Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mission Tour 'o Fun, Part Two

We pulled into Branson on Monday and found a great view from our Lakefront Condo. This is Table Rock Lake, one of a series of resevoirs created from the White River in the 1950's to prevent flooding. They had to unearth 3 cemetaries and flood a couple small towns to do it. (We went to the visitor's center at the Dam).

One day we "Rode the Ducks." These are amphibious vehicles from WWII that go on land and water. They have little tours that go around Branson and then onto Table Rock Lake. Once on the lake, Captain Scott let all the kids drive. Ty LOVED it! He kept going to the left, and to the right, and back again. The people got a kick out of it.

Here's Branson's version of Las Vegas' Bellagio. This whole new mall area (Branson Landing) is new since we were here before. We really enjoyed strolling downtown Branson, where I did much of my street contacting on the mission. It's crazy how many memories popped up for both of us as we would drive the same streets where we'd been.

Of course we went swimming every day. Ty's getting to be quite the kicker. He can kick himself across the pool all by himself (with his life jacket and floaty on).

I love this pic of Brad and Ty. It's so cute how he's looking at him like that. This is somewhere in Arkansas. After three days in Branson we took a couple days to get home, stopping in Hot Springs National Park (don't go out of your way to go there, it's no Yellowstone!) and down through Eastern Texas.

I don't have to do a liquor store anymore! Found a new business for me in Longview, Texas called Sally's Good Foods!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mission Tour 'o Fun, Part One

Aside from the occasional judging stare, (no, District meeting was NOT just an excuse for a double date) it's really fun being married to someone from my mission. We share a lot of memories and friends, and know the same areas. It seemed a great idea, therefore, to visit our old mission haunts on this, the 10th anniversary of our service. The fact that BYU was playing a game in the very city to which we were called sealed the deal.

After a not-so-bad seven hour drive, where we were even prepared with quarters for the many toll roads (and realized that Dallas is WAY less crowded than Houston), we arrived in Tulsa at our hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel I had reserved was not up to my standards (I'm not a snob, I just don't want to bring cockroaches home with me). Fortunately, one of the little perks of Brad's job is that we have access to a travel discount site, which meant that we got our room at the Comfort Inn next door to the yucky place for about half of what the BYU fan in front of us got it for!

As you can see, the University of Tulsa has a very pretty campus and the game was very exciting, even though we ended up losing. We had second row seats, and Ty LOVED seeing the players up close, and loved the band, and the fireworks going off every time they scored, etc. Now every time we see a football game on TV he thinks it's at Tulsa. He screams all excitedly, "Tulsa! Tulsa! Football in Tulsa! Remember Tulsa?"

Sunday morning came too early after our late night, but we got up anyway and drove about 40 minutes to attend church in my beloved Cleveland Ward. (It was a branch ten years ago. Also Home of the Cleveland Cut of '97) I served in Clevie-Land twice on my mission: my second area and my last area, so a big chunk of time was spent there. It was so great to see people I hadn't seen for so long--many of whom were people I taught or new converts when I was there, now serving in Bishopbrics and Relief Society. What an AWESOME place!

We stayed with the S****** family Sunday night, and had such fun. Their three little girls, Ashland, Savannah, and Courtland, aren't so little anymore. They're in 12th, 11th, and 10th grades now, respectively. Savannah especially took to little Ty and he adored her. So crazy that when I was there, she wasn't much older than he is now!

After Charlotte's FAMOUS chocolate chess pie, some great recipe sharing, talking, laughing, and more Cleveland Highlights (Bishop Jeff doing a little dance for us!) we took our Homemade Loaf of Bread (yes, I meant to capitalize it, it is that good!) on the road through Northern Arkansas up to Branson, MO.

They make this bread every Saturday night so that they'll have homemade yumminess for the Sacrament.

We found this big chair at a store called "Oops!" It has a bunch of factory seconds and other odd and interesting items for really cheap. It has TONS of holiday decorations, along with anything else you can think of. I was bummed when they said there aren't any other Oops stores. I don't think I'll make it up to Springdale, AR very often.

We found some great deals on this trip! We managed to get a bagful of stuff at this Oops store for under $20. We also ran across an Old Navy Outlet store that was closing, so everything was 60% off already marked down prices! And we seemed to hit it at just the right time because there was a lot of selection still. We majorly hauled on clothes for Tyler! There were also random yard sales all along the way, and we stopped at a couple, picking up toys and random things, as well as talking with the locals. I love Southern people. So very very friendly.
This entry is getting long, and I'm getting tired, so stay tuned for Part Two, Branson: Land of Senior Citizens.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Be Back Soon

We're still winding our way through the back roads of the Ozarks, and having a great time!

I'll be back next week to post all the details of our fun.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ice Cream and Beer

This week we went to San Antonio and spent time with our cousins Spencer, Sara, Adelaide, and Kamorah. We went swimming at our hotel pool (Tyler got his first bee sting but was very brave) and then out to dinner at Pei Wei (I always like to call it Pee Wee just for fun, in honor of my childhood--and I must say my current-- hero, Pee Wee Herman). Brad and I were first-timers there, and we were impressed. Yummy. Yes, I did leave my Somersize eating ways for a couple days. I've decided I'm okay with that. I can go off of it on these little trips--I'll get back on the horse at home. Which I do. I never cheat at home.

No, I didn't get any pictures as we stayed past closing time at Pee Wee discussing various important topics as American History, Texas Life, College Football, Mission stories, and who we want the next Apostle to be.

The next day our little family traveled up to Killeen for the first time, where Brad had some appointments. Killeen is a military town, as a big Army base is right there. We stayed at the best hotel we've found (within the company's budget) since we've been in Texas. Of course, we have stayed in some funky places here in Texas, and on our way here as well.

Any way, this hotel has new, clean, big rooms, nice furnishings, lots of extras, and a GREAT hot breakfast. Our only complaint is that the pool doesn't go any deeper than 3 1/2 feet. But we dealt with it! If you ever happen to find yourself in Killeen, TX, stay at the Comfort Suites hotel off of Hwy 190. It's nice, and a lot cheaper than all the San Antonio hotels we've stayed at! Of course, Killeen isn't quite as exciting as San Antonio, either.

On our way home we stopped off in Brenham, home of Blue Bell ice cream. If you're lucky enough to have lived in one of the seventeen states where they currently sell Blue Bell, you know how yummy it is. It was a great tour--not too long, and pretty interesting, and at the end you get a free cup of ice cream. Awesome!

Every time we say smile, this is what he does. Oh well, our little ice cream man is having fun!

True to his picky self, Tyler enjoys a nice cup of plain vanilla. It's actually their #1 seller, so I guess he's ahead of the game.

After a little lesson about milking cows, we're good to go!

On the way home, I also found a great idea for a new business. I wouldn't even have to change the signs!

P.S. You know I'm kidding about Pee Wee being my hero, right? I've moved on to Joe, from Blues Clues.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Daddy's Boy

We had a fun weekend, starting with the BYU victory against Arizona, and ending with a trip to Lake Livingston State Park on Labor Day. Ty especially loved having an extra day with his Dad. Those two are best buds.

Singing the Cougar Fight Song after their first touchdown.

Feeding the ducks on Lake Livingston.

This was not set up! He wanted to read his "Daddy book" before bed, and he fell asleep with it.

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