“It’s all about the branding.” (feeding toddlers)

 

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Showing me his muscles…

I know a lot of small children hate food, there have been some days we wondered how our oldest child would live with the minuscule amount of food that was being consumed.

(our second child will eat any food placed in front of him and will always swipe a sippy cup that his older brother puts down.)

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the second child…eating…in his toy bucket. He does this fairly regularly.

Things started to improve when my husband began calling roasted asparagus “super grass.” If our oldest ate the “super grass” it would give him super speed.

After every stalk, he would run around the house and return wanting acknowledgment on how fast he could run…

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I tried to convince him the shirt was on backwards. He wanted to see the picture. (a t-shirt from his Grandad’s ranch). Also, he is very proud of the tower of cans pictured in the background. The boys love stacking cans.

Dinner rolls (he didn’t want to try DINNER rolls until) my husband called them, “spaceship” bread. That’s all it took. Now, we ask if he would like spaceship bread.

“Would you like some butter on your spaceship bread?” – No. okay.

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Getting ready to paint with a Christmas gift from his Great-Grandma “Gregre.”

One night, Danny offered Wiley some yogurt laced with fruit jam. This yogurt is so ridiculous good, but since the yogurt is not packaged in a Gogurt tube, Wiley would not touch it.

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So, Danny, asked, “do you want some Deto dessert?”

My almost 4 year old made up a word that, to him, is the definition of awesome.

Deto (DE-toh, rhymes with ‘cheeto’).

He started naming all his toy pets, Deto.

Deto was the punchline to all of his knock knock jokes.

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His FAVORITE thing in all this world, to eat, is yogurt in a pouch. Here, he fell asleep with an empty one.

My brilliant husband discovered a way in – Deto.

Deto dessert was a hit.

“Do you want any Deto sauce on your spaceship bread?”

Seriously, this kid will try food any. time. it has a cool name.

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I’m trying to teach my little cavemen to eat in the designated areas (kitchen/dining). I’ve gone to keeping our couches covered in blankets to keep all the snotty noses off. Hahaha…it’s winter and I’ve got a teether, there is always a snotty nose.

Now, if you are going to label it Deto, you better deliver. You can’t give him a bite of liver and onions and call it Deto Bacon. It has got to be tasty, otherwise you kill the term Deto.

My husband and I were standing in the kitchen one night and I said I could not believe how Wiley responded to the name changes in his food.

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Not too picky here, she just wants MILK!!

Danny said, “it’s all about the branding.”

My next dinner casserole? Deto Pie!

May you all have a great Thursday and Deto weekend.

 

Birthday Post: My husband quietly turns 28.

The most handsome man I know, just happens to be my husband.
The most handsome man I know, just happens to be my husband.

After my husband’s LDS mission, he left college (unfinished) to work, then quit in his search for life’s meaning (while riding a surf board)…unsure of what he was going to do with his life.

Wiley dresses himself some days.
Wiley dresses himself some days. That’s a sucker in his mouth and Curious George in his arms.

so, he wasn’t an obvious choice – on paper – to marry four years ago. But, I knew from my first conversation with him that he was pretty special.

Danny's mini-me.
Danny’s mini-me.

He had one quality that stood out to me – when he made up his mind to do something, he not only did it, but he did it really well.

Grocery run.
Saturday grocery run.

Since I married him, he has stepped up to every challenge that life has thrown at him and continues to make me proud.

He's my cheerleader!
He’s my cheerleader!

My husband is currently a full-time student in engineering, the Scoutmaster of our Ward, the second counselor in the Young Men’s presidency (teaching the 12 year old boys every Sunday), father to two little boys and husband to me.

Quiet Sunday afternoon.
Quiet Sunday afternoon.

There is something miraculous in all of that.

Family night...Danny took one for the team and helped put this puzzle together.
Family night…Danny took one for the team and helped put this puzzle together.

My husband is so low key, I ask him what he wanted for his birthday (cake, meals, anything special)?

Studying. I just needed help for a few minutes. Generally, Danny doesn't hold babies when he studies.
Studying. I just needed help for a few minutes. Generally, Danny doesn’t hold babies when he studies.

