Friday, July 30, 2010

The Next Big Trip

Memphis was not the only super fun trip we’ve taken recently. We went to visit Uncle Clay and Aunt Carey for the Fourth of July. It was our first trip ever to their house, and we had a wonderful time!

Uncle Clay set up a water-filled wonderland in the back yard, and the kids had a blast! The sprinkler was going so that it sprayed the bounce house, and the kids couldn’t get enough of it!



DSC_0247 Cousin Avery, cutie pie

DSC_0231 The kids loved Cousin Tyler’s tee ball game!


The next day we went to a local park. It was an amazing park with these fancy wooden playsets shaped like ships and things. They were beautiful! But probably not designed by parents because it was impossible to see the kids running around behind those lovely, artistic walls. So Jim and I were a little stressed trying to keep up with all of them, but Clay and Carey were great help, and at the end of the day, the kids LOVED IT!

DSC_0251 Can you find the children hiding in this playset?

DSC_0288 DSC_0293 DSC_0300I love this picture!

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Avery, Tyler, Jonathan, Thomas, Zachary, Reagan

So fun! More to come! Have a great weekend! Go do something fun! Preferably someplace air-conditioned or watery because I don’t know about you, but it’s way too hot outside for anything that doesn’t involve one of the aforementioned items!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nature Nook: the Birdfeeder?

The kids received a birdfeeder for their birthday, and we were all so excited to fill it up and hang it up and wait for the birds to come! We hung it from a tree limb we could see from the playroom. Then we waited…

In the days to come we spotted robins and cardinals and a couple of birds I couldn’t identify, but the most frequent visitor to our birdfeeder wasn’t a bird at all. He was, however, lots of fun to watch!


Every time we scoot the birdfeeder out along the limb, the squirrel(s) come along and scoot it back to the trunk so they can get at it better. It’s fascinating to watch them hang upside down the way they do, as if hanging on by a single toenail! They’re so entertaining I find myself not minding too much that they’re eating all the birdfeed!

The End, Really

That’s the plan anyway! It’s taken me longer to write these posts than we were even IN Memphis!

Our last day was Sunday, Kinley’s actual birthday, so we had some fun making this day special for all the kids.

First, the carousel! My kids had never ridden one before, and at least half of them loved it! (The Z/R half was afraid to ride any of the animals, and the bench is not nearly as fun)

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And then, the train!


Next, an ear piercing! Kinley was SO brave. I hope Reagan doesn’t want her ears pierced next year. I’m pretty sure I’ll tell her no.


DSC_0147Zachary, Thomas, Jonathan, KayKay, Reagan, Kinley, Kallen

DSC_0162 Feel the love!

After dinner at the food court and Daddy’s surprise arrival (Yea! We missed you, Daddy!), we went back to Bud and KayKay’s for a birthday party for ALL the cousins (all 6 of them have summer birthdays).


We had cake and opened presents and just had a blast. It was a great trip! Thank you to ALL our Memphis fam for all the fun times and new experiences! You guys are such a blessing to us! Love you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arty Party

Our trip to Memphis also happened to coincide with Cousin Kinley’s birthday party! The kids were so excited when they found out that they would get to go to Kinley’s party! Every day they asked if we were going yet!

Kinley’s party was art-themed because the girl LOVES art! IMG_4819

All the kids at the party (and there were a LOT of kids) got their own apron to wear. Such a cute idea! Then they all got a paper bag and some markers to decorate it for goodies later.

The BIG art activity of the day was finger-painting! IMG_4823

IMG_4826 Super messy, but oh-so-fun!

Well, for most of the kids…


Poor Zachary. Art is not his favorite thing, and this is not the first time he has refused to participate in a painting activity.

Check out my talented sister’s adorable cake:


After cake and presents, it was piñata time!

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The kids used the the bags they decorated at the beginning of the party to hold all the goods that fell from the piñatas. It was a great party, and we had so much fun!

After the party, all the family stayed to hang out some more. Before we got our evening going, Jodie wanted a group pic of all the cousins. All ten cousins piled up, and we started snapping pictures…


…then Jodie interrupted, insisting that Kinley hold this balloon in the picture…but, wait, what does that balloon say?


Wow! Aunt Jojo and Uncle Jeff are going to have another baby! Yea! (I’m assuming that it’s okay to make this announcement here, since she already made it on her own blog!)

The rest of the evening was just fun and relaxing, that is except when my kids were driving Kinley and Kallen’s motorized vehicles! They couldn’t get the hang of WATCHING WHERE THEY WERE GOING!!! Too busy looking at the wheels or each other or me or whatever!

DSC_0125 Look! A kite!



I’m so glad Jodie had us all stay that night. It was so nice to get to talk to Jeff’s family and watch all their beautiful kids play with mine.


Jodie, KayKay, Adam, Connie

DSC_0123 Julie, Sandra, Bud, Jack, Ken

Thanks for letting us come to your birthday, Kinley! We LOVED it! But it made it hard when the kids wanted to know when we were going to Kallen’s party!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Get Me Outta Here!!

Since the kids recently turned four, we also recently had our four-year checkups. Now, my kids have been LOOKING FORWARD to these checkups for ages, begging me to take them TODAY to get their shots. Can I get my shots NOW? PLEEEEASE? I'm not kidding. BEGGING FOR SHOTS.

