Monday, March 31, 2008

Fun Week in Memphis and Chattanooga

We had a great week last week! Ethan is really getting into this potty thing (see picture below) - he even has ventured out of the house with big boy underwear on....which makes me really nervous! But to date, he has had NO accidents and he is doing extremely well! Thursday night we drove to Collierville to meet our friends the Maunds for dinner. Our favorite local burrito joint (BooYa's) closed in December and they finally reopened last week in we took off and headed over there so I could satisfy my craving. I seriously LOVE this place - we would go every Wednesday night before church and then would go at least one more time during the week. As you can imagine, I was heartbroken when they closed...just in a bad location. He makes 7 or 8 homemade salsas everyday for his salsa bar - the pineapple is my favorite! Jay, the owner, was surprised to see us and said that he's planning on reopening in Bartlett again later this year. For now, I have to settle for driving across town (it took us 50 minutes in traffic the other night) to satisfy my craving. At least we get to see Marion, Kathy, Adam and Madeleine!!!

Ethan loves to sit on the potty and read his magazine!!
Madeleine and Nina playing the piano - she has only been taking lessons for 2 months and already is such an incredible piano player (it's in her blood).
Mark and Adam playing his new XBox 360 under Ethan's supervision

Ethan playing on the playground in our neighborhood

Nina and Mommy having fun watching Ethan run around and play
Nina and Daddy enjoying the slides
Nina loves her sippy cup!!!

Then, this past Friday, I drove to Chattanooga with the kids for the weekend. My parents met us too. Nina and I stayed at my Nana and Papa's house with my Daddy and Ethan went across town to stay with Nona and Mema. He loves going to Chattanooga to see all the great grandparents, but he especially loves going to Mema's house - she lives in a hotel...well, it's an assisted living facility but it used to be a hotel. So Ethan sees it as a hotel and LOVES it! He did so well and loved popping popcorn and watching movies and sleeping on his pallet. Friday night at Nana and Papa's, Nona and Mema were about to leave and Ethan had to go to the bathroom...we were already outside in the driveway, so he asked Papa if he could pee pee in the grass just in case it didn't rain! He thought that was just the best! So, if Ethan "waters" your grass, my apologies in advance!!

Saturday morning we went to the circus. We had great seats - 6 rows up off the floor! Ethan and Nina both had a great time! I knew that from reading Chris and Heather's post on their trip to the circus, it was going to be expensive once we got inside and I was glad I was prepared - it's seriously ridiculous that after you pay a lot for tickets you have to pay an arm and a leg for concessions and souvenirs - I'll comment below with the pictures. We had the best time though. Mema and Nana loved seeing Ethan and Nina and how much fun they had. My cousin Ryan also joined us and he had fun too! (On a side aunt Dodie, has cancer and isn't doing well, so please keep her in your prayers.)

Sunday morning we all went to Mema's church and Dan Winkler was the speaker - he's the father of Matthew Winkler, who was married to Mary Winkler - you should all know who they are. Anyways, he was incredible and we all enjoyed his message! The kids both did great the entire weekend, including the 5 hour drive. Speaking of that - Friday as I was driving up Monteagle mountain, which is said to be one of the most treacherous stretches of interstate in the country, I couldn't believe that my parents allowed me to go to college in Nashville and drive this road back and forth to Atlanta all the time. It is such a beautiful drive, but I couldn't help but remember how crazy fast I used to drive and how now I have to precious souls in the backseat - thankfully they were both asleep going over the mountain Friday and Sunday, so I actually got to enjoy the drive! We had a wonderful weekend together but missed having Mark with us (he had to work) and he missed a great chocolate pie made by Nana!!

Ryan showed Ethan where the keyboard was hiding so Ethan thought he needed to sing and dance - Papa thought that was hilarious
Papa playing on the floor of the porch with Nina - she was talking to this garden statue
Nana and Mema enjoying the swing with Ethan
Poppa and Nona on the circus floor with Ethan and Nina
While we were watching the pre-show, Poppa was purchasing this light for Ethan - $18 light, I might does have a 2 year guarantee though.....that's what Poppa is for!
Everyone ready in our seats before the show started - Ryan, Nana, Mema, Nona, Ethan, Poppa and Nina
Nina squealed in delight - then she took a nap and then woke up and squealed some more
During intermission, Ethan wanted to get a snow cone, so I took him up to see how much they were - $10! It was a nice elephant and a yummy snow cone, but $10?!?!?!?
Nina and Mema
Mom and I went shopping and took advantage of a great sale at Strasburg - this is the coat she bought for Ethan for this next year
Ethan showing Papa his light from the circus
Nana and Papa with Nina before church Sunday morning
Mema had this old songbook that she gave Ethan (it now goes with him everywhere) so he loved leading singing with it! He's now started to actually sing the songs correctly - Mark will sing through the songs he's leading at church so Ethan helps him practice. Anyways, this past weekend, not only did he lead singing for everyone, but he is now praying and preaching! It was the funniest thing to watch him walk around Mema's living room and preach and then all of a sudden he would stop and say a prayer and then keep going. Too funny!!
Ethan told me Sunday morning that everyone told him Good Morning, including the birds in the lobby - so he had to show Nina the birds

This was our only stop on the way back to Memphis (at Sonic during Happy Hour). Ethan got in the backseat to lead singing and I let Nina crawl around the truck
Ok Mommy, where is my cherry limeade????

