Sunday, July 29, 2012

Play Time!

Last weekend, we were in Memphis, and I never put up these fun photos - oops.  Every time we go to Memphis, we have to play at Uncle Joey's bookstore (not really the name, and Cheri works there too, but that is what it is called at our house).  The kids also LOVE my parents' wii.  We don't have one and Jeremy would probably play on it nonstop the whole visit if we let him.  My mom also took us to this great new park at the Shelby Farms area of town, and it was amazing.  Tons of great, creative, and unique play stuff.  Violet loved the water parts and she was totally pushing big kids out of the way so that the water would be all hers.  Finally, we took Jeremy bowling and he was in heaven.  He is not the best of bowlers quite yet, but he did almost beat me, so I'm not sure what that says.  Anyway, here are the pics:

We ran into Aunt Megan at Joey's bookstore.  This girl LOVES her godmommy!
Playing trains at Uncle Joey's bookstore.
Hanging onto the wii remote.
Playing wii - Jeremy was actually really good.  Vi's controller is not connected, but don't tell her.
Me and my precious lil man.
Down the slide at the awesome new park in Shelby Farms.
Girlfriend loves her some water - and this water feature play thing at the park was super awesome.
Fun swing at the park.
After a fun time playing - both kids (and mom) covered in sweat, water, and sand.  We had to put Violet in the car naked since she was so gross - signs of a wonderful day of play!
Jeremy and Nona in their bowling shoes.
He has amazing form. 
Not quite able to put his fingers in the holes just yet.
A little guidance from Uncle Joey.
He would roll the ball and sprint back to us to watch.  Since it rolled so s-l-o-w-l-y, he had plenty of  time.
Scores.  Nona killed us, Joey and I did not really tie since I hit the bumpers a million times, and Jeremy did quite well. 
Gotta love an Uncle Joey.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dodged the Bullet Party

As many of you know, I went home this past weekend to hang with my little sis.  This was originally scheduled to be the weekend of her wedding, but being the incredibly strong and intelligent gal she is, she found the strength to call it off when she realized her relationship was not where it should have been.  I am so proud of her, and totally agree that it was the right decision for her.  I also know that as it was only a few weeks before the wedding, it must have been a horribly difficult decision.  I really think she is kind of amazing for being that brave.

So, anyway, her bridesmaids all got together and we decided to still meet for the bachelorette party we had planned.  We made a slight alteration and changed it to a "Dodged the Bullet" party.  Dani being Dani, she loved it and was not at all offended or mopey.  We had a a lovely time telling stories about our "close calls" in relationships with people who were totally wrong for us.  It was hilarious, and it is interesting that pretty much everyone out there has a story to share in that vein.

We had a slumber party and watched 80s movies and ate a ton of junk.  It was glorious. 

I must say, though, I was shocked that outside of Cheri, Dan, and me, no one else had seen either movie we watched.  Apparently other people's childhoods did not consist of watching really bad movies and memorizing all of the lines.  Weird.  (They are lucky I forgot to bring Grease 2.  The Carr gals would have whipped out the choreography and full lyrics - possibly even costumes.)

Luckily, we rectified the situation and now everyone present understands the amazingness of both Top Secret and Adventures in Babysitting.  Thank goodness.
Dani, Lauren, Cheri, Elaine, Megan, me
Watching quality movies
I have no idea
me and my big sister
Cheri's homemade strawberry cake *drool*
food is good :)
My bad taste in movies aside, this one really is awesome.  "Take back what you said about Thor!"
Val Kilmer at his finest.  Skeet Surfin is a classic for all times.
I have no idea why this is not as popular as the original.  Michelle Pfiffer's first movie ever.  Cool Rider.

Rite of Passage

I feel that as a parent, I would be letting my kids down if I did not photograph them in embarrassing situations. I mean, without them, there would be so many holes in their future lives. What would their prom dates laugh over?  What would be included in their wedding slide show?  What would their own kids see and mock them for?

So, here are my monsters in their first-ever joint bath.  All siblings (of an appropriate age) must experience this rite of childhood, and all parents worth their salt must frame the photo for all house guests to see. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Festivities for the Fourth

This year we celebrated Independence Day in Nashville with the Hopper clan.  We had a big Hopper reunion, and it was fun to see everyone all together in one place again.
Nana, Jeremy, Brian, Violet, and Granddaddy
Aunt Katherine and Violet
Uncle Graham and Violet
Aunt Jennie and Jude - in matching shirts!
Some strange kids who showed up for the free food
Vi in her patriotic dress reading a book with a toy baby bottle
Jeremy, Violet, and I got there early so that we could spend 5 days hanging out with Granddaddy and Nana, and visiting the train museum.  The kids had a wonderful time!  Both of them always make a beeline for the "toy cabinet" in the living room that is perpetually stocked with toys and fun games for the kids.  I also let them hang out in the guest bedroom that has a TV - which they thought was the coolest thing ever.  We only have one TV in our house, so the idea of watching television (with CABLE!) while sitting in bed fascinated both of them to no end.
Viley Boo in the toy cabinet
Jude literally IN the toy cabinet
Violet thought he was hilarious - he thought she was crazy
Watching tv from bed - oh the fun!
Snacking on animal crackers
Helping Nana in the kitchen
For the actual reunion, chaos reigned as 5 kids under the age of 5 ran loose in the house.  It was fun.  We set up a pool and slip n slide in the backyard for them to get out some energy and it was a big hit.  Except for the small fact that Jeremy and Philip could not quite grasp the concept of the slip n slide and just kept falling down on it and lying there without moving.  We had to push them down it, which was hilarious.
Vi, Philip, and Pete reading books
Pete, Jeremy, Jude, and Philip playing trains
Pete, Vi, Philip, and Jeremy in the pool
Water babies
Miss America
Attempt at the slip n slide
Here are all of the kids lined up for their photo op!  This was a bit of an ordeal, but I am pleased that I got all of them sort of facing the camera - yay!
Pete, Jude, Philip, Jeremy, Violet
And the biggest news of all: next year there will be at least 6 kids on the couch - Katherine and Graham are expecting baby #3 in February!!!  Congrats!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tennesse Central Railway Museum

While in Nashville for our Independence Day celebrations, Granddaddy and Nana suggested we check out the train museum in town.  I had no idea Nashville even had a train museum, as clearly we would have gone a long time ago.  So, we quickly called up Aunt Katherine to bring Philip and Pete and headed out!

The Tennessee Central Railway Museum is actually quite small on the inside, just one little room, but they take you all down the tracks to climb on the real operating trains, and they offer some amazing excursion packages (I am planning a big one for someone's 5th birthday!). 

It was like 107 degrees, but we had a blast checking out all of the trains, both new and old.

Jeremy's dream train is the Santa Fe War Bonnet (I have no idea if I spelled that right), and so when I saw a Santa Fe, I was ecstatic and took a million photos.
We got to go inside a diner car, which is still in use today, and Jeremy played the train organ! 
To be completely honest, my favorite part was collapsing at the end when we returned to the air conditioning and downed 5 bottles of water in less than 2 minutes.  We were one hot group.
The museum was fun, they gave us a free goodie bag, I now have a birthday party idea, we were the only ones there, and Jeremy had a blast!  Good excursion.
Best part though: taking a dip in Aunt Katherine's pool afterwards!