Service Missionary Conference in Houston

A few weeks ago Jamie, Ani, and I went to the first gathering of service missionaries in Texas. Just a couple days before that, Ani had been set apart as a full time service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There are currently only a handful of service missionaries spread across Texas. Only something like 16 in the entire San Antonio Mission (which stretches to the border and includes Austin).

Going to this conference gave me the chance to see Houston for the first time. Now the only major city in Texas I have never been to is El Paso.


Bookcase Scene

I put Adrian’s talking Buzz, Woody, and Forky up on the top of the bookcase in their room. The lamb was already up there. Then next time I walked into their bedroom, I burst out laughing to see Adrian had turned Buzz to make him look like he was having a conversation with the lamb.

Adrian’s Letter

When Cameron and Fritz turned 11, they got their Harry Potter letters. We meant to give one to Adrian on his 11th birthday, but we totally forgot! I remembered a couple days after his birthday and quickly ordered an owl from Amazon. Luckily I already had the letter on my computer so that was easy to print out for him.

The owl arrived one evening while Cameron had taken the boys to Sonic for half price milkshakes. This presented the perfect opportunity to have the owl and letter waiting for him when he got home.

We included in the letter a note saying the owl was late because it got lost on the way. In a way that was true. Amazon actually lost the first owl I ordered after it was out for delivery!

He was so happy to get his letter. For a while we weren’t sure if he actually understood that it wasn’t real. He was totally acting as if the owl was alive and everything.

After a while he asked us if he was the only one of the boys to play along and pretend it was real. He then explained that he was going to keep pretending and that was just a breaking the fourth wall moment. We should’ve known. This kid absolutely love role playing.

Adrian’s Birthday Celebration

On Wednesday, June 19th Adrian turned 11. Jamie had to work almost all day, but he spent the day having fun with his brother, grandparents, and me so that was okay.

His favorite presents were his talking Buzz and Woody. With Toy Story 4 coming out just after his birthday, he’s been really into those movies lately.

We went to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 at Alamo Drafthouse. It was a really cute movie. Everyone enjoyed it from ages 11 up to 74!

We went to a trampoline park where the boys got to jump for a couple hours and played several games of laser tag.

We went to Golden Corral for dinner where Adrian could pick whatever he wanted for dinner. His choice? Rice and cheese, his favorite food.

The boys went swimming in the pool at the hotel.

They played some D&D after Jamie got finished working and got back to the hotel.

When we got home, Cameron gave Adrian his present. Adrian was thrilled to have a talking Forky to add to his Buzz and Woody. He had been slightly disappointed on his birthday to not get Forky since that’s the one he wanted most of all.


The week of Adrian’s birthday, Jamie had to work in Laredo. He always takes off work for our kids’ birthdays so with Adrian’s birthday on Wednesday that presented a bit of a problem. So the little boys and I decided to go with him and to take my parents along, too.

We went way down by the border in the old town part of Laredo to see San Augustin Cathedral, established in 1755. It’s quite a beautiful bit of architecture and overlooks a lovely park.

It was super hot (105+) and humid (60+%) so we headed into the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum. Bonus, it was Tuesday which is their free admission day, though we would’ve paid whatever they asked just to be in the air conditioning for a while. It’s a small museum with displays of old things found around the area.

Our hotel was just a few blocks from the Rio Grande. We caught some Mexican cows coming down for a drink. No walls there and no fences either allowing for an unobstructed, gorgeous view of nature.

We drove down to where a couple of the bridges (border crossings) are. There’s a little park right along the Rio Grande and an outlet mall at that point. We were so close we could practically touch Mexico.

We really enjoyed spending a week in Laredo. It’s a nice little city. I still like McAllen better, but I’d got back to Laredo anytime!