Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't Hog The Grandmother!

Ben and I were in Austin for lunch on Saturday.
It was awesome.
I promised I would only post one picture.
I got to spend some time with Boo.
He can read.
Boo and I bonded over Skylanders.  Yes, it's true.
There was a serious accident during our visit.
None of us were around.  Fortunately a nurse lived next door to the babysitter.
Boo assured me he was just fine.
On Sunday Papa Ben and I found ourselves in Lake Jackson.
Amazingly, the breakfast, provided by Uncle Jeff, was from a Czech kolache shop,
Jeff didn't actually attend our breakfast, but the kolaches did, as long as they lasted.
My contribution to the morning fun was a paper bag.  I intended to startle everyone, but the bag wouldn't break.  It got funnier when Jacob couldn't break the bag, either.
Papa Ben never lets us down!
Lunch was butter chicken, of course.
Melanie made the naan.  She's a pro.
Papa Ben and Julia were pretty hungry, but they had a long talk to pass the time.
After lunch, we played.
These kids and their parents are so fun to be around!
We watched Dave's big fish tank.  He now trades coral for fish.
Dave, the coral king.  I didn't see that coming.
Near the top of my list of favorite things to do at Dave's house is feed the anemones.
You can't imagine how exciting this is until you've done it.
Nate loves to play my tile game.  He won.
I managed to tie with Julia.  Whew!
It was at about this point that I heard someone complain, "Hey, don't hog the grandmother!"  I will tell you, I was having such a great time!  I read a chess book before facing Will this time around.  Unfortunately for me, Will had already read the same book.
Jacob and Papa Ben played a marathon game, with Papa Ben finally skunking Jacob.
We enjoyed a marvelous, spontaneous talent show.
For the record, this is not pretend talent.  These kids are quite the musicians.
Matt plays in the senior orchestra ensemble.  He's 15.
To top off the show, Matt and Will played the Piano Guys' Winter Wind.  I was blown away.
To my utter and complete surprise, there was a birthday party.
For me!
I got a present.
There was a candle and a special, homemade dessert by Carolyn.
And -- ice cream!!
Everything was delicious.
We had the best time.
All of us!
I can't wait until next time!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

One Century

Boo attended our branch today.  It was a little crowded, so he sat by me near the front, and his parents sat near the back.  He was an angel.  No paper.  No pencil.  No amusement necessary.  He just listened.  If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.  It helps that our sacrament meeting is only 45 minutes.  Afterward, Boo posed with our friend Bea, who was born one hundred years before Boo.  Yes, it's true!
After church, we were invaded by third cousins.  A third cousin is a person who's grandfather is a cousin to your grandmother.
Calvin loved every single one of my toys.
In case any engineer out there thinks this is a triangle in a cube, Felicity is baking a pizza in an oven.  The door, by the way, opens and closes.  Very clever.
Harrison bucked Felicity off, but that was after I took this picture.
The kids had leftover brisket for lunch.  The adults ate after the kids and all we got was...RIBS!
I contributed to this meal and made dessert.  After all these years, I have actually improved on the recipe.

Finishing The List

The egg was smoking hours before sunrise.  I knew that because when one of the smokees came back to bed the lingering smell woke me up.  Brisket.  There's brisket inside.  It turned out to be the best I've ever had.  After 15 years of living in Houston, that is no small praise.
In the meantime, marbles rolled.  Boo jumps when he's excited.  This was great!
Next to sledding, puzzles are my favorite activity.
Dragons are a good way to involve others.
Ribs were next.
When I hear phrases like, "Homer, this is normal," I'm always suspicious.
While the smoke might have been normal, the ribs were far above par.
Boo was quite content to be smack in the middle of things and yet totally doing what he wanted to be doing.
And then our company began to arrive.  I love it when people like my toys!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Boo arrived Christmas night for a visit.
Boo's latest interest is Skylanders.  I found a few YouTube movies for him to watch yesterday while I made breakfast.
Suddenly realizing I didn't want to waste the day cooking, I made a list of major items of importance Boo and I wanted to accomplish.  First, I taught Boo that crossing of the item you are currently completing is a great way to start a list.
However, we had to finish breakfast.  Melissa commented that she didn't know the joys of poached eggs until she joined our family.  We also had homemade bagels.
Horsing around wasn't on the list.  We did that anyway.
Legos.  All little boys love Legos.  Big boys, too.
My marble game game, as Boo calls it, is a hit with everyone.  There will definitely be more of that!
The snow was perfect.  I got out all the sleds, but I was the only one interested in sledding.  I practically had to drag Boo outside.  No one came with us.  I had to coax Boo onto the sled, as he did not remember previous trips down this hill.
It's very satisfying to talk something up big and then laugh all the way down the hill.
Ok, he was ready to go on his own.  Papa Ben helped out with the camera.
Boo wasn't too sure, but off he went!
I love to teach people new skills!
Item #5:  Frost cookies.  So good.  Other people in the house enjoyed the fruits of this project.
Wii was a challenge.  Although I own this machine, I have never, ever played before.  I was being taught by a 5-year-old who didn't want to slow down to sound out instructions.  No matter, I ended up scoring one more coin than Boo and WINNING!  He had fun, too.
The major project attracting everyone else's attention was this.  Or, to be more precise, the grill it's being cooked in, aka, The Big Green Egg.  Those words must be spoken with respect, by the way.
Family members from afar were receiving updates.  Details.  Minutiae.  I'm surprised this gadget doesn't connect to the internet.
The extreme focus to the project brought perfection.
I am a big fan of my new roasted potatoes.
The asparagus was cooked in the microwave.  It was perfect, too.
The corn was seasoned and grilled.  Maybe December corn isn't the best, but it was definitely edible.
My rolls need no explanation...

But Sammie's portion might.  I'm not going there.

I actually promised that this picture wouldn't be posted, but I couldn't resist.
This is how a family eats together.
Have you ever eaten prime rib off the bone?  Next:  Ribs.  The brisket is already on.
And more marbles.