School’s Out for Summer!!

This was yesterday at 12:40 and I’ve already threatened them with boarding school. Is it August yet?

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Well, this in new. More of that public school influence. :) I just googled it to make sure he wasn’t throwing up gang signs or something (I’m also so white) and here’s what it means according to Urban Dictionary–

The act of putting up the peace sign with both hands while simultaneously crossing both arms. Also used to signal that you are leaving the premises.
1. My closest bromigo and I wanted a rad picture together, so we decided to throw up the double dukes.

2. I had to dip from the party, so I chucked up the double dukes and left.

I guess I can be ok with that. :)

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And this is the state of my front rooms after party and school desk-clean out.

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Summer

I’m just going to go back and take a look at my calendar to do this summer re-cap to get caught up once and for all.

— The kids got out of school on June 2nd. My friend Becky’s brain surgery was the day before and we kept Emily overnight if I’m remembering correctly. I really thought we’d have her overnight for a week or more while Becky was in the hospital and recovering at home those first few days, but her dad took a bus from out of state to be here with her for those first few weeks after surgery. I’m so glad he was here otherwise I would’ve been completely overwhelmed.

Becky was released from the hospital a mere 2.5 days after an all-day brain surgery and her recovery at home was awful. I took Emily most days for at least a portion of the day for those three weeks post-surgery and dinner most nights. It was a pretty stressful few weeks.

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— Adding to the stress was Max. He was nearing the end of his time here with us and it was weighing pretty heavily on me. I just couldn’t decide if it was time to put him to sleep or not. He started having lots more bad days where he couldn’t get up on his hind legs, even with help and was having multiple accidents every day and just didn’t seem to be happy any longer. We made the tough decision and put him down on June 7th. I started a blog post about Max but never finished it; maybe I’ll get it up eventually.

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— During that week, Robert had been coughing at night. He coughed so much that he threw up multiple times one night. He sounded fine during the day and wasn’t acting sick, but he was going to be staying with Grandma and Grandpa later that week, so I made a doctor’s appointment for him the day after Max died just in case. Of course the next two nights before his appointment he didn’t cough a bit, but I kept the appointment. The doctor ordered a chest x-ray after he listened to his lungs and he saw a spot that was concerning to him and he thought it was walking pneumonia and prescribed an antibiotic. (The radiology report would later show that it wasn’t pneumonia so I’m not sure what it was.)

— We finished reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe around that time and then the kids got to watch the movie. Chris ordered some turkish delight off of Amazon and we put it in a fancy candy dish and served it up as we started the movie. They loved it! They wanted so badly to finish it off, but forced themselves to save a couple of pieces. They wanted to eat it during the scene when Edmund requests it and eats it with The White Witch :)

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— That next weekend Clara went to church camp for K-4th graders. Robert wanted to go at first but then had second thoughts when he found out I wouldn’t be there. And because I know my son, I knew he would regret his decision at the last minute and be devastated, so I arranged for him to Temple while Clara was at camp.

So Robert loaded up all the red things he owns and had a whole week with Grandma and Grandpa all to himself.

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— It ended up being a whole week because the following weekend we decided to go visit Dan and Linda for Father’s Day weekend. They were getting a new cabinet bed for their guest bedroom and offered their old set to us. Since we didn’t have a footboard or headboard and our mattress was super old, we took them up on the offer. So we took two cars and rented a U-Haul and Chris brought the furniture home while I headed west with the kids to Pecos.

— I actually don’t remember much about our Pecos trip and I don’t have any pictures. This was supposed to be a restful week after being so stressed for the previous weeks. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Clara started feeling sick on the drive to Pecos. By the next day, she felt awful and spent 3 days in bed. I was trying to quarantine her so she wouldn’t spread her cooties to all the cousins. Poor girl didn’t even feel like watching movies most of the time.

I ended up trying to get her into the doctor the morning of the parade. I called and called and called the clinic and no one was answering. I eventually loaded her up and went up there. Lo and behold it was closed until after lunch because of the rodeo parade. Argghhh! It’s the only clinic in town! I forget sometimes that things run a bit differently in a small town. I was able to get her in that afternoon. She had zero energy and had eaten almost nothing for the past couple of days and cried when the dr. mentioned a strep test. Her rapid strep test came back negative but the PA was just certain that’s what it was so I went ahead and got the antibiotic. I had to personally walk the order in to the hospital lab across the street, dragging Clara with me while she sat and waited for the 10 minutes it took to enter her into the system. This was a Wednesday and we didn’t get the test results back until Monday. It was negative. She was feeling mostly better by Friday morning though.

