Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Andrew's sister and her family came to visit Austin. The kids have not seen their cousins in 5 yrs so we had to make sure to pack in the fun. There was a lot of hanging out and playing video games. And a lot of swimming that I didn't get pics of but I tried to take pics of the big fun stuff. First day we went to Barton Springs and Chuys. We also saw the tower on the UT campus and the famous Austin greeting mural. On Thursday night the adults went out and did the live music scene. Mike bought a giant pizza on 6th street and fed a homeless man. Too funny!

Visitors-Fredricksburg and the Rodeo

What is a visit to Texas without going to the Rodeo. We found one in Fredricksburg and drove out. Its a gorgeous small town with shops and antiques and gourmet Texas food. We walked the shops a bit but with kids that gets old really fast. So we stopped for lunch and then headed over to the Rodeo. It was awesome. I love how we honor our flag and our country in Texas. They started with cowgirls riding around with flags. The star spangled banner followed by a prayer for our troops and not a dry eye in the stands. We treat our military men an women like gods. And rightfully so. Then they did your typical horse bucking, cow roping, muttin bustin, and BULL riding. It was exciting and entertaining and our visitors got to see the best of Texas.

Visitors-Candy Shop and Bats

Austin has North Americas largest bat population. It is unique. They come out at dusk to feed. Every bridge in Austin has thousands of bats fly out from under it. While we waited for it to get dark we visited BIG TOP CANDY SHOP. Literally the coolest candy shop I have ever been in. It has a bunch of novelty candy you can't find any where else. It was so expensive but so worth it cause it was that cool. It was like stepping into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory I felt like a kid again.

Visitors- Graffiti Wall

It is NOT illegal to paint graffiti in Austin. That's what I love about this city. This does not mean we all run around with spray cans of paint and ruin everything in sight. Most of Austin is beautiful homes with white picket fences and mowed lawns and miles and miles of lakes and trees. There is a large section downtown with cement retaining walls and any one can go there and paint without the threat of a ticket or a fine. The result is we have had some of the best graffiti artists in the world visit and paint on the wall. I loved looking at all the art work. Trust me there is too much to capture with pics. But how cool that they made such amazing drawing with just a spray can!

Visitors - Kayak

We found groupons and spent a day on Lady bird lake. It was gorgeous. I am soooo doing this again and again and again.

Move Mountains

Dallin has been working with a personal trainer for little over a year now. The problem with youth sports is its usually some dad that wants to re live his high school glory days that volunteers to coach, which always translates into poor coaching. They usually just want to do enough to get praise and thanks but they never TEACH the boys how to improve their skills. So I decided to hire some one for Dallin on my own. And it has made a huge difference in his football, baseball, and basketball. Next year he will be too big to play youth football and the junior high does not have a 6th grade team so he needs to have some thing to keep him going. This past week he did a big workout in the front yard with his trainer. Sit ups, plyo push ups, bear crawls, and yes pushing a jeep with his 200lb trainer inside pumping on the break. Most parents will think this in unsafe (mainly the parents who's kids don't play sports). But trust me its not. He is very strong and has been working hard since he was 6. His trainer is a professional and knows what he is doing. If he wants to play in college he will have to big enough and strong enough to move mountains so we will start with a jeep and work our way up. (video)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tracy's Wedding 2014

Its the first wedding the kids have been to. Its was a fun country wedding outside with cowboy boots and lots of beer. We were so excited to see Peyton (the flower girl) again since my sisters family moved to Oaklahoma. Plus it meant a lot to be supportive of John's side of the family.

Barton Springs Pool 2014

We have lived here over 5 yrs and never done Barton Springs. So on a whim I just put the kids in the car and we went. It was less than $6 to get us all in (cheaper than local swimming pools) and it was so beautiful. I have some pics but trust me it doesn't do this place justice. I love living in Austin. We have the most wonderful unique things to do. The water is ice cold which makes it extra refreshing on a hot summer day. And it IS legal to swim topless. So the kids got to see some boobies while we were there.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Addie can't see

So it begins. Andrew and I both have band eyes so we were shocked this didn't happen sooner. But we have one kid in glasses. The other checked out ok. Maybe one day they will need some too. But I have to say I think she looks adorbs in them. I am guessing 1 month before they get lost or broken.

Dallin graduated 5th grade

Don't ask me why they celebrate this. Let alone take up a full day in ceremony for kids leaving grade school. But some PTA mom some where thinks her kid needed a send off so the rest of us parents have to show up so we don't look bad. Any way.... You can tell as soon as you see other parents walking in which child is theirs. I could go into detail about how they dress and act but I will just leave it at that. Cause I am feeling sweet and precious today. Lets just say Dallin was too cool to wear a bright vest and direct traffic before or after school with "safety patrol" he skipped the meeting for "no place for hate", the assistant principal begged him to be in more things but after he used a few choice words in PE she gave up hope. He didn't get the most awards and that is why I love him!! He gets it. Life is all about being who you are and not letting a certificate define you. Granted when I go to Addie's graduation she will have all top honors. But she is a self made teachers pet. I encourage my kids to stick it to the institution as much as they can (even though Andrew loathes that type of behavior). I see girls and guys on Facebook that were in all AP classes and had perfect GPAs and most of them make as much money as I do. I wasn't dumb I just wasn't an over achiever that's for sure. Dallin is very funny and he will be somebody one day. I feel it in my bones. He is my world. He inspires me to work hard and stay mentally tough. I am so nervous about him going into middle school. Its so hard. Everything changes all you old friends act like they don't know you. People pick on you for no reason. All of a sudden you are suppose to CARE about what you look like. He still prefers elastic band waist pants. I will do whatever it takes to help him fit in. So here is to the future and BYE BYE to lame elementary school. We shall see how those kids that won 100 awards handle middle school.
And to the moms out there reading this thinking "my son won the science fair/pine wood derby/all boys choir/citizenship award and he isn't a nerd she is just trying to make excuses for her son". To you I say. I am more worried about his character and his heart than those awards. They truly mean NOTHING! Watch how you judge he could be your sons boss one day.

Tennis 2014

The girls just started Tennis. Andrew is really into it and he thinks its the perfect sport period. I only think its ok for girls to play. Therefore I had no beef with him signing my girls up. They hve private lessons on Sunday. This past week the coach recommended they jump rope everyday. I am a bad parent. I hate teaching my kids to brush their teeth, finish their homework, or have morals, respectable language, or manners. BUT THIS! Making them exercise... This I can do! I put them right to work. Doubled the amount of time he suggested and had them bawling in less than 2 min. Addie looked like a train wreck. I could hardly watch. She must be skipping out in PE at school cause a cripple could jump with more stable legs than this chika had. Olivia was a little better but not by much. Day 4 they were killing it! Jumping rope like Rocky BalBoa. We will double up lessons in the summer. And hope this will pay for their college? Maybe?

Round Rock Express

Right after Derek broke his arm we decided to go to a local minor league baseball game. There are so many fun things to do that its almost hard to sit and watch baseball. They have a rock climbing wall, swimming pool, jumpy house, playground, and tons of food. The best part was because Derek was still in a splint (till the swelling in his arm had gone down) we were on strict orders to keep him safe. The bone was set but a splint hardly holds it in place like a cast does. He managed to sneak into the bouncy house and climb with one arm up the swing set fort. I took him back to our blanket where he started a game of catch with some other boy that was there with his family. The boy threw the ball at Derek, he caught it and said "now you have to tackle me!" I peed a little in my pants. It has been impossible keeping him safe. It was a fun night complete with a fireworks show at the end. We know how to do baseball in Texas!