Sunday, April 27, 2008

Welcome to world little one!

Tristan Joseph D
Son of my Brother JoeJoe and his beautiful wife Michelle.
I understand that he was born on Tuesday April 22, 2008 at 1:38 p.m.
He was 7lbs and 10 ozs. He was 21 inches long. I can't wait to hug and kiss him. It might be awhile but I still love him bunches and bunches.
Mimi finally sent pictures, yeah! Thank you.

Your NeeNee loves you big guy, so does uncle Jason and all the Texas T's.

We thank God for allowing this blessing to joinour family. Thank you for the health of Aunt Michelle and for Tristan's safe arrival.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Letty and her First Communion

Letty on her special day 4-19-08

Today has been a joyous day! We found out that our cousin made her first Holy Communion on Saturday. She looked beautiful. (She always does!) She lives all the way in CA so we see her very rarely. I do want to let her know that her Uncle J and her NeeNee are very proud of her. We love you and are so happy that you have entered into the Communion of Christ. Yeah!

My sister Katie and her crowd. You girls are gorgeous, inside and out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yeah! We are so excited!

(picture from 2007)

Can you believe it,
Today will be almost as long as Christmas Eve day. The anticipation, the excitement, and screams and claps of joy are overwhelming. Good thing we can be distracted by a clogged drain. Today will be filled with joy. We will write more about this later but for now we wanted you all to know why you are hearing screaming coming from the Spring area.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What was your favorite part?

So many wonderful memories: Thank you God for our safe travel, time with family and friends, fun together, the celebration of so many sacraments, and our safe return home. We also ask "Our Lady of the Highway" to pray for our protection. She never fails.

We could never sum up our fun times in a few words. We could never count all the hugs, tears and laughs that we enjoyed. We will never see it all, visit with everyone, get it all done, see everything we miss, taste every food we can't get anymore, hug Mimi, Nanny & Gramps enough. We can never forget all the people we want to see and spend time with. I always have a running list of all those that I missed. My heart breaks at time for the lost moments. Yet God was so good to us with the good weather, healthy families, and everything. Thanks to all of you that made this trip one of the best!

We did all pick a favorite memory. Remember we could never list them all so these are just a few:
Me: the Sacraments, and then seeing Miss Connie and her kiddos
J: the sacraments, and getting back to Texas
Pooker: the 2 times she got to drive. 1) w/Fr.Tom and B-Ball girl 2) w/Uncle Brent, B-Ball girl, Goobers and Bear
B-Ball Girl: Riding to get Fritz's with Pooker and Uncle Brent (that is when she laughed the most)
Goobers: at the river front of the Arch and they threw logs into the water #2ice cream with Uncle Brent
Bear: St Louis Arch
Sugar: Showing Aunt Julie what to do with a Webkinz
Moogie: receiving the body and blood of Christ
Pickle: going to the Zoo with Fr. Tom and Uncle Joe
Princess: watching Moogie receive communion
Bagel: the white bear at the zoo
and Cowboy: I would guess that it is being officially welcomed into the Christian family through baptism, J guesses that it would be eating ice cream from Fritz's (Give it up J - we all know that Ted Drews wins and we even have picture proof that he loved it!)

Honestly it was all good, even the delicious pizza and wing dinner we ate on the road, coming home. These crazy 10 children were fantastic. So from mom and dad we say.
"Thank you guys, I love each of you bunches and bunches and there is never anything you could ever do to make us not love you! That goes for B-Ball Girl also!"

Monday, April 14, 2008

St. Louis Zoo 4-6-08

Last week we had a wonderful visit with family and friends in St. Louis. So many were able to come to share the time with us at the church. Some friends were not. We were blessed to have a day at the Zoo, the weather was wonderful, not too hot and not too cold. We had the best company. We got to spend time with KeeKee, Uncle Mike, Timmy, Emily, Uncle Joe, Fr. Tom, Aunt Nikki, Uncle Jim and their baby Aiden A.K.A.'Poopers'.
What a fun group. .

The special treat for us was when our Klemm cousins showed up. We had yet to see them that weekend It was so awesome that they joined us even though they only had an hour. We wish we had more time with them. My goodness we miss them. Our group of kiddos used to do everything together before we headed south!

To top it all off a friend from the early college years that I had not seen in 10 years joined us for the afternoon. Miss Connie and I worked in the daycare business together and it was so cool seeing her after so long. Her children are as cool as she is.

The zoo trip was wonderful. We started off at Turtle park,

then into the Zoo,

we saw the rhinos, elephants,

bugs, butterfly, bears and then we got to ride the train

(thanks to KeeKee and family, thank you bunches and bunches).

