Sunday, May 31, 2015

We celebrated the last day of school at the gym pool.  LE said it was the best graduation party ever.  R2 said it was the best day ever.  It WAS a great day.  Such a huge difference from last year, both boys jumped right in and began splashing and exploring.  Both girls went straight for the slide and picked up on "swimming."  The pool temps were still pretty cool, but the air temp was fabulous.  

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

School's Out for Summer!!

L.E. wrapped up fourth grade today and Boo finished 3rd.  We will continue to work on math, read and practice the piano each day.  My plan is to begin R2 on kindergarten in the next couple of weeks as he is asking for school work.  It will give us a chance to get into a rhythm and see if he is really ready for kinder before he :technically" begins in January.  If he isn't ready then we can start again next year as he only be five later this year.

Boo- favorite subject: Reading
favorite book:
favorite day:  the day I finished school early at 10:30
favorite field trip: NASA day
favorite park: All Abilities
best friend: Ria (from co-op)
favorite memory- baby bunnies in the backyard

L.E. - favorite subject: science
favorite book: Tale of Desperaux
favorite day: Saturdays
favorite field trip:
favorite park: Brushy Creek
best friends: McKenzie (from co-op) and Blythe
favorite memory: learning to sew

Thursday, May 28, 2015


The weather has been crazy this month.  I have joked that is our souvenir from our trip b/c it seems like it has rained every day since we've been home.  Over the weekend we had crazy weather, tornadoes, strong winds and LOTS of rain.  On Saturday evening, everyone was in bed when we heard very LOUD rain.  Ben and I watched out the front door, but then decided to check out the trampoline in the back yard.  The trees were blowing in circles.  And three minutes later, it was total calm.  The next morning, we discovered our trampoline was the lone survivor on the street.  The kids across the street lost their playscape and almost everyone had fences missing pickets or completely gone.  Our home was unscathed.
On Monday, we got round two, but this time just lots of rain, and lightning and multiple tornado warnings.  We took the warnings seriously and was able to get both cars and the motorcycle into the garage.  We moved the trampoline against the shed to block some of the wind.  We have seen multiple videos of flooding in the town.  The rain totals were over 6 inches on Monday alone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WordlessWednesday - "smile"

I really want this to be a Wordless Wednesday pic, but I have to explain for posterity sake.  I noticed he had gotten his rain boats on (by himself), that will happen after 3 weeks of rain, but was still in his diaper.  I was taking a picture to send to Daddy when he also whipped out this cheesy smile to complete the pic.  Love my cheeseballs.

family day

This past weekend, the rain subsided for a few hours so we could enjoy family day with our church at a local park.  We took bikes and a picnic lunch and braved the rain chances for the day.  The rain held off until park day was supposed to end at 2.  The girls and I were on a bike ride when the heavens opened up and we headed back to the pavillion to gather our things and head home.  The day's events included Ultimate frisbee game, fun on the playground, splashing in puddles, nature walks, a picnic, bike rides, fun with friends and lots of mud.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

back yard visitor

Are we still in a drought?  I'm thinking if turtles are wondering the streets in the rain, they must be thinking not.  We rescued this big guy crossing the main street in our neighborhood.  He came home with us so I could show the girls and we could get him to the local lake.  When we put him down he first went to the low spot in the yard that has been collecting water, but then headed for the shed where he hung out till this past weekend when the rain subsided.  Thankfully last weekend he came out and we were able to get him to the lake.  R2 was a little disappointed he couldn't stay with us, but he was so brave and decided to join us as we released him.  We are on the lookout for a plastic turtle to add to his zoo animal collection

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

roller girls

The girls were recently invited roller skating with home school friends and they had a blast.  Thanks to these assistants and friends, the girls picked it up much quicker than ice skating.  Good, cheap, summer fun option to park day in full effect.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Mother's Day

I am quite sure I am the most blessed Mama on the planet.  I have the greatest, most supportive husband a Mom could want.  I have the coolest kids on the planet who love me in spite of my flaws and moments of weaknesses.  I get to home school my children and pursue my career in fitness.  I am so grateful.
For Mother's Day, we made a quick trip to Kerrville so LE could participate in the Pioneer Day and so we could pick up our van which had to make an unscheduled stop to the repair shop while we were on our trip.  The sliding door stuck, in open, not the safest option to drive around in.  On Sunday morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Gigi and PopPop's, then headed home where Ben grilled us steaks, roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.  On Sunday night, I served for the first time in Kids' Church so we had leftover steak and eggs for dinner.  I had requested new sunglasses for my trip, so I asked for no more gifts for the day.
Thank you, Lord for blessing me.  My cup runneth over.

