Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh Happy Day!!!

I am happy to report that the first day of school 2011 was a huge success!!

We had a great Summer and to be honest, I would have been ok with it continuing on a little longer!! But, ready or not, school had arrived!! And now that it is here, I am so happy!! :)

I love, love, love the routine and though they wouldn't admit it, the boys do too!!

The littles have super great teachers this year!! Landry has this lady and she is wonderful!! When I asked him how his first day was, he said, "great great great great great great great great" at least 25 times until Luke asked him to stop!! He is so excited and I am so glad about that!!

Luke has the amazing dream team of 3rd grade and he was not disappointed!! This lady and her partner do great things with the kids and Luke proudly said that she was nicer than his teacher from last year and that's quite a feat since she was the nicest teacher in the school!! And don't they look cute together!?!

Since Parker didn't really need or want his mommy to walk him into middle school, we settled for a picture beforehand. Parker will be playing football and playing in the band this year, in addition to taking all Honors classes!! He's going to have a great year, I'm sure!! At the end of a long day, I asked Parker to describe his day in 3 words. His words were FANTASTIC, AWESOME, and COOL!! As for his thoughts on football practice, his words were HARSH, CRUEL, and KNOCKIN-PEOPLE-OUT!!

And the high schooler . . . . yikes!! Here is Alex on his first ever day of high school!! He had a good mix of excited and nervous happening today. At the end of the day, he knew which teachers he already likes, which classes might be a little harder, and he managed to take a detour to the counselor's office to find the right place to be!! Fun times ahead for sure!!!

Within being home 5 minutes, somebody had already laid his clothes out for tomorrow (without being asked) and had gotten started on his homework that is due Friday!! If only this excitement will last all year!!! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Piano

It is a little late to be blogging about last Christmas, but I never told the story of the greatest Christmas gift of 2010!!

Early in the Christmas season, a giant present appeared at Nana and Poppy's house. The boys had spent some time in Granbury and came home telling big stories about the biggest present ever. The problem with the biggest present ever was that it didn't have a name tag on it. And Nana's lips were sealed . . . she would tell no one who the present was for!! This led to speculation from everyone under the age of 18 that it belonged to them!!

So, we all go to Nana and Poppy's for Christmas and everyone under the age of 18 is crazy excited to see who gets the present . . . all sure it is for them!! Here's Lexie . . . hoping that it's hers!!

As the night goes on and the presents are opened, it gets to the that part of the night where everyone is down to one present. Imagine my surprise (and everyone under the age of 18) when Poppy said the present was for me!! It had never once crossed my mind that that would be mine. I had no idea whose it was, but I absolutely knew it wasn't mine . . . I had never entertained the idea. And, of course, I had no idea what it could be. My dad had built a wooden crate around it to give it some shape (so it could be wrapped) and that only confused me more!!

Here I am feeling it thinking . . . what the heck is this thing??!!

Finally, I open it and am totally shocked, but so excited!!! This is an amazing instrument and I was/am thrilled to have it!! Here's Mom, reminding me how to play it!! :)

And here she is at home now. I absolutely love playing it . . . . it brings back lots of memories from my younger days and is an amazing reliever of stress!! I love it and am so thankful for it!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Best Christmas Gift . . . . Possibly Ever

This little beauty was quite possibly the best Christmas gift ever!!

Maybe this weekend, I can actually upload the pictures from my camera and tell the tale of how it happened!! It's a great story!! And music is an incredible stress reliever!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can you say HAIRCUT??????

This boy and his hair . . .

He has always had great curl/body.

It is a blessing and a curse.

He just wants to get up and brush it and go.

It just doesn't work that way.

But he does it anyway!!

I gave up cutting it myself . . . now, it's a job for a professional!! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fourteen years . . . First stitches

With fourteen years and four boys, it's a miracle that we're just now experiencing stitches!!

Alex had an accident with the hedge trimmers back in April and here's how it happened . . .

This is pretty GRAPHIC so fair warning . . .

