Thursday, November 20, 2008

Alex's second grade Thanksgiving concert

This evening Alex performed in the second grade concert, he had the opening speech. Alex had spent a couple of weeks learning the lines and was ready- although they gave him the speech on a piece of paper in case he needed it, so Alex just read the paper!!! It shows some sense, why remember when they are going to give you the words!! I knew he knew it, and was very proud. My first attempt at putting some video on the blog, so lets hope it works. Having sat here for ages, I think this is a large file!! Allan says 191MB is big, so not sure how it will work on the blog. [Indeed the upload failed, no reason was given. Will try again later - Allan]

Bens pumpkin pie class activity

Ben made pumpkins pie yesterday, November 19th 2008, in his class. each table had to make the pie from scratch( well tinned pumpkin is hardly scratch!!!), the pastry case and then make up the mixture for the centre of the pumpkin pie. He enjoyed making the pie, the school canteen cooked them( and actually burnt them all!!!) and today for snack time they ate them. Some children had 4 or 5 slices. Ben had the obligatory' must try it two mouth fulls' and just went on to the whipped cream. The other mums ate it, but I was with Ben. I am going to make my own - from scratch. the pumpkins are sitting on the side in our kitchen, and then we will see what the family as a whole think of Pumpkin Pie. One of the mum's said to me, "I love pumpkin Pie, but only eat it at Thanksgiving", it must be a tradition like our Christmas pudding, which I love but only eat at Christmas.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What radio station do I listen too

We all seem to listen to a different station, and I will ask Allan to let you know what he has the car tuned too, but the station I usually have on is magic on 95.5, if you wanted a taste of Austin then the link is I usually wake up to this and have it on for a few hours each day, then actually I get fed up with the adverts, or their blatant promotion of products. It is fine in small doses. I am listening from 0545, which is in the afternoon for you, so feel free to tune in and get our weather, news and at the moment Christmas songs in full pelt.
Cara listens to a totally different one again- very noisy and makes me feel old. I think her station is Kiss, but will confirm that for you as well.

My Wilton cake course No.2

I have just finished my course 2, this was all about making flowers out of royal icing and colour flow, so the only cake we made was this end one, so you have not had many pictures recently.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our cooler Fall weather

I have not been putting the weather on recently, but thought you might like to see the temperatures are cooling down, so for those of you who prefer the lower temperatures this would be a good time of year to visit, they should stay lower now until February when they will start increasing again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Science night

Alex, Ben and I (Allan) attended the Baranoff science night last Thursday. The school (well, the PTA probably) laid on pizza and drinks for us and about 100 other parents and children and after the meal we went inside to discover a bit about science.

Alex immediately disappeared and Ben and I found him on the science web sites on the computers, he was very enchanted by the simulation of the earth going round the sun and the effect that the earth's inclination had on the seasons. Ben and I made a rolling measure from a paper plate and a bit of wood. We also had a go at sticking a skewer through a balloon, much to Ben's disgust - a waste of a perfectly good balloon in his eyes.

We also extracted the 'dust', for want of a better name, that absorbs the dampness in babies' nappies and watched as it swelled up when water was added. We also tried to see if we could magnetise a nail, which we did not manage, much to my disappointment.

Amongst other experiments were adding Borax to white glue and food colouring to make something resembling 'silly putty' and we watched dry ice bubbles. Alex popped up from time to time, he'd been examining how not all black inks were the same by allowing the ink to be diluted in water on filter paper.

All in all an enjoyable night, even if we didn't actually find any iron particles in our iron enhanced cereal!

Election Day

On November 4th we had an election over here in The States, not sure if you had all heard back in UK!! I went with a friend to watch her vote and see what there polling stations are like. It was an interesting set up, with no ID needed, you just handed over you voting card, asked if you still lived at the same address and then issued with a 4 digit number to input into the machine. Once in the machine, you could select a party, and then all candidates for that party would be selected, or go through and individually select your candidates, and you always had the option to abstain for a selection. Once done you just hit the large button and away you went. the process was very quick, Emily and I were in and out within 4 minutes. In actual fact the votes do not go directly to the candidate, they go to another level of voters, who then make the final vote for the State, taking in to account the wishes of the voters in that state. You could vote early for the election as well, we have had voting booths set up in Randals, a local store for a few weeks before the election, to try and cut down queuing times.

Alex's first school trip

On November 3rd Alex had his first school trip which was to a butterfly farm, called wild Connections. I can tell you it was 14 miles away as I had to cycle there to join the field trip as the car was in the garage!!! All helps towards the marathon training- positive thinking is always a good thing.

They went in the yellow school buses, and all the second grade classes went( six in total). It was a beautiful day weather wise and lots of butterflies were out. The children all enjoyed the butterfly house, the nature trail and education centre where they saw a film and learnt a lot more about butterflies than already covered in the subject at school. Of course there was the obligatory shop at the end, where Alex bought himself a poster on venomous snakes of Texas- ready for you to study when you come out and visit. You can never be too careful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More costumes

The Trick or Treater came!!

It was a fun night, and just like it is portrayed in American movies( well maybe not the scary ones!) Alex and Ben went off with Allan and another family, Matt, Carrie and their children Zach and Leah, to see how much candy they could get. They managed to get far too much!! I stayed at home and greeted every Trick or Treater who came to the door and handed out the candies. I tried to take photo's but it was not always possible, as sometimes they came thick and fast, but most of the time I was able to keep up. It all started around dusk, about 6.30pm and really ended about 8pm, although we kept our lights on until 9pm and got a few older kids and stragglers. The weather was delightful, the paper is saying we started the evening at 6pm at 82F, and moved to 65F by 8pm, so it was very pleasant all evening. I have included a selection of the costumes that came to our door, just for you all to see, but it was a costume spectacular with out a doubt.