Friday, April 30, 2010

Beach Trip

We were blessed by a trip to the beach a few weekends ago. I had been yearning to go and told Coleman that maybe we'd get to go someday, so we said a prayer to ask God to provide a way to visit the beach, and God did bless us with an amazing condo to stay in right near one of the nicest beaches on the Gulf, as well as perfect weather. You can see Coleman and Eliza having fun on the lounger in the master bedroom. That morning we took a walk, and Coleman biked, to explore the local 'town'.

After a long nap we all made our way to the beach. I forgot how that sand gets everywhere! Digging a hole is what Jared loves to do, and then he and Forrest got busy designing a city of sand castles. Jared never stops working. Eliza and Coleman loved the sand, but not the water. I'm with them...the ocean is intimidating. Coleman had to learn the important lesson of not destroying other people's sand castles. It was a hard lesson for him.

The next day: same thing. Beach time! I braved the water and discovered its not that cold. I'm used to swimming in the ocean off Rhode Island where you would get in up to your ankles, then when they were numb you'd wade into your knees and wait for them to numb, then wade in..and so on. This was like bathwater compared to that. I even got to see two dolphins swimming by, or maybe one dolphin jumping out twice.

At the condo we had a deck and were on the third floor so we'd often eat our meals out there. Here Coleman is eating his dinner and talking non-stop about where the ocean is and the pool, and the sand, and, and, and....He was very excited!

The next morning I took a 25 mile bike ride while Jared, Forrest and the kids explored a nearby town. Coleman had fun on his bike too! That afternoon we went, for the last time to the beach. All was good and fun until Jared and I decided to go in the water together. We were having fun, jumping over waves, laughing, ha, ha, until we decided to go back in. We started swimming and I realized I'd used up most of my energy on the bikeride, because I wasn't moving any closer to the shore. Jared was having a difficult time as well. We both started to panic and started flailing around, bumping into each other. Jared started to lose his glasses and I started to really panic to see him not calm. He told me to swim sideways. I started praying and somehow we finally got in close enough to where we could both stand. I have never been a fan of swimming and being under water, but this experience just reinforced my fear of water. Ahhh, what's a vacation without a near-death experience?

The final day we left in the morning and met Dad and Cheryl at the Montgomery Zoo for a break from driving. Coleman got on his bike and zoomed all over the zoo. Eliza apparently had not drank any water in days because she spent most of our time guzzling water. And pointing at everything she saw. It was a great way to end our vacation.

Thomas Comes to Town!

We took a trip to Calera several weeks ago to see Thomas the Tank Engine. Coleman was so excited he couldn't stop talking about it all week. Every day he'd say "Today we see Thomas!" and I'd have to tell him "Not today, but..." Finally, Saturday arrived and I could say "Yes, today we see Thomas!"

Dad and Cheryl met us there, as well as Ashley and little Naomi. Coleman was so excited to see them all.

Here Coleman is watching the newest Thomas tecnology...very intriguing. A whole tent filled with toy trains and tracks.

These photos were taken in the sand box where Eliza had a blast. She loves exploring anything new and the sandbox kept her entertained. Naomi showed up looking so hip, as did Ashley :)

After seeing Thomas we went to have lunch together and open Eliza's birthday present and both girls Easter presents from Dad and Cheryl. I could have stayed in those rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel all day! It was very relaxing.

Yet another family picture, with Thomas, of course!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Making Easter Eggs

This is always a fun time for me, but is especially fun with a 3 year old. Coleman thinks it is fun to mix all the colors together, but I know that will only make brown eggs, so I had to curb his fun of mixing. What do you do with the dyed Easter eggs after they are done? Ours were hard-boiled so we couldn't leave them out in a basket...Suggestions welcome.

Eliza's Birthday

Sadly Coleman woke up on Eliza's birthday party day with a fever and feeling extremely sick. Eliza was on the mend herself from a flu and earache. So we had to cancel with everyone except the great-grandmas. They are truly "great" because they traveled 3 hours one way just to see Eliza open her presents, poke her cupcake and then take a nap. But we still had a good visit and Eliza is still loving her new toys. She especially loves her shape-box and when she pushes a shape through the right hole (with my help of course) she looks up for everyone to praise her and clap because she is so pleased with herself.

