Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Zoo......Again

In the 12 years Toby and I have been together, we have been to many, many zoos. Zoos have always been on our agenda when we are looking for something to fill an open day.

So, the Austin Zoo it was today. Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo. It's not known to be one of the best zoos in the area but we like it anyway.

When we drove up in the parking lot we were slightly annoyed. There were about 20 buses or more in the parking lot. I think I can speak for all homeschoolers and say one of the biggest things that will make us cringe is a busload of schooled kids or crowds of any kind at a park or attraction.

So be it. We had already made the trek across town to the zoo so we weren't about to let a swarm of wild ones intimidate us.

There was such a large crowd that it was very hard avoiding the groups. We did the best we could.

Here are some typical zoo pics....

I guess the highlight of our day had to be watching this lion charge at some school kids that were taking enjoyment from taunting the lion....even though it clearly states on each and every cage not to harass or yell at the animals. After all, they are rescue animals.

As Toby and I watched the lion charge at the taunting kids a couple of times through the other side of the fence we secretly imagined what it would be like if the lion somehow busted through the fence and came after their asses. :-) Shortly, one of the keepers came out and reprimanded them.

After we finally left the chaos of the zoo it was past our lunchtime. We decided to try out another restaurant we had never eaten at...ironically it was another seafood restaurant Catfish Parlour.

I'm beginning to think I may have originally given Austin a bad seafood rap. In the past two days we have eaten at some delicious seafood restaurants. Catfish Parlour outdid Quality Seafood in our opinion.

Once we got home, we caught up on some of our outside chores. I hate to waste time on yard work, but someones got to do it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This week our "field trip" was to the Bodies Exhibit. Austin is the last stop for the exhibit and I was determined I wasn't going to miss it.

Since we weren't allowed to take pics inside the exhibit, I don't have any pics to post. You can check it out here.

Not only was Bodies fascinating to me, it has also been controversial. I just had to see what all the hoopla was over dead, preserved bodies on display.

Just a personal opinion on my half, but once a person is dead they are matter how they died they are still dead and no matter how much the living feel they need respect the dead person is still dead and most likely no longer concerned about what is done with his/her shell...just as a butterfly is not concerned with his cocoon after he has transformed.

Before we went to the exhibit we grabbed some lunch at a suggested seafood restaurant. Good, fresh seafood is not very common in these parts. We have found tolerable seafood but nothing like the seafood you find on the coast...of course not, this is not the coast.

BUT, I do have to say that Quality Seafood was comparable if not the same as what I have eaten on the coast. They also had a store inside the restaurant where you could buy fresh seafood. The selection was large and appeared fresh. If I didn't know better I would have thought I was back on the coast. Two thumbs up for Quality Seafood.

After we got our tummies full we set off for the exhibit. The exhibit was pricey, but I have to say that Toby and I were intrigued. Summer was also very curious about the whole thing. I even spotted her reading some of the descriptions of certain body parts and the info posted on the walls. That in itself is more a miracle than what our bodies are. :-)

One thing for sure, I am glad we are not a modest family or squeamish about body parts and nudity. Genitalia was not scarce and it was interesting to see what lies underneath our shell. I was glad Summer got to experience what lies underneath all of our skin in a very up close and personal way. There is nothing better than visual aids and hands on experience when learning about our body...or anything for that matter.

Since I didn't get to use my camera in the exhibit, I managed to take a couple of lame pics of UT campus from the top of the parking garage. Sorry, this is all I have to offer for pics of the day...

Here is the UT Tower in the photo..

To the left of this pic is the edge of the UT stadium...

It was a good day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Play By Play Sunday

Today I:

Woke up at 7:00a.m but didn't roll on out of the bed until 7:20. Made coffee. Let the dog out and checked my e-mail.

After my adventure of hill climbing at Pedernalis the other day, I decided that I am not as in shape as I need to be for the hill climbing I love to do....and I plan on doing plenty of it in the next couple of months.

So this morning, as in every morning for the past few days I have made an early morning bike ride or walk.

Halfway through my walk this morning, I by chance met up with one of my neighbors on her daily morning walk. Don't get me wrong, this particular neighbor is one of my favorite neighbors, but I prefer to "exercise" solo. I use this time to reflect and "meditate" if you will.