So Friday morning we went with Myrt and took all the kids to the little car museum. I started feeling a little woozy and then ran to the bathroom and dry heaved. Then I told some kid (don’t remember which one) to tell my mom I had gone to lay down in the car. The dizzy nauseous spell passed after a few minutes, but I was not feeling well at all, so I went on back to the house. I would feel sorta okay and then horrible and then so-so and then horrible again for the next day or two. By Monday I was down for the count. I went to the doc and she thought it was just viral since Clara’s strep test came back negative. I went back two days later when I wasn’t feeling any better and she agreed I should have been feeling better by then and so she prescribed me an antibiotic. I was supposed to leave to go back home on Wednesday, but it ended up being Saturday before I felt I was up for the long drive home. So much for my restful week.

— My main reason for wanting to get back home was because we were supposed to have a 4th of July party at the house. Chris went ahead and canceled it, but then asked if I would be ok with having only a couple of families over. I told him that was fine as long as I didn’t have to lift a finger :) Because of a little change in plans, we ended up having one family over on Sunday and the other on Monday, so two days of entertaining guests.

— The week after that: more Emily, VBS, removal of a bee hive from inside our second story eave, and then we left for my family reunion.

— Clara went to another weekend church camp with area churches the following weekend. She rode with the kids from Bammel and got to see some of her old friends. While she was gone, Chris’ co-worker offered us tickets to the circus because his whole family got sick and couldn’t go. They were supposed to go with a group of friends and had box seats.

We went down and looked at the animals and then watched some of the performers during the pre-show.

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Robert had no interest in any of the clowns milling around. He could not be persuaded to take a picture with any of them. I guess ’cause clowns are creepy.

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So turns out, private box seats are kinda the pits for a circus. A more accurate description might be “the nosebleeds”.

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See? I told you. Proof that clowns are creepy. Yikes. I’m like the clown from your nightmare.

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Here’s Robert and “Giggles” the clown :)

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— The kids got back from camp after church on Sunday, so we drove up to Bammel for church and then joined the DeCarlos for lunch when we got Clara and Travis back.

That brings us to the beginning of August. Some things happened in August I’m sure, but this is the end of this post because that’s all I have pictures of :)

Griffis Reunion in Wimberley

We had lots of fun at my family reunion back in July. As I mentioned in our Labor Day weekend post, we were treated to an awesome weekend in Wimberley at John and Kelsey’s place at U Camp. We stayed in the large bunkhouse that came equipped with a big kitchen and living/eating area and bathrooms. The house was surrounded by shade trees and we were just a short walk from an awesome swimming hole on the Blanco River.

John took us on a “short” hike up to a scenic overlook where we were able to see up river several miles. This first picture is where the little creek trickled down the rocks and underground that we hiked to on our Labor Day trip, but it was bone dry in July. We had reservations to see Jacob’s Well which is nearby but got the call a couple of days before that it was too low for swimming, so we were kinda bummed about that.

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The swimming hole was perfect. This little spot is dubbed “John’s bathtub” and the little ones spent hours doing cannonballs into it. This is my favorite picture from the trip. Maybe one one of my favorites ever of Robert.

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The land on the other side of the river here had steps going down to the water. The multi-million dollar home that stood there overlooking the river was swept away last spring during the terrible flood along with several other homes right there. John said thousands upon thousands of tons of debris were removed from the camp alone during the nine months it was closed.

The water was flowing swiftly in some areas. This next picture is Clara and my cousin Laura’s daughter, Lilly who is about the same age. Several in the group enjoyed going down the little rapids. If you look closely, you can see some of the rocks look black in the area with the rapids. They were covered in tiny leeches. John said they’re nothing to get worked up about. He’ll get a few on him and then go sit in his bathtub and the little fish eat them off. Um, no thank you. Avoidance worked better for me as a way to keep leeches off of my body.

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Robert hadn’t been too keen on the leeches, so I was surprised when he said he wanted to go on the tube. When he got to the bottom and realized he had to walk over the rocks with the leeches to get back to the swimming hole, he LOST HIS EVER LOVING MIND!! I mean, he went insane screaming like someone was torturing him, frantically jumping up and down trying to keep from stepping on the rocks. I tried really hard not to and I tried not to let him see, but I could not stop laughing. Poor baby; I have never seen him that unhinged. Ahhh, good times.

