Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Money Does Grow on Trees

See? It says so right there on the sign.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunset on the Patio

We took the boys to Discovery Green to play in the fountains today. They were soaked. And thrilled. Even more so when we found the ice cream truck. They played on the playground. And ran, and ran some more. We stopped for dinner at the restaurant in the park before heading home. The patio was inviting. There was a light breeze. We watched the setting sun turn the clouds pink and the reflections off the water. It was peaceful and relaxing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4th of July - Rescheduled

We spent the day today at Kevin's brother's house celebrating the re-scheduled 4th of July party. The kids had a blast playing on the water slide, and riding in Uncle Randy's tractor wagon.

The boys were lucky enough to see their cousins from Virgina (5 year old twin girls, and a 3 year old little boy) in addition to all but one of their 12 cousins ranging in age from 3 to 10 who live in this general vicinity.

Going Away

We had a going away lunch today. After gorging on chips before the meal even arrived it's amazing that they didn't have to cart me out with a forklift when it was finally time to go.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Ummm... Yeah. More Dollar Store Finds...

When Connor and I were gone to visit my family Daddy took Ryan to see his first movie - Toy Story 3. Ryan has been fascinated with all things Buzz and Woody since then. Over the last few days we have let the boys watch 15-20 minutes of the original Toy Story on DVD. They are both addicted now.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dolla Store Finds

We told the kids about Disney today. They are already ready to go. :)

I suspect we will have to break out some of the Disney goodies I picked up at the Dollar store like the Mickey gift sacks, coloring books, crayons, etc. to let them play with to get their Mickey fix in to last them until it is time to go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

It's been a crazy couple of days. We have been working on planning a trip to Disney World for later this fall along with my mom and my grandmother. It will be the boys' first trip and I was really looking forward to it. Kevin and I went a couple of years before the kids were born and had a blast despite some excitement with Hurricane Rita the day before we were set to leave. I also remember a trip when I was about 12 when my grandparents took the entire family to Disney World.

I had finally decided what I thought we should book for this trip when airfare went through the roof. Monday night it was 199. Tuesday at lunch it was 240. Tuesday night when I was ready to finally book? 307. Holy cow. So back to the drawing board I went. Spent hours, but finally lined up a Disney special rate that included a free dining plan and reasonably afordable airline tickets.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The madness apparently isn't limited to just the dollar store. I ended up hitting up Walmarts back to school clearance, too. And instead of the no name brand 6 or 8 pack of crayons I had planned to pick up for some goodie bags I had in mind I ended up picking up a whole case of 24 count Crayola crayon boxes. At least they were a good deal...

Monday, August 23, 2010

We took the boys for a morning bike ride out on the the trails to a nearby lake. They thoroughly enjoyed running the trails along side the lake. Meanwhile I appreciated the break from the butt bruising bicycle seat.

After lunch we put the boys down for a nap and once they were asleep took the opportunity to do a little geocaching while Grandma and Grandpa kept an "ear out" for the boys as they snoozed in their recliners in the living room. When we got back we challenged the in-laws to games of Uno and Skip-bo while the boys surprisingly continued to nap. After a quick dinner once they awoke we headed to a going away party for one of our friends kids who is headed on a mission. By the time we got home I practically collapsed in a heap on the couch. It was certainly a busy, busy weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the Road

It was another busy day today. Between the last second packing, the birthday party, and the trip to Grandmas for a sleep over I am not sure I ever even sat down today. Though it is probably a good thing because once we got to Grandmas we pulled out the new trailer, assembled it, and couldn't wait to take it out for a spin. Though we didn't go far my butt was killing me afterwards. The boys loved their new trailer even though it's a little small for them. And of course we got everything except the kitchen sink, and oh, yeah... their helmets. Oops.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dollar Store Madness

I never go into the dollar store and come out empty handed. I ventured in on a mission to get a gift sack for a 2 year old's birthday party. I ended up with a gift bucket, a balloon, some new presents for the birthday boy and a few (dozen) things for the boys.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I was shopping for a gift for a birthday party this weekend when I stumbled across a double bike trailer being clearanced for $25. I considered for all of about 2 seconds after I loaded it into my cart whether it was for the birthday boy or for us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quotes from the Backseat


We were headed home as usual. I was just making my way over into the left turn lane when I realized that we needed to stop and pick up dinner before heading home. Dinner which I realized I was just about to pass on the left. So instead of the gentle lane change I had started I hit the brakes and turned across 2 lanes and the turn lane into the parking lot. As I hit the brakes and started the turn I heard Ryan's shout of "OH.MY.LORD" from the backseat.

