Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What we WON'T miss about Texas

1.  Fire Ants~the devil is playing a horrible trick on us with these horrible creatures!  What is the point in these awful things?  They build huge, ginormous ant mounds (sometimes confused with mountains) all over, swarm all over you if you go near their mound and their bites feel like you're on fire.  Poor Will has had his share of these bites, poor guy!  Disgusting and ouch!

2.  Bugs~I know fire ants could be in this category, but no, they needed their own number.  The bugs here are huge and everywhere, all year long.  I've found so many cockroaches, slugs, mosquitoes, bees, hornets, moths all the size of a small child,  in our house, it's not funny.

3.  The traffic and drivers~ For real, these people need a few lessons in driving.  Here you go:
a)  When an emergency vehicle approaches, move on over to the right lane, do not run that light to beat the fire truck.  Or, don't just stop in the left lane.
b)  Rain is ok, driving over 35 on a rainy day won't make you slip and slide all over the road, unless it's freezing and we all know it doesn't really "freeze" here.
c) Do we really have to drive this fast?  Isn't the speed limit there for a reason?  Driving 75 on the highway or street and then being passed makes you really feel like you're driving 20.  Not cool!

4.  Speaking of traffic....those annoying, lazy people at the grocery stores, Target, Sam's, any shopping facility or place with lots of parking parking space stalkers~You know, that person who sits and waits while you unload all your groceries, children, return the cart, buckle everyone up all the while they block traffic to be 2 spots closer to the door.  So.  ANNOYING!  Especially if you are stuck behind one of the lazies waiting for the spot, I have 3 kids people, if the 4 of us can walk from the back of the parking lot, so can yourself!  For some reason, it seems a lot worse here in Texas but I'll let you know if Kansas City has gotten lazy too!

5.  Our library~ That place is horrible and in my head, I write a horrible, mean letter to the person in charge or a mean blog post, after every visit.  They have way too many rules, their online account system is horrible (why yes, my name is Liz and yes that is my account, why would that book be for another Liz?  I have the same name, address, phone, email and they won't let me check out that book!), they are not friendly at ALL, their children's department has the meanest librarians who do not help and give parents nasty looks if their child is breathing too loud.  I could go on, but I won't!  Just avoid at all costs the Cinco Ranch Library, located next to La Centerra.  (Not one to give out personal info but that's as close as you'll get).

6.  Our neighbors~I truly hope we get better ones this time around.  Between the police getting called all the time on a few, to the neighbors who never pick up their 1000 newspapers or mow their lawn (and have 5 Direct TV satellites on their roof), to Joe, our too loud everything neighbor who tells everyone his life story (it's a good one) who runs a hot dog stand at the outlet malls and built said stand in his driveway...good-bye!  To his wife Ms. Vera Cruz (that's where she is from), go get your beat up van fixed, get rid of your Mexico plates, you've only been here 3 years, go get an American Citizenship or just take care of your vacation visa (don't get me started on this), fix up the yard, maybe wrangle up some of the 8 kids between you and Joe (gag), and please stop looking like a cheap hooker every time your utilities get turned off and you need to slut it up to get them turned back on!!  Wow.  Held that in for a good 3 years.  I also won't miss the college girls across the street from us who don't go to college, party all the time, fight with their boyfriends (one of the houses that the police visit often) and parents don't really do anything about it, bye!  And to our neighbor two houses down and the other one down the street....slow down!  It's a neighborhood, not the highway!  You are one of the reason I HATE Texas drivers!  And please look when you're backing up!

7.  Our House~  As much as I love our house here, it's brought so many wonderful times and memories, it is now turning into a money pit that I want to get rid of!  New carpet, paint, and now maybe a new air conditioner?  No thanks!  Plus, no one wants to buy it because we back up to a semi-main street but have a brick wall.  Apparently people would rather look at Joe and Ms. Vera Cruz's barb-wire fence, 3 dogs, no grass backyard, then our pretty trees and brick fence.  Please, please, please, someone come and buy our pretty house!  You will see Joe and Ms. Vera Cruz but not they're backyard, our party girl neighbors hopefully will move away soon, and someday those speedy drivers that fly down the street will have to crash their cars, right?!  I also promise the noise from the street has not bothered me at all until everyone has put that is the one thing they don't like about our house:  "Concerned about backing up to that street."  So. FRUSTRATING!


