Monday, November 18, 2013

Alive and kickin' (well, not really kickin'!)

One day I hope to NOT start my blog with "I know it's been a while...", but with the way our lives go, it looks like that is going to be the norm for a while!

Since school started, our weekends have been packed with sports for both of the kiddos!  Lily is loving her soccer team "The Jolly Ranchers" and Sam has enjoyed his 2nd season of lacrosse on the Milton Eagles.

October brought our annual trip to St. Simons with John's parents.  It was 5 days of perfect weather and lots of fun!  As I look back at the pictures from past visits, I laugh because they all look the same except Sam and Lily Clare are a little taller and have on different bathing suits!  We stay in the same house and set up at the same sandy spot EVERY year...I guess we are creatures of habit!

There is something about fresh salty air that allows brothers and sisters get along!

Sam did a little beachfront lax practice!

John made friends with Mr. Heron as he threw him the minnows he caught in his net!

What...they are still getting along?!?!

October also brought us to our first Girl Scout camping trip.  Lily Clare and I ventured south to Luthersville, GA to Camp Serendipity.  (Kinda makes you think of a spa in the woods with massages and pedicures for everyone, right?!?)  Nope, none of that....but we did have a good time!

Lily learned how to make friendship bracelets; of which, I was a pro when I was her age!

She got to try her hand at leather stamping.

We hung out by the campfire - complete with s'mores,

had some time to horse around,

and even got to go kayaking without falling in!

Then came Halloween!  Sam was able to dress up for school and who do you think he went as???  Hint - Quack, Quack!  Duck Dynasty's Willie!  The beard was a big hit!

Lily was allowed to dress up as a character from a book and she chose - Willie Wonka!  She was proud to be the only girl dressed as a man! 

We were invited to trick or treat in our old neighborhood and the kids were so excited to be able to go be a part of the fun!

Sam was some kind of purple, disco "morph-man" and Lily was adamant on being a mean, green witch.

And we couldn't let the kids have all of the John and I went as Flo - from Progressive commercials and Mayhem from Allstate commercials.  We were awarded 2nd place, beat out by Woody and Little Bo Peep from Toy Story!

And where can you find me now????  Right here:

I had foot surgery on Thursday and have been laying on the sofa since.  Zac is protecting me and I'm full force in magazine reading, tv watching and Pinterest pinning!

So yep, we're alive! (I'm just not kickin'!)~

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rolling into "8"!

This past week, my precious girl turned 8!!!  I just can't believe it that this little nugget:

has been a part of my life for almost a decade!  She is such a happy soul and makes us laugh daily...actually, more like hourly! 

Lily was very successful at stretching her birthday out for a week!  We first celebrated at our favorite Mexican restaurant on Saturday....

Feliz Cumpleanos, Lily!

Then we celebrated on the 16th at home with what else, but...take out Chinese!

She wanted me to surprise her with the desert, so I made her favorite "petit fours" (I use that term very loosely!)

The birthday week concluded with her big celebration this past Saturday with her friends at the skating rink!  

This blonde haired cutie is Abby.  She and Lily Clare have been friends since 3 yr old preschool.  But even better, they share the same birthday and were born in the same hospital!  So, we can only imagine that they were next to each other in their incubators starting their friendship!

Girl fun! 

Lily requested a red velvet cake...complete with cream cheese icing!!!

Such a fun time and such a sweet group of girls!  Happy Birthday my sweet Lily!

May all of your birthday wishes come true~

P.S.  The birthday princess was brought back to reality when we went in for her dental check-up.  Someone needed a couple of teeth pulled to make room for the adult teeth coming in.  Guess who?!?!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to the Books

August 12th was the dreaded day....the First Day of School!  But to my surprise Sam and Lily Clare were bright eyed and excited to start their new adventures!  Sam started middle school this year and Lily Clare changed schools because of our move.  (I must add that she LOVES her new school and is so happy we moved!)  Phew!!!  And it's the best of both worlds, because we are still only a couple of miles from friends, so the friendships continue!

My pretty miss!

Sam came out to tell Lily goodbye for her first day!

My handsome boy!

We've had a few glitches with the buses - and by glitches I mean that Sam was told that his bus didn't exist and I had to go pick him up on the first day and Lily Clare's driver missed our house and Lily had to stay on until the route was completed.  But, they both laughed about the incidents and were not bothered!

And the bus stop is a little different this year....while for the past 6 years, I've had the company of my sweet friends, now my mornings are spent with these ladies:

They haven't given up any good gossip or new recipes,, we'll see if they warm up over time!

It's been nice to get back into a schedule and now I'm in full force on finishing the unpacking and decorating. (Don't tell anyone, we are already counting down to the first three day weekend!)  :-)


What filled our last days of summer?

