Friday, May 31, 2013

The Annual River Trip 2013

Our annual river trip, second year spent here.
Third year, 
four families, 
plus an adventurous aunt, 
celebrating this year's one graduate, Marty. 
Two days floating on river, one day at Schlitterbahn, water, sun, lots of fun!

The highlights of this week for me were to see the teens have so much fun together, especially playing volleyball. The personalities came out with the smack talking, crab dancing, doggy dig. Highlight of the late nights! The park had lights out at 11, so they played at every chance.

This year the park was overrun with "pet" raccoons. No one claimed them as pets, but they were out as soon as the sun went down, hanging out by the campsites looking for leftovers. If you didn't secure your food, as poor Traci and Joe discovered, the coons will eat all your food. They ate their family's food for the week, just leaving the bones from the pork chops. I was a little disturbed at the idea of anyone visiting the bathrooms after dark, as that seemed to be a favorite spot to dart in as we walked past. The guys figured out a way to protect the trash cans that worked and saved the early morning clean up from the raccoon partying.

I always think about a water camera too late, maybe next year. So mostly I capture pictures around camp, mostly around meals. Other times everyone is on the go, walking around the camp grounds, playing at "devil's playground, volleyball, tubing, exploring the island opposite the park. So no pictures at Schlitterbahn. Now we had a great day, from park open to close, (we're always last ones out). But this year they did something different and only opened the two newer parks, but not The Falls (to Craig's disappointment). The old park is legendary. The water is straight out of the river and refreshing. There are so many water rides, you get a workout walking around the park. The kids were disappointed about missing the old park. We did take advantage of everything we could do that was open.

I personally loved the lazy river and torrential river, hanging out with Lilly, Ceci and Maggie the most. I did have some time to visit with Traci as Craig pulled us around on one of the tubing sections. But my favorite part, where we park ourselves was in front of the kiddie pool which had some activities for big kids. Two climbing ropes across lily pads and open water. All day we watched kids enthusiastically rush to try their arm strength, but most, like 99% failed, and walked away a little disappointed. During a break Traci and I sat by Nick and listened at his explanations and analyzations of why everyone failed. He predicted accurately where each person would fail. So, after a hundred of hopefuls failed, we kinda thought, "Isn't it time to prove your theories, Nick?" And off he went, straight across faster than I would have imagined (scout physical fitness merit badge must be paying off). He used the water to run across, never let his arms do too much of the work. We were impressed, and cheered and laughed.
So here the challenge began. Eight teenage boys in our group?! Well, the brotherly smack talking stratagizing confident boasting began. And I can proudly say, they ALL crossed, they all worked that climbing rope like it wasn't an effort. What fun we had cheering them along! They continued for a while, as I made loops on the lazy river with the little girls, I could hear cheering for each young man as they made it across. The girls tried, and usually dropped at the same exact point. These girls are athletic, but just not made the same as the boys.  We made the most of the the park and had a memorable day.
not my pic, but so you get the idea

Another highlight: Shared dinners.
 We usually woke at different times, so breakfast was on our own. But lunches and dinners, we all gathered around the picnic tables, camp chairs and said Grace and enjoyed some great food. Spaghetti night was fun. Traci used black beans (since the raccoons stole her meat) but is was yummy. We had venison in ours. Fajita night was also great. The last night is always a feast, sharing generously what we are trying to clean out of coolers and refrigerators. Water activity makes you hungry and appreciate anything, so we felt like we were eating like kings. Carol generously provided most of the last night feat with chili, chicken and beef sausage, while the rest of us contributed sides and drinks. It was all gone, nothing left for the coons that night.

Board games, card games, bubbles, talking, laughing, playing!

This RV park is the best we've found. Lost of fun and freedom for the big kids, endless water fun just down from out campsite. We were so excited to see the dam they built last year held, they just needed to refortify the pool in the middle, which they immediately set to work.

