June 23, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Every couple of years, Dad comes back to Texas and as is tradition, we all converge on this bustling East Texas town. This year Sistah #2 took the week off. It was especially nice to have her around all week; she hasn't been able to hang out with us like that for years. Unfortunately, Sistah #1 had to work. The cousins had a great time together. After this week, my sisters and I have decided to plan a yearly sister-only weekend. Woo hoo!

We celebrated two significant birthdays during the week. My niece and my grandmother, who turned 90, and you'd never guess she was a day over 80. She's like the Energizer Bunny.

The festivities took place at Sistah #1's hacienda. The day started off cloudy and rainy, but by noon it had cleared up and the backyard was Water Sport Central complete with a blow-up water slide. Due to the rainy start, I didn't put sunscreen on the FM's - didn't think they needed it. For Swim Team Boy it wasn't a problem, but for my red-headed one it was too little, too late. He was downright crispy by the evening. He walked around like a little old man for four days and tried to maintain a "safety circle" around himself so nobody would touch him. I don't think he got a good night's sleep until Wednesday. Now he's Snake Boy, shedding all over the house, and his mantra is, "scratch my back, please."

Since Mamaw's pool is out of service, we broke our Sabbath Day rules and went to Chuck E. Cheese's so all the grandkids could play. They stuffed tokens into the machines and danced with the Chuckster for at least three hours.

My lowest score in skeeball was 230,000 as you can see from the picture. I didn't think to take a picture of my highest which was 250,000. Jess, jess it was!

The second birthday celebration was for my niece who turned 13. That's thirTEEN! She is growing into a beautiful young lady. We all went to Putt-Putt and then back to Mom's for dinner and cake.....yum! Playing Putt-Putt reminded me of a couple of dates I had there a bijillion years ago. Mom made two cakes: a yummy ice cream cake (on the right) and her signature coconut cake.

This gathering was particularly nice because Mom and Dad were both there. They're divorced and it is seldom they are together and enjoying their grandchildren. So this birthday party was a rarity for that.

Another high point of the week included the Aviation Museum. On display was a pamphlet that the US military distributed to several Japanese cities during World War II to warn them of the impending bombs that would be dropped. What I found particularly interesting was it stated that the US was humane; that we did not want to kill people; our targets were Japanese weapons facilities. It also said that the Japanese people were not our enemy, our enemy was the Japanese military. It told them to warn their friends and neighbors and leave town.

We also visited the East Texas Oil Museum. Although this was my first trip to the oil museum, a particular member of my family (and by that I mean Mom) thinks that not only have I been to the museum before, but that my husband has, too (he hasn't)! On top of that, she claims we've been there a couple of times!

It was really interesting to hear how the area was affected by the influx of people and money. One story told of how someone came into the general store asking for roach killer. The storekeeper didn't know what roaches were. They didn't have roaches in Kilgore before the oil boom. Imagine that! It was also neat to see things I haven't seen since I worked for an independent oil producer during college or for Texaco when I graduated. A lot of things like pumps, pipe, and valves never change.

We also visited a children's park in town. The kids enjoyed running around, climbing on rocks. CB was in the car enjoying the air-conditioning with a sleeping FM#3.

On our last day there, Mom took all the grandkids to see Cars, complete with soda, popcorn, and candy. The movie was cute. Since my boys were so well-behaved during the week, I bought the soundtrack for the trip home.

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