Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Krause Springs August 27, 2008

Happy 34th Birthday Toby! Today was not only a birtday celebration but the beginning of our yearly vacation. After leisurly being able to wake up without an alarm clock, Toby opened up his gift from Summer and I (a digital photo frame) and we got ready for our daily destination to Krause Springs.

Before we hit the swimming hole we had to pick up our rental that we are going to take to Mobile. The rental was at Austin's airport. We hit a little, in a way, kinda funny snag. After I grabbed the parking garage ticket from the meter thingy I handed it to Toby. We had already rented our car online so all we had to do was check in our info and grab our car.

When had only "ordered" a mid-size car but when we got out there to grab the car someone had'nt done their job properly so we ended up getting a minivan. Toby and I are really not minivan type people and the thing is like a big white bus to me. After all, we have only one kid!

After driving it to Krause Springs today, we figured it was a blessing in disguise. We have plenty of room for our stuff and Summer can even stretch out and nap back there.

Anyway, back to the parking garage ticket. Toby got the rental and we agreed on meeting up the road outside the airport at a gas station. After Summer and I walked miles back to the car I realized that Toby had the parking garage ticket with him. Long story made short, I decided I would try and get out of the airport without the such luck. Lost ticket is $20! I hoped eventually Toby would start missing me and search for me because there was NO WAY I was paying $20 when I had only used 30 minutes of their parking garage! I told her I would sit there all day if I had to because eventually Toby would come looking for me and the issue would be resolved. Well, I did sit there and true to my word hubby did wonder what happened to me and came back looking.

Once all the bull was solved we headed on out to Krause Springs. It's a beautiful drive to the springs and I enjoyed sightseeing the southwest side of Austin.

Here are a few pics from our day,

Hmmmm......wonder what lives in there:

One of the rare pics you'll see of all three of us together. A nice man offered to take a pic of all of us together:

I have never seen such big wind chimes. They were absolutely beautiful and they made the most beautiful peaceful sound:

I loved this "kiddie pool" area. The water was crystal clear and it felt wonderful:

Notice behind Toby the cave. We were advised not to swim into the cave because there is no telling who or what lives in there. I'm sure they don't have to tell people twice not to swim into the dark cave:

Random pics:

I thought this was a pretty flower. I had never seen one like it before:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them."
– John Updike

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Waterpark Again

Summer had been wanting to go to the circus that's in town but with us traveling to Mobile this week I didn't really want to spend the extra money it would take to go.

So as a compromise Toby and I secretly made plans to go to the Rock 'n River Waterpark in Round Rock (a city right outside Austin) I made arrangements to pick up her little friend Jordan to join us. It's always more fun when you have a friend at these kind of places.

She was so excited when she found out the plan. I was really impressed with this smaller waterpark. It only cost $3 per person and we had a blast. No walking for miles or waiting in mile long lines!

Here is a pic of Summer coming down the slide:

Here is Toby dragging Summer to the bucket water dumper:

Taking a snow ice snack break:

On the lazy river:

We all ended up having a blast! Unfortunately all the water parks and pools around here close on Labor Day so that was the last bit of water fun for the year.....unless we go swimming in the Colorado.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Glance At Our Week

On Sunday we didn't do much of anything.....seems to be the story of our life lately. I did want to check out a new nature trail nearby that is being worked on. Unfortunately, when we went looking for it I couldn't find it. If Toby wasn't with me I probably would have searched a little harder but he hasn't been very patient lately so I didn't want "irk" him.

I have found an extracurricular activity that I am going to involve Summer and I in this year. There are so many parks, trails and preserves out here that there are alot of volunteer opportunities for cleanup and park upkeep. We love being outdoors and this would be a perfect opportunity to be involved in the community. Summer and I used to do litter patrol in our old neighborhood in Mobile but now that we live in a nicer neighborhood we don't have to do much litter patrol.

Unfortunatley, the next clean up day is scheduled for a day when we are having homeschool day at the Pionneer Farms and I don't want to miss it. We'll have to catch the next one...that will give the weather time to cool off anyway.

After we couldn't find the new trail we just rode on down to our favorite Walnut Creek Park, only it's not a creek anymore. It was still nice to walk around down there.

We always find fossils down there but Toby found a really good one we couldn't really identify.

On another note, I have seen a few strangely decorated vehicles here. I have seen a car covered in panel to panel stuffed animals and other strange decorated cars. I never have my camera when I see these vehicles and if I do they usually are driving by so fast I can't snap the photo. While at the park I was lucky enough to find a parked one. Here is a shot:

A while back Summer's grandmother had given her an antique tea set. I had kept in my china cabinet so it would be safe. Then I remembered something my friend Candy had said one time, she said "what good is having keepsakes it you can't use them and enjoy them" So we have been using the tea set all year to have "tea parties".

