Thursday, May 17, 2012

Branson Cabin 2012

It's that time of year again -- BRANSON cabin trip with friends -- Yeah
It was a wonderful WONDERFUL weekend.  Every year our group gets larger (up to 6 kiddos and one on the way) and even wilder and crazier - but in such a great way!  After some late Friday night chit-chat we got up early Saturday morning for a delicious home cooked breakfast before we headed off to Silver Dollar City.
Don't you just love . . . when you finally get your group still and posed and have convinced a stranger to take a picture . . . the results end up like this ??   :(  Boo
 Our 1st destination - the frogs
Payton & Parker joined in for the first ride but decided that it would also be their last
 Kellen was just as excited about riding the rides as Hunter-man was.
 Baby Landon was as happy as ever being strolled around watching all the commotion.
Next it was time to fly in the Caterpillar
 It took a couple turns but he finally got the hang of the controls
 And then it was too much fun to ever get out
 Until we told them they could ride the Lady Bugs
 While the little wild boys were living it up on the rides, the pretty little girls were enjoying soaking up some sun.
 We completed a major milestone in this family -- Hunter rode his very first coaster -- and loved it
The Daddies had fun too
 We had fun on the Choo Choo Train
  . . .  the Carousel
. . . In Half Dollar Hollar
 . . . and their favorite, THE SWINGS
We had an amazing day full of fun and laughter
-except for one instance-
When my little boy dropped out of my sight and in an instance was gone, aka lost, in a sea of children swarming a ginormous play house - Geyser Gulch.  
It happened so quickly! A family of about 5 had walked between the two of us, blocking my sight. After they passed, the spot in which Hunter had been playing was of course empty.  My eyes searched the crowd, while immediately and frantically praying.  I ran up & around a couple levels only to realize he could be anywhere in this ginormous playhouse or have even left through the many exits.  
I grabbed the closest attendant and (while holding back tears & fighting the lump in my throat) managed to give her a clear description of my now, tiny lost baby.  She did her best to make it seem like it was no big deal, that it happens all the time, and he'd be located quickly . . . for me just to stay calm & wait right there . . . about that time Andrew found me (he'd been off riding Powder Keg) and I immediately instructed him to search for Hunter because, yes I THE MOTHER, had lost our little man.  It felt like an eternity, but was probably no more than a few minutes when Andrew shouted down to me that they'd found him . . . on the 4th story shooting balls out of the cannon. (he's always loved that)
I just couldn't believe he'd slipped away so fast, and so FAR.  But praise Jesus they found him quickly, and safe. I didn't know whether to hug him or spank him . . . but since it scared him to be handled by strangers (workers with walkie-talkies keep pretty good eyes on the place) I just grabbed him up and kissed and squeezed him . . . followed with a lecture on "never leaving Mommy's side - EVER."

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7

So after that emotional roller coaster, it was time to head back in!
We hit up a local BBQ favorite, that was perfect for our wild and crazy crowd and then it was back to the cabin for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Sunday, the daddies left out early for a morning round of golf while the mommies stayed back to cook breakfast and referee 6 kids 2 and under.  :)  We never sat down but as always, had lots of fun.  I love that our kids enjoy each other as much as us adults do . . . and what a neat tradition this has been.  3 years and counting . . .
 They grow up so fast!!
After the boys came back and we enjoyed another yummy lunch,  it was time for a speedy cabin clean up, ice cream sandwiches for all and our annual group photo!!  It's so fun to look back and see how we keep growing, changing, and expanding.  :)

We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don't yet have - for a man who already has something doesn't need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn't happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently. 
Romans 8:24-25

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lovin' Me Some Lil Boy

Sort of a random collection of pictures and events over the past several weeks (February-April). . .
but of course way too precious to leave out  :)

