Sunday, July 24, 2011

This is the Year

Peanut will be turning 5 this week. It is a very good thing that I have so much going on because I could shed some tears over the fact that she's going to be 5. How did that happen?

Around this age Dobbie gifts each of her grand daughters with an American Girl doll and this was Peanut's year. Dobbie and Papa have busy, busy moving so she ordered the doll early for Peanut. She received it last week after we got home from South Carolina. She knew it was coming so when she saw the box on our front porch Monday evening, she screamed, "My doll is here!" She was pretty excited. Dobbie had let her choose what doll she wanted from the catalog. When Peanut found out that she could get a doll that looked like herself, that was all she wanted. Sorry Kit, Kirsten, Samantha and all you other historical dolls, my girl wants a look-alike doll.
American Girl
There was much excitement buzzing in the air as the tape was removed from the box. She dug into the foam peanuts searching for her beloved doll and shrieked at first glance.
American Girl

American Girl

American Girl
We think she likes her! :)
American GirlAmerican Girl
Can you guess what she named her? She looks alot like Peanut, hint, hint. Yep, the doll is named after Peanut herself!

Wrapping up SC

As you can tell by now, we had a great time with the family in SC. We were surprised how fast the week went when it was time to head home. It was a relaxing time where there was no pressure to do this and do that. The girls got to play and play and play with their cousins and make memories which was the best thing that could have happened.
Techie Family
Peanut even got an early birthday celebration which was so thoughtful! She has a start to a Littlest Pet Shops collection now.
Early Birthday Girl
Another highlight of our week together was having a good friend and college roomie who lives only 2 hours from our family come visit for the day. It was so good to see her. She hit it off with our family too! :) She was a great sport and even went swimming with us at the neighbor's pool which made the girls thrilled. I am so glad we got that little visit as they don't come too often since we live so far from each other. She's definitely a friend for life!
College Roomie and Friend
I think that is all. I think I've posted all of our pictures and memories. What a great time!

Peanut's favorite memory is jumping on the jumper and playing with her cousins! See, it doesn't take the big things to impress the littles. The little things are what are impressed in their memories!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Redcliffe Plantation

Our plan was to head home on Saturday but with the change in the weather and cooler temps we decided to stay one more day so we could take in some more adventures. We decided to head to a local plantation, Redcliffe Plantation for the afternoon. We enjoyed a picnic lunch thanks to that great sister-in-law before we took of a tour of the mansion.

The home was built in 1857 by James Henry Hammond a U.S. Congressman, Governor of South Carolina, and U.S. Senator known best for his "Cotton is King!" speech that he made in his fight for slavery to continue.
Redcliffe Plantation
The house had a family living in it until 1975 so it did have electricity and running water installed. The early families had the pleasure of taking a bath in a tin tub, mind you probably 5 people bathed in the same bath water. YUCK!
Redcliffe Plantation
From the upstairs doors (the early air conditioning system that created a cross breeze to keep the house cool) you could see out over the Savannah River Valley and into the hills of Georgia.
Redcliffe Plantation
There was an original apothecary case full of medicines used from the turn of the century in one of the bedrooms.
Redcliffe Plantation
The girls did very well considering we weren't supposed to sit on anything or touch anything!
Redcliffe Plantation
Peanut had a ball considering that she got carried around alot by her cousins!
Redcliffe Plantation
The last spot we visited on the site was the only remaining slave house. This blew my mind. Yes, the house was majestic and beautiful but it did not impact the way the tiny little slave house did. The mansion housed 12 people at most at any given time while the slave house housed up to 20 people at any given time. There were pictures of the families who had been slaves and later sharecroppers or paid domestic employees. It was mind boggling to stand in that tiny little house and imagine the heart breaking things those families had to endure. It was also difficult to explain to an almost 5 year old what that little house really stood for.
Redcliffe Plantation

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Cooler Southern Day

On what was to be our last day in South Carolina we awoke to cooler temps and a gorgeous day. We decided to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful weather that had been bestowed on us like a gift and headed out. The girls, my sister-in-law and two of her daughters headed to Aiken to enjoy the historic down town and peruse some of the quaint shops. It was fun to window show although I heard myself saying over and over, "Don't touch anything!" I was pretty sure I would have had to take out a loan to pay for anything that could have been broken in some of the stores. In one antique store I over heard two women talking about a basket. One woman said, "I have one that belonged to my great-great grand-daddy. He used to take it down to the river to take things to the soldiers during the war." (She was referring to the Civil War. WOW!)

