Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ice Skating

We decided to go Ice Skating with some friends for New Year's Eve, and I thought it wouldn't be too crowded, a good time to go, but I was wrong, it was pretty crowded, but they still had fun. Well, Riley, Tristan and Merissa had fun, Regan hated every second of it. She begged me to skate, then begged me to take them off. Riley did pretty good, he loves it, and Merissa and Tristan even did well once they got the hang of it. It is sure cold in there, so after a few hours of that, and some begging and pleading for hockey sticks and a puck, we went home and all the neighbor kids grabbed brooms and they played hockey/broom ball in the street, they had a great time!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Tacos

What do you get when you combine 300 eggs, 375 tortillas, 20 packs of bacon, 5 large packages of sausage, and 6 ice chests? Nearly 400 breakfast tacos for the homeless! Alex bought all the stuff and wanted to bring it downtown but needed some help getting it all cooked and assembled. So we went over around 9:00 at night and didn't finish until almost 2am! David scrambled eggs, Alex cooked bacon and sausage, Me, Melissa and the kids filled and rolled tacos all night. We ended up with nearly 400 tacos, 6 full ice chests, and Alex brought them downtown this morning to the homeless shelter. They were so appreciative, and said everybody got some to eat, so that was good. The kids were really getting into too, and I hope teaching them a valuable lesson. Even though it's Christmas, and for kids that means it's mostly about what they can get, they learned it's important to give back as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Take Three (Christmas Day)

Christmas Day 2009

After staying up late to assemble drums and a unicycle, I was so glad the kids slept in! We made sure their stockings were near their bed and told them if they woke up, to raid the stocking before they even thought about coming to wake us up, and thankfully they did. But still, we didn't make it downstairs until 9 or so, and we made some "magic" snow prints on the carpet to help David win a bet with Riley.

Riley was convinced that Santa isn't real and bet David $400 bucks that Santa wouldn't come. He wanted to stay up all night sitting in front of the fireplace, and if we didn't have a long night ahead of us assembling things, we might have let him! So come Christmas morning, we asked Regan to settle the bet, tell us once and for all did Santa really come? She looked around, saw the snow prints, and was thinking long and hard until she looked over by the tree and saw the sparkly pink drum set and her mind was made up, Santa is, in deed, real. Why? Because, in her words, "Mom and Dad couldn't afford these drums!" Don't know where she got that idea, but it was pretty funny.

So we spent the morning opening presents, and Regan got a lot of clothes, games for her DS, PJ's, a jewelry box, a Barbie horse and a pink Snuggie. Riley got the unicycle, DJ Hero, a new air-soft gun, and some games for his Xbox (that is out being fixed right now, so that kind of sucked to get new games and you can't even play!)

Then Riley hit the backyard and was determined to ride the unicycle across the yard before the day was over. I got a lot of video of him trying, and he was doing great. He said his legs felt like rubber after a while though. Regan hasn't gotten off her giant horse either, except to play the drums, so I think the kids had a pretty good Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Take Two (Christmas Eve)

Christmas Eve 2009

We had our big family dinner on Christmas Eve at Mimi and Papa's house. David and I had to work at church that day so we got up early to fix our food, then work at church, then rush to their house. We had meatballs, ham, peach cobbler, toffee bars, chips and dip, and other yummy things. Then we played Cranium, until the kids took over the game (girls were winning though). We had a good time with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Take One

The Shenkins took us out to dinner for Christmas, to Fogo De Chau, one of our favorites! And after that, we went to Mimi and Papa's so the kids could open their gifts. I think Regan got her most favorite gift EVER! She hasn't stopped touching it and loving on it since she got it! She got a giant horse which she named "Oreo" (it's a girl, don't make the same mistake I did!). Riley got an iPod touch that he's been wanting FOREVER! They were both so happy I don't think either one of them are gonna sleep tonight!

Skate Park

Since the dad's were off work today, we met up with Craig and Laura and took the kids to the skate park (it was around 65 today, SO not feeling like Christmas around here!) The kids skated, played on the playground and had a great time, then we went to breakfast at Cafe Java, the BEST breakfast place around! It was nice to have the dad's with us for a change.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Piano Recital

The kids had their first piano recital today. They both did a great job, especially since they just started piano lessons a few months ago. They both enjoy it a lot and have practiced really hard. Regan had all of her songs memorized, and Riley kept adding more and more songs to his recital list, he played the most songs at the recital! But here are their Christmas songs, Regan played Jingle Bells, and Riley played We Three Kings.

