Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Guadalupe River

I think boys (of any age) love to be part of something being built, actually need to be part of it. There is an innate need to participate in building projects, only if for recreation.

On a little vacation camping trip with a few other families to the Guadalupe River to tube down the river and play at the nearby water park, during the downtime, my marine engineering student decided to rebuild a natural rock formation into a calm (and warmer) pool for some of the little kids to play in...

and to make it a bit safer to play in the water without being swept down stream.
He slowly started working on moving rocks to build the pool and make a dam slightly upstream, to divert water flow to make a faster shoot for the tubes coming down.
His dad started helping right away. Within a short time, some of the other boys put aside their tubes and started moving rock too.
some girls pitched into...
Slowly the dam took place raising the water level above the rock dam, calming the water below. More and more of the boys were drawn in, without a word, to help be a part of this project.

Hours went by...

I could start to see the new raised water path on the left.

a newly directed water way for tubing fun...
My son and I took a ride down the shoot in a kayak, It was fast and fun, until we were stopped short by a rock too big to move.

and a pool for the kids!
Project complete!

round button chicken

RV: 2012 New Braunfels

Great Family Trip with Water Fun

Destination: New Braunfels and  Lazy L & L Rv park
But it is much more than a RV park!

We enjoyed our time at this wonderful setting overlooking the Guadalupe River. It has the benefits of a state park, with a natural playground and the plush accommodations of an Rv park (ie. water, electric & septic at the site). The slots are roomy, bathrooms nearby. The added difference of this place, they keep it immaculate! The staff was always working to clean up trash and debris.
I love the hills surrounding the campsite!

she's ready!
We arrived Memorial Day, after the large holiday crowd had just left. The staff spent the next day raking any trash left behind. The grassy areas did not have burrs, mostly, which is important since we tend to go barefoot. The Rv area we stayed #185 & 186 had a green common space perfect for the kids playing football or Frisbee. The slots were deep up to a fence overlooking the river (safe for kids to play). The staff allowed us to have as many tents we wanted on the slots, so our tent camping friends and overflow of kids stayed right behind us.

We rented tubes from Lazy L&L and floated down the river with options up to a six hour float to pick us up, with rates better than a trip down the Comal River in New Braunfels. It's better too in that you have the River to yourselves.

  • Water shoes - the difference between fun and mobility without pain 
  • Friends easy to make on the river
  • Always bring a football or volleyball, something to keep kids in motion

Just down from our spot, the best rapids we went over on the Guadalupe, with a beach and calm water for all to have fun in.
Even the little ones. Here is where you can see how some of our group made it better for the kids.

Our common area had a good set up for  fire pit for  s'mores and rosary prayed by firelight led by kids from each family

Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels
In our opinion - the best water park

Our secret is to come the last week in May - just after Memorial Day. That week most schools aren't out, but college kids are ready to work. So no lines on most water park rides.
New this year, what I call the lazy man's tubing experience: The Falls with the Aquaveyer
You don't have to ever get out of your tube - there is a conveyor belt to bring you back to the top. If you can get over feeling like a doughnut: being squished together before the conveyor, it is very fun. The biggest downfall: No shade like the Comal River tubing just below this ride. Our friends were floating by on the River while we were at the park. Second day passes are a deal. The price alone is steep, but there are deals to save $20 off an adult ticket. (adds up when buying of a group.)  Plus you can bring in your own food and drink (NO GLASS!). My meal planing husband has had a successful idea of cutting cheese, sausage, fruit and pickles a head of time, for a quick snack as the run through the rides.

Now the Comal River has it's pluses:
Its refreshingly cold, it has chutes that make it more interesting. But to repeat the old Camp W shoot, the city of New Braunfels charges a $5 band to repeat. Add that to the cost of tubes and Schlitterbahn isn't that outrageous. For most of us growing up in Central Texas, we remember the chute and waterfall at old Camp Warnecke. It is still as fun and dangerous as you remember:

I liked this vintage look of long ago Camp Warnecke-  linking tubes.
A little Internet trivia on this area:

tanned and all tired out!
Who could get tired of this beauty?
What about Mass??
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church was a fifteen minute drive from Lazy L&L up to the Canyon Lake. It didn't have views of the lake like I hoped, or 8:30 daily mass like advertised, but did have a lovely Communion service with a nice sermon on LOVE. The Adoration Chapel is peaceful and adorned with beautiful stained glass windows.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Day Book

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pentecost Sunday

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. 

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Outside my window...sunny and hot, we need rain. My sweet industrious husband set up an automatic timer soaker hose for the garden.

