October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Our October was kind of busy. We had fun going to different events and places, plus we started a home remodel project.

Early in the month, Gavin and I went to the Red River Revel with his Grandma and Grandpa. We had fun looking at the arts and crafts, and eating all the junk food.

Gavin with his Grandma and Grandpa at the Red River Revel | rainerlife.com

Also early in the month, we went to Dogtoberfest. The combination of animals, beer, and family fun was irresistible. Lots of places that have animals for adoption were set up, and had animals with them ready to adopt. We’re not looking for any new pets, we already have two crazy dogs, but it’s nice to look at the animals and talk to the different rescue groups. The beer portion of the event was pretty good. They sold tickets for entry and you got 10 beer samples. Most of the breweries represented were from Texas, and lots of good craft beer is available in Texas. We enjoy trying new beers, and like events that offer different things we can’t find in the stores. The family fun portion was great for Gavin. They had a fire truck and firefighters there, and Gavin was able to get in the truck and talk with the fireman. He loved that. They also had face painting, which we tried, but she ended up painting his arm instead of his face because it tickled.

Gavin on a firetruck | rainerlife.com

Gavin getting his face painted | rainerlife.com

Speaking of firefighters, the library had a firetruck and firemen there one day at storytime this month. The kids got to talk to the firefighters, see what they wear, and get on the firetruck. One fireman put on his firefighting gear, which was a great way to introduce kids to a fireman in gear in a safe and friendly environment. A fireman in full gear (boots, pants, coat, gloves, mask, helmet, and tank) could scare young children that don’t know that is what firefighters wear. The firefighters were great about talking with the kids and letting them touch the gear.

Gavin high-fiving a fireman | rainerlife.com

Gavin with a fireman | rainerlife.com

Gavin on a firetruck | rainerlife.com

Gavin went fishing for the first time. His Honey and Pappaw took him fishing, and I think they all had fun.

Gavin and his Pappaw going fishing | rainerlife.com

Gavin fishing with his Honey and Pappaw | rainerlife.com

The weather was nice in October, so we went to parks a little more than usual.

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at a playground | rainerlife.com

One pretty day, Gavin and I went to the zoo. It had been a while since we went, and it was a fun outing. We walked around, looked at the animals, had lunch, shopped the gift shop (Gavin got binoculars), and played in the playground area.

Lions at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Giraffes at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Pink flamingos at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo playground | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the zoo | rainerlife.com

Our home remodel project is in our living room. We hired someone to remove the paneling and built-ins, and put up drywall. We did not have new built-ins installed. I’ll post photos of the finished room in a future blog post. For now, here’s what it looked like while under construction.

Living room remodel | rainerlife.com

Living room remodel | rainerlife.com

We celebrated Halloween a few times. Gavin dressed as an astronaut for the library Halloween storytime and we dressed as pirates for a Halloween event at a local brewery. For trick or treating, Gavin dressed as an astronaut and Michael and I were aliens.

Gavin as an astronaut | rainerlife.com

Darinda, Gavin, and Michael as pirates | rainerlife.com

Gavin as an astronaut, Michael and Darinda as aliens | rainerlife.com

September 2017

Happy Fall!

Our September was really quiet. We stayed in a lot and enjoyed our home. We swam in the pool, played outside, read books, built things with LEGOs, and just had fun. We did get out and go to storytime at the library each week and visited a few parks.

Gavin front and center at storytime | rainerlife.com

Gavin on a park slide | rainerlife.com

The East Texas State Fair was this month, so Gavin and I went to check it out one day. I think his favorite thing was a kiddie pool with magnetic fish to catch with a little rod and magnet. I had a hard time getting him away from that activity, but he had fun with some of the other stuff too… there was a robot that he was really interested in and the petting zoo is always fun.

Gavin fishing at the Fair | rainerlife.com

Gavin and the Fair robot | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the Fair petting zoo | rainerlife.com

We did have some sad news this month, Michael’s father passed away. There was a nice Celebration of Life visitation. Thank you to our friends and family who were able to make it.

August 2017

Happy Almost Fall!

Our August was fun and relaxing! Gavin celebrated his birthday in early August, and we took him to Dallas for a couple of days to have some family fun. I wrote about our Dallas trip here. We were home on Gavin’s birthday, so we celebrated the day with lots of pool time and by going out to eat.

The birthday boy - Gavin turned 3 years old! | rainerlife.com

For the solar eclipse, we went to the local science place. They were handing out viewing glasses and had a few informative and fun activities. Gavin had fun, but he didn’t really understand the whole solar eclipse thing. We also went to the science place another day when it was less crowded. Gavin loves playing with the different activities they have available for kids to learn new things.

