Monday, December 16, 2013

Jake turns 7

On Saturday our little boy turned 7 years old. He already looks taller. I'm hoping 7 is just as good as 6 was-or even better. Boys are just so cute at this age. Aside from the fart talk that is. But, you know, boys have generally worked out their drama by the time they reach four or five. And from then on as far as I can tell they are basically pleasant little people to be around.

Last year we bribed Jake not to have a birthday party so this year I thought we would throw a big bash for him at the house. He decided to invite three friends from his first grade class and then we invited all of our neighborhood friends and their parents. We weren't sure how many people would show up but I was prepared for about 40. Jake wanted a Teenage Mutant Ninja party and everyone knows that those guys eat pizza when they're not fighting bad guys and saying "kawabunga". So, turns out, pizza for 40 people costs around $85. That's if you get the good stuff from Papa John's and if the pizza person working the phones when you call grossly overestimates how much pizza 40 people will eat. We ended up with a good 4 or 5 pizzas too many.

Normally, I make the kids birthday cakes because I'm just too cheap to spend $30 on a cake. Jake really wanted a Ninja Turtle cake with a little ninja turtle figure on top. I almost ordered one from the grocery store just to save myself the stress of making one but after hearing that we were going to spend $85 on pizza I decided to give baking one a shot. Mike told me to just make a round cake and decorate it like a turtle shell. It really did not turn out very well. It pretty much looked like the Spider Man cake I made him last year only green.  Poor little Jake-I could tell he was kind of disappointed. But he put on a brave face and told me he liked it anyway. See? That's the difference between a 7 year old boy and a 3 year old boy. Mama messed up your cake? That's ok, it's not worth throwing a fit over.

My parents and sister and nephew and 35 of our closest friends all piled into the house for a couple hours for the party. To say it was mass chaos would be putting it mildly. I have never been in such a loud house before. Those little kids had the best time. They ran. They yelled. They ninjaed. They partied like it was 1999. Most of the parents sat around looking at each other shell shocked for 2 hours. As one of my friends said it is nice knowing your 7 year old boy is not the only wild, loud out of control kid in town. Turns out that behavior is just normal. So when I heard one of my friends say "um, Kim? Jake is running around outside with his pants and underwear down chasing Sydney (the only girl he invited) around with his business hanging out" I didn't panic. I just assume that's what all 7 year old boys think of as appropriate behavior. On second thought, maybe 7 year old boys don't have all their "stuff" worked out after all.

Mike set up an obstacle course in our backyard for the kids to run around in. Let's not talk about the 5 gallon size orange Home Depot bucket full of liquid dog poo that he poured in the grass right in front of our slide before hand to dispose of it. Let's not talk about that at all. Let's just talk about how much fun the kids had playing Ninja turtle goes through an obstacle course and leave it at that. Here is a picture.

My dad took pictures of the party for me so I don't have any to show you. I will tell you that by the time Jake got around to opening up his gifts I thought his head might actually explode from excitement. And when I saw the amount of gifts he was getting I realized that we had really over invited for this party. Next year, I'm thinking two or three friends can come over for some cake and ice cream and then maybe I'll take them to the park to play or something. Maybe we'll even buy them some pizza.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday musings

Today we took the kids on a hike at the greenbelt. It was absolutely beautiful! The leaves on the trees are starting to change color, it was cool but not cold outside, and due to the recent rains there was actually water in the creek. Enough to make waterfalls even! Too bad we didn't think to bring a camera with us.

We instituted a new behavior/reward chart around here a few weeks ago to encourage/bribe the kids to do the things we expect them to do. They get a sticker if we see them being proactive or kind or obedient or super helpful or if they don't whine all day. So far, they each have several stickers under the proactive, kind and super helpful columns. They have a couple stickers under the obedient category. And they have exactly zero stickers under the "I was not a whiner" category.

