Last Thursday Eliza's preschool took a field trip to Moody Gardens in Galveston. Ike and I decided to tag along for the day. At first Eliza was very adamant that I was not to go. And then I realized she was more excited about riding the bus than actually seeing the aquarium. So when I told her Isaac and I were just going to drive and meet her there, she was all cool with it :)
I carpooled down with a really neat gal, another Trooper School mother. She has two daughters, junior and senior and then they adopted Cooper as a baby, who is in Eliza's class. She was really down to earth and pro big family (which outside the church is fairly rare) and just all around really nice...now if I could just remember her name :)
Eliza was not overly impressed with the aquarium, but Ike loved it! His favorite was the penguin exhibit and he made friends with one who would just follow him back and forth on the other side of the glass. They had a good game of tag going.
"Eliza, if you don't behave mom is going to sell you when our baby brother is born." "Erin, knock it off, you'll give her a complex." "No, mom....It will just make her confident."
"I will only love my baby brother if we name him "Luke the Skywalker.""
"Erin, what do you do if someone you don't know comes up to you?" "I spray them in the eyes with mace so they burn!"
"Mom, does Eva like Walley like a good girl or a bad girl?" "What???"
"Dad, when you get really old we are going to sell you!".
"Get out of here you crazy creature!" "Erin, don't call you sister a creature, its not nice." "But mom, she is a monster!"
"Mom, did your car die?" "No, Erin!" "Mom, I bet your just stuck in the grass, maybe that nice policeman behind you will push you out." "I don't think so Erin, that nice police man is writing mommy a speeding ticket." "Sweet, I love tickets...but can he still push us home?".
"Dad, your not really a girl, just a pretend girl"
"One day I am going to marry myself so I get ALL the gifts!"
"Dad, I want to wear my new raincoat". "But Erin, it's not raining out". "Here's the deal, I'll put it on and you can spray me with the hose o.k."?
Last week I think it rained almost everyday (a mothers worst nightmare). My kids just get unruly if they can't play outside. So finally one day we decided to walk to pick up Erin. I'm not sure why I even put a rain coat on Isaac. He jumped in every puddle, by the time we got home he was soaked from the waist down. But it was worth the smiles.
Britt and I checking out the produce (yes I wore that out in public, it was cold!)
The day started off chilly in the Heights (which I have never visited but is a kickin' side of the city). Our first stop, which was by far my favorite was called Canino's Produce Market. It was this huge open air, three part market. The best was the back room where you could barter and name your price. Their prices were fantastic. I got a pineapple for $1.00, red peppers were .50 each. They had lots of exotic fruits and beans from central America, it was my dream market! Unfortunately (or fortunately for Jared) we were on bike so I couldn't buy out the place :)
Then we rode to downtown Houston on part of the cities bike trails and visited two other smaller markets. Both were pretty yuppie, fun to visit but most things were out of my budget.
The morning was really enjoyable, minus my back tire falling off, but that is a story for another day). The group we road with included everyone from avid bikers to old lady on their cruisers with the big basket on the front. Everyone was very chatty and welcoming. If I lived closer and had time for a hobby I would think about joining the club.
(Shot overlooking the west side of the family farm).
We spent two weeks up in Iowa visiting family for Christmas. Grandma and Grandpa Fenton's house was covered with snow, they already had over 28” of snow and it snowed another 8” on Christmas Eve Day. The perfectly spotless blanket of white made for a beautiful Christmas morning. The natives seemed blind to the scenic beauty of it, my dad handed us a shovel and said “go see if its still beautiful when you are done”. For good reason, it get tiresome day after day. But for us it made for a perfect week. Eliza learned to love sledding, the faster she went the louder she laughed. Grandpa piled huge mounds of snow to build forts. I found my first pair of CC skis in the hay loft and Erin was a natural. Ike didn't care much for out the out doors (he was embarrassed about wearing his sisters pink princess boots). So he lingered inside making friends with Sam, the gigantic cat.
Dad took Jared and I out to the farm to shoot some rather large firearms. I got a new gun for Christmas (S&W .40). Its was only 8 degrees out that morning and windy but we couldn't pass up the chance.
We spent the week hanging with my brother Max and his wife Jodi, making Christmas cookies with Grandma and seeing aunts, uncles and family. The girl cousins all went sledding at the school hill. One of the best present we received was from my aunt. She took all my grandmas quilt blocks and old fabric and made all three kiddos quilts. We all got finished quilt blocks to hang on the wall. They turned out beautiful! Over all it was such a fun relaxing week enjoying the quietness of NE Iowa.
We then drove to Jared's parents home, which was the opposite of quite. For the first time in years all nine members of Jared's immediate family, five in-laws and kids were together. It was so good to get together and we spent many late nights hashing out game after game of Ticket to Ride. I hardly saw my children at all that week as they had someone at their beckon call to play with them. And they had a blast playing with their cousins. I read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series with my down time. Erin and Eliza spent the week playing dress up and dolls and Ike flashed his dashingly handsome smile to make sure he was being fed a constant supply of cookies. Ike decided it was time to talk. Within a week he went from saying nothing to almost a dozen words (one being cookie).
It would have been a perfect vacation minus Erin got sick on the way home. She threw up five time, so we drove straight through on the way home. Eliza and Jared were sick the night we arrived home and mom was thrust out of her restful vacation to into loads of puke laundry and having to carpet clean the van.
And now 2011 commences, I wonder what it will have it store for us!