Pickle can not wait to go back. The older four would giggle as we would go around the corners and they would remember things, we used to spend so much time at the zoo. It was a favorite for our children, it is free and when you home school you can learn so much there. The younger five haven't spent that much time at the zoo. We try to visit zoo's when we are out and about and the only one that we really care for is the St. Louis Zoo. Check out Miss Connie's Blog for some more pictures.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ted Drews VS Fritzs

This has been an ongoing issue with my husband and I since the very beginning. We have even moved 700 miles south of our homes in the St. Louis area to continue to battle. Fr. Tom and Nanny like to get in on the battle and stir things up when ever possible. The battle had reached it's end, I thought, when Fr. Tom came for a visit the summer before last. Packed with his belongings was a special package...Ted Drews packed in dry ice. Oh my goodness it was delicious. Those were the best concretes I have ever had. They were a taste of home!

This history of this battle begins with the areas of town that J and I grew up in. I grew up in Des Peres area of St. Louis, went to high school in the Kirkwood area and made many high school visits to the St. Louis land mark on the south side of town called Ted Drews. I spent the early college years meeting Fr. Tom and other friends at that world famous Chippewa location for some summer ice cream and conversation. It was a hang out of sorts. It was the place to go on the south side of town for many. The perfect treat after a Cardinals ball game, a way to unwind during finals, a safe place to take a date, something to share with mom, a place to be seen, and the BEST SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD! (I understand that it might seam unfair for me to say that right off the bat, but it is MY blog!!)

Now my husband had a completely different experience. He started life on the North side of town in St. Ann. Then when he was young and had only one sister the family established their roots in St. Charles. This town is just over the Missouri River from the North side of St. Louis. I don't know if it was out of envy or just a desire to not have to drive an hour to get good ice cream that a place called Fritz's came into the picture. I have never heard my husband talk about it holding memories for him growing up at all. Maybe he just feels sad that he didn't have that special place that served wonderful tasting treats but he now claims that Fritz's is far better than Ted Drews could ever hope to be.

Let the battle begin:

Ted Drews : History first one opened in 1929-OK not at Chippewa but still,
location the beautiful south side ,
Christmas trees in the off season.
. . . . . . oh and did I mention flavor!?!


Fritz's Frozen Custard: My husband can't remember going there when he was too young~so only a few memories,
the first one only opened in 1983-and that wasn't St. Charles,
location -close to home now, in St. Charles but not it is in the back part of a parking lot (not off Route 66),
they are closed in the off season,
no web-site,
the ice cream isn't bad, after you pour tons of chocolate sauce over the top (I will consent to that)

1) Pooker and B-Ball girl met some of Pooker's friends on Friday night (it was her birthday) at Fritz's. She would have loved the ice cream but it was chilly and no one wanted any. Instead they left and went to a party, never to try it that evening.

2) Fr. Tom, B-Ball girl, and Pooker took Fr. Tom's mom home after the party on the night of the First Communion and the Baptism. Pooker got the drive his car and then we met them after we cleaned up at Ted Drews. It was a little chilly but we all braved the weather to enjoy a taste of the good stuff. We gave Cowboy his first taste of this treat, took pictures and had an all around family celebration standing and waving at the traffic. I should point out that as we ordered the young lady was prepared, we had our concretes with in minutes and there were no major issues.

3) We had been to the zoo, had a wonderful BBQ meal prepared by gramps and Nanny wasn't willing to let the kiddos leave town without her favorite ice cream from the North side. She let Pooker, B-Ball girl, Goobers, and Bear, with Uncle Brent head to Fritz's with Pooker driving to get an order for our whole crowd. Quit a while after leaving the gang calls us to tell us that they were out of a few flavors. They finally arrived home and we all enjoyed a little more ice cream. Cowboy did like this stuff as well! I don't recall there being much left over but I do remember hearing that the guy taking the order about passed out at the number of people they were ordering for. Something about it being like a "tour bus" (Unlike the girl at Ted Drews that was very used to large crowds!)

In my heart I know that Ted Drews is the clear winner, J believes that Fritz's is the winner. We did take a vote on the way home. Not counting Cowboy's vote ~ he had both, like both and I am sure would love both again, we have no way of knowing that he truly liked Ted Drews more, so I will J continue to hold out hope in Fritz's. The rest were counted and Ted Drews wins 7 votes to 4. That is including B-Ball girl's vote! Did you read that J 7 for Ted Drews and only 4 for the other place.

~I'm just saying . . . 7-4, maybe you should let it die!

Baptism and First Holy Communion 4-12-08

One week ago tonight I was so blessed to attend Mass. To many it was simply the weekly celebration of the Eucharist that all Catholics attend, but for us is was special. We drove for 16 hours to attend this Mass. It was being celebrated by one of our dearest friends, Fr. Thomas Keller at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. It is always special to be at a Mass with so many of our loved ones around. Our family and friends filled many of the seats that afternoon.

The Texas Ts had the honor of sitting in the front row. The little kiddos loved the Mass. With the exception of Bagel. Once she got over the newness of knowing the priest she fell into a very restful sleep. It was so nice to have her Nanny there to hold her. Cowboy fell asleep as Mass ended. We were at peace for sure. This was a wonderful ceremony.