As per the usual, the kids did really well on the walk out but commenced to whining and complaining on the way back to the car. Jake even lamented that it was not fair that our car Big Red was not a helicopter so it could come pick us up when we feel tired of walking. And all I could think about was that it's not fair that we just spent $130 to replace a broken tail light on Big Red and it still needs two new tires and a new power steering pump and, oh yeah, it doesn't have a working heater. Jeez. I wonder where those two get their whining abilities from? Anyhow, today was not the day that they were going to be successful in the "I was not a whiner" category.

After we got home my friend Jenny brought our beloved Sydney and Lila over to play for awhile. Jake and Sydney had a few tense moments because I think they were both overly tired but the day ended on a positive note with all four munchkins getting along and Sydney chasing Jake around trying to give him a goodbye kiss. Which he really did not whine about. Emma did a face plant off of our monkey bar out back and did deservedly whine about that for a few minutes. But it was nothing a bowl of yogurt and some homemade graham crackers couldn't cure.

We ended the day with squeals of laughter from a brother and sister who obviously adore each other when they are not getting on the other's last nerve. They serenaded me with Pat Benatar's "Hit me with your best shot" for a good ten minutes. And now they are tucked safely away in their beds with still no sticker for "I was not a whiner" on their behavior charts.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

This year for Halloween we went over to our friends house for hot dogs and general rambunctiousness before taking the kids trick or treating. We all had such a great time. The evening started off a little rough considering Jake couldn't find his Hulk mask and he had been planning for weeks to be Hulk. But after a few tense moments he decided that Captain America is even cooler than Hulk because he has a mask AND a shield-both of which we could find in Jake's closet. Emma Mae chose to be Ariel of  The Little Mermaid fame. So did her BFF Lila. And Jake's friend (future wife) Sydney was dazzling as Wonder Woman. I decided to bring back my famous tired, frumpy middle aged housewife costume. Totally nailed it. Here are some pics of the kids.

Aren't they cute?


Aren't they creepy?

Good thing Jake had to be Captain America instead of Hulk. He totally needed that shield to fight off this bad guy. Hulk wouldn't have known what to do with that guy. Let's call it destiny.

Our cute little neighbor boys. Emma Mae has her eyes on the older one. Even if he is a zombie. Speaking of Emma Mae, she was such a trooper all through trick or treating. At one point all of the kiddos were complaining about their feet hurting. We had to push His Majesty (AKA Jake) around in the stroller half the night. But Emma said and I quote: "My feet hurt but I am NOT letting that get in the way of my candy." Preach it sister. Preach. It.

Her tune changed a little bit though when we ended up at the last stop of the night. It was a house that the kids and I have walked/driven by all month. They have a yardful of creepy skeletons, scarecrows, zombies. You name it. They also do a haunted house every Halloween and the kiddos could not wait to go inside. Until we took them inside. Then they screamed and ran out. So Mike and I went in alone and I screamed a lot. And when we came out my poor little girl was crying real little tears because she was afraid we were getting hurt inside. I felt so bad! So I gave her some candy and have a therapist on stand by in case we did some real damage. We walked by the house today and they have removed all of the scary decorations. So my brave little girl declared that NEXT year she will be ready for that house and she will go inside and walk through the entire thing. Because I'm guessing she's not going to let a haunted house get in the way of her getting more candy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

California dreamin

Once again I have fallen tragically behind in the blogging world. I am sorry mama and Ivy. I will try to do better but I make no promises.

Let's talk about Mike and Ivy's trip out from California to visit us a couple weeks ago. We hadn't seen them in a couple years so we were all very excited that they were coming. We had such a nice time with them it made me homesick for California all over again!

Jake had a baseball game while they were here so of course we all went to that together. I had high hopes that little guy might get his first hit since we had guests in the stands but no such luck. He is trying but he just hasn't figured out coach pitch ball yet. His coach only puts him at catcher or right field when it's their turn to take the field so he "doesn't get hurt." What he also isn't getting is any knowledge of the game. We are going to make sure he gets on a different team in the spring. His coaches this time around are way too competitive and just want to win instead of teaching the kids that are further behind how to actually play the game. BUT, Jake is having fun regardless so that's what counts. He is doing some moves out in right field that Michael Jackson would have been proud of.

