Well, it’s 2 am and I am watching Fellowship of the Ring with Hannah, Rachel & Caroline, and listening to Lindsay cough uncontrollably in her bedroom. In the last 24 hours the girls have had about 6 breathing treatments for their asthma, we have done several steam treatments tonight, countless doses of medicine, and hot tea by the gallon. Sarah, the child that though she has special needs is rarely sick, even has an upper respiratory infection. Gene seems to be getting over his URI, and I hope it stays away for a while. Me, well, I’m not sick, I’ve just been running like crazy trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done (and quite honestly, I’m not succeeding). I have started about 5 blog posts, which are currently waiting to be finished.
The opening to this post isn’t very cheery, but in all honesty, it’s not as depressing as it all may sound. The Lord is teaching us all a great deal through this trial, and for that, I am very thankful. Our holidays, while not full of activities, parties, and excitement, were full of meaningful times and expressions of love for one another. For Christmas it is our common practice to have the girls draw another sister’s name, and they are given a certain amount of money to buy that sister a gift, or gifts. They look forward to this with great anticipation, not looking forward to what they will get, but toward what they will give. They spend countless hours in thought and preparation of their gift. This year something spontaneous happened that surprised me. The girls individually began spending their own allowances to buy small things to make for the sisters whose names they didn’t draw. I know of many people who eschew gift giving at Christmas because of the belief that it causes greediness and the desire to get more and more. In our family I have found the opposite to be true. The girls are appreciative of the gifts they receive, but generally have trouble even telling you what they want as gifts. We have tried to nuture in them a desire to be cheerful givers whenever the opportunity arises, and we have seen good fruit from this thus far.
December 31st, was our 25th wedding anniversary and Gene planned a big surprise for me. On Wednesday evening, December 17th, Gene told me that first thing Thursday morning we would be heading out for a trip to San Antonio. I have wanted to go for years, and love history, so this was the perfect surprise for me. I was so excited to get to go to the Alamo after hearing about it for so many years. This may sound strange, but it was all I could do to not start crying as I entered the building for the first time. The realization of what had taken place there was heavy upon my heart. The grounds of the Alamo are beautiful; it is hard to believe that they are right in the center of the city.
After the Alamo we went and checked into our Bed & Breakfast before going to the Riverwalk. It was a beautiful little B&B right on the river. It was so peaceful and beautiful. It was quite overcast the two days we were there, which gave the city an unusual feel. The river was beautiful, as was the boat ride down it. As I was riding on the river, in the fog, under all of the bridges, it felt as if I was in London. Once the sun went down and all of the Christmas lights came on, it was even more beautiful on the river. I felt as if I was a child in a wonderland of lights. After walking along the river for a while, we then at dinner at Boudro’s. The food was amazing, and the bread pudding was a great end to the meal. It was nice to eat on the riverwalk, watching the people as they walked by. After we walked a while longer we went back to the van. Gene knows how I love to take pictures, so he took me by the Alamo, so that I could get pictures at night. It was an amazing site to see it with the lights illuminating it’s historic walls. The next morning we ate breakfast at the B & B and then drove through a historic district nearby. After a quick stop at the Buckhorn Museum downtown, we headed home. The trip was wonderful for me, as it gave me a much needed break from the holiday rush. It was nice to spend a day not thinking about all that I had to do to finish preparing for the holidays. I don’t know that I have ever been so completely able to lay my thinking and planning aside.
Lindsay went to Little Rock the afternoon we returned from San Antonio for the wedding of some friends. While there she was able to stay with Gene’s sister and to see her cousin’s new baby. She had a wonderful trip, but picked up a bug on the return plane ride.
We had a very subdued but nice Christmas enjoying a lot of time together, with us all playing the new Wii together when the girls were up to it. Gene surprised me, and the girls, with a very nice present for Christmas. He had taken the girls shopping, and they picked out several nice things for me, not knowing about the secret gift. He surprised us all with a top of the line Kitchen Aid Professional mixer. The girls were as excited as I was to receive it. We didn’t wait long to try it out either!
Since we had already celebrated our anniversary on our trip, on the 31st we just went to our favorite pizza place, New York Pizzeria and the mall. Gene didn’t make it until midnight (I think he was beginning to get sick at that point) but the girls and I did. We went outside at midnight to watch the fireworks, which lasted quite a while. The next day Gene’s brother, Guy, came for a visit. We had a really nice visit while he was here, though the girls weren’t feeling quite up to snuff.
I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures as of late, but I did get a chance to Friday at Gene’s office. Lindsay was taking pictures inside for a brochure and the website, so I went outside to take pictures. Gene’s new office is located on an acre of land in old Katy, in the middle of a neighborhood, which provided a few flowers and such to take pictures of around the office. These are a few of my favorites.
It was fun to watch this little fellow flit from flower to flower. He almost looks as if he could fall in on his head and get stuck!
One of the things I have come to appreciate about nature photography, is the details that pop out at you that you didn’t even notice while taking the pictures.
I have also come to see many things I would have overlooked before, such as this flower.
These little fellows were none too happy that I kicked their mound to see if they were home. Yes, they are fire ants, but none of them got me…. mwahahaha.
This tiny fellow was almost invisible, until I got down really close to take this picture. Isn’t his little red self cute?
Well, it’s after 4 am now. Fellowship has finished, they have taken another round of breathing treatments, and they have started Two Towers. I hope they are feeling better before it ends, but we’ll have to wait and see how that goes. You are pretty much caught up with everything going on here. I hope to begin posting more often, but only time will tell.