Sunday, August 30, 2009


Regan has been talking about getting baptized lately. She has asked Jesus into her heart in children's church, a couple of times now. And I just LOVE the way our church is set up with the kids. After the kids make a commitment to God, they encourage them to go to Faith Celebration. It's a one hour class to discuss, with the parents and the kids, exactly what everything means. We've been through the class with Riley, it's a mandatory class for the kids who want to Serve, and it was great then too. But today, I think it meant more to Regan since it was her decision, and she wasn't just dragged along.

Pastor Greg, the children's pastor, talked to the kids, on their level, about what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be water baptized, and how it would all work so the kids wouldn't be freaked out getting into a tub of water and having someone push them down!

Then the kids got lined up and ready to be dunked. There were over 80 people getting baptized today, so there was quite a line. Regan wasn't nervous, or scared, she hopped right up and Pastor Joe, the senior pastor, baptized her. Then a little while later, Riley came out, he had been baptized before, by our dear friend Lanier, but I think he didn't want Regan hogging ALL the attention, so we let him get baptized again. What's it going to hurt, right?

Pastor Joe really liked Riley's hair! Today was a special Back to School service and they wanted all the kids to wear bright colors because they came into the main auditorium and sang for us, and Pastor Joe prayed over all the kids and teachers for a great year. So Riley had me shave up his sides again to make the mohawk more mohawk-ey. And then once we got it all spiked up, we sprayed it pink! He was definitely colorful.

So Pastor Joe said Riley wins the award for the best hair at the baptism, and I think he left a trail of pink water behind him.

Regan declared, "It was fun!" as soon as she was out, and it reminded me of when I was 7 and got baptized at Lakewood Church in Houston, by Brother Dearman. I remember being so short I couldn't reach bottom and had to doggy paddle my way to him. It's something I will never forget, and I hope my kids never forget either.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Prov. 22:6

Friday, August 28, 2009

Riley's Blessed

We try to do something fun on Friday's. During school we had "Fun Family Friday" where we would meet up with dad for lunch as soon as school was out (they went half day on Friday's) and then go to a movie, or park, etc. Since we're a little more flexible on our time these days, we haven't really done the Fun Family Friday. But, we decided to have a go at Double Dave's again, one of our favorite stand-by's.

And of course, the kids start in on each other. One of Regan's biggest issues with Riley is that he had the nerve to be born first. As if they would magically get along if she were the older sibling. So we're sitting at the table and Regan, in full out, says, "Why did Riley have to get born FIRST?!" And without missing a beat, Riley pipes up, "So I could get the bigger blessing!"

David started laughing, and that probably wasn't the best response, Regan then starts crying that she's not gonna get the big blessing. But, it was pretty funny, and quick on Riley's part.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Caterpillar by Christina G. Rosetti

As told by Regan.

The first clip is Regan acting out her poem. One of her "classes" is called First Language Lessons, it's a grammar book that teaches parts of speech, dictation, memorization, etc. This is the first poem that Regan had to memorize. She is also, as part of her lessons, supposed to learn how to speak in front of a crowd. I don't think she is gonna have any trouble in that department! But, in the first take, Riley, again, can't let Regan get ALL the attention! We got him out for Take 2, but the first one was pretty funny.

And here's the more polished version:

Monday, August 24, 2009

When School Gets Boring

One thing I've been noticing lately...workbooks can be dull. I'm trying to get the kids a good foundation early on, I don't want them to start thinking it's all play and no work. But sometimes, it's just like pulling teeth to get them to sit down and focus on school work. I think we needed a fun break. Luckily for me, there sits my brand new dishwasher box. Now, what is more fun to a kid than a ginormous box?!

So I cut a door in one side, put the bottom on the top to block out the light, grabbed some floor cushions from our reading area and Viola! I'm back to being Fun Mom and not Boring Old School Mom! We all had fun with it. Regan drew pictures inside, so we talked about the nomads and the Egyptians, and how they drew on the cave walls and that's how we know so much about that time. So see, it turned into a school lesson after all!

