Monday, September 29, 2014

Entering Chandler’s World

As I’ve mentioned before, and it hasn’t diminished over the years, Chandler continually brings me flowers from the yard. This sweet child truly delights in finding pretty flowers and bringing them to me. A few days ago, he brought me a bunch of Lantana flowers. I quickly reminded him that he shouldn’t take flowers that I’ve planted; I want their pretty blooms to stay where they are.  He emphatically told me, “No, Mom, I found these in the yard where you didn’t plant them!” So he showed me how he’d found a small niche where lantana was growing wildly on it’s own. I was amazed. I hadn’t ever noticed it there before.


So, as a break in his school day, I grabbed scissors and a jar, and told him that for once, we would pick the flowers together. He was to give me a tour.  What followed truly surprised and touched me. 

He knew every crevice in our yard. He was aware of the smallest of flowers. He even had named certain areas of our yard, from the “snake farm” to the “deep valley.” He was vigilant in telling me when I needed to watch my step and be careful. His working knowledge of our land was astounding. I knew he spent a lot of time outside; but I had no idea what an observer and explorer he had been.




These were Chandler’s favorites.


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The sweet botanist.  EM170018

So, I took these photos, and I wanted to leave them here. Not only as a sign of something new I learned about my boy, but as a reminder to enter their worlds. How often I get so caught up in my world that I forget to enter theirs.  I will forever treasure this day when I got to follow him around and learn what mattered to him.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Yes, it’s been 1 year since I blogged last. Instagram and Facebook tend to work well for relating family stories and events. But for sharing multiple photos, I’m thinking this blog can still serve it’s purpose. So I’m going to skip the past year and leave that for another dozen later posts.

Last weekend, we decided to visit the Botanical Gardens because they have a Lego exhibit. What I didn’t anticipate: Regret. Anguish. Feeling like I could kick myself for not visiting this place (9 years) sooner! If you live locally, do yourself a favor and go see the gardens. And savor every moment. What a beautiful place.

Be warned: Your kids may become camouflaged in the giant Elephants’ Ears.


It’s refreshing to see so many water features in our drought-stricken land. 




Although the wonderful rain shower that came also added to that relief and ambiance. This was us seeking refuge under a 200+ year old dwelling. The kids thought it was amazing how short the doors were.

P9200030 My fave of the lego exhibits.



Oh the joy of the fans in the floor….

P9200080 (2)-2Chuck’s cool perspective on a water lily.


For a moment I don’t feel like they’re getting so big…

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Original poses by the Thier boys.

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We had a guessing game before we would read the sign for each lego exhibit. I think this bee took 17,000. I couldn’t help but feel panic that this sucker was going to fall to a devastating demise since he was hanging by a thread…

P9200130We found wildlife among the fauna!


P9200159Another favorite of mine. :)


This picture cracks me up! There’s an area with a bunch of hammocks, and Chance devised a way to make himself swing on it. He was having a blast!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Like New Piano

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I took a piano class in school. I would then ride home with 2 teachers: My Aunt Peggy, who was my French and English teacher, and her best friend, Mrs. Broussard, the piano teacher.  Once I arrived at Aunt Peggy’s, she would sit with me at her piano and she would help me practice. I loved playing, and I loved her beautiful piano.

Fast forward 20 years, and I’m looking for a piano of my own.  I have dreams of relearning, and of my children taking lessons. I call my dad to see if he’d mind me borrowing his truck and trailer, should I find a used one on Craigslist. He says, “You know, Aunt Peggy is looking for someone to take her piano, don’t you?”  I quickly contacted Aunt Peggy and she said she was about to run an ad in the paper for a free piano. I told her I’d gladly take it in. But I didn’t know how to transport it the 250 miles from her home to mine.  Then my dad swoops in and saves the day – he drives down with his truck and trailer, then drives the piano to my house. He and my Uncle Mike had managed to get it on the trailer with pure muscle. But at my house, with it’s steps and incline, required professional movers. And in the transport, some of the bottom had come unglued, leaving the pedals useless. I had this beautiful piano, but it would be delayed in playing also due to the changes in humidity. So it sat in our living room, mostly unused, being tuned a few times over the last 4-5 years. 

The piano tuner tells me that it’ll cost a bit to fix it. Some of it was damaged, some of it was maintenance. Some of it was just from being old. But finally, the day arrived! The tuner had spent time in his shop, reworking its inner parts, and then time at my home, laying that mamoth beast down on it’s back to reglue the parts back into place. And then he spent hours retuning, changing felt, and retuning some more.  At last, she’s done. And she’s beautiful.


Soon after, our friend, Blake Moreland came over and tested it out for me.

And as of mid-September, Chance is in lessons! It’s so wonderful to see my dream coming to fruition! So far, he is loving it!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Bostons Visit

On the heels of the Burrises visiting, the Boston family came hang for the weekend.

First order of business – put the kiddos to bed and play Catan!!DSC_0547

Same vantage point, different hour. We have a bunch of kids between the four of us!


We trekked over to the Cibolo Nature Center for a Workshop on moths. It was quite interesting.



The kids learned how you can have a net under a bush, then shake the bush and inspect it for moth caterpillars.


I couldn’t believe I’d lived here 8 years and never checked out this beautiful place before!! We had a picnic and went swimming at the Boerne Pool.

We also spent some time at home, soaking in the brotherly love. (Leland with Evangeline)


While their hands are full with young children, Meesh and Ryan are handling it like champs.


Sweet baby sister….


Since I had not have enough time with this sweet girl, I definitely enjoyed the opportunity to stick my lens in her face.


And she even poses!!


If this doesn’t give you baby fever, I don’t know what will…

Elijah, Hendrix, Leland and Evie.


Mama luv.


The nice thing about staying in the same home together is all the time we get to visit while our kids are sleeping/napping. Win!


And Leland’s entertainment…


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Randi and Dan Visit

I was blessed with not one, but two family members asking to come visit at the same time this summer. Thankfully, they yielded to each other on schedules, and came back to back. Which meant that I spent the week before getting some major housework done. I do love having a goal! First up was Randi and Dan.
Dan had never before seen a hedgehog, so event number one was to play with Beatrix. My old dog, who now calls Randi and Dan’s house home, was not sure what to think of this prickly little rodent.
Since we had her out, I had to get a portrait or two.
Another favorite when they come in town: Huhot.  Charlie had to miss out because he was at baseball camp, and Chuck had to work.
At night we let Beatrix come out and play. This photo sums up Randi’s opinion of her. Ha!

And if you need a little hedgehog entertainment...

I didn’t take any pictures, but we did attempt a day at Fiesta Texas in the sweltering heat. That was fun…sorta. Randi got overheated and had to rest at home. And then - it was funny how God provides - we ran into our friends, the Carlins, at Fiesta and had decided to go for ice cream after the fireworks. When we loaded into the car, my tire was flat. It had a huge nail through the sidewall in two places. Thankfully, the Carlins, Chuck, and some good Samaritan came along and switched it to the spare. All of our kids were huddled around, intrigued by the event. We still managed to eat ice cream!
And no trip is complete without a little group photo. Hosea is thoroughly spoiled in his old age!  Thanks for coming, Randi and Dan. We love you guys!