Enjoying the Gulf Coast

Day 209

I went to ask one of the guys in the park about the rod we got for Nation to fish from the shore. He told me it was great and then invited me to go out on the Gulf with him in his boat. That was too good to pass up. Fishing from a boat here and seeing the bayou sounded great. We headed to Fort Fouchon to a public dock, and the took a few channels past the port to the mouth of the Gulf. The water to was rough, so we stayed behind a rock barrier, and watched the waves crash so big that they would spray up and over the barrier toward us. We spent the better part of the day trolling along the rocks, watching the supply ships go by (within 100s of feet), and enjoying the water. It was cool and we did get rained and sprinkled on, but it was nice to be out on the water. We were looking for Reds ( Red Drum) which are a super fun, fighting fish. They can get as big as 60 inches, but we have been catching them from 25 to 40″.  Cleaning them is a chore, even though we only fillet the, the scales are like armor.

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Day 210

Danielle and I have been running every morning, but yesterday and today, the wind on the beach was too cold. So we took our time getting moving, an then took the kids to the library. Justice has been reading a book a day, and Nation is not far behind. We actually have to make them  stop reading to get them  to bed. Not the worst problem a parent could have. We also rented the History Channel’s “The Louisiana Purchase”. It was great to watch when we could actually discuss places we have been through. It makes history come alive.

Day 211

Another cold day. The storm up north have caused the weather here to be cooler than usual. Each day now is supposed to warm up. I went to the dock at the east end of the island, and checked on work. Not sure what will come about, but I am still hoping that the shrimp boat of a guy I worked with in Dallas works out, or the neighbors next to the campground will have work. They came here 30 years ago for a short job, and have been working with oil companies and the local government  ever since. Danielle and the kids are back on work and school schedules, so it is great to see them getting settled.

Day 212

The kids and I cleaned the Laundry/common room at the campground, as we are all celebrating together for Thanksgiving. One couple BBQ’d a turkey, and everyone else filled in with traditional food. We had a great meal and visit, and learned a lot about the local history. The cotton, slave and pirate history is exciting  for us farm  folk….

We walked to the beach for a Thanksgiving Day family photo.


Days 195 – 208 – Leaving Dallas and Headed Back to Grand Isle

Day 197, Wed, Nov 13 – The kids and I took a field trip to the Texas Motor Speedway. I must be honest and say that none of us follow racing to any degree, so we really didn’t know what to expect. But just seeing this speedway from a distance was mind-boggling. It is huge! Once we found the tour building, we jumped in a van with the tour guide, and he proceeded to fill tremendous details. For instance, there are 1000-3000 sq ft condos at the second turn of the track, and the prices range from $300,000 to $900,000. The Texas Motor Speedway is the only track owned by Bruton Smith that he built from scratch (was not already in existence). The speedway is in the process of getting the Big Hoss TV screen, which will be 79% bigger than the screen at the Cowboys stadium, so it will be nearly as large at the condo building that is next to its spot! In the center of the track are RV hookups, repair bays, a care center with a helipad (and 5 doctors and 7 nurses on call during races), the only Sunoco fuel station in the state of Texas, and Fuzzy’s Taco shop, which is the only food on site (all concessions are outside of the seating area). There are 45 pit stop areas, which are between the light poles (see pictures). In the stands, the red seating is roughly ground level prior to the removal of I can’t recall how many cubic tons of dirt so that the track is out of the wind as much as possible. Behind the stadium seating, there are 194 catered suites seating 64 in each. There are two dirt tracks next to the main track, one of which the Bandero cars race. Generally the tour guide will take the van out on the track so the tourists can get a feel for the 24 degree angle in the turns, but the track was being used by Team Texas on the day of our tour. However, because of this we got to watch several cars make their way around the track, and the tour guide explained to us where the cars need to be in the lanes during the straights and the turns. We learned quite a bit and had a great time. I highly recommend such a tour to everyone.

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Day 199, Fri, Nov 15 – The kids and I joined the NICHE homeschool group for a tour of the Dallas Museum of Biblical Arts. Most of the tour was spent discussing just a few rooms of art, so the museum provided us with tickets for free admission later, although I don’t know that we’ll get the chance to use them (though I would certainly go back!). We spent nearly an hour discussing Tapestry of the Centuries, a 9×18 foot canvas painted by Vladimir Gorsky which comprises the people and events that shaped world history from the birth of Jesus Christ through 1999 AD, just prior to Y2K. The kids also participated in a scavenger hunt in a room that included The Resurrection Mural by Ron DiCianni, which depicts the moment Christ walked out of the tomb after conquering death. We also enjoyed a quick run through the Bible collection, which was quite extensive, and included original printings of the original 1611 King James Version, all of which were slightly different in content. I was able to view and read about the “wicked” Bible, which was printed in 1631 and included a terrible error: The 6th commandment reads “Thou shall commit adultery.” This mistake eventually lead to the bankruptcy of the printer. There was other incredible art with plenty of great stories. It was a great field trip.

Day 201 – Jacin was supposed to land in Dallas from Denver at roughly 11:40 pm, but his plane was an hour late, so he officially landed today, Sunday morning. So we got to bed pretty late, then up fairly early to hit our last church service. Justice’s youth group had recorded a good-bye video that they presented in worship, and her life group had a good-by party. We will all greatly miss Irving Bible Church. It is a God-fearing, bible believing church with authentic people who do great things for the community. After church, the boys dropped Justice and I off at the Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall, where we spent the rest of the day trying on much and finding little, but just enjoying some girl time as a way to celebrate her upcoming 14th birthday. We also picked up the recent IronWorks magazine which features my sister, Jessi Combs, on the cover as well as a great article inside.

Day 202, Monday, Nov 18 – I worked a bit and we took our time getting packed and heading out of Dallas. We were originally going to leave first thing so we could make it to Grand Isle in one day, but rather than be in a hurry, we did some last-minute running and said our good-byes to our friends in the RV park. We drove until dark, making it to a Louisiana Welcome Center near Alexandria, where we stayed for the night as the tail lights on the pickup were pitching a fit.

Day 203, Tuesday, November 19 – We woke up and had a quick celebration for Justice on her official birthday. Nation had bought her an old-fashioned fountain pen, and I had picked her up some little things we found together during our mall trip. Then we hit the road, and we made it back to Grand Isle! It took us a while to get settled in the RV Park, after which we were “bombarded” by neighborly love from everyone else who is staying here, and officially invited to our first “family” dinner of boiled shrimp (and everything else you throw in the pot for flavor: potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, spices, etc). I had work to do so made my way back to the RV, but the boys visited for quite a while with our new neighbors. It was so refreshing to sleep in a quiet town with no traffic noise. We are so thrilled to be back!

Day 204 – Jacin set his alarm for 6:00 so we could catch the sunrise on the beach and run together (yes, really, this was his idea). So we were up early with 68 degree temps and enjoyed a nice jog on the beach. The weather showed that today might be our last sunny day for a while, so after getting ready for the day, we played hooky and explored the beach and checked out the nearby communities today. It was sunny but windy, but we had a great time together. We also spent some time checking out the library and we got an official Grand Isle Public Library card. Justice has been reading through books too quickly not to take advantage of this great resource, and we are thrilled that it is here.

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Day 205 – Jacin and I went running again. We enjoy the time together first thing in the morning. The kids jumped back into schoolwork, though it will be a light load today and tomorrow rather than jumping into a new full week of lessons now. Jacin cleaned the roof of the RV and fixed some plumbing, then after school work was complete, we took the kids to the park for P.E., where we dinked around on the equipment (I was scoping it out for workout possibilities). Then we walked down the road and found some abandoned rope swings. Jacin and I showed the kids how to climb ropes, then Justice got brave and decided to climb on an (old) elevated platform so she could get to a higher rope. Suddenly, we heard a crash, but when we turned to look, Justice was not there! She had fallen through and hurt her ankle, so we headed back to the RV to rest a bit. We had a fairly quiet rest of the day. We finished the evening by watching a great old movie, “Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines.”

