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Special Events: Our HorsesHouse AdditionMustangs 2008/09Mustangs 2007/08Mustangs 2006/07Summer Vacation 2011Family Traditions

 

December 2014 - Melody and her 58th Birthday

Posted: December 27, 2014

Melody had a quiet birthday at home this year with all of the kids. Kalyn spent the week after Christmas with us since Sean headed to Milwaukee for a business trip. We kept things simple gathering in the evening for cheesecake and other deserts. Kalyn went nuts wrapping everything is sight for her Mom so Melody got some items that definitely weren't expected (thanks Kalyn :-)) Counting our blessings, shes in good health and spirits, still going strong. Happy birthday Melody!

 

 

December 2014 - Christmas Day on the Move

Posted: December 25, 2014

So this year we were all spread out with most of the kids at their own houses for a change so we planned to be on the move in the morning. Kalyn was the first one texting at 7:30am to see if anyone was up - so we that's how our morning started. Jack responded the kids were up a little after 8am so Dawn, Mom, Melody and I all got dressed and headed to her house first to watch the kids open their presents. Jack had fixed sugared pretzels for breakfast, so we had some of those and coffee. As expected, Santa was good to the kids with plenty of goodies - as you can see. A little after noon, Landon and Ethan came home from their Dad's house so we headed over the Brittany's for lunch and to spend some time with their family. Ken's family had traveled in from Alabama for the holiday. After lunch, we returned home and Rodie and Jack and her family came over so we all could open presents at our house. It was the usual round robin affair and we all made out like bandits. Things wrapped up in the early evening with Mexican left overs from the previous night and some texting with the missing family members to see how their day went. Rick was still under the weather so it was good thing he didn't travel. We finally hooked up with Katy after New Years to get her gifts to her, and we loosely made plans to get together with everyone sometime in January to complete exchanging gifts. Its always hard to be split up at the holidays, but with texting, selfies, and social media, you can "almost" be there these days.

 

 

December 2014 - Christmas Eve Happenings

Posted: December 24, 2014

We spent Christmas Eve this year at home, baking, eating, and preparing for the man in red to make a visit. Things got so busy that Beasley almost got wrapped in the process as you can see. The house was filled with the smell of cookies and pies, and we ordered the traditional tamales for dinner as the kids requested. Rodie, Jack and Erik and the kids, Dawn and Marty joined us for dinner. Unfortunately, Rick and Kelly could not join us since Rick had come down with a virus and was not feeling well so they stayed home and rested through Christmas Eve. Sean and Kalyn had spent the previous weekend with us so they stayed in Fort Worth for the holiday as planned with Sean's family. As the night wound down, we opened the traditional Xmas Eve presents, and everyone went on their way. We finished watching Its a Wonderful life and The Bells of St. Mary and made our way to bed at a fairly decent hour so Santa could come - wonder what he will leave for us this year?

 

 

December 2014 - Haley's 13th Birthday with Family

Posted: December 20, 2014

After our Santa encounter, we celebrated Haley's 13th birthday. It seems just yesterday she was still going to grade school - now she's a full fledge teenager. How the time flies. We had cake and goodies that Aunt Hadie brought with her; candy cane sleighs and Oreo deers - very creative! Like most teenage girls, Haley got makeup, books, gift cards, and fingernail regalia - what every girl needs, right?

Happy Birthday Haley!

 

December 2014 - Santa Visit 2014

Posted: December 20, 2014

Santa came later this year for his annual visit. After dinner, we all gathered in the big room to wait for his arrival. We had some new attendees this year as always, Chris, Alex and Addie drove down from Nebraska to visit Gramma and Grampy for the weekend (and so Chris could cheer on the Cowboys locally), Ken and Brittany brought Brooklyn for her first visit with the boys, and Ericka and her family brought a new baby to meet Santa for the first time. Dawn now lives close by and was able to join us as well. Brooklyn was very wary of Santa, and kept her eye on him closely. Allie and the Ericka's Brooklyn were just as wary, but they all eventually got to talk with him and get their picture taken. This event is always special each year - this was the 15th consecutive year we've been able to host this in Texas. Hope everyone had fun!

 

 

December 2014 - Building Gingerbread Houses

Posted: December 15, 2014

This week the 3rd grade built their annual Gingerbread houses and I was tapped to help Charlie with his. Interesting project, they start with a Happy meal box and attach the graham crackers to it as a base and go from there. Charlie had brought a ton of goodies to put on his house, so this house has all the bells and whistles- lights, a snowman, a tree in the yard, a fence, a car in the peppermint disc driveway, snow all over the place, shredded wheat windows, and gum drop decorations. it is quite a building. The rest of the class had some really neat displays as well, I was surprised by the creativity they used to come up with different designs. I think all the kids really enjoy doing this project - its a good way to end the last week of school.

 

 

 

December 2014 - Charlie's Christmas Program at Martins Mill

Posted: December 8, 2014

On Monday evening, Martins Mill had their annual Christmas program in the gym. We have 6 young ones attending grade school who were performing now. The next generation. The theme of the program was Frozen, the Disney hit from last year. Each grade did their song, then at the end they all sang (of course) - Let It Go. Its kinda interesting to see all the nieces and nephews now going through the school now. and there's more coming down the line...

 

 

 

December 2014 - Going to See A Christmas Story

Posted: December 7, 2014

On Sunday we went into Dallas to Fair Park to watch Dallas Summer Musicals version of A Christmas Story. You have to watch A Christmas Story at least once each year, right? They did a really good job on translating the story to the stage, including all the key moments from the film to a "T". They even had the Bumpus' dogs running across the stage chasing the old man. It was an enjoyable show, but you have to like the Christmas Story to really enjoy it. Of note, they had one of the 3 original leg lamps from the movie on display - so I got to see some American history too!

 

December 2014 - Evening on Granbury Square

Posted: December 6, 2014
Saturday afternoon we headed to Granbury to have dinner with Ken and Hadie and attend a musical show from the Big City Music Revue group. We brought Charlie along as well. We ended up eating at Babe's, a well known family style chicken dinner restaurant off the square which was really good. Then we walked around the Granbury square some to check out the stores, and kill some time before the performance. The performance was holiday themed, and the Big City performers were great. They did many of the standards, mixed in some comedy, and a little religion. Its just plain good family entertainment. In particular, they have a character called "Elfvis" (a elf patterned after Elvis) which was pretty funny. They had a number about the Night Before Christmas, that was played to the tune of Hotel California - it was a hilarious. This was our second visit to see a performance by this group, and they don't disappoint. A great night to kick off the holiday season.

 

 

 

December 2014 - Holiday Decorations

Posted: December 1, 2014
So after Thanksgiving, we started the decorating process as usual. We tend to go slower these days and its a multi-day process. The kids came over in the evening and started decorating the tree, and we gradually began setting up the rest of the decorations. The kids also got there decorations up at their house. This is Rick and Kelly's first Christmas in their new house, so they put up lights outside, Jacquelyn got her tree up with the Alice in Wonderland tree topper, and Kalyn and Sean put their tree up to the delight of Winnie. Looks like we're all ready for the man in red to visit later in the month...

 

 

November 2014 - Moms Trip to San Jose for Thanksgiving

Posted: November 30, 2014

Mom flew out to San Jose a little before Thanksgiving to spend the holidays with Paula and Barry and their Kids (Mitchell came home for Thanksgiving as well). Marty and Amy also made the trip. She got to spend time with Uncle Bob, Sue and her kids, Katie and her family, Keith and Brandon and their families. Tim and Ms. Linda also came by to spend some time for the holiday and see everyone. She really got to see most of the family out there and also see Great Grandkid #15 - Keith's son Kaden. They celebrated Kaden's birthday in Vasona Park while she was out there (Keith and his wife Dannielle had flown in for the holiday). I think she had quite a trip.

 

 

November 2014 - Thanksgiving at Our House

Posted: November 27, 2014

We celebrated Thanksgiving at home this year, with all the kids and family who stayed local. Rodie and Jack's family were here, Rick, Kelly, Sean and Kalyn all made it in, and this was the first year Dawn got to spend Thanksgiving with us. Mickey and his kids also were able to make it over. Melody baked pies, and we had two turkeys to make sure people had goodie bags to take home with them. We did the usual things, watched the Macy's parade, watched some sports, then sat down to dinner. Melody insisted that everyone had seat at the table so we made sure there was enough for everyone. Thanksgiving is always fun spending time together and the traditions - can't beat it.

 

 

 

November 2014 - Allison and Luckas' Skating Birthdays

Posted: November 22, 2014

This Saturday we went to a skating birthday party for Allison and Luckas. It was held at the Spinnerz Skating rink in Canton. Allison turns 6 this year and Luckas is 3. There were a lot of kids and family attending, quite the turn out. Allison had a Monsters High cake and Luckas had a Ninja turtle cake. After wearing out the kids on the rink, they got down to business with cake and presents. it was a good birthday party - happy birthday Allison and Luckas!

 

 

November 2014 - Landon's 8th Birthday

Posted: November 15, 2014

Last Saturday we went to Brittany and Ken's house to celebrate Landon's 8th Birthday. Most of the family was there and we had cake and ice cream and of course, presents. Landon made his own cake this year (a Lego cake) and he got some legos, toys, and clothes as gifts. The big hit was the Rock'm Sock'm Robots which Grandma Marie helped Landon assemble. Happy Birthday Landon!

 

 

November 2014 - Joe and Marie Visit

Posted: November 13, 2014

Uncle Joe and Aunt Marie stopped by and spent a week visiting in the area. This is their first time to see Brooklyn in person and Landon's birthday is this month. Amy and Brittany came over and had dinner with us a couple evenings, and Ken and Hadie stopped in as well. Mickey and his kids, and Dawn stopped by too. It was nice to have everyone together for a spell. Wish the weather would have been more accommodating, the cold front from the north stayed all week while they were here. It was nice to get to spend several days together with them.

