Sunday, July 31, 2011


17 total hours in the car with 3 kids and a co-pilot that looked like this

You'd think after 9 full hours of not napping in the car, the smaller people in the family would be ready to sleep once we got to the hotel on Day 1.

Ummm. Not so much.

Kyle asked to have his picture made.

And Reed asked for me to take a picture of him "pretending to sleep".

Yep, pretending to sleep was the only sleeping going on.

Our second car day was 8 full hours with only one meltdown.
(Not counting my own, of course.)

But we made it.
East Texas to Durango, Colorado

And I can officially say:
I am REALLY awesome!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fashion Fabulous Friday

How can you go wrong when the children's menu doubles as fabulous headware?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

He's Crafty (too)

When buying pillow supplies for the showcased latch hook project of yesterday, one half of the Dynamic Duo decided that if JR got to do a craft, he really needed to do one too.

(The other half was quite content being strolled around in the buggy wearing his newly selected pink and purple gardening gloves and apron.)

Of course when I say he "decided" he needed a craft, I mean there was wailing and gnashing of teeth while plagues of locust began closing in on Hobby Lobby.  I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure Kyle was headed toward the fabric section to select a new sackcloth to go with the ashes Reed was about to pour on his head.

Thankfully this situation of Biblical proportions was soothed by a $.74 project found on the summer clearance aisle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Off The Hook

I was trying to think of something JR would enjoy doing this summer, and remembered how much I liked to latch hook when I was his age.

I bought him a kit, opened it up....and couldn't remember how to latch hook at all.

My dad used to latch hook with me, and he too, couldn't remember.

I assumed there was a You Tube video out there to show me how, but I was in a rush to get to Dallas for our Britney Spears extravaganza. (Priorities!)

I told JR I'd figure it out when I got back, and my dad said, "Oh that's okay, I'll get Freddie (my dad's farm hand) to show him how."
Me: Daddy! Freddie's not going to know how to latch hook!
My dad: Sure he will. I'll just let him read the directions. 
(Directions, which obviously, my dad and I couldn't figure out.)

While I was gone I didn't give any thought to my dad assigning Freddie the job of JR's craft mentor, and was able to get a latching refresher course from my friend, Kelly's, sons since they were latch hooking this summer too.

But sure enough, when I got home, there were two or three latch hook squares finished. 

I turned to my dad and said, "Oh! You remembered how!"
My dad: No. Freddie did it.

Of course he did.

But in all seriousness, JR is so proud of his little project.  We made it into a pillow and he can't wait to put in on his bed at home.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back in Time

In Johnson City we finally made it to the living history farm. 
(The whole reason my dad wanted to go to Johnson City in the first place.) 

It's a German farmhouse and everything is done as it was in 1918. 
 The park rangers wear period clothing (Poor things. Period clothing is seriously hot in Texas!), do the farm and household chores as they were done at that time, (except state law now prohibits "slopping pigs") and they also interact with the visitors.

Of course I couldn't help but laugh that we drove all the way to the Texas hill country to see a German farm house that looked exactly like the German-Jew-Presbyterian house my mom was raised in.

And then the kids had the most fun with the animals they see every day.

Guess what my dad decided to add to his poultry collection after our visit...

The park rangers showed the kids a great time, but they were most excited to help gather eggs.

They don't gather eggs at PawPaw's since PawPaw's eggs have baby chicks (and not breakfast) inside!

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Biggie

Go ahead and just relax there, JR.
Cause, ya's such an everyday occurrence you get to pose with Air Force One!

(LBJ's Air Force One on display at LBJ Historical Park.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Beautiful Trap

Continuing our tradition of trying to hit all the "nation's largest" tourist traps, we stopped in at Wildseed Farms.

Wildseed Farms is the largest working wildflower farm in the U.S.
Which for some reason struck me as really Durango-y.

I couldn't quite put my finger on why I thought the Durangoans would appreciate a working wildflower farm until I saw this:

There was a butterfly garden where we saw about 3 tiny butterflies.
(Reed's pointing at one)
I'm sure the others had retreated someplace with airconditioning and frosty cold beverages.

And we saw plenty of flowers.

 There was even a slight breeze (as documented by Reed's golden blowing locks) which made it bearable to be long as you're a Texan used to the heat, and were in the shade.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fredericksburg Fabulous Friday

Our road trip continued on to Fredericksburg, which is known as a romantic getaway or girl's weekend kind of a town.

Obviously with my parents and 3 kids in tow, we weren't experiencing Fredericksburg the way it's intended.

Instead of spending the day touring wineries, lunching at small cafes, and/or shopping in fun little boutiques, we:

watched animated, dancing salsa bottles

had my dad babysit on park benches as my mom and I ran in-and-out of stores in record time

and posed for pictures with giant cowboy M&M's.
(Do you see the sign advertising the chocolate covered bacon? We didn't try it, but a couple passing by told us it was really good.)

The whole family did spend a really enjoyable hour in one of the Christmas stores.

And the term 'really enjoyable' isn't laced with one drop of sarcasm. 
Christmas decorating genes run strong in this family!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Really Long Way for a Donut

It just wouldn't be summer if we weren't trying an Adam Richmond-Man Vs Food-restaurant. 

My dad had been saying he wanted to go over to Johnson City, and since Round Rock is a mere 1-1/2 hours out of the way, we decided to "swing" by and let JR sample one of the giant donuts.

Now, I've heard really great things about Round Rock Donuts,
 but I'd never heard  2 VERY IMPORTANT things. 
Aren't you glad you have me to fill you in?

1. Round Rock Donuts has no bathroom. 
This would have been excellent information to have before getting out of the car after a 3 hour drive for a donut.