And even Ricky got in on the lesson!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Six Flags

With David and Matt out of town, and the Donnie's leaving, it got quiet around here real quick! So on Saturday, we slept in a bit, got up, tried to think of something fun we could do to keep us busy, and thought, it's tax free weekend, so I want to avoid malls and stores at all costs. It's also the last weekend before school starts, so people might be getting ready for school, so maybe it's a good time to go to Six Flags! It was about 11 when I thought about it, we threw on our bathing suits, grabbed some snacks and hit the road, we were there by 1!

We spent most of the day at the water park, and it wasn't too crowded. There were a couple of rides that had long lines, but most of them were just a few minutes wait. Around 6 we dried off and headed for the rest of the park, and rode several rides together, and waited while Riley rode some of his favorite big rides.

Since Regan rode the Steel Eel at Sea World last month, she's been itching to ride the "bigger" roller coasters, and the only one there she was tall enough to ride was the Boomerang, which goes upside down. I know my girl is fearless, so we started towards the Boomerang. Once we were almost there, she looks up, sees the giant loop and freaks out, "Oh no, I don't like to go upside down!" I asked her when she had ever even been upside down, and she tells me she goes upside down on the couch all the time, and she hates it (I'm wondering why she does it all the time if she hates it, but anyways) I convince her she will, in fact, love it, and if she doesn't, it's short, she won't have to ride it again. She agrees to give it a try, grumpy face in tact, and throwing off major attitude, as only Regan can.

Well, it zips you back and up really fast, then you go in a kind of double twist, then upside down, then up again, so you can repeat the process, only backwards. We were halfway through it when I saw her little hand stick out with a "thumb's up" so I knew it was all good. She and Riley even rode it again a few more times. She thinks she's so grown up now!

We drove through Freddy's for a burger on our way home, jammed to the new Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack, and Taylor Swift, and had a good time talking and laughing in the car on the way home, along with plenty of "You're the best mom in the WHOLE world!" I love it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shorts and Donuts

Took the kids to see the movie "Shorts" today, it was cute, made by Robert Rodriguez, a fellow Austinite, and most of the movie was filmed in and around Austin, so that was cool. Then went by Pam's office and she gave them a Round Rock donut, which they all enjoyed when we got home and outside! Those things are messy. Then I had to make some G-Force Guinea Pig cookies before Donnie left:

Now with David and Matt out of town for the weekend, both Donnie's and Rex the puppy gone, the house is pretty quiet. Not that I mind! And, I think I'm taking the weekend off from cooking. Now to figure out where to take the kids for dinner...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Bean

I took the kids to Texas Jumping Beans, one of our favorite places. I love going there when I have stuff to do on my computer or a really good book to read. I get some time "alone" and the kids wear themselves out! Plus, we've had Donnie with us all week, and I wanted him to have some fun before he headed back to school. He's a sweet kid, and we've had a lot of fun. They found a fake mustache and they all looked ridiculous with it on, it matched their hair color pretty good so it didn't look too fake. They had a blast with that little thing. We stayed most of the day, until it was time for R/R to go to piano lessons, then we went back for more fun until Riley had to go to gymnastics. After I cooked dinner, I took Regan and Donnie up to see the bats leave for the night. I think they're all pretty worn out from this week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Dishwasher

I'm so excited! The dishwasher we had was what they originally put in the house some 14 years ago. It was old, half broken, loud as all get out, and was missing a lot of its prongs. I put up with it because we've been taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes, and we decided we would only pay cash for things from now on. We were going to save money to buy a new dishwasher, but honestly, it wasn't really high on my priority list at the moment.

Then Matt, who has been staying with us for a while, said he wanted to buy us a dishwasher for letting him stay here. I was thinking sweet! I'm not picky, I didn't care, you could stuff two monkeys in a box with our dirty dishes and they would come out cleaner than they are currently. Then he told us this is the one he wanted to get us, the LG and I don't know the model number, but it has a handle on it, and the controls are at the very top. I know that the few times we've been appliance shopping and just glanced at dishwashers, this was the one I was always drooling over. They delivered it today, David got it installed, and I loaded that bad boy UP!

