Friday, May 31, 2013

challenge accepted

i happened upon the Texas Nature Challenge by accident wednesday night as i was looking for "bug related" activities for colby. it didn't take me long to register my family of 4 and select our first adventure.

From the website:
"The goal of Texas Nature Challenge is to get families and kids outdoors by visiting as many participating parks and nature areas in Texas as they can. At each site, participants complete activity challenges designed for family fun and nature exploration."

Challenge #1: State Capitol Grounds

thursday morning when we told the kids what we'd be doing that day, colby asked.....
colby: "will we be looking for bugs??"
me: "no. this is more of a tree hunt it looks like. and some monuments."
colby: "trees?!?! no bugs?"
me: "well, i'm sure there will be bugs, but thats not our focus today. we're going to go on a kind of treasure hunt around the state capitol."

.....and so it went; and he only slightly moped to the car.
we were pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had and how engaged our two kiddos were in the activities on the challenge printout.

daddy, colby, and molly in front of the bald cypress on the capitol grounds. colby: "hey, its bald like you are, daddy!" 

this beautiful and unconventional water fountain was a new discovery for us as we followed our challenge instructions.

the detailing in the fence that encloses the capitol grounds is beautiful in its detail. one of the steps to the challenge was to sketch a portion of the fence in a designated spot on the printout.

we were instructed to walk around the capitol building and point out any interesting features. we all of course love the capitols signature dome and the goddess of liberty. molly also noticed the green roof, and colby really liked the large number of windows.

it was a surprisingly fun day, and once we got there, the kids were really excited to learn some new things about the capitol that they hadnt heard or seen before in the other times we've been there. we're looking forward to our next opportunity to do a nature challenge.

Monday, May 27, 2013

pep talk

its time for a pep talk....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

threesixfive, week 21

allen and i just got back from a great little getaway. we took the kids to six flags on thursday, after which my dad met us at our hotel and took the kids back to my parents house so we could have a couple days to sleep in and do just whatever we wanted. we didnt get out of bed before 10:30 on friday or saturday. rest. glorious rest.

heres the week...

our friends the mennings are involved in the texas baptist children's home ministry. my friend melinda helps direct the choir, and so her 3 kids (who colby and molly are friends with) are allowed to participate. their performance was sunday night, so we went to support them. it was called "sermon on the mound."

a couple of my dads friends had to come down to austin for a business meeting monday and tuesday, so  my dad hitched a ride and had them drop him at our house so he could hang out with us for a couple of days. it was really cool to have time with him. thats never happened before; its always mom or the two of them together.

dad and i and the kids went exploring on tuesday morning. we went to the botanical garden in austin, and to the nature and science center. both are free, which is definitely my kind of entertainment.

mollys last day of gymnastics. she got a medal at the end of class, and i was able to take her picture on the podium. she was being shy, so i couldnt get a good smile out of her. :-/

the view from our hotel room. so pretty.

i love checking out local restaurants. we found one called ellens southern kitchen, and it was good. everything was made fresh. allen had chicken fried chicken, and i had meatloaf. for an appetizer, we had build your own macaroni. there are about 7 or 8 different things you can put in it. we had bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes. holy cow. i will eat there again before i die. if you're ever in dallas, near the west end (a section of downtown), go here!

after dinner we took a walk up a few blocks to where JFK was shot. theres a memorial there and some historical markers. this is the cenotaph (open tomb) built in his honor.

we've been taking our youth to the same camp in south texas for 8 years, and over that time we've developed some great relationships with the staff, both summer and permanent. this is anna, who was summer staff at zephyr for 3 years. shes on her way home after graduating from baylor last weekend, but stopped to hang out with us tonight and go to church with us tomorrow.

hope you're having a great week and wrapping up your school year for those of you who that applies to! :-)
link up below if you have pictures to share.
be blessed!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

threesixfive, week 20

wow, i cant believe we're 20 weeks into the year already. creeping up on halfway...or is it barreling headfirst to halfway. however you look at it, it's a comin'. sorry i didnt get a chance to read your posts this week. between going out of town to my parents, celebrating my birthday, and spending pretty much all my spare time thinking through agonizing over curriculum for next year (hey, i like to be ahead of the game), i didnt do much else.
i didnt even take a picture on my birthday!! i had to 'cheat' and use one that allen took with his phone.
and speaking of allen, he will be taking a week and doing all my project 365 pictures in the not so distant future. how soon is still to be determined.

enough of that. lets see some pictures.....

my inlaws drove into town sunday morning for mothers day. we all went to lunch together after church, then they stayed to spend a couple of days with allen, and the kids and i went to my moms to spend mothers day with her, and also so i could celebrate my birthday (just a little bit early) with my family.
heres a picture of allen mom and the kids

i went shopping with my mom, my memaw, and molly (colby, my dad, and my pawpaw did 'guy stuff') and got some birthday goodies. we had a nice lunch, and then that evening after dinner, my mom took me over to the home of a friend of hers who makes jewelry. i wont bore you with the details of my tragic experiences with earrings, but suffice it to say my ears wont pierce. so i designed 3 pairs of clip on earrings that seriously dont look like clip-ons when theyre on. love them. my earlobes need to toughen up a little, though.

i came home to a spotlessly clean house, and did a happy dance like you wouldnt believe. allen, as a bonus mothers day/birthday gift had the house cleaned for me while i was gone. it looked fabulous.

