Sunday, June 29, 2008


A few weeks ago I was trying to think of something to do with the kids besides going to the pool, so I decided to try letterboxing, which I had heard about before but never actually got around to doing. It's a neat little activity that lets you go on a treasure hunt of sorts, by going online and finding clues to the locations of hidden letterboxes. All you need is a stamp, a stamp pad, and a little log book. And then it's free fun from then on!
So on this day, the kids and I packed up a picnic dinner(Dario was out of town), and headed off to find a couple of letterboxes. We had some great fun around town.

Here's Dario Jr. searching at the location of one of the letterboxes we found.

Found it!

The kids at the "round rock" that gave our city is named for.

Roman watching the ducks.

We also found a letterbox located in the Round Rock Cemetery. We had never been there before and I'm glad we came. There's a lot of history there, and finding the letterbox was really fun.

The kids at the grave of Sam Bass, the leader of a gang that planned to rob the bank in Round Rock and ended up in a shootout with local lawmen that had been tipped off. Sam was shot and died a couple days later.

Gabriella in front of the sign for the slave cemetery. The slave section is back in a corner and is full of trees. There are very few markers. Many slaves were buried without headstones to mark the grave. Some just have a rock to mark their burial place. We also saw a tiny little cross that someone made to mark the place they buried their little pet bird there at the base of a tree. That was sweet, and the kids really liked it.
Found the letterbox!
Whoever did this one actually made a stamp with Sam Bass' picture on it. Definitely a great find and a really fun evening for us.

Tooth fairy Plan B

Or maybe it's plan G by this point. (If you don't know what I'm talking about look here and here and here.) After forgetting yet again to exchange tooth for cash- Gabby again, but she announced right in front of Dario Jr. "Mom, the tooth fairy didn't give me any money!"- I have come up with another plan that may save me some face, although it will make me slightly more poor. But in this circumstance, since I've proved that I obviously cannot handle the heavy tooth fairy responsibilities at my house, I think it'll be beneficial for us both.

So here's the plan. Next time one of my kids loses a tooth, I will offer to buy it from them rather than have them leave it for the tooth fairy. I'm going to offer $2 per tooth, whereas the tooth fairy only pays $1 in quarters. I'm going to tell them that instead of letting the tooth fairy take all those teeth, that I want to keep their little baby teeth because I just love them oh so much and want to keep them for memories sake, and am willing to pay a premium for that privilege. Because my kids are greedy little buggers, I'm thinking this may work. The only problem I potentially foresee is that they're going to want to look at the teeth every now and again, so I'm actually going to have to keep the nasty little things somewhere.

But I think it's a good plan. What do you think?

Boys like dress-up too

Well, I guess you already knew that my boys like to dress up. But this time, they actually did it as boys!

Here's the Power Ranger with the Peter Pan pirate sword....And the ninja with the baseball bat. What? You didn't know ninja's used baseball bats as weapoons? Man, you need to brush up on your history.

A garbage pile of my very own

Man I've never been so excited about a rotting pile of stench before. Because this is my very own rotting pile of stench. Actually though, it's not very stenchy. The directions I read say to layer the rotting fruitiness with lawn clippings and other outsidey stuff, and that will keep the stink to a minimum, but I haven't really noticed much odor anyway. And soon (hopefully), this rotting pile of muck will be a pile of black gold that I can put on my garden and flowerbeds. Because I can use all the help I can get for those two areas. Plus, I feel all green and environmentally friendly-like when I throw these things in the little compost bucket under my sink rather than in the garbage can to be trucked off to the local landfill. You're supposed to keep the pile moist, so when the bucket is full I just fill it up with water before I dump it out. It adds wetness to the pile and rinses out the bucket at the same time. Try it!

Big sister strikes again

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Out of place

Last week I walked out onto our back deck and saw a little fuzzy bird with a long beak and long legs standing on glider. It looked like some sort of water bird that definitely did not belong in my backyard. I ran to grab the camera and he hopped down and ran away, but I was able to snap a couple of (not very good) pictures as he ran away.

