Category Archives: Going Places

Travel…if you can call it that. It’s about places I’ve been, for real or in my dreams. It’s about places that interest me.

State Bound!

Road trip ahead…just twenty-four hours ’til take off!  The Lady Titans and their families will be headed to “State”, in a matter of hours, with a third overall ranking.  It is the Texas State Homeschool Basketball Championships drawing us to the Metroplex

Don’t let the “homeschool” part throw you.  This tournament is not for the faint of heart.  The number one team at last year’s tournament had so many Division 1 college scouts attending the final game that fans were hard pressed to find a seat (slight exaggeration, but you get the picture).  This same number one Texas team also took home the National Championship trophy, last March, at the National Homeschool Basketball Championship in Springfield, MO (the largest athletic tournament in the U.S., with over 300 teams competing at all levels). 

All that to say…heading into this tournament, ranked third, is a pretty big deal-e-o for this little team from a mid-sized Texas town!  Top teams typically represent the larger cities.  Houston dominated for years, but it’s been a team from the Arlington/Ft. Worth area that has been taking all the kudos as of late.   Austin also brings in tough competition (ranked second this year), as well as others from the DFW Metroplex and  Houston area. 

There is a tough road ahead for the Lady Titans and it won’t be easy.  To make it to the coveted Championship game, these girls will have to fight their way through three games, two of which are against a Dallas team (also in top ten) and Austin (number two)…not for the faint of heart!  Way to go Lady Titans to even be in this position!  Big deal.  Really big deal.      

Did anyone see the Daytona 500 last weekend?  20-year-old, Trevor Bayne and his team won it, one day after his twentieth birthday.  It was only his second cup race (whatever that means) and HE WON!  Talk about a Cinderella story!  And the best part was that he gave God the glory.  He said (as best as I can remember it…not exact quote, but close), “We prayed before the race…we pray a lot…it just goes to show what God can do.”  Does that make you want to jump up and shout “Hallelujah” or what?! 

Only God knows what this little tournament in Texas holds.  There are three things of which we can count on:  1. He will be there, pouring out His grace on all His children, 2. He cares about the simplest of things and this is yet another of His gifts, so many gifts, and 3.  The Lady Titans can hold their heads high and thank Him, already.  No matter the outcome of this tournament, they have already been blessed to go into it, not only in the top ten, but in the top three!  

Go get ’em Lady Titans!  Have fun!   

And give God the Glory…No. Matter. What.

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30A is Waiting for Me…

One week!   One more week!  The Beaches of South Walton/SoWal/30A!  We’re coming, we’re coming!

Minutes and hours can not pass quickly enough until we get there. 

Once there, of course, I will want that same clock to slow to a turtle’s pace.   In my attempt to “be there” before we get there, I read anything I can find written by or about locals .   I like the way Laurel speaks of a “nice beachy pace” and I am determined to be in beach mode the minute my big toe reaches the sand

I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend a week with my family there.  I couldn’t be one bit more happy if we were going to Hawaii or Santorini, Greece!  In fact, to me, this is paradise.   

I expect the Captain will build sand castles, fish, boogie board, and lead the way through the swells, convincing our offspring that it’s safe to go into the water.  I will peek over my book every now and then to admire my fresh pedicure and wave at the family in the surf.

   

There is an eighteen hour stretch of highway and three states between “paradaise” and our home in Texas.  We will be making the road trip with only four of our five babes this year.  The college boy will be flying in to meet us there.  I intend to do my best to make the most of every minute I get to spend there with family God gave me.

I’m trying to determine what making “the most of every minute” looks like.  I will be thinking and praying about that this week while making lists and packing.

I hope to make time to write again before we leave.  We’ll see.

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Coming Up: Camping!

The tent has been “Duck” taped.  The little mister has his dad’s canteen, from the 1970’s, all cleaned out.  I’d say we are ready!

Camping is coming up this Memorial Day weekend.  Colorado with the fam!  Fun times.  I’m counting on it. 

