Sunday, August 23, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Since school started two weeks ago with only 171 days left until summer, I haven't had an opportunity to update this blog. My aim today is to cover the past several weeks in short order.

The last weekend of summer break, Ken and Bogie joined me for a long weekend at LBF for some fun in the sun (among other places). Ken wanted to be sure to show Bogie all the interesting sights of Orange Beach, so we went several places--Tacky Jack's for breakfast, the Flora-Bama for afternoon cocktails (where we met up with friends), and Cosmo's for dinner. Ken and Bogie also went to lunch at Papa Rocco's, but I opted to hang out at the house (more on that later).

Tacky Jack's

Jason, Bogie and Ken on the deck at the Flora-Bama

Jackie and Ken at the Flora-Bama

Ken and me after taking a turn around the dance floor

While Ken and Bogie were at the Papa Rocco's, I chose to hang out at the house with...

Carter and Sue

Since Sue had already started her maternity leave, she and Carter flew to Pensacola and Mom picked them up. They stayed for several days, which was great, since that means that I got another opportunity to see them this summer. It was so much fun to play and swim with Carter. He is SUCH a character!

Ken reading a "Big Al" book to Carter

Last weekend, we had a surprise visit from Angie! We had an impromptu party at my house and several folks were able to join us. It was great to visit with Angie, as always, and I hope that she gets back down this way soon.

Me, Kathy, Angie, and Jason

This past Friday night, Ken and I went to dinner at The View with Cynthia and Brad. The last time we went out with them was in January, so it was WAY past time for us to get together again. We had a long, leisurely dinner and it was wonderful to spend time with them. We laughed and talked and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I don't think we'll wait so long until we get together again.

Ken, Brad, Me and Cynthia at The View

Cynthia and Me in the Gold Room

So, that's what's been going on for the last few weeks. I'll try to do better about updating in the future!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My "Aww-Summ" Sister

Being over seven hours--and many hundreds of miles--away from my sister and her family has caused all of us to use the sometimes limited abilities beyond the phone to communicate. Enter Blogging! Since Sue started her blog awhile ago, I have been able to keep up with the goings on in Indiana and see the great pictures of her family...including my precious nephew. While it is no substitute for the real thing, it has given me a whole new appreciation for what "family" truly means.

All that to say that Sue tagged me as one of "7 fellow bloggers that [she] think[s] [is] Aww-Summ." I am supposed to list 7 things that I think make me "Aww-Summ" and then tag 7 other people. So here goes:
  1. My parents--without whom I would not be here nor come as far as I have.
  2. My husband--who despite my fussing brings out the best in me.
  3. Teaching--I have found what I love to do and, while I am currently VERY happy to be out for the summer, I'm excited to get up and go to school each day.
  4. My friends--both "veteran" and relatively new who build me up and support me no matter what path I choose (and sometimes have to help pick me up and dust me off when I make a huge mistake).
  5. My siblings--I am truly blessed to have a sister and brother with whom I can share memories of our family, whom I love dearly, and who I am proud to say are my friends.
  6. My "bestest" friend on this planet--Cynthia--who, while I don't get to see her as often as either of us would like, has known me and loved me for 35 years (and vice versa).
  7. My precious nephew (and soon to be "new baby")--who has shown me just how wonderful "little people" can be and how excited they get when experiencing EVERYTHING.
So, those are my "7 Aww-Summ" things! And now, I'll tag 7 others to do the same!
  1. Cynthia
  2. Laura M.
  3. Leslie N.
  4. Christa
  5. Jennifer
  6. Susan
  7. Sue

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Hurricane Club

Back in 1995, my mother and her friends (Marion, Mott, and Suzanne) made a trip to the beach to stay in our condo for a long weekend. They had barely gotten to Orange Beach when a hurricane appeared in the forecast causing my father to call my mother almost every quarter hour, urging them to pack up and head north, which they ultimately did. This week marks the 14th year that The Hurricane Club, as they have dubbed themselves, has gotten together at the beach. The accommodations may have changed, but the fact that they enjoy getting together--and the laughter that they share--definitely has not. I was fortunate enough to be included this time--as the resident "Bar Bitch" and care-taker. (I was informed that I was getting practice in for "later on.") These ladies know how to have a good time! And, so we did!

Cocktail Hour

Catnapping by the pool

Taking a break from shopping

A young visitor
(A "teenage" Great Blue Heron)

The Hurricane Club

Monday, July 6, 2009

All Good Things...

