Sunday, September 22, 2013

TN - Part 2

One of our favorite activities in TN is to take the boat over to the little beach they have. The kids love playing in the sand!

And finding neat rocks!

Even Brendan made it out to the beach!

Cutie pie.

Everyone had a lot of fun playing with baby Brendan.

Ben enjoyed some boy bonding.

The girls enjoyed playing with him too...

but they kept wanting to hold him!  He didn't want to be held though - he wanted to be crawling around!


The house Madgie and Patch rented came with a golf cart to get down to the dock, which was quite steep.  The kids loved it and Juju was always asking to ride on Patch's "tractor"!

Brendan looked a little unsure about his first boat ride...

But he quickly settled in and found it quite comfortable!

The girls singing on the boat!

And there was also lots of time for these two to enjoy a favorite common past time...reading!

What a fun toy the "tractor" was!
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Week in TN

In August we traveled down to Tennessee to visit family. Normally, we go down to see Mama Kay and Papa, but this year we had the added bonus of Madgie and Patch! Several years ago Madgie and Patch bought property on the same lake that Mama Kay and Papa live on for potential retirement some day. This summer they decided to rent a house up there for two months to see if they enjoyed it, so we went down to visit. It was a great family reunion because Uncle Chris, Aunt Ginny, and Cousin Brendan came down too!  The girls were very excited to spend some silly time with Uncle Chris...

And this is the view from the porch that we had to look at all week...

Ben and Abbey loved swimming off the dock, which is about 20 feet deep so they are required (by family rules) to wear life jackets at all times.

Juliette did not want to swim off the dock, but did enjoy sitting at the end and having Ben and Abbey splash her feet.

Madgie and Patch even rented a boat to ensure a full experience.  Patch and Juliette really enjoyed our first trip out on the boat!

The girls quickly settled in next to Uncle Chris.

We boated over to Mama Kay and Papa's house, where Ben and Mama Kay took the canoe out for a quick trip.  This is them heading out...before they tipped the canoe... :)

This is the first summer that Ben has really enjoyed tubing.  He went with Uncle Chris and couldn't get enough of it, even going outside the wake and bouncing around!  The girls would not go in the tube still...maybe in a few years.

Uncle Chris got to water ski, which he hasn't done since high school.  It's like riding a bike!  I did not do any water skiing this summer because of the baby, so maybe next summer.

Ben and Abbey jumping off the dock!

Girls and I on the boat...

Oh we love the boat!

More to come on our wonderful week, so stay tuned!
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Friday, September 06, 2013

Girls' Birthday Party

Abbey and Juliette have birthdays that are 6 weeks apart and this year they both wanted a gymnastics party. Since they have a lot of the same friends and we didn't want to have the same party with the same people twice, we had a combined party. The girls weren't sure about that at first, but when I mentioned that I would make them each their own cake, they immediately came on board with the idea! So, here is Abbey's requested cake - Hello Kitty...

And Juliette wanted Kiera from "Barbie and the Pop Star" movie, which is her favorite movie.  You can see the doll next to it is how it is supposed to look.  Juliette seemed happy with it.

Then it was off to the gymnastics place where they both take classes.  They love the running trampolines!

If you look closely, you can see Ben in the pit...

Then it was singing (separately of course) and cake!  Happy Birthday dear Abbey...

Happy Birthday Dear Juliette...

Then it was home to open presents with the family.

It was a  great party - they loved it!
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Monday, September 02, 2013

Swim Team

Ben did swim team again this year and had more fun as several of his friends decided to do it as well this summer. He was very much improved over last summer. He actually did all the strokes (although he still hates backstroke and complains bitterly if he is asked to do it) and his times improved a lot over last summer too. Here he is ready to go at the end of season big city swim meet.

Getting ready!

On your mark, get set...

Great job this year Ben!  And Abbey has watched Ben and has also learned the strokes.  She went to the pool with two separate friends this summer and both of the moms commented on what a great swimmer Abbey is and asked where she took lessons...except she hasn't taken any lessons since she was a baby!  That's just Abbey - watch and learn!  We do plan to put her in some lessons this winter and hopefully she will join the swim team next summer with Ben.
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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Other Summer Happenings

Other things happening this summer...let me think...oh yeah, did I mention that we are having another baby?

That's right!  As if we didn't have enough chaos in our house, we have decided to add some more.  Baby #4 is due in January and this little one below is super excited!  Actually, all of the kids are pretty excited.  It has been fun this time around as the kids are older and can appreciate it more.  They have been talking to the baby and giving the baby (i.e., my belly) lots of hugs and kisses.  Juliette talks about the baby all the time and is sure to say goodbye to both me and the baby when she goes into school.  And when Ben set the table for dinner the other night he set a small plate next to mine with a baby fork...the food on that plate was for the baby and I had to eat that food with the baby fork!  So everyone is getting excited!  I have been feel pretty good, although extremely exhausted during the first trimester.  Although, we definitely had a lot going on during that time anyway!  I think between the move, vacation, recovering from vacation and summer activities in general I would have been exhausted even if I wasn't pregnant!

We went to a very fun bbq at a friend's house, which ended up being a great time to start telling friends that we are expecting again.  Here are the group of guys!

Juliette got a big girl bike from Madgie and Patch for her birthday.  Luckily, they got it for her early so she has been able to enjoy it all summer!

We missed vacation bible school at our Church because we were in Alaska, but we found another one that the kids could attend.  Actually, this one may have been even better because they accepted kids ages 3 and up (which meant all 3 of them could go - Juliette would have been too young to go to the one at our Church) and it was FREE!  The kids loved it though and here is Juliette singing the songs at the end with the motions - so cute!

We went to Irish Fest.  Our good friends' daughter (in Ben's class) is an Irish dancer, so we got to go watch her and participate in all the fun activities, like face painting...

Balloon making...

And plenty of games to win silly prizes!

I also took the kids to Lake Arlington for a day where we went on the Paddle Boats.  This was a bit of a chore at first as both girls were scared and wanted to ride on my lap.  That meant that paddling was very difficult for me.  Luckily, Ben was so excited that he actually did most of the work!  The girls did finally relax a little though and enjoy it!

And of course they got to play in the sand while we were there too!

Something else exciting was that we got a visit from the Budweiser Clysdales!  I don't know why they came to our village, but it was a fun event!  They actually delivered beer to some of the local bars in our downtown and there was a large crowd to watch them!

They were pretty impressive - huge animals!

We went to a Boomers Minor League Baseball game with the scouts.  It was a lot of fun, but there was a rain delay and it was the night before the big city swim meet, so we actually didn't stay too long to see much of the game.  It is definitely something we would want to go back and do again sometime though as the kids seemed to enjoy it, especially Ben after playing baseball again this summer. 


Sorry this post was a little random, but just trying to mention a few of the fun things we did this summer in an effort to catch up!
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