The Fair!

From Aug 10…..

We had one last fun thing to do on the very last day of summer break – The Fair!

It’s tradition for us to head to the fair every year, and since we’ve moved to Williamson County we always visit their fair.  And for the last few years we’ve met the Godby’s there and had a total blast riding rides as a group.  The fair is just more fun with friends! (Past fair trips: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 (sadly no post but we went!), 2009).

The fair gets more and more fun over the years as they can ride more of the “big” rides.  We got there before the Midway opened, but we were able to get in, get our ride stamps and be ready when the fair officially opened up.


The first few rides didn’t go well for Abbi.  She started freaking out on a spinning cup for little kids, then lost it again in a fun house for kids.  So we headed to the little swings that she loved the year before and she perked up.  Thank goodness.


Brent and Lilli hit the Ferris Wheel – early in the night there is no line, later in night it can get crazy so we rode it a few times early on, swapping off with Abbi since she didn’t want to ride it (and since it’s a very open Ferris Wheel – I really didn’t want her to ride it since she has issues with listening.)


A more suitable fun house where they had more fun.


The Godbys got there a little bit after it opened and we started taking turns together riding things and swapping off for the various things each kid/parent wanted to do.  I don’t do the slides – I’ll do just about anything else – but I don’t like a big slide.  Or an enclosed slide.  Or bumper cars.


This was one of my favorites and Lilli was just barely tall enough to ride the “big” stuff this time.  Brent doesn’t like swirling/circling things so she and I rode it a few times and had it all to ourselves!


She and I did the Pirate ship with Serif and Jeff…..


while the other crowd did the carousel.


The two big kids flying around……


Most of the crowd in the smaller tilt a whirl – Brent and Lilli were riding something together and Jeff was grabbing some food.


Lilli, myself, Jeff and Serif are up there somewhere.  I managed to ride the little swings with Abbi, the medium swings with Brent, Jeff, Serif and Lilli, and then these majorly big swings that night! It is WAY up there – the same height as the Ferris Wheel – and little Lilli had her arms up just loving it.  I made her hold on! Even though she was just BARELY tall enough for this stuff she ways next to nothing and I just worry she’ll fly out somehow!


The gang doing bumper cars.


Abbi decided she wanted to ride, so Lilli was tall enough this year to drive a car, so Jeff and Pepper rode together, Lilli drove herself, and then Brent and Abbi rode together.


Abbi really wanted to drive, no surprise there! But she’s too short, so Brent let her steer some.


Little coaster….. (Lilli and Abbi)


Like always, we stayed until it closed at 11 pm.  We never even made it to any of the farm exhibits, indoor exhibits, shows, farm area for kids or even the animals! We literally rode the entire time and still felt like we ran out of time! It’s so crazy how fast 6 hours at the fair goes by.  We eat before we get there, so it really was constant rides.  We really could do a Saturday and spend all day, and maybe enjoy some of the exhibits.

Like always, we closed it out with snow cones.


It’s a pretty short ride home for us, but Michelle sent me this pic when they got home.  Hilarious! Probably not the best night before the first day of school for Lilli, but I knew she’d be fine on adrenaline for the first day of third grade because the fair is only here a week out of the year!


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The Last Day of Summer

From Aug 8 – 10

While the kids were away at Granny Camp Abbi came down with a staph infection on her leg.  She went to the doctor, but it was just the beginning of about 3 weeks worth of infections…..


While they were gone I did some cleaning out of old stuff that had been in the attic for years.  I’m trying to declutter, a LOT, and anything that just doesn’t get used or have much meaning is being given away to Goodwill, others who might enjoy or use it, or just trashed.  I went through a lot of my old Wizard of Oz stuff and donated it, but kept a few things the girls would enjoy playing with.


On the last day of summer we always plan a fun day for just Lilli to do whatever she wants.  We dropped Abbi off at school (it’s going to be so weird – and tiring – when she’s with us next year!) and headed over to Above All, a really popular trampoline park.  We did some tight rope walking……


We did some ninja courses and rope climbing…..


