Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

We were going to have another big shindig like Christmas Eve, but with everyone going out of town, or having made other plans, we ended up having a simple night, which was SO much fun! Kenzie came over, and then Daniel and his girlfriend Nikki and we rocked the Rock Band for a while. It was a lot of fun. We ordered pizza, I made guacamole and queso, and then the guys played some Fight Night, and we all laughed at their expense. It was fun. I got to give my boy Riley a big smooch for New Years, I don't think he appreciates that tradition yet, but David was playing a game, and in deep. Pam and Dave even stopped by with their leftovers from Buca's, tiramasu, YUM!

Here's wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Kris and Jen's Wedding

Kris and Jen got married today, and I took a few pictures. Dave probably got some great ones with the super camera, so I'll update later. But I was watching them and remembering when I first met Kris, he was about 6 years old, and such a cute little thing. Then watching him say his vows and get choked up, it made me tear up! I know they are very much in love, and I hope nothing but the best for them in life!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bedtime Stories and Park Time

I met Melissa and her kids, Addison and Evelyn, we went to see Bedtime Stories, it was hilarious, and then let the kids run around the park for a few hours. After days of being cooped up playing with their Christmas presents, it was nice to be outside getting some fresh air (and some adult conversation)! And the weather was perfect, so it was an all around great day. They got to feed the ducks, and play until they were worn out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Basketball Practice

We went to Riley's Upward Basketball practice tonight, and watched him make some good shots, and played with my camera some. They have a devotional at every practice, which is great. Riley's pretty good out there, and their first game is this Saturday, should be interesting!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dave's Christmas Photos

Dave's Christmas Photos

Here are some more pictures from Christmas Eve that Dave took with his fancy camera! Some of them are really cute, so I'm uploading just a small amount, I think he took over 200! Fun times.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Family Reunion

Family Reunion

Earlier this month, David's family had a family reunion. His Uncle James and Aunt Lola were in from Brazil, so we all met at the Omega office (the only place there was enough room for all of us) and had a feast! It was good to catch up with everyone, several people we haven't seen in years, and we all just LOVE Aunt Lola, she's so much fun, so we had a day full of laughs!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It was a rough night last night, waiting for the kids to go to bed so I could wrap the last few presents. We watched A Christmas Story, called Norad to find out when Santa would be in Texas, and then put them to bed around 11, found them trying to sleep on the floor in the game room (the better to hear Santa when he comes) and then yelled at Riley to stay in bed already at 1am.

David then gave me MY present, a nice, new, tiny digital camera. I've been wanting a small one, my old one is just that...old. And big, and clunky. I still want a nice SLR, but I wanted a nice small one I could just stick in my pocket and still take pretty decent pics. This one is a Cannon PowerShot, 10 megapixels, should do me JUST fine!! I tried to figure it all out so I could use it in the morning, but I still have a few things to figure out. I did take a few pictures with it, but I didn't want to mess up and not have ANY pictures of Christmas morning.

Thankfully, the kids didn't wake us up to open presents until around 9:30, so we got a late start. We played a few tricks on them, Riley's first gift was a box of coal, he didn't appreciate the humor, but Regan did! Then we had already taken out his Xbox 360 so David could set it up and have it ready to go, but we replaced it with a brick so it wouldn't just be an empty box. But when he opened it and saw the brick, we told him someone must have stolen the 360 and put a brick in there. He was pretty upset about it, and David was going to just keep opening presents like it was no big deal, but I finally told him that's just mean, so he asked Riley to go get a blanket over by the TV, and he saw the Xbox plugged in there, so he was happy again!

Regan was harder to buy for this year, she hates cleaning her room, so I didn't want anything with parts all over the place. So, for her main gift, she got a Nintendo DS and games to go with it, Arctic Tale, Boogie, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Mario Kart, Pac Man, Pet Vet, My Little Pony, and a couple others. She also got a couple of games for the Wii, a cat game, Monkey Ball, and Tamagotchi. And, her very own pair of Heely's, which I'm worried a little bit about. She's not the most coordinated kid on the block! She already got mad at the wheels and took them out, and is just wearing them as regular shoes right now.

