Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Here are the Christmas pictures I promised.

Here are the kids at Emily's house on Christmas afternoon
Jeremy got a UB Funkey's set he has been wanting for a long time.
Here is Andrew's favorite gift, a gaming chair.
The boys pitched in and bought Rachael Corpse Bride.
Here I am with the game I got for family game day.
Stan plays MC and hands out all the Christmas gifts.
Jeremy with his Wii game
Andrew's DS game he got in his stocking
Rachael got unlimited text messaging. She had to decipher a puzzle that said "unlimited text messaging" from her stocking. It was in a little pail with some chocolate "coal" on top of it. She didn't think it was funny, but I did.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wow, this has been a busy month. I'm not surprised though as December always is busy. That is one reason we frequently don't do school during December. Last week, Rachael had the opportunity to dance with the Tapestry Dance Company in their production of "Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker". The nutcracker music was jazzed up and the dancing was tap and jazz rather than ballet. It was really cool. They did a fabulous job. She was busy with that Monday thru Thursday, then danced at the Trail of Lights on Friday. To her, spending an entire week dancing is just like heaven.

Unfortunately, there were a few bad things that happened last week. Rachael was in her first car accident. She wasn't hurt at all and there is very little damage to the car thank goodness. Someone rear-ended her then took off. That same night, I found out that my Grandma Hess had passed away. I wasn't really surprised at all considering she was 95 and had been telling me for a few years that she was ready to go. I'm grateful I was able to see her in September when I was up there for my other grandmother's funeral. She will be missed though. Lastly, our heater went out on Thursday. It was a bit chilly that night, but not terribly so. It was fixed on Friday at the cost of $567. OUCH!!!!

Christmas was really good at the Hodge house. Stan and I both got our main gifts 6 weeks ago. We both got iPhones for Christmas. We love our iPhones and wonder what we ever did without them. We each got a few other items-I got some clothes and the boys got me some jewelry and Rachael got me a book. Stan got some new speakers for his computer and a desk calendar and the kids got him a book, a card shuffler and a shirt. The kids got lots of things, pretty much every thing they wanted. Rachael got lots of music, some clothes, 5 pairs of earrings and a game. Jeremy got some toys, Transformers, Imaginext, books, a model and some games. Andrew got some computer and Wii games, a DS game, a board game and a gaming chair. We bought each one of us a new game for our family game day. We play a game every Sunday afternoon. We have some unusual games that came from a comic store. We now have Martian Fluxx, Munchkin Bites, Bridge Troll, The Adventures and Boy Scout Monopoly. We have so much fun playing games as a family and these new games will make it more interesting.

I'll post some pictures of Christmas in just a little bit. It's game time now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

There isn't really much happening, but it has been a while since I posted, so I thought I would babble on here for just a bit.

Stan and I recently got our Christmas presents for each other. They were about a month early, but we got such a good deal we decided not to wait. We both got iPhones for Christmas. I love my iPhone. It combines my iPod, my phone and my palm pilot all together in one handy gadget. It hasn't totally replaced my iPod. I still use that a lot since it holds way more music plus videos. I use it at the gym all the time (the iPod not the iPhone). The boys think it's their own personal gaming system. They are constantly asking to play games on it. I have had to charge it almost every day because somebody seems to always be using it. I have to say that I love my iPhone. I don't know how I got along without it.

Thanksgiving was really good, but also hard. It was the first Thanksgiving since my mother-in-law passed away and it was sad to have Thanksgiving without her. We went to Richard and Michelle's this year. Emily went out of town for Thanksgiving. I think it made it a little easier being that we didn't have it in the same place as normal. I did well on my Weight Watchers program that day but didn't feel deprived or anything. It was a good day.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, the scale still isn't budging much. I have lost 1.5 pounds in the last 6 weeks. It's better than gaining, but it is frustrating. I talked with one of the personal trainers a few weeks ago and he wanted me to change my work out around a bit. I have been doing that for about 3 weeks and still not much change. I talked to him again today and he wants me to eat even more. I think I am going to start counting calories rather than counting points. I need to be more mindful of how much protein I am getting. He wants me to have 50% carbs, 25% fat and 25% protein. I can't really track that kind of thing with tracking points. I can easily get a free calorie tracker for the iPhone. That will make it easy to track. I know tracking is a vital for my success. I have also recently weaned off the beta-blocker I take for migraines. It causes my heart rate to stay really low, like it only gets to 95 when I am working out really hard. My doctor hopes that will make a difference in my weight loss.

Rachael's dance schedule this month has just been crazy. She has a big show next week with the professional company. They are doing a Texas Nutcracker. I am bummed I can't go see it. The show is already sold out. Then she is dancing at the Trail of Lights on Friday. I hope the trail is still really good this year. They have cut it way back. It's just going to be on the side of Zilker where the Christmas tree is every year. I am worried because we always love going to the Trail of lights. It's a big Austin tradition. I am going to try to have an open mind though. I am excited to see Rachael dance though. I got to go to her ballet class today. She has grown so much as a ballet dancer just in the past 6 months. She is looking so strong on her pointe shoes.

I'll try to post again before Christmas. I am so ready to have a break from school. So is Rachael. She has her last final tomorrow. It's been pretty busy lately, so the boys have just been doing a minimum of school work the past 2 weeks. Usually they get the entire month of December off, but we took too much time on during the summer, so I am making them go longer before the holidays.

I hope everyone is ready for a great Christmas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A few non-scale victories

I think when I posted last week, I must have been in a funk or something. I felt really anxious and stress out about my diet and weight loss for about 2 days. Then, I just suddenly felt better. I don't know what caused the initial change or the change back, but I feel normal again. I went to weight watchers last Friday and I weighed in. I only lost 0.8 pounds over the past 3 weeks, but that is ok. It's a loss, so I'll take it. It's a milestone even. I weigh less now than I have since before I got pregnant with Jeremy. I'm not going to weigh again until the first week in December.

One of the things I have been doing lately is reminding myself of all the good changes that have occurred with me since I started this journey. I call these non-scale victories (NSV for short). So, here is my list. I am constantly adding to this list, so you may see me refer to these NSV in other posts.

1. I feel better now, despite my many physical challenges (I am mildly disabled due to recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis), than I did 3 years ago prior to starting WW (and prior to the start of any of my medical problems). I think that is a pretty major NSV and one that I am very grateful for.

