Friday, September 26, 2014

weekend getaway

 When we had to cancel our trip to the Caribbean, we decided we still wanted to get away for the weekend, just Ben and I.  Mimi stayed with the kiddos and we went to San Antonio equipped with our hotels tonight and Yelp! apps.  We found a great deal at the Double Tree Hilton in downtown.  We walked the downtown area including the market square, Alamo, Riverwalk, and mall.  But mostly, the trip for us was about the food.  We used yelp to plan our stops and we were not disappointed.  We had ceviche and margarita's at Rosario's.  We had Authentic Munchener Apfel Pfannekuchen (picture) at Magnolia Pancake Haus, which we shared as this thing was bigger than my head.  We discovered MPH on Triple D on the food network and was the reason we chose SA for weekend getaway. It did not disappoint, so much so we went back on morning #2 but had omelets to try something new.  We had the mozzarella truffle and a pizza at Dough.  We have been here a couple times before, but love the mozzarella  They make it after you order it; another Triple D discovery.  We learned how to make guacamole (which was voted the best in SA.) at Boudro's, and had prickly pear margaritas.  We also tried Nao and the Esquire Tavern for drinks and appetizers, they were good, but probably won't venture to them a second time.   It was a great weekend to refresh and have adult conversation, looking forward to our next one, back to NOLA for our anniversary.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

an Epoch adventure

Since the beginning of summer, we have been attending a homeschooling friend's church, Legacy Church.  I have known Rachel for a couple of years since her twin girls were in Keepers and American Girl clubs with us.  At the RRHOME field day, I met her husband and was so impressed with how he interacted with the children.  We decided to visit their church, where he was the pastor.  I had no idea why we were visiting but just led to do so.
During praise and worship, LE leaned into me and told us she thought we were home.  Funny, didn't know we were looking for a new church, but Ben and I both felt she was right.  We decided to give it a month and each passing week, we felt more and more comfortable.  The first night we met the family pastor and a within a few weeks he invited us to their legacy group (life/small/cell, whatever your church calls it).  We have been attending the LC for a couple of months and this past weekend we went on our first family retreat where we felt confirmation that this was indeed our home.
Ben and I loved Austin Stone, but the kids never connected.  I could not figure out b/c our kids love church and our really sociable kids.  But they were right, it just didn't fit.  Over half of the population at LC is under fifth grade, so it is young families and big families.  They don't care we aren't perfect, that we are loud, and often messy.  There are quite a few homeschooling families in the church and a lot of the families are foster parents or have adopted children.  The church is also very mission-minded.  This past week we decided as a family we want to serve on the tear-down team as we meet at Old Settlers Assoc, so we have to set up and take the church apart each week.
We are looking forward to great things in our new chapter of life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fort Worth Zoo

We have a new favorite zoo and will definitely making the trip back to the Fort Worth Zoo.  We originally planned for this to be the first stop on our mini vacation, but after some research I discovered the zoo was half-priced on Wednesdays.  By lunch time it was starting to warm up.  We originally packed snacks (the only zoo I know of that lets you bring food indoors), but we decided to go ahead and take advantage of air-conditioning and eat at the zoo's Dickey's BBQ and then finish the last leg of the zoo and call it a day.
It was pretty warm for a September day (100 degree by 3:00) and most of the cats were lying about.  But almost all of the other animals were active and playful, some a little too playful.  We met several zoo keepers and were able to learn interesting facts about a few of the animals.  We were able to get up, close and personal with a turkey and owl.  We loved seeing the baby elephants and the exhibits were all so elaborate.  It was a really great zoo, especially at half priced admissions.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge

The week before our big trip I noticed a groupon for Great Wolf Lodge.  We probably would never considered going here without the groupon, it is really pricey for a family of six.  It still was pretty pricey for us, but decided we needed to do something for our get away.  It is a beautiful facility, and we were right next to the airport so it was like two birds b/c HR loved the constant flow of airplanes outside our window.  The kids had their own special area in our room with a set of bunk beds and a daybed.
We played MagiQuest, thanks to my friend Morgan for loaning us a set of wands so we could play.  However, I wish we hadn't, not my favorite part of the trip (but I guess it was some form of exercise climbing up and down eight flights of stairs). And of course we took advantage of the indoor water park.  It was pretty cool b/c only the indoor water park is open after Labor Day.  The kids loved it and it was a great memory for them.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lego Land at Grapevine

I didn't want to sit home last week and be disappointed about sitting home, so I convinced Ben and Mimi into going to Dallas for a mini-vacation with the kids.  Our first stop was Grapevine's Lego Land.  It was home school week and tickets were $10 per person, and HR was free.  We headed out Monday morning and arrived at Lego Land around 11.  There were probably six families in the entire facility.  There were a couple of  rides, two play scapes for the kids, a 4D Lego movie, miniature replica of the city of Dallas made with Legos, a Star Wars display and an area where you could create cars from Legos.  There was also a water park but since we planned to stay at great wolf lodge later that afternoon we skipped the Lego water park.  The kids loved it, and had it not been a discounted rate I would have been disappointed.  It was fairly small, but we had free reign since it was so early on a Monday.  The kids also "helped" to "make" their own Legos which they got to keep as a souvenir.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I love you, Ben because you are an amazing friend.  You complete me.  You are an awesome husband and provider for our family.  You know when to say no and you try not too if there can be a yes.  You treat everyone with love, respect and give more grace than anyone I know.  I love who you were when we met, but I love who you have become even more.  I am so proud to call you my best friend and the greatest love of my life.  I wish you many more birthdays and pray this is the most blessed year for you.
I love you, Daddy because you love me.  He is kind.  He is awesome at everything. Boo.

I love you, Daddy because you love me.  I like to play games with Dad.  A lot of times when I need to ask him something, he usually knows the answer.  L.E.
I love you, Daddy. He's a good daddy.  Read

I love you, Addy.  Hank

Thursday, September 11, 2014

birthday disappointment

This summer I took on extra classes in order to help pay for a special trip for Ben and I.  For my 30th birthday Ben took me to NYC and for my 40th we planned to go to the Dominican Republic.  We were packed and out Saturday night looking for Ben a beach hat when we noticed lightning in the distance.  I was on my phone looking at the radar and decided to check out the temps for DR for our trip when I discovered the chances of rain for each day this week were rain, rain and rain.
After last year's vacation we were not prepared to spend a week inside a hotel room regardless of its location.  So, we decided to cash in our travel insurance and reschedule for another time.  We looked on vacations to go for last minute deals.  And there were some great ones, but by the time we finally found one we thought would be fun we discovered the entire Caribbean was covered in rain.  I just couldn't drop $1300 for a cruise we weren't ecstatic about.   Not sure what we will do at this point, we've talked about skiing this winter for our anniversary or trying to do another beach vacation, but the idea of planning another trip doesn't excite me right now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

end of summer

This summer, all four kids finally got comfortable with the water.  Both girls slid down the big slide.  Both boys jumped off the side of into the pool.  Summer is winding down and the pool is only open on the weekends now.  Probably will be putting away the swimsuits for a few months.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

first day of co-op

Yesterday was our first day of homeschool co-op.  Both of the girls were apprehensive about going, but the boys were excited.  I think toting a backpack helped.
The boys are both in the same class, the early childhood class.  There teacher was awesome, exactly who I would have picked given the choice.  She was so soft-spoken and lovey.  R2 has already made a friend, Eli.
Boo is in the 1-2nd grade class.  She is taking theater, P.E. and Story of the World (history class).  I am the assistant in her theater class.  She said it was her favorite.  L.E. is in the 3-5th grade class.  She also taking theater, P.E. and Story of the World. Her favorite class was theater.
I am teaching the U.S. History class for high school.  All six of my students are girls.  We discussed Jamestown for our first class specifically why socialism didn't work and why private property did.

Friday, September 05, 2014

I'm a 40 year old

That just doesn't even seem right, I'm 40.  Forty always seemed so old.  Granny was 39 when I was born, so I associate forties with being a grandparent.  I know I am far off from that stage, but apparently I am old enough to be one.
The birthday festivities began Tuesday, when my first gift arrived.  My mom shipped me a new crockpot.  Pretty much confirmed I was 40 at that moment, b/c I got excited about a new crockpot. That night, Steve and Sue hired a babysitter for the kids and took Ben and I to Logan's.  Where I can say I completely resisted the rolls, but the not the warm birthday brownie with ice cream.  On Wednesday, Ben's alarm went off at 6am and he sneaked out for breakfast tacos.  The kids had made sweet cards for me the night before that were sitting by my bed.  At my first class at the church, 42 showed up for our workout which Steve said I needed to finish early so the MDO could use the gym, LIAR.  He had a surprise party with a cake made of fruit. They had collected for a cash gift for me.  At my second class, every time one of the members passed me someone handed a chocolate kiss to me.
On the night of my birthday, Ben and the kids took me to my favorite restaurant the Cheesecake Factory.  We got there in time for happy hour and were able to do the $5 appetizers for the kids.  Ben and I had my favorite Chicken Madeira and had a piece of Chris' Outrageous Chocolate Cheesecake to go.
At my Thursday Parkinson's class, they gave me a beautiful plant, card and brownies.  And at the end of the week, I still lost a pound!  Happy Birthday to Me!