Catching Up

10/02/2010 02:00:00 AM Edit This 4 Comments »
I know, I know!! I am WAY behind on the blog. Every time I thought I would have a minute to catch up life got in the way. So let's give this a shot and see how far I get.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip down to Texas. Yes we had another trip to go to a family reunion in Galveston and then to await the arrival of the twins and to help after they got home. This was one of the many times the kids were playing around. So silly and it really says a lot about their dynamics.

Now the first morning we got up, of course Lexie had to put her princess outfit on. Well Blakie insisted he needed one too. So of course I just happened to have a spare. Here he is Princess Snow Blake.....
I think he makes a fabulous princess and clearly so does he. Then Lexie insisted that she had to put "glass" slippers on him and she was the Grand Duke (yes she knows Cinderella by heart and is clearly mixing up her princesses.)
Then Mackenzie had to get her finery out and everyone practiced the correct way to curtsy.
 And this was my brother-in-law Jim's reaction when he came home to find his youngest son in a dress. Oh please Jim. I say better to let him wear a dress when he's two than when he's twenty-two!
Blake asked for Snow White all the time. I mean every morning he'd come into our room asking for it and several times during the day. Sadly Snow White was kidnapped by the Big Bad Daddy and has never been seen again. (By the way Jim, let me know what the ransom is so I can get Lexie back her outfit!)

After a couple of days of visiting at Angie and Jim's we were off to Galveston for the family reunion. Angie was not allowed to be more than 15 minutes from her hospital so she stayed home with Jim & Blake. I took Cody & Mackenzie along with Lexie and Mom and my Aunt Mary Lou (seen in the picture above with Jim & Blake) who was down from Michigan on down to Galveston where we meet up with some of the rest of the family. Only about 25 of the over 90 Schutter/Kopmeyer/Quast family managed to get down for this one. But it was wonderful to see everyone that did make it. And for Lexie to finally meet some of her extended family.

My little gang getting ready to hit the heat I mean beach for a LOT of sun. Did I mention it was in the 100s most of the weekend. Oh yeah!
 We also walked around old town Galveston and I couldn't pass up this shot. Pretty cool hue? Especially since Cody will start taking trumpet in band when he starts in Middle school this year.
Further down the street my cousin Jeff showed us this sad reminder of the history of the island. Just two years before the water was that high after hurricane Ike. Scary!
Saturday night Jeff sitting to the left of mom (who he and his wife Betsy arranged the whole reunion - great job guys!!) set up a wonderful dinner for everyone. Here is the seniors table. Sorry Jeff & Debbie.
 Mom and Erin who is the lucky one of Mark's five girls who got to come. Maureen stayed home with the other 5 kids. How did you pull that off Mark? And how did your kids grow up so fast?
Here is the famous Mark with younger sister Mary Beth (how did you like the younger part MB?) And yes they are the blond "happy" part of the family. Maureen that was a virgin really!
 Here are a few of the cousin's and second cousins. Lexie and I are lucky girls to be part of such a terrific family.
 And here are the original Schutters. Uncle Bob, Mom, Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Jerry. Who would have thought these 4 would have 21 kids between them and those 21 kids would have 42 kids (more or less I think) and there are even a few great grand kids in the family. Nice Job!!
 This is two of those grand kids Tammy & Jake two of Jeff's kids.
 And here is part of the gang that came. Lexie & I are off to the left but the waitress who took the picture for us.....well she should keep her current job.
 And where there are QKS there is poker. That's right we even travel with poker chips. All us grand kids learned our numbers from cards so it was all about education. That's right - educational poker. That's our story and we're sticking to it.
It was great seeing everyone and we look forward to making the next one in two years!

Then while back at Angie's waiting for the babies, Lexie and I got to finally meet in person another soon to be adoptive Kazakh mom, Lisa. We have had hours of "conversations" through email and blogs as well as on the phone during her extended wait to finally travel to meet her daughter Stella Sabrina. It was wonderful to finally sit across the table from her and talk face to face. It felt like we were old friends. Thanks for driving down to see us Lisa. Next time Lexie & I will come see you and Stella!
 She will be returning in just about a week to finally bring home her sweet baby Stella from Almaty Kazakhstan. Lexie & I can hardly wait to meet her.
Safe travels back to Almaty Lisa!

