Sunday, June 23, 2019

VBS and a Concert


On the way back from dropping Phoebe off at camp, we noticed a sign for blackberry picking. The boys were with me, so we stopped and picked about a pound of berries. It was $4 or something like that, so not expensive. It's not quite like finding them wild in the woods and having to throw yourself up against the prickly bushes to try to reach that one wa-ay in the back, but it was still a fun experience. I made blackberry cobbler the next day ~ a quite delicious way to eat blackberries.


There was a three night VBS type deal that Oak Hills does throughout San Antonio. The closest one to us was done at a gymnastics place, and it was close enough that I felt comfortable inviting the neighbor kids and driving them all there too. Jonathan was there to help me out since I wasn't sure how all the kids would act. They all did great though! They learned "Jesus Loves Me" and "As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34b" and new Bible stories. 




I noticed that they all had brown eyes, so I told them to show off their eyes.



And Liz and Jon bought tickets months ago to attend a 21 Pilots concert here in town. I also bought a ticket, because I wasn't going to let them go alone. I told them if they found an adult who wanted to go though, by all means, offer them the ticket. And their youth minister was glad to take them! Yes! I think a ticket to a 21 Pilots concert would be wasted on their mother. 


Friend Augusta went also. 
Don't ask about the tape and stuff. I don't know what it all means, but there is a lot of swag that goes along with 21 Pilots.




Jonathan's first words to me the next morning were, "I don't think I'd do that again, but I enjoyed it." The lights seemed to bother him more than the loud noise did. 

Liz' first words were, "Next time we're going to get floor tickets!"



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Beach Tradition


We are figuring this beach thing out! This time we played at the beach for an evening, spent the night nearby and then played in the morning. And No One Got Burnt!! Last year was quite the awful burnt experience. This year was not. 



Burying Westley in the sand is a must-do at the beach. Harrison thinks this is hilarious and talks about it every year. 


Westley, Wyatt, and William working together on a sand structure.


I loved the look of these sand dunes! 
So Dr. Seuss-like. So compelling. 


Some of us walked to that pier you can see in the distance. 
One of us slipped on that pier and fell splat on her back. 


Egrets and sea turtles abound beside the pier. 


I found these little guys on our walk. They were not alive, so I brought them back to show the rest of the crew.


Harrison is carrying on the tradition of the homemade raft. He made his own this past month and brought it to the waves. It worked quite well.


These two love the waves.


End of the pier. I guess it's more a build-up of land with rock, than a pier. 
They're pretty sure something died down there. 

This was a special time with friends and I do love traditions. 
I'm so glad we got to go again this year.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Harrison is Nine

Youngest is nine!  Ahhh! 

The other three are all teen-age-ry, and he's still a kid ~ into all the fun stuff kids are into.  He wanted to go to Olive Garden for his birthday because he had seen a commercial, and he really wanted those breadsticks. And I think there was a baby in the commercial, and he kind of wanted to see a baby chomping on a breadstick.






Phillip had the idea of getting him a fish as his gift from us. This is the first "real" pet we've had, ya'll. It's a Black Orchid Betta. When he first saw it, he starting tearing up and said, "This is a big responsibility. I hope it doesn't die because I will probably go to my room and cry." 

So he was feeling a bit of a burden on his shoulders. But we talked to him about how to take care of it and that fish often don't last long and we wouldn't blame him if it died, etc, etc. By the end of the day he said it was the best gift he's ever received. He named it Charlie.



We all realized too late that no one got a picture of the jello cake Elizabeth made for him. So I found a picture online that gives you an idea of what she did (picture above is a random internet picture). It was blue jello in a clear bowl with Nerds at the bottom for pebbles and Swedish Fish swimming around and other plastic sea animals. She put ground graham crackers at the top for sand with a dolphin splashing up and a crab on the beach. It was really cute. 

After Olive Garden for Supper, we came home and set up a table of snacks in the front yard. Neighbor kids came over, we lit the number "9" sparkler and sang to H. Then we played a bunch of party games that I remember playing when I was a kid: pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, drop the clothespin in the jar, egg on a spoon races, and wrap a mummy with a roll of TP. I don't know that he'll be into those kind of games next year when he's 10, so I was glad to get them in this year. 

Later that night he said this was the best birthday he's ever had. 

I asked him, "Why?"

"Because I got the best gift. And because we had the incident."

"Which incident?"

"Where there two?" he asked.

"Well, what incident are you talking about?"

