Family Vacation Summer 2012

Day 1:
We picked up Abbey and Allison around 9:30 on Friday morning
and left straight from the Woodlands on our vacation. We drove all day long and ended up in Roswell, NMabout ten and a half hours later. Roswell is famous for a“suspected” UFO crash. We stayed in a Hampton Inn that had a fake Alien at the front. His name was “Juan.” Too
funny. On Saturday, we woke up and took the kids to the UFO shaped McDonalds where the kids played. After, we went to visit the UFO Museum. On the drive up, the kids made UFO
outfits. They were mainly head things. At the museum, Brad took our
change for the entrance fee from the lady and said “thank you sir.” She just laughed but I was mortified. The museum was interesting. We drove to Santa Fe (three hours) and checked into ourhotel, the Hotel Santa Fe and Spa.

Day 2:
After we arrived in Santa Fe, we walked to the city plaza and had lunch. We exploered the city and visited the Loretto Chapel which is famous for its staircase.
After exploring the city, we ended up going to a kid friendly restaurant
where they had live music. We spent the final part of our evening relaxing on the patio of our hotel. If I had to do it again, I would definitely
stay in the plaza. That is the way to go.

Day 3:
This was one of the highlights of our trip. We drove about an hour to visit Bandelier Park.
I had no idea what this was about. We ended up at a state park where you could walk around a trail. The walk was about three and a halfmiles. As you walked and enjoyed the
beautiful scenery, there were ladders you could climb to look in various caves
where people thousands of years ago lived. It was the neatest experience.
Even the little kids (2 year old Sophia) had a blast. We had to stay in one of the caves for about
ten minutes to let a rain cloud pass. For dinner, we found a pizza place with wonderful pizza. It was called the Rooftop Pizzeria. One of the pizzas we tried had duck on it. It
was delicious.

Day 4:
We got up super early and drove to Colorado. The drive was about six and a half hours where we stopped near Denver to have lunch withBrad’s 95 year old grandma. It was a
great lunch. It was a Chinese place and it was one of the best Chinese restaurants that I have ever eaten at! After lunch, we headed towards Estes Park for the YMCA camp. We stopped at a local
Kmart where we bought an air mattress. The girl at the Kmart wouldn’t open her lane until she finished up her red popsicle. I have never seen anything like it. We arrived an hour later at Estes Park. Two years ago, Corrin’s family and my familydid this vacation. We rented a three
bedroom cabin. This year we decided torent a three bedroom house. We found out
later that Michelle wanted to come so we just decided to squeeze in. The house had more space but was no wherenear the main campus of the YMCA camp. The cabin we rented two years before was within walking distance of all the activities. I think we would rent a
cabin if we do it again so we can be by all of the activities. Tylercooked pork and we played board games. The kids decided they wanted to do a talent show so they practiced for

Day 5:
Brad, the kids, Michelle, Morgan and I all went whitewater rafting in Fort Collins. We had a blast! The river was low so it wasn’t a crazy ride but it was still lots of fun. The kids
got to swim in the river for a little while. I scraped my leg on a rock and there was a little blood. All I could think about was getting an infection with the river water (that flesh eating disease). I told Brad that I needed Neosporin soon so I wouldn’t have to get my arms and legs cut off.
Brad stopped at the grocery store on the way back and picked me up some Neosporin when he picked up a few items. I think he didn’t want to be stuck caring for me without legs or
arms. Ha ha. Corrin and the younger kids spent the day at the craft center and went fishing.
Corrin cooked an awesome chicken alfredo fettuccini for dinner. Later on, the kids put on their talent show. It was SOOOOOO cute! Sophia and Paige ended up being the
winners. I will put a video of their skit.

Day 6:
Wednesday was spent making crafts at the craft center and
relaxing. The kids had a blast back at the house where they spent hours playing “The Hunger Games.” Each kid made his or her own bow and arrow. Even the little ones played. It was a blast. For dinner, Brad and I made pasta and sliders (hamburgers). After dinner, the kids put
on another show. It was fantastic. Brad and I decided on our next vacation, though that we were getting a real bed. We spent the first three nights on a couch bed and then the next three
nights on an air mattress. Because we are a big family, we need two hotel rooms.
Next time we will for sure get two rooms.

Day 7:
We woke up Thursday and headed off to Beaver Creek, Colorado. On the way, we decided to go to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive took about an hour to the top. It
was amazing! The views were breathtaking. It was neat driving up the
mountain and seeing the temperature quickly drop. We started at about 85 degrees and at the top it was 55 degrees. We then drove to Beaver Creek and ended up at our hotel, the Hyatt Resort Beavercreek. This resort is absolutely amazing. We are right in the middle of the “village” where
everything is located. The resort itself is amazing. The lawns are beautiful with all the
different amenities (ping pong, play set, volleyball, washers (bean bags),
swimming, etc. We had drinks on the patio while the kids played. We had
pizza for dinner and then went back to the resort for the movie night on the
lawn. The kids had a blast watching Peter Pan and drinking hot coco.

