Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nannie's Prayer Garden

Nannie's garden is always beautiful, but every year it is prettier than the year before.  There is a secret, her garden only gets prettier due to her relationship with God getting stronger.  As she plants each new flower, bulb, ect. she says a prayer for someone close to her heart.  We have enjoyed her garden more this year than most for many reasons.  We all missed having Daddy with us, but felt his presence there.  We also had some little ones who found something interesting/entertaining and new each time we were out there.  Whether it was rocks, dirt, weeds, or bugs, they always were into something.  Really good memories were made along with wonderful conversations.  

Her stepping stone garden is my favorite piece.  Each grandchild has a stone that they designed for Nannie.  

Flying South

Our summer has come to a close.  I hated to leave, but enjoyed every moment.  We were all tired and ready to return, but our family will be greatly missed.  As the plane pulled off the ground, I left a huge piece of my heart in Tennessee.  This was definately a summer to remember.  

Happy Birthday Nannie

Another perk to staying later this summer, is being able to celebrate Nannie's birthday.  The Manning pool was open and just begging for some kids.  We took them up on a day at the pool.  We grabbed some cupcakes, our bathing suits, sunscreen, and floaties.  I am not sure who enjoyed the cupcakes more, Nannie (who received more cupcake kisses) or the kids.  They were so cute with their cupcake frosted faces.  


Kelly and I had a few opportunities to hang out this summer.  However, we tended to do it without our kids.  Yes, we do love our kids, but breaks are much needed at times.  Due to us staying in Tennessee longer this summer, we were able to attend Katherine's 3rd birthday party.  The kids had a blast.  Kelly and I decided that we definitely need to get the kids together more next summer.  They loved playing together.  

Holiday World Mini-Vaca

I have to say that Sara is full of fun ideas.  She wanted to take the kids to Holiday World in Santa Clause, IN.  Mind you, she was wanting to do this trip with just the sisters and kids.  I thought she was off her rocker, but knew that we would have a blast.  I am so glad that we made that trip together.  We loaded the car full and headed north.  

Holiday World was one of the best parks that I have been to in a while.  It was clean, fun, and a decent price.  We even stayed and the "Christmas" hotel across the street.  For an amusement park in the middle of nowhere, it was pretty impressive.  

The most challenging moments was trying to get all of the kids to sleep.  They giggled, cried, and even threw a few pillows.  After about an hour, they went to sleep.  Colin was hte most excited out of the bunch.  He was so over stimulated by having all of his cousins in one room, he didn't know what to do with himself.  It was super cute!!!  It is definately one of those moments that you don't find funny at the time, but you laugh at it later.  Later being....NOW!
After a very long day at both the amusement park and water park, we decided we need 2 days our next trip there.  

Fresh Goodness

I love all of the goodness coming from the crops this summer.  I was able to hang out a few days and give Annmother a little break from the market.  This summer there was ALWAYS extra cars in the driveway buying some type of fresh produce.  I am hoping to help out more next summer.  I enjoyed people watching and learning about the different types of tomatoes.  Pink Girls...who knew there were tomatoes named Pink Girls.  Now I do!  YUMMO!

Little Bits of Fun

Below are some random pics that were taken throughout the summer.  

We took the Nashville Star from Hermitage to Downtown Nashville and back again.  
Adam took the kids out the park to feed the ducks.  
The kids loved chillling in Nannie's garden and enjoying a popsicle after dinner.  
Give the kids a box and some markers and they are happy campers for hours.  
A train show was one of the highlights of Hunter's summer.  He may be 6 years old, but he still loves trains.  I love our little engineer.  
Mackenzie and I napped together a lot this summer.  I love our times together on summer afternoons.  She is such the snuggler.  

Making Memories

Pop's garden has been a success this summer.  Hunter and Mackenzie have picked strawberries, blackberries, and tomatoes.  Teaching them how to find the "just ripe" fruits has been a memory in the making.  

