Hmmmm, Where Was I?

Here’s a look at February around here. If I don’t have a picture, then it didn’t happen .

Robert’s friend Eli came over to play one afternoon while his parents had something they had to attend to. Robert was acting terribly and refused to play with him. I had to pull him aside several times to talk about his attitude; he must have just been having a really bad day. I was so embarrassed by his behavior but Eli was very understanding and didn’t seem too upset.

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Chris has been interested in starting up woodworking for quite some time now. He purchased a few woodworking tools with Christmas money and set to work. His first project: a workbench. He’s really enjoying himself and has built a bench and small table, as well as a kayak holder on wheels.

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I helped out with the Valentine’s parties at school. Robert’s teacher was so sweet and wanted to go all out for her class since it’s really the only class party they get. She said her babies work hard and she wanted to treat them to a feast. She had me pick up pizzas and then I helped her set everything up while the kids were at specials. She bought plates and napkins, cheese and crackers, fruit and even made up little goody bags for all of the kids. Other parents brought sweet treats as well.

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PTA gave each class sugar cookies that they could frost and add sprinkles to. I looked over at one point and caught Robert licking all of the runaway sprinkles off of his plate.

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Daddy brought Clara and me roses for Valentine’s Day.

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The next weekend was the local livestock show and rodeo parade and the pep squad participated in it. I had never been and didn’t know what to expect trying to pick her up at the end of the route, so Robert and I parked ourselves right at the tail end of the parade so we could walk to meet up with Clara at the end. Most people were out of candy by the time they got to us. It was a loooong route, so they were all pretty pooped by the end.

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Here is Clara with her friends, Lauren and Ivonne or Ivette, not sure which this is :)

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And then I babysat some DeCarlos for a few hours while mine were at school. This little guy decided it would be hi-larious if he blew out his diaper a mere fifteen minutes after his mommy left. I’m apparently a little rusty when it comes to changing blowouts and he kept looking at me as if to say, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?”

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No one wanted to pry their eyes away from what they were doing for a picture.

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Winter Vacation

In my last post, I mentioned the beginning of Chris’ illness. Well, he got worse and started running a fever and ended up missing work on Monday and Tuesday. Robert started up with a dry cough around the same time. He felt fine and the cough was mainly bad at night, so I decided to send him to school after a dose of cough medicine and a note to send him home if he got worse on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday, he came home from school coughing pretty bad (which made me feel bad for sending him) and by that night he started running a fever. His fever broke in the middle of the night on Wednesday night and he had to have a change of pjs and sheets he was so sweaty. I was happy that it broke when it did, because that meant he was able to go back to school for their last half day before the holiday break! I didn’t mind him missing two days of instruction so much, but I hated to see him miss Polar Express Day :)

On Polar Express Day, they have a sing-a-long in the gym and watch Polar Express in their classrooms while enjoying hot cocoa and cookies. Then it’s pretty much time for lunch and dismissal. In other words, heaven for all the kids. Robert insisted on wearing his elf pajamas. They’re actually Clara’s old hand-me-downs and the bottoms are way too big for him, but that wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight.

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Chris had quite a bit of vacation time left, so he’s been off since the 17th and won’t go back until next week. It’s been fun having him home. We went and enjoyed a kid-free breakfast at Panera on their last day of school. Then we split up that afternoon and took each kid to buy the other’s gift. Here is Robert finishing up his wrapping.

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That night, some friends from church invited us over for pizza and movie night. The kids watched Elf while the adults visited in the kitchen. They had invited the kids to have a sleepover, but we had an early morning planned so we decided it was best not to add more to our plate.

The next morning, we surprised the kids with an early showing of Star Wars. They have watched the three original Star Wars and some of the Clone War cartoons, so they are familiar with the storyline. I don’t know if it was the late night or the excitement of Christmas vacation or what, but they acted terrible throughout the movie. They were whiny and clingy and were just plain annoying the entire time.

 

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So other than that, we’ve spent our vacation time hanging out, watching movies, playing video games, playing outside, raking leaves and pine needles and getting ready for company.

