Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amanda's Senior Recital

My Senior Vocal Recital is coming up in just a few weeks.  It will be on November 22 at 3 p.m. at First English Lutheran Church (3001 Whitis Ave, Austin, Tx).  I will be performing works by various composers including Brahms, Schumann, Haydn, and Debussy.  It should last around 35 minutes and there will be a reception to follow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blogger Burnout

Blogging can be lots of fun, but I am burned out for now.  We have been doing lots of new and fun stuff lately and I have picture, I'm just tired of it for a little while, especially with all of my homework that has to been done on the was all I could do to write this short piece.  I am a bit tired of the computer right now.

Anyway, give me a call if you want to catch up.  I am into the phone since I don't have to do homework on it.  Hope to talk to you soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Disney World, here we come

We are leaving for Orlando on Wednesday night.  On Thursday, we are going to Disney World. And on Friday morning, we are coming home.  Our flight and hotel room were gifts from a time share presentation we sat through.  I think we will be going to Epcot.  Pictures to come after our trip!  I am so excited!!!!  I have never been to Disney World before.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it."

I admit it, I skipped school on Wednesday.  It was worth it.  You should know that I hate school....especially summer school.  Sometimes you need to take a Ferris Bueller day to stay somewhat, emphasizing somewhat, sane.  Grant and I decided to get out and the only thing we could think of to do was to go on the Mission Trail in San Antonio.  We just went to Sea World on Saturday and even though it is my favorite place in the world, we decided  that twice in 5 days was a little much.  In case you didn't know, there are four other Spanish Missions in San Antonio besides the Alamo.  We skipped the Alamo this time because we have already been there on several occasions.

And now, here they are, for the first time on my blog, the less known San Antonio Missions (cue lights and music).

Mission Concepcion

Mission Espada

Mission San Juan

And now my favorite, Mission San Jose.  There are little two-room apartments in the outer wall of this Mission.  They were so cute.  About every 5 or six apartments there was a wood-burning oven outside in the courtyard.  Maybe we will move in to this Mission if I get a job in San Antonio.....seriously, it would be an awesome place to camp or have a retreat, but I don't think the park rangers would like that so much.  This mission was complete with a working mill...pretty high-tech for the 1500s.

I definitely recommend going to see Mission San Jose.  The others are okay if you have nothing else to do, but Mission San Jose is pretty awesome.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Art Project

In my art class I was assigned a project of creating a representation of power or sacred space.  I could either write 4 pages about what it would look like or I could actually make it.  I chose to make a representation of power.  My picture is of God hand the reigns of the world over to mankind.  Basically, what I am trying to show is that the world was created for man and given to him as a gift.  I worked really hard on it and Grant helped me a lot.  I hope you like it

Friday, August 8, 2008

A lesson learned

If you have these

Get thisA lesson learned on our camping trip to Mustang Island.  This stuff works on mosquitos that appear to come from the Jurassic period.

Grant bought some for a very high price from a travel health company when he got his shots for Costa Rica.  It turns out that someone sells it on for about $7.  I recommend it!  It is in lotion form and therefore has less deet than the sprays.  This company also boasts about its non-absorption into skin.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight

Definitely one to see on the big screen.  I have a history of giving away plot elements, so all I will say is go see it.  It is very intense, so I wouldn't suggest seeing it at midnight like we did.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I Love the 4th of July

The 4th of July is a great holiday.  No traveling, gifts, or planning is necessary.  Fireworks are nice too.

Monday, June 16, 2008


As you probably know, I am a Wal-Mart shopper. It seems that more and more people start to dislike Wal-Mart everyday, which I guess I can understand. It is always crowded and it is very large. It is frustrating to remember that you need deodorant when you are in the laundry section and you have to make your way through a sea of people, including many unattended children, and shopping carts to get to the other side of the store. Of course, it is that way at the other grocery store I occasionally visit, but I never hear quite the same moaning and groaning when I mention that store.

