Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stickbugs, Grasshoppers and Chuck Norris

I think one of my families favorite places to stay are at the State Parks.  This park happens to be inside a big city.  This is a strange feeling because we take the freeway to get here, surrounded by all types of stores and neighborhoods, and yet we are in an enchanting, fairy tale like forest of wild life and trees.  It is beautiful and breath taking.

They say most things in Texas are big, we have met some BIG insects!!  It has been fun to catch these bugs and let the kids see first hand and up close the details of each one.  Our two favorites have been the stickbug and a huge yellow grasshopper.  The pictures should give you an idea of how big the bug is when compared to my hand. 

Along the way, we have also seen lots of turtles, spiders and lizards.  At first I thought we would not be able to stay here because of the lizards.  I have a fear of lizards...thanks MOM!!....anyways, I took a shower the other day with a lizard.  I surprised and shocked my family that I did not leave the shower freaking out (that was when I found the lizard in the bike cart)...I basically had a talk with the lizard that went something like this:

ME:  Listen  lizard , I am hot, itchy and I NEED this shower.  If you move, I will kill you.  If you look at me, I will kill you.  If you think about doing anything out of the ordinary, I will call Chuck Norris and your life will be over. 

I think he understood me and we had a deal.  Granted he was about 2 inches long, but you never know what kind of friends he might have.  The last thing I needed was a hostile lizard take over in the shower.  Two words are all you ever need to put the fear into anything.....CHUCK NORRIS! 

If you are familiar with our blog you know that we destroyed one of our bikes at the beach.  This park has wonderful bike trails and it was a priority to buy new bikes.  I am so glad that we did.  We have had a lot of fun riding the trails, visiting the waterfalls and exploring this park.  I would recommend this park to anyone staying in the Austin area.  The park is named McKinney Falls State Park.  The host are very nice, bathrooms are clean and its picturesque!

We had the chance this weekend to visit the Pecan Festival....LOVED IT!  Austin has a saying..Keep Austin Weird!  This festival is on the renowned 6th street with live bands, artist and the best freaking food we have had from street vendors in a long time!!!  I think we like Austin because the diversity is so abundant.  The artist that reside in Austin are truly unique and at times make you say WTH(HECK)...but it must appeal to someone somewhere.  In fact Cory, Isabella and I went yesterday and Rye and Cory went back today.  The music was awesome!!  all this for free too.  My pictures are on my camera and I am trying to figure out how to get them downloaded...I will post some later.

Cory is still actively looking for a job and he has had some great leads thanks to past friends, thank you so much!!  He is a little overwhelmed with trying to find work.  I know that something will work out, he is still teaching at night and this is wonderful for keeping us on top of food, gas and bills.  We could survive on this but we are hoping for something else too. 

Drake was able to start school this week!!! It's been so fun being able to work with him again.  He loves the science and history.  Math has been challenging, but it's moving along.  His least favorite subjects are grammar and writing. 

Yes, we are the family that puts a harness on our cat and then expects it to walk.
This is how we walk and exercise our cat.
I had finally had it this week with the school that Rye is trying to do high school with and had to turn up the enraged MOM dial a notch.  I have had all of the paper work into the school for 2 months.  Every time I call they say it takes 2 weeks...ummm, OK we are going on 2 months,  but ok...maybe they meant in 2 week increments for each process to be done...Anyways, she is stressed out!  Rye wants to get started with school, she is excited to get going.  All her friends are complaining about homework and she wants to do the same..LOL  So I called them and left a message saying either she is in our she is out. I need to know by Monday.   They emailed me on Friday saying " Your sons welcome packet will be sent on Monday"....ARE YOU SERIOUS....So I wrote back saying "Thank you but my son is a girl named Rye".  I instantly got a reply saying they were sorry...I know people are over worked and under payed, but impressions are in the details, and I felt a little bit like a number and not a person.  I am hoping that things will improve and I can go back to being the sane Mom and not the raging lunatic that calls every other day.  You know they probably have my number on the board for all of the phone techs to read saying something to the effect..." BE ON GUARD, DON'T MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVES, SOUND LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING"....and next time I will make sure I eat and try to be more patient.  Although, in my defense I do think I was very, very patient.
Yep..that's Rye walking our cat..LOL

We are moving to a new location on Wednesday and this will be for a month.  Cory has several leads in Austin and we feel like we need to stay and see what happens with them.  We are staying in a nice RV park.  Yay we will have a sewer hook up's the little things that bring us joy and happiness!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Longest Week EVER!!! so far..LOL

Not only was I having one of those weeks, so was Isabella.  She really was not that hurt...but oh how a picture is worth a 1000 words...LOL
Well, the week that everyone has been waiting for has arrived. At one point it was all I could do to not run outside SCREAMING because of the boredom that we have felt.  To quote one of our favorite movies..."Don't leave me here! I'm in hillbilly HELL! My IQ is dropping by the second!"

