The Boy and Jason stayed up super late. As in four am-ish late. True story. Of course, in the morning, this was relayed to me by the boys, since I had given up and gone to sleep long before they even became tired. I had my suspicions that they had fallen asleep shortly before I woke up when noon was fast approaching and the kiddos were still snoring peacefully in their sleep.

After cleaning, yard work, and homework they were still asleep! They finally began to rouse shortly after noon. I was glad for it, too, because Little B had hip hop dance class at 2pm and I know That Child likes to veg before going anywhere. In fact, he informed me last year that if he was going to public school this year to PLEASE wake him up at 5am so he could lounge around for an hour or so. And the thing is, I’m sure he would have done so.

So the boys vegged and then we headed to dance, which I was ubber excited about for two reasons. One: the boy loves to dance, so dance class seems fun. And Two: the class was free because of Brooks being deployed. I’m not sure if this applies to every military base, but here at Hood children of deployed soldiers get a set amount of money for sports registrations (I believe it’s 300) and a set amount for classes (like scuba diving, tae kwon do, dance, gymnastics, music, art, etc). Very cool. So since we’ve pummeled our way through the free money for sports we’re working on the free money for classes. I signed BB up for dance and art this month, and we are hoping to do so for the next three months.

Sadly, when we got to the dance studio there was no one there. And the contact number for the place was no good. And the number’s I googled went to voicemail. Brooksy wasn’t entirely disappointed since he did have Jason and we had planned on going skating afterwards anyway. So that’s what we did.

The kiddos had a blast at the skating rink and inbetween cheering the kiddos on I worked on my homework. I was kind of digging learning about statistics while keeping tab of the kiddos doing the limbo and listening to the crazy loud music.

The afternoon has been lovely. The boys have been playing by themselves on and off, though they have played a few board games and table games with me. I love familyfun.go.com. It’s one of my go-to sites for fun activities when I’m not feeling like scouring the web or racking my brain for something to do. We partook in some table basketball and a dice game, which I added a few new rules to.

And now the boys are watching a movie and munching on chewy chocolate chip cookies. I’m about to do some homework and bow out for the night. Exhaustion is most welcome today. I’m missing my better half something fierce, and although he is amazing about calling me a lot, his presence today would have made the day more perfect than it already was. So I will welcome sleep with open arms and am incredibly thankful for the fact that my insomnia has yet to return (knock on wood 😉  )

Switching topics, I wanted to upload our RandR bucket list, most of which we never got around to. There is always homecoming to look forward to, and although it will hopefully be cold when he returns we can always plan some of these for when it warms up again.

Julius Family RandR Bucket List

  • Zip Line Fun through Cypress Canopy Tours in Austin. Although it’s a bit pricey I think it would have been loads of fun. We never brought ourselves to leaving B behind to do something on our own. But this was high on my list of fun with Brooks, alone. There is a lake nearby for picnicking and it looks like fun. Some of the lines are way up high in the trees. 512-264-8880
  • Round Rock Express, Tickets were free through ITR for any home games.
  • The Dallas Stockyards, Rodeo, Train, Billy Bob’s, Cattle Drive, etc. We were really wanting to hit up Dallas, especially since The Boy and I are desperately wanting to go to Medieval Times. There is even a cattle pen maze that sounds like fun
  • Austin Park is always fun, and it’s half off for military on Mondays ($10.95). We love it and always have loads of fun.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse. Another place I wanted to go with Brooks by myself. My friend Tanja went with her hubby during their RandR and had a blast. Last month they were spoofing The Breakfast Club, with audience participation. It would have been grand!
  • Paint Balling. There are several places in the Central Texas area.
  • Marble Falls, TX. Between the Main St district, Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, and several touristy spots I envisioned us making a day of it. I’ll envision it at a later date.
  • Couple’s massage. The only thing we regretted we never got around to. Mainly because Brooks’s back hurts, and it would have been fun.
  • Schlitterbahn, which we did, and we LOVED. We can’t wait to go again next year with D.Brooks.
  • Greune, TX, which we did get to check out. We had dinner at the Gristmill and checked out the cute little stores.
  • Horse back riding, except that we can’t seem to locate a place that will let us all ride as a family. Most places seem to want riders to be 12 and up.
  • Tubing at New Braunfels, TX. We were lucky enough to go tubing since the heat and drought have affected tubing in Central Texas. Three hours on the river seems like a lot but it sure goes by fast.
  • I found a website that gives nature tours. It’s a bit pricey but geeky me loves the whole nature tour thing. It was going to be 22 bucks per person and would have been worth every penny. Of course, with the heat, I couldn’t get anyone enthused to go with me. 830-966-2320
  • Comedy Show, another place I wanted to visit sans The Boy. We’ve never done Esther’s Follies in Austin, though we’ve done another comedy club. I figured it would be fun to check it out so we could say we’d done it.
  • Houston, TX. Houston has the City Pass program, where you pay a flat fee and can choose from several different tourist destinations. High on my list was the Houston Space Center, Aquarium, Museum of Science, and the Children’s Museum.
  • San Antonio, which we were able to enjoy. The River Walk is always fun, but San Antonio is full of great sites and there are usually events taking place somewhere. We’ve never hit the Witte Museum and with the Blue Star Program offering free admission for military I was hoping we’d be able to go. We never made it to the Witte. We’ll just have to go a different day.
  • Blue Star Museums. There are tons of museums across America that have signed up with Blue Star Musuems to offer free admission to soldiers and their families. It’s a neat program and one we always take advantage of.
  • Austin TX is another great spot close by to hit, and although we drove to the airport and through the city several times we never stopped this time.
  • Sea World offers free admission to military personnel and up to four of their dependents once a year through their Salute the Heroes program. We try to go at least once a year with Brooks when we can. This year my brother and his family joined us.
  • Wine Tour/ Tasting – I don’t do the wine or any other type of alcoholic drink but knew Brooks would enjoy a wine tour and tasting. B and I were looking forward to learning about how wine is made, etc. but we never got around to this either. There are lots of websites out there that catalog the different vineyards in the Central Texas area.

I also drew up a list of games and activities for moments when we wanted to chill at home and do something other than board games, movies, or video games. We ended up putting the activities on slips of paper and stuffing them into a jar for easy retrieval. I still have the jar and we’ll use it down the road.

I also researched a ton of easy to cook meals and made sure I had all ingredients on hand. This meant no brainstorming while Brooks was here trying to figure out what to make for the next meal. I was able to spend more time with my family, which made everyone happy.

I spent a bit of time planning for this RandR. But the end result was worth the effort. We had the best RandR by far. We relaxed, enjoyed each other’s company, and had ridiculous amounts of fun. Most of my time was spent with my boys, not cleaning, or cooking, or planning. And the best part is because we didn’t get to everything on our bucket list we’ll have plenty to do when he comes home, and I won’t have to spend time researching or googling things.

Homecoming sure sounds good right about now 🙂

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