Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Daybook

Outside my window...
I've been in my room looking out the window most of the day.  And well, Facebooking.  It's overcast and the kids are playing with clay and baseball and singing, and not fighting, so that's great!  They've been watching a lot of movies this weekend.  I have been resting most of the past few days with some kind of throat illness.  I've lost my voice and didn't make it to mass today.  I started on antibiotics so hopefully by tomorrow I'll be feeling much better.

I am thinking...
About my friends the R family.  We spent a lot of time with them last week as they made it through the 1yr anniversary of the death of their 6yr old little boy last year.  They have found incredible joy and hope in the midst of such a tragedy and it was beautiful to see them open their own home, serve us meals, and even help with a minor accident of one of the little boys who was there.  Hardly any tears, just hope and joy and celebration of the little lives we've all been given for whatever amount of time they've been entrusted to us.  Memory eternal, +Avery Jude+

His precious baby sister who never got to meet him but exudes that JOY!
The girls can't get enough of her!

Sadly the media circus the past week hasn't been as joyful about life.  I spent a bit too much time on Facebook debates about the Texas Senate Bill 5.  It's just hard for me to comprehend why abortion proponents are fighting so hard against safety measures for abortion clinics!  Don't they want them "safe" and legal?  And I know they're against any gestational limits for abortions, but really...when a child can survive outside the womb they still think it's okay to abort?  This is women's "healthcare?"

I am thankful...
For my kids and hubby who have handled my being in bed this weekend.  Steven just made a fantastic grilled steak and chicken dinner, with the mashed potatoes and green beans made by Mary Clare.  He took all the kids to get chinese take-out last night and pick up a new battery for my car.  I'm thankful that we haven't been sick in quite awhile.  I just wish it didn't always happen when we have major family events going on!

I'm also thankful that a minor medical issue seems to be nothing concerning.  I went to the doctor on Monday to check on some pain I'd been having for months.  And I pretty much got the all-clear.  I always get that weird premonition that I'm going to be leaving an appointment with a life changing diagnosis.  I'm always so grateful when that's not what happens.  The only time that I've experienced something like that was with Steven's heart issue, but I really had no idea that was coming!  But I did have high hopes for this medical practice, and unfortunately they didn't impress me.  But for now, I need not worry about that.

I am praying for...
My father-in-law who has been hospitalized since Friday.  I'm glad he is getting the care he needs and hopeful he'll be back home early this week.

In the kitchen...
Mary Clare the little chef made an apple pie, all but the crust the other day, and like I mentioned the dinner sides tonight, too!  The kitchen needs cleaning as I prepare to host another informational meeting for our homeschool co-op this fall.  Tomorrow looks to be a big crowd with about 5-7 moms and 25-30 kids!  I need to plan some snacks.

I am wearing...
An Aggie Awakening t-shirt from the year 2000 and grey workout capris.  Pretty much PJs all day today.  No "What I Wore Sunday" post for me!

I am creating...
A homeschooling cooperative for the new year and a homeschooling plan for my own kids!  It looks like we're going to go ahead with the Classically Catholic Memory co-op and have had a great response so far.  The program offers all the materials, but we still have a lot of decisions as to scheduling and subjects and timing.  I have been looking at some different programs for art and sacred music since it looks like we may have some additional afternoon time after the academic part of the co-op.

For my own kids, I have the basic plan figured out, but I still have a few decisions to make.  Every year I consider moving Mary Clare to Saxon Math, but we have yet to make the change.  I'm looking at some different history textbooks, too.  Also, I would love to invest in some good quality literature for the girls now that they're needing more challenging reading material.  We have so many picture books, thousands probably.  But chapter books I fall short on, and the girls are tending towards "twaddle" at the library.  I guess the American Girl books and Nancy Drew are okay, but Ellie keeps wanting to check out books from this fairy series and I'm hoping to make my own book list so that that at least half of their free reading is good stuff I want them to read!  I love the recommendations on Mater Amabilis, but am also trying to gear my curriculum choices to what will prepare them for possible enrollment in Mother of Divine Grace in another year or two.

I am going...
Home!  Well, to Houston that is.  Hopefully we're all healthy and can head to be with family for the 4th of July weekend and then the kids and I will stay another week there to spend lots of time with friends and family.

I am wondering...
How the night is going to go, since Tommy fell asleep watching a movie with Daddy a little bit ago.  He's probably going to wake up around 9 or 10 and then be awake until 2 or 3am.