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There was a drop off into this large area that was about 5 feet deep maybe. The kids took turns rowing around in the kayaks and snorkeling here. This spot was just a perfect mix for lounging and playing for all ages.

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Griff and Taren found a little hideout under the rocks to share a snack together.

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We attempted to take a few pictures after dinner Saturday night. Key word, attempted. Here’s all the 2nd cousins.

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And here’s Bia and PawPaw and their crew. Mason stepped in to try and get a smile out of Bryce but it didn’t work.

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We invited Dan and Linda to join us on Saturday afternoon since they live just a short drive away. A lot of the kids had done the rockwall and zipline the night before but we had to shut it down when it got too dark. Clara went the first night, but I don’t have pictures. She did great. Those long legs made scaling the rockwall a piece of cake. Robert was sooooo upset that he couldn’t go. He had been waiting so patiently. There were several kids that really wanted to go, so John and Kelsey set it up again on Saturday night and we let Robert go first so that Dan and Linda could watch him do his first zipline. They needed to get on the road before it got too late. Here he is getting all ready to go.

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And off he goes! He got up that wall no problem and there was zero hesitation when it came time to step off on the zipline.

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Chris was assisting at the end of the zipline with helping people off and down the ladder so he didn’t see me get all harnessed up. He was really surprised when he saw me zip past his head :) It was a lot of fun but I was surprised at how hard it is to step off that platform. My mom and Myrt Myrt wanted to go soooooo bad. My mom was in lots of pain and waiting for knee surgery and Myrt had just had knee surgery but even then we really had to work hard to convince them it wasn’t such a good idea.

We all had loads of fun and hope to go back another time.

Lake Brownwood State Park

We went camping last weekend but before I get to that I figured I should probably catch up and post about our last camping trip in August.

We met up with my extended family in August at Lake Brownwood. We got there a day early since we had quite a long drive and although we had a lodge rented for the whole family, our little family brought our pop-up. It was sooooo HOT!! We were miserable that first day. We were setting up camp in the middle of the day and then our a/c just could not keep up. It was sweltering inside and almost zero shade outside. Say what you will about Houston’s humidity, but being able to find some shade to retreat to in the summer is priceless. It was so bad that we went back into town to cool off and buy a fan. We ate dinner at Chili’s and got the coolest fan at Home Depot. It is a battery operated mister and you can either hook a water hose up to it or sit it on a five gallon bucket of water. Ahhhhh! It was such a relief and Chris carried it around and was never far from it all weekend :)

Everyone else got there on Friday afternoon and we let the kids swim just downhill from our lodge. The lodge had two huge rooms of beds, sleeping 26 total, and a nice living area and kitchen. We did all of our meals together. Our land rover started acting funny that day and we had to have it jump started to get back to our campsite late that night around 10:00 or so. We got a little ways down the road and it tried to die again at a stop sign. It was a little creepy and the kids started flipping out because it was pitch black but thankfully Chris got it started again and we made it back to camp.

It was obvious something was very wrong with the car and it was so nice to have family there to help us out. Mason followed Chris the twenty minutes into town to a shop to make sure the battery didn’t die again. The figured out the alternator had gone out and they couldn’t get one until the next day, Sunday around 2:00 and it would be several hours of labor once they did get it in.

Meanwhile at camp, I was supervising kids in the water all day long. Oy. I kept trying to get mine out to take breaks in the heat of the day, but they wanted to be with all the other kids and yeah, it kinda sucks to have your lame mom making you miss all the fun. I caved when I should have trusted my instinct. I did make them wear rash guards and slathered them down multiple times with sunscreen, but after a full day, the sun still took it’s toll as you’ll see further down.

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Clint brought his boat and all the kiddos got to ride on the tube or little floating boat thingy.

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Even Myrt Myrt and Bia rode the tube.

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Tenley dipped her toes in the water and was ok with it at first, but then a little wave lapped up against her leg and she decided it wasn’t for her after all.

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This was Saturday evening after a full day in the sun. Clara and Robert were just a little rosy under their eyes where they rubbed their sunscreen off so they weren’t doing too bad at this point. Some of their cousins didn’t fare as well and had oozing blisters come Monday.

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Chris set up an assembly line to help keep things orderly during mealtimes. Kids were lined up outside and let in a couple at a time to make their plate and then go back outside. Some kids tried their best to sneak in but most waited patiently when they realized Uncle Chris wasn’t messing around and would send them to the end of the line if they didn’t follow directions :)

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The kids found a small trail up a hill next to the lodge that led to the top of the hill and a cool rock table and seats. I thought it looked like some kind of sacrificial alter or the stone table in Narnia. It was kind of random but the kids loved traipsing up there any chance they got. The boys tried to keep it a secret from the girls but they eventually found out about it.

