Monday, October 26, 2020


 Hola!  Hope everyone is doing okay!

Our week was pretty good!

On Wednesday night, my folks came over for dinner.  They had been entertaining Kiddo during the day, and they picked Raylan up after school.  Then they came over, and we ate some delicious lasagna that Amy made.  Somehow I got no pictures of the family during this dinner, but I did manage to take a picture of the lasagna.  Guess I got a little excited for the lasagna.

I do love Amy's lasagna.  It's like family...

I have no recollection about what we did Friday night.  I think I actually put the kids in bed, laid down to read a book in bed, and fell asleep.

Amy and I have an anniversary coming up this week (on the 27th), so my mom and dad were nice enough to take the kids overnight on Saturday.  Amy and I went out to dinner at Curra's and sat outside on the patio.  They did some social distancing of their tables, and it felt pretty safe.  Also, the food was really good.  It felt nice to go out and have some grown up time!

I love you, Amy!!!!

The kids came back on Sunday, and we carved jack-o'-lanterns, of course!  The kids really enjoyed it this year.  Raylan drew the face on his, and I did my best to carve it exactly as he drew it.  Amy helped Kiddo a bit more with her design.  Kiddo really had fun playing with all of the slimy pumpkin goo that came out of the pumpkin.  Weird...
Anyway, we saved the seeds, and Amy is gonna cook those up!

Getting the seeds and goo out of the pumpkins

Raylan's final product is the pumpkin on the right.  I think it sort of captures a lot of the feelings that we've all had during 2020.

Steans-Davis family jack-o'-lanterns, 2020

And that was about it, really.  We played around the house and Amy made a nice pasta dinner Sunday night.

Until next time!

Monday, October 19, 2020


Hi!  Well, we're trucking right along through October over here.
The kids both seem to be enjoying in person school, and we are all very happy about that!

This past week was pretty busy for both Amy and I at work.  The kids spent the night on Friday at Grandma and Papa's house.  Very fun for them!

We have a lot of Halloween art decorating our house 
right now

On Saturday morning we met up at a pumpkin patch at a Christmas tree farm in Elgin.  We had a lot of fun!  There were two mazes, a hay ride, a little train (pulled by a tractor), some animals, a corn maze, a playground, piles of hay to play in, water pump duck races, and, of course, pumpkins.
It was a really goo time.  Grandma even brought a picnic lunch!

on the train

water pump duck races

Hay dive!

into the corn maze

So that was our big thing on Saturday.  

Sunday we mostly just played around the house.  Amy took the kids to Sunset Valley playground for a bit while I went for a bike ride. 

practicing cornhole in the driveway

Anyway, time is flying by!  I can't believe we're more than halfway through October!

Have a good week!

Monday, October 12, 2020

In Person Kindergarten and a Visit from Nana and Poppa Greg

Hi!  Well, it was a big week in our household!  This past Monday Raylan started in person kindergarten classes.  We had some trepidation about sending him back, and it's hard to know what's the right thing to do.  I'd been reading a bit that the transmission rates for the virus seem to be pretty low, especially among elementary aged kids, and his new school seems to be taking a lot of precautions.  They're at a fraction of their normal capacity, the kids wear masks, and everyone does a health screening each morning before entering the building.  Also, of course, Kiddo has been going to school for weeks, and nothing bad has happened (KNOCK ON WOOD).
Anyway, he actually started real kindergarten!
I was also nervous that it might just be too weird for him with all of the masks and social distancing rules and everything.
But he seems to really be loving it!  On his first day he told us we came to get him too early and he wasn't ready to leave.
He's making friends and learning and staying stimulated.  He seems to really enjoy it.  We couldn't be happier.  Kids are so adaptable....

Ready for the first day in the classroom
(well, he still needed his shoes)

Now he's really ready for his first day in class!

Mom walks Raylan to the front door with
Kiddo close behind (to be dropped off later)

So we made it through a whole week getting used to a new school schedule for Raylan.  It's kind of strange right now because both kids are going to school downtown, a choice which totally made sense when Amy and I both worked downtown, but now we're both working from home and the kids are commuting.  So that's weird.
But they're both in great schools and very happy, and we're very happy that things are working out so well.

On Friday, Jean and Greg came into town for a visit.
It was really nice.  The kids were SUPER excited about them coming, and had been asking about it for at least a week before they arrived. 