 

November 2014 - Loading the Greenhouse

Posted: November 9, 2014

Weather reports are indicating that next week we will have a severe cold front come through and push us below freezing for the first time this year. I had Katy help me and we loaded all the plants and vegetables we're going to try and keep over the winter into the greenhouse. I also set up the space heater so I think I'm ready for this. Our vegetables continue to grow so I hope we can keep the lettuce and tomatoes going in the greenhouse. Not sure what the broccoli and Brussels sprouts will do, we'll see if they survive the cold snap.

 

November 2014 - Rodie and Rick: Birthday in Dallas

Posted: November 8, 2014

On Saturday I took the boys into Dallas for their birthday. We stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, and then headed down the street to take in a SJ Sharks game for their birthdays. The Stars and the Sharks always have good games, and this one did not disappoint. The Stars jumped out quick and had a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period. The Sharks looked dead. But in the second period, they came back and actually got ahead 4-3. The 3rd period was all action but no scoring - a brawl broke out right in front of us. The Sharks ended up scoring an empty net goal with less than a minute left to ice the game - so we went home happy this time. Happy Birthday boys!

 

 

November 2014 - Charlie Soccer - Last Game of the Season

Posted: November 8, 2014

Charlie had his final soccer game for this season at the Canton park against the Mustangs. It was a really good game between both teams. Charlie's team has made strides this season, showing improvement and the ability to work together as a team most of the time - way better than they did at the beginning of the season. The game was close, but in the end, the Cobras won 7-6. They gave out trophies after the game - way to go Charlie!

 

 

November 2014 - Sprucing up the Propane Tank

Posted: November 3, 2014

Last week I finally got around to painting the propane tank. One end of it was rusting pretty badly so I wanted to attempt to spruce it up a bit. Its recommended when doing this you use a light color I chose to try and match the house colors. After some sanding with a wire brush and sand paper, I put a coat of primer over it. I then used a paint spry gun to put on the rustoleum paint. I really like the paint sprayers, they make it very easy to quickly paint something with a good coat. I then used a can of spray paint to color the lid - the coating on that did not come out the way I liked, I think the can of paint was defective, the contents did not come out evenly at all, even with a great deal of shaking. The weather turned cold the following day so i didn't get a chance to put another coat on their this season - will put on the list for next summer.

 

November 2014 - Chive Fest 2014

Posted: November 1, 2014

On Saturday we went with Hadie and Ken to a music event in Dallas called "Chive Fest 2014." Its a new music festival started this year playing in 4 different cities during the summer and fall, with different artists in each city it seems. Didn't know much about this going in, other than there was a performer in particular that Hadie wanted to see (Jake Owen). We got to South-fork Ranch (yes, this is where is was held but JR was no where to be found) in the afternoon and went into the back 40 so to speak (a pasture in the back off the ranch was the venue with 2 stages , some food stands, tents, and portable toilets - we were all set. Green was the color for the festival - everything was green. Given it was the day after Halloween, there was a costume content being held - all the more interesting. We spent most of the afternoon people watching which was great and wandering around, listening to some of the early acts and checking out the booths. In particular, I would have to say I liked Dallas Smith and the John Butler trio out of all the afternoon performers. Some of the others leading up to the Jake Owen finally were OK (Manchester City) or just down right noise. As nightfall approached, the temperature dropped as well so we had to find some heat - no problem, portable heaters were in the bar area. Oh, and I did I forget to mention - there was plenty of alcohol available - that seems to be a big part of Chiving. The Jake Owen show was good, it was the last stop of his tour for the year and he had fun with the crowd which was nice to see - but I think the cold weather tempered things - plus, by that time people were pretty tipsy. My take-aways: The Chive concept is kinda cool and hip - geared for a younger crowd mostly. If they can keep signing up decent acts, they may survive and will "Keep Calm and Chive On" or KCCO.

 

 

October 2014 - Halloween at Our House

Posted: October 31, 2014

Halloween was quiet at our house this year as usual. We don't get many trick or treaters for the most part. Jack and the kids stopped by with a couple of their friends (Josie and Joseph) since they were going out to make the rounds in the housing development down the road a ways. Haley was a princess, Josie a Bavarian Girl (?), Joseph was a knight, and Charlie was Falcon, superhero friend of Captain America. Ericka and her kids also stopped by - Maddie was Alice in Wonderland character I believe, Allison was a scarecrow, and Luckus was a Paw Patrol Puppy. Taffy and Socks also dressed up but decided to not go out (afraid of being hit by a car) which was the smart move. Since the kids were busy before Halloween, Charlie and I decided to carve pumpkins afterwards (that still counts, right?) I also gathered some picts from the extended family who couldn't stop by. They are all growing up so fast.

 

 

October 2014 - Charlie Soccer vs. The Runaways

Posted: October 26, 2014

Charlie had another soccer game in Canton this week against The Runaways from Van. It was a pretty good game, with the Cobras scoring frequently in the first half. In the second half, things tailed off for them given they didn't have any replacement players so the kids starting getting tired and the defense sagged. The Runaways made a charge but I think the final score was in favor of the Cobras, something like 7-6 I think. Its hard to keep track of the scores - I hope the refs were :-)

 

 

October 2014 - Greenhouse Update - Finished!

Posted: October 23, 2014

I now claim the greenhouse project is complete for this year, I've done all the work I planned to accomplish. Over the past couple of weeks I worked on getting the water line dug and extended to inside the greenhouse. Digging the trench was the toughest part, since it needs to stay under the ground about 18 inches to help keep things from freezing. I tried to insulate the pipes as well to help with freezing above the ground. I plan to also use buckets stuffed with insulation to put over the exposed spigots as well. All together i think the extended line is about 12 ft - not too bad. The crew came back over to run the electric line this week and install the lights. Again. we had to run about 50 ft. total of pvc for this, digging a trench and then running the line off the garage outlet. I was surprised at how much light the two lights give off. This should allow for effective "Gardening at Night" as the song from R.E.M goes... Now we get to fill it with stuff and lets see if they make it through the winter.

 

 

October 2014 - Fall Gardening

Posted: October 20, 2014

Our gardening adventures are continuing into the fall this year - we're experimenting with planting lettuce, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, and tomatoes to see if we can keep them going into the winter. The garden has been particularly bountiful this year (assuming the cooler temps and such are the reason), we're still pulling bell peppers, sweet peppers, habinero peppers, jalapeños, and green beans off the vine. Even the cantaloupes were still trying to grow. Our summer tomatoes are still producing fruit as well this late. Its been a good year for gardening, not sure exactly why we produced more than other years this year, but I hope our luck continues into the fall as we transition to the new greenhouse when cold weather hits. Our plants are still doing well too - lots of blooms and color still which is nice this time of year - you can sit outside and enjoy the yard. In particular, our hibiscus plant has been blooming like crazy the last few weeks and new buds continue to show up. We'll see if the green house pays off and allows us to preserve these plants over the winter.

 

 

October 2014 - More Canning for the Fall

Posted: October 20, 2014

Melody and Mom did a bunch of canning this weekend. We picked up some vegetables from a local farmer and Melody pickled some okra, and we cooked some fall squash as well. Then they got down to business. They cooked up strawberry, dew berry ,peach, apricot, and strawberry rhubarb jams. Over 70 containers of preserves were prepared. Quite a haul for a weekend - should be tasty!

 

 

 

October 2014 - Charlie Soccer: Cobras vs. Mustangs

Posted: October 4, 2014

Charlie had a soccer game at the Canton fields last weekend against the Mustangs (the other Canton team). The team is starting to show progress with more discipline in playing their positions (offense and defense) and they seem to have found some passing skills. The attackers are doing a better job putting pressure on the other team as well. Charlie had a pretty good game playing defense for most of the game. He was able to hold off several runs by the other team and re-direct the ball in the Cobra's direction which was good. The game ended up being a high scoring game with the Cobras winning 9-7 I believe (it was hard keeping up the tally of the goals).

 

 

 

September 2014 - Oktoberfest with Kalyn and Sean

Posted: September 26, 2014

We spent the weekend with Kalyn and Sean up in Fort Worth. I've never been to a Oktoberfest event before and there was one being hosted in Fort Worth so we gave it a try. Not as big as I expected, but they did have steins (yes!) and were hosting Oktoberfest games like who can hold the stein of water the longest with an outstretched arm. Then we got down to business and tried the beer - several selections, but they were all mostly provided by Budweiser, no independent brewery concoctions or similar. They had a Polka band and they had some kids performing German folk dance routines - kinda interesting. Food was good, some wieners and sauerkraut, and German potato salad. To cap off the evening, we stopped by Braums for ice cream. Later in the weekend, Kalyn took us to a restaurant at a local small airport called "The Beacon." Pretty good food and you get to watch the planes come in and out of the airport. I had a BLT called the Chuck Norris which was huge. Good way to end the weekend.

 

 

September 2014 - FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders Game

Posted: September 24, 2014

This week we all bought tickets to go to a Dallas FC soccer game against the Seattle Sounders in Frisco, TX. Kelly and Rick are Sounders followers, and I like Clint Dempsey. Dallas has a nice stadium, surprised it wasn't more packed. There were a fair number of Seattle fans at the game as well. Dallas got off to a fast start scoring a goal in the first 15 mins and things started getting a little chippy. After halftime the Sounders scored the equalizer, but Dallas kept pressing and scored another goal about 70 mins in. They scored the dagger goal late making it a 3-1 win for Dallas.

