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Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in Austin, 2014 - Walk to Fish Pond

Christmas in Austin, 2014
Walk to Fish Pond

Ben, Alex and Kaylee took Larry and and I on a nice walk to the "fish pond" behind Clayton Elementary, just south of their gated community here at Circle C (huge housing development).

Walking by the elementary school, where Alex is now in 5th grade - he'll go to the Middle School next year - he showed us a couple of the "garden" project he had worked on.

The first of two were Pansy plants he had helped plant.

Then a "plant" he had planted a couple of years earlier - it has grown!!

Around the corner there were several "totems" (off the left - about 12 or 15 more like these two!!!) made from ceramic cups from art class... he couldn't find the specific one he made, but knew it was there... we were falling behind, walking to the pond!

It was a regular park back behind the school... new territory for me... (I'd been in the back of the school, but not out in this part!)... what fun!

Note the "Cardinal" sign on posts - the Clayton Cardinals! You can see Ben and Larry approaching the pond, left side of the fence, above.

They all arrived at the pool, as I was still taking photos! Kaylee, Ben, Alex, Larry, from left.

Kaylee throwing bits of bread to the fish... watching for them to come up and bite them! They really did! Sometimes there would a dozen of circles in the water when everyone threw pieces about the same time... really, there were! ;-)

There was also a turtle in the pond, besides the perch and other fish (4-6 inches, mostly, that we could see. I did catch the turtle coming up to snatch a bite of bread! There, in the middle, he is swimming up, two arms out... use your imagination... it is easy to see!! ;-)

Just outside the pond, there is also a nature teaching circle...

As we left, Kaylee, now in First Grade, wanted to show us her playground equipment. She went swinging along the rings!

Then, went along the monkey bars side rail!!

It was fun to see that the edge of the Clayton playground had a trail that led right over to the Community Swimming Pool and new Community Center, on the corner.

Kaylee, Alex, Larry, and Ben moving ahead toward the Community Center and Pool... (above)

Just ahead, I looked back, and this was the entrance to Clayton, from the Center area:

Lots of rules to observe, of course!!

Around in front of the Community Center...

This is the new center for the whole development. They now use the rooms for scouts meetings, etc. Also used for wedding reception, etc. We came on path from Clayton, on right. The pool is on left, behind... see Kaylee in next photo.

Kaylee got to go on the "big slide" (green, in center, rear!) this year.

We went back across the street to the left, through a coded gate, and back through their subdivision (passing the common mailboxes) to the house. Great trip and walk ... and fun!!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas in Austin, 2014 - Around the House and Yard

Christmas in Austin, 2014
Around the House and Yard

Random photos taken in first couple of days of our visit to the Rathsack's: Arrion, Ben, Alex, Kaylee; Annette and Larry there, as well. Some posted to Facebook, some not. Check them out! ;-)

Ben and Arrion set up a badmitten net for Kaylee, in particular. Here, Annette is volleying with Kaylee. Different people enjoyed the fun at different times. The weather was in the 50s, 60s and one day in the 70s. Much fun!

Ben and Larry especially enjoyed one of the football games...  ;-)

Kaylee was working on a Lego Dolphin Cruiser, from scratch, working from the directions. Annette helped lay our the pieces, but she put them all together by herself. Fun to watch it grow. Finished in photo below.

Lots of games played, with different groups, different times, among the eight of us. Card games, board games, all variety of games.

Allison "owed" Arrion a birthday present, so we brought a copy of "Pioneer Girl" for her. We all enjoy the "Little House" series, of course, and this is the annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Kaylee finished the Cruiser...

Coming back from one of my walks, the lights were on, at the Rathsack home!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving in Austin, TX

Thanksgiving in Austin, TX

This post includes some photos not posted to Facebook, that are representative of our visit with Arrion, Ben, Alex and Kaylee over the Thanksgiving Weekend.

The day before Thanksgiving we took an outing to Cabella's in Buda, SE of Austin. Alex needs new camping gear for when he joins regular Boy Scouts in the coming year. He and Ben were "checking out" possibilities. The rest of us enjoyed the many exhibits.

Alex likes to play games with the whole family. This was just the first of several sessions during the weekend:

Good meals, all the time, of course, thanks to Arrion! I liked this photo...

Nancy and I just enjoy being there... can you tell? ;-)

Friday was casual day, each person doing their "own thing" - Alex on the computer and phone with his friend, George, setting up their next game...

Kaylee playing a game on her iPad that Grandma had on hers, earlier... multitasking with breakfast.

