2023 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday · Winter Wonderland

Texas Snow Day In January ~ 2013

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In mid-January of 2013, we weren’t expecting snow that day. Even FOX4’s Head Meteorologist, Dan Henry, said what a surprise it was getting snow. But in Texas, the weather is possible and very unpredictable. It can say light rain on the radar. And then we end up with snow the following morning. The birds were all fluffed up to stay warm in the cold breeze. Katelynn liked it. She didn’t have to school and could play with her little sister in the snow that day.

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2023 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

A Sunny January Afternoon In Texas ~ 2013

I miss those warmer January days in North Texas. Don’t get me wrong, Texas can have some cold Winter days. But on a lot of days, it was warm enough to sit on the backyard deck to enjoy wildlife feeding on berries, and watch the clouds go by in the sky. It also was easier to photograph the birds in the trees, in January and February. There was no leaf to obstruct the view.

2022 · Christmas Season · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Christmas Season (Part V) ~ 2012 (1)

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Christmas Season in Texas 2012

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2022 · Christmas Season · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Christmas Season (Part IV) ~ 2010 – 2011

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2010

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In 2010, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I went to our local Christmas Parade again. This time, the girls got a glimpse of Santa. Katelynn was in first grade. Her class had the school play “Santa’s Suit”, where she was the “Lego” Elf. On Christmas Eve, Katelynn lost her first tooth. So, the Toothfairy and Santa visited our home on the same night. Unfortunately, Sara had a bad cold on Christmas Day. She wasn’t too happy. But we made the best out of the situation.

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2011

Santa left apples, oranges, nuts, and candy under the tree. Of course, Sara found the candy first and wanted some. Kevin and I said, she could have some after breakfast. Instead of listening, she was very sneaky, put one in her mouth, and acted like she didn’t know what we were talking about. Lexi was happy, she had a new toy duck, which was shredded by her and Ranger the same day.

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2022 · Christmas Season · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Christmas Season (Part III) ~ 2008 – 2009

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2008

Since Kevin’s homemade Christmas tree got positive feedback, he installed it in 2008, again. The same year, I decorated a Christmas wreath for our girls.

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2009

Sara’s 1st Christmas; She was still so tiny.

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2022 · California · Christmas Season · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Christmas Season (Part II) ~ 2006 – 2007

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2006

In the Christmas Season of 2006, Kevin, Katelynn, and I visited California. Since we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Kevin’s grandparents in Anaheim, we stayed an extra day to go to Disneyland.

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2007

In 2007, Kevin installed his first outdoor Christmas tree made of Christmas light chains. Everything was holden up by a PVC pipe.

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… to be continued …

2022 · Bavaria · Christmas Season · Days of The Week · Germany · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Christmas Season (Part I) ~ 2003 – 2005

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2003

Christmas 2003 was bittersweet. It was Katelynn’s first Christmas, but at the same time, it was our last Christmas in Germany.

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2004

In December 2004, we had a Dallas Holiday Wish Celebration. The Beach Boys had a concert, and even Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto came for visit to sing and dance in front of the Dallas City Hall. I have it all on video tape footage and didn’t captured too many photo of the event.

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2005

In 2005 we bought our house in Texas. The same year, we celebrated Christmas/Yuletide in our new home.

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Festivals · My Travel Journal · Special Events · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Chinese Lantern Festival, Dallas 2012

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At the pond in Dallas Fair Park 2012

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… to be continued … in November 2023

2022 · Days of The Week · Festivals · My Travel Journal · Special Events · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Chinese Lantern Festival, Dallas 2012 (3)

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The Porcelain Dragon stretched 110 feet made from 15,000 bowls, spoons, and cups … all tied together by hand

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Festivals · My Travel Journal · Special Events · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Chinese Lantern Festival, Dallas 2012 (2)

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🐼 Pandas & Peaches 🍑

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Festivals · My Travel Journal · Special Events · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Chinese Lantern Festival, Dallas 2012 (1)

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In November 2012, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Fair Park, Dallas. We arrived early. So, we still had time to walk around Fair Park. When the State Fair of Texas is over, that place looks very empty. But the Texas Star® Ferris Wheel is there year-round. Katelynn posed for some photos. When we came back to the Festival entrance area it was almost time to go in. …

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Halloween Season · Throwback Thursday

Halloween Season (Part IV) ~ 2010

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2010

Katelynn loves going to the pumpkin patch because she can jump in the bounce house, go on hay rides and pick a pumpkin. Sara just enjoyed crawling around between the pumpkins. Every pumpkin had to be tested by giving it a good slap on top. We also went to the Pirate Days. Unfortunately “Boo at the Zoo” got rained out the day, we went to the Fort Worth Zoo. But it wasn’t the end of the world, either. The girls got out and had fun, anyway.

