Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not quite Lake Tahoe

Tuesday I wore my shorts and almost suffocated in a very humid 75 degrees. Wednesday the temps dropped 40 degrees overnight and we had snow falling by evening.

A rarity in Houston, this storm is the 2nd earliest snow storm ever recorded. There were actual flakes accumulating on cars and grass. I laughed when I got several calls asking if our Church activity was canceled. "No, but drive safely," I cautioned. Police reported an "unusually high number" of traffic accidents. I'll bet.

My favorite was this though, a guy quoted as saying, "This is real snow. I feel like I'm in Lake Tahoe." Apparently this guy has never been to Lake Tahoe in a snowstorm, huh, Sharla?

But is was nice for me to see a little snow on the Christmas lawn ornaments. It makes it feel like the holidays here, if only for a moment.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Recently Dave and I traveled to Switzerland to do a little house hunting. I don't recommend booking last-minute flights. Business class tix cost more than we spent on our car. Literally. Good thing we weren't paying. Though it was nice to have seats that lay completely flat and they even had a massage feature! The food on board was an experience all itself. I am such a meat and potatoes girl. I don't need any apricot coulis or sushi or polenta. I did manage a few bites of the goose. Who makes this stuff? (Answer: A chef from one of Donald Trump's clubs.) The big hunks of german chocolate were a nice touch though.

I wish I could have had my camera on our flight there. The view of the noonday sun on the snow-covered alps was breathtaking. You'll have to settle for a more blurry picture I took on the way home.

In Geneva we quickly discovered we didn't want to live in the city. Fortunately, to get out of the city is easy and quick. We toured 7 or 8 homes and some maternity clinics. We narrowed down our results to a new house (very rare in Geneva) in a town with a scrapbook store (+), a renovated farmhouse in the country where we'd definitely be immersed in the local culture, and one that was built when it was mandatory for all homes in Switzerland to have a nuclear fallout bunker.

We are happy to report that we just received confirmation that we will be living in Genthod, Switzerland, in the house built 3 years ago. It has a great yard for Maya and will be easy access to lots of things (including the scrapbook store).

Dave and I returned home and promptly caught the stomach virus that Maya picked up in Utah. We've had quite the miserable week, but hearing this news today has bouyed our spirits. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pirate Booty

Arrr! Maya had fun being a pirate for Halloween.

She even said "trick or treat" when she asked for candy.

Checking out the booty!

Her mama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Searching for Fall in Texas

Here are some photos of last weekend. We had to drive almost an hour out of town to find this place.

This next one is from last January. Our little Texan. Soon to be speaking French ... aah!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Swiss Chocolate anyone?

The company Dave works for, Transocean Inc., announced yesterday it's plans to relocate it's executive offices to Geneva, Switzerland. For us, this means that we will most likely be moving there in the next couple of months.

Parles-tu anglais? The language will be French, but I'm hoping for an extremely English-friendly environment.

I confess I had to get out a map to find Switzerland. Geneva is the home of the United Nations, the Red Cross, and the Olympic Committee.

A couple hours to Paris, a couple hours to the Alps, a couple hours to Germany -- start saving your pennies for a visit!

More information on the announcement here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Feeling better...

So it's been a yucky few months as I've tried to take one day at a time to endure the first weeks of pregnancy. I get "evening" sickness rather than morning, and by the end of the day I'm pretty pathetic. Dave has been good about taking Maya when he gets home from work, but his 11-hour days don't leave much time in the evening. I'm glad to say that it has finally passed. Poor Maya has been malnourished during this time, as I couldn't stand to smell any prepared food here. We've been through a lot of drive-thrus. The only thing I could really stand to eat was mustard. That must be the German in me coming out. I was down about 7 pounds, but I fear that those will quickly make their return.

To prove that I'm feeling better, I made a scrapbook page. The photos are from earlier this summer when Will, Deb (Dave's sister), and Lizzie Peterson came to visit us for a few days. They got to stay in Galveston before it was wiped from the map. Lizzie and Maya had fun playing together.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's a ...

"She knows the gender already?" you're thinking. I'm 14 weeks along and usually the ultrasound picture isn't clear enough to tell gender until 20 weeks. There is a new genetic test that samples your blood. I guess that if you're having a boy, some of his DNA gets mixed up with your blood and the presence of a Y chromosome is apparent. No Y, then it's a girl. The test is 99% accurate, much more so than that of an ultrasound. The test was available to me (and free) so I decided to do it. And, drumroll please, there is in fact a Y chromosome presence in my blood, and the only way it could have gotten there is if there is a little boy in me.

Say "Peaches!"

We took Maya in for her 2-year pictures. I'm surprised the photographer captured these shots, because Maya definitely wasn't on her best behavior. But we did get some cute ones.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's 2 with you?

We officially have a 2-year-old (though she's been acting like one for some time now). We had a few friends over for cupcakes and ice cream. Maya decided that she really didn't want either, just fruit snacks, please.

Despite getting her shots today and her mom dragging her all over town on errands, she had a pretty good day. We've got quite the little left-brained child developing. She counts practically everything, first in Spanish, then English. She lines up her crayons instead of coloring with them. She is quite the Backyardigans fan, and sings every song they've ever created. Despite her quirks, we love her to pieces. Happy Birthday, Sugar Bear.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

We have electricity!

