Welcome back School!

We had a great summer, but as school starts back up, here’s how the kids felt:

First day of school

And here’s how I felt:

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First day of FIRST GRADE!

First day of school

Third day of THIRD GRADE

3rd day of 3rd grade

Fifth day of the FIFTH GRADE

Fifth day of fifth grade

But the college kids are on a whole different level:

The sights in a college town are always interesting. #kstate

Drivey Drivesters

We have discovered a direct correlation: as the number of teeth we have to brush and the number of baths we have to give goes down as the kids get older,  the number of question goes UP significantly.

Some days it seems like I field questions at an alarming rate. Some are really good thoughtful questions. Some are dumb and funny. And some are asked and then three more tacked on before I can even answer the first one. Exhibit A:

Summer 2016

Brian bought a counter before we left. And we counted the questions we got on the days we spent mostly in the car. Here’s what we got the first day, the rest were close to this too. (These were only the ones we got while in the car and also the ones we remembered to count)
Summer 2016
And although this was Brian and I’s, the kids had to have different entertainment. Books on CD were our best friend!! Brian got these head phones for Berkley. He paid twice as much, but they are at least 7 times as cute!! (That’s a bargain in my book!)

Summer 2016

We looked at a lot of this in these big cities:

Summer 2016

It’s hard to tell what this is, but it’s a mannequin seat belted in to the back seat of a car. Random creepy find in a Target parking lotTexas Trip 2016

A highlight of the trip was Blue Bell. Their new flavor, Cookie Two Step, is a combo of cookies n cream and choc chip cookie dough. It may be their best flavor yet. It was sad to leave behind!

The land that flows with Blue Bell

Berkley loves all things penguins. She found a cookie in Texas!

Texas 2016

Also we wore her out at the end!

Texas 2016

It was a super fun trip, but we were happy to come home to our small town sans traffic! As we were pulling back into town we asked Berkley if Dory and Nubbers would remember her. She said, “Hopefully not! Cause then they may like me!”

Astros vs Yankees…aka Good vs Evil

This is Brian’s happy place.

Texas 2016

We may or may not have moved our entire trip back a week cause the original dates we picked the Astros were on the road and we wouldn’t get to go see them play. No worries, we moved everything so we could catch a game. Unfortunately, they were playing the Yankees when we were in town…which is only a little better than them being on the road!

It’s the 8th inning. Yankees (we’ll call them the Evil Empire) were winning. An Evil’s fan (just shortening it a little more for ease of reading of course!) starts talking trash a few rows in front of us. As you can imagine, he’s not being gracious. Beckham even said “They are even winning, why is he being that way?”

Someone throws a peanut at him.

They miss.

But Evil fan isn’t happy about this (and has also had 8 innings to drink to his heart’s content, which he took full advantage of) and starts talking smack to a poor guy he targeted behind us as the thrower of the peanut that started it all. It escalated quickly. I saw security running towards all this and even thought “We won’t need them, this always dies down before anyone every really fights…”

I was wrong.

Evil fan proceeds to climb over the seats to get at the guy behind us. Sadie Piper is RIGHT in his path. I grabbed her and practically threw her over to Brian who was quickly ushering the other two kids to the aisle and told them to get up the stairs.

They escorted Evil fan out and all was right with the world again.

First thing SP said to Brian (while she was still shaking, poor girl) was, “THAT’s why we don’t like the Yankees, right Dad?”

 Texas Trip 2016

Springers’ vertical is amazing! Here’s Becks giving it his best shot

Texas 2016

Tal’s Hill…it’s last year. Don’t mention this to Brian, it’s a very sore subject.

  Texas Trip 2016

Doesn’t get better than Blue Bell ice cream in an Orbit (mascot) bowl! If we lived in Texas I would have said it was overpriced. Since we live in Kansas, I say it was a bargain no matter the price!

Texas 2016

 Texas Trip 2016

Then a few more days with family!

Texas Trip 2016

Duck (Brian’s dad) always has puppies. He didn’t let us down this time either!

Texas Trip 2016

Tricks Vicki, aka Big Foot, aka Brian’s mom!

Then one more friend stop in Dallas at a waterpark with George and Kasey and their cute boys!! A super fun day!

Texas Trip 2016

I’ve run out of “Texas our Texas” lyrics…

But no worries, we are still in the Lone Star state!

Next stop: 8th Wonder Brewery in downtown Houston. You can see who was interested in this stop and who wasn’t…

Texas 2016

Then on to Galveston for a few days at the beach!

Texas Trip 2016

Every day Beckham would fill this bucket up with hermit crabs, fish, anything the caught (and then let them all go at the end of the day!)Texas Trip 2016

Got some good cousin time in with Violet!

 Texas 2016

Galveston isn’t the classiest; found this on the beach…

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Spent an afternoon crab hunting!