 

 

September 2014 - Haley Cheer - MM vs. Slocum

Posted: September 23, 2014

Haley had another Jr. High game to cheer at this week - against Slocum at the MM Gym so we went down to watch for a while. The scoreboard was busted so it was hard to follow the game, but I think the Mustangs won for the girls. In-between games the cheerleaders did a short cheer, and then during halftime of the boys game, they did their dance routine. Check out the movies of their halftime routine - Haley gets hoisted into the air!

 

September 2014 - Plano Balloon Festival

Posted: September 20, 2014

Last Saturday we and the kids all decided we were going to try and meet up at the Plano Balloon Festival, an annual event which I've wanted to see for years and I've never made it. We had to pick Mom up at the airport first, then we headed for Plano. Rick and Kelly got there first, and got it, then Jacquelyn and her family made it to the parking lot and got in. We ended up stuck in the traffic line for parking for 2 hours, and as we approached the parking lot, they closed it off as full - out of luck. We never made it into the event. kalyn and Sean were trying to find parking about the same time so we bailed out and wen to a local Restaurant, Señor Locos for some food, and they ended up following along. I'm sorry I missed the event, but Kelly got some pictures, and I lifted some from the website so I have some record of the balloons - maybe one of these days I'll see them in person. Lesson - go early and pick your spot early, this event is a mad house!

 

 

 

September 2014 - Adding a Greenhouse

Posted: September 20, 2014

So we've been planning to add a greenhouse to the yard for some time, and this fall is it. The kit was delivered a week ago and I lined up a guy to assemble the kit next to the driveway. Its 12x15 so we have plenty of room to store our less hardy plants for the winter and start new things in the late winter early spring for the garden. I'm planning on adding a water outlet and an electrical outlet as well so we can try and keep it temperature controlled during the winter. We'll see how it goes...

 

 

September 2014 - Charlie Soccer: Cobras vs. Mean Green

Posted: September 20, 2014

On Saturday we traveled to Van for Charlie's soccer game against the Mean Green, a team from Van's AYSO league. It was a tough game for the Cobras right from the start. The Mean Green was a well organized team of kids who looked like they've played together for a while, so they got the scoring started rather quickly. Slowly the Cobras got into the rhythm of the game but by then it was too late and they were too far behind. They did seem to improve some on defense as the game wore on which was good to see, but you can tell the Van league looks to be well organized if this team is an example. Charlie was more engaged in the game and seems to be willing to get into the action more than in the past which is good to see. We'll get em next week...

 

 

September 2014 - Jack's 33rd Birthday

Posted: September 17, 2014

This week we celebrated Jack's 33rd birthday at home with a home cooked spaghetti dinner, cake and presents. She was lucky enough to have a cake with whipped cream frosting and strawberry filling - which as I found out, nobody really cares for. So, more cake for me :-) Seriously, I think she had a good birthday, she got the coffee pot she's be asking for :-) Happy Birthday Jack!

 

 

 

September 2014 - Charlie's 1st Soccer Game for 2014

Posted: September 13, 2014

Charlie decided this fall he wanted to play soccer again so Jack and Erik signed him up. The Canton soccer assoc. is kinda a mess right now and not a lot of kids are signing up. They only have 2 teams in Charlie's age bracket which is unfortunate. Charlie is going to play for the Cobras (cool name and cool uniforms!) This week was the 1st game against the Maroon team (I didn't catch their mascot name). It was a tight game throughout, but I think the Maroon team got the best of the Cobras and won 4-3. Charlie did well for his first time back out on the field - looking forward to seeing him score some goals this year!

 

September 2014 - More from the Backyard...

Posted: September 12, 2014

We've had pretty good luck with the plants in our backyard this summer. Most things have continued to bloom and were not devistated by the heat. We've had quite a number of humming birds consistenly throughout the summer. They have partaken of the 4-5 feeders I have around the house consistently which have been pretty entertaining as usual. Even the butterflies have been more numerous later in the year which I think has helped the garden to keep blooming. Fall is starting to be in the air so here's one more look at our attempted slice of paradise for this year...

 

 

September 2014 - Big City Music Review in Granbury

Posted: September 6, 2014

We traveled to Granbury, TX with Hadie and Ken last evening for dinner, and to take in a performance of the Big City Music Review - Tribute to Motown. This is a small performing group in Granbury that puts on these music reviews in the local theatre/hall on the town square. Granbury is a older community but their town square has a lot of charm and attracts tourists and the locals alike. The show was fantastic, very entertaining. They covered many of the greatest hits from Motown and even threw in some comedy to boot along the way. They seem to have different shows every few months, so I would think we may try and catch another performance at some point - thanks to Hadie and Ken for a fun evening!

 

 

September 2014 - Haley Cheers at New Summerfield Game

Posted: September 5, 2014

Haley's first offical game to cheer for Jr. High was this week against New Summerfield. The cheer squad went through their routines and really got the crowd going - job well done. I don't know the outcome of the game, I wasn't able to attend but from the pictures, it looked like a tough game. There should be a movie of one of the squad's routines - hope it will play on your system.

 

September 2014 - Katie's 18th Birthday at our House

Posted: September 5, 2014

Katie came over last weekend so we could celebrate her birthday. This year is the big 18! Katie is now going to school in Athens and is leaning towards a career in the culinary arts. She's taking cooking classes and even visited a Culinary school down in Austin not long ago. Seems like just yesterday she was going to school in Martins Mill - my how time flies. Happy Birthday Katie!

 

 

September 2014 - Grandparents Day at School

Posted: September 5, 2014

Friday was Grandparents Day at Martins Mill where the grade school kids can have their grandparents come and have lunch with them. I decided to tag along with Mickey (who was having lunch with Maddie) and have lunch with Charlie (Haley is now too old for this :-( ). For lunch we had a school hamburger, with some fresh fruit, tater tots and yogurt. We ended up eating in the library with several other kids and their grandparents. The attendance was really high, many kids has multiple people having lunch with them. Good to see many of the kids getting the support they need - its important. Please pass me the tums now...

 

 

September 2014 - Rangers Game - Shin Soo Choo Night

Posted: September 4, 2014

We went to another Rangers game for the give-away, Shin Soo Choo bobble-head night. Got some really good seats again given the Rangers have the worst record in the league and they were playing the Mariners. Haley couldn't go since she had to cheer at a game so Erik went in her place. Rangers are playing many of the younger players and new guys - many are just being called up from the minors so they can get a look at them. Robbie Ross was the starting pitcher and he was in deep trouble almost immediately. He couldn't get anyone out and the carousel around the bases was on. By the 2nd inning, it was 6-0 Seattle, by the 3rd, it was 10-something and he was gone. Game was over before it started. Needless to say, we left early in the 7th inning. At least we got to take home something...

 

 

September 2014 - Haley's First Pep Rally

Posted: September 2, 2014

This week MMHS had their kickoff Pep Rally for the Fall sports teams and to introduce the cheer-leading squad. It was held in the Gym parking lot this year. This was Haley's first official event as a cheerleader in front of a live audience. She has been designated as a "flyer" or one of the girls that will be held in the air for acrobatics and cart wheels and such. The cheer squad lead things off with one of their routines, and then they were introduced to the crowd by their respective coaches. Then the Jr. High basketball teams for boys and girls, and the cross country teams for both Jr. High and High school were introduced. To end the rally, the cheer squad ran through a couple fight songs and cheers to get the crowd revved up. To say the least, it was interesting. I think the kids were more interested in the free shaved ice drinks that the booster club provided :-) Anyway, Haley got off to a good start - Go Mustangs!

 

 

September 2014 - OK City: National Memorial and Museum

Posted: September 1, 2014

On Monday morning we headed out and found breakfast at Cracker Barrel near our hotel. I love the old time things they sell. Afterwards, we headed for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. This was an extremely moving experience, one of the best memorials I've seen in this country. Its been almost 20 years since this tragedy, and I don't think I completely understood the depth of incident fully until now. When this occurred, we were living in California. The tenor and message surrounding the memorial and museum are both informative and inspiring. The message of hope rising out of this event is quite clear, and to recall the response and humanity that was shown during this time period is amazing. If you are ever in the area or even close - make a visit here. You will be glad you did. By early afternoon, we were on the road for the drive home to Texas - It was a great weekend.

 

 

August 2014 - OK City: Myriad Botanical Gardens

Posted: August 31, 2014

As we walked around Bricktown, we decided to explore a few blocks west and find the Crystal Bridge and Myriad Botanical Gardens which are downtown. We walked part the area where the OK City Thunder play and found the gardens right across the street. The garden is contained inside of a giant glass tube structure which spans a reflecting pool underneath (thus the bridge concept I guess). Its basically a huge green house and boy was it humid in there. They had many different tropical plants and flowering bushes in bloom. We climbed some stairs over a small water fall and ended up on a catwalk bridge up near the top of the structure so you can get an aerial view of the entire gardens which was kinda neat - but the heat - whoa. This was really the wrong time of the year to see this, the lady at the desk said its much more enjoyable in the fall - I bet. When finished, we headed over to a park area nearby for some tea, then sat and rested while watching the locals with their kids playing in the water pond in the courtyard - a good way to cool off.