Riley, he pretty much got the 360 and Rock Band 2, which we already formed a band, Dad on guitar, Riley on drums, and mom on vocals, and rocked the house!! That game is SO much fun! He also got a few games to go with it, Call of Duty 4 (more for dad) Army of Two (for dad) some racing games, and a few others. He also got a new pair of Heely's, they match the ones we got Tristan. They also fit mom, so I might have to give them a try soon! If I have a blog post soon about a broken hip, you'll know why!

Dad got to share the 360, and a few clothes and the usual socks and undies that I make sure we all get! I also got my new Coach bag that I'm TOTALLY in love with, that's my gift from Alex, Tristan and Merissa, which was so sweet!!

After we opened presents (which Ricky very much objected too, he's been loving hiding behind them all under the tree) I made my famous Christmas morning cinammon rolls, and then we've just been playing around the rest of the day. I'm still in my pj's, and David JUST changed out of his, so it's been a nice, lazy day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

What a fun and crazy night! It all started a few weeks ago when David and Alex were talking about how David had always wanted to do a prime rib for Christmas. Alex was saying yeah, that sounds good, and the next thing we know, he uses his connections and gets a HUGE prime rib for us to do on Christmas Eve. Pam and Dave were going to be working so they didn't think they would come until they heard about the prime rib, and we put our order in for Dave's famous mashed potatoes (it's just not a family holiday without them!)

So, then it was going to be Alex and Tristan, us, and Pam and Dave, no biggie. But, I called Daniel and Kenzie, I wanted them to come too, since this is our first Christmas with Daniel in a long time. Then Kris and his fiance Jen didn't have any plans, so they wanted to come too. Then Matt and his girlfriend wanted to come, and she brought two of her kids (one is 5 and Regan's new best friend). Then Daniel called and asked if his girlfriend Nikki could come (why not?) and she brought her son, Hayden, who is 2. And then his friend Matt, who was here at Thanksgiving, didn't have anywhere to go for Christmas so we invited him too. Then Kenzie came with her friend Jessica, who is also her wheels right now. We had a house FULL!!

And as usual, we had plenty of food, we did two prime ribs (once it started growing, Pam got another one, and some ribs) and of course, the famous mashed potatoes, and I made sweet potato casserole for the first time, and a garlic dip that would keep vampires out of the entire state of Texas, and a pumpkin chiffon pie that I got the recipe from Oprah. Yum! The prime rib was SO good, and hopefully a new tradition. Alex also smoked a ham, and David made homemade horseradish, and au jus, and I'm still so full I can't think straight!

Dave took a bunch of pictures with his camera, so I will be adding to this when I get copies of his, but for now, here are mine:
Christmas Eve

Monday, December 22, 2008

Grandma's Blankets!

We got a nice surprise today, Christmas Blankets from Grandma and Grandpa (my dad and stepmom in Ohio). And just in time for some of our coldest days ever! So, here are some pictures of us modeling our new blankets, they are SO soft and SO warm, and they smell SO good!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Card Fun

Just playing around with some of the pictures, here's 4 that I did...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday David!

David turned the big 39 today, one more year till he's officially "over the hill"! Riley wants to plan him a huge party then, so that should be interesting. We didn't do much for his birthday though, since it is so close to Christmas, it's hard to do much. Riley made him a cute card, a pop-up and put some money in it, that he said he got out of my wallet "because dad won't keep it if I told him it was MY money". That was sweet. We bought him his very favorite Harry and David pears for his birthday, which the kids were excited to buy, but not carry out of the mall!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Our church started an Upward Basketball and Cheerleading league, and of course the kids wanted to join, and of course I'm a sucker and think we can do EVERYTHING. Now on Monday's, after Riley is in gymnastics for 2 hours, until 5:30, we rush home, have dinner, and then dad and Riley head off to basketball practice, from 8-9, which is pretty late. And on Thursday's, again after sitting at gymnastics with Riley for 2 hours, David will bring Regan to me (he usually picks her up on Thursday's so I can rush Riley to gymnastics) so we can switch off kids and I can take Regan to Cheerleading from 6-7. Makes for a busy week, but the kids enjoy it, and it's all about them, right? Last night I spent 2 hours fluffing pom poms. The downside? Regan's games to cheer are at 8am on Saturday mornings, so for 2 months I will have NO sleep in days, and sometimes, I live for those sleep in days. Riley's games are around 10-11, so we'll have enough time to grab breakfast at La Madeline and be back for his. Already have it planned out.