I was amazed at how much it could hold, which is a good thing since I cook a lot, it seems I always have a full load ready to go. I turned it on, and you had to be *very quiet* just so you could hear it running! No more pausing the TV during the rinse cycle! No more waiting to go to bed before you turn the dishwasher on, then forgetting to do it, and waking up to no clean bowls for cereal! It's so quiet, and the next morning, it was still hot, the dishes were super dry, and super clean! You know I'm an old married person when I can get so worked up over a new appliance. I didn't take a picture of ours because I don't have any stainless cleaner yet, and there are finger prints all over from getting it installed. But it sure is pretty, and I LOVE it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Family Time

This is Rex, we locked him in the kids bathroom while we left to run errands. He didn't like it:

And today we hung out at the pool. I'm used to my kids with their dark complexion, they tan so easy, but I had to make Donnie get out and re-apply sunscreen several times, and he still got burnt.

He's such a cutie-patootie though. He is enjoying being here and hanging with the kids, and Regan has declared him "my best cousin ever!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Donnie's

I got a call from my brother Donnie the other night, he has been on unemployment for a while and looking for a job, and finally got one here in Austin! He's been living in Dallas for several years now, which means we haven't seen each other too often. But, he wanted to come down, it's the last week before school starts so he wanted to see if he liked the job, and could make it work here in Austin again. So he brought Junior Junior, little Donnie, and they're staying here with us for a week. They also brought cute puppy Rexington, and now I know why I won't ever get another puppy, it's like having a newborn all over again! Only worse cause at least newborns have diapers. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some quality time with The Donnie's.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Found Cat

While we were outside checking out the nomad hut, we found the cutest, sweetest gray cat come over and just love on us. He would rub all over our legs, and even let us hold him and pet him a lot. I don't know where he came from, but he's very sweet, and looks well taken care of, no fleas, ticks, burrs, matted hair, he isn't skinny or scrawny. He must have just gotten out and gotten lost from somewhere. We got him some of Ricky's food and water and left him out front, but he cried and cried when we came in. David sat down to eat at the kitchen table and saw him in the backyard peeking in the back door. We finally felt sorry enough for him, I let him in and shut him in Riley's room, let Regan sleep on his top bunk, so they could keep an eye on him.

He did great, he plopped right down and started purring like crazy. This morning he got up and went straight to the litter box, so I know he's house trained. He is so sweet, just climbs right up on your lap and lets you love on him, SO unlike my Rick who can be a total snob most of the time. So maybe we'll switch off, find a home for Ricky and keep love kitty? Not really, but the thought did cross my mind, Ricky better mind his P's and Q's the next few days while we look for his home. I put an ad in the lost and found section of Craig's List, called Animal Control and left my name and number, in case anyone calls there looking, and we put some signs up.

But just look at him...he's adorable!!

Friday, August 14, 2009


In our history this week, we've learned about nomads and how they moved from place to place and built a home from tree branches and leaves, and that got the kids minds rolling. They wanted to build a nomad hut. Sure, sounds like fun, and since David got a tree-trimmer-on-a-stick-thingie (that's probably not it's technical definition) we've been hacking away at our overgrown trees out front, so we happened to have nomad hut supplies galore.

But, they jumped the gun, and came running inside to tell me that they built their nomad hut, in the back of our fence, which just so happens to be in our not-so-kid-friendly neighbors yard. I let them take some pictures of it, but told them just like the nomads were always on the move, it was time for them to move too, PRONTO! Preferably BEFORE the neighbors got home and found a huge stash of dead tree limbs propped up around their tree.

I hear Regan after she gets it all moved and re-set up in our front yard, "I better make an A on this project!" It was funny, and I'm glad that they enjoyed it so much and learned a lot from history this week. And yes, the hut is still up in the front yard, the neighbors have also enjoyed having a great place to play hide and seek.

Oh, and Regan only wanted her and Riley in the picture, she wasn't too happy that I said our neighbor, Little Tony could be in the picture, and she let it be known. So, we still have to work on our social skills!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pony Rides and Petting Zoo

Regan and I went to a birthday party for some of her friends from church and they had a petting zoo and pony rides, so of course, Regan was in heaven. She said many times that the horse was "beautiful" and in that soft-spoken, church sounding awe kind of voice, "bea-utiful!" She held one of those scraggly bald chickens till it fell asleep in her hands, and rocked the bunny back and forth, even tried to hold the goats, but they weren't in the mood. She just adores animals, so she was in her element. They had other things going on too, carnival games, hot dogs, candy, it was a really fun party, and we left dirty and tired!

