Ben: This is a bit of a late post, but possibly better late than never…
To celebrate the 4th of July, we had a number of families from the church over for the afternoon and evening.
There were a lot of kids over and much fun was had in the swimming pool.
One of the families brought along (unbeknowst to me) a signal cannon. Here’s a picture of one that I snagged from eBay, that was pretty similar to what they had (except that they only had the metal/aluminum cylinder but not the wooden carriage).
The basic premise is that it is a very loud noise-maker. It consists of a metal cylinder which has been smoothly bored most of the way down, and has a separate small fuse hole. A fuse is put in the cannon, and then it is loaded with gunpowder (up to the top lip, I believe) which is then tamped down (in this case I think they were using a short broom handle). No projectile is fired, but the resulting noise is extremely loud (for those of you who have played the game “Bang!”, think of the “BLAM” made by the Howitzer). On its first firing, I was behind the house by the pool, it was pretty startling. It was only fired twice, which was probably okay as we live in a pretty quiet neighborhood.
We had purchased a bunch of fireworks (of the lesser explosion variety) to set off after it got dark.
Davison was our chief firework lighter and did a pretty good job of it. We landed one firework on a neighbor’s roof (they weren’t home and it rolled off without starting a fire) and almost hit a couple of vehicles with others. But it all ended safely and the kids had a great time, especially with the sparklers and the snappers.
We also had some items that generated smoke which didn’t really work well in the dark, so we lit some of it off the next day.
All in all, it was a pretty fun way to celebrate with friends.
With my children I have a reputation for occasionally picking up weird and wonderful items, usually because they are on sale and being unloaded cheaply. Some of these purchases end up being winners, but others not so much. So, I thought I would throw together a post with some of the more recent winners and losers for your enjoyment.
I’m probably a bit of a sucker for gadgets (specifically ones that are not too expensive), so when I saw a set of specialty lens that could be used with iPhones and iPads (and more specifically that the set was less than $20), I did some research (as there was a bunch of options) and then committed. The set that we get has a clip that you use to hold the lens over the lens on the device. There are three different lenses, one a fish eye lens, the other two providing a couple of other options including close-in macro shooting.
Well, this post is long overdue (as Brody turned four back in late April), but as I have another post in the wings as Elissa has posted Brody’s 5 month update, I need to get this posted. And hey, there really cannot be too many Brody pictures…
To grandparents, great-grandparents, and other great people…
Once again, the 26th of the month has arrived, and this email is brought to you by Brodwin’s monthly birthday… We celebrate by taking note of some of the things Brody likes to do…
As seen in the pictures, he is learning to read books with Dad, play board games with the guys, and enjoys visiting with Auntie Daelynn and Grandparents, as well as spent some time outside on our warmer days, cloud-gazing and exploring the outdoors. He id definitely more aware of things around him, and wants to look at screens – TVs and computers, so I suppose we need to be aware more of what we watch!
He has been laughing more, (he has a number of ticklish spots) and making interesting squealing and dinosaur noises. He is becoming more coordinated to grab onto objects and put most of them in his mouth, and has stronger head and neck muscles, as well as leg muscles now.
On April 17th, he was dedicated at our church, and prayed for by Pastor Glen, which was special. He didn’t cry at all while being held up on stage. Thanks to those family members who were able to be part of that!
Altogether, we are having lots of fun. We are also excited to go down to Houston in May, to see family, and perhaps have Brody try some swimming!
I missed last week’s “pictures of the week” posting in lieu of a couple of other posts, but mostly because I was busy and time got away from me and I forgot to do it, and, and, and. So this post is pushing up a bunch of pictures from the last couple of weeks.
Actually I don’t think Brock was pinching Brody, but I will sometimes joke with people about pinching babies when the baby is crying while being held by them. So, I got a kick out of this picture.
On the Sunday before Layne, Elissa and Brody headed home we went out for a family meal at La Hacienda, one of our favorite restaurants (although given how often we eat out, you could probably count the total number of Houston restaurants we’ve visited in the last year on one or at most two hands). Over the years, our younger kids have not usually made the economic connection of eating at home versus in a restaurant, particularly when there are 8 to 10 people. The other factor of course being Dad’s (Ben) notorious cheapness.
Back home for the next few pictures…
This past Monday was Memorial Day in the U.S. It was also our church picnic at a local park.
Part of the “fun” at the church picnic was Davison paying attention to the base runner, not the ball thrower in the baseball game which resulted in him catching the ball with his face, right between the eyes. A bunch of time with ice resulted in only a bit of swelling, with no black eyes in the bargain.
Danaya and Daelynn were not present for the church picnic, as they were visiting their friend Gracie in Hondo, Texas (about an hours drive the other side of San Antonio. They took the bus to San Antonio and were picked up their by Gracie and her family. A fun part of the bus trip was that they paid extra to reserve two seats in the front row – on the second deck of the bus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
After the jetty hike, it was time to start heading home. We went for another ferry ride, then made the trek home.
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.