Welcome friends and family!

"The colors of life shift

within a fixed parameter,

movable blocks of shadow

and light, interchangeable

or not."

"Chaos is a friend of mine." ~Bob Dylan

"Chaos is a friend of mine." ~Bob Dylan
Da Boys!

Front and Center!

These two creatures who have locked up my heart will be front and center in this little corner of blogosphere!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm in Transit! Moving!

Like my sister Kelly, I'm on the move to a new blog home at Wordpress.  My new blog is a work in progress and I'm  not fully unpacked and arranged.  Almost as time-consuming as a non-virtual move!

Blogger is great, but, I like mixing things up, so I'm trying out a new home.  This will probably be my last NEW post in this home, so I hope you'll add my new address to your favs or feeds:
Thriving in the Chaos!

Come on over and visit, but excuse the disarray! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer!

It's HOT!  That about sums it up in my neck of the woods!!  The dog days of Summer are in full force.  Speaking of dog days, I thought I'd share a few photos of the pack chilling in the backyard.  I use the term "chilling" loosely.

Smokey loves to sun.....but...this is almost torture!

Mac says it's never too hot to chase those annoying squirrels!

And here's my little poser.  He has limited tolerance for the heat....

Unless there's a bone to chew, that is...

Can we go in now?

As for the rest of us.... Trish has a new job that looks really fun and promising.  Connor, morphing into typical teenage behavior, rarely ventures out if his room except to eat, swim (once) and visit a friend..  Sam is opting for indoor activities during this triple-digit heat bubble.  We took a few cute photos of the 5th grade Luau that marks the end of elementary school at Wyatt.

Limbo, Hula Hoops and Snow Cones ushered him out of elementary school and into Summer.  Me, I'm catching up on things I haven't had time for during the school year, and beginning to mark things off my Summer To-Do List.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Goodbye Elementary School!

How time does fly!  Last night Sam graduated from 5th grade.  The soon-to-be middle schooler was so nervous he dropped and crushed his glasses pre-lineup and survived the ceremonies half-blind.  I hate to say it but the broken glasses probably enabled him to not pass out from anxiety while on the stage.  He rocked!

This fall he will join Connor at middle school, and the only elementary schooler left will be moi as substitute teacher.  That's my niche so I'm being held back.....forever!  :) 

We're very proud of Sam.  He had a much better school experience this year and is actually looking forward to next year. 

Sunday afternoon Bryan graduates from high school in San Antonio.  I'm very proud of him, also.  I hate missing the chance to see him as he walks across the stage, but the timing made it too difficult for me to get down and back for the last day of school here.  Monday is our 'snow day'. 

Congratulations to both my graduates!  I'm a very proud grandma!

Friday, May 6, 2011

How quickly they Grow!

I got the boys' Spring school photos this week and I'm struck with how much they've grown and matured this past year.  I suppose that  since Connor turned 13 last November I shouldn't be surprised that with puberty has come maturity and changes. 

Sam is beginning to show signs of a burgeoning maturity, in some ways, also.  With the help of therapy and the right medication we are seeing longer stretches of the sweet boy that he is, at heart.  Kind, loving, bright and truly funny, it makes me smile and warms my heart to see these signs that the 'old' Sam is still there and coming to the surface.  It's been a long, challenging, frustrating and often frightening  couple of years with him emotionally and medically speaking.  His anxiety and his severe ADHD are co-existing with less anger,aggression and volatility.  There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.  I see it every day now in that sweet smile. 

In a few weeks Sam graduates from 5th grade.  The elementary school days will be behind us.  Sam will join Connor in middle school this fall and there will be new challenges to meet.  I'm ready for summer.  It's going to be a somewhat bittersweet time.  My oldest grandson Bryan graduates from high school, Connor will enter his last year of middle school this fall and Sam is about to graduate from elementary school.  Time marches on, as it should; but, I can still see the sweet babies that they were ....only yesterday.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Picnic Pasta

Recipes and cooking are more my sister Kelly's purview than mine.  My daughter Trish is also a fan of cooking and trying new recipes.  Last week,  however, I saw the title recipe in the Dallas News and it sounded like a winner to my taste buds. 

