Thursday, July 16, 2015

Grammy's Away

(The kids are currently at Camp Winshape for two weeks so I'm taking this time to get the blog caught up.)
My Mom and my Grandma Anna
(aka Grammy and GG to the kids)
are two hardcore, fearless, adventurous, and beautiful chicks!

On May 9, 2015 they rented this car...

loaded up their travel companion Mr. Buddy... 
took a selfy ...

and drove over 2700 miles from Oregon to Georgia!!
My Grandma doesn't drive anymore so my Mom (aka Super Woman) drove the entire way.
She also had to pump her own gas!
(It's against the law in Oregon.)

Their road trip took them through Idaho and they were able to visit Matt's Mom. 
(Grandma Jan to the kids.)

One last stop before heading on into Georgia was to drop GG off at my cousin's house in Tennessee where she will stay for a few weeks before we go pick her up.

After NINE days on the road she finally made it to Georgia!!

Other than being amazing, she was able to make this trip because she just retired after 75 something years of work.  (I think)

Time to put her feet up for 6 weeks and then we'll drive them home.
Stay tuned.

May 2015 - End of School Activities

(The kids are currently at Camp Winshape for two weeks so I'm taking this time to get the blog caught up.)

May means school is winding down and that comes with all the end of year activities.

Field Day

This is a fun outdoor event where the kids rotate to different activity stations.
Some involve balls, ropes, scooters and the funnest, water! 

This was Lauren's last Field Day.

They gave all the 5th graders t-shirts with everyone's name on the back.
Awesome gift.
Class of 2022! 

Also in May, Tyler crossed over to Webelo 1 for Boy Scouts.
Way to go bud!
(his Mom forgot to have him wear his Class A uniform)

Finally, the last day of school arrived!
(to soon for me though)
It always amazes me how much they grow in a year. 
Walking to the bus together for the last time until 2017.

 The school does not do end of year parties for K-4.
They do have a Fifth Grade Honors Day program. 

I'm very proud of her and thankful I was able to attend.  Grammy was there too but Lauren was closing her eyes in that pic.

She did great this year as usual.
One of my favorite awards is the Citizenship Award.
A girl and boy from each class are voted by the classmates.  This isn't her first one.  ;)

 Not to be left out, Tyler had a FANTASTIC year as well.
(He said they didn't do a Citizen Award this year but I'm sure he would have gotten it.;) )

The 5th Grade parents organized a Cook-Out for the kids.
It was a fun and delicious way to with these kids the best of luck in middle school.

Jumbo Jenga

See Grammy really was here.

I can not believe the day has finally come and my oldest will be in middle school.
I'm excited to watch her grow and transition through this next phase of her life but mostly right now I want my little baby back.
Lauren's "ad" in the 5th grade yearbook

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

April Staycation

(The kids are currently at Camp Winshape for two weeks so I thought I'd take this time to get the blog caught up.)

Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael came to visit us for a few days in April.  They brought along a couple of surprises...cousins Madison and Crisstopher!!  We knew they were coming but it was a surprise to M and C (who are Matt's sister's kiddos.)  This was their first trip to Georgia.

We only had a few days to spend with everyone so we stayed close to home.  We took advantage of the company condo in Atlanta and had ourselves a stay-cation in the ATL.  (I know, right?  Matt's company has a Condo and it's directly across the street from his office building!)

We had a lot of fun riding Marta and making our way around downtown by foot.  I wish I had taken more family pictures but I took enough to remember the occasion.  Enjoy!

Views from the CONDO.
It has a great view of the I-75/85 connector and also of Matt's work building (2nd photo.)
I think it's about the 14th floor.

Some down/family time in the condo.
(cool views out the windows)

(get it?  MadisonCrisstopher Cousins? No? ok.)

Crisstopher taking the Jelly Bean Challenge

We spent plenty of time outdoors:

the top of the roof condo pool

(The Atlanta Street Car, Marta, and a number of good restaurants, including Steamhouse, are not pictured but were enjoyed.)

When the weather forecast showed the imminent rain we made our way back to the condo.

Rain can't ruin our stay-cation.
We spent some quality family screen-time together before bed.
(kids and their electronics...sheesh!)

Thanks G'ma and G'pa for coming and bringing the MCcousins with you.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

April 2015

The kids are currently at Camp Winshape for two weeks so I thought I'd take this time to get the blog caught up.  Here is a quick recap of our April 2015.

School was still going strong so Tyler had a couple of projects due.

Skunk Diorama
We went online and bought some craft supplies and for the most part Tyler did it all himself.
We did have to ask Matt to back away from the project a couple of times.
The "coon" skin hat really helped T get into character.