Then it was a couple of days of helping Angie with some last minute nesting and then the big day arrived - Aug 16. My job was to keep the 4 kids occupied during the wait for news of babies. As every good Aunt (& Mommy) knows snacks are good for at least 20 minutes of waiting time.
 Finally out comes the proud papa of 5. And yes I think he's still in shock even though he knew there were two babies coming. And I'm not sure if he's out of shock yet.
For more details on the twins check out the post before this. It has lots of pictures of their first 2 days of life. Here is a picture of the new family of 7 (plus cousin Lexie!)
The kids and I were planning a welcome home party but sleep deprived Daddy Jim pushed to get out of the hospital 48 hours after the twins were born so we had to scramble. We made BIG Brother, Sister & Cousin shirts which the kids looks great in!
We even made little onies, hats and bibs for Maddie,
and Maddox.
Then signs, balloons, decorations and a diaper cake where thrown together as we called mom to pick up a cake. It was crazy but we all had fun.
 And the big brothers & sister were very excited to have the twins come home.
Finally they arrived!
After that is was all fun and games.
The kids wanted to make sure the twins knew that they lived in a fun house. So they swam...
 And of course danced....
all while the twins just sleep....during the day that is. We won't go in to how much FUN the nights where.

So the Sunday before Cody & Mackenzie were going to start back to school I took the 4 big kids to the Houston Aquarium and we had a great day.
The aquarium is really pretty small which was a bit of a surprise but it was set up very nicely in little vignettes of different types of environments where you'd find the fish as well as reptiles, insects and even white tigers. This was the entry - all aboard Captains Z & Lexie!
I love this of Blake. He was just amazed at how big the fish were.
 Then we were off to the bayou for a tour by cajun Cody of the swamps.
Then we went under the sea where the boys were interested in the fish..
 (you can get an idea of how each room sets the scene)
 Now the girls they went straight for the treasure....mermaid treasure I was told.
Then we were off to the rainforest.
Including a HUGE python (so not my thing!)
 Blakie clearly had no idea this guy could eat him in one bite!
Then the girls went deep sea diving...
here's diver Lexie reporting for duty.
 While Cody was much more interested in touching the sharks & rays.
 Then they all met up in a bubble under the tank. They had some really great hands on activities.
And you can't go to the aquarium without seeing the great white....
 tiger. I know, it's a little unusual but well put together. There are 5 tigers living inside but then one got away and the kids chased after it. Thank goodness they found him and wrestled him back in his cage. And yes all the kids are starting acting lessons in the fall.
Since we saw the tigers inside the aquarium in only made sense that we would have to go outside to ride the train through a tunnel of sharks.
 Lexie thought this was some kind of roller coaster. Oh my little dare devil!
 But the tunnel of sharks was pretty amazing....
 especially the saw fish. Don't you love the almost human like mouth and the cool saw nose?
So we were done with the aquarium proper but right outside the building is a small amusement park with a ferries wheel, some rides and a beautiful carousel which of course they begged to ride on.
 Blake just had to have the big shark and Cody was all about the sweet seal.
 Of course the girls had to pick the beautiful sea horses.
 I have to say they were some of the most beautiful carousel creatures I've seen.
 Even the alligator locked real and the detail was amazing (no child was eaten in the taking of this picture.)
Now for my favorite part of the day and it was a pretty terrific day. They had caricature artist sitting on the very hot (yes it was still around 100 degrees) sidewalks drawing pictures. Naturally I had to have the kids done.
 Blakie wasn't so sure about it but the big problem.
Lexie was an old pro.
 Here she is almost done. I didn't get a picture of the other kids finished picture but it was great. I have a copy so I'll have to take a picture and add it.
Here it is - pretty cute hue?
So I mentioned it was hot. Well after a stop to get ice cream the kids notice the shoot up fountains and since I'm the cool aunt (and Mommy) I decided what the heck. It's hot - what's a little water?
Okay - it was a bit more than a little water.
 They were running and sliding and dancing to the music.
Needless to say they had a ball.
Blake wasn't so sure about it which really surprised me. He loves the pool at home and splashing everyone near him.
 But Lexie more than made up for him.
 She couldn't get enough of it.
The kids told me it was the best last day of summer ever. I had them home when Angie asked me to, even if they were a little.....damper than when we left.

Okay that's all I can do in one sitting (and I'm more than sure you feel the same way.) So I'll try to get part two of catching up done before Lexie goes to high school!
Happy Fall!!!