This was a first for me, but Brian grew up doing it. You tie a chicken neck to a string…

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Texas 2016

Toss it into the water…

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Wait for it…

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Then lure the crab over this net and pull the net up!

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Pretty gross, huh?

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SP being patient

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She’s a ham

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Mimi and Boo

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He’s my very favorite 10 year old!

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Scott was multi-tasking by hunting crabs AND Pokemon

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Then at night we hunted crabs again, but this time sand ones. Everyone else was using nets (every.one.) except Berkley. She’s fearless. She used her hands.

Texas 2016

Texas 2016

Boys went on a fishing expedition!

Texas Trip 2016

He caught a 5 foot fish that he had to throw back cause it was too big! (didn’t even know that was a thing!)

Texas Trip 2016

We ate this fish for dinner!

Texas Trip 2016

I asked Brian if this was posed…nope! He was pooped!

Texas Trip 2016

The Sno-Cones at the end would have been my favorite part!Texas Trip 2016

…Boldest and Grandest!

Sea World are evil geniuses: they made a 7 day park ticket only $4 more than a one day ticket. So for $20 we spent a second day at their water park!

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica San Antonio

They had sting ray feeding!!

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica San Antonio  Aquatica San Antonio  Aquatica San Antonio

She hardly fit in her little tube!

Aquatica San Antonio

The wave pool was their favorite part!

Aquatica San Antonio  Aquatica San Antonio  Aquatica San Antonio

THEN we got to meet up with Lara and her fam!

Texas 2016

AND the best part was the boys were both there. I don’t think they have seen each other since…maybe the summer of our weddings?

Texas 2016

When we were looking for a hotel to get stay at together, our only requirements were a pool and free breakfast–to wear them all out and then fuel them up the next morning!

Sutton and Becks hit it off! He’s so good with the littler ones!

Texas Trip 2016

 Texas Trip 2016

Texas 2016

Why would the hot tub bubble??

Texas 2016

After swimming, a little show watching, cause hotels are great for that! Kids again loved making new (old!) friends!

Texas 2016

And I got to see this face in person, which is always a good day!

Texas 2016

Texas Trip 2016

 

…So wonderful so great!

There’s a huge outlet mall in San Marcos on our way to the river in New Braunfels and we stopped in a few stores. Brian tried to convince me SP needed this:

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

But it was $60, so it stayed at the store!

Then he convinced me we needed gas from the Official Fuel of Nascar

Texas 2016

More Mexican food!

Summer 2016

Growing up in Texas, you are bound to have floated the river at least a few times. We “needed” our kids to have this experience for sure!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe      Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Girl caught this turtle with her hands, ALL BY HERSELF!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Berkley’s holding up another turtle!

       Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Then, and this was a highlight of our trip by far, we went to my roommate Missy’s parent’s house, on the river.

Texas 2016

Kids played Chicken Fights, for the first time in their lives!

 Texas 2016  Texas 2016

Texas 2016

Who knew 15 years ago God would bring us back together with so many extras this time!!

Aquatica San Antonio

Love this girl! It was funny how we reverted back to our old roommate ways! When you live with someone I guess there are some things you never outgrow with them!

Texas 2016

Where there’s a screen, there are kids.

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Her sister and family were there too! So many great friends and our kids couldn’t have loved them more! Makes my heart so happy!

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

The Chick-fil-a was very loud this morning!

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Tour of Texas continues with a trip to Sea World. We lived in San Antonio until I was 11, so we had season passes to Sea World (the first years it was opened, yikes I’m old!), but both Brian and the kids had never done anything like this before!

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The first thing we rode was the biggest rollercoaster Brian’s going to get on…which was also the biggest our kids will get on too!

Texas 2016

You can see the entirely of the ride (and it’s height, or lack of) in the background!

Texas 2016

Everyone rode this log ride, but I thought Berkley was going to cry. She didn’t. But it was a close call!

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

New braunsfel

Feet firmly on the ground was much more fun for our crowd!

 New braunsfel

New braunsfel

Chillin’ with her homeys

New braunsfel

They also loved this one!

Texas 2016

Daredevils I tell you

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And the carousel!

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The shows were a huge hit, which is really why we went

Texas 2016

 On our way there SP said she’s never seen a real life dolphin and that she hoped to that day! Mission accomplished!

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Aquarium had sharks for Becks and penguins for Berkley, everyone was happy!

New braunsfel

The very last show we saw was Shamu.

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I purposely haven’t watched Blackfish, I already feel for these whales. We told the kids this was a big deal, that they were the last generation to see killer whale shows. When I was their age all of the trainers were in the water, jumping, diving, touching. They are phasing out the “shows” totally this year apparently, so I’m glad we got to see them, but I think it’s the right move by SeaWorld. These creatures were AMAZING!

New braunsfel

…All hail the mighty state!

We stayed in Austin, but first ate at Hula Hut, a Mexican restaurant on Lake Austin. You can’t beat the atmosphere or views!