 

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Saturday evening after dinner we were all sitting around talking. Robert really wanted to play a board game, so he challenged several people to a game of Life. He came outside at one point to tell me he wasn’t feeling well. I figured he was just complaining and exhausted from the day and told him he’d be ok and then sent him back inside. A couple of minutes later someone came out to tell me he had thrown up. And boy howdy, that boy erupted!

He had drank a lot of water, so that’s mostly what it was but the floor was covered. Chris got him into the shower and it just kept coming up. I went in there and through tears he was telling me, “See, I told you I was sick!” Mother of the Year right here. I felt so bad. It’s just so hard to tell sometimes if they’re whining just to be whining or are tired or really are sick. Plus, I was trying to talk :)

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The kids had slowed way down by Sunday morning when it came time to load up and clean up. It was fun figuring our how to juggle everything to get us home since our car was still not fixed at this point. We finally decided to get a hotel for a night and go home the next morning. Even if they got the car fixed by that evening, we didn’t want to be driving that far in the dark  while exhausted.

We ended up borrowing Clint and Dashielle’s extra car. Problem was that Tanya had borrowed it and left her car at their house in Brownwood. So we had to get her stuff out and she had to figure out where to put all of it and then pack it with our stuff as well as pack up our camper. But that car couldn’t tow our camper, so Clint towed our camper with his car and left it in the Firestone parking lot. We took his other car, went into town, had lunch, had a nap at the hotel and then our car was ready so Clint came into town to get his car back. Whew. It was quite an ordeal but was made much easier having family there to help out.

 

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We went to watch “Shaun the Sheep” at the theater and we all got a good night’s sleep before getting up Monday morning and heading out after breakfast. Chris and I both loved just waking up and pulling out of town. Sundays are always so hard because you’re tired and you’ve just spent several hours packing everything up so when you add a five hour drive on top of that, it’s a little much. I think we may have decided to do the hotel on the last night of long trips every time. Works for me :)

Bia and Myrt Myrt’s Visit

The summer is quickly coming to an end. Sorry I’ve been such a slacker. As always, I love the free for all that is summer vacation, but man we need to get back on a schedule!

My mom and Myrt Myrt came for their annual visit mid-July. We always try to come up with new, fun things to do with them that they can’t do in West Texas. This year we settled on The Melting Pot and a show at Miller Outdoor Theater. As I suspected, The Melting Pot was a big hit, with them and the kids :) It was the kids’ first visit as well and they were perfectly behaved despite the amount of time it takes to plow through four courses. I suspect they didn’t want to jeopardize not getting their fourth course of chocolate fondue. And bonus, because there were six of us, we had to have a table with two pots. So we got two different cheeses, broths and chocolates. Chris and Clara got to have their nut, peanut, cocoa free white chocolate which meant the rest of us got to dine on the flaming turtle. Mmmmm, delicious.

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The next day we stopped in at the kid’s resale shop and then had lunch and some cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory. We split up afterwards so they could do a little shopping and we could go pick up Leah for a sleepover.

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That night we headed back into Houston to see Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Miller Outdoor Theater. I had done a quick check beforehand to make sure it was family friendly and didn’t see anything to suggest that it wasn’t. It had lots of familiar old songs like Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Yakety Yak and a few others I recognized. There was no dialogue, only singing. Well, the first act had a few cringeworthy moments with kids there. It wasn’t terrible, just a bit much for kids. One of the songs had a castmember stumbling around with a brown paper bag doing the exaggerated drunk thing. It was pretty funny, but Clara didn’t get what was going on. She leaned over to Myrt Myrt and whispered, “This isn’t like any musical I’ve ever been to.” Ha! Robert was done before the first song was over, so we decided to leave after the first act. All the songs I recognized were in the second act of course. It was fun, even if we didn’t see it in it’s entirety.

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On their last full day in town, we just hung around with no agenda and spent some time in the pool. My mom and Myrt picked up groceries and cooked dinner for us that night.

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I’ll be nice and refrain from posting the second and third pictures in this series when the dog bucked Bia off :)

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We’ll have to come up with something new for next year. I think we need to take them to their first pro baseball game at some point or maybe the Museum of Modern Art. Oh yeah, that would get some awesome reactions from the two of them. Ha!

