Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Camping with Auntie Em

We had such a good time celebrating Auntie Em's birthday over fall break.  We spent several days at St. Andrew's Park in Panama City, Florida.  It had been a really long time since all of us were together for her birthday...more than 10 years!  We enjoyed the wonderful weather and all the good memories.
 Everyone got to help set up camp.  All the kids got to help put up the tent.  I'm glad Emily knew what she was doing :)
We gathered firewood, sticks, pine cones, etc. to get the fire going. 

 Benjamin got to help Daddy start the fire.  It made his day.  He has now decided (on top of all the other professions he plans to have) that he will be a Scout leader.  He loved being outdoors.
We cooked most of our meals over the camp fire.  They were all delicious! 
 Beautiful sunsets and sunrises
 The ocean was so calm and crystal clear.  It was pretty cool to see the fish swim between your feet.  It was all good until Katherine noticed them.  She flipped out on me. Benjamin and Regan were the opposite.  They wanted a snorkel to see them better.  Lauren preferred hunting for seashells.
 Getting some Auntie Em time
 Papaw and Lauren were the seashell master finders.  They found some pretty ones and even found a couple sand dollars.
 We saw many different kinds of wildlife...dolphins, crabs, stingrays, sea turtles, deer, frogs, pelicans, seagulls, cranes, squirrels, and much more. 
 I picked Katherine up and she thought she was going to fall into the water.  I love the picture though.
Building in the sand
 We were on our way out to eat for Emily's birthday dinner and stopped by to take some snapshots by the beach.  They all turned out so good.  Regan 9 yrs
 Lauren 4 yrs
 Katherine 6 yrs
Benjamin 8 yrs
 Emily opening her presents in the tent
 On our way home, we drove through Tallahassee to see a good friend of mine from Knoxville.  This is her youngest son.  It was so much fun for many reasons, but I loved that I could talk to him (he doesn't speak English).  Her older son does speak English and was so surprised to hear us speak his language. 
So this is my friend Meimei with my Meimei.
We finally arrived back to Knoxville and it was COLD!  The inside of our house read 55 degrees.  We woke up the next morning and the kids were so excited to see frost on the ground.  They just knew that it had snowed.  It didn't matter though.  They have never seen it before and thought it was the neatest thing.  Benjamin would pick a leaf, run inside with it, watch the frost melt, and run back outside to see if it would freeze again.  Katherine decided that is was really cold and ran into the kitchen and put the oven mitts on her hands to keep them warm.  Oh, kids are so much fun! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

 The first couple pictures were left over from the last blog.  They were two of my favorites, so I wanted to add them in.
 We ate at Hard Rock Café and they let the kids go up on stage for a picture.  They thought that was so neat.
 This was Papaw's birthday lunch at Soccer Taco.  Benjamin is in the picture, but you can't see him :)
 We were playing in the yard when two people riding horses came down the street. The kids got so excited, so they brought them into the yard to let the kids pet them.  They were beautiful horses. You can guess what has been added to Benjamin's Christmas list ;)
 We spent all day on Saturday at the pumpkin patch.  It turned out to be a really hot day, but lots of fun with our family and with the Moore family.
 They had all kinds of things for the kids to do besides pick a pumpkin.  This was a fun "bounce pillow"
 Regan in Kayla running in the pipe. 
 Here is the whole kid crew between our two families waiting to go on the hayride.
 Regan found the perfect pumpkin.
 Lauren and Bryan were so cute together all day.  They even helped each other pick out the pumpkin.
 They finally chose their pumpkin. 
 They had pedal kart races.  This place was fun for all ages!  I love the look on Katherine's face.  She was determined to beat her sister.
 Lauren the sheep, Benjamin the horse, Nathan the cow, and Katherine the pig  This display was right outside the petting zoo area.
 The kids were trying to agree on which path they should take in the corn maze.
 You wouldn't think these slides were very fast, but they will surprise you!
 Benjamin was enjoying the bean bag toss.
After a full day together, we swapped a kid.  Nathan came to our house for a sleepover and Regan went to Kayla's house.  The boys were drawing with chalk and then enjoyed "painting" their bodies as well.  Nathan is still clean in this picture, but he was soon to be all green. :)  Fun Times!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm Way Behind!

Wow! So much has happened that I can't even possibly cover it all. On September 24, Katherine turned 6 years old!  She wanted a monkey birthday and a piñata. Only in America, could I pull that one off ;)  Oh, an I took the easy way out and ordered the cake. 

 It's the birthday girl going after the monkey piñata.
 Kayla had some good hits, but ultimately it was her mom, Aunt Jenny, that busted the monkey open.
I think she had been planning her attack plan for the candy  for awhile.  Smart Girl :)
 We also celebrated Bryan's birthday.  He turned 4 on the same day as Katherine. 
 We had a college reunion at our home, watched a little Tennessee football, ate some food, and got to know some of the newest members of the "crew"
 The kids made some new friends.
We made a trip to Washington D.C. to study a little American history.  It was a fun trip and we barely got it in before the government shutdown.  We took tons of pictures, but could not take pictures at the Pentagon.  That was on the kids list of "want to see"
Our family outside the White House
 This was the highlight of the trip for Benjamin.  We went to the International Spy Museum.  You are actually looking at "Billy Henderson" above :) Everyone was given a new identity and taught some of the tricks of the trade.  It was interesting to all except Lauren.  She said it was "soooooo boring."  They had a section for the James Bond fans as well.  Benjamin doesn't know who that is, but he is a fan of his car. 
 I don't remember which museum this was in (we went to several), but it was a cool display.  My favorite exhibit was getting to see the original Star Spangled Banner. 
 We were glad for a few places to let the kids run around and get energy out.  Although, Lauren was over the trip and not wanting to be in any pictures.
At the end of all of our D.C. excursions, I asked Lauren what her favorite part of the trip was.  She excitedly said, "THE GIFT SHOP!"  Such a girl :)

After we got back, we met Mamaw and Papaw and Auntie Em to celebrate Papaw's birthday.  We went to my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary and saw many relatives that I have not seen in awhile.  Grandmommy visited for a few days.  Granddad and Mammy came for a few days. I have sooo many more pictures that I haven't even put on the computer yet.  I thought I would go ahead and post a few pictures or I would be really far behind.