Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bye Bye Birdie(s)

Baby birds about a week old.
Last pic I have before they flew away - about 12 days old.
Random roadrunner in our back yard - they are fast!

Free, free, free at last - to open and close our front door without fear of baby birds or their parents entering the house! Woohoo!!!! Free from having to direct visitors to enter through our dirty garage and cluttered laundry room! We have been front-door-less for about a month now, and it feels good to have it back. Yes, our baby birds are all grown up and flew the coop a couple of days ago, exactly 2 weeks from the day they hatched. From best we can tell, 4 out of 5 survived their stay dangling on our front door wreath, a stay that included a pretty nasty storm one night - I was convinced we would have a front porch full of baby birds to clean up before the kids woke up the morning after the storm. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly they grow - I bet their momma's heart is breaking somewhere for only having them as babies in the nest for 2 weeks. It was also interesting that they all flew away on the same day. Our kids all took their first steps at much different times (Aaron- 9 months, Caleb- 15 months, Leah- 14 months) so it was rather fascinating that God created these birds to all to be ready & able to fly away at the same time. Once they flew away and never returned, we were quick to take down the wreath (having been told it is common for them to lay more eggs) and spray off the front door from all the "evidence" that multiple birds had been living their for weeks. It has also been a bird week for us - a random roadrunner has been hanging out in our backyard (I had no idea they could climb a fence, much less get on the the very top of our neighbor's roof*), AND we had one of neighbor's chicken's get into our backyard and stuck in our one cactus plant! (NO idea chickens could climb a fence either!*). So there is your bird update for the week. Hopefully this will be the final chapter in our bird saga.

* I say climb, but my brother was quick to point out that birds FLY. We watched it happen though. I will settle for "leap." Perhaps being a bird, there was some flying support in the process, but for the most part, feet were on the ground/fence/roof!

Psalm 84:3 The Message

3-4 Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 9 - The Last Day of Spring Break

This post was suppose to read, "and we rested." Instead it reads, "and Aaron woke up at 5:30am throwing up." Spring Break was officially over!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break Days 6, 7, 8

Setting up the tent. Served as a great "playpen" area during the day too.
This is Caleb's "I was hiding so good while playing hide & seek that I had a accident." I don't get it - the boy who is constantly peeing in public any chance he gets and he wets himself while hiding behind a tree! Why didn't he just pull his pants down like he had done an hour earlier!
Lots of fun climbing trees. Aaron actually would get quite high. Leah of course thought she should too.
Our sweet Caleb
Loving Leah in pigtails!

Grammy and Leah - don't let this pic fool you, Leah was very much on the go most of the time!
Aaron got pretty good at casting the line this trip!
Caleb also perfected the cast. The boy LOVES to fish! We did not catch any fish this trip.
The one and only pic of me with at least one child this whole Spring Break trip! Not a good pic of camping me, but it at least documents my presence on all these adventures.

Well, it took at least a week, but I am finally blogging about the last "leg" of our Spring Break adventure. (Side note: Why am I blogging all this? Because these kids have drained every last ounce of memory muscle from my brain so at least this way I can look back & read about it all one day when the kids are teenagers and dislike each other immensely). On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Spring Break we went camping at the Kerrville Schreiner Park. This is a great park with tons of trails, wildlife, a playground, butterfly garden and of course the Guadalupe River for fishing and such. We are fortunate that my parents have a camper so it makes the whole camping thing much less intimating with all these young kids. In fact, on Thursday night both Aaron and Caleb stayed the night in the camper with Grammy and Papa, while Scott and I took Leah home to sleep at the house for the night - now, that is my kind of camping! And about the only kind I would recommend with a one-year-old for that matter. This trip was also great because the burn ban has FINALLY been lifted. Smores were enjoyed by all both nights! On Friday night, the plan for Scott to stay overnight in the tent with the boys. Caleb ended up coming home for the night with me and Leah so Scott and Aaron got to have very memorable father/son night. They took a hike in the dark to spotlight nighttime creatures and spotted lots of deer, 7 rabbits and 1 cat. They did shadow puppets in the tent. Scott slept on an air mattress (that deflated multiple times during the night), while Aaron refused any extra padding and slept in his sleeping bag on the hard ground. The boy loves all things nature! It was a fun trip and good way to end Spring Break.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break Day 5

Happy birthday fuzzy, ugly baby birds.