Kiddo shows off her super hero suit
for Poppa Greg

Raylan and Nana read one of the books that he "wrote"

Nana always brings presents.  Not sure what this one was,
but Kiddo seems excited

Nana throws playground balls at the kids on the swings.

On Saturday we all went fishing out at Lake Kyle.  We didn't catch anything, but we had fun.  Some people who were fishing near us caught several large fish.  So they're in there....

Kiddo tries to figure out her fishing pole

Greg sets up some bait while Raylan patiently waits

The Davis women scare the fish....

So we did some fishing for a while and then the kids played on the playground for a while at the park.  The kids were really well behaved out at the lake!

On Saturday evening Amy and he folks and the kids went out to my parents for dinner while I went to band practice over at Reed's house.  It sounds like they had a really great time out there, and I had a really good time hanging out with the guys at band practice.  We sounded pretty good.

On Sunday we sort of goofed around during the day.  I watched the kids while Amy and Jean went running.  Later, I went for a bike ride while they took the kids to the park.  That evening my folks watched the kids while we went out to dinner at Cypress Grill with Amy's parents.  We had a really nice dinner.  Good food and good company!

Jean, Amy, and Greg after dinner at Cypress

And that was pretty much it for the weekend.  It went by fast, but it was good.

Everyone have a good week this week and stay safe!

And I will leave you with this random pic of Raylan 
tracing Kiddo's body in our driveway!

Sunday, October 04, 2020


Howdy!  Another week gone by as we charge into October at our house.
Raylan continues virtual kindergarten, but is starting in-person class this upcoming week! (he has to wear a mask and there's a lot of social distancing and health and temperature checks)  It's very exciting!
Kiddo continues going to her preschool, and she seems to still really like it.  She likes her teacher and talks about her friends and is pretty happy to go.

So I took this pic of the kids this week because Raylan was actually
helping push his little sister here without any parental prompting!

On Saturday we took the kids over to play on the playground at Sunset Valley Elementary.

I watched UT lose to TCU on Saturday.  Ugh.  It was a very sloppy game by both teams.  I'm so tired of seeing UT lose because of stupid mental errors.  I don't know how many penalties UT had, but it was a whole bunch.


Raylan makes some really cool art in the front yard

Kiddo does some front yard painting with Amy and Raylan on

On Sunday I took Raylan on a fairly long bike ride (for a five year old) on some nature trails over in Sunset Valley.  Raylan turned out to be really good at riding on trails, even when the ground was bumpy and rocky.  We had a lot of fun!

Amy plays a memory game with the kids on Sunday evening

Anyway, the weekend was good, and low key.  My parents came by to see the kids and drop off school supplies for Raylan (which was very nice of them).

That was more or less the weekend.  We spent a lot of time outside- in the yard, on bike rides, on walks, at the playground, etc.

That's about it!  Have a good week!

Monday, September 28, 2020



How's things?

We're enjoying an unusually cool fall this September.  Normally in Austin, September is just sort of another month of summer, but this year we've had nice, cool days.  Strange, but great.  Feels like fall.  Of course, we're having this great weather in the one year when we can't have a fall ACL Festival, but, we're enjoying it and trying to get outside a lot, in any case.

Taking a TV break after work and school

Random photo from a bike ride downtown

Amy has been wanting to take the kids (and me) fishing, so on Saturday we drove down to Lake Kyle.  It's a small, stocked lake in a city park in Kyle.  We had fun!
I've only been fishing a few times, and all of those experiences were when I was a kid, so Amy basically had to teach me to fish as well.

We didn't end up catching any fish, even though we could see some jumping out of the water at times.  We had fun trying to catch fish, though, and it was nice to be outside on such a pleasant day.  Raylan learned the basics of how to cast, and Kiddo... well, Kiddo mostly ran around a lot and ate snacks.  She might not quite be ready for fishing yet.  Raylan seemed to like it, although he eventually got frustrated because he "thought we would be catching fish a lot faster".  Overall, I think he enjoyed it, though.  If we could have caught anything at all, I think it would have really come together for him.

Get on there, fish!

The park at Lake Kyle also had a little playground, so the kids got to play on that for a while after we got done fishing.

Fishing and climbing a mountain in one day?
Not bad, kid!