Crestwood Spring Fest:

A local church sponsored a fun Saturday get-together of hotdogs, music, bouncy castles and lots of local people. We saw more people we recognized than we had expected. The photographer from our wedding was there and remembered us, our wedding date and that its almost been 5 years. I was impressed he remembered us so well. Coleman had a blast running around playing with his balloon sword and eating more than his fair share of 'treats'. Eliza nearly broke down when a clown came to say hello to her. She was terrified, and rightly so I think. The music was great, the weather started to cooperate and all-in-all it was a great day. Oh yeah, the best part was our kids napped until 4 p.m. that day!


We couldn't help ourselves: we sold out the true meaning of Easter and hid Easter eggs this year. Next year we'll still hide the eggs, but will include the true meaning of Easter. I told Coleman a little about Jesus dying and coming back to life, but I'm pretty sure he didn't get it. Its still hard for me to understand! I guess that's why I call it faith.

Anyway, Coleman had a great time finding eggs, and then eating the treats inside. Not all at once, of course. Here you can see his green sugar goatee from a marshmallow treat and his sugar-stupor. Our sweet neighbor Brownie made sure he got Coleman and Eliza peeps for Easter. They were a big hit with all of us. I remember the days of my Dad giving us peeps for Easter and they tasted so good. They still do for me.

Splashing Fun

Eliza loves to splash in the water even though its cold and gets in her eyes and takes her breath away. She'll just pause, take a deep breath and go right back to it. Coleman, on the other hand, does not enjoy being splashed and preferred riding his bike. He is really getting into riding bikes lately. I am so glad spring is finally here. We get outside every chance we get. Eliza crawls straight towards the open door as soon as I open it and Coleman is forever asking me to go out back, or to Triangle Park. Now we finally can do all of that with the nice weather.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our Spontaneous Roanoke Trip

Last Sunday evening Jared and I were discussing the level of stress in our lives lately, and I was desiring to take a vacation to visit my cousins in Roanoke, since it would be a low-cost vacation, and we'd have time with much-missed family. It was my spring break this past week, so we decided, if Julie and Mark were up for company last minute, we were up for traveling last minute. Sure enough, they were. So, at 3:15 p.m. Monday we left Birmingham and arrived in Roanoke at midnight.

Here is Coleman passing the time by making silly faces. He was so excited about our spontaneous adventure that he was unable to sleep. Finally at 10:30 he fell asleep. The
next day we all needing long naps to recover. Elise, Coleman and Evan all
loved playing trains together. After naps we went with Elise to her swim lesson and Coleman got to play in the shallow end of the pool. I tried to take him into the hot tub but was reprimanded for that. Oooops!

The day ended with a fun bath for all the kids except baby Kiersten.
Evan is a very shy boy, and was a little sick that week, so it took
some convincing before he got in the bath. Elise loves the water and
is almost able to swim by herself. She loves to wear her swim goggles in the pool and in the bath.

One day we went to the local zoo which sits on top of a small mountain with hiking trails. The zoo was lots of fun, and Shauna met us there with her kids. Later Eliza and I went back to hike...I miss hiking on the Trail soooo much. I get what hiking I can in when I can. When I got back to the house Uncle Paul and Aunt Laurel were there visiting for dinner. Eliza took to Uncle Paul right away, which says a lot since usually no one will do except Mama for her. As you can see we had perfect weather for the week!

Our last day we all (Julie and her kids, me, Jared and our kids, and Shauna and her kids!) went to the Transportation Museum to see all the trains. Coleman was content to watch the model train go around and around. It was a huge model train set of Roanoke which was very impressive. That evening we had a cook-out at Adam and Shauna's. I walked the short mile over with Elise, Coleman and Eliza. Then Julie and I walked it back with our two quiet kids: Coleman and Kiersten , so we could chat :)

Our last morning there we were surprised with a birthday ice-cream cake for Eliza's birthday. She didn't quite know what to make of it at first, but slowly started to get her fingers in the icing and then her fingers into her mouth. She was very cautious, especially since all eyes were on her. On our last morning there we finally got Evan smiling at us, hurray!

We got on the road by 10:30 and made a nice stop-over in Knoxville visiting some Boston friends, Christy and Wyatt and their sweet dog Skylar, newly transplanted to the South. Some next-door neighbor kids were playing in the water fountain and Coleman decided he'd like to get in too, so he took off his pants and merely splashed in some of the puddles. That's a lot for cautious Coleman to try. One little boy was soaking wet and shaking and told me "You do NOT want to get in that fountain because it is cold!" I told him maybe he could go home and get dry clothes on because I bet his Mom would be worried. He said "No, my Mom doesn't worry about me." It made me so sad.

We are finally recovered from the trip, and feeling refreshed. We were blessed in every possible way. It was a great trip that will continue to bless me for many months.