Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Breaking like nobody's bizness

Do you know what the most popular Spring Break destination is for Americans?

Cancun? Miami Beach? Ft. Lauderdale?

Nope. It is Panama City Beach, Florida. Yup, Panama City Beach. I know this to be true because I heard it on the Today Show. Therefore it must be legit. And guess what? I live 90 miles from Panama City Beach. People travel from all over the country to live it up at Club La Vela and I am so lucky to be within a short drive to the most popular Spring Break destination in the country.

So, you can imagine what we did for Spring Break, right? Yup. We stayed in Dothan and took pictures with giant sized peanuts.

I know, I know. Stop the madness. I shall not be contained.

But I had my nieces with me and my own three small children, so hanging out with the college kids in PC probably wouldn't have been in my best interest this year. I'll just bide my time and let loose at Club La Vela when they are older. I know that will thrill them to no end.

So, anyway, back to the matter at hand. Mainly updating my blog so my kids can remember every second of their lives when they are older. Isn't that what blogs are for?

I need to start off with a triptych of my three babies on their first Easter. This was actually Bennett's 2nd Easter but since she was only 3 weeks old on her first Easter, I thought I would go with this picture. Aren't they adorable. How did I get so lucky?

 We started off the week by going to Montgomery and attending the Easter Extravanaganza at my old church, Frazer.

Quick pic before we headed out. We tried to recreate the picture that is the header of this blog now that Lainey is older. It kind of worked. Kind of.
I love going to my home church. We can't walk 10 feet without bumping into a dear friend. Thank goodness my parents were there to watch Lainey and take Bennett and Will on inflatables because Rob and I spent the whole time catching up with friends. And I loved every second of it.

Bennett and Will ran into old friends too! Here they are with Anna and Ella.
 The awesome Easter egg trail for pre-schoolers.
 Fam pic!
 Okay, I have to post this picture because Will had his face painted like a tiger. No big deal, right? WRONG! They didn't use face paint for some reason I'll never understand. They used markers. MARKERS! On his face! And these weren't washable markers either. I have no idea why the teenagers running this booth used markers, but all I know is that it took three days to completely wash off. And I am so thankful this was the week before Easter. Mama would not have been happy if he had woken up Easter morning with faded whiskers on his cheek.
We came home to Dothan and the following evening my sister and brother-in-law drove down for a visit and brought my nieces with them. That night we went to the drive in movies to see "The Croods." Dothan may not have a lot of cool things, but the few things it does have are very fun. I love going to drive in movies and I love that there is one just ten minutes from our house.
The next day we went to Adventureland and drove cars on the Race Track. I don't have any pictures of that since we were all driving but all I have to say about that is that my husband and brother in law totally cut me off. Next time we go back, they are so going down.

Rob got some pics of us doing bumper boats since he wouldn't ride them. I was the only adult to get on with the kids since the others were afraid of getting wet. Wimps, I tell ya.
And then it was time for a very competitive game of mini golf. We will keep score. Even with 6 kids. And you will get called out for cheating. That's how we roll.
My sis and bro-in-law had to go home that night and they took my oldest niece back with them and left the two younger girls with me for the week. Hooray! Not "hooray" that they left but "hooray" that I got my girls for the week.

We spent the next few days hanging out, roaming around town, watching movies, playing games,and enjoying being together. I love these girls so much and am so happy we are back in Alabama so I can have weeks like this again. I kept them all the time when they were younger and getting to do that again means the world to me.

We drove all over Dothan and took pictures with the giant peanuts that are in front of local businesses. I know that sounds insane, but we actually had a lot of fun shouting, "I see one! Pull over!!" and jumping out of the car, snapping a shot, and hopping back in. Lots of fun.
Have I mentioned that I love our back yard? I really enjoy hanging out back there and one night during Spring Break the temp got down in the 40's so we bundled up outside and roasted s'mores.
  And afterwards I hung out on the hammock with my girls.
Since Lainey needed to nap we had to stay inside every afternoon so she could sleep. So we made the most of it and came up with a bunch of projects.

