Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family pictures

Since everyone was there, Mama Kay and Papa got a photographer to come out to the house and take a family picture. I can't wait to see how they turn out, but here are a few we took with our own camera. So, our kids...

All the grandkids...
Our family - unfortunately our kids were about done at this point, but it still was pretty cute.
And here is our family at the beach we went to.

I think that is the end of my blogging. We did so much more than I even blogged about, including canoe trips, trips to the beach, playing games, and so much more, but I can only include so many pictures! I said before that there were a lot of pictures, and just to give you an idea, between all the siblings, there were more than 1200 pictures, so you can see why I had a hard time picking some out to blog about! We had a great time - thank you to the entire family for coming together the same week and thank you to Mama Kay and Papa for having us all at your house at one time and enduring the chaos!!
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Spending time with family

Besides being so active, we spent a lot of time just hanging out with family. Here Cousin Caroline helps Juliette drink her bottle...what a good helper!

Ben and Daddy take a rest on the hammock.
Abbey bonds with her Godmother Aunt Domi.
And Cousin Madelyn loved being with Juliette and holding her whenever possible.
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Smokey Mountain National Park

Another great thing about being at Mama Kay's and Papa's house is that they are so close to the Smokey Mountains! So we decided to take a day trip over there and go on some hikes. Mama Kay stayed home with Juliette, who was too young to really enjoy it. Thank you Mama Kay! We thought Abbey might be too young to hike, but we knew she would want to come, so we put her in a backpack and started up the hill.
Ben and Caroline had a lot of fun on the hike.
We got to cross some bridges over streams - good job Abbey!
We hiked to a place where the Walker Sisters lived. There were 5 sisters who lived in the national park their whole lives (without power) until the last one died in the 1960's. They grew their own food and had farm animals. It was pretty amazing to see where they lived. Here are the kids looking out the top window of the house.

Then it was time to head back down the hill. Abbey wanted to be held (shocking) by Papa, so Ben got to ride in the back pack. I sure am glad Abbey was in there for the uphill part!
After the hike we had a picnic lunch and then the kids got to play in the stream. They had a blast!
Here are all the kids in the water.
And Aunt Theresa helping Abbey climb over the rocks.

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One of things Ben was most excited to do down at Mama Kay's and Papa's house was go fishing. Uncle David brought down his fishing poles and they went to buy some bait. Here are Uncle David and Ben doing some fishing off the dock.
Ben was very patient and really liked fishing.
Luckily, the fish kept biting (pretty quickly) so it kept him interested. Here he is showing off one of the fish he caught (it's hard to see in the picture because it blends in with the water, but look at his proud expression and you know a fish is there).
Later, Uncle David fried up that fish for Ben to eat. He really liked it, so it was an all-around great experience for him!
But it was Daddy who had the luck of catching both the smallest...
and biggest...
fish of the day!

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Off the boat

Lots of fun took place off the back of the boat as well! Ben and Daddy show off their tubing skills...
Ben and Abbey in the tube...
Ben tubed by himself, but I think he enjoyed it more when he went with Daddy.
After Ben tubed by himself, Abbey insisted on going by herself. She was fine until the boat started to pull away, and then she freaked out and cried the whole time. We didn't make her go for long, but after that, she got upset any time someone was in the tube behind the boat. By the end of the week she calmed down, but she was always very worried for whoever was behind the boat!

Daddy and I also did some skiing. I went outside the wake, which I haven't ever done before, and Paul got up on the slolem and wakeboard, which he hadn't done before. So fun was had by all (except Juliette who we did not take in the tube quite yet).
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Riding on the boat

Another fun thing to do is take out Papa's boat for a ride! Lots of other fun stuff to do off the back of the boat, but we will get to that. It is also just fun to ride on the boat. Look at Ben - he's king of the world!

Abbey helps Papa drive the boat!
Caroline, Abbey and Ben check out someone skiing off the back of the boat.
And back to my previous post, I found a picture of Abbey enjoying the lake! Like I said, a LOT of pictures to look through when trying to decide what to blog, so I guess I must have missed this one!
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TN Trip - Fun at the dock

A lot of blogging coming up...we went down to Tennessee for a week to have a family reunion with Paul's family. It was the first time since our wedding (8 years ago) that all siblings were together, so it was a blast. This also may take me a while to update...let's just say between all the siblings a LOT of pictures were taken! Anyway, I thought I would start off with the fun we have just hanging out at the dock. Mama Kay and Papa's house is on a lake with a beautiful view and so much to do (which will be blogged about soon), but one of our favorite things to do is just sit at the dock, swim off the end, and have fun hanging out (with some margaritas or sangria)! This trip was also exciting for us because it was Juliette's first time in the lake. We came down for Christmas, so it isn't her first trip to the lake, but it was the first time she could try out the lake. And she liked it! She is definitely a water baby (much like her siblings). She had a blast just splashing in the lake.

