Thursday, July 30, 2009

Feel the beat...

Kayci has been the best this week--Noble's not been feeling well, and she's been so patient as plans have changed and things have been cancelled and we've just been going minute-to-minute. She's the best! If you tell her I published this, I'll hurt you--yes, even you old people. :)

Today we were heading to WalMart to pick up Noble's prescriptions, and we were listening to "Mamma Mia." Kayci and I were singing along, very loudly and off-key, and I started really listening to what she was saying. I didn't say anything, but inside I was just DYING laughing. I almost lost it when "Dancing Queen" came on...instead of "feel the beat on the tambourine," Kayci was singing something about "going to Gymboreeeee, oh, yeah..."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Extra! Extra!

One of the highlights of our week is always going to the library to see Miss Lou Lou. Miss Lou Lou is a librarian, but she's also a singer and a storyteller and she plays all sorts of instruments...she just brings so much to the kiddos and we all love her dearly. Noble is a huge fan, as well, because she always brings a puppet or two to storytime and does the voices...I think Miss Lou Lou may have been the first to bring out his belly laugh, now that I think of it. Anyway, so we're big, big Miss Lou Lou fans. A couple of weeks ago, she told us that she was finally making her children's CD, which has been a dream of hers for years. How exciting! Even more exciting, on a couple of tracks she would like to have the children singing, so she invited the storytime regulars (and anyone who else comes along, of course!) to help out with the recording. Here's the picture that ran in the newspaper on Wednesday...see Kayci in the middle in her brown shirt? :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meet Spot

We weren't really planning on getting a new pet, but the opportunity presented itself and we thought it would be a fun treat for our big kid. So, last night James brought home a Betta and surprised Kayci (and Noble) with it this morning. Kayci was SOOOOOOO excited, I'd say even more excited than when she got the first fish (years ago now) that she earned. So, after we dropped Noble off at school we headed off to find something for the fish to live in, something to feed him, etc. At WalMart, she told me that she had considered the name Sally, but had decided on Spot since he's a boy. (Sidebar: I had several goldfishes named Spot, so that totally made me smile!) When James got home for lunch she proudly re-introduced him to Spot and told him how she decided on his home and his name, and proudly is really the operative word there. She's so excited! We'll see how this goes...we don't have cats anymore, but I dare say Bubby is a huge threat to Spot's sanity and well-being...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy birthday, Gavin!!!

Gavin's pretty busy today with a marathon birthday (hope it's AWESOME, Buddy!), but we left a phone message and it wouldn't feel right if we didn't send him an e-card...well, maybe more of a post-it.

Happy 10, Gavin!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Work of Art

So, a few weeks ago in Kansas I was admiring this desk at my cousin's house. It was absolutely the most amazing piece of furniture I've ever seen...truly, it was a work of art. I haven't thought about it too much since we've been home, it's been pretty busy. But I guess it's been on Noble's mind, and apparently, he really wanted me to have a work of art, as well.

Yesterday we were making dinner and I heard it--the cry. It's the cry you hear just once in a while if you're lucky, or once a day or so if you live with Lucky...I mean, Noble. You know the one, it's the "holy crap I've climbed up here but now I don't know how to get down" cry. So Daddy went off to find and save the Bubby (my radar detected the cry coming from on top of my desk, and sure enough, that's where Daddy found him). We went back to dinner and that was that. Or was it?

A while later, I was at said desk looking something up on the computer, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a blue streak. Seriously...a blue streak. And the more I looked at the desk, the more blue streaks I saw. Somebody had colored a good portion of the desk with a blue Sharpie. I had my suspicions. James swore that Noble had NOT, in fact, been coloring when he pulled him off the desk earlier, but I knew that the marks had to be fresh. So we tracked down the little monster, and sure enough, he wouldn't meet my eyes. He wouldn't come to me when I attempted to call him over to the desk--it was as if the ideas of "desk" and "Mommy" had completely fallen out of his brain. But finally the kids helped us wrangle him, and sure enough, there were telltale blue marks all up and down his left arm. (Hmm. So does that make him a righty, or just when it comes to graffiti? I'll let you know.) Anyway, I pulled the blue Sharpie out of the bucket on my desk and yup, somebody had put the cap on but not really closed it. So near's we can figure, the little monkey scampered up onto the desk, tagged it, then put the marker AWAY so we wouldn't notice it.