Now, no worries, there is a huge, long, wonderful post on the things we LOVE about Texas, a much longer list then this one!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Birthday Wish List

My birthday is more than two months away and I normally don't like to make a huge deal out of my birthday...no birthday week/month long celebration here.  Love getting together with friends and family, love my kids telling me my present and their contagious excitement, and love all the birthday phone calls, cards, and sweet Facebook messages.  I can't really ever think of anything I really want or need, until this year!  I'm so excited I actually found a few things that I "need" and really want!


Is this not the cutest dress ever?  Perfect for our tailgating and all KU parties!  Not sure how handy it will be in the midst of winter, but it's so cute! And it's only $40!  Most shirts are around $35!   Love Etsy

Need a Kindle Fire, my book light broke and I might as well jump on the bandwagon of technology! It even has a built in light and I can get books from the library!  It is on the pricey side, so just go in with my parents, in-laws, husbands and friends and all of you can get me one!  Right?!

The entire store of Nell Hills!  It's a shop in Atchison, KS my mom took me too when I was in town for the Pretend Graduation and I fell in love!  If the entire shop of Nell Hills is a little out of your budget, a gift card works too!

I'll take this entire outfit but I really need some boots for the long, cold winter months ahead!  Love these boots, love the outfit, am I really getting excited for cold weather?!  Yes!!

The last item (not to get too greedy) is a new purse, not sure what I want or the color, but something cute and fun that holds a lot of stuff!  Hmm....maybe that can wait until Christmas!  

Let me know if you need my new address to send me my present(s)!  

*Side note:  This is all in good fun and a way for me to procrastinate from my to do list that is currently a mile long!  But I'm serious about buying me a birthday present!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Adventures!

Life for our family has been a little crazy, not normal, and very unpredictable the past month or so!  Half of our family was in Kansas, while the rest of us were in Texas, and that's hard on a family that is so used to being together all the time!  While Eric and Jack were being spoiled and having a blast in Kansas, Will, Molly and I held up fort in our home in Texas and enjoyed our last week there!  We said good-bye to our friends, went swimming a lot, ate some Chick-fil-a and Mexican food, and went to a pajama party at Molly's friend Bella's house (how I'm going to miss her mommy too!).

We went swimming at one of the new neighborhood pools!  It was empty the whole time we were there and the kids loved it!
We drove up to Kansas with Boppi and stayed the night in Moore, OK..they were so excited to be almost to Kansas!  And who doesn't love riding on the cart?!
Reunited with Jack, they missed each other so much!  Lots of hugs, giggles, and talking about their lives the  9 days they were apart!
Apparently this is the token "silly" picture our family takes!
We went over to a sweet friends house yesterday and I just love those friendships where you just start up right where you left off!  Excited to see her and her growing family more (baby #3 arrives in September!).

Today, I took the kids to Kaleidoscope!  One of my favorite places!  We parked at Union Station, saw the trains, walked along the links to Crown Center, the kids loved seeing all the cars and walking so high up, and really loved Kaleidoscope!  It's located at the Hallmark World Headquarters, connected to Crown Center (so magical at Christmas with the lights, trees, ice skating and has outdoor movies and festivals in the Spring and Summer) and Kaleidoscope is a free, hands-on learning place where children create crafts and learn at their own pace!  LOVE IT!  They made a mess, enjoyed coloring and creating designs on the wall with a black light, and let their creative juices flow!  It was a little challenge helping all three get started at first on the projects, but we managed!  For 45 minutes, they had a blast and it was FREE!
Making masks, they loved it!
Her version of paradise, she loved all the crafts!
He actually stayed in one spot for a good 10 minutes!
When our time was over, we went to the Hallmark Visitors Center and went on a little tour about the Hallmark Company, family, etc.  They tried to make bows (machine was broken) and they loved collecting stamps during the tour, an overall good time!  We made a pit stop back in Crown Center for snacks and what did the boys fascinate over....
Really?  This is what they loved the most about our adventure today!  Love the brotherly bond!
Someone was feeling left out!

They stood there for 20 minutes, I kid you not!  And loved every second of it!  
Side note:  The entire way to Kaleidoscope, Jack complained the whole time, resulting in some hitting and yelling from various people in the car.  Ahem.  He didn't want to go, it was going to be boring, it was for babies, blah, blah, blah.  Poor Molly was so excited and always looks at the bright side of everything (need to regain that attitude!), and he just whacked her for being happy!  I was mad.  I yelled.  There were tears from several of us.  We all calmed down and by the time he saw trains at Union Station, he was excited!  For.  Real.  We all hugged and we all had fun!  

Now, some time to finish things up here and there before Eric and I go back to pack up our house and say our last good-byes to Texas!  Can we just skip all of these good-byes, they're really wearing on me?!  OK, thanks!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What to do with Five Gallons of Bar-B-Que Sauce

For Christmas, Eric's parents and youngest sister were driving down to visit us from Kansas City and he asked them to bring him a bottle or two of BBQ sauce from his favorite restaurant Jack Stack.  We've found BBQ sauce and BBQ here just isn't up to par (in our high standards of bar-b-que) and we ran out of his beloved sauce months before.

So, they make the long drive and arrive bearing food, lots of love for the kids and gifts!  And what is the best (questionable) gift they brought?  A five gallon tub of BBQ sauce from Jack Stack.  No, not a typo, FIVE GALLONS!  A gift not just from his parents, but also his brother and sisters!  Aren't they sweet?!  See, a few years ago, his family made the trek down here and Eric insisted on buying their presents and went to Sam's with a kid or two in tow.  He came back with a 50 lb. bag of popcorn kernels for his brother, an extremely large jar of pickles for his youngest sister, a large bag of M & M's for his dad, and a package of 10,000 straws for his mom.  Dead.  Serious.  So, I guess this was their revenge?

For a few months we stored the 5 gallons of BBQ sauce in our pantry, but we knew we had to do something with it and fast!  So, one day in March, I went to HEB, bought 24 mason jars and once the kids were in bed that night, we cleaned the jars and opened up the gallon tub of BBQ!

Wow, that's a lot going on our kitchen table...really, a globe?

Oh yay!  Get ready!

Yum!  The smell was heavenly!
We spent about a hour filling up our jars, we ended up storing all of them in our deep freezer and getting them out as needed.

Then, we find out we're moving...back to Kansas City, where Jack Stack's located and we could go daily, if we we're crazy, had a lot of money and wanted to become obese.  And, now we had 5 gallons of their BBQ sauce in our freezer.  So, enter teacher, bus driver, Sunday School, friend, and neighbor presents.  Seriously, I give BBQ sauce to everyone who enters our house.  And, everyone thinks I made it homemade, like it's some secret family recipe we make in Kansas City.  Um...no!  Just a Christmas present from my in-laws!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I love a great deal!

Yesterday, we had a few showings and I had a gift card I needed to use at La Centerra  (where we watched the fireworks), plus I had a discount card from Monday's with Mommy (a Kindermusik event every 1st Monday September through May!) so we headed off to shop!  I needed either two things:  clothes or home decor!  I was happy with finding either!

Our first stop:  Kirklands!  We walk in and right away, I find this:

Is that not just so adorable?! It's hanging on our front door and I'm in love with it!  Maybe someone will buy our house because of the cuteness of our door decoration?!

Then, we're walking around and I stumble on:

It's a floor pouf and I've been in love since I read about them on Becky's blog (go check it out, it's awesome!).  I love it and it looks so cute in our office and will look adorable in our new house!

So, with my awesome finds in hand, I go to the register, present my items and discount card, convinced the skeptical worker that it is a valid discount card, paid with my gift card and my grand total of these awesome finds:  $12!  That's right!  The door decor was originally $15 marked down to $12 and the floor pouf was originally $70, marked down to $30!  $30 gift card, discount used and the grand total of $12 spent!  I was too excited and my excitement was contagious because Will and Molly love the pouf and take turns jumping off of it!  Maybe next time I'll just stick with clothes!

Any good deals you've found lately?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July Fun!!



What a week, it was crazy!  Thank God for a fun holiday on Wednesday, our family needed the break!

Our neighborhood has a parade, so we headed over to the park around 9:45 and lined up with the rest of the kids and families...that's right, the parade is the neighborhood firetruck and the families from the neighborhood, either riding bikes, wagons, or walking.  About 6 people stand on the sidewalk to watch!  You would think it was the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in our house, we decorated the wagon and Jack's bike with streamers and we only heard about a hundred times, "when does the parade start?!"
After the parade, there were blow-ups, games, and a train ride.  Our kids wanted the train ride and we stood in line for roughly 45 minutes, watching the hoola-hoop contest, award ceremony for the parade, and ate some ice cream.  The train took us around the small lake and we rode about one mph, fun!  After the train ride, the kids bounced around on some blow-ups and we ate hot dogs and chips.  Can we be more American?!