 We picked a lot of these:

Which ended up in this:

I cut open one of our jalapenos and had a nice little surprise!  Who knew we could grow such happy veggies!

John hung a swing in one of our trees and the kids love it!  So much so, that we probably need to hang another one, so they won't fight over it. 

And in case you haven't been outside in a while, well...there's a 99% chance that it's raining!! And really, you can only stay inside for so long. So the kiddos decided to take their crazy selves outside and play in the rain! (It was actually a fun thing to watch!)

And Zac just lapped it up!

And of course we had to take a final trip to the lake! Which included a hike to our favorite swimming hole!

And our last hoorahs included a couple of trips to Six Flags and a trip to the skating rink.  (Hmmm...look at the girl to boy ratio -- Sam is a smart guy!)

Farewell Summer, it's been fun~

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lazy Days of Summer?!?!?

I need to know who came up with that crazy saying, because this family has not seen a lazy day yet!  While the summer has been fun, being lazy hasn't been a part of it!  Even though we're still unpacking and have a long list of to-do's, I've really been trying to keep the kiddos active and involved in something fun.

One neat thing that they have been a part of are two summer "camps" coordinated by friends.  Some of Sam's 5th grade friends (all girls, because that's how he rolls) decided to create a camp for their younger siblings. They held two camps at two different homes, complete with schedules, rules, etc.  The cost was $4.00 a day.  What a wonderful idea and everyone had a blast!  Sam was a "counselor" and Lily Clare was a "camper" -- so, Sam walked away with some extra spending money and Lily had fun hanging out with her friends!  Here's a peek:

The backyard ready for some loud and crazy kids!

Counselor Sam applying a tattoo on a camper's cheek!

And the rules for the day!  Actually, we probably all need to read these and put them to 
good use in our everyday lives!!!

Lily Clare also attended a wonderful camp at a local church - Camp Highland.  It's a mix between vacation bible school and an outdoor challenge competition.  The facility has zip lines, rock climbing, a pool...the list goes on.  But it's a wonderful camp with great messages!  This year's theme was "Stand Strong in your Faith"; teaching them to have faith that God is with them through every situation they encounter.  But the highlight of this week for Lily was this:

At the camp, the children are divided into groups for the week.  At the end of the week, the counselors pick someone to be a recipient of the team flag.  This individual should have shown respect to the counselors, encouragement to their fellow campers and portray a Christ-like attitude.  Guess who got their team flag?!?!  This mama's heart was so proud!

So, that's a recap for now.  I have more photos to share and stories to tell, but I have a paint brush calling my name.

Lazy days?!? Phooey~

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The "411"....

Here's a glimpse of our past few weeks.

We had A LOT of these........

Then we did this........

And now we are here........

In the mean time, Sam graduated from the 5th grade, Lily is moving on to the 2nd grade, Sam's chorus sang the National Anthem at a Braves game and we've journeyed up to the lake for a little R&R.

The CCES chorus was selected to sing the National Anthem at the June 5th Braves game.  This is such an honor and even more special, because this is the second year in a row that they have been able to do this!  Being a noon game, John wasn't able to attend, so we took Nana with us!

And we were able to enjoy some pretty incredible seats, thanks to a sweet friend!

Well, what are the chances that Sam is singing the National Anthem and Uncle Ron is enjoying the same game in a private suite?!?!?  So, we were also able to go up in the "sweet" seats and watch some of the game!

Here's a view from the jumbo-tron of the performance.  Excuse my shaky hands -- YIKES!  All I can say is that I had a camera in one hand and my phone in the other, trying to record with both.  (Sam can be seen before the fade out at 18 secs.) 

And because the house looks like a bomb exploded, I CANNOT share any inside pictures!  I will when we are completed, but right now I feel like I'll be sharing prom and wedding pictures before I get everything unpacked! Ha!

So here are a couple of pics of our neighbors at the end of our driveway....

The kids have nicknamed this guy "Curly" because of the curly locks.  He comes to the fence when we walk up to it and lets us pet his head.  The kiddos are amazed at how soft his nose is!

This picture was taken after one of those crazy storms rolled through.  The yellow sky doesn't show up in the picture, but I liked the view of the road.  (And yes, this was after we had rubbed on Curly for a while!)

The kids have also named the chickens.  This little hen named Nemo (after their cousins chicken who lost a match with a raccoon) is the rebel of the group.  She always sneaks out of the gated area and either roams the yard or perches herself on a fence post.  I have to admit it is kinda funny pulling in and having a chicken greet me at eye level on the fence post! 

As we unpack and organize and John works from home and travels...we're just muddling along trying to throw in some summer fun.  Sam and Lily Clare are participating in some camps and we've been to the lake for some tubing. And in the midst of it all, we're feeling blessed for everything and soaking it all in!!!

Hidden amongst the boxes~