Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting Ready...

...just in case the temperature dips below 100 degrees this week ;o) Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I was careless and didn't put my makeup all the way up where it belongs. Kate found it. Quickly and so quietly, too. Lovely!
Even Aslan got a makeover!

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Day of School!

Today is Graham's first day back to preschool! He has been so excited all week :o) Kate keeps asking when we will go pick Graham up from school - we do miss him! We have a fun day planned though... Nat is going to meet us for a 1st day back lunch at McDonald's and tonight we are going to Putt Putt and for ice cream with the youth group!
We are thankful for his teacher this year, Mrs. Schultz! She goes to our church, she is wonderful, and we love her!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spontaneous Adventure!

This past weekend we realized that for the first time all summer we did not have anything planned on Friday or Saturday night. For the fun of thinking out loud I said something along the lines of, "It would be great if we could just go explore somewhere and come back Saturday night." To which Nat replied, "Let's do it!" Let me first say that I was thrilled at willingness of my wonderful husband to take a bit of the afternoon off and for the opportunity to just go exploring. My next response was panic! Where were we going to go? How much could we afford in our budget? How am I going to get the four of us packed up and ready to be out of the house within 3 hours plus make whatever plans we needed to make? I love love love the idea of being spontaneous, I really do - it's fun (!) - but... I like to plan and figure out the best place to stay for our money, where we should go for the amount of time that we're able to be gone, do the grocery shopping so we don't have to buy tons of food out, clean the house so that it's restful to come home, and have a list of everything that each person needs and double check it to make sure nothing is forgotten. Thankfully, everything worked out just fine - I think we packed enough for a long weekend, didn't worry too much about the food (just grabbed a cooler, the pb&j, and any snacks I saw in our pantry), and made the decision that we were going to Austin, TX and the surrounding area. We really had a great time exploring as a family! Here are some of our pictures :o)

It has been very hot... we thought of camping, but decided against it because of the heat!
Graham and Kate's first (memorable) hotel experience. We were thankful for a good deal (on hotwire) for our hotel, so we were able to stay right downtown within walking distance to the Capitol building for super cheap! G was amazed by the special trick that turned the couch into a bed for them :o)
For dinner we went to Stubb's for some BBQ... it was delicious!!! And a really neat building too -- lots of character.
At the Capitol... it was impressive!
I was reminded as we walked through security that we were in Texas when I asked the security guards if there was anything we couldn't take a picture of and they answered that we could photograph anything but the security equipment! It was strange to be able to walk all around the building (and at 8pm) and not have security all over the place... we were allowed to just roam!

In the center...
...And the floor from a few stories up
Davy Crockett
Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin... both originally from Virginia, I must add :o)
The next morning we started exploring... we started by sneaking a peek at the Longhorns stadium, had brunch at a park, and then headed west.
We did most of our exploring in small towns around Lake Travis and really enjoyed a hike in the woods at a wildlife refuge. It was nice to have a slightly overcast day under a canopy of trees :o)
Poor Nat ended up with a thumb full of these (he removed most of them before I took the picture)...
from one of these! We had to stay on the trail for sure!
I am thankful for our little family and the time we were able to get away to spend with one another!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Going Bananas!

I know that banana trees produce bananas, but ours never have... Until now! It has been so neat to watch the petals of the flower unfold - each petal is covering a banana bunch! We're excited to see how far it goes... in the meantime, I'm looking for banana recipes :o)
Look at all of those bees!

Cousin Week 2011

We had our 2nd (now annual!) cousin week the last week in July! When Nat headed off to Mississippi for our church's mission trip, Bernie (N's mom) and Chelsie (N's sister) flew down to Texas with Joel and Ella (the cousins!). We had a WONDERFUL and chaotic week with the three of us running around with 4 kids aged 4, 3, 2, and 1! I am so very thankful that they came all the way down here and an extra thank you to Pop and Todd for graciously letting their wives leave them for a week :o)

I took so so so many pictures of all of them, but here is a glimpse of our week together...

So much fun with the hose and little pools in the backyard. We actually put this one at the bottom of the slide and the boys especially loved this... I think I have videos of this on the ipod - I'll try to figure out how to post that later!
Fun at the spray ground at Kemah (and in the puddles), a pizza lunch, and a train ride!
Bluebell popsicles :o)
Lots of wrestling and climbing...
A few (not too serious!) injuries!
Installing a new car battery! I was so super impressed that Bernie did this all by herself! The van had been acting a little funny but I thought it was not that big of a deal and could wait until Nat came home (oops, wrong). We had gone to the grocery store that morning and on our way home, J had to go to the bathroom. We were a block away from the library so we stopped there for Chels to take him in. I turned the car off but then thought, "What am I thinking? It is over 100 degrees so I'm turning the AC back on while we wait!" However, the car would not start. Thankfully, there is a governmental building right beside the library and a police officer pulled up while we were trying to figure out what to do. Hooray for being rescued! And hooray for a handy mother-in-law!
A self spa night after the kids went to bed and the car work was completed :o)
Fun, giggly girls!
Bernie also made these adorable dresses for K and E! They are beautiful and twirl well :o)
A trip to the Aquarium downtown...
J, K, and E loved the sting rays!
G, not so much, but he enjoyed being a scuba diver :o)
Last night was a movie night complete with popcorn, blankets, and pillows...
Thank you again for such a memorable week! Not only was it fun, but I thoroughly appreciated the refreshment of your fellowship!!!