As with all good things, our family visit came to an end Saturday night when Sue, Nick and Carter headed back north with stops planned for Birmingham and Decatur before returning to Indianapolis today (Monday).

Fortunately, the weather cooperated and we had lots of time for fun this weekend before the Willis' departure.

Carter catching a fish with the help of Dad and Big Pat

Splashing Bamma and Mom in the pool

Uncle Steve reading a Dora book about manners

Big Pat has big shoes to fill!

Lola and Ken soaking up the sun on the dock

And, finally, a video of Carter jumping into the pool. He came SO far this week from just belly-flopping to a full blown jump into the pool!

We all hated to see the Willis clan load up and head out, but we all hope that they can visit us again really soon! Everyone else left either Sunday or Monday and I'll be heading back to the 'Ham tomorrow. (It's awfully quiet around here with everyone gone. I keep expecting to hear a little voice say "More, please!" or break out into "Baa, Baa Black Sheep." I miss y'all already!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Carter's Adventures

Here are some of the things that have been going on around here this week:

Splashing with Uncle Steve in Bamma's Pool

Playing in the sand bucket with water, shells, and Uncle Steve

Carter watching the sailboat with Dad (Nick) and Uncle Steve

Checking out Big Pat's boat with Mom, Dad, and Uncle Steve
(Originally, Carter was NOT a fan!)

Sitting on the dock with Dad and Mom looking for fish

Heading out for a boat ride with Mom, Dad, and Uncle Steve as the captain

Heading back to LBF
(Notice that EVERYONE is up top to take advantage of the breeze!)

Uncle Steve, Carter, and Mom headed back to the LBF dock
(Carter's saying, "Bi' Pap's boat FUN!")

"Unc'a Steve" stylin' in Carter's hat

Riding on a tractor that's older than Aunt B

Trying out Bon's bed

Greeting "Bi' Pap" when he arrived

Carter "dudin' it up" in his Mickey Mouse shades from Bamma

Carter and Bamma reading about Dora going to the dentist

Things will pick up even more tomorrow when even more family arrives to kick off the July Fourth Weekend and the celebration of Big Pat's birthday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Fun in the Sun

Monday afforded even more fun in the sun with the Willis family. Carter slept in until almost 8:00, but once he was up, he was raring to go!

Reading the Dora books that Bamma got him
(Carter LOVES a good book!)

Having some juice by the pool with Mom

Checking out the security of the ladder

Waiting my turn to sit in the Aloha chair

Taking time out for a yummy yogurt snack

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Willis's Are Here

Yesterday afternoon, after much anticipation, the Willis family arrived! After a requested lunch of "chicken nuggets" and strawberries, we headed out to the pool.


Carter LOVED the pool! He splashed and jumped and swam all afternoon. He even played a new game involving his golf ball, golf club, and jumping in the pool.

The new "pool-golf" game

Even Wrigley got in on the action.
Wrigley learned to use the ladder

Jumping with Dad

Jumping off the ladder

Bamma teaching Carter to jump off the step

After spending several hours in the pool, it was time to eat dinner and get ready for bed. But, no bedtime preparations are complete without a few stories being read.

Button reading a Dora book to Carter

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Preparation for Family and the Fourth

So far this week, Mom and I have been in "high gear," preparing as much food ahead of time as we can before the rest of our family begins to arrive this weekend. Here are just a couple of things that have been done so far:

Hens cooked on the Big Green Egg

Mom announcing that she's glad she doesn't "pick chickens" for a living

Spaghetti sauce for Manicotti

Mom also smoked a pork shoulder, made a hashbrown casserole, and we breaded steak Tuesday afternoon. (That's an hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back, but, BOY, is it good!) I still have to make fudge under the watchful eye of Mom (the last three times I've made it, it's never solidified) and at some point, we're going to go over to Joe Patti's in Pensacola and get some shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat (for West Indes salad) before everyone gets here.

With thoughts of family on the brain, we've also "adopted" a small family of ducks--a male and female mallard and a baby. We noticed the little one Monday and when they came by Tuesday, I fed them crackers. They came back again yesterday for another snack. I don't mind feeding them, but I don't want them to become completely dependent on us, so they get one snack a day and that's it, no matter how many times they return. The little one is so fun to watch. He zooms around trying to keep up with his mom and she, of course, doesn't let him get to far away from him before she's calling him back.

The "Little Family"

Mama and Baby after their cracker snack

I'm really looking forward to very own "little one" getting here this Sunday! Carter will have all kinds of people to play with and take him swimming--even before breakfast, if he wants to go!