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Month: February 2010



Today is Go Texan Day in Houston.

The trail riders will be coming into town and heading straight for the rodeo.

Meanwhile … back at the ranch … otherwise known as Rummel Creek Elementary … Jacob, Savannah and Brittany will be kicking up their boots in the school gym.  Each grade has a performance which pretty much means I’ll be there all day.  Yee-haw!

It will be Jacob’s first year to dance and Brittany’s last.  Jacob cannot wait.  Brittany told Bill he didn’t need to come.  

So tonight we rustled up some Western duds for the kids to wear.  Jacob does not wear blue jeans … ever.  He announced however that he needed jeans and boots for this occasion.  Luckily I had a pair of jeans in a hand me down bag from a friend and a pair of boots in another bag from a friend.  I think his outfit turned out pretty cute. 

He doesn’t seem to mind that the boots are about 3 sizes too big.  I’m hoping he’ll still be able to dance.  He showed me a few of his moves.

He told me  … “I bet I’m the only cowboy in the world that knows tae kwon do.”

He might be right.

Then he gave HIMSELF “bunny ears” for the picture.

But you know what they say … every rodeo needs a clown.

We’ve got ours!


Speaking of Medals …

Speaking of Medals …

Savannah wore her medal to school today.  I tried to convince her that it wasn’t a good idea (I didn’t stand a chance) but she convinced me that “everyone else on the team was wearing them” and so off she went … medal draped around her neck and all.  I was told they congratulated the team in the school’s morning announcements too so I think they have now officially milked their victory for all its worth.

But speaking of medals….someone else in our family won a few of them over the weekend.

Brittany had a meet which was hosted by a three time gold medal Olympian (Svetlana Boginskaya from Russia) and Oksana Chusovitina (33 year old athlete who competed in Beijing and is hoping for London). 

And they gave Brittany her medals.  All five of them.

She won gold in bars and came in second (silver) in the entire meet for her age division/level.

And on the way home she told me she had accomplished her goal of scoring at least a 9 in every event in the meet.

I didn’t even know she had set meet goals.
What I did know was that Brittany has a quiet determination that constantly amazes me.  Her coaches told her to be prepared to work hard when she joined this gym and I don’t think she has let them down.
She’s missed a lot of slumber parties, school events and more family dinners than I’d like to count … but she is accomplishing her goals … and for that, I am very, very proud.
Going for the Gold …

Going for the Gold …

Savannah’s Spring Branch (our part of Houston) basketball team played in the 7-8 Silver division Championship Basketball game on Saturday.

They won the game and got a gold medal and although it wasn’t the Olympics, it was still pretty exciting.

You see, Bill started coaching this group of 10 girls when they were in kindergarten.  For four years he has watched them improve their game, increase their confidence and Saturday he watched them win it all.

I thought he might cry.

This is the last year that this group of girls can play together.  Once they get to fourth grade players must be drafted so this was it for “his” team.  Bill will still coach, but he won’t ever have another group like this where he had all the players from kindergarten through third grade. 

Every girl on the team scored a basket this season and honestly, he wanted that to happen every bit as much as he wanted them to win a gold medal.

Don’t get me wrong though … the medal was pretty cool too. Especially when it is your dad who gets to put it around your neck.

It was fun to watch these girls celebrate!  Seeing them so excited kind of made me forget about all those meals we had to eat in the car last week.

And yes … we’ll be watching the Olympics this week, but I guarantee it will be this gold medal Savannah will be thinking about …

Way to go Mystics!!!

Rest for the Weary …

Rest for the Weary …

It’s been a week.  A very, very busy week.

With lots of basketball.

Lots and lots of basketball.

Play off week.

7 games in 6 days.

One night I cooked hot dogs for dinner and wrapped them in foil and the kids ate them in between each others games.  And I thought … wow.  This is what we’ve become.  We’ve been reduced to eating hot dogs in the car.  I kind of thought a refrigerator in the Suburaban might be a good idea until I realized that is dangerously close to driving an RV.  So I stopped thinking about it.

