Saturday, October 29, 2016

Church Campout

Last Saturday was our church's annual campout at Oconee State Park.  Kelly has been on the campout several times over the years. Mostly when he was younger but he did take Brock and Cohen a couple of years ago.  I have never been because in years past we have always had a small child that I did not want to camp with.  This year, even though Bryce was just 2, we decided we wanted to go.  We knew Cohen and Kate would love it, and so would Bryce.  He may be a handful for us but it was worth a shot.  I'm so glad we went because we all had so much fun and Bryce really did good!  The girls have already been asking when we could go back on the church camp out.  They will be counting down the days until next year!  Some families camp Friday and Saturday nights but we were only brave enough to go on Saturday.  We left Saturday around 11:00 and made it there by lunch.  We had a picnic lunch, and got our tent set up.  Really Kelly did that while I managed the kids.  This was hilarious because everyone sets up their tents around the campfire.  When I went down to the circle to check out how things were going I couldn't believe how small our tent was!  Especially compared to some of the others.  It was so funny and we got such a laugh out of it all day.  It was big enough for us to sleep in but that was about it.  Which really was all we needed but it was still so funny looking at our tent in between these 2 big tents.
our little tent, can you guess which one is which
After lunch, everyone always goes on a hike.  Brad and Westley do a great job planning this entire trip and that includes the hike.  It was probably a 2 mile round trip hike and it was to King Creek Falls.  I love seeing the trees start to change colors and when you throw a waterfall in there it is just beautiful!  Westley carried Bryce the entire way going to the falls and we carried him out.  The girls were with all the other kids so there were no complaints from them!  It was nice!

All of the kids!
After the hike we all headed back to the park.  There was an intense game of kickball with the kids vs. the adults.  I was watching Bryce on the playground but it was quite entertaining to stop and watch the kickball game too.  At one point Bryce took off running to Elliott who was out in the field.  He is full speed ahead at all times and is oblivious to anything else that might be going on.  Kate had a blast on the playground with Autumn and Carolina.  I think the slide was a big hit!

Baby on the field! Timeout!

Cohen and Josie stayed on their bikes a lot.  Cohen slept in the camper with Josie and Buddy and Sherry's camper so we didn't see a lot of her.  These girls were back and forth and having a ball!
Kate enjoying some boiled peanuts
playing football with Nathan
That night we all ate together then sat around the campfire.  We played Bingo and drank hot chocolate.  It was a fun time for sure.  Bryce, who had not had a nap, was so tired.  He went to bed early and thankfully went to sleep quick.   He had played his heart out all day! When we all went to bed we were nice and warm all cuddled in together.  Of course I never sleep the best camping but it wasn't because I got cold for sure!   Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast and then had church around the campfire.  The kids and adults had one more fierce kickball game, this time the adults won.  The kids had won on Saturday.  After that everyone packed up and headed home.  It was a fun time!  Like I said, the kids are already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Boo in the Zoo!

Last Friday we had a fun trip planned for the kids!  Kate is such an animal lover and we all love Halloween.  Greenville Zoo does their Boo in the Zoo every year during the last 2 weekends in October.  I had decided I wanted to do this with the kids and we had one day that was going to work with our schedule.  As an added bonus we got to meet our friends Eddie and Misty and their 2 girls at the zoo.  They live in Greenville and Misty had told me they loved going.  I'm so glad it worked out because we got to have fun and see our friends.  It was a great way to trick-or-treat and see the animals.  They close the zoo and re-open at 5:30 for the whole Boo in the Zoo.  The line winds through zoo and along the way are stations for the kids to trick-or-treat at.  It was very organized.  That zoo is smaller but just the right size for kids and especially for a fun event like this.  We will definitely have to plan to do it again!
Kate was excited even though this smile might make you think otherwise! 

One of the monkeys had a baby and monkeys are already fascinating to me so this really was something to see.  As you can see I had to take several pictures.  I think I could sit and watch monkeys for hours.  The mama would swing all over the cage and that baby just held on for dear life. Then the mom would snuggle the baby.  For a while she kept her back to us almost keeping the baby hid on purpose but then moved around and the baby just stared at all of us.  This one was by far my favorite of the night!

Bryce was all about having his picture made with "Paw Patrol!"

The zoo has a huge playground that we did let the kids play on for a little bit.  The fun had to end when Bryce decided to run off and almost give me a heart attack.  He has no fear whatsoever and just goes full speed ahead oblivious to anyone and anything.  It was dark at this point and this Mama's nerves couldn't handle anymore.  It was so much fun and I'm so glad we got to do this.

Kate's Denver Downs Field Trip

Each year the preschool takes a field trip to the pumpkin patch and this year they went back to Denver Downs in Anderson, SC.  This place has any and everything you can think of and is a GREAT place for a field trip.   The original trip was to another pumpkin farm but at the last minute we were able to get the group into Denver Downs and I'm so glad that worked out!  There is so much to do there.  The kids got to jump on the giant pillow, swing, play in the sand box, see baby goats and pigs, do a small corn maze, ride the cow train, play in the hay barn, and take a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch.  That's just to name a few things!  On weekends they have a haunted trail/corn maze. I would love to try that out but I think we are going to run out of time this year.  Maybe next year!  The morning of the field trip Kate sat at our front door waiting for Nolan and Rebekah to get there.  She was excited! These 2 are the best of friends for sure!

 This baby goat actually crawled out of the fence and the kids were all over that!  

