Sunday, 23 August 2009

Last Weekend of Summer

I'm not 100% it counts but we did make a quick trip this weekend to Galveston/Houston. So it depends on your definition of swimming holes if we completed our task or not. I do think we will try to visit some in a couple weeks down in San Antonio. I (Josh) had a great time being with my kids as Shannon went on a girl's weekend trip. We went down to Galveston with Gigi, Dada, Carol, Lauren and the kids. Then we had a great suprise as Bebe, Pop, and Molly showed up. There had been rumors they may come but in somewhat typical Bales fashion- no direct communication to confirm.

After the beach, Clark went to his first Astros game. He was in love. The pic from the rail is when he first got in the stadium and ran to see what it was all about. It was another of those times when I can say that I would have rather done nothing else in the world. Holding him and watching him take in everything was really special. His expression in the up close picture tells it all. He yelled "Go Astros" and kept wanting to go find that rabbit (their mascot, Junction Jack). After we bought his Astros logo ball (tradition for all the ball parks he visited which I do have to rebuy thanks to the guy who broke in our house), he wouldn't let it go at all. Kudos to Brigid for getting me a Biggio collectible even though we weren't one of the first 10,000.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Fort Worth -#4

Our great friends Chris and Anna recently returned from overseas missions and brought home two really cute children, Ezekiel and Nehemiah. Please check their blog out to see how richly the Lord blesses those who follow his commands. We celebrated Anna and Ezekiel's birthdays along with the Billmans in Fort Worth. Since we were in Fort Worth already, we decided to visit Burger Lake to cross #4 off our list of swimming holes. I'll have to say it was probably my favorite so far because there was so much to do with the kids. It's a spring fed lake but obviously from the pics they've added some slides and diving boards. Next time we go up to Ft. Worth, we'll try to go back for sure.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Krause Springs-#3

We got to mark off #3 on our swimming holes goal. Krause Springs is in Spicewood close to Marble Falls. They had a rope swing and a cliff to jump off. Jake and Kalan came up to share in the fun. If you look close in our family pic you can see a guy doing a flip off the cliff. Or you could just look at the other guy about to eat it off the swing.

Swimming Holes

So we set a summer goal of visiting swimming holes. #1 was Pace Park in Salado which we've gone too. For my birthday Shannon surprised me with a visit to Blue Hole in Georgetown for #2 on our list. Often times I hear people complain about there not being anything to do in Temple, but when you come from the Beaumont swamp where the Neches river is your main water source there is plenty to do here in regards to water activities. We visited the Monument Cafe before dinner. I like this picture of the three of us at dinner. Kind of like a cheesy band photo were no one looks at the camera.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Hiking in His Creation

Josh and I took the beloved Sky Pond hike which is a long and somewhat challenging hike up past the timberline. but boy is it worth it.

First you get to Alberta Falls.

Then the Loch Vale.

Climb up Timberline Falls,
then you'll be at Lake of Glass.

A short climb later and you're staring at Taylor's Peak (the continental divide) overlooking Sky Pond.
It's absolutely breathtaking (even the fifth time). I kept singing to myself the old hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus. You know the first verse, here's the rest.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Clark's knees are the result of 9 falls during our 1 mile hike to Alberta Falls. I do have to commend the lil dude because it never deterred him and he continued to run the whole mile down the mountain. We found out the Clark loves mini-golf and you can't hit your ball until he is completely finished. They both had a fantastic time riding the ponies. Apparently, I'm also the meanest dad in the world because I made Clark's trout bleed.

Colorado Vacation

This week we met my dad's family in Estes Park for an awesome vacation to Estes Park (where we went every other year when I was growing up). We're officially hooked. We haven't been since our honeymoon (7! years! ago!) and we're planning on going back next year. So here's your official invitation to join us! Somewhere around July 17, 2010 is the likely date.

Here's the most vivid rainbow I've ever seen. It was actually a double rainbow (though it didn't come out in this picture) and I learned for the first time that in a secondary rainbow the colors are inverted. We also could see the end of the rainbow on the ground (another first for me).

The view of my parents' cabin's front porch:

The hummingbirds went crazy for this food--at one point we saw seven hummingbirds crowded around it.

Audrey with my cousin Dani who is 6.

And this is of Dani's big brothers. He is all-boy...or couldn't you tell?

Josh and Clark found a fishing pole and Clark quickly learned how to cast and reel in the line.