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… to be continued in October 2023 …

2022 · Days of The Week · Halloween Season · Throwback Thursday

Halloween Season (Part III) ~ 2008 – 2009

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2008

Katelynn wanted to help me with the pumpkin carving. So, I’ve got her a little pumpkin she could play with and get the pumpkin guts out. She always loved to say: “We need to get all the pumpkin yikes out!” And then she played with the gooey inside of the pumpkin.

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2009

Sara was only twelve days old when we celebrated Halloween in 2009. She was such a cute little Pumpkin. Katelynn wanted to help with the pumpkins again, while her little sister took a nap. Katelynn was very proud of being a big sister. She really enjoyed taking Sara out for her first Trick-or-Treat. All bundled up we walked through the neighborhood and collected candy on this cool October night. The fresh air was good for the little munchkin.

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Halloween Season · Throwback Thursday

Halloween Season (Part II) ~ 2006 – 2007

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2006

… This Halloween season was completely different from last year’s. Katelynn was excited to go to “Trick-or-Treat”. She knocked on the doors with a happy “T’ick-or-T’eeeeat”. Since she couldn’t pronounce the “r”, the neighbors thought she was adorable and gave her a lot of candy. After three houses we had to walk home to empty the bag before we could go out there and get more candy. Oh my, so much candy and no meltdowns anymore.

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The Munster Mansion in Waxahachie, Texas

In 2004 I heard about the Munster Mansion Replica when I watched VH1 while I was preparing dinner. I talked to Kevin about it. And one weekend, we drove from Dallas to Waxahachie. When we found it, we looked at it. The owner, Charles McKee waved at us, and we waved back.

A couple of years later, I read in the Dallas Morning News that the McKees have these weekend tours right before Halloween. Kevin and I got a babysitter for Katelynn, and down we went to Waxahachie again. They used the big parking lot in front of a local school. A school bus and a limousine were busy around the clock, picking guests up and dropping them off. It was a long wait. But once we were on the property, we had a lot of entertainment. One of the firebreathers asked me to pull a nail out of her nose. I replied, “… before this happens I will pass out.” Everybody in line was laughing. 😊

Once we made it inside the mansion, we were not allowed to capture photos or record any film. It made us pay more attention to the tour as well. If you like to see photos and documents, you can go to the official website and check it out for more information. Here is the link:

https://www.munstermansion.com/

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2007

In 2007, Kevin had to go with Katelynn to Trick-or-Treat. I was still recovering from a knee injury and rather stayed at home. It was fun. Katelynn was dressed in her “Snow White” costume and received plenty of candy, while the neighbors and I were busy giving out candy. But I have to admit, I missed the door-to-door walk that year.

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Halloween Season · Throwback Thursday

Halloween Season (Part I) ~ 2003 – 2005

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2003

This was Katelynn’s First Halloween. She was only 27 days old when I carved the Kitty pumpkin for her. The story behind the pumpkin itself can be found here under this link:
https://underthewhiteoakleaves.com/2022/10/01/my-jack-o-lanterns-2003-2007/

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2004

Katelynn was at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch for the first time. Oh, she had so much fun playing with the straw. Kevin and I had to fish it out of her clothes later, She was so busy throwing the straw in the air, it went everywhere. The next day, we dressed her up as a lamb. I made the costume myself. The head was a bit big for her. She enjoyed going to Trick-or-Treat with it.

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2005

It was the first year, we celebrated Halloween at our new house. I made a DIY-Diddlina candy bag for all the goodies, we would receive from going to Trick-or-Treat. On the other hand, Katelynn was still little and a bit unsure, if she really liked this whole “Trick-or-Treat” thing. When we walked from door to door, she wasn’t very happy. Once she had some candy, it wasn’t near as bad anymore. But she did not like the door-to-door walk at all. A year later, this would be a whole other story. …

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… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Hiking At The Colony Shoreline Trail, Texas ~ September 2013

In 2013, one September morning I began my hike I began from the other end of The Colony Shoreline Trail. From there I could get much closer to the lake and saw a lot of wildlife along the way. In the mornings it is warm, but not hot like in the late afternoons in those Texas Summers. So, I got the chance to observe a couple of Turkey Vultures and a Great Blue Heron looking for fish in the lake. I also saw some dragonflies, skippers, little fishes, a Mourning Dove, an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, a couple of Fox Squirrels, and a Question Mark Butterfly. Yep, the Shoreline Trail was busy. It was a nice photo hike.

