Wicked

From April 15-

Those kindergarten vibes were everywhere – and on this day we had our kindergarten kickoff at church.  We had a catered lunch and then got to hear more about the K-2 program Abbi would be moving up to in June.  It was a nice opportunity to meet several of the other parents and we also found out her favorite little friends (and several others) would be going to the same school.

IMG_2850

That night it was finally our turn to go to Wicked.  It had been in town for several weeks, and our tickets were towards the end of the tour.  And this time we’d decided Lilli was old enough to go and see the “untold” story of the Wizard of Oz.  We’ve seen several shows with the Hintons and they’re always fun to do events with, so we were able to all get seats together for the show.  We had a sitter for Abbi and they had a sitter for Evie, so it was a “big kids” night out.  We met for dinner beforehand at Frothy Monkey and then walked up to the show.

Elphaba and Galinda.

IMG_2854

These two were so excited to spend time together AND see Wicked.  The Hintons had been listening to the music and we’d shown Lilli some but she wasn’t all that excited until we got there.  She had been excited – but then when she saw how excited Abbi was to be getting rid of us and having an evening with their favorite sitter, Miss Chelsey, her excitement dimmed a bit until Audrey got there.

IMG_2859

We were pretty excited to see the show, too.  It was our third time, but it’s my favorite show so we’ll see it a 4th, 5th and on and on until those songs just don’t get me anymore!

IMG_8825

We had really good seats in the front part of the middle section and luckily all the kids could see.  It was a packed house and every seat was full.

IMG_8818

It was another great production – both Elphaba and Galinda were fantastic.  It just never gets old.

IMG_2866

These two really loved it.  At intermission they were singing “Popular” and just having the best time with it.  Lilli really has sparked an interest in musicals this year after Greatest Showman as well as some of the other shows she’s been to in the past, so this was right up her alley.  And it was really cold again.

IMG_2868

A quick 7 person selfie before we said good night to the Hintons!  Always so much fun catching up with them!

IMG_2888

This girl danced all the way back to the car.  Abbi had a great night, too.  She had asked Chelsey if they could go out on a “date” – so they went to Noodles and Target and had a blast together.  I don’t think Abbi thinks she missed a thing other than having to sit still for a couple of hours!

IMG_8843

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cars and Kites

From April 8 – 14…..

In my Kroger Clicklist order we got one of the fun Lays bags with the faces on it.  Everyone had a lot of fun playing with it and I requested a girl bag in the following weeks, but after one or two of this guy it seemed like they ran out of the fun packaging.

IMG_8590

We’ve always heard of the Lane Motor Museum and thought it would be something fun to do with the kids but we’ve just never made the time to go.  So for this afternoon we surprised them and didn’t tell them what fun adventure we were heading on until we got there.  We’re trying to be better tourists in our own town.  Can you tell Abbi was excited?

IMG_8601

They had some really, really cute and exotic cars. Most of them were small and European looking, and Abbi was in love.  They were all “her size”.  We’d told her you couldn’t touch and she was really good about that, and not running or losing her mind even though I’m sure she wanted to.

IMG_2681

The main floor had a lot of cars and then apparently there was a full floor underneath.  We saw a tour right as we walked in – but the front desk didn’t bother to tell us it was the last one of the day, so we missed seeing the entire bottom floor.

IMG_2676

More tiny cars…….

IMG_2673

They had a nice kids area with some riding toys, books, games, and things the kids could do if they were bored looking at cars.  They also had a scavenger hunt for older kids that Lilli did.  And overall it wasn’t busy at all, so it made for a nice afternoon.

IMG_2718

They did have one little car that you could touch and sit in – and it was basically occupied ALL afternoon by kids that would just sit in it.  So when I finally saw a break I called the girls over – they’d been super patient all afternoon.

IMG_2699

Can you tell Abbi was in heaven??

IMG_2705

I got in it but it felt so tiny and I felt like I was just going to flip over.  The girls were having the best time and really not being wild at all – just touching the car and pretending to drive – when one of the employees came over and yelled at them.  He was beyond rude and told them to quit touching everything inside it.  There was no reason for him to be so rude and then he proceeded to just stand beside us.  We were done there anyway, and as we headed out Abbi wanted to look in the gift shop – which had tons of signs about kids not being allowed to touch any of the play cars on sale.  So we just left.  We had talked about getting a membership since the girls enjoyed it so much, but after absolutely being yelled at – we decided we didn’t want to support that kind of place.  We’ve got a ton of memberships all over town, and it’s pretty much a “once you’ve seen it you’ve seen it” kind of place anyway.