 

Meh

I really don’t want to let my blog go, but I’m having a really tough time keeping up with everything right now. I’ve been saying this for the past month, but I really need to tone down my volunteering at the school. I’m basically working a part time job up there. Minus the pay of course :) I’m trying to make sure all of our new volunteers feel supported, so that means if they can’t be there the days I’m there, I’m coming in when it’s convenient for them to make sure they know their way around the workroom and feel comfortable working on their own. I end up saving some work to be done and then they sometimes don’t show, so then I’m scrambling to complete the work for the teachers. Or I’m getting ready to leave for the day and a teacher asks me if I can laminate something so since I don’t know if anyone else will be in and the laminator won’t be on again until a week later, I say, “Sure thing” and then laminate and take home an hour or so of cutting along with what I was already planning on completing at home. Suffice it to say, I can’t seem to get caught up :)

I love it though and the teachers have been sooooo appreciative. I also work in the library one morning a week on the librarian’s busiest morning. It’s non-stop classes and individual kids coming in for nearly four hours straight. Last week the internet was spotty all morning and it was complete chaos, long lines while we waited for the page to come back up and eventually writing barcodes on sticky notes to be entered into the computer later. The kindergarten classes are especially patient patrons.

PTA hosted it’s first movie night last Friday night and the entire day was spent putting out one fire after another. Broken popcorn machine, movie wouldn’t play, a/c order not submitted, wrong date given for PTA meeting that was supposed to take place, etc. I got there right after school started, went home for a couple of hours at lunch and then went back up and didn’t get home until 10:00 p.m.

Clara saw the orthodontist last week for the first time since her surgery in January. He’s ready to have her ankylosed tooth pulled. It’s right next to her baby canine, which will also need to come out to get to the ankylosed one. Her other canine was pulled in January and they’re not normally lost until age 12, but probably later for Clara due to her loosing teeth at a later age. So she’s going to have three empty spaces for quite some time. Technically, the ankylosed one looks like an empty space already.

The good news is she doesn’t need braces on the top four. He said the only reason would be cosmetic and since she hasn’t been bothered by them or self conscious about them, there’s no reason to do it. Yay! I love her orthodontist. That was her fourth consult with him, panoramic x-rays each time, and we’ve yet to pay a penny. And he didn’t pressure the first round of braces! He said a lot of parents like to just pull everything all at the same time, but he prefers a slower process. He wants kids to keep their teeth as long as possible and only extract when they start to cause problems with the eruption of surrounding teeth. That’s why this is her third round of extractions. It isn’t possible for her ankylosed one to come out on it’s own. I’m hoping that by slowly taking out the problem teeth that we’re setting her up for an easier time with braces here in a few years. I mean, if every tooth has a chance to get close to the right spot due to proactively making space, I would assume that means less forcing into place later on.

The bad news is we took her earrings out for the x-ray and forgot to put them back in until a few days later and one hole closed up. Oops. I tried poking it through, but it just wasn’t going and started bleeding. And there were tears. And crying. So now it’s back to the piercer at some point.

We’ve had a couple of roofers out to give us an estimate this past week. Insurance isn’t covering it, so we get to pay for it ourselves. One of the roofers is actually fighting our insurance right now for us. He had us get a second inspector out and actually got on the roof with him, so it’s looking like we may get a small break after all. Yay!

School is going very well. This week marks the end of their first 9 week period. How is it possible this year is already 1/4 way over!? Robert was really on the fence for the first few weeks but we’ve broken over and he now loves school! Oh my goodness, it’s such a relief to know that he’s not miserable and bored up there all day long. Grandma asked him all about school and what he liked and then when she asked him what was one thing he didn’t like, he couldn’t come up with anything. He eventually said the bus, but that’s only because he said it takes too long. He doesn’t wait any longer than he would if he was a car rider or bike rider, but I guess he’s just itching to get home in the afternoons. At his parent/teacher conference last week, his teacher said he’s doing wonderfully, both academically and socially. Thankfully he isn’t getting bored at this point. She has a few kids at his reading level, so she said they’ve naturally gravitated together and she’s able to keep them challenged. He’s reading very well, but his comprehension level isn’t as high. He comprehends things that have been stated in the text, but not things inferred. They expect even kindergartners to be able to infer. Isn’t that crazy?

