Sunday, May 17, 2015

Storms, Storms...

Our days in San Antonio have been filled with thunderstorms this spring. I can actually call it spring, because it isn't so goodness-gracious hot like it has been the last few years we've lived here. I love storms, so I don't mind too much. The kids have been wanting to do more swimming than they're able to do, but they enjoy the storms too. Except when they happen at night. At that point all the boys end up in the hall (yes, Phillip too; lightening doesn't interrupt sleep in the windowless hall).

Phoebe's new dress.

 A sunny day at the pool. 

 Celebrating a birthday with friends. 
Probably the healthiest cake you'll ever eat. 
Very delicious! 

Harrison was quite distraught that he couldn't make his card perfect for Emmey. He tore it up finally. I cut off the torn parts and asked him later if he was sure he didn't want to give her the card he had made. He looked sad and said, "Mom, you can give it to her, but I won't."

 This was a cloudy day at the pool. We tried the Guadalupe River so we could float Elizabeth's raft, but with all the recent storms, it was flooded and raging. Very cool to witness, but not safe to play in. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lockhart, TX

Mother's Day gift to me this year was a family outing to Lockhart, TX. 
They are famous for their barbecue apparently.

The wood for smoking the meat stored in the back space of Smitty's.

Sharing some delicious brisket, no forks allowed! 

An old library in Lockhart. 
The kids especially liked the stained glass windows.

An old piano in the library?

This is the new part of the library.

We looked in on the clock museum. This guy is a re-enactor and could tell us more than we wanted to know about all the clocks in the place. One watch had a picture of Hitler on it; a lot of those were thrown out after he was gone, of course. Another watch that was the oldest they displayed was worth much less than the Walt Disney watch made in the 20's. Go figure. 

We tried to get ice cream in town, but Blue Bell is having some issues, so none of the places had ice cream. We stopped at a Dairy Queen on the way home. 

This was my kind of gift ~ a family experience together. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

An Aquarium and a Haircut.... and Some Other Stuff

The kids spent several days working on a train. 
And playing all kinds of games in the train. 

Elizabeth bought some luggage. That's just the kind of girl she is.

This is a new aquarium in town. The guy who did a lot of the construction on it is our neighbor. Our kids and their kids get along very well and they invited us to a night at the Aquarium for a birthday. 

Petting and feeding the Bat Rays and Sting Rays was pretty awesome.

They have a number of reptiles and birds and other aquatic life as well. It was a much appreciated experience for the kids. Harrison wants to go back for his birthday. 

And Elizabeth is enjoying a new haircut and color. She's a lot more adventurous than I am!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Flat Stanley

Phoebe's cousin Joshua involved her in a school project with a book character called Flat Stanley.

He sent her the character and Phoebe took him around to different sites in our city. She's been writing about him during school time, and we'll send Stanley back this week to Joshua's school so he can use her information for a project. 

Flat Stanely at our library (Semmes) standing next to a Texas Mountain Laurel tree. We also saw a Road Runner on this day.

 Flat Stanley among the Bluebonnets ~ Texas' state flower.

 Flat Stanley at Cibolo Creek ~ a fun Nature Center our family visits often.

This is a replica of a dinosaur track found in the Boerne Lake Spillway after a flood uncovered it several years ago. 

 If you click on this picture,  you can read more about it.

We didn't visit the Alamo this time around. Joshua got to see it when he was here a couple months ago. But here's a picture of the Texas flag (a very important part of living in Texas) next to the most famous site in our town. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phoebe is 9

This year the kids get a friend/activity birthday. I'm working on getting it down to where we have fewer large birthday parties. I really don't enjoy giving them and some of our kids really would want a large party every year. So we've slowly set up some rules to cut down on those. Last year the kids had family parties. This year they can invite one friend and do a fun activity. Next year I'll brave a house full of crazies.

Elizabeth found this idea. She covered a cake in white fondant, 
and Sophie and Phoebe decorated it using edible markers.

She wanted fruit salad and stromboli for her birthday meal.

The chosen activity was painting pottery at Clay Casa. Phoebe chose a hanging lantern and Sophie chose a cupcake dish. Thank you, Sophie, for celebrating with us!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Flying Turtle

 This is the third or fourth year Elizabeth has tried her hand at making a raft. This one was the best yet! The Flying Turtle had its debut voyage at Cibolo Creek Nature Center last Saturday.

It was made of water bottles again, but this time they were glued down onto cardboard so that they stood upright. Then she wrapped the sides in duct tape, took off the cardboard and wrapped duct tape around the whole thing leaving some gaps for water to escape from.

Elizabeth has always lamented the fact that she didn't have a paddle. She's been using an old mop handle instead. But we found paddles at Walmart for $10, so we bought one and will try it out next time it's warm outside.

The previous raft journeys are here and here.

This was an April Fool's joke Elizabeth played on Phoebe. She covered Jonathan's door with post-it notes too, but he woke up before she could cover it in plastic.

Phoebe being Phoebe.

And Harrison is showing some signs of perfectionism. He discovered the ruler and he practically won't draw without it now. He wants his drawing to be "perfect" (I swear I didn't teach him this). 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Uncle James and Aunt Dolores

Aunt Dolores is my Mom's sister. She and her husband called unexpectedly over the weekend to let us know they'd be close to San Antonio, and would we like to meet them for supper? 

So, of course, yes! I love seeing family, especially family we don't see very often.

 I took these pictures of Phoebe eating cotton candy just for Nana. Uncle James remembers stopping at the store to buy me and my siblings a bag of candy because, "kids should have candy." And my mom did not allow a lot of sugar in the house. :-) Which was not in the least detrimental to our health and possibly the reason none of us had cavities as kids. Anyway, this picture was just to make Nana say something like, "I ca-an't believe you let those kids have that!" 

 Uncle James and Aunt Dolores were always fun to be around growing up. They had horses and Uncle James would show at horse cutting competitions. We got to watch him anytime he was in Crowley for one. I just learned that their daughter Darlene (my cousin; I don't know her well because she's a bit older than me) was the Youth Reserve World Champion in 1981 for cutting horses.