4th of July

We hosted our first big shindig here at the house on the 4th. It was mostly Chris’ co-workers and their families and past Brazilian co-workers that are now living here in Houston. And our neighbors from across the street. I think we had around 25-30 people in all. Chris’ co-worker Kelly wanted to help out with the food, so she graciously offered to help plan the menu and then did the grocery shopping and helped prep it all.

When I went shopping for party decorations, I turned around to see Robert wearing these glasses and I just couldn’t resist :) They’re all sorts of awesome.

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Most people decided to forgo swimming except for those with young kids who wanted to get in. My two stayed in the water the entire afternoon and into the night. There were a couple of teenagers who didn’t know a single person and were bored out of their minds, so we sent them upstairs to play video games.

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Clara thoroughly enjoyed the Dr. Pepper she was allowed to split with Robert. She was so cute when she came to ask me if they could have one. In a very serious manner, she assured me that if she or Robert started bouncing off the walls, that they would go to their rooms to calm down, but she didn’t think that it would be a problem.

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One of Chris’ friends had brought fireworks, but we learned from our neighbors that they’re illegal inside Houston city limits and the fines are pretty stiff. Sure enough, we didn’t really hear any in our neighborhood. Our old neighborhood only a mile away was filled with them. I will say it was nice to not be woken up all night by them or have to clean up the inconsiderate neighbors’ mess from our front yard.

Anyway, he decided to take them back to his house to set off, so the few single people with no kids that were left went over to his house to enjoy the display. Worked out great for us :) Our neighbor Conner stuck around a while longer and then we called it a night a little before 10:00. Chris and I started cleaning up a bit outside. I had the kids jump in the shower and it was terrible. Robert was miserable, walking on tiptoes because his wrinkly feet hurt so bad. He was crying in the shower and kept telling me he was never ever going to swim again. While I was trying to get him dried and dressed, all while still crying, I heard Clara fall in the shower upstairs and start crying. I checked on her and then went back downstairs to finish up with Robert. Then more screaming upstairs as Clara got her towel hung on her earring as she was drying off. Oy! My pillow felt pretty nice that night.

 

Parade and Rodeo

Wednesday morning was the rodeo parade. Myrt Myrt wanted to drive their UTV in the parade with the kids so Bia rode along with Clara and Brody. I didn’t know how Robert would do because of the sirens, plus I figured he’d be hot, tired, hungry, need to go to the restroom, etc, etc, etc, so I thought he’d prefer to sit on the sidelines. He wasn’t completely on board, but when I reminded him he would get candy if he watched, he was convinced. It’s been a few years since his last parade.

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As I thought, when we went to find a place to park and then waited for a while for the parade to get started, Robert wasn’t too keen on the idea of sitting through a parade anymore. When the sirens started, he was pretty much done and wouldn’t even smile for pictures. Sweet Cooper is always smiles.

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He perked up after the law enforcement sirens at the beginning of the parade passed by and the candy started flowing freely.

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We just hung out at the house after the parade.

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That night, we all went to the rodeo together. It started pouring right before the rodeo and was still coming down when we got there. It was such a mess, muddy puddles everywhere and the three of us were in sandals. I know, I know, it’s our own fault, but we don’t own any boots. Here’s Clara and Mini-Myrt :) I think Taren looks just like Myrt Myrt.

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The kids enjoyed themselves. Mostly. After the rain, Clara was complaining about being cold. In Pecos. In June. Didn’t think that was possible. Of course when she saw Brody with a snow cone, she forgot all about how cold she was and insisted on the summery treat. Tenley slept through the whole thing. Brody got a bloody nose and blood all over his shirt during the boot scramble. Clayton was having asthma problems and just wanted to leave. Taren kept getting in trouble for not listening because she wanted to dance in the walkway and people were tripping over her. And Robert kept asking when it would be over. Gone are the days of my youth when going to the rodeo meant walking from one side of the arena to the other, eating snacks from the concession stands along the way :) It was a late night and the rodeo didn’t finish up until close to 11:00.

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Laundry and packing were on the agenda for Thursday. We managed to squeeze in one more swim over at Myrt’s. Boots with swimsuit just crack me up for some reason.

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We had lots of fun with family and can’t wait to see everyone in a few weeks for camping. And Bia and Myrt Myrt’s annual visit is coming soon too! The summer is just flying by.

Rodeo Week, Y’all!

