Ahhhh... Texas in June. It was amazingly green. Amazingly. I almost didn't recognize my dear home state. It was beautiful! Texas is ALWAYS beautiful... ;) It was just more so.
The tykes and I left for the States just about a week before Zachariah. It was the easiest trip so far! I guess because they're all getting older or something... ? Go figure. I mean, there WAS the little incident on our flight from San Francisco to San Antonio when Maeve conked out and peed in her seat. I would have been blissfully ignorant for who knows HOW long had the lady behind her not tapped me on the shoulder: "Excuse me... did something spill?" I looked around. Water cups were intact. "No, nothing..." Then it slow-motion dawned upon me... "Oooooh, nooooo...." But, YES. PEE had dripped down on the lady's bag. Sigh. Luckily, her bag was plastic-y, and so was easy to clean, AND she was was super nice. I mean SUPER nice. Maeve had been all cute and stuff with her before she fell asleep, so that could've helped a tad. Anyway, that was the worst thing that happened. Not fun, but coulda been a lot less fun...
We had a nice long (5? hour) layover in San Francisco. Which meant we got a nice long-ish visit with Uncle Gary, who manages a shop in the airport!
Handsome devil. He treated us to a delicious, humungous lunch. Nuala was pretty much glued to his side. It was really fun seeing him there! Then we got to spend some more time with him in Seattle, so this was just a warm-up, really.
Then we got to Texas! Yay! Finally! There is a tragic story involving Tee-Tse (Bran's blankie), but I cannot get into that now. Sigh. Tee-Tse is gone. But anyway... Texas! We were so happy to see Granny and Grandad! And obviously they were thrilled to see us! ;) That's Granny with the rascals after church our first Sunday. She got Nuala and Maeve cute matching dresses. Nuala's is already almost too short, that leggy girl...
We arrived Friday night and went to the Berges Fest carnival the next day. It was fun. Maeve did NOT want anyone going up to the top of the slide with her, but she put her annoyance aside and focused on her excitement to pull this grin out for the pic.
Granny is lots of fun.
Reading on the swing...
Bran loves Boots. Boots loves Bran.
I love Texas oak trees. Who doesn't? If that is you, don't tell me.
Pretty much my favorite summer outfit of Maeve's. I got the capris and the t-shirt separately here in Okinawa, but they're sooo cute and cheerful together! Sadly, I got them at a cheapy store, so I'm sure they're not gonna last long. But hey! This picture will!
Then of COURSE we went up to see Aislinn and Curtis and their crew in Leander. Here are Aine (10) and Maeve at the Mayborn Museum in Waco. We always go there, and they always love it.
Woohoo! Levitating balls! And hair! Niall and Maeve... being "blown away." haha... ha.
He's such a cutie! Especially if/when he lets you hold him. Good luck with that!
Bran and Rowan... buds.
Granny giving foot rubs after a long day of walking and playing... Don't worry... Maire took care of poor old Granny's feet, too!
Running wild on the trampoline. Seriously, whoever came up with the genius, yet looking back TOTALLY obvious, idea for nets on those suckers was brilliant.
Zac and the boys built a trebuchet, of sorts. It did work, actually. And kept 'em entertained. Win! (And yes... Patrick, who was not yet 14 in the pic above, IS taller than Zachariah... and Z's not a short dude!)
At one of the many, MANY splash pads in the Austin area. I love these. They are the best things for hot places. And this picture is really, really cute. Rowan, Niall, and Maeve, with a Patrick photobomb.
We also went to the Austin Nature and Science Center. It was fun. The kids especially loved playing in the stream. Of course! It's HOT there... it's HOT here, too.
Later the Mellor fam, Granny and Grandad, and my kiddos and I went down to the Corpus Christi area. Z still wasn't here, alas, and missed the super fun beach trip. For real. Not a sarcastic "super fun." I only took some pictures of the beach with this palm tree. Who wants to mess with a camera at the beach? Few of us. Nuala got stung by a jellyfish, but it wasn't too bad. She loves to talk about it, though!
Muffin Man preparing for the possibility of being marooned on a deserted island. Gotta make sure those coconut-gathering skills are sharp...
We went to a restaurant on the water. Maeve picked this guy's nose.
Then we ate. I'm pretty sure Maeve didn't wash her hands after the above activity. Where is her mother??
The next day we went to the Texas State Aquarium. The boys always look sooooo cute when they all hold hands. The girls, too, but it's kinda sweeter when boys do it. Above we have Ciaran (4), Rowan (6), Bran (6), and Declan (8).
Bran got chosen to be a helper during the dolphin show. It was a little Olympic-like competition between 2 dolphins, and he was the little flag runner.
He got a free coupon for a Justaburger! I love Whataburger. Too bad we forgot to go get his prize. Too much to do and too little time! Grandad benefitted. He got the free coupon, and he, too, loves "Whataburger... big and round, always get a quater pound! Pickles, onions, lettuce, too... Whataburger's good for you!" As if. But it's yummy!!
We went back to Boerne and brought Rowan and Declan with us. Bran was so excited. He said, all sweet-like, "It's a MIRACLE!" Not exactly the definition of a miracle, but I suppose being able to spend extra time with your beloved cousin-buddies when you're not expecting to kinda qualifies... :)
The first night back, Z found this fellow in the blue cup creeping around the upstairs hallway. Scorpions are icky. Not roach-level icky, but still... not a creature I would miss should it choose to disappear.
Bran and Nuala signed up for the summer reading program at the library here on base. They had to read 25 hours, and they did it! They got lots of reading time in at Granny and Grandad's house, and it was so fun to have them read the books we read as kids. I found Bran reading like this one morning. It was cute. And he's reading "Saucy." A book I loved.
Bran and Declan snorkeling Cibolo Creek.
Maeve caught a fish! Well, yes, with a fishing pole... but still... her very first FISH! She tossed it back in before it was too late, poor traumatized little guy. Gave HIM a good story to tell. She was pretty stoked about it.
Here are the the kiddos, lined up a safe-ish distance from Daddy/Uncle Zac as he gets the fishing started.
Cibolo Creek is so pretty. I say this every summer trip, but it's so nice and close to my parents' house, and shallow for the kids, and cool with all the cypress trees shading it... ahhh...
Maeve and my mom... making Granny do the "Japanese two!"
Cooling off in the backyard pool.
Zachariah and I finally got to the temple! We hadn't been through a session in too long. Last summer I lost my temple recommend, or rather, I accidentally packed it in all our stuff being shipped to Okinawa from Bulgaria, and didn't get to go to the temple during our move. I was pretty sad about that. But we were able to go to the beautiful little San Antonio temple with Aislinn and Curtis. I love going through the temple. Just love it. And I love my sister. And my other sisters. And my brother. And my parents. And lots of other people... probably you...
Me and Sister Whiting, my Young Women's president! She was the best. The BEST, I tell you. Still is.
Oh! Surprise surprise!! My cousin was at my parents' ward our last Sunday there! Scott and his cute family live in the Houston area, but were visiting a friend in our area for the weekend, so we totally got to see them! Scott's dad and my dad are cousins, so I guess officially we're 2nd cousins, but whatever. It was great to see him and Theresa and his two cute little boys. I love family.
Me and Sarah. One of my first friends when we moved to Boerne when I was 14. Oh, we've had some good times, we have... heheheh... I love her.
Aislinn's 7 kiddos, and my 3. Cousins are the best.
So are grandparents. Too soon, we had to leave... *sniff, sniff* As usual, we had a wonderful time with wonderful people, in a wonderful place! Nuala was very sad, also as usual, but recovered. It helped that we were on our way to Seattle, to see yet more cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents...