Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back in the desert

So we are really back in the desert about to cross into Arizona in the next hour and then New Mexico and tonight we will sleep in Texas, such a great feeling reaching our home state.. Boys are all about reaching Texas, they love crossing state lines.

Allan and I enjoy getting closer to home but hate the border controls.. If they just ask for identification we are good and pass through smoothly, if they ask are we US citizens, then the games begin.. Luckily we are in the system and it should all go smoothly...but the delay and being pulled over is always a nuisance .

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Monday, December 20, 2010

We have arrived in Palm Springs

This is us at the Ghirardelli the factory.. They are sitting at the ice cream bar.. Christmas chocolates now purchased!!

This is them this evening in Palm Springs... Full of very delicious pizza ..

We are eating in a delightful family restaurant, Italian, after a long day in the car.. In the rain. We are NOT use to rain and cold.. Culture shock to us for sure.

The boys are still being so great about road trips.. The odd diversion to chocolate factories help.

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Will's surprise party

We travelled up to El Dorado Hills for this party and had a lot of fun. Shame it was raining all the time but it did not spoil the fun. I will post better photos of us all when I get them from Jo, who is never with out a camera and does it so much better than me, and most others actually..

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Breakfast for my starving children

Why do they always think they ate starving.. Ben had four plates of food.. Sausage and scrambled eggs( not forgetting the ketchup), yogurt, toast and jam, cinnamon roll and chocolate milk, apple juice...

As you can see.. Wasting away!!!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Nearly at our destination

Thank goodness, two days of traveling for 15 hours a day is hard, but worth it .

The boys have been wonderful and the beauty of technology does shine through on long trips. As does travel bingo... A winner.

Will update you all with mote when I can. Plenty of pictures to follow. Just not yet.

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In a waffle house for Breakfast

We are having breakfast before heading back on the road for 15 hours.. But we will reach our destination tonight which is fantastic . I wonder how Jack is enjoying his first morning off school, and Vara with peace and quiet in the house.. Not a lot of quiet in our house normally.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

For my mum, who wanted to see the pictures

Last night was ARM's Christmas party, we all had a lot of fun, here are pictures of Allan and I .

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Sunday, December 5, 2010


So for those of you who don't know I go to Jazzercise every week, depending on my schedule, 3 or 4 times..I love it. It is so much fun. It has certainly helped my core and got my marathon time down considerable, because my posture is so much better...so this is us all ( well an awful lot of us) at the local Buda Fest, Buda is a town about 6 miles south of Austin, and they held a Christmas market, with live entertainment and all sorts of goodies to buy, eat, enjoy etc. It was beautiful day, in the 80's when we did our routine..It was meant to be a flash mob, so we were all meant to join in and look like part of the crowd, but they cleared the road, and announced us....not in my plans...anyway, fun was had by all of us.
The video has been done by Jo, who's blog is linked to mine if you have never looked at it you should, and Cara, they were at different sides, in fact Cara is in view at the very start as well..but we are not going to tell us which ones are us...

Jazzercise at BudaFest

Friday, November 26, 2010

At Seaworld

We are down at Seaworld instead of out with the crowds on the biggest shopping day of the year...will post from around the park.. Having a great few days off for fun.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

In the Spa

Ending a wonderful day

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The table full if people

Men are carving and they are waiting.. Already had soup and endive leaves filled with sweet potato and bacon topped with creme fraiche.. Now for Turkey!!

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Carving the Turkey

It still let's you carve it...and is really juicy..

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Thanksgiving lunch.. Cooking the Turkey and the trimmings

So lots of pictures , where we were drinking Champagne with friends, the stove cooking lots of delightful dishes, outside deep frying the turkey and Tex locked in her area so she can not get burnt by the oil...also the table ready for us to start eating the Thanksgiving feast in about 20 minutes... Hopefully will post more pictures for you all.. Alcohol consumption is the factor.. Temperature outside is 77.7f. The Spa is hot and today and tomorrow are national holidays.. Time for friends and food.. Yeah

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Alex did not wish to share his meal

A praying mantis on our decking furniture .. The boys decided to let it have it's own chair.. And they did not share their chocolate milks or twinkies

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Our weather this week

As you can see, we have a cold front coming in for Thanksgiving , but that is ok, as the kids are off school from Wednesday and it is picking back up next week.

