Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Longest Day in Alabama

 Before all the activity started, the kids took some down time playing iPads and waking up slowly. Ryan came in to join Maddie and Izzie.

 Izzie checking out the playground we visited in Tuscumbia, Alabama (the birth place of Helen Keller.)

 Maddie

 My Mema, being a kid with her baby brother Roy.

 Mema (mind you she's in her 70's) going down the zip line.

 Sandy's granddaughter, Destiny, really wanted to be friends with Maddie and Izzie. I told her to go push them on the swing and they'd be her friend forever.

 Ryan playing on the tire swing with Uncle Roy.

 But that is looking WAY too fun for Mema to not try it out.

 Wee!

 Maddie, Izzie, Destiny and Mema watching the other kids on the roller coaster.

 Since the park wasn't crowded they let the kids go round and round and round on the coaster. Izzie was thinking, "I am SO glad I did not go on that thing!" (Maddie, Izzie and Roy.)

 Roy and Pepaw

 Mema and Patty

 An awesome shot of the roller coaster.

 Pepaw was getting a bit bored/hungry by this point in the day. I was sort of right there with him. We brought snacks, but didn't realize that lunch wasn't planned until way, way later in the day.

 The girls devoured an entire pint of blueberries, two Larabar (the only brand of granola bars I'll buy), each a water bottle, and each a ziplock bag of watermelon. Then they said, "we are still hungry!" It was a very active day! (Izzie, Maddie.)

 Aunt Mary joined the park a bit late.

 Pepaw, Roy, Mary, the girls and I were so hungry we went over to this little restaurant that was on the park grounds. I thought it was going to be like a hamburger shack, but it was more like a little luncheon place that served chicken salad with crackers, fruit fluff, lemon bread and other delectable morsels. It was funny seeing Pepaw in front of this delicate "tea plate" but he said it was very tasty! (Izzie and Maddie in front of the sign.)

 There were a MILLION geese at the park, The goose poop was everywhere. But they were fun to watch. Too bad we didn't bring bread!

After the park, the older kids went to Mc Donalds and then on to a water park, we went with Mema and Pepaw to visit some more family. When we went to visit my Great-Great Aunt Louise and Great-Great Uncle James the girls had to be quiet again. Aunt Louise is going through dialysis and both of them were pretty frail, but you could tell that Mema had a bunch of good memories of her Aunt and Uncle from when she was a kid. Uncle James was her mom's brother.

 Aunt Louise, Mema and Uncle James.

 Next we went to visit Uncle Gayther. Mema's oldest brother.

 By this time it was getting to be dinner time and Aunt Trudy was making us all steaks at her and Uncle Waylon's house on the river. It was funny, all the men went to the formal dining room to eat, the women gathered around the kitchen nook and the kids found a great spot on the balcony to dine.

 Aunt Trudy had this hanging in her house and I thought it was so funny. She has a very hard time communicating right now since she is recovering from a stroke, but she was terrific with all the kids, and despite having a hard time understanding everything she said, she was just comfortable to be around.

 I took the kids down Uncle Waylon's INSANELY steep driveway to the dock so the three kids (and I!) could investigate. Then I had a nervous breakdown because the girls wanted to twirl and Ryan wanted to do karate and I was like, "BE STILL!" The lack of railings had me batty. I did allow them to all lay on their bellies and reach down to touch the water. By this point the kids were getting extremely exhausted by the long, hot day and they were beyond ready for bed. The grown-ups still wanted to visit, but I needed to get the girls in bed before we had a meltdown that I wouldn't have been able to control.

Pepaw had parked my van in a funny spot off of the INSANELY steep driveway. I had to forcibly carry Izzie in the car and strap her down since that meltdown had just begun. Aunt Mary decided to go back to her house with us. So we are all safetly strapped in the car and I slowly back up and then try to climb up this INSANE driveway. And my van laughs at me and starts sliding backwards! Right toward Aunt Trudy's very pretty glass front door of her house. I slam on the breaks and have a bit of a panic attack. Aunt Mary wasn't much help and Izzie was still screaming in the back seat. I slowly inch one foot on the break and hover one foot on the gas. This is probably NOT how you climb an INSANE hill, but I was going on instinct and adrenaline and trying NOT to crash into Aunt Trudy's house. I let go of the break and floor the gas. My car peeled up the hill, and apparently (so I'm told) left tire marks on the driveway. You could probably hear the squeal from Texas. I made it home and dumped the stinky, sleepy kids in bed. I'm surprised they made it in their nightgowns they were so exhausted. I wasn't too far off. It was a fun day, but boy was it a long one!

 Izzie and Teddy. I know, I've put up so many of them sleeping, but aren't they SO darn sweet when they are asleep?

Maddie was determined to read a book before bed. Instead of arguing I said fine. I don't think she even cracked it open before falling asleep!

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