Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Day At The Rodeo With Davin {Meagan And Bri, Too}

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Davin was unable to make our carnival day on Wednesday due to a stomach virus. And he was heartbroken!  But, as it turned out, we had tickets to Saturday's Houston Livestock and Rodeo Jim and I invited Meagan and Davin to join us.  At the last minute, Jim wasn't able to make Bri took his ticket. 

Again, this is filled with just consider it another page in Nonna's Brag book!

Davin's favorite fantasy right now is to play 'Sheriff'.  He is always throwing one of his uncles in jail!  He was SO EXCITED to finally be going to the Rodeo and was dressed in full Sheriff attire.

Can you see the joy on that sweet face?  He took his mom for a ride in a Monster Truck.

Some of my favorite pictures of my children are when they don't even know I'm taking one.
This picture of Bri is a perfect example.  I love it!

Davin took Auntie for a plane ride.  If you look close, you will see his face all lit up as he realizes he is actually getting it up off the ground.

He chose the 4-wheeler for the bumper cars ride.
Of course he did!
Then he tried to beat me at the water game.  Neither of us won a prize, but we were tied in finishes.
Nonna -1 to Davin -1.  Then he made his momma play! 

Saturday was HOT!  Temperatures soared up around 90...maybe a little higher.  So, we headed in to Reliant Stadium to watch the rodeo.  I love to watch the rodeo live, especially the finals...but the Sheriff was not impressed and soon tired of it.  He was ready to head back out to the Midway.  We did make him wait until the first round was over, though.

See how happy he is standing in line?

It looks like Meagan was having as much fun as Davin!

He even talked Auntie into riding a camel with him...and she is having fun too!

Then came the longest wait of the day...a chance to ride the Ferris Wheel (the small one).  As nighttime closed in they were finally able to get their turn.

Meagan and Davin on the Ferris Wheel.  Doesn't he look tired, y'all?

And finally, the moment he had been waiting on ALL DAY...the chance to get his lasso.  After all, what good is a Wild West Sheriff without a lasso?  He was all smiles.  We were all worn out.  All in all, I'd say that makes for another great day at the HLSR Rodeo!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Day At The Carnival With Brooke And Maddux {And Kelli, Too}

Forewarning: This post is filled with LOTS of pictures! It's really the only way to share the memory!

In Houston, Texas, the month of March means one, not NCAA basketball.

Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo!!!

This year, the girls and I made plans to take the grandchildren out to the carnival and spend a day.  Due to several days of heavy rains and a weather forecast of 100% chance on our planned date, we rebooked for the following Wednesday.  (Of course, it never rained on our original date!)

If you saw my Facebook post that day you also already know that we picked the WRONG day to reschedule.  Value Wednesday of Spring Break Week.  Adult entrance nearly half off, kids under twelve free and all rides/games half priced.  Great on the pocket book, not so great when it comes to beating the crowds! 

The other side effect of our rescheduling was that, on the morning of our carnival trip, Davin came down with a stomach virus.  Meagan had taken the day off to go, and now they were having to stay home.  He was unhappy to miss it and Brooke was unhappy that he couldn't go.

But, Kelli and I persevered through the sickness and the crowds -- and we had a great time!  The following are pictures from our day at the HLSR carnival.

Brooke and Kelli on the Rodeo Tram from the parking lot to the carnival grounds. Beautiful girls!

Maddux and Brooke wanted to go down this slide.
They had to brave long, long. long lines to do so.

I don't think the trip down turned out the way Maddux had hoped.
Somehow he ended up on his belly with his tow sack on top of him instead of under him!

Time to play some games. 
This one was over too quickly!

Fishing for frogs.
I remember a game like this that the kids had when they were little!

They both won swords...and boy were they happy!
Funny thing is, Kelli and I had discussed how they couldn't buy swords until we were ready to go.
Because you know, crowds + two swords in the hands of a 3 year old and a 4 year old does not = good things happening!

We then moved on to ring toss around the rubber duckies.
And Maddux won!!!

See his red ring around the duckie?

He chose Patrick in an orange hula skirt.
Yeah, Patrick was bigger than Maddux!
Umm...and we had to carry him around with us for the rest of the day!

Next stop, airbrush tattoo for him....

and face painting for her.

Look at that Transformer decorating those big muscles!

She wanted a rainbow kitten face...with glitter!

Snack time!
Marble slab. Vanilla with M&M's for him.
Chocolate with marshmallows for her.

Can you tell they like different ends of the spectrum?

We walked through the Reliant Arena to look at the shops and see the cows. Then we stopped so Nonna could get them each a cowboy hat and keepsake.

Yee Haw!
It was SO cute!

It had been a long day, so they loaded up on the back of the wagon and we headed out.
It was the best pictures that I got of them all day long!

Even the Pony and the Longhorn got along on the ride out!

Despite the crowds, it was a great day!

And as we were waiting on the tram to take us back to the truck, I looked up and saw this. A man in a kilt!  At the rodeo?
It takes all kinds!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Remembering The Alamo {Even Without Perfect Pictures}

Earlier this month, Jim and I took a weekend trip to San Antonio.  It was a much appreciated time away with My Hero...and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for making the sacrifice.

From our hotel suite was a picturesque view of Alamo Square and the San Antonio skyline.

We stayed at the Hotel Indigo, San Antonio at the Alamo.  The suites were BEAUTIFUL!  High ceilings and old world charm.

