11 AugTreasured Weekend

School starting back makes us treasure weekends more again! We started our ‘fun family Friday nights’ back with pizza, family movie time, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and home popped popcorn with real butter for the first weekend. Ivy had been asking to watch this movie most the summer but we always forgot about it when we started to pick a movie out. We actually watched the newer version Friday night and the older version on Sunday after church; maybe we were making up for not watching if when Ivy fist asked. The majority of us liked the older version better; Leia was the only one who preferred the newer one. We all loved our family fun time together! 

Saturday, we enjoyed fun time at Mimi’s pool with our neighbors, the Talley’s. Mimi is always one of the best host! Thankful she lets us still bring our friends over to play in the pool or her backyard oasis.  We enjoyed a epic water gun fight adults verses kids … although Leia really was a double agent and we thought she was on our side but the truth came out. Thankful for laughter and fun shared with special friends and neighbors 
 

Sunday the girls got to move up to their new Sunday School classes. Both of them liked their new classes :). We spent most of the afternoon around home soaking up time at home before the new work/school week began. Lord, I pray sweet rest each night and blessings over our children all the days of their lives as they walk in the paths you prepare for their lives. 

 

08 AugFirst day of 4th and 2nd grade

Our girls are growing up fast and time is flying! Here we are and they are starting the 4th and 2nd grade. Both of them are so, so smart and amazing. I pray they know how much they are loved and how incredible they are all the days of their lives. We are blessed to get a first row seat watching these two little girls grow into beautiful ladies, inside and out. Praying this school year brings strengthened friendships, increased knowledge, delightful dreams, and a stronger sense of who they are and want to be…May our girls soar to reach their dreams and have roots that go deep to always remember who they are and where they came from all the days of their lives. 

Leia was ready for the first day of school pictures and was all smiles
 
Sisster finally joined us for some picture action


Love that the girls wanted first day pics with mommy and daddy

Love more that they wanted a family selfie and the four of us got to enjoy breakfast together

The girls were all smiles after school! We went to get a treat with Mimi, Katie and aunt Stacy (Sara went with her friends) then Lisa and the girls went to get after school surprises at “Five and below”, picked up dinner to take home, enjoyed a few lazy minutes at home, took a nice walk around the neighborhood, and then it was time for bed again since we are under the school night bedtime again
      

 

07 AugLast hooray before school starts

Monday, the girls were super excited to have Mary babysit them one more time before school started. They talked her into getting donuts for breakfast then going to the zoo for a little fun. When mommy got home sweet Ivy was snuggled up with Mary and of course did not want her to leave but she needed to get home and we decided to go see Mimi for a evening of fun. No one ever got in the pool though. We simply visited then had dinner, Leia and Ivy sit up game time in the dining room, then rode in Papa’s truck before we headed home for the night. 

The girls decided we should have game night at Mimi’s Monday night 

Tuesday, we decided to have a FUN Comfort girls day since it was the last totally free day we had this summer. Leia had said she wanted to go to Chuckecheese while Ivy wanted to paint pottery so we did both and got to meet Chris for lunch before Ivy and Leia went to gymnastics that afternoon. Love sweet, hassle free summer days and nights; oh how I will miss the easy summer days

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Wednesday, the long awaited day to figure out who was in our class and who would be the teachers for 2nd and 4th grade arrived. It is the a bitter-sweet day since we find the reality summer is over and a new school year is beginning in less than 24 hours. This year is going to be great. Everyone has a couple friends in their classes and teachers seem to be fabulous. Leia is going to do fabulous in fourth grade and Ivy is going to have a sweet year in second grade! 

Sweet Ivy will be in Mrs Coleman

Leia’s homeroom teacher, Mrs Garcia is on the left and swap teacher, Mrs Adams on the right

Leia also got to meet her new GRC teacher and go by to see Mrs Kennamer from 3rd grade and Mrs Grote from 2nd grade, sadly all of Ivy’s teachers moved to a new school with the re-org so she did not get to go say hi to them
 

After meet the teacher we went with Holly and Alex to get breakfast at Panera and pampered with mani and pedi’s. Thankful to have such sweet neighbors and friends! 

