I went to a Renaissance Festival without the kids!

Why can’t I remember that Renaissance only has 1 N at the beginning without spell check telling me this?

Warning picture overload about to happen:


What made this especially fun was having most of my best friends with me.  The two girls in the picture with me have been my friends since high school.  On the left is Tara, who I’ve mentioned several times before, and on the right is Tami.  Back in high school we were the Three Terrible T’s.  We were incredibly obnoxious, loud, and silly.  Or maybe that was just me.


The other fun thing, since someone else had a camera, I got to be in pictures.  YEAH!


There was much fun to be had.  I got a new hat, and had some yummy tea, ate amazing fudge.  YUM.  And watched people play silly games.


Who’s not up for a rousing round of throw the ax or swinging over a lake?




This is another of my friends from high school.  Her kids and mine get together every week for our history coop.  And then that night we all get together and play games together.  She’s been trying for weeks to convince Jeff her character in the game would be able to do something, so she was on a mission while we were there to get information and prove it was true.


That was rather hilarious!


I leave you with my two favorite pictures from the day.



Ren Fest 2011

It’s time for my annual Renaissance Festival post.  This year was probably our best year because there were no melt downs and the kids were so excited about it!  And we got to see the joust 3 times!



My last minute cloaks I slaved over for hours because it was going to be cold, and hten it was too warm for them.  Also this is the only time that the boys tabards even resemble being on right.  I didn’t have time to line them, and it really needed a belt to keep them in place.



Here’s my other major sewing project for this year’s festival.  Jeff’s pants and vest.  The vest didn’t come out the way Jeff envisioned, so I’m going to be switching out the lining.  That and for some reason the trim made the fashion fabric pucker.  Okay, I have theories on that one, but not going to go into it for your sanity’s sake……


Okay, end of sewing related comments.





Princess was happy as a clam because she got to spend a lot of one on one time with me or with Tara and I.  Lots of girl time!  And she got to pick out an early birthday present, she picked a crown.


And a necklace.  The girl was quite the bargain shopper.


We actually saw the Grand Parade, which meant I got to take lots and lots of pictures of costumes, and then I sit there and think about what I could change on my costume.


Highlight for the boys day: Getting to meet the German knight and have him sign their pennants.


Princess and Superman both stuffed dolls there, Princess a pink unicorn, named Unicorny, and Superman a troll, named Trolly.  It goes with his blue dragon, Dragony.


Of course there are the required messy eating shots:


Also known as “meat as big as your face” pictures.


I’m actually even in a few pictures.  Okay, I included that one of Princess because I really like it.


That was our festival for the year.

Scarborough Faire

But, this is from our trip a few weeks moths ago  (I give up on getting the pictures from Aunt Tara, total slacker trying to get ready for grad school and working full time, it’s like she can’t drop everything for me and do what I want).  On the way up, the boys slept, and Princess pouted.  I’m not sure why she was pouting, but she was.
The boys continue to love going on the pirate ship swing, and Princess continues to not want to do it.  But, this year the boys wanted to go with Daddy, not Mommy.  So, I stayed on the ground with Princess.
This year we went with one of our friends from church, and I was quite amused as the boys would veer wildly from “This is so cool,” to “I’m too cool for this.”  Ahhhhh, 5th grade boys, they can’t decide if they’re boys or men.  I guess I could also say, ahhhhh, 40 year old men, they can’t decide if they’re boys or men.  I know I can say that about my almost 30 year old brother.


The kids continued their obsession with all things meat, there’s just something about a picture of my little girl eating a piece of meat bigger than her face that amuses me.

I love this picture of the boys with Aunt Tara.  She looks so pretty and the boys, well Superman looks so surly.  Batman looks quite content to hug her.  He’s my hugger. 

As you can see, the kids were so in period….  Superman was Captain Trooper Rex, Batman was a knight.  Princess was Rapunzel.
And now the pretty dancing dresses slideshow

But, the biggest hit of the day (aside from buying wooden swords) was the petting zoo.  I think we spent an hour in there, easily…..  And we would have spent longer if the other adults weren’t ready to leave after about 15 minutes.  I think they might have at one point.
I’d show the pleased grins of the 5th graders but as soon as the camera appeared they got sullen looks.  I don’t look forward to the teen years.

I leave you with two fun group shots Smile
Ahhhhh, to think of days when it was only in the 80s…….

History: Rennaissance Festival


What would a year in our family be without Rennaissance Festival pictures?  And the cool stuff we learned there?  And the kids as always were super excited to sleep in a hotel.  I’m not quite sure why that’s so exciting.


Or course, there’s the non-historical just fun stuff like carousel rides.  I don’t know what the boys did while we rode, but Princess and I had a blast on the carousel.  Or she did, I had to stand, because she said she needed me next to her.


Oh well.013


We learned about pan pipes and how they make music (which is also a science lesson), and how people used to use those for their music.

