Wednesday, July 31, 2013


We're back! And it is taking me forever to upload and edit pictures, but I think I have nearly gotten them all on here, so scroll down and take a look back at our week in Tennessee.

It sure was eventful!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tweetsie Railroad

I have been looking forward to this trip for months!

I have a little boy, a little boy who loves trains, and one of my fondest memories with our family is taking Gracie to Tweetsie Railroad when she was 2.5.

I know that Gracie wasn't thrilled about returning to this amusement park. She knew it was more for little ones. But, she was a trooper (most of the time).

Now, I DO remember the car trip from Limestone, TN to Blowing rock, NC 7 years ago, and I was prepared.  Well, as prepared as you can be for a person who gets crazy car sick.  What I wasn't prepared for was that Thomas would take after his mama!

Half way through the 2 hour trip, Thomas had to be moved to the front seat, and I a city girl had to be moved to the back. 

Lets just say it was a long rest of the trip.

But it was worth it.

It was worth the grins and the smiles and the "toot toot!!" over and over again.

I could gush and gush about this memorable trip with my son, but you will bore easily, so I will just post lots of pictures.  Not all that I have because that would be nuts--but still plenty.

I am so thankful for this trip, and for the memories we made, and the chance to have those memories with each of my children.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Elliott's New Ride

...and just a peek for Thomas.  Mama was not about to let him go anywhere--fast!

Happy (Early) Birthday Jolee!

How thrilled I was that Candice planned Jolee's 3rd birthday around our visit!!  It is hard sometimes to be so far away from special people (in distance not heart) and not to get to celebrate with them and share face to face time.  My kids have grown so fast with so few visits, and now her little girl is growing so fast and it makes time fly by when you see her once or twice a year!

So, Jolee invited all of her visiting cousins to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.  The kids had a blast, especially the birthday girl.

Jolee was showered with presents, and the kids spent most of their time playing games and hoping for tickets.

Candice got a Food City cake (her favorite) and everything was Minnie Mouse.  Too too cute!

Thank you so much Jolee for inviting us, we had so much fun celebrating you today!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Too Cute On A Sunday

Look how dapper this little man looks in his Uncle George hat!  I found it for him at a store yesterday and it reminded me of the one George wears, and I hoped he would wear it, I didn't realize he would "rock" it!!

And after a day of being too cute, you gotta get some rest!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Papaw's Closest 1,000 Friends, and Us

Ok, it was actually 250 of his coworkers and all of their families, but those people put on quite a shindig!

His company used the 4-H camp and had so many things for the kids and families to do.  There was face painting and bouncy houses and food and cotton candy. And then there were the amenities AT the camp!

 Gracie shot a bow and arrow there and besides some nerves, did pretty well.

And, then, my husband took MY 4 YEAR OLD SON, and we to the shooting range. When he returned he proudly showed me a paper with holes in it.  His father had let him SHOOT A GUN when I wasn't looking!!

But, I digress....and attempt to calm down.

All three kids (mine, plus cousin Charlie) had a great time at the picnic and it was a really nice, although exhausting, day.

Thanks Papaw for taking us!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wild, Wet, Wonderful....Friday

I think I will just share the pics from today.  The four of us went to Wetlends Waterpark just a few miles from Mamaw & Papaw's house. We hadn't been in years, and what fun it was to watch the kids splash and play--and be brave! Thomas even gave up his life jacket half way through the day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dixie Stampede

Today was Gracie's special day in Tennessee. It wasn't planned ahead of time, but Mamaw & Papaw really wanted to take her to Dixie Stampede.

If you have never been, it is all a girl could want to see: horses, girls in big dresses, a dinner show, and drama.

I took drug Garren to see it when we were dating, and I loved every minute. He tolerated the evening and ate the dinner I didn't eat.

Gracie was in awe as I figured she would be.

Daddy and I stayed behind and watched the boys, so I only have second hand information, but she LOVED it, and Mamaw admitted to watching Gracie watch the show more than she watched it herself. (I would have too!)

Mamaw took my camera, but they got there a little later than they hoped, and you can't take pictures inside the show--but I will take what I can get!

PS: I did not pack for Gracie to go to this special show, so I did what any over-the-top mom would do--I made an outfit 6 hours from home. All I needed was a trip to Goodwill, some bandanas and the use of Mamaw's sewing machine, and ta-da!

The Boys' Day

While Gracie was being treated to an epic girly adventure with Mamaw and Papaw--the boys:Thomas and 2 year old cousin Charlie hung out with myself & daddy.

2 boys= busy day!

****Can't wait to hear about Gracie's day and see the pictures Mamaw took!!!****

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Daddy's Big Helper

Lawn care is so much more fun on Papaw's mower!

Thomas' Tow Truck

I know this is just a coin operated ride inside a mall--but how perfect is this?!!!! Too bad I didn't have his tow truck man costume and hat. Can you say " photo op?!!!"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Old Bike, New Bike, Red Bike, Blue Bike

I wish I had snapped a picture of Thomas' little preschooler bike strapped to the trunk of our car for the ride down here!!

Daddy bought a car bike mount/rack knowing that Mamaw & Papaw had bought Gracie a new bike to ride. We'll need that to bring it home. And, daddy figured Thomas would be able to ride with sister.

We were only here for a few minutes and the shiny new redish-pink bicycle made its appearance. I snapped lots of pictures today, but no stellar ones of Gracie on her new wheels!! I was watching Thomas and cousin Charlie sharing Thomas' blue Hot Wheels that sport awesome training wheels.

Gracie is a little nervous with the much larger bike, but excited too.

****I added a picture from Wednesday when I got a good one! *****

We Made It!!!

And mommy made the kids stand for this all too sweet picture! We are spending a week with Mamaw & Papaw and there are plenty of fun things planned.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Great Sandwich Game Debate

I love Melissa and Doug.  They are geniuses.  And, if you are a mom, you know who they are too. Well, you know their high quality, really inventive toys and books they make anyway.

Now, Melissa & Doug are great at creating, they are great at quality, and they are awesome with colors and packaging.  But that is where our relationship ends.

I am a cheap mommy.  So, the Melissa & Doug things I have are coveted, and used. I have no shame in claiming a used toy or book or set from the thrift store.  Those puppies are made to last!

I think twice I have bought one of their items from an actual store.  I know one of the times was from Marshall's. Anyway, the point is--they are expensive.  Clearly, they are worth the price, but this ridiculous penny-pincher can't crack her wallet even knowing what I will get in return.

Now, most of M&D items are for younger children--much younger.  And, Thomas and Gracie are well beyond the age for those toys. I don't even look in that section in a store anymore.  But in Lynchburg last week, I fell in love with a M & D game I had never seen before. I knew they made a LOT of wooden things, and puzzles and food sets--but I hadn't seen games.

This one was too cute! It had over-sized felt sandwich pieces and 10 different ways to play the game.

It looked perfect for the kids to play together.

It is really tough finding something a 4 year old AND a 9 year old can do with each other, but this fit the bill.  But not my stingy sensibility.


$35--for a game!

An awesome game, yes.  But no!

I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I am on a mailing list for A.C. Moore since we have one here in Mechanicsville, and today was a 1 day only 55% off coupon on one item day. I mulled it over 10, 20, 30 times.

Even with the coupon it was slightly over $15. $15!!!

I really wanted it, and I knew I would not get another coupon like this for months.

I did it.

I bought the game.

And I was right. The kids loved it!

What a fun way to pass a VERY hot afternoon.

If you have a chance, check out this and their other games. There was a cute puppy one, and I might look in to that one if I ever get a good coupon again.  All of the games were $34.99, and I remember a frog one too.

These people know how to make toys! 

Fireman Thomas--The The Rescue

It is moments like this that makes any day a whole lot brighter!

"I am a fireman mama! I am going to put the fire out!"

Gotta love the broom fire engine.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday With Out Bryce...

...and a LOT of ladies!

Bryce is on vacation, and at first I wasn't sure if Thomas would even want to go to his church for Wednesday night, but he did.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that with Bryce went his Grandma (who teaches the class), his cousins (whom are both in the class), and apparently everyone else.

Well, that was dramatic--but when I dropped him off at 2 minutes until 6:30, he was all alone, except 4 young ladies who were running/helping with the class.

He was fine.

I thought (too late) about leaving my number in case they wanted to call the evening off so I could come and get him.  But, I resolved myself knowing that Thomas would be fine and he eats up attention like a starving man. And, he seems to like the company of ladies much better (older girls who can call him "adorable" and "cute" and "precious" and make a fuss over him and pick him up and play with him, not girls his own age, he seems to not even notice the difference between them and his boy buddies.--Thank goodness!).

Anyway, I was relieved to find a total of 6 kids when I went to pick him up.  I peeked my head in the room and watched my son being master of the CD player and then he and his friends danced and sang along to a song.

He seemed to have a great time, but told me emphatically that he missed Bryce.  Not that anyone didn't notice that Bryce was gone since Thomas told them EACH "Bryce on a-cation!"

Next Wednesday we will be in TN, so it will be Bryce without Thomas, but these two seem to find many times to play together, so I am sure it won't be long before they are swapping stories and racing cars.