Friday, February 24, 2012

RODEO time in Texas!

It's RODEO time in Texas, and I find it all to be so much fun! Yesterday was Western Day for Ellie's preschool, and after being out for so long due to sickness, it was a fun day for her to return! She got to wear her fabulous new cowgirl hat and her sister's (much too large for her) boots!

Pink cowgirl hats are definitely the "in" thing for preschool girls!

Ellie enjoyed riding "Snickers!"

In following with yesterday's Go Western theme at preschool, today I took Ellie to our local town's Livestock Show. The BIG one around here starts soon; I love it! I asked one of my friends & her little girls to join us, and a good time was had by all, followed by Chick Fil A.

Ellie was hardly nervous at all about petting the animals.

Ellie wanted to know what kind of coat THIS one was wearing! Um, sweetie, that lamb is wearing a very glittery pink & green camouflage coat! LOL

My friend participated in FFA in her youth, so she was quite knowledgeable about the animals..and more brave about helping Ellie get close than I would have been.

Livestock Show & Chick Fil A leads to a good nap! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mini Vacation in San Antonio!

Before we left for our mini-vacation in San Antonio, the girls made cards for Grammer. Seeing as I'm a bit lax in actually mailing things to people (I have a baby gift for my cousin Angela and birthday gifts for 2 of my nieces just sitting around, waiting to be packaged up & mailed!!!!) I texted a picture of the get well cards they made for her since she was having surgery. I may one day get around to actually mailing them to her!

I also took this sweet picture of 2 of my girls and texted it to Pappy (on Grammer's phone because he doesn't really text on his...?!?!) the morning of her surgery. I thought these smiles might help cheer her up!

Last week, Ellie asked for her fingernails to be painted one night after her bath. These are her choices....all of them! LOL

I love her cute little chubby hands!

This past weekend was a 4 day weekend for Chris & the big girls (and Ellie & I too of course!) so we planned to spend the weekend in San Antonio-one of Chris & mine's favorite cities! Ellie had been sick last week with a sinus infection & cough, but she seemed to feel mostly fine. We'd kept her home from preschool & Wed. night Bible Class so we wouldn't infect her friends, but it was just our family going on the trip, and we figured she could cough & be congested in San Antonio as well as at home, so we set out for our planned trip.

Of course, we don't usually do things without making them a bit harder than they need to be, so we ended up dropping off the van at the shop on the way out of town due to leaking oil. Chris was able to self diagnose the problem of needing a new oil pan. Maybe the next step is him being able to fix it and save us a lot of $$$$. :) I think he & I need to give each other auto mechanic lessons for our next anniversary. That & minor/major household repair lessons.

Gracie & Katie slept over with sisters the night before and had a great time, so Chris picked them up that morning, we finished packing, dropped off the van, and headed West! We're only about 3 1/2 hours from San Antonio, so it wasn't too long before we were there and admiring the view from our hotel room. How fun to be overlooking the Riverwalk. Chris was able to find a bit of a deal that made that possible! I happened to glance the "price" on the back of the door and was quickly assured that was NOT what he paid!

We rested in the room for a little while then headed down to the River to walk and get some yummy Mexican food from our favorite Mexican food place down there: Casa Rio! Easily identified by their colorful umbrellas. It had rained a lot that day, so we opted to eat inside, but by the time we left, there were quite a few people eating outside as well.

After dinner, we walked quite a bit just looking at everything. It became quite crowded and not all people out were interested in family friendly fun, so we didn't stay out that long.

We were able to find something fun for little Ellie! We found a cute, pink cowgirl hat WITH a tiara that also LIGHTS UP! Perfect for our little princess! (the fact that it was only $8.99 made it a great souvenir buy!)

There were some arts & crafts booths set up along the Riverwalk, and we stopped to look at some sterling silver jewelry to see if there was anything Gracie would like. She pointed out a music note and the man asked her if she was a musician. She told him that she was and he asked what she played. She told him violin and sure enough, he had a really pretty violin & bow on a silver chain. Very pretty, and of course, on sale! ;) It suits her perfectly! Katie was able to find a souvenir at the mall later that evening after we walked through the rain to get there.

Ellie was quite excited to spread out & relax in her own little rollaway bed in the hotel. I was glad they had one because having all 3 girls in one bed isn't the most comfortable. Especially with Ellie's cough, I didn't want them all in the same bed.

We were hoping to hit Sea World on Saturday, but the rainy, rainy weather made it clear that wasn't going to happen. We headed out to Denny's down a block or 2 for breakfast. We ended up waiting quite awhile and were surprised when I looked through the crowd and saw a classmate of Katie's, and a neighbor. We sent her over to talk to him, but according to Gracie, I think all she said was, "hi." Of course, then I saw him staring over at her later but not walking over to talk. Funny little kids!

Katie was excited that "softball pancake" was actually on the menu at Denny's!

Since it was so rainy & cool, we decided to go to the IMAX over in the mall that we could walk to. We saw "Born To Be Wild," which was about 2 women who have dedicated their lives to saving baby elephants who lose their mothers to poachers and to baby orangutans who have lost their mothers. It was really good and 3D which thrilled Katie. She is a HOOT to watch as she watches a 3D movie. I really think she believes she can really reach out & touch something!

