Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall is rushing by ....

I have really lost track of the time. With school going on and all the other activities I can't believe how long it has been since I posted. As I write this we are preparing for Thanksgiving break, Sarah is singing in choir at school, Almira is playing soccer.

In fact she has a game this afternoon. I missed her game last week, but Dad and Sarah attended. I hate I missed it because she scored her first goal. She has really grown and is turning into such a beautiful young lady.

Sarah had sinus surgery about 4 weeks ago and is doing well. She has been coughing at night again, but her ENT said it was strictly allergy. We are returning next week to the allergy doctor in Shreveport. He did say she was low on one of her immune testing for whatever causes pneumonia and also frequent sinus infections. Hopefully he will give her the booster next week. Then we're going to talk about allergy shots for her. I have so many pictures I need to download and I'll get some posted.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall is here

What a beautiful day today! We have just hung out at home and cleaned some. Then we left and went to a nursery and bought some mums and some other stuff. We pulled out some of our fall decorations.

Then Almira begged me to take her driving. So I bribed her. I told her if she would wash my car which was filthy from parking under the pecan trees at work, I would take her for a driving lesson. We went to a large empty parking lot and I let her drive for about 30 minutes. Right across the street from the parking lot was a pretty quiet neighborhood. We we drove on through the neighborhood. She really did pretty well. She only had one time she forgot to hit the brake while making a turn and didn't turn enough. She had to back up and straighten up and then she did okay. She had some trouble remembering which side of the road to drive on. I think we finally got that straight. Anyway I wanted to post some of our pictures from out front. Especially our sweet little boy kitten, Gareth. He is getting so big. He is about 5 months old now. In one of the pictures Gareth is wondering how that other black cat is and not liking it one bit.

The girls are doing well in school and Almira is loving her honors math class. She is still repeating some, even though she is in 8th grade now. The RBS was doing pretty well in teaching the kids math from what I can tell.

Anyway, we're off to enjoy the LSU game shortly. Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend.

Till later,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We survived Gustav ...

We survived the hurricane last week and did not even lose power. So many people around us lost power, especially the people in the southern part of the state. There were small towns around us that flooded very badly, many that had never flooded before. Las Tuesday the girls asked if they could go outside and play in the rain and in the very full ditch and I told them they could. We always used to play in the rain when we were kids, as long as there wasn't lightening. Outside our house there were some pretty good ditches, almost neck deep sitting flat on the bottom. We would put play boats in the ditch and have boat races. Well, the girls didn't do all that, but they did have fun. The little boy next door came over in his rain poncho and they splashed around for a few minutes. I got a few pictures.

Till later,


Monday, September 1, 2008

Waiting on the hurricane ....

Well, school has been back in session for 2 weeks now and we're hunkered down for Hurricane Gustov. We're hoping we won't get much since we're in north central Louisiana. But we've bought some supplies just in case we get some of the winds and we lose power for a day or two. It is 1:45 in the afternoon and the storm is just north of New Orleans. We've already got some strong wind gust here. I'm sicking in our den out back and watching the trees swishing around prretty good.

I wanted to post some more pictures from our beach trip. Most of the pictures are in New Orleans, but there is one of Masha the mermaid on the beach. The girls had such a good time in New Orleans, the beach and then deep sea fishing. Even though we didn't catch very many fish and most of them were small. It was still fun watching the girls reel them in. The water was pretty the girls got to ride off shore for a couple of hours.
I'll check back later after the storm moves through.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer is over ...

I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by. Tomorrow is the beginning of the school year and summer has just gone by way too fast. Almira and I spent yesterday morning at school at middle school orientation. Almira is going to be in 8th grade and will be taking Honors Math (Algebra 1) and also Honors Physical Science, both which will count as high school classes. I think this year will be a little bit scary for her, as she didn't really know anyone in her grade. Thankfully she has some friends from last year that will be in 7th grade. She will still see them in the halls and will play soccer with them.

We just came back from a little short vacation and I will be posting some pictures soon. Our translator from Kazakhstan, Masha, was about to come to the US back in July. Along with her was Svetlana's daughter, Masha, who is 16. We left home Friday morning, August 8th and headed to New Orleans. We spend the evening in New Orleans and stayed at the Hilton on the river. That night we walked all around the French Quarter and let the girls take in the sights. Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast and headed to the Aquarium of the Americas. The girls really seemed to enjoy it and about 12:30 left New Orleans headed for the beach. We took a side trip through Gulfport and Biloxi so Masha could see the devastation from the storm. Most of the beautiful houses that sat facing the ocean were just wiped away. It still makes me so sad to drive through that area and only see steps leading up to houses that are no longer there.

We finally arrived at the beach at 5:00 on Saturday afternoon. The girls headed down to the beach and stayed until sunset. Sunday morning was spent just walking on the beach and enjoying everything. Sunday afternoon we headed out on a 4 hour deep sea fishing trip. We didn't catch too many fish, but the girls all got to reel in a few small spanish mackeral and a few bluefish.

We went back to the condo and then headed out for a nice evening dining out. We went to a new place in Gulf Shores we hadn't been before. I think it was called DeSoto's and it was wonderful. It is a little blue building behind the Souveneir City (the big shark mouth). It was just wonderful. Me and the two Mashas got grouper, all grilled or broiled in a different way. It was just to die for.

Jon had to leave early Monday morning and drive back for work. It was raining when he left a little after 6:00 a.m. so I went back to sleep for a little while. Everyone was kind of lazy that morning and we finally decided to head into town and do some shopping at the outlet mall.