It's amazing the simple things that will entertain kids if you don't endulge them with all the material things. We pull out the tea set every couple of weeks and have a tea party. Summer invites her next door friends. We have "crumpets" (toasted buttered bread cut into small squares) and water.

I lead them in "tea conversation" and play as the server. They all love this and requires very little effort on my part.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Toby took the weekend off from the tattoo shop this weekend. Our car finally reached the 100,000 mark so it was time to have the timing belt replaced. Our little red car has to last a long time so we take really good care of it no matter how "out of style" it may seem to all those SUV drivers. Although not pretty, it has been a very dependable car and we want to keep it that way. And best of all it's paid for!

Lucas always did all our car maintenance for us in Mobile so I was a little worried about what we would do to keep our old car maintained in a city of strangers. Fortunately, we have been blessed so far. We had to have one of our axles changed out when we first moved into our house. There was a shop here in our little city of Manor that did a very good job for us at a very reasonable price.

Since Toby has been working for Siddons Fire Apparatus we have access to mechanics that are very knowledgable. When Toby told me he was going to have our timing belt changed by one of the mechanics he works with I was a little worried about expertise. Toby reminded me that the mechanics at the shop he works are very reliable considering they work on million dollar fire trucks every day. Can't argue with that one!

So, it was nice having hubby home for the weekend. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary but run errands. The story of our life lately but it was nice even so.

Thank goodness the rain didn't start until after we got home because it was a gullywasher! It was a Godsend to see rain around here. Everyone in the neighborhood was standing out on their front porches watching it fall. Summer was even out there running around in it.:-)

While we were out today, I bought me a new tree to plant in my front yard. I had it sitting out in it's bucket to catch some of the rain that was coming down. The wind managed to knock it over so I had to run out in the rain to retrieve it and drag it to the porch.

I learned months ago that you can't buy anything cheap and lightweight to put outside. The cheap doormats that I originally bought for the house constantly get blown all over the place and the plastic outdoor furniture is always turned upside down. Next year these cheapos will replaced with wrought iron and heavyweight doormats. It's very breezy here.

Anyway, during our rainstorm Summer decided to pull out the old home movies. I LOVE pictures and home movies. It's always fun to look back on all the memories you have made. It's a way to look back on your life and remember all the good things instead of the negative things that most people remember.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brushy Lake Park

Since the girls enjoyed the "sprinkler park" so much last time we took them Angela and I decided to take them there again. We like to get there extra early to beat the crowds that usually show up about noon.

Here are some pics of our day:

In front of the sprinkler pad:

Playing in the sand around the volley ball court:

After we left the park Summer and I did a little shopping and grabbed a bite to eat. It was a hot but good day. News says we "may" have rain this week......we'll see.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
– Theodore Seuss Giesel

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ice Cream Festival

We went with Toby to the tat shop today so we could attend the Ice Cream Festival going on downtown. I really debated on it because of the high temps but in the end decided it beat staying home. They have festivals here almost every weekend and I hate missing out on them too.

The festival was about 6 blocks from the shop so we got Toby to drop us off at the park on his way to the shop. Normally 6 blocks doesn't phase us but with triple temps it's not very comfortable to walk in. I figured if he dropped us off atleast we only had the 6 blocks to walk back to the shop after the festival.

The festival was fun. Summer and I walked around and took in all the activities all the while pouring sweat. The weird thing about the weather here is even though it's 100 degrees as long as you find some shade it's comfortable. The unfortunate flip side to this is the shade is more scarce here than in Mobile.

Here are some pics of our outing:

They had some pretty cool popsicle stick creations there:

Taking a break to eat some VERY melting ice cream:

Summer with the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Man:

Summer petting the animals in the petting zoo pen:

The walk back to the shop was of course sweltering. Thank goodness I was smart enough to bring frozen bottle water with us in my backpack. Water is what keeps us alive here in Central Texas.

Oh, and by the way still no rain. Hurricane Edwaurdo that was headed directly into Austin and was suppose to bring us our much needed rain totally dissapated before it reached us. The dry air here killed it as soon as it got to us. Uggggh......

Friday, August 8, 2008

This and That

As you can tell by the sparse posting there has also been sparse activity around here. We did have our weekly playdate last week at Chuck E Cheese. We had some good coupons so it was a pretty inexpensive day. The girls played games while Angela and I sat and chatted......always a good thing for the mama's.

