Posts Tagged ‘Outings’

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

Happy 4th of July!

I got a STICK, Mum!

I got a STICK, Mum!

Striking a pose (with a bit of Went hair to the side).

Striking a pose (with a bit of Went hair to the side).

The Littles

The Littles

My sweet Girls

My sweet Girls

Me and KB

Me and KB

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Adorable outfits came from Goat and Lulu!  I love that they match AND Went’s JonJon is reversible to be LSU colours for fall!

Beach Caterpillars

We were blessed by a dear friend asking us to come spend a few days with her at the beach.  Otto had to work, so it was me and the three littlest Caterpillars, plus my niece – Princess Flower (PF).  We headed to Topsail Island on a Saturday, and stayed until the next Thursday (to make it home before the storms and to spend the holiday with Otto).

The view was beautiful, the weather was fantastic.

The view from our balcony - looking at the two older girls in the surf.

The view from our balcony – looking at the two older girls in the surf.

We spent two mornings at the beach, and took a few short trips.  The island was once a military installation, so we visited the local museum: Missiles and More.  What an amazing little free museum!  Not only was there no admission (we left a donation), but their exhibits were outstanding.  They made the most of their small space, including a large fossil dig outside for the kids (again – FREE – they even provided the baggies to take fossils home in!).  When we arrived, each child was given a Pirate Sticker, the two volunteers (I’m assuming they were volunteers) were incredibly articulate, letting us guide ourselves, but answering (in great detail) any questions we had.  I was suitably impressed.

My favorite exhibit

My favorite exhibit

Inside at the Touch Table

Inside at the Touch Table

Digging for Fossils

Digging for Fossils

We also visited the Turtle Hospital, and saw the Turtle ICU and the large area where they housed turtles being rehabilitated.  GO’s one request was that we adopt a turtle, so we took home pictures of Kit the Turtle!

A turtle!

A turtle!

Went was fascinated about half the time...the other half he was bored senseless.  Turtles in large blue tubs....over and over!

Went was fascinated about half the time…the other half he was bored senseless. Turtles in large blue tubs….over and over!

Listening to a volunteer talk about types of turtles and how they get injured.

Listening to a volunteer talk about types of turtles and how they get injured.

Riding the Stone Turtle outside.

Riding the Stone Turtle outside.

We only ate out twice – once at a fun Hot Dog place, then my friend and I had a grown-up dinner at a “fancy” restaurant (where I had the best steak I have had in YEARS)!

The Gang

The Gang

We enjoyed the beach and the pool, and simply relaxed in the sand.

GO in her puddle jumper (for the pool).

GO in her puddle jumper (for the pool).

One of the cool things we saw was the Navy practicing rescue missions in the ocean right outside our door!  That was so different and cool.  We watched for almost an hour.

The helicopter was dropping in a "victim", then rescuing them.

The helicopter was dropping in a “victim”, then rescuing them.

We also visited two different playgrounds (and might have had a chocolate milkshake)!

DSC_0312 DSC_0323

The Atlantic Waterway (Inlet) where we got to see shrimping (with a net), during a playground break.

The Atlantic Waterway (Inlet) where we got to see shrimping (with a net), during a playground break.

I’m so grateful to have had this chance with the littles.  I know GO and PF went home with great memories!

~Mummy Butterfly )i(

Merbaby

I caught a Merbaby while at the beach…

Sleeping Merbaby

Sleeping Merbaby

I <3 those cheeks...

I ❤ her.

Sleeping away  to the sound of waves (outside on the balcony, so peaceful)

Sleeping away to the sound of waves (outside on the balcony, so peaceful)

Otto said I should bring her home with me…

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Father’s Day

We had a quiet Father’s Day.  The big boys were at their Dad’s house in Kentucky, so it was just us and the Littles.  We enjoyed a wonderful morning at church, then had a special lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants (Top Dawg Tavern).  After that, we headed to a local State Park to play on the playground and take a few photos (since everyone was matching!).

Walking to the playground together.

Walking to the playground together.

Love her "pose".

Love her “pose”.

Went said "My Turn!" and tried to pose like GO!

Went said “My Turn!” and tried to pose like GO!

GO and her Papa

GO and her Papa

Love these Caterpillars

Love these Caterpillars

Playing on the playground (yes, GO has shorts on under that dress!)

Playing on the playground (yes, GO has shorts on under that dress!)

Otto and his Littlest Caterpillar

Otto and his Littlest Caterpillar

Smiles!

Smiles!

Everyone on the playground! ;)

Everyone on the playground! 😉

Went and his Papa

Went and his Papa

Me and the Baby Girl - I love her headband!

Me and the Baby Girl – I love her headband!

Went giving his "thoughtful" face.

Went giving his “thoughtful” face.

