Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Rains came down...

and the floods came up!

This May has been the wettest on record here in Texas!  We received over 14 inches of rain!  The drought is over and we are now flooding!  The lakes are at capacity... or spilling over!  It has been really crazy!  
Well, we live right by a lake!  I was always a little nervous about the rain and flooding, but it never got crazy at our house.  There have been a few roads in the area that have flooded, but not for very long.  After all of the crazy rain and flooding I went out with the boys to investigate the lake levels by the house!  

On our way we found this turtle up by the guard rail!  Looks like she had dug a nest to lay eggs.  We never saw the eggs (she left the nest open), but it was really cool!

There she is hiding!

It's hard to tell without before photos how far up the water has come... but it has come up a lot!  None of these trees were under water before!

All flooded

Looking out at the main lake.

The closest the lake has gotten to the neighborhood houses.  It looks a little too close for comfort to me.  I am glad there is still more space between our house and the water!

We will see how long it takes for the water level to go down!  It's been nice to be so cool, but not good to have so much flooding in the area.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Botanic Gardens

The co-op planned another field trip for the Botanic Gardens.  The weather has been amazing and the gardens were beautiful!  We hadn't been to the gardens since we moved to Mansfield so it was nice to go back.  The kids acted like they had never been there before.  It was so cute to see them enjoying nature!

Here is a chameleon the kids found on a huge leaf!  He sure blended in well!  We ended up seeing lots of lizards at the gardens that day!

The kids checking him out :)

The fun log to pretend to be a squirrel in... or whatever animal you feel like!


Mhari, Grant, Clark and Lorna

The overview of the rose gardens

Little Love Bug!





The fountain


There was a turtle on land and the kids really enjoyed watching him as he went back into the water :)

Our group ... minus some small cranky kids ;).

Our two littles were exhausted!  They both crashed in the car and I transferred them to the couch to finish their naps.  They are so cute when they sleep!  Sorry for the dark photos.

The kids found some wild onions growing at the gardens.  For some reason that meant they should pick them.  I tried to get them to stop, but that didn't work.  They did have a plan though.... when they got home they planted the onions in the backyard so we can have our own wild onions.  Talmage even spent time researching how to take care of them.  They are such good little gardeners :).
 It seems like every time we leave some where the kids never want to leave.  I think we could spend several days just enjoying the Botanic Gardens.  They love the plants, the animal life, the interactive stuff for the kids... EVERYTHING :). 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taking out the Pampas!

The previous owners of our house had some really nice landscaping around the house.  We haven't kept up on it as well as we could, but it is still pretty decent looking.  There is one thing they did that we really can't stand... they had pampas grass features around the property.  Jeff and his brother Nathan had taken out most of them, but there is a massive one in the backyard and a small one on the side yard.  The time had come to take out the pampas grass!  OK, so it's not all done, but the kids helped and made progress in getting it out. 

I hate pampas grass and know how bad it hurts to work in it that I went on a glove hunt.  It seems that any time we need the work gloves there are no pairs to be found.  While on my glove hunt I tacked the garage organizing project.  Jeff worked with the kids while I worked on the garage project. 

Here they are working so hard against the pampas grass!

Sandra going at it with the shovel.  Apparently she's not heavy enough to really do much damage.

Talmage digging away


Mhari gave it a good effort, but couldn't really dent the beast.

She sure put her whole body into it!

Getting aggressive!

Using leverage!

I wish we were done, but there will be another post in the future showing that we, indeed were able to conquer our enemy and reclaim that corner of the yard!  I am very grateful for a hard working hubby and kids!


It is soccer season again!  Talmage and Grant are again on the same team this year.  Seriously, that is one of the blessings I enjoy for having two kids 14 months apart.  They couldn't get back on their previous team so we are now on the Spartans.  They were a team last year and are back together this year with mostly the same team.  I'm grateful the boys aren't starting from scratch with a brand new team again.  The boys have been working really hard and learning a lot in practice.  There are a couple of complaints for this season. 
1.  Sunday games ;(.  Somehow we ended up with 3 Sunday games in our schedule.  We are also missing two weekends for a family vacation so overall the boys will be missing 5 games... there are only 10 games in the season.  Seriously such a bummer.  I did hear that they have rescheduled one of the Sunday games so this Saturday they are having a double header instead of playing on Sunday.  I'm grateful for one more game the boys should be able to play in!
2.  RAIN!  Seriously, spring has hit Texas and that means spring storms!  Some years it's no big deal, but this year it's like rain is hitting every possible weekend!  There have been 2 rain out weekends already.  At this rate the boys won't be able to be at the make up games if they end up scheduled while we are out of town. 
OK, so all complaints aside, the boys really are having a great time!  Grant is playing center defense and does a great job.  Their goalie isn't that good so it makes Grant's job even more important!  Talmage has been playing offense.  He even scored their first goal and had several shots on goal!  It was so great to watch and cheer him on!  He is a good runner and can keep up with the ball better than most of the other boys on the field.  I love seeing them do so well!
Here are just a few pictures of the only game they have played this season:
Talmage is #13
After the game listening to their assistant coach.
Soccer season wouldn't be great without our little soccer stud, Clark!  He is on his first soccer team and doing great!  He is the biggest and the youngest on the team ;).  In their first game Clark scored his team's first goal!  They have only played twice, but he does really well.  He has a great kick and good ball handling.  He also really watches the plays and keeps himself in good position to defend or steal the ball.  It is amazing how much natural ability he seems to have!  He just needs to keep practicing and get used to working in a team environment.  At his level they only let 3 players on the field at a time and no goalie.  The coach also is on the field helping to direct the kids.  Their second game we were a little short handed and the coach let Clark play the whole hour!  He did really well, but was worn out when it was over! 