Lilli made it all the way across on the rock wall and I got close.  We also did a lot of trampoline jumping and trapeze flying! It was a lot of fun and a LOT of hard work! I didn’t realize how hard it is to climb out of the foam pit until I had to do it! I see the kids do it all the time at gymnastics and have always wanted my own turn.  It was a great workout!


And of course Lilli can cross it all so easily and make it look so effortless.


We had a blast! Our hour long tickets were just long enough for us to be WORN out and get to try it all at least once.  I think I enjoyed the trapeze the most because it’s not something you get to try every day!


And then for lunch she picked Blue Coast Burrito.  That’s my girl!


Afterwards she wanted to go to Aquatic Critters and hold snakes.  After hearing that her sister did that without her a few weeks earlier when she and I were canoeing, she’d been dying to go.


And we spent a long time on the aquatic side looking at eels, fish, and all the really cool things they have (like jellyfish!).  It’s such a neat pet store.  From there we went to Target for a little while before we had to get Abbi.


The night before, right after gymnastics we surprised them with their back to school goodie bags.  We always get a few little new books, supplies and other things for the start of the school year.  We order supplies before the year starts so we never have to buy pencils or anything like that, but it’s still fun to have a few new things.  This year I did get Lilli a new backpack since she’d used hers for two years and it was looking ragged.  Down in it we put a “new” phone for her.  We’d told her we’d get her a real phone because she did have a need for one this year, and she was so excited.  Of course you can see how Abbi was feeling about it…..


We activated another one of our old phones for her, and she was really happy to have something she could call and Facetime with, and that would work anywhere (she had a different old one of ours that was only WiFi enabled.)

Abbi was still not happy for her sister.  She got a little happier when Lilli tossed her her old one.  And we had to very quickly take it off WiFi since she started texting everyone a LOT of garble.


So proud!


She spent the rest of the night FaceTiming and texting!


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End of Summer Fun….

From August 5 – 7……

This crazy dog.  He sleeps in the most uncomfortable looking positions!


Lilli wrapped up her last full week of summer break and summer camps.  Her last day was even a fieldtrip to the Country Music Hall of Fame! We picked her up and then met Brent’s parents at Wendy’s for some dinner – where the girls got a real treat with Frosty’s of their own (we always split a small between the 4 of us!)


From there they headed home with them for a few last days of Granny Camp before the school year started.  The best way to get them excited about an adventure is always to stop at the “real” Krispy Kreme where they can watch the donuts being made.


On Saturday we decided to head to the east side of town and do some hiking at Long Hunter State park and just have a fun day around town.  It’s been years since we’ve been there, so after my morning run and some breakfast we headed over to hike a 3.5 mile loop around the lake.


A lot of the lakefront trail was really pretty,  but it was a crowded trail full of people and their dogs.  You never really felt like you were just out in nature, and it wasn’t a very tough trail either.


The lake views were really pretty though, and the weather was perfect.  We finally saw what “Party Cove” on Percy Priest was – a crowded cove full of boats and people hanging out.


It was a really pretty trail, but probably not worth the drive for us since we have great parks closer.


Afterwards we had lunch at Calypso and an article I read while we were there mentioned an exhibit that sounded really interesting at the Frist.  We hadn’t been there in years and had let our membership lapse, but decided to head over.  While we were there we went ahead and renewed it, they have a lot of fun programs and Lilli has asked about going to summer camp there again.


Afterwards we took a walk around downtown and I showed Brent where my new office would be for the job I’d just accepted downtown.  Floor 24 in this building…… (of 28 floors).


Saturday night is always lively downtown so we decided to walk around and enjoy all the sounds of Broadway and the tourists.  Then we decided to grab a bite at the Frothy Monkey and ran into some old artist friends from Brent’s art show days.  We ate dinner together and found out it was the first Saturday art crawl – so we hung around for that, too.


When we left the house our only plan was to take a hike, and then we ended up having a full day.  As such – I was decked out in total athleisure – sports top and running skirt with hiking shoes – and felt so out of place at the art crawl!


