Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nana's Birthday, Garth, and Impromptu Travel

If you read the last post, you'll recall that Harper and Jack's Nana celebrated her birthday about two weeks ago. Our family met up to celebrate her birthday with lunch and some time together at Nana and Pop's house. The kids were very excited to see Nana, Pop, and Great Granny at lunch...and also very excited to have some cake afterward.

The kids even sang to Nana and Harper helped her blow out her candles- happy birthday, Nana!

Our big adventure this week was an impromptu weekend getaway to Houston to see Papa.  Tony noticed that our air conditioning was making a strange hissing noise, so after the repairman came out, we were without air for the weekend. Friday night we made the decision to pack up and head to Houston. Tony drove while the kids slept, and I did my best to stay awake and keep Tony awake.

The kids were so excited to see Papa that they didn't want to go to bed, and they were up early to see Papa in the morning. The kids started their stay off with a trip to visit to the pond in Papa's neighborhood to see the fish and turtles while Abby and I went for a walk. I know Tony and Papa were happy to have some time together with Harper and Jack.

Saturday afternoon the kids took a trip down to Houston proper to see their cousins. I called my sister as we were packing up to leave on Friday and she invited us over for lunch on Saturday- something low key. Our visit with them was so relaxing and fun; the kids got to play with Wyatt and Sloane and run around the backyard (Harper called it the "playground"). We also got to meet the newest addition to the family, Meg the dog; she was sweet to the kids and well behaved and didn't jump or bark or bite. My favorite part of the day was watching Wyatt and Jack and Sloane and Harper play together. I know that the kids have a pretty big age gap, but it makes me smile to see how well they get along, and how nice the big kids are to the little ones. I hope that they'll stay close as they get older.

We rounded out our time in Houston with some fun playtime at Papa's house. The kids loved bouncing around Papa's backyard and playing football with Tony, and having footraces with me. I was happy to wear the kids out so they'd sleep well, and I am so thankful to spend the last days before fall outside with soaking up all the summer has to offer.

We made our trek back to Frisco on Sunday afternoon and the kids did great in the car- both kids took good naps and the temperature dropped the further north we drove. The house wasn't terribly hot when we got back, and the kids got to sleep upstairs where the A/C actually worked. Tony and I surrounded ourselves with fans and endured until the repairman could fix our unit Monday afternoon.

So, I am making this blog post from a nice, cool, comfy house that I am very thankful for. Here are some pics of the kids being goofy this week: Jack and I hanging out and Harper giving Tony a makeover before their tea party :)  What a great dad!

Oh yeah, Tony and I did have one other adventure this week- we went to see Garth Brooks live in concert. We went to dinner with my parents before the concert and then braved the crowd on a school night to see Garth's first Dallas stop since the early 90's. The concert was fun (Garth played all the old stuff we love), the company was great, and we even got to see Trisha Yearwood- you can't complain about that!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Family Blessings

The last two weekends have been filled with fun, travel, and family. The weekend after school started we got a visit from Aunt Erica, Emmy and the newest Collett, baby Joel. Harper and Jack were so excited to see Emmy that they talked about her arrival for days before they finally got here.

Erica and her kiddos decided to come up and stay with us while Ryan and Tony made the drive with Steve from Cincinnati back to Dallas, and I'm so glad the kids got to spend some time together- they love their cousins.

While Emmy and Joel were here we played with the Little People, cooked many different things in the kids' kitchen, built block towers, and read lots of books.

I think what the kids liked best, though, was the trip to the park (thankfully we went in the morning before it got too hot) and playing in the backyard with the water table (as an added bonus, Harper gave me a water foot massage while they were playing).

Harper was also thrilled when she got to "hold" Joel. Harper had been carrying around his birth announcement and showing his picture to everyone, so when she had the opportunity to hold him, she jumped on it.

Our time with the Collett cousins went by so quick; I can't wait to get the kids together again soon.

When it was time to say goodbye to our Collett cousins, we had just a few sleeps until it was time to pack up and head North to see the Quetone's for Cherokee National Holiday over Labor Day Weekend.

Nana and Pop met at our house and rode with the me and the kids; it was nice to have multiple drivers and the kids were really great on the ride. We got to Oklahoma Friday night in time to play a little bit before bed, and then the kids and I crashed- we were wiped out.

Saturday morning I got up and ran in the 5k event, and then we all went to the parade. This is the first parade that the kids have ever been to, and they weren't quite sure what to expect. Jack and Harper both wanted to sit in the shade, until they realized that the parade participants were throwing out candy and little toys (like bouncy balls, and fans); this realization coaxed Jack and Harper to walk out to the curb and check it out. Later, when we got home, Harper told Tony all about the parade and when asked about the band, Harper matter-of-factly announced that the tuba was her favorite instrument that she saw.

Saturday night after putting the kids to bed we left Pop with the sleeping kiddos and my aunt, uncle, mom, and I headed out to the Pow-wow. I always feel like my soul is at peace when we're there. Here is a picture of a Men's Traditional Dancer with a round headdress; he also had a painted face and eagle talons on his bustle. This guy was getting asked for pictures all not and helped keep us entertained in between contest songs.

The highlight of the day on Sunday was lunch with the family. My Grandpa and Mama Reba had gotten lunch reservations for all of us- all 16 of us- and we enjoyed visiting and eating (Jack liked his spaghetti quite a bit).

Monday we got to see the family for a while before leaving and returning home. My Aunt Becky (affectionally known as "the new Aunt Becky" by Harper- as opposed to the Aunt Becky and Uncle Rex we see quite often)  and Uncle Tucker and come down from Minnesota, so it was nice to have an extra day to visit with them- they hadn't seen the kids since they were babies.

Harper and Jack also had a great time playing with their cousins Bronc and Clancey, who taught them how to play hide and seek, and Blaze, who brought his dinosaur toys over (that was a hit with Jack).

The kids and I didn't want to leave, but we were happy to get home to see Tony. When Harper realized my parents and I were packing the car, she went in and got Jack's shoes, my purse, and her bag and we found her dragging all of the items down the hall while saying, "we go home see Daddy now!"

Our Oklahoma trip was a great success- we got to see everyone and the kids did a great job while we were there and in the car. We also got to celebrate my mom's birthday a little early- happy birthday, Mom!

I'm ending the post with a picture of my grandparents and their three kids (my mom and her brothers). This picture makes my heart swell with gratitude; I am beyond blessed to be a part of their family, and I am blessed that my children have these wonderful people to look up to as they grow.

So, from the Collett cousin visit to the trip to see the Quetones our arms have been full with hugs, our days have been filled with laughter, and our hearts have been overflowing with love.