Sunday, September 23, 2012


On Wednesday, the monkeys had a weird single day day off in the middle of the week. I had planned to spend the day at the beach, but my NASA loving dad sent me an email late Tuesday night letting me know the Space Shuttle Endeavour was making a stopover in Houston on it's way to California to it's retirement resting place. We made a last minute decision to try and see it and I'm SOOOO glad we did!! Endeavor, piggy backed to it's 747, was scheduled to do some fly overs of the area and then land at a smaller private/military airport about 20 minutes from us. I wasn't familiar with the area at all, but we hopped in the car and headed north with a "let's just go see what we can see" plan.

As we got closer to the airport, we started to see people standing outside of businesses and homes staring into the southern sky. I made a quick decision to pull into a bank parking lot and asked some of the spectators what was going on. They told me "you just missed it!!" CRUD!! The kids and I were disappointed, not knowing if that was going to be our only chance all day to see anything...but suddenly someone screamed "THERE IT IS AGAIN!" It was doing another loop by and these are the pics we were able to get...

This glimpse of the shuttle and 747 was amazing! It really is just mind boggling to see a space ship bolted to the top of a huge airplane, just taking a ride!!

After it seemed to disappear for good, we got back in the car and started driving toward the actual airport. The info I could find online said there would be "public viewing" after it landed so I was hoping we could find somewhere to park and see it up close. I was fairly lost as we headed toward the direction of the airport. I didn't see a "main entrance" but eventually found what seemed to be a side road that led on the property. As we drove on, we started to see people who had parked scattered cars in open fields and were standing on their roofs watching for the shuttle. The kids and I kept watching the skyline, hoping for a glimpse of ANYTHING, as I drove slowly down unmarked roads. We could see a runway...not sure if it was THE runway...and then suddenly out of nowhere Emilee screamed "MOMMMMM!!! STOPPPPPP!!!!" and she literally jumped out of my moving car (good thing I was going about 2mph!) and was able to snap this picture!

As I pulled to the side of the road, I quickly said to the boys "Guys, look! It's landing!! You are watching HISTORY right here!!" And Trevor didn't miss a beat in saying "Mom, it can't be landing, there's no landing gear down!!! Or is it gonna CRASH??!!" I said something like "Trev, it's like 30 feet off the ground, it HAS TO BE landing..." and then wondered if we were going to be witness to some terrible NASA disaster. We watched it disappear behind a building and then suddenly POOF, there it was...pulling back up into the sky! It had done some weird low fly by of the runway and scared the junk of out me in the process!!

The next five pictures are what we were able to snap as it actually landed. I love the last two because you can see the smoke as the tires hit the tarmac.

(Notice in all of the flying pictures...the escort fighter never left the side of the 747/shuttle.)

After it landed, we had to hop back in the car to drive a mile or so to where it was going to park, by NASA's famous Hangar 990. Again, we totally lucked out. I was on these back permiter roads, not the main roads where 99% of the public was. I just started driving toward where we saw the shuttle, and I ended up lucking out, getting ahead of the miles of traffic that was lined up to get onto the property, and parked right away! Here's what we saw as we walked in the main gate of the runway...

And a picture of it up close at the barricade line...

Monkeys in front of the Endeavour!

And two different nice people offered to take a picture so that Mommy was IN a picture too!!

NASA had a bunch of cool displays and such set up...and Carter wanted him and Bunny in a picture of the space suit...

Unfortunately, this picture is blurry, but it's a shot of a moon rock that we all got to touch. We learned that there are only 8 moon rocks on Earth that the public are allowed to touch, so it was pretty monumental that we all got to touch this VERY rare piece of history!

I can't believe how lucky we were to have seen so much of this famous event, and that it fell on an odd day off for the kids! It was the MOST fun we'd had in a long time and I know the kids will remember it forever!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Tidbits...

Trying a blog post on my iPhone tonight. Bear with me. I'm not sure how the format is going to look with my pictures and chatter. You might have to put 2 & 2 together a bit this time til I figure things out. (Click on the pictures so you can see rhe whole shot for right now. They aren't loading right grrr.)

We did some yard work the other night. The weather was almost tolerable (hallelujah!) and the big monkeys did a really nice job working together.
I had lunch with Carter at school today. One of the hot lunch choices for the kindergarteners was Fiesta Salad and black eyed peas. I'm fairly certain I didn't see one single kid choose the salad over the pizza they were also serving, but I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it. The dressing was yummy zesty and the black eyed peas were very flavorful! A pleasant surprise for a school cafeteria lunch!

Carter of course had peanut butter and jelly. And he was so excited that I came and ate with him. Man, I'm missing that little monkey during the day!

Monday, September 3, 2012

360, BABY!!!

After things settled down with the move this summer, we made a big decision to consolidate our toys. We had a camping trailer and a boat, and didn't have the time and finances to keep and play with both of them to their full potential. We also wanted to upgrade them both, mostly because our monkeys are growing up (and bigger kids come with more friends!). We decided we should pick one and have the most fun with it. So we sold our trailer and our beloved boat, Pink and Paid For...and bought a new, much bigger boat!

May I proudly introduce...our new green boat with no name LOL! (We are currently taking suggestions!!)
It is a 23 ft "deck boat", which is a cross between a standard V-hull runabout and a pontoon. What that means for our family? We've gone from a 6 passenger boat to being able to carry 14 passengers, so it hauls ALOT of people, but still handles like a runabout so we can ski and wakeboard like crazy!! We really scored a rare find! It is used but in immaculate condition. It's just beautiful! We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful toy to enjoy as a family, and to be able to share with friends!

We took the boat out Friday night and enjoyed a perfect evening out on the lake. Emilee got first turn up because it was her first time on the new boat. Her wakeboarding was awesome as usual!

And then Trevor pulled off the move of the evening, without a doubt! He did the first huge trick out of anyone in our family...a 360!!! Go, Buddy!!

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend!!!!