Saturday, July 18, 2015

Missouri Time

Ah, Missouri. We do love us some Missouri time.

We entered the lower western corner of Missouri in the evening and had some supper at this travel center in Joplin.

We decided to go this exact week because the fair was happening in town. We first arrived to cold rain, however, and the parade and fair were canceled for the evening. The rest of our time was mostly sunny and hot, so it all turned out okay.

Jonathan and Phoebe were the ones who most enjoyed the rides. 
They rode all three nights.

Phillip met a couple of high school and college buddies at the fair and had some good catch-up time. 
Those aren't high school or college buddies in the picture above ~ they're his parents. :-) 

A new Vandalia Museum that we walked around. 
As a kid Phillip used to play on the white scale shown in the back of the picture. It was in a bank in town.

The parade which was moved to Friday night.

Kids in the corn. This has been a bad year for crops around Vandalia. Too much rain. 

Lots of time was spent hanging out at Mimi and Papa's house.

We stopped in to see Grandma Phoebe. We always have to get a picture of the two Phoebes. 

Usually we mostly hang around home while we're in Missouri, because we're so tired from traveling to get there that we don't want to travel to see anything. But this time we talked ourselves into going to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch. 

And it was a hot day for it! The kids mostly wanted to go to St. Louis to see the Eads bridge. Can you see it in the background here? We were so hot and tired after the Arch that we barely tried to get very close to it to get a better look. Anyway, they learned about the bridge from "The Men Who Built America." Carnegie was a key player in its construction. He provided the steel or something like that.

After the Arch we walked to see the old Courthouse nearby. 
It's famous for the Dred Scott lawsuit having begun there. 

Phillip's brother and his wife also came to spend time with us over the weekend, and I went to see my college roommate Jessica in Quincy. I didn't get pictures of any of them though. I also got my school books ordered while in MO and finished reading several books. Gotta love accomplishing things even while on vacation. :-)

On our way back home to Texas. We. Were. Tired. 
But the kids did excellently on the long road trip back. We made it home by midnight with almost no arguing. Pre-tty im-pressive.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

4th of July in Loosin'Nana

Harrison pronounces Louisiana as "Loosin' Nana." That's where we spent the 4th of July this year. I believe we spent last year there too. What do ya know....

On the way, we spent a couple hours at the mall in Beaumont where Elizabeth spent some time with her Beaumont girls at a bookstore. Phoebe decided she wanted to pay for an experience. I really didn't think she'd like it, but she did. 

The kids made a house out of hay at the park. I remember doing this as a kid too. 

At Oil and Gas Park in Jennings. 
We showed up to play (the Jennings Park is a tradition for us), and found that they were having a 4th of July Celebration with free music and bouncy things. How fun! We stayed about 7 hours, all the way through to the fireworks. Barbecued, played, tried a little fair food, and listened to some good 'ole Cajun music. 

Elizabeth and Jayda!

Jonathan coming down the water slide. It was a hot and sweaty day. The kids were glad to get a little wet.

This bouncy house actually collapsed at one point with Harrison in it. He was the first one out, sha baby. And he went around telling everyone the story. Everyone got out safely and they fixed the problem.

Cajun band complete with an accordian, triangle, fiddle, and pedal steel guitar. 

This was the annual family reunion at Uncle Gib's farm. Sugar cane and rice were in the fields. 

They make jambalaya outdoors in a big pot every year. 

And as always, everyone was very tired as we headed home. It's such a blessing to be able to go so often to Louisiana. I get to have good conversations with so many people. I love getting to know my Grandpa, the kids getting to spend time with Nana and Aupa, spending time with childhood friends. Thank you, Teressa, for keeping us every time we come!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Time

We finished school and the kids immediately got ready for camp. Elizabeth went to her own week and met up with the Beaumont girls like she has every year. I forgot about sending packages and letters to your campers (like I've forgotten the last three years), but the Beaumont parents took up the slack and sent her some letters and cards. So sweet of them. I'm a loser. (ha, ha)

Phoebe and her neighbor friend joined up with Jonathan's week of camp since their week didn't have enough kids registered. That made it nice since we didn't have to make another trip to and from camp and also since this was Phoebe and Charlize's first time at camp without parents. 

My brother Mike and his wife came to visit us. Awesome time at the Alamo and playing Risk.

Phoebe won this time. She's hysterical when she's losing and maniacal when she's winning. That girl is something.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Harrison Turns Five

He's the baby of the family and we can't really call him a baby anymore. A five year old is school age. Tear.

But we had a fun day today celebrating. We went to an Agricultural Museum in Boerne. Lots of tractors and tractor parts and old-timey equipment. Phillip was able to explain a lot to us about what was what and what Papa and his Dad used to farm with.

Aupa, I think this is the grown-up version of the toy tractor you gave to Jonathan.

The sand table was Harrison's favorite part.

There was a blacksmith building; the blacksmith made this leaf out of steel and gave it to Phoebe.

Harrison wanted a rainbow on his cake. And we gave him trick candles, which he enjoyed.

He's a fun kid. He's been playing with all his toys this afternoon. He's already put together his puzzles and Lego set and played in the dirt with his excavator. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Storms, Storms...

Our days in San Antonio have been filled with thunderstorms this spring. I can actually call it spring, because it isn't so goodness-gracious hot like it has been the last few years we've lived here. I love storms, so I don't mind too much. The kids have been wanting to do more swimming than they're able to do, but they enjoy the storms too. Except when they happen at night. At that point all the boys end up in the hall (yes, Phillip too; lightening doesn't interrupt sleep in the windowless hall).

Phoebe's new dress.

 A sunny day at the pool. 

 Celebrating a birthday with friends. 
Probably the healthiest cake you'll ever eat. 
Very delicious! 

Harrison was quite distraught that he couldn't make his card perfect for Emmey. He tore it up finally. I cut off the torn parts and asked him later if he was sure he didn't want to give her the card he had made. He looked sad and said, "Mom, you can give it to her, but I won't."

 This was a cloudy day at the pool. We tried the Guadalupe River so we could float Elizabeth's raft, but with all the recent storms, it was flooded and raging. Very cool to witness, but not safe to play in.