Saturday, June 20, 2009

Decisions, Decisions................

We have been dogless for 8 months now.................It's been a long 8 months.
We have missed having a dog.

Well we are officially becoming "dog people" again. We just don't know which dog it's going to be. Lisa found a great "rescue" organization in Austin that deals specifically with Labrador Retrievers. It is called Heart of Texas Labrador Rescue. You can visit their website at We have been going through the "adoption" process and it is very intense. We were fortunate enough to make it this far. One of the directors told us that they turn down 60% of the applicants. I guess that means we aren't so crazy after all. We officially met 3 great dogs today. They were Cheerio, Madison, and Elle (the kids call her Ellie). Cheerio is an older yellow female (6 yrs old) and has the heart of a 2 year old. She is very "active" and loyal to her foster mom. Madison was a very laid back 2 year old. She wasn't too interested in us and we really didn't "click". We crossed her off the list pretty quick but believe that she has a great home waiting for her with someone. The last one we "officially" met was Elle. She is a beautiful yellow female. She too was very laid back but took to the kids right away (i don't think she had a choice as both kids used her as pillows and were playing tug of war with her ears).

We really had a hard time choosing which dog to "request" to join our family. I fell in love with Cheerio due to her Lab qualities, size, coloration, and activeness. The kids and Lisa fell for Elle (Ellie) right away. She really is a great dog and would make a great family member for us. We should find out tomorrow which dog will be joining us for a lifetime of memories.

But wait.........I've been talking about the three dogs we were "officially" introduced to. You see the directors of HOTLab were so impressed with Cheney and Chandler and their "obedience" (we threatened them on the way to the house) that they wanted us to "interact" with Lance and see how he acted around kids. If you visit their website you'll find out that Lance was used as a "bait" dog for a pitbull breeder and was thrown into the fighting ring. Well somehow Lance "escaped" from that hell and fell into the hands of this loving organization that spent lots of money and love bringing him to how he is now. He came in and I immediately thought that he would be a great dog for us too. He is one of the most handsome black labs I have ever seen. You would NEVER know of his history by the way he acts. He's a great dog.

Well we "officially" told them that Madison was NOT for us and that we would love to adopt "ELLE" (or ELLIE). If Ellie is not available, we told them our next choices would be Cheerio, then Lance. Yes, we put Lance on our short list.
We should find out tomorrow.

This is Lance.

This is Ellie.

This is Cheerio. Could you resist this face?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Treehouse?????? Kinda.

The REAL treehouse construction has been put on hold because the other "tree" house has been remodeled. Cheney and I shared a VERY SMALL deer blind down at the lease and we both complained about being cramped and not very comfortable. So I "found" this old crate that my company used for shipping stuff and remodeled it. The old deer blind was about 4 foot by 4 foot and all metal and very hot or cold. The "new" blind is 8 foot by 8 foot with wall to wall carpeting and shelving. I do think that Cheney and I will be comfortable in this one. Heck, we might even invite 2 or 3 friends to join us in it. haha
As you can see from the pictures, it has a custom paint job (courtesy of Cheney, Karson, and myself). There are still a few minor things to do on it to finish it, but it is coming along quite nicely.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The house that's being built in the Tree

Well it's almost finished! A little siding and a couple of doors and it's done (late next week hopefully). This is as fancy as it's getting (for now). Cheney "really thinks" he needs electricity and he even suggested putting the "jailhouse" toilet up there for, well you know. I draw the line at electricity........there will be NO plumbing in this tree.
Don't say that this really isn't a treehouse because of the telephone pole holding it up. It really is a tree house. The pole was just added for extra security/safety precautions. Here is a view of the side with the ladder. I opted to build an actual ladder so the entire family could enjoy it. It's even "MeMe" safe. We'll see if we can coax her up there when it's finished.
Looking down at the "bucket lift" as Cheney calls it.
FYI: Chandler does fit and has been in it.

view from the "entry" door looking towards the "patio". We left the pole tall so we could use it to secure the zip line too.

View from the "patio" door towards the main house. Cheney said there is probably enough room for 5 dudes with sleeping bags up there and at least one hammock.

Looking down from the roof (future second floor) over the patio. It's not as high as it looks. Really.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Garden Delights.............and Overload!

Okay, our family LOVES tomatoes.........and hot stuff. So the past few years we've always planted cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, and a few other odds n ends. It never fails that our tomato plants always TAKE OVER our small garden. Yes, you would think that this many tomatoes would come from an acre garden and dozens of plants. Well your wrong. Our garden is a measley 6 foot by 10 foot with only 4 tomato plants. Yep, that's right........60 square feet! Cheney's treehouse is bigger than that! (treehouse post coming soon by the way) This year we planted, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 "big boy" tomatoes, 2 jalapenos, 2 banana peppers, and carrots. Well the carrot crop came and went. We got a ridiculous amount of carrots (6 total)! woohoo. Over the next week the "big boy" tomatoes should be ripening...........I hope we can keep up with them. Anyway, here is the latest pickings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grizwalds Family Vacation Stephenson Style

The kids have been itching to go to the coast and before the busy summer schedules of camps and vbs and lots of laying around we decided to borrow my parents travel trailer and head to Port A. If blogging was around 6 years ago you would have been fortunate enough to read about our first "camping" trip in a motorhome. It was an adventure before we even left the driveway. Seriously. We were pulling out and I turned to sharp and totally took out the basketball post. Oh well, it was old and rusty anyway.....right? This trip wasn't quite as eventful, but was a blast just the same. No basketball goals were harmed in the making of this blog. Port A is a blast and has lots of neat stores, restaurants, ice cream shops, RV parks, a kite store, and oh yeah a nice beach. The following are just some random shots of our weekend. Check out Lisa's blog and see our accomodations that we "roughed" it in.

Cheney collected these cool shells which when put back on the sand would promptly bury themselves. Really neat for the kids to see these "mussels" alive.


These girls could do THIS all day a matter of fact.......THEY DID.

The jettys were cool and had lots of pretty moss/seaweed growing all over them.

Cheney is just like me.........the more sun he sees, the more freckles he gets.

This is the best shot i could get of the dolphins. They were camera shy.

A trip to Port A wouldn't be complete without dinner at The Crazy Cajun. Great food and great service with Live music. Although Chandler wasn't too thrilled when the waiter put a live crawfish under her napkin. I think they heard her squeal all the way down at the beach!

Strolling the beach. Gosh she's cute.

Checking things out........yes, that's Cheney's head way out there. We had been at the beach all of 2 minutes.

The beginning of our Dolphin Cruise.

Posing for dad on the jetty's.