Tuesday, May 31, 2011

gonna try to get this typed real quick before i have to start my day. it's 5:30 on Tuesday, the second to the last day of school for the kids. i'm going to relish the routine and order for two more days. though i am really looking forward to having the kids home and all the fun things we have planned  - we have a lot planned - i do best when outside structure is imposed upon me.

we had a lovely holiday weekend. Friday night we stayed home and cleaned up the house and yard, made a birthday cake, and cooked food for the boys' birthday party the next day. then we sat down and watched Ratatouille together.

we were up extra early on Saturday to get more stuff done before the party at 11:30. i went over to Mueller while it was still cool out and walked 4 or so miles, when ran to Target just as it was opening. I ended up running over there again a little while later. by 8:45 am. i had already walked 4 miles and been to Target twice.

the party went well. we had a lot of the relatives and then some school friends. none of the cousins were able to make it though.

^my great uncle and his sister, my grandmother

after the party Brian and i packed a few things and drove down to Daddy's and picked up the trailer for a weekend getaway out in the hill country. my wonderful inlaws had insisted that we go away while they stay at our house and watch the kids. i had the hardest time finding an RV spot since it was a holiday weekend, but finally found a place that had just had a cancellation and i jumped on it.
after we got to the place and hooked up, we drove the short drive to Bee Caves and did a little grocery shopping, something we never do together. we came back and had a nice dinner of salmon, blue cheese, walnut, spinach salad. we sat out late listening to music and enjoying the breezy night. it was really just too perfect.
we slept in Sunday until 8:30, which is unheard of for us. we packed a lunch and drove to Wimberley and walked around town for awhile before we had our lunch. then we drove to Sattler near Canyon Lake and toobed down the Guadalupe. the river was a lot lower than the last time we'd done that, but still floatable.
when we were done toobing, we went back to the trailer and took a nap. i think we had a lot of sleep we needed to catch up on. in the evening we went over to a mexican restaurant in Bee Caves. that night we sat outside again and read books. i've made my way through several books recenlty. this week i read House Rules by Jodi Piccoult, The Walk by Richard Paul Evans, a history of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, and another general history of Galveston. still working on the last book. yes, i'm a voracious reader.
we lounged around Monday morning and took our time packing up the trailer. we dropped the trailer back off at Daddy's and, at his bidding, we dug in his garden a bit and brought home some onions and potatoes.
the kids had school yesterday even though it was a holiday, but Brian's parents had taken care of all that for us. Brian and i had a little time to get things done before i went to get them, so he worked out in the storage building and i went and exercised.
the kids seemed happy to see us though they all said they had a great time with Nonny and GB. i am so grateful for such fabulous inlaws. i just can't say enough good things about them.

tonight is Margaret's 6th grade graduation. they do a grad ceremony for 6th at Maplewood since that is the highest grade they offer. there will be a commencement and a potluck dinner, and then a dance. then tomorrow is the last day of school. we're going to celebrate summer's arrival and John's 7th birthday by going to Schlitterbahn on Friday. Saturday we're hosting a going away party for our friends, the Raders, who are moving to Houston. we have some other things on the near horizon, too, like a trip up to Kilgore to visit Brian's parents since we haven't made it up there in so long (though they've been down here several times in the last few months). lots of fun things to look forward to!

well, it's time to start the day rolling. hopefully i'll be back before too long.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

i hate that it has been such a long time since i last updated. i want to blog regularly, documenting each detail of our daily life because i know that one day i won't remember all these little things. but it's hard in the midst of real life to stop and take the time.

back tracking a bit....

last Sunday Brian was installed as a deacon at Redeemer. watching him standing up there with those other men who were getting installed, my heart was full to bursting with love and thankfulness for Brian. you'd have to search pretty hard to find a more sincere person than Brian. why in the world he wanted to spend his life with me, i'll never know, but i'm sure glad he asked. he's something special.

Brian's parents were in central Texas over the weekend and came to church with us Sunday and then took us to lunch at Matt's El Rancho. yumm.

