Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Monday Morning and...

I am still in that post-houseguest haze of deferred chores and overtired children. We had such a great time and really a wonderful visit, but I am just wiped out. I know Wendy was, too, and she has a fifteen hour car ride to get home. Yikes.

Today Grace starts a week-long Fine Arts Day Camp held at our church, which is about a twenty minute drive from our house. My original protestations for making this drive were met with reassurances from my husband that, 1) since the camp is held at his place of employ, and 2) he will be employed with the task of helping with the camp, that she would just ride with him. Unfortunately, about a week after camp registration, he found out he would be leaving town for the majority of this week, so guess who gets to spend 40 minutes twice a day in the car! ME! And my unsuspecting children! Woo-hoo!

Meanwhile, a glance at the calendar tells me that there are only four weeks left of summer vacation. Four weeks! This summer has just flown by. I haven't had time to do all of the 'Country-time Lemonade commercial' things that I plan to do every year, so I better get started. I just need to find a farm where the kids can ride bikes and run barefoot down dirt roads and play with a water hose and jump out of hay-lofts and drink refreshing ice cold Country-time on a red checkered picnic blanket served by their smiling, apron-clad mom.

The only problems (other than the absence of farmland here in the city) are that 1)I don't own a pretty apron and 2) it's 105 degrees outside right now, and if we performed those activities in real life, we would probably have to call 911 due to heat stroke.

So maybe I'll just bring a jug of lemonade next time we go to the city pool. Or better yet, drink the lemonade while hiding from the heat in my climate-controlled kitchen. Not quite the same, is it?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gratuitous Fish Photos

From the Aquarium today...
I love the lips on this one.
Okay, so that one is a bird, not a fish.

Katie seems more concerned about her fingernails than that shark floating past her head.

And finally, my white whale. The manatee. Every time I go to the Aquarium I take photo after photo of him, and they are all blurry and hazy. I'll get you one day, Manatee. You just wait.

We are having a great time with our country cousins, only the country Aunt and I are completely exhausted. We had all these grand plans of seeing Fort Worth tomorrow, but it looks like we are going to settle for the dollar flick. Mainly because it is air conditioned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where does one buy a burro anyway?

So I've been a little scarce around here this week, and I plan to be even more scarce because my sister Wendy and her three kids arrived today for a visit. You may not realize it, but July is not exactly tourist season in Dallas because of a little thing we call sweltering, miserable, oppressive heat. But she loves me and wanted to see me before school starts, so she has come down from her cool mountain home in North Carolina to fry along with us.

And in return, I will take her on a tour of all the tourist attractions in our area that either involve air conditioning or water. It should be fun.

In other news, the other day I left my bearded husband at home and went to the store, and upon my return I encountered this:
Thankfully, he was just wearing it to be funny, and shaved it off later that afternoon, revealing his normal, handsome face. Which was a good thing because the 'stache was a little unnerving. Plus we really don't have it in our budget to get a burro and sombrero right now. Or a set of dueling pistols.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tired and a Little Bit Silly

So far tonight I have spent six wonderful hours taking an online defensive driving course, due to an unfortunate (alleged) incident that shall not be discussed, except to say that it may or may not have involved a stop sign on the way home from Easter Sunday dinner at a friend's house.

Really I cannot comment on this (alleged) incident, although I will admit that there was leftover banana pudding as well as brownies in the car, and I may or may not have been (allegedly) distracted. Also I may or may not have been (allegedly) distracted by the children in the car, who may or may not have been (allegedly) arguing.

All that to say, what a fun evening it has been. I have had the pleasure of reading three paragraphs of defensive driving material at a time, but being required to spend six minutes on each page (by law), so that has left me with lots of time to think about how I can improve as a driver surf the internet.

I joined Facebook, and stalked dozens of old classmates. Because I really do need to spend more time on the computer. Who needs a real life anyway? Texas highways are so dangerous, there are thousands of drunk driving accidents each year, so I really should just stay home and...hey, wait a minute.

I just watched an 8 minute 80's style rap video about "The No Zones" (that's street slang for the blind spots of an 18 wheeler, yo.) I could tell that this rap video was def because it featured four white kids dressed up like DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. They were 2 legit. Word up.

