Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tiny Tykes

This winter Hudson has been taking a little sports skills class called Tiny Tykes. Each few weeks they focused on a new sport.  He had so much fun each week and since yesterday was the last day of his class the parents got to come in and watch all that they had learned.

I'm pretty sure he was the youngest one in the class, but he really did his best following directions and trying all of the skills. They did such cute things to teach them, too, like swinging pool noodles cut in half to hit bubbles (baseball) and learning the correct way to hold a football while running for a touchdown and then completing their run with a "touchdown dance." So cute!  

All of the kids got awards for their class and Hudson got the "go getter" award for always being ready to listen and participate and was a great member of their little team!  :-)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend Fun

Our weekend flew by, as usual, but we managed to squeeze lots of fun in.  The sunny weather was nice and we took advantage of it.  Robby was out of town on a guys ski trip, so Friday after Handley's dance class we just came home and the kids were happy to run around outside before a quick dinner.  Then I put Hudson to bed and the girls and I watched Olympics ice skating in my bed together.

Saturday was spent running a million errands with all three kids, which had my nerves shot by the end of the day.  We did accomplish some things, but it was slow going for sure as I tried to keep everyone corralled.

Saturday evening we spent with Stefanie and Sophia.  Trey was skiing with Robby so the girls planned an evening of fun.  The kids loved seeing Sophia and I couldn't get over how much she had grown since we'd last seen her.  The girls loved helping her walk and after playing outside we went to dinner.  It was late and nearing bedtime and just a disaster with four little ones.  My kids usually do well in restaurants and the girls were fine, but Hudson was beyond tired with no nap that day and he wanted no part in sitting at the table.  Stefanie and I just had to laugh and decided that next time we'd be ordering pizza at the house instead of going out.  It was still fun and I'm happy we got to see them!

Hudson wanted no part of this next picture.  He was so happy to be playing outside and had found a stick that he was pretending was a sword.  BUT, I wanted a picture with all of the cousins, so he obliged, but without a smile.  :-)

Today when it warmed up the kids played outside and then we had a picnic in the driveway.  I can certainly say they were outside more today than they were indoors.

We welcomed Robby home late this afternoon and then we all loaded up for a walk at the park. The girls wanted to "jog" along with us and Hudson saw them out and wanted out of the stroller, too.  We finally let him out towards the middle and he surprised us all by running the rest of the way and running pretty fast!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Warmer weather

Harper and Hudson have been off school all week for their winter break.  Yesterday we all went to have lunch with Handley and today they got reacquainted with the jogging stroller as I got reacquainted with my tennis shoes. It felt good to be outside and to be moving.  Since I don't have a gym membership the winter months put a damper on my exercise routine, but swimsuit season is just around the corner.  

When we got home from picking up Handley this afternoon the kids headed outside to play and that is where we stayed until it started getting dark near dinner time.  They pulled out every outdoor toy we have at Gigi and Papa's house and just loved getting to be outdoors and just play!

Handley had a wonderful day at school.  She was named a star student for her excellent behavior and I was so proud of her!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February in Florida

We just got back from a wonderful trip to sunny Florida.  Robby did a little work while we were there and we managed to squeeze in lots of fun, too!  

We stayed with our good friends, the Mills, and had the best time catching up with them.  Our kids always get along great and we all seem to pick right up where we left off the last time we were together.  

On Saturday we went to a farmer's market near them that had animals to see, bounce house fun, food trucks for lunch and lots, lots, more.  The kids all loved feeding the animals and we topped it off with italian ice for dessert on the way out.  

That afternoon the kids played and played and played while we grilled out and then after the kids were in bed adults got to talk and talk and talk by the outdoor fire pit.  It was some much needed downtime.  

On Sunday we loaded up food and drinks and went out on their boat.  We rode to Blue Springs and although we'd been there once before with them, this time was much more exciting because when we got out to walk around we got to see hundreds of manatee.  It's their winter refuge and it was amazing to see these animals in person.

After the nature walk we headed back to the boat, had a picnic lunch and then relaxed out on the water.  One thing was for sure...spending February in Florida had us all counting down the days until boat weather back home.  

We ended the night with dinner at a restaurant on the water and then back to their house for early bedtimes for everyone.  

