Monday, March 31, 2008


This past weekend, our family participated in the Lone Star Triathlon. My husband, son and I all finished the race. My daughter was not old enough so she and her grandmother came down to cheer us on! This was great fun for all of us and we were proud to have completed the challenge.

It was tough working in all the training times. But we got through it. The kids were really understanding and even joined in when they could. Working together on such a challenge is a great way to strengthen family bonds.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the beach at nightfall

During Spring Break, my kids were really wanting to go to the beach. Because I had to prepare for a retreat on the weekend, I was very busy during the whole spring break. But I wanted to be sure that we got to the beach, even if just for a couple of hours.

So last Thursday, we finally made it. We got there at 6pm. I was afraid this was going to be a disappointment for the kids, but it turned out to be for the best.

The traffic on the island was awful and seawall parking was overrun. But folks were just starting to head out as we got there, so we had a very pleasant couple of hours on the beach. We ended up being there for a while by ourselves.

Even though it was windy and cold, my daughter swam and played in the waves. Both kids ended up having a mud fight. We walked out on the jetty and walked on the rocks along the beach. Seeing the moon rise above the ocean was gorgeous.

It is fun to spend time on the beach at an hour other than you usually would. It is a great time to relax and reconnect as a family.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the family that blogs together...

I started blogging about a year and a half ago. My sister got my dad and me involved in it. Now we all try to make some money with our blogs. I have saved enough that we hope to take a nice family vacation this summer.

Seeing me make money with my blog piqued my kids' interest in having blogs of their own. I had originally gotten my son into blogging at a now defunct site. He enjoyed it a bit, but was not too much into making consistent posts. Last year, I sent up blogs for each of them and had them post assignments on there regularly. Over the summer, the blogs fell into blahdom. But as PayPerPost recently announced that they will begin accepting blogs as young as 30 days old, my kids got interested again. (And they also each had an ad offer on their blogs!)

So they have begun posting a little more frequently now. In fact, my son wrote a really good post for one of my blogs tonight . I think blogging together is a good way to interact, and to help kids hone certain writing and computer skills at the same time.

teens changing tastes in music

As my kids get older, I find they are into things they were not into a few short years ago. As my son has been in public school and particularly on the basketball team, he has become a little more interested in different styles of music. This is one area that we differ greatly on. But a good way to spend family time together is listening to music together. I am not keen on the rap scene, but as my son gets more and more interested in hip hop news, it is something I want to pay a little more attention to. If your teens are into rap and hip hop, spending time together browsing the Rap Artist website could be a great way to spend a few enjoyable minutes with your teen. Maybe you will get to know him/her even better!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Livestock Show

I took my daughter and her friend along with my two nephews to the Houston Livestock Show earlier this week. We had free tickets and only had to pay for parking. We were told when we got there that we would have to leave at 3:30. (I don't know if it is that way every day, or just that day.) The man who drove our tram said it was because they would need the parking later that evening.

We went in to see the horses first thing. We were disappointed that it was a switch day, so we were not able to see any. We did stop in on our way out at 3 and saw a few people that had come in and were getting a little practice in. So we headed on over to the Agventure.

This place is set up for kids and it was great fun. There you can see cows , rabbits, pigs, lambs, baby chicks being hatched and those that had just hatched. There were some brand new piglets and lambs this week. There is a petting zoo . There is a milking demonstration. It is fun for the kids to get to look around at their own pace and see the animals and demonstrations. My youngest nephew was very interested in the spinning and weaving demonstration.

Outside you can find the pig races , the stick horse rodeo and the carnival. We missed out on most of these attractions because it poured down rain all afternoon! In spite of the weather there is a lot to see and do and it turns out to be a pleasant day for all ages.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kemah Boardwalk

We spent yesterday afternoon at the Kemah Boardwalk. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed taking it easy, relaxing and being together. The boardwalk has really been built up since we last visited, several years ago. There are a few new rides. Each ride costs, a bit overpriced in my thinking, but you can purchase an all day wristband to ride over and over again.

We got there around noon and the boardwalk was not too crowded yet. We purchased our writstbands and went to ride a few rides. We rode my daughter's old favorite, Pharaoh's Fury, a giant swing, first. Then we headed over to the new roller coaster, The Bullet. We all enjoyed our first ride on this wooden roller coaster. It is fast and it is rough. Our next ride was even faster and by our third ride we were so beat up we were done!

We enjoyed strolling the board walk, enjoying the sights and sounds. We came upon a Hannah Montana look alike contest, complete with a Robin Williams look alike MC.

We strolled through shops, my son won a basketball, and we simply enjoyed being together.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

all work and no play...

Today was supposed to be spent helping a family move into an apartment. That fell through, so we had a "free" day. The kids were thrilled...til Dad came up with project after project of work that needed to be done around the

we have dedicated next Saturday to a day of PLAY! We plan to go just spend some time (and blow some money!) at a local amusement area. The kids are looking forward to it already!

I read an article today that mentioned a study done years ago by Gary Smalley. In it he was looking for what held a family together and kept them close as the kids grew into adulthood. He got many answers from the families interviewed, church attendance, service projects, but the one answer that was found on every list was...camping! His point was not to advocate that every family should start camping on a regular basis, but that they should find an activity that they can all enjoy together and do it regularly. All work may help keep a family functioning day to day, but the key to really keeping a family functioning happily it seems is the ability to play together as well.