 

 

August 2014 - OK City: Exploring Bricktown

Posted: August 31, 2014

On Sunday morning we headed out to explore the Bricktown area of OK City more. We headed into the heart of Bricktown and found an iHop for breakfast. Bricktown is apply named given its the older part of OK City and most all the buildings are brick (new buildings and old). They seem to be going through a revitalization of the area with a great deal of work to several buildings replacing/repairing the brick facades and such. There's also a river walk area in the heart of Bricktown which is reminiscent of the river walk in San Antonio. It seems rather new and still developing. We walked along the river area for quite some distance - there's several eating and entertainment establishments along the path. Toby Keith (native Oklahoman) has a restaurant on the river walk, and the Headquarters for Sonic drive ins is also located here - didn't expect that. Ken and I walked around the area and took some pictures of the Brick scenery. In particular, there's a ballpark for the OK City Red Hawks - the Single A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Outside the park they honor several baseball players from Oklahoma, Johnny Bench, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Mercer, and several others. Two of of the entrances are named after Bench and Mantle. Too bad the Red Hawks were on the road this weekend. For dinner, we ended up eating at Big Earl's BBQ on the river-walk - it was pretty good. We headed back to the hotel after dinner, and ended up playing cards late into the night. Melody and I need to practice Hearts so we can be more competitive the next time we do this :-)

 

 

August 2014 - OK City: Dinner and a Phantom

Posted: August 30, 2014

We arrived in OK City in the late afternoon and had plans for a 8pm showing of Phantom of the Opera. We headed out early to find somewhere to eat and ended up in the Bricktown area at a restaurant named "Crabtown." As the name would indicate, they specialize in crab based meals and fish. Nice atmosphere, the waiter was funny, and the food was pretty darn good. I would recommend it if you are in the area. Then we were off to the civic center for the play. We got there a little late but Ken was able to find some great parking, and the play was really good. It was an enjoyable evening all around - great start to the long weekend!

 

 

 

August 2014 - OK City: Chikasaw Cultural Center

Posted: August 30, 2014

On Saturday we headed north of the Red River with Ken and Hadie for the Labor Day weekend. Destination: Oklahoma City. On the way, we stopped at the Chickasaw Indian Cultural Center to learn more about OK history. There were several examples of traditional Indian weaving with different items on display, a very nice statue of a Chickasaw native, and the museum did a really good job of outlining the history of the tribe, and how they arrived in Oklahoma from the eastern part of the country. The presentation and exhibits are done in a tasteful fashion, bluntly outlining the forced re-settlement of the nation to Oklahoma and how they have progressed since that period of time. I especially like the story of the leaning pole which is the point when the Chickasaw tribe separated from the Choctaw tribe- very interesting. We also saw some traditional Chickasaw dances in the theatre which was interesting - they actually got quite a bit of audience participation with the "Snake Dance." This a good stop for kids to learn more about our American history and how we dealt with the Indian nations.

 

 

August 2014 - Bailing the Pasture

Posted: August 29, 2014

This summer Rodie has been letting the pasture grow to cut for hay and make some money off it. This week its finally time to cut it down, so he brought over the cutter one afternoon and cut, next morning he came back with the hay rake and collected all the grass into neat rows. Finally, he brought over the bailer and ran around the field picking up the grass and turning it into 4x4 roles of hay. I've never seen a bailer up close before - quite the interesting contraption it is. All in all he got six bales off the pasture, not too bad.

 

 

August 2014 - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Posted: August 22, 2014

This summer a fund raising phenomenon was started by the ALS Foundation or someone where a person challenges other friends, family members, etc. to dump a bucket of ice water over their head with 24 hours of the challenge (and provide video proof on some social media) or, you have to donate $100 bucks to the ALS foundation. There's been posts about this going around facebook and such for weeks now. Our family got into the mix and got challenged, so we did the deed as well as donated (ie. which I believe is in the spirit of the challenge anyway - its a great cause). Of course - we challenged others as well - you know who you are and you need to rise to the challenge!

If you want more information on how you can participate, go here: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: Aladdin Hotel and Downtown KC

Posted: August 17, 2014

Before leaving downtown KC, I took a walk around the city plaza outside of our hotel, the Aladdin Holiday Inn. KC is known for fountains and yep, there was one close by. The hotel is older as you can see, and located close to a huge Marriotts and the KC Convention Center. There is also a Theatre nearby which looks new but is built was an old style facade which was pretty neat. I climed their exit ladder on the side of the building to capture the view of the plaza. I also discovered a Starbucks in the Crown Plaza down the street so I had to stop in for a Machiotto, can't pass that up! A good way to wrap up our stay in KC!

 

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: Sporting KC vs. Toronto MLS Game

Posted: August 16, 2014

In the evening, we traveled over to the KS side of KC to take in a MLS (Major League Soccer) game between last year's MLS Champion Sporting Kansas City and Toronto. They have a modern soccer venue across from Kansas Speedway. We parked pretty far out so it was a hike to get to the stadium. Lot's of tailgating going on - they have quite a loyal fan base in KC. Once inside we found our seats (row 3!) and then scouted for food and Sporting wares. Soccer fans usually carry scarves from their teams, so I picked up another one for my collection :-) The game was fairly one sided, KC got a couple early penalty kicks and were ahead 2-0 near halftime. Toronto was able to get a goal prior to the break on a good attack. The second half was mostly KC, with Sporting KC scoring 2 additional goals that were pretty exciting - right in front of us. The game ended with a score of 4-1. Melody has discovered that she approved of Gram Zusi's hairstyle and basically, Graham Zusi in general. Not sure what to do with that yet, waiting for her to ask for a jersey or something. Anyway, what do you do when you get out of a soccer game and wait in traffic to leave the parking lot? Of course - you go to Sonic and get Blizzards and slushes - everyone knows that!

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: WWI Museum & Liberty Memorial

Posted: August 16, 2014

After lunch we traveled back across the Truman hwy to downtown KC to visit the WWI Museum and the Liberty Memorial. This historic site was dedicated back in 1920 to all the countries and people who participated and lost their lives during the the first World War in Europe. The museum was renovated and expanded as recently as 2008 - so the displays and materials are newer. They have a pretty extensive collection of weaponry and artifacts from that period in time and the war itself. The presentation is broken into 2 distinct parts of the conflict - the portion where only Europe was involved, and then the events leading up to the US joining the conflict and the conclusion of the war. Its amazing to think what the world went through during this time frame and that we ended up right back into a world conflict a decade later, humanity didn't learn it would seem. If you're ever in the KC area, I highly recommend going to see this museum - very moving.

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: Truman Presidential Library

Posted: August 16, 2014

Saturday morning we set out for the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library over in Independence Mo. This was one of the key sites that Kelly wanted to see since she's never been to a Presidential Library. Truman of course took over for FDR when he died, and he finished up WWI and the dropping of the atomic bomb, the start of the cold war, the formation of Israel, and the beginning of the Korean conflict to try and stop the spread of communism. I was impressed with the information and the way its displayed, very informative during this critical time in our history. I didn't really realize all the different key areas that Truman had an impact on in our history. After he was out of office, he continued to have a working office in the library complex - I really like his working office, pretty cool. I love going to these libraries, and I think Rick and Kelly enjoyed it as well.

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: T-Bones Minor League Baseball

Posted: August 15, 2014

On Friday evening, we all decided we'd take in a minor league baseball game for the local Kansas City T-Bones club. Lucky us, It was Kansas Speedway Night and there was a free give away that evening - a soft side T-Bones coolers! Unfortunately, they were giving out rain checks at the gates since the coolers didn't arrive in time for the game. Oh well - not sure how we'll get the coolers given we're from out of town. We all went to the team store and scored some T-Bones regalia, got some food, and headed for our seats. There was some light rain falling so the start of the game was slightly delayed. Minor league baseball is a lot of fun - smaller venue, closer to the action, and they usually play some good ball. Plus, they seem to have tons of give aways :-). We ended up staying for 6 innings (which seemed to go slow for some reason) with the South Gary Rail Cats ahead 5-1 and the T-Bones pitchers being hammered. To help ease the pain of the T-Bones loosing, we made a stop at Sonic and picked up some goodies - that helped put a good ending on the day...

 

     
 

August 2014 - KC Trip: Science City @ Union Station

Posted: August 15, 2014

Next stop in Union Station was Science City, a cool kids educational museum in the train station. The main exhibit celebrating 100 years of Inventing - outlining some key persons from Mosouri who had invented things and established patents, etc. Pretty neat. then we ventured into the general science part of the museum, wandering through the different exhibits on weather, music, sound, animals, archeology, energy, technology, space, and other cool things. Science City is engaging for kids but also for adults (basically the adults turn into kids as you can see :-)) - its a good place to spend a few hours with your family.

 

 

August 2014 - KC Trip: Arthur Bryants & Trains at Union Station

Posted: August 15, 2014

Kelly and Rick invited us to join them on a trip north to Kansas City for an extended weekend to take in a soccer game and do some sightseeing around the area up there. I had taken Rick and Erik up there the previous year so this time Kelly and one of their friends (Ben) We took off from Dallas around 7pm, picked up Ben in Denton at UNT and headed north, driving until 3:30am when we arrived at the hotel. Getting up in the morning was difficult, but we pulled it together around 11am and headed out to find some BBQ. We decided to return to Arthur Bryant's again on this trip - the top rated BBQ place in KC. We got there just in time before the lunch rush and had some great turkey, beef, coleslaw, and beans. Next we headed for Union Station to check out that famous KC landmark. The building is amazing, experiencing a renaissance as a hub of activity in the city, given the decline in rail traffic. It now houses museums, a theatre, restaurants and shops, as well as rail service for Amtrak. We wandered around and found a display of model railroads in one of the rooms. There were some amazing displays of different gauge railroad models, with complete dioramas of cites, towns and countrysides. Some of the displays were Lego built as well. KC was a major rail hub for this country and continues to still have quite a bit of rail activity run through this portion of the country for moving commercial and industrial materials. We ventured outside of Union station to walk out on a bridge over the remaining rail lines and saw two large trains come through with their loads, one had mostly box cars, and the other was strictly coal - Interesting that the coal train (probably had 200 cars in it) had 2 engines in the front pulling, and one engine in the rear pushing, never saw that before. Nice to experience some KC history first hand...