Living Nativity

Our church did a live nativity for the kids in the back this weekend and it was so cute. They had a camel, the cutest black-faced woolly sheep, and some tiny cows and goats. They even had some people dressed up like Mary and Joseph and the Wisemen, and the kids got to walk around and see what it was like in the stable when Jesus was born. They had buckets of food out too, so Regan spent a lot of time feeding the animals.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Canadian Ornaments

On one of my message boards that I've been on for a few years now, we do an ornament exchange each year. There are women on this board from all over the country, and this year the lady that pulled my name is from Canada. She sent us a couple of the cutest ornaments! She wrote in her card that she wanted to get us a local ornament that showcased what their province was well know for, which was polar bears, but all the polar bear ornaments were made in China! So she found these cute snowboard and sled ornaments that were made in her town, and enclosed a package of Elk Jerky and Maple candy. The kids thought I said "Elf" jerky and said, "Wow, they eat elves in Canada?!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gingerbread House

We did this last year, a friend in our girl scout troop, her church hosts a Gingerbread House night. They provide all the houses, icing and dinner for your family for $15. A great deal and all we have to bring is 2 bags of candy, and you go down the aisle picking whatever candy you want and then spend a couple of hours working on your masterpiece. There are some people there that bring their own decorations and tools and really go all out. David and I on the other hand, love to just let the kids have at it. Riley gets one side, Regan gets the other side, and we get about an hour to talk to each other. It's nice and there's no mess for me to clean up! Then, as you're leaving, they have a photographer taking pictures of the kids with their creations. They love doing this, and helps us get a little more in the Christmas spirit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Rat

Isn't he the cutest thing?! We had our home group Christmas party and last year this rat was given as a gift for the white elephant game, and I thought he was adorable! Well, he made a reappearance this year and I was the recipient. The idea was that he could be a returning gift from year to year but sorry, this rat is mine! We brought a Snuggie that was a huge hit and then we played some games, had a great time. Finally starting to feel Christmasy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

CHRISTMAS!! Finally got the tree up, and a few days later, got the ornaments on. Only mid-December! We have a smaller tree this year so that's nice, the kids love getting out the ornaments they've made over the years, and I have finally let go, I let them hang what they want, where they want. And as you can see from the picture, they really got into it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Cheated!

I don't know why it is, but every year, Christmas card pictures are such a hassle. I would like one of the whole family, but that just never happens. So even with my two kids, how is it that I can't find outfits that match (but not too girlie or too manly) and get the kids dressed, cleaned up and ready to pose without making a stupid face (on purpose) and take some pictures! But this Sunday, I had an idea. We were all dressed up, at church, waiting for David to finish working the parking lot, and they have decorated the church SO nice this year. There were nice big trees decorated so fancy all over the church, my kids were relatively clean, okay the outfits don't exactly match but we can't have everything right? So in a few days you will open you're mailbox and see one of these fine pictures:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Marble Falls Trail of Lights

Our first act of Christmas festivities! We met up with Jay and Tammy at "the farm" as Regan calls it and went for BBQ, then headed into Marble Falls to do the Trail of Lights on the lake. We did this once when Riley was little, before Regan came along. It was so cold! The guys were trying to run through it as fast as possible, Tammy and I were going slower, trying to enjoy the moment, the kids were all screaming for hot cocoa, so yeah, it was FUN!

But, we did get to see Santa. Regan had been telling me for days that the next time she saw a "fake" Santa she was gonna rip his beard off for "pretending" to be Santa, so I was a little nervous, but I guess she thought better of it once she was in his lap. She did tell me that he definitely was an impostor.

Then we went back to the farm, Riley tried (and failed) to catch a chicken, he was scared they were going to peck his eyes out. We sat out back at the fire pit and made s'mores and talked, and had a good time freezing.

Friday, December 4, 2009


We met some friends at the skating rink. Riley was so upset about not being able to snowboard, and he wanted us to move to Colorado, like, today, and even Googled "a job in Colorado" and informed us there's an opening for a Pharmacist somewhere in Colorado. So I figured we needed to get out. They had fun, Regan is still a little unsteady on her wheels, and she gets mad cause she wants to be able to skate, but she doesn't want to LEARN to skate. But since she had a friend with her, she wasn't bugging me to drag her around like she normally does!