I have no idea where he got it from, but at least he apparently knows how to use it in context. :)

My Retirement Plan

Clearly I need a Plan B.

Monday, August 16, 2010


So many thoughts...

Connor woke up at 5:30 AM for no apparent reason other than wanting to be held. We snugged in my bed (a rare treat - so much so that I can count on one hand the number of times that we have done it) until Kevin's alarm woke me up again. Then I watched him sleep. And debated whether or not I could move and restore circulation to my arm without waking him.

I spent the last two nights trying to list all the excursions that were on my to do list and figure out how to fit them all into the coming weeks and months ahead. Only to discover that there were too many things on the list, and simply not enough time to do them all. Nor enough vacation.

I am going to miss having so much vacation. We can no longer roll over vacation time so unlike the 6 weeks that I have been accustomed to having available to take at my whim I will be stuck with just 4. And I know that sounds like a lot. But when you work for a company known for forcing you to take two whole weeks at Christmas on a last seconds' notice it leaves you with only 2. 2 that will probably be used next year to go to Hawaii. Which won't leave time for Disney. The Disney trip that we have been looking forward to for a while. Not that the kids won't enjoy it whenever we go, but it won't be the same then. I looked forward to the innocent wonder. And awe. Nor will I have time for the myriad of days here and there for little things. Like the Nutcracker market. And kayaking the bayou. And being able to hit the first day of market in Canton. Or my birthday. Or having a day just to veg in the hammock for no reason at all.

And then there is the grandfather clock. I loved the clock from the second I layed eyes on it. I wanted it so badly, but Kevin didn't like it. He preferred the more classic clocks. When the boys were born he bought it for me. It was waiting at home for me when the boys and I came home from the hospital. I was incredibly surprised. I cried.

It is also the clock that I, and I alone wind. And every time I look at the clock when it is time to wind it I discover that one or both of the hands is on top of the winding holes so I make a mental note to check back later. Only I never do. And eventually the clock just stops. Waiting for me to remember to wind it again.

The kids listen for the clock to chime. The chime is the harbinger of bedtime. Or breakfast time. Or time to go to school. Or just about any other thing I can come up with through out the day that I want their cooperation on. Luckily for me it chimes every 15 minutes. So it is always time for something. :) And the kids? Well, they think it's always 8 o'clock.

And now? It's bedtime, though I have a show half watched paused on the tivo, and a stack of unfinished calendar pages. And a long list of items jotted down to be looked up, and added to the calendar pages. Things that would be fun. And things I want the boys to see or do. I just added two more as they popped into my head. I don't know when I will find the time. And that's okay.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You are what you eat

If you are what you eat the boys are going to be Chinese. We went to Chinatown for lunch today with the in-laws. It was the in-laws first Dim Sum trip with us. I am not sure they knew what to think.

We were a little early meeting them for lunch so I decided to stop at a Bakery a few blocks away. I had no idea what most of it was, but it looked absolutely delicious. The shop keeper was nice enough to wander around with me explaining as I pointed out one thing then another. I ended up picking out three of four things to try before going to get the boys and letting them pick out some sort of dessert. They picked up something white that I think the owner called a Moon Pie (I vaguely recall celebrating the Moon festival about this time last year with some friends now that I think about it...). It was about the size of a cookie and was a powdery white. Inside was a dark filling that Kevin says was bean paste. The paste was the color of dark chocolate. Form the small bite I had it was like a flaky pastry with a somewhat bland, not to sweet filling. It was certainly different.

At lunch Ryan polished off everything that landed on his plate from Pork Buns and Shrimp Dumplings to noodles and green beans and broccoli. He and Connor both showed off their chopstick skills and fearlessly tried a little bit of everything.


Invited friends to join us at the pool for a play date today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Someone stop me now...

Ummm... This is the reason why you shouldn't go shopping at a wharehouse store on an empty stomach...

For the record I bought a giant bag of tamales, too. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Double Wow

We took a wrong turn looking for a park after dinner tonight and passed by this tree in someone's front yard. It's hard to grasp the scale of it from the picture, but it is probably about 10 feet tall.

I wanted a picture, but I didn't think we had a camera so we went on to the park and stayed until we were chased out by dusk and the mosquitoes. Turns out there was an older camera in the car so we made a quick stop before heading home. Unfortunately, by that time it was rapidly approaching pitch black so needless to say from 20 feet away relying on the flash from the tiny point and shoot it didn't come out well. Luckily, thanks to the miracles of Photoshop's raw editor I was able to salvage it enough for you to see it. :)

And through the miracle of Google I even found a video on the history and actual carving of tree. How cool is that??


I spent the evening googling, searching, clicking, checking, and "excelling" right into data overload. I have been looking for Hawaiian cruises. 30 day cruises including Tahiti, 15 day round-trips, 12 day one-ways, and 7 days just around the islands. Flights for all the above. Direct flights, and hotels. You name it and I have looked at it.

Of course my favorite (semi-realistic) one is the 30 day that includes Hawaii and Tahiti/French Polynesia with an ocean view which is a STEAL at $3400/person. It is reminiscent of a 28 day whirlwind tour I did with an alumni travel group covering 11 European countries with my mom back in 2003. Only without the constant hotel check-ins and outs and lugging 28 days worth of stuff around from place to place.

Alas, just like in 2003 my husband refuses to be gone for 30 days, and my Grandmother wants to tag along, but for 2 weeks, not 4. Party poopers.

So with all their constraints, and complaints in mind I have narrowed it down to 2 options. And I was surprised to learn that it comes out including airfare and taxes, and more taxes to < $1400 per person. SOLD! Quick! Click it! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Hidden among the pile of junk mail I brought in today were a handful of post cards from Kevin's trip to Asia. Every time he sends postcards. Then he gets home and grumbles about them not arriving before he does. Deja-vu anyone??

We did get one addressed to "Mom and Dad" at our address. I was a bit puzzled until I realized that he meant to send it to his parents at their house not ours. And did I mention that all the rest are addressed to the boys? Yep - not one single one for me. I love you, too, dear.

Signed my Life Away

I signed my life away. Or at least a sizable chunk of it. I finally bit the bullet and ordered me a new car. I was all ready to pull the trigger on it in May. I called them up and said "Order it!" They said "Okay." Then they called me back 2 hours later and told me that the system was no longer taking orders for 2010s would you like to order a 2011? But they had no details on pricing or what was changing for 2011 so I politely, but frustratedly declined. They finally got some 2011s in and had the details on them so I stopped by to check them out. We searched again and came up with 0 even close to what I was looking for through the locator (big surprise...) so I am once again back on the order path. It should arrive mid-September. Let's just hope my car holds out that long...

Monday, August 9, 2010

At the breakfast table

The many faces of Connor -

"Who Me??"

"Yadda, Yadda.... Whatever"


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Day, Another Flight

I was so proud of the boys. They were angels at the airport. And other than a minute or two while we were getting settled they were perfectly behaved on the plane, too. I am a lucky, lucky mom.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My first stab at using the stitch assist function of my camera. Well, technically 2nd. The first time I took a step forward when I realized there was going to be a pole in my picture and then the mountains didn't line up.

I am pretty impressed with how it turned out. This is actually 4 pictures stitched together.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We dream about trips to far away places and exotic lands. Sometimes we overlook the beauty to be found in our own backyard.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Some trips are more about the journey than the destination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fish bowl

I have a vague memory of a needlepoint print on the tall chest in my room as a girl with a cat with it's head stuck in a fish bowl with some sort of saying written on it about some things being easier to get into than out of.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I couldn't help but smile when I saw the tumbleweeds in the middle of the alley.

Growing up I remember one summer watching in wonder at the tumbleweeds blowing down the street, piling up against our more than 6ft tall fence and finally piling up high enough to spill over into our yard before tumbling across the yard to do the same at the opposite side.

I also remember years later watching tumbleweeds as big as my car swept across the interstate in front of me. Dodging them so as not to hit one and be fishing the prickly branches out from under the car and in the grill for weeks to come.

I hadn't seen many in the last few years, but apparently there was enough rain at just the right time to ensure that they would flourish this year to entertain new generations.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Because what kid wouldn't want the biggest marshmallow you have ever seen??

Or a whole case of them as the case may be... :)

My cousins went to Balmorhea yesterday and came back with not just one bag, but a whole case of Super Giant Marshmallows.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good help is hard to find

My mom, the boys and I washed the motor home today. Or my mom, Ryan and I washed. Connor dumped water out at every opportunity and splashed and soaked everyone in sight. Despite the 100 degree weather after playing in the water in the shade the boys were shivering like crazy.

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