That truly was all I wanted for my birthday. Blessed AC!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Yes, we are alive and fine. Hurricane Ike roared through Houston, but left us in pretty good shape -- minus some power. It's been a week now since we've been without power, and the latest report is that our area sustained "extensive damage" to the grid, so we aren't expected to have power until Thursday of next week. Ice remains a hot commodity. Fortunately for us, Dave is now back to work, and can get some frozen while he works. Beats standing in the ice line. Still, the thought of five more days entertaining Maya with no power doesn't sound fun.

I'll attach some pictures I took. Click on any of them to enlarge to see detail. Not as dramatic as those you see on the news, but these are some from our neighborhood.

Our house fared really well. The only evidence anything happened was the tree out front leaned way over. The wind howled really loud all night, but we were thankful Maya slept through the whole thing, even if we didn't.

Saturday morning we walked down to Buffalo Bayou. It was still raining a bit, but the wind had calmed way down. It's hard to describe what the picture is, but pretty much the "river" is actually Allen Parkway. It's the road Dave takes to work. It was about 30 feet underwater, flooded from the storm surge, not really from any amount of rain we got. It took them about 5 days to get the water cleaned out of it. Funny thing, when they did, there was a Land Rover underneath it all.

A view of Buffalo Bayou with downtown in the background. You can see it overflowed its banks onto the road.

No, we didn't find this in the floodwaters. Dave and I decided since we know our power won't be back all weekend, and that the temperatures are supposed to rise, to come to Sea World San Antonio for the weekend. Thus, I am plugged for a few precious days.

Thanks for all your prayers and concern on our behalf. We'll leave you with a parting shot from Shamu.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Well, the latest storm track has Hurricane Ike coming our way. We are going to hunker down here. We are not part of the evacuation going on here (thank goodness). That is for coastal areas and low-lying areas. We are fortunate not to live in a flood plain.

I went to the grocery store (mistake) and had to park at the bank across the street. Of course no water or ice or batteries. The checkout lines were half the length of the store. I was glad I had those kind of things already. So I got my Miracle Whip and left. Gas stations are even worse. People are blocking traffic waiting in line for the pump. Once again, glad I filled up last night.

You'd never know a storm was coming. It's been a sunshiney (I know that's not really a word) day. Not a breeze and 98 degrees.

Mostly we are expecting to lose power (ahh, the AC!!). With Dave being Elders Quorum President, and me being Relief Society President puts a little more responsibility on us for the people in our ward, many of whom do live in the flood plains. We are already receiving instructions from the Stake President on relief efforts.

So, now we wait.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Poets & Pirates

After spending the week in Utah with family, I returned home exhausted. But not enough to keep me away from the Poets and Pirates tour. We didn't spend all day at the concert like we could have, but we saw Leann Rimes, Keith Urban, and Kenny Chesney perform.

I enjoyed watching Keith perform more than Kenny. He puts on an excellent live show. Dave and I actually bought each other tickets for our anniversary back in April, and so we ended up with an extra set. We gave those to our friends, the Nixons.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taya is One!

I made a last minute decision and took a midnight flight to Utah this weekend. There were lots of reasons I decided to go ... one being that Taya turned 1! It is such a miracle that she is even here. For those who don't know, Jared's daughter, Taya, was born last year 3 months early weighing in at 1 lb. 6 oz. She truly overcame the odds and here a year later has no problems whatsoever! What a sweetie! We enjoyed a day at the pool in Tooele to celebrate.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

reflections of christ

I recently was sent this link from a friend. It is a slideshow of pictures taken about events in Christ's life. It was so touching and beautiful. I cried during the whole thing. It is worth sharing so check it out. I've never seen photography like this.

Reflections of Christ

My favorites are the first one with the angels sounding Christs's birth, and the one where John the Baptist and Jesus are embracing after his baptism.

Friday, August 1, 2008

word's out . . .

When a lady at church point blank asked me if I was pregnant, I couldn't just lie to her, regardless that she asks me that question every other month. But word's out now. We're having #2 in March.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

fourth of july celebrations

The week of July Fourth found us in Utah. We spent the first few days at the Braithwaite Reunion.

We also hiked to a place called Battlecreek waterfall near Pleasant Grove.

We spent some time at Echo Reservoir waterskiing for the Keddington Reunion.

We also went up to Snowbird resort and spent some time on the zip line, alpine slide, and all around just enjoying the mountainous scenery.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I admit it. The word blog puts a bad taste in my mouth. Originally I had no interest in what people were ranting and raving about. I still don't. But as weblogs have kind of transformed into a photo-sharing experience, now that's something I can get on board with.

I've been reading various blogs for awhile now. Seeing what people are up to, what new additions have been made to their families since I've seen them last, you know, the kind of stuff people blog about.

I am also seriously addicted to scrapbooking blogs.

I spend a lot of time scrapbooking and really don't want to duplicate anything on a blog. Who has time for that? But I realized that I can comfortably merge the two (my scrapbook and my blog) together. After I create a page and Dave "aahs" over my miniature masterpiece (as he terms them) then they are tucked away to be viewed again only occasionally.

So mostly, my blog will feature what I've already put in my scrapbooks and what I'm working on. Scraps of Shirlee if you will...