Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Break!

We school year round, taking breaks as we feel we need to.   This year, one of our "breaks" happened to coordinate with "Spring Break" with Austin area schools and with Tulsa area schools.  So, we took advantage of all of the fun offered by our wonderful city and also provided hospitality to Tulsa-area family as they visited us during their spring breaks.  South by Southwest (SXSW) is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities.  This year, the kids and I kicked off the week with a ride on the train into downtown Austin for a visit to SXSW-edu.  This is a huge educational conference and it was our first year attending it.  It won't be our last. The kids and I really enjoyed it.  We learned about new technologies that will help their education, as well as were able to interact with many of the new games, toys and educational software that we can incorporate into their education.  And, of course, we got a lot of freebies.

waiting for the train

Right after leaving the train.  Ready for our day!

We met Rory, there--creator of story cubes.  It was funny because I was at the booth and mentioned, "Oh, we love Rory's Story Cubes and play with them all the time!"  And then the red-headed guy you see in the photo above said, "Well, I am Rory!"  I was excited, so I had to snap a photo of the kids with him.  He also gave us a fun new game called "Extrordinaires Design Studio."

We did a little programming using fun, interactive toys.

We played with lots of hands-on learning toys.

Also, that same day was "NASA Day" at the Texas Capitol.  So, after SXSW-edu we grabbed some delicious pizza at Backspace and then walked to the Capitol to check out NASA Day.

It was really dark in the room, but managed to snap a couple of photos of Luke and Abbey in space suits.

It was a long fun day, and actually very educational!  And then we had our first set of visitors from Oklahoma.  My sister, Holly, and her family came to stay with us for a few days.  We took them to the Thinkery, SXSW Create (my favorite SXSW event), some of our favorite restaurants, some fun hikes, to the Austin Nature and Science Center and to go on a boat bat watching cruise.  Here are some photos from some of our fun and the memories we captured with them.

The Thinkery:

SXSW Create:

We ran into friends while there.  Here is Abbey and her good friend, Bella.
 These things were funny.  We all had to try them.


Drew looked hilarious!

My sister and I.

The lego creations there were awesome.

Bat Cruise:

The Austin Nature and Science Center:


The kids loved crossing the creek
The day after my sister and her family headed back home, we had new visitors: my brother Jason and his family.  First, we headed to downtown Round Rock for one of our favorite weekly events in the springtime: Music on Main.

The girls danced.

We waited in line for face painting.  This was the girls' before photo.

And here is the after photo:  a purple tiger, a rainbow butterfly and a pink kitty.

We played lazer tag in our yard:

We hiked:

 We visited Mayfield park.

We took them to one of our favorite playgrounds:

It was such a fun spring break!  We love having visitors.  Now, it is back to all our normal routines for us!

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