This event happened 6 weeks ago, but whatever.
Last year the kids wanted to have a back to school party. I wanted to keep it simple so when they came up with the theme of water balloons and popsicles I was all over it! I mean really what more do kids need to have fun? Last year we had 500 balloons (all of which I tied because my kids did not know how to tie balloons at that time) and 150 popsicles - we invited a few friends over and had the party in our backyard. The 500 water balloons lasted all of 5 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly - 5 minutes - my fingers ached for days and all my hard work was over in 5 minutes. It was fun nonetheless. Last year everyone averaged 7 popsicles each - even the adults. Last year was fun, but it didn't even compare to this year. This year we were smarter. New rules! We invited lots of our friends - their price of admission - 100 filled water balloons. My children learn to tie balloons this past year and since it was their party they had to fill 200 balloons each (all except Boy 3, he still can't tie a balloon and if he is smart he won't learn how for a few more years! ;o). I bought the popsicles - all 600 of them. I tied 0 balloons. My fingers did not hurt at all! We had the party in the driveway and in the street. Even the teens got involved. We had at least 1500 balloons, 3 slip and slides, water hoses coming from every spigot we could find and unlimited popsicles!
I'm not sure who had more fun at this party - me or the kids.
This flag still stands for FREEDOM.
10 years ago on this day I was 8 months pregnant with Girl, I was at home in Fort Knox, KY watching Good Morning America. As I watched the second plane hit I knew at that moment it was not an accident. Post shut down. Ten years ago today we experienced the worst attack America will never forget. It has led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where my husband currently serves and where troops continue to deploy. Today and every day I pray for all their safety. Today and every day I remember those that have lost their lives and pray for those that lost loved ones. Today and every day I remember the first responders and say thank you to them. I would also like to say thank you to the ones that got out alive and still wear the scars on the inside and outside who often wonder 'why was I spared'. Today and every day I say thank you to all that have served and are serving our country. Today and every day I say thank you to my husband who has missed first steps, first haircuts, the first visit from the Tooth Fairy, the first day of kindergarten, the first day of junior high, countless birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases and too many normal days to count. He does this for us, all of us, you included and he is just one of many. Thank you to my children who don't know any other life and live this life to the fullest. Thank you for being kids that honor their nation and The Flag, kids that when you hear the national anthem play you stop what you are doing and put you hand over your hearts and stand in reverence no matter where you are or what you are doing. Thank you for being kids that get angry when you see others not stopping in their paths to do the same. Thank you for being kids that are proud to be called "Army Brats". Thank you for being kids that know Daddy's job is to leave for years at a time to 'go fight the bad guys' knowing all the while that you may not ever see your Daddy again. Thank you to all the military brats that live this life. Thank you to all the soldiers and your families for all the sacrifices you make during these long deployments because of what happened to all of us on this day 10 years ago......
Soldiers of 1st Cav HHBn Rear Detachment at Killeen High School, 9-11 Remembrance ceremony.
Freedom Walk at Killeen High School. Wounded Warrior Transition Unit - walking in honor of those that have been effected by 9-11-01
Proud Army wives walking to honor all those effected by 9-11-01
Walking to honor our Maverick Battalion!!
Just in case you don't know this...the Round Rock Express are total lovers of the military. They GIVE the military tickets ANYTIME they want them. For an extra bonus event in the month of August I picked up 80 tickets for the Round Rock Express Game - FOR FREE!!! Which I totally appreciated. Thanks to all the families that came out to support!
Boy 3 showing his Granny where to go.
Showing support for our soldiers so many miles away.
Boys will be boys!
Look Dad - one of the players came up and gave me a ball!!
Round Rock Express, thanks so much for being so good to our military! You guys ROCK! (No pun intended.)
Hot summer days...that has been the theme this summer in Central Texas. Thank goodness we have many ways to keep cool, and the Jolly-Trolly Sno-Cone Lady has been one of those ways! You can rent her & her truck by the hour and then eat sno-cones until you eaten so many you are afraid you might be sick. On this day we were hanging out on the front lawn of our Village Mayor's house trying to stay cool...
I love those blue eyes!
The mommas were enjoying the sno-cones as well!
The teens even came out for a sno-cone or two.
And of course, I had my own 'Trish style' sno-cone.
I'm not sure if you guys have been keeping up with this crazy Texas weather or not, but let me be one to tell you - it is HOT here: and I mean DANG HOT! As of today we are in on our 72nd day of temps over 100 degrees with NO relief in sight! There is no better way to cool off than to go to the pool right? Wrong. The pool even feels like a warm bath tub at this point, but that doesn't stop us from having a little fun!
This kid is out of control!
I'm not sure when our kids got so big!
Girl just started attempting flips this year.
That is going to hurt!!
When we found out it was time for VBS at Grace United Methodist Church in Coppers Cove we KNEW we had to go!! We only found out about it the night before, but knowing what we know from our previous experiences here we knew it was a MUST go!!
True to form, Grace put on an EXCELLENT bible school ~ the detials were AMAZING!!
