Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Art from Legos

Nathan Sawaya builds sculptures completely out of Legos. He has an exhibit that is touring museums around the country that would be amazing to see in person. Visit his website here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What we're reading Part 3

My Dad let me borrow The Shack. I have heard a lot about this book and not all good. I am trying to read it, but after the first two chapters I am having a hard time getting into this book. I just don't think it is a well written book. I will keep trying though.

For Literature class Caleb is reading Sarah, Plain and Tall. Caleb just finished it and gave it 9 out of 10 stars.

Caleb's next book for Literature is The Twenty-One Balloons. Since I am the Literature teacher I picked out the books for our class and I think this is a good one. This book is filled with cool and silly ideas and inventions.

To go with History Caleb is reading Rifles for Watie. Caleb is reading this himself and I do not know much about the book except that it is about the Civil War and it is a Newberry Winner.

Luke is reading Fortunately. This is an old book, but so good. My boys both love this book. We first found it at the library and we would read it over and over again. One day last year we found a copy of it on the free table at Co-op. We happily took it home. Now it is ours forever.


As if Luke's face is not enough to melt my heart, his words are. Yesterday he was busy playing a new game with Caleb (hide the lego- their own invention) and forgot that he needed to use the bathroom. He had an accident in the living room. I will admit it -I got mad and let Luke know it. Luke responded by saying, "I'm sorry Mom. I won't do it again Mom." Then the kicker, "Mom do you still love me?" Isn't that heart breaking? Most of the time he has good behavior and I rarely have to get after him. But when I do he always responds this way. I think he takes after me. I was super sensitive as a kid and did not like to be punished.

Luke- I will always love you!!

Caleb decided to give me and Luke TaeKwondo lessons. I was worn out just from the stretching and warm-up exercises. Caleb got out his old belts for me and Luke to put on. Luke was in to it.

Ah, camping. Grannie gave the boys a little two person tent. On Saturday Aaron was going to squeeze into the tent with the boys and camp outside. They had their sleeping bags and flashlights all ready. They even climbed in and zipped up the tent. But then one of our cats, Leo who likes to pounce, started attacking the tent and made contact with Caleb's finger. Caleb got hurt and the boys decided they didn't want to camp.

I told them I would sleep out in the tent with them tonight. Luke said, "I only want to sleep in the tent in my room." So we brought the tent in and they are camping in their room. Works for me.

Sweet Dreams.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Back on Track

Tomorrow is our first day back at Co-op. And we will be starting our school work back up at home too. Aaron has started his classes back and on Thursday he has his first speech to give. We are trying to get back to normal.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sick Day

I do not like sick days. My throat feels like it is on fire. Not fun. The boys kept busy today with the garage sale goodies I found with Mom. Here they are with the $4 box that was filled with Star Wars Legos and action figures among other things. Please excuse the dirty clothes in the background. Laundry did not get done today. :(

I picked up this book for 50 cents. It tells all about paper airplanes and then in the back has colored papers that you use to make the airplanes. This kept the boys occupied for a long time. We would make the airplane, then the boys had contests to see which flew the farthest.

Caleb is holding one of his airplanes, it looks like pizza.

Also happening today at the Garza house, we were visited by Luke the Warrior.

Caleb worked on his Christmas list and put colored stars next to the items on his list. Gold is #1 must haves, silver is #2, red is #3, and blue is #4. It is not even October!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am the big brother!

Today as we were taking down the pool, the boys started to play soccer. Luke played at full strength and tried to keep up with his brother. But he got hurt and fell down. Luke said that he couldn't walk or move. So Caleb carried him to me. I told Caleb it was so nice that he took care of Luke. Caleb looked at me and said, "Mom, I am the big brother." After a hug and kiss Luke was able to resume the soccer game. (Luke's shorts are hanging down because he had been playing in water. Caleb and I kept telling him to pull his shorts up but he would smile and pull them down further.)

Our Evacuation

I wanted to give a little recap of our evacuation. We evacuated to my parents house. We attended church with them and Aaron got to preach Sunday night. The church was very generous and took up a love offering for Aaron. Wednesday night Dad gave an interesting and humorous Bible study on Solomon.

During the Wednesday night Bible study I noticed this hymnal. This took me back to my childhood. I remember being a kid and looking at the hymnal and thinking it was pretty cool that my name was on it. See it?

A couple of nights we had a fire outside that the boys loved. Why do boys love fire?

