Monday, November 24, 2014

T-Day Vacation, day 1

Alice slept in late, watched shows and then we headed out for a favorite b-fast destination.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snacky Mouse

Snack time after homework

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sweet Berry Farms

Cristy and Alice picking flowers during our annual fall trip to Sweet Berry Farms.

We always pick out our pumpkins and build our scare crow while we are there too, and Alice enjoys feeding the goats and riding the horses.  :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ghost Babies

Alice has been working on a story / cosmic philosophy involving life before birth.  According to her we existed as "ghost babies" before we were "in our mom's tummies", and George Washington, the ghost, selects which mother's tummy each ghost baby goes into.

That sums it up so far :-)  Stories come and go but we've re-talked about this story numerous times, so I wanted to capture the gist of the conversations.  I loved it when she began adding the ghost of George Washington as a cosmic spiritual director, guiding his troops into their assigned wombs.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cousin Chris Visit

Alice had good times with cousin Chris last weekend.

Alice at Coffee

I like this picture of Alice - headphones, mocha,  iPad.... that is how she does the coffee shop

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hair cut

Alice has been asking for a few months to get her haircut short. I took her a few months ago and had them cut off about 2 inches, but as we walked out of the salon, Alice told me she had wanted it shorter.
I have been fighting with this in my head for a while now. As a kid, my mother kept my hair cut short while my sister had long luxurious locks ( at least that is how I remember it ). I'm not sure why his was the case. Perhaps it was because I hated to brush my hair, but as a child I never had hair longer than my shoulder. On one trip a mother pointed out me and my sister to her baby and said "look at the cute little girl and boy!"  This was after my mother had cut my hair very short and had given me a perm, so I had short curly hair. She insists it was SO ADORABLE, but I thought I looked like a boy dressed in Granimals ( if you can remember those).
So as my 6 year old daughter requested I cut her long sweet hair, I had to remember that this was her choice. As a kid I don't think I had a choice, so maybe that was my prejudice against short hair on a little girl. So last weekend, as we went shopping for size 1 shoes at the mall we also stopped in at a salon so Alice could get the hair cut she had been wanting. I almost cried as they cut 5-6 inches off her hair. I will admit to stealing a long lock off the floor to put in my purse.
When the cut was done, the lady asked Alice if she liked it, and she beamed YES.
I have to admit it really is adorable on her, and it is exactly the length she asked for and she most defiantly does not look like a boy :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Annoying Dad Moment

I was watching this show, Ella Enchanted, and my Dad was saying, "blah blah blah".  

Daddy and I were at our weekly coffee shop hang-out, big thumbs up - we love hanging-out at our favorite coffee shops.

Alice helped write this post and edit the picture, she also wrote her very first HTML code to decorate some of the text!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Night at the Drive-in

Cristy's company had an event at the Blue Starlight Drive-in, an urban drive-in theater, Friday night in east Austin.  Alice thought sunset was really pretty from the drive-in location.  We watched E.T. which blended well with the night sky, lots of big sky pictures in that film, and we enjoyed some popcorn from Cornucopia, our favorite Austin popcorn shop.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cupcake Visits Art Camp

Alice is enjoying an art camp this week that focuses on animals.  Kids were encouraged to bring their pets, so we brought cupcake one morning.  Alice picked out his "cutest" shirt and gave him a bath the night before so he wouldn't stink too much.  He got many pets and oohs and aahs from the kiddos, so Alice was happy and proud of her "puppy"

Friday, July 4, 2014


Alice and her friends, Ali and Emily, receiving flowers for their wonderful performances.

Celebration ice cream

Gammy treated us to ice cream to celebrate Alice's performance

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekly Trip to the Bean

A fixture of "Daddy Camp" is the Wednesday trip to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Alice is holding a plastic minecraft sheep and drinking a mocha ice blended, "pure" with whip cream :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Grocery Store Trips

Alice goes grocery shopping with me during Daddy Camp and part of her "duties" has been to pick out some fresh flowers each week.  The first week was pink roses.  This last week was some exotic lily that has had a very strong and wonderful perfume.  We've all decided we loved this week's pick; visual and olfactory impressiveness!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Daddy Camp day #4

Daddy Camp alternates between art days (creative expression) and science days (investigating the world around us).  Thursday was our second Art day.  We were all about nature and Mom (Cristy) today, so we expressed that using chalk on our sidewalk :-) 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Kindergarten commencement

Alice's class had a little party, and a lot of fun celebrating their completion of kindergarten.  Both Cristy and I were able to attend.  You can see both girls smiling for the camera in the first picture below.

In the next picture Alice and her class mates are singing and dancing, entertaining the assembled parents and guardians.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Project: Monkey Bars

Alice wants to learn the monkey bars.  She is firm in her desire to learn this playground skill, to not be afraid, and to make it all the way to the end.  She clearly says that she wishes to learn this and exhibit it before her classmates.  I'm impressed by her exhibition of will.

She asked me to take her to school after hours so she could practice.  She pushed her Mom too, when I didn't want to go back the next day.  Three days on and we are at two a day practices.  She responds well to coaching.  She seems to understand that it serves her goal and so has no problem with obedience during training.  I say this not because she has any "obedience" issues otherwise, she listens quite well for a six year old.  I say this to contrast it from her naturally skeptical or questioning nature.  Usual interaction has much back and forth.  The training mode she has found provides her with a different mode of behavior, one where she can receive more direct instruction and provide more direct response, without any sensitivity to feelings that might otherwise preclude such directness.

