Kaitlyn’s friend is going out of town for a month so we arranged one last playdate. I was thinking they could play while I got quite a bit done. Nothing went according to my plan. They wanted to “create” in the kitchen. Then they wanted to use makeup, which was fine. Except then I realized they wanted to do a makeover on me! I agreed to it all and it was a great playdate, but I got zero done all day.
Today we did it all – hiking, boating, and beaching.
After such a great beach day yesterday, we decided to try a new beach today. We had a major fail. The weather report said it was going to be a great day, but… It was cold, cloudy, and windy. We tried, we stayed, and then we eventually packed it in.
After showering and evaluating our options, we decided bowling and dinner out might be our best course of action. Everyone had a great night!
Wade had arranged for the kids to participate in an obstacle course on the beach this morning. The youngest three loved it. Alex had to be challenged (an option at the end of the races) to go through the race, but he was a good sport and did. Mom and Dad were challenged and ran it too.
Today was our first full day in Cape Cod and Kaitlyn’s birthday. We started the day with donuts and presents. Then we went on an awesome hike and took a long drive. Every house has the most gorgeous hydrangeas, which I love. 90 percent of them are blue (although I love every color). Kaitlyn and Ben fell asleep on the drive so Wade made it a little longer than we had planned. We stopped at a local general store and everybody had fun doing a little shopping.
We got home and let Kaitlyn open most of her presents. (Then of course she spent most of the afternoon playing with her presents.) Before dinner, she and I ran out so that she could pick her cake. She chose the most delicious chocolate bomb cake. I hope I can find something similar for my birthday next year. It was amazing!
When Wade and I were planning our vacation this year, we decided to try Cape Cod. We almost feel a little silly that we live so close and have never been. The good news is that everyone and their brother has recommendations on what to do, where to eat, and what not to miss. We were a little late making plans, so we knew our house was going to be a little small, but no worries.
Wade had taken off the entire week, so we have been in vacation mode for a while. We couldn’t get into our house till 4 pm and it was only a couple hour drive. This felt like a wonderful luxury after our normal vacation drives. We didn’t even start packing till this morning. The kids were anxious to go and we finally got on the road.
We arrived in plenty of time and enjoyed driving around. We easily found our house, unpacked, grabbed a yummy dinner, and then checked out a local beach for an evening walk, and then some fabulous fireworks on the beach.
We started the day with some reading.
Then we headed to the lake. (Alex stayed home. Firstly because he didn’t apply sunscreen very well on his first trip. Secondly because he couldn’t find a friend to come with him.) Kaitlyn did bring a friend and had a great time.
We ended the night with a baseball game – a first for all of the kids. We had a blast at the Woo Sox and Ben was completely mesmerized by the fireworks (which might have been his first?!?)
Ben and I had a free day today so we decided to spend the morning hiking the Storybook trail. I had heard they finally updated the book after several years so I was hoping Ben would be excited to read the pages as we hiked along. It turned out that the story wasn’t quite as engaging as the previous Eric Carle book, but we still enjoyed the hike. (We also saw a snake on the trail. We both jumped a little and then quickly took a picture before it slithered off because we knew Kaitlyn would be mad if we didn’t.)
This evening was the Spring Choir Concert. Alex was not excited to attend but Wade and I couldn’t wait. We have thoroughly enjoyed these events now that we can attend kid-free. The kids did a great job performing and we even got a picture with Alex and two of his good friends. (I did offer to pay $3 per kid in the picture…)
Today started early with FunFair setup. My awesome family started the day with me for setup at 8 am and was there through cleanup at 4 pm. (The actual event was 10-3.) Alex was the true rockstar because he was also there last night from 3-6 to help with setup. Wade and Alex were on volunteer duty all day. Kaitlyn ran wild with her friends and Teague was in charge of Ben. I heard later that Teague ate his weight in cotton candy – definitely an impressive feat.
As if that wouldn’t have been enough for one day, we also had plans to go to Monster Truck Jam! Wade and I bought tickets not realizing it was the same night as FunFair. We rushed out a little early from cleanup, cleanup the best we could, and met some friends for dinner before racing to the stadium. We had a great time, but I made a major miscalculation and didn’t bring warm enough clothes for everyone. Kaitlyn and I ended up with Monster Jam branded clothing out of it. The big kids were ho-hum with the night but the little kids loved it!
Alex was kind enough to recreate one of the pictures I remembered from his first Monster Jam experiences in 2012. Here’s a comparison. (Note he’s wearing the same headphones – a happy accident.)
