Saturday, August 25, 2007

The End of Summer

Summer is almost starts Monday (woo hoo!). The past two weeks has been spent trying to cram in all the summer activities that we hadn't gotten to in the past two and a half months. Here's a sample:

For the past few years we've gone out to Lake Conroe at least once during the summer and rented a pontoon boat for the day. This year, the lake was quite a bit rougher than it's been in the past. No one seemed to mind except me...

We went to see an Astros game courtesy of the Kimberlins. They gave us tickets as a thank you for watching their dog, Molly, while they went to Italy. It was a great game up until the 7th inning when everything fell apart and the Astros ended up losing to Milwaukee. I don't think we've ever been to a game when they've won. I'd like to see them win just once. Then I can be done paying out the nose for food and drinks and the requisite "souvenirs." Jim actually bought Jackson a $60 Astros jersey this time! I don't know which is worse...a useless foam finger for the bargain price of $15 or a shirt for my 8 year old son that cost more than almost every piece of clothing in my closet. All in the name of family fun.

We also try to squeeze in at least one day trip to the beach in Galveston each summer. This year, I took the kids one day with my friend Dorothy and her two boys. We met Heather and Brandy and all the kids down there. We spent a few hours on the beach (which this year wasn't as gross as it's been in the past so that was a bonus)and then Dorothy and I took our kids to Rainforest Cafe for lunch. A fun way to spend one of the last few days of summer.

And last weekend, we took one last San Antonio and SeaWorld. We went with the Kellers and the Cumberlands and had a great time. We stayed at an awesome hotel--the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. It has an amazing pool complex and lazy river and is extremely family friendly. We really could have spent the whole time just hanging out there. But we had purchased season passes to SeaWorld when we were there for spring break and wanted to get our money's worth. We went to SeaWorld two days and did it all including Jordan's first roller coaster ride!

We did all this in about two weeks, and that doesn't include bowling, the movies, and splashtown where we didn't take pictures. We definitely ended summer with a bang!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

12 on the 12th

I started doing the 12 on the 12th project last August thanks to my friend Heather. It's been a year now and I've really enjoyed the excuse or means to capture slices of our everyday life. But, since I've completed a year (well, most of the year...I missed November, March, and May) I think I need a new project for the next year...what do you think? Anyone got any good ideas?

Anyway, since it is August 12th, I thought I better get the compilations I've completed for the past 3 months posted starting with April.

1. Jensen and her babies strewn all over the place.

2. A moving box because we were getting ready to move out of one temporary apartment into another. We had given 30 days notice, but unfortunately, our house would not be ready in time. Meanwhile, they rented the apartment we were in necessitating a move into another apartment. Ugh.

3. Jensen and her babies later in the day.

4. Jordan trying not to be captured in a photo.

5. Gotcha!

6. Me at the house trying to get some of the painting finished upstairs. We needed to have the house re-painted and to save a little money we decided to do the upstairs rooms ourselves.

7. & 8. Jackson and his Heelys. These are tennis shoes that have a removable wheel in the heel of each shoe. You can sort of skate along in them or remove the wheel and use them like regular shoes.

9., 10., 11., & 12. Some of the things I like about our house: the light fixtures, the microwave down at counter level so the kids can reach it, our wood stairs, and our front door.

I skipped May, mainly because we had just moved into our house on May 11th. So on the 12th I'm sure I was surrounded by boxes trying to make some order of our home. I actually wish I had remembered to take pictures on the 12th. I would have liked to have a record of that happy time!


1. Jackson's crazy bed head hair. He had been growing his hair out since the beginning of the year. I hated the growing out process but love the end result! Over the summer it has gotten so blonde he looks like a little surfer dude. Unfortunately, he's been talking about getting it all cut off again. I'm dragging my feet on taking him to get it cut hoping he changes his mind.

2. Jordan eating breakfast at the counter. The kids eat almost all meals except "family dinners" sitting on the barstools at the counter.

3. During the summer, the first laundry load of the day usually consists of pool towels from the day before. I wash a lot of towels.

4. One of the "joys" of shopping with all three kids.

5. Heelys make grocery shopping bearable for Jackson.

6. & 7. Jensen had been taking a gymnastics class once a week this summer at the Little Gym. This is a new place that opened up very close to our house. It's soooo convenient and she really loves it.