Friday, May 22, 2015

last day of co-op

This past Friday was our last day of co-op for the school year.  The girls each participated in drama again this semester, which included a small production.  Boo was Snow White in Snow White and the peeps.  LE was L. Mermaid and The 2nd pig in The Fairy Tale News.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

big kid booster seat

Sigh, I just discovered R2 is big enough for a booster seat.  Half full/half empty moment.  I am so glad to not have to buckle/unbuckle or transplant car seats any longer, but I am not ready for this guy to grow up.
-4 years old, 5 months

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thank you PopPop and Gigi

Hank isn't one for words to tell me about his first trip to the beach, but I know he really enjoyed himself.  He loves the water, loves being outdoors with his siblings and he loves his Gigi and PopPop.  The kids made memories that will last a lifetime and R2 has already told me that Daddy and I can go on the big boat any time we want so he can go back to the beach.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kids' vacation - R2

Gigi and PopPop got us juice boxes for the trip and it was four hours away.  When we got to the ocean, we got some pizza where Gigi got her things.  Then, we went to the ocean, we put our things in our room.  We only stayed for two days.

  We just played and it did have a pool, but we never got to play in it.  We saw some waves, and some chairs to sit in.  And we saw pelicans and sea gulls.  We fed the sea gulls with some bread and then we never got to have toast.  Then, we went back to Gigi's house.

kids' vacation by LE

My vacation began when I found out we were having a surprise vacation to the beach.  On our way to the beach we got ride a ferry, our hotel room was really cool with a view of the beach.  We went to the beach several times, I even go to the docks to feed the sea gulls all by myself.   My favorite part of the beach, a new game Boo and I invited.  It was called Nice Knowing you.  You went into knee deep water, and the waves would hit and you'd shout "Nice Knowing Ya".

When we got home we got to go Mimi's.  At Mimi's we painted pots to look like mushroom houses.  And we put them in the Mimi's garden.  Then, the usual at Mimi's, shopping and burgers.  On Sunday, I got to teach my cousin learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  That same Sunday, my mom and dad came home.

Monday, May 18, 2015

kids' vacation by Boo

The beach was awesome.  My favorite thing was our balcony.  It had enough chairs for Gigi, PopPop, me, LE and each of the boys to each one of our own chairs.  And there was also a journal, and on one blank page we could write about our day.  I wrote about our trip and so did LE.  We collected a hundred shells.  And my favorite game was wave push.  How you played, was to sit in the water and let the waves push you backwards.  I wish I could say right now to Gigi and PopPop that they won "the best vacation with grandparents' award".

Sunday, May 17, 2015

two days at sea

The first two days at sea were pretty rough; rain and 60 mph winds.  I spent much of Monday in bed with vertigo while Ben came in third place in a slots tournament.  I never got nausea, just needed to adapt to the rocking.  I had to get well before Ben became a slots addict, but by the time we arrived in Florida, I was fine.
On the way back to Galveston, we had sunshine and smooth sailing.  We spent our days eating, and laying out on the Serenity deck (21+ deck), we hit the gym, hit the buffet, read, and played lots of trivia.  We were chosen to play Up and Out, the cruise's cash cab alternative.
We were eliminated on the question, "what is the national sport of Canada?"  And the answer is lacrosse.  Yeah, we guessed hockey too.  We got a ship on a stick instead of the bottle of wine, but I wanted the ship anyways.
We also spent lots of time in the piano bar on the sea days.  We tried the BBQ bar, it was not BBQ.
Our favorite dishes was portabello mushrooms salad, the cheese plate, prime rib and the beef tenderloin medallions.  We weren't very impressed with the desserts, the breads were very hard to resist, the drinks too.  I pretty much stuck to pina coladas because of the awesome rum, but Ben tested fate and tried new drinks at each bar.
Our first cruise was sixteen years ago on our honeymoon.  Neither one of us really enjoyed ourselves, and decided we were more of destination vacationers.  After this experience, we finally get it.  Cruising is about food, drinking and getting away.  I didn't need to relax/get-away sixteen years ago.  I didn't really appreciate food and we still aren't big drinkers.  It will definitely not be sixteen years before we cruise again.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nassau, Bahamas

We finally, made it to the beach at Nassau. Bahamas.  We hired a local taxi and went to Cabbage Beach, a beach I had researched online.  When we arrived a young man greeted us and said we could have unlimited drinks from the bar for $20.  We learned the bar was a dude cutting the end off a coconut adding some "mixed concoction" and adding a straw.
He also happily brought us two lounge chairs up to the water for $15 each, we said no, thanks.  Which he then left the chairs, so we occupied them for free.  We hung out for about three hours with a couple we met on the taxi from Bandera.  Small world.
In the distance you could see rain, and about 1:00 the heavens opened up.  Originally we were just going to ride it out, but then the lightning came and we along with hundreds of other beach-goers started running for cover.  The streets flooded quickly, but we made it back to the ship, got warm, ate some lunch and then ventured to the shops and checked out some yachts around the marina before we headed back towards Galveston.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Freeport, Bahamas

Our second destination was Freeport, Bahamas.  I had done some research and purchased an all-day excursion through a local company for a six-hour beach day.  But, when we arrived in Freeport almost all of the excursions were cancelled b/c of the rain.  We could go shopping and hit a small beach near the shopping district.  We along with every other person on our ship and one other Carnival cruise were in-line for a taxi to go shopping.  It took us fifteen minutes to get to the Straw Market, and the prices were RIDICULOUS.  We were expected to haggle, but I was on vacation and in no mood.  I wanted to be at the beach, not shopping.  We walked to the public beach, but it was so crowded we decided to spend the day on the ship.  It rained off/on all day.  We got a $5 coconut water, had lunch on board and meandered around the decks, hit up the gym, ate some more and took a nap.

