20 July 2009

Moving ....

Yes, we're moving. Not far, literally down the street. Three doors down, to be exact. Three doors closer to the school. Three doors further from the busier end of the street. We aren't using too many boxes; we are using lots of kid power. The rule lately, after the always present 'shut the door' rule, is - if you can lift it, take it down the street. It's anybody's guess where anything in particular is right this minute. Actually, I know where everything is - it's either here, or it's there...

Are we done yet?

16 July 2009

We grow 'em big here....

I opened the microwave and found this sight - Samantha's "pet" tarantula (remote control and very fuzzy - pretty creepy). Surprise, Mom!

Gotta love it!

12 July 2009

Independence Day

Happy Birthday America! This is a great holiday, right? I mean, warm weather, bar-B-ques, parades and fireworks...what a birthday party! This year, we carried the festivities into two days.

Friday night, we had a great pizza in the park date with our friends, the Molines. No pictures of that fun, but, later we all moved on to the Bartletts, joined more friends, and had the ultimate view of the town's fireworks display. Rachel caught this picture of the explosions! Thank you Bartletts for letting us all invade and celebrate with you!

The next day, Saturday the Fourth, we had dinner with our friends, the Davidsons. We had great Fourth of July food - burgers and watermelon - plus a great flag cake!

Later we set off our own fireworks - I think James and Daniel (Davidson) had the most fun!

Can I just add on a side note that I love the Fourth of July for another selfish reason - the History Channel. It's the best time to set your DVR to all those great shows like the Revolutionary War, the Presidents, and the Founders. Popcorn and the Presidents, wow...
Sparklers!!!! July 09
No, Jay did not get to hold a sparkler - just wait 'til next year!

10 July 2009

Branson, MO - June 09

This year my brother returned from Afghanistan and my mom had a great idea - let's all spend a week together in Branson, Missouri. It was a great week. (There will be a lot of pictures, though not as many as I would like, because I just was so busy having fun myself that I didn't take too many pictures.)

We just spent time together. Nothing planned, nothing pressing, just hanging out and taking in the sights. We had pie on Father's Day on the terrace of the hotel. We had plenty of pool time, either watching kids playing, or playing ourselves.
Six cousins in birth order - they just sat down that way, honest - waiting for me to give the order to dive in! And eight wet suits in two days - now THAT's a vacation!

Part of the fun of staying at a hotel - making your own waffles in the mornings!

We rode go-karts. This was HUGE. We went three times! Samantha was just tall enough to ride the bigger go karts alone, and so James and my brothers, Eric and David, took the little ladies as passengers.

There was a little track where Josephine and Charlotte could drive alone, too. Wouldn't you know it - our little ladies caused a pile up! Charlotte cut off another little girl and Josephine came right after and spun the poor kid around backwards! So glad I got a shot of this one!

We saw the movie UP in 3-D. We ate ribs and burgers and ordered pizza poolside. We went out for ice cream almost every night.
We played miniature golf and laser tag at a place where everything was lit with black light - so fun! Hard to get a picture, though... (this sinister-looking face was the lightest color, so it came out the best - the theme was fairytales, so dragons were all over) We even had fun in the bathroom here, sorry for the goofball shot - we got a little carried away with all that black light...
We lingered at lunch and just talked. This is Charlotte and Rachel playing checkers at Cracker Barrel. And then Charlotte and Josephine sharing a shake!
We wandered around a mega-sized Bass Pro Shop (that's a big fish tank!), rode a trolley, and made new friends at Build-A-Bear.

We had a great time at some of the attractions. We went to Titanic (amazing, and surprisingly kid friendly) and some of us went to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, also a big hit, but, no pictures. I did take pictures at the Butterfly Palace. This place is a big glass dome full of exotic tropical plants and butterflies. Thousands of them. You can see them all over the terrarium, and they will land on you if you are lucky. The cousins all wanted to be treated to a butterfly, so they literally stood and watched. This was seriously the most quiet and the most still anyone one was the whole week! Gavin (9 years old) was the winner! He had one land on his knee!
At the Butterfly Palace they have two big twists at the end, neither of which have the slightest connection to butterflies. They have a mirrored maze you can get lost in. I was so turned around, I did not have any idea where to go. All you do is wander and hope you find a way out. It was dark in there and you could only rely of your families' voices, but not the image in front of you, because it was just a reflection from another angle. It was so fun. The other twist was a coconut tree! Three of them, actually, that you could climb and repel down. The first shot here is Tyler (14) at the top and the second shot is Samantha (9) on the way down. In that same shot you can see Rachel, still clinging to the top. She said going up was fun, coming down was a little scary.

We had game night with the grandparents - cards and chess. We even had a trip to Urgent Care with Samantha and her swimmer's ear. I learned a very valuable lesson with this experience - if you are out-of-state and visiting ER's and Urgent Care Centers, always ask for samples of the prescriptions!!!! The doctors were fine to us tourists, but, man, did I have an awful time filling a prescription. I never did fill it, actually. After a full day of wrangling through the perilous world of health care rules, the doctor finally just offered us a bunch of samples to tide poor Samantha over 'til we could get back home to Arkansas! Whew. Lesson learned the hard way.

We also did laundry - Ma and I did, anyway. Jay helped for a while, but, was more interested in napping on a phone book. What a cutie!
We wound our way through shops, chatted about our lives, our plans, our memories. What a great week! And now, some family shots::::

Seven Cousins - June 09
Back row: Jay (15 months), Rachel (11) and Tyler (14)
Front: Charlotte (6), Josephine (4), Gavin (9), and Samantha (10)
Eric's Family: Tyler (14), Abbey, Eric and Gavin (9)

My Dad (Wayne Brumbley) and my brother (Eric Brumbley) poolside. The next shot is my Mom (Juanita Brumbley) with Jay actually IN the pool. Great pools. There was an outdoor pool, an indoor pool AND a hot tub. Great pools.

I didn't get any shots of my other brother, David and his wife, Kris, together. I did kinda catch them separately, though. Riding go karts - no hands, and playing with Jay (which Kris did a LOT of. Thank you, Kris!!)
And nope - not a single picture of me. I was there, though. And I enjoyed myself immensely. Thank you Dad and Ma, and Eric and Abbey, and David and Kris, and Gavin and Tyler. For all the gifts, the meals, the laughs, the fun and the feel of it all. Let's do it again next week! Love you all.