I had more written, but it didn’t save so this will be sufficient for the time being.

So coming up in the next few weeks we have book fair, donuts with dad, open house, a camping trip, a new roof, Halloween costumes to make, school projects to make, a Rio trip for Chris (and maybe for me! Eek!) eye exams, dental cleanings and then it’s time for birthday/holiday season :)

This is Happening Right Now

Last Sunday night we noticed water coming up through small cracks and the large seam (or whatever you call the place where two pieces meet) in the street in front of our house. We called it in and the next morning we had a note on our door that there was in fact a leak and a crew with a back hoe would be out. Workers have been out several times last week marking gas and electric lines in our back yard and the neighbor’s yard across the street. A week later and the work has finally commenced. I thought maybe we were going to get lucky and just our neighbor’s yard would be getting uprooted, but alas, I looked out and this just happened.

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Parade and Rodeo

Wednesday morning was the rodeo parade. Myrt Myrt wanted to drive their UTV in the parade with the kids so Bia rode along with Clara and Brody. I didn’t know how Robert would do because of the sirens, plus I figured he’d be hot, tired, hungry, need to go to the restroom, etc, etc, etc, so I thought he’d prefer to sit on the sidelines. He wasn’t completely on board, but when I reminded him he would get candy if he watched, he was convinced. It’s been a few years since his last parade.

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As I thought, when we went to find a place to park and then waited for a while for the parade to get started, Robert wasn’t too keen on the idea of sitting through a parade anymore. When the sirens started, he was pretty much done and wouldn’t even smile for pictures. Sweet Cooper is always smiles.

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He perked up after the law enforcement sirens at the beginning of the parade passed by and the candy started flowing freely.

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We just hung out at the house after the parade.

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That night, we all went to the rodeo together. It started pouring right before the rodeo and was still coming down when we got there. It was such a mess, muddy puddles everywhere and the three of us were in sandals. I know, I know, it’s our own fault, but we don’t own any boots. Here’s Clara and Mini-Myrt :) I think Taren looks just like Myrt Myrt.

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The kids enjoyed themselves. Mostly. After the rain, Clara was complaining about being cold. In Pecos. In June. Didn’t think that was possible. Of course when she saw Brody with a snow cone, she forgot all about how cold she was and insisted on the summery treat. Tenley slept through the whole thing. Brody got a bloody nose and blood all over his shirt during the boot scramble. Clayton was having asthma problems and just wanted to leave. Taren kept getting in trouble for not listening because she wanted to dance in the walkway and people were tripping over her. And Robert kept asking when it would be over. Gone are the days of my youth when going to the rodeo meant walking from one side of the arena to the other, eating snacks from the concession stands along the way :) It was a late night and the rodeo didn’t finish up until close to 11:00.

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Laundry and packing were on the agenda for Thursday. We managed to squeeze in one more swim over at Myrt’s. Boots with swimsuit just crack me up for some reason.

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We had lots of fun with family and can’t wait to see everyone in a few weeks for camping. And Bia and Myrt Myrt’s annual visit is coming soon too! The summer is just flying by.

Rodeo Week, Y’all!

The kids and I left for Pecos on Saturday morning. I got off much later than I wanted to so I think that just got the trip off to a rough start for me. When I go on a road trip, I prefer to get where I’m going as quickly as possible. When I’m making the drive to Pecos, it’s not about the journey. It’s only about how fast I can get my crew across the state, preferably with my sanity still intact. I think we made 8 stops this time. EIGHT!

