Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wrapping up Texas

We have exciting news: we have moved to beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado!

More on that to come. For now, here is a photo tour of our last few months in Houston, from about February to August.

Armand Bayou:

Fun at home:

In case you haven't guessed, they are making their own honeysticks. This ended as one would expect - in great stickiness.

Pensive Misha

Kombucha brewing away

Our wall-mounted, cardstock marble run. It was awesome!

Kid Talk

Now seems like as good of a time as any to relay the little stories I've collected from the last few months in Texas:

Musical Material
Misha and Sebby would be prime candidates to star in a musical because they tend to sing large amounts of their dialogue in everyday conversations. One day I even caught them having a fight, one of those back-and-forth repetitive fights that goes nowhere, in sung language. Misha was singing "I hate you" in low tones, with Sebby singing higher between each repetition, "You love me deep, deep down!" It was so hilarious that I can still recall the musical tune. Sebby's six-syllable verse started on C for two counts, went up to E, up to A, and down to G for the last two counts. Misha's low and oh-so-loving complement went from G, half a step down to F#, and back to G. When they caught me listening, we all started laughing.

One evening, I found a disturbing amount of sand on my bed. Coincidentally, this was after we had taken a trip to a park. "Did you jump on my bed after the park?" I asked Sebby. He answered, "Oh yeah... I did accidentally."

Big numbers are a hard thing to grasp. Sebby was asking me how much "three million thousand" was, and whether that was more or less than a "huge bar of golden stick."

Small Wonders
After eating at our favorite little Mexican cafe, when we were paying the bill at at the front counter, Misha discovered the cute little toothpick dispenser that ejected exactly one toothpick each time the lever was pressed. "Mom, you have to see this - this is so cool!" he announced in awe, as he proceeded to show me the contraption. I couldn't help smiling as I responded, "It is really cool. If you're lucky, I might just get you one for Christmas." At this, the guy sitting at the table nearest to us suddenly burst out laughing, which made us all follow suit.

A lucky Craigslist find

Stir fry!

Walks to our little pond:

Birthday fun:

We took the boys to the Ceramic Center and let them make a free-form creation. They turned out great!

Pizza for the bday boy

Easter Treasure Hunt:

Hair cut:

I chopped my hair and sold it online. Score!

More Kombucha fun:

Though it looks like he's having a beer, Sebby is actually just a big kombucha fan! The ears were a school project. It made such a great photo.

The Origami and Papercraft Racket:

As the school year wound down, Misha began making paper swords, origami ninja stars and kaleidoscopes, catapults, etc. and selling them on the bus. This led to him taking orders and making even more. Sebby would also sell them to his classmates. They made over $100 before the whole thing came to end, due to one student refusing to put away his sword in the lunchroom. That sword was confiscated and now lives in the principal's office!

More fun at the pond: Luring out turtles with Cheerios

Back home:

A huge box to play in ... and sleep in, apparently.

Another baby tooth gone!

Baking-soda-and-vinegar bottle rocket excitement:

Watch the action on video! It's pretty cool:

Vinegar-Soda Rockets from Tamara Kula on Vimeo.

End of school talent show:

Misha joined the group song "Happy People" - and he was a great singer/dancer on stage!

A happy birthday harmonica from Grandpa!

Happy Father's Day from Sebby

And then we discovered drawing on ourselves with Henna:

A life-sized bird that Misha drew for Sebby

Sebby's jellyfish

Sebby's birthday bash: Waterpark!

Clay fun:

My monsters

Sebby's monster trees

Misha's adventure board game pieces, alive and dead versions.

Europe Risk!

The large hole in our ceiling allowed us to exit our lease with zero penalties!

Sebby and our neighbor, Josue, washing the old car.

My Texas co-workers: Snehal and Michelle

Sebby looks like such a little dinosaur here.

This adorable anole accompanied me most of the way home one day on my windshield! He looks like a huge mutant lizard here - but I assure you he was cute and tiny.

Celebrating mom's new job!

Finally, I got the call I was waiting for. I am excited to say that I landed a job as an instructional designer (aka creator of online courses) in Fort Collins!

... Which meant that we had exactly four weeks to pack our entire apartment, rent a truck, find an apartment in Fort Collins, wrap up my Texas job, switch all of our utilities, sell our older car, and make the 17 hour drive. Whew!

Liquor stores are the best for free, sturdy boxes. We piled them in a corner and started filling them on weekends and evenings.

Penny, Sebby and Misha at Theo's birthday party.

Clowning around: Misha, Theo, Bud and Sebby

A "goodbye for now" evening with Bud and Ashley. Here: Bud, Penny and the boys.

My parents welcomed the boys for two weeks in Brookings while Josh and I got the most cumbersome parts of moving out of the way -- namely, the nitty-gritty packing, cleaning, driving and unpacking. We flew both boys 'unaccompanied minor' style to Omaha, where Grandpa picked them up! They were smothered with attention and treated to boating, badminton and visits to Tanya and Aaron's new farm in Estelline. Meanwhile, Josh and I stayed busy with this:

Bud was amazing with loading our 16' Penske truck. We would have been in trouble without him!

On Aug. 8, we turned in our Texas apartment keys and started out on our long drive. Josh drove the truck, while I followed behind in our Toyota. We gave ourselves three days of driving to play it safe, and finally arrived with all our belongings in beautiful Fort Collins.