For the Martin Luther King, Jr. long week-end we headed to Massanutten. I love that Troy is getting old enough to take good pictures of David and I. Here we are at a beautiful look-out.

Here Troy is learning how to surf. Even David tried it!

David and Troy sled on tubes for two hours.  It was in the low 30’s and COLD!


We have returned and settled in from our vacation.  A week in Cancun is just long enough to enjoy being away but after a week away you start to miss your own bed and pillow!  I have uploaded four short video clips from our vacation for your enjoyment!

The first is Annette and Troy enjoying the waves.  The wonderful thing about vacationing with others is that you can spread the Troy-factor around! Annette was usually good to go for some wave time when Troy would ask her.  Thanks so much Annette!

Here Troy is just enjoying the waves.  He finally got to the point where he could “sort-of” body surf!

What would a trip to Cancun be without some sand time?  Here Troy was building a sand castle.  He enlisted my help with the moat so that the waves would wash his castle away.


I thought this was a good picture of Annette and Jeff.  The picture of David & I turned out really foggy so I won’t post it.


We went downtown one night and enjoyed dinner at the Margarettaville restaurant.  Outside they had a bouncy house set up and for awhile Troy was the only kid using it.  Here he is talking smack to no one in particular.

Here is a photo of us after we finished out dinner at the restaurant.


Troy and Jeff were playing around behind this Parrot at Margarettaville.


Here Troy is chatting with the boat driver that takes us from our resort to the sister resort across the lagoon.  This driver was great with Troy, let him sit with him and chatted.  This driver was the one that took us on a short croc hunt.

Here is the croc.  He’s a bit hard to see since he blends with the branches so well.


Troy so enjoyed his Uncle Jeff!  Poor Jeff, I’m sure he was tuckered out by the time it was time to return home!  After all, its been quite a few years since he had a young boy running around and wanting all his attention!


The entertainment for the children was fun.  Troy is always a participater! Here he was taking his turn at the pinata.


Here he had his face painted up like a tiger.


Here is Troy with some of the entertainment staff at our resort.  Kara never did find a place in Troy’s heart like Gabby did last year.  We asked about Gabby and was told that she got married and no longer worked there.  (Next time you see Troy stick his tongue out and make finger signs you know where he learned it!)


We traveled over to the sister resort quite a few times.  One of the first days one of the staff walked up to Troy and started talking to him about being an animal rescuer and that he was the “real” Diego! (He saw his name on Troy’s swim trunks!)


There you go! I hope you enjoyed seeing our vacation!

Well, we survived our trip to Texas! Okay, I wasn’t too afraid that we wouldn’t I was concerned about the few days afterward before school started! (All’s okay on the front, I’ll post about school after this posting.)

First, we got to hang out with Cousin Judy! She’s a riot! She had no problems falling under Troy’s spell during their first conversation (from the airport) and telling her that he met her when he was a baby and he remembered her. Ummm, no but then who am I to correct him when he KNOWS he is right???? *eyeroll*

Thank you Judy for opening your home to all us rowdy cousins! I’m so glad I finally got to meet you! {{{hugs}}}

I’m sure if we ask Troy a couple of years from now what he remembers about his trip to Texas he’ll mention this:

Yes, the hours and HOURS he spent in the pool. He would come back to the hotel with his eyes bloodshot and blurry from all the HOURS he spent in the pool!

Did I mention all the time he spent in the pool? We had to pull him out at around 9pm. Perhaps we have a future Michael Phelps in the making????

And take a look at who else was visiting Texas!

And who else was visiting! Okay, Aunt Bev wasn’t visiting Texas but she was visiting Ft. Worth. Can you tell that Troy was just hating all the attention? Ha!

Troy had heard all about Cousin Sarah and he took to her like, well, like Troy on a friend! I must give her a ton of credit, she handled all the attention very well and tolerated his antics with aplomb.

I believe the second aspect of Troy’s Texas visit will be his memory of all the cousins he got to play (and swim) with. Here are a couple of the boys. I’m sorry I can’t remember all their names, I know the older boy is Preston. With two younger brothers, Preston was unfazed with Troy’s energy level and playfulness.

Now doesn’t that look like one happy Grandmother/Great Aunt? I thought it funny after looking at this picture how Troy and Wyatt wore matching blue shirts. What a great picture!

On Saturday morning we headed out to the Ft. Worth Stockyard. This cowboy found us pretty quickly after our arrival. Check out that horse’s smile! This horse was extremely well trained! It was amazing! The children could pet him anywhere!

I guess it was just a matter of time before Troy had to do some time, and NOT in his room either! Here he is behind bars. Yes, that would be my boy with the hulking body and the tiny head!

In truth, Troy wasn’t the only one to find themselves behind bars. Here are the three of them. They only LOOK innocent! Trust me, they’re always up to something, just ask Troy.

