Kennedy returned to school today after having a week off for her Fall break. People kept saying: Fall Break, already? I suppose it's a bit early due to her year round school calendar, but like I keep saying - she's my first to enter the school system so her schedule is all I'll know.
Since we had a week of no school, we hit the road to visit some of our favorites: Nana and Pawpaw. Extra bonus - Courtney met me at their house and we had what my girls like to call a "spend the night" which was oh so fun.
There are so many things I've missed since moving away from Lexington but having routine exercise/therapy sessions with Courtney is definitely high on that list of missed things!
Since Courtney drove up and stayed the better part of Sunday and Monday afternoon I figured what better to re-kindle our friendship than a little physical activity! Enter my bright idea to go on a hike at a nearby state park. I found a trail that was a circle and looked pretty easy to moderate so we set out for a nice afternoon hike. Our plans for after the hike were to change and then head to a restaurant to relax and visit.
To spare you all the uphill in the snow both ways kind of detail I'll just tell you that our nice afternoon hike turned into a 3.5 hour hike that ended with a frantic get us the heck out of these woods before sun set trail run. Seriously - there were some tense moments but we made it out and due to the intensity our nice little hike ended up reaching we had a much more difficult time getting quick changed for dinner but we managed and ended up ordering one of everything Olive Garden had to offer and then promptly inhaled it. I'm kidding.....sort of.
Whew - we slept like logs and managed to muster up enough energy to get in a nice little jog the next day and then we grabbed lunch before she needed to get back home. It was so nice getting to hang out and catch up and almost die in the woods together ;).
As usual, we went to see Great Aunt Kathryn and Great Grandma while we were in. Sadly, I have only a couple of pictures worth sharing from our visit - it was kinda crazy (read - the kids were jumping on Grandma's neatly made bed, trying to pull down the blinds, trying to get in her candy dish, dumping her trash can....you know - that's all: the usual) Thankfully, Great Grandma has agreed to move into the assisted living facility and be with Kathryn for the next couple of months not only to be a support to Kathryn but also to hopefully prove to Grandma that it's not such a bad place after all. It was nice being able to see them both in one place. Kathryn seemed thrilled to have her there and Grandma seemed well too, though still adjusting - she's not been there for long. Like I said, I only got a couple of pictures worth sharing but they are funny. I took these real quick on our walk down the hallway towards the cafeteria with Grandma - it was her supper time.
Avery's not ashamed to hitch a ride on Grandma's walker. I'm telling y'all - she's something else.
Nana is always good about having things for the girls to do, things for them to play with, etc. when we are there to visit - which as a Mom is just really appreciated. Mom and Dad's church was accepting Operation Christmas Child Shoe boxes so while were there, Mom took Kennedy out for some alone time with just she and Kennedy and to purchase the filler items for their boxes. The Samaritan's Purse organization is so incredible - I actually got to volunteer there last year since their headquarters is in Charlotte and it was AMAZING. I'm thrilled the girls got to be a part of something so awesome and they are actually going to be able to track their boxes and see where they end up which will be really cool.
Kennedy completely understood that these boxes and items within were for children somewhere who wouldn't get lots of Christmas presents like she and Avery do. Kennedy is at an age where I feel like she can comprehend the full weight of the fact that getting this box for some kids will make their YEAR. Avery is obviously a little young, and of course she wanted to keep some of her items but she responded quickly when we re-iterated what the items were for: there were no major fits thrown in the making of these boxes - Hallelujah and Praise the Lord!
Contributing cuteness to the box packing process - to bad we couldn't stuff some of his smiles in the box.
I wanted to get a picture of the girls with their finished boxes, but it just wasn't happening.
I'm not sure what is going on here but it was too funny not to post - I mean, what on earth is she doing? Oh my. In 10 years this will be doubly hilarious.
The next day, the girls went down to the church to drop off their boxes.
After Avery handed her box in, she decided she really wanted Pawpaw to see the contents and he obliged her.
We were planning to have lunch with Pawpaw and then get on the road but the girls had been watching cartoons most of the morning while I packed the car and I was nervous I was going to have a carload of awake and cranky kids on my drive home. So, before leaving the church we played a little sanctuary hide and seek and then hit up the church/daycare playground. Greyson found a big truck and he really liked it.....which is good because as it turns out Santa is bringing something really similar for Christmas.
My big monkey:
Pawpaw was able to join us for lunch before we hit the road:
I didn't do as well as I normally do with taking pictures this trip, but I did manage to get one of Mom and Dad with the kiddos right before we loaded up. First, I have to share a couple of out takes.
I mean - this just cracks me up because the girls (who I normally can't get to smile simultaneously to save my life) look like perfect angels and then my child who usually is a perfect angel is throwing it down. Figures.
I had to include this one because this is Grey's new thing - he's all about pointing and then speaking his sweet little baby jibberish to accompany the point. I kind of love it.
This was the best we could get which would only be more perfect if Grey was looking. I'm learning with three - you just take the picture regardless of what is going on and be glad you documented because you still get a really sweet picture of some of your most loved people together:
The day after we returned from WV, Kennedy went home with her Honey and Big Jim for a few days - girl got spoiled with some grandparent time over Fall Break. Mom and Jim said she played hard while she was there and they even took her to a festival in Newberry, SC which further details have been coming out about daily (my girl's a processor: she got it from her Daddy). She came back yesterday and plunged right back into school today with no complaining. This week at school is Spirit Week so I'm sure there will be some fun pics to come!