School Parties

Since I'm the room mom for both kids, I got to plan the parties for both classes. Talk about FUN! Regan's class had a pajama/breakfast party, so the parents brought fruit, bagels, muffins, etc. and we all ate breakfast and then had some craft time where we made ornaments with their pictures inside, Christmas cards for the parents, and a few other crafts. Then they got to get their blankie or stuffed animal and watch Polar Express.

When the movie started, I booked it to the pizza place to grab pizza's for Riley's class (and I need to remember in the future that just because MY 10 year old doesn't eat much, certainly doesn't mean OTHER 10 year olds don't eat much!) and they decorated cookies, made some ornaments and cards, and then went outside to play in the freezing cold that we happened to be having that day. Then early release and Christmas break is ON!

Regan's party was much more chaotic (being that they were K-1) so I didn't get any pictures of her in her new SpongeBob Christmas jammies, but I did get some of Riley at his party.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

Regan's Brownie troop had a gingerbread event at a local church. We got to go and decorate our very own Gingerbread House and have a hot dog/chili dinner. The kids had a great time, we let Riley decorate one side, Regan the other side, and they were both...interesting. Riley found a reindeer candy and a Tootsie Roll and, well, boys will be boys, he made it look like the reindeer just pooped the Tootsie Roll. Regan made her rooftop into a pattern, which she says more like "patteren" it's cute. They had a great time, no Christmas season is complete without a Gingerbread House, right?

Here's Regan and her side:

And here's Riley and his side:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Card Pictures!

This has GOT to be my least favorite part of the holidays. It always starts with good intentions, and before 5 minutes are up, I'm yelling like a raving lunatic for everyone to frickin' smile already! It's crazy. You wouldn't think it would be that hard with just us 4, but it is. And especially hard is trying to find someone who is a competent photographer to come over and take a picture of the 4 of us together, and coordinate schedules, etc. So, I'm left with two options, just have the kids on the Christmas card pics, which I normally do strictly because I've run out of time and other options, or like tonight, try and see if Riley can take a decent picture of me and David. Trust me on this one, he can't. Not for lack of trying though, so I have to give him credit for that, he just had his hand over the flash in the ones where I didn't look crosseyed, or he got mostly the wall as background, and not the tree.

So, here is our Christmas card preview. I got the kids together, and then they each wanted to do their own little photo shoot, and then I let them make some silly faces for the outtakes.

The photos (the "good" ones):
Christmas Pictures

Of course now I have to pick ONE for the Christmas card, that's the other hard part!

Riley's photo shoot, which I'm surprised he got into as much as he did, but he really wanted to have his picture taken, so I ran with it:
Riley's Photo Shoot

Regan's photo shoot, which has her dad really worried, cause she came up with these poses ALL on her own:
Regan's Photo Shoot

And the outtakes, no photo shoot is complete without letting off a little steam, right?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let it Snow! {Texas Style}

The kids were pretty shocked to wake up to some white powder! Granted, it's not much, but hey, around here, we'll take what we can get! Riley bundled up, he's into wearing hats now that he has such short hair, today's hat du jour was a Santa Hat, complete with Santa scarf, and Tony Hawk hoody, and was out the door before breakfast to play in it. Of course, he was right back inside in about 2 minutes with frost bite! Regan was a little more skeptical, but she went out briefly, she's just not a morning girl (takes after her momma!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Old Settler's Park

Regan's class went on a field trip to Old Settler's Park to study nature. They've been learning about soil and seeds, and so after our picnic lunch, they each got a sock to wear over their shoe to see if they picked up anything interesting on our nature walk, and they each got a baggie to collect different items, nature items. Some of the fun was deciding if an item was nature, or man made. Another fun thing was using Porta-Potties for the first time, since the bathrooms there had been burned down, or struck by lightning or something, so that was interesting.