Toby has been really tired and out of it. I don't know how long he can go on working so much without collapsing. He insist on keeping his tattoo job though. It's a dream of his and he refuges to let it go. Sometimes I wonder if he is just being a hard head to prove some kind of point......I don't know whether it's to himself, GOD, or everyone else. Either way, Summer and I are losing out too. I guess sometimes you have to take the whole ship down just to kill a single enemy.

On another note, I got some disturbing news last night. My son called to inform me that his stepbrother (my ex's stepson) had committed suicide. Something about the suicide phone call is always worse than the regular somebody has passed phone call.
With the suicide phone call you always start thinking about what it was you didn't see, what you could have done, what you shouldn't have done, why, ....the list is endless.

I have heard it said that suicide is a form of cowardness. Somehow, I don't see taking a loaded gun to your head as cowardness. That takes more nerve than I can ever conjur up.

I mostly can't help but feel for the parents of this poor child. I have known Andrew's parents for years and I'm sure their grief must feel unbearable for them right now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Today is Toby's only off day for the week. I'm in a sort of way trying to postpone most of my sightseeing trips. It's just been too hot to enjoy nature right now.

So, our plan was to go see a movie....Journey to the center of the Earth. Unfortunately when we got to the theatre I discovered the movie is in 3D. Summer and I both hate 3D movies. She hates them because she doesn't like the sensation it gives of something coming at you and I just hate trying to keep those stupid glasses on.

I didn't see anything else on the marquie that looked interesting enough to sit in a movie theatre and watch. If Toby was disappointed he was being a good sport.

We ended up going to the mall and walking around. I'm not really a mall kind of person but the mall was different and I had only been there one time before.

After the mall we decided to just go back home and spend time at our pool down the road. There is not much else you can do comfortably in this kind of weather but hang out in the water.

I did see a rather unusual thing while at the pool. There was a family of 4 that were riding their bikes around the walking track that winds past the pool.

First of all, even the warmth loving person that I am, would never ride a bike in 103 temps. The worst part about this family is the man had on long blue jeans and the mom had on a long sleve shirt and long pants! Fortunately, the 2 kids seemed to be dressed appropriately. I guess these people weren't from around here or either they had a very high tolerance for the heat.

The pool has been great lately. I guess everyone is sick of swimming or either taking shelter indoors in the cool air. The past couple of weeks there has been hardly anyone in the pool, leaving us a very large pool to ourselves.

It was an o.k day.

Friday, August 1, 2008

This Week's Summary

We are about to break record temps here in Austin. We are going on the 30 something day of triple digit temps. The temps really don't bother me as bad as not having any rain going on 3 months along with it. I am from the tropical Mobile and use to having some afternoon rain to go along with my humidity.

It is sweltering and VERY dry here. The roads and the ground have big cracks in them and the small creeks are all dried up. From the news reports our aquifiers are even getting to the "critical condition" thanks to this bubble of high pressure thats been hovering above us for it seems like forever.

Unfortunately, in the next week the temps will be higher in the triples to 103-105. God only knows what my power bill will be this month. And of course, still no rain in the next week's forecast.

On another note I have a small funny story. I have already told you the way these "Austinites" drive. Well, the other day Summer and I were out running errands. While driving, I was having some issues with the way people were driving. I commented to Summer that we needed to start running these "Austinites" off the road. She then said "Mom, we ARE Austinites!" At that point I realized that my daughter considered herself a part of Austin where as I still obviously still consider myself an outsider/visitor. The little ones sure are resilent aren't they?

We also had homeschool playdate this week. We met at a large water sprinkler park. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so no pics.

The older girls were having a blast but as usual Angela's baby can't hang as long as the older girls. She'll be right there with them in a couple more years, but for now playdates are time limited.

Toby has been working on a firetruck that has been causing him to put in a lot of overtime. He has been working until 6:00 p.m or later every night this week. He has still been working his weekend job too so he is a pretty tired hubby lately and Summer and I are missing our 3rd half.

I have been trying to mentally prepare for our Mobile trip we are taking in a couple of weeks. If there was any way I could poop out 3 plane tickets I would. The thoughts of being in a car for 11 or more hours is a stressful thought. The upnote on this is we are going to rent a car for the trip. My car does not need any extra wear and tear and it would be nice to have a little larger more comfortable car for the may even make the trip more tolerable. We'll see.

Not really much to report on lately, but for the sake of the blog this is all I have got.