Sunday, April 26, 2009

East Texas Arboretum

We've found a few treasures this week in Athens. First the fish hatchery and today the arboretum. You wouldn't think there's much to it from the sign at the road but there are over 3 miles of hiking trails, an old house, a new little red schoolhouse that was used for Sunday school today, a kids playground area and kids garden. It is a beautiful place. We didn't come prepared to hike so we'll make sure we're ready for that on our next trip. It was a great day, overcast but not raining and warm but not too hot. I was hoping to find a bluebonnet patch but had no luck with that.

This is the kids garden area with the school house and playground. There was also a learning barn, playhouse and sandbox.

Jack's checking out the old plows.

It was so hard for him not to pick any of the flowers. You can look closely and see a little one in his hand. It was in the gutter in the parking lot so we let him take that one.

Runnin' around the corner.

This house was in another location and moved to the arboretum in the 90's.

A flower bed in a flower shape.

Jack & I on the bridge.

Jack & Aunt Lissa

He's getting good at posing for pictures.

Jack & Rebekah.

He almost picked a flower.

Here we all are, minus Aunt Lissa who was the photographer.

He stopped to read the signs. This one said, "This is where we are." Well, at least that's what Jack read.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

THE Project

At one of our weight watchers meetings a lady had on a great quilted jacket. It looked handmade so I asked her about it and she told me she'd made it in a class and where to get the pattern. My grandmother is great at sewing projects, she's made quilts, clothes, purses and lots more so I figured she could tackle this, too. The front picture would not make me buy this pattern because it's not very pretty but the one the lady at weight watchers made was very pretty. I showed Wannie the pattern and we went to Tyler to buy fabric for my jacket. Cutting, piecing and constructing were not "simple and quick" like the instructions said. I cut, ironed and made sure pieces were in the right place while Wannie did every single stitch on the jacket. We started Tuesday morning and she finished Friday just before dinner. It is so pretty, but you're out of luck because she said she'll never do it again. Here's a few pictures of the masterpiece.

The jacket called for chenille back and sleeves, which we decided were not very cute. I chose a black and white theme and I think it's so much prettier than the original.


Isn't it pretty?

Wannie is so talented. I bet if she tried another one it wouldn't take her as long since she knows how to do it now. I've learned how to make lid pot holders and a baby sling this week. I guess I've sort of learned how to make a jacket, too but I'm fairly certain I couldn't quite handle that task!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

I've probably posted about this place before because we've taken Jack on a previous trip. He was obviously smaller and didn't remember going so we thought he'd like to go again. He had a great time seeing the big fish and the little tiny fish. He would say, "Ooooohhhhh, they are so cute!" It was fun to watch. We watched a dive show and they talked all about the freshwater fish in Texas. Quiz: What is the state fish of Texas?

I just love this picture. Jack & Jack in their TVCC Cardinals hats and they all look so excited to be at the Fishery!

They have enormous, creepy catfish and you can feed them. Jack threw the food in and watched very closely as they swarmed the top of the water for the food. You could reach in and touch them. I'm not sure you're supposed to but I saw one guy do it. Not for me, thanks.

There are 3 alligators there and one thought he'd show off for us. Jack wasn't afraid to sit right by him. I wouldn't be either with the glass there!

They're so friendly looking! No wonder we're not GATOR fans!

Wannie & Poppa were waiting for Jack to see some fish at the fishing pond. You can get a pole and bait and fish for free at the center. We tried but the catfish Poppa caught broke the line. We gave up after that because Jack wasn't interested in catching fish just yet.

We rode a tram around the center to see where they hatch the fish. It was interesting, but just a tad windy.

Everyone's checking out the tanks where they grow the fish.

Look, there's a waterfall.
Answer: Guadalupe Bass. It's found in the Guadalupe River and nowhere else in the world. That's why it's the state fish of Texas.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Boy and His Poppa

I just love watching these two Jacks together. Little Jack is having so much fun helping and playing in the yard and crawling all over him when they're inside. This afternoon Wannie and I went shopping in town while Jack was napping. Turns out, he woke up shortly after we left and he and Poppa had a good time by themselves. When we came home, Poppa was ready to work in the yard pulling some weeds. Jack was right behind him to put them in the weed bucket. Five minutes later, he'd come inside, then go back out. In and out, in and out. He's just like his mom, he wants to be everywhere, with everyone. Here's a few pictures of him helping Poppa.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Athens, Part I

