We have a new friend! It is a Praying Mantis that has been on our kitchen window screen for the past 3 days. He shifts his position a little bit but as far as we know he hasn't left that spot (we don't watch the window 24/7 so it is possible that he leaves and then comes back and we don't see him during those times). The kids are enthralled by him and I am tolerant of him :) I know some bugs are great, he is just a little freaky looking. I won't be crying when he decides to leave us and will try to enjoy him while he staying at our house :)
I am a little weirded out by his head/face. It looks like he is checking you out!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Posted by Holly Aytes at 11:10 AM
Monday, September 29, 2008
Last night we said goodbye to Greg and Katie Davis. They are two of our best friends in the whole world and we are really going to miss them. Greg has taken a job transfer to Myrtle Beach. Our friendship has developed in just four short years and we have made some great memories with them. We pray that the transition goes well for them and that their lives continue to bless others just as ours have been. Greg and Katie we love you and will see you again soon. Now we have another reason to go to the beach every year:)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 11:45 AM
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday is laundry day at our house. The kids are expected to help. I called Caleb in to help unload the dry clothes from the dryer and place them on the bed. However, he interpreted as "climb into the dryer" :)
In his defense, he did remove the clothes from the dryer before getting in it. Also he was informed of the dangers of getting in the dryer. Taylor told him that he could accidentally get "dried" if someone came by and shut the door and turned it on (how many times have you come by and closed the dryer and turned it on before placing any clothes in?) I guess she was just looking out for him.
Posted by Holly Aytes at 1:39 PM
Thursday, September 25, 2008
As I stated in my last blog entry, I haven't blogged as much lately since we have been having computer issues. Sometimes the computer cooperates and lets me blog and other times it won't. It is in a good mood tonight so I am going to play "catch-up".
Two weekends ago Daniel, Rachel and Hannah came for a visit. We enjoyed getting to see them and to love on Hannah. Rachel's brother and SIL drove over from Maryville on Sunday for lunch so we also got to visit with them. Hannah is such a sweetie and a great baby. She is feisty which reminds me of Madison :)
I got this sweet picture of Caleb looking at and talking to Hannah :)
We spent last weekend at The Glade in Crossville with Aaron, Amy and Coy. We drove over to Cookeville on Saturday and meet Daniel, Rachel and Hannah for lunch here....
We spent the next few hours (just kidding) polishing off a few hundred shrimp. We enjoyed all you can eat shrimp and some great "fellowship".
Amy enjoying her all you can eat shrimp
Daniel (notice the "crazy eyes", we think this is due to the large quantity of shrimp he consumed)
Matt enjoying his shrimp
There are no pictures of me eating shrimp for a couple of reasons A) I didn't want any evidence of how many shrimp I managed to consume and B) I held Coy and let Amy and Aaron enjoy their meal :) I remember the days of eating and holding a baby and sometimes it is nice to eat without holding someone. I didn't mind, Coy is a sweet baby. This is what she looked like most of the weekend
Taylor had her 2nd Cross Country meet this past Tuesday. She did really well especially considering that she had spent Thursday through Sunday running a fever of anywhere from 101 to 103 and feeling pretty lousy. She wasn't able to run the whole thing b/c she was still a little weak and she had developed a bad cough that hindered her breathing. We told her that she didn't have to compete but she would have none of that. She only has 1 more meet and then the Championship.
Here she is finishing the meet
And posing with Caleb after the race
Lately Madison has been wanting to wear Caleb's pj's. Not sure why but she loves them. When they get home from school they immediately put on pj's and get to playing. Here she is sporting Lighting McQueen jammies and pink, princess house shoes (I am praying her fashion taste gets better) while acting silly :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:30 PM
Monday, September 22, 2008
Since having computer problems and taking a new position as "chauffeur", blogging has been a little harder to do and therefore I am behind on our happenings. I have enjoyed having some alone time with Madison lately. We have Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to do things just the 2 of us. Some days we just spend our time at home playing. She loves getting me all to herself :) She has been my grocery-shopping sidekick. We have started our Christmas shopping. We have just enjoyed being together.
A few weeks ago we enjoyed spending the day with Amy, Clara and Coy. We played at their house for a little while before heading to the zoo for a few hours. We hadn't been to the zoo in almost a year. Madison really enjoyed herself though. She liked seeing the animals. They were really active since it wasn't too hot yet. The elephants were out with their trainers performing some "tricks".
Inside the butterfly exhibit
The elephants were working with their trainers.
Elephant kneeling (ignore the pile of poop)!
Looking inside the elephant's mouth!
Madison posing for the camera :)
The meerkats happen to be one of my favorite animals. They are always to playful. This one kept raising his head up like he was seeing if anyone was looking at him :)
The king of the jungle.
Trying to get the girls to pose over by Chimp Ridge..they wouldn't :(
Madison being silly :)
This chimp was laying next to the glass just watching everyone "watching" him :)
Then we went and played over in Kids Cove. The girls had a blast in the water and there was hardly anyone else over there.
