Stephen F. Austin State Park Camping Trip

We finally took Alex on his first camping trip.  We’ve been planning to go for ages, but it took my sister planning a trip to Newman’s Castle to get us committed to finally doing it.

We packed enough stuff to hide out in the woods for a week (at least) and took enough conveniences to not feel too far from home, but Alex had a blast and it was fun to camp with family (we lump Jessica and her family right into our family) who are so much fun to hang out with!  Alex had five other boys and one little girl to keep him busy and the time flew by.  Had it not been for the 99% humidity and the tiny tent we took, I could stayed a few more days and not missed a thing!

For full disclosure, I must add that I have been giving Dustin a hard time for YEARS about how he thinks he can’t sleep on the ground anymore because he is too old.  We took our little tent and pads to sleep on.  I was WRONG.  Way wrong.  So wrong, that I didn’t sleep more than a few minutes the entire night, because the ground is HARD.  Even with a pad.  My hip fell asleep.  I didn’t even know that was possible.  The one benefit of being up all night – I got to hear the wonder in Alex’s voice when he woke up at 2 a.m. to listen to the owls hooting nearby. That’s not something we hear in the city!

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Alex took quite naturally to helping build and maintain a fire.  Just like his dad.  He had a fire-poking stick, and he quickly learned how to use it.

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Alex took his own tent and had a great time sharing with the boys (and occasionally Katie too). No, he did not sleep in it overnight!

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Pioneer Farms Homeschool Field Trip

Technically our school year does not start for another two weeks, BUT we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to join some of our FISCHE homeschooling families for a school field trip to Pioneer Farms (which happens to be just up the road from us).  Here are some pictures from our morning adventure.

You know you have a Texan when the first words out of his mouth when he gets to the farm are “LONGHORN mommy!”

Alex said he loves Tepees and he wants to live in one.  Until he discovers there are no books and no air-conditioning.  Then I think he’ll change his mind.

Standing inside the Smokehouse.  Does he really understand what this was used for?

The detached kitchen.  He found the idea of a kitchen outside (where you potentially had to walk through the rain to get to it) a bit disturbing…considering how much time he spends in our kitchen, I’m thinking the extra distance might have been a good idea!

The outhouse.  He would have stood inside the outhouse for a picture too, but I’m not even going to go there!

Field Trip Around Texas

We don’t really need much of an excuse to go driving around Texas, but meeting up with family is the best excuse there is.  And after finishing up a custom order that I needed to deliver, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have lunch with Cathy and Cheryl – “the ladies” as Alex calls them.  So we hopped into granny’s car and hit the road with our grand field trip plans hastily thrown in.  Because really, we can learn just about anything anywhere we go!
FIRST STOP: The Texas Cotton Gin Museum, Burton Texas

SECOND STOP: Royers Round Top Cafe, Round Top, Texas
(though you’ll notice I forgot a picture of the cafe…excuse to go back?  I think so!)

And then on the way home, just because we could…
THIRD STOP: Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, Serbin, Texas

(I WANT one of these for my sewing room!)

Alex LOVED the classroom and thought the giant Abacus (left, middle) was super-cool!

Mayfield Park Nature Walk

Last Thursday we packed up the car and headed out to Champion Park to meet up with our friends for a playdate at the splash pad.  Alex loves water.  And he loves to run.  And he thought running IN the water would be fun.  Until he slipped and took a head-dive into the cement.  It took a chunk of skin and left a nice gash.  With blood running down his chin he kept insisting he wasn’t going home and he would get back in the water to play.
After we got home (without getting back into the water) and had it cleaned up, it looked a little like this:
Ow.  It’s nicely working on creating scar number 2 on his face as it heals.
Because of the disaster (defined by Alex as inability to continue playing in the water with his friends, blood and all) we decided to take a nice, hopefully less dangerous, nature walk the next morning.  We found some good bugs, burned off some energy, and worked up a decent Texas sweat in the 100 degree heat.  Success.

Look closely.  There’s a baby turtle on the edge of the lily pad.