Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back From Camping

Tomorrow "real life" starts again. During Spring Break we went camping in my parents camper and had a great time together as a family. The only real "downer" was the fact that I could not get internet at the campground! I did some off-line blogging during the week and will post the blogs (and pictures) here.

Just letting you know in case you want to scroll down to SUNDAY and read from the beginning.

Brooke and the Doggies - Worn Out After Unpacking

Friday, March 21, 2008


Once again the dogs woke us up this morning, and once again, it took a good 20 minute walk before Sully would do his "business". You've heard of having the poo scared out of you? Sully has it scared INTO him! Anything little thing scares him and he cannot concentrate on the business at hand. Yes, you are welcome for sharing.

So after our morning walk, we fixed sausage and egg sandwiches with hash browns for breakfast. It was then time for our last trip to the store. This time, we tried to avoid Wal-Mart because they do not carry the special heavy-duty paper plates we were trying to replace (the ones we "borrowed" which were left over in the camper). Brooke could not find the exact plates but found something that would work. As I was cooking the sausage this morning and trying to flatten out the patties I broke one of my Mom's spatulas. The only thing similar they had at Kroger was a $7 pack, so it was off to Wal-Mart again.

Off for a Bike Ride to the Marina

Amanda saw the marina convenience store when we were on our walk last night and thought it looked like a light house. Of course, this meant it needed investigating, so we rode our bikes to the marina after breakfast. On the bike ride there, a little dog ran along side our bike barking. I knew the dog would freak out Amadna and I was very proud of her for not crashing her bike in fear! Once we got past the dog, I saw that she was crying. I don't know what it is about little dogs, but they scare her more than big ones!
At the marina, we some scary ducks, too. Amanda was chased by a goose once, and now all ducks are scary up close. Anyway, we took pictures of the ducks and then walked out onto the pier. Amanda thought it would be fun to walk out onto one of the boat landings until she discovered that they merely floated on Styrofoam and were not very steady. But we couldn't stay there too long until she wanted to go explore the building she thought looked like a light house. I imagine she was pretty disappointed to discover it looked pretty much like any other bait/tackle/convenience store. We bought an ice cream bar and an ice cream cookie, sat on the deck and looked out over the lake while talking about the ducks, the joys of camping and "that scary dog" that we might have to face on the ride back to the camper.

The Scary Duck

Later in the day, Mr. Barker invited Amanda to do fishing with him and Brian. I didn't expect them to catch anything, but Amanda insisted on taking the digital camera so somebody could get a picture of her with the fish that she caught. Brooke went for a walk and then hung out with Jan (Barker) while I finished book #2 (Mutant by Peter Clement) this week. Just as I finished my book Mr. Barker drove up with Amanda and Brian who quickly jumped out of the car and came running, each with a bag full water with a fish in it! I'm not a fisherman, but I think they caught a perch. I'll have a picuture in here. so somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but whatever it was, it sure made Amadna proud! Of course I had to grab the new video camera and shoot some video, too.

The Fish That Was Caught By the Child With No Head

The Proud Fisherman

Two Proud Fishermen

Kiss the Fish!

What a shame that it's Friday already. I feel like I just started relaxing yesterday, and Dad will be here in the morning to hook up the trailer and allow us to re-enter the real world. Oh well. It's 6:20pm. Guess I need to shut this down and see what the plans are for dinner.

Ta Da!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Yep, it's the dogs. Up at 7:40am this morning. Everybody is just getting back from the shower house, so our camper smells like Pine Sol. It's warmed up enough to open all the windows in the camper, so it should air out soon. Don't know what the plans are for day, but they don't include going into the office and that is good enough for me. If I could just check my email, that would make me really happy!

We've quickly figured out that you can't camp without Wal-Mart, and we stopped by again today to buy the rest of our food for the week. During breakfast we watched home movies on the DVD player and decided they were we stopped by Circuit City and bought a cheap video camera. Definitely an impulse buy, but the more home videos we watch from years ago, the better I feel about it. I'm still taking hundreds of pictures with my digital camera but there's just too many "precious moments" not to have a video camera as Amanda is growing up.

