the Huber Family creative site

On the second Thursday that Layne, Elissa, and Brody were with us, Ben took a day off work and we went to the Kemah Boardwalk for a day of rides and fun.  It turned out to be a day of a handful of rides (about 5 or 6 per person), bad weather, and a closed theme park.  I’m still bitter, so won’t write any more about such, but will post some of the pictures taken.


picture of handsome couple on ride
Layne and Elissa on “The Wipeout”
picture of theme park ride
The WipeOut in action
picture of cute baby
Daelynn, Brody and Layne on the train
picture of soaked lad
Bedraggled Brock on the train
picture of Mikaela Huber
some of my peeps on the train
picture of cheery couple at restaurant
Elissa and Layne at Tookie’s Hamburgers
picture of Davison in jail
some of my peeps in jail
picture of stupid Kemah boardwalk sign
the saddest news of the day
picture of boy at restaurant
Guess who had to go to the bathroom restroom about five times in the next two hours
picture of peeps having fun
The Kemah boardwalk after the most-of-the-day storm

On the plus side, we got to spend the day with Layne, Elissa, and Brody.  We experienced some crazy rainy and thunder storm weather, and got to hit a couple of used book stores.

Our (Ben & Lori’s) 28th anniversary was on May 14th, the first Saturday that Layne, Elissa and Brody were visiting with us.  To celebrate, Lori and I abandoned the kids on Sunday afternoon and headed off to the Corpus Christi area (southern Texas coast) for a couple of days.  We stayed in a nearby town called Rockport at a very secluded bed and breakfast.
The bed and breakfast that we stayed at was an apartment built into the back of a garage, with a small deck facing a wilderness scrub area.   This picture was taken out of the kitchen window.

picture of deer
the deer outside the window

There was a major storm which went through the area early on Monday morning, which led to a lot of water on roadways.  We drove down to the beach and spent some time at Mustang Island State Park.  The main parking lot was under water so we had to park further back and it was quite a hike to the beach.

picture of beach
taking pictures on the beach
picture of a crab picturing
Lori taking a picture of a ghost crab
picture of a ghost crab
the sand burrow inhabiting ghost crab

After the beach we hit a local restaurant, “Ginger Cafe”, for our meal out.  The food was primarily Greek, I believe (spoken like the faux-culinarilist that I am).  I had real Ginger-Ale (which they made themselves).  It tasted like Ginger Ale and had some chunks of ginger in it.

picture of authentic ginger tea
Ginger tea at the Ginger Cafe

Day Two

Our bed and breakfast was really close to Goose Mountain State Park (oops – there aren’t any mountains in Texas, this was actually “Goose Lake State Park”, and in a quick tour around the park, we encountered signs for “the Big Tree”.  Of course, such signs obviously require a detour to see the attraction in question.

Around the Big Tree in question was a sturdy wooden fence to dissuade unruly tourists from attempting to climb it.  We walked around it (staying outside the fence) and took pictures instead.

picture of the Big Tree
Lori and the Big Tree
picture of wooden fence
the fence around the Big Tree
picture of mushrooms growing on a fence
Mushrooms on the fence around the Big Tree

At this point, I quit taking smaller and smaller pictures, but maybe should have taken a closer one of the little stick thing on the mushroom so that I could have captioned it “Stick on a mushroom on the fence around the Big Tree”.  Those of you not familiar with obnoxious kids songs like “There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea” that go on ad-infinitum can be thankful.  Although I do have fond memories of singing loudly “I had a Rooster” to baby Layne during the 1991 road trip to Phoenix, AX – on the stretch of road to Yuba, Arizona.  I’ll bet he has fond memories of that as well.

picture of wonderful tourists at the Big Tree
Ben and Lori at the Big Tree

Our next stop of the day (for which I had pictures) was our trip to Port Aransas.  This road had been blocked by high water the day before, but the water was down somewhat so we forged ahead.

