Saturday, June 30, 2012

Never say goodbye

This week we said "see ya later" to some dear Knoxville friends. Elias was in Mason's class this year and we were all in playgroup together. Julie was a dear friend of mine, and will truly be missed. But I know with today's technology, we will keep in touch and we'll see them again. 


 "Friends are not only together when they are side by side, even one who is far away... is still in our thoughts." ~Ludwig Van Beethoven

Friday, June 29, 2012

Alimusa's take on Knoxville

Every summer, my sister and her family from Arizona head to Tennessee for an extended visit. It's a great time to catch up and this year they headed up to Knoxville for a few days to check out our new house. They usually stay at my mom's and we come to them, but it was a nice to have a few stolen days to myself. When we lived in Seattle, we got to see them more often and the time zone difference wasn't so hard so we talked a lot more. It was some much needed sister time! Since Emily is headed into her junior year of high school (really- how did that happen?) we scheduled a visit to UT! They had a great time and I think it helped Em decided big schools may not be her thing.

The next day we drove down to Sweetwater to The Lost Sea. I had never been and we thought it might be a fun adventure to beat the heat. If you are in the area- GO! It was a lot of fun and a great workout.
Before entering into the cavern.

The beginning of our journey down (and the only part they blasted out) 
the rest was was a red clay packed floor.

Mason and Aunt Mel checking out the rock wall.

There is a lake in the cave and you take a short boat ride to explore it. Mason and Reagan did really well on the boat- I'm the one who dropped a water bottle into the lake -oopps. But Mel was quick to scoop it up before it got away from us. After the boat, you have to head BACK up the cave...and that is where the exercise begins!

The Lost Sea also had a nature walk, picnic area and place to sift for stones. Mason and Reagan loved playing with the water.

Mason and Reagan ate up all the cousin time they had!

Since we were already 20 miles down the road, we decided to go another 7 and visit the Mayfield Dairy.  Unfortunately they don't offer tours on Wednesday (note to self) but we did get some yummy icecream and you could explore the store and visitor center a little by yourself. Mason and Reagan LOVED milking the cow!

We hung by the cow for a long time. 

I loved this sign. And as a mom, it made me appreciate Mr Mayfield for more than just his ice cream.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Catching Lightning Bugs

This past weekend we headed to Belvidere for the Knapper family reunion. It's a great opportunity to reconnect with family that you don't get to see often due to distance and schedules. Our Florida family made the trip up and brought with them a few special guests (3 boys) Mason and Thomas were in heaven. I think it was the first time EVER that boys out numbered girls.

Tennessee has one thing Florida doesn't have...lightning bugs. The boys were excited to catch them, and a part of my childhood was brought back. I was transported back to my youth when we did the exact same thing, at the exact same house. (it wasn't my parents yet) and I know this is something we will now do every trip home. I forgot how much fun it was.

I don't think Mason will let me forget that for a long time.

Jack was a great lightning bug catcher and he was so sweet to share with Mason.

I think Mason found a new best friend!

My Aunt Cherry gave me a great idea to use the lightning bugs as a night light. It made the night that much more magical and in the morning Mason was excited to release them and watch them fly away.
I didn't get a picture of all the kids together- I was so bummed. All three boys were so great and patient with Mason and Reagan. And they all seemed to have a blast. We'll have to get together next time we head to the beach!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Walk with me

This is what happens when we spend the morning in our PJ's.

Love my little boy!

He looks like he is up to something- Reagan just looks comfy!

A girl and her cat. (or cattie as she likes to call him!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Turning 32

Today is my birthday. And I couldn't have had a better day. We headed to the pool this morning to swim with some great friends. After that, we came home had lunch and go ready to go out to dinner. My neighbor (and dear friend, Morgan) came over and curled my hair for me. I NEVER curl it and wanted to learn how so it was a lesson but she did most of the work for me :) Then we head to Wasabi (a Japanese Steakhouse) for dinner. We had never gone and overall the kids had a great time- although Reagan wasn't a fan of the fire. After dinner, Steve put the kids down so I could mow (I'm a freak I know but I LOVE to mow) then we ended the day with cupcakes. I couldn't think of a better way to start 32.

Here's to 32!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I know I am a few days late, but I was already on a posting roll so I thought I'd go for it. We had a great Father's Day, the kids even let Steve sleep in! We made him this sweet footprint poem (that I found on pinterest). I can't believe Reagan's foot is almost as big as Mason's! After lunch, we went to see Madagascar 3- the kids are HUGE fans, and it was a great movie! We ended the day with Steve's favorite dinner. He's a great dad and a wonderful husband and I hope he knows how much he means to us. 

The kids footprints on their poem for Steve. 

They were so excited to give daddy his gift.

I don't many pictures of the two of them, so this is one I will cherish. Pure happiness.

Ripley's Aquarium

My cousin Kristen is staying with us for a few weeks this summer while she volunteers at the UT Medical Center, so on a day off, we headed to Gatlinburg to the Aquarium. The kids and I have gone before but it has been a little over a year so it all seemed new to Reagan. Mason also had a great time and we were able to enjoy a few special treats- like the Penguins going for a walk around the aquarium. It was so fun!

I will never get tired of seeing the wonder in their eyes. 

The Penguins were free!
 Future Diver?

Reagan was excited to touch the pearl in the kids area.

Kristen and Mason inside a fish tank!

 And finally Reagan made an appearance.

She loved seeing the fish from the inside of the tank. 

Hands down. Best moment of the day. Mason was in awe of the jellyfish. 

Go figure. The moving sidewalk was a hit!

This Penguin flirted with Reagan for ever. He kept swimming back to her- it was really sweet. 

 Until next time fishes!

Ijams Nature Center

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go for a hike. We haven't really ventured out in nature much with both kiddos so it was an adventure. We weren't even out of the parking lot and Reagan fell, cutting both knees. After some tears and two band-aids we were ready to head out on our adventure. Ijams has an amazing kids area with a log cabin, fairy garden and logs to walk across. After that we went for a walk around the boardwalk. It's about a mile hike and the kids did great; we brought the stroller so they took turns riding.
I can't wait till we go again- they have some really fun trails that I can't wait to try!

Mason and Reagan in the fairy garden.

Mason walking across the logs.

Reagan doing everything brother does.

Mason and Dad walking- it was about time to switch.

Getting a better view of the river.
It was a great day and a great way to reset.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A super hero, a princess, and some school

In the last month or so, Reagan has really turned into a little girl. She just looks older, and has lot her "baby" feel. She loves Mason's superhero cape and has been wearing it every where the past few days. She calls it "superpowers."
For her birthday Reagan got a dress up princess set, we have slowly been opening her gifts to make the newness last longer and this was our final present to open. She loves playing "pincess" and wears the heels and crowns all over the house. 

See what I mean? Do you see a baby in this picture? Not me, just a little girl.

Mason had VBS last week and I volunteered to help with his class. We had a lot of fun and came home with new songs and a lot of new crafts. I didn't get any pictures at VBS (too busy chasing 12 4-year olds), but here he is shaking his home made shaker after school.

Monday, June 4, 2012

swinging the day away

To be young and carefree.

I love some cousin LOVE!