We might light the fire in the family room on Thanksgiving just to check it out.. Have not lit it since Christmas day last year, but the Chimney has been swept so might give it a go if the temperatures are dropping.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Out for a sunday morning walk

At Zilker park, we went out for a walk, to help the boys make their marathon for kids again this year. that is where they have to walk/run 26 miles in 4 months, the opening ceremony was in October, and the closing ceremony is in February 2011. so this 5 mile walk adds to their total.

We are in the boat slip here, just walking down to the edge of Town Lake, at the start of the walk. I need to connect my phone so you can see other pictures from the lake, it was such a beautiful morning, with the temperature delightful, only in the 70's although the humidity was high, but you can't always win.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bens Thanksgiving performance

Ben's class, Obermiller's otters. They all sang wonderfully, and enjoyed performing in front of family and friends.  I was also selling coozies for the school at the performance, as i had some made up this year for the first time, and we are plugging them at the school performances. I was at family Fitness night the  week before, so people are now starting to see them and buy them..which is good as i had to buy 250 as a minimum, so we need to sell them!

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Ben is in the back row.. In lime green...

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Ben's Thanksgiving performance

Words tomorrow...

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Our excitement today

Today we are off to Homeland security..we all have to attend for " capture of our Biometrics'....I will let you know what that fully entails when we get home..or maybe while we are all sitting waiting..unless they are very efficient and it runs to time...who knows.

teh overview is finger prints, retina scans and maybe teeth imprints....will let you know what they do do!!!!

It is the first time we have taken the boys out of school during the day, because the system is very strict here for that, and  if the kids have 10 unauthorized absences in a school year then we are in violation of Texas state law..the actual law is...The Texas compulsory school attendance Law ( chapter 25 of the Texas education code)..they then request the parents/guardians to attend trainings on why education is important...just not worth the hassle..so we just don't take them out of school..

Hallowe'en 2010

So this year, we held a cove Halloween party, there are 7 houses in our cove, and we had a lot of fun. normally there is not a lot of trick or treating as the houses are quiet a distance from each other, so people tend to go to other neighbour hoods, but this year I organised us doing something together and inviting people to us. it was a lot of fun.and although i was really quiet ill running up to it, it still came together..and the neighbors really enjoyed the kids being around..so next year we will do the same and be better organised..

It does mean that i did not take photo's, as I was not just sitting around waiting for trick and treaters , Allan was dressed as a pirate again..and managed to do the 'voice' for about 4 hours..now that needs a round of applause..and for those of us listening..a lot of alcohol.

So the photo of Cara and Jamie ( Ben best friend) and his sister Bonnie, were taken by my friend, Jo Ann..so thank you Jo Ann for actually being on the ball and taking some photo's.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bens school trip

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Birthday Ben

This is one of the water rides at sea World, you come flying down the ramp into the water, and it sprays more on the spectators standing here, than the people in the boat. Ben loved it , as did Alex. i am obviously getting old and boring because I stayed out of the way, sitting on the wall watching, photographing and holding the bags.

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Shamu show

Here we ate.. In the splash zone!!!

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Ben's choice for lunch

We are 2 miles from SeaWorld.. And early, so grabbing a quick lunch at TGI Fridays, we did go into IHOP, but the queue was unbelievable.. So Ben's second choice was here.. Just noticed that Alex has odd socks on..oh well not a lot I can do about that now.. They will both be wet soon anyway once they go on the rides..

