Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Journey Into Nature

My mom, back at the beginning of summer, took my darling threesome and myself to our local nature center. We've been before, but we just had an especially good time this time.

Many different color azaleas were in bloom...some I had never seen before. Lucy went around gathering a bouquet of wildflowers (it just occurs to me that maybe she wasn't supposed to??

The horses were out and eager to eat clover from little baby hands.

The spinning bench is always fun...
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As are secret pathways mowed into the grass...

And it's just always cool to see what bird your "wingspan" matches up with.

Then there's the AWESOME treehouse!!! Great place to picnic!

You have to, of course get your picture inside the big hollow log, cause it's just a cool kid-sized place!

They Call Her Nina

I have decided to go back in time and recapture the blog posts that never were. So for anyone reading these, forgive me...I just MUST do it, in case I ever turn this into a scrapbook.

For my Mom's birthday back in APRIL(!!!), we had her over and made dinner. We, meaning- Stephen, Sherry and I...and of course the kids. We were adventurous and bought her a couple of "different" tops (she likes for us to pick out clothes she wouldn't typically wear).

Group shot before dinner.

Sherry made carrot cake for our carrot-top :)

And of course, the kids made cards...

And much fun was had by all on NINA'S BIRTHDAY!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

computers stink

as my computer has decided to stop working, so have I decided to not try to blog without said computer

TTFN (tah-tah-for-now)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wanna See?

Wanna see the new water park???? Here it is!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Anniversary Weekend

For a practically free anniversary weekend:

Let one set of parents use their hotel points to get you a room.
Use your memberships that another set of parents bought you to an amusement park
Use a gift card from your sister to eat dinner

We went to Gatlinburg and it was very nice. We shopped. We rode rollercoasters and more rollercoasters at Dollywood.

We had a sketch artist draw us to commemorate our 10th anniversary.....

Unfortunately it turned out like this....

I think he was trying TOO hard to flatter us. I think I look like I lost 30 pound and I have a big-eyed alien inhabiting my body. The only thing is, I actually HAVE been this thin before, but my face is ALWAYS round. It's called bone structure. Not really sure what this guy was smoking. This is in fact what Stephen looked like in college, except his hairline came down further and and his hair has NEVER been straight. Only problem is...he's not in college anymore and I'm not 30 pounds lighter anymore and we wanted a picture (oddly enough) of what we look like now.

We're presently trying to decide what to do with this waste of money :)

Stephen did that hammer thing where you use a huge hammer to hit a thing and if it goes to the top you win. And he won me this :) ( Yes, I am a closet UT fan....oddly enough at my church, which is located in Tennessee, UT is NOT widely adored...I know, weird)

And of course there was this watermelon margarita... yum!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our "Actual" Anniversary

Stephen and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on Thursday. He took the day off. Our family went to a local state park and then to a semi-local, small county fair.

The state park was awesome. We went to a small cascade falls and found a little natural rock waterslide. The kids did it over and over and over. I got some video footage of Lucy and Clyde. Stephen tried to get video of Iris sliding to me, but he accidently got her right before she slid and right after she slid :)
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We saw this spotted fawn....that was neat.

Then we went to the county fair :)

Then we saw Venus, Saturn and Mars. THAT was awesome. Or I should say, Stephen and I thought it was awesome, the kids clung to our legs and cried that they were scared of being outside in the dark until we said, "okay, okay, get back in the van and we'll go home".

Here's a picture of Venus and Earth's moon...unfortunately, Saturn and Mars were neither big enough nor bright enough to show up in my pics.

The next day we took off for our anniversary weekend WITHOUT the precious children :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Papa turns 65 :)

My step-dad will henceforth be referred to as Papa, as that is what my kids call him and has, thus become the name to which I am accustomed.

He turned 65 in July! Big Birthday!!!

We were all there of course, plus Papa, Nina, Sherry, and her fiance, David. Also, my step sister Shaun, her boyfriend and her 3 girls...the lovely Erica, Ashley and Aliyah!

Shaun surprised Papa BIG TIME with a picture of Jack Nicholas signed as follows:

Dear Paul,
Happy 65th Birthday,
(some sort of closing)
Jack Nicholas

It was pretty awesome. :)

Then we swam/ dived off the diving board for 20 minutes until the thunderstorms rolled in.

So I didn't get as many awesome pictures as normal, because my mom took most of the pics and I mostly videotaped......ah well.

Happy Birthday Papa!

All Work and All Play

When Stephen goes on a business trip, he works pretty much the whole time.

This is what we do....(WARNING-way too many pictures!)

First off, we stay in this awesome Hampton Inn. The owner has it packed with historical stuff! And he has llamas eating his grass and we love them! He also has procured some old chair lifts and turned them into swings overlooking the beautiful mountains and lake.

Also my Uncle Norman normally hangs out with us, which is awesome! The kids love him and that's a higher adult/child ratio!!!

Day 1- Museum of Appalachia. Just the gift shop is full of fun and educational things. Lap harps, handstitched quilts by the older generation of mountain natives, folk toys, jellies, soaps, home made candies.Then when you walk through the museum itself, it is just impossible to take everything in. There's a wealth of info, from bio's of extraordinary mountain people, to memorabilia of famous musicians and preachers, old old old OLD things (the kind where you just say WOW), old jail cells, cabins that were either lived in by famous people and relocated or cabins that were used in movies.....all kinds of stuff, a rolling pin that a woman killed her husband with....cool stuff.

As though we didn't see enough old things, we followed the museum with an antique store...

Day 2- A hike up to Hatfield's Knob to view the elk. We thought it was going to be a bitter disappointment. The kids were complaining up a storm. We were just about to leave when we saw these beauties meander out of the woods....

Day 3- After a horrible time at a local playground, Uncle Norman took us to the Clinch River...

Then it rained and we kept playing....