Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Trip Back in Time...

Nothing better to make you feel old than to watch your munchkins grow up way too fast....

Clayton turned 9 years old in March and Shayla turned 7 years old at the end of April.... And yes, I realize it's August, but I have a back load of partial blogs stashed in my drafts and I'm just now getting around to posting them.... Better late than never right??


I really hate birthday parties...... REALLY HATE THEM.

Last year we did the whole pizza party thing at the arcade. Kids had a blast.... I, on the other hand, couldn't help glancing at the fake guns wistfully wishing they could put me out of my misery for at least an hour.....

This year, I asked if the kids would like a trip vs. a party. If they really had their hearts set on  party, then I would suffer through it.... That's what parents do.... Parties are almost as bad as "The Night of Horror"...

No, no.......let me take that back, the night of horror ended quickly, where as the parties full of hyper screaming kids torture you in a slow, methodical manner with no end in sight.....

Thankfully, my kids were agreeable to the trip idea!

Clayton, being my lil brain with aspirations to be a paleontologist really enjoyed the day at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. He enjoyed the preserved tracks and loved the river, though crossing it by hopping across the stones didn't work out quite like we planned.... The water was deeper than it looked, still quite chilly, and Shayla fell in... We all ended up with soaked jeans/boots.

A bit shocked by the foot size?!

Kicked back in a preserved dino track...

When we finished up our explorations, we hit Dino World for some shopping.... Clayton, of course, picked out more fossils for his collection.

For Shayla's birthday, we went to East Texas to spend the weekend with her Pawpaw & Momma Jan.

Shayla & Pawpaw
I must say, I think I enjoyed her birthday meal as much as she did!! They took us out to Medieval Times and we had a blast!!! Our waiter was energetic and fun and Shayla giggled over him pouring her a tall goblet of Dragon's Spit (soda)...

Beautiful birthday girl outside Medieval Times

Tator showing off his new quill from Momma Jan
While we waited for the tournament, we met the horses and the falconer and of course, hit the souvenir booths.

Shayla sipping her virgin Pina Colada & checking out all the beautiful horses

Shayla was REALLY into all of it. Standing in her chair screaming for her knight, and turned several shades of red when he kissed a carnation and threw it to her in the stands (to which she blushed and asked me if I thought he was cute too.... Lord save me!)

The brave knights of Medieval Times

Clayton, my child who takes everything very LITERALLY was apprehensive.... Eating with his hands was not the norm in Tator's world, and heaven forbid we do things differently. He got into the spirit of things though but still watched the riders very intently. They had dancing Andalusians, the falcon came out for an awesome lil show and a few rounds of tricks and story telling, he was mildly interested in these entertainments, but kept asking when the joust would begin...

When it came for the actual joust, he was on the edge of his seat.... When the knight was unhorsed and the sword fighting began, he stared, bug eyed, as sparks flew with each clash of the swords....

One knight was tiring, clearly loosing and when the victor lunged in for the kill, Clayton jumped up, with a white knuckle grip on the table edge and said:


He was so intense, so serious, it was hilarious.... After the downed knight was pulled out of the spotlight, I pointed out to my son that he was ok.... Didn't know why he was so shocked... We told them what the show was.... Later I find out my husband told Clayton that the joust was REAL... LOL

You'd have to know us to "get" our humor, but the whole things was just freaking hilarious. Clayton laughed about all of it, and enjoyed the rest of the show with the same awe and excitement as before, just none of the worry.

All in all we had an awesome time and I would love to go again in the future.

I'm hoping next year the kids are willing to forgo parties in favor of trips.... I know I'd certainly enjoy it.....

Simply can't beat birthdays that take you back in time with dinosaurs & dashing knights!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fun in the Sun

This summer hasn't been the best..... It’s been especially brutal on my munchkins and we decided that a lil vacation was in order….…

Clayton has been mesmerized by the ocean since he was 18 months old. By 2 he could identify 25+ species of sharks, tell you the depth they preferred to live in, diet & tooth shape….. by 4 he decided he would be a marine biologist & “Shark Week” is an important holiday at this house. So, the ocean was an obvious choice for vacation since the kiddos have never been… Everyone needs to see the ocean at least once in their life.

Would have loved to take them to a better beach, but Galveston was what was doable (about 8 hours away), so we headed out bright and early on August 2nd.

Bought 2 day passes for The Moody Gardens and Thursday afternoon when we arrived we hit the sea wall & found some seafood (which BTW do NOT eat at Benno's…. absolutely HORRIBLE.. Both staff & food...).

Tator looking for critters in the rocks by the sea wall..

Shayla claimed this stretch of beach :)
Friday was spent at The Moody Gardens- We went through the Aquarium pyramid, the Rainforest pyramid, the Discovery pyramid, watched a 3D movie, & took a ride on a paddle boat.

Checking out sharks in the Aquarium pyramid

Tator in a shark cage! Parents, in case you're wondering.. No, they won't let you take the cage home!

Hanging with the birds in the Rainforest pyramid

Amazon river exhibit

Took an hour long ride on the "Colonel"
Jerimiah spotted "The Ocean Star"which was an offshore drilling rig & museum… So of course we had to go there too….

Jerimiah & Shayla under the derrick

Hit the Lone Star Flight Museum, had lunch at Landry’s and then went back to the Moody Gardens to swim at “Palm Beach”… Which was a small water park with a lazy river, various pools, live music, water slides and such…. I think I had just as much fun on the water slides as the kids did, though I couldn’t convince Jerimiah to try ‘em out.. At Landry’s the kids decided they’d be “daring” and try raw oysters on the ½ shell…. Absolutely hysterical! To say the kiddos aren’t raw oyster fans is a vast understatement…

Lone Star Flight Museum

Had a blast playing at the water park, but Tator wanted one more dip in the ocean so we headed out to Galveston State Park for some beach fun & swimming in an uncrowned area… Original plan was to go to the State park, but we happened upon a nice stretch of almost empty beach right outside the park so that’s where we ended up swimming and then enjoyed playing on the beach in the dark… Didn’t make it back to the hotel until almost 11:00pm and the munchkins were out cold as soon as they hit the pillows.

Jerimiah & Tator jumping in the waves..

Saturday we went for a tour of the Moody Mansion. Beautiful, 28,000sqft house, lots of interesting history, though the tour guide was a stuffy, cranky gal who seemed to enjoy trying to shove an entire group of people into impossibly tiny rooms…

Think “Human sardines”…..Not my idea of fun..

Bit annoying, but it was neat to see the house.. Well, part of it because half was closed due to un-repaired damage from hurricane Ike… So, for $28 we saw ½ of the mansion, couldn’t take pictures and got bossed around… Like I said, some of it was interesting, but I’ll certainly not repeat the experience.

Went back to the Aquarium pyramid one last time before heading out, then hit the road.

There was quite a bit that we wanted to do, but didn’t have time… Had a lot more fun than I expected and will certainly go back….. I’m so happy we got to go, the kids made some great memories, I added an actual color to my legs (we shall call it “off white”, since it’s not particularly “tan”, but it’s several shades darker than my blinding, glow in the dark shade I sported before running around Galveston in shorts) and Jerimiah & I celebrated 11 years together on the trip up there on August 2nd.

Life deals an unfair, cruel hand sometimes…. I miss my Momma every single day….. But life is far too short and you must make the best of the time you have…….

Take last minute, poorly planned vacations, snap pictures of everything and find something worth laughing about every day.