Austin day one

Plus, Mexican.

Austin day one

Texas Trip 2016

Austin day one

Texas Trip 2016

Then we headed to Congress Ave bridge to watch the bats come out at sunset. 1.5 million of them!

The river fills up with paddlers, boaters, swans, you name it!

Summer 2016

Sweet Bat Man!

Summer 2016

Austin day one

“Be a bat!”

Austin day one

Before we went I was doing research on it and couldn’t find any great pictures of the bats. After going I understand why. It’s not super easy to photograph little bats flying fast at dusk. Who knew?

Summer 2016

 

SP struggled with me as we both tried to get pictures!

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Summer 2016

They looked like clouds!

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We got to see a wicked sunset behind us too, win-win!

Summer 2016

Day two, we got up and explored Austin a little. Who are we kidding, we were just looking for this:

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

I know who we are voting for!!

They REALLY love Willie in Austin. This was just a few blocks away.

Austin day 2 and Guadeloupe

Then visited Capital building.

Texas 2016

Texas 2016

The best part: This “Republic of Texas” seal was installed AFTER Texas was part of the US! Ha!

Texas 2016

Texas 2016

These are the door hinges!

 Texas 2016

They thought this chair was so fun!

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Brian with his fav president of all time!

Texas 2016

Climbed up this super cool tree, before seeing the “no climbing” sign. Oops. Sorry Texas.

Texas 2016

We call them, “Bs.” They are cute.

Texas 2016

Next stop: San Marcos and New Braunfels!

Texas, our Texas…

This summer we set off on a tour of Texas to show our kids their heritage, of course. We made a triangle: drove i-35 to Dallas, Waco, Austin, New Braunfels, San Antonio, then cut down to Galveston, up to Houston and back through Dallas on our way home. Here’s a map for anyone who’s not from Texas and didn’t take Texas history three times:

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We changed our oil right before we left, and let’s just say it was time for another one when we got home. Yet look at how much of the state we DIDN’T get to! Crazy! (I’m so thankful God protected us with all the driving)

There was that one incident with the monster truck when I was driving. But we don’t talk about that…

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We made a stop in OKC to see the church who gifted us our logo! Beautiful church!!

Finally got to see City Pres OKCs building. Beautiful throughout! @citypresokc

Drive to Dallas Sunday after church and spent the night with my brother and his family  (I think Violet was happy to have us…)

Texas Trip 2016

Then got up and headed out: destination Waco! Our main stop there was the Dr Pepper museum, but we couldn’t be in Waco and not stop to see Magnolia!

Laura's Disneyland

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

I’ve only watched 1 and 1/2 seasons of Fixer Uppers, so I didn’t know what to expect cause I haven’t seen the ones where they are building this. But it was a fun, pretty place!

Texas Trip 2016

All Brian cared about here was that Joanna had used Astro turf. He’s been telling me for 10 years we should put it in our front yard. He’s convinced now that Joanna used it for this field that it will become trendy and he will convince me to do it! (Don’t tell him I’d love to, but have you priced that stuff out?!)

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

  Summer 2016

Summer 2016

It was a Monday right before lunch and this crowded in the store

Texas Trip 2016

We walked to the Dr Pepper Museum from there

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

Berkley and those arms!

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So the museum was just ok (honestly wouldn’t go again, if it was free, eh, maybe, but it wasn’t even cheap!)

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But Brian was pumped to hang out with this real door off the #23 Nascar! So there’s that…

Summer 2016

Brian was chosen to come smell drinks and guess what they were: he got 3 for 3 and won…a pencil!

Summer 2016

Next time we’d skip the museum and go straight for the cafe! The BEST part of the whole trip there was the Blue Bell ice cream they used to make the Dr Pepper floats!!

 Summer 2016

They make the Dr Pepper by adding the syrup and carbonation separately!

Summer 2016    Summer 2016

3 out of every 4 meals we ate in Texas were Mexican food. We needed to get our fill (which isn’t possible for Brian, but we tried hard!)!

This tortilla machine is one of the things I miss most about Texas: fresh tortillas!

Texas Trip 2016 Texas Trip 2016

Get in car again and head to Austin. First stop: Barton Springs.

Texas Trip 2016

It’s like a natural swimming pool? It’s spring-fed but also has sides and ladders and fish

Summer 2016

Summer 2016But it’s NOT a hot spring. It was FREEZING!

Summer 2016

Texas Trip 2016

Summer 2016

It was really pretty!
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Everyone went off the diving board, but only once. It was so stinking cold! Even with it being over 100 outside!

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

This dive could compete in the Olympics!

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Summer 2016

This dive could not.

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Anytime we find a small, medium and large anything we get excited. Here it was chairs!

Summer 2016 The playground outside the springs had this BRILLIANT swing!
Summer 2016

And that’s not even the end of Monday! But I gotta break this up!