I am reading...
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, curriculum websites and co-op materials!

I am hoping...
That I get well soon.  We also have some of our closest friends and our goddaughter planning to visit for a night or two this week.  I would love to be able to share this fun time with them!  And I would love it if none of the kids caught the bug.  Steven Joseph had a sore throat thing a week or two ago, so I'm hoping that my immune system was just weak from my dieting (I think I had my calories set too low), and I also tend towards major issues with my tonsils since my teen years.

I am looking forward to...
Our friends' visit and our time in Houston...all the July 4th traditions of our old hometown (parade, fireworks, festival, etc), relaxing days at the pool with my parents, letting the kids play with cousins, fun times hanging at our friends' homes, visiting our favorite downtown parish who will be getting a new pastor this week, and maybe a trip out to our friends' farm.

I am learning...
What am I not learning in this vocation of motherhood?  Every minute there is a new lesson.  How to relate to each of these kids, how to better encourage them.  How to accept my little crosses.  How to be grateful for the incredible gifts of faith, family, and friends.  How to evangelize when our lives are mostly "hidden" in the home.  And other more practical things I am, cleaning, counting calories, ballet, photography...Our life is all about learning, right?  And that's what we're trying to impress upon our children...Never stop learning!

Around the house...
We've kept it up pretty well this summer, since we've had guests nearly every week!  I love having most of the toys upstairs so the downstairs can be more of a pleasant haven for me.  I mean I still find random pancakes, dirty kid clothes, and toys around my room.  This weekend I've dealt with nail polish on the walls and floor, a battery in a (used) toilet, poop in the bathtub, a cockroach taped to the floor by a child...always lots and lots of messes and interesting sights around here!

I am pondering...
If I'm really called to do this co-op and also help with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program this year.  I've always wanted to teach the CGS program, but the training is so very intense and expensive.  It is 8 full days in July, Thursday through Sunday for two weekends.  I'm hoping to maybe attend the first half.  But that's still 4 days away from my kids.  I keep thinking that this is a good year to try some things I haven't been able to commit to before because of a nursing baby, but it's still a decision I need to discern carefully.

A favorite quote for today...
From Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist...
"It is the ability to think that is our goal in a classical curriculum; we want our children to acquire the art of learning."
One of my favorite things...
A cute little two year-old enjoying summertime!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Co-Op informational meeting, ballet?, visiting friends, a beach visit?, s'mores around the fire, special meals with the friends, more dance class, packing, and road tripping for some family, friends and fun for the 4th!  If God wills it, that is. 

Have a great week and a Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Favorites: Minivan, Ballet, Lands End, Shopping Carts, and Summer Goals!

Five Favorites, hosted at 
Thanks to Hallie for hosting this fun link-up which this week is totally devoted to Dwija and her sweet baby Nicholas, and their family who needs a new laundry room!  Praying for them.

Okay this is going to be a bit of an iPhoto dump, so bear with me,
but it's still going to include some of my recent FIVE FAVORITES!

Toyota Sienna 8-seater Minivan
This Sunday we had various kids over at various times and I was the taxi driver!  We had 7 kids in the car in this photo, right before I dropped 3 of them off at Confession down the street from our house, and let Daddy handle the rowdy boys for a bit while I went back and went to Confession myself after the girls.  I mean, how awesome is it when little girls want to go to Confession with their friends?

Here the Sienna is only holding my 4 kiddos, but see how they all have their own space to eat their Shipley Donuts?   I actually won an Instagram photo contest with this picture!  Kristen Duke Photography is always encouraging moms to "Capture the Joy" by getting in the photos with our children.  I got her photography e-book entitled "Say NO to Auto" as my prize!  Can't wait to read it!
So yeah, love my minivan :)

Our new ballet studio.
My discontent with our previous ballet school was one of the main factors of my discontent with our new city.  I'm still not crazy about living here, but I have so much more peace in my daily life now that we've switched studios.  It's our main activity for the girls which we attend at least twice a week, and in the past it was also a weekly social outlet for me.  

When I had to drop them off at the previous studio here (feeling not all that confident with the people I was leaving them with), and find something to do with the boys during that time, I was missing out on part of my weekly social interactions and was exhausted from running the boys around.  Not to mention we are now only about 7 minutes from the new ballet school.  And other kids there have young siblings!  And people talk to me!  And they are disciplined and have an enforced dress code and...
 (Also loved the grandparents' visit to ballet last week!) of my favorite things about this new studio is the fact that they have a great adult ballet class!  There were about 24 of us dancing last night.  So much fun!

