Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flying L Ranch

We have discovered a place that we love...to the point that we've been 3 times in the last 2 months!

Flying L Ranch is a resort out in Bandera, only about 30 minutes West of Boerne. My first visit was as a guest of my mentor, Sue Speedy, from Mentoring Moms. She organized a playdate there, and I was amazed at how wonderful it was for my kids. There's a great waterpark that was just perfect for them. There was a big twisty slide that landed in shallow water, which meant that even Chandler could do it. There was a wave pool and lazy river. There was even an area for kids to stand on lily pads and hold onto ropes above them. It was so much fun. It's kinda pricey...$20/adult $10/kid, but after 3 pm it's half price. And also, they have rooms to rent for the night...

So the weekend before school started, as we were all feeling a little nostalgic that our wonderful summer was coming to an end, we whimsically decided to book a night and go play. Even my indoors-loving husband enjoyed the water park and said "That was a fun trip." That is huge! ;)

And then a few weeks later, since we'd gushed to my dad about how wonderful it was, he booked a night for us, my sister Anna and her son William, and himself and Nana. So fun! They also had pony rides for the kids, and Anna and I even booked a 1 hour ride through the ranch ourselves. Each evening they have s'mores by the camp fire, and country singing or trick roping (or some sort of Western-type show). So if you're local (or even not...) this is a great spot to get away! It's a little pricey, but so worth it.


The playdate:
Chandler on a smaller slide.


Coming down the big twisty slide.
Flying L Playdate

Chandler, Sue, and Chance waiting for a big bucket of water to dump out...
Flying L

Flying L

Our back-to-school last hurrah weekend:

Taking a swim break.
Flying L Ranch Weekend

Video of Chan Man going down the big slide. I love the part where he flips around.


Chuck got this shot of the lazy river.
Flying L Ranch Weekend

Chance has been practicing swimming sans floaties. I don't know why my voice is so deep...


Charlie shows off his "face stand" in the normal-type pool that they also have there.


And our Big Daddy-Nana-Anna-William Weekend:

The horseback ride, led by wrangler Joe Bob. (Anna and me)
Flying L

The big bucket of water dumping...
Flying L Ranch

A tractor ride around the ranch after dusk, spotting deer. (Nana, Big Daddy and Anna)
Flying L

William enjoyed it :)
Flying L

Friday, September 10, 2010

SE Texas Trip

In early August I loaded up the boys and did a tour of my hometown. We started at Granny's in Baytown.
Trip to SE Tx

My 16 yr old brother is looking older all the time. Makes me feel old...
Trip to SE Tx

Mom grilled us some yummy food, then we drove around sight seeing. The boys loved seeing the battleship near the San Jacinto Monument and riding a little ferry there.

The next day we met up with more family, closer to Port Arthur.
Somehow I missed a picture of Dad (Randy) and Aunt Mimi... :(

Grandma Dodie and Aunt Stephanie. Aunt Steph has also survived raising 3 boys and is a great support to me. ;)
Trip to SE Tx


The newly-weds, my sister Randi and brother-in-law Dan. They're also new parents to a cute puppy...
Trip to SE Tx

Meet Baxter. Isn't he cute?!
Trip to SE Tx

I also got to visit with some of favorite cousins.

Danielle.
Danielle & Family

My sisters Mari and Randi, and cousin Melissa.
Melissa

We stayed with Aunt Randi & Uncle Dan for a couple of nights, and enjoyed their great backyard. I enjoyed spying on the owl that lives in their tree. I think he spied back....
Trip to SE Tx

Chandler enjoyed Baxter...They have a lot in common, ha!!
Trip to SE Tx

We also met up with our dear friends, the Haynes, for some swimming at the Nederland Pool. :)
Nederland Pool with Haynes Family


I love having an underwater camera. This is Chance, showing me how he can do flips.


LOVE this kid!
Nederland Pool

Aliceson got this pic of Randi & I. It was a bit nostalgic, we hadn't been swimming at this pool since we were kids.
Nederland Pool

Then we spent a day with Aunt Peggy at their newly rebuilt beach cabin (Surf Shack #1 was a casualty to Hurricane Ike). Thanks, Aunt Peg! It was so fun!!
Surf Shack II

The boys loved playing on the beach, which is much cleaner than it was when I was a kid (thanks to Ike, I assume). They had a blast riding on the golf cart, making sand castles, finding hermit crabs, etc.

Surf Shack II

There's something cool about watching your kids play the same way you did when you were their age...
Surf Shack II

Then it was back to home base in Nederland, where we got to spend some time with Uncle Mike. He had gone out and bought the kids toys...It was like Christmas! Thanks, Uncle Mike! I'm so glad we got to see you.
Uncle Mike

Then we headed over to Aliceson's for the night, since the boys missed their friends (ok, I missed my friend too!). Aliceson read a bedtime story - she had all 6 kids completely captive. She's good with kids like that!

