Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Castle & The Hero

Today my precious Mom and lovely Sherry enticed us to leave our stale books at home and experience the greatness out of doors.

We visited a Civil War museum (sort-of).

Then we traipsed up the "Castle".   I hope you're imagining me lightly skipping up all those stairs and that you cannot see in your mind's eye the plodding and pausing that actually occurred.... and how shaky my legs were when I got to the bottom.

Then we went walking.  The kids pooped out quickly.  It was very lovely outside, but quite warm.  Clyde was "thirsty" and "exhausted" and "couldn't walk another step".  He was literally hanging with his arms wrapped around my waist.  Only his feet were moving as I practically lugged the boy forward. 

This lasted until his little sister got more pitiful than himself.  Suddenly a change came over him.  He bucked up, ran over and put his arm behind her and began to encourage her to keep going.  Every once in  a while, she kind of drooped against him and he would support her.  I think she's his weak spot.  And I think she knows it.

It was a neat thing to see.  He's such a neat little guy!

While Strolling Through the Woods....

We recently went hiking (I use this term loosely, as one should when they are hiking with 9 kids, 12 and under) with some friends.

There were 13 of us.  Only 5 of us had to pee in the woods.  :)

The kids' favorite things to do were wield hiking sticks like weapons, jump across creeks, make soap out of onions......

...and hold Pierce's new friend!

So Pierce caught him, but he was generous and let everyone hold him who wanted....


Teva loving on the sweet ittle snakie....

and this is my FAVORITE picture...
Iris was SO scared, but really wanted to hold him.  This was her expression when I said "smile!"  The terror still comes through loud and clear :) 

She threw him a good two feet shortly after this picture.  Her terror was apparently too great.  But not to worry.  Pierce caught him and released him into his natural habitat. 

Here's where the big girls were while the other kids passed the snake around.

Great fun was had by all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

American Legion Dance

Ever since I was a little girl, my Dad has played trombone in the American Legion Band for their dances on the first Saturday of every month.  Bet you can't tell which t-bone player is my Dad ;)

Here he is playing a LOVELY solo!!

I used to rarely miss one.  But, since I've been married, we've only gone a few times and I really miss going!  We've taken the kids before, but only Lucy and Clyde really remembered.  Lucy was THRILLED when we told her we would be going last Saturday.  I even let her wear her Easter dress.

Clyde enjoyed the music and could even name a few songs, since he has a couple of big band records.  But he was NOT interested in dancing.  Stephen, ever the lesson giver, told Clyde that he has a life ahead of him in which he will always have to do things he doesn't want to do, but that he needs to get used to doing things for the women in his life.  So the requirement was that Clyde had to dance at least one dance.  He could pick me or one of his sisters and he could pick the kind of song.  He chose to dance a waltz with his Momma, and boy did he concentrate on counting to 3!!!

Iris and Lucy adored dancing with their father.  They really wanted to dance with Clyde, but when no other partner was to be found, they would settle for Sherry and I.  Lucy really picked it up quickly.  She learned the swing and the fox-trot.  Iris tried the steps for awhile, but eventually just broke into her own free-style dance ;)

They were excited for the band to take a break though, because that's when they got to see Grandad.  Clyde comparing  his height to that of Grandmom...I do believe he cheated right as I snapped the picture and raised his heels a bit!

Oh, and here's a picture of Stephen and I dancing....courtesy of Iris :)

A Saturday

Most of our weekends feel crazy.  So it was kind of weird to wake up Saturday morning and realize we had the day free.

So we called Ne-Na and Papa to see if they wanted to hang out.  Turns out they did.

We walked at a local park....

Sometimes galoshes are more needed than others...

Then they joined us at the pottery shop so we could finish our projects we started with Nana.

Lucy chattin it up with Ne-Na...

Then we ate lunch together before parting ways.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nana Time

Nana graced us with her presence for two whole weeks!  The kids were so delighted.  And they had certainly NOT had their fill of her by the time she left!

We took her to my Dad's for a weekend but I DID NOT HAVE MY CAMERA....UGH!

While she was here, we all worked on a puzzle together.  I mean, by all, I THINK Clyde may have done a piece or two :)

We went to the aquarium...don't think Nana wanted to touch the sting-rays.  But she HAS done it before, so the kids let her off the hook.

Stephen and his offspring had a who-can-hold-their-hand-in-the-icy-penguin-water-the-longest. 

Iris gave him a run for his money.  She almost beat him.  She held out so long, his face turned red and he started doing a dance.

We decided to introduce her to one of our favorite restaurants!!!  PFChangs!! 

And we went to paint pottery.

Stephen was secretly painting a heart shaped box for Iris.  (He pained Lucy a vase when she was little.)

Lucy painted a Cinderella box.  (previous years, she has painted Belle and Tiana boxes)

Iris also painted a Cinderella box.

Clyde painted an Angry Bird  :)

And Nana painted a tile with apples on it for her kitchen.  Only the shop closed early and she couldn't finish it, but she decided to let the kids finish it for her.

You are missed, Nana!

Animals, Bridges & Frozen Yogurt

Ne-na recently took us to the zoo (and got us family passes).  The kids had MUCH fun. 

Our local zoo is quite small, but much improved on what it used to be....and always changing.

The kids enjoying the new tortoises.

Lucy & the jaguar.  For a while they had the same one that was there when I was a girl (I was rather obsessed with it), but it recently died, so now there are two new ones.

Iris with the, apparently smelly, Scottish Bison.

Lucy talking to the goat as she brushes it.

Clyde being a chimp.

Clyde with a real chimp.  No tears!!  This was big since he has been mourning the loss of the zoo's most famous chimp since last January.  We had not been to the zoo since he died, because Clyde didn't seem like he could handle it.  (He covered all the pictures of chimps in his animal books, so he wouldn't be upset when he saw them.)

Kids and I....

Kids and Ne-Na....

Clyde picked the tiger on the merry-go-round.

Then we went across the walking bridge.  Iris likes to climb the rails and then slide down.

Lucy walking with Ne-na and Sherry with the cirrus clouds in the background :)

A sweet ending at Sweet Cici's!