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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ducks in Branson

Before heading home from our short weekend trip to Branson, we rode The Ducks. This had been recommended to us by some friends and it was every bit as fun as they had said it would be!
Before boarding The Duck, everyone received a quacker. Here are the kiddos waiting in line to get on board with their quacker...

Philip and Eli ready to go... Myself and Emma Kate...

The same friends who told us about The Ducks also told us that whoever sits in the back row gets wet when it enters the lake. As we were boarding, we realized that we were going to be toward the back. (you don't get to pick your sits. they start filling from the front and work their way back) We didn't get the last row but we were on the next to last. Me and Emma Kate got very "soggy bottoms" as our driver called it.
This picture was taken when we were out on Table Rock Lake. You can see the Branson Belle Showboat in the background as well as some parasailers.
Each child on board got the chance to drive The Duck while it was out on the lake. Here's Eli driving...
and Emma Kate... (you can see how wet her clothes are!)
Although pictures are great, this ride was so fun that I am including some video footage from it. I know the video is shaky! They had great music to play at all the right times so be listening for that. Also be looking/listening for:
~us and the other passengers using our Quackers as we meet another Duck. (that was one of the rules)
~the countdown as we got ready to enter the water
~how wet Emma Kate got!
~the cackling you hear (yes, that is me! I was so surprised at the water coming up over the sides of The Duck.)
~Eli and Emma Kate driving
~The Duck "relieving" itself after we got out of the water :)
~Table Rock Lake Dam

video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More from Branson

The first day of our trip to Branson, we went to Silver Dollar City. This was the first time that we had been. The very first ride they wanted to go on was the log ride. I told them I wasn't getting wet from the get-go. I sure was glad I didn't go when I saw them get off the ride. Can you tell how wet they are? I did end up getting on a water ride later in the day and got completely soaked! No pictures of that though! This picture was taken on the train we rode at the end of the day...

Saturday morning we went to Branson Landing which is on the water's edge. It was so beautiful that particular morning as there was a low fog over the water. You can see a bit of the fog in this picture...

This little girl loves her big brother SO very much but she tries to act like she doesn't...


One of the main reasons for going to Branson was so we could go see Noah - The Musical. This theatre has a goal "to visualize and dramatize Biblical truth through live stage productions - to illustrate truth in the same way Jesus did, by storytelling." I'm so glad we got to go. Photography wasn't allowed inside but if you want to see pictures, you can click on the Noah link above. I was able to take a picture outside the theatre. This lion and lamb stand outside of the entrance.

Bibs in Branson

Philip and I took Eli and Emma Kate to Branson last weekend. (my parents came and stayed at our house with the babies) Philip and I hadn't been to Branson in almost 10 years and Eli and Emma Kate had only been once before so it was practically new fun for all of us! Since we didn't have Zane and Zander with us, there was no need to pack bibs....or so I thought! Read below and find out why we did need some during 2 of our meals.
First night there we ate at Shogun. Here is Eli trying to use the chopsticks.


The next night we ate at Joe's Crab Shack. Our kids LOVE seafood so we thought they would really enjoy the food and fun atmosphere at Joe's. Eli ordered the kids crab. He was quite surprised when our waitress put a bib on him...He then realized that everyone who orders crab, adults and kids alike, all have to wear bibs. So, he decided it was okay after all...

He called this yellow thing a "Tool of Death for the Crabs"...I love how hard he is working to crack open the crab. (Notice his tongue sticking out...you think that helped him?)

