Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dad has arrived!!

Dad bought a Stetson and cowboy boots yesterday after much deliberation and advice.. Here is the result...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alex steering the boat tour

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grilling with dad

Had a great evening , we bbqed and had fantastic conversation .. Such a nice evening, very humid, still in the 80's.. But wine helps deal with the mossies...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We went to the Saltlick for lunch

The saltlick is a family friendly BBQ restaurant, it is tressel tables, family service, minimal menu and friendly service.. Not forgetting the live music.. Lots of fun. Jo and Alan joined us as well, they bought the beer I took the wine( it is a BYOB establishment) and fun was had. Peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

looking after my skin

I decided to post an article on skin care, as I have had to change my routine because of the heat and I thought it might be interesting to some of you out there..if it is not, skip this and I apologise.

When I arrived in Austin, I kept up my same skin care regime, and it did not take long for me to realise this was not working as I had spots popping up all the time, and I was determined to work this out. One day I just walked up to a stranger in the skincare aisle of HEB, and asked the question..'How do you look after your skin, because my skin is not reacting the same way as it did in England?'....and I got two excellent pieces of advice..first only use a moisturiser that has a Sun protection factor in it, so you are not putting any other sunscreen on your face..which might not be designed for faces specifically..and use Toner many times in a day to remove the sheen from all the heat, humidity, that will happen every time you walk outside. the toner trick is a good one, and I do not need to use it in the winter, which is not as hot and is mild in the mornings and evenings, but by now I am already wading through the toner, and I have found it helps keep the skin much happier..

Well I hope this article is of some interest, it is a new concept for me to post things that are different in this way, I usually keep the posts about the family or visitors, but thought it might be of some interest to read differences in life from UK to TX..anyway, let me know in the comments section and I can come up with lots of challenges we have over had to overcome from schooling, buying cars, how cars are taxed/insured, medical situations, food names, well just loads of let me know if that is of interest.

Dad has arrived

Good morning world, it is a lovely morning here in Texas, and Ben and I are sitting on the decking enjoying the early morning..why do children get up earlier on the weekend than school of those mysteries of life!!
dad arrived yesterday, he came via Atlanta to Austin, we have had Houston, Chicago, Toronto and Minnesota( Fran if you read this, do correct me if you did not change there..getting old, poor memory).
Anyway, back to dad, he had a good journey, enjoyed the banter with the Home land security and arrived early in Austin, we went home and had a bowl of SpagBol, wine and a wander arrived the garden, before dad decided that 24 hours was enough for one day!!!
Today we are having lunch at The Saltlick , so I will post photo later of dad's first real day, he has promised to go in the pool as well, last night as Alex and Ben cooled off in the pool, yelling 'come on granddad' he had to promise he would go in the pool's of him and the boys will follow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alex field trip

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ben's school trip to Austin zoo

Yesterday, may 11th I helped the first grade teacher, Mrs Higgins with Ben's class on a field trip to Austin Zoo, it was fun and quiet a few parents came, so it was not difficult to enjoy it.
The day was very warm, with temperatures in the 80f, and humid which makes it more challenging when you have a slight cold like me, hey ho.

The Zoo was not large and not at all fancy, but it held the childrens interest for the day, we also went on a train ride, which was rather strange , as it took us past no animals at all and had cut out Aliens and space ships..which really did the zoo no favours in my mind. I think at Christmas it is lit, as there were strings of lights everywhere, but it just look very tired and sad on that train ride...not sure i will be rushing to take visitors there, although I would take Alex so he can see the animals, as he will not be going there on a school field trip..tomorrow I am going with Alex class to the Texas state's and thoughts to follow soon on that school trip.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The chess tournament

I will go on to the main computer and give you all more details.. Alex and Ben are part of the Baranoff chess club and I help every week, so the trophy is very welcome each time. We present them to the principal of Baranoff elementary at assembly, the kids go up on stage and hand it over.. They love it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

My new bike

I thought you would like to see my new bike.. It is used daily for school runs, jazzercise and a variety of jaunts. Isn't it beautiful.. My birthday present from my dad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

am off to bed

i have just spent three hours updating the blog and need to get some sleep before that alarm clock rings and I start the next day...i hope this has updated you all, i will try and put some of the chess tournament on as well..i have been to two more of them and we came 4th in the Region VI this last weekend..may 1st, so am very proud of the boys..Ben even has a ranking in the American chess federation..he is rated 103..

Bens field trip to Austin Nature centre

So Mum and I offered to be adult help on the field trip for the first graders. It was to Austin Nature centre which I had not been too before, so that was interesting.

we spent a morning there and had lunch at a different park.

