Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School!

Well all the monkeys are out the door and the house is QUIET! After a nice but busy and crazy summer, school has begun and everyone is at their new respective schools. Yup, count 'em, three separate schools this year...boy am I going to be running back and forth like crazy!

In the order they headed out the door this morning...

Beautiful Miss Emilee, ready to take on her first year of HIGH SCHOOL! Wow, this one is killing me, cuz I vividly remember the day I dropped her off for the first day of Kindergarden! She's now soooo grown up and off in a big new world. But I'm super excited for the opportunities there for her to have a BLAST in the subjects she loves!

Ahhhh, our baby!! Carter started Kindergarden today, the last monkey officially in school full time!! (Whatever will I do with myself *wink*?!) He did great when I dropped him off, especially since his teacher instructed each child to bring their favorite stuffed animal to hang with them on their first you know that BUNNY went to Kindergarden today!!

Mr. Trevor! Looking just terribly handsome, and pretty grown up too, as he tackles 7th grade and a new middle school without Emilee! He still has the sweetest heart to help anyone, and I'm excited to see what new interests arise for him this year!

Now seriously, with all the quiet around here...I do declare I am off to take a nap!!! :-D

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

McKinney Falls State Park

Joshua took the week around 4th of July off and for the first few days we went camping. We stopped in on Brett and Sanda for the first night, visited and had breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Kerby Lane. Then we headed to McKinney Falls State Park.

The break from the Houston humidity and mosquitos was wonderful! We really got to enjoy some time outdoors, including the must-have camp fire.

So Trev chopped our wood...

And Em got the fire started.

The "Falls" at this state park are really cool. They make two swimming holes that campers and day trippers can enjoy. We would pack in our lunch and spend most of the day playing there.

Here's Joshua and the monkeys near the top of one of the falls. You can see the swimming hole past the cliff.

And here's a shot from the bottom side. Joshua and the kids were standing up there on the top of the cliff above, but now they're in the water and on the lower rocks. Em and Trev are on the rock and Joshua and Carter are swimming near one of the water falls, just to the right of Emilee. Some parts of the water were too deep to touch, and some parts had partly submerged rocks so you could swim up to them and then sit half in the water. It was really cool!

Trev and I playing near the waterfall...

And one of just me...

We went back to the top side of the falls one evening to fish. It was beautiful weather. I enjoyed sitting there reading a magazine and Joshua and the monkeys tried to catch something.

The boys fished a bit during the day too. Joshua and Trev caught a couple, but Carter kept reeling in fish after fish. He always does this and no one can figure out how lol!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Traveling Teens

Emilee was SUPER lucky to have one of her dear friends from Idaho fly here for a week long visit. Ali is one of our favorite friends too, so we loved having her!

In the car we hopped and we did our best to show her the Texas sights! (Nope, Carter was NOT in the mood for a pic that day lol!)

We started with Galveston.

The girls struck a few poses...

The boys and I walking out toward the end of the jetty

Trev with a silly 'CHEESE'!

A trip to Houston wouldn't be complete without visiting NASA...and posing as an astronaut!




And Mommy and Carter in front of the flag on the side of the rocket booster. Carter was just enamoured with the flag for some reason and insisted on a picture with me. Cracks me up...some days he refuses pictures and some days he's dying to be in them!

(Uuggghhh please forgive the two next sideways pictures. I've just fought for over an hour with these. They are technically right-side-up but blogger keeps turning them and I can't figure out HOW to fix it. So at the risk of this post never getting up, you guys will have to just turn your head for these two lol!)

We also took Ali boating. This was really special for us as Ali unfortunately missed Emilee's boating party last year in Idaho so we were super excited it worked to take her out while she was here. We gave her a shot at wake boarding, cruised around for a while and then watched the fireworks with her.

And as the title to my post alludes...there were multiple traveling teens last month. Ali traveled here to us...and then we sent Emilee back to Idaho to visit her other friends for a week. This is a shot of the plane she left Houston on.
I didn't end up personally with any other pictures of Emilee's trip...but in a couple of sentences I can assure you she had a blast! This was her first time flying alone, but she did great! She's flown many times before so we were confident she knew how to handle herself (but this was still a "yikes, she's growing up" kind of event!!) Oh and of course Daddy made sure she flew first class so she got the royal treatment on all of her flights! In Boise, she got to spend five days with her friend Kaitlyn...and they went to the mall and the waterpark and movie theatre and tons of other places while seeing bunches of old friends. Kaitlyn's mom was awesome running these two girls hither and yon for every social event under the sun, and Emilee had so much fun! Thank you "L" family for taking such great care of Emilee!! We miss you!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Houston Astros!!!

One of the most awesome things we've done since moving is go to two Houston Astros games. Joshua and Trevor went to one four years ago, but Em, Carter and I had never been. We aren't baseball fans necessarily and embarrasingly know little about the game, but we discovered going to the games is FUN! All the monkeys loved it, Joshua loved it, and I was surprised that I did too.

Minute Maid Park is GORGEOUS. My pic doesn't do it justice, but I loved this one cuz we got Carter's foam finger it in!

All 5 of us in our seats ready to watch the game.

Two big fans!

Carter takes his cheering pretty seriously!!

The two games we've gone to were also followed by a free concert following the game. Both were bands we've been dying to see for years.

The first night we got to see Third Day!

And the second time we got to see MercyMe!!!

It kind of seems cliche, but this was hands down just awesome American fun that we got to enjoy as a family!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Catching up...June!

We hit the ground running in Texas, finding fun stuff to do admist the unpacking!

