Friday, May 29, 2009

Big Top Candy Shop

Another one of those Austin places you just have to experience! Big Top Candy Shop was awesome! I have been wanting to take the kids there for a while, so after Shady Grove, since we were in the same neck of the woods (WAY south) we headed over near the trailer park food court and hit up Big Top. David had more fun there than the kids did I think. They had everything there, salt water taffy in every imaginable flavor, chocolate covered things like cookie dough, espresso beans, brownie batter, hundreds of gummy things, and bacon flavored mints and floss. David had been wanting to try an egg creme, so he got that and enjoyed it, and Regan got old fashioned pink bubblegum ice cream, and Riley got lime sherbet. Then when it came time to buy some candy, again, David went overboard with giant super sour gum balls, sour Skittles, a bag full of chocolate covered coffee beans, crunchy hot candy, and many more. The kids didn't get a whole lot, surprisingly enough. But, it was a neat place, we'll go back to enjoy the soda fountain at least.

Shady Grove

I have been hearing a lot about Shady Grove, and it's one of those Austin-only places that help "Keep Austin Weird". It was really nice, tons of trees (hence the name) and just a lot of nice landscaping and fun things around. The food was pretty good too.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TAKS Scores

After a very worrisome year for Riley, we got his TAKS scores in, and it's not bad news! It's been such a roller coaster year for him, and he wasn't doing great in pre-TAKS testing, but we KNEW he was smart enough to pass, he was just having test anxiety (or so we hoped). For Reading, he got a 33 out of 40 (score 2194), Math he got 37 out of 42 (2295) and for Writing 25 out of 28 (2315, just barely missing Commended). So it's official, he will be a 5th grader!

And for those who don't know, we will be homeschooling next year. I think we are all looking forward to it, except every once in a while Regan gets upset that she won't see her friends, but she is happy that she won't have to wake up so early anymore, which is one of the things that I'm most looking forward to!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oooh, Shiny!

My new toy:

It's funny the things that excite you when you're an old married person. This is definitely the highlight of my year!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone enjoyed their 3 day weekend! We had a great time. We spent Saturday at home, taking it easy, relaxing and cooking. David smoked a brisket and a pork shoulder. On Sunday after church, we had our Financial Peace University class, then headed home for a houseful of company. Pam and Dave, Alex and Melissa and the kids, Daniel and my dad, we had a nice big brisket party! Then on Monday, got to sleep in, and watched some movies with Regan, then we headed to our friends Craig and Laura, with the pork shoulder and had pulled pork sandwiches over there. Had a great time there with some of their friends, and the guys even met back up later to go to a movie (the girls are going later in the week). It was a nice relaxing, fun weekend, makes me anxious for summer to hurry up and get here already!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Field Day

I hadn't been feeling good all week, but have been busy with field trips and book fair, and then today, FIELD DAY! The kids love field day and it's one of the only events at the school that I don't volunteer! But, I finally caved and made a doctor's appointment, so I had some time to kill that morning, and went and watched Regan's class for a while. The theme was Extreme Weather, so her class was the Friedlander Fronts and they all made visors and decorated them. Here are Regan and Natalie on the sponge relay (soaking up the water in one bucket, and transferring it to another):

And here is snack break, it was sure hot already and only 9 in the morning!

And since I left early and went to the doctor (and found out I have strep throat) I missed out on Riley's field day, they were the Margolis Meteorites. I had gotten the class the cool flaming bandanas to wear, and he said they had a great time, but as usual, it was HOT!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Girl Scout Pool Party

Tonight was our end of year Girl Scout party and patch/award ceremony. We have earned a lot of patches this year, and we got the cookie prizes too! Regan got a nice insulated lunch box, a stuffed horse, a journal, a bracelet, flashlight, all kinds of goodies for selling all those cookies! And of course the girls had a great time swimming.