Why in the world are my kids begging for shots? Two reasons: the treasure box and a convenient forgetting of how much shots hurt. Mostly the treasure box.

Finally the kids turned four. Time for checkups and shots! Yea! Jonathan and Zachary went first. (I may be a supermom, but I'm not super enough to take all four at the same time, especially if shots are involved. They may not remember that shots hurt, but I do!) Most of the checkup was great! The kids are healthy, etc, etc, I'll post more about the checkups later. This post is about SHOTS. Zachary got his first, and when the first needle went into his leg (there were three total BTW) he looked at me with total shock. He DID NOT expect the shots to HURT!!! And then he started wailing. Jonathan, in the meantime, scrunched himself as far into the corner as he could go and refused to come out. After consoling and calming Zachary, I literally had to pry Jonathan out of the corner with him begging me the whole time not to make him get the shots.

But as awful as it was, it was nothing compared to taking Reagan and Thomas. Reagan cheerfully volunteered to go first. (Yea, shots!) I really tried to prepare her for the fact that the shots WOULD hurt. She was undeterred. And then she got poked and started crying. I don't want the shots! I don't want the shots! Too late. But the worst part was that she wouldn't stop crying. Thomas was so scared that I had to hold both of them after her shots, and she starts begging me, "Don't do it to Thomas! Don't do it to Thomas, Mommy!" So sweet of her to be thinking about her brother, but NOT HELPING TO CALM THOMAS. She continues to beg for Thomas' life while I help the poor nurse prepare for T's shots. As soon as the first needle goes in, he starts screaming, "Get me outta here! Get me outta here!"

I had to turn my head away. Not because I couldn't bear to look at the fear and pain on his face, but because I was afraid I was going to start laughing. Isn't that awful? Now don't get me wrong. I do not enjoy seeing my kids scared and in pain. IT WAS AWFUL. The whole experience was excruciating for all of us. But Get me outta here! was just too much for me. I composed myself quickly and turned back to him with a face full of concern, and was overjoyed when the experience was over, but the memory remains, and I think I will enjoy telling him all about it when he's old enough to understand the humor of it.

Get me outta here!

Wet and Wild

Of course, we didn’t have to go anywhere to have fun in Memphis. We had tons of fun just staying home!

The kids got to eat nearly every meal in front of the TV, always a treat!


There was always SOMEBODY willing to read a story!


KayKay is MUCH MORE willing to make time for playing games on the computer than Momma!


And don’t forget the Slip ‘n Slide and pool! The kids had SO MUCH fun! Bud and KayKay have a great hill in their back yard, not much fun to mow but PERFECT for a Slip ‘n Slide! I was really surprised by how much the kids liked it this year. They were not quite the fans last year! Check out the fun times!

DSC_0005 Aren’t the girls adorable in their matching ballerina swimsuits? Such a cute present from Aunt Nancy! And yes, despite being a year younger than Reagan, Kallen IS taller! The cousins will be tall like their mom! No such luck for JonZReaTom!

DSC_0043 Even Zachary, who is typically leery of any activities involving water, had a blast sliding through the sprinklers!


Thomas, cheesing for the camera

DSC_0009 Zachary, thoroughly enjoying himself


Cousin Kinley, ready to take off down the hill

DSC_0063 Reagan, relaxing in the pool

DSC_0010 Jonathan couldn’t slow down long enough to look at the camera!

DSC_0026 Kallen was right there with the rest of them! She didn’t let being the youngest keep her from anything!

DSC_0016 Making it look easy!

DSC_0013 Cousin Kallen, what a cutie!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We Didn’t Know What We Were Missing

At the beginning of the summer we paid a super-fun visit to Memphis. The news is over a month old, but I just recently got the pictures my sister took and really needed them to do the trip justice. There’s a lot more than I can put in one post at a single sitting, so there may be a series of posts. It’s hard to say at this point.

One of the first things we did on this trip was visit the Children’s Museum in Memphis. Although the cousins had been there before, my kids and I had not, and WOW! What an impressive museum! If you’re ever in Memphis, definitely check it out! You won’t be disappointed! You know how much I love taking the kids to the Children’s Museum in Oak Ridge, but it really can’t even be compared to the one in Memphis. They are in two COMPLETELY different leagues!

The first area we entered was all about airplanes. When you turned on the activity pictures below, all the fans in the back came to life, generating enough air speed that the plane would lift off the ground. Then you could steer the plane with the controls and watch it fly!


There was also the front part of AN ACTUAL JET that the kids could climb all through and push buttons and flip switches.


The next area had a “stream” for the kids to “fish” with magnetic poles. They LOVED it!


Next there was a little grocery store for the kids to go shopping, with working cash registers that even printed receipts if you followed the directions!


There was also a green screen area (two actually) where the kids could watch themselves on the big screen while they ran and danced around. The backgrounds on the screen kept changing, so they might be underwater or in the desert or at a castle. There were costumes too!



Another area had a real-life motorcycle, police car, and fire truck to play on.

IMG_4780 IMG_4776

Other areas had art projects, fake teeth to brush, houses to play in with plenty of light switches to flip on and off all you wanted, AND SO MUCH MORE!!!! Really, it was incredible!


There are so many more pictures, but time is short. Lots more to say about our Memphis trip too, plus all our other activities, hopefully coming SOON!!