly, the recipe I have for Butter Chicken is better. Theirs was a little too sweet for my tastes. The Naan a little too crispy. But the service was top notch.
I stopped at a corner market on the way home and bought some fruit and veggies to try and make my insides happy again (I have a mini fridge in my suite).
Turns out I am not going to have the great food tasting experience I was hoping for here in Vancouver.
Oh well.
I came here for the conference, which promises to be very informative.
Tomorrow is the first full day.
Starts at 7:30am and runs till 10:30PM with an hour lunch break.
My brain is bracing itself.
I, on the other hand am heading to bed.
My knees hurt.
I'm a little light headed.
My fingers are starting to fumble.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whacha Do Today, Krista?

Many, many things.
Like one thing.
But it took me a really long time to do it.
Today was my "free day" before the Autism conference starts tomorrow (did I mention that's the reason I'm in Vancouver at all? No? Oh, well... it is.) I decided because I had no kids in tow, I'd go take in the Vancouver Aquarium. An odd choice for an adult you may think. If you think that, you don't know me very well.
I love watching animals. I can do it for hours. I have done it for hours. Today was no exception.
After discussing the "best" tourist-type way to walk there (the Sea Wall) with the ever helpful front desk guy, David (seriously, when I get home, I'm writing Comfort Inn a letter of recommendation for the guy. He's been SUCH a huge help!) I headed out.
I walked in a zig zag type of path, seeing Simon Fraser University, Canada Place, people petitioning for "Stop Bullying Day" and "Amnesty International", more joggers than a non-morning person can bear to deal with, funny house boats (about this point, I was really annoyed with myself for forgetting my camera back in my hotel room), silly dogs, talked to a local who said the aquarium was going to be a waste of my time and money(told him I had both to burn, haha), stopped and watched a few float planes land (I'm obviously easily amused) and finally made it to the aquarium.
I came to the conclusion about 20 minutes into my tour the local guy I talked to obviously isn't a nature lover. It's a small aquarium compared to mega-hits like SeaWorld but it boasts some fun exhibits. I've come to the conclusion that if I were to buy some sea horses (can you even buy them? I have to look into that...) I'd never get any work done around my house. Or possibly even leave my house again. For some reason I find them to be the most FASCINATING creatures. There was bullying, flirting, clowning, dozing ... It was mesmerizing to watch. The pygmy marmosets, seal lions, harbor seals, turtles, jelly fish, sea otters, dolphins, Beluga whales ... they were all great too. All in all, I spent three HOURS there.
After that I grabbed some lunch at a Japanese place (cause I've never been to Japan, haha) called E-Hwa. Not bad. I got a Shrimp Tempura Bento box that was pretty decent and the service was outstanding. The thing I am finding most disconcerting about eating out here is there is no refills on your pop. It's like I'm in New York. It's just so ... so ... wrong. You have the carbonation, pour me another one, Sonny! *sigh* I guess all I really need is one, anyway.
I then trolled down town, popping into random Canadian shops, simply because I could. Heck, all day I had no idea what time it was! It was ... weird.
By the time I lugged myself back into my room I'd been out and about for almost 7 hours. That's a long time to do ONE thing.
Good thing I paced myself.
Hate to over do it ;)

The View

...from my room is rather uninspiring. Unless of course you love lots of vehicles, people and tall buildings.And if you likes guys lurking from their windows ... possibly staring you down ... this room is for you too.Is taking a picture of someone a football field away an invasion of privacy? Is so, sorry lurking guy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strike One

What I always fail to remember
is that foods that are specific to a country
are ALWAYS going to taste better there.
You can't eat
crepe's and croissants
in Paris, France
and expect to walk away
Oh no.
You're ruined for life.
Life I tell you!

I ate supper at a
Crepe place
just down the street ...
I think "the street" being
But DO NOT quote me!

First and only meal in Vancouver.

Hopefully my batting average improves tomorrow.

Oh and Dawn, I walked there.
And took the stair down AND up
to my fourth floor room.
So kind of exercised it off.

It "Pays" to have "Privileges"

Most exciting news today ...
other than my plane not crashing and not sitting next to any stinky person.
Aside from that - most exciting news.
When I booked my hotel here in Vancouver, BC for the Autism conference I requested the cheapest room the downtown Comfort Inn had. A small double bed. On average, the cost per night was $80. VERY reasonable for downtown Vancouver, especially since a breakfast is complimentary at the Pub next door, as well as complimentary passes to the Steve Nash gym.
When I checked in I was delighted to be told that as I was a Choice Privileges member, they had upgraded my room to a suite.
No kidding.
A $126/night week for the price of a double. How delicious!
I almost started giggling I was so delighted.
Then I got to my room ... and it only got better!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Krista Needs

Thanks, Nancy. I loved this one!
Type "Krista needs" into google search ( of course use your own name) and then write down the first ten responses that appear (that aren't from someone else's blog)

Krista needs ... the support of a family (no doubt!)

