Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lake Trip 2015

We just got home from the better part of a week spent at the lake.  We decided to do something different this time.  We chose to rent a condo at Mountain Harbor and that was a great decision!  There are perks to doing it different ways, but honestly the cleanliness and comfort of a nice 4 bedroom condo with a view of the lake was such a great change from where we have stayed in the recent past.  Shangri La is awesome in that its right on the water, the restaurant is convenient and close, but the cabins have been leaving a lot to be desired the past few years, so we decided to punt.  I think we were all pleased with our choice!

We arrived over the weekend.  The kids had been talking about this small vacation for weeks now and were thoroughly excited to try out our new "cabin".  Here they were all enjoying the deck across the back of the condo and watched as Adam parked the "party boat" as Emerson likes to call it.

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This summer, all of the kids overcame their fears, each one taking a turn doing something behind the boat.  Peyton has gotten quite a bit of confidence on the jr. skies, while the others did a mixture of the training board, knee board and of course the tube.
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Emerson tried to do the training board but had a little trouble so I decided to give him some confidence by letting him "ski" with me, haven't done two skies in quite a long time.   Look at his big smile!  He was so thrilled with the whole experience, he laughed and waved the entire time…Cypress Gardens here we come!
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What a fun time we had.  Being that we were there during the week we pretty much owned the water.  I was amazed at how few boats there were, it was perfect weather and smooth water for learning to ski! Adam usually wake boards but decided that he wanted to tackle the slalom ski and he did!
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We enjoyed just chillin' all day long.  Our days consisted of something like this: fixing food, swimming, putting food away, then skiing, followed by more snacking, and floating around.  It really was quite relaxing.
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We were determined to not let the kids get sunburned like last time, so we used a sunblock stick for faces and it worked like a charm!   (This was before we rubbed it in.)
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These precious little people were sharing the Oreos, oh how I loved this moment. It was a beautiful afternoon in a lovely location…it was pretty precious.
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Unfortunately there were a few harry moments on the trip as well.  Within the first few moments, in the kids excitement to look around, the master bedroom door got locked on the inside and we had to pick the lock with a meat thermometer!  It's never a dull moment!  Then there were several times that we "misplaced" a few kids.  When you're in a house with two decks, four outside doors and twelve people who are coming and going, it's bound to happen.  We inadvertently left one of the kids locked in the car for a brief period of time, one got locked out of the house and was outside on the deck for a few minutes by herself and another locked himself out in the garage.  As you can see, we had lots of trouble with doors and locks, but no permanent damage was done and we all learned the lesson, if ever you get left in the car, crawl up to the drivers seat and lay on the horn or try to unlock the car and get out!


These cousins had fun hanging out together, I was glad that we got to spend some quality time together.
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One evening while we were cooking dinner, Whitney and Rob took all the big kids and went geo-caching.  My boys had never done that before so they were excited to give it a go.  Unfortunately, it was hidden quite well so even though the GPS said they were all over it, they never were able to find the hidden treasure.  We'll have to try this again sometime soon, I hear that it can be so much fun!!
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One afternoon we found a cove that had a rope swing hanging from one of the trees and the kids thought that was awesome. Uncle Rob helped all the kids get up on it and then swung them out over the water. We all got to watch as they squealed and screamed with excitement!  I know this simple fun was a big hit from the week.
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Dad taught us a new card game called Hand and Foot (its similar to Canasta), we watched movies and there were many rounds of Hide And Go Seek.
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We ended the week with dinner in Hot Springs.  Balloons are always a fun treat!
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Weeks Worth of Catch Up

Last week was a little high jacked by the boys basketball camp so our mornings were full of activities near UALR where we tried to beat the heat a little.

Monday-Ava Jane and Emerson spent the morning with Grammy while Momma got some much needed root touch ups and a trim.  Then we spent some time at Sam's and Krogers, purchasing all the food for my food co-op.  I do truly love this group, but I must say the prep for it can be a bit daunting at times.  After we unloaded all our goods, we headed to pick up the big boys and our sweet neighbor friends.
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Tuesday-The littles and I met a friend at the Midtown Splash Pad.  The kids enjoyed the water fun and climbing on the rocks.  I do love this splash pad but those rocks are a doozie for mom's with littles who want to be like the bigs!  We enjoyed the time to visit but I must say turning on the AC in my car never felt so good!  Then we loaded up and headed to pick up the big boys.
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That night Ava Jane had her first ever sleep-over by herself at Grammy and Poppy's house.  I know she felt like such a big girl walking hand in hand with Grammy, I can hardly believe how big she is getting!

Wednesday-The littles and I hung out with Molly and her kiddos.  It was nice to have some time with them, the kids enjoyed playing while Molly and I talked it was a treat to sit and enjoy one anthers company. Then, before I knew it, it was time for us to load up and head to pick up the bigs.

