Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wendy's engaged!

Why do Wendy and Daniel have this happy look on their faces?

They are engaged!! Here is the future in-law reaction!!

Toto! We're not in Florida anymore!!





Yup, it's Utah.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Family--Here we come?

Are the Powells expecting us?

Baby Tatum! Are you in New Mexico now?

Welcome, Earthling, to Roswell, New Mexico!

I don't think this is the family picnic we were looking for.

Yellow Rose of Texas?

Everyone knows about the yellow rose of Texas made famous in song. But how about the wild flowers of the hill country around Austin? Here are the bluebonnets close up.

Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of former President Johnson, encouraged the planting of wild flowers along the highways in the hill country, the location of their home. Here are some red ones...

some white...

and yellow.

Don't they look great mixed together. It's the sure sign of spring in Texas.


Maybe these are the famed yellow roses of Texas, Grandma "Don't Mess with Texas" Gladys in Pflugerville...

or Uncle Spencer and Aunt Donna in Odessa.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wendy and Daniel in Houston

The next stop is Houston to visit Wendy and Daniel. Aren't they a cute couple?

After watching turtles in the pond...

and taking lots of pictures of flowers in the park...

we had delicious Texas BBQ, served in a milk crate...

and eaten with fingers right off the tabletop without dishes, cowboy style. Mmhmm good! Saves lots of dish washing!

Sounds like the idea of a bachelor cowpoke!

Monday, March 26, 2012

James at sunset

The tour continues. It's 7:30 p.m. Sunday so this must be James and Chrissy at sunset on Panama City Beach.

Almost 2 year old James is reading to us from his favorite book about fire engines.

Here he is with all his grandmas and grandpas watching the dolphins jump in the ocean.

And here he is surrounded by the women in his life.

Blessing Tatum

Here we are at the beginning of our three week tour of the USA to visit kinfolk. This is the first stop of our "It's 11 a.m. Sunday, so this must be Joe's place in Savannah, Georgia." Here is the happy family after blessing Tatum, grandchild 22.

Here is everyone who made it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Swim champ in training?

Here's Braden showing off his skills after three days of swimming lessons.

Here's his power kick...

and here he is showing us how to do at the same time the four things he learned this week--kicking, moving your arms, putting your face in the water, and blowing bubbles!! Olympics, here he comes!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cookies, anyone?

Here's our Daisy Scout selling cookies in front of Publix. They sold so fast that she ran out in less than an hour!

Camping at Grandma's

The Savannah Thompsons came for a spring break visit. Of course the boys wanted to rough it on the screen porch.

Spencer insisted on riding horses, his favorite activity

Two month old Tatum is getting her first horse back riding lesson on Chocolate.

Choco had lots of exercise with Spencer.

But the main attraction was the new horse Black Velvet. (Spencer calls him "Black Elvis".)

Everyone got plenty of rides. First Spencer...

then Blake...

then Joseph.

Grandpa used his famous Gator football hold to help Tatum sleep well.

Next up was gator wrestling. Here Joseph and Ella are practicing up.

Braden, Bryce, and Ella found someone to ask where to find some gators. Let's follow where they are pointing.

They were right. This gator doesn't stand a chance.

Spencer and Blake have him under control!

Hail!

Our 80ยบ weather was interrupted with a hail storm. The weatherman predicted "50 cent sized hail." Of course, who has ever seen a fifty cent coin? If this is the size, it is no wonder fifty cent pieces are hard to find in our pockets.

Vertical Garden

You know how grandma loves to experiment with gardening--from square foot gardens to gardens hanging from a bag. Rob suggested trying a vertical garden.

Here the happy gardeners are getting ready to plant. This one has a drip watering system.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flowery Florida

Why is that woodpecker pounding away on that tree?

Is he trying to wake up grandpa snoozing in the hammock...

so he'll jump on his bike to take pictures of the March flowers?

The Spanish named this place Florida or "flowery" because of all the flowers that bloom all year. The main flower in March is the azalea.


But there are left overs from previous months such as this poinsettia from Christmas time.

You can see the overlap from harvesting oranges and the new blossoms. We just finished the oranges from our trees.

The berries from the fall and the irises of March make a pretty combination.

It is too warm for tulips, but we have lots of irises...

and lilies coming up to remind us that Easter is coming.

There are still a few dogwood trees in bloom, though they are usually one of the first blooming trees in February along with the redbuds, which are bloomed out already, and

camellias.

You can see other flowers here and there.

These periwinkles bloom all year until a frost gets them. These were protected in our entryway so they are looking great.

Wisteria is a vine that grows in the trees like a weed. It smells heavenly. Caroly thinks of it as a substitute for her favorite, lilacs, which don't grow here.


I only found one rose in my ride around the neighborhood. Roses don't grow well in Florida.

There are lots of non-flowering plants too that are normally houseplants in colder climates, such as this giant split leaf philodendron in our back yard. Of course, they are much smaller when raised inside. Most house plants for the USA are produced outside in plant nurseries in Florida.

This Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees technically isn't a March flower, but it reminds me that I am home and not in Hungary.