I don't know if I should be impressed or frightened. Either way, I'm definitely never bored around here. 'Til next time...

Friday, July 17, 2009

The photo shoot

...and this is what we were shooting (before color correction and the removing of the bird poop in Photoshop)....


James told us that he had a shoot this morning, so we went by Germania to watch him in action. Well, kinda...turns out, photo shoots aren't real action-packed when they're getting still shots of company vehicles. But still, it's cool for our kids--and the kids, too--to see a little bit of what it looks like when James, at least, is in action at work. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Burst my bubble

Kayci and I bought some Hubba Bubba at the store this morning.
It's made by Wrigley now and comes in sticks instead of blocks, but I couldn't resist.
So as I handed her a piece, I said, "I hope it's as good as it was when I was little!"
And she said, "Really? I didn't know they had gum when you were little..."


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Growth Spurt!

The kids are entertaining each other (mornings are kind of weird this summer...since James goes to work at 7, we're all up and around by 7, then have 90 minutes to kill before we take Noble to school at 8:30...can make for a long morning!) so I thought I'd sneak a blog in really quick.

I was just folding clothes, which is a daily thing for most parents, I know. What's odd about it is that every other day--pretty much literally--Kayci wears something for the last time. In the past month or so, she's outgrown literally EVERY pair of jeans she owned and all of her shoes besides her Crocs (which are too big anyway, silly things) and some of her flip flops. Sniff...even the Chucks have to go. I just folded up a Hannah Montana shirt that's too small...

Last night at the Library's monthly Family Night, we saw a couple of Kayci's little friends from school. Well, I say little friends, but both girls have done exactly what Kayci's done this summer--they both look about a foot taller than they did in May. I guess maybe it's just the age, or all of the fresh air and sunshine. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend in San Antonio

We just had one of the best weekends we've ever had.

Friday afternoon we loaded up the car and headed for San Antonio. We stopped in Seguin for dinner (at Mr. Gatti's) and saw the world's largest pecan while we were there. I've never really explored Seguin - the last time I was there was when I was 16 on a DeMolay trip. I was actually surprised to see that it's a really cool little town! It's got exactly what I like about Brenham - cool architecture, old buildings, and real live businesses still on the square. Of course, the place we found on the iPhone that sounded great - a place called the creekside grill - is only open for lunch - hence the Mr. Gatti's. We're going to have to explore Seguin some more another time...

Saturday morning we woke up and Noble immediately started being Noble. He started by ransacking the room and then pulled every last Kleenex out of the box in the bathroom. We headed downtown and made our first stop the Alamo. Kayci has been asking for several months to visit the Alamo, and she's really excited about history, so she really enjoyed reading all the plaques and markers.

Then we headed down to the Riverwalk for an early lunch. We ate at Casa Rio, which is one of our favorite restaurants on the river. We sat right next to the water, which was great because the boats, ducks and birds kept Noble entertained while we ate. He had a great time breaking chips apart and throwing them down on the ground so he could watch the birds eat.

We took a ride on the river, which we always enjoy. Noble was uninterested in the history of the riverwalk, and instead amused himself by dumping out a box of raisins. He also seemed to think it was really unfair that we wouldn't let him get in the water.

It was over 100 degrees when we left downtown to go see some of the old Spanish missions. Noble fell asleep almost as soon as we got in the car, so Kristi graciously offered to sit in the air conditioning with Noble while Kayci and I explored the missions. We had a lot of fun looking around the missions.

I don't think Kayci quite appreciated it, but I was in awe that we were in buildings that had been there for 300 years. She kept asking "so that's older then Grandma, right?" "Just barely," I'd tell her. Grandma's age seemed to be the benchmark for the entire weekend.

At one of the missions, there was a wedding going on, and I thought it looked like a scene out of the Godfather (if the Godfather had been a Hispanic family, rather than Italian).

We then proceeded to our friends Melissa and Keith's house for their son, Cole's, birthday party. The kids had a great time playing on the inflatable water slide they had set up. By the end of the party, we had two exhausted kids and a Mommy and Daddy who were ready to drop.

Sunday morning, our plan was to check out of the hotel and head to Wonder World in San Marcos. We decided to go out for breakfast to a place one of Kristi's friends told her about (thanks, Jana!) The restaurant was near one of the missions that we had missed the day before, so the plan was to have breakfast, hit the mission and head out of town. But once we got to breakfast, we just didn't want to get on the road yet. We were having a great time in San Antonio and there were still so many things that we wanted to do (there was an ongoing debate the day before about whether we should go to a mirror maze or Ripley's Believe it or Not).