Monday morning we were up and out of their early so Robby could do a little more work and then we stopped by to have a quick visit with Great-Grandma and Aunt Sharon on our way out of town.  Hudson was a total ham while we were there and we all loved getting to see them.  

Thankfully we came home to warm temperatures and Harper even said that it felt like Florida here today.  We are hoping this means an early spring for us here in Atlanta!

Harper's Valentine Party

On Friday most of the snow had melted and the roads were pretty clear so Harper's school was back in session.  I was happy for her to be back because that meant she got to have her Valentine party. I was scheduled to help with this party and she was so happy I was going to be there.

Since Handley was already on Winter break she got to come with me and help, too.  Hudson was there and loved trying to act like one of the big kids.

After a cute themed snack the kids made a craft and then played some games using conversation hearts.  They raced to see how many they could pick out with chopsticks and also had a contest stacking them in towers.

She was excited to check out all her valentines from her friends and then we were off to FL for our winter break get-away!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snowed In

Technically I guess we are iced in, but snowed in just sounds better.  We are on day 2 of being snowed in and to tell you the truth, I am loving it. I know some people get cabin fever at times like this, but I can't get enough and I'm really excited about another day stuck at home tomorrow!  It's just so nice to just be around the house, relax with the kids, and get some things checked off my to-do list, too.

Monday when the threat of snow and ice was looming they cancelled school for the next two days and then winter break starts tomorrow.  We knew there would be some sort of wintery mix, but the girls really were hoping for some snow to play in. Just to be sure they wore their pajamas inside out and flushed ice cubes down the toilet.

That superstition must have worked because while friends of mine in other parts of Atlanta said all they got on Tuesday was rain, we woke up to snow flakes beginning to fall and it snowed pretty hard most of the morning.

Just before lunch we bundled up and went out to play.  They all loved it.  Snow is such a novelty here in the south that when we do get some the kids have a blast.  They had snowball fights, pretended to ice-skate on it, and Hudson was happy scooping it with a shovel.

When the girls got cold and were ready to go inside, Hudson wanted to play more and would have stayed out there all day if I let him.

I had gotten the each of the kids a new DVD for Valentine's Day so I gave them those early.  Hudson has watched Planes twice in two days, I loved introducing Handley and Harper to Mary Poppins for the first time and tomorrow's viewing will be Despicable Me 2.  When we weren't watching movies or playing in the snow, the kids have kept busy with play dough, puzzles, games, reading, and lots of good old fashion playing. They've also had fun staying up late to watch the Olympics and perfecting their Rainbow Loom skills.  I got all the consignment sale tagging done for the upcoming Spring sale and hope to wrap up some monogramming tomorrow, too.

Today we went out again to play and while there was a little snow, most of it was sleet, freezing rain, or a wintery mix. They didn't care though and had just as much, if not more, fun playing in it.

I am beyond ready for spring and summer to head this way, but I have also really loved this time at home with my family and making the most of being snowed in.  Robby's been home from work for the past two days, too.  Although he's been doing a lot of work while he's here, he has also taken time out to play and have fun with the kids, too.  When I told him tonight I just loved this and was excited about one more day tomorrow he thought I was crazy.  But, when I told him my reasoning he said, "nothing like a little ice to bring the family together."  My thoughts exactly!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

K is for Krispy Kreme

Friday morning started off pretty great because it was K week at school for Harper.  Each day they can bring in something to share (sort of like show and tell) that begins with the letter of the week and Harper likes to make sure she doesn't bring something that someone else has already brought.  Some weeks are easier than others, but for some reason, we were having a hard time coming up with some other K items.  Then all of the sudden on Friday morning Krispy Kreme popped in my head and I knew for sure what she would be taking that day.  We did an early morning stop and she and Hudson were very happy to have donuts for breakfast, to get the fun hats, and to get donut holes to share with Harper's class.

The rest of our weekend was pretty uneventful, but we did get a lot done around here.  I helped the kids work on their valentine boxes and valentines for their classmates.  Robby worked at the new house all day Saturday, and we all did a little antiquing late this afternoon.  Saturday night was fun because we met up with Ryan, Heather and Rylan for dinner and enjoyed catching up with them.