“I don’t really want a cake or anything like that, maybe just another locking carabiner.”

I love it when he gets silly - he went into the bathroom to shave and came out looking like a Musketeer.
I love it when he gets silly – he went into the bathroom to shave and came out looking like a Musketeer.

Easy enough.

We LOVE you!
We LOVE you!

Happy Birthday Love,

those phone photos just don’t do you justice.

Unrealistic Expectations are still things I struggle to let go of.

My mother has five siblings.
My mother has five siblings. The family portrait was taken in 1983.

At 18 I moved in with my mother’s parents. I was offered a place to live, rent free, while I attended college.

This is the home my grandparents built after I moved out in 2006. But, the furnishings are the same...
This is the home my grandparents built after I moved out in 2006. But, the furnishings are the same…so, you get an idea of what my expectations had become.

When I moved in I didn’t have much skill (or rather, interest) in the way of cooking, house keeping or any other skill beyond the ability to learn. I was good at learning.

I dusted everything once a week...so I know it takes careful work.
I dusted everything once a week…so I know it takes careful work.

I was one of 8 children, so I was quite skilled at disappearing when work needed to be done…until I moved in with the Grandparents, my life was suddenly under the microscope.

My mom reading in my Gramma's bedroom.
My mom reading in my Gramma’s bedroom.

You can’t hide when you are the only child!

This is where Gramma paints.
This is where Gramma paints.

In the years I lived with them, I learned to appreciate good food, a clean (not just a picked up home – a clean) home, and the quiet.

Gramma just celebrated her 87th birthday!! In her PJ's, because she can.
Gramma just celebrated her 87th birthday!! In her PJ’s, because she can.

I also left their home with unrealistic expectations of how I wanted my house to be…with children.

Holding my baby boy.
Holding my baby boy.

I think 98% of the arguments I’ve ever gotten into with my husband have been over tidiness. Sad and true story.

Gramma took up serious painting long after six children left home.
Gramma took up serious painting long after six children left home.

Now, I still wish for a clean home but, I will admit that my marriage has improved since I let go of some of the house work! I still try to pick up the house after the babies go to bed, but now I let the house go all day being messy without asking my husband to stop studying to help me pick up…because I know the floor will be a mess again in 20 minutes.

Grampa
Grampa

I like to remind myself that Grampa bought a boat instead of furniture for the front room when his kids were growing up. Gramma’s house didn’t look like this when her kids were growing up either.

My (Non) Celebrity Boyfriend and (in my opinion) the Sexiest Man Alive

So I was on Pinterest this week and I happened to be looking at a recipe for candy popcorn – the blogger was telling a story about going to the movies – with her husband – and the amazing (shirtless) abs of the actor on screen… how she was so intently watching this movie (and his abs), she ate too much popcorn.

I aged it to look 70ish...someone told him he looked like a NASA engineer, ironically, we know some of those from the 70's.
I aged it to look 70ish…someone told him he looked like a NASA engineer, ironically, we know some of those from the 70’s.

I realize she was being “funny” and I’m sure she loves her husband – but I for one am too uptight for that kind of “funny.”

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My husband is my celebrity crush, #MCM (mom, that means “Man Crush Monday” and it’s just something people hash-tag about on social media…please don’t ask me about hash tags…again) and will always be the sexiest man alive – to me.

I love it when he smiles.
I love it when he smiles.

It really is the small things that keep marriages strong, especially in a world with so much divorce.

Woman with cameras should not come fishing....
Hey Girl, you’re the only woman I Hey Girl…

Choose your love, love your choice and make it last Forever!

Disclaimer: Does not necessarily apply to the single ladies and gents… Those movies abs are for you!

Made for each other…

You know, I can think of a lot of good things that make my husband and I compatible…this post isn’t about one of them.

I’ve learned to cope with hunting season, I enjoy eating deer meat, but I still get the hibbie jibbies around dead animal skin.

Animal pelts…eh.

Out at my parent's, Wiley gets a ride on a backhoe!
Out at my parent’s, Wiley gets a ride on a backhoe!