2. I got sick last week and I really missed going to the gym while I was sick. I couldn't wait to get back into my exercise routine. I never thought I would miss going to the gym.

3. My rings are loose and need to be resized.

4. I am wearing a pant size that I haven't fit into in over 8 year.

5. I sleep a lot better than I used to before I started exercising.

6. Even though I haven't lost a pound in 9 months, I have had 3 people tell me this week that I look so much thinner.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I am finishing up a really good book. It is called "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl". It is about an Australian woman who loses a lot of weight, like 175 pounds. It has been inspirational for me, but also discouraging for me. I don't know how it can be both at the same time, but it is. I think I have done a better job of eating well since I started reading it. However, it has also served to remind me how little progress I seem to be making. I have been stuck at the same weight for 9 months. I have done lots of different things to get the scale moving and it just won't budge. In July, I got a gym membership and started going to the gym regularly. I met with a personal trainer who told me I wasn't eating enough. I started eating more, making sure it is healthy, along with exercising 6 days a week. I gained 5 pounds in the first month. Since then, I have lost that 5 pounds plus 2 additional pounds, but that still puts me only1 pound lighter than I was in February. I'm sure not going to get very far by losing 1 pound every 9 months. I have now cut out most of the sugar from my diet, although there wasn't that much sugar in my diet to begin with. I have been obsessively following the WW program, working out religiously, except for the 10 days I was sick, and drinking lots of water and it just isn't working. This week, I am finding that I am getting scared to even eat. Every time I go to eat something, I fret over the calories and points in it. I don't eat anything until my stomach is growling because I want to make sure I am truly hungry before I eat and that I am not eating out of boredom, stress or any other emotional reason. I was becoming obsessed with the scale, so I stopped weighing in at WW, but now I keep getting on the scale at home. I didn't weigh at all for almost 3 weeks. I got on the scale this morning and my weight is the SAME!!! How can it be the same? I am beginning to think the only way I am going to lose weight is to just stop eating. It's not like I am getting close to my goal weight so my body is holding on to the little bit of fat I have left. No, I have a lot of fat left. I still have 65 pounds to be at the max weight my doctor recommended and 80 pounds to lose to be at the max weight that WW says I need to be. With 80 pounds to lose, my body should be willingly getting rid of the extra fat. I talked to my neurologist and endocrinologist about it and they ordered a thyroid test. I had that drawn last week. My neuro also wonders if my migraine preventative medication may be slowing my metabolism, so we are weaning off the beta blocker to see if that will get my metabolism going. When I exercise, I can't get my heart rate out of the 90's because of the medication, but just decreasing the dose has been helping that. I was able to get my heart rate up to 105 yesterday. I am really hoping that this helps. I just don't know what else to do. Giving up is not an option. Maybe I'll get a lap band or bariatric surgery. That isn't my first choice, but neither is staying fat. I'm tired of feeling like a blob.

Aside from my weight loss woes, life is going pretty good. Things are status quo around the house. The boys keep me busy with home schooling, occupational therapy, scouts, cooking classes and just being boys. Rachael's schedule is really busy, but it doesn't effect me nearly as much now that she can drive herself. She is going to have some great opportunities with dance this year. The Tapestry Dance Company (the professional dance company at the studio where she takes classes) is going to involve Visions in Rhythm in a few of their professional shows this year. This means she is going to be dancing at the Long Center and people will actually be paying to see the dances. They are going to be doing a big Christmas show that showcases performers from all over the central Texas area. They are getting to re-do some of the professional companies dances from over the past 20 years. This is all to celebrate Tapestry's 20th anniversary. She is excited about all of these opportunities she is getting. She is doing fairly well with her college classes, but we have completely fallen down on keeping up with her high school home school classes. She just has so much work that she needs to do for her 2 classes that I hate to add more work onto her. We really need to work on math more t hough so she can be ready for the SAT. I think we will work on a bunch of math in between ACC semesters.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I think I would have rather had the flu

A week ago on Saturday, I started not feeling good. I really thought it was just bad allergies. I didn't have a fever, but I had a sore throat, congestion and a headache. I took some migraine medication, but the headache stayed just under the surface all day. I felt better on Sunday, so we went to church. I didn't want to miss church for 2 reasons. First, it was the primary program. I love the primary program every year. Second, it was Andrew's first time to pass the sacrament. It was a great Sacrament meeting. We left after sacrament though.

I felt fairly normal, except the sore throat, for most of the day. Around midnight that night, everything changed. I got a sudden severe migraine and had a fever of 100.6. I took some migraine medication, but couldn't take anything for the fever since I had taken 2 Aleve prior to my Avonex (the shot I take for my MS). I took another migraine pill at 2, the slept for about 30 minutes. At this point, my fever was 101. By 6am, my head hurt so bad that I couldn't stop crying even though it hurt my head to cry. I took some Demerol and tried to sleep. I ended up moving to the recliner though because it hurt too bad to lay down. By this time, I had a severely stiff neck. I went to the doctor at 9:30 that morning. They ruled out strept throat and flu, but he was really concerned I might have meningitis. He sent me over to Seton SW ER. It didn't take them long to get me back and get the IV started. They gave me some morphine with some phenergan. It took the edge off the headache, but didn't take it away. The second dose of morphine brought the headache down to about a 4/10.

Now the fun really began. To find out if I had meningitis, they had to do a spinal tap. I have had a number of these in my life for various reasons. This was my 11th spinal tap. Needless to say, I have a lot of scar tissue in my lower back. I also have chronic low back pain. They failed to get the spinal tap in the ER, so sent me to have it done under x-ray. That failed 3 times, so they transfered me to the main Seton hospital to have a neuro-radiologist do the tap. It took him 3 attempts to finally get spinal fluid. So, 8 huge needles into my back to find out I didn't have meningitis. They diagnosed me with viral upper respiratory infection with sinusitis. They sent me home on antibiotics and symptomatic care. Like I said, I would have rather had the flu.

Today is the first day that I have felt normal. I found that I actually missed going to the gym while I was sick. I went today and did water aerobics. I managed 35 minutes, but felt exhausted after about 20 minutes. It's going to take a little bit to get my stamina back to normal.

