Sunday, September 30, 2012

To make it through the next few weeks...

I have a few small requests.....
 a chauffer to take us to and fro and get us where we need to be on time.
 A personal chef to prepare healthy meals that cover all the food groups for our crew and are warm and ready when we get home, no matter the time.
 A personal assistant to take care of those small to-do's that all add up.

A maid that loves to do laundry and hates dust.
A personal trainer to blow a whistle at me in the morning and get me out of bed instead of having the option to hit snooze... 6 times.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School update...

We are about a month in and I'm happy to report that A&A&C are having a fantastic school year.  So far, everyone has been dropped off before the tardy bell, though A&A said they are usually the last ones to walk into their classroom.  We'll work on that.
A highlight this year for A&A is that they have the option to take their lunch.  This is great when we think about looking at the menu ahead of time instead of 10 minutes before we need to walk out the door.  So far it's been about 50-50 for lunch box days.  I'm glad they don't opt of PB&J everyday.
Caleb thinks being an Ocean Treasure is a pretty cool thing.  Every night he asks us to read with him so he can color his reading chart.  So far he and his buddies seem to know when to behave and when they can play around.  Hope that is a trend all year, but I won't hold my breath.
A&A jumped right into homework.  Between reading and worksheets there is plenty to do every night.  They usually zip through it, but it sometimes requires a real effort to sit down and get it done.  Soccer starts next week throwing a kink into our "regular" schedule.
I think we're going to see some great things from A&A&C this year... I'll keep ya posted.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fair time

Yee haw!!  It's boot & spurs time y'all.  The rodeo, the funnel cake, the show animals, the carnival rides... yep it's fair time.  Our crew loves the fair and all the craziness it has to offer.  We managed to spend two full nights down at the fair grounds and that was enough.  After one night or riding rides at the carnival and the next night of the kids wanting to ride rides, but us not letting them, we were faired out.  This year the highlight for A&A was the carnival.... they could ride "big" kids rides including "Zero Gravity", which made me queasy just watching them get on.  Round and round and round and round they went and when they came off, they got right back in line.  Good thing we didn't eat dinner until after the rides.

BIG catch

Back tracking again.....
 This big red fish was caught by grandpa Otto when we were down in Galveston.  Took a while to bring him, but he's worth the stories Gpa Otto has been able to tell.
Hammerhead with hammerheads.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bye, Bye Baby Teeth

Look who lost a tooth!!!  After weeks of wiggling she was ready for that tooth to come out.  Wes actually pulled it out by tying a string around it and yanking it out!!  She was much braver than I would have been.  She was SUPER excited and the tooth fairy didn't disappoint.

Sticky hair

A few weeks back, we were enjoying our Saturday lunch usual: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Jelly made it's way into Caleb's hair and he came to me complaining that his hair was sticky.  I told him I'd get a wet rag and rub it out but apparently I wasn't fast enough. He decided to take matters into his own hands and used a pair of scissors to cut the sticky part out.  I overreacted a bit and when Caleb ran to look in the mirror at his near bald spot he burst into tears.  Needless to say, when Wes returned from the deer lease the next day, Caleb got a summer buzz. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mr. Popular

This guy got plenty of love from Maurer Party of Five at the beach.  I'm pretty sure he was glad to see us go so he could have some personal space back because A&A&C were all around him, all the time.  Look at this face...who wouldn't want to snuggle with him all the time!?!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kempers at the Beach

Back in May, Toppe booked our annual summer family trip to the beach.  We decided to go to Galveston again as the drive is just too easy and best with small kids.  They have some great house options and we tend to just be beach bums so other entertainment isn't really an issue.  As the summer passed by, we became concerned with Grandpa Pete's health and weren't sure we'd be going to the beach since mom was taking care of him.  Then he passed away the week we were scheduled to go.  After a little discussion, it became clear that a trip to the beach was just what mom and the rest of us needed so off to the beach we went.

 A view of our house from the beach.  We always get a beach front house because we are ones that park our cars the day we get there and don't start them again until it's time to go home.  We try our best to pack everything we'll need including a food for the whole crew.  
 Our whole crew... this obviously wasn't at the beach.  Our house was part of another condo complex so we had access to their pool.  Great option after a few days of salt and sand.
                                                                   Maurer Party of Five!
  Toppe & Grandpa and the kids they love to spoil.
 Beach activities include:
Catching fish... or whatever comes in our net
 Drawing names in the sand.
 Baseball and kickball.
 Running and dancing in the water or whatever Avery is doing in this picture... 
 Soccer lessons from  dad...

 Feeding seagulls

The highlight activity of the trip this year was trapping sand crabs. Each night we'd head out with flash lights and spot sand crabs that were out for their midnight strolls.  The boys each had a bug net and would whop them down on top of a crab that they were able to get close too.  When I am in a bad mood, I just need to think of them trying to chase a few of those crabs scurry across the beach.  It was hilarious!

Dove hunting

This is a bit out of sequence, but didn't want to leave it out.  The boys got it a little dove hunting action last weekend.  Wes took Austin and Caleb to meet up with the Rau boys to take a few doves down.  
 Look at all the camoflage!
 One proud hunter (and daddy).  Austin shot 3 doves on his own with his new 410 shotgun!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My grandpa....

I finally found this picture.... I knew I had one of just Gpa Keen and I somewhere!  This was taken in 2010, gpa was 96.
Today we say our final goodbyes to grandpa.  There is sadness, but we are all at peace with the fact that he is farming cows and holding hands with my grandma in heaven.  He lived 98 great years... minus the last two months.  It won't be the same going down to the farm knowing he won't be meeting us there to keep an eye on us.  It will be odd walking into their home and not seeing him drinking coffee in his recliner.  His "spot" in church will now be empty and my guess is that no one will ever attempt to fill it.
Grandpa was a simple man, didn't need fluff and fancy things. He thought they were wasteful and instead preferred to spend his time and money on the farm. He was proud of his 500 acres - the fishing ponds, the garden, his tractor, and most of all his cows. The family sometimes joked that if they believed in reincarnation, they wanted to come back as one of Pete Keen's cows because he took such good care of them.  Grandpa was a Christian man, church was always a priority and we was respected by every single person in the congregation.  He loved watching women's college basketball (loved the Baylor Bears), took care of the hummingbirds in his backyard, enjoyed a bowl of squirrel and dumplings, and is now back with the love of his life, grandma.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Love you Grandpa Pete!!!

Today we lost an amazing man.  Grandpa Pete passed away after 98 awesome years of life.  Not many men around like him anymore.  He was an honest, hard working, call it like you see it, Christian man.  He was loved and respected by so many.  Today he rejoins the love of his life, Grandma Keen. Oh how I'd love to see that reunion!  Love you, Grandpa Pete!