Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Stop to See Friends

Another great thing about visiting family in north Texas is getting to see our wonderful friends who moved away several years ago.  It is wonderful to see how each set of siblings and the parents have maintained this fabulous friendship across the distance and through the years.  It is no secret, of course, that the catalyst for this is Trey's friendship with Madi.  They have been fast friends since Kindergarten and continue to just grow stronger as time rolls on.  I love it and hope they always have each other in their lives.
Joshua, Ali, Madi, and Trey with Sarah and Smoky.
Trey and Madi
Ali and Joshua
Getting the dogs in the pictures, too.
Sarah is ready for the photo.

My 40th Birthday Bash

My sisters planned a fun night for me as I turned 40.  We started with a delicious dinner at Cantina Laredo, a cake with sparklers, and a full mariachi band, plus visiting with some great friends.  From there, we moved over to Pete's Dualing Piano Bar.  It was a really fun place with two pianos playing a wide variety of songs that we all joined in to sing. 

What my sisters (whom I clearly really, really love) did not tell me is that the folks at Pete's thrive on embarrassing anyone who is celebrating a special occasion.  My name was the first one called of the evening and I quickly realized that resistance was futile.  I spent a humiliating four songs on stage dancing to silly songs and trying to not blush the same color as my tomato-red dress.

After my performance on stage, I really had a good time.  It was fun to watch others on stage and sing along with lots of familiar songs.  All in all, it was a great night and I love my Kristin for planning it! 

My birthday cake at Cantina Laredo, a super-yummy Mexican restaurant.
LOVED seeing my wonderful friend Christie at dinner!
Doing the twist on stage ... thanks, sisters!
Happy, happy ... joy, joy!
Yep, still on stage.
Lori, Krissa, Caressa, and me
Love my cousin-and-friend, Lori!
Me with my beautiful sisters!
Silly fun with super friends ... Krissa, Caressa, Kristin, Cristy, Lori, and me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HP7: It All Ends Here

Trey is ready for the Grand Finale!
Trey and I were thrilled to get to the final Harry Potter movie tonight!  We watched in 3D and loved every. single. moment.  Trey's review at the end?  "Bloody brilliant!" 

It was the best of all the movies and totally did justice to the series.  I am so happy how close the movies stayed to the original books.  And I am thrilled with how it all was resolved in the final movie.  Beautifully done.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter Night

Trey and I were not able to get to the HP7 final movie on the 15th of July when it opened so we improvised by hosting our own Harry Potter dinner and watched HP7, Part I to prepare us for the grand finale. It was impromptu fun ... and yummy, too!

Homemade butterbeer is a must!
Our Harry Potter buffet-style dinner, including smoked baby Hippogriff, cauldron cakes, and some fruit treats from Herbology class!
More yummy treats for our impromptu HP Night!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cousin Camp: Cameron Park Zoo

Cousins at Cameron Park Zoo
This orangutan had a button in her habitat that would spray onlookers with water.  We were begging her to push it and she refused.  It was funny to watch the kids bargain with her, though.
Trey swings and rings the gong.
The similarities to an orangutan don't disturb me.  At all.  Really.
Joshua tests his reach.
The Orangutan playscape was huge fun.
Sweet Skylee in the Aquarium Room.
We loved this room ... it was air conditioned AND had water to splash in ... oh, and the fish were neat, too.
Cute kiddos in a cave!
We spent quite a bit of time sliding through the clear tube slide that goes through the otter exhibit.
The otter slide is so much fun!
Gram with Grandkids
After a yummy picnic lunch, the kids played in these amazing natural sculptures at Cameron Park.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cousin Camp: Swimsuits and Watermelon

We spent a lot of time in a neighbor's pool, beating the Texas heat.  A bonus on the last day? Watermelon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cousin Camp: Baylor and The Mayborn Center

Sic 'Em, Bears!
The boys were excited to see the new Egyptian exhibit at the Mayborn Center.
Trey:  "Do you think Daddy's ever ridden a camel?"
Joshua:  "Probably not an Egyptian camel."
"What is the difference between an Egyptian camel and an Iraqi camel?"
Putting together Egyptian pottery.
Building an Egyptian Pyramid.
One of our all-time favorites at the Mayborn Center ... the water table!
Trey can't wait to be taller than Aunt Carole Ann!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cousin Camp: The First Night

Every summer for the past several years, all of the Cook cousins gather for a few days of summer fun together.  This year, we met in Waco and spent a few days enjoying each other's company.  It was a great time, but we were sad to miss our oldest cousin, Abby, who was at Volleyball Camp in Dallas.  The seven younger cousins plus our two foster cousins had a fun time together!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Aliens in Roswell

The boys and me in Roswell, New Mexico on our way home from Ruidoso.
Alien footprints all over town!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

Severe drought conditions ~ along with continuing fires across the state of New Mexico ~ kept us from being able to enjoy a firework show this year, but we had a great time all the same. We spent part of the day at a local Apache Indian ceremony, the Dance of the Maidens, but were not allowed to bring cameras so I have no photographic evidence.

We also stopped for some good ole All-American ice cream afterwards and attended a local rodeo as well. The boys absolutely loved it and were happy to stay around for the final event, bull riding. They even got to participate in their first-ever Calf Scramble! Fun times.

Ice cream and checkers on the 4th of July.
The boys participated in the Calf Scramble at the 4th of July rodeo.  Here, Trey chases after the calf (although he admitted later he had no idea WHY everyone was chasing the calf or WHAT he was supposed to do if he did, in fact, get close to the calf).  Love that boy!
Joshua follows the calves' progress too, although he wasn't clear on the objective of the game either.  Either way, both boys had a good time, loved running around the rodeo grounds, and were both awarded neckerchiefs for their efforts.
Me with my two recently-inducted rodeo cowboys!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Operation Hummingbird

There are always tons of hummingbirds on the mountain in Ruidoso where my mom and stepdad spend their summers.  My boys love watching them but are always careful to not get to close and never to touch the tiny treasures.
We found a broken hummingbird on the side of our walking trail.  It was breathing shallowly but could not fly.  My tender-hearted firstborn insisted that we try to save the tiny bird.  We used my iPhone to look up how to save a hummingbird and started every-30-minute feedings.  Here, Trey takes the first feeding time.
Joshua follows the online advice of keeping the bird warm and close to your heart.
The boys even created a soft bed for the bird when it was time for "torpor."  They worked so hard and tried with all their hearts to save the little bird.
Time for another feeding ... the hummingbird really perked up each time he was fed.  Unfortunately, the bird did not make it through the night.  Despite the best efforts of our young heroes, the bird had stopped breathing before morning.
The boys insisted upon a proper ceremony and burial.  Rest in peace, little bird.

P.S.  Later we read that it's not actually legal to hold a hummingbird in the United States so we won't do that again but hopefully local law enforcement officials will look kindly on my babies' loving hearts.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Camping on the Mountain

Boys are ready for another hike on the mountain.
Silly kids in the camper.
The boys were vigilant about refilling the hummingbird feeders.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day at the Races

And they're off!  At Ruidoso Downs!
Cute kiddos ready for the next race.
Trey and Jacob check out the Winner's Circle.
Congratulations to Horse #3!
Love these kiddos!