Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Break at Jekyll Island {April 2020}

Although the kids were already doing online learning, they did get a week break from their studies for Easter week.  Since traveling was not an option, our state did start allowing locals to visit beaches for the day although there were restrictions on numbers in a group, lounging on the beach, and closed restroom facilities.  We took the kids for a day out at Jekyll, and it was perfect.  We had the beach to ourselves, and there was a perfect little tide pool for Maggie to play in with warmer water than the ocean.  The ocean water was still a little chilly although Brody didn't seem to mind it.  He is the most water loving of our kids still although I suspect Maggie may be as well.  Our teenager was the only one who got called out by a park attendant (Jekyll Island is a state park) for lounging on the blanket we had brought for Maggie in case she needed to nap.  Sigh.  We are so thankful to at least have beaches close by that we can utilize during these difficult days of social distancing.  I know it is so hard in cities where they have less means of escape to the outdoors.  I have a friend in New York City who posts about their experiences.  They do have to wear masks when they go outdoors although they have enjoyed walks in the quieter and less crowded city and in Central Park.  The city skyline actually looks so beautiful and clear in her photographs, and I am a little jealous she gets to enjoy the city in such a rare state.  Eddie and I kind of got that less busy experience in a very cold January when we visited, but it was a completely different winter scene.  I think we all can benefit from some outdoor therapy during this time.  My motto is "go outside and play!"

My crazy husband posing for his picture, and my message in the sand to mark this memorable occasion. 

Grayson and Maggie really enjoyed their little private pool on the beach.  It was the perfect size and depth for all of them.  

I am so thankful for these crocheted hats from my sweet friend, Kelly, because they have really come in handy lately.  They stay on her head as sun protection better than other hats that blow off in the beach wind.  I think they remind me of fashionable 1920's swim caps women wore.  

My silly boys playing together. 

Maggie crawling off to join her brothers. 

She headed for Evan who she definitely adores.  

My sweet Mattox

Grayson and Daddy didn't seem to mind the cooler water. 

Maggie really enjoyed the muddy sand and definitely ate her share.  Sigh. 

You may notice her dirty mouth from eating sand, but she was very happy.  

There's the lazy teenager "lounging" on the beach like he wasn't supposed to be.  I was busy watching Maggie and the younger boys playing, and Daddy was in the ocean with the others most of the time. 

Brody will always be my water-loving baby. 

I think Maggie will be my sand and dirt loving baby. 

I love watching my boys playing together.  

Maggie showing us her silly tongue. 

And we always stop for a treat for the drive home.  Yum, Chick-fil-a frosted coffee is the best!  

Friday, March 20, 2020

Riverbanks Zoo {March 2020}

Eddie started his new job as the State Forester for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service in Columbia, SC the beginning of March.  He worked for about two weeks before they were all ordered to work from home because of the pandemic.  It has been hard on Eddie who needs to be able to meet and visit with the District Conservationists in his state so he can help them implement forest management practices and help get landowners the services they need.  Instead, he is meeting everyone online and writing new procedural guidelines for them to follow.  This event actually worked out for the best for our family though because, otherwise, he would have been staying in Columbia all week while I handled single parenthood in Georgia.  Before he got those orders and the kids' schools were closed, the boys had their Spring Break so we rode with Eddie to Columbia to scope out our new home.  We arrived on Sunday to visit the zoo which was actually its last day of being open for business before being shut down for the pandemic.  Many of the exhibits were already closed that day, but we enjoyed the visit.  Eddie's aunt has a family pass to the zoo so it did not cost us anything.  We do plan to make this zoo a regular family outing because it has a lot to offer with a carousel, train, climbing wall, and splash pad in the summer.  (Note:  all of these photos were taken with my son's older iphone because my phone had died on the drive and needed to charge and I didn't even bring the camera for this trip.  Oops!) 

It was a bit cloudy and drizzling on and off so this was our best attempt at pictures by the zoo sign. 

Brody was not cooperating of course.  

Attempting a picture with Daddy by the orangutan statue.  
We enjoyed watching the playful otters as they swam and played ball. 

The otters would swim up their little water fall.  Maggie and I with the sleepy bear. 