  

Sara and Katie came over later that afternoon to join in on the fun too. Love hearing the laughter, chatter, and noisy of little ones playing and having fun as we soaked in the last summer day before school starts
 

04 AugThe Requena-Comfort Family is back in the US

The Requena-Comfort family is back in the US after 27 months in Spain. They actually came back 9 days ago. Our girls were counting down and asked regularly when we would get to see them. We chose to wait to see them since we knew they had quite a bit to get done when they returned like getting new phones, cars, and unpacking from their move. They texted mid week and asked about coming to Birmingham instead of us coming there and of course we said YES! Leia and Ivy started planning right away … they planned to go swimming, rock climb, explore the zoo, jump at Urban Air, play a round at Top Golf, hike at Oak Mountain Park or play on the inflatable water slides, go to Splash, see the Enchanted Forest, discover new exhibits at McWane, and ice skating. We reminded them that we would only have roughly 24 hours so we needed to pair the list down this visit but that hopefully they would come back soon so we could do more on the list. they got here at lunch time so we made tapas at our house and chilled out before heading to Mimi’s to swim. The kids swam while we visited then uncle Mark grilled out. The Rhoads headed home shortly after eating but the adults hopped in the pool afterwards for a evening swim. Once we were all water logged we headed home for baths before heading to bed. Saturday, Leia, Ivy and Lisa were up early. The girlies wanted to wake their cousins but thankfully controlled themselves. Alicia woke up about 8:30 and Lisa started cooking. Uncle C and aunt Kelly got up before we finished cooking so we all sat down to a big, southern breakfast. Uncle Diego joined us too but Adrian kept on snoozing; aunt Kelly had to wake him since it was getting close to time to go to Urban Air. Before we left to let the kids get a little energy out aunt Lisa played like she was a barber and cut Adrian’s hair a little. Urban Air here does not compare to the jump place in Newnan so in a couple weeks we will have to take the littles there to play but they seemed to find some things to enjoy. We had planned on ice skating but timing did not work out; we wish they had not had a hockey thing all weekend but we will prioritize it next time to get to go skate. We took them to one of our favorite mediterranean laces, Pita Stop before they had to head home to get ready for the kids to start school the next day.  It was a short visit but we loved getting to be with them and look forward to seeing them again very soon again. 

We finally got to give Adrian and Alicia their birthday presents this year since we forgot to take them when we went to Spain

Oh what fun in Mimi’s pool



The kids also had fun in Mimi’s wonderland riding the zip line

Sweet girls Saturday morning watching Descendants 3 while Lisa cooked 
    
Adrian got a home trim before school and the little sisters played with uncle Diego

Urban Air  …. next time we will try the newer jump place we haven’t gotten to go to yet



 

     
Lunch and a couple photo ops before the Requena-Comfort’s headed home

Sunday night family game night 😀 

 

02 AugLast full week of summer

Mommy consciously went most the week without her phone hence no pictures. We did have a nice week! The girls and Lisa went shopping on Sunday for back to school stuff. Monday Anna kept them; they requested a PJ day at home so they stayed here all day then still did not want to leave that evening. Tuesday morning we stayed home most the morning. Lisa asked the girls if there was anything they had wanted to do this summer that they did not do and both came up with a eating place they wanted to go too so we wanted to make sure to fit those in during the last few days of summer break. We went to Steak and Shake (Ivy’s pick) for lunch Tuesday just before the girls tutoring and Ivy’s gymnastics but returned home to cook dinner and hang out that evening. Wednesday Mary Elizabeth kept them and they went ice skating then that evening we went to Texas de Brazil (Leia’s pick) for a nice sit down family dinner. Thursday morning the girls helped mommy clean the house before we met the Prickets for a little Top Golf fun in the afternoon. Later that afternoon we invited a sweet neighbor over for a short little visit for a little while since daddy had a work dinner. Friday, we had planned on a family fun day but it did not seem like anyone wanted to get out of the house so Lisa ran errands, the rest of the family chilled at home, then that evening we went out for a quick dinner before we all piled on the couch for a family movie night watching Descendants 3 then we moved to the master bedroom for a slumber party full of belly laughs and staying up way too late talking; love those moments and will treasure them forever. 

