Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

There are just a few more hours left of Easter 2013.  It's been 3 straight days of celebrating with friends and family for Maurer Party of Five.  There were 5 egg hunts, one scavenger hunt, egg toss games that left us covered in yolk, bounce house fun, confetti eggs and WAY TOO MUCH candy.
Though there were a lot of fun and games, we tried to make sure and not lose sight of the true focus of Easter.     Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice and died on the cross for us so that we may be saved.  What a gift!!!  Easter is a remembrance that He is alive, alive, alive forevermore.  I'll follow up with more Easter fun posts later this week, but here are the kids in front of our chruch cross.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jack time

Last Friday we had a fun visit from Jack.  There's a lot of love for that little boy in our house.  Avery wishes he could live here.  She insists it would be more fun and that she would be able take care of him.  This conversation always leads to her requesting I have another baby and sometimes that discussion leads to questions I am not quite ready to answer.

Anyway, here's a few pics from Jack's visit.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Air Rookie

Rookie is starting to fit in with our crew.  Here he is in super hero mode!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Little League 2013

3 kids = 3 tball schedules = 1 VERY BUSY spring.

Austin is on the CHICAGO CUBS in the tball 6 division.  Wes is managing the team.  They hit off the tee the first half of the season and then move to coach pitch.  I think we're going to see some great things from this guy this year.

Caleb is onthe HOUSTON ASTROS in the tball 5 division.  Wes is coaching his team.  This is Caleb's first year of tball.  Can't wait to see him show us his stuff!

Avery is a FLORIDIA GATOR in the 5/6 tball softball division.  I'm managing the team.  Avery's has some pretty awesome skills so we're excited to see how well she does out on the field.

It took me almost an hour to put all three of their tee ball schedules in my Outlook calendar last week.  There are some weeks where we'll be out at the ballpark four nights straight. Avery & Caleb play on the same nights and there are a few overlaps but at least they play at the same complex this year.  We'll just take one night and game at a time and pray we manage to get everything else done in between.  Play Ball!

Caleb the Robot

Caleb was tasked with making a robot when they were learning the letter "R".  This was his creation.  It was a group effort and Caleb was super excited to get to take "Caleb the Robot" to school.

Friday, March 22, 2013

We've got a Smartie....

So I will be one of the first ones to get in line to stand behind laws/rules/regulations that decrease standarized testing in schools.  BUT I am all about taking tests that tell/remind parents how smart their children are :)  Now that Avery and Austin are in public school, we are in a whole new ballgame.... so far, so good but we do see the differences.  Early fall, all Kindergartners in the school district took an apptitude test.  From those test results, a handful of high scoring students were asked to take the Stanford 10 achievement test.  Austin was one of those students.  We were a bit surprised as Avery had been the one to excel in the classroom... she's a reading maniac and loves school, but apparently Austin knows his stuff and I have a feeling it has to do a lot with the fact that he takes his time to get things done. (Avery rushes through just to get done.) Austin scored way above average in the initial test.
Fast forward to a note we received this week with Austin's Stanford 10 test results.  Austin rocked it!!!  His reading scores were almost perfect and he did amazing in math.    He will be a part of the GT (gift and talented ) program at school for the next 4 years.  We are so proud and excited to see him grow academically!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Patty's Day!

Hope you had a great Spring Break and a great St. Patty's Day!!!

Austin rodeo & cookoff

 Back in July, Wes joined in on a barbque cook off team at LCRA's summer family picnic.  It was a full day competition with a few pounds of meat.  Those few pounds that his team cooked  wound up winning the cookoff and it qualified them to represent LCRA in the Austin Rodeo BBQ Cook Off.  The Austin Rodeo Cook Off takes things to a whole new level... a 3-day level.

Wes and his teammates went down this past Friday to set up and start cooking.  Friday evening they had to turn in chicken to be judged, Saturday was beans, ribs and an "open" category, and Sunday was brisket.  