Day 206, Fri, Nov 22 – Jacin was too sore to run far today (we did a few sprint drills on Wed that are catching up with him, along with the pullups and other things he tried at the park yesterday 😦 ), so we took a nice long walk on the beach this morning. After schoolwork, we hit the library again, this time being allowed an unlimited supply after returning our first three checked items, so we stored up for the weekend on books and a few movies. The library is nice and small, which allows justice to really pick through the books and decide what she thinks will be a good read, rather than just guessing with an overwhelming selection. We then stopped by a local welder’s house to have him fix a broken fender bracket from the RV (which didn’t hold up when Jacin tried installing it later). Then we headed to Elmer Island for an afternoon of beach fun. Elmer Island is just up the road from Grand Isle, and is only open on Fri, Sat, and Sun each week. It is the only local beach that can be driven on, so we took advantage of that and really checked out the beach. When we got to the end, there were a few people fishing, so we let Nation have a go at it. I collected seed pods that were strewn about the sand, Justice walked the beach looking for treasures, and Jacin had fun catching hermit crabs. It was 75 degrees outside, warm enough that we were all rolling our pants up as high as they would go and doing the same with our sleeves. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and we are so blessed to be spending time at the beach this time of year, when the temperatures at home are so terribly cold. This is truly a dream come true! Nation and Jacin ate fried fish and clams with the neighbors, and Justice and I had homemade chicken noodle soup.

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Day 207 – Jacin talked to some neighbors inquiring about work on the island, and it sounds like he may have something lined up in a few weeks. Then the boys headed back to Elmer Island to fish while Justice and I stayed back to read and work. The boys watched as several men brought in some HUGE redfish as well as a couple of sharks, and Nation got to hold one! Then, they invited Nation to take over their pole and catch a fish. He brought in two 3-foot long red fish, with great effort, and the men let him keep them. The boys brought the fish home to clean, which was quite an experience. These fish have scales like armor, and cutting through them sounds like cutting through thin rock (like mica schist). Lanny, the RV Park owner, showed Jacin how to get to the meat and what to discard. I am on a gut-healing journey, so I asked Jacin to save me a carcass to cook into broth. Well, the head alone filled the biggest pot I had, but I was able to sneak in a few fins and some carcasses of smaller fish caught by Lanny. While the fish broth was cooking, Jacin took both kids back to Elmer Island in hopes of holding more sharks and having more adventures. However, the wind had come up and the fishing fun was over. When the family returned, they were welcomed home by the inviting smell of boiling fish heads (which I will NOT do again inside the RV!!!). We spent the next several hour trying to air out the house, everyone bundled up in clothes so we could keep the windows open and the fans running. Live and learn, right?

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Day 208, Sunday – We had a nice quinoa pancake breakfast, then everyone got ready for church. We headed to the First Methodist church just a few blocks away, and it literally took us one minute to get there. There were less than 20 people in attendance, and the pastor preaches a sermon in a church up north along the bayou, so the congregants start the worship without him, and when he arrives, he takes over.  It was a good service, and we are hoping to get the kids involved in the Wednesday night youth programs, although they won’t be meeting this week due to the holiday.  Hopefully the kids will have a chance to meet others their age before the next youth activity.  After church, Jacin and I headed up the road 35 miles to Walmart to stock up on things that we can’t get locally (which for restricted diets turns out to be quite a bit).  Stocking up with limited RV storage is a bit challenging, so it will be interesting to see how long we make this trip last.