Ben and I decided it had been much too long since we went hiking. He wanted the hike with big rocks so we headed to Purgatory. Ben love it and flew through the trail. He had grabbed a map at the beginning and was fascinated with it. I convinced him to to try a second trail and we also walked Charley’s Loop. Ben was worn out at the end but had just enough energy for the playground before we headed home for nap.
Kaitlyn and I had a few minutes before the bus and took a picture.
I am on the PTG board this year as treasurer. That also means a lot of work for many of our school and community events. One of those was the adult only Spring Fling, which was tonight. It was a night of food, music, raffles, and silent auctions.
Today was a full day! Ben had preschool but we still managed to play outside on the new swing set and make Mac & Cheese for lunch. Then it was a short nap before picking Kaitlyn up from school and rushing to swim lessons. Then those two were back on the swing set. The rope ladder came unattached and Kaitlyn was nice enough to hold it tight while Ben climbed up and down. Thankfully Daddy will be home tonight to come up with a new knot to keep it secure.
Then we had a second birthday celebration for me! That meant Mexican take-out, cake, and gifts. Teague was nice enough to take over my camera so I got more pictures of the evening than ever before.
Today was a crazy day. We got up early and made it home in time for my meeting and Kaitlyn’s soccer game. Below are all the fun pictures from the last week that didn’t fit into any other posts!
When I travel with the kids, I always have a long day first and then a second short day. Due to some commitments tomorrow, today had to be an even longer day than normal. I planned out our 13 hour drive and booked a hotel room. I had the car loaded last night and got everyone ready to go at a reasonable time this morning. Gram packed everyone lunch and snack bags. The kids were amazing. The only two times we stopped were once for gas and once for a combined gas and dinner stop (at Waffle House of course). We all commented that it was a great day for us and a day Wade would have hated.
Funny note – Teague isn’t sleeping under that coat. He goes to extreme measures to make his iPad charge last as long as possible. He has the brightness turned down as low as possible and is using the coat to allow himself to see it in the daylight hours. The kids all own portable chargers but Teague takes great pride in never needing his.
This morning we headed to Noble Park. Teague wanted to feed the ducks and I wanted to walk the nature trail. On the way out we took a detour by the music park and that might have been our favorite part.
Ben and I decided to spend this glorious day hiking. We tried out a new place – Callahan State Park – and had a wonderful morning exploring.
I had promised Teague another skiing trip for his birthday but it took me a while to come through. Today I finally followed through. I knew the mountain was only one two more weekends and we had a great day. There was less snow, and fewer runs open, but nobody on the mountain! Pros and cons. We had a great time!
Ben and I decided today was the perfect day for a hike. Ben is a very active 4 year old, but he is also pretty much in it for the snacks. He couldn’t wait to pack his backpack full of snacks. He picked the trail – the duck walk. We’ve walked this many times before, but today, we found a part of the trail we’ve always missed and walked much, much farther than before. Ben didn’t complain, didn’t have to stop to eat, and carried his pack then entire way. Obviously a 4 year old is a much improved hiker over a 3 year old!
Teague finally mastered the chair lift in his skiing classes. That seemed like a good reason to go skiing together. We made time and spent the afternoon on the slopes. I was a little worried since I hadn’t been for 17 years or so, but it was an awesome day for both Teague and I.
Emily (Wade’s sister) is now married!
Today we spent in Atlanta! We started the day with everyone’s favorite – Waffle House. Then we explored the Georgia Aquarium. All of the kids, and the adults, loved it. I had been once before for a work trip, but it was new to everyone else.
Wade and I tracked down a Jake’s ice cream – one of our old favorites. I was so excited to see Cinnamon on their board of buy-by-the-pint. The employees were so apologetic when they couldn’t find it in their freezer. We were in there a while eating and talking. The ladies realized we were from out of town and one of them got determined to find the ice cream. She came back with a quart she found hidden in the back and then wouldn’t let us pay.
Next up on our day of adventures was walking GaTech’s campus and stopping at the Varsity for a late night treat. The kids were exhausted after our day, but we had a great one!
Today we stopped by our old stomping grounds of Greenville, SC.
Today we explored Greenville, SC. Wade and I lived here many years ago and always like to stop in when we are nearby. We have lost touch with most of our old friends (or they have moved away), but we have many fond memories of our time here. Unfortunately, it was. rainy day so one of our favorite places – Falls Park – wasn’t as much fun or as pretty as usual, but we still had a great day.