Wake up, Mr. Sleepy Head! 

Silly lions and lionesses.  One was chewing another's tail. 

Cool tigers. 

Tiger on the prowl. 

The koala house was closed, but we could see him through the window.  He was actually awake and moving which you can see better in a video.  That is very rare for these sleepy creatures. 

Cool birds. 

Bright pink flamingos are the girls' favorites.  

We sat and watched the seals and sea lions for a bit.  They do a fun show. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Fairweather February {2020}

February is often our most beautiful month down south.  It really is more like early Spring here.  We enjoy playing outside much more because it isn't too hot yet and the bugs haven't come out.  The azaleas usually start blooming too.  I am thankful we got to enjoy this month before the Covid pandemic stopped everything.  

Maggie got to play at Chick-fil-a and practiced standing up. 

Making funny faces in the fun mirror. 

Maggie loves playing with her big brothers now. 

The sweetest thing you will ever see!  Big brother Grayson having a tea party with his little sister. 
The boys did not want to come inside for lunch so we brought lunch outside to them.  No, they still didn't really eat, but we tried. 
Maggie and Grayson had fun at the park while big brother was in school.  They loved swinging together. 

Grayson is becoming our most adventurous and independent child so he was fine with going off to play with other kids on the bigger equipment while I watched Maggie. 

But little sister is still his favorite.  He shared his cars with her. 

Little sisters with four big brothers will like cars and other boy toys.  

Maggie did more practice standing.  No steps yet. 

Maggie got a new hi-tech hearing aid.  She is trying out a bone anchored type of hearing aid on a soft band.  This kind of hearing aid bypasses the ear canal and sound goes straight to the cochlear bone.  We think her ear canals are still a little small for a traditional hearing aid to work well. 
Maggie loves ice cream! 

Maggie and her brothers sitting together in their little chairs at the doctor's office. 

Bath time! 

Brody and Mommy had a date to see Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker since big brother was at Disney World. 

Brody likes the comfortable recliners at this theater. 

He was pretending to hold his light saber. 

Maggie and I had to check out our azaleas that were just beginning to bloom. 

And Grayson too. 

Mattox had a big appointment for a psychologist evaluation, and he did so well that he deserved a special treat.  We stopped at Krispy Kreme to get "eyeball doughnuts."  He's so silly! 

I love this boy!  

Big brothers take little sister for a drive. 

Bike riding fun in the neighborhood. 

More tea party fun with big brothers. 

Yes, Mattox and Grayson like Maggie's toys more than she does. 

Just special time with our growing girl. 

Heart shaped biscuits from Chick-fil-a and some Valentine's love for Brody. 

Bundled up for an early morning soccer game in Florida. 

I found a four leaf clover on the field.  I hoped it would bring Evan good luck. 

Making flower crowns. 

Our fairy princess wearing her crown. 

Mommy and her fairy prince Grayson.

Mattox showing off his Valentine mask he made at preschool and cheesing for me at dinner. 

Just our usual Wednesday night at Zaxby's kids' night. 

Grayson looking cool in his aviator shades. He feels the need for speed. 

Maggie had a big day enjoying her first Chick-fil-a grilled chicken nugget kids' meal with apple sauce. 

Some silly selfies with some silly kids. 

Yum!  First taste of Chick-fil-a.  It was a big hit! 

Ice cream cones for the win. 

Maggie enjoying feeding herself some snacks.

Jedi Maggie is ready to fight. 

More silly selfie fun. 

Standing up playing at the eye doctor's office. 

Brody Bunny is so silly. 

It's ba-ba time!  She prefers holding her own bottle. 

Mr. Mattox loves to help me drive in our neighborhood on the way home from school.  It really became an everyday event.  Sigh. 

Astronaut Maggie is ready for take off.

Daddy received a very special gift for his service to the Marine Corps.  The folded flag was flown over his bomb range his last week of employment.  

Just some cuteness from Maggie and Grayson.  Grayson was blowing kisses. 

Goodnight from sweet Mattox and Grayson.  Grayson fell asleep on the couch cuddling Maggie's girl yeti that big brother Evan bought her at Disney World. 


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