Texas Tigers
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sea World

Today we went to probably my favorite place to take Abby {and Micah too now} Sea World! Despite the tragedy that occurred this week we were excited to go visit this weekend for the opening weekend of the park. We skipped getting passes and visiting last summer with being very pregnant/having a newborn or being out of town for a large part of the summer. We tried to start with a wild animal show but that didn't keep either kids attention so we decided to go visit the penguins. We got that at a perfect time because we got to get up close to one of the birds - the particular variety lives in South America so he didn't need to be in a cold weather climate. 
There were many young penguins in the exhibit as well that had hatched over the couple months that the park closes in the winter and there were some even younger babies that we got to see the keepers hand feeding them the fish. Abby was more impressed with the puffin exhibit because she could see them swimming and diving better than the penguin exhibit plus they were a little more active. 
We then saw the seals and sea lions. We even got to see some guest participating in the Sea Lion Interaction program - something that they hadn't been doing the last year we were there because they had some sea lions in California that they were rehabbing in that pool that have now joined the rest in the main sea lion pool. The biggest  sea lion they rehabbed was/is very vocal and easy to pick out because he is so much bigger. Those rehabbed animals were caught and removed from their habitat because the fisherman were angry they were eating all the fish in the area they lived.

We had some time to wait before the new whale and dolphin show Azul so we let Abby play in Shamu's Happy Harbor. She did great at climbing the net all by herself. She even went through the tunnels some.

Finally it was time for Azul. The official first show is on March 12th so this was just a big dress rehearsal so they said they weren't going to do everything or may have to stop the show. I'm not sure what they might have left out because it was fantastic and they didn't have to stop the show at all. I really enjoyed Azul more than Viva. They seemed to do more with the animals. They even had a mom and baby Beluga participate in the show together. 
They incorporated some birds into the show as well and Abby got to see one on the way in to the stadium.

Abby really seemed to enjoy the show. She would clap for everything and would also do arm movements like the trainers were doing. 
What a great family day we had! I already can't wait for our next trip! They are having a Sesame Street show come a couple weekends in March and April so I think we'll try to make it back one of those days for that. 

The only disappointment of the day was the because Anheiser-Bush  was bought out two years ago the Belgian (?) company that bought them didn't want the Sea World parks so there are no more Clydesdales there anymore! We were so sad not to see the beautiful horses! 

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Friday, February 26, 2010

A girl and her dog.

The Pioneer Woman's photography assignment this week is pictures of dogs. So I snapped this yesterday morning of Abby and Honey. I had been petting Honey while watching Micah play on the floor before I needed to get ready for Bible class. When Abby woke up I got up to get ready and Honey went to lay by where Abby sat down to get some more petting. 
Maybe just maybe my picture will get chosen to be displayed on her site. I doubt it but a gal can dream can't she. I'm up against tons of steep competition. 
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before/after

In my picture frame project I posted about yesterday - I of course needed some pictures to put in the frames so I looked through our vacation pictures from our trip to Paris to visit Gigi and Pops and found some great images to work with. So here are 3 of the 4 pictures I used in the frames but instead of just showing you the finished shots I'm going to do it before/after style and show you the pictures I (or Beau) took and the image I ended up putting in the frame. If you want to see more beautiful pictures and edits you can go check out the blog hop over at Pixel Perfect

I started with this shot of Sacre Couer. 


Then a small portion of the Eiffel Tower.



And finally Westminster Alley in London. {Thanks Gigi!}



{all images were edited wtih lightroom version 3 beta}
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

craftiness

Here's what I worked on the past couple days. I got the idea from How Does She? You can see the inspiration/tutorial here I think it turned out pretty cute. What do you think?
Abby was crafty today as well. We did two crafts this afternoon. First an Olympic flame in honor of the Olympics. I'm really enjoying watching them - what about you? 
This was a fairly simple craft. I cut out a bottom piece for the torch and then we tore some tissue paper into strips for the flames. Not great pictures today because Micah (can you find him?) wasn't too content with his snack. 



