Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apple Picking and other fun times

This month we have been able to go apple picking, spend time with family and go to military balls.

Shade Tree Farm and Orchard - Apple picking

Eating our apples and drinking some apple cider slushes

Stopped by Uncle Gary and Aunt Terry's since we were close by

A fun family trip to the zoo

Riding the carousel

Riding the train

On our way to my cousins so they could watch the girls while we went to the ball

1st Brigade Ball in Nashville

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Suprise Party and a friendnapping

This year I got to drive up and surprise my mom for her 65th birthday.  To make this plan come together I first had to get Jon and my dad on board.  Jon was easy as I told him of all the silence he could enjoy in the 48 hours we would be gone - until we realized he had a retreat to run and then I let him know how great it would be not to have to worry about us.  My dad had the same concerns as Jon about me driving 24 hours in less than 60 hours but I was able to make those fears disappear by calling on a friend!! I convinced Tina to drive back with me and spend 4 days hanging out with me and then to fly back to DC after a week of lunch dates and lots of talking.  It was a win win win for all!! The girls couldn't stop talking about how great it would be see Granny's face when we surprised her and they were not disappointed. We arrived around 9pm and BertBurt had taken them to a dinner theater to get them out of the house so I had  1 hour to get black balloons filled up and put in the garage, get the presents out and then get the girls quiet so she wouldn't suspect a thing.  After we had everything set I joined the girls in the basement (their favorite room in the house) and we waited and waited and waited until we heard the garage door.  We ran up the stairs and waited just a little bit more then opened the door and yelled surprise!!!  Granny was truly surprised as she thought her neighbors had broken in and filled the garage with black balloons and never suspected us driving up for the weekend.  We ate cake right then and opened presents and finally went to bed after midnight.  The girls enjoyed playing and talking all about the "Paris Party" we threw for granny. 
On Sunday we loaded up the car and hit the road.  We drove down and picked up Tina and got to say hi to her family and then steal her away for a little while.  Jon's retreat was near a famous bakery so I asked him to pick us up some donuts from 5 daughters bakery and we did so we arrived home to an amazing treat!!  Tina got to join me with school drop off and then we went and tried some restaurant in town for lunch dates.  We got to meet up with other friends from previous duty stations for lunch dates and Tina even got to join me for PWOC kickoff and see friends she knew for years and years.  After a great few days we took her to the airport - no more built in lunch buddy but at least I tried a few places with a trusted friend and can now drag some new people to these places.

Granny will be surprised (at the mess at least)

65 black balloons

11 pm and getting ready for cake!

Storytime - best way to spend your birthday

Granny was not prepared for 4 extra mouths - good thing we bought her birthday donuts!

BertBurt got to made a store run so we could have fruit

a fun 36 hours!

Picked up Tina - ready for another 12 hours in the van


Kelly got lots of great?? pictures of Tina


We treated the girls to Chuck E Cheese and got to actually talk while they played


Monday, September 19, 2016

First Day of school

This year all the girls are in the same school and it is fun to hear them talk about getting to see each other in the hall.  The school is really close but there are no good sidewalks so after torturing them the first 2 weeks of school by making them walk I was convinced by the girls and some neighbors to allow them to ride the bus.  Each girl has an amazing teacher and since I am a month late posting this I know this for sure!

Jon got to carry all the supplies to meet the teacher night

We fell off our scooter earlier in the week and jammed our finger the day before school but were super happy to be in the Bee class because PaPa has bees!!

4 kids from our neighborhood are in her class and she loves seeing her park buddies everyday!

1/2 day pre-k!! And her class has a gerbel

It was a memorable first day of kinder!
Scraps and bruises and a splint and we walked through the grass and got super wet

Her teacher is amazing and very encouraging and is a perfect fit for this one!
She calls her the class encourager because she always wants everyone to do their best

Loves being in school with her sisters and being a big girl

Sisterly Love

Last Road Trip Before school

The week before school started we got in one last road trip over to Chattanooga to meet up with Grace and Clara!!  We stayed in a hotel with them and got to eat, play, laugh, swim, sleep and drink coffee - just like old times (ok that was only 3 months ago in Japan but it felt like a lifetime).
We had found our meet up spot that is just a short 3 hour drive for each of us to meet.  We walked from our hotel downtown and got to eat some Mellow Mushroom pizza and then just walk around downtown, ride the free shuttle and see the ChooChoo hotel - which the girls have informed me we will be staying in next time we go to visit!

A package from Ms. Nicole to prepare us for school!

Reunited and it feels so good

PIZZA!! and a photobomber

Molly and Ms. Grace watching all the babies that joined us for our shuttle ride

Ice Cream!!

Cleaning up after ice cream and playing in the fountain area

Not everyone was a fan of walking the whole time - good thing we had the beach wagon

4 little girls enjoying some movie time

The aquarium in pretty awesome

Somehow I can't find a picture of Grace and I but we have lots with the girls!

We even got to hold a buttefly

Everyone was pretty excited abut that


Monday, September 12, 2016

Granny and BertBurt and Ball #1

Our first unit ball was the same weekend as the Balthrop family reunion so we convinced Granny and BertBurt to come in a little early and babysit for us!!  It was a more low key visit so we didn't drag them all over town - just to a few places we wanted to try out.  We got to go to the zoo, eat lunch with family, go to the family reunion, swim, eat ice cream and just hang out. 

Riding the Austin Peay train at the mall

The first military ball for our unit

Not the same when you have only been in the unit for a week - not too many friends to talk to


Shopping at the antique malls in town


Everyone in the pool

Sonic treats!

with extra adults we pulled out the paints to paint pictures for the bathroom

Everyone did a great job

And not too many messes

Monnell's - family style southern cooking!!

First trip to the Nashville Zoo - we really like it