Texas Bluebonnets – We Found Them!

Since moving to Texas, I have learned that taking pictures of Texas Bluebonnets every Spring is a Texas Tradition. So I decided we needed to do that this year. We are second year Texans, so we should act like it! So I asked some people who know about such things where to find Bluebonnets. They told me to head toward San Antonio on I-10, and I should find some. So we loaded up the van and started driving west. Gary is never very comfortable with just driving without a specific destination, but he was a good sport. We drove a long way. We passed some grassy hillsides that had lots of Bluebonnets, but they were right next to the highway, and I didn’t feel it would be safe to stop along the side of the road and let my little ones wander around on a hillside so close to a busy highway.

We kept driving, and I could tell that Gary was getting tired, so I said we might as well go to the one hillside we saw. We turned around and drove a ways when I saw a flat stretch of grass with a lot of Bluebonnets and an access road that we could park the van on while we looked at the flowers. So I asked Gary to take us over to the access road. He got off the highway, and then I saw a sign for Stephen F. Austin State Park. I said we should just go to the park and see if they had some Bluebonnets. So we headed for the park.

On the way there, we saw this quaint white church with a steeple reaching up to the sky, and out in front of it (or back of it really) was a whole field of Bluebonnets and other wildflowers – orange ones, pink ones, purple ones. I got excited. “That’s the place. That’s perfect!”

 

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So we turned into the parking lot and parked our van, and Gary took our picture on the steps.

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Then we attacked the Bluebonnets!

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We knew we weren’t allowed to pick the Bluebonnets, but we hadn’t heard anything about the Indian Paintbrushes or other wildflowers, so I let the kids pick all of them that they wanted.

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We found many more flowers than just the Bluebonnets. There were Indian Paintbrushes. They were very prominent.

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Entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Texas paintbrush

Castilleja indivisa

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Texas Bluebonnets

Lupinus Texensis

But there were also lots of pretty purple and pink flowers.

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Drummond’s Phlox

Phlox drummondii Hook

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I still haven’t been able to identify this white flower.

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Gary and Katie preferred to watch from a safe distance. Something about spiders and snakes – and ants!

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Fearless Emma ran through the field barefoot!

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We did see quite a few anthills, but that’s to be expected here in Texas. We just watched where we stepped. Some of us did anyway.

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We just enjoyed being out in the great outdoors where we could breathe fresh air and run around free. Emma wanted to climb a tree and was disappointed that none of them had branches that she could reach.

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I just savored our time out in nature.

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Garrett got to practice his photography skills. All of the pictures with the time stamp were taken by him. He did a great job. He seems to have a good eye. Many of his pictures were better than mine! His time stamp was off, though. It is only March of 2014, but his camera said it was January of 2015! I said that Garrett was somewhere in the future and he was taking pictures of Bluebonnets better than his Mama! A hat tip to Kim Clement’s song, “You’re Somewhere in the Future”.

Here are some of my favorite shots of the Bluebonnets.

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We loved our adventure with the Texas Tradition of photographing Texas Bluebonnets. It makes us feel like real Texans now.

Now all we have to do is get us all cowboy boots and hats.

And train ourselves to say, “Howdy y’all!”

Ya’ll come back now, hear?

You’re Beautiful – Latest Music Video by Anna

Gary and I were honored to take part in this song. Gary did the production and collage for the video and the guitar picking for the audio, and I got to sing some back-up. What fun!

We hope you enjoy this song and will worship along with us.

Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson

Husbands and fathers, please watch this teaching. Do you need some help at home? Is your family running amuck? Your children rebellious and disrespectful?

This might give you some guidance. It’s biblical manhood. Very biblical.

Douglas Wilson teaches straight from the Bible about how God wants husbands and fathers to be the head of the home in this video.

Put St. Patrick Back in St. Patrick’s Day!

Wear your green clothes, eat your green eggs and ham, you can even draw some shamrocks. But, please, don’t forget to talk to your kids about St. Patrick. He was an amazing man. His story is miraculous and inspiring. And he used the shamrock to explain the Trinity as he spread the Gospel in Ireland. He transformed Ireland by his preaching and is responsible for bringing the Gospel to the West.

He was a real man who really lived, so this is an excellent chance to study the history of Ireland and the story of St. Patrick’s life. But Patrick was not Irish. If you didn’t know that, then you definitely need to read a biography about Patrick and find out how he became such a powerful missionary to Ireland!

I put a lot of neat activities on my Pinterest board about rainbows and shamrocks and leprechauns.

But the thing that I am most concerned that my children learn about is the life of St. Patrick and some of the history of Ireland.

For a listing of the miracles he did and an explanation of why we never hear about those miracles anymore, read this post.

There are many sources to use with children to share the story of St. Patrick.

One of these is Living Books Curriculum‘s free CM Helper that Sheila Carroll sends out when you sign up for her mailing list at her website. The one she sent out a few days ago tells the biography of St. Patrick, picture study, copywork, and mapwork about Ireland. There’s even a recipe for Irish Soda Bread!

Another one is the Veggie Tales video about St. Patrick’s life at YouTube.

It’s also on the Veggie Tales dvd called “Sumo of the Opera”.

Here’s a trailer of a video about Patrick’s life that looks good.

I believe the dvd is available at CCC of America.

Here is a good picture book with historical information included. It is called “St. Patrick” written by Tomie Dapaola.

Enchanted Learning has informative worksheets and printables and activities about Ireland, but there is a fee to join their website. It is $20/year.

Here is a webpage that highlights some books about Ireland with girls as the main characters. One of the books is about another early saint and miracle worker, Brigid, who became known as St. Brigid.Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, and she became very good friends with Patrick. The character quality that is featured in her life is generosity. She was a miracle-worker similar to St. Patrick. Find this list here.

If you have older children, you could read a book called Celtic Flames to them. It contains stories about many past saints who worked miracles and lived wonderful lives, including St. Patrick. There is a section about Patrick that you could read to them on St. Patrick’s Day. The book is here and it is written by Kathie Walters.

And here is a coloring page of St. Patrick.

Here are some coloring pages and some copywork.

St. Patrick activity sheets

For a little taste of Irish culture, enjoy some Riverdance!

Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and don’t forget the Patrick!