2018

Smashing Pumpkins …

… after Halloween has been a tradition in our family for over a decade. Back in the days, when Katelynn was little, Kevin smashed it for her. And Katelynn kicked the Pumpkin all over the backyard. These days, the girls are big enough to smash them themselves.

Katelynn picked a pumpkin from the frontyard and smashed it in the backyard. Sara watched her and saw, how much fun her big sister had with the Jack-o-Lantern. She ran out to the front, picked a pumpkin, dragged it in the backyard and kicked it. Luis looked at the girls and those “Jacks”. He was not sure, what to think of this game. He sniffed around the pumpkins, when the girls were done. We leave the smashed vegetables out in the grass. Mr. Squirrel, Mrs. Rabbit, and Mrs. Cottontail might pick on them, before the pumpkins become nutrition for the soil.

Video of Pumpkin Smashing: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/43905969100/in/album-72157678416071305/

2018

The Homecoming Parade 2018

Since Katelynn had to participate with her High School Band in the Homecoming Parade tonight, it was a given that Sara was a part of it, too. Sara’s Elementary School Coach gathered the kids from his clubs, so they could walk in the parade as well. Kevin parked at the High School and walked to the starting point. When he arrived, I decided I’m gonna walk in the parade. It has been over four months, since I walked a mile. And this was the perfect first walk after my surgery. In the stadium, the girls were still participating in a dance with the football players, cheerleaders, band, other clubs and the Homecoming King & Queen. The sisters had so much fun, they actually got along with each other, which is very seldom these days. As parents we have to savor these moments.

2018

Halloween Season (Part II) ~ (2008  2010)

It’s “Halloween Season” Monday, again. Today, I’ll blog about Katelynn helping me carving pumpkins, Sara’s First Halloween, and more visits at the pumpkin patch and the zoo.

2008

Katelynn wanted to help me with the pumpkin carving. So, I’ve got her a little pumpkin she could play with and get the pumpkin guts out. She always loved to say: “We need to get all the pumpkin yikes out!” And then she played with the gooey inside of the pumpkin.

2009

Sara was only twelve days old, when we celebrated Halloween in 2009. She was such a cute little Pumpkin. Katelynn wanted to help with the pumpkins again, while her little sister took a nap. Katelynn was very proud being a big sister. She really enjoyed taking Sara out for her first Trick-or-Treat. All bundled up we walked through the neighborhood and collected candy on this cool October night. The fresh air was good for the little munchkin.

2010

Katelynn loves going to the pumpkin patch, because she can jump in the bounce house, go on hay rides and pick a pumpkin. Sara just enjoyed crawling around between the pumpkins. Every pumpkin had to be tested by giving it a good slap on top. We also went to the Pirate Days. Unfortunately “Boo at the Zoo” got rained out the day, we went to the Fort Worth Zoo. But it wasn’t the end of the world, either. The girls got out and had fun, anyway.

to be continued next Monday, October 15, 2018

2018

Halloween Season (Part I) ~ (2003 – 2007)

Hello, everyone! Since it is October I will post our past Halloween celebrations, every Monday. Over the years, a lot of photos have accumulated in my files. Last year I had “Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins”-Friday, where I introduced all the Jack-o-Lanterns I carved for the girls over the years. This year, it will be a little bit of everything. I will begin with 2003. This was the year, Katelynn was born and when she had her first Halloween.

2003

This was Katelynn’s First Halloween. She was only 27 days old, when I carved the Kitty pumpkin for her. The story behind the pumpkin itself can be found here under this link: https://underthepecantreephotography.com/2017/09/22/pumpkins-pumpkins-pumpkins-part-i/

2004

Katelynn was at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch for the first time. Oh, she had so much fun playing with the straw. Kevin and I had to fish it out of her clothes later, Because she was so busy throwing the straw in the air, it went everywhere. The next day, we dressed her up as a lamb. I made the costume myself. The head was a bit big for her. But she enjoyed going to Trick-or-Treat with it.

2005

It was the first year, we celebrated Halloween at our new house. I made a DIY-Diddlina candy bag for all the goodies, we would receive from going to Trick-or-Treat. On the other hand, Katelynn was still little and a bit unsure, if she really liked this whole “Trick-or-Treat” thing. When we walked from door to door, she wasn’t very happy. Once she had some candy, it wasn’t near as bad anymore. But she did not like the door-to-door walk at all. A year later, this would be a whole other story. …

2006

… This Halloween season was completely different from last year’s. Katelynn was excited to go to “Trick-or-Treat”. She knocked on the doors with a happy “T’ick-or-T’eeeeat”. Since she couldn’t pronounce the “r”, the neighbors thought she was adorable and gave her a lot of candy. After three houses we had to walk home to empty the bag, before we could go out there and get more candy. Oh my, so much candy and no melt downs anymore.

2007

In 2007, Kevin had to go with Katelynn to Trick-or-Treat. I was still recovering from a knee injury and rather stayed at home. It was fun. Katelynn was dressed in her “Snow White” costume and received plenty of candy, while the neighbors and I were busy giving out candy. But I have to admit, I missed the door-to-door walk that year.

