Friday, February 26, 2010

Ducks in a Row

We went with some friends to a park for the day, after being cooped up inside for a while due to the cold. It started out a nice warm day, but a cold front blew in again, and although the kids could care less, I was starting to lose my voice, so me and the other mom ended up sitting in her van watching the kids run around and play. They had a great time, got good and worn out, some fresh air, and when it was time to head home, we were driving by a pond and saw this:

We turned around, pulled over, and watched this little mama try to get her chicks up a curb, and then she gave up on that, and tried to get them to cross the street, which made me nervous, and then she gave up on that, and got them up the driveway to the yard, and they were just so stinking cute! She waddled so much that if they got too close to her, her tail feathers knocked them over! Regan and I really just wanted to go snatch one up and cuddle it, they are so soft and fuzzy looking! But it was so cute to see them, and the kids enjoyed this rare peek into nature.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Believe it or not, we got SNOW! It started out slow and just a few flurries here and there, and then it started to stick, and school was done for the day at that point! Riley put on 3 pair of pants, 3 shirts, his heavy coat, and my gloves and headed out to make a snow angel:

Although there wasn't quite enough for that yet! Regan is much more hot natured than Riley, and refused to put on her winter coat, instead opting for a small jacket and we had a fight over her wearing flip flops! That girl was too excited to take the time to get anything warm on! But finally, we went out, we played around, watched it fall, catching some on our tongue:

Then we started working on our snow man! The trampoline had a ton of snow, and the kids scraped it together, then worked on rolling a ball of snow around (oddly enough, I had seen that in movies and never knew it really worked that way) but sure enough, you roll the ball of snow around and it picks up a lot more snow!

And finally, Riley stole one of my yummy tomatoes to make the nose, and used his hat and glasses to finish off the gangsta-snow dude. Regan didn't last as long as Riley, but he stayed out ALL day long, making a snow fort and throwing snowballs at David and just enjoying it. The schools around here didn't close early for the snow so we were really happy that we were home schooling and could get out and enjoy it, since snow like this is so rare here!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ham Sandwiches

About once a month, Alex goes with our church to the Church Under the Bridge, which is a homeless ministry in Austin. He usually makes a ton of breakfast tacos and we've helped him with that before and the kids love it. This time we made sandwiches. Alex brought over all the stuff late on Saturday night and we stayed up until about 1am on our little assembly lines. David unwrapped all the cheese, Riley and Tristan laid out plastic baggies and bread, Regan did the mustard, Alex did the meat, and I stuffed the sandwiches in the bags, zipped them up and loaded them in the ice chests. We had 6 ice chests stuffed with sandwiches, total about 250 or so. I like the kids getting the message that life is not always all about them, and it's good to help out those less fortunate. Hopefully they will have a better appreciation of what we do have, and not take things for granted.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Broken Boy

I got the dreaded phone call from gymnastics last night, "Mom, I fell and hurt my arm!" Well, I was running out the door to go sell Girl Scout cookies (I'm SO ready to be done selling those) and David was on Riley-duty, so he rushed out the door to get him and calls me later to say they don't think it's broken, but he can't really move it, and of course, there's a meet on Sunday and he's already freaking out that he might not be able to use it in 2 days. So David spends the evening on the phone trying to figure out just what to do with a possibly broken arm on a Friday evening.

The nurse he talked to said to wait until morning, see if it was still hurting then, and then take him to Cedar Park to an urgent care facility that opens at 8am, in order to avoid the emergency room and the higher co-pay. So they left first thing this morning, went to Cedar Park to find out that they don't do x-rays on the weekends, so they had to go to Round Rock anyway to get x-rays done, and then head back to Cedar Park to get the x-rays read by the doctor.

All this to find out he has fluid on his elbow and an elbow fracture. So they wrapped his arm in an angle so he can't bend his elbow and put him in a sling to let the bone set, and he goes back in for more x-rays in a week, this time with a pediatric orthopedic specialist.

He's very upset he can't compete tomorrow, and upset that this means time off from gymnastics and time off wheels. This is a kid who doesn't know the meaning of the words "slow down" so it will be interesting to see how slow he can go for a bit. I have a feeling it's going to be a v e r y l o n g w e e k ahead!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Innerspace Caverns


OK, confession time. I've lived down the road from Innerspace Caverns for over 27 years now, and have never been! It's one of those things that I always think, "One of these days, we should go there!" Well, on one of my many home school lists that I belong to, I got an email saying someone was organizing a field trip to Innerspace Caverns, at a discounted price even, so of course, I could no longer put it off. I had heard that it paled in comparison to Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio, and I have been there many times, so I wasn't expecting a lot, mainly for the kids to be slightly entertained for an hour, and learn some small amount of something science related.

I was surprised though. It was smaller than Natural Bridge, but easier to navigate, and equally majestic. Our guide was awesome, good at keeping the kids in check and had a lot of knowledge that he passed on right at their age level. They were enthralled and he even let Regan do a little tap dance with her light-up shoes to lead the way at one dark spot! She loved it, all that attention! And of course, we hit up the gift shop and they each got a necklace with some shiny rock attached, and Regan got her very first ever mood ring, (like we've ever had to wonder what mood she was in!) and Riley got some cool magnet rocks.

