Friday, April 25, 2008

It's electric...wooga-wooga

Very cool footage of my oak tree in a lightning storm. The camera didn't pick up all of the lightning. It was almost always light to some degree and the thunder was a constant rumble that never stopped. Cool.


Lake Pointe Lasers

AJ tried out for the Lake Pointe Lasers this weekend and did great. She actually tried out with the 7/8 year old team on accident and still did great! You will notice at the end they are all alone in the pool. That is because a 3 hour try-out and swim party apparently wasn't enough. They stayed and swam well after everyone else went home.

The pool opened the first week of April and we are already getting our money's worth out of it. Everyday AJ just walks to the pool after school and we meet her there and swim until Brett calls to say he's coming home. Tonight he worked late so we were there until 7:00. That is from 2:45-7:00, over 4 hours and I still had to drag the kids away!


Friday, April 18, 2008

AJ's class spent a very fun couple weeks learning all about butterflies. She can do a killer butterfly life-cycle poster. I'll have to scan it and put it up. She probably knows more about butterflies that I do, and I have a degree in zoology.

Anyway to cap it all off they had a butterfly migration. All the kindergartners dressed up in costumes they made at school and flew through 3 big arches labeled Canada–>Texas–>Mexico. After each leg of the migration they roosted by gathering up in bunches squatting on the ground. It was a beautiful breezy day and the contrast of the orange wings on the green grass was dazzling.

Friday, April 11, 2008

100 years young...

Jack and I were waiting for AJ at school, playing on the playground. Some kids ran up to him asking him what class he was in, how old he was, trying to figure out who he was. He kept telling them he was waiting for his sister. Frustrated that they weren't getting it, he pointed emphatically to me. One of the kindergartners said,

"That's not your sister. She is like a hundred years old."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Look out American Idol


Here is AJ in the little musical all of the Kindergardeners and 1st graders performed. The songs they sang were super cute and yes...they did have choreography! You will have to excuse the shaky camera work, Jack was trying to climb up my leg.

On a side note, the boy standing on the right is Storm–her first crush.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pandora Sphinx Moth

Check out this awesome moth Jack found at AJ's school yesterday. I looked around online and identified it as a Pandora Sphinx moth. It looked just like hunting camo. Super cool and beautiful. We kept it in our terrarium all day so the kids could show it off to all their neighborhood friends, then let it go in the evening. I hope it lays its eggs close, I'd love to see more of them.

In other butterfly/moth news, we've got quite a menagerie of caterpillars right now. We've got a monarch, 3 viceroy, 1 swallowtail and 4 huge cecropia moth caterpillars. I'll post on those soon–they are amazing.

But I thought this guy was worthy of a shout out. LOVE the bugs here (most of them anyway. The Cicada Wasps are one of the creepiest things I have ever seen! And we could certainly do without the fire ants.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

A new addition

Meet the newest member of our family–"Scarecat" the scarecrow. AJ did the artwork and obviously birds would be the most scared of a scary cat, something I hadn't thought of.

We are beginning to have a grackle problem. So AJ suggested the scarecrow. I don't have very high hopes for scaring the birds, but it makes me smile every time I look out the back windows.

For those of you unfamiliar with grackles–just imagine a smallish crow who acts like a pit bull on crack. They are SOOO loud, and SOOO aggressive (they will steal food right out of your hand) and I've heard they will eat up tomatoes in nothing flat, so we are going to have to take some drastic measures. Tomato stealing is a capitol offense in my book!

T-Ball Opener

Just the cutest ball player EVER!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy 4th Ysabel!!!

Wish we could have been there.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lady bird Johnson Wildflower Center

I chaperoned AJ's class on a field trip to the wildflower center. It turns out to be just past the park we went to a couple Sundays ago that I just loved. So it is very close, and very beautiful. Take a look.

The Watts Victory Garden

Some of you may know that I am trying to return to the basics, trying to live a more "old fashioned" lifestyle if you will. Moving here forced us to take stock and really cut back where we could. Not only monetarily, but in other ways. I have awaken to the fact that we have way too much stuff, and too many distractions that don't add anything, and often detract from, our family.

So that being said, I have started looking for ways to become more self-sustained as a family. We not longer eat out, we've taught the kids about needs vs. wants, I make all of our bread, I am trying to learn to sew (not going well!) One of the skills I really want to learn is gardening. Eventually I'd like to grow a good percentage of our food. (I have a 5 and 10 year plan!) To learn the nut and bolts of real farming/gardening, I plan to volunteer at a farm co-op in the fall when Jack starts pre-school, but in the meantime we made a few small beds in our backyard and started a little garden for ourselves.

It has been really fun for the kids–they love peas! In fact I can't ever collect any because they go out there every single day and eat what they can find. We have had limited success, but we will keep working at it. It has been a learning experience. Here is a little slideshow.