Lands End Swimwear
A few people asked for reviews after I bought MC some swimsuits online.  Our first time to buy (skirted) tankinis.  And I'm really happy with them.  She's a petite 10yr-old and I think they're both 10 slims.  The shoulder straps can adjust, and Ellie can actually fit in these, too (she's only an inch or two shorter than MC even though she's more than 2yrs younger).  Most importantly, they're long enough and don't ride up and show her belly!

I also bought a rash guard for Steven which I'm really happy with.  The fabric of their swimwear always seems much thicker than other brands.  I also have a Lands End swimsuit for myself that I really like (no pictures of that though, LOL!).  It's almost too thick!

 While I'm talking swimwear, let me just rave for a moment on my love of the pool in the next neighborhood over.  So glad we splurged on the membership.  A saving grace for me on many summer days!

This is the life.

Living by the beach is fun, too :)

Kid-friendly stores and shopping carts.
I was thrilled to find this monster of a shopping cart at Target last week.  We were having a major errand day which included the donut outing pictured above, Hobby Lobby, Target, Academy, Chickfila, and HEB.  I think I may have already blogged about this.  But I'm still proud of myself for surviving that day, and even ending it with a trip to the pool!  Go me!

 Anyway, this shopping cart had a 5 POINT HARNESS for Thomas!  They need these in all shopping carts.  Seriously.  He was trapped the entire store visit, unlike every other store, where he climbs out 5 minutes into the trip.  Steven sat in MC's lap here while Ellie was in the basket.  A good workout for me!

This was ~3mins into the Hobby Lobby trip.  See how he's there in the back of the cart just waiting for his getaway moment!

Oh and here we are getting to our car at Target.  See?  Tommy still buckled in cart.  This was only stop #3 on my Frazzled Friday crazy day.

Okay, last but not least.
My 5th Favorite is Some Summer Structure!
So, we normally sit around and don't much in the summer.  But this year I've been making checklists for the kids.  Schoolwork and chores.  They can earn sno-cones and apps and stuff.  And I don't really follow my point reward system and let them earn things with a little less, but they know they have to get stuff done before we go to the pool or the library or some other summer fun activity!  We've also had a ton of guests so that has kept our house in decent order.

And we're getting some schoolwork done!  Yesterday we did reading and spelling.  Tommy always wants his turn doing "spelling" (i.e. draw with the dry erase markers).  He can color-in a heart with marker just perfectly.
 Oh my goodness and I almost forgot the RAINBOW LOOM!
See Steven Joseph's bracelet?  I could share this next week but we'll have company and will be traveling the week after so I don't know when I'll get to another Five Favs.  Just go and search Rainbow Loom and find one for your kids ages 5 and up.  They make fun rubber band bracelets and it takes up lots of summer hours.  Thanks to the V family and O family who both got us looms as a thank-you gift for their visits here.  They're only sold in specialty toy stores but I think some of the big box stores are getting similar ones soon.

One of my goals this week is to learn this chant.  It is so hard.  And 4 pages!  We're going to try to sing it for our pastor's last mass here next weekend.

 Last but not least, my own goal of getting fit again!  This is always a goal but once I started ballet I was ready to improve my eating habits too.  So I'm using My Fitness Pal on my phone here and I think I've already lost a few pounds in a week!  We'll see if I can keep it up.  I've never counted calories in my life.  It's hard!  And I'm hungry!  But I think it's important that I train my body not to act on every hunger urge like I have been most of my life.  It's really a spiritual battle, no?  Not giving into every feeling in our body or hearts, but knowing the right things to do.  I hope I can stick with it.  And I hope one day I won't have to stick my chin out in photos so it's not a double chin :)

The longest Five Favorites in maybe the history of Five Favorites, but I wrote out all that I was wanting to share and now Steven is home from an overnight work trip.  Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends, if you made it this far :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What we wore Sunday

My favorite color!  Steven generously offered to pose in our matching turquoise today!  He had already taken off his slacks, but you can still see his fun bright golf shirt I just bought at Marshall's as a late Father's Day gift.  We're working on the hip-holding, chin out pose to hide our matching double chins :)

My shirt is also kinda new, from Cato Fashions.  I think the skirt was thrifted.

