Thursday, October 10, 2013

50th Anniversary Party

A few weeks ago we attended the 50th Wedding Anniversary Party of a couple whom we go to church with.  I was asked to take pictures of their special event, so I went earlier than the rest of my family to have time to capture all the small details.  When I walked into the room I was blown away!  The decorations were gorgeous, as if it was an actual wedding!  The cake was beautiful and no little detail was forgotten.

When you walked in the door, you were greeted by the couples five beautiful grand-daughters and told which table you were seated at.

It was a great afternoon with dinner and dancing!  Happy Anniversary to a great couple!

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Tractor Girl

There was a time when Brazos was "My Tractor Boy", but he has passed the torch on to his little sister and now she is "My Tractor Girl". 

Brazos used to jump at the chance to ride the tractor with his daddy, but now it's a hit and miss if he is interested in hopping on the old Farmall.  If the gate wasn't locked to walk into the pasture, he would open it right up without you knowing he was even gone and crawl up onto the seat.  Now it's Sandy's turn.

Just the other day Brazos walked into the house and said, "Mom, Sandy is on the tractor."  Isn't wasn't a big deal other than the fact that she had to open the gate and walk into the pasture, where cows could have been, but luckily they weren't.  Our wildly huge cows could trample her little body, so she had to learn that it's not okay to walk out into the pasture on her own.  But it still made me smile to see her up on that tractor.

She has been enjoying her nights at the fair sitting on all the big tractors.  Brazos has rekindled his tractor love as well, but he's still more interested in the blue juice the man at the lemonade stand is selling and the dirt he gets to kick around.

It just makes me happy to know that my kids are enjoying the fair, just as I did as a kid.  And their daddy, too!  We can't forget him.

Friday, July 19, 2013


During my college years at Texas A&M I made the best friends.  The kind of friends that you don't see for a long time and when you do see each other you can pick up on your conversation just like it was yesterday.  The kind of friends that you would drive miles and miles to see even if it was just for a few minutes.

Today two of these friends came to Brenham to visit.  I had been looking forward to this day for weeks, maybe even months.  We had seen each other at birthday parties for our children, but you know that no one can actually visit well at a birthday party, because the host is always busy and has lots on their mind and several people to visit with.  So I was looking forward to today because no one had to host a party or visit with others.  We could just sit and enjoy one another's company.

Did I mention we have kids?  What was I thinking!?  With kids you can't just sit and enjoy one another's company.  For example, we were talking for only a few minutes when all of a sudden I see two little people run past the window outside.  Wait!  How and when did they go outside!?  It really wasn't a big deal, because we live out in the country and my kids know the boundaries and have lots of space to roam.  But you get the point.  There's never time to just sit and talk.

Don't get me wrong.  I absolutely adore my children and my friends' children.  I whole heartedly believe the we all have made the most adorable children in the world.  But I do miss the days when it was just us girls sitting around the dinner table talking without a care in the world.

Today we went to eat at Los Cabos for lunch and there were a total of 10 of us!  We were almost outnumbered by kids, but we had two of our mommies join us for lunch so it was a one to one ratio for adults to kids.  If those two mommies wouldn't have been there then it was have been 3 adults and 5 kids.  I have to give our kids kudos because they were awesome in the restaurant.  I felt so special sitting at this huge table with my friends and all the kids.  I always wanted to have a large family and I think today is the closest I'll get to it, but it was an amazing feeling to be part of such a big and great group of kids and mommies right smack dab in the middle of the restaurant for all to see.

Then we went to Horseshoe Junction to play Mini Bowling and ride the Bumper Boats.  Mini Bowling was a bit different than we expected, but after a few tries the kids got the hang of it.  The bowling balls were like huge heavy marbles.  When they hit the floor, they made a loud noise and you would have thought that we busted a hole in the floor.  Brazos had a hilarious technique for bowling.  He would stretch his arm back to get as much force as he could to push the ball, and then once he brought his arm down he gently pushed the ball down the lane.  More than once his ball didn't even make it to the pins and he would have to walk down the lane to get the ball and try again.  All the kids had a blast and they were too cute to watch.

We all forgot that the bumper boats have squirters, so I'm sure you can imagine how we exited the ride.  WET!  We weren't exactly planning on getting wet today.  Brazos rode with his little friend Emma and I wish I could have taken their picture together in the boat, but for sake of not destroying the camera with water, it'll just have to be a mental memory.

