Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know it's not Christmas yet, but it is beginning to feel like it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Despite drawing The First Presidency last year, it was only yesterday when I finally framed them and hung them up.
The lights get in the way if you try to see them from the other room...So they are just for the table. And it only took us 2 attempts to get them at the same height.
I am grateful for our Prophet, President Monson, and his counselors. They gave a great Christmas devotional on Sunday. Even though I was pretty tired and in and out of it during the talks (and especially during the music), I could feel their spirits and am encouraged to focus on the real Christmas spirit and meaning.
"Let it be a time for lifting the lives of those who live in loneliness. Let it be a time for calling our families together, for feeling a closeness to those who are near to us and a closeness also to those who are absent.
"Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us. Let it be a time of forgetting self and finding time for others. Let it be a time of discarding the meaningless and for stressing the true values. Let it be a time of peace because we have found peace in His teachings.
"Most of all, let it be a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that we may share in the song of the angles, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men." - Pres. Monson.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pizza Pictures

Kalina is our family photographer :) Thankfully she took picture of the pizza competition, because no one else remembered to.

Friday, December 3, 2010


So I'm over a week late but I finally got around to uploading my pictures. We had a really great Thanksgiving. We started the holiday off by running the Turkey Trot 10K. This was my first 10K ever! It went pretty well...(ps. Thanks Kalina for the above picture, I stole it off your blog...)I also found out that I close my eyes when I'm running...?
After the race, we enjoyed three days with Mark's family...smoked turkeys, deal hunting, pizza competition, variety show, picnic in the park, phone comparisons, violin playing (screeching), temple, smoked ribs, street fighter, and a lot of sitting around talking and laughing.
Thanks Charlie, Ann, H, Christina, Char, Olivia, Steve, Kalina and Clark for such a great time!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kitchen Experiment: Turkey Stock

I do have Thanksgiving pictures - just a few, but I haven't got around to downloading them yet so that will have to be my next post. After our weekend in Spring, Ann sent us home with the smoked turkey carcass. It had quite a bit of meat that we were able to pull off. Mark then came up with the idea to try making our own turkey stock with the rest of the bird's remains. So we tried it out, boiled up the water, veggies, and some seasonings. Mostly just played it by ear and by internet. I honestly wasn't sure how it would turn out. But after straining it and chilling it, the stock looked about like what the internet said it would. After that successful adventure, I decided to actually use the stock. So I made a Turkey Rice Soup using our homemade stock...and it worked! It was actually quite good. I admit I was a little surprised. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fighting Off the Chill

Fall has crept south and finally reached Baytown. While our temperatures have stayed north of 40 degrees, I have acclimated to the warmer climate and I am freezing. While this morning was beautiful and warm, mornings have been very chilly, especially when our floor is almost entirely stone tiles. So Friday night we opened up our fireplace for business.
I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Visit from Dad

It was really fun to have my dad come visit us this weekend. He was able to arrange his trip to Dallas to include a couple day lay-over in Baytown. I think he was planning on getting a little more rest than we ended up providing. Just hours after he arrived, he threw us a awesome dinner downtown and the Broadway production of Shrek.
Thanks Dad, it was so fun.
On Sunday, Dad patiently waited for us to make all our after church arrangements (and patiently entertained his fans in our ward..I'm not kidding, they love him). We were woefully unprepared for Halloween. I had purchased what had seemed like a large pot of goods, but even after quickly establishing a ration, our supplies lasted only 20 minutes. I thought about only giving out candy if the kids were creative enough to come up with a name for their costume. We had many kids who did not know what they were dressed up as. Regardless, it was not long until we locked the gate, turned out lights and retreated to the living room for a wonderful conversation regarding the housing and bank policies. Thanks Dad, again.
I further wore out my Dad with an excursion to the Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument. (and taking the ferry- that was cool). They were really neat, although after spending so much time on the ship (in the heat) we were too tired to do more than drive around the monument before dashing to lunch.
It was a really great weekend, Dad. I'm so glad that you were able to come down. Good luck in Dallas.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beautiful Baytown

Baytown has a reputation for being ugly and dirty mostly because of the refinery, I think. However, even the refinery can be beautiful...This was from my walk this morning with Rachel and Tricia. It was quite scenic but very hot. It was back in the 90s this afternoon.
And this is a picture of us at the temple last weekend.

