Saturday was such a pretty day that James and I went to Daniels park for a walk.

Grace went with her youth group to a corn maze and the rest of us went to Littleman’s for the pumpkin carving party. We got there late, so Hannah and I didn’t finish in time to enter our pumpkins (we finished them at home later.)

We shared a banana split because there were snacks out to eat.

There were some awesome pumpkins out there!

And some cool costumes.

We ate dinner and headed home to chill for the night. Our pumpkins with lights in them.

Sunday Bethany had to work and so did James, so I took Hannah to church. The message was on abstinence, so I wish the girls had been in big church to hear it (not that we don’t say it, but there were some good points brought up.) When I got home James and I took a walk along the trail and Highline canal trail. The temperature was perfect. The girls were busy playing when we got back, so we had the chance to take a nap, and we did. Then we spent some time shopping at Wal-mart for food and stuff. The girls got TV dinners and James and I went out to a new place, Mas Kaos, before going to Green Russell for jazz.

I didn’t realize the Mas Kaos was a sister restaurant of Kaos pizza. But, instead of just pizza, they serve pizza and tacos. Who knew? We had chips and guacamole to start off dinner and the guac was really good. Then our street tacos arrived – duck confit and barbacoa……yum!

We split a smokestack pizza, which was a good idea.

The restaurant is big, has an outdoor eating area and nice upstairs area too. It’s modern, but lively and they have $3 tacos on Tuesday, plus Happy hour every day. It’s a good idea to order 2 tacos and then split a pizza, that way you get a good taste of what they have (they also have salads and sandwiches.) The pizzas can be gf and they are wood fired, thin and crispy. We will definitely be going back for taco Tuesday. We headed over to Green Russell and caught a long set of jazz with some new drinks for an added benefit.

I forgot to ask them when they turn the time back for jazz on Sundays, I bet it’s in a few weeks.

The week – dance, school, hike, co-op, water sampling, co-op, youth groups, trunk or treat, Nosferatu movie, Littleman’s movies and ice cream, trunk or treat at church.




Grace finished up art for art class…

Hannah did some school, then we took two of our neighbors to HS skate.

They had the day off for some reason. When we got back I helped Bethany with some school, then I took off for NIA.

We were doing the 5 sensations in that class, I love how varied the classes are when you have different teachers. When I got home James had ordered Little Holly’s for dinner. We watched some TV and called it a night.




I’m behind so I’ll put all these together. Tuesday I went to the gym and the girls got ready for Presentation club.

Hannah talked about Ft. Sam Houston and Grace talked about Edison’s mechanical pen.

Wednesday I went to NIA, the girls did school, then we went to Solid Grounds for Creativity club. 5 other kids showed up, which was nice. Here are some drawings we did (me and Grace.)

Bethany gave me a ‘teacher’ apple.

We got back home and James showed up early from work, so we went out to Ivy on the Glenn for dinner. We haven’t been there in a while, but we sure to go back soon to get some more tasty drinks and fried chicken. I had the Italian plate and those lamb pops were so good, I wish I just had an order of them.

I didn’t want to go to the gym, but I had a goal of going twice daily this week – so we went. Grace was trying to take some pictures for Digital arts class and a contest, here are her river pics.

Thursday I went to NIA while the girls were doing school.

Today was Joel’s 22nd birthday. We made two videos for him and the girls sent him a birthday e-mail.

It was his first birthday away from home, with no cake, no party and no recognition. Yes, like the ‘real world’, still I think he liked our videos. When I got home we finished up, then we headed to the hospital so Bethany could get her flu shot. We had a neighbor with us for the next part – we went downtown to show Bethany the John Buck art and go to the Inventing room. Bethany thought the art was amazing, here is a video of one of the pieces that I didn’t get a shot of last time.

The Inventing room is a candy/ice cream shop downtown that I saw some time ago, but we just hadn’t made it there. It was pretty cool – they use nitro for their stuff, so when you eat it you ‘look like a wizard’ to quote Bethany.

We got different kinds of ice cream, Mexican fried ice cream, chai ice cream, peanut butter ice cream, and more and most of those had exploding whip cream on them. I want to go back and get a shake and some cotton candy, really cold Cheetos…and other things.

We rode the free shuttle around and took it back to the car where we met James (he had just arrived at Union station on his way home.) We got back home just in time for the girls to grab a bite to eat before youth group and then we headed to the gym.



I woke up early and went to the gym, I did 45 min on the eliptical and spent some time on the weight machines. I had some time at home to go over my devotional…still thinking about what my veil is that is hindering. Then I hit on it – time. I guard my time, structure my time, protect my time – but it’s not even mine! I was called on to rethink the whole time thing – to ask God what do You want to do with this time? I was also pointed to the Screwtape letters – wow –

Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him. homer-clock It is the unexpected visitor (when he looked forward to a quiet evening), or the friend’s talkative wife (turning up when he looked forward to a tête-a -tête with the friend), that throw him out of gear. Now he is not yet so uncharitable or slothful that these small demands on his courtesy are in themselves too much for it. They anger him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption ‘My time is my own’. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours. Let him feel as a grievous tax that portion of this property which he has to make over to his employers, and as a generous donation that further portion which he allows to religious duties. But what he must never be permitted to doubt is that the total from which these deductions have been made was, in some mysterious sense, his own personal birthright.

You have here a delicate task. The assumption which you want him to go on making is so absurd that, if once it is questioned, even we cannot find a shred of argument in its defence. The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels….

