Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BIG church

We attend a BIG church. As of in "mega" and "you know, one of those churches." I'll spare you the story about how I never thought a big church could be a good thing (then God called me to one and showed me how He uses churches both small and BIG). But this past Sunday, to launch a campaign to reach out neighbors for Jesus called "Bigger than You", our church met together for one service in one building, as opposed to several services on 3 campuses. We also had lots of visitors from other churches, etc. Here's one video that captures the essence of the service, which was the last 5 minutes of it.

and my favorite part, just before the first video:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charlie's First Day of Kinder

As usual, things don't go the way I planned them.

The plan: Get up extra early, get Charlie ready. Cook him a good nutritious breakfast. Give him lots of hugs and encouragement, take pictures. Pull my baby under my wing and fly far far away ...I mean, load up and head to school. Talk with the teacher. Watch Charlie interact with his class. Try to not cry. Then go to the parent meeting.

What really happened: The alarm that I KNOW I set right didn't go off. Wake up 5 minutes before the final bell rings at the school. Get Charlie up and rush him thru the morning routine. Snap a quick picture. Hand him a pop tart to eat on the way. Rush to the school. Hurry Charlie into class, drop off his stuff, snap another quick picture. Get out of the way. Get to the parent meeting 15 minutes late.

First Day of Kindergarten
His exact words at this moment were: "I'm so excited I'm going to kindergarten!"

Charlie's Kinder Class
I know it's hard to see, but he just joined right in, sat in the middle of the kids for a story time.

So there it is. Another humbling experience, no doubt. ;) I think Charlie hardly noticed. He had a great day! He even told me he wished I hadn't brought him and picked him back up - he REALLY wants to ride the bus. So the transition is definitely easy for him. Praise God! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fun at Granny's

In addition to all the places we went to sight-see, we had a lot of in between time at Granny's. We had so much fun just hanging out, and we played lots of games. Farkle, Uno, Go Fish...we even taught Granny to play Catan, then she beat us all! Made me proud! ;)

One day Granny got the water hose out and had fun with the boys.
Fun at Granny's

Fun at Granny's

Most evenings we sat out and watched the moon rise on the bay (Granny lives on the Bay of Galveston).
moonrise on Galveston Bay

Fun at Granny's

The boys played with chalk on Granny's porch.
Chalk it up.

And they wrestled with Bubba...often.
Wrestle Mania

Chandler was elated to discover Granny had a dryer! (Aunt Randi looking on.)
Just checking out the laundry

Hosea grew accustomed to the madness that is 3 lil boys.
King of the Couch

We saw a REALLY big grasshopper.
A BIG Grasshopper

The boys played in the sand. (Major lens distortion here, can you tell?)
This is what it's like to have a lil bro.

Chandler loved the slide/ swing set.
Fun at Granny's

We found out that Aunt Randi and Charlie wear almost the same shoe size.
Big Feet or little feet?

Chandler enjoyed some watermelon with Aunt Meme.
Fun at Granny's

Fun at Granny's

Hosea quickly learned that Chandler was his ally when it came to table food.

We discovered an abandoned kitten. I cared for it for the last few days of our trip, then Granny adopted it.
Fun at Granny's

And this, my friends, is what grandsons will do to you - knock you out.
This is what grandkids will do to you.

We also went to McD's...the boys wanted a picture with their Happy Meal puppies.
Showing off our new puppies

And here's a shot from eating out at Chuy's. Oh man, I forgot how good the food is there! I've been craving their salsa ever since. Thankfully there are a few here in San Antonio!
Mmmm Chuy's!

And that's it!! Please, don't applaud. Hahaha. It was a great trip! And now to adjust to Chuck working away from home...and Charlie starting Kindergarten...and Chance starting Pre-K. Sigh. I'm so glad we got so much time together before all this time apart started!


Also during our trip we spent 4 days in Nederland, near my hometown, and where the majority of my family lives that is still there.

The boys got some Lego building time with Aunt Peggy.
Playing Legos with Aunt Peggy

Aunt Peggy and Uncle Mike have a new tv. I think the boys thought it was an IMAX.
It might as well be the IMAX

We went to lunch with my sisters and extended family. I was so happy that Dodie, my former step grandma came! Wish I would've gotten a better picture.
Sweet Dodie

Chandler did his part to give his Aunt Randi ("Aun Andi") some baby fever, since she's getting married in December.
Little charmer

Then Randi watched Chandler while we went out for dinner - and continued to work his charm. Ha! And Mari (Aunt Meme) watched the older boys. Thanks girls!!

The next day we checked out a Bounce place.
Bounce time

Bounce time

Bounce time

Bounce time

Chan tried to wear this helmet but it was a bit heavy...
Bounce time

That night the maternal side of my family got together for dinner. I LOVE this picture because you see how everyone is interacting. And I LOVE that my family will get together to visit like this. There's an aunt, an uncle, 2 cousins, a dear friend and her family, and many 2nd cousins here.
Family Reunion

My Mom, Granny, with my 2nd cousin Emily.
Family Reunion

2nd Cousins, Mecaela and her sister Kya, and Emily (on the left). Mecaela just returned from a 2 month mission trip to Florida...we had lots to talk about! Way to go, Mecaela!
Family Reunion

So we met up again the next morning at a nearby playground. (Mecaela with Kya)
My cousins

Charlie in the ropes at the playground.
Port Neches Park

Then we went back to Dodie's to visit. Aunt Stephanie and Charlie played "Go Fish"
Playing at Dodo's

Sunday we attended my sister Randi's church, then had lunch, swam and ate with Uncle Mike and Aunt Peggy, and headed back to Baytown. It was so great to see our family!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Houston Zoo

Ok, so are you tired of all these blogs yet? Heheh. But we did so much sight-seeing and it was definitely worth remembering!

We met up with my friend Leslie and her kids Ariana and Seth at the Houston Zoo. It was a very hot and muggy day, but we had fun anyhow!

Charlie and Chance, watching the Sea Lions:
Houston Zoo

Granny and Chandler also watching those sea lions:
Houston Zoo

Bubba was with us too.
Houston Zoo

It was nostalgic to see one of these fountains...remember these? Anyone?
Houston Zoo

Thankfully it cooled down for awhile as a shower came thru. The kids loved dancing and playing in it.

Houston Zoo

Then we also cooled off in the kids' waterpark area. Seth enjoyed the cool down.
Houston Zoo

Ariana looked so cute in her bikini!
Houston Zoo

3 boys going 3 directions, as usual.
Houston Zoo

Charlie and Chance thought it was fun to ride these turtles.
Houston Zoo

Chandler cracked me up with this frog. Granny has video of it - he thought he was turning it on when it would randomly spit out water. He played here a long time. So cute.
Houston Zoo

Then we saw a homegrown baby elephant. It reminded me of this post with the 22 month gestation of elephants. Man, I'm glad I'm not pregnant! ;)

And Seth and Charlie climbed on the statue of the baby elephant. Although the real baby was much bigger.
Houston Zoo

I WISH I would've gotten a pic of Leslie, sorry girl! But thanks so much for joining us, it was great!!

Houston Center for Photography

So Houston is definitely superior to San Antonio in this way - it has a Photography Museum. Not only a place to see cool photographs, but it has classes (be still my heart)! When I heard they were having a family day, I knew we had to go.

The boys got to see themselves in an old timey portrait:

Houston Center for Photography

Then they decorated frames:

Decorating frames

Then they set up some exposure paper. This was cool.

Setting up the exposure paper

Set it in the sun to let it expose...

exposing the paper
(Can you tell the lens distortion here? It's wonky, I know.)

Then we set it in a liquid, then hung it to dry:

Houston Center for Photography
(Again, major distortion on Charlie's face. But see the papers behind him? So cool!)

And here's Charlie's final product:

The Finished product

I want to try that again sometime. I hear you can get the stuff at arts and crafts stores.