Sunday, June 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Rainbow Twilight

About 3 weeks ago she changed her name to Rainbow Twilight.  Before that she was LuLu and for awhile it was Gloria.  But by any name, our sweet Louise is the life of the party.

Louise turned 5 years old this week.  Unfortunately, her birthday fell at the same week that summer vacation started and everyone in our house got sick.  And the sickest....sweet Louise.  Super high fever, hacking cough.  But she celebrated like a trouper.

Her brothers and sisters showered her with gifts.  All of them went out and bought her something special with their allowance money.  It was the first time that all of them were really old enough to get this concept and they bought her some really cool presents.

 We were all too sick to deal with wrapping paper, so we just had a birthday present parade and each kiddo presented their gifts one at a time.  Louise loved it!

Then on to the cake.  Custom designed online by Louise herself, at HEB.  No, this is not a plug for HEB, but we were all too sick to go in person and she got to pick out all the colors and fillings and everything.  Very cool!


Louise had one other surprise on her birthday.  She lost her second tooth.  The pictures below show her looking a bit distraught.  It was the blood or pain.  It was because she was washing her tooth off in the sink and accidentally dropped it down the drain.  Oh well, the presents helped ease the pain.

A few fun facts about Louise.  Her favorite color is still purple.  She loves anything that is glittery, shiny, girly.  And boy does she love My Little Pony!  She is however, the toughest girl you will ever meet.  Extraordinarily strong, athletic, and energetic (truth be told, I sort of liked her being a little under the weather this week because she is easier to keep up with). She climbs like a tree frog, swims like a fish, and hugs like a sumo wrestler.  She is my most passionate child.  Quick to laugh, quick anger.  But also my most compassionate child.  If anyone is hurt, she quickly arrives with a bandage and "there,there" on the back.  She hates cleaning up, but she loves to cook and will always share her food with anyone that asks.  That is a really good quality in a house with 8 people!

I love this little angel to the moon and back.  Happy Birthday Rainbow Twilight!

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Silver Lining for Mother's Day

 So lots of you have asked, and YES, we did get a new trailer.  Our insurance company came through with a very fair settlement and we were able to find a new trailer much quicker than we expected. And much closer to home.  It was owned by someone who lives in our own subdivision. It was literally less than 10 minutes from our house.

It's a newer model than what we had, with several awesome features that we didn't have.  It is a bit shorter than the other trailer, but with the slightly different configuration, the bathroom is bigger and the kids beds are bigger, so it worked out well.  

We took it out for its inaugural camping weekend over the Mother's Day holiday. I can't think of a better way to spend my Mother's Day than camping with my kiddos.

 We spent the weekend at Pedernales Falls State Park.  This is definitely in my top 5 favorite places to camp.  It has awesome hiking!  Easy enough for Katriel to navigate, but challenging enough to keep my mountain goat boys happy and active.

And there were also plenty of trees to climb.  Our campsite was awesome!  Perfectly flat (a bonus for travel trailer parking) and surrounded by so many trees that you could barely see any other campers around you.

The Pedernales Falls themselves are just beautiful.  There is a great observation area and then a long hike down a set of stone stairs to the falls. The hike to the falls started a little rough.  Manny took a fall on the gravel trail and tore open his knee and shin.  Luckily, my little girl scout Grace is always prepared with her first aid kit.  We poured sparkling water on the wound, Brian sopped up the blood with his shirt, we slathered on the ointment and covered him in band-aids.  After some copious tears we were back on the trail!

Haven is a climbing maniac.  He is so fast, so sure footed.  I love to watch him scramble up rock walls like a stroll in the park.  There were several spots where he climbed on ahead of us and I had to find an alternate route for my tired old knees.

 Grace is also quite the climber.  Although she could care less about sports that involve balls or competition, she is so strong and athletic.  I just loved watching her and Haven race along the rocks!

 And then we found a snake.  Louise flipped out.  She was paralyzed.  There are a lot of things about my Lulu that are very rough and tough, but she is no match for a water snake!

A little water break!

Check out all those band-aids!

After our hike we headed back to the trailer for lunch and a nap for Mama to avoid the heat of the day.  Our new trailer has amazing AC!  Then later in the afternoon we headed to the swimming hole to float the Pedernales River.

It is miraculous that Daddy was not lost down stream.  He frequently was being used as a flotation device.

My sweetest little mermaid was content to splash around the shore with Mama, while I stayed out of the sun to preserve my shockingly white legs.

My grumpy little mermaid had obviously gotten worn out by our hike and needed to take a little rest by the water.

The next day was Mother's Day.  We got an earlier start to try and do a little more hiking and swimming before we had to head home.  Unfortunately, right about the time we hit the trail it started to rain.  But the kiddos were troupers and we finished the whole hike. We picked some gorgeous wildflowers.

We climbed more trees!

We got to see another set of beautiful water falls.

We tried to take an obligatorily Mother's Day photo.  Failed!  Brian took about 10 shots.  This was the best of the lot.  Manny not only had his eyes closed, but was squeezing them like he had just seen something terrifying.  Haven was angry that it was raining and we weren't going to get to swim.  And JoJo was just making one of those JoJo faces.

It was a great trail with lost of interesting plants and caves.  "Look Mama! It's the Crood's Cave!"

On the way home we stopped for a Mother's Day lunch and I caught a few more pics of my sweetie pies.  Four years ago on Mother's Day, Katriel and Louise arrived home from Kinshasa to complete our family.  So Mother's Day is always one of the sweetest days of the year for me.  It makes me want to squeeze my babies extra tight.  Hope it was a lovely day for you, too!

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