We did find lots of interesting things on our nature walk, lots of acorns, feather from the ducks and geese, different types of leaves, rocks, and even some honeycomb! And what started out as a nice, hot day at the park, 80 degrees, sweaty kids, turned into a windy cold front as we left, the kids were nearly getting blown away, crazy Texas weather!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Traditions

We decorated the tree tonight, with Alvin and the Chipmunks in the background (nothing makes it feel more like Christmas to me than hearing ALVIN!!!) I love that the kids are so into it, pulling each ornament out, asking what it is, where it came from, what special meaning there is behind it, and I love more that most of them DO mean something now. It's not just a box of shiny stuff that I bought cause it looked nice.

There's some of my favorites cause they're cute, my Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, it just looks neat cause they are all hanging and look like they are swimming. My red toy robot (both given to me by my mother-in-law who knows I'm just a kid at heart!) And then the more meaningful ones, all the kids pictures, including Daniel and Kenzie, as paper angels, Regan made a baby Jesus in a walnut shell in Pre-K, which is adorable, the ornament with Jake's picture inside, the dough ornaments we all painted one year, the ones bought the years the kids were born, etc. I just love taking them all out each year and showing them to the kids and hopefully one day they will have some of these same ornaments and they will be telling their kids about them, where they came from and what they mean to them as well.

Our tree is by no means the most beautiful tree on the block, but it's certainly the most beautiful one in my eyes.

"She Cut Off All My Curls!"

After gymnastics I took Riley to get his hair cut, I thought I would work him gradually to the short cut he has to have for his meet in February, but he doesn't like it at ALL! He was so upset that she cut off all his luscious curls, poor thing, but I think he looks nice.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Tree is UP!

But nothing is on it...yet. Baby steps.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Unity Tree

Unity Tree

Tonight was the kid's school play, The Unity Tree, which was about cats and dogs and basically a "why can't we all just get along" message. It was very cute, the kids all did a great job. Regan didn't like the song that her class sang, so she wasn't all into it, but she got up there and participated, which was good. Each class was either cats or dogs, and both my kids were lucky enough to be dogs, but then Regan had to take it a step further and be a "pink poodle". I told her she might be the only one there, and sure enough, my girl rocked it. She was saying as we walked in with her hands in the air, (High School Musical-style) "I look FAB-U-LOUS!" Shaking her tail all the way. She's so funny.

Riley just wanted to be a brown chihuahua, but didn't want to wear the paper ears, and sorry to say his sister got all my hard work, after that, I lost inspiration, so he got knee socks on a headband, but I guess it was fine since he wore his bright orange cap over them anyway! But the 4th graders had a dance off, and it was so cute, and he actually danced in it, I was surprised. He's normally too shy to do something like that, but it wasn't like it was break dancing or anything, it was pretty tame. The "cats" did the electric slide, and they were so cute! (I think they won the dance off).

But it was a really cute play, they did a great job. And, the best part, Book Fair is officially OVER! I just have to spend one more day packing it all up.

Another Crazy Week

This has been another crazy busy week for me, I hate getting behind in blogging, but hopefully you'll understand!

Book Fair is going on at the school now, and I'm the chairperson, because I absolutely LOVE Book Fair!! So, that required setting up Book Fair over the Thanksgiving Break, and I'm such a softie, I didn't want to ask anyone to help me cause it was the break and I didn't want anyone to have to take time off their break to come up to the school, so I was up there by myself (David did have to come get some heavy boxes, and move some shelves around) and of course, the kids were there to ahem, "help".

Monday morning dawns and guess what? No Book Fair volunteer! I was scheduled to sub all week, I had volunteers scheduled to work almost every shift and about half of them didn't show up, great! So, it just turned into mass chaos and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off all week. Thankfully, Monday and Tuesday, I was subbing for the ACE teacher, which is a lot of back and forth, so I was able to check in on the Book Fair often.

Wednesday and Thursday I was the Pre-K assistant/office assistant which is helping out the Pre-K teacher when they go from place to place (the Pre-K tends to wander) and then helping out in the office so the other office staff can have lunch, and just get stuff done, which this week had a lot of stuff to get done, so we were so busy, both days we worked through lunch.

Thursday night was an Art Show/Science Fair planning meeting, with Book Fair running also, so I just stayed at the school from 7:30 in the morning till about 7:30 that night, it was super busy and we sold a ton of stuff so that was nice, but I was exhausted, and thankfully, when it was over, we went to dinner with Mimi and Papa and I didn't have to worry about going home to cook dinner!

