Thursday, July 31, 2014


At some point this summer, the Internet made us aware of a list of movies kids should see before they turn 13. And, since we always do what the Internet tells us, and since Ruth just turned 12, we decided we better get on it. Many of the movies were produced back before I turned 13, so it's been a summer of watching the movies of my own childhood/young adulthood, which has been fun (and somewhat shocking, when viewed/heard through parental eyes/ears). We've seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Karate Kid, Titanic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Sandlot, Big, "Crocodile" Dundee, and Back to the Future I, II and III. We've laughed at 80s fashion and learned some wonderful new lingo ("I know you are, but what am I"). But, mostly we've just enjoyed the opportunity to spend some quality time together in the evenings, staying up late and drinking in every moment of this sweet summer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"--Susan Sontag

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you have probably realized that our little family has serious nomadic tendencies. We absolutely love to travel. To go and do. To see and experience. It's kind of what makes us tick. We get a little restless when we are settled in one place for too long, knowing there are so many places out there we haven't been yet. And, we believe there is an education inherent to travel that is unequalled in any other arena. That's why, after much discussion, we have decided to take this show on the road. This next adventure is a big one and will take us around the world and back again. We plan to visit Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia (and New Zealand) and some of the parts of North America we have less experience with. We will take a leisurely pace, so as to make the most of the experience, and we will make up some of the itinerary as we go. The plane leaves on May 5, 2015, but the adventure begins now, with piles of research on every topic you can imagine (and maybe some you can't imagine)! We are so thankful for and excited about this opportunity! We hope you'll stick around for the journey. Please feel free to share ideas with us about places to visit or tips from your own adventures. Let's do this!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Potty Party

Clay managed to keep his undies dry and clean for a whole week*! Clearly, this was cause for a party. The deal was if he didn't have any accidents all week, we would take him out for frozen yogurt. Today was party day!! We are so proud of this big boy!

*Clay did have a little accident a few hours after the party, but it seemed as if he was on his way to tell us and just didn't make it in time. We decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. We are still very proud of his potty progress and are thankful that our diaper days appear to be almost at an end!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My public apology

Please let this serve as my public apology to everyone who has had the misfortune of interacting with me this month. Aside from a particularly heinous period, I have been trying to rid myself of my Diet Dr. Pepper addiction, and I'm not doing it very gracefully I'm afraid. The thought of not having my daily (or, okay, twice daily) Diet DP makes me grumpy. The act of it makes me worse. My plan was to go cold turkey when we got home from Florida, but I have cheated quite a few times, which probably just compounds the situation. One step forward, two steps back kind of thing. I never have thought of myself as a substance abuser, but clearly, I have a problem. Which is ridiculous. And, embarrassing. But, they say the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, there's that. Apologizing for wrongs also figures into the 12 Steps, so maybe I really am on my way to kicking the habit. In the meantime, I will try to be nice to you if we cross paths, but I really can't make any guarantees at this point. Just know, it's (probably) not you making me crazy. It's the (lack of) Diet Dr. Pepper.

Monday, July 21, 2014

3rd Weekend in July

 Fun in Houston...
Clay's first visit to Rain Forest Cafe

Lots of fun at Bass Pro Shop

Celebrating this little doll's first birthday

Meanwhile at Nana Camp…
3rd hot dog at the Round Rock Express game

Biker boys

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Halfway to Seven

Today was Max's half-birthday, which means lunch at Chuck E. Cheese's was inevitable. The kids had a blast, as always! It's hard to believe this guy is already 6 1/2!

dancing with Chuck

raining tickets

My favorite Chuck E. Cheese picture ever!

just what he's been wanting

new camera

Friday, July 11, 2014

Horse Camp

Ruth spent much of this week in Heaven, which the rest of us call Horse Camp. They worked on various skills, played some cool games (like musical chairs on horseback), and just had a blast. She is already asking me about attending the camp again the next time it's offered in the winter or spring.

Ruth and Silver Bullet

pure happiness

leader of the pack

musical chairs

the cheering section

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Let it go

Two months away from most of our worldly possessions has taught us that we have entirely too many worldly possessions. We lived minimally while we were away, and even then, many of the things we had with us went unused. When we returned home, we found a house full of things that we not only don't really need, but many that we don't even really want and have just been too lazy to take the time to get rid of. The American culture is one of consumerism, which tells us we need more things to be happier. We've bought into it. Literally. And I just have to tell you, it is a complete lie. In fact, in our family, we are often finding the opposite to be true. There is an inherent burden to owning things. So, with a little time on our hands this weekend, we have taken a critical look at our possessions, and a great many of them are no longer with us or will soon be moving on to a better place. Every one of us, from oldest to youngest, has been in on the purge, and I can sense a lightening in the household. Just by removing some of the clutter, we have also located a few items that we actually do care about, like a misplaced passport, the title to our van and a long lost pair of favorite shorts. If you've been to our house and you've seen something you love, just ask. There is a good chance I will be willing to part with it. However, if you are deluded into thinking that adding another thing to your collection will bring you more happiness, I will caution you that it is not very likely.

First of many similar loads to make their departure