Sunday, August 31, 2014

What Else We Did

We learned to drive the tractor for the first time.

We recognized a famous person and got this autograph (Drummer for NewsBoys).

We sunbathed and hung out by a pool.

We braved the waterslide.

We played with cousins.

We learned a few new chords.

What is something random and fun you did this summer?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Black and Whites

I needed some updated photos, so I snapped these summer black-and-whites of my fabulous kids!

Friday, August 29, 2014


When we got back to Nashville, my nephew had bought a new road bike. He and CC enjoyed tinkering with it.

We also had a swim day at a community pool. We met a beautiful little girl adopted from the Congo.

We enjoyed meals together. The back porch is the overflow room!
 My big bro

My dad and CC took these 2 boys on a little field trip to the big Lego store in Nashville. Thankfully, Big Ben does not read my blog, so I can post that, while he was being loaded up in the car, his Christmas present was being purchased!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Africans Welcome

As I mentioned earlier in the summer, my two new nephews from the Congo arrived about a week before we did. It was a real highlight for us to see the transformation of their lives in just the short time we were there.

One got glasses. He could hardly see, even if if something was right in front of his face. He looked so handsome in his new glasses.

It's funny that one twin grew close to CC, always high-fiving him and playing around when Uncle R would play with him. The other twin, this one, I played peek-a-boo with, and that was all it took. After that, I'd find him snuggle up next to my side sometimes.
 We all went out for Indian Buffet. What a sight! 11 white kids and 2 black at the Indian buffet!
 It didn't take long at all for them to learn the cousins' names and start to play and interact. We can learn a lot from kids!

Bless them...hardly ever got meat in the first few years of life, so they are making up for it!

It was fun for the kids to teach them even simple games like leapfrog. I hope they'll teach us some of their games once we can communicate better next summer.

I am thankful to the Lord for bringing them to our family.
We feel like a complete unit now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Celebrating ...again

Sweet Cheeks had her actual birthday in Memphis,  when we did the Putt Putt night for the cousins. But she had to have a little cake and ice cream in Nashville, too. (Her teacher sent home a note last night saying the summer birthdays would be celebrated on the 1/2 I guess this puts her at a minimum of 3 parties per year!)
 She was happy to get lots of Lego Friends stuff from her Memphis and Nashville families. She even wants to be a lego friend for Halloween. Not sure how I can create a snap-on head....
 She got a cute weekend shirt.
 And lots of hugs!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Finishing Up Memphis

We really had a wonderful visit in Memphis. Our family there were so gracious and hospitable to us. We made lots of fun memories. The kids made new friends at our church. It was super. Here are a few last shots of our time.

Miss Middler and her sisters began to see the calendar days being crossed off and decided they'd better get busy on some of the assigned summer reading!

Aunt K treated us to a kid movie. We saw Planes. The big bucket of popcorn was enough for me...didn't matter what movie! 

Here is a photo taken IN the movie theater with no flash! I love my camera! One commenter asked what is a Sony Nex 5T. 
We were unable to get a family shot of all of many folks not overlapping to squeeze it in, but we've got it on the list for next summer!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Camera

CC got me a new camera about this time in the summer. He did quite a bit of research on it and decided to get us a mirrorless camera. The advantage is a more professional quality without the bulky size. I love it and started right away playing around with it to see what kinds of pictures it could take.

Here's my first one....

It can also create special effects like this one.

I am learning how to adjust the focus on objects. I really like blurry backgrounds! (Isn't this a great edible centerpiece at K's house?)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mission Memphis

Both Firstborn and Twinkle Toes signed up with our church's youth mission week called Mission Memphis. They all slept at the church, then went out each day to serve the inner-city of Memphis. Here's where they set up beds. Hmmm, sleep well, girls!

Firstborn was assigned to work at an inner-city church by setting up donated items and creating a thrift store. She got to work with her cousin. It was fun for her and hard work, she said. It also inspired her to purge and clean out her room when we got home!!!

She also got to paint giant canvases for the church. They had foam behind them and would provide some sound blockage for an overflow room. She was in Pinterest heaven!

Twinkle Toes went on a different project. She served at Memphis Athletic Ministries and helped lead a VBS for inner-city African-American and Hispanic kids. She was in her element and did not want to leave! Mark my words...that girl will be running an orphanage some day. I felt the Lord put them both exactly where they are suited, and I was so proud of them!

And while they were gone for the week, we played a little!
Aunt K spoiling us again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Visits From Old Friends

While in the USA, I got to see several of my sweet friends. I somehow didn't manage to get pictures of time with Stacey, my high school BFF, or Erin, my just-starting-out-as-a-teacher buddy, but it was so good to have a few minutes together to fill in the gaps from the last year. My cousin H stopped over to see me, and I went to lunch (always sushi!) with her and my sis-in-law.
 I also got to see Jackie from my single days. No time now for long road trips to Florida, but the friendship will always be there.

And these gals, friends since my college days, always drive over from Arkansas to see me. It means the world to me! We pretty much do the same thing every year. I say as much as I possibly can to make them laugh, they laugh at me, we eat Dairy Queen and at some steakhouse, we shop at Lifeway/Target/Old Navy, then we hug and promise to meet again in a year. 
My friendship cup is full!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Magic Springs

Aunt K treated the big girls and me to a day at Magic Springs. We had a blast. Road-tripping it with K is fun. There's Diet Coke stops along the way, constant conversation, it's fun just getting there.

We spotted this amazing pirates and convinced the girls to jump in a photo with them. What an awesome summer job. Ahoy Matey!

Twinkle Toes trying her hand at driving!

Unfortunately,  the rain found us. There was a rule that we had to stay out of the water park rides for 30 minutes after the last peel of thunder. We were stuck in the locker area for a couple of hours. Finally, the whistle blew and we got back in!
 Awesome kids!

 Thanks, Aunt K for an awesome day! She lets her nieces and nephews know she loves them!

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