Friday, July 18, 2014

Making like Tigger

I found a Groupon for a bounce house in Plano, but it was sold out. 
We went anyway.
I know. You are astounded at my lack of thriftiness.
It only cost $34 for the eight of us, and we had an absolute blast for two hours, so I figure it was a bargain at the price.

There were lots of great bouncy structures, but the big slide was the best of all and the only one where I could really get any photos.

Victoria loved it.

She tried to ascend the stairs on her own and got mad at me when I tried to help.

Everyone but Victoria in the hurricane simulator. It was most hilarious to watch and Annie said she was nicely cooled down by the end.

I hesitate to put this photo up for the world to see because I look like a big old whale, but it's proof that I did go down the big slide.
Many times, as it happens. 
Luke waited for me almost every time so that we could go down together. 

More splash pad for the four older kids when we got home, while I stayed with a napping Victoria.
It was a fun day and I smile every time I think of it.

Just me and the gang

Papa, who had been in town since Wednesday, had to leave for work in Colorado on Sunday evening. Here he is with his two best girls. They both love to kiss him.

Sam and Charlie also had to fly out that evening for a family funeral in Southern California, so it was lucky for me that Annie and tribe were able to hang around for a few more days. Otherwise, it would have just been me and Wrangler for three days. And yes, I love the boy, but that would have been a bit too much quality time.

Sunday was a pretty quiet day. We played games and read books and watched movies and planned activities for the rest of the week. The dominoes were a big hit.

I spent most of the evening ferrying people to the two Dallas airports and getting lost on the way home.

We went to Costco on Monday. 
Costco is a great form of entertainment when it's too hot outside to do much of anything.
Annie and kids tried out the big chair.

Gabe was more interested in wanting to know where Daddy was and refused to get out of the cart.

We bought books and groceries and ate lots of samples, and then stopped for frozen yogurt on the way out.
Did you know that two Costco frozen yogurts will feed five kids and their mom and nana? 
Best bargain ever.

Edwin wasn't thrilled with the idea, so he got a beef sandwich.

Baby girl loves sugar in any form.

Seen on the way home. Texan humour.

More playing at the splash pad when we got home and then everyone was happy to vegetate in front of a Redbox movie.

And did I mention that by the end of Sunday, Luke and Bryce were both calling me "Nana"?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Long-distance Nana

Here's the thing.
I know that I am extremely lucky to be Nana to eleven adorable kiddos. But four of them live in faraway lands and I only get to see them a couple of times a year. This constitutes a serious impediment to my grandmotherly bonding, so when the opportunity presents itself, I lay hold of it with gusto.

I spent the past week in Texas with not just the incomparable London, daughter of Charlie and Sam, but also the North Carolina babes, who were in Texas with their mommy and daddy to pick up Edwin's two boys. 

I will now inundate you with photos of the occasion.

Victoria and London are only a month apart in age, and it was more adorable than words can describe to see them interact.
Note: for some reason, Annie managed to get in more than her fair share of photo-bombs during the week. Not my fault.

Luke, Edwin's older son, is on the left. He is the spittin' image of Edwin and it cracked me up every time I saw the same expression on their faces.

It was stinking hot the whole time we were there, so we weren't outside very often. Elsie, London and I braved the afternoon heat for a few minutes to take some photos.

On Saturday night, we again tackled the heat to visit downtown Wylie for the Bluegrass festival. We do love us some bluegrass music!

Bryce, son #2, is second from right.
The icy concoctions were ridiculously expensive but very necessary.

We all headed to the HOA splash pad when we arrived back at the house. Jeff stayed home with the dog, so he missed all the fun.

There is very little that is more perfect than a warm evening, lots of water, and a happy family.
Charlie did his famous thing, tossing the kids into the air. 

The littles just chilled on the edge of the pool.

This photo makes me more happy than words can say.

Edwin and Charlie tossed the younger kids back and forth like a ball. 
It was pretty hilarious.

That face.

Everyone was quite exhausted by the end of the day, so bedtime was not traumatic. I was all set to read a Dr. Seuss book to the kids and Luke said, I can read it to them.
And so he did.
Right then and there, I fell in love with him.

Wrangler is no longer allowed to put his whole body on the couch, so somehow he figured out that if he only planted his bottom on the edge of the couch, he could get away with it.
Silly dog. 
It worked for him for a few days, but then he started to settle further and further back on the couch, so he lost the privilege altogether.
Poor baby. He thinks he is sneaky, but he is so obvious when he tries to get around the system!

Charlie gettin' all domesticated and cutting Edwin's hair.

And that was my first day in Dallas.