Friday, April 30, 2010

Feeling Lucky?

Noble is all about carrying random things around right now, a totally toddler trait. For some reason, his very favorite toy? Dice. He's rarely without at least one...rarely.

Perhaps his early nickname was foreshadowing...

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goodbye, Old Friend

sammy 5x7

Sami Dog
February 7, 1995 - April 27, 2010

What a week. In addition Uncle Phil and Aunt Mary passing away yesterday, we had to put our 15-year old dog, Sami, down on Tuesday. Kristi and I always wondered if we would be able to make the decision if and when the time ever came. It turns out that we knew exactly when it was time.

Something woke me up at 3am on Tuesday morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So I decided to go into the kitchen to get a drink. I heard some low, pained yowls coming from outside. It sounded almost as if Sami was growling or fighting with something. When I walked outside, she was was laying on her side. It's not uncommon for Sami to bark or moan in her sleep, but her eyes were open. I tried to get her to her feet, but she was too weak. I carried her to the deck and woke Kristi.

Kristi took one look at her and just knew. We sat outside comforting her for quite awhile. Sami put her head in Kristi's lap and snuggled in the way she used to do when she was a puppy.

We put some blankets and towels under and around her to make her comfortable, and she went to sleep for a little while.

After taking Kayci to school, we took Sami to the vet. I won't go into detail here, but she went very quietly, and even Noble could sense that it was a quiet time.

To say that Sami was a good dog would be a gross understatement. She was the best dog. She got me over my fear of large dogs, and I have great memories of running around the big field behind Kristi's apartment for literally hours at a time playing ball and chase with Sami.

She loved on, kissed and mothered every one of the Clarkson and Pharaon kids. Some of theme even started learning to walk by pulling up on her and walking around holding on to her fur. She was so patient with all of them and loved letting the kids know that she loved them with a big lick on the face. And she was even patient when we tried to get the kids to ride on her back. She wasn't having it, but she was patient.

When Kristi's dad had bypass surgery, we let Sami stay with him to keep him company and to help raise his spirits. And that's how she came to be "Grandpa's dog." She lived with him for six years after that, and they were inseparable. She went everywhere with him, and they used to enjoy picking on each other. It was actually pretty funny to watch.

And that's also when Sami got spoiled. It was a fairly common occurrence to walk into Tim and Janet's house and smell something really awesome. You'd walk into the kitchen and see gumbo on the stove with fresh steamed rice, boiled shrimp cooling and big juicy hamburger on the counter. And most times, the thing you thought was for you was actually for Sami. You just never knew.

As she got older, we thought her hearing and her eyesight was fading because she didn't seem to respond to us calling for her. But then a dog food can would open or Tim would whistle and she'd come running. It turns out that the old girl could hear and see you, she just didn't care to come right then.

She came back to live with us when Tim got sick and has lived here ever since. And even though she became an outside dog, she was still a part of our daily lives. Our morning wasn't complete with Noble wanting to go feed Sami. In fact, it was one of his favorite things to do. And we couldn't leave without several rounds of "bye, Sami! Bye bye, Sami!"

Sami dog will definitely be missed. We love you, Sam. Have fun fishing with Grandpa again.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Sad News...

Mary's Aunt Mary (who raised Grandma Hagler and is more like their Mother/Grandmother than an Aunt, despite the title) also passed away this morning. Aunt Mary lived to be 102, and as sad as it is to see her go, there is also a lot of joy as we celebrate her life. I just spoke to Grandma and she sounds good...she is happy that Aunt Mary has been reunited with her husband, who was killed at the Battle of the Bulge. Isn't that a happy thought? :)

Saying Goodbye too Soon

You are one of a kind, Uncle Phil, and we miss you already.

(in case you're wondering, this is Uncle Phil being a good sport
at the American Girl store last fall)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Green House Flowerbed

Last fall we ripped out all the plants and shrubs from the flower beds in front of the little green house intending to plant some nice fall colors. In typical Pharaon fashion, we got busy doing other things and before we knew it, it was winter. So with warm weather upon us, we decided it was time to get out and get the flower beds done.

We made a nice organic-shaped bed, edged it and two truckloads of dirt later, it was ready to plant! Last night, we finished the beds on the sunny side of the house. Toward the back we've actually planted vegetables and herbs with flowers and grasses up front toward the street.

