Saturday, September 14, 2013

CaMpInG...My Kids New Favorite Thing

With a lot of weddings coming up for our family, our summer vacations looked a little different then normal...

To start off our summer, the Mavs and Os went camping at Garner State Park.   When Cheryl told us in late Spring that camping was the plan for this year's vacation, the big "kids" were SUPER excited...the little Os had no idea what that truly meant.  We (the Mav kids) grew up camping.  We once took a two week trip to Florida where we camped in tents all the way there and back, but that is a WHOLE different story!!!  After a week of camping along the Frio Rio in the pop-up camper, all three littles were quickly hooked!!  I get asked at least once a week if we can take the camper and go camping.  

All loaded up and headed to the Hill Country.

The drive to the Hill Country is such a cool drive...I love driving through all the little towns, and seeing their town squares!  Here we are in the Heart of Texas (Brady, TX).

Another plus to driving that direction...80 mph!

This is the highway about 45 minutes away from the park. 
 It was BEAUTIFUL...perfect example of God's handy work!!


When we got there, we quickly got the camper set up (remember the big "kids" were excited!!)  We had to do some work on my dad's camper because the hitch on the fifth wheel had broken on the way up and was stuck to the camper...again, another whole story!  After getting camp set, we got out our folding chairs and the fun began!  We had a whole week full of pure joy and adventures.  There is something so special about being out in the middle of no-where, with no cell service, computers, TVs, etc. You get to experience true family time, and the amazing world that God created!   The only way this trip could have been more perfect, is if the big boys (Cory and Cam) and Amanda were with us for the whole week, and if the Coby Mav family could have joined us.  I know after how much fun we had, camping will once again play a part in our summer plans!

Popi and my big "little" girl, Braelynn...
She always look so big to me when she sits with her tiny, little legs crossed.

The river was right across from our camper.  Whenever the sun was out (which did not end up being much), we spent a bunch of time at this spot.  It was BEAUTIFUL!

Randi and Crayton cooking hot dogs

The kids playing a game on the iPad, waiting for dinner to be finished.

The first day we were there, Camden made a treasure map!  The whole family was a good sport, and went on an adventure looking for the hidden treasure.

Walking past the golden flowers...down the winding road...headed towards the water.

The whole bunch on the hunt...notice the huge storm clouds!!!

Much to Camden's surprise, there was REALLY a hidden treasure!  Thank you Popi!  
(please excuse her homeless look; we were camping after all!)

Ollie got ahold of Bailee's flip flop, so in true camper fashion, she fixed it with some electrical tape!

Hanging out... trying to stay cool.

Enjoying a family nap during one of the many rain storms...
It is so peaceful to lay in a camper and listen to the rain hit the windows.

Gram and Braelynn catching "thunder bugs"...aka Lightening Bugs!! 
 I love those little hands trying to hold the super cool bug!

Peaking into her little hands to see it light up!  
My heart melted every time she yelled out, "Look, a THUNDER BUG!"

Jay working his magic on the fire, and getting ready to cook dinner!

Another nap, during ANOTHER rain storm!

Watching the rain.

Playing a family game of cards...waiting for the rain to STOP!  
If you know our family well, you know that we are all super when playing cards with this bunch, there is never a dull moment!!!

My little card helper!

One day, on the way back from the showers, Jay and Camden found a pair of panties.  Assuming they were mine ( my butt that big?!?!), they put them up for all the world to see.  The gross thing about it, THEY WEREN'T MINE!! ;o/

At the end of the week, we decided to extend our stay, because we REALLY wanted Cam, Cory and Amanda to be able to spend the weekend with us!  Garner was of course booked up, so we had to move to an RV park closer to town.  It was not near as neat, but we still had a TON of fun!!  While at the RV park, we had a family snowball fight.  Yep...a snowball fight in June!!!  A friend gave me this super fun, super amazing idea for field soon as I saw my student's loving it, I KNEW my family had to have a snowball fight of their own!!!


Camden nailing her momma with a snowball (if you look close, you can see it bouncing off me and powder flying)!

