Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blue Bell aquatic center

After going to the neighborhood pool a few times the kids wanted something different. There is a waterpark in Brenham that is by the Blue Bell ice cream factory. It is perfect for the under 12 crowd. 1/2 the pool is only 2'-9" so the younger ones can walk all over. There is a larger 1/2 tube slide. and a beach entry so little ones have some shallow water. All the areas have a ice cream theme. We went with Boyers and Michael and Harrison did okay with the huge number of girls-I guess they're used to it though.

Michael was the easiest to keep track of-he was content to just sit and play or chew on the goggle strap.

Bathing beauty Abby

Harrison with the ball and running in the water from the showering ice cream sundae. He thought it was great to have so much area that he could run it and kept me busy making sure he didn't get in too deep. I forget that little boys don't sit still for long.

The big girls at the top of the slide.

Morgan on the slide. We went to this waterpark last summer with Girl Scouts and Morgan was not tall enough to go on the slide then. This was a great thing to be tall enough finally.

Claire, Alex and Samantha loved the banana split slide and spent most of the afternoon there.

Emily and Lexi trying their balance on the floating popcicles. They hold the rope and go across.

Mid-afternoon there was some thunder so we had to take a 1/2 hr. break which was fine. The clouds quickly passed and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. We did get the chance for a photo op. It's not everyday you get to sit on a giant banana split.

The Children's museum

When all the craziness with my dad started my sister and her family were visiting them in VA. They spent a week there and then my brother-in-law needed to be back at work. My sister stayed with my mom and my brother-in-law drove back to Texas with 4 kids. I had the kids stay with us the next week so there wouldn't be the babysitting finagling and cousins could spend time together before school started. Since it's so hot we hung out where it was air conditioned or wet. One day we went to the Children's museum. The kids had a blast and there was something for everyone.

Harrison in front of a display of tubes filled with one of his favorite things-CARS!!!! But it made him mad that he couldn't take them out.

Claire and Emily in the big blocks. Emily built a tower around Claire and Claire let her. Amazing

Abby and Lexi outside at the Waterworks. There are all sorts of gadgets for directing and playing in water. The girls just wished they could get in the water.

Our last stop for the day was the face painting area. Harrison was not interested in this at all.

After a full day of play the batteries needed recharging. This was before we even got on the freeway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The past 3 weeks have been very overwhelming medically and emotionally. The end of July my father contracted MRSA. This is Methicillin resistant staphylococcus areus. It is a staph infection. Last summer Ken had gotten it on his finger and was in the hospital for a week. He also had intravaeous antibiotics for 4 weeks. It was mostly a big inconvenience for us. My dad's was a whole other story. He contracted it through a sore on his nose. The infection quickly spread and did not respond to the initial antibiotics. The toxins spread in his body and started to attack major organs. I won't share all the medical details but it has been a very scary experience and we're still working on getting my dad home from the hospital. I am so grateful that two of my sister's are nurses and can translate medical terms so I can understand. I am grateful for the power of the Priesthood and know that through blessings and lots of faith and prayers that my dad is recovering.

This is my public service announcement-If you have a bump or rash that is questionable and looks infected, get to the Dr. and make them check it for MRSA. Don't dismiss the symptoms and don't let the Dr. dismiss your concerns. It could make a huge difference.

Girl's Camp

Paige is 12 and got to go to Girl's Camp for the 1st year. She was so excited to go that she has been packed for the past month. The church rented the camp from the Girl scouts and her group got to be in the fishing village, which are some nicer cabins. The drawback is that it is a bit of a hike to them. She had a great time, learned some camp songs that she shared with us, made some cute crafts and had some great experiences. Everything camp should be.

Paige getting ready to go. Notice that she is clean

The 1st & 2nd year girls and their fearless leaders. I'm in awe that they could stand to camp in 100+ weather.

Paige coming home. Loved it but a bit worn out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hiking Summitville Mountain

In the years that Ken's dad lived in Summitville he never climbed the mountain there, so he wanted to climb the mountain for his 78th birthday. this is Fred (a local curator), Ken's dad , Taylor, myself and Ken at the start of our hike. We are headed for the top of the mountain behind us.

This is the group about 1/2 way up the mountain. Right on the edge of treeline.

It's hard to make out on this picture but on the left side about 1/3 of the way from the bottom is a elk. I was the one who spotted it-I guess it's hereditary to spot wildlife from far away.

The elevation marker from the top of the mountain-12, 549 ft. this was Ken & Taylor's kick off hike in training for Philmont.

Three generations at 12,000 ft.

The three of us at the top-it was way windy. We didn't stay long as we could see rain clouds forming in the distance and heading our way. We didn't want to be up on a mountain in a storm.

At this elevation there is snow all year long.

Taylor and his snowball

Making treeline. There were only hunting trails at this point.

As we were heading out of the canyon the storm broke. The rain changed from a liquid to a solid as hail.

At the bottom of the canyon is a hamburger joint where we stopped for lunch. After the dust, rain and hail my car was filthy. Anyone that know me knows that my car never looks like this. It was a great hike.

Colorado Activities

We had a great time just relaxing and taking in the local sites. The weekend we were there was "Covered Wagon" days celebrating the heritage of the area. There was even a local parade. You know it's a small town when the "floats" are flatbeds with crepe paper and there are 5-10 people in the graduating class in town for their reunion. But the participants threw candy which was our favorite part.

Waiting on the curb for the parade to start

Taylor's attempt to participate in the parade-he's part of the safety committee

After the parade there was a gathering at the local park with a band, food and of course the hot rod display. This is Ken's dream car-1965 Camaro

Ken and his sisters Bonnie and Karla visiting the graves of some family members

We went shooting in the afternoon, this was Paige and Lexi's first time so there was a gun safety lesson before we began.

Lexi shooting a .22

It had been a long time since I had been shooting and I surprised Ken and Taylor that I actually could hit the broad side of a barn.

Taylor trying out his one-handed stance with a .38 special revolver.

Paige shooting a 9mm Walther. The girls were both good shots and were proud to actually hit the targets.

We got one last picture before Ken's sister Karla had to head home. We took off and went to church from there.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summitville, Co

We took a family road trip to Southern Colorado. We met up with Ken's dad and two sisters in the San Luis Valley where Ken's dad was born and raised. We went on a tour of Summitville, which was an old mining town. Ken's dad lived there in the 1930-early 40's. It was a beautiful area and we loved the cooler temps. The town is located at about 11,000 ft. elev. between Del Norte and South Fork

Ken and Taylor showing the effects of altitude on chips packaged below sea level.

As we were packing I told the kids to bring jackets and long pants, which we don't use between Apr and Oct. Think they thought I was kidding until we got on the mountain. Taylor shared his sentiments.

All of us at Summitville

An old boarding house where Ken's dad lived at one point of his childhood

the view overlooking the valley. It was spectacular.

Happy Birthday Ken

This is a bit late but we have been experiencing computer technical difficulties. Ken had to fly on his birthday, but I guess he was doing what he loves to do. The girls blew up all kinds of balloons and when he came home they showered him with balloons.

After dinner at Rudy's (the birthday person gets to choose their choice of restaurants) we came back to the house for German chocolate cake and homemade vanilla ice cream. Yum. The challenge was blowing out all 44 candles on his cake. Good Luck and don't hyperventilate.