Even though I was a lot underdressed we had a lot of fun being spontaneous and just heading wherever we wanted on our day out.


Sunday afternoon we took a hike at Radnor.  We did one of the longer loops and enjoyed a different side of the lake – and this deer let me get so close!


Meanwhile I think the girls were having plenty of fun without us!




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Field Tripping

From July 31 – Aug 4……

Most nights during summer we’ll head to the greenway or the park or play outside.  On this night we headed to Smith Park to hike.  Abbi wanted to go to the playground.  If Abbi isn’t happy, no one is happy.


“My legs are so busy………I can’t walk………….”


So she ended up being a backpack on our walk.


For the last week of summer break Lilli was at the Y for a camp on the arts (dance, art, music, etc) and her friends Kelly and Elizabeth, as well as some others, were there.  One night after camp we met up with their mom for some swim time.  Somehow it was the first time all summer we’d had a swim date! The Y shortened its hours an entire hour every night this year – and we really didn’t get to go the pool nearly as much as a result.  And it was chilly this night, so Abbi wanted nothing to do with the pool.


Abbi was there, just not in the pool.  And it was so chilly we had the place to ourselves.


A few weeks earlier Abbi had told us her class would be going on a field trip to the zoo.  They’d been studying about animals, but we didn’t really think they’d go on a field trip since it would involve a lot of parental help with car seats, driving, etc.  But, we were wrong.  The permission slip came home and she basically “told us so”.  I signed up to go because I didn’t want to miss her very first field trip.

They were all SO excited.  A lot of parents ended up going, so I was only assigned Abbi and Piper, and her teacher Miss Rachel rode with us so basically she and I just had those two! We were free to explore the zoo for the morning, and for a while several of us tried to stay together.

That’s Mr Colin, one of the teachers, Adelyn, Abbi, and Piper, with Stella and Nina in front.  The girls were arm in arm and absolutely on Cloud Nine.


Abbi and Miss Rachel.  She loves Miss Rachel and Miss Rachel always makes drop off anxiety better in the mornings!


All starting at some birds.  They were so cute.  Abbi’s class and the kids who had just finished Pre K and were about to leave for kindergarten went.


I’ve never gotten to pet one of the kangaroos – there were two on the sidewalk for petting and both of them hopped off right as we got up to them.


And then finally – success! This one wasn’t going anywhere!


My first time petting a kangaroo!




We finally got back to the new spider monkey area.  We had no idea there was this fun new rope bridge!


We packed picnic lunches and ate before heading back.  The kids were all so good and we had so much fun.  They were starting to get tired so it was just the right amount of time.  Piper was a great buddy to have in our car, she’s so sweet and a good kid.  She’ll also be going to our same elementary school, along with one little boy in Abbi’s class, so we’re excited she’ll already know some friends.


Odd little dog.  Just staring at the wall……


That night Lilli went home with Kelly from camp and had a sleep over, so we took Abbi out to dinner at Noodles.  She’d worked up an appetite on her field trip!


And then we took her to Gigis for her very first giant Gigis cupcake!


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Skinks and Creeks

From July 30 – 31…..

We signed up for a free class on Saturday morning to learn the difference between Skinks, Salamanders, and Lizards.  Edwin Warner has a great nature center with all kinds of classes that we’ve never taken advantage of, and the girls love their reptiles so we figured it would be something fun and different to try!

When we got there you had to write your questions on the board – Abbi’s was if she could touch the skink – and then she wrote her name there!


There were probably around 25 people in the class, and after teaching us some basic information and then playing a fun game we went out to the creek with thermometers and cards with various challenges.  We had to find soil at various temperatures for the skinks needs (sometimes warm, sometimes more chilly mud, etc.) There was one temperature we could never find – it was a lower one and the water was so shallow and even digging in the mud we could never get down to 65 degrees in July.


Abbi enjoyed a lot of the digging and playing with the tools.