 

 

August 2014 - Rangers Game - Pudge Bobblehead Night

Posted: August 12, 2014

Tuesday night we traveled into Arlington to take in a Rangers game - it was Pudge Rodriguez Bobble-Head night so who could miss out on that! We got into the stadium early to ensure we got the goods, then found our seats in my new favorite section - 32. This day was also the 20th year anniversary of The perfect game that Kenny Rogers pitched back in 1994. Kenny Rogers was a special guest at the game and was recognized for the achievement at the top of the second inning. The game got off to a good start with Nick Teppesch pitching well. Unfortunately, the Rays young pitcher was just as good if not better. In the 6th inning, the Rangers committed a couple throwing errors and allowed an inside the park home run for the Rays letting them get ahead 2-0. The Rangers battled back and tied the score by the 7th inning. Small ball took over, so both teams were playing conservative to get the one run advantage and win the game. This continued and took us to the bottom of the 14th inning, before the Rays finally loaded the bases and walked in the winning run for the Rangers 3-2. It was a good ending to an exciting game, but it was also midnight and neither team really has anything to play for at this point. We didn't get home until 2:30am in the morning. Go Rangers...

 

 

August 2014 - Let There Be More Canning!

Posted: August 10, 2014

Melody and Mom were at it again this week - gathering up fruit and vegatables to can some more for Kalyn. This time they made a flat of tomatoes. Melody had Charlie and Haley help her take some apples and make homemade applesauce. Both kids got to make their own jar so they could take some home and try it out. I love it when we make homemade applesauce with the big chuncks of apples and cinnimon in it. Yum!

 

 

August 2014 - Another "Kitten" Incident

Posted: August 8, 2014

Last week another kitten appeared on our porch one evening - basically screaming. Melody and the kids put some food out for it since they figured it was hungry but we agreed if it was still there in the morning, we'd be taking it to the animal shelter. It was gone in the morning so we didn't think we had an issue. 2 days later, it showed up again, this time crawling into the engine compartment of Russ' truck one evening and started making a horendous howling noise again (wasn't sure if he was hurt or what) so we fed him again and planned to trap him the next day. The next evening, I put out the trap and in a couple hours around dusk, I had him. Next morning I went out and got him out of the trap, and we put him in the bigger cage preparing to take him to the shelter later in the day. We checked with all the neighbors, and no one would claim this kitten as theirs (another drop off no doubt). He turned out to be a nice little cat, very friendly, it seemed a shame to take him in but we have too many cats already - he has to go. Jacquelyn checked around and found that Haley's Gymnastics teacher was looking for a kitten to be a commpanion for her dog - we'd found a home for him. We took him in for a couple days and planned to deliver the kitten on Friday. The pictures are from the trip over to drop him off with Becca in the van. He's been named Max and seems to be enjoying life over with Ms. Becca - there's some picts with is new roomate. A happy ending!

 

 

August 2014 - Dinner at Rick's House

Posted: August 1, 2014

Last Friday we traveled up to Kelly and Rick's house for dinner. We'd been saying for months we would come over and finally found a time that would work for all of us. Rick's been getting into cooking for some time so we got to see his culinary skills in action first hand. He made beef bowls with thin strips of Kobe beef and vegetables, and for desert, a bread pudding with whiskey. Both were delicious. They have now been in their new townhouse for about six months. Their subdivision is still building out but its almost complete They have a good lot about in the middle of the neighborhood - an end unit which is nice. The yard is coming in nicely and the trees and shrubs seem to be taking root. Looking forward to the next meal that Rick comes up with on a future visit :-)

 

 

July 2014 - Jeter's Last Stand in Texas

Posted: July 30, 2014

So this is Derek Jeter's last season with the Yankees - he made that clear before the season started that this would be it. So, each team has a special ceremony for him the last game they play with the Yankees this year to acknowledge his career in baseball. Mickey and I went to the final Yankees game last week to see Jeter one last time. I got some good seats down at field level for the occasion. The Rangers presented Jeter with a set of black boots with his name and Yankee Logo emblazoned on them, and made a donation to his Take 2 charity which was nice. Then they showed some pictures of Jeter back on 9/11 and the World Series game that year where GW Bush threw out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium. They told the story of how Jeter encouraged the President to throw from the mound - need to look strong, and to not bounce the pitch - New York fans would not take that well. Next, GW Bush came out and gave Jeter a picture of the event with both of them from that evening back in 2001 - nice. Onto the game - it was a good game, the Rangers ended up winning the game, but Jeter got a hit and made a couple double-plays as I recall. It was fun to see him one last time in Texas...

 

  July 2014 - Hadie, Cortney and Reese Stop By
Posted: July 24, 2014

Last week Courtney and Reese were at Hadie's for a visit and traveled out to our house for an afternoon to pick up Mom. It was an opportunity have some of the cousins get together which is not as frequent any longer given the distance they all live from each other. Funny to see the next generation together, just like when our kids were little. Reese and all the kids are getting big quickly. We had a spaghetti dinner and then everyone headed home. It was good to get to see everyone.

 

 

  July 2014 - Canning For Kalyn
Posted: July 19, 2014

Kalyn got the idea that she wanted to learn to can food so she and Sean came over for the weekend so Melody and Mamaw could teach Kalyn how to can. We pulled out the canning pot and all the tools and they went at it. I believe they did sweet pickles and tomatoes this time. Most of the vegetables came from our garden so we're putting them to good use. I think that strawberries and peaches is up next for their next canning session - tbd...

 

  July 2014 - Rodie and Charlie Whittling
Posted: July 16, 2014

When we got back from Alaska, one of the trinkets we gave to Charlie was a small knife. Rodie got the idea to have him learn to whittle on a bar of soap, so they spent the early evening out at the picnic table crafting artwork. I believe that Charlie was working on creating a duck, I'm not sure, but they both seemed to enjoy it - good way to spend a couple hours...

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Last Days in Seattle
Posted: July 12, 2014

Saturday morning we woke up and we were docked at the port in Seattle, its a short voyage from (Victoria to Seattle). We had put our bags out for unloading the night before, so we were all set. Lee, Karen and Lynette were scheduled to disembark early to make their transfer to the airport. We all gathered to say our goodbyes (:-( and went our vacation together was officially coming to an end. Melody, Mom and I headed up and ate breakfast, and disembarked around 9:30am, and caught a taxi to the hotel in Seattle - we had decided to stay a couple extra days. We returned to Pike's market and found that the line for the Original Starbucks shop wasn't too long, so we made a stop for some caffeine. We walked through the market one last time, found some last minute purchases and had a late lunch on the waterfront. We then headed back to our hotel and on the way, I got the crazy idea and wondered if the Mariners were in town and there was a game Saturday night? There was - so I looked up tickets and found some reasonable ones and we headed for the ballpark to watch the Mariners play the Oakland A's. SafeCo field is a really nice park, our seats were pretty good, and the couple next to us were fun and chatty - gave us the total lowdown on the Mariners since they were season seat holders. It was a good night for baseball - plus they were giving away bobble heads - Iwakuma, one of their star pitchers. On Sunday we headed to a hotel near the airport since we had an early flight on Monday. We ended up hunkering down on the hotel eatery and watching the World Cup Finals match. Quite a game between Germany and Argentina. We headed to bed early and caught our flights home very early the next morning - bringing to a conclusion our Alaskan Adventure...

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Port of Victoria BC
Posted: July 11, 2012

From Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon we sailed south towards Victoria, and arrived in port around 5pm. We had all scheduled to take a tour of the world famous Buchart Gardens. We left the ship and boarded a tour bus and headed out for a 45 min ride through Victoria. Our bus driver provided background on the city and its history and culture, as well as some insight into the history of the gardens. There was a concert scheduled in the gardens this evening so the place was pretty packed. We checked out the gift shop first, then started our walking tour. The gardens didn't disappoint - they were amazing with tons of flowers, trees, and shrubs meticulously placed and blended to create unbelievable atmosphere. Our guide indicated that they have something like 100 gardeners or something on staff - they do an amazing job. The pictures really don't do the gardens justice. As the afternoon turned to dusk, the gardens are lit up as well which is just as incredible. As with the other stops, i wish we could have spent more time but time ran out and we had to board the bus and head back to the ship. On the way back, the driver went past the Victoria Government building which was all lighted - quite a sight at night. I would like to go back to Victoria again to explore more - its a neat city.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Port of Ketchikan
Posted: July 10, 2014

Thursday morning we pulled into Ketchikan, AK very early - and we got off the boat to meet up with Toni, Melody's sister-in-law from her previous marriage. Lee, Karen,and Lynette had scheduled to take an excursion for a garden walk and animal tour. We met up with Toni and started exploring the shopping district. Ketchikan had the best shopping on this trip in my opinion - lots of unique shops with native creations. We stopped to rest a couple times at a Subway and finally at Annabelle's restuarant. I tried some of the local beer which 3 out of 4 were pretty good, and we had some fish. It was great to get to spend time with Toni, but our visit was way too short (4 hours), so we didn't get to see as much as I would have liked. From speaking with the locals, the salmon fishing in late August is suppose to be amazing. I'm going to need to take another trip up here - I want to see the salmon run! We re-boarded the ship and pulled out of port through a narraw passage - taking in all the fishing boats in the harbor of this fishing community. We then started further south, an indicator that our voyage is nearing an end.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Cruising Glacier Bay
Posted: July 9, 2014

So Wednesday was a planned cruising day through Glacier Bay area - complete day on the boat. Cruising through the inner passage provides some really dramatic scenery - the farther we traveled up the passage we started seeing ice flows, ice fields, and glaciers. At one point, we basically parked the ship to take in the grandure of the Margerie Glacier up close - we could hear calving of the ice from our vantage point on the balconies - what a sound! As the ship continued sailing the bay, we got breakfast and headed up to the Lido deck where National Park Rangers were gathered (they came aboard the ship early in the morning) to help educate passengers on the Alaskan National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Like earlier in the week, our naturalist and the park rangers were on the PA system calling out the different points of interest and history of the area. We saw many small ice bergs floating in the water as we traveled in the bay, cast offs from previous pieces falling off the glaciers. As you can tell from the pictures. the scenery is amazing. We completed our time in Glacier bay around 3pm and started sailing south. In the afternoon, we took in a talk from one of the Park Rangers about her experiences in Alaska and what its like - it was a really good presentation. Overall, another amazing days of sites and sounds.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Port of Skagway
Posted: July 8, 2014

