Monday, May 16, 2016

Earth Day and Other Celebrations

Teresa and Charlie came down for a couple of days to hang out and one of those days happened to be Earth Day!  We grilled hamburgers and the kids came out.  
Jackson had his first ride in the wagon!

T&C left on Saturday which was National Picnic Day according to Charlie and his daily group text!  That evening Sara and Evan brought Colby and Brody over and they had a picnic on our living room floor and then went outside to ride the wagon down the hill!
Notice Griff the photo bomber!

The ladies down the road!

Cutest baby ever!

Tired puppies after a day at the Duck! 

Sara and Evan at a high school graduation party for one of his student athletes.

Arriving home for a play date with Grandma and Grandpa!

Hanging out in the garage, it's a Gering thing!

His favorite toy of late is this ball, he will throw it and then chase it and throw it again, over and over!  He also likes to play catch when you sit on the floor with him!

I think maybe Grandpa likes this little guy!

We had a 'build your own pizza' Mothers Day celebration, it was a fun day! Lots of toppings so everyone could create their own combo!  We made my Mom's pizza first since it was past her normal lunch time, she kept offering to share hers with everyone while we waited for the next two pizzas to come out of the oven!  All in all, three batches of dough made twelve individual pizzas, plenty for everyone to get full and still have leftover pizzas to take home for the work week!

Josh made this for Susan for her first Mothers Day!

A drive out to the Clinton Lake dam to see the water being released after all of the rains.  The picture does not truly capture the raw power of the water rushing through the opening!  Lots of people fishing there. 

The orioles are back!

Love the way the evening sun lights up the Baker Wetlands.

Another play date with Gma and Gpa.  Having some puffs!

Could not resist getting a picture of those little feet!

Cooper made the Pawsh Wash Instagram page!

Hi Grandma (baby version)!

Hi Grandma (puppy version, a text from Sara!)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Memphis TN - RV Trip #2

In April Stephen and Beth took a trip overseas so Teresa & Charlie went to Memphis to stay with the girls.  They arrived on Friday in time for Gwen's prom and Zack's senior art show in Martin, TN.  We joined them on Sunday evening.
(Stephen, if you are reading this, you and Beth really should start a blog about your travels!)

We hadn't gotten very far out of town when I remembered that I had forgotten to mail a wedding RSVP and a graduation card...this little mailman (and his parents) came to the rescue and went by the house to pick up and mail the cards!  Thanks Jax!

On the way to Memphis we ran into strong winds and dust storms near Jonesboro, AR.  It was so bad that they shut down I-63 and rerouted traffic on back roads for a few miles.  The windy conditions made for white knuckle traveling!  Note to self; do not Google 'driving an RV in high winds' when you are still dealing with the high winds, the results of that search were more alarming than helpful!

It was ironic that this was the song playing while we were dealing with the wind gusts!
The dust even made its way into the inside of the truck, camper, and our lungs!

Hanging out in the trailer Monday morning after the girls left for school.  
Later Matt stopped by and joined us.  His first words were 'you might be a redneck if you have a trailer in your driveway'  which cracked me up!!!  We snacked and had a nice visit with him while waiting out the rain in the comfort of the trailer.

After Matt left for class we headed to a local Mennonite owned bakery/deli/market for lunch which Beth had recommended for their fried pies.  We enjoyed a tasty lunch finished off with pie! After lunch we stayed and shopped in their market and came back home with baked goods, candy, spices and more.  While Charlie finished shopping we sat on the large front porch and enjoyed relaxing in the rockers which were also for sale.

Monday evening was a nice dinner of Teresa's chicken enchiladas which we ate outside in their screened in porch.  Enjoyed hanging out with the girls on an ordinary evening!

Tuesday morning I wandered around Stephen and Beth's beautifully landscaped yard and gardens.  They have worked hard and created an oasis to delight all the senses.  These pictures don't even begin to capture it all or do it justice. Their property is surrounded by large pine trees, oak trees and crepe myrtles.

The shed/detached extra garage.

 The back side of the shed/detached extra garage.

This statue was originally a gift from Nolan and Madeleine to Teresa & Charlie when they moved into their Lexington home over 35 years ago, they brought it with them this trip and now it is awaiting placement in it's new home in Stephen and Beth's yard.

 Partially shown in the picture is a gazebo, fire pit, and seating.

This statue mirrors the makeup of their own sweet family, two boys followed by two girls.

One of the two kitties enjoying the gardens.

 The front corner of the house with a partial view of our trailer parked in the driveway.

 For lunch we took a short drive to Rossville, TN and ate at the Wolf River Cafe.  The food was delicious and included homemade pie!  Are you noticing a theme for this trip?!? 
The countryside between Oakland and Rossville was so pretty.

Next to the cafe was a park with a large gazebo and behind that was a small lake surrounded by a walking path. There were also Norfolk Southern railroad tracks running thru town and adjacent to his park.  We meandered from the lake over to a fun little store called In High Cotton which had many unique and beautiful items. I could have spent a lot of money in that store!

Before leaving town we drove around and enjoyed gawking at all of the beautiful older southern homes and imagining what it would be like to live there.

Grandma and grandson, a whole lotta love in this picture!

 After lunch, Matt had to headed off to class and we went to get Clara out of school early and travel to Gwen's track meet at Christian Brothers High School.  The school and athletic facility were quite impressive.  Also impressive was Gwen's second place finish in the mile run!  That's her running on the left hand side of the photo, go Gwen go!

Wednesday was planned to be zoo day, so on the way home from the track meet we had a lot of silly fun coming up with zoo food names including gator taters, hippo ham, snake shake hold the fangs, zoo-lash, and jungle-aya! 

Luckily those were only made up items and instead on Wednesday we enjoyed awesome burgers and shakes at Sweden Kream on the way to the zoo.
Here we are waiting for our freshly prepared order, we took up the entire seating area!

Two very pretty teenagers humoring their great aunt by posing for a picture at the zoo! 

Love these young people (and their older brother who was busy finishing up his senior year of college two hours away!)

We spent a long time at this otter exhibit watching this pile of otters sleep while one that was still awake, maybe the mama otter, kept gathering leaves and bringing them to cover up the sleeping otters.  She must of had made twenty or more trips to get more leaves for them.  So cute to watch!

Nice kitty kitty!
This zoo has strategically placed foot massagers which were surprisingly effective for rejuvenating tired feet about half way through the zoo!

A bit of brother/sister log wrestling!

My favorite section of the zoo was the Northwest Passage which housed animals native to the Northwest part of the United States including grizzly bears, bald eagles, and wolves!

The powerful speech attributed to Chief Seattle calling for environmental responsibility and respect.  Gave me goose bumps to read these words.

Yep, those are grizzly bears!

We did some fun activities and ate some great food but my favorite part of this trip was having the opportunity to spend time just hanging out with the Memphis kids in their own hometown and getting to know them a little bit better.  And I loved watching the bond between them and their grandparents as Charlie helped Clara study for a test and Teresa painted Clara's nails while Gwen looked on and complimented Clara on the manicure.

Great trip, memories made!