Friday, I worked all morning in Pre-K, those little guys are SO cute. Makes me miss my old days in Hong Kong as a Pre-K teacher, but not too much. They sure make me laugh though, they are so adorable, and just so tiny. We had a great time, and of course, back to Book Fair for me, to straighten up, and this time, I only had to stay till 2, which worked out well becuase I had to run to Walmart and the Dollar Store to get the stuff to make Regan's Pink Poodle Costume, get home and make it, and get back to the school by 6! Don't forget to breathe...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Season of Giving

I'm trying to teach the kids what the holidays are really about, not just get, get, get, but giving! I really think they are at a good age to get it this year, and not just nod and say, "Yeah, whatever."

So, in the spirit of Christmas, we've found some good places to donate to, and we talked to the kids about each place, what they do, how they help people, etc. I'm so excited that they are learning this lesson early in life, that it's so much better to give than to receive. We always give to our church, and encourage the kids to give also, and right now our church is doing a "Heart for the House" offering, and thankfully we were all able to donate to that (the kids had their very own offering in class).

And in case you were looking for a good place to donate this holiday season, may I suggest the following, these are the causes that we decided to help out this year:

Book of Hope International, this ministry came to our church and I was so blown away by their leader. Maybe it's from my days as a missionary, but his stories were incredible and I loved listening to him share about their work. What they've done is translate the 4 gospels into one book for children, and go around the world giving this book to an entire country's public school system. Go to their website and check it out, you will be impressed. So far, they've given over 532 million books to children around the world.

Soles4Souls is an organization that donates shoes to kids who've never owned a pair of shoes. Their message is simple, to impact as many lives as possible with the gift of shoes. Right now they are trying to raise 50,000 pair of shoes in 50 days. They can do it!

Bikes for Kids is a local charity that raises money to buy bikes for kids that don't have a bike, and probably wouldn't have any present under the tree. The kids really want to go meet the local DJ's who put this on every year, so if we can get up and out early enough on Tuesday, we will get to meet them and hand in our donation live!

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, of course, as a charity that is near and dear to my heart. November 24th was the 9th anniversary of my mom's death from breast cancer. So, any chance I get I try to donate to Komen Austin, for breast cancer research and to help low income women get mammograms.

I'm hoping by sharing these, you will either donate to them, or find your own charity that is important to you and donate, and get your kids involved as well, it's never to early learn the true meaning of Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was pretty low key and relaxing. The kids had the week off of school, we spent one day at the school setting up for Book Fair which starts as soon as we get back, and we spent one day at the doctor's with Regan over a nasty ear infection that kept us all up half the night.

But for Thanksgiving, David fried turkey's as usual, but he fried one for a lady at church so he did them the day before. The kids went on Wednesday with Pam and Dave to see Bolt and spent the night with them, so on Thursday morning there wasn't much to do except a few sides. We had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and a ton of pies! Alex and the kids came and brought some type of smoked ham he made, it was pretty good. Daniel came by with some of his friends, and then Kenzie came by with one of her friends, and we just had a good time, played the Wii and hung out.

I didn't get to make our traditional Thanksgiving morning breakfast (cinnamon rolls and hash brown casserole) until Saturday morning, but it was yummy! And I didn't really get my camera out until Regan says, "Hey mom, Got Milk?" so I had to get a picture of that!!

Then on Saturday we all stayed up way too late watching movies and Sunday morning was like pulling teeth to get them ready for church, until I told Regan she could wear her new dress that she picked out at Costco:

It wasn't my favorite dress they had, but it's blue, and blue is in her heart, so we had to get it. And she looks cute in anything! Now it's time to start figuring out what to wear in the annual Holiday Photo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Week in Review

Monday-I subbed in Regan's class, and that was interesting. She thought it would be a fun, free-for-all day for her and her friends, and didn't appreciate it that I made her call me Ms. Denise just like the other kids. It's so fun getting to know your kids friends though, on a different level. There are some crafty little ones there. Overall, a pretty fun day and we mostly enjoyed it, after we got used to the new rules. Then, school was out and it was rush to gymnastics.

