Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cruising in daddy's new car

Kids having a blast in daddy's new MINI countryman. Big enough for the whole family to enjoy. We open the sun roof and they squeal as the wind blows through their hair. Claire calls it a convertible car. She loves being closer to her brother to hold his hand or comfort him if he's upset.

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Friday, February 18, 2011


Our mission this year. As the schedule's fill up, we become busier and busier it's easy. It's tempting to continue to press on to be better, be more competitive, be busier, accomplish the most, seem the happiest.

We easily lose sight of that which is the most important. We get caught in the race and forget our purpose. Sometimes stopping to simplify puts things back in perspective.

This year, we will strive to keep our immediate attention on living for God and slowing things down to appreciate the "little things". I want my kiddos to have this important concept firm in their foundation.

So over the next year, I plan to implement little projects with the kids that will serve as learning opportunities or reminders for us to enjoy those little things. Sometimes starting from scratch is easier.

Lesson From Scratch #1:
Food, it should have been growing or living at some point.

This past fall, we got a taste of the trials of growing your own food. We planted a home garden. With the help of our temporary African transients, Aunt Hil and OJ. We planted a variety of seeds but had the best luck with growing dill, mint, cilantro, spinach and broccoli. Our crop was doing so well, we kept it going through the winter. It had no troubles with temps down to 30 but suffered the sub 30's and teen temps despite a garden blanket. We will see how it turns out over these next few weeks. I may have to turn some of the plants for a good spring garden.

I am loving having fresh herbs to use to cook. I'll add some lessons later on how we've used our herbs.

Today, we replenished our strawberry planter. The plants we had had a rough winter so a lot didn't make it through. We went with transplants. These transplants already have some fruit growing.

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Eve's temptation

So what's a Valentine's Day in Texas if you don't get the chance to eat some rattlesnake? Mark and I enjoyed our valentine's dinner at Hudsons on the Bend at lake Travis

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Monday, February 14, 2011

PADI certified

Yay! We are officially PADI certified and ready to start exploring the serene underwater world.

To help us celebrate the occasion Claire donned her new miniature snorkel and mask and gave us a big OK!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Alas, he walks!

To celebrate Rhys' 15 month birthday, he decided to finally start walking. Prior, he was only doing a few steps then would drop to his knees to his more efficient method... Crawling. Friday, he Walked 10 steps at a time and now 1 week later he is walking across large rooms. Whew!

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

..and we're back!

I apologize for the long break from posting. I was spoiled by the ease of blogging from my iphone. Unfortunately, I have been having technical difficulties with the app and haven't ironed out the details. With a new year, I hope to renew this habit and keep all up to date on the goings of the Hammonds. Claire and I have some projects ahead of us that we are planning to undertake as well, so I plan to post on those as well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Enjoying a warm beautiful day!

Finally the sun was out and warm enough to get the kiddos out.. And get a break from s pseudo functioning house heater. Took the kiddos out to Rivery park in Georgetown. Little man was determined to scale the climbing wall on his own... And he did. Now if he would only start walking on his own.

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As soon as it started getting cold here, Claire began asking eagerly "when is it going to snow?" We had to explain as fun as the snow was, it unfortunately is not something we will see often at our home in Texas. Well mother nature made a liar of us and lo and behold, snow two years in a row.

Texas weather always keeps you on your toes. Just when you start to get acclimated "wham", it switches up on you! Last Monday, we enjoyed a lovely day with highs of 80, 48 hours later we were shivering in low 20's. The key is LAYERS always!

To add another twist to the excitement, our heater was non-functional (well 1 of the units, the 1 that heats our family area). So at one point it was 49 degrees inside. Funny thing is we are pretty sure it has never been working since we moved in. We were so used to always being a little chilly in our early 1900 poorly insulated Jacksonville rental that we just thought that was the norm.

So the white stuff came on Friday. It snowed through the night and there were a few inches by morning. As soon as Claire awoke she remembered that it was going to snow and ran to the window and squealed with delight. We pulled out the sleds and bundled and played until the sun melted away the fun. Rhys got to enjoy the snow a bit as well but kept getting frustrated that he was spending more time face planted "in" the white than on it.

The 49 degrees inside isn't so bad after playing out in the 20 degree weather. Hats off to you northerners who have 3+ months of this. I am a Texan through and through and love my warm weather.. Maybe not the 100 degree junk but I'd take that over the temps in the teens.