It might be another 27 years before I make it there again, but I was happy with the trip and the kids had a great time. That's what counts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Therapy Dogs

I belong to about a million home school email groups right now, so we are constantly being invited to do fun and interesting things that may or may not be considered educational. But this one, I just couldn't pass up. They needed kids to help them train therapy dogs. These are dogs that go visit sick kids in hospitals, or go to nursing homes, and they even go to schools to "read" to kids. So they needed kids to come and just be kids around the dogs. The kids got to eat snacks and yell at each other and even read to the dogs. Regan was in heaven! She loved on every dog there and had a great time. They do this class about every 6 weeks, so we signed up to do it again. They had some amazing dogs there and now they want to sign Bailey up to take the classes too! Not sure we're ready to add something like that to our plate right now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fractions and Shots

Today we headed to Gattiland to study fractions! Well, it sounded good anyway. I haven't had a chance to get to the store so we thought we would have some fun, try to make it educational, and then get to Riley's 11 year check-up at the doctors (yes, he turned 11 over 3 months ago, and I'm just getting around to taking him!) Here is Riley in the glasses he got at Gattiland, which cracked me up because I used to have some exactly like it, in the 80's.

And then it was shot time. He thought he would be cool and wear the glasses, in case he had to cry a bit, no one would be able to tell. He didn't cry though, he's tough, and got 4 shots, with the glasses.

And then he showed me just how grown up he is these days (but only halfway, he has absolutely no hair under the other arm!):

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Alamo Invitational

Today was the 2nd meet for the traveling gymnastics team, and it wasn't too far, just to San Antonio, so that was a plus. We also had time to make the early service at church which was awesome cause Pastor Joe and Lori tag-teamed the message and they are hilarious. Then we grabbed a quick bite with Mimi and Papa and headed to the Alamo city. Thankfully Regan got to spend the day with Mimi and Papa cause I don't think she could have handled it there, David and I barely could!

It was long, crowded, hot (until the cold front blew in, then it was COLD) and stinky. The chairs were uncomfortable and there was no good spot to watch anything or get good pictures of anything. I didn't take many pictures at all, and wouldn't you know, Riley ended up medaling in 5 out of the 6 events! He didn't medal in floor, which isn't his favorite anyway, and there were a few areas where I think they scored him wrong. He did an awesome rings and parallel bar routine and for some reason got a lower score than some kids who did much worse. Who know about these gymnastics judges though, even at the Olympics I see people that I think got robbed, it's just much more personal when it's MY son out there! I was proud of him, he hardly slept the night before, he didn't feel well, he and I were both up at 5:30am, he told me to give him medicine so he could get out there and win a gold medal! He has such dedication.

And then I felt bad cause it was about a 6 hour competition and I forgot to pack him a snack, and he was starving when we left, and it was Valentine's night and there was no where on earth to eat without a super long wait, so we ended up at Taco Cabana where it took them about 30 minutes to fix our food. We were ravenous at that point. And by the time we got home, we were exhausted and Regan started in with an ear infection. It was most definitely a long, tiring, but satisfying day.

The photo of him on the rings is one we bought at the event, and this is the only video I got of him, on the high bar.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine Cake

I saw this idea for a rainbow cake, and thought I would try it out for our church group Valentine's night. It was two layers of heart-shaped yummy goodness! I thought it was cute, and the kids loved helping! I didn't get a real good shot after it had been hacked up, but you get the idea? And it was supposed to be red, pink and white, but it's more red, lighter red, and white! Oh well, it was fun, and I'll try it again, the rainbow way!

Bowling and Breakfast

Every other Tuesday we meet up with a home school bowling club and hang with friends and bowl and just basically get out of the house. And today was free breakfast at Denny's so we went there afterward, which wasn't the smartest idea I've had. It wasn't bad, and as crowded as it was, they moved us in and out in less than an hour and they had a balloon animal lady so that kept the kids entertained also. Riley got a revolver and Regan got a turtle bracelet.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Family Member!

One of Regan's favorite things to do on my computer is look at the animal shelter web pages and take pictures of all the animals with my camera. I don't know why she needs pictures of them, but she does. She then tells me which dogs she wants us to go and rescue for her. It hasn't happened yet, but a girl can dream, right?

So the other day we saw some cute kittens online and David said go get one. It took me a minute, then I realized he was serious so we started looking around at the animal shelters around here. We went to Georgetown and found little Monte, he's so tiny for being 10 months old, but he's the sweetest, cutest thing! The kids fell in love with him almost instantly, we brought an application home to think about it, sent it in the next day and they called within hours to say we had been approved. So far, he's super lovey, loves to cuddle, and is deathly afraid of Bailey, who could care less that there's a cat around.

He spent the night going back and forth between Riley and Regan's bed, which is what we wanted, and right now they are laying on the bed, cuddling, all 3 of them! Maybe Monte will help them get along? Maybe? Like I said before, a girl can dream!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who Dat!

Well, true to form at our house, we had a Superbowl party and have no pictures of the event, just of the meat that David smoked for it! So he made a "fatty" which is potatoes, garlic, onion and bell peppers sauteed, wrapped in a log of breakfast sausage, and then a lattice work of bacon wrapped around the outside. It was good but you could only eat a bite or two out of fear that a cardiologist would appear out of nowhere and slap it out of your hand.

And since we had just fasted from meat for 21 days, we were both so anxious to have some good brisket and pulled pork, so he did both of those also. It was a meat smorgasbord! And then, to top off the meat-fest, the Saints won, making it a great day all around! Pam, Dave and Andy were all over, we pre-screened for Saints fans, no Colts fans allowed here, so we were all yelling and happy, and full of meat. What more could you want?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Hairy Eskimo

We were goofing around at one of our MANY cookie booths. We had a few weekday booths at Texas Roadhouse, which I didn't think would be very good, but turned out to be awesome. But Regan gets bored easily so she was playing around. We're about halfway through cookie sales, and have almost met our original goal, so we may just make a higher goal! On one hand, I would be happy to be done. On the other hand, it would be nice to get all the free prizes and money that they get to pay for camp!