Sunday, July 31, 2011

rio salado audubon society

**Note: I finally went to the trouble to get all the pictures off of my phone! The next few posts are back tracking a bit to catch up on all the events where I forgot to bring my camera.

My sister Erin is always finding cool things to do that I never would have known about. She recently discovered the Rio Salado Audubon Center. Just about 20 minutes south of our house there is a beautiful little green sanctuary hidden under the freeway. The Audubon Society has built a facility there because it is a great place to spot cool birds. They have a a really nice center where they give you binoculars and show you what birds to look out for. They are slowly trying to restore the Rio Salado River and there is a little creek that was surprisingly lovely and lush. It started to get a little too hot while we were there, but I am sure an earlier summer morning would be just fine. Jimmy had fun and was all about looking for the birds. It helped that Elmo and Abbey were recently doing some bird watching on Sesame Street.
We didn't get that close, but if you look hard enough, you can see a little waterfall on the other side of the creek.
Jimmy also liked that we could find airplanes as well as birds.
The white spot in the middle is some type of crane (.... I obviously learned a lot.)
They were really big and beautiful when they flew and Jimmy loved it.
Again, if I had a better camera with me, I could have zoomed in a little more.
We are planning on venturing back again when the weather is better if anyone else is interested in tagging along.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

cardboard airport

So remember how I made this?  Well, it really got the ball rolling on my cardboard town making.  I told  Jimmy we could start working on a bunch of different buildings and eventually it would all make a town.  He asked for an airport, and I said, "How about a house?"  Sigh.  He got an airport.  But ultimately, I ended up having a lot of fun with it and was pretty proud of how it turned out.  After looking up a few pictures of airports online, I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants .  I just starting cutting and folding without any real plans or any real regard for proper scale (about right for Playmobil was my goal).  The scenic designer in me shudders at the thought, but the mom part of me knows that is the only way to get things done.  And, of course, I had a great helper who drew all my windows and colored it wherever he saw fit.  He loves it, so mission accomplished.  Not gonna lie -- I love it, too.
Jimmy even helped me set it up to take pictures "so Nano and Nana can see it."
Our airport has a check-in counter with a conveyor belt behind it for the bags, and while it does not have the best security in the world (it lacks walls and the baggage x-ray machine that Jimmy wanted), at least they give you the pat down:
Jimmy's favorite part is the control tower.
It may be mine, too. I even love its many imperfections
Jimmy loves sending the bags down out the "wipers" and down this conveyor belt.
He didn't understand why I couldn't make the wheels spin.
It is sweet that he thinks I am capable of anything.
Jimmy insisted that the airport have a tunnel that you walk down to get on the plane "just like when we went to Dallas."  
It may not have lined up with the plane perfectly, but I was excited about the corrugated look around the edges.  
And finally, the drop-off and pick-up ramps.
Cardboard is a pretty fun building material, but unfortunately it won't last forever; this is something I have been trying to explain to my son.  He told me I could just build him a new one if this one breaks.  I told him, "Probably not so take care of it and please don't cry when we have to get rid of it."
He said, "Okay, but we can just build a new one right?"  He has trouble listening.
... But just wait, friends.  It isn't over yet.  This was just the first building in our city.  More to come on that soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This is a little collection of pictures of my favorite brothers.  
As much as Jimmy gets in trouble for the things he does to Gus, he sure does love him.  And Gus is all smiles whenever he sees Jimmy.  Unfortunately he is also too tough for his own good.  Jimmy thinks he can push the limits of roughhousing since Gus rarely cries when he gets hit.  (I will not be including the picture that I accidentally captured of Jimmy running at Gus with a croquet mallet... don't worry I did in fact stop this incident before anyone was hurt, but the picture is pretty frightening.  Jimmy looks possessed.)  Though my life sometimes seems like a never-ending series of time-outs, I am pretty sure it just feels that way.  All in all, they really do love each other.
Okay, well he looks bored in this one, but I think the rest should be proof of their brotherly love.
Blurry, I know, but I just can't resist those smiles.
And who could resist those chubby cheeks?  
(At least Jimmy has found some cheeks to rub that aren't mine.)
Gus gets a lot of kisses when pictures are being taken.
They have even started taking baths together, which makes it more fun for both of them.
And this is what they look like most of the time lately: in swimsuits and in the sunshine.
Life could be worse.
Gotta love em.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Thanks to the ice manna from heaven (aka: the hail storm of last year), we got a free new air conditioner!!! I love free things so I was pretty excited, but Jimmy was far more excited by the crane that came to take the old one away and deliver the new one.  
Best thing since a garbage truck.

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of july backyard bbq

We finally hung up our flag!!! 
We have had the flag and pole since right after we moved in and has just been sitting in our store room.
At least we picked a good day to get up.
 My dad also picked a good day to bring this chair over to us.
He made it himself which is pretty awesome and I was excited that I finally have a place for it in my house.
The red is very fun and certainly was patriotic, but I am playing with the idea of painting it again.  
It is not at the top of my priority list right now, so for now it is red.
(Also, here is a sneak peak of the grey I just painted my living room, but more on that later.)
 Baabee was a big help getting ready for our little gathering of friends, and then he got to hang out in Jimmy's new Dragon Pool.
 Jimmy was thrilled about the slide, but it ended up needing to be taken down once there were enough kids around, because it was an accident waiting to happen.  But Jimmy did show Lucia his awesome slide moves before the slide got the boot.
 Then John attacked all the kids with the dragon's spray.
(apparently, it is a water-breathing dragon as opposed to the fire-breathing type)
 So the hose also needed to be unplugged because, of course, that idea caught on:
Lucia enjoyed our new chairs that were just her size.
 And these three cute babies just loved hanging out in the grass.
(I love Gus' expression here for some weird reason.  The other two are smiling and he looks so serious almost like he knew I wanted him to smile and he was not going to in order to show he has some power in our relationship)
 Maddie, Pierce and Jimmy hit up the "Boat Swing" (I call it the "Horse Swing" but Jimmy disagrees).
Poor Lucia in the background was left alone on the "Pirate Ship."
 We played a little croquet with our new anniversary present.
(5 years is apparently supposed to be a wooden gift, so Zach got me this and I love it!)
 And despite the fact that we were supposed to be celebrating America, we bought a bunch of Mexican Coke.  Mostly I just think the big tall bottles are so fun and classic and think all Coke should come that way.  But Mexican Coke has real sugar, so that also makes it better in my mind if not actually in reality. Coke says Americana to me not matter what.
 And the boys sported their Flag T-Shirts from Nana (and Jimmy insisted on his Fireman boots).
What cute brothers.
Then we went up to Brophy and found a great place to watch the fireworks from Steele Indian School Park.  We just sat in the grass in front of the school and we barely even had to deal with any traffic.  Good to know for the future.
The fireworks were great and then both kids finally crashed on the 5 minute drive back to our house. 
A great day to celebrate our country!