Snow Day

We had some snow flurries today, not enough to stick to the ground, but enough for the kids to be super excited. They've been hearing it was coming for days now and they woke up at 7 to come downstairs and see if it had started yet. Finally, just after noon, they started, and when Riley saw that it wasn't enough for him to build a snowman, or snowboard, he was mad and done with the snow. Regan and I played in it for a bit, catching snowflakes on our tongue until Regan decided they tasted nasty:

It only lasted about 10 minutes and then it was over. Sad because you just never know when you're going to see snow around here, especially this early in the season. We still need to get our Christmas tree, otherwise it would have been a perfect day to decorate.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


It's supposed to snow here on Friday, which I will believe when I see...but I had to go to the store and stock up on nice warm foods for us to have over the cold weekend. And of course, can't have fires in the fireplace without the S'mores! Regan took a lightning fast bath (which is why she still has the wet hair) and then for some reason, they both wanted to catch their marshmallow on fire, but then Regan realized she doesn't like the burnt bits. I hope it does snow and we can have fun outside with it for the day, then I want my 70 degrees back! I'm so cold!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Kidlets

We were just playing around with Sydney, she's such a happy baby! The kids love to dote on her, and I even caught Regan trying to change her diaper! She was doing a good job, but still, I'm not quite ready for that one yet, and I don't think Sydney's ready for that either. But, they put on the Christmas Karaoke channel, and they were laying on the blanket singing Regan's favorite Christmas song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" and Sydney was really getting into it, it was funny.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jungle Java

We're watching Sydney for a while, and we decided to get out of the house and go play at Jungle Java. Apparently everyone else in Round Rock had that same idea, the place was crowded. But Riley had fun playing with Sydney. Regan made friends and was off, but Riley hung with me in the baby section, helping me out holding her, even took her down the slide! He would be such a good big brother to a baby. Why can't he be this kind and loving to his own baby sister?!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

After uploading my pictures of Thanksgiving Day, I realized I only got pictures of food. It was kind of a low key Turkey Day, with Pam and Dave in Brazil, we were all sad :( Plus, it was 10 years ago this week that mom died, so I wasn't feeling too celebratory. And David watched a Food Network Thanksgiving special and decided we had to recreate it. He made a pulley system from Alton Brown to lower the turkey into the oil. We made Giada's baked mashed potatoes and Big Daddy's sausage stuffed fried stuffing balls and gravy and Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Toffee Bars (quite possibly the best thing I've ever eaten!). And the night before, with the leftover mozzarella I made my favorite salad, a Caprese Salad.

We had Alex and Melissa over, and we ate, and we watched some of the football game (David decided to root for the Aggies since they are a "more conservative" school) and that was about it. Pretty low key and laid back.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brownie Campout

Regan had a Girl Scout campout just for 2nd graders, and it was at the Girl Scout Cabin in Zilker Park. This was supposed to be our introduction to Girl Scout Camping, not quite as primitive as real camping. They have a nice cabin in Zilker Park that I never knew was back there. We arrived Friday night around 5, made name tags, played a name game, had hot dogs for dinner. Oh, and it rained the whole time, so we were stuck INSIDE the cabin, where we got to make microwave s'mores.

There were two rather nasty bathrooms where we were, and 2 equally nasty bathrooms downstairs, with 2 nasty showers. So, the whole time there was a line for the bathroom. Also, it was wood floors, and most of these girls must not have wood floors, cause they sure thought it was fun to clomp around on that floor to get to the bathroom. Which just so happened to be near my air mattress. All night long, every 5 minutes there was someone clomp clomp clomping to the bathroom.

Then Saturday morning (bright and early) we got up, had breakfast, did some arts and crafts, learned about hiking and camping, earned 2 Try-Its, and then the girls got to make lunch on a Coleman Stove outside. They really enjoyed that part, browning hamburger meat and onions, adding some vegetable soup and water, and mixing it all up. After lunch we went on a short hike around Zilker Park, saw a lot of plants that we couldn't identify, and then cleaned up the cabin and headed home. The girls had a blast, which was good, I was just cold and tired.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Caring and Sharing

For part of the Girl Scouts "Caring and Sharing" try-it, we took the girls to a nursing home to help the residents make crafts for Thanksgiving Day. There was a really hard scarecrow, that even I gave up on, a squirrel and a turkey. The girls had fun, served them with cake and juice, and managed to put together a few of the decorations. I think the mom's ended up doing most of the work though. I love that Girl Scouts is so service oriented though.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ANSC Science Class

It was time for the home school science class again at the Nature Center. Riley got in to all of the classes, Regan was waitlisted, but I checked today and managed to get her bumped into ALL the classes for the rest of the year, I'm so excited. They always have so much fun out there, and I get to go meet David for lunch, a nice, quiet, adult-conversation filled lunch! (I don't get out much).

