Friday, July 31, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 14

Friday, June 5

Did you know it was National Doughnut Day today? We planned to go get free doughnuts, because I'm motivated by free things. But it turned out that you only got a doughnut with the purchase of a drink. And that's just silly. So we just hung out and let the kids play.

Anderson, Clarissa, and Casey went with Joey to Bud Hill to play disc golf. They had a lot of fun. They saw a giant green moth called a Luna moth.

Later, the kids played Sing Star at the Hales' House.

Then we had movie night at the Wilsons'.
We watched Night at the Museum II. My favorite part is when the Egyptian bad guy with a British accent and a lisp chastises Darth Vader for having "too much going on here. You're athmatic, you're a robot, and what is thith cape for? Are we going to the opera? I don't think tho."

There was also an ice cream sundae bar. Yum.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 13

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thursday was pretty low key.  Casey, Anika, Clarissa, and I went to see Dr. Joey at his Dentist office. He did a little work on the three of them on his lunch break. He's an awesome dentist and brother.

Then we went and swam in the neighbor's pool. She's so nice to let them swim all the time. As a thank you, Kate ordered and assembled a patio canopy swing thing. I failed to get a picture but here are some pics of our kids having a blast in the pool.

Rosalie, who takes after me, got cold and her lips turned blue. She doesn't seem sad about it.

And I got to hold this cute boybie, while Kate built the swing.

Ooh, I almost forgot to mention the firefly hike we went on in the woods. One of the things on my bucket list was to have my kids see fireflies while we were back east. And we saw them, all twelve or so--that's the trade off we had for the unseasonably cool weather. Ah, well....

Monday, July 20, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 12

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On Wednesday we went into the heart of Memphis. Our first stop was the Bass Pro Pyramid. It used to be a sports arena. Now it is a major sporting goods store as well as a hotel.

This is the entrance lobby.

This is the bridge over the big fish pond.

Freddy and Katie in the fudge shop.

Our next stop was the Mud Island River Park. This is a very cool scale model of the Mississippi river where one step (30 inches) equals a mile and every inch down equals five feet--and the whole thing equals 5 blocks of splash park that our kids had a blast wading down.

We had to get a picture at the Memphis Bridge.

Giants crossing the bridges at Memphis, the largest city on the Mississippi River.

Cute Oscar

 Once we reached the Gulf of Mexico, we sat around and ate the box of fudge we bought at the Bass Pro Shops. Kate went through some trouble to get a good deal on that fudge. Their computers were down and she had to wait in line at the customer service desk and everything. Watching her thriftiness, I was so proud.

Divvying up the Fudge.

It's a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi Mud . . . .

It had been a long day, but we briefly stopped by the Lorraine Motel/Civil Rights Museum. 

There is a lady on the corner who had some signs up in protest of, uh, I'm not sure what. Caleb told us she had been there every day since shortly after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. She used to work at the motel. 

We drove down part of Beale Street on the way back to Wilsons' and Hales' houses. There was cool art on the buildings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 11

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

From Katie Songer Hale's blog: Tuesday:  Chill at home, attempt to see the new Moroni being put on the temple.  (got there at 9:00 but it didn't happen until much later in the day and we left after about an hour and a half.  But we got to see the new font hoisted up and over the fence),  went to "The Nest" playground, and chilled some more at home.  That night we went to Fat Larry's and stuffed ourselves silly eating fried pickles, fried green beans, fried cheese cubes, the sampler bbq platter and even got a few things sent over from our friend Larry himself.  Like barbecued turkey and fried sweet potatoes.  For dessert we had fried apple, peach and lemon pies.  Yeah, I know.  You are jealous.  (either that or you're judging our grease intake)

Some pictures from Shelby Farms Park, in what they call the nest parks.
The ropes course nest

the swings nest

an arbor tunnel--they wrap all around each nest

the snack and chat table

The best part of each day has been spending time with family. We love these guys. We don't get to see them nearly as often as we would like to.

Family Road Trip - Day 10

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Memphis Zoo

Today we all went to the Memphis Zoo. When we first walked through the gates I said to myself, "What's with the Egyptian theme?" And then I said, "Oh, yeah. Memphis."

The kid enclosure.

I won't post pictures of all the cool animals we saw but I have to post this one, because everybody loves the red panda best.

The little girl enclosure.

We had unseasonably cool weather for summer in Memphis. Meredith was suffering from allergies or a cold or both and started to feel chilled and sick. We got her a jacket and took her inside the amphibian house, where  it was stinky but warm. After a rest she felt better.

The koi pond 

We saw nearly the whole zoo and everyone was very tired by the end. But we had such nice weather--cool with light rain sprinkles--that we ended up staying longer than the Memphians usually do.

Back at the Wilsons, we were introduced to the Game of War, Wilson style. The Wilsons' house is uniquely suited to this game, which is played with nerf guns and stuffed animal grenades by two teams--Upstairs vs. Downstairs. The war raged for days.

Lissa taunts Luke--I dare you to shoot one into my mouth!