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

guess what is coming

Witches flying past on broomsticks,
Black cats leaping here and there,
White-robed spooks on every corner,
Mournful moaning in the air,

Goblins peering out of windows
Spirit-things that rap and run-
But don't be scared-it's just October,
Having one last hour of fun! 
everywhere is being decorated now, banks, doctors, schools, houses..will post more pictures soon

How did so much time pass

I  can not believe that I have not managed to put anything on the blog..although life has been crazy for weeks..Why did I have so many children..all doing different things..ahhh.

Well school has started, cara is in her freshman year, and seems to be enjoying campus life, although the system here says your first year must be MAths, English a language and US history..so she is NOT enjoying college algebra, and 5 hours of Spanish a week is proving interesting..but she is hanging in there.

Jack is now junior, and we ahve just had to pay $?? silly dollars for his graduation ring..i mean really, a graduation ring. If any of you thought this was a simple process-wrong- the options were a nightmare to start with-Step 1-choose your ring collection ( you can have womens and mens styles to match), step 2-choose your metal quality and finish..you can go upto gold 18k ( for all of you wondering. no Jack does not have a gold ring..white or yellow!!!), step 3-chose your engraving ( initials, signature, full name), step 4-  chose your palmside( yes I had to be told what that was..polished or hand sculptured, step 5- choose your stone( Jack is emerald, apparently that is May) step 6- i hope you are alls till reading...choose your stone cut..4 choices, step 7- addition stone options--because you can have more than one stone....step8-choose your PRIDESIDE..well then you have over 500 options..everything you can think off to be proud off..from sports, to clubs, to subjects, to jersey numbers, zodiac, letters, activities, careers, pride flags, spirit, Jack went with the Union Jack..oh boy..it was a real eye opener for us. In fact the fact he wanted one was also a shock..but there you go..parents can be wrong..

Alex and Ben have started school with enthusiasm, although Ben is true to character and comes out everyday and says he has had a terrible day..worst off his life..but we ignore him and by the time we have cycled home, he is full of the great things he has done.

Alex has a new teacher to the school, and his first male teacher, but he is very happy..in fact he came out of school on his first day saying teh year was going to be great, as the teachers expectations were so low it was going to be a GREAT year..but on discussing what he had done that day, he had worked, but not seen it that way, and Mr Hickeson seems to have that ability. Alex's is still loving school and is learning, but feels it is a great year. I know the pressure on him this year is huge, he is not noticing the tests and requirements as a problem, from a mothers prospective..awesome..love Mr Hickerson..

Allan is working hard..well i would write that, just in case anyone from ARM should read this..but he is, and seems to be enjoying life in Austin..why wouldn't he with such a great family around him. We have reduced some of his worries..for example we have spent all his money so he does not need to worry about investments, we keep him exhausted so he does not have to worry about trying to get to sleep and we have a 'honey do' list, so he does not have to worry about remembering what jobs around the house need doing. He must be proud of us all.

we are heading for Ben's birthday, thanksgiving and Christmas, so lots of food to cook and friends to see, all fun.
Anyway, i had better get on with prepping for a card class I am running tomorrow..but just needed to put something on the blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jack..the one and only picture from his hols

Jack, Alison and Thomas
jack has spent the summer in UK, and Spain..and here he is in Spain having a fun day out with Alison and all the family..I will be framing this and having it on my wall..three of my favourite people all together

Jelly Belly factory

here we are just before we actually entered the factory, they started giving us jelly belly's..we got to try the latest flavour of honey..it was good ..and as went around you tried them in different stages as well..it was really great to see,
The factory was not at full production, it was just coming back after two weeks off, for maintenance..but it was still a great tour. I bought Belly Flops, which are the Jelly Bellys rejects, when they are graded for size, shape colour, before they print jelly belly on, they get rid off the rest..and , of course, bag them and sell them..they are so good..the ones that fall on the floor are sold to the local farmers for fertilizer..no wastage at Jelly Belly

The Wild animal park-San Diego

They always like his hair..he just loved it
Ben was nervous to start with..but as you can see feeding the giraffes was in the end, a great experience
just before we climbed into the safari truck and went out into the enclosures..we had three game wardens with us, and a gun..did make you think..but all was well..