A super nice family from Mom and Dad's church invited Caleb, Luke and I to visit their Co-op in McKinney. We had a fun day being the guest of Andrew. Caleb loved one of Andrew's classes- it was the Lego Simple Machines class where they built with Legos the whole time. Here is Caleb in the Chess Class. I think Caleb won this match.

Friday night the boys spent the night with Camryn and Kaylin. Aaron and I got to have a date night. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen and saw a movie. (Thanks Julie!!!!)
Saturday morning Mom and I had a perfect morning. We stopped for breakfast and went to a huge garage sale. Bargain shopping with my mom and sister is one of my favorite activities. :)

Our power came back on Sunday night, so Monday we headed home. Poor Aaron had the task of packing our car. I did pick up a lot of stuff at the garage sale.

We got it all in the car and made it home. Thanks to everyone for giving us a wonderful time in McKinney. We love you all!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our House

Our house is in good shape, our yard and pool are not. Aaron has today off so we are all going to spend the day working in the yard. Our pool has turned into a swamp. It is full of branches and is pretty nasty. We are going to take it down, but hopefully be able to salvage it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike

These pictures really tell the story of Ike. It is surreal to see Crystal Beach, Galveston, Kemah, Houston, much less places closer to us like Orange, Bridge City, and Port Arthur on the news. I can't imagine what it would be like for my home to be destroyed by Ike. We are so thankful and blessed to have a home to return to, and we pray for those who don't.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Today a good friend who stayed in Beaumont went by our house to check it out. She said there is a little damage to the siding around the roof, our fence is beat up and mostly down, and our yard is covered with branches. We have a lot of trees around our house so it is great news that none ended up on our roof!

For Camryn: She saw Fluffy and Leo (our outside cats) and was going to make sure they are fed.

The electric company is saying they will have power on in 80% of homes in Beaumont by September 25th. We are hoping it will be soon! My parents have been so welcoming and generous to us, but there is no place like home. Not only do we need the power on, but right now there is no trash pick-up and Beaumont is under a boil water notice. Also, there is salt water in the water supply and they said that it will be that way for 3 to 5 more days. And the sewer system needs to be up and running. Our biggest concern right now is our refrigerator. We did not have much left in there but whatever is left is spoiling. We need to clean it out soon, so our refrigerator will not be ruined.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Psalm 93

The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world is also established, that it cannot be moved.

Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves.

The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

Your testimonies are very sure; holiness is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever.

Happy Birthday Julie!!!

I was a little distracted Saturday, but I wanted to send out a happy birthday to my amazing big sister! She is smart, articulate, generous, kind, fun-loving, talented, an excellent Mom to her girls and just an all around good person. Oh, and she does really good impersonations. Happy birthday Julie!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

One Big Happy Family

We are at my Mom and Dad's house, of course being treated wonderfully. We have not heard anything about our house. We know Beaumont is without power and they are expecting the power to be out for 2 to 4 weeks. Ann and Hector had a friend drive by their house and it is okay, just some shingles blown off.
It is such a BLESSING to have a place to stay and to be able to spend this time with family. We got to go out for lunch today for Julie's birthday. We had delicious food at la Madeleine's. The cousins always have fun together.

This morning we had a wonderful service at Dad's church. The awesome thing is that two people came up for salvation at church today! Then this evening Aaron brought the message. It was a really good message about Jonah. Some interesting things Aaron brought out:
  • Jonah was a prophet, but he never really got it. (Veggie Tales)
  • God called Nineveh a great city, yet it was a wicked city where they did not know their right hand from their left.
  • In the belly of the whale Jonah says, "I have been cast out of Your presence and Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple." Jonah 2:4
  • Aaron remarking on Jonah being vomited out of the fish, "I bet that was a fun ride."
  • Jonah finally goes to Nineveh, talks to the people, they repent and fast and turn from their wicked ways and Jonah gets angry! (Jonah 3:10)
  • I don't understand Jonah - he says to God, "I pray You, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and [when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions] You revoke the [sentence of] evil against them." (Jonah 4:2)
  • The Lord said to Jonah, "Have you any right to be angry?"

Ann remarked that we all have a little Jonah in us. How true. Aaron did an excellent job tonight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Evacuating Again :(

We are evacuating. We are going to leave tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. We are about 80 miles from Galveston. And it looks like that is where Ike will hit. Port Arthur, which is about 20 miles away from us, is expected to be under water from the storm surge. In fact there are saying anywhere below Interstate 10 will be under water. We are only about 4 miles north of Interstate 10. So I think it is time to leave.

