Asher in a tree

Asher relaxing in a tree

Today was my nephew’s third birthday party (his actual birthday was yesterday).  His birthday party was at the Northwest Recreation Center.  My older godson was very excited about attending the party because he remembered that the Northwest Recreation Center is the “park with the climbing tree”.  He actually climbed the tree several times.  I took a few nice pictures, all of which were vetted and approved by their subject.

Asher climbing a tree

Joey has many more pictures of the party itself, which I am sure he will post in a day or two.

Walnut Creek Park

Kay, Daniel, LD, Ela, and I went for a walk through Walnut Creek Metro Park this afternoon.  Ela was almost invisible as she led Daniel through the tall grass.

Play doh monsters

Kay and Daniel came to visit us yesterday.  We felt very lucky to see them before our trip to Amsterdam!  Daniel played with the blue ball, and zoomed his race car around on the floor.  He really got a kick out of making it drive under the couch, and then moving the couch.  He actually moved it on his own several times – strong kiddo!

Joey with his play-doh creation

At some point Kay pulled out the play doh that they had brought with them.  Joey, Kay, and Daniel all played with the play doh (I was finishing my breakfast so that I could go to work).  Joey made several sea creatures with his play doh.  We got some pictures before they disappeared into formless blobs once more.
I crush everything
Leviathan and Kraken

Survived the Holiday Season

img_7721-final We did not take many pictures this year.  No, not even Joey!  Lee took this one of us together with the dogs on the night we put up our Christmas tree.

We went to the Mercado Christmas celebration with Grandma Margaret on 24 December.  We had a lovely Christmas Day meal with the Lupa/Carlson clan, Joan Jones, and the Reads.  It was pot luck, so we didn’t have to do too much cooking, but we wound up with all the leftovers.  Yum!  Joey did make plum pudding, and it was a hit.

George and Nancy joined us late in the evening on Christmas Day.  We went to breakfast with the Etheredges, Zimmermans and Schoors on the second day of Christmas, and then returned to our house to open presents.

Speaking of presents – after years of nagging and hounding, my husband finally gave me some earings from James Avery.  He feels that James Avery is too easy an answer, and prefers to be more creative.  While I certainly appreciate that sentiment, and I have gotten some fabulously creative presents over the years, a nice pair of earings is fun too!

Mom and Dad joined us on New Year’s Eve.  Lee and Billy came over to assist with the preparations for New Year’s Day.  We held our 6th Annual New Year’s Eve film fest.  This year’s theme was Bruce Willis.  The favorite movies were The Fifth Element and Die Hard with a Vengence.  Lee and Joey kicked butt in the kitchen – it was the most organized I think we have ever been.

On New Year’s Day we ate breakfast with the Mercados and Etheredges before George and Nancy had to leave for the airport.

The New Year’s Day party was a fantastic success.  The food was fantastic – the hoppin john really gets better every year!  It was fun to see all of our friends throughout the day.  I really missed Ross and Kat, and thought of them several times during the party.  Laura and Jason joined us late in the evening – I am so happy they were able to make the drive!  The first guests arrived at 14:15, and Jason and I left to drive Jacob back at home at 02:27 on 02 January, so the party officially lasted 12 hours and 12 minutes!

Despite the late night, on 02 January, Joey, Mom, Dad, Laura, Jason and I drove to San Antonio to visit with the Rodriguez side of the family.  We had a great time visiting and catching up with all our cousins and Aunts and Uncles!

On 03 January we had brunch at Zax with our cousin Ben, and then it was time for everyone to go their separate ways.  I left with Mom and Dad to go to Houston.  Jason dropped Laura off at the airport so she could fly to Albequerque so she could perform in Amahl and the Night Visitors in Santa Fe.  Jason drove back to Denton, and Joey went home to a empty house to begin the clean-up!

My Nephew

Kay and Daniel came over to visit for a while today. We went to Tacodeli and spent some time hanging out in the deep grass in the back yard. The boy was super-cute.

Daniel’s First Birthday Party

Our wonderful nephew, Daniel, turns one year old on 01 April 2009!  His birthday party was held at his Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne’s house today.  Asher and I enjoyed playing with the pirate themed party favors.  The blocks we got for Daniel were a big hit with both Daniel and his cousin on his father’s side, Jonah.