Oops! Looks like I found a little trouble myself. I’m INNOCENT I tell you!

Watch out! Stampede!!!

Okay, perhaps it wasn’t quite a stampede, but check out those horns! Seriously, I’ve never seen such long horns with my own eyes! Here’s another look for you:

Here we are petting a horse again. Troy called this “his” cowboy! He got a kick out of Troy calling him Dude. I swear I don’t know where he picked that up! We were still living in Germany when he started that.

After the stampede we found ourselves watching a shootout. See that smoke? Can you imagine the noise?

Yes, Troy watched most of the show like this. You could never tell when one of those weapons were going to go off. David said he nearly jumped out of his skin the first couple of times.

While we were walking around I was surprise to spot Senator McCain. I didn’t realize he was a Dallas Cowboy fan!! Awesome!


While we were wandering around looking for lunch we came across this Indian, errr, Native American who was willing to allow the children sit upon his horse. (Okay, he’d let anyone with $$$ sit on his horse!) Take a look at Darin peeking from behind the horse, do you think he’s scared of that Indian?

On Sunday we took the kids to the Dallas Aquarium. This was pretty cool and had a rain forest theme. When I got home, I had over 200 pictures on my camera. I did delete the blurry ones and some unnecessary duplicates, but you can imagine I took quite a few of the animals. I won’t bore you with animals when we had plenty of Wild Kids to take pictures of to share with you here.

First we’ll start with this picture of all four kids. I thought we did pretty good getting all four to sit at once. Especially to get at least two of them looking at the camera and at least one with a nice face on!

After much begging and pleading (by me) I got Rylee to pose. She appeared to enjoy hanging out with her cousin Troy.

Troy is getting a free ride. Sad will be the day when Troy is too big to be carried on Daddy’s big, strong shoulders.

I did have to show you this picture of Troy and the jaguar. Diego has Baby Jaguar, Troy has this pacing jaguar. Like Troy, this jaguar didn’t like to slow down for anything.

Does Troy look tortured here? We were watching an Aztec dance while at the aquarium when I flung the camera at David and demanded that I get at least one picture with Troy. Troy doesn’t look too happy about it does he? Oh well, he’ll get over it after a few years of therapy!

Here is one of the dancers that we were watching perform.

Here is Troy and Rylee at lunch after our aquarium adventure. She generously agreed to another picture with just a few pleadings from me.

I thought I’d share this picture of David and I. Troy takes a pretty good picture doesn’t he?

See, Troy doesn’t look put out to have his picture taken with Grandma and Aunt Bev. Perhaps he is enjoying all the attention he was getting!

Can you handle one last picture? Here is Judy, Bob and us on our last night of invading their home. Bless you both for enduring your home being taken over by all of us! {{{more hugs}}}

Just to prove (perhaps only to myself) that this blog is much easier to manage than our old website here is another post.  This one is to show a few pictures that I missed before from our trip to Utah.

Here is proof that Troy CAN sit still, well for a minute perhaps! He’s waiting for the pinata to be broken.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have a clue which one of my cousins this is, but I thought it was the cutest thing that he was so tire that he crawled into this baby carrier and took a nap.

Can you believe that we allowed Troy to play with this popping firecracker-thingy? Just because our parents allowed us to play with firecrackers and we survived doesn’t mean it was a good idea! Ha!  Not to worry, we were hovering pretty close! 😉

Troy was so interested in this 4 wheeler, but wouldn’t get on it so I HAD to show him it was okay.  After he saw Calvin and I go up and down the street a few times he agreed to join us.  He didn’t want too long of a ride though.

I think that does it for our Utah pictures!  I’m sure I’ll have plenty more for our trip to Texas for David’s family reunion.

Now the rest of the vacation! 🙂  We spent Sunday just hanging out with Dad.  Here is Troy and his transformer with Dad, errr Grandpa.

Here Troy and I are being a little silly.  Dad didn’t seem to mind too much! LOL!

Here’s another from our posing session.  Dad didn’t complain once about all the photos.  Thanks Dad!

Here Dad is teaching Troy how to cast.  I can’t tell you how long they spent “fishing”.  Dad patiently untangled several tangles, and even had to just give up and cut one off.  I think we all agreed that fishing was probably not one of Troy’s strong suit yet!  He’s just not a patient boy, but he really enjoyed his fishing with Dad and wanted to go fishing with him right then and there.

Here is Dad spoiling Troy with a fudge-icicle.  Yes, I think it was his first.  Is there any turning back? *eye roll*

Troy also spent a good while with this skateboard.  Yes, he fell a few times but overall did pretty well.  David and I are waiting for him to start begging for a skateboard.

I took Troy to the back yard and showed him one of the trees I used to climb.  Dad took down the few boards we had nailed up that consisted of our “fort”.  I have fond memories of sneaking up there with a bag of salt and some “stolen” rhubarb. Yumm!

