Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

We did something different this year. Our church had neighborhood parties around the city, one of which was at our home group. We spent one night bagging up over 300 bags of candy to give out, and then on Halloween the church provided a jumpy thing, signs, flood lights, cotton candy, popcorn and lemonade to have a little neighborhood block party in the front yard of our home group leaders house. It was a blast! The kids had a great time, I heard a couple kids saying as they left "You just made my Halloween!" I handed out candy, Regan played with her friends in the jumpy thing all night, Riley went down the street Trick or Treating and scaring the kids. It was a lot of fun.

It was only in the car on the way home that Regan realized she hadn't gone Trick or Treating and was quite upset about it. I didn't know why it was a big deal, I told her we had plenty of candy, but she was upset because she "wanted to knock on doors and have everyone tell me how beautiful I am!" So, she was just sad that she missed out on a lot of extra attention. But her dress was beautiful and she did have fun playing with all her friends.

Riley was a bleeding skeleton, with fake blood in a heart pump and when he squeezed it, the blood would flow over the plastic chest area. Gross. He said one little girl saw him, dropped her candy bag and ran the other way. Poor thing, but he thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe

On one of the many home school groups that I joined, someone organized a tour of the Edgar Allan Poe exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center on the UT campus. I will just tell you right now, David calls me a book nerd, and it's probably true (well, no probably about it, I am). I have LOVED Edgar Allan Poe since I read The Tell-Tale Heart in middle school. His poems and stories are creepy and I love them all! So when I heard about this exhibit, I was in, and hey, I can drag the kids along and call it a home school trip! Even better! To prepare, I read them some of Poe's tamer works this week, Annabelle Lee, and The Raven. They sat there with this glazed over look in their eyes. I don't think they like it as much as I do, but hey, one day they will look back on this with fondness, right?

So we get to the Ransom Center, first stop on our Docent-guided tour is one of only 4 original Gutenberg Bibles in the US (only around 40 complete Bibles still exist at all). The story of how they were made and seeing it there, was incredible. Maybe because my dad used to be a printer, and I'm familiar somewhat with the printing process, it was very neat to see one of the original printed works.

Then we also saw the very first photograph ever made, but yawn...I was ready to see some Poe stuff. They had his actual writing desk, a locket of his hair, and my favorite, an original manuscript of The Raven, which he sold for only $10 back then! (This is Riley next to it)

They had letters he wrote criticizing other authors, love letters and poems to his many girlfriends, and some of his own books that belonged to him. Very fascinating, and the kids even managed to appreciate some of it, like the wall that had a heartbeat right next to an illustrated section of The Tell-Tale Heart. That freaked them out!

I have to remember that we have so many little museums around here, and with the University here, we occasionally get some really cool stuff. I'm sure the kids can't wait to check out the next exhibit, Frida Kahlo. Maybe I'll spare them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miss Piggy

Regan's last Puppy Love class featured Miss Piggy, although they are looking for a new name for her, a more befitting name. She is part Beagle, and SO adorable!

The girls made a Power Point slide show featuring all the things they learned about being a good dog owner. Regan's list included not letting your dog out in a storm, give them baths to keep away the fleas, spay or neuter your dog, never chain your dog, give them fresh water daily, etc. She had one of the best slide shows in the class and they saved it to show future classes, she was very excited about that!

And she got a new T-Shirt for completing the class. I think she will miss going to meet the new dogs every week, and I'm surprised we made it through the month without her begging and pleading to adopt one of them!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Six Flags Fright Fest

Six Flags October

On Sunday after church, we booked it out the door and down to San Antonio for Fright Fest. It wasn't too crowded so there weren't bad lines, and the weather was great! We started off all trying to stay together, but Riley and Tristan kept wanting to do their own thing, so we let them go off for a while on their own. They rode all the big coasters while David and I rode a few things with Regan. She has no fear and gets upset that she's still a few inches too short for most of the good ones. But she can ride the Boomerang so we ride that one with her A LOT. There were a lot of scary people around, Zombies, skeletons, and fire breathing dragons, and the water in the rides was turned to "blood"! We stayed till they closed and had dinner at our usual, Chacho's, and then headed home, all exhausted.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Berry Farm

Sweet Berry Farm

I love to take the kids to Sweet Berry Farm this time of year. The weather is great and they have the neatest pumpkins. We have had a lot of rain so the big Texas shaped corn field maze was closed, but we did the kiddie maze, played with the goats, painted a pumpkin, went on a shortened hay ride (due to mud) and then the best part, pumpkin pie ice cream! We met Tammy and Abby out there too, so it was a fun, busy day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


For this week of Regan's Girl Scout Puppy Love project, they got to meet Cricket, a chihuahua-poodle mix. The girls did an exercise in breeding, each girl was given a stack of papers with a puppy on it, and they had to place the "puppies" on the floor around them, and each puppy they had would have five more puppies, and so on, to teach them what happens if you don't spay or neuter your pet. Before you knew it, there were puppies all over the place. Good example! And then Regan took some pictures of Cricket, a LOT of pictures of Cricket, but here was a good one:

Monday, October 19, 2009

RIP Ricky Bobby

On Saturday evening, we were making dinner in the kitchen when we heard a very loud, very annoyed "MEOW" coming from the living room. Ricky was under my desk and when he tried to crawl out, his back legs were dragging. He didn't seem to be in any pain, so we thought we would wait and see, maybe he would start using them again. By Sunday night, he was still just laying around inside his house, again, not in any pain, but not wanting to move much. I took him out to use the bathroom and he just dragged himself around.