Our last morning there we went to IHOP. It's Eli and Emma Kate's favorite place to eat breakfast. Emma Kate had blueberry topping on her pancakes. And, as you can see from this picture, she also had blueberry topping on her face! (Notice the napkin attached to her shirt with one of my hair clips? That was a bib that I rigged up for her after I realized that a white shirt and blueberry toppings probably wouldn't be a good mix! Where was the Joe's Crab Shack bib when I needed one?)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Morning, Good Night, and Good Hair

I want to remember.....

hearing Zane and Zander through the monitor as they wake up each morning. This is sometimes earlier than I want it to be :), but the sounds are still so precious! Zander immediately begins "talking" very loudly, which in turn wakes up Zane. Zane then starts off with a few quiet sounds. These sweet noises are then followed by Zander holding onto the sides of his bed and jumping up and down while Zane holds onto his bed and shakes the sides. If you're needing help with this mental image, think of 2 little monkeys at the zoo in their cages. One of them is jumping up and down trying to get your attention while the other is grabbing onto the bars of the cage and shaking vigorously!

I want to remember....

how loving and sweet Emma Kate is at night when its time for bed. Without fail every night, she wants me to come up to her room and tell her good night with kisses and hugs. Philip and I had been taking turns doing this, but now, even if its his turn, she still asks for me. A couple of times I tried not going (just because I wanted that time to be special for her and Philip), and within a few minutes we could hear her wailing and sobbing for me. So, I now tuck her in every night. I know she won't always need that so I want to cherish it while she does want me.

I want to remember....

that when Zander was 14 1/2 months old, he finally needed his hair combed for the first time! His curls in the back are always all over the place, but I don't mind those. In fact, I actually LOVE those curls in the back of his head! But, as I got him out of the bathtub last night, I noticed that the sides and a teeny tiny bit on top actually needed to be combed down.

I tried to get pictures of it before I combed it, but he was too busy! I did manage to get these pics of those cute curls I told you about!



I want to remember....
how fast Zane's hair grows and how much of it he has! He has had 3 haircuts and is needing another one! Last night as I was noticing that Zander finally has some hair, Philip was doing this to Zane's long hair in the bathtub....

and then crazy hair again once he was out of the bathtub....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

May '09 Recap


Zander started getting much more mobile and "curious" in May.






He climbed the stairs for the first time....




Eli was still in the midst of spring baseball. Most late evening games found me staying home with Zane & Zander while Philip took Eli to his game. One evening before leaving for the game, Eli put his baseball cap on the boys....




The school year at Providence ends during the first week in May. Mrs. Keylor's class brainstormed their favorite Kindergarten memories, as seen below. I love this picture because it is so typical Emma Kate. The rest of the class is all grouped together and she is sort of in the back by herself. She still does not enjoy big groups or loud activities and instead prefers to just sit back and observe.



The last day of school includes "field day" where there is a carnival-like atmosphere. The pictures below show Eli trying to dunk someone in the tank by throwing a baseball at the bullseye....







Official last day of 2nd grade picture....


When I went into Emma Kate's room to take her picture, I found this....

But when she woke up later, I got her official last day of Kindergarten picture....



Sweet boy with yogurt on his face....



Emma Kate with gymnastics teammates Dayvis and Lauren at the end-of-the-year banquet.



We took our first visit to the Wild Wilderness Safari in Gentry during May. Zane and Zander ready to go in their OshKosh overalls....




We loved how these two animals walked right up to our car...




Emma Kate and Eli checking out the donkey who is still standing beside our car. Take note of Eli's safari hat :-)
This is Dinky. Emma Kate's favorite animal at the Safari.



While getting ready for church one Sunday morning, Eli couldn't figure out how to do his belt...

Emma Kate said "here, let me do it."

Here we are at church later that morning...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Zane's 1st Haircut with Mrs. Trudi

Two months after Aunt Glenda gave Zane his first "trim," it was time to visit an official stylist for a real big boy haircut. Here are the boys in the car on the way to see Mrs. Trudi....
Mrs. Trudi has a drawer-full of suckers. Zane took one (it was his first time having a sucker), but he wasn't convinced he liked sitting in the chair with this strange lady!


About 45 seconds later, he definitely decided he didn't like it...





I had brought one of the giant lollipops left over from their birthday party decorations, so I whipped that out. Zane really liked that and it "did the trick" for the remainder of the haircut.


On the way home after the haircut....