Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Busyness

October is shaping up to be an incredibly busy month for us. I feel like I have been running non-stop since I got back from Amsterdam. We have the rescheduled March-a-Thon across Bedford this Saturday. If you are in the area and want to come out, check out the LD Bell Band Website and the Route Map. It's going to be a lot of fun and the weather is going to be beautiful! My friend Chris and I are going to walk it. We may need the EMT by the time we get to the Jr. High, but it will be fun and I will be able to take lots of pictures.

We have a heavy competition load this month as well. On October 11, we will be going to Houston for the Bands of America Regional Championship and I am really looking forward to this. We haven't been to Houston before (well for competition) and after Hurrican Ike, I hope it's not too devastating. Then we have a couple of competitions in the area. Luckily, they are at our stadium, so we won't have to travel or sit all day in a stadium. We have UIL State competition this year, so that adds to the travel schedule.

Ben is leading worship in the Bedford Jr.High FCA group on Tuesdays and playing drums on the youth worship team. I am amazed at how musically talented my kids are.

Ben playing his guitar.

Michael playing his guitar.

So, I also have to show you how things change. When I was in high school, you did a single mum for homecoming your sophomore year, a double for a junior and triple for a senior. These are a few examples of what they do now.

This is Brittany and Alyssa. Britt's mum isn't as huge as Michael's dates, but look how it hangs around the neck! I am so glad Alyssa has no interest in homecoming. These things are ridiculously expensive.

And this is Michael and Brittany. Look at his ARM mum. Man. I am glad I didn't have to make that or pay for it.

And I want to end with this. I'm glad my kids are growing up, but there are days where I want to go back to this:

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amsterdam and The Wedding

I am sorry I am just getting around to writing this. It's been a little hectic since I got back from Amsterdam on Sunday night. The trip was so amazing. The wedding was beautiful. I am so thankful that I was able to go and be there for Andy and Fred. I don't want to repeat everything for those of you who might read Andy's blog as well, so I will give you my perspective.

Andy picked me up from the airport and this is what we came home to. Isn't that sweet?! They think their neighbor did it because it wasn't there when he left.

Patty met us at the apartment a little after I got there and the four of us went to Papabubble, because that's one of the things I wanted to do with Andy while I was there. It was so much fun! The guy there was giving us samples of pretty much any type of candy we were looking at possibly purchasing. As I always am, I had to pick out four different bags of candy for each on of the kids. After Patty made her purchase, we realized that there was some sort of amount that you cross and the you get a FREE bag! They are 4.95 Euro each and I will take anything for free.

We did a little more walking around and then went back to the apartment to have a snack and possible nap before getting ready for the wedding. I was hungry, but apparently more tired, because when we returned to the apartment, I decided to lay down while Patty was at the grocery store getting bread and cheese. At 2:00 pm, I woke to Andy kicking my bed to wake me up because apparently knocking on the door, opening it and calling my name didn't work. I was sleeping GOOD! So we get ready and everyone shows up so we can walk to the Hilton Amsterdam together and get on the boat.

This is the boat with Fred standing outside waiting.

The wedding was very touching and beautiful. Andy was very emotional, which I just loved. I teared up as he was saying his vows. You could just feel the love in the boat, the love between Andy and Fred and the love we all have for them.

At this point in my blog, you may want to visit Andy's blog to get a better story with all the correct lingo. We had a wonderful, five course meal and a time of catching up. I spent the night at Venessa's,which was so nice! She is a friend of Andy's and I am so glad I got to meet and get to know her.

Here we are having Poffertjes. Me, Andy, Patty, Venessa, Fred and Bob. After breakfast we did lots of shopping and walking and shopping. I picked up some fun gifts for the kids and friends and family. Venessa and I separated from the group and went and did our own thing and then met back at the apartment for the amazing Thai dinner that Andy and Fred cooked. After dinner, we played a game called Celebrity. If you know me well, you know that I am not a competitive person. However, if my brother calls it, apparently I turn into a competition beast! It was girls against guys and the girls won by a very narrow margin, but nevertheless, we won!!

Words really can explain what a great trip this was. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful brother and now brother-in-law!! And a great group of friends. I will never forget this trip.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knitting Gifts

I have 48 more hours until I board the plane to Amsterdam. I just can't wait. I will have a lay over in Washington DC for a few hours, but then it's on to my destination. I can't believe the time has already come for me to leave. The homecoming parade was last night, but of course I forgot my camera, not that I would have gotten a good picture of the kids anyway, but it was fun and the weather is here is just amazing! I hope it doesn't get hot again. I love this time of year!!

So recently, Andy sent a goody box for me and the kids. He knits a lot and sent a couple of hats for whoever wanted them. Michael just loves his Uncle Andy and immediately grabbed one of the hats and wears it all the time. I threatened him with his life if he lost it because it's a special treasure to me. Anyway, here is a picture of him wearing the hat.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

I had a vertually uneventful weekend. I didn't have the kids, the march-a-thon was cancelled for Saturday because of Hurricane Ike that didn't bring all the rain they were expecting and so all I did was sleep, relax, clean a little and just hang out. I did get to catch up with an old high school friend on Saturday night, so that was fun.