Friday, August 7, 2009


We got to babysit Makayla today, she's almost a month old, so tiny, and grunts A LOT! It was really different having a baby in the house again after so many years, but the kids loved it, Regan wanted to treat her like a baby doll, and Riley just loved holding and cuddling her, it was so cute.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"More Fun Than TV"

We got our piano keyboard, couldn't decide where to put it, settled on the living room (for now) and started playing a little bit, when Regan says, "This is more fun than TV!" Wow, gotta love that. Think she will still feel that way when I'm begging her to practice?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Big Top

Of course, no trip that far south is complete without a trip to Big Top Candy Shop! Regan got a giant Pixie-Stik, giant gumball, and Riley got fake cigarettes, super sour squirt stuff, and bacon flavored bubble gum. He also wanted these:

when he thought they were "fake" but as soon as he found out they were real, well, he still wanted them, but just one, and I made an emergency call to dad, no way was I going to actually buy bacon and cheese flavored crickets, so dad saved the day and said we would buy them, but he would have to eat ALL of them. He put them back quick!

I of course, got my usual, chocolate covered cookie dough. It's like heaven covered in goodness. It can't get any better! And the kids got lime sherbet with a cute little green gummy bear stabbed through with a green plastic sword. What a great place! I'm glad it's so far away and we can't go more often!

The Grove

The kids are going to start piano lessons next week, so we needed a piano keyboard. I found a decent used one on Craig's List and they wanted to meet at Southpark Meadows to make the deal. Well, south Austin might as well be San Antonio in my book, but we made the trek out there and found The Grove, a little group of restaurants around a giant, tree covered playscape. With all the trees, you couldn't tell it was 104 outside! We grabbed lunch at Mama Fu's and then watched the birds steal all the sugar packets from the nearby tables, and grab the noodles off Regan's plate thinking they were worms. It was a fun little time there, and maybe if we're ever on the way to San Antonio, we'll go back!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Home School

Today was our official start of home school. I have been so nervous, anxious, worried, excited, etc. about today. I wanted everything to be perfect, have us on a strict schedule, and have all the curriculum laid out and in order before I even started. I guess I am a little bit OCD afterall. After talking with some friends who also home school, I realized it would be best to just jump on in with what we've got, get our feet wet, and add some things along the way, so we're not overwhelmed right off the bat.

So much for getting up early, my kids are night owls. Of course they are, they are MY children! So we didn't get the early start I wanted. We were also all still in our pj's, which I didn't want, but oh well, it's home school right, we can be flexible! We started with Devotions, I let Riley pick the devotion book and he chose the one on obedience (maybe God was speaking to him!) Then Language Arts, did spelling with both kids, some grammar, vocabulary, writing, and poetry memorization.

I haven't purchased their math curriculum yet, even though I know which one I want to order, I was unsure of the level, so I got a random sample of math workbooks at different levels, and I'm glad I did because I think Regan is right at or above her level and Riley is a little behind his level. So at least now I know where to work with them at. I also found that Regan really, really loves math, and would do it all day long (so far this is about the only difference between me and my girlie) and Riley takes more after me, and thinks math is the root of all things evil.

And my most exciting subject, history! We're starting at the very beginning with Ancients, and learning about archaeology and nomads, and we'll be working on time-lines and all kinds of fun, exciting things! And I'm hoping to take the kids down to Houston to see the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, what a great way to learn some of the history of Ancient China!

Anyway, I won't go in to too much of our home school adventures here, I did start a blog about our adventures in home schooling to kind of chart the way, and be able to look back and see what we've done, and where we came from, and help anyone else out who is like me, and brand new at this and somewhat overwhelmed. If you're interested in reading that blog, you can click here : Adventures in Home Schooling and read all about it!

So here are a couple of pics of our first day, raggedy hair, in pj's, busting out our brand new school supplies (that cost us WAY less than what we need for regular school) and our new school mascot, who LOVES being in the middle of it all!