Today was what I needed.  I needed to see my friends.  I needed to see my kids playing with my friends' kids.  If I could write my kids' futures it would be something like a teenage Brazos telling me, "Hey mom, Holden and I are going fishing the weekend.  See ya later!"  Or maybe Brazos and Emma would want to go dancing together with all their friends on the weekend.  Maybe Sandy would be a cheerleader for our hometown and when they played against Andrew's hometown, she would be secretly cheering for Andrew to make a touchdown.  I really want our kids to grow up knowing that they can be great friends just like their mommies.  I want them to know that friends can come from all over and you can easily go visit them when you need some friend time.  Maybe Brazos will take Emma to Prom one day.  You never know.  All I know is that I want them to have great people in their lives and this is definitely a group of great people. 

Shelley and Alaina, I love you.  Emma, Andrew, and Holden, I adore you.  My kids adore you and had a blast today...................but can you tell me why Sandy is not sleeping!!!! 

Thank you for a great day everyone, and Sandy please take a nap {so I can secretly eat my York Peppermint Patty}! ;)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Family Vacation {Day 3}

     Three days is about all this little family can take for a vacation.  Brazos and Sandy hate being cooped up in the car traveling and staying away from home just gets expensive fast.  Our initial plan was to head home with a stop at NASA Space Center on the way, but after seeing an advertisement for the Annual Sandcastle Competition on Galveston Beach, we decided that we weren't quite done with the island after all.

     We packed up our belongings and checked out of the hotel in the morning and drove to NASA Space Center in Clear Lake.  The kids really enjoyed the space center because it has a GIANT play structure inside that is completely safe for little ones to venture all the way up to the top without parents worrying about them falling.  For the little ones like Sandy there is an area on the bottom with balls flying everywhere to keep them occupied while big brothers like Brazos climb up to the top.  Parents can climb in to and I had so much fun climbing to the top and sliding down the two story slide!

     The kids were kind-of-sort-of interested in the space exhibits.  Anything that was hands on was great, but just walking around looking at space suits didn't exactly capture their attention.  We went on one of the two tour bus rides that are available to see a BIG space ship in another building.  The ride itself wasn't very pleasurable because Sandy was screaming at the top of her lungs, but seeing the BIG space ship was worth it.  We could have skipped the other parts of the tour, but you have to stay with the group, which is only reasonable.

     The space center had an exhibit called CHOMP! which all about reptiles.  Every few hours a young girl and her assistant would do a show with different reptiles such as turtles, snakes, alligators, and lizards.  At the end of the show kids can hold a baby alligator and Brazos was so brave and went up there all by himself to hold it!

This isn't the BIG space ship.  The other one is so big and you are standing right next to it that I couldn't even fit it in my camera, so I don't have a picture of it.

     Of course we didn't want to miss the sandcastle competition, so we drove back to Galveston to go check out the local artwork.  We didn't get to see them build the castles.  We only saw the finished products.  The crazy part is that we ran into a high school classmate, Kyle Priesmeyer, while browsing through the crowd and he was on one of the teams that built the castles!  He told us that he had been part of the competition for eight years.  He explained to us how the competition works and how they build the castles.  Here's what I remember:
  • It's some architecture association that puts on the competition, so a lot of the contestants are architects.
  • They don't practice building the castles beforehand.
  • They aren't allowed to use pumps to get water to the sand.  I think it had to all be carried by buckets, no powered machines.
  • They are given themed categories to compete in.
  • Each team has between 4-8 people to help build.
  • They make a drawing of their castle beforehand.
  • They bring U-Haul trailers full of cardboard and wooden forms to help shape their castles.
  • They have four hours to build their castles.
  • They use knives and chisels to carve out their designs.
  • The winners receive Golden Buckets and Silver Shovels.
Here are some of their castles, which are amazing!
A bag of lost marbles
A real sandcastle!
A dragon

A plate with pie and a fork
8th Rubble of the World: The Astrodome with a bat through it!

The Sandlot

Downtown Crabby: It's Sabastian!

Gunshow: Muscels with a Mom Tatoo

The Harlem Shake

Mount Duckmore

Thrift Shop: A fur coat, a keyboard, and sneakers
A cruise ship made out of toilets

The Wicked Sand"Witch"
The was the castle that our classmate built!

I know it has the shark from Finding Nemo,
but it also has the yellow brick road to Oz.

Carnival Shipoopi
     And there were so many more!

     As we headed back to the car, it took forever because we couldn't get the kids to stop playing in the sand.  I was letting them play leisurely, but Matt was getting very tired so he hurried us along.  We stopped at Starbucks to fuel up on caffeine and we were headed home from another great vacation.

I love how she had no shame to strut her stuff even though she was covered in sand.  That's my girl!