Visiting the Haynes Family

Visiting the Haynes Family

Emily had earned herself a pet kitten. The kitten was a big hit with the boys, too.
Visiting the Haynes Family

The next morning we decorated cookies for Emily's birthday...Happy Birthday, Emily!
Visiting the Haynes Family

Visiting the Haynes Family

And jumped on the trampoline, had a dance party to the Ghostbusters theme song, etc. So fun!

Then it was off to a family dinner with most of my mom's side of the family.

Aunt Mimi (my sister Mari) and her beau Jimmy.
Chili's Family Reunion

Somehow we actually managed a group shot!
Chili's Family Reunion

Chandler inspecting (soon-to-be-Uncle) Jimmy's nose...or something.
Chili's Family Reunion

My sister Randi with our cousin Keely.
Chili's Family Reunion

This is my cousin, Carlos. When we get together, we always try to get a "Carlos'N'Charlie" picture. This time Chance joined in, too.
Chili's Family Reunion

Which was soon followed by this:
Chili's Family Reunion
{No men were hurt as a result of this photo. Not sure about after, though...}

The next day we met up at Sonic, and the boys got to meet one of their Aunt Mimi's dogs.
Last visit with Mimi and Jimmy

The gang, Charlie, Jimmy, Dan, Randi, Mari and Chandler.
Last visit with Mimi and Jimmy

And for our last day, we ended with a bang. Granny, Bubba and I took the boys to Gator Country.

Bubba and Charlie, waiting for the show.
Gator Country

Chandler, poking a stuffed alligator's eyes out.
Gator Country

A blurry shot of Chandler kissing a full grown (miniature) crocodile.
Gator Country

Charlie volunteered for the show, they told him to close his eyes and hold out his hands...
Gator Country

So brave!!
Gator Country

After the show...
Gator Country

Gator Country

I get shivers just looking at this photo.
Gator Country

They also got to see "Big Al" who is the largest American Alligator in captivity. He's 1000 pounds and 14+ feet long. Not sure I'd want to kiss him, but this guy did.
Gator Country

Then we went in the restaurant, and while I was ordering the boys disappeared. I found them later, sitting together at the bar, watching episodes of "Gator 911" (Which is filmed at Gator Country). It was so cute.
Gator Country

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Charlie's stitches

So here's the next segment of the last post.

As I said before, I had put out a canopy in the yard, but then it started raining, and the party was moved to Chuck E. Cheese. Well, in the hustle, I forgot to take down the canopy. The rain water weighed down on it until one of the supports broke. So that evening, I took the canvas top off, and thought I'd just wait until the rain stopped to collapse the frame. One of the supports was hanging down from the center, still broken. After dinner, Charlie disappeared outside for a few minutes, then ran back in crying.

It was one of those...this is serious! kind of cries...

Surely enough, he had tried to climb up that broken support, and as he slid back down, the broken metal end had sliced his foot at the base of his toe.

So off the Texas Med Clinic we went, and Charlie got about 8 stitches.

I would post the before and after photos, but I'm afraid it might gross you out.

But the memory is there...so I wanted to record it. Number of injuries (both involving stitches) thus far: 2. Not too bad for having 3 boys, I guess...

Chance's Half Birthday

This is a bit out of order, but in late June we celebrated Chance's half birthday.

First of all, I planned for it to be a small celebration. We had done a small one on his actual birthday in December with family, and I had planned a small water-party with a few of his friends in June. I spent the day before getting a bunch of water toys ready (including 3 slip-n-slides for racing), and a canopy up to be over the food (and the mommas as we looked on). Then that night before, the weather forecast changed to rain. Lovely! So we opted to just meet at Chuck E Cheese, very last minute. Chance didn't seem to mind.

As we were pulling out of the driveway, we noticed this tag-along...
The Mutant Walking Stick

Knowing that one of Chance's friends loves bugs, I actually managed to put this big walking stick in our car and drive him to Chuck E. Cheese. I think the transformation to boy-mom is complete....

Chandler loves horses. You can imagine his joy when he saw this beaut.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

I could not get him off of it the entire time! ha!

Then it was on to the massive cupcakes from Costco...
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Blowin' them out...
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Eatin' them up...
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

The whole gang.
Chance's 4.5 yr bday party

Sweet Elizabeth enjoying her cupcake.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Chance's friends Waylon and Desmond with their mom (and my friend), Holly.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Sydney was such a trooper to come to this boy's party and have fun! What a great big sister to boys!
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Chandler enjoyed his cupcake, as if that was any surprise.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Charlie, too.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Brady and Max worked off the sugar playing...
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

As did their brother, Blake.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party

Oliver had fun too.
Chance's 4.5 yr birthday party
(I don't know how I missed William in the photos?! Sorry, Kelly!)

I learned a lesson from this party though. We had bought Chance a big lego set for his half birthday, but I wish we would've had him open it at home, because as he opened all the great presents from his friends, he didn't seem to care...all he wanted to do was play with the big lego set. Oops! Lesson learned...sorry friends!!

Thanks so much to the Morelands, Jacksons, and Whites for coming to make Chance's day so special, for being so flexible with the plans, and for loving us despite the mistakes! ;)