An Eclipse and Some Fun Family Time

I skipped last week because I didn’t take any pictures! I more than made up for it this week. Not only did we get to experience the solar eclipse, but we’ve had my sister Alice here visiting and we got a bonus visit one day from my brother Kevin and his wife Rita. Friday night, we drove down to Corpus Christi. Paul was already down there for a the state Libertarian convention, so he rented another hotel room for the rest of us to stay in at the hotel he was at so that we could play most the day Saturday while he was at the convention. We headed to Rockport Beach for the morning and then went over to the Texas State Aquarium in the afternoon. It was a really fun day!

Here’s a shot I got of the eclipse. The cloud cover made it so that I didn’t need the filter for my phone. It also made it difficult to see it a lot of the time. The point where the sun was completely covered was a moment where there was a lot of cloud cover, so I didn’t get any shots of that, but it did still get pretty dark.
Paul took this shot. He said the birds all started acting really weird when it got dark.
Okay, so my phone does this thing where it will automatically fix what it feels to be poor quality lighting situations…which I love 99% of the time. Just not at this moment. I wish I would have been able to capture just how dark it was, but you can see lights on on the houses in the background, so that gives you an idea, especially if I tell you that this was at 1:35ish in the afternoon.
Kevin and Rita brought along Jake. Abigail was tickled to get to walk him.
Hanging out with him on the front porch.
She was being really gentle with him, which was great.
She was so happy to get to have some Jake time!
She was also happy to have some Uncle Kevin time. 🙂
Joseph was able to gain freedom this past Thursday afternoon. He still has to take it easy for a little bit, but it’s nice to not have the cast on anymore.
Sunrise over the ocean…I grew up experiencing ocean sunsets when we visited the beach, so this is still a cool concept for me.
When in Texas…eat Texas-shaped waffles for breakfast!
The beach!
I had to get photographic proof that I was there, too.
Playing along the shore.
It’s really, really shallow for a long ways out. I don’t know that I ever got deeper than my knees. We also saw quite a few jelly fish. After we got to our sixth sighting, we decided we were done with the water.
Hanging out with the statue of the Whataburger founder. We went to a Whataburger that had two stories, which was pretty cool. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of the outside!
Outside of the aquarium. We saw a huge ship with this tugboat behind it. Abigail was excited about seeing a tugboat in real life.
The dolphins were showing off for the kids.
It was so neat to see them up close.
I didn’t even see the one in the back until I looked at the picture afterward.
They kept coming right up to the glass. It was so neat!
This little sea turtle was kind of my favorite. He had something wrong with his shell, so he couldn’t drive down (I think he had been injured by a fishing line/hook because it looked like he had some sort of bandage on his shell).
He hung out over here by us for quite some time.
I loved seeing such a big smile on Joseph’s face. 🙂
Ah, the sea otters…
They also got right up to us.
There was this dome in one of the aquariums that the kids could crawl up into to be in the aquarium. It was pretty cool!
Joseph loved getting to see that sea star up close and see all its suction cups.
THIS is the way I like to see jelly fish, haha. We actually saw this type in the ocean a few hours earlier than when I took this picture. Only one out of the six still had visible tentacles, so I’m not sure if the others could hurt us (or if they were still alive), but the one with the tentacles was the one that made us decide to abort mission, ha.
This eel was pretty cool. It was checking out Joseph while Joseph was checking it out.
Inside a shark cage. I’m not sure I want to be in the ocean with anything that is big enough to not be able to get through those bars!
We had to take a picture inside the megalodon mouth!
This guy was pretty menacing.
Okay, so I had to zoom in a ton in order to get a good picture of these guys. They were only about an inch long, tops. I love seahorses!
This is the biggest horseshoe crab I have ever seen!
Checking out a very sassy flamingo named Michaelangelo (that’s what the worker said his name was).
Oh, to be this flexible!!
We were fascinated by how dark pink/red they were. It’s much different than the light pink flamingos they have at our zoo.
I love poison dart frogs. Did you know that they’re only poisonous due to what they eat when out in the wild. If they are raised in captivity, they aren’t poisonous!
This is probably the only way I would be 100% comfortable with a tarantula…behind glass!
A scarlet ibis. Their color is so vibrant!

