Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let The Birthday Celebrations Begin!

Week 21: Ed's Birthday Week! We had a fun week celebrating Ed's birthday! It was also a week of sick kiddos! Thankfully we are well now!

The kids helped plan for Ed's birthday dinner...they wanted "Ed's favorite food", tacos, and since his favorite color is green, we of course had to come up with green food - broccoli, salad, and mint oreo pie! What a crazy meal, but fun and memorable!

Mary Virginia had a good week at school. The Red Barn came this week. As much time as we spend at the barn and around animals - it was shocking to pull into the parking lot of the school and see a pony and cow grazing in the grass! The kids were able to go through this portable barn and play with ducklings, chicks, dogs, a cow, and the class favorite, the pony. I know I am missing some animals, but I think you get the picture! (I just wish I had pictures to post!)

We were all well by the weekend and it was time to show these tiger fans how to tailgate! We had a pregame lunch with some friends close to the stadium. I am not sure that the LSU fans knew what to do with us! Our friends live near campus, so we just set up our tailgate in the front yard...I don't think their neighbors expected to see a tent with Auburn gear, lots of orange, corn hole and more! (We had many strange looks and a few comments.) We had a great time with friends - too bad we couldn't pull our tigers through.

Just a quick note...we were so excited this week to meet a new friend. The Skippers welcomed their precious little boy on Monday. We were able to visit with them for a few minutes on Sunday and he is adorable and big sister is precious as always!

Look out...next week is all about BIRTHDAYS! (I may have to have multiple posts if I am not too exhausted!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Orleans Bound

Week 20: The kids made their first trip to New Orleans this week! We decided to take the kids to the aquarium even though they are happy enough going to the "Fish Store" (also known as Bass Pro Shop, which they think is the aquarium). It is always so much fun to watch their faces as they experience new places and try new things! Of course, as soon as we made it to New Orleans, everyone was "starving". In the spirit of giving the kids a whole day of new experiences...we ate lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. They thought it was so funny...all of the signs, the pictures, the boat gear, and the ping pong paddles. I think they were most excited that their lunches came in paper shrimp boats! We were able to sit outside and enjoy the cooler Louisiana weather (I think it was about 80 degrees). John Bay loved playing with the license plates to get our waiter's attention!

After a walk down Decatur Street and then along the river, we arrived at the Aquarium of the Americas. We loved all of the exhibits, but I will try to touch on a few of our favorites...

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the kids walking through the tunnel where the fish were swimming around you...they couldn't stop long enough to pose for a picture! Maybe we can try again next time.

The Amazon experience:

Even more than looking at the animals and the anaconda....the kids loved running through the rain forest more than looking around. They climbed all over the rocks and around the waterfall.

My personal favorite was the penguins. It is like they knew what was going on...as you stepped up to watch the penguins they would look at you, dive in and then swim up to the glass to see you! They were coming up to visit MV...

Before arriving at the Aquarium, I was most excited about seeing the new parakeet exhibit, where you can walk in with feeding seats and the birds will land on you and eat from your hand. Before walking in MV let me know she was not interested in feeding them and after walking in, they both couldn't wait to get out...they both said that the birds made too much noise - it was just too loud, but it was amazing!

And then there were the touch pools - MV and Ed played with the stingrays! JB didn't like getting wet...
Then it was time for the sharks...

There was a 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico Exhibit, where we saw sharks, red snapper, tuna, tarpon, sea turtles, sting rays and so much more! I think this was the most relaxing area - to just sit and watch...

It was a full, fun day...what goes better with that than beignets! While waiting for our beignets, the kids were treated with another experience and I don't mean the street performers in Jackson Square...the "Occupy Wall Street" protest passed by - I don't think the kids had a clue what was going on, except that they got to see policemen on horses!

After a long wait in line and even longer wait for our treats...

John Bay wanted nothing to do with the beignets - he was good with chocolate milk!

Mary Virginia on the other hand loved it all!

We all loved our day in New Orleans and we can't wait to take the kids back!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birthdays at the Beach!