The good news for the day though came from my neurologist. I saw her this morning for a normal follow up visit. She said my reflexes are almost normal except my left arm. I have hyperactive reflexes as a part of my MS. They are now only 2+ rather than 3+. I also have less spasticity to my legs. She was very pleased with how I am doing from a MS stand point. The only new abnormality is that my left pupil is bigger than my right and my left eye-lid is drooping. She said that could be from the migraine, so we will just watch that for now. I don't have to go back to the neurologist for 6 months unless I have a new problem develop. Seeing the neuro every 6 months is normal for most MS patients when they are doing well. She is sticking with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis as my diagnosis. There is still no diagnostic test supporting that diagnosis, but I wouldn't be doing so well on the Avonex if it was some other neurological disease. I have found lately that I am a little paranoid about my MS. I have gone 18 months without a flare. I feel as close to normal as I have since this whole thing started. I just wonder when the bottom is going to fall out. I guess I should just count my blessings. I went through more than 2 years of the unknown. I'm grateful for how well I am doing and I am grateful that I found such a wonderful neurologist who will listen to me and know that I am not just crazy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another priesthood holder

We now have a second priesthood holder in the house. Andrew turned 12 on September 29th. He was interviewed by the bishop that same day. This past Sunday, he was sustained and ordained as a Deacon in the Aaronic priesthood. He will get to pass the sacrament on the 25th (this week is stake conference). I think he is a little nervous about passing the sacrament for the first time. He asked me about a week ago if they would show him how to pass. I reassured him that they would and that his dad would be right there with him to pass. Stan is the one that ordained him also.

Rachael's birthday is tomorrow. She turns 17. You can sure tell she is a teenager because we will hardly see her tomorrow. She will leave about 3:30 to go to the studio for a master dance class by the dancers from Grease. After the class, she will go pick up her cousin, Aashlie. The 2 of them are going to go to the Aikens-Bowie football game with her friend Megan. I suspect they will be home pretty late. On Saturday, we will go to Andy Tarver's Eagle court of honor. Andy is Rachael's boyfriend and also a family friend. Saturday afternoon, I am taking Rachael to the Long Center to see Grease. If we have time after the show, we will go out to dinner. I don't know when we will do her birthday dinner if we don't have time on Saturday. It will probably have to wait a week for dinner. I hope she enjoys her birthday. I can't believe she is 17. It won't be long before she is on her own. I have to admit that this thought scares the crap out of me. I just don't think I am ready for her to be on her own. She is planning on staying at home for college though, so I have a little more time at least. She has sure grown up to be a beautiful young women.

Jeremy has started having occupational therapy once a week. I was starting to have some concerns about his handwriting also. It is better than Andrew's, but it is still slow and painstaking when he writes. He also has dysgraphia. That means all 3 of my kids have now been treated for this. We also discovered why he always talks so loud. He failed a part of the evaluation. He also has central auditory processing disorder. What this means is that he can't differentiate background noises from normal speech, including his own, so it is almost like he has a hearing problem. I have noticed that he is much louder when there is competing noise going on so this explains the problem. He will have to do some therapeutic listening to over come this problem. His problem is moderate. He would probably have trouble in school though because of it. It is a good thing he is homeschooled so that this doesn't present a problem for him. Hopefully he will over come it before he goes to college. He has about 10 years to work on it, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hess family photos

Here is my dad and step-mom, Sharon
Me, Dad and Grandma-Great
Aunt Sallie, Dad and Grandma-great
Dad and Grandma-great.
Here is my grandma. Everyone calls her grandma-great. She is actually a great-great grandma. She is 95 years old. She has had 2 major back surgeries this summer. I was really worried she wouldn't pull though considering her age. She is pretty healthy for a woman of 95, but her bones are like wet toilet paper. She is in pain all the time. She told me she wishes she knew why God kept her on earth. She must have something to do, but she wants to know what it is so she can get it done and she can pass on. I fear that this will be the last time I get to see her. I also thought that 4 years ago when we were up there for a summer vacation. She surprised me by still being around. She is an amazingly strong woman. I hope I inherited just a little bit of that strength. She still lives at home, walks with a walker, and generally takes care of herself. My aunt Sallie takes care of her a lot and helps with the things she can't do or doesn't have the energy to do. I really think I have an amazing family.


On Sunday afternoon, my mom took me over to the Denny's in Layton to meet my step-mom, Sharon. I rode with Sharon to Malad City where she and my dad live. My dad was smoking some sausages and some ribs. Shortly after I got there, Logan, his wife, Amber and their girls Cara and Chloe came over to have dinner with us. They didn't know I was there. Chloe was even wearing her Longhorn outfit that my dad had bought her. Cara wasn't shy at all with me. I got my camera out and took a few pictures of her. After that, she kept saying "I smile" and wanting me to take her picture. She was so cute. Logan is sure going to have his hands full with her. She has such a fun personality. I probably have about 15 photos that are similar to this one, but this is the best of them. I even deleted a bunch that didn't turn out very good.
Here is a picture of Chloe. She is about 2 months old. I wish I lived closer to them and could really get to know them and really be an aunt to them. Logan is looking for a new job. Maybe it will bring him to Texas, who knows.

That evening, we went out to see my Uncle Herb. I forgot to take a picture of him while I was there even though I brought my camera. My uncle has gone back to church and he and his wife, Sherry, have gone through the temple. We talked a little bit about geneology work and temple work while I was out there. It was a different side of my uncle that I have never seen before. Growing up, he drank and smoked and never went to church. It was pretty neat to see this side of him. His home teacher came while we were there. He is a pretty neat guy.

On Monday, my dad tried to take me out to Holbrooke to see where my grandpa was born and raised. I thought Malad was tiny. Holbrooke was almost non-existent. I think I would go insane living out there. I might go insane in Malad, but as I get older, I long for the quiet life that a small town like Malad would offer. Stan would never move there though. I'm not sure I would either. It gets too cold. We may have to look into a place like that around central Texas when we retire. I do wish we lived someplace small when I taught Rachael how to drive.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Family Pictures

Patricia Hodge, Catherine and Eugene Kochan
Bob and Francene Thomson with Harmony, Kimble Thomson, Noah, Benjamin and Timothy Stuart, Cheri and Mark Stuart, Lynsie Thomson, Troy and Bambie Thomson
David and Denise Thomson
Jesse, Charlotte and Deborah James
The cousins-Lynsie Thomson, Troy Thomson, Cheri Thomson, Deborah James, Patricia Hodge
Bob Thomson, David Thomson, Jim (this is their cousin who is like a brother)
Charlotte James, Catherine Kochan, Peggy Garrison

The Funeral

My grandmother was buried next to my grandfather, Kenneth Thomson. I never met my grandfather. He died in 1961 in a car accident. He was buried in Salt Lake. That is why my grandmother was buried in Salt Lake even though she died in Pennsylvania. Here are the pall bearers carrying her casket and also a photo of her headstone and some photos of her when she was first married. My grandmother was a beautiful women. I never knew that she was 17 when she got married. My grandfather met her on his mission and fell immediately in love. He brought her home with him and they were married shortly after that. I also learned that my grandmother had a rough life prior to that. Her mom died when she was very young and her dad traveled around a lot for his job. He couldn't take care of his girls, so he put them in the orphanage that was just down the street until he could care for them on his own. We drove by the orphanage when we were driving around Salt Lake.

