Tuesday, May 31, 2011

with heartfelt gratitude {Memorial Day 2011}

'Thank you' doesn't even begin to cover it. It seems like such a small word to express such strong feelings of gratitude for the men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our freedom. {Photograph taken at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, TN}

I am proud to be an American and I am forever grateful to the service men and women who have paid the ultimate price to keep our country safe.
Both my grandpa Pedro and Lance's grandpa Woodrow, who Hudson Rowe is named after, were members of our military. My grandpa was a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Lance's grandpa was an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Such a legacy of courage and honor... {Photo taken at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, TN}

To the families of our men and women in uniform, thank YOU, for the sacrifices you too make each and every day while your loved ones defend our country. I can not imagine how difficult it must be to have your loved ones away, especially away from little ones.
May God continue to protect our military as they protect our nation and the values of freedom and democracy that we often take for granted. Thank you for your courage, thank you for your dedication, Thank you for your loyalty, Thank you for your selflessness, Thank you for your strength, Thank you for your patriotism, Thank you for your faith...THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEGACY.

Praying over you...and remembering.

Monday, May 30, 2011

anniversary weekend {memphis, TN}

Five years ago on May 27, 2006, in front of God, family and friends, we made it official! We celebrated our 5 yr. anniversary with a little weekend getaway to Memphis! Our first time to leave the kids for several days in a row! Thank you Noonie & Mimi for taking care of them so we could enjoy some alone time!!

We packed a lot in just 3 days, like eating the famous burgers at Huey's...
Watching the famous duck march at The Peabody...Here's the Duck Palace up on the rooftop of The Peabody, where the ducks live when not at the lobby fountain. Waiting for the ducks to make their grand entrance...
(thrilled, can't you tell? HA!)...along with the other gazillion people there!! Then at 11:00 a.m. on the dot... Four little ducks made their grand entrance! They marched right into the lobby fountain where they swim every day until 5p and then go right back up to their Palace. The Duckmaster :)Lucky Ducks! Neither Lance nor I are huge Elvis fans so we didn't take a tour of Graceland, but we did go by so we could say we saw it - HA! This is as far as we got...Can you see it??? Dinner at Folk's Folly Of course, we enjoyed the scene at Beale Street, although we didn't take any pictures that night - boo!
I like how my friend Julie put Bourbon Street, only cleaner :)
{image via here}

We went to the
Pink Palace Mansion Museum & Planetarium. They were setting up for a wedding reception...Awww, the memories!

They had all kinds of neat exhibits, like the natural science museum wing...the kids would have loved it!
{image via here}

But we did see some fun exhibits like these...
And this fun automated circus replica too! Did you see the pumpkin??? Had to get a pic!!!

We messed up thinking we could eat at Rendezvous on Sunday or Monday...they were closed both days :(
{image via here}

BUT we did manage to taste the famous Memphis barbecue at Central BBQ - YUM!
{image via here}

We had the best time just being together and catching up, sleeping past 7:30a, having uninterrupted conversation and going wherever we wanted to without worrying about kid-friendly schedules and facilities...

BUT we missed the littles so much that we decided to surprise them and come home late Sunday night instead of Monday so we could spend Memorial Day with them as a family.

Hudson had been having a hard time going to sleep without us, so Sunday night Noonie let Grace & Hudson both sleep on our bed and when we came home, we walked in to this:
Sweetest little babies! God bless their little hearts!

They were so excited to see us Monday morning but they are still talking about what a FUN time they had with both Noonie and Mimi...I'm afraid they are a bit spoiled right now! :) :) :)

THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH for making it possible for us to go without worrying about them being okay!!! And don't worry, we're already planning our next getaway - HA!

Friday, May 27, 2011

"buckets o' fun"...what a week! {end of school}

Whew! We survived the last week of school! My, my, my what a crazy busy time!!! I can't believe the little pumpkin just completed her first full year of school!!


First Day of School (August, 2010) ~ 3 yr. 5 mo.
This Week! (May, 2011) ~ 4 yr. 2 mo. The last week of school was jam-packed with fun activities like a trip to a local elementary school for the 5th grade production of Wizard of Oz......and the end of the year class party at the same jumpy jump place as Grace's birthday. She was feeling a little sentimental that morning thinking about not seeing her school friends every day......but by the time she got to the jumpy jump place, all worries had been forgotten. They all had a blast!The parents all chipped in and I put together these "buckets o' fun" for all the kiddos... Lots of goodies in there, including: Water & Summer Safety Activity Book, Bubble Wand, Inflatable beach ball, Glow in the dark necklace for the girls/Glow in the dark sword for the boys, popsicles, chocolate chip cookies, cheese crackers, fruit roll-ups, pixie sticks and my most favorite...this fun book! Angela, one of the super sweet moms and a former elementary teacher, helped me come up with fun summer activities for the kiddos... inexpensive crafts & activities, easy science projects and all the necessary how-to's. I added pages for the kids to draw things like "Today was a super fun day! I enjoyed doing/going to...", and also added a list of local summer activities with schedules and cost. A fun little journal for all of our littles...of course, for the six little ones going on to kindie this year, I adjusted the title accordingly :) For the teachers, each family bought an individual gift and then I put them all together in sweet little baskets. Lots of fun gift cards like Target and Starbucks and gifts like a collapsible tote, an insulated lunch bag, yummy-smelling candles, and a movie pack! They loved them! Grace's super sweet teachers gave each student a tote full of fun summer stuff like sidewalk chalk, bean bag catchers, bubbles, binoculars...thank you Mrs. Bryan & Mrs. Peterson for the sweet gift, but mostly THANK YOU for a super fun school year!!!!Now.........................Let the summer begin!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

beach week!

I've been lovin' these past few school units...especially last week's unit: Beach & Ocean Week!

On Friday, the kiddos could wear their swimsuit under a cover-up and then after lunch, they went to a local spray ground/splash park and had the best time during Beach Day!
Grace makes me laugh every day. Just the other morning as I was wearing my bathrobe, she came in and using her I'm-trying-to-be-very-grown-up voice said to me, "Ooooh, I like your towel shirt - nice, very nice mama." HA!

So here she is wearing her "towel dress" right before school.
(please ignore the sad state of my potted flowers!)
Water = Good Times! Look who got to join in on the fun!! Some fun shots...

Sunblock time for Emma!
(Grace loved Emma's Little Mermaid swimsuit...asked me how come I never buy cartoon character clothes...HA! She's on to me!)
Grace's buddy Julien
Grace's swimming BFF, McKinley!Solomon, who always has the best smiles! Isabella having fun with Hudson...can you tell she has a little brother??? he he he...such the little caretaker! Sweet Kennedy After running and splashing for a good was time for...SNOWCONES!! Yes! We brought cotton candy snowcones for all the kiddos (thanks for helping me carry everything, Noonie!) and they LOVED them...especially Hudson :) And check out these cute snacks Mrs. Peterson made!!!Snowcones + about a sugar rush! HA!

Can't wait for summer!!!