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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nana!

Happy Birthday, Nana!

July 28th is Nana's birthday. We had a celebration dinner with her tonight. On the menu was meatloaf (Bobby Flay recipe), mashed taters, zucchini casserole, and key lime bundt cake (Sam's Club).

You may wonder why, when cooking everything from scratch, I would not bake the birthday cake, too. Simple answer. Nana makes a great key lime pie. When I saw the key lime bundt at Sam's Club last week, I instantly thought of her. I knew I had to get that for her- so I did! It was sooooooo good! Very moist and sweet with the tartness key limes are known for, it was a great addition to our comfort food dinner. Most importantly, Nana loved it!



I would never tell a ladies age, so don't ask what year she was born.
My lips would never let slip "1923." (Hee!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Movie Birthday Party

Friday night was the friend party to celebrate Clark's 14th b-day. We had an outdoor movie screening of "The Simpson's Movie," complete with typical movie food items.... hot dogs, chili, big pickles, chips, not- so -typical fruit tray, sodas, propel water, and bottled water. The guests ate on the picnic tables and swings and porch while the Sponge Bob "Band Geek" cartoon played. The movie was projected on a white sheet tacked to the back of the house.



Three-quarters of the way through "The Simpson's Movie," we had an intermission for cake and presents. Ed got all the excitement on film!



The kids were very excited at this point. We tried to show the end of the movie but they were just beyond that. So up to the game room we went for pool, guitar hero, air hockey, and general teenage silliness.


Clark reported having a great time! It is so hard to get kids over during the summer months. Of the original guest list there were four kids that were out of town and two out of the country.

Other news: Cousin Matthew left this afternoon. We loved having him here! Good news is that we will see him and his parents in August for the Symank-Richter Family reunion.

I was already calling Mason and Matthew "M&M" before they bought themselves matching shirts. Those shirts sealed the name!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sea World, San Antonio

Tuesday was Sea World day! We left Austin at 8:30am, heading for San Antonio.
lf to rt:
Mason, William, Dane, Seamore the Sea Lion, Matthew, Clark.

William is Mason's friend. They met through their volunteering mothers but bonded over skateboarding and all things cool! William is 11 yrs old and fit right in the group!

We headed straight to the water park, Lost Lagoon.
Dane enjoys pulling the lever to squirt unsuspecting people around him.

Cousin Matthew waves from atop the Splash Attack.

Clark, Matthew, William, and Mason wait for the big bucket to get full of water. Once full it tips over delivering a massive wall of water to the crazies waiting below. Like so.......
The four big boys went off together while Dane and I meandered through the water areas appropriate for his age. At one point, Dane and I were cruising the Lazy River. From behind I hear voices saying, "He wants to trick the HOT life guards so he can get mouth to mouth," followed by the distinct laughter of cocky young male teens. I look over to see my four "wild boys" floating beside us. The best part is.... they didn't see me! I had a unique opportunity to hear and see them in their unfiltered persona. HA! HA! (Don't worry, I busted them at later when we met up for lunch. Oh, and the "he" that wanted mouth to mouth was MATTHEW! They ALL agreed though there were several HOT life guards.)

We all had lunch togther at Mango Joe's Cafe.
Dane, worn out from the water play, thoughtfully munches on chicken fingers.

From here, the Wild Boys went off to ride the coasters. Dane and I went off to find the little kid rides and visit the Penguin House. We all met up for the Ski Show, with Chinese Acrobats as an opener.
See the spoon in the air? This talented lady had tossed up all the items onto her head, with her foot, while riding the unicycle and caught them ALL! Next was the Chinese Face Changer. I had never heard nor seen anything like this. It was wild watching him dance around and then in an instant, the face mask would change. There was a barley noticeable jerk
of his head as the change took place so I suspect the masks either start or end up in the hat. I base that assumption on the shape of the hat. But I am not sure!!

It was amazing to watch this guy. The very last switch revealed the performer's real face. (No picture, sorry!)
Here the Wild Boys and Dane watch intently trying to figure out how the face changing guy was doing his trick.

The next photos are generated by the boys saying, "Get a picture of this!" So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some Ski Show pictures.......




After the Ski Show, we hustled over the Viva! It is still a GREAT show no mater how many times you see it. My favorite part is the divers who dive off the giant swing. They are so amazing to watch! (No pic of Viva. I like to watch it instead of shoot it.)

All the boys headed to the Shamu's Harbor to play on the enormous ship shaped play structure. From there we headed to the last show of the night, "Shamu Rocks Texas." This show is set to popular music of today with a "Garth Brooks Wanna-Be" host. This show was a great way to end the night.