There was only a grave side service. My cousin Cheri wrote the eulogy and they asked me to deliver it. We sang a song then dedicated the grave. Then, the opened the floor for anyone who wanted to share memories of grandma. My aunt Peggy, aunt Charlotte, my uncle Bob and my mom all stood and shared some memories. My uncle David didn't want to get up, but as we were pulling away, he knelt down my the casket and told his mom good-bye. It brought tears to my eyes.

We got together after the services at my uncle Bob's house in Layton. We had a big family dinner and sat around talking. We got pictures of all the families that were present. I hadn't seen some of these people in 30 years. I met a cousin that I had never met before. I really had a great time.
Blogger is being strange and not letting me move my pictures around, so I will post them in a different post.

Temple Square

I got to go to Utah for my grandmother's funeral. I left Austin early Thursday morning (the 17th). My uncle Bob picked me up at the airport. We went back to his house and picked up my mom and Eugene then went down to Salt Lake to visit Temple Square. Here are some of the photos I took that day. The first 2 photos are the ones I turned in for my photography class.

The weather was absolutely beautiful as we walked around Temple square. The sun was shining and the sky was clear blue. I felt very much at peace. I wish my husband and kids could have been there to share it with me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My grandma

My grandma Thomson passed away this morning. I am a big mix of emotions right now. She has been battling cancer for several years now. She was doing fairly well for quite a while, but really started having more problem recently. She has been on Hospice for a little over a month now. For the last 2+ weeks, she has needed around the clock care from both my mom and my step dad. She has been in a lot of pain. I am relieved that she is out of pain now but sad that she is gone. I am glad I got to see her in March when we went to Pennsylvania. She sat down with me one afternoon and we went through a bunch of photos from when she was growing up. I scanned a bunch of them while I was there. She also gave me a bracelet that had belonged to her aunt, given to her by her fiance when they got engaged. She got to see my kids. I felt bad though because Jeremy was scared of her and wouldn't go near her. I don't know why he was acting like that. He has never been afraid of anyone. I think it really hurt her feelings. He acted the same way around my grandma Kochan. I'll be flying to Utah for her funeral as soon as my mom figures out when the funeral is going to happen

I started taking a photography class 2 weeks ago. I have already learned so much. We got our first assignment last week. One photo needs to be a photo showing motion. I wanted to do some pictures of Jeremy on the swing, but it has rained every day since my class. I took advantage of a short rain break yesterday and photographed Jeremy riding his scooter. He is totally blurred, so that shows the motion. I would actually rather have him in focus and the back ground blurred. I care more about what he looks like than I do the car and house behind him. I may try it again and see if I can move my camera to follow him so the background blurs and not him. I just don't know if I can move the camera at just the right speed to follow him and keep him in focus. It's worth a try. The next assignment I still need to do is to have a narrow depth of field. With a photo like that, the subject will be in focus while the background and foreground will be blurred. I haven't decided what I am going to do for that one yet. I need to get busy with it though because the pictures are due at the next class Wednesday evening. I am hoping my grandmother's funeral doesn't interfere with my class.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rachael will officially become a college student tomorrow. She is technically still in high school also though. She will be attending Austin Community College in their co-enrollment program for high school juniors and seniors. She is taking Spanish and US History. I think she is a little nervous. I know I am a little nervous for her. She has never been in a formal school setting except for seminary. She is a smart girl though and I know she will do fine.

I continue to be very frustrated by my weight loss efforts. I have been going to the gym regularly, every day but Sunday, for 3 weeks now and I have gained 2 1/2 pounds. My personal trainer said it is because I am eating more and exercising more and my body has to get used to it and realize it is going to get the food it needs consistently before it will start releasing the fat I have stored. I can understand the explanation, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I'm going to stick with the program, because I know it has to work eventually. I also don't want the alternative which would be to continue at the same weight forever, or worse, gain this 50 pounds back.

I am so grateful that I got to go to Pennsylvania in March and that I got to see my grandmother while we were there. A few weeks ago, my mom told me that my grandma was having increased pressure on her brain from an age related problems. This is in addition to the cancer she has been dealing with. She was already on hospice for the cancer, but had several months to still live. With this new problem, she has gone down hill very quickly. She is now completely dependent on both my mom and Eugene to take care of her every need. She can't communicate any more and doesn't understand a lot of what people say to her. My mom is asked for us all to pray the end comes quickly for her as she is in a lot of pain and discomfort all the time. When she passes away, she will be sent to Utah to be buried. Her husband was buried in Utah when he died (my mom was only 9 when her dad died). I am assuming my grandma will be buried next to my grandpa. I am going to be flying to Utah for the funeral when the time comes. I'm glad to be able to go up there and see all of my family, I just wish it was for a better reason and that I had more time to spend up there. While I am there, I am going to go see my grandma Hess. This will probably be the last time I get to see her. She is 95 years old. She has had 2 major back surgeries this past summer. I was really impressed she did so well with the surgeries considering her age. I'm also looking forward to seeing my dad and step mom as well as seeing my mom and Eugene again. Like I said, I just wish it was for a better reason and that I had more time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wish me luck

I am taking Rachael to the Jonas Brother's concert tonight. I am sure I am going to be surrounded by squealing girls. I'm glad I don't mind their music at all. Rachael listens to them all the time. They are pretty good and not at all like "boy bands". I overall think they are pretty talented.