The kids and I took advantage of Spring Break and headed to Austin Friday afternoon.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect but we found ourselves enjoying a really large fair - petting zoo, western shows, air brush tattoos, carnival rides and anything fried on a stick.  As Avery said, "This is way better than our fair".  We stayed around the bbq pits Friday and enjoyed visiting with some Austin peeps that came by to visit.  We were quickly made aware of how much effort some of the bbq team entries put into this event, we're talking live bands, thousands of pounds of complementary meat, and even some pole dancing.  The kids and I stayed at Uncle Jason's overnight but made it back down to the fairgrounds for a full day of rides on Saturday, all that our wristbands would allow.  Actually, by about 4pm, the grounds started looking like the pic below.  Early in the day there were no lines to hop on rides and I felt safe taking the kids around by myself but as if got later in the afternoon, the grounds got crowded and we wanted none of it.  We headed back to Jason's and enjoyed a low key night.
 Wes on the other hand stayed the duration by the pit.  They had rented a large camper so they didn't have to "rough it" too much.  Not sure I could have handled the nonstop smoke and bbq tasting, but they seemed to enjoy it.  I actually could have probably hung around just to people watch.  All walks of life were out and about.
 The LCRA team didn't bring home any big winnings, but we do have plenty of bbq meat to eat for the next few weeks.

What to do with all that hair???

Caleb's hair has a mind of it's own.  It grows FAST and has cowlicks that give even "concrete hold" gels a run for their money. 
The other night Wes's barber shop was open and after a few minutes in the garage, this is how he looked: 
  The mohawk didn't last long.  He's completely buzzed now, getting ready for summer.  Looks like a whole new person.   

You might notice that Duck Dynasty is on in the background.  It's a family favorite around here.  

Jump rope

After mastering the skill at school, Avery loves to jump rope around the house.

Noodles and meat

It is no secret that when we were growing up, there was nothing "gourmet" about my mother's cooking.  Everything served on our plates was pretty plain jane meaning spices consisted of salt and pepper, maybe a little season salt.  We enjoyed fried catfish tails, boiled meat tacos, and broiled sirloin steaks.  Yes, what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger.  (just joking, mom).  There was one meal that we requested often and I'm pretty sure we had at least once a week - "noodles and meat".  Apparently this is similar to boxed Hamburger Helper, but remember, we didn't do spices so the seasoning was salt and pepper.  Turns out, noodles and meat is the perfect meal for our crew on those nights we need to get soemthing fixed fast.  Austin is not much of a noodle fan so the other night when he was at a sleepover, Avery and Caleb helped out in the kitchen.

Here's the low down on this dish:
Ingredients:  1 - 1 1/2 lb ground meat, noodles (we prefer large elbows), 1/4 block Velveeta, milk, salt & pepper
How to prepare:  Ground hamburger meat in large skillet, boil noodles, drain meat, while meat is draining, add milk to cover bottom of skillet, add cheese to milk, when cheese is melted add meat to cheese sauce, drain noodles and add to meat, add salt and pepper to taste, let sit 5 minutes to let sauce settle, enjoy!

I will note that the other night Wes attempted to add a "real" spice to the meat and we didn't think it tasted near as good. Sometimes simpler is better.

Wacky Wednesday!

It was Dr. Seuss week at school and Avery & Austin were super excited for Wacky Wednesday.  I was out of town for the week so this is the pic I got Wednesday morning of them ready for school.... swimsuits, pajama pants and a poker visor.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Arts & Appetizers

So, if you follow Maurer Party of Five, you have see this pic before. Our artist, Austin, drew this in art class and it was a finalist to be judged to go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  It didn't get chosen for the rodeo, but it did get chosen for the local Brenham ISD Arts and Appetizers event.  This event is an annual auction where student art pieces are auctioned off to local individuals and businesses.  We were notifited that Austin's picture was one of six Kindergarten pieces in the entire school district that would be auctioned off.  We were super proud and super exicted for him.  We later found out that his picture would not acutally be auctioned off (though the grandparents already had their game plan to buy his picture), the elementary students work would only be on display, not actually bid on.  We were ok with that and still super proud to see his art skills on display.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lots of love

I love that Austin loves his momma!  Right after Valentines Day, he started doing these drawings with sayings to express how much he loved me.  Just like he is encouraged to do in school, he sounded out the words he wanted to express. 
"I love  you more then 5000 prickls on a caktist"
"I love you diger then Brenm.  I love you diger then TEXAS.  I love you diger then America." 
(He gets his d's and b's mixed up often.  Love that he put TEXAS in all caps.)

"The more necktar I suck.  The more love I get from my mom."
(this one is questionable, but I know he means well :) )

This one was actually for Wes:  "I love you longer then a frogs tung"
 "I love you more then smelly flowers and lovely dows"
 "I love you taller then one of the tallest riandow in the world"
 "I love you hevear then the stachew of lidertea.  A book toeld me the stachew of lidertea wade more then 45 eluefent."
(think this is my favorite... pretty impressive Statue of Liberty for a Kindergartener)

I'm thinking of framing these for those teenage years when the kids don't think I'm quite so cool anymore.