Krista needs ... to bite some chumps. (If you insist.)

Krista needs ... attachment therapy (ahhh ... ohhh. I didn't think I was THAT bad!)

Krista needs ... Salvation (haha, bible thumpers rock the world!)

Krista needs ... someone to Rely on (AMEN!)

Krista needs ... to have someone tell her to straighten her act out (I actually have people waiting in line to do that)

Krista needs ... to practice her wise-girl accent with someone (couldn't hurt)

Krista needs ... to read and follow with her finger (I get tired sometimes, okay!)

Krista needs ... a stronger self-esteem (well. I got nothin' for this one.)

Krista needs ... the make-up seminar (true. Very true.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Work Boy, WORK!

He just wouldn't stay out of the bathroom while I was cleaning it ...
so I put him to work.
I think he liked it a little too much.

She's a Chicken

No, really.
She was!
I'm not just saying it cause she's a girly girl.
The first graders at Ms. R's school put on a show called, "E-I-E-I-Opps!"
She chose to be a chicken.
This is the costume I made her out of:
Yellow soccer shorts
Orange soccer socks,
a $2 t-shirt
and two feather boas...
With limited (alright!) NO sewing skills,
I used a hot glue gun to stick the boas on.
They performed the same night I got home from Alberta,
so I was unable to see the performance.
Jerry said it was the best chicken costume there.
Oh yeah.

You Want Pictures?

Oh, I got pictures for ya! The first two are from a newly opened Japanese steakhouse in North Richland Hills. Jerry has been there a few times for lunch, always enjoyed the food and service - thought we'd introduce our kids to a new experience.
Well ... it was a really nice thought, Apparently between lunch and supper the service goes down hill HUGELY. We waited almost an hour for the chef to come cook at our table. You'll notice by B-man's curled fingers that he's at the "freaking out" point of being uncomfortable and the thin lipped smile on Ms. R's face? That says, I'm scared right now - but trying to put on a brave face. If you've never ate at a Japanese restaurant - here's the skinny:
They seat you around a flat surfaced grill on which a chef comes and cooks your food for you. They generally put on a good show. Swishing knives, tossing egg shells, catching random food bits in their pockets/hat tops. The "wow" feature is when they build an onion volcano, fill it will oil and light it on fire. My kids ... well, they thought this happened a little too close and a little too hot for their comfort. To top it off, after waiting more than an hour to eat, the kids HATED the teriyaki chicken.
Oh and if they took a picture of me while eating my sushi, I would have been frowning. A lot. It was gross. They used the wrong kind of rice, the cucumber over powered the rest of the roll ...
Live and you learn. It was a great idea, but in practice ... not so much good.

My Birthday lunch. The place gave my kids these plastic pincher things that made it possible for the boy to use chop sticks ... he thought it was pretty darn fun.

This is Toyota's "Robot" Hank at the Dallas Auto Show. The kids thought he was more interesting than anything else there. Well besides the convertibles. B-man definitely loved him some convertibles.
They had the "robot" wired up so he could "see" and "hear" the kids and answer all their questions, "dance" and generally entertain them.
She kept a firm grip on her brother at first. Not because he was going to run away - but because SHE was a little scared. (please ignore the cowboy boots)
He was a little wary of the robot at first. But then we couldn't tear him away!
While he liked the convertible mini more ... he'd be willing to take this one home, too.
Yep, my kids are hams.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Me!

What a glorious day!
To start off with - the kids didn't have school yesterday. No waking up at 7:20am to get Rhiannon ready for school. YAY! Happy Birthday, me!
Then I took a chance and took the kids to a new (to me) Japanese restaurant up in Southlake. Zen Sushi. If you're in the area, I HIGHLY recommend it! They had delicious sushi for me and a bento box my kids gobbled up. Everyone satisfied. Happy Birthday, me!
Next I took the kids to a matinee, mostly because I didn't want to go home or shopping with both of them. We took in Madagascar 2 at the second run theater (I refuse to call it the $1 theater when none of the movies cost a dollar!) It was alright ... I wasn't too into it. But better then being at home, reading a book or something. Happy Birthday, me!
The best part was next ... the Dallas Auto Show. (*sigh*) Oh how I love you, high end cars. Oh how I love you leather interiors so butter soft you encourage a caress. Oh how I love you, 12 coat finish to silky smooth you beg fingers to trail over you. Oh how I love you, price tags that are so exorbitant that it's ridiculous and obnoxious. Yeah, I'm a car snob. What's it to ya? Happy Birthday, me!
We ended the night at my favorite Mexican restaurant with some great queaso and even better fajita's. Happy Birthday, me!
Add to that birthday wishes from far and wide, phone calls from family, an offer from a friend over seas to send some of my favorite candy home to me ... Seriously, how blessed am I? Entirely.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Did They Survive?

