Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December catch up

Let's work this one backwards...  

It's the old cliche': I just can't believe it's almost Christmas and another year has passed.  

Today - Ben competed in the Spelling Bee at school.  He did REALLY good, and was devastated when he missed his word.  Kangaroo.  He spelled it was a 'C'.  He sat down next to me, spelled it and again started with a 'C'.  I looked at him and said 'K' and the look on his face was complete distress.  He said that's what was in his head, and he couldn't believe he said 'C'.  He then sat there and preceded to spell the other contestants words to me and nailed every one.  

Last night was the annual "we don't own enough chairs" school choir concert.  Why they haven't figured this out yet I have no idea.  They invite the families of 120 students and only own 100 chairs.. BLARG.  We have THREE close high schools we could have the event at in one of the performing art buildings instead of this disaster.  Fortunately for us this year, the kids were to arrive at 530 and they didn't unlock the doors until 530.  We were in the first dozen people to walk in and by the time we got claimed our seats in the 3rd row I heard people say all the chairs were taken.  

Ben's choir group performed a few songs while Kindergarten and First grade performed one each and one together.   Below is our dearest neighbor Emma Lee.

Last weekend we took the family to see my 99 yr old grandma.  We had a great visit and she was delighted to see us, especially the boys.  On our way home I had made appointments for the boys to experience glass blowing.  They made there own glass ornament.  And by made I mean picked the colors and used their own hot air.  It was a ton of fun and they are excited for them to arrive in the next few days.  (The glass is 2400 degrees F while working with it, and below when he is putting the stem on he said it was still 900 degrees.  The glass has to sit for a few days for it to be ready to handle.) 

Nice red backdrop right?  Thanks to our new Target right down the road!  We were out Christmas shopping and waiting for Dear old Dad.  

A few weekends ago the Choir had Christmas in the park.  A couple of schools participated and there was a tree lighting with Santa.  This will be a nice event in the coming years.  

Early December we ran the Reindeer Romp.  Cloudy did so great with his 3rd 5k.  He FINALLY has the endurance.  I think this is his second race at around 38 minutes.  Ben and I ran up front and I think I'm a pacer for his first 2 miles.  After that he just leaves me behind.  We both finished around 26.  I don't have a picture of him because he finished before me.  


Sunday, December 6, 2015


 In October Talus Mae turned 18 and a few weeks later on November 6th she joined Bailey on the Rainbow Bridge.   We miss her dearly but we also know that the past few years have been extremely hard on her.

At the end of the six weeks our school teachers pick a kid to recognize.  Cloudy's teacher chose him because he is the ideal student.  He is helpful, he listens to directions and understands how to follow them.   It's sweet that she chose him.  

 For years we've been telling Ben it is a favorite award and an award given to students that need that extra incentive to be better.  (He's never received it, even though all his teachers have always raved about him in classroom and out).  So when his music teacher nominated him for Eagles in Flight, we all had a big laugh at his disappointment.  I think his words were "I must really suck at music".  
He doesn't, he made Honor Choir for the school district.  He had to audition twice!  During his first audition he sang in a lower octave and instead of throwing him out, they realized how good he was and had him come back and sing on the written octave.  If he was horrible they wouldn't have gone out of their way to give him a second chance.  

Cloudy ran his first 5k!  We all participated in a Veterans Day run down by the Trinity.  I ran with Ben while Pete ran with Clouds.  Ben ran a quick 28:06 5k which secured him 1st while Cloudy ran the entire course without stopping and placed 4th in the age group with a 38:14.  (Third place kid was in front of him by 5 seconds and way older.)    

November 16th Tom moved to Ridgmar!  I went with him to check out the apartment before boxes were delivered and we had lunch.  The food is really good.  

On Tuesday boxes were delivered and I'm disappointed we didn't think to stop for a few seconds and take a photo.  Boxes were completely filling the office.  There was only one way in, and if you wanted to go through you had to go over.   THE BOYS LOVED IT.   

Kindergarten performed a Thanksgiving play and had a "feast" for the kids.   Cloudy was Chief Massasoit. 

We all participated with the Unicycle Club in the Ft Worth Parade of Lights.  The parade was moved to the weekend before Thanksgiving which stinks because my parents weren't able to attend.  It was lots of fun for Cloudy and me as it was our first parade with the club.  One of the members was dressed like Santa and the kids at the Parade (and even in the parade -- CLOUDY) LOVED that Santa was on a unicycle.   Unfortunately the parade officials only allow ONE Santa in the parade and told the kid to take a hike.  

Ben had a sleepover so Cloudy decided it would be a great night for a movie! Solo dates with mom and dad are the best.  He couldn't go see the Peanuts Movie without his Snoopy shirt (knitted by NanaJan).  

For Thanksgiving we had Tom and my parents here with a surprise but very welcomed visit by Matthew.  

Saturday, December 5, 2015


 This dog -- he was so super sweet and loved the boys.  He was smart and enjoyable to hang out with.  He loved being right up in your lap.  He hated sharing ANYTHING with Luke and that led to several bloody battles.  Reluctantly we had to take him back to the Humane Society so he could enjoy a life without fighting.  (He was adopted 2 weeks later!!!) 

Cloudy learned how to stay up on the wakeboard (for longer than 2 minutes).  

October brought several trips to Arkansas to help PawPaw prepare for his move to Fort Worth.  And we managed to sneak in a morning to War Eagle.  Saw some of our favorites crafts and found some new favorites.

