Skip to main content

Beating the Texas Summer Heat

As the temperatures soar into the 100s in central Texas, my sons and I have been seeking refuge from the heat. They would be completely content to play Nintendo DS and computer games from dawn until dusk, but the mommy in me can't allow that to become a full-time habit.

Killeen Water Park
So ... we venture into the Killeen Water Park (which is fabulous!) and the local jump house, Wazoo's, and get to the lake as much as we can, too. But sometimes, it's good to be home and so we've also found some great at-home activities as well.

Both boys like crafts and have made a variety of "Bendaroo" creatures out of the waxy sticks (that stain your hands if you get really sweaty) we found at a craft store. We broke into a "Digusting Science" kit to grow germs and test antibacterial soap, and enjoyed some lengthy games of Sorry!, Sorry Sliders, and Mancala.

Wii Outdoor Challenge
One of our all-time favorite games is a Wii game called "Outdoor Challenge." It's fun for all of us and it gets us off the sofa and moving together. Games require you to run in place, jump, leap, lean, and perform a variety of arm movements to complete the tasks. It's a blast!

My favorite is the mining cart race where two people must lean and jump at the same time to keep your cart on the tracks and one of you must consistently shake the Wii remote to keep up the speed.  We've almost mastered the jumps, but they are by far the most challenging part of that game.  It's a great exercise alternative when there's a heat advisory in the real outdoors!

Tonight, we're banding together to play some "Band Hero" as a family (we've names ourselves the VonCooks) and participate in a Wii Golf "Golf Party."  It's a good time ... and keeps us out of the oppressive heat that Texas summer brings.


Popular posts from this blog

Kids' Craft: The Invisible String

Our battalion used this book at a recent Family Night event.  We wanted to have some meaningful activities for them to complete during the meeting and came up with a goody bag of things to do.  I'll post about that later, and use this post to talk about this adorable book that I now love. 

At the meeting, we had a large room that we divided in half (half for adults, half for kids).  All the kids were together in one corner of the room with volunteers there to help.  One of these (fabulous!) volunteers read this book aloud to them to start the activities. 

It's a sweet story; from the description:  Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimat…


Photo: ADVON returning from a year-long deployment.

Okay, I have to admit that after 15+ years as an Army wife, I don’t know what ‘TORCH’ and ‘ADVON’ stand for. Something about advanced party … but there’s no ‘p’ for ‘party’ … so I just don’t know. I do, however, know what it means. It means your Soldier comes home FIRST!!

We’ve never had the honor of either of those designations. My husband somehow manages to get himself into the ‘stay-behind-and-make-sure-all is-well-out-here’ job and comes home late or last. Not that I’m complaining, though, as I am happy these TORCH and ADVON folks get here and get the place ready for everyone else to come home.

In a way, it’s reassuring to me. The wheels are turning, the process has begun … our unit actually is coming home and coming home soon! Homecoming becomes reality, not just a long-sought-after dream. It’s good to see our unit patch and our unit Soldiers back at home, on U.S. soil and on our Army installation.

It’s heartening to wa…

The Change of Command Ceremony

Last Friday, my Family and I participated in the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division change of command on Fort Hood, Texas.  Hubby became the battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment and joined a wonderful group of "Red Dragon" Soldiers and Families.  It's a dream come true for us ... one of those things you hope in the back of your mind you'll get to do one day, but know realistically that the chances are slim you'll get to do it.

When I first saw his name on 'the list' that the Army publishes, I was elated for him.  No one knows more than I do his passion for the Army and for the Soldiers in it.  He is a wonderful leader and cares so much.  We both knew that this would be the adventure of a lifetime.  We explained this new job to our two boys (ages ten and six) as best we could and they kept saying, "We'll have 500 new friends on Friday!" as their summary of the discussion.  =)

The ceremony was amazing, a stand…