Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Pink Poodles

I really did make more of them. Hee hee. James likes the black ones even better. Julie still likes the original. I just think they are funny!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's a Challenge, all right!

This past Christmas, we had several family members sharing some papercrafting supplies - especially anything of which we had extra or were tired. This patterned paper belonged to  my Mother-In-Law and I just couldn't resist saying it should go straight out to Goodwill. "Too silly! Ridiculous!" I said. "Are you EVER going to find a use for pink poodle paper?" I said.

My own mother commented that since the other side of my family has a quilting challenge (quilt one, quilt two, and quilt three) maybe we should have a papercrafting challenge. Funny, because she's much more of a quilter. Maybe she was joking but the idea took hold. We all had an entire year to come up with some card using this crazy paper. My sister already did hers so I thought I'd better go ahead and try to figure something out.

I can't believe that I actually like what I came up with! I like it so much I made another. And saved some bits to make still more. I mean, who would have thought a cute card could evolve out of these pink poodles??  I might just owe my Mother In Law an apology, hee hee!

Oh, and here's Julie's creation!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

San Antonio Zoo

Here's another great springtime activity!  We like to go down to San Antonio and spend the day at the zoo there.  This time Zack declared that he didn't want to go (he had a museum picked out instead) but Sammy was so keen on going that we decided it would be the best plan.  That and the fact that we usually go in the summer and we really wanted to try it when it wasn't crazy hot instead. 

As you can see from that first picture, taken in the first ten minutes, it didn't take long for Zack to get on board!  We had a great time and it WAS a beautiful time of year to be there.  Afterward we rode the zoo train and then got on the road to head back to Austin.  We could see immediately that traffic was terrible so we did an about face and had a mid-afternoon dinner on the Riverwalk instead.  We sat outside, right on the water, with no waiting - that makes a trip to San Antonio complete!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scrapbook Layout: Waiting

This was one of the later pages to go into Sammy's baby album, though it's at the beginning of the book.  When we had these photos taken, I mainly wanted to get some pregnant photos I didn't completely hate and capture how sweet Zack had been taking care of me when I didn't feel well.  Looking at them three years later, I'm pretty happy we did!  One thing I really like is that they are in our home.  I didn't think that would matter to me much, but it really does.  That painting in the background of my picture is this giant green abstract scene that I saw randomly and James got me for my birthday.  I love love love it.  And in the family one, we are in Zack's new room that had just barely been finished - I painted the silhouette of an oak tree on the wall (there are also two deer on the wall that don't show - it's his Walking in the Woods room).  Something about the setting brings out the ideas I had about what I wanted to capture, which is really cool.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Enchanted Rock

What a beautiful time of year to head to Enchanted Rock!  If you haven't been it's a great central Texas outing.  We drove out there over spring break and had a really great time.  At the very beginning of the summit trail (which is short but steep!) Zack bounded up, no problem.  Sammy tried to insist on being carried.  We got him excited about walking and he went five steps before crashing and skinning one palm and the other elbow!  Still he got going again and then walked almost all of it, up and down. 

Is it always windy on the top?  I think it must be.  I've been at different times of year but it always feels like the wind will knock you over.  When we were on the steepest part I really did fear for Sammy being blown over!  We insisted he hold someone's hand - otherwise we could just see him starting to tumble down and just never stopping! 

Some tips: If you want to camp there make reservations far in advance.  If you just want to hike, get there early! We arrived at 9:30 (it's a two hour drive from Austin) and only had to wait a little but later the park was closed, only letting a car in when a car left.  As we left we counted about 120 cars waiting to get in.  Bring a flashlight if you want to explore the caves.  Finally, dress in layers - it's cooler in the wind but HOT down at the base!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Family Game Night

It's just Candyland, but it's a start! I love games. My family has played cards at every family gathering my whole life. When we were little, the adults would play Pinochle or 42 (a game with dominoes that is played like Spades or Hearts) and the four cousins would play Hearts. My sister and I were four years apart and our two cousins were three years apart - one my age and one older. When we started my sister was so young she could barely follow the rules, much less a strategy, so we paired her up with the older cousin. It evened out, except when they cheated, hee hee. Well, it probably evened out then too. Later we moved up to Pinochle, a game I still love. When we visit my parents or my parents visit here we play 42.  When my Granny gets to come along we play 5-handed Pinochle.  When it's my parents and my in-laws (or my sister and her husband) together with us, we play 6-handed Pinochle.  There's nothing better than a few games of 42 to get everyone really laughing.  It's some of our best times and best memories as a family.

Won't it be fun when my own kids get old enough for a family game night more complex than Candyland? I know kids start getting less interested in games with their parents as they get older but I'm not above making a rule they have to play. They'll thank us for it later, right? Not to wish these days away - I am in love with how cute an age Sammy is at right now, and Zack is learning so much every day. But I'm thinking later will be really cool too.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

In the Next Moment...

We're having some pretty days here so we took some time just to go to the park and hang out. After this picture was taken, Zack shimmied over this limb to the higher section at the upper right of the photo. He hung there for a good long while until I decided he must be stuck and headed over to see if he'd like some help getting down. I was going to be discreet and not embarrass him in front of the bigger boy who had climbed another part of the same tree, really I was!

But when I was still fifteen feet away, he just jumped. I don't think this photo conveys how high it really was.  He landed on his feet but the impact of the landing crumpled him into a little accordion fold of a boy.  I gasped out loud and another mother gave a short little shriek.  Then he popped up with a mouthful of dirt, bark embedded into his forehead, and big smile.  I picked the bark out of his skin, which left a little puncture underneath, he spit out the dirt and the other mother offered me a defibrillator for myself. 

We've since set some firm guidelines on heights too high for jumping.