We arrived in Skagway very early on Tuesday morning, around 6am. We were scheduled to be picked up for our tour by 8am so we got off the boat early (and much quicker than at Juneau. Our plan for the day was a bus tour across the White Pass Trail to the Yukon Suspension Bridge, then visiting the town of CarCross (or Caribu Crossing). Along the way we would be traveling through the mountain passes that the miners used tp gain access to the Yukon teritory during the 1880's gold rush. Our bus finally showed up to begin our adventure. Our tour guide was a nice young gentleman (that I can't recall his name currently) who was very informative. He was a tour guide during the summers and had spent the past 3 summers in Skagway if I recall correctly. We started out driving through Skagway, and then began a drive through the mountains, along the Yukon rail line. The weather was dreary and foggy as we climbed to the top of the pass. There were 3 different climate zones going through the mountains and over it, determined by the altitude and weather conditions prevelent in the different valleys. After about an hour drive, we reached the summit and the Canadian border where customs agents boarded the bus. There was also a rock slide that had the road blocked for the previous 3 days - luckily for us the road crews has cleared enough of the debris so our bus could get through the one lane open. As we started down the Canadian side we arrived at the Yukon Suspension Bridge, a tourist site built over the rushing Tutshi River and canyon. We were greeted by the proprieter and his dog, explaining more about the bridge and property. Along with the bridge, they had historical displays of the Yukon teritory and its history and on the other side, a cabin outlining what a miner or trapper of the Klodike's living space may look like and the equipment he/she would need. The landscape around the property was really lush, covered in pine trees. We explored the sites, took some pictures, went through the gift shop and small cafe, then re-boarded the bus to continue the journey to Caribu Crossing. We pulled into a set of buildings that had historical displays, gift shops, sled dog rides, and an eatery. We only had about an hour here, but we all agreed that the sled dog ride was a must so we go tickets and got in line for our turn. During the summer, the mushers give rides to tourists on carts to keep the dogs in shape for the running season and the Iditorod. I believe the racer who's dogs are featured there was Michelle Phillips. The dogs go crazy when they know that a team will be assembled on the pull line - its like they are all calling out. "pick me! Pick me!" we boarded the cart, the mushers chose the dogs and hooked them to the pull line, and we were off. We had 6 people on the cart plus the driver, but the dogs didn't seem to mind - they were completely capable of pulling the load. I was actually surprised at how fast they pulled us. Half way through we stopped for a water break - pools of water for the dogs to dip their feet into. During the summer, they release heat from their tongue and the soles of their feet - thus soaking them in cool water is a relief for them. Then we were off to complete the ride - something I'm sure we won't soon forget. We then hurried to grab a chicken lunch and drinks before heading back to the bus to drive to the actual city of CarCross (a few miles away). CarCross (a shortened name for Caribu Crossing) was one of the klondike towns along the trail of the gold rush miners. We didn't get to spend a great deal of time there, but there's several historic buildings, a train and boat that's being restored. We went in a metal artist's shop who had some really neat offerings of Klondike scenes. Our tour guide pulled out a horn from a Caribu that he found on the mountain trail hiking earlier in the summer - the one antler was about six feet across - amazing. We then started re-tracing our path back along the same road to Skagway - stopping by some of the overlooks for scenic pictures. All along the journey our guide provided information and historical facts about the area - for almost 8 hours. When we got back into Skagway, he dropped many of us off in the downtown area for shopping, a short walk to the boat pier. We spent about 2 hours scouring the streets for trinkets and goodies from the different stores finding native artwork, jewelry, and such. Karen and Lee went back to the boat a little ealier to attenda talk from Libby Riddles, the first female to win the Iditorod sled dog race. Skagway was a good introduction to the Klodike area - I just wish we could have spent more time exploring - with the limited time, it felt like there was more to see that we didn't have time to explore.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Port of Juneau
Posted: July 7, 2014

Monday morning we awoke to colder weather, some snow on the moutain tops of the inside passage way we were sailing through, and some fog. We all ended up meeting on the balconies in the morning when everyone was up. We were hopeful for the chance to see some whales on the inner passage, a place known for pods being present. The onboard naturalist was narrating as we went, trying to call out whale sightings and points of interest. We spent time on the balconies with field glaces in hand and listening for the whale call. Of course, many of the sightings were on the other side of the boat but we did get a couple on our side - although they were quite far from the boat. You could see the humpback whales exhale an blow into the are as they surfaced, and a few times we saw the flukes as they prepared for deep diving. Even with the distance, its impressive to watch. after breakfast, we pulled into Juneau, Alaska around 11am I believe. We had to set our clocks back an hour the previous evening. I hadn't realized that Alaska was another hour further west. Interesting sight that the port authority boat escorting our ship into the pier was manned with a gun. The boat kept circling back and forth while we were coming into port. We got into the port smoothly and dis-embarked - that was interesting, how you get 2 thousand people off the ship - could of been handled better I think. Once we got off, we headed for our tour of the Juneau Rain Gardens. The Gardens were created managed by a local couple - they had a wide variety of the native species of plants that are in the Tongass National Forest. Very lush area with many flowering bushes and shrubs. Lynette found a plant she was looking for - Devil's Club which the Alaskan Indians use for medicinal purposes. When we completed the walking tour, we were served some outstanding home made cinimin muffins and hot tea. We boarded our tour bus and headed for Mendenhall Glacier. When you arive at the Glacier - the size is deceiving. The glacier itself is massive, and has retreated a great deal (miles I believe) in the last 100 years forming a lake at the front of it. Small icebergs litter the lake as they drop off of the Glacier - I believe they call it "calving" when a hunk of ice falls off a glacier. A large fast running water fall was adjacent to the glacier, formed from snow/ice runoff. We didn't have enough time to hike up the mile distance to see it up close, but it was still impressive from a distance. They have an interesting display in the Visitor Center explaining the glacier history, and a sample of ice taken each day from the glacier that you can touch (although I didn't). Bear skins and a stuffed bear were on display as well. They also had salmon ladders nearby but again, we didn't have enough time to explore that aspect of the park before getting back on the bus to head back to Juneau for shopping. Once we were back at the town center, we took a ride on the Mt. Roberts Tramway to the top of Mt. Roberts. We ate lunch at the Timeberline Bar and Grill where we had some seafood (I had a Butt Burger, a hamburger made with a halibut steak) and some Alaskan beer. Then we stolled through the gift shop, and Lee and I went to see the bald eagle on display. She had previously suffered an eye injury and can no loger fly correctly with the sight issue so she's on display for educational purposes. When we got back down the mountain to Juneau, it had started raining, but we were able to do some shopping prior to the time we had to be back at the boat. Juneau was smaller than I expected for the capital of Alaska, but its a pretty neat place to visit.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Lee's Birthday on the Boat
Posted: July 6, 2014

Day two on the ship we were at sea all day. Lee was able to celebrate his birthday while on the ship. He awoke to balloons posted on his door - yikes! We met in the buffet area again for breakfast and then headed to the shopping presentation where they make sure you know how and what to spend your money on for the trip and explained the different ports we'd be stopping at. Nothing like an informercial while on vacation. Throuhout the day we all did different things, exploring the ship, attending presentations or events. napping. We all met back up again at dinner time and headed to the dining hall for the first formal night. At dinner, they brought a small cake desert to help celebrate Lee's day which was nice. Given it was formal night, its customary for there to be oppotunities for photos to be taken so we all gathered at one of the locations and had a group picture taken and some individuals as well. After all the photos were done, we changed to less formal attire and Lee, Karen, Melody and I went exploring to the back of the boat. We then went upstairs to Skywalkers, the night club at the back of the boat. (Note: Lee in a night Club :-) ) Its a neat place, 17 floors above the water, the highest lookout on the ship. It was pretty neat up there, good place to hang out - Happy Birthday Lee!

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: The Golden Princess
Posted: July 5, 2014

So the 5th arrived and it was time to head for the boat to board our cruise ship, the Golden Princess from Princess Cruise Lines. We took a shuttle down to the pier, and found luggage handlers (took two tries :-) ) to take care of the bags. The waiting ines for embarking weren't too bad, and we made it onto the ship in probally an hour. We then went to the Lido deck and started the feasting in the buffet. Once everyone was stuffed, we started exploring the ship and finding our rooms, putting clothes away etc since the ship didn't sail until 4pm. Of course, you have to go to Muster Training - that's always a hoot. Lee in paticular felt very comfotable in his life jacket, but they wouldn't let him wear it around the ship. Once we set sail, the Lido deck became party central - and we went to our first seating in the dining hall. Nice materdee Armondo- very attentive. Food was pretty good as well. This ship was pretty big, with plenty of amenities. Most of the rooms all have balconies for site seeing which is nice. We explored most areas of the boat I think during the trip, and they always have different things going on to keep you occupied. One in paticular was food carving - the chefs from the kitchen are quite the artists and the things they can do with food and ice - amazing. Take look at some of the ship...