Brian had a deacon's meeting Monday night and didn't get home until 11. i was thankfully we live a mere 5 minutes from church and that he didn't have to drive the half hour that most of the other deacons have to drive.

i had an OB appointment Tuesday. things are looking good and i'm finally gaining some weight - 6 lbs. so far.
i'm 15 weeks today and i'm feeling more pregnant every day. i'm having a harder time buttoning my regular jeans without first dancing around and stretching them out, but i still can't wear the maternity jeans i found at the thrift store. my ultrasound is scheduled for June 13th. i can hardly wait to look at baby. we haven't talked much about names. i have a few that have jumped out to me when i've looked through the family genealogy papers, but i don't think any will really stick with me/us until we know what flavor of baby this is.

Brian and i met with William's speech therapist and his teacher and the Maplewood principal Tuesday morning to review what had been accomplished over the year and to discuss the plan for next year. thankfully he gets to continue with therapy an hour a week next year.

i met Jess for coffee on Tuesday. we spent an hour and a half catching up. we haven't had a lot of time to talk since she got married in February.

i came home and baked a chocolate buttermilk cake for Brian and the boys to take to the cub scout boat races/potluck that night. while they were at that Margaret and i got dinner out, went swimsuit shopping, and walking and rollerblading. it was good to spend some time together, just us girls. we rarely do that.

this morning after i dropped off the kids, Karen - Keegan's mom - and i had breakfast together at Cherrywood Coffeehouse down the street from Maplewood. she's become a really good friend. we're both real similar and both love scouring thrift stores and Goodwill and repurposing things. we made big plans for the summer and are determined to spend lots of time together.

i keep meaning to take tummy pics, but i haven't got around to it. soon.

we're heading to Galveston as soon as the kids get out of school on Friday. our neighbor and the guy who has done most of the work on our house, Dan, owns a little cottage down there and said we can go down and use it any time. i'm sure we'll take advantage of it several times this summer. it's not beachfront, but who cares as long as your on the island. the island is only like 3 miles wide so no matter where you are you're near the beach.

the kids are almost done with school for the year. i always get so emotional at the end of the school year recalling all the memories we've made throughout the year and realizing that this season of life is going to pass far too quickly. things will be quite different next year with Margaret going off to jr. high. these two years of having them all together at Maplewood has been special and i kind of hate to see it come to an end.

well, i've got dinner to make and homework folders to check.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Annie Noble Evans

my brother Thomas and his wife Meredith welcomed Annie Noble Evans on April 30th.

with her sister, Aili (EYE-lee) and brother, Tommy. that brings the cousin count to ten.

Monday, May 9, 2011

i read The Help last week in just a couple of days. it was the best book i've read in awhile. can't wait for the movie to come out in August!

The Help

as i've said before, i am drawn to books set in the deep south and ones where the main characters are black. not sure why. this book was beautifully written and i couldn't put it down. in fact i read a majority of it on my daily walks and sitting in the carpool line waiting to pick up the kids, and stretched across the bed when i was supposed to be making it. the whole civil rights issue is so weird. so hard for me to comprehend that not many years ago things were as they were. that we live in such a culturally and ethnically diverse city makes it all the more difficult to grasp. my kids' closest friends are black and hispanic and they go to school where whites are the minority and the racial lines are nonexistent. i thank God for how far most of our nation has come on this issue in such a short time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

thoughts from my pastor on the death of Osama bin Laden.

second to the last.

okay, almost done with the home tour.

this is the dining room. before we made it the dining room, we called it the intersection, or the four way stop because it was jsut this weird spot in the house. once we put in the french doors, it seemed more like a room. it is surrounded by the livingroom, the playroom, and den, and the kitchen. i guess you could call it the heart of the home. lots of things happen here. homework. artwork. sewing. games. parties. and eating, of course.

we bought this table at World Market a few years ago and have been very pleased with it. it can expand out a few more feet to accomodate several more people.

things of note on the walls in the dining room -

the couple in the top photo are my great-great grandparents Thomas Abraham Evans I and Fannie McCutchan Evans.
the couple below are their son, my great grandfather, Thomas Abraham Evans II and his wife Emma Zimmerman Evans. incidentally, my brother is Thomas Abraham Evans III, and his son is Thomas Abraham Evans IV. this is where we got Samuel's middle name - Thomas, and John's middle name - Abraham.

the above is a watercolor that Margaret did in art class earlier this year. i haven't framed it yet. i may be partial, but i think it's beautiful.

