Sunday, June 27, 2010

Trip to Branson

We started our trip on Friday (6/18) when we left Cypress and drove 7 hours to Hot Springs, AR. We visited Hot Springs National Park and one of the "bath houses" that was turned into a museum. The water there has a consistent temperature of 143 degrees. Next we drove north through the Oauchita and Ozark Mountain ranges to Branson, MO. Some of the activities we enjoyed in Branson were riding the ducks, swimming in Table Rock Lake, the fountains at Branson Landing and putt putt golf at the Pirate's Cove. The duck is WWII amphibious vehicle that we rode around town before splashing into Table Rock Lake. Unfortunately we were in the last row and got soaked!!! Brady became an honorary duck captain and got to drive the duck while we were in the water. The next day we rented a pontoon boat and went swimming in the lake. We all took turns jumping off the bow of the boat into the lake. This was the highlight of the trip for Colette and I. It reminded us of all the good times we had on a boat when we were growing up. We left Branson and drove back to Texas and to the Great Wolf Lodge. This was the first time we let Camryn and Brady go off and ride the slides by themselves. They were big shots! Colette and I got to ride the slides with them while we took turns playing with Reagan in the baby pool.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall has finally arrived in Houston, TX. It seems like it took forever, but I am so thankful for the cooler weather. Since school started our weeks have been filled with church, soccer, tennis, and running. Oh, I forgot to mention - sickness. About three weeks into school, all three of the kids were sick. It started with Reagan, then Brady, then Camryn, then back to Reagan and Brady. Brian got sick as well. And yes, Camryn and Brady both missed a day of school. No perfect attendance this year for us. I was really bummed about it (probably more so than the kids), but now it takes the pressure off for the rest of the year! I do not know exactly what we had, but there was vomiting and fever and it lasted for one full week. Thank goodness we are healthy now!!

We finally got Brady and Camryn into sports this year. Brady is playing soccer and Camryn opted for tennis (no sweating for her). They both have practice on Thursday - at the same place and same time. Very convenient for me. Reagan is a handful right now so I don't really get to watch either of them at practice. Brady has games on Saturday, and we (Brian and I) are having a lot of fun. I remember going to the Smith's soccer games in Dallas one year, and laughing because Uncle Clint was so intense. Uncle Clint would now be laughing at us though. Brian and I have learned that we are very competitive. I am on the side lines cheering on the team, and always yelling for Brady to be ready. Camryn does not have actual games, but she is doing well. She enjoys her practices, and is always eager to go.

Pumpkins are everywhere since Halloween is right around the corner. We took the kids to the pumpkin patch at Wee Wuns after church on Sunday. You will notice that there are a few pictures of Brady by himself. He kept asking me to take pictures of him at various spots - so cute!! The weather was perfect. Reagan loves pumpkins. She gets very excited when she sees them, and can't understand why we do not visit the pumpkin patch every Tuesday and Thursday before school.

It won't be long now before Thanksgiving and Christmas. We are especially looking forward to December since our favorite Australian Smith's will be home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August always seems like a crazy month for some reason. I presume it is because there are six family birthdays in this month, and because it is the month that school starts back. Yes, the long awaited day finally came. Today was the first day of school, and I was so excited for the kids to get back in a routine. I have to give the blow by blow because it was very different for Camryn and Brady. Brian and I were up early this morning so we could exercise before starting the day. However, we were not the only ones awake at the wee hours.

Camryn was up at 5:30am. She headed toward my room with uniform in hand at 5:45. I ushered her back to her bed and assured her that she needed to get a little more sleep. She tossed and turned until 7:00 when I finally let her get dressed. She was full of energy and very eager to get going. She had eaten breakfast and was dressed by 7:15!! Love that about her - such a morning person.

Brady, on the other hand, had a little bit of a rough start. He could not fall asleep last night, and so he was very slow moving this morning. We started waking him around 7:15, and he grumped into the living room about ten minutes later. He told me several times that he needed more sleep, and I let him know that he would get a chance to go to bed early tonight!! He finally got dressed and we headed out the door with a few minutes to spare.

Brian was supposed to have jury duty today, but they did not need him. Instead he joined us for the car ride to school. I was glad to have him with us! Camryn is now grown up, and did not want us to accompany her into school. We dropped her off in car line, and parked so we could escort Brady into his classroom. I did pretty well at the beginning, but started to get weepy as I walked out of the room. Brian could see it in my face, and that was all it took. I left Brian and Reagan, and headed out to the car to hide my tears!

Now, what to do with my day? I went to a boo hoo breakfast with some other kindergarten Moms, and then did something I have not done in a long time. I went shopping with only one child! I got some quick Christmas shopping done first, and then went to the grocery store. I love my kids dearly, but it was so nice doing this with only one attachment. I would have loved to gone the gym today, but wouldn't you know that it is closed the entire week for renovation. I'll catch up next week...

I picked up the kids this afternoon, and both had great days. Brady seemed to really miss Reagan. This is funny because he always picks on her at home. He told me he drew a picture of his family, and he only put himself and Reagan in it! He later told me it was the best day ever. Camryn had a good day as well. She already has homework - let the fun begin.

Watch for the progression of the morning.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July came and went very fast. We had three weeks full of activities, and we were exhausted. July 13-17 we attended VBS at our church. This year's theme was the Boomerang Express. Thanks to Aunt Candi and Uncle Clint we all had authentic Australian shirts to wear. The kids were so proud to tell their teachers that their cousins lived in Australia! I taught music this year which was a departure from my role in registration last year. I did not realize that the format had changed this year, and that I would have to teach a small lesson before the kids learned the songs and dances. I worried about it for a few weeks leading into VBS thinking that I was not cut out for it. I was in a theatre style room full of K-2 students, and even had to use a microphone. The accountant in me was terrified, but believe it or not I rose to the occasion and even enjoyed it. Camryn loved learning the dances, and was chosen to go on stage to perform for the parents.

The next week was a great break for me. We attended Fun Days at Reagan's preschool, and I got to work while the kids were entertained for five hours. Oh how I do love working with numbers.

Brady and Camryn both had camps the last week of July. Brady was in Warrior school and Camryn went to Art Reach. I felt like a taxi driver because Brady's camp was about 15 minutes from our house one way and Camryn's camp was 20 minutes the other way! I would drop Brady off at 9:00 and then head to Art Reach for a camp that started at 10:00. I had about one hour at the house before I had to go back to get Brady at 12:00. Camryn's camp ended at 3:00 so I did have a small break from driving then. I am including all of this detail because I know some of you will be able to appreciate what we do to get our kids to camps!! As part of Camryn's camp, she had a dance workshop each day. We got to see all of her hard work on the last day of camp. As a parent, sometimes you just know when you might need to redirect your kids' interest. Camryn will be taking tennis lessons in the Fall!!

Brian completed his first triathlon today. It was a sprint triathlon which means it was 1/8 of an ironman triathlon. We were all so proud of him. Of course I missed him running across the finish line, but we were there shortly after. Thankfully I had some homemade banana muffins with me when I showed up! It is so inspiring to be around so many physically fit people. He did great, and we are looking forward to January and the half-marathon.

We are anxiously awaiting the first day of school. It will be here in about two weeks!

Not many pictures right now, but will send more after school starts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

We took a trip through the hill country last week. Here are a few pictures from our trip.