Friday, July 30, 2010

Lake Travis summer fun

What could possibly say "summer" more than a picture like this?

What made this summer evening even better is that we shared it with Grammy, Grampy, and Joey.

Look, Mom--no hands.

Joey's maiden leap into Lake Travis

Hey, these life jackets really work!

Jimmer with his signature "meditation pose" jump.

An approximate 240 lb. cannonball

The aftermath

Grampy was a good sport and rode the "rolling taco" with Joey. (This is their third video clip. They just kept wanting to ride!)

Floating on the lake watching the setting sun--

Now that says summer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blazing Bows :: Fiddlin' around again

The kids had a fun little gig tonight at the Broken Spoke. They've been workin' their little fingers and rosined bows off to learn some new fiddle tunes.

As luck would have it, Grammy & Grampy were here with one of the "dousins" (one of the twelve cousins), Joey, to see their first live performance of the Blazing Bows.

Kids with Mary Hattersley, the group leader
TRIVIA: Mary's band, Greezy Wheels, was the first Austin band ever signed to a major record label. That was back in the 70s.

Here they are in action with The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Well, I can only see the tops of their heads in this video...but they're back there playing away.

After they "played it hot" on stage, they got hot and sweaty sliding around on the dance floor having fun with their fiddle friends
One fun evening...ending with a round of ice cream cones.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little fun with Grammy, Grampy, & Joey

They all arrived on Friday, and we've been having a variety show ever since.

Foosing Fun

Kathleen, Mary Kate, Joey

We initiated Joey into our Ministry of Silly Walks. (He willingly and happily consented.)

I guess Grammy & Grampy were sort of initiated into the Silly Walks as well...from an entertainment observer perspective.

Those darned kids even made their Grammy cry...but in a good way!

Grampy made it through this trip to the pool...


Let me just say...

I'm hoping I feel this good at nearly 74.

I guess there's not much chance for that since I can't even currently toss our kids like this.

More fun ahead...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Once again, the kids took a summer art class at our friend's art studio, Taku Art Studio. This year it was a sculpture class.

Friday after class is always the highlight since the kids collect all of their projects and have their own little art show of sorts.

I get to see their progress throughout the week, so they love it when Dad shows up for their presentations.

Jimmer was thrilled since this was his first year.

Kathleen claimed this was her favorite art class. She says this every year!

The new art display in our home.

The 4 gangly characters inspiration came from these Alberto Giocometti sculptures. Here's an online tutorial for this figure sculpture project.

from Alberto Giacometti's City Square, 1948

Inspiration for Kathleen's Easter Island-esque statue is from a moai figurine we have at home. (Thanks Steve and Connie!)

Or was it from this Calvin & Hobbes strip?

I think the "face vase" is slightly haunting.

After this project, never again will there be "a quick trip to the hardware store" with the kids for us.

I may as well get an iced tea and set up my folding chair in the wing nuts and bolts aisle.

MK's doggie

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More soccer!

The kids and I are not well-versed on all these philosophers, but the kids were hoping that Archimedes would have a "Eureka!" moment...and keep on his clothes!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nature's summer goodies

Let me just say that it's been a stellar year for fruit! We're loving the STRAWberries, blUEBERries, PinEaPpLe, grAPES, and it's already a fabulous year for our Texas PEAches too.

I can't even tell you how many WATERMELONS we've had this year.

I'm hoping it's a good year for our PEcan tree as well!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy 234th!

Our Texas 4th of July

A Sunday drive through the Hill Country

Colorful benefit of all the rain we've been having

A Texas-sized truck whose owners were guaranteed a good seat at the fireworks.

(FYI--Jimmer is 50 inches tall)

On our way back to town, we went to an evening mass at a different church. Afterward, we visited with the liturgical musician there who we've seen at other Sunday Life Teen masses in town.

Here he is (piano on left) at one of his regular gigs in town at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. If you like Napoleon Dynamite, he's giving it is best in this video. When we see him at church again, I'm sure I'll be thinking of "The Rose."

Back at the ranch:

We've been seeing more than our fair share of Texas snakes these days.

Ending the day with fireworks and our other at-home sparkly, crackling, popping funsies in the street.

Celebrating our freedom and independence to go where we want and do things how we choose.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Big Birthday

I was asked to take photos at my neighbor's birthday party last weekend.

I loved being given free reign to capture an entire evening with my camera (...although I'll spare the innocent party goers by not posting their photos).

And I loved being the chief guacamole tester.

I also instituted my new motto:

"Will work for food...and fresh garden produce."

Final storms from Hurricane Alex blew off just in time to bring us a breezy, comfortable Texas evening.

This neighbor is one of the most generous and humble friends.

Just one of many examples: She lets all the neighbor kids decorate her Christmas tree and make gingerbread houses in her kitchen.

It took me a number of years living next to her and spending lots of kiddie playtime with her family to find out some fun background info (only thanks to her dad, Chief).

As a young lady

she diligently swam laps in this pool

and graduated from high school with a swimming scholarship.

She also became the first female to wear this mascot uniform at TCU.

I love hearing these little tidbits of information about my friends. It adds such a fun historical dimension to their personalities.

Another beautiful evening at Chief and Tootsie's...celebrating with her friends and family.

My family.

Okay, it's her family.

But it's my adoptive Austin family.

I guess I should inform them of this.

A festive party is great fun, but a good neighbor and friend is a treasure.