Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Herbs in Arkansas

Chris' brother Phillip, his wife Stephanie and their little boy Chase flew out to visit us last week. They flew into Springfield on May 10th and stayed until the following Tuesday, the 17th. A full week of fun! Prepare yourself for a TON OF PICTURES!!! I can't help myself- these two boys are such cute models!

We had such a blast!!! I tried not to overdo it, but I wanted their trip to be memorable and not just consist of sitting around our little two bedroom duplex. I think they had a pretty good visit- I know we sure enjoyed them!
So we got them from the airport really late Tuesday night and drove home- getting in around 2 am or so. We were all tired the next morning, but Chris got up and went to work for a few hours. Once the rest of us got up and around we ate, got ready for the day and packed a picnic lunch. Then we headed to Blanchard Springs to play at the river and see the caverns.
The little boys loved the spring and throwing rocks in the water.
They could have thrown rocks in the stream ALL DAY LONG!

Here are a few from the spring and waterfall.
Family pic

Tanner sitting on the rocks- doesn't he look so tall here?

love the father and son shots

Tanner and Mom

Then we went down to the river to let the boys enjoy the water. Chase (my nephew) loved it and splashed around and had a blast. Tanner thought it was too cold to get completely wet and was content to dip his hands in the water and play with his hat in the water. Both boys had a ton of fun though.
Checking out the shore line- unsure of whether he wants to get in the water.

Tanner using his hat as a bucket to scoop water

Tanner and I- he kept clapping the in the water- that's why his hands are in his face.

Then we headed up to the caverns to take our tour. Both Chris and I had both been before, but it was still cool. Stephanie and Phillip enjoyed it and once Chase fell asleep on the tour they were able to enjoy the sights even more.

At the beginning of our tour

Tanner checking out the formations

Phillip, Steph and Chase in the Caverns

One of the cool formations...

We headed home and ate dinner at a local catfish place then put the boys down and just relaxed that night.

The next day was just as full. We woke up early, ate breakfast and packed the car to head to Branson for the day. We had tickets to Silver Dollar City and the Dixie Stampede. We spent the day at Silver Dollar City and while the husbands rode the fun rides that Steph and I couldn't (both of us are 7 months pregnant) we took the little boys to play on the kiddie rides. We had alot of fun and the little boys seem to really enjoy themselves.
My little family before we entered the park

Tanner being a cheeseball in his stroller

We rode the carousel- which Tanner was totally obsessed with. He wouldn't not look at the camera- he just held tight to the pole and watched all the horses around us. I was dying of laughter at how hard he was concentrating...

The boys loved the rope tree house too

Chase was a pro at the ropes...

Then I took Tanner to the SDC "build-a-bear" copycat shop and he built his own puppy dog.

The little boys had a blast a the water/splash part of the park.

The Silver Dollar City Express- Tanner loved the train ride.

Tanner was sooo tired- he loved the puppy he made so much- he snuggled it for most the train ride.

And Chase was totally out by this point

That evening we headed over to see the Dixie Stampede show. Its a dinner show with a competition between the North and the South. Both little boys were totally enthralled with the horses and later with the chickens and pigs. While you watch the show they bring you different courses of the meal. It was sooo much food but we managed it all pretty well. Both little boys did remarkably well after such a full day at the park. It was a blast!
Right after the show- notice how tired Tanner looks...Such a full day!

Cute Little Cowboys

I know this isnt a great pic- but its the only full shot I have of Tanner that you can see his boots, wrangler and shirt. He totally looked the part

Friday morning was spent at garage sales and later that night we left our sleeping boys with my sister and headed off to see a movie.
Tanner and Chase took turns on this awesome garage sale find that I got for $2. What a steal. Neither one wanted to get off the 4-wheeler when their turn was over

Saturday we mostly just hung out. Chris and Phillip went shooting and Steph and I took the boys to the park. We got some groceries for our camping trip and brought home a pizza for dinner.
A few park pics

Boys swingin' together

Sunday we left for Crowley's Ridge to camp. Well camping in a cabin- but whatever. By 4:00 pm we were settled into our cabin.
Here are the little boys having a pre-dinner snack. Cheetos are a rare treat!

We roasted hot dogs and Brats over the fire for dinner and had fire grilled corn on the cob and baked beans.
Tanner grillin' his hot dog.

Chillin' in the camp chair, chowing down on his hotdog

Family sitting around the campfire

Our Oregon family didn't know what to make of the cicada bugs. Here is Steph and Chase playing with one on the table

Phillip and Chris made a dutch oven peach cobbler and then we let the little boys play while the big boys went fishing.
Chase and Tanner were obsessed with pulling the bark off the trees

Little boys blowing bubbles

After the little boys were asleep we had smores and stayed up and talked until we were all too tired.
The next morning we made breakfast in the cabin and played a bit more.
Tanner checking out the birdhouse

Chase hiding- with that camo hat on you can hardly see him- right?

Then we got loaded up and checked out of our cabin by 11:00 am. Then we let the little boys run off some more energy before we headed home- a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we got home we did laundry and everyone got cleaned up. Then we went out for some bar-b-q and visited my parents, who had been dying to see everyone.
Chase loved the tractor at my parent's house

The next day we had breakfast and pretty much packed the car back up to take them back to the airport. We made one quick stop at the Bass Pro Shops to look around and ate dinner at Hemingways- which was sooo good. And then that was it. It was over.

I cant believe how fast their trip went by and how smoothly everything seemed to go. Both little boys did amazing. They played so well together and now Tanner is going through Chase withdrawal. Its sad. We are so grateful they spent the time and money to come all the way out here to visit. We had blast and hope they did too.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I had to write a short note to thank all the mothers out there who are such wonderful examples to me. I wanted to give a special thanks to my own Mother. She is the "mother" of all mothers. She's pretty much amazing and I want to be just like her. And as if being an awesome mom wasn't already enough- she's also an amazing Grandma- or as we say "Nanny". Tanner sure loves that sweet lady. I don't know where I would be without her and I'm grateful everyday for the relationship we have and the short 10 minute drive to her house. She is truly one of my best friends! I LOVE YOU MOM! Thanks for everything you do for me and my family!

(I really need a picture of just me and my mommy- this is the best I could do)

I had a wonderful day today with my two sweet boys. They gave me a gift certificate to get "pampered" at the salon- and I'm SO looking forward to that. Then we went for a drive, played at the river and had a yummy dinner at my parent's house. We also got to visit Grams. All-in-all, GREAT DAY! Thank you to all those who made it so special!