How fun is this?
Every single part of the church was decorated!!
The "recycle" wall.
As a part of VBS, the kids were encouraged to bring in canned foods to give to the homeless.
Seriously, it must have taken them FOREVER to decorate the church!!
I'm not joking when I tell you EVERY wall was decorated!
How fun is this?! A giant bowl of fruit loops!!
The kids had a BLAST!! Thanks to everyone at Grace that made this VBS so special!
My family is full of ice cream lovin' fools (I do not fall in that category - I can take it or leave it, and most of the time I leave it). When Hubby is home all of his dates with the children end in a visit to an ice cream shop, or if we live in Texas a stop at Dairy Queen is required, yes -required. So when a friend told me about this place The Waffle Cone, I KNEW I had to take the kid-o's here. Now it is WAY out in Copperas Cove - but the 15 minute trek is well worth it, even for a non-ice cream lovin' fool like myself. And since we were attending Vacation Bible School in Cove and the theme was "Shake it up Cafe, Where Kids Carry out God's Recipe" it was like God himself was sending me a sign. How could I refuse? So the last day of VBS, I loaded the car with kids and headed to "Waffle Cone" for an ice cream filled LUNCH. Yes, you heard me correctly, I said lunch.
OK, for lunch I did make them eat spaghetti......
ICE CREAM SPAGHETTI that is!!!
Best spaghetti EVER!
After 'spaghetti' we ordered a "MEGA SPLIT". I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really did not expect this monstrosity!!
5 different flavors, cookie dough, birthday cake, mint chocolate chip, crazy colors and strawberry...each child picked a flavor and then shared the entire thing.
They were so excited and it was KILLING them that I made them take a picture before they dove in!
They were all going strong, I even pitched in to help them for a while, but there came a point when Girl, her friend and Boy 2 threw in the towel and they were done.....
This is the point where 3 of them dropped out.
Down to two.....
And then there was one.....
5 kids, 5 HUGE scoops of ice cream, 2 bananas, hot fudge, caramel, 2 cherries, oh and let's not forget the bowl of spaghetti they started with... DONE!! What a great way to end Vacation Bible School!
We can't wait to take Hubby when he gets back from Afghanistan!!
We were so excited that Boy 2 was going in to get his cast removed! We knew there was a possibility that he would have to get another one, but we were really hoping there would be swimming for Boy 2 this 4th of July weekend.
The 'jaws of life' cast style.
When the guy removing his cast ask him if he wanted to keep his cast - Boy 2 curled his nose and said - "Um, no. That is garbage!"
And it is OFF!!!
Once his cast was off we went for another x-ray. While we were waiting Boy 2 tried to straighten his arm but it still hurt...he tried to move his hand but it still hurt...when the doc looked at the x-ray it was healing well but it was still fractured. So...
Back on it goes....
This time he got a glow in the dark cast! ;o)
Ahhhh ~ I know, I know, I've talked about farewells before but as I told you, this is the PCS (permanent change of station) season and our friends just keep moving out!! UGHHH!!! This past Friday night we had a few friends over to say goodbye to our neighbors that are retiring and heading out to a sunny and warm spot near everyone’s favorite big mouse. Retiring. Really? Are we old enough for that? Hubby can retire in 1 year. Seriously, 1 year, OK, OK, actually he can retire in 11 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!! Freaky isn't it? When did my husband get so old? ;o)
Anywho...we had our neighbors over for a little Vietnamese cuisine. As you all know I love cooking! I also love cooking & eating Vietnamese. I had a dear Vietnamese friend that taught me the tricks of the trade, but she also swore me to secrecy. As you all know I love sharing recipes, but I swore to my friend I would not post her family recipes here, so if you want to enjoy the most fantastic Vietnamese noodle bowls or spring rolls you will have to come over and hang with me for the evening.
Trying to teach 11 kids to make spring rolls. All I can say is..........
Thank GOD for Rodney.
You HAD to be there! ;o)
Two kids, two broken arms. Of course they get special treatment. (They live across the street from each other. Go figure.)
We will miss these two!
Love that smile!
This one cracks me up!
I kind-of got in trouble for this one..... ;o)
Sometimes a Sundae just isn't enough.
So long friends...we will miss you.
I think this was his third for the night....
Our back porch is *tiny*, kind of like our pantry, but I've tried to make it as functional as possible without purchasing new stuff. Moving into new places every few year is sometimes a challenge - one place things fit a little better than the next. The back porch has been has been a challenge us, but I finally have it comfortable. I love sitting outside in the wee hours of the morning when the sun isn't beating down making everything unbearable.
My friend Rachel gave this plant to me about a month ago before she moved. I'm trying to do right by it...it has lost a few leaves but for the most part I think it is pretty happy here in its new home.
The spider plant in the red pot is from my MIL. She gave it to me last year when we were visiting...it made the trip all the way home, and then within 3 months I almost killed it. I was able to resesitate it and as you can see it is doing splended now!