Top golf with the sisters that kept Leia and Ivy while mommy worked this summer
 
Leia and Ivy holding our sweet neighbor that they plan on babysitting in a couple years

26 JulAlabama Splash Adventure

The day after our anniversary, Grandpa and Deedee had headed home right after they woke up to get things ready for Adrian and Alicia’s arrival from Spain that afternoon. So when Mimi called us early Friday morning to see if we wanted to join Sara, Katie, and her at Alabama Splash Adventure for a day of fun, the girls they both immediately said YES. They knew all the in’s and out’s at the park and had their normal plan since they had gone with Grandpa and Deedee earlier in July. The girls lead the way and told us everything they normally did then several hours of fun in the sun half the gang was ready to head home so we loaded up to go but we left with fun memories. 

Waiting for the park to open

First up was the amusement rides

Water rides were a nice way to cool us down

Front row at the dive show before hitting the candy store and heading home
  

* Chris was at work and Stacy/Mark was on a trip to GA so the three of them could not join us

25 JulHappy Anniversary (2019 …11 years)

Our anniversary fell on a Thursday this year so Lisa had it off but Chris had to work. Lisa woke the same time as Chris and gave him his first card of the day before he headed to work. We had a lazy morning! Grandpa went and got us all donuts close to 9 then Leia asked Grandpa to take her to the movies to see Lion King while Ivy wanted to go to the zoo with Deedee and mommy. We ended up picking Ivy up a friend too so she had someone her size to ride rides with her, get in the splash pad, and explore. Chris got off a little early for us to go to dinner to celebrate our anniversaries together while Mary Elizabeth took the girls to Urban Air for a fun evening. The adults got home before the kids but enjoyed chilling out on the porch fellowshipping until the girls got home. It was close to bed time so the girls took their baths to head to bed; most of the adults were asleep before the girls though. How blessed are we to get to spend a day with our family and celebrate 11 years of wedding bliss.  

We have arrived at the zoo and ready for a fun day, of course our first stop was the carousel; mommy will miss when that is not the first thing our monkeys ask for  

The girls were excited to play in the splash pad and we tried drying off in the air blaster, it did not work as well as we had hoped

  
   
We did see a few animals at the zoo too

       
We waited a extra time to get on the train so these girls could get the back 

Train ride selfie

Ivy kept her tradition alive ringing the bell
 
This little monkey said she needed to sit down since she was so tired

Thankful Ivy got to have fun at the zoo with a sweet friend on our anniversary and we got to spend time with them 
  
After we dropped Mary off Ivy walked the tight rope before heading home

Anniversary dinner celebrating 49 years and 11 years together

The back porch was our anniversary gift to each other this year but Chris did post a sweet message to Lisa on facebook

24 JulZoo, Friends, Family …. fun few days

After we got home from our girls trip we chilled out the evening while Chris studied. Knowing he needed to get a little more studying done not long after breakfast Lisa and the girls headed to the zoo for a day with the animals. It was a very nice day especial for late July but when Leia got hot she was ready to head home. The girls asked about having friends over so we picked up a couple on the way home for finish up our Sunday Funday. 

Sunday morning we all enjoyed breakfast on the porch before daddy headed back to his office to work

Mommy finally convinced the girls to go to the zoo since it was a beautiful, not too hot day out. Of course the first stop was the carousel then we looked at foxes, bears, farm animals, and butterflies


Play areas are always fun
 
Front of the train

Train ride selfie

The girls love ringing the bell after our rides
   
These two have wanted to ride the camel for a year and we had not been lucky enough to be at the zoo when it was open but today was their day
 
After the fun at the zoo the girlies got to have sweet friends over to play for a few hours 
 

Monday, the girls went to camp. Leia had been looking forward to the Jeti camp but when it arrived they asked if they could just go on mommy’s work day. Since Grandpa and Deedee was coming to town Wednesday they only had to go one day that week. After mommy got off work we hung around to see daddy a little bit then mommy took our girlies out to swim and spend the night at Mimi’s so daddy could have the house to study.