First, though, let me tell you about our breakfast... Kristi's friend had told her about a restaurant called the Guenther House, which was in the mansion of the founder of the Pioneer flour company. Sounds cool, right? We had no idea until we got down there how awesome it would be. The house sits with the San Antonio river on one side and the Pioneer flour mill on the other in a part of town called the King William district.

The King William district seemed fairly large, but was about the equivalent of River Oaks in Houston, only older and cooler. There were mansions up and down the sides of both streets dating from the 1800s. It was like literally driving down Park Place and Boardwalk. Imagine Daddy Warbucks' home in Annie - that will give you an idea of the style and scale of some of these homes. Anyway, we had a great breakfast outside in the garden of the house and decided to stay in San Antonio for the day and make a separate trip to San Marcos another time. The menu featured items that are made from mixes you can find in almost any store, such as the gravy mix in the biscuits in gravy, as well as the biscuits themselves, made from a Pioneer flour biscuit mix. Sounds nasty, right? It wasn't. The biscuit Kristi had (she let me have a taste) was the best I've ever tasted. It was light and fluffy and melted in my mouth. And if you ever visit the Guenther House, be sure to order a cinnamon roll. ;) We definitely have a new family tradition in the Guenther House. They have good food (and awesome coffee!), and very reasonable prices. We highly recommend it!

After breakfast, we went to the mission that we had missed the day before. Noble fell asleep, even though it was only a few minutes away. So Kristi had (got?) to stay in the car with him again while Kayci and I went exploring. This mission was the best preserved of all the missions, and there was a mass just finishing while we were there. Kayci had a great time going around with Kristi's old iPhone taking pictures. We'll post some of those on her blog because some of them are very interesting, and it's always a treat to see what she decides to take a photo of.

After the mission, we headed back downtown. I wanted to walk around La Viallita and my dad had called to tell me that he was coming to town for the day to bring my cousin Bassim, fom overseas, to see San Antonio. So we met up with them briefly at the Alamo gift shop, where Kayci decided to buy a bonnet with the money she had brought on the trip. We bought Noble a coon-skin cap. :)

After lunch, we decided to let Kayci settle the decision from the day before whether to go to the mirror maze or to Ripley's. She chose the mirror maze. I was initially disappointed because it sounded dumb to me, but we had given her the decision, so we stuck by it. It turned out that the mirror maze was actually pretty cool, and we ended up spending over an hour going through it several times. It also didn't hurt that it was nice an cool in the maze. The maze was in a dark room with only rope lights on the floors lighting the way. There were mirrors on all sides, and it was often tough to tell if what was right in front of you was a mirror or not. Kristi took Noble through in his stroller, and he was really quiet the whole time. Poor little guy - I'm sure he didn't quite know what to make of it. "Why were there sixteen Kaycis all around him? Why were we walking around in the dark? Did I get some bad fruit snacks?"

When we were walking earlier in the day at La Villiata, we had a great conversation with a man walking a beautiful Afghan Hound named Boomer. He told us that there was a dog show going on across the street and that we should come by. So after the mirror maze, we did just that. It was nice and cool inside and there were hundreds of dogs everywhere. noble had a great time looking at all the"dog dogs" walking around. We had a great time looking at all the different kinds of dogs. Best of all, it was free!

After the dog show, we got in the car and headed for home. Three hours and quick stop at Buckee's later, and we ended up our great weekend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

THAT kid at the arcade...

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

That's just nutty!

My New Favorite Friend

I feel like it's Christmas--I've finally met a girlfriend who's more OCD than I am!! Seriously, she takes the cake...I enjoyed visiting with her this morning and hearing that 1) I'm not alone in my idiosyncrasies and 2) there is someone out there who is, quite possibly, more anal than I am. :) Case in point: she's on Facebook. She has 65 friends. And ONLY 65 friends. If she adds a new friend, she deletes an existing friend. Seriously--65 is her number. I am in awe of that concept--it cracks me UP. And I guess, in a way, I'm comforted to know that there's someone walking around out there with just as many issues as me...and let's be honest, it makes me feel a little less weird to know that she's weirder than me in some ways. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One of the Gang

Both of our kids seem to be growing up way too fast...who pushed the fast forward button?!

