Sleep Tight

By | Posted April 18, 2012

Posted in Kobra, parenting, pictures | No Comments »

I hesitate to say this, (knowing it could get worse) but, No David is by far our worst sleeper.  He used to talk nonstop for over an hour, finally getting a room to himself.  Then he forced Lance to sleep with him.  Lance on the floor, holding is hand until he fell asleep.  More often, I found Lance asleep with the kid still chatting.  Now we just leave on the light, and he falls asleep on his own.  

Most of the time.

Sometimes, I catch him reading books.  Others playing with toys.  

Here is how I found him last night:

At one point, he was hugging the trash can.  An hour later,  I went back to turn off the light, (you can’t turn it off  too soon because he might wake up as soon as you click the light off), and found this…


In jail, again.


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By | Posted April 16, 2012

Posted in Daybook | No Comments »

For Today…April 16, 2012

Outside my window…it’s dark and dreary.  A very clear reflection of my mood.

I am wearing…my workout clothes.  Five of the best miles this morning.  I guess that means I should shower and change.

I am listening to…Baby Hulk read poems about the universe.  We really enjoy the poet and illustrator, Douglas Florian.  My personal favorite from this book is:

Pluto was a planet.
But now it doesn’t pass.
Pluto was a planet.
They say it’s lacking mass.
Pluto was a planet.
Pluto was admired.
Pluto was a planet.
Till one day it got fired. 

I am praying for…a change of heart, patience and some very special intentions.

Moments of grace…time alone with my husband.

From the kitchen…the menu is planned.  Refrigerator stocked.  I even have ingredients for a lemon pound cake, something I’ve been dying to have since Easter.  Maybe it will happen this week.

Around the house…drainage pipes are installed.  It’s raining today.  Ready to see if it was worth the money.  Old nasty pipes that were left in my yard by construction workers and plumber are gone.  It would appear I am the only person bothered by just how trashy our back yard looked.  (Or just how bad electrical cords around my house look.)  Getting some type of backyard landscaping done.  Very, very simple.  If I’m stuck here all summer long, I want it to at least look appealing to me.

I am reading…Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins.

I am hoping…we get our garden planted soon.  Terese gave Mason his bulbs yesterday.  Please don’t let us screw it up!

Learning all the time…Did I mention we had ants in our kitchen?  I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from and finally had to call pest control.  (Did I blog about this already?  Too lazy to check.)  Anyway, the guy was so interesting and the kids learned about how to kill the entire colony.  Turns our the worker ants bring food back to the soldiers and puke it up for them.   We were able to watch the ants choose their favorite potion, too bad they didn’t know it would kill them.  Then we figured out where they were coming from because all of a sudden a ton of ants came out to feast.  Worth an entry in the nature journal.

To live the liturgy…we are living Easter.  We started our Garden of the Good Shepherd sticker calendar and the boys like it.  I’d like to add some kind of party to each week, but not sure I will get there before the 50 days are up.

Finding the joy…in watching my kids learn.

Reflecting…on the fact that the traditional rite celebrates confirmation at an early age.  Confirmation doesn’t signify a graduation like a lot of people think.  It bestows the gifts of the spirit.  And quite frankly, kids need those gifts before high school even starts.

One of my favorite things…Mad Men.  I’m two weeks behind.  That isn’t a reflection of my love for the show but rather how busy I’ve been lately.

A few plans for the week…Audubon Sanctuary, field trip to Museum of Natural Science with Goose’s class, library story time, baseball…I’m already tired.  No play dates planned yet.

A picture to share…


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Five For Friday, The Late Edition

By | Posted April 15, 2012

Posted in Five For Friday | 6 Comments »

I started this post on Friday, and then decided I wanted to make Cinnamon Scones.  Good choice.  They were done at 6:45 Friday night and were all gone by Saturday morning before we left for pictures at 9:30.  They were that good.

I’m not going to edit and change tenses on what was written on Friday.  I’m just that lazy.  Plus, it’s a beautiful day and I want to spend some time with the kids.