Look at that face, the set of her eyes, the way she is holding her lips, and the preparatory tension in her arms.  She will be a formidable adult.

click for larger image

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Oasis on Lake Travis

We went out to the Oasis this last weekend to enjoy the nice weather.  The Oasis is a restaurant that overlooks Lake Travis (what's left of it).  Really pretty view from their multiple tiers of decks.  We enjoyed watching the water and sipping our drinks.

Outside of the Oasis they built a metal, steam-punk-ish, space ship that visitors take pictures in... Alice immediately wanted a pic in this space ship when she saw it.

A few pics merged into gif... not sure why but kinda fun...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Lemonade the Musical", co-starring Alice Bickel

All of the K and 1st grade classes performed a joint musical last night, "Lemonade";  fyi - that is a lot of kids, I'm guessing 160-240 (4 K classes *20|30 + same for 1st).  Between songs there was a narrative carried along by 16 short speaking parts (2 kids selected from each class).  Alice was one of the kids selected to represent her class, and she did a great job of delivering her speaking part!  Daddy is proud.

Cristy and Alice picked out new dress and shoes, etc, for her performance last night.  She looked great and felt confident.

On the way home she mentioned that she's looking forward to getting more lines in her next production :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Since this was the first year Alice was in school, we had to take advantage of Spring Break!
Alice has never been to Oklahoma to see her relatives who lived there, so we decided that would be a good road trip. We spent 2 days at Robbers Cave State Park which was about 2.5 hours from Tulsa. We rented a pet friendly cabin, cooked s'mores, hiked, and went on a hay ride.  The hiking to the cave was beautiful and Alice did great!

Robber's Cave.  Also of note is that Alice found her name carved into the rocks outside the cave next to a date of 1910, which incidentally is when my paternal grandfather was born.  That same grandfather told a story from his early childhood about the Younger gang sleeping in his family's barn and paying for their hospitality and silence with a some cash under one empty plate and an old revolver underneath the other empty plate.

Second biggest pine tree in OK.

After we left the Park, we headed to Tulsa to visit Aunt Pam, Uncle Charles,Nana Betty, Poppa Jack And Cousin Tyler, who Alice had never met.  We spent some time at the Tulsa Zoo and spent evenings hanging out with the family. It was a nice visit and Cupcake did very good at the new houses we visited. He is becoming a good little traveler, even thought sometimes whines in the car......

Good times with Uncle Charles and Aunt Pam.

This bear was interacting with us quite a bit...  Here you see it going for Cristy's head.  Just before it had swiped a paw at Alice which startled her, which made her mad, therefore she is growling back at the bear.

Alice hugging statues outside of the Tulsa Zoo Entrance.

Nana Betty and Popa Jack with Alice.  We had a very nice dinner and hang-out at their place in Tulsa.  We also had a very nice time relaxing and eating over at the Kings the night before.  

Alice with the Tulsa Family!

We had a fun Spring Break!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Girl Rock Star

This is the first blog composed by Alice and dictated by mom......
I like this picture so much because it makes me think that I'm a rock star.
When I grow up I want to be a rock star. They get to sing and do fun poses.
- Alice

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Late Winter Tea Party

During an afternoon of nice winter weather Alice set up a tea party out back for her dolls :-)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Actual Quotation

"I like it, cause its fun.
I could ride my scooter with a broken leg."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alice's New Product Idea

Alice takes allergy medicine twice a day.  She does not care for it, but, given Austin allergies, she seems to think its worth it, if just barely. One of the ones she takes is "grape" flavored, which Alice describes as grape mixed with something "weird".

While taking her medicine this week she began working a new product idea; a game which she has been playing more frequently.  She informs us that the people making the weird grape flavor must not know what kids like.  She declares that her allergy medicine should be bacon flavored, because kids, clearly, like bacon way more than grapes.

Open letter to the "Claritin Chewable People"

Dear Claritin Chewable people,

Please provide a bacon flavored chewable allergy pill for my daughter.  She prefers bacon to grapes and has a strong feeling that the majority of other children might too.  


Alice's Dad.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aristocats performance

I really like this picture.  Cristy is getting Alice out of her costume and into play clothes for the after party!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Westcave Preserve

Alice's 6th birthday Part 1

Saturday January 11th we had our family birthday party for Alice's 6th birthday. Since we do not live in the same town as our extended family, Alice likes to have a family party. She had been excited about getting more presents, but the most fun she had was playing with her cousins. All the kids played well together. At one time ALL the kids including the 3 year old twin boys were outside with Alice and her bigger cousins Joci and Juliette. The adults actually got to sit and talk for a while. A big bonus was that Uncle Andy brought Dober Dan to Didi's house so she got to see him too.
Juliette came back to Gammy's house with us to spend the night with Alice. They stayed up till midnight watching tv shows and talking. 
The next day, was Alice's actual birthday. We had planned a surprise for her. We left Gammy's house around 10:45 and headed towards the Galleria. Mom, dad and Alice had lunch plans at the American Girl cafe. Since she got her American Girl doll for Christmas, she has been talking about the cafe she had heard they had. Dad was the only man in the cafe, but dad will do just bout anything for his Alice! After lunch she got to pick out an outfit for her doll.
We headed back home and Alice fell asleep for most of the ride home.