Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Past Week...

I have been MIA for the last week for a couple of reasons:

My family went on a vacation to Colorado to visit other family last week. It was a really fun few days!!

But before I can share stories and pictures on that trip, I need to share the other reason for being MIA.

We arrived in Colorado Thursday afternoon. That night, at 11:30 p.m. I got one of those phone calls you never want to receive. It was from my good friend and co-worker Melissa Murrell letting me know that one of our other co-workers was in the hospital dying. This was very sudden and totally shocking! I couldn't believe it. An hour later, I received the phone call that confirmed she had in fact passed away. I can not tell you the shock I felt, especially being so far away.

So we cut our trip a day and a half early so I could make it back for the viewing and funeral. (Thank you Mom and Dad for being so understanding.)

Mrs. Ileeta Watson has been a dear friend/mentor of mine for 1 1/2 years when she started working at our church as a fellow secretary. The hours of conversation her and I have had in the office are countless (all while working of course :-)). She truly was the sweetest, most encouraging person I know. She definitely is one of those ladies that lights up every room she is in and everyone who knew her was drawn to her sweet spirit.

She has been battling cancer for 5 years, but was doing great. And you would never know because she rarely said a word about the pain she was in. A few of you know that the weekend of the Siesta Fiesta, instead of going to San Antonio, I went to Houston to go with her to MD Anderson for a couple of her radiation treatments and just be with her. She was away from all of her family and friends for 3 weeks while she got this special treatment for a spot they found on her jaw. At the time, I was really sad that I was missing being with you guys down in San Antone, but now I could not be more grateful for the time her and I had together just the two of us that weekend.

Ileeta will be greatly missed on a daily basis here in the office! Yesterday was the funeral, so today is our first full day in the office without her here and it isn't easy. Her office is dark and empty, quite the opposite of what it normally was. But we are trucking along knowing she is free from cancer and pain and with her Heavenly Father. I will never forget the many ways she has impacted my life.

Ileeta has two daughters, Natalee (24) and Candace (28), and two grandsons that are going to have a rough road ahead of them. Her oldest grandson, Logan, is Ella's age and in his innocence has already asked for his "Gigi" several times. Her mother, Alma, also goes to our church and is still alive. They were very close. Please keep this family in your prayers.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

We had so much fun at this pumpkin patch right down the street from our house. It's one of the only year round running farms left in the city and the same family has owned it since the 20's. Isn't that special?

We told Ella she could pick out one pumpkin to take home.

I think she's pretty happy with her choice.

In all honesty, Ella had more fun on the slide than with the pumpkins.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

State Fair of Texas '08

Oh, how I love the State Fair of Texas! It's been a tradition in my family since we've lived in the DFW area to attend the State Fair every October. I always like to wait until the last week that it is open to go, that way it's the coolest possible weather.

Yesterday it rained most of the day, but it definitely did not ruin our fun. Then by the time the rain ended, most people had left, so it wasn't crowded at all. And it was very, very cool and we had to wear sweaters, which is perfect Fair weather!

We always head to the Flying Dog Show first thing.

This is Ella and Dada watching this year.

This is Ella and Dada watching last year.

Our good friends Linsey and Gage met us at the Fair this year and spent some of the morning with us. Ella and Gage are only 2 months apart and have been friends from day one of their lives.

Family pic

The famous Big Tex! For those of you who are not familiar with Big Tex, he has always been there and he's huge and he talks! He says "Howdy Partner, welcome to the State Fair of Texas." For the past 2 years, Ella has not cared too much about Big Tex talking, BUT this year she was all about it. She kept wanting to go back to Big Tex to hear him talk more. It was really cute! She kept saying, "Big Tex is talking again!" because you can hear him almost all over the fair grounds.

Another huge State Fair tradition is the Car Show. Now I don't particularly love this part, but it's Heath's favorite part and so being the submissive wife that I always am, I let him spend as much time with the cars as he wants without complaining even once. hehe

Although, I have loved it the past 3 years now because of this:




Our next stop was something we had never done before, we went to the Backyard Circus.

It is all kid participation. We figured Ella would be to young to participate, but being the shy (totally kidding) girl she is, when they called out for Butterfly Ballerina volunteers she rushed the stage with the big girls and was SO EXCITED!

This is the practice round.

This is Ella waiting with all the other "butterflies" to go on stage for the real deal. I had to include this picture because she is down on one knee and I just thought that was such a big girl thing to do.

I would be lying if I told you I didn't tear up a little watching my little Butterfly Ballerina. Even though she was the teeniest butterfly of them all, she seemed so big to me up there by herself.

Our next stop was the animals. Lots of animals to feed and see! So fun for the Punkin!

Our last stop of the night was the pig races, which are always so funny!! And our pig totally won twice!

This obviously wasn't our pig. It's just the biggest pig I've ever seen!

Our pig was the red pig.

Okay, I can NOT have a State Fair of Texas post without talking about the FOOD!!! Because that seriously is the #1 reason for going to the fair!

Here's a rundown of what we ate in order of eating:

Fried Cheesecake: Thank you Lord!

FLETCHER's Corn Dogs

Fried Cheese Curds

Fried Grill Cheese Sandwich

Texas Tater Twister

Good bye Fair! We will enjoy all your food and fun again next year!

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