Ahhh, Dad’s pride and joy! This picture was actually taken at Grandma’s the day before but it seemed more appropriate to show it here.

Here is a picture of the three of us that Dad took.  It may be a tad blurry, I think Dad was shaking just a bit.  See that Transformer in Troy’s hands?  He didn’t have it far from him the entire trip!  Now it is somewhere in his playroom, but during the trip it was King Toy!

We drove back up to Calvin and Danette’s Sunday evening and flew out on Monday.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a part of our adventure!

We returned from our whirlwind trip to Utah. My family decided to have their Christmas party in July and combine it with a reunion. I kept asking my grandmother when the party was going to be since they normally have their reunion in September (after Troy would be in school) so she told me to ask Uncle Mike. So I did and we made an executive decision to have it this past week-end and everyone else seemed to think it was a good idea. Now on to the pictures!

Thanks to my brother Calvin and his wonderful wife Danette! They graciously opened their home to us both coming and going. And did they have one full house! Look and see who was able to make the gathering!

Yes, my brother Wade was able to make it from South Korea! Okay, he was in the States to attend a conference and was able to swing by Salt Lake City for two days. The other surprise were these people.

Here are Wade’s two eldest boys, Wade Joseph (left) and Curtis (right)! They came down from Colorado Springs. They also brought Curtis’ girlfriend Katrina. (Cute, isn’t she?)

Troy was really looking forward to meeting Great Grandma. Okay, truth be told he was excited to meet his Great Grandma AND his cousins! Well, unfortunately I didn’t seem to get a photo of just Grandma and Troy, but here is a group photo.

Here is another group photo that includes a few more of the clan.

I’ll jump to Santa’s visit. It was so sweet of Santa to come visit us during July! Thanks!! You made Troy’s day with this Transformer!

Here is a thankful Troy.

Here is on photo of Troy with SOME of his cousins. I was chatting with a few and didn’t even ask who their parents were, I just asked who their GRANDPARENTS were! Just to give you an idea, my Grandma has 8 children, (approx.) 25 grandchildren and over 30 great-grandchildren!!!

Here is David opening his gift. It is some umbrella decorations. I’m sure they’ll look great on our umbrella. 🙂

Here is David and I. Why does David have that look on his face? Because I just took the drink out of his hands! That was some drink that Uncle David mixed up!

Here is Uncle Mike and Aunt Chris.

Here is Aunt Valerie and her husband Steve. This is the second time I have met him. I am learning that he an instigator!

Yep! Take a look at what Troy did to earn a dollar from Steve!

That is a water ballon in Troy’s hands! Not to worry, Troy did throw it at David and earned his dollar, but missed!

Here is Aunt Ora and Uncle Joe. Goodness, I don’t think this man has changed a bit!

Here is Aunt Ora and I.

Me and Aunt Ester.

Here is Uncle David and Sylvia.

Uncle Herold and I.

Here is Uncle Mike and Dad. Uncle Mike “made” Dad remove his oxygen tube. He does look much better without it.

It started to storm for about 1.5 hours in the middle of the day. Fortunately, it was after we all ate! We lost power for awhile, which meant that there was no pump for the well. You can see Aunt Chris taking a picture of me as I took a picture of her.

Here is Wade, Grandma and I. You can see that Grandma is wet and my hair is blowing around.

Here are Wade, his boys and Grandma finding shelter from the storm.

Here’s Wade Joseph, Me and Curtis. My have they grown! I remember spending an hour with them as they showed me every one (yes, every ONE) of their Pokemon cards!

Here is Aunt Valerie, John and his baby. She is sooo cute! I was quite proud because I got to hold her for a bit. She doesn’t just go to anyone! *is proud*

The kids were playing out front in the water. Here is a wet Troy with his Grandpa!

Wade and Grandma were talking family history, but I wanted to get a photo with them so I interrupted. I know, bad me! When I tapped Grandma on the shoulder to get her attention to interrupt she looked at me expectantly so I just whispered to her, “I love you!” I think she appreciated it, don’t you?!

One of the activities for the kids was a pinata. Someone even had the foresight to give the kids a paper bag for their treasures!

Here is Aunt Valerie stuffing a little extra into Troy’s bag. Shhhh, don’t tell!

Troy was happy with his portion of treasure from the pinata.

Oh, I couldn’t forget adding this picture of Uncle Mike visiting with Santa!

Here is Uncle Mike showing off his price sticker. Looks like you can get him for only 41 cents! Aunt Chris. . . . are you buying???

I remember the days that it was nearly impossible to get Dad to have his picture taken. It is so easy now days. I guess he either has given up fighting or realizes just how important these pictures are to us. Here is me and my Daddy! I love you Dad!

I will post some pictures we took at Dad’s on Sunday. I think this post is quite long enough! Thanks for sticking it out and reading through it all.