Thanksgiving at Lake Whitney State Park

We went camping at Lake Whitney State Park for Thanksgiving this year. It’s not too far from Waco and was close enough for Dan and Linda to easily join us for Thanksgiving day. (Linda has lots of good pictures from Thursday and Friday on her blog, including and especially good close up of Clara that I love.)

We were initially going to leave on Tuesday after Clara got out of school. It was rainy and cold all day Monday and Tuesday though which made it hard to do all the prep we needed to do and then we saw that it was going to be 20+ mph winds on the way there. We decided driving with a camper and then setting up in the dark in 30 degree temps sounded not so pleasant, so we left on Wednesday morning instead. I’m so glad we changed plans.

We arrived a little after noon and the kids wasted no time getting down to business. There were leaf piles to be jumped in and a huge climbing tree right in our campsite just begging to be climbed. Jason showed up a few hours after us and got busy feeding us. That’s all he did all week was feed us food in his new dutch oven and tend the fire. We had biscuits and gravy two mornings, chili and cornbread and peach cobbler.

 

This is a picture of one of my greatest ideas ever. Earlier this year, I decided we needed some place to stash all of our little things and came up with this idea and Chris and Jason drilled the holes for the rod. It works perfect and holds phones, gloves, hats, cameras, books, etc.

I just love Clara’s shelf that she set up all nice and neat. Gotta have plenty of reading materials. She needed two shelves since she needed a whole shelf just for books and friends.

Dan and Linda got to the campsite around 10:30 or so on Thursday. Linda brought ham, pumpkin pie, cookies and veggies and dip.

Jason heated up the ham, made the mashed potatoes and warmed up the rolls in his dutch oven. We also made green bean casserole in our Coleman oven. It all turned out great, but we were shivering while eating. It was nice in the sun by the fire, but pretty darn cold at the covered picnic table.

Linda also brought the “turkey” that the kids helped put together.

We went down to the water a couple of times a day to explore and walk the shoreline. We found fish skeletons, a fossil, a rock in a rock and shells, among other treasures. Robert threw lots of rocks into the water and Clara tried skipping a rock with all her might.

Thanksgiving night we gathered back around the fire and had beans, cornbread and leftover ham. I made the mistake of asking Jason if he would like some Jiffy cornbread mix to use for his cornbread. Oh no, Jason’s too good for Jiffy. So we had a friendly little contest to see who’s cornbread was best. I did mine on the Coleman stove. Yeah, the bottom burnt. We scraped the bottom off and let the kids eat it.

Team JDog was feeling pretty good right about this time and was maybe reveling in Team Jiffy’s defeat a little too much. We lifted the lid on Team JDog’s cornbread and it was looking really tasty and perfectly browned on top. Then we lifted it out of the dutch oven. The bottom was completely black. Yay, a tie! So we scraped the bottom of of it and scarfed it down too.

 

Robert kept bringing everyone rocks as gifts.

We took the dogs down to the water one time. Robert threw some rocks into the water and Max took off after them. I think he got a little chilly as he got all the way in. Right as he couldn’t touch he decided to come back to shore.

 

Clara helped Jason make peach cobbler on Friday before he left to go home. It was yummy and we cleaned the pans. Clara and Robert were supposed to share one and when Robert didn’t want any, Clara went to town. She had to be stopped before she finished it so she wouldn’t be sick.

Here’s Robert right before sunset on Friday. The boy was pooped and I thought he’d be up for an early bedtime.

Saying bye to JDog. Robert didn’t want his picture taken.

After Jason left, we went over to the neighbor’s across the road. The kids had been playing with their kids all week and we sat and talked with them for awhile while the kids ran around playing night tag.

We decided to leave a day early, so we leisurely packed up on Saturday while the kids played. I always have cereal on the last day so I don’t have dishes to do as I’m trying to get everything cleaned up. The husband came over to sit at the campfire and talk to Chris while his wife cooked breakfast. When breakfast was ready, she invited all of us over to eat with them. Clara put down a lot of bacon and eggs.

They all went down for one more trip to the water while I finished cleaning up and packing and I took a couple pics of the kids when it was time to go. Again Robert didn’t want his picture taken. Jordan here was such a good sport and was very patient with Robert.

They all helped bring Robert over to the car. He wasn’t too happy about leaving his new friends. He was referring to Julia as his girlfriend.

