Monday, July 27, 2015

a day in the river

When we went to the Smokies a couple weeks ago, we had so much fun wading in the river there that we decided to make a day of it. On Saturday we drove to the Obed Wild and Scenic River, about an hour away, and spent the day playing in the river there. The area we went to had a great swimming hole with picnic tables and grills nearby. We made burgers for lunch and had a fantastic afternoon in the water. The only downside was that Jacob got pretty fussy and lost interest about the time he usually takes a nap. The rest of us probably could have stayed longer, but that's all right. It was a great day.

Jacob's very, very favorite thing to do here was throw rocks in the water.
We didn't know about this ahead of time, but while we were there a park ranger showed up and led some activities about finding different invertebrates in the water. Jamie loved it.
This old bridge spanned the area of the river where we were. It is still open for pedestrians so we went up and walked across it. There were some great views, but the camera stopped working around that time, so no pictures.
Some of the other people there had a paddle board and very generously offered to let us try it. Thomas and I each spent a little while using it, which was really fun!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

summer days

We've been trying to make the most of summertime this year. Here's what we've been up to...

ice cream at Bruster's

playing at the park
one of my favorite pictures!

playing in water

wearing flip-flops... all the time. I got these flip-flops on clearance at Walmart, and Jacob has wanted to wear them nearly constantly ever since.

watching this plant grow... Jamie brought it home from preschool for Mother's Day. We didn't have anywhere to plant it so I left it in the cup. I've been amazed at how tall it has grown in there.

eating treats and making messes (this is from exactly one cookie!)

dressing up - meet Darth Jacob

working on reading and writing... Jamie broke one of Thomas's old GI Joe's, so he bought a new one with his own money and wrote this note, sounding it out on his own. It says, "Sorry Daddy for breaking your GI Joe. Love, Jamie."

constructing and playing in a blanket fort!
the tunnels made by the chairs on the sides were fun too

reading lots of stories... Jacob has finally started liking stories and brings us books to read to him. It's the best.
and of course Jamie gets plenty of stories as well

just playing
doing somersaults... Jacob taught himself how to somersault. Jamie also wanted to be in a video. They've been doing them all the time ever since, especially because Jacob copies everything Jamie does these days!

sadly saying good bye to friends... So many people we know have moved this summer! When our friends Allison and Dallin were getting ready to leave, we had one last play date at our pool and then I watched their little girl while they finished up cleaning their apartment. Miss Lizzy is only 2 months older than Jacob. We'll miss seeing them and others who have left Knoxville this year!
last play date

swimming... Jamie's taking a second session of lessons right now. We've gone many times to our apartment pool also. Unfortunately Jacob isn't a huge fan of being in the water unless he can walk in it himself. Otherwise we'd be in there every day lately!

going to programs at the library... We've been to a short theatrical adaptation of a children's book, a chemistry program, a Lego activity, a zoo presentation, and most recently this presentation by the fire department.

Not pictured, but other things we've been up to...

  • The boys and I met up with my friend Brianna and her two kiddos at a beach in Oak Ridge. We hadn't seen them in ages! The kids had so much fun, and it was great to get together again! 
  • We had a cookout at West Hills Park with some friends. It was crazy humid that afternoon but we had fun anyway (especially the kids, who played a Star Wars game on the playground the whole time).
  • Speaking of Star Wars, over three successive Friday nights, Thomas and I watched the original trilogy with Jamie. It was so, so fun! He has been obsessed with Star Wars for years and already knew everything that was going to happen. When a new ship would come on screen, he'd exclaim, "Look, it's a star destroyer!" (or an X-wing or whatever) each time. He loved the movies. (obviously.)
  • Last weekend we went to Kentucky Splash, a water park about an hour north of here, just over the Kentucky border. It was so fun! It had a wave pool, a couple of big children's areas, a lazy river, and some awesome water slides. Jamie, who was just tall enough, even went down one of the big slides. He's always been a bit afraid of heights, so I was shocked he wanted to go at all and that he actually followed through with it when we got to the top! They also had some very small  slides for little kids, which was Jacob's favorite part. He went down them over and over again.
  • Just yesterday we went to a swimming hole in the Obed Wild and Scenic River area, about an hour away. There will be a forthcoming post about the fun we had there.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

a coupon from Jamie

It's hard to read, but this says "Empr Palputen I Phood," or in regular English, "Emperor Palpatine Eye Food."

According to Jamie, this is a coupon to Emperor Palpatine's restaurant where they serve food that makes your eyes healthier. He is so funny.

I absolutely love it when he sounds words out himself. My favorite part is that he used "ph" in "phood."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Father's Day

Father's Day officially occurred while we were in Missouri, but we waited until we were back in Knoxville to celebrate it so the boys and I could surprise Thomas with a day in the Smokies. He had no idea we were going anywhere at all when we got up that morning, and once we got him in the car he had no idea where we were going. We drove all the way through the park to the other side near Cherokee, NC. We ate a picnic lunch, went to the Mountain Farm Museum, where they have collected many historic farm buildings from around the park, and hiked the Ocanaluftee River Trail. When we got back to Knoxville, we went out to Olive Garden for dinner and gave Thomas his gifts: a homemade card from Jamie and a gift card for a hot shave at Frank's Barber Shop. It was a wonderful way to spend a day together as a family.

Happy belated Father's Day, Thomas!

This rooster REALLY liked crowing.

Mountain Farm Museum

Ocanaluftee River Trail
taking a break by the river
Of course Jamie ended up wading in the river.
And Jacob and I joined him. It was hands down their favorite part of the day. (and mine!)
elk sighting as we left to go home
He must have been really worn out. :)
Thomas's gifts!