Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weekend Fun

Last weekend we had a wonderful, fun, friends and family-filled time. On Friday night, our friends, the Parkers, came over. I've known Jared since 1995 when we met at a World Changers project in Houston, Texas. My junior year of high school, my best friend, Sarah, and I drove down to Chapel Hill to visit her sister and also to visit Jared. Then God brought our paths back together at another World Changers project in Peoria, Illinois in 1997. And my freshman year at Elon I drove to Chapel Hill each Sunday to go to church with his family. His parents "adopted" me and I enjoyed many a Sunday lunch at their home. Jared even took my sister to her senior prom. We have a cool history together.

Two years ago, when I posted on Facebook that we were moving to Rock Hill for Jack to be the BCM Minister at Winthrop, Jared messaged me to say that they lived in Lake Wylie a nearby town and that his wife, Melissa, was the Catholic Campus ministry director at Winthrop! How crazy is that?!?! And not only that, but Jared and Melissa have two boys, Drew and Sam, who are the same ages at Caleb and Noah.

In the past two years, we've hung out a handful of times and we have seriously enjoyed it so much and our boys have really bonded. So, now we've decided to schedule a monthly Blankenship-Parker date! Friday night we grilled out burgers and okra- so good! And the boys played in the backyard until dark. Then we built a fire in our new firepit and made s'mores. I didn't get any pictures, but it sure was fun.

Then on Saturday we packed a picnic lunch and went to Andrew Jackson State Park. Earlier in the week, Caleb and I learned a little bit about this 7th president and about his home here in SC. So, we decided to go check it out. I also knew there were several letterboxes hidden there and we love letterboxing. If you don't know about letterboxing, it is basically a treasure hunt. People hide boxes, filled with a logbook and a stamp, all over the country and then post clues on a website. When you find the box, you put your team's stamp in the logbook and you put the box's stamp in your own personal book. We absolutely love it. We found two boxes as we explored the park, had a picnic and then explored the museum about Andrew Jackson. It was a super fun day.

Then when we got home, we cooked hotdogs in our firepit and then roasted marshmallows and carved jack-o-lanterns. What a great weekend we had!

All the boys and their hats

 The girls and their pigtails

Decoding our letterbox clue

Dressed in Colonial clothes

 My awesome kiddos

The schoolhouse

Josiah in the Dunce hat.... appropriate, don't you think? ;)

Caleb's Iron Man Jack-o-Lantern

 Josiah's Wolverine Jack-o-Lantern

Noah's Hulk Jack-o-Lantern

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Costumes 2012

For the past several years I've had a great time making the boys' costumes. Usually I can make them for much less than I can buy them and I can taylor them to exactly what the boys are interested in. This year all three boys wanted to be animals. Caleb wanted to be a bald eagle, Noah a leopard and Josiah a lion. I searched the internet for ideas and finally settled on plans. I got my materials last week and made each of their costumes. And I even sewed Noah's. Unbelievable as I really don't know how to sew! But it came out good enough for a Halloween costume! I am really proud of the way they turned out and the boys love them. Caleb and Josiah even won a costume competition for their age ranges (Noah and Josiah were in the same age group, so we think Noah won, too). I just bought Eden's costume since she doesn't care at all. She is a ladybug- fitting in with our animal theme. If I had thought about it sooner, I would have had Jack and I dress as zookeepers since most days that is what we are anyway!

Here are the awesome pics:

The Zoo

Eden the Ladybug

Caleb the Bald Eagle

Noah the Leopard

Josiah the Lion

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another Year Older

And even more gifts to count....

551. a beautiful backyard

552. autumn blue skies

553. friendships that are easy

554. florida warmth

555. being on vacation time

556. ice cream for dinner

557. still being uncle jack and aunt carrie

558. seeing the two lovebirds together again

559. uh oh, daaa-dy, tookies, baby

560. birthday surprises

561. photos for my dresser

562. pumpkins

563. hayrides

564. nephews

565. sister

566. best friends

567. brothers best friends

568. autumn sunsets

569. danielle

570. christie

571. boys trying to keep secrets

572. firepit

573. his scheming 

574. i love you more

575. "i love you so much!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Florida Trip- Part 3

After vising friends all weekend, we spend Sunday night and Monday doing fun family stuff. Sunday night we went to Downtown Disney to enjoy the nighttime events- we danced with Phineas and Ferb, Caleb was attacked by a statue, we took a boat ride, we saw a show and we ate ice cream for dinner. Vacation fun for all!

Then on Monday we started with breakfast in bed. We loaded the car and checked out of our hotel (which we were able to pay for with points! It was super nice condo style- two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, two baths. And it was a resort with an awesome pool that we enjoyed on Saturday night), and went back to Downtown Disney. Today we played in the toy stores- we especially loved the Leggo store with all of the building stations out front. We spent a while building and racing dragons there. For lunch we ate at Rainforest Cafe. The kids loved it. Even Eden. She thought the animals were funny and whenever the thunderstorm would sound and all of the animals would go crazy she'd say, "Uh oh" over and over. The kids had been so good the whole trip we let them choose an animal from the gift shop- Caleb got a tree frog named Cha-cha, Noah got a rhino named Tuff, Siah got a gorilla named Bamba, and Eden got a giraffe she calls Baby.

We left Downtown Disney and hit the road for Jacksonville to stay with Jack's sister and her family. But on the way we stopped by the beach for a bit. I mean, you can't go to Florida and  not see the beach! And we ended the night with Audra and Koty. Tuesday we drove home. It was an incredible trip.