Monday, May 2, 2016

RT Family Picnic - Zoo Atlanta

This weekend was one of our favorite events of the year...the RT family picnic day.  Each year they have the event at different locations around Atlanta and this year it was at the zoo.  I hadn't been to the zoo with the kids in probably over 3 years (maybe more) so it was a fun outing.

Upon arrival Robby had to do some greeting, so the kids and I made our way around the zoo to check out the animals.

Up first were flamingos and then we got to see some popular favorites like the rhinos, zebras and giraffes.  The kids got to touch a rhino horn.

Something new since we had last been to the zoo is that you can feed a giraffe!  What?  I know!!!  How cool is that?  I was so excited for the kids to get to have this really cool experience so I paid the $3 per person and we waited our turn.  Each person gets two pieces of lettuce to hold out of the giraffe.  He knew just what to do and used his big ol' tongue to grab the lettuce.  The kids all loved it an I think it was definitely worth the small fee.

Next we continued to see some of the other animals like the gorillas, monkeys, lions and pandas.

Then it was time to meet up with Robby and have lunch.  They had fun music playing and food that everyone gobbled up.  Walking around the zoo we all built up a big appetite.  After catching up with some friends at lunch we worked our way to the kid's zone where the kids got to try rock climbing, a giant climbing structure to the tallest slide I've ever seen and the carousel.

We ran into Trey, Stefanie and the kids at the carousel and all got to ride the train together.  The train ride had also been jazzed up a bit since our last visit to the zoo and Hudson was SO excited.

We wrapped up the day with a quick play on the playground for Hudson and the girls visited the petting zoo before we made our way home.  We were all exhausted after a busy day of walking around the zoo and came home and crashed.  It was a great day though and it was a lot of fun taking our wild animals to see the other wild animals.  ;-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hudson is READING!!

For a little guy that had absolutely no interest in anything having to do with letters at the beginning of the school year, Hudson has come such a long way. His teachers have been SO wonderful and we could not be more pleased with their engaging ways.  I've watched all year as he has become excited about learning and happy to write letters and notice them in places when we are out and about.  He also started to note sounds and make the connections between letter and sounds recently.  There are a few kids in his class that are reading and his teachers let them read to the class.  He was SO motivated by that so he came home and told me he wanted to read a book, too.  I jumped at the chance to pull out the phonics readers and Bob books that I had stashed away for him and we got started.  And you know what...he did it!!! He read his first books. He was so proud of himself and so were we!  

The next morning he came running downstairs with his books in his hands and couldn't wait to read them to me again and again.  Over the weekend he read them to just about anyone that would listen.  He's on a roll now and I hope we can keep it up.  I went to college to learn how to teach kids to read, but hearing your 3rd and final child make those connections for the first time is such a wonderful feeling!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

RaceTrac Run for Research

Every year we look forward to the RaceTrac 5K and this year was no different.  It's their annual Run for Research benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.  This year Mimi and Dadaw happened to be in town for the run and we were all so excited to have them here.

The kids really love the 1K race that is just for them and they get really competitive about it.  This year the theme for the run was "Race for Fox in your Craziest Socks!"

Needless to say, the kids LOVED that.  Hudson has been wanting some tall socks because he sees all of the older boys in our neighborhood wearing them and I finally broke down and got them for him to wear.  Now he wants to wear them every day.

We had to wake up really early to get there on time, but it was worth it because there were so many fun things to do and see bright and early.

The kids were dancing with the DJ and Hudson loved the race car!

Then it was time for the 1K run.  They worked their way to the front of the starting line and ran their little hearts out.  Harper came around the corner first and she was 2nd place for the girls and Handley was a very close 3rd right behind her.

Hudson ran the whole way and did so great.  He was so proud of himself and was so happy to get his medal.

Then it was time to get ready for the 5K.  The plan was for Hudson to ride in the stroller and for the girls to walk/jog with me.  However, Hudson was having so much fun running that he ran a lot of the 5K, too. He would sit in the stroller for a little rest and then was ready to hop back out again.

It was a great morning and we had a great time helping raise money for a wonderful cause.

The rest of the day was spent at the soccer fields and then spending time with the fam for the rest of the evening.  Loved having my parents here and was sad to see them go, but we are all looking forward to our time at the beach together this summer!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday to Harper!!!

My blonde haired baby girl isn't a baby anymore. In my mind I still picture her like this:

A sweet little preschooler with bouncy curls and a smile that never left her face.  However, I blinked and she's grown up to be a sweet and sporty seven year old with a little bit of sass.  The saying is true for her...she's made up of a both sugar and spice!

When we started thinking about her birthday party she knew immediately what she wanted to do.  She wanted a sleepover with her best friends.  She also had very specific ideas about what she wanted to do at her party.  So much so that she wrote it all down for me to refer to as I planned the details of her party.  My type A planning might have rubbed off on her just a little. ;-)

I set up the dining room as our party room and she was so excited to come home from school and see all the decorations just for her!

When the girls first arrived they took off to Harper's room and played a bit.  While they were busy playing I got everything set up for the scavenger hunt.  I had made up clues to lead the girls around the house.  At the end they would find a special prize!

They LOVED this activity.  I had about 12 clues and I wish I would have done twice as many because it really was fun for all of them.  They were also really good about taking turns reading the clues and working together to figure out where to go next.  It was the simplest activity, but their favorite, by far.

At the end they found their prize, matching pajamas!  These also doubled as their party favors.  Harper and her friends love to match, so I knew they would be excited about all wearing the same pajamas to sleep in that night.

Next it was about time for dinner.  We ordered pizza and the girls toasted with sparkling cider.

A couple of weeks ago I found this pink glassware that was in the back of a closet at Gigi and Papa's house. I don't know how I forgot about it, but my Memaw gave them to me just after I was married. I used to use at it her house as a little girl so I knew as soon as I found it that I wanted to use it at Harper's party.

Instead of having cupcakes or cake, Harper really wanted to go for frozen yogurt so that is what we did. I had the girls in my car and the boys went in the truck.  They loaded up their cups and giggled the whole time.

When we got back they changed into their PJ's and she opened her gifts.  I loved the smaller setting with just a few friends!  Next they decided on a movie and I felt like I constantly was refilling their popcorn bowls.

Finally it was time for bed. I let them set a timer for 15 minutes to "talk" and then told them they needed to go to bed.  They were still up giggling past that time and I knew they all had to be exhausted so I sat in the room with them so they would stop talking and they were all fast asleep within minutes.

The next morning they woke up bright and early, but thankfully they were happy to play a little on their own before they were ready for breakfast.  That gave me time to get the waffle bar and other goodies ready.

They had just a little while longer to play before it was time for everyone to get dressed and go home.  Then I was ready for a nap!  I mentioned to Harper that I was tried and she told me she was more than tired...she was exhausted.  I asked her if it was worth it though and the huge smile on her face gave me the answer.  She felt special, love being the birthday girl, and was happily surrounded by her closest friends to celebrate her big day. Yes, it was a lot of work for me, but it was worth it!

She spent her actual birthday in the car with Gigi and Papa on the way home from Florida, but they made her feel extra special during the day and then when they got here we celebrated with her favorite dinner of tacos and brownies for dessert.

Today I helped in her class and stuck around for her birthday celebration at school.  We passed out cookies to her classmates and they all sang happy birthday to her.  I think she had a wonderful week of celebrating and I can hardly believe she is seven!