Once I got back from my walk the sleepy heads had awoken and it was time for me to get to work preparing breakfast.

Around 11:00a.m I got a call from a girl that I had been exchanging e-mails with the past week. She was more than a little interested in buying my Subaru. When I first posted "Betsy" on Craigslist I got alot of responses.

Most of them had the usual questions like, how many miles, engine issues, etc. What was most amusing to me was how many people were asking the same questions that were already clearly stated in my people not read thoroughly???

Anyway, I guess that I had already had in my mind that I wanted the girl to buy my car. I can't tell you why....maybe it was because she was a girl, or maybe that she was so sure that it was the car for her, or maybe that I got the feeling that she would take car of "Betsy".

Either way, girl came by this morning along with her father and bought my old faithful Subaru. Even though I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new Toyota, selling "Betsy" was bittersweet. Yes, I did shed a tear or two as I watched her drive off.....

This afternoon I had planned on going to the RC Airplane Show that was being held a few miles from home, but after all the commotion with the car sale, getting Toby off to work, and Summer already being enthralled in playtime with neighborhood kids, I decided not to I wish I had. I hate it when I decide not to do something and then later on wish I had gone.....o'well, I guess there is always next year...

I decided that since I was stuck at the house I might as well make myself useful. I cleaned out my front flower bed, trimmed hedges, replanted some flowers, and ripped out some St. Augustine grass that somehow got rooted into my Bermuda. St. Augustine grass has no right to be in these parts. It needs way too much water than this area can offer.

It was such a beautiful day, this evening I decided to take a bike ride up to the park (really it's the school yard playground) to check on Summer and work in a little more exercise. Even though it's only a few blocks up the road, it's uphill all the way.

So, here I am now...writing in my blog. And that folks is the story of my day. :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Helping Hands

As a way to incorporate life learning skills into our "curriculum" I had made a decision at the beginning of the year to search for a volunteer opportunity that Summer and I could do together.

As some of you may remember we had started volunteering with a local animal shelter a few months back. Long story made short, it turned out not to be a very kid oriented opportunity. Not that Summer didn't enjoy it, I just didn't think it was "hands on" enough for her.

Well, a few weeks ago my friend Robin gave me a link to website called Little Helping Hands. Recently, I finally carved out the time to look over the website and exchange a few questioning e-mails to the founder.

In the end the concept seemed to good to be true and EXACTLY to be what I was looking for when I started my volunteer search months ago.

Because Toby works on the weekends, I am always looking for things to fill mine and Summer's time so I searched the sites calendar for weekend volunteer opportunities.

Looks like I killed two birds with one stone. Today we volunteered with the Capital Area Food Bank. It was a wonderful experience for Summer and I both.

Not only did the kids (incidently all girls around Summer's age) get to do all the work, they also got to tour the warehouse and learn all about the food bank. It was field trip and community service all rolled into one. I was VERY impressed and learned a few things myself.

I am always surprised at how enthusiatic Summer is when she is in a group effort. When I was her age, I was always so shy and insecure that I would just stand back and twiddle my thumbs. She didn't know a soul there but she had no qualms about jumping in and doing her part. Matter of fact, I had to nudge her a couple of times about "stealing" other kids jobs.

I give the experience a 10 on a scale of 1-10. We made a couple of friends, served our community, and educated ourselves. Another great day!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Outdoor Fun

I have been itchin' for some "fun in the sun" and today was the perfect day for it.

Early this morning I started mentally going through my list of places I want to explore. After mulling several over, my final decision was Pedernales State Park.

On a scale of 1-10 this place gets a 10 in my opinion. I will rate it as one of my Top 10 must see destinations for the Austin area.

I was so impressed that I took 150 pics our whole day there. I am posting more than a few of my favs. WARNING: If you are not a fan of photos you may want to skip this section. :-)

I don't know which one of was more impressed with the sand. Sand is uncommon in these parts...

Summer is a "rock hugger" for sure. I don't know what the intrigue is, but she loves rocks of any size or shape...

If anyone has been wondering how I am scaling all those rocks in flip-flops, let me introduce you to my new water shoes. They are perfect for hiking and water play. They are one of my recent splurges and I LOVE THEM!!

Although I came home with sore muscles, scratched up legs, a sunburn and a body that didn't smell so sweet, I would say that it was a perfect day. :-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Did You Eat Today?