Day 8:
We woke up early and took the ski lift to the top of the mountain. We then took a hike up at the
top of the mountain. The views were beautiful and the hike was a lot of fun.
We even saw blue bonnets!!!! After lunch on the mountain, we headed back down the mountain. The kids were thrilled because we let them do a bungee jump thing. During the latter part of the day, it started to rain. They Hyatt puts on a kid’s even every Friday night where they have arts and crafts, pony rides, face painting, and other fun things. They had to cancel
it because of the rain. We went to dinner and then headed back to the hotel where
the kids rented The Hunger Games. Tomorrow we plan on driving to Wichita Falls, TX (13 hours
away). We will get home on Sunday. We loved this vacation!!!!


Summer Fun!

I am not going to go into details but I see God in our lives daily. He ALWAYS listens. ALWAYS. I posted on my facebook page the other day "Don't tell God how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your God is!" He just makes everything ok and he lets you know that he is there. My goal everyday when I wake up is to try to be a good person. Things are not perfect but our family has their health and we all love each other more than anything. We leave on Friday for our vacation. We are all in need of a vacation and quality family time with the kids. This picture was taken the other day at the park in the Woodlands. I wish Paige had been there.


One more week until VACATION!!!!

Friday, July 13 (by Brad, guest blogger)

This evening after work, Christa, Will and I went to our
favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner.
Paige’s dad picked her up before dinner so she could spend the weekend
with him. We had a nice time together
over a good meal and a couple adult beverages (Will had root beer). I had one
of their 20 oz frozen margaritas. I
highly recommend them.

Saturday, July 14
This morning, Will’s dad picked him up which left Christa
and I kid-less. After breakfast we went
to an art gallery where Christa’s friend runs art classes. When we signed up for this kids mosaic class,
we thought we were going to have kids.
But our plans changed at the last minute and rather than bail on
Christa’s friend, we went through with the class. We each made a mosaic picture frame which
we’ll give to the kids to display in their new rooms. Our niece, Sophia, did the class with us
along with Corrin. We’ll definitely take
our kids back for another art class. We
ended the day nicely by grilling salmon outside of our apartment at one of the
community grills. If was nice to grill
again…it’s been a while. Christa made
some really good dill flavored rice to go along with the fish. It was a good meal.

We watched 2 movies, one chick flick and one man movie. The first movie, Friends with Kids (chick
flick), was truly awful. It was a
bizarre movie about a guy and girl who were just friends but decided to have a
baby together and split time 50/50 with the kid. These liberal weirdoes in Hollywood take too many drugs. The second movie, however, was a cinematic
masterpiece. In Safe House, Denzel
Washington plays a spy who has gone rogue and is being chased by the CIA. It includes nonstop action and plenty of
violence. There is a nice twist at the
end as well, which always makes a movie more interesting.

Sunday, July 15
Today, after church, Christa and I shopped for our upcoming
trip to New Mexico and Colorado.
We went to Dollar Tree (where everything is $1) and spent $44.50. That means we bought 41 items! We wanted to buy a few things to make the 15+
hour drive (one way) tolerable for the kids, but which in turn makes it more
tolerable for the adults. We planned out
several of our activities today, which will include viewing Indian ruins in Santa Fe, whitewater rafting in Fort
Collins, and hiking in Estes
Park. We’re really getting excited about the trip
and can’t wait until Friday.

Just before dinner, our wonderful
little nieces, Isabella and Sophia came over to our place. Their mom and dad were going to dinner with
some friends and dropped them off on the way.
Christa cooked a whole chicken in the oven which turned out great. The four of us sat down and had a nice dinner
together. Tonight, the girls played
Legos, made snow angels in the carpet (this was the first time I’d seen this
being done), colored and played with the dogs.
They finished the night off with Spiderman 2. We had a nice time with our nieces this


Lilly the Funny Dog!

Today was very strange. At first I was very upset but then I said, "there is a reason for everything." I got a call from the principal of Cy-Ranch high school asking if I would like to interview for a history position. THIS IS MY DREAM JOB, because it is right by our new house and it is the school that Paige will be going to. The problem is that I already accepted a job. I could not be a cad and try to ditch my school that is excited about me working there and try to interview for this job. I am just not that person. At the end of the day, I can't live with that ucky feeling in my stomach. I told the lady that I was super disappointed because that is where I wanted to work, but I already accepted another job offer. I explained that my daughter was going there and we would be living close to the school. She was REALLY nice. I asked her if she would keep me in mind in the future for a possible transfer. She completely understood my situation. She told me to stay in touch with them and that every year the district offers a transfer fair for teachers within Cy-Fair and that you can request certain campuses. I told Brad that I just trust that Cy-Creek is the place where I am suppose to be right now. The principal is very excited about me being there. My new department chair is meeting me tomorrow at school to show me my new classroom. Brad and I were excited that my new school will be closer to the Woodlands. I will be able to leave at 3:00 on Thursdays and Fridays and help Brad get the girls. I told him that maybe I am suppose to be at Cy-Creek because it will be easier to get the girls and we can all have more time together. Brad can be stuck in 5:00 Houston traffic for hours. If I can leave at 3:00 to get them, it just makes more sense. Yesterday, I got an email from Lone Star college asking me if I was still interested in applying for an adjunct position at the Lone Star Cypress campus which is right by my house. It would be teaching a history class either one night a week or on Saturdays. I told them I was interested in applying because that would be a great way to get my foot in the door. Brad was super sweet and said "Can I pay you what they pay an hour for you not to apply?" AWWWW...I told him that I need to at least try because that would be very cool to eventually just teach at the community college level. I probably will not get a call back but you never know....


