Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our March Happenings!

We have had a very eventful couple of weeks. Preparing for a birthday party, Spring Break vacation and anticipating the arrival of a new family member.

Colton's 4th Birthday Party
I did my best to create an Angry Bird themed party for my baby boy, due to the fact that it rained off and on all day.  Yuck!  I had games planned for outside until the last couple of days, when I almost began to cry seeing 70% precipitation on the local news station.   {boo-woo}  What do you do?  You improvise that's what you do.  I created a last minute dart poster.  YES!  

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The night before the party, I stayed up until about 1:30 A.M. blowing the balloons on this wall.  Trust me when I say, I went to bed a little light headed.  LOL!  I had a few people compliment my colorful wall decor. 

Found this Alfred Hitchcock clipart online and had to display it.  I also printed these paper birds from a website and set them here and there.  I couldn't keep Colton from playing with them. photo 558873_10151600578510850_1052307966_n.jpg

For those of you who know Alfred Hitchcock and have seen his movies, you will appreciate this picture I set out.  As I was showing my young 20 something year old niece this picture, she asked "who is Alfred Hitchcock?"  "What?"  I looked at her mother and asked her why this child didn't know A.H.  She had nothing.  

Dart game I created because it ended up raining all day.  The kids threw Angry Bird bean bags at the pigs. photo 5311_10151600578290850_562792753_n.jpg I took a stab at the cupcakes - Colton loved them and that's all that matters to me.  :) photo 181027_10151600578160850_958945096_n.jpg
(Above left: Angry Birds dart poster.  I gave the kids Angry Bird beanbags and had them throw at the piggies.  Keep up with your score.  The person with the most points - WINS! )
(Above right: I made the Angry Bird cupcakes.  Not professional, but they were fun to make and delicious.) 

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Colton has so many Angry Bird game sets that I put them to use.  I set up scenes throughout the house.  

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I think these turned out so cute and Colton LOVED them.  However, I have a warning.  The more paper you apply on the latex balloons, the heavier they get.  I couldn't apply the white bodies to a few of the birds.  I got this idea from "The Party Animal" website.  To get the free printables just CLICK HERE!

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HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY Colton!  We Love You! 

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I hate that I didn't notice, we were having our picture taken in front of the microwave and bookcase - Argh!  What was I thinking?  I blame it on exhaustion at that point.  HAHA! photo 45352_10151600574720850_344933142_n.jpg

Spring Break 2013
We decided to plan a little get away this year to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We just love Tennessee and it's not a long drive.  I'm the only one in my little family that has ever been to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, but it's been several  years since I've visited the area.  We were all pretty excited to go.  I wanted to see how much it had grown in about 25 years.  I have to say that it is beautiful today as it was back then.  The Smokey Mountains do not disappoint.  We had a great experience at Gatlinburg, Ober Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Tennessee.  Great hospitality. We absolutely hated to leave this beautiful and fun place.  

Here are just a few things and places, we experienced:

Baskins Creek Condos - our home away from home. photo 553173_10151600525860850_613391937_n.jpg
We stayed at Baskins Creek Condominium - CLICK HERE for further information.  Each unit are individually owned.  Our room included the following: King size Master bedroom with jacuzzi and private bath; two Queen size beds in the guest room with private bathroom; gas fireplace and balcony.  The kids loved the fact that they each had their very own queen sized bed and bathroom to themselves. They also had to get in the jacuzzi every day with their swim suits.  It snowed all day for two days, while we were there.  LOVED IT!  The trolley service picks up right at the lobby entrance, very convenient for us.   

Eatin' at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. - I had the Mahi-Mahi with grilled shrimp - sooo good! photo 485222_10151600528610850_1083004199_n.jpg
I asked to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, just a few blocks from our condo.  We really enjoyed our experience and the food was GREAT.  We even ran into a family, we knew, from our church.  They just sat down, while we were heading back out in the snow.  

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I love this picture!  Doug shot it from his window.  Pictures do not do the beautiful mountains justice.  It was so breathtaking and serene.  I was in heaven just admiring what my Lord created for my enjoyment.  Shot taken from the streets of Gatlinburg, TN

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We spent half a day at Ober Gatlinburg, TN.  We planned to do a little snow tubing and seeing the sights.  Wow!!  When we finally made it up the mountain, we had the opportunity to enjoy the view.  Gorgeous! 

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You can't see too good in this picture because I didn't have my big flash, but on the left side of this picture up the creek, we saw a man fly fishing.  You know, he had to be COLD.  

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Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort

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Here they come - Snow Tubing

This was the first time I've ever gone snow tubing.  It was an exhilarating experience and I recommend anyone and every one to do this during the Winter and Early Spring.  The tubing closes after Easter weekend for Summer.  I would love to do this again.  We got to ride for 1 1/2 hours at $20 a person.  You don't even have to hike the steep hill in order to slide.  All you do is get on the escalator (shown on the far right of this photo).  


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Katie got to slide by herself - she is the first one to the left with the pink coat and purple boggan.  