I'm not much a a movie or T.V watcher unless I am watching with hubby. That said, when the mood strikes me I do sometimes have the guilty pleasure of watching a "chick flick" while he is at work and Summer is occupied otherwise.

Yesterday afternoon I had a little free time on my hands so I flipped through my little collection of On Demand Netflix movies. Recently I had added the movie Julie and Julia to my selection.

It was one of those iffy movies. I wasn't sure if I would like it but I decided to give it a try. Mostly the blog part about it intrigued me the most.

I have to say that although the movie was a bit monotone it did keep my interest enough to finish it. Definitely a chick flick...

In summary, the movie is about a girl who decides to blog and document her progress about her attempt to cook every recipe in Julie Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Here you can even read the real life blog that prompted the making of the movie.

After watching the movie it got me to thinking about what people eat daily. Eating is a large part of our daily lives. To some folks, a really big part.

So this is what I have had to eat today from the moment I awakened:

This morning....a bowl of leftover potato salad from the day before.

In the afternoon...a kids meal at Panda Express. (I prefer to order a kid's meal when possible because the portion is less) Mandarin chicken and chow the rest of Summer's chow mein that she left on her plate.

This this very moment I am eating a small bowl of nacho cheese flavored bugles. Yes folks, that is my dinner. I probably won't have anything the rest of the evening but maybe a pickle or a cheese stick.

Not the healthiest menu, but certainly not the unhealthiest. Maybe for the next week I will give a side note of my daily meals. It is always interesting to see what other people cook and least to me. :-)

Taking Notice

Most every day I see or hear things that catch my attention. Little things that most of us are too busy or preoccupied to notice.

I never have, nor ever have had the desire to meditate....well not the kind of meditation that you sit around cross-legged going ohmmmmmmmm, but I do try to absorb my surroundings and take notice of the things in this illusionary world that encompass me.

My first observation came this morning. I found a bug in my bathroom sink. I had only seen this type bug once in my whole life...just this past weekend at the Earth Day Festival. There was a display of the different creatures that were found in the Colorado River and it just so happens the bug I saw in my sink this morning was one of the bugs on display.

I contemplated how this bug that lives in the river got into my sink. Had he somehow hitched a ride home with me from the Festival? Or had he managed to get caught in the sewer somewhere and crawl his way up into my sink? I couldn't help but wonder about his journey..

My next observation came from the post office. I had to mail a package so I went inside to do my business. When I got in there, there was a little old couple in there. The couple had to fill out the mailing form before they could mail their package.

"Gramps" was under the assumption that he could just "break line" when he was done filling out his form. "Grandma" was trying to talk logically to him and keep the peace all the while Gramps was giving her and everyone else a piece of his mind.

Gramps oozed a man with a bad attitude emphasized by old age. I wondered how his very sweet, patient wife endured him daily. Hopefully she knew him to have more positive qualities that weren't apparent to any of us in the post office this morning.

After I left the post office my next errand was the grocery store. My drive to the grocery store view is composed mostly of farmland. I always incorporate sightseeing into my grocery store trips by watching the cows and horses along the way.

This morning I noticed two horses on the ground rolling around on their dogs would. I had never seen horses behave in that way before. I wish I could have stopped off on the side of the road and just watched them frolic for awhile......

The last thing today that caught my attention was Summer's little neighborhood friend. I have seen this little girl many times in the past but for some reason today I noticed that she was "cross eyed" or "lazy eyed" Once I noticed it I realized that it was much more than just a little noticeable.

I wondered why I had never noticed it before. Sorta like the experience of traveling the same road many times and then all of a sudden noticing something on that road you have never noticed a house, business, tree, object, etc.

As I age I have noticed that I have become more aware of my illusionary toys.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"No Subject"

This post is just going to be a hodge-podge of our goings-on for the past few days. All last week was spent in Toyota dealerships and the credit union. The only thing noteworthy that came from last week was our new "ride".

Here is a peek at "Sally" for anyone interested:

I know most "normal" people don't post pictures of their newly purchased vehicles unless they might happen to be a DeLorian or something along those lines. I felt compelled to post my Yota because new vehicles are not the "norm" for us. I am very frugal and like to use something until it is not usable anymore...and that includes my vehicle.

