Monday, July 18, 2016

2nd Week of July (part 2)

Boogs finished his week of Mobile Loaves and Fishes camp on Friday. Daddy and I made it to camp in time to see the end of week slide show. It looked like Boogs learned a lot and had a ton of fun.
We left camp and headed over to a nearby Metro train station. Our plan was to take the train to spend the afternoon downtown in Austin.
We walked around downtown for a bit and then headed to Boogs favorite summer location - The Big Top Candy Shop.
We hadn't realized it was almost a 2 mile walk from the train station to the candy shop. It was 103 degrees (39.4 C), luckily we found a few shady spots to walk through.
Big Top Candy Shop is themed like a circus. There are all kinds of circus posters on the walls, an old fashioned soda fountain bar, and candies from all over the world.
Boogs spent a long time making his decision. He had $5 to spend. He compared prices and ounces to make sure he got the best deals for his money.
 Daddy treated us to snowcones to help us cool off.
From the Congress Avenue bridge, you can see the state capitol in the distance. On our next downtown train ride, we are going to walk over to the capitol, take the tour, and walk the grounds. There were protests planned at the capitol this day so we avoided it.
Boogs was hot and exhausted by the end of our walk. He took a little nap on the train. We really enjoyed the air conditioning on the train.
 On Saturday morning, we stopped by the dive shop to get a few tanks for our next diving adventure.
To celebrate Padi's Women's Day of Diving, our local dive shop, Dive World, planned a night dive at The Meadow Center in San Marcos.
Daddy and Boogs were able to participate, too. Daddy has been on a couple of night dive's before but this was a first for Boogs and I. We met at The Meadow Center at 5pm. We filled out paperwork for the dive and had an orientation about the area. The Meadow Center used to be Aquarena Spring, an amusement park. A few years ago, it was bought by Texas State University and cleaned up. The water comes from an underground spring and is home to several endangered species. There are specific state and federal guidelines and laws for using this area. It was a real treat to be able to dive here without a Scientific Diver Certification.

After our orientation, we unloaded all of our equipment, and got set up. It is amazing how much stuff we need for the three of us to dive - tanks, bcd vests, regulators, fins, booties, snorkel, mask, wet suits, hoods, lights, and dive computer.
We entered the water for our first dive around 7 p.m. The water stays at a constant 72 degrees (22 C) year round. It gets cold underwater even with a wetsuit on.
 Boogs and Daddy gave their ok signs just before we submerged.
 During our first dive, John found a crawfish. He picked it up for everyone to see.
Boogs thought it was pretty cool. Later, John told us every time Boogs stroked the back of the crawfish it pinched him more. Poor John.
 When John let go of the crawfish, it held on for a bit.
I know you can't really see it, but there is a bass fish in this photo with that crawfish in his mouth. As soon as John dropped the crawfish, this bass came out of nowhere and tried to eat it. The crawfish put up a good fight, pinched the inside of the bass' mouth, and won his freedom. It was so interesting to watch.
 Our first dive was an orientation dive. We were able to swim around the area during daylight so we would know where we were when we went for our next dive in the dark.
 Boogs is kneeling on one of the platforms in this photo.
In the top right of this photo you can see one of the three rings divers can maneuver through. Boogs went through each ring several times. Boogs is the middle diver in this shot and Daddy is the one with yellow fins in the bottom right.
Boogs is a good diver. He pays attention, is aware of his surroundings, and keeps an eye on his air pressure gage.
 Here's John showing off his upside down skills.
This photo is a group photo of the divers. We took this in between our two dives before it got dark. Boogs, Daddy, and I are the only ones wearing jackets. We were COLD!




I don't have any pictures of the night dive. I did not want to try and manage my dive light and camera in the dark. Underwater in the dark felt like a scene from the movie The Abyss. You could not really see much except what was in the glow of your flashlight and the bouncing lights of other divers. We saw so many more crawfish at night than we had during our daylight dive. My husband is planning a live-aboard trip for the two of us in August. It would include three days on a boat and 7 dives in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Participating in today's night dive makes me feel a bit more comfortable about diving in the ocean at night. I still don't know if I will really have the courage for a night dive in a few weeks. We shall see.

2nd Week of July (part 1)

Since the swim team season ended last week, Boogs had time to attend a camp. This is Boogs second year participating in the Mobile Loaves & Fishes Camp. The camp ran Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. The camp is held at a local Catholic church, this year's focus was on worldwide hunger. The campers learned about hunger at a local and global level. Each day Boogs helped with one of the following tasks: making meals to feed local families, organizing food pantry supplies, and creating survival kits (water, toothpaste, razor, granola bar, and Slim Jim meat stick) to pass out to the homeless. At the end of the week, each camper was given one of the survival kits to pass out with their family. The campers also did crafts, played games, and learned about social justice, human rights, and equality. The food and supplies the campers helped make/put together were taken on the Mobile Loaves & Fishes trucks to be handed out each evening to those in need. I think it is a great experience for Boogs to serve others and be a part of a bigger community than just our neighborhood.
On his way to camp with some canned goods to donate.