After learning more facts and places skinks like to stay, we were armed with nets and went out to the compost and garden areas, and rocky areas to find them.  Anytime a skink was spotted…..there was a crowd.  The crowd of kids whacking at skinks made it more than difficult to actually capture one.  Brent found a few, and once a kid knew you had one in sight the crowd that gathered almost always chased them off in the confusion.


It was pretty easy to find a lot of them – and several big ones like this one.  No one ever caught a big one – there’s so fast and always found places in the rock to hide.


The group did catch several small ones, and only one died in the struggle.  Brent got one after quite a bit of chasing it around and telling kids to just stand back.  Lilli was really upset she didn’t get one.  We only had about 15-20 minutes to hunt, and there was such a crowd that it really was difficult to see or catch anything.  Overall I think the group ended up with one lizard and three skinks.


We took them back to the classroom to look at under a microscope and then released them.  Lilli was still upset about not catching one so we went down to the creek to look for salamanders.


Brent found several salamanders for them under the rocks and in the mud near the water.


They’re fast little things, so they’d get picked up and dropped and picked up again.


Abbi looking a little unsure about it……


All that skink hunting will wear a girl out.


Recharged and ready to take the dog for a run.


She ran him until he literally couldn’t run anymore!


Lilli with some of my sunflowers from this year.  Lots of tall ones, and then my smaller teddy bear ones.


The next day we met the Godbys at the pool for some swim time.


Just the girls.


Afterwards we grabbed some sandwiches and had a picnic dinner at River Park before letting the kids play in the creek afterwards.IMG_4713

It’s a great creek for lots of safe exploring and really has very few spots much deeper than your ankle.  You have to watch for slippy rocks, but otherwise it’s a popular spot for kids and dogs to play, and runners to cool off after hitting the greenway.


Lots of fun summer times in the water this year……


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A Lot of Abbi…..

From July 24 – 29……

We decided it had been ages since we’d been to Chuck E Cheese so we had a Chuck E night out.  The girls were super excited and Abbi wanted to wear her fanciest blue dress.


We ate pizza, played games, and got some tickets.  The usual Chuck night out.  Abbi wouldn’t go anywhere near the mouse.


I’m not a huge fan of the new cards that your “tokens” go on.  I think Abbi just scans all kinds of things and then walks off.  We ended up getting plenty of tickets though and they got a few stickers and Tootsie Rolls and were happy with their loot.


Lilli did Beginner Cheer and Tumble last year and we took the summer off of gymnastics.  She spent all summer on the trampoline practicing her back flips and back handsprings, so before I got them signed up for this year I was thinking she might be ready to move up a level so I got in touch with her coach and she tried out for Intermediate Cheer – and made it! Practice pays off! She was even more excited to run into her very best friend there that night.  Lilli is doing great with her tumbling and can do a back handspring on the mats now with no assist.


Lilli went out with her best friend one evening so we took Abbi out for some ice cream.


One night we went for our greenway walk and Abbi wanted to ride her bike.  She did great on the way out – a 1.5 mile ride.  She wasn’t acting tired.


And then she was just done.  So Lilli rode her tiny little bike back for some of that mile, and then when we were laughing she decided she didn’t want any of her friends to possibly see her – especially boys.  So then I had to drag the little bike back the rest of the way.  Lesson learned.


Abbi’s first drawing of our family.  The 4 of us, plus her friend Pepper, plus Olli, plus Pepper the dog from up the street.


And then Abbi came down with a random fever virus.  We think Lilli’s infection may have just become a random virus for Abbi.  She was running a fever, but otherwise was fine.  So Brent stayed home with her one day and they came and took me to Subway for lunch.


They went to the park and played.


This dog……Sun’s out, tongue’s out.


I stayed home with her a different day – I worked and she drove.


She still wasn’t herself though.


That week Lilli went to Camp Whipporwill with her girlfriends for the first time.  She loved it and it ended up being her favorite camp of the summer.  You got to make choices of your activities each day – you’d sign up for things like newspaper, crafts, creek, fishing, canoeing, horses, farm activities, and so on.  It had a nice mix of outdoor things and also new things like digging potatoes.  Seriously, she dug some potatoes.  The theme of the week was Holiday – so Friday was Halloween and they got to come in costume.


