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One of the highlights of this summer for Sam and Nate has been playing with their cousins. The boys got to play with their Roanoke cousins a lot during the past year, an activity they always looked forward to. They also got to know their Austin cousins a little better when we took a trip down there in May. Well, they can say they know all of their cousins even better after July.

Early in July, Tommy and Carol (Gina's brother and his wife) took a cruise in the Caribbean for a week, and Kierra, Kendall and Zach stayed with us for part of the time. The boys were very excited to have all of their Roanoke cousins under one roof for such a long time frame. We started our week with a family reunion in Simpson, Louisiana. The boys got to do a bunch of fun activities: meet some relatives they had never seen, go fishing in Uncle Norwin's new pond, ride the Gator, play with Briana and Shana and explore the farm (including an up-close view of the cows). We stopped by Shreveport to see MaMa Alexander for a couple of days on our way home, then we picked up Kierra, Zach and Kendall from Granny and Granddad's and headed to our house in Fort Worth.  The days were filled with swimming, ice cream, playing in the backyard and even a train ride. Our evenings included watching movies, playing games, relaxing and going to Chuck E. Cheese pizza one night. It was a lot of fun, and Sam and Nate did not want the fun to end. Gina and I, however, after having 5 kids under one roof, were ready for a break. All in all, it was a great time, and we would do it again. Though now that I think about it, maybe Gina and I will take the cruise next time!

This past weekend we got to meet some of our Austin cousins in Bear Country (Waco) to see the Mayborn Children's Museum. The only regret I have about the whole trip is that we told Sam and Nate about it ahead of time because all they asked about for 2 days was when they would get to see Max and Wes. The day finally arrived, and all 4 boys picked up where they left off. We started the day at Rudy's BBQ, then after our delicious lunch we went to the museum for a few hours. This children's museum is unbelievable and it is truly for kids. Every room has an exhibit with fun, hands-on activities for the children, and the boys ate it up. Sam said his favorite part was watching the model trains, and Nate loved playing with Max and Wes. After the museum, we went to John and Carrie's hotel and swam in the pool for an hour or so. We grabbed a quick dinner and headed back to Fort Worth. The boys slept the entire way back, then after a bath and some stories, they went straight to bed. The day was exhausting, but it was the good kind of exhausting where you look back and know you had a great day.

I'm positive there will be more cousin time this summer, and the boys will soak up every minute of it.