Saturday, August 7, 2010

Knock Knock!

I don't know what it is about riding in a car that brings out the Knock-Knock jokes in my children. But, Kirk has turned the tables on FRitW a couple of times lately and it sure adds spice to the same old jokes!

It goes something like this:

FRitW: Knock Knock
Kirk: Come on in!
Kirk: I said "Come in!"
FRitW: No, Kirk, Who's there?
Kirk: I don't know who is there, but they're welcome to come in.
FRitW: (with a TEENSY bit of exasperation in his voice) Mom - Knock Knock!

It truly cracks me up! And if you have to listen to old jokes there is nothing better than a preschooler's delivery or a teenager's response!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Mom, Can I Color My Shoes Today?

Maggie has always had her own sense of style. Her style always includes lots of color, patterns, and mismatched socks. So when we bought her a pair of purple canvas tennis shoes, her mind immediately turned to making them her own.

She recently spent some of her own money on some nice, colorful permanent markers so she could decorate them and apparently every thing else she has come near! So yesterday those purple shoes went in the washer. Today they look like this!

Totally Maggie!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Wasn't Playing, I Was Just Helping...


OK just for the record, I really try not to embarrass my children on my blog. I don't want to hurt their feelings or share something they'd rather I not share. But, I am NOT letting Kirk preview this post!

Kirk wouldn't want me to write that he is the best big brother in the world, but according to 3 out of 3 siblings that have him as a brother, he really is! One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that, although there are large age differences in our children, they spend lots of time together and truly have a close, loving relationship. Oh, they aren't perfect, and definitely annoy each other (and Dad & I) at times, but most of the time they enjoy being together.

Earlier this week, Kirk grabbed the camera to take these photos of MT playing on the living room floor.

Just a very short time later, Dad grabbed the camera to take these photos of Kirk playing with MT on the living room floor.

Obviously he was a bit embarrassed at getting caught, but I know he treasures these times as well! Oh, and did you notice that MT didn't seem to think this was unusual at all? Hmmmm.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Great Texas Balloon Race Morning Flight

I shared yesterday some photos from the evening Great Texas Balloon Race event. But, our family's unanimous favorite part of the GTBR is the morning event!

We took chairs this year! Here we are settled and waiting for the balloons to take off.
We leave the house at 5:00 am so we can get to the site in time. It is fun to arrive at the big open field behind the airport when it is still darkish and watch the sun light up the clouds. Then it is time to just wait.
One by one tiny balloons pop up over the horizon from the take off point about 2 miles away until there are more than 50 balloons in the air. Slowly, slowly they grow bigger until they sail right over your head!

See how low the balloonists drop?
The morning event is a contest and the balloonists have several tasks to accomplish during the flight. There is a pole surrounded by an orange circle and two crescent shaped areas near the edges of the target zone. The audience is seated on the edge of the target zone 300 feet away from the pole.

Balloonists coming over the Waxing Gibbous Moon - see the white on the ground below the black and gold balloon.
The balloonists try to drop two white projectiles in the crescent shaped areas or the orange circle. These shapes represent the Waning Gibbous Moon, the Full Moon, and the Waxing Crescent Moon. The best score comes by dropping your projectile within the targets, but as far from each other as possible. Each day and each year have a different target - the other race this year was a baseball diamond and they had to hit the bases. What fun it would be to plan the different goals for each year!

Tossing projectiles into the orange 'Full Moon' and heading for the pole.
They have two more tasks. The red projectile is supposed to be dropped as close to the pole as possible within the orange circle, but they get points as long as it is within the 300 foot target zone. Finally, the balloonist has a small hoop about 8 inches in diameter that they try to drop over the pole itself. Last year a couple of the balloonists actually reached out and grabbed the pole to drop their ring over. It is pretty cool to see the balloon that close to the ground!

Trying to get the hoop on the pole
This year the winds really did not cooperate. The first to launch never even came close to the target zone and we thought we wouldn't get to see any of the balloons up close. But over the course of an hour the winds changed just enough to bring several balloons right over the targets and the crowd.
Two balloons that couldn't get to the target zone and landed.

Usually the shaped balloons take off and after passing the target zone they land right next to the crowd, but this year, due to the lack of wind, only a few shaped balloons launched. One aired up for the crowd but stayed on the ground and the bumble bees didn't even unpack.

Awww. I think Coco the clown just hated to land - he looks so sad!

Once the pack of balloons are gone from the target area we gathered our chairs and headed for breakfast!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Balloon Glow!

We drove to Longview for the Great Texas Balloon Race this weekend. When I was a child we lived in Longview and my family attended the very first balloon event. This year was the 32nd annual Balloon Race. Dad and I went last year for our anniversary date and took the kids back the next night. We had so much fun we made sure we attended this year!

The first balloon.

In the evening there is a balloon glow. All of the balloons are laid out on the ground and you can walk around and look at them. Then as the sun goes down they fill one balloon and send it up with an American flag. The national anthem is sung and each balloonist turns on their flames all at once. It is so cool and yet sooo hot!

It is so hard to get a photo that shows exactly what you see. The flames are huge and so bright and hot that you almost feel them more than you see them!
Then all of the balloons begin airing up and you suddenly realize how incredibly massive these balloons are. They tower over your head and bump together in the breeze. It is hot even though the temperature has cooled to 85 degrees because it is dark. It is noisy and crowded and amazing! There is an announcer who has the crowd count down for 'all glows' and 'twinkle glows' and all of the balloons light up at once and suddenly it is daylight!

An All Glow. These are mostly regular balloons and racing balloons. Can you see how people just wander through and under the balloons?
The largest gumball machine and Coco the clown
The bumblebee siblings and other balloons during an all glow.
Then suddenly, the final all glow fades and the balloons suddenly droop and fall to the ground all around, and it is over.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Just a few sprinkles!

Moderation. Everything in moderation. Well everything except sprinkles that is.

FRitW had a somewhat unusual birthday list this time and as a kid that loves to spend time in the kitchen, his list included a few kitchen essentials - like sprinkles! He made out like a bandit in the sprinkle department. He received some at the party and some more in a package a couple of days later.

The package contained sprinkles shaped like cows, cats, ants, pigs, bears, bunnies, ducks and chicks. There was also a package of "dirt with bugs" and "camo mix"

So we made cookies and a few days later we made cupcakes. And then we sprinkled!

Just a spoonful of sugar!

Who got to this cupcake first? The black cats, pigs, or ants?
Kirk's "cattle car" (heehee I crack myself up!) It has cow sprinkles!

Would you like some cookie with your sprinkles?

 The first pan of cookies had no frosting, just lots of sprinkles!

Our sugar cookie lady dressed in a lovely Camo dress - I know..I didn't see her at first either - good thing I'm not a deer!