Monday, June 30, 2008

Fish Market

Well, I've gotten a little lazy since we made the trip home on Saturday so I haven't posted in a few days.  So, I'll write about the last day in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach.  Basically, Michael and the girls hung out at the beach and we went to a pizza joint for lunch that was located at "The Wharf."  This is a neat place that a giant ferris wheel and shopping area.  The girls received their "Build-a-Bears" they were promised by their daddy if they were good (we're not above bribery).  

We then saw "Wall-E" at the movie theatre there and it was cute.  There was no real scary parts in the movie which was great for Meredith.  Basically it was a political type movie that made fun of humans and how they trash the earth and a cleaning robot that was left on earth to clean up the trash falls for a modern robot sent to earth to check out if life can be sustained there again.  You see, all of the humans have been shipped to outerspace on a cruise like spaceship due to the clutter.  The humans that live on the aircraft cannot walk and are all fat due to the fact that all they do is sit in their flying seats and watch their individual tv screens and talk to friends, play games, etc.  You get the drift.  It was a cute movie but I think Michael got a little bored with it.  I found it more entertaining though then some of the Strawberry Shortcake movies that I have sat through if that makes you feel any better. 

Following the movie we then headed back to the condo for a couple of hours before Michael sent Hannah and I to pick up some fresh steamed red shrimp "royal reds" at what I thought was just a restaurant that only did take out.  Well, when Hannah and I walked in the joint I discovered it was really a fish market and the smell was pretty strong (Hannah was gagging if that gives you any indication).  Oh yeah, did I mention that we were the only gals there that were unaccompanied and they didn't take credit cards.  Okay, if you know me, I rarely carry much cash so I had to write a check.  Am I the only one that feels weird writing a check for anything other than paying bills?  I always feel like they think I'm writing a hot check so after waiting in line in a fish market/bait place that stunk with a bunch of men I had to order a bunch of ugly red shrimp and write a check.  Oh yeah, did I mention there was a tip jar by the cash register that everyone was leaving tips in, but of course, I couldn't because, as I mentioned before, I had no cash.  So, as we waited for our shrimp to be steamed I realized I forgot to purchase cocktail sauce so when it was ready I had the opportunity to write another large check for $3.27 for cocktail sauce.  (at least that time he didn't ask for id).  So, Hannah and I then drove back to the condo with the windows open to let the air in to hide the smell.  The good news is that the shrimp were really good and Hannah was brave enough to shell and eat a steamed shrimp for the first time in her life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Water Park and attempted pictures

Well, yesterday we went to the waterpark and attempted some family pictures on the beach. I guess I kind of feel about waterparks the way Michael feels about zoos so were even. However, we actually ended up having a lot of fun at the ole Waterville park. Unfortunately Alli wasn't quite tall enough to go on the big waterslides but she still had fun going on the smaller ones and in the two kiddie pools they had. Meredith had a blast on the big waterslides and the small ones and she was much braver then I expected. Hannah went on her first roller coaster ride in the amusement park side of the place and she seemed to have a blast as well. I liked the fact that most of the big water slides let you ride down on two or three person rafts so several of us could ride together. It was so fun to hear Meredith just cackling (sp?) on the way down. We didn't brave bringing the camera though due to fear of it getting broken or stolen so you'll just have to take my word for it. However, Michael woke up sore this morning and my neck hurts so I guess were just not as young as what we used to be.

We then came home and cleaned up and headed to the beach to attempt pictures in the standard khaki and white. I guess those colors are so popular due to their clean look but seeing so many people out on the beach at sunset in those colors just makes me want to show up in all black just to be different. I also have a lot more wardrobe choices in black which is also an advantage. It's like a giant khaki and white cult shows up and you are interchangeable with anyone's family that's there at the beach. It's pretty humorous. But, are we about to really go against the fad? No way, we just show up dressed like the rest of them.

After the beach pictures, Hannah is kind enough to watch the girls for us while Michael and I go to dinner at the "Original Oyster House" and it was fantastic! I thought it was by far the best seafood we've had since our arrival. Anyway, I would encourage anyone coming this direction to definitely make a stop there. I would suggest going late (like we did) or very early to avoid the long wait. When we arrived back at the condo Hannah had put both of the girls to bed and asleep and it was so nice! Thanks Hannah!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Zoo Trip and Lambert's

On Wednesday we spent the morning at the beach and pool and then we headed to the Gulf Shores Zoo. Animal Planet deemed it "the little zoo that could" after Hurricane Ivan. Anyway, it was pretty hot and Michael was just "thrilled" to get to go to the zoo. Anyway, here are a few pictures of our adventure. I think my favorite animal there was the white tiger. Hannah liked Chuckie and his story the best. In the pic with Hannah and the girls the donkeys and the lama came over and seemed to pose for the picture with the girls. However, we couldn't get Alli to pose as quickly as the animals so the lama lost patience and started to walk off. I thought the emu creature (at least I think that's what it was) appeared to be smiling for his little picture. They were quite the photogenic group.