a family picture from 2006 i think. and my collection of W's. and a tiny snapshot of Brian and my first kiss. the only pic we have of that moment from our wedding day. and it isn't a very good one either, but i cherish is all the same.

 so there is the dining room. now you've seen every room in the house but Margaret's. i'll have to wait until it is clean to give you the tour. who knows when that will be.=)

the tour continues.

the play room.

this room is right off the dining room. it has been an office and the dining room, and will probably become the nursery once the baby is here.

we put in these french doors last year and i think it was a great idea. we can close them and not have to look at the messy room during dinner.

this room was originally a one car garage when the house was built in the 1950's, but the owners converted it to a room in the 1960's. i think they did a pretty good job. we've repainted it at least three times. it was dark stained pine when we moved in. now it's the same wedgewood blue that you saw in the boys' room.

 it's a highly functional room. you can even sweep the dirt right out the door since there isn't a thresh hold - something we need to fix. we tiled the floor in here, but hopefully someday we'll put wood floors in as the floor is like ice in the winter. the door opens out to the carport which is next on my list of things to fix. i want to make it a screened porch. i've always, always wanted one and i think the little bit of added square feet of living space would be much appreciated.

medals from races and kids' sports

 and more of the kiddos artwork. and there is the hook where their backpacks go at the end of the day.

long term we might turn this room into the master bedroom. the utility room is right off it (currently too messy to show. actually it is always too messy to show.), and is big enough to put a bathroom in there. we'll see if we can scrape up the money to do that one of these days.

and there you have it.

more home

the living room.

just about anything that happens in our house happens here, so it's in lots of my pics. but i'll include it in the "tour" anyways.

this is the front room of our little domicile. it was red for so many years, nearly seven, but i repainted it last year.

i love color and textures. i got this rug at Target and it makes me happy. that green throw on the couch has been around for so long that i can't recall where i got it. i still like it, even though it's starting to lool rather shabby.

and i always love to have a vase of sunflowers in here. sunflowers aren't my favorite flower, but they sure look good in here.

i did away with any window treatments because i love an open airy look.

again, sorry this is so dark, but i'm no photographer. this is a portrait that my grandmother (the one talked about in a previous post today) painted of my mom when she was about 15. i love it because i think it shows how much my mom and i look alike. the weird metal work thing is a piece of artwork Margaret did at school. it used to be a man playing a guitar, but somewhere a long the way it got bent out of shape. i keep it out still because it kind of adds some cool to this otherwise classic room. this is a thrift store chair that i have recovered too may times to count. i love the current fabric because it goes so well with the rug.

we keep flip flops in this red box. it was something my mom was getting rid of, but i rescued it and painted it red.

we have so many books in our house that they get stacked everywhere. this stack on the coffee table has some of my favorite picture books - U2byU2, Pat Green's Dancehalls and Dreamers, and the Shiner 100th anniversary book.
my grandmother gave us her piano last year. we weren't sure where we'd put it at first, not having a lot of wall space, but it seems to be perfectly happy in this spot by the front door. after painting last year, i was hesitant to hang too much on the walls. our wedding pics got stuck here and just kind of stayed. i think i like them here. also, there is a piece of artwork by Margaret, rendering of one of Rembrandt's paintings, i think (Anna the Prophetess, maybe? i can't remember).

i love plants inside the house and out. i got these matching copper jello molds at the thrift store and thought they made cute little planters to go on each end table. sadly my 2 bamboo plants don't look so great.

 and here is another chair covered in the same fabric as the other one. this one was one that someone had set out by the side of the road. as i was picking it up to load in the back of the suburban, the owner came out of the house and asked if i needed help with it. it was none other than a guy i had gone to youth group with as a teen and who took me to his senior prom! LOL. so the chair is not only cute - it has some cool carving in the wood that doesn't show up in the pic, but it has a funny little story to go with it.
and that's the old marriage certificate, in case Brian and i need to be reminded. and under it is an oil pastel that Margaret did in 3rd grade, i think.

so that's the living room.

home tour continued....

the boys' room

it's hard to find this room tidy, what with three boys sharing it, but somehow i caught it half way decent today.

kinda dark, but here is where John-John sleeps. i love the big bank of windows in here. Samuel and William have the bunk.

