Sunday, December 31, 2006
Here are the pictures from Maggie's birthday party at the Family Fun Center celebrating with our family and friends! What a fun day... Oh to be a Princess!
The line up of Princesses... Amelia, Anna Grace, Maggie, Carsen, Ruth, Esther, Sydney.
They tried to play a game of putt-putt but only lasted a hole or two.
We did save the balls and putters and the boys took them during gift time and finished playing the game. They mostly just ran around and wasted tokens but had a great time doing it.
Grammy helped Lydia stay out of trouble... at least long enough to eat some pizza!
Uncle Seth figured the boys needed their own private pizza table... away from the girls! He rescued them from the jewelry and pink ooze. A couple of the taller, older boys also got to drive the go-carts while the girls were doing the high heeled prance.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
My life with the kids!
Strongrock Camp and Retreat has become a favorite place for all of us these days. Their huge gym is a great place to run and ride and run and kick and scream and run and still be protected from the bitter cold wind. It's also a fun place for Mom to ride horses.
The Himstedts just moved into their lovely new "cabin" so that's fun to explore too. Here are some pictures from the other day.
I'm trying to get more pictures but it won't let me upload them all. Argh!
It will not let me add these last few pictures to the post above... so I'll put them here instead. The rest of the horse and playgroup photos.
Anyway, this is Shannon, Zoe, and Meggie Beth and her mom. Then the whole group of kids and the group of moms who went riding.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
We also had marshmallow time around the fire. That's always a highlight for the kids. Not so much for the parents who have to do the cleaning and coralling once the sugar kicks in. But then, the entire day is about making memories for the kids. One day they'll want to take their kids to a tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree just like I did with my family in Zebulon, GA! Those are the forever memories... even if the tree doesn't survive!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
We went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg Tennessee the day after Thanksgiving for a family vacation and to meet up with Curtis' grandparents for some time together. Our drives always turn into twice as long as they are supposed to be. This time was no different. The kids traveled really well, as the generally do. It was getting late in the afternoon and they had all finished what naps they were going to take. I suggested stopping just outside of Gatlinburg for leg stretching! We were almost out of the Park and I was thinking about dinner. If we were expecting them to sit in a restaraunt and behave after sitting in their seats all day... well, I'd rather have them run around like maniacs in the National Park than the lobby of our dinner place. So, we stopped at what they call a "quiet walk" next to the stream. It was chilly and there was actually old snow still in some shaded areas that excited the kids. We were able to capture a family photo to use for our Christmas letter and enjoyed the fresh air. After about 30 minutes we decided we needed to head on out and work on supper. Ruth was starting to explain how "very very starving" she was.
We loaded back up and didn't any more turn back out onto the road then the traffic ahead came to a stand still. There was nowhere else to go. Once you're in the park... you're in. Plus, we were within a few miles of being out! So we sat and crawled forward a bit, then crept a bit more. After 45 minutes of inching along we came to the trouble... BEARS! You know, those 4 legged, big headed dark creatures who can be so scary. Today they were entertaining. People were pulled off the road in every direction. One lady didn't even get out of the road... just sort of pulled her front tire into the dirt and stopped. We sighed heavily and kept on trucking along... sped around the corner to find more cars pulled over looking at more bears. Maybe even the same bears from a different angle. Then we came to a third area of peepers. Curtis finally gave in to the urge to join and he also pulled off the road, grabbed Bennett and the camera and hiked down the embankment searching for a "remember when" photo. After mere seconds of listening to the girls whine about wanting to see too I gathered them up and hauled them across the road searching for those dim dark blobs down in the woods. It was dusk and there were just seconds of daylight left for such spectating! We got close enough to make the girls happy, Bennett was close enough to see them all and the Park Ranger didn't even have to get onto us for obstructing the flow of traffic.
We made it to dinner before Ruth wasted away and ate at Bennett's BBQ... more for the name than the quality meat! We had a great hotel where the kids could swim, eat whatever they wanted for breakfast, and had plenty of space to run around the room. Bennett took a walk during naps one afternoon and got to feed a gaggle of ducks... or is that flock. We played at one of the amusement areas and each got to ride in the go-carts. That was a big thrill for all three of the older kids... and Dad and Mom! We met up with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma at the time share in Gatlinburg on Sunday. The kids really enjoyed playing at the cabin, swimming outside in November, and being silly with Steve. We got to go to the Dixie Stampede one evening and mostly enjoyed their Christmas show. Ruth had a serious reaction to the dust and dander in the air so we were a little distracted with that. But it was good food and a good show. We also got a souvenir horse, Mr. Bizzy. We came home... but only after Bennett had already missed two days of school and I had to go back to work. We all desired for more time to play. We would have liked to go to the dinosaur museum too. Bennett has that one listed for our next trip!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Well, except ole Lydia! All 4 of us girls were on antibiotics and Lydia is now on her second round. Maggie and I also had 2 rounds. Seems to be an icky winter season around here.
We had playgroup here this week... Hicks, Himstedts, Baumgardners, Knotts, Jennings. Probably sharing lots of germs with everyone! Such fun times with all those kids. One day soon we'll turn around and wonder why we let them drive all over town together. They'll be causing trouble for sure!
It's been a beautiful fall around here. The leaves are starting to look bare but the colors were brilliant this year and seemed to last longer than normal. The kids have made (with my leaf blowing help) a HUGE leaf pile to jump, run, kick, lay, and play in. It's been fun to watch them explore the changing seasons. Bennett even drives his 4-wheeler through it and watches the leaves fly all over. (one of these pictures is Maggie and Ruth picking leaves off Amelia. It was cute at the moment!)
Maggie had her first official sleep over at Carsen's house this week. Curtis and I laughed at the "Christmas morning" attitude they portrayed. Carsen's van drove in to pick her up and she went running. Then Carsen jumps out and runs to hug and jump up and down together with great anticipation. They giggled hilariously, talked about their plans, decided where to sleep and promised to be good ("I think" - Carsen's actual words). No pictures were taken because there was too much fun going on and the camera was not thought about. Next time we'll have photos.
OH... Halloween. I almost forgot! We have a fall festival at church and dressed up the kids. Ruth decided to be a fire fighter, despite having a beautiful Snow White dress hanging in her closet. Maggie had to be a princess, of course! And Bennett wanted to be a dinosaur. Last minute... "go to Wal-Mart??", he asks. I explained that the morning of October 31st isn't a good time to go to Wal-Mart in search of a dinosaur costume and that I would make one while he was at school. So, I spent the day spray-painting, cutting, hot gluing and came up with a sort of dinosaur looking outfit that he was proud of by night's end. It did take some coaxing! We didn't do a very good job getting "good" photos of their dressed up selves... so there's not a quality shot of Ruth. This one is of Bennett and his good friend Matthew (the ninja). They had a little train ride that was speedy fast and being in the last car felt like a roller coaster! The kids loved it. This was us and the Himstedt's. A good time was had by all and the bag full of candy still rests (forgotton??) in the back of the suburban!