Friday afternoon – hair a mess but a big smile on her face because two of her articles made the weekly paper.  They also had a Build a Bear activity she had done that day.  This camp will definitely be on our list again next year!


That night we went to the mall – it was tax free weekend and the girls needed sneakers.  But we had a lot of fun trying on glasses, too.


And of course Abbi had a lot of fun pushing strollers and playing with the babies at American Girl.    Our store is so small that her mind is going to be blown in a few weeks in Chicago when we go for fall break!


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Girl Scouting

From July 21 – 23….

Sometimes those strong summer thunderstorms can create a bit of chaos –


but mostly it ends up with people in their sleeping bags in our bedroom floor.  They’re just too big these days to get up in bed with us – especially if we want to get any sleep at all.


Friday was water day for Abbi – she was bringing it in my favorite little swimsuit from Old Navy and her headband.


Last day of zoo camp for this summer! She loved it and can’t wait to go again next year.


Friday night at Krispy Kreme with these cutie pies!


Everyone loves donut night!


Lilli joined Girl Scouts this year.  Her troop started last year but we missed the cutoffs and towards the end of the school year a couple of girls were moving away so some of her friends asked us to join.  The troop doesn’t meet in the summer, but we did have a July outing for a little summer get together.  We met bright and early to go canoeing on the west side of town – we got a late start because one of the girls was running really late.  By the time we got to the canoe company the lines were insane.  It took us forever to get checked in, get a van ride to the launch point, and once we were there the line to get into the river took us another 45 minutes.  Oh, and it was 100-101 degrees that week.  Our driver left us while we were waiting to get unloaded and we literally were about to pass out from heat stroke and we all piled out of the van.


I’ve never canoed before, except for once in college during freshman orientation.  Lilli has canoed at some of her camps, but that’s a little different than heading down a river.  Thanks to the heat and dry summer the river was incredibly shallow and not very frightening.  Lilli and I shared a canoe with Emerson and her mom, Carol.  They were in kindergarten together so we’ve been friends for years, and now they’re in third grade together.  Our leader, Stephanie, had planned a few stops along the way.  I think the girls had more fun getting out and splashing than they did canoeing.


They used our seat cushions to float down the side and had the best time.


We made two stops on the way, one for splashing and swimming and one for swinging into the river.  We also saw a snake along the way, and the girls lost their oars about a dozen times.   It was quite the workout.  For the moms.


And our group at the end – we all survived! The moms in the back – me, Carol (Emerson’s mom), Jenn (Livvy’s mom), Keisha (Olivia’s mom) and Stephanie (Sofia’s mom).  The girls in the front – Emerson, Lilli, Sofia, Livvy and Olivia.  We had a great time and the girls had an even better time.  The troop is MUCH larger than this, but with it being summer and vacations most of the girls couldn’t make it.


My little canoe expert!


Afterwards we all went out for Mexican food and to get their Canoe badge! Her first badge of Girl Scouts.


While we were out canoeing, Brent and Abbi were hitting the town.  First up – the park!


Followed by Icees – when it’s 100 degrees outside you gotta hydrate!


Then they went to Aquatic Critters and spent the morning holding snakes, lizards and all kinds of reptiles.  The girls really want a snake, and we’re told they make great pets.


They had a blast getting to learn about the animals and hold quite a few of them.


And of course – lunch out!


Later that night, we took them to Let It Shine for Parents Night Out and we enjoyed some down time.  We had some Greek food and then explored Harlinsdale Farms.  Such a pretty park with a really neat horse arena.  It’s definitely a park we need to keep our eyes on for fun activities.


People were fishing around the pond and the sunset was just beautiful!


Our iced latte at Starbucks goes way too fast when it’s 100 outside.


The cutest little Jeep driver out there!


The girls were so tired and grouchy on Sunday afternoon that we told them they had to have some quiet time in their room.  A few minutes later it was quiet and they were taking a much, much needed nap.


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