::The boys have a new favorite song: Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye.  I like this song.  A lot.  I picture lots and and lots of girls playing this song over and over after getting their heart broken and moaning that “he never called”.  It might even sound like something I used to do a long time ago.  I have always taken pride in the fact that my kids don’t listen to kids music.  They have no clue Disney has a radio channel.  I always figured they would like what I like as long as I played it all the time.  The result: kids that love my music.  It wasn’t until they started getting up earlier than me on Saturday, and I rolled over telling them to just “turn on the television” that their taste has become questionable.  We heard this current favorite quite a bit on the radio in Austin.  Baby Hulk refers to it as his favorite Austin song.  After hearing it no less than 40 times over the past two days, it’s about to be banned from my house and car.

::I took the kids to the zoo this morning.  Total surprise.  They were happy.  They saw snakes in the reptile house.  I hate snakes, talking about them makes me dream about them.  I had to keep lifting No David so he could see the snakes and try to look the other way at the same time.  Then we went to story time in the Chilren’s area.  Lucky kids, they got to pet a freaking snake.

:: We’re seeing orange over here.  I have a good friend who recently became vegan.  We went somewhere last week, and I didn’t have time to make my lunch.  I was starving and all she had to share were some enermous carrots.  The kind Bugs Bunny chews on.  They were delicious.  The boys each ate one as well.  So I went to Costco and bought a 10 pound bag.  Since Wednesday No David and I have had about 3 carrots each day, with Squirt and Goose averaging about 2.  There isn’t a dent in the bag.

:: Lance has been a super husband this week allowing me time for myself without the kids.  And I’m eternally grateful.  It might have something to do with what my confessor told me that I told him…Regardless, I went to see the King Tut exhibit with my father.  So much better with my dad than with Goose and Baby Hulk.  I also had time to run to Lubbock Street and turn in my defensive driving.  Thursday I went to lunch and got a pedicure, and Friday night I had drinks after the church party.  I had the best time Friday night and ended up talking in the parking lot an extra hour.

:: Lance and I are going to see Ragtime tomorrow evening.  I’ve heard great things about the show.  It’s also our first date night in a while.  There are several couples we haven’t seen that I’d like to go out with, but we’re going solo.  We need the time.

A reader asked about making time for your spouse with everything else that you have to deal with on a daily basis.  I’m certainly no expert, but the one thing I could say is I want my kids to know what a happy marriage is.  I never want them to settle for something less.  So while it annoys me that Lance doesn’t “do what I want” some of the time, I’m glad they get to see compromise and a man stand up to his wife when she might be being a boss.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my boys to turn into assholes, but I do want them to lead and never back down just to appease someone.  They get to see us hug, kiss, argue and makeup.  And I think that is important.  And I hope that they know it is important to nurture a relationship which includes taking time for just the two of us.

We had a great time last night.  It was the first time I’d been to Miller’s Outdoor Theatre without a crew of kids.  The show was awesome.  The talent was incredible, and everything about the show was done really well.  Our friend, Barry Stagg did a great job in his role as assistant director.  I’m so glad we went.  Interesting to note, that each time I left this week, the kids threw a fit because I was leaving them to do something solo.  But when I left to go somewhere with their dad, they were okay.

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Moments of Grace

By | Posted April 8, 2012

Posted in Family Life, holidays, Spiritual Life | 5 Comments »

Lent wasn’t as fruitful as I hoped this year.  It seems our bad luck continues, and it has become extremely frustrating.  Then there is real life that gets in the way, kids that don’t always behave, homework, personal stuff and so on.  Then life hits you with something that takes your breath away and you want to kind of give up.  Except you can’t.  So I prayed a lot more.  And if my journey wasn’t as fruitful as I hoped, it’s okay.  I feel more grateful, I’m more aware right now than I was on Ash Wednesday.

But there were moments this week.  Moments I have to pause and acknowledge.  Grace is always there, if only I take note.

::Baby Z spotting her biggest brother during the procession at mass on Holy Thursday.  Squirt is an altar server, and while he is generally very serious during the procession, he couldn’t help but smile when he saw the look on her face.  She was so happy to see her biggest brother.

::Squirt serving on Holy Thursday.  He carried the incense and played a big role in the service.  Very proud moment for me.

::No David talking nonstop about carrying the cross.  Of course, he is still too young to fully understand what Lent is all about and Jesus dying on the cross, but this is a start.  He sees a cross and immediately identifies it with Jesus carrying “the heavy cross”.