I came so close to buying one for them….




There was much discussion about knights and how they dressed and what their armor was.



Superman hunted all over and finally found a store that had cuddly toys.  He got to stuff a dragon at a store very like Build-a-Bear.




Princess got a gryphon pet, or a bird.  It really depends on how she’s feeling for what she calls it.  She was so excited by it and thought it was the cooolest thing until Superman got a cuddly pet, then she wasn’t so excited by it.  But, it’s okay Mommy has a gryphon pet too, and she likes that her gryphon pet is my gryphon’s baby.




Batman chose an ax as his item this year.  Yes, we let him get it because we really needed more trips to the ER.  We had a very long talk about how and when to use it.  And so far he’s obeyed the rules.  It was fun to watch him madly swinging and fighting the invisible foes.  Especially amusing as we listened to “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” on the way down, and had just heard the chapter with the dufflepods and their being invisible.


My favorite part of the year was getting to see a demonstration of spinning, weaving, and carding.  It was fascinating, to me, not so much to everyone else.  But Jeff nicely herded them away and showed them something dangerous, like the smithy.  Or, maybe he just distracted them and kept Batman from hitting anyone with his ax.


All in all, it was a fun day of learning and game playing, and dressing up.  I personally found it amusing that Superman decided to wear his trooper shirt and say he was a knight, Batman wore his cowboy vest, knight shirt, and Santa hat and declared himself a pirate.


Oh and walking in a skirt designed for a hoop skirt without one is a little tricky.  I forgot my hoop skirt, and that was a slight problem by the end of the day………..


Now head on over to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn for more fun Geography and History posts.

Sherwood Forest

Well, I’d do a Preschool Corner post, but I’m feeling lazy, and instead I want to talk about the cool new Rennaissance Faire we went to last weekend.  There’s a new one in Austin called Sherwood Forest Faire.
First, before we even headed off we were busy getting dressed and Princess asked “Mommy, where’s my dress?”  Well, she hadn’t wanted a dress earlier when I was busy making my costume, so I hadn’t made her one.  So, now here comes my 20 MINUTE MIRACLE!
I made it much like I made the boys’ Blue Arrow shirts.  She lay down on the fabric, and I cut out a rectangle that came a little past her waist.  Then I sewed up the side seams.  Folded in the arm holes, and trimmed that up.  Then, cut out a head hole.  I slipped it over her head, and it would fit, but it was a hard fit.  So, I cut it down the front, and sewed on some velcro.  Then with the remaining fabric, I sewed one side seam, so it was a tube.  Ran a quick gathering stitch.  Tried it on and discovered it was too long.  So, I put a bunch of ribbon through at the waistline, and then tied it up, as you can see in the picture.  Then I sewed a nice fat piece of trim over the waistline to hide all the messy gathering and to make it cuter.   So, then I stuffed her in it, and got dressed myself (the trials and tribulations of making my costume will have to be another post, once I have a picture of me in my failed dress, really it was horrible.  I swear the dress hates me).
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We brought along some kids from church, who I’ll call Thing 1 and Thing 2, my boys are absolutely fascinated with them, partially because they’re also twins, and partially because they’re older.  They had a blast shooting bows and arrows, Jeff got to try an actual long bow.  Which he discovered is hard to shoot, and from everything I’ve read that’s an understatement.

Princess was absolutely fascinated by my pet gryphon, and thus started the great gryphon hunt.  She is absolutely positive that if she looks long enough she will find her own pet gryphon.  I don’t think she will be successful in her hunt, but maybe we’ll scare one up one of these days.  It probably will not be as cool as mine, because mine actually moves.
Of course the boys now want pet dragons…….

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I love mazes.  They’re so much fun.  Sadly the big boys taught mine you can sneak under the walls…….  I wasn’t so thrilled with that, but I still love to go through mazes.  There’s just something fun about them.
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And fishing is always a perennial favorite.  Superman kept at it a long time until he was finally able to catch a couple of fish on his own.  Batman caught one with help and was happy with that.  Actually he looks somewhat angry in that picture.  Never tell them to smile for pictures, I always get weird looks from them.

Superman was given a dragon’s tear by one of the players, and he was told that if he kept it near his pillow it would keep away bad dreams at night.  Of course the others had to go and hunt one down to get their own dragon tear.  Which led to their discovery of sand art…..

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All five of the kids did this, and all of them loved it.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 made theirs to give to their Mom.  My kids happily taunted each other with their bottles and then once we got home Batman broke his, with many cries and tears, and luckily no glass in any toes.
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Princess didn’t really want to play any games, but she very much wanted to go to the fairy tea party.  That she really enjoyed.  We had so much fun sitting and eating little crackers and fruit skewers, I’ll say I was baking and was thinking I wish I could find a drink stand to order a water bottle to guzzle down.
But all in all, it was a really fun day.  I don’t think we’ll try going again with five kids.  That was a lot of kids for 2 adults, it’s not that any one kid was misbehaving, it’s just a lot of kids.
And here’s random photos I like, but have no real story for them.
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So, that’s what we did last Saturday.  We had a blast!  I can’t wait until next year when they actually have real bathrooms, and not port-a-potties.  Let me just say taking a potty training 3 year old in one was not fun.