We liked this park. The section we were in had about 12 sites on one road that dead ended into the lake. There was very little traffic since there were only about 6-7 sites in use, so we gave Robert free reign to run around with the other kids without us hovering very closely for the first time. That and the mom and dad across the street were keeping an eye on all of them too.

I think this is a park we’ll be back to in the summer when the kids can get in the water. The tables were covered and there was plenty of shade where we were. There aren’t many trails, but there is lots of shoreline to explore. All in all this one is a winner and had lots of available space, which can’t be said of most of the state parks in the hill country. We know, we tried. You have to make reservations way in advance if you want to get anywhere in the hill country pretty much year round.

Buddy Walk 2013

We went to the Buddy Walk today down at Minute Maid Park. Clara was excited to spend time with Travis and Levi since she hasn’t seem them much lately. The kids had fun playing on the inflatables and Clara climbed a rock wall for the first time before the walk began.

Clara took these pictures with her camera during the actual walk. She took a lot more, but they were extra blurry.

Renaissance Festival

I hadn’t planned on doing RenFest this year. But since we ended up not going to a pumpkin patch and I learned JDog would be camping with Chris and his co-worker out at the festival this year, I decided to go for it. Chris’ friend Corey went off with some of his friends and the kids and I joined Chris and JDog for a few hours to walk the grounds. The kids knew we were going to the festival, but they didn’t know JDog was there. They were happy indeed. We weren’t 20 feet inside the gates before they both had JDog by a hand. The hat was a big hit and was passed around quite a bit between the three of them during the day.

We let them each choose one thing to do. Clara wanted to do the jumping thing again but on her first jump, she looked absolutely terrified. She kept going and tried really hard to smile and enjoy herself, but she looked like she was going to cry every time she got up high. We cheered her on (while enjoying a good laugh amongst ourselves). I don’t know if it’s because she weighs more or they made her go higher or what, but she was not a fan.

Robert wanted to ride these swings. Clara ended up getting a bonus ride because we needed another person to help make it go and neither Chris nor JDog wanted to do it. Each side pulls on their rope as they are coming down. It was quite a workout and I think the worker forgot about us and left us on an extra couple of minutes. I was stopping myself by that point telling them my ride was over. I couldn’t see Robert’s face to tell if he was enjoying it, but by the looks of these pictures, I’d say he was a fan. I was too; it was a fun ride.

 

We grabbed some kettle corn and settled into our seats to watch the jousting match. We were supposed to be cheering for the French knight, who was green. Robert enjoyed the show, but was routing for Spain because he was red, Robert’s favorite color.

As the show ended and the Spanish knight was knocked off of his horse, I looked over to see this. Huge tears rolling down his cheeks. He was absolutely devastated and cried for several minutes because red lost. It took him a long time to compose himself after this defeat.

Later, we were walking around and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and it was Uncle Roger and Aunt Sherrie! This was their first visit to RenFest so we talked a bit about some of the “colorful characters” one encounters out there. Ha! I think the last time I saw them was a couple of years ago at my cousin’s wedding. So we talked for a few minutes while the kids ate a late lunch of bacon on a stick. Yuck. They were huge and thick and looked gross to me. They wolfed them down though.

Robert was starting to tire, so he got a boost for awhile.

I don’t know if it was because the crowds were smaller in the garden area or what, but Chris seemed to be getting a lot more attention in his costume. He walked around all afternoon with his hood down; you couldn’t see his eyes but he could see through the fabric. I saw lots of people watching him and he freaked out a few kids. If he stood still for too long, people would come up to him and try to look under his hood to see if he had a face or something. Kids would get up close and then he would move his head or reach out for them and send them running.

 

We found this guy again and Clara wanted her picture with him. Then we made the long trek out of the park. Chris and JDog walked back to the car with us and JDog was the kids’ nanny for the long walk back. I think I owe him some money for that one. They were slightly tired, not looking forward to leaving JDog and wound up simultaneously. A crazy combination.

It was a fun afternoon. I could have done without the 2+ hour drive to get there, which included sitting in festival traffic for one hour in which we moved a measly 5 miles (all while the kids were singing “What does the fox say?” and the minion “banana” song and rattling maracas that they smuggled into the car, and fighting over Robert’s gold dubloons and hitting each other with his sword and asking “how many more minutes?” and……) But it was worth it getting to surprise them with their JDog. I think :) Oh, and by the way, to any of my local friends, don’t EVER take 249 to get to the Renaissance Festival!