Two summers ago Hubby bought this piece of bark looking stuff in Hawaii. Last summer we put it in water and it spouted so we planted it in soil. This past winter I thought I killed it (see a pattern?) but this summer it came back stronger than ever!
There really isn't anything special about this picture - other than I need to paint the wall above the flag....
I love this little bug...we bought him in San Diego and he is hanging out on a wall outside.
We bought these guys at the J.J. market in Bangkok. You can see them as you walk out of the house...
Another bug from San Diego
I know I am going to catch grief from a few people because of these next three pictures. Yes I have hummingbirds in my back yard. Yes I sit around waiting to take pictures of them. Yes I am old. Bring it on my friends, bring it on.....
Do you want to know their names? ;o)
More San Diego bugs.
I just love these little guys....
The view from the yard.
Our back porch (yes, I need to trim the bushes).
If you just look at the pictures it looks like we had a GREAT day! Go ahead, stop reading and just look.....
((((((pause for looking)))))
Now, let's rewind. It was Saturday night; kids were asking to have sleepovers. I said no. I told them that Boy 1 and I were waking up early, doing lawn work then we were all heading out to Austin for a FUN family day! Well Boy 1 started begging, saying it was C's last day in the neighborhood for a whole
month (later I found out later C is only going to be gone for 2 weeks). I held fast (for a few minutes anyway), Boy 1 promised to be home by 6AM to help with lawn care. I told him at that even though this was against my better judgment I would let him sleep over at his friend’s house but he needed to be home by 8AM ready to work. He agreed and he was home by 8AM ready to work. He mowed the front and backyard. I was edging and weed-eating when I noticed Boy 1 was nowhere to be seen. I go in the house looking for him. HE WAS IN BED ASLEEP!!!
Are you freaking kidding me? He didn't even put the mower away. I woke him up had him do more work, in his defense, he said "but you only told me to mow the lawn". OK, he got me, I did only
ask him to mow, but really is it too much to ask to put the mower away and then to come over and ask your mom what else you can do to help?!?! (I could go on but I will stop there & really he is an AWESOME teen.)
That is how my morning started. We finally left town we headed to Round Rock Donuts
at about noon. I've been hearing about these awesome donuts for over a year now, in fact it has been said that their donuts are "World Famous
"! So I'm assuming you have heard of them!
We planned to eat at Round Rock Donuts - reasonable. When we arrived we found out there is no indoor seating and it is 1PM and 104 degrees outside. We just went with it - we ordered their BIG A$$ donut and ate outside. Check it out:
It wasn't long till the complaints started flying. Why don't they have knives (reasonable question) - I wasn't sure of the answer but there were no utensils anywhere to be found so we tore it apart and went at it. More complaints followed- it's too chocolaty, it's too hot, it's too sweet, I'm not hungry, I'm too hot......I'm still smiling at this point, trying to be chipper and happy even though my smile is wearing a little thin.
When we finished the donut (no we did not eat it all) we headed to Austin's Children's Museum. I've heard great things about this place AND as a bonus it was FREE to blue star families and we are a blue star family. What is a blue star family you ask? It just means that you have a family member that is active duty military. Right now across the US there are over 600 museums offering free admission to blue star families, and we had decided to take advantage of this opportunity. (To find out more about blue start museums click here.
As soon as we arrived at the museum the little kids started having a blast!
They even made slime!
And then they made a few things for Hubby.
Boy 3 did a little cooking....
And Boy 1 sat around making this face when he wasn't texting or falling asleep. I really can't blame him though; this place isn’t at the top of my list of favorite children's museum to visit either. However the little kids enjoyed it. We had planned on staying here for 4 hours but we could only stretch it out to 2 hours.
During story time.
Since we were ahead of schedule and everyone was STARVING we headed over towards Zilker Park and stopped to eat at Chuy's. When we left the Children’s museum everyone seemed to return to their foul moods. Boy 1 was tired, and could barely keep his eyes open, Girl had a headache and stomach ache. Boy 2 was just being inappropriate - he was calling people names, using potty language, "trying" to be funny in inappropriate ways. The only person that was and had been happy all day was Boy 3. I was hoping linner (a combination of lunch and dinner) would turn things around for our clan. That didn't happen. After linner we still had 2.5 hours to wait to see the bats fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge so we decided to go to Zilker Park and hang out. Good idea right? Wrong. It was 106 degrees by now so the short walk to the Nature Center sent moods flying out of control even more. Right after this picture Boy 2 shoved Boy 3 and told him not to stand by him anymore - throwing the name poo-poo head into the mix.
And to top it off, the Nature Center was CLOSED.
I suggusted taking a little hike, (haha- that was funny!) but decided against it because everyone was already way too hot and by this time I had joined the bandwagon of bitterness. We were all done. I REALLY wanted to take the kids to see the bats, but I knew I had been defeated. We headed home early. The bats will be there another day. Everyone was thrilled to be in the car heading back home. Two out of the four fell asleep in the car. We were home by 7PM, by 8PM eveyone was in bed asleep - and back in Austin the bats hadn't even taken flight yet.