We had fun on our late night swim! Thanks Mimi for taking a couple pics.
Blessed to get to be their mommy; their zest for life is contagious
 

Blessed to have Tuesday morning breakfast on Mimi’s back porch with her. We hung out with Mimi until that afternoon when we had to head back to Vestavia for tutoring and gymnastics. Ivy finally landed her back handspring. Of course when mommy got to get a picture and video she was tired from doing it so much so her coach wanted to be there to spot her just in case but so proud of her for achieving one of her goals this summer. 



Ivy was so excited to show us her back handspring 
 
These girls love visiting our neighbor’s dog, Scotty

Wednesday Grandpa and Deedee came to hang out with the girls while we were at work. They hung out at home just playing most of the day but went to Urban Air to jump, ride go-carts, and play in the pit then by McDonalds for lunch. We fixed dinner when mommy and daddy arrived home and got to enjoy a little bit of time together lingering over the dinner table. Deedee and Leia joined Lisa and Ivy on their normal evening walk then everyone headed to bed early while Chris headed down to study.  

Fun in the Pit at Urban Air

 

20 JulGirls Trip 2019 – Nannahala Rafting and Asheville, NC

We had few first for our girls on this girls trip and a whole lot of fun in just 78.5 hours on our annual girls trip. We made our way from Alabama through Georgia and Tennessee to North Carolina for the girls first white water rafting adventure down the Nannahala before landing in Asheville, NC for a couple days of fun touring the Biltmore House and exploring a little. It can be tiring and stressful planning but it is always a joy to spend a little bit of time together. Blessed to get to have this time with these strong, independent, loving ladies.   

We were in the car at 6:45 Wednesday morning ready for our adventure. We surprised ourselves and actually packed the 7 of us and all our luggage in the back of the car without the trailer hitch 🙂 

Everyone did awesome on the 4.5 hour car ride but were ready to get out of the car for lunch. It was a nice setting for lunch next to the creek where we were able to watch other rafters going down the river

We finally found NOC and got checked in then had plenty of time for a picture since we got to wait 45 minutes for our rafting time

Love how the girls entertained themselves

Finally watching the safety video so we could head up river to hop in our raft

We got up river but the guide figured out he had brought a empty first aide kit so we got to play games before we could get on the river

We finally got on the raft almost a hour later than planned but it was worth the wait and we all had so much fun

It rained a little

We laughed a lot and the girls were even able to stretch our legs

Made sweet memories 

Our guide, Garret told us the river runs about 8 mph, raft travels approximately 4 mph, and we went about 7 miles on the river
   
The girls were still up for a little fun when we got back but we still had a hour and 15 minute drive so we changed into some dry clothes and hit the rode

Before arriving at our hotel we had dinner at a fabulous little Greek/Italian place called Apollo Flame Bistro. Of course, the girls first question when we arrived was could they go to the pool so Mimi took them for 30 minutes while Stacy and Lisa unpacked and showered before they all headed up too   
 

Thursday, it was a 70% chance of rain all day long. We prayed that morning that God would show us grace and give us a beautiful day and he blessed us with a gorgeous day. We were thankful that we got the first available time into the Biltmore since it was a hot day. All of us enjoyed the self guided tour that we could take at our own pace. It took us a little over 2 hours to go through the house and the girls said it would be awesome to live in it to play house or hide-n-seek; I don’t think we would be able to find them if we played hide-n-seek there. Throughout the tour all 4 of our little ladies were very attentive and engaged. After the house tour we walked through the gardens to enjoy a little of natures beauty before heading to lunch, the farm/kid area, and winery to end our tour of Biltmore Estate. Before heading back to the hotel we did make a quick stop to the outlet mall; although we did not do much shopping since it was a outdoor mall, the girls were hot and ready to cool off back at the hotel in the pool. 