Brazos Bend State Park

I felt we were a bit insane going camping this past weekend. At one point, the forecast was rain all day Friday and Saturday. We decided to make the best of it and that hanging out in the camper playing games and eating would be relaxing as well. It was pouring as we left town on Friday afternoon, but it cleared just about the time we got there and the rain stayed away all evening.

The picnic tables were wet, and we didn’t know when the rain was going to hit, so we cooked dinner inside and then took our food over to Glenn and Becky’s camper to join them to eat. Chris was able to get a fire going that night and we had s’mores after dinner. Just about the time we were finishing up and getting everything put away for the night, it started raining. It stormed off and on the whole night, but the kids slept pretty well. Apparently Robert woke up around two and Chris had to go lay with him for awhile, but other than that, they were fine. Our leak was back so Chris had to fashion a bucket to catch the drips. I don’t think I ever blogged about our last camping trip during Spring Break. We had a leak and we thought it was fixed. Chris even took the camper to his race weekend in College Station a couple of weeks ago and they had a huge storm with no leaks. So now we have some repair work to do.

Anyway, it rained until about noon on Saturday and then the weather was absolutely perfect the rest of the weekend. It was actually cool with a nice breeze and the humidity was low. Saturday morning the kids watched a movie on the laptop while we waited for the rain to stop.

It slowed to a sprinkle for about the last two hours so I pulled out the ponchos and let them splash around.

This boy ended up removing the poncho and sitting in a puddle at one point, requiring a clothing change.

 

After the rain stopped we went on a short hike around a small lake. There is an observatory on the back side of the lake and we went up to it to see if they would be selling tickets for that night. They said to come back around dark and they would know if it would be too cloudy. (We went back that night and unfortunately it was too cloudy, so we just looked around and some volunteers showed us one of the big telescopes and gave us all a little astronomy lesson.)

 

The boy is such a goober. Would not cooperate for a picture. We told the kids to look scared and this is what we got from him.

 

This awesome tree was in front of the nature center and had a deck built all around it. We went inside for a bit and the kids got to pet a 3 week old alligator.

The raccoons at this park are relentless. I wish I had taken a picture the first night. It was just after dark and they were out in full force. As we were making s’mores, they were trying to get into our cooler that was sitting by the camper. We had been warned about them ahead of time, so we had put a large container on top of the cooler, but by golly, there were not giving up without a fight. There was four of them trying to get into the cooler. With a bunch of people right there yelling at them. So don’t leave your cooler out if you camp there because they will get into it. They were coming right up to the campfire just wanting a little taste of s’mores. The kids were flipping out.

I caught this little baby wandering around the second night. This park is filled with wildlife. I saw at least a dozen raccoons and probably 5 or 6 armadillos. We saw some deer including a buck the second night too. We were all pretty bummed that we hadn’t seen any alligators though.

We decided to take a hike around a different lake on Sunday and to go down a trail that would connect with another lake where there was an observation tower. Robert ended up breaking down and wanting to be carried fairly early on, so I thought we were going to have to abandon the hike. He was thirsty, so we went back to the car and got him a drink. I thought he would be ok without water on the trail because it wasn’t that long of a hike but he showed me. We decided to drive to the other lake and walk to the tower from a shorter route. We figured if all else fails, one of us could sit with him at the playground while everyone else hiked.

I’m so glad we did, because after a drink, he was pleasant and ready to go and the new trail was shorter and shaded for the majority of the hike. We had our eyes pealed for gators, but were bummed because we weren’t spotting any.

 

The kids ran up and down the tower a few times while we took a short rest.

And then, a short distance from the tower, Glenn was the hero of the day when he spotted this guy on the water’s edge. It was so cool being that close. He had something in his mouth and was completely motionless. We thought it was dead at first because it didn’t move a muscle. It didn’t blink and you couldn’t see it breathing for a solid 2-3 minutes. He finally had enough of the paparazzi and slid back into the water. We about wet ourselves of course. We couldn’t figure out what he was eating, but we’re thinking it might have been a catfish.

And then Glenn the Gator Hunter spotted another. This one is between the kids on the edge of the water. Can you see it? Clara was a little nervous when I asked her to take a picture with the alligator. Can you tell? I really have no idea what Robert is doing. An alligator face perhaps?

We took another break and climbed this stump and fallen tree that was along the trail.

 

And then we were back at the parking lot. The kids played on the playground for a few minutes and I wanted to get a picture of the four of us by the lake so we all walked over to the dock.