Anderson won the medal of Takes-it-Most-Seriously. One battle, he stormed up the stairs and "killed" every little girl left on the opposing side, even the one using the bathroom at the time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 9

Sunday, May 31
States Visited: Tennessee
Dinner: Caleb's famous Pizza
Sites: Church
Lodging: Hales and Wilsons

Casey and I and our two little girls stayed at Wilsons' house for the first half of the week while the teenagers stayed at Hales' house. Then we switched. Except Meri stayed with Malan the whole time.

Church was 9:00 this morning, same time as we have it at home. It was fun to see Joey being the bishop, and Kate being the Primary President, and Katie being the primary chorister. The kids are usually shy about going to classes in another ward, but at least the younger ones had cousins to go with. And the older kids got to go to Sunday School taught by Caleb.

Then we hung out at the Wilsons' house while Caleb made us pizza. Yummy.

Family Road Trip - Day 8

Saturday, May 30
Miles Traveled: 499 Miles (2803 Total)
States Visited: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee
Cost of Gas: $2.49, $2.48 (Greenville, AL and Bartlett, TN)
Breakfast: Cereal and Breakfast Burritos
Lunch: Sonic and Taco Bell in Greenville, AL
Dinner: Wendy's in New Albany, MS
Sites: Mirimar Beach, Cousins' Houses
Lodging: Hales and Wilsons

This morning we had to clean up the house and leave by noon. We had leftovers for breakfast.
The kids wanted to go swimming--we didn't let them. We cracked the whip and got on the road by noonish. Kate took care of check-out, like she took care of check-in. She's awesome like that.

We traded Meredith for Olivia for the ride back to Tennessee.

Hales' van had a check engine light on so they went to have that checked out (we drove their van once in Florida, did we jinx it?). At the same time we went to a nearby store called Alvin's Island where we spent an inordinate amount of time buying ten tee shirts for ten dollars. Also, Rosalie was eager to spend the birthday money she got from Grandma and Grandpa Songer. (She had already spent the birthday money she got from Grandma and Grandpa Hale.) She acquired a jointed wooden alligator (Freddie), and a big starfish (George.)

The drive to Memphis was pretty uneventful. The kids watched movies, played games, and took naps. At one point we were driving next to Joey and Katie--we called them to see if we should stop at the same place for lunch but they had sleeping kids, and we had kids who needed a bathroom, so we stopped and they drove on. The landscape slowly changed. We passed a lot of Waffle Houses. We ate Twizzlers.

Tennessee had some amusing road signs:

photo by Jordan Kennedy, because I kept missing it

Memphis at last! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Family Road Trip - Day 7

Friday, May 29
Miles Traveled: 20
States Visited: Florida
Breakfast: Fruit Crepes by Edith and Breakfast Burritos by Kate
Lunch: Hot Dogs and Chips by Joey and Katie
Dinner: Pampano Joe's--Adults triple date.  Kids ate leftovers.
Sites: Mirimar Beach
Lodging: Beachfront house in Mirimar Beach, FL

Today was Rosalie's birthday--she turned 8.  We talked about having her baptized in the ocean, but we wanted the grandparents to be able to attend, so we didn't.
We had to leave most of her birthday presents home, including the papasan chair she requested. But her cousins totally stepped in and gave her sunglasses, a shell turtle, and fireworks!
She chose strawberry crepes for her breakfast in bed. 

Kate also made yummy breakfast burritos.
And of course, we headed right down to the beach after breakfast.

Wave jumping.

Anderson and Lissa used the little boogie boards we bought.

Malan and Meri spent hours paddling out into the surf with a floatie and just riding the swells.

Rosalie started out the second day sure she wouldn't be swimming. She'd had too many rough wave dunkings the day before. But she just couldn't stay away. Once her shorts were soaked, she changed her mind and her clothes.

Did the words, "It's my worst birthday, ever!" come out of this girl's mouth today? 

Rosie and Lucy started a collection of mollusks and small fish. At first Rosie had no luck catching the fish. I tried to help her but they were too fast and crafty for me. Before long, Rosie had the hang of it and caught 8 or 9 by the time we made them head in for lunch and a break from the sun.

Rosie teaching Casey how to catch fish.

After lunch, we had birthday cake.

Then we took Rosalie to see the alligators at Fudpuckers Restaurant and Alligator Beach.

One of Rosalie's birthday presents was getting to hold an alligator. We learned that alligators have a lot of strength in their bite--even this little guy has 80 pounds of pressure per square inch!
Anika was the only other kid who could be persuaded to leave the pool to come with us.

Luckily the tiny pool at the beach house was in the shade by mid-afternoon. We didn't go back down to the beach until around sunset. 
photo by Kate
photo by Kate

I tried to use Kate's camera to get pictures of her, since she's usually behind the lens. But probably this one is by Caleb or Katie.

If I lived near the beach I'd only come at sunset. It's the best--not too hot, not too bright, no sunburns, less people. Nice.

Then we three adult couples went out to eat at a beachfront restaurant called Pompano Joe's. Our food was super yummy and the company was even better.

So that was Rosalie's birthday. I think she had a pretty good day. I know I did.