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Daddy and Colton came right after her - pictured to the left with white boggan and red jacket. Colton rode in the back, behind daddy.  

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We met a sweet family from Miami, FL.  We took turns taking each other's family photos.  The background is the ski slopes, which was closed off for the season.  It was about 29 degrees at the time.  It warmed up a little, but still cold.  

The kids were so tired after all the snow tubing and fun at Ober Gatlinburg.  We stopped at The Peddler for lunch.  It was so good and one of the best salad bars.  Yum!  After we ate, the kids were tuckered out.  My sweet adorable husband had the best idea ever.  We all went back to the room and I got to go out on my own.  We passed by this little shopping area called "The Village" that I had my eyes on since we got there.  They had some very unique shops and just walking distance from our condo.  I also jumped in the truck and headed towards the Art and Crafts Community on the other side of town.  I stumbled into this one shop that I wished I had more time to really look because it was so interesting.  I would have loved to take pictures, but I had noticed several shops' signs that requested "no pictures taken."  The woman's artwork on display in this place was so interesting.  She had painted silks.  I thought they were just scarves, but the lady was sweet enough to educate about the technique.  The artist stretched stripes of silk and actually painted artwork on them.  Beautiful vibrant colors.  The lady said that most people just frame the silks and hang them on the wall.  What I fell in love with is scrimshaw piano ivories.  BEAUTIFUL!  It's an old technique of craving onto ivory that dates back centuries.  To remind me of our wonderful trip, I bought a cross scrimshaw pendant and a pair of dogwood scrimshaw earrings.  I LOVE them.  I'll have to take a picture and show them to you one day.  

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Katie absolutely had to visit "Wonderworks" in Pigeon Forge, TN.  It reminded me of our local science centers for kids on steroids.  They had laser tag and magic shows, which we didn't do.  I tried to get Katie to climb the rock wall with me, but she wouldn't do it.  There was also a tight rope climbing experience, about 3 stories high called the "Spacewalk Challenge."  Katie didn't want to do it either, which was good because it made me nervous.  I'm talking about nothing but ropes and you had your safety harness and helmet.  We all had a great experience and I know I was wiped out by the time we left.  

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We came across a neat little museum called "Hollywood Stars Cars" on the main strip in Gatlinburg.  Colton spotted the Bat mobile and that's all it took.  I think we were all pleasantly surprised as we made our way through this 2 story car museum.  They had real cars from "The Andy Griffith Show" police car to James Bond's 007 memorabilia.  

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Our future oceanographers - taken at the Ripley's Aquarium
The aquarium was a wonderful experience.  I loved getting on the moving sidewalk and experience the tunnel of sharks, stingrays and other ocean life.  We got to see the handlers feed the sharks and stingrays a snack.  Katie thought it was gross.  Of course, Colton thought it was cool.  

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They got to be apart of the Penguin experience.  They crawl through tubes and stick their heads between the penguins.  They also did this experience in another areas with the fish.  I couldn't take a good picture because of the flash, no matter what angle I tried to take the picture.  

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This was taken on the strip in Gatlinburg as we were headed to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  There is so much to do in all four of these towns that you would never be bored.  There was so much we couldn't see it all.  I hope it won't be 25 years before I ever get back.  The only thing I regret not being able to see is Cade's Cove.  When I checked my alerts for the area roads/maps, a warning came up that there was a landslide at Newfound Gap, which is the road that you would take from Gatlinburg to Cherokee (where the Native Indians live), Clingman's Dome and Cade's Cove.  I knew the kids wouldn't be able to make it to Clingman's Dome, but I would loved to have seen their faces at the other two places.  Cade's Cove is where the wildlife (bears) are seen the most.  Maybe next time.  

Welcome Avery! 

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We used Friday to stay around the house and catch up with household chores.  We ended up at Academy buying the kids their own baseball bats, gloves and practice balls.  I had Doug take the kids with him, while I checked out the swim suits.  I needed a new one so bad.  I never can find one to look nice on me, so I became excited to find one that looked half way decent on me.  Yes!  Needless to say, when I went looking for Doug and kids to tell them the exciting news about my swim suit, he didn't look all that excited.  The kids had already tried his patiences to the extreme.  I took the kids and let him look around.  

The next morning, we received a call from my sister.  Her daughter was at the hospital preparing for the arrival of her second child.  My mom and I drove to the hospital to welcome our new little precious member of the family, Avery Cathleen.  She is just so beautiful!  Several family members were there to welcome her to the world and she was passed around like a sack of potatoes.  She didn't cry or become uncomfortable not the first time.  She weighs 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches long.  Petite compared to my 8 & 9 lb. babies.  Mom and baby girl are home and doing well.  Lord willing, we will try to visit the growing family sometime this weekend.  

It rained on Easter Sunday for brief moments in the morning, so we didn't do anything too exciting.  Our families came together at Doug's parents house.  We had a HUGE meal, egg hunts for the kids and enjoyed the laughter of family stories.  I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  




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