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to be continued next Monday, October 8, 2018

2018

First Visit At The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve (2013)

Five years ago, Sara and I visited the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve for the first time. It is only seven miles away from our house. But I had no idea it existed, until I looked at a park map on Google one morning. Katelynn was in school. And Sara was bored, because she had no one to play in the house. So I decided, I take her for a hike to the park. The weather was nice and not too warm. It was perfect to see what the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has to offer. On the way I said to Sara: “Maybe we see some wildlife in the park.”

When we arrived at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, we saw a lot of hikers, sprinters and runners. I told Sara to stay with me on the right side of the trail, for people who work out can pass us on the left. She did very well. We walked into the forested area. And Sara noticed a couple of squirrels chasing each other. One had a couple of pecans in its mouth. And the other squirrel wanted the first one to share at least one of the pecans. Sara and I made it all the way to the Observation Tower, where we had a nice view over a big portion of the park. After a little rest, we hiked back to the parking lot. Sara was counting the bridges, we crossed along the way. She said: “There were three bridges in total. And the squirrels were funny.” I’m glad, she got entertained on this little trip to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

2018

Back To School 2018

Wow! This Summer Break went by quick. But it was also two weeks shorter than normal. And Katelynn is back in Band Camp for the last two weeks. It’s hard to believe, I have a Freshman and the 3rd-Grader in the house, now. Where did time go? My girls grow up so quick. But I have to admit, it is nice to have the house to myself again.

Happy First Day of School!

2018, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part II): Arches National Park ~ Red Rock Wonderland

June 19, 2018

If Arches National Park is the famous park of Utah could be argued. But back in the day living in Germany, when someone mentioned Utah, the first picture coming into my head was the Delicate Arch. Therefore, the park was the one that stuck in my head. I didn’t know that Utah had many more National Parks, State Parks, Monuments, etc., until I moved to the United States. Since years, seeing the Delicate Arch was on my bucket list. On this trip, I’ve finally got to see it. We looked at it from the Lower Viewpoint, and we hiked all the way up the hill to the Upper Viewpoint. I scratched the Delicate Arch very lightly out on my list. Because I still want to hike all the way up to it and touch it.

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Arches National Park Sign at the Visitor Center at the entrance

But the Arches National Park has more to offer than just the Delicate Arch itself. There are many view points of interesting stone formation. Sometimes I think, these places are Mother Natures playgrounds. If she doesn’t want to play in this “sandbox”, she’ll play in another.

We didn’t make all the way back to the “Devils Garden”. There were just too many places to see along the road. And I’m not gonna post all the photos I’ve captured. Here are the 36 best photos I’ve shot in Arches National Park:

When we left Arches National Park, we drove to Cortez in Colorado, to rest for the night there.

… to be continued …

2018, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 3 (Part II): German Foods & A Relaxing Afternoon At Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

June 18, 2018

Prior to find our resort on Sunday, we went through a small town named Kanab. There was a sign stating, that there is a German bakery in Orderville, which is right around the corner from the resort. Coming into Orderville, we had to get to the other end of the town and a couple of miles further to arrive at the B瓣ckerei Forscher. When I looked at the yummy food at the display counter, my mouth became watery. Oh my, it looked so good. Katelynn, Sara and Kevin ate Salami-Arugula Sandwiches with a side of potato salad and a pickle. I had a Black Forest Ham-Gouda Sandwich with a side of potato salad and a pickle, and as desert I had Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake). I loved it so much, biting into a real crunchy bread roll again. Well, I definitely can’t deny my German roots, when it comes to food. While we were waiting for our order, Kevin purchased a German Rye Bread for me. We ate that on our way back home to Texas. The food is pricey, because the sausages, hams, cheeses … etc. are imported from Germany. But it was so worth it. The only thing that could have been better was the Bienenstich. It was a bit on the dry end. I’m not sure, if they import the cakes or bake them on side. If it is a couple of days old, the freshness is unfortunately not there anymore.

For Monday afternoon, we decided we relax at the resort. Katelynn and Sara wanted to go to the pool. And Kevin wanted to recover from the long ride. So, Kevin and I just hung out on the porch. In the late afternoon, the girls came back to rest from the pool. Right in time for eating dinner at the resort. When we came back to the cabin, Katelynn and Sara were ready to go back to the pool. In the meantime, Kevin and I watched some Mountain Bluebirds, a few American Robins and a Black-billed Magpie roaming our campgrounds. There are always some berries and human foods laying around on the ground. It was dinner time for them as well.

Because we wanted to start early on Tuesday morning, we went to bed early on Monday evening. Unfortunately short before midnight, I had another episode with my Anemia. My pulse was racing and I felt nauseaous. I woke up Kevin, and we sat on the porch for a while. I took my medication, which takes the edge away of feeling nauseaous. When I felt comfortable enough, I told Kevin it was okay for him to lay back down. Poor guy, every so often I have to wake him up in the middle of the night for the last four weeks. But I’m in good doctor’s care, eat healthier and take my meds. So, I hope it will resolve soon. Anyway … while I got some fresh air on the porch, Kevin grabbed the camera for me. I looked at the Milky Way. And it looked so stunning, I had to photograph it for the second night in the row. Since it was later in the evening, the Milky Way was much higher in the sky. And it was bright. Something, what I don’t see in the light polluted DFW Metroplex. After focusing on the neighbor’s fire in the firepit for little bit longer, my mind relaxed and I was able to go back to bed, again.

… to be continued …