Sunday, August 30, 2009

Out from under my blog rock

I'm sorry - I know I have neglected my blog this week. I'm having my second fantasy football draft right now and figured I could knock out a few posts out during the downtime. I'm in leagues with a bunch of guys, and sometimes they can take up to 10 minutes to make their pick. I come fairly organized with a good idea of who I want on my team. I am not indecisive like some of my male counterparts. Just sayin.

Anyway, James arrived home safely from Scotland. It was a long trip for him considering it was only 4 days and 2 of them were spent traveling. He had some weather problems on his way home and it almost took a complete 24 hours to get back to Texas. I think he wanted some pity, but helllooo... he went to Scotland!! I don't pity that. And he gets to go to Norway in a couple of weeks too.

So here are some pictures from his trip. I know my sister, who wishes she was born in 18th century England (as do I at times), has been waiting to see these for awhile... so here you go Katie! I really didn't get as many as I wanted, BUT he was working after all... oh well. These are from the Royal Mile in Edinburg. That's what he tells me - again, I wasn't there. :)

Many of these buildings are centuries and centuries old. Very cool.

James said the street performers were similar to the ones in New Orleans. Freaky.

It rained almost the whole time he was there. Here's one of the times when the sun peeked out.

Just look how old this foundation is - makes you wonder why people in America are so freaked out about foundations on their houses getting old after 10 to 20 years. Notice the cannons.

So while James was playing in Scotland, the girls had their first dance class. This is a pic of the girls with their teacher, Ms. Andrea.

I had hoped the first day of dance would go better. You can't see Abby's tears in this photo. I made the mistake of putting both their tap shoes in the same bag. How was I supposed to know that dancers all have individual dance bags? Well for the first time ever, they do not have the same size shoes. The teacher put Emily's shoes on Abby, and when Emily got her shoes on she threw a fit claiming they were too tight. Then she took Abby's shoes off and said Emily gets the bigger size, which oh my gosh you would think it was the end of the world for Abby. How dare her tell Abby that she had to wear the little shoes. So she was ticked off the rest of the time because she was the little one. Needless to say, I went to Academy later in the day to get them each their own dance bag.

This is the girls' friend Abby from school (and now dance). They all look so cute in their black leotards and pink tights.

Austin had his second football practice. I took the girls and it poured. I guess in football they try to toughen the boys up. No pictures again, and no umbrellas either. We were soaked. Luckily none of us mind the rain and we were just going home anyway.

The girls are into dressing up their dolls now also. James got Emily the plaid headband in Scotland and she refuses to wear it the right way.

Well I am finishing up my draft at the moment, and I must say my team is pretty good this year. Can't wait for the football season to start in a few weeks. Grammy and the kids just finished playing in "mountains" which looked something like this:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Free the crabs

One night this week for dinner we had seafood. I got 2 lbs. of shrimp and 4 snow crab legs all for $15! HEB has terrific sales (sometimes), not to mention the kids love going there. Free samples, balloons, buddy bucks... a preschooler's dream.

Then we came home and I started peeling all the shrimp. 1 hour later (which reminds me why I don't cook shrimp very often), I started the batter. I will say I tried a new batter and it was really good... all that was in it was 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of beer and whatever seasoning you want to add to it. I was a little hesitant about the beer part because I am not a beer drinker (I prefer other drinks) but it didn't taste like beer at all. It was light and crispy. Very good. Then I started the potato salad. Then steamed the crab. It was a long day in the kitchen.

Abby was a bit hesitant about the crab... and their pinchers. I told her they weren't alive so she wouldn't have anything to worry about. Then she said, "I want them to be free." My response, "so you don't want crab for dinner?" She said, "No, they miss their family."

I then started worrying that she would apply this to any animal. She is the most particular child ever. Not that it's bad to be a tree hugging, passionate earthy girl, but it just makes things easier when we are all on the same page.

So I resorted to a bit of trickery. I told her to close her eyes and open her mouth, as I had a special "treat" for her. Needless to say she loved the crab and will not be joining PETA anytime soon.

"I'm not going to see you anymore. You are in my tummy now."

The crabs were excellent. Somehow food tastes a little bit better when you can eat it with your hands. Not that we're cave people, I'm just sayin...

Just in case PETA finds their way to our site: No real crabs were actually harmed in the making of this blog. They were all paid actor crabs and everybody indeed went home to their families.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are you ready for some... football!

Austin started flag football last week. I had bunko that night so unfortunately I don't have any pictures. No worries though, I will have plenty of other opportunities I'm sure. But I do have some of our other football star.

