Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Box Time!

Well, I guess the word is out! We are moving again. Funny that we were in the same place for 9 years and now somehow we are managing to move two times in a little over a year. Whew. I hope to not move again for a long long long time!

We are moving into the neighborhood where our kids go to school. This is going to be so so so great for our family. The kids will be able to walk to school. Our backyard opens up to the beautiful Austin greenbelt. We will be able to participate in carpools for all of the various sporting events. And our house is surrounded by friends on every side and around every corner!!!

One of the things the kids enjoy the most about moving is gathering boxes. We make lots of trips to the liquor store to grab up the cardboard gold! We love to pile as many as possible in the car with the kids still in it. You might notice in the first picture that there are four hands - that is #2, #3, #4 (in car seat) and #3's bff. In this last picture, #1 was trying really hard not to be seen!

So pray for me, send good thoughts our way or do whatever you do for good juju, because JC and I have got to get the whole house packed up and ready to roll in 9 days - and I decided to wait until after Christmas to get started. :)


The afternoon of Saturday, December 15th, the girls and I got to get all dressed up and go see the Austin Ballet perform the Nutcracker at the beautiful Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. Our whole family was fortunate enough to see the ballet perform the Nutcracker at the Bass concert hall a few years ago, but this was a very special treat for it to just be me and the girls!

We joined our friends for a wonderful mother/daughter afternoon at the ballet! The girls both LOVED the show. All of the dancers were amazing and so beautiful! #2 even saw a couple of her classmates perform in the second half of the show.

I wondered as we were waiting for the show to start if they would remember what the story was about. Sure enough, they not only remembered, but were able to point out things that were different in this performance from the last time saw it and even talked during the intermission about what they were looking forward to in the second act.

I love supporting the fine arts. As a parent, I really want our kids to grow up with an open mind towards all types of artist and an appreciation of beauty and talent - even if it is something that they don't particularly enjoy. Fortunately for me, the girls REALLY loved this one! :)

P.S. Thank you Liz for the invite! We love doing these things with you guys!

New Sport

We spent most of the very windy day of Dec. 15 sitting on the sidelines at a tournament. This time it was different than all of the others though. #1 decided that he wanted to join the ultimate frisbee team that meets at the school on Thursday afternoons. So we said yes. He seems to have a ton of fun playing the game. And he REALLY likes the kids that he is hanging with while playing. The coach is a woman that is just GREAT with the boys.

So his team (all 4th and 5th graders) played at the tournament against middle school (grades 6-8) kids. Apparently they lost all but one game. I still haven't figured out the point of the game or any of the rules. The great news is that he had a blast and is ready to do it again when school starts back next year!

Two Weeks in One Day

So you might have noticed that I've been missing from blogland for the last few weeks. Things have just been crazy busy around here and I just haven't had a chance to sit down and blog.

I should carry a notepad around with me because I think of blogging alot and have lots of things that I think are interesting that I'd like to say.

So, for the last two weeks, I worked some at my regular job, had a second job that I worked tons, had tons of fun doing things with the kids at their schools and spent the rest of the time getting ready for Santa to come. I've also only managed to get about 1/2 of our Christmas cards mailed, but the rest will go in the mail this week!

Most of these things will be blogged about in the next 24 hours. I hope you enjoy!

Field Trips

One thing I love about our preschool is the fact that the 4-5 year old classes get to take a lot of field trips. A few weeks ago, #4 and his class took the city bus to the UT Student Union and went glow bowling. Now this is a field trip that he has been on a few times before, but it is always fun and exciting. The kids LOVE to ride the city bus. It can be completely empty or completely full - they LOVE to ride around town on it!

As always, the glow bowling was great. #4 cracks me up because he's got a little form and was very concerned about strikes and spares!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Goes Around

I am constantly aware of how the world never stops. No matter what is happening in my day, life is still happening everywhere! I witnessed a few interesting things yesterday and I thought I'd share.

I had a little bit of free time yesterday morning, but not quite enough to head back to the house before I needed to pick up #4 from preschool. So I was driving around wondering where I could go to get a few things done (like address Christmas cards). So I headed to the Whataburger. I needed to grab something small to eat and thought it'd be a nice place to sit. It was about 11:45 and boy-o-boy was I surprised when I walked in. There was a line to the door for ordering and EVERY table in the joint was filled. On a TUESDAY!!! Who knew. I waited through the line to order my food and despite the packed house, I said it was for dine in. Well, my food was ready before a table - so I just kinda waited for one to come free. Unfortunately my plan of a leisurely lunch didn't quite work out cause I felt like I needed to shove my food down my throat to free the table for the next person!

