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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The cure for Summertime Blues

Lots of friends, family, and fun. 

I can't believe it's already the end of July!  Here's a recap of what we've done so far! 

Willie's Ice House with Amy and her kids.  Dana spent the night with Arden.  Those girls chattered non-stop until 11:30 at night.  I loved listening to their conversations.  My favorite was when Dana said, "My old parents are Mimi and Pappap."  "Old" lol.     

Arden and Dana

Jack chilling in the sandbox at Willies
Noah's Ark pool and splash area with the Green kids and Muse kids.  The big kids dove off of the diving board 1,056 times while the preschoolers hung out in the splash area.  The water is 6 inches deep in the splash area so Jack was able to play, too!
the big kids

the diving board

the little kids

in the splash area

Roller Skating with the Langleys.  Champions Skating Rink has $2 Tuesdays, so it makes for cheap fun!
I thought it was cute that they both wore Hello Kitty shirts

Stewart Beach with the Muses!  I asked Brian to reapply sunscreen on the kids.  The result:  a sporadic glob of white here and there.  He sprayed them with the lotion, but then didn't rub it in.  So it's fun to look at this picture and try to find the globs.   Kind of like a Seek and Find.  There's six globs... can you find them??
Arden's chest,  Maggie's head, Maggie's chest, Arden's left arm, Halle's left arm, Jack's head

here he's just dirty.  Oh wait... there's one on his left shoulder



He was hanging with the big kids helping them build a sand castle.  Or destroying it.  Whatever.

everyone but Jack had fun.  Brian looks bored, but he's having a blast.  Honest!  :) 
Arden has gotten much better since last summer!  HA!
Swimming Taking advantage of our neighbors with a pool!
Maggie and Halle
Cole and Arden aka Double Trouble.  According to Cole, he and Arden are going to get married and live together in their own house.  I told him he better make sure he's on Brian's good side if he plans all of that!
Lots of church.  
Arden is ready for church.  She and Uncle Adam picked out these Twinkle Toe shoes this summer.  She wears them with EVERYTHING!
Evening trips to the park
Makes me a little sad that Halle is getting to the point where she no longer wants to play on the playground :(
Fun at Itz for Andrew's birthday party
I was so proud of her riding this all by herself.  She was nervous at first, but then loosened up.

Splashpad with Janelle.  She and Chris live nearby at a new apartment complex that has an awesome water play area and pool.  She invited us over to swim and have lunch. 
What's a summer without a big slice of watermelon?

Jack's first taste of watermelon

he loved just sitting there and getting splashed by the water

Mama's night out.  Crystal and I did one of our favorite things.  Painting and wine.  Well actually this time I had a Monster energy drink, but it was still nice and relaxing.  We then saw a movie sans kids.  Great night!
History.  Learning about our state's history at Washington on the Brazos
standing in front of a famous Spanish pecan tree that is as old as the Republic of Texas
Papa Mike and Gigi took Halle and Arden for the night.  They ate out several times, swam, and saw the Wizard of Oz play.  Arden and Papa Mike watched golf together on TV while it was raining.  The girls also got to hang out with their Uncle Garrison (a playful black cocker spaniel.)
having lunch with Papa Mike
 Los Caporales Mexican Restaurant.  This is a small Mexican place right by our house.  Just about every Saturday night this summer we have hit this place up.  Sometimes the Muses and Vowells join us, too!  They have outstanding and very cheap frozen margaritas!  The restaurant has a relaxed feel to it, and the owner always talks to us.  He's also a Prestonwood Flyers swim team sponsor, which is another reason why we like to give him our business.  The kids like to look at the fish tank and they always bring a quarter each for the gumball machine.  We like the laid back and unassuming atmosphere of this local joint. 
Most of all though, I will remember this summer as the summer of Smallville (Brian, Halle, and I have watched 9 of the 10 seasons so far this summer,) and Candy Crush (I'm on level 145.  Enough said.)  

Ribbit... or Croak... or something like that - The Frog Blog

Riding in the car last week I asked Halle what she wanted to do for her birthday.  Halle's response.... FROGGING!  Out of all the things to choose from, this kid chooses frogging.  Ha!  I'd never been frogging, but I'd always wanted to try it.  So that is exactly what we did!

We had a blast.  We had so much fun the first night that we decided to try it again the next night. 

Night One:

Halle, Jessica, and I headed to the local YMCA pond for frogging.   Halle used birthday money to buy rubber boots from Academy.  Brian didn't want us to go alone so he packed up Arden and Jack to go too.  My impression was that they were going to hang out in the truck while we big girls did our frog magic.  So in thinking that Arden wasn't going to search for frogs with us, I hurried her along into my car without shoes.   Her fault for not obeying me when I told her to put on her shoes the first time.  It turned out that Brian's plan was to hunt frogs too, so Arden walked around all night in the woods without shoes.  It's survival of the fittest in the Hargrave household.  ;)

Jessica is sweeter than me and let Arden piggy back ride for a while.
Jessica and Arden

 Once Arden got to wear Jessica's headlight, she was fine with walking around barefoot.