For years Danny has talked about making a squirrel skin hat for our son Wiley –

yes, I said SQUIRREL skin hat –

and it began while Danny was practicing for bow season (bowhunting). He caught a squirrel on the run with an arrow. He skinned it, cleaned it and tanned it.

Wiley was in LITTLEman heaven.
Wiley was in LITTLEman heaven.

“Where is the salt, Danny?” “What did you do with the baking soda?”

Someone from my church came over to pick something up last Monday and a squirrel skin was tacked up to a board sitting in the sunshine on our front porch…

That’s not the part that grossed me out ya’ll…

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“Danny, what did you do with my dish soap?” He comes strolling through my kitchen with “something” inside a large plastic pitcher, which he is about to fill with hot water.

Well, if my kid is going to wear it (GAG!) then it ought to be cleaned.

my parents needed their driveway fixed.
my parents needed their driveway fixed.

It was the sound of the dryer that made me suspicious – my husband doesn’t do laundry – and I hadn’t put in a load.

Happy, happy, happy.
Happy, happy, happy.

The next day I asked him if he put that squirrel pelt in my dryer.

“Yes” he answered, “but I wrapped it in something.”

Later that day I was moving my wet clothes from the washer into the dryer, I opened the dryer and a lone beach towel lay in the bottom.

I pulled the beach towel out and threw it on the ground, it was going to be washed again. “No other women I know has to live like this – sharing their dryers with animal pelts!”

My brother Kamron with Wiley.
My brother Kamron with Wiley.

I’m just lucky, I guess.

I found Danny after I moved the load, I raised my eyebrows, “you wrapped the squirrel in the beach towel, didn’t you?” I stated.

He smiled, “yeah.”

Danny has a beautiful smile.

Family photos: with and without my uni-brow

Last weekend was the Trunk or Treat (why do they call it Trunk or Treat? What does the Trunk option involve?) for the Highlands Ward.

I’m always excited to dress up – and I generally go for the more intellectual costume ideas – I play a generic housewife in every day life with my sweat pants and greasy hair, so a generic costume idea is totally out for me.

Why yes, I am ridiculous, why do you ask?
Why yes, I am ridiculous, why do you ask? Flashback to 2009!

remember the year I went as Gold? Like, Au… 79 Protons? YES! From the Periodic Table!!!

Artists, art gallery?
Artists, art gallery?

So, this year, everyone in my family was a famous artist.

Danny, kinda, started the idea by saying months ago that he wanted to be Bob Ross for Halloween.

I recreated some famous paintings with sharpie.
I recreated some famous paintings with sharpie. Wiley did an original in the upper R corner.

Originally I thought, “hey the rest of us can be Happy Little Trees,” but that just didn’t satisfy my hubristic need to be different than the other costumed families on the internet.

Hardly anyone guessed who this guy was...
Hardly anyone guessed who this guy was…

So the two and a half year old was Vincent Van Gogh.

Guess who?
Guess who?

I can’t believe we got him to keep a bandage on his head all night! I’m so glad he is still too young to care about what his costume is.

Starry Starry Night???
Starry Starry Night???

The baby was Picasso. I considered going as a French woman, since I would be holding the baby all night (because Pablo loved the French ladies), but just because history was dicey, doesn’t mean our family costume had to be.

Even with the ear bandage and one of his most famous paintings, Van Gogh large went unrecognized...much like the real guy. :(
Even with the ear bandage and one of his most famous paintings and a red beard, Wiley Van Gogh largely went unrecognized…much like Vincent did in life. 😦

Besides, we all had to be artists.

Who's that cute little guy?
Who’s that cute little guy?

I went as Frida Kahlo (hence the unibrow) I had smudged a bit of dark eyeshadow on my upper lip, but before we left the house, my husband told me it was weirding him out…what a party pooper.

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I passed out candy with some 1920’s JAZZ playing.

The uni-brow was weirding him out too.

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I painted Pablo’s Peace Dove onto a onesie for Tyler and threw on the scarf – Whaa-lah!

