Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy birthday, DaddyBoy!

Happy birthday, DaddyBoy! We had fun decorating on the sly, until I realized that Kayci was slyly pumping me for information-"what time do you decorate for our birthdays?" I caught on fairly quickly, since her letters to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny usually include a request to sign the letter and put down what time they were at our house. Back to the decorating...Kayci made a banner,

and so did Noble.

They're hard to read in these phone pics; Kayci's is a collection of things we love about Daddy. Noble's reads: we (heart) goofy Daddy. He drew a picture of each of us--I wonder what his future psychologist will make of the fact that Noble drew himself much larger than Daddy? We had our usual morning birthday celebration, although we were running too late for Daddy's favorite, Big Daddy's tacos, and he had to settle for birthday donuts (which not-so-secretly thrilled the kids & Mommy).

We actually ordered this camera lens mug months ago, and Noble's been trying to tell Daddy about it ever since. Grr. You won't be surprised that I kept Daddy's "big" present under wraps, then. :)

Enjoy them, Boy-I'm just sorry you had to wait so long!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Enchanted Rock

Noble asked me a few weeks ago when we were going to go hiking again. That gave us the idea to give him his own hiking backpack and some hiking supplies (water bottle, compass, magnifying glass, etc...) for his birthday. And if you give a Noble a backpack, he's gonna wanna try it out...

So with the weather absolutely AMAZING during spring break, we headed out Wednesday to hike Enchanted Rock as a family.

We woke the kids up early that morning and hit the road around 6:00am to make sure that we got there before it got too crowded. But we spent a lot of time at Buccee's, so we ended up getting to Enchanted Rock around 10:00am and had to wait in a short line to get into the park. (hint: the line that comes up from Fredericksburg is waaaaaaay longer than the one that comes in from the north from Llano.  Save yourself a couple of hours in line and take the north route.  You're welcome.)

This was the kids' first trip to Enchanted Rock and Kristi's second, although it was her first time to hike it. And it was the first time I got to hike it when I wasn't in a hurry. So everyone was excited.

We hiked up the giant rock, and we were so proud of the kids. Neither of them complained about being tired or that hey were hungry or thirsty or wanted to go or anything.  They were having such a great time!

We finally made it to the top after about 45 minutes of walking.  By that time our breakfast had pretty much worn off, so we found a shady spot and had a nice picnic lunch. The kids had a great time looking at all the cactus and different rocks and bugs.

Then we began to explore and make our way over to the hill next to Enchanted Rock called Little Rock. Along the way, we stopped to examine some large boulders and caves formed by boulders that had broken loose.

When we finally got to the top of Little Rock, we were all a little tired from all the hiking, so we sat down for a snack. And we took a nap right there on top of Little Rock! Noble took the best nap - about an hour and a half - before we finally woke him up to head down the hill.

Once we had hiked down, we headed to Fredericksburg, where we treated ourselves for a fun day with ice cream!

It was a perfect day - perfect weather, time outside, exercise and time together!

Happy spring break, everyone.  We hope that yours was as awesome as our was!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bluebonnicator: March 7, 2013

It's the return of the Bluebonnicator!

This year is shaping up to be a very good year for bluebonnets in Brenham! Just one week into March and there are already bluebonnets in full bloom in and around town. That's perfect if you're coming into town on Saturday for Noble's birthday party. Bring a camera, take a drive in the country and see some bluebonnets while you're here!

I've had reports (and photos) of bluebonnets popping up all over. It's not peak season yet, but they're starting out great!

This week's Bluebonnicator is at 30% - the highest start of Bluebonnet season in Bluebonnicator history!

This would be a good time to remind everyone about some general guidelines:

1. Don't trample the bluebonnets. Try to step only in the areas between the bluebonnet plants. It might require you to what I call "the bluebonnet hop", butit will keep the plants looking great for everyone.

2. Don't pick the bluebonnets. Period. Get some seeds off the bottom of the plant instead and grow your own! Besides, it's against the law to pick the bloom.

3. Don't go romping through people's yards and fields to take pictures without permission. It really, really makes the locals mad when "city folks" come up and go on quarter mile hikes into their pastures to take their family's picture in the bluebonnets. It's private property, and it's just rude. Most times, if you'll just ask permission it will be okay, but there are plenty of great photo opportunities on public land. The state makes sure of that.

4. Watch out for fire ants! The same kind of soil that is great for growing bluebonnets is also prime for fire ants. Watch out! [and watch out for snakes, too!]

5. Ask a local. As I said before, there a lot of great photo places to take your family's photo in bluebonnets. And a lot of them are very easily accessible, but might not be able to be seen from the highway. Ask a local where some great shots can be had as you buy some Blue Bell ice cream or a sandwich or an antique from their shop.

6. Don't cross a fence. I've heard a lot of stories since we moved up here about tourists crossing fences. Some stories involve getting chased by bulls, some involve broken fences and some involve animals getting loose. But every one of the stories involved trespassing and ticked off the land owner. I've been guilty of this in the past - I admit it - but now I know better, and I'm letting you all know, as well.

7. Have a great time, outdoors. Get outside and enjoy the spring air and the sunshine. You can't see the bluebonets from your living room couch, folks. Unless you live in Brenham, that is. ;)