Sunday, June 29, 2014

Regular Summer Week

This was the first week of summer that felt kind of normal.  No one was traveling and we were all here together all week.  It kind of felt like the first week of summer.

On that note, it was pretty darn boring – for me anyway.  I was the only one at work for multiple days this week and I hate being there by myself.  It’s so quiet! 

The kids were home most of the week with a babysitter.  Miss Victoria, a college student from our old church watched them Monday through Thursday.  The kids were very excited when they found out she was coming.  She watched them quite a bit last summer and will help us out a few weeks this summer.  I think they love having someone to play with that doesn’t have to do chores or other things around the house. 

I did make the kids start on their summer book of homework.  Homework in the summer?  Both teachers gave out the same book so we started on it this week.  They have been working in their weather journals and doing ixL (the online math program) and a page in the homework book each day.  No rest for the weary.  We are not going to let them forget their smarts this summer!

We did do something pretty out of the ordinary Wednesday morning.  We filmed a commercial!!  Not something we do every day.  Drew’s aunt owns the Cookie House at the mall and they asked the kids to be in the commercial.  They are already on the wall of the cookie house in practically life size pictures so we moved onto TV now.  ha.  We got there at 9am and then the camera guy suggested having a family pretend to buy cookies.  Well we were the only family around so we all got to be in it.  I thankfully looked decent because I was headed to work.  Drew just had on shorts and a golf shirt but he was in desperate need of a haircut.  I can’t believe he’s in that commercial with that fuzzy head!  Hopefully our spot is very quick and it will focus more on the kids in the commercial.  Lindy and Will were filmed eating cookies.  Should be interesting as Lindy jammed it in her mouth and gave the thumbs up! ha.  It will air sometime in July on our local news.  Can’t wait to see it.

On Drew’s day off on Friday he took the kids to SciWorks to play for awhile.  We are enjoying our membership.  It’s 5 minutes away and easy to take them to.  They enjoy going too.  There was a new exhibit they checked out and enjoyed.

Saturday we got up and around and headed to Charlotte to Bob’s house for a little family get together.  We were celebrating Anna and Brian’s engagement.  It was a nice afternoon.  We were able to make some plans for a shower for Anna and some time when the Charlotte Southerns are watching the kids for us (awesome!).  Anna and I went to Old Navy and Kohls later in the afternoon too. 

Today we had church and tonight we are getting family pictures taken.  Fingers crossed they behave and they go fast and well!

Being silly together!
Waiting for the commercial to start IMG_5033
Filming the commercialIMG_5050
Ummmm, cookies!
Next to their pictures on the wall
Anna and Brian opening a couple engagement gifts!DSC_9806DSC_9809
Lindy was all about Brian yesterday.  She was all over him!DSC_9810DSC_9811DSC_9812DSC_9813DSC_9814DSC_9815

Never too many pictures of time with the family.  They may make fun of me for taking so many pictures (Suzette) but at least we will have pictures for our kids and grandkids and great grandkids Smile

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

While We Were Gone

While we were gone, some very loving grandparents stepped in to watch our precious, well behaved children.  At least that is what I told them to get them to babysit!  ha!

It was a bit of a hodge podge at first.  We dropped the kids off on Wednesday and my parents came up to pick them up from school.  They watched them Wednesday afternoon and spent the night and then Lynn headed up on Thursday.  After my mom and Lynn ate lunch, my mom headed home and Lynn picked the kids up from school.  Lynn then stayed with them at our house until Sunday.

While Lynn was here they had great fun.  Thursday evening they had choir practice that she took them to. 

Friday was the kids’ last day of kindergarten so Lynn had gotten them a special last day of school breakfast of Krispy Kreme doughnuts!  I’m sure they were extra hyper that day!  They had super fun last days of school.  Lindy had a ‘camping’ day at school.  They got to make tents out of the desks and they all got to bring in flashlights to read books in their tents.  Then their book buddies got to come down and they sang songs by a pretend campfire and then got to eat s’mores.  Lindy’s class rarely did many straight up fun things this year so I bet they all had a blast. 