Ben ran his first 10k: Survivors Challenge in Ft Smith

The school has Red Ribbon week leading up to Halloween.  They don't allow the kids to celebrate Halloween with a party or costumes.  Instead they have things like Wacky Hair Wednesday.  We kind of go over the top (a bit0.  
Ben the Buck
Cloudy with Surfer riding a wave and a shark (both are Pintrest finds). 

The boys halloween costumes.  Edward Scissorhands and Cloudy is an Inkling from a WiiU game called Splatoon.  
Our neighbor has an insane amount of halloween decor so we set up an actual Haunted House in her garage and it was a HUGE hit!  I had so much fun scaring the piss out of people until the one kid gut punched me.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cloudy turns 6

On Friday, September 4th Cloudy turned 6!  And on Thursday September 3rd he turned toothless.  On Saturday September 5th we had a party.

Cloudy is starting to enjoy school after two weeks.  His favorite part is recess and his least favorite part is riding the bus, because sometimes his friend in the neighborhood doesn't always ride home and he has to sit by himself.
Thursday he came home skipping off the bus, walked inside to put his backpack away and returns in sobs.  He tells me he lost his tooth (his remaining top front tooth).  I assure him it's ok and check out his new smile, but nothing will do to console him.  Come to find out he not only lost it (fell out of his head) but he LOST it (fell out of his lunch box) and he was so concerned that the Toothfairy wouldn't bring him cash.
I had him write a note explaining what happened and place it under his pillow where he would place his tooth.  To his amazement the Toothfairy is very reasonable AND generous.  (She pays double on holidays and birthdays - and apparently day before birthdays!)

Friday I had lunch at school with Cloudy and took his class cupcakes.  He told me that his class still hadn't sang Happy Birthday to him and he didn't understand why.  When the boys arrived home we opened presents and Cloudy chose supper: Sushi!
Saturday we had the Perot boys down for swimming and cake and games.  Cloudy did pretty good for his birthday.  Pete got home a Kindle reader and that's all Cloudy needed to catch the bug!  He has read 6-7 books on it already.  His other favorite gift are bongos, and he's surprisingly pretty good at it too.

Other news:  Last weekend, we rescued a dog and have named him Dobby.  I was aiming for a small dog and we fell for a large puppy - OOPS.  HE LOVES the boys (and people in general).  He does great on a leash, working really hard on learning sit, stay, down and thinks he is a lap dog.  He doesn't swim, but will play on the swim platform while we swim, and he is the king at playing fetch.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Day of the School Year

The time finally came.  We were ready and barely made it tear-free.  Yesterday the guys started school for the year.  Ben in FIFTH grade and Cloudy in KINDERGARTEN!  

2015 (above) 
2014 (below) 

Ben insisted on wearing jeans and a long-sleeve shirt while Cloudy insisted on a bow-tie!  At least I was able to roll his sleeves and we talked him into shorts.   Then the bus came, we could barely get Ben to stand with us while we waited.  Oh what's that?  No we didn't send Cloudy on the bus for the first day of school, we drove him and took our obligatory photos (below), but Benjamin-son was entirely to cool to ride with us to school.  

As if the first day of school isn't crazy enough outside our school sitting on the train tracks was the circus, LITERALLY!!! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Summer Vacation

Last week we escaped the heat and took a little summer vacation before everyone starts school on TUESDAY!  

First stop: Palo Duro Canyon State Park 
We hiked a little in the 100* heat and we saw the TEXAS outdoor musical.   We had the WORST camping neighbors that night.  They stayed up till 4am and annoyed the heck out of us.  So when the lightening started at 0600 we rolled out and Pete made as much noise as possible trying to wake up their screaming kids.  

Second stop: Great Sand Dunes National Park 
We rented a board and all tried our skills at sand boarding.  It was so much fun and so much work!  Pete and I only went a few times because the hike back up in the sand was worse than any snow sledding we could recall.  


Third Stop: Ruby Mountain and the Arkansas Headwaters.  
We had the best site here!  We were right on the water and we watched the rafters come by all morning  prepping us for our trip in the afternoon.  

The next morning the boys tried their luck canoeing the waters by our site.  Drop in was one mile down from our campsite and mostly just small waters.   Unfortunately, on the last turn Tipsy Too took a rock and didn't survive.  Some rafters grabbed the boys and the tacoed Tipsy and brought them the last 100 yards to the site.  We left Tipsy for scrap to the guy who "rescued" the boys.  What a story they have to tell for the first day of school. 

Our final destination: Rocky Mountain National Park 
Can't really complain about our site here either!  The park attendant said it was their best site.  We did lots of hiking, spent some time in the Alpine Tundra and saw lots of critters (moose, elk, deer, and marmots).   The weather was just perfect and even a little on the cold side at night.  Ok, a lot cold at night -- think 30s.  The boys became Jr Rangers at yet another national park.  The Ranger that talked with them was the best!

On our last day there we stopped in Estes Park at Haley's where Aunt Nancy and Christy had informed us of the BEST root beer float.  IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!  And in our true style we left the return trip open ended.   We hauled south and drove through the worst sand storm in the Colorado plains.  We could barely see the lines painted on the road and I was barely moving 5mph.   Thank you Colorado for that experience!  We arrived home early this morning to one extremely happy Luke and a sound sleeping Tally, a few dead plants, and overgrown grass.