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: The Chihuly Garden Exhibit
Posted: July 4, 2014

Ajacent to the Space Needle is a glass exhibition displaying Dale Chihuly artwork. He's a world famous glass artist from the northwest. When we returned to the hotel, Lynette decided that it would be a shame to be in Seattle and not see this since it was so close, so she and I walked across the road to go see it. This exhibit spans many different artforms that Chihuly has experimented with during the past decades, and what he and his crew have been able to create is stunning. I am a big fan of his work. Some of the exhibit is indoors, and some is outdoors - Chihuly likes to mix nature and his works together. I'm glad that Lynette got to see this - I know she and Jack love glass artistry.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Visiting Pikes's Market
Posted: July 4, 2014

After the Duck Tour, we boarded the monarail system and traveled to the shoppnig district - destination:World Famous Pikes Market. We walked down to the market area a few blocks away and begain searching for a lunch spot and found Etta's and grabbed a bite to eat. Afterwards, we strolled through the market which is like a bazzar - they have vendors with booths selling everything from artwork, to fresh fruit and vegatables, to clothing, to blown glass, metal art, you name it - they have it. Pikes Market is also known for their fresh fish - an in paticular, the one fish vendor where they actually "throw" the fish around when someone orders it. We targeted to see this but wouldn't you know it - on 4th of July, the vendor was closed - I couldn't believe it. We had just visited the day before and saw them throwing the fish. Epic fail, had no idea they would close on 4th of July with all the tourists in town. Then we went down overlooking the water and took some pictures, everyone had enough shopping so we decidee to head back to the hotel to rest for the afternoon before dinner.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Seattle Duck Tour
Posted: July 4, 2014

Morning of 4th of July we were up early and headed out for the Seattle Duck Tours. We figured this would be a quick way to get a look at the city and sights given we have limited time with everyone. We were on the first boat/car tour of the morning, so we boarded, got our "quackers" and headed out. The tour goes through some of the downtown area, along the water front, through the shopping district, and then heads for Lake Union when they turn the car into the boat. We then steamed out to take a look at the Seattle skyline again, the floating home from the movie Sleepless in Seattle, and other interesting floating homes and ships. Lake Union is where they set off the firworks for the 4th, so there's a huge bardge in the middle of the lake. Our guide said that by 4-6pm the boat traffic on the lake would be so bad you couldn't even move - good thing we were on the early tour. They wrapped up going through the suburbs area north of the Lake and then headed back to the pick up spot near the Needle. The tour was entertaining and informational - even Lee was getting into the act :-) Good way to see the city in a short span.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Dinner at the Space Needle
Posted: July 3, 2014

Lee, Karen, and Lynette arrived in Seattle the evening of the 3rd and stayed at the same hotel with us near the landmark Space Needle. I had made reservations to have dinner at the Sky City restaraunt at the top of Needle. We arrived and did some browing in the gift shop, and then boarded the elevator to the observation deck to await our table. The view of the Seattle skyline is amazing as the restaraunt slowly turns - it takes about an hour to do one full revolution. With dinner and desert, you usually get two full turns around. It was fun getting everyone together and a good way to kick off our family vacation.

 

  July 2014 - Alaska Trip: Seattle Art Museum
Posted: July 3, 2014

This summer we planned to take a Alaska Cruise on the 5th with Mom, Lee, Karen, and Lynette. We decided to travel to Seattle a little early to do some sightseeing and spend the 4th of July up their for a change. On the first Thursdays of the month, the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) has free admission, so early in the morning we headed for the museum to check it out. Its a mix of classic and modern artwork, some from local artists, others from collections and such. I really liked the native Indigenous art they had from the Indians, the Northwest artistry is one of my favorites. They also has an intersting African mask collection on display, and some otherJapanese pieces that were interesting. Wasn't as thrilled with the section of modern art that was on display - some disturbing imagery on display there - likely to frighten small children. I thought the museum was interesting, and you can't beat the price.

 

  June 2014 - Great Wolf Lodge Adventure
Posted: June 27, 2014

Hadie and Ken went to pick up Alex and Addie from their parent last weekend for their summer visit to Texas. We made plans to spend a couple days with them at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor/outdoor water park with a Hotel. Lots of water activities of course - a wave pool, lots of water slides, lazy river, little kids swim pool, relaxation pools, and plenty of food and drink of course. Its almost like a Las Vegas for kids. We got a room that included a special sleeping area for the kids so they had their own "camping cabin." Ken wasn't able to stay with us due to work, so one evening we met Ken for dinner on Lake Grapevine's boat dock and fed the ducks and turtles. Then we stopped at a local park and let the kids play for a couple hours. On the day we left, we stopped to see the Steam Train at the Grapevine depot, but unfortunately it was closed. It was a great visit with Alex and Addie - they are growing up fast!

  June 2014 - Father's Day at the House
Posted: June 14, 2014

Melody invited all the kids over to the house for Father's Day this year so we could have a family get together. We loaded up the cooler with sodas and ice pops, set up the umbrella, and gussied up the yard. Melody made homemade lasangna which was good but a little runny - she made so much I'll be eating this for a week! We also took the opportunity to take some family photos since we don't often get everyone together at the same time. Then the kids played some soccer in the yard (it's World Cup season) and we ended the night roasting marshmellows in the chiminaya - a fine day it was for this Dad in 2014.

 

  June 2014 - Victor's House Search in Texas
Posted: June 10, 2014

Victor and Dawn have been looking to buy a piece of property in the area for some time. Victor was able to locate some nearby to us so we've been working with him to scout them out. One in paticular in the Ben Wheeler area seems to fit their needs and wants so we went by and took a look and took some pictures. He decided to take a more serious look at it and stopped by for a visit. They ended up putting an offer in on it and purchased the house! Next month they should close and will be moving down to Texas - congratulations Dawn and Victor!

 

  June 2014 - Charlie Breaks in Hadie and Ken's New Pool
Posted: June 7, 2014

Over the weekend, we house sat for Ken and Hadie while they were in San Jose. They had just completed construction on their pool and filled it with water the previous week. Charlie was in heaven being the water hound he is. It didn't take long, and he was in. Senta was ever watchful of him making sure he didn't do anyting without her the whole time. Its a really nice pool, with water bubblers and a hot tub. It was really hard to get Charlie out of the water when it was time to go. I think Senta was actually first, but Charlie did his part to help break in the new pool - he even left some chocolate cake behind for Aunt Hadie as a thank you.

 

  June 2014 - Wedding Location Search for Kalyn and Sean
Posted: June 4, 2014

We spent a few days last week over in Fort Worth with Kalyn and Sean at their house in Eagle Mountain. The goal was to look at several places that Kalyn had on her list of potential sites for the wedding and try and narrow down the location. We started with a banquet hall called the Marquis on Magnolia - located in an office building on Magnolia Ave. Nice setting, plenty of room, seemed to have good catering support and the lady was extremely nice. Walked away with a positive state of mind. Next was the Rose Wedding Chapel - a very old church that is being renovated and used exclusely for weddings and events. Building was ok, a little dark, but it could work - walked away thinking this one didn't seem like a candidate. Next was the Train Depot - a Fort Worth historic building where you rent the main entry hall of the depot for your event. Plenty of room and the setting would be interesting, but the staff wasn't the most helpful or informative - walked away again thinking this didn't seem like the right spot. By the end of the day, we'd decided that the Marquis was a good location and the date Kalyn wanted was open - so we reserved it with the right to cancel. The next day, we went and toured another location that Kalyn had previously visited which was more along the style of what she wanted, a country farm setting - informal. Hollow Hill Farm is an event center that was born out of a family's tradition where their kids and relatives all wanted to get married at their farm. They've built a banquet hall, entertainment area, and a large barn for hosting events. The proprieter and his brother have done most of the building and wood working which is amazing - its their hobby bu they's done some amazing work. They were super helpful, and the location seemed to have all the amenities that Kalyn wanted - they can plan to have the wedding outside, there's room to move indoors if weather is a factor, and the place has the country informal atmosphere that she was looking for - so in the end we switched the reservation to Hollow Hill Farm. Whew as the location - at least that one's out of the way :-), now all we need is a date...

 

  June 2014 - Our Backyard This Summer
Posted: June 2, 2014

So summer is right around the corner and we've been working on the backyard as usual. Melody, Mom, and the kids planted flowers in the window box containers, we got a new gardenia tree, hibiscus, and shrimp plant. Haley's cheerleading fund raiser was hanging plant baskets so we picked up a few of those as well. The big new item this year is my new bubbling fish fountain on the porch - its ugly, but its me :-)

  May 2014 - Haley's 6th Grade Promotion
Posted: May 30, 2014

Today was Haley's last day in Grade School. They had a small informal ceremony to mark the occasion for the kids, and to recognize this important change in their school advancement - things will be different in Jr. High. They also had punch and cookies for the kids and their families. It was nice to hear from the teachers that this particular 6th grade class had no dramas this year - that they are a good bunch of kids. Since most of them are together throughout their whole school years, thats a good thing to hear cuz the dramas only get bigger when they get older. Congratulations Haley!

 

  May 2014 - Scaborough Faire in Texas
Posted: May 23, 2014

On Saturday we went with Jack and Eric and the kids to the Scarborough Renaissance Fair in Waxahatchie TX. I've never been to one of these things before so it was a new experience for me and the kids. Right from the entrance, you encounter persons dressed in the period, all shapes, and sizes. It was cool to see so many people participating in the event, I didn't expect as many as we saw. We quickly were attracted to some of the booths,with face painting, silk and leather art, armory, and people in the street playing games with the visitors. There was plenty of eateries around the grounds, and many other shopping booths were people sell their wares. Many of the crafts at the festival were quite interesting. We ventured into a costume store as well - for a few hundred bucks you could be a man in tights for a day! We even saw mermaids who tell corny jokes (Why do fish live in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze!). Charlie would not blow a kiss to the mermaids when saying goodbye (I believe that could be bad luck). We sat in on a performer who played the musical glasses and explained some of the history of water instruments - Ben Franklin invented a instrument based off the water harp - didn't know that. We also saw Cale the Juggler who was quite funny - plus he juggled fire on a free standing ladder - not bad. As we strolled along late in the day, we encountered a group of women using picture dice to tell a story - it was a little hard to get the kids to participate (they are quite shy). Finally, we reached the end and headed for home. I think it was a fun day for everyone.