Later that afternoon we had an unexpected flash-flood thunderstorm that knocked out all our power for several hours.  The kids and I decided to pass the time by reading a few chapters of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by flash light, and they thought that was awesome!  I got to finish cooking by the flickering flame as well, it was nice to have a slow paced start to our evening but the closer it got to bedtime the warmer the house became, so we ended up packing a few things and heading over to Mom and Dads.  As fate would have it, just as we were closing the doors and saying our last "good-nights", our neighbor texted us to let us know the lights were back on.
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Thursday's I have a regular standing sitter who keeps all the kids and is wonderful!  She kept Emerson and Ava Jane that morning while I went to help my sister in law pack up her apartment and the big boys were at camp.  Several hours later I got the boys and dropped them off at the house.  I think it's  pretty safe to say they had a fun week.
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After I dropped them off at the house I had lunch with my sister and her girls as well as my Mom and then ran a few more errands.  When I got home all the boys were playing outside and I didn't have a ton of afternoon plans so I decided since Adam had been slammed at work the past few weeks (and not had time to mow the yard) so I thought I would surprise him and give it a go myself.  I called my Dad who talked me through the start process, sure enough it started to hum with the very first pull. I must say in hind sight, I should've just waited til the next morning, when it was a tad cooler then 101 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, but in my defense, there's never a great time to sweat out all your DNA, so 3:00 seemed as good a time as any!  Two hours later, the back and front yards were mowed, bagged and blown.  I must say I was dripping wet, and looked like I'd jumped into a pool and I wished that I could have!  If you know anything about my husband its that he is meticulous, so I must say I was a tad bit nervous to start cutting the front yard but Peyton was so encouraging and kept telling me "you're doing a great job Mom"--I love that boy, he has my whole heart!   Anyway, Adam usually does nice diagonal cuts across the front yard, I knew that that would probably be a little too difficult for me, so I determined that I'd do like I have done in the past…go around the yard in a circle.  Well, it certainly got the job accomplished but there was one tiny problem.  When you get to the middle, you have to get back out to the edge some how, so as I stood there contemplating my last move, there was nothing else to do other then to drive the mower straight back through my previously mowed lines and ruin said lines.  I realized at that moment, that I probably was going to ruin the happy "surprise" of the mowed lawn and move right into disappointment at how the front yard looked.  But what's a girl to do when she's never mowed in straight lines before?  Also, I'd not been emptying the bag as often as I should have so I was leaving a trail of grass up and down the yard.  I asked Peyton to run get the rakes so we spent the next 30 or so minutes raking and bagging more grass.  All in all, the yard got finished, Adam was surprised, I'm sure in both a good and bad way, he was thankful that I'd tried so hard to help him out but he was extremely gracious with me in how the yard turned out…lets just say there was a lot to be desired.   But love does, right? So love did…it cut the yard and helped my husband have time to play with my kids at the pool that evening.
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Here's my blowin' buddy.
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We even got to spend time with an old friend and his little boy hanging out by the pool.  How cute are they? Afterwards, we headed over to Maggie Moos for an ice-cream treat.
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I'm pretty sure the blue raspberry ice cream was a huge hit!
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Luke, we were so glad to have gotten to spend a little time hanging out and catching up!  We look forward to seeing you, Michelle and the kids again in September!

Friday-I went to my exercise class as usual then was going to head to my Mom's house to finish some pillows for my new sofa. When I arrived, she wasn't there which was a little surprising since we'd talked about working on them that morning but I thought maybe she'd gotten a call at the office and had to run take care of something.  I had just started a movie for the kids when I got a call from my Mom saying that my sister had been taken by ambulance to the hospital with an extremely high fever, vomiting and excruciating pain.   I immediately put my kids back in the car, drove to her house (where my Mom was taking care of her children) and tried to help with whatever needed to be done.  Thankfully she just needed some IV antibiotics and was feeling better that afternoon.  It was fun to see the kids all together, they got along perfectly and truly enjoyed one another's company, so the day really was a pleasure from that stand point.  Whitney was discharged from the hospital with some meds and we finished up my pillow project so, though the day looked vastly different then any of us had ever envisioned, it ended well, praise the Lord!
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I didn't actually take a picture of all the cousins together on Friday afternoon cause my hands were busy with laundry and sewing projects, but I thought this shot from last weekend at the lake summed up how well they all play together. (Can't wait to spend some more extended time together doing this next week!)
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Friday night we kept my precious nephew while his Momma finished packing up her apartment so she could move on Saturday.  The kids had fun having a pizza party and watching Chicken Run.  All of them did fairly well laying still and watching it.
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So that's a little snap shot of last week.  This one has started off low key and manageable, which is nice after such a full one.   Cleaning house and going to the pool is all we've accomplished so far.   I've heard that a family that works together plays well together too, and I think that is very true!  The kiddos helped me tackle the house and then we had time to just play too.  I've enjoyed this summer very much!
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These crazy kids are such fun to be with (most of the time!)
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

4th of July

This past weekend we celebrated the 4th in a low key kind of way.  It was nice to just hang out with the kids and to not have a big game plan.  Friday night we took them to the Cock of the Walk for fried pickles and catfish.  The kids had fun watching the ducks and throwing rocks in the pond.  Oh how I love these little people, they truly have my whole heart!
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Saturday the boys all went fishing while Ava Jane and I got to hang out and play together.  That never happens so I enjoyed our tea party and books read together.
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Later that afternoon we'd been invited over to a friends home to grill out and watch the fireworks from their yard. We had my sweet nephew Theodore with us so being that we were a "family" of seven we went with low expectations on whether we'd actually get to watch the fireworks.  As night fell the kids were all having a splendid time so we decided to give it a go, and the kids did great!! We had a front row seat to the fireworks and enjoyed getting to meet and mingle with others.
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The boys loved playing in the sand trap!  The fact that our three littles made it through the evening without any melt downs and with the great seats we had to see the fireworks, we felt like our evening had been a lot of fun, I'm so grateful for those who fought and continue to fight for the freedoms I enjoy!!
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A fun night with my man!
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After church I wanted to try and get a picture of the cousins.  I sure love all five of these little people!
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