I’m so blessed to have a partner as incredible as Otto.  He’s the definition of co-parenting.  There is never a point where he says “that’s not my job”, from changing diapers and bathing littles, to rocking fussy babies and building retaining walls.  He’s an incredible dad and husband.  We thank God for him every day.

Happy Father’s Day, Otto!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Homeschool Field Trip – Tennessee Aquarium

This Friday we had a homeschool field trip to the TN Aquarium.  Cookie went with us – along with three other families (5 adults and 16 kids in total!).  We visited the aquarium first, then took a ride on the Electric Shuttle around Chattanooga.  I think everyone had fun, and even though it was quite painful (I REALLY shouldn’t be in the car for that long), I enjoyed being with friends.  It is days like this that make homeschooling so worth it!

(There aren’t that many pictures, because we gave B10 a special privilege and basically let him sit with the camera for over an hour in the Butterfly Exhibit.)

On the electric shuttle!

On the electric shuttle!

The boys waiting for the rest of our group

The boys waiting for the rest of our group

GO in the underwater part

GO in the underwater part

Me and KB

Me and KB

CW and Went at the touch pool (rays)

CW and Went at the touch pool (rays)

Cookie, Me, and Quilting Bee (Can you spot KB?)

Cookie, Me, and Quilting Bee (Can you spot KB?)

GO greeting a turtle.

GO greeting a turtle.

Butterfly Exhibit

Butterfly Exhibit

Went found a fish!

Went found a fish!

Our friend the turtle!

Our friend the turtle!

Another photobomb.

Another photobomb.

CW and Quilting Bee's oldest

CW and Quilting Bee’s oldest

This child and I share the same name.  We both wear glasses.  We both like baseball and we both like his mother A LOT.   He photobombs my pictures...

This child and I share the same name. We both wear glasses. We both like baseball and we both like his mother A LOT. He photobombs my pictures…

The "girl group".  T was a HUGE help to Cookie.

The “girl group”. T was a HUGE help to Cookie.

Having a face to face with the Fishes.

Having a face to face with the Fishes.

I can’t wait for next year, when GO is in 1st grade and we get to do this more often!

~Mummy Butterfly )i(

Homeschool Field Trip – UGA Vet Open House

My Hearts

My Hearts

Our local university, University of Georgia, has an Open House every year for their Vet School.  At the same time, the Entomology School holds their annual Insect Zoo.  We decided to make the trek up with our friends for a FUN day!  (Cookie came along, to help and love on the littles.)

Little Girl got an Entomology Zoo shirt, too!

Little Girl got an Entomology Zoo shirt, too!

This is his "shocked at being photographed Sasquatch" pose...

This is his “shocked at being photographed Sasquatch” pose…

Easter Eggs with Lizards and Bugs inside!

Easter Eggs with Lizards and Bugs inside!

Playing Insect Cornhole with Cookie

Playing Insect Cornhole with Cookie

Cricket Pudding (yes, real crickets) - she also had FOUR Cricket Fondue

Cricket Pudding (yes, real crickets) – she also had FOUR Cricket Fondue

B10 holding a LARGE Insect

B10 holding a LARGE Insect

Holding a Bug

Holding a Bug

At the Entomology School Insect Zoo

At the Entomology School Insect Zoo

That is Cricket Chex Mix (with real crickets)

That is Cricket Chex Mix (with real crickets)

Went kept pointing and saying "Woof, Woof!"

Went kept pointing and saying “Woof, Woof!”

My favorite part was the Teddy Bear Surgery.  We waited for a LONG time in line, but GO brought a “hurt” stuffed animal and was a surgical assistant as it was stitched up.  It was a really cool experience for both of us!

Teddy Bear Surgery!  She is with her stuffed animal in preop!

Teddy Bear Surgery! She is with her stuffed animal in preop!

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Surgery

Talking to the surgeon

Talking to the surgeon

This is an event we will make a yearly one.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Fun and Failure

I put the “Fun” first, because the “Failure” is relative.

Some of my friends know that there was a special trip for my older Caterpillars over the holidays.  Their Trail Life Troop, along with the AHG Troop that I am the Coordinator for, took an overnight hike to Len Foote Hike Inn.  To get there, you have to backpack in for five miles.  The overnight stay is at a beautiful Inn, with family-style dinner and breakfast provided.  Clean bathrooms with HOT water to shower with.  And comfortable bunk beds (private rooms – one set of beds per room).  B10 and CW wanted to go very badly, and I was looking forward to joining them.

I talked with my doctors (twice), and the other leader going was an EMT/Firefighter, so my safety as a pregnant woman was secure.  I loaded my backpack and with the boys set out at 11am.

