Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trip home

Seth had a race at Indy this past week. I was originally going to go and leave the kids at my parents'. It was getting so complicated with picking them back up (my parents live 4 hours away) and I hadn't been home in MONTHS. Sometimes, you just want to go home! I got to spend Monday through Friday in Tega Cay. It's been so long since I've been home for that length of time. 

Seth had an awesome race at Indy! He and Dan finished 3rd!! A podium finish at Indy has made my hubby a very happy man! I guess we're not his good luck charms after all. :) So proud of Seth and Dan!

Adelyn, Saige, and Nose Picker are ready for the ride to Tega Cay
On Wednesday, we went to The Nature Museum in Charlotte. It was perfect for their ages! They had animals native to NC, a butterfly garden, and outdoor play areas.
The Cutest Bug!

Adelyn helping James be a bug too

James playing near the pond

In the fairy garden

My sweet Mom and me

Every night, James wanted to sleep in the twin bed. After he went to sleep, we snuck him in the crib so Adelyn could sleep in her bed. He definitely wants to be a big boy and not sleep in a crib anymore!

This shirt cracks me up! It's mine from the 80s....two unicorns, hearts, pinks and purples....Adelyn LOVES it

 We went to the Baxter YMCA pool Tuesday morning and Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. Think the kids liked it? 
James has not been a fan of swimming all summer....until this week! He was jumping in, blowing bubbles, splashing, and kicking! He finally figured out that pool is FUN. Before, he was literally trembling with fear. 

Kids have to pass a swim test to go down these slides. Adelyn "swam" (more doggie paddle than strokes) the short length of the pool to get her wristband. She must have gone down these slides 974 times. She even got my mom to go down with her. I did it several times too- I have to admit, it's pretty fun! 

James and Adelyn went down the kiddie slide together. 
Unfortunately, my dad was out of town until Thursday. But he did get some snuggle time in with Adelyn. She wants to read the Bible all the time. And she wants to read it from beginning to end. We recently bought her a children's bible and that's what we read every night. I love that she loves Jesus so much and wants to learn all about Him. I hope and pray I do the right thing for her. I think my Dad is probably reading the Easter story to her here. That's the one she always wants.


And here we are back home. Seth converted the crib to a toddler bed on Saturday and James was oh so excited to sleep with his new vehicles sheets and bedspread. He's pointing to everything saying, "Dump truck! Car!"

My little big boy is sound asleep. The next morning, the first thing he said was, "I yike my big boy bed"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stone Mountain

This past Saturday, we had a free day (*GASP*). We had no plans or obligations, so we packed the kids up and headed down to Stone Mountain. We have season passes that expire in October. It wasn't too hot or crowded, surprisingly. 

The first thing we did was the kids' ropes course. 
As you can see, James was a little hesitant, but once Adelyn yanked him across the net he was good to go. 

Adelyn on the tight rope. 
Wheeeeee! Zip line!

Geyser Tower- this contraption had water squirting out of every nook and cranny as you climbed up and through the nets. James wasn't a huge fan of it (we made him go through with us) but Adelyn went barreling through it. It was pretty fun!

Next we had a picnic lunch in front of the Confederate leaders

After that we went on the train ride. One can often find James just chillin' and gold diggin'

He's always wiping off my kisses!

Daddy's girl

After this, we toured the plantation. It was fun to show Adelyn about how life was way back when (no electricity, farming, etc). We had a great family day! And it wore the kids out. :). Next time we'll do the hike to the top!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yard Improvements

Ok, so we have had this MAJOR eyesore in our yard. At the base of our driveway is a hill that we had mulched in when we moved in four years ago. The landscaping company added some easy plants (a vine looking ground cover, hydrangeas, and gardenias) and I planted lantana and verbena. Over time, the verbena grew like no other plant you've ever witnessed. It was THICK and spread like wild fire. In the winter, it was plain ugly. Over the past four years, it has just gotten worse and worse. Basically, the ground cover and verbena married and were a nightmare couple. 
This picture is from about three years ago- here's the verbena and lantana when they were somewhat pretty

This is the side yard a couple days ago. We knew we were getting this work done, so to make it even uglier we just let it go. It was basically 100% weeds. The window shown is our eating area in the kitchen. It was awful to look out that window at this weed infested view. :(
Vines Gardening came Wednesday and tore it all up! Yay! This was already a vast improvement (they kept the gardenias and hydrangeas)

By Thursday afternoon, they had new plants laid out and half of the stair way set. 