I am thinking....instagram is a fun photo enhancing software.*update, somehow my instagram photos have all disappeared off picasa. :(

I am thankful...for U.S. military and all those who have given their lives for our freedom.
Also, my family, my husband's job and God's protection.

In the kitchen...bacon, sausage and biscuits for a late breakfast/lunch. It's rewarding that I make something that my family requests.

I am creating...pie: Key Lime and Lemon.  Ceci wants to bake something, since she has her apron on.

Activities and projects in progress...the garden. 

Weekend activities....getting little projects completed around house, grocery store, church, yard clean up.. My favorite is the blinds hung. 

I am have a fun week spent with my kids.

I am (pre)reading...Shadow of a Bull and Lorna Doone

I am hoping...everything keeps getting better. 

I am looking forward to...vacation coming up soon enough for little people around here.

Around the house...trying to find ways to get the house cooler. It's already hot outside, and it going to be a long summer. So far, new blinds in two rooms, planning drapes in another. Now wondering if I should insulate garage ceiling, schoolroom above is the hottest.

I am praying ...
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. 
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. 
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. 
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. 
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. 
-Saint Augustine of Hippo

A favorite quote for today..."Gentlemen... start your engines!!"
I am not a race fan, but Indy is exciting and has the coolest trophy.

One of my favorite new birthday rosary beads

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking a break from school & piano. Just a relaxed schedule to spend time with friends.

Something that makes me happy...Lilly yelling "Doggie!" whenever she sees a cow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Friday - 7 Quick Takes

Butterfly bushes.
I missed them last year.


I love to look at my kids when they are sleeping

Such peace and beauty in their little relaxed faces. Maybe a glimpse still of babyhood around the cheeks


Are we drought-ing again this year?

Old timers think we are.
I'm starting to worry about the lack of rain,
and none in the forecast.


I was happy to hear about the lawsuit against obamacare by the catholic church and other Catholic agencies.

This issue concerns every American, concerns America.

Obama says he doesn't see it as a religious issue but as an equality issue.
So, he is putting his war on religious freedom clear as can be: are we paying attention?


Sunburned ! Sometimes its just too wonderful to visit with your sister floating in her pool to realize the sun is hurting your skin.

Little Missy had help from her very patient cousin teaching her how to swim.

This is cool - 
Scale of observable universe down to a Yoctometer:

Instead of thinking how insignificant we are, think: How great is our God!

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly 
Agraulis vanillae 

Euly's morning discovery in the garden

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter!
round button chicken

Vegetables growing in the garden.
Cherry tomatoes are nature's candy to me. My husband would never believe we have any of these sweet treats, because they always get eaten up long before we make it back into the kitchen.

                              "A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then                      after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables. " (Gertrude Stein)

I so disagree! It grows nourishment, happiness, family togetherness, pride of hard work. I am so thrilled and grateful with each vegetable we pick.
Sunflower just starting to bloom

Aunt Marilyn came over for a quick visit and Lilly must have seen her drive up. Lilly was insistent on going outside and having us follow her. She walked right up to the passenger door and pointed to get inside. She sat in the seat and tried to pull the seat belt on and wanted the door closed. She had decided she was going for a ride. Sweet Aunt Mar took her for a ride around the neighborhood. 
This picture was taken the moment the ride was over. She was thrilled!
She still doesn't talk all that much but told her dad all about "umm car... umm car" on the phone later.

A big sister found some markers and apparently no paper and thought little sister's face was just as good a canvas anything.

College son has set up his command center in ourschoolroom for the summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quintana: Nature Journal Field Trip

Our nature journal class ended with a field trip to Quintana Beach, just off of Freeport, a two hour drive from home. 
We had a big turn out for the field trip - around forty people.

First we were to examine the sargassum on the beach. The beach was covered with fresh and dried seaweed. When floating  in the water, it looks like the leaves of the plant and berries. When we shook it on the ground, little camouflage shrimp, crab and fish fell out on to the sand. 
Ms. Collins set up a cooler and an aquarium to observe what we pulled out. 

photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Then they brought out the seine net. 
When had much more variety from the seine.

captured a crab

ew sand!

Spade Fish - tricked people into thinking it was an angel fish. We also found tiny flounders, jellyfish,  several fish  yet to be identified

Our last trip was  in September, 2007 when the last journal class ended. That time, it was just Mr. Collins, Linda, my family and my sister's family. We had a wonderful day. I couldn't resist sharing a couple photos from that day.
examining the catch

Hermit crab