Tuesday, June 27, 2017

March 2017

One day in early March, I walked in to Maggie's room to see this.
Maggie and Charlie were playing and looking at books in a bed FULL of toys and stuffed animals.  I know some kids sleep with lots of stuffed animals in their beds, but Maggie typically doesn't sleep with any.

My high school did a production of The Little Mermaid.  I took Maggie and Charlie one morning while the older boys were at school. Uncle Michael and Rory went, too.

For spring break this year we drove to Houston.  We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for lunch on the way down.  It wasn't crowded, so Jim decided to do some push ups!

 We spent most of the week at my Aunt Helen and Uncle Ian's house.  My cousins Johnny and Michael came over most nights.  Jim and Johnny were able to play music together.

On Sunday night we were treated to a delicious shrimp boil.  My cousin Aimee, who was living in Houston for one year, came over as well.
We took the kids to a waterpark in Galveston.  It wasn't too warm outside, but most of the waterpark was enclosed.

Then we walked along the sea wall and played on the beach.

 It was quite windy.
The next day we got to experience the Houston Rodeo!
Aunt Helen gave Maggie these darling hot pink cowgirl boots.

The kids learned how to milk a cow.

Clearly Mags doesn't know how to read.

The following day we went to Space Center Houston and to NASA!  This was the highlight of our trip!
Future astronaut?
My cousin Johnny works in Mission Control at NASA and gave us the VIP tour!
We saw the Saturn V rocket.  It is the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever flown.

 Johnny took us on the floor where typical visitors don't get to go.

Johnny took Jim, Jack, and Patrick inside the Russian part of the ISS mockup. Maggie and Charlie couldn't go because they were too young.  Training was happening in the US part of the mockup so they couldn't go in there.

We felt pretty special!
We got to see Mission Control, where they monitor the International Space Station.  Johnny works at a desk in the front left.

On Thursday we visited the San Jacinto Monument.  It is at the site of the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution.
I have learned that if it can be climbed, our kids will climb it.
 Johnny and Maggie looking out a window at the top of the monument.
The view from the top.  You can see Battleship Texas in the water on the right.  We visited that next.
Selfie with Jack!

The USS Texas is one of the oldest surviving modern battleships (over 100 years old) and was in both World Wars!

Having fun with the cousins one night:

On Friday, St. Patrick's Day, we left Helen and Ian's and went to Jim's Aunt Nancy's house for the weekend.  Charlie found a shamrock in Aunt Helen's yard before we left.
We had an amazing time and the kids have great memories from our stay.
Aunt Nancy has a pool in her backyard.  It was pretty cool, even for Houston, but that didn't stop these guys from putting on their suits.
Maggie had been sitting on the edge of the pool in her dress, dipping her legs in the water.  It was pretty cold, but I put on her swim suit so she wouldn't get her clothes wet.  I didn't think she'd actually go in the water.  I was wrong.  She can't swim, so I had to jump in after her!
 Needless to say, I got out her floatie.
Patrick and Charlie both jumped in, too!  By our second day it was warmer and all four kids got in.
We had planned to drive home on Saturday, but Jim's cousin was hosting a big family St. Patrick's Day party.  We were excited to be included.  This is Maggie's Irish Texan outfit: shamrock skirt with pink cowgirl boots!
Our kids had a lot of fun with their Texan relatives.  Here's Maggie with her great-uncle Ed.
It was not a small gathering of Kellys:

Jim with his Aunt Nancy and cousin Trish (one of Nancy's 5 children):
We drove home on Sunday.  It was a long drive, but the kids did great!  Once back in St. Louis, we were back to our normal routine, including snuggles on the patio.
Jack turned 10 at the end of March.  He invited a few friends over for a slumber party the weekend before his birthday.

We had a random visitor to our backyard one Sunday.  I am not sure where this turkey came from, but it is certainly not a common sight.
The family came over to celebrate Jack on his actual birthday.
He is reading a card that Grandma made for him. She is an amazing artist!
It's hard to believe he is double digits!