Today was spent mostly on the road, but we made a few quick stops beforehand.
We are right outside Washington DC for the night. The house we rented is kid friendly – thank goodness! We spent the evening having fun and unwinding after a day on the road.
Although we love making cookies on Christmas Eve, we also have other activities. We take family pictures, go to the Christmas Eve service at church, and dress in matching PJs! Pastor John asked if Ben would agree to be baby Jesus for the second year in a row and although he seemed a little old we agreed. So hello 2 year old baby Jesus. Amazingly our wild child sat still for the entire time he was in front of the congregation (whew!).
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making cookies for Santa. So far even Alex still joins in the fun. We spend the morning rolling out the cookies and the afternoon decorating the sugar cookies. There might be some eating of the dough and definitely some mess making!
Getting everybody ready in the morning can be quite a challenge…. Thank goodness the big boys can get themselves ready.
We spent the evening decorating the tree – which is getting harder every year with all the “help” from little hands. We did manage to break only 1-2 ornaments this year which is a vast improvement over last year. The kids had a blast which is what is truly important and the tree is decorated so we can enjoy it for the next month!
After breakfast we said we our last goodbyes and drove to Nashville for our flight. Thankfully nothing eventful happened and we were home pretty quickly.
It’s that time of year again! Today was the 14th annual Burch Pumpkin Carving Party! We had so many friends gather and had a wonderful time socializing, talking, eating, and carving pumpkins. Only one small child got lost and my neighbor was kind enough to bring Ben home – oops (Wade and I are such wonderful parents)!
There was a lot on the schedule today, but Kaitlyn managed to have a few more activities than everyone else. There was cheerleading, soccer, Scarecrow builidng/decorating, and then a birthday party. It was a pretty fabulous day.
It’s one of our favorite days! Today we celebrate the day we first met Teague in Korea. Our tradition is for Teague to wear his Korea shirt, take a yearly picture, and for us to eat Korean food for dinner. There might be quite a few favorite family stories told too!
With B and Mary visiting, we decided to go on an adventure. We booked tickets for whale watching. The whales cooperated. The dolphins cooperated. Ben was a little hard to keep alive. The big kids were marginally entertained but everybody was glad we also packed the iPads. Overall we did have a great afternoon and it is something we have all wanted to try in our local “new” city.
Wade and I decided to do a little sight seeing today. We had heard about the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens but never been. I was curious to see what it was all about – especially when I had someone to help me wrangle all four kids. We had a great time! It was so much fun exploring the grounds and I’d love to return during a different season.
Somehow summer has officially ended, and today school officially started. The kids were good sports about taking their first day of school pictures. (The boys even took them twice because the first ones were blurry.) Kaitlyn has been waiting so long to ride the school bus like her brothers. She would have started kindergarten years ago if they would have let her!
There are a lot of things I love about our local schools. One of the things is the “trial run” day for Kindergarten. Today Kaitlyn had her practice day. The school bus comes by the house and picks her up (and our neighbor who is also a little girl in kindergarten – perfect!). There is a teacher on the bus to talk with them and answer any questions. They are taken to school and shown exactly how the day will go – including where the bus will drop them off, where their teacher’s room is located, etc. They are gone about an hour or two. Then the bus brings them back home. It’s a great first introduced to school without all the other kids and chaos of a true first day.
I always love to have “real” pictures taken by a “real” photographer. If nothing else, it usually means I get to be in the pictures!! Today I had the outfits planned. I had the bribes planned. I was a little hesitant on the weather, but knowing the pictures would be at the end of the day, I thought we’d be okay. WRONG. It was a 90 degree day with heavy humidity. My kids actually did pretty well given the circumstances, but it was brutal outside…
Now that I’m down to one child for a few days, I decided to attempt a few projects. The biggest one was painting Alex’s bedroom. With Wade’s help, I did manage to get it done!
Today’s ballet recital was a vast improvement over last year’s. Last year was a mess in an un-air conditioned sweatbox. Wade ended up with all three boys and missed Kaitlyn’s dance because Ben had a dirty diaper at exactly the wrong moment. Today we left the boys at home with Ben’s babysitter. Wade and I throughly enjoyed Kaitlyn’s dancing. Then we let her choose lunch – she of course chose McDonald’s and fell asleep in the car on the way!
While Melissa was in town over Christmas we had a little fun with the camera. She was wishing my baby bump was bigger.
From the front and then the side: