Friday, March 27, 2009


We had lots of "safety rules" for our children while they were growing up. Many, I am sure, were ignored by them when we were out of sight.
Our children now have lots of "safety rules" for us when we are in charge of the grandchildren. Many of those, it seems, are ignored when we are now out of their sight!

Playing around the water can be hazardous, especially when playing on the rocks!

Mountain climbing can also be dangerous!

Swimming can be unsafe, especially when you dive from the tops of the trees!

I'm not sure why a picture of this sign was taken except maybe to prove that they did take showers during the trip!

*Note, the author of this blog is not responsible or liable for any of the content/pictures of the post titled "Paying Your Children Back" and does not necessarily represent the views of said author.


Getting ready to tube?
Ethan shooting the rapids

Jeremy riding the rapids

Yes, sometimes you just have to get out and walk!


The boys will tell you that Papaw does not take the easy trails up Old Baldy. Since Jenny set the bar by climbing the hardest trails when she was only 9 years old, all grandsons must now also do it or Papaw will remind them that a girl beat them!
Let me tell you, Papaw says this set of grandsons are the best and are very tough. Papaw also says that he is really missing Ethan and Jeremy this week. I think he might have had more fun than they did.


Sonny and grandson's Ethan and Jeremy celebrated Spring Break in Garner State Park. The tradition of going to Garner State Park was started by my parents. Some of my fondest vacation memories are of cousins, tubing, camp fires, and sleeping under the stars at Garner. We were fortunate enough to be there during the golden years of the 1960's and 1970's. Naturally, I wanted my children to have the same great experiences. Sonny and I believe that all children need to camp out in tents at least one time. We fulfilled that obligation with our children and I was grateful when we moved up to cabins. However, he wanted to next generation to also start by tent camping and so they went on a "guys only" trip, with my full blessings.

No Garner camping trip would be complete without climbing Old Baldy. I also remember climbing Old Baldy while I was in elementary school. Was it that long ago?

It is always a great accomplishment when you get to the top for the first time. It is even more fun to have Papaw take your picture standing right on the edge for Mom and Dad to see!

By all reports, everyone had a great time! Some highlights included the boys earning nicknames of Rock and Tripper, making s'mores, telling ghost stories around the camp fire, and putting shaving cream in Papaw shoes. (Boys, you were not suppose to tell Papaw that the shaving cream was my idea!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


When you are on an outing with grandchildren, one of the privileges that comes with being a grandparent is that you no longer have to follow the rules that you had for your own children. A stop at a cute cupcake shop for yet another dessert, in the middle of the afternoon, is definitely OK in grandparent land. (Sorry Adam and Carey!!! Well, maybe not!!!)

Sugarbaby's is one of the new "cupcakes only" bakeries that are the latest rage. This place is so cute. It has black and white tiling with elegant pink decor. Cupcake merchandise fills the shelves. Emma was quite taken with the cupcake bath fizzes. I had a hard time leaving behind the cupcake and Paris dishes. However, the beautiful cupcakes displayed in the large bakery case makes you forget about the other merchandise. Sugarbaby's caters to those of us who love icing! Emma chose the chocolate truffle cupcake. As you can see, it has a huge pile of chocolate icing with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. What you can't see is that a chocolate truffle is baked inside! It is really yummy, but can cause a chocolate overload! Emma was not able to finish the cupcake (I'm sure much to her Mom and Dad's relief) so we had yet another item to share back home with them!

If you get a chance to go into to Houston, put Sugarbaby's on your list as a place to visit. Emma and I might have to go back and try out those chocolate dipped strawberry cupcakes! I think the grandsons might demand to go with us!

Sorry about the small pictures. These were taken with my camera phone as Sonny has our camera to record his Spring Break Trip with the grandsons! More on that later, if he remembers to take pictures!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


On Thursday, Emma and I made a trip to downtown Houston. Emma was very impressed with the downtown area. Our first stop was lunch at the Dessert Gallery. While the food was very good, dessert was definitely Emma's favorite part.

She ordered the "Design your own cookie platter". Now this is a great idea. The plate arrived with 2 plain sugar cookies and assorted colored icings and sprinkles. Emma decorated and ate a pink bear and was able to take home the fish cookie, icings and sprinkles in a take out box so that she could decorate the other cookie at home to be enjoyed by Mom, Dad and Ben.

Our next stop was The Mad Potter. This is one of those cute places where you can paint a ceramic item of your choice. Emma chose a unicorn. We have to wait a week for it to be fired, but I can tell you that Emma shares my love of pink so it will definitely be a beautiful unicorn.