In Texas, ferries are part of the Texas Transporation System, so are free of charge for motorists.  There was a short ferry ride (half a mile) or less to get to Port Aransis.  However, the wait for the ferry, loading and unloading stretched this to close to an hour in each direction.

picture of lady and car on a ferry
on the ferry to Port Aransas
picture of ferry bridge
pretty cool little ferry

After getting off the ferry, we went to one of the public docks (probably wrong word) to see if we could see any dolphins in the channel.  We saw the odd dolphin fin off in the distance, but it must have been a dolphin stat holiday or something.  However, when we went to leave the dock/lookout/place, this rather large pelican was blocking our way, sort of like a troll requiring payment for going over his bridge.  (By the way, while I usually do these posts on my iPhone, I’m finishing this one out on the computer – where it is possible to be way more wordy).

picture of a pelican on a dock
the pelican on the dock

One of the fishermen on the wharf/dock/jetty/thing gave us one of their bait fish to appease the troll pelican.  Here is Lori feeding the pelican.

picture of beautiful woman feeding a pelican
Lori feeding the pelican

And just in case you couldn’t see really well, here is a zoomed-in version showing the tail in Lori’s hand.  This wasn’t a slow-motion feeding either – the pelly lunged for it fairly quickly, but managed not to nip Lori”s fingers at all.

picture of pelican grabbing fish from woman
precision fish grabbing

Our other major stop in Port Aransas was the long (not sure how long but it felt like a mile on the way out, and about 3 miles on the way back in the hear).

Sections of it were a stable cement surface, sections were a stable cement surface covered by a very slippery algae, and other sections were big granite blocks necessitating a certain amount of hopping.

Picture of Port Aransas jetty
Lori walking back on the jetty, slippery algae on the right
picture of turtle head
Picture of turtle swimming beside the jetty
Weasel in Cement
One of the cement signatures
picture of jetty rocks
jetty picture

After the jetty hike, it was time to start heading home.  We went for another ferry ride, then made the trek home.


While visiting, Layne and Elissa went by the Fiesta Supermarket (primaily Latino) and bought Mexican sodas for everyone.

Some pics of the event

It was quite a busy week in the Houston Huber household.  

And I’m about a week late in putting up this post.  Part of the problem is that there has been a lot going on, and there have been lots of events and pictures.  It is almost daunting to put together a single post for the week.  So in an effort to get this stuff up there, I’m going to go back to some specific topic posts.

In the meantime, here are some pictures without context that will showing again in the topical posts.

picture of beautiful woman taking a picture of a crab
Lori taking a picture

picture of a gift bag
gift bag
picture of old wooden fence
picture of a pelican on a dock
picture of rain bedraggled boy

It has been a busy week at the Huber household.  Layne and Elissa and Brody flew in on Tuesday to spend a couple of weeks with us (so expect a lot of Brody pictures).

picture of Daelynn the  Magnificent shipping label
a recently encountered shipping label
picture of Brody and Daelynn
Brody is not sure what he thinks of Auntie Daelynn
picture of brothers at the airport
Layne and Davison
picture of Lori and Brody
Grandma Lori and Brody
picture of Daelynn, Brody and Lori at the airport
Aunt Daelynn, Brody, Grandma Lori
picture of Daelynn and Brody
Daelynn and Brody

Yard pics

picture of mexican sombrero bush
purple flower bush
picture of roses
this caption left intentionally blank
picture of a ripe blackberry
the blackberry
The birds appear to be eating the blackberries way before they get even remotely close to ripe. I managed to find this one hidden under a leaf. It’s probably time for some netting.
picture of monarch butterflypicture of monarch butterfly

Bilbo 2.0

On Friday, Bilbo had a grooming session.  

picture of moppy dog
this would be the pre-grooming Bilbo
picture of nattily groomed dog
the groomed Bilbo

There will not be any further pictures of Bilbo, as we returned him to the Poodle Rescue Society. He was becoming increasingly stressed and abruptly antagonistic to people who startled or crossed him. We are hoping that there is a better home for him out there. Or, in HR speak, “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”  

Back to Brody

picture of Brock and Brodypicture of Brody and Brockpicture of  Brody and Brockpicture of Brock tickling Brody's toes

Layne, Elissa and Brody are currently visiting us in Houston for a couple of weeks.  As Layne is not the world’s biggest fan of competitive cooking shows, we watched one of the original Star Trek episodes last night.  In this case “watched” means, watched most of, but fast forwarded through the romantic interludes.