Monday, November 9, 2009


I got to watch Makayla for a bit, and of course, took some pictures, although she doesn't seem too thrilled about it. Makayla is David's brother Kris's baby. She's getting big!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Paintball Party


It's a toss up what Riley likes most right now, Paintball or the Skate Park. But he decided to have his party at the Paintball Field this year. I was still at Tammy's, trying to hurry home, get the cupcakes and Gatorade, and David and Riley spent the morning at church working at the Single Mom's Oil Change. So we had all had a busy day even before the party!

It was a lot of fun. David was ready to go out and teach them a few things (he used to be on a team many, many moons ago). The boys had a good time, Riley never wanted to leave the field, and he's pretty good. One of the Pro's even told me that Riley was pretty good out there! He managed to make it most of the day without getting shot, that is until Dad decided to have a go. Then Riley came off the field in tears cause Dad shot him "point blank" which was really about 20 feet away, it just felt like point blank. He has a nice big fat bruise to prove it too! But we were out there for about 4 hours, he and David were the last ones on the field, shooting their hearts out. Good bonding time. Regan was bored to tears and collecting a colorful medley of the dropped paint all over the ground.

Then we headed home for a birthday dinner cooked by our friend Andrew. He made Riley's favorite, Mexican Pizzas, Kenzie stopped by, and the Shenkin's, and then Riley left to spend the night with Tristan.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Angie

Angie's Party

Regan and I went to her best friend Angie's birthday party on Friday night. We left the boys at home and headed out to the country to spend the night with Tammy and Angie and the girls. It was a fun night, the girls did makeovers, nails, the works, and after they settled down to watch a movie, me and Tammy sat up until almost 4am on the porch with a fire in the chimenea and talked like we were in middle school again (the only thing missing were some annoying little brothers!) Then we got up in the morning and took the goats for a walk around their property. Now Regan wants goats with her 3 horses when we move to the country!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Riley

I can't believe it, but my little man is 11. Time flies when you are busy raising kids! I think it's funny that the name Riley means "Courageous". We certainly meant to have a courageous little boy when we named him that, but we had no idea how far he would take it. Riley wants to do everything, and I mean everything, and it's not good enough to just DO it, he has to EXCEL at it. He gets so frustrated when he can't be the best immediately, and it's probably because the boy has so much natural talent that just about anything he tries, he succeeds at. I love his adventurous spirit and his willingness to try anything, whether it's a new food, or a new sport. He loves life and makes life more fun by being around. I remember many nights when he was a baby that I wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into as a parent. He was not an easy baby, always on the go, never sleeping, and I think even at such a young age, he just had so much he wanted to do with life, he didn't have time to slow down! As he approaches his teenage years (oh wow, I can't believe I just wrote that) but I look forward to seeing how he grows and develops as a person, and what other kinds of adventures we're going to get to experience with him. I'm thankful that with home schooling, I am getting to know him better as he develops into his own person. He has the sweetest most sensitive spirit of anyone I know, and I think he's on the right path to have an amazing life, and I'm so glad to be along for the ride.

Happy Birthday Son, you're the best boy in the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Riley's Birthday Guitar

Riley has been wanting to play the guitar forever. I mean, forever. I made both kids take piano lessons first, I want them to learn to read music, and get a good piano foundation, and then build on it. Well, he's been in piano for a couple of months, has already flown through several music books, he practices ALL.THE.TIME and really loves music. His teacher has said he is VERY talented and could see him becoming a professional piano player in his future. So when we started talking about what he wanted for his birthday a guitar was at the top of the list. After our bowling home school group, we were right by the Guitar Center, and for whatever reason, both my kids ADORE that store, so I thought we would stop by and check it out, see if he needed a kid size, adult size, just get a general idea of what we needed. Then we found this, it's an adult size, complete with carrying case, extra strings, electric tuner, and 2 learn-to-play DVD's. He has been practicing this non stop now. He's already doing great, I hear an actual tune once in a while. And hey, it's much quieter than drums, and I have a feeling that might be our next instrument at this house!