Sunday, September 14, 2014

Icing on the cake (of summer)

Summer was quickly coming to an end.  We had a few more days to bring it home and I think we did just that!  It was "national cheesecake day".  That means half priced cheesecake at the cheesecake factory!  I decided we'd go there for lunch.  The problem is, once you eat there, you're too full for cheesecake SO...We went just for cheesecake.  For lunch!  That's right, I let them order whatever kinds they wanted.  We ended up with a total of 3 slices and the could eat as much as they wanted! I never thought they'd have too much cake but they actually couldn't finish all of the three slices.  I stuffed them.  With cake!  I didn't think they'd ever stop but they did!  We had one S'mores, one turtle and one lemon raspberry.  All delicious but the s'mores really took the cake, er cheesecake if you will! 

Lillian didn't have a slice but she enjoyed playing with the spoon while we ate.  I might have let her taste some of the whipped cream.  She approved!  

The s'mores had roasted marshmallow topping!

 We also FINALLY visited Lake Conroe.  Jason booked us a boat trip on a pontoon with our neighbors Joe and Peggy and the boys friend Matthew.  It was a Saturday in August and it was sure to be a scorcher.  When the day arrived, we packed enough food and drinks for a week along with towels and toys for a YMCA daycamp!  Well, it just so happened to be the most perfect form of cloudy and cooler than most days in Texas ALL summer!  The clouds were thick and threatened rain but it didn't rain, Not even once.  It was a PERFECT day for taking 4 kids, newborn included out onto the lake.  It was a little windy but no one seemed to mind.  We ate all that we brought along and had mimosas to sip while on our little "three hour tour"!  The boys would jump off one end of the boat, swim around, climb up, run through and do it all over again.  I can't count how many times they did it!  They had so much fun!

 Lillian is certain she'll like the blood orange mimosas.  She's got good taste, just a bit too young!
Lincoln loves his Mr. Joe.  Somehow, around him, Lincoln gets anything he wants!  

I'd like to say this is the reason we got lost on the way back and ended up with a "four hour tour" but it's not.  We just didn't pay attention when we left and we ended up going the wrong way for quite a while.  It was fun, and funny and expensive.  Haha!

We really send summer out with a bang.  We all can't wait to go back up to the lake again. Next time we've all vowed to rent the boat with a slide and ask another family to join us.  It holds up to 20 and the kids can wear themselves out sliding and climbing while we polish off another round of blood orange mimosas!  So long summer 2014!

Boys go back to school!

The time has come for the boys to go back to school!  Summer was fun, and long, and fun!  We did lots of things but alas the time has come for Third grade to commence and Lincoln to start all day Kindergarten!  He's SO ready and I know he will do great, but as I tell him all the time, I'll miss him being home to eat lunch with me and hold the doors for me.  Several times I've thought of kid type things to do during the day and they just wouldn't be as much fun with just a baby so they will have to wait.

Jackson and I read the Night before Kindergarten to him so he'd be ready for all the fun stuff they would do!  The next morning, we also read The Kissing Hand!  It's a sweet story about a raccoon going to school for the first time.  I *may* have worn my sticker all day that day!  He's since given me several kissing hands when I drop him off.  This boys is SUCH a charmer.  He's going to have that teacher in the palm of his little kissing hand!  

 Third grade is the first grade I remember vividly.  I remember things about second and little about first but I can actually remember third grade.  Its still hard to believe I'm old enough to have a child in that grade.  But, man, he's a good kid.  I won't say perfect but he's a good one!  So much like his dad, yet like me too!
 Lillian is pretty excited to see what the hoopla is all about.  She doesn't know her constant source of entertainment is about to be gone for a large part of the day.  We'll still have fun but she's going to miss them in her face all the time!

 We are back to crawling under out fence to the sidewalk.  I love how close we are to the school.  See that traffic?  We don't have to bother with that!  It's so healthy and so much faster too!
Lillian and I both got a kissing hand sticker from Lincoln.  He's such a sweetheart!

We said goodbye and for a hot second, I started to tear up but I know that boy is ready to conquer the world and it starts right there in the Kindergarten classroom!  

