So we got into Arlington Friday afternoon, and spent time with our friends, the Bakers.  Cathy and I have been friends since 7th grade, and it is always wonderful to get to hang out with her!  Her sister, Lola, came over for a while, and that was wonderful.  I don’t get to see them nearly enough.  The kids had fun playing Wii and bashing pine cones with tennis rackets. (Don’t ask!!)

Saturday morning Gaylon picked Kendall and Joey up at the DFW Airport, and then they all spent the day at Cabella’s.  For those of you who like me, are ‘redneck challenged’, Cabella’s is a huge sporting store.  From what I heard, Gaylon and Joey had a blast, but Kendall and Alex were less than thrilled!

Saturday evening we went out for some good ol’ fashioned Tex-Mex, and then we headed on over to the ranch where Gaylon has been living on Saturday night.  The kids all stayed in one camper, and Gaylon and I stayed in the other.  Even in a really nice RV, I just don’t think I’m much of a “camper”, although I think if one was all stocked with my own stuff, it would be a lot better than staying in a motel.

Sunday we drove into Abilene to check out the church that we will probably be attending once we get moved out here: Holy Family.  Then, after church, we met up with Gaylon’s nephew, Joe (aka: Critter) and his wife, Candace,  to see their brand new baby boy!  Faith got a picture of me holding him.  He is so tiny!!  It’s amazing how quickly you forget how little they are at first.

Great-Aunt Val with Baby Colton James Brooks

Great-Aunt Val with Baby Colton James Brooks

Sunday afternoon we went over to Gaylon’s nephew James’ and his wife, Tammy’s, house and hung out over there until LATE!!  They live just outside of Merkel. The boys all spent the afternoon shooting skeet, and I even shot a few times, although I didn’t hit anything.  Faith took lots of pictures of this with James’ camera, but I haven’t figured out how to get them onto my computer yet.  However, when I do, I’ll post them. James grilled out, and it was really wonderful.  Mesquite grilled pork. . . yum!

Yesterday we went into Abilene on a “Fact-Finding Mission” and drove through several neighborhoods and checked out the mall.  Alex likes it, and Faith is okay with it.  It’s better than I expected, which is nice.  I have to say though that I love the people here.  There is no friendlier bunch of folks on this planet than Texans. Kendall and Joey stayed out on the ranch, hunting.  They are having a blast, apparently!

We spent the night at James and Tammy’s last night because there were thunderstorms rolling through.  Kendall and Joey stayed at the camper, and they were fine, although they did lose power at one point.  Alex had a rough night, though.  He got up in the middle of the night to find the bathroom, tripped, fell, and knocked himself out!  He said he woke up on the floor seeing stars!  We heard him, so Gaylon went up to check on him, and he had a really nasty gash on his eyebrow and a milder one across his eyelid! He’s okay, though, thank God!  It could have been so much worse.  Today he just has a mild black-eye, not nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

Today, Faith is driving Tammy’s Kubota all over the ranch and having the time of her life, and I heard a rumor that Tammy is going to take her fishing.  Faith is such a country girl!  Joey texted me to say he killed a rabbit this morning, and Faith is ready to go back over there and skin it and use the brains and fat to cure the hide.  Ummm. . . yeah. “Not my bag, baby!!”

Tomorrow we head over to Midland to see Gaylon’s brother, Chuck, and his wife, Anna, and my Aunt Bobbie.  Then Thursday we will drive over to Post to see Granny Lucille and Granny Dee.  Friday we are headed back into the Dallas area and will see Cathy one more time, then head over to spend the night at my cousin, James Westbrook’s house.  So, we are busy, and it’s going fast.  We will be back in North Carolina in no time.

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