Monday, July 9, 2012

Hello 4th of July...and Hello to a New Tradition!

I'm joining CuppaKim & Katygirl today in a 4th of July link up :)

 For the last couple of years we have gone to a local parade with friends in the morning and then later in the afternoon we would go to our church which used to put on a huge carnival-like event and then everyone would watch the fireworks that were set off close by.

Last year our church decided not to have its big event and we decided to stay home.  At home, we realized that we could see a local fireworks show perfectly from our driveway (like we could see them well AND hear them!).  We said then that we should have a get together for the 4th and then watch fireworks from our house.

This year we invited a few neighbors over for some fun, food, and fireworks.  We started small this year because 1. it was our first year to have this gathering and 2. we had just gotten over having serious power outages (us included) in our area and we didn't want to go all out since there was the potential of the power going out again.

It ended up being a good time.
 There was a water balloon fight!
 My husband...the Baby Whisperer...lovin on Miss Lily.
 We let off some smoke bombs and firecrackers.
 One of my neighbors gave us some huge sparklers...those were a lot of fun. 
 Thinking cool thoughts as we waited for the fireworks to was 100* that day.  It was a really good show...sorry no pictures :(

Overall we had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year!

*BONUS*  I was supposed to make these cookies on the 4th but my neighbors brought a lot of desserts to I didn't end up making them.  I made them yesterday for a cookout that we attending and they were a hit!  I saw the idea here and just used break and bake cookies (because that's how I roll).  You should try right now!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Fun List 2012

This is our first year making up a Summer Fun List and man are we excited.  Everyone pitched in to create the list...even my mom (*see "wash Gramma Lee's car"*)!

I wanted to do something so that we can be purposeful about our time during the Summer and not look back in September and wonder what we did with all of our Summer free-time.  We picked a lot of things that we normally do, like the spray park and the Summer Reading Program.  We also added a few "new-to-us" items, like the drive-in and making S'mores.  
I posted this list on Facebook and it was sadly reported to me that The Beach Waterpark is now closed...sniff.

We have already checked some items off...some we did before we actually created the list because that's just how we roll.
Play of Caleb's choices.  He loves playing the "older" games with Dad.
Another Caleb item...building a train track in the driveway.
This item we did before the list was made (and already checked it seen in the pic above) when we celebrated National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (thanks Kim)
We will be spending lots of time at the library.  Jamison has already completed her first round of the Summer Reading Program.

One of the things I look forward to the most during the Summer is going to the pool.  Last year was the first year we did not get a pool pass and we ended up visiting a bunch of different pools.  We liked the idea so much that we decided to do it again this year.
Our first stop on our pool hop was one that we had never been to before.  While it was fun to try something new, it wasn't the best pool that we've been to and I'm not sure we'll go back.  
Our next stop was to our closet pool...the one we will probably frequent the most.  Jamison was here for a birthday party and Caleb and I stayed to hang out.  We ended up hanging out with a friend of mine (Jamison is good friends with her daughter) and her family.  Caleb really enjoyed attacking Mr. Dave in the water!
One of the last items we checked off was to fill up our new backyard pool.  Rondell put it on an incline so we ended up having a shallow end and a deep end...LOL.

We can't wait to check more items off of the list!  Did you create a Summer Fun List?

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is THE Day!

10 YEARS!!

Here's to many more decades My Love!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


 First, I must preface this post by saying that I am not a writer.  I am not someone who can sit down at the computer and write a deep and eloquent post...and that's OK.  I say that because if this post seems jumbled or does not flow well that is why.

But today I have something that I want to share...something that has been on my heart...something that I don't have a conclusion about.  Perhaps you can give me some feedback.
On my heart lately has been what I feel is that lack of mothers encouraging other mothers.  I am finding too often that there is more comparison and less uplifting.  I am coming across moms, some of which I consider friends and others I come across in passing, who have the tendency to take little jabs at other moms regarding their they are behaving, what they have on, what activities they are involved in, etc.

I had one person, someone who I like, compare Caleb's energy to the hyper activity of a dog.  While I hope that she did not mean it to hurt me, it stung and left me wondering (and worrying) about Caleb's energy level and how other people view him.

I know of a teacher who totally and unlovingly criticized the child of a friend of mine, giving her little hope that her son will do well in school that following year.  Wouldn't it have benefited her (and her son) for the teacher to give encouraging words and guidance to assist in the child's development?
 Now don't get me moms we should be confident in who we are in Christ and ultimately our joy comes from Him.  But I also believe that He gives us people in our lives to also encourage us and help us to be the kind of mom He planned for us. 
So this is what I have been praying:

~ That I am not tearing anyone down with my words or my actions
~ That I am an encouragement to other moms with my words and by my actions
~ That moms feel the urge to using loving words when interacting with other moms
~ That we, as moms, humble ourselves in our thinking about how children *should* be
~ That we share Scripture with one another to fill our spirits

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

Are we?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Destin Baby!

It's here...the post about our Destin trip!!!  Better late than never right?