Tuesday-I subbed for some of Regan's best friends in 2/3. It wasn't bad, but the teacher was there and got sick and wanted to leave, so he was like, just do anything, I want to go home! So, with no clear plans, it made it a little more challenging, but still they're more independent than the K/1 class so no complaints there. After school it was rush to Brownies to learn about manners.

Wednesday-Surprise, I didn't have to sub today, but where did I spend the day? At the school. Getting ready for Book Fair and eating the holiday lunch with Regan and her friends. One of Regan's friends was sad that her dad couldn't come for lunch, so David and I invited her to sit with us, we had a nice big party going at our table! Here is Tyreella, Regan, Raquel and Irving:

After school we had church, David and I had a class to take to get ready for a class we were taking over the weekend, and it was Riley's night to work in ACTION, he got to work with the 2 year olds, and I think he likes working with the older kids better, the 3, 4 and 5 year olds.

Thursday-Subbed again, this time all over the place, those teachers are dropping like flies!! I started out as the Pre-K assistant and ended up in K/1 and that was one wild class. I did manage to take my lunch break at the same time as Riley's and ran up to his campus to meet him and David and Mimi for his Holiday lunch. It was a crazy day, after school Regan and I grabbed some take n bake pizza's and picked Riley up from gymnastics and I was never so happy to just sit on my couch and watch Survivor!

Friday-Subbed again, middle school remedial math. Sorry kids, I wasn't much help there. Math is just SO not my thing and man, middle school!! I might as well have been looking at Greek Orthodox text or something. I graduated and that all left my brain. Regan had a playdate with some friends after school, and we had a nice cold front come in, so Riley and I met David for some nice hot Pho, Vietnamese Soup.

On Saturday, David and I had our class at church, from 9-3, and the kids had fun having a free day there. The class was great, it was men/women seperate, so that was nice, and good to meet new people there (we've only been going for 3 years now!) And then we went home and crashed.

Sunday, after church, we went home, took another nap, then went back to church to see Tristan and Merissa get baptized. It was nice to be there to stand in as part of their family in such an important step in their life.

So, as you can see, that's why I haven't blogged this week. Buzy, busy, busy. I didn't even get a picture of Riley's lunch, I ran in, swallowed some mystery meat, and ran out. But this week is vacation and I intend to take things very slowly and enjoy every minute of it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jaye {Bird}

Today we went to Main Event for Kris's girlfriend Jen's daughter's birthday. She turned 9, and they all had fun, and after the party Jaye came over the house and played for the afternoon, and then I cooked dinner and Kris and Jen came over to eat, and we had a great time! The kids adore their Uncle Kris, he's like a big jungle gym, so they were running around playing Nerf and Wii and jumping on the trampoline, and enjoying our first serious cold spell (well, it was around 50 I think...COLD!)

Cookies Rock!

Regan had Brownie Cookie Training today, where they taught her how to be a proper Girl Scout Cookie sales person. It was fun, they had a horse theme which is right up her alley! She got a cowgirl tattoo, learned the rules of selling cookies in a Cookie Rodeo, learned safety rules in the computer lab, had a blind cookie taste test in a Cookie Derby, and learned proper serving sizes during snack time (2 sleeves of Thin Mints isn't the proper serving size, go figure). She got to draw a picture of her goal:

And yes, she kept bumping that number up. First it was 400 boxes of cookies, then she saw the stuffed mama and baby horse that she can win if she sells 520 boxes, so she decided in the end, her goal is now to sell 556,600 boxes of cookies. So, grandparents, start saving!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Outdoor School

The Outdoor School

Well, unfortunately I can't tell you much about this trip because David went with Riley as a chaperone, and getting info out of either one of them is like pulling teeth. It was bad enough that I sent my camera with explicit instructions for David to take pictures of EVERYTHING. He took me up on that, begrudgingly.

