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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Major catch-up 4 - May

Continuing my blog catch-up in bullet-ish form...I love May!  It is the beginning of summer, which is my very favorite time of year!  It is Mother's Day and my birthday and we almost always make it to the beach at least once to kick off summer.
 We ran down to the beach the first weekend in May because we hadn't seen Pap and Tappy very much.  Evidently I didn't get great pictures with them while there:(

 Hanging with Pap on the beach all day
 The condo always gives us a beautiful view
Granny Fran lives in Panama City so we were able to visit her
 and then Granny Eloise on the way back home.  So neat that the kids get to know and love these sweet ladies!
 Riding Toy Day at school - riding the big wheel Pap gave him for his birthday
 Mother's Day lunch at Outback - I love being a mom and my own mom more than words can even say!  Always a little bittersweet as we fondly remember Heath's mom and what a wonderful mother and grandmother she was!
 A ride around in Uncle Derek's new car after lunch
 We caught our first Baron's game in the new stadium and LOVED it!!
 The weather was mild and the atmosphere was awesome.  I want to head back soon - fun for the whole family!
John Burke celebrated some of his favorite twins in his class with a Frozen party.  We have gone Frozen crazy these days...this is Olaf on his face!  Collins LOVES to sing "Let it Go..." and I am hoping we are letting this phase go!
 We partied with our classes for end-of-the-year celebrations.  The kids had terrific teachers this year!
We celebrated my birthday on May 19th.  Turner and John Burke signed the card and I had to sweet!
 Collins completed swim lessons with Miss Lynn...she is swimming like a little fish all over the place!!  Her nickname is the "swim nazi" and she is not for the faint of heart, but wow is she good at teaching swim safety!
My favorite part of May was our family beach trip for Memorial Weekend.  Kate's birthday is May 29th and we usually try to head to the beach at least as part of the family to celebrate.  This year we didn't think we would be able to pull it off and decided last minute, so it was Lindsey and me and our kids and Mom and Dad...Brandon and Heath and Derek had to work and missed out on all the chaos! Here are some highlights:
 Collins and Morgan are twins!  I have bought 2 of the cutest smocked bathing suits for my strong-willed 2 year old to wear, but alas she will only wear this little ditty from Old Navy.  Good thing her cousin is willing to look so cute in it too!
 So much swimming with Pop Pop - his goggles are so cute

 Deep thoughts on the balcony
 Playground fun

These cousins love each other so much...and can also fight in a split second like siblings
One night we headed out to the sand with these nets and they ran around and got soaking wet and had the best time until it was too dark

My little tow-headed nieces and nephew
 We made the Pirate and Princesses breakfast a second annual event.  It is so cute - the waiters and waitresses dress up like pirates and princesses and entertain the kids in the most fun ways!
 A pirate story before their treasure hunt
Following the clues at the Hangout - found gold doubloons and Ring Pops - in fake mustaches from our waiter
Highly recommend the Hangout in Gulf Shores for this breakfast
Lots of movie watching and attempts at rest
We met up with some fun friends on the beach and had a ball
Missing our dad but we found some fun replacements in our buddies' dads

On the way to play with them down the beach we saw this washed up stingray.  So huge and they were scooping him up to throw him back in

Loving on GiGi 
At the end of the week my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jim invited this crazy crew to come play at their house on Ono Island.  We had SO much fun, and I hate I didn't get a picture of them with the kids
Here is a picture of Barbara, mom's sister from my cousin's wedding at the beach in October - they are 11 months apart.  How cute are they?!

When we arrived, the children "stumbled upon" a message in a Diet Coke bottle.  Right up their alley!!!  It ended up being a treasure map!!!  They followed the clues and found the treasure box full of jewels and doubloons...behind Turner.  Uncle Jim also took us on a boat ride and they found another treasure box.  Best day ever for these pirate-loving fools!!!  What a fun great-aunt and uncle!!!
Following the clues
exploring with Gigi
Riding with Uncle Jim
 swimming in the bay and jumping off the docks...all 6 of them did this!

 Riding a rope swing off of the deck

 and discovering crabs in traps and hermit crabs
We were so sad to leave Ono Island and the beach itself.  The kids always have so much fun together in our favorite place!!  We didn't even hang out much at the beach, mostly at the pool and it was fabulous.  A wonderful kick-off to summer!!
 All right, now only 6 weeks behind real life...catching up hopefully continues!

Major catch-up 3 - John Burke turns 4!!

John Burke turned 4 on April 28th.  He goes to school on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, so we had his birthday party on a Thursday morning at Chuck E. Cheese!  We missed family who couldn't make it, but he was celebrated for several weeks, so I wasn't worried!

He was easy to deal with about this party.  He is pretty particular in the rest of life, but he didn't care what kind of party we had.  Actually, he mentioned a party at a park, but I didn't want to deal with rain/weather, and Turner had been asking for a Chuck E. Cheese party, so we went with that.  He didn't even care about his cake (which was actually cupcakes) I picked dinosaurs.  He DID enjoy having a crown full of tokens to wear and a table set up just for him.  He walked in, put on the hat and said "This means I'm the BOSS!"  Nope.  After a quick chat, he was a little more humble:)
Heath was able to come for the first little while, but had a meeting since you know, it was a work day
Luckily Pop Pop is retired now and he came as my back-up
Cousin Ellie and Aunt Kate were actually able to make an appearance
We had the place almost entirely to ourselves...the beauty of a Thursday morning.  We had almost 40 kids come with siblings, etc. since almost everyone went to our school and follows our same schedule!  The more, the merrier.  Our party host even asked if we were a local home school group:)
The kids got to eat pizza and cake and ice cream
Then Chuckie came and sang and danced for them
and we watched the birthday boy/self-proclaimed king blow out his candles
Then Burkie got to go into the ticket tube and try to catch tickets
His friends crowded around
Then the "Boss" personally handed out his party favors
 Our precious neighbor Mrs. Helen came to watch him celebrate.  She helped us clean up afterwards too.  So thankful for her and her sweet bond with John Burke!!
What a fun morning celebrating our cuddly, bossy, CURIOUS, sensitive little social butterfly.  We love you so much John Burke!!
Side note on this last picture - this is his friend Alice.  On his actual birthday he was at school.  He decided it was a good idea to kiss her on the lips for his birthday present to himself.  Good thing her parents are friends of ours...awkward!  Hopefully he won't be celebrating like that anymore!  A mess!!!
Oh, and he is dying for a pet.  He loves everything animal these days - our neighbor's dog and cat, insects, stuffed animals, etc.  So I told him months ago he could get a real fish for his birthday.  We went on April 28th after school with a plan to get one goldfish.  He had decided on that and already named it Goldie.  He is so creative.  Anyway, goldfish were a little more maintenance than I had planned on (wow that sounds lazy of me), so we went with Betta fish. And of course we couldn't get just we left with 3!  Collins, also creative, named hers Peesh, which is her version of fish.  John Burke picked a blue one and named it Blue Goldie, appropriately.  Turner picked the name Optimus Prime.  Happy to report they are still alive...which is about 2 months longer than I ever gave them credit for!