We had Emma Mae try on her new Dallas Cowboys cheerleader costume at one point. You can tell she was just thrilled.

My friend Dena arranged for us to visit her fireman husband Craig at work in downtown Austin for a little fire safety talk for Jake. Jake came home a couple weeks ago and asked me when our house was going to burn down. I said hopefully never. And he said "aww, man I WANT that to happen!" So I asked why he wanted our house to burn down. And he said "because I want the firemen to come and hear me yelling in my room and come in and save me!" So I hid the matches and we went to talk to a real fireman. The kids had so much fun. Craig let them crawl all over the truck and even squirt the big water hose. Then we went across the street to the most amazing candy store and loaded up on sugar.

Grandpa Mike taught Jake how to cast his fishing pole out in the driveway.

We ate good food and had a wonderful time with our friends. Thanks for coming Mike and Ivy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Faces of Emma Mae

This little girl keeps me on my toes. She is sweet, smart and stubborn. She is caring, cute and compassionate. She is wild, weird and did I mention wild? And she is currently going through a rebellious stage that leaves me wondering what the teenage years are going to be like around here.

I joined a playgroup a few weeks ago so Emma and I would have more things to do together and with other moms and kids. I thought maybe if we got out of the house more we would struggle less with each other. Turns out I was wrong.

Last Thursday I spent two hours making three batches of homemade scented play do with Em so we could take 15 baggies full of the stuff to play group to share with the other little kids who would be there the next morning. Because whoever heard of just going to the store and buying play do? Now I know it was supposed to be fun but I am a person that gets carried away by things which normally leads to great stress. I stressed over what scent to choose. I stressed over the color. And then I stressed when the non stick pan I chose to cook it in started flaking its nonstick magic metal in little tiny bits all over my orange play do. Would I give the other children nonstick metal poisoning?

Friday morning dawned bright and full of hope. I told Emma pretty early on that she needed to clean up her room and make her bed before we could go to the play do exchange. Please keep in mind this is something I make her do on a daily basis. We even have a sticker chart in her room as a reward for getting her stuff done. After about 30 minutes I asked her if she was done with her room. And this is what I heard, "MOM! I can't do it!" So I said, "Emma, you do this every day. Get it done so we can go to play group." And she said "MAMA! I just can't remember how to make up my bed. I'm trying to think of how but I just don't know. " Now, that was a lie. I knew it was a lie. So I told her she had five minutes to make up her bed or we would not be going to the play do exchange.

Approximately 8 seconds later she came and told me that her chore was done. And then she asked me if I would like to come look at her bed. So I did. And what I saw was every single toy that had been on her floor thrown onto the bed with all of her pillows and blankets thrown on top of them. Very messy. And very un-Emma like. This is a girl that organizes her underwear/sock drawer regularly. So I asked her what happened. And she said "I did it. It's just sloppy." The end. So I took everything she had carelessly tossed on her bed and carried it to my bedroom and told her it all belonged to me now. Because I am mean. If she can't take care of her things then she can't have things.

What ensued was a tantrum to rival the dreaded French Braid tantrum of the week before. She cried. She threw things. She told me I was the meanest mommy ever. So I told her that she needed to calm down or we would not be going to the play group. Eventually, she got it together enough that I thought we could give play group a try. You have to remember that play group is as much for me as it is for Emma Mae. I get to talk to other moms and have my child entertained by other friends for a minute. So I selfishly wanted to go.

We got in the car. About five minutes into the ride little girl threw her blanket at me. Then she started kicking my chair. Then she cried about her car seat buckle being "too tight." Shocker. So I calmly explained to Em that we would have to go to play group and drop off our play do for the other kids and then go home because she was not behaving properly. She got her act together. By the time we got to the park she was being almost pleasant.

Against every parenting manual out there I told her that I was going to give her one last chance. We would go play and we would stay as long as she had a good attitude and a happy heart. About five minutes later she was kicking dirt on me and whining about wanting to go swing rather than do the play do swap. So I took her by the hand and led her back to the car to go home. That was a long walk of shame as I felt the eyes of the other mama's boring into my back and judging me for being so mean.