We got to the west side of San Antonio and the interstate was closed due to a wreck and all traffic was merging onto the one lane access road. The back up was around 5 miles and it took us about an hour to get through. It was brutal and I had to pee. I just said a silent prayer that the kids wouldn’t have to go because there really wasn’t a place to pull over for a good portion of that time. We made it to Kerrville for lunch about an hour after the snag. I’m pretty sure we got to DQ at the same time as every other car that was stuck behind the wreck. It took about 30 minutes to get our food. I was just antsy the whole time. And then, it seemed like every bathroom we stopped at had either ran out of toilet paper or had overflowed. Blech! We were making a final stop for gas and potty break in Ft. Stockton, 50 miles til our destination and about 5:00. Robert had to go. We walked in only to find the bathroom closed for some reason, and although I allow him to go in public men’s rooms by himself now, I will NOT let him go in a large truck stop men’s room by himself. Argghhh! So we went across the interstate to McDonalds. I always buy something when I go in to use a bathroom and I told the kids they could get some fries to split. We walked in and what did we see? A line of approximately 100 boy scouts. I officially gave up at this point. We hit the bathroom and I didn’t feel a bit of remorse when we high-tailed it out of there with no purchase in hand.

We got to Pecos around 6:00 and headed over to Myrt and Joe’s house where everyone was celebrating Wyatt’s birthday. I was coming out of my traveling stupor so I didn’t get any pictures.

We did absolutely nothing on Monday. I stayed in my pajamas and my mom and I vegged out on the couch the whole day while the kids played. We had considered going to Wink to visit Linsey and everyone assumed we had. Tanya called Linsey to talk to my mom and she’s like, “They’re not here. I don’t know where they are.” Ha!

Clara enjoyed playing with Cody and Tanya’s puppies they’re trying to give away. They’re staying at my parent’s house so the wild animals can’t get ’em out at the farm.This one was her favorite; his name is Chewbaca.

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We pulled ourselves off the couch that evening and took the kids out to the farm to see Cody and Tanya’s “barndominium” or “The Shanty” as it’s affectionately called. I hadn’t ever heard the term barndominium. They are temporarily living out at the farm, so they’ve bought  a barn with a loft that they’ll be able to move and use as guest quarters whenever they buy some land. It has a bathroom, closet and kitchen area and they just laid the floors that weekend so we went to check it out. Myrt Myrt, Clayton and Taren had come out also to ride horses for a while.

Mason has added quite a few critters to his menagerie. He’s got a couple of horses now, some geese, rabbits, chickens, a goat, a peacock and he just made a duck pond. The kids got to hold the new baby bunnies. I remember going into this same pen with Memaw when I was little to see the rabbits. I never liked to eat meat that Memaw prepared because I didn’t want to unknowingly consume bunny rabbit :)

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The kids took a short ride on the horses. Clara rode behind “Uncle Cousin Mason” and really enjoyed herself.

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The next day my mom and I took the kids to the skate park with Myrt and her two. They had lots of fun racing down the ramps even with the wind and dirt hitting them in the face. That afternoon was more swimming at Myrt Myrt’s house. The kids did a lot of cooling off in Myrt Myrt’s pool all week.

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Linsey and the boys got to Pecos late in the afternoon and then we went out to the farm again. We wanted to try and get a picture of all eight grandkids because two of them were leaving to go stay with their other grandparents the next morning.We took the picture inside The Shanty because it was so windy outside and we didn’t want Tenley out in it. There was a serious lack of cooperation so this is as good as we could get.

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Bia wanted one with just the girls and we had to get a couple because they both wanted to hold Tenley. The boys, who were the source of noncooperation, declined to have another picture taken.

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I did get some good smiles on the trampoline a little bit later.

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Tenley is almost 4 months old now already and growing like a weed.

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That night the kids slept in the living room together. Tenley is photobombing the big kids.

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The next day was the rodeo parade and the first night of the rodeo, but I’ll save that for a new post.

 

Theater Camp and Father’s Day

The kids and I just got back from a week long trip to Pecos a few hours ago. Before I post pics from our trip, I figured I should do a little catch up. Dan and Linda came for a couple of days last week and we left for Pecos early on Saturday as they were leaving for home. Linda was having some technical difficulties with her camera and so she’s been patiently waiting for me to post pictures of their stay.