Well, okay I knew my kids would survive while I was in Canada this past weekend.
It was more a question of how my house would be after me being gone for 5 days.
I guess it "helped" that Ms. R was sick for 3 of those days and not in the mood to get off the couch or out of my bed.
I came back to two fairly healthy, if a little bit dirty, kids.
And a house that wasn't trashed ... and laundry in the dryer!
Thanks, Jerry. You're fan-frickin-tastic.

Now back to packing for my Vancouver, BC trip.
Which I leave for on Tuesday.
Less than a week from when I got back from Alberta.
The organizer in me is freaking out.
More than a little bit.

At least I know my kids will still be alive and kickin' when I get back ...

It Ran Away On Me.

(journaling entry, beware!)
Time that is. Neither of my kids, never you fear.
This past weekend I traveled (kid-less) up to Alberta, Canada (the PROVINCE directly above Montana, for those of my dear readers who are ... Canadian challenged) to witness my dad and his wife get sealed (a LDS religious ceremony. L D S! Not LSD for heaven sake!!!) and for the baptism of my sister's oldest daughter.
I was greeted at the airport by my mom and sister. We ate a very late dinner and headed out. My sister was a super pro. We were caught in a pretty severe blizzard and she just kept on chugging along. Pulling over when semi's passed, climbing her way out of the ditch when we were snow blinded, still chatting away with me ... She was a champ. In general, Dawn doesn't drive at night because she's "night blind" so for her to not only be driving at night but when it was blizzarding ... it was a feat of amazingness.
Friday my mom made me fried bread dough for breakfast. There are certain things that make you all warm and happy inside simply because they remind you of your childhood. Fried bread dough is one of those things for me. In the afternoon I jetted around with my mom shopping and whatnot in "the Bridge" then I went out to dinner with my best friend. He told me stories, I laughed. Good times.
Saturday ... was hard. Seeing my dad get sealed to someone was weird. Surreal. On a level, uncomfortable. Yes, this day was the reason I traveled up there. However, even equipped with that knowledge ... it was tough. But, as children, we want the same thing they want for us - to be happy. Doing this furthered my dad's happiness. So I am willing to be supportive of him and his choices.
Later that day we went out to supper with my mom and her husband. We'd talked about her changing careers while we were driving around, so we introduced the ideas we'd come up with to her. Felt good to know maybe we were improving her options.
It's unusual for us kids to be able to spend a lot of time together - all three of us (and their spouses), so it was a real treat to spend all day with them.
Sunday was a family dinner at my dads. Sandy, Dawn, Jenie and I got into a viscous game of Wii SuperMario Cart. Seriously - we were yelling, screeching, laughing, sweating, telling kids to "MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!". It was a work out! Dad, Sandy, Jenie, Michael and I also played some Rook after Dawn (who HATES the game) took her family home. I think we were all a wee bit tired, as we were laughing like goons the whole time. My head seriously ACHED from all the laughter. (*side note* Sandy made lemon meringue tarts, especially for me. They were delicious!)
Monday was Terina's baptism. From my perspective, I think it went really well. Lots of family and friends to help her celebrate the day, her dad was able to perform the baptism, good talks, good food ... what more could a kid ask for?
That evening we went out with my dad and Sandy for dinner at Montana's at Michael's oldest request. They've changed up their menu since I was up last summer, good food!
Tuesday Michael and Jenie (for the record, her name really is Jenie Jones. Yeah, I get way too much enjoyment out of that...) dropped me off at the airport on their way home. We got to talking about the road trip I am taking this summer and they decided they are coming along (if the baby she's preggers with right now isn't a screamer). When I got home, I told Dawn about the trip ... and she's possibly coming along too.
How stinking awesome would that be? The Jones kids' doing British Columbia, the Washington, Oregon and California coast line, Nevada and Utah together ... TOTALLY awesome! We haven't had a family trip since ... I think it was back when we were teenagers and use to go to Fairmont Hot Springs. Yeah, a LONG time ago.
I didn't take any pictures this trip, but other people did. I'm hoping they send me copies ... *Not too subtle hint ...*

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Maturity Level? 6.