Kate was a little nervous about sitting in the big chair so Nolan held her hand so she would be scared of falling

After leaving, we headed straight to our favorite lunch spot, Chic-fil-a!  Rebekah and I ran a few errands and made the most of our day!  It was so much fun and these 2 kids just have the best time together.  I had noticed that Kate was a little quieter as the day went on and sure enough about 3:00 she felt like she had a fever.  Once we got home she admitted (finally) that her throat was hurting.  The next day we had a trip to the Dr's office but luckily it wasn't strep.  She was given antibiotics and the next day she was much better.  So strange but I'll take a quick recovery!

The week before the field trip, just before fall break started, the preschool had a heroes day where they honored local law enforcement and firefighters.  The school has several dads in those fields.  One even let the kids crawl in and sit in his police car.  Bryce even got in on that fun!  I told Kate and her friend Hannah that this was the only time I was allowed to see them in the back of a cop car!  Their faces were hilarious!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fall Break Fun

October has to be one of my favorite months of the year.  I love all the fun that fall has to offer and it seems like so much of it falls right in October.  Normally by now we have had a lot of fall weather days but here in the South we have been going strong with our high temps.  Our fall break had some 90 degree days!  The mornings and nights are cooler but those afternoons were still warm.  We had a lot of fun though and did some of our favorite fall things.  The girls didn't have a whole week of break even though I wish they had.  The weather for fall break is better than what we get on spring break and of course its better than winter break!  We started fall break on Thursday with our annual trip to Skytop Apple Orchard.  I look forward to this all year, and the apple cider donuts and slushies may have a little to do with that!  Seriously these are the best donuts you will ever put in your mouth and those slushies are wonderful too.  They may sound questionable but they are wonderful.  Kelly and I have been going to this orchard since before we had children.  There's something about a tradition that I love too.  We left out that morning and made it to the orchard around 11:30.  I was pretty excited because Tara and Gordy were going to get to meet us.  I let that part be a surprise for the girls.  I think Cohen took off running to Tara when she found out who was there.  Even though it was a week day the orchard was pretty crowded, but we had picked a great day for picking apples because my favorite apples, the pink lady's, were ready to be picked and the trees were full of them!  This was by far the best picking we had ever had.  Sometimes the apples are hard to reach or most have been picked to sell in the store but not this time!  We were able to fill our baskets so fast and even did some sampling.  It made our walk down to the pink lady trees worth it.  The tend to be at the bottom!

As you might notice, Cohen was getting warm in her jeans & wore them pushed up...crazy child

apples galore!

the girls were getting tired of walking & tried to catch a ride on the wagon

After picking our apples we had to go visit the farm animals.  This was Kate's favorite part for sure, or actually the peacocks were her favorite.   We also made a trip through the bamboo forest.

It was then time for a slushie!  We had definitely worked up a sweat!  The kids had their picnic lunch and enjoyed the playground.

Each year we have the girls stand by these cut outs to see their height.  Its crazy how much they grow each year!

After we had did everything at the orchard, we had to say goodbye to Tara & Gordy.  We took the girls to one of their favorite places...the Gem Mine.  We started doing this little activity the year Bryce was born and they LOVE it.  The excitement on their face when they get these rocks is so fun to watch!

After mining we headed back home.  That night Rebekah and I went out for some much needed girl time!  We shopped and had dinner and had a blast.  It was much needed!

On Friday the kids and I went with Dawn and her kids to get their Halloween costumes.  The kids had a lot of fun playing with all the masks at Party City.  Right when we got there we turned around to see this...the new presidential candidates!  Bryce on the other hand loved this elephant nose and he liked the laughs he got from us too.

what our ride looks glued to a movie and Bryce snoozing away.

After lunch we decided to take the kids to the little pumpkin patch at the Royston Methodist church.   They needed to get pumpkins for our Halloween party the next night.
It just so happened that the year I had Bryce I had to make a trip to urgent care the day after I got home with Bryce.  It was right across the street from the church so we had taken the kids there to get a pumpkin.  I have pictures of the kids with Bryce from that day so we did a little recreating.  WOW at the difference.  Why must babies grow so so fast?!

Friday night we had some adult fun celebrating Brad's birthday.  We headed to breakout in Greenville where we attempted to escape from the "museum heist" room.  We were not successful!  I'm now 0-2 boo!

ÂșOn Saturday Kelly & I headed to Athens for the Georgia game.  This may have been the not so bright spot in fall break since the outcome was not in our favor.  We are definitely having a rough year.  We still love our Dawgs though!

While we were watching the game Cohen got to celebrate her friend, Ada's birthday.  I loved these sweet pictures from Ada's mom!

Thank goodness for fun with friends.  That Saturday night we had a Halloween party with some of our close friends.  We love celebrating Halloween!  As Cohen said, "I've been looking forward to this all year, just like Christmas."  The kids were very excited about getting to wear their costumes for the first time.  This year we have a unicorn, a tiger, and a fireman!

Sunday was our last day of fall break and we went out with more Halloween and birthday fun.  Kate had her friend Autumn's birthday party.  It was a unicorn party.

Cohen had Josie and Ada over to play and then we all headed to our church fall festival.  They had a blast doing hay rides, cake walks, slides, games, making s'mores and then they tried to scare people as the hayride came through.  I'm not sure which one was supposed to be scary!  These girls are so funny!
living room volleyball

It was such a fun break!  It really made me wishing for more days off.