Since Linda had knee replacement surgery in April, she’s only recently been up for traveling, so this was their first trip to our new house. They decided to time their trip to attend a play that Clara was in last Thursday. She attended a two week long theater camp that was put on by the theater students at the high school as a fundraiser. They had 90 elementary aged kids and they all had at least one line. Most parts were very small. Clara was the Spring Fairy and she had two lines. Each group also performed a song and dance. Clara’s group was made up of 16 fairies- one for each month and season. They had to get creative to give everyone a part :)

She did well and loved every minute of camp and the performance. The play was a little hard to sit through but there were some hilarious moments. I’m convinced that it would’ve gone better had they had their one more day of practice that got cancelled because of weather 😉 It couldn’t have hurt at least. I asked Clara before the play where she would be positioned during her dance and for once was in a good spot for pictures.

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She loved camp and can’t wait to do it next year. Robert was all gung ho about joining her next year. Until he had to sit through the play. He’s pretty much convinced he’s no thespian now. Ha!

Robert attended VBS that week and it was science themed. He finished up VBS on Friday morning and then Grandma and Grandpa joined us on a trip to the library for audio books for our trip and then we enjoyed some yummy sno balls.

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We had an early Father’s Day dinner at Texas Land and Cattle that night.

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Daddy and Grandpa got to open their Father’s Day gifts early. The kids and I made this for Chris. It’s a wooden “J” with legos hot glued on. It turned out really cute and I plan to hang it in the game room. I’m searching for cute, fun things to decorate the room with. We also got him a new Wii U game. We just got one a few weeks ago.

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And the kids both painted pictures for Grandpa that I put in frames. Grandpa loves F1 racing and these are paintings of his favorite race car drivers’ car.

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Enjoying the Pool

The kids have been loving having a pool of course. They’ve gotten in it several times. I’ve yet to get in it because it’s still too cold. That’s why Robert’s in a floaty. No swim practice until I can handle the water. Even the kids are freezing, teeth chattering and goosebumps. No thank you. I’ll wait until it’s 100 degrees out.

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I will say, relaxing on our covered deck while watching the kids play in the pool, is pretty darn awesome. Chris and I were both torn about having a pool and probably wouldn’t have gotten this house had there been a wider selection of homes on the market, but I’m glad we did. I love our new home :)

Easter in Temple

We started moving into our new house the last week in March. Since our new house is only a couple of miles from the old, we took several loads over in the car everyday. We were trying to move bulky, hard to pack or fragile stuff like bikes, small furniture, outdoor furniture, lamps and wall art. It seemed like we had moved half of our house during the week and we hadn’t even touched the packed boxes or furniture! Ugh. Moving is such a pain.

So the last weekend in March, we had several of Chris’ co-workers come over and help us for the actual move. Most of Chris’ friends from work had trucks and they were adamant that we not rent a moving van and just use their trucks, so we did. And one friend brought a flat bed trailer. So between his trailer and our small one and I think four trucks, we got moved in two trips I think. Not too shabby. That didn’t include the last bits and pieces that just seem to come out of nowhere that I just finished up this last week. Ahem.

So, back to Easter. It was the weekend after our move, so things were still chaotic over here. I wanted to go though because Linda was having knee replacement surgery a couple weeks later and wouldn’t be traveling for awhile or be able to enertain visitors. Chris stayed home because our new house doesn’t have a doggie door and Max, being used to a doggie door, can’t go too long between visits to the backyard. Plus, the move was pretty stressful for him, so it was best not to leave him so soon after.

Both kids had off on Friday, so we left that morning. Dan and Linda treated us to a movie, so we went to see Cinderella. We weren’t sure how Robert would do, but he’s been doing a pretty good job at watching “real” movies lately at home, so I thought he’d do ok and he wanted to go, so we took him. After his popcorn ran out, he was pretty wiggly. It was a cute movie and the rest of us enjoyed it even after our popcorn ran out.