It did not disappoint.  In fact, Trish made it for the second time this morning before she left for work.  I'm sharing it because it's not only yummy, but also easy and not too shabby on the health charts.

Picnic Pasta

4 cups assorted grape and cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
3/4 cup red onion, peeled and chopped very fine
12 large basil leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup when chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon, strained
1 pound bowtie or fusilli pasta
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (optional)  We love it both with and without!

Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, herbs, SALT, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Stir to combine (may be left at room temperature for several hours before combining with pasta). 

Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions.  Drain the cooked pasta and combine it with the tomato mixture.  The salad may be prepared to this point several hours before serving and kept at room temperature, loosely covered.  When ready to serve, toss with feta and chicken, if using. 

Serves 6

Note:  It's important to chop the onion very fine and to mince the garlic so that they integrate or meld with the other flavors.

It's great!  I just finished a serving for lunch an hour ago.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

You've Come a LONG way, baby!

Wednesday evening Connor was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society at Rice Middle School.  Only a year ago we would have never imagined this event for him.  Due to his having Pediatric Bipolar Disorder and High Functioning Autism he has been, for 4 years, in a BSU (Behavioral Structured Unit) in the elementary and now middle school he attends. 

The school setting has never been a comfort zone for this child (excuse me...YOUNG MAN) as he was easily frustrated and such an outsider when it came to his peers.  It wasn't until he was in about 4th grade that the developmental differences (due to his Autism) really made us realize how significant the gap between Connor and his peers really was.  Social Skills are still an uncomfortable and difficult landscape for him to navigate.  Progress in this realm is still in the baby-step stage. 

Over this past summer Connor began to mature and grow.  As he hit the magic teenage milestone his voice had changed and puberty began to set in.  He's taller than both his mom and me.  And, he began to blossom academically in spite of himself. 

His teachers (our heroes!) gently moved him into several "out" classes, and there will be more next year.  Suddenly, the boy that hated school and had no motivation to even be in the classroom setting began to actually care about his grades and become more frustrated when he didn't make the grade he wanted than when he had to  'work'.  He is now able to do homework without major meltdowns (for the most part) and he has discovered (surprise, surprise) he likes much of what he's learning.  School is no longer a battle ground. 

There are still struggles, and he's by no means ready to be tossed into the general education arena totally or without safety nets and life preservers.  Perhaps that day will come.  Right now he's stable and it's the Autism quirks that give him the most trouble.  Most of his moodiness is more the puberty bugaboo than bipolar related.  This is major progress.

So, what a proud family we were when we watched him be recognized for his academic achievements this week!  It's been a long and difficult struggle to reach this milestone in his academic and personal life.  We're looking forward to the coming challenges and progress as he continues to navigate the remainder of his academic years.

Congratulations Connor Reeves!!  We love you and we're beaming with pride!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Dreams Realized!

OK, this is an amazing turn of events!  My snow dreams have come to pass!  This morning I woke to a winter wonderland!

Tuesday brought a major sleet storm and deep freeze to my little corner of the world.  Monday was the first and last day of school of this week.  The ice virtually closed down the area.  As the temp. stayed in the teens and low 20s the ice stood its ground, didn't budge.  Last night the forecast called for a light dusting of snow here to top  the ice.   And then......

This morning I woke to a winter wonderland!!  It is simply unreal!  The world around me is white and fluffy and absolutely beautiful!!  Yes, it's also treacherous, since beneath the fluffy white is a dangerous layer of stubborn ice.  Slip, sliding is the name of the game.  Spanky loved the ice and loves the snow!  I can't keep him inside.  Every few minutes he barks at the patio door wanting out to romp, eat snow, play with the ice and pester the birds at the feeders.  He races around the yard like a crazy dog!!!  He's fun to watch!

This is not good news for Jerry's World and the impending Super Bowl and related activities.  The natives are restless and a bit stir crazy with cabin fever.  It's been PJ days most of the week since we're unable to get out and about.....beyond the front or back yard that is. 

Tomorrow the temp will climb beyond the freezing mark and the thaw should begin.  Meanwhile, I'm loving this realization of my fondest dreams.  I'm locked in a beautiful winter wonderland!

And here he is wanting me to come out and play with him.  Look as this face!  The caption for this photo is                                              "Look at ME!!"