We've got extra kids we brought home from church, and are about to go drop off one and get two more, so the kids are having a great afternoon!  It's nice to have a fun church community with friends and the sweet little girls all wanted to go to Confession.  So precious!  Hope everyone is having a bright and blessed Sunday!

See more at Fine Linen and Purple!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Theme Thursday Photography - Water

This theme worked well for me today!  My parents are visiting and staying by the beach, so we had a fun little walk along the seashore this evening.  This first one is my favorite, of my mom and the girls jumping waves.  But I like the others, too :)

Visit Clan Donaldson for more!  Thanks for hosting, Cari!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Motivation

Hardly had room to fit all my Insta-Pics from the past couple weeks.  Here goes:
Top row L-R: Fun times at the new pool we joined, Tommy's first time taking the running bike to the part, Tommy and his meal of choice frozen waffles straight outta the freezer, library day, mama at sunset.
2nd row: Tommy and the shark at the library, me and the girls at the Quarry in SA, Gift shop at St. Mary's in SA, with friends on the Riverwalk, and at the Alamo!
3rd row: He was determined to fit all the strawberries in the bowl, SJ and his new math book started Sunday night when we came home from the conference, flowers in the front yard (anyone know what they are called?), kite at the park, and like father like son after the grandparents arrived.
4th row: all the kids in the bed one morning, at the Hooks game with Grampatti and BopBop, friends from Houston came for a playdate while in town, Tommy poured himself a plate of syrup, and Tommy so proud that he can write a T and an O!

I think I've turned a corner with the computer, since I figured out how to empty the trash!  Yay!  My photos will load and Firefox is working again.  We have been busy busy with our guests and dance classes.  We very much enjoyed my in-laws' visit over the weekend, celebrating both Father's Day and their 51st Anniversary! 

With all the activity, we're having a better time at home since we have a change of scenery usually once a day.  My lists of chores and schoolwork are helping to keep the kids motivated, we even finally got around to our spelling and reading program yesterday!  We've been to the pool a few times each week, and are looking forward to my parents' visit this week.

I didn't get around to Monday Motivation, so how about some Wednesday motivation today?

From a couple weeks ago:
1. Finish reading/skimming the 2 books that need to go back to the library this weekend.
2. Stay on top of housework/laundry as we start having guests come over the next few weeks.
3. Discernment about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and training.
4. Planning for the CCM co-op for next year!  Decide this week which cycle we will use.
5. Planning for trip to homeschool conference.
6. Make a front door wreath with supplies already bought.
7. Start making a checklist for summer schoolwork and reading.
8. Join a local pool and figure out an exercise plan for the summer.

9. Potty train Thomas
10. Write out plans for next year of homeschooling.

For the next couple weeks:
1. Budget on
2. Continued planning for CCM co-op (meet with another mom and determine day/time for co-op)
3. Register for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training
4. Continue with summer checklists, especially reading for MC
5. Ballet class bi-weekly
6. Find another exercise 2x week
7. Track all food intake on My Fitness Pal.
8. Healthy eating and better food budgeting.

I'm loving the ballet class, but man my body doesn't do those moves very well anymore.  It's a new motivation to get healthy and lose enough weight to be able to dance better and fit in my clothes again!  We'll see how it goes.  Off to the pool....

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Wow, the week is nearly over!  After nearly 2 months of having pretty much no outside activities, we've moved into busy-mode.  It's been good, but I am wiped out!

1. iMac is struggling.  I hope the computer doesn't crash while I'm typing this.  I haven't blogged much, partly because the computer is really struggling.  I just realized I have 33,000 photos on it.  Steven says I have to start deleting and we definitely need to save them all on a hard drive ASAP.  The Firefox browser isn't working, I don't have my bookmarks, and iPhoto won't even load videos anymore.  It is time to do something before the computer really crashes!  It keeps warning me that the start-up disk is nearly full...whatever that means.

2. Ballerinas!  Oh man, I am so so so happy that we have switched to a new ballet school.  Our ballet situation has been one of the saddest parts about moving.  The other place here in town was just not what I had in mind, but I stuck with it for awhile because I didn't think this option was going to be any better.  But it's so much better.  After one lesson, the teacher and director could tell that Ellie didn't belong in the 6-8 year-old class and I didn't even have to be the pushy mom!  So the girls are in the same ballet class and are also trying out a Theatre Arts class.  The whole environment is so much more professional, disciplined, friendly, and fun.  The girls and I love dance so much that I know this change will help our overall attitudes a lot.  So happy.