We went home for naps and to relax before the fireworks that night.  Ate some delicious hamburgers off the grill, good job Eric!  I painted Molly's nails blue and red with matching glitter and then she insisted I painted my nails clear with red, white and blue glitter.  Glitter is really hard to remove from fingernails, just to let you know!

Once the glitter dried, we walked over to watch the fireworks at the local outdoor mall close to our house.  We enjoyed all the sights, sounds, and smells and got a prime spot to watch the fireworks.   Eric and I loved watching all the crazies park along the highway (which is right next to the mall) just to see the fireworks!  Good times!

Once they got started two things occurred:  Molly was in heaven!  After every firework, "That's my favorite!  This is my bestest holiday!  Look at how pretty!"  It was so adorable!  Second:  Will freaked out, clinging to me for all his life and refused to look at the sky.  He was so scared!  Poor guy!  Of course, the second the fireworks were over, he was all talk about how cool they were and joining Jack and Molly about their favorite fireworks!  

On the walk home, Jack loved seeing all the cars in such a long traffic jam and us moving faster then the cars by us walking!  (Insane the number of cars and how people don't know how to drive in such a situation, hope we don't have to evacuate anytime soon!)

We surprisingly had more fireworks in our actual neighborhood the days following 4th of July than that evening.  Apparently July 6th is the new holiday?!

Hope everyone had a great 4th!
Waiting for the fireworks to start!



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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mini Golf and Blue Bell



We've had a pretty busy week, mainly trying to squeeze in our "lasts" before we leave Texas!  We went mini-golfing one night as a family and to Blue Bell Ice Cream factory last week with our friends!  Please excuse the pictures, I have no idea to flip them the right way!  

Mini-golf was fun, a tad on the hot side but it is July in Texas!  We went one night after dinner and I even had a free round of golf coupon, awesome!  The kids had fun but no clue on what to do.  Eric and I helped a lot but they really didn't want our help!  When we got to the water holes, they loved hitting the balls into the water!
So excited to be a big kid!
Both wanted to be the first player at each hole!
All three putting at the same time!
Daddy helping Molly putt!
Daddy helping Jack putt!
Daddy helping Will putt!  Thanks Daddy!

A pretty fun night for free!  Hopefully we can go again to one in Kansas where it won't be as hot!

Last week, we went with our friends Preston, Lyla, Ben, Ellie, Elise, Lily, and Elijah (and their moms too) to Blue Bell!  If you have never had the joy of experiencing Blue Bell, go, now, to your nearest store and buy some!  It is worth the price!  So good!  We are fortunate enough to live about an hour away from the factory and hadn't been since Will was a newborn, so off we went for a fun day!  The tour was very informative, they were making ice cream sandwiches, Banana Split ice cream, Popsicles, and Very Cherry Vanilla, oh yum!  After the tour, everyone gets a scoop of ice cream in their cute parlor!  For $8, our family enjoyed our share of ice cream (Cookies and Cream for the boys, Rocky Road for Molly, and Red Velvet for myself).
Will, Lyla and Molly outside the factory after our tour!
The whole group loving the ice cream!

He ate every single bite!  
Some wonderful memories made from some of our favorite spots in Texas!
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Magic Mike and The Chalk Guy

This past weekend was the best...why?  Because we had zero plans!

Friday, we had THREE showings, so we spent an hour at the Y (love you Pilates) and three hours at the pool!  We all took naps when we got home and watched the Olympic swimming and gymnastics trials!  While Eric put the kids down for bed, I got ready for a girls night to see this:

Mixed with some beer and sangria and lots of laughing, it was a fun movie!

Saturday, was a lazy and relaxing day!  We all stayed in our pj's, played, watched movies and took awesome naps on the raining day!  That night, we ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse, where Will added butter to everything, peanuts and french fries included!  We then walked around the mall, but that wasn't much fun when everyone trying to shove chicken at you in the food court.

Sunday, we went to church to hear Ben Glenn: The Chalk Guy.  He had a great story and drew an amazing chalk picture, mixed with the music and the final reveal was awesome.  Too bad we had a grouchy 2 year old and I had to leave early and watch from the lobby.  Oh well.  After lunch, I went to HEB with Jack and Molly, who acted as though they had never eaten and wanted me to buy everything in the store.  It turned out to be quite an expensive trip, those kids!  We had a great dinner and walk afterwards, then Eric and Jack went to the pool!


Hmm..Monday turned into a typical day of laundry, working out (body combat almost killed me today), paying bills, cleaning the house, and wondering why we haven't had a showing since Friday?  Interesting.