I am really struggling with my diet and the idea that I need to be eating more. Last week, I went to my weigh in and I had gained 0.2 pounds. I was really disappointed. I really felt like I had lost a little bit. I would have understood if I had stayed the same, but to have gained even a little was just yuck. As of today, I only have 1.5 flex points left and then my 17 activity points. I won't eat all of the activity points, but will probably dip into them just a little bit. I wish the online tracker would deduct my activity points before my flex points. I have never eating all of my flex points in a single week while still being on program. I have been perfectly on program for 2 weeks now. I got on the scale at the gym this morning and it looks like my weight is exactly the same. The trainer said I should lose 1-2 pounds a week if I started eating more and working out regularly. I have worked out every day but Sundays for 2 weeks and I have been eating more, but still eating healthy.

The school year is about to start again. I should have started with the kids school work last month, but I just haven't felt like doing it. I gave them the entire summer off this year where as they usually only get June off. We have spent a lot of time in the pool. Rachael starts dance classes again on Monday, the 17th. Then she is going to start classes at ACC on the 24th. She is going to take US history and Spanish. We will work on math and science here at home. I'm a little nervous about how she will do with college classes, but I'm sure she will do fine.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A positive step in the right direction

I have been doing Weight Watchers for 3 years now. In February, I posted that I had finally lost 50 pounds. At this point, I am now down 51 pounds. I have only lost 1 pound in the last 5 months. Not a very impressive feat. I decided it was time to do something about it. I have been on program most of the time, but I have not been very good about exercising. I don't take the time to exercise while I am at home. We have an elliptical trainer and a recombant bike, but I don't like using them right now. They are in our family room, formerly our garage and it is just hot in there. We have AC out there, but it doesn't work as well as it does in the rest of the house. I can't stand to work out in the family room right now. My friend Lynn has been telling me she wanted me to come to the gym with her. Stan though we got a discount through his employer, but we don't. He discovered they were having a special though. It was only $9.99 initiation fee and $26 each month to join 24 Hour Fitness. Stan gave me the green light to join, so I did so last Friday. Since then, I have gone to the gym every day but Sunday. It has felt good. I am a little sore from exercising though. It is a little different from normal work out soreness. It is more like my MS pain flaring up due to the extra exercise. I know it will get better as my body gets used to working out. Most of the exercise I have done has been in the pool. I am not as susceptable to the heat when I do water aerobics, but I still get a good work out in. They were also having a special on 3 sessions with a personal trainer, so I got that. The first thing he told me is that I am not eating enough. The extra activity has made me really hungry this week, so I was kinda glad he said that or I would be feeling guilty about eating so much more. I'll find out tomorrow if this is going to pay off when I weigh in at WW. I will be devistated if I gain weight tomorrow. I have to realize that it may take me a few weeks to start seeing the scale move. I need to not let the scale dictate what I do or don't do though. I know the work outs are good for me and this has to be my next step in losing weight. I am really glad I joined the gym. I have loved getting together with Lynn to work out. Tomorrow, we are going to ride the exercise bikes because I have a limited time to be at the gym. I am usually there for an hour and a half when I go to the pool and I just don't have that much time tomorrow. I have appointments scheduled all day tomorrow. Wish me luck on the scale tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

18 years together

Yesterday, Stan and I celebrated our 18th anniversary. He couldn't get off work since his office is shorthanded anyway, so we went out for lunch together on Saturday. We really want to go to a bed and breakfast in Fredricksberg or some place like that for a Friday/Saturday get away. We have to find someone to watch the kids though. Rachael has dance Saturday mornings, so we don't want to just leave her with the kids. We are hoping my friend Cyndi can watch them, but she can't commit to it yet.

Rachael went to ACC yesterday and took her assessment test. She did fairly well. For the reading and writing, college level was considered a score of 81 (it isn't percent, just a raw score and I'm not sure what it means). She got a 94. For the math, college level is a 39 and she got a 36. I wasn't surprised by this. She hates math and struggles with it like I did. She will have to take elementry algebra before she can take college algebra is all this means. She is planning on majoring in dance, so it isn't like she will need have lots of math credits for her major. She just has to worry about her core classes that will require math. We are going into the advisors office today to find out what she should take first, then we will get her registered. The only thing we are going to have to pay for is her books, which will be enough, but better than having to pay for the classes also. Hopefully she can get financial aid for when she has to start paying for classes once she has graduated. She will probably spend one year at ACC then transfer to Texas State University and get on their dance team.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rachael and I went to Austin Community College today to get her registered to take some classes there this fall. They have a program where students can take college classes their last 2 years of high school. They are free of charge also, which is an even better reason to take them. We are in the frustrating paper work phase of getting ready for college. She has to go take her assessment test on Monday to see where she stands over all in her basic knowledge. I am nervous about her taking this test. I hope I have taught her well enough. I worry the most about history and science. We have been working on biology for quite a while. She is planning on being a dance major and just doesn't see the point in doing biology. I understand her thoughts, but still feel she needs to have a basic understanding of biology. I have felt so inadequate about being a homeschool mom at times. That has especially been true since I started having health problems a few years ago. I just recently got to the point where I could keep up with the kids school work. I know she will do fine once she starts classes. She is very smart and knows how to apply herself. She is not used to doing all the studying, yet on the other hand, she has to teach herself so much with her homeschooling. She is good at independent learning. I'm sure every mom goes through this nervous phase as their child transitions into college. I'm sure every mom worries if their child is ready.

Nothing else is really happening. We got about 5 minutes worth of rain the other night. I wanted it to rain a lot more than that. It was suppose to rain every day this week, but all we got was that 5 minutes on Monday. Nothing yesterday or today. We still have a small chance tomorrow. It will probably rain tomorrow because we are planning on going to the water park tomorrow with Emily and her kids. It is just my luck that it will rain then so we can't go. Andrew has a friend spending the night tonight, so it will be a fun thing for them to do besides play video games together. It seems that is all they want to do it play video games. Andrew could live playing video games. Stan is like that too, but he is really good and playing for a few minutes, the stopping to do something constructive. Andrew doesn't pull himself away from the game to do anything.

