Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Typhoon Texas and J2's visit

Unfortunately, D and I were unable to plan a JBoys camping trip this year. In the past we have taken epic roadtrips together with her four boy and Boogs. Boogs was able to invite J2 to spend a couple of days with us. It has been disgustingly hot in Texas. On Monday, it was 110 degree F (43 degrees C). The boys spent Monday afternoon inside with the air conditioning running full blast. It was even too hot to take a trip to the pool. The boys spent time battling each other on their DS games.
They played a mean game of hide-n-seek in the house for almost two hours. When you found the person hiding, you got to shoot them with the Nerf Rival gun that shoots "high impact" balls instead of the suction cup darts. Those balls hurt! Boys!
A little after 6 p.m. they decided to brave the heat and play a game of Ladder golf. We set the ladder up in different places in the yard to get the most shade. They ended up throwing from the porch so they would not be in the sun.
We had a "cold front" blow in Monday night. The high temperature on Tuesday was only 99 degrees F (37 degree C). It was a welcome change in temperature from Monday's high. We really lucked out because I had bought tickets to Typhoon Texas the previous week. Tickets are $34 per person at the door but I was able to find an online early bird purchase for only $18.99 per ticket. I actually had Typhoon Texas confused with Rockin' River, a place we had been before. We had not been to Typhoon Texas, it opened in May.
We all had a blast. My husband and I got to chill out in the wave pool while the boys went to ride a couple of rides. They eventually joined us in the wave pool for a bit.
 Then we headed over to the Lonestar Racers slide. This was my favorite thing in the entire park!
The four of us kept racing each other down the slide. We were very lucky that the park was not crowded. We did not wait more than 7 minutes for any ride. I guess the high temperatures of the previous few days scared people away from outdoor activities.
 My husband won most of the races. I think he cheated by pushing off a bit early before the green light, he says he didn't. :-)
Our next favorite rides were the Duelin' Daltons two person tube rides. There were three different tubes to chose from. The boys liked the purple tube the best, it was the fastest.
 Look at that steep drop at the end.
 The boys glided across the water.
They had a lifeguard near the purple tube exit. It was their job to catch the people coming out of the purple tube so they would not bump or go over the end of the pool. The lifeguard missed catching my husband and I and we bumped the edge of the pool but did not flip out of it. It was a fun ride. My favorite tube was the yellow one and my husband's favorite was the blue. We went down these tubes at least 20 times throughout the day.
Another fun ride is The Snakepit. You go down these tubes without a mat. The light blue and the green slides were the fastest. I got a little claustrophobic on these. They were very dark inside. The dark blue colored slide was so slow it was not very fun.
The boys spent a lot of time going on this ride. My husband liked it, too.
We accidentally lucked into Two for Tuesday deals. The hot dogs were two for one and the icees were also two for one. We had a quick lunch and rest before continuing our day.
 After lunch, the boys put on their closed-toe shoes and headed over to the ropes Challenge Course.
It had three levels of obstacles. I liked how the park set this up. You had to complete three obstacles on each level to show you were competent before you were able to move up to the next level.
The safety lines had a feature that only allowed you to release one line at a time so you were always hooked in. The boys had a blast! I was a bit jealous. I sprained by knee a couple of weeks ago so I could not participate. My husband decided it was too hot to participate.

They climbed for about an hour. Then cooled off with an Icee drink before heading over to the Lazy-T river. We spent quite a while in the river before going back for more rides.

The park is open from 10 am to 7 pm. We arrived around 10:45 and left at 6:45. It was not our intention to spend the entire day at the park, but we were having so much fun none of us wanted to leave. We were so lucky to be there on a relatively cool day without crowds. I think we will definitely go back again. Typhoon Texas also has a zipline tour, but it costs $12.99 extra. Maybe we will try that some other time.

We ordered pizza for dinner because I was too tired to cook when we got home. The four of us watched a Rocky movie in the theater room and then went to bed.