Let's see...hmmmmm.....the weather has not been all that great lately. Not horrible, just not the sort of weather you like to see for this time of year. Mostly cloudy, muggy, rainy and cool for the past several days.

So yesterday Summer and I decided to attend the Earth Day Festival at McKinney Roughs. I debated on going because it was very cloudy and sprinkling. We finally made the decision to go since we had been planning on going all week. If nothing else, it would be a joy ride in "Sally".

Even though I only have one child at home, getting ready to go somewhere sometimes feels like I have ten. Since it was rainy and wet regular shoes had to be worn. For Summer and I wearing anything but flip flops is major trauma....especially for her.

Before we left Summer had a really big shoe dilemma which resulted in me getting very agitated, which in turn made Summer equally agitated. I won't give you the gory details but I will tell you that we finally made it out of the house with shoes and socks on.

In the commotion of trying to get out of the house I totally forgot to bring my camera. Too bad for me and you, but I am SO glad we decided to go because the ride along the farm road that lead to our destination was absolutely picturesque and BEAUTIFUL!! Nothing but cows, horses and wildflowers.

Not intending it to be, our day was also very educational. Summer and I learned alot at the Festival. We also got alot of freebies which is always nice.

After the festival closed down Summer and I were famished. We took the opportunity to drive on into Bastrop a few miles down the road in search of something to eat. We stopped at a Quizno's and had a nice lunch together.

I am looking forward to being able to post some interesting excursions in the next few days. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Tribute To "Betsy"

Eight years ago after my mothers passing my dad very generously gave me her car. "Betsy" as we so affectionately named her, is a '94 red Subaru. Betsy is certainly nothing fancy but she has earned her keep in our family for the past eight years.

Her biggest contribution was that she was "paid for". She also was loyal to me, her primary driver. Anytime she decided to have a minor malfunction such as a dead battery, she always was kind enough to do it while Toby was with me. She never left me stranded and alone...well, maybe once. :-)

She was never a gas guzzler and she endured many a family outing that resulted in ground-in sand or dirt or french fries lodged in irretrievable crevices . She also carried us on long trips without a struggle, including the million mile trip to Austin and back a couple of times before we moved here.

Her strangest habit was occasionally self-locking her back door on the side that Summer sat on. I think she liked us. She's been a good girl....until lately.

Although Betsy probably has many more good miles left in her, she is beginning lack desire and enthusiasm. She has sprung a couple of oil leaks (incontinence) and her a/c went out several months ago (hot flashes). Lack of a/c in Texas is not a tolerated infraction...especially with my hotflashes.

Betsy has been such a loyal car that we seriously considered putting some money into her to extend her life. After considering it a little more, we decided that it would not be financially feasible.

Poor Betsy. She will be replaced but never forgotten.

Nevertheless, we have a new addition to the family underway. Tomorrow we will be signing papers for a 2009 Toyota Matrix who we have named "Sally". By the way, this whole idea of naming cars comes from Summer. She picked up the idea from her older brother who affectionately names all his cars.

I thought it was sorta weird to have an attachment to a car, but our salesman informed us today that he has had customers who physically kissed their trade in vehicles goodbye.

I guess cars are akin to homes. Most people spend more time in their cars than they do in their houses. A lot of memories can be made in a car...some naughty, some nice. :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Day

My neighborhood is filled with female children. It's torture!

Here is a sample of my afternoon:

...."she called me a bad name"

...."she said I said blah blah about her"

...."she pushed me on purpose"

...."she was mean to me"

...."blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.

I can't tolerate it! Is this a girl thing!!!????? It's been so long since I was a kid that I can't really remember if I used to be the same way with my friends. Is this a normal part of growing up??

One minute they all get along, the next someone (or more) has been casted out. They feed off of each other's drama and play it out to the fullest.

Because of my tendency to like peace and quite I find that I sometimes allow myself to get sucked into it myself. I have to be mindful and try and tune it out and let them settle their disputes on their own.

Needless to say, I was glad when they all had to go inside for the evening. Whew!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Belief Systems

I have been reading a lot of good books lately. Most of them would be classified as New Age, Scientific, Philosophical, or Metaphysical. I like books that enable me to ponder different perspectives other than the ones that society or my upbringing inflicted upon me.