From their website:
Built in the historic Gibbs building, the Hotel Indigo® San Antonio at the Alamo hotel is a boutique-style hotel designed for travelers looking for an escape from the traditional hotel experience, but who still desire modern conveniences and amenities. Designed with the perfect blend of historical preservation and modern decor, the hotel's San Antonio, TX suites are steps from major attractions, including the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk.

I had reserved a suite because I was hoping that some of my girls could join me for the weekend, but when they were all unavailable, their wonderful Daddy stepped in!

We went to San Antonio to meet up with some of my most beloved of family members... sister, her husband and two of their three daughters.

They were spending the weekend in San Antonio to attend the Miss Collegiate America & Miss High School America Pageant.
See all those beautiful ladies standing on that stage?  Well, one of those beautiful ladies belongs to them.  Miss Arkansas Collegiate America - Naiz Bolin.

Wouldn't you know that I took my best camera all the way to San Antonio before I realized that I had left the battery at home on the charger?  Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.  So the pictures above are all from my iPhone except that last one (which Rosa had texted to me from last year's Miss Arkansas Collegiate pageant when Naiz won.)

Naiz is truly a beautiful woman from the inside, out.  And it was so exciting to watch her compete and to make it into the Top 15.  Although my nieces have been competing on and off for years, this was the first time that the event was close enough for me to attend. 

Oh, and that outdoorsy husband of mine who is out on a West Texas turkey hunt even as I type?  He was seen the Saturday night after the festivities carrying a clear dress bag filled with purple and silver sequins and feathers!  Priceless!!! 

Even though I don't have the nice high pixel photos that I wanted of this weekend, I want to remember it all the same.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

...And Growing!

On Wednesday, April 25 we will be welcoming our third son-in-love to the Goode family!
Yep, Bri and Josh are getting hitched!

They have decided to have a private ceremony at the courthouse with the immediate family in attendance.

The extended family is being invited to join us at their home on Saturday, April 28 for dinner and dancing to help celebrate their marriage!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Family Keeps Growing!

Matt and Kelli are expecting a little girl!
Miss Elliot Grace is scheduled to make her grand debut on August 13th...just one day after her Pappaw turns 50. 

What a present she will be! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

It Is A Good Thing That My Boots Were Made For Walking

Our last full day in 'The Big Apple' was overcast with clouds...
7th Avenue on Sunday Morning
The view from our hotel room facing South towards Times Square

...but it was a fitting setting for our first stop.

The '9/11 Memorial'. On our previous GGW 2008 trip, we had made our way to the sight...but it was all walled off due to demolition and construction.  Now the Memorial site is open and from the looks of the plans, when it is finished, it will be beautiful.
Stacy at the 9/11 Memorial South Pool
Our first priority upon entering the Memorial was to find the name of Stacy's high school classmate - Otis Tolbert - who lost his life at the Pentagon.  It was a stirring moment, to say the least.
Not a good picture of me at all...but this is the only one of the three of us at the Memorial.
Here we are in front of the North Pool.
As you can see in all of these photos, construction is still is full swing all around the Memorial.
The National September 11 Memorial Museum
Even the Museum is still under construction.  That is a picture of it above with the reflection of the high rise below.

Even though we were literally surrounded by NYC and heavy construction, the Memorial itself was so peaceful that it all just dissolved around you. 
The Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree was found among the ruins and nursed back to health in the Bronx before being returned to the site in 2010.  It had grown from 8' to 30'.  After being returned to the site, it was struck by lighting...but is still hanging on.  A tribute to the American spirit if I have ever heard of one.
Old Glory flying over the National September 11 Memorial Site

After touring the Memorial itself, we visited the Memorial Center...which was crowded beyond belief.

But since I had actually watched (with Jim and Will) the "American Choppers" episode where Paul Jr. built the Memorial Bike...I had to at least get pictures of it.

The front of the truly is a piece of art
After the Memorial, we started walking out of Lower Manhattan in search of a place for lunch.  Have you ever noticed how you see plenty of places you would like to try when you are not in need of them.  But as soon as you want one...NOTHING!

Well, our walk was like that.  We walked and walked with no restaurants in sight.  We walked through the Financial District, along the edge of Chinatown and over into Tribeca...we finally found Jacques on Prince Street in Soho! 

After a long walk to our late afternoon lunch, we decided to catch a cab back to Midtown.  We quickly found out that available cabs in Soho on a Sunday afternoon are a rarity!

I guess everyone and their mother were coming back into the city.  The traffic was crazy busy!  The intersections were constantly blocked...and all the cabs were either 'off duty' or full!  We walked for blocks...and blocks...and blocks...and were offered more than one 'shady' deal along the way.  One guy offered to be my husband for the day.  Another offered Robin a chance to go 'play'.  I mean, really?!?!

It was definitely a side to NYC we had not seen before!

We finally got a cab when we were reached about the halfway point to Midtown.  But we were quite thankful to no longer be walking!

On our last night in NYC, we went all out...out of our comfort zones that is!  We had dinner at Lips!  

We saw 'Morgan Royale's Superstar Sunday' show with
Marilyn Monroe

Diana Ross

Lady Gaga
and Ke$ha
It was then time to get back to hotel and pack. We had a mid-morning flight back to Houston and reality!

It was a wonderful return to New York...filled with new experiences and lots of fun memories. We haven't decided where we are heading in 2013 yet. But our minds, they are a turning!