Monday, July 29, 2019


Hey!  So I got back from my training in Dallas on Thursday evening.  Amy and Jean had spent the day out at my parents' place, and Raylan had ended up staying out there to spend the night.

Jean, Amy, Kiddo and I walked down to Central Market Cafe to eat dinner.  We were experiencing a weird, midsummer cold front, and the weather was really pleasant.

Raylan, hanging out with Grandma and Papa on Friday.

Jean jetted out for Phoenix on Friday.  It was really nice of her to come help with the kids while I was in Dallas.  Sounds like she and Amy had a good time (they took Raylan to Natural Bridge Caverns!).
I was back at work Friday.

On Saturday morning we went to Mt. Playmore for a birthday party for Raylan's friend, Dorothy.  The kids, of course, had a blast.  (and the adults had fun, too)

Kiddo gleefully explores Kiddie Kanyon at Mt. Playmore

Amy helps serve pizza at the birthday party
After the pizza party we headed over to Steiner Ranch.  The kids had naps (well, Raylan had "quiet time"), and then we went to the pool.

Sometimes I avoid posting portrait pictures of Kiddo
because I have to blur out her face.  But this swimming
outfit needed to be memorialized....
We all did a lot of swimming and relaxing at the pool.  It was really nice.
Later, Mom and Dad (mostly Mom) fed us spaghetti for dinner.  It was great.
Afterwards we packed up and rolled home.  We had a really good time at the party and at Grandma and Papa's house.
On Sunday morning we went to church at my mom and dad's church.  Some kids from the congregation had been working on a sort of musical of Daniel and the Lion's Den.  They did a really good job!
Kit, Shelly, and Spencer came out to go to church with us.
Our kids were sort of mesmerized by the singing performance of the older kids.  Eventually Kiddo got squirmy and had to go to the cry room, but not until almost the end of the service.

Raylan and Kiddo take in the performance
After church we went home for lunch and nap.

Later, Raylan helped Amy make banana muffins.

When bananas look like they are going to go bad in our
house, muffins often magically appear...

Later, we played in the back yard.  They said it hit like 101 degrees yesterday, but it stayed breezy, and our back yard is shady.  It was actually pretty comfortable.

The engine on this car seems like it's running a little

And that was about it.  No band practice this week  I played a little guitar and tried to entertain the kids with it a bit.

Have a great week!  Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Hi!  I'm in Dallas this week for the state bar's Advanced Criminal Law seminar.

I'm a little late on posting a blog update this week.

Last week Kiddo got sick.  I stayed home with her on Friday.  At one point I loaded her into the car to run a quick errand, and.... managed to back my car into a concrete pole in a parking lot.
Neither Kiddo or I got hurt.  In fact, Kiddo laughed.  I'm glad someone enjoyed it.

My next car WILL have a backup camera.
On Saturday we were taking care of a lot of stuff.  I had to do laundry for my trip.  Amy had to get some work done for a project at work.
The kids played in the yard a lot, including running through the sprinkler for a while.

Kiddo and Raylan do some summertime swangin'

sprinkler + slide = water slide
In the afternoon we took the kids to The Thinkery.  It gave the kids a chance to run around and be active in a nice, stimulating, air conditioned building.   We had a good time.

Kiddo tends to put the Lite Bright pegs in her mouth at home,
so they're usually off limits.  So this was waaaay exciting.

Kiddo in the water room at The Thinkery.
Despite the heat, the kids wanted to play a bit on the playground outside The Thinkery, afterward.

Raylan, determined to summit the playscape.
On Sunday we went to Garrison pool for a while.  It was fun.  Good time with the family.

Late Sunday afternoon I drove to Dallas for the seminar.  Jean got into town shortly after I left to stay with Amy and the kids.

The seminar has been pretty good.  The picture below is from an Italian restaurant called Campisi's.  It's sort of a Dallas institution, from what I'm told.  It was my friend, Carla's, birthday yesterday, so here she is with her birthday wine!

Carla's birthday/Advanced Crim Law 2019

That's it.  Have a good week!