It was interesting to hear all about the Biltmore House and to see our kids reaction to hearing about the Biltmore House for the first time. 

I think they were amazed walking into the banquet hall and started to realize the scale of the house 
 

Interesting facts was this house took 6 years to build and was a staggering 175,000 square feet or four acres with 33 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and 43 bathrooms. The girls wanted to take a picture of a couple of the guest rooms

The terrace had a great breeze. We could only imagine how nice it would be to sit out with a cup of coffee or glass of wine with the amazing view 

Sitting on the benches this was the view. It is hard to fathom that when construction started on this enormous house most of this was pasture land and a land architect suggested making a lot of the 125,000 acres a forest 
 
We paused for a picture on one of their grand staircases before running outside before touring the lower level of the house 

Quick picture of the beautiful ground when we took a break touring the house to run make a pit-stop

It is equally amazing to see what the lower level offered for entertainment just like the upstairs with a bowling alley, indoor pool, gymnasium, and more 
 
 
It was amazing to look in the servant areas and see where all the meal preps and behind the scene things that had to happen to entertain the Vanderbilt’s guest. Equally impressive was the “Bachelor’s wing “with custom made billiard tables from 1895 but to learn that women were welcomed there as well. 

Photo op before we left with the cardboard Vanderbilt’s 

The time it must have took for this arbor to be covered; I wonder if the Vanderbilt’s ever got to enjoy the shady cover or if they simply did it for their future generations 
  
The gardens were beautiful


 
  

The girls seemed to like the green house with the miniature versions of Biltmore house and other land marks on the property


Walking up to get a photo op with the Biltmore house int he back ground


   
Tickets now include a wine tasting for adults and grape juice for the kids so of course we tried it out 

 
Once they were done with their juice they were creative 

Mimi and Lisa headed to the creamery while Stacy checked out at the wine store and made new friends

We visited the kid area and petting farm too

Impressed Sara caught the ball once
  
Of course Mimi needed to play a little too
   
Thursday afternoon we headed to the outlets for a little shopping but turned out we were more interested in playing 
   
Girls liked ending their days in the pool 

Friday was our low key no specific time to be anywhere day. Lisa found a couple things that looked neat when she was researching what to do so we headed nearby to Pisgah National Forest. We walked down to see Looking Glass Falls and waded in the water then headed over to the sliding rocks to slide down rocks. After we were good and water logged we went to Dolly’s for ice-cream before going back to the hotel to clean up and explore downtown Asheville. We went in several stores, a couple art galleries, pinball museum and play, drum circle, and more before heading back for the girls to end their day their way in the pool.  

 national park 


  


Leia and Sara were so excited and proud of themselves for getting close to the waterfall 
  

      
On the way to the sliding rock we saw tons of butterflies 

We all went down the rock slide the first time. Lisa tried snapping pictures from the water after she went down

Ivy went with Mimi her first time down but she was a one and done so took over taking pictures 
   
Love how close the pics were from the water
 
      

Friday afternoon and rest of trip

We took the girls to a pinball museum but the only one that was sure they wanted to play was Leia since the others said it was “creepy”. Sara ended up staying when the option was to go sit in the car to watch a movie while it rained or play. Eventually she came around and the two big sisters had a blast. 


   
 

We paid extra to play Star Wars game too
 
 
After a little bit of watching a movie in the car when the rain stopped, Mimi and Stacy took the little sisters to a book store for cookies while they got Champagne and wine 


We all met back up and the big sisters for a treat too. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice Cream

Chilling in a store, resting for the walking mommy/aunt Lisa made them do before we headed back to the hotel to pack up
 

Saturday morning we got up and headed to sweet home Alabama. We had driven 978 miles on our girl adventure but was happy to be home and off the road for the rest of the evening when we got home

13 JulCreated for a Purpose Camp Week

This year we finally got the girls into Created for a Purpose Camp by way of Lisa volunteering a couple of her off days. The camp is only 9 to 1:30 so Lisa and Stacy switched up days when they worked and when it over lapped Mimi came to the rescue. Everyone has said it is the best camp so we wanted our girls to try it out. 

