Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back in the heart of Texas

Just as soon as Isaac was out of school for the summer, we jumped in the ol' minivan and made our way back to Texas. We hadn't been since we moved exactly a year before and we were all very anxious. Since Ian was only 4 months old, we decided to break up the trip and stay the night in a motel in El Paso. All I really wanted was cheap and a heated pool. Days Inn fit the description and I booked it despite the reviews. We hadn't told the kids we were stopping for the night and they were very excited when we pulled up. I told them not to get too excited, that it was nothing fancy. Just a bed and a pool. When Eric and I walked into the room, our first thought was "Should we find someplace else?" Apparently the boys saw something different, because they both turned towards us beaming and Isaac said, "I thought you said this wasn't fancy!" Ian and I opted out of the freezing cold (false advertising!) pool, but everyone else had (or pretended to have - Good Dad!) fun and in the morning we were off - making it to Nana and Papa's that evening. Hooray!

We timed it perfectly and were able to celebrate Bill and Debbie's 35th Wedding Anniversary the next day. Jennifer and I tossed different ideas back and forth on how to celebrate and ended up with a quiet dinner at home. Jennifer made a delicious feast and the whole evening was wonderful.

Their little family grew a bit in the last 35 years!

We finished off the night feeding the catfish. Bill and Deb's pond is full and stocked.

Boys found a big fuzzy caterpillar.

Cecilia and the rest playing on the trailor. We spent as much time outside as we possibly could enjoying the farm. Next time we'll go when it's a bit cooler!

Monday, Debbie graciously offered to keep Ashlyn and Ian while Eric and I took the boys to NASA.

Eric accomplished his mission faster than any of us. Way to go, Astronaut!

Carter loved the helmet. It was heavy!
While Isaac and Eric were landing airplanes, Carter and I went wandering. Carter was too embarrassed to get his picture taken with the big blue star, so he took mine instead.

He decided he really wanted his picture after all, but it was still pretty hard for him.
They had a velcro wall and it was hilarious watching the boys jump on it. There's a great video of Carter at the end of this post.

Just in case you get lost....

Almost....a little further...

The boys had a great time and keep asking when we can go back. It was really interesting. I'm glad they loved it!
While we were playing at NASA, Nana, Papa, Ian, Ashlyn, Jennifer, Anton and Cecilia headed on down to Galveston to enjoy the beach. I don't think anyone got much further than the beach towels.
Ashlyn ventured a bit to gather some seashells, but she didn't love the water by any means.

We met up with them that evening for dinner to celebrate Jennifer's birthday. I was so excited for good seafood. I've come a long way, considering the thought of seafood made me want to puke when we first moved to Texas and now I actually crave it. My dinner was awesome, Eric's fried shrimp was okay, but I think the only person who was really disappointed in his food was Bill, and that's because it had him confined to the bathroom for a day and a half. Never order salmon at Fish Tales!

The next morning we left Ian with Nana and Papa again and took the rest of the kids to the beach. I love the Gulf's warm water! We had a great time collecting sea shells, splashing, racing waves, playing in the sand and just remembering!

You can't go to Galveston and skip a ferry ride. We were very intent on spotting dolphins! I didn't think we were going to see any this time, then finally they appeared for a minute and we got a glimpse.

When my in-laws came to Tucson for Ian's birth, they printed out seesaw plans with a promise to build it together with the boys at the farm when we came. As soon as we got back from Galveston they set to work. I didn't get any pictures of the process, but the final project was a huge success!

Enjoying our time together...what's better than swinging with Nana and a weenie/marshmallow roast?

Besides the seesaw, the other big event we had all been looking forward to was fishing in the pond. The fish were still too small to keep, but the kids had a great time catching them. Luckily, Meemaw was able to come up and spend most of the week with us. We met up with Uncle Mickey in Schulenberg to pick her up and had a nice lunch and visit. So many things we enjoyed!

Everyone caught some perch, but Ashlyn was the only one who caught a catfish. I wish we had a picture, but at least we caught it on video. She was excited about the catch, but not at all impressed with the fish!

Ashlyn's idea of fishing quickly turned to sitting by Papa while he held the pole.

Ian had to get in on the action, too. He was quite the expert fisherman!

It was really hard to say goodbye. We wouldn't leave until we had promises of their next visit to Tucson.
Into the car again. Until next time....

Thanks for a great visit! We love you!