Monday, July 15, 2019


Hello!  I hope everyone had a nice, summery weekend.
Ours was good!
My mom and dad got back from Michigan last week.  Sounds like they had a nice trip to the U.P. with Ryan and Jamie.  I think we might be headed up there with them next year.
Raylan was excited that they were back and Mom and Dad were excited to see Raylan, so Raylan went out to their house and spent Thursday through Saturday out there.  He had a blast.  Swimming pools, bounce houses, and generally being spoiled.  That kid has a rough life!  ;-)
On Saturday Amy, Kiddo, and I drove out to Steiner Ranch to go meet up with them and go to the pool.  Ryan and Jamie met us out there to go swimming as well.  It was really fun to see everyone and hang out.  We ate lunch at Mom and Dad's, and ended up staying all the way to eat the leftovers for dinner.  (Ryan and Jamie bailed out after lunch)

The whole family in the Steiner Ranch Towne Square pool

Raylan schools Papa on magna-tiles
In the evening Amy and I watched Stranger Things.
On Sunday we drove way up into North Austin (near where I grew up) to go to the El Salido pool with Shelly, Kit, and Spencer.  We had a good time.  I felt like I didn't get to talk to Shelly and Kit all that much because I was chasing kids around the whole time, but it was still nice to see them.

El Salido has a kid pool/splash pad with playground equipment in
the water.  Genius!
Raylan jumped off a diving board for his first time on Sunday!  He's been swimming better and better lately, and he kept closely watching some kids who were probably 6 through 10 who were going off the diving board.  I could tell he was intrigued.
The first time he got up on the diving board he walked out to the end and stopped when he realized that there was a little drop to the water.  Then a lifeguard blew their whistle and told him he wasn't allowed to wear his goggles when he was going off the board.  Then some girl little girl (probably 6 or so) started yelling at him that he should just climb back down.  He got a little rattled.
So he turned around and climbed back down.  He said he didn't want to jump.
I understood.  He's only 4, after all, and he really only started getting much better at swimming in the last month or two.  Plus, he always looks underwater at how deep the water is in the deep end by the diving boards and comments on how far down the bottom is.
But then we went back to the regular prat of the pool and kept swimming, and he kept looking over at those kids who were going off the board...
Eventually he said, "Dad, I want to try again."
He climbed out of the pool before I really realized what was going on.  I scrambled after him, and by the time I got by the deep end to watch him he was up on the diving board. 
He walked out to the end, stopped, said it looked a little scary, and then jumped right in.  He swam over to the side very capably on his own and then hopped out to go again.
I was very proud of him- not for going off the diving board so much, but for being brave enough to stick with something that was a little scary because he really wanted to learn how to do it.

After a few jumps, Raylan wanted his mom to see him do it, so we went and got Amy (and Shelly and Kit and Spencer).

By Raylan's 7th or 8th jump, he was doing spin moves
We swam for about 2 hours.  Then we headed home and had lunch and took naps.  Both kids slept hard.
Later on we played.

Amy reads a story to Raylan.  Kiddo, apparently dissatisfied, went
and got her own book to look at.

In the evening we had band practice.  All of us were there.  We sounded awright.

And that was about it!  Good weekend.  Went by too fast!

Monday, July 08, 2019

July 4th and Update

Hey!!  So I hope everyone is having a good summer!
Things are going pretty well at our house.

This past week was the 4th of July.  My parents were up in Michigan, on vacation with Ryan and Jamie, so we didn't see grandparents or aunt and uncle for the 4th this year. 
We still managed to have a pretty good time, though.

On the morning of July 4th Raylan had a swimming lesson.  After that we took Raylan and Kiddo over to Galindo Elementary to play on their playground.  It was a nice, shady spot, and the school has goats!  The goats were a big hit, especially with Kiddo, who wanted to pet them through the fence.

Happy birthday, America!