According to him I was “ruining one of my best features.” So touched, was I, that I removed my fake stache to please him. I couldn’t remove the uni-brow, because then I would just be another pretty face in a Mexican blouse!

Where we the best family costume that night? Not even close! We had Lego people, Gru, Lucy and some minions and Cruella  with some Dalmatians...to name a few.
Were we the best family costume that night? Not even close! We had Lego people (her website HERE!), Gru, Lucy and some minions and Cruella with some Dalmatians…to name a few.

I was really impressed how many people recognized my costume!

It was the perfect night for a Ward party!
It was the perfect night for a Ward party!

We had a lot of fun with the Ward that night and when we got home, Danny pulled out his camera to look at the pictures we took.

He looked over at me and said, “our first family photo together has you with a uni-brow in it.”

Does the remote work (first time to use it!)?!
Does the remote work (first time to use it!)?!

That’s when I reminded him that our first family photo was taken weeks ago…

Did someone forget to focus the lens first??
Did someone forget to focus the lens first??
Someone should have listened to her husband...
Someone should have listened to her husband…

I’m so glad I can laugh at myself.

Why it may be okay to embarrass your teenaged children…

Shelter Gardens
Shelter Gardens – baby was two weeks old and I had just given Danny a hair cut that he deemed to short…well, the good news is, it grows back.

My two year old can be so sweet to his dad and I – he loves to give hugs and kisses – he loves high-fives and snuggling.

My cute sister and her husband came for a, very brief, visit.
My cute sister and her husband came for a, very brief, visit.

It is so sweet to see how much Wiley loves his new brother too.

Klara took over my camera for awhile.
Klara took over my camera for awhile.

Wiley will hug and kiss that little baby all day long.

Brother in law with two of my nephews - awe.
Brother in law with two of my nephews – both victims of Wiley’s aggression.

But in between all those hugs and kisses, a raging two year old tantrum-bully exists.

running off steam...
running off steam…

When we are with friends, family or around other small children – the bully comes out.

two weeks post birth
two weeks post birth – only 24 months from another toddler in my life – whoo hoo!

Where do toddlers keep the On and Off switch?

They don't stay two forever - which - is also kinda sad.
They don’t stay two forever – which – is also kinda sad, because the cute things they say and do are SO cute too.

Why he would hit a cute 7 month old baby girl on the head, with a toy plane, is beyond me…

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and that 1 year old girl was just standing next to her mommy, when my son ran by and pushed her down…three separate times.

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Yesterday he got kicked out of our church nursery, for the third time this year, for trying to scratch another child (previous offenses for biting).

funny faces
funny faces

Today the tantrums started – the moment – I went in his room to get him out of bed.

Yes, that's my child climbing on the fence that says, "no climbing"
Yes, that’s my child climbing on the fence that says, “no climbing”

“Morning Wiley”

His three year old cousin is good at following directions, "come on Wiley."
His three year old cousin is good at following directions, “come on Wiley.”

get OUT! Go away!”

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I left his room (obviously he wanted more time to himself…) but, the second I left he screamed and wailed for my return.

This sweet guy gets pushed around quite a bit...by his cousin Wiley and his four older siblings. Poor guy, He'll get the last laugh some day, I just know it!
Danny took this photo:  This sweet guy gets pushed around quite a bit…by his cousin Wiley and his four older siblings. Poor guy, He’ll get the last laugh some day, I just know it!

REPEAT three or four times.

Danny photo.
Danny photo.

the fourth time I just sat in his bedroom doorway and listened as he screamed for me to leave. When he stopped screaming, I told him I loved him.

Danny photo
Danny photo

I mean, he is tried me many a time the last few months, but this behavior was totally foreign to me.

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When I finally got him out of bed to change his diaper – the tantrum continued – the internal conflict of whether or not he wanted out of the peed diaper from over night.

After a morning of tears, from being bullied, these two were best buds at the part. So, it's good to see that things change.
After a morning of tears, with Wiley being the aggressor, these two were best buds at the park. So, it’s good to see that things change.

