April started off on a sad note for our family. We said goodbye to Michael's father the first weekend in the month. We will all miss Grandpa Wooten, may he rest in peace. We find comfort knowing he is in a better place and restored to full health.
As is all too often the case in families, the funeral provided an opportunity to visit with and in some cases even meet family we don't often see. Sterling and Ella had the opportunity to meet their kind of step cousins.
We were lucky enough to be in town the weekend of our nephew Hunter's Junior prom. Junior prom? Did I really just type that? Seriously, last time I checked, that kid was 10-years-old. Well, I guess they're letting 10-year-olds date and drive cars these days. Anyhow, he and his date look dashing...you know, for being 10 and all. I think I need to dig up some photos of the last time he wore a tux...as a ring bearer in our wedding!
Sterling also started playing soccer through the parks and rec league. All I can say is it looks something like herding cats. Regardless, he was pretty pumped to wear shin guards and cleats. He thinks he's hot stuff, can you tell?
Guess someone needs to tell him soccer is generally a hands off sport, huh?
We also attending more birthday parties. I swear, it's birthday season around here. It seems like every weekend there's another party to attend.
Most excitingly we sold our old cabin cruiser boat and traded in for a pontoon boat. I was a little sad to see our beautiful old fast boat go. It felt a bit like trading in the sports car for the mini van, but I suppose we're at the mini van stage in our life. The great thing about pontoon boats? They can comfortably hold lots of moms and their kids! So, over spring break I took out 4 other moms and a combines total of 8 kids on the river. We all had such a great time! And a big pat on the back to myself, I put the boat in the water, navigated it, and pulled it back out of the water all by myself!
Look at that crowd! We really had a blast!
So I have to include this funny story. We pull up to this little sandy beach in the middle of the river. It is totally inaccessible by anything but watercraft. Well, two young lovebirds had canoed their way out to this island for some...canoodling. That was, until we pull up and unload a boatload of preschoolers. We had everything from tots on up to 5 year olds. And do you want to know what this boatload of children did when we arrived on the island? They ran, the splashed, they may have thrown a little bit of sand, they absolutely made lots of noise, and they totally ran down and stared at the two lovebirds. It didn't take long before we had the island to ourselves.
I wish I had a better picture of the new boat, but as of yet, we keep forgetting to take one. So, these little snippets will have to do!
If you had fun, raise your hand!
It was still pretty chilly on the water, so our trip back found all the children bundling up under blankets.
Captain Sterling at the helm.
The three amigos start soccer...Sterling, Ollie and Kayla.
Bless this coach. I hope he knows what he's gotten himself into!
It's always important to have a friend you can lean on in this world!
Spring is finally springing here! It's been such a crazy and cold spring. Mother nature must have a sense of humour! It will warm up for a couple days, then bam, right back into another cold snap.We continued a tradition started last year. On a visit to Grandmere's house, we went strawberry picking. I'm not sure who loves this tradition more, my mother, myself or the kids!Some of us put a little more effort into the actual picking of strawberries...While others put more effort into the sampling of strawberries...Lest you worry she didn't get to sample any of the goods, note the sticky red strawberry juice running down her chin.This boy loves strawberries. I think he would've eaten his weight in the fruit if left in the field long enough!Always good to have a helper or two.So after our morning picking strawberries, we went into old town Lawrenceville for lunch. I realized while we were there, I have pictures of my children all around the world, but none in my hometown! So, here is the courthouse in the town where I grew up. Of note, it's also the courthouse where Larry Flynt (publisher of Hustler magazine) was shot and paralyzed in the late 1970's. Look, I know that's not really an outstanding fact, but anyone from Lawrenville knows that little tidbit and now you do too. So, here are Ella and Sterling in front of that courthouse.Just strolling the streets of Lawrenceville.We also found time while we were in Georgia to visit with Uncle Billy and attend a community festival in the Highlands.I can't get over how healthy and ALIVE Sterling is looking again. I don't know why, but even when the seizures were less frequent, heck, even for the first few months after they had stopped, he just looked a little lost. Like the lights weren't always on in his eyes. I love looking at his picture now and seeing how apart of life he is again!Our beloved Uncle Billy! Always a crowd pleaser.
Ha ha, I loved this picture as soon as I took it. It's not so much that it's a great picture of my brother and children, but it makes me think back to him helping me push their stroller through the airport when they were 3 months old on our way to Korea. Or the time that I would've sworn he was a saint when he met me at the airport after a very long flight home from Korea when they were 6 months old. Now they're so...grown up! But you better believe we will continue to use a double stroller as long as they'll fit in it. I do not want to try to carry two whinning children around when they get tired of walking!While we were in town visiting Grandmere, her neighbors invited Ella and Sterling to their children's 4th and 2nd birthday party. Their son, Gabe, was born just a few weeks after Ella and Sterling. I remember "introducing" all the babies to each other when they were all tiny little newborns! Now Gabe has a little sister Gigi who coincidentally was born around the same time of year, so they had a prince and princess birthday party. I wasn't sure how my children would do, attending a party with children they'd never met before. For the most part, we have a large circle of friends at home, so they always know everyone at the parties they attend. I guess I just don't give my children enough benefit. They jumped right in and had a great time. Within minutes Ella was introducing me to new little friends. This little girl is actually one third of triplets, also close in age to mine. It was a lot of fun talking with their mother and comparing notes on multiples.Sterling, Ella and prince Gabe...As you can see, my kids made themselves at home, and fit right in! And how cute is the birthday girl on the right?And lastly, April ended on a very sad note for many Alabamians. On April 26th, tornadoes ripped through the entire state leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Our drive home from Grandmere's took us directly through some of the hardest hit areas. It was truly humbling to see the devestation first hand. We were so lucky to only loose a couple trees, none of which landed on our home or our neighbor's. Please keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers as Alabama rebuilds itself.