One of the girls (who will remain nameless for this part of the post), Brock and I were sitting at the kitchen table.  Part way into the episode, nameless girl was puzzling through something.  “Speck?  Spunk?, Dad – what is his name?”  As it turned out the name she was searching for was “Spock”.

A few minutes later Brock finished his meal and migrated to the couch.  This particular episode had the transporters malfunction and send the away teams simultaneously to a space ship in an alternative universe (the other universe of course, being an evil one).  This led to the Brock comment to Elissa “What, there are two Spunks in this episode?”

So, a couple of fun pictures that I found out on the Internet commemorating this particular Star Trek episode, one of which I doctored up in honor of Brock.

Picture of evil Spock

picture of good and evil Spunk

And on to the other set of Brockisms for yesterday evening.  The setting is that it is about 7:45 in the evening and the boys are hoping to go swimming with Layne.  Sadly, there are some dark clouds partly overhead, making loud noises.  We’ll pick up the conversation there.

Mom would not allow us to go swimming during a thunderstorm.  – Heidi

Mom is not always right – Brock

Yes, but she usually is – Dad

She usually is, but not always – Brock

Rather than moving away, the clouds moved in overhead, there was more light and noise and quite a bit of rain.  Nobody went swimming; Mom was right again.

Fruit Blossoms

picture of watermelon blossom
Watermelon blossom
picture of guava blossom
Guava blossom

Ben’s BirthdayI don’t have any pictures from my birthday party (maybe Lori might). We had the traditional birthday trifle with ice cream.

picture of father, son and reading glasses
Brock, Dad, reading glasses


Someone’s been using my cellphone

In reviewing cellphone photos for this week’s update, it was immediately evident that someone (likely Heidi or Davison as they weren’t in any of the pictures) had taken lots of pictures with my iPhone.  Here are some of the pictures.

picture of Brock and Danaya
Brock and Danaya
picture of sisters smiling
picture of Brock
picture of Danaya
picture of Daelynn reaching for the phone
gimme da phone
picture of Brock and Danaya
Brock and Danaya share a chair
picture of Daelynn and Mikaela
we appear to be short on chairs
picture of Danaya

New Refrigerator

When we purchased our refrigerator back in 2013, we also purchased a 5 year full coverage plan on it.  We’ve recently been having an issue with the fridge that numerous repair guys have been unable to solve.  So, Sears has labelled it a lemon and provided for a replacement.  This replacement comprises of a credit for the amount that we originally paid for the first fridge – that we can spend at a Sears store on a new fridge.  Warranty-wise, this new appliance takes over the last two years of the original warranty.  We can spend more than the credit and pay the difference if the refrigerator chosen is more expensive than the original.  As might be guessed, it ended up being more than the original.

The new fridge has LED lighting and quite a bit more space.

I love opening the fridge.  -Brock


It appears that one of the attractions of our yard to neighborhood kids is that frogs (or maybe toads, or maybe both – do frogs and toads get along or are they like rival gangs or something) like to hang out in the damp dark space where our water meter and shut off valve are located.  While working in the yard today, there were a couple of times when girls came by, got out frogs and played with them.  One of those times; they took a couple of frogs off to the detention pond.  I was tempted to say “Hey, put those frogs back”, but then I remembered that I don’t like frogs, so kept quiet.

picture of frog habitat
the habitat
picture of frog habitat cover
the cover

Lanier Library Lecture

We’ve been enjoying the nearby Lanier Theological Library, usually going there on Tuesday afternoons and evenings.  I went to a lecture on Saturday night, featuring a University of Cambridge professor that they had brought in for the weekend, one event being the Saturday night lecture on the topic Jesus and Geography, in particular looking at the the validity of the gospels in their geography as validated by extra-biblical sources (i.e. Josephus, rabbinical literature, etc).

The speaker was Simon Gathercole, and it was a pretty good time.  The chapel was full, so I was in one of the two overflow seating areas in the library.  After the talk there was a question time in which the speaker was asked to answer questions ranging from the basic (“Are the Tyre and Sidon in the New Testament the same ones referred to in the OT?”) to the interesting (“Since Josephus was originally a Jewish generally, but then became a traitor who ended up on the Roman side, can we trust his writings?”) to the complex and open-ended (“Can you explain Isaiah 53?”).  Answers to the above by the way were yes, yes, and a rather longer explanation than I wrote down.

The host (Mark Lanier) and the lecturer had a really good rapport, and there was a good deal of banter back and forth during the question time.  One of the exchanges that was really fun was when Mark corrected Simon with “It’s pronounced ‘I-Zay-ah'” – versus the more academic/English pronunciation.

picture of the to the Lanier library
the path to the library
picture of gate in rock wall
One of the gates
picture of light tree
light tree by the library

Brody 3 month pictures date back to an email from Elissa on March 27th.  I’ve scaled the size of these pictures back to speed up page loading; but if you want a larger copy to print, let me know (or Layne and Elisssa) and we’ll see what we can do.  My favorite picture here has to be the owl hat, although the bowtie shirt runs a close second.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter day!
Thought a few Brody pictures were needed to send out again… He just turned 3 months old yesterday. Last week, while he was lying on a blanket on the living room floor, he pushed himself with his arms, and with some effort, then pushed himself over his left side onto his back. It was pretty exciting to witness (I, mom was there). We learned he is also ticklish, so it is fun trying to make him laugh and squeal with delight at times. It is crazy how fast he is growing, he is now about 13.5lbs, and wearing 3-6mo clothing.

We are super thankful this Easter, hope you all celebrated well.
Layne, Elissa & Brody

IMG_20160327_145048-2 IMG_20160319_150611 IMG_20160326_193319 IMG_20160319_084748 IMG_20160321_210049 IMG_20160318_174145 IMG_20160311_162154 IMG_20160305_101503 IMG_20160301_120414

It was a busy week at the Houston Huber Household.  Probably most important was that I completed the green card process, getting my permanent work authorization for the States.  No pictures to show of that.  In other news…

At a local Barnes & Noble store, I picked up a ‘build your own gliders’ kit (from their half price table).  After some tweaks to the tail ailerons, it flew pretty well even though it was sort of windy.

picture of lad throwing toy glider
Davison with the glider
picture of boy with toy glider
Brock with the glider
picture of girl and pet dog
the requisite Bilbo picture

Flowers and Fruits

picture of young grape bunch
next step in grape development
picture of mature pomegranate flower
mature pomegranate flower
picture of young pomegranate fruit
pomegranate fruit (really small)
picture of a rose flower
picture of a rose bud
picture of a rose
picture of cocoa red roses
picture of strawberries on countertop
strawberry harvest
picture of growing green tomatoea
picture of orange daylilies
yots of yilies

Flood Aftermath

Danaya and I took an alternate route to the chiropractor on Wednesday, driving through one of the communities that has been hit hard by the flood.  There were a lot of houses in this community with piles of debris (drywall, carpet, etc) out front.  I drove through again this morning, and a lot of it had been cleaned up already.  There were some streets that were still in cleanup mode.

Zach Winters house concert

On Thursday night, I drove Danaya and Daelynn to a house concert featuring a musician from Oklahoma named Zach Winters.  It was held in a large very soggy backyard (like step on the grass and sink into a couple of inches of water) and was a whole lot of fun.

picture of back yard concert
Danaya and Daelynn find a dry place to sit
picture of Zach Winters in concert
Zach Winters in concert
picture of Daelynn and Danaya with Zach Winters
Daelynn, Zach, and Danaya
picture of filament light bulb
One of the filament bulbs at the concert