     
  April 2014 - Easter at Grandma's House
Posted: April 19, 2014

Easter came late this year and we did the usual - we boiled up some eggs and the kids came over and started the painting process. Kalyn was home for the weekend so she helped the kids out in the process. Mom made the Easter cakes for all the grand kids, and the Easter Bunny stopped by and dropped off goodies for all the kids (young and old). It was quite a haul!

 

  April 2014 - Ethan's 5th Birthday
Posted: April 13, 2014

Over the weekend we went over to Marty's house to help celebrate Ethan's 5th birthday. Several family and friends stopped and we had cake and ice cream. Once we finished, the kids ran off to play on the hay bales. Brittany and Ken are in the process of getting a new house at the moment, they just removed their old house the day before. Their new house should be delivered in the next few days and then the setup process will begin. They are all pretty excited about it as you would expect.

 

  March 2014 - Mom's Turns 77 This Year
Posted: March 21, 2014

So we celebrated a a quiet birthday with Mom this year - she turned 77. Marty and family took her out to dinner, and we planned to have cake and ice cream and presents at home given we just returned from a trip. She got a Dale Jr. sweater from Ken and Hadie, and some flowers from the kids. Happy Birthday Mom!

 

  March 2014 - Stoppping By To See Brooklyn
Posted: March 17, 2014

Brooklyn Nicole Creech arrived on March 3rd. Brittany and Ken were so happy. Unfortunately we were not able to stop by the hospital or when they first brought her home to see her so we stopped by after our trip to Florida to say hi and take a peek at the cutie. Landon and Ethan seem pretty taken with her, and she has quite a bit of hair! Congratulations Britt and Ken on the new addition!

 

  March 2014 - Bahamas Trip: Stop in Daytona
Posted: March 14, 2014

By morning we were back in the port of Palm Beach and got off the ship before noon. Given our location, I told Melody and Hadie we were going to swing through Daytona to stop at the Museum at the Daytona Raceway and see Dale Jr's Daytona 500 winning car which should be on display. We pull into town and there's motorcyles everywhere - I didnt realize that there was a Harley convention or something going on at the Daytona speedway so things were buzzing. We got into the parking lot and went in to purchase tickets for the museum and I was told that most of the memorabillia had been moved to the NASCAR Hall of Fame up in Charolotte a few years back when that opened up, so there's no real museum in Daytona anymore (Its been quite a few years since I've been here). I had no idea. So I'm thinking we just made a trip for nothing. I'm talking with the ticket agent about getting a tour of the speedway and pits at least and he tells me, you can buy the tickets, but there's no tours running today due to the motorcycle convention and they were running the motorcycles on the speedway I think. But - if you buy the tour ticket, you can see the winning car - bingo! That's what I wanted, so I was able to get Mom into see JR's car and get her picture with it - she actually got to touch the car as well (to steady herself) although she wasn't suppose to :-) After that, we headed for home - a good spring break vacation.

 

  March 2014 - Bahamas Trip: Touring Grand Bahama Island
Posted: March 13, 2014

Next morning we woke up docked in Grnd Bahama Island - we headed out early for our sightseeing excursion - a jeep tour of Grand Bahama. We met our guide and boarded a bus that took us to the pick up spot for the Jeeps. We then were assigne to a vehicle, given a quick lesson on driving in Bahamas, and how to use the CB radios since we would travel in a convoy. Then we started down the road with our guide providing facts and history on sites over the radio as we traveled down the road. There was a blond girl driving one of the jeeps - she earned the nickname "Barbie" and somehow I earned the nickname "Charlie" since I was traveling with 3 ladies (ie. Charlie's Angels). The tour guide was great - did a really good job. We stopped at a shopping spot near one beach, then proceeded out on a penisula where I saw water so blue, I couldn't believe it. We then traveled to another beach area, walked through some wooded area with racoons on the paths, and spent about 1.5 hours dipping our feet in the warm Carribean water on the pristine beach. Once our jeep tour was over, we were dropped off at an all inclusive resort on the island for lunch, and spent a couple hours in the shopping area associated with the resort where we bumped into some locals. I was told that around Christmas time is a good time to visit the Bahamas - they have celebrations almost like Carnival that are a sight to experience. By early afternoon, we were back at the port finishing up our shopping in the market. Conk shells are really big hear as well as wood carving and straw art. We then re-boarded the boat for dinner and set sail for Florida.

 

  March 2014 - Bahamas Trip: Onboard the Bahamas Celebration
Posted: March 12, 2014

After two days of grueling timeshare sales pitches, offers you can refuse, and arm twisting that should be illegal, we were headed for the Bahamas. We had to drive up to the port of Palm Beach to board the Bahamas Celebration - a converted Ferry boat turned into a cruise ship. The cruise line only has the one ship which can hold about 400 people, and it makes trips back a forth between Florida and Grand Bahama every other day. We got onboard early in the afternoon with many of the other pasengers and the party started (its spring break afterall). There were many college students on board heading to the island for their break - they headed straight to the pool and bars on deck. Overall, the ship was really nice, the staff was great - rooms were a little small unless you upgrade (which we didn't). The food was really good, entertainment was interesting. We sailed at dusk and headed for our adventure in the Bahamas!

 

  March 2014 - Bahamas Trip: Ft. Lauderdale Waterway Tour
Posted: March 10, 2014

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Monday afternoon and checked in at the hotel we were booked at - lots of activity around this place. It serves as the tourist information center as well as the sales office for the time share company - interesting. We weren't scheduled to attend our sales pitch until Tuesday so we had an afternoon to see Ft. Lauderdale. I found a dinner cruise that looked interesting so I booked it for us. We then set out to find the harbor where the dinner boat would be. We boarded the Jungle Queen and set off cruising down the Ft Lauderdale waterway. This area has some really big million dollar houses owned by the rich and famous. You not only get to see their house, but also their yatches or super yatches to be more specific. We sailed up river a little over an hour to an island where the buffet dinner was served. The food was really good. Following dinner, we made our way to a small amphitheater outside for a variety show with some guy who had competed on Star Search, and a comedian/magician performer - it was an enjoyable hour show. We then boarded the boat again and headed back to the port - the waterway at night was cool with all the different lights. Good way to start our time in Ft. Lauderdale.

 

  March 2014 - Bahamas Trip: Stopping by Duck Dynasty
Posted: March 8, 2014

A while back Mom signed up for a "free or greatly reduced" 3 day/2 night vacation package to stay in Ft. Lauderdale FL for 2 nights and cruise to the Bahamas. She asked us to accompany her as well as Hadie. Didn't know exactly what to expect on this trip although we new there was going to be a presentation (time share offer). We headed out for a week's trip to Florida on Saturday morning and as we got to Monroe, LA Melody mentioned that she had recently been there with the kids from school to see Duck Dynasty (which hails from Monroe). What the heck - we had the time so we decided to stop and in, grab something to eat and check things out. We didn't see any of the Robertson family or the other show members, but we did see the original factory (which is now a mechandise store) and did some shopping :-) We then continued on down the road working our way to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. First night destination was Mobile, AL. Second night's desination was Orlando.

 

  March 2014 - Rob's 49th Birthday
Posted: March 5, 2014

My birthday snuck up on me this year since I've been pretty busy - I was working non-stop lately and didn't realize what day it was so we ended up celebrating after a late dinner when I got off the phone for work. These late phone calls were pretty standard lately. The kids helped me celebrate and I had a really good cake with flowers. I also got some much needed presents like a star wars mug set, Lord of the RIngs Legos, some beef jerky, and a new Kuerig coffee machine since ours was going out. A nice birthday indeed!

 

  February 2014 - Charlie's Little Dribbler's
Posted: February 8, 2014

Charlie, Maddie, and Allison have been participating in Lit'l Dribblers this winter, so Sean and Kalyn were over for the weekend and we all went down to watch some of the games. We didn't get there in time to see Allison's game but we did catch some of Maddie's and then watched Charlie. He does pretty well, and works hard on defense. He's still a little tentative when it comes to rebounding and attacking the goal but that will come in time.

 

  February 2014 - Mickey's 56th Birthday
Posted: February 7, 2014

Mickey had his birthday the other day at our house - he turned 56 this year. We finally got a pretty good picture of him with the kids. We had cake and ice cream, and the kids opened his presents for him as usual. Happy Birthday Mickey!

 

 

  February 2014 - Haley's Gymnast Competition in Allen
Posted: February 2, 2014

Last weekend we traveled to Allen to watch Haley at a Gymnastics competition. Haley moved to a gym out of Mineola so this is a new team for her this year. They went through the same events, with added difficulties to the routines this year - I believe she's a level 3 now? She scored quite high in every event, and for her level, I believe she ended up being ranked near the top and her overall team came in 1st - way to go Haley and team!

 

 

January 2014 - Charlie Turns the Big 8 this year

Posted: January 8, 2014

Charlie celebrated his family birthday last week at Jerry's Pizza in Canton. He had a Ninja Turtles cake and invited his friend Case to join us for dinner. After consuming massive quantities of Ninja Turtle food (pizza), we got down to the business at hand - we sang happy birthday, opened some presents, and ate the cake. Charlie and Haley also had a friends birthday celebration at the Grand Saline roller rink a couple weeks back - that's where the kids just invite their friends to come help celebrate their birthdays. Happy Birthday Charlie - looks like it was good one!

 

 

  January 2014 - After Christmas with Katie
Posted: January 2, 2014

Katie was able to come over last week while we were still on vacation so we were able to celebrate a late Christmas with her. We still haven't taken down our Christmas decorations :-) She now working at Sonic so getting together is a little more tricky than it used to be. Its always fun to be able to get the families together around the holidays, even if its late. Merry Christmas Katie!

 

 

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