Saturday, July 31

Jewel of San Antonio

We were out the door by 8:00 AM in order to beat the heat and explore the Japanese Tea Garden.  Little did we know what wonders awaited us. 


The Garden was spectacular.  We felt as if we stepped into a tropical paradise complete with waterfall, stone bridges and an amazing pagoda. 




The Garden was once a limestone quarry and the original 1880 cement kiln and chimney remain.


The “village” once populated by Mexican-Americans who worked in the quarry was delightful.


The lily pond was filled with brightly colored Koi.



  J..h had fun taking pictures of the Garden. 


The flowers were her favorite. 107031032

054 099 106

The crowning glory of the garden was the Water Fall…


We spent over an hour walking the trails and enjoying the beauty.

042 065




As we left the girls had the rare opportunity to meet a real princess visiting San Antonio from her far away Kingdom.  They couldn’t have been more excited and I think the “Quinsinneta Girl” was more then flattered.


Friday, July 30

Amen to that!

Burke registered our cars today and we were complaining about the cost of the tax when J..h asked " Mom what are taxes?" So I explained that we pay the Government money out of each pay check so they can pay teachers, build schools, repair the roads and take care of the soldiers. "So why are taxes stupid?" Unfortunately she had been listening a little too closely to our conversation:) I helped her understand that taxes in general aren't stupid they are very necessary. However when the Government charges you too much in taxes then it can be very frustrating. She thought about that for a minute then said...
"They should keep track better. They should budget! Daddy works really hard to pay all those taxes and if he has to work all the time he will be so tired. Government should be little not bigger Mom" And to think some grown ups still haven't figured that out.

Thursday, July 29


We found the local fishing pond and it just happens to be in the neighborhood across the street. They catch turtles and catfish there so we went to try our luck. We weren't lucky but we still had a lovely evening. I am sure we will go back often when the weather isn't too hot. We have been making the most of our mild temps -low 90's- since it won't last. This weekend is supposed to climb to the first 100 since our arrival. I will let you know how we fare.
I have to mention the fun story about my sun hat. We spent our very last night in MA in Boston's North End. We walked down the same streets I had traversed dozens of times and gazed longingly at the fancy boutique's window displays. I had never step foot in one of these shops let alone bought something but it was my last night in Boston and I felt drawn to the boutiques like a moth to a flame. ( can you tell I have been reading a lot lately :) Suddenly this hat caught my eye and I knew it was perfect. I had been looking for a cute hat and the ones at Walmart just didn't cut it. I braced myself for the price and it was not ridiculous so I tried it on and knew I had to have it. Burke was already half way down the street and I had to drag him back so I could buy it since I wasn't even carrying my purse. Burke just kept smiling and shaking his head at me as I paraded down the streets of Boston in my new hat while the sun dipped below the horizon and a cool breeze blew off the bay. I wear my hat all the time and whenever someone compliments me on it I love to tell them how I bought it in Boston from a fancy boutique on Hanover Street.
And there you have it! Now I am going to have to post a better picture of it so you can really see how cute it is:)

Wednesday, July 28

I love...

I love how Burke walks in the door at 5:00 every night with hugs for his girls.
I love a how steak on a charcoal grills just tastes better.
I love watching J..h play freeze tag with her Daddy and give him a run for his money.
I love how disappointment that I haven't bought sand for the sandbox can turn to delight when the rain makes it the perfect home for amphibious creatures.
I love hearing Biddy learn a new word -Toad- and scream it with delight.
I love seeing S..a dance like a fairy.
I love the smell of freshly cut grass and soapy clean hands.
I love a summer night well spent in our own backyard.

Mr. Toad

Tuesday, July 27


J..h loves Scoobie Doo. She will watch an episode every day. I am lucky there is a never ending supply of movies at the library. She completely understands that the scary stuff is not real and loves figuring out the mystery.I like her new education in horror films. Rather then being scared by stuff now she can look for a logical explanation of why it is not real. S..a is catching on too but mostly she pretends she is not scared since J..h isn't. Today after a particularly graphic episode about zombies the girls made their very own masks ("cause the criminals are always wearing masks Mom"). I thought it was great that they could play something make believe that wasn't girly. Then I overhead their little game...
"S...a you can be the zombie princess and I will be the zombie queen."
"Ok J...h but can I wear my princess shoes?"
"Sure we can be cute zombies." and they were....