Here they are on Tuesday night with our friend Wyatt--
this is a common scene right now, with Noble
trying to do exactly what the big kids are doing.
I know, I know...we'd better get used to it, right? :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

PS on the Mighty Machines

Um, yeah...the video Daddy just posted was taken immediately after the theme song ended. Once Noble realized there was no more music, he was off and running.

But, it was funny for a few seconds. :) Maybe we'll rent it again in a couple of years...although I suspect we'll just let him watch that part of Elizabethtown. Nothing beats good ol' Rusty!

Mighty Machines

Remember that scene in Elizabethtown where, to get the kids to sit still and behave, the adults put on a video of construction machines and a house being demolished?

We had a free rental code from Red Box yesterday, and decided to rent a DVD called Mighty Machines to see what affect it might have in Noble.

See for yourself:

Back in Black

Target had this on clearance; could NOT resist. If anyone finds the Star Wars shirt in a 24 months or 2t, I'll pay you back! :)

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

My girls and their gadgets

Kristi got her new iPhone 3G S yesterday. First, let me say that it's awesome. If you're on the fence, the video capture alone is worth the upgrade cost. But it's snappy. The interface just feels better and faster. And the compass, when integrated with the Google maps, are just freaking cool.

I snapped this photo (with Kristi's old iPhone) of my girls sharing some time playing with their new gadget. Kristi isn't a geek like I am, but she seems really impressed with her new phone. And Kayci is Daddy's Girl when it comes to gadgets. I think in this photo Kayci is showing Kristi how to shoot and trim video on the phone,

Three of my favorite things in one photo (Kristi, Kayci and Apple stuff)... This makes a Daddyboy happy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Welcome to College Station!

Today Kayci and I had to run to the bank in College Station. After we turned on to 60, she kept a lookout for "the big long sign that says you're there." Hmm. Turns out, Kayci thinks College Station begins at the Vet clinics/hospitals. ?

On the way home, she was reading signs again...

Small Animal Clinic. Small? Are they kidding? That place is HUGE!

Happy Independence Day from the Pharaons

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day!

On the 4th of July we love to go to the Chappell Hill Independence Day parade. Chappell Hill is a small town (population 300) about ten minutes east of Brenham on Highway 290 that's known primarily for its sausage and for the Bluebonnet and Scarecrow festivals it holds every year. But every year they close down their main street and have a the coolest little parade we've ever seen.

There's nothing fancier than the marching kazoo band, and you'll get to see a lot of sweet antique vehicles such as some '51 and '54 pickups, a '67 corvette. They had one of the new Dodge Challengers in the parade - and an orange one no less. Our state representative walks in the parade while her kids ride their bikes. They even rolled a huge combine down the middle of the town this year, which was really interesting in its scale.

But the best part is that we always see lots of people we know there. The Chappell Hill parade is another one of those little things we love about living in a small country town. We love it.

When I Grow Up

We've really been piddling around the house the past couple of weeks, just kind of going down our to-do list that's been growing all year. Yesterday I finished Kayci's Kindergarten notebook (filing all of her keepsake-y things, etc.) and updated Noble's school notebook. I came across a page Kayci had filled out, and it said "When I grow up, I want to be a teacher." Aww. I believe it, too--she'll be a great one!

So then yesterday afternoon we were driving home from Wal-Mart, and she piped up from the backseat, "I wish I was at work right now." Buhuh? Where would you work? "Sonic." Then Smartypants DaddyBoy said, "Why? So you could see Mommy every day?"

Cheap shot, Boy-o. True, but cheap shot. :D

Now get to work so we can get around--my water with lemon awaits. $.43 well spent, my friends...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I'm no Bakerella, but yum!!

My Mom gave us the idea to actually do the flag cake ( I've seen it in a million pictures, but never in real-life!), and James requested cheesecake. So, here it is...I think it's fun!

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

Happy 4th of July!

We finally did it. James and I haven't had flag shirts since 2000, and then we just bought the tanks for pajamas. But this year, we bit the bullet and bought family shirts. At the time, I justified the purchase by saying, oh, we'll wear them, they're soft tees. Well, we haven't worn them. Not one of us. And now that the day is actually here, I'd kind of rather wear my red/white/blue sundress than capris. But, Kayci's WAY excited to have matching shirts, and she just rediscovered a flag belt that came from Hannah, so she can't wait to get dressed.

