Sunday, September 27, 2009

1st Annual Cul-de-sac Beach Trip

We had a fun-filled four nights and five days on Isle of Palm in a sweet beach house with some of our favorite people--our neighbors! It was a crazy vacation with six adults and six kids (all under the age of four). The weather was fantastic for the most part; there was just one rainy afternoon that forced us to seek an alternative to the beach--and we found it. We made a few calls, and quickly located an indoor playplace about 10 minutes away called Blackbeard's Cove. The kids climbed, jumped, and played arcade games for a couple of hours before enjoying a yummy dinner of fried food in the little cafe adjacent to the play area. The REAL benefit: a quiet evening with an adults-only steak dinner on the patio while the sound of static steadily streamed from six baby monitors!

We took full advantage of the beach: flying kites, digging holes, finding sea creatures, making sand castles, jumping in the waves. Noticeably missing? Relaxing in the sun. Yeah, this wasn't that type of vacation...maybe in 2028 when the last kid heads off to college. Why does that sound so far away?
Sam and I take a break from playing in the "fort" at Blackbeard's Cove.
Shannon and Ashley pause from videotaping the kids sliding down the super-fast slide.

Ava and Sam entertain Brady (and revel in being the "big kids" for once).

1st Annual Cul-de-sac Beach Trip...continued...

Stacy and the kids wind down before bedtime.

Jack, Katherine, and Noah are right at home in the surf.

You have to be trained on how to eat ice cream faster than it melts...

We were lacking in training...

But it was still good!

1st Annual Cul-de-sac Beach final!

Our house was across the street from the fire station--fun!

Sam and I enjoy the low tide together.

Jack exhibits our theme for the week--sand everywhere!

Stacy multi-tasks at the beach.

Shannon and the kids play hard!

Caught ya!

Sam, and his accomplice, Roary (to his right, in a heap, on the floor), were caught red-handed "re-(or dis-)organizing" my pantry. At least I know he doesn't have any OCD tendencies--not one label faced forward when he was done. Can you plan some dinner while you're in there?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pepa!

Before I got a chance to wish my father a happy birthday, I thought about how cool it is that he's still here...his father never made it to 55. Happy Birthday, Pepa! We're so glad you're heart is fixed, and that you'll be around for a long, long time. Moo!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Lukie!

Love and miss you, Lucas! We hope you have a great birthday, and we can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of School

Handsome man!

One ready for torrential rain (and school), the other still in his PJs.
The Three Musketeers!

Well, the first day of school went off without a hitch. Jack had a huge smile on his face when I picked him up, and, before I could even ask, he was telling me "I had a great day!" When pressed for details, he said "I learned about Jesus." That's interesting because the lesson plan his teachers sent home said that they're focusing their activities around a beach theme this week. No matter. Glad to hear Jesus gets thrown in with the sand and sea animals:)

Labor Day Fun at Matthews Alive

Jack & Noah at the parade--their first parade!

The boys with "Uncle Bill," the fire safety clown.

A real race car--swoon!

Riding Thomas the Train.

Riding the motorcycle ride--hot & sweaty!
Rick was out of town over the weekend, so I worked out a little deal with my neighbors in which they took Sam for the morning in exchange for Noah. Jack and Noah loved the parade with the marching bands, floats, and candy--oh, the candy!
After the parade, we walked downtown past the fire station, where we got the lovely, sun-blocking hats--thank you, Idlewild fire department! We took a quick pit stop (the boys in a bush, I in a port-a-john--ugh!), and then got to put our hands all over the R-E-A-L race car! "Check out the spoiler, Mom!" Uh-huh.
On to the carnival, where the boys rode the swings--and they were fast! The looks on their faces were an equal mixture of fear and utter delight!
After a few more rides, we enjoyed some delightfully cold snow cones and made the trek back to the car. We had some great fun!

Tigers in Training

Every once in a while, some random toys/sports equipment shows up in our yard courtesy of our eccentric neighbor, Bill. Bill has four teenagers, but has held on to every VHS tape, bicycle, piece of clothing--you name it--that his kids ever used. One day, we found these kid-sized golf clubs on our doorstep, and the boys took them out for a swing. It turns out that hitting little balls with heavy, metal sticks is great fun for them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Uncle Chad!

I know we've already posted this picture, but it's just so Uncle Chad! Hope your house gets healthy, so we can party soon! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to School!

At orientation (school starts next Wednesday), Jack and Noah quickly find the important vehicles (toy garbage, fire, and dump trucks) in their classroom.

Sam enjoyed the multi-colored, uncooked noodle box. After a while, he seized a shovel and began dumping noodles on the floor--yikes!

This is Ms. Julie, assistant teacher to the MWF 3-year-old class.

This is Ms. Laurie. She's the lead teacher for his classroom. Both of his teachers seem very nice. We are very excited for next week!

Welcome, September!

Wow! September 1st rolled around and the weather has become absolutely delicious! I packed the boys a picnic lunch, grabbed some soccer balls and headed to Freedom park to enjoy the blue skies, mild temps, and light breezes. Gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous...check out Sammy's new 'do! He's sporting a new mohawk that really makes him look like such a big boy. Aunt Mistie gave both the boys their "back to school" haircuts earlier this morning.

During our picnic lunch, Jack and I swatted at the flies hovering over our food. Unfortunately, a few bees joined the party, and when Jack went to "shoo" them, one little bee stung him on his fingertip. Fortunately, we had ice packs keeping our lunch cool, so I had him squeeze one tightly until his tears dried. He's showing his bee sting, not waving, that's why he's so serious!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grandfather Mountain

The whole fam, with Grandfather Mountain in the background.

We quickly changed after church on Sunday and headed on a family adventure to Grandfather mountain in Linville, NC. We had never taken the boys before (although I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Jack the last time Rick and I went). The drive is long, but well worth it once you get there. Our favorite part of the trip is visiting the Mast General Store and Candy Barrel on the way home. We decided it was time to share this guilty pleasure with the boys--and boy did they go nuts! The Candy Barrel is a penny-candy store that sells almost any candy you can imagine (even the old candies you really don't see anymore). We left with boston baked beans, candied peanuts, Ice Cubes, Sprees, Sixlets, all-in about $25 in candy at $5.99/lb., if that tells you anything:)

So, back to Grandfather Mountain. Jack was a great little hiker, hiking up a very rocky and, at times, steep trail to the mile-high swinging bridge at the top of the mountain. Here he is pictured at the center of the bridge--exactly one mile above sea level.

We rest at the start of the bridge for just a moment for a photo op. What a gorgeous day it was in the mountains! Low 70's with big, fluffy clouds--perfect for a hike. We won't mention the disastrous ride home with two cranky boys who FINALLY fell asleep as we got on 485 (approximately 5 minutes from home). Yeah, we're not remembering that part. Whose idea was it to give them candy, and then strap them down for 2 and 1/2 hours?