Saturday, September 27, 2014

A little impromptu photo session

My Mom is one of two girls. Her sister lives in Georgia. The two sisters have gotten closer as the years have passed and it seems one of their greatest joys in life is "talking grand kids". You know - sharing the latest stories, tales and funny moments that their daughters' have had with their kids. My Aunt has three children but only one of them has had her own children (thus far) and then of course I've three sisters and we've all got kiddos so there are LOTS of stories to share. When we were younger, us kids we were super close as cousins but the years and distance have separated us more than I could have imagined and now it's pretty much stories through our Moms and or pictures on Facebook that keep us in touch with one another. 

On one of my Moms visits with my Aunt, my Aunt sent her back with a little gift for Avery that took a bit for Avery to grow in to but once it fit her I knew I needed to document it! See for yourself:

I almost die when I look at these....they are so precious. When I say it was impromptu - I MEAN it. I literally just walked her out the front door and squatted down with the camera and with no instruction or guidance the rest just happened - she's a hoot. 

She calls this her " beautiful ice cream dress". If picking out clothes was solely up to her, she would wear this outfit every single day. She's obsessed! 

I must's pretty cute. Thanks for the sweet gift Aunt K - it has clearly been a BIG hit. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pickin', pickin' and more pickin'

The Monday following the July 4th weekend, sister and I went blueberry pickin'. We enjoyed our berries so much from the farm where we picked last year that we went back to the same exact place. Morning Glory Farms is predominately a wedding/events locale located on a family farm but in the front of the main attraction part of the property is this field of blueberry, blackberry and raspberry bushes. The berries aren't sprayed with any chemicals, there is no touristy's just you, a bucket, some plastic bags and the good ole' honor leave your money for what you picked. 
I like simple. 

Speaking of last year, I went back to my posting from last year and cannot believe how much our kiddos' have changed since then. Crazy! 

For some reason produce picking has been an entirely different thing this year than last. It seems as though even having gone on or around the same weekends this year as last - things just haven't been as "ready" as they were last year. I'm talkin' size, flavor, etc. Well, as it turns out, the smaller the berry - the harder to pick. So: this year was a bit of an adventure. We left the babes at home with the Daddies and just took the older kids thinking that they'd be pro-pickers and we'd be done lickety split. We thought wrong....very wrong. The kids did have fun and they did pick some berries. Key word being some. They just weren't in to it and I'm not sure why but we've decided we'll potentially strategize a bit better next year because we essentially refereed between sweating buckets and picking predominately by ourselves. Awesome. 
 These were taken right after our arrival when it was fun and exciting. Don't let them fool you. Their exuberance was short lived. 
 I will say that the prize picker kid award for the day goes to K though it likely should since she's the oldest. 

 I mean seriously - look what we were working with. Sheesh! 
 In the end, we each picked two gallons of berries and had plenty to eat and freeze but if it were just she and I we would've picked more. Blueberries are so easy to freeze it's kind of a no-brainer. Love me some blueberries.
 Me and my "assistants". 

We made blueberry muffins (Court - so glad you shared this recipe with me!) and a delicious blueberry cobbler within those next few days after picking. Yum. This is making my mouth water. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A super full fourth

I'm sure y'all will find this shocking, but our family - we are not strangers to a fully packed schedule on the reg. On the Fourth, however, that was not initially the case. We'd planned to hang with Mom and Jim for a dinner time cookout and that was about it. 

Well, after we woke on that Saturday we were out in the yard doing some odds and ends and our neighbors invited us to a local parade. I knew the kids would love it but as much fun as little festivals & carnivals and the like are for them...they kind of give me the heebie jeebies. I dunno...I'm not a fan of crowds I guess. I can't really explain it. Often times I succumb to the aforementioned festivals for my kids because I know they'll love it and I figure I can suck it up for their enjoyment. Such ended up being the case on the 4th this year. Here are some pictures of the Indian Trail Fourth of July Parade. 

 There were lots of emergency vehicles, pageant queens, politicians and local businesses. A typical small town parade. There was lots of candy thrown so the kids were happy. 

 You know, standard fare picture of the three - there's no way I can ever get all three looking at the same time. I just take what I can get. Two out of three's not too shabby. 
 After the parade we had lunch and then got in early naps before heading to "Honey & Big Jim's". 
Random: do y'alls kids eat the bread "butts"? You know, the end and beginning of bread loaves....the heels? Mine don't. Confession: I don't either. High Mai...I know. Here's the thing though - I absolutely loathe throwing food away of any kind. I mean, I'll freeze ANYTHING so that it's used and not wasted. Well, the bread butts are no different. I had a freezer drawer full of these castaways for such a time as this: 
 Mom & Jim live near a beautiful park/walking trail that is part of Winthrop University and the waterfowl love it there. The waterfowl: they don't mind inhaling a bread butt. Mission accomplished - no waste! Ha! 

 This little one was a little too brave and got his finger bit by an "aggressive" goose. So...we had to stick tight from that point forward and I was ok with that. 
 If only the adult geese could be as sweet as this little baby gosling. 

 Greyson was trying to whisper the duck. The duck wasn't interested. 
 It was hot, but it was a fun little outing to kick off our family fourth celebration with Honey and Big Jim. I foresee lots of trips to this pond in the future. Who doesn't love to feed ducks and geese? It's not just me, right? 
 Because Mom and Jim are still working on their house to get it how they want it, they don't exactly have tons of kid friendly toys/activities but who needs those things when you've got a working sprinkler. Case in point: 

 They had themselves a grand ole' time running back and forth in the spray. Fun times. 
 We all went inside for grilled corn, burgers, hot dogs, chips...the usual 4th foods. Delish! Even better? Ice cream afterwards!

 Seriously...this chick...she's too much.
 Big Jim or "Pow Pow" as Grey has affectionately named him, really wanted to give the kids a tractor ride so we made sure there was time for that to wrap up our evening with them. This picture is not as close up as I'd like but you can see the open mouth joyous expression on my boys face. Precious! 

 Avery's turn! To not have had much interaction with kids prior to our families' he does a real good job with them. My kids adore him and you can see why. 

 Now for Kennedy. This child can find the joy in ALL THINGS so it's not too tough to "get her smiles". These smiles though? They're huge. Thanks Big Jim!
 Love this. So fun!

 Pretty sure I need to frame this for him. So fun.
 One of the benefits to a "fancy camera" as I like to call it: you can rapid fire take pics which is awesome with kids because you gotta be quick and more than likely if you take 10 pics only 1 might be good...if you're lucky. Well, I liked several of these & could not choose one. It's not really because they are all stellar but there's something true to my babes' personalities in each one and that is why I like them. 

 Thrilled that this will be one of many holidays spent with Honey and Big Jim...aka Pow Pow in the years to come. Grey is pretty stoked too :).
 Mid-day on the fourth I decided to accept an invitation from Jennifer to join she and her Aunt/Uncle at their neighborhood fireworks show after we left Mom and Jim's house. When I say show, I mean SHOW y'all. It was epic. Their HOA actually HIRES OUT the event and it was unbelievable. One of the most fantastic fireworks displays I've ever seen. The kids enjoyed themselves but oh my heavens they were exhausted afterwards. I'm pretty sure it's the latest they've all been up but knowing #4 was coming we felt we should go big or go home this 4th. Here the girls are with their BFF's. 
 This is a pretty common occurrence between Jen and I...not sure what I'm crackin' up about but it obviously was funny. Here is our crew minus photog Tim. 
 Sweet friends. All the kiddos watched the show. No tears, no early departures, no sleepers - they trooped it out big time and I was glad in the end that we went. Like I titled it...a fun and super full fourth.