The girls did super although shopping wasn't nearly as exciting as playing in the pool or at the playground. Here is a picture of them standing beside a seasoned Southern belle.
Walking Around Town

Walking Around Town

We returned home, picked up the rest of the family and headed to Georgia to take in the River Walk along the Savannah River. We even had a picnic at the river and the girls finally got some playground time in. The walk was beautiful!
River Walk

As we we continued walking we discovered a HUGE fountain that looked like a geyser in the middle of an old brick road. The girls shivered with excitement as we told them, "GO! Get wet!" This may be my favorite memory from the trip. There were shrieks of glee and giggles and endless smiles. They ran straight into the water fearless, squealing as it pelted them.
River Walk

River Walk

River Walk

River WalkRiver Walk

River Walk

OH, the fun they had and the fun we had watching them!
River Walk

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hopeland Gardens

We visited a beautiful park area this past week called Hopeland Gardens. We got to go there last summer when we were visiting and knew it was a spot we wanted to see again. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

There was a nice size pond that was full of turtles swimming around. The girls had a ball watching the turtles swim up to the bridge to check us out. You would have thought they had hit the jack-pot when a baby turtle came swimming up!
Turtle Watching

Such amazing trees in this park! We were so thankful for the extra hands to help with the girls, they were too!
Family

Daddy took some pictures of his brother's family as they needed an updated family picture. We can't get over how fast the kids have grown. The two oldest girls were teeny tiny flower girls in our wedding just a "couple" of years ago. Our nephew was just walking and the younger girl was growing inside her mom's belly!
Family

This is a GREAT bunch of kids who are incredible cousins to my girls. They didn't bat an eye once about playing with or doting on our two littles all week. They pretty much spoiled our girls with all of the attention they received.
Cousins

Our little family had a sweet time with them!
Family

And I'm not sure but I don't think there is as intoxicating a scent as those gorgeous Magnolia trees in the South.
SC Magnolia

Keeping Cool in the South

We have spent a few days in the neighbors' pool here in the sunny, hot South. The girls have had a fantastic time at the pool and it was so refreshing for us.
Swim
Pumpkin has shown absolutely no fear with the water which is good and bad. She wanted to be let go so she could swim on her own or even jump in the water by herself. YIKES! She also kept trying to put her face in the water like her big sister. She's a wild one!
Swim
Peanut has become quite a pro at putting her face under water and even making herself swim while under.
Swim
She even got brave enough to let one of her cousins toss her into the water like a cannonball. This shocked me to no end! I was very proud of her for being so brave and having so much fun.
Swim
The girls also had fun in the little wading pool that their sweet aunt bought for them to play in on the back deck.
Swim
The cousins introduced the girls to bouncing on the trampoline which was a HIT!
Jump!

Jump!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cousins

We have been having so much fun with family this week (while missing those who couldn't be with us). The girls have LOVED all of the extra attention they have been getting and constant of having someone play with them all week. We are all on a pretty tight budget so it has been a week of just relaxing and staying in and it has been GREAT! It helps when your sister-in-law is an amazing hostess and cook! :)

Here are some pics from the week with more to come.
Cousins

Swim

Brothers

Cousins

Cousins

Sweetly Sleeping

We are so thankful for the time here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

12 Hours

We are currently visiting family down south...down in the very HOT south. We are having a blast and just relaxing and enjoying being with each other. It was a long 12 hour drive but well worth it. I packed 55 items from our local library including movies, books, and books on CD to keep the girls busy along with a box of coloring books, crayons and lots of other goodies. I also stopped at the Dollar Store and bought some little prizes to give the girls along the way there and the way home. They LOVED this!
Traveling

We had lots of potty stops too. The girls love the hand driers.
Traveling

We also stopped at a park along the way for a picnic and some play time although it was really hot.
Traveling

The girls did SUPER. I really don't think they could have done any better. Thank goodness for Twizzlers! Daddy did an amazing job driving the whole way. I am so thankful for a safe trip and a great visit with family. Praying for a safe and quiet trip home also.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dobbie and Papa's Cabin

Playground
Dobbie and Papa are getting ready for a move to Virginia so this is probably the last time that we will stay at the cabin together. We had a wonderful time with them on the second half of our trip north. We visited an outlet mall with Dobbie on our first day together and were able to find a few deals which is always nice. Later in the evening we went to a local park for a picnic and some playground time for the girls.



Playground
At the park we had quiet a scare when Pumpkin took off running away from us and ran directly onto the street in front of a van. This is right up there as one of the ABSOLUTE scariest moments of being a Mom so far. Thank goodness the driver was driving slow enough and heard us frantically screaming! There were many tears and a very shaken up Mommy and Pumpkin. I hope and pray she learned her lesson!
Playground
There were lots of laughs and playing on the front porch.
Giggles with Dobbie

Giggles with Papa

"Spin me, Papa!"
We also took in the final NASA space launch together from the television.
The Final Space Shuttle Launch
Dobbie finished a birdie quilt very similar to the one she made for Peanut 2 years ago. Pumpkin helped a little bit with while Dobbie finished sewing the binding on. She LOVED her quilt and was so excited to have a new "B" as she calls her favorite blanket.
Sewing with Dobbie

Birdie Quilt

We had a grand time together!
Bread Hoarder

IU Sisters

Silly Sisters

Family