Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of Fourth Grade

The first day of Wonder Boy's last year in elementary school has finally arrived. We have had the good fortune to have been enrolled in the same elementary school since he started kindergarten, so walking back through the halls there is much like coming home. There is always excitement at the start of a new school year - a chance to catch up with old friends after the summer, the opportunity to meet a new teacher or two as well as make new friends, settling into a familiar routine, and gearing up for all the academic year has to offer.

Each year on the first day of school, we pause for a few moments to take pictures in the same spots. Though it shouldn't be surprising, it always strikes a chord with me how much the Boy has grown and changed since the last time he posed for these shots.

Here's to a fantastic year! May it be the most amazing school year yet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fun Family Photos

Aside from actors and models, I don't think there are many people who like to have their picture taken often. And despite the fact that my camera is often pointed at my guys, I try to make sure it's not a painful experience for them.

Most of our photos are candids as we go through our day or documenting some special event. To be honest, those are my favorite kinds of photos - the ones that record our REAL life. But despite all of that, we do try a couple of times each year to get a more traditional portrait session under our belts. Something to print and display on the mantle and a record of how we are growing from year to year.

Our hope is that, though the process be more formal, that the photos still convey the fun we have with one another and the love that binds us together.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

birds on the brain

Our obsession with Angry Birds is growing. It started simple enough ... down loaded the game and played every now and then.

From there things deepened ... and before you knew it, we had moved on to scale models and papier mache replicas.

Next came whole celebrations with the birdie theme.

But now ... now we have hit a whole new level .... we've moved on to FOOD!

The effort to produce these treats was worth every sugar filled second though. And this is by FAR the yummiest way to fuel our Angry Birds summer.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Break

Despite our best intentions, we've fallen a little behind in the upkeep of this little blog. It's the 2nd thing to go by the way side when life shifts to high gear (the first being housework, of course). But slowly things are returning to some kind of normal, so we thought it was time to get back into the blog groove.

One event that took us away from our computer was the first full-family, out-of-town, longer-than-a-day vacation we've had in many years! And really, is there ever a better reason for neglecting home and computer than FAMILY FUN TIME?! Not likely.

We weighed our options on all the wonderful things to do for our vacation and decided that a trip to San Antonio would be the way to go this summer. We love San Antonio. There are so many things to see and do. The people are friendly. The food is fabulous. And we have a plethora of friends and family to share in the good times with us when we visit there.

SO ... after much juggling of work, camp, and various other schedules, we set out on a Sunday morning for SA. Our first stop on the trip was in New Braunfels at the Exotic Animal World and Snake Farm made famous by its appearance on the hit TV show Dirty Jobs. Wonder Boy has been itching to see the place since he saw the episode taped there. The heat was pretty rough on us, but we did see all manner of odd creatures.

It was a good way to break up the trip (as the drive to SA takes at least 3 hours). And after leaving there, it was only a short jaunt to meet up with our dear friends, the F-family.

They joined us for the next several days on our little adventures and made each of them more special by doing so.

Our next such adventure was to Natural Bridge Caverns. We got the opportunity to go on two different tours and spent an enjoyable snack (in the a/c!) in between soaking up the lovely scenery. The sights were amazing and we managed to get in quite a bit of walking (so no need to find a gym).

You would think after all those hours going down to the bottom and back up to the top of those caverns we would have had enough for one day, but that was not the case. We decided to top off the experience with a stop at Guadalupe State Park. We enjoyed a late lunch under some nice shade and then let the kids hit the river.

It was a great day! Capped off by another awesome meal and plenty of quality time with our friends.

But at this point the fun was only just beginning! Our next day was spent in kiddo heaven (aka FIESTA TEXAS)! We rode basically every ride that the kids were tall enough to ride! We got to the park just as it was opening and with only a short break for lunch at a nearby establishment, stayed at the park until just before they shut everything down for the day. I don't know how the kids kept going in this heat, but they did just that - ALL day long!

How do you top a day like that? Well ... unless your next stop is Disney World, I'm not sure you can. But to be honest, after that kind of a day, a bit slower pace was just what the doctor ordered (at least for the adults). So we decided to try out the Ripley's Believe It Or Not attractions just across the street from the Alamo.

We started off with a tour through the Odditorium. Next we found ourselves in the Wax Museum. And finally we capped it off with their 4D movie experience. The Odditorium was just plain ... well ... odd! So many strange things to see. I think the highlight for the adults was standing on the back side of the disguised 2-way mirror watching the kids make faces while trying to roll their tongues. For the kids, I'm certain the highlight was the spinning room. It left us 'big kids' ready to call it a day, but the real kiddos loved every second of it. The Wax Museum was fun. It's always a treat to imagine yourself on the set of your favorite movie or even as President of the United States. But I am confident I can say without exception that we ALL enjoyed the 4D movie experience! There were 2 movies - a skate race and a snow ride. And the snow ride was just plain FUN! They even shot artificial snow all over us. What more could we ask for on a hot summer's day?!

It really was a nice way to spend our final day in San Antonio. We wrapped up our time downtown with a few pictures outside of the Alamo court yard. We'll have to actually do the tour there next time we're in town.

Thank you so much F-family! Our home away from home in SA is everything we could ask for and more. And our vacation was certainly one to remember for a lifetime!