Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Mo Ranch Family Reunion

Texas Trip for Six

We were so please that everyone was able 
to get off work for our trip to Texas this time.
It had been 5 years since we had all been.
The only problem was that the cars we have now only hold up to 5 people.
It worked out well though, with two cars and three 
people in each (divided up by musical taste)
we had plenty of room for guitars and food and 
homeschool curriculum for my nephews and niece.  
The only thing was that it cost us over $600 in gas.
Still cheeper than renting a van.
Our first stop in Texas was at Texas Pride Barbecue.
We arrived just a little too early at 10:45 AM
after driving 14 hrs. and 45 min.
Time to stretch and take photos:
Are these cows?
Joel stayed up most of the night trying to make sure
that the siblings driving his car didn’t fall a sleep.
Lunch family style.

After lunch, we drove the last two hrs. to Mo Ranch to see my family. 

Mike and I saw a big gray fox there.. twice.. no photo.. too quick.

I didn’t take any pictures of my family.. because they are so much more
talented than I at taking pictures and it seems unfair to make
the kids pose one more time for another photo.
 I did take some pictures of Mo Ranch’s Greenhouse.
I need to check out their chapel on another visit.
We had a great time seeing everyone.  
I’ll have to blog more about it later.. 

Someone send pictures.
After Mo Ranch, we spent a few days in San Antonio.
We went to the Alamo, saw Switch Foot in concert and some dear friends..
James took these pictures for us with his ipad.

Remember the Alamo.  It’d been a long time since Josh had been.

Judi and I tried on Joel’s new hippy glasses at County Line BBQ.

He’s so proud of them.  Got a compliment on the 10 seconds after he bought them. Looked for a leather beaded vest to match the whole rest of the trip.

County Line’s BBQ beat out Texas’ Pride’s hands down.

We ate lunch at our favorite Mexican buffet, Ponchos.
Just raise the flag and they’ll bring you more to eat.

This is a picture from our favorite park in San Antonio, O.P. Schnabel.
Its been done up really nice with new maps and mile markers.
And the Bandera YMCA on the premises has a new 
swimming pool with big double tube slide.

We also got a picture of the house we rented when we were expecting Judi.
The things I remember most about this house is that it had a garden 
which I killed and we found mouse droppings on our key board.
We left Christmas day of that year for Mike’s first government job in IL.

Judi was born 10 days later.  Glad she gave us some time to unpack.
One of the places we miss most in TX is our favorite grocery store, HEB.
We got to shop at the newest, largest HEB Plus: a whopping 182,000 sq. ft.
They sell everything from organic food, to T-shirts, to TVs.

We brought two HEB briskets, one large package of 
HEB sausage, and one package of HEB Fajitas home to AL with us.  
Anyone know how we can get it shipped?

We had a great time visiting Mike’s family near Breckenridge, too.
Karen and Kyle have grown by leaps and bounds.
Mike’s parents treated us to dinner at Chester’s, 
the best hamburger place in SA.
There were so many grandkids that we split up to play hands and foot.
The winners of each table played a championship game.
These two computer nerds played a round too.. 
but were unable to defeat the runners up this time.

Mike’s aunt and uncle and two of his cousins stopped by for a visit.
All five of these cousins live in the area now; several are becoming
empty nesters and grandparents.  It was great to catch up with them.

More when I have pictures.

Love,

Jenny

Mo Baptism

We saved the best for last.  
On our last day at Mo Ranch the kids canoed Paw Pa over to the rapids…
and he baptized two of my nephews.

I think it’s so cool that I could be there to witness that.
I am looking forward to seeing what kind of men they will grow up to be.