2.  There's no place to sit down and eat.

Here's JR with our loot.
This is pretty much the whole store.
There's just room to order and get out!
I swear I remember Adam Richmond sitting down to eat the big donut, but maybe he didn't.
They do have picnic tables out front, but since it was 102 and there was no shade, we chose to eat our donuts standing up under a shade tree in the parking lot.

So, was it worth 3 hours in the car, no bathroom, and eating in a parking lot?

You bet it was!
Those donuts are seriously some of the best eats I've ever put in my mouth.
Hands down: Best. Donut. Ever.
As my dad put it, "I'd gobbled down two of those things before I even knew it.  And I'm not even a donut fan!"
(Don't worry, he wasn't talking about the giant donut. My parents and I split a half dozen.)

Kyle and Reed weren't really aware that donuts were the speciality, so they ordered cupcakes.

Of course they didn't finish them, and hallelujah for that, cause they were the best cupcakes ever!
(They ordered just plain ol' vanilla and they totally beat out the $4 a piece red velvet cupcakes you get at the fancy cupcake stores.)

So, Jason, for my next birthday I'd like a Round Rock Donut donut birthday cake.
(Yes, they make those.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hometown Tourists

We did a little hometown touristing the other day while out and about in Huntsville.
(Huntsville is my dad's hometown and about 30 miles from where they live now.)

Though Huntsville is probably best known for "Old Sparky" (the electric chair which you can now see in the Texas Prison Museum), it also happens to the hometown to Sam Houston.

Now, if you're a Texan you definitely know Sam Houston, but for you non-Texans:

 He was President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of the State of Texas, and led the Texas Army in the Battle of San Jacinto which was our big victory over Mexico in the Texas Revolution.

And if you think we Texans don't love our Texas history, then just check this out.
The Sam Houston statue in Huntsville is the worlds tallest statue of an American Hero.
 It's 67 feet tall!

Oh yeah, everything is bigger in Texas.
This replica of his face gives you an idea of how big the statue is.
Kyle and Reed aren't much bigger than the nose!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Scouting Up Big Time

As you're well aware, JR loves Cub Scouts.
(And you also know how much I love *wink, wink* leading his pack.)

But it really was exciting to stop off at the Cockrell Scout Center in Houston.

Why in the world would that be exciting?

Well, our scout center is a 4-hour drive away in Albuquerque.
(In contrast to the 4-minute drive we made from our old house in Houston.)

And just to prove what a difference there is:
JR's pack is part of the Great Southwest Council.
The Great Southwest Council is so small it has to service areas in four states.
 (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah)

The Cockrell Center in Houston services the Sam Houston Area Council.
Which includes 16 counties.

So, yeah.
We "small towners" were pretty impressed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Top it Off

My dad and Jason's dad have one thing in common.
They both love to work in the yard.
(And have really pretty yards.)

And since we were in the big city this weekend, I had to take advantage of Grandpa Gary's scenery and snap a few shots.

Now, before I show these to you, you'll probably notice that the kids are shirtless in all the pictures.

This is a nod to one of my favorite Urban Legends of Gary in which he supposedly once had a passport photo in which he was shirtless.

As the story goes, he chose to submit a chest-bearing photo for a legal document since it was a "really good picture" of him.

So without further ado, photos suitable for 1960's international travel.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fashion Fabulous Friday-Britney Edition!

What's more fabulous than attending a Britney Spears concert?
Attending a Britney Spears concert dressed in full Britney costumes, of course!

And in case you're not a Britney fan, I'll walk you through our evolution of Britneys.
(left to right)
Shari as 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' Britney
Me as 'I'm a Slave 4 U' Britney (complete with albino boa constrictor)
Marcia as 'Me Against the Music' Britney
Adrienne as Post-Mental-Breakdown Britney (complete with Starbucks coffee and purse sized dog)
Kelly as 'Circus' Britney (complete with whip)

The costumes went over even better than we could have imagined, with people lining up to have their pictures taken with us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet Caroline

Sure it's one of Neil Diamond's most famous songs, but I really do have a sweet Caroline in my life.
Caroline was the first friend I made in college, and we're still going strong all these (VERY FEW) years later.

On the VH1 series I Love The 80's, one of my favorite clips is Juliette Lewis saying she's "gonna seriously represent" and shows her seventh grade class picture to showcase her big hair. 
I feel exactly the same way showing this picture. 
(Although, if we're being perfectly honest, I always wanted my hair to be bigger.  But, alas, this was as big as I could get.)

And here we are now
Praise the Lord for highlights!

Caroline and I hadn't seen each other in almost two years, so it was great to spend Sunday evening laughing and giggling.
We even had to laugh that our topics of discussion never seem to change.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunny Sunday Press

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then you know I've been very busy these past few days hanging out with my girlfriends from Dallas, and attending the Britney Spears concert in full Britney costuming.

But while I was in Dallas, look who turned up in the Sunday edition of the paper.
It's certainly not the best picture in the world, but it's press nonetheless!

If that's not a "I can't smile with the sun in my eyes" picture, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

For the Birds

Seems poultry have always been around the Reynolds house one way or another.

Even growing up in the suburbs of Houston, I (and of course, by 'I', I mean 'my dad') raised chickens for 4-H.  My backyard neighbor, Stacy Hill, did too.  And I'm almost positive her mom took this picture of my dad and me. 
Humble Fair and Rodeo, 6th grade. 
(You didn't really think I'd give you a date, did you?)
So it should be of no surprise that now my parents are in the country, the poultry population abounds.

My dad's favorite (yes, we totally play favorites in this house) the Japanese rooster.

My favorite, the Dominecker
The favorites enjoying their privileged status.

These next two are both Bantams, but still cute.

Poultry parade

Mamas and babies

Guinea babies...who start out sooo cute

And get "not so cute" in a matter of weeks.
(roosting for the night)