Monday, October 18, 2010


October in Houston is quite different from October in Utah. There are no leaves changing color, no temperatures below 65, no feeling of Winter approaching. However, there are many wonderfully pleasant afternoons and mornings. The weather is perfect for being outside. There is no rain (which is unusual I hear) and the temperature is lovely - right in the 70s. Yesterday, we took a blanket outside (I don't really like laying on grass especially when it hasn't rained in a month and a half and the grass is dying) and spent a couple hours enjoying Fall. We read, talked, napped and then folded up the blanket and walked around the golf course. I could get used to Houston Fall I think.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


So the scans didn't turn out very well, but I don't really want to rescan them, so they'll have to do.
Mark and I had a busy but really good Saturday. We spent most of the late morning and afternoon at the Exxon Safety Harvest. This was pretty much a variety of booths teaching safety and giving out information and various items (reminded me a bit of the career fair). We got a lot of water bottles, key chains, candy, chapstick, etc. There was also food. I discovered that turkey legs are a lot bigger than chicken drumsticks. And we both discovered that we like funnel cake. We got massages and a family photo and held a giant snake (albino something or other)...
We also got to go on a plant tour through the refinery. Unfortunately. Mark's part of the refinery was not part of the tour because they are still in turnaround. But it was pretty cool to see what it was like inside the gates. It wasn't much different from what it looks like from the outside but you can see more clearly how complex it is. There are so many pipes and valves and units.

After the harvest and a nap we went downtown. While Mark and Steve went and ran 6 miles, Kalina, Clark and I went to the Arts Festival. It was really neat. There were a lot of artists and some really neat pieces. I am really glad that we ended up going. Kalina had worn a BYU football which attracted more attention than Clark. I think we met all the other Mormons there. Anyway, it was interesting and enlightening and I am really glad I went.
We wrapped up the night with some tasty (and spicy) burgers and some college football.
It was a good day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finally Nice

The weather has turned beautiful down here. It is so pleasant to enjoy being outside again. Now we just need to get some outdoor furniture.
With the beginning of Fall also comes October Conference...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yeah, Verily Yeah

I was so pleased yesterday when I saw this gem in our local library's DVD collection. This is a Beesley family favorite and I have wanted to watch it with Mark ever since we got married. So last night, after a celebration of Mexico's 200th anniversary, we cuddled up to watch Danny Kaye in The Court Jester. I had been nervous Mark wouldn't like it, but it is so witty and funny. Mark loved it! We were both laughing the whole movie - life couldn't possibly better be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Isn't He Cute!

We are so excited for Steve and Kalina! Clark is such an adorable little guy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All Clean

We finally cleaned out our garage today. You wouldn't think that it would be messy since we've only been here for two months. But we have an 8x8 ft space off the main garage that has been accumulating stuff. We had a lot of boxes stashed away in there. We also never organized it but kept getting more tools so it was feeling cluttered and cramped. I wish we had a before picture. Instead, to illustrate how much cleaner it is, here is what we have waiting for recycle day......which was yesterday...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Take Me Out the Astros game. We haven't been to a baseball game in a long time - since we went to Fenway two years ago. Minute Maid park is totally different than Fenway. It was huge and new. I liked it. From our seats you could look past the field and out a wall of windows and see the skyline of Houston. It was really pretty actually. The game was fun, too. The Astros pitcher started off rocky but then had 14 strike outs. He also was the star hitter for the game, too. He got the Astros rolling again and they came back in the bottom of the 7th to win the game. Mostly it was fun hanging out with our friends the McAllisters, the Bundersons, and the Fairchilds. Unfortunately, Andrew got cut off - although he may have been ducking out of the frame anyway.
Due to my recent postings regarding Mark's photogenic nature, I had to add this series of me trying to take a picture of Mark.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Not Quite Sure...

