Friday, July 31, 2009

The Detroit Zoo

We were SO excited when my mom asked us if we thought the kids would enjoy going to the Detroit Zoo! This is the zoo I grew up going to, and I LOVE it! I was thrilled that we would all get to enjoy it together, with my mom and grandma. Here are the kids waiting in the ticket line...
Of course, another silly picture of Jordan! But so glad the kids get to spend the day with their grandmother and great-grandmother.

Playing on the frogs in front of the amphibian house
Both of my kids LOVE snakes! They loved the reptile house!
There are statues of animals everywhere for photo-ops and climbing!
The polar bear exhibit is relatively new...I haven't been here since I was a day camp counselor the summer of 2001 and I've never seen this one!
Warning...Polar Bear Rump coming up...sorry if this is graphic to anyone! We were going through the tunnel watching the seals swimming about when all of a sudden there was a big commotion at the other end of the tunnel. We headed up to see what the fuss was about, and one of the polar bears had found himself a perfect seat... right on top of the tunnel! That left us with this view (I put in the pic w/the most reflection so as not to be utterly inappropriate!):
Not to overwhelm with massive amounts of animal pictures from the zoo....but I do love the flamingos! These ones looked extra white and low on the pink, what do you think?
Sweet picture of Jordan and Gram
Lawson, Me, Babo, Grandma, and Jordan waiting to board the train
Like father, like son! Walking up to get in line for the train, both of my boys stopped dead in their tracks to watch a dinosaur documentary that was showing on the TVs in line...
In line for the train. Still.
Me and my hubs. Finally on the train.
My kids and their goofy faces!
Hope she got a better picture of them than I did!!!
This is funny....My mom had put her jacket in our wagon for storage. Well, I guess Jordan got bored and started rummaging about and found Mom's chapstick. And who doesn't feel the need to put on some chapstick when you find it? Too bad my mom puts on her chapstick after her lipstick!!!
We had an AWESOME day at the zoo!!! The weather was perfect and the kids acted great! We are so grateful that my Mom and Grandma treated us to such a special day!
This is what we looked like on the way back to the parking garage. If it had been 3 minutes longer, we would've had to wake them up!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time with Babo

We spent most of Tuesday and most of Thursday with my mom. Tuesday we ate pizza together then headed over to her city park. (I know, it sounds like we only go to parks, but it seems like up there every city has a really, really nice park. It's just a great, cheap way to spend time!) This park even had a splash zone. Too bad the temp was only about 75 and the water was FRIGID! A couple splashes and the kids were done! No prob, right? We'll just head over to the beachy area to play in the sand...
It looks nice, right? This is Lake Saint Clair, on the east coast of Michigan.

We started to play on the sand, but it was super windy, and the sand was gross. Rocky and dirty...Jon almost threw up when he started to dig a hole and picked up a cigarette butt and an old bandaid in one swoop!!! He immediately demanded we move on to the playground area....
I don't actually have pictures of the playground area...but we spent most of our time there. It was a really nice day. Later we headed over to where Mom lives so she could give them a surprise....

BUBBLES!!! They love bubbles, and she does too, so she always comes through in that department!!!
We really had a good time visiting with Mom and Grandma! The kids had a blast! We also spent Thursday with them, when they took us to the Detroit Zoo...so I'm going to post those pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time with Grandad

We spent a couple days visiting with my dad and his girlfriend...here are some of the pictures...

Grandad helping Jordan look for the fish in the pond
The week before it had even crossed our minds to come up, my dad had bought this pool at a garage sale because he thought the pump would work in his fish pond. The pump didn't work for the pond, but when we called to say we were coming up he set up the pool, and it worked GREAT! The water may as well have had ice cubes in it, but my kids swam their little hearts out in this little pool!!

Because it was so cold, they had to keep coming out to warm up (so their purple lips could turn pink again!!!) Here's my dad making a "Jordan Sandwich."

I didn't take any pictures when we went over Thursday night...but Friday night Jon took the kids back over while I went to hang out with some of my girlfriends. They went to a park and for ice cream....
I really enjoyed the time we were able to spend over at my Dad's house. We enjoyed good food, good conversation and good family time!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Michigan On the Fly

Like I said a couple days ago, Jon and I decided on Friday July 4 that we should leave Sunday July 6 and drive to Michigan to visit my family. Apparently when this happened on our 'last minute' trip to Chattanooga it didn't teach us any lessons, so we packed up and headed out for a 12 hour non-stop drive to Detroit.