8. The Gameboy makes watching Jensen's gymnastics class bearable for Jackson.

9. & 10. Jordan competed in the Summer Champs swim meet that was June 11-13. It was her first year competing in this meet. You have to make certain qualifying times in order to compete. It's a competition between all the area suumer league swim teams. There were 18 teams competing and our team alone had over 100 swimmers entered. The Gators won the overall trophy. Jordan swam freestyle, backstroke and butterfly plus two relays...100 medley and 100 free. Her Medley team took 6th place and her free team took 3rd place overall. So awesome! The meet was held at Atascocita High School in the evenings. Teams set up in the high school parking lot and man, was it hot!

11. Our house as it looked this day...the day before our landscaping was set to begin. What a mess!

And, finally, July

1. Looking for activities to fill the time after swim season, I signed Jackson and Jordan up for a week-long tennis camp at the Kingwood Athletic Club. They've both been wanting to learn to play tennis and we had gotten them raquets last summer. The camp was only an hour a day each day of the week, but the kids got a taste of tennis and really seemed to like it.

2. & 3. After tennis, it was off to Sam's Club. Madison Enochs had done the tennis camp too so we picked her up and brought her along. We were going to Sam's to stock up on stuff to take on our beach vacation.

4. & 5. Filled up the Suburban with gas while at Sam's. Gas was around $2.90 per gallon that week.

6. Lunch was also at Sam's Club. There's no better bargain around! A giant slice of pizza that two kids share, plus a giant drink that two kids also share for under $2.00. You can't beat that!

7. Next stop, the dollar store. Typically, not one of my favorite places but I told the kids they could pick out some activities and treats for the 10 hour car ride to the beach next week. I had read about a car activity that I was going to try. I made a copy of the map of our route for each kid. I circled a few cities/towns along the way. When we reached each place, the kids would get a little bag with some goodies in it. The kids enjoyed this activity and I would try it again on a long car ride.

8. After all our errands the girls decided to go swimming, while the boys...

9. decided to play on the computer. Typical. This is Jackson and his friend Austin. They are two blonde peas in a pod.

10. Starting to set aside the groceries to take to the beach. Most of my time this week was spent packing and planning for our beach trip. We leave on Sunday, July 15th to Gulf Shores (Ft. Morgan), Alabama for a week long stay in a condo at The Beach Club.

11. Our house with our landscaping finally done!

12. With all the landscaping we did, front and back, these pots of ferns on the front porch are actually my favorite thing. I bought the urns at...your guessed it...Sam's Club!

So that wraps up my 12 on the 12th project for 2006-2007. I'm on the hunt for a new project to start in January so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I realized the other day that I've been keeping my blog for a year now. My first post was Aug. 1, 2006. I loved looking back at my posts over the past year...last night I sat and read all 67 of them. Sometimes I'm hard on myself about going a few weeks without blogging (I actually missed two whole months!) but 67 posts is pretty good...more than one per week. I've never been much of a journal keeper so I'm so happy that i've stuck with this. So many little things I've written about, I had already forgotten! And it's not the events that I write about that are so interesting me a year later, but the way I was feeling about the things right at the time. If I were to sit down now and try to write about our trip to Michigan last August, I would never recall my feelings and the details the way I could then.

So, happy anniversary to "R and 4 Js." I think I'll keep you around.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

You know you're raising a southern girl when... July morning in southeast Texas said girl goes outside at about 9:00 a.m. and says "Mom, it's cold outside." I burst out laughing and looked up the current temperature online. It was a frigid 85 degrees. At 9:00 a.m.

Just a little story I've been meaning to blog about.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What we've been doing...

Petsitting! Molly belongs to our neighbors, the Kimberlins. They went to Italy for two weeks (lucky dogs) and Molly is a little too neurotic to spend two weeks in a kennel so we offered to take her in. Well, Jensen offered to take her in and we were kind of put on the spot...:-) In the past we've been the ones that have needed pet sitters but it has been more than a year now since we've had a dog in the house. Cosmo, I know you're up there saying "I don't know what that is, but it's not a dog." Actually, it's Jim that says that but if you were here I don't know if you'd be able to tolerate Molly either. Most of us around here have a love/hate relationship with her. For some it's a hate/hate relationship.

And for some, it's all love. Molly definitely has her quirks but Jensen has just been soooo happy to have her here that it makes it all worth it. That girl loves all critters no matter how irritating they may be. We really gotta get her a dog. Anyone have any suggestions of small, shed-free, non-yappy dogs out there?

And there has been one bonus...yesterday Molly killed a snake in our backyard. It was just a garden snake, but a snake nonetheless so at least she's good for one thing. We have her for 5 more days...I'll be starting the countdown.