After Mimo picked them up from school, she took them to Adventure Landing to celebrate the last day of kindergarten!  Can you believe it?  It’s over.  Their first year of school is over.  It sure did fly by.  They got to play putt putt and Mimo let them play games inside. That night Lindy helped Mimo make little pizzas for dinner. 

Saturday was Lindy’s closing ceremony for her tee ball.  Lindy had never gotten a trophy and she has always been jealous of Will getting them (from tee ball, soccer, his teacher got him one for finishing kindergarten!).  Lindy was finally going to get her first trophy!  They headed to the closing ceremony and boy did Lindy get a trophy!  Besides getting just the one for playing, she got the sportsmanship trophy as well.  They said that the teammates voted on who would get it but I somehow doubt that really happened with her Challenger League.  I don’t really care how it happened though – she was so happy and proud!! She got another trophy and a medal!  I’m so glad they went that morning and I’m so happy she got her first (and second) trophy!!

Saturday afternoon Mimo attempted to take the kids to the movies to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 but apparently it didn’t go so well.  I guess they ended up leaving early as the kids were scared.  Our kids are absolute wimps when it comes to movies.  They think they are all scary.  They didn’t see the first movie so that may have been some of it.  I think Aunt Anna and Brian stopped by that night for a visit too.

Sunday morning Mimo took the kids to church so they could sing in the children's choir.  After church Mimo had to pack everything I had on my long list and she dropped the kids off at my parents’ house on the way home.

From Sunday afternoon to Friday, the kids were at my parents’ house.   They did a lot of swimming all week – everyday I think.  And they did become more comfortable in the water.  By the end of the week both were putting their heads underwater.  That’s a big step! 

They also went to Discovery Place in Huntersville one day and I hear they had a ton of fun.  They got to ‘ride’ a fire truck and Lindy climbed a rock wall.  Will had gotten to go at Christmas time but Lindy was sick so we had stayed home.  From the pictures it looks like fun.  I know they had some trips to McDonalds and some trips to the hardware store (which I hear they didn’t enjoy).  At one store Lindy told my parents she’d just stay in the car while they went in.  She also told my parents she had never gone north.  They were in my dad’s truck and it has the direction you are traveling on the rear view mirror.  They were talking about how it said ‘S’ for south and then Lindy said she had never been north.  On their way back home she found out quickly that yes she has been north!

Wednesday afternoon Grandbob and Suzette came over to my parents’ for a little swimming party.  I hear Grandbob makes big splashes and that everyone had a good time.  Drew and I actually drove over Wednesday night to see the kids.  We would have liked to have gone swimming but it looked stormy the whole time we were there so we just visited and headed back home.  Mom was a little worried the kids wouldn’t like us leaving them there but I think they did fine. 

Even though we got home on Tuesday night, it didn’t really work for us to have the kids at home.  Originally Drew was supposed to head up to Lake Junaluska for his annual ministers’ meeting.  Annual Conference is from Wednesday to Sunday but Drew was planning to go from Wednesday to Friday.  Because he was going to be gone, I couldn’t have the kids at home with me for 3 days.  I couldn’t take them to work that long and I couldn’t work from home that long so they were going to stay at my parents’.  It actually ended up Drew didn’t go to Annual Conference at all because of someone passing away in our church.  We got home on Tuesday night and he met with the family on Wednesday and the service was Thursday evening.  But even though he was home, he didn’t have time to watch them.  He had one day to plan a funeral service.  So it was still best for them to stay at my parents’.