We finally got to see the new Harry Potter movie last night. It was better than I thought it was going to be. I think there was really only one scene that I could have done without. The Weasley's house never caught on fire in the book. I'm not sure where that scene came from. I would have rather seen the DA fighting the death eaters in the end and left out that scene. Other than that, the movie was really well done. Rachael's friend thought it wasn't dark enough, but I was ok with that. I wouldn't have wanted to take Jeremy had it been any darker. He got bored through part of the movie. It was just a little too long for his attention span. If you haven't seen it yet, it is worth seeing it in the theater.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My first photo shoot

I had the chance to do my first photo shoot this week. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. This is the Peterson family. I have known them for almost a year. The mother is the Young Women's president in our ward and my visiting teacher. She asked me a few weeks ago if I could do their family photos. I was flattered though. We went down to the capital and took some photos of their family. Here are the best of the bunch. In total, there was about 10 good shots.

It has been a bit of a struggle lately figuring out what to do every day to stay out of this heat and not just be a couch potato. It is just too hot to go outside for any length of time except for in the morning. Most days, we spend the afternoon at grandma's house in the pool. It is the best way to beat the heat. The pool is about 84-85 degrees. It is just cool enough for me to feel cooled off the rest of the day after spending time in the water. I also get a little bit of exercise in during our daily swims.

Today, we did something a little different. We decided to go bowling. The kids had a great time. Jeremy actually got the best score, although Rachael declared she was the winner since she didn't use the gutter guards and Jeremy did. I didn't actually bowl, I just watched. I tried bowling with the cub scouts a few months ago and only made it 3 frames before my back hurt so bad I could hardly move. I didn't need a repeat of that, especially since my back was bothering me yesterday. Jeremy really loves bowling though. Andrew says he hates it, but seems to have fun while we are doing it. Andrew really wants to go mini golfing again, but I way not until it cools off a little more. Rachael would rather bowl over golfing. Jeremy likes it all. He is so easy to please.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Random thoughts

This past month has kind of gotten away from me. There just hasn't been much to say on here. Nothing exciting has happened in our life. We seem to just be going from day to day doing basically the same things. We have been spending a lot of time in the pool lately. It is just too hot to do anything else, especially anything outside. We have had something like 25 days of 100+ degree weather since school got out. Hot is an understatement. I am so glad that we can go to MeeMaws house and use the pool. I'm not fond of public pools since I am usually the biggest person there. I get very self conscious at public pools. It has been a little better since losing some weight, but I still have some weight to lose, so I am still self conscious. I'll stick with the private pool, thank you. The pools has also been a great source of exercise. I have taken a few water aerobics classes in the past, so I am tried out a few of those moves inn the pool.. It seems to be working out pretty well.

Last October, I had the chance to go to Time Out for Women with my daughter and my SIL, Michelle. It was a great opportunity and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to go this year again, but they were in Houston in March while we were in Pennsylvania. I was bummed, but figured I would just go next year. They have come out with a great new way to enjoy TOFW. You can now do TOWF Webnars. That is another term for seminars on the web. You can go to http://www.timeoutseminars.com/index.php?p_resource=faq and try out one for free. The seminars, called "semesters", are 3 classes over a 3 month period. Each class has 4 parts and are posted once a week. The freebie is only one part of one class, but it was really good. I am going to sign up for a semester this week. The freebie was done by Sherri Dew, president of Deseret books. It is about having influence on others in your life. It was really an answer to my prayers. Since I haven't been working, I really wonder sometimes if I am making a difference by being here on earth. As a nurse, I could clearly see where I was making a difference. I have loved being a stay at home mom, but it isn't as easy to see how you make a difference in the lives of others. I know I make a difference to my children, and I know deep down that this is where it is most important for me to make a difference. I don't have to be so concerned about my health anymore, so I have finally noticed that I do miss working just a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss it enough to go back. I love being home with my kids. I think I am just going through a little transitional period. I am trying to find more hobbies and things to do with my time. I have things I want to get done around the house. I need to purge so much junk from my house. It is a cluttered mess most of the time. There are so many toys the boys don't touch any more. I'm slowly getting rid of all of those. If they don't pull them out of the box and pile, they just need to go away because they don't play with them. They don't even miss them.

That is about all I have to say. I can't promise when I will post again. I have to figure out what to post about. I don't really care to just ramble on here, which is what I just did. I'm going to wrap this up and go watch Jeff Dunham, Spark of Insanity with the rest of my family. We are big Jefaafaa Dun-ham fans. Achmed is one of our favorites. We can't say "silence" in this house without someone saying "I kill you". At least it does stop the fighting and usually results in several more Jeff Dunham lines from various members of the family.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A week at camp

Rachael and I just got home from a week at Girl's camp. We had a great time. Rachael was a JC this year. She loved being a JC. She was in charge of the 1st years. She would have loved to have her cousin, Jessica, in her group, but she didn't. She really loved her first years though. Here are a few photos of her doing JC activities/skits. In the first photo, she is doing a yoga skit. The legs are not her legs. They belong to Brittney, one of the other JCs. In the second photo, they are doing a game that is sort of like Deal or No Deal. She has her shirt and shorts on with her bathing suit over them, with socks and stilletos. Isn't that just sexy ?!?! It was a really fun game with lots of silly activities that the girls had to do. They all had a blast doing the games. It is likely to be played again in the coming years.

I was the camp nurse again this year. Rather than having an assistant, there were 2 full nurses. Since we didn't have the golf cart this year, the other nurse was the roaming nurse. She went out to the activities and treated any injuries/problems out at the activities. I stayed up at the office and in the cafeteria area. I was probably far busier than the other nurse was because a lot of the girls wait until they are up by the office to get the small things treated, like bug bites or medication for aches and pains. We have a new camp director and stake young women's presidency this year, so there were a lot of things different. The girls only did out door, non-water activities in the morning and they were allowed a little more free time. It made a huge difference. I had only 2 or 3 girls the entire week with heat related illness. I mostly treated insect bites this year. I actually got to do the crafts this year. I have never had time in the past. I still came home exhausted, but I didn't feel as worn out at camp as usual. I also didn't have any girls that needed to be driven to their activities.

Here is a photo of our ward at the end of camp. We always stop at Dairy Queen on the way home from camp and get lunch. We take a photo in front every year. It was a really good year.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm not really sure why I am posting anything since I don't really have anything to say. I want to start posting a little more often though. I figure something will occur to me as I start typing.

May has been a really busy month. Rachael has had her VIR show. VIR stands for Visions in Rhythm. It is a pre-apprentice performance dance troupe. They did a big show on May 2nd and now she is getting ready for her academy demo. That is what Tapestry calls their recital. They don't do frilly, expensive costumes like they did at Jackies. The teacher usually picks out a simple costume and it can't be over $15. It is a huge relief not to have to spend a ton of money on costumes, especially since Rachael is taking 4 classes plus VIR. She was in 9 dances for VIR. She has 3 performances this coming weekend. I also have to do concessions and flower sales with VIR at each of the shows. I think Stan and the boys will only need to go to 2 of the performances since several of her dances are repeated in several of the shows.

Jeremy had cross over with Cub Scouts on Tuesday. We had a picnic at Mary Searight park, then the award ceramony. He is now officially a Wolf. It looks like I will be the Wolf den leader again next year. I'm going to ask one of the mom's to be my assistant and see if we can trade off each week. It will be nice to share responsibility. There is one mom there that helps me a lot anyway.

My body sure is messed up lately. Aside from my normal MS problems, I started having problems with my stomach in the fall. I had to have an upper endoscopy and they found that my stomach wasn't digesting food fast enough and it was causing reflux and esophagitis. They started me on 2 medications for the problem. It pretty much took care of it, except I quit having a menstrual cycle. One of the medications is causing that problem, so now I have to take another medication to fix that problem. I went off the offending medication for a week, but I was miserable. I lost 3 pounds that week because I was having trouble eating and felt nausous all the time. Being off the medication for a week didn't bring back my cycle anyway. My gyn put me on a 10 day coarse of progesterone to see if that would cause me to start, but still nothing. I know this is probably more information than you ever wanted. I am so frustrated by all of this. I hate having to take one medication to treat the side effects of another medication. Will it ever stop? The endocrinoligist wants me to take this medication to treat the problem but this will make the medication for my stomach ineffective and could cause interactions with my migraine medication that could potentially be life threatening. Not fun. Welcome to my world!!!

Not a bad post for not having anything to say.

BTW, I lost another 1.4 pounds at Weight Watcher's this week bringing my grand total to 60 pounds, although only 53 since starting Weight Watcher's.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. A lot has been going on around here. Rachael has had her license for about a month now. It has been nice not having to run her to dance all the time. It is still nerve racking for me sometimes. I worry about her when she is on the road. On Saturday, she is driving herself and Aashlie to the stake dance. Normally, that would be no big deal, but the dance is in Marble Falls, which is a 55 minute drive from our house. I'm sure she will get out there fine, but it will be late when she comes home and that makes me nervous. There won't be a lot of traffic, so that will be good, but I still worry. I guess the worry never stops though.
Here is a picture of Rachael in her prom dress. She has some photos she took at prom and I need to get those from her. Boy, our house looks bad. We are going to be getting siding put on next spring. We need to paint and we have some rotting wood on the house. Anyway, I digress. She looked beautiful and so grown up. She went with her friend Daunte. His dad rented a limo and 3 or 4 couples shared the ride to the prom.

I have had a really long week this week. I had to have a root canal done on Tuesday. I went to the dentist Monday with a tooth ache. I had a cavity filled in December and she told me it went very close to the root and may end up needing a root canal later. It did. I couldn't eat anything on Tuesday and survived the day on milkshakes. Wednesday was a little bit better, but I still had to eat mushy food. I'm back to normal now. You can tell my looking at my house that I haven't felt well this week. It is a disaster.

The kids are all doing well. Jeremy is so funny. I was leaving the house the other day and it was just him and Rachael at home. In a very sultry voice, he tells her "now that we are alone, what do you want to do?". He is too young to be saying things like that. I'm going to have to watch him when he gets older. Andrew has been really enjoying his cooking class. He has been doing it every other week, but I think I am going to sign him up for weekly classes for the summer. Once he gets a little faster, then I will start having him cook dinner. He does a good job at baking and making simple things like pancakes. He is really slow when he has to cut things. I would rather he be slow though than have him rush through and cut himself.

Rachael had her dance show a few weeks ago. It was called "To sleep, per chance to dream". It was all about dreams. She had a dream solo about deja vu. She did a great job. The group dances were amazing. They all did such a great job. She has become an amazing dancer. She wants to become a professional dancer/choreographer as well as teaching dance and maybe opening her own studio when she gets a little older. I think she will do great.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our final trip on our vacation was to Philadelphia. We went to independence hall, saw the liberty bell, Franklin's printing shop, and the first post office, which is still functioning. It was really neat to stand in Independence Hall. You could actually feel the spirit in there witnessing that the Declaration of Independence was divinely inspired.

That pretty much wraps up our trip. I'll post some family photos I took next time. Now onto what has been happening around the house. Rachael had her prom this past weekend. It was the Priest/Laurel Formal on Saturday. She was suppose to go with Jovence Vital, but he ended up having to work, so she called up Dante Clark and they went together. Dante had asked her to the Mormon Prom, but she had already told Jovence she would go with him. I haven't downloaded my camera yet, so I will post photos later.

Also, Rachael got her driver's license today. We tried to get it last week, but every time we went, the computers were down. Stan took her today and they finally had success. She drove herself to dance this afternoon. I haven't gotten a call from her, so I am assuming she got there ok. I'm not as nervous about her driving as I was in the beginning. Teaching a child to drive is a very nerve racking process. She has turned into a pretty good driver. She is very cautious when she drives. She never speeds, although sometimes she is guilty of going too slow. It is kind of nice not having to take her to dance. I will still need to driver her out to St. Stephen's next week for tech week for their dance show as she has never driven there and she doesn't think she can find it on her own. I don't want her getting lost. I drive with her on the first day and hope she can find it after than because I have a schedule conflict on Tuesday and won't be able to get her to tech. I may have to find a ride for her if she doesn't think she can find it alone. That is my biggest fear with her driving is her getting lost. She isn't very good with directions and knowing where she is going. She can easily get herself to and from dance going multiple different directions, but that is pretty much it. I know it will get better as she starts driving more.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Days 4 and 5

I didn't forget to finish our vacation post, but things just got a little busy. I'm trying to get the boys room painted so Stan can get the new floor installed. I have about 1/4 of the room done and lots more to do.

So, day 3 and 4 were spent in Washington DC. My biggest regret was that I completely forgot that a high school friend of mine lived in DC. I'm sorry Michelle. I wish I would have contacted her prior to going so she could have met up with us there. We had a great time. We got there about 1 or 2 pm and walked around the monuments. We saw the WW II, Vietnam, Korea war monuments, the Lincoln memorial, the Washington monument and the Jefferson memorial. It was a lot of walking and I was really worried about it. I really only had trouble with the last leg of the trip when my bad leg started spasming and it became difficult to walk. I was actually pretty proud of myself for being able to push through the walking.