More in Dallas, and visiting home – Days 154 -194

We are past the need for apologies, right? I mean, it’s become quite clear to anyone who is actually following the blog that I am constantly falling behind. Being in Dallas for such a long time has gotten me lazy with that part of my job, because we are in a routine, and with routine comes dullness. We have had some great days mixed in with our daily grind in the last month, but there is not a lot of exciting detail to report. I will highlight those “special” days below, but all in all, there was a lot of schooling for the kids and working for the parents. We are set to move on in about a week, though (details in the blog posting below), so we will have more to report about our daily experiences very soon. Thanks for hanging in there!  (FYI – Generally, any pictures in the post that do not include one of the kids were taken by Justice, as she has a more steady hand than her momma.)

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Afternoon of painting together – sometimes they do get along!

Day 156 – Thurs, Oct 3 – The kids and I were headed to the zoo. First we hit a Corian repair shop to pick up our sink cover, which had been mortally wounded in a dish-washing accident. Per my increasingly impressive navigation skills, the repair center was within a few miles of the zoo, so we could just swing by on the way. After picking it up, however, something dawned on me. The Dallas Zoo was within a few miles away, but I seemed to recall that it was the Fort Worth Zoo for which I had already purchased tickets to the homeschool event. Even though this area is called the DFW (Dallas-Forth Worth), the FW part of this lovely reference is really not very close. Needless to say, it took another hour to get to the right zoo, and the kids were impressed yet again with my skills (ask them about my “short cuts” sometime). It was fairly hot and humid, but we did enjoy our time visiting all of the animals. We spent a good 30 minutes with the monkeys, and even got to watch one force himself to throw up several times. (I had never seen this kind of behavior before, but I recently listened to an interview with a Paleo author- yes, I am a nerd – and he mentioned that many zoos were witnessing this sort of behavior with apes until they started feeding them a diet similar to what they ate in the wild. I found this fascinating, especially since just having seen it for myself.) The kids enjoyed watching the boy and girl Rhinos “party” (I believe Justice’s actual words were, “Gross! Really?” And dear Nation wondered out loud, “Why is he wiggling like that?”) We also enjoyed the ostrich who walked around with his head hanging between his legs. It was a very educational day, and good fun was had by all.

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Day 162 – Wed, Oct 9 – My fearless sister, Jessi Combs, broke a women’s landspeed record today! The kids and I were hoping to be there in person, but getting to eastern Oregon from Dallas turned out to be surprisingly hassle-filled. Thankfully, my mom and her wonderful hubby were there (along with my little sis, and my dad made it too!!), and mom kept us up-to-speed during each attempt. We were all very excited about her success! Check out this link if you haven’t already heard or read about this:


Day 165 – Sat, Oct 12 – While driving to boxing lessons this week (which should be on everyone’s bucket list, by the way! Thank you Groupon for allowing to me to try it out so cheaply!), I saw a sign for an Armenian Festival, so we headed to check it out. It was hot and humid (as always), but we had a great time watching several traditional dance performances and watching women make Baklava rolls, as well as looking through historic artifacts and learning a bit about the culture. We were all a bit surprised when the announcer said everything in both English and Armenian. It seemed as though this would be unnecessary in the middle of Texas, but it’s not the first time we’ve found small communities within this city that have simply transplanted themselves here while attempting to remain in their own country, so to speak. Fascinating! After attending this fest, we headed to downtown Carrollton just a few miles away for Santa Fe Days, a Native American Festival. This proved to be very similar to such gatherings at home, with the traditional drum dancing and feathered wardrobe. Nation made a bird feeder there, after which we called it a day and headed home to cool off.