We had microwave TV dinners for dinner, and then Amanda and I went for a walk. We were walking near the lake in a flooded area when Amanda said, "Daddy, there's an aligator!" I knew there was no aligator, but I was surprised that she did indeed see something...a beaver. We watched the alligator/beaver swim until something scared it, it made a big splash with it's tail and then disappeared under water.

Brooke drove the car to pick us up down by the lake so we could watch LOST. While I was watching LOST, Brooke hid some glow in the dark Easter eggs she picked up (at Wal-Mart, where else?). Amanda and Brian had a blast finding all but the last, elusive egg. Brooke joined them in the hunt and, as of yet, it is still missing!

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt

All was going fine until Amanda stepped on a thorn tht went into her shoe and broke off in her foot. We borrowed tweasers and a needle from the Barkers and went to work on Amanda's foot. It did not take long for Amanda to scream in agony (she is such a drama queen!!!) and she finally took the needle and dug the thing out herself.

The Thorn

That was about all the excitement we could handle for the night. Amanda went to bed, Brooke said up a little longer doing word search puzzles and I turned in a while after that trying to finish off book #2 for the week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


OK, maybe it's the dogs more than camping that keeps me from sleeping in. We slept until almost 9am again this morning, but even though we miss the extra sleep, we miss the doggies more. Another bacon and eggs breakfast, some reading and then we went to pick up the dogs. Might as well grab a shower at Mom and Dad's (although how can you feel any more clean than when you are in a shower house that reeks of Pine Sol!). We grabbed a shower, grabbed the dogs and then came back to the campground.

Mmmm...sausage, eggs, toast and hash browns

We knew our friends the Barkers were going to be moving their camper, so we stopped by to see what Brian was doing. While his parents moved the camper, we took Brian with us to McDonalds for lunch.

Sully the Pirate
(everybody had to try on the "pirate hat" that came in the McDonalds Happy Meal.

Boo the Pirate

Brooke the Unhappy Pirate

Brooke the Happy Pirate

After lunch, Rob, Amanda and Brian went for a bike ride down by the lake to play at the playground. We were just thinking about coming back when we heard this "pssssssssssss" and Brian's front bike tire went flat for no appearant reason. Fortunately Brooke and the car were just a phone call away so Brian, Amanda, Brooke and the two bikes came back to the campground in the car. I (tried to) ride up the HUGE hill on my bike and arrived a short time after the car, greatly out of breath.

Amanda and Brian. We stopped by the lake on our bike ride.

Amanda and Brian played for the rest of the afternoon. Brooke talked with Jan and read. I took a short nap and read a bit. After supper we took the dogs on a LONG walk (mostly because EVERYTHING distracts Sully from doing his business), came back tot he camper, watched some TV, read some more and went to bed

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Slept until almost 9am this hungry dogs to wake us up at the first sign of movement. The rain started, but nothing seriously stormy like the weather people said we could get. Had cereal for breakfast, watched a movie and then decided to head back to Arlington to run a few errands since it was supposed to rain all day. We ran by the house real quick so we could grab a real shower. While there, I had to call Sprint and reactivate my old phone. The used one I bought just six weeks ago konked out on me. Will NOT be getting any more "free" phones from Sprint that extend my already-too-long contract. They reset my "rebate" on my phone. Every 22 months you can get a $150 rebate from Sprint for a new phone. Because I had to go back to my old phone, they reset my 22 months even though the phone was not new. I'm just getting fed up with Sprint not taking good care of me as a customer. I guess they figure they have enough people that they don't have to worry about little guys like me. That was frustrating enough, but now I can't access my email from this old phone (it does not get as strong a signal at the campground). I am not a happy camper with Sprint or my phone.

Anyway, after a shower and frustrating phone conversation with Sprint, we ran by the library to pick up a book or two for all of us. After that, it was off to David's BBQ for lunch. Man, they serve some good food! We ran by Wal-Mart again and then came back to the camper. With it raining ALL DAY, I was glad not to have to take the dogs outside, but I sure miss them! Family camping is not the same without the doggies.

It was cool and rainy this afternoon, so I got in a GOOD nap. I love to sleep when it is raining! After that we fixed dinner and then went to get Brian so he and Amanda could watch a movie over here tonight. When the movie was over, we went into town (Cedar Hill) to gas up the car and grab a McDonald's ice cream for everybody. We dropped off Brian, Brooke watched Dancing with the Stars and then watched Jericho with me.

When Brooke went to bed, I spent 40 minutes trying to log into my email or Twitter on my old no avail. I finally gave up in frustration and decided to blog about the day. Frustrating day with Sprint and the phone, but fun day with the family. Definitely thankful we are camping in a trailer and not in a tent, and definitely ready for the rain to stop now. It is supposed to rain most of the night and then begin clearing up tomorrow. Amanda wants to go to the beach (if there's any left after the lake's rising due to all of the rain!), we'll do some more bike riding and hopefully pick up or doggies for the rest of the week.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I woke up around 7:30am. For some reason, I cannot sleep in very well when camping (I can nap all afternoon, but I can't sleep late in the morning). We are not usually big breakfast eaters, but when we camp, we usually cook up some bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast and that is what we did today.

Our camp site is right near a playground area which Amanda noticed right away last night, so we headed over there for a while this morning. After that, we went for a family walk/bike ride. Amanda rode her bike (first time since the "elbow incident"), I rode my bike and walked the two dogs and Brooke walked. This wore us out enough that we all (that is Rob, Brooke and the two dogs) needed a nap after lunch.

We had visitors after lunch. The Barkers are friends of the family since the days Brooke worked at Grace Prep, and they live here at the State Park. Amanda has not seen Brian (Barker's son who is her same age) in a couple years, so she was thrilled to see them! Brooke is out talking with her friend Jan right now while Amanda is out bike riding with Brian now.

Amanda and Brian

I am "blogging" while Brooke and Amanda are visiting with the Barkers. I have my laptop but no internet access, so I'm writing now so I'll have something to post when I get back. I HATE not having internet! I have been surviving on my cell phone. I can check my email, but I've been cut off twice (and lost everything I typyed in using the number pad!) so long replies to email do not work very well. I was updating my Facebook status, but the typing with my phone keypad is too much of a hassle. I would gladly trade our TV for internet, but I guess you're supposed to "rough it" when camping, right?!

Amanda went over to the Barkers camper to watch a movie with Brian tonight. Brooke and I ran to Wal-Mart for a few things. Storms are moving in and we are supposed to have (possibly severe) rain and wind all day Tuesday. My Mom offered for her and Dad to keep the dogs for a day so we wouldn't have to take them out in the rain. (I suspect Mom also did not want them tracking mud in the camper!). Brooke and I ran the dogs over to their house after Wal-Mart, picked up Amadnda and came back to the camper for the night. We'll see what the weather brings tonight/in the morning.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This has been a crazy weekend. Brooke has been at a conference Friday and Saturday and I have been getting ready to preach today. In the midst of all of that, we were trying to pack for a week of camping. The service went well today. We prayed for Pastor David in Delaware. We prayed for him because he and Mrs. Debi were doing their marriage teaching for the church there, but we also prayed for them figuring anybody who left the great state of Texas for Delaware needed prayer anyway! After the service, we went out to eat with my parents and then headed back to our house to hook up the camper (my parents' camper) and then to Cedar Hill State Park. Dad helped us hook up the camper and then he and Mom headed home.

Lazy Day!