Granddaughters are so much fun!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Daryl N. left on the Spring Break Romania Mission Trip last Thursday. Sonny was not able to go this time and agreed to fill in at The Bent Oaks Church of Christ in Rockport, where Daryl is currently preaching. Daryl and Ann graciously let us stay at their place in Rockport, which is right on the water. Note the gorgeous view!

Although it rained alot and was very cold (lower 40's), we hated to complain as all of Texas really needs the rain. Too bad it made the fishing off. However, Sonny did manage to catch two of his favorite fish - Speckled Trout.
We really enjoyed our time on the water and the Bent Oaks congregation treated us so warmly. We enjoyed getting to know all of them. If you are in Rockport, make sure you take the opportunity to worship with them. I bet Daryl will even let you fish off his pier!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I love French macarons. While they come in all sorts of wonderful flavors, I really love the chocolate ones. Of course, I love all things chocolate.

I wish that I could say that I made these in the pictures, but I have yet to achieve that. The pastry chef at Central Market provided these samples.

Usually, I can tackle any type of recipe with courage and ease, but not these French macarons. I have combed all of my recipe books and found several recipes guaranteed to produce authentic macarons like those in Paris. I have diligently studied recipes provided by respectable cooking magazines. I have even spent time researching the best macaron recipe on the Internet. However, I am intimidated by the thought of them.

After all the effort put in to finding the perfect recipe, I struggle at comprehending it. The ingredients are usually listed in grams. Also, what is the "powdered almonds" ingredient that they all seem to list? Many recipes insist that one must beat the egg whites with a wooden spoon - delicately. There are even instructions to do this with a downward motion and back up the side of the bowl. If that is not labor intensive enough for you, each wafer must be squeezed out from a parchment bag.

These little babies can't be baked in a normal 350 degree oven. No, they must be baked in a 180 degree oven with the door propped open. After baking, they have to be removed from the oven with the aid of a glass of water?!! The water has to be placed between the wax paper and baking sheet in order to achieve a water vapor to help release them from the paper when they cool. Now, we have not even gotten to the filling but I think that you get the picture!

Most of the instructions end with a footnote of "This recipe is really delicate, but well worth the effort!" I also failed to mention that these recipes make 50 macarons. Now I really like them, but I do not want 50 of any type of food at my house!

So, have any of you made these? Do you have an incredibly fast and easy recipe for me? Maybe I should post one of my collection of macaron recipes and let some of you bakers accept it as a challenge. I'll be your taste tester!

Another thought is that I could go back to Paris and enjoy macarons on every corner! That sounds like a great idea to me. Anyone want to come along? I know where all the best ones are.

I guess I better continue to be practical. On my occasional trip to Central Market, I go by the bakery and see if the pastry chef felt like doing anything delicate that day. If I am lucky, there are some in the case. I pay my 75 cents and bring a few home.

If I have made you hungry, let me know and you can join me on my next trip to Central Market. It is alot cheaper than airfare to Paris. (At least that is what I keep telling Sonny!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


These are the latest thing from Wilton. They are really fun to decorate. Use your favorite brownie recipe and the new silicone molds by Wilton.

I have several tips after making alot of these. They will not come out of the mold in one piece unless you let them cool completely. I mean cold! I now believe that this is the reason that silicone pans are not liked by many bakers. It goes against all the rules of conventional baking. One of the first things we learn is to get a cake out of the pan before it completely cools or it will stick. So, this new rule can be hard to deal with!

The second tip is to buy more than one pan. I got a great deal on mine with a 50% off coupon at Michael's. However, I will watch for another coupon and buy another pan before I make these again. Since you have to wait for them to cool completely, this project will take you all day with one pan. I got so frustrated that I almost caved in and went to Michael's to buy a pan at full price!

Last, I think that using "chunky" sprinkles really makes these cute. They give more of a 3 D effect. I also think they look more professionally done.

This is a fun and easy project and great for kids!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

1974 - 2009

The Heart of a Fighter

Face of an angel
A smile that couldn't be brighter!
Strong-willed---a true Aggie -
He had the heart of a fighter!

Husband, father, son,
servant, teacher, and friend--
He touched all who knew him
With God's Love that never will end.

Valiant, always honest,
Celebrating life through laughter and tears.
Living each day with such zest for life,
Never showing any fear.

Even though life threw him a curve,
He turned this into lessons for all.
Brad's battle has drawn us closer to Christ
As he sang praises to God, until he answered His call.

Aggies, Astros, Rockets and Texans
Christ, Family, Bucky and Friends
His precious Jenny, his Zekey and KK-
His love for them had no end.

We have peace and comfort in knowing
That his soul now flies higher.
We are left with precious memories of our Brad-
He had the heart of a fighter!

Written by his loving family

Brad, we will miss you so much, but will see you again!