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

New Year’s Day

Yesterday Joey and I hosted our tenth annual New Year’s Day party.  A great group of people showed up!  We ate hoppin’ john, bean soup, and sausage balls (aka meat cookies).  Dad, Asher, Laura and Joey decorated the garage and side walk with chalk.  The Etheredge siblings were all present, and our nephew Daniel was charming, as usual.  Chiara played with Elanor.  Lee and Billy brought their friend Melissa, who talked physics with Dad, and then discussed opera with Laura and Alissa!  We finished the evening with a round of Apples to Apples.  In short, it was a wonderful day, a perfect start to 2009.

Etheredge Christmas – the third day

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me… family, a bell mishap, and a shopping trip.

Troy, Kay, Andrew, and Daniel all came over to our house for breakfast on Saturday, 27 December.  Andrew and Dad cooked eggs and sausage.  Joey made sticky buns and hot sauce (not to be eaten together, those are just the things he prepared).  Everyone sat down and we really enjoyed the meal.  Next we opened our presents.

I got a perfume, and framed picture of Joey and me from Joey.  Troy gave us a copy of his wedding video, and a gift card to Alamo Drafthouse.  Kay, Andrew and Daniel gave us beautiful handmade gifts: bath salts in several different scents, and a book of recipes.

Daniel enjoyed opening his presents.  He mostly liked the paper and the bags, but the cup that his Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne gave him was a big hit as well.  Elanor seemed to have a good time during the celebration – there were all these people sitting in a circle, and they were all petting her – what could be better?

Lee came and picked me up for bell choir practice.  We drove toward church for about five minutes when I realized we needed the keys, so we turned around and went back to the house.  It took quite a bit of searching, and a call to Joey to find the keys – they were in his coat pocket.  We finally made it to church, but were a bit disappointed because no one except the two of us showed up!  After I called one of the other members she came by and we did manage to pick some music, and plan for the next rehearsal.

Later in the day Mom, Lee, Billy, and I went shopping.  Mom and Dad got Joey and me a new trash can, sounds boring, but it is pretty fancy.  It is bigger than our old one, and you don’t have to use your hand to open the lid.  The can we had previously could be opened by stepping on a peddle, but that feature broke awhile back, and it has been bugging my dad every time he is here.  Ask my dad about it – he is dying to tell you about the physics of this particular trash can, and why it will last longer than the one we had before.  Mom found an awesome salad bowl and salad tongs and got those for me as well.

Etheredge Family Gathering

CIMG2822 Joey and I are so lucky to live in the same city with his siblings.  Although we did not spend the day of Thanksgiving with the Etheredge clan, we did see them over the weekend.  Christinne’s folks, Dave and Sarita, were in town, and we got to visit with them as well.  Everyone assembled at our house in the afternoon, and we visited and relaxed.

Daniel met Elanor; they seem quite fond of each other.  Babies and dogs make for really cute pictures.  Daniel got to hang out with Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne, and also met Dave and Sarita for the first time.

Troy brought Ziegy over as well, and Elanor got to meet her doggy cousin.  The guys took all three dogs on a walk.  Elanor wanted to play with Ziegy, but Ziegy decided hanging out with Christinne was safer!

I am so glad we got to see everyone, and spend some time with the family.  My only regret is that George and Nancy could not be with us!

Daniel, a baby on the move!

Kay, Andrew, and Daniel came over for lunch on Wednesday. I was working, but managed to escape my office for part of their visit.
Joey grilled some chicken and made salt potatoes and a field green salad. (Have I mentioned that having a house husband is great? It is even better when you work from home AND he can cook :-)
Kay looked through the bags of clothes from my closet cleaning project and found a couple of dresses.
Daniel has always been advanced in the mobility department. As of Wednesday (a lifetime ago for a baby, so this might have changed already) he was crawling, bear crawling, pulling up on things to stand, and being a little frustrated that he cannot quite cruise yet. Amazing. He definately fits into a group my mom refers to as “motor babies”.
I actually remembered to take out my camera, and I got some action shots!