Kelly, Chris's sister (known to her nephew and nieces as KK :) works for Congressman Mack Thornberry in Washington D.C. It is so far away, so we don't get to see her or her husband, Brendan, nearly as much as we would like. Since she had some time off, she got to come home and we were all so excited! It has been quite a while since almost everyone (we sure missed Leslee, Drew and Steve!) was able to get together, so that is exactly what we decided to do! What began as a celebration for Kelly, really became a celebration of our FAMILY! We are all so lucky!
Chris only had Saturday and Sunday off, so we had to make it a very quick trip, but it was so worth it. We left Midland around 7 am and made it to Kyle, Kylee, Dylan and Marla's lake cabin at Lake Kemp by 11... pretty good. Crockett was so glad to be there and immediately found the gator, rocks and the bunk beds to play on. There is just so much to do there!! Shortly after we arrived, Elwanda and Kayleigh, Casey, Amie, Emily and Nathalie got there. That was when Crockett's real fun began! He really loves and misses his cousins. Crockett and Nathalie greeted each other with a hug and wrestling match. They were so funny, just rolling around, laughing... fun times :) Mimi and KK, Brenda, her sister Kathy and Greg, Chad, Sara and Rich all arrived and the reunion was officially underway! All of the girls hung out in the cabin and chatted while sipping on hurricanes, while the guys talked shop and blew up a frog pool for the little boys. Once it was blown up, leave it to Crockett to get naked and jump in :) Rich wasn't too interested in joining. Ha! I got the bad mother-of-the-year award because I forgot Crockett's little swimmer diapers AND his swimming trunks... luckily, that didn't stop him from getting in the lake with everyone! We all had such a blast! We went in the boat, KK and the girls went tubing, Crockett and Daddy explored, we sunbathed and just enjoyed everyone's company.
After we had all had enough sun for one day, we headed up for hamburgers. Dinner was delicious, and it was followed with even MORE DELICIOUS homemade ice cream! We all had so much fun and made plans to do it EVERY year!
We were staying at Grandmaw's, so we drove to her house. Crockett was excited because he knows he gets to watch "Bumbo" = Dumbo there and she ALWAYS has CHEETOES for him :) She is so kind to let us invade her house, but we are so appreciative. After a short night's rest, we were back on the road headed home. It was such a quick trip, but so worth it. We had such a great time seeing everyone and getting to catch up. Our family is so important to us...
Last Thursday, Mon and I loaded up Crockett, Braidy & Quin, and LOTS of other stuff and headed to the Hill Country for a visit with Poppa & JJ. We were slighly worried about the 6 hour drive, but with 2 dvd players, lots of trucks and snacks, good music and Crockett and Braidy to entertain Quin, it was actually not bad AT ALL! As soon as we got there it was time for some FUN! We had been promising swimming in exchange for good behavior the whole way, so as soon as we got there, we all put our bathing suits on and jumped into the almost 90 degree water. It was WONDERFUL! Even Quin loved swimming in water that warm! Wouldn't mind doing that everyday! After some swimming and a little relaxation, the boys found Bentley, the cat, and immediately chased him off. They continued to look for him daily, without a whole lot of luck. Braidy was convinced he was in the "forest" :)
The next day, Poppa took us to Landa Park in New Braunfels to ride the choo-choo train! It was so hot, but we loved the train. The conductor always throws nuts to the squirrels, so as the train approached them, they would run up to the train and stand up... was the cutest thing! Next time we are taking nuts to feed them. It was such great fun and the conductor even let the boys ring the bell! They thought that was pretty cool! After the park, we stopped by Naeglin's bakery, which was BEYOND DELICIOUS, and headed for some lunch at Buddy's Backyard. There was a fantastic playground there, so Poppa took them to play and eat outside, leaving Monica, Quin and I to eat a quiet lunch... we weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves :) The rest of the afternoon consisted of swimming, looking for Bentley ("Kitty.... where are you??" is what Crockett learned to say :), throwing ROCKS and running around. These little boys were definitely in their element! On Friday night, Rachy joined us! She even brought her sweet friend, Sara, to play with us a while! We were so glad to see her and catch up... We miss our RiRi!
On Saturday, we went down to the Pearl Brewery for the AWESOME farmer's market they have and then to ride the boat. It was lots of fun, but it was OH SO HOT! It is such a fun boat ride, some really great sights and you get to go through the lock, which is neat, but next time we will wait until DECEMBER to do this! Ha! We were all dripping with sweat, hiding under umbrellas and getting sunburned anyways! When we got off, we had some hungry boys, so we headed to Chris Madrid's for some lunch. Braidy fell asleep at the table... if that tells you how sleepy these boys were! As soon as we got home, Mon and I tried to get everyone into bed to continue their naps, so that we could get in the pool for our daily "lay out" session! I think Poppa and JJ actually deserve the credit for getting the boys to sleep that day :) JJ's son, Jay, and his wife, Kiley, and a few of their friends came over for dinner. We even got homemade Butterfinger ice cream for dessert! YUM! Quin got some too, and immediately broke out into hives... definitely not the strawberries this time!
On Sunday, we ate some delicious waffles for breakfast and just played. The boys watched Woody & Buzz (for the 159th time) and The Lion King and Poppa and JJ offered to babysit while Mon and I went SHOPPING!!! We didn't stay gone for too long, and everyone was swimming when we got back. Don't think they really missed us at all! Chris's dad, Steve, was in town and got to join us for dinner. When he arrived, Crockett had just woke up from a nap, and was a BEAR! Luckily, after walking outside and throwing some rock and stuff and playing with some blocks, he cheered up and had a good visit with his Grandpa. I am so glad Steve understood, he even said he used to know a little boy who was the same way :) (HaHa, Chris!) Rachy also had to leave that evening to go back to Dallas. We were so glad she was able to come.
I am sure Poppa and JJ were so exhausted by the time we left... those little boys were going non-stop the whole time we were there! They were constantly, running up and down the hill, looking for Bentley, feeding the deer, throwing rocks, climbing fences, swimming (in their trunks or even their undies!), watching Woody and Buzz, dumping out the little tiny legos, going up and down the stairs... Just being BUSY LITTLE BOYS! Everyone had a wonderful time, though, and hopefully they will be ready for Quin to join the mix next year too!
Thanks Poppa and JJ for having us and being such great hosts! We had a BLAST and made some wonderful memories!