We stayed the night in a hotel in the Washington area, in Virginia actually. We decided we wanted to go to the Aerospace museum that was in Virginia since it held the shuttle. Stan really wanted to see the shuttle. It was about 30 minutes into Virginia but it turned out to be a good choice. My parents said the Virginia museum was way better than the DC one. We drove back into DC and went to the aquarium. That was a waste of time and money. We have way better aquariums here in Texas. Next, we went to the Natural History museum. That was pretty cool. I was so tired after those 2 days of walking every where. We got home at about 10pm that night and crashed pretty much right away.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 3

I know what you are thinking, what happened to day 2. Day 2 was a Sunday, so we went to church and hung out around the house and did nothing. Day 3, we went to Hershey. I would have loved to been able to do the amusement park, but it wasn't opened yet. We did a trolley tour of the area, saw Mr Hershey's home, the school he and his wife opened and the town he built. We learned a lot about Mr. Hershey. He was a very generous man and worked hard to build his company after going bankrupt several times. After we did the trolley tour, we went back to the main area by the factory and did a little ride that showed how chocolate is made. It was pretty cool. We also toured through a museum about Mr. Hershey's life. Andrew surprised me while we were there and bought a cook book full of desserts. He is interested in learning how to cook more, especially how to make desserts. He made some cookies while we were at my mom's from a recipe in the book. They were really good. We are thinking about signing him up for some cooking classes at Young Chef's academy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our vacation

We just got back home from a 10 day vacation to Pennsylvania. I had planned on blogging while I was there so I could keep you all posted on our trip, but I forgot that my mom was on dial up and it was so slow managing any type of photo. I also didn't have a lot of time. We were on the move constantly during those 10 days. I am going to start with the first day and post about a different day each day I blog. I don't want to create a ridiculously long blog post by giving you the details of our vacation all at once.

We got there on the 13th. By the time we got to my mom's house, we had been traveling all day (we flew) and it was almost 10pm. We were exhausted. My mom rented a camping trailer for us to sleep in since she lives in a small home. It was a little cramped, but not bad since all we were doing was sleeping in there.

The next day, we went to the Crayola factory. It was about an hour away from my mom's house. The kids had a blast, and so did we. It was cool to see how they made the crayons. I had no idea they did it that way. They heat up the wax, then pour it into a mold that will make like 100 crayons all at once. They mix the wax around then drain it off and scrape it, cool the crayons off and dump them out. It was cool. Here are a few photos we took at Crayola .

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In loving Memory

My mother-in-law passed away this week, on Monday. She was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago in March. For the last 11 months, she has been fighting for her life even more than the previous 2 years. The cancer had spread to her brain. She underwent radiation and more chemo and they were able to shrink the tumors some, but they came back with vengance and there was nothing they could do for her. She spent the last 6 weeks in a lot of pain.

She will be dearly missed. She was the most amazing, caring, loving, generous person that has ever lived. I hope I can be like her some day. I know she is in Heaven with her husband and I know she is happy. She is free of pain now and she is with the person she loves the most. She has missed him dearly. I know that we will be reunited when our time to leave this earth comes. We are an eternal family. My inlaws were sealed in the temple before my husband was born and Stan and I have been sealed in the temple. We are sealed as a family for time and all eternity through the power of the priesthood. I am so grateful for the restored gospel in this later day so we have the opportunity to be sealed together in the temple.

I made a slide show of photos from her life. I hope you enjoy this. You can find it at www.hodgefamily.net/elizabeth/ .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A big milestone

I have been doing Weight Watchers for over 2 years now. I have not been 100% on program the entire time, but I have been on program most of the time. My medications have the side effects of weight gain. I could tell that I have been fighting that side effect because when I started the medication is when I noticed I was having to work very hard for every little ounce I lost. I am very happy to announce that I have now lost 50 pounds. When I started WW, I was hoping to lose 50 pounds my first year. It has taken me longer than I had hoped, but I am still proud of this accomplishment. Here is a layout I made showing me and my WW leader, Jamie, taken the day I reached the 50 pound mark. Now, onto the next 50 pounds.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good weekend

This has been a really good weekend. It didn't exactly go as planned, but that is OK. Stan and I were suppose to go to the temple yesterday, but Rachael ended up having a last minute dance rehearsal, so we had to postpone our temple trip. We are going to try to go on the 20th now instead. Saturdays are just so busy for us. It seems to be worse the older the kids get. We got some cleaning done around the house and a few errands taken care of.

Rachael and I got to go to a baptism yesterday evening. Her friend Natalie was baptized. She is the sister of the woman who directed the Savior of the World production. Natalie started coming to rehearsals to help her sister out. By the time it was over, Natalie had a testimony. Her parents didn't let her get baptized until yesterday though as they didn't want her to rush into a decision like this at such a young age. The baptism was wonderful. There were a lot of people there. I felt the spirit so strongly. I am so grateful for Natalie, Casey and Jane and the friendship they have with Rachael. She is so happy when she is around them. She is like that at dance too.

Speaking of friends, things are going so much better for Rachael at church. The girls are all getting along again. Rachael hung around after New Beginnings last week talking with the girls she previously hadn't been getting along with. It was good to see them talking like that again.

On Thursday night, we had a visit from Ben Parker. When I first moved to Austin, I started baby sitting Ben and his little brother Danny. Ben was 3 years old. Now, he is married and has a child of his own. His family left Austin in 1996 when they moved to Denver. I lived with his family for about 6 months when I was in high school. It was so good to see him again. I really miss the Parker family. I miss the long talks I would have with Jera. Their youngest child, Maegan, was my baby when she was little. I took care of her, did her hair and taught her all kinds of things. Maegan is all grown up and has 2 children now. It really makes me feel old.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

photography class

I signed up for an online photography class that started this weekend. Our first assignment is about ISO. I've never really understood it much, but I think I do now. I still have 3 more photos to finish out the assignment, but here is my first photo for it.

This was my midday, outside shot. I need to do an inside shot, a shade shot, morning and night time shots. The morning one is going to be the hardest. I don't think about my camera first thing in the morning.