Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fiesta Week in San Antonio

This is Fiesta Week in San Antonio. It is the celebration of Texas gaining independence from Mexico. Actually they had already won their independence even before the Alamo defeat. But word had not arrived with that news. So to remember the Alamo and to gain their independence, Texas won a battle at San Jacinto which was on April 21. So San Antonio celebrates for about 10 days. They have fancy parades, lots of eating, drinking, and being merry. We haven't participated, and I don't think we plan to participate in any of the activities because it's so wild and crazy during that time. We get Friday off and I think Amy, Susie, Bob, and I are going to have our own little fiesta party at Amy's house. And maybe we'll watch the "Battle of Flowers Parade" on TV which is a really awesome parade. They have "royalty" that goes around to all the functions during this 10 day period and they ride the floats in the parades. I think there are about 3 major parades. Anyway one of the teachers at Susie's school has a daughter who was involved as royalty two different times. They dress up very elaborately and wear these beautiful trains. Here are two trains that teacher made for her daughter. They weigh a ton, and they were all done by hand. I know the colorful one took about 9 months to make. It would take me 9 years to make something like this. Wow. Happy Fiesta.

Superintendent's Award for Volunteering

Since Bob and I have been here we have volunteered quite a bit of time at Susie's school. As a result, one of the asst. principals nominated us for the Superintendent's Award. We were chosen and Tues. April 21, along with about 100 other teachers, volunteers, etc., we were recognized at a nice little program that highlighted the accomplishments of all that were receiving the awards. We have worked in the library, helped with learning centers in the library, helped monitor during TAKS(state exams) and I have been mentoring a student. Anyway it was a nice way to honor us and the others that were there. I've had fun keeping busy at Susie's school. It's fun when you don't have to do it.

Here we are with the superintendent and our little glass award.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Celebrating Mom on April, 19, 2009

Today was April 19, 2009. It was on this day, seven years ago that Mom died. She fought cancer once and survived. Then she was fighting another fight with cancer, had surgery successfully, but then her body could not handle the stress of the surgery. Susie, Bob, and I took lilies from church to Mom's gravesite and remembered her there. We also remembered Dad and Tommy (our little brother who died at age 6 months) Then we had dinner at Earl Abel's which was a favorite restaurant of Mom and Dad. We toasted Mom with our glasses of water. I'm sure they were there in spirit.

At church Bob, Susie, and I provided the treats for social hour. This was another way to pay tribute to Mom. We decided to give the leftover treats to three families who will also be receiving 2 bags of groceries from the food bank from church. The church is praying that those in need will benefit from the church's food bank. Serving the needs of people is an important mission of the church.

Visit with Cousins, Helen and Green

Making contacts with relatives is always fun so we had been wanting to visit with Helen and Green who live in Austin. Saturday we decided to drive up to visit. We had a great visit with them. We were also lucky enough to be invited to stay for dinner which included the bonus of visiting with Ginny and with Walter's two girls, and 2 family friends. Bob even gave about a 45 minute magic show for everyone. He amazes everyone. We also looked through some family pictures and everyone in my family needs to know they have pictures and family tree information about the Ballard family. I got a copy of one of my favorite pictures of Grandma and Grandpa Hopkins.

Helen and Green

Bob and Helen
Bob, Helen, and Green
Lucy, Helen, and Green

Bob, Lucy, Helen, Green, Ginny (next to Lucy), Joy behind Helen, Walter's daughter's behind Green.

Everyone expcept Bob. Stephanie, family friend, in front of Lucy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone. We started celebrating by going to EAster sunrise service at Susie's church. They had a small service in the foyer where the sun could show through even though it was raining. Then they decorated the Easter cross with flowers. Everyone went up to give their flower donation. It turned out beautiful.

After the service we joined in with the congregation for an Easter breakfast. Delicious.

Then we went home. While Susie did some grading of papers I played some hymns on the piano. I haven't played the piano for a while so I enjoyed that.

After an early morning rain storm, the weather turned out to be beautiful for our visit at JR's sister's place for an Easter dinner and for an EAster egg hunt for the kids. JR has a super family, and they were all very welcoming and made us feel part of the family quickly. They had the perfect atmosphere for a nice relaxing day for eating, visiting, the Easter egg hunt, and for Bob's little magic show which was performed in their theater room. We hope everyone had a great Easter. Our thoughts were with each and every one of those who are part of our lives.

Preparations are being made.

JR fixing cellphones.

Backyard scenes.

Backyard tennis court and trampoline for gymnastics.

Backyard ball diamond. "If you build it they will come. " Dyersville, IA or Spring Branch, TX (near San Antonio)

Patio scenes.

Pool room by the pool for playing pool or for just hanging out.

Bob doing his magic.

Easter Egg hunt scenes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lucy's Birthday

I want to thank those who wished me a Happy Birthday. I had a great day. I slept in, went swimming, went to the zoo, ate a good meal, and watched a video at home. It was a fun day. And we continued on Thurs. at school where Susie arranged a little party with my favorite chocolate cake from Sam's Club, and the counselor gave me a nice gift. That was unnecessary, but she insisted. That was very nice. Then on Fri. we had the day off since it was Good Friday. Amy joined us to go to La Villita and the River Walk. La Villita is the historical part of San Antonio and has nice art stores and a quaint church. After visiting the stores we walked along the river and then had Mexican food at Casa Rio along the river. It was very nice. Then we rented another movie and watched it. It was another nice day. By the way it was about 100 degrees yesterday, but today it was quite mild. I think thunderstorms are headed this way for the weekend. But NO SNOW!!!!!!!!!

Birthday Cookie

Zoo Pictures

La Villita

Old Church in La Villita. Patsy was married here.

The River Walk

Casa Rio where we ate lunch.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bob's Children

We thought we'd share this picture of Bob's children. They are very special. Of course, they have grown since this picture. Thanks to Cari and Dave for getting this picture to us. This is a picture that Bob wants to share at his school reunion in Bucyrus, OH next fall.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bob and the Magic Club

As most of you know, Bob has a passion for magic. While we've been in San Antonio, Bob and I have been attending the meetings of the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) and the SAM (Society of American Magicians.) We have seen some neat magic tricks, and Bob does his fair share of magic tricks as well. Last Thurs., after returning from Mexico, we got back in time to attend the meeting for the SAM. Bob really enjoys sharing his talents with others, and it's also fun for others to share their talents. It is very entertaining.
Some of the members milling around after some of them performed.

Bob sharing the secret of his Magic Dice trick.