I made it two miles.  Frankly, that was pretty darn good.  The weather started out sprinkling, and by the 1.5 mile marker was pretty much pouring.  And the temperature was in the high 40s, low 50s.  When you add the backpack and the contractions – I knew when I started throwing up, this wasn’t going to work for me.  Honestly, if it had been warmer and wet.  Or colder and dry, I think I could have been fine.  The uphill portions were not easy, but the hike overall was not difficult.  I would absolutely take GO during the summer months (when it is dry).  I was making steady time of about a 35-40 min/mile pace.

CW on the trail, hiking up (this was lunch on day one).

CW on the trail, hiking up (this was lunch on day one).

However, at that point, I knew I had to turn back.  We had already talked over this and had a contingency plan.  The other leaders took the group on (with the boys) and I turned around and hiked the two miles out by myself.  (Yes – technically, I needed to have a buddy, but this trail was well-populated with other hikers and had great cell phone reception.  With the weather, it was better and safer for the other adults to get the kids to the Inn, and keep in contact with me by phone.)

I got back to the vehicle, and feeling much like the Virgin Mary, drove up the hill to the Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge – in the hopes there was “room at the inn” for a pregnant lady.  Luckily, there was!  Within 30 mins of getting off the trail (and texting/calling the other adults), I was in a warm bath trying to “unchill” myself.  I talked with my mum (who was with the Littles: GO and Went) and with Otto, and everyone knew I was safe and beginning to feel better.  It took almost 45 mins for the contractions to ease off, and for feeling to return to my fingers and toes.

Lunch (alone), but I'm warm and dry!

Lunch (alone), but I’m warm and dry!

The view from my window (without the fog - and in summer/fall - it's so much prettier than even this!)

The view from my window (without the fog – and in summer/fall – it’s so much prettier than even this!)

The Tree in the Lodge - so beautiful!  It had stuffed woodland creatures all over it!

The Tree in the Lodge – so beautiful! It had stuffed woodland creatures all over it!

In all the changes, Mum had a wonderful idea.  We talked about it with Otto, and he came home an hour early – so she could leave with GO and come up to spend the night with me!  My “failure” turned into a surprise “Girl Adventure”.  When they arrived, we went to The Maple Restaurant (inside the Lodge) where GO dined on Grilled Cheese and Fresh Fruit (with cake for dessert), and Mum and I had spinach salads.  Afterwards, it was bathtime – and GO had a “no-technology” night with a Dinosaur Lacing Kit that Cookie brought, along with a stack of books that were mine and BooSheep’s favorites when we were little girls.  (Plus, we reviewed her sight words for Kindergarten!)

Me and my Girly going to dinner (she asked for lip gloss!)

Me and my Girly going to dinner (she asked for lip gloss!)

GO and Cookie at Dinner

GO and Cookie at Dinner

My hat that is awesome.  Or would be my hat if I had bought it.  I didn't buy the hat.  It would have been my fancy hat.  My Sunday hat.

My hat that is awesome. Or would be my hat if I had bought it. I didn’t buy the hat. It would have been my fancy hat. My Sunday hat.

Afterwards, it was bathtime – and GO had a “no-technology” night with a Dinosaur Lacing Kit that Cookie brought, along with a stack of books that were mine and BooSheep’s favorites when we were little girls.  (Plus, we reviewed her sight words for Kindergarten!)  She snuggled up in bed next to me, giving me hugs and telling me it was the best night she had in a long time.

Her Dinosaur "Scene"

Her Dinosaur “Scene”

My Dinosaur Necklace

My Dinosaur Necklace

Lacing practice (after this was sight word practice and reading books)

Lacing practice (after this was sight word practice and reading books)

Early in the morning, we had a breakfast buffet at The Maple Restaurant, before Cookie and GO headed home (Otto was taking GO and Went to the Home Depot workshop, since it was the first weekend of the month).  I packed up, took a quick nap, then got a phone call from B10 saying they were almost down the mountain.

A picture of the Older Caterpillars in the game room of the Hike Inn.

A picture of the Older Caterpillars in the game room of the Hike Inn.

Wet and Cold B10 - but ready to do it all over again!

Wet and Cold B10 – but ready to do it all over again!

Wet and Cold CW - but a smile on his face!

Wet and Cold CW – but a smile on his face!

I picked up my wet (and cold) Caterpillars – who were tired from their five mile hike out – and soaking wet from the POURING rains that were going on – and we headed home.  I did grab them a quick cheeseburger for lunch, but the drive wasn’t bad at all, and we walked in the door before 2pm.  Both boys asked to not only go again next year, but for us to try to do this as a family.  (They LOVED the food and B10 couldn’t stop talking about the warm showers and the GREAT customer service.)

Overall – I highly recommend the trip for all my outdoorsy friends out there!  I can’t wait to get to make the entire hike, myself!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(