Sunday, July 10, 2016

Aquarium, etc.

 This past Thursday I went to Houston again. My parents are out of town, but Kim and her kids are staying there right now. Cami came out and hung out too and we took the kids swimming. I stayed the night and the next day Kim and I took our kids to the Houston Aquarium. It was once again a little overpriced, but it was something to do out of the house and the kids really loved it. We had a fun time, and then went to Sonic for lunch afterwards. I came back that afternoon, since I needed to pick up Kenny and Ty that evening. We're obviously trying to soak up a bunch of cousin time while we can before the Bakers leave for Belgium. Caleb's there right now on a house-hunting trip.

 Eliza and Kelsey. They have somewhat of an intense love-hate relationship, but I was happy to catch them showing some love this time :).

The favorite part for everyone (except Madison of course) was touching all the sting rays. They're so slimy!!

A few extras:

 I'm pretty freaking huge this pregnancy. I've gained a lot of weight, and I'm also dealing with my hands and ankles/feet swelling a lot which is new to me. I've never had that in all my other pregnancies and I don't like it! I guess it's from all this heat and humidity.

 Went on a fun ice cream date with this cutie a while back.

 They love to color
Washing Cato in my shower

4th of July!!

This wasn't on the 4th of July, but I need to throw this in here. One day I went down to Houston and met my mom and Kim and kids at the Miller Outdoor Theater. They do a lot of free concerts/plays for children throughout the summer. This one was a bunch of youth musicians. It was awesome to see them all perform--they are so good! It was just under an hour long, so a good amount of time for the kids. Then we went over to the little picnic tables in the shade and ate our picnic lunch that we brought. We went back to Grandma's house afterwards and went swimming, of course. Then dinner and drove back home. A fun outing for the day!

Independence Day!!
That morning I dropped Kenny and Tyler off at the church, as they were leaving for the week on a campout. Kenny had to go for Young Mens, and a couple boys weren't able to go last minute so there was extra room, which meant Tyler got to go along! More on that later though. 

The Bakers had driven to our house the night before and spent the night. Monday morning we made a delicious breakfast of Texas shaped waffles with fresh berries and homemade coconut syrup. YUM! It was so good. Kim and Caleb were so fun to play kickball with all the kids outside in the blazing heat. We swam a lot off and on that day, and just hung out. I was really wishing Kenny were here at dinner time when I nearly ruined our awesome meal with my horrible grilling. But they were kind and wouldn't admit that the BBQ pork chops were under-cooked and the vegetable kebabs needed more time too. Agh! It was embarrassing. But oh well. We had a yummy American flag fruit pizza for dessert which was fun. Caleb gave a great little lesson on why we celebrate Independence Day, and told the story of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Then they played some football while we waited for the sun to go down so we could do fireworks. We didn't have any big extravagant fireworks, but we had fun anyway. And plus our neighbors were putting on quite a show too, so we didn't miss out too bad. :) Once we were all sufficiently covered in mosquito bites and ran out of sparklers, we called it a night. What a great day we had, though. I am so proud to be an American, even if the near-future does look bleak. I am always so inspired by the founding of this great nation and what we stand (stood) for, and what we have accomplished because of the principles of freedom and good morals. May we ever fight to preserve that!

 Briggs was super scared of the fireworks (especially the loud ones). He kept crying and clinging to me and going inside the house. But he came back out for sparklers :).

June Fun with Cousins

This cute picture was from Father's Day, June 19th. We sure love this guy. I'm so glad he's the father of our children. They're all totally crazy about him, and he takes his roles very seriously, which I'm grateful for.

This is really random but every night we have 3 or 4 little lizards on our bathroom wall. It's sort of fun and weird entertainment for me and Kenny. As we brush our teeth we watch them catch and eat the bugs that come because they're attracted to the light. 

I bought some poster maps to hang in our school room. Kenny hates when I just put posters on the wall. He thinks it's tacky, so he quickly made some little frames for them. :) 
Now on to the fun part: COUSINS!!
We have been so lucky to have so much cousin time this summer, and it's not over yet! My sister, Kim, and her family are in the US for a little while in between Cambodia and Belgium. They have been travelling all around visiting family, and are ending up spending a lot more time here in Houston than they originally planned, as different things are getting delayed. We're not complaining at all! They had stayed with the Webbs in NM on their way down from Utah, and so they caravaned together down here. One day we had fun making tie-dye t-shirts! The kids all loved making them and wearing them and they look cute. We went to see the movie Finding Dory and most of them wore their shirts. It was a cute movie too. Thanks to us taking up two rows and lots of popcorn/candy, Briggs didn't leave the theater. He just wandered around and ate a lot, going back and forth between me and Grandma.

We spent a couple days in and out of Cami's house. Steph and I and our kids stayed at Cami's, while Kim and her family stayed with my parents. 
One time the kids put on a little art show for us. They all did their art work, and then we hung it up all down the hall and they each stood in front of their piece as the adults toured it and admired all of their talent ;). Cute kiddos.

It's really hot so of course we mostly just swim a lot!! Cami's neighborhood pool is way fun with slides, a kiddie pool area, and a splash pad. Plus the playground!

These 3 girl cousins all born within a couple months of each other. Millie, Kelsey, and Eliza.

 Grandma is so fun and is always playing with the kids

 Pizza dinner at the pool

Then we moved the party out here to our house for the weekend! We went to Gator Country one day. It's really close to our house, and one of the few things to do around here. It's run completely by rednecks and interns haha. But the kids loved it (all except for Madison. You will notice she is either not in the pictures, or she's plugging her nose and refusing to touch the animals. She didn't want to smell, see, or touch anything! It's so funny to me how different my kids can be.) They got to hold and pet different kinds of snakes, lizards, and alligators. It was pretty overpriced for what it was, but I'm glad we had the experience :).

On Saturday night Steph, Kim, and I decided to drive back to Houston and hear my dad speak at Stake Conference. He's the Stake President in Houston and we'd never really seen him in action! So once we got the approval from Kenny and Caleb, we left them in charge of all the kids and took off for a super fun night together. We got there in time to enjoy the whole adult session, then we all went out to eat at Chili's afterwards. Then of course stayed up late into the night talking. It was such a rare and unique opportunity for us to be together without any kids and we soaked up every bit of it. I sure love my parents and I'm so grateful for their righteous examples. The next morning we waited anxiously for the rest of our crew to arrive. This is the first time Kenny's had to get all the kids ready for church by himself, not only that but they also had to drive an hour and a half to come join us for the rest of Stake Conf. They all walked in literally as it was starting, and I tried not to be embarrassed at the state of my daughters' hair. But really it looked like none of them had even had a brush run through it haha! Not only that but they walked right up to the front two aisles where we had seats saved. It was a long 2 hour meeting with all those restless little ones who had just been in the car for so long. But we all survived :).

That night we all went over to Ben and Charlotte Allsop's for dinner. It is always so fun to get together with them. We stood around the piano and sang family songs, just like we always did growing up. It was even around the same piano because they're hanging onto my parents' baby grand piano since they don't have room for it in their apt. Brought back lots of great memories. I haven't had the privilege of singing with my family in years and I only wish the rest of my siblings could've been there too. These wonderful family relationships are what make life so sweet. I'm so blessed to have such a great family, and to have married into such a great family, too!