Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sweet Summertime

This is what summertime evenings are all about! May we each slow down enough to enjoy the sweet time of summer!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

History Lessons

There is a lot of pressure being a parent -- you know, planning the perfect summer vacation where the kids have fun AND get some education as well! When we begin planning for a new destination, I take it as if I am studying for a major exam. For instance, before going to DisneyWorld last year, I bought a great guidebook. I sat down with a highlighter and pen and a clean notebook. I would highlight the guidebook first and then do an outline in the notebook. It was much easier taking the outline with us in our backpack rather than that big, chunky guidebook! We were SO ready for whatever DisneyWorld threw at us. And, I would have to say that we had an awesome vacation! I did somewhat the same for England when Chris and I went. These guidebooks are huge helps in finding little hidden treasures.

Yesterday, Chris and I finalized our reservations for hotels for our trip to Yellowstone. (I could not bring myself to camp out even though, supposedly, that is a great way to see Yellowstone! Sometimes those guidebooks don't know who they are writing to!!). We are going to try to cram Yellowstone AND Mount Rushmore into a 10 day trip. I have been diligently highlighting my guidebook and will soon break out the clean notebook to start my outline.

There are so many places we want to take our boys before they grow up. We have this sort of mental checklist: Hawaii - check; the Alamo - check; DisneyWorld - check. We still have Washington, D.C., parts of Europe, maybe even Africa. But, there are many nuggets close by that we want to take them to as well - such as Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands -- places Chris and I went to as kids.

Obviously, DisneyWorld isn't going to be in the boys' history books. However, there is something awesome about visually seeing a piece of history that makes it exciting to learn more about in school. That is why we are going to Mount Rushmore. Connor is very excited about this jaunt in particular -- of course, maybe it is because the treasure was found there in "National Treasure"!?! However, I will be honest when I say that I can't even tell you which Presidents are carved in that stone!

To understand the importance I am feeling in teaching my kids some history this year, I have a funny story...On our way back to Houston from Dallas a couple of weekends ago, we had my sister's oldest son, Jed. We are riding quietly in the car, coming upon Huntsville. For those of you who have driven I-45, you will remember that a VERY tall, stone carving of Sam Houston stands looking over the interstate. My 7-year-old nephew screams out, "It's Abe Lincoln!"

I'm not sure, but I believe Abe is actually at Mount Rushmore! I'll let you know!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Has Time Gone?!?

April 22??? I knew this blogging thing was going to be hard to keep up with, but honestly!! Since my last post, I have planted my carload of flowers, replanted about half that ended up dying and then finally PULLING UP whole flowerbeds because they just aren't living in this Houston heat! So frustrating to me!!

Anyhow...life has been fast and furious since that last post...

The first weekend in May, my sister, my mom and I did Canton Tradedays in Canton, TX. We had a blast! Three and a half days with no plans except to shop and eat and see movies and get pedicures! A great girlie weekend!! I took my oldest son's camera to take pictures but we can't find his cord to upload the pictures to the computer -- so just imagine my sister's White Chevy Lumina loaded to the roof with lots of great Canton finds!! I was pretty tame; although, I am regretting not getting two metal frames to go in the boys' hallway. I did buy this awesome cross for my cross wall (However, the cross is LARGER than my cross wall); so, I had to find somewhere else for it.

The other highlight was getting the yearbooks in that I had worked on all year for Connor's school. I joked that these were my babies; but, in reality, I had worked on them for 9 months and much of that time was filled with "childbirth-like pain"!! They turned out awesome and I believe everyone was pleased. I will not agree to take on such a humongous job again -- but I am already looking back on that time and am thankful I got to know Connor's administrators, teachers, and friends a little better than if I hadn't done this.

Of course, May also brings all the end-of-school band concerts and parties. I think I was more ready for summer to begin than my boys were!! (And that is saying LOTS since I am very vocal about my love of that yellow school bus showing up every morning!!)

We also finally had Colby's 7th birthday party -- although he is legally 7 1/2!! His birthday is in December and he was determined to have a pool party. Well, sometimes in December in Houston, pool parties are feasible - but baseball is too! So finding a warm, baseball-free weekend took us to the end of May. We had 8 little boys who had a great time in the backyard. The last at-home party I threw was when Connor was 2! There is nothing that makes me happier than walking into a joint, letting the kids go wild and then walking out on the mess! Colby had been to a few at-home parties and has begged me to let him have one so he could have a pinata!! It really was fun and the kids were great. They played in the pool, ate lots of snowcones, popcorn, cake and broke the coveted pinata. Nothing like loading them all up on sugar and sending them home!

We have had LOTS of baseball games and practices since April 22 as well. Connor's team has been to Beaumont, League City, and Grand Prairie for weekend tournaments as well as finishing out weeknight league play. Colby has had league play and a tournament in Spring. We are gearing up for Connor's State Tournament in Flower Mound and then on to the World Series in Kansas. Go Hooks!

Summer is only two weeks old and Connor has been to football camp and VBX (the 5-7 grade VBS). Colby is enjoying VBS and Outrigger Island. Last week my sister's oldest, Jed, came and spent the week with us. We swam, played games, fed ducks at the park, went to the movies and bowling. You can tell by that last picture that our boys are very competitive!

Chris has been traveling lots as well. He has been to Singapore, Canada and England since April 22...

I guess this is why finding time to blog has been way down on my list. I promise (to Chris and Connor -- who keep asking, "When are you going to blog?") that I will try to do better!! In the meantime, I hope to enjoy the summer from my floatie while looking at my wilting flowers!!

Happy Summer to all!!!