Texas Rennaissance Festival

I love this place. Jeff and I have been going together since we were dating, and I think we’ve only missed one year in that time frame. I even went when I was pregnant with the boys in a dress I modified to fit my very pregnant tummy.

This was Princess’ first year to go to Ren Fest, she went in the Spring to Scarborough.


Before we went in and anyone got dirty at all. Notice even at the beginning of the day Princess was convincing people to carry her. She’s very good at that.


We started off the day at the pony rides, this was what Princess desperately wanted to do. The boys had fun valiantly swinging their swords about. We had to convince them that was a bad plan.


Then we hurried over to the Maze, this is one of my favorite parts, I don’t know why. The kids thought it was great fun to try and find the dead ends. They’d run to the end and then laugh like it was the most hilarious thing they’d ever done.


Of course the day had a few injuries. But, it was an amazingly blood free excursion. I’m a horrible Mom for taking this picture (I’m going to use the 200+ pictures I took for a story book for the kids, this will make a perfect captures kid picture), and I did pick him up as I took the picture.




We went fishing, and poor Princess got splashed by her brothers both times when they threw their fish back. I really need to find a hair thing that will stay in her hair. That and a way to keep it out of her face.

I let my kids shoot a gun, okay it was a paint ball gun, and I think it was actually a cross bow. Superman is concentrating super hard, notice the tongue sticking out.

My little carnivores eating up the turkey leg. I don’t really know what you would eat there if you’re a vegetarian. Of course I’m not, so I don’t look for those types of food.


They got to dig out crystals from the dirt mounds in this “cave.” My plan is to use the whole series of pictures I took in here for when they’re captured and forced to work in the mines in the story I’ll write.


We watched a super cool falconry show, but this is all Princess cared about. She took about 5 other pictures, but I think most of them had the Dr. Pepper bottle in it.



I love these two pictures of Princess. Isn’t she so cute? I think this is the time she was happiest the entire day, except when I let her drink massive amounts of Dr Pepper, which I usually don’t do.


The boys and I rode on the “King’s Swings,” I think it’s called. Regardless of the name it’s a great arm workout, you’re providing all the power of the swing, and it’s probably be easier if someone was seriously pulling on the other side.


We took a time out and while we did the boys worked on holding up pirates.


I just thought this looked cool. I’m thinking this can be a ghost pirate they have to rescue or something.


We watched the joust a couple of times. I really think this is where my boys got their favorite colors from, blue and green: the blue and green knights. The great irony being neither time we watched the joust were we sitting with the blue or green knight (Germany and France), but we sat in England both times. And the weird part is the cheers have been changed around, the Germans used to get the super bloodthirsty cheer, but now Spain has it. Spain used to have the “spiritual” cheer, and now England does.

I personally liked it best when it was Germany cheering “Murder, Murder, Disembowel, Eviscerate!” It just seemed much funnier. And, I also am not remembering that completely right. There’s just something funny about a noblewoman chanting that in her perfect dress.

And, the parasol was my major purchase for the trip. I’ve been searching for one for two years. Finally found the one I liked. Stupid chipmunk face I have.

Recommendations needed

I want to make a new underskirt for my noblewoman’s costume, and a new shirt. Any recommendations on colors or fabrics?

another picture of it

Right now I’ve got a white one. I’m thinking of potentially either black or maybe a cream. Any other ideas of what might go? I just know last year the white was filthy at the hemline by the end of the day.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

And now I can’t remember the next line in the song, oh well.

We went there for opening weekend, and had a blast! This was Princess’ first time to go, and she enjoyed it a lot.

Here’s where we went:

Scottish arms demonstration

Here are Princess and Batman as English soldiers, right before the Scottish army comes and attacks.

Ignore the fact that she’s trying to take her dress off. She did a great job of entertaining the crowd as she went exactly opposite of where the man said to go. She’s a smart English soldier, she knew if she stayed there she’d get stabbed, so she went and hid behind Batman. The crowd about fell over laughing as she wandered from place to place. They now have badges proclaiming they were killed by Boomer at the arms demonstration. Don’t worry, they got better real fast.

We rode a pirate ship, which the boys thought was fun at first, but as it got higher it became a little too scary.

We watched the birds of prey exhibit, which had Superman talking about for a long time afterwards, they’re real life animal rescuers….
Seeing a real bald eagle was very impressive.

We rode the elephant.

Fought bad guys.

Watched turtles race, it took a while. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not speedy.

Got bows and arrows which required being shot a lot, and of course meant lots of falling down and dying.

And ended the day asleep on Daddy.

And on each other.