The next day and for quite a few days after, he and another little one just like him lived in some Rose of Sharon trees we have in our back yard. We thought about calling wildlife control (is that a real agency? I might have made that up...), but then I though that if there were 2 little chicks that there parents must have made the nest somewhere nearby. So we enjoyed watching them for a few days, and then one day we woke up and they were gone. I sure hope they actually flew away as opposed to getting eaten by the neighbor dogs.

Do any of you know what kind of birds these might be?

For the love of torpedoes

These are Roman's new bestest toys. They're little diving toys shaped like torpedoes, and oh how he loves them! The first day we bought them they went with us to the pool. Then they went with us in the shower. Then they went with him in his room to play Little People get blasted by torpedoes. I had to sneak and put them in the pool bag when he wasn't looking later that day as I found them scattered all over the house from their various adventures. But alas, I should have just left them on the floor, because today we took five to the pool, and came home with two. They were no where to be found in or around the pool anywhere, so I'm quite sure that some other little boy fell in love with them and took them home.

Never a dull moment

Little Dario's imagination is running wild these days. He's always full of funny ideas, and I love to hear what he's thinking. A couple of quotes from dinner conversation tonight:

After arranging M&M's on top of his vanilla ice cream-
"All my M&M's are in there command stations."

And then later, after doing some deep thinking apparently-
"I wish I could shoot babies. Chubby ones. Then if a bad guy came I could
shoot babies at him! Really fat ones!"
(While he's saying this he's got his arm stretched out like he can shoot babies from his wrist, like Spiderman shoots web.)

Where he gets this stuff, I do not know. I guess that's why I'm not a boy.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Grandma Raquel's visit

My mother-in-law came to visit us last week and we had a wonderful time. She spent a lot of time doing special things with the kids and spent one on one time with each of them. In the evening after the kids went to bed we played cards and had time to talk. It was a really nice visit and we were sad to see her go.

One day Raquel and the kids made cookie pizzas. She took them to the store to buy cookie dough, frosting, and toppings and then came home and baked the cookies and let the kids go to town decorating them however they liked.

On another day while the Dario and Gabby were in school, Raquel, Roman, and I went to Zilker Park. We walked through the Botanical Gardens, rode the train through the park, let Roman play at the playground, and then Grandma bought snowcones and we relaxed and watched the pigeons before heading home again. I was wiped out from the heat. Apparently so was Roman because when everyone headed out to the pool later on, Roman puked in the pool 3 times. Good times.

Another day Raquel took the kids to the craft store to buy treasure boxes. They each picked out the box that they wanted (except Roman was more interested in this pirate ship), and brought them home and painted them. My camera batteries were dead when they were actually working on them so I don't have any pictures of the action, but this is what they look like now. Roman painted the ship all by himself. Gabby spent a lot of time on the details of her pink and purple box. Dario got a little treasure chest box, which I can't find right now to photograph, but it turned out really cute as well. Raquel had to leave at 4:30 am last Sunday to catch her flight in time, but she left a letter for each of the kids to find when they woke up in the morning. Those are the first treasures that went into their boxes, and will mean a lot to them for a long time I'm sure. Raquel, you are such a wonderful mother, mother-in-law, and grandma, and we're so blessed to have you in our lives!


Here's Dario on his inversion table. Reading. Reading here just as he reads everywhere else and at all times that he has a spare moment. Don't tell him I told you this, but he's been known to go into the bathroom and sit on the pot when he doesn't actually have any business to take care of there, just to get away and read without being bothered.

A typical conversation

Overheard in the backseat of the truck as we were driving home from church today:

Dario Jr: "Roman, I love you."
Roman: "I love you too."
Dario Jr: "Can I have a bite of your fruit loop necklace then?"
Roman: "NO!!"

Lofty goals

Dario Jr:

"Mom, when I grow up, I want to live in my car."

Way to aim high son. Way to aim high.