Friday, January 31, 2014

January Randoms

A wrap up of January...

Clockwise from top left:
1) Pilates at the Y - I'm there at least once a week!
2) At Pump It Up for a birthday party
3) A scary bug in our house!
4) An evening tea party by lantern light
January Randoms 1

5 & 6) A yummy meal at Sustenio...before they changed their menu.  :(
7 & 8) Quality family time at Hardberger Park
January Randoms 2

9) Pretending to be termites at the zoo
10) A big cookie from Daddy's trip to Chicago
11-12) Family visit to the children's museum
January Randoms 3

13) A visit to The Thinkery in Austin with Grandmommy & Aunt Carol's family
14) Pretending to be shepherds
15) Sleepy girl
16) We love our library!
January Randoms 4

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Camping at The Farm

Some dad grew up on a farm in Santa Anna.  We still have a portion of land there, and my dad goes up pretty regularly to work on projects and just enjoy the time outdoors.  We've been talking about going for months, so since Claire had a Monday off for MLK Day, we thought we should take advantage of the long weekend and spend some time at the farm with Dad.

We knew that the kids would enjoy sleeping in a tent, so Robert went to Academy and REI and got a tent and sleeping bags for all of us.  It was going to be cold at night, so we got extra warm sleeping bags and took a space heater that we used to warm up the tent before we got in and went to sleep.

Since the kids had never camped before, Robert set up the tent in our living room the night before so that they could check it out and get an idea of what the space would be like.  They had so much fun with their "camping practice"!
Camping 1

Santa Anna is about 3 hours from San Antonio.  We left after school on Friday, so it was already dark when we arrived.  Dad had started a fire, so while Robert set up the tent, the kids and I got started on dinner.  They loved cooking hot dogs over the fire, but they were most excited about the s'mores.  (I was, too!)

We sat around the fire for awhile and then went to bed.  The kids did so good - they slept really well in their bags.  I got a little cold, and Robert turned on the heater for me a couple of times to warm up, so I was glad we had it.  The next morning we all went into town for breakfast at the coffee shop.  The hot coffee and food got us ready for some exploring!

We visited the cows that a neighbor keeps on the property, and found a nice surprise when we got over to them - a new baby calf that was only a few hours old.



So much space to run


Dad set up some targets, and the kids got their first experience shooting BB guns.


We took a long walk and hunted for fossils (there is a ton of fossilized coral out there!), and Will and Claire threw rocks in the tank.  They could have kept at it for hours.



Doing some tinkering

We had to be back in San Antonio the next morning, so we left Santa Anna around lunch time.  We all had so much fun, and we are looking forward to more trips out there in the future.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Last week Claire's teacher asked everyone to bring in a rock for science.  They created a "Rock Museum" and examined all of the rocks, talking about their differences.  Claire has been very interested in rocks since then.  We had some really nice weather, and one day while outside, Claire and Will created their own rock collection.

They walked around the backyard gathering rocks and carefully placing them on one of the large landscaping stones.  Claire asked me to take several photos, and then took some of her own.

The collection

A couple of Claire's photos
Claire's photos

I'm so glad that they love being outside and exploring nature with me!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grace's Birthday

Our niece Grace turned 3 in January, and we had fun celebrating with her at her art party.  There were several stations with different projects, and the kids had a lot of fun creating and playing with Grace and her friends.
IMG_1596 - Copy

IMG_1599 - Copy

IMG_1604 - Copy

An attempt at a group photo
IMG_1609 - Copy

So good to see Grandmommy & Martin!
IMG_1608 - Copy

Having fun with Daddy and Granddaddy Martin


Friday, January 03, 2014

New Year's Vacation

After our Christmas celebrations with family, we still had a week before school starts back up.  We had been wanting to make a trip to Houston to check out a couple of museums.  Robert travels to Houston a few times a month for work, but I hadn't been in several years.

We left on Monday afternoon after the kids woke up from their afternoon naps, and we had a pretty uneventful drive.  We stopped for dinner at Spring Creek at Claire's request - she loves sausage - and then checked into our hotel.  We stayed at the Hilton Americas - it is a huge downtown hotel that is attached to the convention center, and they were running some great deals over the holidays.  The kids quickly settled in.

New Year's Eve Day, we headed to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see some dinosaurs!  We'd heard that the museum could get busy, so we went to the Paleontology Hall first.  It was truly impressive.

HMNS Exhibits

Claire asked to take some photos, so here are a few parts of the exhibit from her perspective.  The photo on the upper right is of preserved triceratops skin - so cool.
Claire Perspective

We spent a lot of time in the Paleontology Hall and quickly went through several other exhibits before we needed to leave for lunch.  When we were buying tickets, we realized that the cost of a membership wasn't much more than for one day, so we bought the membership.  I'm glad we did - we will be back this summer.

After lunch, we returned to the hotel to rest (we each got a nap!) and then walked across the street to Discovery Green, a downtown park (on the right side of the photo below, you can see our hotel in the background).  The kids got scooters from Grandmommy and Granddaddy Martin, and we brought them with us.  Will was more interested in the playground, but Claire scooted all over the park.  We all had a good time!
Discovery Green

We had two great meals that day.  Lunch was at Irma's - delicious Tex Mex.  No menus - they just come to the table and ask you what you want.  Dinner was at Houston's.  We frequently visited the Dallas location when we went there, and their seared tuna salad is one of the meals I miss the most.

On New Year's Day, we checked out of our hotel and drove south to Space Center Houston before heading back to San Antonio.  There was a lot to see - a couple of highlights were historic Mission Control (where NASA monitored all of the Apollo and  most of the Gemini missions) and Rocket Park where we were awed by the size of the Saturn V Rocket (over 36 stories tall!).

Rocket Park Collage

My little space explorers

It was a fun little getaway!