The kids and I left for Pecos on Saturday morning. I got off much later than I wanted to so I think that just got the trip off to a rough start for me. When I go on a road trip, I prefer to get where I’m going as quickly as possible. When I’m making the drive to Pecos, it’s not about the journey. It’s only about how fast I can get my crew across the state, preferably with my sanity still intact. I think we made 8 stops this time. EIGHT!

We got to the west side of San Antonio and the interstate was closed due to a wreck and all traffic was merging onto the one lane access road. The back up was around 5 miles and it took us about an hour to get through. It was brutal and I had to pee. I just said a silent prayer that the kids wouldn’t have to go because there really wasn’t a place to pull over for a good portion of that time. We made it to Kerrville for lunch about an hour after the snag. I’m pretty sure we got to DQ at the same time as every other car that was stuck behind the wreck. It took about 30 minutes to get our food. I was just antsy the whole time. And then, it seemed like every bathroom we stopped at had either ran out of toilet paper or had overflowed. Blech! We were making a final stop for gas and potty break in Ft. Stockton, 50 miles til our destination and about 5:00. Robert had to go. We walked in only to find the bathroom closed for some reason, and although I allow him to go in public men’s rooms by himself now, I will NOT let him go in a large truck stop men’s room by himself. Argghhh! So we went across the interstate to McDonalds. I always buy something when I go in to use a bathroom and I told the kids they could get some fries to split. We walked in and what did we see? A line of approximately 100 boy scouts. I officially gave up at this point. We hit the bathroom and I didn’t feel a bit of remorse when we high-tailed it out of there with no purchase in hand.

We got to Pecos around 6:00 and headed over to Myrt and Joe’s house where everyone was celebrating Wyatt’s birthday. I was coming out of my traveling stupor so I didn’t get any pictures.

We did absolutely nothing on Monday. I stayed in my pajamas and my mom and I vegged out on the couch the whole day while the kids played. We had considered going to Wink to visit Linsey and everyone assumed we had. Tanya called Linsey to talk to my mom and she’s like, “They’re not here. I don’t know where they are.” Ha!

Clara enjoyed playing with Cody and Tanya’s puppies they’re trying to give away. They’re staying at my parent’s house so the wild animals can’t get ’em out at the farm.This one was her favorite; his name is Chewbaca.

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We pulled ourselves off the couch that evening and took the kids out to the farm to see Cody and Tanya’s “barndominium” or “The Shanty” as it’s affectionately called. I hadn’t ever heard the term barndominium. They are temporarily living out at the farm, so they’ve bought  a barn with a loft that they’ll be able to move and use as guest quarters whenever they buy some land. It has a bathroom, closet and kitchen area and they just laid the floors that weekend so we went to check it out. Myrt Myrt, Clayton and Taren had come out also to ride horses for a while.

Mason has added quite a few critters to his menagerie. He’s got a couple of horses now, some geese, rabbits, chickens, a goat, a peacock and he just made a duck pond. The kids got to hold the new baby bunnies. I remember going into this same pen with Memaw when I was little to see the rabbits. I never liked to eat meat that Memaw prepared because I didn’t want to unknowingly consume bunny rabbit :)

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The kids took a short ride on the horses. Clara rode behind “Uncle Cousin Mason” and really enjoyed herself.

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The next day my mom and I took the kids to the skate park with Myrt and her two. They had lots of fun racing down the ramps even with the wind and dirt hitting them in the face. That afternoon was more swimming at Myrt Myrt’s house. The kids did a lot of cooling off in Myrt Myrt’s pool all week.

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Linsey and the boys got to Pecos late in the afternoon and then we went out to the farm again. We wanted to try and get a picture of all eight grandkids because two of them were leaving to go stay with their other grandparents the next morning.We took the picture inside The Shanty because it was so windy outside and we didn’t want Tenley out in it. There was a serious lack of cooperation so this is as good as we could get.

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Bia wanted one with just the girls and we had to get a couple because they both wanted to hold Tenley. The boys, who were the source of noncooperation, declined to have another picture taken.

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I did get some good smiles on the trampoline a little bit later.

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Tenley is almost 4 months old now already and growing like a weed.

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That night the kids slept in the living room together. Tenley is photobombing the big kids.

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The next day was the rodeo parade and the first night of the rodeo, but I’ll save that for a new post.

 

Summer So Far

Summer is in full swing. Here’s just a snippet of what’s been going on. Chris went on a last minute trip to Calgary during Clara’s last week of school. She was sad that he wasn’t home to celebrate the end of school with her. Here she is on her last day.