Okay, spot on. My time is not my own, I need to ask God to order my time for me. I also wrote a poem about tearing the veil, I’m not done with it…..I think; more may come as I ponder it this week.

The veil within
Hidden deep inside
Wants to rend in two
To cross the great divide.

What hinders me to come
To kneel before His throne
What doubt inside my heart
Turns it like a stone?

The fine threads of self
Weave a mournful shroud
That covers up my life
Oh, be not so proud.

To destroy the veil
Is to cut the deepest part
My soul within me groans
To trust Him is the start.

The cross has gone before
Its cause to mend the soul
Grace is always needed
Oh, God, make me whole!




Joel made it to Ft. Drum about 12:30 am. His flight from SA was canceled, then he barely made his connection with the next flight and when he arrived in NY he arrived with no bags. Yes, the airline lost 2 huge, green Army bags. They promised to have them there by tonight….We slept in, had breakfast at the hotel, then went to tour the Japanese gardens. The gardens are in an old rock quarry.

I know, the sign says Chinese garden. That’s because in 1941 after the Japanese family that took care of the gardens were sent to an internment camp, the city quickly changed the name to Chinese in hopes that the gardens would not be vandalized in the wake of anti-Japanese sentiment. Apparently Japanese tea gardens across the country were being destroyed by angry citizens. The quarry makes a perfect garden setting.

The koi were so pretty.

From there we went back to the hotel to pack up, then we headed to Market square to shop and eat a late lunch.

I know it doesn’t look it, but the chicken mole enchiladas were spot on.

And so was the music.

One last stop, La Villita for arts and crafts looking around.

We were going to stop by the Alamo again, but we ran out of time. We dropped off the rental car and chilled at the airport.

The girls played with their new puppets.

Our flight was fast and the sunset out the window was pretty. Back home Maisy went crazy and the cat said, ‘Meh’ to us. So glad to be home out of the heat and humidity (mainly the humidity!)

Meet your new Combat Medic


We got an early start for graduation.

Joel made the Dean’s list, not bad for a 68W that was pushed up to another unit and graduated 8 weeks early.

Waiting outside.

Inside, before the ceremony.

The Dean’s list soldiers go across the stage.

There were about 260 graduating out of a class of 350, some of Joel’s friends did not make it. The guest speaker was a retired Army guy with a lot of experience. He said that the Army isn’t there to make sure you get a good job when you leave, they aren’t there to make sure you have fun and adventure – they are there to make you lead, make you follow and make you win the war. Combat medics in particular, he said, you are the backbone of the fighting Army. Before that injured soldier calls on God, before he calls on his Mother, he calls on you – Medic. It was a lot of hard work to get to this point, so it was appropriate that their ending march was ‘Hard work!’

The ending cadence and their walk back to the field.

Once Joel had changed we gave him something very special. My Dad’s Marine insignia. Joel can’t wear it because it’s not Army issue, but he can hang onto it. My Dad would have been very proud of Joel, as are we all.

We went by the museum to take some final pics with the Med symbol and the statue of the Combat medic.

We had time to eat lunch, Joel picked California pizza kitchen, then we dropped my Mom and Tony back at the hotel and dropped Joel at the airport. Everyone was much better at this goodbye than at the last one, probably because we know we will see him again. We went back to the hotel and chilled for a bit, then headed back to Ft. Sam Houston to tour the Quadrangle. Before the Fort was built they rented out space in the Alamo for the supply and garrison (that fact was pretty cool.) The Quadrangle was the first thing built for the new Fort in 1876.

While it is true that Geronimo was housed here as a prisoner, it is not true that he was kept in the tower.

The tower (once a water tower, now a clock tower) is just the centerpiece in the courtyard that every window points to. It is not true that he jumped from the tower, because he left Ft. Sam Houston and went to a Fort in Florida (and he couldn’t do that if he were dead – and he probably would have been if he had jumped.) Inside the Quadrangle are peacocks and deer – no one knows why they are here, but they’ve been here for over 100 years.

The peacocks were very tame, but they were crowding us and following us around and the girls didn’t like it (they liked it at first though.)

From there we went to the River Walk and rode the boat tour, it was relaxing.

Then we walked around and took an Alamo selfie.

Dinner at Pappasito’s rounded out the night.

Tomorrow is just a vacation day roaming around San Antonio.



Joel said he wouldn’t be ready till after 2, so we went swimming in a very tiny pool, then went to Lulu’s.

If you have to go to one place and get one thing to eat while in San Antonio – go get the 3 lb cinnamon roll at Lulu’s.

Don’t get anything else, or you will fail the ‘I ate the whole thing test.’…..like Hannah and I did.

We went back to the hotel to chill for a bit, then went to the Fort.

They weren’t quite done.

Joel changed and we ran by the store to pick up his uniforms, then had a few minutes to go through the Army medical museum – there was a lot to see there.

These are Trench art carved out of spent shells – pretty cool.

Homemade Desert Monopoly.

Joel wanted to see The Magnificent 7, so we just made it to the movie theater before it started. That’s how we spent the rest of our time – but we’re glad that we were able to see the movie with him (and it was a good movie too.)

We got him back a little bit early and took some pics with the LPS.

We picked up my Mom and Tony and ate dinner (we hadn’t eaten dinner before the movie, but we had popcorn and drinks.) Dinner was nice, the girls went swimming again, but I was ready for bed. Tomorrow is graduation!