Sunday, July 31, 2016

Texas Continued

When we moved to San Antonio our hotel had internet problems. I wasn't able to post and it put me behind!

Texas was hot, so hot we planned mostly indoor activities.

We went to the mall just to browse and naturally see how many of us could fit inside a photo booth.

We visited with out old church which we greatly miss. They were getting ready for VBS and had a great period of worship with the children. We were warmly greeted and even remembered.

We decided to take the kids to see the Riverwalk and Alamo (some of them didn't know what the Alamo was!) Because of the heat we did a record breaking quick trip. Benjamin slept through the Riverwalk but woke up for the Alamo.

That evening was our anniversary and Sarah watched the kids while John and I went out for some steak. It was delicious.

We had enough of the outside so we headed to a Children's Museum the next day. 

All the kids loved it. It was small but full of activities.

Naturally we had to get boots. Benjamin picked out his on his own.

We travelled back to Houston to spend the night since we had an early flight. We checked out the Water Wall downtown in the rain.

We were supposed to meet up with my brother for dinner. However, it was raining and both of us would have travelled almost an hour in good weather to just meet in the middle we decided to just stay put. He is coming to SC in September.

We had to get up and out very early, before Benjamin gets up early.

We thought aht we left in plenty of time. We had to return the rental car and get through security. However, at each stop we were met with delays, got in wrong lines and everything else you can think of. As my backpack got pulled at security I told John to go on to the plane with all the kids except Benjamin I wondered if I would make it. I figured it would be easier to book a new flight with 2 versus 8. The item that caused me further delay? Hershey kisses.

I grbbed Benjamin and rushed through the terminal and got to the plane right as they were closing the doors. Whew, the biggest challenge was that Southwest doesn't have assigned seating so the only seats left were the middle seats. All the aisle and window seats were taken. I was able to get one person to move so I could sit next to Benjamin and I could see Emma. I wasn't able to see the other kids and I really didn't like that. I don't think that we will fly with Southwest again I didn't realize that they didn't do assigned seating before I booked. 

Benjamin didn't understand the stress of the moment, he was just happy to be sitting next to momma and flying. He LOVES to fly.

At one point Benjamin noticed that Emma had fallen asleep, hahaha, he copied her for a few seconds.

After we landed and John spent forever finding our car we realized that he had left his phone at security in Houston. We had to open and account with FedEx to get it mailed to us. It arrived home a day after we did.

Whew, there you have it, our super quick little vacation full of excitement!

Sunday, July 24, 2016


We had dinner with my dad, his wife Cheryl and my brother Scott and his wife Patty. It was an interesting meal. I think that I may understand why my dads wife is the one who always talks to me on the phone. I may be wrong but it really seemed that she was working hard to keep my dad looking good. My dad didn't recognize my brother, I don't know if he would have recognized me if Cheryl hadn't greeted me first. She was wispering into his ear a lot of seemed to keep him going along socially. My dad spike very few words to me and most of my connversation was with his wife. She asked the questions and showed me pictures of their granddaughter (almost a year old and I didn't know anything about her).

I didn't get many pictures because they took off right after we ate. I got a few pictures when we were waiting to be seated. Sarah and Benjamin didn't get any pictures with him.

My gut tells me that he has some level of dementia. At one point my dad went to the restroom and I asked Cheryl how he was doing. She told me great. I sat back and thought that it is a shame that she can't talk to me. That she has worked so may years at pushing us away so that "their" kids would be front and center. What they have both missed out on. Relationships with us and their grandchildren.  Their grandchild is almost one, their great grandchild will soon be two. What a beautiful child they are missing out on. Cheryl missed the boat. She thought that there wasn't enough room for love for all the children. She thought that having more kids around lessened the love for each child. She has it all wrong. Love does not have limits. Love has no boundaries. You can love deeply one child or 11 children. What a great opportunity they have missed out on.

Michelle was fascinated by my dad but sadly I don't think he said one word to her. She remembers having a grandfather before she came into care.

I wish that my children had an opportunity to have a relationship with a grandfather but that just isn't going to happen. There was a time that I was mad about how my dad rejected us for his wife and new family. This trip was good for me in that I see that I no longer have that anger at my dad or Cheryl. I guess that time has helped. What do I feel? Acceptance, sadness, awareness that my dads time is short and I will not be a part of that journey.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Texas Trip

We drove to Atlanta the day before we were to fly out to avoid traffic and make sure we were at the airport on time. We went to visit the World of Coca Cola.

The next morning we went to hang out at the airport. We were flying Southwest and they do not have assigned seating, we had to be there in time to be seated after the A ticket holders.

For many of my kids this was their first flight. The only issue we had the entire time was when Michelle decided that everyone needed to hear her music and she blared it throughout the plane. .
I hadn't thought of sharing that little bit of airplane etiquette. Benjamin liked flying and didn't give us any trouble on the plane.

We landed and I called my dad and left a message. His wife called back and said to pick a restaurant and they would meet us. I asked if she had any idea of family friendly restaurants in the area. She said no. Then she said to pick something and let her know.

We met with our niece and her two kids for dinner and I called my brother who lives in the area for dinner ideas. I also asked him to come along. He hasn't seen our dad since the last time I saw him either. Probably about 8 years ago. They live less than an hour apart.

Our rental car. I like the interior but not all the blind spots.
I can't see out the back because of the design.

We went to be tourists today.

Benjamin said, "He's got lots of bandaids mum!"

Larissa wondered how anyone fits in there.

After a few museums we wee hungry and had to get some BBQ.

It was very good.

We came back to the hotel to let the kids swim and relax until we head out to eat at Gringos. Tomorrow we are heading to San Antonio.