As the adults were packing up the last day, the kids thought they were up for one last adventure in the water. Mary E offered to get in the the cold morning river water and take them to explore an island and lagoon, then come down the "falls" one last time.

ready for 2014!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Theme Thursday - bodies

There are always extra bodies showing up in my bed.
They really multiply when dad is out of town and have his side to take over.
I don't mind having an extra soft and warm body to snuggle with...
Not. One. Bit.
I just wish they wouldn't always end up diagonal.

go see more bodies and one cool tattoo at Cari's

Monday, May 20, 2013

3600 Gifts

3600 A change of route and a whole new adventure.
3599 "Mom, should we pray?" Sweet innocence, yes, thank you!
3598 He earned one more merit badge
3597 My son's silly/creative/sarcastic sense of humor.
3596 Reassuring my girls they are safe, and thanking God for our safety and safety of our family in Ok, and prayers for all those hurting.
3595 A happy send off for Max to take on the world!
3594 Providence
3593 Loving who my grown up kids have become
3592 Getting so much done, and a nap!
3591 Key lime pie birthday "cake"
3590 Aunt Carolyn's birthday card and gift. Never Fails. The kids love it.
3589 17 years of Molly
3588 "Where have you been? I've been so worried about cha'." - Lilly
3587 Upgraded radio
3586 "Quick" fence
3585 Early morning soccer game
3584 Making hard decisions
3583 Watching kids come into their own after lots of hard work.
3582 Pope Francis:
"Swim against the current. It's good for your heart."
3581"Happy birthday, Lilly" "Happy birthday, mama."
3580 Three years of life and love with little ole Lilly.
3579 "First me not go to sleep yet"  L
3578 Rainy weather patterns
3577 "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for my presents." Lil
3576 Cheesecake bites
3575 Pope Francis tweet:
 Am I faithful to Christ in my daily life?  Am I able to “show” my faith with respect but also with courage?
3574 Proverbs 24:1 
Seek not to be like evil men, neither desire to be with them.
3573 Romans 12:21 
Be not overcome by evil: but overcome evil by good.
3572 It's not easy being a mother.  If it were easy, fathers would do it. 
 ~From the television show The Golden Girls
3571 Thank you God for clearing all the murkiness, for both of us
3570 Mother is a verb, not a noun. Proverb
3569 Spotted first firefly of the year
3568 "Just shush. You must not talk. never."
3567 Merit badges, scholarships, good grades in, busy productive kids 
3566 Accepting where we are
3565 Molly's ice creams and sorbet
3564 Big family get togethers
3563 College kids with good news
3562 Reading with Nick and Euly
3561 Breakfast date with my hubby, good news & bad news, still all ok.
3560 A tulip teacher gift
3559 A definitive answer
3558 Father's sermon on motherhood. Uniting us with Mary and to our creator 
3557 Realizing all advice is flawed and biased
3556 Sister to talk to about the crazies
3555 Reconciling. The hardest one yet
3554 Positive encouragement
3553 Ten and a half  - a great month 
3552 Visiting with friends after daily mass
3551 Old friendly man at church
"Do you know how to make holy water?
"Put water in the stove and boil the hell out it."
He smirked and walked away.
3550 Stories of enduring human spirit despite devastating hardships
3549 Remembering thing usually work out fine
3548 Graces to help me find self discipline
3547 Paint that actually matches
3546 Friendship without judgement
3545 Scent of gardenias and roses and lilies in Mary's garden
3544 Pleasant weather for soccer games
3543 Joel 2:10 
At their presence the earth hath trembled, the heavens are moved: the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining.
2:11 And the Lord hath uttered his voice before the face of his army: for his armies are exceedingly great, for they are strong, and execute his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible: and who can stand it?
2:12 Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning.
2:13 And rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.
2:14 Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God?

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol' way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way!

O sisters let's go down
Let's go down, come on down
O sisters let's go down
Down in the river to pray

3541 Putting it all in Gods Hands since I don't even know what I'm praying for 
3540 My mom acting as Lilly's personal shopper 
3539 Friendships - old and new
3538 Ann Voscamp
 "Never despair of a situation more than you trust in your Savior."

