Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cavett's Final Kindergarten Field Trip

Today we headed to the Dallas Zoo.  We actually hadn't ever been there so it was an adventure for all!  I was a chaperone for Cavett's class and had him in a group with 3 other boys.  We met the bus at the zoo about 10:00 and off we went.

To my surprise and delight the kids were so well behaved and obeyed so well!  It was great fun for all of us and even more fun that Stephen and Kendrick got to go as well. 

Highlights of the day include, but are not limited to....

a snake eating a large mouse,

the gorillas chasing one another and then randomly surprising us with a loud high-five on the plate glass window where the kids faces were glued,

viewing the giraffe's up-close and personal,

the new African Savannah Exhibit,

 and the chipanzee mother cuddling her baby.

We are looking forward to going back so that we can enjoy more with the addition of riding the monorail next time. 

Last Baseball Hurrah

I was the Baseball team mom this season.  It wasn't too much of a chore.  I just had to email families each week to remind them of snack duties.  But, it also entailed an End of the Year Party.  With the backyard complete, we decided to have a pool party this past Sunday.  After much praying and nothing but cloudy, rainy, grey skies for several days, the clouds parted at 1:00, just in time for the party.  PTL!

A BIG thank you goes out to Coach Mac and Coach Brad--they are so great with the boys! 

After hamburgers, hot dogs and cupcakes, a great time was had by all and we ended up the season with some new friends. 

Cavett is looking forward to lots of practice this summer as he will be in machine pitch baseball at 40 mph.  Batting cages, here we come!  Kendrick will be able to chose a sport as well next fall, but it is still up in the air whether it will be soccer or baseball. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Smiles from the Garden

Last year we put in tons of hours putting in plants.  This year we are reaping the rewards.  Meet a few of my favorites and rare ones.
This is a Balloon flower, because of the way it buds.  Last year, we only got a few blooms and then it died...I thought.  This year, I have a glorious little  patch of interesting purple blooms.

This plant is a new addition this year, because I thought the Hostas got too much sun and didn't do well last year.  But, I spoke too soon, because the Hostas came up with vigor.  So now they are accompanied by 3 of these interesting Leopard plants, obviously named due to its yellow spots.

Nothing new about this set, but it is amazing how vigorous everything is growing--Yellow Sundrops, Pink Scullcaps, and Purple Veronica Royal Candles.

And you can't forget the mint in the container which I haven't transplanted or touched in at least 5 year.  It just keeps coming back!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I bet you think this is another potty-training post.....Wrong!

Kendrick has been talking about pets at school this week.  They read our favorite story, Harry the Dirty Dog and did a matching craft.  We sent in a picture of our own pet, Puccini.  But, today when I picked him up, he was coming home with a new pet--a hamster.  He was the cutest little brown puff ball with googily eyes and a tiny pink nose.  When I asked Kendrick what his hamster's name was, without hesitation, he replied, "Poo-Poo!"  So, we went with it.

Poo-Poo went to Costco with us this evening and we had great fun while saying, "Kendrick, can I hold your poo-poo?"  "Where is Poo-Poo?"  "Is Poo-Poo in your pocket?"  "Who has Poo-Poo?"  "Pick Poo-Poo up off the floor!"  "Can I pet your Poo-Poo?"  Really, I don't think anyone took any notice, but we laughed and it made the trip a bit more managable. 

Gotta love this kid's sense of humor!  Boys.....

To My Mother

So, I missed a Mother's Day blog.  It was kinda a busy day.  But, I don't want the year to pass without paying tribute to my own blessing in my life. 

Last night as I was sewing my curtains for the Master bedroom (the 5th set of which I have done) I realized again what a blessing my Mom is and was to me.  As a kid, I remember playing with my Fisher Price Little People at her side as she sewed some thing or another--smocked dresses or suits, ballerina costumes, etc.  Then later on as a teenager, I had an interest in making my own clothes and I had to learn to use the sewing machine anyway before I could drive.  She taught me how to take measurements, layout and cut patterns and sew all sorts of things.  (Zippers on the other hand, I watched her do.)  This skill has saved me thousands of dollars.  And, yes, I mean thousands. 

I also just discovered I had ants all over my bell peppers in the garden.  As I sprinkled 7-dust on them, I was again reminded of my mother.  Growing up we always had a small plot for vegetables.  She mainly and  always planted Better Boy tomatoes.  This year, I finally had the place and the energy to put some of my own tomato plants as well and only because of her, I knew exactly what to sprinkle the plants with and how to pinch off the suckers. 