Hooray for Peeps, Robins Egg candy and Egg cookies!!! And thank you Nana for the cupcakes!

Hooray for impromptu party guests! Look, I even had baby chick napkins and plates leftover from a baby shower. Go figure.
These cousins always have a blast together - those Peeps were gone in record time too!

Leah loving her new self-declared status as a big girl!

Aw, Day 5 - the day when all we had on the agenda was driving back home, doing laundry and get ready for our camping trip. But wait, what is this text I am getting from Scott .... "we have baby birds!" Yes, our baby birds have been born much to the kids' delight! We were driving home when we got the news so Aaron & Caleb spent the trip naming the birds and were quick to announce that we MUST have a baby bird birthday celebration that night for "Housey, Finchy, Flight, Cheeps and Chirpy." Thank goodness Nana had cupcakes on-hand! Once we got home, I headed to the store to complete the party vision, while Aaron quickly drew bird decorations. Fortunately for uncrafty and beyond tired me, bird and egg shaped treats are in full supply at the store right now - hooray, very easy! And thank goodness for cousins visiting in town that made for quick party guests. :) The only flaw to this day was when the cousins were oohing and ah-hing over the baby birds, one bird flopped out of the nest and took a dive down SPLAT to our front porch - eek!!! Scott was a hero and scooped the bird up with some paper and put it back in the nest. From best we can tell, it has survived. I think it was probably "Flight." The next day another bird fell out, and Scott was NOT there to retrieve it so I had to while squealing in disgust. Ew! So far so good on the baby birds. They grow & change every day, and it has been neat for the kids to be able to see it all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break Day 4

Pretty girls all ready for bed!
Boys all ready for bed!
Leah sliding down the water tunnel slide at the zoo! All 3 kids loved this!
Aaron and Leah really loved the teepees!
Mr. Popular Meerkat.

Leah loved this orangutang! She even tried to pose in other people's pics with it.

Best tiger we have seen - up close & active, although he seemed rather interested in Caleb.
Aaron insisted I get this pic!

Day 4 is the day that almost didn't happen. By this point in the trip, I was beyond exhausted with the travel, stress of all these activities and keeping track of 3 kiddos, several days in a row with no real nap for Leah (she kept getting 5 minute cat-naps in the car, etc.), oh, and lack of sleep from sleeping in the same room with my 3 not very good sleepers! The kids and their mommy were a bit whiny by this point in the trip. Luckily, my friend Jennifer gave me a pep talk, and we proceeded with our plans to spend day 4 with them in Waco. :) I woke up early in Dallas in order to get the kids and car loaded up for our next adventure - driving through downtown Dallas at 8:00am! This really was not bad at all and we managed to get to Waco time in record time, which was good because we were meeting friends at the Waco zoo which was predicted to have record crowds! In all our years living and visiting Waco, I have never been to the Cameron Park Zoo - it was surprisingly GREAT! The morning was nice and overcast at first and the animals were active (much to Aaron's approval). It was busy but manageable. Highlights were getting to see an orangutang and meerkat up close (not at the San Antonio zoo) , the monkey play area for the kids, seeing a bear swim, riding through a slide next to river otters. After the zoo we headed my friend Jennifer's house for the rest of the day/night. Here something wonderful happened - Leah took a REAL afternoon nap! Hallelujah! And while she napped the boys and I rested for over an hour - Praise the Lord! So needed! The boys had a blast playing the rest of the day with Mason while Leah and Haley played with jewelry. We attempted to have a big sleepover for the boys all in one room - took them a while to settle down but eventually Caleb & Mason did fall asleep and stay put all night long while Aaron joined me and Leah in the other room. It was a great visit! Thanks Jennifer for everything!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break Day 3

Picnic in the park!
In the war exhibit at the Flight Museum, we told Alayna & Caleb to pose like this man - it was stillest they were all whole trip!
Great observation tower in the play area - Caleb stayed up here forever until we realized he was actually scared to come down... and yes, I climbed all the way to get him (and another random kid) down - Caleb managed to fall still so I didn't do too great of a job!

Leah loved the steps of this plane - complete with drivers seats and slide exit.
Outside the museum -
Driving the toy plane

In the World War II exhibit learning about their Papaw.
Southwest Plane - Kasey and I determined that this would be a miserable flight with this many kids!

