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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Break at the cabin ... part 3

The final part of this blog series for the Spring Break is about family visiting!

Mike's parents flew to Dallas and then rented a car to visit us for a few days.  Mike's sister Tiffany & her family came out also and stayed in our pop up outside.

For dinner that night we had a hot dog roast complete with more s'mores!
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Down the road from our property there are some GORGEOUS fields of beautiful wildflowers.  I walked down the road to get some pictures ... just breathtaking!  I couldn't capture it in camera what I could see with my eye.

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Katie and Grandma N....
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When we arrived earlier that week, there was nothing on the trees.  NOTHING!  A week later, and all of a sudden, everything comes to life!  Loved being able to experience this birth of spring at the property!
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Finally I took some pictures of the girls w/ their grandparents.
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"Make a funny face!"
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Whatever Papa said to make them laugh worked!
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Mike jumps in the picture ... the girls are STILL laughing!
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and finally ..... thankful that no one got hurt (bad) .... but Maddie did walk away w/ a horrible rash on her arm that spread to her other arm and inside her fingers.  Mike & I had the same rash before, so we knew what to do for it.  Not sure where she got it as nothing was alive when she was working the land!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break at the cabin .... part 2

While we love having friends & family come to our property ... we also have to work.  There's so much to do:  land clearing .... working on the cabin ..... riding the ATV's .... staring at the stars at night ... making bonfires.  It's a rough life.  :)


The first thing we (remember... Mike) worked on was putting the cedar wood on the back part of the cabin.  All other sides were done except for the back.  Where we walk into the cabin.  It should be the front of the cabin, but Mike insists it's the back.... and since I jokingly say this is Mike's place, we're just visiting... the back it is.  SO, the cedar had to be placed on the BACK of the cabin.

While he did this, Katie & I painted the bottom portion of the cabin.  We had to dig all the dirt up around the bottom, squash a few hundred spiders (OK, in reality it was just 1 itsy bitsy spider, but it felt like 100, and it wasn't really itsy bitsy either.. it was the size of a nickel).  Funny moment:  I told Katie when we started "hey.. we should sing some songs to pass the time!"  Then Mike started singing, or rather, I thought he was singing and I said "hey, I didn't know Dad could sing!"  then the radio was cranked up even louder, and I got the evil look from both Mike and Katie. 
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We (meaning Mike & I this time) actually keep going back and forth on the stain and the color for the bottom part of the cabin.  I think we're going w/ a dark red stain for the wood and a yellow'ish for the bottom (since we had it on hand).  We can always change the bottom color out anytime....

So, Mike worked hard getting the cedar up on the BACK of the cabin.  Some wasps had already made their home at the very top, so a handy can of wasp killer was nearby at all times. 
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The girls were getting pretty restless after a few days, and I gave them the brilliant idea of making a trail on our property for their ATV riding.  They happily went out and started.  Three days later, we finished...  (OK, technically we only worked on it for a day and a half).  While they were working on that, Mike and I were tackling a HUGE brush pile he made when he cleared the land to bury the electrical wired (aka service entrance).  It was an eyesore, so I tackled that pile first while Mike finished up his project, and I made a huge bonfire ...{then danced around it and sang a whole bunch of stuff that made no sense.}  OK, not really.. but the bonfire part was true!  I also managed to clear out some of the dead logs that were next to the cabin full of fire ants.  Raked the leaves, and now it's a beautiful area to walk through!  (seriously... we have like 10 billions fire ants on our property and everyone else's property around us.  They're seriousy annoying!)
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the girls are busy working on their trail...
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I only cleared about 1/8 of the pile, and so the next night Mike helped me in clearing even more of the pile away.  After watching Rattlesnake Republic Sunday night talking about how rattlesnakes are found in brush piles, I should be thanking my lucky stars I didn't see any snakes in that brush pile.  :) 
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When the cedar was on the cabin completely, and trim work was done, then Mike and the girls (and I) managed to work even more on the little trail we made.  What I did find was not fun.  I found a thorny grapevine.  I call it a grapevine b/c it was wrapping itself around the bushes and trees, and let me tell you.. they HURT!  I took those thorny grapevines on as my own personal mission and managed to scratch my arms up pretty bad.  I would love to know what these are!!  Anyone?
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However, the end result of having this little ATV trail for the girls has been a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work that went into clearing all of this out for them to enjoy riding their four wheelers!
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Mike placed the outdoor lights on the walls for both front and back.  We had to change out the lightbulbs to the yellow ones due to the millions bugs we attracted from the entire county --  it only worked a little better.  Thankfully we had a bug zapper that worked overtime for us.
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Here is the cabin during sundown... ahhh...  so nice to have it all done in cedar!
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....to be continued!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I made myself a shirt!