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

A new bookstore opened in town at the end of the month. Of course, we were there on opening day and managed to find a few books to buy. I got a lot of reading done in August, and have started reviewing books here on the blog. I’ve been reviewing books on Goodreads, but wanted to start including some reviews here. I’m mainly posting reviews of new books here on the blog.

Half Price Books | rainerlife.com

Reading with Rocky | rainerlife.com

We also spent a lot of time at home this month. We enjoyed the pool on nice days. We played with toys inside when it was too hot or too rainy.

Gavin playing pirate | rainerlife.com

July 2017

Happy Dog Days of Summer!

Our July was great! Early in the month, we went to Germany. We stayed in Heidelberg for a week and had so much fun! I already wrote about our trip, so for more about what we did and tons of photos, click here and here.

View of Heidelberg and Old Bridge from Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss) | rainerlife.com

Love locks at end of Old Bridge {Heidelberg, Germany} | rainerlife.com

Heidelberg Castle Illumination | rainerlife.com

Gavin with his first stamp in his passport! | rainerlife.com

Michael’s birthday was in July. We celebrated by hanging out at home around the pool and going out to eat.

Michael on his birthday | rainerlife.com

With our big trip early in the month, we took it easy the rest of the month. We took Gavin to see Despicable Me 3, and Michael and I went to see Wonder Woman. We did a lot of swimming and relaxing around the pool. Gavin and I went to the Center for Earth and Space Science Education to watch a couple of shows in their dome theater – Astronaut and Ocean Wonderland. I worked in the flower beds around the house. I’m working on the area around the pool. That’s about it for our July 2017.

Gavin playing robot in the pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin at CESSE | rainerlife.com

June 2017

Happy Summer!

Our summer has been pretty great so far! We’ve been spending more time outside and in the pool. I love summer time, and it’s so nice to have a pool to relax in during the warm weather. Oh, and we have a lot of pool toys… and we play with all of them. I think the pool will be getting a lot of use this summer!

Swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Pool time! | rainerlife.com

We’ve been staying busy around the house, mainly working on yard projects. I started adding landscaping near the pool. We had the pool installed last summer, but never got around to landscaping around it. Figured the only way I would get any of it done was to work on one small area at a time. To get started, I added a bed of mondo grass between the flagstone decking and the fence. I dug out the area, placed stone edgers in the pattern I wanted, filled the bed with soil, and planted mondo grass. Between the stone edging and pool decking, I put in a drainage pipe and covered it with rocks. The water already drains that way, so, hopefully, that will only improve the drainage and help prevent the flower beds from being washed out in heavy rains. I will install more drainage pipe and rocks to improve the drainage, but it’ll be a slow process… maybe I can finish in July. I also started adding a few plants behind the pool. This will be a pretty large area to plant, and I’m not completely sure what I want to put there, so I only did one small area. Also, it was harder to dig out because of all the rocks buried in the ground from the pool construction. The soil isn’t great, so I’m digging out the grass and weeds and adding better top soil. Our only non-yard project was when our AC went out early in the month… thankfully we have a home warranty and they got the new unit installed. We have two AC units, so it wasn’t too hot in the house, plus it was pretty nice weather the week we were without a working air conditioner.

Mondo grass bed | rainerlife.com

On Father’s Day, we go to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. The food is good, the beer selection is decent, and Michael gets a Father’s Day pint glass. He now has 4 – 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. He got one in 2014 because we went on Father’s Day when I was pregnant with Gavin, and they gave him a glass since he was “almost” a dad. It’s now a family tradition.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse Father's Day Pint Glass | rainerlife.com

We toured a local brewery early in the month. We’ve been to ETX Brewing several times, but never toured it… we always just get a pint and hang out for a bit. So, we wanted to tour the brewery, hear more about how they got started, and see how they brew their beers. It was fun to see their set up.

ETX Brewing brewery tour | rainerlife.com

ETX Brewing beer | rainerlife.com

For other fun activities, we go to the library, movies, and out to eat. Gavin enjoys storytime at the library, and he LOVES to look at books… he gets that from his mama. Michael, Gavin, and I went to see Cars 3. A fun movie that we all enjoyed. Now that Gavin is a little older, we can add taking him to the movies as a fun outing to do. We try to be home in the afternoon for Gavin to take a nap, which he only does a couple of days a week now. The photo below is after he convinced me to let him sleep in the “big bed” (mama and daddy’s room) and bring all of his stuffed animals to nap with him. He can be very persuasive!

Gavin at naptime | rainerlife.com

Gavin | rainerlife.com