The kids helped a little, but really just had fun playing in (and making a huge mess in) Daddy's truck while Mommy and Daddy worked. But everyone got in on the action when it was time to water!









Now we just have to figure out what to do on the shady side of the house. And figure out how to keep this batch of plants alive...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The last couple of weeks...

We went to Ronny's house Easter weekend for crawfish and our traditional Easter activities: the bunny cake, dyeing eggs, and hunting eggs. Everything was going great until someone (I won't name names) forgot where he (or she) hid an egg (inside Ronny & Amy's house). Did I mention we did the egg hunt with the eggs we dyed? You can see how that lost egg might cause a stink later. Luckily, Amy's powers of detection are amazing. Whew--that was a close one!

April 7th--Adam turned 17!!


Yesterday, Katie got her Aggie ring. Can you believe she's just a few months away from graduation already?!


Today we're off to Home Sweet Farm to check out produce, then we'll head to San Antonio (quick trip!) to celebrate Miss Molly's 2nd birthday.

We hope that YOU are having a great weekend, too!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bluebonnet Status Update

Great news for the weekend, everybody! The Bluebonnicator (patent pending) is at 90% for the weekend.

The flowers are out, their color is awesome and there are plenty of them. The only thing that keeps the Bluebonnicator (patent pending) from being at 100% this weekend is that the flowers still seem to be coming up in some places. But make no mistake, beginning this weekend the wildflower viewing in Brenham and surrounding areas is going to be amazing. And with the rain we got this week, everything should be nice and green.

To top it off, it's supposed to be sunny with low humidity and highs in the 70s. It doesn't get much more perfect than this.

If you're coming up from Houston, be sure to stop by Chappell Hill and check out the annual Texas Bluebonnet Festival for all kinds of crafts, art and festival food of every kind.

Have a great weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Something New

I was just sitting down to post about Noble's new adventure, but I see that Heather beat me to it. :) Let me explain...

Noble no longer attends daycare, which has already had such a positive effect on him--and our family. But...I still have to work. Before we pulled him from daycare, James and I talked to our friend Heather about watching him on the days I have to commute. Her oldest son is in Kayci's class and her youngest son is 2 years older than Noble...they play great together, and Noble LOVES being at their house. It just felt like a good fit, for all of us.

So today was his first day at Ms. Heather's. We did a trial run yesterday, and he did great--got right into her car, never asked for me, nothing. (Hmmph.) This morning when James dropped him off in the parking lot of Kayci's school, same thing...not a word. We knew he was excited--he was so happy to pack his little backpack this morning and Daddy said he talked all the way to (he loves Alex's play kitchen!).

Here's our big boy getting ready to go meet Ms. Heather. To hear about the rest of his day, go check out her post.

Thanks, Heather--you have made this Mommy very happy!!!! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There's a new tablet computer in our house

A few weeks ago, I ordered a tablet computer for the Pharaon household. So I was really, really excited when the package arrived yesterday.

As I opened the box, I envisioned all the fun we would have using this great little device. Think of the knowledge it would impart to the kids! The hours spent playing games! This beautiful little touch-activated wonder has voice output, a nice digital display and weighs in at around one pound. Amazing technology!!!!

I surprised Kayci with it last night after dinner, and she took to the intuitive interface immediately. For the next hour or so, she explored the apps and played games and had an awesome time until it was time for bed.

Noble thougt it was cool, and laughed at the funny sounds it made as he carried it around by it's big orange handle. Huh? That's right - orange handle. What? Oh, you thought I was talking about a different tablet computer.

Sorry. I was talking about Kayci's new Speak & Spell, an awesome little device that I spent countless hours with as a kid. I bought one on eBay. Check it out:




Thursday, April 1, 2010

Round and round we go...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Bluebonnet Status Update

If you're wondering about how the bluebonnets are looking, here's a handy little indicator I've come up with: the BlueBonnicator (patent pending)!

The bluebonnets were a little slow coming out this year due to the late freeze in February, but with some pretty good rainfall and nice weather they're starting to really pop. The color of the flowers this year is really good, too.

The BlueBonnicator (patent pending) for bluebonnet viewing this weekend is at 70%, perfect for an Easter Sunday trip!

Have a great weekend!