heres what the kids and i are reading through right now. i can only assumed i learned this at some point in my years of school, but it so much cooler when you're actually interested. i'm learning so much! :-)

taken with allens phone right before my sweet family delivered breakfast in bed to me for my birthday; scrambled eggs, a slice of toast, and a banana (also sliced, so the kids could help).

some friends of ours got married friday evening, and had a mariachi band at the reception. colby said it reminded him of the 3 amigos (one of our favorite movies).

allens performing a wedding for a couple in august, and we sat down and met with them for the first time on tuesday night. shes the box office manager for an event center near here, and offered us tickets to disney on ice this weekend. uh, yes please!
our seats, as you can clearly see, were phenomenal. and i included a few shots of the toy story characters. such a great time!!

this week allen and i are taking a mini getaway. we're leaving the kids with my parents for a few days, and staying there in the dallas area, just to sleep in and relax. we may hit a museum or the zoo or something, but we literally have nothing planned. really really looking forward to some time away with my husband. we'll be back saturday afternoon, though, so i'll still get the post up as usual.

link up below to share pictures!
be blessed!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

threesixfive, week 19

its been a really really fun week. 
i had a camera fiasco over the weekend, so i'm missing a picture for sunday.
it started saturday when my camera told me the memory card was full. i didnt think it was, but just to be sure, i deleted about 100 pictures off of it. it still kept saying full, and eventually stopped turning on altogether.
sunday afternoon i took it to best buy (bless my husband for paying for the 1 year warranty!!) and they gave me a brand new camera (same model), which i brought home and put my memory card into, only to find that it was doing the. same. thing. ok, so it must be the memory card. the next day, i bought a new memory card while i was at the grocery store, but when i put it in my brand new camera, i got a memory card error message. so, new camera, new memory card...what the heck?!?
back to best buy that evening, and after a lot of testing and trying different things, we discovered, a) the camera i exchanged for a new one wasnt really broken after all. sorry best buy. :-/ b) the memory card was old and just flat worn out. c) the brand new memory card i bought on monday was a dud. so i just happened to have a string of things not working. i bought yet another memory card, returned the dud, and finally on monday evening had a working camera once again. 

see above story. :-)

the evil memory card that caused all the problems.

my friend melinda and i took all our kids (she has triplets that are colbys age) to a small town about an hour away to walk thru a recreation of the tabernacle they have set up at their church just for a week. its a hands-on interactive experience. super cool.

molly came out of her room pretty shortly after bedtime and said she was having nightmares. i know for a fact she hadnt even fallen asleep yet, but i told her she could lay on the couch for 10 minutes, but if she wasnt asleep after that amount of time, she had to go back to her bed without complaint. wouldnt you know, she was out in less than that? :-) allen carried her back to her bed when he got home from church about an hour later.

i planned a surprise date for allen and i. an austin segway tour! we had so much fun!! neither of us had done it before. they were surprisingly easy to drive.
 in front of the state capitol.

our very own salad bar for dinner. yum!!!!

molly made a mess meal of mud pies.

im on homeschool curriculum overload. i'm trying to be proactive for next year, and start looking and reading reviews now, even ordering some stuff so we can work a little this summer. my brain is mush, but i feel good about where the Lord is taking me in my digging through websites and what not.
im giving myself a break for a few days, and heading to my moms tomorrow to celebrate mothers day with her, and my birthday(the 16th) as well. shes taking me shopping i think on monday and letting me pick out a couple of 'happys', and she calls them. :-) love her.

happy mothers day!!!!
be blessed!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

threesixfive, week 18

soooo......somethings wrong with my camera, and while i definitely took pictures every day this week, i unfortunately cant share all of them, because my camera ate them. gone.
for some reason a couple of them survived, and some of the people i was with who also took pictures emailed theirs to me, so im using some that i didnt take, but still apply.
the good thing is my camera is under warranty, so guess what i'll be doing tomorrow!! hopefully getting it fixed. or getting it replaced.
heres the week. most of it. :-/

we went for our first ever family bike ride!! colby did really well, and was much more confident and comfortable on a trail as opposed to the sidewalks in the neighborhood. allen did great, too, considering hes only about 2 and a half months past his surgery.

my mom came into town for a couple of days. it was good to hang out with her as always.

this is one of the pictures that got eaten. i took the kids roller skating.

another picture got eaten, but it was really just another picture of the bikes. the kids and i did a few miles that afternoon.

our church staff and wives all went to dinner together as a "thank you" from the church. we went to a fairly new and super yummy place here in town. we ordered one of i think all the desserts and passed them all around the table, but somehow all the plates ended up in front of our worship pastor, so it looked like he was the one that ate them all. :-) i love the look on his wife's face.

we had to go into austin to run an errand friday evening, so we grabbed dinner at freddie's place; a mostly outdoor restaurant with a playscape, and live music. it was a beautiful evening.

i was supposed to run the Color Run with a few other girls, but they all had to cancel for different reasons. the Frans Clan ran together. it was allen and the kids' first 5K, and we had so. much. fun.
we walked it except for a few spurts when molly and i ran, but we were still tired and very colorful at the end.

its been a great week of family together-ness. i love love love it.
hope you're enjoying some beautiful weather and time with your family as well.
link up below to share pictures!
have a blessed week. :-)