When the diaper crisis ended, Wiley whined over what he wanted to eat and which toys he wanted me to hand him.

Love the boys in my life.
Love the boys in my life.

Dad got home from school, to eat lunch, and it was his turn to witness the epic meltdown over what nature video Wiley wanted to watch and whether or not he wanted to eat popcorn with his nature video.

Being outdoors is, kind of, his favorite.
Being outdoors is, kind of, their favorite.

It was during the popcorn meltdown, that I decided, years from now this two year old boy would be a teenaged boy and will probably die with embarrassment over his mother’s behavior in front of his friends (and someday girlfriends…he he he).

This is one of Danny's favorite pictures he's taken of Wiley.
This is one of Danny’s favorite pictures he’s taken of Wiley.

I will relish every “embarrassing moment” that teenaged Wiley goes through, because darn it, I earned them.

remember Wiley, I OWE YOU. 🙂

Love, Mommy.

Oh The Irony…I Love Irony, But I Love The Outdoors More.

My due date is less than three weeks from today – here I’ve waited NINE months for this and suddenly I think, “I can’t have the baby yet!?!? I have more projects to finish!!”

Wiley loves his life.
Wiley loves his life.

The time for projects are coming to a close – for a while – I still work on small things between taking care of my family and getting chores done.

Jumping at the river for the big boys.
Jumping at the river for the big boys.

What I have been making time for, once or twice a week, is meeting up with a friend or two and taking Wiley swimming.

I may be huge and my swim suit may be getting smaller on me, but I look forward to time with friends and Wiley loves the pool or like today, the lake.

Man Crush Monday to Monday and everyday.
Man Crush Monday to Monday and everyday.

The photos on today’s post are actually from late May.

What A SWEET boy (that is, unless he is biting another child...)
What A SWEET boy (that is, when he is not biting another child…)

On our way home from visiting family in Texas, we stopped in southern Missouri just outside of Houston (Houston, Missouri – not to confuse my family in Houston, Texas) at a swimming hole along the Piney River called Baptist camp.

Wiley can't wait to be a big boy too.
Wiley can’t wait to be a big boy too.

I still wasn’t feeling well the day we went, so I sat on the shore and took photos of my husband, brothers, friends and my son.

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Wiley has a tendency to be hesitant at first around water…after 40 minutes he has no fear and I have to stay right on top of him.

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Today I met up with a friend of mine who is also pregnant (about six weeks behind me) and also has a two year old.

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We met up a a place in Columbia called Stephen’s Lake, which is a lake/splash pad combo and Wiley was not hesitant at all today. He jumped right into the sand and crawled straight into the water.

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I didn’t take photos today – but I’ll have to get some pictures eventually – it is a beautiful park.

DSC_0695I guess I’ll have to go back soon…maybe I’ll take Danny too if he isn’t at work or completing Honey-Do’s.

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I’m glad Columbia has so many parks and pools, it has helped me through this summer, as has the weather.

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I have been really blessed this summer.

DSC_0710Happy Taco Tuesday Ya’ll!! 🙂

 

 

 

A Day Trip…From Three Four Weeks Ago (of course).

Tiny House - just his size!
Tiny House – just his size!

Several weeks ago…I wanted to take a day trip to some church history sites.  We live about 2-2 1/2 hours from some pretty significant sites – for our church – and for our nation.

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Our first stop was Independence, Missouri at the LDS visitor’s center to learn about the early saints.

There are many groups of people who were mistreated by the US government – slaves, Native Americans, the Japanese Americans during WWII, to name a few, and the Mormons or early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Replica of Liberty Jail - where Joseph Smith and other men were held 5 months (during the winter months).
Replica of Liberty Jail – where Joseph Smith and other men were held 5 months (during the winter).

Some people didn’t like what those, “mormons” were preaching and they persecuted the members – killed, ran out, antago.

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Who were the ‘they’? Oh, “Christians” who didn’t agree with our doctrine.

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After Independence and Liberty Jail, we drove north a little further and stopped at Adam-ondi-ahman – The most beautiful and peaceful place – the Garden of Eden.

