Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating Ryan's 14th birthday.

The older Ryan and Katie get, the more Brett and I struggle to accept reality. In our minds, it hasn't been all that long since...
we celebrated Ryan's first birthday!

And I can still remember our little Peanut being so excited about his second birthday and his Batman party.

But here we are, singing "Happy Birthday" to a 14-year-old!

This year we celebrated Ryan's actual birthday (July 30) with a cake at home. After that, we headed to Six Flags for the evening. Since the park was on our agenda for Friday, we celebrated with family on Thursday evening.

Since Ryan got to choose the restaurant, we went to IHOP!

He really raked in the gifts and cash!

Plus, he scored some pancakes!

We're so blessed that Aunt Kelly, Nana, Papa and Memaw were all able to be there to celebrate our Ryan. Of course, we all know how much better our world has been since Ryan's been in it!

Happy birthday, Ryan James! We are so thankful that God let us be your parents!

(Actual post date: 11/7/10)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sonic boom.

This is our summer Wednesday night after-church routine: While I pack up the computer and mics, Ryan and Katie hitch a ride to the neighborhood Sonic (after grabbing some Mom money, of course!). I join them a little later, once the sound booth is shut down, and most of the time, I wait for them in my car.

I can see them laughing with their friends, and I can easily hear the "Who had the root beer float?" cry that rings out every few minutes. Sometimes I'll find some other parents to visit with, but usually I take advantage of the late evening breeze and easy summer pace and just let my teenagers have some time on their own.

And on a really good night, one of my babies will find me in the parking lot to offer me an onion ring...

Reason #2,548 why summers are awesome.

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from my iPhone

Monday, July 26, 2010

A very Brady bunco.

After two years of relying on others' generosity, I was finally able to host our bunco group in our new home back in July. It was fun to have these ladies over, and it was fantastic to not be imposing on my friends!
And how nice to have an extra sweet guest! Precious Baby B just melted everyone's hearts.

Although we missed several of our regulars, we had a full group of 12 thanks to some awesome subs:

The theme? A very Brady bunco, which is another way of saying Hawaiian.

Since this was in late July, I opted to leave the oven off.
Salads, anyone? We had spicy black bean salad, cherry fluff, potato salad, Snicker Bar salad,

and fresh summer fruit.

For prizes I gave Tervis tumblers with beach or '70s themes:

Of course, we have to thank our special babysitter:
ChaCha did such a nice job keeping sweet B company!

Thanks, girls, for helping us break in our new house, and thank you, Jeana, for taking most of these photos!

(Actual post date: 11/6/10)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

VBS 2010.

So where do you go with your blog when it takes you three months to describe your 13-day summer vacation? Well, how about Egypt?

Immediately after returning home from our big trip, our church's VBS began. This year's VBS sent us to Egypt, with the Nile running through our Family Center. It was a little difficult to jump into this big event since we were still a little road-weary, but as always, it was worth it to see all the kids so completely enthralled by the activities and characters.

Highlights from our week are on the VBS blog.

(Actual post date: 11/3/10)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacation 2010

At long last, the blog posts from our All-American Vacation are complete. And it only took 3 1/2 months* and 27 posts to tell the story of those 13 days! In chronological order:

July 5, 2010

July 6, 2010

July 7, 2010

July 8, 2010

July 9, 2010

July 10, 2010

July 11, 2010

July 12, 2010

July 13, 2010

July 14, 2010

July 15, 2010

July 16, 2010

July 17, 2010

Georgia Aquarium bonus video

July 18, 2010

Homeward bound

Flat Raider's Excellent Adventure

*After posting these entries, I went back and backdated them so they would fall in place chronologically.

Here's the story...

Brett's story on my favorite fictional family is in the latest Antique Week! And yes, both of those items pictured are from my personal collection.

Way to go, Brett!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Vacation 2010: Road warriors.

Four people. One cranky car A/C. Nine hotels. Ten states (plus the District of Columbia). Thirteen days. A whopping 3,314 miles.

All of that equals one awesome all-American vacation!

We're finally home from our adventure exploring American history. During those two weeks on the road, we saw famous homes, government buildings and burial sites, we saw priceless art and artifacts, we ate delectable regional cuisine, and we walked and walked and walked and walked.

AND we took 2,371 photos to document it all!

Over the next few days (weeks?), I'll be attempting to filter through all those pictures and memories to post highlights. Here we go...

Edited to add: Since posting vacation details over several months, I have gone back and backdated the entries so they fall in place chronologically.

Vacation 2010: Flat Raider's Excellent Adventure.

Our Student Council sponsor asked faculty members to take a Flat Raider along with us this summer. Wherever we went, our Raider was supposed to travel with us. Just like Flat Stanley, he folds rather nicely, which means he could stow away in my wallet throughout the vacation.


Graceland gate

Sun Studio

(He's there. I promise.)

Mount Vernon (front)

Mount Vernon (back)

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

National Mall

Smithsonian: Air and Space Museum

Newseum terrace

Colonial Williamsburg

Outer Banks, NC

Wright Brothers monument,
Kill Devil Hills, NC