Sunday, 26 March 2017

2017 Kayak Take 1

 It's been so beautiful lately that we decided it was time to break out the ol' kayak. The plan was to get up and out early and drive to the same state park we went to last weekend for some kayaking and fishing. Upon waking up, however, our plan changed. Our ambition was low, and 1 of our fishing poles still had a snapped line from last weekend...so Lake Pflugerville it was!
 It was WINDY out today, so we only bothered to inflate the double kayak. Young-Hoon and I each took each of the kids out for a trip before the wind got totally out of control and the waves started to fill the boat. Still we got another hour or so of beach fun before heading home.

 We probably won't try kayaking at Lake Pflugerville again, though. There were just too many people on the small beach, and there is really no place to go in the kayak. We like to explore a bit, but this lake is almost round and we've run around it on the trail so many times; there is nothing new to see.


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Baseball Fun

When I was a kid, I played softball every spring until I graduated high school. Even before joining an orgainzed team when I was around 7 years old, I remember hitting the ball around in our back yard or playing catch with my dad. One thing I slightly regret with my own kids is that, aside from a very brief time back in Korea when Irene and Oscar were on a semi-formal team, I haven't taught the kids anything about baseball. I thought about putting them in T-ball, but by the time the had the chance, they were already into swimming and taekwondo and were reluctant to take a break. Not that I want them to stop swimming or anything, but I still have this nagging feel like I've failed to teach them something that I should have. Yesterday I read about a family event going on at the Dell Diamond, the local minor league field where the kids could go on the field and bat, pitch, and play catch. 
 In the end, they weren't interested in pitching or catching, and Johan was the only one who wanted to bat, but it was fun! He even hit 2 out of 5 pitches!
 There were other activities, like the climbing wall, which the kids do every chance they get. They each made it to the top, and have requested to visit a climbing gym sometime soon. Perhaps for their birthday.


The best thing is that we got free tickets to a baseball game this season because we completed a scavenger hunt. The kids got to go to their first (and only) baseball game last year and they had such a good time. We've already penciled in our next baseball game. I can't wait!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Spelunking


 Today was part 2 of our spring break adventure. We crossed another item off of our "Texas hill country bucket list" - Longhorn Caverns. Apparently, underground caverns are common in this area as there were actually cavern tours next to the safari yesterday, but after a little research, we settled on Longhorn (which, incidentally, was so named because longhorn cattle would often fall down holes and end up trapped in the caverns below.) We learned all sorts of interesting cavern facts on our tour! These caverens were once used as a restaurant, ball room, rented hall, outlaw hideout, Native American gathering place, Linden B Johnson emergency bunker, and so on. Very interesing stuff!


Outside the caves, there were some pretty towers and buildings built by the Civilian Concervation Corp in 1934. The kids had a great time climbing and enjoying the views.


 Afterwards, we drove 15 minutes to one of our favorite lakes, Inks Lake. No kayaking for us today, though. Instead, we brought our fishing polls and relaxed by the shore. Within about 20 minutes Johan had cought the first fish! and it was all downhill from there. Turns out it was the only fish, but we still had fun. (ok, truth be told, I could do some "keepin' it real" posting here, but I've already begun the process of whiping it out of my mind. ;) )



Friday, 17 March 2017

Spring Break Safari


 It's Spring Break here in Pflugerville. We had a hard time deciding what to do. On the one hand, I really wanted to go camping, but campsites had to be reserved well in advance and there was no garauntee that the weather would cooperate. And by cooperate, I don't just mean the temperature or if it would be a little rainy or not. We knew this time of year would probably we warm enough (it is), but when it rains in the spring here, it pours. And when it pours, it wipes out large swaths of land by the rivers, i.e. where most of the campsites we wanted to go are. Obviously, the last thing we need is to be floating down a river in our tent. So we settled on a few day trips. Today we traveled just 1.5 hours south to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. I'm not big on zoos, but Young-Hoon's been wanting to take the kids to one. We decided this was a happy medium, and we'd heard good things about it.

 Basically, you stay in your car and drive through the animals' habitats. We were given some food pellets, but very few animals seemed interested. We actually drove through twice, because the first time a lot of animals were far away, the second time provided some more up-close experiences.

 Afterwards, we could go to a petting zoo area with goats. Most of them were sleeping (or playing dead...we're not sure which one).





Saturday, 11 March 2017

Johan's 1st Tooth

 Johan lost his first tooth tonight...FINALLY! He's been patiently waiting for this for a long time now. When Irene and Oscar were his age, they were already visiting the orthodontist for their adult teeth. Maybe the fact that he's loosing his teeth slowly will mean no braces in his future? One can hope anyway.  I'm sure now that the first tooth is out, the rest will start falling out left and right. The tooth fairy had better get ready!


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Famous

I was subbing at the kids' school today when one of the staff members came up and told me she saw a picture of Johan running at last year's Deutchen Pfest online. Turns out he's famous! You can check out his appearance at this link.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

r-AQUA-thon

This morning we dragged ourselves out of bed extra early and drove to the community center where they were hosting a spash n'dash event (swim + run). After Irene's triathlon last spring, she said she didn't really want to do it again, but by fall she had started asking to do another. And now that Oscar and Johan are in swimming too, they were very eager to give it a shot as well. I heard about this event and thought it would be a perfect trial for everyone. Biking would be their weakest link anyway since we don't have a lot chances to practice that, so a splash n' dash was perfect. They've been getting more and more excited and this rainy chilly Sunday morning was the big day. They loved it and all did awesome!

Johan was in the 7-8 year old age group. Although he's only 6, they count the ages from their age at the end of 2017. He swam 50 yards and ran 1K. The transition was the hardest part, but luckily I could help him out, if only by shouting directions from afar. And he got 3rd place for boys in his age group!



Oscar ran with the 9-10 age group because he'll be 9 this year. He swam 100yards and ran 1K. He did fantastic for his first try. He even breezed through the transition so fast I missed him! I was sitting there worried about why he wasn't coming out of the pool area yet when he was already off and running. He came in 5th place among the boys in his age group (who were all 10 or almost 10, I should note).
 Irene ran with the 9-10 year olds as well, so 100yard swim/1K run. Despite a struggle at the transition area putting her shoes on, she came in 1st for girls in her age group!

I intended this to be a one-time event, but I'm guessing they'll be asking about more races this spring. It's a pretty popular thing to do in this area, especially for swimmers (there were at least 5 other kids on their swim teams there today, too.) so I'm sure there will be more opportunities.

Also an interesting "twin" note: Irene and Oscar came in 5th & 6th place, respectively, over all for boys and girls in their age group (out of 14). Irene's time was 8:00 exactly, Oscar's was 8:03. They even race alike!