The idea that I am powerless to a God outside of myself who picks and chooses whom and when "he" will help, never really rang true to me and pissed me off most of my young life. This "belief" along with the "educational" ideas I choose to practice with my daughter, make me a real oddball to family, acquaintances, and society in general. I have never been "normal" and hope never to be if the society I witness is deemed "normal".

Being an oddball may not be such a bad thing anyway. Who wants the puppy in the pet store that has the coloring and markings like all the other puppies. At the end of the day, everyone always wants the odd colored or different looking pup.

So, back to my book...Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley. The book talks alot about belief systems. We are all brought up to believe certain things...usually brought down from generations of like beliefs.

All children are born innocent, trusting, loving and with a rich imagination.
Children's ability to learn, dream, trust, excel and explore are encouraged or discouraged during early years. The children's consciousness are continually being shaped into adolescence and onto adulthood by continuing memories, myths, and messages from family, environment peers, society, their culture and lessons learned from painful mistakes or rewarding experiences and successes.

In the end, the belief system of this person has been formed and becomes the guiding force in their life. Decisions, judgements, reactions, actions, habits, feelings, thoughts of limitation or aspirations for the highest are determined by your belief system.

A bad experience in school, being told you wouldn't amount to anything, a failed relationship or failed business venture, and an environment that doesn't nurture hope, education, self-reliance or creativity can shape your belief system. This belief system shaped will be based on limitation and low expectations from self and life.

Self-checklist: Have you learned to limit yourself?

Do you still dream?
Do you believe you can change your present circumstances for the better?
Do you believe that some people are just lucky, smarter, prettier, faster or more worthy than you?
Do you believe it's too late to start again?
Are you feeling like a hopeless victim because you don't see anyone in your environment rising above and overcoming negative conditions?

What you believe determines what you can achieve in your life. If you believe that you are poor you will be poor, if you believe there is not enough (scarcity) there will never be enough, if you believe that if you don't believe in the right "God" you will go to hell, you will go to hell (only in your own thoughts and mind). The belief list goes on and on.

Be willing to read, leave your comfort zone, open up to new ideas, new places and new people. Believe again as a child, in the impossible.

Don't let an old belief system keep you from succeeding in a relationship, a career, financial freedom or that dream whatever it may be.

Belief systems are hard to change in most ordinary folks. Then again, everyone has their own "truth" which doesn't make anyone else's "truth" less or more than what it is....A BELIEF.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Texas Proud

The other night as I was tucking Summer into bed and she said to me..."ya know mom, every time I hear the word TEXAS I feel proud.". Hmmmmm.....I guess it doesn't take too long of being in it's presence that "Texas Proud" rubs off on you.

You can feel it everywhere you go...or at least in the Austin area. That positive feeling of being a part of a city that cares about their surroundings. A place that nurtures it's citizens and makes it welcoming and accessible for families.

Lucas even noticed it while he was visiting last week. He pointed out how everyone was all about Texas here. From the longhorn symbols plastered to the back of their vehicles, the Texas jingles that accompany all the local commercials, to the Texas Stars affixed to their homes. It's obvious that everyone here loves Texas. You just can't help but to love Texas once you have experienced that city unity.

I wondered...why is it?? What is it about a city, state, or another specific area that makes someone nurture it to the point that it's "loved"? What is it about an a city that makes everyone want to flock there?? Are like individuals automatically drawn to an areas that fit their personalities and lifestyles??

Maybe it's one of those things like, why does everyone want to drive a Toyota or Honda instead of a KIA or a Hyundai....

What is it about your city that you love the most?? What is it that attracts you and keeps you in it's presence???

Monday, April 5, 2010

Right to Die

As I was thumbing through my Oprah magazine the other night I came across an interesting article.

The article was about a woman who's mother had opted to "off" herself instead of dying the slow agonizing death that her degenerative Parkinson's disease offered her.

The mother had gone as far to include the family making sure they would be there for her "suicide".

Long story made short, the mother had a failed attempt in overdosing herself on morphine. Eventually, she decided the best way to die was to starve herself to death.

After a few days of starving her physical body her death was finally underway. Her children sat by her side and watched her slowly die a painless inevitable death.

Although the article gave me the creeps a bit...and only because this sort of death is out of society's norm, it did get me to speculating.