Hats off to a great school year for the students and teachers that care for our babies all day.
 I'll meet you under the fence when it's time to come home!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Camp Nanapawpaw 2014

Camp director here reporting on “CAMP NANAPAWPAW” for summer 2014, all campers report having a blast and the“old director” here was asked to recap. 
The first campers arrived the afternoon of June 19.  Camp was completely full this year and it was said fun was had by all.  Four of the deFoors flew to Nashville and was picked up by a newcomer to camp this year.  Ms. Marie (a dear family friend) lives in Nashville and rounded up car seats and picked up the crew.  She even fed and watered them before they hit the road south to CAMP. 
 Since all the bunks at camp were full Ms. Marie got a room at the Marriott.  Lucky for us, we got to SWIM there.  So with five of our campers here this made for a fun evening and next few days.

With our campers fully engaged in camp we spent time at the splash pad near the Mariott, went to a wildlife presentation at the public library and we took a cool road trip to the Dismals Canyon.  The neatest place just about 45 minutes from here.  The boys loved the nucks and crannies of the canyon.  We packed out Jamie's new van as Aunt Janie joined us on this camp field trip.  We had a wonderful evening.  

We always have science experiments at Camp Nannapawpaw.  No exceptions this year.  The campers  enjoyed excavating dinosaur bones we buried in plaster, the good old mentos in diet soda, BIG bubbles was a BIG hit, food coloring in milk, gak made from corn startch and water and the ever popular bottle over the birthday candle.  Science is doing and we did!

New campers arrived on Monday, June 23.  Tracie and Allie Gray arrived!  They were so happy to see each other.  
Over the next few days we enjoyed Spring Park, Chuck E. Cheese's and the splash pad in Muscle Shoals.  Ms. Marie had to leave :( and Jamie and Lillian took a side trip to Nashville.  Camp continued.  The fun never stops at CAMP!
Day camper Ella Wall joined us one day.  The tent just added to our camp atmosphere.  Ella mostly held her mouth open in disbelief of all our craziness.  

Jackson got to do a side activity from Camp this year.  He attended Keller Kids held each year the Thur before the Helen Keller festival starts.  It is a program for 3-6 grades where they learn about disabilities and end their day at the Helen Keller birthplace.  They even got to ride on a special float in the parade.  He was thrilled to get to do the Keller Kid program and wasted no time in making 2 friends.  His friends ended up on the front of the newspaper and he was thrilled to see his new buddies in the paper.  

No festival can begin without a parade.  So we loaded that van again and camp heads to downtown Tuscumbia for the opening of the Helen Keller festival.  A very HOT parade.  Thank goodness water was being handed out on every corner and the cotton candy was novel!  No rain on our parade.  Only sweat.  

As the second weekend of camp approaches we end our week with a fun Friday at the library for Mr. Magical Balloons.  More science "spiraments" and trip to the river with Aunt Janie and family.  Camp director and Lillian skipped the river trip to get some much need beauty sleep.  

The campers keep coming.  Wyatt gets here and the annual family chicken stew is on!  What a fun day.  This is how the 4th of July should be celebrated.  The day included young and old.  Old fun things and new technology.  Will brought a drone.  Life is like a box of chocolates when camp is on.  You never know what you will get!

No hot Saturday is complete without the ice cream man.  They loved chasing the ice cream man around our neighborhood.  The treat was worth the chase.  

Allie Gray sent her parents home and wanted to stay at camp like a big girl.  She loved the boys and Lillian.  Allie is happy she is big enough to attend camp without mom and dad.  On Sunday we went to our annual church picnic and celebration of Independence Day.  Hot as most early July evenings but such a fun time.  Carriage rides and fireworks.  What a nice evening.  

What a joy to have the campers here for nearly 2 weeks.  This nana/camp director is so blessed.  
Yes we allow thuglets at our camp!
Swimming with friends(THANKS LINDSEY FAMILY), slip and sliding in the back yard and even a blow up jumpy in our own back yard.  Camp was full of action in 2014!

No trip to Camp Nanapawpaw is complete without mandatory photo shoots.  Little Lillain turned 4 months at camp.  Her photos were a group effort.  Precious little.  

The deFoor family shoot was more like a marathon but even with losing light and having to literally drag Jason out of the river we got some good shots.

Allie Gray made us sweat for her photos.  She will do most anything for her Aunt Jamie and candy.  
We were sad to see the deFoor campers leave.  Allie Gray stayed on to keep us company.  We had some fun times with my dad and Allie's other grandparents.  Memories never to be forgotten.  More library fun and swimming at the Marriott.  

And with any camp the dreaded good byes.  But we await next camp and the fun times in between.  Honored to be camp director.  And the slowest blog writer around.