Our little Moogie was dressed in her beautiful dress and Cowboy was in a white baby outfit worn years before by his father, then by Bear, and then by Pickle. Moggie had the honor of having her First Reconciliation just before Mass. Her soul was clean and pure. She was beaming with joy. The excitement was so great as she followed along. When it was time for the faithful to proceed to the front to receive our Lord in the appearance of bread and wine she glided up, she was first in line.

Moogie grinned from ear to ear as Fr. Tom held our Lord in front of her stating,
"The Body of Christ!"

She could be heard claiming her believe as she answered with her,

The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Saviour became one with Moogie as was her parents, siblings, grand parents, family and friends wiped away tears of joy. There was not a camera to catch that moment. We didn't need one. We will remember seeing that joy as her eyes sparkled for a long time.

As Mass ended Moggie was greeted by family and strangers all sharing their greeting of congratulations to her. Many of these family members had altered their plans for the weekend to join us for just that hour. Our celebration of the sacraments was not yet over. After the church cleared, our guests made their way to the Baptismal font in that beautiful building. Pickle and Bear were given special rolls as Fr. Tom's helpers for the baptism of our little one. Cowboy was finally to be baptised and we enjoyed each minute.

Cowboy's Godmother, Aunt Michelle, stood close by as well as Gramps (the Godfather is Dad's friend from Chicago~Chuck. He couldn't be there, so Gramps stood in for him.) We took in this moment as much as we could. We were surrounded by our family and friends. Many could not be there in person but were there in prayer.
We joyously welcomed our little man unto our Christian faith as a member of the Catholic Church. That moment of baptism that we share with most Christians. It unites us through time into God's family. We made a promise as Cowboy's parents to do our best to teach him the way to heaven. J and I are always so moved by the words of a baptism. We have a healthy respect for those words we promise and it truly is an honor to guide each of our children to their heavenly Father.

Cowboy was very curious the entire time. The water really woke him up. After he figured our that it was a small pool he wanted to play. What a cutie! The siblings all watched on and shared in the joy. Watching you children receive the sacraments really is a taste of heaven!
What a wonderful day! Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Arch Visit 4-4

You can't go to St. Louis and not visit the Arch. We had B-Ball girl with us and so we tried to plan this adventure. The sad thing that we discovered is that so many of the Texas Ts were babies when we left for Texas that they don't remember the Arch. We will not have that! I have always loved my visits to the Arch. I find that I am filled with pride of my St. Louis heritage every time I am along the St. Louis riverfront to the Mississippi. I think of all of the History that is associated with the St. Louis river front. It is always cool to explain that to the next child.
Why an Arch?

I smiled as I heard Dad answer,
"People had to travel through St. Louis to get to the west. It was the only city along the Riverfront that offered the trade and supply of goods that people would need for their journey to the west. When you look at the Arch look at it like it is a Gate entrance. As people from the east look at the Arch they can see the West.
St. Louis is the Gateway to the west! "

Maybe you had to grow up there, and maybe you have to love history as much as I do, but I got a tear in my eye as I listened to my husband say those words that I had heard my parents, teachers and tour guides say many times before. Find some interesting Arch facts here.

We also loved the Riverfront. It was a cooler day, I think it was only in the 50s. It was rainy and yucky but we still made the most of it. We park down by the water. There were not many spots because the water is very high. We talked about Tom Sawyer and the great Mississippi as the kiddos and their daddy threw logs back into the water.

Friday, 4-4 Pooker's b-day, Big lunch & Dinner

We traveled all day on Thursday and were thrilled to arrive and be greated first by Mimi and then by Nanny and Gramps. We were able to stay at Nanny and Gramps'house. (Thanks for always being so generous with us!) After a well needed good nights sleep we were ready for Friday and all that we could sqeeze into the day. It was a Special day because is was Pooker's 17th birthday. Many of our own family traditions will need to wait until we are back at home but we still had fun. It was very cool that her best friend B-Ball Girl was with us. She also got to have lunch at an Old Country Buffet, now known as The Hometown Buffet.
This is another place we used to visit before our move so far south. We then had an ARCH adventure and then met up with Nanny and Gramps with Uncle Ross for a wonderful dinner.

After that Pooker and B-Ball Girl met up with some friends of Pookers at a local ice cream place. They didn't get ice cream because it was coldcold and rainy but it was still a fun time.

Thursday 4-3, Travel and Steak'n Shake

We got on the road about 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. We made a few potty stops, fill ups and lunch at Taco Bell and then a real treat for dinner. We found a Steak'n Shake.
This wonderful greasy diner has not been able to make a go of it in the Houston area. The closest one to our home is 4 hours away in Dallas. Needless to say we don't have it unless we are on a trip. So we were thrilled to get to indulge on this really greasy fast food that we miss terribly.
We all love the pickles, except our guest, B-Ball Girl, that we brought with us. We were very proud of her though, she did try one even though she hates pickles. We also love the thin cut fries. What a wonderful way to start a weekend trip!