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.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ben 10

This weekend was Ben's 10th birthday.  Ten years.  I'm starting to see him as a kid that is growing older, and can easily visualize him as a teenager.
Pete and I couldn't think of anything that the kid needed, wanted, or would like if we chose it so for his birthday we gave him cash with a stipulation: he had to spend it all that day.
We spent the next 10 hours shopping (this plan was not well thought out - as I dread shopping of all kind.)

His first spend was a used guitar.  The guitar didn't cost much at all, but the guy that was servicing it ran over the instrument with the all-star service.  He even put new strings on it and polished a nice shine when he was finished.  
We picked up a few other things that he might need to make an electric guitar work (out of his birthday budget).  And he's already learned to play several tunes.   

Next stop: Dallas Galleria.  *GRUMBLE GRUMBLE!*  A mall is one thing and sometimes doable, the Galleria is completely off the grid when it comes to my shopping-tolerating abilities.  Thankfully, we were able to find his store quickly and he picked out a new skateboard.

This year Ben helped with his cake.  He made ALL the icing and designed the decorations.  We have to make another one for the party NEXT weekend and I definitely have changes in mind.