For a few moments, I would like to challenge you to clear your mind of all opinions that you may have or that you may have heard about Wal-Mart. Below are some observations that I have made and some research that I have done about Wal-Mart. When you are done, it will be okay with me if you don’t want to shop at Wal-Mart…I just wanted to share a few of the many, many, many reasons why I choose to shop at Wal-Mart.

I have lived in a neighborhood where Wal-Mart moved in, so I can tell you what it looked like before and after.
Before Wal-Mart moved in:
Many people in the neighborhood did not have jobs. They felt stuck in their situation because they also did not have cars to get them to their jobs. Many of the people’s houses were in ill repair. There was one medium-sized grocery store in the neighborhood that took advantage of the fact that residents traveled by walking and could not buy groceries at other stores. The prices at the grocery store were around 50% higher than Wal-Mart’s prices. The overall situation in this neighborhood was not good.

After Wal-Mart moved in:
Many people were hired on at Wal-Mart. This helped. Wal-Mart’s low prices helped the whole neighborhood by not taking advantage of those who walked everywhere…no more price gouging! People started buying cars and fixing up their houses. Other needed businesses popped up around Wal-Mart; businesses like barbershops, shoe stores, and many others. More and more jobs were available every few weeks. Old buildings that had been vacant for years were cleaned up and were filled with new businesses and a new police station. The neighborhood was definitely on the incline and still is to this day (4 years later).

After doing quite a bit of research, I have found out many interesting facts about Wal-Mart:
• The mission statement is: “Saving people money so they can live better”
• They provide financial and volunteer support to over 100,000 charitable organizations
• Their statement of ethics to their employees is twenty-five pages long
• Has received numerous awards with a small fraction of them being:
o Top 50 Companies for Diversity, DiversityInc, 2007
o Best Company for Multicultural Women, Working Mother, 2007
o Top Companies for Female Executives, National Association of Female Executives, 2007
o Top U.S. Companies for People with Disabilities, poll sponsored by CAREERS & the disAbled, 2004
• They work with several charitable organizations to ensure that communities in need receive critical health information and treatment
• They have recently increased the fuel efficiency of their trucks to reduce carbon emissions
• They save Grant and Amanda between $50 and $100 per month on groceries alone. I have not calculated the amount they have saved us on clothes, home furnishings, electronics, or most importantly, camping equipment.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Old Marrieds

June 3 was our 5th Anniversary. It is so hard to believe it has been so long since our wedding. For our anniversary, we went to Fort Worth and stayed in the same hotel as we stayed in for our wedding night. We went out on a nice date and ate at a very nice restaurant called the Reata. Everything on their menu was a fancy version of old west food. Grant ordered a buffalo steak and I got some strange chile rellenos. After dinner, we went to a movie in Sundance Square (the nice part of downtown Fort Worth). After the movie, we visited Barnes and Noble. We spent a lot of time there when we were dating and after we were married killing time waiting for movies. The next day, we went to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, where we were married, and had a picnic and our anniversary kiss in the same place we stood at our wedding. We have had a picnic at the Botanic Gardens every year so far and I hope we can keep it up. Below I have some pictures of our trip.

I also thought it might be fun to give a timeline of "Grant and Amanda" as well as I can remember it.
December 31, 1998-We met at a Youth Group New Years Party at our church, Western Hills C o C, Fort Worth
August 18, 2000-Our first date at an improv comedy club called 4 Day Weekend in Fort Worth
August 18, 2002-We were engaged at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
June 3, 2003-Our wedding at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
June 3, 2004-Living in Fort Worth
June 3, 2005-Living in Fort Worth, but trying to sell our house
November 2005-Moved to Georgetown
June 3, 2006-Living in Georgetown
December 2006-Moved to Austin
June 3, 2007-Living in Austin
June 3, 2008-Still in Austin
June 3, 2009-Hopefully Amanda has a teaching job...
June 3, 2014-Family completed with a few children
June 3, 2053-Big Party for our 50th Anniversary

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Grant took a business trip to Corpus Christi and I went with him this past week. We decided to rent an efficiency condo out on the island in Port Aransas. It was great! In the evenings when Grant was done working we did a few things like riding the ferry, 4-wheeling down the beach, shopping, and visiting the Texas State Aquarium.