We kept busy in the afternoons and evenings this week. On Monday, we went to the library. When Boogs was little he used to always stop and play with this artwork outside the library.

On Tuesday, Boogs had his team banquet for swim team at the pool. He swam until 9:15 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon, Daddy took us out for another tourist day at Lake Travis. We ate lunch on one of the many decks of the Oasis restaurant overlooking Lake Travis. Boogs was enjoying the sunshine.
 Boogs was super excited about our afternoon boating adventure.
When I first met Daddy 16 years ago, he had his own boat that we used to take out on Lake Travis. Wednesday's boat ride brought back some memories for us.
 There were hardly any people out on the lake. It was so peaceful.
If you look up and behind Boogs, you can see the Oasis restaurant where we had lunch.
 We went close to the dam.
Boogs was a little nervous about riding on the tube float. He kept asking, "What happens if I fall off?" Once he fell off the first time, his anxiety cleared up because he knew what to expect. Then he wanted to go again and again.
Boogs has such an adventurous spirit. I love hanging out with him and seeing his reactions to new experiences.
Daddy did an excellent job pulling Boogs around in circles and straight runs with just the right amount of speed.
 Boogs looked like he had a porcupine hairdo when he finished tubing.
We were worn out after spending the afternoon in the hot sunshine.

After camp on Thursday, Boogs had a friend come over to spend the night. Of course, we had to spend the afternoon at the neighborhood pool. I really do think Boogs is part fish. The boys had a great time at the pool.
 They had a pool noodle batttle.
 They took turns shouting phrases underwater for the other person to guess.
We had to take a walk around the park for a bit of Pokemon Go! Boogs' friend caught a couple of Pokemon to add to his collection.
 The boys made their own pizzas and had a picnic dinner with a  movie in our theater room.
 It was too hot to camp in the backyard, so we set up the tent in the theater room.
 The boys were asleep by 11:00. Whew, it was a long day.
This post is getting too long. I will post part two of our 2nd week in July in a little bit.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

First Week of July

My husband is taking the summer off. He is usually not home from 7 am to 9 pm and often works on weekends. We are getting in as much family time as we can while he is home this summer. I am a teacher, so I am off every summer. We have been making the most of our time together. Sometimes we hang out at home, cook, watch movies, play card games, chat on the back porch, play in the backyard, or do science experiments. Sometimes family time means making the most of local activities.

Boogs and Daddy used a Tinker Crate kit to make a lava lamp. It was really neat. They had to wire it and attach the pump. It came with four color slides to put in front of the light so the water would look different colors. Boogs receives a Tinker Crate each month in the mail (Christmas gift). He has several of them that he has not yet worked on because he wanted to do them with Daddy. It is good they have the time to work on these kinds of things together.

On the 4th of July, we kept to our traditional pedicure before heading to the July 4th celebration at the park.
Boogs was a little monkey climbing up the rock wall. He had no trouble making it to the top.
There were several bounce houses and carnival type games at the park. Boogs and Daddy each threw a dart to try and win a poster. They did it. They won a small KISS band poster. Daddy has been introducing Boogs to the wonders of music from the 70s and 80s. It was starting to get dark when I took this picture so it did not turn out well.
 We spent some time at the playground. Boy was it crowded with people waiting for the fireworks.
 We found a spot to have a snack and wait for the fireworks.
 It was a beautiful sunset.
 Our town does an amazing job with their fireworks. Too bad I could not capture a good pic.
 We ended our 4th of July with a few sparklers. Those are always so much fun.
Daddy has declared Wednesdays to be our "Tourist Lake Day". He wants to go to Lake Travis and find a different spot to eat lunch and see the lake. This week's lunch spot was Lucy's Fried Chicken on Lake Travis.
It was nice and breezy in the shade. Watching the boats go by on the lake gave Daddy the idea that next week's tourist lake day should include a boat ride.

Boogs finished up his week with a sleep over at a friend's house (Daddy and I got to go on a date), his last swim team practices and final swim meet of the season.

Boogs also went to an indoor trampoline place with friends. I think the "walking sticks" were his favorite thing to do at the trampoline place. He also liked jumping onto the crash-pad.
It was a busy first week of July!