Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Petroleum Museum

On Saturday morning we headed out again...this time to the Petroleum Museum near Midland.  And, lots was learned again...about the oil industry this time!

Some of the granite samples that come out of the ground before they get to the oil.  I already picked out the one that I want for my kitchen counters.

Gabrielle listening to the display talk about drilling.

Up close and cute!

A little game that demonstrated the percentage that they actually get oil each time they drill.  I didn't know that when they drilled somewhere, they wouldn't necessarily hit oil each time.  I guess I figured that they had better technology to do that by now.

The "Sea" that used to be in this area.  That's why this area is so rich in oil now--because there was so much stuff that just died.  I guess I don't understand how it can be sooooo dry though now when it was soooo wet then.  The last precipitation that we had here was October 14th--seriously!!

They used to use dynamite to blow holes in the ground to get down to the oil...sounds a little dangerous to me.

And, to check for "leaks" they used to do fly-overs.  Seems like that wouldn't have been the most efficient way, but I guess it worked for quite some time.

A cool display showing some of the stuff that comes from oil.

Gabrielle playing with one of the displays.  She did a  GREAT job at this museum only touching the things that she was supposed to...much better than yesterday.

Nick and Gabi trying out the race car.

Gabi's still in the driver's seat, but I thought I would try getting in as her passenger.  Those little narrow seats really aren't made for my "mommy hips"!  :)

My parents trying it out...

One of the outdoor displays.

An "old" oil rig set-up.

A modern oil rig set-up.

Presidential Museum

Friday morning we headed out to the Presidential Museum here in Odessa with my parents.  The museum was inspired and created by locals after JFK's assassination.  They also said that it's the only one in the whole nation that is devoted to the history of all the presidents and their wives.  Coincidentally, George W. Bush lived here for a short time when he was just a few years old...he also lived in Midland for a few years too.  

A replica of the rug in the oval office.  I guess that each president has the right to completely redecorate, and sometimes even orders a new, slightly different rug--interesting.

Listening to George Washington give a little intro to the museum, and the little-old-lady who was a sweety, all the while trying fairly hard to sell us something in the gift shop.

Nick, my dad, and my mom checking out the displays on the earliest presidents.  Lots of interesting facts that will be useful if Nick ever goes on Jeopardy!

Standing in front of the child-home of George Bush.  They recently moved it here near the museum since it was closer to the downtown area.

My parents standing in front of the museum.

G & G Reinke come to visit

This past weekend my parents came to visit us in Texas.  We enjoyed a weekend full of great food, laughter, and even some education about the local area at two museums.  

After Nick and I helped lead worship at a church in Crane, TX (about 30 minutes south of here) we hit their local Sonic for lunch.  Notice that we were all sitting outside without our jackets.  We definitely enjoyed the beautiful weather!!!

Gabrielle dressing up in my flip-flops and the snow-hat that I bought at JCPenny's the day before when I was shopping with my mom (can you believe I spent a mere $.29 on it?!).  I intended for her to wear it next year when we are back in KS for winter, but obviously this hat has made it's way into her dress-up clothes.

Posing with daddy (and the hat).

Looking at pictures with Grandma...and sticking out their tongues!

Playing with Grandpa.

Dancing to the rap music that was playing on TV.

Sitting with Grandpa on the toy box that he made for Gabrielle this fall.  Thanks soooo much again--we LOVE it!

Giving out hugs and kisses before bed.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A new winner--Meatball Calzone!

It's been a while since I posted a new recipe, so I thought I would share my latest discovery. My parents enjoyed it while they were here this weekend, and Nick's comment was, "Definitely a keeper!" I found this recipe out of a magazine and simplified it--no making your own meatballs or bread. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!!!

Meatball Calzones
1-2 pounds pre-made meatballs
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 cans Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
Mushrooms, optional
Black olives, optional
Italian seasonings

Unroll one can of pizza dough on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese down one half lengthwise. Place ½ of the meatballs and toppings on top of that and sprinkle with another 1 cup cheese. Fold the dough over filling and press edges firmly to seal. Repeat for with remainder for second calzone. Lightly spray calzones with oil or brush with a beaten egg. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yields 6 servings. Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I wanna be like my ma-ma

So Gabrielle has mastered a few more words lately--one specifically is "ma-ma"!  Yea!  Unfortunately, it also means "da-da" to her too, so that kinda makes Nick mad--oops.

Putting on my shoes.

Digging through one of my bathroom drawers...
with one of my headbands on her head.

Playing with one of my curling irons.

Learning how to bake, or at least help lick the spatula!

Wearing her hair in a ponytail just like ma-ma!

