Thursday, July 31, 2008

Every Vacation Deserves 2 Posts...

Here are more pictures from our trip from Aunt Nicole's camera. You can see everyone working hard on building a little dam in the creek and then checking out a salamander that Uncle Johnny caught.

We always go around and let each person say their favorite part of a trip so here are the results from this one:

Caleb: tubing and playing with Walker

Adam: riding the horses and fishing

Annabelle: "I ride a 'orsee"

Seth: fishing with the boys

Me: walking up to the coffee shop every morning to get yummy, organic coffee and then sitting by the river to drink it.

and my hike.

Seth wore these huge waders when he fished because he gets hives from cold water (weird, huh?) and Annabelle would say, "Daddy's boops!" when she saw him. It was so cute!

Walker is unbelievably good with babies. Aaron stayed with them this year while Aunt Nicole taught Kindergarten so they are more like brothers. You should see how Walker works so hard with Annabelle so that she won't be shy around him. It is very impressive and quite unlike an average 11 year old boy......

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trip to Townsend, TN

The Harrison side of our family decided to take our annual vacation in the mountains of Tennessee this year. We stayed in a little place right on the river and a few miles away from Cades Cove. They were some really fun, rowdy, grungy (and I mean that in the best way.....just ask Angie about me and my grunginess) yet so peaceful days together.

We were really excited that our destination was only 2 hours away from us this time around. HOWEVER, we got stuck in traffic on 40 for 2 1/2 hours right at the start of the trip over. The first hour was OK, but then we all started to get a little cranky and impatient for the last one. So we missed the first loop around the cove that night but all was forgotten upon arrival and everyone was happy.

Friday morning everyone got up at the crack of dawn and began the fishing marathon that lasted all weekend.

Adam was especially patient and caught a few fish.

Annabelle was excited to find that Nana brought Max along.

The kids were so excited to be with their cousins. Caleb and Walker played a lot of "war" while Amy and Adam played dogs and such. There was LOTS of fishing and rock hopping/wading/swimming in the river and Seth kept a perfect fire going in our little fire pit out back. Family, fire and a river........what more could a little boy (and their Moma) ask for in this life?

Later that day we headed back to the cove where the boys and Annabelle went on a horse ride. Well, the boys rode horses on the trail and Annabelle rode with Nana in a wagon, but if you ask her she definitely rode one herself! She reminded us quite often that, "I ride a 'orsee". I went on an awesome hike with Heath, baby Aaron, Nicole and her folks during all of that. It was a lot tougher than we thought it was going to be but I was so happy to be out hiking with only myself to take care of for a few hours.

That evening we had a lovely meal at a restaurant called Timbers. Oh yeah, Caleb wanted a mohawk this time around so Aunt Lorie did the honors right before we left. He won't usually let me stick it up and so it just looks like a really funny haircut most of the time. It is going to go later this week.

On Saturday, we drove over to Cherokee and stopped along the way to play in a VERY COLD mountain creek and have a picnic lunch.

Uncle Johnny is the best.....he is always in there helping the kids find salamanders and build dams. The cold water didn't seem to bother Aaron at all.
He wanted to get down and waller in it!

That night we went to see the play Unto These Hills. The boys were thoroughly entertained because there were a lot of fight scenes. Annabelle was thoroughly entertained by all of the skittles I fed her through it. Nah, she liked it but was quite verbal about how much she liked it so Seth took her out after intermission. It was really neat and a great lesson for the kids about how not to treat others.

Then Sunday there was more fishing and chilling out by the river.

And we ate lots of smores...... (I know that you gals with one baby are gasping at the thought of my one year old munching on marshmellows and skittles but you'll proabably do the same with your third......I would have never have fed them to Caleb at that age!)

And played in the creek a bit more.........

Annabelle carried this baby doll of Amy's around all weekend. it was too cute!

Then we ended the trip by tubing down the river. I know I don't look happy in that picture but I surely was. It was super fun.

So that's all I can get out right now. I am sure I will have more to say later.................

Thanks for reading!