The trip was an overnight study trip, to Marble Falls, for all 4th and 5th grade students, to study nature and science in a hands on setting. I know Riley got to learn and study about snakes (and hold a couple) and they caught some minnows in the pond. The talked about waste and had a contest to see which bunk had the least waste after every meal. I know David froze in the cabins because we don't own a sleeping bag that's a proper adult size. Riley climbed the rock wall and made it to the very top. And that's about all the info I got. But, you can look through the pictures and tell they had a pretty good time. They were in groups with their classmates, and played games together and learned about a lot of plants, wildlife, nature, and how to take care of what we've got. I've heard from the 5th graders how much they love this trip, so I knew it would be great.

Thankfully, Riley was feeling well enough to go also, after having the flu for several days before, he was still pretty run down, and I guess they did a lot of walking there, because he came home exhausted and saying his legs hurt, not something I hear from him that often!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

36 Bucks!

That's how much it takes to fill up a Ford Expedition these days! And yes, I'm thrilled!! I had a little less than 1/4 tank, that's when I usually try and fill up, but it's been a L-O-N-G time since I paid so little at a gas station!! I've never been so happy to have gas :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Partied Too Hard

After partying all weekend, by Sunday night Riley just wasn't quite himself, saying his head was hurting, and his throat hurt (from coughing). This morning he woke up with 103 fever and coughed so much he threw up.

Tonight the fever got up to almost 105! Scary. I guess it's the flu, but regardless, tomorrow we'll be heading to the doctor so hopefully he won't miss his big field trip this week to The Outdoor School, it's an overnight field trip and I know he won't want to miss it, so please say a prayer for Riley that he will be back to his mischievous little self before long.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Party Hard!

Riley's 10th Birthday

Riley had his birthday party here at the house again this year. Of course, it's been 80 degrees and sweltering hot for weeks, and today of all days a cold front comes through, and we had the Wii on the deck set up to play. The kids didn't care, they were moving and jumping and keeping warm, but it was hard to even stay out there to watch for very long cause I was SO cold!!

Alex made 51 little burgers to feed the kids, they were gone QUICK! And we had cake (and I forgot to get the ice cream out, so now I have a ton of tiny Blue Bell ice creams laying around, just what I need). Kenzie came over too and helped us get the house ready before the party, and had fun playing with the kids she used to babysit, that she hasn't seen in a while.

The kids played, ate cake, Riley opened presents, he got a lot of cool stuff and $50 in cash. Then they played Nerf wars all over the house, and finally, after all the kids that weren't spending the night left, we got all the sleeping bags out on the floor in front of the TV and I made popcorn and we watched Journey to the Center of the Earth. Riley and his friend Mikale made it about 5 minutes into the movie, a few other kids made it about 15 minutes in. They were exhausted!

They woke us up at the crack of dawn, I made cinnamon rolls and went back to bed, I had Girl Scout training later that day and was in no shape to sit through it at that point.

They played Nerf again until all the kids left, and Regan came home, she had spent the night with Mimi so she could get some one on one time, and not bother the boys. Plus, she woke up feeling a little off, so it was good to have her gone from all the excitement and in and out of the cold weather.

So, all in all it was a successful birthday, I still can't believe my baby bird is 10. He used his gift card and birthday money to buy a Nerf game for the Wii, and a Nerf tag type game for 2 people, so he's on pins and needles waiting for that to come in the mail.

Glad it's over for one more year!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I heart my New G1

I have to start by saying I gave David SO much crap about this phone, but it was the WAY he did it, not THAT he did it.

He has wanted this phone for ages, since his little geek world heard about them years ago, he's been telling me about this phone. Finally, the day arrived where he could pre-order, and he sat there with his finger on the order button, refreshing the page because the Tmobile website was so bogged down. Then he calls me several days before the phone comes in, mad cause he saw someone else with one before he got his phone, how could that happen? But he finally gets his new toy, and wouldn't you know, his work gives them all new phones too, internet phones (Blackjacks or something like that) and he doesn't need two internet phones, so I get the Google phone!

But one night he just stuck my Sim card in and hands it to me as I'm rushing out the door the next day, and I swear you nearly need a technical degree to figure out how to use this thing. So I was pretty unhappy that for a few days I couldn't even figure out how to make a call, or answer the phone, because it was on vibrate and I didn't know how to change that.

But let me just say, I have it figured out now!! It has the coolest features! One of my favorites, if you're driving down the road and you hear a song on the radio, and you think, "Hmm, who sings that, or what CD is that on?" You grab your phone, hit the Shazam button, it analyzes the music, pulls up the song, CD, artist info, and with one tap of your finger you can buy the MP3 on Amazon, watch the song video on YouTube, or go to the artist's MySpace page.

Another neat feature, say you're shopping for a toy for your kid, since I do that often! But, what if this toy breaks a lot, or you're not sure if it's cheaper over at Wal-Mart instead of here at Toys R Us? No problem, turn on the barcode scanner, scan the barcode, it will show you the prices of the item in stores nearest you, the cheapest price online, and all the reviews, so you can make an educated purchase.

There are a million games, and the kids are always wanting to play games on it, since it has an accelerometer built in, you tilt the phone to make the ball move, or your guy move, depending on the game.

And there are tons more games and other applications, like being able to check my email anywhere, and my calendar (a must), Netflix from my phone so I can update my queue on the go (comes in handy, since I'm always on the go!) And it's also a music player, and David is updating me to an 8 gig memory card, so I can get more fun things!!

So, thanks honey! I know I gave you crap at first, but now, you know, I couldn't live without it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chuck E Cheese Fundraiser

This was so neat, I planned this fund raiser for our school a while back and I can't wait to see how we did, but judging by how many people I saw eating at Chuck E's tonight, I think we did pretty well! Part of the deal is, Chuck E will come to your school, and so he came today and I got to escort him around to all the classrooms to say hi to all the kids, or scare the crap out of them, depending on the kid! It was cute, the boys were all, "I'm coming tonight to kick your butt!" And the girls would just about knock him down trying to hug him. All the kids got stickers for 10 free tokens, and so of course, that meant we ate yummy, delicious Chuck E Cheese pizza for dinner tonight! But, all for a good cause, right?

Study Trip to Round Rock Police Department

Round Rock Police Dept

Regan's class went on a study trip today to the Round Rock Police Department, and it was a lot of fun! Thanks to Officer Bird who was great at keeping the kids entertained. He took us on a tour of the new police facility, showed us where the training rooms where, and explained everything so the kids could understand, and showed us where the 911 call center is, the workout room with the rubber floor and the padded walls (which I want at home!) He took us to the garage to show us the Police vehicles, the mule, the ATV's, the SWAT tank thingie, the mobile police unit (RV) and let the kids see the lights and look inside the cop car.

Then, the highlight, he put them all in jail! It was just the holding area, and it was empty, so he let the kids go in and they were so excited, so we got to take pictures of them behind bars. They thought it was so neat, good thing it's a brand new building!! I can't imagine a jail cell staying that clean for too much longer.

Then he showed them all the nifty things on his belt, the extra bullets, the handcuffs, the pepper spray, the nightstick, all the fun and exciting things that policemen have with them. Regan must have enjoyed it cause she asked me later, "Mom, should I be a vet or a policeman?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Riley is Double Digits!

I can't believe my boy is 10! Wow, how time flies. This weekend we did our traditional family meal at Saltgrass, his favorite. But last night I made some skull cupcakes for his class and brought them to school today (had to fight the high school kids off them):

and his teacher had him make a special "front page" of a newspaper and made him "Student of the Week." The neat thing is, he spent quite a bit of time working on it, and all on his own, there was a section that asked about his hero, and I had to take a picture because I thought it was so special:You can click on it to see a larger picture, but in case you can't read it, it says, "Meet my Hero: jesus. my hero is jesus cause if he wasn't ever alive then we wouldn't be here right now and he helped me and my family. And if we didn't believe in jesus then life would be a lot tougher. The End." And he drew a picture of himself, believing in Jesus. I'm just glad that he picked Jesus as his hero on his own, and he recognizes that life is tougher without Him on our side!

And then his friends decided to have a little fun with him:

And then after school we went to La Madeline for dinner where surprisingly enough Riley ate every bite (that's a new thing for him lately, a healthy appetite) and he informed us at dinner, "10 years ago today I was ingested!" I don't think he quiet has a handle on the birds and the bees, but I'm in no rush, keep him innocent as long as possible, right?

Then we rushed to the outlet mall and got him some new Etnies (shoes) that he's been wanting, and made it just in time for church. A busy birthday, but a fun one, and a happy and content boy.