 

As Chris was taking a picture of the Couringtons, I looked down and spotted this guy in the water, so we had to stop and say hi for a few minutes. He was swimming back and forth between us and I’m guessing was waiting on a tasty morsel to fall down. Or maybe because Becky was “molesting” him by pouring some of her water down into the lake below :) Hard to tell.

So in the end, I’m thankful for Robert’s little meltdown that led to our fun change in plans. It would’ve been a little disappointing to leave the park with baby gators in an aquarium being our only encounter with an alligator. We went back to camp and finished packing up and had a quick bite to eat before heading home.

The last time I went to Brazos Bend SP was when I was little. We went with my grandparents and some aunts and uncles for the day. This was my first time to camp there. This is an awesome State Park and I think it will become our new Huntsville. If you camp and live around here, go to Brazos Bend. Just remember to put your cooler in your car at night. Across from the park is George Ranch Historical Park.  There’s the observatory inside the park ($5 a person if you want to look through the big ones or there are lots of hobbyists that let you look though theirs for free.) Also, there are a ton of trails around four or five small lakes. The campsites (that I saw at least) were very shaded. One unique thing about this park was the sidewalks between the sites. It was so nice to not have to go traipsing through the mud to get to our friends next door or to the bathroom  across the way. An added bonus, they have soap in the bathroom! I always get excited as I walk to the bathroom for the first time and wonder, “will they or won’t they?” It really is the little things.

First Swim

Clara has been begging to go swimming since, well, probably since the pool closed for the winter. So Chris promised her he would take her this morning. Neither Chris nor I are fans of swimming, so his plan was to go right after breakfast before it got crowded. We got there at about 9:00 and sure enough, we had the pool to ourselves. Just us, a cool breeze and cloudy skies. Perfect for the yardwork that I had intended to do, but not so great for swimming. I’m a blazing sun, at least 90 degrees outside kind of swimmer, so I didn’t get in. I stuck one foot in and then decided to be the official photographer and bathroom attendant. Robert must have swallowed a lot of water.

I got to try out my new camera underwater for the first time. I love it! I can take video underwater too.

This guy loved the water! I mean, LOVED it. I think he’s a natural. He was jumping in on his own within minutes, went under with no problems and one time he said, “Watch this”, and proceeded to do a little spin as he jumped in. He was so tired, but we could not get him to sit out and rest. He just kept going and going. Meanwhile, it seems Clara has forgotten every bit of swim instruction from last year :)

Lucy and her family joined us after awhile. The highlight of the swim (for everyone but me) was when I was bending over the pool with the camera underwater trying to get a picture of the girls and Chris snuck up on me and blasted me right in the face with a noodle full of water. Those things hold a lot of water. Maybe a waterproof camera isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If I had had a regular camera in my hand, he wouldn’t have attempted such a mischievous deed.

My Mother’s Day

I woke up yesterday and got to open my cards and gift in bed. I got a music player thingy; I don’t know what it’s called. I’ve wanted a way to listen to music in the kitchen for awhile and this plays internet radio stations and pandora. I then got bacon and eggs for breakfast and didn’t have to clean the kitchen :)

 

Clara made me an awesome pipe cleaner and bead necklace and bracelet set during church. And then we went to Saltgrass for lunch.

Right after lunch, I had to take Clara to a birthday party for one of her classmates at a bowling alley/arcade place. His poor mom. When we got there, she was very apologetic. She’s expecting her third child and said she had no idea it was Mother’s Day until her sister-in-law informed her of it the week before. Ha! Sounds like something I’d do.  I was wondering why anyone would have a kids’ party on Mother’s Day. As she passed out little favor bags for the kids, she gave all of the moms a gift bag with shower gel and said, “Thank you for spending your Mother’s Day with us.” I thought that was pretty sweet.

On the way home from the party, Chris called and asked if I wanted to join Glenn and Becky for mini golf. So as soon as we got home, we turned around and enjoyed a fun round of golf at a place none of us had been. The kids had fun, but Robert couldn’t decide if he liked it or not. He for sure loved the holes that had a hole that went through a tunnel and came out on the other end. And the one with a little river that carried your ball down the green to the hole. Thankfully there weren’t many people there so he got to play on those for a long time. We headed back over to the house and made a quick dinner of tostados and then stayed up a little late for a school night. It was a busy, fun-filled Mother’s Day. Hope all of you had an equally lovely day.

Clara’s Week

Sunday night was our church’s annual youth group talent show fundraiser to help raise money for their mission trips and camps. Clara and Travis have been going to practice for several weeks now in preparation for singing a song with some of the elementary kids. The song was “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” — I Timothy 4:12. She had a grand time up on stage of course.