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter!

We had a nice and quiet Easter weekend. 150 or more, from our church went to Nashville for Lads to Leaders, so all of our friends were gone. Sunday evening everyone was back, so I decided to cook Easter dinner - Donnie, Cathy and the boys came over after church for dinner. We had a good time! Ethan really enjoyed Easter this year and asked me Sunday evening if it was still Easter time and if the Easter Bunny was going to leave another candy trail to his Easter basket in the year he will! Nina just liked playing with her puffy Easter basket (which was a $5 find at the Pottery Barn Outlet) and trying to get Ethan's candy in her mouth. Here are some pictures from the weekend.Dying Easter eggs around 9:30pm Saturday night - nothing like waiting until the last minute! The reach..... Yummy Lindt lambs for breakfast - probably a great Sunday School ahead of us!!!Ethan loves to play on stage after church, so I thought I'd try and get a picture - this was the best I could do. He just wanted to play! It was chilly on Easter, so it was hard to get pictures of them outside on the cold patioEthan was in the middle of asking me if we were done taking pictures and Nina was excited that Mark didn't take her candy out of her hands....this was the last attempt at an Easter picture!

Yes, I expect ridicule from various men in the Georgia area and will accept any comments they might have to say - but I still think this is the way a little boy should be dressed and I'm fine with that!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Springtime is here!

Springtime is here! It's been so pretty and warm lately and we just can't help but stay outside as long as we can! We got back to Memphis this past Tuesday after spending a week in Georgia and Nona and Poppa's house. We had so much fun, as usual. Mark drove in for the weekend with Donnie, Cathy, Hunter and Jackson - our friends from Memphis that we met at church but also live behind us.

Thursday evening we went to Allie's first t-ball game. That was fun and she is so cute out there on the field! We ran into Chris and Heather and their crew at Redneck afterwards. It was a nice evening to be in downtown Newnan!!!

Friday morning we took off into Atlanta and went to the Aquarium and then then we took the kids home for a nap and Donnie, Cathy and the boys stayed to see the World of Coke. We enjoyed seeing that area of Atlanta and were there just hours before the tornado came through. That evening we enjoyed some La Parilla with Chris and Melanie - in case you haven't noticed it's like we did the mediocre culinary tour of Newnan! We also introduced Donnie and Cathy to Partner's, but did not have pizza.... I think they enjoyed what the saw of the city - I know the boys enjoyed playing XBox on my dad's tv! It was their spring break....
Saturday, Ethan and Nina went with my parents to their church Easter Egg Hunt. They had a great time! Ethan is all into the Easter Bunny this year.....probably because he gets something out of it! He was outside one evening with Poppa and he came inside all excited telling Nona that they saw "runny babbits" with Poppa's huge flashlight. So now he loves going outside to look for runny babbits - although it didn't stay that way long, he has corrected himself and now calls them bunny rabbits!

We had a great time visiting everyone in Georgia and enjoyed getting caught up with old friends! Ethan loved seeing Allie and Avery and this visit was a little interesting because the 2 smaller kids are now in the middle of things - chaos!! We have enjoyed being back home - but not for long....we're going to Chattanooga next weekend to see the Ringling Brothers circus and Ethan is sooooo excited! Then in April, Mark and I are going to Nashville because he is in a wedding and his parents are flying in to keep the kids. Sometime in May we'll probably be back in Georgia for a baby shower for my sister - it's a boy!

I had to begin this post with a few more of our snow pictures that I didn't post before we went out of town. This is how crazy our weather has been - 70 one day and 7 inches of snow 2 days later and then back to 70! Hopefully the warm weather is here to stay!

Ethan and Donnie pulling Mark behind the 4-wheeler.....hope our life insurance policy is up to date!!!

Ethan and Daddy going for a ride in the snow
The snowman - before decoration
Of course I wanted ONE picture of the kids in the snow together - and as you can see neither coorporated! I like this pic though because it almost looks like Ethan thinks that he did something to Nina, but he didn't!
Nina chillin in her ride watching the boys roll the snowman
Multiple uses for a 4 -wheeler!!

Nina on Poppa's desk at the bank
Not gonna get any work done while they are here!

Nina doing tricks for ice cream at Chick-fil A - of course, Poppa was more than happy to give it to her!

Playing in the forsythia outside Nona's school

Mommy and Ethan at the Aquarium
Huge fish!
Ethan was trying to show the fish the card about fish - he also tried to give them his apple juice (just by holding it up to the glass)
Nina enjoyed the Aquarium a LOT more than I thought she would - she loved sitting on Cathy's lap and was trying to have a conversation with the fish
A very serious conversation....

We ran into the gift shop at the World of Coke just to get Ethan a bottle of Coke Nina in the tub of eggs at the Easter Egg Hunt
Ethan with his good friend Bo
Nina with the Easter Bunny (Nicholas Wilson)

Checking out what they got at the egg hunt!!

Outside in Poppa and Nona's yard where all the pretty things are blooming

Nobles and Millers - not quite sure why we're all looking at Ethan (except Donnie) but I thought this was a funny picture of us!

Ethan having a ball playing with all his airplanes on the flight back to Memphis