Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bye, Beach - 2016

DW and I have a little mommy-daddy trip planned at the end of the month and school starts in a little over two weeks, so when we heard Pappy & Nie-Nie weren’t going to the beach this weekend, we decided to take our crew on one last beach trip of the summer.

It was also the weekend after a busy week of VBS, so it was wonderful to get to the condo on Friday night and just sit on the balcony and take a deep breath. IMG_3264

Saturday morning came early – our kids sleep in almost every where – except the beach. They were up and ready to go at 6:30.

We decided we’d all load up for our Krispy Kreme run. DW got a new truck this summer, so he wasn’t too excited about the kids eating donuts in it, so we stopped at the park on our way back and had a breakfast picnic. IMG_3292It was the sweetest – all three kids were in their jammies and even though AB was so worried someone would see her, it was precious knowing they’re all still small enough to do stuff like that.

We still hit the beach before the crowd and had the best day. IMG_3313IMG_3339IMG_3426IMG_3355IMG_3448


My heart was so full watching my little family splash, and laugh and play all morning. There’s never a day that I don’t think about or miss our Cooper, but some days I think more on the “should have” and “would have’s” and that morning I couldn’t help but wonder what life would have been like if he was still here. DW and I had even talked that morning about how his birthday was coming up and neither of us could believe he would be 11 years old this year. I was sitting in my chair watching the girls jump the waves and DW & Tucker playing in the sand and I looked over and out of no where there was a dump truck. It took my breath away. I love sweet reminders and God is so good to give them to me often and when I need them most.



Because it was Saturday, we had the pool to ourselves, too. I went up to lay Tucker down for his nap while DW and the girls swam a little longer. IMG_3455

That night, we tried a new place for dinner. We found it online and they claimed to be Daytona’s best seafood. It was a hole in the wall place, and it was ok, but I don’t ever see us going there again. They had a fan that blew on Tucker the whole time and his hair kept everyone laughing. IMG_3460

We did some shopping after dinner. IMG_3474IMG_3517

The next day we played some more before heading back home. IMG_3549IMG_3531

It’s never fun seeing the summer slip away, but it makes it easier when you can do it together.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Dinosaur World

We needed a fun day trip to do when Garrett was down, and we wanted to do something different. Mom & I thought for days and then I remembered last year when DW and I were in Tampa seeing signs for Dinosaur World. IMG_2772

It was perfect – only a couple hours away, something we’ve never done before, and something geared more toward boys, even though we were sure the girls would love it, too. IMG_2793

We left early and got to the park at opening. IMG_2781

The park itself was so well maintained. IMG_2801There were giant life-size dinosaurs tucked in big green trees, and lots of lush green plants.IMG_2863IMG_2874IMG_2961


Every thing was so clean and well cared for. We enjoyed just being outside walking the concrete trails through the different exhibits. IMG_2930IMG_2903IMG_2911

There were also several hands-on stations throughout the park.

We paid the extra and bought the fossil dig passes. The kids got to dig for fossils and then keep their three favorites. IMG_2820IMG_2811

We watched the fossil excavation demonstration,IMG_2892

and ended the day mining for gems. IMG_2992Gem mining is always a favorite of my girls in the mountains. The bucket we bought at Dinosaur World was loaded with pretty gems. All of the kids brought home a bag full of them. This was definitely the girls’ favorite part. IMG_2979

After a stop in the gift shop, we headed for some lunch and home.

It was a really cute park, and a super fun day. IMG_2776


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Garrett comes to Florida

This was a big summer for our family! My nephew Garrett decided he was old enough to come to Florida to stay with Grammy & Pop (and Aunt Annie/Uncle Devin, AB, Mamie & Tucker) for a whole week!

When Beau and I were kids we always spent some time in Georgia with our aunts/uncles/cousins during our summer break and our cousins would come to Florida to do the same. Those were always my favorite parts of every summer growing up.

How fun that we’re continuing that with our own kids now.

Mom, the littles and I, headed out on a Friday morning to meet Beau & Kristy half way. We ended up meeting in Cordele, and had an early lunch at Cracker Barrel. Mom and I couldn’t believe it when Garrett threw his orange suit case and pillow in my car and hopped in, ready to go. We were fully prepared for him to change his mind. He is, after all, only seven years old. He was ready to come to Florida, though, so while Kristy was able to let him (ha ha) we took off!

We decided we’d stop on our way home in Tifton to take the kids through the Agrirama museum. IMG_2367They loved it, and the best part was, it was mostly outside. Everyone got to burn off some energy and stretch their legs for the ride home. IMG_2389IMG_2484The kids loved touring the old Tift house and going in all of the restored buildings, seeing what life was like a “VERY LONG time ago.” They all got a kick out of the skeleton that was in the dr.’s office, and of course AB wanted to try out the crutches. She has a thing for braces, glasses and crutches. IMG_2381

We saw a working grist mill where the kids got to help close up the bag of freshly ground grits.


We cooled off with ice cream in the drug store


and had to get a picture of my mom and the kids in the tobacco patch. My Papa was a tobacco farmer and my mom and her siblings spent many days setting, topping, cropping, and racking tobacco. I, too, spent a little time around a tobacco barn growing up, and those are the kinds of things that make kids better people. Nobody in our family or even around our area grows tobacco anymore, so who would have ever thought we’d all be standing in a tobacco patch together someday.


The inside portion of the museum was last, and filled with old tractors and farm implements…


and even a replica of what harvested and cooked tobacco looks like. There’s no other smell like it and I know a flood of memories came back for my mom when she got that first woof of it.


On Friday night, the kids all spent the night with Grammy & Pop, and they pretty much bounced back and forth between our house and theirs all week that Garrett was here.

Sunday morning, we took him fishing at the limerock pits before church. IMG_2630IMG_2655We didn’t have any luck with the fish, but the kids loved climbing the big hills. IMG_2688IMG_2704

That evening, our church started our VBS. AB was excited to have a visitor to take to VBS, and Garrett had just finished up VBS at their church, so he was ready for another one! IMG_3244

Monday we took a trip to Dinosaur World. So fun. I’ll post about it separate.

The rest of the week, during the day the kids played around the house, we swam at Pappy’s pool, took Garrett to lunch at our favorite Mexican place and our favorite pizza place, and rode him around on the farm a little bit. IMG_3113IMG_3133IMG_3220IMG_3144IMG_3143

At night we had VBS, and that ended on Wednesday.

On Thursday night, all the kids stayed at Grammy & Pop’s again, and they took them out to dinner for Garrett’s last night here. He picked Texas Roadhouse (with suggestion from Mamie, I’m sure- that’s her fave).IMG_3247

On Friday morning, we packed him all up and Grammy & Pop set out to deliver him home. It was such a fun week and I hope when he’s grown up he’ll have good memories of summers spent here with us.