::Holy Saturday mass with my mom.  It gets me every year, and it was no different this year.  When the candidates processed through the church before being Baptized and Confirmed, I got tears in my eyes.  (Too bad Lance doesn’t go to this mass with me.  He might actually see me cry.)  This mass is incredible.

::Lance going to buy me Baskin Robbins pralines and cream ice cream.  I gave up sweets for Lent.  And for whatever reason, this ice cream has been on my mind for most of Lent.  (I couldn’t’ even tell you the last time I went to Baskin Robbins.)  I’m a girl who loves sweets, but cakes and cookies are my thing.  Yesterday I went over all the recipes I’ve pinned, and while I did come up with some things to try, I wanted this.  So off he went to get it for me.

::Taking the gifts to the altar on Easter Sunday.  When I was a kid, I always wanted to present the gifts at mass.  We never did.  Now I have and it’s just as special as I always thought it would be.

::Right before we walked to the altar, Lance told me to pray.

::No David talking with my aunt Mary yesterday.  Aunt Mary is pretty old, past 90.  The kids are all very sweet with her, particularly No David and Baby Hulk.  We were supposed to be getting ice cream on Saturday, and No David sat at the table talking to her about his favorite flavors and asking her about hers.  So very sweet.

::The little old man sitting next to me during mass on Holy Saturday.  A very nice man who moved so I could see all the Baptisms.  I wondered about his life: was his wife still alive, and such.  Regardless, he was elderly, but he was still there late last night.

::The kids annoyed because it took my parents too long to get to the house on Saturday.  I like that they want to see their grandparents.

::The sacrament of confession.  Confession is a tricky thing.  So many people don’t understand it, both Catholic and non-Catholics.  But somehow during Lent, all those Catholics who don’t really “agree” with it, come out in masses.  And it’s wonderful.  I waited in line on Friday for an hour.  It was worth it.  The priest was excellent and caring and told me to come back.  What can I say?  I’m a work in progress.

::Watching a brother and sister talk and catch up.  And go hang out without me.  Knowing how I feel about my brother, this is a good thing to watch.

::Listening to Lance talk and laugh with one of his oldest friends while watching the boys play with his kids.

::In her wisdom, the Church provides 50 days to celebrate Easter.  So all those  “activities” I wasn’t able to do today will get done.  I have lots of time to celebrate.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.  We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” Pope John Paul II

Happy Easter!

Alleluia, Alleluia!


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Our Walk With Christ

By | Posted April 6, 2012

Posted in Family Life, Liturgical Year, pictures, Spiritual Life | 2 Comments »

Lent is probably my favorite time of year.  Not because I particularly like to sacrifice, but because I love the prayers at this time of year.  Specifically, the Stations of the Cross.  We’ve been praying these as a family consistently for about 8 years.

It’s hard to pray the stations without feeling a profound sense of gratitude to Christ.  And to also feel a bit unworthy.  But pray we do.  And often.

The kids never cease to amaze me, and their attention to each station inspires me.  Praying the stations makes me realize how little my sacrifices are, how much responsibility I have as a parent and how far I have to go on this journey.

I used to think praying the Stations outside at the Grotto off of 290 was my favorite, but I also enjoy just sitting at home, using the stations box with symbols for each station and the candle set that Lance made for us.

The first time we prayed the stations this Lent was outside at the Grotto.  The boys were so excited to be there, and they remembered each station.  They ran from station to station, but not being disrespectful about it.

One of my favorite parts of praying is talking about the stations afterwards.  The boys and I discuss our “favorite” station and why.  It may sound silly, but it really gives meaning to what we’re praying.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

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Daybook~ We Walk

By | Posted April 1, 2012

Posted in Daybook | 4 Comments »

For Today…April 1, 2012

Outside my window…the sun is shining, and it is so freaking hot.  Poor Baby Hulk was so upset.  He has loved reading about the seasons, but he has yet to really experience them.

I am wearing…brown shorts, black sandals and a black t-shirt.  Sunshine is dressed adorable.  I wish I had her wardrobe.