IMG_2711

The Preds were back in the playoff so one pretty afternoon I took a walk around outside and enjoyed all the banners on the bridge.  Unfortunately this just wasn’t their year for the Cup.

IMG_2759

Lilli was finally the Queen for the week in class.  That means one parent got to come and talk about their job, lead a craft, etc and share with her class.  She picked Brent since I went last year and he shared pictures and video on how to make books and helped them create a book (that he later had printed) about their school year.  Afterwards he took Lilli out for a slush.

IMG_8763

Flying kites on a nice and windy afternoon…..

IMG_8766

Just doing a little library errands….

IMG_8783

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sneak a Peak / Scouts

From April 6 – 7…..

It was finally time for one of the biggest and best days of the year – the Kindergarten Sneak a Peak! Abbi had been looking forward to this day basically all year – the day she gets to meet the other future kindergartners at the Park and ride one of the “real” school buses from the park to school, get a tour, eat a cookie, and ride back.  It was a weirdly cold and rainy morning for early April, but she was still beyond excited to FINALLY get to ride that bus.

IMG_2603

She will be going to kindergarten with several friends from her Pre-K and church classes, so she’s really excited about knowing at least a few friends.  Hopefully at least one will end up in her same class – with a 1/5 shot I’m hoping at least a couple will land in the same place!

IMG_2606

When we were riding the half mile or so from the park to school she was just beaming and kept telling me it was even better than she imagined.  One of her best little buds was on the row behind us and they were just squealing and talking through the seats to each other.

IMG_2612

We did our tour and got to see the kindergarten rooms, the specials rooms (art, PE, music, library, etc) and then had cookies in the cafeteria before riding the bus back to the park.  On the ride back, in typical second child form, she didn’t want to ride with me and wanted to ride with Piper instead.

IMG_2617

Then they added Luke into their row for even more cuteness.  None of them were happy to be headed back to Pre-K afterwards, but they did get to share their adventures with their classmates.  Since most of the kids in her class live in the area they even included some of these “Sneak Peak” photographs into the Pre-K graduation this year which was really super cute to see where they’re all headed and who will be in school with old classmates.

IMG_2618

After school Lilli was headed off for a big Girl Scout “Jamboree” at a camp on the north side of town.  There are two Girl Scout camps in the Nashville area, and this time she was headed to the “other” one for some cabin life and Girl Scout activities.

IMG_8526

So once again Abbi was the only child and queen of the house for a night.  She requested Noodles for dinner (no surprise) and she wanted us to dress up.  I have to dress up every day so at least Brent obliged her on that one. Ha!

IMG_8531

After Noodles we went to Target and then Barnes and Noble for her requests.

IMG_8545

It’s so sad how lonely she is when Lilli is gone. Ha! Actually, she does fine until bedtime and then she really, really has a hard time without sis.  Generally she is a bit lost without her, but at bedtime she worries about sleeping alone and it takes a very, very long time to get her to fall asleep.

IMG_2651

Meanwhile…..somewhere at a Girl Scout facility………

IMG_2642

There’s always Thin Mints if a Girl Scout is near……

IMG_2643

Looking cozy for sleep.

IMG_3058

There’s no way this is comfortable…..

IMG_8566

I still hadn’t done our taxes so Brent took Abbi out for the morning so I could get those done.  Surprisingly we even got a little refund this year!

IMG_8580

It really was a weird and cold weekend – they even saw a little snow that morning before they headed back!  It sounds like sleep was a little uncommon that weekend and the weather impacted some of the things they had wanted to do, but she came home with some cute crafts and another adventure under her belt.

IMG_8585

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dentist and Everyday Life

April 2 – 5

It’s time for a visit to the kid’s dentist.

IMG_8415

We love how they get to sit beside each other. This really helps Abbi because she’s a little nervous about the whole dentist idea. When they are first called back they get to pick out a DVD from a large collection and it plays on an overhead screen between them. That’s such a great idea to keep kids from squirming.

This was Abbi’s second trip to the dentist and I thought she was going to do fine but I looked up about halfway through and she was upset so I spent the rest of the visit sitting beside her and holding her hand.

IMG_8421

Lilli has a head full of teeth! I think it’s also cute because you can see her little earrings on the side.

IMG_8431

With shiny clean teeth I thought it would be a great idea to take them to Fox’s Donut Den before taking them to school. It’s become an after dentist tradition and the kids love it.

IMG_2543

One night after work I stopped by Goodwill and they had the old Hangman game. I remember playing this when I was their age. It brought back a lot of memories but made me realize how much the world has changed. It felt a little weird to describe: If you don’t guess the word this person is killed by being hung from a rope. No pressure. Luckily Lilli has already played it at school (on paper) so it wasn’t an awkward conversation.

