We Visit Holly’s Shiny New Skyscraper

BHP Billiton spent a lot of money to build a new skyscraper in the Post Oak area. Holly already worked on the 22nd floor of one of the older buildings, but BhpBilliton decided they needed a new one. It was finally ready in the spring and Holly packed up her stuff and moved to the new office on the 13th floor of the new building. One fine afternoon in May – Ivy’s first day out of school, in fact, we decided to drop by and check out the new place.


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School’s Out – Summer begins

School finally came to an end and Ivy completed 3rd grade successfully. Grade average? I think a B. She did well okay in ever category, but excelled in mathematics. She showed signs of being an artist as well. Didn’t do so great in Spanish reading, but she didn’t fail either. I think she just didn’t have any real motivation to get better at speaking Spanish because all of her friends and family speak English. But, she has two more years to go at this Spanish-language school, so maybe she’ll get better.

Otherwise, she was ready for school to end. Mr. Tomaz was her first male teacher and a bit more of a task master than she had experienced before. He sent homework home with her EVERY night! Even I got a little frustrated with the amount of homework. She was definitely sick of it by the end of school. The past few months we had to endure lots of complaining and resistance to doing homework each night. But she did and passed 3rd grade with a B average. Excellent!

Usually, on the first week of no school we’d send Ivy to a day camp at the Museum of Natural Science. But this year she just didn’t want to go, and we didn’t want to spend the extra $200. So we had a week to piddle around and kill time. What to do? Let’s go to the Art Museum! Ivy has shown an interest and aptitude in art, so I thought maybe exposure to fine art would be a good thing. I quickly learned she is not quite ready for that yet. The only thing she noticed was all the BOOBIES! Boobs and naked people everywhere in the museum. She could see their boy parts and girl parts. Ewwww!

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Easter was fairly tame this year. We just went to Easter morning services at Klein Methodist Church with Jane (her home church). It was nice! Then some good food at Harris County Smokehouse in Tomball. I had never heard of the place, but Jane said it was really good. So we went and tried it…and, yep, it was really good! 🙂

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Ancestry Archive

For Christmas in 2011, Holly bought me a membership to Ancestry.com I ended up with so much information that it was a bit overwhelming, mind-boggling, and seemingly never-ending (I never quite finished it). But at the very least, I did write a few blogs posts about what I had found. I’m just creating this blog post just to have them all in one spot for future reference.

The Dutton side…

On the Ivy side

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Godeo the Rodeo…for free!

I had resigned to think I wouldn’t be going to the rodeo at all this year. Nobody wanted to go! And the concerts that I wanted to see were quickly sold out…especially the Zac Brown Band. So, I figured, oh well, there’s next year.

But on Sunday, the final day of the Rodeo, a neighbor posted a message in our neighborhood Facebook page saying, “Too much rodeo for me! I’m kind of burnt out. But I have 2 tickets to today’s show if anyone wants them. No charge. Just come get them.”

Heck, yeah! I totally jumped on that grenade. 5 minutes later I had 2 tickets in my hand for the Rodeo and Concert. I asked…well, no, I TOLD Jose to get ready to go because he was going to the Rodeo. He obliged. 🙂 It was 2:30 and the rodeo started at 3:45. Off we went to get on the Metro (parked downtown near the YMCA) and make our way to NRG Stadium.

Jose had never been to a rodeo before, and never to NRG stadium either. So it was a treat for him. I totally enjoyed it too. The seats were great, too. We were at Level 3 (sort of in the middle, not real high and not real low), and we had a few empty seats around us so we could stretch out. It was a good show and a great day!

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Went Wild in Waco

Spring break!

Wait. Didn’t we just have a Christmas break? Do we really need another break? A whole week?! I guess so.

It’s that time again to find stuff to do for the kiddos, as well as take the obligatory photos of bluebonnets. This time around, though, some of the relatives from up north decided to make a big trip to Texas and Arizona. My mom also was wanting to come down and visit with Ivy during Spring Break. So the suggestion came up that we all get together, and it just so happened that everyone likes that show “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. So how about we meet up in Waco, Texas!

That’s exactly what we did. It was a long drive for George and Loann (South Dakota), and for my mom and Larry as well (from Arkansas), but a short 2 1/2 hour drive for us from Houston. 🙂 Everyone stayed at the same hotel on the night of the 14th and 15th, and we enjoyed a nice breakfast the next morning compliments of the hotel (Texas shaped waffles!). Then off we went to the Magnolia Market!

Afterward, George and Loann and Jane went decided to take a Tour Bus of Waco, while Mom, Larry, Ivy and I went to the Dr. Pepper Museum.

Then later that night we met up at Texas Roadhouse restaurant and just happened to arrive on a night where they had an awesome affordable special – $10 for an 11 ounce ribeye steak and 2 sides. We had lots of food and plenty to take home in a doggy bag! Awesome!!


On the morning of the 16th, we had breakfast together again and then George and Loann headed off on their next big leg of their journey to Arizona. The rest of us returned to Houston. But not before checking out one more site in Waco – the Mammoth National Monument.

I began to feel a bit ill as we were returning to Houston, and by saturday was pretty well sick with a cold. 🙁 Despite that, though, we went to see the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie at Movie Tavern. Mom and I shared a big plate of nachos as we enjoyed the movie. I thought both the nachos and the movie were pretty good!

Finally, on Monday, I shipped mom off to Arkansas and Ivy to school…and then just slumped into a Nyquil coma for the rest of the day. Having a cold sucks. Not a great way to end a nice spring break, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

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Ivy Goes Camping

Ivy went on her very first camping trip! I told her there were bears and snakes and monsters out there in the woods, but she didn’t seem scared at all. Off she went with her Girl Scout Troop and spent the weekend doing crafts, eating food, and bashing each other in giant hamster-like balls.

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Daddy/Daughter Dance. And Go-Karts!

Our area Girl Scout Council put on a “Daddy/Daughter Dance” and lots of people showed up! I’d guess about 500 dads and daughters. We ate food and watched a magic show, and then boogied the night away on the dance floor.

On Sunday, we made a trek to Jane’s house to install a TV antenna and have some picnic food on the patio. Both missions accomplished! I love Sonoma Chicken Salad sandwiches!

We stopped at the Go-Kart place along the way and went a couple of rounds. Fun!

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Mardi Gras 2017

It’s Mardi Gras time! Galveston has several family-friendly Mardi Gras parades (no booze, no boob flashing), so I try to go to one of these parades each year. Jose had never been to a Mardi Gras parade, so I explained the whole thing to him – Fat Tuesday, Lent, Catholicism, etc etc. He thought it was all a bit odd. But once the parade started and they started throwing things, he was out there grabbing beads just like everyone else.

I grabbed a small collection of beads and things. And Ivy got her fair share of beads too.

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Monster Truck Show!

Only 1 week ago this place was watched by over a billion people for Super Bowl 51. Today it is Monster Trucks.

Of all things, Ivy’s Girl Scout Troop had tickets to a Monster Truck show! I would never have expected that. But they did, and asked if we wanted to go. I said, heck yeah, let’s go! So we did, and we took Romeo – the boy across the street – as well, because I figured this was more of boy sort of thing. It was loud and fun.

Ivy enjoyed it too, much to my surprise. Or maybe she just enjoyed hanging out with her Girl Scout troop. But, whatever. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

If you go to a Monster Truck show be sure to take some ear plugs! Otherwise, it won’t be quite as fun. You’ll spend most of the time with your fingers in your ears.

We ate popcorn and coke and watched the whole show. We also rode the metro to NRG stadium, which is kind of an experience in itself. Lots of weird people on that metro.

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