All posts by richard

Old Family Photos

R1-03934-0025 R1-03934-0024 R1-03934-0023 R1-03934-0022 R1-03934-0021 R1-03934-0020 R1-03934-0019 R1-03934-0018 R1-03934-0017 R1-03934-0016 R1-03934-0015 R1-03934-0014 R1-03934-0013 R1-03934-0012 R1-03934-0011 R1-03934-0010My father had a huge stack of old photographic slides. We never owned a projector, so I never had a chance to see what was on these slides.

Yesterday, Sharon came home with the whole lot of them digitized at Walgreens.

Some of them are flipped, and I haven’t had a chance to fix them yet, but if you can’t read, you wouldn’t care…


I hope you enjoy going through them.



Newbie & Junior: For the Wedding

Vera’s song that she sang to two camp counselors who tied the knot at Texlake Girl Scout Camp, July 2010

There was gossiping going about you and me

Being together

So we decided to play along with them all

Then one day I was thinking about us

being together forever for the rest of our lives.

You and me will become a family

But there is only you and me to start

And we’re taking little steps at a time.

You and me used to be just friends

but now we’re man and wife

So you may kiss the bride.

Oh yah nah nah nah oh oh yeah.

Vera’s Letter from Camp, July 6, 2010

Dear Mom, Dad, Aric, and Scott,

I am having fun here and I have 12 girls in my group. We both sleep in different places but we have two cabins. I met new people like Emma, Avery, and (blank). (Guess she couldn’t remember her name…)

On Tuesday for dinner we had chicken, potatos, carrits, sunflower seeds to! What we ate often that’s bannaboat it with bannas, marshmelos, miny kisses, it was good.

How was your time family? I miss you all but I will see you all on Friday. I love you all. Kisses and hugs.

Love, Vera


10:30 pm


I ran across this essay that Vera wrote at school, thought it was pretty neat, and thought I’d share:

“Let Freedom Ring”

Freedom is yellow.
It tastes like lemon pie.
It smells like lemon.
Freedom likes pie.
It hates cookies.
Its favorite sound is people talking.
But it hates to hear bad words.
Freedom lives in Texas.

Crossing Over

It’s the end of an era for us. One of the Hasting boys has been at Steiner Ranch Elementary since 2001, but today #2 “crossed over.” Parents and faculty worked hard to make the event really special, and the young men and women moving to middle school responded with their nicest manners during the long-ish event. In spite of some technical difficulties with part of the presentation (my part, of course!), it ran smoothly.

It’s amazing to see how these kids have grown. We’ve known many of them since they were kindergartners, and they’ve grown so mature!

This class (about 130 kids) was particularly academically focused, scoring 100% in math, 99+% on language arts, and 98+% on science TAKS. A great many earned the Presidential Award for academic excellence. We’re so proud of them!

Warming Up

Well, it’s April 3 and it’s already beginning to warm up here in Austin, enough so that we’re breaking out the lawn equipment for the much-dreaded “landscaping season.” (That’s 9 months each year.) Our neighbors have already been hard at it, disturbing the post-winter quiet with the mellifluous sound of leaf blowers. We’ve resisted as long as we can, but already our lawn is horribly overgrown with grass and (yes) some weeds.

Isn’t it too EARLY to have to start this? Maybe global warming *is* a real possibility. Heck, even the snowmen are being really impacted by this trend:

On the positive side, we’ve planted upside-down tomato plants and have high hopes that they’ll eventually sort themselves out (currently they’re trying valiantly to grow UP in their hanging pots). They’re high enough that they may escape Sydney’s reach. She’s pretty bad about picking off the ripe fruits. This year she’ll have to content herself with the odd berry or try to graze on the rabbit’s herb garden!

Estes Park, Day 2. Charming But Chilly.

We spent another beautiful day in RMNP. We’ve definitely decided, though, that it’s later in the season than we prefer. Our previous visits included the colorful aspens of fall, but temperatures just warm enough to be comfortable. Today, it was cold and windy, and we decided not to take any extended hikes at high altitude.
At Endovalley, we did find a nice spot with enough sunshine to enjoy a picnic. We were almost immediately joined there by some cheeky creatures. First came the Steller’s Jays…


followed quickly by a chipmunk…


and then finally by a black squirrel who appeared at first to be shy. After he decided that we weren’t dangerous, he warmed up quickly, taking almonds from Richard.
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We spent the remainder of the day in downtown Estes Park, enjoying the shops and then a terrific dinner at Nicky’s. We’re leaving tomorrow, but we’re reluctant to go.

(Click the squirrel pic to see him munch!)


Estes Park, Day 1. Stress Melting Away…


Ahhh…we’ve been here for just at a day, and already we’re more relaxed than we’ve been in about a year and a half.

We started our afternoon at Rocky Mountain National Park, and were joined for lunch by some black-billed magpies, who were shameless about trying to steal our sandwiches and apples. Seems theft is a popular survival technique, because one of them flew off with a largely uneaten apple, only to have it stolen by a large hawk.


Mood: Happy! It must be catching, because even the animals here are smiling:


Happy Birthday, Aric. Wii Love You!

The big double-digit day for Aric! Today he turned 10, and he was going “wii wii wii wii!” all the way to the Best Buy to purchase his heart’s desire. But we surprised him with a console and accessories during his birthday bowling lunch at Main Event, so all the money he’d saved the past few months was available for other things, like more GAMES!

Surprise! And happy birthday, Bear. We think you’re pretty awesome.

Slippery Things

Just how fast is *too* fast on a Slip-n-Slide? Vera decided to test the limits today. After Dad spent a long half hour blowing up all the pieces (he’s recovering well, thank you), he stretched it out on Grandmom and Granddad’s lovely lawn.

Completely ignoring the intermittent rain and slightly chilly temperatures, Vera set out to break a few speed records (and thankfully nothing else).

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The Summer of Bug Love

Or loving bugs. And other creatures.

We are almost daily fascinated by some of the creatures that live in our back yard, in and around the pond and fountains.

Today, Aric found what he’s hoping is a new species of grasshopper. We are planning on sending a photo and description to experts at the BCCP or Travis County to see if they can help us ID it. None of us have seen this particular variety before:


Thanks to Scott for the nice photo. He’s gotten some good shots of one of our other favorite creatures, a big, red, dragonfly that I’ve nicknamed Clifford:


Easter with the Big Bun


Here comes Monster Cottontail,
Lumbering down the bunny trail
Easter’s on its way!

11 pounds. 4 months old. Still growing. And growing.

We’ve given up our fantasy of sweet spring pictures of children with adorable little bunny.  But next year we’re doing shots of the children RIDING her.