Jack and I got to Athens late Friday night. Jack had fallen asleep and was just about worn out. He just laid in my lap while we visited for awhile. We were all about to go to bed when he suddenly got a burst of energy. He wanted Aunt Lissa to open his new potty and he wanted to put together his puzzle. So, we stayed up a little longer. The next morning, Jack was ready to go outside. Wannie's friend Linda had delivered a swing set as a new addition to the hill. Jack was a little unsure about it but now he loves it. It will be so fun to watch all the kids together. We spent the day outside, enjoying Earth Day and visiting. Mike and Kathy came on Sunday and we had a nice lunch and visit. Sunday evening Wannie and I began out sewing lessons and Jack decided to learn, too. He helped Wannie so much. Today we're off to Tyler to shop a little so it should be another fun day!

This one might be Jack's favorite swing. He's figured out how to push and pull to get it to go.

Poppa likes the swing, too.

I imagine a good conversation can take place on the swing set.

Not much goes on in Athens, but we can watch the new oil well from the front porch. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's a good one!

Aunt Lissa bought Jack a whole gardening get-up: gloves, shovel, rake and weed bucket. He's been pulling weeds and diggin' dirt a lot. The gloves are too big but guess what, he helped Wannie cut and sew them to Jack size.

He sure got tired digging in the dirt and took a rest on the porch swing with Poppa.

Learning to sew with Wannie. He's very interested in it. He asked all kinds of questions about what does what. He'll get the hang of it soon!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Braunfels

Wednesday we went to New Braunfels to check out our new cousin Bryson. He was born last Thursday so he wasn't even a week old when we got to meet him. Jack said, in his high pitch voice, "oh he's so cute!" Rita and Barbara kept trying to get Jack to say he wanted one. He'd just kinda nod and walk away. He is such a cute baby and I'm glad we were close enough to get to see him and Tiffany. Who knows when we may be back that way? After seeing the baby we went to eat lunch and then headed to a park. This was a great place to spend the afternoon. It had a playground, wading pool, train and much more. We could have spent all day there. Rita bought bread for the ducks and peanuts for the squirrels that will eat right out of your hands. After the park we went back to Rita's for a while and then headed back to Port Lavaca. It was quite a full day!
Barbara and Jack are checking out Bryson's toes. Jack said, "They are so cute!"

Me & Jack with Tiffany & Bryson.

Bryson & Mamaw.

The name of the park was Landa Park and it had huge live oak trees everywhere. They were so big and heavy that they had to be propped up in some places with concrete posts. Here's Jack by one of the branches that was almost touching the ground.

Jack was a little afraid to sit on the branches but Tristen had no trouble climbing in them.

They became buddies pretty quick and Jack thought everything Tristen did was funny.

We tried to make them pose but that's hard with 2 boys!

The Comal River is supposedly the shortest river in Texas. It starts at a spring in this park in the rocks and then joins the Guadalupe River. It's water is perfectly clear and there are plant and animal species that are only found in this river. It's very pretty and very interesting.

Jack & I at the beginning of the springs.

He's just so darn cute!

Here we are at the wading pool. The water is so clear and not very deep. If it had been warmer I would have gotten in with Jack. It looked fun and refreshing.

Jack was just as happy to look at the water and feed the ducks. They were glad to see us with bread!

I thought this was a pretty duck. I'd never seen one this color before.

Then there's this creature. You might think it's an otter but it's called a Nutra Rat. I've never heard of it but there's a family of 4 that live in park. They will get out of the water and get the bread from your hands. I wasn't quite into that but we threw it some bread anyway. You can't tell but it's teeth are bright orange. Not my favorite creature!

You an see it's starting to come out of the water to get some bread.

Me & Jack in a cool twisty tree.

Rita, Barbara and Mamaw. A very good picture of the three of them, I thought.

It takes a team effort to help Jack get a drink of water.

This is the founder's tree. It's a very old, huge live oak that they've had to help not fall down. You can see the 2 brick stacks helping to hold it up. It was beautiful.

Here's a squirrel getting a peanut from Rita.

Back at Rita's house, they pulled out the John Deere tricyle. Jack wanted to take it with him. He could actually reach the pedals on this one and DID pedal it! Usually he just chooses to use his feet.

Taking a break after a long day with a blue slushy. We had a great day! I really like New Braunfels and hope we can go back soon. It's a beautiful place with Austin and San Antonio close by with lots to do!