Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Southwest Texas Roadtrip - 2

On our first morning at the Indian Lodge, we hiked one of the trails before it got too hot.  The humidity was in the low 20's, but the altitude of the mountains made the sun pretty intense.

Elevation is between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level.

The Davis Mountains are inside the Chihuahuan Desert and due to its elevation, they receive more rain than the surrounding desert.

(The red dot is where the Davis Mountains are located, about 80 miles north of the border, Presidio, TX.)

Because we LOVE history....

(Top right, school house/dance hall/ church.   Bottom left and right, officers' quarters.)

Fort Davis.

From 1854-1891, this well-preserved frontier fort was strategically placed to protect settlers, mail coaches, and freight wagons from Apache attacks.

(Top left, enlisted mens' barracks.  Top right, married officers' homes.  Bottom left, kitchen behind and unattached to the home of a married officer's.)

(Commanding officer's home, master bedroom, children's bedroom - with many original pieces of furniture.)

Anniversary dinner down in Alpine, Texas.

Day 4

The last day took us way up high to check out the McDonald Observatory.

These are the "darkest skies" in all of North America.  The McDonald Observatory hosts some of the world's largest telescopes that allow man to peer deep into space.

The activity called for a rest by the lodge pool.

Hey, do you want to see what the Indian Lodge looked like?

This 39 room pueblo-style lodge was built in 1933 by the CCC.  The adobe bricks were made from mud and grass and the the working man's feet!  All furniture and columns were hand crafted from pine trees found in other parts of Texas.

We stayed in the "newer" section built in 1965.  That addition included the pool and restaurant.

The last evening...

We took a drive up to a scenic point inside the state park for some breathtaking views.

God's creation is so amazing!

We are so grateful to have taken in such beautiful, Texas scenery on this trip.  The sand dunes, the oasis swimming pool, the mountains...Texas is so unique!

~ Patty ~

Monday, July 27, 2015

Southwest Texas Roadtrip

Our road trip to celebrate our 20th was awesome!

Texas is SO stinkin' big and beautiful.  My word!

The first day was spent on the road, making it to Odessa, TX for the night (land of the oil fields).

Day 2 was a-ma-zing!!

We hit the Monahans Sandhills State Park way out in Monahans, TX...way early to avoid baking desert sun.

What a cardio workout!  Crazy and fun.

Next we headed to Balmorhea State Park in Balmorhea, TX to cool off in a real desert oasis!

In the early 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) used the Solomon Springs to create the world's largest, spring-fed swimming pool.

1.75 acres of crystal clear refreshing swimming!

This V-shaped pool was 30' deep (in the center ) and filled with fish and even turtles!

An oasis in the desert!

Early settlers have used the ancient springs for a rest stop and a way to irrigate the crops in the desert.

Next stop, a scenic drive up into the Davis Mountains State Park (over 5,000 feet above sea level) where we stayed for 3 nights at the Indian Lodge.

Not bad for one day of fun, huh?

More to come...

~  Patty  ~

Friday, July 17, 2015

We Got Hitched

On July 21, 1995

20 years ago (a Friday night Nuptial Mass)

6:00 o'clock in the evening

Big D and I are bustin' out of town!  Woot!  Woot!

We are flying Grammy down (she arrives tomorrow) to stay with the kids ..........  the first time in 5 years that we are getting away all by ourselves!

We feel like love-struck teenagers!

We come from LONG lines of love...

Our parents celebrated a total of 104 years of Holy Matrimony before both of our fathers passed away.

David's side of the Holy Matrimony tree ::

Top left - David's maternal grandparents, Germain and Samuel Gaines

Bottom left - David's parents, Clare and William Hughes

Bottom right - David's paternal grandparents, James and Helen Hughes

My side of the Holy Matrimony tree ::

Top left - my maternal grandparents, Frances and Louis Achin

Bottom left - my parents, Loretta and Joseph Story

Bottom right - my paternal grandparents, Adrian and Erma Story

Please keep my mom (Grammy) in your prayers that all goes well while we are gone (almost a week),  and toss a spare one up for Big D and I, that we have a safe trip.  I would be forever in your debt ;)

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ombre Hair

Oh to be a teenager again!

Miss Sally is having a FUN summer working as a swim instructor aide (split shifts, 8 hours a day), earning a great paycheck (and a tan), and coloring her hair for the first time (with her own moolah).

I think the ombre style turned out quite pretty!

Ombre Hair - highlights toward the ends of the hair which originated in France (according to Pinterest...)

Oh to be a 3 year old again (with natural ombre hair)!

Women pay BIG bucks for this look.  (Just ask Miss Sally ;)

And then I cut  6" off!

She twiddles her hair while she sucks her thumb, never leaving in pony tails.  In fact, she breaks the strands of hair when she pulls the pony tail out.   I was tired of her looking like a wild child, somewhat on the unkept side.

She still is wild, but at least looks more presentable ;)

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The BIG Race!

It is every parents' duty to embarrass their children.  

Miss Sally and the neighbor, Eddie, swim for different swim teams.  They've always joked about having a race between the two of them. 

Hours after Sally and Eddie left for the mission trip, their fathers raced for them in Miss Clementine's baby pool  ;)

Shortly after the competition took place, photos appeared on Facebook so the teens (and their friends) could be proud of their fathers!

There was an inquiry as to how much these two fellas had to drink, to which they responded, "Athletes like this do not drink!"

(We don't get often, folks ;)

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, July 12, 2015

DIY Loft Bed

Miss Mabel and Ester share a bedroom.

Miss Ester has a school desk by her bed.

There was no room for one by Miss Mabel's.

So....after perusing Pinterest, David and Mabel decided to assemble a really cool loft bed for her.

Let the building begin.

David made Miss Mabel measure and mark all the pieces.  (She is REALLY good at that, BTW!)

Then he double checked them all before they cut the pieces and assembled.

Don't ask me about measurements, because the project went seriously fast!  I took Miss Clementine to ballet and when I came home I found this...

The frame was secured on three corners with super securing screws (I hope) and a braided, nylon rope anchored to the ceiling running to the fourth corner.

I do know the bed has to be 30" below the ceiling.  (That wall is  8' but the ceilings angle up to 10')

I was like, holy crap!  That's really fast progress in 75 minutes!

After a lunch break, they installed the ladder and rail.

Waa Laa!

It was ready to be slept in.

A few days later, I drove Miss Mabel over to IKEA (I love that store!) to pick out a new desk and chair.

She and I assembled it without Big D's help!

The finished product...

Before ::

Mabel's twin bed is on the left in the picture below.  Ester's is on the right.

(Since I forgot to take a BEFORE picture, I threw in these two from when we painted the room a few years ago and put the new flooring in last year.)


School just became a little more exciting for this child who is growing up a little too quickly ;)

~  Patty ~

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's for Sunday dinner?

Anyone with big plans for the weekend? 

We are going to be low key this weekend.  I like low key every once in awhile.

For Sunday dinner I am in the mood for some Stuffed Jumbo Shells with garlic bread and salad on the side.  (Recipe here)

And for dessert, I'm planning on baking Black Bottom Cupcakes ... cupcakes stuffed with cream cheese and chocolate chips morsels!  (Recipe here)

Here's an unfrosted cupcake picture of heavenly awesome-ness!!

Wishing you a perfectly awesome weekend and a delicious-filled Sunday!

~  Patty  ~


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