Although Drew didn’t go to his annual ministers’ meeting, the kids and I did go up!  Well we didn’t go for the meeting part of it, but we went for the weekend away with some of our best friends.   I have always gone to Annual Conference with Drew because it’s fun to see friends.  Many years ago we started staying with Katie after her parents bought a house there.  My kids have been every year of their lives – even when they were in the womb.  I sat on the porch swing for a week when I was pregnant with them!  Even though Drew couldn’t go, I didn’t want to break the tradition.   Kris rode with me from Winston and we met my parents in Hickory for the handoff.   We got up to Lake Junaluska around 7pm and we just hung out that evening.  The kids always have fun with Micah and Claire. 

Saturday we had a busy day having fun.  We headed down and played putt putt (Will’s favorite thing to do there), went swimming for awhile (where Lindy showed us her new skills of going underwater!) and then we took boat rides.  Last year we tried to paddle boat and we weren’t too successful.  This year we decided to kayak and canoe.  Katie and Micah rode in a two person kayak, Kris took Claire and Lindy in a 3 person canoe and Will and I rode in a 2 person canoe.  It was the first time I’ve ever canoed in my life!  We managed but we didn’t get too far out in the lake.  There was a definite wind I was rowing against!   The Bryants ended up trading, Kris and Claire tried out the kayak and Katie took Micah and Lindy for another spin in the canoe and Will and I just headed in.  I’d had enough rowing!  It really was pretty fun and we enjoyed doing something different. 

As soon as we got off the lake we met up with Janice.  Mike was over at the meetings and she came to hang with us.  The boys ended up going to play shuffleboard and the girls went up the hill to the house to hang out.  We enjoyed our visit with Janice.  We eventually all got showered and cleaned up and we headed to Butts on the Creek for an early dinner.  We met up with two other friends and their families for dinner which was fun.  Too bad Drew missed it all!  Micah and Katie went down to the service that night since Micah was acolyting.  Kris and I stayed back with the little ones.  I got to read while they played, which is a rare treat. 

Sunday morning we packed up and headed home around 11am.  We stopped by my parents’ real quick to pick up things we forgot and got home around 4pm. 

It’s been a wild June and I can’t believe it’s almost over.  Time goes so fast.  I can’t believe July 4th is next week and we get more time off work!  yippee!! 

Last day of school doughnuts!IMG_5029IMG_5031
Last day of kindergarten!!
After school fun at Adventure LandingIMG_5026
Homemade pizza helper!
Eating the goods for dinner.

Part of Lindy’s tee ball team. 
Lindy and her trophies!
Of course Jake made an appearance!IMG_5019
Will made a marble race.
Having fun in Huntersville at Discovery Place.IMG_5007

I got swimming videos but no swimming pictures.  Anyway, it looks like they had plenty of fun while we were gone.  A big, big, big, big thank you goes to Mimo and my parents for helping us out.  We sure do love our grandparents!!!!

Some pictures of our weekend at Miss Katie’s mountain house:

Playing Will’s favorite lake activity
Taking a break from swimming.  The water was colder than Nana and Papa’s!
Funny Micah hair!
Trying to teach Lindy to keep her mouth shut in the waterDSC_9753
My boat buddy!DSC_9756DSC_9762DSC_9766DSC_9769
Our annual porch swing picture.  We missed Daddy!DSC_9782
The annual Butts on the Creek picture!DSC_9793
Best buddies!
A couple more preacher’s kids, Sarah and Maston.IMG_4998
Feeding the ducks from the porch.DSC_9796

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Vacation to the Big Easy

Someone once told Drew, if you go somewhere with your kids it’s called a trip and if you go somewhere without your kids it’s called a vacation.  Drew and I went on vacation to New Orleans!  We went with Ed and Jamie.   I was the only one of the three who had never been down there.  We headed out Wednesday morning after we dropped the kids off at school and we made it to Birmingham around dinnertime.  We stayed at Jamie’s parents’ house that night.  They fed us a yummy dinner and we got to see Jamie’s nephew, Jack. 

