Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sea World 2012

Good friends of ours, the Russells, gave us a call at the beginning of summer and asked if we wanted to join them in Sea World.  We, of course, said yes and set the date for June 22!  What fun to get to enjoy Sea World with great friends!  James and Amber have two boys, Kelton, 6 and Kolt, 3, so we knew Jake would love the company.   
Gotta get the entry picture with Shamu!
 We rode a few of the rides for younger kids and Jake even rode his first roller coaster!  It was a miniature Shamu coaster, but Jake was so brave and I was so proud.  We all rode the coaster, so there's no pics, but it was something I don't want to forget.  Here they are on the merry-go-round...
They have a cool splash pad with a huge climbing and play area.  We hung around that area at the beginning of our day.  It was nice to get cooled off, and we knew the summer sun would dry us off fast.  We intentionally didn't wear bathing suits, so all the boys just stripped off their shirts and enjoyed the water in their shorts...
 After the splash pad, Jake insisted on going without his shirt for a good part of the day.  Why not, it's summer!  We got to see several shows.  My favorite was called Azul.  The show included acrobats, syncronized swimmers, dolphins, beluga whales, exotic birds, and a comedy intro.  It was amazing and so beautifully done! 
Here we are in front of the Azul pool
 Of course, it wouldn't be a visit to Sea World without seeing Shamu, so that was on the top of our list, and Shamu didn't disappoint.  We even got to see a baby Shamu which was so cute!
In front of the Shamu stage
 Here's a few of Shamu himself...

 The Russells live in Waco and our families don't get the chance to spend time together nearly enough.  The infrequency of visits didn't prevent the boys from seeming like the best of friends.  James and Kevin were childhood best friends, and it's really special to see our sons developing relationships too.
Kelton was a great "big brother" to Jake
 And here are the boys toward the end of the day. 

Papa and Grandmama's house

Jake and I made a summer trip to my parents' house in June and had a great time.  My parents always have yummy things to eat, including fresh fruits and veggies, and this trip was no exception.  Fresh pineapple was one of the choices, and they had a really cool pineapple slicer so we got to try it out.  The slicer was really great and made the chore much easier than just having a knife, plus you get to suck on the core kind of like a popscicle...
Jake loved the yummy pineapple juice
My Dad has a garden (the origin of many fresh veggies) and Jake's quick to help him water and pick the veggies.  They visited the garden each day to see what was ripe and ready for picking...
Two gardnerer's with their prize tomato

Showing off a yummy cucumber
 We enjoyed swimming in the pool and enjoying my parents' beautiful backyard.  My Dad put up a slip 'n slide, and Jake LOVED it!
 We also visited a place called Clark Gardens on the west side of Weatherford and it was beautiful!  I definitely recommend going if you're ever in the area.  It felt like a hidden treasure because we were some of the only people there. 
Grandmama, Jake and Papa in front of the lilypads

 We even got really close to a beautiful swan...
Jake and the swan

Striking a pose
 Jake's favorite part was their miniature train exhibit.  I'm no expert on miniature trains, but this was the best and biggest miniature train set-up I've ever seen.  There were several trains and the tracks were both inside and outside surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
Jake in front of "downtown Weatherford"

Just one shot of the tracks

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Father's Day 2012

For Father's Day this year, we headed to Town Lake for our first family canoeing experience.  It was a beautiful day and it was so great to be on the water.
Ready to hit the water!

Jake and Daddy

Jake and Mommy

Arriving safely back to the dock
 During Father's Day weekend, we made sure to hit Kevin's favorite food spots: Rudy's, Mighty Fine Burgers, and finally Shakes for sno cones!  Jake and I are so thankful to celebrate this special day with a guy who is the best Daddy ever.  I'm so proud of who Kevin is as a father.  He's involved, creative, fun, patient and a good example for Jake.  We love you!
Enjoying yummy sno cones!

Jake took a quick pose in the tree after his sno cone

Strike a pose

During our Galveston vacation, we tried to get some good posed pics too.  All these were taken with Cassy's camera and all turned out really good!

Galveston 2012

We started a tradition the summer after Jake was born of rotating summer family vacation with both sides of our families.  2012 was Lawson family vacation and we headed to Galveston for some Texas beach fun!  I think we all had a blast and it was great to all be together; something that doesn't happen very often.  Here's part of the crew working on a castle village...

 And here's Kevin with the completed village.  There was one castle representing each member of the family, and Kevin was the most dedicated castle builder...
We enjoyed a good mix of beach and pool time.  Here are the boys having fun with noodles...
We also headed to the aquarium one day.  Here's an amazingly good shot while we're waiting for the aquarium to open...
Me and the boys at the aquarium...
Big T and Nana with all the grandkids...
Two girls on the beach...
We got the 3 older kids paddleboards for the trip.  Channing loved to carry hers and use hers in the sand, but not so much in the water.  The boys, on the other hand, had a blast catching waves...
More sand time...
It's always fun to cover Big T with sand (although it looks like mud).  Gotta love the Texas coast!
We tried to capture some nice group pics one night at dinner at Fisherman's Wharf.  Here's Nana and the crew...
and then Big T joined in too...
Lastly, the two boys with the Spiderman boards....
All in all, a great family vacation!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Birthdays

Celebrating friends' birthdays has brought us to some old Austin favs this summer.  We celebrated Nash's birthday at Peter Pan Mini Golf.  Jake had only played mini golf once before and was super excited.  Peter Pan delivered and Jake had a great time with his friends.  Here are some of the boys enjoying their baseball cookies
Some of Jake's best buds: Levi, Will and Colt
Colt also celebrated the big "5" this summer, and his birthday bash was at Kiddie Acres.  This place is a preschooler's dream and again, Jake had so much fun...
Jake loved getting to drive
Boat captain with Chloe and Sophia
Now the airplane captain

fun on the merry-go-round

Mommy even got to enjoy the choo-choo train