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A Visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

11 Jun

A few weekends ago, my parents and I took the kids to the Lady Bird Wildflower Center, located just 6 miles from my house and about 12 miles from Downtown Austin.


My favorite structure on the grounds was definitely the Observation Tower which is also a 10,000 gallon cistern.  It is absolutely beautiful and you can get a glimpse all around the gardens and surrounding fields from the top.

The tunnel leading to the Library, Administration building and a few smaller native plant areas was really beautiful – and cool!  IT was HOT out there and I could have hidden out in that tunnel all day!

  I wish I had room in my backyard for a turtle pond like the Wetland Pond at the front of the wildflower center.  WOWZA!!  It was so pretty and peaceful!  AND, we even got to make a turtle friend that came all the way over to see LillyBug!

Inside the Visitor’s Gallery, we were able to see examples of all the flowers that are currently in bloom, information about the park and it’s founders, and learn about native plants animals to the area.  It was a beautiful building and it was nice that for the most part, the exhibits were kid-friendly. (Apart from the little glass vases of flowers – Mommy got a little nervous!)

 

 

 

The Spanish Architecture was one of my favorite things about the main buildings and areas of the park.  It is just beautiful and welcoming and really is amazing to see in person.  I think I must have taken about 50 different photos of just the arches and buildings around the property!

The Little House was another very cool part of the park.  It’s a special area just for kids!  It even has a little kid-size door for them to enter through – man I wish I’d taken a picture of that!  Anywho, inside the kids got to read books about plants and garden animals, color pictures, look at old pictures from the area, and just explore!  It was so cool – if I ever have free-reign over a classroom – I’d want it to be just like the Little House!

When the weather is cooler, BamaBoy and I will have to bring the kids back out to visit the hiking trails around the park.  There are about 2 miles of trails that lead all around the outskirts of the center.  They are separated into a Savanna Meadow Trail, Woodland Trail, John Barr Trail which has native shrubs, trees and cacti and the Restoration Research Trail which is where they research the Texas Hill Country ecology.  This photo was taken at one of the Savanna Meadow/Woodland Trail entrances.

Family photo time!  In the center of the main courtyard lies the Courtyard Spring , a simulated spring modeled after the Blue Hole in Wimberley, Texas.

 

 

 

The next portion of the Wildflower Center is where the Display Gardens are.  Each of the 23 garden beds exhibits some of the many native plants that grow in the Texas Hill Country.  It was really neat to see the different types of plants.  My parents’ favorite part were the covered arbor walkways along each side that are covered in a roof of Texas Wisteria, Coral Honeysuckle, and Mustang Grape vines.  It provided much-welcome shade and a beautiful walkway through this part of the park.

Honestly, there is SO much more to the Wildflower Center than I have represented here.  I just can’t do it justice!  There was the butterfly garden which was peaceful and winding and I’m sure a month or so ago it was full of butterflies!  There are the smaller gardens packed FULL of wildflowers.  There are so many ideas for home gardening – ground cover, border plants, flowers, too many ideas for my little backyard, but I know I’m going to be putting BamaBoy to work!  We didn’t even get into the trails!  It was a great afternoon, though and we will definitely be going back!  If you make it to Austin, you really should go – there was something for everyone – including a cafe where NanaBread and I may (or may not) have made a side trip inside for a cold coffee. 😉 Take your family, take the kids, just don’t take your dogs – they’re not allowed!

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Watch out World, LillyBug is 2!!

15 Sep

Such a silly girl!

Two years ago, today, our little LillyBug entered the world at 7:45 am.  She was content and happy where she was, but thanks to a scheduled C-Section she came on our time.  She has tried every day since age 2 months to remind us that we are now on HER time! 🙂

Such a proud big brother!!

She is spunky, funny, energetic and, through-and-through, a firecracker!  She loves cheese, chicken, ice cream and pizza and well, to be honest, has never met a food she didn’t like.  Except for vegetables….that girl HATES veggies.  Which I find odd because JonahBear and I could eat our weights in veggies if we had to!


She loves her brother and our cat, Mouse!  She loves animals of all kinds, actually!  LillyBug adores being outside – in fact, one of her first words was “side” and she’d point and yell at the back door!  She loves swimwear but don’t you dare get her wet!!

All in all, she’s our fiesty little LillyBug.  When she’s fed and well-rested and there’s music playing she’s tons of fun to be around.  She definitely knows how to “put her party on”!  Right now she all attitude, so 2’s should be an adventure, but we love her!  Jonah could never have asked for a more devoted little sister and the love and bond they share is always amazing to witness.  I so look forward to her growing, discovering and changing.  This is going to be an exciting year!

Just us girls!

I love you LillyBug!  You’re my favorite little girl!

-T

 

Do I have “mad skills”? No, but my skills are happy!

11 Aug

Well, this is Day One and here I am.  I am not a writer, not overly creative, but I like to create and I guess I need an outlet.  So, here we are.
Why are my skills happy?

I was trying to come up with a name for this, and everything I could think of was…well, honestly, lame.  Then it occurred to me that my kids most often encourage a new project or craft, so why not my blog name.

I thought of my JonahBear…  One night he was making burgers with Daddy in the kitchen.  JonahBear LOVES to cook, bake, anything in the kitchen!  So they were forming burgers and having boy time.  Daddy told JonahBear, “Wow, you have some MAD burger-making skills!” JonahBear, thoughtfully as always, replied, “No, Dad, my skills are happy!”

So now we’re here.  I’m a teacher, so I’ve had all summer with my kids. 2 kids under 5 can be exciting and sometimes a handful!  About a month ago, a friend showed me Pinterest.  Well, I LOVE to crochet, sew, bake, craft and DIY so of course, I was immediately hooked.  Since then, our house has been a crocheting, sewing, DIY-ing madhouse!  I just can’t stop! There are SO MANY good ideas and so little time!

Here are a few of my summer projects:
Jonah’s Monster Hat: Got the idea from etsy here.

Made this hat for a friend’s daughter: Got the pattern from aestheticnest.com.

Cool Hex Nut Bracelet (super easy, by the way) from here.

Bird Applique Tote Bag: Great tutorial from craftsnob.com.

The piece de resistance – my new skirt!!  I’ve NEVER made a skirt in my life and REALLY didn’t think it would go well, but it was surprisingly easy and now, I am the proud owner of a new skirt made by me!  If I can do it, so can you!!  Here is the tutorial!

Okay, so I’m calling it a night, but stick with me, there will be more about me and my family soon!  I may not have “mad skills”, but my skills are definitely happy and I’m here to prove that anyone with a little patience and determination can DIY with the best of them!!

-T