On the ferry, we spotted dolphins swimming along side of us! You should know that dolphins are pretty much my favorite thing ever! I even had a dream while we were on the trip that I got to swimming with the dolphins.

While we were on the beach, we saw a lot of junk that was brought in by the tide, including lots of plastic jugs, bags ands bags of what we guessed is grain, clothes, some plastic, 50 gallon barrels, and a few large, rusty barrels, I'm guessing they were 500 gallon barrels....aka ginormous barrels. We also saw lots of wildlife while were out there too. There were lots and lots and lots and lots of birds, including about 100 pelicans. As were we driving, we decided to stop when we noticed the "Sea Turtle Patrol" stopped and digging in the sand. They had found a sea turtle nest and were collecting the eggs in styrofoam ice chests. That was exciting!

On the last day of the trip, we visited the Texas State Aquarium. I go there a lot. I love all of the marine animals.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Zomcon saved my marriage!

Despite my best efforts my wife has joined the ranks of the UNDEAD!
It all began when my parents [who are old] came down to visit for my birthday. All was well at first. We were all sitting around watching a movie called "FIDO" when my lovely mother [who is old] became filled with excited laughter while watching the film. I remember being somewhat concerned as I watched her [in her old age] role around on the floor with glee giggling! And that's when she died! Quickly I ran to her side, knelt down and tried to revive her. Before long the color escaped from my [old] mothers face and I began to realize that I had lost her! I turned away sobbing and my father [who is also old and very close to death himself] was calling 911!
"yes she was laughing and she just...QUIT" he said "I don't know what could have happened... The movie wasn't that good... no... its just... that it has a very silly plot you see and.... OH! Hang On!... she is sitting up now. I think every thing is fine now... sorry I bothered you... you too by by!"
I whirled around to see my mother [Looking older than ever] sitting up with a strange look in her eyes. Thant's when I realized from my rigorous training that the pupils of her eyes had turned RED an obvious sign of ZOMBIEFICATION! I jumped up and yelled to my [old] father.
"go get my new gun!... The classic mussel loading cap-lock that I got for my birthday"
while he scrambled to the guest room I grabbed Amanda in one arm and a chair with another and poked it at my undead mother trying to keep her at bay! But, I wasn't strong enough for her new found supernatural strength! despite all my poking and screaming she grabbed Amanda by the pinkie finger and bit her thumb! Just then... when it looked like all was lost a loud explosion filled the house and my mother turned her attention to my day [He's old] standing in the doorway with a smoking rifle. I took advantage of the situation grabbed Amanda and RAN! just as we were leaving the house I glanced back to see my father [that's right.... getting older by the minuet] being bitten by my Zombie mom who had big bullet hole in her side!

Amanda and I were half way to the hospital when she died and by the time I finished duct tapping her to the hospital gurney she turned. By the time we were in the emergency room she was a full fledged ZOMBIE! Although, all was not lost! The doctor at the ER explained to me that there was a new treatment from a company called "Zomcon" for those who were recently "Undeaded". I told the Doctor to preform the procedure [which strangely, was covered by my health plan] with out delay! To my surprise soon my wife was back at my side. We can live life much as we did before! Of corse she has to take her Prosaic and is no longer "Kidsafe Approved" at church. But her teachers say that she has become a much better student and even though she is now green she is still my love machine!

Grant Maloney
Zombie LOVER

Thursday, April 17, 2008

UT Tower

The tower glows when UT wins a games. Here it is glowing for Honors Day for everyone "winning" in academics.