Most of you have already been to the Lambert's in Springfield but we enjoy it so much we thought we'd give it a try and it was nice to have something other than seafood. For those of you not familiar with Lambert's it is the home of the "throwed hot roll."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We found a crab!

Today Michael took the girls to play on the beach and in the pool with his friend Kirk and his two girls, who just happened to be here at the same time, while Hannah and I headed to Tanger Outlet for shopping. We then headed to dinner (early to beat the rush) and came back and waited for it to get dark to go crab hunting. So, when 8:30ish came around we headed out with our Princess flashlights and our Barbie nets to go catch a crab. Daddy was the hero and found one too! He tried to move it around in the net and the little bougar pinched him which terrified Alli while the rest of us laughed. Daddy then took Alli back up to the condo while Hannah, Meredith and I searched a little longer. When all we found were little jelly fish washing ashore we decided it was time to go in. Here's a pic of our catch.

Monday, June 23, 2008

1st day at the Beach

We had a great day for the first full one at the beach (Orange Beach at Gulf Shores, AL). Hannah got covered with sand (Hannah is Michael's cousin Janie's daughter and she came with us to help with the kids some). We pretty much just hung out at the beach and the pool all day. We then went into town for dinner and I got Hannah to try crab legs for the first time and she liked them. We then went to the "Wharf" where they have some neat little shops and a ferris wheel which we rode once and all enjoyed. Well, I've got two tired babies so I'll try to post more tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cousin Amy's Wedding

We made it to Memphis on Saturday and went to Amy's beautiful wedding (Amy is Michael's cousin). It was a bitter sweet day because Amy's dad (Michael's mom's brother), Fred, passed away last year due to a blood clot after he had double knee replacement surgery so as you can imagine it was quite unexpected. Needless to say, the wedding was lovely and everyone held strong for the ceremony, especially Amy. However, please keep them in your prayers because Amy's wedding bouquet (not the one that was thrown) disappeared and it had her dad's wedding ring attached to it. We really can't imagine anyone taking such a thing on purpose so we're hoping that it will show up. I'm sure it was a way Amy could have a symbol of her father with her during the ceremony so it's really a bummer. I'm going to attempt to attach some pictures from the ceremony but I'm using Michael's laptop computer that doesn't have much of a picture editor so these pictures will probably have red eye, etc. Please enjoy. Oh yeah, Alli was quite the little dancer at this wedding as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

No Other Gods Bible Study

Let me tell ya, I just started this new Bible study called "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter with some other ladies in my department at church and it is great.  Now granted, I've only done two days worth but it is so applicable and interesting I would encourage anyone else to study it as well.  Beth Moore (see blog link on right side of screen) recommended this study to all of her fans and talks about it on her blog.  I know a lot of you have done Beth's studies and if you enjoy her studies you are sure to like this one as well.  Basically it is about confronting our modern-day idols and what consumes us other than the all and powerful God.  In her first session Kelly discusses the verse out of 2 Kings, chapter 17, verse 33, "Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols."  I'm sure I'm not the only one that struggles with this issue and I encourage you all to check this study out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Swimming Fun

Today was a good day just tiring.  We started off with swimming lessons in the rain (hopefully it will hold off for our last lesson tomorrow) and then this afternoon we headed to our friend Sherry's house for more swimming.  I didn't take my camera this afternoon but if you go to Leigh Ann's blog (see link on the sidebar) you can take a look at some of the pictures.  Sherry's little girl, Olivia, is Meredith's age and goes to gymnastics at the same time as Addy and Meredith and Leigh Ann introduced us.  They have a beautiful backyard with a beautiful swimming pool and the kids had a great time.  I had choir practice this evening so the girls (and I) should sleep good tonight!  

Since I didn't have any pictures for this post, I've included a sweet photo of my two girls and two sweet nieces from a few weeks ago.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

I just want to say how thankful I am for surge protectors.  Last night while I was attempting to add a new post to the blog out electricity flashed and the computer went down.  I just went to bed and figured I'd give it a try today.  Well, apparently our surge protector no longer works and thankfully my computer still works if it's plugged into the wall.  So, I have a feeling that if I didn't have the protector my computer would be out as well.  Now I just need to buy another one quick before more storms blow in.  

Yesterday was a great day for us.  We went to church and enjoyed a great sermon.  After Sunday School we headed to Olive Garden for lunch and then later enjoyed naps at home in the afternoon.  Finally we headed to Michael's parents' house where we enjoyed steaks and strawberry shortcake.  YUMMY!  I have been so blessed with such a great husband who is also a wonderful father whom the girls are just crazy about.  I also couldn't ask for a better father than mine along with a super father-in-law.  I am so thankful!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pre-Father's Day Celebration

Well, we haven't had anything too exciting going on lately so this post is not nearly as eventful as the snake post but here's an update anyway. 