"This football stuff is easy."

"Hhhhhuuuurh." Or something like that.

"Can I call a time out for a potty break?"

That one is a little low. You need to follow through a bit more, Dad.

"Are you kidding me? My feet were in bounds."

(It helps to keep your eyes open when you're playing.)

"I have an idea, let's go get a snack."

Oh and from what I heard, Austin is going to be the Michael Jordan of his team. Here's the picture to prove it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

One more week

One more week until school starts. The girls will start their last year of preschool and Austin will be in the first grade. Time flies by so fast. I am ready to get back into a routine, but I know I will miss Austin during the day.

The kiddos and I will be alone this week. James heads to Scotland tomorrow. Am I jealous? Uh - yes! Of all the places I would like to visit, Scotland would be pretty high on my list. He tries to play it down... a long flight, meetings all day for 2 days, and then head back home. Oh how I tried to talk my way into going also. Then I looked at the cost of flights. And of course there really isn't anyone to watch the kids. So maybe next time. The only place I ever traveled for work was to Conway, KS... home of a big NGL hub. I got to see a fractionator and a control room. James gets to see castles. Which is more exciting?

Anyway, he bought a little digital camera this weekend to take with him. Because if I can't go, then I want to live vicariously through him - with lots and lots of pictures. He didn't want to "look" like a tourist since he'll be there for "serious" work. I guess that means he won't be strapping on a fanny pack.

Here are a few of my pictures from last week.

Abby came out of her room and told me she was having a party in there. When I walked in, this is what I discovered.

Then they all sat down and had some tea to celebrate a successful party.

Here's Emily and Austin writing on the driveway. What you don't see is their "very sweaty" parents bundling up branches for the trash man. Our trash service is hard core about what you put out and how you put it out. Maybe one day we'll have a burn pile and it won't matter.

Emily dressed up and actually matched (sort-of).

I meant to put these up a few weeks ago. Jayson and Justin (and baby Ryan) came over to play and the kids all had a blast. I wonder who's winning?

These two seem a bit more civilized during their game.

We went to the Woodland's children's museum with some friends and had a good time. Forget pocket change - you might find a whole kid in those cushions (safe and breathing with a smile on their face, of course - not one from weeks ago).

Nothing says Summer fun like crafts.

Welcome to my "perfectly painted, always air conditioned, no rats or bugs to be found, red and white" farmhouse. Take your shoes off before you come in.

Any ideas on what costume Austin is wearing? Because I don't. I told him it was Robin Hood and Emily was Maid Marian. I'm sure if they had heart dresses in her time, she'd be all over it.

Of course Abby had to be the crazy duck. The girl loves her poultry. Perhaps it's a turkey. Or an eagle? I'm more of a mammal girl.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stranded at the zoo... again.

I don't know why, but everytime we go to the zoo it rains. In fact, next time we need it to rain I think I will decide it is time for a visit to the the zoo. That should definitely do the trick. I got stuck with these 3 soaking wet animals:

They had a new animal at the Houston Zoo, a red panda, which they say is the "cutest animal in the world." I think mine are cuter.

So here are a few pictures from our exciting day.

It was really hot...

Austin's favorite animal was the komodo dragon. He read a book about them earlier in the week...

and then declared this dragon was the biggest he has ever seen. Because on our many tours of the Galapagos (or where ever the heck they live) they were definitely shorter than this one.

Little Miss Priss wasn't feeling it today...

until a turtle tried to bite her nose...

and until it started to rain. And then her day turned around.

I think perhaps this is my favorite photo from the day. No comment.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Last Week

With the end of summer quickly approaching (in exactly 14 days, but who's counting), I have been struggling to find things for us to do. Besides our gym and library visits, we didn't do much of anything last week. We even stayed in the house 2 entire days and did not go anywhere. Well one of those days we had to get our hot water heaters replaced and that took a good 5 hours. And if you think hot water heaters are no more than a couple hundred of dollars like I did, think again.

So, here is a glance in pictures....

Abby practiced her letters.

Austin finally got to go down the big slide at the gym.

Emily and Austin held hands and jumped into the pool about 1,322 times.

Abby enjoyed staying on the sidelines.

The girls practiced making letters with their bodies.

I accidentally sprayed myself a gazillion times with our broken faucet. My dear husband squashed a fly, hence squashing my dreams of washing dishes easily. We had to order another one online as the stores around here do not carry them.

Abby found some panty hose that kept her entertained for a good hour.

Yeah, and that's about it.