My, and my athletic self, trying to dodge the snowball Jay was throwing at me.  
Nice moves!! Haha.  JK!

Jay throwing a snowball at Cheryl and the camera  (it is coming right at you...up by the tree)! 

Cheryl about to get nailed with the snowball...but she kept shooting the pictures!!

Popi getting Camden

Cory about to KILL his fiancĂ©, Amanda, with a snowball.  See...SUPER COMPETITIVE...
Look at his face...DIE HARD!!

Another cool thing we got to do while at this new camp site, was go on a nature hike and feed the longhorns.  My kids LOVED this!!!

Touching his tongue.

Camden, my little animal/nature lover, was in heaven!

Braelynn wasn't so sure...Big Sister Camden stepped in to help her out.  Precious!

We got a lift from Uncle Cam (who was too lazy to walk to the trail) on the way back to the camper!

On our last night there, we made DELICIOUS smores!!  Afterwards, the kids had a blast being CrAzY with Cory!!  

We can not wait until our next camping trip.  Hopefully we can sneak away some time this fall, between football and baseball season.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

HIPPIE CHICKS...I Am Officially A Soccer Mom!

Today, Camden played in her first ever soccer game.  It was so much fun, but I had no idea it could be so hard to watch 6 year old soccer...most of the girls had no idea what was going on (including my child...maybe especially my child).  I tried not to yell the whole time, telling her what to do, and to let her coach tell her...but SERIOUSLY...KICK THE BALL! :o)  I have no shame in saying that right now she doesn't have much natural soccer skill, and have even less shame in saying that what she DOES have going for her is her SPEED! She is so fast (the fastest on the team).  Now if we could just put speed and skill together!   By the end of the game, I think she was catching on, and she almost scored her first goal.

Back to the fun part...    It is such a cool feeling to watch your child play a sport.  I can't imagine how many proud Mommy moments I have ahead of me while watching my three littles play sports.  One of the best parts of the day, was that Popi and Gram drove over to watch her play.  I think Popi had a hard time just watching too! ;O)  Thankfully Gram took a few pics, because when we got there, I remembered my camera was dead (total Mom fail).

Her I am HOT look!! 
She was told at the beginning she was defense, so to stay in her spot...boy did she follow directions well.  We had to let her know it was okay to MOVE!

Throwing the ball in...(notice all the other players just looking at each other.)

Her ALMOST goal...
I might have been jumping up and down, smiling and hollering like a fool! :o)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

End of the Year Recap...

...WOW! Two post in the same week!! I'm guessing for a while my post will be pretty random.  I am not going to go all the way back and recap, but I do want to hit on some of the main highlights!

Camden had a FABULOUS year in Kindergarten last semester, with one of the most PRECIOUS teachers ever.  Camden had so much fun and learned so much.  Despite the fact that her class was NUTS... (I am allowed to say that...I had to teach them daily in PE), Camden loved every minute!  It was soooo much fun to have her in PE everyday, and to get to be a part of stuff that was going on at school.

Camden holding the 'K' during a poem at Kindergarten graduation.

Camden and her PRECIOUS teacher!  Receiving her diploma!

Camden and I survived our first year together in PE.  It was so much fun, and rewarding getting to coach her each day.  She was definitely my toughest critic about things going on in class! I loved having her in the gym with me, and seeing her big smile each morning!!

The first day & last day of's amazing how much they grow throughout a year!

On a different note...  I said goodbye to coaching. After 9 years of teaching and coaching high school track, I will just be teaching.  For the first time since before middle school, track will not be a part of my life.  I have been a part of track since starting track in 7th grade (as a runner from 7th-college & a coach).  After lots of prayers and LOTS of tears, I decided it was the best for our family if I was just a teacher and a mommy.  It was a super hard decision...I am sure when track season starts I will be lost...a BIG piece of my heart will be missing, but I will be thankful for the extra time I have with my sweet babies who seem to be growing up too fast!

(My Regional Qualifiers)

I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to end my coaching career...I love these girls.  They were so much fun and SUPER talented.

(A few of my special girls)