Turns out I have some family here...Hello Whipples!
Turns out I have some family here…Hello Whipples!

My brother Kaleb, Danny, Wiley and I spent the longest bit of our day wandering the trails of this place.

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If Danny and I could buy property right now…it would look a lot like this place.

We took a path off the main trail and I thought it would be a great idea to take a family photo.

Waiting on Kaleb to tell us he is ready to take the shot.
Waiting on Kaleb to tell us he is ready to take the shot.

We were standing on the path maybe two minutes when Dan says, “Kaleb, hurry and take the photo, there are ticks crawling up our legs.”

Ticks?
Ticks?

At this point I look down and I have three ticks crawling up my legs.

TAKE IT KALEB - TAKE THE PICTURE!!!
TAKE IT KALEB – TAKE THE PICTURE!!!

I internally seized with terror from the feeling of little nasty ticks climbing my legs – Danny seemed to find it humorous.

Didn't get a real natural look on our faces here.
Didn’t get a real natural look on our faces here. I’m freaking out.

And the moral of this story is “just stick to the marked trail.”

If you zoom in, you can see those buggers.
If you zoom in, you can see those buggers.

I was seven months pregnant, but I ran outta dere.

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This may seem weird, but I hate ticks more than I hate snakes and spiders.

I was scratching myself the rest of the night. Cheese!
I was scratching myself the rest of the night. Cheese!

I’ve been bit by a poisonous snake, so I know what I’m talk’n ’bout people. Ticks are gross and some carry a bacteria that will give you lime disease!!

Wiley was having so much fun exploring, he didn't want to make time for photos.
Wiley was having so much fun exploring, he didn’t want to make time for photos.

Ticks, snakes, spiders, and whatever else may live here… I’d still want a slice of heaven – just – like this place.

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Knowing my husband, and the fact that he talks about buying land at least once a week, I know someday I will.

Tally-ho!
Tally-ho!

Until that time in our life comes, we will make it through school together, have more children and do some more exploring together!

A bird? A plane? My brother Kaleb.
A bird? A plane? My brother Kaleb.

I like to live my life from one adventure to the next.

I’m so grateful for my life –

DSCN0519and grateful for my forever family!

Kansas City Temple
Kansas City Temple – Danny took this one.

For The Grandparents (Just Some Photos of Your Grandson)

Sandy faced
Sandy faced – out at Papa and Gregre’s house. He was laying on his stomach in the sand, swimming in it.

We took a fast trip to Texas in mid-May, left the day after Dan’s finals, and had to be back in Columbia seven days later.

He is not one to pose for photos.
He is not one to pose for photos.

Houston, Texas is hot, hot, hot in May – which was a huge difference to the weather we were having up in Missouri – it was around 55 degrees (F) every day the week before we left for Texas.

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So we left our house wearing coats and by the time we hit Dallas, Texas, we were all sweating in the 80 degree heat.

Never mind the heat, Wiley would spend every second begging someone to take him outside or playing outside. I don’t mind being outside, unless it’s too hot, but Gregre has lots of trees in her yard, so the yard stays cool.

He loved chasing those chickens!
He loved chasing those chickens!

I really enjoyed to oasis of the country sights and sounds. I’m so happy both mine and Daniel’s parents/grandparents live on beautiful property. It’s like summer camp – for kids and adults.

Someday he'll catch one!
It’s the thrill of the chase!

Where was Danny during all this chicken chasing?

He stopped long enough to pose for me!
He stopped long enough to pose for me!

He woke at 4:30am to go fishing with Papa and two LDS Missionaries.

The four of them caught 138 fish on Lake Livingston – within two hours.

but, knowing my husband and his family…I’d wager most of those fish were caught by Danny and his grandpa.

What took Wiley away from the chickens?
What took Wiley away from the chickens?

and fresh fish in the morning means…

FISH FRY!
FISH FRY!

The tastiest lunch in Texas!

Let's eat.
Let’s eat.

Due to the impending birth of baby number two – we wont be making it down to Texas again for a while… [insert sad face]

HEy Texas family, come see us soon? [insert happy face]