Today my parents, sister and great-grandmother made the trip over from Broken Arrow which was a lot of fun.  I went to Sam's Club last night and got some ribeyes so we had a great lunch and for desert we had an Italian Cream cake from an excellent local bakery here in town.  We basically spent the day eating and playing the Wii.  It was fun showing my family the Wii Fit and how much fun it is.  I especially like the balance games and the step aerobics is pretty neat too.  Meredith is especially talented at the hula hoop game and it's so cute to watch her.  I'll have to shoot some video and post it sometime.  

So, then for dinner I took Michael and the girls to Shogun's for his Father's Day meal so I'm so full I'm about to be sick.  If you want to go to a nice restaurant with the small kids this is definitely the place to go.  The girls behaved themselves beautifully due to the cooking entertainment at the table and of course they like the onion volcano.  Alli liked it except for the noise when the fire flared up so she covered her ears.  It was a little pricier then I thought it would be when you add on extra fried noodles, etc. but hey, it's Father's Day right and I'm picking up the tab with my high paying job I have.  (at least I signed the credit card receipt)

I was excited to see our little mamma dove return this year and nest in our gutter on top of our house to raise a new brood of babies.  Here's a picture of the little family.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mother's Reaction

Well, I just spoke with my mother regarding my previous "snake feeding" post and she was mortified and possibly horrified about the ordeal and how I probably traumatized her precious grandchildren for life.  So, I just thought we'd take a step back and look at the positive of the event.  That is maybe Meredith will no longer be afraid of Chuck E. Cheese.  I think it really puts the big mouse in perspective. 

Also, I would like to share with everyone that as I was washing my hair this evening that I realized that I still had a pink Gymboree clippee barett thing in my hair from earlier that my Alli put in it.  That's fine except I just came back from Hallmark (at the mall no less) and Braums where they probably just thought I was a complete loon.  Did I mention it had a pink little flower on it as well?  Nice.

Trip to Nature Center

Today our adventure (besides swimming lessons) was to head to the Nature Center here in town and go to the "critter feeding" at 2 p.m.  My friend Trish and her son Jedidiah also went on the adventure with us.  Okay, now when I saw "critter feeding" I must say that I was envisioning feeding squirrels, ducks, birds, etc.  So, when we arrived and I saw the look on Trish's face in the lobby I knew something was amiss.  Sure enough the worker lady was standing there in the lobby with a container of live mice and we were heading off to feed their snakes in their aquariums.  Now keep in mind that the Entertainment magazine specifically said that snake feedings were on Friday so I fully wasn't expecting this scenario.  So, I then proceeded to ask Meredith if she wanted to see them feed snakes live mice and she answered with an excited "yeah" to my surprise.  When Trish asked Jedidiah he responded likewise.  I knew Alli wouldn't care so I didn't even bother to ask her.  So here we are with our young children watching the lady first feed the King Snake which is a non-venomous snake but it is still a constrictor (which I did not know) wrap around the poor little mouse and as the lady explained how it suffocates the mouse and breaks its ribs before it eats it.  Nice.  We then watched two rattlesnakes strike their respected mice and wait for them to die and eat them.  Next week Trish and I plan to take the kids hunting so they can really get a feel of death and nature and how it all works.  (Just kidding, in case you don't know my sense of humor.)  I've included some pics of our adventure along with the kids fishing for stuffed fish with magnets (which is my kind of fishing).  I have a really great picture of the rattlesnake swallowing up the mouse but I thought a lot of people wouldn't want to see it so I'm not including it.  I do have picture that shows the king snake getting the mouse but it's not too gory.  I'm sure you all are thrilled.  Oh yes, in case you're wondering what my girls are doing in the bird pictures they are pretending they are baby birds sticking their heads out of their birdhouse.  

I also wanted to tell you that don't know this already that if you want to see a picture larger on the blog that you just have to click on it and it will show up bigger.  When you're done looking at the picture just click on your back arrow at the top of your screen and it will take you back to the full blog screen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Swimming Lessons

We just got back from the girls' first day of swimming lessons and thank goodness the rain held off for us. Hopefully it will do the same tomorrow. It was funny because Alli's teacher had to keep telling her to close her mouth because she wouldn't stop smiling in the water. They both enjoyed the lessons a lot and can't wait to go back tomorrow. Here are some pics of the morning.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Racing Papa!

I thought I'd post these pictures of my Dad, Uncle Jimmy and Cousin David who headed up to Kansas City this week to race cars at Petty Racing. Uncle Jimmy has been two or three times before so he's an old pro and was allowed to go faster then David or Dad. I think they all had a great time.