My Summer Baby....(no it's not what you think)

Last year we had our front yard professionally landscaped because honestly it was way beyond needing help. There was no way I (I say I because Sam was deployed) would have been able to make our front yard look like it does today. Well our backyard is very "natural" as well. I've been determined to grow some grass and plant a few flowers and such to make the back yard look nice. Mostly I wanted to prove to Sam that our yard actually is quite nice. He is always saying how much he doesn't like our yard. It consistently rubs me the wrong way. I'm sure none of you understand having your spouse say something that rubs you the wrong way!! :-) So I've been out weeding, raking, planting, and tending to the yard like a small child for the last 6 weeks. I mowed my new grass for the first time today! Yippee. I'm so pleased with the way it looks. Sam is out of town until tomorrow so I told him on the phone tonight that I mowed the grass for the first time and that the yard looks really great! Then I told him; "when you get home tomorrow, I need to hear you say...wow this yard looks great, I'm so impressed with all your hard work!" I've been told that sometimes you just need to put words into your spouses mouth so that they know what to say. LOL

Of course, the deer have eaten just about everything I planted. We have at least 4-6 deer that consistently graze, sleep, and poop in our yard. It is pretty cool to have deer in your yard but not so much when you're trying to plant and establish grass. They like to move the dirt around and lay in the dirt so there are a few areas that I've had to replant. Other then that...I've got a backyard!! Sweet!


San Antonio was HOT!

What a fabulous vacation!!
I will say that San Antonio was HOT! Meaning it was a great place to go on vacation AND it was stinking HOT. Holy Smoly, I literally thought I was going to melt into the pavement on a few occasions. Sam keeps talking about how badly he wants to move back to the South and after this trip and the "gentle" reminder of how humid the South can be...I'm not convinced. Regardless of the heat we had a fantastic vacation....we just drank a whole lot of water!
We were a little sad that Grandma Mary wasn't able to make it to San Antonio. She called us Thursday night to say she was in the hospital with an infection. We called her everyday of our trip to check on her and make sure she was o.k. She ended up being sent up to the Mayo Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota to have some absesses in her colon drained. Thankfully she should be headed back home this week. Grandma Mary was pretty bummed out that she couldn't come too.

We rented a house off of a website called Vacation Rentals By Owner about 2 months before we left. We really wanted a house with a pool in the backyard and boy were we grateful for that pool at the end of the day! The house was an older 3 bedroom 2 bath home in an older neighborhood of a little suburb of Texas called Converse. We were about 10-20 minutes from everything so it was a super location.

We started the vacation with a special Birthday celebration for Sam. He will say he celebrated his 28th birthday (for the 8th time ;-). I made him a homemade German Chocolate Cake which is a recipe from my good friend Allison. He always asks for this cake for his birthday. I brought all the ingredients with me so that I could bake it the night we arrived. (we drove all night Friday night to get to San Antonio by 2 pm to pick up my mom from the airport).

Our first true full day we spent at the San Antonio Zoo. This was our first exposure to the heat. After 2 hours in the zoo we were all dragging and ready to head back to the house and jump in the pool. We ate a picnic in the parking lot of the zoo underneath a big tree. After lunch the boys took a train ride around Brackenridge park. Then we went home and played in the pool for a few hours. This heat was going to take some getting used to.

On the 2nd day we headed off to the world famous waterpark, Schlitterbahn. This waterpark is humongous. I think it was over 80 acres. You had to get on a bus to move from one end of the park to the next. The lines for the tube rides were so long. All of us waited in line to ride a tube ride for over an hour and the ride was not worth the wait. After that we just played in the wave pool, and wave float river. There was also a big fun "pirate ship" that had kid sized water slides and all kinds of fun things for the boys. It took quite awhile for Ryan to get comfortable around the water. He's still a little nervous after falling off the jetski a few weeks ago. Ethan did great! He was a champ and even tried the "surfing" ride without thinking twice about it. I didn't even want to try it. We spent 7 hours at the park...we were a little tired at the end of that day. :-)