We decorated Easter Eggs, of course.
We made Resurrection Rolls! These rolls tell the story of Easter. You place a marshmallow (Rolled in butter and sugar) inside a crescent roll and after you bake them, the marshmallow dissolves and the center of the roll is empty which represents Jesus' empty tomb.
However, mine were a total fail. I have major OCD tendencies in the kitchen and I let my kids help to an extent before I have to take over and make it perfect. I truly let them do this by themselves so the crescent rolls weren't sealed tight. There were gaps in them and I didn't realize this would prevent them from working.

See. Resurrection roll fail! Oh, well. The kids got the point of what we were trying to do and they still tasted great. But it seems like Jesus got stuck in the tomb. Not the best Easter illustration I must say.
Moving on. We also baked and decorated Easter cupcakes for the cake walk at my church's Easter carnival.
Cute Easter basket and bunny cupcakes
My first daughter, Esther was on Spring Break and was passing through Dothan on her way back to the University of Alabama. I started teaching theatre when I was 24 and Esther was in my very first drama class. I call her my first daughter because we became attached at the hip since that first class. We went to Disney World together when she was 11, she sang at my wedding reception, she was in my kids TV show for 4 years, I have directed her in many plays, I took her out for birthday ice cream every year, and so much more. She will always be my girl and I adore her! Having her stop by on her way home was awesome. I can't believe she is in college now. And a theatre major! I couldn't be any prouder.
Anyhoo, we also spent time at our local playground where sweet Lainey got to swing in the baby swing for the very first time. She loved it!

You guys still with me? Bored to tears yet? So sorry. This is what happens when I blog once a month. I have to get it all out at once.

On their last night with us, we took the kids bowling. This shot of Will is fantastic. He got so nervous every time his ball was rolling down the lane.
I love love love the next series of shots. Bennett was so happy that she got a spare and Rob captured her reactions beautifully. I really want to frame these in a series. I love the unabashed joy of children when they do something that they are proud of.
The crew.
I drove the girls back to Birmingham at the end of the week. Sutton had to get in her morning snuggles with Lainey before we headed out.
And in Birmingham my sister took us to an awesome place called Airwalk which is basically a room of nothing but trampolines. I kind of wanted to get out there and jump myself. It looked like so much fun.

There's my Will jumping to his heart's content.
 What a cool place!
I spent the night with my sister and then drove my three kids back to Dothan so I could get back in time to help out with our church's Easter carnival. It was a wonderful event and we had a great time hanging out with our church family.
And just to keep it real, this is the shot I get when I tell the kids to make silly faces. I think Lainey already understands what I mean by this.
What a wonderful week! It may have not have been Cancun or Miami Beach, but I cannot imagine a more wonderful Spring Break. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else with any other people.

And then on the last night it was time to leave out baskets for three little Easter bunnies..... more Easter pics to come.
Hope you all had a great Spring Break! I'll see you next year in Cozumel.


starnes family said...

Such cute kiddos. Love the basket pictures, too!

Unknown said...

Hey! This is Susan Smith, Wyatt Smith's mama from Covenant. I hope y'all are doing well! I had talked to Kerrie (Sadie's mama) the other day and she was saying y'all were in gymnastics together. Anyways, she didn't have your number so I went to snooping on google searching your name and your husbands and your blog site came up! It's such a cute blog and the pictures are awesome! I will try not to ramble too much, but I honestly can't believe what a small world it is...I saw you are Elliot's cousin. I knew Elliot back when I lived in b'ham. One of my best friends, Kristen Fredrickson Bailey, lived next door to Elliot in Cahaba Heights and met through that connection. I follow her caringbridge site and get the updates on my email. Ok, so I'm running out of space - but wanted to tell you we miss everyone at school and Wyatt still talks about Will - we'd love to have Will and bennett over to play anytime and I'd love to get to know your family. After reading the blog, it seems we were in the same boat! And Porter, my husband, is from Montgomery so I bet y'all have lots of connections! Ok, I'll let you go - or 813-420-9919 - Take care and tell the kids hey from Wyatt:-)