Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Texas Diaries 2009

This past Tuesday we piled a bunch of gear into the Beast (Our suburban), loaded up our MSC and headed straight through the night to Papaw & Granny DeeDee's ranch/farm in Texas for the week. The trip out... slightly crazy. Siah and Hal are at the best age ever for a road trip... they watched movies, ate snacks and entertained each other with pretend games for the entire duration of the trip. Reesie on the other hand couldn't have been more bothered about being in her car seat for twenty four hours. She cried off and on most of the night. It was rough, but we knew ahead of time what we were getting ourselves into and we joyfully and with much anticipation, did it anyway. Our trip to Texas is something that we look forward to every year. Last year I went out for a few weeks by myself with the kids. So this year was an extra special treat having Papa there with us.

One of the things that I love most about "Clark Creek Ranch" as it's known, is that it's truly relaxing. It's like a real vacation. The house is big enough and there is so much to do that we hardly ever leave the ranch. Granny DeeDee always stocks the fridge with everyone's favorite things and we usually eat all our meals together at their large breakfast table. There is so much to explore. I can't imagine how huge Papaw's place feels to our MSC. We all enjoy one another's company but are equally as content slipping away to our rooms and catching a long afternoon nap. Their home truly is a blessing each summer.

I remember taking Siah to their house for his first time when he was only 8 months old. back then he couldn't do much but it has been so neat to watch my kids each year that we go out. Each trip they find new things that they are able to do that they weren't able to do the year before.

Behind Papaw's house is a large barn. You can see it from the back porch but it is still a little bit of a walk to get to it. This year the kids walked to the barn from the house all by themselves. I'm not sure that it was really that big of a deal to them but it felt like a huge milestone for the Mama! I am so bummed that I didn't get a picture of it but it was one of those moments that I will forever have etched in my mind. Siah and Hal were holding hands and talking to each other about who knows what, as they walked that long gravel path like big kids! For me, this year will always be remembered as the year that my little (or not so little:) kiddos walked to the barn by themselves!

Another first for them this year was fishing in Papaw's lake. And the best part about it was that they both caught huge fish! They were so excited and so proud. While in the boat Halee didn't care that much for fishing. She just played with her baby. Papa and Papaw caught grasshoppers in the tall grass around the lake and used them as bait to catch the fish. Reesie spent some time with Papa as he tried to fish from shore. And in the end we had to get the pick up truck to pull the mule out of the mud, which then pulled the boat out of the water.

One of the reasons that we went out when we did was to be a part of Joey's brothers wedding celebration. I remember very clearly the first time that I met Amy. It was three Christmas's ago at Papaw's house. For some reason I had been given the job of "investigating" if you will, Todd's new girlfriend. It was my job to asking probing questions and figure out if she was "the one." And I can honestly say that she is one amazing woman that I have loved getting to know from the very beginning. She has a giving, selfless heart towards others. She's an amazing mom, and a patient, loving wife.

We also celebrated Joey's other brother's recent marriage at the reception. I haven't gotten a chance to know Jeff's wife very well but I am praying that she (and her two daughters) feel loved and included in our family.

Congrats to all of you!


Another milestone for my kiddos was swimming on their own (kind of) in Papaw's pool. It was so fun with all the cousins there. We mainly all piled into the spa and it was a sweet memory made watching everyone laugh and play. Even Papaw got in and joined in the fun.
(I have some pictures of everyone in the pool that I will have to post when Joey gets home with the zip drive.)

The whole week went by way to fast.
Some other things that I love about Texas are...
All the cousins playing together...
Pushing my kids on the tire swing that hangs on the giant tree in the back yard...
Watching Siah learn so many things spending time in the barn with his Papa and his Papaw...
Walking past the kids while they're having a tea party in the parlor...
Sitting around the kitchen table with the whole family, eating good food, laughing and talking about silly things...

IT was such a sweet time together... The ride home was LONG!! It took us 30 hours to get home (the longest it has ever taken us!) Reesie slept great at night but the last four hours of the trip she lost it! She cried... ok, screamed... off and on the entire four hours. Fortunately for me, my Joey reminded me to just laugh through it all. We made it home just in time to eat a delicious homemade meal that Tara had all ready sitting in the table. I can't even tell you what a blessing it is to have a roommate like her. When we walked in the door, the house was sparkling clean and smelled so good. It was such a treat to come home to.

A big shout out to Papaw and Granny DeeDee for a wonderful week on the farm! THANK YOU for everything!