So first thing this morning, I took him to the vet while David stayed here with the kids (and Tristan who had spent the night). The vet said it was a blood clot that had lodged in his back where the leg bones separate, and there was no pulse in either leg. Sadly, there isn't much they can do for it. They could operate, but it was pretty much guaranteed that it would happen again, and who knows when. They recommended he be put to sleep as soon as possible.

I did get to bring Ricky home to let the kids say goodbye, and for one last little nap in Bailey's bed. Riley is very upset by the whole thing, Regan really wanted to see him get the shot. She wants to be a vet when she grows up so she finds it all fascinating, even though she's sad too, she sees an educational viewpoint to it.

She went with me to bring Ricky back, we dropped him off and didn't stay for the shot, I don't think I could have handled that. And now our house just seems so much quieter and emptier without good old Ricky Bobby. He was definitely a unique cat, not the lovey-ist cat, but it was like he had a different personality for each of us. With me he was all love and cuddles, especially at night. With David, he bit his arm every night before bed, but loved on him profusely in the mornings. A lot of times he would sneak into Riley's bed with him, and let Riley love on him like he let no one else. And Regan was the only one he let carry him around like a doll. I would pick him up and he would scratch my eyes out. Regan picked him up and he let her haul him around like a stuffed animal.

We know he's in a better place now, and I bet he's giving Jake and Miller a good chase up in heaven.

Ricky when we first got him, he would have been 3 years old this week:

Ricky with a makeshift hat, he was a good sport about it:

Today, trying to drag his legs:

Skate Park

We took a short break from our emotional roller coaster to go to the skate park. Tristan spent the night last night and we had been planning on going, so we went for a little while. Riley likes to rollerblade there instead of skate board, Regan likes the playground, and the weather we've been having is just incredible. So we grabbed a lunch on the way and enjoyed some outdoor time. Riley's getting better out there, but it's hard to practice much when even at 11am you're getting overrun by the old men out there.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Duck Park

The weather has been so gorgeous the last few days, we decided to take the kids out to the duck park for a while. We took Bailey, who doesn't normally get out much, with his hip problems, he's just not real active. But he sure enjoys chasing a duck every now and then. We had some bread to feed the ducks and geese, and I let Bailey off his leash for a bit, normally he sticks close by, but this time he saw a goose in the bushes and took off. I've never seen him move that fast! He chased that goose up the hill, around the corner, and next thing you know, I see Bailey rolling down the cliff smack dab into the lake! He freaked out, not sure if he could swim, it wasn't far to the bank, and he finally made it, but he was exhausted and a little goose-shy after that.

So I put him back on the leash just in time for a stray dog to come sniffing around. It was a pit bull, and I have nothing against pit bulls, but this one sniffed a bit then grabbed Bailey by the throat and started attacking him. Bailey is the sweetest dog ever and didn't know what to do, I grabbed him and pulled him back and a man that was there came over, took out his knife and was yelling at the dog, I thought we were going to witness a murder right there. Come to find out, it was a stray and he was just trying to keep him away from his little boy, which I can understand, but my kids were kind of freaked out by the grown man wielding a knife at a dog.

At that point I think we'd all had enough of the duck park. While we were waiting for animal control to come get the dog, we helped a littly boy who was fishing and caught a snapping turtle instead. It was quite the adventure at the park.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Beads of Love

I signed Regan up for this Girl Scout event, because it's for a good cause and I thought it would be fun. I did NOT think things through clearly. Last night was the church's Gattiland Lock-in, we dropped the kids both off at 11, David and I hit the town, had coffee at Mozart's, drove around town looking at the fancy houses, and ended up eating pancakes at Kerbey Lane sometime around 3am. The kids had to be picked up by 7am, and our event was at 1! I really didn't think Regan would stay up all night long, but she did. I guess the 4.5 hour nap the night before did the trick. So she wasn't exactly in a great mood pulling up. We were supposed to make 10 bracelets each to be given out at the Komen Race for the Cure to breast cancer survivors. We would make a bracelet, write an encouraging message on each bag and sign with our name and troop number. Well, let me just say, those little bead holes are awfully small on a couple hours sleep! But we got close to our 10 bracelets and went home for another nap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I signed Regan up for this Girl Scout event because she LOVES animals. She stops every time we go to Petsmart to buy food, and wants to adopt every animal we see. She is starting to see the connection between the cute cows along the road, and the burgers we eat. I know she loves her food, but I really can see her wanting to be a vegetarian one day. I bought a pizza the other day and she got onto me for buying one with "animal" on it (pepperoni). I guess if bean and cheese burritos are vegetarian, she'd do okay.

The Central Texas SPCA came out to the Girl Scout center, and brought a cute little dog, Stinkerbelle. They let the girls take their pictures with her, and each girl wrote up a description of Stinkerbelle to help her find a family. They talked to the girls about being a responsible pet owner, and how to help find homes for the animals in the shelter. I was glad that Regan didn't get so attached that she begged me to take the dog home. But, we do still have 3 more weeks of this class! There is bound to be one dog in the bunch that she bonds with.

But if you know anyone who needs a good cute dog, please check out Stinkerbelle!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Cat's in the Bag

Ricky LOVES when I go to Children's Place, for whatever reason, he just loves climbing into these shopping bags. He'll stay there for hours. He's so weird. He has a friend that comes over for playdates. The stray cat, or what we thought was a stray cat, lives down the road and comes over once in a while, he'll come in, eat some of Rick's food, cuddle with all of us, enough so that we're ready to kick Rick to the curb and keep the new cat! But then he and Rick will roll around play fighting, it's the funniest thing.