IMG_2559

I believe it always storms at bedtime. Right after we put the girls to bed the thunder began so we let them lounge in the office until it passed. Olli thought it was a wonderful idea.

IMG_8454

The girls are enjoying gymnastics and it’s fun to see the different personalities. Lilli really enjoys the technical aspects of gymnastics and she’s really good with her flips and tumbles. Abbi… just wants to be a dancer. She’s good with her little gymnastics routines but she usually wears her tu-tu. It’s fine. It’s cute. But this is the week that I decided she had outgrown her current tu-tu.

IMG_8511

The past couple of years we’ve paid companies to mow our yard. It’s not cheap and we weren’t happy with the people we’ve been using so our neighbor said “I think between the two of us we can keep this yard mowed”. He’s an amazing neighbor. He’s 87 and he’s just bored. Sometimes he’ll mow his yard 2 or 3 times a week. Usually he’ll just mow the front yard and I’ll get the side and back and I’ll do the trimming. I always enjoy getting Ring Doorbell notifications and see him mowing.

IMG_8514

The girls at Abbi’s school are all about fixing hair and the teachers are happy to volunteer. This day I walked up on a large makeover session on the playground.

-Brent

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Easter 2018

April 1 – Easter Sunday

This Easter the kids woke up in a great mood excited to see what the Easter Bunny had brought them. The rushed down stairs carrying all of their stuffed bunnies (including the new bunnies Granny has just bought them at Cracker Barrel.

IMG_8357.JPG

The Easter Bunny was really good to the kids this year. Lilli got a Squashmallow stuff panda (it was a huge deal at the time) candy and a magazine subscription to Girls World.

IMG_2427.JPG

Abbi also got a Squashmallow stuffed animal, candy and a magazine.

IMG_2429.JPG

IMG_8361.JPG

After church we wanted to get pictures of the girls in their pretty dresses (and Squashmallows)

IMG_2460.JPG

And we wanted to get a family picture. When Lilli was younger we used these same ears every year for a family picture. We continued it with Abbi but got out of the habit the last few years. We also always had Pippin in the Easter family photo (complete with his own set of ears)…

IMG_2492

Olli didn’t want any part of the family photo (especially the ears) but the girls had a blast trying to put the ears on him.

IMG_2501IMG_2527

IMG_2534

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Rest of Spring Break

From March 28 – 31…..

On Wednesday of Spring Break I worked from home while Lilli relaxed and played, and Abbi went to daycare.  We played some Twister that night, and as you can tell one person kind of plays by their own rules.

IMG_8176

On Thursday, Lilli went to Owl’s Hill day camp with two of her friends for the day.  She LOVED it.  We’d been on a field trip there in second grade and didn’t realize they have camps, so we’ll definitely be doing more of them.  It was a wet and rainy day, but the kids didn’t care.  They spent the day cleaning up creeks, learning about animals, and all kinds of other nature and animal activities.  They are an owl preserve, and really aren’t open to the public much, so it’s fun to spend time there.  She came home muddy and happy, and did NOT want to leave.

IMG_2151

I was off for Good Friday and Brent took the day off, too.  We decided to be local tourists and went to the Parthenon for the morning.  We’d never been, and Brent hadn’t been since high school.  I’d always been curious about what was inside, so it was a fun day to go.

IMG_2204

Overall it was “meh”.  Seeing Athena and reading about how/why the entire Parthenon was built was more interesting than the art and collections inside it.  Athena was massive and super impressive, but it wasn’t something we’d need to see often.

IMG_2159

I’m glad we did visit though since it is a Nashville “icon”.  But I wouldn’t send out of town guests here.

IMG_2162

And clearly, by this point Abbi was in a Mood, so that didn’t help our experience.

IMG_2193

Our Spring Break week was so overcast and just cloudy and cool.  They get out of school so early that Spring Break doesn’t even feel “springy”.  We did bring some bread for the ducks, geese, and pigeons – and the girls enjoyed that more than the Parthenon.  Ha! Oh well.

IMG_2240

We had lunch at a hot dog place on West End and then went to the No Baked Cookie Dough shop – which was SO good.  And better than the Parthenon for me.  =)

IMG_2253

When the sisters get along and play well – it’s a good, good day!