PS There is a great new video of Annabelle singing on our video page.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Days at the POOL

I was telling a friend the other day about how busy we have been lately and that I think we are busier in the summer than during the school year. Then she asked what we were so busy doing and I thought for a minute and said, "uh, we go to the pool everyday."

About 3 or 4 times a week we try to get to the pool after class which really does make for a full day. We just love the pool. I am not quite to that glorious point in life where I can sit in a chair on the side and read a book yet, but I can relax a little here and there as the boys swim and Annabelle wanders around and occasionally sticks her feet in. Nah, she is doing much better in the water these days and is all over a kiddie pool.

Anyway, we go to the Black Mountain pool with Aunt Amie and her girls and Aunt Lorie and Kiah. The boys usually wrestle and play tag in the shallow end with Lanie there while Annabelle and Lucie play in the kiddie pool together.

This week we discovered the Canton pool and the fact that they still have a diving board. How sweet is that? When I was younger all we did at a pool was jump off the diving board over and over and over. Em and Tay, our neighbors, joined us and we all went there this week for lots of flips and dives and cannonballs. I love watching them. Caleb is the little athletic guy up there who does every jump with such grace, while Adam is really funny. I mean he is good too and can do the flips and all, but he just does every jump with such gusto that you have to chuckle every time he goes in. I even dove off it a few times about feeling like your ten for a few seconds again!

I put more videos of the boys jumping off the diving board on our youtube page so be sure to check them out. Just click on OUR FAMILY VIDEOS.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Caleb's 7th Birthday

Wow. Caleb is seven years old now.

I can't believe that I have a seven year old.

It is great. I love Caleb at seven. I love getting to know him more and more each day.

Caleb was my hardest baby. It was really hard to birth him. It was really hard to nurse him. It was really hard to get him to go to sleep. It was really hard to get him to mind me. He was the ultimate strong-willed child that challenged me on EVERYTHING! (and not just once) There was a time when I felt like all I did was tell that child "no" and then discipline him for not obeying. Then there were all of the hours I spent praying for him to just go to sleep.........

But guess what!!!! That is
way in the past now and Caleb has grown into an incredible young man. He has a huge heart and loves others very well. He is the ultimate "people person" and almost overly friendly to other children.
He loves anything with wheels or a motor and if you can't find him these days, it is best to look up, because he is most likely up in a tree.
His favorite toys are guns, bows and knives. (don't cross him)
Caleb has always been very physically able in that he can smash a baseball, flip and dive into a pool, and do plenty of wheelies and other tricks on his bike.
He is a hard worker and loves being outside with Seth.
Hhhhmm, what else about him?
He is very helpful with Annabelle and loves babies.

Yeah, my Caleb has really come a long way in the last couple of years. We definitely still have our struggles, but they just can't compare to the baby and toddler days. So for right now, I am just trying to enjoy these easier in-between years. (please don't mention teenagers to me)

I love my seven year old Caleb.

Here are the birthday party pictures:

We had a pool party at Cheshire.
Thank goodness it was an indoor pool because it was indeed raining outside off and on.

He was quite excited about the pocket knife from Gray.
Annabelle really liked the weird glasses that Uncle Jonathan found and threw in his present at the last minute.

Aunt Lorie, Beth and her brother, and Jonathan enjoyed the cookie cake and ice cream.

Annabelle and Lucie had fun swimming together in the pool.

Tammy, Christian,Chandler and Annika were at the party as well.
Chandler is such an awesome brother. He is always helping Tammy with the little ones.

Tay and Em (neighbors) came too.
Emily swan with Kiah and Lanie the entire time while Tay entertained the boys.

The party was a success......I think everyone enjoyed it.

Oh yes, on Friday Grandaddy gave Caleb his present.....AN AIRSOFT GUN
which is something he
has been wanting for a long time now. After clearing it with Seth, Grandaddy went out and bought goggles, pellets and TWO guns so that Adam could have one too. The boys were thrilled to say the least, and our backyard has turned into a major battle zone.

Boys are so weird.

Not to take away anything from the post all about Caleb, but I thought you would enjoy this video of Adam jumping off the diving board yesterday at the pool. He literally did something similar to this EVERY TIME he jumped (and he was so much smaller than anyone else jumping too). It kept me entertained.