if there is a theme to their room, i guess it would be the ocean, though i haven't really aimed toward anything, it just seems as if things have sort of fallen together.

this is a print of a painting by my stepdad's brother, entitled "Matthew". Cal wanted to give us a framed print as a wedding gift, and asked us to pick of several of his works. i chose this one. at the time, i always envision us having a son and naming him Matthew. funny how that hasn't been one of the names on our list.

the boys have had the same Tommy surfboard sheets and red and white duvets from IKEA for so long that i feel like i should replace them, but they've worn well, that it seems like a waste.

i'd like to paint their beds, but that is kind of far down the list of things to do. their room was a peanut butter color for several years, but i painted it this wedgewood blue last year and have been really pleased with it.

and all those marks you see on the ceiling aren't dirt, they're glow in the dark stars and planets. i love that they have those, just as i did as a kid.

weekend recap

it's been a pleasant couple of days. yesterday i met my mom and aunt Lucy down at South Austin hospital. my grandmother has been in the hospital with a gallbladder attack. she was scheduled to have it removed yesterday afternoon and i wanted to see her beforehand. Mama, Lucy, and i ate lunch together out under the trees outside the hospital. Lucy had brought us subway sandwiches and we had such a nice time visiting together. we then went up and hung out with my grandmother awhile. she kept us laughing the whole time as we waited for the nurses to take her away to surgery. here she was getting ready for surgery and she wanted to put on lipstick and perfume. =) my grandfather came a little while later. he hasn't been married to my grandmother for years, but, because of a strange set of circumstances, he is still her step brother. yeah, weird. what happened is that several years after my grandmother and grandfather married in the 40's, they each lost a parent - my grandmother's mother died, and my grandfather's father died. well, after awhile, those each decided to marry. get it? my grandmother's father married my grandfather's mother. yes, it was all legal and above the board. so, even though my grandparents are now divorced, they are still step brother and sister. they've been married twice (to each other) and have both married others, but have remained friends over the years and are always at the same family gatherings. my grandmother hasn't been married to anyone for years, but my grandfather is currently married.
so he comes up to the room and joins Mama, Lucy, and i who are visiting with Memee. because there was no seating left, he decides to sit on the end of the hospital bed. well, Lucy pipes up that she might have to tell Karen (my grandfather's current wife) that he was in bed with Memee. i guess you'd have had to have been there to appreciate the humor of it. =)

last night we went over to Central Market. the kids ran around and played the whole time and Brian and i had a chance to visit, almost like a date.

this morning we had a lazy start. i made homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy and peppered bacon. mmmmm. i love a southern breakfast!

i went out and walked my miles this morning before it got too warm. Margaret and i worked around the house doing yard work and cleaning house, and also went grocery shopping. we had a lot of prep to do to get ready for the neighborhood potluck for this month. we volunteered to host this time, the first time in our 8 years of living in Windsor Park. 'bout time, huh? i mowed, edged, and cleaned up the yard of toys and sticks. it was so nice to have the yard all tidy again. i made several pans of king ranch chicken and one chocolate buttermilk cake. the house smelled delicious and thanks to Margaret, was sparkling clean. and it stayed clean because Brian and the boys were away at baseball games and practices for most of the day.

we had a modest turnout, maybe five families, but it seemed just right. everyone brought something to eat and some brought beer and some wine and we all had a jolly time around the table while the kids ran and played in the yard. it is always good to hang out with the neighbors.

sunday morning we went to worship. afterwards i had my sunday school to lead/co-lead. it was the last sunday of the semester. i'm now done with all my childcare duties (other than my own kiddos) until the fall. i'll miss all those little guys.

Meredith finally had that baby girl. she was born on saturday though i haven't heard all the details yet. the Evans cousins go down like stair steps - Claire - 12, Margaret - 12, Thomas - 10, Samuel - 10, William - nearly 9, Patrick - 8, John - nearly 7, Tommy - nearly 6, Aili - nearly 3, and Baby Evans. our little one will be 7 months younger than this one, and then it will be left to Brian and i, i think, to decide if there will be another cousin. it is so fun that we all live in the same city and the cousins have grown up together as best friends.

well, it's monday and i've got a lot of monday chores to do.