I saw an advertisement that VistaPrint was having a $2 tshirt sale ... so I made myself a shirt to wear to my photoshoots!!  Pretty good deal!  I hear they have this every now and then, so you can create one too when it rolls around again!

Spring Break at the cabin

For spring break this year, we headed to the cabin.  We (remember... we means Mike) still had lots to do on the cabin on the external side, so we took advantage of the spring weather to get these jobs done!

We were there over two weekends, and each weekend we had a different set of visitors!
The first weekend our friends Sarah, Justin and their adorable boy Cale came to visit.  They came last November as well for the weekend, and we love having them play.  The girls treat Cale just like a little brother ... he fits in the family well. :)

About a month ago, Mike bought some bushes to go along the property line by the road.  When the electrical pole went up (remember the story from here?) a lot of land had to be cleared so the electric wires -- (or service entrance -- Mike just told me) could be ran underground 4 feet to be hooked up to the cabin.  So, we had a bright open view of the cabin from the road.  We'd like as much privacy as possible, so Mike interrogated a bunch of lawn guys and found out which bushes are the best to plant that work well in droughts and grow fast.  He bought 15 of them, and we took them up on the trailer.  Sadly, it was like being in a hurricane for these plants on the trip .. imagine 5.5 hours of 70 mph winds!!!  Hopefully they will pull through!

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So, Mike & Justin planted all the bushes, and Mike dug up a pine tree from our friend's property and replanted it on our property .... hopefully it will stay alive since the other two we planted have died already.  :(

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While they were planting, Sarah & I went around chopping up wood.  All of us actually started gathering wood for firewood, and trimming trees, pulling down those annoying grapevines that are climbing all the trees.  So, we now have a fire pit!  Then, Sarah learned how to use the chainsaw, and away we went.  After we cut some obvious trees, Sarah said "what tree now?" and pointed to a very dead looking tree.  I said "sure!"  It was huge though.  However, Mike came around and we told him what we were going to do and he said "don't cut that one down!  It's my pee tree!"  So, the pee tree stays...

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We made s'mores that afternoon (b/c it was going to rain that night) and we tried out Reese's peanut butter cups for the chocolate, and it was delicious!  Yummm!

They left Sunday afternoon.... and we hibernated in the cabin all afternoon and evening.  We had lots to do in the next 5 days before our next set of visitors came!

... to be continued!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

the winner is.....

Random Generator gave me ..... 

#36!!

Congratulations kellyr78! 

I am sending her an email right now, and if I don't hear back from her in 48 hours, I will draw another name.

Thanks for entering everyone!

Friday, March 23, 2012

4th grade goes to the Alamo

Maddie had a chance to go to the Alamo with her class for a field trip a few weeks ago.  It was an exciting time because we were going to the IMAX movie after the Alamo ... to watch a movie about the Alamo!!
Enjoy a few pictures of the trip:

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Looking at the memorial in front of the Alamo.  People still leave flowers at the memorial.
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The well at the Alamo...

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this is my favorite spring flower:  Mountain Laurel.  It smells like grapes, and I usually follow the scent to find the tree. LOVE it!
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On the grounds of the Alamo, the park has planted TONS of different types of flowers, cacti, and other plants.
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This was an odd looking ... thing!
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Now someone mentioned this was a papaya plant.  Not sure....
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and here's the bottom of the plant...

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All the kids received a box of popcorn with a small drink of Sprite before the movie started.  VERY cool!

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