Monday, December 22, 2014


Dad and Pam came to Texas for a visit at the beginning of my Christmas break from Baylor.  I left school, drove straight to the airport, parked, and waited less than 10 minutes for them to get off the plane and meet me in the baggage claim.  The weather was nice, but wouldn't last.

That Friday we drove to the Pearl Brewery district (there is no brewery there anymore, sadly) and had a fantastic dinner.  Let me say that Brussels sprouts with chorizo paired with a Belgian Tripel (beer) is simply amazing!  From there we enjoyed a nice 2 mile walk to the downtown San Antonio riverwalk, where we caught a nice boat ride.  Pardon the crappy cell phone shot, but I didn't bring my camera (and would have gotten just as crappy a shot without my tripod, anyways).

Saturday was a rainy day, so we went bowling.  Sunday we enjoyed church, and then had lunch at The Big Bib, where we had some nice Texas-style BBQ.  Today before I had to drop Dad and Pam off at the airport, we drove down to see most of the Spanish Missions.  We started at Mission Espada, the furthest south of the four.  Luckily, the construction was done, and we were able to go in and see the church.  I am not sure how long this still-active church has stood here, but the Mission itself was established in 1690 - quite a bit of history here!

At Mission San Juan Capistrano, there was a mural inside the visitor's center that Ian wanted his picture taken with Dad and Leah, so I dutifully set things up.

We are gearing up for Christmas here, and then a mini-vacation.  More photos to follow!



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Taking a study break

I needed a quick study break, so I figured I'd upload a couple of photos I took this past week of the kids into my computer.

Have a great day.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Spanish Missions

It almost was the day that wasn't!

We had changed our plans from visiting the Spanish Missions on Wednesday to today due to a plumbing issue at the house we are renting.  As part of the treat, I drove everyone to the Magnolia Pancake Haus for breakfast.  Only thing is, Leah got sick :-(

She thought she could tough it out, but she didn't get past the Visitor Center at the first Mission, so we ended up coming home instead.  I was disappointed and bored of being essentially home-bound for months on end, and Nancy was still interested in seeing the Missions while she was here, so I drove her to the Missions.

We started at the furthest one south, and then made our way back north.  Unfortunately, the Mission San Francisco Espada was under some serious renovation, so I didn't take any photos (there were none to be had without construction fences/equipment to be had).

From there, we drove a short distance to Mission San Juan (both photos, above).  The three missions furthest to the south (San Jose, San Juan, and San Fransisco Espada) all have large courtyards (for lack of a better word) that had all or part of the protective wall still surrounding it, with the still active churches inside.

From Mission San Juan we made our way to San Jose, where we started earlier in the day with Ian and Leah.  Both kids earned their Junior Ranger Badges (big surprise!) while we were there.  The photo, above, is from San Jose just behind the church.  This mission was the busiest, by far, of the missions.

Finally, we went to Mission Concepcion.  I have been to the Missions before, and I remembered Espada as my favorite, by it was definitely Concepcion this time around.  I don't remember being able to go inside the Church the last time here, but we were able to this time.  The rangers told us that Concepcion is the church with the most original material, and you could see the original paintings (badly faded) in some of the rooms.

We were blessed with a nice sunset to end the day at Concepcion.

Have a great day.  Cheers,


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Alamo

For those of you who don't know, I finished my second semester this past Friday, and am lucky enough to have this week off.  I'm also lucky enough to have Nancy visiting, though yesterday was a pretty quiet day around here.

Today I took Ian to get his ID made - he's officially official now.  From there, we came home, and lounged around a bit and then had lunch.  After lunch, we loaded up the car and headed to downtown San Antonio to check out the Alamo.

I've been waiting for this (and our upcoming trip to the Spanish Missions) as I've been looking forward to getting some nice photos of everyone.  Today didn't disappoint me - not my best work, but certainly some keepers!

There was a neat display of firearms from the period, many of which were donated for the display.  Even though I've been to the Alamo a couple of times now, it is always neat to go back.

We wandered around the grounds a bit, with everyone pulled together for a photo every now and again.  Leah wanted to get me in a photo, which I've included below.  A gentleman was kind enough to get all of us in a photo, unfortunately it was a blurry shot which I didn't notice until I uploaded the photos to my computer.

After the Alamo we walked a bit on the Riverwalk, and then made our way to the Pearl Brewery District, which houses the San Antonio branch of the Culinary Institute of America.  I think this means Catherine has been to all three, now.

We burned some time at the Local Coffee shop before our dinner reservations at Nao.  Nao is where the culinary students get some practice cooking some tasty food.

I'll post more from our Spanish Missions trip, which looks like it will be delayed until after Thanksgiving.  Cheers!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Super Heros!

