Thursday, March 31, 2011

NASA Day at the Capitol


Riley's school was signed up to do NASA Space Day at the Capitol, and they asked no siblings under 5th grade, but Regan has been bugging me to go INSIDE the Capitol building, so we planned to do that while Riley was with his school.

So we decided to make a day of it, and first went to Home Slice Pizza, and YUM that was the best pizza ever. Regan had been with one of her friends before, so she ordered the sausage and garlic pizza (?) and Riley just wanted cheese, and I got the Margherita, and then we all took bites of each others, and I wished I had gotten Regan's, Riley wished he had gotten mine, and Regan was very happy with hers. We'll just have to go back!

Then we headed over to register and noticed that the Capitol was packed. I mean, PACKED. There were people holding protest signs and people riding horses around the Capitol steps, combined with NASA being set up on the lawn, it was crazy. Regan and I had to wait about 30 minutes just to get through security.

So while Riley was off doing his thing, we toured the inside. Regan was very impressed with the building, the fancy decor, the statues of Stephen F Austin, and Sam Houston (she wanted to take a picture with him to send to her cousin Joy, who lives in Houston!) Then we went to the gallery area of the House of Representatives, who were in session, and saw a ton of people wearing signs about some bill, and two people in horse costumes, so of course we had to find out what was going on. Regan thought they were trying to make horses illegal in Texas! But, they are trying to get horse racing/horse betting legal in Texas. Not sure all the gory details, but there were a ton of people there to show their support for it.

Then we checked out the basement, or "the extension" and there was an astronaut signing autographs and a huge NASA exhibit and she wasn't interested, so we headed back to the lawn and found the free Amy's ice cream truck! Also, that's where we found Riley, on his 5th cup of free ice cream. He ended up going home with a friend so we booked it out of there to avoid traffic (kind of).

Next time, I'll register Regan for the space day, I think she would have enjoyed it, it looked like they did some fun things. And maybe I'll steal David's security clearance so we can skip the long lines to get in :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dinner for Drake!

It was dinner time for Drake, and Riley had Cody over to watch, and we all stood around with our cameras/phones taking pictures! Poor snake, he's going to be camera shy if we aren't careful! But after Riley got his tiny little frozen mouse out of the freezer, thawed it in one of my glasses (ick) and then laid the thawed mouse on one of my dish rags, and then used some tongs to wiggle it for the snake, Drake snatched it up and then spent the next 5 or 6 minutes trying to consume the whole thing. As tiny as the mouse was, it was still so large for his itty bitty snake mouth.

So, I only included the first video where he snatches the snake, and the last video, where he finally got it all the way in. I was surprised, that little thing can eat! And then it was disinfect the kitchen time!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Outdoor Skills Day

Outdoor Skills Day is a Girl Scout camp training. Regan wasn't too thrilled with it, but I think she had fun at some of the stations. First we made "edible fire" which is the way they teach them how to make a campfire. Start with pretzel logs, make a fire ring out of marshmallows and M&M's, "light" the fire with red hots, etc. Then the best part, you get to eat it all! Then we had fire safety, learned how to wash their new mess kits, how to pack and roll up your sleeping bag, how to start and use a propane stove, and how to set up a tent. And then, we got to put our fire safety to good use and roast hot dogs and make s'mores! This is to prepare them for our big campout next weekend, we will have to cook our own food and everything! And somehow, I got signed up to help with this trip, so yay me!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Castle Park

We had our home school small group meeting in Georgetown at the "Castle Park" and had a really good turn out. We have a lot of kids all around the same ages, so it works out perfectly. The weather has been getting hot already, but it was still pretty nice, and the parents had a great time talking about curriculum, selling houses, kids, etc. It's just nice to be able to have an adult conversation sometimes! The kids had fun, Riley likes to use this park for Parkour, and Regan and one of her friends, Tyler, found a ladybug and examined it VERY closely. They made their own little science class around the ladybug. It was cute watching them with it.

And my friend Sandy brought her new puppy, and Australian Shepherd named Ralph, and he's adorable! He looks like a fluffy teddy bear, he was so cute, and soft and cuddly, the kids loved playing with him.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet Drake the Snake

Yep, we did it. We went back to Zookeepers and they had sold our little orange corn snake that we were looking at, but they had this cute little guy, a California Kingsnake. He has very unusual markings and he's still a baby, so Riley was happy. He wants to watch it grow to be a man-snake. Anyway, he's happy, he will sit at the computer playing his game while the snake lays underneath the keyboard. We were looking for names, and I really liked RumpleSnakeSkin, but Riley finally settled on Drake the Snake. In a while, we'll be looking to get a female and breed them, what a lesson that will be!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The kids have been going to the Austin Nature and Science Center for 2 years now for science class. Every time we go, Riley complains that he doesn't like the class and doesn't want to go again. Until we leave and then he talks my ear off all the way to the truck about how much fun it was and how much he learned about whatever it was they learned that day. Well, this week, they got to pet snakes and learn about different kinds of snakes. He begged all the way home to get his very own pet snake. I told him I'm open to the idea, I always knew this day would come, probably around this time...

BUT...I wanted him to do the research. I wanted him to find out what they eat, what kind of cage they would need, what kind of snake would be best for a pet, and for kids, etc. Basically, I wanted him to become a Herpetologist.