"How I got two of the same gift."

"Oh yea, that was funny. Yep, I guess that does make the birthday pretty special."

Ha, ha. That kid. He got two of the same Lego set. It's a Creator sea creature set, and he said he wanted to keep both so he could build two of the projects and have them play together. With Creator sets you can build three different things out of the set of Legos, but you can only build one at a time. 

Anyway, he's a fun kid. Happy Birthday, Harrison!




Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Day at SeaWorld


My parents and brother gave us a day at SeaWorld for Christmas, and we were finally able to go last week.


Harrison has lately been into sea creatures and diving. Especially diving. He watches Blue World on YouTube which really keeps his interest. He's still fairly scared at swim lessons, so we'll see if the diving interest goes anywhere, but he was the one who especially loved SeaWorld.


I tried to get us in on a day when kids would be in school and there wouldn't be a crowd. We did get good, close parking, but I just don't think you can escape the school field-trip crowds. There were many, many buses when we pulled up. And yet, when I looked at how much parking was available and what kind of space they provided for long lines at rides, I knew this was a light crowd day. So, yay! We did have to wait about 45 minutes in line for one ride, but that was the only wait. Oh, besides the lunch line. That one was also unnecessarily long. 


The animal shows were a big hit, especially for Harrison and I. We got to see shows with sea lions, beluga whales and dolphins, and orcas. I think the pretty beluga whales were my fave. Divers would swim with them and ride on their backs and be pushed around by the whales' heads. The way the orcas would leap out of the water together, the way the dolphins could "stand up" in the water .... it's amazing that we can train animals that way. I really enjoyed it.



Penguins!


Puffins!



Sea Turtles! 


We rode a few rides (we are not a "scary ride" family, so we did tame rides). We got lunch and snacks. Harrison played in the splash area and got soaking wet. We saw animal shows. We bought mementos. We stayed all day (except for Dad and Liz who stayed for a good portion but then headed home after Dad got soaked form the Rio Loco ride). It was just a neat day. Thanks, Mom and Dad and Cory!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

In Between the Rain


Liz found this place when it was under re-construction. It is Hot Wells Hotel on the River Walk. It was several things over the years - sulfur springs touting health benefits, a hotel and spa for the famed (with a movie studio built across the river; a movie studio in San Antonio!),  a dormitory and school.

We went there while they were working on it and she looked around a bit. It's now a park and we can officially visit it without sneaking around (of course, we still can't go inside the buildings). 


A Red Admirable in the field behind the Catholic Church. 
So many beautiful wild flowers and butterflies and birds back there! The grass is a little tall to walk in the field right now (Texas doesn't like to cut down the wild flowers until they're ready to die). But we go back there to fly kites and shoot off rockets and walk, when the field is tame. I like it both ways.


Harrison and neighborhood buddy climbing a tree near the library. I love our library. It's near woods and trails and a park. The back area has a large porch with rocking chairs. There's a sort of creek with huge rocks that Harrison likes to climb around on. This tree was close by the creek and perfect for climbing. Climbing trees, jumping rocks, running down trails  ~ that's the stuff life is built on. Some of of the stuff anyway. 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Liz and Prom Pictures at the Mill

Liz joined a group of girls going to a private school prom near the abandoned mill that she loves to explore. She and two of the girls took the official prom pics there. I don't know how they got in without tearing up dresses and stockings, but they did it. And I'm especially proud of this girl for finding a dress for only $32!! That's my girl! 

She looks like a princess and I love her. 






Spring in San Antonio is Summer Everywhere Else

It's been so gorgeous lately. I could do without all the bugs that are showing up (curse the non-freezing winter that doesn't kill the bugs!). The cool winds, the wild flowers, the walks in the sunshine. I'm loving it.

A citrus farmer from down in the Valley blesses us with citrus whenever Mimi and Papa come to San Antonio. Lots of fresh squeezed orange juice and sliced oranges come from this. I also decided to try some dried orange peel and dried citrus slices this time around. The dried citrus is sweet and chewy ~ almost like natural candy. Very yummy.



Harrison accompanied me to the Library park and a walk up the hill. This is us taking the path less traveled. Or the path we'd never taken before anyway. 


We have so many evening primroses in our backyard this year! They only open in the evening, and one day while I was walking back there, I thought I spied a hummingbird buzzing around. It turned out to be a large moth - the banded sphinx moth to be exact. I was so excited for our yard to be graced with such an exotic insect.