Texas Capitol

Riley's field trip today was to the Texas Capitol, which is about the best field trip ever! I just love Texas History and find it all so fascinating. We started off with a tour guide, which we could have done without, I know all this stuff! But, she was good with the kids and led us around and showed us some of the new basement offices and gave us the general history of the building and Governors, etc. Then we made a pit stop in the gift shop, then got to sit in on the Senate in session, always super cool, to me anyway. Some of the kids were really getting into it too, it was enthralling. Then we went to the grounds and had a picnic lunch, and took a tour of the statues around the grounds. It was another beautiful day too, not too hot, so it was so nice to sit outside under the giant oak trees.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whole Foods

It's time for the last field trips of the year. Regan's class went to Whole Foods, the nice big one downtown. We got to tour the store, and sample the merchandise! I just adore Whole Foods, and the one downtown seems a lot nicer, they have way more stuff. I took tons of pictures just of the displays of food. It wasn't a good idea to go on the field trip after skipping breakfast. Everything looked delicious. The kids saw a giant halibut, talked to the seafood guy, saw the chocolate fountain, got samples of chocolate, met the cheese man, he gave them all cheese sticks and let me know they carry my favorite, hard to find cheese, Kefir. Then we headed to Pease Park to eat (I bought a sandwich from WF to take with me, yum) and enjoy this nice weather we've been having lately.

Friday, May 15, 2009


After a traumatic trip to Petsmart for dog food (any time I take Regan, she falls head over heels, madly in love with some random puppy up for adoption, and it's MAJOR drama when we tell her no, she can't get a new dog), we got home to find Matt's mom's dog, Blaine visiting us for the weekend. Just what the doctor ordered for Miss Regan. And isn't he the cutest little thing...

Regan was in Dog Heaven the whole weekend, as you can see:

He's much friendlier, and active than Bailey, he would hop up in bed with me and David, burrow under the covers, flip over on his back, and be set for the night. I'm ready to bite the bullet and get another dog, but I don't think David is convinced yet.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Skate Night

Tonight was a fundraiser for the school, Skate Night. Regan wants to skate well so bad, but she doesn't want to fall at all, so it makes it hard to get any practice in when she hugs the rail all night. Riley on the other hand, wants to race and win, and after having a broken hand for a few weeks, the first lap around the rink, he fell back and landed on his wrist and now has a very sore, probably sprained, wrist. Boys! Regan likes to walk/skate around the track and stop for poses at each air conditioning vent. Girls!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bunny Update

We've been doing a lot of bunny research lately. After Spike-Junie died, and the trauma that it's death caused, I wanted to make sure we were doing all that needed to be done for Cooper and Leslie. Here is the grave marker that Riley made:

We learned about a way to check and see if the Mama Bunny was coming to check on her baby bunnies at night, put a criss-cross shape of grass or dental floss over the nest and if it is disturbed in the morning, that means she visited them. We did that a few nights and sure enough, Mama was coming. But on Monday morning, when I checked, the nest was wide open and the bunny on top looked nice and robust, fluffy fur, eyes starting to open, plump little bunny-tummy. I got this picture of the little guy (already much bigger than the first picture I had taken a few days earlier):

But the bunny underneath him wasn't doing so well. I checked the way I learned online, and no round tummy, in fact, it was very skinny. His skin and fur weren't looking too well, and he was very dehydrated. I hoped Mama would come back that night and feed him extra. But yesterday, when I checked, no Mama, no brother bunny, but there was a partial skeleton of the sick bunny. The bunnies only stay in the nest for about 2 weeks, so I can only hope the other bunny was old enough and healthy enough to join his mother in the wild. Riley did find the bones in the nest and was very distraught, again. He just adored these rabbits and tried so hard to take good care of them. I think he did a great job watching over the nest, making sure they were protected everyday, and he even wanted to put a Mother's Day card out for the Mama Bunny. I have such a sweet boy!

Videos from Champion Park

Here are a couple of videos I took at the park last week. This slide is so bumpy, I'm not sure if you're supposed to slide down or climb up, but when the kids went down, it made me laugh.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

We had a nice house full, as usual, but I was so excited that my dad got to come too! David smoked a prime rib that was to die for, and we had burgers, mashed potatoes, pies, there was lots of yummy food. Alex and Melissa, Melissa's mom Dee, Kris and Jen, Daniel and Kenzie, my dad, Pam and Dave, all the kids, there were a ton of people, and we all had a great time catching up. And then met again the next morning for church. We have almost a whole row just for us now!