Goodwill....It is what is amazing...

I can't help it but I will always want to save money. If we won the lottery, I still think I would want to save money. I am frugal a lot of the times and sometimes I am not. I am thankful, though, that my mom instilled this into me. I needed some new work clothes, mainly some dresses and nice work pants. I woke up this morning and decided that I instead of going to the mall and buying some work clothes, I would check out my favorite goodwill store. I hit the jackpot. I know you can't tell from these pictures but the clothes are actually cute on. These pictures don't really show how cute they are. Paige and I ended up spending $200 and got enough clothes to last us for a long time. I bought five pairs of work pants (Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gap, etc) that look new and would cost at least $50 in the store each. I bought five dresses that are cute. A few I am posting are for going out to dinner and not for work. I got one BEAUTIFUL Ann Taylor Dress that looks new that I need to get hemmed. I also got a pair of cute blue jeans. Paige scored several cute things for school (jeans, shirts, etc). I was very proud of myself for the savings. I took the kids to the movies after we went shopping. It was at the Memorial City Mall so I let the kids get lunch in the food court. The lady at the Sabarro's pizza couldn't believe that I just ordered two slices of pizza for Paige and Will. I asked for water for them. She said we only have bottled water. I said "What?" I want the free water. She was aggravated and turned around to point at the faucet. She said "or this." I said "that is exactly what I want." Why would I buy bottled water when we live in a DEVELOPED country???? REALLY!!!! When we went to the movies, I told the kids, "I will let you have one small popcorn and coke to share." We got up to the counter and the guy told me my total for the small popcorn and coke would be $9.75. I was in shock. How can a TINY coke and TINY popcorn cost almost $10.00!!! The kid was just laughing at how shocked I was. I looked at him and said "I really should have just snuck in a candy and a coke in my purse." He looked at me and said "yep, you should have. There is a Target right around the corner." At least he is living in reality understands how crazy that is. I guess my savings at Goodwill on my clothes were leveled by my ripoff at the movies. Life is good. *** the sunglasses were Paige's four dollar jackpot find....

After the movie, I picked up Sophia and Isabella and took them to swimming lessons. They were so cute. The swimming place is amazing. Sophia looked like a little runt. She didn't look old enough to be in Isabella's class with the other two big girls but she did great. At one point she went under water and got so mad at the teacher. I think she tried to hit him. LOL. Sophia is a little firecracker. She is tiny but has a huge personality. The teacher is a HUGE African-American college age kid. He was SUPER sweet and really good. It was funny seeing him try to teach these little white girls. Super cute and sweet. The kids did very well. Isabella was the best out of the four little girls. She is soooo sweet. A few years ago, Brad's father saved Isabella's life when she fell in our pool. It was one of scariest moments of my life. God is so good and so is Tim for saving her life. Our lives would have been ruined if Isabella had drowned. I asked Isabella today "did you tell your swim teacher that you almost drowned?" She said "no, I didn't want him to get mad at me." She is such a sweetheart.

God is so good. I will not go into the negative drama that contiguously surrounds our life. Sometimes I just don't understand how some people can be the way they are. Brad and I just continue to pray because we HAVE to put it in God's hands. We HAVE to. When I was going through my work problems, I decided that I just had to give it to God. I said "God, I am giving this to you. If you want me to be back at my school next year, I know you have a good reason for it. I am just putting it in your hands because I know you will take care of me. " I did just that. If any of you know me, you know that I am a complete "A" type personality. It is VERY hard for me to let things go out of my control. I trusted that God would take care of me, no matter what. He has ALWAYS taken care of me and blessed me, even when things were horrible in my life. I started this summer and continued to say that I was giving it to God. One night, I felt a weird feeling telling me to email the principals at the high schools in Cy-Fair. I know that was God. I did that and a week later, I had a job interview and then a job offer. I have to do the same thing with the things that Brad and I have to deal with. The most wonderful thing about God is that he SEES everything! He knows everything that is going on. When you are good, he is very happy. When you are not good, he teaches you lessons in different ways. It makes me feel at peace to know that he sees everything and knows the truth about everything. I am just going to put everything in his hands. This doesn't mean that I am going to sit back and let others do whatever they want. It just means that I am going to try and be the best Christian that I can be. When we die, that is all that matters.