The stairs level off towards the top. They also put in three boulders.  
Finished! This is from the base of the driveway

New plants! I am so very anti-ground cover now. NEVER again! 

The kids have always ran through the mulch/plants to get to the garage from the playground. Now they have these great stone steps. And this is less area for me to have to de-weed! We are happy, happy, happy with this set up! We should've done it this way when we built the house. You can't really see them in the picture, but Seth added some Dekor LED landscaping lights. He literally did it in an easy and adds even more beauty to this project! Here's the link if you want to enhance your exterior:

Now I want to add a stone bench and eventually some more annuals. I just love looking out our kitchen window now! Thanks, Vines Gardening! We highly recommend Todd and his crew.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Montana summer trip (7/5-7/13)

We usually go to Montana twice per year, a summer trip and a winter trip. Summer is my favorite time to go! The weather is pleasant and you're able to enjoy God's glory up close. It's a beautiful place to be with your family! This year, we had a fun crew- Seth's parents, his sister and her children, and Seth's aunt and uncle (Ricky and Lynn). 
We hiked down to the river from the house the first day. James hiked almost all the way down! The kids loved throwing rocks into the river. 

East Glacier Park Lodge... I just loved the gorgeous flowers out front! 

Picturesque view of the still Lake Mary

We all went on a hike to St. Mary's Falls. The water was a beautiful turqouise

We hiked on to Virginia Falls (even larger waterfall). We hiked a total of 3.5 miles. I was proud of Adelyn for hiking so far- this was definitely her longest hike! 

The kids became Junior Park Rangers. The "swearing-in ceremony" is adorable. Now they're junior park rangers for Glacier and Yellowstone!

Proudly sporting their badges and "I'm a hiker" stickers

Yes, there's still some snow on top of the mountains! Here are the Big Horn Sheep at Logan's Pass

Glacier National Park landscape 
One afternoon, Seth and I took Adelyn whitewater rafting (along with Melissa, Emily, and Thomas). We did the "scenic tour", so it was perfectly safe for a 4 year old. Our adventure started out sunny and hot and the kids all dipped in the COLD Flathead River. It quickly turned chilly and rainy (kids were kinda regretting that little swim; thank goodness they didn't get there hair wet). I have always joked about Adelyn's napping skills- the girl can nap anywhere. This took the cake! Adelyn leaned back in my lap and fell asleep- on a raft, in the pelting rain, wearing a life jacket. A school bus met us at a pick up point. Seth lifted Adelyn out of the raft and carried her to the seat. She continued napping on the bus ride back to the rafting center. It was crazy!! 

July 9th was our eighth wedding anniversary! Seth and I had dinner at the Belton Chalet. It was delicious! We enjoyed our outdoor table. It was fun chatting with the other diners and hearing where they're from and what they have been doing while in Montana. One couple was also celebrating their anniversary (48th). I love you, Seth! Here's to 80 more! 

We saw several deer on our drive to Pole Bridge

Pole Bridge is a town, I guess? It has a few houses, a bakery, and a bar/restaurant. The entire town is run off a generator.  It's in the middle of NOWHERE but has the world's best pastries! Their macaroons are to die for. We got some tasty breads, huckleberry bearclaws, and of course the macaroons. The kids had fun playing on this train playgound contraption. 

There's also a little stage that kids couldn't help but perform on. They're so funny! Emily and Adelyn together can be quite the drama queens :)

Brenda picked up matching pajamas for these goofy kids.

Seth never buys anything for himself (clothes-wise). One day we were in town and he decided to buy some cowboy boots. Wha-what?? But he looks H-O-T in them! James loves to put them on...."these boots were made for walkin'...."
We spent many afternoons playing in the yard. We found some squirt guns and the kids enjoyed squirting each other

We took a trip to the Izaak Walton to see the trains! You can stand on this bridge and watch the long freight trains travel through. 

Love this beautiful wagon flower display at the I.W

We went to Eddie's Ice Cream at least 3 times. What a treat!

The only annoying thing about this trip was how early the kids (especially James) woke up. They eventually started "sleeping in" until 6 or 7, but the time change threw them off. Just prior to leaving GA, James learned (actually Adelyn taught him) how to climb out of the crib. So every morning, James is in our face ready to GO! He'd even go to the bedroom door and say, "Adios!!". Here's a little video of his first time climbing out:

This was another memorable trip! I love experiencing Montana's beauty with our kids. We had so much fun together!