As part of a pseudo-class (the professor that taught the class is retiring at the end of this semester, so he is running a "class", off the transcript, so to speak, regarding creativity.  Part of the requirement is to submit something creative to the Facebook group page - so some of the photos will look familiar (and is also why you are seeing a geometric increase of Facebook posts from me).

I had the idea in church today (Ian brought in his Legos) to put my face on Thor, since today's assignment was "self-portrait".

Once Ian saw that, he was practically beside himself to be Falcon.  He wanted the mask to stay on, which is why it is difficult to tell that the photo below has Ian's face under the hood.

Back to the books!  Cheers,


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Between WA and TX Summer 2014

Seeing Marc post all of his Halloween Pics made me realize it's been a long time since I've posted here. So, I thought I would share a few of the pictures I've taken this year.  Some have already been posted to Facebook, others have not.

First is the kids & my journey from Wa. state to TX earlier this summer.  We took the long way on our journey.  Traveling East first from WA over to WI, and then South towards TX.

Here is a pic of us leaving the mountains behind:

The kids & I stopped at Little Bighorn National Monument on our way to Mt. Rushmore.  It felt good to get out of the car & walk around for a bit.

Hard to see, but there is a feather drifting in the wind under the horse with no rider:

We mad it to Mt. Rushmore just in time for the sun to start setting.  Here the kids are before the flag walkway:

The 3 of us being sill for a picture at the mountain.  The kids did earn their Jr. Ranger badges in record time.  That was a LONG day & we had another big day on the road ahead of us.

Obligatory stop at Kopp's Custard on our way south past Milwaukee.  It was the kids first time having custard & theirs was my favorite from our time when we lived in Wi.:

North of Memphis we met my sister to visit a Kids museum.  The kids got to climb in this helicopter:

They were able to view fish in a tank from this under the tank viewing area:

The also got the chance to get out of the car & just be kids playing on a playground:

Leah worked on & completed her first sewing project with my sister's help:

We finally made it to TX just in time for the movers to come and bring all of our household goods from Wa.  Once we got unpacked & settled in a bit more we started to do activities in our community like this one.  The library had a talk on animals in this area of TX presented by a local ranger.  The kids were allowed to touch the hides & bones she had on display when the talk was done:

We also got out for a date night where Marc tried to take on The Terminator at one of the local movie theaters.  Marc won:

The kids went into the wilderness at VBS this summer:

One of the best things about our house we rented in TX this summer was that we have a small pool in the backyard.  This was fun for all of us.  Marc even took a break to join us from time to time.   Here are a few action shots I took one day:

Before we knew it, it was time for Ian's birthday in August.  I had a groupon for the kids to do some archery so we went to a local range for them to shoot some arrows on his big day. Leah wants to go again she loved it so much.  Ian, maybe not, but he wound up cutting himself a little bit on one of the arrows so maybe he will give it a try again later.

One last selfie the kids decided to take on their own: 

It was a jam packed summer with the move and getting adjusted to being in our new home.  Longer post than what we usually do, but I figured I'd do one big post instead of a bunch of a little ones.  
I'll try to get a fall post put together soon.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Another Halloween goofy idea

I had another goofy idea for Halloween, only this time I'd get in on the action!

First, though, Leah went trick-or-treating while Ian stayed home with me to pass out the candy.  I was surprised at how few people came, but Catherine thought it was because we weren't sitting out front.

Here are the kids before Leah and Catherine left.  Ian is Minecraft Steve and Leah is a kitty.

And here is the goofy one with three of us in the photo.  Actually, this is a composite of eight different photos (background, me, Ian, Leah, pumpkins).  It is a bit rough around the edges, but will have to do.

Have a great day everybody!



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween

I had an idea last night for this silly photo shoot.  The kids loved the idea - while it definitely needs some work, it'll have to do for now.  I don't think I knocked down the transparency enough so that Ian and Leah are both obviously ghosts, but now that I've told you, you know ;-)

Happy Halloween!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Once again, nothing new

I needed a bit of a break tonight from writing a paper (labor market and labor policy, from a State Department point of view, for Croatia anyone?       Bueller?  Bueller?)

Ian didn't want to stand in the buggy part of the yard, so I set up shop in front of the pool.

From there it was pretty short work.  Only, this time I wanted to get in the photos, since earlier this week Leah and I went through a bunch of my photos; while it was nice to see the kids and Catherine where we'd been, I wasn't in too many of them.

So Leah encouraged me to step in front of the camera a bit more, which I'll try.  No guarantees.

For this last photo, the first one taken was of Leah sitting in my lap.  Then Leah wanted a silly one where I was "sitting" in her lap.  No children were harmed in the making of this photo...

Have a great day.  Back to work for me.