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Actually, this next photo is pre-end of school. We’ve finally gotten the house in good enough shape to have friends over. Glenn and Becky came over for the first time on Sunday of Memorial weekend. The kids swam and played the Wii U Chris had just brought home earlier that day. We grilled and the adults played a board game while the kids watched a movie and we stayed up waaaay too late since no one had school or work the next day. And this is the only picture I took. The girls are playing Just Dance.

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Week one of summer started off with a visit with friends from church for more swimming and grilling. Noticing a trend here? I only got a picture of the girls. The boys couldn’t be bothered to stop long enough to take a picture.

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Clara started theater camp the next day. One night I challenged the kids to a drawing contest and this was Robert’s giraffe :)

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A few minutes after I took these pictures, this guy showed up and stayed with us for a few days. He helped Chris out with a few handyman things around the house and the only payment he requested was nightly use of the pool and hot tub. The kids didn’t mind this arrangement too much.

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In this next picture, you can see the new outdoor ceiling fans he installed to replace the nasty, rusted ones that were there.

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Week two consisted of more theater camp for Clara, VBS for Robert, a visit from Grandma and Grandpa and an early Father’s Day celebration. Week three in Pecos coming soon!

August Up Til Now

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Oh my goodness, this post looks hysterical! It looked bad while I was creating it, but after I published it, it looks totally different and much worse. Hello! Where did my paragraph spaces run off to? I’ll try to get it fixed soon.

Chris moved my blog. Or something. Not sure what exactly he did, but it’s all different now. I can’t seem to figure out how to put text above the first picture and it uploaded pictures side by side for some reason and I can’t fix them either. So I apologize for this weird post.

Linsey had a workshop in Kemah the week we got back from California, so the kids and I met her one afternoon and we walked around the boardwalk and had dinner with her and a co-worker. She doesn’t like carnival rides much, but we talked her into riding the ferris wheel. She thought we were going to get dumped right out and held on tight. I’ll be nice and refrain from putting the best picture I got on here :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A few days later, one week after getting home from vacation, the kids and I drove to Pecos. My mom was still watching Brody and Cooper and their new puppy Shooter while Linsey was out of town, so my mom had a houseful. The kids got to swim over at Myrt Myrt’s house a couple of times and they were in heaven. They played so well together and there was hardly any fighting. They got to play with Linsey’s new puppy, who has very sharp puppy teeth by the way, and Cody and Tanya’s new litter of puppies. Linsey got back into town on Tuesday and hung out with us and stayed the night before going home on Wednesday afternoon. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                             OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   We wanted a picture of all the grandkids and they were mostly uncooperative. This was the best picture I could get before finally telling them they could act silly. There was a lot more cooperation at that point. Further down you can see the precise moment that Brody and Robert hit heads. And then it was all over. And now I can’t seem to write between any of the pictures. This is so weird. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   We left Friday morning for the long drive home. Minutes into the trip I realized our DVD player car adapter was broken and I didn’t bring anything else for the kids to do. There was a moment of panic, but we survived. Barely. Clara did have some books to read and we stopped at an Alco in Sonora maybe? and got some things to pass the time. We took a detour and stopped in Temple to see Dan who was in the hospital after having had knee replacement surgery the day before. We hadn’t been able to see them all summer since he had his first knee replaced at the beginning of the summer and they’ve been working to get Nanny moved in. Linda went to pick up her mom so that we could visit with her too. We hadn’t seen her since Christmas.

We stayed for about an hour and then finished the long drive home, getting home exactly 12 hours after leaving Pecos. Talk about a long day. The next day was Leah’s birthday party. It should have been about an hours drive. On the way there, police were diverting traffic away from the highway we needed to cross so I had to turn around and figure out the best way there. Turns out there wasn’t a good way and we had to backtrack a lot to get there.