Kiddo and this goat developed a special understanding
In the afternoon we went out to the Hill Country Galleria, which was hosting a family-friendly July 4th event.  They had a stage with live music, a bunch of arts and crafts vendors, and bounce houses for the kids.  Kiddo was a little too young for the bounce houses, but Raylan had a blast.  In fact, while we all had fun people watching, the outing eventually turned into an event where the rest of the family followed Raylan from bounce house to bounce house, waiting in line with him and cheering him on as he flailed his way through the inflatable madness.

Shooting out of the mouth of a giant tiger.
To celebrate American independence.

Waiting in line for the coveted water slide bounce house


I used to have one of these for my pet hamster when I
was a kid...
By the night of July 4th, the kids were tired enough to collapse into bed.  Amy and I watched a new episode of Stranger Things.  Loud fireworks went off on the street behind us, but the kids were passed out and didn't open an eye.

Friday the kids went to preschool for part of the day while Amy and I got some treasured grown up time together.  We went to Garrison Pool and laid in the sun and listened to some music.  It was quiet and magical.  Whole different experience going to the pool without kids.

On Saturday we got up and went out for breakfast.

Mom, I have a lot more things to tell you before I decide whether I want to
finish my food.

We headed back to Garrison pool on Saturday, but this time with kids.  It was a much more active experience.  But a lot of fun.  Raylan keeps getting better and better at swimming.  I didn't take any pictures.

On Sunday Raylan helped Amy wash our cars, and then the kids wanted to go swimming in the pool in the yard. 

Raylan swims some laps while Kiddo literally hangs out.

The women's World Cup finals were on Sunday.  Somehow I missed the first half (I got the time wrong), but no goals were scored, anyway, so it all worked out.
Much to my surprise, Raylan was fairly interested in the game.  I kept yelling at the TV, and I think he was curious about what was getting Dad all riled up.
He kept cheering for the Netherlands, even though I kept trying to get him to cheer for the U.S.  The Netherlands had orange jerseys, though, and apparently that was the deciding factor.
It was a good game, and a great tournament.  I was happy to see the U.S. win, but also just happy about the overall quality of play from all of the top teams.

Raylan and Kiddo settle in for the second half.

Sunday afternoon we just played in the yard.  It was a little hot out, but there was a breeze, and the kids didn't seem to mind.

Tree climbin'

Raylan dubbed himself "Spider Boy" this weekend.
I resulted in a lot of acrobatic climbing activity...

Sunday evening I had band practice with Reed and Frank.  We sounded pretty good, I think.  At any rate, I had a good time.  I got a chance to play my new 12 string Danelectro.  It worked pretty well, so that was cool.

And that's it.  Mom, Dad, Ryan, and Jamie should all be back in town by tonight, I think. 

Have a great week!

Monday, July 01, 2019


We had a pretty good weekend, albeit a sort of low key one.

On Saturday we got some exercise.  Ryan and Jamie came over for lunch (we ordered some pizza), and the kids got to hang out with them a bit.  Ryan and Jamie are headed for the Upper Peninsula or Michigan with my parents this week for vacation, so we were happy to squeeze in a chance to visit with them between our trip to Utah and their trip to the U.P..  It was nice to hang out.  Both Raylan and Kiddo seemed very happy to see them.
Later on Saturday afternoon we took the kids to the Garrison Park pool.  We had a really fun time swimming.  Afterward we went to Dairy Queen and got some ice cream.

On Sunday we exercised again and then drove up to Catch Air.  Raylan had been there before with my parents, but we had never gone.  It was a big ol', fun, indoor playground.  We had a really fun time.  The kids loved it.

Raylan on da slide

Kiddo executes a reverse descent

Raylan dances it out during the kid dance party
(he really did enjoy dancing)
Afterward we went next door to Moonie's for hamburgers/chicken sandwiches.  Pretty good!

Raylan explains something complicated to Amy during lunch
We got home and sort of crashed.  Raylan played with some toys in his room.

Epic castle
Later Frank came over and we played some music at the house.  We had a good time.  Amy said we "sounded like music", so I'm calling that a win!

And that was our weekend.

It went by really fast.

Have a good week!