J2 had to be back at 11 Wednesday morning so we had to leave our house before 10 to make it to Temple for the handover. I'm so thankful D meets us halfway instead of driving all the way out to their house. I miss them living 5 minutes away from us. After breakfast, Boogs and I taught J2 how to play Egyptian Rat Slap. This card game is hilarious! Boogs and I have played it with several different friends and we taught Daddy how to play it on our Bonaire vacation. There are way too many rules to keep up with, that is what makes it so challenging and fun. You can find the rules HERE. (this site calls it Egyptian Rat Screw) These rules are pretty close to the way we play.
We were very sad to take J2 home today. Hopefully, we will get to see him again before summer is over. Next week and the week after, Boogs has diving board camp two hours a day. Next week he also has trombone sectionals practice for 1.5 hours a day. I have to go back to work on August 9th. That is going to be here way too soon.

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Country Kids

More of Summer 2018

Summer is going by so quickly! We made it home from our Bonaire vacation on July 8th. Boogs went to Mobile Loaves and Fishes Camp from 9 am to 12:30 pm July 9th through July 13th. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is an outreach program to the homeless and needy in our community. Each day, the kids helped prepare sandwiches, cookies, and care packages which were passed out by adult volunteers in the evening on the streets of our city. Each year there is a different theme to the camp. Previous year's themes have been: plight of the homeless, poverty, keep Austin fed, service in your community, cultures around the world - one world/one people, serve to fight the world's hardships. This year's theme was Fling the Doors Open - welcome all without judgement but with dignity, respect, and love. Boogs enjoys this camp. This year he helped prepare food, managing donations for the clothes closet, organizing food pantry donation, paint bags to be sold with the money going to fund the food pantry, and contribute to a community project. It is a wonderful opportunity for him to experience life outside of our suburban bubble.

We had a quiet week last week. We visited with friends, read books, got in some writing practice, played at a couple of different pools, Boogs practiced his trombone each day, we played card games, hide-n-seek,  Boogs and I both had dentist appointments, Boogs had an orthodontist appointment, and we even did a little bit of crafting. Boogs and Daddy took a day to themselves and went to Main Event. They played laser tag, went bowling and rock climbing, played video games, and went to a pinball place.

Boogs bought this emojii poo pool float for my birthday. He is having a blast with it. We have been at our neighborhood pool many times recently. Sometimes as early as 7 a.m.

I am so thankful to have pools near us to cool off in. This summer makes it exhausting to be outside without a cool dip.
  Daddy joined us at the neighborhood pool one day.
We me friends at Milburn Pool for an afternoon. I prefer the quiet of our neighborhood pool.
Boogs chose some interesting hide-n-seek spots. 
We were in Bonaire on the 4th of July. It is a family tradition for us all to get pedicures on the 4th of July. Boogs was happy that this tradition was merely postponed and not called off.
We went and saw The Incredibles 2. Boogs liked the first movie better. I liked both movies.
In the mornings, it was barely cool enough to enjoy a little hammock time. Boogs spent a few mornings reading in the hammock. He usually came back inside by 8:30 a.m. and then immediately went to take a shower to cool off. This has been a very hot summer.
It has been awhile since Boogs has wanted to do any kind of crafts with me.   I pulled out some canvases and paint and talked him into painting pictures of our pets. He chose to paint his hedgehog Nebraska and I painted my dog from many, many years ago. Our first step was to get pictures and do a bit of sketching.
Boogs is holding Nebraska. Hedgehogs are so cute!
I think my dog Nikki is just as cute as Nebraska. She was a Yorkie Poo. Sweetest little dog, she lived for 17 years. I still miss her.
After we sketched out our subjects, we painted them. Here are the results. My husband thought they were "interesting" looking. You know, it is about the process, not merely the results. Ha! We had fun working on them even though they look a bit odd. Yes, I do realize that my dog looks like a raccoon.

I also did a bit of crafting of my own for my friend's wedding. I made a wedding card and a garter for her. I free hand cut the dress and tuxedo. I embossed the dress with a BigShot swirl, but the card looked a little plain.
I went to Michael's craft store to find a little bit of bling to liven up the card. I think it made a world of difference. The Mr. & Mrs. metal plate was leftover from a set I bought 15 years ago after my husband and I got married.
The couple said that gifts were unnecessary but if you insisted, they would prefer money to help fund their honeymoon. I don't like to give cash as a gift in a plain old ordinary envelope so I decided to turn it into a garter. I took a regular garter, folded bills in half, secured the bills around the garter with small rubber bands, then wrapped ribbon around each bill. I was not very neat with the ribbon, but I was okay with how it turned out. The wedding was beautiful.
It was so nice to have a quiet(ish) week. It seems like life has been non-stop since our school year ended.