First (and Hopefully Last) Broken Something

Well, this past week held a rather eventful…event. On Tuesday, Joseph was out practicing on his friend’s skateboard and fell. He came in saying his arm hurt. When he pointed to the center of his arm, Paul scrounged up his old splint from the Army, fashioned a sling to hold Joseph’s arm in place, and took him to the Urgent Care down the road from us. They did an x-ray, found a fracture, and put a hard splint on it. A few days later he was able to get a full cast for it. He’ll go back in a couple of weeks to have it checked out again. The other eventful event is Easter! We woke up, the kids checked out their baskets, and then we went to church. After getting home, I made rolls and then the kids dyed eggs. We finished up with a simple dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, and broccoli with strawberry pie for dessert. Now to buckle down and get ready to start another week of work, school, and everything in between!

Waiting on x-rays.
Splinted and slinged up.
We sprung for the waterproof cast…it was more expensive, but he can shower with it.
I bought some milk at the store that came in this fun glass bottle. The company changes up their designs every once in a while. I have one that has the Alamo on it, but this bluebonnet one is so pretty. I wanted to use it as part of a display, but couldn’t find any fake flowers that seemed to fit (I’m kind of picky about my fake foliage). Then I stumbled upon these burlap roses. They’re perfect!
Instead of getting something that was fake but trying to look real, I opted for something that was just…fake. They aren’t trying to look real, though, and I think that was what worked for me. Plus, they go with my decor perfectly!
Easter dessert! I love how quickly this pie comes together (especially when I use a pre-made pie crust and use frozen strawberries to make the filling).
Checking out their treats.
He was happy to get his own board, even if he can’t use it for a bit. We also got him elbow and knee pads as well as wrist guards. We bought the board before he broke his arm, but added the other things after.
She was happy to get this. It’s a mouse that you can program to go in paths to find its cheese.
Trying out the mouse…
…and trying to figure out a way to still use that board.
Paul surprised me with the Corelle set that I had on my wish list. It was fun to use them for Easter dinner.

A Nice Week Back

This past week was a bit of an adjustment for some of us. It was a bit hard getting up early again. It was a pretty good week, though. Paul and I even squeezed in a date night with friends to go see the comedian, Jim Gaffigan. It was a pretty funny show with bits about getting older, dealing with technology, and the joys and pitfalls of parenting. Abigail had a crazy dream early one morning about a gang of rattlesnakes that attacked her (they were talking rattlesnakes with poisonous horns). She woke up right before they actually got her. Since this happened right before I got into the shower, I told her to go ahead and get dressed and head downstairs to watch some PBS. By doing that, she was already ready when I was and we left the house for school totally chill for the first time in forever. This prompted me to try again the next day, waking her earlier and letting her have a more relaxed morning rather than letting her sleep until the last minute and then we’re both stressed, trying to leave the house on time. It worked! It’s been nice not feeling that stress in the mornings. Now we just have to make it through a short week (we have Friday off for Good Friday) and then it’ll be Easter weekend!

A while back, Joseph’s science teacher told his class that the scientific term for spring was “vernal” and that she thought it was a weird word. Well, Joseph and some friends decided to start using it more often as a way to joke with her. This turned into forming the “Vernal Club” and making up a dance and everything. His teacher was such a good sport about it all. She told them she would make them shirts for the Vernal Equinox. He told me, but I thought she was joking. Nope. She made them shirts. I laughed for about 30 seconds when I read what they said. The phrase, “Live, Laugh, Love” has been poked fun at tons of times, but this has to be the best. I love awesome teachers that care for the kids they teach!
And then there’s this: the Converse…the Nintendo shirt…and he had just come in from skateboarding…is it really 2024? It feels kinda like 1984. 🙂