This is some self expression.  She loves taking pictures of herself and apparently she is very proud that she can touch her nose with her tongue.

Yeah, that about sums it up, although my IQ was not ever in question of dropping...LOL  We are in the middle of nowhere.  The closest store is about 15 minutes away, and the next town is about 30 minutes away. You would think that would be good enough, but it's not.  The towns out here are very small and carry the bare minimums and you better not want to have to make a choice...there are not any.  The RV park we are staying in is nice, the people are nice, the pool is nice...but, I need variety.  I want to do something.  With that said we have had all had to entertain each other and ourselves.  Let me list the things that we have done and discovered:

Rye's eyes.

1. Rye felt the need to try makeup!  Yeah, it was a moment in a mother's life that you look forward to and it finally happens.  Let me explain, Rye is a self professed tomboy.  She never wanted to wear dresses, play with barbies and she has never been one to spend large amounts of time on her hair.  The few times we have done these things there was a whole lot of me begging and her saying NO.  Needless to say we have not had a ton of frilly girly nights.  It sounds like that is all about to change...we bought her some makeup and finger nail polish.  She looks beautiful without it but I know how fun it is to change your look once in a while and keep things fresh.  It was a fun moment for me!

2.  Rye shared with me that she immediately wants to fall asleep when she walks into two stores:  Quitling and Thrift stores.  WHAT...these are two of my favorite stores to go into.  I will live and I pretty much already new this, but it was a funny moment when she confessed this to me.

3. Drake has armpit hair!  Too much information, I know...but,'s true.

4.  Drake is afraid to swim in the dark.

5.  We have started reading Great Expectations.  The is going to be the longest book we have ever read together.  It is taking all of our willpower to get through it, but we are determined.  Cory keeps telling us it will get better.  It better or we will all have to  come to the conclusion that those are moments in time we will never get back...LOL
What do you want to do? I don't know...What do you want to do?

6. Rye learned that she can watch Monster Quest on Netflix.

7.  My Uncle died and my Grandma found out she has cancer. This is sad, sad news...but it did contribute to my own feeling of wanting to escape and finding that their was no place to go. I am hoping to be able to go back to Oregon for a quick visit.

8.  Isabella's favorite words are "freakin...freaking...friggin"...HMMM we need to work on this one.

9.  I learned that I can spend a $100 on jewelry supplies and still come home and create NOTHING!!!  I am the worst when it comes to this craft and yet I continue to persevere...someday I think I will get better.  I need inspiration!!..LOL

10.  We listened to a lecture on CS Lewis.  It was very good and we felt edified by this event.  I was a little bit worried when I went into a huge book store and asked the clerk for a book by CS Lewis.  His response to me was: how do you spell that? and who is he?  (I am temporarily stupefied at this point).  I spell out his name.....C.....S......L...E...W...I...S and then I have to ask.. You really don't know who he is?..NOPE....Chronicles of Narnia? is this ringing any bells.....NOPE.  Ok, the store says they don't have any books by this author.  I am confused and go in search for myself.  To my remarkable surprise I found a whole shelf of his stuff.  I was not trying to be rude I was really concerned that this grown man that worked in a book store did not have a clue about one of the great authors.

11.  We found out that our dog can kick a pitbulls butt.  I told our neighbor that our dog is not friendly...multiple times.  Their dog runs free all over the park.  It took one time for Ann to escape out of our door and she was on the dog faster than bees on honey.  It was not a pretty sight to say the least and it irks me that people don't keep their pets on leashes.

Notice the barrettes in her hair, she is not feeling the love tonight!

