Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family Reunion and other random things

We headed back down to Mississippi last weekend for Ben's family reunion (mother's side). It was wonderful seeing all the family. Esther had lots of fun playing with Maggie, her 2nd cousin, and all the aunts, uncles, and grands.

Monkeys jumping on the bed

Ben and his brother, Brad. See the resemblance?


And the random things...

Esther helping me cook - snapping beans

Finding my old glasses and looking studious

E and I went to the Jittery Joe's roaster for a tour with some other Mamas and babes. Here was Esther's favorite part, playing outside in the rocks with Oscar.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plant Photography

We have a Certificate of Native Plants program at the Garden where people have to take 10 courses and do a certain amount of volunteer work to complete the certificate. The program was such a success last year that we are opening it to more people and offering multiple classes this year. It is a really neat program and I'm excited to be working with it more now that I'm done with school. Last Saturday we had a Digital Plant Photography course, taught by Hugh and Carol Nourse. They have some really beautiful plant photography books, mainly on GA native plants. Here are a few shots I captured during the course. Enjoy the floral eye candy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We'll miss you, Babouchka

We said goodbye to our cat, Babouchka, yesterday. After doing multiple tests and trying a few meds, she did not improve (probably cancer). It was her time to pass on and get some rest. She was not a lovey-duvey cat and didn't do any tricks, but she was a sweet fixture in our home. She occasionally would dive into the floor and roll over for a nice rub-down. Esther loved searching for her around the house and petting her "soft". She was so sweet to her while she was sick the last few weeks. She would check on her and lay with her. We will miss you, Babouchka, but are glad you are at peace now.

So not to leave on a sad note, a bit about Esther's new favorite outfit. It is her bathing suit cover-up. There have been many days where she will not leave the house without it. The hat is a nice added touch.
Here is Esther reading to her babies. She did this all on her own. We haven't pushed babies (all were gifts) on her or any real gender roles. It is interesting to see nature (vs. nurture) taking place. I love that she is starting play and use her imagination. So sweet!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The 4th and Spencer's party

We had a busy 4th of July weekend, but really enjoyed catching up with old friends and family. On the 4th, we went to a pool party with some old friends and really enjoyed ourselves. The kids loved swimming and playing together.
Samarah, Emily, me and the kiddos

Swimming with Papa

Esther was soo pooped

Sam passes on Lilli's clothes to us (Thanks, Samarah!), including this too cute fairy dress. Esther put it on and immediately started dancing around the room. A girl after my own heart!

We also met up with some friends from my old youth group on the 4th. I wish more people had come, but it was great to see those that really meant so much to me back in the day. That night, we kicked it redneck style and watched fireworks outside the Wal-mart parking lot after Esther went to bed. Fireworks always make me feel like a kid again.
Saturday we hung out with some good friends (thanks, Maki and Poppi for keeping E). Then Sunday was our nephew, Spencer's 1st birthday party.

What a stud! Just a picture I snapped at Spencer's (our nephew) birthday party.

Grammi (aka. Mimi) enjoying lap-time w/ both grand-babies. Spencer was trying to grab hold of Esther's ponytail.

Enjoying a ride on Pops' lap. Spencer is such a cutie!

Spencer checking out Uncle Ben's beard

And lastly, I leave you w/ a pic to bring humor to your day. We are poddy training, so E runs around naked pretty often. She also is in a "take everything out/sorting" phase. Here, she is combining the two. She was having so much fun, we couldn't help but let her demolish the kitchen and make her own play place in the cabinets. It is a good way to reorganize, too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birthday Week

Ben and my birthdays are just 5 days apart, so we choose to celebrate the birthday week. For his birthday, we were in Louisiana. His Aunt made him jambalaya and cousin made a delicious chocolate cake. We also had gumbo and shrimp poboys during the week, so he was a well fed, happy man. For my birthday, we decided to have a relaxing family day back in Athens. We started by going to the local farmers market and buying this week's veggies. They are really beautiful and yummy. Esther loved the corn.
We dropped off the veggies at home then walked to our local park. We took Esther to the pool for the first time since her swimming lessons last year. She loved it! She wanted to swim like the big kids and kept pushing us away. We let her play in the baby pool so she felt like she had some independence.
Then, we went to our small zoo, Bear Hollow, which is a frequent stop on our walks. Esther will give tours, pointing to where the bears and otters live, then telling the noises that each animal makes :)
The rest of the day was spent lazily around the house. It was perfect after our long trip to just relax and settle back in.
On Sunday, we went to the Georgia Nature Center for the Solar Festival. All the music was powered by the sun. They have two huge solar panels and a wind turbine. The owner also built his home on the property using green methods. I did a project on their Education programs and field trips for a class last year. It is a really neat place. We also got a big plate of jerk chicken and spicy cabbage. It was SO good!
A big storm came towards the end the festival. Esther loved dancing in the rain, splashing in the puddles, and getting muddy.
On the way home, we were gifted with the most beautiful double-rainbow I have ever seen. We stopped on the side of the road to get a picture, but I think this one taken from the car is cooler. The picture still does not do it justice. The colors were so vibrant. What a great ending to our birthday week!