I'm sure Freeport has lovely beaches somewhere, but all we saw were the loading docks, oil cruisers and too many tourists.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Key West, Florida

Our first destination was Key West, Florida.  Several people recommended doing the hop on/off trolley around the island so we booked that excursion through Carnival.  We were able to see Hemmingway's house, the ocean, lots of bars and shops, the butterfly house and lots of cute houses.
It wasn't what we expected.  We stopped in some tourist shops, but didn't buy anything b/c I waned to get souvenirs in the Bahamas.  A decision I now regret.
We had a chocolate-dipped frozen Key-Lime pie, had Mahi Mahi tacos from the highest ranked Yelp food trailer.  We had a great margarita and daiquiri from Sloppy Joe's Bar, where Hemingway hung out.
We went to the beach, but it was very crowded and very tiny.  It was a man-made beach so it wasn't very exciting, but beautiful water.
As we rode the trolley for the 2nd time, we could see rain coming in the distance. At stop six, it began to down pour, the ship was stop #8.  The driver got us as close to the ship as he could, but it was raining really hard.  We ran to the ship and as we rounded the corner we saw 4,000 other people waiting to board the ship in the rain.  It was raining sideways, we got soaked.  It was fine b/c we had already seen the city.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

vacation pit stop

Our first stop on our get-away was to Clear Lake Shores where we visited Ben's aunt, uncle and cousins.  I think I could have sat on their deck the entire week and just watched the boats go in and out of the harbor, but... we didn't.  Ben's cousin, Amber and his great-aunt and Dad's cousin took us to dinner in Kemah.  On the island everyone drives golf carts, so we showed up in style in an H3 hummer and his cousin drove the 'vette cart.  We went to an awesome Greek restaurant and then back to the front porch to watch the party boats.  The next morning, we walked the island where "Aunt Ronnie" and Aunt Nancy live before Amber took us to Galveston to catch the ship.

Monday, May 11, 2015

cruise 2015

Who said Ben and I can't be spontaneous.  I mean it only took 16 years, but we finally did something spontaneously.  When we had to cancel our trip to Kenya, we knew we could not sit around the house for a week while we both had time off and we had babysitting lined up for the kids.  We pondered flying to DC or Denver when we saw some low airfares, but by the time we booked hotel, we knew we couldn't do eating out on our budget.  We looked at last minute cruise deals on vacations to go and found a great seven-day cruise to Key West and the Bahamas.  We literally booked the trip the week before we left, we of course purchased traveler's insurance.
This trip was so desperately needed for Ben and I to connect.  We always try to do something to wrap up the school year, so it is going to be a little difficult to get back on track for the next month, but I am so grateful to Gigi, PopPop, Mimi, PawPaw, and all of the subs who took my classes so we could get away and do nothing for seven days.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pioneer Day-Fredericksburg

This past weekend, my dad and the girls participated in Fredericksburg's Pioneer Day.  Landry had her display table with her pioneer toys and Bella enjoyed playing with PawPaw's friends band.  We took the boys and explored the pioneer museum.  Read even made his own rope.
LE even got paid for participating, guess she is a professional now.

growing up

The babies are getting bigger and more independent.  The kids, including my BIGGEST kid checks on them each morning.  They should be leaving the nest any day.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

baby bunnies

One of our rabbit friends in the back yard has given birth to six babies.  Kids have been oohing and ahhing over them.  We know they are less than 10 days old because their eyes haven't opened yet, but they are older than a week because they have fur.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Moto-GP fans

My friend, Erica gave Ben 4 tickets to the Moto-GP qualifying day this past month.  He asked multiple guy friends and only my dad accepted his invitation.  He asked me to go and reluctantly I did, but I really enjoyed myself.  Not as much as the guys did, but we still had a great day.  We purchased the season package on television and we have been following the championship points.  Ben's favorite driver is Marc Marquez and I cannot decide if I like him, Valentino Rossi or Cal Crutchlow more.  I think mostly I enjoy having something to do with my guy.

Friday, May 01, 2015

high X training

Recently I was chosen by the group X manager at my gym to attend the HIGH X training on a scholarship.  I was so excited when I found out I would be learning from the creator of High X, Gabby Reece.  I am still waiting on the official word of when we will be launching the classes at the gym, but I am super excited about the boot camp format.  You can view a sample of the class HERE.  I think I was most impressed with the details our master instructor took to teach us modifications for all participants.  Most group X style classes, just teach you the exercises and turn you loose.
I have to say meeting one of my favorite female athletes of all time was a huge perk for me too. Gabby was an Olympian when I was in college, and the world typically stands still for the Olympics, it's even on my bucket list to attend them.  During the lunch break, most everyone headed out but I had packed my lunch so I got to chat with Gabby for a while.  I told her I home schooled and she said she respected and admired that, her girls are home schooled, but by a private tutor.  As she was leaving she came over and hugged me and said Mama, I know you have the patience of Job, keep it up.  AND THAT was the highlight of my entire experience.