Friday, May 29, 2009


Of course, I know Ryan and Katie are growing up. Of course, I know they're getting bigger. I can look at pictures from year to year and see how much they've grown. But this? This startles me!

First day of school: August 2008

Last day of school: May 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another day, another milestone.

Just one day after Ryan got a cell phone and Katie got contacts, Katie graduated from fifth grade! Now, she still had two more half-days of school to attend, but Wednesday was her school's ceremony.

Here's Katie's teacher, Mrs. C. Katie was SO lucky to have Mrs. C for a teacher for third AND fifth grades!

Brett, Nana and Papa were able to attend the program. I'm so glad they could since I couldn't get away from school! They were there to see Katie honored for:
  • winning the school spelling bee
  • being on the A honor roll (one of only three fifth graders!)
  • having perfect attendance
  • being a leadership kid
  • being a character kid
  • having an E in conduct
We're so proud of our graduate! (And I'm so proud of Brett for taking pictures for me!) Now it's off to middle school for Katie!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At last.

We caved! Ryan finally has his own cell phone.

It turns out that this was a big milestone day at Chez Dub. Ryan got his phone and Katie got contacts all on the same day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Good timing.

In about a week, I'll get to enjoy the best part about being a teacher/mom, but for most of the school year, my work schedule keeps me from attending virtually every daytime activity the kids participate in. Sure, I've been able to stay home with Ryan and Katie when they've been sick from time to time, but with precious few exceptions (like Katie's spelling bee), I generally have to miss the character kid assemblies, the fifth grade graduations and the end-of-year parties.

So imagine my delight when Katie's school scheduled its field day for Memorial Day! Like most, my school district had the day off, but Ryan and Katie's had a makeup day because of the ice last January. I was quick to volunteer. This year I could help. This year I could volunteer for Katie's last elementary field day.

My assignment: the scooter relays.

When I found out that a kid lost a tooth doing this race last year, I questioned just how fun this job would be, but it turned out to be great fun.

Look, Mom! All teeth!

Of course, it's always fun to get to see my kids at school, but because this was Katie's last week of fifth grade, field day was extra special. I loved it when kids and teachers alike would see my nametag and ask, "Are you Katie's mom?" I found out all kinds of wonderful things about my daughter (and Ryan, too).

I've missed countless daytime school activities, but I'm so thankful for the January ice that gave me this field day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Since we were in the neighborhood...

We used our Six Flags season parking pass for the Rangers game, and since we were right there, we figured, why not go on in? Brett doesn't make it out to the "Big, Big Park" all that often, so he figured this visit could count as his 2009 outing.

For some reason, he no longer cares for the fast rides or the dizzying heights that thrilled him in his younger days. We were really hot after the game, though, so we managed to get him on the Aquaman right away.

Well, he rode on the boat. He and I didn't wait on the bridge for the big splash.

But Ryan and Katie did!

For me and the kids, it was kinda funny to be spending our second Sunday afternoon in a row at Six Flags! We hadn't been out there in months, but then there we were, living it up for back-to-back weekends.

Much like last Sunday afternoon, the lines were pretty short. The kids and I rode some of the rides that we're usually not patient enough to wait for, like Tony Hawk and Mr. Freeze.

Brett was sweet to wait for us to ride whatever we wanted, even when he really didn't want to join us! I think he ended up riding three rides all day—and that third one was because the Boot Scootin' ride operator begged us to ride since we were just sitting there, waiting for the kids to come off the Texas Giant.

He was even patient enough for us to do our usual Titan-a-thon at the end of the day. We rode and rode and rode and rode. At one point as we waited, I noticed the dummies in the unused train:That really has nothing to do with anything, but I had never noticed them before! (Again with the Titan obsession. But it IS the best ride EVER!!!!!!!!! Ahem. Lost control for a second there. Sorry.)

Katie took advantage of the shorter-than-usual lines to wait for the very front seat:

Go, Katie!

It was so strange to be walking INTO Six Flags already exhausted after the baseball game! Note to self: Rangers game plus Six Flags equals TOO MUCH for this 41-year-old body. But wow was this crazy/fun day just what my work-weary spirit needed!

Take us out to the Ballpark.

Free tickets? Why, yes, we'll take 'em! It took a lot of hustling to escape the church sound booth, change clothes and get on our way, but we managed to make it to the Ballpark just in the nick of time.

