Boots got an extra special birthday this year… a trip to Hawaii!! He was kinda sad that he didn't get a traditional birthday, but leading up to the big day all he wanted to do was have a day building sand castles at the beach. That morning I had hung the birthday banner and some other decorations and when he saw it, he was convinced that if he went to the beach he would miss his whole party… so we stayed home and played at the pool at day. It was fun, and very chill. later with some tacos, cake and presents he was a very very happy little 5 year old! When he woke up that morning I told him he was taller and he had more freckles and had more hair on his head - he was definitely 5. He looked at me shocked and said "You mean I am ALREADY 5?!" He thought he had to have his party before he could turn 5. Sweet little boy. AND we got to celebrate with Brooke, Tim, Rick, and Garrett before they all left.
Thursday, July 18
While I was in calgary, I was able to see a few of my dear wonderful friends. I don't love to make tons of visits when I am home as it tends to fill up all my days, and truly when I come home...I just wanna chill with my ma and pa! But this time a few worked out perfectly and it was so much fun to see some of my friends.
Melinda and I took our kids to an amusement park which they LOVED! I miss melin so so much. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She and I became friends in college. She was an answer to prayers. She has been a true friend through and through... For some rough times and the best times I have experienced. She has been with me in my most embarrassing times and shared the biggest laugh attacks I have ever had. I love this girl!
I had the chance to go see Andrew and his wife Catherine and their CUTE little guy Kieran. He and I have been good friends since we were 14 and have maintained that friendship! He's always been there for me and has always been a steady friend! It's just the same when you go forever without seeing each other ya know? We pick up where we left off.
I also went and saw Dave and Ashley with their darling daughters. Holy those girls are cute! Ha ha Dave and I go back to about 12 years old I think. He is another great steady friend that I have always been able to look to for advice and help. Myself, him, and 3 other of our friends made up what we called "the crew". haha (dorks!)we were tight!! I didn't meet Ashley till they were married but she is awesome! The kids had a blast together.
Wednesday, July 17
We have arrived in Hawaii safe and sound and now are awaiting the arrival of our sailors and dear other halves. They have had some troubles... So we have had extra prayers going their way. They are going to arrive this weekend though and we can hardly wait. It's already been 17 days which has been really fast, yet has felt like forever.
Saturday, July 13
The Calgary Stampede is a favorite place to go for me every year when we come home for Summer. It only happens once a year in Calgary, and only last 10 days. Calgary calls it "The greatest outdoor show on earth", and I agree! It is so fun. The Texas State Fair reminds me a lot of it, but there is something about the Stampede that brings me back to childhood and a happy place.
The mini donuts, corn dogs, frozen bananas, and this year they added a bunch of fried things into the mix, which added to the Texas state Fair feeling. We didn't do the Rodeo this year or the Grandstand show, which are some of the best parts of the Stampede. Brian has never been with me either, so next year if we come home, I have to take him.
We started off with mini Donuts and the "SUPERDOGS" dog show...
Then off to the kids stuff - Face painting, horseshoes, etc.... Courtney's face cracked me up while she was getting her face painted. haha she sat with her mouth wide open the whole time and sitting so still.
The Indian village is always a fun stop, and I was able to teach the kids a little bit about the culture and customs of the Indians. I did not, however, get bannock this year which is usually on my list.
We did not do the midway this year but they got to choose one ride to do. They chose the Sky Ride which goes all across from one side of the park to the other. Natalie had to ride it with some stranger, but she was a little girl too, so it was cute to watch them ride together and talk. I, on the other hand was terrified the whole time as Court was at the edge looking over the whole time. I was having a full on panic attack the entire time!
We went in to go and see the livestock. The kids were not super thrilled by this. Courtney was actually really scared of the cows that were all being washed down and ready to show or go to the Rodeo. But think that it is so cool to walk through their and see the cowboys working on their animals getting them all ready. The BEST part was the Clydesdale's - who were massive. The biggest one we saw was 2000 lbs and just huge! We also learned how a cow is born, and as pictured below, we got to stick our hand and arm into a face cow to feel what a 8 month old baby cow fetus feels like. Weird, yes kind of... but i thought it was really cool! We saw this one cowgirl, who was sleeping with her momma cow and baby. It was really sweet to see them.
Train ride there, and a train ride home and the kids were ready for bed! They were so tired but had so much fun. They walked away with an arm full of loot and junk! Love that Calgary Stampede!!
A day at the farm is just what this little cowgirl needed. Natalie got some cowboy boots since we have been in Canada and she has taken an interest in anything that relates tot he farm or a cowgirl. She has asked us what cowgirls eat, wear, how they do their hair, how they walk, and if they are artists. She loves being there feeding the bunnies and milking a goat. None of the other kids would touch the goat utter but she loved it! Courtney was especially confused and didn't want anything to do with the "goats pee".
We spent the day at Butterfield acres, which is a little farm that has been around at least since I was little. There are pony rides, baby chicks and chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, emu's, geese, and rabbits. I am sure there were more farm animals too. Boots was ready to go when we got there, but Natalie had the time of her life. I got grossed out when we walked into the little pig pen and I saw 2/3 mice scamper away. I wanted to throw up, and I tried my hardest not to show my kids how scared of them I was. I smiled through the pigs and we were on our way. I hate mice, nothing like my sister who is terrified, but I do think they are nasty.