As I put Emma in the car I said something like "it's really too bad that we couldn't stay and play with new friends and get some fun play do to use at home." And she said "mama, I didn't want that stinkin' play do anyway and I don't need any more friends!" When I mentioned that I would like to have more friends she told me that I had enough already too.

And as we drove home my four year old daughter informed me that I had a bad attitude and that God didn't like it. Then she said that she really missed the old mama who used to always be nice to her and never talked mean and always helped her make up her bed. She continued the tantrum when we got home and had to go to her room for a long period of time while she kept on about wanting the nice mama back. Good times. I also heard the ever popular "I won't stop crying and saying mean things until you say something nice to me! I want that mama that helps me make up my bed!" That's when I realized two things. Number one-Emma Mae can hold a grudge longer than a Hatfield or McCoy. And number two-she was probably hungry. So I fed her a hot dog and we had a pretty pleasant afternoon together playing with the stinky play do my neighbor dropped off for us after she was done with play group.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The dream of the sea

For Jake and Emma Mae, my babies. Life is big. We are small. May you fall in love with the One who made the ocean and everything in it. May you grow up with the knowledge that you can be everything to your mama even though you may be nothing to the rest of the world. May you be secure enough in yourself and your Creator to know that worry and trouble are fleeting little blips on the radar. May you discover the wonder of the ocean and its inhabitants and know full well that if God made them to sing and leap and dance with joy then he made you for a purpose. May you find that purpose and use it to bring glory to Him. Be big in your smallness. Be great in your insignificance. And always, forever know you are loved.

Sing me a song, oh magical whale,
as you dive down deep with a flip of your tail
Spiraling down in a dance while you sing
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

Leap in the air, oh dolphin my friend!
Flipping and spinning and turning on end
Gliding through water on butterfly wings
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

Tell me a tale of some sea star scenes
Feeling with arms sensing moonlight beams
Crawling on sand with your suction cup feet
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

Feather-foot, feather-foot freedom is ours!
Darting for flying fish under the stars
Twirling in circles with grace and with glee
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

Hello little horn shark! What's this I hear?
You have spines but you're gentle-there's nothing to fear.
You rest on the bottom; with gills do you breathe
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

Sea turtle, sea turtle, is it instinct or age
that guides you each year to the one perfect place
where you lay down your eggs on a beach so pristine
in the dream of the sea that is bigger than me

From the smallest of plankton to the largest blue whale
All are made special, right down to their shell.
There is no need to worry about things you can't change
Someone much bigger is holding the reigns.
So rest now; sleep and dream this one dream
of the sea and its wonders all bigger than me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Series of Firsts

Well we have had many firsts happen the last week or so. Let's make a list!

1.) Besides starting first grade this year, Jake also got to start going to gymnastics class. The boy does the most amazing things with that little body on any given day that we thought it might be good for him to learn the correct way to leap off of high objects, crash into things and fall down. He had such a good time! It was an hour of stretching, jumping, parallel bars, high rings and trampoline fun. He loved all of it but was a little unsure of the high rings. Because they were really high. He asked me if I saw his "worried face" when he was on them. Still, he is counting down the days until his next class on Friday. He would go every single day if we let him.