Brittany’s team was in the gold division and hoped to win it all.  If they won on Thursday night they would have made it to the championship but they ran out of steam towards the end.  It was a great team and a disappointing loss.  I LOVE to watch Brittany play basketball.  She is in it to win it … every.single.time.

You can see Brittany (first 10 seconds) dribble down, shoot and score if you click here.  She makes it look easy and loves the game as much as her dad … and that is saying a lot.  (We took the video with my phone so it’s not that great, but I promise that is Brittany shoot’in some hoop.)

She wasn’t the only one playing ball …

Jacob was coached by Bill and went 7 and 0 … “the perfect season” in our church league basketball this year.   Look how low the basket is … it is SO cute to watch the boys play.

Every child gets a chance after each half to shoot a free throw.

We celebrated being undefeated at our team party … cute boys!

I think the coach is pretty cute too.

Caroline played in the our church league as well but had to miss today’s game (which unfortunately was the only day I bought my camera).  Savannah played church league and our areas league … more on that later.

But first I have to rest.

Because, as I said, it’s been a week.

And after church tomorrow Brittany has a gymnastics meet and Savannah has softball tryouts.

Which basically means there isn’t much rest for the weary.

Play ball!

The annual recharging of the batteries …

The annual recharging of the batteries …

For so many years now that I have lost count, my 3 college roommates and I have been going for a girls weekend to Hilltop, TX.  I’ve spoken of the Hilltop Honeys before.  Now, never mind that I never actually lived with any of them.  It would have been fun if I did.  Plus, the three of them lived with each other at various times and I visited … so I bestowed roommate status onto myself.

We arrive at Hilltop each year on Friday.  Carol, Debra and Michelle ride together from Dallas and I drive alone from Houston (insert sad face here).  This years trip was delayed due to snow in Dallas.  I knew we’d still go though when Carol sent an email that said she didn’t care if she had to “crawl”, she was getting to Hilltop.

So, we missed a few hours of visiting that afternoon in Hilltop (that I am going to lament until next year) but I am so glad we got to go.

We met up at the restaurant we’ve gone to on Friday nights for the last several years in Leona, TX.  We have to go the first day because after that we put on pajamas and try not to take them off until Sunday (unless Carol persuades us to take a walk which did not happen this year).  Here we are in Leona:

When we said we wanted a picture in the restaurant the owners encouraged us to take it with the wax cowboy and Indian.  So we did.  We’re crazy like that.

Now here is what you should know.  When we go to Hilltop, we recharge batteries … the real kind and the personal kind.  

I’m serious.  EVERY year the batteries in the smoke detector at Hilltop have to be replaced.  Sometimes it’s beeping when we arrive … last year during the second night it began to beep. 

And sure enough … when we arrived this year, it was beeping.  Here are Debra and Michelle doing the honors:

 We decided this year we should buy a new smoke detector but the more I think about it the more I think it is just so appropriate.

Because we too are there to re-charge our batteries.  We literally sit on the couch for hours on end (in our pajamas) talking about any and all things.  And it is so relaxing.  So very, very relaxing. 

And we recharge our batteries.

Which is good because the first thing Jacob said to me when I got home was … “MAMA … I almost died when you were gone but Daddy saved my life and I’m still alive.”  Now, there had been an altercation with the seat belt and Bill had to cut him out.  But he did not “almost die”.  He just gets a little carried away in emergencies … I have NO idea where he gets that from – ok, or maybe I do.

But my batteries are charged and I can handle the emergencies (hopefully), the crazy schedule (did I mention this is basketball playoffs week and I barely have time to think) and all else life related.  

At least until it’s time to go back to Hilltop and charge the batteries again next year!


In honor of Valentines Day …

In honor of Valentines Day …

I made a cake.

Not just any cake, but a cake with a heart in the middle. 

I can’t believe it myself.

(Of course I’d feel even better about it if several people hadn’t emailed me after they saw the picture and asked if Bill and the kids had made it for me.  I guess I need to work on my icing technique!)

I was in Hobby Lobby recently and they had Wilton pans on sale and the one with the heart in the middle looked pretty cool so I thought I’d give it a go.

I used a red velvet cake mix but realized I had no idea how to make any icing.  I did what people do in those situations and turned to google … it was faster than going to the grocery store.