Bright and early we headed out to finish the trip to NO.  Since we got there around lunch, our first stop was Dooky Chase.  This place had been visited by multiple presidents and the owner was the inspiration for the Princess and the Frog Disney movie.  The food was okay – although I tried okra for the first time and theirs was amazing.  We left lunch and headed to our hotel to get checked in.  We stayed at a cute little place called the Prytania Park Hotel in the Garden District.  We got checked in and settled and we headed down to the French Quarter.  We just walked around Jackson Square, in a few shops, down Bourbon Street, and over to Frenchmen Street where we ate dinner at the Praline Connection.  We stayed on Frenchmen Street and went to the Spotted Cat to hear our first jazz of the week.  We also went to the famous Café du Monde and got the obligatory beignets.  Drew got coffee and I got hot chocolate – so what if it was 85F!  The beignets sure were yummy!

Friday morning we woke up to cloudy skies.  Drew and I started to walk up to the Walgreens to get our street car passes when it started sprinkling.  We ended up jumping in the car and it was a good thing because the bottom dropped out on us!  We decided to drive around a little bit while we were waiting on Ed and Jamie to get ready.  We ended up driving all over and getting stuck in some rush hour traffic.  We saw some serious flooding on some side streets and this was just a rain storm.  We finally picked up Ed and Jamie and headed for breakfast at the Camellia Grille.  It was sooo yummy.  A really cool place with just a counter for seating.  They made the most amazing omelets.  We all really enjoyed breakfast.  We left there and headed to the National World War II Museum.  It was the perfect activity for a rainy day.  It was a great museum and I really enjoyed it.  I normally get bored in museums but it was really interesting.  We went to the 4D movie about the war that everyone found really amazing.  I found it amazing as well – until I fell asleep.  I never ever nap and somehow I nodded off during a movie that was super loud and the seats shook on you.  What I saw I really enjoyed!  We also did a submarine simulator that was kind of fun.  Everyone was given a job on the sub.  I had to do the radar and Ed, Jamie, and Drew were all controlling the speed of the sub.  By the time we were done with that it had stopped raining.  Jamie and I left the boys and we went shopping on Magazine Street.  We did more window shopping and very little buying but it was fun to check out the stores.  We ate dinner at the Rum House that night and headed back to Frenchmen Street and ended up back at the Spotted Cat for more music.

Saturday Jamie and I headed to the French Quarter and we walked around the French Market.  The boys headed out to some battlefield.  The French Market was huge!  We walked around forever and finally met the guys for lunch at Coop’s Place.  Coop’s Place had been recommended by a friend who called it a little dive bar with great food and they recommended the rabbit jambalaya.   Dive bar it was!  They were out of the rabbit jambalaya but we stayed for lunch anyways.  After we ordered but before our food came, a roach dropped out of the air onto Jamie’s head and she knocked it on the table.  The boys didn’t see this at all.  Jamie and I were up and backed away from the table and I could only say, “Oh my god, oh my god.”  It scurried across the table towards Ed and was starting to crawl up his shirt.  I could only say, “Ed, Ed, Ed.”  He finally saw it and knocked it off.  It went from the table to the wall to the ground where he finally killed it.  I was so grossed out it made me gag.  We ended up staying for lunch and Drew claims it was some of the best fried chicken he’s ever eaten in his life.  The rest of our food was fine – but I just couldn’t enjoy it much after what happened.  After the incident we headed up to City Park and we walked around the Sculpture Garden.  We had wanted to do more in the park but it was thundering and getting pretty dark skies so we decided to head out.  We drove through a couple cemeteries and then we ended up stopping by the house of one of my old high school friends to say hi.  Jamie and I were excited to see inside a NO house!  ha!  We headed back to the hotel to rest before we headed to dinner at the Butcher.  It was one of my favorite places we ate.  My sandwich was so good.  We walked downtown and headed to dba to hear John Boutee – who was by far my favorite singer of the week.  He was so smooth.  My high school friend, Davis, met us out too.  That was fun to get to hang out with him.  He was my first boyfriend in the state of North Carolina.  ha ha! 