And I'll just give you a tiny sneak peek of the second craft we did today. Can anyone guess what this might be?





Oh and this evening I tried my hand at making The Pioneer Woman's mac and cheese. The verdict is still out on if it was good or not - as I don't actually eat mac and cheese. Abby at first said it was good, then changed her mind and claimed it wasn't mac and cheese because it didn't look like the stuff daddy makes that comes in a box but she still ate it. Micah liked the couple tiny bites I gave him though. I'm still waiting on Beau to tell me the real verdict but if he says it wasn't good I'm just going to claim that's because he got it an hour or so after I cooked it when he got home from school not because it really wasn't good. {Okay so now he's since told me it was really good}

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

snow and preschool registration

Do you see it? Look closely! 
It snowed here today! We got two small {but huge for here!} snow flurries today. We got one with really big {for here of course!} flakes and this second one with smaller flakes. I wished so badly I would have brought my camera with me to Bibleland today but I forgot it on my nightstand where I had downloaded pictures from it last night. I could have gotten some great shots of the bigger flurry this morning had I brought it with me! 
Abby had fun running in the snow flakes for a few minutes before she got too cold. 


Notice the chairs? Wonder where we were? We were at church - saving our spot in line for preschool for the fall. Registration is tomorrow morning at 8 am. Yes you read that right - tomorrow. The line started forming at 7:30am this morning - yes again you did read that right - 24 hours in advance. People are spending the night in cars, trucks, tents and rented RV's to sign up for preschool. The chairs in the picture are the place holders for the line while the people wander about to pass the time. 
Good thing I work at the church and saw how crazy early the line was forming or else Beau wouldn't have been there until the wee morning hours and Abby would likely be on the waiting list instead of having a spot for sure. We might be able to find her another preschool to attend without this crazy line but we love our church's children's department and the ladies I know from the preschool staff are amazing women. Plus Abby is already comfortable and familiar with the building and it will be much easier for her to adjust to preschool there than anywhere else. In addition to the fact that it's just a great program as well.


Good thing the church has an indoor playground that the kiddos got to play on while we passed the time this afternoon. 
Why go through all this? Why for this sweet {silly!} girly of course! 


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Monday, February 22, 2010

remember this shirt?

We had a fun filled play date this morning with our sweet friends. It's great to have time to chat while the kids play. 


When we got home it was nap and quiet time. Abby generally thinks this means it's time to change clothes {at least 5 times} 10 bonus points to whoever can tell me what size this shirt is that she decided to wear. 
For dinner this evening I decided to do something quick and tried my hand at these homemade hot pockets. They turned out pretty good. Probably not too diet friendly but definitely cranky kids and need to get dinner on the table friendly. Beau liked it much better than my other cranky kid meals that include breakfast for dinner or pb&j sandwiches. Not every night recently has been cranky but we've had some crankier nights than usual lately due to Abby starting to wake up earlier when she hears Micah instead of sleeping in like she used to and that combined with her night wakings are leaving her extra tired in the evenings. Back to our dinner now... Abby gobbled hers up along with some pear. She thought they were pretty good. Beau also enjoyed it and had I not mentioned how easy they were to make I think I could have had him in awe of how hard I slaved on dinner. {And my craft project I did today, along with the picture I hung all by myself today!} 


And a side note - if you could take a moment and pray for a family in Houston. Their sweet 2 year old daughter Layla Grace is battling stage 4 cancer and without a miracle doesn't have much time left. A friend from the Houston area linked me to their blog a couple weeks ago and they've been in my prayers and thoughts since.
Here is the link to her twitter and you can link from there in the top right corner to her blog but before you click I thought I'd mention I can't read either of them without crying or at least coming close to it. 
http://twitter.com/laylagrace 
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

crafting

My friend Stephanie sent me a link to this website 
So I spent this evening crafting instead of uploading, editing pictures and blogging. Check that blog out and see if you can guess what I did. There are so many projects that I want to do. I also saw another project on a different blog that I now need to find a cheap piece of furniture so that I can do that project as well.