Madison wanted to walk on the lily pads which made me so nervous. I was afraid she would slip and hit her head :(
Sitting long enough for a picture
Clara even posed for the camera :)
Madison loved covering up the "sprayer" on this frog. She thought it was too funny (not sure why she thought this was so funny).
Posted by Holly Aytes at 6:56 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So this week has and continues to be about Taylor. She seems to dominate most of our life at the moment what with all her activities :) We do love her though and are glad she is jumping in and getting involved in things at school.
Last week she had a tooth in the front that was very lose but just wasn't coming out no matter how much she wiggled it. She tried everything. It was too loose to eat an apple, she would try to bite the apple and the tooth would push backwards at a funny angle. At one point it was bleeding pretty badly. For those of you who don't know me that well.....I don't do loose teeth! I don't "do" teeth at all really. I am not a fan of the dentist. I would rather lay on my back at the OB's than go to the dentist (I am working on this though, I have found a really great dentist who is slowly building my confidence back up since I wasn't always like this). Anyway Taylor loves to gross me out with her teeth when they are loose :) She finds this amusing...I don't! Finally on Saturday morning she begged Matt to pull it for her which he promptly did (he gets to handle all loose teeth and bugs/snakes/critters)! She was thrilled. The tooth fairy has yet to appear at our house b/c she hasn't been by the bank to get money. Taylor knows it is us and just told me to include it in her allowance :) She thinks she is so funny! This was the best pic of her minus a tooth. It was after a "meet" and she is red-faced ans sweaty. I tried taking some pictures before bed but she looked drunk in all of them. Not sure if it was the lighting or the flash too bright but this one shows the "gaping hole" so it will do!
Tuesday she had her first ever Cross Country meet. She is the first person in our family to run (cross country or track) and she did excellent! All I asked of her was to finish the race....and she did! She didn't come in 1st or 2nd (not that we really expected her too) but she also didn't come in last. She had to walk a couple of times but that is ok. This was the 1st time she had done it with a hundred other kids and on a very hilly course. She finished a 2 mile run in 14 minutes and 9 seconds. I was impressed, I couldn't run 2 miles in less than 15 minutes.
Here she is getting instructions from her coach
Lining up at the starting point
And crossing the finish line!
Proudly displaying her ribbon (every runner got a "participant" ribbon)
Her "team" won both 1st and 2nd place. Both winners were boys...they were either in the 4th or 5th grade, I am not sure. They have run cross country before though (the 1st place ran the 2 miles in exactly 7 minutes and 2nd place was just a few seconds over 7 minutes, I was blown away by that). Taylor was a little upset at first but got over it quickly when she learned "her team" had taken 1st and 2nd place. She is ready for her meet next week and is hoping to do better. I am going to start running 2 miles/day with her tomorrow...I may be wheelchair bound afterwards though :)
And Wednesday she had her 1st Girl Scouts meeting. She was thrilled to see old friends from Cedar Bluff! And they were glad to see her also.
Posted by Holly Aytes at 9:52 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
A few Sundays ago we enjoyed a trip to Dollywood with our friends the Tomlinson's. The kids of course had a ball and we adults also had some fun.
Clara LOVED the carousel so much that she had to be pried from it (I see Dollywood season tickets for this family in their future)!
Coy also enjoyed a ride on the carousel :)
I think Aaron enjoyed the carousel, don't you :)
Madison and Daddy
Clara also enjoyed the Flying Elephant ride. I rode with Clara while Madison rode with Amy. This was a miracle in itself as Madison will only ride with me normally. I of course got a picture of Amy and Madison riding but not one of me and Clara :( I think Amy might have one on her camera though.
Taylor on the Flying Elephants
Clara also rode the Lemon Twist with her Daddy. You can't even see Clara and Aaron is blurry b/c they were on the other side of the ride and we were spinning :)
Caleb and Matt rode together.
The girls riding the Lemon Twist!
And this is what Amy did most of the day...sitting in a shady spot feeding Coy :)
I didn't get a picture b/c I was busy with the 4 little ones but Amy, Aaron, Matt and Taylor went and rode Thunderhead. Coy was kinda sleeping while Clara, Madison and Caleb enjoyed the Little Lumberjack playground (sadly the water area was closed due to a broken pump). I have no pictures of them playing b/c I was trying to keep up with the 3 mobile ones while holding Coy :)
We also enjoyed the sprinkler area in Dolly's Dreamland Forest :)
The girls "manning" the water guns.
Caleb had just "busted" while running across the slick platform in the treehouse :) He wasn't even bothered got right up, continued running and did it again. You can't tell that boy anything sometimes :)
Taylor and Caleb "manning" the guns.
Aaron had to carry Clara a little bit until she warmed up to it. The water shoots out of the ground and she kept looking over a hole when the water would disappear and then it would reappear and shoot her in the face!
Amy, Aaron and Clara took a ride on the Ferris Wheel while Coy was sleeping.
Matt and Caleb also went but Taylor won't ride it (says she is afraid of heights but yet will ride roller coasters that go upside down and at speeds on 50 mph). I think it is the fact that the ride is so slow and the cars sway pretty bad. Clara loved it though :)
Posted by Holly Aytes at 10:54 AM