Caleb wanted me to put ICKEY IKE on the blog so here it is.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and kind words!


As of 6 this morning we are under a mandatory evacuation. The hurricane is supposed to hit late tomorrow or early Saturday. We are trying to decide what to do. We can't imagine getting in the traffic with everyone evacuating including Galveston and Houston areas. We can't imagine staying with the big trees around our house. We have a full tank of gas, tons of water, ice, and lots of food. We just aren't sure right now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is it Inevitable?

Aaron has classes two days a week at 8:00 am. He keeps mentioning that maybe he should start to drink coffee to get him up and moving. Is he going to start to drink coffee? And am I going to follow him?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crock Pot Coca-Cola Roast Recipe

My sister-in-law Amy has inspired me to share an easy recipe.

You need:

1 beef roast around 2 lbs. (Kroger has roast on sale this week for $2.99 a lb.)
1 package Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
1 can of Coke (12 ounces)
1 bag of mini carrots
1 onion
Any other vegetables

1. Place the carrots in the bottom of the crockpot.
2. Put the roast on top of the carrots and cover the meat with the soup mix.
3. Add the onions and any other vegetables.
4. Add the Coke to the crockpot.
5. Cook all day on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

The roast turned out delicious and if you really want to make it special make homemade mashed potatoes to go with it. There is nothing better than homemade mashed potatoes. This recipe is from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.

6 Medium potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

1. In saucepan over high heat, heat potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and water to cover to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover potatoes, and simmer 30 minutes or until fork tender; drain.
2. In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat potatoes, butter, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper until fluffy. Beating at medium speed, slowly add milk until mixture is moist; continue beating 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth.

I made gravy from a mix. I need a lesson on how to make gravy from my Mom.

We had this for dinner last night and lunch today. I still have some roast left. Tomorrow I am going to add a package of frozen soup vegetables and water to the roast and put it back into the crockpot to make vegetable soup.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Worth Reading

This article is so sad, yet so moving. It is about Mr. & Mrs. Nielson who were in an airplane crash. Her sister is now taking care of their four kids and blogging about it.

Happy Grandparents Day to Grannie and PawPaw Gabbard and Granna and Paw Paw Garza! Four of the best grandparents that a kid could have. We love you!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Civil War Reenactment

To continue Caleb's study of the Civil War we went to a Civil War Reenactment that was commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Sabine Pass. For those of you who are not Civil War buffs, this was a battle in Texas that the Confederacy won and as a result kept the Union out of Texas. Caleb really liked the battle with the cannons. It was neat to go to, but I can't see us going any other year.

Before the battle began, the "soldiers" gave talks about the civil war.

Board Breaking

Caleb had an exciting time at TaeKwonDo today. He got to participate in a board breaking seminar. And yes you guessed right, they broke boards. Caleb broke three boards, one with his elbow, one with his hand, and one with his foot. He was pretty proud of himself. Caleb brought his boards home- as you can see they are thick!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What we're listening to

We found this 2 CD set soundtrack, Star Wars- A New Hope, at Half Price Books for $3. Caleb is listening to it right now as he works on his Arithmetic. The Cantina song is pretty good. (The song when Luke and Obi Wan first meet Han and Chewy in a cantina/ bar.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What we're reading Part 2

We are continuing our study of the Civil War. Pink and Say by: Patricia Polacco is one of the best books written for children. I have read it out loud to the boys twice and both times I have trouble reading it from crying. You should read it too. I love the line, "...touched the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln."

I asked Caleb to read chapter 1 and 2 of Civil War on Sunday today. He said, "Why can't I read the whole book today?" So I let him read the whole book. I think every kid likes the Magic Tree House Books.

I picked up In Search of Eden by: Linda Nichols at Half Price Books this past weekend with the fam. It is definitely worth buying and reading. This book will be passed on to my sis.

I have started to read The Mysterious Benedict Society by: Trenton Lee Stewart. This book is written for children, but has 486 pages. So far it is such a fun book. I recommend this book to kids and adults alike.
Lukey is reading Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book. I absolutely love Richard Scarry books and so do the kids. Who can resist the charm of Lowly Worm and Huckle Cat?

Aaron's reading material at the moment is Macroeconomics by: Andrew B. Abel. Poor Aaron.

We do love books in this family. What are you reading?