He made good on it, Googling everything he could find on snakes, so I took him to the exotic pet store (Zookeepers) and talked to the guy there and told him, we're just here to do some research, Riley has some questions to ask you about getting a pet snake. Turned out he was the owner (Daniel) and he spent almost an hour with us, he got the cutest, tiniest little cornsnake out and let Riley hold it the whole time, while he let Riley ask him a ton of questions about snakes. He was very impressed with Riley's questions and said we were most definitely going about it the right way, he wished more people would do what we were doing, research and ask questions first. He thought Riley would make a responsible pet snake owner, and showed us the bedding, explained feeding (of frozen pre-killed mice, ick) and he was very patient and thorough. He even showed us how to tell if it's a boy or girl (it was a boy) and told us it would make a great project to get a boy AND girl, and let it lay eggs. I think that would be AWESOME!! So, here's the little guy and more than likely a very near addition to our family!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kawaii Ice AGAIN!

We really love Kawaii Ice! Well, Colton was over spending the night, and he and David had never been to Kawaii Ice, so the kids were begging to take them. It was a nice treat. Colton had Tiger Blood so he could be like Charlie Sheen (ha) and David tried Blueberry. He ended up with very blue lips and teeth, (and wouldn't let me take his picture) but it was fun, and yummy. David was blown away at how busy they were. They're THAT good!

Adopt A Block


I know I say it every time I post about our church, but I love our church. We've been doing community outreaches for a while, and now we're doing "Adopt A Block." We go to an "inner city" apartment complex and just get to know the people, and hang with the kids. I was excited, it was like a mini-missions trip!

We had a group of about 15 people from the church, we got there around 11am, unloaded a giant speaker and started pumping some loud tunes to get everyone's attention. The guys got the grill going, and started making the hot dogs, I'm not sure how many they made, but it was A LOT! We gave out bags of chips, water bottles and a lot of candy too. We ran around the playground with the kids, talked to them, got to know them a little bit. Asked about school, what's up in their lives, etc. They live in a high drug area, and the main drug supplier even came by for a while. It was pretty wild. I know my kids live a very sheltered life, and I'm thankful for that, but it was eye opening to think that kids live in this environment just a short ride from my own house.

But, the kids. They were so precious. So full of hope. One boy is in 9th grade, big as a linebacker already and in all AP classes, making all A's and one B. It is my sincere hope that as we keep going down there and really getting to know these kids, we can pour life into them, get them into a good church, and just get them off on the right foot in life. I talked to a lady, Brenda, while we walked around giving hot dogs to some of the older people that don't leave their apartment much, and she told me she's lived there for over 30 years and at this point doesn't think she'll "ever get out."

I can't wait to go again, and I'll be taking the kids next time. This is something I think they need to be a part of and a way for them to learn early on how to give back, and how to help others. It's very easy to get complacent and comfortable in our day to day lives, and not think about these kids who seem to have nothing and no one who cares for them. But we do! And we're here now.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kawaii Ice and Round Rock Park

For another fun, cheap treat, I took the kids to Kawaii Ice, which is the world's BEST snow cone place, and we got our cotton candy/banana colada snow cones and headed over to the Round Rock park to enjoy. Since the flood that happened a few months ago, you can really still see a lot of damage, lots of trees uprooted and the walking bridge is closed, but that didn't stop the kids from getting in the nasty water and playing around. Last time we went, they had to swim out in chest deep water to get to the "Round Rock" but this time you could walk out on the rocks, since we're still in a drought. They had fun puddle jumping and it seems like we went from winter to summer overnight. It has been HOT in the afternoons around here. So, even though the water was ice cold, it didn't bother them much.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It's Spring Break and that means RODEO CARNIVAL!! My kids really think that a rodeo is just rides and food. I surprised them and when we pulled into the parking lot, they were like, YAY, the rodeo!! I said, no, the carnival. Yeah, the rodeo! Either way, they had a good time, and so did I. We all got a little sun burned, but it was worth it. They actually had fun together and acted like they liked each other. Regan ran up to the first ride we saw, the Spin Out and wanted on. She's just at 52" but the guy let her on, and it was a crazy ride. She was so scared, Riley told me after she was saying, "make it stop Bubba!" Poor thing. But, she's brave, she rode everything there, right along side her big brother. And where did they have the most fun? The Dell tent, playing Street Fighter, and Regan kicking her brother's butt. Like father, like son (and daughter). Then we got to pet the animals and then headed home, exhausted and red. Can't wait till next year!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lipizzaner Stallions

I surprised Regan with tickets to the Lipizzaner Stallions! This was a reward for all her hard work selling all those Girl Scout cookies (and mine too!) I didn't tell her where we were going (after having lunch at Chuy's with the family) and she kept saying it was the circus since it was at the Frank Erwin Center, and the last time she was there was to see the circus! She kept saying, "I KNOW it's the circus!" But she was very surprised. We got really good seats, 2nd row (and of course, the tallest man in the arena comes and sits RIGHT in front of ME). But, we were close enough to almost touch them. They had a tack and grooming Q&A before the show so we got to do that first. Then being the sucker I am, got her the t-shirt! The horses are cool, they can do some really cool moves, and I think now Regan would like to ride Lipizzaner's when she grows up.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Springwoods Park

It's been a while since we've been out and about, and the weather has been wonderful. So we hit up one of our favorite parks and had some fun. We walked the path and climbed trees, Riley calls them "hobo trees" because the way the branches hang low, he says a hobo could sleep in them and be comfortable!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have been having some major technological issues! My camera would not hook up to my computer, so I tried to upload pictures to David's, but then I couldn't resize them, and I can't upload my pictures in full size. It's been a battle for the last couple of months, but I finally got it to work. I say that like I did something special, and I didn't, Riley just tried it again yesterday and it worked! Yay! So, prepare for a major onslaught of updates and pictures! I know I haven't posted much in the last couple of months, but it's certainly not because we haven't been doing anything!