2.) I had my first experience losing a child at Target. Emma Mae and I made our weekly Thursday trip to Target because I had some things I needed to return. And she needed a cake pop from Starbucks! We got there and went straight to the customer service line. There were two women in front of me who seemed to be causing all sorts of trouble. The poor ladies working the desk looked a bit frazzled. And whatever they were doing took a long time. Now, Emma Mae was not in the cart at this point. She wanted to walk like a big girl. I allowed it. However, she got bored about one minute into the waiting in line part and asked if she could go look at the dollar aisle. I allowed it. The dollar section was in full view of the customer service line. Except for the part that wasn't. And of course that is the part she went to. There was also a man standing off to the side watching Emma and what I assume was his son playing with the toys.  I left my place in line to go tell her she needed to stay on the part of the aisle where I could actually see her and she complied. I was thrilled! Who was this obedient mama pleasing child I had with me? Well, then she started skipping back and forth between me in line to the dollar aisle. And when she wasn't doing that she was dancing on this big wooden pallet they had sitting in the middle of the floor. And talking. Always talking. Loudly. Finally, it was my turn to talk to the frazzled customer service lady. I made my returns, grabbed my purse and turned around to tell Emma that it was cake pop time. Only I couldn't find her. So I went over to the part of the dollar aisle that was not visible to me ready to give her a talking to about not being where she was supposed to be. Only no Emma. So then I panicked. I just knew that man I saw earlier had taken my baby. I went back to the worn out customer service ladies and said "did ya'll see where my daughter went?" Just blank stares. So I said "you know the cute little loud girl that's been running around, singing, dancing and calling me MAMA!? Did you notice where she went? I can't find her!" So then one of the ladies looked at me and said "she's missing? how old is she?" I said "four." They looked at each other and the one lady told the other one to call for a code yellow. Three times. So that's what she did. She got her walkie talkie out and screamed "code yellow!" three times while the other lady ran to the front doors to start locking down Target. Just then an older looking mom type who had also been waiting in line looked at me and said "did you check the bathroom? sometimes they like to go to the bathroom." So I did. And there she was! I hugged her and asked her where she had been and told her that she had scared me beyond belief. Well, it seems she just got bored and decided to go potty by herself. Because she's big and all. And while she was in the bathroom she visited with some lady about the bracelet she was wearing. Just then I realized that the Target employees were all still scrambling so I poked my head around the corner and said "FOUND HER! You may cancel the code yellow." To which the weary customer service ladies responded "that is so scary! I hate it when that happens!" All I have to say is kudos to Target and their quick response time in dealing with missing children.

3.) You may remember that Emma Mae has been wanting to take dance lessons for some time now. Well, yesterday her dream became a reality. She was so excited she couldn't even get to sleep the night before. So we got her all dressed up in her tights and leotard. But she started complaining that the tights were too tight. Try telling a four year old that tights are supposed to be tight. That was a great conversation. Then she decided that the size four underwear she had on didn't feel right under her tights. Hmm. Perhaps because the size fours are at least a size too big for her. But she will only wear them because proper fitting underwear feel, you guessed it! "too tight." Anyway, she became a hot mess. Then her ballet shoes were too tight. Well. I finally got her loaded up in the car and had the great idea to ask her if she was feeling nervous at all. So then of course she was! By the time we got to the dance studio she was begging me to let her take off her underwear. Since I'm not an official "dance mom" yet I didn't have any idea if that would be acceptable so I made her wear them. And she spent the first thirty minutes of class laying on the floor crying her poor little blue eyes out. Her teacher was amazing and smiled the whole time and eventually Emma got up to participate for the last half of class. She says she wants to go back next week but she does not want to wear underwear!
Here she is before the drama started.

4.) Emma also had her first day of her last year of pre-school today. She just loves her school! She got to see her beloved teachers from last year and she seems to already love her new teachers for this year. I'm so glad I get to experience all of these "first times" with my sweet kiddos! (well, except for the missing child part)

Monday, August 26, 2013

First grade!

Well, we sent little man off for another year of higher learning this morning. Welcome to first grade! He said he was excited to go back to school and make new friends.

Little sis was not so excited to see him go. I heard Jake tell her this morning that he would need to give her a hug and a kiss before he left because he was going to miss us all more than we would even know. Awesome. That's when I started contemplating homeschooling again. Then I remembered how much we've all been bickering for the last three weeks around here and hauled him off to school.

Last hug of the morning. Could these two be any more beautiful?

You can tell he was thrilled that I followed him into his new classroom to take one last picture can't you? I felt totally fine leaving him at school this morning. It was much better than the Kinder drop off where I felt like my heart might literally pop out of my chest. I knew he would be fine. Then along about 10am I really started missing him. And my heart felt funny the rest of the day. Luckily, my friend Misty came over to distract me until it was time to leave to pick Jake up for the day.

The pick up line at school the first week sucks. Emma and I had to wait for 20 minutes before we got our boy in the car with us. We were so excited to see him and I could tell he was happy to see us. Later on, he told me the things he liked best about the day. He got to take his beloved crabby for show and tell. He got to play with some old friends. He met some new friends although he doesn't have a clue what their names are yet. He got to decorate a cookie and eat it. He had some trouble with friends wanting to play with different people at recess though. That breaks my heart. I keep telling him to find someone that doesn't have anyone to play with and be a friend to that person. We'll see how that goes.

Then tonight while he was taking his bath he asked me how much longer first grade was going to last. So I told him until next summer. And he said "aw man. I really want to spend some more time hanging out with you guys." That broke my heart too. I know he was just really tired from a long day back at school, but I so wanted to tell him that I would home school him and he could stay home with me forever and someday when he's 35 I would find him a wife and she would be so happy living with all of us forever. I didn't though. I just told him how much I love him and miss him when he's gone but that first grade was going to be so much fun and he needs to keep going so he can fill up his brain. We'll see how that goes too!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Grade!

It's that time again! What a difference a year makes! I just read the post I wrote last year about sending Jake off to Kindergarten and I was a mess! And although I am feeling a little sad about starting another school year, a part of me is feeling a little glad at the same time. We have had many long days of summer to hang out, have fun and get on each other's nerves. It is time to go back.

Jake couldn't be more excited. We met his new first grade teacher last week and she seems very nice. I've also had a couple neighbors tell me that she is wonderful. Good to have back up confirmation. And when I saw that she sent home a note to parents asking us to send her an email or write her a letter letting her know about our child I was pumped. I'm going to try and be slightly less melodramatic than I was with my letter to Jake's Kinder teacher. So without further adieu:

Dear Mrs. Harris,

I'm giving my boy over to you for seven hours a day five days a week. He will be spending more time with you and his classmates than he spends with me now. He's so little. Please be kind. But firm. You're gonna need to be firm. Here are some things you need to know about Jake:

1.) He is a dreamer. He spends more time in his imagination than he does in reality. I like this about him. Please don't kill it.

2.) He loves animals-especially ocean animals. Please foster his interests.

3.) He loses focus easily unless actively engaged in something he enjoys. Please give him tools to do better.

4.) He is a superhero. Please help him to put away his super powers while at school but to know deep down that he still has them. Don't cut those spider webs just yet.

5.) He is sensitive. He may cry over something that nobody else would cry over. Please give him a quick hug and tell him to buck up.

6.) He is a leader. Watch how kids will follow him. Encourage that without giving him a big head. Help him to use those powers for good and not evil.

7.) He has recently learned potty humor. For this I am truly sorry.

8.) He is enthusiastic. Please teach him patience and humility without quenching his enthusiasm.

9.) He really does not like to write sentences. Please find a way to make writing seem fun.

10.) He does not like to lose. He is often a bad sport about losing. Please remind him that doing his best is really what matters most.

He is my heart. I miss him when he is gone. Please protect him. But help him become independent. On the days you can't love him ask me why I love him. I'll fill you in on his good qualities. Please equip him to move on in life to second grade. I'll do my part here if you do your part there. Let's be partners. Oh and try to do the same for the other 21 kids in your class. (You seriously don't make enough money.) 

(ok. so mainly I copied and pasted my kinder letter. Still pretty melodramatic, isn't it? Maybe I'll do better in second grade!)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy 32! Happy, happy, happy!

Yesterday was Mike's 32nd birthday. Poor thing. I feel like it was the epitome of what a parent with small children's birthday inevitably becomes. Just another day. It doesn't help that his birthday comes in August and my brain has officially left the building sometime around July 1st. It normally doesn't come back again until November when things cool down around here. August. Texas. Hot. Enough said.

I did attempt an outing to WalMart on Friday to find a small gift for him. We have no money in August either. So, I'm talking really small. As in a 4 by 4 Rubik's cube small. I generally hate and despise going into WalMart because it smells funny in there. And also the aisles are usually in complete disarray. And also some if not most of the clientele at our local WalMart choose to wear inappropriate day time shopping attire when they visit. And also I think that WalMart is the place where hope goes to die. I'm just sayin'. I prefer Target with their bright red colors, dollar aisles and welcoming Starbucks aromas when I walk through the double doors.

But Target wasn't gonna happen yesterday. I chose to go out around 3pm which meant the black faux leather interior of my car was approximately 3000 degrees. I was already in my after 10am heat induced sluggish brain coma and WalMart seemed like a better option because it is only ten minutes away from our house. Turns out I should have just stayed home and taken a nap. After following some other shuffling zombies around the store for awhile I came to the conclusion that WalMart doesn't offer Rubik's cubes to its patrons. That is very telling my friends. Very telling indeed.

So Mike got nothing for his birthday. Except a day with his kiddos because wouldn't you know I started back to work yesterday too? Teacher in-service day. I did bake him a cake the day before but did not see fit to frost it until I got home from work on Saturday. It was just too. much. I did tell him on Friday night that there would be no birthday gift this year because I suck. And also WalMart sucks. So hopefully, he was prepared. At least we took him out to eat at his choice restaurant to commemorate the day. Thank you Rudy's! You saved what could have gone down as the worst birthday ever.

I believe he is thinking "Today I turned 32 and all I got was this stupid cake!" Love you honey! May your next birthday be more special and perhaps celebrated in Colorado or California or Alaska.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Snippits

We really have been quite busy this summer. I've just been too exhausted by the end of the day to write about it! Here's a synopsis. I took the kids into the big city one Saturday morning to see a free concert by some of children's music "big names".  Joe McDermott and The Biscuit Brothers. At the same concert. For free. That would be like a teenager getting to see Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber together. Or like me seeing Rick Springfield and Bon Jovi in the same night. You can't tell by the picture but Jake and Emma were super excited. And maybe suffering from slight sun stroke. It was hot out there ya'll.

This is Joe. He is incredible. Even adults like him.

We got some rain and saw a lovely rainbow.

We made friends with some lizards in the garden.

Mike did a complete overhaul of the kids Power Wheels truck.

Took a trip to Amarillo to see my parents.

Dad and I took the kids to the zoo. "Hey, hey we're the monkeys!"

My oldest friend in the world, Denise, was gracious enough to host a Stella & Dot trunk show for me while I was there. She invited my second to oldest friend in the world, Misty, to come. Had a great time with these girls! And I don't mean that they are old. I just mean I've known them longer than any of my other friends!

We've hiked, bowled, swam, and gone to many a bouncy house over the last few weeks. And now, somehow, someway, we are down to the last two weeks of summer. I think we're all ready for a more regular routine and some cooler weather. Although I am not looking forward to setting an alarm clock every morning. Enjoy the last days of summer!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Hikes

Well, we took the kids hiking again today. It was the second Tuesday we have done that this summer so I am hereby declaring it a summer tradition! Let the Tuesday hikes commence! Today we decided to go to McKinney Falls State Park. It was beautiful. Of course the drought has made the water levels very low but we did find the "falls" or what is left of them and it turned out to be enough water for the family to actually swim in. And today we actually remembered that we have a furry offspring so we took Brady with us. I think it may have been the best day of his life. He was so happy.

I call this one "Turtles on a Log"

The beginning of the hike when everyone was still happy!

We found a cave where word has it an ancient Native American tribe may have lived. The kids even found words carved into the walls that they were sure were left by the Indians. I have my doubts-unless one of the Indians was named Mike Lowry or perhaps Rocky.

Sister is rockin' her track shorts.

The lower falls.

I mean really. Brady swam all morning. That is one happy golden retriever.

Because of the drought there was a small pool that was cut off from the main body of water where a small school of fish was trapped. A couple of them had already gone bottoms up. Of course, my Jake wanted to save them. So we came up with a plan to trap them in a plastic baggie and liberate them to the main body of water. We probably spent a good 30 minutes rescuing fish. Of course the fish were totally freaked and probably thought we were aliens or something so not all of them cooperated. We had to leave a few behind. Let's see how survival of the fittest works out for those little guys.