Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Randoms…

- The farm crew was cutting hay in front of the house a few weeks ago. The kids had been playing in the yard- Tucker and Mamie had come inside and I looked out the window for AB, but didn’t see her until I looked out front. IMG_5845She’d caught her Pappy on his way to his truck and was telling him about all the new school clothes she had gotten. Grammy let her do some shopping at Justice and it she had to tell everyone about it. ;)  Ten minutes or so had passed and I looked back out to check on her and she’d managed to add a couple uncles to her audience. ;)  Precious. IMG_5849

TDW was the most excited to see the crew working in front of the house because it meant he got to “help” – he spent the morning cutting hay with his Pappy and asking all afternoon when he could go back. ;)


- Nen had a training to go to, so Parker & Quinn got to come play at our house! Poor little sister- somebody has to be the “cows” when the boys are building a cow pen and she’s not old enough to protest it yet. IMG_6437

- I started mowing the grass this summer. This was huge. I’ve only mowed a hand full of times in my whole life, and I’ve never understood women who mow the grass and claim to love it. Until now. DW mows once a week in the Summer, and if he doesn’t get it done after work in the evenings, he will do it on Saturday morning. He doesn’t weed-eat every time he mows, but he likes to do that every couple weeks, too. I decided that I could do one or the other to help him out. He wasn’t going to let me do either, and said absolutely not to the weed-eating part – but he would let me mow for him, if I really wouldn’t take no for an answer. And what started as my just wanting to help him out a little has turned into me LOVING to mow. First, the mower is not at all like the ones I had ridden before- and it took some major getting used to, but the zero-turn is so much fun.  DW has these Bluetooth headphones and I listen to music the whole time, get some sun, and there’s just something so rewarding about doing and job and immediately seeing the finished product. In my line of work, nothing is ever finished and completed. ;)  There’s always more laundry to do, or toys to pick up, meals to make, etc., etc., etc…. Tucker has always loved riding with DW, but since I’ve been doing it, he rides with me, too.  One day last week we were hoping to finish up before the rain got us, but we didn’t make it in time! IMG_6846

- It’s been color days in Kindergarten and Mamie, like her momma, loves a theme! Here she is on yellow, red, & orange day! IMG_7454IMG_7426IMG_7463

- August is a big birthday month for our crew. Tucker on the 1st, then Cooper’s was on the 9th. We always release balloons at the cemetery on his birthday. For 9 years it’s been the same routine…we stand around with Grammy, Pop, Pappy & Nie-Nie and remember the day he was born- we laugh some- we always cry some- and while it’s an extremely bittersweet day, I always feel God’s love extra on August 9th. IMG_6501I know people pray us through those hard times and we have been incredibly blessed with family and friends who have loved us so well over the years. I always get texts and emails from friends and family on his birthday and nothing means more to me than to know my boy isn’t forgotten. I always worry a little too, that my kids know more about death and loss than I wish they did at their ages, but it would feel even more wrong if we didn’t do something to honor and remember their big brother on his day.

- DW’s birthday comes 3 days later on the 12th. IMG_6680We celebrated the night before, with Mexican food and cookie cake at Pappy & Nie-Nie’s. IMG_6690IMG_6700There’s never a shortage of help opening presents or blowing out candles in our family. IMG_6705

Quinn’s birthday is the same day, and her party was on the actual 12th! It was the cutest Melon themed lunch and we love that little sunshine girl so much. IMG_6747IMG_6723

- Blue Run was open on DW’s birthday weekend, so after Quinn’s party we headed to the river with Pappy, Nie-Nie & Kels.  It was the best afternoon. The weather was great and there was hardly anyone on the water. We tried a new place for dinner and let the kids sit at their own booth, while the 5 grownups sat at a table beside them. They thought they were big stuff and even ordered their own food. IMG_6769

Sunday, the rest of the crew came down for our last day on the run for the summer. (Tucker decided to ditch his suit and swim in his undies all afternoon)…IMG_6815IMG_6817

- The girls recently realized that some quarters have states on them, so we told them how it was a big deal when they came out with them years ago and lots of people collected them. They decided they wanted to try to get every one of the states- so DW ordered them a collector map to put them in. They’ve been raiding everyone’s change jars to add to their collection. IMG_7507

-  We always go to dinner on Friday nights. The kids’ favorite thing to do after is go to Bass Pro. Ha. They love to climb on all the boats, 4-wheelers and see the big fish tank. IMG_6037

