Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kindergarten Bus Round Up

So, my little girl will be starting Kindergarten in just a little over a week.  Yesterday, we had a her evaluation where they see how much she knows so that they can place her in the appropriate class.  She came out and said, “I knew most things, but I had a hard time with a couple things.”  I just told her that as long as she tried her hardest, I was happy and she should be, too. 

Today, she had her Kindergarten Bus Round Up.  For this, Mikayla and I got to walk down to the bus stop and we were picked by her bus driver.  Her name is Ms. Sandra and she seems really nice.  Mikayla was a little apprehensive at first, but that lasted for about two seconds.  When we got on the bus, there were other kids already on the bus that begged her to sit with them.  She bonded with one little girl in particular and by the time that we got to school, they were “best friends.”  Even though her starting Kindergarten has been a little hard on me, Mikayla’s wonderful ability to easily adapt and make friends easily has made it so much easier on me.  I know she will do great and have a wonderful time…it’s her mommy that is going to have the hardest time. :)

IMG_0336 These kids look super excited to start school don’t they?IMG_0338Mikayla with her new best friend. :)

Chattanooga Day Trip

About two weeks ago, Jeremy and I drove up to Chattanooga for a little day trip with the kids.  We started out the day at Rock City.  Rock City is a place that is filled with beautiful floral gardens and rock sculptures.  We have been there a couple times and have always fully enjoyed ourselves there.

scan0001 This is a the picture that the staff takes of you as you enter into the gardens.  I have never purchased these before, but I was so pleased with how it turned out.   I did crop it a bit to take out all of the “Rock City” logos that were on the picture. :)IMG_0224 My favorite people.IMG_0227 My favorite little people. :)IMG_0228Me surrounded by my favorite little people.IMG_0232If you have even been remotely close to Rock City, you recognize these birdhouses.  They are very popular. IMG_0235From this area of Rock City, you can see out to seven different states.  That is always just amazing to me.IMG_0239This is the first time I have ever been able to get both of them to cooperate in one of these things.IMG_0241 This is part of the trail – it’s a pretty tight squeeze!

After Rock City, we had lunch and then headed to the Tennessee Aquarium.  In some ways, I like going to this one more than the one in Atlanta.  Atlanta’s “big” exhibits are definitely better, but there just seems there is more to see at the Tennessee Aquarium.  It is also a little less crowded and a little easier to navigate.  I enjoy both, so I guess it is hard to  compare them.

 IMG_0257 Mikayla “inside” one of the exhibits. IMG_0270

Gavin loved the multiple turtle exhibits.  He kept saying, “It’s Turtle Tuck!  It’s Turtle Tuck!” :) IMG_0278While we were there, it was feeding time in the main tank.  They had a lot of fun watching the scuba divers feed the sting rays. IMG_0298Mikayla and Gavin with some of the “penguins” in the penguin exhibit.  In the actual exhibit they had several penguins that had chicks.  We couldn’t see them because they were being kept warm underneath their Dads.  It was pretty cool. IMG_0317Outside of the aquarium the have a little water exhibit that they kids can splash around and play in.   It was VERY hot that day, so my kids really enjoyed getting to cool off a little bit.IMG_0320Gavin showing off his souvenir purchase…Turtle Tuck!IMG_0321 Mikayla got a little penguin that had a penguin necklace and pendant inside.  We later found out that all she REALLY wanted was the little penguin figurine. :)IMG_0324 IMG_0325 To finish off the day, we walked across the street to Ben and Jerry’s and let the kids have some ice cream cones.  That’s a pretty good end to the day in my opinion!

We had a great time together.  All in all, the kids did really well (especially considering that Gavin had no nap), and they really seemed to enjoy themselves.  I love creating memories with them. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cupcake Cake

A couple of months ago, my sister called me and stated that she had found this fun cake kit on clearance for, like, $3.  She asked me if I was interested.  For $3, I figured I had nothing to lose. 

Mikayla has been begging  me for weeks to make her a “Big Cupcake.”  Last week I obliged her and made her one.

IMG_0212  IMG_0214 IMG_0215 IMG_0216 I was pleased with how easy it was to use and assemble.   I was also super-pleased with the happy girl that got to eat some of it for dessert that night after dinner. :)

Happy 90th Birthday, Grandaddy!


Last month, my Grandaddy turned 90 years old.  Well, as you can imagine this is quite a big occasion that deserved a big celebration.  So, our whole family and many friends gathered together to celebrate the birthday of this great man, luau style!

**Again, these fabulous pictures are mainly from my sister, Laura.  She is so good!**


IMG_0896 copy

The birthday boy!IMG_0888 copy IMG_0891 copy  The great birthday cake.  It was good!  IMG_0935 copy IMG_0936 copyMikayla thought it was so funny that Grandaddy would put on a grass skirt and do a hula.  So funny!IMG_0970 copy  My sister, Emily, made Mikayla these little felt finger puppets (which are so cute!).  Mikayla thought that she needed to put on a puppet show for everyone.  She is so cute!  IMG_1039 copy

Mikayla all ready for the luau.  Isn’t she darling?!?