Our dearest friends Sanda, Brett, Mason and Ethan were our first visitors. They came and stayed with us for a weekend and we had a blast catching up with them. It's just awesome being so close to them again that we can get together often!
We also got ourselves a Y membership. We've never lived close enough to one before, but now we have one just down the street. It's fairly affordable as gyms go, and the best part is that Emilee and Trevor are allowed to work out with us (most other gyms do not allow kids or charge a crazy extra amount of money for your 16+ year old). So we've been able to go to the gym as a family...and yes, the kids kick our behinds stamina-wise lol!

We've also been hitting the water for some boating. A little in the lakes, and a little in the ocean.
The city of Kemah does Friday night fireworks during the summer, so we've been heading over there as often as we can. We anchor in the bay, take snacks and drinks, and enjoy an amazing fireworks display.
Galveston Island is also close by and that means some beach time. Though it's nothing like the California Coast, it's still a nice day trip to get out of the house and play in the water.
Clam hunting together...
Splashing in the surf

Saturday, August 4, 2012

4th Leg -- HOME!

Our last leg was probably the most stressful. The first 4 hours of eight were more white-knuckle type driving. The severe weather in Oklahoma extended south into Texas and continued that morning. I could barely see the road most of the time. Luckily I was following Joshua towing the trailer. I kept my eyes on that bike rack (which was all I could make out alot of the time) and just prayed that he stayed out of the ditch so that I did too. Finally on the other side of Dallas the skies cleared off. We pulled into our new neighborhood that afternoon and excitedly showed our monkeys our new home! (Tour of the house to come in a later post!)

Since I didn't show this at the start of our moving story, I thought I'd post these now...a few of the moving truck pictures. Here's the packers/movers loading up the truck in Boise. The company did a fantastic job this time. After our disaster of lost/abandonded/broken belongings last move, we got the star treatment this time. The owner of the company came and oversaw everything this time.
The big trick of this move was getting our boat down to Texas. I had my doubts, but they pulled it's how you pack a boat into a moving truck!

Our beloved "Pink and Paid For" ready and waiting...
Have flatbed tow truck come and lift the boat to truck deck level...
Carefully push boat into truck (because there was less than two inches clearance on the wheels...
"Pink" all tucked in and secured for the long ride to Texas!
The moving truck pulling away from the curb in Boise...
And everything safely arrived and being unloaded in Texas! (Not sure if you can see it, but Carter has a frog in his hand that he packed around for HOURS while the men were unloading lol!)
We were very blessed that Joshua's company provides us with "packers" so I'm not tasked with getting everything boxed. The moving company just comes in and in one day POOF, my house goes from normal to completely boxed! It's nuts! Anyway, as much as this is wonderful, you never know what went into which box...and you end up pulling some pretty crazy combinations out of boxes (like a shoe, a dog toy and some kitchen dishes). Well this was my favorite box. It was one of the last ones done with odds and ends in it. I'd bought a few boxes of baking soda to put in the appliances so they didn't sour during the move and one was leftover. These moving guys ummmm, usually aren't of the highest education (albiet they are SUPER nice!) this is how the last box was labeled...

Friday, August 3, 2012

3rd Leg

The third leg of our trip turned out to be our longest. We were supposed to stop in Kansas, but we decided to power all the way through into Oklahoma City making it about a 700 mile day. Like I said...loooong that meant NAPTIME for Carter!
We did stop in Kansas and stretch our legs at the F14 that is parked near the side of the highway. Joshua loves this kind of thing and the kids soaked up all the stuff Daddy was teaching them about this awesome plane.
As we got near Oklahoma City, the skies were stormy. True to "the Edges are in town" form, severe weather was forming. We drove into some pretty darn scary super heavy rain and lightning and wind. At one point Joshua called me and asked "does that look like a tornado right there off to the left of the highway?" It sure looked close to one to me (it turned out not to be but it was close conditions) and I just kept white-knuckled on the steering wheel and we drove out of that cell as fast as we could. We got to our friends, Brad and Jamie's, house and parked, exhausted. Emilee was picked up by a friend and went to stay the night with her and we turned in for the night.

The next day we got to spend some time playing with Jamie and Braeden...

And then we had some rest time out in the trailer so Braeden could nap. The boys snuggled in for some movie and ipod time...

And we of course made some time to go visit Bill and Uni, our other amazing friends there in OKC. Carter asked for his cookie and got in a bunch of hugs!
Our second night in OKC there were more severe storm warnings issued. As I got Carter ready for bed and as I was brushing his teeth I hear "whooooop! whooooop! whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Yup, that is the tornado siren sound. Seriously?! So I grabbed Carter and ran back into the house, through suddenly increasingly heavy rain. Soon it was hailing and storming like crazy. Here's the video Joshua took from Brad and Jamie's front porch.

You can see the hail piling up in the grass and hear it pounding on the roof, windows and cars.

We all were holed up in their house. The hail was pounding against their windows. It sounded like someone was shooting at the windows. And the hail was hammering our cars (later we found out my van had over $6000 in hail damage). We never saw or experienced an actual tornado, but the storm and quarter to golf ball sized hail lasted for over an hour. We just prayed throught the whole thing that it wouldn't bust out our windshields as we HAD to drive first thing in the morning to make the final drive into Texas and meet our furniture delivery on time. Luckily, as the storm subsided, we checked our cars and the windshields had held!!

We headed out in the wee hours the next morning and as we left we were starting to get teased "get out!!" The joke is always that we attract natural disasters and that storm was serious enough that many people had severe damage to vehicles, house windows were broken and roofs had to be replaced from the hail.