By Monday evening the rain had let up and the girls all headed down to the beach to play one last time in the ocean.

We had such a good time and it was so hard to say goodbye to both Mashas on Tuesday in Jackson, Mississippi.

Hope everyone has enjoyed their summer and has a great school year.

Till then,


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Time for the 4th of July...

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted. Things have been very busy around here. To update things, Almira did pass the test and will be in Honors math in 8th grade next year. Wow! Very exciting and scary. I am because I will be the one helping her when she doesn't understand something. I'll have to do a review of my college algebra. It's been a few years.

We are also down to just one little kitten left. We still have the little boy who is just adorable and the sweetest little baby. He loves to snuggle and purrs every time you touch him. If only he could stay little for longer. He was not feeling well and I took him to the vet last Friday, the 27th. He was running fever and very lethargic. The doctor thought he had a little virus, just like a kid gets. He was better for a few days, but now doesn't seem to feel great. He is not playing which just isn't like him.

Sarah survived her first week away from home at church camp. She had an absolute blast. She went to Centri-Kid camp. Here is the link: http://www.lifeway.com/fuge/ck/index.asp

She went to Mississippi College just outside Jackson, MS. She stayed in a dorm for 5 days with her best friend. It was her first time to not have Mom, Dad or a grandparent taking care of her. In a way I think it was good for her, having to set an alarm, having to put her own sheets on her bed, no one to remind her to brush hair, teeth or whatever. She was totally responsible. I think she handled it better than I did. She even seems to have made it home with everything she took. I helped her back going over and used the gallon size ziploc bag packing technique that I used for Kazakhstan. That pretty much means sticking things in bags, rolling them to get all the air out and then putting them in a suitcase. It really does allow you to get so much more in your bag. But then I was worried she couldn't get it all stuffed back in there to get home, but she did.

Almira was with us, which was nice, we don't have her alone that aften. She is like a different child when Sarah is not around. She talks non-stop, wants to do everything with me and is much more agreeable. She is also less moody and spends less time in her room with the door shut. I sometimes wonder if she holds back alot when Sarah is around because she doesn't want to tread on Sarah's territory in a way. I wonder if she feels like we are Sarah's property and she holds back. I have been thinking about this more lately. I try to do everything with them and for them equally. But I realize that Sarah and I have that long standing very comfortable relationship. But not only that, Sarah is very easy going and laid back. They are just very different people. But I still worry about that. I think that is just part of being a parent, we must worry about something or we just wouldn't feel like we're doing out jobs.

This week Almira is at soccer camp at school every afternoon. She seems to be enjoying it. She is attending with her friend Amanda and all the team from school is there as well.

We haven't decided what to do for the 4th this year. It is very tempting to just stay home and sleep late, spend the day swimming and hanging out and then maybe go see the fireworks at the city park. I also have a lot of pictures to post.

Hope everyone has a great 4th! Happy Birthday, America!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lots of camps this week ...

This week has been a little bit crazy. Sarah is doing basketball camp at the college in the mornings while Almira and her friend Amanda are doing VBS at the church. In the evenings Almira and Amanda are doing soccer camp at the college.

This week Almira also started her English tutoring at a learning center. Since she will be jumping a grade, I was hoping to get her caught up in English and getting her ready for 8th grade. Last week we received a letter telling us that Almira had been nominated for Honors Math for next year. She started reviewing for math and particularly Algebra getting ready for the test. She took the test on Tuesday morning and we'll have to wait and see how she did. This will determine if the school officials think she is ready for this kind of challenging class next year. While I'm excited for her, I do have reservations about her jumping a grade and then going into an advanced math class.

We know that Almira will be playing soccer this fall and she mentioned to me about playing basketball as well. I was suprised as she has never played before. I told her I thought one sport a year would be enough. I didn't want her to get too overwhelmed with so many new things in the fall.

Sarah will be going to her first away from home camp with the church in 2 weeks. I'm excited for her as I remember how much fun those were, but anxious to let my baby go off on her own. I know all the grownups going and I know she'll be fine, but I'm still anxious.

Some friends of ours lost their son a few weeks bad. It was a horrible and tragic accident. He was 15 years old and was riding a jet ski with some friends. Somehow the jet ski turned over and he was either knocked unconcious or something else. His friends came up, but he didn't. Unfortunately none of the kids had on a life jacket. This was a great kid, honor student and just wonderful from all accounts. He died 1 week before his 16th birthday. Hid dad was his best friend and I can't imagine the loss in his life. His Mom and Dad are both doctors and that probably had to make it even worse, knowing they couldn't save him.

We took Almira and Sarah to the wake as the dad is our dermatologist and we see him often. They did not know Trey well, but we just had just seen him a few months ago. There were so many people there it was a 2 hour wait to go speak to the family. Just a terrible accident, but it does make me hold my kids just a little closer.

We now only have 2 kittens left in our house. The lady that came last week to look at one of the kittens saw the 2 sisters together jumping and playing and said she just couldn't separate them. So both little girl kittens went home with her as a suprise for her daughter. I've been getting updates on them when I got to therapy for my foot. Their names are Duchess and Tinkerbell and are very loved by her daughter and quite spoiled from what I understand. They have a soft kitty bed, crystal bowls to each out of and lots of kitty toys. I'm so happy they are going to have a good home and stay together.

Talk to you later,