Fun Festival

A benefit of living in a large metro area, is having a plethora of things to do.  It’s especially fun when one of those activities are almost in your back yard.

About a block behind our house is a park.  This park has four baseball fields), a play ground, pond, and dog parks.  It sits adjacent to one of the public schools so there is a foot ball field and soccer field as well.

We have spent quite a bit of time at the playground since moving here, but last weekend was a festival which is held annually in the park.  Last year it was cancelled due to weather, but this year the weather cooperated (although it was hot and humid).

It is the Lion’s Club Balloon Festival and was a nice little outing for our family.

They had bounce houses and a little farm animal petting zoo for the kids.  There were several food and merchandise vendors.  Live bands played thru the weekend and there was a little train ride (of sorts) for the kids as well.

It was my first time ever being this close to so many hot air balloons and as the sun went down, the balloons were inflated and put on a light show for spectators.

Since we could easily walk to the festival, it was kind of hard to pass up the opportunity to go and I look forward to going back again next year.

 

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Balloon flying by Saturday morning.

 

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Naomi getting ready to take off on the kid’s train ride.  Lili and our foster son went too, but since I can’t put picture of him here, I won’t be able to post that photo.  

 

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Balloon flying over the festival Saturday evening.

 

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Balloon Glow!!!  It was quite a show.
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I loved the reflection of the balloons in the little pond.  The ducks swam around enjoying the show as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day at the Perot

My family and I visited the Perot Museum in Dallas during members-only hours over the weekend.  They have a new exhibit – Maya:  Hidden World Revealed.

Having a daughter of Mayan decent, we were especially interested and excited to see the exhibit and it was well worth the visit.

The exhibit will be at the Perot thru September 4th and I’m sure we will be visiting it again before it moves on to another museum.

Varied Interests

Reading thru past blog posts, it is very clear that I have three primary interests . . . . .

Children/Family

Travel

Gardening

I lump children and family together, but could also add adoption and foster care into this group.  Adoption brought Lili and Naomi into my life.  They are my children and therefore my family.  Foster care has also been a big part of my life and the children who have come into my life because of foster care are very important to me.  Hubby, my children, extended family, foster children and friends who I consider family are so very important in my life.

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Travel!  I adore travel and everything about it from planning to new experiences.  Without travel, I feel like something is missing in my life.

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Gardening is my hobby.  I am in my happy place when my hands are in the soil.  I enjoy the planting a seed and get excited when I see the first signs of life emerge thru the soil.  Picking my first ripe fruit or vegetable gives me a thrill.  Seeing bumblebees and butterflies fly from flower to flower puts a smile on my face.  I get excited about exploring and trying new gardening techniques or growing something for the first time.

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(It was windy when I took this picture.)

What are your interests?

 

 

Anniversary Week

It was 9 years ago on this day, March 20th, that we anxiously sat in the lobby area of our Guatemala hotel awaiting the arrival of Lili’s foster family.  It was this day that they very tearfully handed Lili over to us – her forever family.

Two years later, on March 16th, we drove thru the orphanage gates with Naomi in our arms.  A very different experience from the one two years earlier.  Another baby girl placed in the arms of her forever family.

Lili is now 9 years old and Naomi is 7.  Hubby and I feel so very grateful that these two beautiful little girls call us daddy and mommy.

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These pictures capture the smiles of two beautiful little girls, each with very different personalities.

Lili loves art, reading, swimming and her dog Jagger.

Naomi loves watching movies, playing with her toys, dressing up and her acting class.

However, they are so much more than art and movies.  Having them join our family are two of the very best decision we’ve ever made.

 

 

 

 

Trolls

Last night was popcorn and movie night in the World of Weeks and for the first time we viewed the movie “Trolls.”

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This movie expressed very well, how life’s circumstances can cause us to be forever grateful or forever gloomy and fearful.  It was also a good lesson in how one person can change the life of another.

I have a feeling that the lessons learned from “Trolls” will be discussed in our house for weeks to come.

And now onto preparations for our cruise, which leaves in 7 days!!!!

 

 

 

 

Photo Purge

I had quite a few photos on my phone and was running out of room.  So why not share them here.

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Lili and Naomi get a little help from Zoey

 

 

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Visit to the Gandhi Garden

 

This girl loves Snapchat and I have a lot more pictures to prove it.  Just don’t have the room here to post them all 🙂

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We went to the museum and found out that there will be a new exhibit soon.  Lili is VERY EXCITED!!!!  I’m guessing we will see this exhibit several times.  Good thing we have a family pass.