3537 spring semester- over
3536 That her first "accident" wasn't that bad
3535 Memorizing history dates with Molly
3534 Signal graces
3533 ― Robert F. Kennedy
 “This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.” 
3532 — Marcus Tullius Cicero
A man of courage is also full of faith
3531  ― Midori Komatsu
“Passion is what drives us crazy, 
what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. 
Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.”
3530— Lord Chesterfield
 Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. 
3529 Homemade chocolate chip cookies
3528 Molly's lemon sorbet
3527 Kids tired out after hours of swim play
3526 Craving order, relishing it when obtained even in the smallest thing
3525 Clearing my head of self imposed stress 
3524 Ceci:  "I must have mis-under-heard"
3523 Getting smacked with good advice from a professional
3522 "You be the baby and I'll be the mommy."- Lil
3521 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
 for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
3520 Submitting an offer
3519 "I like your song too."-Lil (wheels on bus)
3518 "Sing Itsy bitsy spider, mom."
3517 Sushi dates with Craig 
3516 Realizing how much Ceci helps with Lilly (well, realized when Ceci not here)

3515 Being able to leave Lilly sleeping away
3514 Early morning sass from the soccer players 
3513 Water play
3512 That look

3511 Simple joys of childhood

3510 Assigning cleaning as punishment for fighting- win win for me
3509 Feeding the hungry
3508 Homeschooling field trip amid school chaos field trips
3507 Moving forward toward living our dream
3506 Having a good painter/sheet rock guy on my speed dial
3505 Listening to Lilly's great imaginings with her colorful vocabulary
3504 Putting conditions on my petitions
3503 Witnessing the myth of the slow turtle with Cc at park
3502 Potty training process
3501 Weaning my baby - bittersweet process

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Journal

Happy birthday to the Church!
Feast of Pentecost

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

We are celebrating...Molly's 17th birthday weekend!
She wanted Key Lime Pie

Outside my window...I think Texas finally realized it was spring, and spring in Texas gets us to the 90's. 

I am thinking...there has to be a better way to implement the Ironman traffic, which my home must be at the epicenter. Hours spent in the car, when I wasn't even trying to cross over their paths. Ceci and I had fun cheering on the bikers as they rode past. What a brave undertaking! Congrats to all who participated!

I am praying for..
Peace in families, safety of travelers.
St. Christopher, pray for us.

I am thankful...
For Max's summer job, and time spent with him before he left.

I am reading...
still working through The Crystal Palace

I am listening on my new upgraded car stereo my sweet husband installed in my car for my birthday. I can talk on the phone through the radio, kids can watch videos.... state of the art, pretty cool for my old car.

Around the project to build a dog fence/pen/area to keep them from running away.

I am pondering...How do you determine your doctor is a quack? When you show up for an appointment with your son, and the waiting room is empty, tv ripped from wall and no one around. As my son stood looking for the appointment desk, the landlord comes by and vents about how they liked making the money but didn't like paying the bills.
So what do we do? We found the minute clinic at CVS.
They don't take insurance, just change a flat price which turned out to be a good deal. Now we have to look for a new family doc!

A favorite quote/verse/prayer for today...
from the Sequence (meaning poetry) from the Mass of the Pentecost
Come Holy Spirit,
and send forth from heaven,
the ray of Thy light.

Come Father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come light of hearts.

Thou best consoler,
sweet guest of the soul,
sweet coolness

in labor, rest;
in heat, refreshment,
in tears, solace.

O most Blessed Light,
fill Thou the inmost recesses
of the hearts of Thy faithful!

Without Thy divine assistance
there is nothing in man
nothing harmless.

Cleanse what is base,
bedew what is parched,
heal what is wounded,

bend what is rigid,
war, what is chilled,
guide what is astray.

Give to Thy faithful
confiding in Thee
Thy sevenfold gifts.

Give them the reward of virtue,
give them a happy death,
give them eternal joy.
Amen. Alleluia.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
School, rv maintenance, schedule home maintenance, a couple of nice visits.

A peek into my day...
They look happy enough, lots of room to play.

Have a great week!