3. Mamaballerina!  Another fantastic part about the ballet school is that they have an adult class!  I went ahead and registered myself for the 2 evening classes each week.  There are about 18 of us, ranging from talented college-aged girls to beginner-grandmas, but we're all challenged, everyone is encouraging, and we have a blast!  It was so funny to go to the dance supply store to buy ballet shoes for myself!  I've been wearing them around the house like a little girl :-)  I think it's going to be so good for me to use these muscles again.  I wish the summer session was longer than a month.  I bet I'll be getting into the groove right when it ends, but it'll be nice to have a month of good workouts!

4. We had some visitors from our old area come for an overnight stay this week before their beach vacation.  They have 3 precious kiddos and we met them when our oldest girls were on the swim team together.  We really enjoy having visitors and getting to share our home and our local attractions with our old friends.  We went to the Botanical Gardens with these friends, and although it was scorching hot, we still enjoyed the visit and getting to see some wildlife and flora.  We had a great time, V family!

5. I made a wreath.  I got the flowers at the dollar store, and I'm not sure if it looks too much like a rainbow clown wig.  But at least it's colorful and is better than no wreath at all.  Maybe?  Well, hopefully it will give a happy greeting to our next set of visitors.  Steven's parents arrive tomorrow to stay for the weekend, celebrating both their anniversary and Father's Day.  Then later in the week, my parents should be coming for my dad's water board convention.  Both sets of grandparents in one week will be such a blessing!  Hope everyone stays well this time!  (The last time both sets of grandparents were coming to visit was when Ellie got the stomach virus on their ballet performance weekend and everyone had to cancel.)

6. Cheesecake Sopapilla Bars.  These are a favorite dessert around here.  I combined a few recipes I found online, but pretty much it's crescent rolls rolled out flat on the top and bottom, cream cheese mixed with sugar in the middle, and a melted stick of butter with cinnamon and sugar poured over the top.  Went great with our fajita dinner when our friends were here, and MC and I just finished off the last one today!  She took some photos while putting it together, so maybe she'll do a little recipe tutorial on her blog next week.

7. Garage light.  The photo challenge for my Facebook photography group was garage light.  I am still trying to figure out the settings on the camera, but these were two of my favorites that weren't totally out of focus!  The dark garage makes for an interesting natural light background.  Except Ellie was in the background of this first one...

Well, I guess that's a wrap!  I tried to load the photos from my iPhone of my new ballet shoes and a group shot at the Botanical Gardens, but of course the temperamental computer isn't going to handle that right now.  Better rest up for some more fun days!  We're also in recovery mode after a full crazy day today, including an incident with Mary Clare's finger and a stapler, and a big goodbye party for our pastor tonight.  It's fun to be busy again, but I need to get more sleep so I don't end up with headaches every evening!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and all the dads a great Father's Day!

Monday, June 10, 2013

WIWS in San Antonio: Historical St. Mary's, the Riverwalk, and the Alamo!

Oh what a fun weekend with my girlies!  We went to a Catholic homeschooling conference in San Antonio and had a lovely time.  It is such a gift for me to be able to see a good number of old friends from college who are now homeschooling moms too.  One of my friends is an amazing octo-mom ;) who has just gotten her first daughter through her freshman year of high school and has always been our go-to for curriculum and parenting questions.  Lillian even convinced Steven on cloth diapering when he and I were still dating!  (No, we don't cloth diaper any more, but our oldest even wore prefolds with safety pins!)  Then there's the mother of 6 and former missionary and joyful beacon of humility who I talked to for half an hour before she even let me know that she had been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Sorry but I'll keep raving about these friends I only see once a year.  I have these other two friends Megan and Jenna whose smiles could light up a room.  One of them I met on a retreat and the other I met while our husbands were finishing school.  I would love to just go to a park with them and let our kids play and talk for hours.  Why can't San Antonio be closer???  Then I have this super-mom friend who is type-A to the max and could put on a retreat, a conference, or set up a co-op while she's sleeping.  She's so organized and amazing and joyful.  And guess what?  She's starting the same co-op that I am (with one of my smiley friends), and I can ask her all the questions I need to.  Do you know how awesome this is and how relieved I am that I have someone to guide me in doing this???  Thank you Jesus, for Jenny, and for all these sweet girlfriends who I wish I could see more often.