Week 19: This has been your typical school week - school, homework, and playing with friends...but we ended the week with a PERFECT weekend. The kids were out of school on Friday for the Parish Fair...so we packed up the car and headed to the beach to celebrate birthdays with our friends from home! We were all so excited! We got in late on Thursday night and Ella had gone to bed...so this is first thing Friday morning... Ella came up for breakfast!

And then we went for a swim in the pool, actually Ed and the kids went for a swim...

The kids were worn out after a fun morning at the pool. We tried for a little time on the beach, but the wind did us in! We topped off the day with a fun dinner at Fisherman's Corner. YUM! The kids had fun sitting on the porch listening to the piano man play "Under the Sea".
And then we did it all over again on Saturday! This time, we added more friends to the mix! The Huntons came down early Saturday morning. The wind was blowing and the sand was hitting us all in the face, but still we had fun!

Not the best picture of the group, but it was the best of the bunch considering the wind!

We ended the night with a birthday celebration for Mary Virginia and John Bay! This was my attempt at fish cupcakes. (We went with a beach theme.)

It was so fun to celebrate with friends from home...the kids loved celebrating with the Youngblood, the Bagbys, the Huntons, and Gigi & Jaja! (They stopped by on their way to Destin!)

This was a wonderful way to start our birthday season! We had a blast, we were just sorry to see the weekend come to an end. We love all of our friends and family and can't wait to see them all soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rodeo Round Up!

I know I am a week late updating this...but please bear with me - it has been a busy week!

Week 18: We are really getting into the busy fall season here in the Whatley house! This week was especially hectic for us! Mary Virginia had another Girl Scout meeting this week. It is so much fun to watch all of the girls playing together and learning! (I forgot the uniform picture, but I will get one at the next meeting) This week in scouts, the girls talked about planting a garden, and they all had the chance to plant some seeds to make an herb garden. We were the lucky ones that got to bring the garden home...and we have been watching it grow!!! We can't wait to take it to the meeting in two weeks and show all of our friends the progress of our sage, dill, and lettuce!

We are still trying to get used to a state where there is only 1 college football team and there is a pro team! John Bay has spirit day on Thursdays at his school - and I get the idea that Auburn gear is not the norm...who would have thought that they don't recognize orange and blue as school spirit colors? As we are attempting to embrace the area...don't worry, I didn't buy anything purple and gold...we went for the Saints look, and he loved it!

We also had a very special Thursday...Math & Science Night, which was a Rodeo Roundup! The kids got to dress up like cowboys and cowgirls for school, MV was so excited not to wear her uniform and she borrowed my hat! (We were running late and I didn't get the picture before we left for school!) She made such a cute cowgirl! The whole family made it to Math Night. We were able to walk from classroom to classroom and meet all of the teachers and play math games! It was such a cute idea and a great way to get to know the teachers and other families! And what rodeo would be complete without a hot dog supper! John Bay had a blast - he thought he was a big kid running around the elementary school! (I don't know how those ladies did it, but this is one of the first pictures where both kids are looking at the camera at the same time! I think I need to hire them to take some family pictures!) This was one of the activities at Math Night!

To wrap up the week we celebrated Gigi's birthday! The kids decided to make her a birthday sign and then sing "happy birthday". They asked me to video it and then send it to her! I hope it made her day! I wish we could have been there with Gigi, but we will see her in a week!

And of course, our new experience of the week - the fall street fair through the antique district in Denham Springs! Such fun! While Ed and MV went out in search of food - Jambalaya and hot dogs...JB and I found the Rescue Greyhound Group and played with all of the puppies! He thought the dogs were amazing and most of them were taller than him! This was such as fun event, I only wish we could have stayed longer...but we had to watch some football!

We are gearing up for next week and a trip to the beach with our friends from Birmingham!

P.S. I have a shameless plug...the Fall Product Sales for Girl Scouts started...if anyone needs any magazines, candy or nuts, please let us know! I will be happy to get you some information!