Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013 - I had such a great time!

I guess the older I get the faster time flies.  This year in particular only took about 4.5 months in Chris time to pass ;->  But after a hectic and full holiday season its nice to just kick back and relax, in preperation for the upcoming new year and all it will hold, so the day after Christmas, thats exactly what Chad and I did; we took off for the ranch in east Texas for some peace and quiet.

A nice Christmas welcome to the ranch!
We decided to visit Jefferson while we were in the area, so we grabbed a burger at the Hamburger Store, and then walked over to the old courthouse to browse their artifacts.  Its fun just to walk around the town and see the old buildings.

Chad at the Hamburger Store

Jefferson Court House - built in 1890

We thought this old Saloon was a museum, and since the door was open, we walked close to see what was going on inside.  The buildings owner and his family have a fully functioning bar on the bottom floor, where the drinks are free.  The rest of the saloon is filled with their collectibles, I didnt feel like I should take pictures of their private residence, but the ceiling held all of their Howdy Doody dummies, the walls were lined with old pics from their home town of Omaha, and on the floor in the hallway were a few rifles, one of which was an old tommy gun - pretty cool!  The owner was super nice and kept offering us a drink, he just wanted to make us feel welcomed, but after a short visit and signing his guest book, we said our goodbyes and continued our trek around the town. 

The horse drawn carriage was out on a tour when we passed by, we opted not to wait for him to come back, but I think I will plan a trip back to Jefferson next Christmas with a full blown itenerary to include that, and a trip on the evening train around the bayou. 

After a sunset stroll down the street to the Emporium for a little shopping, we headed back to the ranch.

Auntie Skinners Saloon - supposed to have wonderful burgers, FYI

The lights at HLR are so pretty in all of that darkness, but its hard to capture the feel of it.  This is us, just have to take my word for it, the flash wouldnt work. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Friday night...

...Chad and I got have Jack over for a sleepover!  He is so much fun!  I just love his little profile in the picture below as he admires the ornaments on our tree. 

Playing with  the manger scene; he growls his baby growl as he picks up each piece - so cute!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I think I am missing an event?!?

December is usually pretty hectic with all the activities we involve ourselves with, but I feel like I have missed mentioning somthing.  Maybe it will come to me later.  The most current event I guess was going to Oklahoma to see Nana for lunch last week.  Candice, Leo, Jack and I drove to OK on Thursday and had a nice little visit with Nana, Aunt Georgina and Cindy.  I say little, because our visit was only for a few hours, but the boys did great!  I think they played with each other a little in the back seat, and napped off and on while we drove up and made the trip back all in between traffic events.
Nana, Jack, Leo and Candice

Showing Great Aunt Georgina his block

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Candices Christmas Craft Party

Today we met at Candices house for a fun time of fellowship, food, PoKeNo and crafting - some of the pictures I was able to capture.
Yummy snacks - everyone brought something wonderful to share!
Judy, Candice and Marie

Candice and Mandy

Hailey, Lisa, Candice and Reg

Me and Reg

PoKeNo with Reg's family

Everyone is laughing, Reg must have said something really funny!
Dawn, Ashley, Reg and Allison
Our beautiful finnish stars - so much fun!


Since the kids had plans of their own this year for Thanksgiving, we got together early for a wonderful dinner at Candice and Matts on Tuesday.  Then Casey took off for Shreveport and Chad and I took off to East Texas for a few days of R&R.  We base camped at HLR, then made the scenic drive over to Marshall for a night at a little B&B we scoped out a couple of years ago.  The evening offerings in Marshall are very sweet, we antiqued at a little shop in the downtown square, then dined at the OS2, listened to music at the courthouse square, then a carriage ride around town before retiring to the Wisteria Garden Inn for the night.  It's always so relaxing to leave the city pace and take in some wonderful Texas history in one of the many historic towns.
Wisteria Garden Inn B&B

The Court House on the square - lights change colors to the beat of each song.

Hot cocoa and carolers at the Weisman Antique Center at the end of the evening before we walk back to the Inn.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Life back at Holly Lake, good times!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby Jack at Fort Travis

When we were in Galveston this year, we found a new historical site on Port Bolivar; Fort Travis.  This site has artifacts from pre Civil War, WWI and WWII.  In ths shot above Chad and Jack are standing in front of a bunker, they both look so cute in this shot I just had to post it, but the history behind this site makes me want to investigate a little further into what this fort is all about.  Fort Travis

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Movie Night!

Candice and Matt hosted movie night tonight - the feature was Arachnophobia - another family favorite we used to watch when the kids were younger.  Candice and Matt's parties are always so much fun, and they put so much creativity into them.  I think we all had a great time of fun and fellowship.

Super Leo!
Judy and Cathy

Larry, Marie and Joel

Homemade corney dog - a Charlson Movie Night Standard

Chocolate Spiders, Yummo!

Hailey, Kim, Amanda and Candice
Marie and Candice

Spiders, Spiders everywhere, there on your back and in your hair
David Galligan, his daughter (?) and Chad

October Birthdays

Wow - we have so many birthdays in October in our family, PaPa, Leo, Me, Cindy Neill, Bud Neill, Kyle Savage, Jimmy Muse, and probably 20 others that I am forgetting.  I can only testify to the two parties I was involved with, but for everyone else...Happy Birthday!  Hope your day was fun, festive and loaded with good times with family and friends!

Jack, ME, Candice and Leo at Islamorada for ME's birthday
Tartar Sauce, Yummo!

Matt and Casey

Chad, Jack and ME

Leo at the Rain Forrest Cafe in Galveston

Celebrating again, with a Volcano cake, while on vacation - good times!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Vacation in Galveston

 Vacations always come and go so fast, this one in particular went lightening fast!  We had such a nice time together, the weather was lovely, the sky's were beautiful and warm breezes off the gulf, made for lots of family fun!  This year Chad rented a pickup truck so he could haul his new kayak down.  He and Matt took it out in the surf a few times, while Candice and I relaxed at the units and the boys napped, since I wasn't present...I have no photographic eveidence of that event, but it sounds pretty cool!  Casey opted to stay home and work this year, arguing that he needed to earn a living rather than lounge on the beach, in spite of our concerted efforts to  tempt him to join forces with us and escape the rat race, he would not be disuaded.  No problem, his unit just goes back in the pool for next year.  He has to vacation eventually!
First thing we have to do is feed the Seagulls

Chad, Leo, Jack and Candice on the ferry in the ship channel
PawPaw and Jack at the Moody Gardens Aquarium

Catch of the day!  Chad 1 Redfish, Matt 3 Whiteings
Leo with his flounder birthday pancake

Jack tasting the gulf


Jack, Candice and Chad admiring a parrot family at the Rain Forrest

Playing with a toy train at the Railroad Museum while a former Galvestonian looks on

Two little dragons in the Sandcastle
Leo 3 years, Jack 9 months.  The cutest little beach bums ever!