 

And then on Tuesday we went to Chick-fil-a Spirit Night for her school. Her best friend from school, Lucy and her mom and brother joined us. Clara and Lucy were on cloud nine. You would have thought they hadn’t seen each other in a year the way they screamed upon laying eyes on each other. I had to get on to Clara several times to chill out. And then they spotted their language arts teacher. We had to tell them they could say “hi”, give one hug and then leave the poor woman alone and let her eat in peace.

Last week, this same teacher wrote Clara a note in the spiral notebook she keeps in her backpack. She told Clara how much she loves having her in class and appreciates her hard work and that she loves her. Oh my goodness, Clara read that note to me ten times on the drive home that day. Such a simple gesture, but it meant so much to her. At Chick-fil-a, I told her teacher thank you for the note and I let her know how much it meant to Clara and she went on and on about how much she loves having Clara in class. Love those moments when others find your child just as endearing as you do :)

And then this morning, Clara received an award during the morning assembly. Her school gave out several awards for the previous 9 week period, one for academic performance and one for citizenship. Clara received the citizenship award. I mentioned a while back that her school is just getting things figured out with the PTO. Well, same thing goes for other things. This is the first awards assembly they’ve had since Clara’s been there. I’ve often wondered why they don’t recognize student’s performance, and it seems it’s finally something they’re going to be doing. Clara also came home last week with a Chili’s coupon for perfect attendance the last 9 weeks. I think they were making up for lost time today, because there were a lot of kids getting an award. I believe they gave out 2 citizenship and 2 academic awards per class. And I don’t think they were expecting so many parents to show up. There were a lot of us there and not enough parking or space to stand in the gym. Hopefully they’ll continue to give the awards and just figure out a way to spread it out so not as many get them at once. They didn’t even get to go up front to get their award. They just stood in their spot and they would be getting their awards once they got to class. I wish I could’ve gotten a nice picture of her, but this is all I could get from my spot way in the back when she turned around for half a second.

Have I mentioned how many men work at Clara’s school? I think it’s pretty unique for an elementary school. The one in the picture calling out names is the kindergarten bilingual teacher. Clara’s teacher is male and I know of four or five others at the school, plus the guidance counselor. I don’t remember having a male teacher in my school until 5th grade. I think it’s great, especially for kids that don’t have a strong male role model at home.

Anyway, I’m just so proud of how well Clara is doing in school. I know she works really hard to do her best. She hasn’t been getting in trouble this year for talking and not listening like last year and she’s gotten two 97’s and the rest 99s and 100s on all of her report cards this year. I’m guessing she (willingly) reads over 10 hours a week and she does her homework without a fight (most of the time). Aside from not wanting to get up in the mornings, this year has been a breeze. I’m so, so thankful that school is not a fight with her, at least not yet. I know it won’t always be this easy so I’m enjoying it while I can.

The Best Kind of Camping

Camping is always more fun when friends join in. We went to Huntsville State Park last weekend with Glenn and Becky and Tiffany. John and Tiff were part of our camping crew way back when so Tiffany jumped at the chance to stay in our camper with us. She brought out little surprises for all the kids throughout the weekend. Here are the girls with their glo stick wands.

 

After everyone got there Friday night and set up camp, all the kids jumped into their jammies and joined us in our camper for popcorn and a bedtime story. That’s when I got my best haircut reaction yet. It was dark when they got there and I had on a hat all evening, so when I took it off in the camper, Becky looked over at me during the story and was a bit surprised to see all of my hair gone. She hadn’t seen my picture on fb or the blog, so she was just slightly taken aback at the sight and it took her a minute to recover :) The adults stayed up and talked after the little ones went to bed. We were freezing outside. We couldn’t get a fire started because the wood was soaked from all the recent rain, so we had to sit and shiver on the cold cement picnic table. Our backsides were frozen solid by the time we called it a night.

 

Chris’ allergies kicked into high gear when we got to the park, so the next morning, he and Glenn went into town for some medicine, a propane refill and to try and find some dry wood. We moms and kids just hung out at the campsite. It was cold and a little breezy that morning, but it was a beautiful, sunny day. We did go for a short walk and let the kids go check out the dock and try to spot an alligator. After lunch, Robert and I took a nap while Tiffany took Clara and Hudson on a little outing. They went for a short horse ride and up to the nature center where they got to touch a baby alligator.