After watching the 1st movie, we decided to take advantage of their "Get your second movie 1/2 off" deal and went to watch "Alamo: The Price of Freedom." Katie had asked a lot of questions about the Alamo (Texas History will be studied in depth in 4th grade). Of course, after the movie, we went to visit the Alamo. Again. ;) The weather was still cool but had cleared up a lot by this point.

After visiting history and having a lunch/snack, we went back to the room to rest. While there, we heard a lot of music and looked out to see a river parade going on. Too bad we couldn't reach any of the beads they were throwing out!

We wanted some good bbq for dinner, so we googled and Chris chose a place. I was not impressed with what I got, but he liked what he got. I was a little bummed by the whole experience bc I really value good bbq. :)

We visited Quarry Market, a nice shopping center, and then headed back to the hotel where we decided we needed something a little sweet to end the night. (I really didn't like what I'd gotten for dinner!)

Sunday morning, we went to an 8:30 service at church, grabbed a little something to eat, and then went to Sea World! The weather was finally great...a bit cool...but really pretty.

Ellie wasn't really in the mood for a picture here as you can see!

After the above picture, Gracie & Katie did a quick, awkward, change of clothes in the car and our Sea World adventure began.

I had to get a picture of Katie in her shirt: "As Bright As They Come!" This soooo applies to our sweet Katie Boo!

My family!

The Sea Lion show is always so cute!

Loved the FAT walrus!

Gracie, Katie, & Chris rode the log ride and had a great time. Ellie & I watched since she was too small to be allowed to ride. She would have hated it anyway due to her reaction to the teeny tiny whale roller coaster in the kiddie area!

There they go!

I have to be honest, this splash was not their splash but very similar.

The Shamu show is always a favorite!

Introducing Baby Shamu!

Later, Gracie, Katie, & Chris rode the Steel Eel. Again, Ellie was too small, and the obvious choice to sit out is ME. Of course, Ellie wasn't completely bored the whole time. (That was some of the WORST popcorn I've ever had by the way!)

I wasn't too upset about not being able to ride The Steel Eel either!

I did ride the 6 car ferris wheel with Katie & Ellie in the kiddie area. That was pure torture because of the slowness with which people were loaded & unloaded. Seriously, it was pretty bad. Of course, mine & Ellie's seatbelt broke-like the bolt popped out-as soon as the ride started! We were in no danger of being hurt since I was right there next to her, but it was still irritating bc some little kids were riding alone and could have hurt themselves. I told the guy, but I'm not sure what he did about it.

Gracie, Katie, & I rode a boat type ride where Gracie got really wet, while Katie & I barely got wet. She wasn't so happy with the inconsistency of it all. It was really funny, but she didn't think me trying to get a picture of her was really funny.

My sweet littlest girl was happy with her new pink penguin. She refuses to name her. Oh well.

Katie on the other hand has claimed a name for her new walrus....Tusky.

Ellie & her daddy rode the carousel together. He loved it. ;)

Gracie & Katie rode the Shamu roller coaster together in the kiddie area which is kind of funny after they rode the bigger one. They had all ridden it together with Chris & Ellie earlier in the day, but Ellie HATED it and screamed the whole time. For a kiddie ride, it does go pretty fast. I was going to ride it too, but they wouldn't let me take on my purse. I wasn't going to leave it alone and didn't want to pay $1 for a locker, so I didn't ride either. I held mine & Gracie's purses.

We watched the Sesame Street 4D movie which was cute.

Katie, our comedian, said, "It must be 4D because I can feel this!" as she hit herself in the face.

Katie & Chris went to ride the tall log ride again (riding it like 3 times in a row and getting soaked).

Gracie took Ellie to the playground while I sat & watched, then we were lucky enough to catch a live Sesame Street show. Too, too cute!

Gracie was so sweet to sit with Ellie.

Bert, "talking" to Ellie.

If you look reeealllllly close, I think you can see Ellie "shaking" Cookie Monster's hand! LOL

How fun for Ellie & Katie to get to take pictures with some of their Sesame Street friends.

The girls played on this playground for a bit while we waited for the beluga whale show. Gracie had to go because the thing is huge, and she could keep up with Ellie (or try to anyway!)

The beluga whale show is one of my favorites. Really, probably even above the Shamu show. It is beautiful and the acrobat divers & birds are just amazing!

It was a long but fun day!

Some of us were more tired than others!

My cousin Justin, who now lives in Nashville, but misses Texas immensely used to live in San Antonio and recommended this restaurant to us, so we tried it out Sunday night. Chris said to let him know he didn't steer us wrong on the fajitas! They were pretty good!

Monday morning, we got up and packed and ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant and headed back home!

It was a good trip!

Ellie's cough had never really gone away, and I'd been feeling not so great for the past week or so. Sunday at Sea World, I actually went to the First Aid station to get some ibuprofen bc I was feeling achy. My throat was so swollen. I woke up Monday not feeling well at all. Once we got home, I called and was able to get us both an appointment with the allergist. Ellie has bronchitis (but the sinus infection is cleared up) and I have a sinus infection. Not so much fun, but we are armed with meds and good memories of our trip.