Hudson is really into puzzles right now and he's actually really good at them. He does virtual puzzle games on the ipad all the time and he will do the same puzzles at home over and over again. Today he roped Robby into doing some of them with him and he was SO excited to have him helping.  As soon as they were done he'd mess them up and say, "Let's do it again!"

The big talk today is of more snow and ice headed our way in the next few days and I have a hunch the kids won't end up having their valentine parties at school.  Some of the weather folks are guessing the kids will be out of school Tues.-Fri.  We'll see, but I know one thing...we will be prepared this time.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


We just got back from a really amazing trip to Montana.  We had the opportunity to go to a ranch out there and although it was not my typical idea of a vacation (which would usually include sun, sand and water) it was so much fun!  We had the opportunity to try out a lot of really neat activities we wouldn't normally get to do and we also met a lot of really interesting people.

When we arrived we tried on our cold weather gear and were ready for our first adventure...

...which was snowmobiling!  It was a really pretty day and our guides were really friendly.  They helped those of us who didn't know much about riding snowmobiles feel comfortable on them and we were off on a ride through some pretty trails.

It started snowing and was so pretty! 

Then we spent some time exploring the ranch.  It's made up of really old town buildings that have been converted into guest rooms, the lodge, banquet eating areas, the saloon, etc.  Each building was really unique.

On another day we were scheduled to go to Yellowstone, but we decided we'd rather do something a little more active instead of sitting on a tour bus and it was the perfect decision for us.  The food was wonderful and we'd been eating so much!  It was fun to get outdoors and go exploring.  We decided on snowshoeing for our morning activity and man was it a workout.  Our guide was really adventurous and told us about a peak we could hike to with great views of the mountains and the ranch. It was really cold so we were bundled up, but as we started heading up to the peak we were so hot and taking off layers.  

First though, he took us to a little snow fort they had built and we climbed inside for a picture. 

Then we were on our way headed up to the peak.

We made it up there huffing and puffing and it was really worth it though for the view! 

That afternoon we gave archery a try.  This was the first time I'd ever even held a bow and arrow and I hate to brag, but I was surprisingly really good at it!  The instructors gave us some one-on-one lessons while we practiced at the targets.  Then we moved on through the path in the woods to try 3D, life-sized animal targets and had a little competition.  The whole time I just kept thinking, "my friends back home would not believe I am doing this."  I was channeling my inner Katniss Everdeen (for all you Hunger Game fans).  It was a big joke among the instructors and the other archery participants that I kept beating Robby at all of the games and competitions and at dinner the last night the instructors give out a "golden arrow" to someone they thought really did well.  I was so surprised and excited when they called my name and I got the little statue!  :-)  I'll have to find somewhere to display that in the new house. 

There was a big viewing party for the Super Bowl complete with ice sculptures and all sorts of other neat displays and amazing hospitality.

On our last day we got to try dog sledding at it was really interesting learning about the sport, the sweet dogs, and how they are trained.  I kept worrying about them being too cold and felt bad for them having to pull us around.  The trainers explained that these particular breeds were made for cold weather and certain things about their fur and their paws kept them from getting cold.  As they were hooking up the dogs to the harnesses, they knew it was time to run and they were all barking, jumping and ready to go. It was the neatest thing to see how excited they were to be getting ready take off.  The trainer stopped to give them breaks a long the way and when we got back after our little run the dogs all enjoyed lots of pets.

We rounded out our day by zip-lining, which was another first for us.  I was so nervous and I'm not really afraid of heights, but something about swinging from a wire for 2,000 feet (which was the longest one we did) was a little nerve racking for me.  Plus, we were frozen by the end of the time so it was hard to enjoy it too much, but still we got to see some great sights and try something totally new and different.

We were gone for 5 days and that is the longest I've ever been away from the kids.  They did awesome though and our trip wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for a fantastic Gigi and Papa who held down the fort and kept everyone busy, spoiled, and super happy while we were gone.  They went to the zoo, Chuck E Cheese, the park, the mall, watched movies, ate popsicles in the bathtub and just about every other fun thing you could think to do with three little ones.  And now it's back to reality for me... doing homework duty, driving carpool, lots of laundry and lots of errands to catch up on.  It is totally worth it for the incredible trip we had though and of course I was so happy to be back home with my kids!