We spent a glorious 5 days at the beach in a wonderful home lent to us by friends of the Bisagnos (J's grandparents). We were there with J's sister, parents, grandparents, aunt & uncle and 3 cousins. We had so much fun, including fishing, Rainforest Cafe (and their Build-a-Bear Workshop), the beach, birthday celebrations, anniversary celebrations, shopping, etc. The kids just LOVED the water and couldn't get enough, which thrilled us. Charlotte isn't too keen on our Vancouver water, as it's almost freezing year-round! Since there are so many pictures, I'll let them speak for themselves!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The drive to Houston was quick and we spent our first night there enjoying a fish fry and eating dinner outside with J's sister, parents and grandparents. J was able to golf with Curt (his dad) the next day while Charlotte had a fun 'date' out for ice cream with her Aunt B and her Poppy - she even wore her ice cream tank top :) That night J, his dad, Pops, and myself all went out for dinner and to the Astros baseball game - and we had front row seats directly behind the Astros dugout - it was incredible!!! Unfortunately, we did not take our camera to the game, and we are still kicking ourselves for that, as we would have had some pretty incredible shots, including one of Astros 3rd base coach (former player) Jose Cruz signing and handing a ball to Curt right over the dugout!! To top it off, they even won the game, which is a rare thing these days. That was one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time!
Charlotte holding her headphones on her head while watching a Dora movie
Look at that cute little!
TJ and his Great Grans just hanging out in their pj's
Breakfast in the jolly jumper! Feeding a jumping baby is quite an art
Snuggling in hot towels straight out of the dryer!
One part of our trip was checking out Hill Country Bible Church in Austin and the possibility of doing a church plant program out of there. We attended service there and spent time over the 3 days with J's dad's former associate pastor, who heads up the church planting program at HCBC. We stayed with the Peytons, a family the Dodds knew in Houston who now lives in Round Rock, just north of Austin. Their son and Jonathan hadn't seen each other since they were 12, and now they both have 2 kids! Their family was so generous and provided us with so much, from a place to stay to amazing homemade chocolates to t-shirts to grocery store gift cards to a great Mexican dinner out - thank you guys!! We spent one afternoon at Zilker park, riding the train around and wading/swimming in the river - so much fun! We also got to meet up with one of Jonathan's friends, Brad, from his Colorado days and his girlfriend as well as the Jones family with their darling 3 kids. You know you're really into the 'family years' when the idea of a great time is hanging out at Chick-fil-A just so the kids can occupy themselves in the playhouse! Austin was all right - we're not sure if God is leading us there, but at least we had great visits with some great people!
We spent the day/night at our friends the Jennings' home in Boerne (pronounced Bernie). Gary and Patsy Jennings are longtime friends of the Dodds from their Houston days and now live a bit west of Austin. Miss Patsy is battling Alzheimers and Gary has recently moved her into a residential care facility. We were able to spend a few hours with her there and were honestly shocked by the change in her since we saw them last May. Watching Gary go through this and transition into living in their home by himself was quite sobering, although it brought forward some deep and meaningful conversation between Gary, Jonathan and me. We spent the afternoon driving around their 1,000 acre ranch on the cart, showing the kids the cattle and several deer. As you can see, this 'ride' coincided with nap time! That night we had a wonderful dinner out with Gary and the Harkwriters, another couple who was at Jonathan's dad's church back in Houston and who now pastor First Baptist Boerne.