Friday, July 30, 2010

Burning Energy!

You would think that by 7 PM, my kids would be winding down, starting to get sleepy. NOPE! Not my kids...they are still going strong, as if it was 7 AM! Tonight after dinner, Preston starting pushing his caterpillar truck back and forth down
the kitchen as fast as he could run behind it. It is supposed to run on its own, but that part of the truck is broken (imagine that). We were laughing at him so hard, that Bennett wanted to get in on the attention too.

Before we knew it, they were taking turns running up and down the kitchen with that truck. I'm sure you won't enjoy it as much as we were, but they are our children.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Avalon 2010!

For the past 7 years, our family has been returning to Avalon, NJ to visit my cousins and aunt and uncle. We used to come out with our parents when we were little kids and rent a house with all of them, and it provided a lot of fun memories. We did this for probably 8 years, but when my cousins started college, and started working, we stopped the trips. Then my eldest cousin, Debbie, bought a house in Avalon 10 years ago, she hosted their family some, and then my brother and I a couple of years later. We had such a great time, and decided we needed to do it again.

The following summer, my parents came out too so we rented a little home nearby. We stayed for 4-5 days, ate a lot of good food, enjoyed a couple of the local bars and went back to work. When Brian and I started dating Steve and Shannon, they even made the trip out with us a couple of times before we got married. This summer was our 7th year, and our trips have grown from a few days to a full week, and we have grown from 16 people to 22 people now! Wow have things changed!

Once again we had lovely weather for the week and Debbie Forrey was a gracious host (thanks Deb!). We consumed way too many calories, and drank too many adult beverages! Since it has been a hot summer up north, the water was actually warm enough for us southerners to enjoy. In fact, Preston and Bennett LOVED the beach! Pres jumped in the waves, and had a blast playing on the beach by himself. The only traumatizing thing to happen to him were the darn seagulls snatching crackers RIGHT out of his little hand. All of that flapping right near his face scared the beejesus out of him! So whenever he was eating something, he had to sit on one of our laps so we could swat the birds away.

Bennett, on the other hand, had fun playing baseball with all of her cousins, building and destroying sand castles, finding seashells, and hunting for crabs. She hated leaving the beach, but was always exhausted and willing to take naps once she was back at the house. We were way off schedule with the kids sleeping, but it worked for the week.

Enjoy the photos of another wonderful vacation with my family! I love you all so much and thank you for fabulous memories! There are a lot of photos, but there were too many good ones to choose from, and if I made a video, I wouldn't be able to relive it when I get this blog printed into a book.

My parents with their grandchildren.

The guys that surfed (or tried to get up)!

Preston hiding for cover from those darn seagulls!

One of the best pictures of the week in my opinion is this darling one of Bennett & Christian hugging...just love the look on their faces and that sincere hug. (thanks Shannon for capturing it!)

My son is CRAZY (with a capital C)! He loves his Poppy and the rough housing that went on for the two weeks with him.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Can It Really Be 20 Years Already?

It is hard to believe that I graduated from Woodruff High School 20 years ago! Time has flown by, and after missing my first two reunions, I made it a priority to attend this one. We had to cut out of our Avalon trip a day early, but it was worth it.

Friday night they planned a casual evening at Kouri's Pub for everyone. We stayed way too late (1am), but had fun catching up. It was a perfect way for Steve to meet a few folks so he wouldn't be a complete stranger on Saturday.

Saturday, we were invited to tour Woodruff with our families. It would have been great to relive some of the memories and get one more peak inside our alma mater that sadly closed its doors this Spring. But unfortunately, we were so tired, that we slept through it (we alternated our naps that day so we could make it Saturday night).

Saturday night, our class met at Jonah's for a light dinner and more drinks. The casual atmosphere was perfect for picture taking, so we had many group photos: Hines Grade School graduates, Von Stuben Grade School graduates, the Girl Scouts from Hines, class of '90 girls, and of course the class of '90. It was a lot of fun for me to hear what everyone has been up to these past 20 years. Though it was Steve's first time meeting these folks, he did great mingling and taking lots of photos.

Our next reunion will be our 25th, and I offered to help from afar. So until then...this little slideshow will have to do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peoria Trip....continued

During our stay in Peoria, I walked almost every morning with the kids and Spencer. Since I have early risers, I just loaded them up in their PJs and hit the road. We walked several miles and took in the scenery each morning. We started our walk on Grand View Drive (which my parents think is "the most beautiful drive in the world"). It overlooks the Illinois River and is quite pretty as the sun is rising.

We tried to have an activity for the kids each day, which ranged from going to the pool, visiting the zoo, going to the park, touring the local fire station and even a playdate with a friend who has children the same ages. I think the kids had a great time visiting their Nene and Poppy in my old stomping zone.

Though the kids don't look too happy in this photo....they loved visiting the firestation. Preston is entralled with trucks of any kind and size. Before we left Birmingham, a firetruck drove past our house and honked the horn and the firemen waved at him, which made his day. He talks about trucks all the time, but for some reason he was scared to climb in or on this firetruck.
Anyway, we left Peoria this past Saturday to head to New Jersey for our annual family reunion. More to come on that soon!