A Very Sad Day

We had a house full of company, people over, David grilling burgers and smoking prime rib in the backyard, kids in and out, jumping on the trampoline, people eating on the deck in the back, slightly organized chaos. Well, in all the chaos, one of the cousins yells, "What's that in Bailey's mouth?" Crap. One of the bunnies, Bailey finally poked his head in the right place and thought he was bringing home a treat or something. Riley made him drop it, he grabbed the bunny and rushed it back to the nest, there was some blood coming out of the bunnies mouth though. I've never seen Riley so distraught. He collapsed beside the nest in tears, balling his eyes out, poor thing. He kept saying over and over that he didn't want the baby to die.

We checked to make sure, and sure enough, it was dead, and ants were getting all over it, and we didn't want the other bunnies to get bit by the ants, so we took him out of the nest, used the garden shovel and dug a hole in the yard to bury the poor little bunny that Regan named "Junie." Riley cried almost all evening, he was so worried about that poor Mama bunny, losing one of her babies on Mother's Day, and if she would be mad at him for taking the dead one out, and all kinds of questions.

These kinds of things are so hard on kids, and hard for me to explain. The circle of life crap just doesn't cut it when your sensitive kid is thinking he is somehow responsible for the death. I told him he wasn't, he did everything right. We checked on the babies just to make sure they weren't abandoned, and we tried to make sure Bailey left them alone, there wasn't much we could do, it was a tragic accident. These things happen. But, it put a damper on the day.

I checked again today, the other two are doing well, getting bigger. I have googled baby bunnies for hours and found out they are cottontails, less than 10 days old, and will only stay around 2 weeks, so they could be gone soon. Regan has dubbed them, "Leslie" and "Cooper."

I gave the kids popsicles yesterday, and Riley got the sticks and made a grave marker for the one we buried. He's already been out there checking the grave and making sure that the bunny didn't come back to life and try to push up the dirt. Poor kid, he's such a rough and tumble boy it's easy to forget just how sensitive he really is.

My Mother's Day Presents

It was Neighborhood Garage Sale day in our neighborhood, and I was planning on putting some stuff out to sell, but we were having a house full of company later, so I didn't think it would be a good day to make a huge mess in the garage. But when Riley went outside to play, and saw all the garage sales around, he bummed some money off me to go buy a tennis racket. Well, he came back a few minutes later, walking in the door with a friend saying, "Happy Mother's Day!" and carrying this:

It was a nice thought, but I don't really need a dog house. Especially not one that small, but I know my friend Tammy had been looking for one, so I asked if we could get it to her, and he said fine. Then he left to go get his tennis racket. But instead, he walks in the door again, saying "Happy Mother's Day!" and this time holding a bag full of bubble wrap that contained the following gems:

Sweet! Margarita glasses! He just thought they were really cool tea glasses. Then he went to buy his tennis racket, and instead, came back in the door with this over his back:

Funny enough, it is the exact same lamp my mom used to have in her living room, so that was funny. Other than that, it's pretty ugly, but we needed a lamp in the game room anyway, so it was a nice present. He did get his tennis racket and a baseball glove, so he had a great shopping day. He is such a sweet boy!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Our New Pets

While David was out working in the backyard, he came across this:

It doesn't look like much, just a small patch of fur and grass clippings, but then, it moved. So upon further inspection, we moved the fur around a bit, and found this:

It's a rabbit nest with three of the tiniest, cutest baby bunnies in it! That is Regan's finger next to them, so you can see how tiny they are. The eyes aren't even open yet.

This is Uncle Matt holding one of the babies, to make sure it was still okay. They hop very well already, and we could tell the mom has been back to check on them and cover them with more fur. I've been researching baby bunnies to make sure we don't need to do anything, but from what I've read, the mom only feeds them once at night, and then she leaves them so as not to attract predators to the nest. Baby bunnies do not do well in captivity, so I'm hoping mom sticks around and takes good care of the triplets! They're too cute, and turning into a great animal science lesson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Swine Flu Vacation

It has been kind of nice to have some time off, even if it's for such a bogus reason. On Monday I spent the day driving Daniel around to get his license renewed, and all the fun stuff that goes along with that. But, me, Daniel and Kenzie had brunch at Juan in a Million, that place is SO good, so that was way fun.

Then Tuesday we spent the day (and I mean, the entire day) at the pool with friends. I think my kids finally learned a valuable lesson about not doing flips into the pool right after eating lunch, as I re-lectured them while washing vomit off the sidewalks of the pool. No one was sick, they just can't flip and spin like they usually do, right after eating Cheeto's.

On Wednesday we tried out a new park, Champion Park, it had a big dinosaur sand pit, and a small water spray area, and after they got completely soaked I said we needed to do it right, so we went down the road to the sprinkler park and got REALLY soaked! They didn't have their bathing suits with them, but they had fun anyway, and for whatever reason, I got some really good pictures of the kids.

School wasn't supposed to start back until Monday, but I guess they got it cleaned good enough, so they are back today. I have mixed feelings, I'm anxious to start home schooling, I know we are gonna love it, but yet, having a day to myself is not something that I get too often, so I will enjoy these last 18 until school is out for good.

Monday, May 4, 2009


So, while we are at gymnastics, Riley comes over to make the following announcement: "Mom, I have armpit hair!" After I spit and sputter and stammer, he says he won't show me until we get home, but sure enough, a tiny patch of maybe 5 hairs about an inch long, under one arm! No way am I old enough to have a boy with HAIR. He said he couldn't wait to show dad and tell him "now I'm a REAL man!"

But, he shaved it off before I could take a picture of it. He said he didn't want to be the only kid in gymnastics with a patch of hair. Can't say I blame him, but shaving, again, I'm not OLD enough for this yet!!

Am I Ready for This?

Registration time for gymnastics, Riley made the Level 5 team (congrats to him by the way) but it's 9, count them NINE hours of practice a week! I guess it's good we will be homeschooling, how would we fit it in otherwise?

Sent from my G1 phone

Sunday, May 3, 2009

First Swim of the Summer

At the pool with the kids, David and Matt home grilling, a perfect evening!

Sent from my G1 phone

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baby Sydney's Shower

What a cute shower today! Melissa's friends from work hosted it at their orthodontist office, and that place was sa-weet! The Italian creme cake was To.Die.For, and there were super yummy snacks. And Melissa got a HUGE haul! The clothes and all that cute pink baby paraphernalia was *almost* enough to make me want another one. But, I figure when Sydney gets here, I can babysit enough to get it out of my system!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brownie Sleepover

"Let's Pretend" was the theme of this sleepover, and the girls earned a Try-it for their Brownie vest, and they had such a great time. First they made crown necklaces with their names on it, then they made masks, and took turns acting out the Fairy Tale character they dressed up as. We had a hard time coming up with one since Regan found out her favorite, Cinderella, "used to be a slave". So we used the old Halloween costume and said she was a pirate from Peter Pan. Then she had a sudden attack of shyness and wouldn't get in front of anyone to act out anything Piratey. But, when we went to the charade/mime station, she enjoyed doing the charades. Then there was a tongue-twister station and we all took turns saying different tongue twisters like "Greek grapes" or "toy boat" 10 times fast.

Then it was pj's and movie time. The girls all got in their jammies and laid on air mattresses, which, for future reference, I'm bringing my own and not sharing with my wiggle worm, every time she breathed I moved. I felt motion sick after a while! We watched a Little Red Riding Hood movie, which the girls enjoyed and then lights out at 10:30 which is the earliest I've been to bed in ages, but come morning, I still didn't feel like I slept at all! It was a rough night on a hard floor, a wiggly kid, and another girl waking up many times to see if it was time to go home yet. But, it was fun. The girls did have a great time, and I'm just thankful it wasn't canceled for the swine flu.


On our way to the Brownie sleepover, theme is Fairy Tale characters, Regan is a Peter Pan Pirate! (Recycled Halloween costume!)

Sent from my G1 phone

Swine Flu?

A teacher at Regan's campus has the flu, they say it's "likely" the swine flu, so they closed both campuses until May 11th. On one hand, sweet, 10 day vacation! On the other hand, what the heck are we gonna do for 10 days when no one really wants you going out and about? I'm not a panicky, get all worked up type person anyway, so to me this is all just ridiculous. I tried to talk David into getting a tent and us heading out on a road trip, at least this time of year it won't be crowded, right? But, no go. Oh well, I'm sure I can find something for us to get into over the next week!