Jul 27, 2018

Once On This Island

Stella had another amazing theatrical camp experience at Manship Theatre in July.  She and her friends spent two weeks preparing Once On This Island for the stage.  When performance day arrived, she was ready to shine and her entourage was ready to cheer her on! 
The camp staff at Manship is always TOP NOTCH and these precious young ladies have helped my big girl learn and grow so much as a singer, dancer, and actor...
The friendships Stella formed with other campers meant so much to her.  She became great friends with the young lady who played the lead.  It was so awesome of this "big kid" to take my ten year old under her wing.  The entire experience at Manship is one that I know Stella will treasure forever.  If you have a dramatic kiddo, I highly recommend it!

Jul 7, 2018

Home Depot Saturdays

One of our favorite things to do is visit Home Depot on the first Saturday of the month for their kids' workshop.  The big kids love to build, but Corinne pretty much just wants to paint everything she can from the the moment that she crosses their threshold...
You can probably tell from looking at Watts' face that we usually eat chocolate donuts before we go to Home Depot...
We also wear clothes that it's okay for us to stain, hence this winning ensemble from Cille...
And finally, here's our master craftswoman...
Our Home Depot trips can be pretty chaotic with 4 kids, 4 hammers, lots of nails, and multiple sets of  instructions flying around, but I know that these memories will be some that the kids will cherish as they grow older; so...if you ever run into us during a kids' workshop, watch out for Corinne unless you are wearing an outfit that you don't really like anymore!

Jul 6, 2018

Watts at LSU Baseball Camp

Since Watts missed his entire baseball season due to his broken arm, we tried to find a couple of baseball camps for him to attend during the summer.  He attended Parkview Baseball Camp first, and then spent a week at LSU Baseball Camp.  Daddy used to attend this camp when he was a little boy.  Pretty neat, huh?  Cille was there for moral support for the first drop off, although from the smile on his face, I am not sure that she was really needed...
We ended up knowing his coach's mom and one of his teammates, but since Watts is not good with names or concerned about identifying people in general, these connections were lost on him...
On the last day of camp they had a chance to have items signed by the LSU baseball players who were working the camp.  Watts had his hat signed.  Since I am not really a sports fan if my kids or myself are not participating, I have no idea who these guys are, but I'm sure they're great and will hopefully have fabulous professional careers following graduation.  They were sweet to my little buddy, so that scores one for them in my book...


Watts had a great week at camp and probably would have gone right back the next week if we had let him.  Right now his favorite sport is definitely baseball.

In other camp-related news, the most dramatic moment of this camp did not happen to Watts, it happened to his mother.  I was walking across the bleachers and stubbed my baby toe, pretty much splitting it in half, and resulting in me almost passing out and having to visit the athletic trainer on duty.  I was mortified.  Next year I am wearing tennis shoes to all pick up and drop off activities.

Went on Down to the Audubon Zoo

What do we do in July when it is hot as Hades in South Louisiana?  We go outside and spend the day at the zoo!!!


We got to hear an elephant chat with the zookeeper and see an elephant tooth.  Wowza, do they make the tooth fairy earn her money!  

Cille got to hold an elephant's toenail clipping...maybe she could use it in some "mean lady soup"...

To cool off, my little baboons headed over to Monkey Hill...





We also monkeyed around in Jaguar Jungle, just a few days before a jaguar escaped his enclosure and went on an animal murdering spree in the zoo.  Thank goodness the cage held up the day we visited!
And it turns out when you shut down the zoo, you can score a free train ride back to the entrance.  What better way to end a fun day?

Jul 4, 2018

White Water Rafting

Our final pulse-pounding Tennessee adventure was white water rafting!  Damon and I have rafted before, but it was a first for Pawpaw, Stella, and Cille...

Stella listened to all the instructions, especially the one about smiling at the photographers along the river...

Rafting was my favorite part of the entire trip because both girls were nervous at first, but after they conquered a couple of waves, they both relaxed and had so much fun.  They were both encouraging each other and working as a team, which was a balm for this mother's soul, since they usually spend a lot of time bickering with each other these days...



Our guide Abby was great and we had such a fantastic adventure with her.  What an awesome way to experience the majesty of God's creation!

Jul 3, 2018

Tennessee Hike

Another part of our trip that was really special was our waterfall hike on the Grotto Trail...



Daddy used time-lapse on his phone to capture this photo.  Not bad for a cell phone pic...

Don't let Corinne's enthusiastic smile fool you...she was carried over much of the trail...









The water was frigid!





But Watts still gave it 2 thumbs up...

Corinne had lots of opinions on where she should be carried...




Stella was our staff photographer for these photos...


Corinne actually fell asleep on the trail...

Then back in the van, the big kids joined her for a rest...

I am so glad God has given us the beauty of His creation to share with our kids.  While it can be challenging to lug a 35 pound 3 year old on an almost 3 mile hike, I would not trade these sweet days for anything.