IMG_8202

It was a really nice Saturday and we were outside mowing, doing yard work, and just enjoying the pretty day.  Abbi and Brent had run an errand and Lilli was inside when I saw Olli chasing something.  I got closer and he had found a mole! We have awful moles tearing up our yard all the time, and normally they’re just in the front yard but I guess this one had made a tunnel to the back and met up with Olli.  Olli wouldn’t let him dig down – he’d swat him back up, lick him, and put his head down on top of him.  Mostly he just wanted someone to play.  I knew the girls would love seeing him so I ran in the garage, grabbed a shovel and the lawn spreader (I didn’t see an empty bucket!) and ran to scoop him up.  After a few tries I got him right as Brent and Abbi were getting back.  Everyone found my discovery and “bucket” pretty hilarious.

IMG_2296

The girls named him Cuddly and kept it all afternoon.  They dug worms and grubs for him and we all watched him slurp them up.  He was actually pretty cute.  They showed our neighbor who instantly asked if we were going to kill it – ha!! I don’t think he realized how much of a “pet” it had become.

IMG_2306

Nothing better than an afternoon ride in the old truck!

IMG_8297

A little tree climbing…..

IMG_8324

The weather man had said that Easter would be rainy so we let them do their confetti eggs on Saturday instead.  They’re egg shells filled with confetti and they have the best time cracking them on themselves, trees, the ground, anything.  They’re really pretty and a lot better than making dyed eggs for us!

IMG_2331

And they make for pretty pictures, too!

IMG_2341

When we headed out that evening for errands and dinner we took Cuddly to a park a few miles away.  As much as they loved him we didn’t want him back on OUR street!  They let him go on the greenway and he immediately dug a new tunnel.  He was one very well fed mole for the day!

IMG_2392

That night they wrote letters to the Easter Bunny.

IMG_2405

Sweet, sweet Lilli.

IMG_2402

And they went to sleep with visions of the Easter Bunny in their head!


IMG_2409

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vacation, Day 4

From March 27 –

We got up early on Tuesday to eat breakfast, pack up and get to Dollywood as it opened.  I don’t think we were the only ones who had that plan.  (This is the line for the shuttle bus that takes you up to the entrance.)

IMG_8048

Dollywood was the number one thing everyone wanted to do on our trip.  We had such a great time at Silver Dollar City two years that we just assumed Dollywood would be as much fun since so many people in our area go there and just love it.  And we’re big Dolly fans since she donates books to all the kids up until age 5.  So we overlooked the ridiculous price of tickets and were hoping it would be worth it! We got in (using a 10% AAA discount) and got the girls measured for their ride wristbands.

IMG_8051

We took off and found a roller coaster Lilli was tall enough for.  She was tall enough for quite a few things and lines were still pretty short.  They had a really good time on this one.  Abbi was in a good mood and we found a small little roller coaster she was tall enough for and while we waited in line the ride broke.  There was nothing else around she was big enough to do so we just waited for Brent and Lilli to finish up.

IMG_8065

We headed to a part of the park with carnival rides so there would be something for her to do, and basically it was just your basic carnival rides.  We did the carousel and she enjoyed that.  Otherwise that area was pretty boring and really too little for her.

IMG_2062

As we were  getting off the train that just takes you around the park was loading up to go so we ran over – we were able to get on but had to split up and we were right behind Brent and Lilli.  As soon as we raced on Abbi started throwing a fit that she didn’t want to do it.  I figured she’d get over it and as much as she loves trains that she’d end up loving it.  Boy, was I wrong.  As soon as we started moving she started crying and yelling that she was going to throw up.  The 12-13 year old boy she was sitting next to looked THRILLED and tried to give her all the space.  It was a long, long ride.  She eventually calmed down but I was so glad to get off that train.

IMG_8082

All she wanted to do was watch these dancers.  So on the train I’d promised her as soon as we got off we’d head straight there for the next show and that calmed her down.

IMG_2071

Their show was funny and cheesy and she loved it.

IMG_2086

Afterwards we grabbed some lunch and walked around some more.  Lilli and I rode a coaster and then Brent and Lilli did.  There were a lot she wasn’t big enough for, and there really wasn’t much of anything for Abbi at all.   One of us spent most of the day keeping her entertained while the other two were in lines.

IMG_2123

I eventually took Abbi to the Dolly museum and we looked at all her stuff while Brent and Lilli rode.  Overall Dollywood was a big disappointment.  I’d go back when they’re both teens and can ride all the big stuff, but at their ages it was incredibly overpriced.  This one day ended up being over 25% of our entire vacation spend – lodging and dog boarding included! It just wasn’t worth it.  It was also really crowded and made lines long for the things we did do.

IMG_8129

We grabbed a few things in the gift shop (not this) and then got in the car to start the drive home.

IMG_8139

I’d say one of them got vacationed!

IMG_2142

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment