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.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fourth of July Festivities

This year we finally decided we could take the kids to the annual 4th of July parade downtown without worrying about them running out in front of a fire truck or something. It was a very small parade but Jake and Em loved it. They especially loved the part where people threw candy at them. Yay!

After the parade we headed to the downtown park where there were a plethora of bouncy houses to be bounced upon. Jake and Emma waited in line to go to the top of a pretty tall bouncy slide first. I knew it was going to end up with Emma at the top refusing to go down. But Mike assured me that she would be fine. Just as they were about to get their turn I had a panic attack about Emma and her underwear situation. So I asked her if she put any on and she said yes and then I noticed the mama in front of us trying not to bust out in laughter about that conversation. Something told me she's been there and done that too. As predicted when Emma finally climbed to the top of this particular Pike's Peak she wigged out and started crying. I had a dress on so there was no way I was going up there. So Mike had to save the day and climb the slide in two single bounds and then he whisked his daughter down the slide. When they reached the bottom she was all giggles and said "again! again!" And I said "no way sister." Then we found the HEB mascot and the kids had their picture taken with him. They were so excited for some reason. I mean, it's just a big paper sack with fake food inside. It's not Rick Springfield or anything.

Then we came home and ate hot dogs because you can't much more American than that. I also made an apple pie because, hello, American!

And for the first time in their lives we took the kids downtown that night to see the firework display. Usually, we just sit in our driveway and see whatever illegal fireworks the neighbors are setting off. Oh my word. They had so much fun. Except for the part where Emma chewed open one of her glow sticks and got the glow chemicals all in her mouth and it burned, it burned! Then she rubbed her face with her hands and that started burning. Then we had to ask the strangers beside us if they had any water we could use to stop the chemical burning taking place in and on our daughter's face. Good times. But finally the fireworks started and Jake could not contain his excitement. He said in his very loud voice "mama! they are exploding! they are exploding mama! this is the best day of my life!!!" And even Emma agreed with that because by that time the burning had subsided and she was able to focus on fun. Hope you had a happy 4th too!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summertime Adventures 2013

Last week almost killed us. It was our annual go to Vacation Bible School all morning, come home for lunch and then go to swim lessons all afternoon week. I know tons of families do these kinds of things day in and day out and that's great but we aren't typically that busy. If the kiddos had one meltdown last week they had one hundred meltdowns last week. But I will say they had tons of fun at VBS and Emma Mae has been singing all sorts of songs about Jesus this week which makes me smile. She keeps ending one song with "he gives us ever lasting might" and I keep telling her I think it's supposed to be "ever lasting life" and she tells me "not in my song mama!" So, whatever. He does also give us might I suppose.

We are watching my neighbor's eight year old boy three days a week this summer. So the kids have a friend to help keep them entertained which is good. And I have one more child in the house to keep entertained or else I hear the dreaded words "I'm bored!" So off to the swimming pool we go. Every. Single. Day. If Jake gets any more tan or his hair gets any more golden highlights in it we will have no choice but to sign him up for some sort of little boy swim suit model contest. Or surfer boy poster contest. I don't know but seriously I could die from all the cute over here. Even our fair skinned little Emma has a pretty good tan going on. And yes, I sunscreen them. With zinc oxide even. The good stuff.

Yesterday we met some friends at a local movie theater that shows free kid movies every day in the summer. God bless them. I didn't even mind paying $6 for popcorn because we got to sit in an air conditioned dark room for two hours with no complaining! Blissful.

Today, Mike and I took all three kiddos for a two hour hike at the greenbelt. My poor neighbor boy actually said to me "what's a hike?" when I told him what we were doing for the day. City kids. He actually ended up loving it and said to Jake "I actually feel HAPPY right now!" as they were walking down the trail. Which goes to show that a little outside time for boys is not a bad thing if you ask me. To make things fun I told the kids the first one to spot a butterfly got five points. Then a hundred points for a lizard. You get the picture. By the time we hiked over an hour to find the only little pool of water in the dried up creek bed we were close to each kid had racked up about ten million points. We saw butterflies, lizards, birds, bugs, squirrels, weird tail less rodents, tons of baby frogs and to top it off three snakes. Yes, I said three snakes. They were all in the little water hole we eventually found. First we saw one and that was cool. Then we saw a second and that was neat. Then we saw the third and I said to Mike "do you think we're in a snake den? hey kiddos! go ahead and back slowly out of here and let's get back on the trail. what do you say?!" Then Jake and his friend spent the next 45 minutes completely forgetting about how HAPPY they were on the hike out and instead talked of dying in the woods from being too tired or their feet falling off from walking too much or of dying of starvation or thirst before we made it back to the car. Clearly, we need to toughen up these boys.

Now, on a completely unrelated note: