Friday, May 8, 2015

Camping Party of 29--Fort Parker State Park

This past weekend we coordinated a crazy 5 family camping trip. This time we stayed at Fort Parker State Park.  We camped for 3 days with friends from church, friends from the neighborhood, the Solbergs (of course), and a super special surprise family, the Apgars.  The Solbergs and the Apgars are the two families that we traveled with to China when we brought home our girls : Sydney, Jenna and Grace.  At best we are all together once a year, so this was a special treat for all of us.  Those of you who have adopted know that the bonds you make on an adoption trip can be unique and long lasting.






First major injury of the trip!


Fort Parker State park is a tiny campground on a big muddy fishing lake.  We had the greatest location in the campground.  A cul du sac with 5 campsites, right next to the lake, under a huge canopy of trees.  The nights were cool, the days were shady.  The weekend was amazing!




Altogether, we had 29 campers on our trip.  Nineteen of them were kids!






We hiked, rode bikes, kayaked, and toasted marshmallows.  Camping heaven!




We held hands with old friends.



We gave hugs to new ones!


We laughed and picked flowers and walked quietly in the woods!







What a great big beautiful family photo!!!









What's that?  It's time to roast more marshmallows???




Super Haven was ready for action!



Manny and JoJo did some bird watching.



Louise stared at the wall instead.




We explored all kinds of nature.


And we took a few naps!




There's nothing like sleeping in a nice cool tent!





My very favorite piece of camping equipment.



As we were driving away JoJo was already asking "Can we go camping again? Can we get a trailer?" I wish I could figure out how to get JoJo a trailer for his birthday in July.  He'd be the happiest boy on the planet!!!  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring Has Spring: Giant Spring Photo Dump!

It's springtime and I'm feeling a little giddy about it.  The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the pool is open.  Life is good.  Not perfect, but pretty darn good.





When spring first pops up I get a a little frantic.  I feel like I have to fill up my calendar with as many
outdoor activities as possible before the dog days of Texas summer arrive (which will be sometime in May)! So right after I Easter I nagged Brian into opening our pool.








For Easter we decided to forgo traditional baskets and take the kids to all see a Saturday matinee of "Home".  Great movie and an awesome day!  It was the first movie that Manny, Kat, and Louise had ever been to and all 6 kids were soooooo good!  So much fun!


Grammy and Pop sent everyone a beach bucket for Easter so we used them to have a little Easter egg hunt in our front yard.  The competition for chocolate eggs was fierce!














The following pictures are completely unrelated to Easter or spring.  It's just funny to see what kind of costumes Louise will come up with!





Katriel has become obsessed with my phone camera.  She got a lucky flattering shot of Mama!


On a random Friday afternoon, we took a trip to the Houston Zoo with the Solbergs. We put the season pass that the Grands got us for Christmas to good use and discovered a Friday after 4:00pm is the best time ever to visit the zoo.  No crowds, parking right by the entrance, all the cotton candy vendors are already closed (yes, that was a very good thing)!











A couple days later we hit the Surfside Beach with our friends from down the street.  Brian HATES the sand, but my water babies all LOVE playing in the surf.  Watch out, here comes a whole bunch of photos!!!


My handsome JoJo!





Katriel is so lovely!










Swimming with new friends.


Havey Wavey taking to the waves!




Vika is the life of the party!



Izzy is so sweet!



Watch out for Manny Boo!




My sand angel, Grace!







Louise always does things her own way!













JoJo and his buddy, Henry.













"Look Mama, I'm Santa Claus!"



"Mama, I'm a mermaid!"



















Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!





Daddy joins in the fun!



Louise, or the Unknown Comic?




Spring hasn't been all fun and games.  There have been a few owies!



Things looked a little dicey for awhile, but Louise managed to pull through!!!



It's the first week of May.  We are staying in the 80's each day.  The 90's will be here soon!  I had better squeeze in some more springtime special occasions before the sweat and the mosquitoes drive me back inside.  Any suggestions?  Any must do spring events in your house?



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