Mo Horse

It’s dawned on me this past year that I come from a family of city folks; I am city folk.
How did I get to be this old and just now realize that?
You see, my dad grew up on a farm, but then moved to the city and married a city girl (who knew how to garden and from time to time had one going).  I spent a few summers with grandparents and great grandparents gardening and such, so I guess I had a illusion that I came from a family of country folk and would some day have a garden of my own.  Then I married this city boy who never visited grandparents on a farm or a ranch, who never gardened.  Every house, every move I’ve thought, “I grow a garden in this back yard.”  
I’ve tried a couple of gardens.  Our first house in San Antonio had a garden when we moved in; it was a pretty big garden for a city yard; I forgot to water it; it didn’t survive.  We planted tomatoes at our second house in San Antonio.  Then we got a microscope for the kids for homeschool.  When I saw the creatures crawling all over the tomatoes under our microscope, I wished I hadn’t, and those plants died.  In Florida, we spent many hours in the yard pulling up or cutting back vines.  Who thought living in the jungle was a good idea?
The first couple of months here I looked on line to see what kind of things grow well here; looked to see if I could adopt a country friend to teach me how to grow things then I realized maybe I won’t have a garden at this house.  A few months ago in history we learned how during the Great Depression everyone knew how to grow food and most had a garden that they lived on in the hard times; I realized that if it ever gets that bad we are going to starve.
We have worked in a couple of other people’s gardens.  At the San Antonio Botanical Gardens they have a program for the poor city kids to teach them how to garden that we participated in a few seasons.  Then in FL we had  a good friend that hired the kids to work in her mother’s garden.  So I am hoping that maybe they know something about how to survive.   
Just a few more Mo Ranch photos…

The day after the Ropes Course the kids got to go horse back riding.  
Seeing that we come from a family of city folk … that was pretty exciting…
even for the bigger kids who pretended like it wasn’t a big deal.

The first two riders took a hour ride up and down the hills.

Precious!

Don’t they look like they are having fun?

Riding with a cousin doubles your fun.

Cool Beans!

Mo Ropes

The most thrilling day had to be the day
the bravest of us conquered the ropes course. 

First you suit up.

Make sure your helmet is on tight because you’re climbing way up there.
Check in with your “trusty” spotters.
Let go of the post..
if you can.

Run across the log (if you’re this brave one).

Climb up to the cable.

Walk across while you enjoy your view.

And whatever you do, don’t look down.

The second challenge even the little ones got to try..

with a little boost.
My mathematician entertained us by saying, 
“Eat more chicken.” when he rang the bell.
The last challenge was named the big gulp.
First you climb a huge ladder.

Then your family pulls you up.

While you hang 40 ft. above the ground.. 

and hold on for dear life.

When you’re ready..

you let go and..

soar (like Peter Pan).

Mo Water

When it’s hot out, it’s time to make your way down to the water.

The little cousins had a great time in the pool.

While the bigger cousins found other ways to make a splash.

The slide is fun, but you should try the rapids.
Mike’s mom brought his niece
and nephew to join in the fun.

Everyone had a blast.

Mo Outside

We spent a lot of time going outside for walks.

Getting ready to go outside.

Waiting for others to come outside.

Posing for pictures outside.

Enjoying the breeze

and the trees.

Mo Lobby

It didn’t mater were we went

With nine cousins

It was sure to be fun

even in the lobby and gift shop.

Mo Hanging at the Cabin

My parents rented us a huge cabin where we spent the week at the ranch.  
Each family had their own room and everyone brought tons of food to share.

My sister, Wendy, has been taking cake decorating lessons and made
this incredible family tree birthday cake for my programer, dad and me.

We all had a blast looking for our faces.

The brisket my mom brought was great.
When we weren’t eating on the table, we used it for games.

The puzzles were never finished, but no one minded.

We had great fun with blocks…
and built some great towers for little brothers to destroy.
Had tickle fights.

And played games right up to bed time.

Mo Family

This is my mom and the mastermind of the Mo Ranch Family Reunion
working on her next scrapbook album.  

This is my mom and dad.  They’ve been happily married for many, many years.

These are my sisters.  Looks like they have a secret.
This is Courtney and I on her anniversary date.  
She and her husband let Mike and I tag along  so I could eat real Tex-Mex; 
we’ve moved to a part of the country where no one knows what that is.  🙁

Here are the three of us.

Here are Mike and I.  The food at Mamacita’s was wonderful!

Courtney with her husband Allister

Wendy with her husband Chris

The six of us on blue photo day.

The grand finale photo with all the grandkids 
except the oldest who started college and couldn’t come to the reunion.  

Mo Ranch

Welcome to Mo Ranch

Mo Nature
The Rain
We were a little worried when we first got there and it was a cold, rainy August day.
The Rainbow
The promise of sunny days to come.

The Sun Set
The Morning After the Rain
The flowers are happy.
The Lane
I should take more vacations with my family of photographers.
The Chapel.
I love this green house!
The Guadalupe River
This is where the a lot of the fun’s at as you will see in my next blog.
We’re hosting a youth movie night tomorrow night.  
Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get to catch up on my bloging.
Love,
J

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