In a turn of events that never, ever happens to me, I actually had all the ingredients on hand that I needed to make icing.

Which meant I had LOTS of powdered sugar, some butter and a little milk and vanilla.

I was nervous about cutting into the middle of the cake since things like this don’t seem to ever turn out well for me, but surprisingly, it actually looked like a heart in the middle of the cake!

These people thought it was pretty cool:


It turned out to be a very, very good thing that Bill gave Jacob boxing gloves for Valentine’s Day because he had LOTS of sugar to burn off!

Then I found out Bill bought boxing gloves for himself too:


I’m pretty sure one of them is going to get hurt:

But if they do, I can make them a cake to help them feel better.

I know how to do that now.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  

The post that could not be forgotten …

The post that could not be forgotten …

SO, here it is … the last post for 2009.  Right in the middle of February 2010.  A common theme in my life is … “I can’t keep up!” … and this is further proof.  But this event was too fun and these people too special for me to not include.  In fact … it was a highlight of 2009.

I mean, how often do you get to hang with your oldest and nearest and dearest friends?  None of us are “near” each other anymore and getting us all to land in Little Rock on the same date is something to celebrate.  We all grew up together at First Baptist Church in Little Rock.  My friend Beth I have literally known since I was born.  I remember to this day when my friend Sharon joined our church when we were about 5 years old.  My mom leaned over and whispered … “they have a daughter your age … y’all can be friends.”  Very prophetic of my mom.

I don’t even know when Katie and Stephanie hooked up … cause it seems like we’ve always been together.  Always.  Some people have “go to” meals …. these are my “go to” girls.  There isn’t a one of them that I couldn’t call and ask or tell anything.  We’re tight.  And I cherish each and every one of them.  

And the stories we can tell … just trust me … there’s lots of them.  One of our favorite things is we can call each other and immediately start laughing.  And then we both laugh and laugh before we even know what is funny.  It’s one of our favorite things to do.  I cannot tell you how many times Sharon has called me and started the conversation with … “THE funniest thing …” and she proceeds to tell me something hilarious.  And sometimes the stuff going on in our lives isn’t funny at all … and we’re there for each other in that too.  

So, here are the “go to” girls:

It’s me, Sharon, Katie, Stephanie and Beth.  
These are our kids.  And MY WORD there are a lot of them.  We’re a prolific group.  The five of us have 15 kids total and only 3 boys in the crowd.  

And in this picture you will see Rudy.  You are going to have to trust me when I say that Rudy provided QUITE a bit of enertainment for us that night.  I don’t want to embarrass Rudy but the go to girls will know what I’m talking about.  I can tell you that Rudy has a special “friend” … a stuffed animal Winnie the Pooh.  They are very close.

Even though we all live far apart … College Station, TX, Houston, Little Rock, Chicago and Fresno, CA .. we could not be closer.  

2009 is officially over.

The End.

Better late than never …

Better late than never …

According to my calculations I have just over 48 hours until Valentines Day.  What that says to me is that I have about two days left to finish my CHRISTMAS blog posts before the next big calendar holiday.  I was on a Christmas roll for a little while and then one thing and then another came up and before I knew it I was searching for Valentine candy corn and failed to post the last two events of our Christmas vacation.

I tend to run late to EVERYTHING so the fact that I am late writing these posts this far after Christmas should not be surprising at all. 

The first thing I will say is that I am indebted to the airline industry for the fact that it charges significantly less money to fly to Minnesota from Arkansas than Houston.  I will never complain about having to drive there to catch a flight because it gives me the opportunity to go home!

Bill loves this picture of our kids with my mom.  He has titled it … “pay attention young Jedi”.  I think she was showing them a video of their cousin Addison … either that or how to log onto facebook.  🙂

Bill was just glad someone else was enertaining the kids.  After that EXHAUSTING trip to MN, the man needed a break.  Bill thinks my parents house is so relaxing.  Clearly he kind of kicks back there.

We usually try to work a puzzle over the holidays.  This is the second year in a row where I’ve had to pack the puzzle half finished to bring to my dad to finish for us.  He’s the master of the puzzle. 

