Saturday, October 12, 2013

We Arrive!

This morning Stephen, the kids, and I met Mom, Paul, Sherry and David at 8am to start our journey to Panama City Beach for a week long vacation sponsored by Mom & Paul!

We made one stop, suggested by David, at Noccalula Falls in Alabama.  It was gorgeous and more than worth the, literally, 5 minutes it took to get there, even though we DID give him a hard time about stopping.  Can't believe I've never heard of this place before!

Around 5:30, we arrived at our destination and checked in.  Mom and Sherry decided to go ahead and take the kids to play in the sand a little while before dark.  I lazily snapped pics WITH MY AWESOME CAMERA, from the balcony.  (Keep in mind, we're on the 14th floor!)

Once it was dark, Sherry & David, Stephen and myself took the kids of the most BELOVED beach activities!

oh, Clydie, my love.  one day you will grow out of this, right?

Then I painted my toenails!

Now the kids are tucked in bed dreaming about tomorrow!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Nina & The Pinta

We took a field-trip to visit replicas of the Nina and the Pinta!  It was exciting to visit them so close to Columbus Day!

First we boarded the Pinta.  Here are the kids climbing the quarter deck.  Then just a shot of them on deck.  Apparently if there was a storm, only the important members of crew, like those in charge of navigation got to take shelter under the quarter deck, the rest had to weather it on deck.  Yikes!

They had a small model ship set up with ropes and a sail so the kids could figure out how they worked.

Clyde and Iris having fun with the signal cannon...

I took about 20 pictures of a homeschool group so they returned the favor :)

Then we boarded the Nina.  Here's Clyde working the windless....that was so cool.  The kids want to build one now ;)

Here's a precursor to the sextant...apparently they had not been invented yet.  Wow....scary sailing!

Here are the kids sitting on the rudder of the Nina.

I disembarked first to get a shot from off the ship.

Here's the Nina from a better vantage  point, if you look closely you can see the girls disembarking.

and just because it's so awesome, here's a picture I DID NOT take, from their website...

Just think, these volunteers actually sail these beauties from city to city letting people tour them.  It'd be awesome to not know they were coming and just happen to see them sailing down the river!

Much fun!  Happy Columbus Day...when it comes :D

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Birthday Party

While I was out tonight watching my favorite volleyball player kick some (bleep), my husband and kids were working on a birthday party for me.

I walked in and found this waiting for me....

Lucy scurried away into the kitchen, I presume to put finishing touches on THIS....

Then Stephen lit a candle on some dark chocolate truffles and they sang "Happy Birthday" to me!

I took a pic of them..

Here are the kids with the card they picked out for me...notice my eldest child's sweet face, my boy's crazy, chocolatey face, and my baby's kissy face... each very appropriate.

Here they are with the awesome presents they picked out!  A camera cared (awesome!) and some new mascara :)

Then a picture of my incredibly awesome husband, who knew I couldn't go on a family vacation with no camera (mine broke), so he got me THIS ONE!!!  I haven't named it yet, but it's very SHINY!  :D

I'm so blessed to have such a loving husband and such loving kids!!!  Thank you, Lord!!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dad's Birthday

For Dad's birthday, we all went out to eat at Outback.  My camera ran out of battery, so I didn't get a picture of him with his seafood!

Then we all (Dad, Janet, Sherry & David, Stephen, I & kids) came back to our house for dessert, presents and hanging out. 

Here's Dad opening up the card from Sherry, David, Stephen and I, it is NOT from Iris, as it appears to be....

Here he is opening up his very appropriate calender that David found.  This also is NOT from Iris, as it appears.  ( I didn't get him opening his coffee and other stuff!) .....

Grandad showing off his card that is ACTUALLY FROM Iris...

Lucy's card...

Clyde's card...

Then Grandad told Iris all about the tractors on his calender.  The kids all talked enthusiastically and almost in unison about our trip to Sevierville.  We all had white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Here's Lucy showing Grandad her line of clothes she has designed inspired by animals...

And here she is....showing off how she's TALLER THAN GRANDMOM!!  (WHAT??!!)

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!


It's always interesting to me to see what the kids pick out for themselves when given the chance to shop a little.  It shows a tiny piece of their personalities.

While we were in Sevierville, we took the kids to Gatlinburg and let gave them each a set amount of money they could spend. 

Lucy was the first to pick out hers.  She's always quite decisive and never seems to have buyers remorse.  She's always very content with her first choice.

This time, she picked out these doll glasses...Felicity had lost her first pair, which Clyde had bought, so these were long overdue....

Then she had a mug made of herself and Lucille Ball.  The back-story here is that I had her picture taken when she was 3 with this same shot of Lucille Ball and put on a mug. 

Iris was the next one to decide what she wanted.  We went into a needlepoint shop and she fell in love.  Most everything was out of her price range, but she found this beginners cross-stitch kit.  It comes with a pre-sewn pillow, some aida cloth, embroidery thread and a needle.  Here's what she's done so far, I'll update when she's finished!  This purchase took all of her money, but she has been most happy with it.

Clyde, by far, had the hardest time.  He always stresses when he spends his money.  He borrows trouble and worries about how sorry he'll be when he sees something later that is so much cooler.  It really takes the fun out of it for him most of the time.  But well after this particular shopping excursion, he appears to still be happy with his choices, though he did go through much angst.

He bought this troll....

And he bought this custom necklace.  You were able to pick what kind of cord you want your charms to hang from and then you could pick as many charms as you wanted....

So there you are...a little insight into my kids and what kinds of treasures cause them to fish into their pockets :)