Sunday was all about food.  Fancy food at fancy places!  We walked down to Commander’s Palace for our 10:30am reservation.  It was fancy on a whole new level.  There was a three piece jazz band that was great.  They asked us if we were celebrating Father’s Day.  Ummm yes, we just left our fathers and our kids at home.  ha!  It was way too much food to eat.  We left stuffed and we went and took a nap!  We finally got up and around again and we headed down to Bourbon Street to do a little shopping and we had a 3pm reservation for a late lunch/early dinner at Galatoire’s.  Another fancy place, but nothing like Commander’s Palace.  It was another good meal and we left there stuffed too.  We headed back to the hotel to rest some more – by this time the late nights were getting to us.  We are not used to going out every night anymore – too old for that!  We finally rallied for our last night and we headed to Oak Street for our final meal and final jazz show at the Maple Leaf. 

Our experience at the Maple Leaf was crazy.  It was wild and unique at the same time.  Every Sunday night they have a crawfish boil and then Walter Wolfman Washington plays.  A little after 10pm they brought in like 6 laundry baskets of food and they just dumped it on the tables that were running down the middle of the room.  People – including Drew – were just lined up down the tables and were going to town.  It was crazy!  There was so much food being inhaled!  After people started to get full the music started.  It was a crazy way to end our trip!

Monday morning we headed out bright and early and headed up to Atlanta.  We pulled into Turner Field a little after 6pm – perfect timing for the 7pm Braves game we had tickets to.  It was my first Braves game as well.  We left at the end of the 8th inning to avoid traffic but the game ended up going into 13 innings!  It was tied 1-1 when we left and then the Phillies scored 5 runs in the 13th inning and won 6-1.  Glad we didn’t stay for that!  It was a lovely night of baseball and I enjoyed my first Braves game.

Tuesday we headed out mid-morning and stopped for lunch in Greenville, SC.  Drew and Ed lived in Greenville, SC when they were young and they went to a big church downtown.  They have great memories of playing church league basketball.  Ed has always kept in touch with the youth pastor so we stopped and had lunch with him.  We enjoyed seeing downtown Greenville – which is crazy nice.  It was funny to hear stories of the Southern boys’ middle/high school days from their friend David.  We finally made it back home around 6pm on Tuesday night.

A good time was had by all.  It took me multiple days to catch up on sleep after that trip.  You can tell we are getting old!

First stop for lunch.

Our cute, little hotel.DSC_9735DSC_9604DSC_9605DSC_9609
First street car ride!DSC_9611DSC_9610
Jamie and her hat in Jackson Square!DSC_9621
St. Louis CathedralDSC_9622
First night listening to music at the Spotted CatIMG_4851IMG_4854
Late night beignets at Café du Monde.  Yum Yum Yummy.DSC_9640DSC_9643
Breakfast at the Camellia Grill.  DSC_9645DSC_9646
At the World War II Museum.DSC_9652DSC_9662DSC_9665
Messing around in the Crescent CityDSC_9671DSC_9672
Inside St. Louis Cathedral.
Walking along the Mississippi RiverDSC_9683
At City Park in the Sculpture Garden.  This was my favorite sculpture.
I’m not sure if I was getting attacked by Jamie’s hat or the spider!DSC_9703
Blue Dog
Red Dog
Another favorite sculpture.
Cruising in a cemetery.  Picking out what I want my tomb to look like.
Sunday morning before going to Commander’s Palace we walked through another cemetery.DSC_9732
The famous Commander’s Palace.DSC_9734
The swanky Galatoire’s.  DSC_9740
Cool picture from the French QuarterIMG_4919
Hanging with Davis, my high school friend.IMG_4929IMG_4953
Crawfish Boil at the Maple Leaf BarIMG_4971
Walter Wolfman Washington
Ballgame at Turner FieldIMG_4979IMG_4980