My dad gets us over the hard parts so we can take a picture of our masterpiece. 

 Before we opened our gifts, we sang “Silent Night”  while Savannah “sang” it in sign language.  It was beautiful. (My mom’s mantle is beautiful too.  My “oozing with talent” sister decorated it.)

We all enjoyed watching Addison open presents.  She kicks back too.

The kids enjoyed theirs:

Grandy and Grammy liked theirs too!

On New Years Eve, my aunt, cousin and my cousins children came to visit.  I so enjoyed hanging out with them.  It had been years since Deah, Jayme and I hung out together.

And to think the three of us had all these kids is pretty wild!  Of course half of them are mine, but who’s counting?

My aunt is one of the funniest people I have ever known.  Clearly my mom thinks so too.

Those gals have a good time together I’ll tell ya.

We all had a good time together in fact.  And had it not been for basketball season coming in and taking every spare second of my evening time, I might have told you that sooner.  

But really, February isn’t too late to talk about Christmas … is it?

It would only be appropriate …

It would only be appropriate …

I can’t think of any better way to follow up yesterday’s redneck meatballs post than to write about Bill and Jacob’s father/son outing to the Monster Truck Jam. High class stuff I tell you.

 There’s really not much to say about it other than it was a “smashing” success. 

 It was very loud … hence the ear plugs.

They went with a little group of Jacob’s buddies from school and their dads.

And Jacob came home with this … a stuffed Monster Truck called Grave Digger.


Found in high class homes everywhere I’m sure.

It depends on your definition of “go to” …

It depends on your definition of “go to” …

I had a post ready to go this morning about my thoughts on the Super Bowl (not that I really had many), but I forgot to post it … you know how crazy it can be getting to Sonic by 10:00 am for their 99 cent Diet Coke and all.  Plus I had to get ready for a recipe party that these two fun girls (Jennifer and Katie) were hosting.  They said there would be prizes so I totally wasn’t missing it.

I must confess, I think I misunderstood their invitation a little bit.  Or a lot.  You’ll find this shocking, I know.

The invite said … Bring your favorite “Go To” meal.  It said something along the lines of  … “tired of feeding your family the same weeknight meals?”.  So, I assumed (a bit incorrectly) that they were wanting quick meals that everyone in the family would like.

And nothing says … “quick meal that everyone likes” in the Baerg household like “Mama’s Meatballs”.  I’ve mentioned them before.  In one of my crowning achievements of life TWO moms called me saying … “my kids think you are the greatest cook ever” followed by “can I get the recipe for your meatballs?”.  

And how can you argue with success like that?

So, I made my two ingredient meatballs, typed up the recipe (we were all bringing copies of the recipes to share) and headed to the party .  The first thing I noticed when I arrived was that … well, I think perhaps I had a different definition of “go to” meal.  

VERY different.  

And there amongst the Balsamic and Tomato Roast Chicken, the Cauliflower Alla Parmigiana, Corn Souffle and the Carne Guisada sat my meatballs. You know, my GO TO meal.

We Baergs are a real class act I tell you.

Here we are with the spread:

But the best part (aside from eating everyone else’s GO TO meals) was that they had a contest at the end.  Everyone wrote their favorite dish on a piece of paper and they drew out two winners for the door prize. 

And win that door prize I did.  Of course they drew mine after they drew the names of each hostess about six times (and they weren’t going to take their own prize).  My mom actually asked me if I wrote down my own name!  I can honestly say that I did not.  My friend Wendy wrote down “meatballs” – probably as an act of mercy, but who cares because I won this bag:

It had cute measuring cups and some recipe cards (which they encouraged me to turn into postcards since, in reality, I probably wouldn’t be writing down any recipes) inside.  The bag says … “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.”
And truer words may not have ever been spoken. 
PS  In my defense … on my recipe print out, I added another “fancier and healthier” version of make your own meatballs.  You know, for the “foodies” in the crowd.

I now know that was pretty much everyone there except me and Wendy.

But it was fun ladies!!!!  Thanks for the invitation.  And if you ever have another recipe party, I’m totally making something with at least three ingredients!