The next day we tried to get some bluebonnet pictures after breakfast. Ummm, I don’t know what happened because I know I checked the weather before I left home, but it was a lot colder than I was expecting. The kids were freezing. All I had brought them were summer clothes. They didn’t have a sweater or pants or anything and it was breezy and in the 50s. So our first attempt at bluebonnet pics looked like this. We promptly left, hoping to return later when it warmed up.

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Back at the house, the kids made soap balls from a kit that Grandma had bought them.

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We made it back over to a small patch right by the house but by this time, the afternoon sun was in their eyes, so they’re not the best pictures. I haven’t gotten their pictures in bluebonnets since Robert was a toddler, so that’s ok. I’ll take ’em.

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You’ll notice people walking around in a couple of the pictures. We tried to avoid them, but they were all over the patch. They had lost their keys somewhere and were having to walk all over to find them. Apparently they had chased their dog through them and don’t know when they lost them. I felt so bad for them. They eventually left to go get a metal detector to aid in their search. We left there and went to a bouncy house for a little while. Upon returning home, they were still out there with their metal detector. That patch of bluebonnets was no doubt completely trampled.

We dyed Easter eggs that night. Clara wrote a note to the Easter bunny asking him to please hide the eggs inside the house because we were supposed to be getting thunderstorms. They watched an Easter cartoon and then were off to bed.

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The bunny got the memo, so the kids awoke to a house full of eggs. It’s really hard to get good pictures of an indoor egg hunt.

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The Easter bunny had left them a few small items in their baskets and they also received a bucket of goodies from a couple of sweet elderly sisters at Dan and Linda’s church.

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Here they are all dressed up and ready for church. Poor Clara was freezing. They got to take their stuffed animals that the church ladies gave them and they were able to thank them in person when we got to church.

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We had a nice Easter lunch prepared entirely by Linda while I packed up and we hit the road right after lunch. Once back, we were able to devote all or our attention to getting this house in order. It’s still a work in progress more than a month after moving in.

Saying Goodbye to Nanny

Nanny’s memorial service was scheduled for the next Friday, the 20th. We picked Clara up from school a little early on Thursday so we could make it to Temple around dinner time. Thursday also happened to be Chris’ birthday so I was sure to bring his gifts and I picked up an assortment of mini cupcakes for after dinner.

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Here Robert is reading to Grandma for the first time. He’s been reading for a few months, but this was  his first “in person” reading session with Grandma and Grandpa.

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The memorial service was held the next morning at a funeral home near Dan and Linda’s house. Here is the link to her obituary. It was a small service since Margaret had only lived in Temple for less than a year. It was mainly friends from church. There were four family friends from their time in Alaska that were able to make it, so it was special having them there. Bob and Gina came from the Dallas area and Bob spoke at the service. He performed Dan and Linda’s wedding and also Chris and mine. Also, their old friend Bea, who still lives in Alaska, was visiting her daughter in the Austin area, so the two of them came as well.

Clara had said she wanted to say something at the service, so of course Robert did too. It was decided that Robert would sing with Clara. Chris went up with them and let Clara talk first. She told everyone that the dress she was wearing was special because it was a gift from Nanny and talked about being named after her. Then she and Robert sang “You are My Sunshine”. There wasn’t a dry eye after that. They did a great job. Chris was supposed to say something, but instead came back to his seat. Later he said he should have gone first :)

Before-service

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After the service, we were treated to lunch by some of the ladies at church. Our out of town guests joined us and we had a great time chatting and they all enjoyed reminiscing. I’m so glad they were able to come.

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The next day Chris and I rented a U-Haul and moved all of Margaret’s things out of her apartment. We took some to Goodwill and some to storage for Linda to go through later. It ended up being a bigger job than I anticipated and took quite some time, even though Linda had gone through and marked a lot of things with where they were to go. It was a pretty mentally exhausting task, so I’m glad we could do it for her.

I tried to add some old photos, but it’s not letting me, so I’ll add them later.