I'd say we had a "Rocking Good Time!"
Here is one last group picture at the Pflamingo lake. Very telling of the Wild Boys!!!!!! HA!

We left the park, drove to New Braunfels, and met Grandlally and Grandad at Taco Smell. We left NB, drove back to Pville. We delivered William to his house then came home. Ed was still at the Pville City Counsel meeting so I carried sleeping Dane inside. Everyone got showered and in bed by midnight. Whew! What a long hot but fun day it was!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bowling with Cousin Matthew

13 yr.old cousin Matthew, came to our house on Saturday morning, beginning a week long visit with us. The boys are thrilled to have him here, and Ed and I get to see what having four kids- 4 BOYS- is like. So far so good!

We have tried to plan at least one fun activity a day with the big activity being a day at Sea World on Tuesday. Saturday was time at the pool. Sunday was a movie at the theaters (Space Chimps) and a stroll around the mall. Today we went to the bowling alley.

They all seemed to have fun despite some frustration with gutter balls. No frustration for Dane though. He had a lane all to himself with bumpers! He was rocking it! Here are the scores:
Dane- 64 / 98
Clark- 136 / 74
Matthew- 53 / 41
Mason- 32 / 59

Interesting facts: Matthew is three months younger than Clark. They are a year apart in school due to Matthew's Fall birthday. Look at the height difference!!

More later as the adventures continue........

Friday, July 18, 2008

Last update on nest #2

Last night I walked across the back yard without sight of the mom bird to the second nest. That was the first clue that the babies were gone. Looking into the nest, I confirmed that the two babies had flown away!

Our summer of backyard aviary/nature lessons seem to be over. While that is a sad thought, I very much like the idea of being able to move about the yard without a dive bombing bird coming at me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Andy Pandy




New pics of our baby, Andy Pandy!Tasty treat? You betcha!
Andy has finished his second & third treatments. He goes in for a re-test in two months. Fingers crossed for a clean bill of health!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy 14th Birthday, Clark!

Clark officially turned 14 on Saturday at 6:18 a.m. We had a small celebration that started off with lunch at Red Lobster.... Clark's restaurant choice.

From there we headed back home. Janie joined us at the house for carrot cake cupcakes.... Clark's requested cake.

Clark got a Wii gaming system for his birthday. He opened some gifts which included a Wii game. Clark and Janie spent some fun time on the Wii. (I have to admit it is pretty fun! I like the bowling game but recognize that I look like a dork when I play it because I have to do the walk the same way I do when I really bowl!)
Clark's "friend party" is planned for the end of the month when his cousin Matthew is coming to stay with us for a week. We are having an outdoor movie screening party with concession foods. Can't wait!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nest 2 -Update 2


I checked the second nest today- 9 days since the last post about these babies. Looks like only two eggs ever hatched as there are exactly two babies in the nest. The nest is nestled well into the thick of the tree so it is extremely hard to get a good shot. I was able to get this shot showing one baby. You can see the beak pointing off to the left. Here is "Mad Mom" trying to scare me away. The thing is...... she is scarier than the last mother bird! This mother is quiet when she comes at me where as the other mother was always making noise so I knew her location without looking.

For some reason the above picture reminds me of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz!

I will stay away from the nest for a while but will check again to see their progression next week.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July

On the evening of July4th, 2008, we and the Cantus, headed to Wells Branch, for a magic show from "Gusto the Great." (Gusto was a camp counselor when Clark went to Magic Camp, and also was the hired entertainment for Mason's birthday when he turned 8 yrs old.We like him and his banana/bandanna trick a lot!)

Ed was picked as a volunteer for a card trick. Must be something about his face. He seems to be chosen as a volunteer often! Maybe it is his youthful attitude and willingness to play along that is the cause.
After the magic show and a few minutes at the play ground we came home for a quick dinner. We all walked over to the Harkey's house for ice cream cake in honor of Rebecca's coming birthday (July 11th) and Mrs. Stalke's birthday.

Before we all hopped in the cars, I tried to get a picture of the Cantu and Limbaugh kids all together. It is like trying to calm a basket full of puppies! It went from this -
To this - in a mere click of the shutter!
Everyone (Harkeys, Stalkes, Sawyers, Cantus, and Limbaughs) watched the fire works at the Wells Branch show. This year the new color was a bright yellow explosion. It surprised me every time I saw it that night. But my favorite is still the orange and blue with the sparkle white at the end.