Since my mind had been there all evening, I began to think about what was the main thing that my Mom taught me.  Immediately, I thought of Sunday evenings.  They were laid back dinners and usually not eaten at the table since we usually had a big lunch of roast beef, carrots and potatos.   That evening without a hint or suggestion she would make a roast beef sandwich for my Dad as he watched something on TV, 60 minutes I think it was.  I remember several times asking her, "Why can't he make it himself?"  I don't really ever remember her exact answer and I never really understood it because I was too self-centered, but it was unconditional love.  Love that is sacrificing and filled with the desire to serve others out of love.  Not because she had to, but because she wanted to and it wasn't for her own personal gain or a "look at me and how much I do" attitude.   It's the best lesson she ever taught me, but I never understood it until I had a family of my own.

So, when I feel like I don't want to match one more pair of socks, heat up one more plate of chicken nuggets, put away 5 pairs of shoes or pick up thousands of tiny LEGOS, I remember my mother and how she did it for twice as many kids as I have. 

There is a beautiful crown covered in jewels waiting for her in heaven.   For not only does she have faith that can move mountains, she also has the heart of Jesus in Mark and Isaiah--the Servant. 

"Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."  Mark 10:44

Yesterday as I was reading Dietrich Bonnhoeffer's biography in a chapter on leadership I came across the perfect quote.  He said, "The good leader serves others and leads others to maturity.  He puts them above himself, as a good parent does a child, wishing to lead that child to someday be a good parent."  Absolutely, my mother did this and still does.  I know that I am a better parent because of her. 

I love you Mom!  Happy Mother's Day again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A New Destination

The Hills have been in need for a new adventure.  It's been a while. 

We've been needing something or somewhere to go as a family that we had never done before.  When our new friends, The Gibbs, suggested we should go camping at Dinosaur Valley State Park, we said definitely!  The problem cam in that all the campsites were booked up---a year in advance for a Saturday night.  Then once we found some at a nearby state park, there was a severe burn ban which meant cooking became more difficult.  We decided to make it a day trip and that way the boys could be back in time for their baseball game that evening.

Saturday morning, we made a picnic lunch and checked the weather.  Unfortunately, it was a chilly 50 degrees and the high was to be only 70.  I put the kids in shorts but layered their shirts with long sleeves over.  I even threw in some jeans just in case.  But this Mom went the WRONG direction in clothing choices and my kids may never forgive me!  

Brady, Taylor, Cavett and Kendrick
We began at Dinosaur World which is an admission park where you walk a trail of over a 100 life sized dinosaurs.  If you went to the Heard Museum during their dinosaur walk, it was much like that, but not with animatronics.  The kids raced along the trail not even stopping to read anything about the dinosaurs. 

There was also a small museum where there were replicas of teeth, eggs, and bones.  Next came the fossil dig where you sifted through sand and found "fossils."  Jeff joked that he found one that said "Made in China."  They ended up with some shark teeth and a couple of other things that looked fossil-ish and the lady working gave them a fancy name.  It was ok.  But, what was to come was way better!

Our picnic lunch was had at the State Park and then off we were on our adventure.  This park is located on the Paluxy River, a tribuatary of The Brazos, and is well known for the many dinosaur footprints that have been found in the river bed.  The first one discovered in 1909.   Did you notice I said, "in the river bed?" 

The Blue Hole Trail was first and led us down a steep cliff to the waters edge of a deep swimming hole in the river. But on the shelf, before the drop off were the first tracks. Taylor and Brady came prepared. Their Mom had been there before and knew the kids would want to get in no matter how cold it was. Call me a stick in the mud! So, off they went. My kids got to climb the rocks instead which was pretty fun in and of itself.


The second trail crossed the river and had many roped off sections and signs showing more prints.  Again, my kids got the "Don't get too close and fall in!  Those are the only clothes you have to wear all day" speech over and over. 

We walked on down the river and beach combed, threw rocks in the water, and took in spectacular sights.  But the final set of tracks that we came upon were the best and unmarked. 

The hike back to the cars took us through the campsite and that is when we decided we have to come back and camp even if there is a burn ban.  This place is awesome and gorgeous!  So, maybe we will go on a Thursday and Friday when the kids are out of school. 

Also, the next time we go we will check out the other museum in town, Creation Evidence Museum.  Because if you've read Walt Brown's book and the Bible, everything dinosaur and prehistoric history realted in the worldview is completely inaccurate.