Friday, July 29, 2016

UT Reunion Weekend

May 2002--that's how long we have been out of college.  That's 14 years!  While I've seen my roommates on and off, we could only remember one reunion weekend, and that was when I was newly pregnant with Jackson.  Simply way too long ago.  So we decided to do something about it!
Amanda and I kicked things off with dinner at Gloria's on Friday night.  Then we met Jen and Nicky at Top Golf on Saturday morning and had plenty of kiddos there, too.
They just love this place!

Big brother got his sister all set up for her first turn.  

My girls!

It was the first time for us to meet Jen's long-time boyfriend.
He fit right in with everyone--always a relief!

Miss Thang was so pleased with herself for snatching Madison's cool new shades.

She mostly just bebopped around our two bays, but every once in a while she'd try her hand at golf.

She also loves hiding in small spaces.  This is where I found this stinker when asking all the kids to take a photo:)

All six of them--even the little sassy one!

Turns out, she loves golf...

and posing for the camera when the mood strikes her.   

A few hours later, Carol and her family made it in from Houston.
Reunited and it feels so good!

  There's nowhere to be but in the water during the summer, so everyone hopped in.

We all enjoyed the afternoon so much.

Jackson, Cason and Chase played plenty of basketball--practicing their dunks, shots off the diving board and even some from the slide.

Chase showed us his flipping skills...

we got to visit with great friends...

the boys played HORSE...

and this little girl zipped all around the pool in her lifejacket.

After our fajita dinner, we got back in the pool for an evening swim.
My favorite time in our backyard!

I'm pretty sure the kids enjoyed themselves as much as we did.

It was a fantastic night that I didn't want to end!

Cameron convinced his parents to let him stay up way past his bedtime...

there was simply too much football to be played to go to sleep!

I hope that this sweet girl makes lifelong friends, too.  No doubt that she will.

We had everyone over for breakfast the next morning and didn't want to say goodbye.
I'm hoping we can do this every summer from now on!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Laid Back

While Jackson was still at church camp, our summer finally began to slow down.  A little.  No more camps, no big schedule.  Shoot, we even got to go back to church!  It was SO great listening to Steve Stroope's message...

and these four girlies loved going to Kids Town, too.  A win for all!

Slowing down also means there's time for our backyard.  Cameron has finally discovered the greatness of the swing.  She asks, really begs, to do this every day.  While I prefer to enjoy a nice shaded swing-time, she is completely fine being on the playground in 100 degree direct sun.
She wins most of the time.

Madison is at her first sleep-away camp this week, so we worked all last week to get her ready.
We assembled this outfit for Fancy Night.  So fun!  She has five themed nights, and I cannot wait to hear about them all. 

The next morning we found this tiara, though, and everyone decided that it would go better with Madison's outfit.  Sweet Lila Lou is now missing two front teeth, but she still makes a precious tiara model, I think.
Lila went to Chloe's birthday party last week, too.  She thought this enormous water slide was super-fun!  These girls came zooming down it at least 100 times I bet.

When we went to pick her up, big brother got in, too.  Face first--yeehaw!

The big slide was a little too fast for our youngest, but she quickly figured out the greatness of a do-it-yourself swing.  And I got to visit with my friends!

And while our week wasn't all that busy, I was attempting to channel my inner Martha Stewart.   I was trying my best to be the Hostess with the Mostess for them.  What says, "Welcome to our UT Reunion Weekend" better than 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies? 

My baking assistant and I couldn't think of anything better, so we busted out these babies while Cami was napping.  And then I made a chocolate cake the next day.  Baked goods are always a good plan!

On Friday morning, we got a surprise visit from my mom's cousin, Gail.  We made a yummy breakfast and ate on our back patio, while we visited with her.  It was so nice to catch up, and the girls entertained her thoroughly with their Annie songs and dances.

Of course, no good summer week would be complete without friends to play with.  Madison and Madi both came over on Friday to swim.  Birthday parties, playing outside and swimming with good friends--who wouldn't love a week like that?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Nights

While J was away, the girls got to play!  We had Madison over here a lot that weekend and decided to take a dip in the pool on Sunday afternoon.

Maddie's smile just lights up the room--or pool!

For some reason, she's the only big kid allowed to "help" Cami swim in the pool.  She just plays the role of Mother Hen so well and Cameron loves it.
All of that swimming deserves some time in the shade with her Mamacita...
and a good water break!

These girls entertained us with tricks...


and lots of smiles in the pool.

A little while later, Cami decided to try on her lifejacket and test it out in the deep end.

Madison walked her out to the edge...

and they both took a big jump into the water!

For the rest of the night, this one was perfectly content to do it all by herself.  We didn't get out of the pool until at least 8:45.  Everyone was just having too much fun.  Gotta love long summer nights.


A few weeks ago, Jackson had the five-day weekend of his life.  
It was his very first sleep-away camp!

He and his buddy Cooper had been looking forward to church camp for months.  We got them checked in, wrist bands on, name tags around their necks, luggage tagged, etc.  By noon that Friday they were leaving on the bus, bound for Riverbend Retreat Center in Glenrose.
We weren't able to directly speak to him, but Jared sent him daily emails and I mailed him a letter before he left.  We did, however, get daily photos.  This was Day Two with his crazy group.  Notice his attire.
Chanelling Cam Newton
They went to worship every morning and evening.  By the looks of it, it was a first class production.  J said the band was awesome!  It really was like being at a concert.  So cool.
These boys were SO busy the entire time, I'm shocked they got a group shot.
They did archery and paintball...
the flying trapeze into the lake...

and this really cool enormous slide!

That did not leave any time for cleaning up their cabin.  Oh well.
They went to the lake every day.  See J in that same swim suit on the top left?  If there's a basketball game in sight, he's on it.
He said the line was really long for this apparatus.  It also may have been a bit too high up for his liking!
They had tons of inflatables, too.  Check out that monster slide in the background.

Each night there was more entertainment before the message.

Then more flips into the pool and rides down the four new big slides.  So fun!

One of J's favorites, though, was playing Gaga ball.  Camp had so many activities that it would take forever for me to document it.  Suffice it to say, they were never bored!

He came home on Tuesday a little sunburned, pretty tired, and more than a little stinky.  I hope he also returned with a stronger relationship with Christ.  It was so good to hug this kid again!

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