 

 

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Time for a selfie while waiting for our friends to arrive.

 

In looking at these photos, I think it’s pretty clear to tell which one likes to have her picture taken.

 

The Family Tree

For the last several years, I’ve had a growing interest in learning more about my family tree.  The internet makes finding that information easier than ever, so tonight I spent some time searching for information about my family.  Information, that was likely shared with me in my younger days, but since forgotten.

For example, I knew one of my grandmothers had given birth to 11 children.  What I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) is that this same grandmother was the oldest of 15 children.  Holy Smokes!!!!!  Those were some big families!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember hearing that my other grandmother had a baby who didn’t live long.  What I don’t remember ever hearing the name of that baby.  Tonight I discovered her name was Elsie and she was born on April 28th.  She was apparently names after my grandmother’s older sister.

In just an hour of searching I found names of great aunts and uncles, great-great grandparents, great-great-great grandparents as well as the names of their children.  Several Alfred’s and Mary’s.

History is amazing and I think I’ll continue to dig a little deeper.  I can only imagine what I’ll find growing on my family tree.

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Plans Change

We have had a lot of plans for our future and as is true for most of us in life, those plans sometimes need to change.

One thing our move to Texas has made me realize, is that I need to let go of some of those things I really had hoped to do in life. Like farming. Yes, I’ve had to let go of the farming dream. For a number of reasons, it’s just not feasible for us in the future.

Why?

For those of us who may not be familiar with the Dallas area, it’s a very large city that is growing in leaps and bounds right now.

Hubby recently heard that there were approximately 1000 people per day moving into the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. Texas has made it easy and lucrative for businesses to move here and that is exactly what they are doing. Many large companies have pulled roots from other states and move or are moving to Texas. Dallas is a magnet for many of these companies who are building their offices here. This, of course, means building more houses, apartments, roads, schools, etc.   This also means buying up more farm land to expand and build on. Every day I pass fields with farm animals roaming around as shopping centers are being built across the street and roads expanded to carry the additional traffic thru that area.  The land that those buildings and road are now sitting on used to pasture for these farm animals, so there is less farm land available now.

While roads are being expanded and probably beyond, traffic becomes a problem. We’re fortunate to enjoy some farm scenery around the RV park, but this also means hubby is commuting to work. His commute can vary from 40 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. While this is doable for the time being, it’s not something he wants to do his entire working career here and I don’t want him to. After all, any additional time he spends on the road is time he isn’t here with his family. That’s not a good trade-off.

The additional influx of businesses means the job market here is outstanding!!! It also means the real estate market is booming. As I’ve looked at real estate have discovered three things.

  1. The cost of buying land we can build on is more than we can afford.
  2. The cost of buying an existing farm is even more cost prohibitive.
  3. Hubby’s commute would be as far as, or possibly further than it is now.

Aside from the cost and commute, we have had to decide what is most important. Specifically, what are our priorities now that we live in the DFW area?

Ultimately, we decided that getting a farm down here is out of the question.  My hope is that we are able to find a home that sits on a large enough piece of property that I can do some gardening. That will be the extent of our farm life. A home with a pool and nice outdoor living space is what we will look for in our home down here. More travel seeing other parts of Texas, the U.S. and the world is what we desire.

Some of that travel will need to include visits to other’s farms so I can get my fill of the farm life I’m leaving behind.

Sometimes our priorities in life change and even though I would love to do all those things my heart desires, I have to pick and choose those things that are most important – spending time with family, seeing the world, enjoying life – those are the biggest desires of my heart so that is what I need to do.

We close on our home in Illinois next week and some have asked when we’ll be buying a house down here.

Unfortunately, because the housing market hasn’t bounced back in Central Illinois like it has here in the DFW area, we won’t be putting any money in the bank from the sale of our house. We refinanced our house when the market was really good and used the additional funds toward the adoption of our girls. In essence, we received the proceeds several years ago and now we’ll be in the position of trying to save enough money to buy a house down here.

All the changes in our life are good though. These changes are life experiences and life experiences are what keeps life interesting.

So we’ll continue to enjoy RV living. We’ll enjoy some travel. We’ll spend time with family. Hopefully one day we’ll buy a house. Along the way, we’ll do our best to enjoy life and make memories.