Monday, July 26

Pioneer Day

Our Stake has a 24th of July festival and when the girls found out they were so excited to dress up like pioneers to celebrate.  Usually I am too busy to think about sewing clothes for my girls but the blessing of no friends and no callings is that I get to say “Yes” to my girls all the time and I like that. 

I dug through my fabric and found a few yards of a  Walmart Clearance print that I bought for some unknown project years ago. Paired with an old white sheet I have to say their outfits turned out well.


I sewed the skirt and aprons from my own imagination but I did use a “no pattern” bonnet tutorial from a great website. 

004 - Copy003 - Copy

I knew a bonnet and apron would be wasted on Biddy so I made her some bows instead. 


The girls felt so special all dressed up for Pioneer Day and now we have a new addition to our dress up wardrobe as well. 


The festival was so fun.  There were lots of activities for the kids.


They had burger and hotdogs on the house and the girls helped me make a pie to add to the spread.  I had the most heavenly strawberry rhubarb pie and the girls’ outfits gave lots of people the excuse to come talk to me so I made some new friends.  We had a great Pioneer Day.


So I finally went to the HEB today…

For those of you non-Texans HEB is the only Grocery store in TX.  You can shop at the Super Walmart but why would you?  This is the attitude here towards HEB and just for that I decided not to like it.  I was undoubtedly going to have to pay for the amazing selection, gourmet olive bar, courtesy cookies and hand made tortilla station and daily samples.  Cheap is my middle name and I shopped at the Market Basket which is only open from 7 am to 9 pm with aisle so tiny that two carts can barely pass through. But the prices were awesome.  Therefore I have been avoiding the inevitable stop at the HEB. 

It came today when I was away from my stomping ground and needed to pick up a gallon of milk and some eggs.  It didn’t make sense to go out of my way to find the Walmart so we walked into the HEB.

I thought to myself “This is nice…but not too nice.  Hmmm maybe the prices will be ok.” They were… surprisingly so. “ I think I like this HEB.  In fact if I shop here over the Super Walmart I might actually save money.  There is nothing other then food here to tempt me.” Thus I left the HEB converted.  It is the only grocery store in TX but why not.  It is the best. 

A tooth for a kite

J..h lost another tooth and bought a kite with her money.  We had to wait almost a week for some windy enough weather but it finally came.  We have a nice open field across the street from our house that is perfect for kite flying. 


She just couldn’t wait…


All our swimming has made her a true water lover!

Toaster Oven Crisp

We needed a treat for family night last week and I was not about to turn on the oven and we were out of ice cream.   I was in the mood for something sweet and gooey. I hade one can of peaches so I whipped up a crumble with oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.  I layered the sliced peaches in the bottom of the tins sprinkled on the crumble and cooked them for 15 minutes in the toaster oven at 375.  They came out warm, crispy and gooey. Now I can make crisp whenever my heart desires and still beat the heat. 



J..h helped me create a lunch menu for the summer.  I wanted to avoid whining and indecision at lunch time.  Since she had school lunches she was great at coming up with new ideas.  Her favorite at school was a Pizza Bagel so we made our own.  


We have also made crescent cheese dogs and “red noodles” (a home made version of Spaghetti O’s-  macaroni noodles in tomato soup with grated cheese on top).  We have to plan a new menu for the week so if you have any lunch favorites please pass them along.

All Settled


Once we got moved in it was life as normal, with one exception…no school for the summer.  Having been so busy moving and vacationing I did not appreciate having J..a home to play with her sisters.  Since we don’t have new play mates yet it is such a blessing that J..h and S..a are best friends. 


Their tent started as a house but then became their favorite store… 


J..h is learning how to deal with S..a mood swings very effectively.


The girls helped me paint the boards for a new dress up closet.

013 014 Once it was finished they presented us with a Fashion Show. I hung a sheet in front of the dress up closet so they could change in secret.  J..h used their rug as the runway. It was so cute!

058 060

I just love J..ah’s Super Star pose.  Work it Girl!   They sure are pretty princesses.



Even Biddy played her part.