So I leave the Whataburger and start driving. I have no idea where I can go and sit down in the quiet and get some things done. And then I pass the main library. That's it! I'll go to the library.

Here are the things I noticed about the main downtown branch of the Austin Public Library...
* Who knew you had to pay a meter to park in the library parking lot. Hmmm...
* Lot's of homeless people hanging out inside.
* Many many many people using the free computers. I walked around the computer area a few times and was surprised to see how many people were playing games or typing on myspace during their one hour of free computer time. Some were looking at the internet and some were typing emails - but most were just kind of messing around. And, there was a pretty long list of people that were waiting for their name to be called so that they could have their one free hour.
* If you can find an empty table and chair, it is a very nice and quiet place to go and get things done.

All in all, it was a very successful use of free time. And I experienced two places that I don't generally see and learned a little something in the process!

A Little Elfie

The big kids had their annual Christmas program at school last Thursday. The theme was a tribute of sorts to 'Elf-is'. It was a really really great fun show.

Our kids did not have any speaking or character roles, but they did an outstanding job as chorus elves. #2 really wanted to have a larger part in the production. We even spoke to the music teacher about it. The music teacher told us that there are many many important parts that are not on the stage - for instance, a set creator. As a result of that conversation, all four of our kids worked in the afternoons with the art teacher to create the most wonderful backdrops! They came up with the design, it was blown up and traced onto sheets, and then they all painted them. The grown-ups had very little to do with the actual painting. I was amazed to see this all come together and how they all worked so well together. The art teacher also told our kids that artist must sign their work - so she let them put their names on the stockings!

Also, I am so proud of the elf costumes. The girls made theirs basically by themselves. #2 went over to her girlfriend's house for a costume making party and then we just followed the same plan for #3's costume. The boys just wanted t-shirts that said Elf. I did write on the sleeves 'Samta' and 'Miles Claus' to make them a little more jazzy.

Am I a little proud of these kids or what???

P.S. Also, most of you know that #4 doesn't go to big kid school yet. But he did have a costume, painted the backdrops and even knew the words to most of the songs!

Walk Around

Most weekday mornings, one of us has the opportunity to spend about an hour alone with #4 before we take him to preschool. We walk alot. We walk at the Botanical Garden. We walk at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. We walk in the fancy Whole Foods and eat free samples. But most of all, we spend a lot of time walking at the state capitol.

We have been very blessed by the fact that our preschool is located right across the street from the Capitol. All four of our kids have grown up walking the halls, rolling down the hills and playing in the sprinklers of this beautiful state treasure. Lots of times the preschool teachers will take the kids over to run and play on the west lawn and they even bring a wagon to roll down the hill. We are so lucky.

So anyhow, back to the morning adventures...

Our #4 loves to walk at the capitol. He knows by name many of the rooms (Senate Gallery, House Chamber, etc., etc.) We go into the chapel most mornings just to check in. The guards are very friendly with him because most of them recognize him. He opens new doors and is always trying new hallways. He and JC even found a staircase that takes us down below the rotunda.

This morning we were trying a new (to us) staircase and we ended up on the Speaker's hallway. #4 peeked in a half open door that was the entry to a gigantic beautiful kitchen. While he was checking out the kitchen, I was reading a newspaper that was sitting on a table outside another door. A man in a suit came up to me (now keep in mind, we are the only people on the floor) and said that this is the speaker's newspaper. As if I was gonna take it or something. It was very comical!

We try to read all of the markers on each statue. This morning we were reading one about World War II. His is really listening to what I am saying and then he makes a comment that he noticed that there are lots of statues for that war. I say yes, and he says he thought that World War II was a game. I say no. Then he says, 'was the bad guy a robber?' I say 'kinda, yes.' We talk a little more about the bad guy and how our army protected us and our country and other countries that we are friends with. And he says 'Was the bad guy kinda like the bad guy that took Frosty's hat?' I just smiled and said 'your right-he was kind of like that mean man.'

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sending Love from Germany!

Gotta love days when your BFF is on the real live TV sending all kinds of love!