Early Spring Day
An afternoon at the 'Lock-&-Dam' park brought back a flood of memories from mine and Andrew's childhoods - such a neat thing to now enjoy with our own child
Hunter thought his Papa needed some help on his side of the teeter-totter  :)
Trip to Texas
After way too long, we finally made our way back to Texas to visit Grandpa Joe on the farm.  Hunter loved every minute of it - without question
My little boy just keeps growing into  . . . a little boy.  He was all about working the farm and wearing his boots-like Daddy's & Grandpa's haha
The poor baby calf had lost its mother and after bottle feeding and lovin' on it, the precious thing thought I was it's mother.  It about took me down trying to get more milk and cuddles  lol  Sweet but the pregnancy hormones were making me too emotional  :(
Purely Beautiful
Straight out of bed to help with chores - nothing wrong with pjs & boots
At almost 90 years old, Grandpa is still hard at work on the farm every day - loves taking care of his cows - an inspiration for all of us.   We had a wonderful visit that Hunter is still talking about.
CraZy KiD
This was just a usual morning with me and my little man, just eating some breakfast, when what??  He asks me if he "can have some milk, wif chocwit, wike Pa, please?"  And then he actually DRANK several sips from it - before reminding him and myself that he "doesn't wike milk, save it for Pa."  :)
Another funny moment with my precious little boy -- when he tried to (and almost got away with) sneaking a Pop Ice into his lunch box for Kids day Out - you are too funny Little Man
Yeah For Gulley
A nice Saturday spent at Gulley Park - summer is starting EARLY
Enjoying a picnic lunch with my boys an friends
My baby boy always manages to find Mommy a pretty flower, weed, leaf, or blade of grass wherever we go . . . and I am always able to appreciate the thought behind the action  :)
Baby Lilly Came to Visit
We had visitors that melted our hearts!  Hunter especially got some good lovin' from sweet baby Lilly
Precious darling baby girl
The Other Lily
So Hunter loves, I mean LOVES this furry member of the family.
But the last few weeks, I've been about ready to make her a permanent home - outside.  Her shedding has become absolutely ridiculous and almost unbearable.  I sweep, vacuum, dust, wipe, wash - and 5 seconds later - floating wisps of fluffy fur.  I'm an animal lover, and have a special place in my heart for cats . . . but oh my goodness, its so bad I'm even grossed out.  Especially when my son cannot grasp the concept of not rubbing all over her or carrying her around.  We have lent rollers all over the house and laundry has doubled just because I can't stand it -- I took a picture (which doesn't do it justice) showing what Hunter's been running around looking like.  Gross!  
LOL - but he has been really funny with it at times.  Like most kids, his hands are in and out of his mouth and touching things constantly, so I'm always cautioning and saying, "eww don't put your hands in your mouth, they're dirty" or lately "buddy, you're going to get yucky cat hair in your mouth."  So the other day as he was trying to eat an ice cream sandwich, I couldn't help but laugh (and be slightly disgusted) when he started making sputtering noises and saying, "shoo Mommy, titty-tat hairs in my mouf."  hahaha I literally had to take of his clothes, wash his hands and face, and then wash his ice cream (because 2 year olds can't understand the concept of getting a new one or 'that one being yucky').  After I quit laughing, I just had to call mom and share the story since she's the one person I knew who would be grossed out by this the most, next to Granny. 
We've had several HOT SUMMER days this spring, reaching the high 80s (YEAH) but since it happened so quickly Hunter got a bit confused on this particular day when I asked him if he wanted to go outside.  He came back to me a few minutes later "Ready!"  hahaha   
After some good convincing by mommy, we finally got into some cooler clothes and headed outside for a Pop Ice . . . or 2 . . . or 3 . . .
I can't believe how fast and how beautiful our yard is growing this year.  I took this picture in early March, and I really can't imagine what it will look like by mid-July
Play date at the Hicks'
Hunter LOVES jumping on trampolines
And playing with these two pretty girls
Funny Story
So one morning I was a little slow getting around out of the bathroom to make some breakfast.  Hunter didn't seem to mind, as I heard him busy in other parts of the house.  But when things got quiet, I knew that was my cue to hurry on out to see what my little man was getting in to.  To my surprise he had helped himself to what he described as a "dood breakfas."
Yep, I'm sure to a 2 year old an Ice Cream Sandwich is a really "dood breakfast" - HAHAHA - what can I say, at least he was in his highchair, with his bib on.  :)
Ahhh . . . Summer Spring
Nothing better on hot spring day than baseball caps, suckers, and
March 31 and it was definitely hot enough for playing in the sprinkler - CrAZy
I was really hoping that Hunter's clothes from last summer would all still fit considering there hasn't been a huge change in size, but no such luck, I guess he's grown in height quite a bit.  So darn it, I had to go shopping.  ;)  And surprisingly my handsome man didn't even mind modeling a few of the outfits to see if they fit.
Guess he'll need to start doing Cross Fit with Daddy to get that six pack  :)
I knew this one would be a favorite because of the bulldozer - he still loves anything construction.
Play Date
Jill hosted the next play date - lunch was fantastic and the kids were . . . well the mommies played referee the entire time.  Boy, this is a difficult age for sharing and group play  :)  But it was still lots of fun !
This is what you get when you ask five 2 year olds to make silly faces  :)
Birthday & Easter Celebration with the Williams'
I just LOVE how much these two cousins enjoy each other
Joshua got a goose egg
Time to Celebrate --  Beautiful and delicious cake made by Amanda & Aubrey
Happy 9th Birthday Caleb & Emma Grace
Beautiful new mommy & daughter
And the circle just keeps growing!
Love these kiddos so much
Rainy Day
Some days are just better than others . . . 
Some days you know you'll treasure forever . . .
This particular Sunday was one of those days . . .
After a morning spent together at church, we headed for a yummy lunch at Mad Pizza (where I devoured several pieces of my favorite Buffalo Chicken Pizza & Banana Dessert Pizza).  Then it was back to the house to snuggle up on the couch & watch a movie . . . for a few minutes until Hunter decided that it would be way more fun for us to go outside and play in the rain.
So of course we couldn't say no . . . 
and it was such a blessed and happy time spent with our little man

I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing;and I will cause showers to come down in their season;there shall be showers of blessing.
Ezekiel 34:26