Ben was keeping garage in good shape. On Saturday, he puts out Christmas decorations! ;-)

And, Arrion, in blue van, headed for grocery store... a very common occurrence... will pick up sandwiches for lunch, too, she said... Go, Arrion!! ;-)

It was a very good weekend!! ;-)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Celebrating Carolyn Conner's 80th Birthday, in Adel, Iowa

Celebrating Carolyn Conner's 80th Birthday, in Adel, Iowa

On August 24, 2014, we ventured north to Des Moines, Iowa, where on Sunday, over at the Adel Assisted Living Home, we helped Nancy's sister, Carolyn (Bolger) Conner, celebrate her 80th Birthday, along with many family and friends.

Here are Nancy and Carolyn, together, about the time others were arriving. It was a good group during the afternoon. I posted 30 photos on Facebook. I've selected a few to share here.

Here is the facility:

Grand-daughter Carli Conner was the greeter at the door:

The whole family worked on decorations... here is one of the signs:

They made a cake with her image right on it... I didn't eat the image, but the cake (with yellow flower) was delicious!! ;-)

I caught Pat and Clark as they were bringing out the punch bowl...

I got this photo of Pat and Brett, about the time he arrived... We hated missing Brett and Lori's wedding, but it was great to see them both, today! ;-)

Here Karmen is showing Nancy how, when the puzzle pieces are put together on this table, you will see Carolyn's photo image...

At this table, there were a couple of Carolyn's extensive scrapbooks, and puzzle game sheets to fill out... if you didn't know the answers, you could look them up in the books! I think Rose, Nancy and Karmen were having fun putting the photos in time order. Another set of crossword puzzles was fun.

Later on, we had some posed photos - here, the whole family that was there...

The we go just Carolyn and her three children...

And the, the four of the six siblings that were able to be there...

If you want to see more, check out my Facebook timeline at: https://www.facebook.com/DrBillSmith

It was a great day in Iowa!  ;-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Brunch at Rathsack's - Austin

Brunch at Rathsack's - Austin

Arrion had a meeting at the airport, to finish her TSA application - get through airports faster...

So Alex fixed his pancakes, Kaylee made scrambled eggs, and Ben made cinnamon rolls, as he supervised... for brunch! What fun! Delicious! Kaylee even ate some of her scrambles eggs!

Here, Alex is mixing his batter:

While, Kaylee about to scramble the eggs:

Then, Alex made the pancakes. Grandma and Grandpa got the first two! ;-)

Ben put in the cinnamon rolls:

After Arrion arrived back home, I took this photo of her in her updated home office! ;-)

Another day off to a great start!

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July in Austin

4th of July in Austin

Drove down on Wednesday and Thursday. Neat fireworks over nearby gold course, sat on front walk and watched... reminded us of Urbandale, years ago!!  ;-)

Early on 4th, kids all to Circle C parade. Alex, as a scout, got to lead parade with flag... he got to be the one at the end of the parade. Neat! Home and rested. Kids watched a movie. Grandma had her iPad! ;-)

Then, all afternoon (couple of hours +) all played Tripoly... Kaylee played with Ben... called out the card and counted out the chips.... Back and forth... Arrion ended up beating Alex by one chip! Grand ma barely beat out Grandpa for last... ;-)

Ben to grill burgers and fish in a bit... What more could you want...  Happy 4th of July!! ;-)

From yesterday...

Alex baked the angel food cake... we're saying it was for my 75th birthday... you may have already seen this on Facebook!! ;-)

It was another great day! ;-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Annette and Larry visited the cabin as May became June

Annette and Larry visited the cabin as May became June

Annette and Larry came to visit, flying into the Branson Airport via Frontier Airlines on May 27th. They departed the airport on June 6, while the Legends of Golf Champions PGA Tour golfers were in town.

Annette took this photo at Grandma Ruth's on Green Mountain near State 165 when the four of us visited.

Allison went with Larry and Annette to Billy Gail's Cafe, out near Silver Dollar City. Then, they went to a movie (they went to several movies...) ;-)

Here, Larry was using Annette's one of the iPhones, but didn't know how to zoom, they said:

Then, they took a group selfie:

... another, at the ice cream parlor...

Then, they took this at the India Brick Oven, where they ate, after another movie...

We also watched Nebraska and three other movies using Annette's Amazon TV "thing" that we got them for their anniversary, back in April, and brought with her. Neat! We really enjoyed each, but especially Nebraska, that we had been wanting to see.

We did lots of other stuff, but these were the photos! They got home safely, earlier this evening.

It was another great week!  ;-)