A family outing to the park

It was soooo incredibly nice outside on the 9th of January that we all went to the park for a little afternoon fun.  

Standing with "Prairie Pete" at the park entrance.

Getting ready to go down the slide together...it was super tall (probably 20 feet high), so we went up and down with Gabrielle.


Climbing on the cement octopus--interesting!

Gabrielle's favorite--the swings.

Gabi and Daddy swinging away together.

Gabrielle and Nick at the top of one of the slides.  
Now you can see how high they are!

And down they go!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year (a little late)!

Being outside is one of Gabrielle's favorite things to do!

Daddy playing with us outside on New Year's Day.

You can see her back pony tail from here--
I was sooo excited that I could get it all pulled back!

Playing with her kitchen stuff...

Putting the new doll clothes on her head--silly!

Standing on the top of her slide toy. I don't think that daddy liked it at all, but it seems like she only does it when she knows we are watching her, so I guess we need to start "ignoring" some of the things she does--reactions just make things worse some times!


A tradition that my mom had with us growing up was to take a picture with everything that we got that year for Christmas. I really liked looking through those pictures as I got older because I could see what I got when I was younger, plus just seeing how much I had grown each year was neat. Also, since my mom kept so many of our toys that we had when we were younger, it's easy to see who they belong to, and my siblings don't argue about who the "prized toy" belongs to.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Christmas in Nebraska

On Christmas Eve we drove up to Nebraska to meet my sister and her family at my parents' house. The first thing on the agenda was going to my family's church for their children's Christmas program--the one that I was part of growing up.
Gabrielle sitting on Grandpa Reinke's lap during the children's program...trying to be quiet can be hard!

Our family after church at my Uncle Howard and Aunt Marlys' house--getting together with the Reinke side of the family. Unfortunately I didn't take any more pictures. And, Nick ended up taking the two little girls home for some sleep--thanks, honey!

Gabrielle opening her gifts on Christmas Day.

Uncle Dan and cousin Matthew opening gifts--he got a wooden train set which he wanted to play with all the time!

Gabrielle with her new bath toys.

Getting a whole stack of books from Grandma Reinke--thanks!

Me feeling a little crazy over Christmas!

Grandpa and Grandma Reinke watching everyone else open gifts...and leaving most of theirs until the end.

Matthew with his new goggles and play nail gun that we got him for Christmas--looks like fun!

Aunt Katherine with Samantha--looks like she would rather just eat the gifts instead of open them up to see what's inside.

Matthew watching Gabrielle with her new doll from Grandma Reinke and the wooden cradle that Great-uncle Howard and Grandpa Reinke made for her.

Katherine crying...this was her favorite book growing up. My mom just happened to find a second copy that she gave to Samantha for Christmas. Tears of joy had to be explained to Matthew after that because he asked what was "wrong" with his mommy. Good memories!

Matthew "pimping-up" his new bike with Gabi's pink tires from her baby stroller that hadn't been assembled yet.

Matthew trying out his bike. Unfortunately it was really cold outside on Christmas, and the carpet didn't help him pedal very far, so he had to wait until later in the week when it warmed up (to a balmy 30 degrees!).

Some of my cousins (and some of their kids) who were at the Hoops Christmas (my mom's side of the family).

My mom and her sisters (we missed Uncle Lee, Aunt Carol, and their families this year!). L to R: Lavon & Fern Bohling, Delmar & Janice Reinke, Del & Jeanne Braithwait, and Dean & Deanna Hobelmann

Getting all three cousins to sit together. Matthew and Gabrielle were busy watching a movie, so we planted Samantha in the middle. She didn't stay there long though, because she was off and crawling pretty quickly after that!

Matthew trying out his new wagon with Samantha in for a ride-of-her-life. I'm not sure that she had as much fun riding as Matthew did pulling her around.

Of course, Gabrielle wanted to get in and try it too.

Holding my two favorite little girls.

Gabrielle playing with my old shopping cart that my mom still had in our basement. Can you believe that it's in such good shape, and I got it for Christmas when I was her age? Crazy! :)

More pretending with the shopping cart.

Nick with his hands full. It started out that he had the two girls on his lap. But, Matthew wanted on, so he got to hold Samantha. Doesn't look like Gabrielle's too impressed with sharing her Daddy!

Samantha fit pretty good into Gabrielle's new doll cradle that she got from Grandpa Reinke for Christmas. They had matching sweaters for their dresses--great minds think alike, huh Katherine? :)

All three cousins for one more picture after church on Sunday...not a bad picture at all, if I might say so! I wasn't expecting them to all look so cheery at the same moment in time!

Our only Christmas picture that we took as a family.