Yesterday was a big day.
Horseback riding lessons, lunch at an outdoor play place, work out, supper, pool.
In the midst of all the running around I forgot that there was going to be a Daddy/Daughter dance at 6pm at my gym.
Big deal in general? No.
Except when you have a little girl who would really really really love to go.
So as we're taking a few minutes to eat dinner in between working out and pool time at the gym's cafe she notices all these little girls dressed to the nine's walking in with their daddies who are also looking fine in their suits. Seriously, dudes who work out AND look confident in suit jackets and ties? Come on!
Big eyes round as saucers look at me beseechingly, "Why is it only Daddy and daughters? Why can't Mommies take their daughters? Or maybe why didn't MY Daddy take ME?"
*sigh* "Well, did you even ask your Dad to take you?"
Scrunches up face, "No, I forgot. Why didn't YOU ask him?"
Raises eyebrow, "Honey, I'm not in charge of asking your dad for things you want to do. If you wanted to go that badly, you should have asked him. It's not my fault you forgot."
Yep. That's me, being really mature.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Once again, I'm not sure if this is altered or not ...
I just think it's a fuzzy cute picture that makes me smile.
Thought I'd share.
Even if it is photo shopped.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"I Don't Want ...

... babies when I grow up. I just want to get married." This statement was uttered by the girl as we drove home from school today.
Trying to be an understanding mother I replied, "That's okay honey, not everyone wants to have babies. Some people are happy just being grown up."
"How about if I want babies, but don't want to be married?"
*sucked in breath, calmed my feverish brain realizing she is just feeling out various scenarios AT SIX*
"Well, honey, I wouldn't suggest it. Raising babies is hard when two people are involved. It become complicated, almost impossible and very sad when you have to do it alone. You may want to think long and hard before you choose that path."
"So I can't date anyone till I'm 16, right?"
"That's the plan. You have a lot to do before then."
"Like what?"
"Lose your baby teeth, get taller, get better at math ... "
*both of us laugh*
"It's okay, I don't want anyone to love me before that."
"I love you."
*all innocence* "What, I do!"
"You're not a boy."
"Darn tootin'."
"So how about kissing?"
"That should hold off till you're dating. And at least 3 dates with the same boy, maybe 10. 20 would be preferred."
"You asked."

She's a natural

It surprises me because she's so timid but she handles her horse, Sly, like she was born to it.
She loves the process of brushing him down, following the instructions on how to properly go behind him, knowing the names of all the tack she needs, making sure the girth is tightened the right amount (no one likes riding on a slant, do they?), leading him out to the mounting area, takes immense pride in knowing how to reign him correctly ...
I'm glad she's enjoying it so much, because the boy still gives me grief every lesson.
Doesn't want to touch the horse, the tack, the grooming equipment, won't lead, or reign, or ...
But he always insists he wants to ride.
Until he's been on for 5 minutes.
Then he's done.
5 minutes worth of enjoyment IS NOT worth what we're paying.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fun Times

On our way home from Quitman last night I was quickly fading as we were driving through Dallas ... I was tired from not much sleep the night before, an early morning and a cold that was doing a full frontal attack. The two hour drive is bo-ring and the last 30 minutes always kill me. Last night was even badder (that's not a word, is it?) than usual.
So I turned off the radio and said, "Let's play an ABC game. Name as many things as you can that start with A..."
It was actually a really fun game. They through out words I didn't think of and every now and again I'd throw in a word just to see if Ms. R would ask what it meant. AND as an added bonus - it lasted the rest of the way home.
Good times. Good times.

In other news, I've taken the kids to a couple of movies in the last couple weeks. Not a usual occurrence, it just happened that way.
The first one we went to when Dawn and Gary were still here, "Bedtimes Stories". Super cute, very amusing. Alright, so my sister summed it up to my dad as "something kids 10 and under would enjoy ... and Krista". It was a lot funner (another word I am not too sure REALLY exists) than I expected.
The other we went to on Saturday with Jerry's parents - "Hotel for Dogs". I had REALLY low expectations going in, I'd seen a few previews and wasn't impressed at all. However, my kids were DYING to see it. So, I suckered Wayne and Linda into coming with us so I wouldn't be the only one suffering ... or I could duck out if it got REALLY pathetic. I was pleasantly surprised. It was cute, a little heart warming, made me tear up a little bit. Ridiculous ending ... but it's a kid's show, so ... you know.