I am listening to…Goose hum Santo, Santo…I am a bad Catholic.  I don’t know my songs in Latin.  Every year, I swear I’m going to learn, and still I haven’t.  The other day, No David was humming another one in Latin.  Music to my ears.

I am praying for…all families, especially those in most need right now, those entering the church on Holy Saturday and a very special intention.

Moments of grace…praying the Stations of the Cross with my children, listening to them talk about it, the prayers of friends, watching my kids in the outdoors, my husband making me a nice dinner.  All beautiful things in my life.

On the menu…I have lots of food in my pantry and freezer, and I have no plans for it yet.  I need to start planning.

On being fit and happy…is this where I sound like a whiny girl and say I’ve gained six pounds and I can’t shake it.  Not even giving up sweets and barely drinking for six weeks has made a difference.  And it wouldn’t be such a problem if I could fit into my shorts.  Four pairs of shorts, out the window right now.  And I work out five days a week.  I guess it’s “having a baby after 40”.  She’s worth it, but still, I’d like to ditch the extra pounds.  Spinning tomorrow, body pumping and major cardio the rest of the week.

Learning all the time…we’re taking it easy this week in preparing for the Holiest of Weeks.  I have one craft I need to make for Easter and the boys will assist with that, lots of books to read and two Spring crafts as well.  Last week we went to the Audobon Center and loved it.  We will continue this each week until the end of the school year.  I am so mad at myself for waiting this long to attend.  We’ll also hit the library for story time this week, something we haven’t done in more than two years.

Around the house…a quick spring cleaning and de-cluttering before Thursday.  Can that really happen?!  Then the decorations for Easter go up late Saturday afternoon.  I am hoping my drainage pipes are done this week, and I can get a small garden for the boys to play around with.  My friend ordered some bulbs for them to plant.  Should be fun, me helping the boys plants something!

Planning…It’s hard to plan when so many things are up in the air, but in my head I’m planning small celebrations for my boys, an anniversary trip and wondering about vacation.  School plans for Baby Hulk are finished for the rest of the year.

Creating…same as last week.  And the week before that.

Finding the joy…in this kid.  He is quite a challenge most days.  By 8 am, he has already screamed or cried and more than likely removed his seat belt.  My patience wears really fast when dealing with him, and often, I am furiously texting Lance about what to do about him.  But I love him and his love for life.

Reflecting on…The Way of the Cross.

One of my favorite things…lunching with my friends and Baby Z.

A few plans for the week…Audobon center, library, The Triduum, get together with my parents, Easter Sunday mass and a egg hunt with friends.

A picture to share…

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Play Ball

By | Posted April 1, 2012

Posted in Baby Hulk, Boys, Goose | 6 Comments »

I’m not a big fan of baseball.  In fact, I’m not a fan at all.  It’s just too slow for me.  We’ve taken the boys to one game.  That was two years ago.  Because of my lack of interest, I’ve never encouraged baseball in this house.  However, we don’t seem to have skills in soccer and Goose is still too young to play football so baseball it is.

In keeping with my simplicity minded parenting, I opted for the YMCA instead of the Bellaire league.  I just couldn’t justify playing ball three days a week.  Two boys in sports in a family of five kids.  It’s just not fair for the rest of the family and not necessary at this age.  So we practice one day a week, and we play games on Saturdays.

And it’s fun.

Goose played t-ball when he was 3 and 4.  I was a little worried about how he’d play, but he’s actually pretty good.  He throws well and is a decent little hitter.  He needs to work on catching and paying a bit more attention during the game, but that’s okay.  Today was his second game, and I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it.  It’s kind of what I always pictured having a lot of boys.

Baby Hulk is playing coach pitch/ t-ball.  It’s fun when he gets to bat.  When he’s playing the outfield, I have to tell him to stand up.  I have caught him playing in the dirt several times.  Today, he played first base and just sat down because he was bored.  Me, I wasn’t bored.  I was texting Chelsea about the moms wearing matching shirts for their kids’ t-ball team.  Really??  Is that what the cool moms do?  Have shirts made for their 5 year old’s t-ball teams?

