Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Everything is Bigger in Texas

They say "everything is bigger in Texas."  Well it just might be true, because even the fun feels more fun when you are there.  And since we spend most every Thanksgiving there, it may be a part of the reason it is my favorite holiday.  So here's a recap of our most recent holiday excursion.
The Ranch
First, let me say I have the best kids ever.  We drive most of the time, so that we can hunt and bring back whatever we have killed.  So this year that means 27 hours to get there and 25 to get back.  We drive straight through with Travis and I alternating who drives and who sleeps.  We leave the moment the kids get out of school on Tuesday before Thanksgiving, get there Wednesday evening and stay until Sunday night so we can get back in time for school again on Tuesday morning.  To prove how amazing it is, as we got off the turnpike and were within minutes of being home after driving 25 hours, we asked the kids if we had an extra week of vacation, would you guys be willing to turn around right now and drive back to Texas.  They all instantaneously and enthusiastically shouted yes.

And to that end I have to give them props.  They are the best kids and travelers ever.  They didn't fight once in the car.  They were so well behaved.  They read, played DS, fiddled on their tablets, watched movies, and played the typical car games and near the end of all that traveling we always end up with the "winkies" where none of us can stop laughing even though nothing is funny.  It's a testament to their personalities that instead of fighting that is what happens, lots of laughter.

Once in Texas it's familypalooza.  We see parents, grandparents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, extended family and close friends, etc...  It takes my kids and their cousins less and less time to fall back into fierce friends routine the older they get, which I love.  This year it took just a couple of hours and they had left all the adults behind to go run wild on the Ranch.  From there we hardly saw them, unless they were hungry or needed something.

Thursday Travis and the kids woke up and went hunting.  It's great that the whole family is so pro hunting because all the adults grab a younger child to hunt with, even if it's not their own and a bit of a damper on their own hunting, to instill this great lifestyle in the next generation of kids.  Nana bakes, cooks, and slaves away cooking.  And she is great at it.  I mean I gained 7 lbs in a week.  And that's not just on Thanksgiving day, but all week.  The food is plentiful, rich and full till southern cooking.  The youngest kids play close to the house while the hunters are gone and I got a 6 mile run in.  I had planned to do 3, but it was so beautiful and fun to run new places, that I just kept going.  After everyone returned from hunting and a quick trip to pick up a football - family Turkey Bowl ensued.  The younger kids played up in the closest yard, but as more people joined in, we moved to the lower part which covers more area.  Pictures are scarce as I played more than I photographed.  After football, the Thanksgiving lunch was amazing and turkey coma continued its yearly return where we all laid around watching football and eating off and on throughout the rest of the day. 

the huddle
running is awesome here in the open

Thanksgiving Dinner
Each day brought more hunting, everyday at sunrise and sunset, until you get something.  Issac usually lasts a day or two and then he is bored waiting and watching and gives up.  Bella, two years straight, has been able to blast early.  Wyatt two years straight has shot without success and he's a great shot, so I think it must be a case of nerves or buck fever that at showtime messes with his skills.

Throughout the week we go fishing, to Dickens on Main (the towns Christmas festival), to Bass Pro, to dig arrowheads, play in the barn (someone's kids -cough, cough mine- may have locked another person's kids in pigeon cages in the barn), fix up things like the Ranch Jeep, and usually get one big Ranch project done.  This year we built up a wall around an old well -seriously like 100 years old, built without mortar and dug by hand- so that we don't have anyone or anything (cows) falling in by accident.  This year we performed a religious ceremony, naming and blessing, the newest grandbaby together since she was not yet two months old, they waited for all of family to arrive.  Almost always on Sunday we celebrate Issac's birthday before we leave, because his birthday is December 1st and almost always we are on the road returning home.  It may not sound like anything special, when written, but it's pretty amazing to be a part of.  I love my in-laws, the family, the Ranch, and the legacy they have built, are building and passing on to my kids too.
some of the Whiting men
building a wall, concrete base and stone top

Old Fashioned, hand dug, no mortal stone well

mixing cement

Dickens on Main - families dance, bands play, fake snow is brought in
birthday boy and his cake

1 comment:

Candice Crockett said...

I love it! Such fun traditions! I didn't see your kids this summer so the updated pics are freaking me out a bit! Bella and Wyat are looking so grown up!!! Stop growing up!!!