Olivia's not really sure what she thinks of us, but she was not letting go of that tie.

Old Town

Doesn't this just look like Texas?Ann and I walked around Old Town Spring and went in some of the fun stores and galleries. Some we went in just to get out of the heat. Probably a better thing to do in the Fall or Winter, but we had a good time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Art Blog

While my website is down, I will be keeping a blog with my art updates. As always, I would appreciate comments and critiques.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Fair Lady

When I brought up the idea of going to the local production of My Fair Lady and told Mark that I thought he would like it, he looked at me very seriously and asked, "did you think I would like the Nutcracker?" He was still unconvinced but took me to see it last night with Tricia and Dustin. We had a great time. I had forgotten how long the show is (3 and 1/2 hours) but I was impressed. The cast and crew did a great job (it was fun, too, to recognize our neighbor as one of the cast). I especially loved hearing Mark laughing and enjoying it. I'm excited to see what they are putting on next season. (Have I mentioned that my dear husband can't make normal faces on camera?)


A couple weeks ago, we went to a birthday party at Mark co-worker's home. She was very nice and welcoming and quickly invited us to fill our plates with her authentic African cooking. The spices just about killed me, but there were a few dishes that were more mild. It was really fun after dinner to watch a group dancing. I like traditional African dancing a lot. So that was fun.
After the party we went over to the Kemah Boardwalk and just walked around for a while. The breeze was wonderful and it was just very pleasant. Sometimes though, Mark doesn't really want to look normal in photos. We actually were having a good time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Camping Out

Last week was our Stake Girls Camp and last minute I was asked to be a counselor. While I didn't really feel like I knew what was going on at all, I had a great time with the girl's and with the other leaders. The girl's camp was so different from the ones I went to in Utah. We were at a Boy Scout Camp in Louisiana. It was hot and their were lots of activities like archery,
C.O.P.E. course, and swimming (I swam a mile one morning). It was also a lot more centered on the certifications. I don't remember any certifications that I did. I am sure that we did them, but I just have no memory of it.
It was really sweet to hear the testimonies of the young women. I am really glad that they asked me to go, but I was also really glad to go home after and throw all my clothes into the new washer and dryer that Mark surprised me with!

Studio Space

I am loving my studio. My new easel is wonderful and having a soft chair with wheels also is a plus. Pretty much every aspect is an improvement and it makes painting so much more enjoyable.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spot On

My old roommate, Stacy, came down from Dallas and spent a couple days with us. It was so fun but we didn't take a lot of pictures (probably because Erika and Nat weren't there...). But when we got all dressed up as cows for free meals at Chick-a-Filet we finally got out the camera. If anyone is looking for the next movie night selection, I recommend Some Like it Hot. I forgot how much I like that movie (and Mark liked it, too, so you know it is a good one).
The only damper on the weekend was the windows leaking and being attacked by SWARMS of mosquitoes trying to fix it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We had a great 4th of July weekend, and fitting to the holiday it was full of BBQs, grilling, games, family and friends.
Saturday's BBQ is lacking pictures. We had a great evening making new friends and telling stories. It was really laid back and casual. Even though we didn't know anybody at first, it was really comfortable and suddenly 4 hours had passed. On Sunday, we had a family BBQ at our house. Christina, Charlotte and Olivia were in town and it was really good to see them. It was our first time to actually meet Olivia; the last time we saw the Erickson's was about a week before she was born. Charlotte liked to walk out on the golf course and find the ducks and whisper so she didn't scare them away. (Interjection: I love our back yard).
Monday night we got together with 3 other couples from our ward. After more BBQ we played various indoor and outdoor games. We were pretty much laughing the whole night, even though Mark and I lost just about every game.
What a great weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010


It has been a very wet week here. We were well out of the way of Hurricane Alex but she brought a lot of water into Texas. Fine with me, I don't have to water my plants.