The only thing worse than that was the snack bar in Goose’s dugout.  The game was at 9 this morning.  His team was first at bat, so he was having a bag of chips by fifteen after 9.  Seriously?  These kids can’t wait until the game is over to have their snacks?  As soon as I saw him eating, I let him know that he couldn’t eat until after the game.  The moms in charge of snacks looked at me like I was crazy.  And then made a huge announcement about Goose not having anymore snacks.  For the rest of the game, the team ate so much, including Twizzlers, yes Twizzlers, that there weren’t any drinks or snacks to have at the end of the game.  The game ended at 10:15.

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Five For Friday

By | Posted March 30, 2012

Posted in Five For Friday | 2 Comments »

The end of another week.

One week closer to summer break.

Another Friday in which we left at 7:25 and didn’t return until 4:00.  I’m dead tired after today, but it was a good day, a great workout, saw Stacy, went to Mass, the library, Starbucks, picked up Goose and went back to the library.

:: So, the Baby Hulk was wait listed at Rogers.  He’s number 4 on the wait list.  That makes me think he’ll probably get into the school.  But he might not.  All along I had assumed I would just homeschool him if he didn’t get in and Sunday morning Lance said that wasn’t what he wanted.  Here we go again, right?  Part of me wanted to yell, “who the hell do you think taught him how to read, write, love the outdoors and so much more?”  “ME, ME, ME!”  I might have made a few remarks and stayed mad all day, but I’m over it.  One year at a time.  Kindergarten isn’t compulsory in Texas so if he doesn’t get a spot by Fall, he will stay home.  If he does get a spot, Lance wants him at school with Goose.  Next Spring we’ll evaluate and apply to River Oaks Elementary.

:: Is Easter really here already?  I went to order some books for the boys’ Easter baskets only to find out they won’t arrive until after Easter.  Thank goodness, Stacy has Amazon Prime so I can get free 2-day shipping.  I am pretty excited about the books I chose for the boys.  A mix of seasonal books for Baby Hulk, Owl Babies for No David,  Blueberries for Sal and a new Easter book for Goose, and sweet, sweet A Tale for Easter for Baby Z.  (Squirt doesn’t like to read much, so I didn’t order him a book.)  We don’t have huge baskets at Easter.  While it is a day of celebration, I try to keep it small: candy, a small gift, and holy card or the like.

:: I started reading Superfudge to the boys last night.  We only read one chapter, but during this chapter the main character is furious that his mom is pregnant.  Baby Hulk and Goose were pretty horrified with Peter.  They just didn’t get why someone would be upset with having a new baby.  I’ve been pretty blessed with how each child has reacted to the addition of a new baby in our family.  Both of these two boys are actively praying for another baby.  Sweet, right?

:: I’m not sure why they are praying so hard because lately Baby Z has become a super fuss.  Yesterday, we went to lunch with my parents and every time they looked at her, she jerked away, made a foul face and started spitting.  Today at the library, she spit at me the entire time we were there.  Even the grandma’s at the gym are noticing a change in her.  Lance thinks she is so, so delicate.  Hmmm…

:: Today was another big library day.  I hadn’t been to the branch in River Oaks for a year and have I been missing out.  (I feel like every branch is good except the one down the street from us.)  I left with over 30 books.  I forgot my bag in the car, so I gave some to Baby Hulk to hold.  I was barely balancing the books and the baby while trying to keep up with No David.  A guy in his 20’s was walking to the door, a really heavy door I might add, he turned and looked at us.  Then kept walking and let the door close in our face.  What a jackass.  And yes, I called him that.  Then proceeded to tell the boys to never, ever let a door fall in someone’s face, especially someone with a ton of books and kids.

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Found It, Kind Of

By | Posted March 27, 2012

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

Find It is one of those perfect games to keep children occupied, especially in the car.  It’s the kind of game I like a lot too.  We had found everything except the Penny.  I have five different friends who have this game, and none of them have found the penny.

Now, I am one of the few who can say they found the penny!

Last week I took our version out to start looking for the penny again.  Baby Z got a hold of it and started knocking it around.  Soon No David started yelling that Baby Z broke our game.

I cleaned up the mess, which could have been so much worse.

As Lance was getting ready to throw it away, I screamed, “Stop!!  Dump it all out, I want to find that damn penny.”

It was there.

