Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Hammer

Henry, a/k/a The Hammer, is quite a character.  He is such a boy, and such a brother.  He has the innate ability to annoy each and every one of his sisters as if she were his only sister.  He has way more energy than he should have, but I suppose that’s just what it’s like to be a boy.

I usually take many more photos of Piper and Rosemary than I do Henry or Penelope.  Henry does his best to avoid my camera and any eye contact whatsoever, and Penelope isn’t quite to posing age – I really have to catch her on the run.  Piper and Rosemary love to pose for a photo, and I usually just take the photos that present themselves as the easiest opportunities.  This past Sunday, I decided to really work on getting some photos of Henry.


{I used the above photo for my Project 52 this past week and it was one of the photos featured as “Eye Candy” on the My Four Hens blog yesterday.}


After the initial giggling and shyness, the Hammer was surprisingly more willing than I had expected.


He is such a funny kid, and I really enjoy spending time with him.  He and I have lots of similarities.  For instance, I wake up early most every morning.  So does Henry.  On weekdays, he comes downstairs and hangs out with me while I finish getting ready.  On weekends, he comes downstairs and we drink coffee together (decaf, of course) and watch cartoons.  We’ve gotten to where we don’t even talk on weekends until we finish our coffee.  I go get him, we walk down the stairs together, we sit down to watch cartoons, and after a bit of coffee we start talking.  We just know what our routine is and follow it – like an old married couple.


He’s a sweet boy, and I’m glad I took a little time this weekend to really work on photographing one of my lesser photographed children.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Harmony Park Safari

Seriously, if you haven’t been to Harmony Park Safari in Huntsville, you’re missing out.  Big time.  I have truly never seen anything like it.

First, we get there, buy a few buckets of food and some cups of lettuce, and my dad signs a release (it was later abundantly clear why a release was needed).  Then, there is an area full of HUGE tortoises . . . that walk up to you as you hand-feed them pieces of lettuce. 


Everyone really enjoyed it.  I must admit that it was a little freaky, though.  They moved slow, but they moved, and it felt just a little bit like zombies were coming after me.  I was glad to get out of there.


Next was the crazy part of the trip . . . see, Harmony Park Safari is basically a drive-through zoo.  Nana, Papa, me and my kids, and Zac and his kids, all piled into Papa’s truck for the ride.  The animals literally walked right up the truck – and stuck their heads in the truck – to be fed.


There were the typical animals – like deer, goats, etc.


There were also camels, llamas, emus, ostriches, alligators, zebras, and buffalo. . . .


Eli wanted to pet all of them!


But somehow we managed to keep him in the truck.


I just can’t believe they had a camel there.


The llamas were weird.  They are just weird animals – their teeth freak me out.  Henry didn’t seem to mind them that much.


Everyone had a great time.  My dad enjoyed himself immensely.  He loves animals and loves having his grandkids around animals – he laughed almost the whole time we were there.  Well, he didn’t laugh when one of the animals (I can’t remember which one – maybe an emu or a llama) was eating food off his truck, but other than that he had fun.  The kids didn’t disappoint.  They didn’t see fazed at all by the different animals they saw there, and they loved feeding them all. 

I still can’t believe how crazy that place was.  I just can’t believe that you can drive through and see – and feed – all those animals.  If you are ever near Huntsville, you have got to check it out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Kiddie Carnival

We have a “kiddie carnival” in my hometown.  It’s targeted toward little kids – more preschool age than anything else.  I don’t know how long the kiddie carnival has been around, but I remember going to it when I was a little kid.  It’s a really big deal, so I was very glad to see my kids enjoy the same experience as I had as a child.

First up were the rocket ships.  Piper and Laramy acted like they were beauty queens in a parade, and smiled and waved the whole time.


Many other rides followed.  Penelope rode on every single one.  She would stand in line, hand over her ticket, and jump right on whatever ride was next.  At one point, one of the ticket-takers asked me if I was going to let her ride (I guess because she’s so little), and I told him that he could be the one to tell her she couldn’t ride.  He didn’t.  


We saw a lot of people that we knew at the kiddie carnival.  It’s a small world for sure because we saw some Birmingham triplets who were there with their grandparents!  We also saw a family friend that I haven’t seen in many years, and he surprised me by telling me that he reads our blog several times a week (hello there!).  I’m always so amazed and humbled at the people who read our blog and care about our family.


I’m not sure who Piper was sitting next to on this ride, but she talked her ear off. . . .


Henry wasn’t very into the rides.  He was far more interested in the “ice” at the kiddie carnival.


But that’s okay, the girls enjoyed enough rides to make up for his lack of rides.


It was a great time, and I’m so very glad that I got to see our kids experience something I loved as a child.

But that wasn’t the end of our weekend – one more post to follow!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


While we were visiting my parents, after we were done swimming and had our baths, I asked my brother and sister-in-law to let me take a few photos of my niece and nephew, Laramy and Eli.  They are so stinking cute and full of personality!!


More to come from our big weekend soon. . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crazy Weekend. . . .

The last week or so has been pretty crazy for us.  I worked (really) late for a couple of nights, then Gary had some work stuff come up that meant he needed to work over the weekend.  He was worrying about how to spend time with me and the kids and get everything done – so Saturday morning, on the spur of the moment, I just told him that I’d pack up the car and we’d head to my parents’ house for the weekend so he could do whatever needed to be done without us there.  I called my dad who told us to head on up there, and by 10:00 a.m. I had showered, fed everyone breakfast, packed for me and the four kids, loaded up the car, and we were on our way. 

We had a couple of delays on the road.  The first was my coffee.  Although I love nothing more than a Starbucks nonfat mocha with toffee nut, it costs an arm and a leg.  So, I save Starbucks for special occasions and try to pick up a McDonald’s nonfat caramel mocha instead.  It’s not quite as good, but for the cheaper price, I’m okay with it.  The problem is that the McDonald’s mochas aren’t very consistent – sometimes you get a good one and sometimes you don’t.  I got a bad one and decided there was no way I could drive for 2 hours without a decent cup of coffee, so I stopped at another McDonald’s and got a good one.  The kids were almost manic with the delay, but it was necessary.

The next delay was some traffic – a bridge is being worked on so we had to get into one lane and we barely moved for a few miles.  Henry was hollering from the back, “Mama!  What are we going to do about this traffic?!!  Mom.  Mom!!  Call Papa and ask him what to do about this traffic!”  Rosemary was wailing about how she wanted to see Papa, and I kept reassuring her that we would get there.  I can’t remember what was going on with Piper, but it was something similar.  After I tried to respond to their concerns – and they were still crazy -- I just turned up the radio and told them that I couldn’t hear them.  Sometimes you’ve just got to do whatever gets you through.

We got to my mom and dad’s house and had a huge home-cooked lunch, then the kids played outside riding bicycles and such for a while.  I had already decided to just skip naps, so after that we put the kids in swimsuits and headed out to the pool.  Rosemary is still completely fearless, and jumped off the diving board over and over again.


Piper is not so brave.  Uncle Zac had a ball with her.  Here he is about to duck under the water. . . .


. . . and here he is flying up out of the water yelling like a siren . . .


. . . Piper finally reacted . . .


. . . still reacting . . .


. . . and then it’s all funny! 


It was hilarious. Zac did that to her a couple of times, and it surprised her just as much each time. You’d think that she’d have picked up on what was going on at some point, but not our Piper.

More to come later. . . .