Friday, July 31, 2009

Della Pictures (I think I may have an addiction)...




She put the noodle on her head on purpose and just left it there...



"Whoa! Have you guys seen this inflatable pool? It's amazing!"...




Monday, July 20, 2009

Texas 365


We moved to Texas a year ago on July the 5th. I could say all the cliché things that go along with marking the passage of a year. Things like "It went by so fast" or "It's been an amazing year." Instead I am going to do a post on all the things that seem unique to Texas. I will give you this warning: upon reading this list you may want to leave your home and life as you know it to move here to Texas; where ya'll's dreams come true...

Blue Bell Ice Cream...The best ice cream EVER!


Texas Roadhouse aka Willie Nelson's Restaurant...
OK, it's not really his restaurant, he's only affiliated with Texas Roadhouse. Who wouldn't want to dine with this guy? I also am willing to concede that Texas Roadhouse does exist outside of Texas. But I'm pretty sure those other locations aren't as good as the ones here.
P.S. Don't eat any of Willie's brownies! Trust me on this one!


Metal Texas stars...You may not believe me when I say that everyone has one of these giant metal stars on their house, but believe me everyone has these giant metal stars on their house. Archer saw one made of barbed wire and declared that it would be perfect for our house. It looked like this...

Texas handicapped parking...
An overall feeling of lawlessness...like this snake vs. hawk fight we witnessed on the way home from church. I can see now why Mexico has chosen to immortalize this event on their flag.Or this...I didn't take the above photo, this guy did. I occasionally see quads being driven on the road! In fact, Chad was PASSED by a guy on a quad sans shirt and helmet on a 2 lane road! I also see people riding in the bed of a truck. I've been told that this is in fact illegal in Texas, but "it isn't really enforced". ?

Ron Paul...

The Houston Rodeo...


Texas Patriotic Songs...
There are so many! And my son knows them all! My favorite is the one that goes along to the tune of BINGO but the word T-E-X-A-S is spelled instead. More often than not my son will shout "T-A-X-E-S!"

Christian vending machines...That's right kids, go beg your parents for a quarter and head to the nearest vending machine. You could be the proud owner of a divine prize:

A candy cross bracelet...
A cross lip gloss necklace...Religious temporary tattoos...
And for those emergency situations/raves, religious glow sticks...



Non-prayer prayers in schools...
This is what my son said at preschool before eating his daily snack:
Thank you for the food we eat, Thank you for the world so sweet, Thank you for the birds that sing, I give thanks for everything.


Crazy weather...



Beyoncé...


Flying the Texas flag at the same height as the US flag...


W.


Texas clothing...

That vest is leather by the way.


Amazing schools...
This is Archer's high school...

Here is where his school plays football...
  • The Berry Center has...
  • 8,328 Seat Arena
  • 11,000 Seat Outdoor Stadium
  • 456 Seat Theater
  • 16,100 sq.ft. Conference Center

Serious state pride...
I see these bumper stickers and shirts all the time. I personally don't want to secede, but people really think that Texas would be just fine on their own. I guess this brings me to my favorite thing about Texans, an overwhelming sense of self reliance. A "Get'er done!" attitude. We saw this especially after the hurricane. People were out as soon as the wind died down to 50 mph and started checking on each other, clearing drains, cleaning debris, using chainsaws to get rid of fallen trees, BBQ'ing meat to share with their neighbors before it had a chance to spoil. It was really an amazing sight.

Of course the most unique thing about Texas is...
We LOVE Texas! Chad and I are constantly turning to each other and saying "Let's stay here forever!"

Galveston Island

We took a trip this weekend to Galveston Island with the entire family. The kids and I had never been there. Chad's only visit was to help with Hurricane Ike clean up efforts. The island is 27 miles long and at it's widest point is only 3 miles. People began to set up permanent residence in 1816 and it soon became a vacation spot for the rich. Galveston also had hopes of becoming a huge sea port for the third coast. Then on September 8th, 1900 a hurricane hit the island and it's huge storm surge destroyed almost the entire city. Since there was no way to track hurricanes in 1900, no one was able to evacuate or even prepare for the storm and over 6,000 people were killed making it the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
Then almost 108 years to the day, Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston in September of last year. Since it has only been 10 months since the storm, a lot of buildings remain condemned, empty, or partially rebuilt. We printed out a coupon to visit the Maritime Museum only to find that it had been completely destroyed. Maybe a little note on the website informing visitors that the museum no longer exists would be in order, just a thought.

My favorite part of the trip was driving up and down the streets looking at the Victorian style houses. I would say one in 5 had been rebuilt/restored since the storm. Some of the houses stood exactly as Ike had left them, battered and boarded with porches and balconies on the verge of collapse. Some of the houses had tenants but many of them had been abandoned. Then there were the houses with "pink slips." These had been condemned and were to be demolished. Many of the restored houses used to look like this...
Above is a photo from before the storm I found on a blog called "Coto de Texas." All of the 100 year old trees that lined the streets and surrounded the houses were killed by the surge of salt water. Here is how the streets look now...

All the "before" pics came from the blog I mentioned, I took the rest...


Before Ike...After Ike...









The blue line on the step is the Ike water line...




Before...
After...


Before...
After...

Before...
After...

The majority of the houses looked like this...

Condemned building...
We saw the "Elissa", an iron hulled ship from 1877...
These are the masts of the Elissa with a cruise ship in the background...
We ate at "The Original Mexican Restaurant" which opened in 1916...

Ike water line...We then went to a drug store/soda fountain and had treats.


I'll let the kids tell you about what they ate...
video
Don't you love how everyone answers for Della in their own "Della voice?" No wonder she doesn't talk! And yes, Archer is practicing for his audition for Mary Poppins II should they ever decide to make one. He also likes to greet Chad with "'Ello Guv'nah!"

We wanted to make a few other stops, but then this happened...
video
The water we were driving in was about 12" deep. We had a really fun time and we can't wait to go back. Someday, when we all have lots of money, we could rent a beach house on the island and have a family reunion. Someday...