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Spring Break Journal

By | Posted March 25, 2012

Posted in pictures, vacations | 2 Comments »

Yesterday I went through everything we did over Spring Break while Baby Hulk wrote a journal entry about the week.  I knew it beforehand, but after going through the list of things we did, both Baby Hulk and I agreed the week was full and enjoyable.

A lot of people like to rest when they are on vacation.  Not me.  I like to go places, show the kids as many different things as I can.  I want to make sure they have a chance to experience a lot of different things.  And that doesn’t mean I (or they) have to be entertained all the time, it’s just that when it’s Spring Break, I want to DO something rather than just relax.  While Houston does have a lot of things to do, I wasn’t in the mood to stay here the entire break.  Plus, Goose wanted to go to Austin.

Not to bore anyone, but I’m listing everything we did over the break.  Doing this yesterday helped me and Baby Hulk really appreciate all that we have: family, two great cities to experience and each other.

Friday: Stations of the Cross with another family and fish fry at church.  My dad asked if the fish was grilled.  Ha.  Not a chance.  It was so good.  Will be back this week.
Saturday: Goose and Baby Hulk to YAC to play, new shoes for Baby Z and No David, visit Aunt Mary.
Sunday: Goose and I are sick all day.
Monday: Blue Bell Creamery, lunch and Barrington Living Farm.  Boys enjoyed Blue Bell, especially the sample, but I think they liked the farm even better. They washed clothes nonstop.  I ran into a family of four there, and we talked about our families.  We joked about everyone taking these nice “big” trips while we were on a living farm.  I love trips, but wouldn’t change a thing.
Tuesday: Fajita Flats, Spring shopping, sit on phone with faucet company
Wednesday: Took Goose and Baby Hulk to see How I Became a Pirate at Main Street Theater.  GREAT show. The boys loved it, will be going to see another show there in April.  Swim lessons, drive to Austin.  Meet my dad and go to Shady Grove.  Baby Hulk very happy with his burger,  I am happy with my fries.  Uncle David and Aunt Diana join us.
Thursday: up at 6:45, boys literally started crying at how early we had to wake up.  Natural Bridge Caverns, wonderful except there was a snake in the caverns.  Seems normal, except it never occurred to me that there might be snakes in the caverns.  Lunch, Zilker Park.  Decide there are too many people there to keep track of my kids so we go home and relax.  Dinner at Hyde Park, my absolute favorite fries.  D& D join us again, and now the boys shout “I’m the man” all the time.
Friday: Austin Nature and Science Center, LOVE this place.  We could have stayed here all day long.  Instead, we leave to get lunch and catch the game.  Instead of catching game, we sit at a IHOP waiting on pancakes (no meat, and pancakes seemed like a smart choice.)  Take boys to UT campus, and talk about the good old days.  Think it’s about to be 20 years since I graduated.  Wait, IT HAS BEEN 20 years since I graduated.  I could have stayed there all day.  Instead, we hit the Capital for 41 minutes, all the money I could find in my car for the meter.  Afterwards, we eat at Kerbey Lane.  Pancakes!  So good.  Go to my cousins house and boys play.
Saturday: Hike greenbelt.  It was great, but next time, I want a babysitter.  I really enkoy hiking, but it’s too stressful with all the kiddos. Eat at Phil’s Ice House and say our goodbyes to my cousins.  Bluebonnet pictures.  Drive Home.
Sunday: mass, The Lorax.

Busy Week.

Wonderful Week.

Only things missing were Squirt and Lance.

We had fun with friends, and my dad spent a few days with us in Austin.  He really spoiled us.  We’re pretty blessed.

I have been dying to take the kids to campus for years.  They’ve been to a game, but I wanted to walk around campus.  They saw the dorms, which still have the same smell.  But also a compost bin.  The boys decided that one day I will be visiting them at school there.

They loved being outdoors and there was proof (for me) that we’ve learned quite a bit this year, and that my goal of learning about nature is becoming a reality.  My favorite spot was probably the Nature and Science Center.  I imagine we will go there every time we’re in Austin, it’s that good.

Time with family is always the best though.  The boys loved being around their Grandpa; we were sad when he left.  They really enjoyed playing with their cousin.  They can’t get enough of that.  Baby Hulk just asked me when Hayes can come and spend the night.

And here are the highlights in pictures:


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