Later on Saturday we watched the UT-Texas Tech football game.  Well, I watched it, and the kids helped Amy put up some Halloween decorations.  The kids joined me in the second half, with Kiddo falling asleep on her chair and Raylan watching cartoons on his tablet. 

The family, "watching the game" with me.

The Longhorns eked out an overtime win against Tech.  Our offense looked pretty solid, but our defense was pretty lackluster (looking forward to someday having a season where we can tackle) and special teams had some major problems.

The most important thing about the game, of course, was the Amy made queso for it.  Tasted like football season!

On Sunday we got breakfast from La Posada (takeout), and then I took the kids to the park to play.

Exploring the creek near the park

Sunday afternoon we ran a couple of errands.

Grandma and Papa took the kids out for ice cream later on Sunday afternoon, and then took Raylan to their house to spend the night with them so Raylan can do remote learning kindergarten with Grandma on Monday.

Sunday night Frank came over and we played some music on the porch.  We had fun.  We sounded pretty good, I think.  Good enough, anyway.

Here's Frank, drinking a beer, and trying to remember
how to play the resonator guitar in his lap

And that's it!  Have a great week!


Thursday, September 24, 2020


 Soooooo....  Hey.....

Things just keep plugging along here in 2020, don't they?

Raylan's virtual kindergarten experience, for one thing, keeps plugging along.  He says he likes it.  To him, kindergarten, right now, is a series of activities that he does with his parents and Grandma.  In virtual kindergarten, he does some online lessons with his teacher and then does "asynchronous learning", which involves completing some assignments that he submits through his iPad.  He enjoys learning, and I think he likes the one-on-one time.  It'll be interesting to see how the transition goes when he eventually returns to a classroom.  He likes being at home with us, but he likes being around other kids, too, so, I think in Raylan's mind, each version has pros and cons.

Working at the table in his room on a school lesson

climbing a tree when we went for a walk 
during a break

On Friday, when I was doing Raylan's school with him, the weather outside was beautiful (we've had unusually mild weather this September).  At lunch time, we hopped on our bikes and rode over to El Chilito for lunch.  They have picnic tables outside, so we say under the trees and ate breakfast tacos and had a really nice time.

Friday lunch out is an upside of virtual school

On Saturday morning we went for a hike on the Barton Creek greenbelt.  We had a fun little hike, but all of the water had dried up in the creek since last week!  Oh well.  Definitely easier to keep the kids dry that way!

Amy on our hike!

On Saturday I went for a bike ride and got to stop by Ryan and Jamie's house to visit with them for a while on the back porch.  It was really good to talk to them and get a chance to catch up a bit.

Saturday evening we had Mono Ensemble practice in Reed's back yard.  It was pretty fun, and I think we sounded alright (especially given the infrequency of our practice schedule).  All five of us were there.

On Sunday morning I tried to take the kids for a walk, but they rebelled.  Instead we played in the yard for a while.

the artists at work

Sunday afternoon we drove to to Buda to go to Cabela's.  Amy grew up doing some fishing, and our trip to the greenbelt in the nice weather had inspired her to want to get some little starter fishing poles for the kids.  So we loaded up in the car and head out.
Cabela's is, of course, one part outdoor supply store and one part theme park.  The kids loved looking at the aquarium and the stocked stream (they fed the fish) and all of the taxidermied animals.  We even took a turn at the laser shooting range up on the second floor.

checking out the aquarium
feeding the fish!

family photo!

Who is this mysterious action hero?

After Cabela's we went to Buda City Park.  They had a really nice playground there, and it was, just, overall, a super nice park on a really beautiful day.

They kept yelling at Amy to  jump off.
To her credit, she let them down slowly, anyway.
That's self discipline, people!

Later we stopped off at Home Depot.  Then we went home and Grandma and Papa picked up Raylan so he could go over and spend the night with them to do school over there tomorrow.  Ryan stopped by to drop off some food for Mom and Dad.  Kiddo tried to show off for Uncle Ryan while climbing the fence, and took a tumble.  The only injury was her pride.  She was pretty embarrassed.

Amy made spaghetti for dinner (which was great).

And that was the weekend!  Dad had eye surgery this week, but it seems to have gone well, so we're all happy for that.

Now back to sitting in front of a computer all week....