The packing list for camping goes on and on.  I’m not sure I’ve made a complete list yet and I probably won’t know until we get there.  Then I will remember what I forgot

It’s been a long time since we have been camping.  The last time the girls went, they bathed naked in the creek…and weren’t in the least bit self-conscious.

We will be meeting my sister and her entire family, so it will be a reunion of sorts.  Lots of work yet to do. 

Healthy eating, this weekend, will mean having one s’more per evening around the campfire, instead of two.  My sister is bringing squash and zucchini to throw on the grill to have with our steak and Uncle Jerry’s grilled french fries

We will be hiking mountain trails, playing on the sand dunes and in Medano Creek, cooking out, attempting to make decent cowboy coffee, and oh I hope, relaxing and reading a good book. 

Speaking of good books, I’m taking two, maybe three.  I’m just now getting into Francine Rivers’  Mark of the Lion trilogy.   The first of the three is A Voice in the Wind.  I borrowed it from a friend and can’t wait to begin.  I’m also, ever so slowly, rereading the Mitford books by Jan Karon.  I want to read Home to Holly Springs (I think that’s the name), but I want to have a fresh memory of the tales and characters from the Mitford years first.  I’m now in Out to Canaan.  These two will be more than enough and are vastly different, so as to provide variety, but I’m also taking Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity.  I’m just about half way through and getting a lot out of it.   I’m to a point in the book, however, where Beth asks the reader not to continue without having at least a small chunk of time completely alone with God in prayer.  Ideally, for me anyway, this would be overnight, away from home and responsibilities, but I’m hoping to at least find a couple of hours for this before we leave.  I’d love to move forward in the book while out in  God’s country.  I’ll also be taking my Bible… I just finished the book of Job, thank goodness.    

Well, off to french braid the “baby” girl’s hair, then onto laundry and packing and shopping and baking… 

…then off to the mountains!

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Coastal Contentment: Just Me and the Sea

Sand.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Simplicity at it’s best.

She hasn’t a care in the world!   

This is why I love the coast so much.   The stresses of life give way to rest and peace of mind.  It is true that every time our family has been to the coast, we have been on vacation.  But what’s that got to do with it, anyway?  Just because we get to wake up to the sound of the sea every morning and have no place to be; and just because we get to stay in our jammy pants until we decide to walk down the wooden steps to the beach; and just because we get to linger there as long as our hearts desire; and just because there are no responsibilities or chores…

Ok, so maybe the “vacation” part does have a little something to do with it.  But in spite of that fact, there is no denying the allure of the coast.  It’s intoxicating and addicting, in a good way.  Majestic mountains compel me to stand in awe of the Creator;  the ocean, to bow in reverence for Him

  The seashore is a dear friend, whom this Texas gal sorely misses.  Who doesn’t love the coast?  I just can’t imagine!  I know, however, there are some more enchanted by land’s end than others.  I am grateful that my middle-most child is a kindred spirit in my coastal love.  We both miss, and long to visit, our dear friend, the sea!

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Staycation with the Lamb’s

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The Lamb’s left around lunch time today.  They are trying to steer toward a vegan diet.  After being sabotaged for four days, they headed to Bless Your Heart, a cafe for health nuts, before leaving town.  They invited us to join them, but we opted out, as we didn’t want to shock our bodies with too much nutrition at once.  The tall man I married is a carnivorous carnivore!   

I did intend to make vegan meals…at least I had good intentions.  I bought chick peas and we made hummus.  Lesli did most of the work on that, while I dipped up soup and drinks and the tall man made reuben sandwiches and grilled cheeses.   I wish I had thought to take pictures, but I got distracted in getting everyone served.  I made a crock pot full of  veggie soup, which is delicious…even my kids eat it, to keep on hand in the fridge.    The problem, you can see, was the reubens…corned beef and, of course, any vegan knows there is nothing vegan about cheese.  I had already fudged (mmm…fudge, chocolate craving) on the veggie soup by making it with chicken broth.  I was planning to make it with veggie broth, but got cheap while shopping and decided to go with the chicken stock in my freezer instead.  Our veganism somehow just went downhill from there.  

But we did enjoy some good food and had a great time!

There was serious competition!

There was serious competition!

 

 

 I mean serious competition!
  I mean serious competition!
I mean, stay-outta-the-way-so-you-don't-get-hurt kind of competition!

I mean, stay-outta-the-way-so-you-don't-get-hurt kind of competition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Then there was cool down time!

 Then there was cool down time!     

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                                                                                  And some recreation…

I highly recommend a tandom if you want to make lifelong childhood memories!

I highly recommend a tandom if you want to make lifelong childhood memories!

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And more competition… 

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My last baby and my first baby

My last baby and my first baby

 

 

 

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Staycation…begin the wonderful chaos

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The Lambs have been here for just over 48 hours. 

Taco Villa is the first place that all former residents of our city want to go when they hit town.  So we began our visit there, at Taco Villa.   After mass confusion at the ordering counter and dern near half an hour making drinks, dipping salsa, getting forks, shifting chairs, we were finally settled.  Then we ate and ordered apple burritos and cleaned up the spilled drink and told the two 8 yr olds to quit climbing on the booth and decided it was time to go.

Since then we have made beds and meals and plans.  We’ve stayed up way too late.  The kids have worn a path up and down the block on bicycles.  The “littles”  and moms have been to the castle park twice.  The big kids have been to the movie and the mall.  The dogs have walked the kids.  We’ve watched movies and made popcorn and brownies.  We’ve been through three cases of water bottles, two and a half gallons of milk, and several pots of coffee.  The house is in constant motion. 

 The dads had lunch together yesterday at one of our favorite spots, Jazz…it was too spicy for the visitor.  This morning the moms had a mini reunion with a couple of old  friends from high school.  We met at Marketstreet for coffee and catch-up. 

 

Right now, we’re in a moment of recess, as our friends are at the wedding that brought them to town.  They left in a fever, all snazzed up, a few hours ago.  We snapped a few shots of them before they left.  We don’t get to see them like that very often. 

 

It’s too quiet around here…we’re ready for our friends to be “home”… we miss them.   They leave day after tomorrow…not a moment to waste!

 

It’s been good ol’ fashioned fun…chaotic at times, for sure, but wonderful! 

Be sure to see  the next post, with more details about our Staycation!

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Fort Worth

23rd Anniversary and Dance Party 079

I had no idea how much I was going to love this city!  But I really do love downtown Fort Worth.   It was to celebrate 23 years as tall man and wife that we were there in June.   I may have forgotten to come home if not for lack of cash!   

We left home early, stopping first for coffee and a breakfast burrito at the market near our house, and headed East for the 5  hour drive.  We stopped in the first town that had a Wal-Mart to replace the sunglasses that I left in the mini van at home.   The trip went way more quickly with just the two of us, than it ever does in the mini van with the five “little angels”.  I don’t remember the last time I felt that carefree!  Just us.  Alone together.  The whole weekend ahead of us.  

Hello, Fort Worth! We arrived by noon and already, it was a great day!
Hello, Fort Worth!  We arrived by noon and already, it was a great day!

First stop...lunch at the Kimbell!
First stop…lunch at the Kimbell! 

Though the cafe at the museum is renowned for it's cuisine, I think the tall man is quite a sport to eat "lady food" in an art museum cafe. Though this place is renowned in Fort Worth for it’s cuisine, I think the Captain was quite a sport to eat “lady food” in the cafe at an art museum.

Does this food look delicious or just strange?  Seriously, I really don’t know.   I mean, I ate it and it was delicious, so I’m biased.  I think it looks yummy and strange!   It looks exotic and interesting, which it was…to me anyway.   This was actually the Skipper’s plate.  Mine was a bit more normalish looking because I like to stick to familiar foods, but I did try his and it was scrumptious, as was mine.  He may have been secretly thinking he’d get real food when he left this chicky place, but he actually enjoyed it and got full!

Purusing the art was next.  The tall man did a pretty good job of convincing his wife of 23  years that he was truly enjoying himself.  I thought he was more interesting than the art.  This man did a pretty good job of convincing his wife of 23 years that he was truly enjoying himself. Personally, I thought he was more interesting than the art. 

I must be honest, here.  The real reason I wanted to go to the Kimbell was because I’m an idealist and I liked the idea of going to an art museum.  I really don’t know “how” to do it, or what I’m doing there.  Art actually confuses me.  I don’t know how it makes me feel or what the artist is trying to say.  Sometimes I even think, “I could do that”.  I know, I’m a disgrace.  But I went to the Kimbell with an open mind and plenty of time. I learned right away that there is a distinct contrast between ART and pictures of art! (Especially blurry pictures of art…darn camera or was it me?)   At the hope risk of sounding artsy, I was surprised at how  moving and engaging the actual paintings were compared to pictures in my art books.    
This is Monet...I love it!  This makes me want to become an art thief! This is Monet…I love it! This makes me want to become an art thief! 
 
MONET- For some reason, I found it very hard to comprehend what I was looking at, just inches in front of me.  It's a real Monet...it just seemed right to zoom in on his signature. MONET- For some reason, I found it very hard to comprehend what I was looking at, just inches in front of me. It’s a real Monet…it just seemed right to zoom in on his signature. 
Matisse-does this look like it may have been painted bya child?  I guess that is characteristic of Matisse.  I like it. MATISSE-Remember how I sometimes think “I could do that”? Does this sort of look like it was painted by a child? I like it! And the fact is, maybe “anyone” could do that, but it was Matisse who did it! 
I can't remember who did this one, but it kept my attention for some time and made me smile. I can’t remember who did this one, but it kept my attention for some time and made me smile. 
Afternoon at the Kimbell--by Carrie Sue Afternoon at the Kimbell–by Me 

 This was my feeble attempt at capturing God’s own masterpiece.  I looked out the doors toward the grassy area and thought this to be fine art.  I tried, with my little point and shoot, to capture it.  It was far more impressive in person.  Imagine the shadows of the leaves dancing on the ground.  OK, I really must take a break from the art museum…I’m beginning to scare myself.

 After the museum, we checked into our downtown hotel in the heart of Sundance Square and relaxed for a bit before DINNER!   I’m going  to stow away in a plane to Fort Worth right now and get me some of that Mexican food at Mi Cocina!   Oh, por favor! 

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I would die for this!  It was just that good!
I would die for this! 

 

We lingered at our table a bit on the patio at Mi Cocina and chatted and people watched.  We lingered at our table a bit on the patio at Mi Cocina and chatted and people watched…uh, I mean, we watched people. 
After dinner we strolled over to Barnes and Noble.  I  love books and coffee, together.  I love the smell of Barnes and Noble.  I  love “walking towns”.  When we got to our hotel, we parked our car and walked everywhere.  I loved it.  It seemed like we were in a far away land.  We both kept forgetting we were still in  Texas…until we visited the Stockyards. 
This lovely building is the Bass Performance Hall.  The upstairs window that we landed in front of at Barnes and Noble was adjacent to this lovely place.  The Bass Performance Hall– We happened to land comfy chairs upstairs at Barnes and Noble next to a window that looked out onto this lovely building. 

   Next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we headed to the Stockyards.  They drive the cattle at 11:00am and 4:00pm daily.

Steers in the streets Steers in the streets…only in Texas! 

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Sundance Square Sundance Square 

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I was SO hoping that there would be a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Fort Worth.  Not only was there one, it was just a five minute walk from our hotel.  I was SO hoping that there would be a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Fort Worth. Not only was there one, it was just a five minute walk from our hotel. 

Happy Anniversary, baby, got you on my mi…ind!  I’m so happy with you, baby…

 Oh baby...got you on my mind! I must get to Ruth's Chris...ASAP! Oh baby…got you on my mind! I must get to Ruth’s Chris…ASAP!  Our table was sprinkled with little heart confetti for the occassion. 

To be continued…

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