Our Kids' Blog

Beautiful Fall Morning at the Pumpkin Patch

October 18th, 2014 by Mommy


We enjoyed a beautiful and a bit muddy morning at the pumpkin patch. The girls love the extra fun games that go with the maze and pumpkin patch. They rode the slide and bounced a lot. It is a wonder they had energy to do anything else. We did half of the big maze with the girls taking turns leading the way. Each girl searched the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin. Emily wanted a small one and Julia wanted one she could carry. The sun shined on us and a breeze kept us cool. It was a perfect way to spend the morning with Grandma and Grandpa.

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A Day At The Everglades

October 3rd, 2013 by Mommy


We wanted to see the Everglades during the summer when it is the rainy season, so we took the shuttle ride in Shark Valley. Because of the extra water in the Everglades the alligators were more spread out and were not easy to see, although we saw a young one by the road and one large one by the observation tower. The biggest difference from our previous visit was that it rained while we were on our tour. The large open spaces allowed us to see several rain clouds around us while we were riding which gave the day its own unusual beauty.


It was a bit breezy for the ride. Sitting with the grandparents made it lots of fun. Grandma shared her camera with the girls to take some photos. Who knows what photographic masterpieces she ended up with.


At the half way point of the tram ride there is an observation tower that we climbed to take a good look at the scenery. Emily decided to have a one-girl race to the top. She won.


The girls took a minute and stopped moving to check out the view.


This is the alligator who greeted us at the observation tower stop. He had found his lunch of a turtle. We watched him for a few minutes from a safe distance and then went to look at other views. After we got to the other side of the road the alligator threw the turtle into the air and grabbed it back as it fell. It is almost like he was showing off for the visitors. We were glad the girls missed the excitement.


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Destination Grandparents! (and cousins)

October 1st, 2013 by Mommy

The next stop on our trip was to visit with our Grandparents in Miami. it has fun people to play, places to visit, and a pool to swim in. The weather was unusual for our visit. There was a lot of cool weather and rain. It changed our activities during our visit, but we still had a lot of fun. It was pretty special to have cuddle time with little baby Daniel.


Uncle Robby with the newest nephew, Daniel!


Emily got a chance to hold the little guy too.


Lizzy is always fun to play with too. Here she is with her favorite toy, Baa.


Julia loved playing with the basketball and goal, Julia made up a crazy card game, lots of opportunities to swim, great play times with Lizzy, and being with Grandma and Grandpa was just icing on the top.


What a sweet little boy!


And he woke up so we could see his eyes.


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Family Visit

April 27th, 2013 by Mommy


To celebrate Natalie’s spring break Jolie, Grandma, and a bunch of kids came to visit. We were delighted and the girls were so excited. They arrived in the afternoon and Grandma and I surprised Emily with checking her out early from school. Nichole, Jennifer and the kids have never seen snow and they had been delighted with some snow in Gatlinburg. Still more came the day they arrived and we enjoyed playing at the park with the snow falling on us.


Snow here does not always last long and this snow shower ended before we left the park. Natalie gave Emily a ride across the park.


The "oldies" bundled up to stay warm.


What could be better than swinging while it is snowing?


Our silly kid slide photo!


We moved a few things around to make it easier to sleep and play. The under-the-bunk play space was just the perfect size for Mikayla.


The girls were excited to take their Daddy to the Children’s Museum.


Natalie is getting a lesson about how to make a call with a rotary phone.


Dylan is taking a trip on a rocket ship!


Posing with Anakin Skywalker. Who knew it was so easy to visit the outer reaches of the universe in one afternoon?


The kids enjoyed the train room. They even stopped long enough for a photo.


One afternoon we had a picnic at Norris Dam. We took the walk to the middle so we could see off both sides of the dam to compare. It was a cool picnic. Thankfully it was a sunny day and the sun kept us warm.


Of course we had to stop at Krispy Kreme doughnuts and enjoy a dozen or so. We were sad that the visit was short, but it was good to visit for the time we had. It will have to tide us over to summer when we will visit again.

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Our Beach Day

August 8th, 2012 by Mommy


We try to go to the beach once per trip to Miami. It takes a little while to get to the beach so we try to make the most of it when we go. This trip it was just the girls, Grandma, and Mama at the beach. We set up our shade, got some photos, and then played in the water.

Julia kept trying to swim in the ocean like she did in the pool and she ended up with pretty red eyes. She just kept trying though. One game the girls played was to carry wet sand into the ocean and rub Grandma and Mama’s arms with the sand. It was like our own trip to the spa. Emily asked several times to go out in the deeper water with Grandma. For having simple cups to dig in the sand the girls just stayed busy and happy for a long time. Everyone seemed to enjoy the sunny, fun day tremendously.


Two flowers that Mama would pick!


Enjoying the sun and surf!


Our Ju Ju girl!


Sun-kissed water and girl.


Digging in the sand. The ocean was destroying as fast as they were building, but that didn’t deter them.


Our shady spot, but we didn’t spend much time there. While the day was hot, the water felt great!


Playing with Grandma in the ocean.

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Pool Time

August 7th, 2012 by Mommy


The girls wanted to do lots of swimming while we were on vacation. And we did a lot of swimming. For a Mama it was a lot of hard work to watch two little swimmers.

Emily is doing marvelously in the pool. She has confidence to jump into the pool at any depth, increasing confidence in swimming “under water”, and loving just the fun of swimming. She loved doing cannonball jumps. We made a new game of riding the elevator down game. This game originally served to encourage the girls to get their faces underwater. Our new variation involved Mama holding her far out of the water and slowly lowering her as the elevator rides down and then at the basement level, instead of dropping her under the waterline, Mama would throw her across the top of the water into deeper water. She loved it!

Julia started off by not being able to pop herself back up to the surface after jumping into the pool. Somewhere in the first couple of days she figured it out and she was fearless. We would think she was on the steps of the pool and getting out to find that she turned around and tried to swim back into the pool. She just wouldn’t stop trying to swim. It paid off and she showed the biggest improvement. There was nothing that she wouldn’t try. She mimicked Emily in trying cannonballs, jumping into the pool, swimming long distances, and putting her face in the water. She even figured out how to do a back flip off of Mama’s shoulders which Emily then scrambled to learn to be like Julia.

Enjoy the smiles and fun memories –


Swimming with Daddy! It is wonderful to show Daddy all our new tricks.


Uncle Doug and Elizabeth playing.


Water soaked grins


Grandma being silly with the girls


Pool smile- really she is just saying, “get the photo done so I can go back to swimming”.

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