It ended up taking us 1.5 hours to get there. And then I didn’t bring her swimsuit. They swim every year, so why I didn’t bring her suit, I have no idea. Thankfully they had an extra for her. I hung out and chatted and then left Clara to spend the night with Leah. They’ve been wanting to have a sleepover forever, but it’s difficult to find a time when we can get them together, so this worked perfectly. For me at least :) She went to church with them the next morning and then Chris, Robert and I drove up after church to meet them for lunch and bring her home. We ended up going over to their house to visit and didn’t leave until 8:30! I felt so bad for taking up their entire Sunday afternoon. It was lovely catching up though, so I don’t feel too bad :) The next day, the PTA president called and asked if I could come up to the school the next day to help out with some stuff and asked if I might be interested in being secretary. She has been unable to reach the secretary all summer. So I said I would think about it. We spent most of the day working. I told her I would be secretary around 2:00 and then attended my first meeting at 4:30. That Thursday, Chris and I dropped the Audi off at the dealership to be looked at by an insurance agent. A while back we had some major storms come through. The roof started leaking, but we couldn’t tell where the problem was. It completely soaked the floors and the center console, leaving the console inoperable. That’s where the radio, a/c and navigation controls are. We immediately got it into the garage and turned on a dehumidifier when it happened, so we managed to minimize any water damage or odor. So, we were leaving it there to have someone come take a look at it. After dropping the car, we headed to The Woodlands for Chris’ knee surgery. His knee started bothering him a month or so ago when he started doing a little running, so he had an MRI right before we left on vacation. He saw a surgeon when the kids and I were in Pecos and scheduled surgery for the 14th. He knew he had a torn meniscus from being hit by a car in college, but he also had a lot of cartilage damage. Damage is rated 1-4 and Chris had several 3s and a 1/2 in. diameter spot that was a 4 which means no cartilage at all. So that’s what was causing him such pain. The treatment for that spot was to poke little holes in the bone which causes stuff to ooze out and form a barrier. (I know, really technical). It’s not ideal of course, but hopefully it will work to ease his pain. Chris hasn’t injured that knee any other time, so this was probably damage done from his accident 20 years ago. He will probably eventually need knee replacement, but hopefully this will allow him to hold off for a long time. He had to check in for surgery at 10:15. When they called him back for pre-op, I took the opportunity to take the kids over to the mall for a quick lunch and to pick up a surprise for Chris from the Lego Store to work while he was home recovering. I made sure to tell Robert not to say anything and we would give it to him after his surgery. When we got back to Chris, he was in his gown, all hooked up in bed. I guess the kids didn’t know what to expect. They both seemed to be taken aback a little seeing him like that. We talked to him for a bit and then Robert said, “We didn’t get you any legos, Daddy.” I gave him “the look” and said, “You weren’t supposed to tell him!” And he leaned over and whispered very loudly in my ear, “I’m just tricking him.” Oh my goodness, we had a good laugh with that one. That boy’s a mess. Surgery went well and we got home around 3:00. The insurance company called us back the next day and said they couldn’t see any water damage in the car and would be denying the claim. Chris argued with the guy for awhile and told him there was no damage because we made sure to get it in the garage and dried out so it wouldn’t be damaged. He asked the guy if we need to just leave it in the driveway and wait for the next rain and not do anything. He said, “Well, no…..” So Chris told him to run it through the car wash and call him back. The guy called back not 10 minutes later. He and someone from the dealership sat in the car and then had a hose put on the roof. He admitted he was skeptical. Then a few minutes later it just started pouring into the car, all over the two of them. Ha! Serves ’em right :) Turns out there are drains inside all sunroofs that drain water down the frame and out by the tires. Ours were clogged. So insurance, after deductible of course, covers the damage done by the water to the console, but not the sunroof drains. So between that and surgery, it’s been an expensive week. We laid low the days following his surgery and then Sunday afternoon I met Linda halfway between here and Temple and sent Clara to stay with them for a few days before school starts. They fit a lot into their few short days. A little shopping, some painting, a jumping place, cookie baking, and visiting Nanny’s new place, just to name a few. Chris stayed home on Monday and we took Robert to see Planes 2. He was ready to go back to work on Tuesday, but not quite ready to go without pain meds, so I dropped him off at work on Tuesday and Wednesday. I met Linda again on Wednesday to pick Clara up. We had a quick lunch at Subway before coming home. I had to get her back on Wednesday, because on Thursday I drove Chris back up to The Woodlands for his post-op checkup. His car was ready too, so he drove it back. Turns out he wasn’t quite up for driving and his knee was hurting after that. And then last night was Meet the Teacher at Clara’s school. I got to school at 4:00 yesterday to help set up and stayed until 8:30 to help clean up and count money. It’s amazing how much work it takes when you don’t have enough volunteers. We even had our kids working. I quickly called Chris to come get Robert on his way home because he was being very not helpful. We didn’t stop for those four hours straight. I left long enough to spend 20 minutes meeting Clara’s teacher. Some of the mom’s didn’t go meet their kids’ teachers until after it was over at 7:00. So that has been our August in a nutshell. Looking forward to the new school year when things settle down!