Brooke and Amanda's Favorite Activities for the Week...Nintendo DS and Word Search Puzzles

Nothing too exciting for the rest of the day. Brooke and I took a short nap while Amanda played on her Nintendo DS then Brooke went grocery shopping for the first part of the week. Amanda and I continued our Sunday evening tradition and watched America's Funniest Videos. Man, you know you are roughing it camping when you watch TV without the DVR! We actually had to wait for the commercials to clean up from dinner because we couldn't pause the show!! Brooke and I read some more, Amanda played some more DS and that was about it for our first day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Took a Road Trip

I've been watching the weather report for a week, looking at maps and planning for today. Brooke was at a conference all day and Amanda went to spend the night at a friend's house straight from school, so I had time for a nice day-long road trip. I left out at 9am and returned home at 5:30pm covering about 340 miles. Here's a few highlights from my trip:

I was going to say I like "old" courthouses, but the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne is being restored, so I guess that makes it "not old". But I like old-looking courthouses, so I took a couple courthouse pictures today.

Everywhere I rode today, I saw signs that "Burning Ban", but this one farmer seemed to think today was an OK day to clear this field. I'm pretty sure it was not a wild fire...the farmer was watching it burn, there were no fire trucks and the outside perimeter had been plowed so the fire would stop when the grass was gone. I saw the smoke a long ways away and had to stop for a picture once I saw what was going on.

You know how you always see those signs that say "Historical Marker"? Well, when I stopped to take pictures of the field burning, I saw the "Historical Marker" sign pointing to this area, so I went to check it out. This is what's left of a school that was started in 1879.

I guess this would be the Bosque County Courthouse. It was in Meridian, TX (I think...I stopped so many times I'm confused now).

I know...a picture of sheep is not very exciting. I tried to help these guys get back in the field with the other sheep, but I ended up scaring them and just had to watch them run off down the shoulder of the highway. Fortunately, they seemed to know better than to get in the road.

This is where I ended up for lunch. I think part of the "road trip experience" is eating at local, home cooked restaurants. When I stopped in Hamilton for gas, I asked a guy filling up his truck where would be a good local place to eat lunch. He recommended a Mexican place, so I headed there. As I was parking my motorcycle, an older gentleman came up and started talking motorcycles with me. He happened to live in Ft. Worth and he told me about the club he rides with there (he actually invited me to come visit the club). He recommended this place for lunch, so I moved on down the street and gave it a try. I was happy to see hamburgers and pie on the menu, but when they just about blackened my hamburger, gave me a tiny piece of pie, charged me an extra dollar to use my debit card, overcharged for the food and had an unfriendly waitress bring it to the table...well, I sorta wish I had stuck with the Mexican joint. Oh well, it was still fun.

I didn't have a chance to see what was so "historic" about Lampasas. This was the furthest south I went today...about 150 miles from home. From here, I headed back home swinging along the western border of Ft. Hood military base.

As you may have guessed, I passed through Topsey, TX. I've never been there before, but when I saw this little barn/storefront/thing, I thought it would make a neat looking black and white picture. So here it is...complete with the black and white.

I think this courthouse was in Gatesville...I'm not sure which county it's in.

This is the clipboard I rigged so I could see my route for the day.

I did not see President Bush or even his ranch. All I got was a picture of this sign!

Last picture for the day. This was painted on the side of a building in Valley Mills (obviously).

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Another Enjoyable Day

This is a quaint little house that Amanda and I saw on our motorcycle ride this afternoon. Amanda and I like to go for "country rides" and look at the animals while we are out. Here's a list of a few of the fun things we saw/did while we were out:
  • Saw horses
  • Saw goats
  • Saw a burro
  • Saw BIG bulls with BIG horns
  • Saw cute little calves
  • Saw a couple 'log cabin' homes
  • Saw the house pictured here
  • Saw a road runner cross the road
  • Played chase on the playground at Lillian Elementary School
  • Split a shake and orange drink at What-A-Burger