I love this kid.  He has fun no matter where he is.  I also love that at the end of each day, he is covered from head to toe in dirt.  This dirt is hard earned and full of fun.  He washes it off at night and begins fresh the next morning.  

Strawberry stains have been a common happening this summer.  Most mom's run from anything that leaves stains.  Me, I love that they are making memories and can relive them through their stains.  
PS. Oxyclean and Shout were great inventions.  

Look at that grin.  That is one happy kid.  


Every stage with "the babies" (who are not really babies anymore) have had their challenges and have been so much fun.  Sara, Martha, and I love seeing them together and listening to their little conversations.  Mackenzie loves being the only girl (although I don't know if she actually knows that she is the only girl).  It is so cute to watch their personalities blossom.  I hate that we are so far away, but when we come home they pick right up where they left off.  

Fun on the Farm

The kids LOVE the Boyd Farm.  Hunter spent most of the summer on the farm doing a wide variety of things.  So many memories were made.  The market was particularly busy.  I think Mackenzie ate more cantelopes than she sold.  
Mackenzie is quite the colorful character.  This hat fit her personality perfect.  She had fun posing for some pictures in it.

Hunter wanted to constantly help or create something this summer.  He washed veggies, swept where needed, and restocked when items were low.  (Pops helped him with the restocking.)

I have to say that everytime we arrived, Hunter would take off and go check the hen house for eggs.  One trip he came back with 17 eggs.  Pops had made sure to leave them for Hunter that morning.  He loved going to check for those eggs.  Honestly, I have never gone and collected fresh eggs.  I need him to show me how :)
Mackenzie loves her Pops.  He spoils her and makes her smile.  I love the bond that they both have with Annmother and Pops.  

Flipping through Time

Daddy update...

I haven't written about Daddy much due to the rapidness of this disease.  I truly do miss him and our talks, but have loved spending time with him this summer.  My visits have consisted of us listening to music, walking, holding hands, and singing gospel hyms.  He still has the talent of joining in on some of those hymns.  I found this picture and just had to post it.  I was about Mackenzie's age when Mama took it.  I always loved listening to him play.  

10 Years and Counting

10 years...I can't believe that we have been married for 10 years.  We knew that we wanted to do something adventurous and different, but we weren't too sure what that was.  A few months ago, we decided that we wanted to go Whitewater rafting down the Ocoee River.  We were able to get a package deal for both rafting and ziplining.  I was personally a little frightened about the ziplining.  Little did I know that the rafting is something to be feared.  
So...rafting down the Ocoee ended up being rather dangerous.  We signed up to go down the full river.  Little did I know that the full river included the Olympic route that was taken in the 1998 Olympics.  As we were given the instructions, I knew that it was going to be a thrilling ride.  As we approached the Olympic portion, my adrineline was pumping full force.  We made it through 3 rapids and then we approached a rapid named "Humongous", and it was humongous.  As we went into the rapid, our boat slanted sideways.  I immediately fell out. As I was tossed about, I recall hitting the bottom 3 times before being thrown out (later I found out that I was trapped under the raft).  Once I was up, I was pulled back under.  Adam then jumped in to try to help.  I grabbed his hand, only to be pulled under again.  By this time, I had hit bottom at least 2 more times.  I hear people yelling and throwing ropes from the side,  I grab the rope and try to pull myself ashore, but did it incorrectly.  This pulled me under again.   I finally made it up and was in such shock, it felt like I sat there for a few minutes.  By the time I gathered my nerves and body together, I realized that I lost my shoes and possibly broke my ankle.  I had no choice, but to get back on the raft and continue down the rest of the river.  You can baet that I hung on for dear life after that little episode.  (Adam even lost his wedding ring. AND later on in August, 2 women died in a rapid not as intense as the one I fell out of.)

The ziplining experience was fun and not as adventureous.  In fact, I was wondering why some people are scared to do that over the rafting.  

We stayed at a beautiful golf resort, Brasstown Valley.  The cottage was gorgeous and so quiet.  The food was delicious.  I even hit a few shots on the course.  I wish we could get away like that more often - minus the rafting experience.