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Country Kids

Bonaire Vacation Scuba Diving

Monday (July 2nd), our 2nd full day on Bonaire, started out with a beautiful sunrise. No rain clouds in sight. After breakfast, we drove to the waterfront to do a buoyancy check. In order to dive in Bonaire, you have to prove you have good buoyancy so you won't be over weighted and bang the reefs while diving. Once Boogs, my husband, and I were approved we headed off on our first shore dive. We usually only do boat dives. I was really nervous. I am not a great navigator and I was uncertain that we'd be able to get back to the same dock we entered the water. Luckily, my husband is an excellent navigator and we did not get lost.

We stopped back by the condo for a quick lunch before heading over to Dive Friends for a boat dive at Klein Bonaire island.
 Boogs starting to put on his gear.
One of my favorite views is watching the water over the top of a couple of dive tanks getting ready for a dive.
 Boogs and Daddy anxiously awaiting our dive.
 The water was a gorgeous shade of blue. The boat took us to Klein island for our dive sites.
 Boogs making sure he has all of his equipment ready.
Klein Bonaire is a small uninhabited island. You can boat over to it to dive, snorkle, or explore the island.
Boogs really enjoyed diving. He went deeper than he had gone in the Florida Keys. I love his big smile.
We went on nine dives while we were in Bonaire. I don't have a lot of pictures of the shore sites we used because I had to leave my phone at the condo. We were advised to roll down our truck windows and leave the doors unlocked because shore divers can be targeted by thieves. If you lock your doors and windows, they might break them to get in. We met a couple who had their vehicle broken into while they were diving. The thieves took everything they had in the truck - extra clothes, towels, water, shoes, prescription sunglasses, even their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We lucked out and no one bothered our things. You can see how isolated the dive sites are.
Bonaire has 86 dive sites. You can follow this link HERE to see some of the most popular ones. The shore dive sites were marked with names painted onto yellow rocks. Here are a few pics from my husband's GoPro. We dove at the following sites: Little Klein, Keepsakes, Rockpile, Andrea I, Andrea II, Blue View, Hilma Hooker, and Alice in Wonderland.
 Trumpet fish

Diving with a gigantic eel.

 Boogs playing around on a dive. He is an excellent diver and knows when it is safe to play around and when he really needs to focus.
This lionfish refused to turn around so we only have a back view.

We were able to see a seahorse on one of our dives and spot an octopus. We even got to swim with a sea turtle.
Bonaire was a nice place to visit. Boogs and my husband agreed that we saw more diverse marine life in the Florida Keys but it was nice to dive somewhere new this year.
We followed around these trunk fish for quite a while. Trunk fish are one of my favorite fish to look for on dives.

Shore dives can be very challenging. We went on one night dive. This is our group waiting for the sun to set so we could begin our dive.
It had been awhile since our last night dive and I was a bit nervous. Boogs was raring to go. He is so adventurous.
The night dive was an amazing experience. It was a bioluminescence dive. 90% of our dive was with our lights off. It was kind of eerie. There was enough moonlight to see a bit of outline of coral in the water and the shape of the divers swimming around you. The dive leader had his hand smothering his light for most of the dive and would occasionally show some light so we could follow him and read his hand signals. He took us to a sandy patch on the ocean floor and instructed us to sit and wait. Pretty soon, little blue lights started appearing everywhere. They were seed shrimp. There is a tiny snippet of video of them on this site. The seed shrimp are shown on the video from the 30 second mark to 53 second mark. There were hundreds of them all around us. As we swam around, each movement set off little glowing blue lights. We had fun waving our arms around, it was like the glowing lights that followed the Fairy Godmother's wand in Cinderella. It was quite an experience.

This video was from part of the dive when my husband had his light on. He could not record the bioluminescent fish. The fish in this video were attracted to my husbands dive light. They swarmed around his light like moths.

We had a great week of diving and really enjoyed our getaway to Bonaire. Farewell Bonaire, until next time.

This post is linked to:

Country Kids