Why do we prolong the inevitable???? If we are nothing but a burden to ourselves and our loved ones and our "purpose" here on Earth is done why not lessen our physical and emotional suffering????? We have no qualms with taking our suffering pets to the vet to have them euthanized, but yet we don't find it acceptable to offer our fellow man the same relief.

In this instance I think about my mother. She was dying of cancer and death was inevitable yet she hung on for 2 miserable months while her loved ones watch her suffer(and she suffered) before she finally passed.

Think about it; when a child is to be born we sometimes quicken the process by inducing labor or scheduling a C-section to take the baby early. Why is it o.k to quicken the process of birth but not death???

In essence and reality we are all dying, just at different rates. And quite honestly we all commit suicide....some of us just do it quicker than others. Some of us die of heart attacks from stress, some of us smoke and drink ourselves to death, some of us hold anger and resentment inside manifesting physical illnesses such as cancer and other similar diseases.

I'm sure the debate over Euthanasia can get very in depth with pros and cons, but it's all very simple in my opinion. Luckily, Euthanasia is legal to a limited extent in the state of Texas...just in case I ever need it one day...

When it's all said and done, I'm assuming the big debate over Euthanasia probably has a lot to do with religious beliefs than it does about practicality.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our Week So Far...Day 4

If at all possible, Lucas always brings his mountain bike on his trips to Austin. The bike trails here are as irresistible as all the other trails.

On Wednesday we decided to take him to an area we had never hiked. The park, Emma Long Metro also has the most treacherous bike trail in the state of Texas.

I was a little worried when we dropped him off because the sign at the beginning of the trail specifically said that the "buddy system" was best for these particular trails. Of course, Lucas didn't even bat an eye at the warning...

I made a mental note of the time we dropped him off and a little request for his safety to the Universe, then we ventured on down to our nature trail hike about a mile down the road.

I have to say that this trail is going on my favorites list. The trail was beautiful and serene. It was shaded and the trail ran alongside the creek with several crossings along the way. There were also small waterfalls along the creek that made it even more peaceful.

Here are some pics of our hike...

Another beautiful day inside and out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Week So Far......Day 3

The last time Lucas was here he had expressed an interest in touring a cave. So, a cave was our destination today.

Just because we had recently visited the Longhorn State Caverns Cave, we decided to try out another cave that none of us had seen before...Inner Space Caverns.

Inner Space was a bit pricier than Longhorn and much more crowded. It did have a little more to offer as far amenities. There was a playscape and panning for gems for kids.

It's hard to say which cave was better. I guess a cave is a cave, but I would have to say that I enjoyed Longhorn a smidgen more. Maybe it was because we were the only tourist and were able to ask questions freely, and it was bit more glistening with an abundance of crystals...and of course there were not 1,000 little school kids running around. :-)

That said, Inner Space was worth the money we paid and I certainly would give it a thumbs up.

Here are some pics of our day....

This is fake cave art done by a UT art major but I thought it was pretty cool anyway...

After our hour and half cave tour we were way overdue for lunch so we stopped in and ate some Texmex at Chuys....Mmmmmmm good!

Our Week So Far......Day 2

Tuesday Morning. Lucas has been battling the snorts and sneezes ever since he arrived in Texas. Austinites claim the cedar is horrid and that it will eventually get you. Personally, I have never felt better since moving allergies, colds, or anything of the sort...weird, huh???? I guess it's true that happiness is the key to health. :-)

So, I have been trying to help keep Lucas as comfortable as possible with a nightly dose of drugs. Luckily, he is not a whiner and is trudging right on with little complaint.

We were having Summer's b-day party at Austin's Park. Being it was the middle of the week the park didn't open until 3:00p.m.

On the way to the park, we stopped and picked up Jordan. The girls were SOOOOO excited.

With it being during the weekday and off season, thankfully the park was not crowded. The minute we got there all the "kids", Toby and Lucas included took off to take advantage of the activities.

I knew I was going to be stuck at the table watching the cake and everyone's stuff so I was smart enough to bring my latest reading material.

At the end of the day, I think everyone had a blast. The "kids" had a blast playing, and I was in heaven reading my book in a sunny corner window with no interruptions.

Here are some pics of our little small, personal party.....