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Hiking In Isle Du Bois State Park At Lake Ray Roberts ~ Texas 2013

In September 2013, Sara and I took a little trip to Isle Du Bois State Park at Lake Ray Roberts, which is just north of Lake Lewisville in North Texas. Sara and I watched the fisherman on the boats and the maintenance crew at the beach. Since it usually is still very warm in early September, we also observed some wildflowers and wildlife in the State Park. There were all kinds of bees, butterflies, lizards, and a roadrunner. It was Sara’s first roadrunner; she had seen in the wild. By noon, we left the park. It got too warm to stay any longer.

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Visit At The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve ~ 2013

Nine years ago, Sara and I visited the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve for the first time. It is only seven miles away from our house. But I had no idea it existed until I looked at a park map on Google one morning. Katelynn was in school. And Sara was bored because she had no one to play with in the house. So, I decided I would take her for a hike in the park. The weather was nice and not too warm. It was perfect to see what the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has to offer. On the way, I said to Sara: “Maybe we will see some wildlife in the park.” When we arrived at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, we saw a lot of hikers, sprinters and runners. I told Sara to stay with me on the right side of the trail, for people who work out can pass us on the left. She did very well. We walked into the forested area. And Sara noticed a couple of squirrels chasing each other. One had a couple of pecans in its mouth. And the other squirrel wanted the first one to share at least one of the pecans. Sara and I made it all the way to the Observation Tower, where we had a nice view over a big portion of the park. After a little rest, we hiked back to the parking lot. Sara was counting the bridges, we crossed along the way. She said: “There were three bridges in total. And the squirrels were funny.” I’m glad she got entertained on this little trip to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. 😉

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

A Day At The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden ~ August 2013 (1)

Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden has August Dollar Days during the whole month of August. Back in 2013, we had a day that was not too hot. And I decided to take Katelynn and Sara to the Arboretum. It was a fun day. We have seen so many different flowers, water features, butterflies, dragonflies, and little mammals. Since I have so many flower photos, I have to break the visit down into several blogs. These are images from the All-America Selections Trial Garden.

… to be continued in August 2023 …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

Hiking At The Colony Shoreline Trail, Texas ~ August 2013

So many memories come back when I look at these photos. When Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I lived in Texas, we loved walking on the town’s local trails. One of them was by Lewisville Lake, hence the name “The Colony Shoreline Trail”. The beginning of August has usually the hottest days of Summer. So, it was not uncommon that we walked when it was still 100℉+ in the evenings. We were used to it. And we saw people joking and biking along the trail. Sunscreen, bug spray, and water are the secrets to keeping going outdoors.

In this drought weather, a lot of plants strive in Texas. Firewheel, Ground Cherries, Horsenettle, Love-in-a-puff, Partridge Peas, Ragweed, Snow-on-the-prairie, Sunflowers, and many other plants love this hot weather, while others survive better in May and June. They will be wilted by the time July and August come around. That’s why we could enjoy wildflowers in Texas about ten out of twelve months of the year.

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Texas · Throwback Thursday · USA

The Doe At The Colony Shoreline Trail

A doe at The Colony Shoreline Trail (July 2014)

Several years back I told Kevin I would go to The Colony Shoreline Trail to look for some deer. Someone tipped me off about a certain area, where I would find some deer activity at sundown. On that night in mid-July, I wanted to see for myself and capture some photos. On the way out, I said: “Honey, I will hunt for deer tonight!” Kevin laughed: “Yeah, shooting with your camera?” “Yep, exactly”, I replied.

At the trail, I looked for some evidence. It didn’t take long until I found deer tracks. I hid behind a bush several feet away from the deer tracks and waited … and waited … and waited. The sun was setting, and I didn’t want to give it too much longer. It felt a little bit spooky, being out there by myself. All of a sudden, I heard something and saw a bush moving across from the creek. I tried to stay as calm as I could to keep my breath low. And then there she was: a doe was standing right in the open. Of course, the wind was blowing in her direction. It was too easy to spot me. Mrs. Doe looked at me for a little while, long enough that I could capture a few photos. And then she jumped back behind the secure bushes. That was it. But I’ve got what I wanted that night. Another night I found out why she was so hesitant. She had two fawns with her.

Arriving back at home, Kevin was resting on the couch. “Honey, I shot a deer tonight.” He looked surprised at me: “You’ve got that deer?” “Yep, I did get it,” I answered proudly. “Wow! First night out and caught it, huh?!” he said. I sat down on the couch and looked at the pictures with him.