Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

Just before 4:00 am, I will wake up my sleeping boys
to load into the car and drive yet again to the airport
to pick up their daddy.
The airport is becoming like a second home to us these days!

His final day of interviewing went very well and he is on his way home!

It's been an exhausting couple of months.
Now it's decision time.
It's not going to be an easy, straightforward one.
How grateful we are for the guidance that comes through prayer!

On an unrelated note, Lincoln loves blueberries
and I love his little purple smile and juice-stained fingers.
The diapers the next day...not so much.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scripture Pictionary

Last night's Family Home Evening:

Can you guess what story each picture depicts?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sister Time-Part 4

We had a great time on Sunday,
attending Church and having a quiet afternoon together.
Monday morning we packed everything up
and headed out for one last adventure before Avalon's flight left.
I've been wanting to visit Bayou Wildlife Park since we moved here 5 years ago,
and I'm so happy we got the chance before we left!

It's a zoo, of sorts, with many varieties of exotic animals roaming around wildly,
unrestricted by cages.
(Well, some of the animals in the petting zoo are behind cages.)
This goat(?) with super long ears was adorable.

And Mom, you will be happy to know that there are several giraffes now.
When my family visited 18ish years ago, there was just one lonely giraffe
with a sign asking for donations to buy him a companion.

In fact, this giraffe was due to have a baby any day! Isn't she pretty?
I can't get over those adorable eyelashes.

After playing at the petting zoo for a while, it was time for the tram ride to see the other animals.

This zonkey was one of the more unusual animals we saw.

Most of the animals will walk right up to the tram and stick their heads in for food.

Wesley laughed so hard to watch the ostriches pecking at the food.
I believe his exclamation when re-capping our visit to Daddy was, 
"Some animals just doinked it right up!"

So many beautiful species of deer! The smallest ones were only about as tall as my knee.

The boys were so excited to see a real-live "Llama-Llama," just like in some of their favorite books.

This guy looked like he could be in Star Wars with those 4 horns!

They match!

And then came the camels...oh, the camels.
My family loves re-telling the story of our experience here when the camel stuck its head in,
grabbed my sister's bucket of food with its teeth,
tipped it up into the air to empty the contents into his mouth,
and tossed the empty bucket onto the ground, which was littered with empty buckets from other poor, unsuspecting tourists.

So we were excited to see the camels this time and see if they were up to the same tricks.

But apparently they've moved on from stealing buckets.

This guy stuck his head in, totally ignored the buckets of food, and started nuzzling up to this poor woman!

...And then he suddenly turned his head and BIT HER ON THE SHOULDER!!!
I just happened to catch the camel in the act.
The entire tram bonded over that ridiculous camel--we could not stop laughing!
(The poor victim included...once the camel was gone she found it rather amusing.)
I even got their e-mail addresses so I could send them these photos.

Beware the camels! The horses were more friendly. This one took a special liking to Avalon.

And the boys loved their short rides.

What a great way to end our visit with Avalon!
We drove from the park to the airport and got passes to go back to the gate with her.
After selecting some souvenirs
(pen or BBQ-flavored dried crickets??)
she was good to go, and as she boarded the plane the boys said loud good-byes about 27 times,
much to the delight of the other passengers.

And Talmage cried for the next 20-30 minutes.
He wants Aunt Av to live with us.
Now he tells me, "I'm still sad, but I don't have tears coming down...just in my heart."
Avalon sure was good to us!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sister Time-Part 3

The third day Avalon was with us was kind of a lame day.
We had planned to go to the beach, but rainy weather ruined that idea.
We ended up hanging out at home most of the day,
watching the boys re-enact scripture stories rather hilariously,
and braving H-E-B on a Friday evening (not the brightest idea).

I had to have a little photo shoot with Avalon before she entertained the boys on the trampoline while I made dinner!

And we had to enjoy some classic Blue Bell after dinner.

The next day (Saturday), we had a free, 90-minute boat tour scheduled,
so we dropped Sam off at work and headed over to the Port of Houston.
The tour was moderately interesting.
It got a little long (lots of industrial scenery),
but the boys thought riding on a boat was pretty cool.

I loved that they had an indoor lounge with padded seats and big windows.
Pretty much everyone went out on the deck, and then I could let the boys run around without worrying about them. They even served free soft drinks!

We saw a ton of really huge ships and cranes with their various cargo.

We eventually went out on the deck for a few minutes of the ride.

Love this.

After the boat tour was over, we decided to re-visit the plan to take a trip to the beach.
After terrible traffic and other issues (I'll spare you the details),
we finally got out of the car hours later to play for an hour or two.

But these boys had so much fun it was worth the frustrations on the way,
even for a short visit!
Wesley loved jumping over the waves.

Talmage's activity of choice was sandcastle-building.

And Lincoln was a little machine, crawling furiously through the water and throwing seaweed out of his path without missing a beat.

I succeeded in making it look like the beach wasn't crowded. Ha.

The boys rather enjoyed the idea of burying Aunt Av's legs--
especially after a random man suddenly walked up to us,
dumped about 10 beach toys down on the sand,
and stated, "You need more toys!"
He then walked off and I never saw him again.

We ended the day with showers, a movie night, and pancakes for dinner.
We were so glad for the chance to visit the beach one more time before we leave Houston!
(Less than one month remaining, and we still don't know where we're going!
But with one official offer and two others pending, we're getting closer!
Sam's last interview is next week!)
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