Lots of movies helped pass the time quickly....
And my kids absolutely love using dry erase markers and white boards...

And of course, a little nap here and there doesn't hurt...
And before you know it, we're there!
I was so excited to be staying with my brother, who I don't get to talk to or see as much as I'd like. It really was so nice of him to let us come in and 'take over' his space...we really appreciated it!
Whenever I go home, I feel like it is a mad rush to see as many people as I can, and still spend a good deal of time with my parents and grandma. That first day there, Monday, my Mom had a Dr. appt and my Dad was at work, so we headed over to Gram's house to surprise her. We were delighted when she took us up on our invitation to have a picnic at a nearby park, so we headed out...
This cracked me up. Jordan doesn't like slides. At all. But she wanted to go down this one. But she was scared to go by herself. Cue: Jon.
Doesn't it look like they are trapped in a bent MRI machine?! So funny!
While Jon and the kids played, Gram and I went to sit in the shade. I love this picture of my sweet Grandma. She's been having some health problems lately, so I was so thankful to have some good visiting time with her.
One of the best things we brought on the trip were the kids' bikes and scooters. We had room, and I'm so glad b/c anytime we were just visiting and talking with adults we just pulled out the bikes and they were totally occupied.
We also spent a lot of time with my Mom and with my Dad...don't worry, there's more to come!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Joy Like a Fountain

We were painting the other day when Jordan burst out in song. I just had to catch it on film! video

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Junior Zookeepers

The weekend of July 4th Jon and I decided at the last minute to drive up to Michigan for a week. I plan to put up some posts about our trip next week, so here's a preview of things to come...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Table

Okay class, it's storytime!!
(Haha! Just kidding. About the class part. Not the story part.)
So pretty much everyone who knows Jon and me knows that we attended (and loved) Harding University. We started dating in September of senior year. I graduated in May and that fall I moved back to Searcy to live with 2 girlfriends and be closer to Jon.
My friends and I shared a 3 bedroom apartment, and we all contributed to try to furnish the thing...which to 3 broke college girls was HUGE! The last thing we needed was a dining room table, and even the cheapo sets at the big box stores were at least a few hundred dollars! No way was that happening!
One Saturday afternoon Jon and I decided to go out to the flea market. In the country. In Arkansas. Nothing else like it...anywhere! We had wandered around nearly the whole place and didn't see a table that was worth much of anything, until the very end.
Jon spotted it. "It" was an old solid oak table, buried under a daunting load of ridiculous old collectible (to some, maybe!) junk. It was dirty and beat up, but it was a table. A solid, wooden table. And it was $50.
"Don't worry," Jon said. "We'll fix it up! We can sand it down and stain it. When we put a nice coat of polyurethane on it'll look good as new!" (We have a long, long history of having high hopes when it comes to getting big projects done in a respectable amount of time!)
That December we went to Michigan for Christmas break. Jon proposed! Now the table that I had bought for my apartment was now going to be "our" table! It was such an exciting time!
For Valentine's Day, he gave me this....
Inside it had coupons for offers like this...
And this...
And this...
and this...
One of my most favorite coupons was this one, because, well, what girl wouldn't want a coupon like this:
But it also had this one:
He really did have good intentions and high hopes to help me finish out my table! On our honeymoon we actually spent a lot of our time shopping in Amish woodshops for handmade wooden chairs go with our table and make a set. It was our wedding gift to each other.

One Saturday morning he acutally got started by getting out the sander and cleaning up the top. (He also didn't think about actually moving the table outside so the sawdust wouldn't get on everything else in the dining room, but, o-well!)
But then this happened...
And this happened too....and who can keep a poor, old, dirty, unfinished table clean under these circumstances??

But did we let it get us down? No sir-ee!! Because we stick to our goals! This summer, almost eight years since I first bought the table, I made good on that coupon and we got-er-done!
We spent a couple days sanding it down, then started putting coats of stain on it...
And I may just be a silly girl, but now, whenever I walk through my dining room I just glance over and my heart pours over with pride. Not just because now it's a beautifully finished oak table.
There's so much more to that table. It has a story--it's part of our history. It's been with us from the beginning. It was gross and dirty and ugly, but now it's just lovely.
It's not just any table. It's our table.