Thursday, October 29, 2015

Block Party

After our National Night Out Party, Ben said he wanted to have more get-togethers with our neighbors.  I personally was shocked to hear those words.  I being the activator took him on his word and threw together a pumpkin carving party.  It was more attended than the NNO party.  We had two new families come, both we had never met before and both had children.  One couple had a newborn and were planning to get married the next day.  The other had children ages 3 and 5 that we had never seen before.
Our hope was to create new friendships and build relationships.  Our church just finished a series on loving your neighbors, so we stepped out in faith and God richly blessed our evening.
Our next door neighbor brought over his "Big Gas Grill" and we had hamburgers and hot dogs.  I made my mom's famous chocolate sheet cake that was a huge hit.  I cannot wait to see how this builds relationships on our street.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

co-op story of the world vol 4

LE and Boo were asked to do a presentation day for their history class at co-op last week.  LE came up with the craft to make a dream catcher out of a plate  Boo modeled the pioneer clothes.  We made a trail mix of popcorn, nuts, seeds and berries.
This is LE's favorite teacher.  I read in her journal last year, Ms. Coffee is always smiling.  She blessed LE with this beautiful head dress.  She said she would rather see LE use it in her presentations than to know it was sitting in a closet collecting dust.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

National Night Out

We hosted a neighborhood National Night Out.  We were so excited when the police car pulled up and our favorite Citizen on Patrol was with them.  We served red beans and rice, kids ran all over the yard.  We had eight families represented.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Billy Idol

My girlfriend Robin blessed Ben and I with tickets to see Billy Idol in San Antonio.  Never in a million years would Ben and I drop money on a concert like that, so it was a real treat for us.
My parents met us in SA for the night and took the kids to Bass Pro Shop i.e. the fish store, Chick-fil-A and who knows what else while Ben and I rocked out.
It was not the best concert acoustics wise, but at 59 the dude is still rocking.  We had fun singing all of my favorite songs from the 80's.  (Billy is featured monthly in my Wayback Wednesday class at the gym).
We were about seven people deep from the stage.  I (at a whopping 4'10") even caught a paper plate he tossed into the crown.  Why a paper plate, I have no idea.
When we met my parents to drop off the kids, I was wearing hole-y jeans and a tank top.  Dad quickly chimed in that I was not dressed appropriately for a Billy Joel concert.  BILLY IDOL, dad!!  Parents.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

backyard campout

We have been wanting to try camping with the kids, but have been more than a little apprehensive about how it would go. With this awesome weather, we decided to give it a try in the backyard.  It worked, kids slept through the night (noticed I clarified kids).  But, it was a lot of fun. Boo did her schoolwork in the tent the next day and the boys played in it for the majority of the day. I think we are ready to branch out into the real world.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Falcons Football

We were invited to our first homeschool football game by one of my students from Shoreline.  Ben stayed home with HR and Boo decided she didn't want to go, but R2 and LE joined me and they both loved it.  Or at lease enjoyed it better than on tv.  LE found her friends from co-op and hung out for the majority of the game with them or in front of the cheerleaders.
Matthew did awesome, so much taller than when he was in pre-k.  He scored two touchdowns and the game was back and forth all four quarters.  Falcons came up with the win.  We are definitely hooked, but hoping all six of us continue to to enjoy it from the sidelines.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

on the road again

Eight days, seven nights, five cities, four kids, three capitals, two adults, one van; tons of memories.
When we started planning our trip to Indy, we never thought it could be a destination vacation.  It was a great city to visit, not to mention all of the fun things on the way to and back.
The kids did great.  I planned lots of activities for the car ride, so they kids stayed busy.
I hope we get to plan more road trips for this family.

Friday, October 09, 2015

wild animals at Memphis Zoo

Our last planned destination was the Memphis Zoo.  We were so excited to find out it was a reciprocal zoo of the Waco Zoo, so we got in half-priced.  It is voted one of the best zoos in the country.
The highlights of our days were when the girls were chosen to participate in the bird show and of course seeing the giant pandas.  Boo insisted we make a second visit to the pandas and we were so glad we did b/c the second time they were awake and eating bamboo.
It was a huge zoo and we walked almost five miles over the day.  R2 met a friend at one of the exhibits and he joined us for the remainder of the day.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Lincoln's birthplace

On Monday morning, we left Indy and started our trek back home.  When we discovered how close we were to Lincoln's birthplace, we knew our home school family could skip that destination.
The girls participated in the junior ranger program and earned their second badge.
As we were leaving we saw a sign we were in Amish country and we were so excited when we passed a horse drawn carriage on our way to Nashville.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Connor Prairie - Indianapolis

On Sunday, my training was over at noon, so we spent the afternoon at Connor Prairie which was one of the high point's of our trip.
It is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and it was full of hands-on activities for all four of the kids.  There were multiple areas for us to explore, including Native Americans, colonial time, pioneer times and the Civil War era.  Each area had people in character from that time period and as we interacted with them they never left character.
Both girls learned to use stilts, and LE even competed in a tomahawk throw.  We made hand-dipped candles and learned how to use a loom.  If we go back to Indy, we definitely be returning here and making sure to arrive earlier to get more time in each of the areas.

Monday, October 05, 2015

downtown Indy

On Saturday, the kids and Ben hung out at the hotel and took advantage of the indoor pool while I was at class.  That evening, they were ready to get out of the hotel so we could explore downtown Indianapolis.  We found Benjamin Harrison's home, but it was closed for a wedding.  We explored the downtown area, hitting up a mall, the war memorial, and the capital.  We found a great pizza spot on the university campus and then headed back to the hotel.  The weather was perfect, we even had to break out the jackets.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Rock Steady Boxing

Last summer, I was approached about teaching a class for Parkinson's.  Earlier this summer, I was approached about attending a training for therapy boxing specifically formatted for Parkie's.  The only hang up was the training was in Indianapolis.  A Parkie friend's wife wanted her husband to be able to attend classes and at the time there wasn't a Rock Steady Boxing gym in Texas.  After watching a clip on facebook from RSB I knew this was for me and Ben agreed to take all four kids across the Midwest so I could attend the three day training.
I met the most amazing people; trainers, Parkies and their cornermen (care partners).  I was hooked.  Over the weekend I am sure I slept no more than three hours each night wondering how I was supposed to bring this back to Austin.  On our drive home we were outside Waco, I was driving and Ben told me he believed I was supposed to bring this back to Austin also and would pay the affiliate fee to make it happen.  I don't recommend driving I-35 with tears in your eyes, but I was overjoyed.
And God continues to direct our steps toward making RSB Austin a reality.
During the training, I felt God tell me Wells Branch is where I was supposed to be looking and I even had a shopping center pictured in mind.  After several phone calls and closed doors mainly b/c of the lack of ac/heat in traditional boxing gyms, yesterday, we met with the owner of a local kickboxing/martial arts facility that agreed to lease a space to us.  And you guessed it, the gym is on Wells Branch Pkwy in the shopping center I was originally imagining.
I have had countless friends offer to help in any way they could to make this happen, including one friend purchasing me a second heavy punching bag.  So, I am hanging on for dear life on this white knuckle ride that God has us on, I sit in amazement how God's plans are indeed bigger than mine.