- We recently had our very first visit to Chuck-E-Cheese! I’ve never been and neither have any of our kids. It was for a birthday party and I tried to leave my germophobe mentality in the car and let the kids have a good time. It was really a lot of fun and the kids had a great time. Even the pizza was good. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole deal. IMG_7055

- Back to school also means back to dance! IMG_7491Mamie started dance classes this past week in town. She’s excited to be back after taking a year off! Tucker and I ran by the dance store to get her new ballet and tap shoes and he made a friend while we were there. IMG_7467

- The recent total solar eclipse was really neat to see. We didn’t get any viewing glasses before everyone sold out of them, but a welding helmet worked just as good. ;) IMG_7433We were all out in the field after school watching it and taking turns with the helmet.  IMG_7411

Hard to believe that September is here!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mommy-Daddy Weekend

DW and I are the worst at having “date nights” – we make it happen a few times a year, but we’re just terrible at making it a regular thing. But, we do try to take a Mommy-Daddy trip every year. This summer, timing just wasn’t on our side, though, and we couldn’t seem to squeeze anything in. School was days from starting and we were both bummed that we didn’t get to do anything, just the two of us, over the summer.

I’d been looking into the Steinhatchee Landing Resort as a possible weekend getaway for all of us, then decided it might end up being a fun long-weekend for just me & DW. The Landing has it’s own boat slips, so we could just leave the boat in the water and come and go as we pleased. I thought we could scallop or fish and just hang out on the boat all weekend. IMG_7526

We booked a one bedroom honeymoon cottage and after I dropped the girls off at school on Friday, we took off. IMG_7516

The Landing is  such a neat resort community.IMG_7528 There’s bike trails, a pool, even a petting zoo (it’s a fantastic family setting) and I definitely want to plan a weekend trip with the kids next summer.

The houses and cottages are all beautiful and the grounds are so well maintained. IMG_7583

President Jimmy Carter and his family have vacationed at this home

We checked in, put the boat in the water and headed out for the day. IMG_7580

IMG_7578We spent the first afternoon scalloping and then came back to the cottage to cook dinner. IMG_7569IMG_7591IMG_7593There’s only a couple restaurants in Steinhatchee- so for the first night, I’d packed some ribeyes in our cooler and we grilled steaks. The cottage had a full kitchen, and a gas grill and screened in porch on the back. 

On Saturday morning after breakfast, we hit the water again. We loved having the boat already in the water and just being able to jump on it and go.

We brought my float and I scalloped for a little while, but spent most of the day sunning in the water. It was fantastic. IMG_7568

That night, we had dinner at one of the Seafood restaurants and then went back to the landing and took a sunset cruise on the boat down the river. IMG_7600IMG_7618

We’d planned to go out on the water again on Sunday, but the weather was calling for early rain, so we decided to just have a lazy morning before heading back.

It was a great little low-key getaway.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monster Jam

We saw Monster Jam was coming to Tampa and planned to take the boys. They went in the Spring to one in Ocala with their daddies and Pappy and had a big time, so we thought they’d love to go again.

We’d hoped to get tickets for the Pit Party, so that the boys could actually touch the trucks and meet the drivers, but those were sold out when we got ours. Boo. IMG_7085

Lauren had shirts made for the boys with Grave Digger on them. They turned out so cute. IMG_7076

We decided to get to the arena early, and double check with the box office there to see if we could get in for the Pit Party… again no luck.

Plan B was to walk a couple blocks down to the aquarium. IMG_7119IMG_7143IMG_7154IMG_7163The boys were just fine with plan B and had a great time. We grabbed some lunch and then made our way back to the Arena. IMG_7111

We hit the merchandise tables first, because the boys wanted new Monster Jam hats.

While we were standing in line, the driver for El Toro Loco walked by! It happened so fast, but we were able to get a quick pic and a high five! IMG_7186IMG_7233

We had the boys pics taken “in the Grave Digger” truck which was just a green screen that they photo-shopped, but still adorable.. IMG_7358

and then found our seats. They were fantastic! IMG_7195It was precious watching the little boys take it all in and yell and cheer and WOW!!! at the big jumps. Precious. IMG_7212IMG_7239IMG_7269IMG_7279IMG_7306

The show was right in the middle of nap time so we weren’t sure how it was going to go, but the boys hung strong IMG_7204– but Tucker finally gave it up in the last 5 minutes. IMG_7348IMG_7351

It was such a fun day with our little guys! IMG_7364