The kids enjoyed finding out about nature, they have just finished a section on pond life and habitats, so seeing the place deer slept last night, and pond dipping, watching for birds etc was great for them. the guide was great with the kids, he understood how to talk to them and keep them interested.

the sign about the snakes is always interesting...we had a field trip earlier this year in West cave preserve..must check if I put that on the blog...and the two classes that had gone the day before had a snake on the path down..and it did not move out of the way..which is i have learnt to be on the look out for snakes now..I did think the sign was a good way to remind the kids that this is actually the snakes habitat and they need to respect that..and of course a very good reminder to the adults to keep an eye!!

I am on two field trips next week..Austin zoo with Ben and Austin cemetery with more photos to follow..

Cleaning the pool

Allan was having trouble getting the pool chemicals right, too much cyanide..being produced as a by product, so the pool shop said it most probably had not been emptied in a while, so to pump out 33% minimum...Allan decided to just empty it and then we would know and it will last for at least three years before we need to do it again.

We had already emptied the spa and now it was the turn of the you can see the boys loved this, they came home from school and played in the emptying pool. I also took a photo of Allan disassembling the filters and then he cleaned them and put them back took about threes days to complete the emptying, cleaning and filling..and our water bill for that month was only $127 more than usual..not bad really.

Allan also managed to meet the neighbours at the back of us, as he heard them come into there garden mid morning...a lot of water had gone there..he went around and offered to hep them sort out there back yard...he is so kind!!!! they were OK in the end..although we did not invite them t o our Hollywood party..maybe we should have.

The wildflowere centre

Mum , Jo and I went to the Lady Bird Johnston wildflower was beautiful. It is very close to where we live and is dedicated to wildflowers of Texas.

When we came here, we had heard many times how Austin was famous for its wildflowers..we could not understand why, and then the drought of the last three years ended, and we had good rain this winter...and the transformation of the road sides, gardens, school was beautiful and fresh..the colours are amazing and the shear number of wildflowers is lovely...if you like plants you need to visit from march until mid ,may, we have plenty of them then, before it get too hot for flowers to survive.

Baranoff library club

Alex and Ben joined the Library club and each now have a book dedicated to the library from them, so for years to come they will be remembered..a good way to get new books for the library.

Hollywood party

so we held a Hollywood themed party and many people came, it was lots of fun..although I must say the camera lies.. look awful and I distinctly remember after my nth glass of wine that I look amazing....

Cara came as Marilyn and look fantastic, so many people dressed up which was great and the rest just had a fantastic to remember for new neighbours are starting to learn I love parties, and they always come alone..i am very lucky..old and new neighbours.

We had a fantastic rain storm in the middle, thunder lightening and torrential down pour.. it added to the event, for sure and stopped some people from venturing out..Austins roads are not designed to deal with that level of rain, and neither are the tyres..but for those who made it, we all had fun..the last guest went at I just stayed up and cleared down until late morning and then crashed ...

Ale playing football this season,

Alex has been playing football for the stormtroopers, and these are some pictures for you to see him in action..The soccer season is over now, but he might do a soccer camp in the summer..we will see, the local YMCA is offering them and they both seem to enjoy it.

so long since I posted..sorry

well, as you know mum came out and visited, and now she has returned home..not hindered by the volcanic ash..but a close run thing. Alex has turned 9 and now Jack is about to be 16 in two days..if I was in UK I could say tomorrow.
The weather has changed from our wettest month April for those planning holidays, to summer in a big way.sun, sun and more sun and we have been in the 90's for the last few days, with our lows not being low at fact higher than the highs in all is dandy in Austin.

School breaks up soon and the kids are counting down to there 12 weeks of freedom, I am not sure I am counting down, but it will be nice not to have such early mornings.

Allan and I are signing up for the San Antonio marathon in November, our next goal and since my dad bought my a shiny new bike for my birthday, i am tempted to try a triathlon..the rookie one is this weekend, so not that one..but I will start looking and training.

Allan has had to pop to the UK for work and is bringing home a load of Cara clothes..lucky Allan, but also we are watching that volcano as seems to be all thoughts positively towards it waiting until he is home please. Not sure that actually makes sense, so positive thoughts to stop it spewing any ash..hopefully that is clearer for you all to know what is expected of you.

My dad is expected out this month as well, so another good reason for it to behave.

Rookie, Alex kitten was spayed today, so she is feeling under the weather, but strangely, or not, Tex was quiet all day and moped about, and did not pick up until we bought her back from the vets this afternoon. They are really very close, this huge lab puppy, who is 18 months old and small kitten..

anyway, i am going to post some pictures so you can see what has been going on and hope I have more time to keep the blog up to date.