Alex decides to pull back some of the tall grasses of the plant he was trimming with his left hand while simultaneously using his right hand to trim the grasses. It didn't work out too well for his left middle finger!! I go and get him from Scott's to take him to CareNow. He is extremely pale, shaky, and has already thrown up twice!! Poor guy!! :)

His finger was just a mess of little cuts on top of little cuts . . . no straight cuts to be found!!

FOURTEEN stitches later . . . . he's almost as good as new!!

We return 10 days later to get them out. Here, he's planning on the pain that he's going to feel when they remove them. What a dork!!

I don't have a current picture of what it looks like now, but it healed up really nicely! I was very impressed that it looked as good as it did!!

Lesson learned . . . no more hedge trimmers for Alex!!

Road Trip 2011

The Summer of 2011 proved to be a Summer of new things!

I decided late into the summer to take the boys on a little road trip. So, we loaded up one day and headed south to San Marcos to do a little tubing on the San Marcos River. I work with a lady who has a home down in the area and she was invaluable to me as I planned an impromptu getaway for the boys and I.

The trip down was great until we got off to take a quick bathroom break on the side of the road and when we started back up again, the gps decided to take us on a little adventure. I wish I had taken a picture of the gps because the little purple line was just a huge zigzag . . . .the craziest thing I'd ever seen!! Alex took the gps in hand and began to call out directions and I was a little concerned!! At one point, I snapped this pic and hoped we would be able to find 35 again soon!! Thankfully, we did!!

So . . . we arrive at our hotel where we have reserved a suite . . . . 2 Queen beds with a couch/sleeper thingy. We are told that there are no more of those kinds of suites even though we have a reservation for such a suite as that. The manager is called out . . . softly mentions "Celebration Suite" to the lady helping us and the next thing you know, we are give the key to the biggest suite in the hotel!! It was basically 2 hotel rooms put together with a King bed/huge bathroom where 1 normal hotel room would be and a kitchen/table area/couch/TV area as big as another hotel room!! It was sooo awesome!!

The boys had already seen a Luby's on the way in and they were PUMPED to get to eat there!! So . . . who am I to say no to Luby's?? (Or Arby's, as Landry called it!) And the best part ??? The next night when suppertime came?? Guess where these little grandpa's wanted to go?? Luby's AGAIN!!! We had Luby's both nights we were there!!! :)

We went back and had a little fun in the pool . . .

And then headed to the river the next morning.

You really can't take your camera on the river if you want it to survive so there aren't many shots of us actually tubing down it. It was a nice, easy float . . . well, it could have been if the boys weren't boys!! We moved along nicely . . . and stopped to swing from some ropes!!

(that could have been Luke and Landry, except I didn't have my camera!!)

After about an hour of floating, you arrive at the "Dam," as the girl who gave us our floats so eloquently called it. It is a dam that has a small opening in the center that you can ride your float down. There are actually 3 little dam/waterfalls, each getting a little less "violent" (another word the girl used to describe it!!). With that kind of description, there were a couple of us who weren't completely looking forward to that part!!

Here are the boys the next morning standing right in front of the dam/waterfall.

The first waterfall . . . very fun!!

Looking down at it . . .

Looking down to the second and third waterfalls . . .

This part of the river was super fun!! Landry was the most hesitant, but after sitting up on the dam watching for a few minutes, he was good to go!! In fact, he wanted to stay longer when most everyone else was ready to go!!

The next morning, we stopped by Aquarena Springs and took a trip in the glass bottom boats. This was really interesting . . . I learned a LOT about the area, the springs, and the plant/animal life there. I know . . . sounds boring, but it was really cool! I think even the boys would agree!!

Landry hanging out the window . . .

They had a little boardwalk thing that went out over a wetlands area. The guide had told us to look for the tilapia who had laid their eggs in the shallow water. He explained that when the baby tilapias got frightened, they would immediately swim into their daddy's mouth!! So if we saw a big fish that looked like he was eating a lot of little fish, it was probably ok!! It didn't take long before we started seeing the little areas the tilapia had carved out for themselves . . . very cool!!

One last pic at Aquarena . . . . such genuine smiles!!! So pretty and green!!

And what's a road trip without stopping at the Texas Stop Sign?? Dairy Queen Blizzards always make for a great trip!!

All in all, this was such a great trip!! I'm so glad we could do it!!