Mimi took the girls to breakfast and to play at the park before the first day of camp




 Love, love, love that she got pictures of them when they found their table 
     
The camp provides lunch but apparently it was not that good since our girls as well as several others said they needed chickfila. Afterwards they all headed to cool off in the pool at Mimi’s house until Lisa came to pick them up

Tuesday Lisa was taking the girls to camp and offered to go to the park after breakfast but the girls said they preferred to stay at the house to play until camp so they played here. All four were excited to get back to camp and said they had a great day. We ended up going to Yogurt Mountain during their happy hour then a few stores to entertain ourselves before taking Ivy to gymnastics. Not long after gymnastics was over uncle Mark showed up to get Sara and Katie so our play day was over but we got to have a little family time that evening. 

Ivy was very excited to see ME on the way in and leaped into her arms. Mommy took them for a sweet treat after camp to get a hug 😉

Ivy loved having an audience at gymnastics

Ivy can do a back hand spring but needs her coach for confidence

After mommy and Ivy’s even walk cool off

Wednesday was Lisa’s work day so daddy took the girls to aunt Stacy and uncle mark’s to go to camp. They had fun playing and making slime before mommy got there to take Ivy to meet Ivy Bailey for a little spend the night fun. Mommy and daddy gave Leia the choice of what she wanted and she said date with mommy and daddy then decided later she wanted the best of both worlds and had a short family date then Alex Ann came to spend the night too. 

We met Mimi and the Rhoads for dinner then Leia requested to go to the pet store to pet the rabbits; she loves going there to see the animals. Thankful for a little one on one time with our first daughter 

Alex arrived about 7:30 but that had a ton of fun with popcorn and part of a movie, imagination play, dancing, and sitting on the bed chatting like teenagers. Blessed to have such a sweet neighbor and friend 

Good night pretty girls

Thursday morning Leia and Alex requested donuts for breakfast so we all loaded up in the car to go then came back home to enjoy breakfast on our back porch. They only had a couple of hours before we loaded up to go pick up Ivy and head to camp. Lisa got to go to camp too since she volunteered a couple days.

Breakfast on the porch with two little cuties

Lots of laughter 

Fun at CFAP

While we were serving lunch aunt Lisa got to see Sara and Katie dancing on the stage

I also got to sneak a couple pics of our littles. Blessed to get to watch all four interact with friends  and have fun worshiping our God

Thursday evening we had a cousin dinner and swim at Mimi’s. As luck would have it, it started raining but we got sweet Xander snuggles and the girls had fun playing with their cousins so it was a win
  
Ivy is always a great helper and snuggles with Leia is so sweet

We love our Mimi! 
 

Friday was the last day of camp. Leia’s group was coming through the cooking day so Lisa was thankful to get to work with a few girls she knew and get to watch Leia have a little fun. The girls also got to share the verses and a couple dances they learned before revealing their awesome art they created throughout out the week. That evening was another fun filled evening for our girls as Leia went to a friends spend the night party and Ivy went home with another friend for a play date which ended in spend the night party at our house too. They are living their best life! 

Snuggles before camp is the best!
 
The girls loved serving everyone at camp the food they made 

While we were serving lunch Ivy’s group danced on the stage 
  
Lisa walked by Leia’s group at the perfect time to snap a picture of her sweet group 
 
The fabulous 4 showed mommy and Mimi their awesome art work they created throughout the week

Love love love that Neely’s mom/dad sent a couple pictures of their playdate and that Evie joined in their fun

Neely and Ivy said hello to Buddy when they got to our house before seeing what all they could get into for the evening
  
First on their agenda a warm bubble bath

Ivy braided their hair so they could be braid twins

They danced and gave their favorite stuffed animal friends milk 

Before dancing their way to bed

Saturday morning came early as our friend woke up and we were all awake a few hours. These girls had fun dancing, ordered their yummy breakfast then modeled for us before heading outside for a little fun before the rain arrived and Neely’s mom came to get her