Thursday, November 20, 2008

Braggin' On My Husband

As many of you know, we have been working on a "treehouse" for the kids. Well, it's for US too, we know they'll tire of it in a couple of years.

It is officially "done." Done is in quotes, because this type of project is never truly finished.... but in a good way! We have features that will be added over time - a trap door, a fireman's pole, a zip line. Aidan has already built the banister-mounted catapult.

Now, when I say "we" have been working on the clubhouse, I really mean RAY. He designed it (and modified the design countless times in this "design-as-you-build" project - hey, it's a treehouse, not the Taj Mahal!). He figured out how much of each type of lumber we'd need. The color scheme, everything. And then he built it. His only help was weakling me (remember this post?), and our two highly distractable children. A neighbor came and helped w/ the framing one day, Papa Bud spent a few days last spring break swinging a hammer with us, but really, it's all pretty much Ray.

I'm sure, by now, you're just dying to see what it looks like!

Well, I'll show you. If you have 3 minutes, click on the slide show. If you're more the "instant gratification" type, scroll down for ONE photo. If you want more - you'll have to check out the slide show.

Whaddya think? Isn't he amazing?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Soccer Mom Diaries

From Wikipedia : The phrase soccer mom generally refers to a white, married middle class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.

Tonight's schedule:

3:10 - Aidan emerges from school. There is no bus service for him as he is on a special schedule to allow time for swim practice.
3:25 - Arrive home with Aidan. Give him debriefing on the evening's schedule.
3:35 - Leave house for Bridget's school. SHE didn't take the bus today because she has UIL practice after school for 45 minutes.
4:00 - Arrive back home with Bridget.
4:15 - Leave house w/ Aidan for the 'carpool rendezvous'
4:35 - Arrive back home
5:15 - Leave with Bridget for her 5:40 swim practice
5:40 - 6:15 - Hit grocery store
6:15 - Pick Bridget up from swim practice
6:40 - Arrive back home, feed Bridget
7:30 - Leave to retrieve Aidan from 'carpool rendezvous' site.
7:40 - Arrive back home with Aidan
What is that? Like 4.5 hours in the car? Lucky I like my car!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Smartie Pants

ALERT! More braggin' on my kids!

Can I just brag on my Little Miss for a bit?

She is an Academic Triathlete.

This morning was her school's contest for the National Geographic Geography Bowl. Bridget was one of 10% of 4th & 5th graders that qualified.

In about a month, she is representing her school in the state academic competition, UIL. She is doing "Ready Writing" where she is given a topic and a certain amount of time in which to compose an essay. She had to try out, and is one of three 4th graders from her school doing this.

And a few weeks after that, she is one of about a dozen kids who qualified to compete on behalf of her grade in the first step of the Scripps Spelling Bee.

I credit her love of reading. Books expose you to the world at large and she often has her nose in one, kinda like me when I was a kid. I can remember when she first began reading, she would sit in Ray's lap and read Forbes and Business Week to him. Obviously, some of it stuck!

The Geography Bee was hard! I was amazed at some of the questions, especially towards the end. Bridget got knocked out about Round Three, I think. But there is always next year.

And, like the movie stars say, it's an honor just to be nominated.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If you don't go vote, you lose the right to complain about anything governmental. So there.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Our little chef and ghoul, ready for a fun night of trick or treating.

As always, it was a lot of fun. The weather was absolutely perfect!

Because we live in a semi-rural area with no streetlights, sidewalks, and a lot of distance between the houses, it's easier to transport the kids from each cluster of homes by trailer. There are several in our area, and they get decorated with lights, hay, etc. The family we went with had us all over for pizza before hand.

Once it was dark, the kids loaded up on the trailer, accompanied by a small flotilla of golf carts. I've renamed my neighbor's 'hood "The Hickory Springs Country Club" due to the number of golf carts they have! Right before we took off, "Freddie Kruger" burst out of the woods complete with goalie mask and running chainsaw. You've never heard 15 little girls scream so loud!

Our last stop of the evening was a real treat. There is a small, private riding facility on our road, a very high-end place. Some of the best riders in the nation have trained there. We went to trick or treat there, but nobody was home but the horses. So, we went into the barn and found treats for the horses and met them all before heading home.

It was a great fall evening!