Tonight we have the Homecoming Parade. I think that the last two of these had to be cancelled because of rain, so I am looking forward to an evening outside, especially since the weather is nice today. It was actually in the mid 60's this morning, which is a nice unusual for this time of year.

I noticed that I hadn't posted a picture of Jonathan yet, so this morning I took a couple. He got his hair cut over the weekend, so he looks more like a little boy again.

He has a secret desire to be Mr. Wilson.

This is his "don't take any more pictures" face.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

Like so many other people, I remember where I was 7 years ago today and I want to write about it.

This is the construction site.

This is inside the small church across the street.

I was at a very pivital point in my marriage. It wasn't good at all and emotions were already running rampant at my house. I remember taking the kids to school that morning and then getting a call from the neighbor asking if I had been watching the news. She told me I should get home and turn the TV on and watch. The World Trade Center in NYC was on fire. They didn't know much at that time, but throughtout the day we learned more and more.

At the time, my brother, Andy was living in Manhattan. I probably didn't think to call him or thought he would call us to tell us he was ok. I don't remember many details but I do remember thinking that there must be thousands of people in those buildings and how were they going to get out. I had a few things to go do, so I got out of the house and listened to what I could on the radio. As I was pulling up to my church they were saying that the towers fell. I just couldn't wrap my mind around that. I went inside to find one of the staff watching the news on the TV and asked him if that was really true. He just nodded. I went right back to my car and just sat trying to imagine what it must have been like for the people inside those towers as they were collapsing. It was sickening to think about.

It was a facination of mine for a long time. Death and destruction are interesting to me. I guess that's part of what made me want to be a court reporter and what draws me to reality criminal ivestigation shows and stuff.

Recently, on a trip I took to NYC, I had the opportunity to go to the construction site of the new buildings - the 16 acres of land where the towers once stood. It was very closed off and hard to get to, but I got a few pictures anyway. Then, Bob(Andy's friend who was showing me around the city)and I went across the street to the the little church that became a refuge for the workers and family still looking for loved ones that were missing. THAT was a humbling experience. I can't imagine having been there that day. My brother was and he has written his thoughts on that day if you want to go visit his blog.

I am so thankful for where my life is now. I don't know if the emotions I feel are remembering how awful that time was for me or for the victims of that tragedy or a little of both. I just can't believe it's been 7 years.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There is Travel in the Air

In one week from tomorrow, I will be leaving for Amsterdam to attend my brother's wedding. He and Fred have been together about 6 years (Andy correct me if I'm wrong) and Andy has lived in Amsterdam for the past 4 years or so. I have been to Amsterdam to visit once. It was the most enjoyable trip I believe I have ever taken anywhere. I was there for 9 full days of enjoying the city and all it has to offer. This time my trip will be much shorter - 52 hours - but I will enjoy every second of it.

Fred, Me and Andy from the last visit.

Initially, I thought I would just leave the kids at our house since my mom lives next door and can help keep an eye on them and help them if they need anything. Luckily, it is actually the weekend that they are going to be with their dad, so I don't have to worry. Michael and Alyssa may end up staying there because of band activities and such, but I am not too worried about it. It would help if the dogs have some constant attention, but either way, I won't have to worry about Ben and Jonathan at all.

When I tell people that I am going to Amsterdam they usually ask me one of two things: are you taking the kids? and are your parents going? The answer is no to both. I am going by myself, and I am honestly very happy about that. I tend to get very selfish when it comes to spending time with Andy. I haven't had him around much the last 20 years. We are very close. Time together is very special to me. We just get each other. It's really nice to have that in my life right now - well it's always nice.

Remember this one thing: Loving someone unconditionally is the very best thing you can do for that person. We are all unique and loveable in our own way. If we were all the same, this world wouldn't be such a great place to live.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Link to the Sprit Show

I just found this on the LD Bell Band website and thought it would be a good thing to share. Unfortunately, you can't see everything, but they spell out BLUE, RAIDERS and then LD BELL. Just click and enjoy!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday Night Football 2008

So last Friday night was the first football game of the season. This also means that it is the bands first performance with an audience other than parents. They did a practice run last week on Tuesday night, but that wasn't like the energy at a football game.

I decided to be more active in the band this year. I showed up at the band hall at 5:00 with Benjamin. He is helping out as a Band Aid again this year. It was very interesting and exciting to see how things work in the hussle and bussle of getting ready for a game. The energy in the room was electrifying! I am really glad I went because Alyssa was a bundle of nerves getting ready for her first game.

They did an amazing job, too! I love walking over to the home side when we are at an away game and watching from the top of the stands amid all of the opossing parents. It's exciting to see how much the crowd anticipates a performance from the L.D. Bell Band. The kids were so proud of their performance, among some criticisms, which is typical for the first performance and the standard that they set for themselves.

This is my wonderful 17 year old son, Michael.

Ben and his friend being Band Aids.

My sweet daughter, Alyssa, and her friend, Kate having fun before their first game.

This spells L D Bell. They do a Spirit Show after they perform their show.

GO BELL! we won the game 35-33 against Haltom, too!!
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