Wednesday, June 30, 2010

South Padre, before the storms started...and after

I have hundreds of pictures, and many of them are from the first few days of travel, spending the night in Austin, and then a day and night in San Antonio. I'll get to those later. For now, I'm starting with the South Padre pictures, taken Monday through today.
First day on the beach:

When the hurricane warning was announced, businesses started shutting down and boarding up. Most people left; we're the only family left in our condo. The Queen Isabella Causeway is now closed, due to hurricane winds. It's the only bridge into the city.

The sky looked pretty ominous yesterday evening...
and it started to storm last night...

This morning, when we woke up around 6:30 am, the storm was in full gear.

We spent some time on one of the patios, during a break in the harshest weather.

Below, the rain was so hard, it was impossible to see down the street. The winds pushed us back against the wall. A street sign flew off, singles came off of the house across from us, and the neighbors next to us lost their fence. Our power went out for several hours, came back, and went off again. I doubt we'll keep it through the night, as the storm gets worse and worse. When Hurricane Alex makes landfall in Mexico, they are predicting a major storm surge here. As they say, "you haven't see anything yet!"

Please pray for safety, power, and that our vehicles won't flood.
We're safe on the second level, but our cars are not. We have plenty of food, water, flashlights, and we're enjoying this memorable family time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 things that make my day...

(Keeping with the spirit of>Color Me Katie, and inspired by the Woods...)

10 Things That Make My day

1. Old men in wigs.

2. Sister Nights, with the most wonderful gals on earth3. Shoes as bright as flowers

4. Watching children at play
5. Helping my Man conquer the world 6.Sleeping children. 'Nuf said.

7. time with books.
8. Beautiful buildings with huge windows and amazing art (a museum, in this case)

9. standing in awe before the power of storms

10. Gifts from my children What makes you happy?

Gift Swap

Yesterday I received my package for Morning Glories and Moonflowers gift swap.
It came from Michelle at Earthly Treasures.
Look at all the polka dots! A wonderful tablecloth with matching banana split bowls, long polka spoons and even dotted grocery and To-do lists! Such fun stuff! Thank you, Michelle!! We're already enjoying the presents!
I also found a great deal on search-and-find books at a thrift store yesterday!
Yeah for good deals, right when I need them!

We're gonna be blogging from the road soon!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Days are here to stay

The kids wondered why we aren't flying. Well, simply put, it's because we're poor.

But, you know, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with driving. I'm okay with bypassing amusement parks or ocean tours, in favor if downtime at the coast every day. I'm more than okay with this amazing opportunity we have to travel together. Being on the low-end of the financial pool keeps us creative! Sure, I would fly if we had the money-- but we don't, and that's fine. You use what you've got.
I grew up at the high-end of middle class...but I don't remember "things." I can't recall a single Christmas gift I received as a child. I barely remember Disney World. The things that stuck with me were family game nights, weekend camping trips, the super-long stocked art table that my parents had set up for us. I remember long walks by the creek, "special times" with my Dad, and creek swimming (My parents swam with us; they never stayed on the shore the entire time, reading or tanning.) I remember all the TIME we had together. And that is what I want my kids to remember. :-D

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I love love love my nephews and nieces, and I'm so thankful that they all live nearby.
Last night my Man and sister and bro-in-law went to Stupid Movie Night. It's really not my thing, so I stay home and watch kiddos. I'm SuperWoman, (right?) so putting all the kiddos to bed should be no problem: 10-, 8-, 5-, 4-, 3-, 2-year old...piece of cake.

One kid had a plan from the beginning. I could see it on his smug little face. Can you pick him out of the bunch?? The wheels were turning... plan was forming.... "keep Aunt Wendy on her toes." It was a game.

After two hours of "the game" I came up with an awesome solution....

Nah, just kidding. He did eventually fall asleep. Good thing for you, kid, that I haven't finished sewing that straight jacket yet. ;-P~~~

Friday, June 18, 2010

5 Unusual South Padre Facts

A lot of you already knew the destination (so thanks for just sending emails with your confirmation!) The closest guess was Sinai. Yes, we are heading to South Padre, TX, rated one of the Top Ten Beaches in the United States.

I'm a homeschooler, you know, and we never just take the easy route. I can't just tell the kids, "hey we're heading out on a road trip, to Texas and we'll see the beach." No way; I had the kids look up "verifiable, unusual facts" about our destination. Might as well learn as much as we can beforehand, to make the experience really stick. If they read enough about the history of the area, it'll be more interesting to see the "real place."

Soooo, these are the things they came up with:

1. We'll be crossing over on Queen Isabella Causeway, which is the longest bridge in Texas, and the only road connecting South Padre to the mainland.

We'll also visit Port Isabel. Unusual for us, because The Artist is an Isabelle. We've never visited a place that carries her name (different spelling, but close enough!)

2. Every Friday night, there is a fireworks display over the ocean. Really, how many places do this? It's obviously a year-round tourist location.
3. Pirates!! South Padre was apparently a popular location for pirates, and numerous treasures have been found buried on the island. They still offer Treasure Hunts, for eager tourists. 4. The lower Laguna Madre Bay is a hyper-saline estuary bay system, one of only a few in the world. Because of the extra salt, jellyfish and Portuguese Man O War are much more common. Did you know that salt water & vinegar are the best treatments for a sting? I never would've guessed. 5. Padre Island is the longest barrier island in the United States, and is home to 11 endangered species.

Fun stuff! We're busy planning and packing!