All of his team mates really like him and the parents know Clark is good so they all cheer really loud for him!  I can't wait to keep watching Clark play soccer for many more years to come!

Playing around

Team Strikers:
Coach, Shawn, Brayden, Kennedy, Clark, and Aiden
Clark warming up by kicking goals ;)
Getting ready to go out on the field
Kicking the ball in (instead of a throw in).
Positioning himself to steal the ball from the other team!

I didn't grow up playing soccer or even caring about the sport.  Seriously, there was too much running for me ;).  I sure do love watching it now, especially when I get to see my kids playing!  Yay for Soccer!  GOALLLLLL!!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Picnic Time!

For an activity our ward held a picnic.  It was held at a park nearby.  It is actually a park by the lake and it includes the beach and everything!  We went and the boys kicked the soccer ball with Jeff and the other kids played on the playground.  Once dinner was ready we all sat around and ate hot dogs.  Jeff even ended up getting to hold our friend's baby for a little bit.  He almost had her to sleep too :). 

After dinner the kids were dying to go play in the water.  I didn't think the water would be warm enough so I didn't let them bring swim suits.  That didn't stop them though and I finally caved and let them wade in the water.  I'm sure we could have stayed all night, but Jeff had work to do so we headed back home.  It was a great evening out and nice to enjoy it with our ward family. 

Jeff and baby Brynna.  

Mhari, Sandra, and Talmage


Grant skipping rocks

I think skipping rocks is one of my kids favorite things to do!

We missed staying for the sunset, but it was a beautiful night!

I really enjoyed the park and I am planning a May date to go again and hang out all day.  It will be fun to enjoy the beautiful weather and water with more friends!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nature Park!

Our 4-H club took a field trip to a local nature park.  We invited some co-op friends and spent Friday evening out and about in nature.  They have a butterfly garden and it was fun to talk about Texas, the plains, butterflies, and flowers!  We got to learn how the soil soaks up water better when there are prairie grasses growing in it.  We also learned how deep the prairie grass roots go (like 20 feet down!).  The naturists had glasses for the kids to use to see like a butterfly or a bee and see how the flowers look to them.  It was cool to see how attractive flowers really are! 

They even taught us all about blue bonnets!  It was cool to see the cat's claw and how it works to help spread it's pollen.  We went on a nature walk and really enjoyed being out and about.  It was so great that the Meyers and Jacobs families joined us.  I know my kids really had a blast sharing the field trip with friends!

Mhari with the butterfly glasses on.

Talmage checking out the glasses and trying to find the cat's claw.

A close up of the cat's claw.  It's not really a claw... just a piece of the flower that pokes up and looks like one!  It hides between the petals and pokes up when the bee lands on the petals.  There is pollen on the end and it pokes the bees tummy so it can spread it's pollen.  It's really hard to see... it's just above Talmage's thumb.

Lorna and her friends!  This is Brooklyn

They were so cute walking everywhere and holding hands.

The one with the black and pink is Kaitlyn.  They are twins and just a month or so older than Lorna.  These girls are just adorable!

Yay for blue bonnets!

They just made a little pond to attract birds and other wildlife to the park.

Some scouts came and built a bird blind to hide behind and watch the animals on the pond.  Clark is hiding behind it ;)

Beautiful yellow flower!

Talmage skipping rocks

All of our cute kiddos!  It had been a long walk and the little ones (Lorna) were not being so cooperative. 

Me and the kids.  It's fun to get to go out and learn and explore with my kids!  I am so happy we get to share these memories together!

Clark, Lorna, Mhari, Sandra, Talmage and Grant!