 It's a good thing that my husband has a flashlight obsession, because we could light up the whole pond with all of our lights. 

Jessica has a very talented frog call.  "Here froggy, froggy, froggy!  Here froggy!"  It definitely worked!  ;)

Jessica and John are from Louisiana.  John grew up in a small bayou town, so frogging was a common thing for him.  John gave us a comical video tutorial on how to frog.  Here's the basics:  Shine your light around the banks of a water source.  Look for eyes.  The light will stun them while you sneak up on them and grab them.  Sounds easy, right?  Except the big ones can leap about five feet!  Jessica was smart in grabbing my mop bucket at the last minute because it came in handy when capturing those slippery suckers!  Searching for frog eyes is kind of tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it then it pretty easy to spot them.  We only caught one actual frog, but a whole lot of toads.  There was a HUGE frog, but he managed to escape both times we tried to catch it.  The frogs would jump and escape into the water. 

almost got it!  So close!

we caught one!

trying to transfer it to our bag

She was so excited to hold a frog!

catching some toads, too! 

The Y pond had lots and lots of frogs, but the water was pretty deep.  Since none of us were brave enough to wade around in the murky water full of snakes,  we decided to pack up and try a shallower creek.  We packed up our frog and toads and got inside the car.  They were all in a reusable shopping bag and Halle was in charge of keeping them contained.  As I was driving through the parking lot, I heard a blood curdling scream come from the back seat.  Halle is then screaming, "A frog jumped out!  A frog jumped out!"  I just knew it was the biggest one and it was about to land right on my head.  Now me screaming at the top of my lungs, I slammed on my brakes, threw my car in park and ran out my car.  Halle's out of the car faster than me, and Jess is right behind.  All doors of my car are thrown open and we are running around like idiots.  We look like a bunch of girlified pansies running around screaming over a loose frog!  It was so freaking hilarious!!  After a few moments we regain our composure and go back in pursuance of the rogue amphibian.  What we find is the most harmless teeniest tiniest toad chilling in back seat.    Hahahahaha!  I wish someone would have had us sissies on video!

Once we got to our next destination we had to park in a fancy neighborhood and walk.  Before we started, Jack decided to have a diaper explosion!  I'll save the details, but it was a mess and required both Brian and I to clean up!  Here we are, 10 at night, decked out in raggedy clothes, with Brian's loud truck, about to frog, and changing Jack in the truck bed on a piece of plywood.  We looked like a bunch of rednecks!  I felt like Cousin Eddie and Catherine from Christmas Vacation.  I just knew if a neighbor walked outside I would hear Brian say, "Merry Christmas.  Shitter was full!"

Brian's face says it all!

We had such a fun night.  And we saw all kinds of animals:  turtles, fish, nutria, juvenile frogs, and even a crawfish.

Night two:

The next night I was determined to go back to the Y and catch that big frog that escaped us.  This time it was Jadyn, Halle, Arden and me.  Our lovely photographer, Jessica, wasn't with us so I dont' have any pictures of it, but it was just as much fun.  Arden learned her lesson and wore shoes this time!  And this time I brought along a long-poled net that I bought earlier that day.  We met the Greens there.  We caught a frog or two at the Y (still didn't get the giant one,)  and then went to a pond that Crystal and Nik recommended that we try. At this point Arden and Myleigh tuckered out,  so just the big kids, Crystal, and I were left of the frogging crew.  What they recommended was a tiny pond on Windrose golf course, but it was a honey hole!  You could shine your flashlight and see two and three frog eyes at a time!

A sheriff patrolled through and we thought we were in big trouble.  Crystal and I decided to play dumb if he tried to give us a ticket for illegally frogging or something like that.  We quickly came up with a lame homeschooling/science lesson/nature study excuse in case he questioned us (which it technically was! lol)  I guess the sheriff thought us two moms and five kids to be harmless because he didn't bother us. 

All the kids had their turn at catching frogs, and they were so cute when they caught them.  It was such a big feeling of accomplishment when you caught one.  Being suburbanites, they don't get to do that much, so I'm glad they got to experience it and have fun. 

We had several frogs so we put them in a homemade frog cage I made out of two laundry baskets.  Once again a frog escaped in my car.  We searched my entire car for this stupid frog.  And we searched for a really long time.  I never saw him jump out so I knew he was still in there.  Everyone else was convinced he jumped out.  Finally we all gave up searching for him.  It wasn't until the next day we found him alive and well in Arden's car seat!

All in all, we caught 8 frogs that night.  The net was a huge help!  One that I caught was so big, though, that it jumped right out of my net!  I was so mad, because I really wanted pictures with him!  :)  Oh well.... maybe next time.  :)