12.  This is the best one, Isabella learned to swim!!!  We have all been working with her on this for a while and then out of the blue she took her jacket off and swam.  She was in the pool with Drake and he felt pretty awesome to have had that experience...SEE, I knew he loved his little sister...LOL

Well, I am sure there were a few more things along the way that happened to make this week one that I am sure I don't want to remember but hopefully chalk it up to some good and not so good opportunities to be introspective.  That is the worst for me.  If I am not busy doing something then I start to analyze my dear friends now this is enough to cause even the sanest person to go crazy!!...LOL  I have got to start running again.  Preferably running....not running from the trailer screaming...what would the neighbors think...LOL

We take lots of pictures and Drake likes to be expressive for the camera.  Nice look

Our truck has been in need of some TLC and it got it this weekend in the sum of about 1300 dollars.  WOW, but it does run better and that is what counts.  We are headed back to Austin.  We love it there.  The temperature is cooler, less humidity and Jared is there.

Dad...a few moments of quiet before Isabella finds him.

WARNING: THIS IS PREACHY!, Sorry it's been a hell of a long week and all of that introspective crap is hanging on a little too long. Despite what others feel, our road is the one less traveled, but who is to say that our reward will not be twice as gratifying when we finally get it.

Our life is different to say the least from what the average Joe is doing, we do not deny that fact at all, but it is OUR life.  Ours to make the choices we want, to lead it the way we feel, to learn on our own terms and to seek out the glory of God in our own way.  We will continue to love and support all of those people in our life who have chosen to follow different paths, journeys or destinies than ours.  Our family and friends mean the world to us. Living in this world is not easy and we all have "items" to work on.  Some of those are so easily recognizable and others are only known to a few.  As humans we base our opinions, judgments and others righteousness on the external. In my opinion (Sherron's) this is wrong. I feel that when it is all said and done, the external will be merely be a preface to a long, epic story.  The internal is where all the good stuff is.  I believe that so many of us are doing the best we can and that our desires are sometimes not seen to the naked eye.   We all want to feel uplifted, accepted and reminded that we are important.  I don't understand why others need to make themselves feel more righteous than someone else or pit people against each other in the hopes of bringing those people who are down(in their opinion)... up a notch.  Who is to judge whether they are down or up.  Lets remember to love our neighbor and find the mercy and charity among us.   In writing this I am trying my darnedest to do the same...but again, I will say it's hard to be human in a world that expects perfection at every turn of the road.   I will never understand how it all works with the do's and don'ts of this world...but, I will never give up trying to be who Heavenly Father created..a strong minded, independent woman who does not think inside the box. I know that there is a place for me somewhere in this world.

By the end of the week we are ready to move on to the next place.
This is what Drake has to endure when we have down time...lots of kisses from his sisters.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Starting our 3rd month!

I cannot believe where all of the time has gone.  Life happens so fast.  This week has been filled with leaving the beach, arriving at our new destination and recovering from our journeys thus far.  We were in need of a vacation from our vacation.

As my family and I have traveled we've e seen many small and large cities, lots of cars and many more people.  It is interesting to me how all of these people are doing the same things in Tatum that people in Carlsbad and SLC are doing.  If I did not know better I could take this little town and assume I am in Oregon, Idaho or Montana.  It seems to me that we are creatures of habit.  We tend to do the same things no matter where we are in the US.  Even the entertainment is the same.  Theme parks, museums, zoos, etc...are offered in every big town.  Fairs, festivals, bazaars, etc...are found in many small towns. So I find myself looking for the unique things to do in each of the towns and cities we travel to.  Don't get me wrong, I love all of the things I mentioned before, but when you do those things once a year on your annual vacation they are new and exciting.  For my family, we do this week in and week out.  I can only do so many water parks, zoos and art museums before they loose their appeal, thrill and excitement. We may have the opportunity in the near future to travel back East.  I have already started researching our journey and the places we will stop and visit.  There is so much to do and not enough time!!  Again, I say...where has the time gone and where does it go?  LOL

On our quest to find fun things to do, special places to see and opportunities to help people we are constantly searching.  I wonder what that searching will create in my kids. Will they ever be okay with the "norm" again or will they need something bigger, better and more thrilling than what our everyday life will offer if they don't become active participants in creating their joy and happiness.  I know that life happens and in order to reach your goals you have to follow a certain path, especially when it comes to our education and careers.   Time is required to do and reach these goals.  But we all get to a period in our lives when we get the house, have the kids, find the job and then what?  I can honestly remember thinking when I was a kid that life stopped at 40 and your were officially old....WHAT THE CRAP WAS I THINKING..LOL