Day 3 started off with a trip to Celebration Park just north of Dallas to meet up with my college roomie Amy and her two girls. Aaron declared this the "best park ever!" It was HUGE and fun, and I have absolutely no pics of of the actual playground b/c it was nuts trying to keep track of all the kids! We did get them all in one spot for a picnic lunch though. It is always good to see Amy, and the kids had a blast! After a failed attempt at nap time at my sister's, we headed to the Flight Museum at Lovefield located very close to her apartment. This was a great place and well-kept secret since it was not overrun with Spring Break kids. The museum in full of all types of airplanes but the biggest hits were the Southwest airplane they got to go in and the great indoor flight themed UNCROWDED playground. We stayed there for almost 2 hours! And only managed to lose one kid for a short time on this outing. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break Day 2

Firetruck station at the children's museum.
The boys loved this nose that sneezed out air - gross!
Leah posing with a dino head.
Kids were thrilled to get to see such a big dino display! They are posing like dinos here.
Lagoon outside the museum - Leah was confined to her stroller by this point!

On day 2 we headed to Dallas to stay with my sister for a couple of nights. The cousins are all close in age and always have fun together. We got to Dallas and headed to the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science. We started off in the Science building which had loads of favorites for the kids - full size dinosaur skeletons, a dino dig, full children's museum with tons of interactive displays, etc. It was very nerve-racking for me to have all three kiddos without Scott there to help keep an eye on them all. Luckily my sister and brother-in-law went also so it was 3 adults to 5 kids - Leah was the only who went unaccounted for about 10 (very long) seconds. Thus, most of these pics are of the boys b/c I tried to keep Leah strapped into her stroller as much as she would allow. The Nature museum was not as much as a hit as I thought it would be for the kids - it was full of "stuffed" real animals... Aaron informed me that he "well, kind of likes it better when the animals are alive and active."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break Day 1

Let the Spring Break blogging begin! Expect this to take several days until fully updated - I figure I will just take it day by day. This was our first real Spring Break with Aaron being in school, and we are making the most of the break! Spring Break started off with a fun sleepover at Nana & Poppa's for the boys. The next morning we headed to a birthday party for one of Caleb's friends that lives on a farm. The kids loved the camo theme, as well as the baby bunnies, goats and chicks! A highlight for Caleb was being the one to bust open the pinata (thus supplying us with way too much candy for the road trip to follow). After the party, we headed out on our Spring Break adventure - the adventure part was that Scott had to stay to work so it was just me and the 3 kids touring Texas together. It was a rainy day so we slipped & slid all the way to Waco for our first stop at my grandmother Glenda's house. The kids really love Glenda and enjoy staying the night at her house. Highlights were reading books with Glenda, Aaron telling her ALL he knew about animals, Uncle Jeff's old toy train, stuffed animals galore, fun in the tub, and Leah saying "Glenda" in her sweet baby voice. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spelunking We Will Go

Inside Longhorn Cavern... notice Aaron's exploring backpack - he likes to be prepared!
Grammy & Aaron
Leah all ready for the cave tour - this is how I hoped she would stay for the entire tour (or maybe even fall asleep) ... no such luck! She was cutest little spelunker around though!
Leah stylin' on the drive home
Bald eagle spotting!
Marking the eagle off in his book.

Eagle & nest is behind them
Caleb's "Kung Fu" pose on the rock he said was meant for posing like this...

My parents treated me and the kids to a Saturday trip to Longhorn Cavern outside of Burnet. It was fun day! The first big excitement was getting to see the bald eagle and nest outside of Llano ... us and about 30+ bird watchers who looked to be set up for the long day. The kids thought this was great, and Aaron was quick to get his guide book out of his ever present "exploring backpack" to mark it off his list. Next stop of was Longhorn Cavern. We had a picnic lunch, and the kids explored a nearby field that they accurately named "Cactus Field." The cavern tour was next. This was a big cavern and the tour took about an hour and half. Leah was with us this time around because the caverns is mostly stroller friendly. She did pretty good although she grew tired of her stroller after about 30 minutes. I spent the last hour of the tour either carrying her (against her very determined will) or Caleb who was getting tired ... an hour 1/2 of walking through a cave is a tad too long for a 1 year and 3 year old. The cave itself was really neat and surprisingly vast and worth the extra workout I got. The kids traveled great and really enjoyed their special Saturday outing with Grammy & Papa.