Speaking of, we're about to get dressed and head over to Chappell Hill for one of our 2 favorite 4th of July traditions, the parade. It's nice to go to a parade where we don't have to worry (so much) about kids getting squished, and the crowd's more a crowd of friends than people elbowing for great spots. The good thing is, in Chappell Hill, they're all great spots! We will get there a little early, though, to have time to hang out and say hi to friends we haven't seen this summer and also claim our favorite spot. :) After that, it's home for awhile to recharge and then back out to Washington for barbecues and fireworks tonight. Can't wait!

I hope you are all having a wonderful 4th of July, as well...remember to take a minute to be grateful for everything that being an American means, and for all of the men and women who have fought--and are still fighting--for our right to be free. That's what it's all about!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why I live in a small town

I love living in a small town.

Today we got up and went to Bellville, another (smaller) town about 15 minutes from Brenham. There is a meat market there where we wanted to get some turkey smoked sausage for the 4th as well as a farmers market that we found the other day. It had some great looking fresh fruits and vegetables the first time we stopped in, so we wanted to go back to get some more.

At the meat market, we got some beef smoked sausage (they were out of the turkey sausage we went for), some fresh sausage, some ribs and some great looking bacon. And some jerky. And a cake... The meat looked incredible.

Then we headed over to Greenjeans Produce Market, which is located one block north of another one of our favorite places, Golden Pagoda. Now, in my previous experience with "farmers markets" I've found them a bit disappointing. Many times they get their produce off the same trucks that the grocery stores do. Sometimes you go in one and there's all this rotting fruit laying around drawing flies. So when we first went in to the Greenjeans market earlier in the week, that was my level of expectation. I was surprised to find a nicely air conditioned little store with good looking produce.

The owner told me that they buy locally whenever they can, and I took that with a huge grain of salt. Most people will tell you that, but "local" might mean on this side of the Mississippi. But today's trip really took away my cynicism. As we were browsing around, an older man came in lugging two big boxes full of tomatoes. The owner's wife greeted him by name and said they were glad to see him back because everyone had loved the last batch of tomatoes he had brought in. He sold his tomatoes right then and there and bought a jar of local honey with some of the money he made.

That watermelon on the counter is mine. The owner showed me the right way to look for a good watermelon (thumping means nothing, it turns out), and was even able to tell me where my particular melon came from and when it was picked. The one I chose came from Hempstead and had been picked yesterday.

We paid for our produce (every customer got free cilantro) and headed out the door, amazed at what we had just seen. Outside, a truck pulled up and two men got out and lugged several baskets full of beautiful cantaloupes into the store to sell. Wow. There's still an actual farmers market where actual farmers are selling their produce.

If you're ever driving through Bellville, Texas (15minutes north of Sealy on Highway 36), do yourself a favor. Stop in to either the Bellville meat market or Greeenjeans Produce Market and get a little glimpse of how buying food used to (and still should) be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I totally fell asleep in the red chair while I was rocking Noble, I admit it. Apparently I was all worn out from the progress Kayci and I made today--our house, ladies and gentleman, is once again a home. Woo Hoo!

We had a fun evening; the Bogan girls came over for a while, and then the Headleys came over just as the Bogans were leaving. It was nice to catch up with our friends! Noble and I sat down to rock, and that was it for me--I'm not even sure what time that was. I woke up just now as James was taking Noble to put him in his crib, and it turns out that I missed a lot while I was asleep!

Right before I fell asleep, Kayci was sitting on the couch writing in her journal so she could post on her blog. While the chronology of her entry is a bit sketchy, it's really fun--like always, it talks about what just happened rather than the fact that this morning was the end of swim lessons, we got our nails painted, etc. :) But hey, it's her blog! When James helped her post her entry, they realized that she had gotten her first comment (thanks, Nana!) so Kayci wrote back. I know this is to Nana, but it just made me smile and I wanted to share so you guys would be sure to pop over to Kayci's blog sometime and check it out. Here's Kayci, in her own words, by her own hand:

just now i red yor ckoment. i realy like't it. rember to go on my blog every day. i hope you pos't agin. i love you so BIG! i hope i get to see you agin soum time soon!

What summer evenings are for...

Well, this, grilling & beer. Ice cold beer...

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It was bound to happen...

Out & About!

I finally found a blogging app that looks promising, which means, theoretically at least, that I can post on the go. The picture was so easy...Kayci says hi from swim lessons!!

-- out & about, courtesy of the wonderphone