For those of you who have been around the blog for a while, you know that we LOVE Destin.  It was a place that we kind of discovered by accident.  We knew we wanted to travel to Florida, but didn't want the drive to be too long.  I ended up going on Florida's website, just looking at different areas and Destin caught my eye.  I then called my sweet friend Jodie and asked where she and her family vacationed in Florida...Destin!  She then gave us the recommendation of where to stay and the rest is history.

My posts regarding Destin don't change much from year, to year, to year, but that's OK with us...we like comfort and tradition.

So here I am to recap Destin might wanna grab a snack :)

With the exception of the first year we have always stopped in the Nashville area on the way to Florida.  The first leg of our drive was pretty uneventful.
We didn't hit a lot of traffic...the other side of the highway was not so lucky.
The clouds were just beautiful!
This year we decided to stop at the Neely's restaurant to try out their BBQ.  It wasn't the best I've ever had, but it wasn't bad.  Their sweet tea was amazing!!!
Rondell's step father's daughter (you following me) goes to school in Nashville and stopped by to have BBQ with us and hang out at our hotel.  I love Shallonda!

We continued on the next day...
Since I take the kids out of school in order to go Jamison usually has a little homework to do while we're gone.  This year she had quite a few assignments and even had to take a test!  She never complained...I am so proud of her.
This is always the best part...driving over the bridge that leads into Destin :)
I think I always take this picture when we first arrive.  For the last 3 years we have stayed in the same condo it feels like home.

We arrived right at dinner time so we just ate, unpacked a little and relaxed...gearing up for the next day.
I read The Hunger Games...and ended up liking it.
The iPad kept the kids occupied during down moments.

We spent almost everyday at the pool:
Both kids are taking lessons right now and they were much more comfortable in the water this time.  We still had to keep floaties on Caleb because he's a daredevil.

Jamison's comfort level improved tremendously from last year...last year she was still scared to put her face in the water.  This year she was actually swimming with her entire body submerged.  Again, I'm so proud of her. 
Rondell getting ready to attack...
The water shooters were a hit again this year.

I never tire of this view!
A little Connect Four poolside.

I never tire of this view either!

We hit the beach a few times.
It was pretty windy and the waves were a little high...but we just made sure to stay at a safe distance.
By far my favorite view (and this picture is unedited...)

I love my beach babies :)
The water is just so clear!
This year we grilled hamburgers and brats.  Rondell's shirt is very fitting :)

The beautiful evening sky.
One morning Rondell woke up early and picked up donuts.  They hit the spot.
Rondell loves BBQ...hence the shirt in the earlier picture.  His dream is to one day travel the country and visit cities that are known for their BBQ.
He has been determined to find a place in Destin that he would give the 5-star Chef Boy RD rating.  This year we tried Jim 'N Nick's.  It was pretty tasty!  They had this one item on the menu called Pig in the Potato Patch.  It was a potato topped with pulled pork, bacon, butter, sour cream, scallions, and BBQ!  And on top of that they had these cheese biscuits that were I'm hungry.
Our go-to lunch has been Honey Baked Ham on Hawaiian Rolls...easy and so tasty.  I just put the little sandwiches together and throw them in the bag to take to the beach or the pool.
This is definitely a mom always makes a wonderful seafood meal.  Lobster tail, garlic peel n eat shrimp, potato and salad.  Words.can't.even.explain!  This is by far my favorite meal on the trip.  When I posted this pic on Instagram my Vivienne knew exactly what it was...I may have mentioned this a time or two :)
Jamison chowing down on her fav...popcorn shrimp from Whale's Tale (Hi Carrie)

Here's our last day at the beach:
**Unedited**  Well, all of the pictures are, but I point it out here because I'm just amazed at how beautiful the beaches are.

I just love that my mama comes with us!

I had to get a visor because the sun was really hard on my eyes and cheeks this year.  I would wake up and my eyes would be swollen from being in the sun.

Caleb had to get a new DS while we were there because he left his on the floor of the van and we got sand in it from bringing sand into the car from being at the beach.

This year we got to visit with my friend Joanna.  We met through blogging and have become fast friends.  She lives in Panama City, which is about 45 minutes from Destin.  We first met up in 2010 when she and her family came to our condo to visit us and hang out for the day.  They are the ones who introduced us to Publix's key lime pie.  Last year her girls were sick so we weren't able to get together.  We were thrilled to be able to hang out with them this year:
Jamison showing Kayla and Kelsie a multiplication technique.
I adore her.  **See my swollen eyes?**

We usually only go out to eat for dinner once or twice while we are in Destin.  Other nights we cook in the condo.  We tried The Crab Trap last year and loved it and went back again this year.

Don't they look excited to be there :)
Last year we connected with the manager of The Crab Trap, Lynda, because Jamison's guidance counselor's brother (are you following me) is the owner...small world.  We were excited to see her again this year...she remembered us!  She spoiled the kids with souvenirs.

Our last two days were overcast and rainy, but by that time we were all kind of pooped from all of the swimming so it was nice to have a change of pace.  One day we headed down to the harbor to walk around and have lunch.  This was our first time visiting the harbor:

I will say that the cloudy skies made it easier to leave :(
And while we love is always good to be home :)