On an unrelated note, I found an old album of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (who I shall now refer to as DJJJATFP, to make things easier) when I was cleaning out a closet last week. And no, I never owned an album by DJJJATFP, so it must belong to Greg. I can just picture him now... an angst-ridden teenager, sitting in his room, wearing overalls with one side unfastened, placing his DJJJATFP album on the turntable, and nodding his head in agreement to "Parents Just Don't Understand". I feel you, man. But if you only knew the statistics concerning fatality rates of male drivers in Texas under the age of 24, you'd see things differently. Word to your mother.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just Like Oprah's Favorite Things, Only Cheaper

So instead of writing a decent post, I've been playing with my blog design for some reason. The header picture is one of my favorite photos ever, taken by my sister Wendy when we visited Big Bend National Park last fall. I'm standing in "the Window", which is the top of a waterfall that plunges straight down onto the desert floor. At the time, I didn't feel like I was too close to the edge, but looking at the picture makes me question my judgment.

I've been a little blue lately, partly hormonal and partly circumstantial, and one of the things I've been trying to do is to surround myself with little things that bring me joy. I've had a list of them whirring around in my mind, so in no particular order, here are a few:

1. Fresh home grown tomatoes. This is a new one for me. I've never understood why people love them so much until now. I bought four huge ones at the farmer's market, and I swear I ate every single bite. They are scrumptious.

2. Homemade Peach Cobbler. Made with fresh peaches from the farmer's market. I shared some of it with the family, but guess who finished it off for breakfast? (me)

I swear they're not all about food, but
3. Grilled squash and chicken quesadillas with cheese and sour cream. I've made them about three times in the last week. So creamy and good.

4. The chorus of this song:

It starts about 1 minute in, and it is infectious. I've been singing it, loudly, all around the house.

5. Sitting out in my backyard swing early in the morning. It's usually wet from the sprinklers, so I bring a towel and a Bible, and me and the birds just talk to God for a while before anyone else gets up.

6. Photographs. I don't know what it is about me, but I love taking them, looking at them, and forcing other people to look at them with me.

7. Happy Hour at Sonic, home of half price Dr. Pepper (with cherries)

I'll probably think of twelve more after I publish this. What about you? What brings you joy?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Photos! Surprised?

And now for the final installment of vacation photos.
After going camping, we drove down to South Carolina to visit Greg's family. On the way there, we stopped for a picnic lunch at this waterfall, and the kids played in the creek for an hour or so. After getting everyone muddy and soaking wet, I loaded them up and took them to my mother-in-law's house for a fantastic weekend.We had a cookout or two, played soccer with with the all of the boy-cousins they had to offer, and went to see Wall-E. I also got to spend a little time with this little guy...
...who is so cute I could just eat him up. My sister-in-law Amy would not let me take him home with me. Can you believe that? They're stingy with their babies out there in South Carolina, I tell you.

After dinner one night, we had the bright idea to get all of the cousins together to take a photo, and I'm sure you can guess how quick and effortless that was.
Since everyone decided to act up and make silly faces, we sent the grandparents in there to straighten those kids out and make them behave.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Our Mountain Getaway

Part of our vacation last week was to go up to Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia with my parents and my sister Wendy and her kids. We had such a wonderful time. We hiked, we ate, we watched the sunset, and we ate some more.
Here is our lovely Mountain Home. Notice the kids just dying to get inside. They did that the entire trip, for some reason.
Daddy and I took Grace and Tommy on a 2.2 mile hike, and the scariest part was when we were up on the top of the mountain, and we turned a corner and ran into this:Okay, not really, we ran into him in town at a touristy store, but whatever. Speaking of a pack of coyotes, this is what the cousins looked like the entire time they were together:RUN!TAG!SQUEAL!!!!

Coming up in the next post: More pictures! Of my vacation! Surprised?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sparkler Art and Ramblings

May I present, "The Flower":
"Angel Wings" or perhaps "Gunslinger"

and finally, "The Heart".
This was so much harder than it looked. We all thought we were drawing something brilliant, but then it just turned out to be scribbles on the photos. It was fun, though, and the kids enjoyed seeing a little slide show of themselves when they were done.

We returned safe and sound from our vacation, with 2250 miles on the odometer. Even after all of that riding in the car, I can honestly say that I have really good kids. They are just awesome. They behaved well, had wonderful attitudes, and didn't fight (much). We all had a great time.

I transferred all of my pictures to my parents' computer, deleted them from my camera, then forgot to make a CD before I left Georgia. I'm new to this digital stuff. So as soon as my CD comes in the mail, I'll post 267 pictures.

This week all three of the kids have art camp, which means that I have freedom from children from 9-2, five days in a row. This has NEVER happened. Never. Monday I'm going to clean the house for the entire time, then the rest of the week I'm going to try to do fun things. What should I do? Go to the Art Museum? Go shopping? Read a book? Take a nap? GO TO THE GROCERY STORE BY MYSELF? Oh, the possibilities!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

(alternate title: Geeky Fun With My Camera)

The kiddos

The kiddos

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