Turns out that the Rangers are quite the hot ticket these days with their winning ways. We nearly panicked when we saw the mobs of people outside and the mile-long lines at the ticket booths. Fortunately, Brett was able to find our ticket source, and we were on our way to our seats.

It was a gorgeous day for baseball, that's for sure! After Saturday's gloom, we were loving the sunshine. (We were loving our sunscreen, too.) We were hot, though. It was hard to believe it was only 72 degrees. Granted, the game started at 1 p.m., but still. If we were that warm and it was only 72, we couldn't imagine how miserable it'll be in July.

Yes, the "check it, chicken look" plays ball, too!

During one of my cool-off breaks, I spotted this little vista. (As a matter of fact, I do have an unhealthy obsession with the Titan. Why do you ask?)

After six and a half scoreless innings, the Rangers finally got a run! WOO-HOO!

Katie and Ryan were just about to go cool off but stuck around just long enough to see the RBI. (Too bad she was gone when Josh Hamilton made this amazing play, though!)

Rangers sweep the Angels! We loved it when the grounds crew brought out the brooms! It was a great game and a big win for the home team.

Bonus feature: The final out. "Sweep! Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why I played flute.

Can you see Ryan? Ryan plays trumpet. The trumpets are WAY on back there. No, not THAT far back, but back there.

Ryan's middle school band had its spring concert Friday night, and it was wonderful to hear the students play. Still, it's funny that we were so excited to get mere glimpses of Ryan's forehead during the performance!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's not that easy bein' green.

Ryan's not the only one with interesting homework projects these days! Katie brought home a Water Wise kit from a local water district. With it we tested the water flow rates of our kitchen and bathroom sinks and our shower. Really interesting! We also installed new aerators on our faucets to decrease the volume of water we use.

Katie is really energy conscious. I'm doing a better job of using my own grocery bags (after carrying them around—unused—for six months), but Katie's encouraging me to avoid plastic bottles and to think more about how products are packaged.

I'm so proud of my green girl!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Everybody and their mom's at Six Flags.

Mr. Six was even there.

(OK, it officially bothers me that my kids are just about as tall as the characters now. But whatever.)

When we saw all those cars in the parking lot, we were afraid our first trip for the season might be more waiting than riding. Inside the front gate, there were people EVERYWHERE. But then we got to the top of the Titan platform and saw this:

We ended up riding our favorite roller coaster six times before the day was over. Greatness! That's awesome considering we went to church, went home, ate lunch, changed clothes and then made our way to the park.

Later, we came upon this band, Veer Union. Katie was really taken with them. She was only too happy to follow their instructions to move closer to the stage. She got these great shots:

At the end of their set, they said they'd be riding the Titan later. Katie was SO anxious to go back and ride the Titan next! She thought it'd be cool to ride at the same time as the band. I told her it'd be highly unlikely for us to time it just right for that to happen.

The weather cooperated so we could enjoy the view from the Oil Derrick.

Pretty cool to see the new Cowboys Stadium. It's been neat to watch its progress. (Compare the picture below to the one from March 2008.)

We figured that even though the park seemed crowded, most people were avoiding the big rides, our favorites. No problem for us! We rode our faves without too much of a wait. In fact, for the Superman, we were able to walk right up to where that blue dot is to wait for our turn. SWEET!(I'm pretty impressed with the iPhone GPS's accuracy, by the way!)

So here's the rest of the story: We like to end our Six Flags day by riding the Titan, and on this last ride, Ryan and I ended up on a different train from Katie. Both kids know the drill: If we're separated, we meet up by the picture kiosk. As Ryan and I were leaving the ride platform, guess who was getting ready to ride?

Yep! It's Veer Union!

I couldn't wait for Katie to come down those steps so I could tell her they were there! Of course, once her ride was finished, we zoomed back through the line so could ride again, in effect riding more or less at the same time as the band. Too funny! It was a great way to end the day.

This little taste of summer made it hard to go to school the next morning, but it was worth it to spend my Mother's Day with my two fellow coaster junkies.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New math.

Back in my day, we didn't need hammer and nails to do our math homework.

But kids these days? For Ryan's math project, he had to create a string design that was geometrically proportional. That meant a trip to the hardware store was in order, and Mom and Dad were called into action.

Since string was involved, ChaCha volunteered for duty, too.

She really could not get enough of the string.

Ryan had the idea for the design. Pretty cool, huh?

Ryan was appropriately proud.

By the time we were finished, ChaCha was worn out!