I think when you reach 40 you realize that, for some ,our lives are half way done, others maybe, that our lives are 3/4 done.  Then time becomes very precious to you again and you decide to  do things differently. In our situation, material things, became huge bags of luggage we were constantly carrying around.  We felt that the time had come for us to lighten our load, travel and rebond with our family.  In the course of all this we are realizing that time still quickly passes.  My goal is to live in the present, not worry about the future and definetly, not dwell on the past.  As with most things in this life, it is a constant act of trying to find balance in all things.

The kids have been sick this week and we have done very little other than watch movies.  The kids and I are reading Great Expectations together and listening to a wonderful lecture on CS Lewis and his writings.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Score

Yes we are keeping score!  The score is 3 to 0.  The beach is winning!  Sea water and sea air are terrible on anything that can rust.  We have had our share of things rusting.  First, one of our bikes; it was a piece of you know what anyways, but it worked.  That is, until we rode it on the beach.  Over the course of a few days the gears locked up and the chain fell off.  I am so glad we did not spend a small fortune on this piece of battle ship.  That is what Cory calls our bikes because they are so heavy.  Second, one of my cast iron Ebilskivers pans.  Rusted!! How can you live without Ebilskivers?  We will have to replace it with a non-stick, non-rusting version.  Thirdly, our awning!  I can't say that it rusted but it just stuck in one position.  Now don't get me wrong, having to write about our awning being some what extended while driving out of the park this morning would be something of a greater interest to everyone and much more funny.  But, we needed to not have that experience if you know what I mean.  We were sooooo close, just a bit more to push  it in...oh, we pushed....SNAP! the part broke.  Yep; one more thing to fix on the trailer.  What is so awesome about repairs on the trailer is they are usually easy, do it yourself and not time consuming (unless it's an electrical problem...LOL)

Did we learn our lesson?....Hopefully!!  We are hoping that we can fix my bike with some DW40...doesn't that fix everything?  I think it must be a relative of duck tape, which we have not had to use...YET!!!  Oh, I am sure the time is coming.

The funny thing about the bike and the beach is that I kept commenting on how we never saw any bikes at the beach...haven't those beach cruisers made a comeback in the last year?  Well, apparently they are for those who WANT to be at the beach and NOT for those that live at the beach.  Crazy!

We traveled 8 hours today in the truck.  Mapquest said it would take us 7 hours 14 minutes.  The Watson's have yet to even come close to this estimation.  I was starting to wonder how they came up with this odd number.  I just assumed it would be a 10 hour drive.  Yeah, it's not a good time in the truck with three kids, a cat and a dog, once we get past 7 hours. We either have screaming and gnashing of the teeth ( that's the parents) or I am going to torture you with my whistling (usually Drake), Isabella is singing at the top of her lungs and Rye is needing new batteries for her MP3 player because she has played it so much trying to tune out the whistling and the singing.  Are you starting to get the picture yet?

 Well, surprisingly today's drive went quite well and in almost the required time period.  I had to lay the law down and say we could not stop every 20 minutes (some trips, everything goes wacko).  We gassed up, got drinks, used the potty and ate ONLY when we needed gas...ONLY!!!!  and it worked.  We all survived.

The next few weeks will prove challenging for Cory and finding a new job.  He has several leads but they require him to take some tests, get a top security clearance and interview at the top of his game.  While he is still teaching, and he loves it, he wants to do more.  We will let everyone know how things turn out when the time is right.  We are just grateful for friends and family who are sending their best regards our way.  We will continue to enjoy this ride no matter what life has in store for us.  This is part of the excitement and adventure.

The kids are gearing up for school to start.  I need to do something, what I can't decide yet.  I did complete a Sudoku puzzle yesterday...LOL  It is challenging finding time to do anything for myself.  I thought it would be easier but I still fill my day with cleaning and cooking.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am outside a lot compared to my old lifestyle and this is where my spare time is spent.  As you can see we are still trying to figure things out and trying to fit things into our busy schedules.

We are blessed and feel very lucky to have had this time together so far.  I can't believe September is already here...the time is slipping away!  To my Swiss Days friends, enjoy the next few days!!  We will miss  you and your friendships.