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Day 166 – Jacin’s 3rd day off! After church, we took the kids to the Texas State Fair, the biggest fair in the world! Even knowing this, I don’t think any of us were prepared by the enormity of it all. After quite a drive, it took us another 20 minutes to figure out parking. Once in, we walked through the entire fair, looking at vendor booths and car shows (displaying upcoming models), checking out the rides, and enjoying the overcast day. We rode the tram through the park to see it from above, and Nation and I went on a kiddie roller coaster (which proved to be too much for both of us), and Jacin and Justice hit a bigger one. We didn’t partake in much fair food, but they had everything you could imagine fried: fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried Nutella, fried Thanksgiving dinner, fried meatloaf, fried grilled cheese sandwich, fried spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken and waffles, fried snickers, fried Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups, fried butter, and fried beer, to name a few. I was grateful for the Saladmaster vendor booth that provided a lovely fresh chopped salad, which prevented me from starving. We also found some Nada Moo coconut milk ice cream for $3.50/pint (a steal!), which we all shared. Justice had a burger and fries, but otherwise we tried to hold off on eating dinner on-site. We wrapped up our day with a Mediterranean dinner at It’s All Greek To Me and called it a day.

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Day 169 – Wed, Oct 16 – I had one final weekend intensive in Fort Collins before graduating from Quantum Energetics Institute, and due to Jacin’s crazy schedule, the kids had to come along. So, we decided to make a trip out of it and visit home. My brother had planned a biking trip in Moab, UT, so it worked out that he could pick us up on his way back to Rapid City. I had a great time visiting with him on the 6-hour drive home. The kids were pretty quiet for most of the trip, as we didn’t arrive in Denver until 6:00 pm, but Justice perked up quite a bit when we were about 20 miles from home. She was exclaiming how she recognized everything and was so excited to see it all, even to the point of “oh glorious random bridge!” We didn’t pull in until roughly 1:30 am, to be greeted by our beloved borgy (beagle/corgy), Kira, and my anxious momma. Poor Kira was frightened by the kids running towards her in the dark pulling their large luggage, and she took off around the house. It took Justice quite a while to coax her out! But in the house, she would not stop licking us and whining for more lovin’. She’s such a good dog, and we were very thrilled that she had not forgotten us. We all stayed up until around 2:30, and finally forced ourselves to go to bed.

Day 170 – We had coordinated with Jacin’s aunt and uncle, Roxie and Dave, who were visiting from Mitchell, SD, to meet us for lunch with Jacin’s mom, who had no idea we were coming. We thought she may have figured it out with all the weird answers we had been trying not to give her in the weeks preceding our trip home, but we were happily surprised to find that she truly did not have a clue. It was so much fun to just walk in and see the look on her face! Dave had to run back to Mitchell, but we enjoyed a lunch in Kris’s apartment along with Roxie and my mom. We made plans for the kiddos to spend some time with them over the next couple of days, then headed out to pick up my car. Oh, my car! Yes, I knew I missed it, but I did not realize just how much it missed me! It was wagging its rack and everything. 🙂 There is simply something special about a standard 5-speed turbo that just can’t be beat. After attempting to park the Tundra for the last 6 months (without much luck), I was so looking forward to whipping in and out of crammed spaces with ease. It’s the simple things, really, that make me happy I guess.

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Surprise, Grandma Kris!                                                                      Nation’s choice project at Grandma Nina’s house.

Days 171-180 – The kids kept me busy taxiing them to visit friends, and I did get to spend a bit of time with my best friend Natalie and my good friend Matt. I unfortunately had a LOT of work to do while I was in Rapid City, though, so most of my time was spent sitting in front of a computer and delivering reports to clients. It was nice to see several of them in person, though, and I am ever grateful for their flexibility with my extended travel. I did find time to work on my mother’s kitchen while I was staying at her house, whether she wanted me to or not. She had removed all of her upper cabinet doors when she moved in back in 1997 with the intent to update them, but they had never been put back on. So there were shelves, especially those above the stove, that needed to be sorted through and cleaned. I also had a VERY BIG NEED to clear off her counters, taking as many appliances as possible and putting them into the newly cleared out cupboards, and finishing the entire project with a repainting and rehanging of the doors. I am not sure how many hours we spent on this project, nor how many tears I forced my mom to shed (poor thing), but we were successful! I was reminded at just how poorly I can plan the time it will take to complete projects, unless they are accounting related. I was hoping to help her with so much more, but my time quickly ran out. I headed to Fort Collins on Thursday for a weekend full of classes, and my mom came down with her family and my kids to celebrate graduation with me. After 20 months of studying, classes, interning, and practicing, I’m officially a Quantum Energetics Structured Therapy practitioner! I am not sure what God will have me do with this wonderful either while we are still traveling or when we plant ourselves back home, but I am trusting that he will use it for his glory.

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Kyrie, Justice, and Nation headed to Fort Collins                                             Graduation Celebration

After graduation, all three kids somehow got on the topic of the meaning of the word “ditto”, which led to a bet that if either Nation or Kyrie ordered a dipped ditto cone at Dairy Queen, Justice would pay them one dollar. Well, Nation pulled it off quite well, without much smiling, until the poor girl at the register said, “Uhhh, sorry?” Then we all cracked up, but the Dairy Queen employees didn’t seem to think we were funny. They basically gave the kids their ice cream then kicked us out so they could close up.

While we were in Rapid City, Jacin got to know a few of his co-workers better as well as some other adjusters in the RV park. He even went to a Steve Earl concert! I was thrilled that he was taking this time to enjoy himself a little, which he hadn’t done much of since we arrived.


Day 181 – Monday, Oct 28 – Mom, Chuck, and Kyrie stayed with us in Fort Collins long enough to enjoy a lunch together at Garbanzo’s, and then they were gracious enough to drive my car home for me while the kids and I jumped into a rental car to dink around until our late flight out of Denver. It was so good to see everyone, but it went by much too quickly. I am not sure why I was expecting it to be different than other trips to visit family – probably because it’s really the first time I’ve visited home. It’s truly a strange concept for me. Hopefully the kids have filled their tanks with fun memories of their friends, enough to get them through to the end of this adventure.

Day 183 – Wed, Oct 30 – Jacin was notified today that Friday will be his last day on the job. We have some planning to do! This is about 2 weeks earlier than originally expected, although there had been rumors flying around that it would likely happen. The work load had lightened up substantially, and at least one group ahead of Jacin’s had been let go early as well. He is relieved, as the last few weeks of monotony have been hard on my can’t-still-still-even-when-on-vacation husband. Now we just need to figure out what to do during November…

Day 184 – Halloween! Well, Justice is officially too old for the festivities, or at least that’s what she’s been insisting for the last several days as we’ve been trying to figure out a costume for Nation. Nation wanted to be a vampire, with real teeth to glue on and the whole shebang, but it just seemed silly to invest too much in the costume, especially when we don’t have a bunch of room to hang onto something that is not in use. So, yesterday we hit the Goodwill store to go through the very picked through Halloween items. There were just parts and pieces of several different costumes, not one that was his size that was complete. So, I suggested that he go as everything, and he excitedly agreed. So my sweet son, who is generally very easy-going, dressed up in a witches hat, crazy glasses, a werewolf shirt (with fur at the neck and cuffs), a pink tutu, with a zombie’s scar on his leg. When it came time to go trick-or-treating, I wasn’t feeling well, so I just followed him through neighborhoods driving the truck as he walked around by himself. He was such a trooper, and I loved listening to people ask him what he was and enjoy his response of, “Confused!” He was such a hit that one house even gave him two extra large candy bars in addition to a handful of smaller candies. He had a good time. When we got home, he and Justice (who is too old to beg for candy but not too old to “swindle” it from her brother) sorted through the candy and made up a bag for their friend Ian, also living in the RV park, who couldn’t go out due to illness. It was a good night for sure!