We also framed some pictures I had yet to get frames for and rearranged pictures in the living room.


Back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow... but not until after our playdate. {Have I mentioned how much I am loving having friends to have regular playdates with - they had been more sporadic and with different friends before}


Oh and Abby has woken up for the 3rd time since she went to sleep not 3 hours ago. Any ideas why my 3 year old has woken up more times than the itty baby? She's been doing this for the past month-ish where as she used to be out for the night or at least most of the night and would climb into our bed without us waking and she'd just be there in the morning. She doesn't really say anything except a sad whine and I lay her back down {as she is usually sitting up} tell her to go back to sleep and hug/kiss then she'll go back to sleep 70% of the time, the other 30% of the time it takes repeating that process a couple times before she goes back to sleep.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

the truth

So Gigi and Pops since you haven't called I assume that either you haven't seen the new addition pictures yet, you had a minor heart attack or realized that maybe Gus wasn't staying at our house. 

Gus belongs to Grandma and Grandpa. He was just visiting on his way home yesterday so we could meet him. We're glad to have him in the family though.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

and because I promised.

Here's Abby playing music while going around the room instructing everyone to dance for her while she played. 
You can also check out the big day that the little man had here as well. 


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meet Gus

We got a new member of our family today. He's two years old mixed breed from the Humane Society.
Isn't he adorable?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

randomness

We've been busy enjoying the crazy but generally nice weather here lately. It's freezing when we wake up but warms up to a nearly perfect temperature in the afternoon (upper 50s-upper 60s) so we can enjoy some outside time. No new pictures because I figure ya'll might get a little tired of seeing pictures of the kids on the swing set over and over. Plus it's hard to push two swings and take pictures. In addition to playing outside we've been at the gym as much as possible - except yesterday when Micah needed some extra sleep. Generally he takes a power nap in the morning about an hour or so after his 6-7am wake up then a long afternoon nap. Yesterday however he skipped the early power nap and took an hour and 1/2 morning nap later in the morning and his long two hour afternoon nap later in the afternoon. Which meant we couldn't get to the gym since he napped during the childwatch hours (with the exception of the hours during lunch/dinner) but we couldn't skip those of course because we needed to eat. Abby especially gets crabby when she gets hungry. Which lately has meant the hour or so before dinner tends to be a crazy hour around our house. We've had to cut back on the snacking because she wasn't eating well at meals so even with an earlier dinner than we used to have she is still crazy and ready for dinner. 


I finally picked up the registration packet for preschool for Abby to start in the fall. Eek! She's really growing up. Now I need to decide on the 2 day or 3 day program. I think I've decided but I'm not fully certain. I do think we'll take advantage of the extended day on Wednesdays - though I'm a little concerned I might be waking up Micah from his nap those days to pick her up if he continues to take his afternoon nap around the same time he does now - hmm maybe he'll be okay with me bumping it up on Wednesdays but not other days?  I think she's really going to enjoy it though. She loves doing arts and crafts with me and at Bible class and she is currently very interested in her letters and is getting better at writing her name plus they even do some cooking classes at the preschool.


Have ya'll been watching any of the Olympics? I enjoyed watching the Flying Tomato in the snowboarding and tonight I'm watching the figure skating. I found it interesting when they showed that the coach of the Dallas Cowboys was in the crowd for the men's figure skating free skate as well as the former Colts coach. That just doesn't seem to go well together. Beau doesn't find the Olympics as interesting to watch as I do - so he's watching basketball on a different tv. Fine by me as I really don't like watching basketball.


Well there are my random thoughts for the night. I'll leave you with those and maybe get some new pictures up tomorrow. 


Oh and I think we decided on our current decorating decision but I may make ya'll wait to find out what the decision was to make sure it's what I want. 