This year was fun for Ben too because he was very independent swimming once he put his life jacket on. He would swim for hours and go on secret missions with cousin Hunter to retrieve various lake toys that were floating away. He loved the freedom (and we did too!).

Mama Kay and Papa also have a little swimming pool they set up on the dock and Juliette really enjoyed splashing in that too (especially when she got sick of wearing her life jacket).
By the end of the week though, she figured out how to climb out of the pool and so her life jacket was once again placed on as soon as she got down to the dock.

As a side note, Abbey also enjoyed swimming in the lake (with someone) and playing in this little pool too - I just don't have any great pictures of her doing it. But don't worry, there are plenty of pictures of Abbey to post from our trip.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Juliette is 10 months!

So technically she is 10 months tomorrow, but we went in for her check-up today so I thought I would go ahead and blog now. She weighed in at 18 pounds, 11 oz. and was 27 1/4 inches tall. She was very happy during her appointment, until he had to dig in her ears to get a good look (she had some wax that he needed to get through apparently - she was not happy about it). Then she had a shot and blood taken, so she was not happy about that either. But overall it went fine. As for her development, she has changed a lot lately. She is now crawling on all 4's (and has been doing so for about 3 weeks now, but is getting faster and further everyday). She never did scoot on her tummy! It's funny to me how different the kids have been. Ben scooted on his tummy for 2 months before getting up to all 4's. Abbey did it for about 2 weeks and Juliette never even did it! She rolled like crazy though, which the other 2 never did. Anyway, she can sit herself back up from crawling and is starting to pull herself up a little. If we prop her up standing, she can hold on and stand for a while. She claps and does "so big". She is eating most table food now, although we are still giving her jar food to make sure she is getting enough and because she still really likes it - her eyes follow the jar when I pull it out! She is still saying Mama and Dada, but I wouldn't say we have heard a first word quite yet - she just babbles those. She might be saying "yay" when she claps her hands though. She is doing great and rarely complains. She's our littlest princess!!

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Uncle Phil turns 30!

Well it's about time...Uncle Phil joined the club and turned 30! To celebrate, they had a big party at Dave and Busters since Uncle Phil loves games. Abbey quickly found the birthday man and attached herself to him for most of the night. She knows how to get attention!

So Paul took Jillian for a while (although lots of people wanted to hold Jillian).

Juliette with her Godmother Aunt Sandy!
And of course we played lots of games. The kids loved dancing on this, even when it wasn't on! The great thing about going with cute kids is that lots of people just gave them tickets (especially people working there). So we ended up with a ton of tickets and got a huge Cubs bouncy ball (about the size of a stability ball).

We had so much fun! Thanks for the party Phil and Sandy and Happy Birthday!!
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hollywood Studios

On our last day we headed over to Hollywood Studios. It was very hot that day and since it was a Saturday, it was much more crowded. Plus, it was Star Wars weekend at Hollywood Studios, so we got to see a lot of people dressed up and a lot of Star Wars characters walking around. Interesting. Anyway, here are the sisters ready to start the day!

One really cool thing we did was go see the Mickey Mouse Playhouse show. It was just like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (the tv show) and then it included some other favorite Disney shows we watch (Pooh and Friends, Little Einsteins, and Handy Manny). It was a good show - plus it was in the air conditioning for a while! Here we are waiting for the show to start.

Juliette liked this show because everyone sat on the floor, so she got to move around a little bit and not be held by someone or strapped into a stroller.

Patch and Abbey ready to see the Muppets 3D show.

And then we got to meet Lightning Mcqueen and Mater - Ben's favorites!! For those of you wondering, Abbey is crying - you just can't see her face in this picture.
Star Wars weekend.
Uncle Chris and Abbey.

The Toy Story ride is very cool, but you have to get there early and get a fast pass (thanks for the tip Aunt Domi) because the line was crazy. Luckily we got a fast pass because I don't think we would have waited the 110 minutes they were estimating! After the ride and right before we left, we got to meet Woody and Buzz. The best part about this is what happened after we met them - Abbey gave Woody a hi-5! After 4 days of torturing the poor child by meeting characters, she finally realized maybe they weren't so scary! I was so proud of her. And for those of you wondering, apparently this is exactly what I was like at her age.

Finally, our Disney trip was over. All that was left to do was take the tram out to our cars. Uncle Chris got some last minute kid time in by handling them all at once!

It was a very fun and very exhausting vacation. Thanks to Madgie, Patch, Uncle Chris and Aunt Ginny for coming with us and sharing the experience. We had a fabulous time! Now, glad I got all that posted. A few more things to post this week and then we are off to TN for a week of fun with Paul's family!! I love summer!!

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