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Day 185 – Friday, Nov 1 – It’s Jacin’s last day. We were hoping he’d be off in time to go on a field trip with us, but he didn’t quite make it. The kids and I headed to see a flying car! We were given a tour at the home of Dr Vernon Porter, who is working on the car in his garage. It has a foam interior and fiberglass exterior, with wings that fold underneath. It is the same footprint as a Cadillac Escalade, weighing 2000 lbs loaded with fuel and 2 passengers. It runs on regular car fuel and should range 400 miles at 150 mph before needing to refuel. He used a highly modified air-cooled engine from a 69 Corvair. He is hoping to get some publicity and some investors so that he can eventually sell the car as a kit (which will allow it to be classed as experimental aircraft, keeping the FAA out of the picture). This was a fun field trip and definitely got the gears in Nation’s head spinning. When we got home, Jacin had been there a while and had already replaced the rear hydraulic levelers on the RV, as well as had cleaned out the black tank so well that it finally read “empty” on the gauge (first time ever). I can tell that we are going to run out of things for him to do quite quickly!

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Day 186 – Nov 2 – We had a lazy morning and checked out a local gun shop, then headed to downtown Carrollton for a Festival at the Switchyard, an annual celebration with music and vendors. Nation got to jump on the Spider Jump and had a blast. We walked around a bit, but I started having gut problems, so we hit the movie store as well as the health food store before heading home. Jacin and I made homemade chicken noodle soup (with rice noodles), which is such a tremendous cure-all, and we watched Monster University as a family.


Day 187 – I am part of the choir at Irving Bible Church, and we were on for all three Sunday services, so I spent most of the day at the church while the family worked on laundry and other such fun things.

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Fun with hardware store purchases

Day 189 – Nov 5 – We’ve been watching the weather to determine the best day to take the DART train to downtown Dallas and tourist around, as there have been storms off and on for several days. The weather forecast today is overcast but warm, so we headed to the train station and jumped on board at nearly the beginning of the green line. We jumped off in Downtown Dallas, near the 6th Floor Museum. Then the kids and I spent two hours in the museum (Jacin had already seen it on an earlier trip to Dallas), learning about Kennedy and the day he was shot, and the days following. It is a really well-done museum. We joined Jacin for lunch at Chipotle, then jumped back on the train and headed to the art district. We walked around for quite a while checking out the sculptures all around town, although Justice seemed more interested in the more hidden artwork intrinsically alive in a big city. We had also read about a Samarai collection at St Anne’s School Building, which took a while to find, but it was certainly worth it. The kids were pretty wiped by the point, so they stared at the pieces from a bench while Jacin and I read the historical information provided with each piece. We headed back to the train and rode it further south so that we could ride it north again when it was dark and witness the city lights. The ride home was long but enjoyable, and we truly had a good day together.

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Day 193 – Sat, Nov 9 – Jacin flew to Denver today to help his best friend, Tony, remodel his bathroom before we head further east. Tickets from Dallas to Denver are quite a steal through Spirits airlines, silly not to take advantage of them. Before taking him to the airport, we hit the Grapevine Mills mall and the boys checked out the LEGOLAND Discovery center while Justice and I did a bit of shopping. The boys had fun with the 4D rides and the mini-models of Fort Worth and Star Wars Cities. After dropping Jacin off, the kids and I hit the grocery store and had a night in.

Day 194 – Today has been filled with church and laundry, and I’ve been working this afternoon while the kids read and play games. Justice has just finished dinner (spaghetti squash with tomato sauce), so I am headed out to enjoy dinner and a movie with the kiddos. I hope you enjoyed the (VERY LENGTHY) update, or if nothing else, the pictures.

Our plan at this point is to head back to Louisiana next Monday after Jacin is back from Denver. He hooked up with another insurance adjustor who has a few shrimp boats that need repairs, and then it sounds like he will try his hand at shrimping! We are excited to head where it’s a bit warmer, and then hopefully back to the Gulf coast for a while.

Blessings on you all! I will hopefully update within the next week with tails of our final field trips in Dallas as well as our first days back in LA.