Art Museum Exhibit
Each student was given an artist and asked to come up with a work of art in the same style.  I don't remember which artist Tyler was given but he was an accidental artist.  Tyler dipped string into paint, stood on a chair and dropped it onto his canvas.  At the "Art Museum" the parents walked around and the "artists" talked about their life and type of art.  

I don't believe I have mentioned Lauren playing softball on the blog.  She played again this Spring.
She played for Coach Bill on the Falcons and Matt was again the assistant coach.
She's not very aggressive but she enjoys it. 

She played 2nd, 3rd, and some outfield

dying eggs the day before

The Easter Bunny came!

We went to church but can only prove that Tyler dressed up.
Speaking of church Lauren was pretty bored in the grown up service.  She said she's heard the same story for 3 years now.  (wink)

Easter Dinner with our little family.

Ribs, Corn on the Cobb, asparagus and fruit
Simple and Delicious

Braves Game
Matt was able to get tickets from work.
 We lost but had good food and a good time.

Taekwondo Belt Test
L and T went from a purple belt to a purple and white stripe this month.
Here are a couple of videos.

Belt Ceremony
Way to go Lauren and Tyler

Also in April, we had a fun visit from Grandma Jan, Grandpa Michael, and cousins Madison and Crisstopher. Our awesome adventures will be my next post.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Lost Sea Adventure

Last weekend we slept in a cavern!
(or a cave...what's the difference?)

Before we get to that...check out my new sofas.
We had our black leather sofas for over 10 years and we finally upgraded.  
Romy (the cat with front claws) scratched the heck out of the old sofas.  For some reason he learned that if he scratched the sofa we would throw him out of the house.  Jokes on us because that's exactly what he wanted.

 Romy prefers to spend the entire day outside except for his afternoon nap from 11-3pm.
I was a little nervous leaving him locked inside for two days, fearing he would tear up the new sofas as his revenge.

So I covered them.  
(I knew I saved all of L and T's baby blankets for a reason.)

Once the sofas were covered and our bags were packed we hit the road for the Boy Scout trip to
The Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, Tennessee. (about a 3 hour drive)

Unlimited screen time the whole way there.  Lauren is getting into music (prefers top 40) so she's probably jamming to Taylor Swift or Uptown Funk.

We got there in plenty of time.  Enough time for a group picture and a flag ceremony.

The weather outside was COLD. We picked the one weekend in March that had an overnight freeze warning.
Lucky for us the Caves/Caverns have a year round temperature of a humid 58 degrees.
Ready to head down. 

We carried our sleeping gear (no tents allowed) down the 150 steps into the cavern. 

At the bottom the guides led us to our sleeping spot where we dropped our packs.  Then they took us on a two hour guided tour of the caverns.

On our tour we saw stalagmites (growing up from the ground,) stalactites (growing down from the ceiling) and also this cool "bacon formation."

For the brave and not scared of damp clay, there were the crawling tours.  Matt, Lauren, and Tyler each went on at least one cave crawl.  (Think stomach to the ground and having to move like a worm to fit through.)  I kind of liked my shirt I was wearing and didn't want to ruin it.  Also, I'm not a fan of super tight and enclosed spaces so I took the alternative (upright walking) tour which was also pretty cool.  This place is amazing with all the big and small nooks and crannies.

Below is a picture of our boat ride on the Lost Sea.  There was actually a lake down there.  This lake was stocked with fish too.  Rainbow Trout.  Many years ago they stocked the lake with the trout as an experiment to see if the fish could find the source of the water.  They couldn't and can't so now the staff must feed them daily to sustain them.  They also said that because of the lack of light down there the fish have lost 20% of their eyesight.  (insert *crying face emoji*)

With only the light from our flashlights we weren't able to take many good pictures.

 After our tour concluded we were led back to our sleeping areas and we set up camp.
We have a tarp under us, some small foam pads, my pilates mat and our sleeping bags.  Matt and my sleeping bags are on the outside and L and T's are in between.
We spent the night under the ground.
(The echo was crazy.  There were other groups staying down there with us who didn't go to bed as early as we did.  We could hear every mumbled word.  And later on every rumbling snore.  I was very happy I brought some ear plugs! 
I'm not even going to comment on the pungent smell of the Port o Potties)
All in all...
It was pretty amazing.  It was huge and awesome, a bit commercialized but definitely a unique experience.

The next morning we had breakfast in the on site snack shack.  Eggs, sausage, and biscuits.
L and T provide proof we survived the night in the cavern.

On our way home we had our second breakfast at the Dunkin' Donuts attached to the nearest gas station.
(Tyler's souvenir from the trip was a 'coon skin cap)

We had a good time (I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it) at the Lost Sea Adventure but sleeping in a cave sure takes its toll.
Luckily we had a three hour ride home to catch up on some sleep.