On the 3rd day we had planned to go to Six Flags. I was a little discouraged with all the hundreds of people at the waterpark and how long we had to stand in line so I decided to call Six Flags and find out if there would be a better time to come to the park when maybe the lines were not so long. I was told that by about 3:30 the lines really die down for an hour or two until the night crowd starts coming. We arrived at the park around 3:30 and spent 6 hours in the park and NEVER had to wait in line. We took turns watching the kids and going on all the big rollercoasters. They had tons of kids rides so all of us had a super great time. This was one of my favorite days. Who wouldn't be happy when they don't have to wait in line for a big super fun rollercoaster?? There was something really amazing about our trip to Six Flags...Ethan. Ethan was a superstar rollercoaster rider. He was just tall enough to ride on a few of the "big kid" rollercoasters. He was 49" tall this year! This is a picture of Ethan riding his first ever upside down rollercoaster. He's my buddy! :-)
The 4th day was a "rest" day but we still went out to do a little sightseeing. The heat made it seem like it wasn't a rest day at all. Mom and I dropped the boys off at the movie theatre while we headed out to tour the San Antonio Mission Trail. We started with the San Juan mission. It was fasinating to see how the Catholic Priests and missionaries from Spain and the Indians they were "converting" lived in the Mission. I like seeing things like this because it's fun for me to think about how people lived many, many years before us. Other then being exceptionally hot... (did I mention how hot it was??) it was neat. We had planned to see the most famous mission, The Alamo, after we picked up the boys.
We picked up the boys, who were starting to get a little grumpy, from the movies and headed to downtown San Antonio to check out the Alamo and take a cruise down the Rio San Antonio. Then we ate some yummy authentic Mexican food right on river. In the end, it really wasn't a day of "rest".

Day 5...This is the one the boys were really excited about...Sea World! We were blessed to be able to get into Sea World free of charge. Busch Gardens parks are offering free admission to active duty soldiers and 3 dependents. During the Shamu show they had soldiers and their families stand up while the crowd clapped and cheered. It was a little emotional for me. It really hit me just how much of our lives are effected by the Iraq conflict. This trip was a perfect example because this is our first summer together in 3 years. I realized that I shouldn't and can't take advantage of the time we have together as a family.

Sea World was a really great park. We stayed for HOURS! The highlights were...eating lunch with Shamu and the gang, we were able to be only 3-5 feet from the killer whales while we ate our lunch, feeding the dolphins, the water rides, the rollercoasters (of course), and another great day with family!!
So on Friday day #6...we REALLY rested. We (the adults) were exhausted! We spent the day laying around reading, taking naps, and playing in the pool. It was a perfect end to a really great vacation. We left for home on Saturday morning. We dropped mom at the airport Saturday morning and then drove home. It was about a 13 hour drive. We got home really early on Sunday morning. Unfortunately we slept for just an hour or two and then had to wake up to take Sam to the airport at 5:30 in the morning so that he could head to Ft. Bragg for a Military Intelligence class. He'll be home next Saturday...the boys and I should be adjusted again by then!


Off to San Antonio!

Well it's our turn! We've decided to spend our summer vacation in San Antonio, Texas this year. It all started because Sam's brother was going to be down in that area for a military school and we were all going to be in the same place. Turns out his brother's school was changed. We decided that we'd still go even though we're a little bummed out about not being able to meet up with Ben and his family. The reason we choose San Antonio is because we could drive there (cost effective for a family of four), we could rent a house (with a pool) for reasonable, both g-mas are coming, they have a Sea World, Six Flags, and a super famous water park, the zoo is pretty nice, the Alamo (remember?), and several other fun things.
I'm looking forward to a family trip. The boys are a good age to take on a vacation. Anytime before now we were still having to plan everything around naptime. :-)
When we get home then we have several camping/jet skiing trips planned! It's all about enjoying the Colorado summer! Because winters here stink!!! :-)