IMG_1031 copy What are these boys up to??  Nothing but mischief, I’m sure.  IMG_1140 copy  He couldn’t get enough of those suckers.  He kept going back to the bowl and helping himself to some.  I think he got away with at least 4 or 5. :)IMG_1239 copyI was holding Andrew, because Emily was outside, and well, Gavin got a little jealous. IMG_1020 copy

It was a super hot day as you can see by this red faced, wild haired little boy. IMG_1269 copy

I love some Gavin cuddles. IMG_1015 copy  The birthday party fell right during one of the USA World Cup soccer games.  Jeremy had a computer from work for the weekend that had an air card so they were able to stream the game live from the computer.   It frustrated me a little, but at least it kept him from complaining about missing the game.IMG_0113 This is the result of what happens when you play in the super hot sun and miss you afternoon nap.  I just love watching my children sleep no matter where it is.

All in all, we had a great day.  My granddaddy lives two hours away, so I don’t get to seem him nearly as often as I’d like.  I was so happy to be able to be there to celebrate such an important milestone with him. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fourth of July

I loved that the fourth fell on a weekend this year.  It seemed as if the celebrations just lasted forever.

Mikayla and I decided to start the festivities off with a patriotic pedicure.  Mikayla insisted that our toes be twins.  She wanted me to paint my fingernails red white and blue as well, but I drew the line there.  :)IMG_0150 After a great day at church (what a better way to be reminded how blessed we are to live in this great nation), we headed down to my mom’s house.  I wish I had some pictures of us in our Fourth of July church clothes – we were very (tastefully) patriotic! IMG_0179

Gavin had a great time joining in on the fun.  We found lots of fun things for the kids to wear and hold thanks to the Target dollar bin.  IMG_0176  I also brought some red, white and blue Tootsie Pops for the kids to have while we waited for the fireworks to start.   Gavin throughly enjoyed these.  He was one big sticky mess!  Everything he touched was sticky.  I had to pour water over his hands to wash him off – the baby wipes just couldn’t cut it.  He had fun though, and that is all that matters. IMG_0178  My little Fourth of July Firecracker.


I found some glittery tatoos for Mikayla to wear.  She insisted on wearing all over her little body.  This is a picture of her showing off all of her “ink”.

IMG_0180      I had to capture a cousin picture.  They had a great time together. IMG_0196 As always, Alpharetta put on a great fireworks show.

IMG_0204 The kids were just mesmerized by all of the big fireworks.  Gavin kept saying. “Whoa!”IMG_0206 This is what happens when a little girl has been up late for three nights in a row.  I must give a shout out to my sweet brother-in-law Chris.  He was carrying Mikayla back to the car (which was quite far away) and she fell asleep in his arm which left him carrying 40 lbs. of dead weight.  She NEVER woke up.  We went back to my mom’s house, laid her on the couch, had dessert, changed her clothes, went home and put her to bed, without her ever knowing it.  Now that is one tired little girl!

It was a fun night, as always.  We did miss Jeremy, though.  He worked late (you know mattress sales and patriotic holidays!) so he couldn’t get through all of the traffic to get to the fireworks.  We missed him, but were grateful to have our family close by so that we could still have a great night celebrating. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emily’s Birthday

My sister Emily turned 25 on July 1st.  I remember feeling like that was a rather big birthday (turning a quarter of a century)….that was until I turned 3o!   In any case, it was a really big birthday for my sweet sister.  I was so happy that we were able to celebrate it with her.

First of all, I fell I must give a bit of a preface before you see all of the amazing pictures in this post.  My sister Laura has takes GREAT pictures and was kind enough to share them with me.  She is so gifted!

On her actual birthday, Emily’s husband had to work late (life of a PhD student), so we had a small celebration at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

IMG_1322 copy Mikayla was a complete angel throughout the entire dinner.IMG_1328 copy  Gavin, however, was not!  He did not want to sit in his chair or eat anything, so he spent most of the dinner in my lap.  Good thing he’s a cutie!IMG_1370 copy  At this restaurant they sing to you on your birthday while you wear a sombrero.  How fun!

On, July 3rd, Morgan joined us and we celebrated, in full family style, at our favorite Chinese place.  (Yes, the McKinney family has a favorite restaurant for every type of food that you could think of)IMG_1533 copy The Birthday girl with her beautiful family.

After dinner, we went back to my mom’s house.  The kids spent some time just running around outside.  We have had some crazy heat this summer, but that weekend we were given a little reprieve and had pretty comfortable temperatures.  I know my kids enjoyed getting to spend some significant time outside in it.   IMG_1566 copy  These boys had so much fun together.  As Andrew gets a little older and more on Gavin’s “level” they are really starting to actually play together.  I know they will just be best buddies as they grow up. IMG_1607 copy   Mikayla likes to play in Papa’s rock pathway.  She is always collecting interesting looking rocks to bring home with her. IMG_1659 copy  The swingset was a big hit with all of the kids. IMG_1825 copy So after some playtime, we had some cake!  Does the birthday girl just look beautiful? (I think so!)

Now I can’t think of a better way to wrap up a near Fourth of July birthday party than with some fireworks.  The boys got together and put on a great show for us.  They seemed to really enjoy working together.

IMG_1868 copy Mikayla and Gavin had a nice time watching them together.

IMG_0174IMG_1926 copy The fireworks in all their glory!

IMG_1996 copy That is a picture of me trying to make a heart with a sparkler.  IMG_2007 After the fireworks, Jeremy went home and took Gavin with him.  Mikayla was sad about him leaving.  She didn’t want to leave either, though.  I guess that is the kind of thought process you get after staying up past your bedtime two nights in a row.   IMG_2014 copy  Well, can you think of any better way to cheer up a little girl than with some frosting on her finger.  Sounds good to me!! ;)

Anyways, we had a great couple of days celebrating my sweet sister.  I hope she had as much fun as we did!  Love you, Emily!