Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wandering through the desert


We had such a fun day yesterday.

First off, swim lessons, which are always hysterical to watch. Fortunately my kids remembered a little bit from last summer. They can indeed a) blow bubbles b) kick, and c) flail their arms. They cannot however d) do it all at the same time. Which means that all the cash I layed out last summer for almost daily lessons for weeks on end was e) mostly for the sheer joy of driving across town and keeping two babies entertained in a 4x10 room with nothing but folding chairs and old magazines for thirty minutes before I drove back across town again.

After swim lessons we headed to my mom's to drop off the Ikers. Because Ike is at That Age.

Couple of weeks ago we had a congregational meeting after church. "After church", synonymous with "If the kids were home, they would have been fed and thrown in bed by now instead of doing an interpretive dance of Mark 5." During the meeting, Ike put on his leg warmers and began to do his stretches, so Walker carried him out. As he walked down the aisle, Ike reared back and whacked his daddy so hard that it caused Walker to cry out loudly, "Whoa!"

In front of, oh, several hundred of our closest friends.

There goes our invitation to teach that "How to Win People to Jesus Based Solely on Your Child's Behavior in Public" Sunday school class.

He is cute, oh, my word, is he cute. He was just a lot cuter left at GG's house.

The remaining three kids never did deduce where we were taking them: "It's hot, you need sunscreen, there's water, it's real fun, and it starts with a B." "Um, blossom? Uhhh, bread? Bananas! Is it bananas? Lake? Ice cream?"

The traffic to the banana ice cream lake, oh help me. We were headed out there for this cool sandcastle competition that they do every year. Last time I went Walker and I were 'just friends' and my, it has grown since then. The traffic was abysmal to East Beach. From my mom's house to Galveston is 45 minutes on a perfect day; yesterday we were in the car for TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

I almost did my dramatic presentation of Ezra 3.

I have been reading Numbers lately at night and this experience gave me a whole new appreciation for poor Moses. Travelling through the desert with thousands of whiny, complaining backseat drivers asking "are we there yet?" every five minutes - oh, Moses. Simpatico, brother, right here.

Finally we made it to the promised land. This was my first visit since the hurricane, and although there are definite reminders of Ike's wrath, I was pleased that the parts that we saw looked great. Galveston has recovered much better than I expected.

The kids were so hyped to get to in the water they could give a flip about the sandcastles (after all that trouble.) Maggie had never been to the beach in the summertime before. She is our little nature child, I knew she would be ecstatic.


The princess trinities were completely broken in.


Sailboats are just so beautiful, aren't they? Many were out. Shepherd is at that age where he constantly pops out with things where I go, now how does he know that?? He told me, "That's not a sailboat, it's a yacht." Oh, pardon me, wise one. I had forgotten what a yacht was since we had to sell ours, you know, what with this economy and all.


We built our own sandcastle, and as I taught Shepherd how to pack the sand in the molds and Eva Rose looked for shells to decorate and Maggie knocked over the towers and my husband dug the moat, I had one of those moments. Like the moment I had two Christmases ago after Santa Claus packed up for the night, and surveyed the four little piles of presents, and thought, I have always dreamed of a large family, and teared up with joy. Building a sandcastle on the beach with my family was one of those dreams. I soaked up the sun and the blessing.

Which one do you think looked better, this one


or this one?


Where's our prize?

Then the kids did what Maggie had tried very hard to do to the ones in the competition: smash it to smithereens.


We loaded our Israelites up and headed back to the desert. My mom and Ike met us at the restaurant that was my family's "birthday restaurant" growing up:


Oh yeah. As kids, we loved this place for two reasons: raising the flag when you needed the waitress,


and - heaven help us - unlimited sopapillas.


It was a land flowing with milk and ...

Shep posed for this picture


and then went back to eating enchiladas whilst he discussed his plans to invade Mexico.


Jenny and I were just lamenting how Mexican food has gotten so fancy/overpriced and how we longed for just good ole not-that-great-but-great TexMex like in the olden days.

Pancho's, you so fit the bill.

I don't think I've been there in twenty years and it had not changed much. The food is good, the salsa is fantastic, and they have frozen yogurt now.


I scream, you scream, we all get maniacal for ice cream.

Y'all, dinner for the seven of us was $40!
Lo, the blessings of Pancho's Mexican Buffet will be passed down to the third generation.

And check this out, never seen this before:


Like manna from heaven.

We went back to my mom's to shower away the sand, and then guess who was bright eyed and bushy tailed for the drive home at (gulp) almost 11pm?


That's why we were a little late for church this morning.

Walker's family's "birthday restaurant" growing up was Monterrey House. Remember Monterrey House, Houston girls? Where did your family go to celebrate? Do you have a special place now?

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