Because time has gotten away from me, I am going to try to summarize the major events that have taken place so far this year. Thank goodness it isn't July!!
January - Family Christmas: The extended families had numerous obligations for work, school, and family; so, we opted to not hold our annual Christmas Eve family gathering until after the holidays. We all met at the yellow house and enjoyed brisk weather, warm fire pits, laughing children, crazy dogs, catching up, games, and relaxation.
|The girls' Christmas present was a trampoline. It was a little hard|
to wrap so it ended up being covered with extra cardboard boxes
and "unwrapped" on the family work day.
|We always have to go through some doggie adjustments|
when the family gathers. Tico and Maya got along fine.
The rest of the boys in the pack needed some time to
acclimate to one another. But, the grand girls always
pick up right where they left off.
|This year, we decided to eliminate adult gift exchanges and focus|
on the kids. They got some interesting gifts this year: money,
journals, games, Hogwarts wands,
and 400 dum-dum suckers!
|I believe if they had been given a bag of rocks and sticks, they|
would have been just as happy. They seem to thrive on the fresh
air and outdoor activities when they get together at the
|To explain the 400+ dum-dums: Leslie & Rebecca's gifts for|
the girls were delayed for one reason or another. Leslie wanted them to
have something to open so she made a mad dash to Sam's club
and bought gigantic bags of suckers!
|Jamie and Ryan were so excited to see THAT surprise! Actually,|
they were really good sports about the sugar overload.
|Family pics wouldn't be complete without Scott's weird face.|
It's a good thing Seth hasn't picked up that habit. It still shocks
me to see Seth standing next to Scott and wondering if
he will be taller than him
the next time he comes over.
|We were all joking that Uncle Scott will eventually become know |
as Uncle Moneybags if he continues to use
his spare change as gifts for the girls.
|Not one to let a reason to celebrate Christmas pass, |
Jamie planned crazy gift opening games for the girls.
|It consisted of trying your best to wrapping gifts wearing oven mitts.|
It had to be opened before your partner rolled doubles. If not,
the give and mitts were passed to the next player.
|She didn't leave out the adults. They got their share of frustration|
trying to unwrap extremely well wrapped gifts.
|I think it was more fun taking pictures and listening to them|
than it would have been had I played as well.
|My handsome guy... Can't believe he is a senior!!!|
|Scott set up targets for a bit of shooting competition. We just used his|
pellet gun and some paper targets
|Leslie was sent to get targets and only found these. We|
had to get a little creative and give points to who
hit closest to the bull's eye on each target.
|Even the grands got to try out their skills. Once|
they figured out which eye to close and how to
put the stock near their shoulders, they did ok.
|It really wasn't that loud. No idea why ears needed to be covered.|
Maybe she was cold??
|After numerous missed shots, Scott finally got out|
his fancy shooting chair and the girls started
hitting the target.
January - February Winter Birthdays: Leslie and Rebecca had their birthday in January and Seth had his in February. I didn't realize how neglectful I've become about taking pictures until I started looking through my pictures for this update. I had to scavenge pictures from everyone's Facebook pages. Needless to say, I need to start remembering my stupid camera when we get together! Here is what I was able to find; not much but better than nothing!
|He hasn't ever been too thrilled about getting his|
picture taken. But, his aunts and mom were
relentless and got a pretty good shot of him.
|He was even really good natured about the Roadhouse|
|How can this sweet, gentle giant be 18?!?!?|
|Jamie has become the official baker for birthdays. She managed|
to make a personal cake for Leslie...
|another one for Rebecca...|
|and one for the family to enjoy. We are so|
lucky to have her... the cakes are always
March - Granddaughter Sleep-over; Sophie's fund raiser; Family Camping: One of the things I noticed while we were at the Roadhouse was how much the girls miss each other. They were disappointed that we had to end birthday dinner so early and it was so hard for them to say good-bye. I decided to have their moms bring them to me for a weekend around their spring breaks. Unfortunately, their breaks weren't at the same time; they were back to back. But, luckily it worked out. Depending on the day and hour, they had a great time, an ok time; and a not so good time. But, they managed to create lots of sweet memories. We played on the trampoline, colored, visited a local Rock and Roll Ice Cream Parlor, shopped for books at Barnes & Noble, had a visit from Aunt B, stayed up way too late, went to church, and ate a lot of junk food.
|Uncle Scott and Poppy set up an outdoor table under|
and awning because we had simply beautiful weather.
Too beautiful to stay inside for meals.
|I love that the girls enjoy coloring. I'll admit that I'm a coloring|
fan and cherish the time we spent coloring and chatting.
|The girls managed to fit on the new IKEA sleeper/sofa. But,|
a couple of them have issues with gas so one of them
moved to the love seat in the middle of the night.
|I managed to get a beautiful picture of the grand girls|
with my feathered girls in the background.
|Who can pass up a chance for a silly pic??|
|The trampoline was a rest spot, jumping spot, snacking spot,|
and chatting spot. Still one of my smartest purchases ever!
March - Baking and Camping: During part of the Ft. Worth grands' spring break, Sophie needed to learn to make cinnamon rolls. She was chosen to attend a leadership conference for a week. However, it will cost $1,000. Leslie wants her to earn as much of the fee as possible so she decided to sell cinnamon rolls to the school staff, Gerson's work associates, and their church family. I drove up and spent a couple of days with them to teach her how to make them. Sophie did an amazing job and worked so hard. Together we managed to get about half of her orders filled. She finished up the orders once they went home after our camping trip.
|Sophie learned how to use the bread machine to make her dough.|
She used regular yeast for the first batch and it took forever.
Once we got the rapid rise yeast for bread machines, the
process went much more quickly.
|Before long, she had two bread machines going at once|
and didn't need any help at all.
|Doesn't everyone need an apron this cute??|
The socks really set off the outfit.
It's a shame she looks so serious.
We had originally planned to camp at Big Bend National Park. Unfortunately, the government shut down made it tough to get reservations in time. We ended up going to a local Corp of Engineers Park. It was okay, but quite a let down after planning on Big Bend. Leslie, her girls, Scott, Ron and I went out early and got camp set up. Ryan, Jamie, and the twins joined us a couple days later. Rebecca came out and spent a day with us. It was cold but bearable and the girls had a great time.
|The camp site we had backed up onto a huge, empty field.|
The grands were able to play baseball, kick ball, horse shoes,
climb trees, and shoot off sky rockets.
|The nights and early mornings were pretty cold. However,|
the afternoons warmed up beautifully. The girls were
able to remove several layers of clothing and got
plenty of exercise.
|Unfortunately, there was only one hiking trail at the camp grounds.|
We were only able to cover part of it because one loop was
|The part that was cleared was fairly easy to walk, nice and wide,|
and had a few really scenic areas perfect for pictures.
|Like this one...|
|And this one...|
|and this one.|
|Any time spent with family around a camp fire and enjoying|
nature fills my heart with joy and happiness.