 

 

Chris worked hard that afternoon to get a fire going strong. We had burgers and dogs for dinner followed by s’mores around the campfire. We were thankful for a nice warm fire to visit around that night after the kiddos were in bed.

 

Our sites were right next to each other; one site had water only and one had water and electricity. We let Glenn and Becky have the site with electricity since they didn’t have a battery on their camper. We had never used ours before this weekend. Chris went ahead and ran the car to charge it up right before dark but the charge didn’t last us all night. It ran out about 3:00 a.m. and we have to have power to run the heater. It got into the low 30’s that night, so it got chilly in a hurry. Chris got up and turned the car back on to charge it, so it came right back on for us. We both fell asleep, him in the car. I woke around 4:00 with the car still running and went and woke Chris up and he came back inside. Just when he got back in, the propane tank ran out. We have two, so he just had to go turn on the other tank. But then the new one wouldn’t light, so he was in and out of the camper probably five more times before it kicked in. Whew. My hero! So glad we didn’t have to spend those last few hours shivering.

The next morning was gorgeous. The wind had stopped and it warmed up by mid-morning. The kids played while we got everything cleaned and loaded up. Robert gave us a little scare when we turned around and no one knew where he was. I was in the camper, so I came outside to join the search. My heart sank a little when I went to the other camper to see if he was in there and he wasn’t. We started calling his name and walking towards the water. I never felt complete panic. He hadn’t gone over to the water all weekend so I just had a feeling he wasn’t over there and thankfully my mind doesn’t automatically go to abduction.

After a couple of minutes, Chris called out that he had found him. Whew! That’s such an awful, helpless feeling when your child goes missing. That was the first time we’ve lost him. Robert was the youngest, with Hudson and Kate being almost 5. He forgets that he’s not one of the big kids. They had all gone to the bathroom right across the street from our camper and didn’t know Robert had followed them. When they first got over there, they saw that the bathroom was being cleaned so they turned around and came back to camp. That’s when we noticed Robert was gone. Well, he didn’t get the memo that he wasn’t supposed to be in there when they were cleaning, so he just plopped himself into a stall and did his business. One of the cleaning guys stuck his head out of the door and hollered, “Is someone missing a little boy? I think he needs help.” Ha! Chris went over and sure enough, Robert was locked in his stall finishing up, clueless about the brouhaha he’d created at camp. After a big hug and a reminder not to go off without an adult, we got back to packing up.

 

 

Fun, fun, fun weekend! But can someone please explain how Chris and I come home completely pooped and yet we couldn’t even get Robert to go down for a nap?!?

The Old Gang

A couple of Fridays ago, our old friends John and Tiffany joined us for dinner. I think I was pregnant with Clara the last time we saw them. They were part of our young couples group at church way back before any of us had kids. They moved to Austin several years back and are now missionaries in New Zealand and are here in the states for a visit. We got a lot of the old gang back together at our house for a fun evening of catching up. Our house was a little loud with almost 30 people in it. We really missed having the three or four other families that weren’t able to come because of sickness or other plans.

Here are all the girls, quietly playing with Barbies and princesses. I couldn’t get a picture of the boys because they never sat still long enough.

Trying to get a group shot with all of us was hilarious. We tried to get one of the older kids to take the picture so I could be in it, but then a kid would walk into the frame. We’d get them out and another one would walk through. Eventually I had to just get up and take it quick.

 

And here’s a throwback to 2000 or 2001 at our Young Couples retreat. We haven’t aged a bit! I have several other great pictures I could put up, but I don’t want to face retaliation :)

 

It was so great to catch up with everyone and spend time remembering those fun, care-free, child-free years with great friends.

New Years Eve

We joined the Couringtons for a low key New Years celebration. We’ve never been just real big into New Year, but I’ll admit there’s always been a small part of me that wishes we were at some fun, fancy, kid-free party. This year, for the first time, not a bit of me longed for that. The night was completely relaxed and perfect. The adults talked and the kids played. Oh, and they took lots and lots of pictures with Clara’s camera.

We had pizza and around midnight we let the kids do sparklers and the popping thingies that you throw on the ground. Robert was scared to death of all of the fireworks going off in the neighborhood around us. He even hated the popping thingies. He peed in his pants he was so scared. So after a change of clothes, Glenn got his noise reducing headphones for him and he was great after that. We missed actually counting down at midnight and doing our “cheers” with our sparkling cider, so we just improvised and counted down around 12:05. We ended up counting down and doing “cheers” again for some reason that I can’t even recall. Like I said, perfect :)