Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cousin Fun!

Last week, my niece and nephew stayed with us last week! We had a great time. So good, in fact, Lizzie cried after they left because she missed them so much.

The first day, we went swimming at our swim teacher's house, Marci. The kids loved the dogs. The dogs loved barking and swimming with the kids.

 The next day we went to Bonkers. The kids had a blast and ran around for a while. After Bonkers, my niece made us lunch. It was delicious.

The third day they were here, we went to the Charming Cat Cafe. It is a great place that lets you pet (and adopt) cats. There were tons of cats and kittens that we loved. Everyone loved it. I think it was the highlight of their visit.

Between activities, there was lots of play time at the house. Even though there is a bit of an age gap between the kids, they love and play really well together. It is so fun to watch.

Sometimes it takes a little coaxing for the older kids to play. But if you tell her she can spray the other kids with the hose, she is more than willing. The kids all loved it! It was a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Their last full day here, we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards. It is a favorite place of ours. The kids made their way through the maze, we ate lunch and looked around for a bit. It was hot but we had fun anyway.

We loved having Sydney and Sam with us! It was so fun and something that they will hopefully always remember. It was a week of staying up late, doing fun things and watching TV together.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Vacation 2016

This past weekend, we traveled to Arkansas for a vacation. We choose that location because we had planned to go to Alabama to see Wes' family but at the last minute we needed to postpone our trip until September. Of course, the plan changed after Wes reserved a non-refundable hotel room. So, off to Arkansas we went.

We left Friday night after Wes go off work. We stopped for dinner but our destination was Hope, AR for the night. The next morning, we ate breakfast and the girls swam in the pool. After they cleaned up, we headed for Crater of Diamonds State Park to strike it rich! When we arrived, it was already blazing  hot. There were tons of people (probably because of the holiday weekend).  We found our spot and started digging. I should rephrase that, Wes started digging. The girls and I were hot and hung out under the shade tree. After a while, we joined Wes. We found some beautiful rocks but no diamonds. With sweat rolling down our backs, we gave up the search.
Taken from the comfort of the shade tree

He is having so much fun!
From there, we found the river and decided to go for a swim. The girls loved it and had a blast! It was really clear water; not like the muddy water around here. So clear, you could see the fish trying to eat Wes' toes. I was done when they started coming after me.

After our swim, we headed to the second hotel outside of Little Rock. Once we got to the hotel, we went swimming and then out to dinner.

The next morning, our plan was to head to Hot Springs. Apparently, everybody else decided to go to Hot Springs. It was packed! Even though it was packed, we had fun. The girls became junior rangers at the National Park. They had a blast. They couldn't believe how hot the water was coming out of the ground.

Grace being sworn in
Lizzie being sworn in

Standing by a spring
When we were done with Hot Springs, it was time to head home. We decided to take a different route than the Interstate. We've been on the Interstate dozens of times and decided to see something different. As we were driving through Oklahoma, we ended up eating dinner at an Italian restaurant that we had eaten at on another vacation with my family. It was funny when we drove up and Wes said, we've been here before. Sure enough, we had eaten there and it was still good. Outside of Paris, TX, we happened upon a church that was shooting off fireworks because it was July 3. We stopped and watched them. It was really cool. As night fell while we were driving home, we watched several different fireworks. It was fun to see so many different ones.

The goal of our vacation was to take it easy and not have an agenda and we succeeded. Grace made up video games while she was looking out the window. Lizzie liked looking out the window. When they played together, they were really sweet. We saw lots of wildlife and we love to count how many things we see. We had a great time on our vacation!