This year some of our local friends attended as well, so that made it fun to share the weekend with some of them!  We enjoyed some restaurants, Trader Joe's, driving around the Quarry Market Area, and swimming at the hotel pool.  My boys ended up staying home so Daddy could recover from two out-of-town trips this week.  I missed them, but also enjoyed having time with my girls.

So, onto Sunday....We went to Sunday Mass at the historical St. Mary's on the Riverwalk.  This is the church where my grandparents attended when I was a little girl.  My Nana worked at the gift store and I felt so close to her while we were there today.  Nana was actually the only grandparent of mine who was raised Catholic (her husband-my grandfather, and my dad are converts), so I credit my own faith journey in part to her steadfastness in the Catholic Church.

St. Mary's Gift Store (I think maybe even started by my grandmother)

The girls' Sunday outfits are pretty much hand-me downs from cousin Emily.  The skirt Mary Clare is wearing is Naartjie, which I think is some expensive boutique brand.  The cropped shirt I think we got at Ross and the tie-died tank underneath was from her cousin.  Ellie's dress is Gymboree and one of my favs that MC used to wear, too.  Braid ideas via :)

This fuzzy photo below was taken quickly after Mass, because we were parked in lines so we had to rush out so we wouldn't be blocking anyone.  The picture doesn't do the church justice.  So many beautiful statues and stained glass.  Oh, how I love the richness of our Catholic Faith!

For the 2nd week in a row I didn't have the 5 and under age set with me at Mass, so for mass behavior I was rather blessed once again!  Mary Clare is generally always an A+.  Ellie is at a stage I remember vividly from MC where she tends to act like she is falling over at all times.  She'll lean over on the pew, sit back when she's supposed to kneel, and generally just act like this is the most exhausting thing she has done all week.  BUT...she did follow along with the songs, so that was good.  I'll give her an A-.

Mama's outfit left a lot to be desired.  Travel easy Mass clothes=too big maxi skirt from Kohl's, very thin green shirt from Old Navy (why are all the tees so thin these days?!?) with white cami under (can't figure out if the cami makes my belly look even bigger, I think it does and I think it's time for Spanx), my fav sandals from Marshall's, and the always favorite colorful necklace.  Pretty much the exact upper half of my profile photo.  Big belly via too much food, too many c-sections, and too little exercise.  Also the bad genes from that favorite grandmother.  Why do we hold our weight in our stomach???  I don't want to have a pregnant stomach when I'm an old lady, please God.

and some more San Antonio photos from today...

With friends on the Riverwalk

You can see the river boats in the background.  The lines were too long, but it looked like fun if we had more time!

We had someone take a photo of the 3 of us, but she didn't click the shutter.  No photo at all.  Oh well.

I changed to bermuda shorts for the afternoon.  MC was so done with photos at this point, so she preferred being photographer!

I was glad we were able to visit the Alamo since Steven wasn't with us (he has been anti-Alamo visit all year; I guess he has boring memories from when he was 12).  The girls were exhausted and so hot by the time we got there, so they weren't in the best of moods.  But the little bit we did see and read about was meaningful.  I think it was good for us to see one more mission as we end our Texas History year.  And it's free admission!

The Battle of the Alamo was lost to the Mexican Army in 1836, killing all of the Texian soldiers including the famous commanders James Bowie and William Travis.  But it was a loss that inspired the troops to rally and defeat the Mexican soldiers to win the Battle of San Jacinto the next month, thus ending the Texas Revolution.  "Remember the Alamo!" they shouted.

The Alamo is a unique Mission fort since it is in the middle of downtown San Antonio.  The 4 acres are beautifully landscaped with several different buildings.  It's just blocks from the Riverwalk and HemisFair Park which we didn't get to go to, but is supposed to include a fun and free wooden playground with mazes and such for the kids.  

The gift store at the Alamo included lots of unique historical items like quill and ink pens, prairie bonnets, coonskin hats, toy rifles, wooden flutes, etc.  And it was a nice break from the heat of the outdoors!

I would definitely recommend a stop at each of these places if you're ever in San Antonio.  Historic Saint Mary's, the Riverwalk (with many fun restaurants and also a mall), the Alamo, and also HemisFair Park are all within walking distance.  There's also a little area called La Villita near the park that looked really fun!  Park your car at Cafe Rio like we did for $6/day and enjoy a fun day in downtown San Antonio!

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple

And also Camp Patton's Sunday Best!

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