Tomorrow night we are having Beau's parents over for dinner and maybe even a new member of the family. I hope so!  
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

decorating help

We got some new to us furniture yesterday. {Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!} Now I need decorating advice! 
Here's the view from the stair case
and from the front door

Now the main question: curtains or leave it the way it is. Curtains would certainly make it look nice but are they necessary or do we go without? 

Here is an some option I found at Target to contemplate feel free to suggest others. 

or a solid brown?

or something else not too expensive?


Any other decorating ideas? (Besides picking up Beau's workout bag before taking the picture?) 
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras

Since the grocery stores here can't do the same justice to a king cake that the ones back in Louisiana did and I haven't found a bakery that makes them around here. Plus they do weird things like have pink sugar/icing on them?! So I did my annual tradition since moving here of making king cake for Mardi Gras. 

Doesn't it look delicious? 
 
Well it was! I made it for Abby's Bible class snack (along with some clementines) and left the rest for all the teachers to enjoy and it went fast. I hope everyone who wanted some got some but it was gone quick! 
I did learn a new thing - apparently Beau doesn't like king cake. {Yes crazy I know!} He however enjoys cinnamon rolls - in fact cinnamon rolls made from the same exact recipe. I gave him a little bit of harassing about that this morning so he had one piece for breakfast - before I got around to taking a picture - hence the piece missing in the pictures. 


I got the recipe from my mom and it's great - and easy! 


Here it is if anyone wants to give it a shot next year - or to make yummy cinnamon rolls.


Cinnamon Rolls / King cake 

Dough-
4 to 4 1/3 cups all purpose flour  
1 package active dry yeast 
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter (or margarine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Filling-
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1/3 - 1/2 cup butter or margarine
Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and flour together, cut in butter until uniformly crumbly. 


1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast; set aside.  In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter and salt until just warm and butter almost melts.  Add milk mixture to the flour and yeast.  Add eggs while beating with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for about 30 seconds, scraping the bowl to combine everything thoroughly.  Beat on high speed 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.  
(Lisa's notes- don't worry if you have flour left - you'll use the rest while kneading) 

2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead in remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes total) Shape dough into a ball.  Place dough into a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease the top of the dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour)

3. Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 9" round baking pans or a single 9 x 13 baking pan.

4. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle of even thickness.  Add filling and roll up into a spiral starting from a long side, jelly roll style.  Pinch the seam edges to seal the roll. 
Slice the roll into pieces of 1-1/2 inches and arrange in the prepared pans.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for the rolls to rise.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled (30-45 minutes) 
Or- refrigerate for 2-24 hours. If refrigerated - uncover the rolls and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until light brown.
Cool slightly, remove from pans and drizzle with powdered sugar icing or glaze.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
milk or cream to thin to desired consistency.

Powdered sugar icing
1  1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons butter
milk or cream
Combine powdered sugar with the butter, add vanilla and thin with milk or cream.

Cinnamon roll Variations
Add raisins, nuts, chopped apple to filling.

To shape into a king cake - after rolling the dough into your filled spiral, roll it gently on your surface to lengthen the roll until you can shape it into an oval.  Seal the ends together and place on a cookie sheet.  Allow the king cake to rise 30-45 minutes and bake at 375 until lightly browned.  Ice and decorate as desired. The traditional colors are purple, yellow and green.   Don't forget to put your favor in the king cake- if it is not plastic, put it in when you sprinkle the filling on the dough before you roll the cake up.  If it is a plastic baby, insert it into the cake from the bottom after the cake is baked and cools slightly. 

other notes- try to keep the flour to a minimum.  The rolls will be tenderest if the dough is very light.  Don't worry if it is a little sticky.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

playdate and tunnel

We had a play date with our friends this morning. It was fun to get out and play - too bad it was a little too cold to let them play outside with the cold front that came through. 

Micah {and Abby} really liked this tunnel. Boy it is hard to get a decent picture of a baby crawling through a tunnel. Hmm.. out of focus much? Oh well it's still cute! I love that you can see Abby watching her brother go through the tunnel. 


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